Maintaining proper nutrition in our daily lives can be difficult to manage with work, family, and any kind of social life. Eating healthy and enjoying what we eat, is not only ascertainable, but also simpler than expected. A proactive approach towards our health will help us alleviate concerns about our future, and keep us feeling good about the present.
The key for eating healthy is moderation. Overindulgence is what hurts our bodies. Too much sugar or carbohydrates can lead to Diabetes. Too much salt is linked to heart problems. Too much fat causes obesity, heart problems and numerous other illnesses. A good way to prevent overwhelming yourself is to make little changes in your daily routine when eating.
Here are some suggestions:
· Remove the salt shaker from the table at eating times. This will prevent the habit of adding more salt to our food when it is not needed.
· Drink water with meals. 40 ounces of water is what our bodies need each day. Add more when exercising to stay properly hydrated.
· Eat more fruits and vegetables. At snack time, choose an apple or banana, instead of junk food.
· Purchase fresh or frozen vegetables. Canned versions of these usually high in salt and sugar content.
· Read the ingredients of each item you buy from the grocery store. This will build your awareness of carbohydrate, fat, and salt content and help you choose healthy options when shopping.
· When eating dessert, keep the portion within reason. It helps to schedule that special dessert for a designated day too. Designated day’s works well with high fat food too. For example: Lasagna on Wednesday for supper.
A variety of healthy recipes will make a difference for you when cooking. Here are some great tasting, nutritional recipes that can add some zest to your dinner times.
Non-stick cooking oil spray
2 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup scallions rinsed and diced
4 tbsp. fresh salsa, or salsa of choice
4 tbsp. low fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp. low fat margarine (optional for potatoes)
2 medium baked potatoes (sweet potatoes optional)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bunch fresh broccoli or 2 cups frozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stab potatoes with a fork, about 5 times each to prevent exploding in oven. Put potatoes in oven for approximately 40 minutes.
When potatoes have cooked for about 20 minutes, put chicken breasts in non-stick cooking oil sprayed pan. Turn heat on medium. Season with garlic powder and cover.
In separate medium sized saucepan, cook broccoli. If fresh, steaming is the best option but if frozen simply add to pan. Add lemon juice, cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Check on chicken breasts and turn over when needed. When chicken appears done, turn off heat. Add salsa, scallions and low fat cheddar cheese on top of each chicken breast and cover until cheese has melted. You may need to put on low heat to complete the melting of the cheese. Put each chicken breast on a serving plate. Pull out potatoes, turn off oven, and slice each potato in half. Now put a potato and serving of broccoli on each plate. Add margarine to potato if you prefer. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Chicken Apple Cranberry Salad
Getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diet can be frustrating. A good way to remedy that is by having a variety of salad options at your disposal. Salads are an optimal choice. They provide an excellent way to stay healthy and trim while enjoying your meals. Since there are so many different varieties of salads you can keep your meals exciting and tasty without much effort. They can also make an excellent snack from leftovers.
Many salads can be the main course, if desired. Chicken and apple salad is one of these salads. It's a perfect choice for something different on your dining table. Its versatility allows it to be a choice for lunch, dinner, or a tasty side dish.
6 boneless chicken breasts
5 medium size apples
1/2 cup cranberries
3/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup grapes
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup toasted coconut
2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 to 2 cups mayonnaise. You can substitute Low-fat mayonnaise for fewer calories.
In a large frying pan cook chicken breasts after spraying pan with non-stick oil. Let pan heat up. Add orange juice and vanilla flavoring to pan and cover. Cook on medium heat allowing juice and flavoring to seep into chicken until liquid is gone. Turn off heat and allow chicken to cool.
Peel and chop up apples to desired size, after rinsing them. For better taste, cut apples into small cubes.
Rinse and drain grapes and cranberries and cut each grape in half. You can also cut in thirds if you prefer.
Cut up your chicken breasts. A good way to do this is too cut diagonally all the across each chicken breast and then horizontally.
In medium sized salad bowl, add chicken, apples, grapes, and raisins. You can toast the coconut easily by spreading it out thinly on a cookie sheet and putting in oven at 350 degrees for about one minute. Watch closely since every oven is different. You will be able to tell by looking at it, if that is sufficient time by how brown the coconut is. If not brown enough, stick in oven again, but watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. Once cooled, add coconut to your salad mixture.
Add 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise and mix well. If you like a more slippery salad add additional mayonnaise until satisfied with result.
Put covered salad into refrigerator and let cool completely. It will take approximately 3 hours for it to be completely chilled and ready to eat. Serves 6-8.
Easy Beef Stir Fry
Non-stick cooking oil spray
6 oz. lean beef, sliced
1 green pepper, rinsed and sliced
1 medium onion, rinsed and sliced
1 bag California mix frozen vegetables (2 cups needed)
1 cup brown or white rice
Soy Sauce (LaChoy has a "Lite" version that has less sodium)
To cook your stir-fry the frozen vegetables should be sautéed first. Spray the bottom of your pan lightly with oil or put a tablespoon of other oil. It's important to not use butter for your stir-fry because butter will burn and ruin the taste completely. Put your frozen veggies in a medium frying pan, on low to medium heat and cover. Make sure to stir once or twice while they are cooking. Now add your other vegetables and cover pan. Allow about 5 minutes for cooking.
While vegetables are cooking, in small frying pan, cook beef. Add a dash of garlic powder and 5 good dashes of soy sauce, and cook until done. Add beef to vegetables and mix together well.
When time is available while cooking your stir-fry, start water for your rice in medium sized cooking pan. Put a good spray of the non-stick cooking oil in water. When water is boiling, add rice, cover and turn heat off. After 5 minutes or per rice directions, put rice on serving plate and cover with your beef stir-fry.
Now you have time to read a book or watch a video with your family.