Category Archives: Fuel for fitness

Eat Healthy and Exercise – Corporate America (in this case Embassy Suites) Makes It Hard

During my recent stay at Embassy Suites in Chicago I witnessed hundreds of people, mainly families, piling on “free” breakfasts. In my visits to the tiny gym I saw 0 to 4 other people.  I wish for a cultural shift where the family attraction doesn’t have to be unhealthy food, where fitness could even be an attraction.

Breakfasts consumed were huge and not nutritious. I don’t remember seeing a vegetable. True, some healthy choices were offered which the platters of food didn’t reflect. Clearly a culture of get-and-eat-as-much-as-you-can prevailed. It wouldn’t have been so disturbing if most of the adults and children hadn’t been overweight, a sign that it’s not just at Embassy Suites where poor food choices are made.

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Don’t we all know how to eat? The message is everywhere, it seems to me. Michelle Obama sure has tried.

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We can’t blame Embassy Suites, can we? Don’t we all know the price we pay from poor diets and excess weight (heart attacks, diabetes, joint pain and injury, high blood pressure, etc.)? But where do we start to change the culture in America? Corporations can take the lead. Can you imagine less food, paired down to the healthiest options, with a bigger, more visible gym, maybe even with a section for kids?

Take a look below at CEO of the Worldwide Hilton chain (owners of Embassy Suites), Christopher Nassetta .

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Here’s the CEO of Embassy Suites, John Rogers with celebrity Brooke Burke- Charvet at an event held at Dylan’s Candy Bar promoting family travel at Embassy Suites.

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Whatya bet you wouldn’t catch them eating platters full at breakfast, and I’m guessing you’d meet them in the gym. CEO Christopher Nassetta loves to cook and is known for visiting kitchens in Hilton hotels. I urge him to infiltrate the dining area of the Embassy Suites on N. State Street in Chicago and see what people are putting on their plates.

I don’t know the answer to changing our breakfast culture. Why do I care? I guess it’s wanting to have pride in being an American. I want  an America on the cutting edge of health, a country of people taking the lead in eating less, wasting less, and exercising more.

 

More from Michael Pollan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?pagewanted=all

More about CEO, Hilton Worldwide, Christopher Nassetta

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/turnaround-ceo

Omelette in a Mug…Protein Packed Breakfast

This is from the Tone and Tighten blog (http://tone-and-tighten.com/2013/11/how-to-make-an-egg-white-omelette-in-a-mug.html).

Great, quick way to start the day with protein and vegetables!

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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard- this is a recipe that I have been making for many years. It can be done in less than 5 minutes (to shorten time, I will even chop up all my vegetables the night before, making it ready in about 2 minutes), so there are no excuses for not eating breakfast even when you are short on time in the mornings!

Egg White Omelette in a Mug
Ingredients:
egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fully cooked ham or turkey bacon (or you can omit meat)
2 tablespoons fresh baby spinach, shredded
1 tablespoon green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon red pepper, diced
1 tablespoon tomato, diced
1 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste, if desired

Directions:
Spray a microwave-safe mug with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in mug and mix. Microwave uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. Cook for 1-1 1/2 minutes longer or until eggs are completely set.
I love to pour fresh salsa on top.

Makes 1 serving.

– See more at: http://tone-and-tighten.com/2013/11/how-to-make-an-egg-white-omelette-in-a-mug.html#sthash.EChSXbau.dpuf

Protein and Vegetables to Start Your Day

Trying to cut down on carbohydrates? Try this quick egg puff for breakfast.IMG_2471 IMG_2472

Saute veggies in olive oil in frying pan, add beaten eggs, a tiny bit of cheese (or none), seasonings, and cook slowly over low heat with a lid. Poof. A puff. A cross between an omelet and baked egg.

More and more evidence that reducing carbohydrates in our diet is healthful. Time to rethink oatmeal, toast, cereal or smoothies for breakfast and think of ways to get vegetables and protein into that meal.

Eating REAL Food

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After gaining weight and dieting in a variety of ways (and losing and gaining the weight back) I pledged never to diet again, but I would try to eat mostly healthy food, cut back on days I felt like it, never deprive myself of anything (like slices of birthday cake) and just develop a better relationship with eating. It worked and is still working. I also decided to read about healthy food, and to aim for losing weight over 5 years. That was more than 10 years ago and I’m still on the plan, still learning.

 First, I read the books Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and his tiny book, Food Rules, and watched the documentary “Food Inc.” Slowly but surely I began to change my eating to mostly “real food”. I watched more documentaries…Food Matters, Super Size Me, Forks Over Knives, Fed Up.

 Recently I discovered this website, 100 Days of Real Food, and this woman’s journey began the same way as mine, with the book In Defense of Food. It’s a hugely popular blog chock full of great recipes, cooking tips, educational information as well as inspiration. I also ordered her cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food. The first half details “How we did it, what we learned” and the second half contains 100 recipes.

Here’s a link where she describes her journey.
​Here’s a link telling about the effects, after a few months of change, that eating real food had on her family

 

Here’s to good eating!

Now eating eggs is okay.

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Have you been wary of the cholesterol-police egg ban or are you a die-hard, egg-white eater? According to an article in the New York Times, the federal government (The Dietary Guidelines for Americans), the American Heart Association, The British Medical Association, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and studies conducted by Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health now say it’s okay to eat eggs.

Read the New York Times article, published in Ask the Well on November 14, 2014, if you want to know how many eggs-per-week experts recommend.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/ask-well-how-many-eggs-can-i-eat/

Food Rules,  a short book by Michael Pollan

“We’re very confused about food, … which is weird. I mean, what other species needs experts to tell them how to eat?”, says food expert/journalist  Michael Pollan in an NPR program interview. The more he studied about food, the shorter his book, Food Rules, became. Not advocating for one ideal diet, Mr. Pollan wants us to steer away from processed food and towards plant based foods. That simple.   “Populations eating a remarkable wide range of traditional diets generally won’t suffer from (chronic Western) diseases ” and, “People who get off the Western diet see dramatic improvements in their health.”

Eat food, he advocates. Real food that is. Here’s some of my favorite rules; theres’s 64 altogether  in the book:

Part I:  What should I eat? (Eat food.) Like me, your definition of food might change by the end of this chapter.

  • 5. Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.

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  • 6. Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
  • 7. Avoid food products containing ingredients that  third-grader cannot pronounce.
  • 12. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
  • 13. Eat only foods that will eventually rot.

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  • 19. If it came from a plant, eat it; it was made in a plant, don’t.

Part II: What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants.)

  • 22. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
  • 24. Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl), which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs, and other mammals).
  • 27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
  • 29. Eat like an omnivore.
  • 35. Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature.

Part III How should I eat? (Not too much.)

  • 44. Pay more, eat less.
  • 45. Eat less.
  • 47. Eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored.
  • 53. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
  • 55. Eat meals.
  • 56. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant food.
  • 57. Don’t get your fuel the same place your car does.
  • 60. Treat treats as treats.
  • 63. Cook

This short 140 page book is packed with wisdom you won’t soon forget. It was one of the books and documentaries that changed my eating forever.

Links:

Michael Pollan- Ted Talk

Michael Pollan- NPR interview about his new book, Cooked

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/21/177501735/fire-water-air-earth-michael-pollan-gets-elemental-in-cooked

Michael Pollan- NPR, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me program

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128417647

Learn more about that old Twinkie here-

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/21/news/hancock/38-year-old-twinkie-worlds-oldest-still-a-sweet-treat-at-blue-hill-school/

 

What to Eat Between Meals When You’re Really Hungry

HERE’S SOME GOOD, HEALTHY SNACKS….

Healthy eating including healthy snack options takes planning and shopping. Here’s some easy to eat, fast snacks, most of which are protein,  vegetables or fruit. I love this idea of a healthy snack drawer in the frig (skip the packaged food) which came from the blog, Life is Sweet…in Kindergarten.

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  VEGETABLES

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  • Cut and prepped ahead in refrigerator so that grabbing to go is convenient (see previous blog post)
  • Add peanut butter to celery stalks
  • Dip in hummus, yogurt or guacamole

APPLE SLICES

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  • Use an apple slicer
  • In a to-go container, add peanut butter and a knife to spread it (add a napkin, too)

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  • Slice the apple horizontally and add peanut butter, raisins, walnuts, or your imagination then cut in pie shaped slices

ALMONDS, NUTS, SEEDS, TRAILMIX (without chocolate or other sweet additions)

  • Pre-measure a small palm full into a to-go container to avoid over eating
  • Buy almonds at Trader Joe’s where they come prepackaged
  • toss raw sunflower or other seeds with olive oil and bake

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 AVACADO

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  • half an avocado with squeezed lime and sprinkled with spices of your choice

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  • avocado toast with cottage cheese and tomatoes

HARD BOILED EGGS

  • Pack in a to-go container
  • Add tomato slices and scallions or chopped basil leaves

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EDEMAME with sea salt

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TURKEY ROLLS

  • spread with mustard and capers
  • roll olives inside
  • try avocado slices in the middle

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  • with cheese in the middle and a tomato on top

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  •  between slices of cucumber with flavorings of your choice

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SWEET POTATOES

  • baked half with a small amount of butter and walnuts or pecans
  • slices tossed with olive oil and sea salt and baked

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RICE CAKES

  • spread with peanut butter with banana slices on top

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  • topped with avocado, tomatoes, turkey, or your choice

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FRUIT

  • any kind in moderation
  • banana dolphins

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Ok, maybe this is for the kids, but I couldn’t resist. Aren’t they cute! (from blog I’m Just a Wife)

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO AND TO-GO HEALTHY SNACKS??? LET US KNOW BELOW….

 

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