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.

Wild caught vs. farm raised

Fish is great source of lean protein, it can also contain a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which is helpful in preventing heart disease and stroke. But not all fish are created equal. There are lots of variables that can make buying healthy fish a bit complex.

First, you want to avoid “tile fish”, such as sword fish, mackerel and shark. These contain more mercury than other seafood. Another consideration is whether to buy wild caught or farm raised fish. This is a bit more complicated. In the past wild caught was thought to be better because it is a natural product of our eco-system. However, in recent years with all of the contaminants found in the ocean and over fishing causing less availability of certain types of fish,  it’s sometimes a better idea to buy farm raised. Although this has it’s drawbacks as well, including that they can escape into open waters and breed in eco-systems that are not their own, among other concerns… Basically there is no easy answer to this quetion.

Here are a few tips on how to buy healthy fresh fish at your local  market:

  1. Ask if it’s from a sustainable environment. If the grocer doesn’t know ask him/ her if they can look into it for next time. This is both good to know and is a way to advocate for stronger demand of sustainable fish supply.
  2. Buy fish from the USA. The US has strict environment and food safety laws which help ensure you are buying healthy, sustainable seafood.
  3. Find out what seafood is overfished and avoid them giving them a chance to repopulate.

Here is one of my favorite recipes for one of the most healthy fish you can consume, Salmon.

Ingredient list:

1 1/2 lb. Salmon Filet with skin

1 tbsp. ponzu sauce

1/2 lemon

Scallions

1 tbsp. minced ginger

Directions: Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Marinate salmon in ponzu sauce and lemon. Top with minced ginger and chopped scallions.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until fish is opaque in the middle.

So easy! I like to serve this with brown rice or quinoa and veggie of your choice. My family loves baked asparagus or broccoli.

Do you have any good seafood recipes you can share with us? Do you have any rules you follow when buysing seafood?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary

 

Healthy Muffins

walniut muffins

I use Kodiak Cakes waffle mix to make these healthy, filling and delicious muffins. This mix is made from 100% whole grains, contains protein, calcium and is a healthy alternative to white flour.

flapjacks_honey

Ingredients:

2 cups Kodiak Cakes mix

1 cup soy milk

3/4 cups raw honey

1 egg

1/4 cup butter

1 cup applesauce

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups crushed walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 14-18 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins.

 

Immunity boosting juice recipe.

Green Juice

I gave some tips yesterday about how to boost your immunity and prevent illness. One of them being to juice your own fruits and veggies. Here is a recipe for a great immunity boosting juice to help you stay healthy and strong so you can keep working out with me!

This is from What’s Gabby Cooking, a site packed full of awesome recipes by a fun and funny California girl. As described by Gabby herself, this juice is ” basically like fitting all these glorious fruits and vegetables along with their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into your body and then giving yourself a giant hug. Hands down, you just feel good after drinking this.”

GREEN JUICE

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 glasses of juice

Serving Size: 1 glass of juice

This green juice is packed full of vitamins and minerals and makes for the perfect meal on the go. This recipe makes enough for 2 large glasses of juice. I typically have 1 large glass a day, and then pop the second glass in the fridge for the following morning. Fast, simple and totally healthy! – WGC

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 leaves kale, stem removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 apples, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 Meyer lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place everything into your juicer, small amounts at a time, and juice.
  2. Taste and adjust as needed.

 

xo,

Hil

Diet and Nutrition at U GO Baby Fitness…

I’m happy to announce that I will be partnering with nutrition specialist, Lisa Caldwell, to help give you the best nutrition advice possible during our 8 to Great challenge. She’s here to help answer any questions you have about how you can eat healthier. So please send along any questions you have to Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com or you can of course reach me on Insta, twitter and FB @ugobabyfitness.

Here’s more about Lisa…

Lisa Caldwell has been in love with food, cooking and nutrition since she can remember.

Her desire to perform at an optimum level in all of her athletic endeavors started when she was young, leading her to study food and nutrition on her own. She obtained a B. S. in Human Foods and Nutrition from the University of Maine, Orono, ME.  She explored the culinary world and rose to the rank of Executive Pastry Chef at Resorts and Hotels. Due to these experiences and years spent traveling for the sake of food, she now works as a Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market and within the Greater Boston Area.

Her primary objective is Nutrition Education and has partnered with the likes of Massachusetts Hospital Association, Tufts University School of Public Health, Google, Central Rock Gym’s “The Heist” and the Boston Rock Gym “Social Outcast” events. Opportunities such as these have increased the awareness of how food contributes to our athletic performance as well as our overall health.

Lisa can be found training at the Metro Rock Gym, Everett and cooking at Whole Foods Market on River St, Cambridge, MA .

Healthy snack ideas to help you stay on track with your diet…

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This is a picture of some healthy snacks I picked up this weekend. I wanted to be sure that I have enough healthy snacks in my house so I don’t either snack too much on unhealthy foods or too little on healthy ones. Over snacking on unhealthy foods is bad for obvious reasons but why is it bad to “under snack”? First, snacking is good because it keeps your metabolism going. Second, if you turn up to a meal “over” hungry you will eat too much. I know because I do it all the time! Part of my battle the next 8 weeks is coming up with snacks that are both satisfying, healthy and easy. I’m constantly on the go, as a mom with 2 kids and multiple activities going at all times, I need some quick and easy options. I’m sure a lot of you can relate even if you don’t have children yet.

Here is a list of easy snacks that are satisfying and healthy…

– Fruit. Pretty obvious, but fruit can be more delicious than candy if you get what’s in season and try to by organic. Ask your local grocer what fruits taste especially good right now and they will tell you.

– Vegetables. I love baby carrots, peppers, broccoli etc. Dip them in a low-calorie dressing and they taste delicious.

– Toast and all natural preserves or peanut butter.

– Greek yogurt. I love Fage for the taste and it has less sugar than most yogurt.

– Almonds mixed with dried cranberries. Great for satisfying that sweet and salty craving.

– Humus and pita.

-Avocado and tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

What other healthy snack ideas can you share with us?

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

Kicking the winter blues…

I’m back! It’s been a while but I’m ready to start motivating my readers again. I have to admit that as much as I love fitness and living an overall healthy lifestyle, it’s not always easy to stick to it. Especially during the harsh winter months. Do any of you out there suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? I definitely do and despite my urge to be lazy and eat junk food during this tough time of year I know the only way out of my crummy mood is by working out and eating healthy.
Do yourself a favor this weekend and get in a workout. You should be doing 30 minutes of cardio almost everyday. If you don’t have a gym membership get one and use it! Or, many local malls have walking hours in the mornings before the stores open. Another option is signing up for a workout class like kick boxing, pilates, spinning and exercise DVDs are always a great way to get fit at home. My neighbors got the Insanity box set and have been setting their alarms extra early to get a workout in before the kids wake up and they have to leave for work. Very motivated!
And no one is worse than I am when it comes to sugar cravings. I’m truly addicted, but as much as I want to drown my winter sorrows in a bag of M&Ms I need to remind myself that it’ll only make me feel more tired and irritable. Here are some healthy meal recipes that will, according to Health.com, that boost your energy and happiness.
Xx,
Hilary Ann Lambert