Simple Vegetarian Chili

Simple Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Chili is a great way to eat more of the disease-fighting lycopene found in cooked tomatoes. This version is also full of nutritious vegetables and protein-rich beans. It’s a hearty, filling meal that can be made ahead to reheat for lunch or dinner.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

1 small eggplant, peeled and diced

1 jalapeno, seeds and core removed, minced

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp smoked paprika

1 (15 oz.) can no salt added tomato sauce

1 (14.5 oz.) can no salt added diced tomatoes

2 (15 oz.) cans low-sodium red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the bell pepper, eggplant, and jalapeno. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the vegetables become tender. Reduce the heat slightly, if necessary, to prevent the garlic from burning.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Cook for 1 more minute.

Pour in the the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir in the beans. Add the salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until all ingredients are heated through.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 351; Total Fat 5.4 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 216 mg; Carbohydrate 61.8 g; Fiber 20.2 g; Sugar 13.5 g; Protein 17.9 g

How to Host a Healthy Game Day Party

Healthy Game Day Party

As fall approaches, so do game day celebrations with friends and family. Many of these events are centered around food, but that doesn't mean that they have to be unhealthy. By making minor changes to your menu, you can host a healthy game day party without the extra calories.

Make it a meal

Setting out a spread of snacks often means munching on high calorie foods throughout the duration of the game. Try serving a full meal instead. This will encourage you to eat at only one point during the party and prevent mindless snacking. Invite guests to fill their plates at the start of the game or enjoy the meal during halftime.

Create a healthy DIY buffet

Turning a meal of tacos or soup into a self-serve buffet is a great way to stick to healthy options. For tacos, provide hard shells and soft tortillas as well as lettuce for those who want a salad. Beans, brown rice, poultry, diced tomato, fresh salsa, guacamole, and hot sauce are all healthy fillings that will allow guests to create their own meal. For a soup buffet, set up slow cookers filled with chicken tortilla soup, black bean soup, and chili made with lean ground turkey. Whole grain croutons and crackers, fresh herbs, salsa, chopped avocado, diced onion, and chopped black olives are a few examples of delicious and nutritious toppings.

Limit the options

The larger the variety of foods available, the greater the chance that you will eat more. If you serve appetizers and snacks, limit them to three or four healthy choices. Create mini salads or a soup that can be sipped from a cup. Fire up the grill for chicken satay or shrimp skewers. Serve a healthy bean dip or fresh salsa with chopped vegetables. If there are only a few foods to try, you’ll be less likely to overload your plate and consume more food than you need to feel full.

Keep the food in the kitchen

Avoid leaving snack foods out on the coffee table within easy reach. Set up a buffet of foods near the kitchen and provide plates to encourage everyone to fill their plates and take them back to the television. Keeping the food out of reach will make everyone less likely to engage in mindless snacking throughout the party.

Dress up low calorie drinks

Avoiding alcohol and sodas will save you hundreds of calories. Add some flavorful twists to lower calorie drinks so that you don’t feel deprived. Serve club soda with shots of 100 percent fruit juice or cider. Make up a few pitchers of water that have been filled with cucumber or citrus slices and chilled. Serve unsweetened flavored teas like orange or Chai over ice. Sipping these low calorie drinks during the party will keep you occupied, which may reduce the urge to grab more snacks.

Portion Control for Weight Loss

Portion Control for Weight Loss

Portion control is the key to reaching your weight loss goals. Understanding more about healthy serving sizes and reducing portions to meet these recommendations provides a way to satisfy cravings while sticking to your nutritious eating plan.

Portions versus serving sizes

A serving size and a portion are not always the same thing. A serving is a healthy amount of a food recommended by health professionals, and a term used by food manufacturers as a base for determining nutritional information. A portion is how much food you serve yourself. A healthy goal is to reduce your portion sizes so that they more closely align with what health professionals consider to be an appropriate serving. For example, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, one serving of grains is one slice of bread or a half-cup of pasta.

Gaining control of portion sizes doesn’t mean you have to carry around measuring cups. These tools can be helpful in your own kitchen, but you can also make yourself familiar with common objects and how they compare to appropriate serving sizes to make healthy eating easier.

Reduced portions and total calories

Regardless of the food, the more you eat of it, the more calories you consume. By simply reducing portion sizes, you can create the negative calorie balance necessary to initiate weight loss. Choosing nutritious foods is still an essential part of improving your health, but reducing portion sizes allows you to include your favorite treats while still losing weight. Choosing a mini cupcake over a full size dessert, or adding a half-cup of whole wheat pasta as a side instead of a main course are ways you can satisfy cravings without consuming excess calories.

Portion control and fullness

Research shows that the more food people are served, the more they eat. As a result, large portions, like those served in restaurants, cause people to eat much more food than they need. It takes time to get back in touch with hunger cues and to recognize true hunger and fullness. As you gradually decrease portions, you will begin to feel full after eating much less food. As a result, your calorie intake will decrease and you will be on your way to reaching your goal weight.

Apple Celery Salad

Apple Celery Salad Recipe

Apples are full of beneficial plant nutrients including polyphenols that act as disease-fighting antioxidants. This seasonal salad hints at fall with the addition of fresh celery, heart-healthy walnuts, sweet cranberries, and spices. It makes a healthy breakfast, dessert, or side dish.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored

1 cup sliced celery

1 ½ tbsp chopped walnuts

1 tbsp dried cranberries, finely chopped

1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp honey

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground allspice

Directions

Slice the apple into matchsticks and place in a medium bowl. Add the celery, walnuts and cranberries.

In a small dish, stir together the yogurt, honey, cinnamon and allspice. Pour the yogurt sauce over the apple salad. Stir to coat all ingredients. Serve right away.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 96; Total Fat 4.2 g; Saturated Fat 0.7 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 31 mg; Carbohydrate 13.2 g; Fiber 2.2 g; Sugar 10.3 g; Protein 3.2 g

5 Moves for a Stronger Core

Moves for a Stronger Core

Your core is made up of the muscles of the abdominals and the lower back. These muscles work together to support almost every movement you make. A strong core improves your balance and flexibility, but it may also reduce back pain and improve your ability to recover from injury. Get creative with your routine and add some of these moves to strengthen core muscles.

Rotating Lunges

Step your right foot out two to three feet in front of you. Hold a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell with both hands at chest level. Slowly lower into a lunge and twist your torso to the right. Stand back up into the starting position and rotate your torso back to the center. To make the move more challenging, hold the dumbbell out away from your body with your arms extended. Do 10 to 12 repetitions to the right, switch your legs and repeat on the other side.

Standing Back Raises

Stand with your feet a little wider than hips-width apart. Place your fingertips behind your ears. Keeping the upper body in a straight line from your head to your lower back, bend forward at the hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Keep your upper body in a straight line and raise back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Side Plank Raises

Lie on your right side with your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your heel. Prop yourself up on your right elbow and forearm with your hips elevated off the floor. Slowly lower your body towards the floor until your right hip almost touches the ground. Raise your hips back to the the starting position. Do 10 to 12 repetitions on the right and switch sides.

Single Side Bicycle Crunch

Lie on your back on the floor. Place your fingertips behind your ears and extend your right leg so it is elevated about six inches off the floor. Keep your left foot flat on the floor with the knee bent. Crunch and curl to the right as you bring your right knee in towards your left shoulder. Return to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions and switch sides.

Bridge Raises

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor along your sides, palms facing down. Press through your heels and raise your bottom off the ground creating a straight line from your knees down to your shoulders. Hold for one count and release. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions.

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