Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eating Healthy Is Not That Difficult

It seems no matter where we turn there is some celebrity exclaiming that they are unraveling the difficulties of eating properly. Their program contains a 'miracle cure' that, even though the individual states they want to help us, really is nothing but common sense. Or, the media is making us believe that eating healthy is difficult, time-consuming or some other such negative connotation. It simply isn't true.

Moderation is the key. Stop eating an excess of processed foods. Not only will this help your budget, it will help your waistline.'s not that difficult. Totally eliminating your favorite items is not the key, that will just prompt a stronger response to have the food. Instead, eat the item in moderation. Cut the candy bar into bite-sized pieces and free the rest for future enjoyment. Buy a fast-food hamburger, but use the fat and calories content as part of your total dietary intake figures. You are keeping track of your food intake, eh? If not, start. That's the next item...

Use a food diary. Keep track of what you're consuming daily. Record the food item, the calories, saturated and trans fat, and cholesterol count. That's not difficult, either. You'll be surprised at how many unnecessary calories per day you eat.

Start steaming foods. Steaming provides the quickest way to cook foods and avoids all the excess fat usually involved in other food preparation methods. Which reminds me....

Fat is fat. I don't care how much choosing 'healthy' fats over harmful fats invade our literature. Fat is fat. Lowering your fat content will naturally lead you to eating a healthier meal plan. And, it's not that difficult. Learn to enjoy foods in their natural state. When consuming fat, however, choosing the unsaturated versions will be more heart-healthy than the harmful saturated and/or trans fats.

Speaking of trans fat, try to limit them as much as possible...or avoid them. Trans fat not only raise harmful cholesterol, but lower beneficial cholesterol, according to numerous reports done by a variety of sources including the American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, etc.

For a simple, nutritious and tasty meal:
Steam a handful of spinach, one peeled and sliced medium potato, ½ cup of broccoli, one slice onion, 1 medium peeled and sliced carrot with a serving size of protein. Steam until all food is done. Remove and place onto serving plate. Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Serve with a dollop of low or nonfat yogurt.

For variety, cook up ½ cup couscous or quinoa and mix with the above mixture.

Voila! How easy was that?

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mixed Cabbage Delight

It's that time of year when cabbage becomes abundant. No matter what type you get, green or red, it provides a tasty and nutritious way to enjoy some veggies.

With warmer weather still upon us, and outdoor picnics and potlucks beckoning our homemade treats...try this mixed cabbage salad that is quick and easy to make. The added flax seeds provide extra fiber and Omega-3.

Serves 4 to 8

2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced and diced
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced and diced
1/8 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2 T onion or chives, diced
2 T flax seeds

Prepare all ingredients and toss together in salad bowl.
Pour some raspberry or cranberry vinaigrette on top of the salad and thoroughly distribute to evenly coat all ingredients.

Serve chilled.

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