Archives for posts with tag: apple

low_carb_comic1-300x215Since the beginning of January I have heard many people talking about how they are trying to eat better and are on a specific diet or cleanse. If weight loss is your goal, dieting (severely restricting calories) may not be the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, they do work–in the short term. However, statistics show that 97% of people who lose weight on a restrictive diet regain the weight they have lost (and sometimes even more) within three years.

In addition, weight loss without exercise can cause one to lose lean tissue (muscle).  When the weight is gained back, it is gained back as fat. The result is a change is body composition leaning towards a higher percentage of body fat.

So what is the best way to lose weight permanently? The answer is simple– to make permanent lifestyle changes. These changes include making exercise and physical activity a regular part of your routine and making smarter choices with the food that you eat.

Here are 5 ways to get started on your journey to health:

1. Get moving

If you are new to exercise, start slowly. A great way to start exercising is by walking. Set some time aside in your day to go for a walk, or find some time to incorporate more walking into your day. For example, if you drive to work, park about a 10 minute walk away. The 10 minute walk to work and the 10 minute walk back to your car five days per week adds up to 100 extra minutes of exercise per week.

2. Eat whole grains

Whole grains are much more nutritious than refined grains. In addition, because they are higher in fiber they help you to feel more full, which means that you will eat less. Start by trying out whole or sprouted grain breads, replacing white rice with brown rice, or trying out a new grain such as quinoa, whole wheat couscous or barley.

3. Eat protein at breakfast

Your body is better able to make use of protein if it is eaten throughout the day, rather than in large amounts at dinner or lunch. This is especially important for those trying to gain muscle.  Eating protein in the morning also helps you to feel more satisfied, which means you will likely eat less unhealthy snacks later in the day. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, soy, dairy, nuts and legumes.

4. Have an apple a day

Everyone has heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, science shows that there is a lot of truth to that statement. Eating more apples (as well as other fruit and vegetables) can improve cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of disease, including breast cancer.

5. Eat your greens

Dark green vegetables are low in calories and  rich in nutrients. They contain many vitamins including A, C, E and K as well as B vitamins. They are also rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. These are all nutrients that many Canadians do not get enough of.  To further convince you on the importance of eating greens, check out this article.

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beet endive apple saladThis salad makes a refreshing side dish for a summer barbecue. Beets are high in fibre and folate, endives are rich in vitamin A and apples are a source of vitamin C.

Ingredients:

2 medium-sized beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks

1 cup thinly sliced endive

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toss the vegetables together in a medium-sized bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Serves 4.

Nutrition (per serving, or 1/4 of the recipe):

  • Calories: 90
  • Carbs: 14 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 3.7 g
  • Fibre: 3.2 g
  • Folate: 22% DV

Kale saladIf you have never tried raw kale, then here is your chance! I borrowed this recipe from Chef John on foodwishes.com, which might be my new favourite recipe site (check it out; you won’t be disappointed).

Salad ingredients:

1 head green kale, washed and chopped
1 persimmon, sliced
1 apple, sliced thin
2 seedless oranges, cut into segments (aka supremes)
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Dressing ingredients:

1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp orange juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the kale, fruit and almonds in a large bowl. Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar, or whisk together in a small bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing. Serves 4.

Nutrition (per serving or 1/4 of the recipe):

  • Calories: 234
  • Carbs: 25 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Fibre: 5 g
  • Vitamin C: 250% DV
  • Iron: 14% DV
  • Calcium: 17% DV
  • Vitamin A: 86% DV

This recipe uses two of the main fall harvests available at your local farmer’s market. Squash is rich in vitamin A and apples add a pleasant sweet flavour to this blended soup.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive or canola oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 6 cups)

2 apples, cored and chopped (pears work nicely here as well)

6 cups vegetable stock (or enough to cover the vegetables)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft (about 3 minutes) add the carrots and squash and cook until the vegetables start to brown. Add the vegetable stock and apples. Simmer on low heat until the squash and carrots are soft (about 30 minutes). Add salt and pepper. Purée in a food processor or with a hand blender. With a hand blender, you can purée while it is still hot. In a blender or food processor, wait until the soup has cooled slightly, blend, then reheat to serve. Makes about 12 cups (3 litres).

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving, or 1/12 of the recipe):

  • Calories: 123
  • Carbs: 19 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Fibre: 3 g
  • Vitamin A: 58% DV
  • Folate: 7% DV