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Filed in Kim's Corner — September 12, 2016

Do you think of eating in a positive manner and simply enjoy the food you are having? Or are you more likely to focus on what you should not or cannot have based on the desire to drop a few pounds?

Considering the focus on obesity and related diseases and the fix-it-all fad diets that offer quick results but often leave us feeling deprived and frustrated, it’s easy to understand why we approach healthy eating with some negativity—and perhaps even confusion and fear—instead of with a positive attitude.

Time to start appreciating your body for all the good it does, and fueling it to say thank you!

Summer brings us in-season fresh vegetables and fruits, the opportunity to cook outside on the grill and prepare make-ahead cold salads. All of these cooking methods and food options can be easy, delicious and nutritious! Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of can’t, focus on the positive aspect of yes I can…and enjoy!

The following are some recipes for you to put into your summer mix:

Fruity Oatmeal
Enjoy this whole-grain, fresh fruit breakfast, prepared in less than 15 minutes!
Makes three servings – Each Serving 241 calories/8 grams protein/39 grams carbohydrate/6 grams fat/2 grams fiber.

2 cups water
¼ tsp salt
1 cup regular rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh peaches (or apple if preferred)
¼ cup raisins
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds
2 tsp. brown sugar
½ cup skim milk

In a saucepan, bring the water, oats and salt to boiling. Stir in peaches, raisins, cinnamon and nuts. Reduce heat and simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and let stand for two minutes and serve. (Add more water if you like a thinner consistency.)

Garbanzo Bean and Vegetable Salad
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, have a mild and nutty flavor. Beans are filling and contain a significant amount of protein and fiber. This is a great salad to tote for lunch, so long as you keep it cold.

Makes three servings – each serving 245 calories/18 grams protein/8 grams fiber/25 grams carbohydrate/8 grams fat.

2 tbs. lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp basil (1 tbs if fresh)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 – 15oz can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups chopped broccoli
1 7 oz can diced tomatoes, un-drained
¾ cup cubed part skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup sliced carrots
In a large mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Cold Chicken (or Shrimp) Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Makes three four-cup servings. Each serving 350 calories/33 grams protein/10 grams fat/32 grams carbohydrate/4 grams fiber

3 tbs white wine vinegar or white cider vinegar
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 tbs. olive oil
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 lb. cooked chicken or shrimp cut up
1 tbs. chopped pimiento
10 cups torn bibb, boston, spinach leaf lettuce mix
¼ cup sliced green onion

In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients, whisk in oil and set aside the vinaigrette mixture. Cut the oranges in ½ inch slices, and quarter each slice. Add the chicken or shrimp, pimientos and oranges to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Just before serving, toss mixture with lettuce and onions.

Grilled Rosemary Salmon Skewers
Oil your grill well to prevent sticking and keep a close eye on the fire to avoid flare ups!

Makes 4 servings – 2 skewers each. 246 calories/15 grams fat/4 grams carbohydrate/23 grams protein/1 gram fiber.

2 tsp. rosemary minced (fresh is best)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 lb. fresh caught center cut salmon filet skinned and cut in 1 inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes

1. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Combine first seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Add salmon; toss to coat.
Alternating the salmon and tomatoes divide among eight skewers.
3. Oil the grill rack. Grill the skews carefully turning once, until the salmon is cooked through 4-6 minutes total. Serve immediately.

One final thought: always start your day with breakfast and continue to fuel your body throughout the day. Very simply put, your brain and body require nutrients throughout the day for optimal function and performance.

By satisfying your hunger with healthy daytime meals, you will not only perform better throughout the day at work and at play, but you also will ruin the appetite for the evening “junk food” binge that contributes to fat gain. Bon Appétit!

~Kim Forsten

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