Healthy Snack Attacks

128 Calorie Strawberry & Low-fat Cream Cheese Sandwich from Eating Well

The idea of eating 3 square meals a day is going the way of the typewriter (does anyone besides me remember carbon paper?) in favor of eating 5-6 times a day in order to boost metabolism and maintain energy throughout the day.

To increase your metabolism and lose weight, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends eating numerous, nutritious small meals or mini-meals a day instead of the usual three.

The ADA has put together a list of healthy snack choices that contain a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. Here is a sampling from the ADA’s list, broken down by the amount of calories:

Snacks with 200 Calories or Less:

  • One tablespoon of peanut butter spread on a medium-sized sliced apple
  • One cup tomato soup with 5 whole grain crackers
  • One 6-inch flour tortilla with 1/4 cup black beans and 2 tablespoons fresh salsa (my suggestion: go with a whole wheat tortilla, instead)
  • Toaster waffle topped with 1/2 cup blueberries and 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt

200-300 Calorie Snacks for Active Adults, Teens & Athletes:

  • Instant oatmeal with fat-free milk and 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 cup sliced peaches and a dash of cinnamon
  • Veggie pizzas: split whole wheat English muffin, top with 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, 1/2 cup diced fresh veggies and 1 ounce low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Banana split: banana sliced lengthwise topped with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt and 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts

You can see the complete list here, Smart_Snacking_for_Adults_and_Teens1 along with tips for healthy snacking.

It’s important to remember, snacks require portion control. Like all foods, if you eat more than the recommended serving size, you will add calories to your diet. Even if you cheat “just a little” by eating an extra 100 calories a day, you could gain 10 pounds in one year. Yikes!

You can find more healthy snack ideas by checking out the web. Here are a few sites that may come in handy. Many list snacks by calories and some according to food group. There’s a great variety to choose from. (Although, Good & Plenty is suspiciously missing from the lists. Hmmmm.)

Snack Girl:
Self magazine:
Eating Well:

Run, KeepWell! Run!

Custom Keds - Maybe Nike ID will hook me up with some custom running shoes?

KeepWell Foods is very excited to sponsor the City of Cypress 5k/10k Run/Walk this Saturday morning, July 24, at the Civic Center. There is still time to register – and when you regsiter you can contribute to The Cancer Support Foundation. I will be running/slowly jogging in the 5k and hope to break my blazing 10-minute mile time (don’t be jealous).

Even if you’re not participating in the run/walk, please stop by the KeepWell tent for a free sample of KeepWell. We’d love to see you.

In addition to the run/walk in the morning, there is an all day (9:00-5:00) City of Cypress Community Festival at Oak Knoll Park. There is plenty of food and entertainment including a chili and salsa cook-off, game booths, live music, children’s rides, and a car show.

If I don’t see you in Cypress, enjoy your weekend.

The Outdoor Fitness Accessory You Hope to Never Use


Elite Wrist ID

One of my family members who spends a lot of time exercising outdoors recently told me about an important fitness “accessory” for people who walk, run, bike, swim, hike or just like to spend time outdoors. It is called Road ID.

Some folks write their name and phone number in their running shorts, or, like me, carry a copy of their driver’s license with them when exercising outdoors. In case of an emergency, this only tells first responders your name, phone number and/or address. But with Road ID, first responders have access to important, and even life-saving information.

Road ID describes itself as “personal identification gear”. Think of it as a modern ID bracelet, but with a twist. There are two versions – Original and Interactive. The Original version (shown above) allows you to custom engrave 6-7 lines of information such as your name, address and emergency contact names and phone numbers. But the cool factor comes in with the Interactive version The Interactive version also lets you custom engrave information, but it includes a Serial number and PIN that allows first responders to access your health information and your emergency contact information through a secure web site or phone number. With the Interactive version you can update your Emergency Response Profile as often as you like. There is a charge of $9.99 per year for this service, but the first year is free. A small price to pay for peace of mind.

Interactive ID Plate

This would have come in handy for a friend of mine who tripped while jogging, hit her head on the pavement and knocked herself out. Fortunately, she regained consciousness in a few minutes, but had that not happened the paramedics would have been able to contact her family and her doctor, and determine if she had any medical conditions and/or allergies and what medication she was taking. You can check out the Road ID web site for testimonials from some of their customers.

Road ID comes in several different colors and styles ranging from bracelets and dog tags to anklets and shoe pouches. The ID plates are interchangeable so you can order different band colors and switch out the plate. Plus, Road ID donates a portion of the proceeds from every order to one of nine charities – you can take your pick.

I ordered the Interactive Wrist Elite ID in black. I hope I never need it, but I feel safer knowing that I have it.

How Baseballs and Lightbulbs Can Help with Portion Control

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, our serving sizes and serving plates have grown to mythic proportions. And since many of us were taught to “clean our plates” we are eating far more than we need at most meals. Several  studies have been conducted that demonstrate that we will eat until our plate or bowl is empty, rather than until we are full.

There are some steps you can take to battle the supersizing phenomenon. For many of us it is much easier to visualize a serving size by comparing it to an everyday object rather than to a measuring cup or scale. To that end, WebMd has an interactive tool that allows you to see several food items from each of the major food groups displayed on a plate and compared side-by-side with an object that represents a portion size. For example, a cup of vegetables is roughly the equivalent of a baseball. Or, a piece of fish is approximately the size of a checkbook.

You can check it out here on WebMd: Portion Size Plate

There is also a pocket-size version you can print and keep in your wallet and a larger one you can post on your frig.

WebMd also recommends using smaller plates, dishing your food directly from the stove (not leaving serving bowls, platters, etc. on the table) and taking advantage of doggie bags. With the supersize portions at many restaurants you can now get lunch and dinner for the price of one. You can find more information on portion control at: Avoid Portion Distortion.


Free Slurpees!

This Sunday (7/11), 7-Eleven will celebrate its 83rd birthday by giving away free 7.11 oz. Slurpees. Some stores will serve the deliciously refreshing ice cold awesomeness in a special birthday cup. You can find more information at or visit Slurpee on Facebook.

Now I know some of you may be asking, “But Rhonda, is a Slurpee really a part of a healthy diet?” My answer is, “All things in moderation.” Slurpee calories range from about 60 to 120 in an 8 oz. serving and sugar ranges from about 17g to 32g, depending on the flavor. As long as you don’t drink a Double Big Gulp (128 oz.) of the stuff, you probably aren’t doing yourself any harm. Plus, there is a really tasty sugar-free flavor – Crystal Light Peach Mango Fusion, which only has 60 calories per 12 oz. serving. I highly recommend it.

So for all of you who have been sweating it out the past few days, give yourself a treat and try to stay cool this weekend.

Why Fad Diets Flop

I love this line from WebMd “The best diet is not a diet at all but a way of life that lets you “eat to live” as you enjoy healthy food, exercise and optimal health“. *

It seems with all of our supersizing, adding bacon and cheese to almost everything, and ignoring nutritional labels, we have forgotten how important it is to “eat to live” and not “live to eat”. To think we can eat whatever we want, and in whatever quantities, and not pay a price is short-sighted at best and life-threatening at worst. Rather than taking a long-term lifestyle changing approach to losing weight, many people turn to quick-fix fad diets. The article, The Truth about Fad Diets on WebMd, explains why fad diets don’t work. What does work?Burning off more calories than you take in.
Here is a partial list of fad diets from WebMd. Any of these sound familiar?
  • Low-carb diet
  • Low-fat diet
  • Liquid diet (using low-calorie, high fiber shakes)
  • Grapefruit diet
  • Detox diet (nothing says delicious and filling like a nice tall glass of lemon juice and cayenne pepper)
  • Cabbage Soup diet
  • Macrobiotic diet
  • Juice diet
  • Brussel Sprouts and Bananas diet

O.k., so I made that last one up. But if I put together an infomercial with a “doctor”, some great before and after testimonials, and a promise that you’d lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days, I could sell it, make a killing and retire to the Caribbean.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people who keep weight off for the long term are those who adopt healthy eating habits as part of their normal lifestyle and who also get regular exercise. It is a lifestyle commitment – to yourself. Eating healthy can be challenging at times, so it’s important to educate yourself. This means learning who to trust for health advice – like your doctor – and not your friend whose aunt in Mexico sends special “magic diet pills” that make you lose all kinds of weight in just a couple of weeks. Oh, did I forget to mention that these same pills are essentially speed and will only allow you to sleep for 1-3 hours a night? And they make your heart beat faster than a hummingbird on caffeine? And that you are so on edge that you jump at the sound of your own name? And after you lose the weight it all comes back, plus more?

We have to get over this obsession with trying to correct long-term bad eating habits with a short-term fix and minimal or no effort. Fad diets simply don’t work. In most cases, they make the problem worse.

So after you decide to stop torturing yourself with fad diets, where do you turn? When it comes to choosing a weight loss program, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you “don’t fall for gimmicks when it comes to weight loss. Evaluate diets carefully to find one that could work for you for the long term.” You can find more information on choosing a weight loss program by reviewing the Mayo Clinic’s article “Weight Loss: Choosing a Diet that’s Right for You. The article recommends you do the following:

  • Involve your doctor
  • Consider your personal weight-loss issues
  • Look for a safe & effective program (this includes balanced nutrition and exercise)
  • Look for a program that encourages permanent healthy lifestyle changes

If changing habits were easy, we’d all do it. But isn’t your health worth the effort? I leave you with this quote from Lee Iacocca: “You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.”

*In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it’s important to tell you that I have never, and I mean never, been on a diet of any kind. I credit this to my parents, especially my mother, who encouraged an active lifestyle of playing sports and playing outside whenever possible, and not allowing me to eat too many processed foods full of added sugar and fat. But this does not mean that I am incapable of empathy when it comes to the challenges of healthy eating. As I write this posting, there is an empty box of Good & Plenty on my desk.

Healthy Fare for the Fourth

Healthy BBQ Grilling

The upcoming Fourth of July holiday usually includes get-togethers with family and friends that involve some great bbq and other summer-time favorites. Unfortunately, some of these foods aren’t very healthy. Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite summer-time foods you can enjoy healthier versions by swithching to lighter recipes that taste great but cut down on the fat, calories, sugar, and salt.

Here are a few web sites where you can find healthy recipes for the grill, side dishes and desserts:

Enjoy your holiday. Be safe and keep well.

Fattiest Foods from Sea to Shining Sea

While I would normally wait until Fun Friday to make this posting, I was so intrigued/appalled by this story that I wanted to share it sooner than later. just posted an article titled The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States – complete with pictures, written by Sarah Klein. No state is spared. Some of the creativity that went into these concoctions is noteworthy, if not artery-clogging.

Hot Beef Sundae

One that caught my attention is from the state of Iowa: a hot beef sundae complete with mashed potatoes, roast beef, gravy, cheddar cheese and a cherry tomato on top. There is also a breakfast burrito from Colorado that weighs 7 pounds. No, that is not a typo. It contains seven potatoes and a dozen eggs, amongst other ingredients.

There are photos for each “winner”. In KeepWell’s home state of California, the winner is a double-double from In-n-Out. For those of you from the golden state, you know how wonderfully tasty and fresh In-n-Out burgers are and that it’s worth eating salad for a day or two to compensate for the food. Or, you could simply have their single cheeseburger and spare yourself some of the fat. Remember, all things in moderation. It’s lunchtime now. Wonder if I have time to make it to Louisiana for a beignet? :p

Measure Up Bowls: An Easier Way to Control Yourself

NutritionFacts Panel for Cereal

While visiting the Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim, CA last March, I discovered a new product called the Measure Up (MU) bowl. Measure Up bowls contain markings inside the bowls so you can see, in cups, how much cereal, fruit, veggies, chips, etc. you are eating. Recent studies have shown that we regularly underestimate how many calories we consume and our increased portions have to led to increased waistlines.

Spatial reasoning is not one of my strengths and I am too lazy to drag out a set of measuring cups every time I eat, so I thought an MU bowl would help me determine how much I should be eating when it comes to cereal. While most people eat cereal for breakfast, I typically eat it in the evening after exercising. I am usually starving after a good workout but know that eating an entire bag of potato chips followed by an ice cream sandwich is not the best choice. So I opt for a cereal that has some flavor and fiber to tide me over until morning.

To the left is the nurtitional facts panel for my cereal of choice. The label says 3/4 cup equals one serving . In order to see how much I actually eat, I poured my usual amount of cereal into a cereal bowl and then transferred it into the MU bowl. As I suspected, I eat more than one serving – 1.33 to be exact. So that means either cutting back on how much I am eating or multiplying the information on the nutrition facts panel by 1.33 to calculate what I am actually consuming: 160 calories, 7g of fiber, 7g of sugar, 5g  of protein, etc. There is non-fat milk involved, too, but I’ll save those calculations for another blog posting.  I have yet to do this experiment with ice cream as I am certain that my MU bowls would somehow mysteriously disappear. Thank goodness for those new single serve ice cream cups – they have saved me from myself. 

When it comes to food, ignorance is not bliss. Education is key and understanding portions is an important lesson.

Approximately 1 cup of cereal in a typical bowl

One serving size (3/4 cup) in the MU bowl on the left, plus leftovers










Need Help Planning a Route? Try Gmaps Pedometer

Time is a precious commodity and finding time to exercise can be difficult. I  try to squeeze in some exercise while my kids are at practice. Because of their various practice locations, I often find myself running in different areas. I have at least four routes in three cities. But before I blindly go running in unfamiliar territory, I plan my route using Gmaps Pedometer.

Whether you are a runner, walker, bicyclist, skater, hiker, or professional cart wheeler, this is a great tool to plan your route and know how many miles you will be covering – it will even tell you how many calories you will burn. You can input your starting point in the Jump In field across the top and use the Zoom feature to pinpoint your location. There are several options along the left-hand side which you can configure to your liking. I prefer to use the manual setting as sometimes I run through a park, which is not a marked street and can only be properly measured manually. You can also save your routes for future reference.

Always remember: safety first. Before I start a new route, I drive the route first (if possible) to find out if there are sidewalks, crosswalks, proper lighting, how much traffic to expect, etc. and that the route is generally safe (drivers who fail to yield to people in crosswalks not withstanding). For trails and parks, you should consider going with a friend. And always remember to let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back.

Happy trails! 

February 2020
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