Downsize Your Portions Fashionably

Slim & Sage Portion Control Plates

If you think it’s time to get control of your food portions – or someone else’s – set your table with the Slim & Sage portion control plates and no one will be the wiser. The Slim & Sage plates have a stylish Euro flair and encourage effortless portion control.

Slim & Sage Portion Control Plate in Blue

Slim & Sage Portion Control Plate in Blue

The creators of Slim & Sage – Tatyana, Jamie and Margaret – have a wide range of expertise and experience in health and wellness.  Tatyana, whose background is in healthcare, has a lifelong passion for design and healthy eating.  Jamie was in business development at Learn Vest and is now working on a group fitness instructor certification while studying at the Natural Gourmet Institute.

Coach Margaret is the founder of Wellcoaches Corporation and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at Boston’s McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Together they’ve designed the chic portion control plates that don’t appear to be conspicuously smaller or have an institutionalized look.

Slim & Sage plates in red.

Slim & Sage plates in red.

Getting A Handle On Supersize

Since the 1970’s food portions have been steadily on the rise in the United States.  Our plates have gotten bigger to accommodate larger portions.  The average plate size in the1960’s was 9 inches.  Today it is 12.  We’re supersized!  I don’t need to tell you the problem that is creating for employers, the healthcare system and our own pocketbooks.

Portion Control Is Easy With Smaller Plates

The Slim & Sage web site offers some compelling evidence that proves that people can lose weight effortlessly just by using a smaller plate. Two of the studies they mention are:

  • Google introduced smaller plates in their cafeteria and employees lost an average of 10 – 15 pounds without dieting.
  • The Archives of Internal Medicine cites a study where 130 patients were divided into two groups.  One group ate off of conventional plates; the other used portion-controlled plates.  Those using the portion-controlled plates lost 94% more weight than the conventional plate group.

Remember the bottomless bowl of soup study that Prof. Brian Wansink’s conducted with two individual test groups?  One group ate tomato soup from bowls that were rigged so that soup continued to fill the bowls every time they reached the half full point. The other group had a normal bowl of soup that amounted to about nine ounces.   The group with the normal bowls felt full and stopped eating once they reached the bottom of the bowl.  The ‘bottomless bowl’ people continued to eat until the experiment was over and consumed almost twice the amount of soup!

Using a smaller plate can help you get your portions under control without sacrificing style.  The Slim & Sage plates have an artistic flair that will make any table look beautiful.  To learn more about Slim & Sage click here.

‘Tis the season to Share, Share Share!

Coffee and Almond Milk Are On My List Of Superfoods. What’s On Yours?

My Ten Favorite Foods That Are Super Nutritious 

We hear a lot about ‘superfoods’.  There are numerous lists and some foods seem to make every one.  I decided to create my own top ten list.  In order for a food to make the cut it had to meet certain criteria:

  • It has to be one of my favorite foods.
  • It has to be a food that I eat on a regular basis (daily or at least weekly).
  • It must be low in salt, sodium and fat.
  • It must be high in nutrition.
  • It must be versatile.

Not only are the foods on this list super nutritious, they are also delicious and I never tire of them. When we get right down to it isn’t that what is really important?  A food can be on every list, but if you don’t enjoy eating it or know how to prepare it after you buy it, being on a list somewhere is pretty irrelevant.

The key for each of us is to seek out foods that we truly enjoy, can eat on a regular basis and are low in fat, calories and sodium yet high in nutrition.

So here’s the list of my favorite foods.  Let me know what you think.

Salmon and asparagus. Two of my favorite foods.

Karen’s Superfoods:  The Top Ten List

1.  Black Beans – I could probably write an entire article on black beans.  I won’t do that now, but if you’d like to know anything and everything about them click here.   One cup of black beans provides 59.8% of the daily nutritional value of fiber, 64% DV of folate, 30.1T magnesium and 28% of Vitamin B1.  Did I mention protein?  Black beans are an excellent meat replacement because they contain a substantial amount of protein (30.4% of daily value in one cup).  One cup is 227 calories. Most of all, they are versatile.  I put them on nachos, pizza and cook them into soups and salads.

2.  Mini Sweet Peppers – It’s no secret that the mini sweet peppers are on my top ten list. I buy a bag every week and usually run out before it’s time to go back to the store.  I take them in my lunch as a snack almost daily.  They are sweet, crunchy and pretty.  If you enjoy chips with your sandwich or to munch on, try sweet peppers instead.  Three sweet peppers provide 180 m potassium, 35% DV of Vitamin A and 270% DV of Vitamin C.  (Check on bag for nutritional content)  I have looked at recipes to find other ways to enjoy the peppers but haven’t tried any of them.  Most of them suggest stuffing the peppers with ingredients like shrimp and cream cheese and for me that would defeat the purpose of eating a snack that is only 25 calories.

3.  Chocolate Almond Milk – If you haven’t tried chocolate almond milk you’re missing out on a nutritious treat.  One cup of almond milk will quench your thirst, satisfy your chocolate craving, and provide 25% DV of Vitamin D, 50% DV of Vitamin E and 50% DV of Vitamin B12 and all for only 120 calories.  Poured over ice, chocolate almond milk is an excellent post work-out drink and makes a refreshing afternoon snack.

Chocolate almond milk is a nutritious, low-calorie treat.

4.  Strawberries – Blueberries are on every superfoods list, but I’m not a blueberry lover so I didn’t include them.  Bright red, ripe strawberries are my berry of choice.  Strawberries are great just as they are but are extremely versatile too.  They can be sliced and added to spinach or romaine lettuce salads, fruit salads and desserts.  Strawberries are also loaded with Vitamin C (141.1% DV), Manganese (28%), and fiber (11.5%).  Plus they are low in calories.  One cup has only 49.

5.  Spinach – Spinach knocks most of the other vegetables out of the park when it comes to nutrition. Take a look:  Vitamin K – 1110.6% DV, Vitamin A – 377.3%, Manganese – 84%, Folate – 65.7% and Fiber 17.2%.  And the best news is one cup is only 7 calories.  I often use spinach as the primary ingredient in salads, put it in vegetable lasagna, cook it as a side dish and add it to my fruit smoothies.  I know that many people aren’t fans of this dark, leafy green so I recommend adding a couple of handfuls to the blender when you’re making your favorite fruit smoothie.  I tried the green smoothie out on my co-workers and even the people that don’t like the green stuff agreed the only give-away that it was an ingredient  was the color.

6.  Asparagus – This is another vegetable that I find people turn their nose up at.  I think it’s because they haven’t prepared it properly.  If your only experience with asparagus in out of the can you should give fresh grilled spinach a try.  When cooked on the grill or sautéed in a pan on the cook top with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic, asparagus is crunchy and delicious.  I made an asparagus salad and my family loved it.  Asparagus, like spinach, has high nutritional value and an abundance of anti-oxidants.  It’s high in Vitamin K (69.6%), Vitamin A (20.2%) and Folate (17.4%).

7.  Salmon – This is one of my family’s favorite foods and now that we know how important the omega-3 fatty acids are to heart health it definitely has a place on the top ten list.  It is also abundant in Vitamin D (264.7% DV), B12 (109.6%), Tryptophan (109.3%) and protein (61.9%).  The omega-3s come in at 61.2% DV.  Four ounces of salmon is 233 calories.  There are endless ways to use salmon in salads and main dishes.  At times when I’m in a hurry I make salmon loaf using canned salmon, however, fresh grilled is my first choice.

8.  Brown Rice – We made the shift from processed grains to whole grains a couple of years ago and I now find it hard to eat white rice.  It seems so bland and sticky compared to brown plus the process that takes rice and makes it white removes most of its nutritional value.  Brown rice makes a good base for grilled vegetables, salmon, or chicken.  One cup of brown rice delivers 88.0% DV for manganese, a mineral that helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is a key component to a healthy nervous system.

9.  Almonds – Almonds are one of my favorite snacks.  The fact that I eat them every day and never get tired of them along with their ability to lower LDL Cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease secures them a spot on the list.  Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, in other words, healthy fats that can lower the risk for heart disease by up to 45%.  They are also a good source of Vitamin E (44.8% DV) and magnesium (24.6%).  Almonds are higher in calories than the other foods on the list so portion control becomes a factor.  Twenty three whole raw almonds are about 164 calories.

A skinny latte that you make yourself is not only better for you, it's cheaper too!

10.  Coffee – Although it’s not actually a food, coffee makes the list and not just because it one of my favorites things.  The more studies are done on coffee the better the news gets for java lovers like me.  The most recent study shows that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections.  It has long been believed that coffee is good for the liver and helps protect against Parkinson disease.  I drink coffee black so I don’t have to worry about sugar or cream undoing the benefits I’m getting from the antioxidants in the coffee beans.  Hot or cold, coffee is my beverage of choice both before a workout and as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

I had to put some thought into compiling this list.  There are a lot of good foods out there that fit the criteria of ‘superfood’ but I wanted to drill down to my absolute favorite ten.  These are foods that are on my shopping list every week and that are great eaten alone or as an ingredient in a favorite main dish, soup, salad or dessert.

What did I miss?  What’s on your super food list?


Most People Want More Time. I Want More Years.

Add Years To Your Life With These Nutrition Tips

A recent study by the American Heart Association found that 80 percent of the Americans surveyed struggle to eat enough fruits and vegetables, get enough exercise, or brush and floss their teeth on a regular basis.  The reason?  They don’t have the time. We all wish we had more hours in the day.  But, I wonder, even if we could add a few hours here and there, would we use that time to take better care of ourselves?

Ninety percent of the AHA respondents that were surveyed did express a desire to improve their health.  If you’re one of the 80% – or know someone who is – you can jump start your nutrition goals by joining the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Get Your Plate In Shape” campaign.

                    Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables.

National Nutrition Month 

March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy has a web site that provides tons of resources to motivate you and your friends and family to make some changes that will improve your health.  Making changes to your diet today might not add hours to your day, but it very well may add years to your life.

Here are some steps you can take right away to “Get Your Plate In Shape”:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.  The more colorful your plate, the healthier it is. Making a salad with bright green and purple lettuces in place of iceberg, for example, will considerably increases the nutritional value.  If you need an idea for something easy and nutritious, click here for a delicious Asparagus Salad recipe.
  • Make at least half your grains whole.  Try some whole wheat pasta or brown rice in place of white for a more nutritious meal that’s higher in fiber.  This Pesto Pizza Salad recipe uses a whole grain pita as the crust.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.  Switching to 1% or fat-free milk gives you a double bonus.  Not only is the fat and calorie content lower than in regular milk, the calcium content is higher. Using skim milk in coffee drinks can reduce the calories and lower the risk for osteopenia.
  • Vary your protein choices.  We tend to think that the best source of protein is meat.  But beans, lentils, nuts, seed, tofu, eggs and fish are all high in protein and other vitamins and minerals.
  • Cut back on sodium and empty calories that come from solid fats and sugars. Sodium, fat and sugar and abundant in processed foods. Reading food labels and trying to stay with foods that have five or less ingredients on the label is one way to avoid all three.
  • Enjoy your food but eat less.  Americans have been super-sized for so long it’s hard to know what a true portion is. Check out portion control and size guide from Web MD.  You can print the guide and put it on your refrigerator or keep in your wallet to use when you’re away from home.
  • Be physically active.  Add ten minutes of physical activity to your day and work your way up from there.  Two and half hours of physical activity a week is recommended for adults.  Children and teens need 60 minutes or more a day.

By incorporating several of the items on the bulleted list, you’ll be on your way to making some positive, healthy behavior changes and you won’t have to spend a lot of time.

Additional Resources

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has additional resources including printable PDFs on a variety of topics:  Power Up With Breakfast, Smart Snacking for Adults and Teens, and Healthy Eating On The Run, plus family friendly games, videos and quizzes.

Share the tips and resources for National Nutrition Month by tweeting or sharing on Facebook or Google+.

Make Your Own ‘Lighter’ Version of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Minty Breath Might Mean You’re Indulging In Shamrock Shakes On The Sly

Save Some Calories and ‘Extra’ Ingredients When You Make Your Own Shake

Seasonal, Minty and Hard To Resist

Every morning on the way to work I hear the McDonalds Shamrock Shake commercial where the husband/boyfriend/whatever gets out of the car and the significant other is upset because she can smell mint on his breath.  He stopped at McD’s and got a Shamrock Shake.  But, oh, wait!  He bought a Shamrock Shake for her too.  Crisis averted! He really does love her after all.

Believe it or not, advertising is so effective that I’ve been craving a seasonal, once a year Shamrock Shake. Before giving in, I thought I would try making my own, which turned out to be delicious.  It was even better than McDonald’s.  I used four ingredients.

Shake Ingredients:
Vanilla Ice Cream – 4 scoops (about 2 cups)
Skim Milk – ¼ cup
Green food coloring – several drops
Spearmint or Peppermint Extract – ¼ teaspoon

Mix it all together in a blender, or smoothie maker, and enjoy.  It’s easy and would be a great treat for a St. Patrick’s Day party for kids or adults.

Is My Homemade Version Healthier?  You Decide.

A McDonald’s medium, 21ounce shake has 740 calories, 18 grams of fat, 240 mg of sodium. Here’s the list of the ingredients:

Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate.

Shamrock Shake Syrup: High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural flavor (plant source), xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, blue 1.   — from the

My version would be about 540 calories, 20 grams of fat and 200 mg of sodium.  I saved 200 calories and a little sodium.  That’s a plus. Using a low-fat ice cream would have helped out quite a bit in the fat category. I also feel okay about missing out on all of the extra artificial ingredients tool. The minty fresh breath is a bonus!


My Cat Toby and Paula Deen Have Something in Common

Toby Has Some Lifestyle Changes To Make

Diabetes Isn’t Fun For Felines Either 

Toby, our large, cuddly, purring, yellow tabby that has been with our family since my daughters were in grade school was diagnosed with diabetes this week.  We knew the diagnosis was coming.  All of the symptoms were there: unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, loss of appetite.

As much as we knew that we were going to be given the news of that particular disease, we were still hoping that maybe it was something else.  Something easier to manage.  Something that wouldn’t mean daily injections, a change in diet, and the worry as to how his body will handle the illness.

My husband said – the day before he was to go to the vet – that he thought Toby seemed better.  Maybe he didn’t need to go.  In a word, we were in denial.  As Toby’s parents, we had not done anything to prevent him from developing diabetes. It’s rather common in older cats that have been fed commercial cat food their entire lives.

Veterinarian Elizabeth Hodgkins has done extensive research on feline diabetes and says that the “massive amounts of cereal” in dry cat foods puts too many carbohydrates in the diet. It is the abundance of carbs in the food that causes the ailment.  She believes that a change in diet alone will not only prevent, but also treat feline diabetes. Cat owners that put their pets on a reduced carbohydrate diet can even rid them of their insulin dependency.

In Cats and Humans, Diabetes Is On The Rise

We’ve all heard about the increase in the number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes in the American population, particularly in children.  It seems cats and children in the United States are on the same path.  But why is that?

Let’s look at some of the risk factors that are known to lead to Type 2 Diabetes in people .  The first three are factors that we have no control over:

  • Genetics is believed to be the strongest link.  You may be predispositioned to the disease if your mother or father was diabetic.
  • Aging – The risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes begins to rise at age 45.  The risk rises considerably after the age of 65.
  • Ethnicity – African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and Japanese Americans have a great risk of developing the disease than non-Hispanic whites.

Some Things We Can Change

This is a list of risks that we can control for the most part:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood triglyceride (fat) levels
  • Gestational diabetes (giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds)
  • High-fat diet
  • High alcohol intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Fighting Complacency

Being diagnosed, or having a loved one diagnosed, with diabetes no longer sounds the alarm the way it once did.  Because the disease is so prevalent in our society and we have easy-to-administer medications to treat it, when we hear about someone being newly diagnosed, our response is usually a yawn.

But it shouldn’t be.  We should be raising our children with an awareness of how important it is to eat nutritious foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar, and emphasize the value of physical activity.  As adults we have a responsibility to keep our blood pressure in check, watch our consumption of alcohol and fat intake.

We may not realize that our behaviors today may lead to Type 2 Diabetes down the road. Having a doctor deliver that news, however, is a life-changing experience. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes their life involves continuous monitoring of blood sugars, often times daily injections of insulin, along with watching for symptoms of hyperglycemia (high) and hypoglycemia (low) blood sugars and controlling the highs and lows so that serious health problems don’t develop such as heart disease and damage to the nerves and kidneys.

No Big Surprise

Last week the world-wide-web was aflutter with the news of Paula Deen’s announcement that she has Type 2 Diabetes.  There were plenty of nasty attacks directed at the Southern Belle.  Some, I think, were overly harsh and unwarranted.  My reaction, and that of a member of the wellness team where I work, was a yawn.  Surely no one is really surprised.

Some of the negative media attention came from her waiting over two years to disclose to the public that she had been diagnosed as she worked through a partnership with a drug company that makes – you guessed it – diabetes medications.

We know the impact that a diet that has an abundance of salt, sugar, calories and fat will have on our waistline and our health.  I think that when the news broke about Paula, although people weren’t shocked, they were disappointed with her reluctance to admit that many of her own actions led to her disease.  She seemed unwilling to connect the dots for her audience.  People wanted to hear a clear-cut “I’m going to clean up my act and I want you to too,” statement from Paula.   None came.

Cleaning Up Toby’s Act

Over the years we’ve been guilty of putting food in the bowl for Toby even when we knew he was gaining weight, becoming less active, and eating out of boredom.  But he was so persistent and annoying with his begging and pestering that we succumbed to it. We are a family of individuals that cannot even stand up to a cat.

Now, unfortunately, because of us – the people he depends on for everything – he has an illness that can shorten his life, or at the very least diminish the quality of it.  I’m going to apologize to him for that as soon as he returns home from his stay at the animal hospital.   I’m also going to make sure he abides by his newly prescribed diet and gets his medicine.  I may even see if I can get him to take a walk with me on the dreadmill.

Five Tips To Combat The Effects Of Food Porn

Surround Yourself With Fruits and Vegetables For Visual Stimulation Instead of Cake

Do You Gain Weight Just Looking At A Piece of Chocolate Cake? Use Reverse Psychology.

Have you ever heard someone say that they gain weight just by looking at chocolate cake? That statement has more truth to it than once realized. A recent study at Max Planck Institute has determined that looking at pictures of tempting, delicious, high calorie foods may trigger hunger and cravings that ultimately hamper our ability to control our weight.

Researchers at Max-Planck Institute claim that they have proven scientifically that looking at delicious food stimulates the appetite and can result in overeating, or eating too much of the wrong foods. The study, conducted on healthy young males, tested the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood before and after they were shown pictures of yummy looking foods. The researchers found that the visual stimulation caused an increase in the release of ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for controlling both eating behavior and food metabolism. Max Plank scientists concluded that the overwhelming presence of food advertisements on T.V., in magazines and on the internet “could contribute to weight increase in Western populations”.

We may not be able to completely eliminate seeing pictures of foods that are on our ‘don’t‘ list, but we can counteract the effects by limiting our contact with food pornography whenever possible. Take action to avoid internet sites where you know the foods you’re trying to limit will be shown, leave the room when fast-food ads come on T.V., and steer clear of magazines and cooking channels that are loaded with high-fat, bad-for-you food art.

Five Ways To Un-Do Unwanted Appetite Stimulation

If seeing pictures of high-calorie foods cause us to crave just that, wouldn’t the opposite be true? It stands to reason that if we fill our world with photos of fruits, vegetables and whole grains those are the foods we’ll be motivated to eat. I’m suggesting we do an experiment similar to the one at Max Planck Institute. Try the following five suggestions this week and see if your motivation to eat more fruits and vegetables increases.

1. Select a screen saver for your computer at home and at work that shows a display of beautiful fruits and vegetables in a bowl or prepared in a dish. You should be able to copy the pictures I have loaded on this post (if you’d like) or find some at your favorite screen saver site. If you get bored with one screensaver, load up another for a couple of days.

2. Find between ten to fifteen pictures of healthy foods to cut out of a magazine, or print off from your computer and create a vision board.  Put the board in a visible place where you’ll see it several times a day. You may want to make one for home and one for work both with different images. For more information on how to make a vision board, click here.

3. Befriend “Five A Day, The Fun Way” on Facebook. Reminders on eating more fruits and veggies and suggestions on ways to incorporate them into your diet will come to your news feed. The Five A Day Facebook page promotes healthy foods and recipes, and has great suggestions for dealing with those pesky holidays that come along and mess things us. I think the next one is Valentine’ s Day.

4. Put a bowl of real fruit on your counter top at home. Load it with apples, oranges, bananas, grapes and whatever else you like. Do the same thing with vegetables. Clean carrots, cherry tomatoes and mini sweet peppers and put them in a bag where they will be visible when you open the door to the fridge. On your way out of the door in the morning it will be easy to grab a couple of each. You’ll be surprised how fast these foods disappear when they are in clear view.

5. Bookmark the Whole Foods web site in your browser. Next time you’re looking for a new recipe click on the Recipes tab at Whole Foods rather than surf the web where you’re sure to stumble on those food porn sites that get us into trouble.

Let me know if these tips work for you. If you have some of your own that I haven’t mentioned, please share in the comment box. I’d love to hear what you do to stay away from sites like Cakes&

If You’re Ready To Get Real About Those Last Ten Pounds You’re Going To Need A Food Diary

By Pink Sherbet Photography

“I’m working hard and still not seeing the pounds budge.”  I hear that a lot which almost always means it’s time to get real about what you’re eating.  It’s time for a food diary.

If you’re still searching for a phone app food diary, I have an endorsement for one that I recommended last week.

MyNetDiary Pro

One of my coaching clients downloaded the app from MyNetDiary.  She purchased the MyNetDiary Pro for Android for a one-time fee of $3.99.  She raves about the app and feels it is
making her much more aware of what she is eating.  Plus she says that when she does eat something higher in calories for lunch – a Taco Bell Beef Chalupa for example – she can figure out ways to offset that so she doesn’t blow the entire day.

MyNetDiary also has a web site – that syncs with the phone app – so you can combine the applications for more usability. Prior to our coaching session today she e-mailed the data to me from the programs she has been using including a weight chart, exercise diary, goal sheet, and nutrition report.  I was able to see exactly what she had been doing the prior week and we were able to talk about her goal success and progress.

Why Keep A Food Diary?

You might be thinking that’s all really nice, but why do I need to keep a food diary?

Get Really Real – Food tracking is a way to get completely honest with yourself and own everything you eat.  Let’s face it. We all cheat.  Track your food, including your cheats, for one month and see if your eating pattern has changed.  Journaling brings a special awareness to what we’re eating and how much we’re eating better than any other tool.  You may also find that if you think about what you’re eating, you’ll begin to ask why, which will lead you to whether or not you really need it.

Photo by o5com

Have an Ah-ha Moment– You don’t know what you don’t know.  I was working with a client several months ago that was struggling to get to her goal of losing ten pounds.  She thought she was doing everything right; eating more fruits and veggies, getting more physical activity and drinking more water.  The pounds did not budge.

I suggested that she keep a food journal for one week and she agreed, reluctantly.  The following week when we talked she said that she was shocked at how many calories she was eating.  Once she realized she was simply taking in too many calories to lose weight, she started making better choices, getting creative with lower calorie exchanges and lost the ten pounds.

Re-evaluate Your Activity – It might be that once you start tracking your food you’ll see that you don’t have much to work with.  If you’re eating within the calorie range necessary to lose weight, you may need to increase your physical activity or mix up what you’re doing.

For example:  If you’ve been going to the gym and doing 20 minutes on the treadmill at level five, followed by a 20 minute strength training circuit on the machines your body may no longer be responding to that workout.  Try adding some intervals to your treadmill work and move over to the free weight section of the gym for some squats and lunges with a body bar, ab crunches on a stability ball and tricep dips on the bench.  Every thirty days it’s a good idea to make changes to your workout so that your brain and your brawn aren’t just going through the motions.

If you’re not particularly enamored with phone apps or on-line tools, purchasing a cute
notebook with an inspirational saying on the front and writing in the entries by hand will work just as well.  You can look up the calories on-line at


Portion Control – The Key To Weight Control – Is Just A Plate Away

Precise Portions Creates A Prettier Plate

My Plate from USDA isn’t as pretty As Precise Portions but the concept is the same.

Would a plate that’s designed to help you control your portions help?  Maybe not if it looks like the USDA’s My Plate, but what if it had a catchier design?

Precise Portions has created a complete line of attractive dishware that will help you figure how much food equals one portion and does it in a way that won’t make you feel like you’re in grade school.
The plate is also only 10” in diameter so it is smaller tha our standard dinnerware.

Supersizing Has Distorted Our Reality

I actually think this is a nifty idea.  Several years ago, as a society, we were supersized so it’s hard for a lot of folks to know what a portion of meat – or anything else for that matter – looks like.  Even when we carry around a portion control guide that tells us one serving of chicken is the size of a deck of cards, it’s pretty hard to relate that to everything we eat.

What do you think?  If you used these plates would it help you keep your portions under control or prevent you from going back for seconds?  Check out the dinnerware here.