Monday, May 30, 2011

Cannellini to Kidney

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What a healthy bowl of goodness! 

RECIPE: I sautéed carrots, onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then added spinach and kidney beans.  Cannellini beans would have been great in this too, but I didn’t have any on hand.  Finally, I finished the dish with salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon juice.

The Benefits:

Kidney Beans: protein, vitamin B1 (protects memory and brain function), and potassium (regulates blood pressure).

Carrots: antioxidants (protects against heart disease and cancer) and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes (promotes good vision).

Spinach: antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Garlic: beneficial to cardiovascular system.  Onions: very high in flavonoids.

Olive Oil: monounsaturated fatty acids (lowers risk of heart disease).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Indulgence Pizza

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Want pizza but think it’s too much of an indulgence?  No worries, you can still eat nutritiously with pizza.  Go on – have your pizza and eat it too!

A few easy tips for pizza on a healthy meal plan:

  • use wheat flour vs. white four for the crust and keep it thin

  • skip “normal” crust all together and go with a wheat or low fat tortilla for the pizza foundation

  • skip olive oil on the crust and instead split a garlic clove in half and rub on the crust for great flavor

  • load up with veggies! any and all kinds are great on pizza, so be adventurous and creative with it

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicken & Vegetable Dinner

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Some things I’ve been working on with improving my diet has been

  1. to fill my plates with more veggies
  2. to minimize white flour / processed starches
  3. to stick with lean meats

The above pic is now a pretty common meal for me: brown rice mixed with spinach and mushrooms, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tomato and grilled or baked skinless boneless chicken breast.

It’s not the most innovative thing I’ve ever eaten, but it’s really satisfying and good for health.

2lbs lost so far!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting Fit

While I was overweight for a short period during my teens, overall, I eat right, exercise regularly, and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

However… there are times when I need to remind myself to get back on track.  Now is one of those times!  I’ve gained a few pounds and my pants are showing it, so it’s time to take action. 

I logged on to self.com and got some great tips, but ultimately decided to make my own meal and exercise plan.  I’m on day 5 and below is this week’s meal plan.  I’ve been tracking calories and steps and hope to see good results soon. 

Goal: 10 lbs to loose and svelte body that fits back into my skinny jeans to gain!

Below are a few example days.  Wish me luck.

 

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thru

Fri

Sat

 

Break-fast

cereal, skim milk, walnuts & raisins

toast w/ egg & tomato

cereal, skim milk, 1/2 banana

egg, feta in tortilla w/ fruit

veggies & egg w/ toast

carrot cake oatmeal

Snack

hard boiled egg

almonds & swiss cheese

yogurt & fruit

granola bar

banana w/ pb

apple

Lunch

turkey, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mustard

tuna, crackers, tomato, spinach, & swiss

turkey veggie pita w/ baked chips

tuna, crackers, tomato, spinach, & swiss

split pea soup w/ toast

salad w/ veggies

Snack

carrots & swiss

banana w/ pb

carrots & swiss

yogurt w/ nuts

almonds & swiss cheese

tomato w/ pita and humus

Dinner

veggie quesa-dilla w/ salsa

chicken, broccoli, & baked potato

mini filet w/ spinach & sweet potato

salad w/ chicken

chicken, broccoli, & baked potato

pork w/ carrots & sweet potato

Extra

small cookie & almonds

cookie, jello

jello

small piece choc

chips & salsa

lowfat ice cream scoop

 
Healthy Food Tips:
 
* stick with grilled / baked chicken only, using nonfat cooking spray vs. olive oil
 
* if you need a topping for your baked potato, try nonfat greek yogurt and steamed broccoli. yum!
 
* keep small packages of cut up veggies on hand for snacking
 
* a great lowfat drink is seltzer, vodka, and a generous squeeze of lime
 
* when eating tuna from the can, make sure you only get the “stored in water” kind, and go out on a limb – no mayo!  spread it on a cracker with a little mustard and a dill pickle seals the deal

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting Healthy for Breakfast

Some great healthy options for breakfast – oatmeal and smoothies!

OPTIONS: While I started my weekend with the basics – oatmeal w/ berries, and a banana smoothie – there are a million and one blends to try.  Some of the more unique blends I’ve made include carrot cake oatmeal and kale / apple green smoothie.

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Banana smoothie blend – includes frozen bananas, vanilla extract, water, and cinnamon.  Another option with just a bit more calories is to blend it with honey and non-fat yogurt.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Green Goddess Pasta

I call this my green goddess pasta because it has so many fabulous greens in it, but really you can mix and match whatever vegetable blend suits your fancy!

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I make most of my recipes by feel / taste, so my measurements are sometimes rough.  If you’re comfortable in the kitchen and like to experiment, then you will like my way of cooking; however, if you’re a novice or like specifics, then maybe not so much.

Prep: Roast 5 garlic cloves.  Chop up veggies - I used broccoli, spinach, and asparagus.  Cook al dente pasta – I chose rigatoni.  Undercook by 2 mins so pasta doesn’t overcook in oven.

Cook: Sauté onions in extra virgin olive oil and once softened, add the garlic along with salt and pepper to taste.  Next add a good splash of white wine and simmer.

Add chopped veggies and steam / low simmer about 6-7 mins.

Whisk a small even mixture of chicken stock and flour for a thickener.  Pour over veggie mix until combined, cook 2 mins and set aside.

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, heated
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Melt butter, then stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit — about 2 minutes. Add warm milk, continuing to stir. Bring it to a boil. Add seasonings to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Mix veggies and pasta, and pour into serving (cook safe) pan.  Pour béchamel sauce over top and sprinkle with parm or pecorino cheese.

Cook in 425 degree oven for 10-15 mins or until top is lightly golden.