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DAOFitLife Update – Week of July 14

Every week, I post a weekly roundup of new finds – recipes, shows, videos. Be sure to check out the DAOFitLife Youtube Playlist for a curated list of fitness-related videos you can watch while doing cardio.


This Jillian Michaels video has an excellent discussion on how to tell if you are really hungry, and how to maximize satiety when you do eat

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  • Big glass of water before you have your food
  • Eat high-volume foods, like salads and veggies, as an appetizer for your main course. For example, say you have a sandwich or a burrito, having a salad first will make you full faster. I also do this on those few occasions when we order pizza. I am much more likely to be satisfied with just one slice instead of two when I have a nice mealy salad beforehand.
  • Take a fiber supplement – make you feel more full and slow digestion
  • Prioritize sleep – 7-8 hours
  • Stay hydrated – we can mistake dehydration for hunger. 

Ways to make your food more textured and flavored with healthy add-ins

Has this ever happened to you, where you make a veggie stir-fry or a salad and you feel like it’s just limp and watery? Ugh. Not appetizing.  Whenever I have Thai or Indian food, which are some of my faves, I always notice that the veggie dishes they seem to stick together, which makes it more yummy and more satisfying.

So I have been investigating ways to thicken up my dishes, especially since in the summer I tend to gravitate toward a more plant based way of eating and make big veggie stir-frys and stews (see my recipe tab for some ideas). 

One obvious route is corn starch, but I found some healthier alternatives:

Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is something I saw in many vegan recipes. This is the perfect way to make vegetables like broccoli have this thick and cheesy consistency. My nutrition consultant Neda even puts it on her bagels! A good brand for this is Bragg’s. Here is an excellent gallery of nutritional yeast recipes by Self Magazine.

Hemp seeds: I have been adding this to my salads with apple cider vinaigrette. In addition to having protein and healthy fats, it gives a mealy consistency to salads that makes them a lot more crunchy and palatable. Pairing hemp hearts with sesame seeds makes it extra crunchy, and adds iron, as well. 

Arugula salad with cucumbers, tomato, peppers and hemp hearts, dressed in Harissa Vinaigrette.

Tahini has a great sticky texture (essentially, tahini is ground up sesame seeds). You can add tahini to almost any dish, use it as a dip,  and even mix it with some vinegar for a great salad dressing. 

Coconut milk forms an excellent base for many dishes, including this cauliflower risotto one I found recently. It also is great for any stir-fry and even as a base for a marinade for chicken or salmon. 

RECIPES AVAILABLE HERE (updated for additional nutritional yeast recipes)

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