Healthy Lunch IdeasIf you are trying to shed pounds and maintain a healthy eating plan, lunchtime can be a battle.  We have all suffered from hunger pangs that seem to hit in the afternoon causing us to reach for an unhealthy snack like a candy bar or chips.  If your stomach is rumbling, it could mean that you didn’t eat the right foods during lunch to keep you full for the rest of your afternoon until dinnertime.

Eating a healthy lunch is very important. Here are two big reasons why:

Energy—eating a lunch packed with nutrients helps you to avoid a mid-afternoon crash.  It will ensure that you re-energize your body, keep your metabolism active, elevate your blood sugar levels and focus.

Don’t Skip—if you skip lunch, it can leave you starving when you come home from work or running errands during the day.  Skipping a meal can lead to binge eating or the temptation to reach for an unhealthy option.

To make sure you are fueling up at lunch properly, incorporate these filling foods daily:

  • Complex Carbohydrates—whole-grain bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes
  • Protein—salmon, chicken, tuna, nuts, beans, turkey, eggs
  • Low-fat Dairy—reduced-fat cheese, yogurt, soy milk
  • Fruits—oranges, apples, mangos, blueberries, bananas

Here are 3 healthy lunch ideas to start eating today

Hummus and Vegetables

This easy to pack lunch is delicious and healthy.  The chickpeas in hummus will provide you with protein and fiber and the vegetables are full of antioxidants. Bring a variety of colorful vegetables such as red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and broccoli.

Salmon Salad

A salmon salad is the perfect combination of protein and good fats.  Salmon, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, helps to prevent heart disease and boost memory. Toss in some red bell peppers which are antioxidant-rich, high in fiber and folic acid.

Barley & Black Bean Salad

Prepare this salad the night before for an easy-to-grab healthy lunch idea.  Barley is a whole grain to keep your energy up and it also helps to lower cholesterol.  Black beans contain protein and antioxidants.  Add some tomatoes—they contain lycopene which is believed to fight cancer.  Spice it up with some red pepper flakes or salsa to give your metabolism a boost.

Chicken Pita Sandwich

This simple and easy lunch provides all the nutrition you need.  Spinach adds vitamin A and folate while the whole-grain pita provides more than 20% of your daily fiber.  Chicken is an excellent source of protein and red bell pepper offers antioxidants and crunch.  Use a low-fat Italian vinaigrette or olive oil and balsamic to top it off.

If you’re trying to lose weight and improve your overall these healthy lunch ideas are a good start.  Just like breakfast gives you an energy boost in the morning, a healthy lunch fuels the second half of your day—helping you steer clear from the unhealthy snack options.

Connect with us on Facebook to find out how to fit healthy eating habits into your busy lifestyle.  Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

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yogurt-parfait200Remember what your mom used to say? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And no…coffee is not breakfast.  There are mornings when you barely have time to brush your teeth, so eating healthy can be quite the challenge.  Luckily, eating well doesn’t need to take up a lot of your valuable time.  There are healthy—and quick—breakfast ideas to keep you feeling energized and have healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  And, when you eat a healthy breakfast, it leads to healthier food choices throughout the rest of your day. 

If you are a busy mom on the go, you need to be able to make something fast in the mornings. 

Here are 5 simple, quick and healthy breakfast ideas when you’re trying to get yourself and your family out the door in the morning.  These breakfasts will save you time and give you the nutrients you need to kick start your day.

Yogurt Parfait

Combine ½ cup of Greek yogurt, your favorite berries, some granola and two tablespoons of slivered almonds. Not only is it refreshing, but it is rich in protein.  Greek yogurt has double the protein of typical yogurts.

Smoothies

There are many variations of a healthy smoothie that you can blend up in a short amount of time. One healthy smoothie option is to blend together protein powder, almond milk, Greek yogurt and any combination of fruit.  Combine all your ingredients in the blender (and put the blender in the fridge) before you go to bed and all you have to do is push start in the morning!            

Banana & Almond Butter Toast

Bananas and whole-grain bread are high in resistant starch, which helps to boost metabolism.  Almond butter adds protein and monounsaturated fats.

Oatmeal

Steel-cut oatmeal is the most nutritious and you can prepare it ahead of time for the whole week.  Add some berries, nuts and drizzle agave nectar over the top. 

Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are loaded with protein and nutrients to help keep you alert and energetic throughout the day.  Hard boiled eggs can be prepped the night before to save time.  Enjoy one sliced on a whole-wheat English muffin with a side of fruit. 

So put down that doughnut and drive-thru breakfast sandwich—a fast breakfast can still be healthy! Try using these healthy breakfast ideas for a nutritious and quick meal today!

Connect with us on Facebook to find out how to fit healthy eating habits into your busy lifestyle. Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight living well…without giving up the foods you love!

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citrus-fruits250There are many different ways out there to help you get skinny—but most of those options can be unhealthy and just a quick fix.  There is no miracle food that will melt the pounds away, but there are lots of fat burning foods to actually help you burn those calories. Whether you want to lose weight or improve your health, integrating fat burning foods into your diet will help to give you a jump start on achieving those goals.  

What foods will burn fat and help you slim down?

Pick Protein
Foods high in protein require more energy from the body to process, thus burning the fat away.  Protein is also great for building muscle and helps to increase metabolism.  Examples of fat burning foods high in protein include:  chicken, pork, salmon, tuna, turkey and chickpeas.

Get Spicy
Your metabolism will speed up when your body temperature increases, helping your body to burn calories.  Chilies can increase your body temperature more than other foods.  Some heat-inducing chilies include:  habaneros, cayenne chilies and jalapeños.  

Find some Fiber
Fiber is great for digestion and can move food quickly through your digestive tract keeping fewer calories from being absorbed.  Also, foods high in fiber contribute to weight loss because they help us to feel satisfied and fuller longer.  Remember to drink a lot of water if you increase your fiber intake—it can build up in your intestine causing constipation.  Foods rich in fiber include:  oatmeal, brown rice, broccoli, raspberries, blueberries and whole grain bread.  

Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to regulate the hormone that tells your body to store fat.  It also is part of an important amino acid that burns any stored fat that you already have.  Grab these fat burning foods high in vitamin C:  oranges, pineapples, bell peppers, kale, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, lemons, avocados, celery and asparagus.

Food can be a powerful and natural way to help you torch those calories.  Start stocking your fridge and pantry with these fat burning foods today!

Connect with us on Facebook to find out more about fat burning foods.  Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

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400-posts250It’s hard to believe, but this is our 400th blog post! How did we get to 400, you may ask? It is a cliché, but I can tell you that it was just one post at a time!

It’s the same approach we teach in our Eat Great, Live Well Program. We help participants in this life-changing program make small, healthy choices each day that, over time, make a huge difference in your health. Unlike most popular diets, we believe that you don’t have to make wholesale changes in your eating patterns to get healthy or lose weight. These big changes just aren’t sustainable and that’s why so many people get caught up in “yo-yo dieting.” That’s when you lose weight on a diet only to gain it right back when you stop your diet. This isn’t healthy.

Instead, if you can just make one small change today, and another small change tomorrow, and so on, you will transform your health and your life very quickly without feeling the pressure of changing your entire diet overnight or giving up the foods you love.

If you don’t believe it, then look at this post as proof. We started out a few years ago by posting our first blog article. The next day we posted another one, and then another, and another. Sometimes we posted one article a day and sometimes just one article a week, but we kept posting. In other words, we kept making small, incremental changes. And now, we are at 400 posts!

Try it yourself. Make a single, small change to the way you eat today, then another one, and another. See what a difference it makes in your health and your life over time. And, let us know how you’re doing too! Post your successes on our facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Vitaerobics.

To learn more about healthy eating and how you can transform your life, check out our Eat Great, Live Well Program. It will show you how to eat well and be healthy without giving up the foods you love! What have you got to lose, except some unhealthy habits!

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

You might also want to read: Garcinia Cambogia – Miracle or Myth?, Tom Hanks: The New Face of Diabetes, Are Diet Fries for Real?

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making-healthy-choices200The last time I was at the market, I picked up a box of macaroni and cheese. I know what you’re thinking – “mac and cheese, is that really healthy?” Just to be clear, it’s not my choice for a healthy meal, but our grandkids love it, and it’s a nice treat for them every now and then.

Anyway, back to the macaroni and cheese…I was amazed at the long list of ingredients – most of which I couldn’t pronounce! It reminded me of the advice I read in “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” a great book by Michael Pollan. In his book, Pollan recommends that you not eat anything you can’t pronounce. That’s good advice, though it can be difficult to follow.

food-label-comic500

Most products today have lots of added ingredients, many of them artificial. These are usually the ones that you can’t pronounce. To make healthy choices, try to select products that have fewer ingredients, and try to avoid products with ingredients that you have to sound out.

If that we’re confusing enough, many products also have seductive marketing claims on the front of the package. Claims like “heart healthy,” “all natural,” “part of a healthy breakfast,” or “farm fresh.” Remember that these claims are on the package for only one reason (Hint: It’s not to help you make healthy choices or inform you about what’s actually in the product). It is to draw your interest in hopes that you will buy the product.

So, what can you do to eat healthier? First, remember to read the Nutrition Facts and the Ingredient List before you purchase any packaged food. Also, remember that you and your family can eat really well by shopping just in the produce aisle and at the meat counter. In fact, you can really get all your body needs in these two places alone. You may want to add some dairy, some other carbohydrates like whole wheat bread or brown rice, and certainly some spices to add more interest and flavor to your food too. But all-in-all, if you did 95 percent of your shopping in the produce aisle and at the meat counter, you would eat pretty well. The next time you visit the market, remember to read food labels. Knowing what you’re eating is the first step in eating healthier.

To learn more about healthy eating and how you can transform your life, check out our Eat Great, Live Well Program. It will show you how to eat well and be healthy without giving up the foods you love! What have you got to lose, except some unhealthy habits!

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Download 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: Sugar – The Silent Killer!, Is Healthier Fast Food on The Horizon?, Great Salads Make Healthy Meals

Posted in eat right, family meals, food labels, health and nutrition, healthful eating, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment