The Finest Chefs

Archive - November 2014

How to Plan the Perfect Breakfast

healthy-breakfast

Make no mistake about it – breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Serving up a delicious and nutritious breakfast is a great way to control food cravings throughout the day and give your body an instant boost of nutrition at a prime time when it needs replenishment.

Breakfast is a great opportunity to provide your body with lean proteins, plenty of dietary fiber and a high dose of antioxidants. Let’s have a quick peek at planning the right breakfast so that you make the most of this meal every morning.

The Details

Consider your calorie intake. Breakfast should account for 25–30% of your total daily calorie requirements. Make sure that you are eating enough quality protein at this morning meal, whether from lean meat, fresh eggs, beans or even protein powder.

Factor in prep time. How much time do you have available first thing in the morning to prepare your breakfast? If you regularly rush out the door in the morning, find breakfast options that take 10 minutes to prepare, not 30.

What will fuel your daily activities? Maybe you need an extra dose of carbs in the morning for energy to run errands, or vegetables and fruit will suffice since you spend your day at the office.

Keep your personal taste preferences in mind. Which foods will you look forward to eating to ensure that you do actually take time out for breakfast? This one seems obvious, but many dieters make the mistake of forcing in foods that make them grimace.

Think about how various foods impact you. Eat a carb-dense breakfast one morning, and notice if you start to feel sleepy mid-day. If so, a lower carb breakfast may be a wiser choice.

Think about satiety. Will it be a long time before you eat lunch? If so, load your breakfast as full of fiber as possible to increase total digestion time.

Assess your body weight goals. Do you need to create a calorie deficit during breakfast? If so, a leaner option such as an egg white and vegetable omelette will be a smarter choice than a carb-filled bowl of cereal.

The Bottom Line

Taking the time to plan the right breakfast will be well worth your effort, no matter what your nutritional or weight-loss goals. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that you can stick with your diet plan and are going to move toward the results that you desire.

Remember that you don’t necessarily have to eat breakfast types of foods at your morning meal. You can just as easily eat other foods that you would normally enjoy for lunch or dinner, if you prefer. Look to international breakfasts for ideas on how to get creative with your morning meal.

Curried Chickpea & Veggie “Noodle” Salad

curried-chickpea

A light and healthy salad of vegetable “noodles”, chickpeas, and a creamy curry dressing. Vegan and gluten-free!

Prep Time 15 mins
Recipe type: Salad, Main
Cuisine: Indian

Serves: 2-3

Author: Angela @ Vegangela.com

Ingredients
  • 1 cup green cabbage, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, spiralized or julienned
  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized or julienned
  • ¼ cup green onions (or 1 clove garlic), chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro (or mint), chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • red chili flakes (optional)
Dressing
  • ⅓ cup tahini (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
  • 2-3 tbsp water (as needed)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix all dressing ingredients, adding just enough water to thin it out to a thick dressing consistency.
  2. Add veggies and chickpeas and mix until well-coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and red chili flakes (if using).

Kitchen Gadget

Roasted Corn & Zucchini Salad With Chili Lime Vinaigrette

zucchini

Grilled, charred corn is paired with spiraled zucchini, crisp red onion and tossed with a simple chili lime vinaigrette for a fresh, make ahead, summer salad!

PREP TIME 1o mins
COOK TIME 10 mins
TOTAL TIME 20 mins
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized with the smallest blade
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • Optional: Queso Fresco or Cojita
  • Salt and pepper to season corn

Vinaigrette:

  • .5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp honey
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Pull husks down on corn. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill until slightly charred.
  4. Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette; combine all ingredients and mix well. Toss with spiralized zucchini noodles , red onion and cheese, if using.
  5. When corn is done and cooled slightly. Cut kernels off. Top salad with corn and serve!

KITCHEN GADGET

 

Get Healthy: How To Remove Junk From Your Diet

fat-woman-eating-a-hamburger

Just as the name suggests junk food is junk. Junk food is full of calories that do absolutely nothing for your body. These are called empty calories because they have no or very little nutritional value. The truth is that most of these calories come from sugar and fats and they will do nothing but increase weight and body fat.

Junk food can also cause you to retain water which will make you feel bloated and sluggish. This causes you to feel tired instead of having the energy to get up and move around. The long term effects of eating junk food can be extreme from causing you to be overweight to causing the clogging of arteries that leads to heart attack.

Why do people love junk food? The truth is that our brains have very positive reactions to fatty and sugary foods. It induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that actually mimic the effects of powerful addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is no wonder that we need them.

How many people have cravings for spinach?

But, cravings for ice cream, chips, soda and cookies is a whole other matter. In order to overcome these perilous food addictions, you must retrain your body, change old habits and change tastes. It takes time and effort, but, it can be done.

Did you know that there are thousands of fitness conscious people who NEVER touch any junk food? Yes it’s really true!

Removing junk food from your diet is an important way to become proactive when it comes to your health.

How To Remove Junk Food From Your Diet

It starts with some common sense.

Many people say that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy food. Or they use the excuse that they just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.

First you will have to reprogram your taste buds to get used to eating healthy foods. You have been eating junk food all of your life, this is what your body is used to and what it will crave but it is up to you to retrain your body and your mind to crave healthy foods.

It is not cheaper to eat junk food!

Let’s forget about the fact that you will save thousands on medical bills by eating healthy and let’s look at what you are spending right now.

Potato Chips Versus Oranges

A bag of potato chips costs about $3.99 this will usually last a family of four one day, if that long.

Now let’s look at a bag of oranges. One bag of oranges costs about $4 on average. When you buy a bag of oranges you will get 8-10 oranges. This can make as many as 16 snacks which can last up to four days for a family of four.
Now you have to look at which you would rather your family or yourself eat.

Potato chips are loaded with fat, salt and a lot of calories. 1 ounce of Lays plain chips has 160 calories, 1 grams of fat and 170 grams of sodium (7% of daily allowance).

An orange has 0 fat, 0 salt and only 45 calories. Plus, it’s loaded with essential nutrients, like vitamin C (a whopping 85% of the daily recommended allowance), plus potassium and fiber.

When eating a bag of potato chips you may be watching television, letting all of that fat attach itself to your body, but, when you eat that orange, you are energized simply by the smell of it.

And, this is just one example of how junk food compares to healthier options. Next time you go to the market do some comparison shopping and you will see that the prices of healthy food are not so different from junk food.
There are also plenty of healthier snack options available that can fill kid’s lunch boxes with healthier alternatives.

Planning

It may take some planning when you are removing junk food from your diet, but, it is possible to eat healthy on the same budget you have right now.

Healthier Substitutions For Junk food

When you remove junk food from your diet you will find that you suffer from cravings. Here are a few substitutions you can use to get past the cravings.

• A square of dark chocolate instead of a chocolate candy bar
• Unsalted pretzels or no butter popcorn instead of chips
• Baked vegetable strips instead of chips
• Raw nuts instead of chips for a crunchy snack
• Plain yogurt with fruit, honey, or nuts instead of ice cream
• Flavored sparkling water instead of soda
• Fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies
• Raisins instead of candy
• Cherries instead of candy

Substituting In Recipes

There are also ways that you can alter your favorite recipes to create a healthier version. For example instead of using butter in your cakes and cookies you can create a healthier version by substituting the butter with apple sauce.

You can also use non-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise. If you are a real lover of mayonnaise than try replacing it with avocado on your sandwiches. It has the same texture and you never miss the empty calories of the mayonnaise.

Bottom Line

These are just a few things that you can do to remove the junk food from your diet. There are so many other options that you can do, but, rest assured it is possible to remove the junk food from your diet and replace it with much healthier alternatives. This will ensure your good health and the health of your family.