Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A week in Salads - Italian Inspired Chicken, Avocado and Mozzarella


 
Day 3 of the Week of Salads, I don’t know about you guys but I am feeling pretty good, I am not bloated, I am not tired, I am not hungry and I am excited about my next salad.

I picked this salad so that we have a good amount of protein intake, the chicken avocado and mozzarella are all good protein foods, but they also combine to have a nice balance in other minerals and vitamins. The mozzarella is high in calcium, the avocado has Vitamin C, A, B-6, Iron and Magnesium, it also has a good amount of dietary fiber and potassium, and the chicken is the big protein hitter although you also have some in the avocado and mozzarella.

Ingredients for one portion
½ Mixed salad bag
½ chicken breast cooked
½ bell pepper
½ avocado
½ a ball of mozzarella cheese
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Bit of olive oil
Salt to taste
Balsamic Glaze (optional but I love it)

Method:

This is another really easy one, chop the veggies and chicken, put in a bowl, mix with olive oil and season with salt. Tear up the mozzarella and add to the salad. If like me you are in love with the Balsamic Glaze add a little on top and eat!  

Tips and Ideas - Snacks I don’t know about you but I love snacking, especially on a weekend or in the evening. I also snack when I am bored. I found that so many of what I considered to be healthy snacks however were again crammed full of sugar, or salt or fat or a combination of these. I also found that because snacks are so little it is easy to make excuses and have two or three portions and tell yourself it’s ok it’s just a small snack. When you start paying attention however and start calculating the extra calories, fat and sugar you are consuming through your “healthy” snacks you realise that you are actually just transferring calories from your main meals into this smaller in between meals. I am not going to tell you  NOT to snack, in the contrary. I will actually suggest that you do. However I would like to also suggest that you seriously alter what you snack on, and try and be aware of how often, how much and what you snack on. Going back to yesterday’s post, it is actually better for your metabolism and digestion to eat less and a bit more often. Here is a list of snacks and quantities that I found work well for me to keep me happy and satiated and keep cravings away:

Morning Snacks: I do get nibbly at about 10:30-11 it is such a silly time, not late enough for lunch too late for breakfast. It is a dangerous time for me, I can reach for the chocolate, crisps or cake, instead I have one of these:
  • A banana or
  • A couple of spoonfuls of natural yogurt with a handful of berries, or
  • An apple or pear

Afternoon and Evening snacks: Same scenario happens at 3pm and sometimes at 8pm. Ideally you should try and avoid eating too late as it can affect your sleep but if you feel the need to snack again here are my go to favourites:
  • A medium carrot and 1 large tablespoon of unsweetened nut butter - peanut or almond usually. I know it sounds weird but carrots and peanut butter are awesome! I sometimes have celery instead.
  • A handful of nuts and raisins or dried apricots.
  • Stripps of red or yellow pepper and 20-30gm of feta cheese
  • Cottage cheese and avocado or cottage cheese on half a slice of rye bread and a teaspoon of jam.
  • A boiled egg with avocado
  • A small bowl of popcorn - minimum salt/butter absolutely no sugar
  • 2 squares dark chocolate when having giant chocolate eclair dream cravings - I can’t eat just one eclair so this is the one food I avoid like the plague because I eat a box or two at a go.

There are a million other snacks you can have, you just need to remember to be smart about it and not use it as a reward but as an addition to all the good yummy things you are are already having. This is the other thing, if you go into this with a negative attitude of “Oh I am dieting” then just don’t bother, you will be back on the deep fat fried shit and wondering why your jeans don’t fit in a month. You need to embrace this and realise just how good it can be and just how much choice you have, you need to realise you are not giving anything up because you aren’t.

Bon Appetit!