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.

Homemade Strawberry Smoothie

This simple and easy smoothie is a great snack that will provide calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and some monounsaturated fats (healthy fats)!

Strawberrry Smoothie

Number of servings: 2                       150 calories per serving

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 medium banana

1 cup of skim milk

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tbsp of almonds

Directions: Blend together all the ingredients and enjoy. You can try it with any of your favorite fruits!

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.

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!