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Archive for December, 2011

Substitutions with healthy ingredients can still taste great!

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Preparing meals can be a fun experience! For many people, creating mouthwatering dishes is a relaxing and satisfying way to end the day.

When you make the decision to eat healthier you’re choosing to create a better lifestyle for you and your family. However when you think of healthy foods things like tasteless rice cakes and cardboard like snacks come to mind, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is a simple matter of substitution; switching ingredients that you use to prepare your meals; salt and sugar substitutes top the list. Salt substitutes taste just like salt however they do not have the negative effects. There are also excellent sugar substitutes on the market today.

Pasta is perhaps the most popular food in the world to eat; there are hundreds of different shapes and thousands of different ways to prepare it. However, pasta is not a low carb food.

  • *One way that you can eat healthy pasta is to choose a whole grain or whole wheat pasta. Take a look at the nutrition; there are a few pastas on the market that have a good amount of fiber and protein.
  • *There is also a pasta like product that is made with a soy base; it comes in a bag with liquid.  It is so low in carbs and has a pasta like look and texture.  Make sure to rinse out the liquid from the bag very well and then just heat up and put your favorite healthy sauce on it.
  • *For a real treat, substitute pasta with spaghetti squash.

Those other pasta options do not appeal to everyone; so they choose regular pasta. Or, you can create a healthier meal then you would ordinarily when using the regular pasta by using these tips!

  • *Use less pasta and add vegetables; this reduces the amount of carbs you consume
  • *Cook your pasta just till al dente (and make a small portion, as a side dish)
  • *When you add a sauce don’t use a rich sauce or butter sauce.
  • *If you would like a tomato sauce on your pasta, make sure it is low in sugar, sodium and fat.  Many on the market aren’t very healthy.

When it comes to snacks, and everybody loves to snack, giving up the greasy chips and unhealthy treats can be the most difficult thing to do. Snacks are meant to be comforting, filling and give you energy between meals, when you eat unhealthy foods, it bogs down your system slows you down and makes you feel sleepy. Choosing healthy snacks like nuts, vegetables and fruits like pears, apples and berries or, snacks like all natural low glycemic energy bars is an excellent substitution and can make you feel rejuvenated.


Tasty menu options that are healthy

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The hardest part of switching to a more healthy diet is giving up the foods that we grew up with and love to eat. Breads, Pasta, Cheeseburgers and Pizza are many people’s staples. However they are not the healthiest foods you can eat but there are ways to prepare a healthy meal using the same ingredients.

Take breads, for instance; white bread is high in carbs and usually low in nutritional value while whole grain bread or breads made with flax meal is a healthier option. Some of these breads sell extra thin sliced bread which cuts your carbs and calories while still enjoying a sandwich.  Making an incredible sandwich that is healthy and satisfying isn’t difficult.  Select your favorite low fat meat such as turkey, roast beef, chicken, or go vegetarian and start out with a slice avocado. Add some lettuce, tomato and a pickle and you have a delicious healthier sandwich option.

Pasta is a staple in millions of homes, it’s cheap to buy and there are thousands of ways to prepare it. Regular pasta has a lot of carbs, and can raise your glucose level. There are whole grain pastas and pastas that are high in fiber for healthier options. There are many different types of tomato based pasta sauces on the market, and all of them contain Licopene, which is very good for you, however choosing a pasta sauce that is low in sugar, sodium, and fat is a much healthier option. Another way that you can make your pasta healthy is to eliminate the meat and add mushroom and vegetables such as zucchini and summer squash.  It will still taste great!

If you enjoy pizza, you can still eat it; you just have to change the ingredients a little bit. Use whole grain dough and or, make the dough extra thin. Use a pizza sauce that is in low fat, low in sugar and sodium, also, instead of the greasy toppings, add vegetable, chicken or even tofu and low fat mozzarella cheese and you have an incredible, healthy pizza.

There are times when nothing satisfies you like a big fat cheeseburger; one option that you can choose is to use ground turkey instead of ground beef; ground turkey is lean, is very low in fat and is extremely healthy. You’ll never taste the difference but the health benefits are great.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day meal; if you enjoy a hot breakfast, believe it not, you can make a hot bowl of ricotta mixed with pumpkin puree and a little agave or honey; this is a delicious low carb way to start a cold day.

Having a good attitude about healthy foods is important, if you have a negative one, you’ll most likely not stick to your new diet plan. It’s all depends on how you look at it. If you get creative in your meal preparations then you will enjoy the meal even more; if you show your family how enthusiastic you are about the meal you prepared, they will most likely enjoy it also.


Bringing healthy dish can be a tasty treat

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Throughout the US, people look forward to the holidays all year; whether you’re hosting the feast or are a guest, it is a great time to get together with friend and family and just relax and catch up with what going on in each other’s lives.

The day usually starts out with a big breakfast, and throughout the day, guests come and go, the snack table is replenished to keep up. There is a reason why people gain more weight around the holidays then any other time of the year.

The feast is probably the most anticipate meal; even though there are treats and snacks, the dinner is usually phenomenal, Golden browned turkey and mashed potatoes with lots of butter, breads and cakes, sauces and gravies, the food looks and smells so good that you don’t realize that it could be a road to many different health issues.

It is important to enjoy yourself on the holidays; however it is also important to eat healthy. It may be difficult when you are a guest at someone else’s home.

One way that you can eat healthy on the holidays is to offer to bring a dish. You can choose the dish, and the ingredients to make a healthy dish that everyone will love.

Heart healthy food does not have to be dull; by choosing the right ingredients, you can be creative and with the right use of ingredients, you can come up with a signature dish that will be requested year after year.

Bringing a salad seems kind of boring, however when you bring a veggie salad filled with arugula tossed with cucumber, asparagus, and for a little color yellow bell peppers, shredded carrots and cherry tomatoes, you will present a wonderfully tasty dish and the best part is everyone of these vegetables is healthy.  For the dressing mix ¾ lime juice, ¼ olive oil, 3 cloves of crushed garlic.  It is very flavorful and healthy too.

Mashed potatoes are the heart of everyone’s meal. The creamy buttery texture is something that no one can resist. Now we all know that mashed potatoes are very high in fat and calories, but no one seems to care they gobble them up faster then any other food.

Cutting the fat and calories in mashed potatoes is really pretty basic; instead of cream or milk use half and half, you can also substitute half of the potatoes’ with turnip, believe it or not, it is very tasty.

If you do not want to bring a dish for the meal, consider bringing snacks for the snack table; low glycemic and calorie snacks.

Holiday desserts without the guilt!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The holidays are a great time to relax with friends, family and good food. Lots of high calorie high fat foods have traditionally been the foods of choice. Cakes and pies, cookies and pastries, the decadence of it all is too much to resist.

In the past, people with Diabetes and other diseases that need to control their sugar, fat and caloric intake would have to pass up all these delectable treats and just watch others enjoying them. Today, more can enjoy holiday treats without the risk of harm; with foods that are low in fat, sugar, sodium and calories loaded with a lot of great taste.  These foods have made it possible for most to indulge in holiday desserts.

Wonderful decadent desserts that melt in your mouth are not out of the question; it is all in the preparation. There is a plethora of recipes that contain low glycemic ingredients that are perfect for the holidays and you would never know the difference. Even though the holidays are traditionally a time for overindulging ourselves, it is possible to do so and still eat low calorie, healthy desserts.

A healthy diet does not mean that you have to sacrifice taste. It is in your attitude; keeping a positive attitude and an open mind is the key to eating healthy desserts during the holiday season and actually enjoying them.

When you’re trying to create a wonderful dessert menu for the holidays, the decadent desserts will always take precedents. However your guests may want something a little lighter after a full heavy meal. A fruit platter is the perfect ending to a great meal; it is light and tasty and can make the holiday meal complete. Or better yet to offer some delicious options that are healthy and scrumptious you can create a really elegant platter; place all natural delicious energy bars from Granola Gourmet (great variety of flavors to choose from) on a platter and add fruit and berries, presenting this type of platter will have the extreme ‘WOW’ factor!   Your guests will love it and be thrilled to have something that satisfy’s their sweet craving that is healthy.

Whether you’re hosting the holiday meal or bring treats when visiting friends and family, these natural low glycemic treats will be the hit of the season; and the best part is, everyone will be surprised they are good for you!


Perfect host/hostess gift

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Around the holidays, chaos reigns; planning the holiday meal, getting your home ready for guests and preparing the holiday menu. You do the shopping and the decorating and everything else that holiday preparations entail and all of this added to your normal daily routine of home, work and children; it can be very stressful.

When you’re invited to a friend of family’s home for the holiday, it is a bonus; you don’t have to worry about the chaos; someone else handles all the preparations. You know what they are about to undertake and most people want to reciprocate. One way you can say thank you is to create a hostess gift basket.

Creating a hostess gift basket is an excellent way to say thank you and that you appreciate everything that was done to create a wonderful, inviting experience. What you add to your hostess gift basket is entirely up to you.

The holidays bring with them a lot of food; foods that are high in fat, calories and sugar are the cause for more weight gain then during any other time of the year. Creating a healthy gift basket is an excellent alternative to more decadent treats.

Take time to really think about what you want to add to your gift basket. Do you want to create a hostess gift basket that is ordinary or would you like to create one that is spectacular and will be remembered? Creating a healthy hostess gift basket will have a dramatic effect!

A healthy hostess gift basket should contain foods such as fresh fruit, nuts and to add the sweet and healthy treat add Granola Gourmet energy bars.  .