Christian Living


Get Healthy and Skinny by Eating Clean

The daylight is lengthening; the outside temperature is slowly warming; and flowers are beginning to show their colors—definite signs that summertime and its lighter, more revealing wardrobe is soon to arrive. Like so many others, you may be thinking that now is the perfect time to try and drop those extra pounds that mysteriously appeared shortly after enjoying a few months of holiday feasting. Maybe you’ve simply decided that it’s time to get back into those “skinny jeans” once and for all. Or maybe it’s something more serious, like a weight-related health condition or job requirement (stated or implied) that is causing you to seriously consider losing weight. Whatever the reason, author and journalist, Dari Alexander, understands how you feel.

After the births of her two children, Alexander found herself many pounds overweight. With limited time to lose the weight before returning to her job as a TV news anchor, Alexander tried every fad diet she knew to lose the weight but they all, not surprisingly, failed her. As a TV journalist who often researched and reported on all aspects of the diet industry, Alexander knew that fad diets are really only short-term fixes; they may help you lose some weight initially, but they aren’t sustainable for the long run—cabbage soup and protein bars lose their appeal after a while. Special-delivery meals and private chefs were not affordable options either. She needed a long-term solution that would get and keep the weight off. Through her professional contacts Alexander learned that an actress she admired kept her lean, toned look by following a “clean eating” program. Once again, putting her journalist skills to work, she researched clean eating and began a journey into a cleaner, quicker, and healthier way of eating and cooking.

In her brand-new cookbook, THE QUICK AND CLEAN DIET: Lose the Weight, Feel Great, and Stay Lean for Life (Copyright © 2013 by Dari Alexander; Published by Skirt!®), Dari Alexander has put together the basic information on clean eating that she personally used to regain her energy, health and figure. The key to “eating clean” is consuming natural, unprocessed foods, ones that are as close to their natural state as possible. This includes healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, low-glycemic fruit and vegetables, and more spices than you ever knew existed! While incorporating these clean foods, you will also be eliminating pre-packaged, heavily processed and refined foods, as well as “junk foods” and “fast foods”. But don’t despair—your food will never taste boring or bland thanks to Alexander’s professional training as a chef in New York City and Paris, France. Her book includes plenty of quick and clean original recipes you will find both delicious and easy to prepare. Alexander’s back-to-basics, no-nonsense, weight loss and maintenance program could be your key to living a  thinner, healthier, and more energized life. Give the following recipes a try and get a taste of what quick and clean eating is all about. Enjoy!

Sizzling Mini Pork Tacos with Peach Salsa

This is a fun dish to make on a Saturday night or when you just feel like eating something special. You can refrigerate the salsa in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes 2 servings

For the salsa:
3 1/2 cups diced frozen or fresh peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon light agave syrup (if needed)*

For the tacos:
1 pound lean pork tenderloin, cut in thin strips
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch of sea salt
6 mini whole wheat tortillas

1. Combine all the salsa ingredients and set aside.
2. In a bowl, toss the pork with the cumin, paprika, garlic and salt.
3. Generously coat a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat on medium. Add the pork and grill on both sides until cooked through.
4. Divide the pork filling among the tortillas and top with the salsa.

Per serving:
Calories 683;
total fat 14 g;
saturated fat 5 g; cholesterol 143 mg; sodium 768 mg; carbohydrates 79 g; dietary fiber 13 g;
sugars 28 g;
protein 61 g

* If you are using ripe sweet fresh peaches you may not need the syrup, but if they are frozen and a little bitter, it might help the recipe.

Santorini Omelet

This omelet has a lot of flavor and texture, which is why it’s one of my favorites. Sometimes I even eat it for lunch!
Makes 1 serving

2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped tomato
2 tablespoons chopped black kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 eggs, preferably organic
1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

1. Spray a small skillet with olive oil cooking spray and set it over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, tomato, olives, and spinach. Sauté for two minutes or just until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Remove the skillet from the heat, wipe it clean, spray again, and reheat.
4. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add them to the reheated pan.
5. When the eggs begin to set, spoon the reserved tomato-and-onion mixture onto one side of the omelet, and sprinkle with the cheese. Slide a spatula under the empty side of the omelet and fold it over. Let the cheese melt for a minute and serve.

Per serving:
Calories 198;
total fat 13 g;
saturated fat 4 g;
cholesterol 378 mg;
sodium 375 mg;
carbohydrates 5 g;
dietary fiber 1.5 g;
sugars 2 g;
protein 15 g

Good Morning Muffins
Makes 6 muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat bran cereal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Truvia
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup 2 percent fat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg white and 1 whole egg, preferably organic, beaten together
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 carrot, peeled and grated

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Line the cups of a six-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
3. In one bowl, combine the flour, cereal, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, Truvia, and salt.
4. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, banana, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
5. With a mixing spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
6. Stir in the nuts and grated carrot.
7. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Per serving:
Calories 190;
total fat 8 g;
saturated fat 1 g;
cholesterol 32 mg;
sodium 290 mg;
carbohydrates 27 g;
dietary fiber 4 g;
sugars 5.5 g;
protein 8 g


Fact Source

All information and recipes found in this edition of A Closer Look are taken from the cookbook, THE QUICK AND CLEAN DIET: Lose the Weight, Feel Great, and Stay Lean for Life by Dari Alexander (Copyright © 2013 by Dari Alexander; Published by Skirt!®. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

About the Author

Dari Alexander is an award-winning journalist with experience in many markets as a local television anchor and reporter. A reporter for Fox News for 10 years, she has also anchored Fox & Friends and Fox News Live hours and currently  anchors for Fox 5 News in New York City. Alexander also trained as a chef in New York and Paris, where she learned how to create recipes that are both delicious and healthy. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Note: Before beginning any new health regimen, it is important to consult your family physician or health care professional first. The information given in this issue of A Closer Look is for your consideration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before starting or stopping any exercise routine or nutritional supplementation, please consult your family physician or health care professional about any contraindications that would make doing so inadvisable.

The opinions presented here or on The 700 Club do not necessarily represent the views of CBN.

Copyright 2013 by
The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.
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Virginia Beach, VA 23463


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