Soup’s On: Tips for Making Quick, Delicious and Healthy Soups

Beans are a healthy soup ingredient.

With a few basics in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, you can make a healthy, delicious soup in no time.

When the cooler weather rolls around, my thoughts automatically turn to soup. These one-dish wonders are warm and filling, and it doesn’t take much to round out the meal – a simple green salad will usually do it.And, soups store really well – to me, most soups taste even better the day after they’re made.

There’s no question that the best soups are made from scratch – I’m the first to admit that great chicken soup starts with a whole chicken, not a can or box of broth – but when you’re pressed for time, you can put together a quick, great tasting soup as long as the kitchen is well-stocked.

You’ll want to start with a liquid, and your best bets are boxed or canned broths which come in a variety of flavors (beef, chicken, vegetable, mushroom, seafood). In general, these will provide your soup with a fresher flavor than if you use bouillon cubes (which also tend to be very salty). There are also some good paste-style concentrated soup bases in a variety of flavors. I’ve found pureed vegetable bases made from butternut squash or broccoli. Canned tomatoes in their liquid also make a good starter, too, after you treat them to a spin in the blender.

Canned beans make a great soup base, too. Start with the beans and the tasty liquid they’re packed in, and then add more liquid to get a soupy consistency. Black beans pair well with tomato puree, while white beans are great with chicken or vegetable broth.

Once you’ve chosen your liquid, you’ll want to boost the protein. You can turn your butternut squash or broccoli base into a creamy soup by stirring in milk or soy milk, or whirling in the blender with some soft tofu. Creamy soups pair well with seafood – so try adding frozen or canned shrimp, canned salmon, or minced clams with their liquid to make a quick chowder. Canned chicken and turkey breast are super-convenient for your broth-based soups; if your supermarket sells whole roasted chickens, even better – pick one up and add some diced oven-roasted chicken to give your soup a homemade flavor.

Next, think about seasonings. Want an Asian flavor? Add a dash of soy sauce, a bit of white pepper, a dash of ground ginger and a few drops of sesame oil. To add a southwestern flavor to your bean soup, try adding some chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Give your tomato-based soup a Mediterranean vibe with basil or rosemary and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. For the chowder, you can’t go wrong with a little garlic, celery seed, paprika and thyme.

Once you’ve seasoned your soup, it’s time to add the veggies – and you can never have too many. Keep some loose-pack vegetables (like spinach, carrots, lima beans, green beans, broccoli or mixed veggies) in your freezer to add to your soup during the last few minutes of cooking. Or, drain a can or corn kernels and add to your seafood chowder. For the finishing touch, add a bit of fresh vegetable if you have it. A sprinkling of minced parsley, or some freshly grated carrot or zucchini added at the last minute adds a fresh, bright color to your soup, and it’ll look like you spent hours – rather than minutes – on your creation.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Hydrating Face Mask: Make Your Own in Three Easy Steps

Oatmeal and honey are known for
their hydrating properties

The key to avoiding skin dehydration is to moisturize the body inside and out. 

Skin dehydration occurs when the body lacks moisture both inside and out. The average person needs from eight to 12 cups of water per day.

Sometimes we have hectic days that don’t allow us to consume what is required to stay hydrated. Your body has mechanisms which trigger thirst, so it knows when to get you to drink more. Your skin will also let you know when you’re dehydrated by making it look dull, tired, irritated, flaky and rough.

Dehydrated skin can happen anytime during the year, and it can be aggravated by hot or cold temperatures, air conditioning, saunas, travel and other lifestyle choices.

It’s easy to start alleviating the signs of dehydration on your skin and body. You can start by consuming more water and getting the proper nutrients to stay hydrated, which include fruits and vegetables. Your skin is a reflection of what you consume, so if you’re not getting the proper nutrients, the negative signs will show up on your skin. You also need to be vigilant about your skin care regimen; using skincare products that contain harsh and irritating ingredients can affect your skin. Look for products with gentle ingredients like aloe vera and antioxidants. Also, an extra step you can take at home is to create a hydrating mask.

All you need are three simple ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe gel
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Mix all the ingredients well in a bowl. Then, apply the mix to your face with a facial brush. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Oatmeal and honey are known for their hydrating properties, and aloe gel has skin conditioning ingredients.

To finish, wash thoroughly using warm water and a gentle cleanser. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and make sure you have removed all traces of the mask before applying a hydrating moisturizer. It’s an easy, quick way to treat your skin. After a long day or even a long week, your skin deserves to be pampered.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Quick Fried Rice With Beef

A complete one-dish meal.

This quick beef fried rice is a complete one-dish meal that can also be served as a side dish.

It’s a delicious way to use leftover rice, and a healthy way to satisfy your Chinese food craving. It’s an Asian-inspired recipe that that will bring Zen to your hectic life.

 


Ingredients:

2 TBSP chicken broth
2 TBSP rice wine or other sherry (or 2 TBSP more broth)
2 TBSP soy sauce
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP canola oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked brown rice, cold
12 oz. cooked lean steak, diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
(4 scoops Simply Probiotic)

For sauce, combine broth, wine, soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over high heat. Add asparagus, carrots and bell pepper, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp. Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.
Pour remaining 2 teaspoons of oil into skillet and pour in beaten eggs. When the eggs are set on the bottom, add the rice and steak to the skillet. Cook and stir, breaking up egg, until egg is cooked and mixture is hot.
Add vegetables to the skillet and then add sauce mixture (and Probiotic). Stir until well combined. Top with chopped green onions.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Sound Sleep: The Best Kept Secret for Your Skin

Cleanse your skin before bedtime.

Getting quality sleep is key to having youthful, glowing, great-looking skin.

When it comes to having youthful and glowing skin, you may think you need expensive treatments to achieve it.But I’ll let you in on a small secret – getting sound sleep can do wonders for your skin.

Sleep is the closest thing there is to the fountain of youth. Your body works to repair itself while you rest. Sleep also benefits your appearance in numerous ways. The secret is to get six to nine hours of sleep each night. Now, you can blame your lack of sleep on all the hundred things you have to do before you decide to rest, or you can take control and get your beauty sleep. Not only will your skin look amazing, but as your body renews itself, you’ll also produce new collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s what gives your body its firmness, supports elasticity, and when collagen is abundant in your body, it can maintain existing skin structures.

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep and start achieving youthful, beautiful skin:

  • Food before bedtime – Make sure that you eat only a light dinner before you go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach can lead to indigestion and disrupt your sleep. Also, make sure that you’re eating foods that will keep you satiated so that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night looking for snacks.
  • Water consumption – Even though drinking water is essential for the healthy maintenance of your body and skin, limit the amount of water you consume before bedtime. Drinking less water right before bedtime may help limit bathroom interruptions in the middle of the night.
  • Alcoholic beverages – Consumption of alcohol not only dehydrates your skin, but can also affect your sleep patterns. You might wake up multiple times during the night because either you need to go to the bathroom or because you’re feeling dehydrated and need a drink of water.
  • Skincare regimen – Just like you have an evening routine before going to bed by putting on pajamas and brushing your teeth, you should also prepare your skin for rest. Having a good skincare regimen, which includes a cleanser and moisturizer, will prepare your skin for the much-needed rest it deserves. Since you’re exposed to pollution during the day, make sure you use a gentle cleanser that removes makeup and impurities. Look for a cleanser that is dermatologist-tested and sulfate-free to prevent irritation to the skin. After cleansing, use a night time moisturizer, preferably with natural botanicals like aloe vera and essential oils that’ll leave your skin soft and moisturized.

We all have hectic schedules and responsibilities to attend to, but only you have control over the amount of sleep you get. So prioritize and make time to for your well-deserved skin renewal treatment – a good night’s rest!

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Making Diet Resolutions? Try Diet Changes Instead

Skip the cookies and try fruit for dessert.

Planning your diet resolutions for the New Year? Try making a few small changes every month – all year long.

When January 1st comes around, it’s time to dust off that list of diet resolutions you made last year (and perhaps the year before that?) and vow to tackle them again.

It’s in our nature to look upon the New Year as a time to start fresh. It’s a time of promise and hope. We promise ourselves we’re going to eat right and get into shape, and we hope we can stick with our resolutions. But we often don’t. A lot of times it’s because our diet and lifestyle “to-do” list is a mile long, and it’s just too hard to make many changes all at once. We’re creatures of habit, and it just takes time for new habits to take hold.

Diet Resolutions for the New Year – A Step-Wise Approach

Make a Few Small Changes Every Month

Here’s a suggestion for you. Go ahead and make that to-do list, but just don’t try to make all your changes at once. In fact, I’m going to suggest that you tackle just three small changes in January – another three in February, three more in March, and so on until the end of the year. And here’s why. If you work on establishing just three new habits for a month, you won’t be overwhelmed with trying to focus on too many things at once. By the end of the month, the three new habits will be part of your routine, and you’ll be ready to take on three more changes in the following month.

Keep Your Diet Resolutions Going All Year Long

Suppose that those three changes you make in January cut out a total of 100 calories a day from your diet. That might not sound like a lot, but let’s say the same thing happens in February and March and April and May. Five months into the New Year, you’ve made a total of 15 small, sustainable changes to your eating habits, and you’re now saving 500 calories a day – enough to lose up to a pound a week.

Think about what you’d like to work on first. Maybe you’d like to cut your fat or sugar intake. Maybe your portions are just too large, or your problem is that you don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. Maybe you’re an emotional eater and you want to work on that. Then determine the three things you plan to do in January and get to work.

Three Small Diet Changes a Month

Let’s say you want to cut back on your sugar intake. Your diet resolutions for January might be:

  • I will have fruit for dessert instead of cookies
  • I will cut my soda intake in half
  • I will switch from pre-sweetened yogurt to plain yogurt

Maybe eating too much fat is your problem. In that case, your January diet resolutions might be:

  • Instead of chips or fries with my lunch, I will have a side salad instead
  • I will switch from regular salad dressing to low-fat
  • I will have my coffee drinks made with nonfat milk instead of whole milk

If it’s portion control you need to work on, your January resolutions might look like this:

  • I will use smaller plates when I eat at home to control my portions
  • When I go out to eat, I will ask the server to put half my meal in a take-home container and serve me the rest
  • I will weigh and measure my food portions a few times a week to make sure I’m staying on track

Maybe this is the year to take a different approach to your diet resolutions. Make a few changes, give them a month to settle in, and then build on those changes month after month. True, this step-wise approach isn’t the complete diet overhaul that you may attempt every January (and abandon by February) – but what have you got to lose?

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Sweet and Sour Lettuce Cradles

A good source of protein.

The new year is the perfect time to start a healthy routine, but between work, kids and errands, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

These sweet and sour lettuce cradles are the answer to your busy schedule.
They’re quick to make yet healthy, and they’re a good source of protein to satisfy your hunger.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Sauce

2 TBSP oyster-flavored sauce
2 TBSP light soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
1 TBSP brown sugar
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground white pepper

Stir in a small bowl to mix well. Set aside.

Meat

1 tsp canola oil
1 lb. ground chicken breast or turkey breast

Place skillet over high heat. Add canola oil, then ground chicken. Stir and cook between 4 and 5 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Remove meat from skillet and set aside. Wipe pan with paper towel, return pan to heat.

Vegetables

1 tsp canola oil
1 medium carrot, grated
⅓ cup canned water chestnuts, minced
2 green onions, chopped

Add canola oil. Add vegetables and stir until they soften. Add cooked meat, then the sauce. Stir until evenly coated. Spoon mixture onto lettuce leaf.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

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