So you spent the entire winter on hibernation from exercise, huh? Put on a few pounds, or maybe you just want to get fit for the summer! The only problem is diets are restrictive, weight loss food tastes like cardboard, and all the good stuff has tons of calories. Well I’m here to tell you that by making little changes in your diet, you can slowly whittle your waist line and still eat the foods you love! By substituting certain things or not doing some things you can cut some of the calories in the foods you adore, thereby, still enjoying that mocha double fudge brownie that you snuck out from the kitchen in the middle of the night!
Everyday Calorie Savers. Rocco DiSpirito, author of the book “Now Eat This” says that little changes impact your weight in a big way! Instead of using butter use real fruit jam. Have a baked potato instead of the fries, or instead of drinking sugar laden orange juice, just eat the orange instead. Removing the skin from chicken breast or dabbing your pizza with a napkin before you bite into it can save you at least 100 calories at a time! WOW!
It’s In the Drinks. Of course you hear how alcohol and soda have fattening qualities, but what about the harmless things such as tea? Unsweetened tea has zero calories, sweet tea, however, has a ton of them! Most people don’t realize how often they are drinking their calories. They have these elaborate healthy meals, but trade off with soda or sugary fruit juice. It’s not your entire fault. David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, co-authors of “Eat This, Not That” state that advertising plays a large role in what we think is healthy. Think that Vitamin Water is good for you? It’s not the worst you can do, but the minor amount of vitamins in one of those drinks is completely obliterated by the sugar that keeps you from tasting those vitamins. They aren’t saying not to have your favorite drink, but don’t make it your main source of liquid throughout the day. Water is your best bet… unless it’s from a radioactive fountain and that’s a whole other set of problems… WAH!
Meat Eaters. Are you a meat eater who’s tired of chicken every day? You too can expand on your meat selections at dinner time! You just have to be smart about what you pick up at the grocery store. Instead of fattier cuts of meat like prime rib, choose beef round, sirloin tips, or tenderloin. Instead of pork chops from the shoulder, try the ones that are lean pork loin. Instead of regular bacon, look for Canadian or Turkey Bacon. By studying the cuts of meat you get at the store, you can shrink the amount of calories at the base of your recipe! STUDY!
Sauces, Gravies and Condiments. Who doesn’t love barbecue sauce? You don’t have to lie about wanting the cook to ladle extra gravy on your mashed potatoes. Waiter, you forgot the cream gravy for my chicken fried steak. Ketchup anyone? Realistically, you aren’t going to omit these things from your meal. Ideally by doing that, you could slash up to 150 calories per meal, but realistically, that sauce isn’t going anywhere. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to suffer without them! Use skim milk when making the cream gravy. Buy ketchup that’s organic, and not all barbeque sauce has to have its own weight in brown sugar. Don’t skip these things, cause you’ll feel deprived, just modify them or just use half the amount you normally would. Even by using less, you’ve cut calories and still gotten the taste of things you love. YES LESS!
Pasta. Once upon a time, whole wheat pasta used to be more expensive then regular pasta. That is no longer true. Large chain stores like Walmart are doing their best to make healthier food options more affordable for everyday people. Try pastas made from whole grain or maybe a lower carb version of your favorite linguine. Not only will they taste just as fantastic, they will add color to your table. They have pastas made from brown rice, vegetables, corn, you name it! There are literally hundreds of things that you can do with pasta and no limit to the things you can add to them to make a healthy meal! YUMMY!
Veggies. It can be hard to get your full servings of fruit and veggies for the day. We are here to tell you that you just have to be sneaky about how you do it. Grab an apple for a snack instead of that candy bar. Keep a banana in your bag instead of that commercial granola bar. Cut up celery, carrots, or any other vegetable and munch on that while watching your movies. And the number 1# sneaky way of getting your leafy greens…. Use less meat. I know it sounds like a pain, but by using more vegetables in your meals, you cannot only cut some of the calories, but you can also slice the price of the meal. Making chili? Throw in some corn! Why not add broccoli to that wheat pasta dish you just made. Throw some more carrots into that stew! By adding vegetables into your normal dinner fare, you’re sneaking nutrition into your day without even trying! GREAT!
No one is telling you that you can’t have the things you love. If you really feel a craving for that item, then don’t hesitate; don’t have any regrets, but if you are noshing on something just because you love the taste of it, a little substituting can make that favorite food not only taste good, but good for you! GOOD LUCK!
You Are Your Own Worst Critic
“You are your own worst critic.” Truer words have never been spoken. This especially applies when you’re sitting in front of an employer at an interview shaking in your Doc Martins when they ask you to describe yourself. What do you tell them? How do you find the words to say that will make you more appealing? Well, I can’t tell you what those are, but I can tell you how you can find out what to say.
Always Smile. I can’t stress this enough! You can say almost anything as long as you say it with a smile! When you’re upbeat, employers pick up on that. They know when you’re unhappy and if you come off as an unhappy person, it could affect how they look at your resume. Yes, you may have fantastic credentials, but if you’re not going to get along with the rest of his staff, it’s like inviting a problem in through the front doors. So always remember to show those pearly whites when you first meet someone.
Make a Personal Resume. This is not to be confused with your work resume. Just like you make a grocery list, you should always make a list of your personal strengths (See The Resume Wiz’s article as well as ___ featured in this month’s issue). That is your personal resume! By knowing what you do and do really well, it will make it five times easier to speak about it to others. Do you parasail and shark hunt? Then put that on your personal resume! Do you macramé and stitch goat hair into purses? Throw that on the list too! Why? Cause not only are you an adventurous go getter who has creative solutions to every problem… you’re also prepared for any and all occasions. Making a list about your good points allows you to be prepared for any questions an employer throws at you about yourself.
Get Rid of Negative People. That little voice in the back of your head that tells you that you can’t do something sounds an
awful lot like Aunt Theodora, doesn’t it? Or, maybe your anti-Jimminy Cricket sounds likes your friend Travis. Sometimes the negative things that we feel about ourselves come from other people. When you allow other people to criticize you, you leave
yourself open to internalizing the negative energy that they are projecting on to you. Don’t do that. You are grown, you know what you need to fix about yourself. Don’t let Betty and Veronica over there tell you something that may not even be true.
Spoil Yourself. I don’t mean go to the spa or buy yourself a new toy every weekend. Just do little nice things for yourself that remind you that you are worth it. Maybe a street vendor is selling flowers on the side of the road, so pick up one for yourself. Is that a new SD card for your camera that’s on sale? Grab it! When you do little things for yourself, you remind yourself that you’re worth it. If you think you are worth it, then you are less likely to criticize yourself.
Accept Yourself. Do you know your shortcomings? Do you know what your weak points are? Can you name them by rote? Excellent, now stop it. You know what you don’t like about yourself. You’re either going to fix it or you’re going to accept it. There are things that we can change about ourselves through practice and dedication. Then, there are those things that are inherent to our personalities that aren’t going anywhere. Change the things you can and accept the rest. You cannot keep beating yourself up over things that make you who you are.
At the end of the day, that need to criticize yourself is really just a bad habit. It is one that is inside everyone and re-surfaces just when you think you’ve got it beat. Or it shows up at bad times like before a job interview or a test you have to take. With practice and a little diligence, you may not be able to get rid of that voice of doubt in your head, but you can at least muzzle it so that it doesn’t keep you from doing the things that you truly want to do!
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