9 Food Swaps to Save 100+ Calories

9 Food Swaps to Save 100+ Calories

Food Swap #1: From Bread to Topless
No, you don’t have to give up bread altogether. If you want to quickly watch 100 calories slide off your meal, all you’ve got to do is toss the top piece of bread from your sandwich or the top bun from your burger. It may require a bit of balancing on your part, but it will instantly save you 100 calories and help that loaf of bread go twice as far.

Food Swap #2: From Bagel to English Muffin
Since we’re already talking bread, we may as well knock out the bagel dilemma. They’re delicious, thick, and hard to resist. However, if you can toss them out the window for an English muffin instead, you’ll still enjoy great flavor (and a delightful texture) and without even batting an eye, trim 100 calories from your breakfast, lunch, or snack.

Food Swap #3: From Cream to Nonfat Milk
Have a hard time taking your coffee straight? You’re not alone. Not interested in giving up coffee altogether? Then you’re going to need to find a new option to the creamer-heavy concoction you make on a daily basis. The easiest solution is to swap out your creamer for nonfat milk. Lucky for you, this small swap pays off big, cutting 100 calories from your morning jolt.

Food Swap #4: From Regular to Light Beer
Your taste buds may revolt at the thought of light beer, but your shrinking waistline will love it. Drop your insistence on good ol’ regular beer and drop 100 calories during a two-beer sitting.

Food Swap #5: From Juice to the Real Thing
Orange juice is a staple of many folks’ breakfast routines. What if you tossed the juice and went for the real thing—a genuine, bona fide orange? You probably already guessed that this, too, would shave a lot of calories from your meal. At the same time, you’ll get more fiber to keep your day moving along well.

Food Swap #6: From Peanuts to Edamame
They’re readily available, taste great, and give you the salt fix you need. Peanuts are not, however, a low-calorie snacking option. Swap them out for edamame and you’ll grab 4 bonus grams of protein, while cutting your calorie count by 100.

Food Swap #7: From Shake to Milk
When the stress of life gets to you, few things help you forget about your troubles better than a chocolate milkshake. Unfortunately, that shake leaves you feeling bloated and for good reason. It’s jam packed with calories. Get the same chocolate comfort with a glass of chocolate milk instead of a shake and cut out at least 100 calories.

Food Swap #8: From Bacon to…Bacon
You grew up eating maple pork bacon and you’ve trained your kids to salivate at the thought of it. What if there was a way to have your bacon and eat it, too—without quite as many calories? There is. Going for an ounce—yes, just one ounce—of maple turkey bacon instead of the pork version will shave more than 100 calories from your daily consumption. And you still get to eat bacon!

Food Swap #9: From Raisins to Grapes
They won’t stay fresh for months on end, but if you eat fresh grapes instead of their wrinkled siblings, you’ll cut right around 100 calories at once. Yes, it is that easy.

Meal Prep Made Simple

Look-Inside-Rachel-Maser-Fridge-Prep (1)Ever wonder what it would be like to open your fridge to find a full week of healthy, delicious food that’s prepped and ready to be eaten? Sure would make sticking with your diet and achieving fat loss a lot easier…

Meal prep is a fantastic way to keep on track with your eating throughout the entire week.

The idea is to plan out all of your meals on the weekend, most often on Sunday, then do the shopping and the prep at one time for the entire week. This day is labor intensive, but then your food is ready-to-eat for the next 6 full days.

Here’s my 5 Step Meal Prep Guide to make your next food prep week really simple:

Step One: Planning

Get out your notebook and pen or pull up a blank note page on your iPad, it’s time to start planning for the week. Here are the questions that you’ll need to answer:

1) How many meals do I need each day?

Check your calendar for special events
Consider your appetite throughout the day
Look at each day separately
2) How many servings do I need for each meal?

Consider who in the family needs which meals
Check the calendar for guests or visitors
Look at each day separately
Step Two: Recipes

Now it’s time to translate those meals + servings into actual recipes. Take a moment to consider the produce that is in season and any special requests or food allergies.

1) Find your recipes

Browse around on your favorite recipe site
Pull out your favorite cookbooks
Find your family favorite recipes
2) Focus on a core group of ingredients

Plan recipes that use similar ingredients
3) Calculate leftover meals

Making enough of some recipes for leftover meals saves time
4) Make your list

Narrow down to the exact list of recipes
Step Three: Grocery List

Take your list of recipes and create a grocery list. A few things to keep in mind…

1) Pay attention to recipes that you’ll double or triple

Make sure to include all ingredients in your list
2) Organize your list into these convenient sections:

Organic Produce
Pantry Items
3) Check your pantry for items that you already have

Save money by avoiding double purchases
Step Four: Shopping

It’s time to head to the grocery store! Take your list and, if you’re lucky, a helper down to your local market and go through each section item by item.

Step Five: Food Prep

You have options when it comes to the actual prep of each of your meals. Many you’ll be able to fully make right away and pack in the fridge. Other recipes you’ll want to simply do the chopping, measuring and organizing in order to make the meal hot and quick before you plan to eat it.

Which recipes should you fully cook in advance? The truth is that this is really up to you and your schedule. Here’s a good game plan if you don’t want to fully cook everything on Sunday:

Fully make the baked goods for the week.
Chop all vegetables.
Gather all seasonings.
Fully cook Monday’s dinner.
Getting into the habit of prepping your meals for the week is a surefire way to accelerate your fat loss results. It’s my goal to help people, just like you, conquer their fear of exercise and clear up their confusion with healthy eating. I know that a healthy life is within your reach – I’ve seen hundreds of my clients before you do it, and I’ll see hundreds after you do it. Today it’s your turn.

Boost Your Results

Why It Works

Your heart plays an essential part in your health, well-being, and ability to stay alive. When your heart is working at its perfect tempo, you’re able to burn the most amount of calories and feel your best when you work out. Having a hard time figuring out just how hard and fast to push yourself during a routine? A heart monitor is there to help.

How to Use It

Once you’ve got a heart rate monitor, all you have to do is strap it on your wrist, start working out, and it does the rest. When you’re pushing yourself in the gym or on a run and are feeling good, check the monitor and take note. That is where you want your heart rate to fall in the future. It’s your heart’s sweet spot.

Actually, it’s a good idea to toss on your heart rate monitor when you’re not working out. Wear it while you’re going through your daily routine—working, eating, going to the store. This gives you a baseline to see how hard your heart works normally. So when you start exercising, you should see a sizeable change in your heart rhythm.

With the heart rate monitor on, you can quickly find your lactate threshold or redline. This is when your body switches from using mostly oxygen to using mostly glycogen during high-intensity exertion. You could go to an exercise physiologist and pay for a special test to find this out or simply note at what point in your workout you’re unable to talk without breaking up the sentence and your breathing rate suddenly increases. At this point, your pace is comfortably hard and does the most good for your health. Look at your heart rate. Keep that in mind for the next time you work out.

Watch It Change

As you know, the goal of regular exercise is to beat your body into submission so that it is constantly improving. When you do this, your heart rate does something funny. It actually beats slower. With a heart rate monitor, you can actually monitor your overall fitness progress by watching your beats per minute drop. The change will take time and may never be dramatic, but as your body grows more accustomed to being worked hard, your heart doesn’t have to exert itself as hard as it once did, because it knows what to do and is more efficient at doing it.

Not seeing your heart rate drop? Keep working at it and stay focused on your heart rate. If it starts jumping above your sweet spot, slow down. You may hunger to push your body beyond your heart’s comfort zone, but if that means sending your heart rate into outer space, don’t do it!

Take It to Heart

Information is only useful if you use it. Once you learn your ideal heart rate, pay attention to how fast your heart is working during your routine. Then do whatever it takes to get your heart there and stay pumping at that pace until your trainer says to call it a day.

If you’re not interested in knowing your heart rate, no problem. Heart rate monitors aren’t for everyone. Just be aware of other signs that indicate whether your body can be pushed a little harder, is operating at peak performance, or needs you to back off. And if you have questions, remember, I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.

Sukuma Wiki

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each sea salt, cumin, coriander
1/2 tsp each black pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground fennel seeds, turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1 bunch collard greens (about 8 leaves), stems removed, sliced into 1″ strips
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice

Be sure to prep everything before starting to cook; this is a relatively quick dish, so you want to have everything on hand when you need it.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for a minute, then add the onion. Sauté the onion until softened, about four minutes. Add the chopped garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the ground beef and seasonings, and cook until mostly done, about six minutes, stirring frequently so the ground beef doesn’t clump.
Add the collard greens and tomatoes, and sauté until the collard greens are wilted, about four minutes. Stir everything around carefully as it cooks – be sure to do this step gently so you don’t mush up the tomatoes.
Add the lemon juice and season to taste by adding salt and pepper as needed, and serve immediately. This dish is typically served with a flatbread called Chapati, but we just enjoyed it on its own.

Courtesy of TheDomesticMan.com

Tropical Chopped Chicken Salad


When you lift weights it’s important to get a healthy intake of protein at each meal. Combining chicken and vegetables, like in this tropical salad, is one of the healthiest ways that you can eat. Your fitness results will flourish when meals like this become a regular part of your life. Servings: 5

Here’s what you need:
4 skinless chicken breast, organic and vegetarian fed
Bolthouse Farms Tropical Mango Olive Oil Vinaigrette
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
Rinse the chicken breasts and place in a large ziplock bag. Pour in enough of the Mango Vinaigrette to fully cover the chicken. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a pan with coconut oil.
Bake the marinated chicken breasts for 30 minutes until cooked through, then turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes until deeply golden. Chop and set aside.
In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients along with the chopped chicken. Drizzle a little of the mango vinaigrette and mix well.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 240 calories, 3g fat, 285mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 29g protein

One-Skillet Chicken and Squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ lb (225 g) chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
2 medium-large summer squash (I like to use 1 zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
Ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once the oil is rippling, add the chicken and let it sear (about 4 to 5 minutes) before flipping it. Once browned on the first side, flip each piece of chicken over and cook until browned on the second side and fully cooked throughout (about 3 to 4 minutes more). Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
Add the summer squash, onion, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and cook (stirring occasionally), until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown in spots, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
Add the chicken and cook until re-warmed, about 1 minute.

Studio News

September marks month 2 and the final 4 weeks for our Color Run team training. We will test our progress on Saturday, October 3rd at 9:00am! To join the Synergy Fitness for Her Color Run team, click the link below to register, and begin interval training with the team to prepare for your run/walk. Intervals are posted on the cardio announcement board.


Upcoming Events


Due to popular demand, an additional yoga class with instructor Eleanor Cole Levinson has been added! We now offer yoga every Wednesday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1:00pm. All levels welcome.


Happy Birthday Sue F.


Studio News


We are excited to announce the addition of balance training classes!

Balance Training can:

  • Improve neuromuscular coordination-brain to muscle connection
  • Encourages muscle isolation-or use of a specific muscle instead of larger muscles taking over
  • Burns calories
  • Improves hip stabilization
  • Increases core strength

Resident Physical Therapist will be leading groups through fun and challenging balance training exercises. All levels welcome. Sign up below or using Mindbody.

Balance Training Sign Up

Group Nutrition Meetings
Every Tuesday at 8:00am, Friday at 12:00pm, and Wednesday at 6:00pm this month.

Back to School


This week marks the beginning of the school year for many students in the area but what does that mean for us? Most likely, we are left will long school supply lists, early morning scrambling to get the kids to the bus, and evenings filled with homework and after-school activities. With all of that on our plate, it’s easy for our nutrition to fall by the wayside. In an effort to help keep dinner time exciting and our waistlines in check, Kat has put together some simple meal ideas for busy families.

Back To School Dinner Ideas

30 minutes or less to high protein, delicious meals courtesy of momswhothink.com.
Beef and Mushroom Stir Fry
Beef and Mushroom Stir Fry
¾ pound flank steak
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 large carrots
½ pound small mushrooms
1 bunch scallions (about 6)
1/3 cup beef broth
3 drops hot pepper sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 quarter-size slices (¼ inch thick) fresh ginger, unpeeled
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1. Cut the steak into 2 inch wide strips. Then cut each strip across the grain into ¼ inch thick slices.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the steak with 1 Tablespoon of the soy sauce and the cornstarch. Stir to coat steak and set aside.
3. Cut the carrots on the diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices. Cut the scallions into 2-inch lengths.
4. In a small bowl, combine the broth, remaining 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, hot pepper sauce and black pepper.
5. In a large skillet or wok, warm 1 Tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
6. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry for few seconds.
7. Add the carrots and mushrooms and stir-fry until the carrots are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
8. Remove the vegetables to a plate and cover loosely keep warm.
9. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the skillet and warm over medium-high heat.
10. Add the steak and the marinade in stir fry until steak is browned, but still slightly pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Return the vegetables to skillet. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil.
12. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender and the beef is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
Parmesan Dijon Chicken and Garlic Broccolli
¾ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 ¾ pounds)
frozen broccoli florets
butter and garlic salt for broccoli
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2 inch rectangular pan.
2.  Mix bread crumbs and cheese in a large resealable plastic food storage bag.
3.  Mix butter and mustard in a shallow dish.
4.  Dip chicken in the butter mixture, then shake in bag to coat with crumb mixture.  Place in pan.
5.  Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when cut through thickest part.
6.  While chicken is cooking, prepare broccoli according to package directions.
7.  Butter broccoli according to taste, sprinkle with garlic salt.  Serve with chicken. Makes 6 servings.
Slow Cooker Chili
2 lbs. ground beef ** Sub TVP for vegetarian option**
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
1 large jalapeno pepper
Chili powder to taste
Garlic salt to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
1 can kidney beans
2 cans Chili hot beans
1. Brown beef. Drain; reserving 2 tablespoons grease in pan.
2. Sauté chopped onion, jalapeno pepper and green pepper in grease. Mix beef, onion and green pepper in 3 ½- to 5- quart crock pot. Add spices; let stand 1 hour.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, beans; cook in crock pot for 8-10 hours.

What are you thankful for?


What are you thankful for?
A  study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found a link between mindfulness, or the nonjudgmental attention to present-moment experience, and reduced negative self-evaluation, decreased sensitivity to pain, and increased self-compassion! Take a moment today to be grateful for all of the positives.
Check the article out here.

COLOR RUN – Ready to test your cardiovascular endurance?
Sign up for the Synergy Fitness for Her run/walk team.
October 3rd @ 9:00am
Sign up here.

Need some help with mindfulness?
Yoga instructor Eleanor Cole Levinson can help.
Wednesday @ 7:30pm
Sign up now.