In the previous post, we talked about what greens are the best for rejuvenating our bodies at the beginning of spring. Continuing the idea, here are some great healthy foods you can count on for living healthy in springtime. All these foods do more than just make sure you are eating healthy. They regulate metabolism, they make you feel more energetic and they improve mood. All in all, they are an amazing win for your diet and for yourself.
Enjoy an asparagus soup
Are you in the mood for a feel good dish? How about trying an asparagus soup? Asparagus is a rich source of folate, which is a type of vitamin B that cannot easily be found in other foods. This vitamin stimulates the production of all the feel good hormones in the human body, which are dopamine and serotonin, among others. Just a cup of boiled asparagus can ensure about two thirds of your daily need of folate. If you improve your dish with a bit of pasta fortified with this vitamin, you will get all that you need for feeling great and ready to face the world all day long.
Beans for weight loss
Even if spring is here and there are plenty of green foods available, this does not mean that you should count beans out. They provide a lot of fiber and they make you feel full, while eating very little. A balanced diet should include a few portions of legumes weekly, since this will greatly contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. What happens when you consume legumes is that your body works hard to break down the fiber, so you are basically consuming energy in order to get to the nutrients inside legumes. This is absolutely the kind of food that should not be amiss from your diet in springtime.
Are you feeling down and lacking energy? It is simply your body telling you that you must provide the right fuel for it to resupply. In springtime, one of the greatest foods you can find everywhere is spinach! And it is not the preserved variety that lacks some of the important nutrients spinach is famous for. It is the type that just grows from the ground, filled with all the energies of spring that is just waiting to rejuvenate your body. Besides being an important source of iron, spinach is rich in compounds that energize even the smallest cells. In other words, you will notice a serious increase in your stamina if you eat spinach daily.
When in spring, our bodies feel the need to rejuvenate, to shed the warm clothes we have worn all winter, and to detoxify. The best way to do that and feel like you are born again is by eating the vegetables that are now in season. A common rule of thumb says that veggies taste best when in their season, so even if you have indulged in frozen varieties during winter, I can guarantee that nothing tastes better than fresh vegetables. Here are some great ideas about what veggies to eat that are now in season and are best packed with vitamins, minerals, and let’s not forget, flavor.
These are some spring veggies that you cannot get anytime else. The fern like plants are best eaten when they are barely here, because they grow to be inedible stalks that cannot be used for anything. If you buy these from the market, do not forget that they last about two days even in the fridge, so they are made for immediate consumption. You can sauté them with lemon, and use as a side dish for a meal.
Garlic is a very strong, flavorful veggie that is used in small quantities in various recipes. Green garlic, on the other hand, is not as strong as the mature plant, so you can enjoy its very specific taste without worrying too much about heart burns. You can simply eat the young stalks – both the white and the green part – or use them as an addition to a spring salad, to which they will lend a great taste.
Similar to wild onion, ramps are something between leeks and scallions, but they sport they very own specific taste. Keep in mind that their taste is quite pungent, so you may want to use them in salads, or processed, to take some of the strength of their flavor.
A variety of veggies that can be found in many recipes, especially Italian, artichokes are in full season in spring. Green, purple and dark red varieties can be found, and there are plenty of hybrids harvested by passionate farmers. Their particularly sweet juicy flavor can be enjoyed best right now.
Do you remember how last time we talked about how to combine fruits with yogurt for a more delicious treat, while still keeping healthy? Now the time has come to talk about milkshakes! These are anyone’s favorite, but there are people who want to keep away from them because they think they are bad for their health. And, if the ingredients used are unhealthy, yes, they are correct and milkshakes may not be that good for one’s health; loaded with too many calories, they can wreck quite a havoc in a person’s diet, so they do not sound like the best choice for someone who wants to keep healthy and in shape. However, if you take the following tips into consideration, you will find that there are ways of making milkshakes a good choice for a healthy diet.
Get the right type of milk
Any milkshakes has, as you know very well, milk as the main ingredient. What kind of milk are you using for your milkshakes? If you go for whole milk, you should know that 12 ounces of whole milk have 75calories, 4 grams of fat and another 3 of unsaturated fat. You are probably thinking right now: that sounds like quite a lot of fat! You are correct. But, if you are replacing the milk you are using with the skim variety, you will lower the amount of calories to only 42 and you will eliminate all that unwanted fat.
You can find out more about milk through this video:
Choose frozen yogurt over ice cream
Another healthy choice that is highly recommended by the people at the American Heart Association is to replace the ice cream in your milkshake with frozen yogurt. As is the case with skim milk versus whole milk, you can cut the amount of calories by one third, and also greatly reduce the intake of fat, which is the main culprit why milkshakes are considered so unhealthy.
Make your own at home
The main problem with fast food milkshakes is that they come loaded with chemically obtained flavors and a lot of sugar and fat, which is why they have that explosive taste that, unfortunately, comes with the unwanted side effects for your waistline and your heart condition. Make your own milkshakes at home, and you will obtain a much healthier alternative that you will be able to consume completely guilt free. In fact, milkshakes are a great way of combining healthy ingredients, and you should not skip this opportunity to indulge in your favorite dessert.
No other food is as economical and complete as yogurt, and when mixed with fruit, this dairy product can provide as many health-giving nutrients as a superfood. Enhancing the flavor of yogurt with honey and fresh fruits also helps you cut back on the consumption of processed sugars. Yogurt is low in fat and extra tasty, aids in good digestion and promotes general well being. Making fresh fruit yogurt is easy, and I have been doing that since finding the perfect yogurt maker from this fantastic site that lists a great selection of such machines. Now on to making fresh fruit yogurt.
The best fruit to use for fresh fruit yogurt
You can choose from a variety of fresh or dried fruits to make yogurt eating more pleasurable. You can go for pineapple, mango and grapes. I have found berries as one of the most nutritious options while being the tastiest. All kinds of berries are perfect partners for yogurt since they make the dairy product tastier while enabling you to enjoy ingredients high in antioxidants, fiber and a host of other health-giving nutrients. Inherently sweet, berries are also low in calories, making them ideal to pair with low fat yogurt. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and whatever berries are in season make great yogurt toppings. For great ideas you should definitely check this article.
You can also use apples, seedless green grapes, fresh pineapple chunks, mangoes, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, bananas, lychees and peaches. Dried fruit selections such as raisins are also fantastic.
Some recipes I love
Make Greek or plain yogurt your favorite comfort food by tossing together in a large bowl some fresh pineapple chunks, halved strawberries that have been hulled and sliced, seedless green grapes, mangoes and fresh raspberries. Then, take a smaller serving bowl, spoon some plain yogurt into it, sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with honey. Serve this with the fruit mixture.
I also love this simple recipe which needs one apple that I chop up and mix with some raisins, seedless grapes, sliced bananas, any berry in season, and of course, some plain or vanilla yogurt. I can choose to mix all the fruit together first before topping with the yogurt, or just mix the fruit and yogurt together.
Using a fork, I can also mash some strawberries to squeeze out their naturally sweet flavor and juice, and then add some Greek yogurt and stir everything to make sure everything is blended nicely. I taste for the level of sweetness and then drizzle some maple syrup or honey till I get the desired sweetness. I stir to incorporate the syrup or honey, and enjoy my creation.
One recipe I love that uses plain yogurt as well goes like this: In a medium-sized saucepan, I simmer some fruit, honey and salt. I stir this constantly. In a bowl, I stir together some cornstarch and water till the powder gets dissolved, and then I pour this into the fruit mixture in the pan. I simmer for another five minutes, making sure to stir frequently till I get a thick mixture that is not cloudy anymore. I allow the fruit compote to cool before doing the next step, which involves layering with my yogurt. I put about a couple of spoonfuls of the fruit compote into a plastic container or jar that can be sealed. I top that with the plain yogurt, cover the jar and refrigerate for up to a week.
I can also mix some creamy Greek yogurt with some chia seeds ( here are a few of their benefits) , some heart-friendly old-fashioned oats, plus a dash of milk. I layer this with some frozen fruit and berries, which I then place in a jar to serve as a grab-and-go breakfast any day of the week. I usually make two to ten jars of this at a time, as it can be refrigerated for several days.
Achieving good health isn’t just about weight loss. Although dropping the pounds represents an important – and necessary – step for many people in their pursuit of better health, the truth is that it’s just as important that the foods we take in be as healthy as possible as the fact that we put less food into our mouths.
To understand the difference, picture a truly healthy person in your mind. Sure, she’s at a healthy, attractive weight, but she also exhibits a number of other indications of good health. Her skin is clear and glowing, her eyes are bright and she exudes positive energy. She is capable, confident and strong – and this is as much a result of her overall health as her weight.
Now, think of a person you know who’s skinny, but not healthy. Plenty of us know people whose high metabolisms allow them to run off of fast food and other junk – but their low body weights don’t make them healthy! And really, what’s the point of losing weight if you aren’t going to look and feel like a million bucks as a part of your transition?!
Instead, overall health should be your priority – and one of the fastest ways to achieve this is by incorporating superfoods into your diet.
Superfoods are those products that go above and beyond, packing a major nutritional punch into small packages. They’re a great way to boost health quickly and easily, so check out the following list of superfoods to add to your next meal:
Beans – Beans and legumes represent a great combination of protein and fiber, making them an ideal food for your diet as they’ll keep you full for long periods of time. Beans can be spiced in a number of interesting, different ways, which means that they can be easily incorporated into some of your favorite dishes to increase their staying power!
Berries – Berries (including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and others) aren’t just delicious – they’re packed full of powerful nutrients as well!
These sweet, succulent superfoods make a great snack or dessert that will keep you full and energized over the long haul.
Broccoli – One of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables that’s consumed regularly today, broccoli packs a powerful nutritional wallop that’s sure to improve your health and well-being. Enjoy this veggie cooked into stir-fry meals and other entrees, as well as raw and dipped in hummus.
Oats – Raw oats provide an amazing amount of healthy fiber, which is why they’re often used to help lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. When buying oats, remember – the less processed and more natural, the better!
Oranges – Sweet, delightful oranges aren’t just delicious to eat – they’re packed full of healthy vitamin C and other necessary minerals as well. Try eating oranges raw or incorporate them into healthy desserts – just don’t rely on grocery store orange juice to provide the same benefits. Eating oranges “as is” ensures you get all the fiber of the raw fruit, without the extra sugar of a processed juice.
Pumpkin – These solid orange fruits aren’t just for Halloween anymore! Did you know that pumpkins contain one of the richest supplies of bioavailable carotenoids known to man? In addition to their healthy doses of potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E, pumpkins also provide more than two times the recommended daily intake of both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.Salmon – This ocean fish is so packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that it’s no wonder fish oil supplements are often marketed as “Salmon Oil” pills!
Try to incorporate this hearty fish into your diet 2-3 times a week, but make sure you’re buying wild-caught Atlantic salmon. Not only are salmon farms ecologically-unsustainable, but raising these fish outside of their natural habitat results in nutritionally-inferior fish.Spinach – Popeye had it right when he bragged about his spinach consumption! This green leaf sports a nutritional profile that’s nearly unrivaled in the world of natural foods. With sky-high levels of protein, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, iron and more, adding spinach to your diet (whether in the form of raw salads or blended into other dishes) is a great way to feel healthier, faster.
Tea – Tea is well-known for its metabolism-boosting effects, which is why it’s commonly added to diet and weight loss supplements (including our favorite “Raspberry Ketone PURE” product). Enjoy a cup of green or black tea in the morning in place of your usual coffee in order to experience a rush of powerful anti-oxidants and other minerals.Tomatoes – Tomatoes may be the world’s least-appreciated fruit, but their undeserved reputation as garnish and salad-filler overshadows their tremendous power as a superfood! In fact, tomatoes are packed full of beta-carotene and lycopene – two antioxidants that play a major role in supporting immune function and boosting overall health.Turkey – In the pursuit of overall health, we all know that red meat needs to be cut out, due to its high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. But what should go in its place? Turkey!
Turkey is an incredibly lean protein that can substitute for beef or pork in a variety of dishes, while providing exceptionally high levels of selenium, niacin and vitamin B as well.
Yogurt – According to Dr. Robert Heaney of WebMD, “Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition – and in just the right balance. No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical.” For best results, look for plain yogurt that’s enriched with vitamin D, and then sweeten it yourself with fresh fruits and honey to avoid processed sugars.
Incorporating these superfoods into your daily diet can make a big difference in terms of your overall health and well-being.
But for even better results, try combining two or more superfoods into a single, powerful dish to maximize the amount of vitamins and nutrients you take in. For example, a simple dish of pan-seared salmon tossed with steamed broccoli and spinach, is a delicious, yet healthy way to incorporate a number of different superfoods into your regular diet.
Dairy products are important for one’s health as they are packed with nutritional benefits that you can easily enjoy daily. Among them, yogurt is everyone’s favorite, because it is tasty, low in fat compared to other dairy products and it helps digestion and overall well being. If you want to make your daily yogurt intake even healthier, you can mix it with other ingredients that bring more health benefits to the table. Here are some ideas on how to enhance the superpowers of your yogurt. Remember; the best yogurt to use to keep healthy is the one you can make at home ( an yogurt maker is very useful), without preservatives and colorants that do nothing for your health.
One of the most nutritious options and also the tastiest is represented by berries. Berries of all kinds go hand in hand with yogurt like a charm and even kids will love the combination. Although it is easy to like yogurt, because of its specific taste, some may not find it that appealing. Adding a handful of berries to your yogurt serving will make it taste heavenly and the greatest thing of all is that you will be stacking on antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients important for your health. While naturally sweet, berries are low in calories, so when combined with low fat yogurt, they make for a solid addition to any diet.
Another ingredient that can make your daily dose of yogurt an even healthier choice is represented by the large and varied category of seeds. Unlike berries, these are not low in calories, but quite the contrary. However, due to their very aromatic taste, you do not have to add a lot. A sprinkle of flaxseeds or sunflower seeds on your cup of yogurt will enhance it with a plus of B vitamins, fiber, important minerals like copper and magnesium and many others. If you have a particular preferred variety of seeds, you can now consume them for breakfast together with yogurt, for a healthy, nutritious meal that will keep you going through the day.
For a larger variety of breakfast options throughout the week, you can also combine your yogurt with cereals. These are another category of foods that are readily available and very important for your health. Besides being a great source of fiber and B vitamins, cereals are packed with specific phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are different from the ones you can find in fruits and vegetables and they should be part of your daily diet. According to studies related to cancer research, consuming whole grains daily reduces the risk of developing various forms of cancer.
What kind of yogurt to use?
Now that you know about all the important health foods you should mix with your yogurt, let’s focus a little on the kind of yogurt to use. This is no rocket science, since you can use any kind of yogurt you like. However, the sole recommendation to keep in mind is to preferably make your own yogurt at home. This site, has a lot of helpful information on yogurt makers you can choose from to get a machine to make all the yogurt you want to consume every day.
If you’re struggling to balance a healthy living plan with your dwindling bank account, don’t worry! You’re not the only one in this boat, and there are plenty of different things you can do to promote healthy living in today’s economy.
Check out any of the following tips on how to achieve lasting weight loss without breaking the bank:
Get outside. Plenty of simple, fun exercises can be done from the comfort of your backyard – no fancy fitness gear needed! As an example, could you trade one hour of TV watching for a leisurely stroll around the block or a game of hide and go seek with your children? Getting fit doesn’t need to be expensive if you stick to equipment-free activities!
Purchase second hand sports equipment. Of course, if you want to spice up your workout routine, you’ll need to purchase equipment, whether you decide to invest in a bicycle a basketball or even a treadmill. And while all of these different pieces of equipment can be quite pricey when purchased new, you can save a substantial amount of money by buying used merchandise.
The following are a few of the different places you can look to purchase second hand items:
Your local community’s Craigslist website or other local classified ad sites eBay or other online auction communities.At used goods retailers, including sports-specific second hand stores or thrift shops
Taking advantage of any of these options should help you to find used sports equipment at a price you can afford.
Take advantage of free trials. Purchasing health and weight loss supplements from your local vitamin shop can be quite pricey, so take advantage of coupon deals and free trials whenever available. There are a number of different ways you can find these opportunities, including clipping coupons from your local paper and subscribing to manufacturer email lists. You may also be able to find free trials for specific products by searching Google for your favorite products, along with the words “free trial.”
Buy in bulk to save on health foods. Whatever healthy eating plan you’re following, you’ll probably find that there are certain foods you purchase over and over again that fit within your specified eating goals. But why buy these products at retail price if you can get them at a substantial discount by buying in bulk? Consider any of the following options for buying health foods in bulk:
Check out your local discount chain. Discount retailers like Wal-Mart Costco and Sam’s Club often offer significant discount on large volume purchases. Although you may need to invest in an initial membership fee to purchase products from these chains, you’ll likely find that you make up your costs quickly in terms of food savings!Buy direct from the manufacturer. Depending on the products you’re buying, you may find that your food manufacturers offer big savings when you buy in bulk directly from them. To find out if you qualify, check your food manufacturers’ websites or search online for direct buy discounts.Work with local farmers.
Buying organic meats, fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your overall health, but these options aren’t usually easy on your wallet when you buy through retail stores! Instead, you can save money by buying directly from local farmers in your area through CSA or meat-sharing programs. Not only will you save money, you’ll improve your carbon footprint by buying locally!Cook meals at home.
Unless you’re eating off the dollar menu at McDonald’s every night (which, let’s face it, probably isn’t that great for your healthy living plan!), chances are cooking your meals at home will result in a substantial savings over dining out.