Our world is full of unhealthy drinks, snacks, and fast food. As a culinary student in Southern California, I learned some tricks to turn unhealthy favorites into yummy and healthy alternatives. While there is a misconception that everything healthy is vegetarian, it isn’t true. Even vegetarian diets can have harmful components. I will share some of my secrets even your kids will love!
Rice is a big staple in a lot of different cultures’ diets, but when trying to cut down on carbs and calories there is a healthy alternative. This little secret will get even your kids to eat their vegetables without even knowing it. Use cauliflower rice to replace the rice. Cauliflower rice has a similar texture to rice and even looks like it. No one will know the difference. In my household, rice and beans are something we eat quite often for lunch. I switched to cauliflower rice, and my kids didn’t even notice. Try out this recipe next time you have left over chicken.
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl using Cauliflower Rice
- Chicken breast (2 cups shredded)
- Spinach (4 cups)
- Sugar snap peas (1 cup)
- Orange bell pepper (you can use red or yellow bell pepper)
- Yellow and red cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
- Teriyaki sauce
- EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- Cauliflower rice (2 cups)
Take your bell pepper, thinly slice it and set aside until ready to sauté. Cut all your tomatoes in halves or quarters depending on your preference. Once everything is chopped, lightly drizzle the EVOO into a pan on a medium high heat. Add all the vegetables and the pre-shredded chicken into the pan to sauté. Once all the contents are nice and hot, add about 6 table spoons of teriyaki sauce.
While sautéing your chicken and vegetables, start heating the cauliflower rice in a separate pan.
Tip: You should always keep a food thermometer in the kitchen. A safe temperature for food to be served is between 145-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once it is all at a safe food temperature, place cauliflower rice in a bowl and top with your teriyaki chicken and vegetable mixture. It is now ready to eat.
There are many different recipes with cauliflower rice. And talk about a cut in the calories! Cauliflower rice has only 25 calories per cup versus 199 calories per cup of white rice or 216 calories per cup of brown rice.
Say No to Sodas
While sodas have a huge market for drinks, they are extremely unhealthy and full of calories. There are 138 calories per can of Coca Cola, one of the leading brands of soft drinks. You don’t have to cut carbonated drinks out of your diet but try switching from sodas to flavored carbonated water which has zero calories. If you have kids that don’t like to drink water, this is a great trick because it has all the ‘fizzle’ kids love but none of the calories and harmful ingredients sodas have.
Carbonated water also satisfies thirst while soda makes you thirstier. Carbonated waters will you give the sugar crash that you get from sodas. In my opinion, there are also more flavors of carbonated water to choose from, as compared to sodas.
Healthy Tips and Tricks
Here are some healthy tips and tricks to keep a healthy diet and lifestyle:
- To follow healthy eating eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with small snacks in between meals. Instead of reaching for a candy bar or cookies as a snack try having fresh fruit or nuts. Even a small portion of yoghurt and granola would be a great healthy snack.
- Fish holds a significant bit of Omega 3’s (ALA, EPA and DHA). EPA and DHA can help with stiffness in joints. DHA is essential for neurological and visual development in infants. After much research cultures with diets that contain higher levels of Omega 3’s have a decreased rate of depression and bipolar disorders. It doesn’t hurt to increase your intake of fish.
- Your brain can sometimes trick you to think you are hungry when you are indeed thirsty, and vice versa. Try drinking water when you start getting hungry between snacks and meals. But at the same time, you don’t want to drink way too much water. Try to drink in moderation. Eating in moderation is also a good thing to practice.
- Always try to make time for breakfast! Breakfast is the meal that is the most important. It gives you that energy boost to get your day going right. You will notice your ability to focus better as well as an increase in your metabolism. Remember that eating in moderations is important! Eating breakfast in the morning will cause a chain reaction to not overeat during later meals and snacks.
While the list of healthy tips and tricks can go on and on, you don’t have to get overwhelmed. You have to find what best fits you and your family. Staying healthy can be easy if you put your mind to it and be creative. Positive thinking will also promote a healthier lifestyle. It is up to you to get out and exercise, eat healthily and live healthily.
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