One healthy tip at a time!

Tip9
It is very important to include every food group (meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains) in our diet. Each food group provides essential nutrients that our body needs for growth and maintenance. Eliminating any specific food group, that many popular diets ask for, may lead to quick weight loss but does not lead to a positive lifestyle change for long term results in weight loss, lower cholesterol, normal blood pressure, etc.

Make healthy choices:

– Eat lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, and beans) more than red meat such as beef

– Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh or frozen instead of fruit juice, canned or dried fruit

– Include whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, oat meal in your diet. Read more about carbohydrates here

– Enjoy skim milk or 1% milk

– Drink more water and less sugary drinks

ENJOY in moderation!

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Eggless Breakfast Ideas

Eggs are the best source of protein food at breakfast! As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, it is important to have a combination of protein and carbohydrates at every meal. Click here to read the post on a balanced breakfast.

For those picky eaters, like my cousin, I put together a list of breakfast foods (other than the typical cereal) that do not contain egg.

Calories ranging from 250-330 kcals

  1. Breakfast wrap: 1 Whole grain tortilla with ½ cup black beans, 2 Tbsp Ragu Sauce/Salsa, and 1 Tb fat-free shredded cheeseBlack Bean Burrito
  2.  Grilled cheese sandwich: 2 slices of whole grain bread and 2 slices of your favorite fat-free cheese with a cup of skim milk
  3.  Cereal in yogurt: 1 cup of cheerios with 1 fat-free Greek Yogurt (approx 5.3 oz)
  4. Waffle sandwich: 2 whole wheat waffles with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jelly. (Bonus tip: Try a chocolate chip waffle sandwich with ricotta)
  5.  waffle PB&JEnglish Muffin with Ricotta Cheese: 1 Whole grain muffin with 2 Tbsp of Ricotta Cheese, 1 Tbsp of Jelly with a cup of skim milk

Ricotta Cheese Muffin2

 

 

 

 

 

Quick on the Go Options:

  1. Breakfast bars: Nature Valley protein bars (10 g Protein) with 1 cup of skim milk
  2. Smoothie (made the night before): Find the recipe here!

10 Simple Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

These 10 simple tips will help you and your family live a healthy lifestyle.

1. Start with yourself – be a positive role model for the kids, siblings, and everyone at home.

2. Do not buy “junk food” – If it’s not at home, you are less likely to eat it.photo 2

3. Have healthy snacks readily available– For example, washed and cut fresh fruit in the refrigerator, baby carrots and fat-free ranch dressing, fat-free yogurt, home-made smoothie, whole-grain pretzels, 100% fruit juice popsicle for the kids, etc. When I am hungry, I want something right away and it helps to have veggies and fruits that are ready to eat.

4. Stay hydrated! Many times we feel hungry but we are really thirsty. Drink at least 1500 ml of water a day (that is 3 of these water bottles).

5. On the road? Have healthy snacks (my favorite: a bag of mixed nuts) with you so you don’t have to stop at a convenience store or pickup fast food. Also, never leave your home without a water bottle.3water bottles

6. Don’t skip meals – waiting to eat till you are extremely hunger can cause you to over eat.

7. Avoid or limit sodas – these are empty calories that can easily be avoided. Get in the habit of drinking water, milk or 100% fruit juice.

8. Avoid or limit fast food – if kids insist on fast foods then help them choose the healthy sides from the menu. For example, instead of soda they can order milk and instead of fries they can order apple slices.

9. Park your car farther from the store entrance – every step counts!

10. Do physical activity together as a family – go to the park regularly or play your favorite sport together.
Remember: no one has to be deprived of their favorite chocolate as long as it is in moderation. There is nothing wrong with enjoying these foods once in a while.

Breakfast: important meal!

Have a balanced breakfast that consists of carbohydrates and protein!

  1. Carbohydrates: choose “complex” carbs that will provide soluble fiber. It will slow stomach emptying and help you feel fuller longer. Good sources are oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, apples, and kidney beans
  2. Protein: good lean sources of protein are chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, beans, and lentils

Breakfast ideas: less than 360 calories 

1) 1 large egg cooked in minimum oil with chopped tomatoes and green peppers, 2 slices of whole wheat toast, and 1 cup of skim milk or 100% fruit juice
2) 1 large egg (cooked in minimum oil) wrapped in a 6 in. whole wheat tortilla with 2 Tbsp of salsa, 1/2 cup of skim milk with Cheerios
3) 1/2 cup of oat meal with 1 cup of skim milk and 1 medium apple
4) 2 whole grain waffles with 1 tbsp nut butter (ex. peanut butter) and 1 cup of skim milk
5) 1 hard-boiled eggs with 1 tbsp of nut butter, 1 slice of toast and 1 cup of skim milk
6) 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 cup of skim milk and 1 serving of fruit

Nutritious Suhoor

No matter how sleepy you are, don’t skip suhoor (morning meal consumed in Ramadan). Eating breakfast will sustain you enough to be able to perform daily activities without feeling lethargic, having headaches, or feeling irritable. Eat a balanced suhoor that includes a variety of food groups, such as complex carbohydrates (ex. whole wheat), protein (ex. egg), and dairy (ex. milk).

Suhoor 1

Here are some breakfast ideas: each meal is less than 360 calories

1) 1 large egg cooked in minimum oil with chopped tomatoes and green peppers, 2 slices of whole wheat toast, and 1 cup of skim milk or 100% fruit juice
2) 1 large egg (cooked in minimum oil) wrapped in a 6 in. whole wheat tortilla with 2 Tbsp of salsa, 1/2 cup of skim milk with Cheerios
3) 1/2 cup of oat meal with 1 cup of skim milk and 1 medium apple
4) 2 whole grain waffles with 1 tbsp nut butter (ex. peanut butter) and 1 cup of skim milk
5) 1 hard-boiled eggs with 1 tbsp of nut butter, 1 slice of toast and 1 cup of skim milk
6) 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 cup of skim milk and 1 serving of fruit

I love smoothies and I will definitely be making smoothies at suhoor for my family! It will provide calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, and some monounsaturated fats (healthy fats)!

Strawberrry Smoothie

Blend together 1 cup of frozen strawberries, ½ medium banana, 1 cup of skim milk, ½ cup plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt, and 1 tbsp of almonds. Alternatively, you can try it with any of your favorite fruits!

For parents with picky eaters: if you have children who refuse to eat anything else besides cereal, try this smoothie. You can even make it the night before!

Also, try my breakfast smoothie recipe (about 280 calories per serving)! Don’t make this the night before as it will get too thick by suhoor time.