GreenLite Recipe: Greek Salad with Sardines

The fresh, tangy elements of a Greek salad – tomato, cucumber, feta, olives and lemony vinaigrette – pair well with rich-tasting sardines.

Ingredients (4 servings – 2 cups each)

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large English cucumber, cut into large chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Light Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 4-ounce cans sardines with bones, packed in water, drained

Instructions

  • Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Add tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, feta, onion and olives; gently toss to combine. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top with sardines.

Units per serving:

  • Protein: 3
  • Carbohydrate: 2
  • Condiment: 1

Nutrition facts per serving:

  • 276 Calories (100 calories from fat)
  • 11.5g Fat
  • 20g Protein
  • 24g Net Carbs

GreenLite Recipe: Grilled Radicchio and Fontina

Grilled Radicchio and Fontina RecipeThis delicious recipe has a strong, rich flavor. Best served with baked halibut or cod along with a few lemon wedges.

Ingredients

  • 1 ten-ounce head radicchio
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces finely grated Fontina, Gruyere or Gouda cheese

Instructions

  • Keeping base intact, quarter radicchio so head opens out into four wedges. Combine vinegar, salt, pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Whisk in oil. Brush half the vinaigrette over cut radicchio.
  • Place a grill pan over medium heat. Place radicchio, cut-side down, on the pan. Cover radicchio with a metal bowl. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, until leaves start to soften. Turn radicchio over and sprinkle with most of the cheese, leaving a little for garnish. Cover and cook on low heat until outer leaves are soft and cheese has melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to serving platter, drizzle with remaining half of the vinaigrette, 1/2 tablespoon oregano, and cheese.

Units per serving:

  • Protein: 0.5
  • Carbohydrates: 0.5
  • Condiments: 2

Nutrition facts per serving:

  • 136 Calories (103 calories from fat)
  • 11.5g Fat
  • 4.5g Protein
  • 3.5g Net Carbs

New Product Tuesday: Big Train Buttermilk Pancake Mix

GreenLite New Product TuesdaysBig-Train-Buttermilk-Pancake-Waffle-MixThe Holidays have arrived and the alluring aromas that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside are wafting through the air during this time of year. The fresh damp smell of the fall air, the crunching sound of freshly fallen leaves underneath your feet. The juicy scent of the Thanksgiving Day turkey roasting in the oven, the spicy fragrance of a freshly baked pumpkin pie, the delectable aroma of chewy holiday gingerbread cookies, the buttery smell of morning pancakes wafting throughout the house.  With all these stimulating sensations that come around during the winter time, we understand that this time of year can prove to be difficult while on a Low Carb diet and living “lite.” It may seem like there are many daunting dietary obstacles ahead, but the holidays are really about the time spent with family and friends, not the plates full of holiday sugar cookies and honey-baked ham. With that said, you really don’t need to feel like you’re suffering and completely deprived while living low-carb, it just takes a bit of creativity and fresh perspective to look and feel “lite” and still enjoy the social aspects of food. Here at GreenLite we always say that we like to give our clients a helpful “tool box” of resources and tips that they can access to help them overcome any obstacle that may occur while on our program, and this week’s product is another “tool” for that box.
This week’s New Product Tuesday features a product that can provide a little of the best of both worlds: Big Train’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix. This mix could be a great option for a family brunch and help you enjoy having pancakes as a special treat for the Holiday, and still feel good about doing so. Not only can this mix be used to rally up the troops for a family brunch, you can also enjoy a special treat for the holidays without feeling guilty. Enjoying memories and family laughter while eating a wholesome treat, sounds like a win-win situation!

THE FACTS:

 

While not ideal for those of you in the acute weight loss phase, if you happen to be seriously craving for a short stack of pancakes, Big Train buttermilk pancakes could be stellar alternative for you. Remember that a treat is not a cheat so long as it’s infrequent AND you count it.  In this case, 3 small pancakes= 1 carbohydrate exchange.

REVIEW:

 

Nutritional Info:

GreenLite Medicine Big Train Pancakes_nutritional info

With a 7g net carb and 15g protein for three moderately sized pancakes, these are nutrition stats that make other pancakes weep in nutritional mercy. While we do wish this mix was a little lower in carbs, we think these pancakes could be a great occasional treat. Keep in mind that these that the above nutritional info is for half the prepared pancake mix. The recipe on the packaging requires 1/2 Cup of the Big Train Buttermilk mix, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of oil and a 1/2 cup of water.

Unlike most other low-carb baking mixes that are chocked full of artificial ingredients and preservatives, Big Train boasts completely natural ingredients:

Wheat gluten, corn starch (low glycemic), wheat flour, corn flour, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), buttermilk solids, salt, natural flavors.

Considering the mix actually contains whole wheat flour and no fake fillers, we think these nutrition facts might be as good as it get considering this mix is the “real deal”.

 

TASTE:

 

4/5 greenlite stars

This mix makes very light, fluffy, satisfying pancakes, without any strange artifical aftertaste that is common with many other low carb products. Although not quite as fluffy as the real deal, these pancakes have a great “pancake-y” texture and are deceptively delicious. They aren’t necessarily identical to short stack you’d order at your local diner but we’d say Big Train has the tastiest and most nutritionally sound pancake mix on the low carb market. We would recommend however, adding some cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar free sweetener to the mix to add a boost of flavor and top with a “condiment ” of your choice (Try Vermont sugar free maple syrup or cholesterol lowering Benecol lite, a fabulous butter alternative).

 

AVAILABILITY:

 

We haven’t been able to find Big Train Buttermilk Pancake mix in stores anywhere locally but it is available online. You will find the most reasonable price over at Netrition.com but it is also available through Amazon and Carbsmart.

 

COST:

 

Through Netrition, The Big Train Buttermilk Mix goes for $4.29! This is a steal compared to Carbsmart’s $6.99 and Amazon’s steep price of $10.25. The $4.29 deal for a 9 oz. bag sure gives bisquick a run for its money and we think it’s a stellar deal for such a healthy and all natural mix.

 

SUMMARY:

 

We don’t necessarily advocate low carb substitutions for every day eating (low carb cookies swaped for toll house cookies doesn’t really help unhealthy eating behavior) but at the same time we understand that sometimes you’d like to enjoy a few pancakes on a cold morning or have a nice family breakfast during this celebratory season. Big Train can be a secret weapon for your “tool kit” in the coming months.

While these pancakes have pretty impressive stats to begin with, you can make them even leaner by substituting 2 egg whites for the whole egg and cutting out half a tablespoon of oil. If pancakes aren’t your thing, this mix can also be used to make waffles! Whatever your breakfast of choice is, with Big Train pancakes, low carb living may have become just a little bit easier.

 

If anyone has any suggestions, ideas or inquiries for our New Product Tuesdays segment, please feel free to email us at products@greenlitemedicine.com

Real Weight Loss Story | Margret B.

Real Weight Loss Story | Margret Barton“I gained approximately 60 pounds because of menopause, which made me feel constantly tired and caused weight gain that seemed out of my control. None of the “diets” I tried were successful and I was heading to a size 18. I first met Dr. Sooji Rugh in my business network group and decided to try the GreenLite program, I had nothing to lose…except weight!!!

I started the GreenLite weight loss program sometime in May 2010. Initially, I met with several health educators before choosing Rochelle for my weekly visits. When Rochelle moved on to get married I began to have my visits with Holly, who I still see  occasionally while on the maintenance program. Every health educator I’ve encountered has been a pleasure to work with; I truly felt educated about nutrition and always felt supported when I was going through tough times. I’m glad I was able to speak with the educators every week, their presence and guidance was a big part of my success. I also loved the fact that if I had a question mid week I was able to call or email GreenLite and receive a response promptly. Everyone at GreenLite has been supportive as they truly understand the process both fundamentally and emotionally. Even staff members that aren’t Health Educators or Medical Providers, like Zoe who is the front desk receptionist, made my clinic visits special.

I choose to sign up with GreenLite Medicine for several reasons: Primarily, I had met Dr. Sooji Rugh beforehand and heard her speak about weight loss. She was very educated on the areas of weight loss, nutrition, and positive lifestyle changes, therefore, her knowledge encouraged me to join the program. Also, I knew several people who had tried the program and they were successful with their weight loss. Seeing their success and confidence only solidified my reason to join the program. I was tired of trying to lose the weight myself and never accomplishing anything; in fact, I always seemed to gain weight rather than lose! I knew I had to something different in order to reach my weight loss goals and create a healthier image for myself.

During the weight loss phase I didn’t work out much. I walked and did some stretches but nothing real rigorous. However, once I transitioned into the maintenance program that changed. I now do a walk/run program for 45 minutes a day using a heart monitor to stay at 70% of maximum heart rate, and I follow this by stretching for 10 minutes a day. I’m in the process of returning to Gold’s Gym and hiring a personal trainer to help me with a weight training program. My goal is to gain four pounds of muscle to help with my maintenance program and to assist in stabilizing my weight.

One of the biggest changes since joining GreenLite is that I’m not as tired and as a result I spend less time in bed. I now have more hours in the day to enjoy for myself or to work on my projects. This is a huge adjustment in my daily routine, since before all I ever wanted to do is lie down. Now, people comment and notice my surge of energy, which makes me feel as though I’ve been given a whole new lease on life!

Learning about nutrition and weight loss through the course of the program encouraged me to become a total tracker of low carbs and low/non-sugar products, to the extent that I’ve written a book of online resources for these products! Once the book is completed, it will be uploaded to a website and readers will be able to buy and download it as an eBook. Finding healthy alternatives to the high carb/sugar products, that I used to eat, has become a passion. I feel good about all the people that I’ve passed my website link information on to and I look forward to doing more of this in the future. I no longer see this program as a “diet,” but as a lifestyle change that is healthy, enjoyable and sustainable.

GreenLite has taught me the ”tricks of the trade” for a sucessful weight loss regimen. I now use smaller plates and bowls and I always make sure I have a snack with me, which helps increase my metabolism and eliminates any hunger pains I may feel. One of my favorite brands is Barleans, I love all of the Omega Swirl products offered, and they are perfect on yogurt, salads or straight on a spoon!”

Healthy Tips for Surviving the Tricks of Halloween Treats

GreenLite Medicine Haloween Candy
During the weeks before and after Halloween, aisles in the stores are filled with candy taunting us to purchase it.

Remember: a treat isn’t really a treat if you have to backpedal too much with your dieting efforts! Take a minute to examine what the real treat is: isn’t it really more of a treat to lose weight, feel proud of your hard earned efforts, and feel comfortable in your own skin? Here are some tips on how to avoid being “haunted” with the temptation of all these treats around.  Continue reading

GreenLite Recipe: Sugar Free, Guilt Free Chocolate Meringues

GreenLite Sugar Free Chocolate Meringues

This delicious treat is basically just egg whites with cocoa powder. It’s easy to make, but in order to achieve the right texture you need to follow instructions religiously.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of granular Splenda or ¾ cup of Truvia or a mixture of both (don’t use any other artificial sweetener)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (in baking aisle)

Preparation

Preheat over to 250˚F. Beat the egg whites in a glass or aluminum, immaculately clean bowl (preferably, in a non-humid environment, if you can help it). Once they become opaque and white, add the extract and the pinch of tartar. Keep beating to soft beaks, then add in the sweetener and the cocoa slowly.

Once the mixture is uniform, use a teaspoon to transfer the egg whites onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (no oil needed). Try to keep them as uniform-sized as possible, to ensure even baking.

Bake 1 hour. Once the meringues are set, turn off the oven and leave the cookies in the oven to dry (about 1 more hour). Take out the baking sheet and allow the cookies to cool completely prior to removing them from the sheet. Store in a sealed air-tight container.

Yield: 30-40 meringues (depending on their size). Each serving = 4-6 meringues.

Exchanges per serving

Condiment: 1

Nutrition facts per serving

20 Calories (4 calories from fat); 0.4g Fat; 3.6g Protein; 1g Net Carb

New Product Tuesday: LYFE Kitchen

GreenLite New Product Tuesdays

 

This week’s New Product Tuesday comes to you in the form of a restaurant review. Our goal at GreenLite is not only to help you lose weight, but help you maintain your healthy lifestyle in a reasonable and convenient way. Staying healthy in our society can feel challenging at times, which is why so many people revert to the easy, unhealthy and SAD diet (Standard America Diet). Many of the obesity problems that face our country are completely ingrained in our society, and yes, the individuals are responsible for their own health, but our unhealthy society and industry must also be held accountable for our habitual unhealthy behaviors. When you’re always on the run, most of the time you don’t have time to think about the high fructose corn syrup that saturates your dinner on.

Well, LYFE Kitchen’s mission is to provide healthy, portion controlled, preservative free and socially responsible food in an affordable and convenient way. Often times, going out to eat can cause anxiety when you’re health focused and you may feel blowing your diet is eminent. But LYFE Kitchen is fast food with out the bad. LYFE stands for “Love Your Food Everyday” and their food is so healthy and realistic, that you probably really could eat it everyday!

REVIEW:

Art_smith before and after

Art Smith before and after his weight loss

LYFE kitchen is the brain child of vegan chef Tal Ronnen, Celebrity chef Art Smith and two former McDonald’s executives. Art Smith is a restaurant entrepreneur, former contestant of Bravo’s Top Chef Master and is well known for being Oprah’s private chef. Art was the poster child for butter laden southern comfort foods but reformed his deep-fried ways after he was diagnosed with type II diabetes just before his 50th birthday. He shed 85 pounds through good-old hard work: diet and exercise. And with his healthy lifestyle his diagnosis was reversed (when belly fat disappears, insulin resistance is no longer an issue).

LYFE Kitchen mission statement: “One of our main goals at LYFE Kitchen is to help you find less time-consuming ways to eat healthy. We make sure every chef-inspired recipe we offer can be prepped and served-from kitchen to table-in a matter of minutes. At LYFE Kitchen we take pride in serving you and your family real food with real flavor, real fast.”

 

QUALITY & NUTRITION:

4/5 greenlite stars

With two health conscious head chefs, one vegan & one a recovered diabetic, you can imagine this restaurant’s menu is genuinely healthy (and doesn’t just have a healthy halo).

ALL menu items:

  • Are less than 600 Calories
  • Contain less than 1000mg of sodium
  • No MSG
  • Are free of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  • No Fryer’s

Their menu displays calorie and sodium counts for each dish. Butter, cream and high-fructose corn syrup are banned in all their dishes, and none of the food is fried. All ingredients in LYFE meals are natural and free of preservatives, only real foods are served at this soon to be chain restaurant.

We would love to see the complete nutritional panel for LYFE kitchen’s dishes, at least online and wish that their menu’s stated sugar grams instead sodium grams, but we will take what we can get with this healthy fast food joint. Their menu has some hits and misses in regards to the taste factor for each dish, but that does come with the territory with most start-up restaurants.

This restaurant would be a great place to take the whole family. The kids will be getting a great dose of the healthy food and won’t even know it! Be mindful that many of the dishes are carb laden, so it is important to be cautious if you decide to dine in LYFE’s Kitchen. Since this restaurant caters to individual’s with “special diet’s” (they have a few gluten free dishes) they are likely to be accommodating towards low carb substitutions.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE:

4/5 greenlite stars

Being that the concept of LYFE kitchen is “Healthy Fast Food” their dining format is unique. Customer’s wait in line and order at the cash register and can opt to take their meals to go or dine at a LYFE kitchen table. Those who opt to stay and dine after ordering are waited by servers, just like any other sit down restaurant. The wait staff are very attentive but the only catch here, is the issue of the tip. When and where do we leave it? 

LYFE has great business hours: they’re open from 7-10 on Monday-Thursday and 7-11 on Friday and Saturday. It seems like LYFE really practices what they preach with these great business hours, (healthy food early or late) and while it doesn’t have the same convenience as the 24hr Jack in the Box, we think these business hours are a great second.

 

LOCATION:

4/5 greenlite stars

LYFE kitchen is located at 167 N. Hamilton, Palo Alto and is a newcomer to the small fleet of health conscious and sustainable restaurants that are popping up around Palo Alto. This Palo Alto location is just the first of many locations that are planned to sweep the nation. The company’s concept aims to be a “lifestyle restaurant”, where guests will feel like they can hang out or order food to go.

SUMMARY:

What we really love about LYFE kitchen is their focus on the complete picture of a healthy lifestyle. They understand that being healthy (which is often synonymous with being thin) is an everyday goal that requires maintenance and awareness. Also, healthy doesn’t have to be boring, or leave you feeling deprived, and LYFE Kitchen’s creative menu is living proof. We definitely support LYFE Kitchen here at GreenLite and love the fact that is perfectly in tune with the principles of Food Day. We look forward to see how LYFE Kitchen grows and what else it may inspire.

Here are some GreenLite Friendly options from LYFE Kitchen that are sure to delight:

Breakfast:

  • Breakfast Burrito (with egg whites), Tofu Breakfast Wrap, or Breakfast Sandwich without the tortilla and English muffins
  • Gardein Breakfast Patty

Shareables:

  • Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Salads:

  • Farmers Market
  • Chopped Napa Cabbage without cranberries
  • Caesar without croutons
  • Add the free range chicken breast, grilled shrimp or salmon to any salad for an extra boost of protein.
  • Fish tacos, without the tortillas and ask for extra slaw or a bed of lettuce
  • Classic burger without the multi-grain bun with extra slaw or on a bed of lettuce

Main Dishes:

  • Grilled Barramundi

Sides:

  • Side Salad
  • Fresh Fruit (if you have’nt had your 2 fruit exchanges yet)

Drinks:

  • Cucumber-Mint cooler
  • Black, Green or Tropical iced teas
  • Citron green, Masala Chai or Crimson Berry hot teas

If anyone has any suggestions, ideas or inquiries for our New Product Tuesdays segment, please feel free to email us at products@greenlitemedicine.com

 

Real Weight Loss Story | Sharon J.

Real Weight Loss Story | Sharon J.I heard about GreenLite Medicine while listening to KRTY during their version of the biggest loser competition. I heard the contestants talk about the program and how the medical and educational support they received was focused solely on weight loss. I was intrigued to say the least -I’ve been borderline diabetic for years but wasn’t completely diagnosed as a diabetic. I had no idea that just being “borderline diabetic” could be a factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Now, I get it! For me this is a lifelong change that will keep me healthy and looking fabulous!!!

 

My first appointment with GreenLite was on May 25th 2011. My goal was to lose 33 pounds, to date I’ve lost 16 pounds. But I’m not done yet!!! First and foremost I want to thank Doctor Rugh for developing this program and assembling such a wonderful and caring staff. The Educator that I saw most regularly was Holly, I just adore her! She made me feel extremely comfortable and as I started to lose weight she showed me how to celebrate my victories, no matter how small. She really gave me the support and education I needed to make this work. Thank you Holly!!!

I used to be a gym rat, but I have found that I always had a million excuses for not going to the gym (and was throwing money away!). So after starting the program, I invested in a few key pieces of equipment (Thank you Craig’s List!!!). I bought a used treadmill, a few hand weights, a freestanding  boxing bag and purple boxing gloves (you can be girly and still beat something up!). While I enjoy running, I have come to LOVE boxing. It’s a total body workout, cardio and stress reliever all rolled into one. And if I’ve had a particularly bad day throwing in a few side-kicks is a great for the abs. I like to run, but being overweight I couldn’t run for very long or very fast. However, about a month ago I was able to run a ten minute mile! I haven’t been able to do that since high school and that was definitely a while ago. As I was gaining weight in the past, I was pulling clothes out of my closet and putting them in a box. Now that I’m getting smaller, I can open that box and see what I can fit back into. I love it, it gives me the confidence boost I need, it feels like Christmas!

Being on a Low Carb Diet, I thought pasta was gone for good, which didn’t make me very happy. But one of my GreenLite packets listed Shirataki Noodles as a safe option for the program. I wasn’t crazy about the “rubbery” description, so I asked Holly what they were like and she gave me some great ideas of how I could use them. Here is my recipe for what my husband calls “Italian Stir-fry”.

From prep to eating takes about 30 min.

 

Ingredients:

2 Packets of Fettuccini shaped Shirataki noodles (found these at Sprouts)

1 Pack of Jennie-O sweet Italian sausage

4 small zucchini’s

2 cups Broccoli tops

1 cup onions

1 cup of mushrooms

1 Tbs. Olive oil or cooking spray

1 Jar of pasta sauce (I look for the one with the lowest amount of sugar per serving)

Directions:

  • For this dish we’ll use one large frying pan (you should wipe this out after you cook the sausages).
  • Wash the zucchini but leave the skin on, cut them in half lengthwise then cut into slices. I use the pre washed and pre cut mushrooms but if you get the whole mushrooms wash and slice how you like same with the onion. Wash and cut the broccoli tops so they are in bite size pieces. Set the veggies on the side.
  • Drain your noodles and rinse them well (do not smell them before you cook them, it’s not pleasant)
  • Before cooking the sausage I remove the casings and put them in the frying pan. As they cook break them up into smaller pieces. To remove the liquid from the sausage, on my counter I put down multiple layers of news paper (the sports section will work perfectly) then put multiple sheets of paper towels. Once the sausage is cooked through carefully put the sausage on the paper towel. Making sure the news paper doesn’t touch the meat, tightly roll everything up. With your hands press down on the roll to get the access water and/or grease out, put this in a bowl and set aside.
  • While cooking you veggies boil a pan of water and just before you turn off your veggies par-boil your noodles. Use the directions on the package.
  • In your frying pan add the olive oil or cooking spray and first add the mushrooms and onion let these cook until the onion is slightly translucent then add the rest of your veggies until the broccoli is a bright green or until desired texture.
  • In a serving bowl place your noodles add ¾ cup of veggies (this is 1 ½ carb exchanges) and 2 to 3 ounces of meat, depending on the serving size and the amount of sugar I’ll use about a ¼ cup of pasta sauce. Put the bowl in the micro wave just long enough to heat the sauce and the meat. Enjoy!

A tip for the kids: cook the veggies and put them in a blender with the pasta sauce and give it a whirl!

New Product Tuesdays: FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer

GreenLite New Product Tuesdays

 

GreenLite Medicine Product Review Food SaverWhen living a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet, one of the most vital keys to optimize continued success is preparation! Foremost, losing weight is about understanding your own strength and weaknesses when it comes your diet, and preparing yourself to tackle those weakness head on. Whether it’s portion control, that persistent sweet tooth or late night snacking, knowing your own pitfalls is the only way to overcome them. This week’s edition of New Product Tuesday brings you the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer, a tool that can help portion out and preserve your meals for the week ahead of time, and will help ensure your weight loss success by eating the right foods, in the right amounts. With the fast pace of the daily grind, it’s easy to rely on pantry staples, like breads and crackers to get your through the hectic work week. Getting in fresh produce and meat can be tricky if you aren’t prepared.  However, the FoodSaver vacuum sealer can make portion control and healthy eating as mindless as popping open that bag of chips, if you simply prepare yourself for the week ahead.

THE FACTS:

 

The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer is a great invention that vacuum seals various types of food (both wet and dry) in order to preserve freshness 2-3 times longer and optimizes food for refrigerator and freezer storage. This tool can be extremely useful when preparing and consuming tons of fresh food (particularly meat and poultry) and while trying to watch the portion size of the food you consume. Like your mother always said, your eyes are hungrier than your stomach, and preparing your meals when you’re not hungry is a great way to ensure you are getting the right portions for weight loss (plus it takes about 30 minutes for your stomach to register “fullness”). Pre-packaging your meals will ensure that you’re eating the right portions of the healthiest foods, and the vacuum packed aspect of the FoodSaver will ensure that you’re getting the freshest tasting foods as well.

Here’s how it works: Food is placed in size appropriate, machine compatible plastic bags, with the open end placed into the food saver. The device then removes all remaining air from the bag and seals it shut, thereby preserving the food from any outside forces that may the food to spoil quickly.

REVIEW:

 

Quality & Utility:

4/5 greenlite stars

 

 

A wide variety of sizes and brands of vacuum sealers exist on the market, however, “FoodSaver” is the go to brand for quality and durability. Their plastic “food saving” bags are sold in rolls that are BPA free. They are available in freezer and microwave varieties and come in pint, quart and gallon sizes. They also come in a variety of widths for various vacuum device sizes. Vacuum sealers are notorious for breaking easily and losing their “suction”, so it is important to invest in a good quality device, so you truly get what you pay for. It should also be noted that buying the device friendly bags can be a bit on the pricey side as well, but it is possible to reuse some of the bags, so keep that in mind when pre-packaging your food.

 

Availability:

5/5 greenlite stars

 

There are numerous models of FoodSaver vacuum sealers through their website, however, various models are available from Amazon, as well as limited availability at Costco, WalMart, Macy’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

 

Cost:

4/5 greenlite stars

 

The FoodSaver vacum sealer is an investment, that can end up saving you tons of money (and extra lbs) and reduce waste in the long run. The cost of the FoodSaver is dependent upon the model and size. The premium model retails for around $300 through the FoodSaver site, however the model available at Costco, goes for $159.99. The FoodSaver mini sells for $69.99. The more expensive models do come with various accessories (like a marinating tray and canning attachments) which add to their value, but the pricier models tend to last longer and are more durable than the lower end varieties, so find the right device that works best for you or your family’s needs.

 

SUMMARY:

FoodSaver is the perfect solution for portion control and optimum freshness. When cooking meat, fish or chicken for dinner simply cook up extra portions, pre-portion out servings for future meals and vacuum seal them for the rest of the week. While it may take up a bit of time after Sunday dinner, it can end up saving you more precious time when you’re running out the door in the middle of a hectic week. The FoodSaver is also a great solution for fruit that is just about to spoil. Simply cut it up, vacuum seal it, and put it in the freezer. The frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies and frozen blueberries add a great little “crunch” for the top of your cup of Greek Yogurt.
This tool is also a great solution for saving money and buying in bulk, just break down food items and vacuum seal in order to take advantage of great deals. You can do this with meats, fish, nuts, dried fruit, even cheese, pretty much anything! Vacum sealing prevents freezer burn and optimizes freshness, which will make the food taste great, when you do get around to eating it. The FoodSaver can also be used to prevent spoilage on raw vegetables, simply vacuum seal veggies that you may not get to for a few days and pop them in the fridge. Since the seasons are just changing, it would be a smart idea to buy fruit in bulk from the farmers market and stock up for winter! Also, buying fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers market (most likely picked that morning) will optimize the nutrients of the produce, if you freeze it the same day, you’ll give your body a nutrient dense treat when it may need it most in the middle of winter.
The bottom line- the FoodSaver keeps your food fresh for about 2-3x longer than if you didn’t use it and will definitely ensure weight loss success if you prepare yourself for the week ahead. Just be sure to read the manual and follow the step-by-step instructions for operation in order to minimize the frustrations that can come up when using complex devices such as these. It is important to keep in mind that vacuum sealing is not a complete substitute for refrigeration or freezing, perishable foods must still be refrigerated, frozen.

 

If anyone has any suggestions, ideas or inquiries for our New Product Tuesdays segment, please feel free to email us at products@greenlitemedicine.com

GreenLite Recipe: Flavorful Vegetable Daal

Ingredients

  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils, washed and picked over
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
  • Cooking spray (such as olive oil or PAM)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 (15½ oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ½ oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt (about 2 tablespoons per serving)

Preparation

Combine lentils, turnip and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat
down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure lentils aren’t too dry. If so, add more liquid. Cook till lentils are soft and beginning to turn to mush and turnip is tender. The mixture should be moist but not soupy.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add turnip and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, jalapeno and curry powder; keep stirring to prevent burning. When onion is softened, add chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic and ginger and sauté for about 5 more minutes. Add lentils, salt & pepper; cook till heated through.

Serve in small bowls, each garnished with 2 tablespoons yogurt and a good sprinkle of cilantro.

Exchanges per serving:
Yield: 6 servings (1 cup each)*
Protein: 2
Carbohydrate: 1

*Limit to 1 serving a day during acute weight loss phase.

Nutrition facts per serving

130 calories (9 calories from fat); 1g fat; 15g protein; 15g net carb.

Adopted from: Weight Watchers, Ready, Set, Go! Cookbook