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39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas

39-healthy-road-trip-snack-ideas

It’s easy to mindlessly eat while driving or riding in the car, especially if you’re getting your snacks from rest stops and fast food places. However, you don’t have to toss out your normal healthy habits when traveling. Eating healthy on the road all boils down to planning. Bringing your own snacks allows you to control the nutritional content of your food and ensures you have treats that you enjoy. Your food doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be complicated. You’re in the car – everything should be easy to grab!

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Pack proportioned snacks into single serving baggies so you don’t go through an entire large bag of nuts or pretzels in one stretch. Use our Precision Digital Kitchen Scale to accurately measure out portions into single serving snack packs. Its recessed platform contains items such nuts, chips, and trail mix and prevents them from rolling off the scale. It’s hard to judge an ounce of nuts by looking at them and suggested serving sizes aren’t always accurate. Measuring by volume keeps servings on point.

Need some snack ideas to take on the road? We’ve compiled some healthy options that travel well and are convenient for grab and go meals.

Here’s our list of EatSmart approved foods to take along on road trips:

39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-protein

Protein

Yogurt – If you’re traveling with children, opt for pouches that don’t require a spoon.
Tuna – We suggest packets since they are easy to open and there’s no oil or water to spill.
Jerky – There are many healthy options to choose from, including vegan brands.
Hard boiled eggs
Nuts and seeds
Nut butters – Individual packets are easier to maneuver in the car.
String cheese
Energy bars – You can buy them or make some of these easy DIY granola bar recipes.

EATSMART PRO TIP: Packing high-quality protein snacks helps keep you feeling full throughout the day.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-vegetables

Veggies

Baby carrots
Celery sticks
Cherry tomatoes
Broccoli
Cucumber
Cauliflower

EATSMART PRO TIP: Not a fan of plain vegetables? Pack dip in your cooler to make the veggies more palatable.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-dips

Dippers

Hummus
Guacamole
Ranch dressing

EATSMART PRO TIP: Buy single serving packs or make your own dippers in small containers for convenience and to cut down on the mess.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-fruit

Fruit

Apples
Clementines
Grapes
Blueberries
Bananas
Peaches

EATSMART PRO TIP: Buy what’s in season, travels well, and is easy to peel.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-popcorn

Savory

Whole grain crackers
Roasted edamame
Baked chips
Air popped popcorn
Kale chips

EATSMART PRO TIP: To prevent these snacks from getting crushed, store the delicate bagged items in Tupperware containers.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-muffins

Sweet Treats

Dark chocolate
Whole grain cookies
Low sugar, high fiber cereal
Fruit snacks – Choose natural ones with less sugar.
Smoothies – Make your own healthy version and put it in individual bottles.
Trail mix – You can buy it but it is cheaper and healthier to make your own.
Muffins – Choose healthy versions or make your own such as Strawberry Banana Quinoa Bran Muffins, Chocolate Avocado Muffins, and Fresh Plum and Oat Muffins.

EATSMART PRO TIP: Packing your sweet treats helps you steer clear of impulse purchases at rest stops such as processed candy bars and donuts.


39 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas-beverages

Beverages

Water
Unsweetened tea or coffee
Low sugar juice boxes
Tea bags, instant coffee, and hot cocoa packets

EATSMART PRO TIP: Bring along both a reusable water bottle and a travel mug for hot water. At rest stops you can make your own hot tea, coffee, or cocoa and fill up your water bottle.


In addition to packing food, it’s always good to have a few miscellaneous items so you don’t have to worry about stopping.  

Miscellaneous Extras

Napkins
Straws
Wet wipes
Plastic utensils
Baggies
Grocery bags –  Toss garbage out in or have on hand in case of car sickness.
Hand sanitizer

EATSMART PRO TIP: Pack everything into a clear plastic tote so you can easily find what you need. Another idea is to assign specific colors of your Travelwise Packing Cubes to separate types of items. For example, the small teal packing cube can be miscellaneous items and the grey packing cube can be for food that doesn’t need to be in the cooler.

Even if you pack your snacks, it’s inevitable to stop at a drive thru or fast food restaurant on a long drive. If you find yourself grabbing a meal at the drive thru, choose a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the burger, and swap the fries for a healthier option like apple slices or a side salad. Save the calorie indulgences for the extra special treats at your destination such like ice cream on the beach or a margarita with dinner.

What are your favorite healthy snacks for a road trip? Tweet them to us at @eatsmartscales.

9 Things Not to Do When Starting a New Diet

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Embarking on a new weight-loss plan can be daunting. There are so many different ideas, theories and diet plans, that it can feel impossible to figure out what works best for you. As if that weren’t enough, some TV shows feature extreme weight losses that are nearly impossible for anyone to achieve in real life. By comparison, you may feel disappointed in slower progress with your own weight loss.

Despite all the challenges a new weight-loss plan presents, you can set yourself up for success by having realistic goals and avoiding these very common diet mistakes.

Do not expect instant resultsmaxview

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see big weight loss results each week. According to the CDC, evidence show that it’s safest to lose between 1 to 2 pounds per week. Healthy weight loss is part of an ongoing lifestyle, and it can take time to see results from new diet and exercise habits.

Do not cut out major food groups
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We know there are a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free products out there, but if you don’t suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, you may be missing out on essential nutrients. Cutting out entire food groups can also lead to strong food cravings and binge eating, which would defeat the purpose of eliminating these foods.

Do not skimp on meals snacks

Skipping meals or eating tiny portions may seem like a great way to lose weight, but it can end up leaving you hungry. Feeling hungry can lead to poor food choices or eating too much at your next meal. Instead, opt for 3 balanced meals and 2 or 3 small healthy snacks per day. A good way to understand portion sizes is to measure foods with a kitchen scale, such as our Precision Digital Kitchen Scale. The recessed platform makes it ideal for containing foods when weighing them.

Do not make too many changes at onceegg

It’s tempting to change your diet completely and start a new exercise regimen at the same time. However, making many big changes will feel overwhelming and those new healthy habits will go by the wayside.  Instead, make small changes once a week, such as bringing a healthy lunch to work each day. Once you’ve mastered one new habit, add a new challenge, such as increasing the intensity, or duration, of exercise.

Do not rely on willpower alone
indulge

Willpower is important, but it’s not always reliable when tempting foods are available. It’s especially difficult if you’re hungry or tired. Instead, set yourself up for success by removing the temptation. If you know you can’t resist cookies or chips don’t keep them in the house. If you really want a treat, you’ll have to leave the house to indulge yourself.

Do not cut back on sleep
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Establishing new healthy habits can take extra time out of your day. Don’t cut out sleep so you can exercise or cook healthy meals. A good night’s sleep lets your muscles repair from exercise and helps balance the hormones that regulate hunger. Sleep deprivation can cause you to crave sugary and fatty foods and leave you less inclined to work out.

Do not think that it’s “all or nothing”
snacks

Don’t think that you must do everything perfectly every day or else your diet is ruined. Truthfully, no one is perfect and slip ups do occur. One mistake is not going to wreck your efforts. Learn from what you did, think about how to prevent it in the future, and move on. Your next snack or meal is another chance for success.

Do not perform exercises that you hate
exercise

Don’t choose activities based on how many calories they burn – focus on exercises that you enjoy. When you don’t enjoy your workout, you’ll make excuses to avoid doing it. You’ll stay more consistent if you look forward to your exercise. Not a fan of spin class? Don’t force it. Instead, take a dance class or hit the elliptical machine. With so many varieties of workouts available, find something you enjoy.

Do not forget to yourself accountable
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When you hold yourself accountable, you are more likely to achieve your goals. To help stay on track, you can join a weight loss group, find a diet buddy, or use a diet and fitness app. Regular weigh-ins are another way to hold yourself accountable. Our Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale has a roomy platform that allows you to stand comfortably while weighing yourself. The large display has a cool blue backlight that is easy to read.
body fatIf you prefer a scale that provides more data, we recommend our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale. The Body Fat Scale measures weight, body fat, body water, body muscle and bone mass using electrode technology and it beeps when your weight is locked in so you can step off the scale to read it more easily.

For EatSmart approved recipe inspiration, visit the following:

Quick and Easy One-Pot Recipes
Slow Cooker Oatmeal Recipe Round-Up
15 Easy Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
Awesome, Healthy Apple Recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Easy, No Cooking Required Summer Recipes

Do you have a tip that helped you lose weight? Share it with us by tweeting to @EatSmartscales.

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esp_what_not_to_do_on_diet_list

Resting Heart Rate 101 – What You Need to Know

resting heart rate

February is National Heart Month, so it’s time to make sure your heart is healthy. In addition to your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and BMI (body mass index), it’s critical to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate can indicate whether your heart is in good cardiovascular health. According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States for both men and women of all ethnicities.

If your resting heart rate is too high, remember that your heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle, with the proper training, your heart can become stronger and more efficient.

What is your resting heart rate?

Your resting heart rate is the speed at which your heart beats when you’re at rest. This will vary based on a handful of factors such as your age and physical fitness levels. Your resting heart rate provides insight into your overall cardiovascular health.

 What is the healthy range for resting heart rates?

Resting heart rates should range between 60-80 beats per minute (bpm), with the optimal number being under 70 bpm.

healthy heart rates

 When’s the best time to obtain your resting heart rate?

The best time to obtain your resting heart rate is in the morning, right when you wake up. If you’re taking your heart rate manually, the American Heart Association recommends using the tips of your first two fingers and pressing lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute and this number is your resting heart rate. Note: Most activity trackers have heart rate sensors built-in.

What to do if your resting heart rate is on the higher end of the range?

If your heart rate is on the higher end, don’t sweat. Well, you might want to think about hitting the gym or finding an exercise buddy! The best way to lower your resting heart rate is through routine vigorous exercise. It’s important to talk to your doctor and determine the best ways for you to strengthen your heart.

running

What are the best ways to lower your resting heart rate?

  • Increase your exercise. You’ll receive the best benefits through a combination of interval, aerobic and resistance exercises. Choose an exercise that increases your heart rate between 50% and 75% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes most days of the week. Moderate exercise, such as walking, has not been shown to have a big impact on changing your resting heart rate.
  • Reduce your stress levels. Managing your stress can help lower your heart rate over time. Practicing relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, or meditation can help reduce your resting heart rate.
  • Cut out tobacco. Smoking and tobacco use of any kind can increase your heart rate. Eliminating tobacco not only reduces your resting heart rate, it greatly improves your overall heart health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can cause your heart to work harder and speed up to adequately supply blood to your body.

Would losing weight help lower my resting heart rate?

Losing weight would definitely help lower your heart rate. It would allow your heart to slow down the rate it pumps blood and experience less stress on a daily basis. Changing your diet and increasing exercise can help you achieve a healthy weight and BMI as well as help increase your cardiovascular heart health.

Could exercise alone help achieve a healthy weight?

precision scaleWhile exercise is a helpful component in losing weight, diet and portion control are the main factors for achieving a healthy weight. Even people who are eating healthy foods can have too much of a good thing. Measuring your portion sizes with our new Precision Digital Kitchen Scale can ensure that you are not eating more than you need.

calpal scaleIf you’re serious about losing weight, keeping a food diary and regular weigh-ins will help help you stick with your weight loss goals. In addition to weight, our Precision CalPal Digital Bathroom Scale estimates your BMI and the daily amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight, making it the perfect accountability buddy.

Are there other factors that could increase the resting heart rate?

Other factors such as medication, dehydration, certain supplements, exercise overtraining, heat, humidity, and caffeine can cause your heart rate to increase or become erratic. If you also experience chest pains, dizziness, or problems breathing, you should call your doctor.

Monitoring your resting heart rate is one more tool for keeping your heart healthy. It’s easy to do and it costs you nothing. Not paying attention to your heart, on the other, hand can be very costly to your health.

resting heart rate list

 

The Beginner’s Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

beginner's guide to hosting thanksgiving

Is it your turn to host Thanksgiving this year? If hosting a holiday stresses you out, we can help. Whether your dinner is a large family gathering or small get-together, you can pull off a stress-free turkey feast.

We’ve organized our planning tips chronologically, beginning one month from Thanksgiving. By following the right steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday – and your company – when the big day arrives.

1 Month Prior

Get a head count. Call or email those on your guest list and see who will be attending. It’s the perfect time to see who will be able to bring a side dish or dessert.

Plan your menu. Are there family favorites that are a “must-have?” Be sure to add those in and any new sides that you might like to try. Don’t forget to include some easy appetizers and beverages.

3 Weeks Prior

Review your recipes. Create a list of what you will need to purchase and what you already have. This is the time to see if you need to order any specialty items. If you plan on having a fresh turkey, order it now.

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Check your cooking supplies. Do you have the necessary pans and tools to make the day go as smoothly as possible? Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale makes it easy to measure recipe ingredients for a crowd. Plus, the handy tare feature allows you to use one bowl rather than having to wash several measuring cups and spoons. Are the batteries working in your Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer?

2 Weeks Prior

pie crustPrep dough for pies and rolls. Are you planning on baking pies or rolls? Make batches of pie dough, wrap tightly, and freeze. Make rolls in advance, freeze, and defrost Thanksgiving morning.

Decide on set up. Will you do a buffet or a sit down dinner? Knowing this lets you plan your set up and décor for the day.

Pick up beverages. This is the time to pick up wine, beer, liquor, and soft drinks. They can be stored without being refrigerated.

1 Week Prior

Go food shopping. Pick up your turkey and non-perishable items, including paper goods and baking supplies, a week prior. Perishable items, such as fresh produce, can be picked up a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

Buy some containers. Have inexpensive containers on hand if you plan on sending your guests home with leftovers. Don’t hand out your favorite storage containers since you may not get them back!

Make soup and broth. Planning on a non-dairy soup course or need stock for your meal? Make it now and freeze until Tuesday, allowing enough time to thaw.

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Make a cooking plan. Figure out which dishes can be made in advance and how long dishes need to be cooked or reheated on Thanksgiving Day. Do you know how long your turkey will take? It takes about 13 minutes of cooking time for every pound of turkey. Our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer gives you an accurate temperature reading in seconds, so you know when your turkey is perfectly cooked.

3 – 4 Days Prior

Defrost your turkey. It takes 24 hours for 5 lbs of turkey to defrost in the refrigerator. If you choose to defrost the bird in cold water estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb. You will need to change the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey cold.

2 Days Prior

pieMake pies. Get your pie filling together and fill your crusts. Wrap and set in your fridge until Wednesday.

Clean the house. Don’t wait until the last minute to straighten your house, or you will be too exhausted to enjoy the holiday.

Defrost frozen items. Put frozen items in your fridge so they are defrosted for when you need them.

The Day Beforechop veggies

Prep ingredients for tomorrow. Wash and chop vegetables, salad fixings, and herbs in advance.

Make your side dishes. Make and cook any sides that will keep overnight, then reheat them tomorrow.

Bake pies. You’ll be glad you did the prep work yesterday – just pop them right in the oven!

Bake desserts. If you’re making brownies, cake or cookies, get this done the day before.

Set the table. You can assign a family member to do this for you. Take a quick walk through to make sure the house looks the way you want it to.

Thanksgiving Day

Preheat your oven and cook the turkey. It’s time! Depending on the size of the turkey, it could need anywhere from 2.75 hours to 5.25 hours of cook time. Use this guide from Real Simple.

dinner rolls

Defrost the rolls. Leave them on the counter until they are ready to go in the oven.

Chill beverages. Put wine and soft drinks in the fridge to chill.

Prep salads. Toss your freshly chopped vegetables with other salad fixings in a large serving dish.

Reheat the sides. Once your turkey is finished, let it rest while you reheat side dishes and make the gravy.

The Day After

Take a rest and enjoy your leftovers. Pop on Netflix and try this Thanksgiving Turkey Soup. It’s a great way to use and enjoy your leftovers in new way.

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thanksgiving cooking checklist

Do you have favorite tips for Thanksgiving? Tweet them to us at @EatSmartScales.

5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Parties

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.”  William ShakespeareTIPS-FOR-SURVIVING-HOLIDAY-PARTY2

Tis the season, I have three parties this week and I had two last week. That’s a lot of eating out and food that is out of my immediate control. It is possible to enjoy the party stay on track and not feel deprived.

A not so favorite piece of advice: “Eat a meal before you go and you won’t be tempted by the food there.” Really? Does this work for you? I get to the party and see food I really love and think oh, well I’ll only have a little of this and that, after these tastes I’ve had another meal. Nope, that doesn’t work out so well for me.

My other least favorite trick is to not eat so that you “save up” for the dinner. By the time the party comes you’re irritable, if not downright mean, and you’re starving so you start hoovering up everything in sight. Including foods that you may never eat if you weren’t so hungry. (and this flies in the face of all the food mood articles I’ve shared with you).

So what’s a person to do? Eat healthy normal meals during the day and have a small snack before you go to the party so you aren’t famished. A handful of nuts, some trail mix or fruit are all good quick choices.healthy-eating-tip

Once at the party pick the foods that you enjoy, sit down to eat and savor them. If you want dessert pick something small  and enjoy it. If small portions aren’t available have a few bites and give it to someone else or toss it. No starving children will be saved by you cleaning the plate.

Then go and talk to people. Mingle, keep yourself busy and find ways to stay away from the food. Say you’ll go eat after you talk to Tom and then start talking to Sue right after that. The less you focus on the food the better time you will have anyway.

A final tip, alternate your drinks with water so you’ll consume less. Go easy on the mixers as they tend to have a lot of sugar and added calories. Stick with club soda or seltzer as a mixer with a splash of juice for taste/color. I do that and then switch to seltzer with lime.

One favorite piece of advice that I received: this food will be available again. If it is something you truly only get once a year by all means eat it. When it’s something you are going to see at the next party two days later it isn’t so special.

About the Author: Janine McHale is a certified holistic health counselor and the owner of The Empowered Plate. She empowers busy women and runners to reach their goals of weight loss, better nutrition, stress management and more energy via nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Need help with preparing quick healthy meals for yourself and/or your family? Send her an e-mail at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com!

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