Peanut Butter and Banana with Lemon and Mint

You know that embarrassing gurgling and rumbling noise that squeals from your stomach; usually during the afternoon when you've gone a few hours with out having a meal? I don't know why, but for some reason it always happens to me when I'm sitting in class, particularly after my professor has instructed us students to do some individual reading or writing. Which usually means pin drop silence will follow. And it's always around this time that my stomach begins to roar, as if it has a life of it's own.

So that brings me to the point: snacking. You shouldn't skip meals because every time you do your body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) slows down because it doesn't know the next time it's going to get food. The whole idea of your BMR slowing down is a protective mechanism, your body is getting into starvation mode. Though it's not always this severe, considering your last meal was probably that same day--not several days ago--your body is always preparing for the worst.

Your body will first use up glucose from your muscles, then extra glucose (called glycogen) from your liver for energy if you go too long with out eating. In horrible cases where the unfortunate people go without food for several days, the body will then use protein (from your muscles and your organs), and if it goes even longer it will use fat for long term survival.

So you see, it is very important that you always think about eating, yes that's right, think about it. The more frequent your meals and the smaller portions you eat the better. By eating every 2-3 hours you are constantly fueling your body and you avoid over stuffing yourself, which can often lead to weight gain.

To hold you over between lunch and dinner you should be eating a snack that is made with whole grain, some protein, a little fat, and some fruit or vegetable. This recipe is a spin on the usual boring peanut butter and banana sandwich. The mint adds a peppermint like freshness and the lemon gives plenty of zing that pairs well with the peanut butter. For a snack, have one slice of whole grain bread; and if you like it enough to have for lunch, make it into a sandwich by using two slices.

Peanut Butter and Banana with Lemon and Mint

Serves 1


1 slice whole-grain bread, lightly toasted if you wish
1/2 banana, sliced
2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter (healthier for you because it doesn't contain additives)
zest of half a lemon, and 1-2 teaspoons of juice (or more if you like lemon)
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried mint (optional)


Really, you can do this in you sleep:

1.) Toast the bread.
2.) in a small bowl toss the banana, lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh mint, and dried mint.
3.) Evenly spread the peanut butter on the toasted bread.
4.) Top with the lemon-mint banana mixture.
5.) Serve immediately.

Happy Snacking :o)


Healthy Eating 101: How to Fill Your Plate

Courtesy of eatdrinkbetter

If you are motivated to start losing weight this 2011 but clueless as to how you're going to go about getting the job done, then the absolute best place to start with is your plate.

This is where you are have the most control: what goes on your plate, and how much food you're going to put on it is all under your command. Of course, if you're serious about losing weight than I could bore you to pieces and preach about how important it is to choose the right foods, but instead of lecturing let's assume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are the categories to choose from.

If you encourage yourself to make a conscious effort to eat nutrient dense foods every meal, and every day; (nutrient dense foods are full of vitamins and minerals but low on calories) then you will see changes.

7 day plate challenge:

Divide your plate into half.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fill this half with fruits and vegetables. Don't get too hung up on preparing them a certain way, you're probably too busy, or you may just be lazy (we have something in common). The best way to cook fruits and vegetables is with as little water and heat as much as possible, and the reason is because fruits and vegetables are filled with water soluble vitamins. If you drench them in water, or even cook them over a blasting flame, then you are slowly killing off the vitamins.

It brings me to the point--why eat right if the "healthy food" isn't helping you?

Steaming is great solution because the food comes in very little contact with water and the heat is gentle.

Now, there are exceptions because sometimes some vegetables need be roasted or sauteed. This is fine, go for it. I myself don't steam everything. The point is to make an effort to steam as much as you can.

Don't go out buying a steamer, use your microwave!

Broccoli with Lemon and Toasted Garlic
  • Rinse broccoli florets under cold water, shake off most of the water but leave a small trace. Put into a microwaveable container and partially cover with a lid and microwave for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and saute thin slices of fresh garlic until lightly toasted.
  • When the broccoli is ready, toss with the garlic olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon juice, and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
  • To keep things exciting, try sprinkling toasted pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese for dinner the next evening.

Divide one half of the plate into half again.

Lean Meat/ Protein

Opt for lean cuts of meat, ones that are 90% lean or higher. Typically , cuts that have the word “loin” or “round” are naturally lower in fat.

Try pork tenderloin (it has a very nice price), flank steak, all types of fish (salmon is great but so are the less expensive kind, like catfish and tilapia), all kinds of beans (if using canned, always rinse with cold water to get rid of extra salt), and even nuts. However, when it comes to eating nuts, you have to be mindful of portion sizes because they are higher in calories. Just don't eat the entire can.

And of course, chicken breast is the most common and versatile choice for lean meat/protein. Buy it skinless and boneless, or, to save money you can buy it with the skin on and pull it off your self.


I'll say it again, go for whole grains as much as you can. The benefit lies in the fiber in these whole grains; it hasn't been stripped, unlike regular processed grains (white rice, white bread), and this means all of the vitamins and minerals are left intact. Plus, this fiber cleans excess gunk out of your colon and helps to absorb some fat and other debris that can lead to diseases.

Some good choices are : brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, quinoa, whole grain sandwich bread, chapatis (Indian flat breads), buckwheat flour or noodles, soba noodles, farro (Italian grain), and rolled oats.

Fill your plate with these kind of ingredients and eat this way for the next 7 days. You're going to feel much cleaner and lighter, I guarantee it.