The holidays are approaching quickly, and for many people that means your schedule will get even
busier. You’ll have less time to plan and prepare meals and snacks. So you’ll probably rely more on take-out, restaurant and quick convenience meals from the supermarket. You may visit the drive-through and vending machine more frequently. You may skip some meals altogether. It may be harder to find time
to exercise. Then suddenly, it’s the end of the year and you are exhausted and a few pounds heavier. How can you prevent this?
As your schedule gets busier, you’ll need more energy. And the scenario I described above will
deplete your energy tank. Your body is like a car, and you need a tank full of good fuel to keep your engine running smoothly and your energy level up. Here’s one way to help you get through the holiday season (and the whole year!) with more energy and productivity. As a bonus, it could make you healthier too!
Don’t Skip Meals, Especially Breakfast
The old adage is true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your brain, your energy level and your metabolism. In the morning your fuel tank is low, so you need to refuel with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein and good carbohydrates (like eggs and fresh fruit). This will jump-start your metabolism and give you sustained energy. Beware of caffeine and sweets because those can put you on an energy rollercoaster with dramatic highs and lows. When you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode which dramatically slows your metabolism, makes you store fat, and depletes your energy. To maximize your energy and productivity, eat three balanced meals (lean meat, vegetables, whole grains) daily along with a healthy afternoon snack. Examples of good snacks are a handful of nuts, string cheese, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, or carrots with hummus. Follow this plan every day and you may be surprised at
how great you feel.
The recipe below is a delicious, healthy, fuel-boosting lunch or dinner. You can make it in advance and eat it cold, room temperature, or warm.
Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf
Quinoa is a wonderful grain that is gluten-free and high in protein. It’s a nice alternative to brown rice,
and can be flavored in many ways for a variety of meals. If you’ve never cooked quinoa, it’s important that you rinse it thoroughly several times before cooking to remove the bitter outer coating.
Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained three times
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
½ cup diced onion
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup diced zucchini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh chopped
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add all vegetables and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken to heat through. When quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and add to the sauté pan. Add lemon juice and feta, and top with parsley and basil.
At Homemade Fresh
Chef Service, CHEF means “Cooking Healthy Eating Fresh! “
I help individuals, couples and families eat healthier meals with heat-and-eat convenience. I provide
meal packages, catering for personal and business events, and cooking classes that are educational and fun. All menus are personalized based on each client’s tastes, preferences and dietary requirements using made-from-scratch recipes. Whether you need help this holiday season or all year round, Homemade Fresh is the healthy, convenient, affordable solution! For more information please visit http://www.homemadefresh.net