Summer & Salads

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Get on your salad game…

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Salads are for summer as summer are for salads. Do you hear me! You can enjoy a nice fresh salad and not get board if you change your mindset. Uncooked salads are live foods that the body needs to stay healthy. Undisturbed nutrients is what I like to call them. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, sweet peppers, etc. You can even make a healthy homemade dressing with a dash of salt and pepper for flavor.

Best times to prepare salads…

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Anytime of course…breakfast, lunch, or dinner. How about all three! I eat fruit salad for breakfast then maybe avacado salad for lunch then dinner it may be a steak salad. Yes sometimes I just have to add some meat…lol I used to love my fries in my salad but the way my body gains weight I had to give it up.

Including the kids to create their own healthy salad with their veggies of choice is a parental accomplishment. The kids are healthy which in turn makes the parents happy it’s a win win situation.

7 Great benefits of adding salads to your daily regimen…

 

1. Salads give us the fiber our bodies need…

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Your leafy greens and raw veggies are a superb source of natural fiber, if you consume enough fiber each day there are several health advantages:

  • Fiber helps to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • It helps to control blood sugar.
  • Adequate fiber intake helps with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
  • It normalizes bowel movements, and aids in the prevention of bowel disease.
  • Proper fiber intake has been shown to reduce the recurrence and prevention of a number of cancers including colorectal, breast, mouth, throat and esophagus.

2. Nutrition goes a long way…

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Diets rich in fruits and veggies can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems & have a positive effect on your blood sugar which can help keep your appetite controllable.

It’s important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in as many different colors as possible. Combining them in a salad is both easy and delicious! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood.

The basis of any salad, leafy greens, offer a huge nutritional benefit. Among the best of the super greens group are your kale, spinach, beet greens, watercress and Romaine lettuce.

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the “red” family are of a particular nutrition benefit. This includes produce with orange, purple, red and burgundy flesh. Examples would be tomatoes, red and orange peppers, carrots,strawberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries,cranberries, and pomegranates.

Carotenoids are a class of compounds synthesized from the yellow, orange and red pigments of plants. This includes vitamin A and all its varied compound forms such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of which has substantiated positive effects, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits within the body.

3. Salads will help you incorporate healthy fat into your diet…

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Mix some raw or roasted seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Experimenting with various oils in your homemade dressings will help with this, as well.

Slicing a quarter of an avocado and adding it to your greens will also give you a boost. These foods also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein.

Adding a healthy fat to your salad via the dressing, or by adding  an avocado will also make it more filling, as fats are among the most satisfying to the body.

4. Build strong bones…

Low vitamin K levels have been linked with low bone mineral density in women. For healthy bone growth, a recommended full daily serving can be found in just 1 cup of watercress (100%), radicchio (120%) or spinach (170%).

5. Protect your eyes…

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The carotenoids found in the green leafies like spinach, Romaine and Red Lettuce help the eyes to adjust from bright to dark, and to filter out high intensity light levels, protecting them from the formation of damaging free radicals.

6. Protect your precious heart…

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Romaine lettuce contains two key nutrients in significant levels that help to protect the heart muscle: folate and fiber. High levels of folate have been shown to assist in the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease. You only get one heart so protect it with the foods you consume. Love helps the heart to function but healthy foods keeps it pumping!

7. Improves your overall skin tone…

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The high levels of water found in salad veggies improves hydration in our bodies, which is necessary for youthful wrinkle free skin.

Add herbs for a nutritional boost. This healthy salad includes roast beef, basil, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, onions, & sunflower seeds.

Adding fresh herbs goes a long way toward improving your nutrition, as many are densely packed with vitamins and various phytonutrients. Because these vitamins and phytonutrients are produced so intensely, they’re especially nutritionally dense – meaning they’re thermogenic, and may help to naturally increase your metabolism.

 

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Slim ladies nachos

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INGREDIENTS

4 bell peppers, cut into small wedges
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Pink Himalayan sea salt (your preference)

Freshly ground black pepper (your preference)

1 1/2 c. Mexican cheese
1/2 c cream cheese softened
1 c. guacamole
1 c. pico de gallo salsa
1/2 c. pickled jalapeño slices
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. water

Lime wedges, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and line two small baking sheets with foil.
  2. Divide bell peppers between baking sheets. Toss with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Season generously with salt and pepper. Lay the wedges on the baking sheets in a single layer, cut side up. Bake until peppers are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Top bell peppers with both mexican cheese, and spread on softened cream cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Top with guacamole, salsa, and pickled jalapeños. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and milk together and drizzle over bell peppers. Squeeze a lime wedge on top and serve with more lime wedges.

Nutrition (per serving): 410 calories, 17 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 7g sugar, 32 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 760 mg sodium

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Daily Strugglies “Another dead calorie” zesty chicken dish

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Ingredients:

  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green olives
  • 1 oz. Manchego cheese, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Season boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves with salt and pepper and grill on medium-high to cook through, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  2. Meanwhile, grill limes, cut sides down, and corn until charred, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Cut corn from cob and toss in bowl with juice of 2 lime halves, then chopped cilantro, chopped green olives, grated Manchego cheese, and pinch each salt and pepper.
  4. Serve chicken with corn and remaining lime halves and drizzle with a mixture of olive oil and smoked paprika.

Per serving: 355 calories, 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 21 g protein, 315 mg sodium, 21 g carb, 2 g fiber

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Daily Strugglies “Nothing fishy about weightloss” Salmon

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Ingredients…

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, plus 1-2 extra sprigs to garnish
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp of grated dried orange peel (divided)
  • Kosher salt or fine sea salt to taste
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus (trimmed) (Or other vegetable of choice)
  • Olive oil or melted butter to drizzle
  • 10–12 ounces sockeye salmon (whole fillet or around 3 fillets)
  • Thinly sliced Orange (5-6)
  • Optional 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • Additional Salt/pepper to taste – after baking

How to prepare…

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together orange juice, lemon, 2 Tbsp rosemary, 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil, pinch of salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp orange peel and garlic. Set aside.
  3. Next, layer your dish.
  4. First add your trimmed asparagus (or other vegetable of choice) and drizzle with olive oil or butter. Add a pinch (1/4 tsp or so) of lemon pepper seasoning.
  5. Place your salmon (skin side down) on between the asparagus spears.
  6. Drizzle the orange rosemary marinade on top of the salmon.
  7. Add thin orange slices on top of the salmon and on top of the asparagus.
  8. Place 2 to 2 fresh sprigs of rosemary evenly on top of the salmon and around the pan.
  9. Sprinkle a bit more orange peel, pepper, and kosher salt on top of the salmon veggie bake.
  10. Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes or until salmon is not longer opaque in the middle.

What your giving your body per serving…

Per serving: 345 calories, 22 g fat (3 g sat), 25 g protein, 10 g carb, 5 g sugars, 3 g fiber

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