Recipe – Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls with Spinach and Avocado

Start your day the right way.

Did you buy too many sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving? Use your leftovers to prepare this breakfast bowl that’ll keep you filled all morning long.

Switch the bagel and cream cheese for this dish that is full of protein and can be thrown together in less than five minutes (if you roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time). This dish makes a healthy alternative for this busy time of the year.

Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your day the right way with great nutrition.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (orange yam kind), roasted
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs (fried, or poached)
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • Sunflower seeds, chia seeds
  • Hot sauce
  • Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato, oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large skillet, add the oil and heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and stir for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Place spinach in bowl. Add cooked quinoa. Add sweet potato, avocado and eggs.

Serve with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hot sauce and/or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

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

Four Ways to Declutter Your Diet

Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages.

Clean eating is trendy, but maybe you just need to declutter instead.

The phrase “clean eating” is pretty popular these days, but the concept isn’t really new.  In general, clean eating means eating foods that are fairly close to their natural state – that is, minimally processed – and getting rid of the excess ‘clutter’ in the form of a lot of added fats, sugars, salt and unnecessary additives.  Cooking foods at home and sourcing fresh, local ingredients is often part of the mix, too.  Overall, clean eating is meant to call more awareness to what we’re putting in our bodies.

It’s a great concept, but let’s not get carried away.  First of all, no one would argue that whole, unprocessed foods without packaging or labels are anything but good choices.  But creating a daily diet made up of only those foods might be intimidating to those who simply need to get a meal on the table at the end of a busy day.  Besides, there are plenty of healthy, wholesome – and yes, even ‘clean’ – foods that come in packages;  frozen loose pack veggies and fruits, canned tuna, salmon or beans, brown rice or whole grain pasta, just to name a few.

Some people take the concept of clean eating a little further, and decide to jump-start their regimen with a short fast.  Some say it feels like they’re giving their system a fresh start – kind of like cleaning out your closets or changing the oil in your car.  Fasting for a couple of days probably won’t do you any harm as long as you’re healthy and you keep yourself well-hydrated..

But keep in mind that our bodies naturally clean and detoxify every day.  We eliminate and neutralize not only via the digestive tract, but the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin get into the act, too.  As long as you take good care of your body and provide it with plenty of nourishing foods, it will take care of you.

So if you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies (even if they’ve been frozen), whole  grains (yep, even those that come packaged in a plastic bag) and lean proteins (even those that come from a can), your diet might be pretty clean already.  And even if you’re not eating this way, maybe you don’t need to do a “clean sweep” – perhaps a little “decluttering” is all it takes.

How to Declutter Your Diet

  • Read food labels to help you ditch extra sugar, salt and fat. You’ve heard it before, but it’s generally true – shorter ingredients lists usually mean fewer unwanted additives and more wholesome products.  Check labels for added fats, salt and sugar, and do your best to choose items that have minimal amounts added.  For example, choose plain yogurt rather than pre-sweetened, choose plain frozen vegetables rather than those with sauces added, look for whole grain breads or cereals with little to no added sugar.
  • Lose the refined starches and up your fruit and veggie intake. This sounds so simple, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve the overall quality of your diet. When you make a point to include a fruit or vegetable at every meal, it “squeezes out” many of the unwanted foods and ingredients you might otherwise eat.  Swap sugary, fatty ice cream for a delicious bowl of berries, have a side salad with your sandwich instead of fries, or try snacking on baby carrots and hummus instead of chips.
  • Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages. When it comes to added calories, beverages are – for many people – their undoing.  Between sugary sodas, fruit juices (yes, even 100%, fresh-pressed, all-organic!), alcoholic beverages and fancy coffee drinks, it’s not hard to take in hundreds of calories a day from beverages alone.  Plain tea is a great alternative because it can be drunk hot or cold, it has no calories, and has naturally-occurring compounds that may offer some health benefits, too.
  • Clear the clutter from your fridge, freezer and pantry. A little kitchen ‘spring cleaning’ can really help you declutter your diet.  Fill your pantry with high-fiber whole grains (like 100% whole wheat pasta, bread, cereals and flour, as well as foods like quinoa, millet and brown rice) instead of the refined stuff. Stock up on beans and canned tomatoes instead of prepared spaghetti sauces or soups that are high in salt. Stock your refrigerator and freezer with plain fruits and veggies, rather than those with sugary syrups or salty, fatty sauces. And keep some canned tuna or salmon on hand in the pantry, or frozen fish filets or chicken breasts in the freezer for quick, healthy (clean!) meals, rather than frozen chicken nuggets or breaded fish sticks.

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

Tune Up Your Immune System With Healthy Nutrition

Fruits and veggies promote a strong immune system.

When my kids were little, I always braced myself for the ‘back-to-school cold’ that swept through the house during their first week back in the classroom. With the new school year upon us, kids are going to be bringing home more than just homework and new friends.
They’re sure to bring home plenty of germs, too. Even if you don’t have kids at home, you’re still more likely to get sick as the weather turns colder. So, now is a good time to look at all you can do nutritionally to help keep your immune system running in tip-top shape.

Despite what your parents or grandparents might have told you, you don’t catch cold from being out in the cold air (or, as my mother always insisted, from going outdoors with wet hair). But when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people and there’s less air circulating, so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick. 

Your body has a built-in defense, of course—your immune system. It’s your own personal army of ‘soldiers’ that protects your body by identifying anything foreign—from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite—and then seeking it out and destroying it. Your body does rely on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up. For one thing, if you eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself, you’re more likely to maintain your good health.

Fruits and vegetables are key players because they provide an abundance of phytonutrients—natural compounds found in all plant foods that help to promote health by serving as antioxidants. You need antioxidants to balance out the processes in your body that cause oxidation. Oxidative processes are a normal part of metabolism, but oxidation can run rampant in cells if it’s not kept in check. And that can weaken the body’s ability to fight illness. So, your body relies on a steady source of antioxidants from fruits and veggies to reduce this oxidant stress and, in turn, help to support immune function.

Your immune system also has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods—like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products—provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins, like vitamin K and vitamin B12. When your system is populated with these ‘good’ bacteria, they also serve to ‘crowd out’ the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yogurt and kefir.

Eating well really does pave the road to good health. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So, call in the troops—and dry your hair.

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

How Good Nutrition Supports Your Immune System

A strong immune system relies on a healthy diet for support. Here are some nutrition tips to help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

When you stop to think about how hard your immune system works for you, it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s an incredibly complex system that works nonstop to protect and defend you. And it’s a system that depends on good nutrition in order to function properly.

We tend to focus on immunity more in the colder months. It seems that colder weather and illness go hand-in-hand. Part of the reason is that when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people, and there’s less air circulating so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick.

But that doesn’t mean our immune system isn’t on alert the rest of the year. Your built-in defense system works 24/7. In essence, your immune system is your own personal army of ‘soldiers.’ They protect your body by identifying anything foreign, from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite, and then seeking it out and destroying it.

And your body depends on the proper nutrients and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up.

Good Nutrition and Your Immune System
Your immune system has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods, like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products, provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Fruits and vegetables are key players in immune system health, because they’re great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients. Vitamin C encourages your body to produce antibodies, and vitamin A supports the health of your skin and tissues of your digestive tract and respiratory system. All of these act as first lines of defense against foreign invaders. Many of the phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies act as antioxidants, which can help to reduce oxidative stress on the body that may weaken your body’s ability to fight of illness.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin B12.

When your system is populated with these “good” bacteria, they also serve to crowd out the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yogurt and kefir. As you know, whenever you’re trying something new, make sure to check with your doctor or other professional about the amount to take that’s right for you.

Some people suffer medical conditions that affect the operation of their immune systems. Diet alone won’t improve the function of a compromised immune system. But for healthy people, eating well can help keep your immune system healthy and strong. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So call in the troops!

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

How To Avoid Restaurant Diet Traps

Don’t fall in the supersize trap.

I’ve had patients tell me that when they’re trying to watch what they eat, they’ll sometimes just stop eating in a restaurant altogether. Between the tempting menu descriptions, the huge portions and no way of knowing how many calories they’re eating, they often feel like they’re simply better off just staying home.

Since going out to eat is a pleasure you probably don’t want to give up forever, I think that learning your way around a menu and figuring out how to ‘dine responsibly’ are skills worth mastering.

If you only eat out a few times a year, I’d probably just tell you to go out and enjoy yourself. On average, we eat about a third of our meals away from home, so it’s worth paying attention to some of these common restaurant diet traps.

Don’t get derailed from your usual meal plan. You should have a general plan in mind for what you usually eat for your meals, and you should stick to it. If you normally eat some combination of protein, veggies and salad for lunch, then look for something similar on the menu. And don’t let your eyes wander towards a sandwich or a pasta dish.

Watch out for foods that sound healthier than they are. Sandwiches can be healthy if they’re made with lean meats, veggies and whole grain breads. But the calories can add up fast if you add cheese or mayonnaise, or if the sandwich is a foot long. Watch those healthy-sounding salads, too. A Chinese chicken salad can rack up more than 1000 calories, thanks to the crunchy fried noodles and heavy dressing.

Beware of the daily specials. Your server might come by with a mouth-watering description of the daily special, so watch out. A lot of times specials can’t be modified, meaning that you might not be able to skip the sauce or gravy, or have the fish grilled rather than pan-fried. If the special fits the bill, great—but decide on something from the regular menu ahead of time. That way, you’ll have a backup.

Don’t fall in the supersize trap. You really need to stand firm when you’re offered more food than you want, even if it sounds like a good value. When your server says, “For just a dollar more, you can have a side of fries with that,” think to yourself: “For just a dollar more, I’ll be getting 600 more calories and an extra 40 grams of fat.”

Read calorie counts on menus carefully. A recent study showed that the calories you eat might be nearly 20% higher than what the menu says. Also, the calorie counts usually list the items separately, not the calorie count for the whole meal as it’s served. So, while you’re noting the calories for the entrée, don’t forget to add in the calories for the sides.

Finally, restaurant portions can be huge. Split an entrée with your dining partner and order an extra side of veggies, or have your leftovers packed up as soon as you’ve eaten your portion. When it comes to supersizing, restaurants may be able to afford to pile it on—but you can’t.

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

A Roast with the Most: Fall Harvest Veggies

Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness.

The change of seasons brings with it a new group of fruits and vegetables. Apples, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and all the cabbage family foods, like broccoli and cauliflower, are at their peak now. And many are great for roasting—one of my favorite fall cooking methods.

With the grilling season over, I start giving a lot more foods the roasting treatment. The oven’s dry heat will caramelize the natural sugars in foods and brings a depth of flavor to fruits and vegetables that summer grilling can’t touch.

Root Veggie Roast

If you’ve never roasted root vegetables, you should give it a try. Roasted carrots are particularly delicious. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about a half hour until they’re tender. The vinegar turns into a sticky, syrupy glaze that coats them irresistibly. You can give the same treatment to sweet potatoes or beets—tossing them with something tart before roasting, like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or even pomegranate juice to contrast with their natural sweetness.

Roasted veggies make a great side dish, but on the off chance there are any leftovers, they’re great added to soups and stews. Or you can slice them up cold and dress with vinaigrette, or add to mixed greens to give some fall flavor to your tossed salad.

Cauliflower Power

I was never much of a cauliflower lover until I started roasting it; now it’s become a fall staple at my house. Roasting softens the strong flavor. The cauliflower gets sweeter, and the texture becomes almost meaty. I coat the florets and a sliced onion with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder and then roast. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts—other veggies that are often a hard sell—are also delicious roasted with some oil and garlic.

You can roast fruits, too. Fall apples are fantastic when they’re prepared this way. Pretty much any variety will do, and you don’t need to peel them. Just cut in halves or quarters, remove the core and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray and roast like you would the veggies. You can toss them with a little lemon juice, apple juice or, if you want, spices first. But if you start with tasty fresh apples, they’re really good on their own.

Here’s another fall favorite recipe:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan

Even those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts will admit that these are delicious. Roasting quickly with high heat mellows the flavor, and the Brussels sprouts end up tender and sweet. Tossed with a little fresh garlic and parmesan cheese, they make a fantastic side dish. If you have any left over, refrigerate and add to a tossed green salad the next day.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (large enough to hold sprouts in a single layer) with foil, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a medium bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil mixture. When oven is hot, toss sprouts onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or so, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until some of the outer leaves are nicely browned and crispy and sprouts are tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, add garlic and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

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

Four Tips for Eating Mindfully

Be mindful of how much you eat.

Mindless eating can lead to overeating and digestive woes. But when you eat mindfully, you tend to slow down and eat less – just enough so that you’re comfortable, not stuffed.

Even if you’ve never heard the term “mindless eating”, chances are good that you’ve experienced it. Can’t remember what you ate for dinner because you were so focused on the television show you were watching? That’s mindless eating. Ever finish an entire bucket of popcorn at the movies and ask yourself, “did I really eat all that?” That’s mindless eating, too.

What Happens When You Eat Mindlessly?

Mindless eating is what happens when you eat – and overeat – without really thinking about it. When you eat mindlessly, you don’t ask yourself if you’re truly hungry, or question whether your portion is too large, or if the food even tastes good to you. You just eat it. And that’s because you’re not paying attention to your body’s internal signals – like the ones that tell you that you’re hungry, or when you’re comfortably full. Instead, you’re responding other cues push you to eat and overeat. Maybe you’re stressed or anxious or bored, or you eat something that’s offered to you – even though you’re not hungry at all.

Mindless eating often leads you to take in a lot more calories than you should – and you may eat much too quickly, too. You may not chew your food thoroughly, which means you’re probably swallowing a lot of air while you’re gulping it down. And, during an episode of rapid-fire overeating, you may not immediately realize how full you are. That’s because it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that you’re full – and by that time you’ve already overdone it. So it’s no wonder that discomfort – in the form of indigestion or bloating – can set in.

So what would happen if you turned “mindless eating” around, and practiced more “mindful eating” instead?

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is just what it sounds like. When you eat mindfully, you try to become more aware of your internal signals of hunger and fullness – which means really listening to your body. You become more in touch with the eating experience – which means you’re likely to enjoy it more while eating less.

Mindful eating means slowing yourself down and taking the time to appreciate how the food looks on the plate, how it smells, and how it tastes. If you’re with others, you take pleasure in their company – and if you’re eating alone, you take pleasure in being able to focus on your meal and enjoy it without distraction. The other benefit? By slowing down, you’ll learn to be satisfied with appropriate portions – which will help curb the tendency to overeat – and your digestive system won’t be overburdened. Not only will this help keep your calories in check, but it gives your system time to properly digest your meal, too.

How to Eat More Mindfully

  • Be mindful of why you eat. One of the first steps in eating mindfully is to become more aware of what triggers you to eat in the first place. Are you hungry? Tired? Anxious? Bored? While you’re noting that, also, rate how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 5 – where 1 means “not hungry at all” and 5 means “I’m starving”. After a week or so, examine your patterns. If you often eat because you’re stressed – even though your hunger level is a “1” – you’ll want to find alternatives to eating to relieve your stress – like taking a walk, or calling a friend, or maybe practicing some deep breathing.
  • Be mindful of how much you eat. While you’re making note of why you eat, also make a note of how full you are after you’ve finished. Practicing portion control helps you to learn how much food it takes to satisfy your hunger – which might be a lot less than the amount you want to eat. Since we tend to eat whatever amount we’re served, start by serving yourself smaller portions than you usually do. And, learn to stop eating when you’re comfortably full – even if it means leaving some food on your plate.
  • Be mindful of how quickly you eat. Mindless eaters tend to eat quickly, so also make note of how long it takes you to eat a meal. If it takes you less than 10 minutes, make an effort to stretch it out to 20 minutes. Try putting your utensils down between bites, and practice chewing and swallowing each bite of food before loading up your fork with another bite.
  • Be mindful of how you eat. Are you eating on the go, or at your desk while you work, or while you’re watching television? If you are, it’s unlikely that you’re paying much attention to your meal, and more likely that you’re just gobbling it down. Instead, try to be mindful of how you eat, and take the time to sit down and enjoy your food. Put down a placemat, turn on some music, maybe even dim the lights. Relax and take your time – your digestive system will thank you.

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

Healthy Digestion, Healthy You

Fermented foods are important for digestive health.

To keep your digestive system running smoothly, focus on fiber, fluids and regular exercise.

If more people really thought about how much their digestive systems do for them every day, they might be more inclined to take better care of their digestive health. Your digestive system has a huge job – it breaks down the foods that you eat in order to make nutrients and energy available to the body, and it is responsible for steering unwanted waste out of the body, too. On top of that, your digestive tract is a key player in immunity – the cells lining your digestive tract help protect your body against bacterial and viral invaders that could make you sick.

And, your brain and your digestive tract are in constant communication with one another. An incredible amount of information travels between your gut and your brain – so much so, that the nervous system that resides in your digestive tract is often called the body’s “second brain”. This system alerts the “first brain” if you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have, and also keeps tabs on your hunger level and your mood.

And yet, many people abuse their digestive system – by filling it with highly processed foods, or eating too much, or eating too fast – and pay little attention to it until something goes wrong.

Key Components to Digestive Health

In the most general sense, what you eat and the way you live your life influences the health of your digestive system. A nutrient-rich, balanced diet helps to nourish all of your body’s cells, including those in your digestive tract. Fiber, fluids and regular exercise all help to keep you regular, and taking care of your “second brain” by keeping your stress levels in check can also help to promote digestive health.

Fiber and Fluids Support Digestive Health

Perhaps one of the most important dietary components for digestive health is adequate dietary fiber.

Most people think of fiber as the substance that helps to keep the digestive process moving. And certain fibers do just that. But not all fibers function exactly the same way, which is why we often talk about two types of fiber – insoluble and soluble fiber – both of which contribute to digestive health, but in different ways.

Insoluble fiber – sometimes called “roughage” – isn’t broken down by the body but it absorbs water, which adds bulk. This type of fiber – found in vegetables, bran and most whole grains – helps to speed the passage of waste through your digestive system, which helps keep you regular.

Soluble fiber– found in foods like apples, oranges, oats, barley and beans – thickens and swells up when it comes in contact with liquid. So, when you eat these foods, they swell up in the watery environment of your stomach and help to fill you up. But another important feature of soluble fiber is that it functions as a prebiotic – which means that it encourages the growth of the good bacteria in your digestive tract.

Your digestive system houses tens of trillions of microorganisms – made up of thousands of species – taken together, this bacterial colony is sometimes called the “gut microbiome”.

These bacteria help your body extract nutrients from your food, they help with the production of certain vitamins, and they protect the health of the digestive tract by keeping out dangerous foreign invaders. But this mini ecosystem residing in your gut appears to do even more – there is evidence that your gut microbiome may also influence your body weight, memory and mood, too. So, it’s important to provide these bacteria with their preferred source of fuel – in the form of soluble fiber.

You can also introduce beneficial bacteria into your system directly – in the form of probiotics found in certain foods. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir, pickles and sauerkraut, miso paste and olives are all natural sources of beneficial bacteria.

Since soluble fibers dissolve in water – and insoluble fibers trap it – it should come as no surprise that adequate fluids are important in keeping your digestive system running smoothly. But you also need water to produce saliva and digestive juices, and to transport nutrients to your cells, so taking in adequate fluids every day is vitally important to your digestive health.

Exercise and Stress Reduction Support Digestive Health

Regular exercise also supports digestive health in a couple of ways. As your muscles contract and your breath deepens during activity, the natural contractions of your intestinal muscles are stimulated, too, which helps to move food through your system. Exercise is also a well-known stress reducer, so it can help reduce digestive upsets that can occur in response to negative emotions.

The connection between your brain and your “second brain” in your digestive tract is something you’ve probably experienced in the form of a “gut reaction”. When stress or anxiety strikes, your brain sends a signal to your gut – and the next thing you know you’ve got a churning stomach.

The signals travel in the other direction, too – from gut to brain. When something in your digestive system isn’t quite right, an alert is sent to your brain, often before you even notice anything is wrong. Either way, this brain-gut connection suggests that keeping your digestive system in tip-top shape is vital to your sense of well-being.

The diet and lifestyle steps you take to keep yourself healthy are the same ones that promote digestive health, too. A diet that includes plenty of fiber from colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains, adequate hydration, and regular exercise are all key factors. And take time to
enjoy your meals – you’ll be more relaxed, and less likely to overeat, too.

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

Cooking for One? 7 Tips to Make a Healthy Meal

Prepare healthy meals in advance.

In this fast-paced world of busy schedules, we sometimes get into situations where we’re dining alone. This can be a challenge when it comes to cooking healthy meals. Most recipes are designed to serve 4-6 people. Extra stalks of broccoli or lettuce heads that don’t get used just go to waste. And let’s face it: sometimes it seems like too much trouble just cooking for one. But as the old saying goes, ‘Forewarned is forearmed.’ If you plan ahead and prepare, cooking for one can open up a whole new world beyond frozen pizza and instant noodle soup.

  • Keep your pantry and freezer well stocked.
  • I can’t say enough about having convenient, healthy items on hand. Stock your freezer with loose-pack frozen veggies and fruits as well as shrimp and individual chicken breasts. If you’ve got whole grain noodles, quick-cooking brown rice, canned beans, broth, tomato sauce, tuna and salmon in the pantry, you can put together a tasty dish in no time. It helps to have plenty of condiments and seasonings, too. My favorite stand-by “for one” is a quick soup: I add some buckwheat noodles, a handful of loose-pack frozen spinach and some frozen shrimp to boiling low-sodium chicken broth. When it’s all heated through and cooked, I add a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of ginger and white pepper. Yum.

  • Turn leftovers into makeovers.
  • You might love macaroni and cheese, but if you make a big batch you might not want to eat it every night for a week. Of course, you can put individual portions in the freezer, which is great for nights when you don’t want to cook. You can also plan to make the foods you cook do double duty. If you’re grilling chicken, make extra and add that to tomorrow’s pasta. If you’re cooking fish, make enough to fold into some corn tortillas with salsa for fish tacos on the next night.

  • Have breakfast for dinner.
  • There’s no rule that says you have to eat dinner food for dinner, any more than you have to have breakfast food in the morning. Feel free to have a veggie omelet for dinner, or have some of last night’s chicken curry for breakfast.

  • Find some one-dish meals that you like.
  • You can have a balanced meal of an entrée and two sides without having to prepare three separate items for one plate. Soups, stews, casseroles are a great option that include protein and veggies all in one dish.

  • Plan your meals ahead of time.
  • Make the best use of perishable items, like veggies. You can’t buy a half head of lettuce, but you can break the leaves, wash them and then wrap in a towel to store in the fridge, where they’ll stay fresh for 4 or 5 days. If you can’t find a single-serving bundle of asparagus, you can grill the whole bunch, then have half as one night’s side dish and toss the rest into the following night’s main dish salad.

  • Organize a dinner club or potluck.
  • If you know others who are in the same “cooking for one” jam, invite them over to cook together or organize a potluck event. If everyone brings a dish and swaps leftovers, you’ll get more variety and it’ll be a lot more fun than eating by yourself.

  • Adjust recipes when needed.
  • Even though most recipes are for 4-6 people, you can usually cut most in half with very few adjustments. There are also plenty of cookbooks around that are aimed at cooking for one. But some people figure that if they’re going to go through the motions of cooking something, they’d rather just make more and freeze the leftovers. That can be dangerous, though: If you’re craving a cookie, your recipe is probably going to leave you with enough dough to bake for a family reunion!

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

    Go Meatless for Your Protein

    Try plant-based proteins.

    Maybe you’ve decided you want to go meatless once in a while. It could be for health reasons, environmental reasons, or maybe you want to save a little cash. Even if you’re going meatless only occasionally, your meals will be more satisfying if you get in a good dose of protein. Milk products and eggs will work, of course, but if you want to go strictly with plant proteins, you might be hard-pressed to think of anything beyond rice, beans or veggie burgers. So, here’s a rundown of a few less well-known plant proteins that you might want to try.

    Types of Plant Proteins

    Many people are familiar with tofu, which is basically cheese that’s made from soy milk. It’s available in textures ranging from very soft to very firm. Soft tofu works great in smoothies and shakes, while firmer tofu can be marinated and grilled for a tasty meat substitute. You can also freeze it. When you thaw it out, it releases its liquid and crumbles, so it makes a good substitute for ground meat. Calories and protein content vary: generally speaking, the firmer the tofu, the higher the protein content. Six ounces of extra-firm tofu have about 90 calories and 12 grams of protein.

    There’s another tofu product you may not be familiar with—tofu skin, or yuba. Yuba forms on top of the soy milk when it’s heated in the tofu-making process, not unlike the skin that forms on top of regular milk when it’s heated in a saucepan to make cocoa. It’s usually sold dried, so it needs to be soaked in water before use. But if you can find fresh yuba, you’re in for a treat. These thin, pliable tofu sheets can be cut into thin strips and added like noodles to soups or stir-fries. Or you can use yuba in place of a tortilla to make a wrap. Three ounces of ready-to-eat yuba have about 150 calories and 21 grams of protein.

    Tempeh is similar to tofu in that it is made from soy. It’s made from the whole bean, not just the soy milk, which gives it a firmer, chewier texture. The soybeans are fermented, too, which gives tempeh an earthier flavor that’s usually described as nutty, meaty and mushroomy. Another plus: the fermentation reduces a lot of the gassiness that often comes with eating soybeans. Tempeh freezes well, and you can also grate it to use in dishes that call for ground meat. Tempeh is sold refrigerated, and three ounces have about 16 grams of protein and 170 calories.

    If you’ve ever eaten at an Asian restaurant and seen ‘mock duck’ on the menu, it’s usually referring to seitan, or ‘wheat meat’—so called because seitan is made of wheat gluten. Seitan is usually found in the grocery store as a refrigerated block that you can slice or dice before cooking. Seitan can be baked, steamed, fried or simmered in a soup or stew. Since it has very little flavor of its own, it picks up the taste of whatever it’s cooked with. Three ounces of seitan have 90 calories and about 18 grams of protein. It should go without saying that if you’re gluten sensitive, this would not be the protein for you.

    You may be less familiar with mycoprotein, derived from a microfungus that’s cultured and grown in large vats. It’s not unlike the way yeast (also a fungus) is cultured to produce the familiar product we use for baking. The mycoprotein is then incorporated into all sorts of meat alternatives that have a texture very similar to chicken and a mild mushroom-like taste. Most offer at least 10 grams of protein per serving, but calories can range from 90 per serving to more than 200, depending on the item. If you’re vegan, read labels carefully—some mycoprotein products contain egg white as a binder.

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

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