Foodalicious Friday

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Recipes

This is how I felt this week...

I officially have my first Fall cold. It’s going around the office, the gym, the church, the schools… I suppose it was inevitable that I’d get it, especially with how much I think and do and how little I sleep during the week. Oops? Yes.

That’s lesson #1 of the day—Sleep. I need to, you need to, we all need to.

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep sounds difficult, and it is if you do a ton, but it’s necessary. When I get colds like I have now, all I think about is, “I eat well, work out, and am pretty happy, so how did I get sick!?” The answer—the missing link—is always lack of sleep. I get only about 5 or so a night, which, for the amount I do, isn’t smart.

How many hours of sleep a night do you get? How many times a year are you sick? You may see a correlation…

Now, on to food. I love Fall because of all of the apples, hot beverage options, soups, and 5Ks. It’s also a time of studying, for me. I find myself reading more about what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, etc.

Like, did you know that eating hot peppers and mustard will raise your metabolism and allow your body to burn more calories? Yup, thank thermogenesis. They stimulate your metabolism, making you feel fuller for longer and helping you burn more calories over the course of the day.

Or, that monounsaturated fat can help you live a long, healthy life with less belly fat? Try these foods: oils (olive, canola, safflower, sesame, soybean, walnut, flaxseed, peanut, sunflower), olives, nuts and seeds, avocados, and dark chocolate. Chocolate, you ask. Why yes! Score.

And, which vitamin to focus on when you…
have a cold—vitamin E
are stressed—vitamin C
want to prevent breast cancer and strengthen your bones—vitamin D
want to protect yourself against heart disease—omega-3 fatty acids
are fatigued—iron and B-complex
feel depressed—omega-3 fatty acids

How about when you’re dying to eat comfort food but terrified you’re going to completely derail your diet… You should try this recipe:
Speedy Ziti With Zesty Chicken
Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole-wheat ziti, or other medium shape, uncooked pasta
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package frozen peas (10 oz.), defrosted and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Preparation
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, warm the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the dijon mustard and flour. Very gradually whisk in the chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil and stir in the lemon juice, peas, and parsley. When pasta is done, drain it well. Toss pasta and cooked chicken with sauce, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutrition Facts Number of Servings: 4 Amount Per Serving Calories: 363 Total Fat: 4.3 g Cholesterol: 50.4 mg Sodium: 570 mg Total Carbohydrate: 49.5 g Protein: 31.2 g

 

Now, get out there and eat some apples, go for a brisk walk with someone you love, and enjoy your weekend 🙂

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