Healthy Snack Idea – spinach and yogurt dip

My new Irani friend shared this super easy, healthy, and yummy spinach and yogurt dip recipe with me. You can eat it with chips, celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumber, and even just like that. Its very filling!

Number of servings: 16

Shelf life: should be good for about 10 days refrigerated

1 serving of dip = 1/2 cup gives 70 calories & 3.7 grams protein

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion- chopped
  • 1 lb chopped spinach ( I used fresh spinach but frozen would work as well)
  • 3 tsp kosher salt (table salt would work too)
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp garlic salt
  • 5 cups yogurt ( I used whole milk yogurt) *use Greek yogurt for extra protein!

1-   Brown the chopped onion in the cooking oil, until golden brown.

2-   Add thawed spinach to the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.

3-   Add salt and pepper to taste & cool down the mixture.

4-   Add yogurt and mix well; sit in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

Image

One healthy tip at a time!

One healthy tip at a time!

You do not have to completely avoid sodas – it is okay to enjoy them once in a while. Drinking them on a regular basis can add unnecessary extra calories (1 can has about 8 tsps of added sugar) to your diet. These are empty calories (no nutritional value) that can easily be avoided. Drink water instead and squeeze a fresh lime to add flavor.

Photo credit: http://morguefile.com/

One healthy tip at a time!

One healthy tip at a time!

Fast foods are high in saturated and trans fat. Cutting these foods out of your diet will help with weight loss.

If kids insist on fast foods then help them choose the healthier sides from the menu. For example, instead of soda they can drink milk or a side salad with the burger instead of fries.

Photo credit: http://morguefile.com/

 

Chappli Kabab: healthier version

Chappli Kabab is one of my favorite foods but it is usually deep fried in oil. My mom slightly adjusted the recipe on the back of the Shan Chappli Kabab masala box to make it a little healthier.

chappli kabab

Bake it don’t fry it!

Forget the egg!

Go lean!

Serving size: 2 kababs

Number of servings: 6

Nutrition information per serving:                319 kcals, 16 g protein, 25 g fat

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of regular ground beef (approximately 1 lb)
  2. Shan Chappli Kabab Masala (1 packet =100 g)
  3. 1 large tomatoes, sliced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 large jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  7. 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  8. 1 tbsp corn oil

Directions:

  • In the minced meat add Shan Chappli Kabab masala, onion, jalepeno, ginger, garlic, and oil.
  • With wet hands make thin flat round kababs (about 12 kababs). Place a slice of tomato on one side of the the kabab, and place on baking sheet (spray the baking sheet with oil)
  • Bake in 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until kababs are cooked (internal temperature of 165 degrees)

Tip:

Use lean ground beef (281 kcals/serving)  to reduce the fat and calories. Use chicken instead of meat to cut out the calories even more.

Believe me when I tell you…

Believe me when I tell you that you can’t even taste the oatmeal in the smoothie. Before you say “It has oatmeal in it, I am never trying this,” think about the worst that can happen? If you don’t like it, you can make your younger sibling drink it! I did this to my older brother: he thought he was drinking just a simple banana strawberry smoothie that I normally make — he had no idea there was oatmeal in it. He liked it!

Here is what you need for the breakfast smoothie:

1 Tbsp Quaker Oats 100% Natural Whole Grain Oatmeal

oatmeal

¼ cup 2% milk

Ice (approximately ½ cup)

1 small banana

4 fresh medium strawberries

1 Tbsp almonds, sliced

1 Tbsp honey

Put the oatmeal in the milk and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Pour it in the blender and add the remaining ingredients.

  • Most of the fat is monounsaturated fat – the healthy fat
  • BkfstSmothieNutritionUse skim milk to reduce the fat even more
  • Increase the almonds to add more protein
  • Frozen fruit works just as great and you might not need to add ice
  • Increase the oatmeal to increase fiber intake

Enjoy!

I am only eating 2 meals a day! Why can’t I lose weight?

This is a very common question and the most tried effort for weight loss. Sadly, it’s not always successful.  Why? Because you deprive your body of fuel supply that it needs in between these two meals. When it doesn’t get the fuel your body starts conserving and saving energy.Our body thinks “Who knows when I am going to get fuel (food) again? So let’s start conserving”

MealTime

Here is how Dr. Brian Wansink, the author of Mindless Eating, puts it “Our body’s metabolism is efficient. When it  has plenty of food to burn, it turns up the furnace and burns our fat reserves faster. When it has less food to burn, it turns down the furnace and burns it more slowly…Our bodies fight against deprivation”

Research shows: “Women who reported skipping meals lost almost 8 fewer pounds than women who did not”

How do I lose weigh then? You and I don’t need to cut out any food groups from our diet and we definitely don’t need to starve ourselves. Eat in moderation cutting out 200-300 (no more than 500) calories a day and adding some physical activity. Our bodies won’t recognize these few calories missing from our diet. Over time, you will be able to fit into your “back when I was skinny” jeans that you still have in your closet!

Take it one step at a time – change one thing at a time! 

Nutritional Gatekeepers

“The biggest food influence in our life is the nutritional gatekeeper. This is the person in our home who does most of the food shopping and meal preparation. Regardless of whether they’re a great cook or whether they’re “culinarily challenged,” they have a huge day-by-day influence on their family’s nutrition.

Although they don’t realize it, gate-keepers powerfully shape what food gets eaten both inside and outside the house. Suppose a teenager wants to eat Pop-Tart, but there aren’t any in the cupboard? The gate keeper has de facto decided they won’t be on the menu. This poor Pop-Tart hungry teenager either has to  make a special trip to the grocery store, or pressure Mom or Dad to put them at the top of the next shopping list”

Wansink, Brian. Mindless Eating. New York: Bantam Dell, 2007. Print

 How will you impact others as a nutritional gatekeeper at home?

Fruit Veg 1

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

These are one of my favorite homemade cookies. The recipe is from my friend’s blog (http://canihavesomemoremum.wordpress.com)

choco&oatscookie

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature + 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (applesauce is used to reduce the amount of fat)
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.  In a large bowl, whip together the butter, apple sauce, sugars, and vanilla extract.  Blend in the eggs.  Fold in the oats, flour, salt and baking soda until properly mixed.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I used a #40 disher to scoop my batter. Place the dough 2 inches apart and bake for 7 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for 7 more min, 14 min total.  Cool the cookies on a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter.

1 cookie = 99 calories, 16 g carb, 4 g fat, 2 g protein

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