Shari Duncan

Tag: Fiber

Eggplant…. The Power of Purple.
Shari

by on May.29, 2010, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Recipes

Eggplant is ideal for weight loss. Eat eggplant and get some of the nutrients that your body needs–all at a low calorie cost.

Eggplants are a excellent addition to a dieter’s menu with only 35 calories and 3 grams of sodium per cup and they are nearly fat free.  They are also low sodium, high in fiber and rich in minerals. The mineral that is most abundant in eggplant is manganese. This mineral is best known for its function in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It is also important in proper brain function.  Prepare eggplant with or without skin on.  Leaving the skin on increases the dietary fiber content to ~2.5 grams per serving

Eggplant: a dieter's dream food - 35 calories and no fat per 1 cup serving

Eggplant: a dieter's dream food - 35 calories and no fat per 1 cup serving.

Plus eggplant contains phytonutrients, antioxidants which can help prevent damage from free radicals and protection from certain types of cancer. One of the photonutrients that helps to make up eggplant nutrition is nasunin, a powerful antioxidant found in the skin of the eggplant. Nasunin helps to protect the lipids which are found in the membranes of brain cells

When choosing an eggplant, look for one that has smooth skin and is heavy for size as this indicates high water content.  Look for a stem that is green and bright in color.  Eggplants do not have a long shelf life and should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days of purchase.

Did you know that technically eggplant is a fruit?  They belong to the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.

Eggplant is very versatile and can be roasted, baked, braised, broiled, sautéed or grilled. Do not eat raw however due to a toxin that may cause stomach upset.

Excellent companions to eggplant cuisine include olive oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, olives, nuts, and spices like pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and ginger.

Probably one of the most well known eggplant recipes is eggplant parmesan.  However, this recipe is generally very high in fat, from the deep frying and added cheeses which are counterproductive for those trying to lose some weight.

Here is a healthier way to “fry” your eggplant. Cut down on the fat by oven frying instead of pan frying in oil. This is delicious eaten alone, as a side dish, or can as the foundation for a much healthier, lower fat version of eggplant parmesan.

Oven “FRIED” Eggplant.

Ingredients:

All the taste, without the Fat! Eat alone or layer in Eggplant Parmesan Casserole.

All the taste, without the Fat! Eat alone or layer in Eggplant Parmesan Casserole.

  • 1 large/ 2 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • ~1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute (or egg whites)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoon unbleached flour
  • Italian seasonings (garlic, basil, oregano, etc.)
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Trim a couple of inches off each end of the eggplant, and discard. Slice the eggplant crosswise into ¼- 1/2-inch thick slices. Set aside.
  2. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and nonstick olive oil cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. Place the egg substitute in a shallow bowl. Season generously with spices.  Place the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and flour in another shallow bowl, and stir to mix well. Dip the eggplant slices first in the egg substitute, and then in the crumb mixture, turning to coat both sides well. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet, and spray the tops lightly with the cooking spray.
  4. Bake uncovered at 425°F for 10 minutes. Turn the slices, and bake for 10 additional minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Serve hot.

Approximately 4 servings.

Calories: 87  Fat: 1.7g   Carbs: 13g   Protein: 5.4g   Cholesterol: 3mg   Fiber: 2.5g   Sodium: 229mg

Excerpted from Best Kept Secrets of Healthy cooking by Sandra Woodruff.

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The HEALING POWER of PINEAPPLE
Shari

by on May.15, 2010, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Recipes

Second only to bananas as America’s favorite tropical fruit, Pineapple’s flavor screams COME ON SUMMER!

Lucky for us, they are available nearly year round in most markets.

Pineapples are rich in Vitamin A and C which is no surprise to most of us. But what makes pineapples a nutritional powerhouse is that they contain an enzyme nutrient called Bromelain.  Bromelain is a mixture of important enzymes that aid in the digestion of protein and milk. Pineapples are a great fruit to eat in between meals to improve digestion. You can also eat a few chunks of fresh pineapple first thing in the morning as a digestive aid. Enjoy pineapple on a low to empty stomach to maximize the bromelain induced effects.

The enzyme Bromelain not only helps the body’s digestive system but has recognized anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Pineapples may seem an unlikely source of healing powers, but Bromelin extract from its stem has been

clinically proven  as an effective natural anti-inflammatory  agent that reduces pain and swelling,

improves joint mobility and promotes tissue repair.

What an added health benefit to those of us who lift weights regularly and are looking for nutritional ways to accelerate the recovery process!


Buy fresh, as often as possible, as canned pineapple tends not to have this valuable enzyme as the heat used in the canning process destroys the Bromelain.

Pineapples are natures source of the powerful enzyme Bromelain

Pineapples are nature's source of the powerful enzyme Bromelain

Pineapple Nutrition Tidbits:

  • –      Vitamin C
  • A serving of pineapple contains 78.9 mg of vitamin C—131% of the recommended daily allowance.
  • –      Calories
  • Pineapple contains 82.5 calories per serving. Most of these calories come from sugars.
  • –      Fiber
  • Pineapple is a good source of valuable dietary fiber, supplying 2.3 grams of fiber per serving.
  • –      Manganese
  • Pineapple is a very good source of manganese – which among other benefits supports metabolism and in the development of strong bones and connective tissue. Manganese is a coenzyme that helps the body use thiamin, vitamin C and choline. It also helps to prevent your cells from injury caused by free-radicals.
  • –      Other Nutrients
  • Pineapple is naturally very low in cholesterol and saturated fat. It is a good source of vitamin B6, thiamin and copper.
  • –      How to Select
  • –      Choose pineapples with dark green leaves, heavy for size.  Avoid soft or dark spots and dry-looking leaves.
Did you know that it takes 18 months (or more) to grow one pineapple!


FROM CHILLED TO GRILLED….

A burst of sweet and spicy. An exciting and exotic meal in less than 30 minutes!

A burst of sweet and spicy. An exciting and exotic meal in less than 30 minutes!

Pineapple is one versatile fruit.

From smoothies to salads;   main course dishes to dessert — feel free to experiment with its fresh, sweet and tart exotic flavor.  Pineapple chunks go  from “chilled to grilled” with ease.  The Bromelain in the pineapple actually serves as a tenderizer for meats and perfectly complements numerous main dishes  – From pork, to fish… to my favorite Shrimp!

One of the simplest (and tastiest) uses for pineapple is to add them to kebobs and grill away! – Alternate pineapple chunks with your choice of protein (shrimp, pork, chicken) and veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, etc..)

One of my favorites:  Shrimp and Pineapple quesadillas.

The sweet of the pineapple and the spice of salsa, garlic, cumin and cilantro are a winning combination when added to quickly stir-fried (or grilled) shrimp and vegetables.  ( I use fresh peppers, (red and green) and onions. Place in a tortilla with a touch of melted cheese – fold and brown on both sides.  Top with extra salsa, avocado, and low fat sour cream if desired.)

The flavor is amazing and it is so simple that this can be prepared in less than 30 minutes

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BERRY BLAST SMOOTHIE
Shari

by on Apr.25, 2010, under Fruits and Veggies, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Weight Loss, Whey Protein Recipes

Experiment with different fresh and frozen fruits and yogurt flavors for variety.

Berries should be a staple to your diet… One serving of berries daily will do much more than just keep the doctor away.  They are after all, natures #1 antioxidant fruit.

This protein smoothie is excellent as a post-workout meal, breakfast or mid-day snack or meal replacement.  It provides the perfect balance of protein – from the whey and yogurt, carbohydrates – from the fruit and yogurt, and healthy fats from the almond milk and flax seed.  It is also a great source of calcium, antioxidants and fiber.  And, if that isn’t reason enough to give this a try… it really tastes amazing!

Mix together well in blender or Magic Bullet:

1 scoop of Whey adds approximately 25-30grms of muscle building proteine

1 scoop of Whey adds approximately 25-30grms of muscle building protein

  • 1 scoop vanilla Whey Protein
  • Fresh or Frozen Berries (Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries)
  • 1/2 container low sugar yogurt ( I like Dannon Light N Fit – Pomegranate Berry)
  • 1 tsp milled Flax Seed
  • 6-8 oz Almond Milk
  • Crushed Ice/Water

ENJOY!!

Try different fruit combinations such as peaches, pineapple, melon, or banana as well as flavored yogurts.  Substitute Soy for Almond Milk if you like.  You really cannot go wrong with this one.

STILL NOT CONVINCED ABOUT THE POWER of ADDING BERRIES TO YOUR DIET?

….. READ ON:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/the-power-of-berries/

http://www.berrywiseinc.com/power_of_berries.html

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The WHOLE story on WHOLE GRAINS
Shari

by on Mar.06, 2010, under General Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss

Add more whole grains to your diet…. They are far superior to refined and processed alternatives.

Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. They can be broken down into 2 distinct types: WHOLE or REFINED.

Whole grains (brown rice and oatmeal) contain the entire grain kernel while refined grains (white rice and white bread) have been processed,. This means the bran and germ have been removed. ….along with much of the nutrients. The refinement process gives these foods a finer texture and prolongs their shelf life – But important nutrients such as B vitamins, fiber, and iron are lost.

Since whole grains haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling, they are good sources of fiber — (the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn’t digest).  Because whole grains are high in fiber, they tend to satisfy and make you feel fuller longer. This in turn can prevent overeating and help you lose weight.

Although vitamins and minerals are added back into refined grains after the milling process, they still don’t have as many nutrients as whole grains do, and they don’t provide as much fiber naturally. Fiber unfortunately is not added back during the “enriching” process.

The best diets are those that are rich in whole foods and contain few processed foods.

Grains are a source of complex carbohydrates.Too often though, people shy away from carbohydrates when they diet, fearing that carbohydrates lead to weight gain; or is what is keeping them from losing weight.  The truth is that grains, in their “whole” form are nutritionally among the most powerful super foods and are a necessary part of any weight management plan.

With so many nutrients in one package, whole grains provide multiple health benefits, including protection from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and some cancers. And they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol free.

Examples of whole grains:

§                                 Barley

§                                 Brown rice

§                                 Buckwheat

§                                 Bulgur (cracked wheat)

§                                 Millet

§                                 Oatmeal

§                                 Popcorn

§                                 Quinoa

§                                 Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers

§                                 Wild rice

– READ THE INGREDIENT LIST & Read between the lines!-

Look for foods that list a whole grain as the first ingredient.
Just because a product label “sounds” healthy doesn’t mean it is. For example, “multigrain” only means that the product contains more than one grain, not that whole grains were used. And “stone-ground” is a technique for grinding grains. Don’t assume these terms mean that the product was made from a whole grain—it’s still important to read the ingredient list.

Remember that the closer a food is to its natural state, the better for you. So whenever you can, choose whole grains over refined grains.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Barley Soup

Toss some barley into your homemade soup to add flavor, texture and fiber

HEARTY & HEALTHY Vegetable BARLEY Soup

3/4c pearled barley

1 small onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

2-3 red potatoes, diced

Mushrooms, Carrots sliced

1 can stewed or diced tomatoes, any flavor

Beef flavored bouillon / 6 cups water

Salt/Pepper, Thyme, Paprika, Parsley

1-2 TBSP Olive Oil

OPTIONAL:

Beef shank or other soup bone

Beans, (ie: Navy beans)

In large soup pot or dutch oven, season and sear beef (if using) in olive oil. Brown well on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.  Lower heat to med, and sauté onion and celery in olive oil until just tender. Return meat to pan, add water with beef flavored broth. Bring to boil.

Add carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and season generously. Add barley (and beans, if using).

Reduce heat, and finally add the mushrooms last.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes or more, until vegetables and barley are tender and all flavors have a chance to blend.

______________________________________

BARLEY:  Good grain, Great Carb.

Barley’s soluble fiber content, along with its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol make this grain a wise choice for heart-smart dining. It is also high in protein and adds texture and a unique flavor to a variety of dishes.

Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Unlike some other grains, barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel and not just in the outer bran layer. This grain compares well to other grains in total dietary fiber content. For example, a ½-cup serving of cooked pearl barley contains 3 grams of dietary fiber. In comparison, a ½-cup serving of long-grain brown rice contains 1.75 grams dietary fiber and one-half-cup of white long-grain rice contains less than 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Barley contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine  Vitamin B1), selenium, iron,barley magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.

Barley also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals (natural plant based chemicals) which studies show may decrease the risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer

Per 1 cup cooked pearl barley

Calories – 193
Protein – 3.5g
Fat – 0.7g
Cholesterol – 0
Carbohydrate – 44g
Total dietary fiber – 6g
Calcium – 17mg
Iron – 2mg
Magnesium – 35 mg
Phosphorus – 85 mg
Potassium -146 mg
Sodium – 5 mg
Zinc – 1.2 mg
Copper – 0.16 mg
Manganese – 0.4 mg
Selenium – 13.5 mcg
Vitamin C – 0
Thiamin – 0.13 mg
Riboflavin – 0.09 mg
Niacin – 3.23 mg
Pantothenic acid – 0.21 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.18 mg
Folate – 25 mg
Vitamin B12 – 0
Vitamin A – 11 IU
Vitamin E – 0.01 mg
Vitamin K – 1.25mcg


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Beans, Beans…They really are good for your heart.
Shari

by on Feb.14, 2010, under General Nutrition, Recipes

Enhance the fiber and protein in your usual dishes with beans.

Black and kidney beans are star performers nutritionally as they contain significant amounts of  B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.  They contain low levels of fat and sugar, are high in protein and fiber and are iron rich.

BUT the major health benefit of beans is their rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. In addition to lowering cholesterol,

Turkey Chili with Black and Red Beans

Turkey Chili with Black and Red Beans

the high fiber content of beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia.

When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.

It is no wonder that both kidney and black beans top the list of “heart healthy” foods.

**When choosing Canned**

Canned beans are most convenient but also contain significant amounts of sodium compared to fresh or frozen beans. By draining and rinsing canned beans, you not only send almost half of the sodium down the drain,

but you also reduce the effects of oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate group humans can’t digest which can cause bloating).

Turkey Chili with Black and Red Beans

Substitute lower fat ground turkey or extra lean beef for fattier meats.

Ingredients Directions
1-1/2 lb lean ground turkey (or ½ turkey ½ ex-lean ground beef)
1 med yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
Salt – to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon VITAMIN SPICE ground black pepper
VITAMIN SPICE Red Pepper to Taste
3/4 teaspoon ground oregano
14.5 ounces *diced tomatoes (canned)
3 TBSP *Tomato Paste / ~1/2 c chicken broth
16 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz can dark red Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sweet frozen yellow corn
Garnish with cilantro and shredded low-fat cheese if desired.

  • In large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Combine ground turkey and /or beef, chopped onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper.

Cook until meat no longer appears pink. Drain off any excess juices.

  • Add the dry seasonings and combine.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add diced tomatoes, tomato paste*, chicken broth, kidney and black beans. Stir occasionally. Add frozen corn last.
  • Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes.  (To increase “heat,” add additional red pepper flakes and chili powder to taste.)
  • Serve hot and garnish with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

*Using a seasoned variety of diced tomatoes and/or tomato paste is optional.

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Chocolate-Flax PROTEIN Muffins
Shari

by on Jan.01, 2010, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

Best so far, (if I do say so!) Healthy and totally satisfies those chocolate cravings.

AND…nearly 9 grams of protein per muffin!!


½ c oats

½ c low carb baking powder

1-2 TBSP Coconut flour

3 TBSP Milled Flax*

High in protein, fiber & Omega-3; with a sweet, nutty flavor.

High in protein, fiber & Omega-3; with a sweet, nutty flavor.

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1 TBSP Hershey’s Cocoa Powder

2 TBSP Splenda Brown Sugar

Baking Soda/Baking Powder

Cinnamon

—————

1 whole egg and 2 egg whites

4-6 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 TBSP low fat sour cream

1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

~1/3 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients to dry. Adjust amount of water to achieve desired consistency for muffins.   Spray muffin tins with butter flavor spray. Fill muffin tins approx 2/3 full and bake for approx 14-15 minutes, until toothpick comes clean.

Recipe makes one dozen protein packed muffins.

Available at most supermarkets (EVEN Wal-mart!)

Available at most supermarkets (EVEN Wal-mart!)

*Flax seeds are one of nature’s best health foods. They are one of the richest sources of omega-3. They also are rich in soluble fiber and contain high quality protein. Vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and minerals iron and zinc, plus smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are found in flax seeds.

(Look for future blogs about the power of Flax)!

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INCREASED METABOLISM = DECREASED BODY FAT
Shari

by on Nov.30, 2009, under General Nutrition, Weight Loss

GREAT WAYS TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM AND BURN MORE FAT!

EVERYBODY, no matter how old, how overweight or  how out of shape has the ability to increase their metabolism… It is not all in your genes. Here is some general information to get you going:

Metabolism simply defined is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats that give your body the energy it requires to maintain itself.


1. Understand the differences between complex and simple carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are high-fiber foods, which improve your digestion. They help stabilize the blood sugar, keep your energy at an even level, and help you feel satisfied longer after your meal.

In contrast, sugar and other simple carbohydrates can alter your mood, lead to cravings and compulsive eating, cause wide swings in your blood-sugar levels, and cause weight gain in most people. In addition, a high consumption of sugar can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you finally decide to improve your diet and forgo the sweets.

Examples: simple and complex carbohydrates

The healthiest foods are high in fiber, and contain complex carbohydrates along with many other vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They will also contain other nutrients, such as protein and fats, in moderation. These foods will not be highly refined.

Some examples of healthy foods containing, complex carbohydrates are:

Spinach Whole Barley Grapefruit
Turnip Greens Buckwheat Apples
Lettuce Buckwheat bread Prunes
Water Cress Oat bran bread Apricots, Dried
Zucchini Oatmeal Pears
Asparagus Oat bran cereal Plums
Artichokes Museli Strawberries
Okra Wild rice Oranges
Cabbage Brown rice Yams
Celery Multi-grain bread Carrots
Cucumbers Whole meal spelt bread Potatoes
Dill Pickles Pinto beans Soybeans
Radishes Yogurt, low fat Lentils
Broccoli Skim milk Garbanzo beans
Brussels Sprouts Kidney beans
Eggplant Lentils
Onions Split peas
Tomatoes Soy milk
Cauliflower Navy beans

Simple carbohydrates are more refined, are usually found in foods with fewer nutrients, and tend to be less satisfying and more fattening.

Some examples of foods containing simple carbohydrates are:

Table sugar
Corn syrup
Fruit juice
Candy
Cake
Bread made with white flour
Pasta made with white flour
Soda, such as Coke®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, etc.
Most packaged cereals
All baked goods made with white flour

If you are trying to eliminate simple sugars and carbohydrates from your diet, but you don’t want to refer to a list all the time, here are some suggestions:

Read the labels. If the label lists sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or “wheat” flour, they contain simple carbohydrates. If these ingredients are at the top of the list, they may contain mostly simple carbohydrates, and little else. They should be avoided.

Look for foods that have not been highly processed or refined. Choose a piece of fruit instead of fruit juice, which is very high in naturally occurring simple sugars. Choose whole grain breads instead of white bread. Choose whole grain oatmeal instead of packaged cold cereals.

The closer you get to nature, the closer you get to health.

2. Increase your muscle mass

The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest. Muscle is extremely active metabolically. Do some resistance training, add some muscle, and crank up that metabolism.

Daily exercise is needed to keep the cells active. Weight training helps the body develop muscles, which burns more calories than fat. Some of the best results come when weight lifting takes place for at least 30 minutes per day for four to five days per week.

3. Never let yourself get too hungry, or too stuffed.

The way to accomplish this is to eat small, frequent meals. Train yourself to eat 5 or 6 small meals each day. This will keep your metabolism primed so that you’re burning fat at optimal capacity. When you go too long between meals, your body senses starvation and slows down in order to conserve its fuel supplies. This is one of the very best ways to boost metabolism and achieve maximum weight loss.

Time your meals so that you eat before you are starving . . . doing this one simple thing will cause you to almost always eat less. When you do eat, stop when you’re satisfied, not when you are so stuffed you cannot even get down another bite.

4. Eat more high fiber foods.

Most of us do not get enough fiber in our daily diets. Fiber not only promotes overall general health, but also can significantly aid in your fat-burning efforts. Fiber moves quickly and relatively easily through your digestive tract and helps it function properly. A high-fiber diet may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Recommended fiber intake for women is 21 to 25 grams a day and for men is 30 to 38 grams a day. Leafy greens and salads are ideal sources of fiber. So are apples and avocados, beans and broccoli, & oats and bran.

5. Drink 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water everyday.  Can’t drink that much water? Substitute unsweetened green tea for some of your water servings. Green tea has been shown to have an independent metabolism raising effect.

Some More Nutrition Basics

  • Don’t Skip Meals
    Missing meals on a regular basis is a bad idea no matter what your reason. No time? Make time. Trying to lose weight? This won’t work. Skipping meals leads to overeating later in the day. In addition, the body becomes very efficient to prevent starvation. Translation: your metabolism slows down and stores more fat. Finally, without the continuous energy food supplies, you become run down and more susceptible to sickness. The solution: During the day try to eat every 3 to 4 hours. That means breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, and dinner.
  • Eat Breakfast . Eat Breakfast . Eat Breakfast. (need I say more?)
    Every meal is important, but the first meal after a long night’s rest is crucial in many ways. If you’ve just slept for eight hours, your body has been deprived of food for a long period of time. Your body will respond by going into “starvation” mode unless given proper fuel. Breakfast provides that first shot of energy to rev you up and get your day started. A good breakfast will kick start your metabolism (fat burning) for the day.
  • Eat Protein With Your Carbs
    Do not avoid carbs, just don’t over do it. Pairing protein-rich foods with your carbs makes this task easier. Carbohydrates provide much-needed energy to your body; however simple carbs (as described earlier) are digested quickly leaving you feeling hungry soon after eating. Bagels and muffins for breakfast, candy bar snacks and large portions of pasta and rice at lunch and dinner become an unending cycle resulting in hunger pangs and the need for a pick-me-up. Proteins digest more slowly therefore you feel satisfied longer. The solution: Enjoy complex carbs in moderate amounts and along with low-fat protein. Instead of a bagel and cream cheese, try an English muffin with peanut butter. Instead of a candy bar, how about dried cranberries and almonds. Instead of a big bowl of pasta, dish out three-quarters a cup of pasta along with a grilled chicken breast
  • Break Down Your Dish
  • Chances are your dinner (or lunch) plate looks a bit like this: a pile of meat, chicken, or fish and a pile of rice, potatoes, or pasta and on a good day maybe a smidgen of veggies or a salad on the side. Well its time to put your math skills to work. Divide your plate into three parts. One quarter is for the protein of the meal–meat, chicken, beans, etc.–three ounces or about the size of the palm of your hand. One quarter is for the starchy foods–rice, potato, corn, etc.–about a half cup. And the remaining half should be loaded up with fruits and veggies. With the exception of the starchy vegetables like corn, peas, and potatoes, veggies can be eaten as often as and as much as you want. They help fill you up but contribute few calories.
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