As you probably know, I am getting married this June! One of the first things I thought of after Brian proposed…I need to get in shape. So, I started working out with a personal trainer at Club Fitness. My wedding is my motivating factor to get in the gym and get in shape. What’s your motivating factor? Have you been putting it off, but you know you need to get back in the gym and start eating healthier? Well, I am here to help you. Along with my personal trainer and Club Fitness, I am going to give you some healthy recipes to try. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, desserts, or snacks … I’m here to help you.
Disclaimer - I am not a dietician! I cannot recommend what diet is best for you. That is something that you need to work on with your doctor and/or personal trainer. I’m giving you ideas based on what has worked for me. You may notice that I may or may not put the calorie count on the recipe. I don’t count calories, so that is not a factor for me. When eating healthy foods, the calorie count is higher than what you may think. So, some people choose a meal that is lower in calories, but it’s actually less healthy than a meal with all natural ingredients with higher calories. Again, I am posting all recipes that have worked for me and have been approved by my trainer.
Also, don’t automatically turn your nose to a recipe that doesn’t sound good. You may actually enjoy it. AND be open to trying new foods. I have been really good about that. For example, I have never liked sweet potatoes, but I am trying them in new recipes and I am really starting to like them. I’m glad I am introducing them into my diet because there are so many health benefits to eating sweet potatoes. Some include (courtesy of care2.com):
- They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
- They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
- Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
Your daily diet should have healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can incorporate those foods into your main meals or as snacks.
Here are some recipes to consider making this week:
*Curried Sweet Potato SoupMakes 6 servings; One serving: 120-150 calories, 3g fiber, 2.5g protein
- 4-6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, baked with skin (you can remove the skin after baking if you want a super creamy soup)
- 2 heaping tsp curry powder
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like things too spicy!)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- A sprinkle of cinnamon – about 3 shakes of the bottle
- Chopped cilantro (garnish)
- Chopped peanuts (garnish)
- Salt to taste
The DirectionsStep 1: Steam and saute the onions and garlic, adding stock as needed to prevent sticking. Meanwhile, bake the sweet potatoes in the microwave or the oven.Step 2: Place sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, spices into the pot. Add 4 cups vegetable broth and simmer for a few minutes, until all of the ingredients are tender.Step 3: Puree with a hand blender until smooth, adding more broth to achieve desired consistency.Step 4: Once the soup is pureed, bring it to a simmer to warm it through. Top each bowl with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Enjoy!
*Baked Salmon with Herbs and Lime
- 2 salmon fillets (or other firm fish fillets – cod or red snapper would work well)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 cup fresh tomato, diced
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, mix the lime juice, garlic, parsley, onion, rosemary, thyme, paprika and tomatoes. Place the fillets in an unoiled baking dish and spread the topping over the fish.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
I chopped up fresh zucchini and yellow squash, drizzled on a little olive oil and baked them alongside the salmon on the baking stone. Once the fish was cooked I took it off the pan and put the veggies back in the oven, cranked the heat to a broil and let them roast for a few extra minutes! <– I like my veggies roasted – even a little brown.*Skinny Buffalo WingsIngredients:3 lbs (about 18) chicken wings1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce1/4 cup white vinegar2 Tbsp oregano4 tsp paprika1 Tbsp garlic powder1 Tbsp chili powderSalt and pepper to taste2 celery stalks, sliced into stripsIn a large bowl, combine the hot sauce, vinegar, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and then place chicken wings in a large plastic bag and pour entire mixture into bag. Blend well and let them marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour.Once wings are done marinating, reserve 1 cup of marinade. Place wings on a broiler rack and broil on low, about 8 inches from the flame for about 10-12 minutes on each side.While chicken cooks, heat the reserved hot sauce until warm on the stove. Toss the hot sauce with the chicken and enjoy!