Truly Helpful Weight Loss Websites

Today I am sharing with you a roundup of the websites I have used in my weight loss journey so far:

Where I track my food and water, and exercise before I got a Fitbit:
SparkPeople
(There is also a ton of support to be had here)

Where I track my exercise, through the app:
Fitbit Website

Reliable calorie counts:
(Mostly reliable anyway)
MyFitnessPal
Calorie Counter

Accurate Articles:
SparkPeople Articles
Livestrong Hot Topics (Articles & Blogs)

Health information:
(use at your own discretion)
Mayo Clinic
WebMD

Recipes:
SparkPeople Recipes
Livestrong Recipes


A little about each website:

SparkPeople has a ton of amazing tools other than just food, exercise, and water trackers. There is a whole slew of community boards including a mobile one on their app. Plus you can’t beat the valuable support you can receive there. Like I mentioned above there are also articles and recipes, blog posts, and much more.

Fitbit is one of my favorite tools lately. I’m not super attached to it but I’m attached to it enough. It definitely motivates me to move more. I love seeing how many steps I have throughout the day to see if I’m on track with my daily goal. (If you haven’t already, check out the #BTBYfitnesschallenge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where I have been posting my Fitbit screenshots to help me keep on track and that motivates me even further! So join in if you’d like!)

MyFitnessPal also has a community and much more on their website. I couldn’t find any recipes but they have an expansive database of foods with mainly reliable nutrition information. When I’m on the go, I sometimes use them to search how many calories are in certain foods.

Calorie Counter same could be said of this one for on the go calorie content viewing. I have found it is more or less reliable with its information as well.

Livestrong has proven to be an accurate and reliable site in my opinion. They have a lot of helpful resources there as well: you can track exercise and food, post to the community, read articles and blogs, search the recipes, etc.

Mayo Clinic is reportedly one of the more accurate websites with health information.

WebMD is good for basic things, although you still might freak out quite a bit if you’re googling symptoms or a specific illness. Either way it’s best to visit your own doctor if possible!

Check out some of these websites if you wish! They can be pretty helpful if you play around and explore a bit! They have been great resources for me at least on occasion.

~Bonnie~

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Best Way to Cook Chicken

Okay so it’s not the best way to cook chicken per se, but it is my favorite way to cook it in a healthy way, which is simply to bake it in the oven. This way is so healthy, easy, and tasty at the same time!

Here’s what I do:

  1. First I preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Then I rinse the chicken and cut it up into whatever size piece works, unless I use tenderloins which don’t need to be cut.
  3. Place the pieces on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  4. Season the pieces with whatever I want to use, usually pepper, garlic, or Italian seasoning or a combination because that’s what we have on hand here.
  5. Throw it in the oven once I’m sure it has adequately preheated.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes, sometimes 20 minutes depending on the size but they are always ready by then!

They always come out juicy and tasty, without using any oil or marinade. This way won’t work for everyone and I don’t have fancy tastes, but it works for moments when things are crazy and we need a healthy home cooked meal!

juicy baked chicken

Now, here’s some of the dishes I love to eat with my chicken:

  • Chicken salad with whatever veggies we have: lettuce, cucumber, and tomato is my favorite. I use light ranch dressing because I prefer it over all else and it’s only 80 calories for two tablespoons.
  • Brown rice + baked chicken + veggies: I love putting cauliflower, broccoli, and/or corn in this dish! You could even stir fry it in a skillet.
  • Noodles + baked chicken + veggies: This I can use any veggie and it tastes good: green beans, broccoli, carrots, corn, etc. Preferably you would use whole grain/wheat noodles if you chose to do this, but sometimes when we don’t have that I’ve been known to cook half a package of Ramen noodles plain, no seasoning. Now I know they aren’t healthy at all but it works in a pinch. This could also be cooked as a stir fry with the right noodles!
  • White chicken chili: I need to find and share this recipe with you all because it is so tasty. You could do a search online and find one too but I will be posting this in a future post!

There are countless other dishes to mix the chicken with as well, like a ton of chicken casseroles or other recipes, but these are my favorites!

~Bonnie~

Super Easy and Simple “Recipe”

Do you ever have a strong craving for something sweet, but you don’t want to blow your whole plan? I do and honestly pretty often. I have a huge sweet tooth and sometimes it is just too hard to tame it!

Here is one of my go-to’s to satisfy the sweet tooth:

Fat free and sugar free vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk (I prefer 1% personally)
Half of a diced banana

The vanilla pudding tastes delicious even without the sugar and fat. I have eaten it by itself as well as with the banana and it hit the spot.

So what you do is prepare the pudding as per the directions on the box, using whatever milk you have available to you. Then after it has set in the fridge, serve yourself a half cup (one serving), dice half of a banana, and mix it together. Sit down and enjoy the sweet and complimentary flavors!

pudding and banana

It’s a dessert, but at least half healthy! Made with 1% milk and half of a small banana, it totals around 115-125 calories for the whole treat! What a lovely low-calorie way to fill your sweet tooth’s cravings! Plus it has the added bonus of 4 grams of protein from the milk!

You could also try other fat free, sugar free pudding flavors mixed with other fresh fruit or even canned fruit and find what works for you if this doesn’t sound good. There are so many options!

~Bonnie~

Foodie Friday- A Healthy, Protein Packed Treat

There is a treat that I’ve recently discovered in my search of getting more protein in my daily diet. I had tried Greek yogurt a few times previously, but only ones with the fruit or fruit flavoring already added, and it truly grossed me out. So it kind of put me off of Greek yogurt for a little while.

However, I didn’t give up that easily. I kept getting drawn back to it. One shopping trip I decided to try vanilla/plain Greek yogurt and mix it with my own fresh fruit at home. So I grabbed a four pack and brought it home, determined to make it work somehow. First “recipe” I tried was to mix the Greek yogurt with a whole diced banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter (half a serving). And OH MY, was that tasty! It was so delicious! It really reminded me of banana cream pie with a hint of peanut butter.

  
Due to oral surgery this week and a lack of bananas in the house, I ended up trying the Greek yogurt with just 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut bugged mixed in… and it still tasted absolutely delicious. So even if you don’t like bananas or are like me and don’t have them in the house at any particular moment, try the Greek yogurt with just peanut butter mixed in.

Protein packed:

Greek yogurt has 12g protein

Peanut butter has 3.5g per tablespoon, half serving

Bananas aren’t a source of protein but have some much needed potassium 
~Bonnie~