Healthy For Life - Blog Roll
When you’re striving to lose weight and get healthy for life, it helps to have an arsenal of low-carb recipes at your disposal. Many of the members of our weight loss clinic suffer from a sweet tooth from time to time, so we collected some of their favorite low-carb dessert recipes. Since fall is officially here, this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth while staying on track with diets and weight management programs.
Pumpkin is an excellent choice and a favorite of members of our weight loss clinic because it is low in fat and calories, but packed with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of betacarotene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zea-xanthin, as well as B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folates, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid.
2 cups fresh pumpkin purée
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 cups low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
8 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 egg white
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the crust, pre-heat oven to 350°F. Combine the pecans, one tbsp. brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and process until finely ground. Mix the butter and egg white together and then combine with the pecan mixture. Press the mixture into a nine-inch pan. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling, set the oven to 325°F. Mix the cream, remaining brown sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla while mixing. Then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Pour the mixture over the crust and bake approximately 48 to 50 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake stand for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for six hours or longer—overnight is ideal.
Next to a Payday bar, Peanut M&Ms are my favorite candies. Or at least they were. Now I just find them too sweet and they’re not ideal when you’re striving for weight loss management. A few months ago, I was lured into eating a few. The memory of that taste was just too strong and I couldn’t resist. But after I had a couple, I couldn’t eat anymore because they were so much sweeter than I remembered.
The Atkins peanut candies aren’t as sweet. They also lack the same creaminess that you get from real chocolate, but I found it still very tasty. The candy shell had that same crunch that you get from all M&M chocolates. Taste wise, I would say it’s a pretty good substitute.
The blood sugar measurements were interesting. My blood sugar deviated quite a bit. A 37 point deviation is fairly significant and pretty surprising given that the other Atkins food products hadn’t really affected my blood sugar measurements. As a means of comparison, the Atkins Peanut Caramel Cluster Bar only caused a 7 point deviation in my blood sugar level. That being said, Chris and Lili experienced much smaller changes in their sugar levels, demonstrating the importance of doing these tests on multiple people.
Given the blood sugar level changes, I recommend the Peanut Caramel Cluster Bar over these chocolate candies and caution people to limit their consumption of the chocolates if they’re really looking to manage their blood sugar levels and achieve weight loss management.
When you’re following one of our low carb diets or weight management programs, it’s important to consume lots of protein, preferably the lean kind. It’s essential for building lean muscle mass, repairing muscles after exercise and promoting healthy digestion.
While lean chicken, pork and grass-fed beef are good mainstays, there are also plenty of other sources that are perfect for those following low carb diets or weight management programs. The following foods are packed with protein as well as some of the essential nutrients our bodies need to function properly.
1. Chia seeds. One eight-ounce serving contains a whopping 4.4 grams of protein. More importantly, these tiny little seeds are considered a “complete protein,” which means they contain all of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need. In addition, they’re packed with fiber, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, among other nutrients.
2. Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein—there are 14 grams in a half cup serving. They are also an excellent source of magnesium, zinc and plant-based omega-3s. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of tryptophan.
3. Lentils. These tiny beans boast 22 grams of protein per eight ounce serving. Legumes are also loaded with fiber, copper, phosphorus, manganese, folate and iron. Their rich nutrient content makes them an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans.
4. Flax seeds. In addition to being a complete protein, flax seeds are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids, the healthy fats that promote cardiovascular health. They are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber and lignans, which boast plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities.
5. Kefir. This yogurt-like drink is packed with both protein and probiotics, the live, good bacteria cultures that promote healthy digestion and are very beneficial to our systems. Kefir is also a good source of calcium, tryptophan and several B vitamins.
This Asian-inspired low carb ahi salad is super popular among members of our weight loss clinic because it’s refreshing and delicious yet perfect for diets and weight management programs. It’s fast and easy to make but packed with taste—the whole family will enjoy it, whether or not they’re watching their weight.
Ahi tuna is an ideal food for a high-protein, low diet. In addition to its high protein content, ahi is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for a healthy heart, as they are linked to a lower risk of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease. Ahi is also packed with B vitamins that are essential for appetite control, healthy digestion, neurological function and a good metabolism. It contains vitamin D and an array of important minerals, such as phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, as well as other trace minerals. Ahi is a also a good source of a unique form of selenium called selenoneine, which is a powerful antioxidant that combats free radical damage.
The zesty flavors in this recipe make it a favorite at our weight loss clinic because the spices also boost our metabolism and boast a variety of antioxidant benefits. Who knew that a meal could taste this good and be a part of low carb diets and weight management programs?
32 ounces of sushi grade ahi tuna
4 cups baby spinach
Zest of 1 lime
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup red bell pepper
½ cup freshly grated ginger
½ cup scallions, diced
1 tsp Wasabi powder
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Boil a pot of water with a dash of salt. Add ahi to the water and reduce the heat to medium or medium low. Cook for approximately 12 minutes. When the ahi is done, put it on a cutting board and let it cool for approximately five minutes. Slice it into bite size pieces. Put the baby green spinach in a bowl and add the ahi, scallions, red bell pepper and ginger.
Combine the lime juice, lime zest, wasabi powder and low-sodium soy sauce in a dressing bowl and season with Himalayan sea salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the top and enjoy!
Labor Day is here—and if you’re heading to a holiday party or barbecue today, you can still stay on track with your diet and enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips that our weight loss physician recommends for enjoying your holiday without overdoing it.
1. Hydrate like crazy. If you’re a member of our weight loss center, this is a tip you probably hear often. That’s because hydration is a critical part of weight loss. Often times, we mistake thirst for hunger, so if you stay hydrated, you’re not going to eat mindlessly because you think you’re hungry when you’re not. Water helps fill you up and flushes the toxins from your system, so drink lots today to help you stay on track.
2. Get moving. Are any of the guests playing a sport at your event? If so, join in and burn some extra calories. If you’re hitting a more formal event, take a walk before you get ready or even hit the gym if possible.
3. Make a contribution. Bring a healthy, low-carb item to contribute to the spread. That way, you’ll know there is at least one thing on the table you can eat without sabotaging your diet. If you don’t have any ideas, check out some of the delicious low carb recipes on our blog that our weight loss physician and members have shared.
4. Hit the grill. Grilling is one of your healthiest options when it comes to barbecues, as it keeps fat to a minimum without sacrificing taste. Look for lean protein sources such as skinless chicken breasts, vegetable skewers and lean turkey burgers.
5. Avoid mayo and fattening sauces. Pass on the fattening potato salad made with mayo and other fattening sauces and condiments. You’ll save so many calories and won’t miss much.