Tag Archives: eating

Are mini salads the start to significant weight loss? 

It’s happened to all of us I think, whether work gets too busy so you decrease your workouts, maybe the birth of his child leads you to sleep less so work out less, or you put on those “I’m in love” pounds. 

However we get there, all of a sudden we realize we’re suddenly five or 10 pounds overweight!

I think the real success is the realization that you did gain five or 10 pounds. Because at that point, it’s doable.  It can be caught and tended to. 

One thing I did was start eating one small salad, extra, a day. And what I did was a few things: regulated my taste buds, made me crave less sugar fat or salt, added fiber to my diet so I felt more full, and reminded me that I needed to watch what I was eating. The salad looked a little something like this:


I think the trick is to make it small, very easy to make, very minimal ingredients, so that you can make it fast and it’s not a huge thing. 

All I did was chop up half a head of romaine and a quarter of a pepper.


And then I made the dressing: Half a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, dried Greek seasoning, a teaspoon of fresh salsa, and a quarter teaspoon of turmeric/salt.

That’s it! 

I found a little container that keeps the dressing separate from the salad and keeps the salad cool. It’s good I like it for a small salad, but any container will do.


Would you add a small salad to your diet every day for a week? Have you before? Do you think it’s a good idea or not?

xxSerena

Turkey muffins

With less than 8% fat, about 22g of protein in a serving of 100g, for my macros, turkey muffins were a perfect lunch idea.

When I made them yesterday I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the aroma was steaming out of the oven. I ate this over spinach and with roasted sweet potato.

Ingredients:

500g (1 package) extra lean ground turkey
1 red bell pepper chopped into tiny squares
1/2 red onion also chopped into tiny squares
1 egg
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce for chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Maille Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° before preparation
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Drop turkey mixture into silicone molds
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off and let muffins set for an additional 20 minutes in warm oven.
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables, spinach, sweet potato or rice.


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these muffins! Finally, delicious turkey that was moist, flavorful  and a great lean protein that goes with other healthy options.

I will definitely be making these many more times again this year! How do you cook with ground turkey or chicken?

xxserena

Loving the vegetable pho soup 

It’s filling, gluten free, vegetarian and tastes fresh! It’s vegetable pho and it’s important that you find one that you like. 

Since good authentic pho isn’t easy to make, (often broth takes hours to make and the consistency of noodles can be finicky) I think it is important for you to find a good vegetable broth from a restaurant that you love!

I am so happy to say that I have found one. Other restaurants had broth with too much weird stuff in it, there was salad and cucumbers in my noodle soup, totally unacceptable!

But not this one.


And, did I mention that this restaurant is close to my house?

The broth was clear, delicious and fresh. Vegetables perfectly cooked. Very fresh. And a great selection. I got carrots, onion, broccoli, cabbage, Red peppers, celery … And the noodles were awesome.


Vegetables are nutrient dense foods, this soup filled me up. it was totally satisfying. And the best part? This huge bowl of soup has 300 to 400 cal in total!

What is your favorite dish to order in a Vietnamese restaurant?

xxSerena

Why are some people eating scuttlebutt and what is it?

Apparently scuttlebutt is in season right now. What is it you ask? It’s a delicious sandwich of course!

  
Here is what one half of the scuttlebutt looks like:

 

One half of scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Not long after it’ll look like a crazy mess in your hands. But from what I have heard, and they are good sources, all is good in scuttlebutt heaven. 

 

Someone is now getting into the scuttlebutt. Photography and eating by Rizwan Alvi
 
In fact, I am surprised I got these pictures at all. You know how it is sometimes – so busy eating don’t have the energy to take a picture.

 

Inhalation of the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
One final picture of messy but delicious scuttlebutt:

 

Polishing off the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

 
Have you ever tried scuttlebutt? Have you ever heard of it? Would you like to try one day?

xxSerena 

Making a cheese and tomato sandwich for work

In my quest for a good work sandwich, I wondered how to make a boring cheese and tomato sandwich more exciting and up to date. How will I make this tomato and cheese sandwich modern?

First, slice the flax bread.

   
 
And then one side gets sun-dried tomato and onion chutney and the other side gets fresh rosemary mayo.

Fresh rosemary Mayo is just ordinary mayo with finely chopped rosemary spread into it.

  
Then we add the layers. Finally sliced tomato. Aged cheddar cheese. Butter lettuce. Fresh basil leaves. Pea sprouts. And cucumber.

 
  
  
  
And then pack the sandwiches up nice and tight! To eat at work the next day.

   
 
What are your favorite sandwiches to make for work?

xxSerena 

 

Healthy benefits of various starches

Starches are great for your body. Throughout the world, in for the past centuries, human beings have lived off of starch. Today many starches are over processed, removing the most healthy part of the food.

 

Plaintain at dinner. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Here is a helpful chart to illustrate the healthy benefits of  starches:

Item Carbohydrate g per 100g serving Fiber g per 100g serving Carbohydrate g per 1cup serving Portion Size Notes Other Notable Nutrients
cassava 38 2 78 1c= 206g Vitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
taro root 35 5 46 1c= 132g Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
plantains 31 2 48 1c= 154g (slices) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
yam 27 4 37 1c= 136g (cubed) Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled 22 1 27 1c= 122g Not much very high, some Vitamin C
sweet potato 21 3 58 1c= 328g (mashed) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
parsnips 17 4 27 1c= 178g (sliced) Vitamin C, Manganese.
lotus root 16 3 19 1c= 120g (sliced) Vitamin C.
acorn squash 15 4 31 1c= 205g Vitamin C.
onion 10 1 21 1c= 210g (chopped) Vitamin C, Potassium.
beets 10 2 17 1c= 170g (sliced) Folate, Manganese.
carrots 10 3 13 1c= 128g (chopped) Vitamin A, Vitamin K,
butternut squash 10  – 22 1c= 205g Vitamin A, Vitamin C
jicama (raw) 9 5 12 1c= 130g (slices) Vitamin C.
kohlrabi 7 1 12 1c = 165g Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese
spaghetti squash 6 1 9 1c= 155g Not very many. 

This table can help you eat a variety of starches. Use it to give you ideas on healthy ways to incorporate starch in your diet. It’s good for your body, fills you up and is delicious!

 

Peeled butternut squash. Photography by Serena Alibhai

 
Sweet potatoes. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

How often do you incorporate starches from this list into your diet? How do you eat them?

xxSerena 

Intermittent fasting help: “I’m too hungry to fast at night!”

Just a reminder about what intermittent fasting is: you aren’t cutting calories. You’ve already calculated your BMI and BMI so you know how many calories you need to eat every day to achieve your goal of either losing weight, maintaining it or gaining weight.

You don’t cut calories when you are doing intermittent fasting! You are simply eating your daily calories within an 8-hour window of time.

For example, if you start eating at 12 noon, you stop eating at 7 p.m. You don’t eat after 7 p.m. and when I started this was my personal schedule. I would work out at about 11 a.m., eat at noon or one and stop eating (begin my “fast”) between 7 or 8 p.m.

So for those of you who are used to late night snaking this poses a problem! What if you get WAY too hungry at night to stick to the intermittent fasting eating window and fasting times?

Here are some of my personal tips and hints to curb the appetite late at night:

  1. Drink water.

Now I know some of you will scoff at this. But try this first. Hunger is often disguised as thirst and remember, you are allowed to drink water, in fact encouraged to drink water during intermittent fasting periods.

 

Make sure you drink enough water. It’s a good idea to carry around a handy-dandy water bottle. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

2.  Eat nutrient dense foods during the day.

These are foods that pack a nutritional punch and fill you up. They are foods like vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, fruit. Vegetables and fruit have skin which contains vitamins and fibre that keep the body healthy and full. Same with fruit. Whole grains contain the husk, which contains vitamins and also more fibre. This will help curb your appetite at night.

 

Choose nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

Fighting directly from the farmer is best. You can also buy organic fruit & vegetables in the store. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

3.  Don’t forget to eat your calories!

No restrictions! Eat all of the calories you are allotted. If you want to gain an advantage, focus on making those calories good clean food, plant based foods, not processed, try and cook at home. There are so many healthy, inexpensive delicious meals that can be prepared in your own kitchen.

 

Eat enough calories and enjoy your food. photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto 

Remember, giving your digestive system a rest helps the body perform other important functions like muscle repair, immunity and neuron support. Allowing time for your food to digest is healthy.

What do you think? Do you eat a lot of food at night before you go to sleep?

xxSerena

Eat a bowl of pomegranate seeds

They’re like little ruby jewels; packed with nutritional benefits and flavour. These red little soldiers fight against disease in the body.

 In the middle of each Golden Nugget is an edible seed filled with antioxidants and dietary medicine.

Pomegranate in a bowl. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

Gorgeous little ruby jewels packed with good nutrition. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

Fruit breakfast spread. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
They say eat the rainbow, and these ruby red juicy pearls are no exception. Pomegranates are packed with good things healthy for you. There are so many benefits:


Do you like pomegranates? I like to just eat them with a spoon from a bowl. How do you eat pomegranate?
xxSerena

Vegan rainbow power lunch bowl 

Post workout today was a vegan potato veggie bowl. Did you know that there are plant based foods with just as much protein, less carcinogens and more antioxidants than meat?

Broccoli is delicious 🙂

The main ingredients in this lunch bowl are russet potatoes, red bell pepper and broccoli. Here are some nutrition facts before going through this super easy uber healthy lunch:

Potato nutritional facts
Potato nutritional facts
Red Bell Peppers nutritional facts
Red Bell Peppers nutritional facts
Broccoli nutritional facts
Broccoli nutritional facts

Some interesting information on the health benefits of raw vs. cooked broccoli:

Both cooked and raw broccoli have great health benefits. Just don't cook for too long!
Both cooked and raw broccoli have great health benefits. Just don’t cook for too long!

Ingredients:

4 small russet potatoes
1 small stalk broccoli
1 red bell pepper
1 green spring onion
1 tbsp Braggs amino acids
1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Flash boil broccoli and red bell pepper for five minutes. Chop.
  2. Roughly peel potatoes. Dice.
  3. Boil potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain and add chopped bell pepper and broccoli.
  5. Add seasonings, chopped green spring onion and stir.
  6. Heat, covered, on low heat for five minutes to steam and combine flavors.
  7. Serve.
Flash boil your broccoli and red pepper for five minutes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Washing potatoes, broccoli and red pepper. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
After a five minute boil. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

 

Roughly peel potatoes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Boil diced potatoes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Dice steamed veggies. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
One green spring onion about to be diced. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
I added some sprouted mung beans, optional, I had on hand to my power vegan bowl. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Add your seasonings. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Season with pepper and enjoy! Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

It was good. It was satisfying, filling, I felt great after eating it and I was happy it was totally vegan. Perfect post workout fuel!

What do you think about getting your protein from plant based foods? Would you? Do you? Have you?

xxSerena

The nutritional benefits of black beans

I talk about “nutrient dense” foods quite a bit because these are food that pack a lot of nutrition per calorie.

Also, many of these foods are delicious.

 

Black beans over rice in Miami. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto (Instagram)

Black beans are one of those foods. For a low amount of calories you get a high amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutritional benefits.


What are your favorite ways to eat black beans?

xxSerena