Staying healthy means eating healthy. Here’s a ONE-DAY MENU for a healthy diet. You may be surprised to see recipes for three full meals plus two healthy snacks. The English have been doing this for years—and rightly so. Healthy snacks keep your energy levels up between meals and just as important, give you a stress-free “break” to break-up your daily routine. Remember, keep your serving sizes modest, eat until you’re almost full, and drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day. Make your meals an “event”—never rush eating and whenever you can, take time to enjoy meal prep. Last but not least, make dinner a family ritual. It’s a great way to catch up on the day, spend time together, and forge the family bond.
Coffee or Tea
A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice
Simple, quick, delicious and nutritious
One ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices multi-grain bread, toasted
Crushed garlic (one clove through a press or a jar of prepared garlic)
Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Mash the avocado and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Toast two slices of multi-grain bread. Mix the crushed garlic with two tablespoons of unsalted butter. Spread on the bread.
Divide the avocado equally between the two slices if you want to eat it with a knife and fork or prepare like a sandwich.
Greek Yoghurt and Homemade Granola
When it comes to yoghurt, always choose one with Lactobacillus acidophilus, the probiotic that lowers bad cholesterol and can reduce symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), asthma, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, and balances your internal bacterial population. L. acidophilus is also important for bone strength and blood clotting. Brands you’ll find in your grocery store include:
Chobani Greek Yogurt
Stonyfield Organic Yogurt
FAGE Total Plain Yogurt in 0%, 2%, and 5% and FAGE TruBLend, which contains four additional live and active bacterial cultures
Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr Yogurt
Yoplait Yoghurt, original and light
Dannon Activia Probiotic Yogurt
For a healthy snack, get a single-serving size or equivalent, spoon into a small bowl and top with a generous handfull of granola.
Prepare a batch in advance and keep it in an airtight container on your pantry shelf. It only takes an hour and will last you the entire week.
4 cups of uncooked whole-flake oats, such as Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 cups of shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup coarsely crushed hazelnuts, unsalted cashews, and/or walnuts
¾ cup vegetable, flaxseed, or grapeseed oil
½ cup local raw, unpasturized honey. NOTE: Locally made honey can lessen sensitivity in people with seasonal allergies.
1 cup finely diced dried figs, dates, prunes, apricots or any combination thereof
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Lightly oil a large sheet pan or Pyrex baking dish, about 13 x 18” with a 1” rim.
In a large bowl, toss all the dry ingredients together.
In a small bowl or 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup combine the oil, brown sugar, and honey.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and stir thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Turn onto the pan, spreadking evenly with a spatula. Bake 45 minutes, carefully stirring occassionally, until the granola turns a golden brown. Be sure not to over-bake.
Store in an airtight container.
Unlike Europeans and other places in the world, Americans rush lunch, which is a pity. The golden rule of eating says, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”—and for good reason. Sleeping on a heavy stomach often results in discomfort and acid reflux. Winter offers a pleasant way to make lunch a more important and filling meal than dinner: soup. Full of healthy ingredients, it can’t be beat.
Healthy Hearty Soup
Nothing beats a hot, nutrition-filled soup in the winter. Rather than give you a recipe, here’s a choice so you can make it your own.
This is the all-important base of a good, nutritious soup. Although you can by pre-made meat, fish, and vegetable stock in the grocery store, for this recipe you’re going to make your own.
For chicken soup: one rotisserie chicken, whole or parts
For beef soup: one meaty soup bone from the butcher
Put the meat in a soup pot. Fill with water until it’s about an inch over the meat.
Bring to a rolling boil then cut heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 90-minutes.
Strain the broth, set aside the meat, wash out the soup pot, and return the broth to the pot. Season with salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste.
Remove every bit of meat from the rotisserie chicken or the beef. Be very careful with the chicken that you remove all the bones and with beef, get rid of the fatty bits. Set aside.
In a frying pan, saute a large diced onion, four diced chives, two carrots chopped fine, and two cloves of crushed garlic and add to the pot with a sprig of fresh thyme. Continue to simmer.
At this point, you want to add beans to the pot. Beans have amazing nutritional value. For this, you do want canned beans because soaking dry beans requires a lot of time. Use cannellini, kidney, pinto—whatever’s your favorite. You can also add a can of diced tomatoes and, for sweetness, a box of frozen green peas, corn, and/or frozen lima beans.
You have a choice of rice, potatoes, rotini or other pasta, as your starch. If potatoes, dice them into cubes. This will be your final ingredient. Overcooking will make the starch too soft.
If you want to thicken the soup, you can add corn starch or tapica but be very careful when you do add a thickening agent. You want to add it to a half-cup of boiling water so it is soft and smooth. Otherwise, it will form little “dumplings” in the soup that are difficult to break up.
Serve with warm bread and butter. This is the most wonderfully hearty winter meal and because it’s full of All Things Good, you can have seconds!
The British are famous for afternoon tea accompanied by little cakes and delicious tea sandwiches. Traditionally served at 4 o’clock, take time from your busy schedule to enjoy a cup of tea and tea sandwiches. Customarily made with white bread, make yours with nutritious whole-grain, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, harvest, or wholewheat bread. Rather than buy sliced bread at the store, get a loaf of bread and slice very thinkly. Then, slice off the crust and cut crosswise, into triangles, rather than lengthwise.
English Cucumber Sandwiches
Healthy bread sliced, as described
Veggie cream cheese
English cucumber (these are long and narrow and have a denser pulp) very thinly sliced
Smoked salmon (optional)
Spread the cream cheese thinly on both slices of bread, place a single layer of cucumber slices on the bread so they overlap slightly, top with a layer of smoked salmon if you wish, put together the top and bottom slices of bread and enjoy. You can garnish with fresh chopped mint for a tast of summer.
Egg and Watercress Sandwiches
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ cup fresh watercress, chopped finely
8 slices of wholesome bread
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and paprika (optional) to taste
Hard-boil eggs and shell. Mash the eggs with the mayonaise well, adding salt, pepper, and paprika as you go.
Spread the butter thinly on all eight slices of bread.
Evenly spread the egg salad on four slices, almost up to the edge of the crust.
Dust the watercress on top of the egg salad.
Assemble each sandwich with a buttered slice. Trim off the crusts, and cross-cut each sandwich to form triangles.
Arrange on a plate and top with a few sprigs of fresh parsley (optional)
When you serve yourself alone, do not take any shortcuts on presentation. Arrange your tea sandwiches as if you were serving the Queen of England. There is nothing more luxurious than to pour out a cup of tea from a teapot into a fine china cup and enjoy a plate of tea sandwiches as you sit by the fire and steal some quiet time for yourself.
Hearty soup gave you your meat and vegetables, and breakfast and snacks provided protein. For a light dinner, have a big salad. There’s no limit to what you can add and you can eat all you want and never feel full. Here’s a derivation of a Caesar Salad that’s delicious and quick to prepare.
Romaine, baby spinach, and garden lettuce, alone or in combination, as you wish
Shaved parmesan cheese
Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced julienne
Thinly sliced Italian prosciutto
Broccoli heads, uncooked, chopped
Artichoke hearts, canned in water, drained
Wholegrain Caesar croutons
Caesar salad dressing
Anchovies, fillets or rounds
Toss the ingredients thoroughly in a large salad or mixing bowl and indulge. If you want a heartier salad, add cooked shrimp, sashimi tuna, or cubed poached chicken. If you are a wine-drinker, a glass of your favorite wine.
A Word About Sweets
Sophia Loren, one of the most beautiful creatures God ever made, has often said she must have a dessert after dinner. Napoleons, cupcakes, brownies…ummm good…and though deliciously satisfying, they will put a crimp in your diet program. You can still indulge…
Sugar-free jello, your favorite flavor (follow the directions and be sure to completely dissolve the jello or it will not set.)
Coolwhip or other low-calorie or calorie-free dairy topping
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced banana
The jello will need a day in the refrigerator to set. After that, it’s ready to serve. To assemble, spoon jello into individual serving bowls or footed glasses, top with assorted fresh berries, a large dollop of Coolwhip, and a dusting of ground hazelnuts or almonds.
For a variation, you can also make tapioca custard and serve in an identical manner.
Just before bedtime
The final treat of the day is an 8-oz. glass of whole milk…yes, whole. Nutritionists now say that skim milk is robbed of important benefits you otherwise would get from whole milk, plus it’s full of calcium. If you have trouble sleeping at night, follow the age-old custom of having a cup of warm milk just before bedtime…and think about how well you ate, and you good you feel, after a happy, wholesome, healthy day of wise and nutritious eating.