Tag Archives: diet

My Favorite Dinner For My Cooking-Challenged Self

I’ve said a few times that I’m not the best cook there is, but I think I’m finally starting to improve. I have this blog to thank partly for that, since I’ve become more motivated to eat healthy at home. Since I’m kitchen-impaired, I usually stick to the basics when it comes to food, and I never get too fancy with ingredients. My favorite meal that I’ve been making at least 4 times a week lately is asparagus with tilapia. I’m actually about to make it after this post.

You’ll need:

-As much asparagus as you feel like eating. I usually buy a pound, then separate the bundle in halves or thirds. Asparagus is pretty cheap too, and I’m literally addicted to it. I don’t care how it smells.
-fresh or frozen tilapia filets. I buy the frozen kind because a package comes with a ton of filets.
-olive oil
-cayenne pepper
-garlic powder
-any other seasonings/spices you wish to add

This is how I make it. You can adapt it a little if you feel that you know a better way than me. You probably do. I’m not one for following directions to a T.

1.Thaw out the filets if they’re frozen.
2. Preheat the oven to 375.
3. Prepare a baking sheet with foil.
4. Cut the hard ends of the asparagus off.
5. Place the asparagus on the foil. Spread some olive oil on them. I usually use 2 teaspoons.
6. Add whatever seasoning you wish to add, including cayenne, pepper, and garlic powder.
7. Place the asparagus in the oven. I usually put it in the oven before it’s even preheated because I’m impatient. When I do this, the asparagus needs about 20 minutes to cook.
8. Place the tilapia filets on a baking sheet with foil.
9. Repeat the same seasoning/olive oil steps as you did with the asparagus.
10. Wait for the oven to preheat this time, then place the fish in the oven. The filets take 8-12 minutes to cook.
11. Once the filets are done, the asparagus should be done too. This is why I don’t wait for the oven to preheat to put the asparagus in the oven.
12. Take it out of the oven and eat it. Add some grated parmesan onto the asparagus if you wish.

Time for the nutrition breakdown. A tilapia filet only has about 100 calories, and it’s low fat and full of protein, which is obviously amazing. Sometimes I’ll make two filets if I’m extra hungry. The asparagus is obviously very low in calories, and it contains tons of Vitamins A and C. It even has some fiber. Finally, cayenne pepper is said to help speed up metabolism, and apparently it’s all the rage with models. So, with the olive oil, this entire meal (if you have two filets) only has about 300 calories, and it’s very low in carbs and fat. If you don’t use any olive oil, it’s even lower in fat and calories. You decide.


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It’s Not Just the Calories

This post is sort of a prelude to my next few posts, because I think it’s important for all of you to know about other things involving food besides calories. So many of us obsess over counting calories, but calories are nothing if you don’t take other factors into consideration, like fat, protein, carbs, and fiber. I’m going to briefly go through each of these in case you don’t understand. Before I do, you should know that 300 calories of pizza and 300 calories of vegetables are not the same. I hope you know this. I really do.

Anyway, when it comes to fat, how much is too much? Is there a such thing as not enough? (Yes). Your fat intake should consist of about 30-35% of your total intake. So if you have 1500 calories a day, 30% of that should be fat. Stay away from saturated and trans fat too. Read the labels. It’s okay to have a little saturated fat, but be careful. Unsaturated fats are often good for you, which are in fish, seafood, nuts, avocado, etc. These are monounsaturated fats, and they have tons of other benefits, from protein to boosting your mood. They also include omega-3 fatty acids. But, I’m not trying to get too complicated here. Just pay attention to the fat content as much as you do the calorie content.

We hear every day that carbs are bad, but it depends on what kinds of carbs you consume. For instance, white bread is a simple carb, which ends up pretty much turning to sugar. Apples, on the other hand are complex carbs, contain fiber, and keep you full longer. When choosing foods with carbs, make sure there is fiber as well. Some foods besides apples include whole grain/wheat bread, many vegetables, fruits, and beans. Fiber is key to proper digestion, and like I said, keeping you full longer. Women should have 20-25 grams a day.

In general, your recommended carbs can be calculated like this: Daily Calories divided by 2. (For me, that’s 1200 divided by 2, so 600). Then divide that number by 4. (600/4=150). I usually try to stay around 100 grams of carbs though, since I’m still trying to lose weight.

Now I’ll go over protein. Depending on what sites you read, they will all tell you different amounts for how much protein you should have. In general, about 15-20% of your calories should come from protein. The process is sort of confusing and I’m terrible at explaining math, so try this link to figure out how much protein you need. It shows you how it depends on your activity level as well, since protein plays a role in muscle growth.

This post is a little long and complicated, but the main point I’m trying to make is that counting calories alone won’t get the job done. You need to pay attention to other things as well. Otherwise, you’ll be a lost cause. Don’t be stupid when it comes to what you put in your body.  For my next few blog posts, I will focus each post entirely on one aspect of nutrition, including carbs, fat, protein, sugar, and fiber. I will go into more detail of each during the next week or so, so stay posted. 🙂

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Burning calories doesn’t end in the gym

For busy people like myself, there are often days where I simply do not have time to work out, especially in the summer, when my university gym closes at 7pm. And especially when I make every excuse under the sun to not work out, even if I have ten hours of time to kill. However, there are still ways to burn calories throughout the day at home and at work, and I actually try my best to follow a lot of these tips.

1. Park far away …It’s not a race to get the closest spot. Honestly, it doesn’t kill you to walk a little bit, even if it’s cold. Get over it. There are people who don’t even own cars, and they walk miles to work every day. I’ve seen them before. Park far away and walk. It won’t hurt you, I promise. Even a few extra feet a day is better than nothing. And, sometimes, we spend more time looking for a close spot than we would just walking a further distance, so chances are, you won’t spend any extra time in the parking lot. Just do it.

2. Depending on your job, there are a number of things you can do to avoid being sedentary all day. Maybe you have your own office, where you can break out into a set of jumping jacks for a few minutes. Why not? No one will think you’re crazy or anything. Or maybe your job requires physical labor. In that case, you are probably burning a decent amount of calories, even if you are just standing around for hours on end. It’s better than cuddling with 30 pillows and 3 comforters in your bed all day.Actually, it’s not, but whatever.  If you have a lunch break, skip the free pizza or the delivery spot that makes delicious chicken parm subs. (Yes, in New Jersey, it’s a sub, which means it’s the only way to say it.) Order a salad, or pack your lunch. It takes less than 5 minutes to pack your lunch the night before, so stop being lazy. If you work in a nice area, maybe you can even venture outside and talk a walk on your break. I work on the beach, so once in a while I’ll walk down to it to kill some time.

3. Put extra effort into any household chores. You probably need to catch up on them anyway. Right now there’s a ridiculous pile of clean laundry on my window seat, just waiting to be folded, but naturally I’m in my bed typing this instead. However, I do love some cleaning to make me feel like I’m not a complete waste of life. Not only will you be a contributing member to your household, but you may actually burn a few calories and feel slightly productive. It’s no 5k run, but like I said, it’s better than nothing.

4. Work out during commercials. I am a huge fan of doing planks during commercials, since they work out multiple parts of your body, and the commercial break allows for just enough time to do them. Of course, if you have time to watch television, you should probably have time to work out too. However, some days are just too long for that to be accomplished. And we can’t miss one episode of those 15 different television shows we follow religiously. Those are a priority, right? Anyway, you can definitely get in a quick ab workout during the commercials. A half hour program has about 6 minutes of commercials, and an hour-long program has 12. I’m a comm major, so I know random facts like that.

5. Leave extra gym clothes and shoes in the car, just in case you do have some time throughout the day. I do this, and they usually don’t leave my car, but there are those surprise moments where I do have some extra time for a spontaneous trip to the gym. The clothes are one step closer to getting in the gym than they would be in your dresser drawer, so it can’t hurt to try it.

There are obviously many more options that I haven’t included, but the main point of this post is to remind you not to be lazy, and to stop making excuses. Do everything with your whole heart. If you’re dieting, make an extra effort to burn calories in every activity you do. There really are no excuses.

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To all my fellow dieters…

Welcome to my blog, which I have decided to make due to the rapid popularity of my twitter account, @dietgirl_prblms. If you have been following me for a little while, you may have seen me mention that I will be starting a blog soon. Well, here it is. I still have work to do, but I wanted to get it up sooner rather than later. I am going to be posting about various topics, and of course I will include my personal spin on each subject. I aim to inform, but I won’t hold back my arrogance and insensitivity, so get used to it or stop reading.

Obviously, I am going to try to include as much accurate information as possible, but dieting is a subject that is filled with various opinions on what’s healthy and what’s not.   So unless you know for sure that I have included information that is wrong, please do not harass me. It’s annoying, and I have to deal with enough #dietingproblems as it is.

I am definitely going to be taking input from all of my followers, so please tweet me or email me if you have an idea for a topic.
Thanks for reading, I love you like I know you!


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