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/

 

 

 

Low Fat Cooking – Simple Steps to Follow

Cooking and eating is the topic of most of my days, but the thing that I like to share with you today is how to manage cooking in a healthier manner that doesn’t require you to give up on flavor and still help you stay healthy and fit. I know that the word low-fat is not so attractive to some of you; and then again to some of you it might be just what you are looking for. I love that you can actually cook and eat low-fat and all you are giving up is the extra fat that your body doesn’t need. Now, I think that your body does need fats, but there is a difference between good fats and unnecessary fats. Let’s discuss this.

For instance, I think that grilled fish and chicken is more tastier than it cooked in a pan with oil, you give up on the fat because when you grill it the fat drains, hence making it less fat and the taste is delicious.
I also love lactose-free non fat or low-fat milk vs. the whole regular milk, the flavor is pretty much the same and all I am giving up on is fat.
Also I like to make my own buttermilk at home, by using the low-fat milk and lemon, it works exactly the same way but way less fat.

This is what I mean by giving up on fat but not on flavor. Things are yummy cooked the right way, we don’t have to get scared of fat, but we can learn to select it.
For example, I love almonds and walnuts, they are high in fat but all extremely good for you, so I eat them.
I love avocados, also fat. I love to use olive oil, also fat and I do like some good old Parmigiano Reggiano and will never eat any fake low-fat version, the real one is good for you and there is no substitute in my book.

So to follow are some tips on how to cook low-fat. Enjoy!

1) Grill, broil, bake, braise, steam, poach, slow-cook, and microwave foods instead of frying them. Sautéing is ok with minimal amounts of oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil), or use nonstick spray.

2) Choose chicken or turkey sausages or burgers instead of pork or beef sausages or burgers.

3) Choose extra-lean meat and skinless chicken breasts, and remember to trim all visible fat from meats.

4) Substitute most meat dishes each week with fish or vegetarian meals.

5) Use one egg and two egg whites per person in your favorite egg dishes or cakes; or cut fat and cholesterol completely by using egg substitute. Or also substitute 2 egg whites for one whole egg or 3 egg whites for 2 eggs.

6) Substitute whole milk for non fat or low-fat milk.

7) Oven-fry, bake or boil potatoes instead of making or buying French fries.

8) Choose reduced fat sour cream or yogurt instead of full-fat versions for stews, dips, spreads, and dressings.

9) Replace some of the fat in baked goods with applesauce, plain nonfat yogurt or low-fat buttermilk. (to make your own buttermilk: 1 cup low-fat milk mixed with 1 tbsp. lemon juice fresh).

10) Use reduced fat or fat-free cream cheese instead of the regular version for cheesecakes.

11) Use evaporated skim milk in place of light or heavy cream in soups and sauces.

12) Use fat-free chicken broth or fat-free milk in mashed potatoes, soups, gravies and stews

13) As a healthy alternative to frying, coat meat or veggies in egg whites then use bread crumbs and bake in the oven.

14) Cook fish in parchment paper or foil to seal in the flavor and juices.

15) Instead of eating potato chips, substitute pretzels, pita chips, or raw fruits and vegetables.

16) Rinse canned foods such as tuna, beans, and vegetables before using to wash away excess sodium or oil.

17) Thickening the sauce with cornstarch instead of a traditional butter-flour mixture.

18) Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than sauces, butter or margarine.

19) Cook with lemon juice or herbs — these add flavors to food such as vegetables without adding fat.

20) Use mustard as a sandwich spread in place of margarine or mayonnaise. Or use healthy fats such as nut butters on your toast.