the return of the recipes

YES YOU HEARD RIGHT

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1 roll • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 ww pts
Calories: 224.9 • Fat: 5.1 g • Fiber: 3.4 g • Protein: 13.0 g • Carbs: 31.5

Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Monday

I bought my mom a fitbit a couple years ago as a present.  she was doing weight watchers and had heard about it.  the thing seemed pretty cool.  The main problem was I had to order it several times from fitbit and never got it from them.  I ended up getting it at best buy.  But when she started using it, she was always telling me about getting in her 10,000 steps.  I never really thought much about it until I started exercising and dieting.  Fast forward a little.  A couple of weeks ago, my mother in law gave me a pedometer she had gotten from somewhere that she didn’t want.  I had never used one before, and this was an extremely basic one with just a reset button and a belt clip.  So I wore it all day and checked on how many steps I was doing, and then remembered about my mom and her fitbit, so I looked into this thing about 10,000 steps, and here is some of what I found.  this is off of http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html

10,000 STEPS A DAY
“10,000 steps a day – pedometer walking program, walking routine, beginning walking, beginner walker”
How many steps do you walk each day?

Maybe you have heard the recent guidelines about walking 10,000 steps per day. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.

A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has many health benefits. I have outlined the basic 10,000 steps program, but also added a commentary below.

A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Example: If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4000 each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks.

Buy Now!Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps each day. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.

So…how did I stack up ? I was averaging around 6,000 steps a day.  I’m going to increase it as much as I can.  I also found out that A person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2000 and 3500 extra Calories per week, which will result in achieving a vastly better health profile and longer lifespan.

friday

short post today.  it was my bday, and i’ve been busy.  worked the day job, did a gig – middle school dance, and boy did those kids really really really make me want to homeschool my children.  they were pretty bad, but anyway, onto what I found on the web for todays lesson.  I found it when I was looking to see if there is anything besides just drinking plain old water that I could drink during the day that wasnt bad, and wasn’t going to cause some kind of adverse effect down the road.  When I find out more, don’t worry I will share with you.  But for now, here’s a pretty interesting list.  it’s from http://www.infobarrel.com/8_Drinks_That_Will_Make_You_Fat

8 Extremely Fattening Drinks

There are not many people who would select water over a selection of other beverages, the problem is, most of these same people don’t realize the volume of calories they are putting in their bodies when they consume these products. Even freshly squeezed juices are very calorie dense. If you are pounding back any of these drinks on a regular basis, cutting them out could do wonders for your waste line without even adding in any exercise!

This list will be from the least calorie dense drinks all the way up to the super calorie dense options. And since I am such a nice guy, I’m even going to suggest a few low calorie alternatives to help give you something to sip on over the day.

8. 7-11 Cola Slurpee

This one seems almost obvious, although, I was shocked to see it this low on the list when compared to some of the other popular drinks.

Slurpee Nutritional Info
Oz: 24
Calories: 210
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 53.9g
Protein:
Sugar: 53.9g
Calories Per oz: 8.75

Alternatives to Slurpees
While I personally love a Slurpee on a hot summers day, one alternative is a home made calorie free Slurpee. Take your blender, mix in roughly 1/2 cup of pre made crystal light, and then add roughly half a tray of ice cubes, more if you want it slushier. Blend the concoction up for a calorie free Slurpee.

7. Pepsi Cola/Coca Cola

Another obvious one near the top of the list is sugar packed sodas such as Coke or Pepsi. Your average 12oz serving has roughly 150 calories! If you drink three cans a day, that’s 160200 calories a year which is roughly 45 lbs of PURE FAT!

Pepsi Nutritional Info:
Oz: 12
Calories: 150
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 42g
Protein:
Sugar: 42g
Calories Per oz: 12.50

Alternatives to Pepsi/Coke & Sodas
This is actually a really easy fix if you are willing to make a bit of a change. Switch from Pepsi to Diet Pepsi. The taste might not be that pleasing at first, but after a few weeks, you don’t even notice the aftertaste any more. I personally actually prefer diet sodas over regular these days. If you drink diet soda, you are 100% reducing these drink calories from your diet.

6. Fresh Orange Juice

Yes, you are reading this correctly. Juices are jam packed full of calories whether you are drinking apple juice, orange juice or grape juice, they all contain a ton of sugar and a ton of unnecessary calories. If you really just want some vitamin C, take a supplement or eat an actual orange and get some of the fiber to go along with it.

Fresh Orange Juice Nutrition Info
Oz: 12
Calories: 170
Fat: 0.8g
Carbs: 39.2g
Protein: 2.6
Sugar: 31.7g
Calories Per oz: 14.17

Fresh Juice Alternatives:
If you are drinking juice for Vitamins, eat the fruit and get some of the benefits of the fiber. If you are just looking for something that has some flavor, mix up some Crystal Light and enjoy a tasty calorie free drink.

5. Gatorade

If Gatorade is good for athletes it has got to be good for me right? WRONG! Gatorade was developed to help athletes quickly replenish depleted energy sources and as a result is jam packed full of sugar as well as calories. Unless you are performing at a very high level athletically, drinking Gatorade is only going to build your spare tire around your waste.

Gatorade Nutrition Info:
Oz: 12
Calories: 170
Fat: 0.8g
Carbs: 39.2g
Protein: 2.6
Sugar: 31.7g
Calories Per oz: 25.83

Gatorade Alternatives:
If you really want to drink a sports drink, pickup one of Gatorade’s new G2 sports drinks. It is a low calorie alternative and won’t turn you into an overweight wannabe athlete.

4. Starbucks Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® blended creme with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Let’s face it, you shouldn’t be drinking Starbucks Frappuccino’s if you are trying to watch your waste line. They are so packed full of calories, you could easily gain a pound a week by drinking a Venti every day! One Frapp stands out in the crowd for being the ultimate weight gainer and that is the ‘Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino blended crème with Chocolate Whipped Cream’; try saying that 5 times! This drink is a behemoth with 680 calories in a single 24oz serving. That is an astounding 28.33 calories per oz. If you are planning on dressing up as Santa Clause this winter and don’t want to stuff your pants with pillows, this is definitely the daily beverage for you.

Starbucks Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® blended creme with Chocolate Whipped Cream Nutrition Info
Oz: 24
Calories: 680
Fat: 21g
Carbs: 115g
Protein: 18
Sugar: 93g
Calories Per oz: 28.33

Frappuccino Alternatives:
If you are really feeling the urge to get a blended Frapp from Starbucks, first step is to look at the ‘light’ section. The next step is to select the Espresso Frappuccino® Light Blended Coffee. A Venti (24oz) serving still has 150 calories, but that is substantially better than its Mint Chocolaty companion. For those who care, the Espresso Frappuccino® Light Blended Coffee packs 6.25 calories per oz.

3. 7-11 French Vanilla Café Cooler

7-11 got a little upset when Starbucks started stealing their grown up Slurpee customers who wanted blended coffee. So what did they do? They came up with Coffee Slurpees to stir up the competition. Unlucky for us though, these Slurpees come packed with nearly four times the calories of a traditional Slurpee. Check out the nutritional information on these tasty morsels.

7-11 French Vanilla Café Cooler Nutrition Info:
Oz: 20
Calories: 634
Fat: 27g
Carbs: 97g
Protein: 1.6
Sugar: 97g
Calories Per oz: 31.70

French Vanilla Café Alternatives:
Honestly, if you have to buy something from 7-11 to replace your French Vanilla Café Cooler, I would recommend grabbing a cup of coffee, toss a bit of skim milk and some sugar free Vanilla syrup in it. Run over to the Big Gulp machine and toss a few ice cubes in your cup to cool it down and make a chilled beverage. Aside from that, any of the café coolers are pretty much going to turn you into a fat air balloon.

2. McDonald’s Chocolate Triple Thick® Shake

Leave it to McDonalds to have the second most fattening drink that I have ever seen. If you’ve ever tasted their Chocolate Triple Thick Shake, you would know instantly that there is no way something with so much creamy tasty flavor could ever be good for you. This calorie behemoth could help you pack on as much as two pounds of fat a week when combined with your normal diet. Pretty impressive huh?

Chocolate Triple Thick® Shake Nutrition Info:
Oz: 32
Calories: 1160
Fat: 27g
Carbs: 203g
Protein: 27
Sugar: 168g
Calories Per oz: 36.25

Chocolate Triple Thick® Shake Alternatives:
If you really want to drink a Chocolate milk shake, you are looking at a calorie dense beverage no matter what way you ‘shake’ it. If you want to make something that is at least somewhat healthy for you, blend 1/2 cup skim milk with 2 scoops chocolate whey protein and half a tray of ice. It will taste like a chocolate milk shake with way less sugar, but you still can’t avoid the calories.

1. Bubble Tea with Milk and Tapioca Pearls

Bubble Tea is an Asian drink that has many variations these days. The original Bubble Tea came from Taiwan and was a combination of Black tea, condensed milk, honey and pearls (tapioca balls). These days, the black tea and condensed milk can be substituted with fruity teas or milky fruit teas, all of which are jam packed with gut producing calories. A standard Bubble Tea with milk and pearls contains roughly 510 calories in just a 12 oz serving. If you just broke out your calculator you would now know that Bubble tea can contain 42.50 calories per oz! What does that mean for you? It means that Bubble Tea is a one way ticket to Obesity Boulevard.

Bubble Tea with Milk and Tapioca Pearls Nutritional Info:
Oz: 12
Calories: 510
Fat: 20.4g
Carbs: 79.05g
Protein: .6
Sugar: ?g
Calories Per oz: 42.50

Bubble Tea Alternatives:
Alright, this one you are going to have to suck up and just stop drinking. There is absolutely no reason why you need to eat Tapioca balls and condensed milk on a daily basis. Hit up your grocery store and grab a couple boxes of black and green tea. Not only will it save your health, it will also save you some money.

thursday continued

ok everybody, for todays post i looked in to things/ways to help get over the weight loss plateau and back on to the other side.  I found lots and lots of info.  95% of it seemed to be pretty worthless.  I then stumbled upon a little teeny tiny article.  It was actually something linked from a bulletin board discussion on the very topic I was looking up.  The whole article was about ten things to do to overcome the weight loss plateau, but for the most part they were pretty basic.  Eat more fruits and veggies, watch out for overeating, etc.  but I liked this one.

Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs

New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check.

Researchers concluded that the findings suggest possible mechanisms contributing to the effects of high-protein/low-carb diets to promote weight loss, and high-fat diets to promote weight gain

If you want to read the whole list, its at http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/10-ways-to-move-beyond-a-weight-loss-plateau?page=1

Wednesday

ok, so I know that everyone following along just absolutely loves my supercreative blog titles :)   with the next month I’ll come up with better titles, but for now, just settle in to the fact that ‘m making these entertaining and informative…and stuff.  so today’s post is from a very good article on oprahs site.  yes I know what you’re saying, I admit I read some stuff off of oprah’s site.  But when I was researching stuff about hitting the weight loss plateau, this was honestly one of the best articles I found.  I don’t have a degree in nutrition, or anything anywhere even close, otherwise I’m sure the other articles would have been better.  but as I posted before, this contest came along into my life after I had already lost 70 lbs, so it’s been harder for me to keep losing.  I knew that there was the plateau, but honestly I had never gotten far enough along in a weight loss plan to come anywhere close to dealing with it.  But, now I’m there, so here’s what they said..

One of the most common frustrations in weight loss is when all progress halts despite the fact that you are diligently following your plan. Such plateaus are predictable and explainable. Basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the energy required to keep the heart pumping, lungs expanding, kidneys filtering, and all other vital bodily functions going when the body is at rest—accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn and depends, for the most part, on body mass. When weight loss occurs, body mass goes down; so does BMR.

Consider an example: You weigh 162 pounds and eat 1,900 calories a day. To lose a pound a week, you’ve got to cut between 500 and 600 calories per day. So you restrict yourself to 1,400 calories, and the weight comes off. But suddenly, after week six, the scale refuses to budge. This is because with the weight loss, your BMR has also declined (say, from 0.95 to 0.75 calories per minute), and where your body used to burn 1,368 calories per day, now it’s using only 1,080. At this weight, there’s also less of you to move around, so you burn fewer calories working out and waste fewer calories as heat. All in all, your daily calorie expenditure is now pretty close to what you’re taking in. You’ve hit a new—and probably very annoying—equilibrium. Now that you know why it happens, here’s what to do:

1. Hang in there.
You may feel stuck, but you’re probably still losing weight—just not enough to register on the scale. But even dropping a third of a pound per week means that in a year, you’ll be down a whole 17 pounds.

2. Avoid fuzzy math.
It’s common to overestimate calories burned and underestimate calories eaten. Look for places where calories may hide—dressings, spreads, sauces, croutons, and condiments. Are you tasting a lot while cooking? Finishing what the kids leave on their plates? Absentmindedly grabbing handfuls of nuts, chips, or candy? You might try keeping a detailed food diary. Remember that for each pound you want to lose, you need to cut at least 3,500 calories—and if you don’t want to eat less, to lose the same pound you’ll have to add about ten extra hours of brisk walking or the equivalent.

3. Put up some resistance.
Increasing physical activity is particularly useful for moving beyond a plateau because exercise both uses calories and builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR, which is why working out with light weights or doing some kind of resistance training can be especially helpful. In fact, increasing your muscle mass as you lose body fat can compensate for the decline in BMR induced by weight loss.

4. Up your protein quotient.
There is some evidence that shifting fat and carbohydrate calories to protein calories may help preserve BMR during weight loss. But don’t overdo it—20 percent of daily calories from protein is as high as you should go.

5. Shake it up.
Many fitness gurus claim that surprising your body with a change in diet, workout, or both can jostle you out of a weight loss rut. The science is pretty thin here, but the advice is reasonable because variety can keep you interested. Instead of constant dieting, you might try alternating calorie-cutting days, for example, with less-restrictive maintenance days. Switch to a new type of exercise. Alternate aerobic workouts with light weight training. A change may be just what you need to get the progress rolling again.

6. Recharge your drive:
If your motivation is flagging, write down all the reasons you originally wanted, and still want, to lose weight. Look at the list every day. Also let friends and family know what you’re up to, and ask for their support.

7. Reconsider the skin you’re in:
A plateau is an opportunity to reassess whether further weight loss is worth all the work it will take—and to reconsider whether you may, in truth, now be at a perfectly healthy weight and don’t need to go any lower. If you do choose to stop where you are, turn your focus toward maintaining what you’ve achieved and keeping your body in good shape. Remember, eating well and being physically active are good for you. Do a little of both every day, and you will be a total success.

Pretty simple huh ?  yeah sure of course it is, that’s why so many people have such wonderful success with dieting.  oh, wait.  I’m going to keep these seven things in mind as I go forward, but it really does get discouraging when you work and do what you are supposed to do and you don’t see those numbers go down.  Now I see why the biggest loser people are always crying. 

tuesdays thoughts

Like a lot of people, you might think that muscle weighs more than fat.

“When I hear this statement, I always think of the old riddle: Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?” . “A pound is a pound!”

Muscle vs. Fat: Clearing Up the Misconception

Common sense tells us a pound of muscle and a pound of fat have to weigh the same, but they do differ in density. This means if you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat takes up more volume, or space, than the muscle. That’s important when you’re on a diet and part of your goal is the lean look of muscle, not the flabby look of fat.

So why do people say muscle weighs more than fat?

“I find people make this statement when they put on weight,” says Stusek. “One person will say, ‘I gained three pounds and I’ve been working out.’ The good-friend response is, ‘It’s all muscle.’ And while this is a very comforting thing to hear, it’s just impossible to gain three pounds of muscle in a week. It is common for exercisers to lose fat and gain muscle without a change in body weight, so I understand why people often get frustrated.”

Muscle vs. Fat: The Truth

The first step in a successful diet and exercise program is to banish the idea that muscle weighs more and is therefore bad. In fact, Stusek recommends tossing out the scale altogether.

“I try to get people to think about how they are feeling, how their clothes are fitting, and how their body has changed,” Stusek advises. “It’s a hard thing to do sometimes. The focus should not just be the number on the scale. If we only did things to make ourselves weigh less, we wouldn’t necessarily be healthier.”

Muscle vs. Fat: The Benefits of Muscle

In fact, not only should dieters stop thinking of muscle as the enemy, they should embrace it as their friend.

Muscle boosts a person’s metabolism, so a pound of muscle will burn more calories at rest than a pound of fat. What does this mean? Even when you’re not exercising — you could be sitting on the couch watching TV — you will be burning more calories just by having more muscle.

Muscle has other benefits, too. It’s critical in improving bone density and helps prevent the loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging, allowing people to stay active as they get older.

Muscle vs. Fat: Ways to Gain Muscle

There’s no doubt cardio workouts such as jogging, cycling, and walking are important for calorie burning and good health. But strength training is vital, too. “Of course, we always think of lifting weights to put on muscle, and many fear they will become ‘bulky,’” says Stusek. “Women need to stop worrying about this.”

There are plenty of options to build muscle, ranging from free weights to resistance bands and even plain old soup cans. Stusek recommends enlisting the help of a personal trainer to design a balanced, full-body workout for the best results. “Or if you want to bulk up, lift heavy weights and do low repetitions,” she says. And two or three times a week, with at least one day off in between for muscle recovery, is sufficient.

Ultimately, building muscle mass is a good thing. So find some enjoyable exercises and get lifting.

i bring this up because as I get closer to my weigh in, I weigh myself on the scale, and I know that I have lost some, and then put some back on, I have checked my bmi and have lost a few percentage points, so it’s encouraging, and the clothes are still baggy, so in my opinion I may have lost some fat, but I think I’ve put a little muscle on….at least that’s what I’m going with anyway

monday part 2

ok, so I’ve been quoting out some of Kris’s e-book, which is a very good book by the way,  but I have tons of other topics to cover.  I wanted to know about water intake.  I used to work at a GNC years ago, and I was working out downing creatine and andro and all kinds of other supplements and guzzling ounce after ounce of water.  But I was just kind of doing what I picked up as information from other people that worked out or came in to shop.  I never really did get a definative answer on how much exactly I needed to be drinking.  I remember all the health class stuff about drink your eight glasses a day, but…The food pyramid also had only four divisions, eggs were bad, and going out to get some sun was a good thing.  now eggs are good, the sun is bad, and there are six divisions in the food pyramid.  So does that mean that my need for water has changed ?  Here’s what I found.  Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Then you have to account for other factors such as….

  • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.

So it seems that its closer to 13 rather than 8 glasses that should br drank.  Possibly more or less depending on who you are and what you are doing.  And what if you drink too much ?  Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia.

Now I have heard other things as well.  I heard that you should take your weight, divide that in half, and that is the number of ounces of water you should take in every day to try and lose weight.  So in my case, that would be…

265/2 = 132.5 oz. which is 16.5 cups…or glasses per day.  Thats a whole lotta water.  Although its just over a gallon, so when you look at it that way i guess its not so bad.  What did I find out for sure ?  I found out that when it comes to any issue that involves any kind of health or weight loss issue, there are hundreds of thousands of different opinions on what should be done, but absolutely no one wants to give you any kind of answer that is absolute or concrete.  It would probably be easier to get an honest answer from a politician.

Mondays recipes

Ok, so I’m gonna do my recipe post and my little health lesson post seperately.  But before I get to the recipes, just wanted to take a minute to talk about something I saw as my wife and I were walking around the store yesterday getting diapers and stuff for lil Ayden. Kraft now has a veggie mac n cheese.  its not a casserole vith large veggie chunks hiding in the cheese sauce for kids to eat around, the pasta itself is made with cauliflower.  I have not tried it myself because I do not care for cauliflower.  To me it is one step below broccoli on my all time list of absolute hatred.  But being a savvy chef, I am well aware of all of the culinary fakeouts that you can make.  Some of them are not quite that disgusting, such as marinated cauliflower in a muffaletta mix, or the mock mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower.  I love muffalettas, and I’ve had many good cauliflower salads, but as for the mashed, I was more of a fan of celery root as an alternative to the cramy spuds than cauliflower.  That being said, I did some digging on this kraft stuff.  Here’s what I found.

One cup of the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with cauliflower, called “Veggie Pasta” on the box when sold in the United States, has only a half serving of vegetables in it. In order to get the equivalent of one serving of cauliflower (a serving of cauliflower being one-half cup), a child needs to eat two cups of mac & cheese. That’s a lot of mac & cheese. In fact, it’s two full servings. So in order to get kids to eat a serving of hidden vegetables, a parent would need to double up on the serving of processed grains (not even whole grains at that).
 
To me, this doesn’t seem like smarter or better nutrition……But then again, i think back(insert wavy flashback lines here) to when I was a child.  i ate with my eyes.  i was not a big fan of veggies, and I could spot them no matter how small my mother tried to dice them, and they would always end up in a little pile on the edge of the plate.  So I am in fact torn on the idea.  Right now Ayden will eat any fruit or veggie we give to him, but that won’t last forever without a little coaching.  My oldest, Dade used to be the same way, he loved veggies.  Not so much anymore, but he will eat some, so I can see the appeal of sneaking a little health in through the “bad stuff”
 
now, it’s recipe time.  I spoke the other day about my love for pasta, most specifically  spaghetti, but more often than not its just the meat sauce or the meatballs that I really want.  I found this recipe on skinnytast.com
 
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 6 • Size: 1/6th (about 1 1/2 cups) • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 212.9 • Fat: 3.2 g • Carb: 27.4 g • Fiber: 3.9 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 738.7 mg (without added salt)

Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • 5 cups low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 chopped cloves garlic, divided
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 onion, chopped, divided
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato sauce (I use my quick marinara sauce)
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 6 oz dry cut up spaghetti, I used Ronzoni Smart Taste

For the meatballs:

  • 16 oz 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

Directions:
In a soup pot over medium heat, bring chicken broth, water, 1 clove crushed garlic, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1/4 of the chopped onion, tomato sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh black pepper to a boil; simmer about 5 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, make the meatballs by combining ground turkey, parmesan cheese, egg, remaining garlic, remaining onion, remaining parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Form into little 1 inch meatballs (about 36).

 Drop meatballs into the broth, cook about 3 minutes; add pasta and cook according to package directions. Add fresh basil, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
 
and now a dessert recipe because I havent done one of those since before valentines.
 
Skinny No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/10 • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 216.8 • Fat: 6.4 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Carb: 32.9 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar: 16.7 g
Sodium: 94.6 mg
 


Ingredients:

  • 5 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup Peanut Butter
  • 8 oz fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed (or truwhipfor healthier option*)
  • reduced fat graham cracker pie crusts
  • 3 tbsp Hershey’s chocolate syrup

Directions:
Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl.  

 

Mix in Peanut Butter and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

 
 

Spoon into graham cracker pie shell; cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2-3 hours. Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Sunday

The wife and I are cleaning up the house and doing our laundry and all that kind of fun stuff, but I’m taking a break to do my blog.  First off, I just wanna vent a little.  i’ve taken this contest seriously.  I’ve thought about what I wanted to blog everyday, and while I haven’t always been able to do a lengthy post, I put every effort into making it more than just the length of a tweet or a facebook update.  I’ve put in recipes, I’ve included articles, made my funny jokes etc, and even followed everything that has been set forth in the e-mail updates from the healthkwest people.  So I go look at a few other contestants pages today and see that they got 80, 90, 100 posts or more, and they are tiny.  It’s kind of discouraging to see that I put time into my post and I can’t even get over 1,000 votes.  And there are people with triple my number of posts and 40,000 , 50,000 votes.  I’m still not completely convinced that something sketchy isn’t going on there.  So that’s my whole thought process up to this point.  And now what you’ve been waiting for….

Today’s lesson puts us into the next chapter of Kris’s book

Mistake #2 – Not Cutting Back On Carbohydrates

“Carb-ass.. it’s the new fat-ass.”

– Scott Miller

Most people have no idea how to look for scientific studies about health and nutrition. They’re more likely to look for something on the internet, or ask their personal trainer, their doctor or nutritionist,  The problem is, the internet is full of all kinds of crap written by people trying to be different in order to sell you their product. Your personal trainer probably doesn’t have any real education in science.

Doctors don’t learn much about nutrition in medical school. It’s true, I’m a medical student and nutrition is nowhere to be found on the curriculum, except as a small part of a biochemistry course.

Nutritionists, some of them are really great. However, a large part of them don’t seem to have been keeping up with the research that was performed after they graduated.

Most of them advocate following the government recommended nutritional policy, which is based on practical issues and politics instead of what brings optimal health on an individual basis.

Mainstream nutrition is infected with politics and money. Everywhere where there is money (such as industrial food production) there are politics and corruption.

Therefore, you have to take everything you read about health with a grain of salt, even what you hear from apparent “experts” with fancy degrees. Many scientists work for or are sponsored by food or pharmaceutical companies.

The fact is that the weight loss method best supported by science, is low-carb dieting. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating Atkins here, although he was partly right.

I’m a big believer in an individual approach to nutrition. People that are athletic, highly active, and lean, can probably eat a decent amount of carbs without harm.However, those who have a tendency to become overweight (this likely applies to you if you are
reading this), let alone obese, should make it their primary dietary goal to reduce carbohydrate consumption. These people should replace carbs with protein and fat, and get most of their calories from natural unprocessed foods.These incredibly simple changes, are often all it takes for people to lose weight and regain health.

Low-carbohydrate diets are the easiest, most effective and healthiest way to lose weight.

Eating zero carbs, however, is a bad idea. There are nutrients found in plant foods that are necessary for the human body, such as Vitamin C and Potassium.

It is better to get these nutrients from foods than from supplements, and therefore I recommend eating plenty of low-carb vegetables, and the occasional fruit if so desired.

 

So there it is, more support for my high protein and veggie intake.  I’m at the point now, where I’ve lost so much…remember I had lost about 60 or 70 before the contest started…that I’m at the point where its getting tougher and tougher to take any off.  But I am still trying.