Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

This kid-friendly recipe from Kathy at Healthy, Happy Life is perfect for making a Meatless Monday meal together as a family.
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained

6 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
3/4 cup sweet potato, baked and mashed3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 jalapeno (optional), diced and deseeded

To top:
5 whole-wheat burger buns
1/4 lime
1 avocado, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
your favorite coleslaw, to taste

PREHEAT the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a light layer of vegetable shortening or nonstick cooking spray.

PLACE the black beans, bread crumbs, mashed sweet potato, cilantro and onion together in a food processor or large bowl. Season the bean mixture with garlic powder, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and jalapeño, if using.
If using a food processor,

PULSE the bean mixture together until all ingredients are well combined and evenly distributed. If using a bowl, mash the bean mixture together with a potato masher until well combined.

SHAPE the black bean mixture into 5 patties of equal sizes with your hands. Roll the unbaked black bean burger patties in additional breadcrumbs if you like your burgers crispy.

PLACE the burger patties into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Add the whole wheat buns to the oven and bake 5 minutes more, or until the burgers have cooked through.

SQUEEZE the wedges of lime over the avocado slices.

TOP each bun bottom with a slice of tomato, onion, bean burger and coleslaw.

NUTRITION (per serving): 280 calories, 8 g protein, 33 g carb, 10 g fiber, 14 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 428 mg sodium

Quinoa Zucchini Burgers

If zucchini is out of season, try incorporating shredded carrots or bell peppers .

Serves 15
2 portobello mushrooms (8 oz), stems removed
1 small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup oats, pulsed in a food processor until ground, or an additional 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
15 hamburger buns or rolls, toasted

PULSE the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Grate the zucchini and squeeze out excess moisture with a paper towel. Place the chopped mushrooms and shredded zucchini into a bowl and set aside.

PLACE 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the shallot begins to soften.

ADD mushrooms and zucchini to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, cooked quinoa and salt.  Let cool completely.

STIR the egg, breadcrumbs and oats, if using, into the quinoa zucchini mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until cold and firm.
When quinoa zucchini mixture has chilled,

DIVIDE it into about 15 parts and shape each into burger patties between 1/4’’ and 1/2’’ thick.  

Place the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When mixture is hot, place the quinoa patties into the skillet in an even layer. (You may have to cook them in batches or use 2 skillets.)

COOK the quinoa patties for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked through.

 Serve each quinoa zucchini burgers on a toasted bun with a side of blanched green beans.

NUTRITION (per serving): 203 calories, 8 g protein, 30 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 356 mg sodium

Chickpea and Quinoa Burgers

Serves 8
1 yam
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, tightly packed
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
a little flour, for dusting the burger patties

POKE several holes in the yam using a fork. Place the yam in a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Flip the yam and microwave 5 minutes more, or until tender. Slip off the yam’s skin.

PLACE 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add the carrot and bell pepper to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes more, or until the veggies are just tender.

TRANSFER the sautéed veggies to a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the spinach and pulse a few more times until combined. Transfer the veggies to a large mixing bowl.

ADD the chickpeas and tahini to the food processor and pulse until broken down and combined. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the veggies.

ADD the cooked quinoa, yam, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to the mixing bowl. Season the veggie quinoa mixture with the lemon juice, cumin and hot sauce, if using. Stir until well combined, taking care to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

SHAPE the veggie quinoa mixture into 8 patties using your hands.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Quinoa Porridge for Breakfast

A different, healthier take on the oat porridge will help bring variety to our breakfast tables.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of coarse salt
1/2 cup low-fat milk or unsweetened soy milk
1 small apple, diced
1/2 cup blueberries or sliced strawberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (if desired)

If you are using quinoa that has NOT been rinsed (sometimes it says on the package that it has been rinsed) make sure to rinse it under cold water for 3-5 mins. Then, Add quinoa, water, cinnamon and salt to a small pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed. Add milk and simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in apple, berries and nuts. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes before serving. The porridge will thicken during this time. Drizzle with maple syrup before serving if desired.

Two-Minute Mircrowave Pumpkin Pie

If you need a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth, whip up this 75-calorie pumpkin pie for one. This simple recipe, pared down to the most basic and common ingredients, only takes 2 minutes to make, but the end result tastes as delicious as traditional, calorie-packed pie.

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup egg whites (from an egg or carton)
Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Mix together all ingredients. If you prefer a flan-like texture, add more pumpkin; if you prefer a cake-like texture, add more egg whites.
Microwave for 2 minutes.
Use a mix of Greek yogurt, hazelnut cream cheese, and pumpkin pie spice for icing. Top with toasted pecans.
Makes one serving.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Honey Balsamic Chicken (clean eating)

Quick and easy dish that takes about 25 minutes to make from prep to finish...


1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1lb chicken breast
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1 green pepper chopped
1 cup yellow pepper chopped
1 cup red pepper chopped


Combine first 3 ingredients; sprinkle over both sides of chicken.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.

Transfer chicken to a platter; keep warm. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet and saute peppers for 3-4 mins until desired tenderness (I prefer my veggies to still be a little crunchy), remove peppers from pan.

Reduce heat to medium low then add vinegar and honey to pan. Simmer 1 minute or until glaze thickens; stir constantly. Pour over chicken and peppers.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half).
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 193.3
  • Total Fat: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 65.7 mg
  • Sodium: 367.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 10.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 26.3 g
Adapted from Sparkpeople site

Spring Cleaning Smoothie

Feeling sluggish? A little spring cleaning is in order! Here is a yummy smoothie to scrub you from the inside out. Don't let the green color scare you off - it's a combination of hemp protein powder and spirulina powder. Spirulina is blue-green algae bursting with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins B, C, D, E, and minerals. Drink up to clean up!

• 1 tsp / 5 ml Spirulina powder

• 1 serving hemp protein powder
• 1 Tbsp / 15 ml coarsely ground flaxseed
• ¼ cup / 60 ml dry oatmeal
• ½ banana
• 1/3 cup / 80 ml applesauce
• ½ tsp / 2.5 ml vanilla
• Handful of ice cubes
• 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced (Optional: save 1 or 2 slices for garnish)
• 1/3 cup / 80 ml low-fat plain yogurt
• ½ cup / 120 ml low-fat milk of your choice
• Juice of ½ orange
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pour in a chilled glass and garnish with kiwi. Serve.
Nutrients per Serving:
Calories: 260
Protein: 14 g
Carbs: 43 g
Dietary Fiber: 12 g
Fat: 4 g
Sat. Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 78 mg
Cholesterol: 2 g
As found on the Eating Clean Diet site

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Coconut Milk Smoothie for Weight Loss

I found this from the Organic Momma website. I wanted to try it and share it with you. I haven't had three kids like she did but I have some weight I could shed.

"Many of you know that one of my health goals for 2012 is to get back to my pre-pregnancy #1 baby weight.  (3 babies in 3 years will throw your body for a loop, to put it mildly!)  Since our third baby was born 9 months ago, I’m down almost 4 sizes, with 2 more to go to achieve my goal! 

I wanted to share with you a recipe I’ve created that has greatly helped me on my weight loss journey.  It’s based off of a whole lot of research I’ve done about the amazing properties of coconut and coconut oil, particularly with regards to weight loss.

Now, before I go any further, let me make one point: coconut oil is very high in saturated fat and calories, BUT, neither of those things are unhealthy NOR do they cause weight gain, contrary to what well meaning, mainstream health gurus will tell you.  There’s a whole lot more to be said about that topic, and I’ll be discussing it more later on this month.  (So be on the lookout for more posts showing you how to lose weight with coconut oil, without starving!) But for now, I’d encourage you to read the book "Eat Fat Lose Fat" by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig.  You’ll never think the same way again about fat!  You’ll be happier too!

Anyway, back to my recipe.  This recipe incorporates fat burning and metabolism revving UP coconut milk and coconut oil, high protein from eggs, and antioxidants and fiber from organic berries.  And let me just say, you will be full for HOURS from this smoothie.  I have it almost every day for lunch, but it would make a great breakfast too.  Plus, it takes less than 3 minutes to prepare.  (A must for busy Mom’s or anybody else who’s on the go!)
So without further ado, here’s my coconut milk smoothie for weight loss: (or anyone needing a filling, extremely nutritious snack or meal replacement)"

Coconut Milk Smoothie For Weight Loss

  • 8 oz. organic coconut milk, (I like the Native Forest brand, the container is BPA free)
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil (I like the Nutiva brand)
  • 2 eggs, organic, free range, and yes, raw!
  • 1/4 cup organic frozen raspberries or other frozen berry
  • 1 frozen organic banana
  • Optional: 1 tsp- 1 tbsp organic raw honey ( I leave this out but you might prefer it!)

In a high powered blender or VitaMix, blend well until desired consistency is achieved.  ENJOY!
I can’t wait to hear how you like this smoothie!  Let me know when you try it! 

With love,
Catherine Slezinger

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Clean Eating Crockpot Chicken Tacos

1 lb (or about four 4 oz)Chicken breasts
1 cup (8 oz)Salsa (I used one with corn and black beans)
1/2 cup (half of a 10 oz) canRotel diced tomatoes with green chilies 1
Optional: 1 tbs taco seasoning 2
Optional Taco/Salad Fixings:Low carb/whole grain tortillas, shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro, black olives, avocado, corn, black beans, plain low fat greek yogurt

1 This gives the chicken a bit of spice and flavor, but if you are making this recipe for children, or you don't like any spice, I suggest using plain diced tomatoes!

2 Make your own taco seasoning by mixing together 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt. Be sure seasoning is gluten free if sensitive.

The estimated total time to make this recipe is 4-8 Hours.
Put all of the ingredients (except for toppings) in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred. Add chicken back to the crockpot and stir to combine everything. Serve over lettuce or on low carb tortillas, and top with veggies and/or suggested toppings.

Nutrition Breakdown

6Servings (1/2 cup per serving)
107Calories per Serving
2 gFat
3 gCarbohydrate
1 gFiber
0.5 gSugar
15 gProtein

Fresh BBQ Grilled Vegetables

I love summer and all of the fresh vegetables that are available at the farmer's market close by. Once you bought your fresh eggies Gather them up and wash them. Personal preference for me would be sweet peppers, onions, eggplant, zucchini and asparagus...

After washing all the vegetables, cut into 1/4-1/2″ pieces for grilling. Cut them crosswise, lengthwise or on the bias depending on the look you’re going for. Certain vegetables like eggplant and zucchini are more dramatic when they’re cut lengthwise, which also shows off their distinctive shapes. (It's recommended to lightly salt these on both sides and let them stand for 15 minutes to help some of the water drain out before grilling.)

Then place the sliced, salted vegetables on a sheet pan, and brush with olive oil that’s been infused with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Next, turn them over and brush the other side. If you have a grill on your indoor range, it will work great for grilling, as you don’t have to worry about the pieces falling through. Many stores sell mesh baskets that can be used for grilling vegetables and fish on outdoor grills.

Each vegetable has it’s own perfect cooking time, so you’ll have to keep an eye on them and test for “done-ness”. Drizzling the finished platter with balsamic vinegar and a shower of freshly chopped basil gives everything a dramatic finish!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Healthier Berry Pie

Traditional pastry pie crusts can be used for this pie, but a classic Graham cracker crust best compliments the flavour of fresh berries.
  • 1 9-inch Graham cracker crust or baked pie shell
  • 2 cups each blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon of currant jelly

Combine all of the berries in a large colander and lightly rinse under cold running water. Place them flat on paper towels and gently pat them dry with more paper towels. After they have dried, puree 2 1/2 cups of them in a food processor until they are smooth and strain the mixture through a wire mesh strainer.

Place salt, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk to combine before mixing it in with the puree. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan while using a wooden spoon to stir constantly.

Remove from heat after the mixture has reached a full boil and has achieved the consistency of pudding. Stir in lemon juice and allow to slightly cool. Thoroughly melt the currant jelly on stove top over low heat. Place the remaining berries in a bowl.

Gently toss the melted jelly with the berries in the bowl until all of the berries are glazed. After pouring the berry puree mixture into the cooled crust and evening in it out on top with a spatula, add the glazed berries and gently press them down.
Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least three hours so that the puree has an opportunity to set.

This pie excellent when served with freshly whipped cream

Monday, 3 June 2013

Chopped Greek Salad with chicken

Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.


  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, (about 12 ounces; see Tip)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Whisk vinegar, oil, dill (or oregano), garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: If you don't have cooked chicken, poach 1 pound chicken breasts for this recipe. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water (or chicken broth) to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.



Per serving: 343 calories; 18 g fat ( 5 g sat , 7 g mono ); 89 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 619 mg sodium; 659 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (140% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Folate (31% dv), Potassium (19% dv), Calcium (15% dv).

Friday, 31 May 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles - 93 Calories Each!

ONLY 93 Calories each!!

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Yield: 6 medium popsicles


8 oz fresh raspberries (or blueberries/blackberries/cherries)
1 tablespoon water
4 oz low fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons fat free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar


In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook raspberries and 1 tablespoon of water for 10 minutes or until they are easily broken up with a wooden spoon.
Transfer mixture to a food processor (or strong blender) and puree till there are no lumps left. Refrigerate raspberry puree until cool, about 30 minutes.
Then in food processor, puree cream cheese, milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar -until smooth.
In popsicle molds, layer raspberry puree and cream cheese mixture. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

nutrition info per popsicle: 93 calories. 3.7g fat. 12 carbs. 3g fiber. 7g sugar. 2.7g protein.
**nutrition info calculated using**

Thursday, 30 May 2013

6 Best Summer Foods for Weight Loss

Lighten up your diet this summer with these refreshing foods and drinks.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

You don’t need to starve yourself on a wacky fad diet if you want to look better in your shorts or swimsuit this summer.
The secret to weight loss is to choose healthy foods and take in fewer calories than you burn. And it's just easier to make better food choices in summertime, when heavy, high-calorie dishes seem less appealing. The best foods for weight loss in summer are light, refreshing and, most important, keep you out of the hot kitchen.
The single easiest way to trim calories from your summer diet, experts say, is to load up on nature’s bounty. Produce is at its peak in summer. Delicious fruits and vegetables abound at farmers' markets and in your local grocery. Besides being low in calories, produce is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
"Enjoy fresh produce in season. You will be thrilled at how fresh, delicious, and satisfying it tastes," says Susan Moores, RD, a St. Paul, Minn. nutrition consultant. "Save the oranges and apples for fall, and load up on fresh berries, melons, greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, pea pods, and all the super-nutritious and low-calorie fruits, greens and vegetables that grow in the garden this time of year."
As a bonus, you can forget about portion control when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, Moores say.
"Go for it, because it is hard to do much damage to your waistline with these super-nutritious edibles," says Moores
To keep your cool and cut your time in the kitchen, start with prepared produce, such as cut-up fruit and washed greens. Add rotisserie chicken, prepared soups, and pre-threaded kabobs when you need something a bit heartier. Pre-prepped foods may cost a little extra, but they save time in the kitchen.
Here are dietitian's picks for some of the best foods to help with weight loss during the summer.

Best Summer Weight Loss Food No. 1: Chilled Soups

Moores loves all kind of produce but says cold soups are among her favorite low-calorie dishes.  Chilled soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill that contain lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to start a meal.
"Research shows that a low-calorie, broth-based soup at the beginning of the meal will fill you so you eat less at the meal," Moores says.

Best Summer Weight Loss Food No. 2: Watermelon

Who doesn’t love diving into a crisp, juicy slice of watermelon when it's hot outside?
"Half of the watermelon comes from water," Moores says. "It’s a wonderful way to satisfy thirst and a yen for something sweet."

Best Summer Weight Loss Food No. 3: Grilled Veggies

For Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a plate of grilled vegetables is a summertime must-have. She recommends keeping a plate of grilled onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic in your fridge. You can use them to make dishes like:
  1. Grilled vegetable and goat cheese salads
  2. Grilled vegetable pitas
  3. Grilled vegetable, ricotta, and fresh herb pasta and frittatas

30 Healthy Summer Food Ideas

Summer is the time when most of us bring out our swimwear and hit the beach to beat the rising temperatures and searing heat of summer. Well it's also the right time to shed few pounds as well! However instead of going for a strict diet regime that will dampen your sunshine, try to avail of a variety of wonderful summer foods which the summer brings along. The secret is that these summer foods will help you to stay fit and healthy. Heavy, high calorie foods as it is seem less appealing in summer so you can easily eat light, healthy food. Listed below are 30 cool summer food suggestions, which are healthy, refreshing and most importantly will help you to stay energized and avoid the ill effects of summer.
1.  Watermelon - Watermelon has more than 80 percent water, so this summer fruit is an excellent way to satisfy your thirst and keep you hydrated during summers
2.  Grilled vegetables - Keep your refrigerator stocked with a plate of prepared grilled peppers, grilled onions, carrots, zucchini, garlic, eggplant, celery and asparagus. The antioxidant properties present in these summer vegetables can help to minimize skin damage caused due to sun exposure during summer days.
3.  Grilled salads - Use grilled summer vegetables to prepare a variety of dishes like grilled vegetable pitas, grilled vegetable and fresh herb pasta or ricotta or frittatas and grilled vegetable and reduced calorie cheese salads.
4.  Chilled soups - Chilled soups are great appetizers to start your meal. Choose chilled soups like cucumber-dill or gazpacho which are loaded with crunchy vegetables. Moreover soups also account to your total fluid intake and thus can help you stay hydrated.
5.  Whole grain salads - Whole grain salads like tabouli and wheat berry are also excellent summer choices.
6.  Vegetable salads - Like chilled soups, salads are also great way to kick start your meals. Almost all the salads need minimum preparation time and are considered healthy, quick meals provided you don’t load them with heavy dressings. Remember the more the number of fresh vegetables in the diet the healthier you will be during summer.
7.  Bean and sprout salads - Toss some beans or sprouts along with sliced or diced vegetables and fruits to increase the protein content of the salads.
8.  Vegetable cheese salads - Toss some reduced calorie cheese chunks in your chopped vegetables to increase the calcium as well as protein content of the salads.
9.  Herbs and low calorie dressings - Choose fresh herbs from your garden and low fat dressings for your salad like basil, parsley, saga, dill, thyme, mint, lemon juice and vinegar instead of heavy fat dressings.
10.  Low fat drinks - Generally we tend to drink sweetened and creamy coffees, teas, sodas and smoothies in summer to such an extent that we forget about the calories we take in. Remember, any liquid will only help to quench your thirst and not your hunger. So choose wisely –orange dream float, root beer and ice skim latte are some good choices.
11.  Fruit based desserts - Forget your creamy heavy desserts, instead satisfy your ferocious sweet tooth with healthy fruit based desserts.
12.  Low calorie desserts like dark frozen sweet cherries, frozen grapes, chocolate covered frozen banana, grilled blackberries with white peaches and honey, grilled pineapple with pecans and rum, low fat fresh fruit ice creams and grilled banana sundaes made from low fat ice creams are also some good summer food choices.
13.  Try low fat fresh fruit yogurts and low fat fresh fruit custards for protein and calcium in your diet.
14.  Get your vitamin A and lycopene dose from tomato sauce, tomatoes, ketchups, papaya and peppers.
15.  Save the apples, bananas and oranges for the fall, instead satiate your appetite on a variety of fresh summer fruits like different berries and melons.
16.  Try different summer vegetables like zucchini, greens, tomatoes, pea pods and beets which are not only super nutritious but also low in calories.
17.  Cool cucumber - Cucumber is rightly called cool as it is about 20% naturally cooler than other vegetables. A chilled or fresh cucumber slice in your salads or vegetables can be truly refreshing.
18.  Mangoes - This fruit is available only in summers and is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber.
19.  Berries are tasty, tangy and convenient little summer fruits which can be easily blended with yogurts and smoothies.
20.  Spinach and other summer greens like kale, romaine lettuce, bok choy are some other healthy food choices.
21.  Cottage cheese can be a prudent substitute for yogurt and regular cheese. Cottage cheese like the other two is loaded with proteins and calcium.
22.  Walnuts - Try to include a small handful of healthy nuts including walnuts. Walnuts are a good source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
23.  Oats - Oats are rich in fiber and also provide a good amount of proteins. They can be an excellent choice for your morning cereals.
24.  Whole cereals, grains and its products - Ditch the refined ones and go for the whole options.
25.  Beans and legumes - Substitute animal protein (mainly red meats) with beans. This change can not only add fiber to your diet but also help lower total calories, cholesterol and saturated fat from your diet.
26.  Greasy and fried foods can actually increase the thermal effect of your system causing discomfort. So summer is the best time to avoid junk and fried foods.
27.  Fish - Fish is an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Go for grilled or broiled fish instead of fried fish.
28.  Carrots are rich in vitamin A and heart and skin healthy carotenoids. Especially great for your eyes.
29.  Red, orange and yellow vegetables like pumpkin, butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peppers are loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, vital antioxidants.
30.  Water - Lastly nothing can be as refreshing and satisfying as a glass of water on a hot summer day. Keep yourself well hydrated.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

6 Kettlebell Workouts

As seen on SparkPeople. com these kettlebell routines are just like fashion trends they come and go, same can be said about workout trends. Hundreds of years ago Russian bodybuilders were using cannonball-like equipment for strength training. Little did they know then that their workouts would be turned into classes in gyms across the globe 300 years later. The reason kettlebell workouts are so popular is they provide strength training, cardio, balance and flexibility all in one short workout.
In the January 2011 issue of Fitness magazine, John Porcari, PhD, an exercise researcher at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, stated that "an intense 20-minute workout with kettlebells burned on average, an astonishing 400 calories, or 20 calories a minute."

If you have never used kettlebells, you may want to check with your local gym or Y to see if they offer classes for beginners led by a certified kettlebell instructor as form and technique are very important when doing this type of workout routine. Poor form and technique can lead to injury and you may not get the results you expect.

One of the biggest advantage with kettlebell workouts is they tend to target all the major muscle groups during a workout which is why I have included workout routines in place of individual exercises for this week's fitness round-up.

FITNESS Magazine Kettlebell workout
PREVENTION magazine kettlebell workout                            

Friday, 24 May 2013

100 Healthy Breakfast Recipes

  • Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. We should actually eat a larger breakfast than dinner. The reason makes sense once you think of it. Sort of like a vehicle you are going to drive around in all day. It's easier on you if you fill up the tank before the journey begins...You also want to fuel your body in the morning so your 'tank' is full when you need the energy throughout the day...Eating a large meal before you park your butt at the end of the day then means the food gets stored as fat because you're body thinks you might need it later. It's food for thought ;)

  • Below are 100 different recipes so you will never be bored with your breakfast! Just click on the picture or the food name to go to the recipe.

  • Raspberry-Cream Cheese Muffins RecipeRaspberry-Cream Cheese Muffin