One aspect of "Healthy Habits For Life" is a healthy diet, and by that I don't mean "dieting." I mean an every day way of eating that is healthy and enjoyable to sustain your life and give you energy. Although I have to admit that I have "dieted" in the sense of restricting calories, fat and carbohydrates to lose weight, it is not a way of life for me. Dieting is justifiable when one needs to reach a goal weight because of being overfat or overweight for your age and body frame. However, one cannot live satisfactorily or even healthfully on what we consider a typical "diet" of any kind, nor can one live healthfully on a free- for- all food binge either. Moderation is key.
In my last appearance for the Q-Scan Women's Health & Awareness Day
, I gave the attendees my Healthy Habits Handout
where I list some easy ways to kick- start a healthy eating plan, including the newest Top 10+ Super Foods. Please download this free information to learn about how to start eating healthy now!
Being that cooking is a hobby of mine, I'm always creating new healthful recipes that of course, taste good too! And in the spirit of healthy eating, I'm sharing two of them with you today Here's what I had for lunch:Spicy Italian Chef Salad
Three handfuls of organic mixed greens
3 slices of free-range, oven- roasted turkey breast
2-3 ounces of cheddar cheese
10 small green olives
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
6- 8 leaves of fresh basil (or dried)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
sprinkle of salt to taste
*Serves 1. I paired the salad with a bowl of Trader Joe's Organic Baked Beans- 0 fat, 7 grams of fiber & 8 grams of protein...a superfood indeed!
Lastly, I will leave you with my signature Italian pasta dish, which also happens to be healthy too. Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates & protein. If you read labels, you will notice the nutrition content from one brand of pasta to another can vary. Choose pasta that is 100% durum semolina
because it has the highest protein and fiber content. You can opt for whole wheat pasta, or other alternative brands such as Barilla Plus
which offers a high protein & high fiber pasta with Omega 3 fatty acids. I also love Trader Joe's Organic Spaghetti imported from Italy.Graziella's Spaghetti Al Pomodoro
1/2 lb of spaghetti
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons organic butter
8 cloves of garlic
1 can of *San Marzano Tomatoes (whole, peeled)
salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste
1-3 teaspoons of organic unbleached sugar to adjust acidity (this is important b/c totally white sugar contains bleach!)
Separate the whole tomatoes from their juice (both will be used) and dice into cubes & set aside. Boil a large pot (about 4 quarts) of water with a dash of salt.
Completely coat the bottom of deep pot with a thin layer of olive oil & heat on medium.
Chop the shallot and saute until aromatic for about 2- 3 minutes, then add 8 chopped garlic cloves for about 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful to not overcook the garlic, as it burns easily and gives off a bitter flavor once that happens. Add the diced tomatoes and saute for about 10 minutes on medium- low. Next, add the tomato juice and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
At this point you want to add the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook according to package directions (each pasta has different cooking times). Make sure to check it every now and then to avoid overcooking.
Now add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce, and the salt & peppers to taste & simmer on very low for 5 more minutes. Drain pasta & drizzle very lightly with extra virgin olive oil, then toss with a 4- 5 large spoonfulls of sauce. Serve pasta with a small helping of sauce on top and grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (although I happen to think it's great without the cheese!)
Buon Appetito! *San Marzano is a region in Italy where some of the most flavorful tomatoes come from, and they are readily available in the US in cans.