Easily De-Seed Vegetables: Chile Peppers, Zucchini, and Cucumbers

Many yummy meals are made with fresh vegetables. These meals are not only delicious, but they are healthy for you, too! Nobody likes having pesky seeds in their food, but it can be aggravating to de-seed some of today’s most popular veggies.

We’ve noticed that many recipes call for chile peppers, zucchinis, and cucumbers. Here are the easiest ways to de-seed these three vegetables to get them onto your dinner plate faster than ever:

Chile Peppers

While bell peppers and banana peppers contain no true danger, handling hot peppers—such as chile peppers—can be a daunting task. Soaking your hands in their juices leads to a painful experience. As such, the safest way to de-seed a chile pepper is to first slice off its top.

Slide a teaspoon down into the chile pepper, and rotate it around several times to dislodge the seeds. Dump out the seeds, and then spin the spoon around again. Continue doing this until the chile pepper is emptied.

Now, rinse the chile pepper under running water for a few seconds, and you’ll be all set for cooking!

Zucchini

Zucchinis do not carry the same spicy juice risk as chile peppers provide, but de-seeding them can still be tedious. The quickest way to de-seed a zucchini is to slice off both ends of that zucchini. Next, slice the zucchini in half crosswise—that is, straight across the middle—to expose its core. This is where all of the seeds are located.

Now, stand one of the zucchini halves upright vertically on your cutting surface. Place your knife onto the left-hand side of the zucchini and slice downward. With the zucchini still standing upright, do this on the other three sides. You will be left with a rectangular-shaped piece of the zucchini core. This is where the seeds are located!

Throw this away.

Repeat this process with the other zucchini half. You now have eight long, curved strips of zucchini that are ready for chopping and cooking!

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are the easiest of these three vegetables to de-seed. Start by scrubbing the cucumber under cold, running water.

Next, use a knife to slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. This will expose the cucumber’s seeds. You can now use a teaspoon to gingerly scoop out the seeded core of the cucumber.

Make sure to avoid scraping off the flesh, too…we want to eat that!

Proper Proportions For Your Meals

Wellness is 80% diet and 20% exercise. That wasn’t the first time you heard me say that, and it won’t be the last. What you put into your body is more important than what sort of exertion you get out of your body.

Even if you are eating a healthy about of calories with healthy portion sizes, things can still be skewered if the sizes of each meal portion are out of wack. If your plate consists of 50% mac ‘n’ cheese, 40% steak, and 10% kale…you are doing it wrong. “A” for effort, but still wrong.

Your meals should be made up of three categories: proteins, veggies, and carbs. Veggies are self-explanatory. Proteins consist of your meats, nuts, eggs, peanut butter, and even chocolate milk! Carbs (and remember…we want to focus on complex carbs, not simple carbs) are your fruits, cereals, and breads.

Let’s take a quick look at my personal recommendations on how to segment each onto your plate for each meal. Remember to drink 2 cups (16oz) of water before each meal, and you’ll be right on track to optimal wellness!

Breakfast

Your breakfast consists of an easy 50/50 split. Half of your plate should be proteins, while the other half should be carbs. Think oatmeal with fresh fruit. Eggs with pancakes. Bacon with an apple. Easy peasy.

These pancakes have only two ingredients: eggs and bananas! And, my god, are they delicious -drool-

Lunch

Things start to get a tad trickier when it comes to lunch, as we are now adding veggies to the mix. Half of your lunch should consist of veggies of some sort. The other half of your lunch should be 25% carbs and 25% proteins.

To make this easier, I have several plastic containers that are split in 50%, 25%, 25% section. When I prepare my lunch for the following day, I place my veggies into the 50% section. My protein and my carb are then placed into the two smaller trays. This prevents me from over-indulging with my eyes and placing a higher amount of protein or carb than is needed.

Turkey burger and baked zucchini with squash!

Dinner

The dinner recommendation is where people start to freak out…75% veggies and 25% protein. …Now, now, now, please put down your pitchforks. This is not as hard as it seems.

There are many food choices out there that count as veggies but can be eaten like protein or carbs. Some of my favourites include:

  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Spaghetti squash noodles
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Black-eyed pea patties

These foods can all be found in the freezer section of your local supermarket, and they are quick and easy to make. They are also customizable!

Zoodles with boiled shrimp!

I love steaming cauliflower rice in the microwave and then pouring some Tikka Masala on top, or stirring in diced tomatoes and chiles. The Tikka Masala and tomatoes+chiles are both great additives to normal white rice, and they taste just as great in cauliflower rice.

Another great option is creating homemade pizza with a cauliflower crust instead of flour crust! Add whatever toppings you want; nothing is off limits. Just use that cauliflower crust, and you are set.

When you have a nice-sized helping of these camoflagued veggies on your dinner plate, it’s not so hard to hit that 75%, huh? 🙂

One Cheat Meal Or Missed Workout Doesn’t Mean Failure

I’ve had this issue in the past. Most people I know have had this issue in the past. And it’s unfortunate.

We’ve all been there… You’re clean-eating like a champ, making sure to get #VeggiesMost and eschewing all of the sugary desserts. You’re working out daily, and feeling the literal burn in your muscles. You’re staring at ourselves nakedly each evening and feeling so many happy butterflies over how much your body is changing as you near your goal. And then…

Disaster strikes.

It might be a party.

It might be a vacation.

It might be the holidays.

But whatever it is…you don’t live up to your daily #FitFam expectations. And you feel gross.

A college-freshman’s wet dream, and a college-sophomore’s nightmare as they try to undo the damage of the past 365 days. These foods are tasty and are perfectly fine to enjoy on occasion. Just don’t make them daily staples in your diet.

You’ve devoured 4 slices of pizza, some cookies, a soda, and then laid on the couch all day. By the end of the evening, you’re beating yourself up and feel terrible. You want to go running to burn off the meal, but you’re too full and bloated to go more than a few steps. What do you do next??

Well, first, remember that we’re all human. No one is expected to eat clean and workout every single day. Personal trainers indulge. Celebrities indulge. Models indulge. Everyone indulges sometimes. That’s why the term “weekly cheat meal” exists. Should you use your weekly cheat meal as an excuse to drink a carton of lard. Helllll no! But indulging in your favourite greasy foods is a-okay!

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs. It’s all about consistency. If all you eat are veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, then yes you will lean out and lose weight. If all you eat is grease, fried foods, and cakes, then yes you will bloat and gain weight. But one meal is not enough to influence one or the other.

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs.

Everyone deserves a guilty pleasure. Everyone has their favourite cheat meal. Why have it if you never use it? Think about your week to-come, and plan out the day for your cheat meal! (For all of my American readers, Thanksgiving Day dinner is your cheat meal this coming November. You’re welcome). And then, let loose on that cheat meal.

Trust me, you’re going to rememberi that cheat meal the following day, and you’ll have that much more motivation to hit the gym and continue your path to fitness.

Pilates-style HIIT workouts are my favourites! I recommend giving online workouts by Kayla Itsines, Lucy Wyndham-Read, and Blogilates a try if you’re looking for something new 🙂

What you shouldn’t do is to give up. Don’t feel like a failure (even though it’s inevitable at times, especially on vacations). Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I’ve been lazy for two days, so I guess this is it for my fitness plans”. NO! NO, NO, NO! So what that you were lazy for two days? Hop back on the horse, and start galloping your way to success again.

Repeat After Me: A two-day rest should not equate the destruction of your goals. Every workout and every healthy meal helps to further your goals. Again, if anything, a rest or a cheat meal should motivate you further to meet your goals. Where’s that determination and drive? I know you’ve got it. So use it 😘