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By Larry

*Happiest of Birthdays to Julieann V., Jay D., Michael K. and Megan P.!!

*Don't forget to vote Tuesday, February 5th!

*January 27th - February 3rd is Restaurant Week in Chicago. Various restaurants will offer coursed meals at a significantly lower price than their regular menus. Visit www.chicagooriginals.com/restaurants.php for more information.

*Here are more tricks to help you stay on track with your calorie-cutting plan:
3) Use your blender: A study has found subjects who drank smoothies and other drinks blended for at least 2X as long as necessary ate 12% less-and felt fuller-than those who drank beverages blended for a shorter period. Blending increases serving size by incorporating air without adding calories. Adding low- or no-calorie ingredients to entrees (lettuce and tomato on top of turkey burgers) has a similar effect because they increase water instead of air.

4) Eat fiber and complex carbs. According to a new study, people on diets that call for fiber-rich, complex-carb-loaded foods (lentils, sweet potatoes and apples) lost 2 lbs. more in 5 weeks than people on low-fat or other types of diets.

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

Yield: 6 servings (Serving size: 1 cup)

*8 ounces egg noodles
*1/8 cup butter
*2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and grated (about 4 cups)
*2 large eggs
*2 large egg whites
*1/2 cup non-fat sour cream
*1/2 cup apricot jam
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
3) Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes; saute until tender, 8 minutes. Let cool, 5 minutes.
4) Beat together eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Add sour cream, jam and salt; mix well. Add the sweet potato mixture; mix well. Stir in noodles. Transfer mixture to an 8" square glass baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray; cover dish with foil.
5) Bake 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with pecans; let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Calories per serving: 427
Carbohydrate: 61 grams
Protein: 10 grams
Fat: 15 grams
Fiber: 4 grams

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