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Add color to your lunches

Looking for a way to liven up your lunch? Here are some ideas for making your midday meal colorful and healthy.

Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, avocado, celery, peppers and carrots. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soy beans). Drizzle with low-fat dressing. Fruits like mandarin oranges, apples, pears, dried cranberries also add color and nutrition to salads.

Looking to add more vegetables to your meal? Roast and combine them with low-fat cheese, hummus or avocado, and wrap it all in a whole wheat tortilla. Add an extra cup of frozen veggies to your soup. Microwave and enjoy a cupful of antioxidant rich soup. Colorize your baked potato by adding beans, salsa, broccoli and low-fat cheese.

To incorporate more legumes into your lunch, think about hummus, falafel, baked beans and black beans. For a protein boost, include a small handful of walnuts, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts or even soy nuts in your lunch. For low fat dairy options, include a small carton of milk or yogurt. Continue Reading »

Hydrate with color

It’s hot outside, so make sure to stay hydrated this summer. Add fresh fruit to your water for a unique flavor burst. Fill up pitchers of ice water and flavor it with fresh, in-season fruit, such as peach slices and raspberries.

You can also try slices of apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, lemons or limes. Feel free to add a handful of mint leaves or cucumbers for a refreshing taste that’s not as sweet.

Adding single-serve flavor packets may also add sugars, calories and other additives. Opt for flavoring your water naturally.

Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water in relation to their weight. Grapefruit, watermelon and strawberries have a high percentage of water. So do cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini and celery. Eat plenty of these on warm summer days. Continue Reading »

Healthy barbecuing tips

Everyone loves a good barbecue in the summer, but grill outs can quickly turn into unhealthy meals. However, there are ways to make a barbecue a healthy meal.

If you are planning to grill meats, choose a healthier meat option such as lean or extra lean ground turkey; ground sirloin beef; boneless, skinless chicken breast; salmon, cod or Mahi-Mahi; or lean or extra lean steak. If you’re making burgers, try layering tomatoes, lettuce and onion or other vegetables. Try making kabobs by combining pieces of fish and fruit or shrimp and vegetables.

Consider a meatless grilled meal by focusing on vegetables. Since cholesterol is only found in animal products, by choosing a meatless option you will reduce the intake of dietary cholesterol. You can also opt for a black bean burger or other patties made from legumes.

You can colorize your grilled meal by grilling vegetables. Cut vegetables in equal sizes so all pieces cook evenly. To help prevent sticking and to enhance flavor, you can lightly drizzle the vegetables in olive oil prior to grilling. Many vegetables do well on the grill, but some that stand out include asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions or cabbage. Try grilling a quartered fennel bulb for a unique taste. Continue Reading »

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