Hey hopefully, this summer is going well for you so far. Certainly “different” in so many ways, but despite the amount of change we are in, how our body acts and reacts. Stress, lack of movement, poor nutrition and drinking too much will all create a situation where our metabolism slows down and our waist lines expand. Not to mention this is also the behavior that will weaken our vitality and our immune systems.
So as the summer heats up I want to share with you some solid food choices that will help heat up your metabolism.
As you might expect, the foods you eat can have a pretty big impact on how your body functions.
Some foods are easier to digest than others, others keep you feeling full longer, and others help build and repair muscle! And still others can cause rapid blood sugar swings that can affect how your body stores fat.
Well today I’ve got a list of power-packed foods & 4 guilt free pasta recipes that can help give you a healthy, all-natural boost for your metabolism.
Foods That Boost Your Metabolism:
Protein-rich foods: Eating foods high in protein (meat, eggs, fish, legumes, tofu, etc.) rev up your metabolism because it takes your body more energy to digest them. This is called the thermic effect of food – different foods require more energy than others.
Fun fact: Protein can boost your metabolism by 15% to 30%, carbs can boost it 5% to 10%, and fats between 0% to 3%.
A bonus with protein is that if you’re losing weight, it helps you hold onto more of your muscle, which also can help you keep your metabolism humming along.
Legumes: On top of containing plenty of plant-based protein, legumes (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.) also contain resistant starch. That’s a form of fiber your body can’t digest.
Resistant starch can help improve your metabolism because it helps stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, both of which are key in fat storage.
Coffee and tea: The amount of caffeine in an average cup of coffee (around 100 mg) appears to boost your metabolism by up to 11% for up to 2 hours.
Also, studies suggest the antioxidants and catechins in green tea (especially green tea extract) appear to rev up your metabolism by 3% to 4% (and as much as 8%), over the course of a 24-hour period.
Ginger: One study found that adding a heaping teaspoon (2 grams) of ginger powder to hot water and drinking it after breakfast raised metabolism – people burned about 43 extra calories AND they didn’t feel as hungry for the next three hours.
Apple Cider Vinegar: In mice studies, apple cider vinegar was found to promote the production of an enzyme called AMPK, which lowers the rate of fat storage and boosts the rate of fat burning.
(Tip: try combining ginger and 1-2 tbsp of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar in hot water for a refreshing morning drink.)
Water: Drinking 2 cups of cold water temporarily boosts your metabolism by as much 30% for up to 40 minutes after you drink it. Much of the increase has to do with how hard your body works to warm up the water.
Chili peppers: Add some red pepper to your dinner to fire up your metabolism! Many studies have investigated supplements containing capsaicinoids, which is the component that gives chili peppers their “heat.”
You can get some of the same benefits from food by adding the spicy peppers to your recipes. Yum! Throw them into some chili with black beans and ground turkey for a 1-2-3 metabolic punch.
It’s important to know that none of these foods will suddenly make your body burn hundreds of extra calories a day … but it’s pretty surprising how quickly layering in small, consistent changes can rev your daily burn!
4 guilt-free pasta recipes
It’s hard to find a dinner more satisfying than a steaming plate of flavorful pasta, but by now you’re well aware of just how fattening that is. Let’s not give up on our favorite pasta dishes…let’s make these dishes lighter, healthier and just as delicious by using noodles made from vegetables, rather than traditional, carb-laden pasta.
If you’re new to cooking with veggie noodles, have no fear! It’s simple and satisfying to create comforting guilt-free pasta dinners, and I’m going to show you how…
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #1: Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is the easiest of all the veggie noodles to prepare since the noodles are already formed in nature. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and you’ll find a mess of seeds and strings in the center of thick, firm, yellow flesh. The seeds and strings are discarded, and that thick, firm, yellow flesh is cooked until tender and scraped off the skin, into a neat pile of soft spaghetti-like noodles. Pretty cool, right?!
Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
2. Rub the inside of each spaghetti squash half with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
3. Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce and high protein meatballs. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #2: Zucchini
Zucchini is such a tender squash that it really doesn’t require cooking, and in fact cooking zucchini noodles quickly turns them to mush. I’ve found that pouring hot spaghetti sauce over a pile of zucchini noodles is all that it needs to heat it up without causing it to get mushy. You’ll need a spiral slicer –a little kitchen contraption that spirals zucchini through grating holes to create long, spaghetti-like noodles.
Make Zucchini Noodles:
1. Wash the zucchini and remove the green skin with a veggie peeler. Run the peeled zucchini through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
2. Top with warm spaghetti sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #3: Butternut Squash
While zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles are light and soft, noodles made from butternut squash are a bit heartier. Not only does this translate into a more filling meal, it also means that need to be cooked on their own, before applying the spaghetti sauce, in order to achieve a tender consistency.
Now there’s a little bit of technique involved with cutting your butternut squash in the best way to run it through a spiral slicer. I’ve found that the narrow part of the squash, that’s completely solid, is the piece that works really well with a spiral slicer. Slice off the skin and then simply run it through the slicer. The part of the squash that’s hollow in the middle is trickier to use with the spiral slicer, since those pieces are pretty thin. A quick option is to simply chop those pieces thinly and use that along with the long noodle strands.
Make Butternut Squash Noodles:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the narrow part of both squash off and peel off the skin. You should have 2 nice solid pieces of squash (no hollow section). Run this through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
2. Toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.
3. Serve immediately with the spaghetti sauce of your choosing. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #4: Asparagus
Talk about truly guilt-free pasta – one made from asparagus spears! Rather than serve this one with traditional spaghetti sauce (although you could) I’ve included a dressing to toss the noodles with and I’d recommend serving it with meatballs for some added protein.
Make Asparagus Noodles:
1. Wash one bunch of asparagus spears. Resist the urge to chop off the tough stalks, these are your handles! Cut off the asparagus tips and save. Hold onto the tough stalks and use a vegetable peeler to peel long asparagus noodle strands into a large bowl. Mix in a Tablespoon of fresh dill.
2. In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.
3. Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the asparagus noodles. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove from heat. If you’d like, sauté the asparagus heads by throwing them in the pan after 1 minute. Toss with the dressing.
4. Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!
Eating healthy, low carb meals like these are what it takes to have that lean, strong and healthy body that you want. But don’t forget that a fit body also requires a consistent, challenging exercise and movement! If you need a higher level of coaching and accountability combined with our trainer led 30-minute training sessions then call, text or email me today and get you started on the fitness plan that’s custom designed for you. Let’s do this!
I hope this list and recipes helps you fire up your metabolism this summer! And don’t forget to join the 5-Day Metabolic Jumpstart if you haven’t already – or forward it to a friend who might like it! (Register Here)
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