Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jonelle - Version 4.0

Hey fitness friends! It's been a few weeks now, Christmas has come and gone and a new year is approaching. I want to say a belated "Merry Christmas!" Hope you had a wonderful time sharing lots of love & laughs with you and yours. I also want to wish everyone an early Happy New Year! I wish for nothing but joy & happiness for us all in the upcoming year! Lots of exciting things have been happening in my life lately and I have a feeling 2011 is going to be one awesome year (personally as well as professionally)! Some of you know and some of you don't, but I've been working a new fitness site,, which I hope to launch the first week of January. Don't worry, I'm going to still continue to write in Confessions Of A Fit Girl (I love this blog!), the site and my blog will all work together to hopefully help anyone whose interested in succeeding at fitness, mind, body & spirit!

With the new year approaching, it's got me thinking about where I was this time of year last year, and I can honestly say, I'm not the same person I was then as I am now. That was an older version. I've evolved since then. I am now smarter, wiser, and stronger - stronger not just on the outside but the inside, too! I know a lot of times on this blog I talk about physical change but emotional/mental change is just as important. I've found that the two work hand in hand. As I've said before, after I lost the weight a couple of years ago, I changed. My self-confidence grew leaps and bounds! And it wasn't just because I "looked better", it was because I had set a goal and achieved it. I began to realize that I have the power within me to achieve ANYTHING! That's a major self-esteem booster!

Nothing survives without change. I know some people claim to not like change but change is the only constant thing that you can count on, good or bad. And I am living proof that not all change is bad. So with the new year coming in just a day, I urge you to embrace the new you that's about to emerge! Whether you've been working out for years or just starting your journey, we're all constantly evolving! In 2011 it will be 4 years since I've started this weight loss journey, so I'm getting ready for Jonelle - Version 4.0, how about you? :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Diet-Friendly Fast Foods

Okay, you read the title and I already know what some of you nutrition freaks, like myself, are thinking, "Diet-friendly fast food?! Get real! No such thing!" Believe me, I know where you're coming from. I'm a big believer in not eating out. The fact remains that the majority of fast foods are processed foods filled with fats, preservatives, sugars, and lots of other bad for you words. But to my surprise, after doing a little research, I discovered that there are actually a fair amount of healthy, low-calorie, diet-friendly fast food options out there. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still not a real fan of eating fast-food. Cooking your own healthy dishes is definitely the best option. But I do realize that not everyone has the time to invest in cooking due to busy schedules. Some would argue that you have to make the time, but what happens when there simply is no time? Some people's schedules are really that jam packed! Also, everyone gets tired of cooking from time to time, including myself, and even if you love cooking there are going to be times when you're tired of eating your own home cooked foods. In other words, eating fast-food from time to time is inevitable. Personally, I allow myself one "cheat day" a week, 6 days out of the week I cook at home but there's one day that I eat out. I usually limit it to healthier options, such as Subway or certain Chinese food dishes, but now after discovering these new diet-friendly fast food options I can now add some variety to my menu! So here goes...

The 22 Healthiest Fast Foods

What to Order at America's Top 10 Fast Food Joints

No one can say that McDonald’s isn’t convenient—you can find one on just about every corner in some cities. But can it be healthy, too? I wouldn't have thought so, but it all depends on what you choose.
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: When you hold the mayo, you'll save calories and fat.
    370 calorie
    Publish Post
    s, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,110mg sodium, 50g carbs, 3g fiber, 32g protein
  • Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken: The majority of the fat in this flavorful salad comes from the almonds, and the Asian Blend contains veggies and soybeans, making it heart-healthy.
    300 calories, 10g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 890mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 32g protein
  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: If you’re looking for a sweet treat, this is a winner. Made with low-fat yogurt and topped with low fat granola, strawberries and blueberries, it’s far less sinful but just as tasty as ice cream.
    160 calories, 2g fat, 1g sat. fat, 5mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 31g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g protein 
Visit for more healthy ideas. 

    Who would have ever though Wendy's could be healthy? Not me! Well, I was wrong. Try these best picks for your next lunch on the run.
    • Mandarin Chicken Salad: A variety of lettuces and toppings, like roasted almonds and crispy noodles, make this salad a flavor-packed meal. Most of the fat is unsaturated.
      540 calories, 25g fat, 3g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 50g carbs, 5g fiber, 31g protein
    • Ultimate Chicken Grill: Order it with lettuce, tomatoes, and honey mustard sauce.
      320 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 950mg sodium, 36g carbs, 2g fiber, 28g protein 
    Get more nutrition facts at

      Burger King
      A salad and veggie burger top the healthy list at Burger King.
      • Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad: Hold the cheese and top with the Light Italian dressing:
        300 calories, 16g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,050mg sodium, 13g carbs, 5g fiber, 33g protein
      • BK Veggie Burger: Say "no mayo" to enjoy this healthy, cholesterol-free vegetarian delight.
        340 calories, 8g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1,030mg sodium, 46g carbs, 7g fiber, 23g protein 
      Their website,, offers more nutrition information. 

        Taco Bell
        When you order it “fresco style”, the regular cheese and sauce are replaced by a flavorful combo of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all fresh (and much healthier).
        • Fresco Style Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco:
          170 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 25mg cholesterol, 730mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g protein
        • Fresco Crunchy Taco: This menu item is much lower in sodium but still loaded with flavor.
          150 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 20mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 13g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein. 
        More nutrition facts are available at

          Subway (my personal fav!)
          Good old Jared and his subway diet brought Subway restaurants recognition as one fast food joint with lots of healthy options. Sandwiches from the Subway "Fresh Fit" menu each have fewer than 6 grams of fat.
          • 6" Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast:
            310 calories, 5g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 5g fiber
          • 6" Veggie Delite: A great option for vegetarian diners or for those watching their cholesterol. Order it on Italian bread and it’s vegan, too.
            230 calories, 3g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium, 5g fiber
          • Soups: If you’re really hungry, pair your sandwich with one of the healthier Subway Soups. Each restaurant features two soups daily, and the ones listed below each contain 160 calories or fewer: Cream of Broccoli, Minestrone, New England Style Clam Chowder, Roasted Chicken Noodle, Spanish Style Chicken with Rice, Tomato Garden Vegetable with Rotini, and Vegetable Beef. 
          Visit for more information. 

            A lot of people are led to believe that Arby's, in general, is a pretty healthy choice for fast food, but for the healthiest fare, steer clear of the roast beef sandwiches altogether.
            • Martha’s Vineyard Salad:
              466 calories, 23g fat, 6g sat. fat, 61mg cholesterol, 996mg sodium, 43g carbs, 4g fiber, 22g protein 
            Visit their website, to see more choices. 

              Although their fried chicken isn’t health food (not even by a long shot), KFC does have some healthy options on their menu.
              • Honey BBQ Sandwich:
                280 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 780mg sodium, 40g carbs, 3g fiber, 22g protein
              • Tender Roast Sandwich: Hold the sauce.
                300 calories, 4.5g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,060mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 37g protein
              • Roasted Caesar Salad: Hold the croutons, and top it with fat-free ranch dressing.
                250 calories, 8g fat, 4.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,240 mg sodium, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 31g protein 
              Get more nutrition facts at

                Just because it isn't beef doesn't mean it's always better—especially when the chicken is breaded and fried. Try the items below.
                • Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich:
                  270 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 50mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 37g carbs, 4g fiber, 28g protein
                • Chargrilled and Fruit Salad: Top with reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette.
                  290 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein 
                See all the facts at

                  Jack in the Box
                  Now Jack in the Box has to be one of the worst fast food places out there, who would ever believe it could contain anything healthy?!? Whole grains, from this fast food joint? Believe it! 
                  • Asian Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips:
                    160 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 18g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein
                  • Chicken Fajita Pita: The pita is made with whole grains, which are rarely seen at fast food restaurants. Hold the salsa.
                    300 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g sat. fat,60mg cholesterol, 1,090mg sodium, 33g carbs, 4g fiber, 23g protein 
                  Visit for more menu items. 

                    Carl’s Jr.
                    Steer clear of big, meaty burgers and try these chicken options instead.
                    • Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich:
                      360 calories, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 1,150mg sodium, 48g carbs, 4g fiber, 34g protein
                    • Charbroiled Chicken Salad: Choose the low-fat balsamic dressing.
                      295 calories, 8.5g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 75mg cholesterol, 1,190mg sodium, 21g carbs, 5g fiber, 34g protein 
                    See the Carl's Jr. Website, for more nutrition information.

                    So it turns out that dining at a fast food restaurant doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. Use this list as a guide, or visit the websites provided to tally up totals for your preferred favorites. Just remember that these selections are healthier options for the occasional fast-food meal, but they may have other nutritional flaws (like high sodium), so you might not want to make it a regular part of your nutrition plan. So every once in awhile, enjoy eating some fast-food! Diet-friendly fast-food... who knew? :)

                    Source(s): "The 22 HealthiestFast Foods: What to Order at America's Top Fast Food Joints" by Liza Barnes, Health Educator, article - 

                      Sunday, December 5, 2010

                      Breaking The Myths

                      Hello fitness lovers! And soon-to-be fitness lovers! (Hey, I'm not discriminative and I don't want to leave anyone out! I'm sure sooner or later if you keep reading this blog I'll convert you to the healthier side of the road! :) ) It's December 2010, we've got less than 30 days before the new year and whether you're just recently new to healthy living (i.e. - eating a healthy diet and incorporating a regular fitness routine), you've been doing it for years or you've decided to make getting healthy your new year's resolution for 2011, I'm sure you've already been a victim to believing some common myths or misconceptions of dieting. Don't worry, you're not alone, I was a victim of hearing and believing the hype, too. From downing your weight in water to loading up on grapefruit, there's a long list of tricks and tips that promise to help you drop those extra pounds. It's now time to separate the fact from fiction and be a victim no longer! This post will be all about stating and breaking common diet myths in order to help you end this year and start the new upcoming year right! 

                      10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away

                      1. Myth: Calories eaten after 8 p.m. turn to fat. This has to be the number one, biggest myth out there! I can't tell you how many times I've heard this!
                      Fact: The reality is this is an urban legend and the fact of the matter is, if you eat more calories than your body burns in a day, the excess calories will be stored as fat. Whether you consume them during 'Good Morning America' or 'Letterman' doesn't matter; there is no connection between calories and the clock. I know a lot of people have been taught the opposite, but I'm hear to tell you, don't believe the hype! I am now maintaining my weight but even while I was in the process of eating less in order to lose weight, I often ate at 9, 10 or even 11 p.m. (still do to this day) and NEVER GAINED WEIGHT! The idea that anything eaten after 8 p.m. will turn into fat is ridiculous and just not true!  The key to losing weight is counting calories and burning more than you consume in a 24 hour period. In other words, it doesn't matter what time during that 24 hours that you eat, as long as you're keeping track of your calories and only eating the certain amount you've allowed for yourself YOU CAN EAT ANYTIME YOU WANT! I get so sick of people spreading this myth around. A lot of people go to bed starving and wake up eating way more calories than should be consumed believing this myth. Now, I don't want to knock whatever eating routine you have going. If not eating after 8 p.m. works for you, keep with it, but just know, if you happen to have to eat after 8 p.m. it's NOT going to harm your diet in anyway!

                      2. Myth: To jump-start your diet, you should fast.
                      Fact: The truth? Skipping meals for extended periods of time is actually the best way to sabotage a diet. Though fasting may temporarily help you lose weight, it's predominantly water weight. Fasting is not recommended because not eating for extended periods can cause fatigue and dizziness. Ultimately, fasting usually accomplishes two things, It makes you hungry and leaves you feeling deprived. Once you become over-hungry, all common sense is lost, and you're bound to make high-calorie, high-fat choices in that state of mind. Furthermore, feeling deprived tends to lead to binging when you do eat again. So really, the more you don't eat, the more likely you are to overeat in the end.

                      3. Myth: Low-carb (high protein) diets are the most effective route to weight loss. I'll be the first to admit, I believed and adopted this myth into my diet for a long time. Whenever I stopped bread and anything "white" (pasta, potatoes, ... you know the deal) I always lost weight, so I just assumed this was true.
                      Fact: Before you ban bread altogether, consider this: Although preliminary research suggests that obese people can lose more weight on a low-carb diet than on a conventional low-fat diet, the benefits appear to be small and may be short-lived. One year long study comparing low-carb dieters to low-fat dieters found that low-carbers began regaining the weight they lost after six months. By the end of the year, they were no better off than the low-fat group. What's more,
                      the dropout rate among both groups was extremely high. It really is about the calories and striking a balance between what you consume and what you burn. To do that for the long haul, you have to choose a diet that is sustainable. And permanently cutting out entire food groups doesn't qualify.

                      4. Myth: Eating white foods is bad for you. Ha, ha! As I said in the above myth, I believed this to be true, too, but the joke was on me!
                      Fact: Don't judge a food by its color. Some of the best foods for you are actually white. The color of a food has nothing to do with its nutritional value and it's not always an indication of how processed the food is either. Think bananas, pears and garlic, all of which pack a nutritional punch and are also naturally white. Instead of focusing on the color of the food, you need to consider what else it delivers in deciding whether to eat it. Find out what nutrients and vitamins it has. And look at the list of ingredients to determine how highly processed it is. Even a processed food, such as cake mix, doesn't have to be a diet wrecker as long as you eat it in moderation.

                      5. Myth: Drinking lots of water will help you lose weight. Now this is a biggie! We've all heard it a billion times and almost every diet or nutrition book suggests this.
                      Fact: It's true that if your daily drinking habits consist of sweetened teas, juice drinks and sodas, then replacing them with water can result in consuming fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss. But simply upping your water intake WILL NOT help you shed pounds! Though drinking water may make your belly temporarily feel fuller, you have to remember that hunger is not simply a function of your stomach - your body is crying out for nutrients in food, so filling up on water won't satisfy you for long. Of course staying hydrated is important for maintaining your overall energy and body functioning, but contrary to popular belief, drinking it in excess won't boost your metabolism or flush away fat.

                      6. Myth: When you're on a diet, drinking juice is a no-no. Gotta' admit, I subscribed to this one for a long time.
                      Juice gets such a bad rap these days, but the truth is, juice isn't inherently bad for you, provided you're actually drinking 100% JUICE - NOT A JUICE DRINK. Juice drinks are loaded with added sugar and preservatives. So check the label to be sure you're only reaching for 100% juice. Because juice is much more concentrated than fruit, you need much less of it. Limit yourself to 4-ounce servings of juice. And whenever possible, choose whole fruit over juice because fruit contains fiber, which fills you up and is left behind when you extract the juice.

                      7. Myth: All sugar is bad for you.
                      Fact: When it comes to the sweet stuff, not all sugar is created equal. Food labels don't distinguish between added sugar and sugar that was naturally in the food to begin with. For example, most dieters wouldn't consider eating canned fruit because of the grams of sugar listed on the label. However, if it's packaged in its own juice, then you're just eating the sugar that was already in the fruit. Lots of good-for-you foods naturally have sugar in them, such as low-fat milk. Instead of looking at the grams of sugar on the nutrition label, read the ingredient list. Foods containing items like high fructose corn syrup should be kept to a minimum.

                      8. Myth: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat.
                      Fact: If only it were that easy! The real deal? When you do aerobic exercise, your body is burning fat as well as carbohydrate stores from food you've recently eaten. So if you skip your pre-workout meal or snack, you won't have carb stores to burn. But that doesn't mean you'll burn all fat, instead, your body starts to burn its own muscle for fuel. And less muscle means lower metabolism - not the goal of any dieter. Not to mention that exercising on empty means you'll probably be too tired to go all out, which translates into burning fewer calories during your workout than if you had properly fueled up beforehand. Ideally, you should have a meal three or four hours before a workout, or a snack one to two hours before exercising.

                      9. Myth: Drinking liquid meal replacements will help shrink your stomach.
                      Fact: No way! Any shrinking that happens from a liquid diet is likely to be in your imagination, NOT in your stomach! Why? Your stomach is a muscular organ that will stretch temporarily when you eat, and then return back to its normal size. There is nothing you can eat or drink that will "shrink" your stomach.

                      10. Myth: Eating grapefruit will help you burn fat.
                      Fact: That eating grapefruits will help you lose weight is one of the most persistent among diet myths -- and just when you think it's gone, it resurfaces and becomes all the rage again every few years. There is no food that has intrinsic "fat-burning enzymes" that magically melt fat from your body. If you want to eat grapefruit as part of a well-rounded diet, go for it, they're rich in lycopene - an antioxidant that protects against heart disease and breast cancer. Incorporate it and other lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, into your diet each day, but don't expect it to help you burn any fat.

                      So that's it! 10 common diet myths, BROKEN! How many were you a victim of believing? For me, quite a few. And this is only 10 myths but there are many, many more! With so much misleading diet/nutrition information out there it's easy to get confused, but now ya' know the truth! So keep this in mind when continuing or starting your healthy lifestyle!

                      Source(s): "10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away" from