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

5 Tips for getting started running.

The Boston Marathon was today and perhaps some of you are inspired to train for a marathon or simply start running. It might seem a bit daunting to some of you who have never run before. I started running as a kid, my dad was an avid runner and I would often run with him in Prospect and Central Parks in New York. It was really easy to run with such beautiful spots to choose from, plus there were so many runners, bikers and roller bladers around it was easy to get inspired. I forget how hard it might be for those who haven’t run before and might have some hesitation getting started. Here are some tips.

 

  1. Find a good running path. Do some research and ask around about good areas to run. It’ll be easier to start and stick with it if you have a scenic location with optimal running paths.
  2. Spring time is the best time. Now is the best time of year to get started, it’s warming up but not too warm yet. And once your get into the rhythm it’ll be much easier to stick with when the weather isn’t so great.
  3. Plot your course. There are great on line apps that will tell you how far you’ve gone and even give you reviews of paths other runners have already chartered for you. An example is MapMyRun. I find that when I know how far I’m running it helps keep me going.
  4. Get some good running shoes. This is very important. Old sneakers, sneakers that are too small or not appropriate for running can damage your feet and joints. You can get some good advice at running stores like Marathon Sports.
  5. Take it one mile at a time. A lot of people I’ve talked to about running get discouraged quickly. If you have never been a runner you need to take it easy and be kind to yourself through the process. Start by running one mile, or even a half a mile, then work up from there. As you gain strength, run longer, this requires you pushing yourself but you will be surprised at how easy it starts to become after even just a few weeks.

Do you have any tips or need any advice about running? Post your questions comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Thanks!

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

Top 5 healthy food options at the convenient store.

krave

We’ve all been there, you rush out of the house and forget to pack a healthy snack. You end up out longer then expected and in dire need of some nutrients to recharge your battery. You wander into the 7 Eleven, or whatever other convenient store you happen to stumble upon and are confronted with more unhealthy food options then you knew existed! Believe it or not there are some options at these stores that will keep you on a healthy track. Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Nuts. If they have unsalted walnuts or almonds these are great option. Make sure to look at the ingredients that they aren’t cooked in oil and have any sugar added to make this healthy snack into an oily sugar bomb.
  2. Yogurt. Preferably a greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage, which have less sugar then other brands.
  3. Granola. Always a good on the go option packed with all sorts of filling ingredients. Note: Do not purchase the any trail mix that contains candy! For example a number of brands contain M & Ms which provide great taste but empty calories.
  4. Sandwich. Look for one of the pre-made sandwiches on whole wheat bread (no high fructose corn syrup!) with Turkey or Chicken (these are less processed than other deli meats), topped with veggies and little added other than that.
  5. Beef jerky. Surprisingly this can be a healthy snack option. It’s got protein to give you energy and is surprisingly lean.

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.

 

Broken promises.

stressed-out-woman

I made a promise to you guys that I would post workouts every week. I’m breaking that promise and I’m sorry. I’m focusing on other things at the moment so the blog will yet have to take a back seat. I will update once week on Tuesdays, so if you have any questions you want to ask me about exercise or diet please email me (ugobabyfitness@gmail.com) and I will either email you back or I will post my answer on the blog.

There are many things that are important; family, friends, community, giving back, career etc… It’s so hard to do it all! And we can’t really can we? So I have to delegate my time as I see fit and as things come up that are important. Usually those important things have to do with my children, in fact I have a smiley baby begging for my attention as I write this!

I’ve learned to role with the punches and realize when I’m taking on too much and need to get a few things off my plate or replace a few things with more important ones (there’s a good metaphor for healthy eating in there I think).

This can be incredibly frustrating, but when I get overwhelmed I get anxious, frustrated, tired and I’m not being the best I can be in any area of my life. I start to let people down, myself included, and it’s just not worth it. If you’ve ever felt this way I’d love to hear about it and your ways of coping with busy family life.

What are your tips for managing it all??

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary