Lean is in: Healthy winter meals under 30 minutes

They say ‘you are what you eat’. Well, if that were true, I’d be a cheese cube. Winters are here, which means it’s going to be harder than the usual to drag your lazy ass to the gym . Heres a few suggestions that’ll help you boost your immune system and keep that gorgeous figure intact this season. 

Start your day with a healthy breakfast as it truly is the most important meal of the day. Not only does the right kind of breakfast kick-start your brain but it also helps you slim you down. Start the day with a protein bar. While choosing your brand, make sure you go for the one that has nuts and fruits instead of fat and sugar. If you’re looking for something that’ll keep you full all morning, then yogurt is the best option for you. There are a millions things you can add to your low fat yogurt but if you’re looking for healthy options go for berries and fruits. Not only do they add more flavor to the yogurt but they also prevent you from getting bored of eating the same plain yogurt every morning.

Bran bars, Courtesy- Onecaketwocake

A crunchy salad is an ideal option for lunch and even though there are a zillion options that you can choose from, there’s two easy recipes that’ll fill your stomach, keep you healthy and make your lunch exciting. Black Bean and Corn Salad is number one on my list. All you need is a salad bowl, beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Throw in everything in the bowl and mix. Prepare some lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve. Fruity Pasta Salad is another delicious option and makes for the perfect on-the-go lunch. For pasta salad you need boiled whole wheat pasta (any kind), pineapple chunks, low fat mayonnaise, chick peas, salad greens, cheddar cheese and some balsamic vinegar. Mix all in the ingredients in a large bowl and serve. Those who are looking for a healthier option, eliminate cheese from the recipe and use canned pineapple after draining the chunks properly instead of using a fresh pineapple.

As far as the last meal of the day is concerned, it is important to keep it light because you don’t do a lot of activities after dinner and your body fails to burn the carbs you consume. Nothing says winter like a bowl of piping hot soup. Lucky for you, I have 2 recipes that fit the bill and reduces hours of slaving in the kitchen.

Lentil Soup-  Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add some sliced onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, oregano, and bay leaf; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Add some vinegar and salt and pepper for taste. Add a piece of whole grain bread to your dinner.

Lentil soup, Courtesy- chow.com

Chicken Noodle Soup- Pour some chicken stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using your hands. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the noodles are tender. Voila! you’re done.

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