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protein

Health

Marinades & Spice Mixes for Protein

September 26, 2014

I am making the assumption here that most of you who frequent my blog are trying to live a healthier and fitter life. For most of us, this means copious amounts of lean protein such as chicken and turkey (and beans and tofu for my vegetarians and vegans out there).

When I first embarked on my journey of living a healthier and fitter life, I really didn’t have a clue about how to prepare the meat that I cooked. Because I had lived in Asia my whole life, I made a lot of stir fry’s, but they would always disappoint in how bland and unflavorful the meat was.

Marinades & Spice Mixes for Protein

It was actually my boyfriend who encouraged me to experiment with a variety of spices and marinades to make my food taste better. There are lots of easy and little things you can do that can make a LOT of difference to the flavor of your food (and the happiness of your belly) without adding lots of unnecessary calories. I am excited to share some of my favorite marinades for protein with you πŸ™‚ 

Marinades & Spice Mixes for Protein

 Photo by Bhaksar Dutta via Getty Images

Chicken

  • baking it whole (this keeps it juicy)! Depending on the size of the chicken breast, I like to bake it for 20-25 minutes at a temperature of 450 degrees fahrenheit, liberally sprinkled with Rachel Ray’s poultry seasoning, or salt, pepper, and rosemary
  • dijon mustard tastes fantastic with chicken and also makes for a delicious marinade. I like using this marinade from the Food Network. Get a ziplock bag and place your chicken breast in it along with 1-2tbsp of any vinegar of your choice, 2-3 tsp of either thyme, oregano or rosemary, 1-2tbsp of dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper
  • I use the same methods above for turkey πŸ™‚ Or I buy the roasted turkey slices at Safeway (an American supermarket) if I am lazy hehe)

Beef

  • I love doing a marinade with soy sauce (or low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake). I tend to put beef strips in a ziplock bag, and fill it with enough soy sauce to cover the beef with it. I then add the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon or two of curry powder and 1tsp of salt and pepper. If you are not a fan of spicy food, just omit the curry powder and replace it with 2 cloves of crushed garlic. This makes a great beef stir fry.

Fish

  • as with chicken, I love baking fish! My fave fish to bake are salmon and tilapia
  • I usually sprinkle some high quality salt and pepper on the fish, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top of it. I use the remaining half of the lemon and cut it into slices and place it on top of the fish before putting it in the oven. 
  • adding some crushed garlic to the fish really helps enhance the fish as well. Give it a try!

Beans

  • my favorite beans are garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) hands down! I do also like lentils, black beans and red kidney beans a lot though. I like to prepare beans for roasting or stir frying by coating them in olive or coconut oil (about 2tbsp per 1/2 cup) and then sprinkling them with salt, pepper and some cumin.
  • Again, adding some crushed garlic cloves to the beans will only enhance the flavor! And feel free to put more herbs and spices such as paprika.

Seasonings and marinades make a world of difference!

I hope these tips help create many flavorful and appetizing meals for you. They have certainly helped make healthy eating much easier and more enjoyable for me. Experiment and be creative; food is to be enjoyed after all!

Question: What is your favorite marinade or spice mix??

Honestly yours,
Alice

Friday Fare, Health

Blueberry Honey Chia Jam

September 6, 2014

Sounds cool right? I have been eating this ‘blueberry honey chia jam’ for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it! I adapted My Whole Food Life’s recipe and used honey instead of maple syrup, although at first I did test it out with sugar-free maple syrup (from Nature’s Hollow). I personally did not find it as sweet as I would like it to be so I used honey the next time round and it came out perfectly to my taste πŸ™‚

Blueberry Honey chia jam

Blueberry Honey Chia Jam

So what makes this blueberry honey chia jam special? Most commercial varieties, such as Smuckers, tend to use sugar sources such as high fructose corn syrup or just plain old white sugar. I love using honey as a sweetener because not only does it have a fantastic and thick texture, it also contains a variety of minerals and chemicals. This jam also contain chia seeds (my loves) which are a rich source of fiber, protein, healthy fats (omega-3s), vitamins and minerals. Because of their high fiber and protein content, I have found that chia seeds help keep me fuller for longer. Another bonus (like we need more) is that they are low in calories; 1 tablespoon is roughly around 60 calories!

Blueberry Honey Chia Jam

Anyway point being, I loooove this jam! It is yummy, filling and super healthy. Plus, it is a fantastic way to use up any fruit which you think may go off soon. I had a BUNCH of blueberries and was panicking about how I was going to finish them, and so the discovery of chia jam was a blessing. Feel free to substitute in different fruits, and if you do let me know how they turn out!

Blueberry Honey Chia Jam
A delicious and healthy way to make jam that is full of fiber!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups bluberries
  2. 2-3 tbsp honey
  3. 1/4 cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor
  2. Transfer to a jam jar or equivalent container and then leave in the fridge overnight to thicken and set
Adapted from My Whole Food Life
Adapted from My Whole Food Life
Honestly Fitness https://honestlyfitness.com/
 Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Friday Fare! Please remember to subscribe to Honestly Fitness if you enjoy my blog posts and please share the posts and recipes with your friends and families. This chia jam is sure to be a winner with everyone!

Honestly yours,
Alice

Friday Fare

Super Blue Smoothie

July 25, 2014

A few weeks ago, I bought a juice from Vive Juicery (based in Salt Lake City) that had spirulina in it, and a little bit after that Nutrition Stripped (my favorite nutrition blogger) did a post on spirulina milk. I was so intrigued that I quickly went out and bought some spirulina and decided to experiment with it. For anyone who knows what spirulina is, they will know that it is not inexpensive. Luckily one of the Whole Foods at Salt Lake City had it in their bulk food section so that helped me save quite a lot of money as I didn’t need a whole tubful! And voila; this is how I came to create my super blue smoothie!

Super Blue Smoothie

For all of you that DON’T know what spirulina is, no doubt you are wondering what it is and why I am experimenting with it!. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is grown and harvested from alkaline water . It has a slightly nutty taste and has been said to have a variety of health benefits. These include protecting the liver, anti-inflammatory properties, and has even been said to help increase fat burning during exercise. Spirulina also has a ton of protein (57g of protein per 100g!), contains chlorophyll, iron and a ton of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Super Blue Smoothie

Hopefully that has convinced you to at least give it a try! A lot of people call spirulina a ‘superfood’ but I am not particularly fond of that name because it suggests that it is an almost perfect food which will magically make you healthier .. which is of course not the case. There is no one perfect food, and we should try and include as many nutrient dense foods as possible in our diet to become healthier. 

Super Blue Smoothie

Which is why I wanted to throw spirulina into a smoothie! I really wanted to make a ‘blue’ smoothie that would of course include blueberries (high in nutrients and low in calories) and other tasty fruits. Although it turned out more blue-green than blue, it is tasty and filled with lots of fruit. It is very refreshing and a little milky so feel free to sweeten it up with honey, maple syrup, stevia or whatever other sweetener you desire.

Super Blue Smoothie
A delicious and nutrient packed smoothie with spirulina, blueberries and banana!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 and 1/2 cup of milk of your choice (almond, coconut, cow's milk)
  2. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries,
  3. 1/2 cup frozen sliced bananas (slice some bananas and pop in the freezer the night before)
  4. 1 tablespoon of spirulina
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Feel free to add any sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup if you wish.
Honestly Fitness https://honestlyfitness.com/
If you make this super blue smoothie then please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it! And please remember to subscribe to Honestly Fitness so that you are always kept up to date with healthy recipes, workouts and other health and wellness tips.

Honestly yours,
Alice xxx