Thursday, August 26, 2010

Exercise Is Good But Proper Diet Is Better

I am all about exercise. It doesn't have to be elaborate or painful. You can do it anywhere. Just a little bit can yield drastic improvements in your health.

BUT (not butt), if you are trying to lose weight, exercise is only one small part of the equation.

Running (or walking) 1 mile will burn about 100 calories.

That bottle of coke in your hand has around 200 calories. I don't know about you, but I can drink a coke in less than a few minutes.

So what would you rather do, run 2 miles or put down that one coke?

If you choose to forgo the value meal and skip the fries at lunch today you will save 500 calories. To burn the same amount of calories as that one side of fries you would have to run 5 miles, lift weights for 2 hours or garden for 3 hours.

What's my point? Exercise does not burn as many calories as people tend to think. But food has MORE calories than people realize. Thus, it is far easier to lose weight by simply cutting calories than by continuing to eat the same diet and adding exercise.

NOTE: This is merely one reason why I am not a fan of a certain tv show that features people losing inappropriate amounts of weight in a short period of time. It sends the wrong message that if you want to lose weight all you have to do is exercise more. But this is only half the story. I have met folks who have been on the show. Many of them have gained back some of the weight they lost. Why? Because it is unrealistic to exercise 8 hours a day unless you are a professional athlete.

So what's my take home message? If you want to lose weight, it is best to cut calories ( not go on a severely restricted calorie diet unless under medical supervision), and add exercise. But, if you don't have time to exercise, you can still lose weight and be healthier by cutting back on what you consume.

If you are able, I would recommend a visit with a RD to learn how many calories you need every day and how many you need to eat to lose weight realistically and healthfully.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Egg-sactly The Protein I Needed

Recently I was looking for a small meal/snack that had a fair amount of protein and minimal calories.

When I eat eggs, I prefer my fresh, local ones. They taste soooo much better than store bought. But, these are a little pricey, so I don't use them in things like baked goods, etc. Instead I keep a container of egg beaters in my fridge.

It was a little after 5pm and I was trying to think of a quick, easy meal to eat before my nightly workout. I prefer to make things that can be used for lunch or additional meals/snacks for a few days.

I had the egg beaters. And I had some leftover veggie chorizo (spicy sausage) from TJ's from another recipe I recently made (veggie sausage stuffed peppers...OMG sooooooooo good!). I also had some queso fresco leftover from the pepper recipe.


Individual quiche!

Here is roughly what I did:
  • First I heated my oven to about 350. But I have a convection oven in which it seems to be impossible to burn anything, so keep an eye on yours if you have a conventional oven or try it at 325.
  • In a bowl I poured the entire container of egg beaters.
  • Then I poured in a little milk, maybe half a cup.
  • I added some S&P and some chopped herbs.
  • In a saute pan, I cooked up an onion and sauted the chorizo (it crumbles when you get it out of the package).
  • Then I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in a little queso fresco.
  • I sprayed a muffin pan with non-stick EVOO spray.
  • I ladled the egg/milk mixture into each muffin hole, about 3/4 full.
  • Then I spooned a bit of the sausage/cheese mixture into each pool of egg.
  • I had some shredded mozzarella from a recent homemade pizza, so I placed a few sprigs on the top of each so they would crisp up and get brown.
  • I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. I kept an eye on them and took them out of the oven when they were brown, puffy and a toothpick came out clean after I poked one.
  • I let them cool for about 5 minutes and then popped them out and ate em up!

The entire container of eggs was only about 200 calories. The sausage added maybe 300 calories to the total dish. The cheese added another 200, maybe. And the milk added about 100. This is a rough estimate, but it means each quiche was between 60 and 75 calories. And it was all protein and little fat!

If you don't have veggie sausage, you could easily use the regular stuff or ground beef, etc. But remember that this will add calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. You could also leave the sausage out entirely. You could also add different sauteed veggies, bits of lunch meat chopped small, or whatever you have on hand that goes with egg (think creative omelets.)

We ate three each for dinner that night with a little fruit. Then I have eaten two for lunch each day since along with a salad and some fruit.