Daily Archives: September 13, 2012

Diet-Busting Foods You Should Avoid

It really is a shame. Some of the best-tasting foods are actually some of the worst in terms of fat and calories. But it can be hard to avoid them, especially in places—like malls—where nutrition information usually isn’t available.

So we did the work for you; take a look at a list of foods you should skip—or pick—at a mall, restaurant, or grocery store.

(A 2,000-calorie-a-day diet should have no more than 66 grams of fat, less than 20 grams saturated; 2,400 milligrams of sodium; and 300 grams of total carbohydrate, including sugars.)

1. Smoothie King’s Hulk Strawberry Smoothie

Fruit and yogurt can’t be bad, right? Wrong. Smoothies are often made with ice cream or milk and can be crammed with sugar. At least this treat gives you a heads up: It’s listed on the menu as a smoothie for people looking to gain weight.

But the calories are excessive—more than two Big Macs put together. And that’s just the small.

One 20-ounce smoothie: 1,044 calories, 35g fat, 120g sugar.

Choose this instead: Low-Carb Strawberry smoothie: 268 calories, 9g fat, 3g sugar.

2. Starbucks’ Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino Blended Creme with Whipped Cream

Sure it sounds bad, but how bad is it? This afternoon pick-me-up delivers nearly one-third of the maximum fat you should consume in a day, and over half a day’s saturated fat.

One 16-ounce Grande: 510 calories; 19g fat, 11g saturated; 59g sugar; 300mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Your best bet is a regular cup of coffee without all the bells and whistles. If you just can’t live without a Frappuccino, make it a Coffee Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee: 130 calories, 0.5g fat, 16g sugar

3. Coldstone’s PB&C Shake

Chances are you already suspect that milkshakes aren’t all that healthy. But this particular shake, made with chocolate ice cream, milk, and peanut butter, is in a class of its own. This frosty monster delivers an entire day’s worth of calories and almost three and a half times the daily limit for saturated fat.

One “Gotta Have It” (Coldstone speak for “large”): 2,010 calories; 131g fat, 68g saturated; 153g sugar.

Choose this instead: A better bet is the 16-ounce Sinless Oh Fudge! Shake, with the same chocolaty taste, but a quarter of the calories and only 2 grams of fat.

4. Auntie Anne’s Jumbo Pretzel Dog

Auntie Anne’s sells snacks, not meals. But this concoction—a Nathan’s hot dog wrapped in a pretzel bun—contains almost half your daily upper limit of fat and sodium.

One Jumbo Pretzel Dog with butter: 610 calories; 29g fat, 13g saturated; 1,150mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Go for the original pretzel without the butter and salt and you’ll whittle your treat down to 310 calories and only 1 gram of fat. Now that’s more like a snack!

5. Cinnabon’s Caramel Pecanbon

The luring scent of Cinnabon is a mall staple. But just one of these decadent pastries means trouble. They deliver about half the calories and just about all the fat you should consume in a day.

One bun: 1,092 calories, 56g fat, 47g sugar.

Choose this instead: Cinnabon has no options that are particularly healthy, but you can try a Minibon, designed for smaller—and smarter—appetites: 300 calories, 11g fat.

6. Wendy’s Sweet and Spicy Boneless Wings

In June, Wendy’s launched this item, claiming it was “as far as it gets from fast food.”

Calorie-wise, this meal isn’t that bad if it makes up your entire lunch. But it has more salt than you should have in a day, let alone at one sitting.

One order: 550 calories, 18g fat, 27g sugar, 2,530mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Try the Ultimate Chicken Grill, a grilled chicken breast on a sesame-seed bun: 320 calories, 7g fat, 8g sugar. Still, with 950 milligrams of sodium, don’t make it a daily habit.

7. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Coffee Cake Muffin

Muffins are often mistaken for the doughnut’s healthy cousin. But muffins can be surprisingly high in fat.

This one is particularly offensive; you’d need to eat about three glazed donuts to match its nutrients and calories.

One muffin: 620 calories; 25g fat, 7g saturated; 54g sugar; 93g carbs.

Choose this instead: For an alternative—but equally decadent—breakfast treat, one glazed donut is a better bet: 220 calories, 9g fat, 12g sugar, 31g carbs.

8. Olive Garden’s Grilled Shrimp Caprese

Shrimp are low-fat, low-cal, and high in protein and iron. What’s not to like?

In fact, the garlic-butter sauce in this dish helps rack up nearly two-thirds of your daily fat and about one and a half times your sodium limit.

One plate: 900 calories, 41g fat, 3,490mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Get a lighter version of this dish without the melted cheese and with marinara sauce on the side. The Venetian Apricot Chicken is another option; it has one-third the calories and 1/10 the fat, but still packs a good deal of sodium.

9. Chili’s Onion String and Crispy Jalapeno Stack

Diners and bloggers alike were outraged by the fried-onion Chili’s appetizer, the Awesome Blossom.

The unhealthy behemoth was removed from the menu, but its replacement is only a bit better. This appetizer is meant to be shared, but even one-quarter of the dish delivers an entire day’s limit for fat.

One appetizer: 2,130 calories; 213g fat, 31g saturated; 1,320mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Chili’s doesn’t have particularly healthy appetizers. If you must have one, try the Chips and Hot Sauce (470 calories). However, the chips’ sodium is 2,790 milligrams—500 milligrams over the maximum daily intake.

10. Macaroni Grill’s Kids’ Fettuccine Alfredo

Kids’ meals, in theory, are smaller than adult portions; children simply don’t need as many calories.

The average 10- to 12-year-old, the upper age limit for many kids’ menus, needs about 1,600 to 1,800 calories daily. This meal puts them at half of that, with more fat than a grown adult needs in a day.

One order: 890 calories, 67g fat, 1,480mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Coax your little ones into ordering the Grilled Chicken and Broccoli: 390 calories, 8g fat. It’s still high in sodium, so ask for sauce on the side and use sparingly.

11. Quiznos’ Chicken With Honey Mustard Flatbread Salad

Unhealthy salads lurk everywhere. They promise grilled chicken, leafy greens, and fewer carbs, but often deliver bacon, cheddar cheese, and high-fat dressing.

Don’t be tricked; this salad will cost you half a day’s calories. The dressing alone has 48 grams of fat, nearly your daily max.

One salad, dressing and bread included: 1,070 calories, 71g fat, 1,770mg sodium.

Choose this instead: The Cantina Chicken Sammie, a 205-calorie, low-fat, veggie-filled flatbread sandwich: 455mg sodium, 12g protein.

12. Pizza Hut’s Meaty P’Zone

The TV commercials for this 1-pound monster feature hungry dudes who don’t want to share. One chows down and tells another, who looks on longingly, to order his own. But these pizza-crust calzones should be shared—preferably with a crowd. Eating the whole thing is akin to consuming about six cheese slices in one sitting, and it delivers one and a half times your daily limit for sodium. One serving size is one-half of a P’Zone.

One whole P’Zone: 1,480 calories, 66g fat, 3,680mg sodium.

Choose this instead: One slice of the Natural Veggie Lover’s multigrain crust pizza has 190 calories, 6g fat, 380 mg sodium, and 9g protein.

13. Lunchables’ New Wholesome Deep Dish Pepperoni Fun Pack

Ideally, a lunch box should strike a balance between taste, fun, and nutrition.

However, an easy prepackaged solution like Lunchables may not deliver. The nutrition info is based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet—that of a grown adult. The processed food is too high in fat and sodium for the average 8-year-old’s daily recommended intakes.

One Fun Pack: 470 calories, 20g fat, 880mg sodium.

Choose this instead: For the same ease, try another variety of Wholesome Lunchables, like the Turkey and Cheddar Club, which comes with water and applesauce instead of cookies and fruit punch, and has 360 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 600 milligrams of sodium.

14. Ruffles’ Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavored Potato Chips

Ruffles don’t just have ridges, they’ve also have 17% of the upper limit of daily fat in just one serving. The calorie count is low, but chances are you’ll eat more than a serving, as most packages are the larger 1.5-ounce size.

The 1-ounce serving size: 160 calories, 11g fat, 230mg sodium. The larger size: 240 calories, 16.5g fat, 345mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Try Baked! Ruffles in the original flavor. The 1-ounce serving has 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 200 milligrams of sodium, plus 2 grams each of fiber and protein.

15. Haagen Dazs’ Dulce de Leche Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is often relatively healthy; even the most decadent flavors tend to have less fat than ice cream.

However, not all fro-yo is created equal. To be fair, this flavor does have 15 grams less fat than the regular ice cream flavor, but one serving packs 25 grams of sugar.

One serving (1/2 cup): 190 calories, 2.5g fat, 25g sugar, 35g carbs.

Choose this instead: Try a brand that offers no-sugar-added options, such as Edy’s. The French Vanilla flavor has only 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of sugar in a 1/2 cup serving.

16. Kar’s Yogurt Apple Nut Mix

Words like yogurt, apple, and nut make this snack seem healthy. But a serving size is 1 ounce. The tiny snack, often found in vending machines, contains nearly three times as much—2.75 ounces. Bags in stores contain five times as much.

Eat a whole 2.75-ounce bag and you’ve consumed 412 calories—the equivalent of one and a half Snickers bars.

A 1-ounce serving: 150 calories; 10g of fat, 2.5g saturated; 90mg sodium; 3g protein; 2g fiber.

Choose this instead: Select a healthier trail mix, like Peeled Snacks. A 2/3-cup serving of the Fruit & Nuts FigSated mix has 150 calories and 6 grams of fat.

17. Arnold’s Whole Grain Country White Bread

Don’t fall for the “whole grain” marketing trick without knowing all the facts.

While “whole grain” sounds good, this product doesn’t have nearly the amount of heart-healthy whole grains as products that say “100% whole grain.”

Two slices: 220 calories, 3g fat, 300mg sodium, 42g carbs, 4g fiber.

Choose this instead: Try two slices of Arnold’s Light line of breads, like the 100% Whole Wheat: 80 calories, 0.5g fat, 170mg sodium, 5g fiber. Or try the new Deli Flats from Pepperidge Farm. One 100% whole-wheat roll has 100 calories and 5 grams of fiber.

18. Reese’s Puffs Cereal

Starting your morning off with this bowl of sugary puffs may be worse than getting up on the wrong side of the bed. One serving of this breakfast treat has more sugar than an actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

A 3/4 cup serving with 1/2 cup skim milk: 160 calories, 3g fat, 12g sugar. (One Reese’s Cup has 7 grams of sugar.)

Choose this instead: For an organic and natural take on the peanut-buttery puff, check out EnviroKidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs from Nature’s Path. The same serving size with milk has slightly more calories, but less sugar: 170 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g sugar.

19. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon

At least breakfast cereals have relatively easy-to-understand serving sizes. Pop-Tarts, on the other hand, report nutrition information for one serving, but each package contains two—and is impossible to reseal.

Eat both, and this breakfast delivers a quarter of your daily limit for fat, and more than half your added sugar for the day.

Two pastries: 420 calories, 16g fat, 26g sugar, 66g carbs.

Choose this instead: Your best bet is to eat just one pastry. Or you can try Fiber One’s Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Pastry: 190 calories, 4g fat, 16g sugar, 36g carbs, 5g fiber.

20. PowerBar Performance Energy Cookies & Cream

PowerBars are often shaped like candy bars and can taste like them too.

This particular PowerBar has only 1 gram of fiber and nearly three-fourths of the upper limit of daily added sugar, so there may be healthier options. (The USDA says to limit added sugar to 40 grams, or about 10 teaspoons, per day.)

One bar: 240 calories, 26g sugar, 45g carbs, 8g protein, less than 1g fiber.

Choose this instead: Try the PowerBar Harvest line. Made with whole grains, 1 Oatmeal Raisin Cookie bar still has 250 calories, 43 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of sugar, but offers 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

21. Healthy Choice Sweet and Sour Chicken

This meal is better than a TV dinner, but there are healthier options from this generally trustworthy brand.

The calories are reasonable, but the meal is high in sugar and sodium, and it has more fat than most other Healthy Choice options—even the Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo and the Country Breaded Chicken!

One meal: 400 calories, 13g protein, 5g fiber—but 10g fat, 20g sugar, 500mg sodium.

Choose this instead: The Oven Roasted Chicken meal: 260 calories, 5g fat, 9g sugar, 520mg sodium, 15g protein, 6g fiber.

22. VitaminWater

VitaminWater uses the old trick in which the nutrition information on the label is based on a serving size, but the bottle contains multiple servings—leaving you to do the math.

Each bottle contains 2.5 servings of the sugar-sweetened water, so a whole bottle delivers 33 grams of sugar (a can of Coke only has 6 more). That’s a lot of calories when plain water could do the trick.

One bottle (2.5 servings) of the Charge flavor: 125 calories, 32.5g sugar.

Choose this instead: New VitaminWater10 has only 10 calories per serving, or 25 if you finish the bottle. But it contains zero-calorie sweeteners.

23. Quaker Natural Granola, Low-Fat

Granola is tricky. Although the name is practically synonymous with healthy, some types—including this cereal—contain a startling amount of sugar per serving. One serving contains 18 grams of sugar, as much as a Twinkie.

A 2/3-cup serving: 210 calories, 3g fat, 4g protein, 3g fiber—but 18g sugar.

Choose this instead: A 2/3-cup serving of Health Valley’s Low Fat Date Almond Flavor Granola: 180 calories, 1g fat, 10g sugar, 5g protein, 6g fiber.

24. Bear Naked Chocolaty Cherry Grain-ola Bar

We love Bear Naked for its generally low-fat, low-sugar concoctions, but we just can’t get behind this bar.

It has almost the same nutritional stats as a Hershey’s Sweet and Salty Reese’s Peanut Butter bar. Or you could eat almost three Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bars for the same intake.

One 54-gram bar: 230 calories, 10g fat, 14g sugar.

Choose this instead: Barbara’s Crunch Organic Oats and Honey Granola Bar; two bars have only 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar.

25. Amy’s Organic Thai Coconut Soup

Generally we love anything from this vegetarian brand, but we have to draw the line at this soup. While packed with veggies and protein-powerhouse tofu, one serving has more than half of your daily limit of saturated fat and a quarter of your sodium.

One 1/2-can serving: 140 calories; 10g fat, 8g saturated; 580mg sodium.

Choose this instead: Lentil Vegetable, one of Amy’s low-sodium soups, is still chock-full of veggies and protein, but with less fat and sodium: 4g fat, 0.5g saturated fat; 340mg sodium.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Sin Of Unbelief

by Joyce Meyer – posted September 13, 2012

[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. —Romans 4:18–21

Doubt, as I’ve said, raises questions. It makes us ask, “Did God really say . . . ?” “Does the Word really mean . . . ?” Doubt is often the devil’s entry point into our minds. Just such simple, easy questions are enough to give Satan a place to attack.

Unbelief is far worse than doubt. Doubt brings in the question, but unbelief is the result. I’ve watched Satan launch his attacks on Christians by first posing a question and then causing that question to bring doubt. The triumph of sin in the Garden of Eden began just that way. Satan said to Eve, “Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1b). That’s subtle. Satan doesn’t fight with God or argue with the Bible. He just raises a question and allows our minds to do the rest.

When the question comes in such a simple way, the obvious answer must be, “Well, He didn’t really mean . . .” With that reaction, Satan has established a stronghold in your mind, and it takes little for him to move you from there to a total lack of belief. I’ve spoken with people who were led astray in just such a way. They started out as faithful, committed followers of Jesus Christ. But as Satan planted doubt and unbelief in their hearts, they turned their backs on spiritual things. One man said, “I was simple and naïve in those days. I believed anything I heard. I know better now.” Satan robbed him of his faith and, in the process, stole his joy and hope.

I am familiar with this battle. Because of my ministry, some people think I have everything all worked out and never have to battle for my faith. I can tell you that no Christian reaches that place this side of heaven. As soon as we let our guard down, even in the slightest, Satan sneaks up behind us and starts whispering his lies to us.

That may be the reason the story of Abraham is such an encouragement to me. When I have my battles with faith and taking God totally at His Word, I often go back and read Romans 4. The example of that godly man is absolutely amazing to me. In the natural, everything appeared to be against God’s promises to Abraham. I’m sure Abraham’s friends laughed when he said, “God will give me a son.” Satan’s scoffers must have been in place every day, but Abraham stood the test. The Bible says, “He did not weaken in faith . . . but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God” (vs. 19-20). I love that statement.

After the Holy Spirit called me into ministry, I was elated—and humbled. I thought, Who am I that God should call me? I could think of hundreds of reasons why anyone but Joyce Meyer should be used by God. But I believed in His call, and I had no doubt—not then.

In the months after the call, however, things moved more slowly than I wanted. More times than I can count, I found myself meditating on Abraham and God’s promises to him. If a human being like Abraham could believe and not stagger with unbelief, why couldn’t Joyce Meyer? I fought the battles, and with God’s grace, I won. That’s how it is each time—a fresh battle and a new and joyous victory.

God and Father of Abraham, I thank You for Abraham’s example. Help me to push aside the devil’s advances by totally trusting You and standing on Your promises for my life—even if no one else stands with me. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.


From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Bring Out The Best

Today’s Scripture:

…love is kind… – 1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV.

Today’s Word:

One translation of today’s simple verse says that “love looks for a way to be constructive.” In other words, love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better. Ask yourself, “Who can I encourage today?” “Who can I build up?” You have something to offer those around you that no one else can give. Someone in your life needs your encouragement. Someone in your life needs to know that you believe in them. I believe God will hold us responsible for the people He’s put in our lives. He’s counting on us to bring out the best in our family and friends.

Are you improving the lives of those around you? Are you pouring confidence in them? Why don’t you ask the Lord to give you creative ways to bring out the best in others? As you sow into the lives of others, God will send people along your path that will build you up so that you can embrace every blessing He has in store for you.

Prayer for Today:

Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for believing in me and always building me up. I ask that You show me creative ways to encourage and build up the people around me. Help me to be an example of Your love in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Take A Minute To Rest

Posted by Victoria Osteen on 9/11/2012

One day a few years back, I was moving a large wall mirror in our house. Joel wasn’t around and I couldn’t wait for him, so I decided to get it done by myself. However, I didn’t realize that it was going to be as heavy as it was. I grabbed hold of that mirror, and I started to move it. I knew exactly where I was taking it and was almost there when the mirror began to feel really heavy! I didn’t know how much longer I could carry it. I thought, “I’m struggling so much. I can’t believe it’s this hard!” But I just kept pressing on. I was close and didn’t want to give up. Then something inside of me said, “Well, why don’t you just put it down for a minute and take a break?” Well, there’s a novel idea! So I set the mirror down, repositioned my hands, and took a deep breath. Very quickly, I started to feel a whole lot better. So I picked that mirror up again with my renewed strength and kept heading to where I was going feeling refreshed and revived.

You know, I think that’s kind of how we are as Christians sometimes. We hold so tightly to things that we begin to struggle in our faith and in the promises of God. We see where we’re going, and we get so determined to get there that sometimes we do it in our own strength. I believe today God is saying to us, “Slow down. Be patient. Don’t just run until you hit the wall. Listen, I’m right here to help you. Put down the heavy load for a minute. Take a deep breath, reposition your hands, and then you’ll be renewed to go on with it.”

Notice, I didn’t let that mirror go. If I had, it would have come crashing down to the ground. But I did let go of the struggle. I took just a minute to reevaluate what was going on and how I was handling things. Maybe that’s what you need to do today. Are you carrying a load in your own strength? Do you need to pause for a moment to reposition yourself? Why don’t you ask the Holy Spirit to show you a better way? He wants to take that heavy burden and lighten your load. He wants to give you rest so you can be restored and move confidently to the place of victory.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.(Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Our Daily Bread – Flying Solo

Read: John 14:15-27

May 20-21, 1927, marked a turning point in aviation history as Charles Lindbergh made the first-ever solo, nonstop, trans-Atlantic flight. There had been other flights across the Atlantic, but none were accomplished by a pilot flying alone. It was a historic achievement. When Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, he was thronged by thousands of admirers applauding his success. And when he returned to America, he was further honored with parades and awards in celebration of his individualistic courage and spirit.

Even though Lindbergh’s solo flight was dangerous, living in this fallen world of ours can be far more so. Followers of Christ, however, can be encouraged and comforted that we never have to “fly solo.” The night before His crucifixion, Jesus promised that He would not abandon us but would send His Spirit to be with us and in us (John 14:16-17). The apostle Paul later affirmed this, saying, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).

In a world filled with despair and trouble, we can take courage. The Holy Spirit lives within us, providing us with His peace and comfort (John 14:26-27). Aren’t you thankful that you never have to fly solo?

Father, allow me today to rest in You, to walk with
Your Son, and to lean on Your Spirit.
Thank You for Your never-failing presence,
helping me in all the challenges of life. Amen.
The Spirit within us guarantees that we’re never alone.