Healthy Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Chicken Salad

Chicken is an absolutely protein staple that makes a great meal option. As a healthy source of protein, chicken can be a standalone meal or sometimes, combined with other ingredients to create a yummy full meal. Although it’s an all-time crowd-pleaser, chicken can become very boring at times. But interestingly, there are several ways to explore the versatility of this lean protein. When cooked creatively in several ways with a variety of flavours, there’s no limit to how flavoursome it turns out. The breast remains the healthiest part of the chicken and is often used as a main ingredient in lots of recipes.  Today’s recipe is no exception as we’ll be combining chicken breasts with vegetables to create a healthy light dinner – Vegetable Chicken Salad.  
Salads are ever versatile, fresh and certainly a colourful sight for sore eyes because they can be created from a wide mix of healthy veggies. And the chicken? There’re a thousand and one ways to incorporate chicken in salads – boiled, grilled, roasted. Is there any better way to loaded up healthily on antioxidants, vitamins and vital nutrients? Simply put some creativity into play and you’ll be surprised at the refreshingly healthy exotic meal you’ll create.
To grill your Chicken breasts, you’ll need:

1kg Skinless Chicken breasts, washed and thinly sliced
1 Finger Fresh Ginger, grated
1 Clove Fresh Garlic, grated
1 Medium sized Onion, grated
½ Table spoon Dried Parsley
½ Table spoon Oregano
¼ Table spoon Garlic powder (optional)
½ Table spoon Dried Basil
1 Table spoon Chilli Pepper
½ Table spoon Ground Black Pepper (optional)
2 Table spoon Malt Vinegar (any other vinegar choice will do)
2 Table spoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Table spoon Olive Oil
Seasoning cubes

Step 1:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a Ziploc bag. Next, add in chicken to marinate. Seal bag and turn generously to ensure chicken parts are properly coated in marinade. Leave in fridge to marinate overnight or for at least 4-6hours (if pressed for time).
Step 2:
Preheat oven or grill to medium high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and place over lightly oiled grill racks. Grill each side for about 7-8 minutes. Check for pinkness in the interior, if none, your grilled chicken breasts are ready!
Remove from grill, shred, dice or leave thinly sliced (as you prefer) and set aside.
Now let’s rustle up our salad. You’ll need:

1 Head Lettuce, washed and chopped/sliced
3 fresh Tomatoes, cubed
4 fingers baby Carrot, sliced
2 Avocado fruits, sliced into half (optional)
1 cup red Kidney Beans, rinsed (optional)
1 Cucumber, diced
1 small sized Onion, sliced
1 Table spoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Table spoon Lemon juice

To Prepare your Chicken salad:
Simply toss all vegetables together into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle some balsamic vinegar and lemon juice on them as dressing. Mix in your diced grilled chicken breasts and your light dinner is ready to be served.
This tasty chicken salad recipe is healthy and easy to put together. It’s also suitable for a delicious lunch.  Any left bovver can be kept in fridge for any other time during the week.

Cocktail Recipe: Fresh Tropical Pineapple Mango Punch

Don’t you just love the Caribbean? There’s something about the cool fresh sea breeze and feel of warm sand in between your toes that makes it almost impossible not to long for a revisit, right? Known for their awesome refreshing cocktails, the tropical Islands remain the best vacation spots. And when not on the Islands, it’s amazing how a sip of a tropical drink such as pineapple mango punch sends you right back there.  
A good thing some of these drinks can be whipped up right in the comfort of your home easily without stress. Don’t you think so? 
Today’s drink recipe is taken from one of the most popular tropical cocktails around the world, but with a fresh twist to it. To add a definite healthy punch to the exotic refreshing delight this cocktail offers, our Tropical Pineapple Mango Punch cocktail will be made from fresh organic fruit juices rather than store bought processed ones. 
Let’s prepare our Tropical Pineapple Mango Punch
There’re quite a number of variations of Rum Punch but this particular Mango Pineapple mix sure stands out. A simple mix of pureed mango and pineapple with a dash of rum – a true tropical treat! 
4 medium-sized ripe Mangos, cubed
1 large sized Pineapple, peeled and cubed
10-12cl Rum (Dark or white)
Ice Cubes
Any choice of fruit (optional for garnish)
Pour cubed mango into blender add a bit of water and blend until smooth. Pour mango puree into a sieve and drain out the juice. Set aside. Next, pour cubed pineapples also into blender. Blend as well till smooth, then drain juice to remove shafts using the sieve. Now your fresh fruits extract is ready. 
Finally, combine all ingredients (mango, pineapple juice and rum) in a shaker with ice cubes. Combine thoroughly and serve into glass cups. Garnish with a slice of cherry, strawberry, lime or pineapple. 
Simply divine!

Healthy Smoothie: Banana Mango Avocado Mix

As a meal or snack, a glass of smoothie is an assured way of increasing or getting your daily dose of healthy nutrients. A good smoothie should contain a blend of ingredients with protein and fibre to not only keep you full but also provide adequate antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Put together an assortment of healthy vegetables and sweet fruits, and you’ve got yourself a perfect smoothie mix.
Today’s smoothie recipe is combination of 3 highly nutritious fruits – Mangoes, Bananas, and Avocados. 
Do you know that mangoes contain effective antioxidant compounds established to protect against breast, colon, leukaemia and prostate cancers? They are also known to aid digestion and weight loss, lower cholesterol, maintain alkalinity in the body, improve eyesight, and regulate sex hormones to boost sex drive amongst many other benefits. They also work excellently as skin cleansers. 
Bananas are another fruits that pack a heavy nutritional punch. They equally make a good ingredient option when looking to enjoy sweet smoothies with a creamy texture. Most people only know that bananas are rich in potassium and natural sugar. But there’s so much more. With bananas you’re assured of healthy bowel movements, improved heart function, sound eye health and of course a good supply of energy for your workouts. 
I just can’t get enough of avocados. Loaded with healthy fats, potassium and fibre, Avocados are clearly one of the healthiest fruits in the world. And when added to smoothies, there’s no denying the refreshingly rich creamy texture it adds. 
A combination of these three fruits is certainly a bust of fruitiness that keeps you going all day! 
Ingredients for the Smoothie

1 large sized mango, cubed
2 medium sized Banana, cubed
1 Avocado, halved and deseeded
½ cup Greek yogurt or low fat milk (O ptional)
1 tbsp Chia seeds (for increased quality dietary fibre, protein and healthy fats.)

Add all ingredients together in a blender or food processor with some ice cubes then blend until well combined and smooth. You may blend chia seeds with fruits or sprinkle on as garnish after serving. Ensure to drink right away before smoothie turns brown (an effect of oxidization on the avocado).

5 Minute Moves For Firm Thighs

Love to rock those comfy shorts? Love to have strong sexy thighs? Nothing definitely beats the feeling of being able to show them off in striking outfits.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the attraction lovely legs command is quite irresistible. But sometimes, thighs can become so wobbly with the slightest accumulation of fat – a real trouble zone I would say. However, with these 5 minute lower body /upper legs workout compilation, you’re set on your way to flaunting fabulously toned thighs.
1. Ball Squat
Squats are great for toning inner thighs and in using a ball in this move, you’re sure to fight thigh flabs.
Direction: Using an exercise ball as back rest against the wall (ball should be between the wall and the curve of your lower back), stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, lower knees in a bend position about 5 – 10 inches from the ground. Ensure to keep shoulders level and your hips square. Stay in position for 5 seconds and then straighten up. Do about 10 sets of 5 reps taking at least a 30 sec rest between each set.
2. Plie Squat with Leg Sweep
A ballet move to trim your inner/outer thighs and strengthen your upper body.
Method: Standing with your legs 2 to 3 feet wide, hands on hips and toes pointing out. Keep torso tall and bend your knees into a lower plie squat. Thighs should be almost parallel when legs are bent. Remain in position for about 5 counts. Still keeping your spine straight, stand up and push off your right leg sweeping it across your left leg, and gently tap your toe in front of your left foot in one fluid move. Switch legs, and sweep your right leg back out as move into lower plie position. Repeat sweep. That’s a set. Do at least a repeat of 5 sets.
3. Gate Swing with Cross
This move combines cardio and strength training in burning off fats in thighs.
Method: Stand with feet wider than shoulder in a shoulder-width apart position, with toes pointing out, and then squat down. Jump up crossing your left foot in front of the right. Jump again with feet wide, squat down, and then jump one more time crossing the right foot now in front of the left. Continue reps for at least 30 seconds for impact.
4. Single Leg Circle
This is a yoga move that’s great in strengthening your hips, trimming love handles while also toning your inner and outer thighs.
Method: Lie flat on the floor/mat with hands by your sides and palms faced down. Lift your right foot up as if you’re trying to reaching out to the ceiling. Rotate your leg in an outward directly by slowly using the raised leg to trace out a circle on the ceiling. Still keeping hips steady and on the floor, repeat the circular motion in a clockwise direction five times and then do a repeat but in a counter-clockwise direction. Switch legs and repeat at least 5 times.
That’s it, go ahead and try your hands on these easy to do less than 5 minute moves at home…the rewards are simply stunning!

Affordable Home Gym Equipment

There is nothing like having your own gym at home. Commercial gyms can be fun as they certainly have a more social quality than working out at home. Although sometimes, being social does not make your workout effective. Exercising all by yourself at home may seem boring initially, but when you put your mind into it, you’ll realize that you’re able to remain focused and have faster, more productive workout sessions.
Your home is your domain and you have the freedom to choose your music and of course, work out as you please without having to wait your turn to use gym equipments. The fact that with a home gym in place, you get to also enjoy a more flexible 24/7 workout schedule as you can hit the gym at whatever time of the day you want. Really convenient, right? Dealing with your busy work schedule definitely becomes easier!
Now that you know the gains of having a home gym, the next question is – what equipments do you need in building your home gym? Ideally, having a home gym is a worthwhile investment, but you don’t need to load up on expensive equipments.
Gym Equipment
You’ve got the space and want to set up a basic home gym? Let’s take a look at some basic gym equipments you can buy without having to break a bank.
Exercise /Yoga mats:
Own a home gym or not, a fitness mat is a very basic gym gear anybody on a fitness journey must have. Exercise mats are handy for floor-based moves. Into yoga and pilates? An exercise mat should definitely be top on your gym list and with less than 5,000 Naira you could be a proud owner of one.
There are endless exercises you can do with dumbbells to justify their purchase. They make a better choice when thinking of strength training equipments. You can get an adjustable one with 3-5 sets in a range of weights to accommodate for different exercises and for the strength you will be gaining as you improve.
Jump Rope:
Old popular skipping rope, remember it? If you’re looking for ways to add some fun to your workout routines while also burning off as much as 10 calories per minute, then a jump rope is an essential gym equipment to own. It’s great for intense cardio and your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs are in for serious toning too!
Also known as a stability ball, an exercise ball is a great way to increase your strength, endurance and balance. With a stability ball you can effectively exercise your lower body, torso and core. It’s such an indispensable gym equipment to own, don’t you agree?
Invest in a home cardio machine. A treadmill and stationary bike are universal cardio workout equipments found in most gyms because of their effectiveness in improving cardio fitness. If you can’t afford both, get at least one. A bike might be a lot more budget-friendly.
Looking for a bit more versatility? Or exciting ways to challenge yourself to new levels? Get an adjustable bench! As a multi-functioning device for performing fitness activities, an adjustable bench comes in quite handy for support during workouts. It also gives you more options of exercises – crunches, sit-ups, curls, lifts, extensions – the list is endless.
Get a couple or all of the listed gym equipments in place and you’re right on track in turning your home into a health club!

5 Minute Workouts to strengthen your upper body

Nothing definitely beats the aura of confidence and sex appeal a perfectly shaped shoulder gives. It’s no small wonder then that achieving well-defined triceps are top on many women’s fitness goals. I’m sure you’ll agree that they complement gorgeous legs perfectly well.
Beautifully-toned strong arms and shoulders aren’t just sexy but very essential. We need them more than ever in carrying stuffs as we go about our daily activities. Unfortunately, due to hormonal changes that accompany age, women tend to lose upper body strength rapidly. But not to worry, we’ve got you covered with these quick home strength-training workouts that’ll not only strengthen your arms, shoulders and back but give them good shaping too (goodbye arm jingles!). These routine exercises are also great for breasts firming.
Let’s get started…
1. Plie with Shoulder Fly
Your arms, shoulders, back, and chest are core targets with this move but the good thing is, your legs and bum get to enjoy some toning too!
Method: Standing in Plié squat position (back straight, knees bent with heels touching and toes turned out), hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise arms next to your head positioning elbows at a 90 degree bend and palms facing forward.
Taking deep breaths to engage abs, bring hands toward each other in front of you with palms facing your face. Return to start position. Do at least 15 reps of 3 sets.
2. Dumbbell Chest Presses
This is another easy and very effective strength-training routine.
Method: Start by lying flat on the mat with a dumb bell in each hand. Bring the weights up to even with your chest, ensure elbows are slightly below your shoulders then lift your arms straight up back into the air. Take care not to lock your elbows.
Start out with 10 reps and do at least 3 sets.
3. Ballet Curl
Love to admire ballerinas because of their sexy postures and chiseled arms? Try out this routine and enjoy such too.
Method: Standing tall with heels together and toes out, hold dumbbells in each hands and lift arms straight out to sides at shoulder level. With palms facing ceiling and left hand still stretched out to the side, bend right elbow bringing hand toward head. Return to start position and repeat with left arm. This completes 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Wouldn’t you love to have envy-worthy arms and shoulders? Try out these moves consistently and you’re on your way to flaunting sleek arms and strong shoulders in that exquisite sleeveless outfit or tank top soon!

Amazing Health Benefits Of Beans

Popularly referred to as “poor man’s meat” or “poor man’s supper”, beans are in no way food for the poor alone. On the contrary, beans should be embraced by all as the super healthy food there are. Beans are not just a natural source of energy but a nutritional powerhouse because of their wonderful nutritional value and health benefits.
Unfortunately, many people try to avoid beans because of its popular flatulence side effect (gas). As a child, beans porridge was on my list of dreaded meals because a spoon of it means heartburn. But now I know better. Flatulence isn’t enough reason to miss out on the brimming benefits of eating beans. Do you know that its gassy side effects can be reduced?
Here are more than enough reasons why you should consume beans:
Health Benefits Of Beans
Beans are low in fat and calories, but high in protein and fibre, and very much loaded with a host of vitamins. Making them a regular part of your diet will help you cut out calories easily without feeling deprived or malnourished. Interestingly, due to its low glycemic index and the complex carbs they contain, beans are digested slowly, thus you stay full for longer. This is another reason beans are effective in keeping blood sugar levels stable – which means you’re less prone to diabetes.
The abundance of fibre, phytonutrients and antioxidants in beans excellently lowers your risk to several cancers. The high quantity of fibre in them also makes them effective for weight control as you fill up easily on just a little portion. And with fibre, be assured that your digestive system is well-regulated and several digestive disorders are kept at bay.
Maintaining cholesterol at healthy levels is another key function of fibre. The folate in beans is quite beneficial in lowering risk of heart diseases as well. Potassium is another notable nutrient in beans – a nutrient known to work for the heart as it guards against stroke by keeping blood pressure at a healthy level. Still wondering why beans are said to be heart healthy?
The abounding Trans fat-free protein in beans makes them good alternatives to meat. Glowing skin, luscious hair and increased muscle mass are some more gains of the protein in beans.  And the B Vitamins contained in beans? Very necessary for nerve cells and healthy brain functions. In addition, beans aren’t lacking in magnesium. As a result, women who consume a high amount of beans regularly experience fewer mood swings and pre-menstrual cramps. Calcium, iron and zinc are some other nutrients in beans.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the list of benefits of beans seems almost endless. Beans are inexpensive, tasty, versatile (can be cooked in so many ways) and above all, outstandingly healthy. Don’t you think you should devour them more often?
To reduce gassy side effects – Leave beans submerged in water overnight/about 2-3 hours before cooking. Change water and bring to boil for about 3 minutes. Rinse with fresh water then cook.

Health Benefits of Plantain

Originating from the banana Musaceae family, plantains are excellent staple sources of healthy carbohydrates but low fat. Commonly referred to as potatoes of the Caribbean, plantains unlike bananas are vegetables and not fruits. And though they may look similar, plantains are usually bigger, longer, thicker skinned and have lesser sugar than bananas.
They also have higher starch content and shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Plantains pack more vitamin A than bananas. 100g of plantains will give you about 37.5% of the recommended daily value of this essential vitamin. Quite a lot, right? This makes plantains a great carrier of antioxidant Vitamin A which helps in eliminating free radicals, prevention of inflammation and enhances good vision. Alongside Vitamin C which is also highly present in plantains, both vitamins are largely responsible for good skin health, cell growth, and not forgetting, great immunity.
Great energy boosters that they are due to the high level of carbs in them, Plantains are high fibre foods which make you feel full with just a little intake. This fibre works exceptionally too in aiding digestion and averting constipation. Plantain’s rich fibre content is heart healthy as it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It furthermore prevents risks of diabetes and certain cancers (especially colon).
Plantains are also good sources of Vitamin C. A plantain rich diet will help your body fight off infections, while also promoting healthy gums and teeth. Not lacking in calcium as well, you can be assured of strong bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis as you consume this super-food.
There’s still more! Especially high in vitamin B6 which is known to lower the occurrence of pre-menstrual syndrome and miscarriages in women, a meal of plantain gives you an adequate dose of B-complex vitamins, vitamins E and K, folate, niacin and thiamine. Vital minerals potassium, magnesium, iron are also not left out of the package of nutritional benefits plantains have got to offer.
Healthy muscle functioning, steady heartbeat and healthy blood sugar levels are some of the many other reasons to eat plantains.  
Although their taste may vary in accordance to their stage of ripeness, plantains are delicious nutritional powerhouses that can be enjoyed as meals or snacks. Irrespective of how ripe they are, Plantains can be prepared in diverse forms (steamed, grilled/roasted, fried or boiled) and they make excellent components in several delightful dishes across various cultures.
Some of the popular Nigerian ways to enjoying plantain are as: fried (dodo), side dishes (gizdodo), roasted (boli),  chips (snacks), puff puff/fritters (desserts), main meals – porridges, peppersoup, boiled with sauce/leafy vegetables. Click here to check out our Caribbean styled plantain recipe.
Savoury, versatile and highly nutritious – these best explains what plantains are. Don’t you agree?