You may have noticed that many restaurants are adding menu items that incorporate new flavors that add a bit of global flair – often with delicious results. New food trends like Korean barbecue, curry-infused cocktails, and ginger-spiced seafood are just the tip of the iceberg. Consumers are enjoying more world flavors, and you may find that your favorite eatery has some interesting new menu items that are delicious and healthy, too. What you may not know is this trend is being driven, in part, by more health-conscious eating and the belief that some of the herbs and spices have some benefits beyond just great new flavors. Here are four that are becoming more common in dishes with Indian, Asian and Mediterranean flavors.
Loved for its zippy flavor that’s adaptable to both sweet and spicy recipes, ginger is loaded with gingerols which some say help ease arthritis pain and inflammation. It’s a great addition to Asian stir fry recipes as well as cold noodle dishes, and add a little zip to teas and citrus-based recipes.
Your mother may have encouraged you to eat garlic to hasten the end of a cold, but it’s also said that garlic can help with hypertension. Aside from possible health benefits, garlic is delicious and used throughout the world in a diverse range of dishes.
This amazing, fragrant herb has a woodsy flavor and scent that’s similar to lavender. It’s a great complement to pork and chicken dishes and imparts a fresh, earthy flavor to food. Studies hint that it can help boost your mood and help seniors ward off cognitive decline.
A mainstay of Indian food, this bright yellow spice is derived from a tuber that’s similar in appearance to ginger but has an earthy, mellow flavor. It includes curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that is said to help ease inflammation and fight cancer.
The best part of this tasty trend is that it’s easy for you to add these flavors to your everyday meals. Here are two great recipes that are a delicious addition to your menu.
For many, travel means either indulging in oversized restaurant meals or eating fast food for convenience, but if you normally eat a healthy diet, it’s surprisingly easy to keep it up on vacation. By making a few smart choices when you plan, you can feel satisfied and still enjoy the trip.
Book your stay in a condo, house or hotel with a kitchen – Many hotels now offer either a full kitchen or microwave and refrigerator. Either way, you can keep some basics on hand for a quick breakfast or healthy snack to keep you going. It saves you money, too.
Visit a grocery store or farmer’s market – It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on healthy snacks or ingredients for a quick, easy meal. Farmer’s markets are also a great spot to eat and sample some of the local cuisine. You might even find a new favorite dish!
Walk to lunch and dinner – If you’re someplace that’s pedestrian-friendly, this is a way to get a little exercise before and after your meal. If you’re having lunch, pick a place that is near an attraction you’re planning to visit and make a day of it.
Take it with you – If you’re headed out for the day, pack an easy, healthy lunch. It takes the pressure off finding a place to eat and makes it easy to be flexible with your plans. Plus, you KNOW you’ll be eating something you like.
Sample the local fare – If you’re traveling in the United States, it’s easy to find local places that have embraced the farm to table movement. Eating at these places are often a treat, and will give you the chance to eat like a local.
Eat breakfast – This is a great way to keep your energy level up and hunger at bay. Eating breakfast before you head out for the day will keep you from feeling famished so you’re more selective with your choices for the rest of the day.
Allow an indulgence – or two – Don’t beat yourself up for having something fabulously indulgent. If you think of your overall eating on the trip, not just focusing on one or two heavy meals or treats, is easier then trying to make each meal perfectly balanced.
Snack – Keep healthy snacks handy for when your energy tanks or you’re feeling hungry between meals. Apples, low-sugar granola bars, and carrot sticks keep well and are easy to toss in a purse or backpack. Keep a water bottle handy for fill-ups, especially if it’s hot outside.
Have dinner in – If you have a kitchen, use it to make a simple dinner at the end of a busy day sightseeing, or a day relaxing that you don’t want to end. Here are two healthy, easy dinners that require just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort
If you have a kitchen, use it to make a simple dinner at the end of a busy day sightseeing, or a day relaxing that you don’t want to end.
Here are two healthy, easy dinners that require just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort.
Most importantly, enjoy your trip! Taking a break from your routine and/or connecting with family and friends can be a great change of pace, but it’s easy to stick to your healthy eating habits by planning ahead.
Many of us just think of lemons as a sour fruit to twist in your water or a great start to a tart, tasty dessert, but lemons provide a few health benefits, too. They contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and are high in citric acid, a compound that’s known to help fight kidney stones. High in vitamin C, 1 lemon provides 36% of your recommended daily amount, and it’s also a good source of potassium. That vitamin C supports your immune system and helps you fight colds and stay healthy. It’s the perfect addition to hot tea, hot soup, or a twist in a drink when you’re thirsty.
The rind also provides pectin, a prebiotic that feeds good gut bacteria and it’s said that it can slow digestion and help you feel fuller, longer. You can add rind to a marinade, to baked goods like muffins or coffee cakes and to salad dressings. So, if you have a recipe that includes lemon rind you’re getting a little extra hit of pectin that aids in digestion.
One of the most common uses for lemons, lemon water, is a surprisingly effective way to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy ph balance. Starting the day off with a glass of lemon water “wakes up” your metabolism and rehydrates you after a long sleep. It’s great to drink later in the day because it acts as a diuretic and helps flush out toxins and keeps you from feeling bloated.
Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy lemons is in your favorite recipes. The acid flavor enhances sweet and salty tones and makes a great addition to marinades for meats and fish. When added to dressings, they are delicious on tossed salads, marinated veggie salads, and pasta salads. Just give your next pasta dish a twist and you’ll be hooked!
Can you really achieve your health and fitness goals by thinking positive? Yes! You can! If you’re welcoming spring feeling like you’ve fallen behind in your fitness goals already, thinking positive may be just what you need to get back on track.
It may sound too good to be true, but staying positive can be an incredibly effective way to lose weight, exercise more and make better health choices. Scientists estimate humans have about 60,000 thoughts every day, so if you’re mired down in negative thinking, changing your thought patterns is a good first step to achieving your goals. The good part is a few simple steps can turn things around – here are some quick tips to get started:
Pay attention to your thoughts – You may be surprised at how many negative or self-defeating thoughts you have about your ability to stick to your goals. When an “I can’t” thought pops into your head, turn it into an “Of course I can” moment. Can’t find the energy to take a walk? Yes, I can. Can’t resist the second helping of an indulgent dish? Yes, I can. The more you tell yourself “I got this”, the more you will realize that you are in charge!
Pick a tangible reminder – Wear a rubberband around your wrist, put a favorite photo on your desk, or carry something in your pocket that you can access easily. When you have a negative thought or are about to skip that walk or eat that donut, you have a reminder of the contract you have with yourself. It’s surprising how easy it is to stay on goal when you’ve got a friendly reminder.
Choose a daily theme – As you’re starting the day, choose something to be thankful for, a positive achievement from the day before to remind yourself that to stay positive. It could be as simple as, “Yesterday I walked an extra ½ mile” or “I have stuck to my goals for 26 days, today is 27”, to remind you to stay on goal. When you feel droopy or despondent, repeat your theme of the day – before you know it you’ll feel better!
Meditate – While this may be a current trend, meditation has been proven effective for thousands of years. Clearing your mind and quieting the negative chatter in your brain can have a surprisingly uplifting effect on your overall outlook. If you need help with getting started, here are some quick tips for starting this new habit.
Think spring – Ok, this may be just a seasonal suggestion, but spring really IS the time for renewal, and it’s an easy way to feel great and stay focused on the positive. With everything in bloom and the weather (finally) improving, it’s an easy way to feel great!
Find an app – Yes, we said that – there are apps for positive thoughts and meditation. If you’ve ever used an app for lists, travel, recipes, etc., you’re tech-savvy enough to use one of the many apps that help train your brain to be positive or stay focused. You can find some great suggestions here.
Do YOU have a tip for consistently staying positive and focused on your healthy living or fitness goals? Share them with us in the comments OR on our Facebook page. We love to hear tips from our fans!
It’s no coincidence that the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day is also American Heart Month. It’s a great time to make some heart-healthy changes that can have long term benefits. A great first step is adding some foods your menu that are good for you heart. Here’s a list of some of the best foods, and they’re delicious, too!
Fish – Adding a serving a fish to your weekly menu is a great way to increase your protein intake and get some much-needed Omega-3’s. Be sure to choose tuna, salmon, mackerel or trout to get the most benefit.
Nuts – A serving of nuts, like almonds or walnuts, can be a great snack or addition to a salad or stir fry. The are calorie dense, so be sure not to overdo it. A serving is roughly what will fit in the palm of your hand.
Tomatoes – They are so versatile and so delicious. Roasting them brings out their lycopene which is known to help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Apples – High in fiber and flavonoids that stop inflammation, apples are the perfect go-to for a late afternoon snack.
Olive Oil – It’s easy to switch to olive oil for cooking. It’s been a staple in the Mediterranean diet for centuries, and is thought to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s great drizzled on salads or used in your favorite pasta salad recipe.
The great part about these foods is that they are readily available and easy to add to your menu. Kick off a year of heart-healthier choices with help from the experts at the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. Consider learning more about your two important numbers – cholesterol and blood pressure – and what that can do for your overall health. Read more about the benefits of a heart healthy lifestyle here.
For many of us, a new year is a great opportunity to get started on those long-awaited plans to eat healthier, exercise more, or even get more sleep. If you’ve already made changes that have had a positive impact, keep going, taking the first step is sometimes the hardest part.
If you’re looking for a few simple ways to keep your routine moving forward, there are some simple changes you can make that can have a surprising impact. We’ve comprised some great ideas from our favorite bloggers and registered dietitians. Give one or all a try and see what a little change or two can do for you!
Take any and every opportunity to squeeze in a bit of exercise. Even carrying in the groceries is change to stretch or lift. See how Stephanie Mansour does it here.
Replace some of your unhealthy recipe ingredients with delicious, healthier options – like subbing pureed cauliflower for cream in an alfredo sauce. It gives the recipe a gorgeous color and rich flavor without all the calories and fat. See this and other delicious substitutions here.
Add extra veggies to your diet with delicious salads that you toss with your homemade salad dressings. Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS has some great suggestions here.
Eat more “real food”. Cutting out processed foods is easier and more delicious than you think. Find some great tips and recipes from Vicky Shanta Retelny, RDN here.
Have you made a small change that made a BIG impact on your healthy lifestyle? Tell us about it in the comments below. Happy New Year!
We’re wrapping up our month-long pasta party with true touch of the season – PUMPKINS! They’re not just for jack-o-lanterns and pie, you know. Click here to get a taste of pure pumpkin heaven. Your family will be screaming for more! And while you’re at it, grab a coupon before they disappear!
With a nip in the air and the crunch of leaves underfoot, undoubtedly your stomach is shouting out for those comfort dishes from your past. Never fear, Dreamfields comes to the rescue with incredibly delicious, slightly indulgent, classic pasta recipes to satisfy that nostalgic appetite.
Come on. Admit it. You just can’t get enough of deliciously comforting foods. We’re like that too – especially when it comes to pasta. So, for this week’s way to enter the #HealthyPastaMonth2018 Sweepstakes we want you to tell us which of our seven shapes of pasta is your ultimate favorite. Can’t make up your mind? That’s okay OK because you can come back and vote every single day. And since there are seven days in a week and we have seven cuts of pasta. . .well, you do the math! You might win one of our fantastic prizes here.
Comfort may be king with the following recipes, but the queen has made sure that they also pack a nutritious punch. Enjoy without feeling guilty!
Fall is fleeting. You need to cram in those favorite outdoor activities (not to mention all the other things you juggle every day) before the colder weather sets in. If every day feels like a marathon, try some of our protein-rich pasta recipes to help fuel your days and nights. Click here to see this week’s recipes and keep coming back through October for more. Ready. Set. Go!
Seasonal Colors Make Dinner Beautiful and Tasty. Last week we featured recipes that utilized the flavors AND the colors of the season. The reds, oranges, greens and yellows look resplendent against a palette of pasta. And the flavors? Whoa – they’re off the charts delicious. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself here.
The colors are exploding all around us, so why not on our plates as well. This week we’re highlighting pasta recipes that are as delicious as they are beautiful. It’s like painting a portrait of the season with orange and yellow squash, red peppers, and green kale blended on a canvas of Dreamfields pasta. Truly a feast for the eyes! This week we’re featuring the following deliciously colorful pasta dishes:
You KNOW that we adore you for being a fan. Now we want to hear why you love us back? To enter for a chance to win one of our awesome #HealthyPastaMonth2018 Sweepstakes prizes, this week we want you to tell us in 25 words or less why Dreamfields is your favorite pasta. The best part? You can come back every day this month and enter again for a total of 31 chances to win one of our fantastic prizes below!