Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Days of Special Offers for YOU - Day 1

Today at 12pm, I will officially start my Noon to Midnight Special Offer just for YOU!!!!  The special offer will run from 12pm Nov. 29th to 12am Nov. 30th.  
What is the offer?  I am glad you asked...




I was thinking to myself today about my goals for the next month. I am starting to think what I want to put on my DREAM BOARD for 2013.  I want to help over 100 people in 2013 reach their health and fitness goals.  Then I was trying to think of ways to make this happen.  Why not offer a SPECIAL OFFER on the products that can make you lean and mean but also offer my FREE Coaching to help you along the way in their new lifestyle.  


HERE IT IS....

Two Days of Special Offers for YOU
Day 1


You have a choice:
Option #1
Purchase Shakeology Home Direct 
through me and get a free workout DVD plus a bonus free gift 

Here are your choices for the free workout DVD:
Slim Series Express
Insanity Fast & Furious
Brazil Butt Lift Secret Weapon Workout
Rockin Body






Option #2
Purchase a Challenge Pack 
through me and receive a $25 gift card and a bonus free gift


In addition to this great offer, You also have the option to be a part of my exclusive healthy holidays 30 day challenge group!!  You will receive support, accountability, meal plans, and so much more!!!!


So don't delay, log into www.teambeachbody.com/alysonh

and create your free membership 

TODAY


The free Membership is the second step you need to take in order to take advantage of these special offers!!!!

The FIRST step  you need to take is committing to yourself you are going to make a positive change in your life that includes making your health and fitness a PRIORITY!!!!

Have questions?!?!
Well MESSAGE ME and I can walk you through the details so you feel comfortable with what you are getting!!!!

Remember this is a time sensitive special offer, don't delay...



Now lets get started on the NEW YOU!!!!
xoxo
Alyson
teambeachbody.com/alysonh
myshakeology.com/alysonh
alysonhorcher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken Quesadilla

Who doesn't love Chicken Quesadillas?!?!  This recipe has been cleaned up a bit and has now been added to my recipe box.  I found this recipe in the ChaLean Extreme Fat Burning Food guide (as you know I love this book!).  I use this recipe a lot for lunch time because it can be prepared in advance and it is quick to throw together.  I have also eaten it on the run. Nutritious and easy - PERFECT!!!!

Chicken Quesadilla
 Ingredients...
4 4 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 6 inch whole wheat low carb tortillas
2 tomatoes, diced (divided into 4 portions of 1/2 cup each)
lettuce leaves, shredded
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (divided into 4 portions of 1/4 cup each)
1 cup salsa (divided into 4 portions of 1/4 cup each)
1 packet taco seasoning
Cilantro to taste

Directions...

  1. Season Chicken with taco seasoning and grill or broil on both sides until cooked through (I personally baked mine at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes)
  2. Cut chicken into strips and pile the chicken, tomatoes, salsa, cheese onto each tortilla and wrap
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired
Note: I will sometimes leave out the tortilla and make this a Chicken Quesadilla Salad - another YUM in my book!! Enjoy!!

Interested in learning how to eat clean, lose weight, and become healthy?  Contact me NOW!!!! Don't waste time thinking maybe you should or shouldn't...YOUR HEALTH MATTERS!!!!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Avocado Chicken Salad

This recipe is going to be my new favorite...It is so darn good!!!! I love traditional chicken salad but with all that may it is not the best thing for me.  I found on a friend's blog this recipe and although I did not make it exactly as she did this one is scrumptious!!!! Today I made it and put it on whole wheat bread and I had a side of baby carrots. Some of the salad fell out of my sandwich so I used my carrots to pick it up - YUM!!!!

Avocado Chicken Salad

4 chicken breasts, cooked
2 avocados
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions...

  1. Shred chicken and place in medium mixing bowl
  2. Mash two avocados in same bowl
  3. Add onions, cilantro, lime juice, garlic salt, and pepper - stir
Enjoy anyway you like it -  on a salad, as a dip, on a sandwich, all by itself!!!!


Try it and see if you like it! I'll be honest, I was not sure how it would be with avocado.  I like avocado and I like chicken salad so I thought why not.  I was pleasantly surprised. 

We make guacamole all the time and both of my kids love it.  My son saw my creation today and thought it was guacamole and he even liked it (of course I did NOT tell him what it is, hello he is 4!!)



Ah another new recipe to add to my recipe box! I love when I try a new recipe and it is a hit with the whole family!  I love days like these!  

If you are interested in learning how to eat a little healthier or better yet want to add fitness to your routine too message me.  Better yet, sign up now for a free TeamBeachBody Membership and I will be your coach for FREE!!!!  Even if you never buy a thing from BeachBody, I will always be there for you supporting you and holding you accountable. 

What are you waiting for, sign up now - CLICK HERE!!!!

 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

REDO

Hopefully by now, everyone is coming out of their Thanksgiving Dinner coma! 
 So, how did you do? Did you stay on track? Did you overeat? What was your favorite part of the meal(s)?  As for me, I stayed on track and my favorite part of the meal was the Turkey itself...Yummy!  




How was the rest of your holiday weekend? Did you brave the crowds and shop on Black Friday? Did you shop on Small Business Saturday? Any more family get togethers this weekend? On Friday, my sister, Mom, niece, and I were out shopping at 3am.  WHAT ?!?!   Yep, 3am.  I still cannot believe it but I was along for the ride this year.  See, my sister and Mom have been Black Friday shopping for years.  I never wanted to take part because my bed at 3am is so much nicer!  This year, I wanted to take part in their tradition.  I am so happy I did! It was a great day not only for deals but for family bonding! We were out for 13+hours and let me tell you I think I am still recovering!  



Saturday, my sister and I took our kids to Hersheypark Candylane!  It was freezing but thankfully we all hung in there and had a great time! This was my kids' first time going here ever so they were beyond excited.  My son's favorite part was watching how Hershey makes the Chocolate during the Chocolate World ride.  Ahh, the sweet smell of Chocolate!! My daughter's favorite was the lights and well the chocolate.  She has mastered that word now.  


Now it is time to get myself back into the groove of my routine.  I love getting away but I also love how I feel when I stick to my routine.  Tomorrow at 5am I have a date with Leandro - Brazil Butt Lift time.  Last week I started my Brazil Butt Lift and TurboFire hybrid.  I have to be honest and say I did not stick with my schedule.  I wish I had, but I didn't.  So, I am going to restart my week 1 tomorrow.  This is my REDO!!  
Here is what my schedule is going to look like this week (I made a few changes from last week):  


Monday - Bum Bum and Tummy Tuck

Tomorrow -  Fire 45EZ and Abs 10 (if I can find it)

Wednesday - High & Tight and Leandro's Secret

Thursday - Fire 55EZ (this is a long one, I am going to try to finish it before my kids wake up - may have to wake up earlier to fit this one in)

Friday - BBL Sculpt and Stretch 10

Saturday - Stretch 40 and Core 20

Sunday - Rest Day!!! (most likely will do a little Pilates)


So hopefully the few modifications I made will allow me to better finish the programs.  My biggest obstacle is getting my workouts in and done before one of my kids wake up.  The key for me is to make sure I wake up when my alarm goes off...no snoozing!!! 

I have also finished my meal plan for the week and I am excited for our Sunday dinner.  I always try to include my husband in the meal planning decision making.  When I asked him tonight what he would want for dinner this week, he suggested Tacos.  I didn't  know if there was a clean recipe for Tacos and some sides to go along.  I started searching and I came across several.  The one I liked the most came from TheGraciousPantry.com.  I love the website TheGraciousPantry.com.  She has some amazing recipes and I was able to put together my entire menu for Sunday dinner using her site.  
Here is my meal plan for the week:


Have you done your meal plan yet? What are you eating this week? 
If you are not sure what you should be eating, contact me and hopefully I can help you!  I am also starting my next challenge group on Dec. 3rd and our main focus is healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.  If you would like more information go contact me HERE.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Week!  Here's to you!!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's Next?!?!

This past Saturday I completed my last day - Day 90 - of Tony Horton's Power 90.  It was a long 90 days but I am super happy with my results. 


I did not do so well taking pictures and taking measurements at the beginning of this 90 day program so I don't have much to share as far as results from beginning to end.  I did lose 8 more pounds so that puts me at losing a total of 17 pounds since my BeachBody journey began.  I did take pics at Day 50 and Day 90 (thanks to my challenge group - I remembered to take pictures on these days).  






While doing this program I also continued to eat as clean as I could and I always had my shakeology every day.  As you know I lost more weight - yeah! I had reached my goal weight with ChaLean Extreme but the couple extra pounds I lost with Power 90 put me back into my old jeans. I feel great and I have the momentum to keep on going...



So, What's Next?????
Initially, I was going to just do 30 days of Brazil Butt Lift.  I figured I would do the program along with my Brazil Butt Lift challenge group and it would be over just in time for Christmas.  Then one day on Facebook, another BeachBody coach posted a Brazil Butt Lift and TurboFire hybrid 90 day program.  Ahhh, could it be!!  I have been wanting to do Brazil Butt Lift since the beginning of my BeachBody journey, I just never did.  Then as you all probably know I LOVE Chalene Johnson.  I had great results with her program ChaLean Extreme and she is extremely motivational.  I recently also took advantage of the TurboFire sale so WHY NOT do a hybrid of these two programs.    

Today I started my next personal challenge - 
Brazil Butt Lift and TurborFire Hybrid!!!!


Here is what my schedule looks like this week:

Today - Bum Bum

Tomorrow -  Fire 45EZ and Abs 10

Wednesday - High & Tight and Leandro's Secret

Thursday - Fire 55EZ and Stretch 10

Friday - BBL Sculpt

Saturday - Stretch 40 and Core 20

Sunday - Rest Day!!! (most likely will do a little Pilates)





I really liked my workout today.  It was fun, did the job, and it was over before I knew it.  I did not realize how much of a total body workout BBL would be.  I worked up a sweat and it felt great!!!!  I am also really excited to do TurboFire tomorrow!  I am not much of a high intensity type of gal but I think with a few modifications I will Love TurboFire too!  



I also plan on continuing to clean up my diet even more (along with the rest of my family) and drink Shakeology!  Here is my meal plan I put together for this week.


I always say this but I am so very thankful BeachBody came into my life when they did.  Not only am I making changes but I am now helping others make these same changes too!  Who wouldn't want to be a better version of themselves? Who wouldn't want to be a positive role model for their family?  Who wouldn't want to rock those jeans you haven't been able to fit in for 5 years? I wanted to be all of these things and now I am on my way to wanting to do more!!!!  


Interested in making changes in your life? Want to set your health and fitness goals and be held accountable?  Let's talk! I have challenge groups forming all the time and coaching is always available if you would like a discount or want to make some extra cash.  Message me HERE!!

~Alyson
beachbodycoach.com/alysonh
myshakeology.com/alysonh

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clean Eating Parmesan Chicken

By now I am sure you know I love chicken!  I also love trying new recipes...and here is one I am in love with and am so excited its on our menu this week!

Clean Eating Parmesan Chicken

Ingredients...

2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1/4 cup bread crumbs or whole wheat panko crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/8 teaspoon oregano

Directions...

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Break egg into a shallow dish and stir
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, and oregano
  4. Dip each side of chicken breast into the egg and then into bread crumb mixture
  5. Place in a large baking dish
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until juices run clear & internal temperature reaches 165 degrees
Last but not least ENJOY!!  

Need ideas how to eat healthier or not sure where to start?  
Message me and I can help you!  

~Alyson

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to eating healthier? At first mine was to decrease the amount of sweet treats in my daily regime.  Now it is finding healthy snacks that are easy for on the go busy moms like me! I had a few extra bananas that were about to go bad so I started looking for recipes that included bananas, were easy to make, easy to eat, and possibly something my kids would eat too!  

I found it...Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins! I love banana bread but it can be a bit hard for on the go but these muffins are PERFECT!!

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins











Ingredients...
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 egg whites, beaten
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar or sucanat
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Directions...

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place paper baking cups in 12 regular size (2 1/2-inch) muffin cups. Spray paper baking cups lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Place flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. Place egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, banana and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in nuts and oats. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 muffins
Tip: Individually wrap and freeze muffins up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature or warm in a microwave before eating.
If you are interested in learning more about eating healthier, join my next challenge group.  Not only do we talk about eating healthier most of the time we are talking about exercise too! Message me for more details - alysonhorcher@gmail.com!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

Love the season of Fall, the smell of Fall, the look of fall, and the taste of Pumpkin! Anyone else? 

As I find my friends posting about their fall recipes I always search for those that include pumpkin!  I love the taste of pumpkin and the smell always reminds me of my Mom Mom's fresh pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving - Yum! 


My kids love pancakes and so when I saw this recipe I was hesitant to try it because the #1 people who would be in line to eat would be my kids.  I say pancakes (or waffles) and they come running!  I was afraid because well, this is not their USUAL pancake style.  I figured I wouldn't know the answer until I try it so I did.  The result - they LOVED them!  I loved them too and I am not a big fan of pancakes usually (maybe I was just eating the wrong kinds of pancakes, come to think of it).  The past couple of weeks this has been on our breakfast menu.  It's a Keeper!!!!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!

Ingredients...

6 egg whites
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Real Maple Syrup

Directions...

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Spray pan with clean cooking spray and make pancakes
  3. Top with Real Maple Syrup
Like this recipe? Let me know!

Interested in more ways to eat healthier and live a more fit lifestyle? 
Contact me HERE!!!!

~Alyson

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa...what on earth is that?  I had no idea.  My coach would post recipes with this ingredient and I had no idea what she was talking about.  So I looked around my local grocery store and found it! Next I found some recipes with this Quinoa in it.  I should have just looked on the bag it came in...I found my new favorite side dish - Quinoa Pilaf.



For those that were like me and had no clue what this Quinoa is, here is a brief overview:

First of all it is pronounced: KEEN-wah...I definitely was NOT pronouncing it this way.  I guess that is why the person at the grocery store looked at me like I had three heads!! So this grain is often compared to couscous or rice.  Quinoa is lighter, but can be used just like rice.  Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, and is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains.  It is a very good source of calcium, iron, phosphorous, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Quinoa slowly releases carbohydrates therefore it helps maintain blood sugar levels as well.  

I will be honest, my kids were not so sure of this side dish.  My husband and I loved it!  It was light, yet filling.  This particular night when I made it, we were suppose to have brown rice with dinner (according to my meal plan I had made for the week).  Unfortunately I must have not looked properly in our cabinets because we were out of brown rice.  Luckily, I still had the Quinoa from a previous recipe I tried and saw this recipe for Quinoa Pilaf on the side of the bag.  Not only did it save my dinner but it will also save my waistline!



Quinoa Pilaf
















Ingredients...

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I left this out)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions...

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add carrot and cook for 3 minutes more.
  3. Stir in quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy.
  4. In a bowl toss quinoa together with walnuts and parsley.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Perfect side dish for any meal.  We had it with roasted turkey breast and green beans. 

This is a healthy alternative to the traditional side dishes such as mashed potatoes, white rice, etc.  I am still learning how to eat healthier everyday.  I LOVE this new lifestyle. Do you want to learn how to eat healthier too? Message me and we can chat about ways to start incorporating eating clean into your everyday life!  

~Alyson



Sunday, November 11, 2012

A little Banana Crazy this Week

Ah, another new week...can you believe at this time next week we will be planning for Thanksgiving week?!?! Craziness, where has November gone? 

Well I am quite tired and I still have some laundry and other housework to finish up tonight so I am gonna make this short and sweet.

My meal plan for this week is done!  I am trying a bunch of new recipes and for some reason everything with bananas sounded good to me!  Bananas are a great fruit for you however they are also high in sugar.  For someone trying to lose weight you would not want to eat as many banana recipes as I am this week.  Thankfully I am now at a stage where I am maintaining my weight and I have added bananas back into my diet. I have worked darn hard to get to this stage!   


Stay tuned to find out whether or not the new recipes this week will get posted...that is usually a sign of whether or not I liked it.  

Need Help making your meal plan or not sure where to start?  Message ME!!!!

~Alyson

Friday, November 9, 2012

Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Starting November 19th

Why spend a BORING hour on the stepper at the gym? 

Join my Brazil Butt Lift Challenge 
starting Nov. 19th 
and your A$$ will literally get kicked! The program hits every little muscle fiber in your butt through a variety of different moves. If you're saggy or flabby, this will whip your boo-tay into shape in short order.  No Joke!!

This is not your same old, same old gym routine! You will sweat, you will hurt,  and your body and booty will become more fit and healthy because of it!! 
If you have ever dreamed of having a toned, taut, and perfectly rounded butt, now you can finally make those fantasies into reality.  The Brazil Butt Lift helps you achieve that to-die-for Booty that lingerie and bikini models have!  

Leandro Carvalho, The Butt Master, shares his secret formula for sculpting the perfect butt!  As a personal fitness trainer, Leandro kept the secrets of the Brazil Butt Lift exclusive to elite supermodels such as the Victoria Secret Models.  Now he is sharing his proven method with you so you can chisel the perfect butt in the privacy and comfort of your own home.  He says, "Don't settle for less!" which actually makes sense - if you don't give it your all, the only one who gets screwed is you!  

So Let's talk about your BUTT, BOOTY, or whatever else you like to call your BEHIND...

All bootys are NOT the same!  So fitness programs should not all be the same for everybooty!  Whether you are a pancake, sponge bob or wide load - Brazil Butt Lift offers a workout schedule to fit your shape and your goal.


How does Brazil Butt Lift do that?  
Well Leandro Carvalho breaks it all down and identifies the 4 common types of butts.  You identify which type of butt you have or want and then there is a customized workout for that specific type of butt!  Talk about personal training!  

What are these 4 common types of butts?  

1.  Too Flat or Square
Shape - The flat fanny lacks shape and volume.  This butt needs some POW!  If you are this type your straight shape extends from the waist to the thighs with no curves.  
Solution - you will follow the "Life & Shape" schedule.  This schedule will help you shape and tone all of the butt muscles for a "volumizing" result! Follow this plan to get rounder and firmer! 

2.  Pear Shape
Shape - You are CURVY!!!! which is a good thin but a little too big below the hips and little bit out of proportion.  Larger hips and stubborn saddlebags that stick out to the side give you a wide-angle silhouette.
Solution - You will follow the "Slim & Shape" schedule.  This is going to deliver the optimal combo of cardio and toning work.  Leandro's signature Brazilian dance moves will slim those buldges while toning moves will shape the muscles underneath so your butt rounds out BEHIND you, not to the sides. 

3.  Too BIG
Shape - While your booty is round & full, it's too heavy and bust you in the wrong places.  Usually flabby and dimply, it's a little too much of a good thing. 
Solution - You already have the volume - you just want to slim down and tame the beast.  Follow the "Slim & Lift" schedule. Get a little better shape! This schedule will burn fat and lean out the buldges.  You'll shape your booty in all of the right places.

4.  Combination
Shape - Can't figure out what shape you have? Or maybe you are a little of ALL of the above?  All you need is to remove part of the fat and get some shapely toned muscles to add oomph to your backside.
Solution  - You will follow the "Classic" schedule for the ultimate booty-beautifying results.  You will work everything in balance to create a bootylicious butt!




So what is this workout all about?  



Your rear is one of the most complex parts of your body and it takes a variety of highly specific exercises to shape, reduce, and lift your glutes from every angle.  The Brazil Butt Lift targets precise areas to deliver extraordinary results.  If you are not following the Brazil Butt Lift program, you are not working your butt from all the right angles - you could even end up making your butt look bulkier!

You don't have to be fitness guru or undergo surgery to transform your booty from saggy to superb.  Even beginners can have a shockingly firm, Brazilian Butt on the same level as runway models and magazine cover girls!! The kind of butt that leaves people speechless as they watch you walk away.

Say Goodbye to Cellulite and Dimples Forever!  The rock hard tush you have always dreamed of is now within your grasp.  You will never have to feel 
self-conscious again with those perky cheeks on your backside.  Rock your dynamite rump in skinny jeans, lingerie, bikinis, or in the buff.  Be confident showing off your best feature.  Just imagine yourself on the beach, bursting with assuredness, with a head-turning, explosive body to die for...Ka-Pow!!!!!

Results after 6 weeks of the Brazil Butt Lift Classic schedule , eating clean, and replacing on e  meal a day with Shakeology!



If you want to get the absolute best results possible, I recommend a few things...
  • Brazil Butt Lift program
  • Shakeology (replace one meal a day with it)
  • a support system
  • accountability
  • A Healthy, filling and nutritious diet (Shakeology plus the meal plan from Brazil Butt Lift)
The EASIEST way to get all of those is to get the Beachbody's Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Pack.  If you purchase it HERE, you will be assigned to  my team and I will help you every step of the way. This includes the workout program, Shakeology, a customized meal planner, and ME as your coach!!

Remember my Brazil Butt Lift Challenge group is starting November 19th!  Workout with me (I will be doing BBL too!) and take part in our closed facebook group where You, Me, and other members will hold each other accountable to completing our workouts, eating healthier, and drinking our shakeology.  Together we will get the BEST possible results so we can show off our skinny jeans and have confidence showing off our BOOTY!! 

To join, get your Challenge Pack and EMAIL ME!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rules for Eating Out



Lifestyle changes are always hard in the beginning! Heck, any change is hard!  Just because you are making lifestyle changes when it comes to eating healthier does not mean you have to give EVERYTHING up.  I  often hear that people miss eating out at their favorite restaurants and I ask them why? Their answer is the menu does not have anything that they are "aloud" to eat.  Are you sure about that? Maybe they and maybe you need to learn some rules for eating out so you can still enjoy that luxury AND stay on track with your healthy diet.  You can dine out successfully and enjoy your experience by learning how to navigate any menu. 



Want to learn how?  Here are some "rules" that will help you eat smart while dining out.

1.  Know before you go.  Most restaurants these days you can go online and look at their menus.  You can see what dishes look healthy - grilled items, salads, vegetable sides, and so forth.  Decide before you go what you will order and stick to your decision once you get there.  Collect the menus in the restaurants you frequent and you will have them to refer to next time.  You can also plug in the meal with the myfitness pal app and most of the time you can find out the calories and nutrition facts for most restaurant meals.  

2.  Sit in a quiet spot.  Nobody knows this, but the people who sit in the more distracting parts of the restaurants (by a window or in front of a TV) eat considerably more.  Commotion makes it easy to lose tack of how much you are putting in your mouth.  If you are making a reservation, request a quiet table.  If you walk in and are offered a table in a busier spot, ask for the one away from the action.  Your waistline will thank you!



3.  Be the FIRST to Order.  You have decided to pick something healthy off the menu for dinner, but your friend orders the decadent steak fries.  You might then rethink your original decision.  To sidestep that temptation of your friend's less healthy dish, place your order first.  If you cannot order first, them make your decision, close the menu, and repeat your selection to yourself to help you stick with it.  YOU CAN DO IT!! If you are dining at a restaurant you visit often, just ask for your favorite healthy option without ever opening the menu.  Temptations are always going to be there, stay strong in your decision!!

4.  Have it your way.  Before ordering your selections, ask the server about the details of the meal.  This will help you make more informed choices.  Some questions to ask include: How is this dish prepared? Can it be modified? What ingredients are used? Do you have any low-fat or low-calorie options?  What comes with this meal? Can I make substitutions?  How large are the portions?  DO NOT be afraid to ask questions or make special requests.  For example, ask that food be served with minimal butter, margarine, or oil.  Ask if a particular dish can be broiled or baked rather than fried.  Also, ask that no additional salt be added to your food. For veggies ask that they be steamed rather than cooked with butter and oil.  

You may also be able to make substitutions.  If the ingredients are on the menu, the chef should be able to accommodate your needs.  A common substitution is a baked potato for fries or a double serving of vegetables instead of a starch.  If your dish does not arrive at the table the way you ordered it, do not be afraid to send it back.  

If you do not see something you like, ask for it.  As a paying customer, you have the right to eat not only what tastes good but what's good for you.  Be "weight assertive"!

5.  Do NOT be seduced by menu descriptions.  Mouth-watering descriptions like "tender, juicy chicken breast" or "ripe heirloom tomatoes" are increasingly common on restaurant menus.  Be aware of sensory terms like "velvety" mousse and nostalgic ones like "legendary" spaghetti and meatballs.  Research shows that words that promote taste and texture or appeal to diners' emotions can increase sales, and can even influence the way you think your food tastes.  Words like these prep your taste buds to expect your chicken to taste juicy, so to some degree it probably will.

Make a game out of picking the colorful adjectives on the menu.  See who can find the most in three minutes.  If you win, everyone buys you dinner. That's the rule of the game!

6. Stay away from snacking.  The most damage often occurs before the actual meal begins with appetizer trays and bread baskets.  Also these snacks take away your appetite for the healthiest foods to come.  Avoid them!!!! Even the freebies like chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants or basket of rolls and butter can pile up fat and calories that you do not need. If you cannot exercise control, have your server remove the temptation!

7.  Make a meal out of appetizers.  Certain appetizers can be excellent choices for an entree.  The portion size of appetizers are more appropriate than the extremely large portions provided in entrees.  Consider healthy options such as steamed seafood (for example, shrimp cocktail), salads that are not loaded with high fat ingredients (such as, cheese and bacon), grilled vegetables, and broth based soups. You might also choose to combine the appetizer with a salad.  The salad will bulk up the meal so that you feel more satisfied without adding a lot of calories.  Be aware that some appetizers, particularly fried fare or items covered in cheeses, oils, and cream sauces are more than likely overloaded with calories and fat.  Some fried appetizers can provide a days worth of fat to four people!!!!



8.  Be Salad Savvy!  A salad can be your meal's best friend or worst enemy, depending on how you toss it.  Pile on fresh greens, beans, and veggies.  Do not drown it with high fat dressings or toppings like cheese, bacon, or croutons.  Pick calorie friendly dressings like vinaigrettes, low calorie dressings, even a generous squeeze of fresh lemon.  

Remember too that you can gain control over the fat and calories in your salad by ordering the dressing on the side.  Measure out a small amount of dressing with your spoon, or with thicker salad dressing use the fork dipping method.  What is the fork dipping method?  Dip the tines of your salad fork in the dressing, then spear the leaves of your salad.  This way, you get a taste of the dressing with eat bite of salad but you are not overloading your salad with dressing.  

Also watch out for potato salad, macaroni salads, coleslaw, and even tuna and chicken salads, which usually are heavy in mayonnaise, sugar, and calories.  

9.  Go low on sides.  Substitute high calorie side dishes with low fat options such as steamed veggies, brown rice, or fresh fruit.  Forget the french fries and have a baked, boiled, or roasted potatoes, but leave off the butter, cheese, and creams.  Flavor with salsa, pepper, or chives instead.

10. Choose low fat preparation methods.  The way your entree is prepared influences its calories and fat content.  Choose grilled, broiled, or baked meats and entrees.  Pan-friend and deep-fried food give you extra fat you do not need.  Broiling, baking, steaming, poaching, and grilling seafood, skinless poultry, lean meat, and veggies give you all the flavor without the fat.  
For example, grilled chicken is lower in fat and calories than fried chicken.  If you are served chicken with skin, you can remove the skin to save significant fat and calories.  It is not easy to get rid of ALL fat in restaurant meals, but give it a try.  Ask the server if the butter or oil used to prepare your entree can be reduced or eliminated.  Even a grilled item may have extra fat added.  Some grilled beef dishes call for added oil.

11. Enjoy alcohol in moderation.  Drinks can be diet killers!!!! Ice water is free.  Fancy mixed drinks are not free and have a ton of empty calories and the alcohol can dull your reasoning. Since alcohol can contribute significant amounts of calories, limiting your intake to 150 calories' worth is a good idea. The following portions of alcohol each contain approximately 150 calories or less: 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of liquor, and 12 oz. of light beer.

Many people find it helpful to order wine by the glass rather than the bottle so they can better control and monitor their intake.  You can decide ahead of time at which point in the meal your beverage would be most satisfying.  For example, you may want to save your glass of wine for your entree and sip water while you wait for your meal.  Holding off on alcohol until a later course also helps to decrease alcohol's effect on your inhibitions.  If you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, it can relax you to the point that you lose sight of your game plan.  Setting a personal limit and planning when to enjoy your beverage should help you stick with your goals.

12. Practice portion control.  Restaurants serve mountains of food - about two to three times the quantity that we need in a meal.  This is no big secret! All you need to do is not finish those mega-size portions.  Consider sharing a meal or taking a doggie bag so that you can have a quick meal at a later time. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed, and take the rest home.  As you are eating, listen to your internal hunger signals and stop when you have had enough.  Eating slowly helps you recognize such cues.

Keep track of how much you eat, and stick to the number of servings you planned to eat.  You probably won't be bringing a scale with you to the restaurant so that you can measure out portions, but you can rely on visual references.

Here are some examples:
a. A serving of cook meat, chicken, or fish is like the palm of your hand, or about the size of a deck of cards.
b.  A serving of green salad is like and open-cupped hand.
c.  A serving of fruit or vegetables is like your fist, or about the size of a tennis ball.
d. A serving of baked potato looks like a baseball.
e. An ounce of cheese is like your middle and index fingers together, or about the size of four stacked dice.  
f.  A serving of salad dressing is like your thumb.
g. A 3-ounce hamburger patty is the size of a quart size mayonnaise jar lid.

13.  Practice the three bite rule.  Try to satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit, and that is it!  Wave off the dessert cart.  Sometimes that is easier said than done.  If you must have that dessert share with someone but always practice the three bit rule.  Have three bites and your are done!  You might even discover that those few bites of a great dessert can be very satisfying and might be all your really wanted in the first place.  You cannot possibly blow your diet big-time on three bites of anything.  After your three bites, you can ask the server to take it away unless your dinner mates want to scarf it down.  


Always remember you changed your lifestyle because you cared about your BODY! 
  


You can still enjoy life's pleasures but use these rules to guide you along your way when eating out!!  Any questions or you need additional help feel free to message me at alysonhorcher@gmail.com


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Banana Roll Up

This snack is perfect for something quick and easy to make.  When I am in a pinch and I did not prep my snacks this is my go to.

Ingredients...
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 banana

Directions...

  1. Lay the tortilla flat and spread the peanut butter over the entire surface
  2. Slice banana and place on top of peanut butter
  3. Roll up and Enjoy!!!!
Seriously it does not get much easier! Right now we have an overload of bananas so I will be subbing this in for some of my other snacks I originally planned.  




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather gets cold outside I love making soups.  Who wouldn't love the classic Chicken Noodle Soup only better...the cleaned up version!

Chicken Noodle Soup was the first soup I made from scratch and it has now always been my go to when I need to make something healthy in a pinch.  I started making this when I was pregnant with my first child and needed some warm, healthy, comfort food.  














Big chunks of veggies, soothing broth, this soup will become a family favorite! It sure is in my house!!!!



Ingredients...
2 quarts chicken broth
1 can (29 ounces) crushed tomatoes
4 chicken breasts
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta of your choice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Directions...

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray baking dish with spray and lay chicken in dish.  
  3. Season with 1 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt and sprinkle of pepper on eat side
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear
  5. Let cool and chop into 1 inch pieces (or larger if you prefer)
  6. Meanwhile in a large pot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. Add celery, onion, and carrots.  Stir until softened but not brown (about 5 minutes)
  8. Add a teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt (more of less to your liking)
  9. Add chicken broth, can of crushed tomatoes, add remaining seasoned salt and remaining pepper. Bring to a boil
  10. Add your cooked noodles and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Make sure your noodles are hard (al dente) as they will absorb liquid in the soup
  11. Add the cooked chicken and continue to simmer. Taste the broth and add more seasoning if necessary
  12. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve
Tips:
-serve with a nice crusty whole wheat bread
-you can use fresh thyme sprigs and salt in place of seasoned salt
-add as many veggies as you like

Enjoy!!!!

Be on the lookout for more healthy soup recipes being posted throughout the fall/winter season.  Also if you have any healthy soup recipes you would be willing to share please send to alysonhorcher@gmail.com.  Your kindness is appreciated!  

~Alyson