Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Feel Better Soon Chicken Soup

This last week my husband had the flu, I had some sort of weird food poisoning thing and my kids were full of snot...'tis the season, right? We are all generally healthy people, but sometimes, an immune system needs a bit of a boost. Enter Chicken Soup for the Run-Down-Sick-or-Just Freezing-Body. It's full of spices, veggies that are super packed with nutrients to keep you well and help you feel well when you are sick, Garlic plays a big role in this soup. Not only is it packed with things like vitamin C, Manganese and B6, it also has been shown to reduce the length and symptoms of colds and flu.  Turmeric is amazing in the way it reduces inflammation and the ginger fights infection and can calm upset tummies. Chicken is easy on the tummy and provides good protein while the veggies give flavor and fiber to keep your systems moving...even if you aren't eating much. Use bone broth for it's amazing healing properties including collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. Check out more awesome stuff about bone broth here

What you need:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded (you can use whatever chicken you want...this is just so easy)
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth (you can get this in almost any grocery store in the health food section)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 TBSP minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 bag riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 TBSP basil
  • 1/2 TBSP parsley
  • 3 TBSP Soy Sauce (or coconut aminos if you have them on hand...I didn't)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
What to do:
  1. In large stock pot, saute the onions in a splash of chicken broth with all the spices (garlic, ginger, turmeric, basil, parsley) for about two minutes or until onions are a bit translucent. 
  2. Add the rest of the chicken broth and water as well as the chopped veggies and riced cauliflower and bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes (I shredded my chicken while this was happening)
  3. Toss in the chicken, soy sauce, salt and pepper
  4. Bring back to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are as soft as you want them. 
This re-heats amazingly well. Feel free to play with the spices and such. I gave mine a shot of cayenne for fun and to warm me up a bit further and clear my stuffy nose. 

It's about 100 calories per cup (without broth) and has 7 grams carbs, 4 grams fat, 12 grams protein and 2.5 grams fiber.

Enjoy...and feel better soon!


I adapted (and made easier) this recipe from this one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Holiday Season


Just when you’ve come out of the Halloween sugar high the Thanksgiving food coma hits and then the holiday parties and treats threaten to undo a whole year of hard work on your health. But just because people are bringing endless baked goods to the office and there are holiday parties every week with fantastic food and drink, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have Santa’s belly by 2017. Just follow a few simple tricks and trades and you’ll be cheering to your health and pre-holiday body!

Don't go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won't overeat at parties or in the break room is to not let yourself get hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go...100-150 calories should do it. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, string cheese, a handful of nuts or a protein shake should do the trick.

Take a step back. You see all the food on the table and you want to make a beeline for the buffet. Go for it, but once you've gone through the line once, plant yourself on a far away and out of arms reach of the gingerbread cookies and peppermint martinis and, better yet, keep your back to the food and drink. With this little trick, you are less likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Work it out. So the holidays can cause stress, right? Lots of shopping, spending, parties and work. Who has time for exercise? YOU DO! Exercise reduces stress so make sure you put your workouts on the calendar and stick to it like you would an important meeting: because it is.

Exercise portion control. Where does it say that just because you can eat a truckload of food, you should? Get one plate of food and make sure that at least half is filled up with veggies, fruits and lean protein, the other half can be your favorite holiday food picks…”favorite” being the key word here. Don't waste precious calories on food that you don't really love. Pick out your favorites and savor them slowly.

Drink Dilemma. If you decide to have a drink or two while celebrating, make sure your drinks are around 100 calories or less. Wine spritzers, 1 oz liquor with a calorie-free mixer, a glass of champagne and light beer all have around 100 calories. And of course, drink two glasses of water to every alcoholic beverage to keep you from over-drinking as well as staying hydrated.

Skip the food or drink hangover. Schedule a sweat session for the morning after a party with a trainer or friend…knowing that you will be going to be working hard the next morning will make you think about how much you’re drinking AND eating that evening, plus, you'll burn calories from your “favorite” treats and zap fatigue and winter blues all at once.

Happy, healthy holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Roasted Root Vegetables


So...it's definitely fall now and that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I know for most, it is an all out eat fest and that's great. Even so, I'm really thankful for my health and want to feed my body some really good, yummy, nutritious food even if I indulge in some gravy and pie. Plus, if you are dealing with food allergies and sensitivities, Thanksgiving feasts can be a bit daunting. Therefore, I have worked hard to make the yummiest root vegetable hash possible. Root veggies are amazing. They fight cancer with a healthy dose of antioxidants, fill you up with fiber and can even help you absorb more iron for strong bones and cartilage.



What you need:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 large golden beets
  • 2 cup whole Brussels sprouts (I know it's not a root veggies...but they are soooo tasty in this dish)
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 6 whole carrots
  • 6 whole parsnips
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tbsp my favorite spice to put on veggies
                               
                                       What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Peel all veggies and cut into 1 inch cubes (I know this seems like a lot of chopping and such but it took me less than 20 minutes and I passed the time watching my guilty pleasure tv series)
  3. Saute all veggies except butternut squash (they get too mushy) in broth for about 5 minutes to get them just a little soft...but not too soft or they will be mushy
  4. Salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil
  5. Spread on two separate baking sheets to provide enough room for veggies to roast
  6. Bake until tender or about 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts per one cup serving: 100 calories, 20 carbs, 2.5 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 5 grams fiber





Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pumpkin muffins for under 80 calories

I fed these muffins to my husband, who loves calories, fat, wheat and dairy, and he was shocked that they were low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Ha, I totally got him! Taste for yourself; they are crazy addictive. My kids ate six of them behind my back (I guess it's fair since they helped me make them). I know that it's pumpkin mania right now, but these are a must try. Plus, you can make these in 30 minutes flat. POW.


E.H. FITNESS PERFECT PUMPKIN MUFFINS 

Yields 18 regular muffins, 36 mini muffins
(10 min prep, 18 min bake time)

What you need:

  • non-stick cooking spray (or muffin tin liners)
  • 1 cup old fashion oats made into flour (don’t freak out…just put them in your blender/food processor/magic bullet/etc. for like 10 seconds. Congrats, you just made your own oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, original flavor almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

What to do: 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients (oat flour that you made, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, old fashion oats), then mix in all wet ingredients. Tough, right? Fill your muffin tins ½ full (like ¼ cup for regular sized muffins and about 2 TBSP for mini muffins).  Bake normal sized muffins for 15-18 minutes and mini-muffins for 10-12 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out goop-free. Cool before diving in.

Here are the crazy-unbelievable nutrition facts…but don’t get carried away; the entire batch will still set you back over 1,300 calories. But for one normal sized muffin: 76 calories, 15 carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram fat and 2 grams protein. For the mini ones: 38 calories, 7 carbs, 0.5 grams fiber, 0.5 grams fat and 1 gram protein. 

ENJOY!

Drink up: H2O is super important!

It’s getting hot outside…are you getting enough water? The body is about 60% water, therefore, it’s important to drink plenty H2O to keep your body properly hydrated. Our body loses a bit over 8 cups of water a day (64 oz) through various bodily processes, so it stands to reason that you need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day to make sure that you replace the lost water. Why is hydration so important for our overall health? Let’s look at the roles that water plays in the body:

  • Water helps rid the body of toxins
  • Water boosts your metabolism
  • Water carries nutrients to your cells
  • Water keeps you energized
  • Water plays a key role in the function of every organ
  • Water aids in digestion

When you don’t drink enough water, you are at risk to become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause minor to major problems including:  
  • Slow Metabolism
  • Low energy
  • Kidney stones
  • Poorly functioning organs
  • Failing kidneys

If the thought of drinking so much plain ol’ water every day doesn’t appeal to you, try to stay away from water mix-ins. These popular fruity powders are full or sugar or worse, chemical sweeteners that have been linked to certain types of cancer and even obesity. Instead, try adding the following natural water enhancers:
  • Lemon, Lime or Orange slices
  • Crushed raspberries
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Frozen orange juice “ice cubes”

No excuses; drink 1/2 your body weight in oz of water a day. (Example: if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water a day)

On a note for those who exercise regularly:

If you loose a pound or two during a major sweat session, what you’ve lost is not fat, it’s 2 ½ CUPS of water per pound lost from your body-yikes! Dehydration sets in once you loose about 2% of body weight due to water loss (so a 175 lb man could lose only 3.5 lbs of water during a hard workout and succumb to dehydration…scary!)

Sweating is a good thing; it keeps our bodies cool, but it also causes us to loose water and so we must replace what has been lost. It’s super important to drink water before, during and after a good sweat session in normal conditions, but it’s actually a crucial requirement to do such when it’s hot out. Tips to staying hydrated:
  • Remember to drink about two cups (16 oz) of water and hour or two before exercise
  • Drink ½ cup (4 oz or about 2-3 gulps) every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
  • Be sure to continue drinking water even after your workout is complete to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Remember to listen to your body when exercising in the heat. If you start to get dizzy, light headed or if you stop sweating when you’re working hard, it’s time to quit for the time being and drink some water.
Cheers to your health!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Week night dinners-easy, nutritious, balanced

Anyone else feel like maybe it would be great to just be able to skip dinner every once in a while? I mean, intermittent fasting is good for the body and brain. Unfortunately, my little family really likes to eat in the evening. Every. Darn. Day. So I've come up with a week of fall meals that everyone will eat (at least )in my house) that are less than 30 minutes (or in the crock pot). It makes me feel a bit more sane. Plus, if you have gluten or dairy issues, you can totally make them free of those guys. Here is what our weeks look like right now. Simply click on the link for more information on how to do it the fastest, most efficient way to get this food on the table.

Monday: E.H. Fitness chili in the crock pot.

Tuesday: It's call "Taco Tuesday" in my house; kinda like create-your-own-burrito-bowl of deliciousness.

Wednesday: Baked salmon with rice and mixed veggies.

Thursday:  Balsamic Short Ribs with smashed potatoes and honey glazed carrots

Friday: Get rid of your leftover chili on baked potatoes

Saturday: Honey Soy Chicken with rice and mixed veggies

Sunday: Left overs...go out...eat cereal...relax...it's a day of rest! :)

Basically, there is a formula here: protein, starch and veggies. Once I got that little formula under my belt, planning meals was made easy. Just simple clean meals. Boom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fancy-shmancy meal with busy weeknight ease!

Oh goodness...this meal seemed like a big deal in the kitchen with lots of prep and time and such but it was sooooo easy and soooo delicious. Check out this clean short rib recipe that you do in the crock pot and this amazing roasted honey carrot recipe and pop some cauliflower rice in the microwave with some salt and pepper. AMAZING!

Just a little side note that my family loves them some smashed potatoes and frequently we will eat this meal with those instead of cauliflower rice. Again...super easy.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Honey-soy chicken thighs and veggies

I'm a chicken breast eater...which is great...but I realized a little while ago that there are several parts to a chicken that are much more flavorful than the breast like the thighs. So yesterday I picked up some skinless, boneless chicken thighs and got this incredibly tasty and easy recipe from a friend and it was delicious. Check the recipe out here. I only made a couple changes*; taken them or leave them.

I paired the chicken with mixed stir-fry veggies and cauliflower rice. It was sooo good, filling and easy. Oh! And my whole family liked it!



*Changes I made:

  • subbed coconut oil for vegetable oil
  • only used 3 tbsp honey
  • used fresh crushed ginger 
  • used minced garlic

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Candy overload...trying something different for birthday favors

I know I'm not the only one out there that feels like this is the start of eat-all-the-candy-cake-cookies-etc. season. Right?! I mean, maybe I'm the only one but with all the parties and trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating and just give-kids-bags-of-candy-for-fun, my kids are sugared out. They might not realize it, but their craziness and then tiredness and then upset stomachs all point to too much candy. So I decided this year for Carter's little birthday celebration at school to send glo-sticks instead of cupcakes and do mini-pumpkins as party favors for his birthday party instead of decorated cookies or cute sack of candy. And I'll tell you what...the kids went bananas for both "switch outs!" I feel like maybe those tiny changes at least cancel out a bit of the big bowl of candy I have ready for trick-or-treaters. I mean, 'tis the season :) #mostlyhealthychoices

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's chilly outside...make some simple, clean chili and warm up!

Fall is officially here! And that means that you can make chili! I mean, I make chili all year round but now it feels more appropriate. This recipe is meant to be thrown in the crock pot and ready for hungry mouths at dinner.



What you need:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can Great Northern beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (or one big one)
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup water (or no water if you like yours on the thicker side)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (or skip it for a milder version)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt to taste


What to do:

  1. Brown turkey
  2. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours (or if you forget in the morning, go for 3-4 hours on high)
  3. Enjoy!


Nutrition per 1 cup serving (makes 12 servings): 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, 17 carbs, 6 grams fiber, 12 grams protein.

Extra!

I love to double this recipe and serve leftovers later in the week over baked potatoes. You can totally throw the potatoes in the microwave after stabbing them and wrapping them in paper towels, but my favorite way to do baked potatoes is like this:
  1. Stab cleaned baking potatoes with a fork like 12 times (get into it...it's a stress reliever)
  2. Rub down the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and sea salt (this is double duty as it also gives you a nice hand scrub for soft skin)
  3. Bake directly on the rack at 400 degrees for and hour or so-just until a fork can easily be inserted into the taters. (I like to put a sheet pan or foil underneath on the rack below the potatoes to catch any little drips)

Salmon, rice and veggies...clean and "lazy"

The salmon and veggies are at Costco



These three pre-done, whole, clean foods are my go at least once a week. Simply put the frozen salmon fillets in a pre-heated (375 degree) oven for 30 minutes. I like to put a piece of foil down under the fillets on a baking sheet for super fast clean-up. While the fish is baking, stir-fry the veggies for about 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil with some sea salt and pepper and microwave your rice. Done. So. Easy.

The FOUR minute workout...TABATA!


Who wants to work out for only 4 minutes but get the benefits of a 60 minute workout? I bet everyone just yelled “ME!”... or at least silently thought it. We are all busy people, so this type of workout is perfect for people on the go or those who want to take their conditioning and body to the next level. Interval training has been thought of for years as the most efficient way to burn fat and increase cardiovascular fitness. Recently, a specific form of interval training has received much deserved attention: Tabata.
                                                            

The Tabata protocol was named for Dr. Izumi Tabata who studied the routine which was  developed for the Olympic Japanese speed skating team.  Dr. Tabata and his team found that those subjects who engaged in just 4 minutes of the protocol improved their maximum aerobic capacity by 14% and their anaerobic capacity by 28% whereas those who did “traditional” exercise (running at 70% aerobic capacity for a total of 60 minutes) only improved their aerobic capacity by 9.5% and had NO improvement in anaerobic capacity. Click here  to view the abstract of the study published in the journal “Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise.”
 Hum…now which would you rather do…4 minutes or 60 minutes…hum…
Okay, so here’s the deal. A Tabata interval is made up of 20 seconds maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated for a total of 4 minutes (or 8 cycles of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest). You can do Tabata intervals anywhere with most any equipment (or none at all) to add some spice to your workouts or as your total workout on busy days when you only have 4 minutes to spare. The important thing to remember is that during those 20 seconds, you had better be working at maximum effort to reap the most benefits. So think about movements like sprints, jump squats, burpees, jumping rope, butt kicks, high knees, all that jazz.
Since it’s a total drag to watch a clock, it possible download some kind of Tabata App (I love Tabata Pro; it plays over my music and it’s not annoying). Also, I use the app to help my kids clean up...only 20 seconds at a time :) 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Organic vs. Conventionally Grown Produce

Photo from EWG

Organic refers to produce produced without synthetic chemicals or fertilizers, genetic engineering, radiation or sewage sludge. Sounds like we should be eating only organic, right? But just because it's labeled "organic" doesn't mean it's healthy. Examples: organic gummy worms, organic cookies, etc. It's also confusing because there are some that say that it's just a waste of money to buy organic and others that say it's the best dollar(s) spent. So what's a person to do? Well...there's a group, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with a list each year of the most pesticide ladend produce and ones with barely any at all based on extensive testing from the US Dept. of Agriculture. It feels like a safe bet to me :) 

The Dirty Dozen
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • celery
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • sweet peppers
  • cucumbers
  • hot peppers
  • kale

Clean 15
  • avocado
  • corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • sweet peas
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwi
  • eggplant
  • honeydew
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower
Hopefully this helps a bit when buying produce.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Taco Tuesday

                                        

We LOVE Taco Tuesday at my house. Everyone can just make their own tacos, or burrito bowls or whatever.

  • cooked cauliflower rice (super easy with Trader Joe's frozen kind) or regular rice (super easy with steam-in-bag rice
  • shredded taco chicken (so easy, throw chicken breasts in the crockpot with a jar of salsa...all day on low, 4 hours on high)
  • black beans (I'm in love with Trader Joe's Cuban style black beans)
  • shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • diced onion (you can grab some at the salad bar in your grocery store if you don't want to chop)
  • salsa
  • and add some avocado for extra yumminess!
Yummy!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Clean and Easy Protein Balls

My son is obsessed with these delicious protein balls at our local clean eating tea place (and frankly, I am obsessed with them as well). So today when I asked Carter what he wanted for a snack, he said "protein balls, please." Since the baby was down for her afternoon nap, Carter and I looked through our pantry and decided that we could totally make our own clean protein balls out of stuff we had laying around. So we did...in 10 minutes flat...and they are rock-star protein balls! PLUS, you can make them with all sorts of stuff. You could add flax, chia seeds, chocolate, fruit, etc


What you need:

  • Parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • 1 cup nut butter (we used raw salted creamy natural peanut butter but almond butter or sunflower butter would be great too)
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (we used raw organic honey but agave or maple syrup or brown rice syrup will do)
  • 54 grams of protein powder (we used 2 1/2 scoops IsaPro vanilla...just make sure it's unsweetened and just protein powder)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (we used gluten free quick oats)
  • 22 chocolate chips
What you do: 

  1. On medium-low heat, combine peanut butter and honey and stir until smooth (be careful, it can burn!)
  2. Remove pan from burner and let cool for a minute stirring continuously.
  3. Mix in protein powder and oatmeal in (you get a bit of an arm workout since it gets pretty thick)
  4. Make into tablespoon sized balls (or use a cookie dough scoop if you're lazy...er resourceful... like me).
  5. Top with a chocolate chip (totally optional :) ) 
  6. Refrigerate for around an hour and eat 'em!

Nutrition stats:
(per ball...recipe makes 22)
115 calories, 6 grams fat, 11 grams carbs, 6 grams sugar, 1.5 grams fiber, 5.5 grams protein

EDIT: I made another batch using half the sweetener and added 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk and they were perfection, plus you shave off 15 calories and 3 grams sugar :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Smashed Potatoes....a side everyone loves

Smashed Potatoes

What you need:
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk (unsweetened original almond milk works great if you don't do dairy)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
What you do:



  • Peel and chop potatoes into small cubes (small the better since they will take less time to soften)
  • Put in sauce pan with water that covers all potatoes
  • Bring water to a boil with potatoes already in pot and let boil for about 10 minutes or until a fork goes easily into the potato chunks
  • add ingredients and smash those guys until creamy and smooth or chunky or however you like them.

Friday, October 14, 2016

School lunches...ahhhhh

So I this is the first year that I have a kiddo in school full time (cheer/sob). That means he has to have lunch packed every.darn.day. I don't have a ton against school lunches, but my guy refuses to eat most of what is served and, therefore, I get the pleasure of making him (and sometimes his baby sister who's PDO doesn't provide lunch) a bag of food 5 days a week. I started to panic thinking that my non-sandwich eating, salad hating, cheese loving 5 year old was destined to a lunchbox full of cheese sticks and a water bottle, so I started brainstorming like a month ago and here is the short and simple list of acceptably healthy lunches that I will get on a rotation. THANK YOU Thermos hot food containers and very slim ice packs :)

*NOTE: this is based on my son's own tastes...I know there are foods that are obviously absent :)

Mains:

  • Turkey Roll Ups (just a slice of turkey rolled into a "tube"...for some reason my guy won't eat a flat piece of turkey but roll it up, and it's a completely different food...argh)
  • Oatmeal with blueberries and a touch of local honey
  • Black beans with cheese and a bit of sour cream (from night before Tacos)
  • Mac and cheese with peas
  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Meat balls with BBQ sauce 
  • Left over spaghetti and meatballs
  • Greek yogurt with granola
  • Clif bar or something like that in an emergency 
  • String cheese with turkey pepperoni and popcorn
Veggies:
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
Fruit: 
  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
Sides/Snacks (we have to provide a snack every day....so here's what I was thinking:
  • Snapea Snacks (Trader Joe's also has "Inner Peas"
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Granola bar
  • Apple sauce
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Craisins
  • Lara Bar
  • Yogurt
I think if I keep it simple enough, I'll be able to get into a routine and it won't be such a big deal every night to pack it up and have it ready in the morning (except for the hot stuff which I will just warm up before school)....easy peasy, right? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lazy Monday Night Meal: Salmon, Veggies and Rice



It's tough...finding something to feed your family EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. That is why I like "lazy" cooking nights. Last night for instance, I had dinner on the table in 30 minutes flat and felt great about what I was feeding my family. I used frozen, individually portioned wild Alaskan salmon, whole grain steam-in-the-bag rice with veggies and a fantastic frozen veggie mix.                                                                                     

Here are the details:

I love love love Morey's Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon. I get it at Costco, but they sell it other places too. It's gluten free, individual portions and can be cooked from frozen. I know, I know. Frozen salmon? I'm usually a hard pass on frozen fish, but this is amazing. Throw these guys in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes and eat. (Or if you have all your stuff together, you can thaw over night in the fridge and it takes 12 minutes to bake...I just never remember.)

While your salmon is baking sautee your favorite frozen veggies...my go to is the Kirkland Stir-fry Blend...it has like 8 kinds of veggies in it and is delicious with just some sea salt and pepper.  

While your frozen veggies are thawing and getting tender, throw some steam-in-bag rice in the microwave. My favorite right now is Birds Eye Brown and Wild Rice with Carrots and Broccoli. I just throw some seasoning on it or if I'm feeling frisky, some soy sauce or Soyaki. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Taco night done light and right

My family LOVES taco night...in fact, we typically have tacos on Tuesday...Taco Tuesday...because alliteration and The Lego Movie. Anyway, tacos can be a bit ol' calorie bomb, but I've a bit obsessed with my high fiber, super high protein extremely filling version. 

What you need:

1 cup cooked cauliflower rice (super easy with Trader Joe's frozen kind)
1 cups Shredded chicken (so easy, throw chicken breasts in the crockpot with a jar of salsa...all day on low, 4 hours on high)
1/2 cup black beans (I'm in love with Trader Joe's Cuban style black beans)

That's it....easy...others can make tacos, burritos, whatev floats their boat which you will enjoy these stats from your large and satisfying meal.

450 calories, 32 carbs, 60 grams protein (what??), 8 grams fat, 11 gram fiber

Boom. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday's Favorite "Fast Food"




So I know "fast food" usually means a drive thru and a side of fries, but I did a bit of an experiment this week, and I want to share my favorite healthy "fast food" because sometimes a drive thru is Mc-Slow! For example, I went through a drive through for dinner for my family on Wednesday (a rare occasion) because it was a school-fundraising deal. From the time I left my house to the time I was able to put the bags of food on the table was 35 minutes. That got me thinking: I could have totally made a delicious, healthy meal for my kids and hubby in less time then that...ugh. And yesterday, I proved it. I had a crazy day and had exactly 25 minutes to get food on the table before everyone went crazy with hanger (hungry/anger). So I went to my go-to's for fast food. All of my stuff is from Trader Joe's but that doesn't have to be the case for you :) 

Thin-sliced fresh chicken breast. I typically like to pound my chicken into thinner versions for even and faster grilling/baking/etc, but when I don't have the extra couple minutes for that...these are perfect. Line a baking sheet with foil, drizzle olive oil and your favorite spices on the chicken and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Perfection.

Meatless Meatballs: If you are going for a vegetarian protein, you microwave these tasty balls for 1 minute. Boom. Done. Love them with BBQ Sauce.

Frozen veggies. My favorite right now are stir fry style veggies because there are so many colors and delicious variety in one bag. Try Trader Joe's Hodgepodge mix...amazing. Just saute this bag of vitamins and minerals in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and yummy!! I also like to add some zucchini in there for extra yumminess (and also I like to eat piles of food so this provides MORE without really more calories).

Sweet potatoes. So. Easy. Stab with a fork. Wrap in a paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, Flip it. 2 more minutes. Top with paprika, salt and pepper.

Frozen cauliflower rice. Put this in a sauce pan for like 4 minutes and then do what you would normally do with your rice...put the chicken or meatballs over it, throw some soy sauce or spices on it...so easy and healthy.

Apples: These are just amazing. Check out why you might want to eat one a day. Also, the Jazz variety is sweet, tart and not too big. Perfect on the go snack or to slice up on the side of a meal. They also work to feed to very hungry children if dinner isn't quite ready. 

You can make a complete meal with all of the jazz above in 25 minutes (I put some pre-heating and cooling time in there). I bet it's faster than the drive thru :) 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Funday...with stairs



Hey I have brunch plans too...Farmhouse anyone? BUT, before I get my eggs on, this was the perfect way to start a relatively chilly day here in KC. You'll be done in 30 minutes flat...and that's including the cool down.

Here's what to do:

Warm up quick run for 1.5 miles or about 12-15 minutes of fast walking or jogging.

Sprint stairs for 20 seconds and go into a 30 plank right away then go back down the stairs. Repeat the stair sprints/planks for a total of 8 times. 

Stretch.

Here is the view of my little warm up run this morning...I love my city! 



Friday, August 19, 2016

Boost your workouts with a cup of joe!

Great news for people like me who love their coffee...a lot...and basically need it to function at all (see rolled-out-of-bed-straight-to-coffee-shop-this-morning photo as proof)! Coffee can boost your workout performance-whoohoo! Check it out: caffeine not only gives you more energy to tackle those burpees, hard walks or long runs but it also gets you in a good mood for your sweat session which can lead to more intense sessions. Something to remember though  is that caffeine is a diuretic (and too much can have a laxative effect), so if you're planning on drinking and sweating, make sure just have a cup or two and drink as much water to keep hydrated. Need more info on caffeine and performance...check out this study.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Playing cards...and sweating


Want a little something different for your workout? Grab a deck of cards and breathe, burn and sweat through this "fun" workout  My class this morning loved it...and hated it...but mostly walked out feeling like they got a fantastic workout.
                                                     

Here's the deal 
(haha...get it...deal...like dealing cards...ugh):

Spades=Push ups
Diamonds=Jump Squats
Clubs=Kettlebell swings
Hearts=Sit ups
Jokers=20 burpees including a push up-yay!

Shuffle that deck and get to work. Whatever card you pull, do the number of reps the card indicates of the exercise matching the suit. Jacks=11, Queens=12, King=13 and Aces=14.

It took us about 30 minutes to work our way through the deck...yup...all 54 cards (including your two jokers).

When you finish you will have done 104 of every movement (and really 144 push ups since you have 40 extras included in your burpees).

Enjoy!




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Don't lose your cool. Keep calm with these foods.

He's soooo excited...I'm soooo stressed

We all get stressed out every once in a while. Right now I am a ball of anxiety over schedule changes this fall and my oldest starting kindergarten. It's not just about giving up my time with my little guy, it's also about school supplies. Let me tell you. I almost lost my mind trying to find the required 8 pack of a certain kind of crayon when they only come in packs of 10 (think Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride" ripping hot dog buns out of the packages to make the right number...insanity). Anyway, while my eye is starting to twitch at the prospect of putting name labels on piles of school supplies, I am reminded that instead of reaching for the tenth cup of coffee this morning and stuffing my face with chips and cookies that I so badly want, it's actually much better for my anxiety level (and the health of my family relationships) to eat these stress busting foods. Maybe you could use a few too :)


  • Oatmeal: a nice warm bowl of oats boost levels of serotonin which is a calming brain chemical.
  • Spinach: the magnesium in spinach makes sure that you aren't deficient in this vitamin which can lead to fatigue and headaches 
  • Fish (the fatty kind): omega-3 fatty acids found in swimmers like salmon and tuna prevent surges in stress hormones
  • Avocados: reduce blood pressure by making sure you get enough potassium...avocados have a ton of it
  • Crunchy raw veggies: not only do you get filling fiber and vitamins and minerals, the pure act of crunching and chewing a carrot stick, crisp cucumber, jicama or celery causes a clenched jaw to relax
  • Berries: they are yummy and they have stress reducing anti-oxidants as well as lots of vitamin C to boost your immune system.
  • Dark Chocolate: oh yes...but just a bite and it needs to be at least 70% cocoa. It's packed with antioxidants that lower blood pressure and gives your brain a bit of a relaxed feeling
  • Pistachios: this is a two-for-one: they have phytonutrients which give us some antioxidant support and the rhythmic shelling of this diet friendly nut will help you relax and slow down your eating
So, today, I'm having oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, a spinach salad with raw veggies and avocado for lunch and salmon for dinner with a bite of dark chocolate to finish off the day. 

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

No veggie prep time? No problem!

                                                            
I LOVE cutting up veggies...I know...it's super weird...but I let myself cut up fresh produce and while I do that, I allow myself to watch guilty pleasure TV (so there is an incentive, for sure). BUT there are many times when I go to the fridge for some chopped veggies and someone (mainly me) has eaten them all. AHH! Enter frozen vegetables. They are awesome. My new fav blend is the Stir-fry blend from Costco. It's enormous, as most things from Costco are, and has all of my favorites in one bag for like $8. I throw a cup or two (or three if I'm super hungry) into a saute pan with a little water and spices and in 5 minutes, I have a colorful array of vitamin rich, fiber packed veggies to add to eggs, chicken, salmon or just a plate. No excuses!!
                                                                 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Fat Blaster (warning: contains 164 push ups, 97 burpees and morefun and sweat than imaginable)

Today, I put my first class through the ringer...and subsequently myself through the ringer since I work out with them. I wanted to share 30 minutes of the 55 minute workout we did because it's amazing for for the upper body, heart and lungs and is just plain hard. Perfect for going into the weekend. Note, I warmed up my class for 9 minutes of planks, jumping jacks/squats, slow push-ups and "sally squats" so make sure you are completely warm as well.

Here's the deal:

For the first 10 minutes, at the top of every minute, do the following:
10 jumping jacks
10 bent rows with either dumbbells or weighted barbell
10 push ups
5 burpees

The faster you can do it, the more time you will have to rest before the next minute starts. So you do that little list a total of 10 times...got it?

Next, you'll do every move 5 times. You don't get a minute this time...it's 40 seconds....BUT you only have to do 3 burpees (repeat 5 times through):
5 jumping jacks
5 bent rows
10 push ups
5 burpees

Now, you'll do every move 4 times...you get 35 seconds....keep the 3 burpees (repeat 4 times through).

And, then moves 3 times each for 30 second (repeat 3 times through). Again with the 3 burpees after each set.

Then the moves 2 times each for 25 seconds (repeat 2 times through). Don't forget to do your three burpees at the end of each set.

Finally, change it up a bit and do just one more set of 10 of each move followed by 5 burpees.

DONE.

If you did the entire thing without rest (not recommended), it will take you 19 minutes. We rested this morning for 2 minutes each time the sets and times changed. The first 10 minutes were the most brutal for sure.

These are your amazing stats at the end:

164 Jumping Jacks
164 Rows
164 Push ups (WHAT??!!)
97 Burpees (might as well throw in an extra three to make an even 100, right?

Make sure to cool down and stretch and, of course take breaks as you need them.

Oh yeah, and if you don't have a weighted bar or dumbbells for the bent rows, do super-man/woman back extensions instead.

The perfect playlist to get you motivated:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

An apple a day...

So what's the deal with the the saying "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away?" Is it true? Is it something that parents say to get their kids to eat more fruit? Well, it turns out that it might be true. Apples are amazing. When eaten (with the skin on), they provide boatloads of phytochemicals that can decrease cholesterol, fight cancer cell reproduction and help prevent cell damage. .All. Good. Stuff. Plus, apples also have a good amount of fiber to help us feel fuller longer and are easy to come by (and to throw in a bag or purse for a vitamin rich snack). As you can see in this photo of the cutest little girl in the world (totally biased), it is also a wonderful thing to give to your tiny child in the grocery store to keep him/her occupied (just make sure to watch them in case they bite off more than their little teeth can chew). On a side note, this photo was taken at the mega-Hyvee in Overland Park where they have fruit baskets for kiddos if you wish to opt out of the free cookie option while you shop. LOVE IT! (They also have a bar there...another side note). So eat your apples and check out some of the research that proves they are good for us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Burn it up playlist

Drink tons of water and load this playlist for your next sweat session!


Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday's PP (Produce Prep)


My produce prep for Monday is finished...it's just so much easier for me (and my family) to grab fresh fruit and veggies when they are all ready to eat. It took me 14 minutes and it was well worth it! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Get it where you can and multitask

I, like everyone, on occasion have used the excuse of being too busy to exercise. So I get it. But just because you can't make it to the gym doesn't mean you can't do a bit of something for your heart health, waist line and longevity while you're completing other tasks-it's called multi-tasking and it's my favorite. For example, I needed to go to the store for some produce and such but also wanted to take my kiddos on a walk: Ah! What to do!? Well...we took a walk/jog (or wog-yep-wog-it's a combo of "walk" and "jog"...get it?) to the store...and look at how happy everyone is eating a much deserved snack!


Just sayin'. Move your body! 

Other ways to multi-task your workouts:
  • Waiting for something to cook in the microwave? Do some squats.
  • Waiting in line? Do some calf raises (you don't have to be a crazy person about it...be discrete)
  • Have a one on one meeting? Can you take it outside for a walk?
  • Need to study for an exam? Hop on a stationary bike or elliptical and read over notes.
  • Playing with your kids? Have them chase you down, let them army crawl under your plank, have them do a fun little workout with you that involves a timer (what kid doesn't love a stop watch?)
Be creative. Be fit!





Clean Chicken Curry with tons of veggies

I LOVE curry dishes but it's a bit tricky to find one that is both delicious and light...until now! Plus, you just through stuff in the crockpot and it's soooo easy.

E.H. Fitness Curry Chicken with Tons o' Veggies

20 minutes prep, 3.5-4 hours cooking
Serves 6

What you need:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2-4 tbsp favorite curry powder or paste (use more if you love heavy curry taste, less if you like it lighter)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • salt and pepper to preference 
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 can (8oz) light coconut milk
What to do: 
  1. Put chicken, onion, turmeric, curry, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in the crockpot on high.
  2. 2 hours later, throw all the veggies and the coconut milk into the crockpot and continue cooking for 1.5-2 hours or until chicken pulls apart (note: you can totally put everything in at the beginning, but I find that the veggies become super mushy...so up to you!)
  3. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice or eat on it's own! 
Nutrition facts (just the curry part...not what you put under it :) )
          266 calories, 7 grams fat, 37 gram protein, 16 carbs, 6 grams fiber, 4.5 grams sugar (naturally occurring)

10 minute calorie torcher

Happy Friday! Have 10 minutes to scorch some calories, improve your memory and de-stress? I have got a beast of an interval shorty for you. I've been incorporating this type of segment into classes and into my own workout and I'm hooked. 

Here's what you do: 

At the top of each minute, do the exercises listed below as fast as you can (with good form, of course) and then rest until the next minute starts. The more efficient you are at doing the moves, the longer your rest...and by the 5th or 6th minute, I really like my rest seconds!
  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 jump squats (don't be lazy-get low and touch the ground)
  • 10 running butt kicks (that's heel to the butt-and go ahead and get your hands up over your head for "fun")
  • 10 hopping high knees (get 'em up high)
Super simple, right? Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sometimes you just have to have a sandwich

Soooo...ever grilled your PB&J? So weird, right? You have to try it! I made this amazingness with gluten free whole grain bread, all natural (peanuts and salt) peanut butter and all fruit jelly...and it's still completely delicious. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Quest bar look-alike

So I am all for eating "real" food straight from the earth, but sometimes a person has to have something on the run and doesn't have time to grill a chicken breast. Sooo...I am always looking for high protein bars that are as clean as possible. I have relied on Quest Bars for a while and they are fine, but are a bit pricey ($2.39-$3 a pop). Then, someone told me that Costco has a look-alike bar. And they weren't lying!! The Kirklan brand Protein Bars are gluten free and have the same ingredients as Quest but without the nasty sorbitol that can mess with people's (i.e. my) stomach. AND they are like $1 a piece...WHOA, right?! Now I don't have to hide them from my kids and babysitters...hehe. Anyway, they have two flavors: Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I will miss the vast number of flavors Quest offers, but you really can't beat this price and holy moly, these bars are sooooo yummy. 

Here are the down and dirty nutrition facts: 190 calories, 7 grams fat, 23 gram carbs, 15 grams fiber, 1 sugar and a whopping 21 grams of protein.

My "lazy" veggie go-to

So I used to get this veggie mix all the time from Trader Joe's....and then I forgot about it...weird. Anyway, summer craziness is full blown in my house and I barely have time to chew my food before swallowing it, let alone spend a ton of time dicing a nice variety of veggies. Re-enter the amazing Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix into my life. It is chalk full of fiber and vitamins and includes broccoli, carrots, green cabbage, red cabbage, jicama, green bell pepper, radish and celery....boom.  I use it for like a zillion things: under eggs on a veggie pile, as a hearty salad topper, sauteed on the side of grilled chicken or salmon, in soup or even as a crunchy, low-calorie snack. You can get your own at Trader Joe's in the refrigerated vegetable section. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chicken, anyone!?


So once again I'm stuck going from place to place without any break to eat dinner. What's a girl to do today? Chicken, anyone? I made sure my amazing husband grilled a few more  chicken breasts this weekend and cut them into chicken "fingers" for the perfect protein dinner on the run. 

Bon appetit! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Clean eating on the go: car salad

I just finished teaching a very sweaty spinning class for a friend and have 20 minutes to get to my next shin dig. So what's a girl to do for dinner? Well, this girl anticipated her hunger and packed a salad to eat between the gym and the next deal. I totally get that a drive thru is totally easy and convenient but for the most part, it's not awesome for health goals. Sooo if I can plan, I do. Hence, Car Salad. I took a bunch of pre-chopped veggies and greens, added leftover grilled chicken form a BBQ this past weekend, threw some olive oil and vinegar on it, popped it in my son's insulated lunchbox and viola! 

I'll save the drive thrus for emergencies. Today, I will down this clean and fresh car salad.

*please note that I am not advocating eating your car salad while you drive-ise your brain and shovel it in your mouth in the parking lot 😋

A playlist for your summer run

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Farmers' Market Kale Chips...sooo yummy


Kale is amazing. One cup of kale has just 36 calories, a whopping 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. Seriously, if you aren't eating it, why?!?

What you need:

  • Bunch of kale with huge leaves...from your local farmers' market perhaps!?
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • any other spices you like :)
What to do:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300
  2. Tear leafy part of kale away from thick stem in the middle and break into "chip-size" pieces (like 2 in. by 2 in. or bigger or smaller to your liking...the pieces will shrink as they bake). It's super easy just to cut along the stem to get the leaves off.
  3. Wash kale and dry very very very thoroughly (important...will not crisp very well if they are damp). I like to use a salad spinner and then flatten between paper towels.
  4. Toss kale pieces in olive oil and salt/spices and rub into leaves
  5. Lay kale in single layer on cookie sheet
  6. Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes...check them...they are done when they are crisp (but not burnt)
Enjoy!!