Recipe Wednesday!

Mediterranean Turkey Skewers

12 bamboo skewers

6 TB olive oil

3 TB lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic, minced

2 TB fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp.salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 (11 oz) boned turkey, cut into 2 inch cubes

12-16 pickled onions

2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch slices

1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 2 inch squares

Directions

1.  Soak bamboo skewers in water to prevent charring.

2.  Mix olive oil with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

3.  Prepare skewers by alternating turkey, onions, zucchini, and pepper pieces.  Lay the prepared skewers on a platter and drizzle with olive oil mixture.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes.  Discard marinade.

4.  Preheat the grill to medium high.

5.  Grill skewers for 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally.  Serve hot.

4 grams Net Carbs!

Recipe is from:  The C. I. guide-Glycemic Index Cookbook

Different Types of Fat

People often cringe at the sound of the word fat especially when it pertains to eating but fat intake is essential to your health and weight loss.  Your body uses fat for various functions of the body including nutrient transport, brain function, and energy.  Fat intake is also essential for the growth of healthy skin and hair. It is recommended that our diets contain between 25-35% fat.   Fat should be included in a healthy diet although the type of fat should be considered carefully because all fats are not created equal.

The “Not So Good For You” Fats

Studies have show that two fats-saturated and trans-fat can cause a higher incident of insulin resistance compared to other fats.  Saturated fats are found in whole and low-fat dairy as well as meats like beef, chicken, lamb, and pork.  It is recommended that only 10% of your diet contain saturated fats.  As we discussed previously, high consumption of saturated fats has a strong correlation to heart disease.

Trans fats are not naturally occurring fats.  Trans fats have been manufactured to prolong the shelf life of a food product.  Trans fats make an appearance in many processed and prepared foods.  It is a good idea to avoid these fats and check your pre-packaged food for traces of trans-fat.  The FDA now requires food manufacturers to list the amount of trans fat per serving.

The Good For You Fats

Just like your body needs proteins from your diet to aid vital functions, fat is also a necessary component to good health.  Let’s take a look at the differences of the good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can reduce insulin resistance and lower the “lousy” LDL cholesterol.  MUFAs are also chemically stable meaning that they have great protective qualities.  Also called Omega-9s, MUFAs show up in the following foods:  most nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and peanuts), olive oil, sesame seeds, coconut oil, and avocados.  The recommended amount of MUFAS is 10% of your daily dietary intake.

Polyunsaturated fats are also very good for you and a wonderful fat to include into your weekly diet.  Two main components of the PUFAs are the Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.  These fats are called essential because our body cannot produce them through biological processes so we must ingest them to gain the benefits.

Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in cold-water fish and fish oils, flax oil and seed, other seeds, and some algae.  Omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial to our body.  They support our immune system, reduce inflammation in joints and skin, and improve heart health by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  It is recommended to eat omega 3 rich foods three to four times a week or take a daily supplement.

Our Western diet (a diet high in red meat) promotes higher levels of Omega-6 but the more balanced approach would be to consume 1 part omega-6 to 2 parts Omega-3.  Omega-6 food sources include: butter, red meat, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, soybean, safflower, and corn oils.

Fats are an important part of our dietary life.  Fat intake will NOT make you fat as long as you stick to the healthier options and the recommended percentages of fat intake per day.  In fact, fat intake is important to good health and will aid in weight loss.  Next time you are in the grocery store flip the box over and check out the fat contain to make sure you are staying within the healthy range.

Note:  Just because some fats are good for you doesn’t mean more is better.  Balance is the key to food intake and healthy weight loss.

Recipe Wednesday!

This recipe is quick and easy.  Great for these warm spring days when you want to spend most of your time outside.

Eggplant Chicken

3 TB. Olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 cups fresh sliced eggplant

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

2 TB. Parsley

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet.  Saute garlic and eggplant.  Add chicken breast and parsley.  Heat until warmed throughout.
  2. Sprinkle with feta cheese.  Serve with tomato wedges.

6 Net carbs!

Recipe Wednesday!

This recipe comes from Stacy, a Complete Clinics program participant.  She restructured an old Italian family recipe to make it low in carbohydrates and full of protein.

 

Zucchini Pie

Amount of Servings – 8

Prep time – 20 min.

Cooking time – 60 min.

 

Ingredients

1 cup parmesan

1 tsp ground oregano

1 dash black pepper

1 tsp salt

6 cloves garlic

½ cup chopped onion

4 tbsp parsley

¼ cup almond flour

¾ cup vegetable or olive oil

¼ cup heavy cream

8 large eggs

4 medium zucchini

 

Directions

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.     Slice zucchini as thinly as possible (you should have 2 to 3 cups of sliced zucchini when done).

3.     Mince/Chop garlic cloves and onion.

4.     Beat eggs and heavy cream together.

5.     Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl except the zucchini.

6.    After ingredients are mixed add the sliced zucchini and mix again.

7.     Grease pie pan or casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.

8.    Pour I the zucchini batter (be sure to flatten out zucchini slices).

9.     Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees, top should be brown and fork removed from center dry before removing from oven (cook a little longer if not).

Great served sliced on its own or topped with a little tomato sauce for added flavor.

Total Carbs – 7.5g

Total Net Carbs – 5.5g

Protein – 14g

 

This recipe looks fantastic!  Thanks for sharing, Stacy!!

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

You don’t have to live on the Mediterranean Sea to benefit from eating like you’re there.  The Mediterranean diet is one that many people embrace not just in Europe, but also in our own country.  Dieticians and doctors agree that the Mediterranean diet is regarded as one of the healthiest and most effective ways to lose weight.  The diet is more of a lifestyle change than it is just a diet.   There are no set rules for the Mediterranean diet because it focuses more on maintaining a healthy eating pattern.

Research has shown that eating a diet rich in plants and healthy fats provides wonderful benefits.  Following a Mediterranean diet may help protect against the development of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Let’s take a look at some of the beneficial components of eating the Mediterranean way.

Whole vs. Processed

The Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of whole food vs. processed pre-prepared foods.  Eating whole foods means you are consuming a plethora of nutrients and vitamins that are readily available to the body.  Whole foods include fresh fruits, veggies, meats, legumes, and whole grains.  Processed foods (including sodas and foods found in boxes or bags) are often stripped of nutrients, then processed with additives to maintain their shelf life.  When it comes to good health and nutrition, fresh is best.

High in Fiber

Diets higher in fiber help to slow digestion, reduce insulin resistance, and can improve insulin sensitivity thereby, decreasing the chances of developing obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.  Beans are not the only fiber-packing food of the Mediterranean diet.  Try incorporating apples (limit one per day), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and eggplant (just to name a few) into your weekly diet.

Focus on Monounsaturated Fats (or MUFAS)

Another great component of the Mediterranean diet is the focus on monounsaturated fats.  MUFAS are found in a variety of foods and oils.  Studies have shown that eating foods rich in MUFAS improves blood cholesterol levels, and aids in insulin sensitivity.  Foods rich in MUFAS include: Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, beans, nuts and seeds.

Low in Saturated Fat

The Mediterranean diet limits the amount of intake from saturated fats.  Studies have shown that eating a diet high in saturated fat may lead to increased levels of cholesterol, which could increase the chance of heart disease and stroke.

 Exercise

A vital part of the Mediterranean diet is daily aerobic exercise.  If you haven’t included exercise in your program, talk to one of our doctors to find out what regimen might suit you best.

 

The pyramid below provides a great visual representation of the other components of the diet and how often they should be eaten.  Keep in mind the recommendations given to you from our clinic about specific things to avoid or limit during the first stages of our program. Please use the booklet as your guide and let us know if we can help answer any questions for you.

Pyramid found @ www.a-mediterranean-diet.com

 

 

Recipe Wednesday!

Are you celebrating the coming of Spring?  Make and share this delicious appetizer with friends!

 

 

 Mediterranean Marinated Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup(s) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup(s) lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon(s) each salt and dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) each minced garlic and crushed red pepper
  • 2 pound(s) peeled and deveined shrimp (16 to 21 pieces per lb), thawed if frozen
  • 1 jar(s) (7 oz) roasted peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and spices in a large ziptop bag; seal bag, then turn a few times to mix. Set aside.
  2. Add shrimp to a large deep skillet of boiling water. Reduce heat and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until just cooked through. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again.
  3. Add shrimp to bag with marinade; seal and turn to coat.
  4. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally. Transfer to serving bowl; stir in roasted peppers, parsley and feta, and toss.

Recipe from Women’s Day recipes.

Spring Break Fever

Spring Break is right around the corner.  It is the promise of relaxing time spent with family or friends and, more importantly, time away from a hectic work or school schedule.  In preparation for your vacation, here are some tips to stick with your normal eating patterns and avoid those vacation diet pitfalls.

Stay hydrated. Yes, you’re on vacation and those fruity drinks with umbrellas are tempting, but remember: staying hydrated will help you lose weight.  Also, drink in moderation or not at all – alcohol consumption can hinder your success.

Pack your own food.  To make your trip Complete Clinics diet–friendly, pack your own snacks and meals.  If you are traveling far, perhaps take a trip to a grocery store once you reach your destination.

Eat well when eating out.  If you are unsure of how something is cooked, just ask.  Most restaurants will offer fresh fruits or steamed veggies to replace those high calorie and carbohydrate sides.  Sandwiches and burgers are easy, but so is removing the bun.  Ask for a side of guacamole or salsa to spice up your meat.  Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to forgo good nutrition.

No matter where you are or what you do for Spring Break, remember that you are in control of your food intake.  Make the best choices possible and your body will thank you later.

Have a safe and Healthy Spring Break!

P.S. Even those who don’t have a vacation coming up (myself included), these tips can be helpful on a daily basis.