Just Live Mindfully


Category: Nutrition (page 2 of 2)

Eat This…Not That…

I finally decided to take a look at this book.  I’ve literally had it on my shelf for-ev-er.  I was actually kind of shocked by some of the information inside the pages.  I’m from the Boston area and this is one of the cities that is known for it’s food.  And some of the restaurants that I’ll mention are not only in the Boston area, but other parts of the country.  Here are some of the restaurants, foods and occasions that I found most surprising.


Dunkin’ Donuts has the motto “American runs on Dunkin'”, but maybe not after you read this.  If you go for breakfast, you might just want something easy like a bagel.  The Multigrain Bagel with Lite Cream Cheese is a whopping 500 calories!  Instead, go for something lighter like the Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin which is only 380 calories.

Moving on to lunch, we head over to Panera Bread.  Now, I love this place because they have such great tasting food and great ingredients.  But what should you get?  A Sierra Turkey Sandwich might be delicious, but at 840 calories, it might not be your best pick.  Try the BBQ Chicken, which is about half the calories – only 470!

Hungry for a snack?  We’re told whole wheat is good for us, right?  Well, not in every situation.  Auntie Annie’s sells a Whole Wheat Pretzel, but at 450 calories, it might not be the best option.  Instead, try the Jalapeño Pretzel which is only 280 calories.

Now, the book didn’t stop at restaurants.  It had a Menu Decoder, comparisons for holidays and special occasions and supermarket options.  It even had choices for beverages.  This information could be very helpful for some.  I think those that celebrate the holidays and special occasions would be very interested in these options:

Thanksgiving dinner is a HUGE holiday in my family.  My dad cooks for an army but I always try to eat mindfully.  I stay with the light meat instead of the dark meat and replace stuffing and sweet potatoes with green bean casseroles and some real cranberry sauce.  By making these swaps, you’ll save about 500 calories.

Halloween is another holiday I totally love.  It’s so much fun dressing up and seeing the children in their costumes.  But the candy…oh, my candy!  I love chocolate and for me, I stick with organic and dark chocolate.  But what I pass out is the good stuff.  Almond Joys are in the trick-or-treat bag, but the better choice is 3 Musketeers because it will save about 30 calories.

What about a ball game?  Being from Boston, I am a Red Sox fan.  Yes, yes, Yankee fans, bring it on!  But what about the food I eat while I watch them battle it out on the field?  I love to have a Fenway Frank with ketchup and relish and I can even add mustard and it’s still only about 280 calories.  Stay away from the nachos and cheese  because those can bring you just under 700 calories.  Yikes!

In our house, we tend to cook a lot in the house.  And when we go to the market, we like to choose foods that are healthy, mostly organic and good for you.  Some of our favorite foods include snacks, like granola bars and ice cream.  The book gave some options for these too.

For granola bars, we used to get Nutrigrain bars, in particular the yogurt bars.  I’m glad we switched to something a little better because they are 140 calories per bar.  The Special K Bar in Vanilla Crisp flavor can save you about 50 calories per bar.

Ice cream is our weekend treat and we always go for the Ben & Jerry’s.  Unfortunately, they don’t have the lowest calories.  Cherry Garcia Low Fat Frozen Yogurt comes out at 170 calories, while Edy’s Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Black Cherry Vanilla Swirl Yogurt is only about 100 calories per serving.

Now, not all of the foods I mentioned are perfect.  My point in this post is to share comparisons and the fact that there may be a better option that you’re not aware of.  All in all, be mindful about your choices when you’re shopping, eating out or even when you’re cooking.  If you’re curious about finding better options, pick up the book.  You can find it here on Amazon.  Check it out and let me know your thoughts.  What swaps did you make?

Halloween Candy or Healthy Lifestyle?

Trick-or-treat!  That’s what children say when they go to the front door on Halloween, right?  What if it had another meaning?

To me, “Trick” relates to anything that is going to trick me into derailing from my plan.  It could be the candy from Halloween, the extra stuffing at Thanksgiving or even the champagne at New Years.  Yes, I will partake in a little of the indulgences, but I don’t allow the treats to completely steer me off my path.

“Treat” to me is the healthy lifestyle I’ve chosen to lead.  I get to treat myself because I’ve changed my lifestyle and I can live a little.  It’s because I live the healthy lifestyle that I can have one or two pieces of Halloween candy.  The real treat, is being healthy and allowing my body to have what it really needs to survive.

Now that Halloween has passed, what is your plan to get back on track?  Are you going to continue to indulge and trick yourself into thinking the path you’re on is ok?  OR…are you going to change up what you’re doing and treat yourself?  Either way, the decision is yours.  If you are thinking of changing it up, there are things you can do!

  1. Start to reduce your “boxed foods” and increase your “clean” ones. – If you read the ingredients on a box, I bet some of the ingredients you either won’t know or can’t pronounce.  Each time you go to the grocery store, stick to the outside aisles more and more.  That’s where the good stuff is!
  2. Add physical activity into your lifestyle. – You can start small too.  Start with 2-3 days a week and over time, increase the number of days.
  3. Eliminate the soda! – By removing soda out of your diet, you will reduce your chances of becoming a diabetic and help you lose weight.  Instead of soda, go with water that’s infused with fruit.  And if you like the bubbly, try a carbonated water.
  4. Find an accountability partner. – This can be anyone!  Someone you work with, one of your family members, someone you know online through social media.  Wherever you find that person, stay in contact so you can start this new lifestyle together and hold each other accountable.
  5. Set goals and stick to them. – By writing out your goals, you are more likely to stick to them.  What I suggest doing is writing out your goals and post them around the house wherever you are likely going to see them…on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, on the back of the front door, etc.  The more place you post them, the more they will remind you that you are doing this for a reason.

I am not a nutritionist and I am not a doctor, but I have learned a lot since I started my own journey.  I can help you find the right program fro you that you can do right in the comfort of your own home and I can help you with the proper nutrition you need to get started.  After reading this, if you are serious about starting your journey and need help getting started, message me.  Finding this healthy lifestyle has really helped me and I cannot wait to pay it forward!

Meatless Mondays

While traveling on a business trip awhile ago, I read an article in Men’s Fitness magazine about something called the Meatless Monday Movement.  It made me start to think…and gave me some very interesting takeaways:

  • It takes 1,846 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef.  It only takes 39 gallons of water to yield the same amount of veggies.
  • Farm-animal waste is funneled into football field size lagoons that release toxic gases such as nitrous oxide and methane.

The first point was shocking and yes, the second one was even more shocking than the first.  I could not believe this when I read the article.  The article even went on to say that if everyone gave up meat and cheese for just one day, once a week for a year, the impact on greenhouse gases would be the equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.  Yes, I said MILLION!

I want to be up front and say I am not a vegetarian and I am not a vegan because I do like to eat chicken, fish and turkey, mostly.  I am not someone who likes to eat a lot of red meat but will have a burger every now and then.

This article, though.  It really made me think.  What if I started a Meatless Monday in my house?  Would my husband go along with it?  When I read this article, I wasn’t sure.  I thought it was something worth trying, though.  I thought if i could slowly incorporate this idea into my house it wouldn’t be so hard to do.  I would be doing my part for the world and we would be eating clean and healthy.

We tried it and it’s worked.  There are a few meals we have each week now that are meatless and it’s been kind of fun coming up with different meals.  One of my favorites is my Southwestern Tacos.  If you really cannot remove meat from your diet, then my recommendation is to choose antibiotic-free, pasture raised beef and antibiotic-free, free-range chicken that are raised using sustainable farming practices.  You may have to do some research to find farmers in your area but they are out there.

Have you tried Meatless Monday in your house?  Share your favorite recipe below and help those thinking of joining the Movement.

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