A big obstacle in getting people to eat right is that many people think healthy eating has to be boring. That is definitely not the case. All it takes is a little imagination and some basic knowledge in the kitchen. You don’t have to be a chef to liven up traditional meals, just willing to try new things. Whether we’re talking about meats or vegetables, there are hundreds of options to help increase your bank of meal ideas…and still keep them healthy and tasty!
Lions and Otters should concentrate mostly on sauces that are fat and herb based, such as butter or oil based sauces. While a little sweet sauce, such as BBQ, is ok with your meat, use common sense and don’t eat a 1/4 cup of it over your chicken. Sauces, like salad dressing, should be used to lightly flavor the food, not cover it up! Bears should be careful of portioning the fat-heavy sauces, such as hollandaise. For them, along with those on the Monkey and Giraffe Diet, choosing more vinegar and herb based sauces is best. There are so many seasonings and meat rubs available that you should never be bored. They even make rubs that are specific for your favorite meats or veggies. One of our favorite seasoning sites is www.penzeys.com. They have an amazing selection. You can either order them online or check out the store nearest to you.
Wow, where to begin… Below is a list of sauces or common sauce bases that you could search on the internet to come up with tons of recipes:
• Chimichurri Sauce-this is an Argentinean beef sauce that uses olive oil, vinegar, and an array of spices (recipe at the bottom)
• London Broil Sauce
• Fruity Chicken Salsa, or any other salsa
• Teriyaki Sauces
• Homemade Barbecue Sauce
• Yogurt Sauces
• Butter Sauces
• Mustard Sauces
• Coconut Oil-based sauces for seafood
• Wine sauces
• Peanut Sauce, so yummy and so simple
• Chicken and Turkey Marinade-based on olive oil, soy sauce, lemon, and mustard
Saucy Ways To Dress Up Meats For Lions
We know how important flavor can be when it comes to food choices. That’s why we always push for you to try new herbs and spices while cooking. They add variety so that you don’t get bored and cooking can become enjoyable. The key is to add flavor while staying within the Lion Diet guidelines.
YOGURT WITH GREEN ONION
Mix up some full fat plain yogurt, (try Greek yogurt – it contains more protein) , and add in some chopped green onion and lemon pepper seasoning. This would go great with baked fish or pork chops.
CHEESY BUTTERY STEAK
Sauté fresh garlic and shallots in butter then pour over your steak. Put a dollop of blue cheese on top and the flavor will be out of this world!
SPICY AVOCADO SPREAD
Mash up some avocado and mix in a little bit of milk or cream, lime juice, garlic, cracked black pepper, and chopped up jalapeños for a creamy, spicy flavor kick. This goes great with chicken. Any way you cook your chicken, this sauce will brighten up your meal!
See how easy it is to take ordinary to extraordinary? Mix and match all your favorite flavors to keep enjoying your food and eating healthy. Just remember to keep all your sauces fat based without sugar and you will stay on the Lion track!
Try a new flare on steak! Homemade marinades can be as elaborate or simple as you want. What are your favorite flavors? Garlic with gingerroot? Marinate your cut of meat in some smashed garlic and gingerroot. Throw in some tamari sauce, salt, and pepper to add that extra kick. In a frying pan sauté some bell peppers and onions, toss your steak on top of the sautéed vegetables and there’s your dinner— Lion style! It’s high in protein while getting in a serving of your vegetables. This meal is quick, easy, and yet healthy and tasty. What else could you ask for?
If you’re not a steak fan there’s still other options tonight. How about lemon and pecan crusted pork chops. Put lemon pepper seasoning on pork chops and then sauté in butter or olive oil with garlic until pork chops are cooked through. Take out the pork chops and squeeze a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into the pan drippings. Heat for a couple of minutes. While heating, sprinkle the hot chops with crushed pecans (as much or as little as you want). Then drizzle the pan drippings over the meat.
Here’s the other end of the spectrum. For some placed on the Hauser Giraffe Diet, they see complete boredom with their vegetarian based diet. While Monkeys and Giraffes have to watch their fat intake, there are many sauce and seasoning options that make vegetables for all Diet Types more appealing than ever. Aside from the suggestions given here, look at some of the bases listed under the meats to add some zest. Here are few choices to get you started:
• Béarnaise Sauce
• Hollandaise Sauce
• Pineapple Sauce
• Sweet and Sour Sauces
• Balsamic Glaze
• Italian Vegetable Sauce-on top of Polenta is great
• Yogurt Mint Sauce
• Marinara Sauces-they’re not just all about tomatoes, look for some variations
The point is that eating healthy and correctly for your Diet Type doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless.
Add a Little Spice to Your Life – For the Health of it!
I recently came across an article about the health benefits of spices. Many of the herbs have antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from damage.
CONSIDER THESE FACTS:
1. Cinnamon: May help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides in people with Type II diabetes.
2. Garlic: May decrease cholesterol and kill bacteria and viruses.
3. Ginger: May help fight nausea and boost immune function. (See our article on Ginger and joint pain)
4. Rosemary: May help strengthen the immune system.
5. Turmeric: May help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
6. Cloves: May help the immune system.
Adding herbs and spices to your foods is a great way to increase flavor without adding calories, fats, or sugars. They even add, to your benefit, disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants. Cancer researchers are looking at herbs for their potential cancer-fighting properties as well. Herbs and spices certainly cannot replace whole foods. But they can definitely enhance them.
We’re sure many of you have spices in your spice drawer that you received as a wedding gift and they are over 10 years old and have never been used. You need to throw those away! You won’t be getting any health benefits from those old, dried up spices. You’ll make a lot more room on your shelves as well. I did this a few years ago and then purchased only the spices that I find that I use a lot. I also purchased them from a reputable fresh herb store – and what a taste difference! I also started a fresh herb garden in a couple of big planter pots in the back yard. Now you’re talking! Fresh basil every day! YUM!