Healthy, On-the-Go Fun Wrap Ideas

Wraps can be a fun, healthy, clean way to mix up your lunch options. They are great to make at home and easy to pack up and take with your or even just hold in your hand as you're racing out the door for a meeting or a child pickup. Wraps are also great for volume control. While a salad may appear healthy, the second you load up a giant bowl and put a million add-ons in there, you could be eating way more calories than you really should. Wraps, on the other hand, keep portion control in check. 

Keep in mind that if you are eating out or picking up something at a deli, I would forego the wrap and go for a regular sandwich on two slices of rye or whole wheat bread. Wraps found at these places are typically 200-300 calories for the tortilla alone. But when making food to eat at home or take with you on-the-go, I found amazing wraps in grocery stores. For all these recipes, you can use either the Maria & Ricardo's fiber rich wrap or Siete Family Foods gluten free coconut flour wrap or a lettuce wrap!

Here are T of my fun, clean, and easy wrap recipes:

  1. BLAT: 2 slices organic turkey, 1/4 avocado,  1T of Bolthouse Farms blue cheese dressing, lettuce, tomato and place in wrap
  2. Veggie Delight: 2T Kite Hill truffle, dill and chive spread, 1/4 avocado, lettuce, tomato and add to wrap! 
  3. Tuna salad or tuna melt (your choice): Wild Planet Foods packet of tuna, 1T 365 Whole Foods mayo (it is more tangy than regular light Mayo so check taste first), any veggies such as celery and carrots to the tuna plus lettuce. For the tuna melt, add 1-2 T Horizon Organic cheddar cheese and heat it up! 
  4. Turkey Fun: 4 slices roasted Applegate organic turkey, lettuce, tomato and either 1-2 T Le Grand Tzatziki or mustard of choice.
  5. Chicken Salad: You can poach your own chicken (love to do this in chicken bone broth) or for a quicker option, I use Valley Fresh canned chicken and 1T 365 light mayo (if you want a different flavor you can add 2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp garlic powder and some chopped cilantro or parsley). Add some lettuce and place in wrap. 
  6. Chicken Parm: I used a 4 oz piece of left over chicken. We had breaded it with Aleia's Gluten Free Foods gluten free bread crumbs. I added a small amount of Cucina Antica marinara sauce and sprinkled on 1-2T of Horizon organic mozzarella. Place it all in wrap and heat it up. I used my Breville Smart oven for a couple minutes! 
  7. Egg Salad: 2 whole hard boiled eggs and 2 whites plus 1T 365 light mayo and chopped celery. When you are in a rush you can also use Trader Joe's egg white salad. Add some lettuce and place in wrap!
  8. Chicken Caesar: 3 oz sliced grilled or poached chicken, lettuce, 1T fresh Parmesan cheese, 1T Bolthouse Farms Caesar salad dressing and add to wrap.
  9. Almond Butter & Banana or Jam: spread 1.5T Wild Friends Foods protein vanilla almond butter & either 1/2 banana or 1T Crofter's Organic jam on wrap of your choice. 
  10. Breakfast Burrito: 4 egg whites scrambled with 1/4 chopped green pepper, 1 T Horizon Monterey Jack shredded cheese, 1 Applegate organic apple turkey link sliced up (optional toppings - 1 tsp of fresh Guacamole or 2 slices fresh avocado & 1 tsp fresh salsa) and add to wrap.

For more about my fun wrap ideas, check out the video below:

Healthy, Quick Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mornings

I know you've been told: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” more times than you care to hear it, and I hate to break it to ya, but it’s true. Think of your body as a car - it can’t run without fuel. Eating breakfast is important to replenish your glucose and protein stores, jumpstart your metabolism and give you more strength and endurance after your 7 hour fast. And no, that cup-of-joe is not a complete breakfast. Start your day off on the right foot with a breakfast that's high in protein and fiber so you'll stay full until lunch and set yourself up for a successful day. Even if you don't think you have time for breakfast as you're rushing out the door, grab one of these healthy suggestions to start your day off right.

  1. Cold + hot cereal in a controlled serving, grab-and-go container. Single-serve packaging is great when you're traveling or to eat on your commute. Some of my favorite brands are Purely Elizabeth granola & puffs, Holy Crap Cereal, VIGILANT EATSsuperfoods cereal and Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods oatmeal.
  2. Two hard boiled eggs (look for grass-fed, organic eggs) plus 2 fiber crackers (I like Fiber Rich Bran Crispbread and GG Scandinavian brands). Make a batch of hard boiled eggs in the beginning of the week and keep them in a bowl in the fridge with the shell still on so they don't smell. Then you can just grab and peel as you're ready to eat!
  3. Nutrition bars. A bar for breakfast isn't always ideal, but if you're in a rush, it is a good choice. Keep it under 200 calories, high in protein and fiber and low in sugar. Two of my current favorites are the BHU Fit bar with egg white protein and the Raw Rev Glo bar.
  4.  Single-serve yogurts and cottage cheese. All you need is a spoon and you are good to go. I like the Siggi's 4% yogurt (yes 4% - some healthy fat is good for you!), and you can put the Purely Elizabeth puffs on top and maybe some berries. Good Culture cottage cheese is great and already has the fruit in it. You can add 2 fiber crackers here too.

For more on these on-the-go breakfast ideas, check out the video below:

Make Any Restaurant Meal a Healthy Meal

Eating out can really feel like a mini-vacation - leading us to over indulge or make unhealthy ordering decisions - a side of fries here, a shared dessert there. It's not as easy to eat healthy when you're not in your own kitchen, but you can do it! Here are some pointers on how to dine out with your health and weight in mind: 

  • Know your cuisine triggers. If you know, for example, that Mexican is a trigger for you, try to push for the French bistro when you're making plans, especially in the first three weeks of your diet. Try to take an active role in the restaurant selection. If someone suggests Mexican, you can always say, "I had Mexican yesterday." 
  • Have two fiber crackers and drink eight ounces of water before you go out to curb your appetite.
  • Check the menu ahead of time; pick a couple of smart options in case the menu has changed.
  • Before you arrive, choose your "Angel Carb." This may be in the dish itself, such as a sauce, grains or potatoes, an extra glass of wine or a shared dessert.
  • Skip the bread basket. 
  • Make only one special request of the chef (if any).
  • Take a sip of your drink for a toast and save the rest to enjoy during the appetizer or entree. 
  • Slow down. Put your fork and knife down at least three times, have your water glass filled up three times and be the talker.
  • Choose grilled, roasted or baked foods.
  • The perfect finish to your meal is peppermint tea. It gives you a nice minty taste which helps put a stop to picking and tasting any other desserts on the table, and it gives you something to do with your hands.
  • Your kitchen is closed! The food and wine and relaxing experience of dining out can soften your resolve and tempt you into saving your dessert for home. You can imagine why this is a very bad idea. When you get home after a dinner out, there's no kitchen reentry except perhaps for a mug of tea. 

Wouldn't it be nice to have an nutrition-angel on your shoulder suggesting exactly what you should choose from any menu? Download my full dine out guide for free, complete with ordering recommendations for specific cuisines, so you'll never be stuck indecisively staring at a menu again.

3 Easy Dinners You Can Make @Home

Dinner can be tough. We get home from a long day of work and child care and exercise and errands and whatever else we fit into the daylight hours. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is create a home cooked meal - and let's face it, the kitchen can certainly be intimidating! Instead of reaching for the takeout menu, check out some of my favorite clean, simple and delicious meals below. You can make all of them in under half an hour, no matter how many mouths you have to feed, and with minimal clean up.

Fish in a Package

Take a non-fishy fish fillet like sole or tilapia. Put it on top of a piece of parchment paper (or aluminum foil) that is large enough to fully wrap the fish. Top with chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of capers, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. Close up the parchment or foil, place the package on a baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Serve on top of steamed spinach. It can also be served with a baked sweet potato.

Healthy breaded chicken 2 ways

Take boneless, skinless chicken breast. Dip it in egg, then dip it in a bowl of gluten free breadcrumbs or unprocessed bran (or Fiber One or All-Bran cereal that’s been whirled in the processor or blender) to coat. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven until the chicken is cooked through. Then:

Make chicken parm lite. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, cover with one-half cup marinara sauce (I love the Cuina Antica brand because it has no added sugar) and sprinkle with shredded, low-fat mozzarella cheese. Serve over steamed spinach or shirataki noodles.

OR

Make chicken Milanese. While the chicken is baking, slice cherry tomatoes. Use olive oil spray to lightly coat some portabello mushrooms, and then grill the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are done, add balsamic vinegar. When the chicken is done, place it on a plate adding arugula, cherry tomatoes, and a little bit of chopped garlic and balsamic vinegar on top. The mushrooms are an excellent side dish.

Broiled Salmon

Take a 4 oz. piece of salmon and take a pinch of salt/pepper and squeeze of lemon and place on top of al foil on a baking sheet in the toaster oven. Broil the salmon for 10-13 minutes until it is cooked through (and depending on how well-done you want it). You can also try with some Dijon mustard, tzatziki or a marinade (look for one with no sugar added, like Tessemae brand) on top as an alternative. Serve with steamed veggies and a baked sweet potato.

For more on these easy dinner ideas, check out the video below:


Dinner at home is taken care of, but what about all those nights out?

Wish you could have a nutritionist-angel on your shoulder, telling you what to order? Now you can! Download my complete set of dine out guides for free.

How to Order a Healthy Meal at ANY Japanese Restaurant

Heather Bauer, RD CDN

Heather Bauer, RD CDN

Imagine if you could have a nutrition-angel on your shoulder every time you head to a Japanese resto? Now you can! Welcome to The Food Fix. Here's what I recommend:

APPETIZER CHOICEs

  • Miso soup (if you are not salt sensitive)
  • Mixed green salad with half a serving of the ginger dressing.

ENTREE CHOICES

  • Chicken or salmon teriyaki with double steamed veggies (no rice) 
  • Six-piece maki roll with four pieces of sashimi
  • Six pieces of sashimi and a side order of oshitashi (spinach). 

AVOID THESE

  • Dishes described as Agemono or tempura, both of which are deep fried
  • Spider, dynamite, spicy rolls, and eel. 
  • Sushi rolls made with cream cheese and too much avocado

MORE SUGGESTIONS

  • Look for rolls wrapped in cucumber instead of rice (naruto style).
  • Edamame usually comes salted it is soy beans, so this works best for vegetarians or slower eaters who will only have a few pieces.
  • You can also always sub the rice in a hand roll for cucumber.
  • Always request lite soy sauce and add wasabi and ice cubes to help dilute it and no refills. 
  • Eat with chopsticks to help slow you down.
  • Be careful with sake. It is more calories than you think. Six ounces of sake is about 240 calories versus 150 calories for six ounces of wine.

Want my complete set of FREE dine out guides?

Why You Should Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food

In our fast-paced culture, it's no surprise we scarf down food as we are busy doing other things -- working, cooking, watching TV, socializing. Before you know it, that delicious meal you sat down to enjoy is gone, and you aren't exactly satisfied. Paying more attention to what you're eating helps you consume less, improves digestion, enhances your dining experience, and allows the natural signals of fullness to register.

Here are my top tips for slowing down at meal time:

  • Use chopsticks for all cuisines when you’re eating at home. It will automatically slow down your rate of eating and the amount of food you’re going to eat. If you’re a pro with chopsticks, make sure to use them in the opposite hand.
  • When you’re out at a restaurant, make sure to eat with your non-writing hand, be the talker, not the eater, put your fork and knife down after every few bites, and have your water glass filled up at least three times.
  • When eating at home, take a few minutes to decompress after a long day instead of diving straight for the fridge. Don't give food the power to relieve your stress! Also use a timer until you get used to eating at a slower pace.

Strategic Snacking Tips

Strategic snacking is one of the most effective weapons you have against a poor food choice or (shudder!) a binge. When you keep your hunger in check with an appropriate snack, you're making it much easier to stick to your healthy food choices. But there's a key word here - strategic. If you snack mindlessly, you'll be adding extra calories to your daily intake without accomplishing your goal of minimizing hunger.

Here are my top Strategic Snacking Tips:

  • Know yourself. Try going from lunch to dinner without a snack. If you find that you are able to make good choices at dinner and that you're not utterly starving, you probably don't need a snack. If, on the other hand, you're desperate to eat just about anything by the time 5pm rolls around, you are a good candidate for a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Watch your weekends. Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand for weekends. It's better to over-indulge in a healthy snack than to lose control at a brunch buffet.
  • Don't be a health-snack-nut. Even portion controlled snacks can pile on calories and a lot of people find it impossible to stop at one little snack pack. Moreover, for many dieters, the practice is worse than the calories. Once you get accustomed to downing a nibble here and a bite there it can be a hard habit to break.

When you start thinking of snacking as a strategic way to control your hunger, it can be one of your best healthy eating tools.