Category Archives: Shop to Lose

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Mini Feta Herb Sundried Tomato Quiche


 Need an easy, healthy appetizer to make for a special occasion?  Try these mini quiche using premade pastry shells.  The fat content of this hors d’oeuvres is reduced compared to its traditional counterpart by using egg whites, fat-free evaporated milk, and reduced-fat feta cheese.  To help you find the ingredients that fit best with your nutritional and health needs, use your “Shop to Lose“, “Eat This?”, and “Eat What?” apps for the iPhone.  Click here for the recipe.

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Filed under appetizers, Eat This?, Eat What?, healthy food, iPhone apps, low-fat, PICKKA, Recipes, Shop to Lose

Trans Fat and Saturated Fat Use Decline in Fast Food Restaurants, Study says

 Eating at fast food restaurants just got a little healthier according to one study presented at the National Nutrient Database Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Trans fat and saturated fat use by 5 major fast food chains………… Find this story in its entirety at our new location

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Filed under dining out, Eat What?, fat, iPhone apps, monounsaturated fat, PICKKA, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, Shop to Lose, trans fat

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad

The Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad is great on its own or as a topping for a baked potato!

Welcome to Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA.  Today’s featured recipe is Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad.  I decided to use my “Shop to Lose” app for the iPhone to choose the ingredients for this dish.  The Shop to Lose app contains a “smart shopping list” which analyzes and screens grocery store foods based on my weight and health objectives, as well as those of other family members.  It’s a great way to ensure that my pantry items are healthy for me and my family.

I am glad I chose to use “Shop to Lose”* because I discovered something new that I would not have considered otherwise.  My recipe calls for black beans – not a product that I would consider to have many variances between brands.  But, my “Shop to Lose” app brought to my attention that the sugar content between my choices differed slightly.  One had no sugar and the other had 1 gram.  What is nice about the “Shop to Lose” app is that it highlights why a product is a good choice or a bad choice under the nutrition label displayed on the app.  It will tell you if the product is low in sugar or high in fat, for instance.  That is how I discovered the sugar difference – and I thought I was pretty savvy at deciphering nutrition labels.

I think you will find today’s recipe to be very easy to pull together at the last minute because many of the items are pantry staples.  It is also very versatile.  You can serve it as a side dish, use it to top baked potatoes (as I did), or add it to a bed of whole-grain rice for a healthy meal.  It it a great dish to pass at potlucks, barbecues, and picnics too!

Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad


1 (15.5 ounce) can of whole kernel corn, drained

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped

1 small red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

3/4 tsp ground cumin

2 TBS lime juice

2 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


In a medium bowl add corn, black beans, bell peppers, onion, and garlic.  Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over mixture.  Sprinkle with ground cumin.  Stir until mixture is coated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

*Click here to download the “Shop to Lose” app.

Try this recipe and come back and tell us how you served it, we want to know!

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Filed under barbecue, easy meals, healthy food, homemade meals, iPhone apps, PICKKA, picnic, picnic recipes, Recipes, Shop to Lose, side dish

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA

Welcome to the first Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA posting here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  As a new regular feature, Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA will show you how easy it is to put a healthy meal on the table by using Evincii/PICKKA’s Eat This? and Shop to Lose apps for the iPhone.  A question that I am often asked is “Can a healthy diet include prepackaged foods?”  Yes, when the right choices are made.  This answer, I realize, may sound as if a lot of work and time is involved in order to decipher the nutrition labels; however, the “Eat This?” and “Shop to Lose” apps take the frustration out of the decision making process for you.  Both apps allow you to enter your health goals, then they do the work to find the right products for you.

Recently, I used my “Eat This?” app to help me find healthy, prepackaged foods that would allow me to provide a quick, nutritious meal for my family.  Time has been short these last few weeks and will be until the school year has ended for my children.  Therefore, I need to be able to prepare fast dinners without cutting short on health.  Here is how the “Eat This?” app helped me:

I entered my objectives (healthy eating, weight management, pre-diabetes, and high blood pressure).  Then, I started scanning products.  Based on the results from “Eat This?”, I was able to find products that mostly fell within the “Very Good Choice” range – in fact, I even got a “bravo” from my “Eat This?” app which made me quite happy.  What meal did I prepare?  Low-fat pierogies topped with low-fat sour cream and fat-free cheddar cheese with a side of mixed vegetables.  And, because I bought prepackaged and frozen foods, I was able to prepare the meal in under 20 minutes.

The "Eat This?" app for the iPhone helped me find healthy prepackaged and frozen foods to make a quick, nutritious meal.

Are you interested in learning more about these apps?  Click the respective links to start your healthy shopping adventure today:

How do you prepare quick and healthy meals for yourself or your family?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under Eat This?, health, healthy food, nutrition, Shop to Lose, Uncategorized, vegetables, weight management

Eat This?

PICKKA's "Eat This?" app for the iPhone is as easy as 1-2-3!

Have you ever had one of those days where you are constantly on the run going from one event to the other without even a break to use the restroom?  The kind that entails meeting after meeting at work, with the last one running overtime causing you to scramble to pick-up your child after school so that you can next fight your way through traffic to get him to karate class on time? A day that doesn’t come to an end until it’s dinner – a time when you should finally be able to relax, but then you realize you have nothing in the house to eat and you need to go to the market?  Adding to the burden, you are trying to watch your diet and eat healthier foods, but after a day like that, who has the time or energy to compare nutrition labels?!

Enter PICKKA’s new “Eat This?” app by “Shop to Lose” for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS – it’s as easy as 1-2-3!  There is no need for you to waste time standing in the grocery aisle trying to sift through nutrition facts and ingredients lists – PICKKA’s “Eat This?” app does all the work for you.  Simply enter your health objectives (e.g., weight management, diabetes control, healthy eating, etc.,), scan the bar code of the product with your phone’s camera, and wah-lah instant nutritional information pops up for your viewing.

PICKKA’s “Eat This?” health meter will let you know what foods meet your health goals.  Don’t like the choice it has given you?  No worries, because this app also provides alternative products in a similar category.  Concerned about the product’s taste?  “Eat this?” has you covered with its “consumer rating of taste” feature.  Other users of the app can rate the taste, the results of their evaluation are made available to you – providing you with additional decision making power without the additional effort.

You can download this app now for $0.99.  To learn more about the “Eat This?” app click here.  After you download the app, try it out and come back here and let us know how you like it.  Share with us, we want to know!

“Eat This?” is as easy as 1-2-3!

First, enter your health goals.

Second, scan the product's bar code.

Nutrition Facts appear for your review.

"Eat This?"explains why a product does not meet your health goals.


Filed under added sugars, diet, Eat This?, fat, health, nutrition, PICKKA, Shop to Lose, weight loss

A Side of Salt?

The sodium content of some fast food meals may exceed recommended daily levels for adults.

You might be getting more than you bargained for when you bite into that cheeseburger or chicken sandwich you purchased from your favorite fast food restaurant.  But, this is not the “buy one get one free” offer you want.  According to a study published in the April 26, 2010 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, fast food meals are not only high in calories, but contain an excessive amount of sodium as well – with 20% of the total meals studied containing more than the recommended daily amount for adults, which is 2,300 mg.

If you think you are making a healthier choice by choosing a chicken dish over a hamburger meal when dining at a fast food chain, think again.  The current study found that 55% of the meals at fried chicken restaurants contained more than 2,300 mg of sodium.  Meals from the fried chicken establishments also contained, on average, 66 more calories per meal than from burger chains.  Furthermore, the chicken meals contained nearly 900 mg more sodium than burger meals.

Data from the recent study was obtained from 6,580 lunch hour receipts of adult patrons from 167 fast food chain restaurants.  The sodium content of the average meal (from both chicken and burger chains) was 1,751 mg – with 57% of all purchases exceeding 1,500 mg of sodium.  Considering that 75% of all dining out experiences occur either at casual or fast food chain establishments, these findings highlight a major public health concern.  Excessive amounts of sodium consumption can lead to elevated blood pressure levels.  Having a high blood pressure condition, known as hypertension, increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, according to the authors of the study, The American Medical Association is calling upon the food manufacturing industry to reduce the sodium content by 50% in processed foods and restaurant meals.  Some fast food chain establishments are already making changes.  In the mean time, how can you make a healthier choice the next time you visit a fast food restaurant? Check the establishment’s website.  Many now post nutrition information for the meals on their menus, which you can access prior to your dining experience.  For healthy decisions that have to be made on the fly, use the “Shop to Lose” app for the iPhone which provides the nutritional information, including sodium content, for several restaurants.



Filed under obesity, PICKKA, restaurant meals, Shop to Lose, sodium

Win $100 iTunes Cert for Using “Invite Friends” Feature on Shop to Lose App!

Download the Shop to Lose iPhone app and use the “Invite Friends via Email” feature to send an email invite to  You will then be entered in the drawing for one of three $100 iTunes Gift Certificates to be given away on April 30th.

Share this offer with all your friends so they can get ShoptoLose on their iPhones and find the right healthy foods when they are shopping  (and they can have a chance to win a $100 iTune Gift Cert, too!).



Filed under PICKKA, Shop to Lose