Rhonda’s Cooking


Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Surviving Super Bowl Parties without Blowing the Diet!

Posted by rhondascooking on February 4, 2012

At the beginning of this year, many of you made New Year’s Resolutions to change your diet and eat healthier, so, I’m here to help you keep that commitment and survive the Super Bowl Sunday feast!  So, here are a few quick tips to help you for the big day.

Tip 1:  Drink 3 (16oz) bottles of water prior to arriving to the party.  On average, the daily allowance of water intake of water is about 2.5 Liters for women and 3 Liters for men.  So, before breakfast, drink 1 bottle of water and then two hours after breakfast drink the second bottle.  An hour before you arrive to the party, drink the third bottle of water.  This will prevent you from being famished salivating for those fried hot wings dipped hot sauce and topped with ranch dressing.

Tip 2:  Pack your own food and drinks.  If you know you have a goal of eating healthier or perhaps to lose weight, the best way to keep this goal if you lack willpower is to bring your own food to the party!  Make sure you bring enough to share because I guarantee that even the none-healthy eaters will be trying to eat from your stash—especially if it looks delicious!  Consider the following snacks/foods:

  • Hummus paired w/ baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and sliced bell peppers (red, yellow and orange)—if you don’t want to make the hummus, purchase from your local grocery store or restaurant; looks for brands that don’t have a lot of stuff in it!
  • Guacamole served with one 8-inch round whole grain tortilla—if gluten free get the brown rice tortillas, but if not, try Food For Life tortillas!  You can make your own or purchase from the store—try Wholly Guacamole.
  • Salsa – Salsa is sold absolutely everywhere from convenient stores to grocery stores, this snack is indeed a party favorite!  Just make sure you try to find one without high fructose corn syrup in it!
  • Baked Chips – there are a lot of baked chips on the market, but one of my favorite brands that offer baked chips is Garden of Eatin’.
  • Fresh fruit– fresh fruit is a great snack when eaten in moderation.  Try and get a variety which includes berries and pineapples instead of the fruit trays that have lots of melons—those tend to have higher natural sugar content.
  • Baked hot wings—instead of eating the traditional wings which will definitely be at the party, prepare your own wings at home by baking them instead of frying.

Tip 3:  Avoid those “sneaky drinks.  Typically the beverages of choice during the party are beer and/or other beverages containing alcohol, which you already know the impact on those.  But other beverages at the party may be fruit juices, which I called the “sneaky drinks.”  So, pay attention to what you are drinking; just because it’s 100% juice without alcohol, you still need to watch the number of flavored beverages that you consume.  If you want something tasty, healthy and fizzy, try either of these two beverages; they come in a variety of flavors:

  • Izze
  • Fizzy Lizzy

Yes, I know that this may appear to be extreme, but some of you have goals to achieve for 2012, so don’t let one day set you back a few weeks!

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NBA and WNBA Encourages Fans to Live Healthy

Posted by rhondascooking on February 1, 2012

Live Healthy Week

Congratulations to the NBA League for encouraging their fans to live healthier through its Live Healthy Week campaign, which started January 26 through February 2, 2012. During this week, fans were encouraged to set personal health goals and make better fitness and food choices. Live Healthy Week was led by a cross-functional NBA/WNBA Fit Team, who joined community members and partners to highlight the importance of healthy living.

All 30 teams and players supported Live Healthy Week. In fact, according to Black Griffin, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, “NBA FIT Live Healthy Week is a great way to help motivate fans of all ages to stay active and maintain a healthy diet. As a professional athlete and an NBA FIT Team member, I know how important it is for me to exercise and eat well, and I encourage our fans to make healthy, active living a priority.” Other supporters included Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats, all of which are members of the 2012 NBA FIT Team.

Even though the campaign has come to an end, it’s never too late to pledge to eat healthier! So visit the NBA Fit Live Healthy website and pledge http://www.nba.com/nbafit/personalpledge.jsp. You can also follow NBA Cares on Twitter @nbacares and “Like” them on Facebook.

About NBA/WNBA FIT: NBA FIT Live Healthy Week features grassroot programs and events, special oncourt apparel, and in-arena and online programming designed to inspire kids and families across the country to live active, healthy lives. The Team also works with the Let’s Move! campaign, which first lady Michelle Obama established to provide communities nationwide with resources to help kids eat healthy and get active.

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The verdict is still out about the Walmart Health Initiative

Posted by rhondascooking on January 22, 2011

First, I’ll start by saying that I am excited that Americans are finally taking an interest in becoming healthier by eating whole foods and increasing physical activity.  Second, thanks to First Lady Michelle and the Let’s Move Initiative, for continuing to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and working to help promote a movement of change in the public health policies.  This week First Lady Michelle announced a new health program in conjunction with Walmart to offer more healthy food options in its stores.   According to Just-Food.com, Walmart plans to reduce sodium by 25% in a broad range of grocery items, including grain products, luncheon meats, salad dressings and frozen entrees; lower added sugars by 10% in dairy items, sauces and fruit drinks; and remove all remaining industrially-produced trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats and oils) in all packaged food products.  It was also reported that Walmart is committed to lowering the costs of fruits and vegetables through  a variety of tweaks throughout its supply chain, which will reduce the overall product costs.

photo credit: just-food.com

How do I feel about this new initiative?  In all honesty, I wish there were a ban on “meal in a box” food options that contained over 10 ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavorings and food engineered items that consumers cannot pronounce!  Though I know that this may not hold up in court, overall, I think that Walmart’s new health initiative is a good first step–but not the final solution– for many people who plan their family meals based on these packaged meals (likely due to time and costs).  The down side to this new program is that this “reformulation” will likely replace some ingredients with more  that may not be healthy for the body!  As for reducing the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, I’m on the fence with this one because if the company lowers the price of fruit, then this will likely impact small farm suppliers.  Instead, I think that the reverse should happen; I think that Walmart should raise the prices of the unhealthy foods or stop offering sales such as burritos 5 for $1 or R amen Noodles 10 for $1!

Many times in rural areas, there aren’t any options for grocery shopping besides Walmart, so I plan to  keep watching this health initiative to see how things will progress and I encourage you to do the same!

For more information, visit the following sites:





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Eating Healthy While on Vacation

Posted by rhondascooking on May 30, 2008

Grilled Mahi-mahi I have heard many people say, “I can eat whatever I want, I’m on vacation.”  Unfortunately, with that attitude, you may end up paying for it later!  I know that it may be hard to resist those delectable five star desserts, but sometimes you have to “just say no.”  When I was vacationing at the All Inclusive Beaches Resort in the Turks, I was exposed to every type of cuisine imaginable.  However, due to my food allergies and the fact that I am trying to keep my weight in check, I had to turn the other cheek.  So, how did I survive?  Here are a few of Rhonda’s Travel Survival Tips:


1.    Pack healthy snacks enough to last throughout the trip (trail mix, granola bars, rice cakes, nuts/seeds, etc.).

2.    Pack healthy beverages such as Vitamin Water or juice—be sure to use storage bags.

3.    Contact the hotel prior to arrival and inquire about the types of restaurants on site.

4.    Inform the restaurant waiter that you have food restrictions; indicate what foods will work for you.

5.    If the waiter is uncertain about what’s in the food or how it was prepared then ask to speak with the chef.


Preparation is important in order to maintain a healthy diet while on vacation.  Never be caught off guard and forced to eat foods that will make you pay after the vacation!

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The Secret to Rhonda’s Cooking

Posted by rhondascooking on December 9, 2007

On Friday, December 7th, I hosted a holiday party at my home.  Though I cooked and decorated 5 hours prior to the party, I managed to pull it all together and at the end of the night I received many kudos.  I didn’t do all of the cooking; I cooked hummus w/pita bread and veggies, spaghetti with ground turkey, toasted whole grain bread with pesto sauce, and coffee desserts!  Iwanted to do more, but because I decided to decorate the day of the event, I ran out of time.

Amongst all of the eating, talking and laughter, I recieved a lot of positive feedback about my food.  Some even wanted the secret–the secret to how I prepared the dish.  Of course you know I could not disclose due to my upcoming cookbook.  I was so happy and honored that they asked about the food and wanted the recipe!  I was excited and laughing inside because I had another secret that my guests didn’t know about.  They didn’t know that the spaghetti was healthy!  Not only was it made with ground turkey, but also it was made with brown rice spaghetti!  If some of them had known, they would have said, “I knew something was different about this spaghetti.”  I have learned to just let people eat and say something after all of the doggie bags have been made!

Many people have said to me that they didn’t like healthy foods because, “…it has no flavor; it tastes nasty; it’s dry, etc.”  I agree with them in most cases.  A lot of healthy foods on the market is good for the body and that’s it–it has no flavor! 

So, what’s Rhonda’s Cooking secret?  It’s simple; it’s cooking with lots of flavor that tastes good and is good for the body.  It’s creating dishes that EVERYONE can enjoy regardless if they are trying to eat healthier or not!

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