Zesty shrimp and quinoa

Ingredients: (2 servings)

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2-4 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup raw shrimp (fresh or frozen and defrosted)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, pepper, garlic, and hot sauce (if using). Stir until well blended and set aside.
  2. Combine quinoa and 1 3/4 cups water in a pot. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, begin cooking shrimp: Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and onions. When shrimp begin to turn pink, add sauce and continue to cook, stirring frequently.
  4. When shrimp is cooked through, add quinoa, and stir until well combined. Top with a drizzle of soy sauce or a squeeze of lime.

The best 3 reasons to have a snack

Healthy snacking is not only the more enjoyable route to go, but one of necessity. Why? When we really analyzed how we felt (big meals vs. small, incorporating healthy snacks), we can notice 3 really big changes for the better.

1. Better weight balance

80% of weight loss is a result of diet (the rest exercise) – so what and how you eat are obviously crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. When you eat large meals, 2 things happen: firstly, you feel super full – like uncomfortably full, and then a couple of hours later your blood sugar really starts to drop – taking with it, your energy. Snacks are a great way to temper your hunger and have consistent energy throughout the day. The keys to this plan are: making sure your bigger meals of the day aren’t huge (and are packed with nutrition) and planning in advance for the snacks you’ll eat. Waiting until you’re hungry to make this decision makes bad choices a lot more common. So plan ahead to find the balance you need!

2. Stops the impulse eating

To add to the last point above, the choices we make when we’re hungry are not necessarily the best choices. Making sure you never hit the ’I’m starving!’ phase is crucial to making the right call. Think about it: ever gone to the grocery store when you’re famished? If the answer is yes, by the end of your travel to the grocery, your shopping cart feels like a bin of junk. Here’s where healthy snacking comes in. Having a healthy snack allows you to maintain your energy levels and control – and once you’ve got your cravings in check, you’ve got a lot more power on your side.

3. Boosts your productivity & your mood

Throughout a busy day, heavy meals (filled with carbs, fats & sugars), stress and rushing around mess with your energy levels and can really run you down. Choosing smaller sensible meals (think: lean proteins, whole grains & veggies) combined with healthy snacks (fruits and vegetables) create slow burning fuel that help give you energy throughout the day – eliminating the peak and dips that unhealthy choices create. This not only boosts your mood – more energy/less sleepy but allows you to operate at your fullest potential and get stuff done!

Lemon cod with basil bean mash

Ingredients: (2 servings) (372 calories)

  • 2 small bunches cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Chunks skinless cod or other white fish fillet
  • Zest 1 lemon, plus juice of ½
  • 240 g pack frozen soya beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Bunch basil, leaves and stalks separated
  • 100 ml chicken or vegetable stock

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the tomatoes onto a baking tray, rub with a little oil and some seasoning, then roast for 5 mins until the skins are starting to split. Add the fish to the tray, top with most of the lemon zest and some more seasoning, then drizzle with a little more oil. Roast for 8-10 mins until the fish flakes easily.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the beans in a pan of boiling water for 3 mins until just tender. Drain, then tip into a food processor with the rest of the oil, garlic, basil stalks, lemon juice and stock, then pulse to a thick, slightly rough purée. Season to taste.
  3. Divide the tomatoes and mash between two plates, top with the cod, then scatter with basil leaves and the remaining lemon zest to serve.

Thay-style steamed fish

Ingredients: (199 caloríes) (2 servings)

  • 2 trout fillets, each weighing about 140g/5oz
  • A small knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli (not bird’s eye), seeded and finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 baby pak choi, each quartered lengthways
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. Nestle the fish fillets side by side on a large square of foil and scatter the ginger, garlic, chilli and lime zest over them. Drizzle the lime juice on top and then scatter the pieces of pak choi around and on top of the fish. Pour the soy sauce over the pak choi and loosely seal the foil to make a package, making sure you leave space at the top for the steam to circulate as the fish cooks.
  2. Steam for 15 minutes. (If you haven’t got a steamer, put the parcel on a heatproof plate over a pan of gently simmering water, cover with a lid and steam.)

Crab ceviche

Ingredients: (8 servings) (62 calories)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package imitation crabmeat, flaked
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place the shredded imitation crab into a glass or porcelain bowl. Plastic or metal are not recommended. Stir olive oil into the crabmeat until well coated, then stir in the cilantro, onion, tomato and serrano peppers. Squeeze the lime juice over everything, and mix well. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.

Spicy chicken breasts

BLOG 149Ingredients: (4 servings) (173 calories)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Tomato cucumber salad

BLOG 145Ingredients: (4 servings) (31 calories)

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in a salad bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Chill.

10 common weight loss obstacles

BLOG 144We go to the gym for numerous reasons, one of the top being to shed some extra pounds. But sometimes we hit a weight-loss wall and our workout regimen isn’t, well, working anymore. This can be for a variety of reasons and pinpointing the exact issue can be frustrating. Take a moment to think about your exercise routine. Here are 10 reasons why you may not be reaching your weight loss goal.

You do the same thing all the time

If you do the same thing every time you work out, chances are you aren’t seeing the results you want. As you repeat the same exercises, your body becomes familiar with the process and plateaus because it’s not being challenged. Switch up your workout routine to challenge your muscles in new and different ways to help get over the weight-loss hump.

You go too easy on yourself

If you find yourself thinking ‘that was easy’ after a workout, it probably WAS too easy. Yes, walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes is good for your heart and you’ll get some cardiovascular benefits. But if you want to change your body, you should be pushing yourself to run up an incline, lift heavier weights, or do an extra rep. Changing the intensity of your routine will ensure that you’re always getting the most from your sweat sessions.

You hardly move the rest of the day

Even though you’ve got a solid workout routine, you should continue to take those little steps every day to help reach your goal. Many people will work out for an hour and then sit on their butts for the majority of the day. You have to keep your blood circulating throughout the day to reap the rewards of that workout. Be sure to take the stairs when you can, park a little further away from the store or do some stretches when you feel like you’ve been sitting for a while. All these small tweaks will help add up to the results you want.

You give yourself a pass to overeat

After hard workouts, it can be very tempting to splurge on a carbolicious feast. You deserve a treat, right? Don’t take the bait; just because you’re exercising more doesn’t mean you should overeat. Remember, weight loss also happens in the kitchen. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to keep track of what you’re eating on a daily basis.

You’re wasting time

Just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean you’re actually working out. You may dawdle while picking out the perfect playlist or TV channel to watch, but socializing can be the ultimate time suck. Finding friends at the gym is great and you and your exercise buddy can help motivate each other, but sometimes you’ll find yourself chatting up a storm. Your workout friends should work for you, not against you. You can definitely be social at the gym, just make sure your jaw isn’t doing most of the moving.

You don’t recover

As great as working out is, your body also needs time to recover. Working out too much can exhaust your body to the point where you’re hurting it more than helping it. If you overtrain, your muscles start to build up lactate and adenosine triphosphate, both of which can cause pain. When your body isn’t functioning normally due to overexertion and lack of rest, it’s not going to burn fat like it normally would. So be sure to strike a proper balance. Your body will thank you!

You don’t know your target heart rate

How much you’re sweating isn’t the best measure of your workout intensity. The only way to know if you’re working your body to its potential is to work out at your target heart rate. I emphasize using a heart rate monitor so you can make sure your sweat sessions are as efficient as possible. It eliminates guessing games and you’ll achieve the optimal workout each time.

Your routine isn’t balanced

Your workout should be balanced with the types of exercises you’re doing. It should include cardio, strength training, and stretching. All of these combined create a well-rounded routine, all working different muscles in different ways. Only focusing on one or two of these types of fitness will skew your goal.

You’re not having fun

Sometimes working out feels way too much like work. When this happens, switch up the pace and do something completely different. Try a pickup game of tennis, volleyball or whatever sport floats your boat. Even a round of tag! Making exercise a game puts you in a different mind-set. You’re not thinking about how much longer you have to go or how many reps you have left: your head is in the game, or the scenery.

You need an attitude adjustment

Speaking of getting your head in the game, that’s where it should be when you’re exercising. Go into working out with a positive and determined attitude. Try to leave your stressors at home so you can focus on the task at hand and not be distracted. If after the first 3 minutes you’re thinking “ughhh, 27 minutes to go,” your head isn’t in the right space and you’ll be struggling to make it to the end.

 

Bean soup with kale

BLOG 142Ingredients: (182 calories) (8 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 4 cups chopped raw kale

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion; saute until soft. Add kale and saute, stirring, until wilted. Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. Stir into soup to thicken. Simmer 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

Roasted garlic lemon broccoli

49 calories, 6 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Lemons

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish.