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Special K Protein Cereals

Will the Newest Version of Special K Protein Cereals work?

I was excited when I saw the “Buy One Get One Free” special on the Special K Protein cereal so I bought my one box (and got the extra box for free!). I noticed that the box looked different, but manufacturers change the look of their products constantly so I didn’t think much about it.

I don’t eat cereal everyday so several days passed before I reached for the cereal; however, upon looking at the label I was shocked–they made not only a change to the cover but a change to the cereal!

Fast forward a few weeks later. I was leading a grocery store tour at a local Meijer when I noticed a few different types of the Special K protein cereal. Clearly, they had expanded their product line of the protein cereals (which means they are selling!).

What changed with the new Special K cereals?

  • There are three current versions: Original, Brown Sugar Crunch, and Honey Almond Ancient Grain. The “Original” version is not the same as the “Original” original version. The new “Original” version uses a different serving size: 1 1/3 cup; whereas the serving size of the “Original” original version was 3/4 cup. For this reason, the new “Original” seems to be much higher in calories, protein, carbs, etc. However, if you compare both versions on a per gram basis here is what you’d find:
  • Impact Carbs: .5 “Original” Original
  • Impact Carbs: .57 NEW Original
  • Protein: .32 “Original” Original
  • Protein: .25 New Original

Conclusion: Although the new “Original” Special K protein cereal is slightly higher in Impact carbs and slightly lower in protein on a per gram basis, these difference are not significant enough to stop using the new “Original” version of the Special K Protein cereal.

What about the new variations of the Special K protein cereal?

The “healthiest” sounding version is the new Special K Protein Honey Almond Ancient Grain cereal. Comparing this to the new “original” version (which is approved) you will find:

  • 20 additional calories per serving (Due to 2 additional grams of fat)
  • Same Impact Carbs
  • Same Protein

The sweetest sounding version is the Special K Protein Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch. Comparing this to the new “original” version (which is approved) you will find:

  • 15 additional calories per serving
  • More added sugar 12g versus 8 grams
  • Lower protein
  • Higher impact carbs

Note: they adjusted down the serving size down to 1 cup rather than the 1 1/3 cup of the other two versions. Even at the lower serving size, you have more added sugars than the original or ancient grains.

Our Recommendations

Of the three variations, we recommend the Special K Original Protein cereal and the Special K Honey Almond Ancient Grains while in weight loss mode. To maximize the Thermic Effect of Food and minimize fat storage, we recommend the following:

  • Cereal Serving Size: 3/4 to 1 Cup
  • Paired with 1 Cup or more of Lean Protein approved milks such as Kroger Carbmaster milk (Unsweetened and Vanilla) or Fair Life Fat Free Milk or 1 Cup only of Fatty Protein milks such as Soy Milk (unsweetened) or unsweetened protein nut milks (Good Karma or Silk).

To be honest, there are better fat burning breakfast options than cereal, but if you must have cereal here are two options you can keep in your repertoire for a weight loss lifestyle.

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Carbmaster Milk Vs. Skim Milk for Weight Loss

milk

 Carbmaster Milk Vs. Skim Milk for Weight Loss

You have decided to lose weight and are changing some of your eating habits.  You are eating healthier and keeping the cake and cookies to a minimum.  You switched from whole milk to skim milk because it has less fat and calories. What would you think if I told you that there is a better option?  One that will help you burn calories and keep you more satiated than skim milk.  Now I’ve got your attention, don’t I?  Here are 5 reasons why you should be drinking Carbmaster milk instead of skim milk for weight loss.

1. Carbmaster milk has less calories than skim milk.

This one is self-explanatory.  If you wish to lose weight, you will need to reduce your caloric intake.  Skim milk has about 86 calories per cup while Carbmaster milk has only 60.  If you are a person who drinks several glasses of a day, this is an easy way to trim some extra calories.  Also, Carbmaster milk works great in recipes so you could be trimming calories with any recipe that calls for milk.

2.  Carbmaster milk has less sugar than skim milk.

Surprise, Surprise!  Did you know that skim milk has a whopping 12 grams of sugar? You might be wondering if that is a lot of sugar, let me give you some comparisons.  A Charms Blow Pop has 13 grams of sugar.  Three Oreo cookies have 14 grams of sugar.  Eight fluid ounces of sweet tea at McDonalds has 9.5 grams of sugar!  (Yes, I said SWEET tea.)  Compare that to Carbmaster milk that only has 3 grams of sugar.  Sugar is what causes your insulin level to rise and what makes you crave more sugar.

3 Carbmaster milk has less sodium than skim milk.

Both milks are considered low sodium, but skim milk has 127 grams of sodium per cup while Carbmaster milk has only 95 grams.  Americans in general tend to eat way too much sodium so every little bit we can cut out of our diet is a good idea.  Also, too much sodium causes us to bloat and take on some extra water weight.  Keeping our sodium intake at a lower level will help shed some of those extra pounds.

4 Carbmaster milk has more protein than skim milk.

Carbmaster milk has 11 grams of protein per cup and skim milk has only 8.  Protein is what helps us feel satiated.  Nobody wants to eat in a way that leaves them feeling hungry all day long.  A diet that leaves you hungry all the time is sure to lead to binge eating and then eventually just giving up eating healthy.

5 Carbmaster milk has more calcium than skim milk.

You read that right, Carbmaster milk does have more calcium per cup than skim milk!  Carbmaster milk has 400 mg of calcium while skim milk only has 300 mg.  If your major source of calcium is milk, you are better off drinking Carbmaster milk.

Hopefully you are now ready to consider switching to Carbmaster milk if you are trying to lose weight. Carbmaster milk is also lactose free if that is an issue for you.  Carbmaster milk is a Kroger brand and you will only find it at Kroger. It is a bit more expensive than regular skim milk but it doesn’t expire as quickly as skim milk and it has so many benefits that it is worth the extra money.

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How to Have Sustainable Weight Loss

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5 Common Signs of Eating Disorders

When we hear the term “eating disorder”  we usually think of someone who won’t eat anything or someone who eats too much and then purges.  There really is a lot more to eating disorders than just those 2.  Plus, I want to give you some insight into what habits you have now that could lead to an eating disorder.  Let me share the five common signs of eating disorders

Eating Disorders

1 Skipping meals

I know this is something that can happen from time to time with our busy schedules, but if you are intentionally skipping meals then it can be a problem.  Do you skip meals when you know you will be going out for a big dinner?  That is really not a good sign and not a good idea.

2 Eating until you become sick

This one is a no brainer.  If you eat until you are sick, that is obviously not healthy.  It also can mean that you have been so strict on what you are eating that you no longer want to feel deprived.  Having a healthy lifestyle needs to allow some “cheats” every now and then or else you will binge to the point of sickness.

3 Obsessing over food labels

I will be the first to admit that reading food labels is a good thing but obsessing over them is not.  This usually leads people to start looking at food as “pure” or “unpure”.  It tends to limit what you will eat to just a very few items. This may lead to a feeling of being superior over those who eat “unpure” food.  It can cause someone to feel they need to be punished if they eat anything “unpure”.  Often the punishment will involve days of even more rigorous limitations of food or several days of fasting.  This is not a healthy attitude towards food.

4 Going to the gym to burn off calories

This one is a bit tricky.  Going to the gym and working out is a good thing.  It becomes a bad thing if you binge and then the next day work out to the point where you deliberately make yourself so sore that you can’t work out for the next 5 days.  You should work out for the health benefits and to feel energetic, not to just burn calories for a planned binge or a binge the night before.

5 Restricting calories because of planned drinking

This can actually be dangerous!  If you have not eaten and then you start drinking alcohol, that is a very unhealthy combination.  You may need to take a step back and have a reality check.  This could not only be a type of eating disorder but could also be a problem with alcohol.

Please feel free to comment on this.  Hopefully this will open up a dialogue to help us all have healthier eating habits.

 

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5 Steps to End Emotional Eating

By Laura Wright, CPT

We have probably all done this at one time or another, but it becomes a huge problem when it becomes a habit.  The almost out of control feeling we have while emotional eating seems too difficult to conquer.  Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, I am just a person who has done some emotional eating and these 5 steps, if implemented, would be helpful to control emotional eating.

5 Steps to End Emotional Eating

  1. Eat mindfully.

Don’t eat in front of any screen (whether TV or computer)!  Pay attention to what you are eating and your emotions while you are eating it.  Is that chocolate cake reminding you of a loved family member and making you want to eat the whole cake instead of just one slice?  Maybe a rough situation that happened earlier in the day has made you feel that a little a treat would make you feel better and then you wind up eating the whole bag of Oreos.  It could be just the opposite, maybe you had a great day and want to celebrate to congratulate yourself by overindulging on unhealthy food.

  1. Keep a record of when you are emotional eating.

Does it usually happen at work or in the evening?  What is making you feel emotional?  It will only take you a short period of time to discover a pattern to your eating based on your emotions.  You will see certain situations that cause you to give in to emotional eating and learn how to prepare for them or how to avoid those situations.

  1. Examine your feelings before, during and after eating.

Here is a question: Were you really hungry or were you just eating to comfort yourself?  Did it start out as a normal meal and then get out of control?  What were your thoughts when it got out of control?  How did you feel afterwards?  Once again, you may start to see a pattern in certain situations or a pattern in your thinking about food that you need to change.

  1. Accept that you must deal with the feelings.

This one is really an extension of step 3.  It is not enough to just identify what you are feeling, you must also learn to deal with those feelings.  This step will take some work.  Write down what feelings you may be using food to avoid.  This is a tough step because you may come to the realization that you need some help in dealing with these feelings in a more appropriate way.  You may realize that talking to friends or family members you trust is helpful for working out your feelings.  You also could come to the conclusion that to really break the cycle of emotional eating, you need to have some help from a counselor or some other type of professional.  Always remember you need to take the steps necessary for your needs.

  1. Find something you can do that will help you stop when you realize you are in the middle of an emotional eating overindulgence.

This does not have to be any big earth -shaking thing that you do.  It could be as simple as counting to ten or taking a few deep breaths.  Maybe go on a quick 5 minute walk or go pet your dogs.  Anything that will make you stop for a minute and think about what you are doing will work.  Look at what you wrote down in step 3 about your feelings after you overindulged.

These are just a few steps to help you along when you are emotional eating.  If you realize that your overindulgence on food is related to some trauma that happened years ago, getting some professional help would be appropriate at that time.  Emotional eating can be serious and lead to long term health problems.  Be sure to take the time you need to take care of yourself emotionally and physically.

If you have any more tips that have worked for you, be sure to leave them in the comments!

 

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3 Negative Identities that Must be Confronted

By Dr. Jim Wright, Co-Founder of Achieve

You want to lose weight, but you can’t get motivated. Or, you were once motivated to lose weight—and you lost some weight—but now you are tired of the whole process. The initial excitement has worn off. The scales don’t seem to move in the right direction anymore. In fact, they are moving in the wrong direction albeit slowly.

What has happened? Where did the fire, the passion, the desire go? You used to anticipate the next day as another opportunity to move in the right direction, but now you almost dread the days because you are fearful they are going to result in a slow creep in the wrong direction.

There are several factors that may be leading to your weight regain. In this brief article I am going to focus on just one: Your Identity. How you think about yourself determines what you do with yourself. Here are some identity issues that may be leading to your regression:

  1. You are a victim of frustration

At first the scales may have shown consistent improvement. With the exception of a day here or there, you saw the numbers going down. It seemed like every day you drop a tenth or two; you saw progress! However, somewhere the progress stalled or there were longer periods of no progress. Eventually, subconsciously, you told yourself you couldn’t take weight off. So, you stopped making health choices, you started “fudging” (no pun intended) at meals; you started having an additional snack or overeating your portions. As the weight started to come back on, you told yourself that you just could not do lost weight.

  1. You are a victim of your genes

As the weight loss stalled or started o reverse itself, you told yourself that you were just meant to be heavier. You may have used the “I’m big boned” excuse or “Being overweight is in my genes.” You began to re-identify yourself with your pre-weight loss past. Your excuses gave you a reason to stop making healthy choices. The saying is true “If you give an inch, you will take a mile” and you started to give the inches and gain inches.

  1. You are a victim of life

You started to see yourself as “old.” You started to tell yourself that you are just too old to lose weight or too old to care anymore. You started to say you are too tired. You said that your days were too long to worry about what you ate. You just have too much going on in life. You are an old, weary, worn-out person! In short, you are a victim of your circumstances.

How can you reverse the negative identity?

  1. You can triumph over negative thoughts

When the scales don’t go in the right direction—even if they go in the wrong direction that day—remind yourself of the right choices you made. Remember, unhealthy eating gives immediate gratification; whereas healthy eating gives delayed gratification. It may take a few days to see some results. Also, don’t forget to take into account if you have started taking a medication, started an exercise program, or have some monthly hormonal changes. Focus on the positives other than the scales!

  1. You can triumph over your body

Remember, you’ve lost weight in the past. You can do it. You are not a failure. Accept that there are going to be days of no weight loss; there might even be a few days in a row of no loss, but that doesn’t mean you are a failure.  Take the long view of weight loss. Even if the scale isn’t moving in the right direction, you are still feeding your body correctly. Your body will ultimately respond—it has too!

  1. You can triumph over your schedule

We are all tired! We all live busy lives. We all have obligations. Preparation and planning when you are not tired is your biggest weapon. Having access to void replacements and being prepared for those unexpected restaurant stops will lead to your success. You have beaten the Diet Demon in the past with the same schedule and you can do it again! You can be triumphant. You are the “master of your fate” when it comes to what you put into your mouth. Food is not your master!!

Weight loss is a choice. It begins and ends with how you see yourself. Are you a victim or a victor? When a person moves from victor to victim the end is near! When you move from victim to victor the future is here!

 

3 Reasons Why We Fall Away From Our Healthy Eating Plan and How to Overcome Them

By Laura Wright, CPT
Achieve Weight Loss

Let’s face it, we have all been there or are there right now.  We lose weight and are so proud and feel healthier but then slowly, almost insidiously, those pounds start creeping back.  What makes so many of us gain back the weight we have worked so hard to take off?  I think there are 3 reasons why we gain the weight back and I am going to give you some solutions for them.

1. Behavioral Fatigue:  

This is pretty simple to understand.  We are just plain tired of eating healthy!  We want to be able to eat whatever we want whenever we want.

Solutions:

This one is going to step on some toes so I hope you are not barefoot.  We are selfish and greedy.  Like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum, we want what we want and we want it now.  We need to realize that we do not have to constantly overindulge on food and we are not to be pitied and pampered if we can’t eat whatever we want.

Another solution for Behavioral Fatigue is to change our reward system.  First of all, DON’T REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD!  All that will do is make you feel that food is a reward you deserve.  You may be a person who rewards themselves with a new article of clothing for every 10 pounds.  That is a great reward but the same rewards over and over can get boring.  Maybe start looking at rewards as something you wanted to DO but couldn’t because you were too overweight.  For example, reward yourself by walking on a mile hike with your grandkids or maybe going on that roller coaster you always wanted to try but were afraid you might too big.  Be creative!

2. Pessimism and Perfectionism:

These two may at first seem unrelated but they are really the same thing from two different angles.  Pessimism says, “I’ve tried before but always failed.”  Perfectionism says, “If I am not doing it perfectly then I am a failure”.  They both lead you to feel you are a failure and that you should just stop trying.

Solutions:

This is where you need to remember your why.  Why do you want to lose weight?  Do you have some medical reasons or are you  just feeling uncomfortable in your own skin?  You need to know why you want to lose and that will help keep you motivated.  We also need to make sure that our why is not unreasonable. For instance, if you want to be a size 0 and weigh 85 pounds that is probably not a reasonable (or healthy) goal.  Weight loss begins in the mind and you need a why to stay motivated.

You can fight Pessimism and Perfectionism by rewarding approximate goals.  For example, if you wanted to lose 10 pounds this month and you only lost 8, don’t look at that as a failure.  I have heard people that come in to be weighed and they say “I only lost 1.5 pounds this week.  I wanted to lose 2.”  You can’t look at everything as a failure, that will just make you quickly want to give up.

3.  Unhealthy Behaviors Lead to Immediate Positive Feelings while Healthy Behaviors Lead to Immediate Negative Feelings:

I know this is a long one but just let that sink in for a moment.  I first heard this statement by Dr Patrick O’Neil, PhD in a lecture titled “Behavioral Aspects of Obesity Management.”  I’ll sum this up in my own words “Chocolate cake is yummy and when I eat it I am happy.  When I try to resist and not eat, it I am missing out on all the good stuff. (insert pouty face)”

Solutions:

Remember that your unhealthy behaviors will lead to future negative feelings.  We can’t keep eating the cake and losing weight, it will eventually result in weight gain.  We need to think about the positive results of not eating cake.  (looser clothes, better health etc…)  We also need to keep reminding ourselves that the healthy behaviors will eventually lead to positive results.  This one is a bit harder because we see the future results as uncertain.  We need to realize that our healthy behaviors, if we are consistent, will lead to positive results.

We also need to remember that our healthy behaviors may make others uncomfortable which only makes them even more difficult.  I know I have had friends almost upset at me for choosing to stick with a healthy eating plan.  This just makes the immediate feelings even more negative. You need to tell your friends that you have a healthy eating plan that does allow you to at times splurge but just not all the time. Don’t give in to their peer pressure, your future results will be positive!  Congratulations on your new healthy lifestyle.

I hope this has been helpful and encouraging as you start or continue on your healthy eating plan.  The results will be worth it!

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Butternut Squash Soup

Freebie Butternut Squash Soup
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Category FC
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large soup pot. Add celery, onion, and garlic and saute until begins to soften, a couple of minutes.
  2. Drain off oil
  3. Add squash, thyme, basil, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly, carefully puree squash in batches in a blender, add back into broth and heat through.
Category FC
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large soup pot. Add celery, onion, and garlic and saute until begins to soften, a couple of minutes.
  2. Drain off oil
  3. Add squash, thyme, basil, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly, carefully puree squash in batches in a blender, add back into broth and heat through.
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Asian Chicken and Noodles

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Asian Chicken and Noodles
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Nutrition Facts
Asian Chicken and Noodles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4g
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 1309mg 55%
Potassium 607mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 26%
Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 4%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course Main Dish
Category LP NC FC
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, liquid aminos, minced garlic, hot chili paste, and ginger, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onions, and curry powder, and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes, then add mushrooms and peas, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add cooked noodles and cooked chicken to the pan and toss to combine. Pour in about 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce, and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes, tossing continuously so that noodles do not stick together.
  5. Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in remaining sauce, tossing noodles to coat.
  6. Garnish with green onions, serve warm.
Course Main Dish
Category LP NC FC
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, liquid aminos, minced garlic, hot chili paste, and ginger, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onions, and curry powder, and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes, then add mushrooms and peas, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add cooked noodles and cooked chicken to the pan and toss to combine. Pour in about 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce, and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes, tossing continuously so that noodles do not stick together.
  5. Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in remaining sauce, tossing noodles to coat.
  6. Garnish with green onions, serve warm.
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Nutrition Facts
Asian Chicken and Noodles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4g
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 1309mg 55%
Potassium 607mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 26%
Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 4%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Notes