Healthy Meals

A healthy take on Easter Sunday lunch

HE IS RISEN! In celebration of the fact that our King rose from the dead and in welcoming the birth of spring take a look at these menu suggestions for Easter.  Since a lot of traditional Easter food is chocked full of sugar and various other unhealthful ingredients, here are some tasty Easter menu suggestions that will keep you on track with keto, and just about any other low-carb way of eating.

As you’re eating, remember to keep your body’s cues in mind. Eat just until you’re full, don’t gorge yourself no matter how yummy the food is. And just because we might recommend a lot below doesn’t mean you’re supposed to make all of it. The suggestions are here to give you ideas, so pick and choose and leave the rest.

Baked Ham- For the simplicity of the main event, check your local market and buy a previously cooked ham that is low in sugar content glaze. All you will have to do is warm, plate and serve saving time in the kitchen.

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Spicy Smoky Salmon Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon ¼ cup low or no sugar mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces ⅓ fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
  • dried dill, for garnish

Instructions

Cut all the eggs in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks into a medium sized bowl. Mix together the remaining ingredients except the dill until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with dill.

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Garlic cauliflower mashed

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed until very soft
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed garlic
  • 4 oz. cream cheese

Instructions

Steam the cauliflower until it’s very soft. Drain the cauliflower very well and blend it with the other ingredients until completely smooth (use a stick blender or food processor for ease). You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula on occasion. Reheat if desired. Top with some melted butter and sprinkle with some dill weed.

Note: Be sure to drain the cauliflower very well so you don’t have cauliflower soup.

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Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 large broccoli crowns, chopped
  • 12 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract powder

Instructions

Dump broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds, and cheddar into a large bowl. Stir mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and stevia together in a measuring cup to make the dressing. Pour over salad and stir to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

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What does eating healthy really mean?

If you want to practice healthy living every day, implementing tried-and-true health tips that help you live and cook healthier is a must.

While cooking your own meals is a good start to eating healthier, it doesn’t necessarily define “healthy.” To eat healthy, it’s all about understanding the foods that you eat and achieving a balanced meal.

We don’t like to omit anything entirely, because we believe that eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself in any way. Keep in mind, though, that everything is best eaten in moderation!

Also, remember that healthy doesn’t always mean low-cal, and in reverse, eating less calories does not make it healthy. By understanding the caloric value of the foods you eat, you will be able to get a better understanding of how to eat healthy, and in turn, achieve new health milestones.

At Doctor for Life we use the approach of evaluating the whole person: the family history, the medical history, current medical conditions, and evaluation of goals. Give us a call and get started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle Journey and learn how to live a healthy life through healthy food. 864-640-0009

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Make Taco Tuesday Healthy

At Doctor for Life, we know it’s important for you to be able to enjoy some old time favorites.  With these tips, you can create a nutritious and delicious Taco Tuesday right at home while maintaining your healthy weight lifestyle program.

Taco Tuesday can be part of a healthy diet plan, if done right. Your upcoming Mexican-inspired Tuesday does not have to consist of a 320 calorie taco found at most famous fast food and Mexican restaurants.

In fact, your next Taco Tuesday can be a whole lot tastier while becoming even healthier. By doing the cooking yourself rather than going out, you can maintain your healthy weight lifestyle. Try these tips for a nutritious and delicious Taco Tuesday right at home:

Skip the chips:  Tortilla chips are high in calories per gram and are filled with saturated fats and high levels of sodium. So if you’re Taco Tuesday must include a chips and salsa course, try substituting those calorie-dense tortilla chips with veggies. One option is to use raw vegetables like celery and peppers as your scoop.

Make Your Own Salsa: Prepared salsa from the grocery store can be laden with extra salt and harmful additives. Making your own salsa is both quick and easy, and allows you to skip the unwanted extras.  For fish tacos, try a tropical flair by combining fresh pineapple, mango, papaya and more. For chicken tacos, try combining black beans, red peppers and corn for a perfect topping. Or, if you are looking for a more traditional Mexican salsa for dipping, try a quick Pico De Gallo using Roma tomatoes, cilantro, red onions and limes. Making your own salsa rather than picking up a jar from the store allows for variety and personal preference, all while providing a flavor-packed serving of fruits and vegetables.

Use Whole-Grain or Corn Tortillas or Lettuce Leaves:  Refined carbohydrates, like flour tortillas, are definitely a caution food. So when it comes to Taco Tuesday, look for whole-grain tortillas to make your meal smarter and healthier. However, be aware of the serving size. Non-fried corn tortillas are an appropriate alternative, too. Or you can skip the tortillas all together by using romaine lettuce leaves. Tacos are easily, and deliciously, turned into salads. Add in a half cup of black beans to still get your serving of recommended carbohydrates.

Choose Chicken or Fish:  Skipping the greasy ground beef does not mean skipping the flavor or satisfaction. There are a multitude of other options like chicken and ground turkey to fish and shrimp. These lean sources of protein, cooked with a mixture of herbs and topped with different varieties, can give you the taco you crave without the red meat.

Another option for a low cholesterol diet is to go with a vegetarian taco. Pinto or black beans can provide the necessary protein, sautéed vegetables like peppers, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes can offer the desired flavor, and fresh, leafy, tasty herbs like cilantro can put your tacos over the top.

No Store-Bought Seasoning:  Herbs are the way to go when seasoning your chosen protein. The average sodium content per serving in a range of regular taco seasoning packs from most brands is 350 to 575 mg. Long story short, stay away from your typical grocery store taco mix and experiment with different combinations at home instead.  A huge problem with many of the store bought packets, they use potassium chloride in place of sodium chloride as a salt replacement.  Potassium consumed in excess may be harmful for some people.  If you have kidney problems or are on medication for your heart, kidneys or liver, it is best to check with your physician before using salt substitutes in place of sodium.

Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, coriander, ground red pepper, cumin combine to make a great homemade taco seasoning.  Experiment with your mix to find the flavors you prefer.  Lemon or lime can always be your go-to option for spices.  With the right herbs and spices, you can create a taco seasoning that is just as flavorful and far better for your health.

Be Wise About Your Toppings and Sides:  Living by a healthy lifestyle does not mean missing out on the delicious sides and toppings of a Taco Tuesday. You just have to do it right. Instead of sodium-rich boxed Mexican rice, choose plain brown rice and spice it up with some chopped jalapenos, smoked paprika and fresh cilantro.  Guacamole, although a healthy fat option, it is calorie-dense.  You can try the same recipe you usually use – lemon juice, garlic, onion and tomatoes – with blended broccoli stems or edamame beans for a similar, but healthier, concoction. Add cottage cheese as an alternative to shredded cheese.  And feel free to load up on fillings using low-calorie vegetables, the ultimate toppings for tacos.

Remember these tips and reminders this Tuesday. Create a healthy grocery list, experiment with different combinations, cook up a nutritious and festive meal and indulge –   As always, our physicians, coaches and dietitians are here to help you along the way as well at Doctor for Life.  864-640-0009


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You can meal prep on Sunday to help you eat healthy all week

If you’re looking for the best tips for eating healthier every day, you’re going to hear the same thing over and over again: meal prep. And if you want to know how to meal prep better, there’s another piece of advice that’s going to come up a lot, and that’s setting aside time to get yourself ready for the week ahead. For most of us, that’s going to be on a Sunday, before the work week starts, when we can carve out some hours to shop and chop and pack things up for the days ahead. It’s not as daunting as it sounds! Just making some basics ahead of time will put you in prime position to eat healthy meals all week long.

Here we have listed some tips to help you plan your prep and store ingredients to use in breakfasts, lunches, and dinners throughout the week. Some people don’t mind eating the same meal every day, that’s not the case for us here at Doctor for Life. Variety is the spice of life.  We suggest using your prepped ingredients in a bunch of different recipes throughout the week.

Prep a grain: Cook a big batch, store it in the fridge, and your complex carbohydrate for the week is all ready to go. Examples are Brown Rice, Quinoa, Farro.  You can use these for a grain bowl, burrito stuffing or a side for a stir fry.

Noodle a zucchini, yellow squash or a butter nut squash:  This is such a great way to not only get in a low-carb vegetable serving but also a great substitute for pasta.  Try them as just a side drizzled with olive oil or top with a classic tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese.

Make a salad dressing:  For super simple dressings, all you really need is a little olive oil, maybe some kind of vinegar or citrus juice, and a little salt and pepper. Step it up a bit with a balsamic vinaigrette or a honey mustard sauce.

Roast some veggies:  Try a head of broccoli or cauliflower cut into florets, sliced carrots, green beans or brussel sprouts.  Either of these make for a great side dish or toppings for the grain bowl or an egg scramble.

Hard boil some eggs:  They’re an always-delicious protein that you can easily make in bulk and keep in your fridge for a week. And, you can eat them any time of the day. Munch on one for a midday snack, slice one up and throw it on toast, chop it in half and add it to your salad, or throw one on top of a broccoli, soy sauce, and brown rice grain bowl.

Cook a pot of beans or lentils:  These are a pantry staple. They’re high in fiber and protein, they don’t perish easily, and their flavor makes them a great ingredient addition to a lot of recipes.  Use them on salads, grain bowls, burrito stuffing, or as a side dish.

Great luck to you on your Healthy Lifestyle Journey. We are always here to help you along the way. Give us a call today to schedule time with our dietitian or health coaches to help you plan your success. 864-640-0009

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Happy Hump Day- Using Grocery Flyers to Plan Meals

If you have ever attended one of the cooking classes at Doctor for Life you have heard Chef Rodney mention many times, one of his most frequently-used methods for saving money on food is to simply create a meal plan each week based on the sales found in grocery flyers. He suggest to then take that meal plan and prepare a grocery list based on it, which naturally includes many of the sale items found in the flyers.  In our area, these sales flyers are published on Wednesdays for the next week.  It’s a great start to Hump Day for the week.

For most of you, this approach to meal planning may be vastly different than the way you do it.  If you are like most people you tend to learn such things through repetition and example, seeing what others have done and simply trying it their self until it becomes natural and normal.  Let’s see how it’s done.

Getting the Flyers
Many grocery store chains carry digital copies of their flyers on their websites. If your preferred grocery store does not, you can often find a copy of that week’s grocery store flyer inside a copy of the Wednesday and Sunday newspaper in your area.

Identifying Interesting Items
As you browse through the flyers for each store, try to look for items that are either on sale low enough that they stand out to you or ones that stand out for flavor reasons, inspiring you to get into the kitchen and cook. Chef Rodney suggest to particularly focus on produce and meat deals.

Finding and Choosing Recipes
We know that you need to plan for five dinners in the coming week, as well as making sure that you have things on hand for breakfasts (like plenty of oatmeal and eggs, for example) and a few items for backup lunches in case you don’t have enough leftovers to cover your lunches.

You can use a recipe search engine like allrecipes.com or cookinglight.com, putting in the interesting ingredients you found above to search for simple recipes you can make that the family would like (with an eye toward your own dietary needs, too). You can also go through your cookbooks and recipe box to see if you have anything interesting that matches well.

Building a Meal Plan and a Master Ingredient List
You should have come up with an actual meal plan at this point, slotting in the various meals for various nights. The biggest reason for doing this is so that you can be sure to use the fresher ingredients as quickly as possible, to plan ahead in terms of tasks that need to be done (like soaking beans overnight or overnight oat jars), and to make sure you can roll over elements easily from one meal to the next, like having both meals with onions close enough together that any extra chopped onion doesn’t go bad in the fridge.

You also prepare a “master ingredient list.” This is basically a list of all of the ingredients in this week’s recipes sorted by the place where you would find it in your kitchen – refrigerator, freezer, top pantry shelf, etc.

Turning the Ingredient List into a Grocery List
When you have a “master ingredient list,” you then need to take it around the house to each of the places you have grouped things by on the list, then you will cross off the things you already have. This also makes you check up on the quantity of stuff you use frequently, like milk, and encourages you to add such things to the list.

Once you are done hitting the spots in our kitchen, the grocery list is ready to go. Conveniently, it’s already pretty well organized, as you marked the sale items on the list so you know what store to buy it in, and all of the refrigerator and freezer stuff is already grouped together for you.

At this point simply hit the grocery store, back home unpack everything, and then just follow that meal plan throughout the busy week to make sure you stay on target for your Healthy Lifestyle way of eating.

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Don’t be fooled! The Best Diet: Quality Counts

  • Dietary guidelines have changed over the years as research becomes more accurate in determining what we should eat to attain optimal health and weight. The strongest evidence to date shows that calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.
  • Focus on eating high-quality foods in appropriately sized portions.
  • Changes in specific dietary factors may have big impact on long-term weight gain: Weight-loss Strategy to Only ‘Eat Less, Exercise More” May be Overly Simplistic.

Consider quality, not just calories

“A calorie is a calorie” is an oft-repeated dietary slogan, and not overeating is indeed an important health measure. Rather than focusing on calories alone, however, emerging research shows that quality is also key in determining what we should eat and what we should avoid in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.

High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy sources of protein – the foods recommended in the Healthy Eating Plate.

Lower-quality foods include highly processed snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as potatoes.

There isn’t one “perfect” diet for everyone, owing to individual differences in genes and lifestyle.  At Doctor for Life we specialize in designing programs for each individual person.  Call us today to schedule your one on one visit to see what fits your lifestyle based off scientific research.

References: Harvard School of Public Health- The Nutrition Source

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Low-Fat Foods Are Making You Fatter

What? Fat is not the Devil? Sugar is the leading cause of weight gain? Check out this video our Dietitian found (from the host of TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything, as posted by CollegeHumor). Very insightful and entertaining presentation about a huge myth – that eating fat makes you fat. Instead, hear how bad science and the sugar industry worked together to dupe Americans, or at least not tell the whole story for many decades.

Daniel, RDN, says…

The sweet truth finally comes out – fat isn’t making you fat. Why does it take forever for the REAL truth to surface? Food without fat… Is like LIFE without love! Take a look.

 

 

 

Aarika JohnsonLow-Fat Foods Are Making You Fatter
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Healthy Meals To Go

Doctor For Life provides HEALTHY MEALS TO GO, packed meals that are nutritious and appetizing. These meals are designed by Dr. Cheryl and Registered clinical dietitian Daniel Andras and cooked to perfection at our Culinary lab by our head executive chef, Rodney Foster.

These meals run from $5-$12, affordable and readily available for any time of the day, whether you’re in need of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

To ensure that you’re on top of your diet, Doctor For Life allows you to choose how much calories you want to partake. This ensures that you can still enjoy of your favorite Sloppy Joes for lunch at 400, 500, or 600 calories per meal.

Chef Rodney also offers Lunch and Learn on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 12:00 to 12:45. He demonstrates how the healthy savory meals are prepared and cooked. Lunch will be served from the freshly created food for just $10!

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Grilled Southwestern Burgers with Onions

Summer barbecues are a perfect time to try this healthier version of a traditional burger with “onion rings” – so good you won’t miss the hamburgers of old, and a nice choice if you are following CMWL modified plan. This grill-time favorite — Grilled Southwestern Burgers — look, smell, and taste great without causing too much fuss. Making these delicious burgers does not require a lot of kitchen accessories or ingredients, and doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to grill up. Adding this to your cookout repertoire is great, but including this to your meal plan is going to be awesome!

How to Make the Grilled SW Burger

Servings: 4
Estimated Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Calories per Serving: 541
Total Protein per Serving: 41 grams
Total Carbs per Serving: 55 grams
Total Fat per Serving: 17 grams
Saturated Fat per Serving: 5 grams
Total Fiber per Serving: 4 grams

Ingredients

1 lbs 95% lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
1 cup of sliced onions
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
4 whole-grain hamburger rolls (approx 1.5 oz each)
1 cup store-bought coleslaw

Preparation

Grilling your delicious Southwestern Burgers is as easy as 1,2,3:

  1. Preheat grill. Combine beef, jalapeno, salt, and hot sauce. Once mixed, form four patties and place on grill. Cook to your desired temperature (Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Well-Done), flipping only once to maintain the richest and healthiest flavor.
  2. While burgers are grilling, preheat a saucepan on medium and coat the pan with cooking spray. Once prepped, add onions and black pepper. Cook the onions until they begin to brown, and then add some your favorite barbecue sauce in with the onions. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the burger patties are ready.
  3. Split the hamburger rolls and arrange them on a plate. Once the burger patties are done, place a beef patty on the bottom of each bun. Top the patty with your barbecue/onion mix then add a cup of coleslaw. Finish up by placing the top bun on each burger and enjoy your fresh, homemade Grilled Southwestern Burger with Onions.

Bon-a-petite!

— Doctor For Life

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