Foodalicious Friday

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Facts, Recipes, S&S Tips&Tricks

Yeah, no. This is not my idea of a low-calorie cocktail, though I do give it props for creativity!

I am in sunny, warm Florida today, where two of my friends will be married in a few short hours, as I blog from a hotel bed looking at palm trees outside. Not gonna lie—the sunshine is nice! I even took a run outside in shorts and a tank top this morning, and it was quite lovely 🙂

It’s the Friday before New Years and I know many of you are gearing up for a party tomorrow in addition to New Year’s resolutions that will start on Sunday. I think goals are great, I do, but you have to make them realistic. How can you do that and still have fun? I promise it’s simpler than you think… Here are some food facts to get your brain going. Enjoy!

The skinny on the food groups (courtesy of Get Active! magazine, sponsored by Anytime Fitness):

Fruits & Veggies—these guys are high in fiber and low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium. They also contain a ton of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so you should have at least one of each with every meal!

Lean Meats & Legumes—these guys are your main protein sources, which helps you rebuild and build muscle. It’s the stuff that keeps you feeling full and helps maintain body tissues and organs, process body functions, regulate hormones, and provide you with energy.

Calcium—this vitamin does a lot for your body. It builds strong bones, helps transmit nerve impulses, and regulates your heart rate. Consume it in the form of skim milk, low-fat cheese, and yogurt. If you’re a vegan or lactose intolerant (which I kind of am), you can get your calcium from leafy green veggies, canned fish, or fortified cereals.

Starches—uh oh, you’re thinking… carbs! Run! No, no, no. Please stop seeing starchy carbs as bad. Not all are and honestly, you need some in order to give you energy and fuel to work out and complete every day activities since they are your body’s primary energy source. Just be smart about what you choose—opt for whole grains, starchy veggies, and beans instead of white or processed grains and sugars.

Fats—another scary! Run! food, to which I will again stop you and yell NO! Fats don’t necessarily make you fat. Healthy fats are necessary and beneficial to your body because they keep you full. Some fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer because they have anti-inflammatory properties. The good-for-you fats are the unsaturated ones, which you can find in fish, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and vegetable and seed oils.

Want more help? If you’re a member of Anytime Fitness, you can use their Anytime Health website’s Diet Tracker to help you keep tabs on what you eat and make better nutritional decisions!

It’s a big deal—it helps relax your blood vessels and counterbalances the effects of sodium, which can increase blood pressure. Aim for 2300 milligrams of sodium/day and about 4600 milligrams of potassium/day. (Info courtesy of Shape magazine, November 2011)

Snack Attack.
It happens. A lot. Especially if you’re an avid exerciser and a healthy eater. But hunger is normal so don’t completely ignore it. The best way to combat it isn’t in the vending machine, though. Try packing your own! Some of the best snacks are: date bars, dried fruit, mixed nuts, bananas, apples, pretzels, and dark chocolate. Oh, and water. You need a lot of water, too!

Drink to good health!
We’ll all been toasting with some spirits tomorrow night and that’s okay; one or two won’t kill ya. But you can opt for smarter, lower-calorie drinks and still have fun. Instead of pop as a mixer, choose lite juices or flavored fizzy waters. Want something more savory? Here are a few recipes (courtesy of Women’s Health magazine, November 2011)!

Blood Orange Margarita
¼ tsp lime zest
¼ tsp sea salt
½ c. fresh or bottled blood orange juice (1½ oranges)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 oz. tequila
½ oz. orange liqueur, like Cointreau
1 blood orange wheel for garnish

Salt the rim of the glass, combine all of the liquids and shake in an ice-filled shaker before pouring into a glass. Garnish with the orange wheel. Calories: 198

Pear Crumble Champagne Fizz
½ tsp agave nectar
½ tsp raw sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
4 oz. chilled pear nectar
4 oz. chilled champagne or sparkling wine

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a dish. Rub the rim of the champagne flute with agave nectar and dip the flute in the cinnamon sugar before pouring the pear nectar in and topping with the champagne. Calories: 170

Apple Cider Shandy
1 c. chilled light lager, like Sam Adams Light
¾ c. chilled apple cider
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lemon curl for garnish

Pour all three liquids into a chilled beer mug or glass and garnish with the lemon curl. Calories: 170.

Carrot-Ginger Martini
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp agave nectar
1 ½ oz. vodka
½ c. carrot juice
1 small piece of candied ginger for garnish

Combine ginger, agave nectar, and vodka in a cocktail shaker and muddle until ginger is smashed. Add carrot juice and shake with ice before straining into a martini glass and garnishing with candied ginger. Calories: 170


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