Original Blogspot Post: Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Last night I met up with some girlfriends I went to high school with. They are really the only people I went to high school with that I really try to stay in touch with. It’s so difficult for us to see each other these days because of our busy lives, but we always try. We had dinner and decided to watch a movie after so we could utilize as much of our time together as possible. We decided to see Julie and Julia, which was an excellent choice. Not only did it motivate me to start posting more, but it also motivated me to start experimenting more with my diet.
I’ve tried for several years to maintain healthy eating habits, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started exploring my dietary options. For instance, I’ve started straying as far away from red meat as possible and substituting beans, mushrooms, and other “meaty” vegetables in it’s place. I’ve also made it a habit to order fish at almost every meal. I reserve chicken for salads, and try to even go vegetarian at least one day a week.
Since I’ve started eating beans more, I’ve noticed that I feel fuller longer and I don’t feel weighed down, like when I eat breads and pastas. Not only are they good, but they are relatively easy to prepare. Most beans that come in a bag can just be added to water and simmered for an hour or two. Plus, they’re cheap! Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are also another great option that don’t even have to be cooked if bought in a can. They are also a nice crouton substitute for salads. Now let’s not forget the really great part about garbanzo beans…hummus. Throw a few handfuls of these little beauties in a food processor, add your favorite flavors, and voilà! You have a great batch of hummus that is perfect for dipping.
So why make an entire entry about beans? Well according to whfoods.com, black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and when combined with whole grains, like brown rice, they provide a tasty meal that is high in protein and extremely low in fat. This is ideal for someone like me who is trying to blast fat and build lean, long muscles. Check out the link below for more details.
In closing, I’d like to leave you all with this simple concoction I just discovered today when I was trying to spice up my lunch. It left me full, satisfied and didn’t blow my diet.
Hispanic Mediterranean Salad
2 handfuls of spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
2 1/2 tbs of black and red bean/brown rice mix, cooked
1/4 cup of garbanzo beans or “chickpeas”
2 tbs of red pepper hummus (see additional recipe)
3-5 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken strips, cooked
salt and pepper
Combine the rice, beans, chicken, and hummus on top of the bed of spinach leaves for a tasty mediterranean/hispanic inspired twist on chicken salad.
Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder