Tag Archives: Healthy eating

Healthy Travel Tips

With the holidays coming up, many of us are going on vacations to visit family and friends.  It can be difficult to stay healthy while traveling, but it is definitely possible!  Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

  • The kids’ meal is your friend, but make sure it is a healthy one.  Unfortunately, a lot of kids’ meals can be pretty unhealthy, but restaurants are coming around.  For example, at a bakery in Disneyland, I chose a kids’ meal that had a small turkey sandwich and apple slices.
Here is the kids’ meal at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland. Yes, I ate a cookie. We will get to that tip next.
  • On a vacation, allow yourself treats.  On my last trip, I allowed myself one treat per day.  I enjoyed my vacation and didn’t feel deprived.  The rest of the day, I ate a lot of lean proteins, fruit and veggies.
This is the fruit plate at the River Belle Terrace at Disneyland. It was HUGE.
  • When eating at a buffet, fill your plate with vegetables.  If you can, bring your own salad dressing.  If not, salad bars often have balsamic vinegar you can top your salad with.
I made this salad at a buffet, topped with balsamic vinegar.
  • If the restaurant doesn’t have a salad bar, do they have a sandwich toppings bar? I once made a salad out of the lettuce, tomato and pickles I found there.  (Find more tips on eating in a restaurant here:  http://healthybeautifulblessed.com/tips-for-eating-in-a-restaurant/ )
  • Make sure you get some kind of movement in each day.  Listening to Jillian Michaels’ podcast, I got a couple of tips.  You can bring exercise DVDs with you if you have a laptop or DVD player to watch them on.  Use water bottles as weights, or bring resistance bands with you.  If you can’t bring anything with you, do squats, lunges, running in place, planks, pushups, etc.  These exercises take up very little space and don’t require any equipment.  I actually did some of these exercises standing in line for Black Friday!
  • STAY HYDRATED.  This is a good tip any time, but when we’re traveling, it can be easy to forget.  Always bring water with you.
  • Be creative!  Find interesting ways to get exercise and healthy foods.  Planning these things on a trip can be fun.  Enjoy your vacation, and do the best you can.

Below are some tips I was given on Facebook.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments!

Fitfluential Facebook Group

  • Crystal C. – I like to seek out a grocery store at my destination so I can have fresh food and veggies on hand while out sightseeing.
  • Tamara G. – Always book a hotel with a decent fitness centre. Many have very good ones. Check it out in advance!
  •  Kim U. – Bring along favorite snacks that may be hard to find and/or prepare.
  •  Emily R.B. – I do both bringing non-perishables like almonds and other snacks, as well as getting to a store as soon as possible to stock my room. I can’t always afford the fitness centers (last place I stayed was $25 a day, yikes!), so I bring my laptop and a couple DVDs, and just work out in my room.
  •  Aims Ca – Find bloggers in the area and see where they work out. Try something new. I had not swam for years but I did a couple times on trips this summer.
  •  Arlene H. – Plan to do active things during your trip … like a day hike to explore the area.
  •  Gina P. – Plan, plan, plan. Have a plan A and a backup or two. Think about what excuses or barriers you might come up with and have a plan to counter them. Find workouts online that use body weight for resistance — some are even designed for small spaces like hotel rooms — and plan to do those early. Check for good walking areas around where you are staying using Google maps. Look for ways to work it into your trip and have fun.
  •  Jen H. M. – I packed my food scale on a recent vacation so that I could continue measuring portions. We also hit the grocery story right after picking up our rental car (on a recent trip) so that we would have healthy snacks rather than stopping to grab junk food.

My Facebook Friends

  • Jamie P. – Bring healthy snacks & drinks.
  • Elizabeth T. – I would say to tell people to shop where they know!
  • Jackie R. – Offer to bring a dish. If you’re traveling pick something that travels well and that can be served without heating up. If you aren’t traveling far, offer to bring a healthy version of a favorite not so healthy dish.

Mexican Pizza!

We had some leftover taco meat, and were trying to figure out what to do with it.  Another flatbread pizza recipe was born!  This one does have more points, because it has beans, ground beef, and full fat cheese.  The version you see here was 9 points per serving, but you can adapt it to lower the points value.

 

Mexican Pizza

Serves 2

1 Flatout Flatbread, Light Original

3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle flavor

4 oz. 85% lean ground beef

Your choice of taco seasoning

1/2 c Fat Free Refried Beans

1/4 c Kirkland Signature Mexican Blend shredded cheese

Chopped onions

Your favorite fat free salsa, to taste

Cook beef in your choice of taco seasoning, according to the directions.  Spread 3 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese on the flatbread.  Spread refried beans over the Laughing Cow cheese.  Then, spread on salsa.  Top with ground beef, shredded cheese, and onions.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

As I said, you can make all kinds of adaptations to lower the points.  The possibilities are endless!  Replace the beef with chicken, or remove the chicken and make a veggie pizza.  Replace the cheese with a variety that is lower in fat, or remove the cheese.  Let me know what kinds of pizza you make!

 

 

 

New Flatbread Pizza Idea!

My mom and I created a new flatbread pizza recipe.  I hope you like it!

Veggie Flatbread Pizza

Serves 2.  4 Weight Watchers Points per serving

 

1 Light Original Flatout Flatbread

3 Creamy Swiss Light Laughing Cow wedges

1/4 c Newman’s Own Mushroom Marinara (or your favorite cream-free marinara)

Veggies of your choice (We used mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers)

1/2 c Kraft 2% Mozzarella Shredded Cheese

Papa Murphy’s Herb & Cheese blend (or other garlic/cheese seasoning)

1 tsp. (or less) Olive Oil (or cooking spray)

 

Lightly saute the vegetables, just so that they will be cooked through when you bake the pizza.  Spread three wedges of Laughing Cow cheese over the entire flatbread.  Spread sauce over the entire flatbread.  Add the vegetables, then the cheese.  Lightly sprinkle with the herb and cheese blend (I said LIGHTLY.  Using too much of anything with cheese in it will add another point.  If you don’t want to add something with cheese, you can just use garlic or herbs).  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes on the oven rack for a crunchy crust.  Enjoy!

Let me know if you try your own pizza and what toppings you used!

Laughing Cow is my friend…plus an announcement!

Disclaimer: I do not work for, nor do I have an affiliation with The Laughing Cow, and this is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased with my own money, and were not provided by the manufacturer for review.

I know I am not the first to say this, but I have made a discovery that has changed my life. I have discovered Laughing Cow cheese wedges. For months, I have been enjoying the Mini Babybel cheeses for a quick bite of protein, but I have only recently begun to enjoy the Laughing Cow wedges. They are full of creamy deliciousness, and have a variety of uses. I have personally had them in tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta sauce, as a bagel topping, and on pizza. My favorite way to use them is on a flatbread pizza. They are so creamy, you can use them as a sauce and a cheese, which will save you a ton of points/calories/fat grams!

The light varieties come in six flavors. I have personally tasted the Creamy Swiss and Queso Fresco & Chipotle. My personal favorite so far, the Creamy Swiss flavor, has 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per wedge. It has one point for 1-2 wedges. It is kind of exciting to figure out new ways to use this, making delicious low-point snacks and meals. In doing a little research for this post, I noticed that you can find recipes on their site as well. I definitely plan to try some of them and will review them here. If you are working on a healthy lifestyle plan, I highly recommend you check these out. Let me know if you do and how you use them!

Now, on to my announcement! I have created a Facebook page for my blog! I hope you will check it out and “like” it. I will be posting blog updates, photos, any other thoughts or links I want to share with you. Please feel free to post any ideas on my wall as well, or just stop by to say hello! https://www.facebook.com/HealthyBeautifulBlessed

Have a great evening everyone! Weigh-in day approaches…dun dun dun! Stay tuned for my weekly update!

Tips for Eating in a Restaurant

A couple of nights ago, I ate dinner with some friends, and I wanted to share a few tips with you. This was a restaurant I used to eat in before I was healthy, and I always ordered all of the wrong things. This time, I made better choices and it felt really good. We were all healthy eaters, which made it fun. It can be hard at first, especially if you are eating with people who don’t eat like you, but it gets easier the more you do it.

1. Research, research, research! If you know ahead of time where you will be eating, go online and try to find the nutritional facts. Many restaurants have them listed on their website. If not, most restaurants at least have their menu available. You can find a few options for the healthiest sounding foods. If you do eat somewhere without nutritional facts, you may still be able to find them on Myfitnesspal.com or Livestrong.com. If you still cannot find them, do your best to find generic descriptions, such as “grilled chicken breast,” or “grilled salmon,” on those same websites or the WW e-tools.

2. When your server arrives at your table, ask them not to bring the bread. If you are with people who are eating bread, there may be nothing you can do. You can either choose to eat a small piece (and track it), or take the opportunity to test your willpower!

3. Add a salad to your meal. This way, you can fill up on fresh veggies, and you won’t want to eat as much when your meal comes (more on that later).

4. When you order your salad, ask for it without croutons, cheese and dressing. No dressing? Am I crazy? Well, yes I am, but that is another story. If possible, bring your own dressing. I like Walden Farms dressing packets. I have also been know to bring a container of homemade ranch dressing into a restaurant. This way, you know exactly what is in it and how much fat/calories/points you are eating. Don’t be ashamed! If this is not an option, ask for the most low fat dressing they have or better yet, some vinegar and olive oil. Always ask for the dressing on the side!

5. Only order meat that is grilled, baked or steamed. If it says it is sautéed, it will be cooked in butter. If you are ordering chicken, make sure it is skinless.

6. Ask your server if there will be any oil or butter on anything you have ordered. I ordered something with mixed vegetables, and it turned out they came with butter on them. I asked for no butter. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how your food is prepared, and request modifications if necessary.

7. Restaurant meals are often large, and contain enough to feed at least two people. If splitting it with a friend isn’t an option, take some home with you. I usually split everything in half before I start eating. You can even ask for a container at the beginning of the meal, so you aren’t tempted to finish it.

8. Enjoy yourself! Eating out does not have to be a chore. It is a time to enjoy yourself with family and friends. If you do want to have a treat, go ahead! Just make sure you eat a small portion and adjust everything else you are eating to allow for the extra fat/calories/points. You will probably regret going overboard in more ways than one, so just do your best!

These are the only tips I have for now! If you have some I haven’t mentioned here, please let me know! Have a great week!