Monday, November 12, 2012

Monitor Meals Monday

Welcome to a new week and new opportunities to make healthy choices for your life!  Today I'm pointing you to a VERY eye-opening article brought to you by our friends at the Eat This!  Not That! website.  It lists the fattiest foods in America, and let me tell you, the biggest offenders are amazingly high on fat and calories.  Buckle your seat belt (which might be hard to do if you eat any of these offenders regularly), but the number one calorie criminal (no surprise for the place who has cheesecake in it's name) has... are you ready... 103 grams of SATURATED FATS (and this isn't the total fat count), 1,517 mg of sodium, and 2,300 CALORIES!!!!  Holy cow - I think my cholesterol rose and I gained weight just reading about this horrific dish.

So, read below and you can also go to their website at

Monitor your meals by exercising your eye muscles by reading nutritional information on labels, and be sure to always try to find a restaurant's website before you go out to eat, as many now offer their nutritional information in the meals they offer.  Ignorance may be bliss, but it's also very dangerous... and FATTENING!

Coach Linda

The Fattiest Foods in America

6. FAT OFFENDER #6: A BURGER : Ruby Tuesday Triple Prime Bacon Cheddar Burger

1,333 calories, 101 g fat, 1,892 mg sodium
New rule: The more syllables in a menu item's name, the more fat there's likely to be in the dish. Less than 3 percent of the beef produced in this country earns the USDA's "prime" rating, and that's not a bad thing. Prime beef, as it turns out, is the fattiest beef you can sink your teeth into. If you really want a burger, you're better off heading elsewhere. Not one of Ruby's has fewer than 700 calories. Go with the Plain Grilled Top Sirloin and earn all the beefy protein without the superfluous calories.

Eat This Instead!

Plain Grilled Top Sirloin

290 calories, 12 g fat, 420 mg sodium

5. FAT OFFENDER #5: A STEAK: Chili’s Flame-Grilled Ribeye with broccoli and mashed potatoes

1,460 calories, 106 g fat (44 g saturated), 3,700 mg sodium
For a healthy diet, the USDA recommends you cap your daily saturated fat intake at 20 grams. This meal more than doubles that, and it's only 12 ounces of meat. Sure, ribeye is a notoriously fatty cut, but it's primarily the bath of butter that pushes this steak's fat count to such unhealthy heights. Switch to the Guiltless Grill Classic Sirloin and save an astounding 1,090 calories.

Eat This Instead!

Guiltless Grill Classic Sirloin with steamed veggies

370 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated), 3,680 mg sodium

4. FAT OFFENDER #4: MEXICAN FOOD: Chili’s Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla

1,650 calories, 107 g fat (39 g saturated), 3,450 mg sodium
Traditional Mexican food is big on seasoning and light on cheese, but with this quesadilla, Chili's takes a different approach. Trying to appease palates primed for indulgence, the restaurant layers on the fat in four ways: cheese, ranch, bacon, and sour cream. Go with the Margarita Grilled Chicken and you'll cut the overall fat content by more than 80 percent.

Eat This Instead!

Margarita Grilled Chicken

550 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 1,870 mg sodium

3. FAT OFFENDER #3: A 'HEALTHY' SALAD: IHOP Chicken and Spinach Salad

1,600 calories, 118 g fat (32 g saturated), 2,340 mg sodium
Chicken? Good. Spinach? Good. IHOP’s Chicken and Spinach Salad—downright deplorable. You'll need to i-hop for four hours to burn it off. This salad is exactly what makes restaurant food so questionable and potentially unhealthy. The name makes it sound like a paragon of nutritious eating, yet the numbers reveal it to be just the opposite. The chicken here is actually fried chicken, and the spinach is little more than a small bed for bacon and cheddar cheese. You could snarf down six pancake short stacks and still take in less fat. Save yourself the waistline damage and opt for the Simple & Fit Simply Chicken Sandwich instead.

Click here for all of today's nutrition, health, and fitness news!

Eat This Instead!

Simply Chicken Sandwich with fresh fruit, side salad, and reduced-fat Italian dressing

565 calories, 12.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,085 mg sodium

2. FAT OFFENDER #2: 'HEALTHY' FISH: Applebee’s New England Fish & Chips

1,930 calories, 138 g fat (24 g saturated), 3,180 mg sodium
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. By doing so, you lower your risk of such chronic diseases as heart disease and cancer. But if you prepare fish by deep frying it in a tub of bubbling fat—like Applebee's does with this artery-clogging monstrosity—you reverse all those benefits. Opt for Applebee's Garlic Herb Salmon instead. It offers 109 fewer grams of fat, nearly two-thirds fewer calories, and a heap of flavor that will still leave you satiated.

Eat This Instead!

Applebee’s Garlic Herb Salmon

690 calories, 29 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,460 mg sodium

1. FAT OFFENDER #1: PASTA: Cheesecake Factory Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken

2,300 calories, 103 g saturated fat, 1,517 mg sodium
Cheesecake Factory prefers to keep its nutritional stats hidden, but a law in California forced it to reveal saturated fat. Total fat is still a mystery, but this meal breaks through the 100-gram ceiling on saturated fat alone! The culprits here are the oversized portion and the thick, fat-riddled alfredo sauce. The typical restaurant recipe for this sauce relies on some combination of cream, butter, oil, and cheese, and there's no reason to believe that Cheesecake's version strays from the norm. Unfortunately, the chain offers no single pasta dish with fewer than 1,100 calories, so keep yourself safe by sticking to the new Skinnylicious menu.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Make It Happen Monday

I DID IT!  I DID IT!  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, in yesterday’s Sleepy Surprise Sunday blog, I said I was trying to start a new routine where I’d get up at 4am each morning in order to make the most of those early hours before work to get more accomplished.  Okay, maybe the photo isn't exactly a completely fair representation of my stance as I got up, but it was how I felt on the inside!  
I actually woke up at 4am this morning to the strains of Mandisa’s “Good Morning” ring tone!  I made my tea, had my morning quiet time, got myself ready for work, put the finishing touches on my lunch, put away some laundry, read my emails and responded, did a few stretches… and all without rushing about in my usual morning frenzy! 
Last night I prepared by getting most of my lunch cooked and prepared, set out all my clothes for this morning, put my things by the door – anything I thought would help me.  It’s amazing how the small little things will help you along the way in hitting your target.
Wild women, believe me, if I can do this, ANYBODY CAN!  I am the least likely person to haul my booty outta bed one second before absolutely necessary.  But the satisfaction of achieving this goal is almost heady - I am on top of the world!  It is one day at a time as I try to condition myself to do this every morning.  Now the next leg of this little challenge will be to get to bed earlier so I get my appropriate amount of sleep. 
So… what can you do today, what one small step can you take towards attaining one of your goals?  What would it look like, sound like, feel like if you were able to do that one thing?  Now exercise that “MAKE IT HAPPEN” muscle and start today.  You’ll be amazed at what you can do!!!
Coach Linda
(…and be sure to stay tuned to see if I can do it again tomorrow!)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sleepy Surprise Sunday

The end of Daylight Savings Time in the fall is by far the most wonderful night of the year, and at this point in my life rivals Christmas Eve and my birthday, because I get the gift of 60 whole minutes more in my life to sleep.  Such a rare thing, this sleeping oddity!  The joy I feel when I go to bed on this most magical of bedtimes almost keeps me away like a child on Christmas Eve.

So what happens this morning?  I wake up at 4am and can’t get back to sleep!  Nature’s cruel joke?  No, not at all really.  One of my goals is to become more morning-oriented.  Okay for anyone out there who knows me personally, you can stop laughing now.  No really, you’ll fall off your chair if you don’t stop laughing so hard!!  I got so much done this morning (as I write this it’s now 7am)!!!  I feel great.  Of course, ask me again at 3pm and you may find me using duct tape to keep my eyelids open. 

I have several friends who are naturally early risers, and while I have always thought them somewhat demented or having some morning gene that escaped my DNA, I secretly have envied their ability to accomplish more between 4am-7am than most can do all day (myself included).  I quietly long to have my eyes pop open at 4am, ready to meet the day all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (as my Grandmom used to say).  Instead, at 4am if I awaken, it’s usually to groan, hit the bathroom, crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head, snuggling down into the warmth of my blankets to hibernate until the last possible thrice-pounded snooze button minute.

But now here is a new opportunity to use my body clock to the best possible advantage.  My brain/system still thinks its 5am instead of 4am, so is it possible to trick it and begin getting up at 4am this week?  Admittedly it may be a crazy, impossible dream, but it’s worth the shot – timing is everything, and what better time to try it than now?  I’d like to have a time of prayer and Bible reading without falling asleep (and waking up suddenly saying, AMEN! – Oh yeah, like God didn’t know I fell asleep while talking to Him?!??!!?) and I’d like to toss a load of laundry in, exercise, have a relaxed cup of tea at my kitchen table instead of running like a madwoman out the door.  I’m getting really jazzed about this plan, I really am!!!!

So… anybody up for joining me in this new fresh page on the morning journey?  I’m going to set up alarm(s) – yes, I use several – I’m telling you, stop laughing!  As I was saying… I’m going to set up alarm to go off at 4am tomorrow morning hoping and praying I can exercise my new body clock muscles (as well as my “I will do this” muscles) to begin a whole new morning routine.  Tomorrow morning I will report (and be held accountable by all of you) on whether I was able to pull off this seemingly unattainable feat!  Are you with me?  If so please post your comments here or write me at