Saturday, January 13, 2018

Leader Enterprise - January 10, 2018 - Tips to help make right food choices




Welcome 2018! (Can we even believe it??) If you're anything like me, I felt I had to clear the kitchen of anything unhealthy to eat so I won't be tempted by it before I begin my healthy eating program in January.  EEK! Here's to a happy and healthy new year!

I so appreciate thoughts like these, found at www.sparkpeople.com that give me something concrete to wrap my mind around when trying to eat healthier. Enlisting some of these ideas into our daily lives, one change at a time, will help jump-start our healthy New Year's Resolutions.

Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal. If half a plate of fruits and vegetables seems like an overwhelming goal for you right now, start by simply adding one fruit or veggie to each meal. You can eat them as a side -- think a cup of green beans with dinner or an orange with breakfast -- or simply start adding them to foods you already eat. Fruit is a cinch to add to oatmeal, yogurt and cereal in the morning. 

Drink up. While you should limit the number of calories you get from beverages, if you have trouble fitting fruits and vegetables into your busy life, work them into a drink that you can take on the go. Try out smoothie recipes until you find a few you love and work them into your rotation as a breakfast or afternoon snack option
. You can easily get several fruit and vegetable servings in a yummy beverage.
 
Slurp some soup! Soups and stews can be a nutritious, filling way to get lots of vegetables into a meal. Soup is an easy way to increase the variety of veggies you eat as it can make some of your least favorite options more palatable. 

Keep them in sight, in mind. Just like you keep sweets out of sight to discourage incessant snacking, keeping fruits and veggies in sight will help you think of them as an option for eating. Stock a fruit bowl at work each week and keep a bowl on the kitchen counter at home so you’ll be more likely to eat it when you’re hungry. 

My husband and I love this delicious soup from the Skinny Kitchen website. It makes a large batch, but it freezes well. You can easily cut the recipe in half. 

TURKEY BARLEY SOUP WITH SWEET POTATOES

10 c. (reduced-sodium) chicken broth
1 c. dried pearl barley (I use quick)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic,minced
1-1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1-1/2 c. celery, sliced
1-1/2 c. onions, chopped
2-1/2 c. sweet potatoes (or butternut squash), peeled and chopped 
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. cooked turkey breasts or chicken, cubed

In a large pot, add the chicken broth and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, in a nonstick pan add the olive oil, garlic, carrots, celery and onions; sauté until soft,about 5 minutes. Add the sautéed vegetables to the broth. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, thyme, sage and fresh ground pepper. Continue to cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Add the cooked turkey and stir with a rubber spatula so the squash doesn’t get mushy. Cook for 5 minutes more. Yield: 12 cups. 1 cup= 142 calories; 1 gr.fat, 13 gr.protein, 22 gr.carbs, 5 gr.fiber



BLUEBERRY BANANA FLAXSEED SMOOTHIE

2 TB. flax seed meal
1 ripe banana (frozen slices are great)
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. (fat free) Greek Yogurt
1 c. (skim) milk
1 TB. honey
1/4 tsp. almond extract
6 chopped ice cubes

Add all ingredients and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.  Yield: 2 servings. Garnish with blueberries. 

STUFFED PEPPERONI PIZZA MELT
1 (whole wheat) Deli Sandwich Thin
1 tsp. Smart Balance Light or reduced-fat butter
1-1/2 Tb. pizza or marinara sauce
7 slices Hormel’s 70% less fat turkey pepperoni
1 slice light provolone cheese or light mozzarella
Preheat Panini maker, George Foreman grill or stove-top skillet. Spread the outside of the sandwich thin, both top and bottom, with 1/2 teaspoon of butter on each. Split open and spread the inside of the bottom slice with pizza sauce. On top of sauce, place pepperoni slices and top with 1 slice of cheese. Place remaining top piece of sandwich thin, butter side out. Place in preheated grill or skillet; cook for 4 to 5 minutes until melted and golden brown. Remove with a spatula as the cheese oozes out a bit while cooking. De-Lish! Yield: 1 serving= 215 calories, 8 gr. fat, 14 gr. protein, 26 gr. carbs, 6 gr. fiber

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. ~Abraham Lincoln