Sunday, April 25, 2010

Low Fat Fudgy Brownies

I have made these brownies several times. We love them! There is no reason to make the ones with all the fat, even on our day off, they are not as good as these.

3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder (it costs more, but I splurged because the recipe said it would be better)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 oz. bittersweet choc. chopped ( I used semi sweet choc. chips)
2 T. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar ( I have not tried them with a sugar substitute, but would be interested in trying a low calorie natural sweetner, or even an unprocessed cane sugar)
2 T. low-fat sour cream
1 T. chocolate syrup
1 large whole egg
1 large egg white
2 t. vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle of oven, heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing foil to hang over the ends of the pan enough to lift brownies out after baked and cooled. Lightly spray foil with oil spray. Sat pan aside.

2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Melt the bittersweet choc. and butter together in a large bowl in the microwave, stirring often, 1-3 mins. Let the mixture cool lightly.

3. Whisk the sugar, sour cream, choc. syrup, egg, egg white and vanilla into the choc. mixture. Fold in the flour with a rubber spatula, just until incorporated.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan against the counter to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 20 -25 min., rotating the pan halfway through.

5. Let the brownies cool completely, in pan, sat on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil, cut into 2-inch squares, and serve.

Makes 16 small 2x2 brownies
per 2x2 brownie: Cal 110; fat 4g (1.5 saturated); Chol 15 mg.; Carb 20g; Protein 2g; Sodium 65mg

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Free food classes taught by our head trainer Luanne, this week!

Cindy Land Home; 6531, Bybee Dr. Ogden, Utah 84403
R.S.V.P. 801-721-5013
April 20th/Wed. 6:30 p.m. Delivering Wellness (Dave)
6:30 p.m. Intro to Fitness and Nutrition (Lu)
7:30 p.m. Food class

Palmer Home Gym; 1246 W. 3420 N. Pleasant Grove, Utah
R.S.V.P. 801-885-1111
Rescheduled for April 30th/Sat. 11 a.m. Food Class

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soda Pop

Interesting facts about soda to keep in mind.

1. Sugar in soda increases insulin levels in the blood, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and weight gain. Consuming just one can of soda a day can increase your weight by 18 pounds per year.

2. Phosphoric acid found in many types of soda inhibits the proper absorption of calcium causing bones to become weak and teeth soft.

3. Soft drinks containing caffeine cause dehydration. It takes more water to process caffeine than a caffeinated beverage contains.

4. Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, these sweeteners have been challenged by some of their users to have caused serious side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and seizures. Studies have set out to link such sweeteners to obesity and other health problems, but because of the many contributing factors it is hard to be conclusive. I wonder if the amount of money made by such a product, has something to do with the inability to be conclusive. From what I have read, there is logical reasoning explaining the fattening and bloating effects of artificial sweeteners. When you ingest these "toxic" chemicals, they are absorbed from the intestines into the liver where they must be broken down and metabolized. Due to the makeup of such chemically produced products, this process requires an extreme amount of energy from the liver. This means the liver will have less energy and be less effective in fat burning and metabolism, which will result in fat storing.

5. Soda contains sodium, a nutrient that promotes water retention. Water retention can cause other health risks, such as increased blood pressure.

6. Drinking large amounts of soda can decrease your appetite for the foods that provide essential nutrients.

* Please see post about drinking water for ideas to help you switch your fluid intake away from soda

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Drink More Water to Lose Weight

Water makes up 70% of our body composition. All body functions require the presence of water. Water transports substances throughout the body, it helps regulate body temperature, and removes waste. A well hydrated body enables body functions to occur more quickly and efficiently.

Approximately 73% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. Just 2% dehydration results in headaches, fatigue, and fuzzy thinking. 4% dehydration results in a decrease of muscle strength, and endurance. 10% dehydration results in weakness and decreased tolerance for heat. The loss of 20% of body hydration can result in coma and/or death.

If that doesn't convince you to drink more, maybe knowing this will. When you are dehydrated you slow down fat metabolism. The liver's main job is to convert stored fat into energy, but when the kidneys are deprived of water, this process of conversion is slowed down, to protect and preserve water in the kidneys. When you give the body all the water it needs, it flushes out the fluids it has been holding on to for survival. This will result in the loss of water retention and bloating.

Drinking more water will not only speed up your metabolism, but it will help you consume less calories. Thirst and hunger sensations are triggered together. If there is a slight hydration, the thirst sensation may be mistaken for hunger. Many people will eat, when their body is really craving fluid. Drinking more water throughout the day can prevent overeating.

How much water should You drink? Experts suggest drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day, that's eight- 80z. glasses. A good guide for daily consumption is 1 oz. for every 2 pounds of body weight. If exercise is part of your daily routine you will require more to replace water loss from sweating. Drink 3 cups of water for every pound lost during exercise. Drinking before, during, and after exercise will keep energy levels high and help recovery after training.

Can I count my favorite soda, as part of my fluid intake requirement for the day? While we do get some fluids from food and other drinks, Alcohol and caffeine drinks do not count because they both require more water to process than the beverage contains. Caffeine free sodas contain high levels of sodium which cause water retention and dehydration. Please see post about Soda for more reasons to eliminate it from your diet.

Can drinking too much water cause problems? Yes, people with kidney problems or other conditions where fluid intake needs to be limited, should follow their doctors recommendations concerning sodium intake. One potential but rare side effect of fluid intake can be hyponatremia, where electrolytes became imbalanced, resulting in severe illness and possible death. An electrolyte replacement drink, such as Sustain can help to prevent this.

How do I increase my fluid intake?
1. Carry a water bottle with you in the car
2. Keep a water bottle at your work desk
3. Drink a glass of water with each snack or meal
4. Try adding flavors to your water (Sustain)
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Health benefits of drinking water.
regulates appetite
increases metabolism
boosts energy levels
reduces bloating
reduces headaches
reduces blood pressure
reduces cholesterol
eases joint pain
improves muscle tone
decreases ricks of some cancers
reduces chance of kidney stones
releases toxic waste
improves skin

* see post about Sustain, under Melaleuca on the home page tool bar

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spaghettti Squash Spaghetti Dinner

You can still have Spaghetti dinner with your family. Substituting the high carbohydrate noodles with squash. I usually serve both noodles and squash so family members can choose. I prefer the squash noodles and so do most of my family members.

Choose a sauce that is low in carbs/sugar
Use lean meat, such as Ground Turkey Burger, or extra lean Hamburger *see note
Add vegetables such as Peppers and Mushrooms
Serve with a Green Salad

* You can remove excess fats from ground beef by placing cooked hamburger in a colander and running hot water over it.

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and Canadian Bacon

Low fat cheese Sticks (2.5 g. fat each)
Low fat Canadian Bacon
Serve with apple slices

Serving as shown is 125 calories, 3 g. fat, 13g. protein, 14 g. carb

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gremolata Crusted Tilapia

This fish recipe is tasty and nutritious. It is a 30 min. meal that can be thrown together quickly with few ingredients. You can use other white fish, such as cod or halibut. I use Tilapia for it's mild flavor, and smell, it is also usually priced well. Try to buy wild Tilapia, instead of farm raised. It has better nutritional value, especially in regards to Omega 3's.

1 slice whole grain bread
1/4 c. fresh leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. finely grated lemon peel
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1/4 c. canola or olive oil low fat mayonnaise
6 Tilapia fillets
1 t. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place bread into a food processor, and process until small crumbs form. Remove the crumbs and set aside. Place parsley, garlic, lemon peel and pepper into the processor. Process until blended. Add mayonnaise and process until blended. Place the fillets onto lightly oiled baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the fillets with lemon juice, and then evenly top with the mayonnaise mixture. Next sprinkle bread crumbs over fillets. Bake for 15 min. or until fish flakes with a fork.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mom's Beef and Bean Burritos

1 and 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion diced
2 (4oz.) cans diced green chilies
1 T Low sodium beef bouillon granules
2 t. oregano
2 t. garlic powder
1 (15 oz.) can of kidney beans
2 small cans of refried beans
30 fajita sized carb balance tortillas

Brown hamburger with onion, seasonings, and chilies, drain off any fat. Place meat in a large pot, stir in beans and allow to simmer on low, until flavors have combined. Soften tortillas in microwave or on a warm skillet. Spoon 1/4 c. of meat and bean mixture into center of tortilla, fold in ends and sides. Brown on skillet and serve with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and low fat sour cream. I like to brown, cool, and seal individually in a sandwich bag. They are then frozen to grab later and microwave for a quick and easy snack that can be eaten in a hurry. My kids love these. I have fond memories of my mom multiplying this recipe on a giant skillet before livestock shows, so she could warm them on an electric frypan before and after our sheep shows.

These small burritos are about 160 calories, 5 g. fat (3 1/2 saturated) 12g. protein and, 12g. carb. I double the meat mixture in a large tortilla for a main meal or for my husband. My Dad and brother are cattle ranchers so I have not done this, but if you substitute ground turkey breast for the beef you could cut about 15 calories and 3g. of saturated fat from each burrito. If you try this please let me know how it went.