• 95% of your serotonin is manufactured in your gut, and
• 80% of your immune system is located in your gut?
If you are finding that despite eating cleanly, you are still experiencing allergies, intolerances, or an inability to lose weight, here are four simple actions you can take to improve your health.
1. A key component to weight loss and digestion are enzymes. You have natural digestive enzymes to break down the food you eat. Stomach acid allows your body to secrete bile and supports your own digestive enzymes. But if your stomach acid level is low, digestion will slow down, which can contribute to allergies and an inability to lose weight.
2. I cannot urge you enough to add a good quality probiotic ( Contact me for recommendations) and cultured foods to your regime if you are not experiencing weight loss. I recommend that people with IBS, autoimmune, and other digestive disorders take at least 25-50 billion CFU per day.
3. Research shows that proper food combining can help you lose weight, improve digestion and increase energy. Luckily, there are very simple rules to follow when it comes to eating the right combination of foods for optimal digestion and nutrient assimilation.
• EAT FRUIT ALONE: Fruit digests itself, passing through the digestive system within 20 minutes. By eating fruit on its own, you avoid fermentation occurring in your gut. Fermentation can lead to gas, rob you of energy, and slow down your digestion.
• EAT STARCHES WITH VEGETABLES: Starches require different digestive enzymes than proteins to break them down, and when the two are eaten together the enzymes tend to neutralize each other. So grains and starchy vegetables such as baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or sweet corn should be eaten alone or with other vegetables. Feel free to add a healthy fat.
• PROTEIN AND VEGETABLES: Unlike starches, proteins require an acidic environment for ideal digestion, so it is best to eat protein with vegetables and a healthy fat. When you add a starch, you force your body’s natural enzymes to compete to digest your food.
4. If you find that you still are having digestive issues, then drink some lemon water elixir 20 minutes before meals (in addition to your morning serving). The raw apple cider vinegar encourages digestion and the growth of beneficial bacteria and supports healthy bile flow.
Yours in Wellness
Food is referred to as being the best mood elevator. Food is one single thing, which each and every human loves, their cravings may differ but they do love it regardless of anything. When you feel totally insane in the morning just from getting up what helps you to bring back your sanity? Yes, it’s the divine Coffee.
When you feel down after having a bad day what helps you to feel revitalized? Chocolate ice-cream 🍫🍨will definitely do the trick. So food has the capability to uplift your mood and soul. Some of the foods that can help with boosting your mood are discussed below.
If you feel extremely tired all the time despite of getting enough sleep, the reason might be the lack of iron in your diet. To get rid of this nutritional deficiency and get back to fresh and lively life, you can add animal protein such as meat,🥩 lean beef, lamb, turkey, fish,🐟 shrimps or other seafood to your diet. When you skip animal protein, add some food high in vitamin C such as tomatoes, melon, berries,🍓 and green leafy vegetables🥗 to your diet to get enough iron. As, getting enough iron will help you get back on your feet with an elevated mood.
If you’re feeling stressed out, the one food that can help to boost your mood without you getting the extra-pounds is a healthy nutritious smoothie. So shake it up and leave the stress zone. You can add your favorite fruits, some nutritious superfoods and give it a twist with a punch of some nuts,🌰 then blend it till its smooth and drink up to let it soothe away all your stress.
If you feel cranky or irritable because you couldn’t get enough sleep due to insomnia, caffeine might be the reason for this lack of sleep. Try to cut it out of your life by taking decaffeinated coffee and drinks. It will help you to sleep well and put you back to your refreshed normal mood.
When you feel depressed, eating more fish🐟 might help you to get rid of it. As the fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression through many researches. Eating fish twice a week can help to such the depression out of your life. So load up your plate with some fish and get rid of that soul-eating depression.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, alcohol is a very bad idea for that. You can have a cup of chamomile tea ☕that calms your nerves or you could add some honey to a cup of warm milk to give you a soothing effect.
These foods can help solve different issues related to your mood and boost it for you to spend a happy-go-lucky life.
Why it is important to eat foods that have serotonin?
Serotonin is a compound present in the platelets which acts as a neurotransmitter. Commonly referred to as the “happiness compound”; serotonin helps to keep you in positive mood. The outburst of depression these days is interlinked to the low levels of serotonin. Anti-depressants are prescribed by the doctors to treat its low level but these have side effects such as low libido and decreased level of energy. So, if you are looking for an alternative to treat your depression, look no further, this e-book will give you a list of foods that you can add to your diet in order to raise the level of your serotonin naturally to get back into your positive attitude. The nutrients found in these foods alter the chemical activity of the brain and help to maintain mental health. Vitamin B, complex carbohydrates, and omega-3 fats are the group of food that helps to reduce the symptoms of depression by increasing the amount of circulating neurotransmitters (Serotonin) in the brain. The list of foods containing these nutrients is as follows.
By incorporating this list of foods in your daily intake of food can help you to leave your depression behind and start..😁😁
Love & wellness
Smoothie bowls are a great way to get more nutrients into your diet and have a pretty, filling breakfast you can be proud of. These smoothie bowls allow you to have this fruit and vegetable bowl in the morning without adding too much to your carbs for the day.
Use Almond Milk
The first option you have for your low-carb smoothie bowl is to replace the regular milk with almond milk. One cup of low-fat milk has about 12 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of unsweetened almond milk has 0 net carbs. Just make sure you choose the unsweetened variety, as there will be some carbs in the sweetened version. You can also try using a little bit of unsweetened coconut milk if you prefer the taste of that to
Skip the Yogurt
Another ingredient that smoothie bowls typically have that will be a little too high in carbs is the yogurt. Yogurt is not always added to smoothie bowls, but it frequently is to make it nice and creamy, and also to thicken it up a little. If you see yogurt in a recipe and just want to replace it, you can try a low-sugar yogurt, like the Triple Zero yogurts from Oikos. These do have some carbs, but at 6-8 net carbs each, they are considerably lower than your traditional yogurt.
Add Low-Carb Protein Powder
One of the reasons you have ingredients in a smoothie bowl that are not low carb-friendly, like bananas and yogurt, is because you are trying to thicken it up. The smoothie bowl needs to be thicker so that you can pour it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon, as opposed to a thinner smoothie you eat with a straw. To accomplish the thickness without the banana, which is about 25 net carbs each, you can try some low-carb protein powder instead. There are unflavored and flavored varieties, giving you a lot of different options.( Contact me for details)
Go Heavy on the Veggies
While there are many delicious fruits that taste wonderful in smoothies and smoothie bowls, many of them are too high in carbs to make this a worthwhile breakfast for you.
The best low-carb fruits to use are berries, like strawberries and raspberries. Most other
fruits you should skip. However, you can turn it into a greens smoothie with veggies that are low in carb like avocado, kale, and spinach.
3 of these steps will sabotage your sucess! and then there is 1 Stage that will set you on the right track from the get go..
I should know….
I had to find these steps out the hard way,,, Let me help you skip the frustratiion I went through and instead learn how to set yourself up for sucess.
Ok back to Sabotaging!
You see when I struggled to get into a size 16 pair of jeans, I thought I had to starve myself. eat food like a rabbit or hit the gym 7 Days a week…
Can you relate to this??
I learnt how to set myself up properly, found a coach ( Everyone needs a coach if they want to win) to support and guide me to get the results I was looking for…
Now 4 Dress sizes smaller and fitter and healthier in my 60’s than I was in my 40’s and feel amazing !!
So are you ready for the 4 Steps????
Great you are still with me….
# 1 DECISION
Yes, I know you have heard this before… Trust me the mind is so powerful with aiding in your success.
See it…. Believe it…and Achieve it!!
Positive Mindset with a vision of the Result you will achieve
Block out all the negatives comments and jabs WINNERS FOCUSED ON THE RESULT
# 2 CLEAR GOAL
What is the Result you want!
Why do you want this result now!
When are you going to achieve this result!
Write it all down Pin it up where you can see it all the time
What does your result look like!! Get a picture of your inspirational body or dress/suit that you want to be wearing.
Visualise how you will feel and how you will look
# 3 PREPARATION
Are you ready to change your unhealthy habits?
Pantry and fridge Clean out is so important
Remove all temptations that could send you off track
A Body Detox for 3 days is a great way to kick start your mind and body
#4 MEAL PLANNING THIS IS THE KEY!!!
This is the key to your success. If you fail to plan you plan to fail!!!
Olan your weeks healthy menu
Plan your weeks healthy snacks
Purchase all your ingredients for the week
Have a preparation day I cook once and eat twice (Freeze one meal)
If you follow these 4 important steps, then you will stop sabotaging your self and start getting results… I believe you can do this!!!
I hope this has been of value for you and would love your comments or feedback. Reach out to me if you need extra support and accountability…
Here is a link to get you Free Healthy Weight Tool Box to get you started on your journey..
Yours in health and wellness
Love Aileen xx
For a well-balanced diet, you need to have plenty of fruits and veggies in addition to your lean protein and whole grains. Luckily, they are not only low in fat and nutritious, but many of them actually help to burn more fat.
High Fiber Fruits
There are many fruits that are nutritious and good for, which most of them containing vitamins and minerals that will be good overall. However, not all fruits are equal in terms of how well they burn fat and help you lose weight. When you want to burn more fat with your fruit, look for ones that have a lot of fiber, as this is going to help fill you up, improve your digestion, plus burn more of your body fat. To start with, have more apples. These are low in sugar, high in flavor and high in fiber.
You can also have your fill of berries, which are loaded with antioxidants and burn fat as well. These also happen to be low-carb approved, so if you are on a low carb diet, you can still enjoy them. Go for strawberries and blueberries first, then raspberries and other types. Avocadoes often get confused with being a vegetable, but they are actually fruit. They also boost your metabolism and are a good healthy fat to enjoy. Finally, add grapefruit to the list, which helps you to burn fat and has loads of vitamin C.
Nutrient Dense Vegetables
Now for the best fat burning vegetables. You definitely want to add as many veggies to your diet as you can, opting for frozen or fresh whenever possible. Try to avoid canned vegetables as they typically have a lot of sodium that you don’t want or need.
The vegetables with the best fat burning abilities are those that contain the most nutrients. To start with, try adding more chili peppers and bell peppers to your diet. They have a high amount of fiber and plenty of vitamin C and vitamin A. Broccoli is also high in fiber and contains the same nutrients.
Kale is one of the best leafy greens to add to your diet, helping to burn fat and providing you with calcium, protein, and fiber. Don’t forget about lentils, which are going to help improve your digestion and improve weight loss at the same time. Luckily, all of these veggies are delicious and easy to add to your meals.
13 Years ago I was struggling with my body image. I tried every diet that came on the market and allowed the numbers on the scales to determin who I was and how I felt…
I loathed dress shopping.. The image in the fitting room mirrors depressed me.
I am a vegetarian and 3 years ago I comitted to myself to go on a food discovery journey.
Understanding What and Why Food reacted with my body and how I could control my hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, continual stomach bloat and lack of energy..
Instead of focusing on my weight I focused on relaxation and my health.
Now I treat my body with kindness and I give myself permission to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that has me more balanced happier and 4 dress sizes smaller.
If you are experiencing similar struggles, feel lost and exhausted then you are not alone…
I’m here to support you Lets do this together….
Women, there are those times when you just don’t understand where your mood is coming from, and it changes without warning. This is a common experience for many women. Fortunately, there are foods that can effectively improve your mood.
By simply eating the right food, you can experience a great difference in your energy and mood. A diet packed with highly nutritious food can drastically reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as depression, mood swings, acne, and weight gain
Are you familiar with the blue-green algae found in ponds and lakes? Well, it is known as Spirulina and it contains high amounts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It is rich in hormone-balancing nutrients, which can help reduce mood problems, cramps, inflammation, and breast tenderness. Therefore, it can reduce the risk of blood sugar problems by resolving the root cause of hormonal imbalance.
• Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is a historically popular remedy for its nutritional content. Fortunately, the contemporary variety is much tastier than its predecessors. Cod liver oil is rich in essential concentrated hormone-balancing nutrients such as Vitamin A and omega 3s that help address mood problems, inflammation, and fluid balance. Furthermore, regular consumption of fermented cod liver oil can also improve potency.
Vitex is also called Chaste Tree Berry, which is a powerful medicinal herb. This is especially ideal for women’s health because it helps produce high progesterone levels. Vitex can help relieve PMS symptoms such as depressed mood, irritability, headache, skin disorder, fatigue, bloating, breast fullness or sleeplessness. Vitex tincture gives you the best results and can be added to herbal teas.
• Bee Pollen
In traditional Chinese medicine, bee pollen is specifically used to increase energy, reduce cravings, improve digestion, and build iron. Bee pollen is considered a complete food and is a great source of proteins and other important nutrients such as folic acid and vitamin B. These nutrients are effective in balancing hormones, improving your mood, and stabilizing weight.
Avocados are great sources of the good fats that are essential for hormone synthesis. The nutrients from avocados help your skin release and circulate the hormones necessary to stay healthy. It is recommended to eat a half an avocado per day to get a beneficial amount of fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins C and E, potassium and lutein.
Salmon is good for your brain and heart health. It also balances your hormones because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which serve as a major building block for hormone synthesis. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help fight skin irritations, including eczema and acne.
Is the only thing stopping you, the lack of energy and drive?
You are unhealthy and that’s the reason you can’t live free of sickness and have the energy to DO.
Your need to Drain the toxicity from your body – it’s a weight that looms on your shoulders every day.
Ditch the caffeine, grain and sugar addiction, and instead rely on natural energy and your body to its thing.
Shed those clingy pounds you can’t seem to lose that drain your confidence and self-esteem.
Skyrocket your energy levels, so you can do more of what you freakin’ love
Slip back into your favorite jeans and feel confident in your appearance
Kiss bloat goodbye and say HELLO to a flatter, happier tummy
Guess what? You DO have a choice!
If any of the statements above ring true, it’s time to try a new way of living!
ENTER: THE 21-DAY EAT FOR ENERGY PROGRAM
This program is perfect for you if you want to:
✓ Have the energy to do all the things you are passionate about.
✓ Feel the drive to spend time with your loved ones without excuses.
✓ Learn to properly nourish your body so that you can ROCK your day to day.
✓ Remove excuses from your life.
✓ Want to transform your body into a glowing, fat burning machine.
My Name is Aileen Milnes and I’m a Wellness coach. I’ll be guiding you through this 21-Day EAT FOR ENERGY Program.
13 Years ago I was becoming increasingly unwell. I was exhausted, had hormonal imbalances. Stomach bloat, allergies and weight gain. Through Detoxing and elimination of different foods I regain my life back…I love working with others to understand their bodies and move towards a healthier wellbeing.
Did you know: Your body is carrying roughly 5-10 pounds of toxicity (inflammation) at any given time? This means there’s a reason for your lack of energy, bloated belly, or that extra weight that’s staying on
The toughest part? For most of my clients there is a common factor when it comes to their struggle for health: Lack of energy. When your body is on the verge of exhaustion there’s a direct correlation with your performance in every aspect of your life and mood.
But don’t get discouraged! There’s a simple and easy to follow solution for your lack of energy!
What’s included in this program?
● Eating for Energy Guide: three weeks of comprehensive, easy to follow material that will not only push you emotionally to make changes but also will give you the tools to regain control of your days with natural, self-sufficient ways.
● Recipe Guide: packed with delicious, easy-to-make recipes that will have you feeling satisfied and producing energy for hours – so you can do what you’ve put off on your list for so long!
● Daily Email Support: just like it sounds, I’ll be in your inbox daily to provide support & accountability
● Daily Schedule: That will help you fully embrace and understand this program. No more incomplete guides. This is the real deal!
● A Shopping List: to make trips to the supermarket super simple, which makes prepping, preparing and cooking a breeze
• Suggested Meals: To take the guessing game out of the picture. You are going to feel like you got this in the bag!
• A Cheat Sheet: That you can refer back to so that you can experiment with variety when it comes to the foods that will super boost your energy.
● Food Diary: this amazing tool will help you keep track of how you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally throughout the program.
PLUS you get a BONUS One HOUR Session with me when you sign up now!
Your investment in yourself is only $127
What makes this program different?
This program is your full arsenal of tools to help you overcome daily fatigue. It has a comprehensive guide, daily schedules, and even a shopping list. We sometimes get very confused in the supermarket. I want to remove any bit of hesitation out of the picture. Because I know you can get this done!
With this program, you will never feel deprived, hungry or lethargic. As a matter of fact, you’ll be quite the opposite!
Here are some of the results you can expect:
● Look younger and feel lighter
● Have TONS of Energy
● Better Sleep.
● Less Bloating
● More productivity and desire for the things you love.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Are you ready to rock?
The 21 Day Eat for Energy Program begins on 13th August
Energy is what we are lacking!
Well, really it’s time and energy.
You want to feel good. You want to be able to get up and start going to the gym instead of lounging on the couch. You want to try that dance class, or just simply complete a project you’ve put on the back burner. The “Ah I wish I had more energy!” or “I’m not doing anything today because I worked 8 hours” – Guess what? You can do so much more!
What if in less than a month you regain the energy and motivation to do all the things you love and spend time with your family and close ones? Isn’t that what life is all about? Sure, the couch seems heavenly right now, but by the time you are done with my program, you will have forgotten that feeling and ask yourself “what was I doing all this time?” – WASTING IT.
LIFE IS SHORT. YOU CAN BE DOING SO MUCH MORE!
It’s time to:
▪ Eliminate foods that wreak havoc on your body, leaving you bloated and blah
▪ Learn the concept of resting
▪ Improve the health of your digestive system
▪ Ditch the sugar cravings for good and instead, learn about healthy treats to eat
▪ Discover the tools you need to de-stress in the real world
▪ KICK YOUR BODY INTO GEAR!
… and more!
It’s time to put your health first and start feeling like the beautiful & productive person you are!
I created this energy boosting for 5 BIG reasons:
1. I want to empower YOU (yeah, you!) with the right tools for a healthy lifestyle, so you can improve your life, your body and your mind!
2. The world needs to know fancy pills or powders aren’t required for optimal health.
3. You can use this program over and over, especially until you acclimate to this lifestyle.
4. You deserve to feel amazing and full of energy!
Are YOU ready to refresh and renew?
Are YOU ready to change the way you look and feel?
So… what happens when you actually go through my program?
● You’ll feel 10 years younger…no, make that 15!
● You can hit your weight loss goals with the ease & grace of a swan. More energy to DO, means the possibilities here are endless.
● Your fight with food can stop being such an ugly, uphill battle
The 21 Day Eat for Energy Program starts 13th August
Coconut oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E as well as medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids that create a powerful moisture barrier on skin. Coconut oil is known to help strengthen hair and protect it from natural stressors. Want to know more amazing benefit that coconut oil offers? It has some amazing health as well as skincare benefits. So, we have brought you the top 5 benefits of coconut oil to help you benefit from this amazing oil. Let me take you through these benefits.
1. Hair Care
The long and luscious hair of the women living in tropical coastal regions are due to none other reason than coconut oil. They use this oil to nourish their hair daily. This thick oil gives the strands not only shine but also strength nourishing them from within. It helps to reduce the protein-loss effectively while working as the perfect conditioner for your hair. it is also effective in treating damaged and dry hair providing them with essential proteins and promoting the process if healing. Massaging your scalp with coconut oil regularly can really be helpful promoting healthy and luscious hair.
2. Weight Loss
Coconut oil is also helpful in the process of weight loss. Researches have shown that including coconut oil in your regular diet can help to reverse the problems related to the hypothyroid gland while restoring the slowed metabolism by stimulating the thyroid hormones to reset the body by increasing the calorie-burning power of the body by up to 50%. The coconut oil contains fatty acids which are medium-chain triglycerides which are easier to digest, help in stimulating the metabolism of the body while restoring the natural enzyme activity of the body which are needed to restore a healthy weight of the body. Studies have shown that almost three tablespoons of coconut oil when utilized daily can help to normalize the low thyroid gland function. And as a result, improve the metabolic rate of the body promoting weight loss.
3. Skin Care
Coconut is an amazing moisturizer and for that reason, it is being used in almost all of the moisturizing skin care products. It is also beneficial in helping reduce the redness of the skin as it usually happens due to skin dryness and tightness. Coconut oil is loaded with long chain saturated fatty acids boost the hydration of the skin by penetrating the barrier if the skin. It is extremely easy to apply topically since it turns solid at the room temperature. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore can be used to reduce the inflammation and the redness of the facial skin.
4. Boosts Digestion
Coconut oil is a source of fatty acids that are antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal that are helpful in keeping gut healthy by restoring acidity level of stomach. It helps to boost the digestive system while preventing various stomach and digestion-related issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is rich in saturated fats that have antimicrobial properties and help to fight against fungi, bacteria, and parasites that may become a cause of indigestion. It is also helpful in the absorption of many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
5. Improves Immunity
Coconut oil is also helpful in improving your immunity. It helps to boost the immune system due to its constituents like antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which have antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. All of these properties help the immune system to become stronger and fight against the diseases easily.
So, go ahead and make coconut oil a part of your lifestyle for luscious hair, glowing skin and overall a healthier you!
If your mission is to lose weight, then burning fat should be at the top of your list. One way to do this is by picking some good fat-burning snacks. The following snacks are really easy to grab and take with you, but also burn lots of fat and get you on the path of weight loss.
Figs are a type of fruit that not many people are familiar with. They have a lot of fiber, are sweet like some of your other favorite fruits, and can fill you up quickly. Figs help you to curb your cravings and reduce your appetite by filling you up, but they also help to burn fat at a faster rate. They are ideal when you are trying to find an easy snack you can just grab on your way out the door, but something light that is going to help you burn fat during the day. They come fresh or dried figs.
Another type of snack that is healthy and will also help to burn more fat is kale chips. These can be purchased in a health food store, or you can easily make them yourself. By making them on your own, you reduce the sodium and other additives, plus you save quite a bit of money. All you need to do is cut kale into smaller pieces, put it on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil with some sea salt and pepper. Bake them for about 15 minutes or until crisp and store in a plastic bag or container. These are filling and super low in fat, plus kale is great for burning more fat.
In terms of nuts, pistachios are one of the most delicious, and also happen to be one of the best options when you want to burn more fat. Sure, they might be a little higher in calories than what you are used to, but this is healthy fat. Eating them as a snack keeps the carbs low and your protein and energy high. Put them in portion bags that you can quickly grab and throw in your purse or lunch bag on your way out the door. This will prevent you from over-indulging in them, but make sure you always have a healthy snack with you.
Avocado is another fat-burning food that is easy to enjoy as a snack. Open up an avocado and just sprinkle some salt on it, or you can enjoy it mashed with some salsa, similar to avocado. Dip some veggies in it and you’re good to go.
Here’s how an hour or two of food prep on the weekend can help you put together healthier meals for the entire week.
Make-ahead food ideas help me stay organized, save time and always provide something healthy and delicious for when I’m hungry. I like to spend an hour or two on the weekend preparing some staple foods that I can use all week. Take a look at my top eight make-ahead food ideas.
Pre-washed salad greens are convenient, but they can be pricey. Instead, I buy a variety of lettuces and greens, break them into bite-sized pieces for salads, then wash and spin them in my salad spinner. Then (don’t laugh) I put them in a pillowcase and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The salad spinner gets the greens really dry, and the pillowcase works better than plastic bags to keep them fresh and crisp. The greens don’t get soggy this way, and they stay fresh for a full week.
I pack a salad nearly every day for lunch, and I make a salad almost every night for dinner, too. To make it easy, I prepare a lot of different veggies and store them in individual containers in the refrigerator. My standbys are thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion and bell pepper, grated carrots and chopped parsley. To prep my food ahead of time, I often blanch some broccoli or cauliflower florets or roast some zucchini slices or asparagus spears in a hot oven and chill those. These veggies quickly and easily get worked into my lunch salad and dinners throughout the week.
Pan-Seared Chicken Pieces
Cooking some chicken in advance is a real lifesaver for me. Starting with about two pounds (1kg) of chicken tenders (goujons), I sprinkle them with a little salt, pepper and paprika. Then I brown them on one side in a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I flip them over, add a few tablespoons of liquid to the skillet (white wine, broth, water, or lemon juice), cover the skillet and let them cook for 5-6 minutes until they’re done. I often add these to lunch salads, stuff some into whole grain pita pockets with veggies and hummus, or use them to make a quick soup or pasta for dinner.
Beans or Lentils
Slow cookers are great for making homemade beans or lentils. I like to slow cook black beans with onions, garlic and spices. Once they’re cooked, I keep them in the refrigerator to mix into my salad for lunch or use them as a base for a soup or chili.
Eggs are one of the best protein sources around, and it only takes a few minutes to hard boil them. I use hard-boiled eggs as a protein source in my salads, and I often grab one for a quick snack. I like to spread a rice cake with some grainy mustard then top it with a sliced egg and some of my sliced vegetables.
When I have tuna salad in the refrigerator, it’s a lot easier for me to work more fish into my diet. I mix flaked tuna with either mashed avocado or hummus, a little mustard and a lot of chopped vegetables (again, those pre-cut vegetables). It serves as a protein source for my salad at lunch, or I’ll use a little scoop for a high-protein snack on some whole grain crackers.
Hummus takes only a few minutes to make and will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week. It’s also very inexpensive to make, compared with the price of store-bought versions. Start with a can of beans (garbanzos/chickpeas are traditional, but other beans work just as well). Drain the beans, rinse and drain again, then whirl in the blender with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Hummus with raw veggies makes a great snack, but I also use it in place of mayonnaise in tuna or egg salad, or I’ll thin it down with a little vinegar and water for a delicious salad dressing or sauce on steamed vegetables.
Bottled dressings are expensive and often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Making your own dressing is simple and allows you to control the ingredients. I mix two parts olive oil to one part acid (citrus juice, vinegar), then add salt and pepper to taste. I vary the acid and often use a blend, like lime juice and rice vinegar. You can experiment with adding dried herbs, mustard, garlic powder or onion powder.
Heart-healthy meals start with heart-healthy ingredients. Here are some tips for selecting and preparing foods that support heart health.
To me, calling a diet “heart-healthy” can be a bit misleading. It seems to suggest that a heart-healthy diet is somehow different from a more general “healthy diet,” but they’re really one and the same.
A heart-healthy diet is one that calls for a variety of good-for-you foods––including lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, adequate amounts of fiber and modest amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Sounds like a healthy diet to me.
A heart-healthy diet not only supports the health of your heart, it also supports your overall health in a number of ways. Low fat protein foods keep you full and give your body what it needs to build and repair important body proteins, all while keeping your total fat and saturated fat in check. The right carbohydrates give your body the fuel it needs, along with generous doses of vitamins, minerals and fiber. And small amounts of the right fats contribute essential fatty acids and flavor. When taken all together, these foods make up a well-balanced diet that’s filling and flavorful.
The protein that you eat every day provides the basic building blocks that your body needs to perform literally hundreds of functions. Protein is found in a variety of plant and animal foods, but saturated fats often tag along—especially in the case of animal proteins. So, you’ll want to select from a variety of plant proteins and lean/low fat animal sources. Fish is generally a good choice, since it contributes heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Look for plant proteins like lentils and beans, and particularly the complete protein of soy and soy products. Also include eggs, fish and seafood, poultry (especially white meat), nonfat and low fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat.
Aim for several vegetarian meals per week that rely on beans, lentils and soy-based foods like tempeh and tofu to provide protein. In recipes that call for meat or poultry, experiment with using tofu or seafood instead. Replace high-fat meats with lower fat choices (ground poultry breast can replace ground beef, for example).
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your body’s engine. Their fiber content can also help fill you up, which can help you control your weight. Many fruits and vegetables are rich sources of potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure. And some are also good sources of nitrate, a compound used by the body to make nitric oxide which supports the health of your blood vessels. Avoid carbohydrates from sugars and highly refined grains, which offer up much less nutrition and more calories per bite.
Keep your focus on vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains and whole grain products to provide the carbs your body needs. Try to reduce your intake of sweets, juices, sugary drinks and refined grain products like white rice, and “white” flour products like regular pasta, white bread, cereals and crackers.
Aim for a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Add fruits and vegetables to your protein shakes and use them for snacks, and add veggies to soups, stews, casseroles and mixed dishes. Frozen fruits and vegetables are fine—they’re convenient and their nutrient content is preserved. Choose whole grains––such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, wild rice and oats––over refined grains. To retain nutrients in vegetables, cook by steaming, microwaving or stir-frying.
Your body needs small amounts of fat in order to function properly. What’s important is choosing
the right fats and keeping your overall fat intake moderate. In general, fats that are derived from plant sources are considered to be more heart-healthy than animal fats. Animal fats contain more saturated fats, which tend to raise blood cholesterol levels.
Nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are some of the best sources of healthy fats, as are the oils that are derived from these foods. Olive oil and canola oil are good sources of monounsaturated fatty acids and are great for cooking. Small amounts of nuts and seeds can add a lot of flavor to dishes. Limit your intake of sources of saturated fats like butter and shortening, as well as foods that contain a lot of animal fat such as cheese, fatty meats and ice cream.
Use olive and canola oil for cooking. Use mashed avocado to replace foods like mayonnaise, sour cream or butter in cooking and at the table. Use moderate amounts of nuts for snacks (heart-healthy, but the calories can add up).