Mediterranean Diet

chicken and dill

Easy to prepare Chicken and Dill recipe is sure to be a hit with the family.

Everything I’ve read over the years about a healthy diet always leads back to one place, the Mediterranean style of eating. And, quite frankly, it’s not that hard to take part in this healthy way of life. Basically it includes everything I preach about eating on a regular basis to slim down and stay healthy and fit.

“Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils.” – Harvard Medical School

Another fun fact I learned from HealthBeat, Harvard’s on-line medical journal, is that it has been proven to decrease risk of heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’sdisease.

Here’s a recipe I served up tonight from EatingWell.com. Quick, easy, low cal and perfect if you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean style of eating. Chicken breast is a great form of lean protein and lemon is chock full of anti-oxidants. I served this with broccoli but any side of greens is a great addition to round out your meal with nutrient dense foods that will make you stay fuller longer.

Lemon and Dill Chicken

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Quick tips for weight loss.

weight-loss-tip

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is most important to people about getting in shape. What I mean by this is, what areas do you find hardest about getting in shape and therefore need the most support?

Motivation to workout is always tough for everyone no matter what your fitness level. But I’m pretty sure the hardest part for most people, myself included, is the dietary portion of getting, and staying, in good shape. Diet is a very complex subject and to get the best results dietary recommendations will vary from person to person. What works for me may not for you. That being said, here are a few simple tips on how to curb your appetite and lose  some L-Bs:

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Drinking water before meals helps your stomach feel a little more full before you start to eat so you won’t eat as much.
  2. Stock up on snacks that not only help you feel fuller longer but provide much needed nutrients that make you feel good. Here are my recommendations:  -Nuts high in “healthy fat” like almonds and walnuts.  -Baby carrots, broccoli, bananas and apples provide filling fiber and other important vitamins. Bananas and apples are my favorite on the go snack. – Yogurt, I’ve been eating almond yogurt lately as it is lower in calories and unhealthy fats that are found in regular yogurt however regular yogurt can also be a healthy choice. Always look at the labels to be sure you aren’t buying yogurt full of sugar, unnatural flavors and saturated fats. I like Silk almond yogurt and Fage Greek yogurt. With Fage you can spoon in as much or as little of the sugary fruit they provide, so it’s easier to cut out some of the calories.
  3. Recognize your weaknesses and make a strategy for how to cope with them. For example: If you’re a late night eater try to find healthy, low-calorie options to help you cope with those cravings. If, like me, sugar is your vice, again find healthy substitutions to appease that sweet tooth. Another simple but helpful tip is to  try and find something else to do other than eat. When you start to have those unhealthy cravings occupy your mind with a book, a phone call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while or best possible scenario, workout!

I hope this helps you in some way. Do you have any simple weight loss tips you can share with us?

xo,

Hilary

3 Tips for staying fit this weekend

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Think of the weekend as an opportunity to amp up your fitness game.

People often use the weekend as an excuse to cheat on their diet and not exercise. That’s fine as long as you are not trying to bring your physical, mental and emotional state to a higher level. However, if you are (and if you’re reading this you probably are) I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Change your mind about the weekend. What do I mean by this? Think of the weekend as an opportunity to practice health and wellness instead of a chance to binge, sleep and watch Netflix. It’s ok to indulge a little, but if you change your general mindset and get in the habit of thinking of the weekend as having more time to focus on participating in healthy activities like hikes, running, getting to a yoga class or spending a little time making a shopping list for the week containing more whole foods and less processed ones; it will help you stay on track and not gain or regain those unwanted pounds.
  2. Do something good for someone else. This is a great way to show gratitude and to get your mind off of those unhealthy foods you may be craving. Make a plan to volunteer a little of your time or give back in some other way; this will fill your soul with love and gratefulness rather than filling your belly with fried food and sugar.
  3. Plan ahead. You know weekends are hard so make a plan to keep on track. Schedule a workout class and make sure you have healthy food options in your house to curb cravings.

What healthy activity are you doing this weekend?

Xo,

Hilary

What are your fitness goals?

We’re already a few weeks into spring so summer is getting near. I’m a strong advocate for being healthy and fit year round but also realize that’s not so easy for many people, myself included! With summer in our midst, the pressure is on to lose those extra pounds and stop eating the hardy and fattening foods we tend to crave in the colder months. So let’s get started!

Find your fitbliss

I would love to hear from you and help you achieve your “fit bliss”. Please let me know a few things so I can better serve you.  First, what are your current fitness goals? Second, what steps are you taking to achieve those goals? And finally, what would you like to see from this web site to help you achieve those goals? Writing it down and telling other people is a good start to holding yourself accountable for these goals and giving you more motivation to pursue and achieve your perfect fit.

I’ll tell you what my goals are, cut way down on processed sugar, get to the gym at least 4 times a week and most of all, better help YOU achieve your fitness goals. There’s not much more satisfying then when I hear from people who are inspired, motivated and most of all, SEEING RESULTS from the material I’m posting and advice I’m providing.

First step, when I get my workout in I will post it on Instagram with hashtag “fitbliss” and ask you to do the same so we can hold each other accountable.

 

Tom Brady’s Diet, Nightshades and Inflammation.

tomandgiseleworkingout

If you read my post on Wednesday I spoke about Tom and Gisele’s diet and how one of the exclusions from this diet is nightshades. These include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers. This is a sort of peculiar exclusion and I was asked if I thought that the good outweigh the bad in terms of eating them. So I did a little more research on the subject and I’ll break down what I found and what my thoughts are on the subject. And please feel free to share yours in the comments below.

Brady doesn’t eat nightshades because they cause inflammation. It is true that these foods can cause inflammation but, from what I’ve read, this side effect varies from person to person. Generally they are not bad enough to keep you from eating these nutrient rich foods.

Inflammation is most commonly associated with arthritus. A subject close to my heart as I have suffered from this for most of my life. It is actually the most common cause of discomfort, pain and injury. If you are unfamiliar with what arthritus is, it is simply painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Many people don’t realize they have it or perhaps don’t want to admit to having it, as it is commonly associated with being elderly. Although it is true that it gets worse with age, symptoms commonly occur in people of any age, especially in those that are very physically active like athletes.

If you’re curious, the number one food that causes inflammation is sugar. This is another exemption from Brady’s diet for good reason.

red-peppers

Nightshades include Red Bell Peppers which are rich in healthy nutrients.

As far as consuming nightshades, I believe the good outweighs the bad. Tomatoes and peppers are high in vitamins A, C and K. They are also a great source of anti-oxidants like lycopene.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. – WebMD

It is commonly associated with lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer. Although too much of it is not good either, so eating foods rich in this antioxidant in moderation is suggested. But isn’t that true of all things?

As far as nightshades causing inflammation goes, the jury is still out. They have been proven to cause some inflammation but, according to the Arthritis Foundation, not enough to abstain from these foods all together. It is worth noting that they have also been shown to improve symptoms of arthritis in some people.

My recommendation, do what works for you. If you notice more pain from inflammation when you eat nightshades, don’t eat them. GEnius!

Thanks for reading and please share any questions comments you have on the subject below.

XO,

Hilary