Reading Food Labels

You may think what you are eating is healthy but do you actually read the food label to know what it is you are actually consuming? Don’t get tricked in to thinking something is healthy just because it says “Organic”, “All Natural”, “Healthy”, “Gluten Free”, “Fat Free” or “Vegan”. Those are just marketing ploys to make consumers think that they are healthy. For example, look at the picture below. The company markets this product as “Gluten Free”, “Fat Free” and “No Artificial Color.” Must be healthy, right?

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My general rule of thumb when reading a label is if I don’t know what an ingredient is, I don’t buy it. The main ingredient I am always very cautious about, especially when buying food for our son, is sugar. Have you ever noticed that there is added sugar in EVERYTHING processed!! It amazes me! Pasta sauce, salad dressing, cereal, bread, teething bars and the list goes on and on and on. Going back to the picture above, take a look at this products ingredients. Do you know what any of them are? And if you do, does that sounds like a healthy, nutrient dense product?

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So how can you tell if there is added sugar in your processed food? Sometimes it is not as simple as the label just reading “sugar.” Companies are good at sneaking sugar in under names that some people wouldn’t think would be sugar. Ingredients that end in the word “ose” are sugar. Common names for sugar that many companies use are :

  • Glucose

  • Fructose

  • Molasses

  • Syrup (Corn, Maple, Date, Golden, Carob, Brown rice etc.)

  • Barley Malt

  • Dextrose

  • Evaporated Cane Juice

  • Fruit Juice Concentrate

  • Honey

  • Agave

  • Buttered sugar/ buttercream

To sum this up for you, when reading labels make sure that you know what the ingredients are before just buying something that states that it is “healthy” on the package.

If you ever have any questions on an ingredient, a food item or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a wonderful week!

XO

Lisa Catherine

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

LisaCatherineCoaching@gmail.com

Simplifying Meal Prep

Do you cringe when you hear the words “meal prep”? For the longest time I HATED meal prepping. Bottom line, I don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen on Sundays prepping food. I would rather be out doing something with the family, especially now that it is getting nicer outside. Does anybody else feel the same way?

Even though I don’t enjoying spending hours meal prepping, meal planning is a very necessary thing for me. When I plan and prep my meals ahead of time it sets me up for successful, healthy eating all week long. So how do I prep my meals without spending a ton of time in the kitchen? I prep two days during the week and I utilize a secret weapon… my CROCK- POT! I LOVE this thing. It has saved me so much time preparing dinners.

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This is what my typical week of meal planning looks like:

Monday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

Tuesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftovers Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

*Prep Crock-Pot recipe for tomorrow

Wednesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Thursday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftover Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Friday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch: Tuna fish, crackers and veggies

Dinner: Fish and broccoli

*Fridays in Lent we cannot eat meat

Weekends I leave open. We typically will just eat leftovers.

We do our grocery shopping on Sundays. Sunday night I prep the Crock-Pot meal for Monday and Tuesday, cut veggies for snacks during the week and cook chicken for lunches during the week. I keep my recipes very simple. I love to cook but I don’t like spending hours doing it. As I said earlier, I want to spend the free time that I do have with my family, not in the kitchen for hours. Once my son gets a little older, I look forward to teaching him how to cook so that we can spend time together in the kitchen but right now isn’t that time.

I hope that this gives you some inspiration. You don’t have to spend hours planning and prepping your meals. Keep it simple.


Lisa Kenny


Lisa Catherine Coaching

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

LisaCatherineCoaching@gmail.com



7 Healthy On The Go Snacks

Since we have moved into the boondocks, I find myself trying to run all my errands at once. This means that I am gone for the majority of the day. I love going out for a nice meal occasionally, but I hate ALWAYS eating out. It is expensive and I prefer to make my own food. So while I am on the go, I pack a goodie bag of healthy snacks (sometimes even a meal if I am gone most of the day). 

If you are like me and feel like you are on the go the majority of the day, here are a list of some simple, healthy snacks to take with you.

1. Ants on a log - I used to eat these all the time as a kid. It was one of my favorite snacks. Chop up some celery, add peanut butter or almond butter and top it with raisins or almonds. 

2. Mixed Nut Trail Mix - I typically will buy just mixed nuts or I will buy mixed nuts with raisins.

3. Protein Shake - In our house we use Vega Protein or Swiig. I use water (my husband uses almond milk), add one scoop protein, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 avocado, a handful of spinach (you can't taste it, I promise), blend it up. I, also, will add flax or chia seeds and sometimes some Maca powder if I am feeling a little tired that day. 

4. Kind Bar, Larabar or Cliff Bar - Try to find an energy bar or protein bar with no artificial sweeteners in it. Find a bar where you know all the ingredients listed on the table. Better yet, make your own energy bar.

You can make your own bars (or energy balls) by adding your favorite ingredients to a food processor. I use oats, dates (sometimes prunes), organic unsweetened peanut butter, flax, cinnamon, coconut oil. I process it and than add any toppings such as, coconut, dark chocolate chips, raisins etc. Mix with a spoon (or hands) and than mold into energy bars. Place them on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Place in refrigerator and than enjoy!

5. Hummus and veggies

6. Greek Yogurt - I always buy unsweetened yogurt and add fruit to it. 

7. Hardboiled Egg

 

I hope this has helped! If you would like any more advice or help with how to prepare any of these snacks, please feel free to contact me.

Have a great week!

 

Lisa Catherine Kenny

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

Are Smoothies Good For You?

Yes, smoothies can be very good for you if f you make it yourself or go to a smoothie bar where you know exactly what is in it. Many stores will add ingredients with a ton of sugar, such as ice cream or syrups. If made correctly, smoothies can be a fantastic meal replacement or snack. I try to have a smoothie once a day and, typically, for breakfast. Why? Well here are a few reasons why smoothies are so good for you:

1. Fruits and Veggies

Its amazing how many people do not get the recommended fruits and vegetables in. Smoothies are a great way to get some healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet. I always add one serving of fruit and at least one serving of vegetables in my smoothie. Make sure not to overdue it on the fruit since fruit does contain sugar, natural but still sugar. 

2. Healthy Fat

People seem to be afraid of the word "fat" nowadays but the truth is that your body needs healthy fat to function. Incorporating healthy fats into your smoothie is a great way to start off your morning. Your body will love you for it. I add 1/4 of an avocado to my daily smoothies and sometimes a scoop of almond butter (no added sugar).

3. Simple & Quick

For those that are constantly on the run and don't ever have time for breakfast, smoothies are an easy and quick meal to make for on the go. You can prep the night before and than throw it on the blender in the morning. I can't tell you how many people I talk to that just don't eat breakfast in the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body has been resting all night without food so it would only make sense that it needs food in the morning in order to function at it's highest capability. Make sure to eat breakfast. Smoothies are fantastic, on the go, healthy meals.

4. Digestion

Adding ingredients into your smoothie that can aid in digestion are fantastic. Some examples of this are kefir, apple cider vinegar, avocados, cucumbers, peppermint, ginger, lemon, and fennel.

5. Energy

By fueling your body with healthy food and nutrients, you will have a ton of energy to go about your busy day.

 

Here are a couple of my smoothie recipes that I use quite often.

 

Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Cup Blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1/4 -1/2 Avocado 

Spinach

1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use frozen blueberries, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

The Green Monster Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Banana (frozen or fresh)

1 - 2 Tbsp Almond Butter (or any nut butter)

Spinach

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use a frozen banana, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

 

Have a great weekend! Stay healthy:)

 

XOXO 

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

Delicious Spaghetti Alternative

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti Recipe

MY FAVORITE!! If you have never tried spaghetti squash, you are in for a treat. I recommend spaghetti squash to anyone that is trying to limit their carbohydrate intake or even if they just want to try something new and healthy! Try this recipe out. I am sure you will love it and your family will too!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1 spaghetti squash (3 pounds)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (minced) OR 1 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (diced) OR 8 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried, salt-free herbs, Italian blend
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz. canned, no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, or, torn basil OR 1 tsp. dried basil

 

Tip: Scraping the spaghetti squash to make “noodles” and tossing all the ingredients together are safe and fun steps to involve kids in this recipe.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scrape out seeds. On a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, place halves of squash face down and bake for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, pepper, herbs and red pepper flakes. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Let squash sit at room temperature until just cool enough to handle. Take a fork and scrap flesh from outside working in, creating “spaghetti noodles”.
  5. Add squash "noodles" to sauce and remove from heat. Toss with fresh basil and serve.
  6. You can add anything else you would like to your pasta. Maybe try some mushrooms or olives. Maybe some chicken or homemade meatballs. Get creative :) 

 

Recipe copyright © 2016 American Heart Association.