Better Balance for Every Day

Resolve to make nutritious eating a priority

(Family Features) Discovering a better version of yourself is all about striking balance. That’s especially true when it comes to making smarter food choices that you can maintain over time.

A sustainable, long-term healthy eating approach, such as the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, emphasizes variety and balance. Start planning a low-carb menu filled with high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats with these tips from Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins.

Fill up with fiber-rich foods. Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, low-glycemic fruit (like berries) and whole unrefined grains are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Try to eat between 25-35 grams of fiber a day.

Reduce inflammation. A low-carb approach eliminates refined and processed foods and sugars that can cause inflammation. Focus on foods that decrease inflammation, such as colorful low-glycemic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. The ground turmeric in this Golden Milk recipe offers an easy way to fight inflammation without sacrificing flavor.

Kickstart your morning. Start your day with a protein-packed choice such as these Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats. You’ll get the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants from the chia seeds along with protein and healthy fats to keep you energized while avoiding high-sugar breakfast alternatives.

Satisfying, Low-Sugar Swaps

Eating on the go can easily cause you to grab a high-sugar option, but there are simple swaps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Satisfy your hunger with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. Made with sweet chocolate and rich, creamy peanut butter, this bar offers 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.

Find more recipes like these for Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan or Spicy Crispy Chickpeas and ideas for a balanced, low-carb approach to eating well at Atkins.com.

Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Net carbs: 4.41

  • 1          bunch thin spear asparagus
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2          salmon fillets (4 ounces each), no more than 3/4-inch thick
  • 1          pinch black pepper
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4       teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Wash asparagus and remove woody ends. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Arrange in single layer, leaving space for salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on sheet. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
  4. Remove sheet pan from oven, sprinkle asparagus spears with cheese and cook 3 minutes, or until fish reaches 145° F and asparagus spears are tender and beginning to brown on tips.
  5. Plate one fillet and half the asparagus, drizzle each plate with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce and serve.

Spicy Crispy Chickpeas

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 8

Net carbs: 8.3

  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1          tablespoon ghee (or clarified butter), melted
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. Heat air fryer to 390° F 3 minutes.
  2. Using fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse chickpeas. Use towel to gently pat chickpeas dry, removing skins. In small bowl, toss chickpeas with ghee and salt.
  3. Cook in single layer in air fryer 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 3 minutes.
  4. In separate small bowl, sprinkle chickpeas with spices and toss to evenly coat. Chickpeas can be stored in open container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Golden Milk

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Servings: 3

Net carbs: 3

  • 1          cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1          cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1          cup water
  • 1          tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10        drops liquid stevia extract
  1. In small pan, whisk coconut milk, almond milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Warm over medium heat until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in sweetener and serve.

Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats

Prep time: 5 minutes

Chill time: 3 hours

Servings: 2

Net carbs: 6.84

  • 1          Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake
  • 2          tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2          tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2          tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 2          tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 2          tablespoons sliced almonds
  • fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries (optional)
  1. In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine shake, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Top with fruit, if desired.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan, Spicy Crispy Chickpeas, Golden Milk, Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats)

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