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5 Common diet pitfalls & recipes that save the day

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Smart diet Food strategies

Sneaky weight gain, hair loss, just plain feeling crummy –- all common diet side effects everyone whose ever vowed to fit into too-tight jeans know all too well. Avoid these diet killers and kiss that extra junk in your trunk goodbye with these balanced, low-calorie recipes you can whip together in a snap.

2. PROBLEM: Hair today, gone tomorrow

If you've started a new diet only to notice you're losing more hair than usual, you're probably not getting the proper nutrients. Protein is an essential nutrient for not only building muscle but also for maintaining a healthy head of hair.

Food fix: pump up protein

Enhance your diet with more protein-rich foods. Here are two healthy, tasty recipes to help you get a jumpstart on your protein intake in the morning and for dinner. And don't forget to snack on nuts (such as almonds), which are high in protein.

Low-Fat Oatmeal Protein Pancakes with Cottage Cheese
Serves 2 (21.3 grams of protein per serving)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup frozen, warmed berries with their juices as a topping or sugar free syrup
Splenda to taste

Directions:
1.  Blend first four ingredients until smooth

2.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto heated griddle or non-stick pan (check to see if it's hot enough with a splash of water-if it sizzles, it's hot enough)

3.  When pancake bubbles, flip and cook the other side

4.  Top with frozen, organic strawberries-warmed and sliced and poured over the top with their juices or substitute fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or bananas flavored with Splenda.

 

Orange-Rosemary Glazed Chicken
Serves 4 (43 grams of protein per serving)

Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken breast halves, (2 1/2-3 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed of fat
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, malt vinegar or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray

2.  Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and place, bone-side up, in the prepared pan and sprinkle with rosemary

3.  Bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, marmalade, vinegar and oil in a small bowl

4.  Turn the chicken and top with the marmalade mixture.

5. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes more

6. Serve immediately

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