Mouth Watering Pork Stir Fry with Black Beans and Spring Greens

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Image credits – Pixabay

The incredibly delectable black beans have their roots in Chinese cuisine where they are referred to as Douchi. The black bean sauce is made by a process called fermentation, which along with salt, turns the soybeans black in color due to a reaction with the enzymes released at high temperatures. It is a cooking sauce, rather than a condiment and is used in a variety of meat, vegetable and seafood dishes to add a unique earthy flavor and texture to the food. The Douchi not only provides healthy addition to your favorite pork dishes, but also adds a subtle savory flavor which is highly reminiscent of the Asian culture. So let’s have a look at one such amazing pork stir fry dish made with the help of black beans and spring greens.

The ingredients

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Image credits – Pixabay

For this recipe you would be needing two tablespoons of dry sherry or shaoxing wine, I tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp castor sugar, 3 tsp corn flour, 4*100 gram pork shoulder steaks, 2 garlic cloves, a piece of ginger, 5 spring onions, 400 gm spring greens, 1 tbsp fermented black beans and some groundnut oil for cooking.

The recipe

 You can begin at least 30 minutes or even a day before, by preparing a mixture of dry sherry or shaoxing wine with corn flour, sugar and soy sauce in a bowl and letting it sit for some time. After the marinade is ready, you can toss in sliced and trimmed pork into the bowl and mix well. While the marinade stands on the side for half an hour, you can peel and chop the green veggies, garlic, ginger, spring onions and chilies. Rinse the fermented black beans with running water and drain. Place a wok on the flame and heat some groundnut oil in it until it starts to smoke. Toss in the drained pork strips into the steaming wok and stir fry them for a minute. Add ginger, garlic and chilies to the wok and stir fry the ingredients for one more minute. Next, you can throw in the spring onions, black beans and spring veggies into the wok and continue stir frying at high flame for a couple of minutes. Once the vegetables start to soften, you can take them off the flame and serve on a bed of steamed rice with some soy sauce on the side.

The lip smacking dish is not only rich in flavor and aroma, but also loaded with several nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates, both of which are great for the growth and development of your body.

How to Make Lip Smacking Turmeric Chicken

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Chicken is one of the most nutritious meats in the world, and carries abundant supply of protein that can single handedly fulfill your body’s daily required dose of essential amino acids.  In addition to this, poultry is low on calories and fat and is loaded with scores of other vital nutrients, both of which make it one of the top choices for individuals looking for weight regulation. On the other hand, turmeric is one of the most nutrient rich spices which area jam packed with manganese, iron, potassium copper, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. The recipe which we are going to share with your today is a perfect blend of these two nutrient laden foods, which will not only be enormously healthy for you, but also effectively satiate your taste buds with its incredible taste and aroma.

The Ingredients

For preparing two servings of seared turmeric chicken, you would need 2*120 gm skinless chicken breasts, 200 gm of seasonal green veggies, 150 gm of whole wheat couscous, 15 gm of fresh mint, 1 tbsp of blanched hazel nuts, 2 large roasted and peeled red peppers in brine, homemade humus, fresh oregano, 1 tsp of ground turmeric, olive oil and lemon.

The Method

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Image credits – Pixabay 

Mix finely chopped oregano leaves in a bowl with turmeric, sea salt, black pepper and 2 tbsp of olive oil to prepare the marinade paste. Toss the chicken pieces in the marinade and set aside for a while. In the meanwhile you can blanch the green veggies in boiling water until they turn a little tender, and then drain off the excess water. Submerge the couscous in a bowl full of boiling water and leave aside for a couple of minutes. Next, you can toss into the couscous bowl, the finely chopped mint leaves and add a dash of fresh lime to it. Roast the hazelnuts in a nonstick frying pan till they turn golden brown, and then grind them using a mortar and pestle. Cook the chicken on both the sides, by using the same pan on the flame and adding a teaspoon of olive oil to it. Add the peppers while the chicken is still on the flame. Cook for about four minutes and remove from the flame. Garnish your chicken with the crushed hazelnuts, peppers, couscous, green veggies and humus, and serve with a wedge of lime on the side.

The amazing seared turmeric chicken can be prepared within half an hour and can be served as a healthy yet super delicious main course for dinner or lunch.

Ditch the Mayo: Go for Avocado in your Favorite Chicken Salad Instead

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Our prolonged affair with the creamy luscious mayonnaise has been both profound and enviable. However, as much as we drool over it, we all are aware of its unhealthy and damaging effects on our overall health and weight. As per the latest studies, our beloved mayo has beaten the tomato ketchup in the battle for the number one condiment across America. Then why is everyone raving about the evil side of the delectable white dip?

Why is mayo bad for us?

 Statistics exhibit that a single tablespoonful of mayonnaise contains approximately 10 grams of fat and 94 calories without providing any essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber or protein. The fact, that it is loaded with empty calories that do you absolutely no good, puts mayo on the top of the checklist of foods-to-avoid for health conscious people. Despite the fact that mayo is one of the most beloved foods for millions of Americans, there are several individuals who do not even like the sight or smell of it. If you fall under either of the aforementioned categories of health conscious individuals or the anti-mayo brigade, there is no reason for you to fret.

What are the healthier alternatives for your regular mayo?

There are several substitutes for mayonnaise that can be effectively switched for the devil’s ingredient in your meal, without compensating on its texture or taste. You can use mashed, pureed or processed avocados as a healthier alternative to mayo in your chicken salads, and replicate the sumptuous appeal of the dish, while providing your body with the essential nutrients at the same time.  The avocados are a storehouse of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin E, potassium, copper, pantothenic acid and numerous such nutrients that are great for your body. 

Avocado Chicken salad

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 Image credits – Pixabay

So now, let’s have a look at the lip smacking recipe for avocado chicken salad by using avocados as a replacement for mayonnaise. All you need is four cups of shredded chicken, diced bell pepper, halved and pitted avocados, lemon juice, olive oil, coriander, cayenne pepper and pita bread, and you are good to go. Just mix all the seasoning ingredients (apart from the chicken, bell pepper, and bread) in a mixer and toss it in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. After mixing the chicken in the avocado paste, you can spread it onto a slice of pita bread and serve.

The avocado chicken salad is not only extremely healthy and nutritious, but also enormously palatable as well.

Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for your Little Champ

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Image credits – Pixabay

Bored of packing the same old peanut butter sandwich for your toddler day in and day out? Tired of your child returning home with half eaten tiffin almost every other day? Given the morning rush, it is quite difficult to prepare a lavish meal for your child’s school lunch box on a regular basis. And it is even more challenging to come up with new snack ideas everyday which are both healthy as well as appealing to your toddler’s taste buds. We bring to you a few amazing ideas that would help you think outside the box and prepare sumptuous midday snacks for your little champ.

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Image credits – Pixabay

English muffin with strawberry and goat cheese

Lightly toast two split halves of an English muffin and spread them with whipped cream cheese or highly nutritive goat cheese. You can further add a topping of that yummy strawberry jam on each of the slices and finish off with a layer of sliced strawberries. The cheese will replenish your toddler’s daily requirement of calcium and protein and the fruit topping will provide him with an adequate amount of potassium, folate and dietary fiber.

Turkey and lettuce pin wheels

Just add a dollop of hummus on a whole wheat tortilla and top it with a thin slice of turkey and a few lettuce leaves. Roll up the tortilla in the form of wrap and cut across the edges to obtain bite size pin wheels. You can add on to the fun element of the meal by packing a small serving of baby carrots or vegetable chips as sides.

Egg salad sandwich

The good old egg salad sandwich is a delicious option for a midday snack, and is loaded with protein and carbohydrates. All you need to do is mix two mashed hard boiled eggs with a little bit of mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and spread the paste on slices of whole wheat bread. You may pack the sandwich with a small serving of orange slices or pretzel sticks to add a little crunch to the meal. 

Chicken salad

You can add a kid friendly sweet twist to your regular chicken salad by garnishing it with cubed apples or sliced grapes. You can add a little crunch to the snack by sprinkling crushed peanuts or cashews on the salad. Serve the salad with a side of flatbreads or whole wheat crackers.

You can keep you little champs’ hunger at bay with these easy to make nutritious midday snacks, and ensure that they return home with empty lunch boxes, the next time you send them to school.

Make Your Favorite Foods Healthier with these Cooking Tips

Who doesn’t wish to gorge on their favorite foods and not experience a guilt trip later? Most of us are aware of what’s healthy fro us and what’s not. The fact is that most of what is healthy for our bodies is not appealing to our taste buds. But what if we told you that there are ways of retaining the nutritive value of your favorite foods without compromising on its taste? Read on for a few simple tricks to cut down on those extra harmful calories from your favorites dishes.

Avoid the cream

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Image credits – Pixabay

Pasta dishes such as lasagna and Mac and cheese are churned up in rich creamy sauces that are loaded with high calorie dairy products such as cheese and butter. The idea is to switch the calorie laden cream with a mixture of low fat milk and all purpose flour, which effectively mimics the smooth and velvety texture of regular cheese. A single bowl of thickened milk and flour contains relatively lower amounts of calories and unsaturated fats, and can serve as a healthier alternative for you regular cream sauce.

 Cut down on your sodium intake

 Excessive consumption of salt increases the level of sodium in your body and can have several harmful effects such as high blood pressure and fluid retention. However, by replacing salt with healthier alternative seasonings such as lime juice, spices, herbs, mustard or vinegar, you can significantly cut down on your sodium intake and make your favorite savory dish, healthier.

 Replace refined flour with whole wheat grains

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Image credits – Pixabay

Most baked recipes instruct you to use all purpose or refined flour as the base. You can however ditch the refined version and make use of whole wheat flour instead. The whole wheat flour is rich in dietary fiber which improves digestion and makes you feel satiated for long after you have finished your meal. In addition to this, it is also loaded with phytochemicals and several nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and selenium.

 Ditch the mayo

 You can significantly cut down on your calorie and fat intake by replacing regular mayonnaise in your sandwiches and wraps with low fat French cheese called fromage frais or thick yoghurt. In addition to this, you must use either butter or mayonnaise for your burgers and sandwiches, instead of using them both and adding extra calories to your snack.

So now you know that a healthy diet does not imply that you need to give up on your favorite foods. All you need to do is follow these super easy tricks and transform your greasy comfort food into a nutritive yet palatable meal.

Become a Master of Heart Healthy Cooking with these Tips from Celebrity Chefs

With the modern age lifestyle and cooking habits, our hearts have become more prone to life threatening ailments and disorders. However, by keeping a tab on our regular intake of cholesterol and unsaturated fats, we can significantly reduce their damaging impact on our ticker. Here are a few cooking tips from popular celebrity chefs that would help make your regular diet more heart-friendly.

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Image credits – Pixabay

Switch the sour cream with yoghurt

 There are several recipes which require you to incorporate sour cream as one of the major ingredients. However, since sour cream is derived from whole milk which is high on fat content, it can significantly notch up the calorific value of the dish. According to a leading dietician Ellie Kriegr, you can make use of thick hung yoghurt as a replacement for sour cream and cut down on the saturated fat content of the meal. The yoghurt not only effectively replicates the taste and texture of sour cream but also acts as rich source of calcium for healthy teeth and bones.

 Adding flavor not fat

 The host of ‘Everyday Italian’, brought to you by the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis provides a healthier alternative to making your regular foods tastier and lower on sodium and fat content. She outlines the significance of incorporating natural flavors such as vinegar, lemon juice, herbs and spices in your favorite foods, to not only add a tangy flavor to the dishes, but also make them enormously nutritive and heart healthy.

 Taking inspiration from Asian cuisine

 The first ever winner of the television series Top Chef, Harold Dieterle runs a restaurant, whose menu is heavily inspired by the healthy and nutritious recipes of the far east. The Asian cuisine comprises of ample veggies and fruits, and can be touted as one of the healthiest low fat cuisines in the world. The Japanese employ the usage of lots of pickled veggies with bold and zingy flavors in their meals. In addition to this, the Japanese diet majorly comprises of fish as a staple, which is an extremely rich source of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

The nutty crunch

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Image credits – Pixabay

Francois Payard who is a reputed pastry chef from France makes a generous usage of nuts in his baked preparations. All kind of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans are loaded with poly and monounsaturated fats that are actually good for your heart. In addition to their high fiber content, certain nuts such as walnuts are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids as well.

By following these simple rules of health cooking you can not only significantly lower the risk of heart diseases, but also manage existing ailments effectively.

How to Provide for your Daily Protein Requirement without Eating Meat

The pre historic man was designed to be a natural carnivore. However, with the transforming dietary patterns in the modern age, an enormous number of individuals are turning to veganism or vegetarianism. With the limitations that such a diet imposes on an individual, its nutritive value is becoming a concern. Protein, which is one of the most essential vital nutrients required for the healthy growth and functioning of a human body, is found majorly in non vegetarian items such as chicken and fish. However, do not fret if your diet does not comprise of anything related to meat. We are listing a few amazing vegetarian super foods that you can include in your regular diet and obtain the required supply of protein as well.

Dark green leafy veggies

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Studies indicate that the darker the veggie is, the richer it is in protein content. Leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale contain extremely high amount of protein and can be a great substitute for meat in your daily diet. For example one single cup of spinach alone contains 13 grams of protein.

 Nuts

 One of the tastiest and most easily available sources of protein are nuts.  You may choose from a wide variety of nuts such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts, all of which are high on protein content. You can also go for peanut butter spreads which contain 4 grams of protein per table spoon. However, the USDA recommends consumption of only unsalted nuts in order to keep a tab on your sodium intake.

Soy based foods

Soy products can not only provide a great alternative to actual bacon, hamburger patties and hot dogs, but also ensure that you receive your daily dose of protein in the healthiest way possible. In addition to this, several other soy based products such as tofu, tempeh and unsweetened soy milk are excellent sources of protein.

 Beans and Legumes

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Beans and legumes can be rightly touted as one of the most inexpensive sources of protein in the world. You can combine kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas with other high protein whole grains such as teff, quinoa or brown rice to prepare a delicious meal that fulfills your entire amino acid requirement for the day and keeps you satiated for long after your meal.

So, the next time someone tells you that you cannot build enough muscle as a meat eater would, since your vegetarian diet is protein deficient, just show them this list and have the last laugh.

Tips on Making the Meat in your Diet as Healthy as Possible

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Being a passionate meat eater can be detrimental for individuals who are conscious of their health and weight. The high amounts of saturated fats present in red meat can not only end up adding extra pounds to your body, but also have harmful effects on your heart and circulatory system. However, this does not imply that you need to complete give up on that medium rare that you so adore. We are listing a few guidelines which you can follow while cooking your meat in order to minimize its hazardous characteristics and make it as healthy as possible. 

Go for lean meat 

Most of the red meats are high in saturated fats which can significantly increase the cholesterol levels in your bloodstream and ultimately lead to blockage of your arteries. On the upside however, meat is also an extremely rich source of proteins, minerals and vitamins which are vital for the proper growth and functioning of your body. The idea here is to go for lean meats which will provide you with all the major health benefits while significantly cutting down on the level of saturated fat that you consume through it. Switch your pork roast with chicken or turkey, both of which are low on fat content. Avoid excessive consumption of processed meat products such as salami, sausages or beef burgers.

Watch the fat while cooking your meat

One of the best and most effective ways of cooking your meat is by the process of grilling. As opposed to deep frying, grilling your meat ensures minimum usage of extra oil and conserves the nutritive value of your meat as well. Grilling your chicken breast will ensure that you obtain a similar taste and aroma as that of its deep fried version, sans the extra fat and cholesterol. In addition to this, roasting your meat on a wire rack in your microwave oven can also significantly reduce the number of calories that you intake, since all the extra oil drips away.

Go for grass fed meat 

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When buying that packaged meat from the supermarket, always ensure to go for meat that has been labeled ‘pasture raised’ or ‘grass fed’. Such meat is usually lower on calorie content and has higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids as compared to the typical grain fed meat.

Apart from this, you need to watch your regular intake of red meat and try to limit its consumption to fewer servings per week.

Make Your Favorite Foods Healthier with These Simple Tips

One common issue with eating healthy is that it can get boring too soon. Obviously, you need to get your fair share of grains, fruits, and vegetables, but, how do you make things more palatable and interesting? Well, here are a few cooking tips to make your healthy food tastier and more enjoyable.

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Add texture and flavor

Let’s face it – eating vegetables is something most of us have had a problem with since we were children. But, that’s because we were forced to eat all those dull, tasteless preparations. Vegetables can be exciting too, as long as you get a little creative.

One way to make vegetables more fun is to infuse more flavors and textures into your preparations.  For example, you can toss greens in vinaigrette dressing and mix in some almond sliver and avocado slices.

The point is to use your imagination. Don’t just sit there and try to force down raw or braised carrots down your throat.

Get creative!

Edit

 

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Edit your recipes? That might sound funny, but, what we mean is eliminate all the unhealthy ingredients from traditional recipes to make your food healthier. For example, if there’s a favorite dish you like, it most likely has unhealthy ingredients in there like fat, oil or butter.

So, when you prepare the same dish, just cut out the bad bits. The good news is that you probably won’t lose the original flavor and you’ll still end up making your favorite dish healthier. 

Substitute

Substitution is a great way to turn regular food into a healthier food. For instance, salad dressing is something that comes to mind immediately. Traditional salad dressings are creamy and fattening. You obviously don’t want that.

So, a good alternative would be to prepare pureed avocados with chilies, herbs, and fresh mint. This can serve as a great salad dressing, while still retaining the health quotient.

Once again, just use your imagination when it comes to substituting. 

The filling up trick

You’ve probably heard this before, especially if you’re a meat eater. One of the key problems with eating healthy is that you can’t seem to get full, especially on a veggie diet. Obviously, you can’t eat too much meat either.

In that case, the best thing to do is mix the two. Just fill up your plate with as many vegetables as you can, while adding a tiny amount of meat just to satiate your meat craving. Meat is fine as long as it is lean meat (poultry) and is consumed in small quantities.

Healthy Cooking Methods to Preserve the Nutrients of Your Food

Most health conscious individuals are well aware of the benefits of switching to the air fryer to cook low fat and healthier versions of traditional dishes. However, many of us still do not pay much attention to the conservation of the nutritive value of our food. Studies indicate that high temperatures and pressures induce a break down and destruction of up to 20 % of the vitamins and minerals present in raw vegetables, especially potassium, folate and vitamin C. This explains the fact that most health experts and nutritionists recommend including more raw fruits and uncooked veggies in meals. On the other hand, there are certain foods such as tomatoes, spinach and carrots that actually benefit from cooking, since the heat promotes the release of antioxidants which are essential for the human body. Here are a few methods of preparing meals without losing on their nutritive value.

Mircowaving

One of the healthiest and most popular methods of cooking your food is by using a microwave oven. Considering the short cooking span and minimum requirement of oil, the food cooked through this method retains most of its nutrients and stays low in its calorific value as well. You can cook just about anything from veggies to eggs to rice and even meat in a microwave oven.

Steaming

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Making use of steam to cook your fish fillets and veggies ensures that the food item gets cooked in its own juices and retains all of its nutrients without getting laden with high calories. The most effective way of preparing a sumptuous meal through steaming is by adding a little seasoning of salt or herbs or a dash of lime to the food before placing it in the steamer.

Grilling

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Grilling is one of the most effective approaches of preserving the natural goodness of your food without having to compromise on its taste and aroma. Grilling requires negligible amount of extra fats and oils to cook the food. The best part about grilling is the fact that your food receives an irresistible smoky flavor on the surface and stays tender and juicy on the inside.

Boiling

Studies indicate that boiling veggies such as zucchini, carrots and broccoli can be the most effective way of conserving their nutrients as compared to other cooking methods such as frying or steaming. Boiling requires only water and salt, without any extra fattening additives to cook your food.

Depending upon the food item, every cooking method has its pros as well as cons. You just need to develop a sound understanding of how the chemicals and compounds present in the various foods function, and employ the most suitable cooking method accordingly.

4 Super Healthy Soups

A healthy diet not only entails saying no to that calorie-laden chocolate dessert, but also requires you to provide an optimum supply of essential nutrients to your body on a regular basis. And what is a better way of obtaining these nutrients from the powerhouse crops other than churning them into a bowl of delicious steamy soup!

All it takes is tossing your favorite veggies and meats into a saucepan and letting them simmer in their own juices for an adequate amount of time, and you get a healthy first course loaded with natural goodness. Read on for a few options of healthy soups that you can prepare in a jiffy.

Chunky chicken noodle soup

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 One of the most widely loved soups in America, the chunky chicken noodle soup is a delicious preparation that has healing properties. It is an excellent cure for an inflamed or sore throat. A bowl full of hot steamy chunky chicken noodle soup can go a long way in clearing phlegm and providing hydration. The chicken replenishes the lean protein requirement of your body and helps build stronger muscles.

 Split pea soup

The traditional pea soup can be prepared in large quantities and stored in the deep freezer for later consumption. All you need to do is pull out the required amount of soup, thaw it and reheat it on one of those rainy days. You can further enhance the taste and nutritive value of your regular pea soup by adding pieces of hard boiled eggs to it.

 Tomato, chick pea and spinach soup

 This easy-to-cook soup is an incredibly rich source of a wide range of vital nutrients such as protein, iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and the like. Due to its high content of protein rich chickpeas, the soup is extremely appetitzing and keeps you satiated for a long time. In addition to this, the high iron content of spinach helps enhance bone health.

Broccoli, cheddar and potato soup

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You can add chopped potatoes to the traditional cheese and broccoli soup and enhance the taste manifold. The carbohydrates from potatoes help make your soup more satiating and energizing. In addition to this, you can further lighten your soup recipe and enhance its nutritive value by going for low fat cheese and milk and low sodium broth.

The nutrients in your soup have a slew of health benefits that not only help in proper functioning of your body but also protect your body against a series of ailments.

4 Healthy and Delicious Breakfast Dishes that Can Help You Lose Weight

Owing to the morning rush, many of us tend to skip breakfast on a regular basis, unaware of the fact that we are missing out on the most important meal of the day. A wholesome and healthy breakfast helps in kick starting your metabolism, while also providing your body adequate energy to function throughout the day. Research shows that people who have a healthy breakfast regularly are generally leaner and healthier than those who skip breakfast. Here is a list of four super healthy and tasty breakfast options that will boost your metabolism, while also helping you get rid of that extra flab that you so despise.

Steel cut oats with raspberries and walnuts

 Steel cut oats are a more raw and wholesome version of the regular rolled oats. They have relatively higher amounts of dietary fiber and protein which are great for both, maintaining a healthy digestive system and boosting your metabolism to quickly burn calories. In addition to this, both raspberries and walnuts are rich sources of antioxidants which help in burning body fat.

 Smoked salmon toast

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Salmon is loaded with lean protein that is effective in boosting your metabolism as well as suppressing your appetite. Also, salmon is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, selenium and vitamin B -12, all of which are essential nutrients for proper growth and functioning of your body. Just toast a slice of whole wheat bread and top it with salmon, cream cheese, chives and onions and you are good to go.

Mexi-egg wrap 

We are all aware of the enormous nutritive value of eggs. For a delicious and wholesome breakfast, you can prepare this amazing Mexi-egg wrap by rolling scrambled eggs, chopped tomatoes, onions, avocados, spinach and salsa sauce inside a whole-wheat tortilla. The protein and calcium from the eggs along with the fiber and nutrition of the veggies will not only help replenish the nutrient requirement of your body, but will also keep your stomach full for a long time.

Grilled chicken breast

For those mornings when you have an appetite for something other than your regular yoghurt and eggs, you can go for some leftover dinner of fiber-rich veggies and tangy grilled chicken breast, both of which will provide a yummy and appetizing morning meal. The lean protein of the chicken will help build your muscle and keep your metabolism elevated throughout the day. The dietary fiber of the veggies will ensure a clean colon and prevent toxin buildup within the body.

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So the next time you are not quite sure what to throw together for breakfast, why not try one of these healthy and tasty options!

Eating Healthy On The Go in 5 Easy Steps

When I first moved to the US last August, one of the things I found the hardest to adjust to was the difference in food and dining habits. The emphasis on fast food, the large portions, and the often bland vegetables especially threw me off and made me feel like I don’t know what a person is to eat healthy on the go. After a while though, I slowly warmed up to everything NYC has to offer in terms of food, and I came up with a a few rules for myself to make sure I’m leading a semi-healthy lifestyle. Almost. If you didn’t see the obscene amount of chocolate on my Snapchat (@kkarakashyan).

Here’s what I found helpful in eating healthy on the go and maintaining a good regime. It took me some time to start thinking about these tips and get used to the lifestyle changes, but now it feels like second nature, no matter if I’m at home, out for brunch with friends or passing through the drive-thru.

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  • Consider the salad. A lot of places are now making a conscious effort to offer filling salads that are tasty and better quality than the pre-prepped burgers and fries. Nutritious ingredients to look for include eggs, grilled chicken, kale, arugula, avocado, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, broccoli, and nuts. I am actually OBSESSED with Sweetgreen and its locally-produced and organic salads that are delicious and feel like a huge meal. Sign up for their rewards program and get 3$ off your order right here.
  • Substitute fried or breaded chicken for grilled. Most fast food places now offer a grilled chicken sandwich that, garnished with the right veggies, taste fresh and doesn’t make your as sluggish for the rest of your day.
  • Stop drinking Coke and sodas. Period. Chances are you’re not drinking enough water daily, and the piles and piles of sugar in soft drinks is only making you thirstier and screwing up with your blood sugar levels. Just resist and switch to water. This also applies to going to the movie theatre. You don’t need that super-size drink to enjoy the movie. Switch to water and notice how much more hydrated you feel. Your body will thank you.
  • Try to limit the bacon and heavy sauces after breakfast. In the morning your body is in energy-burning mode, so you can get away with a heartier breakfast, actually good for starting your day the right way. When it comes to lunch and dinner, however, try to keep your meal just a bit less fatty.
  • Be aware of your brain’s tendency to cheat. Studies show that having a healthy option on the menu can appease you, but you might end up not ordering it. Seeing a healthy option is often enough to convince us we are eating well even if we choose the burger in the end. Next time you order at the drive-thru, keep this in mind and see what your instinct tells you.

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Eating well is a quest that rewards patience. You can’t make a huge lifestyle change in a day, but it really pays off to come up with a few guidelines for yourself to follow. Do you have any tips on eating healthy on the go? What is easy for you to follow? What is hard for you to resist? Let me know below.