Friday, April 18, 2014

Thank Goodness It's Good Friday!

Can you believe it's almost Easter? How are we half-way through April already? I'm so not ready for swimsuit season, y'all.

Anyway, Rob and I are about to pack up the car and dog to head down to Florida for a visit with his family this weekend. I'm hoping I can hang onto my willpower a little bit longer and not dig into the bag of Cadbury Creme eggs (my kryptonite!) and Reese's egg-shaped chocolate peanut butter cups that we're bringing with us - at least until Sunday. Honestly, I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but something about Easter candy just hooks me in every year.

As for an Easter meal, I plan to contribute one or two dishes to the mix, but I'm torn on what to provide - big green salad? Low-cal version of scalloped potatoes? Deviled eggs? I'm definitely whipping up a pitcher of mimosas and some dessert - possibly this Splenda-sweetened Lemon Velvet Layer Cake.

Anyway, I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend. Here's a little Easter happy, courtesy of the incomparable Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Survey Says: Most Americans are Weight Conscious

Can't say this is particularly surprising. A new national survey released by the Calorie Control Council has found that eight out of ten men and women over the age of 18 are "weight conscious," while 54 percent want to shed some pounds and another 28 percent want to maintain their existing waistlines. Ever conducted a straw poll among friends to find out how many are worried about their weight - or are actively trying to lose it? You'd likely find that at least half of them fall into those categories.

Statistics show that about 68 percent of the U.S. population is now obese or overweight. Among respondents of the CCC survey, the top weight loss methods included cutting back on foods high in sugar (86 percent), eating smaller portion sizes (85 percent) and consuming low-calorie and sugar-free foods and beverages (78 percent). Also, nearly two-thirds of Americans trying to lose weight say they perform moderate exercise for 45 minutes at least three times per week.

Health professionals urge those wanting to lose weight to consider many factors, including exercise, overall diet and lifestyle changes. But there are some tools to help with weight loss measures. For example, you could choose foods and beverages that moderate sugar intake, such as products sweetened with sucralose. By choosing sugar-free chocolate over sugar-sweetened chocolate, you can trim 50 calories a day – or five pounds – by year’s end.

Here are some wonderful, low-cal recipes - courtesy of the Calorie Control Council and that won't generate extra pounds.

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad
Classic Carrot Cake
Apricot and Cinnamon Fruit Dip