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Posts Tagged ‘salad’

10:11 am - Posted by Gregg

I love sharing my popular recipe for turkey chili at this time of year because it’s the perfect meal (lunch or dinner) to accompany winter weather. That being said, I usually make it during the summer months, too (it really is that good and that good for you). But let’s stick to one season at a time, shall we?

When people who meet me today find out I used to tip the scale at over 450 pounds, they want to know how I lost all the excess weight. Many are disappointed when I let them know I did it the old fashioned way (through diet and exercise) — as opposed to using a magic wand. But if I had to assign the ‘magic wand’ moniker to one of the tools I used to get healthy, it would be to this flavorful chunky turkey chili recipe, which is easy to make and freezes really well. This recipe also thaws and reheats (microwaves!) beautifully. So I always make a huge batch. Check it out:

Gregg’s Chunky Turkey Chili Recipe

Ingredients (in order of use)
5 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
3 White onions, peeled & chopped
2 (two) 7 oz. cans of diced green chilies (mild or hot – your choice)
3 tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped (can also used jarred, but without added oil)
4 tbsp. chili powder (more if you dare)
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (more if you dare)
2+ lbs. lowfat ground turkey
1 (one) 6 lb., 6 oz. can (or several cans that equal the same) of ready cut diced tomatoes (in their own juice, no added sodium if available)
4 large bell peppers, chopped

Directions
In a large pot (the bigger the better), add the olive oil and chopped onions. Cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes (until the onions begin to soften).

Next, add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Mix it up and then add both cans (liquid and all) of the diced green chilies to the diced onion. Cook covered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Next, add the ground turkey — making sure to mix all of the meat into the mixture while keeping the turkey from “clumping” together (work to break it up into loose pieces/bits). Continue to cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (and de-clumping the turkey when necessary).

Once the turkey is cooked through, add the canned tomatoes and chopped bell peppers, mix thoroughly, then cover and cook on high heat until the contents reach a boil. As soon as you see that your mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to LOW and cook for about 20 minutes more so all the flavors mix together and blend to perfection.

Makes approximately 18 servings

Add a small green salad with carrot shavings and balsamic vinegar along with two to three multigrain crackers to create a complete meal.

After preparing this big batch of chili, I divide it into portion sizes (usually two per storage container) and then, after the containers cool off, stick them in the freezer. After a day or so of thawing (in the fridge) you can zap it in the microwave for a quick, delicious dinner anytime during the week. (You can even store single size portions and take the chili to work for an easy and delicious, microwavable lunch!)

It should be noted that this stuff is so good that you can even serve it to your friends who aren’t on a diet. (Trust me — they’ll never know they’re eating something super healthy.) I’ve even made a big batch of this recipe as a dip for parties and served it with multigrain chips along with light sour cream and cheese on the side.

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5:21 pm - Posted by Gregg

Ready for some Monday Motivation? Well, here we go. It’s a new week that’s full of new possibilities. All you have to decide is what those possibilities hold for you. Is this the week you give up diet soda? Or the week you choose to have a healthy lunch salad instead of that submarine sandwich? Maybe it’s the week you let yourself go “crazy” by having a bowl of ice cream. But a measured bowl that equals a healthy portion that won’t upset your fitness goals (or send your scale spiraling out of control). Maybe it’s the week you decide to not get on the scale and, instead, decide to find joy in the fact that your clothes are a little looser — or at least will be looser in the near future.

Whatever you have in your line of vision, make it positive. Make it motivational. Make it serve you. Being depressed that the weekend is over or even “down” because you did something you now regret (like perhaps “cheat” on your diet) doesn’t help anything or anyone — least of all you. Forgive. Forget. Move on. It can be a fabulous day and a fantastic week if we allow it to.

So let’s take that next positive step together, shall we? (Feel free to share the things you’re holding in your line of vision by commenting below! And know I support your efforts and believe in you 100%!)

Photo Source: The Sykes Group’s OnPoint

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February 19, 2015

You can take it with you

1:57 pm - Posted by Gregg

Forget that potentially leaky plastic container when transporting your lunch salad to work (or wherever). These days it’s all about pre-making and then taking your salad with you in a handy Mason-style jar. The trick is to keep wet ingredients on the bottom, then stack dry ingredients on the top. You can check out the tasty recipe for the Salad in a Mason Jar pictured here — featuring greens, walnuts, celery, radish, and apple by clicking to EatWithinYourMeans.com.

Want even more ideas for Healthy Salad in a Mason Jar recipes? Check out 18 additional recipes from BuzzFeed Life that I discovered thanks to Pupltastic by clicking here.

Photo Source: Eat Within Your Means

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January 25, 2015

Raising the bar

3:21 pm - Posted by Gregg

Faithful readers of this blog and my books know that I’m not a fan of meal replacement bars. But what I am a fan of is handy and healthy snack foods that we can have available to keep us away from the vending machines full of over-processed snacks that not only add to our waistline, but also confuse our metabolisms with all sorts of unnecessary ingredients. Thankfully, there are some innovative companies like Mediterra Mediterranean Nutrition that are offering us options that turn the average snack bars (even those that claim to be “healthy”) on their ears… Or on their packages anyway.

Gotta love a selection that includes actual savory flavors as well as sweeter varieties. Created to compliment a Mediterranean Diet, these healthy alternatives to junk food can be used with any eating plan or diet (after all, variety is the spice of life… Or something like that). The pre-packaged portions are great for those of us who still have issues with portion control (that still includes me by the way).

What’s more, it’s fun to get inventive with the savory flavors (which include Sundried Tomato & Basil and Black Olive & Walnuts). For example, both make a great — and healthier — alternative to adding croutons to salads or soups. I love crumbling them onto salads for dinner parties. People think I’ve created some sort of super healthy, super delicious concoction and are usually very impressed. Do I admit I simply took the ingredients out of the “clean label” wrappers and that it involved no work at all? Usually. But only after the compliments have died down!

Mediterra’s website (full of interesting articles for anyone interested in investigating the Mediterranean diet) has a bunch of recipes that use their bars in very unique ways (check out the Traditional Mediterranean Green Bean Salad with Sundried Tomato & Basil Bar recipe, below). This is what I love about these bars. They’re not about meal replacement. They’re about meal — and life — enhancement… With real food. (Crazy concept — at least it seems to be to many of today’s traditional food manufacturers.)

And no, none of this is a paid endorsement. I consider it my duty to share ideas for food products that can contribute to our overall health rather than rob us of it.

Recipe: Traditional Mediterranean Green Bean Salad
(made with with Sundried Tomato & Basil Bar)

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 scallions, trimmed and cut into paper-thin rounds
1 small garlic clove, minced
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Greek honey
2 Mediterra Sundried Tomato-Basil bars, chopped
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Preparation:
1. Steam green beans in a steamer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente.
2. Once the beans have cooked, transfer them into a colander, and run cold water over them immediately. Let the green beans drain well.
3. Place the green beans, scallions, garlic and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, honey, salt and pepper. Pour onto the salad and toss. Garnish with the broken up Mediterra Tomato-Basil bars and serve.

Serves 4-6

Recipe used by permission. For more recipes utilizing Mediterra bars, click here. For anyone wanting to check out the various flavors of Mediterra bars, you can visit their website or even find them at select Target stores. (If you don’t see them at your local Target, ask for them and other healthy snack alternatives! The more available these types of foods are for purchase, they healthier we’ll all be!)

Photo Source: Mediterra

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9:35 am - Posted by Gregg

Living in Los Angeles certainly has its distractions. And I’m not talking about the occasional star sighting. I’m referring to simply going for frozen yogurt, which offers countless people who visibly treat fro-yo as the holy grail of snack foods. And who can blame them? Its creamy deliciousness virtually matches ice cream’s merits, spoonful for spoonful. Add some favorite toppings and the experience can be downright orgasmic. (Yeah, I went there.)

But lately, I’ve noticed that many who are ordering at my fro-yo shop of choice treat this snack as if it’s completely healthy and calorie free. Fact is, frozen yogurt is as much of atreat as ice cream (or any other decadent snack) and should be treated as such. Too often I see people ordering it on a daily basis (I can tell they’re regulars by their interaction with the staff). There are others who look so thin that the fro-yo may be all their ingesting in a 24-hour period. Then there are the customers who obviously think of fro-yo as completely non caloric (no matter how many Reeses Pieces they add to the top of it).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against treating fro-yo as a meal replacement. Why? Because it’s caloric. But this should be done only once a week or so — mainly because it doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients that a normal lunch or dinner should.

Recently, I saw a larger gal ordering in front of me. She announced to the worker that she was on a diet and wanted to be very careful with her choices. She then proceeded to request a sample of every flavor of frozen yogurt (all 10) before finally ordering a large dairy free and super low calorie version. I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and ask her if she knew the amount of artificial ingredients would have to be used in a frozen yogurt that had almost no calories and no dairy.

I guarantee you that her large-sized yogurt (ordered after she’d sampled enough yogurt to equal a medium-size) wasn’t nearly as satisfying as my “regular” peanut butter yogurt, which not only had dairy but also a fair amount of calories. But here’s the thing — my fro yo was all-natural (a choice the shop thankfully provides along with all their fat-free varieties). I ordered a medium and even added some decadent chocolate toppings to it. Caloric? Sure. Satisfying? Absolutely. Satisfying enough to quench my fro-yo addiction for a week. I wanted it. I enjoyed it. I moved on. And mind you, later that day I had a delicious and healthy salad for dinner. (Now that’s balance!)

As dieters, we’re too often misled by media-induced messages as to what’s “healthy” and what’s not for our bodies (especially when trying to lose weight). The 10 different samples aside, the reason this woman wasn’t feeling satisfied is that she wasn’t indulging in what she really wanted. Eating over-processed, artificial ingredient-infused snacks is not something our bodies (or even our minds) really want. Instead, go for the treat, take a walk to help metabolize it and move on. It’s these very acts of denial that lead us to believe that all the sampling “Doesn’t count” and that a dairy/calorie free snack is good for us.

News flash: It does count and it isn’t good for us.

Have the treat. Enjoy the treat. Then do it again a week or two later (not before) — depending on how much excess weight you want to lose. The less we obsess and the more we enjoy, the more we’re acting — and eating — like a thin person. And that’s the real trick to not only taking the weight off, but keeping it off. Even with a topping or two.

Photo Source: playa.info

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