Eat your broccoli

Hi guys,
You parents knew what was up! Remember them telling you to eat your broccoli? 

Well they were right, once again!

  
These guys are a powerhouse of nutrients, they benefit digestion, cardiovascular system and immune system and also have anti inflammatory properties and may prevent certain cancers!

They are also low in sodium, fat free and low calories!

Nutritional profile:

– high in fiber, vitamin C, B6, A and potassium 

– packed with photochemicals (immune system protector) and antioxidants (cell protectors and cancer preventers)

– also contains magnesium, phosphorus,zinc and iron

  
Health benefits:

– cancer prevention 

– cholesterol reduction

– detoxification 

– heart health

– eye health

– digestion

– anti-inflammatory 
Facts:

– originated in Italy in around the sixth century BC

– name comes from broccolo, Italian for the flower on top of the cabbage, the word is derived from Latin brachium meaning branch or arm

– came to France in 1560 and was called Italian asparagus

– Thomas Jefferson loved it and imported it!

– George W bush was not a fan and Barack Obama confessed to loving it

– California produces 90 % of the broccoli grown in the United States 

– the average American only eats 4 lbs a year
Ciao for now, go eat broccolo

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fast and easy homemade turkey burgers 

hi guys,

Homemade is always better then anything processed and available at the store!

You are not the cooking type? You don’t have time?
No problem here is how it’s done!

1/ buy ground turkey (organic is always a better choice 40 oz makes about 10 burgers) fresh cilantro( smallest amount) 2 eggs and blue cheese crumbles (or feta if you do not like blue)

2/ dice up the cilantro and open the turkey

3/  separate the white from the eggs

4/ mix all the ingredients together with the egg whites

5/ make burgers with your hands the size you like 

  

6/ cook in a pan with coconut oil at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked 

  
7/ freeze the rest if needed

8/ enjoy! 

  
Ciao for now!

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What you REALLY need to know about labels!

Hi guys,

“all natural”, “whole grains”, “fat free” and more are labels that we see every day at the grocery stores but what does it really mean?

Be aware of what the manufacturers put on their box and read the labels before you buy, you will be surprised! They want to get your attention and get you to buy their products under very poorly regulated guidelines, here is what you really need to know!

“Natural”


The word “natural” is not regulated by the FDA and is very misleading. “natural” brings to mind thoughts of fresh, minimally processed and healthy foods, but it means nothing about a food’s nutritional content, ingredients, or health effects. Almost all packaged foods are processed in some way.

Natural potato chips will use real potatoes (instead of flakes) but like regular potato chips, they are still a high-fat food choice with little nutritional content.

Natural candy may be sweetened using cane juice (instead of white sugar), but it can still contribute  to weight gain when eaten in excess.

“Made with Real Fruit” and “Contains Real Fruit Juice”


You see “made with real fruits” on fruit snacks, cereals, and fruit drinks. There is no law that requires how much real fruit has to be in a food that uses this claim, the sugary treat could contain just one blueberry or one drop of fruit juice to be accurate.

When high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar are listed as the first ingredients, you know that the “real fruit” content of the product isn’t significant. This is sugary junk food that is trying to masquerade as healthy fruit drinks.

“Whole Grains”

This is one of the most popular marketing claims and definitely the most confusing. Today we see “whole grain” logos on almost all  products, including most sugary cereals.

In reality, refined and highly bleached white flour with a touch of whole wheat added in can be listed as “whole grain.”

Food manufacturers can by law use the term “whole grain” no matter how much whole wheat the product contains.

  • “Made with Whole Grains”: All it needs is one tiny bit of whole grains to use this claim, which means nothing for your health benefits.
  • “Wheat flour” or “100 percent wheat”: Again, this is a ploy that tries to fool consumers. You want to look for “whole wheat flour” not just the word “wheat.”
  • “Multigrain”: This doesn’t explain if the grains are refined or whole, just that there is more than one type of grain. Multigrain has no proven health benefits, especially if all those grains are refined, and they probably are.
  • “Whole grain”: This term is also misleading, because whole grains can contain various blends of grains that are refined. You want to avoid words like enriched and bleached on the ingredients label, only trust the term “100 percent whole grain” to be the healthier choice.

When it comes to grain-based foods, you can’t trust the words on the front of the package.

Look at the ingredients list every time, looking for keywords like “whole wheat flour” to be FIRST on the list.

Additives like sugar and CORN SYRUP shouldn’t appear in the top of the ingredients list of a so called healthy food.

Be aware that manufacturers won’t necessarily call their processed flours “refined” on the label. Anything that is listed as corn, rice, wheat, or oat flour IS processed and refined unless it specifically tells you that it is “whole”.

“Fat Free”


“Fat free” food labels may also make you  believe these are healthy selections. Sometimes this can be helpful  especially when choosing skim milk over higher fat varieties. But read the labels, when a meat label announces 90% fat free, it sounds like a healthy choice since only 5 percent of it is fat. But fat contains a lot of calories, so check out the nutrition facts label for the actual number of calories and fat grams per serving, especially if you are trying to lose weight!

“Zero Trans Fats”


Thanks to recent media attention, you surely know that trans fat are really bad for you!

Experts recommend that we avoid trans fats, which are created when oils are hydrogenated (combined with hydrogen) during food processing. But you can’t trust a product’s claim of zero trans fats, nor can you trust the nutrition facts label on this one.

If the words “partially hydrogenated” appear in it at all, then the food DOES contain trans fats. But thanks to labeling guidelines, any food that contains 0.5 grams or less of a nutrient can be listed as zero grams on the nutrition facts label…Just stay away!

I hope this helps you navigate your supermarket aisles better and gives you an idea of what the manufacturers are trying to accomplish by flashing these purely false labels in front of you!

Have a great day!

Ciao for now

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Amaranth pancakes

Hi guys,

Amaranth is packed with amino acids, fiber, iron, calcium and magnesium.

Ground into a flour, it’s easily worked into a variety of gluten-free foods.

Combined with white whole-wheat flour and blended with honey to balance out amaranth’s grassy notes, it makes textured but light whole-grain pancakes.

First cultivated in Central America, amaranth typically top lists of South American “super foods” alongside quinoa.

With pre-Columbian roots stretching back 5,000+ years, it knows something about going long.

Amaranth Pancakes Recipe

Amaranth Pancakes
Makes 12 4-inch pancakes

1/2 cup amaranth flour
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 egg, well beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons honey
Butter or oil, for greasing

Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Separately, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, egg and melted butter. Pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine, do not overmix. Allow batter to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a pan or cast-iron skillet over medium until hot. Brush lightly with butter or oil. Spoon the batter (about 1/4 cup) onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles appear along the surface, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, 1-2 additional minutes. The pancakes should be neither too dark nor too pale. Adjust the heat as needed so that they brown evenly. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with honey or syrup and topped with fruit with additional nutritional benefit like blueberries, blackberries or pomegranates.

Courtesy of http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/home.html

Find amaranth flour here 

Have a great breakfast!

Ciao for now!

Cut you risk of heart attack and stroke in half

Hi guys,

 

Wanna cut your risk of stroke or heart attack in half by reducing your blood pressure? 

It is important to reduce your blood pressure by reducing your sodium intake by making better food choices.

It is important to choose low sodium foods but some suggests (Lowe your blood pressure naturally Rodale 2014) to choose foods also high in at least two of the three power minerals : calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Find a list of 13 well balanced foods below:

 

PROTEINS:

WHITE BEANS:

1 cup 13% of daily calcium, 30 % of magnesium and 24% of potassium

 

QUINOA:

1/2 cup cooked 2% of daily calcium, 15% magnesium and 5% potassium

PORK TENDERLOIN:

3 oz 6% of daily magnesium and 15% of potassium

FAT-FREE PLAIN YOGURT

1 cup 49% of daily calcium, 12% of magnesium and 18% of potassium

TILAPIA

4 oz 8% of daily magnesium and 8% of potassium

 

VEGETABLES:

RED BELL PEPPER:

1 cup raw 1% of daily calcium, 4 % of magnesium and 9 % of potassium

KALE:

1 cup raw or cooked 9% of daily calcium, 6 % of magnesium and 9% of potassium

BROCCOLI:

1 Cup cooked 6% of daily calcium, 8% of magnesium and 14% of potassium

SWEET POTATO

1 medium with skin 4% of daily calcium, 8% of magnesium and 15% of potassium

 

FRUITS:

 

BANANA:

1 Medium 1% of daily calcium, 8% of magnesium and 12% of potassium

Kiwi:

1 fruit 2% of daily calcium, 7% of magnesium and 9% of potassium

 

PEACH OR NECTARINE:

1 medium 1% of daily calcium, 3% of magnesium and 8% of potassium

AVOCADO:

1/2 fruit 1% of daily calcium, 5% of magnesium and 10% of potassium

Happy heart attack reducing!

 

Ciao for now!

 

How we make food decisions

Hi guys,

 

How do you decide what to eat?

You know what you should eat but how do you make the final decision and is it always the right decision?

Our environment is totally against us as our society encourages poor food decisions by putting drive through serving high calories and large portions food like items, at every corner.

Our personal home environment also encourages poor food decision:

Bottom line on this: The decision is ultimately yours when it comes to food decisions but the odds are stacked against you.

Be mindful of your environment and take proper actions…change your drive to work to avoid all food chains drive through, keep all candies and sugary smacks hidden because if you don’t see them, you won’t eat them, downsize your portions (do not fill up the plate) and your glasses (unless you are drinking water), stay away from coworkers and friends that eat unhealthy stuff, bring your food prepared by you from home to work so you won’t have to worry about eating out!

 

Our food decisions are also made out of habits. About 40% of our daily actions are habits (Neal, Wood & Quinn 2006)…habits are time savers default behaviors that can summed up on three steps:

  • Cue is an alert sent to your brain to go into autopilot and can be time…noon=lunch, locations or emotions related.
  • Routine is the action taken to satisfy the urge
  • Reward like biting into that heavenly chocolate donut  is the worst as it tells your brain to remember and repeat the behavior in order to get that heavenly reward!

So how do you change your habits and how do you change them from bad habits to good habits?

Well the first step is being aware!

Be aware of the bad habits and what triggers it..is it an emotion? a location? a time?

Once you have figured it out, it seems to be easier to change the habit from a bad on to a good than trying to eliminate the habit.

For example, if you get up in the morning and you drink a sugary drink, it is probably a time related habit which might be hard to suppress…instead go for a healthier drink maybe a sugar free one and slowly work your way onto a healthy habit of drinking water when you get up!

 

If you eat when you are bored, it is related to an emotion. When you feel the emotion coming, go for a walk instead of reaching in the pantry for chocolate. Go around the block a few times and by the time you come back, you would have tricked your brain out of boredom!

 

Hope you enjoyed those few tips on habits!

Stay tuned for more life savings tips!

Ciao for now!

 

Surprisingly satisfying

Hi guys,

Here are some salads recipes that you will love!

 

Arugula, blueberry and corn salad

4 side salads or 2 main dishes

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 15 mimutes

Ingredients:

4 corn on the cob, shucked

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

5 oz arugula

6 oz fresh blueberries

1/2 small red onion thinly sliced

1 log goat cheese sliced into 8 rounds

  • Heat grill or pan. Slightly brush with olive oil. Grill corn 15 minutes, turning several times and until lightly charred. Slice kernels off cob.
  • Whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard and 1/4 tsp of salt. Toss with corn, arugula, blueberries, onion and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Place two goat cheese rounds on each side salads or four on each main dish salads.

Per serving or side salad: 245 calories, 14 g of fat, 9 g of proteins, 27 g of carbs, 4 g fiber. 438 mg of sodium, 13 mg cholesterol

 

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Citrusy salmon salad

4 side salads or 2 main dishes

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 6 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lbs skin on salmon fillets

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice plus 2 tsp zest

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

10 oz of frozen peas thawed

6 cups watercress

5 oz mesclun

1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

  • Pat salmon dry and season with 1/4 tsp of salt and the pepper. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Place fillets skin side up in pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook 3 more minutes for medium. Cool slightly on a plate then cover and refrigerate until cold.
  • In a large bowl, whisk remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mustard and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Remove salmon from fridge and flake into large pieces with a fork discarding the skin. Gently toss salmon in bowl with peas, watercress, mesclun and sunflower seeds.

Per serving or side salad: 428 calories, 24 g of fat, 39 g of protein, 16 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, 714 mg of sodium, 81 mg of cholesterol

 

Grilled fruits salad

12 servings

Prep 30 minutes

Grill 18 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups mango, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups watermelon cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups strawberries trimmed

2 bananas peeled

1 lime halved

1/3 cups pepitas

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium. Skewer mango, pineapple and watermelon pieces and strawberries about 12 skewers. Grill half the skewers for 3 minutes. Turn and grill 3 more minutes. Repeat with second batch of skewers. Grill bananas 3 minutes, turn and grill another 3 minutes. Grill half limes cut side down for 3 minutes
  • Slices bananas and place in a bowl with fruits (removed from skewers). Juice lime and pour over fruits. Gently toss with pepitas, salt and cayenne pepper. Serve warm.

Per serving: 83 calories, 2 g of fat, 2 g of proteins, 17 g carbs, 2 g of fiber, 27 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol

 

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Cherry tomato bruschetta

Makes 16 bruschetta

Prep 20 minutes

Grill 3 minutes

Ingredients:

1 loaf italian whole grain bread trimmed and cut into 16 pieces each about 1/2 inch thick

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 basil leaves, chopped plus small leaves for garnish

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 gloves garlic halved lengthwise

1 1/2 heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Heat grill or grill pan to medium high. Brush bread slices on one side with 1 tbsp of the oil. Grill oil side down for 1 1/2 minutes. Brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil and flip slices over. Grill another 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted and lightly marked. Put on a platter.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 tbsp of the chopped basil, the lemon zest and 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper.
  • Rub cut side of a garlic clove half on 4 of the bread slices. Repeat with remaining garlic cloves halves and remaining grilled bread.
  • Gently toss cherry tomato slices with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, remaining chopped basil, remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and lemon juice.
  • Spread 1 tbsp pf the ricotta mixture on each grilled bread slice. Top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture and garnish with basil leaves.

Per piece: 106 calories, 5 g of fat, 4 g of proteins, 11 g of carbs, 1 g fiber, 191 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol

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Happy salads!

 

Before you eat…

Before you eat, ask yourself: Am I hungry?

Do you find yourself eating when you are for sure not hungry like, one hour after dinner while you are watching your favorite show?

Rest assure, you are not the only one…Here is some reasons why you eat and how to do damage control.

You are coping…

Emotional eating is a big one, we all snack on ice cream because we feel sad or lonely or even devour an entire pizza because the boss made you angry telling you suck!

You need to find out what the underlying issues are probably by seeing a shrink but keeping a food journal will help you figure out what emotion triggers what so you can foresee it happen and run to the gym or call a friend to take you out for a walk!

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You are bored…

Sometimes you are just plain bored..not sure how that happens but anyway you might be bored and find yourself with your head in the refrigerator wondering where that bucket of wings went??? (ask your husband he was doing you a favor). According to not so friendly lab rats, it appears that lack of dopamine (hormone responsible for arousal hmmm, motivation, reward and more) in the state of boredom might be the cause and eating might just be what releases that hormone.

Make sure that your days off are packed with fun family activities, shopping, walks so you never have to deal with boredom!

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Because your spouse and friends are stuffing their face next to you:

Just so can fit in or not stand out, you will be tempted to get a second serving just because everybody else is!

Be your own person damn it…If you are full, you are full don’t eat anymore, just enjoy the fun times and conversations and if you can’t resist, get up and walk around the restaurant for fresh air until it’s coffee time!

 

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Food is right there so why not?

You have snickers bars lying on your desk at work? Your coworker has left over cake just waiting for you to grab it? Your kid’s oreo’s are right there when you open your cabinet?

When food is there, it makes is harder for you to say no and control yourself so first, don’t buy it so you won’t eat it, kids can go to the neighbors for oreo’s, second put it on the highest shelf if you already bought it because you won’t see it and won’t eat it and third turn your back to the table (like at work or at a party) or the desk so you won’t see what is there while you are praying for your other coworkers to eat it!

 

It’s a special occasion…Yeah you are getting older lol

It’s your birthday yeah…let’s have cake, your cousin just had a kid yeah…let’s get drunk, your first born got their driving license yeah…let’s make cupcakes!

At this rate, you will pack on the pounds before you even realize it so you could either skip the celebration altogether, not fun I know, bring some healthy snacks for you or to share or use your willpower and say no…never mind just imagine that you are eating that food and you will be satisfied and able to celebrate without compromising that bikini figure you are working so hard on!

 

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You are tired

After a long morning at the office, you hit the 3 pm wall and are ready to fall asleep head first on your desk. Well, first I have to say that you should start eating healthier and an exercise regimen, it will give you plenty of energy so you can work all day without thinking that you need a nap, GUARANTEED! Anyway, back to the 3 pm crash, you need something so you can finish your day so go for that sugary energy drink or that giant supersized 350 grams of sugar candy bar…Well try to get up from your desk, go take a walk around the office or the block to get some sun and on your way back, get a cup of black coffee (yes no cream no sugar) or green tea before you get back to work!

 

It’s free….

Don’t get me started on that one, you know better! ask yourself…Am I hungry? Is it worth it? How much do I need?

You don’t need it, move on!

Happy hump day!