How to cook legumes

The legume family includes dried beans, peas and lentils

They are nutritious, inexpensive and versatile

They are a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, fibers and Vitamin B 12

So go ahead, add beans, peas and lentils to your meals more often and learn the healthy way to cook them

Beans and lentils come canned or dried


 

To prepare dried beans, peas and lentils:

  • Inspect for small rocks and poor quality beans
  • Wash and soak overnight in water to help them cook faster
  • Frequently change the soaking water to help make the legumes more digestible and less gassy
  • Once soaked, boil dried beans in fresh water
  • Gather and discard any foam that comes to the surface while cooking.
    When dried beans boil, a foam forms on the top of the cooking liquid. This foam is water-soluble protein released from the beans and it will be absorbed back into the bean cooking liquid. It is not necessary to remove the foam

    • To keep the foam down when cooking beans, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable salad oil, for each cup of beans
  • Cook until tender. Depending on the bean, this may take 1-2 hours.
  • You don’t need to presoak dried lentils or split peas. They are smaller and cook faster
  • So if you are running out of time, you may cook lentils or black eyed peas for lunch or dinner as a great low calories high fiber meal
  • Add salt or lemon juice or vinegar, tomatoes or juice, near the end of the cooking time, when the beans are soft
  • If these ingredients are added early in the cooking process they will increase the cooking time
  • Beans are well cooked when they can be easily mashed

 

STOCK UP ON BEANS

  • You can cook and freeze beans
  • To freeze cooked beans for later use, finish the cooking process first then immerse them in cold water until cool, drain well and freeze.
  • You may choose to portion them in small freezer bags for later quick use as they make the perfect healthy meal.
  • When consuming beans, do not forget to combine them with whole wheat bread and acidic addition such as lemon juice or orange or tomatoes, in order for your body to be able to absorb the full nutrients.

How to prevent night time hunger

Eating too much food in the evening can lead to poor sleep, weight gain and lowered self-esteem if you feel you cannot control it.

DO NOT SKIP MEALS

  • Skipping meals and becoming overly hungry by evening can lead to nighttime binge eating.
  • Recent studies revealed that when people ate three meals a day only 13% binged. When people skipped breakfast, 24% binged and when people skipped breakfast and lunch, 60% binged.
  • In general, people who spread their meals throughout the day seem to be better able to control their eating.

 

SLEEP YOUR 8 HOURS

  • Sleep is a regulator of two hormones that effect appetite
  • One study reported a 24% increase in hunger, with excessive, uncontrollable cravings such as cookies and cake.

 

INCREASE YOUR FIBERS

  • High-fiber foods can help you feel full for a longer period of time and cause satiety from fewer calories, since high-fiber foods generally take longer to digest.
  • Consuming high-fiber foods at dinner can help you avoid nighttime hunger and lose weight.
  • A 2005 review published in the journal “Nutrition” found that increasing fiber intake is associated with a lower body weight and body fat. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

How to eat healthy in celebrations

Everyone loves a party.

There’s something about getting together with your friends.

But with so many people trying to live healthier these days, finding tasty, healthy food in celebrations can be a challenge.

Scientists have proven that we eat more at a buffet.

If you are cooking for the party, Reduce the fat in creamy dressings or dips by using low-fat or fat-free yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise.


Use flavored vinegars or lemon juice to enhance the flavor of a salad without adding fat. Or fill a spray bottle with oil and vinegar so your guests can lightly mist their salads.


If you are a guest, make sure to scan your options before plating and limiting your choices to 2 entrees, one of which is green and 1 main course.


If you are a guest, make sure to limit your sauces servings to 2 Tbsp for salad sauce and chose your main course that has less sauce or no sauce.


Avoid skipping a meal the next because you have over indulged in food during a celebration.

You are trying to build healthy habits and punishing yourself by skipping meals is not a healthy habit.

Instead, increase your workout during the week and continue with your healthy habits of cutting down on sweets and fat.

How to reduce sodium

We have been told many times that it is healthy to reduce sodium intake.

Too much sodium in the body is bad because:

  • It affects more water retention in the body
  • Which puts more pressure on the heart and blood vessels to function
  • May cause high blood pressure

Most people eat more sodium than they should, often without knowing it

Tips on reducing sodium

  • Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the amount of sodium in foods. Try to choose products with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is high.