Wednesday, December 07, 2011

EASY MEALS - Guest Post by Carolyn Knight

I received an email from Carolyn Knight who is a Food Writer for the Blog "Blog Conten Guild" to guest post about "Easy Meals". It sounded very interesting, but since I was busy for about a month now....delayed it from posting. I am really apologize to Carolyn, but really appreciate her patience for waiting and sending me reminder mails.
Before I could post her write up...had few questions for her and it was very nice of her to answers all my questions. Thanks Dear! 
The one question I asked, really liked her answer and would like to mention it I thought it's worth reading it.....

My Question: How/why did you think of writing an article/post in my blog?
Carolyn's Answer: I wanted to write on your blog because of the Tip and Tricks section. I feel like people always assume that healthy dishes must be difficult and involved. This is not always true though, and I think it is important that people realize that. I have been interested in having a healthy lifestyle since high school. Having a healthy diet and exercise are extremely important to me, so I love sharing simple tricks with others.

OK, now lets not talk more on it.....instead read her helpful and worth reading post....

The Gourmand and the Dietician: Easy Healthy Meals that Satisfy Everyone

Mind over matter: clean eating is undeniably better for your body, but what about your taste-buds, your heart-felt cravings and the time and effort it takes to practice healthy eating habits?  Easy healthy meals are more feasible than you may think.  Fresh ingredients and minimal process can yield terrific, natural flavors that will far surpass any desire to revert to indulging in fatty foods, which can cause serious complications in the body.  The good news is that eating does not have to be either healthy or tasty; nature has given us plenty of wonderful options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters with its full-flavor bounty!

1. Peaks and Valleys

A big part of the problem when it comes to making bad food choices or succumbing to unhealthy cravings has to do with insulin levels.  Meals that include different dietary categories can help balance those ups and downs, so your brain can let you know when the body is full and it is time to stop eating. 

A pizza dinner, for example, is starch and fat with barely a smidgen of nutritional value if a handful of veggie toppings are scattered over the entire pie.  The notable lack of veggies that provide fiber and nutrients, whole grain, and protein leave the body struggling to derive any usable and helpful sustenance from a meal like this.  Trade in that pizza for a better tasting whole grain pasta dish.  Sauté freshly ground beef, eggplant, mushrooms, and spinach in one pan. Throw together a simple marinara from canned tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, basil, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and ground black pepper in another. Cook whole-wheat pasta and combine the ingredients for a rich, highly nutritious, slow-carb meal that will leave you functionally full for several hours rather than in need of a wheelbarrow to exit the dining room.

2. Too Much of a Good Thing

Portion control is important to practice. That is why more frequent, smaller meals are better for the metabolism and blood sugar than fewer large meals during the day.  Cheating a little bit every once in a while is ok, but you are much less likely to overdo it if you practice good habits on a regular basis.  Try to incorporate a couple of different food groups into 4-6 smaller meals every day, and you will begin to notice that you never feel ‘starving’ again.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a study that revealed slower chewing results in less food intake.  It is a whole lot easier to chew slowly when your blood sugar is not crashing. 

3. Take Matters into Your Own Kitchen

The best way to eat healthy foods that taste great and are stuffed to the brim with nutrition is to get creative and cook in your own kitchen.  Yellow fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene and vitamin C, blue and purple produce is full of zeaxanthin, resveratrol, and fiber.  Trade in lasagna for this tasty recipe for eggplant parmigiana.

If you can chop a vegetable, turn on the stove, and read instructions, there are tons of easy healthy meals out there just waiting for you to give them a chance.  Once you do, you will wonder why you ever ate processed or pre-packaged foods!