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Powered by Pasta: 5 Delicious, Simple, and Veggie Packed Pasta Dishes

Powered by Pasta: 5 Delicious, Simple, and Veggie Packed Pasta Dishes

Pasta, one of my favorite carbohydrates. And that is saying something since I am a HUGE carb lover. A true gift from the Mediterranean, pasta is made from just two simple ingredients—durum wheat and water. Pasta can be the perfect foundation for a nutritious and balanced meal. Need some proof? A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that placing individuals on a low-carbohydrate diet (35%) did not result in greater weight loss than those on a high-carbohydrate diet (65%). These findings were followed up in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and confirmed by the 2015 DGAC Report that there is “strong and consistent evidence that when calorie intake is controlled, macronutrient proportion of the diet is not related to losing weight”.

Now that we’ve gotten past the pasta-phobia, let’s talk about why pasta is such a nutritious food. Carbohydrates are one of three basic macronutrients (fat and protein are the other two) that provide our bodies with energy. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the body and can be described as simple or complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, like pasta, are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, so they can provide our bodies with energy more gradually after a meal and help us feel satisfied longer.

Pasta has other healthful components such as fiber and protein. Fiber (think  whole wheat pasta!) can help reduce your risk certain health conditions like coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Protein (some varieties are protein fortified) helps build muscle and feel full longer. In addition to protein, pasta can also be fortified with a variety of ingredients such as heart-healthy fats (think omega 3s!) and folic acid, an important B vitamin, especially during pregnancy.

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If you are looking to i your veggie intake, never fear. There’s a pasta for you, too. Some pastas are made with vegetable flour and provide one FULL serving of vegetables per 3.5 oz portion. This leads me to this main focus of this article: veggies and pasta. The two complement each other nicely and can serve as the foundation for nutritious side dishes and entrees. Read on for some tasty, veggie-centered pasta recipes!

1. A Twist on the Old Classic

stuffedtomatoes5-683x1024

    This creative take of combining tomatoes with pasta, Dinner at the Zoo, stuffs hollowed out tomatoes with spaghetti, cheese, and herbs. You heard me right, a tomato stuffed with a delicious concoction of pasta, gooey cheese, and flavorful herbs! This recipe is ripe with lycopene, a class of antioxidants that has been shown to promote heart health.

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    2. Lighten up with the ‘cado

    Avocado Pasta

      Don’t give up the creaminess that comes from an Alfredo or cream sauce. Instead, substitute the cream or half and half with avocado! While it may sound a little different, do your heart a favor and give it a shot. Avocado is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which can help lower your cholesterol. This simple creamy avocado spaghetti with zucchini can be ready in under 30 minutes. Give it a try the next time you are craving a creamy pasta dish.

      3. Amp up with some protein

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      Lemon Pesto

        Did you know that veggies have protein?! Edamame (aka soybeans) and nuts are great sources of protein that will help build lean muscle and make you feel fuller for longer.  This lemony pasta with edamame, almonds, and spinach is a great example of a veggie-centered pasta dish that is pumped up with protein.

        4. Pair with pesto

        Walnut Pesto

          Traditionally, the main nut used in pesto is pine nuts. This walnut pesto penne recipe swaps out pine nuts for walnuts for a new take on tradition and incorporates differently-shaped pasta! Importantly, nuts are high in unsaturated fats (such as omega 3’s) and low in saturated fats. Eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, for example walnuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

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          5. No-bake lasagna

          No Bake Lasagna

            I know that in the summer, the last thing I want to do is crank on the oven to make dinner. Enter the cold, no-bake lasagna! This recipe is bursting with a medley of vegetables, delicious pesto, and yummy cheese. Bonus—you don’t even have to pop it in the oven. The option to serve this dish cold makes it a great option for outdoor summer get-togethers.

            These delicious recipes are more than enough reason to get me to have pasta for dinner tonight. Never mind the fact that pasta is a central ingredient of the healthful Mediterranean Diet, which multiple studies have shown  can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. So get creative, vary your veggies and add new pasta dishes to your culinary repertoire. Eating well doesn’t have to be Greek to you!

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            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

            If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

            That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

            Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

            1. Believe It to See It

            Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

            2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

            While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

            3. Keep Looking for Solutions

            Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

            4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

            Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

            5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

            There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

            6. Always Ask Productive Questions

            It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

            7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

            Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

            8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

            Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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            9. Maximize Your Strengths

            Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

            10. Be in It to Win It

            Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

            11. Know That Success Attracts Success

            People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

            12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

            Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

            13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

            You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

            14. Be a One-Off Original

            Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

            15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

            Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

            16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

            Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

            17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

            Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

            18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

            We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

            19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

            Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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            20. Accept Challenge All the Time

            Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

            21. Make Your Own Luck

            In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

            22. Ignite Your Initiative

            While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

            23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

            Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

            24. Champion in Communication

            Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

            25. Plan Your Life Strategically

            Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

            26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

            To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

            27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

            While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

            28. Live by Core Values

            Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

            29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

            Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

            30. Don’t Get Carried Away

            Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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            31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

            Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

            32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

            Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

            33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

            Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

            34. Change Opens New Doors

            People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

            35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

            It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

            36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

            Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

            37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

            When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

            38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

            How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

            39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

            If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

            40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

            Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

            41. Swim Against the Tide

            Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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            42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

            More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

            43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

            Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

            44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

            While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

            45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

            Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

            46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

            Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

            47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

            While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

            48. Follow Through

            Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

            49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

            We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

            50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

            To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

            So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

            Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

            More About Success

            Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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