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4th of July Picnic Swaps

By: Snap Fitness

Who doesn’t love a 4th of July picnic? Sun, games, fireworks and delicious food.  But for someone that is watching their diet, picnics can be a disaster. This year, Snap Fitness has given your typical picnic a makeover.

 

Follow the guide below to help you navigate the red-checkered tablecloth and avoid the foods that will cost you weeks of hard work in the gym.

 

Instead of: Fried Chicken

Try: Grilled Chicken

Why:  Fried chicken may be tasty, but it is loaded with calories, sodium and fat. You can cut those numbers in half by choosing to say good-bye to the fried chicken.

 

Instead of: Full Hamburger

Try: Drop the bun

Why: By eating your hamburger without the bun, you will shave calories off your meal. Bonus points if you wrap the burger in lettuce leaves for an added punch of greens.

 

Instead of: Bread, cheese and cold cuts

Try: Lettuce wrap with cheese and avocado spread

Why: Cold cuts contain high amounts of sodium, which can add up quickly if you stack your sandwich high. Avoid the bread and cold cuts, and choose to make a lettuce wrap with a slice of cheese and mashed up avocados to save calories and avoid high sodium levels.

 

Instead of: Potato salad

Try: Coleslaw

Why: Traditional potato salad is packed full of calories, fat and cholesterol thanks to the mayo and eggs. Cut those numbers with coleslaw, which traditionally contains veggies (cabbage and carrots) and uses cider vinegar, not mayo.

 

Instead of: Pasta salad

Try: Fruit & veggie skewers

Why: Pasta salads get overloaded with high-fat dressings. Avoid the added calories by making veggie and fruit skewers on the grill. Peppers, pineapple and mushrooms make for a fun and nutritious skewer.

 

Instead of: Packaged chips & dips

Try: Fruit & cheese platter

Why:  Though it may an easy snack, packaged chips and dips tend to be packed full of calories, sodium and fat. Grab a tray of fresh fruits and cheese to make a platter that will satisfy- without causing havoc to your diet.

 

Instead of: Lemonade

Try: Water with a lemon

Why:  Store bought lemonade contains a lot of sugar and calories. A typical 12-ounce glass of sweetened lemonade can have 140 calories depending on the brand. Opt for a glass of water and squeeze your own lemon to achieve a refreshing taste without the added calories.

Guilt-Free Dinner Options

By: Snap Fitness

Ending your day with a healthy dinner will help you sleep at night and help boost your mood in the morning. We’ve compiled three guilt-free dinners that are sure to have you going to bed feeling great.

 

Salmon

 

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps maintain brain function while you sleep and protects your joints.  The minerals in salmon work as antioxidants to help prevent cancer. Salmon has seven grams of fat and 17 grams of protein in one three-ounce serving.

 

  • If you want to gain muscle, pair salmon with black beans and brown rice.
  • If you want to lose weight, enjoy salmon with roasted vegetables lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

 

Grilled Chicken

 

Grilled chicken is a healthy protein that is low in saturated fat.  The minerals found in chicken keep your bones and immune system healthy. One four-ounce serving of chicken has 13 grams of fat and 26 grams of protein.

 

  • If you want to build muscle, enjoy grilled chicken in a spinach salad with nuts and hard-boiled eggs.
  • If you want to lose weight, pair grilled chicken with steamed broccoli.

 

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

 

Quinoa is a complete protein with fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels. Add flavor by stuffing other veggies and seasonings into bell peppers.  This high-protein antioxidant rich dinner is a perfect way to end your day. A quarter cup of quinoa has three grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and less than three grams of fat.

 

  • If you want to build muscle, add cheese and shredded chicken to the stuffed peppers.
  • If you want to lose weight, add onions, zucchini, and other vegetables to the quinoa in your peppers. This dinner is best for weight loss because it’s lowest in calories.

Quick and Easy Grilled Chicken Kebabs

By: Snap Fitness

Summer days are often busy, so save time with this quick and easy dinner option that is a favorite with both kids and adults. Simply marinate chicken thighs in your favorite Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes and grill!

 

Ingredients

 

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup Italian dressing

2 medium zucchini

1 red onion

1 bell pepper

 

Instructions

 

*If you’re using wooden skewers, start by soaking them in water.

  1. Cut chicken into two inch pieces and place in glass dish.
  2. Pour dressing over chicken and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and marinate chicken.
  4. Place in refrigerator for minimum 30 minutes or up to three hours.
  5. Cut remaining vegetables into one to two inch pieces, keeping them close in size.
  6. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers, alternating chicken and vegetables, or keeping similar.
  7. Grill the kebabs over medium to high heat, turning once or twice, until the chicken has cooked through (about 15 minutes).

 

 

Nutrition

Servings: 4

Calories per serving: 373

Fat: 15 g

Carbohydrates: 13 g

Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 9 g

Protein: 49 g

 

 

The Dish On Black Bean Noodles

By: Snap Fitness

What is it:

Black bean noodles are made entirely of black beans and water.

 

Health benefits:

Black bean noodles are a healthy, gluten-free alternative to regular noodles. Black bean pasta is great for digestion, heart health, and lowering cholesterol levels because it is a natural source of fiber. This pasta has almost eight times the amount of protein and iron as regular pasta. Black bean pasta has about 100 more calories per serving than regular pasta; but remember, these are good calories coming from protein rather than empty calories that come from simple carbs in flour-based noodles. When it comes to pasta, black bean noodles top our list!

 

How to prepare:

You cook these black noodles just like regular noodles! Boil them in water until the noodles are medium firm.

 

How to pair:

Black bean pasta tastes great with a fresh pomodoro sauce, classic pesto, or spicy curry sauce. For a very healthy meal, just top this pasta with a dash of olive oil and steamed vegetables.

 

Where to buy:

These noodles can be purchased at your local health foods store or you can buy them online.

Summer Quinoa Salad

By: Snap Fitness

Classic summer flavors are combined in this nutritious, filling salad! Use fresh corn if it’s available but frozen works too. Serve with grilled chicken or fish for a perfect seasonal dinner or over salad greens for a quick lunch.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup dry quinoa

1 lime

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt

Pepper

2 cups cooked corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced (about 1 1/2 cup)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about 6)

.75 oz fresh basil, thinly sliced

 

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa as directed and let cool.
  2. Zest and juice lime.
  3. Whisk together lime juice, lime zest, honey, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper for dressing.
  4. Toss together quinoa, dressing, and remaining ingredients.
  5. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Nutrition

Servings: 8

Calories per serving: 263

Fat: 12 g

Carbohydrates: 35 g

Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 8 g

Protein: 6 g

 

Kale and Onion Quesadilla

By: Snap Fitness

Add some greens to the classic quesadilla! This vegetarian meal is packed with protein and comes together in just a few minutes; it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

5 oz kale (about 6 cups chopped kale)

4 whole grain or sprouted tortillas

2 cups shredded cheese

Optional toppings: light sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro

 

 

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pan.
  2. Add onion and sauté for about three minutes.
  3. Add kale and stir occasionally. Cook for another three to four minutes until kale is wilted.
  4. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  5. Wipe out pan and heat over medium-low heat.
  6. Add tortilla to pan and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Add about 1/4 of the kale mixture to one side.
  7. Fold quesadilla in half and cook for about two minutes per side, until cheese is melted.
  8. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and chopped cilantro if desired.

 

 

Nutrition:

Servings: 4 servings

Calories per serving (without toppings): 411

Fat: 25g

Carbohydrates: 30g

Fiber: 4g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 20g

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Avocado Blue Cheese Dressing

By: Snap Fitness

One of America’s favorite tailgating snacks has taken new, healthier form. This recipe is an alternative to classic chicken wings - still satisfying and hot! Try these guilt-free cauliflower bites as an appetizer or a side dish at your next gathering.

 

Servings: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Fridge time: Overnight for the dressing

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbls. olive oil

1/2  tbls. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2/3 cup of your favorite hot sauce

1 tbls. coconut oil (melted)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Gently toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a sheet pan.
  4. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Mix hot sauce and coconut oil together and gently toss the partially-cooked cauliflower in the mix. 
  6. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and continue cooking for five to seven minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with Avocado Blue Cheese Dressing and celery sticks.  

 

Dressing Ingredients

8 oz. Greek plain low-fat yogurt

1 avocado

1 tsp. onion power

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbls. red wine vinegar

2 tbls. buttermilk

2 tbls. lemon (juice)

6 oz. blue cheese (crumbled)

Cayenne (dash)

Salt

Pepper

 

Instructions

  1. Blend yogurt and avocado until smooth.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Refrigerated dressing will keep for up to one week.

 

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Calories per serving: 112

 

Dressing

Calories per 2 oz. serving: 171

 

Three Ways to Add Spinach to Everyday Meals

By: Snap Fitness

Adding spinach to everyday dishes will give you an added dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Below are three easy ways to add spinach to your meals. Consider spinach, the green secret weapon, a total game-changer in the kitchen!

 

Add spinach to smoothies – Mild in flavor, spinach can be added to smoothies without leaving you with a bitter taste. Blend spinach into a fruit smoothie with banana and pineapple or into your favorite protein drink for added vitamins!

 

Mix it in your meat – Introduce chopped spinach to your next meat dish for a well-balanced diet filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Consider adding chopped spinach to your famous meat sauce or to the classic summer dish, turkey burgers!

 

Top your pizza – Add fresh spinach to your favorite homemade pie. Spinach leaves will wilt while baking, adding flavor without an overpowering vegetable taste. Spinach will pair nicely on pizzas with chicken, roasted garlic, or part-skim ricotta cheese.

No Mayo Tuna Salad

By: Snap Fitness

A protein-packed tuna salad is the perfect meal after an intense workout because eating protein post-exercise can help build muscle. Refuel with this delicious and healthy, mayo-free tuna salad.

 

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Fridge time: 1 hour (You can keep it in the fridge for up to two days)

 

Ingredients

1 12 oz. bag of flaked tuna

1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts (drain and dice)

1 15 oz. can white beans (drain amd rinse)

2 ribs of celery (finely dice)

4 Tbls. red onion (finely dice)

2 Tbls. capers

1 lemon (zest and juice)

4 Tbls. olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Instructions

1. Gently toss all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

4. Serve on a bed of spring greens and arugula with cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado.  Alternatively, simply serve as a topper for crackers.  

  

Per Serving – For Recipe Only (does not include lettuce or accompaniments)

Calories: 350

Carbs: 40g

Protein: 22g

10 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

By: Snap Fitness

Eating healthy means eating lots of fresh produce. Sadly fresh veggies and fruit don’t stay fresh for very long. Here are some easy tricks to give your groceries some extra shelf life.

 

1. Store delicate herbs like flowers.

Put them in a jar with water, cover them with plastic, secure it with a rubberband, and refrigerate. This keeps delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

 

2. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.

Mix together one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Soak the berries in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

 

3. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.

It’s not just an old wives’ tale. When apples begin to decay, they emit ethelyne gas. If the rotting apple is mixed in with the good, the good apples start to absorb the gas and rot.

 

4. Don’t store onions with potatoes.

They spoil faster together. Instead store separate in a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.

 

5. Store potatoes with apples.

The ethelyne gas produced by apples prevents potatoes from sprouting.

 

6. Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between each onion.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

  

7. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.

They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.

 

8. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.

It’ll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.

 

9. Mason jars are your friend.

Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar. Mason jars also provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. 

 

10. Clean your fridge.

Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind mold that's ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge, it’ll make everything last longer.

 

What's your favorite trick that helps your groceries last longer? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Posts 1 - 10 of 95