Tag Archives: Healthy Eating Strategies

Clean Eating in the Freezer Aisle #Convenient

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It is a myth that fresh foods in the produce department or at the meat/seafood counter are nutritionally superior to their frozen counterparts. Frozen fruits and vegetables may actually have a higher vitamin and mineral content than fresh versions due to the fact that they are often frozen immediately after harvest, eliminating the nutrient losses that are inevitable as produce sits on grocery store shelves. Another benefit of frozen foods can be convenience and lower prices.

Well, then why do people say that frozen foods aren’t healthy? Because many frozen foods are processed and very poor nutritional choices: Lean Cuisines, frozen vegetables in buttery sauces, or frozen fruit with sugar added… The trick is simply to read the label and opt for frozen foods with short, ‘real food’ ingredient lists. If you are buying frozen fruits and vegetables, such as green beans for example- the only ingredient should be green beans! Be weary of sodium content or strange added preservatives. If you pay attention to what you’re buying, clean eating in the frozen aisle is possible and a great option for many people!

Last night I was in need of something quick and easy for dinner so I threw together this simple, yet satisfying meal. I pulled a frozen salmon filet out of the freezer and put it right into the oven to cook for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F. Before putting the fish in the oven, I lightly seasoned it with thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Right before the fish was done cooking, I microwaved a cup of frozen green beans, grabbed a wheat dinner roll, and my nutritious meal was complete- in less than 30 minutes!

Ideas for every meal today!

ImageI’ve mentioned it before, one of the top excuses for eating crappy food is a lack of time (aka poor planning). But did you realize that just like you can pick out your outfit for the upcoming day, you can also prepare your breakfast so that something healthy is waiting for you as you head out the door in the morning? You can… and you should! Here is a healthy idea for every meal of the day!

Breakfast: OVERNIGHT OATS

To make basic overnight oats mix 1/2 C oats with 1/2 C milk or yogurt. Then choose whatever add-ins you’d like. Try any kind of fruit (fresh or dried), cinnamon, vanilla, flax/ chia seeds, or nuts. I sprinkled goji berries on mine! Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning you can grab your healthy breakfast in a hurry.

IMG_0704Lunch: TURKEY-AVO SANDWICH/WRAP w/GREEK YOGURT SPREAD

I used my favorite Ezekiel bread, piled with spinach, turkey, & sliced avocado. I used a thin layer of plain nonfat greek yogurt on each slice of bread as a healthy spread.

Image (1)Dinner: QUINOA, KALE, CORN & BEET SALAD

Begin by rinsing quinoa in a fine strainer under cold water. In a saucepan, cook 1/2 C of quinoa with 1 C water. Bring to a boil then simmer until seeds become translucent and begin to spiral. 1/2 C dry will make about 2 C cooked. For this recipe I used Simple Truth Organic Quinoa, which can be found in the health food aisle of Kroger. Combine 1.5 C chopped kale, 1/2 C corn, 3/4 C peeled and sliced beets, and 1 C quinoa in a medium bowl.

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.

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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