“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.
Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.
Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.
“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”
Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.
She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.
Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.
Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.
At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.
We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.
As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.
Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!
How does LifeVest dress up for Halloween? That’s a no-brainer. We turn ourselves into Broccoli Man, of course, our favorite super-health-hero for fighting cancer, inferior food choices, inflammation, vitamin D deficiency, and more.
This got us thinking, what might Broccoli Man be if he were to dress up for Halloween? We asked him, and following are some ideas he’s pondering. He’s hoping you might help him decide by telling him which one is your favorite.
Put your carved jack-o’-lantern on your porch, but please pass along its seeds to your plate! Those tiny ovals will obtain an irresistible crunch upon roasting, meaning they have no place in the trashcan.
They’re also scary good for you. Legend has it that jack-o’-lanterns originated as a means to ward off evil spirits. However, we’re starting to think it’s the pumpkin seeds that deserve most of the credit for scaring off death. You see, pumpkin seeds contain a solid 150mg of magnesium per ounce. Research shows that meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium (442mg/day) is highly associated with a reduced risk of death. (That’s a 34% risk reduction for overall mortality, 59% reduction in cardiovascular death & a 37% reduction in cancer death, according to this study. Woah!)
In addition to that magical magnesium, pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. This all makes them an incredibly satisfying snack — especially when you add a little salt and curry powder to the mix.
We’ve got the recipe below that shows you how to do just that, so get ready to go save your seeds and take them to the table.
The following easy-to-make recipe comes from LifeVester Angela Delgado, and offers a much lighter alternative to your traditional plate of pasta. Since Angela discovered zucchini could be turned into noodles a few months ago, she’s been making it every single week!
“It tricks me into thinking I’m eating pasta, which I’ve always been addicted to,” she says. “It’s really quick and has simple flavors that all come together to create a really fresh dish.”
With less than half the calories of regular pasta, and a whole lot of vitamin C and other nutrients, this is one pasta where building a healthy addiction would be well-warranted! Serve it up as a light meal or alongside a slice of whole grain bread and a salad.
Zucchini grows faster than your appetite does after an intense summer workout – and come August, there’s plenty of it. Gardener or not, now is the prime time to sneak this vitamin A filled veggie onto your dinner plate, and with it’s noodle-making abilities, it’ll be easy to do so.
Containing a mere 33 calories per medium zuke, the summer squash makes for the perfect pasta swap. Alas, a solution that lets you send a pile of pasta high onto your plate without feeling weighed down afterwards. All you need is a cheap julienne peeler and a few minutes of time. From our Meatless Monday columnist and food blogger Grace:
“You should find the julienne peeler rather easy to use. Simply place your zucchini on a flat surface, and slide its blade from one end to the other. Repeat until you get down to the end.”
With any leftover zucchini scraps from the process, Grace places those right into the blender with the avocado cream that tops this recipe. It lends a bit of decadence to this light and fresh, summer-in-a-bowl recipe. As Grace says:
“With a bowl full of the whole summer garden – sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs – this is a good place to start the zucchini noodle marathon that’s bound to follow. Here, you get a whole bunch of fresh ingredients to keep things light, but also a richness from the avocado that pulls it all together. For presentation purposes, keep it all separate like pictured [above]. But you’ll definitely want to give everything a good mixing with your fork before diving in.”
Head on over to FoodFitnessFreshAir for the recipe, and get ready for a Meatless Monday pasta party that’ll make you feel fresh.
Summertime – the livin’ is easy, and so is cultivating that slightly sweat-drenched look. This time of year, step outside and it often doesn’t take more than a few blocks till you end up in your own perspiration party. The best way to celebrate? Hydration, hydration, hydration – in a form that’ll get your taste buds movin’. (And maybe some deodorant, too.)
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly, and thus staying hydrated is crucial to your health. (Approx. 60% of your body weight is water!) However, the solution isn’t reaching for a sugar-loaded soda or juice. If you really want to cheers to your health, H20 is the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up your cup with a little extra jazz. Get ready to cue those party tunes – we’ve got 5 flavor infusions that’ll bring a guilt-free party to your H20.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan marked July as the official month of ice cream. That presents 30 sweet years of history, so of course we want you to celebrate its anniversary – the cool-down, feel-good LifeVest way.
At LifeVest, we’d never prescribe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (even in the most tearful situations, since dancing and taking a run are better, proven ways to cheer up quickly). But a simple, no-sugar-added, one-ingredient treat? Now that’s an ice cream we 100% stand behind. Today, we bring you our special, DIY banana ice cream.
Other than its capabilities of providing a naturally cool, creamy base to celebrate this month, there are numerous reasons why we are forever going bananas for bananas. Below are a few for why it can create a recipe that’ll outshine any other ice cream in your bowl:
- A potassium powerhouse: Containing over 10% of your Daily Value, a banana is the most convenient source of potassium, a nutrient good for your heart. Regular consumption helps guard against high blood pressure and stroke. It also aids in recovery following exercise, which is why bananas are often an athlete’s snack of choice.
- B6 beasts: Technically an herb, the banana is notably high in vitamin B6, too, important for brain function, maintaining proper blood sugar levels, & producing antibodies for a stronger immune system.
- A sweeter-than-sugar swap: Love to bake, but want to cut down on your sugar-intake? Look no further than the extra ripe banana sitting on your counter. For every 1 cup of sugar, combine 1 cup of mashed, overripe bananas with just a few tablespoons of water. Puree until smooth. Then, if using in baking, cut down on the moisture in your recipe by using a little less milk or water. Not a big baker? Use mashed bananas to sweeten up your breakfast, such as plain yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal, rather than buying sugar-added alternatives.
- A WISE choice: Health aside, the scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men”. That fun fact makes us feel even more so that our ice cream recipe below is a smart choice.
Our LifeVest food blogger, Grace over at FoodFitnessFreshAir, is back again for today’s Meatless Monday. She brings us a colorful pasta recipe, lightened up with vitamin-loaded, shaved asparagus and roasted tomatoes. Naturally vegan, this meal will hold up well for picnics or dining al fresco. Here at LifeVest, we’re all about chowing down in the grand outdoors – especially when pesto’s involved.
Stick with whole wheat pasta to bring extra fiber to your plate, and serve with a side salad of early summer greens. Head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe!
Beans are an excellent source of both fiber and protein. On average, just ½ cup holds the same amount protein as an ounce of meat. As for their fiber, beans have been shown to help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugars even, which is important for weight control and overall health.
In fact, in a new study shows, participants who ate ¾ cup of legumes per day reduced their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by about 5 percent. Researchers suggest that this could reduce heart attacks and other major cardiovascular events by 5-6 percent.
Our hearts tell us it’s time to bring you a bean-filled recipe to fuel up and use for today’s Meatless Monday. This colorful and easy salad comes from wellness and nutrition expert, Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND. She suggests making it a day in advance and allowing the flavors to marinade, then serving with a green salad, and grilled salmon or chicken.