Best & Worst of Fast Food

If you are going to eat fast food – be smart about it.

Do a little research and check the restaurant websites for the best options…or just check out this great post on the best and worst of fast food:

The Worst & Best of Fast Food


thanksgiving 2010: portions

It seems that once Thanksgiving rolls around, it is non-stop eating, treats and parties for the next month. Which, as you can imagine adds up to a lot of extra calories and a few extra pounds for most of America. But this doesn’t have to be the case and I think the best way to prevent holiday weight-gain is to use our old favorite – portion control! Time to dig out those portion plates from Camp! (And of course, Dan would like to remind us that staying active is equally important this time of year 🙂 )

Being mindful of portions allows us to have stuffing and eat our pie too. Of course we will eat a little more than usual on Thanksgiving and that is fine! But, Friday is back to normal eating and activity levels. Don’t feel like you’ve blown everything by eating too much on Thursday and say, “It’s too late now, I’ve already eaten too much and gained weight so it doesn’t matter if I eat more today.” That’s not how weight gain works and that’s certainly not the attitude to have.

Like you learned at Camp, look at your plate and divide it into portions:

  • 1/4 plate for protein: fill this section with white meat turkey
  • 1/4 plate for starches: this is the section that might be a little hard because it is a fairly small – it includes, stuffing, potatoes, bread, etc. (decide on what your favorites are and stick with those instead of sampling everything!)
  • 1/2 plate for fruits/vegetables: round out your plate with leafy salads, sautéed vegetables, fruit salads, etc.
  • small plate for appetizers: it’s thanksgiving after all 🙂
  • small plate for dessert: chose a small pieces of pumpkin pie and a dollop of whipped cream

This should leave you pleasantly full, without being so full (like a 8-10 on hunger-fullness scale) that you feel sick.

Before you go back for seconds, take some time to really decide if you are hungry. If it’s not hunger and just something that you want, maybe your host will let you take another serving home with you.

Why not start Friday off with a quick workout that doesn’t require any equipment (no excuses for not being at home 🙂 hehe ) and a healthy breakfast of oatmeal or 2 eggs and a piece of whole grain toast.


Happy Thanksgiving!

from Dan, Tut, Karen and Emily

snack bag portions

Are you having trouble with portions? It is SO easy to overeat snacks, especially those crunchy, salty ones that come in HUGE bags….you may not being attention, and before you know it half the bag is gone!

There are a few ways to make sure this doesn’t happen. If you are eating your snack at home,  you can portion out the serving and put it into a small bowl. Then put the bag away and out of sight!

If you are taking your snack to school with you, a great way is to portion out the serving in a little baggie – they even have the snack size baggies that are a perfect size for pretzels, chex mix, etc!

**Don’t forget to save the baggie! They can be used over and over again – no need to throw them out after one use. Save the planet and some money!

McDonalds Smoothies

Question from Counselor Kristen: I was wondering what you think of the Mcdonalds “real fruit smoothies” .. would this be a healthy choice to get or is avoiding fast food always the best way to go???

We’ve been hearing a lot about these “real fruit” smoothies that McDonalds is advertising. So what’s the deal? Are they full of added sugars or made with mostly real fruit like they claim?

Turns out they are mostly fruit with a little bit of added yogurt like they claim!

Verdict: For fast food, it is a decent menu choice. Stick with a small smoothie and pair it with some protein – a slice of toast with peanut butter or a hard boiled egg so you aren’t hungry a half-hour later.

If you can make your smoothies at home you know exactly what goes into them. Anytime you get a smoothie from Jamba Juice, McDonalds, etc. chances are that there is a lot of added sugars that aren’t necessary. Fruit is sweet enough!

Have you tried them? What did you think?

Soup Recipes

Soup is a great way to add some volume to meals. It gives you the sensation of feeling full without adding a lot of extra calories. Enjoy a bowl of soup before your meal and then eat a reasonable portion of lunch or dinner.

  • Make a big batch of soup and freeze it so that you always have some on-hand
  • For a satisfying lunch, pair a bowl of soup with a half-sandwich and bowl of salad

White Bean & Rainbow Chard Soup

Thai Coconut-Lime Soup with Chicken

Turkey Pasta Soup

Beefy Corn & Black Bean Chili


Corn & Bacon Chowder

Southwestern Chicken & White Bean Soup

Turkey Sausage-Gnocchi Soup

Chicken & Barley Stew

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Welcome Home

Hello Camp Endeavor Alum!

We hope you are transitioning to life at home well! It is always hard to adjust at first – different schedules, different people, different foods, etc than what you grew accustomed to at Camp Endeavor.

We are here to help! Let us know what you want to see on the blog, questions you might have, recipes you want, exercises you are interested in, etc! (All questions will remain anonymous)

You can either leave us comments below or email us at: Watch for some new videos coming soon!

How to Pack the Perfect Lunch

Packing a lunch is a sure-way to know you are getting a healthy, well-balanced meal when you are away from home. I always pack my own lunches because I like to know that I’m getting lots of vegetables, lean protein and no refined carbohydrates (ie white bread). A lot of fast food restaurants don’t do a good job of providing me with what I want so I make it myself!

Here are the components you need:

  • 1 serving protein
  • 1 serving whole-grain
  • 2-3 servings of vegetables
  • 1 serving fruit (for dessert)

Chicken Caesar Roll-Ups – 1 lunch serving

  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup shredded chicken
  • red pepper slices
  • 1 Tbsp Caesar dressing
  • Whole-grain croutons

Whole Grain Croutons: Toast 1 slice whole-grain bread until golden brown and very crisp. Spritz with olive oil or canola oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cut into crouton-size pieces.

Building the Roll-Up: Divide the peppers and chicken on the romaine leaves. Drizzle with dressing and top with croutons. Munch away!

Serve with 1 cup grapes.