Brussel sprouts is one of those vegetables you either love it or hate it. I’m on the lucky side, I love them! It’s a seasonal vegetable, typical on winter and not just on Christmas day. If you are also one of those who loves Brussel sprouts and warm salads, why not try this water-mouthing salad? It’s a healthy and delicious recipe.
Roasting the Brussel sprouts with cinnamon, coconut oil will bring out the flavour. You might be surprised how tasty these little cabbages are!
Diet advice: Brussels sprouts are a good source of protein, iron and potassium, and also offer other benefits that can boost your overall health.
Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of sulforaphane, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.
Ingredients (serves 4):
Some winter days deserve to be celebrated with a warm & healthy breakfast, all in one pan. There are many different ways of eating eggs, and this one is one of my favourite. It’s a very nutritious and filling meal, with good sources of high quality protein. Perfect start for a great day!
Diet advice: Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. The yolk is source of cholesterol and healthy fats.
An egg contains around 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1. Wash and chop all the vegetables
2. Put olive oil on a pan and add all the veggies
3. Add tomato sauce, seasoning and parsley
4. Add 1/2 cup of water and put lid on the pan, let it cooks for 5 min
5. Add the eggs and lid on
6. Turn the hob off in 2/3min if you want runny eggs, if not, let it cook for more 2min
Bon Apetite :)
Learning how to eat smarter and healthier can help you to lose weight and live longer.
On my consultations, I teach my clients how to adopt healthy lifestyles, not just simply how to follow a diet plan. Learning new and healthy habits will help you to maintain your healthy weight for the rest of your life without you making much effort.
In this post, I will give you some tips that you should adopt if you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Remember that, small changes repeated over time, brings great results. Sometimes, it requires a great effort at the beginning, but after a while, it will come to you naturally.
1 – Always have breakfast. You probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because of the long period of starvation during the night. To have breakfast could be challenge for those who don’t have appetite in the morning however, you will find that having breakfast will boost your energy levels and control your appetite for the rest of the day. If you normally don’t have breakfast, try to introduce just a piece of fruit or an yogurt, within 30 minutes after waking up. After a while, you will feel more appetite and by then, you can add a slice of wholemeal toast and a tablespoon of peanut butter to your breakfast, for example.
2 – Snack smarter. Snacking between main meals helps you to keep you energy levels up, maintaining the blood sugar constant in your body. However if you snack when you are not hungry or if you snack high fat and sugary foods, you can easily put on weight. You should feel hungry, usually 3h/4h after your main meal. If you are spending your day away from home, bring your snacks with you. In this way, it’s more likely that you eat healthy. Here are some examples of healthy snacks:
3 – Get enough sleep. Many studies have suggested that those who sleep less than 6h per night have irregular eating habits, snack more, and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. Other study found that not getting enough sleep, makes you crave sugar more to try to compensate your low levels of energy. To keep your blood sugar in balance, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
4 – Have balanced main meals. A balanced meal should consist in one source of carbs, preferably wholegrain, a source of protein and a source of vegetables. Having the main three groups of foods represented in your plate, will give you the energy, protein, vitamins and minerals you body needs to function well. Try to vary as much as you can, eating different kind of foods everyday. Each particular food will have different health benefits. The proportions that these groups of foods should occupy in your plate are: ¼ plate of protein component (lean meat, fish or eggs), ¼ plate of carbs (wholegrain rice, or pasta or potatoes) and ½ plate of vegetables.
5 – Stay away from sugary and fatty foods. Not all fat is bad for you, however you should pay attention to saturated fat, in particular. This fat is normally found in foods like crisps, chips, cakes, cookies or biscuits, butter, larder and meat products, like sausages and bacon. Too much sugar or saturated fat, or the combination of both, can have negative effects in your health. Usually, these kinds of foods are also energy dense, this means they contain a large amount of calories in a small portion of food (1g fat contains 9Kcal). You don’t need to eat a large amount of these foods to rapidly eat more energy that you need. This can then, contribute for the weight gain.
UK health guidelines recommend that: the average man aged 19-64 years should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day; the average woman aged 19-64 years should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
Sugar is usually hidden is most of the foods. Reading the list of ingredients can help you to make smarter and healthier choices. Foods like yoghurts, ketchup, sauces, juices, fizzy drinks, syrups, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals could contain lots of sugar. Sugar can also have different names on a label of a product. Always read the ingredient list and look for these words: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup and table sugar.
The new advice says children aged 11 or over and adults should consume no more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day – 30g, equal to less than a single can of Coca-Cola, which contains 39g. Children should consume much less than that.
6 – Use the traffic light system to compare products and to make healthier choices. On the front pack of the label of the products there is nutrition information for calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. The ‘traffic light’ system uses green, yellow or red indicators to show as to whether the product has low, medium or high content of the above ingredients and nutrients. Comparing similar products using the traffic light can help you to choose healthier options and control your calorie intake.
I invite you to adopt at least one of these recommendations to eat smarter and healthier. I recognise that adopting all new habits at once could be difficult. However if you adopt at least one of these at each time, you will see a massive positive change on the way you feel. Ultimately, you can see your weight dropping on the scale and gain more years of life.
If you would like to read more, see the links below.
How to lose weight without dieting?
January is the month of the year that most people think about dieting and exercising. It’s commonly part of new year resolution’s of the majority. It’s important to review the definition of dieting, it’s perception and how should we look at it from a healthier perspective.
Diet has different definitions, “food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition and its effects on health; “it’s a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s condition or to prevent or treat a disease”.
Dieting is “to select or limit the food one eats to improve one’s physical condition or to lose weight”, “ to regulate the food of, especially in order to improve physical condition”.
In simple terms, the word diet could mean restriction or deprivation for the most of us, and this could have a negative effect in our brain, the effect of punishment. When this happens, on the majority of the cases, people will diet for a short period of time, losing weight, however they wouldn’t be able to sustain this “punishment” in long term. After this, they go back to their previous eating habits and all the weight they lost is back on. These fluctuations on weight cause frustration, disappointment and it’s harmful for the health of the individual.
However if we consider the definition of diet as “food and drink considered of its qualities, composition and its effects on health”, this definition doesn’t mean restriction or deprivation. It means, to think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision in which food and when to eat. This is called mindful eating. Being mindful is to be aware of our body, our needs and emotions. Is to distinguish hunger from emotional eating, for example.
When we eat because we are hungry, we don’t put on weight. Our body give us signals on hunger and satiety and we should pay attention and listen to our body.
How do we listen to the hunger and satiety signals of our body?
The hunger signal is send by a hormone called ghrelin to our brain and normally manifests in the form of stomach rumbling or headache. If you feel an increased desire of eating, this could not mean that you are hungry. It’s important to understand you are feeling hungry before you eat. Sometimes we confused being thirsty with being hungry. My advice would be to drink a glass of water and after that if you still feel hungry, then you should eat.
The signal of satiety is sent by a hormone called by Leptine which function is to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger, reducing appetite and creating a feeling of fullness. Usually it takes 20 minutes for the signal of satiety to manifest. My advice is to eat slowly, at least 20 minutes per meal, so you allow your body to give you the signal of fullness. If you eat too quickly, the signal of satiety will manifest when you already ate too much, more than you actually needed.
A good exercise to start being mindful in when and what you eat is to have a food diary. During a week, write time, how you felt before eating, what you ate and how you felt after eating. At the end of the day, analyse what you ate, if it was healthy or not, if you ate emotionally or because you felt hungry, how food made you feel after eating, guilty or satisfied?
This is one of the techniques I use with some of my clients to help me to help them on their journey of weigh loss or healthy eating.
• Think about diet as food and drink that you considered in terms of its qualities, composition and its effect on health
• Be mindful when and what you eat, thinking about the food and listening to the signals of hunger and satiety. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you start feeling full
• Eat slowly, allowing time to listen to the signal of satiety (at least 20 minutes)
• Write a food diary including time, food, drinks and feeling before and after eating. This will help you to identify if you eat when hungry or by emotion
On my next post, I will give you practical tips in how to eat smarter and healthier.
New year is here and most of us are thinking about our goals for 2018. We might be thinking, I wish I wouldn’t have eaten or drunk that much. However, it’s important that you don’t feel guilty. I’m sure the eating and drinking was part of a great time with your friends and family. Very soon, you will be back to your routine, to your normal eating patterns and exercise habits, and you will see your body coming back to what it was before the festive period.
One of my goals for this year is to help you to become more healthy. Through my frequent blog posts with tips and recipes, I will be providing the support you need to achieve your goal. Make sure you follow me on my instagram and facebook page.
I would also like to hear from you – so any questions or suggestions you might have, please send me a message :)
Let me know what your goal is by taking part of the quick survey below:
Picture taken at a Christmas market in Madeira, December 2017.
What I like the most about cooking is to surprise the ones I love with amazing flavors.
In the middle of a busy day around the house, I managed to cook a quick and delicious dish. The secret for this recipe was to to caramelized the red onion, before adding the chicken. I also sliced some fresh peppers and sliced vine tomatoes to be added to the wrap. The decision of not cooking these, enriched the recipe with crunchiness, flavors and vitamins.
I used herb wraps, however you can try wholemeal wraps to increase fiber content of your diet or if you prefer to cut down the carbs, you can easily replace it for little gem lettuce.
Ingredients (4 people)
Hi, I'm Joana, registered dietitian passionate about nutrition and healthy cooking.