Week 4: Are You Up For The ‘Eat Well Challenge’?

by Simona Terron
We’ve made it to the final week of the challenge and of American Heart Month! Let’s celebrate with a sensible and snappy heart healthy meal plan that our hearts and bodies will thank us for. It now feels good to have made a habit of eating one heart-smart item per meal every day for a week, and if you’re still not on board, it’s time to get your act together.

Here are our recommendations of tasty and simple dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, a beverage and dessert, to get started on your journey to living your best life:

: Overnight Muesli
Why: Muesli is comforting and familiar but can pack a mean punch at the start of the day if you fortify it with unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened apple juice. These powerful liquids will boost this dish’s nutritional value and make it tastier. Grating apples into it and adding a tablespoon of chia seeds will plump it up and keep you full longer, plus you can enjoy lowered cholesterol levels.

: Yakitori Japanese Skewers
Why: Miso is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and is a fantastic probiotic food besides being delicious. Adding it to the sauce along with fresh ginger pulp (which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant) makes for a tasty and smart dish. You can cook these skewers using either boneless skinless chicken thighs or pork tenderloin, which is high in protein, low in fat and has plenty of the B-vitamins (thiamin, niacin, B6 and B12) that aid metabolism and energy production.

: Mini Muffin Tin Meatballs
Why: Beef has been unnecessarily demonized considering the lean version is nutritious, satiating, and contains all the essential amino acids to build muscles and bones, as well as vitamins. Boost your red blood cell production and support your immune system by making these cute meatballs and don’t forget to add ground flaxseed and pureed mixed green vegetables (such as spinach, peas and broccoli) to up the health quotient considerably.

: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Why: Who says you gotta eat this only for an entire meal? Butternut squash is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium as well as vitamins A and E. to control portion size, have just a small mug of this instead of a large bowl.

: Sugar-Free Lemon Barley Water
Why: This is a natural tonic that has a ton of health benefits such as keeping your weight in control, boosting heart health, and helping you stay hydrated irrespective of the weather. Simple to prepare, it can be stored in your fridge for up to a week.

: Poached Apple & Citrus Treat
Why: Eating apples on their own can be boring so why not just jazz things up by splashing some citrus on them? Let this dish’s natural sugars sweeten your palate even as your body gets stronger with the high vitamin content.

Image: Shutterstock
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