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Archive for category healthy recipes

Meatless Monday – a healthy dinner option

Happy Monday y’all!
Thought I’d share our meatless Monday for today. It literally took 5 minutes to prep & was yummy & filling.

This is just a couple of corn tortilla warmed in a skillet, topped with meatless crumbles (I got mine at kroger), seasoned with taco
Seasoning & topped with spinach, plain greek yogurt, and black bean and corn salsa. So easy & really quite a good option. This made plenty, so we actually have leftovers for tomorrow too.

What do you think… Yummy??

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A Clean Eating lunch recipe from me to you {Chicken avocado mash}

I’m always on a search for something I can make me and the hubs that is healthy, easy, and totally packable for lunches. Oh and that I don’t have to prepare nightly. Oh and it has to be filling. And did I mention healthy…? Clean eating can be easy, I promise!

Well here you go. This is it. I figured it out and I’ll share it with you.

mmmm….doesn’t this look ooey gooey, delicious? It is. Trust me.

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I’m sorry, I don’t have a ‘print recipe’ plugin that is available for this type of blog. Please do use the print button below this post, or from your browser to print – or copy/paste elsewhere to print…or of course PIN IT ~ there’s a handy button for that below this post too! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

4 Boneless skinless chicken tenderloins (can use tofu or white beans as an alternative)

1 ripe avocado

1/4-1/2 cup Nonfat plain greek yogurt

1 cup washed broccoli florets

1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (concentrate is okay)

salt, pepper, chipotle pepper to taste

Make It

Cook plain chicken tenderloins until no longer pink. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Cut avocado into small pieces. In a large bowl, smash avocado with a fork and add the chicken, lemon juice, broccoli, and tomatoes. Stir together. Add 1/4 cup greek yogurt and stir. Check the consistency, if you like your food a little less ‘saucy’, this is probably enough for you. If you want it creamier, add a little more greek yogurt. Add salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper to taste. That’s it.

Serve in a while wheat pita with a bed of mixed greens.

Yum.

This recipe is very forgiving. You can absolutely add more or less of anything. Replace stuff. Throw in red peppers. Capers. Whatever your heart desires. The more veggies you add, the healthier this becomes AND the more voluminous it is – which will make it stretch even further. I take the mashup and divide it into two large to-go containers…one for my hubby and one for me. We put it at in the fridge at work & just bring new pitas & mixed greens every day to assemble at lunch time. It usually makes about 4 lunches, so we each have 2 days of lunch covered for very little time and effort. I may just double the recipe next time so we each get 4 days of lunches. We’re not afraid of repetition, especially when it’s THIS delicious and healthy!

So there you have it, an easy, healthy, clean eating recipe for your lunches. Or dinners. What do you think?

Okay, now go eat! I know I just made you hungry…

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Our 2 week reset/clean eating challenge – {some recipes!}

Hubby and I usually eat pretty well. It seems that in the last few months though, we were slipping a little. We’d gone from eating really well about 90% of the time to more like 75% of the time. We decided to create our own 2 week challenge to reset. Our goal is to eat healthy like we had done for so long. Our challenge would go like this:

We’d be eating clean…as clean as possible at least. And we’d cut back carbs to 2 meals a day. We’d eat nothing with added sugar. No beer or wine. And we’d add in extra veggies and fruits. No fast food, very little packaged food – and the packaged food we did eat would be something healthier than most, like Quest Protein Bars(Have you tried these? SO delicious & a TON healthier than other protein bars – which are really more like candy bars. Check the labels!) and Lara Bars. We also decided to log our food for those 2 weeks. That really helps with paying attention to what you’re eating and becoming re-acclimated to what a serving size looks like, and how much our meals SHOULD include.

Today is our last day of our challenge. I lost 4 pounds! We’ll be celebrating with some wine and brunch at our favorite spot. (Can Can Brasserie in Carytown…yuuummm!!) But of course we’re very dedicated to continuing this eating plan at about 90% again now that we’re reset. That’s the beauty of doing something like this. Once you give some things up for a while, you crave it less. It’s a lot easier to continue!

I wanted to share some of the meals and recipes we had…in case any of you wanted to try your own reset/clean eating challenge. Our meals were quick since we both work full time. And I am a big fan of things that don’t take a bunch of ingredients. So, you’ll find some pretty simple stuff here…. I’d love to know what you guys think. Do these looks like meals you’d eat??

Go-To Sandwich

We ate these for many lunches. And usually with mostly the same ingredients, but depending on what we had in the fridge. Here’s my favorite & what we put on it… (and a side note, isn’t it a beautiful sandwich?!)

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Ingredients:

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon super hummus

3 slices hormel natural choice turkey (Applegate Farms is a great choice too)

1/2 slice sargento ultra thin provolone cheese

2 slices tomato

1/4 cup baby spinach

1/2 avocado, sliced

Salt & Pepper to taste

(Some optional things that I added some days: Thinly sliced apple, thinly sliced cucumber, or you could use dijon mustard, a little balsamic vinegar, etc)

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Easy breakfast scramble:

Again, we ate this or a variation of this many mornings. It’s super quick, easy, filling and tasty. Oh and healthy.

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Ingredients:

1 cage free, grain fed egg + 1 egg white

handful of baby spinach

a little Sriracha sauce

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread

1 tablespoon super hummus

Just scramble the egg and cook with the spinach. Add salt and pepper if you’d like. Spread the hummus on the toast and top with the egg scramble. Add sriracha to taste.

Some variations I like to use: add chopped tomato to the scramble and/or 1/2 of a avocado. You could also skip the toast.

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Quick and Healthy Stirfry
Also a very forgiving recipe to replace or add other veggies you may like!
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Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (use Extra Firm Tofu if you’d like)
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Sriracha to taste
Just warm the sesame oil over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the veggies and cooked chicken. Add the rest of the sauces, spices, and peanut butter. Stir constantly for a few minutes until sauces and peanut butter are fully mixed in and warm all the way through. Seriously. You’re done. And you could add more or less veggies as you’d like, but we added a lot since there’s no noodles or rice in this stirfry. This was SO delish!

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Sausages and Sauerkraut
(And quinoa.) Oh Em Gee….!!! So good!
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Ingredients:
4 links Aidelis chicken sausages
1 cup sauerkraut
1 serving Red Inca quinoa (or any quality quinoa)
Prepare quinoa according to package. Warm sausages on the stovetop over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add sauerkraut and prepared quinoa to the pan with sausages and warm for a couple more minutes. 1 serving is 1 link plus a scoop of sauerkraut and quinoa. This made wonderful leftovers for work the next day, too!

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Okay, that’s some of what we used….and all were very satisfying and filling, and super tasty. I’ll save the rest for another post so this one doesn’t get too cumbersome.  Comment below if you’d like me to send you the rest sooner, though!
Tell me what your favorite clean recipe is below 🙂


Try Quest Protein Bars!

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An easy (and healthy!) breakfast idea

So you already know you GOTTA eat breakfast right?

But you also know it should be healthy. And for most of us, it has to be quick and easy. Oatmeal is a quick, healthy option. That does get old though, and I don’t even like it at all. Most cereals are junk. Breakfast bars are junk. So what does that leave?

Here’s a little something I whip up at the office in the AM. It takes about 5 minutes total, and I only use the microwave.

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Here’s what it is and how I do it. There’s plenty of ways to change it up, too.

It’s a half of a sprouted grain english muffin w/ egg whites, avocado, tomato and feta cheese. And some days if I have it, I spread a little greek yogurt on the english muffin too. 

  • I keep Ezekiel brand sprouted grain english muffins in the freezer
  • I keep a carton of natural egg whites in the fridge (NOT the kind w/ yellow color added. Look in the natural, organic section of your grocery store. They should just be white!
  • I keep a container of reduced fat feta cheese in the fridge
  • In the mornings, I take a tomato and an avocado with me to work

Directions

  • Pour a couple of tablespoons egg whites into a coffee mug and microwave on high for about a minute (just until fluffy and done)
  • Wrap an ezekiel english muffin in a paper towel and microwave for just about 20 seconds. Just enough so you can cut the muffin in half since you’re only using half. Cut it, put 1/2 back in the freezer and then finish microwaving the 1/2 you’re using. Doesn’t need to be hot, just defrosted.
  • Chop up half the avocado, store the rest in the fridge for a salad later in the day or something.
  • Chop up half the tomato, store the rest as well
  • Put the egg whites on the muffin, top with tomato, avocado & feta. It’ll be messy since it’s open-faced. Just use a fork and knife to eat it.

BOOM. You just made a healthy, protein packed breakfast that has some lovely, filling, healthy fats and even a little tomato.

You could adjust this in all sorts of ways, too. You could top with some fresh spinach, add the greek yogurt like I mentioned. You could even microwave a slice of turkey bacon and add it. If you’re not an english muffin fan, check out the ezekiel wraps. Use half. And definitely use sprouted grain breads, they are SO much better for you than even whole wheat bread.

I hope this helps!

I’d love to know – do you have a quick, healthy breakfast that is your go-to? Share away!

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Eating is easy!

Lots of times when people ask me for help losing weight or getting in shape, a hang up ends up being about food. Sometimes folks think they should eat very little. Or perhaps they just don’t feel like they have time to cook or prepare anything. And even a few just don’t know what to eat because they’re confused about all of the conflicting information out there.

Well I’m here to tell you a few things about that.

a) No, you should not cut your calories to 1200 or less. There’s a formula based on height/weight/age/activity level that can help you figure out how much you should be eating. And no. It’s not 1200. People get that in their heads because they hear people say “you should never eat less than 1200”. That’s true. That’s the bare minimum to fuel your body for NO activity. But trust, me 1200 is waaaaay too low. You may lose weight this way, but you’re losing muscle and water weight. If you eat too little, you are slowing your metabolism down. Not cool! We all want faster metabolisms, don’t we? You must eat, eat, eat to get that. (Eating healthy foods, of course, not junk!) I literally eat something every 2-3 hours. My body is a fuel/fat burning machine, partially due to my food intake, and partially due to my muscle-building workouts, of course.

b) Yes, you have time to prepare healthy stuff. Here’s what I make for most mornings. I make a bunch on the weekend and freeze them. They take 2 minutes to heat up in the morning, and it’s homemade so you know there’s no added crap in it. There’s plenty of protein and even some whole grains so you’ll feel fuller longer and you’ll fuel your body the right way.

Make ahead breakfast wraps:

Just scramble some eggs with salt and pepper, spoon the equivalent of about 2 eggs onto a whole grain (or low carb) tortilla – the small, taco sized tortiallas. Add a slice or two of canadian bacon – or turkey bacon if you prefer. Optional, top w/ a tablespoon of salsa and or a little bit of low fat cheese. Roll your tortilla with both ends tucked in and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze. To serve, take plastic wrap off and microwave for about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave power.

It takes only about 10 minutes to cook, assemble and throw 6-8 of these in the freezer.

Here’s a freshly made one that I made over the weekend. I added a little gouda to this and it was absolutely heavenly and I was actually full for a few hours, YAY!

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and finally,

c) I know there’s lots of confusing information out there. And I’m happy to answer your questions, so please always feel free to comment here or even email me: fithappy@yahoo.com and I’ll help you sort through the confusion. But a couple of rules I’ve found to live by… don’t get caught up in any fad diets, they will work short term, but are typically too radical to follow for very long. Not to mention many times they cut out entire food groups. Not a very sustainable way to eat. Don’t be afraid of things like carbs. Switch to whole grain pastas and breads and your carbs won’t be as evil…and do try to go carb-free for one meal a day or so. We all need carbs if we’re active at all! And finally, don’t be afraid of fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar does. Kick that sweet tooth habit if you have it. And yes, carbs do turn to sugars, so that’s why you should go carb-free once a day and why you should switch to whole grains. Really, don’t get too caught up in these things. Eat whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, limit your boxed/canned/processed foods and pay attention to eating something every few hours. That, combined with exercise is the key to a healthier lifestyle!

So tell me, what’s the most confusing thing about food for you?

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Quick, easy, packable, healthy, filling lunch idea. Yes, all of that.

So I just had to share my latest love.

I have been making a BIG batch of lentil vegetable soup and then using it for lunches. Hubby and I both prefer to take lunch to work with us, but it’s often a struggle about what to take. Mainly because we want it to be healthy but also convenient. Good luck with that.

When I found a canned lentil vegetable soup, I was in love. But I don’t like eating too much canned stuff. (yucky chemicals in those linings!)

So I made my own masterpiece. Lentils are very filling, have lots of protein, and are the kind of starch that helps increase your metabolism and make you happy. 🙂 Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to do all sorts of fun stuff with. Adding all the veggies is a great way to get those servings in and add some interesting flavors, too.

I make a big batch of this soup, dip out 4 individual servings into glass to-go containers. Then I freeze the rest because I know we don’t want to eat the same lunch for like 10 days straight. So we eat the 4 containers (2 days since there’s 2 of us) and I find something else for us to take for a few days, then thaw the rest and take it the next week for a few days. It’s super satisfying and tasty.

What do you think?

Does it look yummy? Want to re-create it?

I used a bag of dry lentils, a couple of fresh tomatoes, a few stalks of celery, a bag of frozen green beans, 4 carrots, vegetable stock, olive oil, lots of cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, green onion, and thyme. AND you could mix it up. I just bought swiss chard to put in my next batch.

Soften the onion, garlic, etc in your olive oil on medium heat. In the meantime, cook the lentils according to package instructions. Add drained, mostly cooked lentils into the pot that has the garlic. Add your stock & veggies and spices, bring to a soft boil and then simmer for…well, however long you got. Shoot for 30 minutes or so at least so the flavors marry.

What’s your go-to healthy, packable lunch?

 


 

 

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Eating Healthy on a Budget

Since I get this question often, I thought I’d talk about it a bit here.

I realize that junk food is typically less expensive than  healthy food. But there’s ways around it! You can still eat healthy with just a little planning and a possible change in mindset.

Here are my tips, but I’d love to hear yours in comments below!

* First, always, always, always check the weekly ads for your local grocery stores online. Write down all the things you *may* be interested in and what the sale price is and at what store. Once you’ve done this for all your local stores, compare the items and their prices. Whichever store has the most items you may need for the best prices, you’ll want to go there.

* Since you’re eating some protein with every meal (every 3 hours), you’ll want to find some protein sources that are inexpensive. (You ARE eating a little protein every few hours, right??). Meat does not need to be the only protein source you have. In fact, any vegetarian or vegan will tell you that you don’t even need meat at all and you can still get plenty of protein. Some options include: black beans, kidney beans, cannelinni beans, lentils, nut butters, and greek yogurts. Other beans will work too, these are just some thoughts to get you headed in the right direction. You can incorporate beans into a TON of meals. Add them to salads, put them in your casseroles, your soups, etc. Buy your beans in bulk instead of cans to get the most for your money. Get creative, and definitely check out some recipe websites. I love using www.allrecipes.com

* If you are going to use meats as well, buy things such as boneless skinless chicken breasts (more convenient than whole chicken or skin-on types). But only buy them whey they are at the cheapest during the sale cycle. I typically only buy them when they are the lowest, which around here, is $1.99 per pound. I stock up because they won’t be that low again for several weeks. Look for discounted lean meats as they approach their expiration date & freeze it. Just eat it before the new stuff you have stored!

* Use Whole grain brown rice in lots of meals. If you buy it in bulk and not in the ’10 minute’ packs, it’s extremely inexpensive and it’s filling, easy on your blood sugar and goes with TONS of foods. Use it in casseroles, as a side dish, or under grilled chicken with yummy sauces. Some people even use it in place of spaghetti noodles, etc. Get creative here too!

* Buy frozen veggies when they’re on sale. They are fresher this way than in the cans. And they stay good for MUCH longer than fresh produce, so you don’t waste money on that bag of fresh carrots you bought that went bad before you could use half of them. Of course  use fresh when it’s something you really prefer – or if you use it alot. For instance, we use broccoli alot. I put it in casseroles, in salads, and in stir fry. So I can buy fresh broccoli and it won’t go bad before I finish it. But if it’s cheaper frozen that week, I’m not afraid to use it that way either. Whatever works!

* Double your dinner recipes so you can use leftovers for lunches. It’d typically cheaper and healthier if you cooked your own food rather than getting TV dinners or lunch out somewhere. Just make sure if you’re doing this that you ARE making healthy dinners! 🙂

So that’s all I can think of for right now.

What are your best tips for eating healthy on a budget, please tell us below!

~To Your Health~

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A few recipes

So, a few healthy recipes that I use often. Keep in mind I’m not a gourmet chef. And I typically have to cook quickly due to workout schedules, work & relaxing time in the evening. So having said that, here you go!


Quick Chicken Bake
(makes about 4 servings)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (or tenderloins)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
1 cup water
½ bag of frozen green peas (or broccoli, or whatever veggie you prefer!)
1 cup Cous cous or quinoa
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper if you like it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Let the pan heat for a minute. Add chicken to the pan, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, flip over and cook 2 more minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup & water until smooth. Put mixture,  frozen veggies & cous cous or quinoa, and partially cooked chicken breasts into a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Check cous cous, when it’s tender it’s done. Double-check chicken to make sure it’s not pink inside. If it needs more cooking, just pop back in for 5-10 minutes.



Healthier Spaghetti
(Makes about 4 servings)

1 lb very lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
1 jar of Prego or Ragu, etc
1 small can of plain tomato sauce
Italian seasonings such as basil, oregano, parsley & garlic, etc
Optional: Capers & black olives
Whole wheat spaghetti noodles

Brown the meat on med-high heat in a pot. While it’s cooking, add in the basil, oregano, parsley & garlic – about ½ tsp of each. When meat is browned, drain any fat off that accumulated. Add in the jar of prego or ragu, the can of tomato sauce, capers and olives if you’d like. Cook over med-high heat for about 5 minutes. Turn down to low heat and cook another 5 minutes.

While sauce is warming, boil water & cook several servings of noodles according to package instructions. Make sure you check the serving size of noodles!

Drain noodles, place 1 serving of noodles on a plate and about 1/2 cup of sauce on top of the noodles. You should not need parmesan on top, but if you do, make it just a light sprinkle.



Quick Tilapia Bake

6 Tilapia filets (from frozen for easy-factor)
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Lemon juice from concentrate

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or according to frozen package instructions)

Place tilapia in a baking dish. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Top with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Add about 1 tablespoon lemon juice on top of filets. Cover with aluminum and bake for 11-13 minutes (or according to package instructions). Check fish, if it flakes easily with a fork, it’s done.

While fish is baking, steam some veggies – from frozen if you’d like. Top steamed veggies with a dash of salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.


Hope you like these! I’m happy to share more, just let me know you’d like more – comment below!

~To your health!~

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