Posts Tagged ‘convenient’
the 100-calorie snack pack conundrum
Photo Source: deliberatemovementlbc.com
I admit it. I’ve been tempted to purchase those “convenient” 100-calorie snack packs that offer “favorite” treats in handy portion sizes that are already divided up (AKA measured out) for us. What could be a better way to practice moderation, right? Well, not really. Turns out that 100 worthless calories aren’t worth the trouble, the consumption or even the monetary expense (to say nothing of the ultimate expense to our health).
In fact, Jenny Kinne, MS, RD, LDN and Clinical Nutrition Specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston told DreamOnline, “Because of the portion control aspect of it, people think of it as a healthy snack. But if you look at these products, they tend to be empty calories. There’s no nutrient density and they lack fiber, vitamins, minerals or protein.” Kinne goes onto suggest eating snacks with ‘staying power’ instead, saying “An easy way to do this is by incorporating two food groups, like apples and peanut butter, or yogurt with fruit.”
Yet interestingly, Kinne warns again getting rid of all sweet and “junk” food from diets because this teaches children (and ourselves) to think of foods in terms of “Good” or “Bad.” (It’s this kind of thinking that ‘helped’ me to reach over 450 pounds.) Kinne suggests that we teach children (and ourselves) that it’s okay to have “Treat” foods every now and then, saying, “Then they don’t get obsessed with a certain food because they can’t have it.”
Shape.com agrees that because 100-calorie snack packs are lacking substantial ingredients (such as fiber and protein as mentioned above); they aren’t necessarily going to do the trick in terms of satisfying hunger for the long run. Shape.com goes onto suggest that we check out the ingredients label, which just might scare us off altogether – especially if the snacks contain unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils (AKA ‘trans fat’).
The good news is that not all snack packs are created equal. Some are better than others. For example, Shape.com mentions Sun Chips snack pack, which offers 5 grams of fiber and even some vitamin E.
But even better than searching for a decent 100-calorie snack? Create your own. It’s easier than you think – and there are lots of options. Including Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas, Feta & Herb Dip with Crudités, Gorp (a mixture of dried fruit and nuts) and Lemon Parmesan Popcorn. For a list (with pictures and recipes) of 31 different (and super healthy) 100-calorie snack alternatives, click to eatingwell.com.
Photos Source: eatingwell.com
So even though grabbing for the snack packs might seem more convenient, it really can create more hassle and turmoil in the long run. The trick, of course, is planning ahead (meaning doing some prep work over the weekend for the work- and school-week ahead). Not as easy as pulling open a foil bag, but definitely worth the effort in regard to your health and – ultimately – your satisfaction.
Recipe: Gregg’s Beer’d Chicken
I love making this chicken ahead of time (and lots of it all at once as it lasts nearly a week and can be easily reheated). And bonus – it’s just as delicious when eaten hot as a main course or cold when cut into chunks for use in a lunch or dinner salad. You can also make this for friends, as they’ll be astounded how delicious this healthy meat entrée is.
I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because I find the thighs offer a richer and moister flavor. Yes, there are a few more calories from fat in the thighs, but these aren’t the kind of calories that get us into any trouble. I also leave the skin on for some bonus flavor (both while cooking and while eating). If you’re on a very strict plan, you can remove the skin, but do so after cooking so you still get the benefits of the flavor.
6 – 12 Large Chicken Thighs with Skin
1 Bottle of Beer
Put Chicken Thighs into a large pot (bone down, skin side up).
Next, pour a bottle of beer over the chicken thighs. Yes, it’s that easy.
Next, place a lid on the pot (preferable one that allows a minimal amount of airflow) then place on the pot on the stovetop – at the lowest heat.
Cook on the lowest possible heat for about 4 hours (until chicken is cooked through).
While chicken is cooking, prepare a large broiling pan. I like using nonstick aluminum foil in addition to the pan to make clean-up easy.
Next, remove chicken from liquid and place on a broiling tray, skin-side-up (AKA bone-side-down).
Place tray under the broiler for approximately 8 minutes (on ‘High’).
After 8 muntes, remove the chicken from the broiler. Allow chicken to sit for a few minutes. Then… Ta-da! It’s ready to serve (or store in fridge for future use)!
6 – 12 (depending on the number and size of the thighs)
For me, a common evening meal will include 1 piece of Beer’d Chicken (wrapped in nonstick aluminum foil, sprinkled with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar and warmed up in the oven on very low heat for approximately 20 minutes if coming from the fridge) along with steamed green beans (sprinkled with Granulated Garlic and Pepper) and a 1/2-cup of sliced Grape Tomatoes.
Another option is to serve the chicken with my ‘Fresh Veggie Side Salad’ recipe for a winning (and complete) meal. Your taste buds will thank me for it! If you’d like the recipe for the side salad, Click Here.
I promise that although it takes a little time, this recipe is super easy, super delicious and super healthy. (That’s 3 ‘Supers’ for crying out loud!) If or when you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out for you! Or better yet, invite me over! Bon Appétit!