food

4 Ways To Get Healthy Dinners On The Table Faster

Tuna with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

For the busy Avagliano Family, I keep trying to emphasize the importance of knowing what’s in the food they are eating. Because cooking every night is not an option, they need to “assemble” some of their meals instead. One way to do that is to prep the basics on the weekends and then use them to make many different meals. Here are some of my favorites:

Prep homemade tomato sauce and serve it…

  • with cooked pasta and a big green salad.
  • on top of a mild white fish, along with small handful of olives and capers and roast in the oven just until fish flakes.
  • on your chicken breast with a spoonful of sauce and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and bake in the oven.

Prep a roast chicken and…

  • serve with roasted broccoli and a sweet potato for a nice Sunday dinner.
  • make quesadillas with the chicken; add some shredded cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes and cilantro and warm it in the oven or in a pan on the stove top.
  • chop the chicken up and make it into a salad with a little mayo, some raisins, celery a pinch of salt and some fresh pepper. Serve it on a green salad or in a whole wheat pita pocket.

Prep a seared and roasted pork tenderloin and…

  • enjoy it hot out of the oven with brown rice and a vegetable stir-fry.
  • slice and have it on a whole grain bread with lettuce, tomatoes and mustard.
  • shred the pork and add it to baked taco shells; top with lettuce, a little cheese, chopped avocado and your favorite salsa.

Prep roasted vegetables and…

  • have them room temperature in a sandwich with a dollop of goat cheese.
  • cook some whole wheat pasta to stir in; sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • add them to an omelet along with some rye toast with a drizzle of olive oil.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


7 Time-Saving Tips for Making Healthy, Home-Cooked Meals

Crispy Bean & Cheese Burritos

Cooking every night can be a daunting endeavor especially when you’ve been at work all day. It’s definitely one of the reasons many people resort to fast food, take-out or frozen meals. But don’t be discouraged by the clock. You can pull together a home-cooked meal in a snap. Here’s what I recommended to the Avaglianos because I know how pressed they are for time.

#1: Create a daily menu for the week.  It’s best to do this on the computer because eventually you’ll create enough menus and shopping lists that you can cut, paste, rotate and repeat the weeks instead of coming up with new ideas.

#2:  Decide who is in charge of what meal. It’s important to delegate cooking responsibilities especially if you have older children in the house.

#3: Seek out great recipes. Check out these 20-minute meals and shortcut suppers. And don’t try to make anything too complicated especially when you know you only have a short amount of time.

#4: Use your shopping list. Going to the store with a firm plan makes it so much quicker to shop. Don’t forget to double the ingredients if you want to make enough for the next night’s meal or the following day’s lunch. This will ultimately save you time and money.

#5: Stick to ingredients you need. Don’t get lured into buying what’s on sale that week or sweet treats you don’t need when you are shopping. But do leave room for healthy snacks and lots of fruit and vegetables to snack on.

#6: Prep ahead of time. If you know you need chopped onions in 3 recipes then get a bunch of them chopped on Sunday when you get back from the grocery store and keep them in a plastic container until you are ready to use them.

#7: Make it known. Print out and post the schedule and menu on the refrigerator so all family members know when it is their turn to cook dinner!

 Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


How to Break Through a Weight Loss Wall

We’ve all been there. You’re working out and eating right, but suddenly the number on the scale isn’t moving down anymore. It’s just standing still. As the Avaglianos enter their last challenge they may find they’ve hit this weight loss wall. It’s very common and extremely discouraging, but there’s a reason for it. Perhaps the first big drop in weight was mostly water or your metabolism has slowed down. It’s even likely that now that you weigh less, you are burning fewer calories.

No matter what the case, don’t get discouraged because other changes may be happening. You may be losing inches and not pounds—which is just as important. Also you’re eating better and exercising so your overall health is going to be improved.

To get back on the weight-loss track, though, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Consider boosting your workouts (either in length or intensity) to burn more calories. Alternately, you may need to lower the number of calories you are taking in. Finally, make sure your weight loss goals are realistic. After all, if you can’t maintain the weight loss you’re striving for, there’s probably no point in losing it in the first place.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


The Most Important Detail For Your Food Journal

FLogg Journal

Food diaries may seem tedious—especially after doing one for 5 months as the Avaglianos have—but they are key to keeping you accountable for what you are eating. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics researchers found that people who kept a food diary were more likely to lose weight than those who do not. They work for three simple reasons:

  1. If you have to write down eating a “bad” food, then you’re less likely to eat it.
  2. If you’re not losing weight, you can see why. You may even notice that maybe you aren’t recording all of those in between little snacks you’ve been having.
  3. If you are losing weight, then you’re doing something right and you can refer to your journal to see behaviors you need to increase.

You don’t need a special format for your journal just a small notebook that you can easily take with you or if you prefer, an online program or even a spreadsheet on your computer, that also works as well.

One key detail I recommend people write down when they note foods consumed: their mood. Sometimes it helps address other reasons you’re eating besides hunger. It’s also important to write down all of the beverages consumed because many unnecessary calories come from drinks and not food.

At the end of each week, review what you’ve written down; it will help you to figure out what you’re doing wrong or what you’re doing right!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


4 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain On Vacation

rome

photo via .flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore

Italy is known for its fabulous food and wine and the Avaglianos spent ten days enjoying the food and culture. I was not about to tell them to skip the specialties of the country but I also didn’t want them to put on all the weight they had lost over the last few months.

Vacations can cause you to tip the scale if you are not careful. To avoid the damage, you’ll need to be mindful of how much food you are putting in your mouth.

1. Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals. If it’s a really great sandwich or pasta dish simply share it with someone and have a salad on the side or a side of vegetables without any sauce. Italy is also known for its delicious gelato—you can usually get a very small scoop and it won’t set you back with too many calories.

2. Don’t make every meal a heavy one. If you know you want to try a special restaurant for lunch and drink some of the local wine, then make dinner a lighter meal, maybe grabbing fresh produce from the market and making a big salad in your hotel room. Or going to a small restaurant where they don’t mind if you share plates and order less food.

3. If you can, plan ahead and do lots of walking to burn off some of the extra calories.

Buon appetito!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

(Photo Copyright by Moyan Brenn)