20 Jan New Year’s Resolution: Eat Well, Get Healthy
Eat well, get healthy
Resolving to get healthy and lose a few pounds in the new year? You’re not alone.
Eating at home gives you more control and ability to follow your healthy eating plan.
Those who cook their own meals from scratch at home can control the amount of fat, salt and sugar in their diets.
Most people actually eat less at home, too, which helps if they are trying to cut calories.
“Portion sizes are smaller, appetizers are often obsolete, and we often drink lower calorie beverages,” Crist explained.
Starting from the top, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
“Eating breakfast has not only been linked to children’s improved concentration, coordination and academic performances, but it has also been shown that people who eat breakfast have lower cholesterol levels and weigh less than nonbreakfast eaters,” she said. “Eating breakfast is connected to jump-starting metabolism and eating less throughout the day.”
So, what’s the best thing to eat for breakfast?“A breakfast that contains a little protein or healthy fat along with some higher fiber carbohydrates is going to be more ideal than just a piece of toast and a glass or orange juice,” Crist said, “because your body metabolizes proteins and fats at a slower rate than carbohydrates.”
It’s important to have carbohydrates in the morning because they are the body’s favorite source of energy. Combining them with a protein or fat allows the carbohydrates to be digested more slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more stable and making us feel fuller longer.
Crist suggests the following examples of ideal breakfasts that combine carbohydrates with protein or fat.
oatmeal with low-fat yogurt and a small pat of butter or margarine
whole grain toast with peanut butter topped with apples or cinnamon
a boiled egg with a slice of whole grain toast
high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit
fresh fruit with some cottage cheese.
As for lunch, Crist recommends keeping it simple.
“If you usually have a sandwich or a frozen entree for lunch, adding some fresh fruit and some baby carrots helps you round your meal out.”
Low-fat yogurt and trail mix can be healthier snacks than cookies and chips. Crist recommends drinking water instead of soda or juice, which helps keep calories down and makes a little room for a treat once a day.
We’d be better off getting back to the basics as far as dinner is concerned, according to Crist.
“More of what we tended to eat growing up — less fast food and basic meals” would be healthier, she said.
Brighten your plate with steamed vegetables or a salad instead of just meat and potatoes, or finish your meal with your favorite fruit instead of dessert.
Just adding a small amount of vegetables and fruits helps keep your portion sizes of meats and simple carbohydrates under control.
“If you can keep it fresh, your food will always taste great and be better for you,” Crist said.
If meals become mundane, Crist suggests investing in a new cookbook or asking your family to help plan a week’s menu. Talking with your family about healthy food choices keeps everyone on the same page, she said.
“It helps keep your healthy eating plan alive when everyone is eating healthy with you.”
Recipes make eating right tasty
Preheat oven to broil and move rack to upper third of oven. Heat beef stock in a small microwavable pitcher in microwave for one minute to warm.
Assemble soup in two small bowls or ramekins. Divide onions evenly between bowls. Top with a bread slice. Pour beef stock over bread slices.
Top with cheese. Broil in preheated oven until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Makes two small bowls of soup. It can be multiplied for a larger group.
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 ounces spinach fettucine, cooked al dente
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium heat.
Pour buttermilk in glass pie plate or other shallow dish and soak chicken breasts briefly.
Pour bread crumbs in another shallow dish.
Remove chicken breasts from buttermilk and dredge in bread crumbs.
Brown chicken breasts in melted butter and oil until golden brown, about four minutes on a side. Turn and brown other side of chicken breasts.
Arrange browned chicken breasts in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Top each chicken breast with marinara sauce to cover and grated cheese. Pour additional marinara sauce in small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until juices run clear.
Serve Baked Chicken Italiano on a bed of cooked spinach fettucine with additional warmed marinara sauce.
Makes eight servings.
Serve in stemmed glasses with a small dollop of whipped cream and sliced strawberries, if desired.
Makes two one-cup servings.