miércoles, 26 de junio de 2013

How to lose weight eating out

If you have to eat out frecuently, you can still go on a low-calorie and healthy diet, you just have to follow these tips to learn how to choose wisely:
  • Ask for less oil. When you ask for a grilled meat or fish, It´s very common that the cook adds some oil on it after It´s cooked, so keep this in mind and ask the waiter not to add any extra oil or butter.
  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables
  • Ask for the salad dressing to be served on the side. Try to add as little as possible.
  • Choose the smallest portion. You can order child-size meals. This includes main dishes, beverages (if they have calories) and side dishes, unless they are mainly vegetables with little fat, because in that case you should choose the biggest portion.
  • Avoid “all-you-can-eat” buffets
  • Drink water instead of sodas or alcoholic drinks. Drink a glass of water before you start eating to make you feel full sooner.
  • Remove the skin from meat and poultry dishes.
  • Don´t choose dishes cooked with coconut milk or cream. Apart from being very fattening, coconut´s fat is very saturated and unhealthy for your heart.
  • Choose boiled rice over fried or flavoured rice.
  • It´s ok to go to fast food restaurants sometimes, but not everyday: 
    • If you go, you can ask for a plain hamburger or a grilled chicken sandwich. You can have it with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, princkes, and the only sauces you should choose are ketchup and mustard, but don´t add mayonaise or other sauces like garlic sauce.  
    • For side dish have a salad (without croutons or sauce) instead of fries.
    • If you are having pizza, order the thinnest crust. Try to eat only one or two slices. Top with veggies instead of meat. Accompany the pizza with a salad to make you feel more satisfied.
    • Have a small bag or a handful of baked chips (like Cassava) or pretzels instead of regular chips.
Do some workout that day to make it up, you will feel much less guilty about whatever treat you are indulging in ;)

martes, 18 de junio de 2013

Minestrone soup (recipe, nutritional information and tips)

INGREDIENTS (for 6 or 8 serves)
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 carrots (diced)
1 leek (sliced)
1 celery stick (sliced)
Half cup/50g/2oz of frozen peas
800g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes)
50g/2oz of soup pasta
2 and a half cups/600ml/1 pint of chicken stock
5ml/1 tsp of sugar (to reduce the acidity of the tomato)
1 tbsp/15g of chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp/15g of chopped fresh parsley
Large pinch of saffron strands (optional)
Salt and black pepper

  1. Soak the pinch of saffron strands in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the prepared onion, leek, celery, carrots and garlic into a large pan. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, the saffron with its liquid and the frozen peas. Bring back to the boil and add the soup pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes until tender.
  4. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped herbs just before serving.
You can also made it out of whatever vegetables are in season and beans, like Italians do.
For extra flavour and calcium, you can sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese.
Saffron strands aren't essential for this soup, but they give a wonderful delicate flavour, with the bonus of a lovely rich orange-yellow colour.
Etymology: Literally means "that which is served" as It comes from minestrare, "to serve".

Energy: 85 kcal
Fat: 0.7g
Saturated Fat: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Fibre: 3.3g
It's very high in Vitamin A (one portion contain half of the requiriments), and also in Potassium and Manganese. If you use fresh tomatoes It'll also be very rich in Vitamin C. This soup is ideal for a weight loss plan.

jueves, 13 de junio de 2013

Best tips to eat more vegetables

  • Include at least one vegetable-based dish for lunch or dinner.
  • Have always as a first course a salad, a soup, a vegetable stir-fry or any other dish made mainly with vegetables.
  • Keep a bowl of cut-up veggies in a see-through container in the fridge. You can keep there carrots, celery sticks, red or green pepper strips, broccoli or couliflower florets and cucumber slices.
  • Ask for more vegetables when eating out. Ask for steamed or sauteed veggies instead of fries as a side.
  • Buy enough vegetables to provide 2 servings each day.
  • Add grated carrots or zucchini to your traditional dishes or even to your muffins.
  • When cooking following a recipe, duplicate the quantity of vegetables.
  • Try a new vegetable every week. You can look for a recipe to cook it. Don't be afraid of experimenting with new veggies or recipes, It can be a lot of fun, specially if you get somebody else involved to go with you to the market to choose the new vegetables and cook them afterwards.
  • Choose seasonal vegetables because they'll be more in line with your budget and moreover they'll be at their peak flavor
  • A quick and easy way to cook is with the microwave. Sweet or white potatoes can also be baked this way
  • Buy frozen vegetables. They keep all the vitamins and you can cook them in the microwave when you don't have much time.
  • Stock up on a variety of vegetables, so you don't get bored of eating always the same ones.
  • Try raw or lightly steamed vegetables, like sugarsnaps, carrots or cauliflower. When they are crunchy you'll feel full sooner and moreover you'll obtain more vitamins.If you don't like them, you can use sauces or seasoning, but keep in mind you are adding many calories, saturated fat and sodium to the vegetables.
  • You can buy canned vegetables for when you don't have time to cook.
  • For dinner, a salad made up with pasta and tunna or chicken can be a great option. Go light on the salad dressing or use the low fat alternative.
  • When having pizza, top it up with vegetables like onions, mushrooms, peppers, fresh tomatoes...
  • If you have a barcacue, make grilled vegetable kabobs.
  • Add color to salads by adding shredded carrots, red cabbage or spinach leaves.
  • Decorate plates with colorful vegetables slices.
  • Include cooked dry beans or peas in mixed dishes such as stews or soups. 
  • Aim for variety as different vegetables are rich in different nutrients:
    • Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in iron, folate and calcium
    • Vegetables with intense colours contain more nutrients and phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances) than pale-coloured ones.
So eat a variety for maximum health benefits! 
And be creative! Experiment with vegetables in your cooking.

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