Resolve to make nutritious eating a priority
(Family Features) Discovering a better version of yourself is all about striking balance. That’s especially true when it comes to making smarter food choices that you can maintain over time.
A sustainable, long-term healthy eating approach, such as the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, emphasizes variety and balance. Start planning a low-carb menu filled with high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats with these tips from Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins.
Fill up with fiber-rich foods. Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, low-glycemic fruit (like berries) and whole unrefined grains are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Try to eat between 25-35 grams of fiber a day.
Reduce inflammation. A low-carb approach eliminates refined and processed foods and sugars that can cause inflammation. Focus on foods that decrease inflammation, such as colorful low-glycemic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. The ground turmeric in this Golden Milk recipe offers an easy way to fight inflammation without sacrificing flavor.
Kickstart your morning. Start your day with a protein-packed choice such as these Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats. You’ll get the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants from the chia seeds along with protein and healthy fats to keep you energized while avoiding high-sugar breakfast alternatives.
Satisfying, Low-Sugar Swaps
Eating on the go can easily cause you to grab a high-sugar option, but there are simple swaps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Satisfy your hunger with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. Made with sweet chocolate and rich, creamy peanut butter, this bar offers 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.
Find more recipes like these for Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan or Spicy Crispy Chickpeas and ideas for a balanced, low-carb approach to eating well at Atkins.com.
Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Net carbs: 4.41
- 1 bunch thin spear asparagus
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 salmon fillets (4 ounces each), no more than 3/4-inch thick
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil-based mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Wash asparagus and remove woody ends. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Arrange in single layer, leaving space for salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on sheet. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes.
- In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
- Remove sheet pan from oven, sprinkle asparagus spears with cheese and cook 3 minutes, or until fish reaches 145° F and asparagus spears are tender and beginning to brown on tips.
- Plate one fillet and half the asparagus, drizzle each plate with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce and serve.
Spicy Crispy Chickpeas
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Net carbs: 8.3
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or clarified butter), melted
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Heat air fryer to 390° F 3 minutes.
- Using fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse chickpeas. Use towel to gently pat chickpeas dry, removing skins. In small bowl, toss chickpeas with ghee and salt.
- Cook in single layer in air fryer 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 3 minutes.
- In separate small bowl, sprinkle chickpeas with spices and toss to evenly coat. Chickpeas can be stored in open container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Net carbs: 3
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 drops liquid stevia extract
- In small pan, whisk coconut milk, almond milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Warm over medium heat until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in sweetener and serve.
Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Net carbs: 6.84
- 1 Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries (optional)
- In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine shake, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Top with fruit, if desired.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan, Spicy Crispy Chickpeas, Golden Milk, Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats)
(Family Features) If you’re observing Lent, Friday fish dinners could be in your future, but that’s no reason to feel limited by what you can cook. Seafood pairs well with all sorts of flavors – from chili seasoning to lime extract – and bakes quickly on a sheet pan with minimal cleanup.
Follow these simple tips from Dr. Wendy Bazilian, McCormick Health Advisor and Registered Dietitian, to get your family asking for good-for-you proteins like salmon and shrimp all year long:
- While lemon is a great complement to seafood, think about pairing with other citrus flavors like orange and lime. Try marinating shrimp in a mixture of lite coconut milk, lime extract, ginger and red pepper.
- Add colorful vegetables like zoodles or asparagus to your sheet pan to boost both seafood and vegetable servings. You don’t need a spiralizer to make zoodles because many grocery stores offer pre-made zoodles in the produce section.
- Keep shrimp in your freezer to pull out for stir fries, pastas or this Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles recipe.
Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (regular or lite)
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lime Extract
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 small zucchini, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
- 1 medium carrot, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together coconut milk, ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and lime extract. Add shrimp; turn to coat well.
- Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. In center of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan, arrange shrimp in single layer.
- In large bowl, toss vegetable noodles and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well. Spread noodles around shrimp in pan.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and noodles are tender. Serve shrimp over vegetable noodles.
Test kitchen tip: For faster prep, use 4 cups store-bought spiralized vegetable noodles instead of spiralizing them yourself.
Orange Chili Sheet Pan Salmon
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Orange Extract
- 2 pounds salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 package McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- Heat oven to 375° F. Spray foil-lined, 13-by-9-inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- In small bowl, mix together oil and orange extract. Place salmon and vegetables on separate sides of baking sheet. Brush vegetables with 1 teaspoon extract mixture. Brush both sides of salmon with remaining mixture.
- In small bowl, mix together seasoning mix and brown sugar. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons seasoning mixture over vegetables. Sprinkle both sides of salmon evenly with remaining seasoning mixture.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender.