Healthy Meals in a Snap

Football season is upon us again and that means football parties! When you host one of these parties, or even when you’re just enjoying a game with your family, make healthy snacks to munch on.

How do you go beyond simple “chips and dips,” while still keeping it quick and easy? How do you create tasty, healthy appetizers that don’t require long hours in the kitchen? There are lots of great appetizers that can be created in a snap.

Here are 5 ideas for your next party:

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks. Healthy finger foods that are both salty and crunchy are a must at any party. And they’re really easy to make. Cut 3 large zucchini in half crosswise, then cut each half into wedges. Dip wedges in a scrambled egg or egg substitute, then roll them in a mixture of 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake on a wire rack for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce for dipping.

Orange-Spiced Pecans. This is another great crunchy snack. Combine 1 Tbsp of grated orange rind with 1 Tbsp or orange juice and 1 egg white. Stir in 2 cups of pecan halves and stir to coat. Add 1 Tbsp brown sugar and a sprinkle of salt and toss well (you can also add some ground chile pepper if you like things spicy!). Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Tomato-Mozzarella skewers. A great appetizer and a nice contrast to salty or spicy foods. This snack is healthy and super-easy to make. Place a cherry tomato, a small cube of mozzarella cheese and a fresh basil leaf on a wooden skewer. Repeat to fill skewer. Place completed skewers in a bowl or arrange on a plate. Drizzle with a bit of Balsamic vinegar for added flavor. That’s it.

Guacamole/Salsa Hard-Boiled Eggs. This is a great twist on traditional deviled eggs, and by eliminating the egg yolk, you cut down on both calories and cholesterol. Hard boil a dozen eggs and when cooled, peel and slice each egg in half. Remove the yolk and replace it with guacamole, your favorite salsa, or a combination of both.

Cucumber-Shrimp Bruschetta. Another great finger food, this appetizer is filling and healthy too. Chop a large cucumber and mix with 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp dill. Slice a baguette (small, thin loaf of French bread) and toast slices. Chop precooked shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Spread cucumber mixture on toasted slices and top with 1 or 2 shrimp bites.

Try any one or all of these healthy appetizers at your next party. They are each a “cut above” the ordinary, and they’re easy to prepare.

Remember, healthy choices each day can transform families for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: Healthy Foods More Filling, Cookware Essentials for the Everyday Chef, What to Cook When You Think You Don’t Have Time

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Healthy Meals in a Snap

When people think about salad, they often think of lettuce with maybe a sliced tomato  Salad_as_mealtossed in. But salads can be so much more. In fact, they can be an entire meal by itself, and they don’t have to include lettuce at all.

Salads make sense any time, but especially now with the weather heating up. Now is a good time to think about fixing meals that are cool and refreshing, as well as healthy. So, just what can go into a healthy salad?

Step 1: Decide on the base. Iceberg lettuce may be the most popular variety in the U.S., but we recommend that you try other varieties of lettuce. In terms of taste and nutritional value, iceberg lettuce is at the bottom of the ladder, and you’ll find that varieties like Romaine, Boston, and Oak Leaf each have their own unique flavors. You can also use Arugula, Kale, spinach, or watercress for a salad. Experiment with different types and see which you and your family like best. One general rule of thumb: usually, the darker the green, the more vitamins, nutrients and flavor the plant will have.

tomato_basil_feta saladAs a tasty alternative, you can take a cue from Europeans and build up salads using ingredients like tomatoes or bell peppers as the base; good salads don’t necessarily need to incorporate lettuce at all! And they don’t have to be complicated, either. One of the salads that we like best is one that’s simply sliced tomatoes and feta cheese, topped with fresh basil and a bit of garlic-infused olive oil. It’s quick, easy and tastes great!

Step 2: Add protein. Once you’ve decided on the base, add some protein to make your salad into a meal. You can do this in a variety of ways, so think about what sounds best to you. While shredded ham or roasted chicken are great ways to get started when it comes to adding protein to your food, don’t forget things like eggs, crab meat, tofu, or even ground beef.

You can even use meat that has been seasoned during cooking. We love making a “Tex-mex” salad by adding ground beef that’s been cooked with taco seasoning. Another quick idea is to use chicken that’s been cooked with a teriyaki sauce to give your meal an Oriental flair.

Step 3: Finish it up. Don’t be limited to just greens. You can add artichoke hearts, beans, hearts of palm, peppers, cucumbers, nuts, and Chef_saladseeds. And, don’t forget about fruit, too. Adding Manderine orange slices, chopped apple, dried cranberries, fresh strawberries, or even melon balls to a salad can give it a wonderful flavor “kick.”

Step 4: Top it off with a dressing. Here’s where you need to be careful, though. Many dressings are loaded with fat and calories. It doesn’t help to create a healthy, flavorful salad and then smother it with creamy, high-calorie blue cheese dressing. Instead, try a light oil and vinegar dressing, or if you really want to go healthy, try just squeezing a fresh lemon or fresh lime over your salad. Once you get going, you’ll find that there is no end to the combinations you can create. And, as long as you pay attention to the dressing, salads can be very healthy.

So, the next time you’re looking for something different to fix for dinner – something both healthy and refreshing – try salad as a main course. You might even try a salad bar, so that each member of your family can pile on the ingredients they like the most! With a great salad, you can create a healthy meal in a snap!

chef-michael

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
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You might also want to read: Quick and Easy: How About a Taco Bar for Dinner?, Quick, Healthy Grocery Shopping, Want Your Kids to Eat Better? Here’s How

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compulsive eatingDo you feel like you are losing control of your eating?  Compulsive eating is characterized by frequent episodes of uncontrollable eating and consequent weight gain.  An estimated eight million Americans are estimated to have an eating disorder with compulsive eating being one of the most common.  Compulsive eating is using food and eating as a way to hide from or manage emotions.  It may be to fill a void you fill inside or to cope with the daily stresses or problems that life brings.

Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Eating
Compulsive eaters feel out of control and are aware that their eating patterns are abnormal.  Common signs and symptoms of compulsive eating may include:
•    Eating uncontrollably or binge eating even if you aren’t physically hungry
•    Eating much more quickly than normal
•    Eating by yourself due to feeling shamed or embarrassed
•    Feeling guilty after overeating
•    Depression or mood swings
•    Awareness that your eating patterns are abnormal
•    History of weight loss or fluctuations
•    Withdrawal from social activities because of feelings of embarrassment about weight
•    History of many unsuccessful diets
•    Eating small amounts of food in public and then eating a lot of food when alone
•    Hiding food in strange places such as closets, cabinets or under the bed
•    Secretive eating patterns
•    Self-defeating statements after eating
•    Weight is focus of life
•    Loss or sexual desire
•    Fatigue, always feeling tired

Effects of Compulsive Eating
If left untreated, compulsive eating may lead to serious medical conditions including:
•    High cholesterol
•    Diabetes
•    Heart disease
•    High blood-pressure
•    Sleep apnea
•    Depression
•    Kidney disease
•    Arthritis
•    Stroke
•    Bone deterioration

Take Control of Compulsive Eating
If you think you may suffer from compulsive eating you are not alone.  If you have failed to control it on your own, an effective an effective coaching program like the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program, will help you develop a healthy relationship with food and address root of the problem—any emotional triggers that may lead to compulsive eating. With the right help and support, you can learn how to develop a healthy relationship with your food and control your eating once and for all.

Find out how you can develop a healthy relationship with food with the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program.   Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

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easy healthy recipesHaving a pool party or BBQ this summer?  Don’t stress about serving something fattening or that takes up lots of time in the kitchen.

Keep your cool and try these easy healthy recipes!

Bite Size Zucchini With Sun Dried Tomatoes & Feta
Zucchini is a crunchy and delicious summer vegetable. For a delicious and easy appetizer top it with sun dried tomatoes and feta—you’ll get fiber, protein and calcium in each bite.
Ingredients: zucchini, salt, black pepper, sun dried tomatoes, feta, fresh chives, olive oil

Zesty Black Bean Hummus with Pita Chips
Try this black bean hummus with a kick and serve alongside pita chips or vegetables for easy dipping.  The avocado has lots of heart-healthy fats.
Ingredients: black beans, garlic, tahini, olive oil, Siracha, lemon, sea salt, avocado, parsley, cucumber, carrot sticks, pita chips

Chicken & Vegetable Kebabs
These easy grab n’ go chicken and veggie kebabs pack the protein and nutrients your body needs while tasting great!  Mix up the chicken and veggies or skewer up an all fruit and vegetable kebab for a light and refreshing option.
Ingredients:  chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon, fresh rosemary, sea salt, black pepper, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh thyme, pineapple

Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
This fresh and simple recipe is a light option sure to please your guests.  Wrap slices of mango and arugula in thin slices of prosciutto.  Try another fruit along with the mango for a different flavor—cantaloupe or pear will be equally delicious.
Ingredients:  prosciutto, arugula, lemon, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, mango, pear, cantaloupe

Grilled Shrimp & Veggie Flatbread
Pile on fresh produce with some grilled shrimp on top of a whole-grain flatbread for a Greek dish full of fiber and plenty of herbs.
Ingredients:  large shrimp, lemons, olive oil, dill, oregano, Greek yogurt, garlic, cucumber, red onion, black pepper, cherry tomatoes, whole-grain flatbreads, romaine lettuce

What’s better than eating fresh seasonal food this summer? Try these easy and healthy recipes for your next get together—they are sure to be a hit!

Find out how you can develop a healthy relationship with food with the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program.   Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

 

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emotional eatingCould your emotions be causing your expanding waistline? You had a fight with your spouse or a stressful day at work and you end up grabbing a pint of ice cream to make you feel better temporarily.  Sure, we all crave comfort food from time to time—it can be easy to turn to food for comfort, stress relief or as a reward.

Emotional eating will not fix your emotional problems but instead can make you feel worse.  Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from overeating.  Then you will be able to change the habits that keep sabotaging your diets in the past and stop emotional eating once and for all.
What are the Common Causes of Emotional Eating?
•    Stress
•    Boredom
•    Feelings of emptiness
•    Social influences
•    Habit
•    Loneliness
•    Sadness
•    Anxiety

What are the Symptoms of Emotional Eating?
•    Overeating right after or during stressful situations
•    Eating excessive amounts of food in a short period of time
•    Eating to the point of discomfort or pain
•    Not able to stop eating or limiting intake once you begin
•    Feelings of regret, guilt, shame or depression after eating binges

How to Stop Emotional Eating Today
Ask yourself what’s going on in those moments when you turn to food.  Here are three tips to help you break the habit and learn how to stop emotional eating today

1.    Recognize the trigger—just recognizing what is triggering you to eat emotionally will bring awareness to the situation and help you to make a healthier choice.  Keep a food journal of when you eat, where and why and you may start to see patterns and find what triggers your overeating.

2.    Find an alternative—when you learn that your desire to eat is based on emotion and not a physical need, you can find a healthier alternative to lessen that emotion you are feeling.  Take a bath, exercise, call a friend, listen to your favorite song, meditate or read a good book.  The next time you are tempted to emotionally eat, try one of your alternatives instead.

3.    Find the root of the problem—consult your doctor to find out the underlying reason to why you emotionally eat.  An effective coaching program like the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program, will help you develop a healthy relationship with food and address root of the problem—any emotional triggers that may lead to binge eating. With the right help and support, you can learn how to develop a healthy relationship with your food and gain control of your eating once and for all.

Find out how you can develop a healthy relationship with food with the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program.   Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

 

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