The Chickpea…Magic Bean?

Happy October Bella Divas!

Are you all blinking your eyes and wondering how the heck did we get to October already?!!?!  I know I am and before we know, we will be saying “Trick or Treat, Happy Thanksgiving,  Merry Christmas & ringing in a new year.  With that said, Holiday season means more EATING! Lets be real.  I totally encourage and believe we do need to enjoy treats and special occasions, but if we can learn to balance them out a little bit more, we won’t fall off the weight wagon too much.  I always tell my divas…”think of this as a maintenance time in your health & fitness goals.  Don’t stress about loosing weight, but maintain what you have now during the crazy holiday season.  If you indulge one night, keep the next few days on track or even lighten up a meal or 2 and keep your workouts in check.  With this said, I want to discuss how to choose different foods to keep that body maintained.

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Facts on Chickpeas

Lets talk about the good ol chickpea or garbanzo bean….they are the same, just different names.  Though the most common type of chickpea appears round and beige, other varieties include colors such as black, green, and red.  These beans are delicious and easy to prepare, and they also provide several potential health benefits.

They are full of essential nutrients such as iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K.   All contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength, which we need for our fun intense workouts in order to gain muscle and lose fat.

Because of their high-fiber content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.  I think most of us could use more of this in our diets!!  haha.  Just be sure to drink lots of water when you increase any fiber.  If you don’t, the extra fiber will only bloat your belly and make “not going” even more uncomfortable.

They are a versatile protein source.  15 g protein per cup.  I do love my protein in the source of chicken, fish or occasional red meat….but its nice to give your digestion system a break time to time.  Like a mentioned above, especially during the heavier food holiday season.  If you consume a heavy red meat, multiply red wine and dessert dinner…choose lighter, more digestible meals the next day or 2.   More veggies, lighter proteins like chickpeas and eggs, more water and no sugar.

 

 

Ways to Eat & Cook with Chickpeas

Most of us eat them in the form of hummus which is fantastic to use as a fun snack, spread, topping on just about anything.  Plus, there are hundreds of fun flavors to choose from.  If time allows, you can even experiment and make your own.    Chickpeas are also super yummy in many salads, side dishes, main meals and even toasted as a filling, fibrous crunchy snack that can help when we get a salt craving without adding all the bloat.  Just like any food….control your portions!  I have found the best selection of chickpea snacks at Super Target & Fresh Market.

 

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Garbanzo beans/chickpeas  are good in veggie burgers and soups, and you can add them to burritos and chili as a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to ground beef.

 

Curry Chickpea by Bella Diva:

20 min recipe

1 red onion diced
1 tablespoon oil (avocado, olive)
1.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin, red pepper flake if you like spicy
pink salt to taste…1-2 tsp. (you are using no salt tomatoes, which I recommend,  you need to add good salts for taste)
1 can chickpea (rinse and drain)
1 can no salt added diced tomato
1 package of fresh organic spinach
1/2 cup plain non fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Med heat, add oil, swirl to coat. Ad diced onion; sauté 5 min or until tender. Stir in spices and cook 20-30 seconds
Add chickpeas, tomatoes and spinach; cook until spinach wilts. keep stirring. Add yogurt and salt. Sprinkle in chopped cilantro.

Makes 3-4 servingimg_7273

Serve with a big spinach, tomato, goat cheese salad.

PERFECTOOOO

Bottom Line:

~Try new foods

~Balance out your good and bad days of eating

~Stay focused and keep your workouts up!

~Buon Appetite from your Bella Diva!

~For more info or ideas….message or see me!!!!!!!

 

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