Stay Thin & get all your Omega-3, Iron & More with this Amazing Dish

I’ve missed you guys these past weeks. I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in the USA and really enjoyed this much need vacation.
As you all know the USA is trying to start a health revolution (well it has been for awhile) but it’s taking sometime to get people on board with it. Even though it has come long ways it still seems that habits are hard to break. And although they are trying to get people to eat more organic and healthy foods they seem to constantly come up with new healthy products that are supposed to replace the unhealthy products, I like to call them ‘healthy junk food’. That’s what it is. Instead of stopping to produce say potato chips, they come up with a healthier potato chip, made with flax seeds, chia seeds, rice flour, bean flour, natural flavorings, etc…it’s still a freaking chip; albeit healthier still a chip. Why not reach for a handful of almonds, or some fresh fruit, or veggies, some yogurt, an egg or even a piece of parmigiano reggiano cheese?! These are healthy, whole and organic replacements to junk foods. I am not saying that those better for you chips aren’t better for you but why do they have to have a whole aisle and a half in a grocery store full of chips. It’s too much!

I am lucky that I have learned early on in life what eating healthy is all about and that here in Italy it’s so easy to do that. Healthy tastes so good! I am one of those people who will always opt to eat something healthy over something that has no nutritional value but may sound good.
For Me, healthy does sound good. I know people often times relate this word ‘healthy’, to boring, tasteless, unworthy, complicated and uninviting. Total opposite for me. I relate it to delicious, flavorful, easy, worth it, inviting with a wonderful array of options and colors.

I love knowing that what I am putting into my body is helping me stay healthy and I’m not putting crap in my body that is actually going to cost me my health, weak bone density, tooth decay, dull and unhealthy hair, wrinkles and ugly skin, GI problems, illnesses, etc….
Eating healthy is a habit but a good one to form. I have wrote about Healthy Eating habits and the wonderful effects it as on your body from weight-loss to feeling fantastic and how to do it here and here.

This next recipe is super simple and so good for you and trust me you will not be disappointed with the flavor it has. To top it all off it packed of healthy Nutrients, Vitamins and it’s Delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:Serves 2

2 6-oz Salmon fillets

1/2 lb of Spinach

1 cup of Lentils

1 1/2 cup of Veggie broth, low sodium

1 Shallot, chopped finely

1-2 dried Chili peppers, whole (optional)

Extra virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small pot add 1 drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat and then add 1/2 the chopped shallot. Once shallot has reached cooking time, needs to be translucent you may throw in your lentils, salt and pepper then add your chili’s and broth. Cover and allow to cook at medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

In a separate pan add some olive oil place over medium heat and add the shallot, following cooking instructions same as for lentils. Now add your spinach, followed by salt and pepper; lower heat and cover. Cooking time may vary, it needs to wilt so when you see that it has wilted continue to cook for about 5 minutes and then turn off.

For the Salmon you are going to salt and pepper both sides. Place a pan over high heat add a small drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat completely and then carefully add your salmon. Cook for about 5 minutes and then flip over cooking for another 5 minutes.

Everything at this point should be cooked. So you may serve.

Healthy Eating New Years Resolutions – My Thoughts and Life

As I was surfing the net today and yesterday; I noticed how many posts were about losing the Holiday weight, getting back in shape, cleansing, dieting, detoxying; etc.

I started thinking about when was the last time that I have felt like that after the Holidays. I think that it’s maybe because I am so busy, hosting, prepping and running around that I really don’t actually gain weight during the Holidays. Don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to go back to eating healthier foods, eating at decent times, drinking a little less and staying at home a little more after the Holidays; but gross to the point of having to do a hardcore detox just hasn’t been on my to-do list.
But, I do know what it feels like and I do know what a nice detox does to the body. I’ve been there, done that and stressed about it just like everyone else. The thing that got me to writing this post is that once you start that detox/cleanse/diet you get back on track lose the weight and then reward yourself by going back to the same eating habits that brought you to do this in the first place. So, you go right back to square one.  Hence beginning a yo-yo effect. Then your body gets used to you doing this every so often that you don’t get the same results that you did the first time so you have to be a little more drastic each time and be more strict even while rewarding yourself.
So, I thought that I would give you some insight on how to get back on track and what I do to feel good again. It’s nothing crazy and it isn’t unachievable, you don’t have to sacrifice on the important foods and no you don’t have to blend everything.
You can eat and be thin too!

Often times too many we can’t wait to eat that piece of cake that’s in front of us. We can’t wait to have that huge plate of fries with that bigger than life burger. We think about eating that whole bag of chips (because we were good). Well I have news for you; I’m not saying that you can’t do that. I’m not saying that you’re a failure if you do that. And I am not even going to say that you’re an alien for even considering something like that. What I am going to say is that you need to reconsider if that’s what you really want to do? If that’s really what you’re body is craving? Is that something that is going to give you the energy to do something positive for yourself? Is it going to make you want to workout harder? Is it going to make you feel proud for making that decision? Is it going to give you the energy to go outside and play with your children for a bit? Is it going to give you the inner peace of mind that everything is going to be all right? Is it going to make that zipper on your favorite jeans go up? Is it going to make you feel light and healthy? Is it going to give you pure and utter satisfaction that when you are done you’ll want to get cozy with your husband, boyfriend or lover because you look and feel fine f@&king-tastic? If you don’t have one is it going to make you want to go out and find one?

Well if it doesn’t then why do it? Why even go there? I know sometimes we just really are craving it and one little piece won’t hurt; well that’s true one bite or piece won’t hurt. But do you have the willpower to say that’s enough! Do you have the will power to stop at that one piece or that one bite? Or are you going to excuse yourself every single time this situation presents itself? First; it’ll be because you were really good and ate really healthy so reward yourself. Then it’s because it’s the weekend. Then it’s going to be because it’s your friend’s birthday. Then it’s girl’s night. Then because it’s Easter, Memorial day, Summer Vacation, Independence Day, Winter, Christmas, NYE and there you have it a whole year of pure excuses that you seem to have no control over because you never told yourself that you don’t need that in order to be happy. It’s food! Not Eternal Salvation!

Ok, now those words were hard for me to say because I love food. I have and will always love food, and yes I’m going to saying it: Food Makes Me Happy!
But food makes me happy because my relationship with food is: eat to feel good, not eat to feel bad.
When I eat, it’s to have a positive effect on my body not the negative effect. I like to eat, indulge, know my limits and walk away. I’m not saying that you can’t eat that cake, or fries or whatever. I am saying that you shouldn’t look at it and say “that’s bad for me and I’m going to feel bloated in the morning” and then eat it anyways this way creating a negative effect with food because now you can only relate it to bad, and thus using it to punish yourself when you feel like you have gone too far. Instead of saying that is going to make me feel fantastic tomorrow and give you the energy you are lacking.  I eat and I know what is going to make me feel one way or the other. Say I don’t like Burgers, I’m not saying they aren’t good for you but they aren’t the best option either; so I’m not going out to eat one and I’m not going to eat it if it’s in front of me just because I am at a friend’s house or feel peer pressured. I don’t feel like I nourished my body and don’t like the after effects. I like pasta but I don’t eat it at every meal and I certainly don’t eat it when I feel like crap. I eat it when I feel good this way I look at it as a friend and not the enemy, this way I don’t have to eat it always. I know I can have it whenever I want; it’s a friendly food and I just don’t need it all the time.

What I know that I do need all the time is Vegetables, Fruits, Lean Proteins and Healthy fats and this is what consistently live off of. The rests are just fillers. I have lasagna, pasta, bread; I have cake, cookies, gelato; I don’t ever have sodas of any sort. I don’t have canned foods (besides beans and tuna). I don’t have white sugar in the house. I only cook with Olive oil. I try to eat only whole grain. I don’t eat processed foods if I can at all help it, so none of that is in the house.
I have formed healthy habits that I just will not touch certain foods, but because they literally disgust me. And for the rest I just eat them on occasion and when presented more often (like say the Holidays) I just eat a small portion and fill up on my veggies because I literally cannot live without them. That’s all. If you just cut back on the stuff that really doesn’t fill your heart, and just gives you a bloated belly. And start eating more whole; you can have miracles happen to your body.
Make your own salad dressing: 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil, some fresh squeezed Lemon (or Vinegar I like Apple cider) some salt and pepper. That’s delicious and great for you and you’ll really enjoy it.

You’ll notice that your body won’t ever crave those foods anymore. And yes, you will be able to make all types of foods your friend and not cause you to feel so miserable after enjoying it.
Your New Years resolution should be about rediscovering yourself and changing your eating habits one step at a time. Food is good you just need to know when no is no. It’s obvious that if you are going to a party and you know you’ll have say a burger and fries, or pizza; well then start your day with fresh fruit, eat a nice salad with chicken or salmon for lunch and avoid eating crappy. You’ll fill up on good for you foods and won’t be starving for dinner and you’ll probably not even want to eat that dinner because your body is in ‘healthy mode’ all day it’ll know what it wants for dinner. Trust me. Your body is so freaking intelligent you don’t always have to over ride the cravings. If you feed it healthy it craves healthy.

As for drinking I know everyone says not to drink. I can’t do that! I like drinking and I’m married and my Husband likes to drink. What to do? Well, drinking isn’t bad you just have to watch what you drink. I love wine, I enjoy it and my Husband loves wine as well, so we drink wine. Not every night and not a bottle each time. We enjoy it, we can have it whenever and a glass isn’t going to damage anything. I don’t really drink anything else besides the occasional Skinnygirl Margarita or a Vodka Soda with 2 pieces of Lime squeezed in it. They are light and I still enjoy them if wine isn’t available.
I do like Mojitos, Caipirinha, Caipiroska, Pina Colada, Americano, Spritz, etc; but the thing with these drinks is that they are so sugary that you can really only drink one of them occasionally to not have negative effects on the body that I just opt out and prefer to stick to my glass of wine. Gives me more satisfaction. Period! I do give my body a break sometimes I tell my Husband that I am not going to drink for 2 weeks or something like that but it has to be an achievable goal and when drinking I try to limit 1-2 glasses a night. I’m not perfect I have those nights when I drink way too much, but it’s ok I am aware and I am having a good time. What is life without the occasional slip up. Just don’t regret it and punish yourself. It’s life move on. Make healthy choices and don’t put it off till tomorrow.

I can’t stand when people say. I feel like shit. I ate like shit, I need to start a diet or to eat healthy, but today I already started out unhealthy so I’ll do it tomorrow; oh wait after tomorrow because tomorrow I have to go out or blah, blah, blah. It’s an excuse! Just because you go out doesn’t mean you can’t make a healthy choice. So what if your friends are ordering crap. You’re paying for your food; eat what you want. Order a nice piece of salmon with roasted veggies and a glass of crisp white wine. Or do you really want that Burger with fries and a beer? If you do, go for it. You see I know how I would feel the minute I finished something like that and that’s gross! Unless I’m not making it at home with grass-fed meat, fresh veggies, a nice whole grain bun, some real cheese; then I don’t care for it. And especially not if I’m trying to be healthy.  You control your body and what goes in it. Healthy is so delicious. Start making small changes now and next year you won’t have to go on a diet after the Holidays. Yes You Can Do It!

Here’s a small list of my all-time favorites for a healthier lifestyle:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
    (if you can squeeze 1/2 a lemon even better)
  • Eat fresh Fruit for breakfast (have an apple cut it into pieces and sprinkle cinnamon on it, or a nice fruit salad)
  • Serve yourself a ramekin of Almonds for a snack (or whatever nuts you like)
  • Eat a vegetable at every meal, and pick one night a week where it’s the star of the dish.
  • Don’t buy junk, you won’t eat junk.
  • Make healthy snacks and keep them around for when you get that hunger pang.
  • Don’t drink Sodas, and unless it’s completely 100% natural try to eat your fruit not drink it.
  • Eat a square of Dark pure Chocolate instead of dessert, and absolutely no Candy.
  • Make your own salad dressing, I don’t care if what you’re buying says low-fat, fat-free, all-natural, whatever make your own.
  • Avoid fried foods. Try roasted, baked, steamed, sautéed, grilled or boiled. Just top off with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper if it’s bland. It’ll be Delish!
  • Drink hot herbal or green teas throughout the day, and don’t put sugar. If you must a drizzle of honey, or brown sugar.
  • No artificial flavorings, foods, ingredients or drinks. If you can’t spell it out don’t ingest it.
  • Try to eat whole grains. Not wheat, whole-grain.
  • Incorporate more Lean proteins a.k.a Fish, Veal, Chicken, Turkey and some lean Red meat.
  • Eggs aren’t your enemy eating them at least once a week is good for you.
  • Eat Natural, Organic and try to stay away from anything in a box or can.
  • Drink wine instead of hard liquor, and if you drink hard liquor make sure it’s at least clear.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t over season or flavor your food. Leave out all those sauces. Stay all-natural, need some pizzaz use Extra Virgin olive oil.
  • Listen to your body, if you don’t like Soy or feel good when you drink it then don’t. Just because people say it’s better or good for you doesn’t mean you have to have it. I feel horrible and bloated when I drink Soy so I drink Lactose-free milk now and feel great.
  • Workout. You have to get off your butt and move that gorgeous body of yours. You have 24 hours in a day – 8 for sleeping = 16 hrs – 8 for work = 8 – 3 for meals = 5 -1 for working out still leaves you 3 hours. And if you don’t work that means taking out the 8 hrs for sleep, 3 hrs for meals = 13 hours left to work out. Do it! Find what you like and incorporate it in your long term lifestyle. Whether it be running, aerobics, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, rowing, cycling you need to find what you like and enjoy doing it because that the only way it’s going to last it you actually like the way it makes you feel.

I’m not a nutritionist or doctor. And please consult a specialist before stopping or starting anything new in your life. What I am is a girl that is 28 going on 29 and am in the best shape that I have ever been in my life after experimenting with all the possible, cleanses, detoxes, and trying a lot of different things I always went back to what I was trying to change. I finally figured it out. It’s a journey, a lifestyle and it doesn’t happen overnight but it does stay. And yes, you are going to look and feel much better forever.

Be healthy + eating healthy = Happy and Happy = Gorgeous body! Happy New Years.

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Sage wrapped Low-Fat stuffed Chicken Breasts

The winter is well on its way and I feel like heart-warming meals without all the added calories and heavy ingredients. As you all know by now there are 2 things that I absolutely love 1. Chicken (especially my husband, he literally could eat chicken everyday) 2. Veggies (I will find a way to incorporate them in all my meals).

During the summer it’s always grilled chicken. It’s light , tastes delicious and most of all easy and fast. However in the winter I feel more like staying inside away from the cold and also don’t really crave a grilled anything for that matter. It’s hard sometimes to try to make chicken inside on the stove top without it tasting absolutely boring. I’ve decided that no matter what I won’t cave in to millions of ingredients in one dish just to give it flavor, there are so many natural herbs and spices that can give your meals incredible flavor and bring out the best of your meals, without overpowering a dish.
The other morning I was craving stuffed chicken breasts and thought that I would need to go to the store for some cheese and whatever else inspired me to put in it. However, the thought became an absolute ‘no way am I going out in this cold for some cheese and stuff’, like always I opened the fridge and saw that I had some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, some artichokes in olive oil and some fresh sliced mushrooms. Perfect this was going to work. I will say that I did have some Parmigiano Reggiano but I opted to leave out the cheese and see how a stuffed chicken breast with no cheese would taste.

I also have a wonderful Sage plant outside and I love the warming, eloquent, subtle flavor it gives when added to food. It has wonderful health benefits, it helps cure gastrointestinal disorders, muscle spasms and cramps, gingivitis, it helps regulate blood sugar and improves digestion. It’s full of Antioxidants that help with the aging process. And it’s an Anti-inflammatory agent for people with inflammatory issues such as but not limited to Rheumatoid arthritis. So yeah, it’s good for ya; and I decided that it would be the only seasoning herb for the chicken.
Here in Italy people incorporate it to meals quite a bit, whether its soups, sauces, meats, stews, etc… let me say that it really does compliment a dish when used correctly.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe it’s really simple and so delicious. Accompany it with whatever you like, a salad, roasted vegetables, steamed vegetables, rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes or anything else you can come up with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless Chicken breasts

8 Sun-dried Tomatoes, in Extra Virgin Olive OIl

8 Artichoke quarters, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 slices of Mushrooms

2-3 fresh sprigs of Sage, or 14 leaves

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 pieces Parchment paper, big enough to wrap each breast individually

8 pieces cooking Twine, about 4in. long

 

Preheat your oven at 350°.

Grab your chicken breasts and butterfly. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.  Now layer 4 pc. of sun-dried Tomatoes, followed by 4 slices of Mushrooms, followed by 4 pc. of Artichokes. Now close your chicken, cover the top nicely with half the sage leaves, salt and pepper.
Get 4 pc. of Twine and carefully slide one by one under the breast and then tieing at the top until the whole breast is securely tied. Lay one piece of parchment paper out and place your chicken in the center, drizzle 1 tsp of Olive oil and then close your parchment paper as if making a little doggie bag. Place in baking tray and repeat the same with other breast.

Bake for 25 minutes and then carefully open the paper, start with sides as some steam may leave and you’ll get burnt. Cut twine off and place nicely on dish. Buon Appetito

My Healthy Veggie Stir-fry for Meatless Monday

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and go back to things that you loved eating as a kid or at a friends house / restaurant but never made it yourself.

Stir-fry is something that I always find tastes delicious when you eat it at a Asian restaurant. It just seems that sometimes when you eat it at home it either lacks flavor or there is too much flavor or it’s mushy or it just doesn’t taste the same. I figured I would try this out as it would make a perfect meatless Monday meal. I mean Veggies with brown rice??? What more could you want.

Now, I have never in my life or as far as I can remember ever cooked a stir-fry so this was gonna be tricky. I know; I can make a lasagna from scratch but a stir-fry frightens me. Crazy.

Of course I know that you generally put broccoli and some other array of veggies. I also know that you use soy sauce but to be honest I try to use as little soy as possible; after all it is high in sodium and so unfriendly to the woman figure, it really has crazy day after bloating effects which cause so much discomfort, nothing like eating a healthy meal but having your pants fit you too tight because of the MSG you just inhaled. So, I kept a close watch on that one.

This was going to be a test of my culinary skills per se, because I wanted to see if I could achieve the deliciousness and still keep it healthy. The health benefits of this dish are many.
Broccoli is so good for you and high in so many great nutrients, it’s high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, which benefits anywhere from brain function to the common cold.
Ginger is another great natural remedy especially for this cold weather, it’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anti-viral, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, digestive, lymph-cleansing and warming.
Mushrooms are another fantastic source of nutrients and amazing for the following niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, potassium. They are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and extremely low in sodium.

So the above are the ingredients I used to make my veggie stir-fry accompanied of course by non other than delicious brown rice. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

1 medium head of Broccoli

1/4 lb. Mushroom Pleurotos *

3 Celery stalks

2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tbsp. fresh Ginger, Minced

3 drizzle count Extra Virgin Olive oil

4 drizzle count Soy Sauce**

Salt and Pepper to taste

Start  by slicing your broccoli into thin florets set aside on separate dish. Then move on to your mushrooms cut longwise and in-between thick and thin set aside on separate dish. Get your celery stalk and cut longwise as thinly as possible and 2 inches long set aside on separate dish. Move on to you ginger, chop up very thin and set aside. And now mince your garlic.

Heat a wok over medium heat, drizzle your olive oil and add the garlic and ginger at the same time. Allow your garlic to get golden and throw in your celery, mix well and then throw in your broccoli. Sprinkle some pepper and add 2 count drizzle of soy. Mix all the ingredients well allow to cook for another 3 minutes and then add your mushrooms. Mix again well with all the ingredients and then add the remaining 2 drizzles of soy. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes mixing ingredients in between. I like my veggies a bit crunchy but if you want to cook more feel free.
Serve over brown rice.

* Use whatever mushroom you like, shitake, portobello, porcini or champignon.

** If you can find Light soy, use that otherwise feel free to use the regular kind.

**If you feel like you need to, you can add a little water to help the cooking process.

 

Healthy Eating Habits That Can Also Help you Lose Weight

Healthy eating habits are about making smart food choices that you can incorporate into your daily life and live with forever. I don’t personally believe in making a change in your routine that you don’t see yourself doing in the long-term or converting into a habit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you can’t switch up what you eat or do different things in your daily diet. I am talking about getting rid of unhealthy food choices and replacing them with healthy choices.
Let’s say that you are somebody that loves to snack on Potato Chips, you know that that should not be your go to snack not only because it’s going to make you pack on pounds but also because it’s not a healthy snack choice. You could have a fruit, handful of nuts, a vegetable, yogurt, maybe some whole grain crackers/bread/pretzels with a nut butter of your choice, a few slices of turkey meat with lettuce or vegetable of your choice, some cheese (I like Parmigiano Reggiano), or anything that is going to nurture and benefit your body and you don’t have to eat the whole bag and still feel unsatisfied and hungry.

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It’s all about the choices we make. I used to be 18 and what I would drink and snack on would be chips, snickers bars or what we have her in Italy would be Tronky/Hanuta/Duplo/ Kinder or a Luik (which is a type of Lemon Ice Cream on a Liquorice stick), and then possibly accompanied by a soda Fanta, Coke or Lipton Iced tea.
Oh my, so not nutritious, Packed with sugar, additives and whatnot. I wasn’t fat or anything of the sort but I did look older and I know that I was unhealthy. I decided that I would do a master cleanse at age 20 (oh did I mention I smoked from ages 19-20ish about 2 packs a day, gross) the reason for the master cleanse was a personal challenge and I thought that if other people could do it then so could I.
I did the whole 21 days (I never in my life up until that point skipped a meal, or a snack…NEVER).
I got off the cleanse and felt like I had won the lottery, I felt energized, I felt light, I felt younger, and most of all I was healthy. I never touched a soda again, I am 28 and only drink water I mean it doesn’t even cross my mind to grab anything other than a bottle of water or a tea (hot and no sugar) when I am thirsty. It’s amazing. Just that right there is a healthy choice and this is what I mean by letting your choices become a habit, a lifestyle if you may. To me it became a habit because now it would probably taste nasty to me, but also because I look at it as not worth it. It’s not worth it because it has absolutely no good effect on what my body needs and so I don’t want it. I have friends that live off this stuff, like many of you out there that sit in front of me, offer it to me and it doesn’t even phase me. I mean now that I am talking about it, it does but generally it’s a subconscious reaction to reject it.
I have had the occasional chip, keyword ‘occasional’, not habitual snack. They are yummy especially now they have the baked, the Adzuki, the Sweet Potato, the Rice, etc….but they are chips non the less and not the best snack, maybe small occasional indulgence.

Ok, so to follow are a few life changing Healthy Eating Habits, let’s get healthy together.

Drink Plenty of Water:
Water helps you feel full throughout your day. Water also provides innumerable health benefits to your skin and your digestive and circulatory systems.

Eat Slowly:
Your food isn’t going anywhere, so sit down enjoy every bite and put your fork down in-between bites. It takes your body about 20 minutes to register that you’re eating and to turn off the hunger signal.

Eat Vegetables as the Main Course at every Meal:
Vegetables should be the star of your meal they are packed with fiber and few calories. They fill you up and you end up eating less of the high-caloric food on your plate. If you have to pick what to finish always opt for the vegetable.

Evaluate your Eating Habits:
Are you nibbling while cooking, are you finishing the food off your husband’s or kid’s plate, are you eating in bed? Think about it and try to not eat until you finished cooking, or leave the food on your husband’s plate, (he left it why should you eat it?!) See what you can change.

Shop on a full Stomach:
Make a list so you keep impulse buying at bay. When you shop hungry it’s a recipe for disaster in your refrigerator and in your wallet. You have to buy healthy food and when your ravenous it makes that nearly impossible because of everything you see and smell.

Switch to Healthy Snacks:
The most nutritious snacks contain complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein and fat. Like nut butter on apple slices, they will make you feel full longer.

Eat regular meals. Figure out the frequency of your meals that works best in your life and stick to it. Regular meals help prevent bingeing.

Keep a Food Diary:
This way you can see what you’ve eaten throughout the day and help balance out your next meals/snacks. It makes you more conscious about what is going in your mouth.

Watch your Portions:
Piling food onto your plate can make you feel pressured to eat it all. Serve yourself a small portion when you’re done wait 10 minutes and if your still hungry serve yourself a little more. Keep in mind that your stomach will grumble early on, until it has shrunk to adapt to the smaller meals you’re now eating.

Healthy does not occur overnight, despite what you may think it takes sometime. Listen to your body and try to make little changes eliminate fried and have baked, replace white sugar with raw sugar, replace sweet iced tea, with hot green tea and no sugar, eventually it will become a part of your lifestyle.

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Sesame Crusted Grilled Tuna Steak

There is something just so delicious to me about Tuna Steak! My husband and I both love seafood and seem to never be able to get enough of it.
For starters there is so many different types of fish and/or seafood; from tuna steak to sea bass, tilapia to salmon, lobster to shrimp, clams to scallops and the list can go on forever, it’s simple, fresh and delicious. It’s healthy and easy to digest, perfect for a light meal anytime of the year.

We both have fallen in love with tuna on the grill, we basically make in about 10 minutes and that’s including marinating, grilling and serving…HA!
My husband is amazing with the grill, you might think that’s not that hard but it is; you need to know how and when to flip the food, what temperature and most of all how to keep it tender without leaving it raw or burnt. However, he is great at it and seeing as though I like most of my meals grilled, I am truly appreciative that he does the grilling as it gives me a break from doing all the work myself.

Tuna is figure friendly; with very little fat and just 80 calories per 6 ounce steak.
Tuna is an excellent source of protein. It’s full of omega-3’s and contains Vitamin E and K which help prevent heart disease, cancer and blood coagulation. It has essential minerals such as potassium, niacin, selenium, iron and iodine.
You can see why there are so many health benefits associated with tuna. So; consume tuna regularly as part of a healthy diet and reap all of these health benefits.

We like to grill it, but there are many, many ways of prepping it. In this recipe I use only 4 ingredients; be creative and see what you can create or how you want to marinate it. I accompanied it with a light leafy, green salad. Avocado is excellent as well, and I also like asparagus or green beans; so see what you have or like and use it! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 6 oz. Fresh Tuna steaks

2 tbsp. of Habanero hot sauce (Crystal is great)

2 tbsp. of Sesame seeds

Grinded Peppercorns

drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat you grill. Get your tuna steaks and evenly spread 1 tbsp of hot sauce on one side of the steaks, grind peppercorns and sprinkle add 1 tbsp of sesame seeds on top; flip steaks over and repeat procedure using the remaining ingredients.
Drizzle the Olive oil and put steaks on the grill cook for about 4 minutes on each side; the steaks should be a little pink in the center*.
Remove from heat and serve. That’s it!

* If you like it cooked thoroughly then leave it on longer.

 

 

Healthy, Quick and Delicious fixes for the Summer

Sorry, I haven’t been posting many recipes. It’s no excuse I have been really busy and also I have been pretty much living off of Fruit and fresh Salads as the weather here in Italy has been unbearably hot. I cannot remember a June that has had 32°C or 90°F weather. No, complaints on my part really…I love the summer in all it’s glory, but I doesn’t help the blog out any because instead of cooking I much rather be either tanning or under a cold shower. HA!

However, things that my body has been craving more than ever this year is fruit and lots of it; so my Husband and I have been going to the farmers market it actually is his house where he has a little stand and sells the fruit with his wife that they pick every day, they have a vast variety of fruits and vegetables we’ve been getting Cherries, Apricots, and Sugar Babies ( a small watermelon size of a cantaloupe ) as far as the fruit goes.They really do taste so much better than the ones you find at the supermarket it’s truly unbelievable.

                

These fruits are extremely good for you and they really help keep you hydrated, which in turn keeps you from swelling up with all this heat. Sometimes, I feel like a blow fish, it gets so humid and unbearably hot that I have to eat some watermelon or pineapple to help me de-bloat because water is just not cutting it.

Another thing that I like to make when its hot are these salads here:

http://mythineats.com/2011/12/10/garbanzo-and-tuna-green-salad/

http://mythineats.com/2012/03/18/healthy-and-elegant-zucchini-ribbon-salad/

http://mythineats.com/2011/11/21/shrimp-artichoke-green-salad/

Or the classic Caprese Salad, some red ripe Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella and my home-grown Basil with just a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some Salt and you have yourself an amazing Lunch or Dinner. Fresh and hassle free.

                     

Just remember that there are so many delicious fresh recipes that you can make that are so good for you and refresh the body rather than making you feeling heavy and bloated. Listen to your body and what it’s craving it’s the only ways you can get through these days. I will be posting some very delicious typical Italian recipes that are light and for Mythineaters….

Have a fantastic weekend and remember that these are just a few of the many summer cooking recipes to come.

Ciao

My Cleansing Vegetable Soup

So, as you all know I just finished a 10 day cleanse. I like to come off of it and introduce a nice vegetable soup with only seasonal, organic and fresh ingredients. I strongly believe that whenever you come off of any cleanse or detox you should slowly introduce food, now this soup is perfect for that, but it’s also perfect for when you are feeling sluggish or when you are detoxing but don’t want to do anything drastic have a day of this soup and you will feel fantastic the next day!

My husband loves to eat this soup whenever I make it. Although he’s not a big fan of the cleanse, he loves detoxing with this delicious vegetable soup. It’s packed with nutrients and it’s so beneficial to the body and digestive tract. You can really put anything that you find in season this time around I added pretty much only green vegetables because that is what I found in season. use what you find and like and make sure to add very little salt, you don’t want to retain too much water and besides too much salt isn’t good anyways. I hope that you enjoy it and that you give yourself an opportunity to occasionally eat only veggies……It’s GREAT and really beneficial!
You will notice that when you do introduce meat you feel way more sluggish and different, I am not a vegetarian by any means I love my Prosciutto Di Parma (or San Daniele), grilled chicken and fish. But I feel fantastic taking a break. And so will you!

Ingredients:

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

Handful Parsley, finely chopped

2 cubes Vegetable bullion, No MSG or Preservatives

5 Zucchini, chopped

1 bunch Asparagus, chopped

1 handful Green Beans, chopped

2 handful Baby Spinach

Salt and cayenne, to taste

 

Boil first 4 ingredients in a pot for about 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook to desired doness.  Add the salt and cayenne, if you want. Serve.

 

My Benefits of Completing a 10 day Master Cleanse

So, I completed the 10 day Master Cleanse, that means 10 days of just drinking: Purified water, fresh squeezed Lemon Juice, Grade B Maple syrup and Cayenne; it sounds tough but it sounds tougher than it actually is to complete these 10 days, I guess I just tell myself that 10 days out of 365 is nothing. Which is absolutely the TRUTH!

I feel amazing, I am full of energy, my skin is glowing, my hair looks and feels luscious and soft, no more tiredness, no more feeling sluggish, I don’t even need the alarm clock I am up at 6 am automatically every morning, and then of course I look and feel tight and slim.

Ok, I know what you are thinking, I don’t believe in this type of drastic cleanses, I could never survive 10 days without eating, I crash if I don’t have my morning lunch there is no way that I could go 10 days without absolutely any food at all, etc.. these are all things that we tell ourselves; I tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to do.

I am not saying that we should all do the master cleanse and I am not saying that it’s the best thing to do for weightloss or to feel great, I am sure and knowledgeable that there are other things out there, I just found this one and it seems to work for me in a fantastic way; the benefits are many and I love all the other internal cleansing things it does to my body, being a foodie it is obvious that sometimes my body needs a little break and I need that break to not only re-energize my internal and external body but also so that I can get new cooking ideas for you (mythinreaders).

I firmly believe though that if you do something like this you can’t come off it and eat a burger, NO! You have to slowly introduce the food groups and try to stay off meat as long as possible.  These are my steps to re-introducing food into my body:

Day 1:  Drink only fresh squeezed Orange or Grapefruit Juice diluted with water throughout the day.

Day 2:  Drink fresh squeezed Orange or Grapefruit for Breakfast
For Lunch seasonal all organic veggie broth, and for Dinner the veggie broth with the vegetables

Day 3:  Drink fresh squeezed OJ or Grapefruit for breakfast (or tall glass of water)
For Lunch Vegetable Soup, and for Dinner a nice vegetable salad (Today you can also start introducing Nuts, Beans)

Day 4:  Drink a tall glass of water, or OJ or a nice herbal tea, and a nice fruit, for Lunch and Dinner either soup or salad (Today you can also start introducing Whole Grains)

Day 5:  Drink tall glass of water, you can also introduce Green tea (I love it!), for Lunch Salad or Veggie Soup, and for Dinner Roasted Vegetables and Salmon or (any fish you like)

Slowly you can introduce the rest of the foods that you usually eat whole grains, rice, coffee, dairy, and poultry. These are all good food groups to eat I would avoid sodas, and all junk food (i.e. chips, fried foods, candy bars, artificial sweeteners, etc..)
Try to eat as raw and fresh as possible.

Now, lets get the blog back to eating but staying thin, more delicious recipes to come. Ciao

DETOX ….The Master Cleanse it is!

We all know how I feel about Food; I love eating it, I love cooking it, and I love shopping for it. Food is a big staple in my life as I am sure in most people’s lives.
However, lately I have been feeling kind of in a slump about it, I feel like I am so consumed with the many recent changes going on, with summer headed our way, the allergies I have due to the pollen and so on.
So after much consideration I have decided that I will do the ‘Master Cleanse’ a combination of water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I have done this cleanse a few times already and it always makes me feel fantastic it gives me that extra energy I need during times when I am not feeling so great.

The Benefits of a Detox

Besides the usual benefits of increased energy, clear eyes, skin and regulated moods, Detoxing has many other benefits:

  • Improves our Immune Function
  • Reduce the amount of toxins and pollution into our body to lessen the burden against the detoxification organs
  • Promote healthy eating, nutrition and supplementation to help our body effectively clear the toxins
  • Scavenge free radicals and eliminate toxins
  • Strengthen body’s fight against cancer cells and generate healthy cells in our body
  • Cleanse mucous, congestion, fermentation, inflammation in our digestive tract
  • Purify our blood
  • Reform our lifestyle addictions for sugar, salt, high glycemic carbohydrates, alcohol, junk foods, nicotine, etc

The first time I did “The Master Cleanse” was back in 2005 everyone had said that I would not be able to go without food for 21 days and it kinda kicked something in me to prove them wrong. I had started to smoke in 2004 and went from hating smoke to smoking about a pack or more a day, I never had it in me to quit and didn’t even want to.
So when I started the cleanse I hadn’t thought of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to smoke either. And, obviously after reading everything carefully and really soaking in the words “DETOX” I realized that I had embarked one tough journey. The first 3 days were torturous I had a horrible headaches from the caffeine withdrawal, I was craving my cigarettes, had muscle and body aches and I didn’t know if I would be able to complete it. However, although every single day I thought about quitting (sincerely only because I missed and craved the food), I started noticing how energetic and wonderful I was feeling, I would wake up in great moods, I had tons of energy (sexually as well, ha!) and felt like I was a new person; and the bonus was that I also lost a few lbs.

When I got off the cleanse I had no desire to put a cigarette in my mouth and felt so great. It was a way for me to push the button and start anew. I felt fantastic. I have consistently done the cleanse just about once a year, right when I start feeling sluggish and not so great, with the weather changes and my not so inspirational mood I know that I need to reset myself and this seems to work fantastic for me.

I only do it for 10 days, I have never re-done the 21 days I initially did. I don’t really know of any other detox because I generally stick to what I like. This one worked for me so I do it. However, you have to know that you are not allowed to eat anything at all, you can only drink the lemon mix, water and herbal teas. So, I don’t suggest everyone to do it because it is tough, there are other cleanses that are less drastic, I will list them below. I do however suggest an occasional detox, it’s good to give your body a break so that it can focus solely on you and help give that extra spark back in your everyday life. However, if you are doing this exclusively to lose weight I would suggest other things and always remember to contact your physician before starting any cleanse/detox. And remember to follow the guidelines carefully, you have to introduce the right foods back into your body slowly, I have attached the original link to the Master Cleanse for instruction.  Ciao

Master Cleanse:

  1. Nightly Laxatives (Herbal tea called “Smooth Move”) you can find it in any health store
  2. Salt Water Flush

Prior to your first day on The Lemonade Diet you should have taken your Nightly Laxative. On your first full day you do not need to do the SWF so you can start drinking your Lemonade immediately upon waking.

Lemonade Diet Recipe

Mix each of the following lemonade diet ingredients into a large glass:

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/10 Teaspoon of  Cayenne Pepper Powder – or to taste (as much as you can stand)
  • 8 ounces (250 milliliters of Pure Water)

Little tip: Roll each lemon firmly between your palm and the counter. Put sufficient downward pressure as you rock the lemon back and forth under your hand. You are softening the lemon to make the extraction of juice more efficient.

How much Lemonade should you drink during the day?

You will drink between 6 and 12 glasses of Lemonade each day (some people drink as much as 26 glasses per day). The more you can drink, the better. I try to drink at least 8 glasses each day. This will depend on how big or small you currently are (caloric needs), your tolerance to physical and psychological urges to eat, and your desire to to lose weight.

Here is the official Website: http://themastercleanse.org/

Here are some other types of Detox/Cleanses:

1) http://www.cleanprogram.com/

2) http://www.justcleansing.com/juicefasting.htm

3) http://detox-resource.com/10/fruit-flush-3-day-detox-diet-detox-made-easy/