It is important to have realistic expectations on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. To say that you will never eat out or eat at a party is not realistic. Have you ever found yourself stressed out if you are invited to a party when you are doing so well with your plan? Do you turn down a friend’s invitation because you are so afraid of falling off the wagon? You don’t have to dread happy time with your friends and family when you practice cutting calories from your meals. Two ways you can use to cut calories in your meals is to
- Eliminating some ingredients
- Substitute the recipe ingredients with their fat free and lite version.
Let’s take for example Wendy’s Apple Pecan full size salad. I went on their website and searched for the nutritional information on this very popular salad and boy was I surprised. The salad has 580 calories, 27g of fat, 50g of carbohydrates, 39g of sugar, and 38 g of protein. Well if you think you are being good and you decide to have this salad 3 times a day, you are looking at 54 g of fat, and 117g of sugar. Not all salads are created equal and we have to agree that this is too much fat and sugar for a salad. So how do you still enjoy eating out when you are on a healthy lifestyle diet?
The Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad would be much lighter without
- crumbled blue cheese (1 oz contains 8g of fat)
- dried cranberries (low in fat but loaded with sugar sometimes added in the drying process of the fruit)
- roasted pecans (110 calories)
- 2 packets of pomegranate vinaigrette dressing.
A tip when you are eating your salad is to dip your fork in the dressing then into the salad. You do that for each bite, you will not consume the whole dressing since you really want the taste and not the added empty calories.
As you see most of the fat contained in this salad comes from the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries and roasted pecans. It may like like an innocent meal but when you add all the fluff that makes the salad a SENSATION, you are left eating empty too much fat and sugar in a SALAD.
Substitute Ingredients for Their Fat Free or Lite Version
I picked Paula Deen’s spinach, bacon and Swiss quiche. Her version yields 8 servings and 1 serving is a whopping 428 calories. One way to enjoy a quiche without it’s damage to your waistline is to prepare a vegetable quiche yourself. I substituted the ingredients for lighter and guilt-free ingredients using
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cup steamed broccoli florets mixed with cauliflower (you can buy this frozen already mixed)
- 1 cup asparagus cut in angle
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 oz light feta cheese
- 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 9-inch frozen gluten free pie crust pre-baked for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
- Large skillet
Step 1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
Step 2. Heat your olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add remaining veggies with garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Mix together in a large bowl: eggs, feta cheese and salt. Add the sauteed veggies and mix well
Step 4. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool-down for 20 minutes and
VOILA ! A quiche you split into 8 servings with less than 190 calories per serving
One of the many challenges we face when trying to leave a healthy lifestyle is to figure out what to snack on. The usual snack that we found at work are either chips, candy bars, cookies and ice scream from the vending machine or the classic candy jar and free donuts all high in calories and fat. The best way to stay clear of all those saboteurs is to bring your own snack, keep them in your bag, your cabinet or your lunch box. You can get pretty creative with what you have at home or you can buy some snacks making sure that they are low in calories and fat. Here are some suggestions:
- 10 Kalamata olives (90 cal, 8g fat)
- Isagenix SlimCakes® (90 cal, 2g fat)
- A Medium Apple (65cal, 0g fat)
- Half of 1 Ezekiel English muffin (80 cal, 0.5g fat) with 1 tbs of organic apricot orange fruit spread (16 cal, 0g fat)
- Celery sticks (15 cal, 0g fat) with 1tsp of Natural Peanut Butter (33 cal, 2.7g fat)
- Isagenix IsaDelight™ decadent chocolate (50 cal, 4g fat)
- 1 fresh grapefruit (69cal, 0g fat)
- 1 cup of lightly salted organic popcorn (70 cal, 4g fat)
You ever had the feeling that you paid too much for an item after you bought it? That’s exactly the way I felt after buying some salmon filet at WholeFoods last week. I usually get my salmon somewhere else but they are too small, I wanted thicker salmons so I settled for WholeFoods Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillet for $11.99 (12 oz). They had better taste good, and boy! I do not regret the $11.99.
Fish is a healthy protein that you should eat at least 3 times a week. The best ones to have are
- mahi mahi
SimpleChef will help you incorporate fish the clean eating style. For this recipe you need
- 4 salmon fillet
- 2 medium sweet potato baked and diced with skin
- 2 medium English cucumber
- 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp stevia
- a mandolin slicer. I’ve had the Oxo good grip one for 5 years now and swear by it.
- olive oil cooking spray
- salt and pepper
- other seasoning of choice for the fillet
- non-stick pan
Step 1: Sprinkle the salmon fillet with salt, pepper, other seasoning and let it seat for a few minutes.
Step 2: remove some of the cucumber skin and slice them into ribbon style. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it and let it seat for a few minutes. Spray cooking spray on your pan and heat it over medium toss in the cucumber and let it saute for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt and toss for another minute and set it aside.
Step 3: Spray some more cooking spray – 5 quick spray is 1 serving – and let it heat over medium. Cook the salmon for 5 minutes on each side.
The entire meal should yield 4 servings divided equally and
Voila le poisson succulent!
Spaghetti squash, part of the winter squash family, is an oval fruit with yellowish skin, on the inside the stranded flesh looks like spaghetti. This fruit is
- low in cholesterol
- low in fat
- excellent source of dietary fiber
- vitamins B6 and C
Spaghetti squash is healthy and its versatility makes it a great substitute for regular pasta. Comparing spaghetti squash with whole wheat pasta you can save a few calories and carbs eating spaghetti squash.
- 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has: 41 calories, 0g of fat, and 10 g of carbohydrates,.
- 1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has: 174 calories, 0.8 g of fat, and 37.2 g of carbohydrates.
Today SimpleChef brings you “Spaghetti Squash with Black Pepper Baked Chicken”.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- Trader Joe’s Black Pepper Sauce
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1 (1-gallon) ziplock bag
- Mrs. Dash original seasoning
- Olive oil cooking spray
Step 1: Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place the chicken breast inside the ziplock bags with 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s black pepper sauce (you can add more to make it hot and spicy to taste). Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meat Preparation Tip: When I come from the grocery store, I don’t put my meat in the freezer in its original packaging. I season it and put it in a ziplock freezer bag, then I put it in the freezer. The longer it stays in the marinade the better it taste.
Step 2: Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Remove the seeds and spray each side with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle a dash of Mrs. dash and cook face down on aluminum and set aside to bake
Step 3: Place chicken on bottom oven rack over aluminum foil (I use those a lot because I do not like cleaning dishes 🙂 ) Place squash on top oven rack facing down on aluminum foil. Let everything bake for 45 minutes.
Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash and get rid of the skin
Et Voila le poulet!
We hear it over and over and it’s true “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” I will add “Breakfast and lunch are the most important meals of the day” . Eating your breakfast within the first 2 hours you are awake is ideal. Also breakfast should not be
- from a fast food place no matter how healthy the claims are (no nutrition labels, so you really don’t know what’s in there). Some like McDonald’s get the simplest thing like oatmeal wrong, loaded with processed Je ne sais quoi.
To help you start your day right, SimpleChef brings you a quick, inexpensive and healthy breakfast that takes 10 minutes to prepare. You will need:
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 2 scallion chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tsp goat cheese
- non Stick pan
Step 1: Coat your pan with 5 quick spray of the extra virgin olive oil. Heat the pan over medium
Step 2: Mix the egg whites and whole egg and add to the pan. Spread egg mixture evenly in pan and cook until center is set for about 3 minutes
Step 3: Spread spinach, goat cheese and scallion over half of omelet. Carefully loosen omelet with a spatula around the corners and fold in half. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Slide your omelet into a serving plate and
I am doing a plate revolution in my house as of this week. It all started when my husband, who is more than 6 feet tall told me “Web just because I am tall doesn’t mean that my plate should be loaded with food”. I looked at him all puzzled and asked what he wanted me to do. He told me that he was now “100% on board with clean eating but the big plates had to go, gone, kaput!”
This was never an issue for me because I mostly eat on the go in small containers. My husband on the contrary eats at home. So here we are sometimes, him with a big plate and me with a container from my cooler. He also told me flat out “Whatever you are doing, that’s what I want to do. I don’t see you eating in a big plate”.
Starting today I am bringing you SimpleChef in smaller plates. Besides portion size as we know it has gone out of control in the United States. What use to be a large size drink years ago is now a small. So I bring you 2 tips this week
- use smaller plates because what you see is what you eat. If you don’t have it in front of you, you will not eat it.
- When having dinner during the week, put everyone’s serving in a plate and store the rest in the refrigerator right away. First it gets cold, second you already put it away, and third you don’t see it and you will be less tempted to go for seconds.
Finally getting to SimpleChef’s recipe for this week I bring you a turkey meatloaf paired with classic baked sweet potato. What you need:
- Pre-heated oven at 375 degrees
- As many sweet potatoes you will need washed, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, and wrapped in aluminum foil (If you don’t plan on eating them in the next 3 days, don’t bake a whole lot of sweet potatoes, it will go bad and the food will be wasted).
- 1 pound of ground turkey breast (make sure the package says “Turkey Breast” which is leaner, I get mine at Trader Joe”s)
- 1 cup of onion
- 1 cup of tri-color peppers
- 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
- pepper to taste
- 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.
- 1 flat cookie pan
- olive oil cooking spray
- lettuce leaves and salsa for garnish
Step 1: Mix the turkey and all the other ingredients except the potato very well in a bowl. Get dirty and use your hands. Spray the pan with olive oil cooking spray, use an ice scream scoop to separate the turkey and use 2 scoops for 1 serving. Place the turkey on the cookie pan, and spray with cooking spray. (Using the ice scream scoop allows you to use leftovers for snacks, salads, a quick sandwich or a wrap.)
Step 2: place the turkey and the potato in the oven and cook the turkey and potato for 45 minutes (or until well cooked).
Step 3: 5.5 ounces of turkey topped with 2 tbsp of salsa, and 4 ounces of sweet potato will satisfy you over 1 lettuce leaf.
Voila! and enjoy
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I hope you had a chance to make the Quinoa Shrimp salad and also get very creative in the process. I made this delicious breakfast this morning easy to prepare and also on a budget. It’s SimpleChef’s Tomato & Canadian Bacon Breakfast and these are the ingredients you will need:
- 1 (100%) whole wheat sandwich roll of 100 calories or less
- 2 slices of uncured canadian bacon
- 1 tbsp of light sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 slices of tomato
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of Chobani plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 grapefruit sliced
Step 1: You can use a toaster oven or a regular oven broiler to toast the sandwich roll for 2 minutes. Remove it from the oven when slightly browned.
Step 2: Mix the yogurt and dijon mustard together and spread the mixture evenly over each sandwich roll slice (the dijon mustard with greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo on any sandwich)
Step 3: Add a slice of Canadian bacon on each roll slice, followed by the tomato.
Sprinkle the tomato with half of the cheese on each roll slices. Return everything in the oven an broil for 1 minute 1/2 and enjoy with the grapefruit.
Voila! what it looks like
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and have a lovely weekend. Spread the love…
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