Healthier Graduation Party Tips

How many graduation parties are you invited to this year? I count four, including the one I am giving for my daughter-my baby-I still can’t believe it. Graduation parties typically don’t have the healthiest food choices and the calories can add up quickly, but you can make better choices.

  • Eat something prior to the party to control appetite
  • Limit alcoholic beverages-choose water or carbonated water w/ fruit or diet soda instead
  • Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables
  • Eat slowly
  • Use the small plate and only choose the foods you absolutely love and leave the rest

Of course, if you are giving the party, you can serve healthier choices! My daughter, who is vegan, has requested only vegan foods be served. I have found some tasty recipes like vegan lentil meatballs for meatball subs in whole grain buns and marinated grilled carrots to serve in whole grain hot dog buns instead of hot dogs!

Happy, healthy partying!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Follow the attached tips to be healthier for life and not just a few weeks or as long as the next popular fad diet lasts!

 

Keeping It Clean With Kiddos

If you’re a parent I’m sure you’ve gotten up in the night or early morning hours, the house still dark, and as you make your way through the house you step on that doll or Lego that was left on the floor – yep – then you have that try not to yell and wake the kids moment while silent crying. That’s been me a time or two!! Lately the craze at my house is to go into a room, dump out all the toy bins/baskets/buckets/etc. and then move to the next room only to do the same thing. So how do we try and stay organized and clutter free?

If it’s left on the floor it goes in the trash! No, just kidding! My girls are only five and two; they would be quite devastated with that rule. If you don’t already, invest in bins with lids or shelving with basket inserts. This has been a lifesaver for us and teaches the girls that everything has a place when they are done playing. Also, I really hate when toys are just thrown into a bin or shoved into a drawer. This particular part of me teaches the kids to value their possessions and treat them with care. In addition to proper storage, we make sure the girls clean up every night before going to bed. It’s kind of their last thing to do; it helps them get out any remaining energy before bedtime, and helps me so I’m not the one picking up after they’ve gone to bed. Because after a long work day, dinner, chores, etc. what parent wants to clean up their house?!

This week has been spring break at my house, so lots of cleaning out the clutter! Our girls don’t like to give any of their toys away but we convinced them they had too much. They donated 3 boxes, which is also something I recommend doing with your toys/personal belongings/trinkets/etc. at least once every few months. In their minds they just made more room for new toys which they will inevitably get for their upcoming birthdays! And the cycle continues…try not to stress too much about the mess they create while they are playing. Let them make the memories.

Finally, probably my best tip – create a schedule. If it’s written down weekly, such as vacuum on Wednesday, or organize toy room Saturday, you are much more likely to get it done! Don’t put off for tomorrow, what can get done today!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

Thursday, April 12 was National Grilled Cheese Day. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a known comfort food and can be over 300 calories and over 20 grams of fat! However, they can be made healthier and I think tastier than the original version!

  • Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread for more fiber and nutrients
  • Choose low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving) Alpine Lace brand provolone is one of my favorites. Try to only use 1 slice.
  • Add sliced tomatoes, spinach and fresh basil for great flavor, lots of fiber and other nutrients and very little calories.
  • Use a butter flavored spray on the bread instead of butter or margarine to use a lot less calories and fat grams (especially saturated fat). The bread still toasts to a crispy texture!

By making these changes you can add nutrition, save over 100 calories and 10 grams of fat…mostly the bad saturated fat and still enjoy a favorite comfort food!

The Power of Positivity

I’ve lost 90 pounds in two years. It sounds fairly impressive, and I so proud of myself, but it wasn’t easy. I had been trying to lose weight and failing for over 10 years prior. In fact, for those 10 years prior, I steadily gained weight despite myself. So what changed? Honestly, in hindsight it was the most obvious solution in the world. Positive reinforcement.

What does that mean? It’s a couple of buzzwords that get thrown around in self-help books here and there. It’s so easy to say, less easy to understand. For me, it meant looking in the mirror and treating myself like a whole new person. For ten plus years, I looked in the mirror and hated myself. Sure I was smart, kind, and likable, but I was also weak. Something was wrong with me, and I hated myself for not being able to fix it. I would glare at the mirror and call myself pathetic, and weak, and ugly. After all, I believed the best way to change was bullying myself into changing.

It didn’t work for me. In fact, bullying myself just kept building upon the issues that caused me to gain weight in the first place, and I found myself digging deeper and deeper into a hole that would take a long time to escape.

Then, one day, something in me clicked. I looked in the mirror and decided that the key was not hating myself. It was, in fact, loving myself. I said to mirror me “You are not weak. You have had struggles, but you are strong. Your struggles have made you even stronger, and you can grow from them.” As I write this it sounds so incredibly cheesy, but just like that I was on my way. It wasn’t easy, and honestly it still isn’t. The key was acknowledging my weaknesses and working on them, but also acknowledging my strengths and using them to combat the hard times.

So here are a few samples of the positive thinking strategies that got me through it all: