More Fun Vegetable Experiments: Trying Different Preparation Methods

More Fun Vegetable Experiments: Trying Different Preparation Methods

Let’s face it, sometimes vegetables are boring and you get sick of eating them the same way over and over and over. You can jazz up dinner time by changing out those old, tired vegetable prep methods for something new.

  1. Grilling

Grilling is a great way to put a new spin on eating vegetables. It gives that outdoor cooked special flavor that only grilling provides. The biggest obstacle to grilling vegetables is that it’s not always convenient to get to a grill. If for example you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow during the winter, you’re probably not going to be doing any grilling. But once the weather warms up, you can enjoy grilled vegetables all you want.

  1. Blanching

Blanching isn’t something that many people are familiar with. In case you’re not, blanching is where you briefly cook vegetables and then chill them in cold water before freezing.  When the vegetable is submerged into the cold water, it stops the cooking method. Food is blanched for a few different reasons, usually to whiten it or soften it.

  1. Sautéing

This is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to add a new spin to preparing vegetables. When you sauté vegetables it’s simply a matter of cooking them quickly over extremely high heat in an oil that can handle the high heat.

Sautéing vegetables is a good way to eat them because they are cooked so quickly that they retain almost all of their nutrients and a lot of their flavor.

One thing to be aware of: because the vegetables cook so fast and it’s over such high heat you have to keep a very close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

  1. Braising

This method is similar to steaming or boiling but the big difference is that when braising vegetables, you don’t put them completely in water when cooking. Instead, only enough water is added to cover about half the vegetables.

  1. Roasting

This is the technique that takes the longest but the flavor of the vegetables makes it worth the wait. Add different oils and seasonings before roasting to add even more flavor. Roasting vegetables creates what is known as a caramelized effect. It’s something you really need to experience for yourself because it’s hard to put into words what that tastes like. The next time you are ready to prepare some vegetables, I encourage you to give this technique a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the flavor it produces!

Now that you have finished reading this article, you have five different techniques to help bring new life to the boring ole normal way of eating fresh vegetables.

 

 

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables With These Three Secrets Strategies

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables With These Three Secrets Strategies

When it comes to healthy eating and snacking it’s all about convenience and having things readily available. These three secrets will help encourage you and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables. So, let’s jump right in.

Secret #1 – Buy Prepackaged

One of the biggest reasons people say they don’t eat more fruits and vegetables is because they don’t have the time to prepare them. That’s really not an acceptable excuse anymore because today you can just about buy anything, including fruits and vegetables, in prepackaged, ready to go servings/containers. This option will cost you a bit more because you’re paying for convenience but if you truly don’t have the time, this is a great way to make sure you have access to fruits and vegetables quickly and easily.

Secret #2 – Prepare ahead of time

If you don’t like secret #1 because you don’t want to spend the extra money to buy convenience (and face it, you will pay more for the convenience of prepackaged, ready to go items) then this secret is for you. In this case, you’re going to buy a bunch of fruits and veggies but instead of putting everything away when you get home, you’re going to immediately take action.

Meaning, for the veggies you’re going to wash, cut and put in individual sized snack bags or easy to access containers (see through Tupperware type containers work great) so that when you do want to snack, it will already be cut up and ready for you. For fruit, if you bought something like a pineapple for example, take the time now to prepare it so when you do want it, it will be ready. It might take a bit of time to do this all at once, but it will be worth it in the long run when you and your family can just go the fridge and grab a healthy snack that’s already prepared.

Secret #3 – Place a fruit bowl on the counter or in the middle of the table

This secret works better for fruit than it does for vegetables but there are some vegetables you could do this with as well. Putting a bowl of fruit in the center of the table or out on the countertop where it is easily seen and easily accessible, makes it more likely that you and your family will grab it to snack on. Think about the old saying out of sight, out of mind. It’s true. If you can’t see the fruit, you’re less likely to reach for it. Make it easy on yourself and your family and place it where you’ll see it as soon as you walk into the kitchen.

As you can see these three secrets are an easy way to encourage you and your family to eat more fruits and veggies – something that most of us need to start doing!

3 Quick And Easy Fruit Desserts That Will Have Your Family Begging For More

3 Quick And Easy Fruit Desserts That Will Have Your Family Begging For More

When you think of the word “dessert” what comes to mind?

More than likely you immediately think of pies, cakes, cookies – all the unhealthy things that most people associate with the word desserts. But did you know there are healthier versions available? And healthier doesn’t mean boring and bland! Things like fruit desserts can be healthy, full of flavor and a great way to help ensure that you and your family are getting more fruits in your daily diet!

What exactly do these desserts have to do with getting more fruits into your daily diet?

First, if you have a hard time getting picky eaters to snack on plain fruit, these desserts offer a delicious flavorful alternative to eating it plain. Sometimes all it takes to get a picky kid to eat fruit is to add it to something else and label it a dessert. After all what kid doesn’t like dessert? And two, sometimes eating fruit is just plain ole boring and fruit desserts add enough variety and more flavor to ‘spice’ things up.

Want to try it on your own kids? Here are three quick and easy fruit desserts that are healthy and packed full of flavor and are sure to have your family asking for more!  And the best thing is, you can give them more knowing it’s healthy and helping them get more of the vitamins and minerals they need that fruit provides.

Fruit Dessert Recipes

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
(Makes about 4 servings)

1/2 cup sugar
1 package (16 ounces) unsweetened strawberries
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

In a food processor, add the sugar and strawberries. Pulse until chopped coarsely. Slowly add the yogurt and lemon juice with the food processor still running. Process until smooth and serve immediately.

Banana Bites

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 large bananas
Coconut flakes

Tear a decent sized peace of wax paper off and put on counter top (or working surface). Cut bananas into bit sized chunks. Heat the peanut butter and chocolate chips in microwave (about 1 minute). Dip banana pieces until well coated. Sprinkle coconut flakes on them and let harden (about 1 hour).

Broiled Pineapple

1/2 lb. pineapple
Nonstick cooking spray

While preheating oven, coat broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Core pineapple and cut wedges lengthwise to make 8 spears. Put pineapple spears on broiler pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. You can even serve this with a dollop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.

As you can see, from the three recipes shared, fruit desserts are a quick and easy way to ensure that you and your family are adding more fruits to your diet. Another way, not mentioned in the recipes above, to make a fruit dessert is as simple as putting some berries in a bowl and adding some cool whip on top.

Health Smoothie Ideas

Healthy Smoothie Ideas – Recipes That Actually Taste Good

 

 

For several years now, the smoothie has been all the rage. However, some smoothies have good intentions but do not taste very good at all. As a matter of fact, the more healthy ingredients you have in a smoothie, sometimes the less taste there is to offer.

 

However, not all smoothies have to be full of high sugar fruits or bitter vegetables. If you combine the right ingredients that are personal favorites of yours, then you can come up with a win/win combination. You can experiment until you find the smoothie that is right for you.

 

Strawberries and Bananas – An All-Time Smoothie Classic

 

This is your basic smoothie recipe for those who have never made their own smoothie. It is a great way to start off your experimenting. This smoothie has a nice sweet flavor thanks to the banana and strawberries and also includes vitamins – as well as a bit of protein.

 

You don’t need a fancy food processor either; a simple blender will do the trick. Use one banana, one cup of low-fat milk, a cup of ice, approximately 3/4 cup non-fat yogurt, and about six strawberries. Toss all the ingredients into the blender. Once you have had the courage to make and try your own smoothie, you will see how easy it is to add different ingredients and even try it with some vegetables, perhaps some spinach or carrots.

 

Of course, if you are looking for added fiber in your diet, then you have to consider what foods or additives contain fiber and add them to your smoothie.

 

Mixed Berry Smoothie

 

For this smoothie, you will need approximately one cup of fresh or frozen berries. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are naturally high in fiber and when added to your smoothie can give you the added boost of fiber that you are seeking without the awful taste of some fiber alternatives. Add about 1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup non-fat milk to your berries with some ice and blend away.

 

Another great idea is to add peanut butter, all natural of course, to your smoothie mixture. Peanut butter that is all natural is a great source of fiber and tastes great. Of course, if there are any sort of peanut allergies, peanut butter is obviously not the way to go.

 

Depending on your taste buds and how far you are willing to experiment, you can always try to add things such as flaxseed (properly ground up) or some wheat grass. Adding honey to these smoothies might help offset the taste of these ingredients while still offering you the added fiber you need.

Football Season Health Tips

 

Tips to stay trim during the 2016 football season

 

From the word go, the Football season seems provide a plethora of reasons to eat badly. It starts near Labor Day, and goes right on past to New Years. Typically during this time of year our eating habits include foods and drinks that are so delicious, yet carry negative effects.

So I thought how could someone have a fun football (holiday for the Ms.) season, and still fit in their clothes that they wore during pre-season. Below are 10 that could possibly help you reach that goal they may seem like no brainers, but if you take heed you will survive another year without moving to the next waist size. Enjoy the season.

 

  1. First things first, don’t even think about dieting during the holiday season. That is, don’t start a new diet. Your biggest goal during our most favorite season is to maintain your weight. This way you can partake in your favorite beverage and snacks without any guilt.
  2. Another good way to avoid packin’ on the pudge is to stay seated, and far away from the food table.
  3. Something simple and delicious. I would recommend bringing a light dip with either multigrain or wheat bread, so you have something that is somewhat healthy to munch on. There is a company (I think it has the title of chef in its name) that sells dips and breads that anyone can make, and are a healthy alternative to normal snacks. Just ask your wife, girlfriend, or any woman where you can find a beer bread mix.
  4. The beverages tend to favorites for many during this time of year, so be wise in your selection. If you must have a mixed drink, try something like a clear liquor and diet soda, a light or ultra light beer, or a nice glass of wine. I know wine doesn’t scream manly, but it is an alternative. Remember this shouldn’t be painful, just well thought-out.
  5. Good or bad, football games tend to be lengthy, use this to your advantage, and take part in the eating and drinking at a slow pace. The slower your intake, the better chance you will fit in those size 38’s come spring time.
  6. Chase the kids, or take a walk, whatever it is, make sure you keep up on some type of activity other than couch coaching, and channel surfing. Winter time is hard enough for many people with the cold and darkness, so some activity will help you gain or maintain physical and mental acuity.
  7. Eat at home before you head to the football stadium, or over a buddies house. This should help prevent a complete submersion in to the food and drinks. Believe me when I tell you, you will feel much better knowing you don’t have to drive home with your pants unbuttoned, either because of pressure or an untimely stomach pain.
  8. Eat some chicken wings, not the entire chicken. I think that’s clear, and best of all it applies to all food! And anyway, who wants to get stains all over their new jersey.
  9. If you have the chance to host a football game, stack the odds on your side by putting veggies, and light snacks out rather than the pizza and wings. I mean really, do we as men pay any attention to what we eat while we are watching a game. So long as the drinks are cold, and our food crunches, we are in heaven.
  10. This rule applies all year long. Stay far and away from fast food joints. It may seem like a good idea while you’re on your way to the game, but we all know it’s not filling, and it’s to exit.

 

 

 

Healthy Tips for Eating Out

6 Tips For A Healthy Dinner Out

 

Ever wonder how you can possibly lose weight when the average dinner out contains over 1,000 calories? Well, don’t panic! Keeping yourself in shape while dining out is simply a matter of ordering the right menu.

 

Ever wonder how you can possibly lose weight when the average dinner out contains over 1,000 calories? Well, don’t fret! Keeping yourself in shape when dining out is simply a matter of ordering the right menu.

 

 

 

Below are 6 tips for having a healthy dinner out (while still enjoying your meal like normal!):

– Watch Your Drinks   By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you’ve saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You’ll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

– Have A Salad   One of the best menus to have is salad. Not only will it fill you up so you’ll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

– Don’t Order An Appetizer Unless Necessary   Do you know that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course? Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It’s not a healthy way to start your meal.

– Choose The Right Kind Of Foods – Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you’ll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you’ll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you’ll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

– Don’t Overeat – Today, many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you’ll be less tempted to overeat.

– Say “No” To Sugary, Fatty Desserts – Instead, go for a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn’t available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

The next time you go out for dinner, keep the above tips in mind. You will be surprised how many calories you are able to slash out of your meal just by ordering the right menus! Happy healthy eating!

How to Eat Healthy as A Student

Eating Healthy For Students

For students, eating at college is an entire new
ball game, with late night pizza delivery and food
from buggies.  Even though some of these quick and
simple options taste great, they are probably
not healthy for a student’s body.

The food choices students make can affect whether
or not they are able to remain awake during class
and whether or not they will come down with
mononucleosis when it hits campus.  The problem
is not only about eating junk food, it’s more
about not getting the proper proteins, carbs,
vitamins, and minerals that people need.

When it comes to defending against illnesses,
vitamins and minerals are very important.  Just
because they are important, isn’t a reason for
students to run out and stock up on vitamins and
supplements.  It’s best for students to get their
nutrition from food.

You can find vitamin C in citric fruits, Vitamin
A in milk and diary products, and vitamin E in
nuts, whole wheat products, and even green leafy
vegetables.  This is the ideal way to get
nutrition, as your body relies on these vitamins
for many reasons.

When you eat on campus, skip on the soda’s and
go right to the juice machines.  Explore the
different entrees available and go to the salad
bar where there are fresh vegetables.  You can
also try putting some broccoli and cauliflower
in the microwave for steamed vegetables.  There
are always healthy cereals and plenty of fresh
fruit available in dining halls as well.

Always remember that eating healthy isn’t just
about avoiding greasy foods.  Eating healthy
involves getting a balanced diet and getting the
right nutrients and vitamins to keep your body
in peak performance – or at least awake during
your classes.

Tips for Meal Planning

Basic Meal & Menu Planning

 

Meal  depends upon several factors like the number of people eating, meal times, special dietary concerns, budget, available foods, recipes on hand and likes and dislikes of everyone who will be eating. Begin by choosing foods and recipes that you like and know how to prepare well and that fit into everyone’s dietary plans. If one or more people have special needs, like diabetics, plan ahead for substitutions either in the food preparation or food substitution for that individual or for those individuals.

There are a few things to note when making meal choices and menu planning. First, some foods may be advertised a certain way, but that doesn’t mean you cant experiment. For instance, eggs and sausage can be served for dinner, not just breakfast. And waffles can be made from healthy wheat grains and eaten for lunch with fresh fruits instead of sugary syrup and heavy butter for breakfast.

Add variety, too. Have other family members jump in and prepare meals some nights and on weekends. Kids enjoy making macaroni and cheese, so host mac-n-cheese night on Wednesdays, for example. Then alternate different vegetable combinations, colors and textures to vary the menu on a weekly basis (no need to let boredom take over on Wednesdays with the same routine!)

To help with family food budget concerns, clip coupons from newspapers, weekend inserts, and any place you can find them. Downloaded coupons from the Internet to save money, too, from places like CoolSavings.com and CouponCart.com. RefundingMakesCents offers an affordable subscription to a neat print magazine for coupon deals, trades and lots more, with a secret code to their website for Internet coupon-codes for lots of online companies like Amazon.com (cookware) and Barnes and Noble (cookbooks).

Also note seasonal food selections for savings. Create menus and meals based upon whatÕs on special that week or month. Hint: stock up and store or freeze special-priced items and family favorites when possible and storage room and the budget allows. But donÕt over do it. With convenience stores and supermarkets for food shopping in practically every neighborhood anymore, there is no need to hoard. An old saying, Haste makes waste might apply if you see a great buy, purchase multiple items, then let them become outdated and have to toss them out.

One fun way to save is by trading coupons and working out food deals with friends, family, neighbors, your church group and anyone else who’d like to join in. Food cooperatives and farm markets available in your area may offer special pricing to groups or large purchases. So team up for better purchasing power and split everything up between group members. If you’re not into that much organization, go one-on-one with a neighbor, other friend or relative. Buy a huge bag of potatoes, onions, oats, and / or other foods, then share.

Here is one special item to note with regards to dietary planning. Its unfortunate, but fast foods, especially those that are high in fat content (fried, greasy foods), are often cheaper than good, healthy food choices. For example, lean beef costs more than high-fat beef; cereals high in nutritional value are often priced much higher than the low-cost, sugary brand names. And low income and homeless people are particularly victims of this situation, many times needing to turn to the less healthier food choices for survival. So whenever possible, your plans might want to include donating a portion to homeless shelters and churches who would probably be more than willing to take extras off your hands.

 

Planning meals and prepping them in advance helps exponentially with gaining and maintaining fitness goals. You can get our FREE 7 Day Meal Plan HERE

Why I Love Maca

Maca’s Many Uses and Benefits

 

Maca root grows in the mountains of Peru at high altitudes of 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is a radish-like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, and is tuberous and spherical in form.

 

A little background on Maca: Maca root grows in the mountains of Peru at high altitudes of 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is a radish-like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, and is tuberous and spherical in form. The root itself is about three to six centimeters across and 4.7 centimeters in length. There are four recognized types of Maca Root based on the color of the root. Root color varies from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black.

Chemically Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. Peruvian Maca also includes a number of glycosides.

As a nutritional supplement, Peruvian Maca has generalized tonic effects on the biochemical functioning of the human body. Chief among these effects is the enhancement of endocrine function. The endocrine system includes all of the glands, and the hormones they secrete, that exist in the body and that control such conditions as fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels. Hormonal regulation is responsible for all of the physiological attributes that enable us to enjoy the myriad sensations of being vibrantly alive, including those related to sexual arousal, physical activity and mental-emotional states of being. Maca root has also been called an adaptogen, which means that it increases the body’s ability to defend itself against both physical and mental weakening, hence potential illness. It is believed it achieves this by supporting adrenal and pituitary gland health, both of which underlie proper endocrine function.

Known Modern Applications:
Traditionally, Maca has been used for a variety purposes, which can differ for men and women. For example, women have found it helps relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Women tend to notice a dramtic decline in hot flashes and night sweats. Men have used it to enhance fertility and sexual function. Users of Maca root tend to derive a variety of benefits in accordance with their individual needs. However, both men and women have found that it significantly boosts libido and sex drive, increases energy, stamina and the feeling of general well-being. In fact, recently Maca has been used as an excellent alternative to anabolic steroids among athletes seeking muscle hypertrophy. Unlike many other energy- and muscle-boosting substances, such as anabolic steroids, Maca contains no chemicals that interfere with or over-activate normal endocrine function.

How Can Maca Benefit You?:

Male:
• Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
• Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
• Increases stamina & athletic performance
• Nourishes glandular system
• Fertility enhancement
• Improves physical and emotional well being
• Promotes mental clarity
• Balance hormones

Female:
• Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
• Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
• Sexual stimulation
• Nourishes glandular system
• HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
• Increases stamina & athletic performance
• Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
• Balance hormones

 

Benefits of Maca
• Increases libido
• Deeper sleep
• Balances moods
• Enhances memory and brain function
• Increases energy levels
• Helps adapt to stress
• Slows the aging process
• Lessens aches and pain, more endurance and stamina
• Prevents osteoporosis, high calcium and vegetable protein
• Reverses vaginal dryness

 

Maca has had many positive effects on me and is recommended for anyone who is into health and fitness.

Eating Healthy When On A Budget

Eating Healthy On A Budget

If you don’t have alot of extra money to spare, you’ll find these tips to be just
what you need to eat healthy on a budget.

1.  Eliminate junk food
Doing your shopping on your own is the easiest way
to shop, as children and sometimes spouses are
usually the ones requesting junk food.  Shopping
alone will prevent this, and ensure that you only
buy the foods you need.

2.  Water or milk instead of soft drinks
You can still enjoy your favorite drinks at a
sporting event or night out, although you should
stick with the smallest size when shopping to save
money and calories.  Children and even adults need
milk or milk products on a daily basis.  Milk will
also help you get strong and provides calcium for
healthy bones and healthy teeth.

3.  Buy fruits in quantity
When they are in season, buy fruits in quantity
and freeze any extras.  You can buy several pounds
this way, and freeze extras to have them when the
fruit goes out of season.  Wash the fruit well,
remove any spoiled pieces, dry thoroughly, then
freeze in plastic zipper bags.

4.  Meats and beans
Meats and beans are the best sources for protein.
Lean meat is more expensive than meats with a lot
of fat.  Canned beans are a great deal as well,
as they give you alot of protein at a great price.

5.  Beans as a substitute
You should use beans a substitute for meat on a
frequent occasion.  There are several varieties,
so you can prepare them in a crock pot, so when
you return home they are ready to consume.

The USDA recommends eating beans at least 4 times
per week.  If you experience gas after eating
beans you should try washing them, covering them
with water, bringing the water to a boil, then
draining it off and refilling the pot.

6.  If you live in a coastal area or an area
where fish are around, make that an integral
part of your diet.  You can catch them from the
lakes or rivers, saving money in the process.

7.  Peanut butter is great for those on a budget
as it’s popular with almost everyone.  You can
use it for sandwiches instead of fatty and processed meats. It does need to be refrigerated, although
bigger jars can last you for weeks.

8.  You should fill up with foods that have a high
content of water.  Watermelon, salads, and even
sugar free gelatin are all great examples.

Eating healthy is always something you can’t go
wrong with.  You can eat healthy for just a few
bucks, which makes it perfect for those on a
budget. Now, you don’t need a lot of money to have
the lifestyle and health you’ve always wanted.