Nutrition 101

Nutrition 101

Portion Control:

It’s no secret that a large percentage of America is obese and I feel one of the contributing factors is over eating.  One of the reasons we over eat is because we eat too fast.  Our body’s produce a hormone called “Leptin” which comes from the Greek word “Leptos” meaning thin.  Leptin is our bodies natural appetite suppressant and is released into our bloodstream about 20 min after we start eating.  I think it’s awesome to have a built in appetite suppressant…don’t you?  The problem is we tend to eat our whole meal in about 5-10 min.  At this point the Leptin has not yet been released so chances are we still feel hungry and will be more likely to go back for a second helping.  Aside from eating our meals too fast, our food portions are generally double the size of what they should be.  When you think about it, there are some meals you possibly consume 4x the amount of food you should eat.

Do you feel like you might be an over eater?  Start today by following these tips and I think you’ll be able to walk away from the dinner table completely satisfied after eating LESS food!

Drink an 8 oz glass of water BEFORE you sit down to eat

Your protein should be no larger than the size of ONE of YOUR closed fists

Your starch carbohydrate (pasta, potatoes etc) should be no larger than the size of ONE of YOUR closed fists

Your veggies can be the size of your open palm (easy on the butter and salt)

Your bread should be no larger than the size of one of your closed fists

MOST IMPORTANTLY take your time at every meal! Chew each bite of food 10x, taste and enjoy your food so you can take advantage of your body’s natural appetite suppressant  Remember, it takes about 20 min before Leptin is released SO if your finished before the 20 min is up,  drink some more water before you go for seconds!



I just read this short article on which summed up “The Power of Protein” beautifully!  Give it a read and following the article I will post some great protein sources from both the vegetarian and meat eater!

How much protein do you NEED?  This answer will vary depending on what article you read or who you choose to ask.  If you ask me 🙂 it has been my experience consuming 30% of your calories from protein sources works well for those who are trying to lose weight…specifically body fat.  Here are some great protein sources for the vegetarian:

 Description  Weight
 Measure Content per
Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw 33 1 cup 1.32
Artichokes, (globe or French), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 120 1 medium 4.18
Asparagus, canned, drained solids 72 4 spears 1.54
Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained 60 4 spears 1.55
Asparagus, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 5.31
Avocados, raw, California 28.35 1 oz 0.60
Avocados, raw, Florida 28.35 1 oz 0.45
Beans, baked, canned, plain or vegetarian 254 1 cup 12.17
Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce 253 1 cup 13.05
Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 172 1 cup 15.24
Beans, Cowpeas (Blackeyed), immature seeds,  boiled, without salt 165 1 cup 5.23
Beans, Cowpeas (blackeyed), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 170 1 cup 14.43
Beans, Cowpeas, common (blackeyes, crowder, southern), mature seeds, 172 1 cup 13.30
Beans, Kidney beans, red, mature seeds, canned 256 1 cup 13.44
Beans, Kidney beans, red, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 177 1 cup 15.35
Beans, Lima beans, large, mature seeds, canned 241 1 cup 11.88
Beans, Lima beans, large, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 188 1 cup 14.66
Beans, Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled,  without salt 124 1 cup 2.52
Beans, Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 104 1 cup 3.16
Beans, Navy beans, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 182 1 cup 15.83
Beans, Pinto beans, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 171 1 cup 14.04
Soybeans, mature cooked, boiled, without salt 180 1 cup 22.23
Beans, Snap beans, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids 135 1 cup 1.55
Beans, Snap beans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 125 1 cup 2.36
Beans, White beans, mature seeds, canned 262 1 cup 19.02
Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 144 1 cup 3.70
Beets, canned, drained solids 170 1 cup 1.55
Broccoli, raw 88 1 cup 2.62
Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 4.65
Beets, cooked, boiled, drained 170 1 cup 2.86
Beets, cooked, boiled, drained 50 1 beet 0.84
Cabbage, Chinese (pak-choi), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 170 1 cup 2.65
Cabbage, Chinese (pe-tsai), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 119 1 cup 1.79
Cabbage, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 150 1 cup 1.53
Cabbage, raw 70 1 cup 1.01
Cabbage, red, raw 70 1 cup 0.97
Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 1.70
Carrots, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 146 1 cup 1.74
Carrots, raw 110 1 cup 1.13
Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 124 1 cup 2.28
Cauliflower, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 2.90
Cauliflower, raw 100 1 cup 1.98
Celery, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 150 1 cup 1.25
Celery, raw 120 1 cup 0.90
Corn, sweet, white, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 77 1 ear 2.56
Corn, sweet, yellow, canned, vacuum pack, regular pack 210 1 cup 5.06
Corn, sweet, yellow, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 77 1 ear 2.56
Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels cut off cob, boiled, drained, without salt 164 1 cup 4.51
Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels on cob, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 63 1 ear 1.96
Cucumber, peeled, raw 119 1 cup 0.68
Cucumber, with peel, raw 104 1 cup 0.72
Dandelion greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 105 1 cup 2.10
Endive, raw 50 1 cup 0.63
Garlic, raw 3 1 clove 0.19
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 198 1 cup 17.86
Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 56 1 cup 0.91
Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw 55 1 cup 0.56
Lettuce, looseleaf, raw 56 1 cup 0.73
Mushrooms, canned, drained solids 156 1 cup 2.92
Mushrooms, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 3.39
Mushrooms, raw 70 1 cup 2.03
Mustard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 140 1 cup 3.16
Okra, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 2.99
Okra, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 184 1 cup 3.83
Olives, ripe, canned (small-extra large) 22 5 large 0.18
Onions, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 210 1 cup 2.86
Onions, dehydrated flakes 5 1 tbsp 0.45
Onions, raw 110 1 whole 1.28
Onions, spring or scallions (includes tops and bulb), raw 100 1 cup 1.83
Parsley, raw 10 10 sprigs 0.30
Parsnips, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 2.06
Peas, edible-podded, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 5.23
Peas, edible-podded, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 5.60
Peas, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids 170 1 cup 7.51
Peppers, hot chili, green, raw 45 1 pepper 0.90
Peppers, hot chili, red, raw 45 1 pepper 0.90
Peppers, sweet, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 136 1 cup 1.25
Peppers, sweet, green, raw 119 1 pepper 1.06
Peppers, sweet, red, raw 119 1 pepper 1.06
Potato, baked, flesh and skin, without salt 202 1 potato 5.05
Potatoes, baked, flesh, without salt 156 1 potato 3.06
Potatoes, boiled, cooked in skin, flesh, without salt 136 1 potato 2.54
Potatoes, boiled, cooked without skin, flesh, without salt 135 1 potato 2.31
Potatoes, hashed brown, home-prepared 156 1 cup 3.78
Pumpkin, canned, without salt 245 1 cup 2.70
Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 245 1 cup 1.76
Radishes, raw 4.5 1 radish 0.03
Spinach, canned, drained solids 214 1 cup 6.01
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 5.35
Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 190 1 cup 5.97
Spinach, raw 30 1 cup 0.86
Squash, summer, all varieties, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 1.64
Squash, summer, all varieties, raw 113 1 cup 1.33
Squash, winter, all varieties, cooked, baked, without salt 205 1 cup 1.82
Squash, winter, butternut, frozen, cooked, boiled, without salt 240 1 cup 2.95
Sweet potato, canned, vacuum pack 255 1 cup 4.21
Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt 146 1 potato 2.51
Sweet potato, cooked, boiled, without skin, without salt 156 1 potato 2.57
Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, stewed 255 1 cup 2.42
Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, whole, regular pack 240 1 cup 2.21
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 180 1 cup 1.53
Tomatoes, sun-dried 2 1 piece 0.28
Tomatoes, sun-dried, packed in oil, drained 3 1 piece 0.15
Watermelon, raw 286 1 wedge 1.77

Protein content of other High Protein Vegetarian Food

 Description  Weight
 Measure Content per
Buckwheat flour, whole-groat 120 1 cup 15.14
Buckwheat groats, roasted, cooked 168 1 cup 5.68
Bulgur, cooked 182 1 cup 5.61
Bulgur, dry 138 1 cup 11.70
Cornmeal, degermed, enriched, yellow 140 1 cup 17.21
Cornmeal, whole-grain, yellow 122 1 cup 9.91
Noodles, chinese, chow mein 45 1 cup 3.77
Oat bran, cooked 219 1 cup 7.03
Oat bran, raw 94 1 cup 16.26
Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt 16 1 tbsp 4.03
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 11
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 125 195 5.03
Rice, white, long-grain, regular, cooked 158 195 4.25
Spaghetti, cooked, enriched, without added salt 140 1 cup 6.68
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 140 1 cup 7.46
Tempeh 225 1 cup 31
Tofu, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride 81 1/4 block 6.51
Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached 125 1 cup 12.91
Wheat flour, whole-grain 125 1 cup 16.44
Wheat flour, white, bread, enriched 125 137 16.41
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 2 slices 5
Veggie burger 1 patty 1 patty 5-24

Meat and Dairy Protein Sources:


  • Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
  • Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
  • Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce


  • Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
  • Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
  • Drumstick – 11 grams
  • Wing – 6 grams
  • Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams


  • Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
  • Tuna, 6 oz can – 40 grams of protein


  • Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
  • Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
  • Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
  • Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
  • Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
  • Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 – 6 grams

Eggs and Dairy

  • Egg, large – 6 grams protein
  • Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
  • Cottage cheese, ½ cup – 15 grams
  • Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label
  • Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
  • Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
  • Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz

Comfort Foods…AKA…Carbohydrates!!!

It’s that time of year again!  Soon we’ll be in hibernation and craving comfort foods…A LOT!  Carbohydrates are necessary for us to function because it is our source of energy.  To be specific it aids in the function of the brain and central nervous system.  Stimulants are great for a quick burst of energy but carbs provide you with longer sustainable energy!  Clearly the downside to carbs is eating too much.  Whatever our bodies do not use as energy will be stored away as FAT!

The two types of carbs we consume are complex carbs and simple carbs.  Complex carbs are more slowly digested and almost always found in more healthful foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains.  Simple carbs, aka simple sugars are quickly converted to glucose in your body .  Simple carbs include naturally occurring sugars and are most usually found in refined, processed foods with fewer nutrients, and tend to be less satisfying and more fattening.

The best time to consume simple carbs is right before a workout.  The best time to eat complex carbs is 45min after your workout with 20-40 grams of protein.  In general, no more than 50% of your meal should be carbs and of those carbs you want to focus on consuming fruits, veggies and whole grains.  Refer to the following lists for examples of complex and simple carbohydrates:

Complex Carbohydrates:

Spinach Whole Barley Grapefruit
Turnip Greens Buckwheat Apples
Lettuce Buckwheat bread Prunes
Water Cress Oat bran bread Apricots, Dried
Zucchini Oatmeal Pears
Asparagus Oat bran cereal Plums
Artichokes Museli Strawberries
Okra Wild rice Oranges
Cabbage Brown rice Yams
Celery Multi-grain bread Carrots
Cucumbers Pinto beans Potatoes
Dill Pickles Yogurt, low fat Soybeans
Radishes Skim milk Lentils
Broccoli Navy beans Garbanzo beans
Brussels Sprouts Cauliflower Kidney beans
Eggplant Soy milk Lentils
Onions Whole meal spelt bread Split peas

Simple Carbohydrates:

Table sugar
Corn syrup
Fruit juice
Bread made with white flour
Pasta made with white flour
Soda pop, such as Coke®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, etc.
All baked goods made with white flour
Most packaged cereals


Some consume too much and some don’t consume enough.  The truth is we all need fat, 20% of your diet to be exact.  More important than the amount you consume is the types of fat you eat.  You want to stay away from Trans and eat small amounts of saturated fat.  The bulk of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated foods.  I read this great article the other day describing what fat does to your body, why you need fat and examples of the right fats you should consume.  Here it is, read it and share any comments or questions you might have 🙂

Healthy Fat Keeps You Thin

By: Cameo Morningstar

Eat Fat, Get Thin

In the 1980’s and 1990’s dieting was all about “LOW FAT.” Clever corporations capitalized on our desires by creating low-fat versions of everything forbidden and thus met America’s obsession with weight-loss. Despite our efforts to eliminate fat, we got fatter and fatter with each passing year. It’s no wonder that by the time I was in my early 20’s I was at my heaviest. I fell for the fat-free fad myself. I assumed that as long as everything I ate was labeled fat-free I could eat my fill of it. The truth of the matter is that fat-free does not mean calorie free. And it certainly does not mean sugar-free. Many people assume that if they eat fat, they’ll get fat. Such is not the case. A healthy diet should contain a balance of nutrients including Essential Fatty Acids (or EFAs).

Not all fats are created equal. There are three categories that fats fall into, Saturated, Polyunsaturated, and Monounsaturated. Saturated fat is harmful because it raises cholesterol levels and is associated with cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. Saturated fat is typically (not always) solid at room temperature and is found in animal fat, dairy fat, chocolate, shortening and most oils. While some saturated fat in your diet is OK in moderation, it should be kept low for optimum health benefits. Trans Fats have been getting a lot of press recently. New York City made history when the Board Of Health voted unanimously to ban trans fats from all of New York City’s restaurants. Trans fats have joined the ranks of cigarettes in terms of public health. While the Trans Fat Ban in NYC is controversial for many reasons that I will not discuss here, they really should be eliminated from any healthy diet. They are man-made fats and they are absolutely detrimental to your health. Trans Fats raise the LDL levels in the blood, which can lead to a variety of deadly diseases. They are most often found in packaged goodies and fast food items since their job is to extend the shelf life and freshness of the foods that they are in. You can avoid these trans fats by reading ingredient labels carefully. Anything that contains hydrogenated oil, or partially hydrogenated oil should be put back on the shelf! Buyer, beware, these trans fats lurk in many “diet” foods such as protein bars, low-fat and non-fat ice cream, bread, crackers, and (gasp) commercial peanut butter. Mono and Polyunsaturated fats are the good guys. Vegetable fats are mostly poly or mono unsaturated, as are fish, walnuts, pecans, almonds, flax, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil. Monounsaturated fats include avocados, cashews, peanuts, pecans, natural peanut butter, olives and olive oil. These fats contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are also known as EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). The reason that EFA’s are so important for good health is because your body can only get these essential nutrients through food. The body does not produce EFAs on its own.

So, why should you add the good guys to your diet? For many reasons! First of all, EFAs are essential to your brain. The brain is made up of 60% fat. Diets that are too low in fat can lead to health problems and recently have been linked to depression and alzheimers disease. In terms of vanity, EFAs promote great skin and shiny hair. A sign of EFA deficiency is dry, flakey skin, dandruff and excima. EFAs can help skin maintain its elasticity and youthful glow. More importantly, EFAs improve insulin sensitivity, which will help prevent agains adult onset diabetes and keep your blood sugar stable which is essential for weight loss and maintenance. EFAs also increase your bodies ability to absorb fat soluable vitamins, increase the metabolic rate and help burn fat. Yes, you can eat fat to burn fat! But there is a catch – you must eat it in moderation as part of a healthy diet. You can’t pig out on icecream assuming that the almonds you topped it with will make it healthy. In fact, it will do the opposite, adding calories to an already fattening meal and cause your body to store even more fat! So, take my advice to heart when eating your healthy fats.

Adding EFA’s to your diet must be done moderately, even though they are “healthy fats” they are high in calories. You cannot eat your fill of them. Rather, you add a small amount to your daily meals and snacks (aiming for about 20% of your daily calories to come from such foods as nuts, olive oil, avocado and flax). Here is a list of my favorite healthy fats and a guideline as to what constitutes a serving:


Olive Oil = 1 TBS = 120 cals = 13.5g fat

In order to reap the benefits of olive oil, it should be added to food AFTER the food is cooked. Drizzle on salads and fresh vegetables. Topping a tomato with a bit of olive oil will increase your body’s ability to use the lycopene in the tomato. Pretty cool, eh?

Natural Peanut Butter = 1 Tbs = 100 cals = 8g fat

A reasonable serving of natural peanut butter is one tablespoon for a snack and two tablespoons for a meal. Please understand that you must eat the NATURAL peanut butter. Read the ingredients and if it lists hydrogentated anything, put it back on the shelf.

Almonds = 1 oz. (22 whole) = 170 cals = 17g fat

Avoid salted as they are high in sodium. Add a small apple and you have an easy-to-pack, healthy, mid-afternoon snack!

Avocado = 1 medium = 115 cals = 15g fat

Avocados are so yummy! Try them on your salad, on top of black bean soup, with salsa on your eggwhites, or in your tuna wrap. They add a creamy, tasty and satiating bit of fat to your meal so that you stay full until the next feeding.

Ground Flax Seeds = 1 Tbs = 50 cals = 4g fat

I add a tablespoon to my morning oatmeal. It adds a fun, nutty flavor. It’s also quite delectible in yogurt or on top of cottage cheese and strawberries.

Flax Seed Oil = 1 Tbs = 115 cals = 15g fat

Combine with balsamic vinegar for a twist on your typical salad dressing. If you are into that whole nutty flavor thing, try substituting it for peanut butter in your protein shakes.

Salmon = 4oz = 200 cals = 9.2 g fat

Salmon is high in protein (19grams per 4oz. serving) and low in carbs (0). It is best to eat it broiled, baked, poached or steamed. I love salmon and eat it at least twice a week. If you are lucky enough to live on the west coast, chose wild salmon over fresh or Atlantic. It will have the lowest mercury and PCB levels. Recent research has assured me that eating even the Atlantic salmon twice a week is OK for most adults. However, women who are pregnant or breast feeding should consult their docbefore making that decision.




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