Healthy Diet Secrets: How To Go Paleo

You keep hearing about the Paleo diet, but do you know how to actually follow it? It’s not as scary as it might seem. Here’s how to go Paleo in a few steps.

When you first heard about people going Paleo, maybe you thought it was all about meat. The stereotype is that followers of the Paleo diet tend to eat like dinosaurs or cavemen – all meat, all the time, not much else.

But that’s not actually the case. The definition of the Paleo diet? Eating more protein and fiber than you are probably used to and getting healthier in the process.

In other words, you eat super healthy food in its whole state that you already know is really good for you, from protein to beef, chicken and fish to produce to healthy fats (think avocado and almond butter and olive oil).

You’re taking the whole gluten-free thing a whole step further and you’re not going to eat any grains whatsoever. And you’re definitely cutting out the typical junk food you’ve been used to eating.

If you want more energy and to just generally feel amazing every single day, which you probably do (because who wouldn’t?), then you definitely want to follow the Paleo diet.

But if you’re sad about saying goodbye to gluten-filled treats and sugar, don’t be. You might just find this whole Paleo diet is just what you need. Here’s how to go Paleo.

1) Throw out processed food

The first rule of going Paleo? You definitely overhaul your cupboard and fridge and throw out any and all processed foods. That goes for sugar, too.

You probably know that you shouldn’t eat processed food on a regular basis, but if you truly want to follow the Paleo diet, then you have to walk the talk.

Why do you want to avoid this stuff? Because processed food has tons of ingredients that you really don’t want to put into your body, from sugar to way too much salt.

The thing is that when you go Paleo, you have to rely on your own kitchen and your own cooking skills since you can’t exactly just heat up a box of processed tomato sauce and make a pot of pasta and call it a night.

But it doesn’t have to be hard. Make easy meals based on simple components like salmon, a sweet potato, and some broccoli and you’ll be good to go.

2) Rethink what you eat for breakfast

When people first go Paleo, they’re super confused about what to eat first thing in the morning. After all, you’re probably used to eating a pretty standard breakfast, from toast with peanut butter to a bowl of granola and milk.

But a Paleo breakfast is much different. It’s got more protein and healthy fats and less refined carbs (aka white bread). But don’t worry, you can definitely make a Paleo breakfast. Think eggs and steak or bacon with some sweet potatoes and greens. Easy.

If you think that you’re going to feel much better starting the day off this way, you’re absolutely right. And since you know you need breakfast to function and focus, that’s music to your ears.

3) Eat more protein

If you think that the Paleo diet is about protein, well, you’re totally right. But it’s about choosing the right proteins. A true Paleo diet plan includes a variety of protein sources from chicken to fish to beef, and the idea is that the beef should definitely be grass-fed (aka the animals feed on grass, not grains).

If that’s out of your budget, though, don’t worry – it’s generally believed that it’s okay to start smaller and buy what you can.

4) Focus on fat

Raw salmon steak and vegetables for cooking on a light wooden background in a rustic style

Unfortunately, we’ve been pretty terrified of fat since the 1980s. It’s like we’re all living in a horror movie and fat is the evil demon everyone is running from.

But we don’t have to be afraid of fat anymore. In fact, fat is totally your BFF. Go for avocado, nut butter (peanuts aren’t Paleo so you want to get into almond butter), nuts, and good quality oils like olive oil. Salmon counts too. As long as you include a fat source at each meal and learn the proper portions, you don’t have to worry about going overboard.

So why should you eat fat? You will not only feel better and have a great time focusing right now but the long-term health effects are pretty awesome, too: you can stop yourself from getting anything from dementia to mental health problems and heart disease.

5) Don’t forget carbs

The stereotype is definitely that following the Paleo diet means not eating any carbs at all. That couldn’t be more wrong.

Yeah, you’re not going to eat bread or pasta, but it turns out that veggies actually have carbs. Yes, really.

Potatoes (both white and sweet) totally count as healthy carbs, and Paleo people definitely go nuts over plantains and all kinds of squashes.

You can also work apples, blueberries, and bananas into your diet. Compare these stats: one sweet potato has 26 grams of carbs, one banana has 27, and 1 cup of blueberries has 21 grams.

Experts definitely agree that you need carbs in order to be healthy, since they help you with sleep and they keep you in a good mood and they help your thyroid, too.

But everyone is different so the best way for you to follow a Paleo diet is to see how many carbs work for you. You’ll know when you feel really good and energetic and just feel like it’s all working well.

6) Believe in the lifestyle

Beautiful young woman with organic carrots in a vegetable garden

Going Paleo is actually all about following a new healthy lifestyle. It’s not all about steak and bacon and eggs (although, of course, those foods totally are a part of it, too).

The idea of the Paleo diet is that you have to make it work for you. So that means there are tons of gray area foods, from dairy to rice. If you can eat those foods and feel good, then you should definitely eat them.

If you find they make you feel sick, then cut them out. Basically, listen to yourself and you’ll never be steered in the wrong direction.

Following the Paleo diet also means making sure you get enough sleep every single night. The cool part is that all these things totally work together.

So once you cut out the sugar and junk food from your diet and start eating whole foods that are really good for you, you will definitely naturally see a difference in your energy levels and how well you sleep.

But another huge part of being Paleo? That would be learning how to deal when you have a stressful time at work or something’s going on in your personal life.

Making a change in your lifestyle is always tough and tricky at first. You question whether you can really handle it or if you should go back to your old gluten-eating and pizza-loving ways.

But you can absolutely handle the Paleo diet because you can make decisions that work for you. And the truth is that once you see how great you feel, well, you won’t ever want to look back.

Do you follow a Paleo diet? Have you ever wanted to try it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

credits;youqueen

6 Quick And Easy Ways To Enjoy Avocado

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be thrilled to learn that avocado and sugar are a great combination; and if you’re not, salt goes just as well with avocado!

1. With salt or sugar

avocado

Add some sugar if you have a sweet tooth and salt if you prefer things more savory.

Here’s how to do it: Cut your avocado into two halves. Remove the seed. Cut the flesh from the two halves into smaller pieces, then put the chopped pieces in a bowl and sprinkle approximately half a tablespoon of sugar on them. If you opt for salt over sugar, add a bit of black pepper as well. When everything is ready, simply grab a spoon, sit back and enjoy your snack!

2. As a base for baked eggs

baked eggs in an avocado

For a heavier snack, you can try “baked eggs in avocado.”

Here’s how to make it: Slice an avocado in half, remove the seed and scoop out a bit of the flesh from each half to make some room for the egg. Then, break an egg into each half. Afterwards, place the avocado halves in a small baking dish. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and let the avocado halves bake for 20 minutes. When they are ready, season them with salt and pepper, and dig right in!

3. In a vegetable salad

avocado salad

I’m not a huge fan of salads, but I figured that adding avocado to them would make them more appealing—and it worked! My current favorite is avocado, lettuce and tomato.

Here’s how to make it: Along with one diced avocado, I use one or two diced tomatoes and 80g of shredded lettuce. Mix these in a bowl, and add a bit of salt, lemon juice and olive oil just to give it a bit of flavor. For the days when I’m a bit hungrier than usual, I add pieces of fried chicken to the mixture or eat the salad with three or four baked chicken wings. Yum!

4. With salmon

avocado and salmon on a toast

Salmon is another of my favorite healthy foods, and nothing goes better with it than avocadoes! When preparing my avocado and salmon meal, I start by cooking the salmon.

Here’s how to make it: First, I season my salmon fillet with a mixture of curry powder, ginger, paprika and flour, then shallow-fry it on the cooker or bake the coated salmon in the oven for about 15 minutes. While the salmon cooks, I slice my avocado into thin slices and sprinkle some salt, black pepper and olive oil onto the pieces. To complete the meal, I make a small cup of rice to go with it; when I want an alternative to rice, I have some roasted potatoes instead. This meal makes for a very tasty and filling lunch or dinner. Try it for yourself and see.

5. As a sandwich filling

poached eggs and toast

One of my favorite things about the flesh in an avocado is how soft it is. This makes it easy to mash, which means that it can be used in other ways, too.

Here’s how to use it: One of the easiest ways to use mashed avocado is as a spread for a sandwich! Forego your usual margarine one morning, and spread mashed avocado onto each slice of your bread instead. If you want a heavier sandwich, you can add a slice of ham, some salami or slices of boiled egg to your avocado sandwich as well. Wash it all down with a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.

6. As Guacamole

guacamole

Guacamole is another favorite of mine simply because it can be enjoyed with a wide range of things. Whether it’s a snack like tortilla chips or a heavier meal like burritos or fajitas, guacamole is one of the tastiest sides to go with it. It’s also quite filling, which reduces the number of tortilla chips I eat with it or the amount of other fillings I put in my burrito and fajita wraps; it also reduces how much I eat afterwards.

Here’s how I make my favorite guacamole recipe: I mix mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, salt and black pepper together. For something a bit spicier, I add some paprika or salsa sauce to the mix.

How do you prefer to eat your avocados? What are your favorite avocado recipes? Share them below to give other queens even more ideas on how to enjoy avocados.

source:youqueen

5 Healthy Smoothies You Need To Try

It’s never been easier to be vegan now that everybody seems to be doing their bit. Here are five vegan smoothies that are both tasty and cruelty free!

There’s no denying that many people are beginning to face facts about where their food actually comes from; people are waking up to the shocking truths behind the meat and dairy industry and are now making the switch to a vegan lifestyle.

There’s also no denying that many people are starting to eat more healthily and be kinder to their bodies. The good news is you can do both with these delicious, dairy-free smoothies.

Not only are smoothies a great way to get some extra goodness into your diet, but they are also refreshingly cool on a hot day and make a great on-the-go snack for busy queens!

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I use coconut or almond.)
– 1 TS Peanut Butter (heaped, smooth or crunchy)
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Handful of Kale/Spinach (Optional)
– Ice (Optional)

Health Benefits: Peanut butter is high in protein and fiber, and contains healthy fats. The kale and spinach add extra goodness without altering the taste of the smoothie. In particular, kale is a superfood that is full of antioxidants, low in calories, high in fiber and contains no fat.

Drink when… you need an extra energy boost, substituting a meal for a smoothie as it fills you up or as a post-workout snack.

The Great Green Smoothie

The Great Green Smoothie

– 1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened) / Coconut Water
– 1 Big Handful of Kale (washed)
– ½ Medium Avocado
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Handful of Grapes (peeled if possible)
– ¼ Cucumber (sliced)
– Ice

Health Benefits: This is just about the healthiest smoothie you can drink! Kale is full of fiber and antioxidants. Avocados contain healthy fats; they lower cholesterol and are also full of fiber (and have many other health benefits).

Bananas are full of potassium, which helps to keep your heart healthy, and chia seeds are great little seeds of goodness providing energy, protein and omega-3.

Drink when… you wake up to start your day off right.

Red Berry Smoothie

Red Berry Smoothie

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk / Coconut Water
– 1 Big Handful of Raspberries (frozen)
– 1 Big Handful of Pitted Cherries (frozen or fresh)
– 2 Handfuls of Strawberries
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Ice
– Chia Seeds (Optional)

Health Benefits: This smoothie has four different. Raspberries are quite low in sugar, and they are full of vitamin C. Cherries contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and have been shown to aid sleep as they contain the natural sleep aid melatonin.

Drink when… you’re craving a mid-afternoon snack, or you’re struggling to fit in all of your recommended daily fruit.

Refreshing Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

Refreshing Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

– 1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened) / Pineapple/Mango Fruit Juice
– 1 Banana Broken (chunked)
– 2 Large Handfuls of Mango (frozen)
– 1 Large Handful of Pineapple (frozen)
– 1 Handful of Papaya (frozen)
– Ice (if using fresh fruit)

Health Benefits: Mangoes are known to have an abundance of health benefits, so why wouldn’t you want to put them in a smoothie?

They help to keep cholesterol low, contain lots of vitamins C and A, help to unclog pores—which means clearer skin—and they can even help with poor concentration.

Mangoes and bananas both contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart.

Drink when… you want a refreshingly cool snack on a hot summer’s day.

The Classic Strawberry and Banana

The Classic Strawberry and Banana

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk / Coconut Water
– 1½ Bananas (chunked)
– 5-10 Large Strawberries (to taste)
– Ice
– Grapes (peeled if possible, optional)
– Chia Seeds (optional)

Health Benefits: Bananas are full of potassium, which is good for a healthy heart. They are also a wonderful source of energy, while strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. This smoothie is also low in fat and relatively low in calories.

Drink when… you want a snack, or when you’re craving a strawberry milkshake but would rather have a healthier, dairy free alternative.

Has anyone tried any of these? What did you think? Do you have a favorite non-dairy smoothie recipe not featured on this list that you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

credits: youqueen

5 Quick and Easy Veggie Recipes

 

If you’re a vegetarian or just a veggies lover learn how to easily make these 5 awesome veggie dishes! Lots of people don’t even acknowledge a dish if it doesn’t have meat in it. But don’t be quick to judge these 5 dishes based on the fact they’re simply based exclusively on vegetables.

Try one or some of these and see how a healthier option for a lunch or dinner meal can taste just as amazing as your regular meat packed meal.

1. Vegetable Chowder

Ingredients (for 7 servings):

  • 1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of margarine
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 cup of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, sauté the pepper and onions in butter or margarine until tender.
  2. Add remaining vegetables, water, bouillon, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Combine flour and milk until smooth; stir into pan. Bring the soup to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Mix in the parsley.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the cheese until melted.

*Hot Tip:

Make this a vegetarian dish by using vegetable bouillon cubes instead of the chicken ones.

2. Vegetable Slaw

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

  • 3 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 5 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup of fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the cabbage mixture; toss to coat evenly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

*Hot Tip:

Use the vegetables you like and don’t follow the list blindly to make it more to your liking.

3. Vegetable Focaccia

vegetable focaccia

Ingredients (for 12 servings):

  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 package of quick-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil

Topping ingredients:

  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup of sliced ripe olives
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons if cornmeal

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper, olives, onion, oil, vinegar and seasonings.
  3. Coat a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough into pan. Prick dough generously with a fork. Bake at 475 degrees F for 5 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
  4. Cover with vegetable mixture.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes longer or until edges of crust are golden.

*Hot Tip:

Add a bit of pizza sauce and cheese in the topping to make it more pizza-like.

4. Roasted Vegetables

source

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, zucchini and red pepper. Combine the remaining ingredients; drizzle over vegetables. Stir to coat.
  2. Transfer to an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until tender.

*Hot Tip:

Whichever vegetables you chose to exclude from the recipe it’ll taste just as good – it’s the seasoning that makes this dish taste beautiful.

5. Pasta with Vegetables

vegetables pasta

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets, lightly steamed or blanched
  • 4 cups of uncooked rotini pasta

Directions:

  1. Mix together the oil, vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; add rotini and bring to a boil again. Cook until rotini is al dente; drain well. Return the rotini to the pot.
  3. While rotini is cooking heat oil in a frying pan and sauté red bell pepper, green bell pepper, garlic and carrots. Cook until vegetables are softened. Place the broccoli in the frying pan and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the cooked vegetables into the pot with the pasta. Pour the vinaigrette over the pasta and vegetables. Toss to distribute vegetables and vinaigrette evenly.

There you have it, 5 amazing dishes made almost entirely out of healthy veggies. Enjoy, and let us know how you liked them!

7 Healthy Dinner Recipes – Your Key to a Balanced Diet

Do you often get stuck while trying to plan your ultimate meal of the day? This small list of dinner ideas is composed to help you feel satisfied and ready for several hours of solid and beneficial nighttime rest.

Nowadays, we have quite an astonishing number of diet choices and ready-made diet plans available – you can choose whether to go Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, South Beach…However, as any nutritionist will tell you, some basic principles of healthy and balanced dieting never change, like the time-honored rule of keeping your last meal of the day as light and easy on your digestive system as possible.
In this article, we bring you seven carefully selected and easy to make healthy dinner recipes, taking into account our belief that a healthy dinner should consist of proteins and vegetables, altogether banning harmful and difficult-to-digest combinations (such as carbs and proteins, fruits for dessert, etc.) and preparing your body for nighttime rest. We have included a selection of different “super-foods” in the mix – starting from good old chicken, to quinoa and edamame.
Before we begin, remember one more thing: have your dinner at least a couple of hours before bedtime! Our metabolism tends to slow down during sleep, many enzymes stop being active and the food remains undigested for a long period of time, which in turn leads to fat accumulation, and eventually, after years of poor nutrition, to more serious conditions.
Healthy dinner recipe #1: White mushrooms and chicken salad
Cesar salad with roasted chicken.
Make this simple and delicious salad a weekly item on your dinner menu, or just put it together quickly whenever you want something hunger curbing and satisfying – it is easy enough, and has all the protein and fiber you need!
Ingredients:
1 pound chicken breasts
3 eggs
½ pound marinated white mushrooms
pickles
lettuce
low-fat sour cream
mustard
parsley
salt
pepper
olive oil
Preparation:

Start with boiling the chicken breast. Once it’s done, chop it into small pieces. Drain the white mushrooms of extra marinade and chop them into slices. Grate the pickles, wash and shred the lettuce. Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs, after which you should leave them in some cold water to cool down for a few minutes.
Peel the eggs and cut two of them into little cubes, and leave the third one for decoration later. Cut the parsley into tiny pieces. In a separate container, mix sour cream, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper, until you get an even dressing. Join all the previously prepared ingredients in a deeper bowl and pour the dressing over. Stir the entire salad lightly. Finally, place the salad into a serving bowl and decorate it with egg slices.
Healthy dinner recipe #2: Baked zucchini salad.

Here is another ultra-light and savory salad, which is also vegetarian and vegan-friendly. It could also be served as a side dish for lunch, but it is more than enough on its own for dinner. Good to know: Aside from being packed with dietary fiber and useful nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, folic acid and beta-carotene, zucchini have very high water content and are very low in calories.

Ingredients:

  • 7 medium-sized zucchini
  • salt
  • parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • lemon juice
  • two chili peppers
  • olive oil

Preparation: Peel the zucchini and cut them up into slices. Sprinkle the zucchini with some salt and leave them aside for a while to drain. Cut up the garlic into small pieces, and do the same with parsley leaves after washing them. Mix the garlic, parsley and lemon juice together into a tasty salad dressing. Next, cut up the chili peppers and fry them briefly using a teaspoon of olive oil, in order to enhance the aroma and spiciness.

Pat the zucchinis dry with a towel or drain away the liquid using a colander, and fry them briefly using a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Finally, use a deeper bowl to line up the salad layers: start by placing a layer of zucchinis, sprinkle it with the dressing followed by chili peppers, and repeat this until you’ve used up all the ingredients. You can serve the salad while it’s still hot or wait for it to cool down.

Healthy dinner recipe #3: Cold yogurt soup with celery and mint

A bowl of cold yogurt and cucumber soup with garlic and fresh mint

Have you started growing your own mint, by any chance? Use the aromatic fresh leaves for lovely cold soup. It is tasty, refreshing, and very easy to make. You will prepare it in no time; it’ll just take a while to cool off. Much has been said and written about the health benefits of celery – it’s full of antioxidants and very low in caloric value, to mention just the main ones.

Ingredients:

  • A couple of celery leaves (with stalks)
  • two scallions
  • one small onion
  • one vegetable bouillon cube
  • a cup of various frozen or fresh diced vegetables to your liking
  • 1.5 fl oz of yogurt
  • 3 table spoons of cottage cheese
  • garlic
  • several fresh mint leaves
  • olive oil

Preparation: Dice celery and scallion sticks into tiny pieces. Do the same with the onion. Place these three ingredients into a pan over a little heated olive oil, and cook for around five minutes. Add vegetable bullion to the mix and wait until it boils. After that, add a cup of your chosen vegetables. Leave it to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool down for a bit, and then process it in your blender until it turns into mash.

Throw in the mint leaves, and then leave the mixture in your fridge for an hour until it cools down completely. Process the yogurt and cottage cheese together in a blender, and add garlic to your liking. Serve chilled soup in plates or small bowls, with cheese and yogurt dressing poured on top and sprinkled with fresh mint.

Healthy dinner recipe #4: Lemon-thyme chicken with sautéed vegetables

Grilled vegetables and chicken fillet

This aromatic and appetizing chicken dish is a perfect choice when you’re having guests over for dinner, or you want to impress that special someone with your cooking skills, and still stay on track when it comes to light and healthy dining. This quantity is enough for four servings. Good to know: Edamame (which is a fancy name for boiled green soybeans) is a yummy soy snack packed with fibers, proteins and vitamin and mineral content, originating from the cuisines of East Asia.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • salt; pepper (any kind you prefer)
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation: In a zip lock bag, combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garlic, and 2 teaspoons thyme; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chicken tenders, seal the bag, and gently turn to coat. Set aside. The next step is heating 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, remaining garlic, edamame, and tomatoes; cook for 4 minutes.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into long ribbons. Add zucchini and remaining lemon juice and thyme to vegetables in skillet; sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, stir in feta, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Finally, add remaining oil to skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and sauté 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve with vegetables.

Healthy dinner recipe #5: Roasted garlic cauliflower

Source

Roasted or raw, cauliflower is renowned for its richness in anti-oxidants, fiber and vitamins, and its anti-inflammatory and potential cancer-fighting properties. Try this simple and tasty meal for your dinner and add spices and herbs to your liking. This recipe makes for six servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Healthy dinner recipe #6: Toasted quinoa and seafood salad

Source

There is a good reason why the whole world is crazy about quinoa: this Latin American grain has the perfect balance of nine essential amino acids which are necessary for human consumption. This is rarely encountered in plants and is more common in meat. In addition to this, quinoa is packed with fiber and iron, and is fairly low in caloric value.

The golden rule for cooking quinoa is – a cup of quinoa is cooked with 2 cups of water. Cook it until the water boils, and then lower the heating temperature until it soaks up all the water (15-20 minutes). Due to its neutral taste, quinoa can be combined with almost anything. We bring you a delicious salad which can be served both as warm and cool.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound seafood variety (you can use chicken instead, or tofu for a vegan-friendly dish)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red pepper cut into slices
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt, pepper

Preparation: Wash quinoa thoroughly, than drain it and set it aside. Preheat the oil on a medium temperature and add quinoa in order to toast it lightly. Stir frequently. After 5-6 minutes, add red pepper slices, shallot and garlic, and fry it briefly along with frequent stirrings. Once the shallots turn golden brown, add peas, green beans and water. Stir it and place a lid over the skillet. Don’t stir until all the water evaporates.

After that, remove the skillet from the stove. Heat up sesame oil on medium temperature and add seafood (or your preferred substitute). If you are using frozen seafood, dump them in boiling salty water beforehand and cook them for five minutes and drain them. Season them with cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic and fry them for five minutes.

Add the quinoa-vegetable mix and stir everything together thoroughly. Remove from the stove, add soy sauce to taste and serve warm. You can refrigerate any leftovers and eat them within a day.

Healthy dinner recipe #7: Oven-roasted flounder with bok choy, cilantro, and lime

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Finally, it’s time to bring some savory white fish into the mix. Needless to say, fish is always a good choice for any meal, and this recipe makes for a hearty, indulging meal seasoned with all the right herbs and spices to create a simple, yet memorable dining experience.

Ingredients:

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • salt, black pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (2-3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 4 4-ounce fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2 inch thick)

Preparation: Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 400°. Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoon oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch.

Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Add sake. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Pour sake sauce from skillet into the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, dividing evenly.

Add bok choy to each bowl, dividing evenly; top each bowl with 1 fish fillet. Spoon some cilantro-lime sauce over fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve remaining cilantro-lime sauce alongside for drizzling.

There you have it! Nobody ever said you couldn’t eat a satisfying and tasty meal for dinner and keep calories to a minimum.

4 Simple But Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Weight Loss That Really Work

Healthy breakfast recipes can keep you filled up all morning, give you the energy you need for the day, and keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for your overall health and for weight loss! Check out these healthy breakfast recipes that will rev up your metabolism, fill you up, and help keep your weight under control.

Chances are, you’ve heard it said many times that you should never skip a good breakfast. This is not just empty hype but a very important consideration, especially for those looking to lose weight! What you eat for breakfast can affect your metabolism, your appetite, your energy levels, and your overall weight. When you wake up, your blood sugar is low and your stomach is empty, so you need to have a healthy breakfast to give you energy and get your metabolism moving. Consider the best simple breakfast recipes for weight loss.

#1 Oatmeal

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Despite what many people think, not all carbohydrates are bad for weight loss, and having the right carbs can mean more energy, better digestion, and a healthy weight. Many healthy breakfast recipes include complex carbohydrates, which come from fiber and whole grains.  Fiber fills you up so you’re less hungry between meals and it aids in digestion, making it a great food for weight loss.  If you’re looking for tips on how to lose weight with complex carbohydrates, consider oatmeal for breakfast.

Oatmeal is actually a very low calorie, high fiber food that can keep you feeling full all morning. The only drawback with oatmeal is all the sugary toppings most people add to it! Avoid oatmeal packets and make your own, as packets usually have lots of extra sugar and calories. Cook plain instant oatmeal with one cup oats to two cups boiling water. Once cooked, add half a tablespoon of honey along with cinnamon to taste, or a quarter cup of your favorite berries. Brown sugar and maple syrup, two favorites for oatmeal, are just empty calories, so avoid these and stick to healthier choices.

#2 Protein Shakes

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Making your own protein shakes is always a better option than buying premade varieties, as you can control what you add to each recipe and avoid extra sugar and unhealthy preservatives. Using a good blender, start with one cup almond or soy milk and add 1/4 cup instant oatmeal for bulk and for fiber.

To this, you can add one scoop of any low-calorie, low-carbohydrate vanilla protein powder; this should be no more than 180 calories and 8 grams of carbs per scoop. Add one cup of your favorite berries and blend with ice.

An alternative would be to use a chocolate flavored protein powder and add one tablespoon of peanut butter and one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend with ice.

These protein shakes can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Keep them in the blender carafe and blend them for another minute in the morning to mix thoroughly, and enjoy! Get creative with your own recipes, changing up the berries you try and other ingredients, for a healthy breakfast you can have on the run.

#3 Yogurt Parfaits

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