Category Archives: Diet/Exercise

Here you can find diet and exercise tips to help you live a healthier and fit lifestyle!

Spinach for a Saturday by Bri Alexander

Hello ladies and gentleman! Are we enjoying the fruitful possibilities of summer?! I know I took a brief hiatus from writing, but I had an exam to prepare for and well- I am back in action now and happy to introduce you all to more ideas and recipes! Now, I know we are all still summering-ing (I totally made that up), but today I would like to share with you all some recipes on brain foods and how to assure yourself maximum energy for, say, an exam! Let’s take a look into the night before and the big day, shall we?
The Night Before: Baked Salmon and Spinach with Brown Rice

Ingredients: * makes 1 serving 

Salmon​​​​ Spinach​​​​​ Rice

  • 1 cut, clean piece of salmon​​1 handful fresh spinach leaves ½ cup of brown rice
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil​​¼ cup of vegetable oil​​ 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp parsley​​​​1 tsp garlic​​​​ ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp garlic​​​​¼ cup of water​​​ ½ tsp pepper 
  • ½ tsp salt​​​​½ tsp salt 1 chicken bouillon
  • ½ tsp pepper​​​​½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ diced onions

For the salmon: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, place your salmon, (should be thawed). Drizzle the vegetable oil over it and next add the spices and diced onions. Toss lightly with hand, making sure each side of the fish is seasoned. Next, take a small baking pan (adding cooking spray is optional) and place the seasoned fish and contents in. Bake for about 20 minutes, making sure to flip fish after 10-12 minutes until golden.

Why salmon: Salmon, like many other fish, is a great brain food because it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These belong to a special group of amino acids that are essential for our bodies especially because we cannot produce them on our own. These oils have been shown to improve brain function and plasticity as well as heart health.

For the spinach: Turn on a frying pan to medium heat and add vegetable oil. Let warm and add fresh, cleaned spinach to pan along with spices. Sautee, making sure that there is no burning. After about 5-7 minutes, reduce heat and add water to soften spinach and balance flavors.

Why spinach: Besides the fact that spinach is a vegetable, it is also a source of antioxidants which serve to preserve brain cells and improve memory.

For the rice: Boil 1 cup of water in a pot, add parsley to boiling water and bouillon cube. Add rice once water boils and then reduce to medium heat and place lid over pot. After 10-12 minutes, season rice with salt and pepper.

Why brown rice: Brown rice, like several other whole grains/wheats, is an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates. Carbs are essential because they metabolize into glucose that is used to fuel our bodies later.

The day of: Toasted whole grain bagel (peanut butter is a nice add) or muffin, dried fruit trail mix and scrambled eggs. *Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

On the day of we want a source of grains, glucose and protein, all of which can be achieved here with these simple makings. Now, I know on test day we’re filled with anxiety and can barely figure out how to get the stove on, let alone make a big meal. But that’s okay, we don’t need these heavy things on test day. It’s best to keep it light and simple.

The toasted bagel is an excellent source of carbs and protein (if you add the peanut butter), the scrambled eggs also provide protein and the dried fruit trail mix contains nuts and fruit which supply both glucose and protein.

If you avid readers are eager to find out more about brain foods, visit these websites:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/healthy-foods-eat-brain-power?page=2

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/6_reasons_you_should_be_eating_carbs

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

Stay tuned because next I’ll be coming at ya with quick and easy meals for college students!

Stir-Fry Saturdays: Broccoli Stir-Fry by Bri Alexander

Hey Gals and Guys! Ever think about changing up the way you eat? How about an all-pescatarian diet? In addition to the eggplant recipe, I would also like to share another favorite of mine that is a perfect thing to try if you’re like me and want to try a pescatarian diet. What’s your favorite vegetable? Let’s start there! For me, that’s broccoli. Today, I am going to share with you all another personal favorite of mine: stir-fry broccoli! And don’t forget to send me some of your favorite vegetables or recipes to share!

 Today’s recipe: Broccoli stir-fry

Prep time: 30 minutes

 Ingredients:

• One head of fresh broccoli, chopped

• 1 cup of diced green peppers

• ½ a chopped onion

• ½ cup of chopped mushrooms

• ½ cup of chopped tomatoes

• Curry Powder (to taste)

• Garlic Pepper (to taste)

• Accent (to taste)

• Soy sauce (1/2 cup)

• 1 egg (optional)

Prep

• First, place your chopped broccoli in a pot of boiling water to soften it for about 10 minutes (you can add a little salt if you like for flavor)

• While that is boiling, heat a lightly oiled pan and fry the chopped vegetables until browned

• Next, fry the egg in with the vegetables in the same pan

• Then, place the softened broccoli into the pan with the sizzling vegetables and egg and cook for about 10 minutes until lightly browned, constantly turning the food

• Season the frying vegetables and lower heat, add a splash of water to prevent burning

• While on low, add in soy sauce, cook for an additional 2 minutes, cool and serve.

 So why is broccoli so great? I am a true lover of broccoli and the first thing I say to people when they ask why it is my favorite food is that it in addition to its taste and versatility- this superfood is great against fighting cancer! Broccoli constantly ranks on the world’s healthiest foods!

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Has phytonutrients that help in detox
  • Aids in digestion
  • Great source of vitamin K

  

For more, check out these links:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/the-10-healthiest-foods-on-the-planet/?page=2 http://www.webmd.com/diet/leafy-greens-rated

Tasty Thursday’s: Eggplant Parmesan by Bri Alexander 

Hey Guys and Gals! So I think we can all agree that summer time is about having fun with those you love and trying new things! With that being said, I would like to share with you all a personal recipe I made for my family in an effort to make an all vegetarian dinner: Eggplant Parmesan. This is a dish first made by my mother a couple years ago that I tried again with a different twist, adding in lots of vegetables and flavor! So this time on “Time Well Spent” instead of the usual quick-dish, we will explore a thorough dinner that can be shared with friends and family on almost any occasion! 
Today’s dish: Eggplant Parmesan

Prep time: 1 hour

Bake time: 40 minutes

Prep Ingredients

• 1 full onion, chopped

• 1 cup of mushrooms, any kind, chopped

• 2 handfuls of fresh spinach

• 1 tomato, diced

• 2 eggplant

• Vegetable oil (to fry eggplant)

• 3 eggs 

• 3 cups of flour

• Garlic pepper (to taste)

• Accent (to taste)

Bake ingredients 

• 2 blocks of cheese (cheddar)

• 1 bag of shredded Parmesan cheese

• 1 can on tomato paste

• 2 jars of mushroom tomato sauce

• Garlic pepper (to taste)

• Accent (to taste)

• Parsley flakes (to taste) 

Prep

• First, heat a pan of oil on medium heat and while that is heating cut the eggplant in about ½ thick slices. 

• Also, prepare a bowl of flour and beat the 3 eggs in a separate bowl. Next, lightly season the eggplant with the accent and garlic pepper. Be careful not to season too heavy because eggplant absorbs very easily and you don’t want it to get over seasoned. 

• Once the eggplant is seasoned dip it in the egg and then the flour. The flour helps to provide the crust.

• Fry the eggplant for about 1 minute on each side until golden brown.

• When you remove it from the oil, place it on a surface that will allow some of the oil to drain. 

• Once all the eggplant is drained, take all the cut vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and onions) and fry them in a pan with a little oil (2 tablespoons). Once the vegetables are browned, set them aside. 

Bake Prep

• Start by preheating the oven to 350°.

• Layer a couple of slices of eggplant in the bottom on the pan until it is covered. 

• Next, take some of the tomato paste and spread it on top of the eggplant slices; make sure you don’t add too much tomato paste because it has a strong taste.

• Next, take some of the fried vegetables and layer them on top. 

• Then cut the block cheese in small rectangles and layer them on top of the eggplant, tomato paste and vegetables.

• Now sprinkle some of the shredded Parmesan cheese and finish the layer with the mushroom tomato sauce.

• Season this all with the accent and garlic pepper and parsley flakes

• You will do the same thing for each of the next layers until all of the eggplant is used, remembering to add seasoning to each layer.

• Once the pan is layered, bake the dish for 40 minutes and let cool before serving!

So what’s so good about eggplant? 

  • Eggplant is a vegetable that 
  • helps prevent blood clots (because of the vitamin K)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • great source of fiber to help digestion
  • low in calories
  • full of iron and calcium 
  • improves blood calcium
  • helps to control sugar intake in the body 

To learn more, visit: 

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-great-reasons-to-eat- 

   
     

Time Well Spent by Bri Alexander

Hi Guys and Gals! Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives- we forget that we are living, breathing organisms that need special care and attention. Between jobs and exams, families and other commitments—perhaps our health isn’t always our greatest concern. However, our personal health is one the most important sources of our daily energy. We’ve heard the lines, “breakfast is the most important part of the day” and been told to “breathe” when we are stressed and “get a good nights’ sleep to focus”…..but how can we take small steps each day to ensure that we are maximizing our health without feeling that it is burdensome? There are a few small steps we can take each day to take care of ourselves and my goal is to share with you some easy recipes and fitness tips to make that more possible.

Today’s Recipe: Breakfast parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup of Special K honey granola
  • ½ cup of blueberries

Prep time: 10 minutes

Scoop the vanilla yogurt into a cup then top it with the granola and blueberries and you’re set!!

Why this recipe is extra-awesome: The yogurt provides 20% Calcium, 15% of Vitamin ‘A’ and another 15% of Vitamin ‘D’. It is also a nice sweet boost for your sweet tooth! Granola provides 20% fiber and the blueberries are antioxidants that benefit brain health! See- ten minutes worth itJ

Today’s Fitness tip: Nadi Shodhana

It’s the big day. You got up early, you ate a healthy breakfast and still your heart is racing. You are extremely nervous. You know you need to calm down…..but you can’t! Whether it is an exam, a presentation, a job assignment or a driver’s test—stress management is important at all ages because life constantly presents challenges and stressors. Understanding how stress can affect your health and how to take care of it in small steps can be a second now that pays off tremendously later. According to Web MD, there are both positive and negative types of stress that one can experience—the difference is that one can become encouraging and keep you alert to danger while the other is more prolonged and causes constant worrying. Symptoms of chronic stress include: headaches, high blood pressure and even insomnia. So I’ve found a helpful breathing technique from Time Magazine that can be implemented to help you take things step at a time.

 

 

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