Pry Yourself Away From Processed Foods

man reading nutrition label.

Packaged foods often make life easier, when there’s little time or energy to cook. But while you may be beating the clock with getting food on the table at home (or in your cube for lunch at work), you’re likely side-stepping healthier eating. According to the American Heart Association, almost 70 percent of the typical American diet comes from processed and restaurant foods.

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Fruit and Fresh Herb Sparkler

Seltzer Drink with Fresh cut fruitThink of this drink as a bit of bubbly, without the buzz. It’s a “mocktail” that’s perfect for someone on a restricted diet, who may be pregnant, or who just wants something refreshing without alcohol added. Of course you could add sparkling wine, but by using club soda or seltzer instead, even the kids can make a toast! Mix in whatever fruit that you like, and get creative. This sparkler comes in at 35 calories, with only 9 g of carbohydrates, zero cholesterol, zero fat, 20 mg of sodium, and just 6 g of sugar. And it’s the perfect “anytime” alternative to sugary soda. Cheers!

 

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Potato Soup With Chicken and Veggies

Chicken Cream Soup

Nothing warms you up like soup, and this hearty combination of chicken, potatoes, rice, and veggies hits the spot! At just 224 calories per serving, 42 g carbs, 7 mg of cholesterol, 3 g of fat, 6 g of fiber, and 8 g of protein (along with 855 mg of potassium), make it for a weeknight or weekend dinner. You can later spoon up some leftovers (if you’ve got any!) for lunch the next day.

 

 

 

 

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Detoxify Naturally by Eating Well!

Cape Town, South Africa

The beginning of a new year is when most of us start thinking about fresh starts, and push the re-set button on food and fitness. The idea of ridding the body of poisons via a “cleanse” that promises to burn fat or lose weight may be tempting. But think twice: Starving yourself by excluding solid food for a week and chugging some low-cal/low-protein miracle drink doesn’t work for healthy weight

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Very Lemony Chicken

IHomemade Lemon and Herb Chickent’s chicken tonight! And lemon is the star ingredient, with all of its citrusy brightness and flavor. You’ll love the simplicity of this dish, to be paired with your choice of vegetables, or maybe a blended rice. (It’s also a match for garden potato salad!) Coming in at a low 154 calories, with 63 mg cholesterol, just 6 g total fat, and 202 mg of sodium, here’s your go-to chicken recipe, anytime.

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Garden Potato Salad

Potato salad with mayonnaise and spring onion, selective focus

Why does potato salad have to be only for picnics? (It doesn’t!) Here’s a lighter-yet-still-tasty version that you’ll love as an anytime side dish — and it’s only 151 calories per one cup serving. This one will please a crowd, be it for potluck or the family table. (It’s also make-ahead fast and stores well.) Delish with only 1 g fat, 2 mg cholesterol, and 118 sodium.

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Apricot Pine Nut Couscous

couscous mixed with chopped dried apricots and fresh parsley

Get your grain on, with this perfect side for roasted chicken, turkey, or baked fish, and pair it with a favorite vegetable. The pine nuts provide the crunch (but you could also substitute chopped almonds).* The quick 10-minute prep time gives you more time away from the stove (and you won’t sweat the calories).

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Pumpkin Apple Protein Bars

Organic homemade granola bars on rustic wooden background - Healthy vegetarian snack

Here’s a delightfully chewy protein bar for the morning commute, to fuel-up for the gym, or to re-fuel after that workout (but it’s really a healthy, go-to snack or tea-time treat any time of day). And take note for the holidays: This one’s a simply-sweet gift that you can make for friends, too, so get your cellophane bags and ribbons ready! (These stack nicely cut into 2-inch square portions.)

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Keeping Diet and Exercise on Track

Caucasian family playing basketball together. Happy family spending free time together.

What causes a “break” in good food habits? Why get tempted by candy or chips, when you could reach for grapes, or whole-grain crackers? Why is it that you can work out for a few weeks, then end up in front of the TV for days later? These questions can haunt even the most dedicated of those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. (No one’s perfect!)

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