Classic Hummus

Classic hummus is a great healthy snack paired with pita bread or veggies. There are some tasty store bought brands but none better than homemade in my opinion. I used to be intimidated by the thought of making my own at home…until I got up the nerve to try it. I make it often now. It’s sooo good! This is my favorite recipe so far. If you aren’t into making a batch yourself and want to try a store bought brand, I’d recommend Publix brand. It is my favorite store premade brand. Also, Sabra is a good choice. At any rate, you should give hummus a try!

Some people think that the chickpeas should be peeled first in order to achieve a perfectly smooth hummus. It does make the finished product super smooth like the store bought versions but, personally I never peel them. It takes too long in my opinion and the hummus still turns out plenty smooth for me. To peel them you can hold each chickpea between two fingers and pinch them. The skin will pop right off. Again, this takes some time.

Another method is to drain and pat dry the chickpeas, then stir in 1½ teaspoons for every 2 cups of chickpeas. Then warm them in the microwave or on the stove in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then rinse them with water in a large bowl three times. With each rinse, rub the chickpeas between your hands, and the skins will fall off and you can rinse them away.

Classic Hummus

  • 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup Tahini Paste
  • Juice from 12 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 or 4 tbs. reserved chickpea liquid
  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Peel the chickpeas if you wish. Then place all ingredients except for the chickpea liquid into the food processor. Process until very smooth for at least 1 minute. Then add the reserved liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Give it a taste and add any addition salt or cumin.
  3. Transfer the Hummus to a bowl and drizzle some additional olive oil on top for garnish. You can also add a few sprinkles of paprika (I like smoked paprika) and parsley if you so desire.
  4. Enjoy! Hummus should be kept refrigerated.

 

Eating For Weight Loss

Eating for Weight Loss

Hello again! Today I want to talk about food and eating for weight loss. Eating at regular intervals, eating the proper amounts, and eating the correct foods are key for weight loss or weight management for that matter. It is important to eat three meals and at least two snacks daily. Your body needs fuel to function properly just like an automobile needs gas. If you put junk in your body, your probably going to feel like…well junk. So we’re not going to do that.

Planning

The first step is planning. You need to plan your week in advance. You need to have everything lined up and ready to go so that you don’t have to think about it or come up with something last minute. If that seems like too much for you at first, then start with a day at at time. The important thing is to plan. Don’t get hung up on the details.  Here is a link for a printable meal planner. You will want to eat every three to four hours if at all possible. Have your first meal soon after waking up in the morning. This will get your metabolism going and give you the energy to start your day. So, plan the times for your three main meals and then plan to have a snack in between. I will get into more specifics about the actual food a little later. Just remember, a great result always starts with a good plan!

Portion Size

Portion sizes are a big problem for a lot of us. We are used to going out to dinner and being brought huge portions. We don’t feel like we have got our money’s worth otherwise because that’s what we have become used to. One good idea is to use a smaller plate to eat from. Always check food labels to determine what a serving size is and how many calories are in each serving. Click here for a look at portion control. It is a printable guide from Harvard Medical School.

Food Choice

Choose the correct foods that will give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Whole foods, meaning foods that have not been processed or changed from their original form, are the best option. Each meal should include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Don’t forget your water. You need at least two quarts daily, some people require more than that to stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated, your body will not burn calories efficiently so, drink up. If you stick to these tactics, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals.

Up next, sample food plans. Stay tuned.

Iced Coffee Protein Shake

Here is a recipe for an iced coffee protein shake. This is a good option to combine breakfast with your morning cup of Joe. This is roughly 257 calories. If you want a lower calorie version, you could omit the banana. I also like to freeze leftover coffee so that I can use the cubes in smoothies or iced coffee. It just gives it more flavor that using ice alone.

Iced Coffee Protein Shake

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3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 scoop protein powder-vanilla or chocolate

1 c. cold brewed coffee

2 c. ice or frozen coffee cubes

Mix all ingredients in the blender. I find that it blends better to add the liquid first, then the protein powder and the frozen components last.

 

 

Tips on Losing Weight or Maintaining Your Current Weight

Losing weight or even just maintaining your current weight can be a big challenge. Most of us live a hectic life and are always on the go either working or taking care of our jobs and responsibilities at home. Let’s face it, taking care of ourselves usually fall to the bottom of the priority list. In this article Tips on Losing Weight or Maintaining Your Current Weight, I have put together some tips and ideas on how to make sticking to a plan of healthy, low calorie eating a little easier.

There are many diet plans out there but most of them are expensive. They try to sell you their prepackaged meals and shakes and try to convince you that you need to buy their supplements in order to be successful and lose the weight for good. While those diets do sometimes work, usually as soon as you are at your goal weight and return to trying to maintain on your own your weight begins to creep right back up. There are multiple reasons why this happens but the bottom line is this; you truly must change your lifestyle and your relationship with food.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an LPN and I worked in endocrinology for several years and we had so many patients that came to us for weight loss. Most of them thought that something had to be wrong with them physically. They couldn’t believe that their weight was due to their diet. I heard so many people say, “I really don’t eat that much”. This is why I recommend that you start right now, today and keep a food journal. This is an easy thing to do and let me tell you, it is a real eye-opener for people. Lots of times we don’t remember everything that we eat during the day. I’m guilty of it myself. We get busy, we get hungry and we grab the first thing that we see and let’s face it. It usually isn’t something healthy. That leads me to my next tip.

Get all the junk food and processed food out of the house. Go ahead and do it now. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking; I can’t throw food away. You don’t have to throw it away. You can donate the food to someone in need. Your local food shelter or donation center would love to take it off your hands. Next, starting today I want for you to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. This is two quarts and it’s really not that hard to do. I always recommend measuring it out in advance. That way you know what you have left and you don’t have to guess how much you’ve drunk. I also recommend that you stick to water only. There is a lot of controversy regarding artificial sweeteners but I won’t go into that now.

Okay, so far we have talked about starting a food journal, getting the junk and processed foods out of your house, and drinking two quarts of water daily.  For the food journal, you can use anything you currently have at home. No need to get fancy unless you want to.  If you have an old notebook lying around use that. Some of you might want to use an actual hardcover journal. You can even use printer paper and keep it in a folder.Whatever works for you. This journal is for your eyes only. No one else even needs to know about it.

At the end of your first full day of keeping your food journal, I want for you to sit down and look back over the day. You’ll need to look up the actual calorie content of the foods that you have eaten. This will only take a few minutes of your time and trust me, you’ll be glad you did it. For those of you who have smartphones, I think that’s pretty much everyone these days, you can download one of the calorie tracking apps. My favorite is My Fitness Pal. You can enter the food that you had and it tracks the calories for you. This will give you the starting point to make the changes that I know you so want to make.

Don’t forget to throw that junk and processed food out of your pantry. It’s no good for you so you don’t need it around. Also, start to drink two quarts of water daily. This is easy and inexpensive. Use a container and measure it out so that you know where you stand. If you start early in the day, it’s no problem at all. Drink a glass as soon as you get up. Water keeps you hydrated and helps you to burn calories efficiently. Without it, weight loss is slowed.

This gives you a starting point to reach your goals. In future posts, I will give you some ideas on eating and exercise plans that will really kick your weight loss into high gear and you can get it all at your local grocery store. No need to do any of the fad diets or spend hundreds of dollars for weight loss plans. You can do this on your own and I’m more than happy to help 🙂

When you’re ready for the next step, read this article Eating For Weight Loss.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency

You’ve probably heard some of the buzz about Vitamin D deficiency recently.  It’s not a new problem, however, I have found that many people are still not aware of the signs and symptoms of low levels. Fortunately, more and more doctors are now regularly testing their patients for this. Vitamin D is important for many reasons. Also, it is even linked to immunity to diseases.

In my experience as a nurse, I commonly hear complaints of fatigue, or low energy levels, foot pain, hair thinning and weak, brittle fingernails. So if you notice any of these symptoms you should talk to your doctor and have your Vitamin D levels checked.

If it is found that your levels are low, it is likely that you will always need to take an OTC vitamin D supplement. There is a prescription strength “loading dose” that your doctor can prescribe. Usually, this is only given for about eight weeks in a once a week dose. However, it is not uncommon that patients remain on the loading dose for much longer than eight weeks due to severe vitamin D deficiency or other causes. Your doctor will decide what is best for your specific situation.

After the prescription course is complete, an OTC supplement is required on a daily basis in order for your levels to stay in the normal range. I find that patients will take the prescription and possibly the OTC for a short time and then stop taking it.  I would say that about 80% of those folks usually fall back into the deficient range.

Vitamin D is inexpensive, they are small and easy to swallow. Additionally, it is important to your energy levels, your immunity and your overall health. It’s easily found at any pharmacy over the counter. So…Take your Vitamin D! You’ll be glad you did!

My Work From Home Adventure

I recently left my job as a nurse to pursue other options and I must admit it’s a little terrifying. I have work on a public job for so long that it seems strange being at home all day. But I’m getting used to it 🙂 I have been online for a few months now researching ways that I can make money from home while I’m searching for my dream job. I have found lots of good information, however, the majority of it is not for me. I’m not a big phone person. I love people but I don’t really like talking on the telephone. That limits my options somewhat.

What I have realized is that there is no fast track to success. It is a work in progress however, I am dedicated to putting forth the effort to make my dreams reality. Life is too short to spend it doing things that you don’t want to do for people who don’t respect or appreciate you. You have to take risks to get the rewards. You never know until you try!

That being said, I have started to do some transcription and caption work which I enjoy, especially the captioning part. It’s very interesting but the pay is not great. I am just starting out and I’m sure it will get better as my speed increases. Patience and hard work always pay off. I’m looking forward to my new adventure.

You can find some great information from some of these pros: TheWorkAtHomeWifeBusyBudgeterWorkFromHomeHappiness just to name a few. Thanks ladies for all the great information and motivation that you have provided me and so many others. I aspire to follow in your footsteps!