I saw a friend at the ball park over the weekend, and she asked, “Alison, can you give me some tips for cooking healthier?” I said, sure. I’ll write a few down for you. So here goes… Some of these may come easy for some of you, but hopefully, I can lend some new ideas as well.
1. Use salt sparingly-You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. Salt can lead to higher blood pressure and bloating. Consuming foods high in salt becomes even much more noticeable as you get older. I can’t stand the feeling of waking up feeling puffy.
2. Grill more-Grilling is a great way to prepare healthy fish, chicken and meat as well as vegetables. What I really love about it is that my kids love to eat most anything grilled, and they are even more willing to try foods cooked on the grill.
3. Buy seasonal, buy local-Purchasing seasonal fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs and purchasing locally grown ingredients, will help you stay on track.
4. Simpler is always better-Starting with cooking with less ingredients, but fresh ones.
5. Choose Leaner and lower-fat ingredients-Choose leaner cuts of meats, lower fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Start with smaller steps to gain great strides. Also, don’t forget to trim fat from meats.
6. Broil, steam, roast and grill foods instead of frying– If you choose to fry foods, try oven frying instead.
7. Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg when called for in recipes-This helps to to reduce fat content.
8. Read food labels-Be sure to choose foods with lower sodium, fat, sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fat.
9. Choose fresh-Use fresh juice from lemons, limes and oranges combined with fresh herbs and spice to season foods.
10. Cook with healthy oils such as Canola and olive oil-Also, try to cook with nonstick cookware more often to reduce the amount of oil needed.
Okay, so this post is attributed to my daughter, Leigh, and her friend, Ellen. She spent the night with Ellen a few weeks ago and made these awesome Rice Krispy Easter Eggs. They were googling a fun Easter project, and they found this great idea from Family Fun magazine. She called me and said, “Mom, you must come take a picture of this to post on your blog.” At first, I was like, “Huh?” When I arrived at Ellen’s house, I realized how right Leigh was. These are adorable, fun and a great Easter treat idea for kids. As you notice from my picture, Ellen didn’t have any Easter colored M & M’s, but any colors will do. Happy Easter!
I have been an avid runner since I was 16. It is definitely one of my passions and has helped me in so many ways physically and mentally.
For years, friends have asked me to come up with recipes for runners. Instead, here are my top 10 picks for best foods for runners.
1. Wild Salmon-Wild salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids which boost heart health and nerve system functioning. Some doctors even say omega-3’s can help with post-run achy joints.
2. Almonds-High in antioxidants, protein and vitamin E, almonds are a wise choice for a runner’s snack helping to prevent achy muscles.
3. Quinoa-This complex carbohydrate (pronounced Keen-wah) is a great energy source filled with fiber, B vitamin, zinc and magnesium which are so helpful to runners. One-fourth cup of dry of quinoa has 172 calories, 6 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. Another great reason to enjoy quinoas is that it is gluten-free.
4. Kale-This member of the cabbage family has high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber. It is one of the most antioxidant-filled vegetables.
5. Bananas-This great pre-workout or post-workout food is a great source of carbohydrates and potassium. That is why you will always find bananas offered at the end of races.
6. Eggs-Eating one egg offers a great source of vitamin K and protein which aid in promoting healthy bones and muscles.
7. Blueberries-Filled with vitamin C and potassium, these can help the body repair itself after long, hard runs.
8. Edamame-This great snack is filled with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin C. Edamame are also a great snack option loaded with health benefits.
9. Yogurt-Low-fat yogurt has a good source of carbohydrates and protein, and Greek yogurt has less carbs and even more protein. Both are great sources of calcium which is important for runners to help prevent stress fractures and osteoporosis.
10. Oranges-High in vitamin C, oranges are great for healing and helping absorb iron in the body. This can help prevent fatigue and increase energy levels.