Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Can Conquer Emotional Eating

You can conquer emotional eating. Like me you may have taught yourself to use food as a reward system. Chocolate when you’re happy, ice cream when you’re sad and my longtime favorite was candy when I was bored. There are so many emotions tied to snacking that have nothing to do with whether you are hungry or not.

Our appetite is controlled by signals that tell our brain when we are hungry and when we are full. When you become hungry, your tummy will start to gurgle and growl. It’s a slow process that can be felt below the neck.

When your emotions make you think you are hungry it’s an immediate process that comes from what you are thinking about. Did you see the word think being said twice in that last sentence? Your thoughts about how you are feeling turn into cravings for the chocolate, the chips, the candy and they want immediate gratification. This is not hunger and happens above the neck, in your head.

There is a 2-step process that has worked for me.

Step 1: I stop and ask myself if the hunger is coming from my head, above the neck or my stomach, below the neck.

True hunger comes on slow and can be felt below the neck. Cravings and emotional eating come on sudden and really start an immediate inner dialogue going on above the neck in your head. You start wanting food like pizza, chocolate, a candy bar and chips. Right now!

Step 2: If the answer is, above the neck, I determine what I am actually feeling. In my head I say "name that tune" :) And, name the emotion I am feeling.

Over time have I taught myself to stop, figure out below or above the neck, name the emotion and realize that eating for the wrong reasons would only make me feel another negative emotion and create a vicious cycle.

As I’ve said in other blog posts, losing weight permanently is a journey you take with yourself, for yourself and end up discovering who you are and what you really want in life.

Enjoy the journey! Your Diet Diva

Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes

Here is another great Tilapia recipe that is 100% compliant for the Medifast diet plan. The garlic and green olives really makes this recipe Diva-licious!

Servings: 4

Per serving
1 Leanest Protein
1 ½ Condiments
1 Healthy Fat
½ of a Vegetable Serving


• 4 (10-ounce) Tilapia fillets
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 10 sprays Cooking spray
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 3/4 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 3 garlic cloves, minced


Note: If you do not have a jelly-roll pan you can easily substitute with another baking pan that is close in size and measurements like the following:
Sheet Pan (reg): 10-1/2" wide x 15-1/2" long x 1" deep
Sheet Pan (lg): 12-1/2" wide x 17-1/2" long x 1" deep

You can also use a cookie sheet, or even a pizza pan that comes close to these measurements listed above.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Spray jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. Arrange fish in a single layer in the center of a jelly-roll pan. . Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper. Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients; stir. Arrange tomato mixture around fish on baking sheet.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1/4 cup tomato mixture.

Lennie Campbell ~ Your Health Coach

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Green Beans with Dill

This is a great side dish for anyone looking for a way to cut back on the calories during the holidays or anytime of year. It's one I have had in my recipe file for several years and always enjoy making it.  It is a compliant Medifast plan recipe as well. The dill gives this recipe a nice aroma and flavor. 

4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Per Serving
2 Green
1 Condiment

Prep Time: 25 minutes


1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, whisk dill, shallot, oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Approximately 75 calories per serving

This is exceptionally good when served with a grilled salmon fillet!

Lennie Campbell, Your Diet Diva

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

The holidays are a time for celebration with those we love. It can also be a time when a few pounds are gained. The calories from an average Thanksgiving dinner alone can add up to be over 4,200. There are healthy alternatives that can save the increase in body weight without sacrificing flavor.

For my clients on the Medifast weight loss plan this recipe below is a great way to stay compliant.

This low carbohydrate recipe is direct from our nutrition support team. A serving counts as 1 condiment and 1 vegetable. This is a great recipe to keep you compliant during the holidays.

• raw cauliflower - a medium head makes about a pound of florettes which is 9 vegetable servings
• 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• two cloves minced garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Break the cauliflower up into florets, or just chop. Cook it in the microwave in a container or steam it. Cook it until it's tender -- a fork should easily pierce it.

The easiest thing to do is to add the rest of the ingredients to the container the cauliflower is cooked in, and then use a stick (hand) blender to put it all together. Or you can put it all in a regular blender or food processor.

This recipe makes 9 servings and each serving counts as one condiment and one vegetable.

                                        From Your Diet Diva Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jamaican Pork Loin

This recipe is great no matter what time of year.  If your grill is not covered by a roof, grab that umbrella and start singing in the rain (or snow). You will enjoy cooking this delicious pork tenderloin.  

Servings: 6

Per serving

1 Lean protein
3 condiments

• 2 cups sliced scallions
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
• 1 Habanero pepper, quartered and seeded (if these peppers are too hot for you, substitute with jalapeno)
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 2 packets Splenda
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 teaspoons ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme
  1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
• 1 3-pound center-cut pork loin, trimmed


Puree scallions, garlic, chili pepper, vinegar, Splenda, oil, allspice, coriander, thyme, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper in a food processor.
Pour the spice mixture into a large, Ziploc plastic bag. Add pork and turn the bag to coat the pork with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Can refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Approximately 20 minutes before you are ready to grill, preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 500°F
Turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill).
Remove the pork from the marinade. Place the pork on the unheated side of the grill rack. Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 45 minutes.
Rotate the pork 180 degrees, cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145°F, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Diva Note: You can butterfly the pork tenderloin to increase the surface area for the marinade to penetrate.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Popular Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Wins Again

Today I wanted to share a photo with you that I took at a local event last week that was held in Mauna Lani, Hawaii. The event is put on at The Shops at Mauna Lani each year and the restaurants located within the plaza offer a variety of different meals to sample. The event offers great music from local artists, and a silent auction along with the food. This year the event’s name was “Uncorked” which speaks for itself:) It’s a very fun, 2-hour event held outdoors. It was a benefit for the North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Since I’m a health coach I am always checking out the menu options available wherever I go. At this event I was pleasantly surprised by the meal prepared by the Tommy Bahama restaurant. They were serving mashed cauliflower as part of the meal rather than mashed potatoes! I teach my clients on a regular basis the importance of this side-dish-swap. Cauliflower is such a healthier, better low-carbohydrate option than potatoes. And…it tastes better!

This photo was taken at the very end of the evening and the portion of mashed cauliflower is smaller than everyone actually enjoyed on their 7 inch plates. The staff was just starting to pack things up when I decided I needed to take a picture.

More and more restaurants are changing their menus to reflect lower fat and lower carbohydrate meal options. With obesity on the rise in America it’s been a very welcome sight to see this shift starting to take place.

Diva Note: Anytime you are concerned about a restaurant and the availability of meals to meet your weight management needs:

(1) Google the restaurant name to find their menu. 99.9% of all restaurants have their menu available to view. Go prepared by determining what you will be ordering before you arrive.

(2) Google the restaurant name and get their phone number. Call ahead and find out if they will prepare the fish, chicken or other entrees in a way that meets your needs.

From Your Diet Diva Blog

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie

The holiday season always sends my on a quest to find the best recipes that won’t sacrifice flavor and at the same time won't be loaded with hidden calories. I have been able to find some delicious low-carbohydrate variations that will satisfy everyone's palate for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

This year I will post a series of great calorie-saving recipes and tips throughout the holidays to help you understand what calories hide in the food you eat and what you can do to eliminate weight gain throughout this special time of year. I believe the most important thing to do in order to avoid holiday weight gain is to educate yourself. You must know the impact of the foods you are eating. It’s dangerous to haphazardly eat anything in front of you and if you do, you should expect to gain weight. On the other hand, if you go into the season armed with the knowledge of how many calories are in some of the most popular holiday foods as well as how long it will take to burn off those additional calories, you may decide to do things differently this year.

Let’s start with a quiz:
How many calories are in one slice of pumpkin pie?

Answer: One serving of traditional pumpkin pie with a whip cream topping is 450 calories and if you think that is a real shocker….one slice of pecan pie packs with it approximately 650 calories.

What amount of exercise is necessary to burn off those calories from one piece of pumpkin pie?
Answer:  A person weighing 150 would need to pedal vigorously for 30 minutes to burn approximately 350 calories. This is what would be needed for the additional calories in ONE piece of pie!!

Can you see yourself vigorously pedaling a bike for 30 minutes on Thanksgiving Day for pie alone?

Not this Diva!
The better option is to learn how to prepare meals without all the calories.
The pumpkin pie recipe below is a family favorite and no one has ever complained. Not one peep.

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie
You will be able to enjoy 2 tablespoons of sugar-free cool whip topping & 1 piece of pie for a total of 125 calories.

Prep and Baking Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8


3 egg whites or ½ cup Egg Beaters (Some people have modified the recipe by using 2 egg whites & 1 whole egg).
1 can (15 ounces) of solid-packed pumpkin
¾ cup granulated Splenda that is made for baking. (you will find it in the isle with the baking goods) Do not use the packets of Splenda!
½ cup reduced-fat biscuit mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces fat-free)
1 cup sugar-free cool whip


In a large bowl, combine the egg beaters or egg whites, pumpkin, sugar substitute, biscuit mix, spices and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the evaporated milk slowly.
Pour into a 9 inch pie place coated with a cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 – 40 minutes or until your knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Top with a dollop of SF cool whip and serve!
Refrigerate leftovers, if any are to be found:)

Note: This is not a recipe while on the Medifast weight loss plan. It is a GREAT maintenance recipe and great healthy recipe for the general public that does not skimp on flavor and it is diabetic-friendly.

From Your Diet Diva Blog & Lennie Campbell

Let me know your favorite low calorie holiday recipes!