29 June 2018

Is it Too Late For a Summer Garden?

Summer is here and with it comes summer gardens. These summer gardens are not only a delight for the eye, but for the body too. Now is the time to put on the finishing touches. If you did not put out seeds then plants are still a viable option. There are many great plants available. Greenhouses and nurseries offer a wide variety.  

Even if you are a little late in the planting season you still have plenty of time for reaping. The later planting only means more watering for some plants and finding a shade for others. Consider what you are planting then go ahead and take a step out.
Herbs do well in well drained soil and lots of sunlight. Herbs include thyme, basil, oregano, tarragon, and mint. These will thrive well in small areas or containers and make a great addition to your recipes.

Tomatoes are available for just about every climate. Most tomatoes thrive in mild temperatures, but need lots of direct sunlight. Some tomatoes are more heat and drought resistant. Know your climate and plant accordingly.
There are so many peppers it would take pages just to name them. Peppers are also available in plants. I have found peppers are about the easiest plant to grow. They do well in direct sunlight and can withstand the afternoon sun. However, for me, the best produce is during the fall. Don't get me wrong, peppers produce all summer, but when fall comes. . .WOW can they put out!
Cucumbers are also a great garden plant. There are so many things to do with these delights. Eating them raw is just one option. If you are into canning they make great pickles. These can be canned without a lot of trouble. 

Peas and green beans come up from seed rather quickly and put on fruit almost as fast. If you have never tried fresh peas or green beans you have missed out. These little wonders can provide the body with much needed nutrition such as vitamin A and calcium. Fresh peas can provide one of the best colon cleanses available. For this reason eat fresh peas and beans with care. You may enjoy the moment, but despise the after effect.
If you live in a cooler region, you can plant lettuce. It is a cool weather plant and fresh lettuce is a real treat. If you have a green house with a shade, or an area with lots of shade you can still get by with planting lettuce even in the summer time. 

One of my favorite vegetables is okra. This plant tolerates heat well and is usually planted in May and ready to harvest around July. Okra provides many great vitamins, minerals, and is a source of protein and fiber as well. Okra is one that needs to be planted from seed. It does not transplant well. 

There are so many plants available for a great garden. Some I didn't mention include: squash, melons, and eggplant. Enjoy your summer and add some freshness to it with a great garden. It not only provides a great meal, but also a great work out!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

28 June 2018

10 Summer Health Tips - A Natural Way To Better Living

On a budget? Need some great summer health tips that are free, simple and easy for you and your whole family!? Health is important and shouldn't cost a lot. Everyone should have the opportunity to eat well, take care of their body inside and out. 

Some great tips on health are things you can do at home everyday and sharing them with your family. Without spending hundreds or thousands on skin care, foods, health clubs and such here are 10 Summer time Health Tips for you to enjoy:
1. Sensible Diet - A sensible diet is the first tip for a healthy you year around. Not just summertime, but through out the holidays as well. A healthy diet consists of high fiber, low fats and a suitable amount of fruits and vegetables. Besides knowing how, when and what to eat, it is just as important to know your proportions for each individual. Keep your calories in a normal range and cut out foods that are "dead" - no nutritional value. Those Doritos will just have to wait! Remember everything in moderation not over indulgence.

2. Eat different foods everyday - Switch it up so that you keep it interesting and don't be afraid to try new things. According to the Ayurveda, the old Indian science of healing, the rotation of its nutritional habits not only fortifies the immunological system, but can also can protect you from the majority of the diseases. Wheat grass for example, not the first thing you may think of in the morning, however, wheat grass set your body into an alkaline state which makes disease and disorders struggle to survive. Shake it up and try new things in your diet that you might otherwise think to try. You might just find a new fav!
3. Don't Skip Breakfast! Skipping breakfast not only sets your body up for struggle from the start of the day, but a fresh energy source allows you to start out on the right foot. Balancing blood sugar levels, cleansing your body from toxins that might have built up overnight, and eating in regular intervals will allow you to balance weight better. Cereals, oatmeal, fruits and water with lemon are great starts to anyone's day.

4. Water- 8 glasses a day! We have all heard it a million times, and it still rings true. Drink your water! The water not only cleanses your body of toxins, but it also nourishes your internal organs and helps them to function better. Your whole body benefits from water and really needs it to survive. So stop being lethargic and dehydrated.
5. Exercise regularly - Walking, running, yoga, stretching, weights, anything you can think of to get your body moving. Doing physical activity not only helps your circulation, reduces bad fats and keeps your body detoxed, it also helps with anti aging and healthy skin. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride you bike or walk instead of drive. Any activity you can do to increase your blood flow, you are helping your self to become healthier.

6. Do not smoke - You know it. Smoking causes cancer and it quite unhealthy. So... find a way to stop, talk to your Dr and get healthy!
7. Reduce your Stress - Reducing your stress level will help you to live longer and help you to be healthier in lots of ways. Stress causes disorders, disease and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Find ways in each day to eliminate stress. Read, sit quietly, breathe, workout, anything that will help you decrease tension.
8. Healthy Teeth - keeping your teeth healthy and free of infection and disease will help your body to stay healthy also. Infections eat the bodies immune system and cause illness. Keeping your teeth healthy by brushing and flossing everyday will eliminate infections and inflammation. Stores always carry dental supplies so there is a low cost dental resource for you.

9. Get your sleep - Your body and mind need sleep. Resting your body allows your tissues and organs to replenish themselves. Drink lots of water and taking vitamins will help too. Resting in a comfortable bed that suits your body will help you get a more restful sleep. Use relaxing techniques to help yourself fall asleep peacefully.
10. Brain Health - Take your omegas. This tip should really be number one, it is so important to your health. Most people do not get enough fatty oils in their diet to help with brain health. The oils not only help your focus and brain connections, your hair, skin and nails will show major signs of health also. Keep your brain fed with good nutrition too. The foods we eat are not usually filled with all the nutrients we need on a daily basis. Also, our bodies do not naturally supply itself with omegas.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

6 Power Foods To Put Your Summer Energy On High

Are you more active in the summer? Do you need a boost of energy to get you through the day? I've got just the menu additions you need. The summer superfoods below are so easy to use that once you've tried them, you just might want to keep them on your grocery list all year long. Many are probably new to you, but you shouldn't have trouble finding them in your local health food store or online. Print out my handy list as a guide, and you're good to go - fast and strong, all summer long.

1) Whole Raw Organic Chia Seeds
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Remember Chia Pets? I promise you'll be more impressed and fascinated with this little seed as a food than the kitschy knickknack you saw on TV. The chia seed has long been known as a powerful dietary supplement. Even the ancient Aztecs recognized its ability to lend strength when eaten. 

These raw organic seeds are an excellent source of valuable omega fatty acids as well as an easily digestible form of protein, minerals, calcium, and fiber. And they have a lovely, pleasant texture. I add chia seeds to smoothies, salads, and stir fries for a little crunch.
2) Flax Cereals
OK, maybe cereals aren't always the best choice for breakfast, but sometimes that crunch (and let's not forget quick convenience during the weekday morning rush) is tempting. Cereals made primarily of flaxseed are a perfect compromise. Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

At least two brands offer protein-rich, no-sugar options that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and lots of fiber. These choices are natural, tasty, and--did I mention this?--super crunchy.
3) Maca Powder
Maca root has been used for thousands of years for its nutrients and healing. Now studies are confirming its positive effect on the endocrine system to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. 
Photo: Andeannatural.com

This nutrient-dense whole food packed with vitamins, essential minerals, and fatty and amino acids is easy to add to smoothies, shakes, tea, granola, cereal, and yogurt.
4) Organic Coconut Milk
We've long known about the benefits of coconut water and oil. I use coconut milk in my cooking now for a delicious, healthy fat addition with that fabulous creamy, coconut taste without sugar.

5) Nutritional Yeast
What tastes cheesy when sprinkled on popcorn and salads, has the B vitamins essential for vegetarians, and offers protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, lots of fiber, and minerals? Nutritional yeast, of course! 
Photo: Thegreencreator.com

There are many kinds of yeast, and some we avoid because it causes infections and discomfort. Nutritional yeast is quite the opposite: It's a natural supplement valued for its powerful punch.
6) Shelled Hempseed
Packed with protein, omegas, iron, zinc, and magnesium, shelled hempseed is also delicious. It imparts a flavor similar to pine nuts. Opt for a ground form of hempseed for a quick, tasty, and healthful addition to smoothies, cereal, soups, salads, and veggies.
Photo: Draxe.com

It's important to make wise choices among entrees, but simply adding ingredients like these can take your healthful meal from satisfactory to mouth-watering--and give your engine a high octane boost as well. Pick out a few and give them a try this week. You won't be disappointed!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

27 June 2018

How To Look And Feel Fabulous In Hot Summer Weather

Summer is a good time to reduce high-calorie and high fat meals. It can help us to lose some weight, detox and relax to look and feel better.
Hot weather increases sweating and reduces urination which might lead to water retention, and sometimes to a puffy face or heavy legs. Try to eat more cherries right now, while they are in season. Only remember that cherries are from the Dirty Dozen List, so it is better (healthier) to buy them organic.

All fruits (apples, berries, pears, apricots plums, melons, grapes, peaches, mangos, papaya as well as all citrus fruits are also cooling and laxative which can help our cleansing/natural detox process.
We also should try to eat more refreshing and cooling salads with slightly bitter-tasting, cleansing greens, such as dandelion greens, watercress and endive. All leafy vegetables have a cooling effect on the body.
If you are on a weight-loss program, you should add more minerals to your diet with asparagus and okra (okra might also help if you have joint and swelling pain). As for me, I also eat a lot of cabbage - I love it more than broccoli. All vegetables from cabbage family increase alkalinity and reduce acid condition such as bad breath, excess hunger and even anger.

If you live in a climate with high humidity, try to eat more watermelons - they can make a delicious breakfast or snack. Sometimes I have water melon detox day and eat only water melons and rye bread all day long like my grandmother liked to do. It is a good detox remedy for our kidneys, full of licopen to prevent heart disease, and like bananas rich in potassium, which might help reduce blemishes, dark circles around the eyes and fatigue.

In summer we can eat more local fruits and vegetables, so don't forget to incorporate a lot of cooling vegetables, such as potato, tomato, summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, celery, mushrooms, bean sprouts, artichoke, bell peppers, asparagus, sweet potatoes, beets root and yam into your diet. You can cook them, eat them raw or make delicious juices. Humid weather demands additional cleansing, so enjoy your fruits and vegetables-natural detox- all day long. And speaking about cleansing/detox, a dash of lemon will be a great addition to any salad or drink.

We are supposed to eat more cooling foods that are easily digested in summer, so mung beans, barley, rice, couscous, as well as sea vegetables can be added to salads if you want to avoid hot dishes.
Sea food will be better choice over poultry or meat - it has cooling effect and is easier to digest.
If we drink more water and juices and eat more cooling vegetables and fruits, we will feel better, get slimmer and look fabulous.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

26 June 2018

Drink Water To Keep Your Body Working Properly

Water flows through every cell in our bodies, supporting blood flow, toxin removal and production and transmission of important enzymes and hormones. If your body has too little water, these essential functions will be compromised and that can lead to serious chronic health conditions. Drinking good, clean pure water helps our bodies to perform at optimal levels and it sustains our health.

Luckily, we receive a couple of early signals if the water levels in our bodies are too low. The first is thirst. The second is the color of our urine. If you ignore the thirst signal, you may already be slightly dehydrated, so if you then notice that your urine is a dark yellow color you can be sure that you are dehydrated and must drink water soon. If you continue to ignore these simple signals, then the next batch of signals you receive will seem a little more severe, including fatigue, moodiness, hunger, aches and pains, and dry skin.
If you fail to recognize any of those symptoms by not bringing water to the rescue, then unfortunately the next batch of signals you may get are likely to be the result of damage caused by the breakdown of essential bodily functions. Symptoms of chronic dehydration include heartburn, constipation, anxiety, urinary tract infections, premature aging and high cholesterol.

Simply drinking water regularly throughout the day keeps all the essential functions working. You can avoid many ailments that may be treated with harsh pharmaceuticals that often produce their own list of undesired side effects. During warm summer months or periods of exercise, increase your consumption of water as your body eliminates a lot more water through perspiration to keep you cool - another benefit of staying hydrated.
Your blood is about ninety-two percent water. Maintaining the water levels in your blood supports efficient blood flow to organs and helps to prevent high blood pressure. This is also critical during times of sleep and times of stress when the body produces hormones to help keep the body strong and balanced. A well-hydrated body also regulates histamine production, which controls our immune system's response to allergies and other elements. Over-production of histamines can create the symptoms of allergies such as stuffy nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.

Your body needs water to flush itself of toxins. Two systems are responsible for eliminating most of the toxins from your body. The first is your skin. If you are dehydrated, your skin holds toxins that would otherwise we eliminated and you may develop skin irritations. The second is your digestive system. Water helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, which allows toxins and pathogenic microbes to be eliminated naturally. Constipation may contribute to other digestive disorders including bladder infections, ulcers, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
Sometimes we misinterpret the thirsty signal and assume we are hungry instead, even though we may have consumed a meal just a short while ago. In a dehydrated state, your cells cry out for sustenance and your brain signals you to get more food. Keeping yourself hydrated will keep the cells well supplied with water and you can avoid inadvertently adding on extra pounds.

Drinks that are high in caffeine such as coffee and soda are not good choices for hydrating your body. They are natural diuretics, which serve to accelerate the dehydration process. Drinks high in sugar, such as soda, juice drinks and the new flavored water products, provide too much sugar to your system, which only creates other health and weight-gain issues. Drink plain, pure water often and throughout the day. Start the day with warm water and add a little juice squeezed from a lemon. Pay attention to the early signals, like thirst or hunger, when you should not be, and drink some water immediately to stay hydrated and keep your body performing at its best.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

25 June 2018

Stay Cool And Hydrated With These Fun Watermelon Recipes

Hydration is always important for our bodies but it's especially important when the weather gets hot. We also might be sweating more than normal so we are losing fluids that need to be replenished. Naturally, we need a way to cool down and hydrate the body. I always recommend drinking fresh, natural spring water or at least water that has been re-mineralized. 

Drink approximately half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water per day. Keep a water bottle near by so you are always reminded to have a sip! Now, I know not everyone is a fan of plain water so there's nothing wrong with infusing water naturally with some fruit slices, cucumber slices, or mint leaves. Since watermelon is popular in the summer time and tastes oh so delicious I have two fun recipes for you to enjoy.
First, let's discover a few benefits of watermelon:
1. Naturally hydrating
2. High in lycopene
3. Contains beneficial amino acids
4. Anti-inflammatory properties
5. Packed with antioxidants
Recipe 1
Watermelon Slushie - makes 1 serving (vegan)
3 cups seedless watermelon, chopped
1 cup ice
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 lime
Photo: Ungoofaaru.com

1. Place all ingredients except the lime into a high-speed blender.
2. Chop the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the blender. Discard the flesh and skin of the lime.
3. Blend the ingredients together until combined. If you let the drink sit it will separate a bit so just stir it as needed.
Recipe 2
Watermelon Pizza or Salad - makes 1-2 servings
5-6 watermelon slices (keep rind on for pizza, it's easier to hold this way)
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
2-3 fresh mint leaves
Photo: Recipesfoodandcooking.com
Directions For Pizza: 
1. Place all of the watermelon slices on a flat surface.
2. Sprinkle on each ingredient evenly between all slices. Eat like you would a pizza slice!
Directions For Salad:
1. Take the slices and chop them into chunks. Discard the rind.
2. Place the chunks into 1 or 2 bowls and sprinkle on the remaining ingredients.
3. Stir gently to combine and enjoy!
Those are some simple and fun recipes to try this summer. You can certainly always just eat the slices as is or chop the watermelon into chunks, but if you want something different and creative, it never hurts to experiment. You will be staying cool and hydrated and it will taste delicious!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

21 June 2018

Healthy Eating - Snacks For The Whole Family

Anytime you change the way you eat it will take some encouragement and some preparation but you will find success by having a partner to got through the process with you. When you involve your entire household in the new healthy eating plan you are twice as likely to stick with it and have great progress. For healthy eating snacks for the whole family you can all enjoy the new diet and be getting healthier by the day together.

Snacks that the whole family will enjoy could be in many variations. You must think creatively and plan to prepare snacks for the entire day and not just limit them to one portion of the day or for one special event. 
Create fun snacks that are easy for little ones to eat such as finger snacks like vegetables cut up like celery or carrots with a fun dipping sauce for the kids to enjoy. The whole family will enjoy apples cut up with all natural, organic peanut butter to dip the slices into. 

Baked potatoes are also good snacks that you can slice up and place cheese on top of that is low fat or non fat cheese and even vegetables on top as well. 
Organic yogurts are always nutritious and kids and adults alike enjoy eating them when they are combined with chopped up fruits inside. This creates a healthy snack that is tasty and it fills you up for quite some time.

Soups that are made fresh at home are also enjoyed throughout the winter or just on a rainy day when the kids may really be seeking an activity to engage in such as helping create the soups. 
Just about every child enjoys Popsicles, and they should not be left out of the healthy snack plan for the entire family. You can create your own fruit pops in the freezer with a few Popsicle sticks and blending up your family's favorite fruits. You simply pour the mixture into the freezing trays and allow them to mold and in a few hours you have created an all natural healthy snack for everyone to enjoy on a hot summer day. 

Get your family involved in deciding which snacks they may be willing to try and with all of the input you can receive from everyone you can create a fun family menu for the entire week together! Allow the kids to help with creating all the snacks they would like to take with them for school lunches and for any sporting events and practices as well.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

The Do's And Don'ts Of Beach Body Weight Loss

Those living in the Northeast are all letting out a sigh of relief that winter is finally coming to an end. Yet the change of seasons is bittersweet for many people as a whole new stressor now enters their lives: the dreaded bikini season. You may have enjoyed spending the winter cozying up with your oversized sweaters and comfort foods, but it is now time to shed the winter weight and go into the summer feeling healthy and strong.

Putting on a little bit of "hibernation weight" is a normal adaptation to the cold weather and there is nothing wrong with wanting to get your "beach body" back just in time for the warm summer months. No matter what time of year you are trying to lose weight, it is important to know what to do and what not to do so that you can create healthy and permanent weight loss.
If you identify yourself as a chronic dieter, the first and most important step to weight loss is having a healthy mindset and relationship with food. So following the "do's and don'ts" that follow might not necessarily be for you. As long as you have a "non-dieter's" mindset, it is now time for a spring cleaning, not only of your closets but of your kitchen pantries!

Eat Breakfast: If you think that skipping breakfast will yield weight loss because you are decreasing your caloric intake for the day, think again. Getting in the habit of eating a morning meal is one of the best practices for weight loss and your overall health. Eating breakfast is attributed to reduced hunger pangs at lunch time (thus making it easier to avoid overeating), healthier food choices at each succeeding meal and increased energy. In hopes to shed weight, a lot of people turn towards fruit and vegetable juices to supplement a morning meal, but all this will do is spike your blood sugar and cause you to be hungry soon thereafter. Rather, focus on incorporating a combination of lean protein, whole grains, fruit and dairy into your morning meal to replenish your glycogen stores and get your metabolism going first thing in the morning.
Balance Every Meal: When people want to lose weight fast (as many people do right before summer begins), the first thing they do is eliminate foods or entire food groups. This belief of eating as little as possible to "get skinny" is only setting yourself up for disappointment. The truth is the best way to lose weight and achieve the summer body you desire is to include every food group and balance each and every meal with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. This way, you will keep your metabolism working hard and fast to keep you on track with your weight loss!

Stay Hydrated: Though water isn't some magical beverage that directly burns fat, staying hydrated by drinking water throughout the day is one of the best ways to get you looking and feeling your best. Many people tend to confuse thirst with hunger, which causes them to eat rather than drink. Go out and buy yourself a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day so that you know you're staying hydrated. Not only does hydration prevent overeating, but it also benefits your complexion, giving your skin a healthy glow throughout the summer months.
Eat as Whole as Possible: When putting together your meals and snacks, a great rule of thumb to always keep in the back of your mind is to fill your plate with as many "whole" foods as possible. So what does this mean? Whole foods are those that have not been or have been minimally processed, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh lean meats, nuts, seeds, legumes, milk and plain yogurt. Eating "as close to the ground" as possible is a great tip to follow to get your body in shape for the summer, which brings to me to my final beach body "do".

Eliminate Processed Foods: Look around the supermarket and grocery stores and you'll find aisles upon aisles of processed foods. These foods are loaded with sugar, fat and sodium and are a major culprit in weight gain. It might seem like a no brainer to avoid eating fast food and caloric meals out at restaurants when trying to shed pounds for the summer, but what you really have to watch out for are those processed foods on the supermarket shelves that are seemingly healthy. What I am referring to are packaged snack foods labeled as "fat free", "100 calorie" snack packs, protein bars that are loaded with impossible to pronounce ingredients, and frozen "diet" meals that are often laden with sodium and processed junk. Rather than eating a protein bar, or eating a lot of "fat free" snacks, revisit beach body "do" numbers 2 and 4 and balance every meal with real, whole foods!

Succumb to Fad Weight Loss Programs: Keep in mind that the months right before summer is the best time for the weight loss industry to suck you into purchasing their programs. Why? Because you want results fast, and they know that there is nothing more convincing than displaying images of fit and toned men and women who used "their" program to be bathing suit ready. There is no doubt that everyone wants to look good on the beach or by the pool, but I can assure you that following a "beach body" diet is not the way you are going to get there. Yes, you may lose the weight fast, but what happens in the middle of July when you've been off that diet for a month? Achieving the body you love to show off during the summer will happen when you begin to making lifestyle changes you can carry with you year round.
Eliminate Foods or Meals: This common mistake is one made by thousands of people trying to lose weight. Restricting your caloric intake by eliminating certain foods or entire meals will only decrease your energy, slow your metabolism and lead to overeating. In the months before summer, really focus on tuning into your biological signals of hunger and satiety. Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you are satisfied. Focus on eating whole, balanced meals but don't forbid yourself from having foods you love in moderation. The more foods you eliminate, the more foods you will over indulge in at a later time, which will prevent you from achieving a summer body you are proud to show off!

Exercise for the Wrong Reasons: When setting your summer body goal, you might envision yourself having a flat belly and toned muscles, all of which require exercise to achieve. Daily physical activity is an essential component of weight loss and building muscle, but exercise is often taken too far, especially if you have set a goal for yourself to look a certain way. Over exercising for the sole purpose of burning calories will cause exercise to be something you don't necessarily want to do every day; it will become a dreaded activity for you. Instead, you want to change your attitude towards exercise to view it as a means to move your body, work up a sweat, and feel exhilarated. Strive for an hour of physical activity 5 days a week, whether at the gym, running outside, swimming, hiking or putting on a workout video in your living room. You want to focus on the feeling exercise gives you, not necessarily the visual effect it is having on your body.
Compare Yourself to Others: Often times, when people have an image in their mind of the summer body they want to achieve, it stems from what other people look like. In the society we live in, it is almost impossible not to compare yourself to others, whether it is the Victoria's Secret model sporting the bikini you just purchased or peers showing off their bodies on social media. But learning to focus on your own progress, being happy in your own skin and comparing yourself to no one but yourself is one of the healthiest, most positive mindsets to have. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who is confident and embraces the body they were born with.

While you may feel that you only have a few short months to shed the winter pounds, don't drastically alter your eating and exercise habits. If you notice that eating is no longer pleasurable and that exercise is taking too much out of you, it is likely that much of what you are doing falls on the "don't" list. Be gentle with yourself and remember that a true beach body is one that is healthy and not achieved through drastic dieting and restriction!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

20 June 2018

14 Tips On How To Turn Your Menu Into A Mediterranean Diet Menu

Rather than searching for Mediterranean diet recipes, you might like to bring your normal menu in line with the Mediterranean diet. Here are fourteen tips on how to do so.

Tips for Main Meals:
1. When cooking with oil, always use olive oil - Store it in an oil sprayer to help control how much you use. TIP: light and extra light olive oil are NOT lower in calories. The term 'light' is only used to describe olive oil blends.

2. Steam your vegetables and have roast vegetables occasionally too - Spray roasting tin with olive oil and place cherry tomatoes, red onion, chopped zuccini (courgette), chopped eggplant (aubergine), peppers and red onions in. Spray vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with basil (either chopped fresh or dried) and black pepper and roast in a hot oven until cooked. Serve with crusty wholegrain bread or pasta.

3. Have ONE glass of red wine with dinner. Be careful though, wine is VERY high in calories. If you don't drink alcohol then select a de-alcoholized version from the grocery store.

4. Choose wholegrain pasta and brown rice rather than white rice and pasta made with white flour - and don't add salt to the cooking.

5. Make your own pasta sauces rather than using store bought ones. Lightly fry one chopped red onion and two cloves of crushed garlic in a little olive oil. When lightly brown, add chopped tomatoes, one tablespoon tomato puree, fresh basil and black pepper. Simmer until tomatoes have softened into a sauce, then serve with wholegrain pasta.

6. Start each meal with salad - One of the most important aspects of the Mediterranean diet is the amount of raw food eaten. Raw foods contain the highest nutrient levels. Cooking foods actually kills nutrients. Be adventurous with salads, add peppers, red onions, grated carrot, celery, rocket, fresh herbs, a little avocado, and baby spinach. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar to control calories.

7. Instead of buttering your bread mix a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar to use as a dip. You can even marinate the oil by placing it in a bottle with sprigs of rosemary, coriander or basil, small chillies and garlic cloves etc. Cap the bottle and store for a few months. The resulting oil will be infused with the flavors.

8. Add less meat in recipes like stew, soup and casseroles and add beans and extra vegetables to compensate. This will not only make the recipe more healthy, it will also save money.

9. Eat oily fish at least once per week - Fresh is better than canned. Excellent oily fish options include salmon, tuna, sardine, herring, trout, prawn/shrimp etc.

10. Stop using salt as a flavoring! The Mediterranean diet includes little sodium. flavor foods with garlic, fresh herbs, red wine and black pepper. When using salt, always use sea salt rather than table salt. Sea salt contains many trace elements that the body needs that table salt lacks.
Tips for Snacks:
1. Swap biscuits, cakes and crisps for fresh fruit or a handful of raw, unsalted nuts or seeds as a snack.
2. For a delicious snack serve raw vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli etc) with homemade tzatziki - Mix low-fat Greek yogurt with crushed garlic, lemon juice, grated cucumber and black pepper to taste.

Tips for Dessert:
1. Commit yourself to eating five serves of fruit and vegetables per day
2. Try fresh fruit salad with low-fat natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey for breakfast or desert.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Switching To Plant-Based Eating Is Not As Hard As You Think

A healthy plant-based diet is not really all that different from a healthy omnivorous diet. If you are thinking about transitioning to a pl...