Archive for March, 2011

Home-Made Calories: What’s in Your Recipes?

One of the stumbling blocks for those watching their calories is home-made food.  Oddly, my grandmother’s recipe for blackberry cobbler didn’t come with a nutritional label. So how do I figure that into my day’s calories?

Well, I think the cobbler might be too embarrassing, so I’m going to go with a recipe from one of my favorite recipe magazines and online sites, CookingLight.com. They already list the nutritional information per serving, but let’s take a look at how they arrived at those numbers.

While there are many databases that you can use, I’ll be using the USDA National Nutrient Database to look up the calories.

Bulgur Salad

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked bulgur – 151 calories
1 cup boiling water – 0 cal
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans) – 189 cal
1 pound yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved (1lb = 453g) – 80 cal
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley – 22 cal
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint – 5.3 cal
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill – 0.5 cal
1 cup chopped green onions – 19 cal
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice – 13.5 cal
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil – 477 cal
1 teaspoon kosher salt – 0 cal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – 3.5 cal

Preparation
1. Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour or until bulgur is tender.

2. Cook edamame in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Add edamame, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients to bulgur; toss well. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

In adding up all of the calories in the above ingredients the total = 960.8 calories. That is for the whole amount. There are 6 servings in the recipe, so we divide by 6 which = 160.13 calories/serving.

So in order to calculate the nutritional information of home recipes, you find the value for each item(you can do this for protein, carbohydrates, and fat as well), add them all together and then divide by the servings per recipe. Once you do it for your favorites, you can then just plug that information in to your diet plan.

Let me know if you have any questions. Now I need to figure out that cobbler. 😉

Best wishes, Mark

03/28/2011 at 9:05 AM Leave a comment

Want Results? Get Off Your Big Fat But!

No, no misspelling here. I’m not talking about your backside. I’m talking about the excuses we find to not do what we know we should be doing in order to improve our health and fitness. “I know I should _______, BUT…”

If you want something to change, you need to be willing to do something different (and that usually means something more difficult). For changes in our health and fitness levels, you need to make sure your diet is where it’s supposed to be, you’re getting in the right kind of workouts with the appropriate frequency, keeping your stress levels down, and getting enough sleep.

Excuses vs ResultsWhen you’re not getting the results you want, you need to look at these areas and ask yourself which of those items aren’t happening and what it is that’s getting in your way. As you identify the area of difficulty, listen to yourself. “I know I should be eating breakfast, but I never seem to have the time.” “I have every intention of getting to the gym, but something always comes up at work.” Those buts are your excuse, your scapegoat, and you have to recognize that fact. That’s not to say they aren’t a problem, only that knowing that they are a problem means you need to come up with a different solution as to how to work around them. You need to pre-plan for those occasions when your normal schedule is thrown off.

In example, normally your diet is good. You eat what, when, and where you’re supposed to. But, when your friends come to visit for a long weekend, you end up overindulging the whole time and feeling guilty. So now they just called. You know how this weekend usually goes. Ask yourself what you could do differently that would make your weekend diet better. Could you have more fresh fruits and vegetables on hand? If you usually drink alcoholic beverages, could you alternate between those drinks and a glass of water?

The key to getting the results you want, reaching your goals, is getting rid of the big fat BUT that has been allowing you to think you had an excuse. Well, it isn’t an excuse. A but simply means you have to come up with a new way to handle those things that have been getting in your way. If it means enough to you, you can find a solution.

Please let me know if you need any help losing your big but.

03/05/2011 at 3:32 PM Leave a comment


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