8 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle is now up on Chef Tini’s page. Read it and learn how to make realistic and sustainable goals!
As a Registered Dietitian I am constantly asked questions about nutrition and I think many of you probably share similar questions so here is the latest one: “What is a better cheat day choice? A glass of wine or a brownie?”
First things first, I don’t believe in cheat days. I think every day you should try your best to make a majority (about 80%) of your food choices healthy, but if I had to answer this is what I’d say:
You’ve been eating healthy, following a meal plan, exercising regularly, and feeling awesome but then… you go to a party and there is unlimited amounts of wine and brownies for dessert. So which do you choose? Which choice would be the somewhat better option for your cheat day? As a Registered Dietitian aware of the heart healthy benefits of a 5oz glass of wine per day, I would have to say that wine is a better choice. Of course like any decision it is most dependent on the person, but if the options truly are a 5oz glass of wine versus one brownie, then the answer is wine. Why? Brownies can be prepared in multiple different ways; was it made with sugar? how much butter? all purpose flour? All of these factors can vary the nutrition composition drastically. However, a glass of wine is just wine, so therefore it will be approximately 120 calories; where as a brownie can range anywhere from 150-400 calories dependent on the size and ingredients. Regardless, the most important question to ask yourself is this: Can you have just one? If one glass of wine makes your will power and self control go out the window then you may want to reconsider and choose the brownie.
Hang tight for my post about the 80/20 rule when making the best food choices to help you stick to a healthy lifestyle rather than a diet plan.
*Post coming soon*
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- 12 oz red lentil pasta
- Add garlic and olive oil to sauce pan, put on medium heat. Add curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, and honey roasted peanuts. Cook over medium heat, stir until it becomes a creamy and cohesive texture. Turn off heat.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package. Add to the sauce and garnish with cilantro!
Invest. Invest in the things that will make you better, make you stronger. People are so hesitant to buy a new pair of sneakers, join a gym, hire a dietitian, pay for a personal trainer, etc. but can you really put a price on your health? I bought myself spin sneakers because I knew it would motivate me to take more spin classes. I buy a new pair of cross trainers every 6 months to avoid knee pain, which in return pushes me to continue. Ask yourself if you are putting your money into things that are important to you. We can be so hesitant to spend extra on ourselves but if our kids, friends, or significant other wants something we do everything in our power to save up for them. So let me ask you this? What makes you any less worthy than them?
Makes 4 (1 Cup) servings
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups water (divided) *can be replaced with low sodium vegetable broth*
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 -8 oz. package of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed
- 1 -15 oz. can crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- In medium sized sauce pan place 3 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils, place on stove top and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to simmer, cook for about 15-20 minutes then remove from heat when lentils appear tender.
- In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil, 1 cup of water, kale, onion, mushrooms, and seasonings. Cover and allow vegetables to cook down until a soft texture (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add seasonings, remaining water, and tomatoes; cook another 10 minutes.
- Once soup starts bubble, reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. (This allows the flavors to blend together).
- Turn off heat and serve!
One of the easiest ways to ensure you are consuming a variety of nutrients is by making a soup/stew. This recipe has kale, mushrooms, tomatoes, & lentils which means it also contains vitamins- A, K, C, D, minerals- potassium, iron, folate & of course.. fiber!
Makes 6 servings
- 6 poblano peppers, washed, sliced in half (lengthwise), de-seeded
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 medium sized tomato, washed cut and chopped
- 1 (15oz) can of corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15oz) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp black ground pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Place vegetable broth in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to boil. Add rice, reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes (don’t cook all of the way because the moisture will get absorbed when baked in the oven.)
- Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat, saute garlic until fragrant, add chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes then add corn and kidney beans. Cook for another 3 more minutes then turn off heat.
- When rice is done being cooked, add vegetable mix and remaining olive oil.
- Place pepper halves in a non-stick baking pan. Divide rice and vegetable mixture into each pepper, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
Merging two food cultures together is one of my most favorite things to do. This recipe was inspired by the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah food and my Greek Orthodox religion. This is a perfect side dish or appetizer for you and your family to enjoy for the Holidays or any other day!
Spaghetti Squash Latkes
- 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (about half of a large spaghetti squash pitted and gutted)
- 1/2 cup cooked broccoli (chopped)
- 1/4 cup garbanzo flour (any flour should do)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 3 tbsp. green onion, chopped (separate 1 tbsp for garnish)
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 425F, cook spaghetti squash for 45 minutes, remove, let cool, cut open and remove pits. Scrape out 2 cups for recipe.
- In a small sauce pan place 2 tbsp. of water and steam chopped broccoli. Chop green onion.
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.
- In a medium sized pan (non-stick preferred) add olive oil and place mixture, spread evenly. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Let cool. Cut into small triangles. Make dip and enjoy!
- 1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
- 1/2 lemon, freshly juiced
- 1 tbsp. green onion
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Makes about 8 servings.