Find Zen in Your Kitchen: Remake Your Dressings

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During the warmer summer months, salads become a staple for a few reasons. They are cooling, tasty, easy, and readily available. The only problem with salads are the dressings.
Don’t leave yet! If you’re struggling to reach your weight loss goals or simply wanting to be healthier, salad dressings aren’t off the menu.
If you eat out, simply ask for your dressing on the side and try to steer clear of the creamy dressings. Are there any Olive Garden fans out there? Sadly, that salad if the worst thing on the menu, sans the fried foods. The fat and calories are quite high for the nutrition offered. No worries! Simply order a house salad, dressing on the side so you can control the portion. Viola! You can breathe easy.
Now, in your kitchen there are loads of ways to play with your salad. If you’re making it a meal, try adding fish, chicken, beans, or eggs (not all at once please!). Put loads of color in your salad by hitting up the veggie bar or precut veggies at your local grocer. Got a sweet tooth? You can add fruits, both fresh and dried, moderately.
Dressings can be really easy once you learn your base. Pure extra virgin olive oil is a fantastic base for light dressings. Remember light refers to color in olive oil, not calories.
To your oil you can add balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. Fresh herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, basil, oregano dill work wonders in light dressings.
If you like your dressings a bit creamier, try low fat Greek yogurt. This lends a creaminess without the saturated fats, plus you get a little extra protein. My new favorite dressing is a low fat, low calorie, high nutrient Honey Lemon Ginger Dressing. It’s so easy, anybody an whip it together.

Take fresh ginger (about a thumb length)
Peel and run through food processor to grate.
In separate bowl add:
1 tablespoon low fat lemon Greek yogurt (I use chobani)
1 tablespoon natural honey
Mix together with ginger, toss with salad

This dressing can be saved in a container in fridge for a week.

One other wonderful salad topper is hummus. Simply take your hummus of choice , toss into sturdy greens like arugula or kale, add lemon juice and a little olive juice (from jarred olives) and mix. Top with a few olives and some colorful peppers for a satisfying and super quick lunch.

Always remember to be flexible in your kitchen. Try different things and learn what works for you. If you come up with a rockin recipe, share it! And always have a healthy day!
Michelle

Fun N Fit FRIDAY!

So, as we move into the weekend, what comes to mind? Is your weekend full of adventure and fun? Or is it the more mundane tasks that await?

If you find yourself in the latter end, no worries! You can take the opportunities given to make sure you get some extra, fun movement into your everyday lifestyle.

  1. Choose to start the day out right! I am well aware that not everybody appreciates the early morning weekend hours like I do :) , but you can choose to get your fit on before breakfast. Check out the fitness page on Hulu.com for FREE workout vids. Most of which are about 10 minutes long. You can pick anything, from Pilates and dance, to kickboxing and weight lifting. It doesn’t have to last an hour to brighten your mood.
  2. Plan your meals/snacks in advance. This time of year a lot of us are headed to the ball park to watch the kids play. Don’t succumb to ball park food! It’s not just the calories, but this type of food is highly processed and the more you ingest throughout your lifetime (how many years have your kids been playing ball?) the slower your metabolism will be.
  3. While at the park, get OFF the bleachers and stop being the bench warmer in life. Yeah, I said it…. You can cheer your little ones even better while standing and moving, keeping your blood flowing, oxygenating your brain for better function, and showing that you really are involved!
  4. I know you need to clean the house (as most of us do!) so split up the chores and make it a game. Got young ones? Make them honorary detectives and send them on a “hunt” for items that need to be put up. Then, end the housecleaning with a walk. If a local ice cream parlor ends up on your walk, well then it was meant to be! :)
  5. Plan a little park time. Take the kids to the park and challenge them to chin ups on the monkey bars. By the way, totally cool if you “let” your kids win! Run around the park with them, or walk through the glorious nature around.
  6. Lounging by the pool? Not if you’re fit! Laying out is detrimental to your skin (SPF ALWAYS!) and your waistline, so get moving. Swimming is good, water volleyball is even better. Challenge others to a game, or see which one of your kids can out do you on laps. Make it fun and make it count!

No matter what the weekend has in store, it’s up to you to become an active participant in your life. So get moving and find the FUN!

Michelle

P.S. I’ll be trying out paintball for the very first time this weekend. I’ll let you how it goes!