Category : Nutrition

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Eat (more) Real Food…

Diner is often a daunting thought and a super easy way to let your nutrition get off-track.

One of my favourite go-to meals is sooo simple, fast & delicious:

1. The Healthy Grain/Carb: cook some quinoa, brown rice, or spaghetti squash

2. The (always healthy) Vegetables: steam vegetables in a frying pan

3. The Protein: add some cooked tilapia, sole, or preferred lean meat OR to make it vegan, top with your favorite legume (lentils, chickpeas, etc)

4. Portions: if you were to divide your diner plate into quarters, 1/4 should be protein, 1/4 should be HEALTHY carb, 1/2 should be veg & fruit (you can always ramp-up the protein portion, but not the carb)

Delicious vegetable suggestion:

  • vegetable suggestions: parsnips, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, and red onion
  • add some cumin and fresh rosemary to the heated butter/coconut oil, before you add your veggies … Mmmmmmm!
  • If you cannot wing-it and need a recipe, try: http://bevcooks.com/2012/02/roasted-root-vegetables-with-lentils/ (but omit the ricotta and replace with the proteins listed above)
  • love a little “crunch”, cook until al dente and then add fresh diced red peppers, or watercress, or fresh spinach leaves, or bean sprouts to the top (ie. keep these items un-cooked)

Happy eating :)

PS – Be certain to cook extra, so you can bring a nutritious lunch to work!

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Eat Avocado… Eat Real Food!!!

Avocado is delicious and sooooo good for you!

Many people avoid avocado, because it is relatively high in fat.  Let’s clarify: fat does not make you fat!  Eating too many calories makes you fat (while I have your attention, eating nutritionally void food & beverages + not exercising + stress makes you fat faster and lays-down more abdominal fat).

Now, let’s cut to the chase… benefits of avocado:

  • rich in monounsaturated fat (the heart-healthy kind of fats), particularly oleic acid, which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer
  • rich in potassium, folic acid & B-vitamins, which improve digestion and helps the body flush toxins
  • rich in active compounds (ie. antioxidants: lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E) shown to prevent breast & prostate cancer, as well as other diseases.  Good to know: pairing a few slices of avocado with tomato (or fresh tomato based foods), or other fresh red, orange and yellow vegetables helps the absorption of antioxidants

Mars bar, or Avocado… let’s compare:

  • a medium avocado contains about 250 calories and (and all the awesomeness listed above)
  • a regular Mars bar contains 250 calories and is nutritionally void!  You will  recall, nutritionally void food will make you fat faster, and ones loaded with refined sugars and other garbage ingredients (seriously, read the label on a Mars bar… 99% of the ingredients did not grow directly out of the Earth) will increase your chance of disease
  • use your brain… which should you strive to eat?

Fast & Simple ways to enjoy avocado:

  1. slice-up and eat with salad (replace store bought dressing with extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar)
  2. mash-up and mix with homemade/fresh salsa or tomatoes
  3. mash-up and spread over the base of a pita pizza
  4. google “avodao recipes” for all sorts of flavourfulrecipes

Serve avocado at your next family meal, or get-together and you will be helping your family & friend’s health!!!!

Now go have a great day and eat some avocado :)

Erin

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One Month Challenge: A Good Breakfast & Snack Choice

I’ll give you a quick overview on what is screwing-up most peoples health & fitness goasl… It is not our meals which tend to sabotage our energy and our waistlines, it is how we start our day and what we eat for snacks. 

Important:

  1. you need to eat breakfast (and it has to be of good quality)!
  2. you are not eating enough protein!
  3. you need to drink a lot more water!

Breakfast:

If you want to feel full until lunch and have good energy (both body and mind), your breakfast should be high in protein and low in quick digesting/insulin spiking carbohydrates (FYI – breads, toast, cereal, fruit yogurts, jam, sugar are all effectively sugar in your body – they all digest quickly and spike your blood insulin).

*** Smart Breakfast Choice: 3 egg omlete stuffed full of colorful veggies… top with diced tomatoes

Keep it simple & quick: heat a skillet with a little bit of butter, coconut oil, or grape-seed oil in the pan.  The scramble 3 eggs in a bowl, chop-up a boatload of colorful veggies (spinach, peppers, mushrooms, fiddle-heads, onions, broccoli, etc) and toss them in with the eggs.  Once the oil, or butter, has had 2-3 minutes to heat, drop the eggs & veggie mixture in the skillet.  Fry until starting to brown and then flip and repeat.  If you want to add a bit more flavor: mild (add rosemary & oregano), medium (add mustard & cumin), or hot (add cayane, or diced jalapeno).

  • Before you freak-out… yes, leave in the yolks!  One large egg has 7grms of protein (almost half of which is in the yolk), 70cal (that’s the same as 1.5Tbs Tim Horton’s coffee cream) and good cholesterol (your body will make cholesterol, if you do not provided it, so relax and enjoy the entire egg).  Also, if you omit the yolk (about 50cal), you will be more likely to munch before lunch!
  • Before you freak-out… if 3 eggs seems like a belt-lossening feat, consider that 3 large eggs will supply you with 21 grms of protein and only 210cal and will keep you full unitl lunch (maybe longer).  A bagel will give 5 grms of protein (at best), 275cal (or more on average and that’s before you load it with spreads) and will have  you hungry within a hour.   Also, you could always make it a 2 egg, or 2 whole + 1 white only omlete.

Snacks:

These are often emotional little beasts, influenced by what is immediately what’s in front of our eye, or left by the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, Halloween, little old lady next door, etc, on the office table.  They almost always originate from a package (ie. from the shelf of a centre grocery store isle).  You should think about your snacks like mini meals: eat in food groups, eat small portions, eat real food and eat a varriety (ie. NOT 3 bags of the latest fad 100cal bag of crackers, rice cakes, or other “diet” gimick snack)

*** Smart Snack Choices:

  • handful of almonds,cashews and/or walnuts + a piece of fruit, plus a  tall glass of lemon water
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1/2cup berries + large cup of tea (aim to leave-out the sugar)
  • 1-2cups veggie sticks + hummus, plus lemon water

***What to drink:

  • WATER!!!!  Drink it until your pee is clear!!!!
  • lemon water (cut-up lemon wedges and drop them in your ice water… yum!).  It is good for you too, as it helps make your blood more alkaline (it’s a good thing)
  • white & herbal teas

Let me know your thoughts and feel free to make special requests for blogs/info.

Have a happy & healthy day :)

Erin

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Delicious, Healthy & Nut free Snack: Green Monster Muffins

Ok, my family is difficult to sell most items I consider healthy to… but they gobbled these muffins up in a day! Call them Green Monster muffins and your kids will not have to be told twice to eat them.

Omit the nuts on the top and the are school snack friendly!

Check them out: http://dandysugar.com/breakfast/spinach-quinoa-muffins

To your (and your family’s) health!

 

Photo via http://dandysugar.com

 

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