Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Healthy Food Swaps for Your Favorite Party Foods (As Seen on CBS Chicago)

Got a big event coming up? Before you hit the grocery store, check out these five easy swaps from Health and Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour. Steph stopped by CBS Chicago to chat about how to make our favorite go-to party foods a lot more nutritious!

Q: What do dips, burgers, tacos, and chili all have in common?
A: They are

But on a serious note—those are the heavy hitters of the party food scene and I’ve got ways to lighten up all of them. I enjoy teaching my private weight loss clients how to choose ingredients that will give them the most nutrients without missing out on flavor or fun.

Dive Into Your Dips

Endive that is! Normally we use regular potato chips, tortilla chips, or even pita chips as carriers for those delicious, creamy dips. My suggestion though? Step away from the chips and choose carrot coins, snap peas, or endives instead. Vegetables are packed full of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.

Also: Soup Up Your Dips

And we’re not talking chicken soup! Step up your dips by swapping out sour cream for Greek yogurt. I love using Greek yogurt as a base for dips because it’s higher in protein, will help you feel satiated, and keep your blood sugar levels more constant. That’s a win-win…or rather a win-win-win!

Fatten Up Your Burger

Yes, this sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. When it comes to choosing beef for your burger you want to go with a leaner variety, but when it comes to toppings for that burger? Swap mayo and/or cheese out for the healthy fats found in the amazing avocado! Slice about half an avocado on top of your burger for a flavor explosion that will keep you feeling fuller longer.

Add Extra Crunch to Tacos

Who doesn’t love tacos, am I right? Whether you’re enjoying hard or soft shell tacos, here’s a healthy way to add some satisfying, good-for-you crunch—kale! Kale is much more nutrient-dense than romaine or iceberg, so instead of shredded lettuce, fill those bad boys up with this anti-inflammatory, power green. You’ll be enjoying your food, without sacrificing taste, and while increasing your intake of Vitamins C, A, and E!

Beef Up Your Chili

If you bought the giant tub of kale and didn’t use it all on taco night—good news! You can throw some of it in your chili, as well some bell pepper for an extra dose of that Vitamin C. My other recommendation is to swap out beef for ground turkey which will boost the amount of lean protein per bowl.

I don’t know about you, but all this food talk has got me hungry. For even more guidance in the kitchen I encourage you to check out my 7 Day Easy Meal Plan + Recipe Book.


As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicago, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

Here are a few more things that I do as a weight loss consultant in Chicago: weight loss consultant Chicago, weight loss nutritionist Chicago (we work with a Doctor of Nutrition to assess all of our private weight loss clients), health & fitness trainer Chicago, health & fitness coaching Chicago, health & fitness training Chicago, and fitness trainer Chicago. In addition, I do corporate wellness training Chicago, and I’m a fitness consultant in Chicago. I do fitness training Chicago, nutrition coaching Chicago, and nutrition training Chicago. If you’re looking for a health trainer Chicago, health expert Chicago, health coaching Chicago, or health training Chicago, you’ve come to the right place! In addition, I am a personal trainer Chicago, nutrition expert Chicago, nutrition coach chicago, and a women’s weight loss coach in Chicago and beyond!

Even though I am based in Chicago, I work with womens fitness across the country!  For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Healthy Super Bowl Swaps & How to Eat Healthy for the Super Bowl As Seen on HLN

What’s a Super Bowl party without amazing food, right? Unfortunately, for those of us with weight loss goals, those high-calorie snacks can serve as a setback. Health and Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour stopped by Headline News to fill you in on how to save hundreds of calories while still enjoying your favorite party foods!

Steph specializes in weight loss programs for women and believes in keeping her clients from ever feeling deprived in their day to day lives. Let’s talk about how to cheer your team on while still making healthy food choices on game day! Here are a bunch of popular Super Bowl party foods and their calorie contents compared to some lighter—but still delicious—alternatives!

Artichoke Dip Versus Salsa

It can be a little too easy to fall into a bowl of artichoke dip! If you take a look at the calories in just one serving (and who is going to only eat one serving, honestly?!) it may not be so tempting. That creamy dip runs around 114 calories per serving, whereas the same amount of salsa will only contain 10. Make the swap and you’ll save 104 calories easily!

Potato Chips Versus Popcorn

There are 160 calories in just one 1 oz. serving of potato chips, whoa! If you opt to snack on some air-popped popcorn with some seasoning sprinkled on instead, you can enjoy a whole 1 cup serving for just 30 calories. That’s a savings of 120 calories or you can snack up to five cups of that popcorn for the same amount of calories as one serving of chips. A little swap that will go a long way if you’re extra hungry!

Another good swap I always tell my own private weight loss clients to keep in mind: ditch the tortilla chips in favor of some sliced veggies.

Traditional Fried Wings Versus Baked Chicken Wings

Traditional wings, while super tasty, are unfortunately full of fat and calories. You can save mega calories by switching your wing style over to either baked or grilled. Here’s the numbers for comparison:

2 fried wings + 1.5 oz bleu cheese = 470 calories vs 2 baked wings + 2 TBSP salsa = 170 calories.

That’s right…you could save 300 calories per serving with this swap!

Regular Burger Versus Lean Beef Bunless Burger

You’ll save over 200 calories simply by saying no to a hamburger bun and wrapping your burger in lettuce instead. Good protein boost, great flavor, and more room for dessert or drinks! If you love the bun too much, just ditch half of it and do an open-faced burger. Opting for a leaner hamburger meat will save you calories from fat as well.

This swap works for sandwiches too! You’ll save ~115 calories by making your sandwich open-faced instead of two slices of bread.

Glass of Wine Versus Wine Spritzer

If you love to indulge in a boozy beverage when you’re hanging out with your friends and waiting to scream over touchdowns—you’re in good company! Save around 60 calories by filling your wine glass with half sparkling water.

Glass of wine – 120 calories vs wine spritzer – 60 calories

If you’re paying attention that means you can have twice the drinks for the same amount of calories!

Go team!

As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.


If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.


For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Healthy Ballpark Snack Hacks for Weight Loss (As Seen on The Jam)

Baseball season is here! How can you stay healthy when there are social outings and game-watching events? Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is here to revamp our ballpark favorites so that we save on fat, calories, and sodium!

As a private weight loss coach for women, I deal with real women who have real lives! This means going to baseball games, hosting watch parties, and going to parties with a lot of food. Here are some simple ways to eat healthier:

1. A Healthier Hot Dog

At home: Buy lean meat hot dogs. Try chicken or turkey dogs to reduce fat and sodium.

At the game: Hot dogs at the stadium will cost you 300-600 calories! You can cut those calories in half simply  removing half of the hotdog bun! Easy!

2. Dress Your Dog Healthy

At home: Make your own dips instead of regular, store-bought condiments! Try avocado and cilantro or mint with Greek yogurt.

At the game: Avoid high calorie condiments like mayo, but feel free to enjoy some relish and ketchup!

3. Not Your Average (Fattening) Nachos

At home: Forget corn chips! Go for these yummy Beanito bean chips. You get 4 grams of protein in a serving! I always emphasis with my private weight loss clients that food is fuel! Make sure the food you eat is always netting you at least some of the good stuff. Go for kale lettuce as a topping instead of the normal romaine or iceberg. The greener the healthier!

At the game: At the stadium, nachos cost you about 1100 calories! Yikes. Say no to the cheese whiz and add more chicken instead!

4. Sip & Save

At home: Instead of mixing your mimosa or Bellini with fruit juice, cut your calories by just adding in a piece of fruit! For other drinks, use sparkling water as your mixture instead of fruit juice.

At the game: Go for a light beer! Simple as that.

You can totally still enjoy baseball season and all your favorite snacks without compromising your weight loss goals! With a few healthy snack hacks and by following these easy weight loss tips, you can lose weight, make it last, and have fun while you’re at it! Cheers!

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Steph Mansour and Jordan Cornette Step it Up with Healthy Ballpark Snacks

What to Eat Before a Workout

Health & Fitness Expert and Women’s Weight Loss Coach Stephanie Mansour shares advice on how to choose the right foods to eat before a workout on Fox 32 Chicago.

what to eat before a workout

Do you ever wonder what to eat before your workouts? You don’t want to workout while you’re hungry because you will run out of energy quickly. But you also don’t want to feel full while working out because you know it will weigh you down.

One of the most important parts of my job as a women’s weight loss coach is helping my clients create an eating plan that works for their busy lifestyle. There’s much more to creating a healthy nutrition plan than coming up with a list of foods to eat. It’s also important to eat the right foods at the right times to fuel your body for energy and fat loss.

As I always tell my private weight loss coaching clients, you should be thinking of food as fuel. Whether you’re preparing to hit the gym first-thing in the morning or after a long day, your body is hungry for fuel. So to get the most out of each workout, you’ll want to feed that hunger with sufficient carbohydrates to provide a burst of energy and plenty of protein.

While I advise you to steer clear of empty calories and sugary snacks that will cause your energy to crash fast, don’t shy away from allowing for extra calories in the form of protein and healthy fats.

A few snacks I recommend to eat before a workout include:

  • Protein bars rather than regular granola bars
  •  Greek yogurt instead of regular sugary yogurt
  • A good quality protein shake, such as Vega
  • Quinoa with veggies

And one of my new favorite pre-workout foods, when I’m on the go, are Nourish Snacks by nutritionist Joy Baur. They’re low in calories with good quality carbs for fast energy and healthy fats. Plus, they’re delicious!

I stopped by the Fox 32 Chicago studio to share some tips about what to eat before a workout. Watch the video below.

Want more guidance on what to eat when, for healthy weight loss? Join the FREE 21-Day Challenge with weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour for a simple but powerful workout plan, an easy-to-follow eating guide, and fun confidence-boosting exercises.

Pic of Security Guard + On-The-Go Healthy Snacks

Eating healthy on the go can be challenging…but, one person at a time, I am showing how easy it can be to be healthy anytime, anywhere!

Check out my fabulous security guard from my building – we talk about being healthy and fit all the time. And, he whipped out this bag of hard boiled eggs from his jacket pocket! How cool is that! All it takes is a little planning.

When I was visiting my sister at Harvard, I ate dorm food with her. There was a delicious veggie soup, so I decided to add in an extra serving of broccoli. A great source of fiber and a nutritious veggie. While I do not recommend “scarfing” food, I was able to eat this bowl of veggies in under 3 minutes as we were in a rush. It was pre-made and quick to eat.

This is how I work with my clients – we take a look at their daily life and see what is realistic for them. Here are some snack options:

  • Pre-peeled and packed hard boiled eggs. Make 12 at the beginning of the week and peel them the morning you take them to work.
  • Pre-made bean & veggie dip with corn shells for tacos. Mix together a can of beans, corn, salsa, and raw kale. Bring this mixture to work with a few corn tortilla taco shells. You’ve got a healthy taco in less than 30 seconds, with barely any prep time.
  • Nuts. Make your own single-serving bag or buy them pre-packed from the grocery store. Look out for any added ingredients and try to stay as simple as possible. You can even mix in some baked kale with your nuts and keep them in the fridge!
  • Celery and almond butter. Cut a stick of celery in half, and smear almond butter onto each half. Place in a bag and bring with you on the go.

Do you have any other snack ideas? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


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Quick Snacks for the Beach

Spending the whole day at the beach? Make sure you are eating every three to four hours to avoid headaches and low energy. Here are some quick snacks to take to the beach. (They were recently featured on Diets in Review, too! Click here for the full article.)

– Cut up watermelon: this fruit is loaded with water and is a great cool-me-down snack. Cut some up and put it in a plastic container – you don’t even need silverware!

– Trail mix (sans chocolate): Mix together some nuts and dried fruit for a sweet and nutritious snack that won’t melt.

– An apple and individual peanut butter packs: Squeeze some gooey peanut butter onto bites of your apple.
A protein smoothie: make this at home and take it in an insulated go-cup!

Often times, all it takes is a little bit of planning ahead to stay on a healthy eating plan. Along with planning also comes the routine of eating every few hours instead of saving up for a couple of big meals during the day. By maintaining an eating plan that consists of eating protein every three to four hours, you’ll never be hungry and you’ll also speed up your metabolism.

Step It Up mentally! Jumpstart a healthy lifestyle with the help of my 30 Day Workbook.

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What My Mom Taught Me about Healthy Food Choices

My mom and I were featured in an online article for Mother’s Day:

“My mom taught me to snack in a healthy way instead of eating a bunch of junk food. I remember eating graham crackers and celery sticks with peanut butter on them, and raisins in the car on the way to my sporting events. She’d always make us eat broccoli even if we didn’t like it, but let us dip it into ranch dressing with our sandwich at lunch.

Today, I encourage my clients to view food as fuel and to pay attention to what they are eating, even while snacking.”

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