I love PBnJ sandwiches, they are creamy and delicious. Though, depending on how it is made, PBnJ can add some unnecessary, unwanted calories to your meal. I came up with a new version in a wrap which packs a lot of nutrition and doesn't lose the tasty, creamy quality of the real thing.
The first question I ask myself when I am making something like this is, "What can I add to it to make it healthier and nutritious?" If you take the classic PBnJ, it really doesn't offer too much nutritionally. Its bread, peanut butter and jelly. We can spice this up a bit by adding some color. I try to eat a variety of colors everyday. To do this, we can add an apple and banana. Let's take it one step further, and healthier, and add cinnamon. Cinnamon is a spice that boosts your metabolism and can aid in weight loss.
1. Start by measuring out 1-2 tablespoons (1 serving) of peanut butter. I like to use all natural peanut butter that has roasted peanuts and oil in the ingredients. No chemicals. And make sure you're not cheating on your measurements! A tablespoon is a tablespoon, no more or less.
2. Measure out 1 serving of jelly. I use all natural with no sugar added and no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Concord Grape Jelly is loaded with sugar and HFCS, your body will thank you.
3. Slice up your apple and banana. I like to use a mandolin for the apple because it slices it into stackable slices, the banana will be messy so just use a knife to cut even sized pieces. I enjoy the crisp apples like Macintosh or HoneyCrisp.
4. Construct! Use whole wheat bread or pita/tortillas to make your sandwich or wrap. Make sure to use the bread that doesn't contain HFCS. Start with the peanut butter, then bananas, apple slices, jelly and finally the cinnamon. Consume and enjoy!
This is packed with protein from the peanut butter, potassium from the banana and metabolism boosting spices. You will feel very full from this and it will be delicious.
Eating out is very social, entertaining and fun but can really take a toll on your health if you aren't mindful about what you're consuming. I use to be the kind of eater where I would go out with friends, order whatever sounded good and was cheap, then shovel it all in once it came and leave feeling much worse than when I walked in. This isn't the worst thing you can do. I allow myself room to splurge a bit here and there; we all need to treat ourselves. However, that pattern of eating out can be quite dangerous if you eat out more than 2-3 times per week and are "shoveling it in". Outside food is a problem when it is the majority of what you eat and becomes a staple in your diet.
There are still healthy options that you can find that will not rip a hole through your stomach if you are unable to cook at home and have a job, or school schedule, that doesn't allow for much flexibility. Here are three options for eating out on-the-go:
1. Stop by a supermarket and go to the salad bar. Most supermarkets have them and they offer tons of healthy options. The one thing I warn you of though are the dressing packets that are there. Most of them are loaded with saturated fat, sodium and useless calories. Instead, head to the dressing aisle and find a small sized dressing that is healthy. Most stores now carry salad dressings made from yogurt in the produce section.
2. If salad bars aren't an option, try McDonalds... you can pick your jaw off the floor now... However, food selection is very important here. Try a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato (hold the mayo) and get rid of the fries and soft drink. Instead, get apple slices and a water. Not my favorite option but certainly the most healthiest at McDonalds. By the way, if you're wondering about some of the salads at McDonalds you might want to think twice... check out those nutrition labels on their website. (http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/nutritionfacts.pdf) I'm not a fan of fast food, nor do I promote eating eat. However, I figure I give you a nice alternative for when and if you DO choose to eat it.
3. Sushi! I'm a huge sushi lover and I would eat it everyday if I could, but I'm not that rich! Sushi has tons of health properties. Seaweed (in the sushi) is a good source of iodine, which helps the thyroid and it also can help with arthritis pain. You can really screw up sushi if you get a Philadelphia Roll, which is cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber. Try to get healthier rolls like vegetable, California or salmon. I also request brown rice instead of the white along with low sodium soy sauce when I eat sushi.
I can imagine some of you who are reading this thinking, "Who really gives a shit. It doesn't matter if get white rice or brown". You're absolutely right, it doesn't matter... to you. But over time, these little things add up and it doesn't help with weight loss. Brown rice is the better option.
Until next time, enjoy eating out and always be mindful of what you're putting into your body!
Now, some of the information in my blog may seem like no-brainers, but rest assured, there IS a method to my madness.
I'm sure you have heard time and time again that you should eat less of what is on your plate, don't go back for seconds, eat food the size of your fist and so on... well some of that is accurate but I have some little tricks that can help you in addition to those "diet" tidbits of information:
1. Chew your food at least 20 times before you swallow it. Next time you eat something, count the number of times you chew it. You'll be surprised. Most people chew their food 5-8 times before it's down the hatch. Chewing 20+ times allows you to taste what you're eating and it allows time for your stomach to send the signal to your brain that you are full. People who do this tend to eat less and get satisfied quicker, hence eating less calories and in turn losing weight.
2. Use smaller tableware. We eat with our eyes first. If you have a huge plate in which you are putting your food, then you will tend to eat more. As an experiment, make yourself a normal sandwich and put it on the biggest plate that you have in your house. Then take that same sandwich and put it on the smallest plate in your home and see if you notice the difference. Nice trickery huh!? By the way, this goes the same for restaurants... which is a whole different blog topic for another day.
3. Measuring cups are your friend. Make sure you are measuring everything that you are cooking with... don't you DARE eyeball anything, this isn't Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Meals". Measure that EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
Now... some of you may be like, "but I'm not full after eating what I portioned out". If this is the case, then you should look at the kinds of food you are eating. Try to fill your plate with some whole grains and protein to help fill you up. Brown rice and barley are great for filling you up without over eating.