Starting a Low Carb Diet for 2022

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Looking for advice for Starting a Low Carb Diet in the New Year? This post might help.

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Starting a Low Carb Diet – Advice and Tips

Getting healthy can be a goal any time of the year, but many people make a commitment to get fit and lose weight as a New Year’s resolution. If you have plans to start a diet soon, then one of the best ones to start is a low carb plan.

This is a diet that lowers the amount of carbohydrates you consume in your meals and snacks. You’ll still be eating normal foods, but in a way that takes off the excess weight. You can still eat many of your favorite foods, including steak, chicken, guacamole, and more – but you’ll prepare your meals so that the carb count is lowered in a way that helps you shed pounds more easily.

How to Start a Low Carb Diet

Dieting always starts with knowledge, no matter which plan you intend to follow. If you don’t know what you’re doing when trying to lose weight, then you will make mistakes that keep the pounds on.

Having the knowledge that you need can mean the difference between success and failure with your weight loss goals. To begin, you need to choose the type of low carb diet that you want to follow.

There are several – and they’re all good as long as they focus on eating healthy foods and don’t require you to eat in a manner that would negatively impact your health. Some low carb diets focus on limiting the carbs, and boosting the amount of protein that’s eaten.

The focus of these diets is on eliminating the unhealthy foods, and when faced with a choice of food items, you would choose the one that had the most nutritional value, but the lowest number of carbs.

Other low carb diets emphasize limiting the carbs, but not the fat. You can eat foods that are high in fat as long as it’s the good kind of fat, such as an avocado or olive oil. Some of what these diets call for followers to consume are foods like meat, vegetables and even dairy.

Foods that aren’t in a natural state should be avoided. That means you avoid or strictly limit any foods that were processed and ideally try to choose fresh foods over those in a can, or quick foods like TV dinners that can be cooked in the microwave.

The number of carbs you should get on any of these diets can range in number. It depends on which one you’re following. On Keto, you’re looking at a total of 20 net carbs or less, while some low carb plans call for anything under 100 grams daily.

Many of the lower carb diets are already well known, such as the Mediterranean Diet or Keto Diet. One of the easier plans focuses on the way that people in the Mediterranean eat because the diet is known to be beneficial to the body. This diet is low in carbs but has an emphasis on fish.

It also focuses more on oils like olive oil – the extra virgin variety. With this type of olive oil, it means that it hasn’t undergone any heat treatment and it hasn’t been treated with chemicals, either.

On this diet, followers can eat fruits and vegetables, and of course, the fish or seafood that the diet focuses on. If it’s a refined food, then it shouldn’t be eaten on this low carb diet.

That means, you wouldn’t eat things like refined grains. No matter what the refined grain is in, you wouldn’t eat it. Some pastas contain refined grains, so you would have to study labels and ingredients to be able to avoid this.

You would also need to avoid processed foods, especially meats and any food where sugar was added to it. Your food choices would be more along the line of the ones that are found in nature, which don’t contain any additives.

Things You Need for a Low Carb Diet

You can start a low carb diet without buying anything other than the foods that you need to eat on the diet. However, there are certain steps you can take and things that you can buy that can make it more helpful to you.

These things can increase your chances of success on the diet. If you’re someone whose pantry is filled with processed foods and you have a store of sugary snacks, you really do need to clean out your pantry and your refrigerator.

If you eat sugar or salt, it can set off more cravings for those foods. After you’ve been eating healthy on a low carb diet for a bit of time, your cravings will subside. You’ll feel better and your cravings will start to be for those healthy foods once your body is used to eating sugar-free and low sodium.

Most people mess up when trying to eat low carb by forgetting that they may need a new way of cooking. Their meal plans may have consisted heavily of high carb comfort foods, like breaded and fried chicken.

Any food can be made low carb. But you’ll need to know how to do that. That’s why you should get cookbooks or invest in some meal planning software that can help you plan meals that are better for your body.

You need structure when dieting. That means you should have a plan. If you try to just wing it, you’ll more than likely fall right back into your old eating habits. Look around your kitchen and identify the gadgets that might sabotage your diet.

It might be an electric fryer that you put a lot of oil in to cook chicken nuggets or fries. Having it in your kitchen could tempt you. So either pack it away in your attic or get rid of it.

Invest in appliances that will help you eat low carb. You may want to buy an instant pot and a blender. These tools can prepare a meal or a vegetables and berries drink quickly.

Another item you may want to get should be a spiralizer. This gadget can be used to create low carb vegetable noodles, which you can use in your diet in the place of high carb pasta.

This way, you don’t have to give up eating pasta dishes. Finally, use a meal planner to plan out all your meals and your snacks. It can help you to not only know what you’re going to eat, but to create your shopping list and snack ideas in advance so you have something to grab to eat when you feel too hungry to wait for a meal.

Understanding the Number of Carbs You’re Consuming

When it comes to low carb dieting, you might have heard the term macros before. This comes from the word macronutrient. All it means is the types of nutrients you consume on a low carb diet.

Macros focuses on your carbs, proteins and the fats that you eat. Any low carb diet that says you need to be aware of the number of macros you’re getting just means you need to know how many grams you’re getting in each of those three main categories.

The number of macros involved in your carbs is going to depend on the number of carbs you’re aiming for in whatever low carb diet you’re following. Not all of the low carb diets are going to have the same number of carbs suggested.

There are some low carb diets that call for a higher amount of grams because they take into consideration external factors that may call for more grams. For example, if you’re involved in a heavy exercise routine, you may need to have a higher carb count than someone who’s only exercising moderately or not at all.

So, it would still be considered low carb even though you were eating more. You might be someone who doesn’t like the idea of taking the weight off quickly, which is what can happen with a low carb diet.

So you might aim to have 100 grams a day. This would lead to weight loss from healthy eating and can also be coupled with heavy exercise. If you want to choose to follow a low carb diet that only calls for 50 grams, then you can still lose weight in a steady manner.

However, many people want to take the weight off faster than that. They lower their carbs to where it’s around or under the 20-50 gram mark. You can do that and still eat healthy.

Your focus would be more on meat, along with berry fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats. You can still have high fat dairy on a 50 gram low carb diet. Just keep in mind that if you are more physically active, the lower amount of grams may not be suitable for you.

You’ll have to pay attention to how your body reacts. Anyone who’s eating low carb should study the glycemic index. This index can quickly show you how many carbs are in the foods that you plan to eat.

Paying attention to this is an easy way to be able to track your grams to keep you from going over or under. In addition to that, knowing the glycemic index of a food can determine how that food will impact your glucose level.

You’ll want to know this if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, but you’ll also want to know it because it can help you determine if you need to watch for a crash after exercising if you plan your meals around your physical activity.

Some low carb diets consist of eating less than 50 grams consistently for the purpose of entering ketosis. There are test strips you may want to purchase to determine whether or not your body has entered ketosis.

Following the Ketogenic Low Carb Diet

The main gist of eating the keto way is to get your body to the point that it enters ketosis. When you go into ketosis, it means that your glucose levels are lowered. But it also means that your body stops using carbs for the fuel that it needs.

Instead, it’s using ketones to be able to function. Ketones occur in reaction to the fatty acids your body gives in response to the lowered number of carbs you take in. One of the reasons that many people choose to follow the keto diet is because it’s a quick way to shed pounds.

But it also helps the body drop fat. People who are on the diet see a lot of health benefits associated with the weight loss. These are things like lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol levels and lower glucose levels.

Normally, your meals will consist of a lot of protein and a lot of healthy fat. You can have fish and other seafood, too. You can also have dairy products like cheese. You can have vegetables and certain fruits that are low in carbs (mainly from the berry family).

You have to watch this, because some vegetables and fruits are higher in carbs. For example, sweet potatoes and corn are both higher than other vegetables in carbs. So are some fruits, such as bananas.

You’ll want to pay close attention because the number of carbs that you would want to take in should be as little as 20 or under for each day. There are some well know eating plans, like the Atkins 20, that you can follow to guide you so that you stick to that amount.

The keto low carb diet does focus on healthy eating by avoiding foods that are unhealthy and lead to weight gain. Remember that not all keto diets are the same. Some keto diets don’t focus on total carbs, but are instead based on net carbs.

This means it’s the carb tally of whatever you’re eating, but you subtract however many grams of fiber and sugar alcohol that is in the food. The reason for this is because fiber doesn’t cause your body to react with the same food response that a true carb does, since you don’t digest it.

Because you’re eating such a low amount of carbs, you will lose weight following the keto under 20 plan, even if you’re not taking part in any type of exercise. Because of the lowered amount of carbs, what many dieters do to maintain success is they break their eating up so that every couple of hours, they’re eating something.

If the thought of tracking your carbs, net carbs and macros seems like a lot of work, there are numerous fitness apps you can download that can help you easily keep up with everything.

Dealing with Sugar Cravings

Everyone has or will deal with a sugar craving. When you start following a diet, those cravings can sometimes seem to intensify. There’s a good reason why that happens.

When you consume sugar, the body releases some feel good hormones.

They make you happy and calm and this endorphin rush can be addicting. It’s no wonder why people struggle to break the sugar habit. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no hope for dealing with sugar cravings.

You can successfully overcome them so that they don’t make you miserable or wreck your diet goals. A sugar craving can hit when you’re bored, but you may not necessarily have a true hunger for it.

You just want that taste because your body has been conditioned to have it. So what you can do instead is when the craving hits, chew a piece of sugar free gum. You’ll still get that sweet taste even though there’s no actual sugar in the ingredients.

This will fool your body and satisfy the craving. Sometimes, though, not even chewing a piece of gum can quiet the craving. That’s when you need to give in. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily give your body the kind of sugar that not only fuels the craving but can lead to weight gain as well.

Instead, you give it something natural. Have some fruit instead. The natural sugar that’s found in low carb fruits like berries can help end the sugar craving and break a sugar habit as well.

Plus, you’ll get more nutritional value and health benefits from eating the fruit. Not all the fruit that you eat has to be fresh either. Having some fresh fruit might be more difficult if you’re on the go.

If that’s the case, you can have something like a low carb Greek yogurt drink that you make at home. You’ll get the sweet taste without the high carb content and it’ll be enough to end the sugar craving.

It might surprise you, but on a low carb diet, even one like keto, you can have dark chocolate. If the chocolate is 90% cocoa, it’s usually lower in carbs than chocolate such as milk chocolate.

You can find many dark chocolate bars that have just a few net carbs. You can also eat a snack bar. There are several varieties of snack bars that are low carb, low sugar and keto friendly that can help deal with any sugar cravings.

Sometimes having a sugar free mint can help to end any cravings that you might have.

There are times, though when no matter what you do, that sugar craving may feel like it’s relentless.

If that’s the case, then what you need to do is get busy doing something else. When you engage your mind or body in an activity, this helps you to stop focusing on the craving. You can do something like take your dog out for a walk, go to the gym or work on a project that makes you use both hands.

There are also many wonderful keto fat bombs you can make to satisfy your cravings. Some of them resemble delicious chocolate mousse or peanut butter cups, and you can’t tell much of a difference when it’s made from sugar substitutes.

Getting on a low carb diet may make you feel a bit lethargic in the very beginning. But a few days later, the energy returns and you feel better than ever and capable of committing to this way of life for the long haul.

You’ll be pleased knowing you can eat most of your favorite foods, and continue dropping pounds quickly and easily. You can adjust your carb count whenever you see the scale stall to help you shake off a plateau.

Five Day Meal Plan For Optimal Nutrition

When shopping for your produce, look for high-performance foods. Blueberries contain mass levels of antioxidants, which assist in purifying the blood via healthy digestion. Blackberries, apples, peaches, plums are in their prime at harvest time, Summer’s end.

Though small, blackberries have the world’s highest concentration of vegetable iron; perfect for vegetarians. Spelt bread is made with one of the ancient grains and is easier to digest than whole wheat. Buffalo is iron-rich and low in fat. Brown rice is high in vitamin E and easy to assimilate in the morning.

Avocados are rich in oleic acid, which improves digestion and adds vitality to hair, skin and nails. Supporting organic dairy farmers and boycotting conventional dairy is a good idea for your body as well as for the planet.

Om Yoga Breakfast:

Blueberry-almond milk shake, made with sprouted raw almonds and almond milk.
Bowl of low-sugar granola w. organic milk, blackberries, apples, peaches, plums.

Whole Proteinator:

Buffalo sausages, free-range eggs and spelt bread toast with butter

Mexican Sunrise:

(pre-cooked) Brown rice, sliced avocado, grated organic cheddar, sliced tomato, eggs, black beans and drizzle of organic olive oil

Easy Energy:

Sliced local organic fruit, with organic plain yoghurt and low-sugar. Wheat-free granola on top

Sweet Sunrise Breakfast wrap: free-range chicken sausages, eggs, cheddar, sliced orange pepper, mixed nutrigreens and dash of cayenne pepper in a spinach tortilla.

Snack ideas:

 Fresh pear, corn thins crackers with cream cheese and cucumber
 Handful raw organic almonds, fresh local apple
 Strawberry-organic coconut milk shake with a dash of Greens +
 Organic banana and a handful raw organic walnuts
 Yogurt and peach-sliced (or plain yogurt with any other fruit)

Lunch suggestions:

Free-range Chicken and Mango Salad:

(*prep the night before to take along) nutrigreens, chicken, mango, green onion, cucumber, bean sprouts, raw pumpkin seeds

Green Bean and Pistachio Salad:

Fresh, local green beans, garbanzos or lima beans, mint, shelled pistachios with lemon-zesty dressing
Nicoise Salad: green beans, navy beans, tuna, green olives, hard-boiled, sliced egg, tomatoes on a bed of mixed nutrigreens
Greek Salad: tomatoes, peppers, olives, cucumbers, red onion, goat or sheep feta, drizzle olive oil/balsamic vinegar/lemon juice
West Coast Salad: mixed nutrigreens, Indian candy salmon, Chevre, sliced mixed peppers and dash green onion

DINNER ideas:

Organic Sesame Beef & green veggie stir-fry over short grain brown rice
Currant-shallot encrusted Salmon with steamed broccoli/carrots, slivered almonds and roast potatoes
Spinach/artichoke stuffed free-range chicken breasts with local potatoes and steamed kale or chard
Spice-rubbed Turkey breast with baked beets, Winter squash and Arugula-walnut-pear salad side
Coconut milk-veggie free range Thai chicken curry over a bed of rice noodles

Alternatives For A Low Carb Breakfast

For a low-carb diet program, breakfast is the most challenging meal of the day. Gone are cereals, pancakes and toast. Here’s some interesting alternatives.

You are low-carb’ing. It is going well, but if you have to eat bacon and fried eggs (or a variation of it) for breakfast one more time, you will scream. So, how to get out of that rut? There are a number of non-traditional low-carb breakfast options, one only needs imagination.

Turning (breakfast) Japanese

Other than rice, much of the traditional Japanese breakfast fits well with low-carb eating. Grilled fish, rolled omelet, pickles, miso soup, all fit nicely into a low carb menu. Miso soup, particularly, is quick and easy, and could be partially prepared the night before. A standard recipe includes a block of firm tofu, chopped green onions, 3-4 tablespoons of miso paste, and 3 cups of dashi stock. Boil the ingredients together, and serve. Lots of pre-cooked low carb veggies can be added at this point; cabbage, bok choy, spinach, daikon radish, mushrooms…the possibilities are endless. Adding fish to this unique breakfast provides plenty of protein, is filling, and keeps your blood sugars stable.

Reversing your meals for the day

An old favorite in times gone by was steak and eggs for breakfast. During the low-fat diet phase, eating that much cholesterol-laden food was deemed taboo. However, recent research has shown that a higher-fat, higher protein breakfast can set up a person’s metabolism for the day. Even to a lay-person, this makes sense; eating a highly sugared, high carb breakfast (or no breakfast at all) leads to extremes in blood sugar, with significant drops 2-3 hours after the meal. Eating a high protein/fat meal provides a much slower rise in blood sugars, and a slower drop. The corresponding feeling of satiety prevents the temptation for a ‘quick-fix’ snack that would re-start the cycle of high/low blood sugars.

So why not eat ‘dinner’ for breakfast? If pressed for time, much of it can be prepared the night before, and quickly re-heated in the morning. Great options are roasted chicken, roasted turkey, lean pork or roast beef, with your favourite vegetable side dishes.

Good to go

If your mornings are a mad dash out the door, munching down in the car during your bumper-to-bumper commute, you can still have the best possible low-carb breakfast to go. Pre-cut some celery and fill with peanut butter or other nut butter, and pack in a zip-lock bag. Pre-boil some eggs, pack some cut veggies, and you are on your way. Or try this:

Gluten-free Low-Carb Flax Focaccia Sandwich

Recipe: Makes 1

 2 slices (1/6 of recipe) Flax Foccacia
 2 tblsp spreadable cream cheese
 2 tblsp crushed walnuts
 A few leaves of iceberg lettuce
  1. Cut the flax foccacia recipe into 12 slices. Taking two slices, place them bottoms – up
  2. Spread the cream cheese evenly on both slices.
  3. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over one slice, laying the iceberg lettuce on top. Fold the other foccacia slice over. Enjoy!
    Your ‘sandwich’ will be filling and satisfying, full of omega-3, calcium, protein, and is a great portable breakfast to go.

With a little imagination, preparation, and willingness to try something different, your low-carb breakfasts will be delicious and exciting. You will never miss those donuts or danishes again.

Becoming A Healthy Eater

The life style of people today has changed a lot from the olden days. People don’t work hard enough to utilize energy which they have gained from the food they eat. After invention of computer, things have turned much easier to man. They gets all they want right in their door step.

In order to live a healthy life, it is important to use the energy which we gain from the food we eat. If we fail to do it, the excess energy is stored in our cells as fat which will be utilized in the future when the body runs out of energy. The modern man’s body never runs out without energy. These fats are easily accumulated in stomach, thighs, arms and butts.

This paves way to obesity. The recent study shows that most of children in America are suffering from obesity; even adults are not an exception. They also fear that this rate many increase rapidly and may turn more than half of the American population fall into this category.

As a proof to this unhealthy life style through out the world, many youngsters are suffering from cardiac diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. The cardiac disease can be prevented by avoiding fat enriched foods. The vegetarian diet has very low risk rate to cardiac disease. Cancer is a deadly disease which spread mainly by smoking, drinking, tobacco, etc. Even though serious campaigns are made against these habits, people are still being addicted to the habit without realizing its seriousness.

After the age of 40, it is mandatory to take a complete body check up in a recognized hospital. For females it is mandatory to take mammography test every year as they are more prone to breast cancer.

People should intake food with diet consciousness in order to stay fit and healthy. Make it a habit to jog for at least half an hour a day. Yoga is a great way to keep your mind body fit. Yoga not only keeps the body fit, it stimulates the internal organs to secret their hormones regularly and improves the body stamina to a great extent.

Practicing Yoga makes body flexible, removes stress and increases the memory power. Never take hard digesting food at night especially meat, greens, etc., Add fruits into your daily diet which improves you skin complexion. Cycling is good exercise which activates the muscles in the legs, back and abdomen.

It is advisable to take foods rich in fiber content which don’t affect the body by turning into fat. Regular exercise is compulsory in order to keep the body in the perfect shape. Living a healthy life boosts confident level of man in his daily life.

How To Avoid Putting On Winter Weight

Winter time doesn’t have to be a time of weight gain. Find out how to keep those winter pounds from creeping up on you!

For some people, gaining weight during the wintertime seems almost inevitable. Although it may be necessary for some people to provide themselves with a bit of extra insulation during the coldest, darkest months of the year, most people are able to keep themselves warm by bundling up and keeping active.

It might not be as easy to lose weight in the winter due to mobility and weather issues, but there are still several things you can do to keep those extra pounds from creeping up on you.

Keep Your Portions Reasonable

Although it may be tempting to load up on plates and plates of warm comfort food, it’s important not to compromise your weight maintenance goals by over-doing it at the dinner table. Keep a healthy diet and load up on the things that matter: vegetables, fruits, lean meats and vitamin-d rich foods. Keeping your diet healthy and making sure you don’t dish up more than your fair share is a good step toward keeping extra pounds from appearing around your waistline.

Turn Daily Activities into Chances for Exercise

It may be more difficult to get outside and get your day’s worth of exercise when you are experiencing below-zero weather and piles of snow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in some activities that will get your heart beating. If you should the driveway, plug in some headphones and try to shovel to the beat of a fast-paced song. Not only will this make an unpleasant chore more fun, but it will get your heart beating at a higher rate than shoveling at a regular pace.

If you don’t have any chore-like duties, you can still get your daily exercise in with winter sports. Join a cross-country skiing club, or strap on some snow shoes and go for a walk through the park. These activities are a great way to get your muscles moving and see the beauty of a snow-covered nature area.

Join a Gym

If, for some reason, you are unable to get outside for your daily exercise, you may find it beneficial to join a gym or a health club where you can take advantage of exercise machines, weight-training machines and other forms of recreational sports. You may even find a fitness class that interests you that will keep you coming back to the gym on a regular basis.

Sleep Well

One of the most important ways to keep your weight stable is to get your body into a good sleep cycle. Try to get to bed slightly earlier than usual so you can wake up to enjoy more daylight, especially when the days begin to get shorter as the winter progresses. Keeping yourself well-rested will give you the energy you need to make good choices and stay active for a longer period of time.

You Can Make Easy Healthy Meals At Home

Would it surprise you to learn that having more meals at home doesn’t require a bunch of cookbooks and culinary expertise? Serving your family homemade meals can be as easy as 1-2-3! You really just need three main components to make a quick meal that satisfies and is healthy.

Protein- Whether you like tofu, chicken, beef or fish you should be consuming about five and a half ounces of lean protein daily. Oh, and by the way- if you prefer meals that are meat free there are lots of vegetable options that can pack a mean protein punch!

Veggies- You can steam them, bake them, sauté them, or even eat them raw such as in a salad. Studies have shown that meals taste better when they are also appealing to the eye so get a bunch of beautiful lush greens, tomatoes, carrots or whatever you like and put a rainbow on your plate!

Grains- Quinoa, brown rice, whole grain toast or some other grain – the possibilities of what you can serve with your protein and veggies are endless.

Once you have the components in your mind you can mix it up and use a bunch of different spices to make any dish go from bland to delicious! Here are three meal options that are a breeze to make even if you only have 30 minutes:

  • Make a yummy blend of Rosemary, Oregano and Basil. Sprinkle it onto some chicken breasts and grill it up. Once it’s all cooked serve it over a bed of fresh romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes with oil and vinegar as your dressing and a slice of whole grain toast on the side. Yum!
  • Grab your fave steak seasoning and season up some flank steak. Then, sauté it with onions and green peppers and serve in a whole grain pita for a quick and easy handheld meal.
  • Get fishy with it! Simply salt and pepper your fish of choice. While it bakes in the oven whip together some brown rice and steamed veggies to go with it. Boom! Dinner is ready!

What Does a Health Conscious Shopper Look Like?

It is incredibly easy to be an unhealthy consumer in America. The truth is we are constantly inundated with fast food commercials and quick meal options that are laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives. Even at the grocery store the aisles are loaded with 30 minutes or less meal boxes and unhealthy snacks that ultimately leave us feeling unsatisfied. It doesn’t have to be this way though! Here is what it looks like when a health conscious person goes grocery shopping:

A health conscious person will stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store filling up their cart with organic fruit along with free range meats and lots of protein and fiber rich greens. The perimeter takes less time so they will be in and out quickly.

When looking for snacks a health conscious shopper grabs fruits for sweet snacks, raw nuts for savory salty snacks and veggies for crunchy snacks. Every item in their cart is identifiable and easily pronounced. Oh, and their grocery bill won’t be nearly as high as most people think healthy items are.

The health conscious shopper also has plenty of energy to get through their day, glide through the supermarket and even has enough energy to go home and cook a healthy meal after shopping.

If this doesn’t sound like you, then you might not be a health conscious grocery shopper. This doesn’t make you a bad person; it simply makes you less healthy. The good news is you can change it and you can do it one step at a time. Maybe this week you will swap canned fruits for fresh fruits and then next week you add a lot more greens in your cart. It doesn’t have to be hard to be healthy. It just takes the willingness to decide to do it. Here’s to your health!

Now, I want to hear from you. What are your favorite quick and healthy meals? Tweet me at @AshleyisFamous, and tell me about it!

10 Simple Tips To Improve Diet

Eating a healthy diet is all about habits. Get into healthy eating habits, and you will be eating healthy. It is that easy. Here are ten simple things you can do to improve your diet.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Pick two cooked or raw fruits or vegetables for each meal and one fruit or vegetable with each snack. Eat them first. The fiber in them will fill you up.
2. Cut out (sodium) nitrates. Nitrates have been strongly linked with cancer. They are usually found in many types of processed meats. Look for nitrate-free bacon, sausages, hot dogs, and deli meats. They are just as tasty and better for you.
3. Eat breakfast. The fact is, healthy people, eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast is linked to weight gain, binge eating, and obesity.
4. Eliminate trans fats. There is a lot of tricks food companies are using to fool you into thinking they took out the trans fats. Read the ingredients. Look for the words partially hydrogenated oil. If those words in the ingredients list, it has trans fats.
5. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This ingredient is a double whammy. It is high in calories, like sugar but, it doesn't trigger the body to feel full. This is why many people can drink huge quantities of soda without feeling full. Regular sugar is even better than high fructose corn syrup because sugar does make the body feel full.
6. Drink water. Get used to it. Water is the best drink for you. Learn to like it plain, or if you must, flavor it yourself. Use a little lemon or just a splash of juice. Too many flavored waters are actually filled with artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, sugar, and other stuff you just do not need.
7. Take a multivitamin. It can be hard to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need in a day. A multivitamin is an insurance that you are getting all that you need.
8. Eat whole grains. Now it easy to find waffles, bread, crackers, baking mixes, and even pastries made with whole grains. Take advantage of that. Your body will appreciate the extra fiber.
9. Cut the sugar. Eating too much sugar is associated with hardening of the arteries, diabetes, and even some types of cancers. Limit refined sugar to one meal or snack a day. Also, read labels and cut out condiments and other foods with added sugar in them.
10. Sit down and eat at the table. Mindlessly eating in front of the TV or, worse, in your car is definitely a recipe for disaster. Give your food the respect and the attention it deserves.

These simple tips will not only help you lose a few pounds, but you will also feel better too.

Summer Salad Recipes

Fennel and Blood Oranges, Green Bean, Tomato, and Potato salads are made with fresh summer ingredients. Perfect as a side dish for a picnic or barbeque.

Summer is the season to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ markets or home vegetable gardens. The recipes for the Fennel and Blood Orange, Green Bean, Tomato, and Potato Salads use fresh vegetables in season. If blood oranges are not available, oranges in season can be substituted.

Summer Salad Recipes

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

 2 medium fennel bulbs
 3 to 4 blood oranges
 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 6 tbsp lemon juice (juice of two lemons)
 Sea salt (to taste)
 Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
 Parmesan cheese shavings

Method:

  1. Cut off the fronds from the fennel bulbs.
  2. Cut each fennel bulb in half and remove the cores with a sharp knife.
  3. With a sharp knife thinly slice the fennel halves.
  4. Peel the blood oranges and remove the pith. Section the blood oranges.
  5. Place the fennel slices and blood orange sections into a large bowl.

Make the dressing:

Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl.

Assemble the salad:

  1. Pour dressing over the fennel slices and blood orange slices and toss well. Sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Add Parmesan cheese savings on top of the salad.
  3. Serve immediately.

Green Bean, Tomato and Potato Salad

Green bean, tomato, and potato salad is a family favorite and is a great salad for a barbeque or picnic. It is the most popular salad at the family reunion.

The combination of steamed green beans, with garden-fresh sliced tomatoes, boiled potatoes, and shallots make a hearty vegetable salad. For a complete healthy meal salad, add a protein such as sliced hard-boiled eggs or crumbled feta cheese.

Green Bean, Tomato and Potato Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

 1 lb fresh beans
 2 lb medium size white potatoes
 4 large tomatoes
 4 scallions
 1 tsp oregano
 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
 freshly ground pepper to taste
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Snip ends of beans and steam until just cooked.
  2. Remove from steamer and let cool in a large salad bowl.
  3. Wash potatoes and place in a saucepan large enough to hold potatoes.
  4. Fill with saucepan with enough water to cover potatoes.
  5. Boil over medium heat until potatoes are cooked.
  6. Strain potatoes and let cool.
  7. Once the potatoes are cooled, peel potatoes and slice in medium size pieces.
  8. Add to the green beans in the salad bowl.
  9. Wash tomatoes and cut in quarter pieces – add to the salad bowl.
  10. Finely chop scallions and add to the salad bowl.
  11. Season with sea salt freshly ground pepper and oregano
  12. Add the 1/2 cup virgin olive oil and toss until the vegetables are well coated.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer (Gluten-Free!)

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer in Hand
While this Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer post is sponsored by Envy Apples in partnership with Publix Apron's Schools, all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.

I LOVE apples. More specifically, I LOVE Envy Apples. That’s why when they reached out and asked me if I had any interest in creating another recipe for a sampling night at Publix Apron’s Schools, I jumped at the chance to do so. Last year in 2018, I shared my Granny Betty’s Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings. This year, instead of a dessert, I wanted to do an appetizer that could easily double as a quick lunch or after workout snack.

I chose to make a Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer on apple slices. While I often eat chicken salad on a croissant, or hamburger bun, I wanted to make this version low carb and gluten-free so that even if I’m trying to watch my diet, I can indulge in this delicious snack. Here’s how I made it:

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer

Ingredients

Cran Apple Chicken Salad Ingredients
– Approximately 1 1/2 cups of rotisserie chicken chopped (I pulled it right off of a Publix rotisserie chicken!)
– 1/4 cup celery chopped into small pieces (I used Dandy pre-washed celery because it has such a great crunch and I don’t have to cut or wash anything. It’s ready right out of the bag!)
– 1/3 cup of mayo*
– 1/3 cup of sour cream*
– 1/4 cup of dried cranberries chopped (I used Craisins)
– 1/4 cup of grapes sliced
– 2 or 3 medium sized apples (I used Envy Apples – highly recommend these because they don’t brown as fast as other brands)
-A handful of crushed walnuts (optional!)

Instructions

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer Plated

1. Mix all ingredients except for the apples in a bowl
2. Salt and pepper to taste, mix again, and then chill your chicken salad mix in the fridge for about an hour
3. Wash and dry your apples
4. Cut thin slices of your apples. You want them just thick enough to hold something on them.
5. Lay the slices onto a serving platter
6. Scoop about 2 tbsp of chicken salad mix onto each one of the apple slices
7. Serve and enjoy!

*Recipe note: If you like your chicken salad a little drier, cut the mayo and sour cream back to 1/4 cup each.

This Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer is perfect for barbecues, baby showers, and all kinds of parties!

The weekend I made these we went to a Memorial Day weekend party and they were a hit! The cold chicken salad on a crisp apple slice was the perfect kickoff to a delicious barbecue. You can make a huge batch of these before any party.

If you won’t be serving them for a while you can soak your apples in a bath of Sprite before hand. Envy Apples already keep their color a long time, but the Sprite adds even more time before browning occurs.

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer in Hand

Want to Try a Sample of this Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer?

Join me at Publix at the Shoppes of Citrus Park on Saturday September 7, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. There I along with some of my Tampa Bay Bloggers will be passing out free samples of our Envy Apple creations, and admission is also free. Get more details about the event here.

If you attend the in-store event, you’ll be givin a special discount promotional code to their upcoming An Evening with EnvyTM Apple Demonstration class on September 28, 2019!

About the Envy Apples I Used in my Cran-Apple Chicken Salad Appetizer
  • Envy TM apples are premium apples with extraordinary crunch and texture and refreshingly sweet
  • Envy TM have naturally higher citric acid content which prevents the ‘browning’ enzyme from activating. This means they are VERY slow to brown, which makes them ideal for kid’s lunches, picnics, salads, charcuterie boards and party platters – they will look great for hours!
  • Envy TM is cross between Braeburn and Royal Gala. They are non-GMO and are grown naturally in Washington State and New Zealand.
  • Envy TM apples can be found nationwide at grocery stores including: Publix, Whole Foods, Walmart, Market 5 one 5, Central Market, Raley’s, King Soopers, IGA, Wegmans and more. For the store nearest you, visit envyapple.com and click on the
    store locator.Cran-Apple Chicken Salad on Apple Slices Appetizer- Pinterest Image-

Healthy Can Be Tasty – Oriental Glazed Pork

If you love pork, you’ll surely love this recipe for oriental glazed pork. This succulent pork in a sweet and tangy fresh-tasting sauce is in a league of its own. It’s like having your favorite pork barbecue only better. Serve this with riced cauliflower, veggie noodles, or stir fried veggies, and you’ll surely be everyone’s best friend.

How To Make Oriental Glazed Pork

This post may contain affiliate links that provides this blog with a small commission if you purchase through them, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

• 2 pounds pork with the bone left in (best cuts to use are shoulder or pork legs)
• 1 ounce piece of fresh ginger root, sliced thinly
• ½ cup soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• ½ cup vinegar (cane vinegar or white wine vinegar works well)
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 2-3 pieces star anise

Instructions – Let’s Cook Up Some Juicy Glazed Pork!

1. Wash the pork pieces and place in an unheated heavy bottom pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Turn up the heat to medium-high and sear the pork pieces until some parts are fully browned. This technique gives the finished dish so much flavor!

 

2. Once the pork has been seared, add in the ginger slices and allow the ginger to infuse with the oil for about a minute.

 

3. Then add the soy sauce.

 

4. Followed by the water.

 

5. Next add the vinegar. Cover and cook on medium heat until only about half a cup of the liquid remains.

 

6. Add in the sugar and star anise.

Make sure the sugar gets dissolved in the sauce. Coat the pork pieces with this mixture and then cover.

Simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes until you can really smell the aromatic flavor of the star anise.

 

7. The finished dish will be glossy, delicious, and oh-so-tempting!

 

8. Serve with plenty of vegetables. This dish is good for 4 to 6 generous servings.

If you love pork, you’ll surely love this recipe for oriental glazed pork. This succulent pork in a sweet and tangy fresh-tasting sauce is in a league of its own.

Check out a couple of my other recipes:

This dessert has the consistency and texture of a softer apple pie. Don't be frightened by the name. It's delicious. Click through the image for the recipe!

This Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are perfect for those busy nights! They came together in minutes, are low carb, and keto friendly!