What kind of food shopper are you?

When it comes to food shopping, what kind of food shopper are you? Find out below and then see what you can do to become a better shopper.


If you are a paroozer, then you shop without a purpose. You may have gone into the store to get one item but when you leave you have somehow managed to spend $100 and stocked up on more than your share of sweets and bad snacks.

What can you do?

Being prepared will be your best bet in fighting the war. Go in with a mission- by that- I mean a list, and stick to it! This will give you a good opportunity to fight temptation.

Clearance Shopper

If you are a clearance shopper you know where to look for the ‘great finds’ in the grocery store.  You’ll be the shopper at the end of the aisles, at the front of the store when you walk in, or somewhere squeezed behind the produce and the stockroom.

What can you do?

While you may think that you are getting a deal (which you probably are), you are doing a disservice to your quality intake. The 5 for $10 boxes of processed food loaded with salt, fat, and gosh knows what else, and the ‘buy one you don’t need’ get the ‘one you don’t need for free’ are examples of what you will find in your cart. The idea of smart shopping is there, but your heart is in the wrong spot. Try looking outside your box. There are a wide variety of good deals on produce, whole grains and dried beans. And these are regular items the store carries all the time, so you don’t have to be disgruntled or constricted by sales.

Impulse Food Shopper

If you are an impulsive food shopper (that’s me again) then you find crazy things in your basket, like cookies, sugar-packed drinks, and other grab-and-go items that are in pretty packaging and strategically placed in front of your eyes.

What can you do?

If you are that hard up about trying something different, you may want to challenge yourself to trying a new ingredient. You can look to see what fruit or vegetable is in season where you live or you can add a weekly new healthy food item. I found quinoa this way. It will lighten the hook save you from buyer’s remorse. If it’s hard for you to resist things when you are in the store, try leaving your cart at the end of the aisle and then get what you need. This way, you are less likely to grab more then you need. Also, never ever go to the store hungry, it just sets you up for failure.

Non-discriminative Shopper

If you are a non-discriminative shopper you are throwing whatever you feel like in your basket without regard to health consequences, weekly meal plans, or regard to items you already have.

What can you do?

Start caring. Start choosing choices that nourish your body and fit into the big picture. You should focus on lean-cuts of meat, low and non-fat dairies, and foods with as little as salt, sugar, and trans fats as possible. You should do inventory of things you have lying in the kitchen before you get to the store. Have your meal plans for the week ready to go and know what you will need. This will save you time, money and a couple of pounds in the long run.

Written by Amanda Holst

Have your cake and eat it too!


What to do when your body is saying yes but your mind is saying no

It’s been one of those days: You didn’t get your full eight hours of sleep, nothing seems to be going right, and on top of it all, you don’t feel well. Before you say the heck with it all and grab for the naughtiest food you can think, here are some ways you can control the urge when temptation you don’t want comes your way:

Occupy yourself with something else

You might just be bored. Fight temptation to fall into the same rut by doing something else, rather than something you will regret.

Practice mind over matter

Avoid situations that will make you have to negotiate, rationalize, or bargain with yourself


Be the master of knowing what pseudo-changeovers you can make that your body will accept as substitutions for the naughty. Fruit spritzers for sodas,veggies for chips, and low-fat versions of favorites where you can make a big difference.

Chew a piece of gum

The same concept for quitting cigarettes, if you ‘ease’ the craving it will eventually blow over. It’s the small victories that add up to big ones

Just say no

Practice makes perfect

Written by Amanda Holst

Have your cake and eat it too

Photo credit

Why do we need beans in our diet?

Beans, a common substitute for meat, or a necessity in our diet?

While vegetarians have rejoiced in the protein properties that beans over meat can provide, there are other dietary profits that come from these high-fiber and anti-oxidant rich little friends. Experts agree that beans have the potential of warding off cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to an article on the WebMD website.  By increasing our bean intake, our waistlines become smaller, preventing the types of diseases that come along with being overweight. Also according to WebMD, the water and fiber content of beans make you feel full longer, and the phytochemicals makes beans high in antioxidants, debilitating free-radicals in your body.

Note if you are vegetarian or vegan: Your body gets iron in two different ways. Heme iron is iron that your body absorbs well and comes from meat, fish and poultry. Non-heme iron found in beans and fortified cereal and grain products are not absorbed well by the body. In order to get the right amounts of iron in your body, make sure you are eating foods with enough iron. Also eating foods with Vitamin C will boost the absorption of iron, so for example eating broccoli with your tofu will satisfy your body’s need. Calcium and coffee and teas decrease iron absorption in your body, so make sure you give your body time to transition to digest these before eating your iron. Source: Hallberg L. Bioavailability of dietary iron in man. Ann Rev Nutr 1981;1:123-147.

More Beans Please

Low in fat and containing no cholesterol, beans are a great source of fiber to add to your diet. If you are looking for a quick meal, try using frozen beans or canned beans.

  • Frozen beans: Frozen foods, including beans, are frozen at the peak of their ripeness, so you can be assured that you are getting the full nutritional benefits. Frozen beans such as garbanzo, navy and black-eyed beans can be added to casseroles and soups or reheated by way of steaming or microwave.
  • Canned beans: Canned beans are also convenient but may be packaged with high amounts of sodium. To lower the quantity of sodium, drain and rinse your canned beans. Chili, soups and dips can benefit from canned beans.
  • Dried beans: Dried beans are cheap, however you will have to invest time soaking them. Overnight soak is the easiest- rinsing them before cooking them for an hour or so. Look at the package, some beans you are able to ‘quick soak,’ saving you time and giving you the freshest approach.

Have your cake and eat it too Tip

Beans over meat will offer the same amount of protein with the added benefit of no cholesterol. Substitute beans for meats in tacos, lasagna, stews and chili. Feel full longer by increasing your beans to 3 cups a day. The beans that have the highest feel-full longer affect is the kidney bean.


by Amanda Holst

2011 Promises

It’s time for life’s transgressions to come center stage. While the big task is sometimes too much to handle, this year I am asking you to take it in small strides. Let’s not focus on the things that hold us back but on the things that we have the power to control.

I promise to love life

Life is about curve balls.

While I cannot promise I can stay on track on the diet of my choosing nor can I admit to be perfect in calories and portions all the time, I do promise to love life.

I promise to love life for what it is.

I promise to take each day as just that: another day in my life journey.

While I cannot change what happened yesterday I can change how and what I can do today.

I promise not to dwell on the things that damper my soul.

I promise to make better decisions for me and my family.

I promise to take food for its face value

Food can be a crutch, a burden or a sense of freedom- It depends on how you look at it.

This year, I promise to throw out the misconceptions, the heartache and all the stress that comes with food.

I promise to eat to nourish my body -no other reason.

I promise to eat the food my body needs, from all food groups and the right amounts.

I promise to eat in moderation.

Have your cake and eat it too!

You can have your cake and eat it too. You do have to let go of excess and maintain a self-control that cannot be overpowered in order to achieve this frame of mind, but it can be done. By changing the way you think of food and controlling the right aspects about it entitles you to be the person you want to be.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.  Stay tuned in 2011 for tips, tools and strategies for you to be in control!



Naughty or Nice? What will you be this holiday season?

As Christmas approaches we have our preempt about whether or not we are going to be naughty or nice when it comes to our holiday eating. And while we may pass the extra goodies and calories as part of the intentional holiday jeer, we can give some thought to improving our tradition habits or making new traditions all together. Have you been naughty or nice so far?


Egg nog

An easy 350 calories all coming from cream, milk and eggs, egg nog certainly can get naughty at times. You don’t have to give up this holiday tradition. Instead of buying uncensored store bought egg nog, try making your own. You can cut the calories in half by using egg substitute, skim milk, fat-free creamer and sugar substitute.


Hot Chocolate

Less than half of its naughty opponents calories, hot chocolate can tempt and satisfy just the same. Perfect for the chilly weather and any chocolate lover’s delight, hot chocolate can be that little naughty for the nice.


Pecan Pie

Don’t let the illusion of the hearty nuts throw you off guard. Yes there are some good nutritional value provided by the pecans in this traditional pie, however most of the filling is loaded with sugar and corn syrup, making it too naughty for anyone’s good. If you want to tone down your naughty, substitute the corn syrup with molasses or make your filling from dates, lemon juice and vanilla. Instead of the traditional sugar and butter pie crust, try an almond and date one.


Healthy Fruit Pie

Fruit pies can add a forgiving touch to naughty eating. Using fresh fruits and little sugar as possible, fruit pies can top your nice list. Try a graham crust and if you really want to be nice, use crushed almonds instead. Roll your fruit with a little flour and raw sugar to complete the niceties.


Holiday Cakes and Cookies

Cookies and cakes, an integral part of the holidays can be hard to resist at parties or there siting on your kitchen counter. When hunger strikes these intricacies offer the perfect snack– filling in the gaps for low energy and seasonal induced murkiness. Moderation and portion size will be the key. Limiting how much you eat would be the nice thing to do. Replacing your meals and snacks with cookies and snacks is just plain naughty. Instead, give your body healthier carbs that are lower in fat and high in fiber. Wholegrain bread, rice, cereals and fresh whole fruit can trick your body into getting what it craves. If you are making your own cookies and cake, replace white flour with whole wheat and use nuts or dried fruits instead of candy or chocolate chips.


Trail Bars

Energy bars can be the perfect treat to add to your nice list. Great for long-lasting energy and ingredients such as whole grain oats and flour, you cannot lose. Adding peanut butter, nuts or seeds can add to your protein intake, making you feel fuller longer. Eat for a healthy snack or pack for one to go.

Have your cake and Eat it too!

Amanda Holst

Hot meals that won’t break your calorie bank

As the weather cools and our stomachs ache for something warm, eating smarter is especially important. Aim for foods that fill you up without breaking your calorie bank. Here are two recipes to get you started.

Minestrone Surprise

(Recipe adopted from http://www.whfoods.org)

Soups have the ability to keep us warm and to trick our bodies into thinking that we’ve eaten more than we were supposed to. Loaded with vegetables that provide exceptional vitamins rich in  A, K and C, this hot meal will be sure to make the effort worthwhile. With only 106 calories per serving, feel free to go back for seconds.

Prep and Cook Time: prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time 45 minutes


  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 6 medium sized cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (to yield about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces (to yield about 1 cup)
  • 1-½ cups finely chopped kale
  • ½ cup diced portabello mushrooms, black gills cut out and discarded
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBS dried Italian herbs
  • 1 15 oz can navy beans, drained
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare ingredients by chopping and measuring.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
  3. Add broth and rest of ingredients except beans and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low and continue cooking, uncovered for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add beans, cook for another couple minutes, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 6

Butternut Squash and Fried Sage Pasta

Recipe adopted from http://www.self.com

Serotonin loss in the winter due to less light has usually gotten us scramming for quick-fix carbs to hit the spot. Defeat cravings before they happen and load up on whole grains and  first-rate butternut squash to properly satisfy you. It may seem like 373 calories is a lot for a serving, but the 10 g of fiber and 11 g of protein will be sure to tie you over til your next meal.

Serves 4


  • 8 oz whole-wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lb), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Cook penne as directed on package. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry sage, turning once, until crisp on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Add squash, 3/4 cup water, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash softens, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot and add squash mixture; stir over low heat, adding some reserved cooking water if necessary, until pasta is coated, about 1 minute. Serve, garnished with cheese and sage.

Have your cake and eat it too!

Amanda Holst

Age Therapy: Foods that will make you look and feel younger

Before you spend hundreds of dollars at the cosmetic counters, or  enlist yourself in the Botox Brigade, try the au naturale approach to looking younger instead.


Yes wrinkles are part of the aging process- but you don’t have to give in without a fight. As the protein collagens start to break down, so do the hyaluronic acids (the connective tissue around your eyes, joints, and skin). To prolong this break, try to beef up the intake of fruits containing vitamin C. Vitamin C fights free radicals and encourages collagen to form. Strawberries, blueberries, and ones containing citrus works best at filling in wrinkles.

Mood lifters

There is nothing worse than feeling bad about anything, anytime. Happiness may be the key to life and also the key to staying younger, longer. Enhance your mood with foods that uplift the production of endorphins while at the same time help you to relax. The mood lifter avacado contains a high amount of vitamin B, while brazilian nuts contain selenium, the magic ingredient for mood enhancement. Flaxseeds are advocates for mood lifters because they contain omega- 3 fatty acids. People who have low levels of omega- 3’s are more successible to depression. Get the best benefit by grinding flaxseeds and adding them to oatmeal, baked foods, or atop your salad.

Radiant Skin

There are many factors to radiant skin. Foods that strengthen your immune system, that contain antioxidants, or reduce inflammation can all add to the radiant glow of your skin, making you look younger. Fight scaly skin with wheat germ- 2 tablespoons a day can prevent redness and uneven skin tones. If elasticity is a concern for you, try adding more kiwis to your diet- the vitamin C manufactures a collagen wall of resilience. If you have damaged skin due to sun exposure, grape seed oil can help reverse the signs.

Have your Cake and Eat it too!

Amanda Holst

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