Importance of Meal Planning + Healthy Breakfast Favorites :)

Wow it’s hard to believe that summer is about half over already… I still have A LOT of cooking left to do before I head back to school in August. I’ve heard from countless people that one of the major obstacles to healthy eating for them is the issue of not having the time to make healthy meals and consequently reaching for poor food choices. I experience this same problem, especially during the school year when a typical day may involve two workouts sandwiching a full school day and then a homework load that takes until bedtime or later to complete.

The solution to this problem is planning! The more I learn about cooking and eating well, the more I realize how important it is to commit to healthy habits and planning ahead. By mapping out the meals you want to prepare for dinner throughout the week and grocery shopping on the weekend, eating balanced meals during the week when you’re busy will be much more manageable. Make Sundays your “prep” day and do as much of your cooking ahead of time as possible. Chop any needed veggies and freeze foods to pull out and reheat later in the week. Most foods you prepare will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Get into this routine and you will feel empowered and in control of your health, I promise!

The banana bread I made this week is a great example of something you can make ahead of time and enjoy all week. I found the recipe here. I loved this recipe because it is made from natural ingredients and does not contain any sugar or butter! It is a tasty treat, without the nutritional fallout, and who doesn’t want that kind of deal?!

Warm and chocolatey banana bread= YUM

Warm and chocolatey banana bread= YUM

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 C  oats
  • 1 C plain nonfat greek yogurt       
       
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1 bar of 88% dark chocolate, chopped into  small chunks, keep a few out of the batter to drop on top of bread or muffins before placing in the oven

Directions: Place oats in food processor and let run 10-15 seconds, or until “flour-like”. Pour into mixing bowl. Process bananas until smooth, liquid consistency. Add to bowl of oats, along with the remaining ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Cook at 400 degrees. Muffins will take 18-20 minutes, while bread in a loaf pan will take 40- 45 minutes.  Cover the loaf pan with foil to allow the inside of the bread to cook fully without over-browning the top.

photo (10)

 

Here is another one of my breakfast creations this week. This is a healthy twist on the traditional egg and potato breakfast eaten by many. Microwave 1 small sweet potato for 3 minutes, then cut into cubes. Dice up 1 cup of spinach along with two pinches of fresh rosemary. Sprinkle greens over eggs in a skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add diced sweet potatoes to skillet and cook, turning over often, until lightly browned. This is a great way to start your day with quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients. Not to mention this meal provides two servings of veggies before noon! #Plantstrong

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