Posts Tagged ‘avocado’
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this picture of a recent lunch that I prepared. It’s pretty simple… A tunafish sandwich made with organic mayonnaise and a little pepper. I served it on reasonably-sized wholegrain bread with sliced organic tomato and avocado. I mention organic and whole grain because I do my best to stick to the tenants of clean eating.
A lot of people who’ve put themselves on strict diets at this time of year are often surprised at the use of mayonnaise or even bread for this lunch. But the fact is, you can take off excess weight while enjoying delicious foods in reasonable portions. Too often, those of us with diet mentalities are nibbling on rice cakes and baby carrots (neither of which is probably in their most natural states, freshness- or additive-wise) and complaining that we’re miserable while doing so.
But guess what? The less miserable we are when eating healthy and getting rid of excess weight, the more likely we are to stick to the plan and not only take the excess weight off, but keep it off. That’s the key, right? We’ve all started diets at this time of year. We’ve all even lost weight at this time of year. But at a certain point we have to ask ourselves, why has this become an annual occurrence?
Why not make this the last time you begin a weight loss plan and, instead, think of it as clean, healthy eating (AKA a food plan you’re never going to have to go off of). And you don’t have to want to go off of it when you allow yourself the simple pleasures of tasty, wholesome, nutritious food. Add exercise, sleeping well and enough water to the mix and you can even enjoy the occasional food-related treats (even the richer ones, just the way “people who don’t have to diet” do).
Balance. Moderation. Satisfaction. Sounds so crazy, it just might work.
Stuffed sweet potatoes recipe
Those of you looking for something new to prepare for your healthy eating regime (along with any lucky family members or guests you decide to also cook for), might want to check out this healthy and clean recipe — Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans, Avocado & Lime Cream. According to Clean Eating Magazine, this satisfying and meatless dish combines sweet and tender sweet potato with spicy beans and creamy avocado and yogurt. For the full recipe (including a printable version), click here.
Photo Source: Clean Eating Magazine
Bite this, not that
I’m not one to vent. Or to rant. But every now and then I see something in the media that really burns my britches. This very thing happened recently one morning while watching Good Morning America. During the broadcast, they aired a story featuring “America’s get-real nutritionist” who was putting down healthier foods based solely on their calorie count. While giving her advice, Rachel Beller (author of the book Eat to Lose, Eat to Win) barely mentioned the nutrient content, fullness factor or overall wellness effects of the foods she was warning dieters about.
Sure, the message of the piece was portion control, which is always a great reminder for us all (myself included). But for Ms. Beller to insinuate her girlfriends were bad examples after seeing them at a party having two glasses of potentially beneficial red wine based on the “fact” that having two glasses of red wine the same as having two candy bars is just ridonkulous when you consider the nutritional value of the two and what your body can potentially do thanks to those “calories.” Luckily, one of the GMA anchors, Dan Harris, pointed this out at the end of the segment. But still…by then the damage was done to many of us with a dieter’s mentality.
Too often books like Eat This, Not That (also occasionally featured on Good Morning America), show off a large amount of donuts as being the calorie equivalent of something that’s healthier and better for you. I know the goal is to sell books and get into the news. But this is part of the reason that America is getting fatter and fatter. We’re being fed misleading messages that derail our efforts to not only look better on the outside, but feel better (and be healthier) on the inside.
Avocado, raw nuts and red wine can all be very good for us when consumed in moderation. Is there fat in the Avocado? Sure. Are there calories in the nuts? Of course. Should red wine be consumed in moderation if okayed by your doctor? Naturally. But to compare these foods to donuts and candy bars as being the same amount of calories is really misleading and even potentially dangerous.
There’s no rocket science required for losing weight and getting healthy. All together now: Eat less. Move more. Drink plenty of water. And get lots of sleep. And be sure to include delicious, natural and unprocessed treats from nature in your diet whenever possible. And P.S. This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy a candy bar or even a donut every now and then — but I suggest not doing it at the expense of some of nature’s (key word) healthier choices.
Common sense. Sounds so crazy it just might work!
(Have there been any recent diet or health stories that have left you frustrated? If so, tell me all about in the comments section below. Together, we can take off a little steam!)
Photo Source: Good Morning America
Salads don’t have to be boring
Did you hear the one about the dieter who complained about salads? Oh, wait… That’s me! Seriously though, as health-minded people trying to either get rid of the excess pounds or keep them off permanently, we know that salads are one of our go-to meals of choice. But too often we find ourselves staring at a plastic bowl full of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes and a few slivers of carrot. Add to that a dressing that’s neither inspired or flavorful.
But that’s old school salad speak!
Today, there are all sorts of healthy salad options. And surprise! They can taste good, too. Despite years of hating my “salad meals,” today I find myself actually looking forward to my veggie creations. And you can, too. The trick is to think outside the plastic bowl. (In fact, dump that plastic bowl once and for all and prepare your meal using nice dishes that would make Martha Stewart envious. After all, if you’re not worth a little extra effort in regard to serving style, who is?!)
As dieters, we are usually the culprits that have made our salads boring (AKA tasteless). That’s because we’ve been taught that healthy ingredients such as slivered pecans, sliced avocado or even a little extra virgin olive oil are “No-nos.” The trick is to use these very healthy ingredients in moderation — and in tandem with other ingredients. Even with add-ons it’s all about portion control, people. So get creative. But make sure you have a measuring cup handy. And for heavens sake, make sure you change out your options. Try some fennel in your salad today and some sliced apple in your salad tomorrow. It’s all about variety. And the chart below is something you can print out and keep handy (or simply refer to here) for the next time you’re playing salad chef.
You can use the chart below to choose different ingredients from the different categories. Make sure you choose several different options. Then mix them all together and be prepared for your palet to thank you (and your scale to react inkind). Need even more inspiration? Check out Williams-Sonoma’s 30 Days of Salads, where you’ll find several different ideas (and recipes) that will inspire and, perhaps, even reignite your love of all things salad. And for readers who aren’t familiar with one of my favorites, you might want to consider something I call the Best Lunch Salad Ever. (Happy munching!)
Photo Source: Williams-Sonoma
Recipe: Best lunch salad ever
Many of us dieters grow to resent always having to rely on salads as our mainstay meal. But salads don’t have to be boring. The key is adding texture, flavor and even a little fat in a healthy form. The lunch salad recipe I’m sharing here is my go-to salad during the workweek. I have it daily (unless I have a lunch meeting that requires me to dine out) and never get tired of it. Even better? You can serve it to guests or other family members and they’ll never suspect they’re eating something so healthy given how tasty and delicious it is. What’s more, it doubles as an excellent dinner salad. The only thing it’s not good for? Breakfast. But then again… You never know!
For best flavor (and crunch appeal) use super fresh ingredients whenever possible:
I love using Arugula instead of “regular” lettuce for its texture and slightly-peppery flavoring
No doubt about it – freshly cut corn adds amazing flavor and snap-appeal
Use grape tomatoes that are fresh n’ firm (like we want our bodies to be!)
My Beer’d Chicken Recipe works great with this salad (whether used cold or warm)
No reason to be afraid of the naturally-occurring fat in Avocado (it’s the good kind of fat!)
Best Lunch Salad Ever
1 cup Fresh Arugula
1/2 cup Fresh White Corn Kernels (cut from cob just before serving)
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
1 Piece of Gregg’s Beer’d Chicken (Prepare in advance – click here for recipe)
1/4 Avacodo, sliced lengthwise
Fresh Ground Pepper
Add ingredients to the plate, one at a time, building a small ‘pyramid’ of sorts as you add the additional ingredients. After all ingredients are on the plate, add Balsamic Vinegar and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
(Double, Triple, Quadruple – or whatever – ingredients depending on number of guests)
As you can see, the salad looks good, too. And even if you’re dining alone, shouldn’t you be impressed with your meal as you gobble it down? Of course, you should. Spoil yourself a little. You deserve it!