Welcome to our table again today! I've dedicated this week's posts to eating well and how it relates to feeling good and looking good:)
Today's post features two foods that can and will, enhance your looks! I'm not just talking about your waistline either, though that will automatically improve with a good nutrition program. I'm talking about your face, your skin, your nails, your hair-everything! Also you'll feel good! Eating well completely changes your mood by increasing the amounts of "feel-good" hormones that flow to your brain which naturally occur in many healthy foods.
Today for starters, I'm going to give you 2 simple foods to incorporate in your diet, tell you why they're good for you, and give you recipe ideas for using each of them in your daily diet!
*By the way, the word diet does not mean a program to lose weight so don't associate the word diet with temporary or with punishment to yourself. Diet simply refers to how you eat each day. That's all. You can be on a good diet full of whole, nutritious natural foods, or you can be on a bad diet full of unhealthy fats, nutrient- deficient carbs, processed foods, added sugars and alcohol. The choice is yours so choose for your daily diet to be a healthy one. People like to say, "Oh its a lifestyle change" and sure, it is technically, but when you get down to it, that just doesn't sound very fun or promising but instead makes you dread making the change because it makes you feel you're making a lifelong decision to never have a choice in your food options. In all actuality, you're making a choice at each meal, each day. Don't think about never being able to eat something again, think about choosing a good meal, right now.Think about pro-active eating. Plan healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so when hunger strikes, you're ready!
Okay, that was my "trainer" coming out in me:) I love helping people, truly I do. I want to help you however I can so that's why I'm here. Anything you don't understand? Anything you need some help with? What about that favorite dish you need a substitute recipe for? I'm here, so hit me with it:) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment here:)
Alright, down to the good stuff- THE FOOD:)
Fabulous Food # 1 : Carrots
Yes, I"m serious. Carrots. Don't be shocked. These little orange creatures that we associate as "rabbit food" or "kiddie food" are actually nutritional POWERHOUSES. They provide over 680% !!!! of your daily's recommended amount of Vitamin A. So what's the big deal about that you say? Well, Vitamin A is the number one ingredient in the wrinkle medication Retinol, the acne medication Accutane, and the vitamin that keeps collagen in your skin people! Carrots are richer than any other source, so EAT YOUR CARROTS!
If you can buy 1 large bag of organic mini carrots per week. When you get hungry pull out 1 cup's worth. 1 cup is only 53 calories! They are loaded with fiber too, which help fill you up and regulate your digestive system which is just good for all of us! :)
Eat them raw, which is my preference or try them with some salsa! You'll be shocked how good they are with salsa, seriously. Carrots are very filling all on their own, however if you need something a little more:
Try this homemade dip recipe:)
: Go Greek Dip :
Makes 2 cups
*This is a modified version of the popular Greek dip known as Tatziki which is popping up in supermarkets everywhere now.
Super easy, super yummy:)
1 small fresh cucumber peeled and seeded
2 small cups of nonfat plain Greek yogurt like Stonyfield's organic version called Oikos ( 4 oz. each)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder, or 1 clove of garlic
1/2 tbsp. dill spice
1 tbsp. onion powder or 1/4 onion finely, finely minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper ( optional)
1. First, cut your cucumber in half lengthwise. using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds of each half. Then, with a pairing knife ( good small slicing knife), peel the cucumber.
2. Cut the cucumber into 1 inch pieces.
3. Place the cucumber, and the clove of garlic and 1/4 of an onion ( if using instead of powder) to a small food processor. Pulse on high for 30 seconds.
4. Scoop the mixture out into a bowl. Add the yogurt and combine, stirring well.
5. Mix in the remaining spices ( pepper, dill, parsley, red pepper if using, onion and garlic powders if you didn't use the ones above).
6. Serve with 1 cup of carrots and store any leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days.
* This dip makes a great snack to carry to work, to eat when you get home, or to nosh on anytime!
- Eat this dip and you did yourself a double duty's worth of beauty- DID YOU KNOW? YOGURT is rich in probiotics, a naturally occuring group of good bacteria that aids in digestion and immunity in the gastrointestingal tact ( your GUT ), but also in skin repair, moisture and prevents inflammation in the skin. Also, by being good for digestion, these help keep you feeling great!
Fabulous Food # 2: Flax
Okay, this isn't as ordinary as carrots but is JUSt as powerful and is very cost-effective as well. I'm talking about one small food that will change your heart health, your skin, your weight, your mood and your digestion. One food promises all that? YES! And it DOES taste good!:)
I'm talking about Flaxseed. If you've heard of it but haven't tried it because it sounds strange, well its time to get over that!:) Try something new. YOu're going to love this and be amazed how easy it is to add to your diet.
2 tablespoons daily is all you need of this stuff.
Flaxseed is a fiber, a fat and a protein all in one. It is a seed, but buy it in the form of Flax Meal ( available in many different brands, and found on the baking aisle with the flours. It is usually marketed near the yeast on the baking aisle.
* DID YOU KNOW? Flaxseed is RICH in Omega 3 fatty acids which aid in weight loss by pushing bad fats out and improving healthy cholesterol levels, known as HDL levels. They also help LOWER bad cholesterol levels known as LDL levels.
Flaxseed is also rich in fibers that are fats known as lignans which improve regularity.
The fats in flaxseed have been found to help improve acne, heart health and aid in weight loss the same ways fish oil does. It is also plant-based meaning its healthier for you than animal sources and is less expensive!
* Always buy flaxseed in the meal form, not the entire seed form. The body doesn't digest the seed, it simply excretes it before it can break it down. Buy the meal which is ground flaxseed. It costs about $2-3 for a box that will last you about a month.
Also keep flax in the fridge in a plastic ziploc bag or container not in your pantry where the healthy oils it contains may spoil.
So What do you do with it? Don't worry- I'm getting to that:)
Try these simple ideas or try one of the more creative one listed as well:)
1. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of flax into a container of yogurt with some blueberries
2. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. flax into a bowl of oatmeal
3. Sprinkle flaxseed into your scrambled eggs ( you'll never know the difference)
4. Mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed into 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and spread on an apple or on your sandwich.
5. Add 2 tbsp. of flax to a smoothie recipe using 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup fat free organic yogurt, and 1 cup of ice.
6. Make muffins using 2 tbsp. of flax and 1 tbsp. water instead of an egg! It works the same!
7. Mix 1 tbsp. flax into plain applesauce.
8. Sprinkle 1 tbps. flax over an orange sliced
9. Mix it into 1 glass of almond milk and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
10. Sprinkle it on your bowl of cereal in the morning with 1 cup blueberries for a truly yummy breakfast:)
Okay so you're more beautiful and on your way to a healthier heart, weight and oh so much more. When you consistently add foods that are good for you, you take away room for the bad ones. Keeping adding good foods and don't thinka bout the bad ones you don't need. This is so much easier than resticting yourself to ideas that you can never have "this" or "that" again. Once you see the results coming, you'll never believe it took you so long. Good food is OH SO GOOD. Eat well dear ones:) The rewards are truly ENDLESS
Stay tuned tommorow for more beautifying, uplifting and utlra-fit foods!:)