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.

 

What to do with the kids this winter break.

school-breeak

These breaks sneak up on me every Winter and Spring, leaving me with  not much planned for the whole 7 days the kiddos are home from school. This time, although it did sneak up on me again, I’m determined to have some things planned so we’re not left twiddling our thumbs and irritated with one another by the end of next week . Here are 3 ideas I’ve come up with so far. Please share any ideas you have with me in the comments section, I’d love to hear them.

  1. Make a kids style boot camp.                       kids-exercising-e1442248538999My boys love everything to do with the military and are really getting into exercise, so this is a fun and healthy way to occupy their time and get them active. Girls enjoy this exercise too and I find it makes them feel empowered and tough. You can prepare for this active and healthy routine by getting a clip board and writing down the exercises with check boxes next to each  for when they are complete. Try making one child in charge for each set and call them the “Sargeant”. Once they’ve completed the workout award them with some homemade badges that you prepped before hand.

Sample boot camp for kids. Make sure you are carefully demonstrating each exercise and watching their form so they don’t hurt themselves. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just watch for any over exaggerated positioning or aggressive movements that might lead to injury.

  •  Run in place for 30 seconds
  • 10 Jumping Jacks.
  • 5-10 Push ups on knees.
  • 10 squats.
  • 10 side lunges.
  • Run up and down the stairs 2 times.

2. Make a fun obstacle course.

Get your kids involved in the process of making it, children tend to really like helping with this and it gets the creative juices flowing creative.

Some ideas for your obstacle course.

  • Supplies: Dining room chairs, string and notecards with numbers on them. Loop the string through the chairs attaching the numbers onto the string with clothes pins. Have them step through the string and grab their assigned number. For and added challenge make them try to not touch the string in the process. obstacle-course
  • Using throw pillows, toss them around the room and have them jump from one to the other. For an added challenge tape letters on the pillows in no particular order and have them jump in alphabetical order.

3. Make some healthy cookies! (my personal favorite)

I love baking with my kids and baking something healthy is a great way to not only teach them their way around a kitchen, but also to talk about the importance of eating healthy. As you make this healthy recipe talk about the ingredients and why they are good for them. Talk about the purpose of eating as being a way to fuel their bodies. This will help get them thinking about eating a different way, not just for taste but for energy and wellness.

Example of a healthy recipe: Carrot and Apple Oat Cookies from Super Healthy Kids.

Ingredients
  • 2 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1 cup – oats, dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1 large – egg
  • 1/3 cup – coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup – honey
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated – carrot
  • 1 cup, grated – apple
  • 1 medium – banana

Optional:

  • 1/3 cup – chocolate chips, semisweet
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with grease-proof paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl beat the egg. Add the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract and stir well. Add this mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the grated carrot, grated apple and mashed banana and again stir until everything is well mixed together. If using the chocolate chips, add now.
  5. Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls. The dough should make approximately 20 balls. Place each on the cookie sheet and press down lightly with a fork.
  6. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

STORAGE:

  • The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Please send me any ideas you have for the time I have with my kids next week! WOuld love some more options!

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Anti-Inflammatories

super-foods-list-e1414255217133

I’ve been talking quite a bit about foods that cause inflammation, today I want to talk about ones that help relieve it. Inflammation is caused when our bodies recognize something in our bodies as foreign and try to attack is. This is a good thing but not if it persists for days on end creates unnecessary chronic pain. It has also been linked to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even depression.

inflammation

The #1 food that causes inflammation is sugar. Other foods to avoid include red meat, fried foods, vegetable oil, refined flour, artificial sweeteners and the list goes on…

Here are a list of some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods and how to eat them.

  1. Green leafy vegetables such as Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens. I love  these types of veggies sautéed with olive oil (another ) lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Salmon. I generally like to bake my salmon, you can throw in a lot of vegetables to amp up the nutrients levels and help making dinner a lot easier by cooking your protein and veggies all at once. easier clean up as well.
  3. Spice it up. There are a LOTS of spices that you can add to many dishes to add flavor and give you the anti-inflammatory benefits. Here are a few: Turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, and black pepper.

What’s your favorite?

XO,

Hil

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

Easy, healthy quiche recipe…

Quiche is so easy to make and a delicious way to eat vegetables. Here’s a recipe I made recently that me and my family truly loved…

quiche

They key to making quiche simple is to buy your crust. The best store bought pie crust that contains no trans fat is from Pillsbury.

pie crust

Ingredients:

– 5 eggs

– 1/3 cup low fat Miracle Whip.

– 1/3 cup low fat milk

– 1 plum tomato chopped

– 1 cup Feta Cheese

– 1 bag baby spinach

– 1 portabella mushrooms

– 1/2 yellow onion chopped

Directions:

Pre heat oven at 375 degrees. Sautee vegetable in a large skillet over medium heat. Spray 9 inch pan with Pam olive oil, then line with pie crust.

Pam Olive Oil

Beat eggs, miracle whip, and milk together and pour in pie crust. When vegetable are soft, place in the eggs and sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Place in oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Please share your recipe with us! Send to: Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert