Clean Eating

3 Healthy Recipes That Take Only 5 Minutes

You don’t have to spend hours preparing food to make healthy recipes. To prove it, we’ve made this list of five-minute healthy and easy recipes to help you fit nutrition-packed meals into your busy schedule.

5-Minute Breakfast Smoothies

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

The key to how to lose weight fast is finding a balance between protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Finding that balance won’t be a problem with these smoothie recipes. With a Coffee Banana Smoothie, you’ll get your morning coffee fix while powering up with protein-packed Greek yogurt and a banana as a carbohydrate. Or try this Skinny Green Monster Smoothie packed with vitamin-dense spinach and protein-filled peanut butter.

5-Minute Healthy Italian Dressing

Healthy Dressing Recipe

Healthy Dressing Recipe

Reading labels is an important part of eating healthy, but salad dressing labels can be confusing. One dressing will be loaded with fat but low in sugar, while another will be low in sugar but high in sodium. The best way to avoid accidently sidelining your diet by choosing an unhealthy dressing, is to make your own.

Ingredients

  • ½ Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt

Prep

The best part of this dressing is that you don’t even have to mix it in a separate bowl. Just top your salad with all the dressing ingredients and mix.

5-Minute Dessert

Healthy dessert recipe

Healthy dessert recipe

Satisfying your sweet tooth doesn’t have to mean getting off track your healthy diet. With this Five Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, or any of these 14 Guilt Free Mug Cakes, your cravings will be satisfied without the extra side of guilt. You can also try these vegan, gluten free Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies. Although they only require five minutes of prep time, they do need 25 minutes to bake. But if you can spare the time, they are healthy and well worth the wait!

Acorn Squash Recipe

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

By Vanessa Matthews, Guest Blogger

Nothing makes me feel warm and cozy like a good, home-cooked meal. And when I think winter, I think winter squash.  Acorn squash is one of my favorites, because of its sweet, smooth flavor and the versatility of flavors you can pair with it.

It also happens to be one of the most nutrient dense squash varieties, with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. It contains high levels of vitamins C, A, and B6.  In the mineral department, it packs in potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, and calcium.

As a health & wellness advocate, I say if you are going to eat a high-carb meal, make it count. Why waste carbs on empty calories from bread and pasta? The nutrients in acorn squash have the ability to improve vision, boost immune system, reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, strengthen bones, and prevent cancer.

I also have a sweet tooth, so the combination of sweet cinnamon, apples, and cranberries, with turkey and spinach make this recipe like a cross between thanksgiving and grandma’s apple pie. The best part is it’s much lower in calories and empty carbohydrates than both.

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 1 crisp apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spices
  • Poultry seasoning and salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp baking Splenda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut a piece off of the ends of each half so it can sit upright like a bowl.
  3. Place the squash on a baking pan with the center face down, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender.
  4. Mix the cinnamon spices, Splenda and stevia in a bowl. Toss apples in half the mixture.
  5. Heat up a skillet and spray with Pam. Cook apples for about 5 minutes until tender.
  6. Brown turkey in a pan and add your chopped spinach, then cover with a lid.
  7. Once spinach is wilted, add your poultry seasoning, a dash of salt, and any other seasoning you wish. I used a blend called Sunny Paris that includes shallots, chives, green peppercorn, basil and tarragon.
  8. Mix the apples, almonds, and cranberries into the pan.
  9. Place the squash right side up and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon mixture into the open face of the bowl.
  10. Scoop the mixture into each half of the acorn squash, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. To keep in moisture, fill the bottom of the baking dish with some water and cover with foil.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

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Nutritional information (per serving):
Calories: 320
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 40g
Protein: 30g

Flat Belly Foods: The Do’s and Don’ts

You’ve probably heard the saying that “abs are made in the kitchen.” While toned abdominal muscles will take strength training, a flat belly figure comes mostly from what you eat and how your individual metabolism works. We’ve put together some suggestions for what to eat if you want to whittle down your middle.

THE DON’TS

Don’t eat foods that may be causing inflammation and bloating in your body. The most common of these are are processed wheats, fake butters, soy, corn and vegetable oils.

Don’t drink your toxins. Most soft drinks contain high sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, all of which contribute to increased belly fat.

Don’t forget about pesticides. Find fresh produce from a local source, like a farmer’s market, or commit to buying organic.

THE DO’S

Do pay attention to your body’s response to dairy products. Many people aren’t aware of their intolerance for cow’s milk dairy and continue to drink it and eat products created from it daily. Switch to homemade coconut milk for all your milk needs and see a significant decrease in belly fat.

Do hydrate with enough water. Adequate amounts of water are essential for making sure that your body can create its ideal environment for fat burning, especially in your tummy.

Do strengthen your core. The more lean muscle mass that you build in your body, the higher your resting metabolism will be, which equals more calories burned each day. Try out this at-home core strength workout.

Do increase your intake of organic, unrefined coconut oil. It is actually one of the only foods out there that can significantly increase your metabolic rate.

Do find a way to de-stress your life and your body. Whether that’s a yoga class, meditation, or simply learning to say NO to the commitments and people you don’t have the desire to add to your day, increased levels of stress have been shown to be one of the leading causes of belly fat accumulation.

Do ease up on the grains. Although there are many grains that offer good nutritional value, they just may be to blame for your belly fat. Only have 1-2 servings of grains like rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth each day.

Do choose grass-fed meats over grain-fed. Grass fed meats are naturally high in omega-3 fats and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) both of which have been found to increase fat burning all over the body.

Do try to add these 25 best flat belly foods to your weekly diet. Just be sure to pay extra attention to intake with the dairy and grains.

Source: My Thirty Spot

7 Best Natural Appetite Suppressants

While appetite suppressant pills are a great solution for those who’ve chosen to get serious about committing to a healthy lifestyle, they’re only intended to help you stick to your weight loss goals for a few months. After the first pounds have been shed and you no longer need the pills, your diet should be supplying all of satiety for you, naturally. We recommend incorporating these seven super foods into your daily eats if you want to feel full, satisfied, and energetic, and continue your commitment to losing the weight for good.

1. Almonds

Just a handful of almonds have been shown to increase feelings of fullness in people and help with weight management. NPR says “the protein, the unsaturated fat composition, [and] the fiber” all very likely play a role. Also, almonds are low in carbs, which are notorious for appetite stimulation. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating almonds in between meals was more suffecient when attempting to subdue cravings, compared with when people ate them as part of a bigger meal.

2. Avocados

According to Healwithfood.org, the oleic acid found in avocados can help naturally curb appetite. In the body, it is converted into OEA, a lipid hormone, which activates an area in the brain that increases the feeling of satiety and fullness. And they provide healthy monounsaturated fats!

3. Apples

An apple a day keeps the cravings away! For quite a few reasons. First, apples are chock full of fiber and pectin, both of which help you to feel full. Also, apples help to regulate your glucose and boost your energy level. Finally, apples require a lot of time to chew them, which actually helps you to slow down and give your body the time it needs to realize it’s no longer hungry.

4. Flaxseeds

A 2012 study at Harvard University showed that participants who ate flaxseed lost 37 percent more weight than participants who did not. Why? Most likely due to it’s high fiber and healthy fat content. Flaxseed also contains a mucilaginous fiber that slows your digestive process and promotes nutrient absorption. And they make a perfect, crunchy addition to yogurt, smoothies, and salads.

5. Tofu

Tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! The rich, plant-based protein source also contains an isoflavone called genistein, which has been shown to suppress appetite and lower food intake. If you’re unsure of how to incorporate tofu into your diet, try adding it in to your next healthy stir-fry.

6. Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice offers a lot more to your diet than just a way to sneak in a serving of veggies. If you drink it before a meal, it’s likely you’ll end up eating 135 fewer calories! But make sure to look for the low sodium versions to avoid bloating.

7. Salmon

This one may come as a surprise, but when you eat fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna and herring, your body increases production of leptin, a hormone known for suppressing hunger in your body! Here are some other facts about how omega-3s can help your health.

What foods help you feel full and fueled? Share with us in a comment!

weight loss recipes

Weight Loss Recipes From A GPM Counselor

Cassandra Thumbnail

One of our Weight Loss Counselors, Cassandra, just finished up with our Rapid Weight Loss program! A huge congratulations to her. She looks (and feels) awesome! To hear more about her story check out her weight loss counselor guest blog on our site.

She used medical weight loss to change her life, and now she wants to help you do the same. She gave us some of her favorite recipes from the 23 days she spent on the Greater Pittsburgh Medical Weight Loss Rapid Weight Loss program.


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Weight Loss Chili

What you’ll need:

  • 3.5 oz 93-97 % lean ground beef
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh, not from a can)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • Italian seasonings

How to cook it:

  1. Cook ground beef and drain out fat.
  2. Add back to pan and combine with rest of ingredients.
  3. Add seasonings to taste.

Baked Tilapia

What you’ll need:

  • 3.5 oz of fresh fish
  • 1 lemon — cut in half, one side sliced thin, one side left to squeeze
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of onion
  • 1/2 cup of artichoke hearts
  • 1 TBSP of capers

How to cook it:

  1. Place fish over foil.
  2. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over fish.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add remaining ingredients on top of fish & place thin slices of lemon on top.
  5. Cover/wrap in foil and place in the oven on 400 degrees for 20-25 min.

*The juices from the lemon, tomato, and onion make a nice broth— has so much natural favor! This is one of my favorite dishes! Great for maintenance of our Rapid Weight Loss plan. – C.D.


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Buffalo Chicken Bites

What you’ll need:

  • 3.5 oz of chicken
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • salt
  • pepper

How to cook it:

  1. Cut all excess fat off of chicken.
  2. Marinate in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and bake as you usually do.

*I usually serve this over greens – C.D.


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Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • chopped garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cucumbers

How to make it:

  1. Blend all ingredients except cucumber together in a food processer.
  2. Slice cucumbers and serve.

The Almond Eater’s Chicken Salad Sandwich

One of our past featured bloggers, Erin of The Almond Eater, shared an awesome chicken salad recipe that’s great for a light and cool summer lunch—the perfect remedy if you might have overdone it just a bit on Memorial Day. (Side note: we’ve posted a cardio challenge for the same reason.) But without further ado, here’s her recipe!

Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad Sandwich

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
2 cups grapes, sliced in half
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup Craisins
2 cups cottage cheese
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Cook chicken as you normally would. I baked mine in the oven and then placed them in a frying pan with a dash of olive oil.
2. After the chicken is cooked, shred/cut into smaller pieces and place in a medium-large bowl.
3. Add grapes, almonds and Craisins to the bowl.
4. Add mayo, cottage cheese and pepper; stir until everything is mixed together.
5. Store in the refrigerator and serve on whole grain bread.

Enjoy!

Want more recipes from The Almond Eater? Check our her savory & sweet meals and snacks

The Diva Chef’s Crustless Quiche & Salad

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Elise the Diva Chef shared her Grilled Peach Salsa with us on Tumblr, but where she truly excels is in the actual preparation of her recipes, like you’ll see in this video. She often has a segment on CBS Pittsburgh and is soon launching her new cooking show Fitness Foodies on YouTube.

This lighter quiche recipe makes for a healthy & delicious meal for the whole family. Check out the video to go with the recipe.

The Diva Chef’s Crustless Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • (10 ounce) chopped spinach
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Stir in spinach and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into prepared pie pan.

Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Yields six servings.