Welcome to the One Week Jump Start to Health challenge. This series is one week of products, recipes, tips and exercises to help you start off the new year with a healthy week.
Each post features a product to help you cook, portion or prepare foods in a more healthy way; a health conscious recipe with simple ingredients and directions; a tip to help you in the kitchen; and a quick and easy exercise you can do at home without equipment.
At the end of the challenge, you will have more than a week’s worth of recipes, a great start to a kitchen full of tools that will help you be a better cook (and cook healthier meals) and 7 exercises that, when combined, give you a quick and easy workout to do at home (no gym membership!).
Featured clockwise from top right: Quick Slice, Salad & Berry Spinner, Measure Mix & Pour, Salad Chopper and Egg Slicer Plus. Everything you need to make fresh healthy salads at home. Don’t use the salad bar at the grocery store! Are you sure those veggies are even washed? Make your own by bringing home the ingredients you like and creating your own delicious salads and dressings with these tools (and you’ll save a bunch in the process).
The Quick Slice easily cuts through fruits and vegetables even pieces of meat and gives you even slices. Our Salad & Berry Spinner spins lettuce and greens as well as berries and smaller fruits like grapes and even mushrooms (you know that’s not just dirt on your mushrooms, right?). The Measure Mix & Pour lets you make your own fresh homemade salad dressings and it even comes with 4 recipes for light dressings printed on the cup. The Salad Chopper chops lettuce easily but don’t be fooled, this set of double shears will also easily chop warm meats like chicken for fajitas. And last but not least, our Egg Slicer Plus. Obviously it slices eggs. But it also goes straight through mushrooms, ripe olives, ripe kiwi and strawberries.
This is a perfect go-to meal when you want a light main dish salad for dinner. I can’t even tell you how much my family loves this recipe. It’s just a little bit exotic and serving it warm makes it even more of a change from a boring iceberg salad. Chicken, vegetables, and greens all get grilled in one pan together to make a beautiful healthy meal. Only 300 calories per serving with 35g protein and you can reduce the carbs by omitting the canellini beans. Mmm… I think I have to go make this now!
Using Fresh Garlic
Fresh garlic always gives you the best garlic flavor in your recipes. If you are buying pre-chopped garlic in a jar or even mashed garlic paste in a tube you should know that there are preservatives necessary in packaging that can alter the taste. And, there are even some prepared garlic products that use formaldehyde as a preservative. You don’t want to eat that, really! Google it. So, buy fresh garlic instead. One head of garlic (pictured above on the right) costs about 50 cents. Be sure to choose heads that are not soft, with the roots attached (as shown) and with white papery skin.
When using garlic be sure to use a single clove (as shown above on the left) or as many cloves as are called for in your recipe. Using a garlic press will give you the most garlic flavor as the action of pressing the garlic crushes it and gives it more surface area.
Fresh garlic can be stored on the counter or in the cupboard at room temperature. I keep mine in a 1-Cup Prep Bowl and pull off as many cloves as I need for a recipe and leave the rest in the bowl. It will keep for at least a month, so don’t worry about your 50 cents going to waste.
Garlic is nutrient dense and can boost your immune system. In fact, there are many health benefits of garlic including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. And it keeps the vampires away. . .
Day 6 Exercise: Side Lunge Twist
Why it matters:
This full body move strengthens and tones every part of you. You will use your core, your back, your arms, and your legs.
How to do it:
-Do a side lunge while bringing the weight or just your arms down
-Twist back up and bring your arms or the weight to the side at shoulder length
-Do 10 reps on one side, then 10 on the other
Move your head with you as you go. If the weight causes you to be off balance, do this move without the weight – it’s just as effective.
Lecia is an online health & fitness coach who helps men and women make the transition from occasional exercise and diet trends to a long term healthy lifestyle.
Happy Healthy Cooking,