Monthly Archives: February 2013

Win a Trip to Cancun Mexico

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Our company would like to offer something to help you relax and maybe even sleep better in the coming months. This is something my company is opening up to all new and existing clients. Wanna win a TSFL vacation to tropical paradise?  Now through March 31st, for every order of $300 or more, you’ll be entered to win an all-inclusive Cancun getaway for two, where you’ll experience five-days and four-nights of luxury at the 5-star Secrets® Maroma Beach, Riviera Cancun.* Where will you be on April 1st?

We’ll even spice up the deal with a sample packet of our Lean & Green Meal Helpers™ Fajita Seasoning Mix!**?

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Healthy Habit of the Week:

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Eat small, balanced meals every 2 – 3 hours

Eating small meals throughout the day is always going to be the healthy way to eat. We get to do that from day 1 with the 5&1 plan, and we learn the habit to continue for life.

What does “balanced” mean? It means protein/carb balanced. Each Medifast meal is perfectly balanced (that is why they are such a great snack for a life of healthy eating on-the-go). So is your lean and green meal. 

Balanced meals mean weight loss and weight maintenance. They fill you up, keep you satisfied, and help you lose and then maintain your weight.

Here are some fun things you can try to help make this a life-long habit.

  1. Split your Lean & Green meal. 1/2 a lean and green is a great example of a small balanced meal. Experiment with something and have 2 smaller, balanced meals to get in some good practice! 
  2. Track your meals: There are great apps like “My Fitness Pal” that you can plug your food into (and you can scan bar codes!). They will show you how balanced your day is, and if you are on the 5&1 plan, you will see the proof of how balanced your eating really is!
  3. Eat to be “not hungry,” in stead of eating to be “full.” Think about how you feel when you eat. When we eat every 2-3 hours, we don’t need to have a large meal.
  4. Practice sorting: As you come across foods, think about what category they fit in – protein (meat, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts…) or carb (fruit, bread, veggies)?
  5. Look at labels: Turn over your food and look the breakdown. How many carbs? How many grams of protein? If something is mostly carbs, what you you eat with it to balance it? Think of each meal like a scale. How would you balance it out?
  6. Balance others: Next time you make a meal for someone else, make it balanced. Or when you are out to eat, look at the meals around you – are others practicing this habit of health?

Even better?

  • Make your balanced choices from “low-glycemic” foods. They are even healthier, keep your blood sugars balanced, keep you more full for longer and keep the fat storage away. For instance, when eating low-gycemic, did you know strawberries are a much better choice than bananas?

Love your Food, Ditch the Fat

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Foods don’t have to be high in fat to be delicious.  Here are just a few delectable meals that skimp on the fat but not on the taste.

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

provided by dots

Prep Time: 30 min Serves: 6
Cook Time: 40 min Level: Moderate
Description:

Crunchy vegetables and tender chicken breasts tossed in a tangy vinaigrette make a refreshing main-dish salad. If you poach the chicken yourself, reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to make the dressing.

Ingredients:

Dressing
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, (see Ingredient notes)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or reserved chicken-poaching liquid
Salad
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 8 cups shredded napa cabbage, (1 small head; see Ingredient notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots, (2-3 medium)
  • 5 radishes, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded skinless cooked chicken, (about 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast) (see Tip)
Preparation:

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1
To prepare dressing: Combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and chile-garlic sauce in a glass measuring cup; stir to blend. Heat canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan; bring to a simmer. Whisk in tahini and broth (or poaching liquid); cook until reduced slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool.
2
To prepare salad: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small plate to cool.
3
Combine cabbage, carrots, radishes, scallions and chicken in a large shallow bowl. Stir dressing to recombine and drizzle over the salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
Tips:

Ingredient Notes: Chile-garlic sauce is a spicy blend of chiles, garlic and other seasonings; it is found in the Asian section of the market.

Napa cabbage has an elongated head and is pale green in color with tender, tapered white ribs. Its tightly packed, crinkled leaves have a crisp texture. Discard the cone-shaped core. One small head yields about 8 cups shredded.

Tip: To poach chicken: Combine two 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth, 2 chopped scallions, 2 slivers fresh ginger and 2 cloves garlic in a large skillet; bring to a simmer. Add 11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast and cook over medium heat until no longer pink inside, 10 to 15 minutes. The flavorful poaching liquid will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

provided by dots

Prep Time: 20 min Serves: 2
Cook Time: 30 min Level: Easy
Description:

This creamless but still creamy soup is a great lunch or summer-night dinner on its own – but you can also spoon it over lump crabmeat, cooked shrimp or cubed tofu for a heftier meal.
Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 yellow-fleshed potato, such as Yukon Gold (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried savory, or marjoram leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces asparagus, woody ends removed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preparation:

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1
Place broth, water, potato, shallot, garlic, thyme, savory (or marjoram) and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus, return to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
2
Meanwhile, cook prosciutto in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes.
3
Pour the soup into a large blender or food processor (see Tip); puree until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Season with pepper. Serve topped with the crisped prosciutto.
Tips:

Hot liquids can splatter out of a blender when it’s turned on. To avoid this, remove the center piece of the lid. Loosely cover the hole with a folded kitchen towel and turn the blender on. Better airflow will keep the contents from spewing all over the kitchen.

 

Tomato-Cucumber Raita

Tomato-Cucumber Raita

provided by dots

Prep Time: 15 min Serves: 4
Cook Time: 15 min Level: Easy
Description:

Raitas provide a cool note to a spicy dish.
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation:

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1
Combine yogurt, cucumber, tomato, onion, mint, cumin and salt in a small bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Bean & Salmon Salad with Anchovy-Arugula Dressing

Bean & Salmon Salad with Anchovy-Arugula Dressing

provided by dots

Prep Time: 30 min Serves: 4
Cook Time: 30 min Level: Easy
 Description:

This simple bean and salmon salad becomes something truly exciting when dressed with a bold dressing flavored with anchovies and arugula. Canned wild Alaskan salmon is a healthy and environmentally sound choice. Thoroughly drain the beans so the salad doesn’t taste watered down. Sometimes heating beans slightly makes it easier to drain off the cooking liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • Pinch of salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked cannellini beans, well drained, at room temperature or warm (see Tip)
  • 1 7-ounce can wild salmon, any bones and skin removed,flaked
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large leaves butterhead or Boston lettuce
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
Preparation:

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1
Place arugula, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, anchovies, shallot and pinch of salt in a food processor; process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil.
2
Gently combine beans, salmon, radishes, celery, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and gently toss to combine.
3
To serve, line 4 plates with a lettuce leaf. Divide the salad evenly among the plates. Garnish with avocado slices, if desired.
Tips:

Tip: How to Cook a Pot of Beans
1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
2. When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the liquid can be used in some recipes.)
Makes about 6 cups.
Pork Chop Suey

Pork Chop Suey

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Prep Time: 30 min Serves: 4
Cook Time: 30 min Level: Easy
Description:

Chop suey is often made with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts—add them to this recipe if you wish. Serve with: Udon noodles.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 medium onion, slivered
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups mung bean sprouts, (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Preparation:

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1
Combine broth, soy sauce, molasses and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl; stir in cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
2
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the pink is gone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3
Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, sprouts and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add the reserved cornstarch mixture and pork (and any accumulated juice) and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Tips:

Note: Mung bean sprouts (germinated mung beans), often simply labeled “bean sprouts,” are white with a light yellow tip and are thicker than more common alfalfa sprouts.