Category Archives for "Healthy Cooking"

3 Things You Should Never Say to Yourself Around Food

It’s very easy to get discouraged if you have a slip-up from your healthy eating plan, but there’s no reason that this kind of small deviation should leave you self-criticizing. Things that we tell ourselves can actually end up being more harmful than helpful, so consider eliminating these three phrases from your vocabulary.

  1. “I blew it.”This kind of talk can only set you up for failure. Just because you’ve deviated from the plan you set for yourself does not mean that you’ve ruined everything. It also doesn’t mean that you should give up and eat what you want. Keep in mind that you can get back on track and you have not blown it.
  2. “I can’t have X food.”
    When you tell yourself you can’t have something, it’s pretty likely that you will want it even more. Unless you are doing an elimination diet or are very set on eliminating certain types of food, moderation will likely make this a better situation for you. Small indulgences and foods in moderation will prevent major binging.
  3. “I’m going to start over tomorrow.”
    This mentality is one that is incredibly common, but it pushes your goals to the (potentially indefinite) future and does not require immediate action. Be aware of your use of this phrase and pick a start date that is firm.

Click here to read the full article by Jenn Hand for HuffPost Healthy Living.

Tips for Creating a Healthy Meal Plan for Men

When it comes to healthy eating, men and women require much of the same nutrients, but the amounts, timing and nutritional makeup of a meal plan can vary greatly. In order to achieve peak performance, men should try to incorporate a wide range of food into their regular diet. Lean proteins, whole carbohydrates and healthy fats are all needed to work together for the most balanced meal plan. The best way to create a plan is to come up with what works best for your body and your specific goals.

Portion Sizes

Most people are not aware of what a normal portion size is. Everyone has a different body, and different bodies often require different portions to achieve the correct amounts of food consumed. Instead of using a one-size-fits all guide for determining your portion sizes, you can use different parts of your body to ensure that you get exactly what you need. Some of the best portion size measurements include the following:

  • One serving of carbs equals your clenched fist
  • One serving of protein equals the palm of your hand
  • One serving of fat equals the tip of your thumb

Once you know how much you should be eating at each meal, you do not have to worry about measuring. Simply stick to your guidelines and you can feel good about how much you are eating.

Daily Amounts

In general, men need to consume more calories and nutrients than women on a daily basis. While 2000 calories is the typical guideline for women trying to maintain their weight, men should aim for 2500. While your needs can vary based on your size, age and fitness goals, most men need about 55 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbohydrates and 95 grams of fat each day.


When you eat your meals can be just as important as what you eat. Eating every few hours can help stave off hunger and keep your blood sugar from plummeting throughout the day. With a meal plan in place, you are more likely to stay on track and enjoy better health. Creating a healthy meal plan for men is not as hard as you might think, and it can make all the difference for your health.

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Cooking Strategies to Help Trim Down Your Waist

If you want to enjoy your meals and flatten your tummy in the process, then there are a few strategies for achieving that end beyond simply reducing portion sizes. The way you cook your meals play a great deal and can help or hinder your efforts. Following a few cooking modifications can help you shed the pounds without making your meals bland and tasteless.

Reduce Sodium

People are surprised that there is a correlation between sodium and weight gain. According to a study from the University of California San Francisco, those who ate a high sodium diet also gained more weight – about a pound more – over a five day period than those who stuck to a low sodium diet. It is believed that too much sodium leads to the production of insulin, a hormone responsible for converting sugar into fat. In place of salt, opt for alternatives like:

  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • oregano
  • cardamom
  • basil

Do not Coat the Pan With Nonstick Spray

Yes, the spray that you use to add a nonstick surface to your pan contains calories. One full spray that covers the entire surface contains about 36 calories and four grams of fat. While that does not seem like a whole lot, it can quickly add up if the spray is used daily.

Do not Dice Veggies and Potatoes Into Extremely Tiny Pieces

It seems strange that the size you cut your vegetables and potatoes into would matter a great deal. However, if you prepare the meal with cooking oil, it is better to cut the vegetables into larger pieces. When vegetables are chopped into thin and small slices, it creates more surface area for the oil to cling onto, which equals more calories from pure fat.

Rinse Your Vegetables Before Cooking

For cleanliness sakes, it is a good habit to wash your vegetables before throwing them into the pot. Not giving them a quick rinse can actually make you gain weight. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, unwashed vegetables may contain pesticide residue, which has been shown to inhibit thyroid function. An improperly working thyroid is associated with a slower metabolism.

Give these cooking tips a try the next time you turn on the stove. They just might give you the slight edge you need to lose those extra pounds.

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6 Steps To Help Your Loved Ones Eat Healthier

When you are concerned about the health of someone close to you, it is easy to feel powerless and unsure about how to approach the situation. While the conversation can be a bit of a challenge, here are a few easy ideas to help those close to you to eat healthier. Find a close-knit group to talk about health with your loved one. Finding a support network of people who care is important in approaching a loved one about getting healthy. Find an appropriate time and place to bring up the topic, and share your concerns with the person in a gentle but firm way. Be prepared to listen if the person is ready to talk about their challenges with food and eating. Exhibit patience, as the person may not respond in the way you would like; he or she may even respond negatively if he or she is not feeling ready to discuss this topic. Offer suggestions and words of encouragement where possible. Ultimately, just being there as a source of support and encouragement is most important as your loved one begins a journey toward healthier eating.

Click here to read the full article by Summer Rayne Oakes for Mind Body Green.

Thai Curry Chicken Salad With Creamy Dijon Dressing

This recipe for a yummy Thai curry chicken salad with creamy dijon dressing from Brittany at EBF is a great option to spice up your usual salad routine. The recipe yields four large salad portions, with only 287 calories per serving.


For the salad:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 to 4 ounces each)
Spring mix, romaine lettuce, or baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
2 cups pineapple, chopped
1 cup red onion, chopped
Gomasio, to taste (optional)

For the spice rub:
2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley

For the dressing:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons good Dijon mustard
11/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Cover chicken breasts in spice rub.
  2. Cook seasoned chicken breasts in skillet with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Slice for salad when cool.
  3. Place dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar and combine well.
  4. Divide greens, cucumber, pineapple, bell pepper, and red onion on to four plates. Top with chicken and drizzle with dressing.

Click here to read the original recipe by Brittany Mullins for PopSugar.

How to Cook up a Healthy and Delicious Meal on a Tight Budget

One of the primary factors that prevent people from eating healthier is the high cost of organic and natural foods. However, if you know where and how to shop, then you can save a bundle on your grocery bills while obtaining the ingredients you need for whipping up a healthy meal for the family.

Shopping Tips

Consider the following shopping strategies utilized by savvy shoppers for saving a few dollars the next time you head to the supermarket.

  • Buy in bulk; vegetables and fruits can be frozen to prolong its lifespan. Produce that is frozen at the peak of ripeness will also retain its nutrients.
  • Buy produce that is in season
  • Buy from a farmer’s market; most sellers are willing to negotiate a price
  • Grow your own; this requires some experience and trial and error, but it will pay off

Recipe Samples

Spinach and Egg Sandwich

  • English muffin or whole wheat bread
  • Two eggs
  • One plum tomato
  • One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4th red onion

This meal makes a great breakfast, and the eggs make for a great source of low-cost protein. The meal also provides a healthy dose of vitamin A and D and omega-3 fats.

Herb-Roasted Chicken

  • One whole chicken
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Two pints grape tomatoes
  • One halved lemon
  • Three tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One tablespoon thyme or rosemary

Buying a chicken whole is typically cheaper than buying its parts. The remaining ingredients for the seasoning can also be obtained cheaply.

Spiced White Rice

  • Two cups long-grain rice
  • One bunch cilantro
  • Two garlic cloves
  • One tablespoon kosher salt
  • One teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup beer

This is a delicious dish for vegetarians and vegans, and the beer is a secret ingredient that gives the cuisine a light alcoholic flavor. A scrambled egg or two can also be added as an optional ingredient for protein.

Eating healthy does not mean you have to spend an arm and a leg. By being a smart shopper, you can prepare healthy and flavor-rich meals while staying within a monetary budget.

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100 Calorie Snacks That Satisfy

We’re all prone to mindless snacking every one in a while, but we also all know that this can be a huge detriment to an eating plan or diet’s long-term success. 100-calorie versions of your favorite snacks can be a good way to quantify an appropriate amount of food, or you can create your own 100-calorie options! DIY apple sauce, cottage cheese and cantaloupe, egg whites and toast, or red pepper with goat cheese are a few great options to spice up your usual snacking with more healthy and interesting ideas. Carrots and hummus, cucumber with cream cheese, an open-faced turkey sandwich, or apples and cheese are also yummy and easy options. Choosing low-cal snacks that satisfy will keep you fuller longer and prevent you from any mindless eating during the day.

Click here to see the full list of snack options by Nicole McDermott for Greatist.

How a Structured Eating Curriculum Improves Health

Trying to improve your health can prove to be a remarkable challenge, especially since modern-day culture celebrates fast food and large portions. Many restaurants and eating establishments pride themselves for providing double or even tripe the amount of food (and calories) with each portion they serve. Although the odds may be stacked against you, it is possible to change your diet and improve your health. In fact, changing your diet may be one of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing a wide variety of diseases and health conditions.

If you are not sure how to take the first steps towards diet modification, you may benefit from following a structured eating curriculum rather than trying to come up with an eating plan on your own. Here are a couple of ways a structured eating curriculum can help you improve your health:

  1. Preparation Yields Success

There is no quicker way to fail at your new diet than by neglecting to prepare yourself for success. A structured eating plan can boost your chances of success substantially because it gives you a clear guide for healthier eating. Once you have a guide to follow, you can print out a list of all the healthy foods you need to eat for the week and go shopping. Being prepared with healthy snacks and meals is one of the most important steps you can take if you want to improve your diet and your health.

  1. Dietary Plans Facilitate Smart Eating

Most individuals only have a very basic idea of how nutrition works, and they may not have enough knowledge to successfully build a healthy dietary plan. If you fall into this category, you can ditch the uncertainty that comes along with modifying your eating habits and adopt a professional structured eating plan that is designed to meet your specific nutrition needs.

If you want to improve your health for the long-term, consider purchasing a structured dietary plan that will give you all the tools you need to finally take control of your diet.

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How to Saute Vegetables- Sautéing Made Simple

Cooking with vegetables is one of the best ways to add nutrition to your diet as well as filling foods that are rich in fiber. There are many different ways to prepare and serve vegetables, including raw, roasted, broiled, boiled, stir-fried and sautéed. Here we’re going to discuss sautéing, which is a quick and easy way to add veggies to any meal.

Prep Your Cooking Area

First, you’ll want to wash and cut your vegetables. It helps in the cooking process to have your vegetable pieces all about the same size – bite-sized, if possible.

While you’re cutting the vegetables, heat up a large flat skillet or sauté pan on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the cooking fat – vegetable or olive oil, bacon oil or butter – and swirl to coat the pan. This is so vegetables don’t stick to the pan. Once the fat is heated, about 20 to 30 seconds, add your vegetables.


Add vegetables that take longer to cook, such as carrots or broccoli, before those that require shorter cooking times, like mushrooms or bell pepper. The goal is to have all food done at the same time. Denser vegetables like potatoes can be blanched (boiled briefly) to speed up the cooking process and keep them from falling apart in the pan.

The veggies should only take up one layer in the pan; too many and they can become soggy or stick together and not cook thoroughly. Stir only infrequently to give the vegetables a nice crisp browning on each side.


Once the vegetables are done to your liking – either crisp with a light browning or nice and tender – remove from heat and season to taste. A bit of salt and pepper, seasoned salt, or garlic or onion powder will all work fine. You can even add some minced garlic to the last minute or two of cooking. A splash of lemon or orange juice will add a delightful tang to the final flavor.

Now that you know how to saute vegetables, experiment with different recipes and even add meats to come up with your own favorites.

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10 Tips To Keep Your Grocery Bill Low & Still Eat Healthy

There is a common misconception that eating healthy is a terribly expensive endeavor. While it may be true that certain products and foods can be more pricey than others, there are ways to eat healthier while keeping your grocery bill low.

  1. Track how much you are spending on food. Set aside a specific amount per week and stick to that.
  2. Use what you have at home. Instead of buying groceries, take stock of what you’ve got in the kitchen and cupboards, and use them up.
  3. Shop locally. Visit the local farmer’s market or consider a CSA to get produce.
  4. Eat semi-vegetarian. Organic and hormone-free meat can be expensive, so choose certain days to go without meat.
  5. Buy in bulk to save money. Grains, nuts, spices, and legumes can be much cheaper in bulk and are healthier.
  6. Take advantage of local deals, sales, and coupons.
  7. Buy frozen produce to save some money. Frozen produce is not only less expensive but often retains more nutrients.
  8. Take advantage of your own leftovers. Spice up leftover meals and turn them into new dishes.
  9. Utilize meal planning to organize and save some cash.
  10. Cut back on eating out at restaurants.

Click here to read the full article by Danielle Prestejohn for Mind Body Green.