This recipe uses the flavors of a popular dessert and turns it into a side dish that is loaded with healthy fruits and vegetables. It provides a lower calorie way to satisfy a dessert craving.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
1 cup shredded carrots
1 apple, cored and chopped
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp unsweetened, toasted coconut
¼ cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Optional: 2 tbsp raisins
Add the carrots, apple, walnuts, and coconut to a medium bowl and toss to combine.
In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Pour the dressing over the carrots and apple. Stir well. If you are using the raisins, stir them in just before serving.
Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 107; Total Fat 5.9 g; Saturated Fat 1.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 15 mg; Carbohydrate 11.5 g; Fiber 2.1 g; Sugar 8 g; Protein 2.8 g
Grabbing a smaller plate or bowl may seem like a small change, but it can make a big difference in how much food you serve yourself. Research shows that larger bowls can cause us to take as much as 30 percent more food! Smaller plates require less food to fill and make portions appear larger, which leads to eating fewer calories without feeling deprived.
Put foods away.
Storing foods on the countertop in plain view can trigger cravings. Just seeing a bag of chips can make you hungry, and it is difficult to resist when they are within easy reach. If you have these foods in the house, keep them in a closed cabinet out of view to reduce mindless snacking.
Use measuring tools as serving utensils.
Scoop and serve your foods using a measuring cup with a handle. Portions of beans, soups, pasta sauces, and stews can easily be controlled by using these tools. Use measuring spoons for scooping out nut butters or adding condiments such as salad dressing. This small change will reveal exactly how much food you are eating.
Set your fork down between bites, chew slowly, and keep your focus on the food you are enjoying. Eating less quickly allows you to eat more mindfully, which helps you feel more satisfied. As a result, it will be easier to recognize when you feel full.
Stay at the table.
Distracted eating leads to overeating. Even if you are eating a healthy meal, doing so in front of a television screen causes you to lose sight of your body’s cues for hunger and fullness. Improving your relationship with food requires that you not only eat healthier, but that you remove distractions so that you can truly enjoy your food.
Cravings are part of a normal healthy lifestyle. When and how you indulge is what controls whether these cravings have a negative influence on your health. A box of cookies will still be around after you have had one or two to satisfy your craving. It’s better to enjoy a treat and remove the temptation than to deprive yourself and binge later. Buy a single cookie or donut at the bakery and single-serving bags of chips to reduce the chance that you will overdo it.
Reduce convenience foods.
When the foods you eat require some work, it slows you down and keeps you focused. Cook more often, and buy snacks that need to be shelled or peeled such as nuts, seeds, and fruits. Yes, it takes more time, but the investment will be worth reaching your fitness goals.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Drinking plenty of water and calorie-free beverages can help you feel full and eat less.
Fat was once considered bad for health, but as research has evolved we now know that all types of fat are not equal. Fat is an essential component of a healthy diet. It plays a role in brain health, helps build cell membranes, and allows the body to absorb fat soluble vitamins. However, some fats can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Studies show that monounsaturated fat reduces bad cholesterol (LDL), which helps to lower the risk for heart disease and stroke. There is also evidence that these fats can help control blood sugar. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, sesame oil, avocados, and peanut butter.
Polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) have been found to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. These fats are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, tofu, and fatty fish like salmon and trout.
Health experts consider trans fat to be the worst type of dietary fat. Trans fats are byproducts of hydrogenation (turning a liquid fat into a solid) and are present in many processed foods. Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower protective good cholesterol (HDL). As a result, the FDA has mandated that industrial trans fat be eliminated from foods by 2018.
A diet high in saturated fat can increase total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL), but some reports now question if the link between saturated fat and heart disease is as strong as once believed. As research continues, health experts remain cautious and recommend that saturated fat be limited to 10 percent of total daily calories. Saturated fat is found in red meat, whole dairy, coconut oil, and baked goods.
This recipe combines roasted vegetables with chickpeas and extra virgin olive oil to create a dip that provides protein, heart-healthy fat, and vitamins. Use it for dipping vegetables, as a spread for whole grain crackers, or as a filling for vegetarian sandwiches.
Yield: About 2 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15.5 oz.) low-sodium chickpeas, drained
½ tsp fine ground sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the carrots, cauliflower, onion, and garlic cloves in a medium bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes. Stir one time about halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes.
Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cooled vegetables, salt, black pepper, basil, and coriander. Puree on high for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture turns into a spreadable paste and all vegetables are finely chopped. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the olive oil. Puree for 30 to 45 more seconds, until the mixture becomes somewhat smooth. Remove from the food processor and serve.
Nutrition information for ¼ cup: Calories 104; Total Fat 5.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 209 mg; Carbohydrate 13 g; Fiber 4.0 g; Sugar 2.2 g; Protein 3.1 g
If there is one thing to invest in before starting your exercise program, make it your shoes. Quality athletic shoes that fit your feet well and that are designed for your activity can help reduce the risk of pain and injury. In addition to shoes, also consider your socks. Athletic socks that wick moisture are affordable, and they can help you ward off common issues such as blisters.
The number one priority of your exercise clothing is that it should be comfortable, but don’t confuse comfortable with loose and baggy. Big tee shirts and sweatpants may seem like a good choice, but they can get in the way of your workout. Most are also made of cotton, which traps heat and moisture causing you to overheat. Spandex is not a requirement, but more form fitting clothing that wicks moisture and allows you to move easily is ideal.
Fitness involves more than just your weight, so determine how you will measure your progress before you start your program. Waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure , and body fat are all components of fitness that you can track. Gather your initial data, and enter it into your MyFoodDiary account. Track your progress at regular intervals such as every month or every three months to make sure you are getting the results to meet your goals.
Your interval training, circuit workouts, and front planks will be simple to track with an inexpensive stopwatch.
Floor exercises like push-ups, crunches, and yoga poses are effective exercises. While they don’t require equipment, a mat will make them much more comfortable. Mats provide some cushioning for your back on hard floors, but you can also double up the layers to protect your knees during modified push-ups or use it as a bolster to sit on during yoga.
Hydration helps you perform better during exercise, so keep a water bottle handy throughout your workout. Select one that is easy to use while in motion, and consider an insulated version to keep your drink cool.