The flu season is upon us! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January and February are the peak months of flu activity.
An overall healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is the best flu-fighting method. Taking supplements is not as beneficial as consuming whole food due to the fact that you may be missing out on other nutrients not typically found in supplements. For example, whole grain contains fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, and many other minerals and nutrients.
Several nutrients may play a role in enhancing your immunity:
— Beta carotene in deep-yellow fruits and veggies and dark-green leafy greens
— Vitamin B6 in whole grains, legumes, chicken and pork
— Vitamin C in citrus fruit, berries and melon
— Vitamin E in wheat germ and nuts
— Protein in dairy foods, meat, poultry, fish and legumes
— Selenium in meat and seafood
— Zinc in beef and seafood
— Friendly bacteria in yogurt with live cultures may also help build immunity
With the flu season in full swing, be sure to eat a balanced healthy diet, stay active, and consume adequate amounts of water!
I “Healthified” one of my own recipes!! My prior blog post, buffalo chicken cheese balls, was pretty high calorie because they were deep fried. Looking around on the internet, I saw a baked version of these balls! Lower calorie but still delicious. I will definitely be making these for Superbowl Sunday!
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
1/2 cup hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo)
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups Corn Flakes cereal
Pounding chicken thin allows this dish to cook quickly. The capers and white wine sauce pairs well with the lemon scented chicken. Delicious served over brown or wild rice and steamed veggies.
4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 tsp capers
1 Tbsp butter
An easy and simple 100 calorie chocolatey dessert! Great to make for a party or as a guilt-free dessert at home. If serving for a party, stick a toothpick into each one for an easy to grab treat.
8 large marshmallows
4 Tbsp melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 tsp cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1. Dip the marshmallows into the melted chocolate.
2. Roll in the graham cracker crumbs.
Yield: 4 servings (2 dipped marshmallows each)
Cooking Light, January 2013
These muffins are perfect to make on a lazy Sunday at home. I tend to make the full batch and eat the muffins as a quick & easy breakfast on the run for the rest of the week! Delicious both warm and cooled!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed
chopped walnuts, as desired
Quick and easy meal for a busy weeknight. Serve with some steamed veggies or a crisp salad for a complete meal. The salt and vinegar style chips add great flavor to the fish – reminiscent of classic fish & chips.
4 (6-oz) tilapia fillets (cod works well also!)
2 tsp olive oil mayonnaise
1/8 tsp salt
1 (2-oz) package salt & vinegar kettle-style chips, crushed
1/2 cup light ranch dressing
“Healthify” a Caesar salad by making your own homemade vinaigrette-style Caesar dressing and swapping the fried croutons for some homemade oven baked croutons. Top with some leftover grilled chicken for a complete meal.
2 oz French Bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped radicchio lettuce
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese