Friday, April 8, 2011

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Are you ever stuck on ideas for meals and snacks? With busy work schedules, family events & activities coming up for spring and summer, it is the perfect time to try new simple, nourishing meals and energy-boosting, satisfying snacks that you will love to share with your family and friends!
Here are some fun, delicious and healthy meal/snack ideas that will satisfy your hunger!

Fresh Fruit
Always turn to fresh fruit for an energy-boosting snack!  Bananas & apples, for example, are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber which give you quick energy for a great start to your busy day.  Recommended serving size is 1 piece of fresh fruit or 1 cup of chopped fruit. Aim for 2 servings per day :-)

Popcorn is an easy snack at home or work.  You get a large volume and fiber, which will make you feel fuller longer! Plus it is a whole grain so it is a smart snack choice.  Recommended serving size is 1 single-serve pack, low-fat microwave popcorn.

Veggies and Hummus
Are you looking for a snack with a crunch?! Red peppers with hummus is the perfect snack for you.  Be creative with your snacks and choose red peppers for a change.  Hummus provides a source of protein that helps satisfy your hunger. Also try zucchini, carrots, sugar snap peas, and raw asparagus with hummus - delicious :-)

Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts
Nuts are packed with healthy fats, which help you stay full; fiber, and nutrients like selenium, Vitamin E (antioxidants to provide health protective benefits), and omega-3s which aid in brain and heart health, to name a few.

Half of a Sandwich
A lot of people think that snacks need to include the snacky foods, like cookies or bars from the convenience store. You can eat real food as a snack as it will help fill your hunger and boost your nutrition.  A half of a lean turkey or chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with veggies, for example, gives you energy-boosting complex carbs (whole grains) plus satisfies your hunger due to the protein from your lean meats.  Another half sandwich choice is peanut butter and banana sandwich. Look for the natural peanut butters with no sugar added and no hydrogenated oils (trans fat) at your local grocery store. For example, PB2 is a powdered peanut butter that has 85% of fat calories removed! All you do is mix 2 Tbsp of powdered peanut butter with 1 Tbsp of water and stir until smooth - then you have a roasted peanut butter ready to eat!

Try this recipe for dinner tonight!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
  • 1 (2 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 (1.25 oz) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 8 fajita-style tortilla shells (look for whole wheat)
  • Reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream (substitute non-fat plain Greek yogurt to provide extra protein and no added fat), shredded lettuce (dark leafy), optional

1. Rub roast with taco seasoning mix.  Place roast in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker; add broth and onion.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 11 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours.

2. Remove roast from slow cooker and using two forks, pull meat into coarse strands.

3. Serve shredded pork in tortilla shells topped with reduced-fat cheddar cheese, sour cream (non-fat plain Greek yogurt) and lettuce, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1
Number of Servings: Serves 8.

Amount per Serving
Calories 288 kcal
Total Fat 8 g
Carbohydrates 22 g
Cholesterol 75 mg
Protein 26 g
Dietary fiber <1 g
Sodium 640 mg  *To reduce sodium, be light on the cheese and avoid adding additional salt.

Have fun with food!

Katie V.