Monday, August 17, 2009

More Delicious Healthy Snacks/Foods

After going to a body building competition in Vegas at the end of July and seeing all these ridiculously tight and sculpted bodies I was motivated to step up my game and eat healthier. First things first, I stopped eating carbs other than fruits, veggies, oatmeal and rice, second I stopped eating cheese. I know what some of you are thinking, "But I looooove cheese!" Do you love your belly fat too? Now, I am not saying "hey everybody I did it so you should too." I'm also not saying I'm never going to eat bad carbs or cheese ever again (Every once and a while a slice of pizza or a burrito is inevitable ;) ) But I am saying, think about it. If you're not willing to cut these things out completely, at least consider reducing your daily/weekly intake of these foods. I promise you will notice a difference in how you look and feel pretty quickly.

So! Here are some RANDOM ideas for DELICIOUS foods and ways to prepare your food that are extremely enjoyable and will assuage the absence of bad carbs and cheese in your daily life :)

1. Black bean and mango salad-I cannot take credit for this, my awesome soon-to-be roommate Maria introduced me to this at the beach last month.
Black beans (rinse them off if canned)
diced mango
chopped red onion and your favorite peppers (red, green, yellow, orange...yummm)
cilantro to taste
garlic to taste
lime to taste
*diced tomato optionial

How to eat it...
Over a green salad solo or with chicken or steak
I cooked a chicken burger this afternoon and topped it with this salad-AMAZING!
If you're not cutting out the bad carbs you can treat it as a salsa with chips

2. Healthier twist on veggies and dip...ditch the creamy based dips for some hummus
dip broccoli, peppers, carrots, cucumbers or etc in hummus, I recommend Sabra, it's my favorite

3. Walnut oil...I recently read an article that talked about Walnut and other nut based oils being better for cooking because of the way they respond to heat-while olive oil is better for dressings and other room temperature recipes. I am always an advocate of diversifying any diet and trying not to eat or use the same foods/ingredients more than once a day or everyday for that matter. Remember, in every context the body needs change.

4. Turbo broiler!!! Years ago I got one of these as a gift-probably one of the best gifts I ever received. I get annoyed when I bake or sautee meat or fish and it comes out dry. My cooking skills apparently are not developed enough to figure out how to stop this from happening. But I don't need to because the turbo broiler does it for me!!! It may take a little longer than cooking things on the stove-but the juiciness of the food is totally worth the wait.

5. Hard-boiled simple we sometimes forget. Inspired my friend Sandy I started hard-boiling some eggs in the beginning of the week and leaving them in the fridge (she recommends soaking them in cold water so they cool faster, and peeling them before storing them in the fridge in a ziploc bag). Easy snack and full of protein. If you're watching cholesterol ditch the yolk! Another benefit is that they are easily transportable for those of you on the run.

6. Adobo...makes everything taste better :) You can find it in the international foods aisle at the grocery store. It comes in a variety of flavors and there is a "light" option that's lower in sodium. Lots of time when dieting or eating healthy we settle for less flavor in our foods as well. A little spice never killed anyone, but savory foods ameliorate the dieting/eating healthy resentment we sometimes feel.

*Note if Adobo isn't your thing spend a little time in the spice aisle at your grocery store and try out a few that sound good to you. Last time I was in A&P I was taken aback by all the options and flavors! Sprinkling a little spice usually adds fewer calories than most marinades just pay attention to the sodium because some spices have salt mixed in.

7. Non-Dairy milk options. There are lots of options when it comes to milk that do not involve cows! I have a predilection for almond milk (great in protein shakes, oatmeal and cereal) but there are also other nut milks, soy milk, hemp milk and etc. Click on "non dairy milk options" above to check out the options. Some come sweetened or unsweetened, plain, vanilla or chocolate...and still offer a good amount of protein and healthy dose of fat.

8. Protein Pancakes! This is not the worst source of carbs if you buy whole wheat pancake mix. Follow the normal recipe (feel free to sub egg whites for real egg if you like and any of the above milk options for regular or skim milk as well) and I like to throw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you want to get really creative here are some other delicious add in options:
apples and cinnamon
oatmeal and cinnamon

While they can be tasty enough on their own if you MUST have syrup opt for a lite or sugar free choice for less calories :)

9. Egg White Frittata. I have to thank my mom for this one she made it for me when I was home last weekend! Takes 20 minutes and it's delicious.

Directions: Coat a pie dish with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.
Pre heat oven to 375
Mix ingredients in pie dish
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until egg is thoroughly cooked

Ingredients (these are only my suggestions, you can vary according to your taste)
Egg Whites
Fresh Spinach leaves chopped
Diced tomatoes
chopped onion
low fat or fat free cheese is optional
garlic powder and oregano to taste

*not a fan of spinach? sub broccoli or peppers

10. Baked Sweet Potato Fries. My mom was on fire last weekend, she introduced me to this one also (via my Aunt Nancy). This one is also extremely easy and DELICIOUS! Low maintenance + healthy = ideal combination :)

Peel sweet potato and chop into slices (any length is fine, I prefer about 1/4" thick but that's totally up to you)
Toss the slices in a bowl with olive or canola oil
*Salt and pepper or other spices optional
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned

**The trick, be sure to flip them at 10 minutes

Do you have any particularly healthy ways of preparing foods? favorite recipes? or other "go to" products for eating well? Share them with us by commenting or emailing me at