Category Archives: Healthy Foods
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk.
When you think of maple syrup, you probably think “PANCAKES”! A beautiful stack of buttermilk pancakes with warm golden brown maple syrup poured over melting butter, ready to be washed down with a glass of cold milk. At least that’s what I think of! However, there is a lot more to maple syrup than you think – and I think you’ll be very surprised to read what I have to share!
First surprise: 80% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada. If you want real maple syrup you need to make sure it is Canadian Maple syrup, which is unprocessed and 100% natural.
Second surprise: Did you know most leading pancake syrup brands do not even have maple syrup in their syrup? How crazy is THAT? They rely on high fructose corn syrup (which isn’t as healthy and has more calories than Canadian Maple Syrup). When I heard this, I had to go check it out for myself. (watch the video)
Third Surprise: Canadian Maple Syrup has fewer calories than honey (and a LOT more flavor too!). This is funny to me because I prefer maple syrup over honey in many recipes (like oatmeal and mashed sweet potatoes), but figured it was higher in calories. Maybe it’s because it’s called “syrup” and I just think high calories when I think syrup. Ironically, I found I use less syrup than honey because it has more flavor!
Fourth Surprise: Canadian Maple Syrup is high in anti-oxidants – and the darker the grade of syrup the higher in anti-oxidants it is. Check out the difference between Canadian Maple Syrup and other sweeteners.
Canadian Maple Syrup Versus Popular Sweeteners
Pre-Workout Protein Rice Pudding
I found this great pre-workout rice pudding, and I decided to tweak it to make it a little lower in calories and higher in protein. So, I put my thinking cap on and went mad-scientist in the kitchen. I replaced the flour with protein powder and the condensed milk with fat free milk. I reduced the amount of maple syrup (because I’m trying to make the yummy stuff last!!) and I topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and granola. Then I tested it out on my house guests. …and the verdict was “Wow! That is really good. Can I have a bowl?” So, I would say it was a success!!
3 cups cooked rice
2 cups fat free milk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup Canadian Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients, minus the greek yogurt and protein powder, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, mix in the yogurt and protein powder, reducing heat while mixing. Remove from heat and let it stand to thicken. Serve cold or hot. Makes 4 servings. 314 calories per serving.
Cooking With Maple Syrup
Many people grocery shop with the best intensions, searching for low-fat low calorie items. However, just because an item is low calorie or low fat doesn’t mean it is the best choice. A great example of this is Greek Yogurt.
Before you can decide which yogurt to purchase, you need to ask yourself “what type of fuel do I need?” and “what are my goals?”. What do I mean? When I added my yogurt into my LoseIt app, I realized my yogurt was one of the small things throwing off my goals. I was getting more carbs than I wanted and I noticed my protein wasn’t quite as high as I expected (especially at breakfast). As I looked a little closer, I discovered the difference was my yogurt. I had gone from plain greek yogurt to vanilla (and had no idea it was non-fat).
Non-Fat vs. 2% Fat Greek Yogurt
As I compared the 2 yogurts, I was surprised to see how different their profiles were. See for yourself!
The non-fat vanilla yogurt has zero fat, but a whopping 20g carbs (and 20g SUGAR!) – and only 14g of protein compared to the 2% which only has 7g carbs and 17g protein. Don’t boycott non-fat vanilla yogurt just yet though. There’s more to this story than just choosing low-cal, low-carb foods.
While the 2% plain yogurt is ideal for a breakfast, snack or meal, there is one time of the day the non-fat vanilla yogurt would the perfect fuel for you – after a workout. You see, after a workout you want protein and sugar (to help push the protein through your system quickly). You also don’t want to have anything that would slow digestion in it (like fat). So, the non-fat vanilla yogurt would be a great fuel for those times you can’t get a post-workout protein shake. Since you can buy yogurt in small containers, this makes a great alternative to a shake if you are traveling or in a pinch.
When it comes to breakfast, stick with the 2% plain (unsweatened) greek yogurt. The fat will help the yogurt stay with you longer, keeping you full and energized. You get more protein and also less carbs, which is great for all of us trying to limit carbs and sugar while building or maintaining muscle mass.
Remember, not all yogurt is created equal. If you have some regular yogurt in your fridge, you need to compare labels. For instance, plain Yoplait yogurt has 33g carbs and ONLY 5g protein! That’s MORE calories, MORE sugar, MORE carbs and much less protein and nutrition for the fit peep.
Even Yoplait Lite has double the carbs and sugar than Chobani’s plain Greek yogurt. This means you will be hungry about 30 minutes after you eat the stuff, and that’s not what any dieter wants to hear!
As you track calories and learn more about nutrition, take your time studying labels and shopping for foods for fuel. Dieting isn’t just about choosing low-calorie foods, it’s choosing healthy foods that give you the nutrients you need without the extra riff-raff (sugar, fillers, etc). When you eat like this, you’ll discover you aren’t really dieting at all, you are just eating smarter!
Eating healthy is always easier when you plan ahead. Part of my planning ahead includes making a healthy breakfast that’s easy to heat and eat! This week, my breakfast of choice is a low-fat spinach quiche made with Daisy low-fat cottage cheese.
One thing I love about adding Daisy Cottage Cheese to my quiche is because it’s packed with protein (13gms per 1/2 cup 90 calorie serving). Since I like to get the majority of my protein from whole foods, Daisy Cottage Cheese is a great way to boost protein in your diet naturally. (FYI: Daisy Cottage Cheese has no preservatives, thickeners or additives and only has ingredients, where other brands have more than 10).
Shopping Tip: Look for the LIGHT blue lid (that’s the low fat one. Daisy’s regular cottage cheese has a dark blue lid). Also, alway look at ingredients when shopping. Less is more! I took a photo of the ingredients for Daisy (below left) compared to another popular brand (below right). Look at all the extra ingredients. Who wants to eat Xanthan gum and Guar gum? lol
63 Calorie Quiche
16oz Bag of Defrosted & Drained Spinach
1 Cup Egg Beaters
2 Cups Low-Fat Daisy Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Crushed Crackers or Croutons
6 1 Medium Tomato, Diced
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Cook the spinach in a pan and drain well. Mix spinach in with all the ingredients. Pour in well greased muffin pan (I use Pam) and cook on 325 for 45 minutes. The recipe makes 12 63-calorie yummy low-fat, high-protein, low-carb mini quiches! BAM!
Change it up
Use this same recipe and just make some subtle changes to make your own new creations. Swap cheddar cheese for feta cheese or tomatoes for mushrooms. Change spinach for broccoli or asparagus. Dress your recipe up but adding a sliced cherry tomato on top. Don’t care about calories? Use 2 cups of cheese instead of 1/2 cup of cheese to richen the recipe (NOTE: that will make each quiche 120 calories instead of 63 calories).
Enjoy 2 quiches for only 125 calories, 16.4g of protein, 3.9g carbs and 4.8g fat. Look at this awesome pie graph! See all that light blue – that’s ALL PROTEIN!! WOOOT!
I log my recipes in the LoseIt app to track calories and nutrients. What I love about making quiche in a muffin pan is that I have 12 perfect individualized portions, making tracking calories a breeze!
10 Ways to Cook With Cottage Cheese
1. Use cottage cheese instead of sour cream to add creaminess and a bunch of protein to a baked potato.
2. Use cottage cheese to thicken homemade dressings (using blender)
3. Use cottage cheese in place of Ricotta cheese in Italian dishes. (90 calories per half cup vs 216 calories)
4. Add a nice dollop of cottage cheese to a salad.
5. Use pureed cottage cheese instead of sour cream for a creamy healthier chip dip
6. Add cottage cheese to your smoothie for a creamier protein shake with even more protein.
7. Use cottage cheese in place of oil when baking.
8. Use cottage cheese instead of mayo when making tuna salad. (Puree it to make it creamy if you don’t like it chunky)
9. Mix cottage cheese with salt, pepper and herbs for a yummy and healthy cracker spread.
10. Mix or layer with fresh pineapple, apple sauce, peaches, pear or mandarin oranges and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a healthy dessert or breakfast.
HOW DO YOU EAT COTTAGE CHEESE?
Join us in our Twitter Chat! Daisy wants to know how you “Power Your Way Through the Day”. Getting the proper fuel we need can be hard on the go. Getting protein, outside of eating meat or having a protein shake, can also be challenging. Daisy Cottage Cheese is the perfect protein source. Daisy is extremely versatile and can help power your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and pre/post workout. Learn more about the Daisy Difference April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST #DaisyDifference! See you there!
It’s Dinner Time!
When we are in “diet mode”, salads are our first pick for supper. Since we try to minimize carbs, and predominately eat protein, greens and fats at night, salads make a perfect filling (and delicious) dinner. However, you can only eat a traditional Chef salad so much, so I’m always making new creations to entertain our taste buds. This is when I open the fridge up, see what I have and start brainstorming on what I can create based on what ingredients I have on hand.
My Salad Formula
After I see what I have to work with, I first choose my “style”. Then I pick my greens. To help me manage calories, I normally choose one sweet item (like Craisins, apple, pear, mandarin oranges, etc) and one fat (like goat cheese, avocado, nuts or olive oil). Then I add in “freebies”, the extras that don’t have a lot of calories like tomato, onions, cucumbers, seasonings, etc. Lastly, I top it with protein and choose a light dressing to toss everything in.
Last night, I was in the mood for Oriental! So here’s what I whipped together for Steve and I! I have to admit, I couldn’t get enough and was super sad when it was all gone! 🙂
2 Cups Shredded Cabbage
2 Cups Finely Chopped Kale
1 Can Low Sugar Mandarin Oranges (chopped up slightly)
1/2 Chopped Sweet Onion
2 Small Grilled Chicken Chopped (I smoked chicken rubbed in Curry & Seasonings)
1/3 Cup Cooked Quinoa
Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Lite Dressing
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
Almond Accents Sliced Almonds
In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, vinegar and about 1 teaspoon of splenda. Let the cucumber marinade while you mix the salad together. In one large bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients accept for the chicken and almonds. Divide the salad into 2 servings and top with chicken and the cucumber topping, sprinkling the almond accents on top for a nice added low-calorie crunch.
Is Your Salad Making You Fat?
There’s just something fun about grilling out on a holiday. The aroma blankets the neighborhood and gives a home a festive atmosphere with each whiff – but grilling out isn’t always healthy. While most people are grilling high-calorie hot dogs and hamburgers, and serving it with potato chips, baked beans and potato salad, you could be grilling up healthier options.
First, there’s the meat. Trade regular beef burgers for homemade turkey burgers. If you buy pre-made burgers, look at the fat content. Most of the time it’s crazy high. I prefer buying lean ground turkey meat and making my own turkey burgers. They not only have less fat, but I can make mine more flavorful. (Try my Spicy Turkey Burger & Mexican Slaw recipe!)
Even if you have kids coming over, watch out for high-cal hot dogs. Either skip the wieners altogether, or look for healthier options with just meat and spices without all the crap (and fat), like Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dog. (Click here for more dog options). Or, stick to whole meat like grilled chicken, pork or fish instead of doing burgers and hot dogs since they require bread – which is just more unnecessary calories.
As for the sides, leave the potato chips and dip at the grocery story and forget the traditional BBQ sides like cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad, which are loaded with fat and sugar. Instead, go for grilled veggies for tons of flavor without the guilt. They are tasty hot or cold – and a heck of a lot better for you!
10 Healthy Veggie Grillers
1. Grilled Asparagus: Toss asparagus in Olive Oil, Garlic and Sea Salt and place directly on the grill or on a sheet of tin foil.
2. Lemon Cabbage: Slice cabbage into 8 large wedges (using the core to keep the wedges together). Put the wedges in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and brush equal parts lemon juice and olive oil on wedges of cabbage. Sprinkle with seas salt, a dust of garlic powder and wrap in tin foil. Cook until they are soft and golden grown on the sides.
3. Cilantro Corn: Mix corn, diced onion, red pepper, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and a little olive oil. Wrap in tin foil or grill loose on a non-stick griddle pan, until kernels are slightly charred.
4. Teriyaki Mushrooms: Wrap mushrooms in a tin foil, keeping the top open, but ready to close. Add teriyaki marinade and a little olive oil. Close the tin foil and cook until they are tender.
5. Curried Brussels Sprouts: Boil brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and lightly coat the brussels spouts in olive oil. Dust with curry powder and sea salt. Wrap tightly in tin foil. Cook until tender to the core.
6. Grilled Eggplant: Slice eggplant in large slices and coat with lemon juice and olive oil. Grill straight on the grill, or on tin foil.
7. Potato Wedges: If whole potatoes take too long to cook for your liking, cut your potatoes in large wedges and grill in light olive oil and sea salt. Spice them up by adding a sprinkle of parmesan and garlic powder over potato wedges toward the end of grilling. For sweet potato wedges, serve with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of light maple syrup.
9. Green Beans: Toss green beans in soy sauce, olive oil & fresh minced garlic and let sit for a couple of minutes while you prepare the grill. Lay beans in a tin foil packet (for more flavor) or place on an a grilling pan or grate.
10. Zucchini, Squash & Eggplant: Slice vegetables long-ways and coat in the marinade mixture in the video (below) and grill straight on the grill.
Great Veggie Grilling Tips from allrecipes.com
A new school year is a perfect time to start some new healthy habits – not just for your child, but for the whole family!
Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you and your kids reach their top potential.
1. Heavy breakfast – your family doesn’t need any calories to watch TV at night or sleep, but they need tons of calories throughout the day to keep you alert and energized. Make bigger meals when your family needs it most, and keep evening meals small (like just a meat and a green).
2. Frequent meals – By eating 5-6 times a day, your family will have a TON more energy. Ask your child if they get hungry during the day. Send them to school with a bag of nuts or a protein bar to snack on between classes to help keep their metabolism revved all day. This is especially important if they attend after school activities.
3. Don’t forget the protein – Many meals (especially for kids) are high in carbs. Kids tend to eat (or want to eat) a lot of foods like cereal, poptarts, chips, fruit rollups, candy, french fries, tater tots, pizza, etc., but most kids don’t eat a lot of meat or high-protein foods. Probably because they aren’t wrapped in a fun flashy cartoon wrapper. 🙂 As you are making meal, look at protein content and make sure they are getting protein with carbs and fat for more balanced meals. Greek yogurt, eggs, lunch meat, cottage cheese and protein enriched foods (like high-protein flat bread) are great foods to add to meals and snacks.
4. Hydration – Often times kids want a soda or snack, when they really need hydration the most. Teach your child to always drink a glass of water before they take their first bite of a snack. They will not only bet the hydration they need, but they will likely eat less.
5. Limit caffeine – Caffeine is a drug of sorts. It has a chemical effect on the body, so it is smart to limit those beverages. Cokes should be treats, not a daily staple – especially while they are growing. Low Fat milk, water and juice (in moderation) should be the main source of hydration and nutrients.
6. Avoid sugar & processed foods – Processed foods break down and turn to sugar very rapidly. This can send someone’s blood sugar for a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs (and more downs, than ups). By limited sugar, you’ll be able to maintain a more steady level of energy through out the day (and avoid weight gain associated with high-calorie processed foods).
7. Stress buster foods – Does your child even know what that is? To me, it means your child shouldn’t feel deprived, but there are also foods known to help relieve stress. They should have foods they can snack on and enjoy without negative side effects. For me, it’s 100 calorie popcorn. Your child may enjoy yogurt or fresh fruit. Either way, they should never feel that eating healthy is boring or restrictive. While it may take some adjusting at first, they should enjoy the foods they eat. CLICK HERE to get see a list of 10 foods that help relieve stress.
8. Boost Super foods – People talk about super foods all the time, but do you know what they are and what they do? There are actually foods that help us think and perform better. Some of those foods include berries, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado and beans. CLICK HERE to read more on foods that boost brain power from WebMD.
9. Avoid unknown foods – When you eat out, you really have no clue what’s in that food. Since most restaurants are all about the dollar bill, we should expect they will cut corners and add fillers, taste enhancers and who knows what to keep us coming back for seconds. My rule of thumb is this: “if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it” – especially if it’s a big day (like test day). Not only is this a good way to avoid eating extra unknown calories to avoid weight gain, but it will also help you feel your best by eating your best. If you MUST eat out, stick to whole foods and avoid all the extra sauces, breads, toppings and junk.
Whether you are a parent or not, these are great healthy changes everyone should try to implement. 🙂
Are you giving your kids the right fuel for school, or do their choices consist of PopTarts, Toaster Strudels, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or “leggomyeggo” waffles?
I have to admit, my mom really didn’t know a lot about nutrition when I was young. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted – none of which was healthy. Pop Tarts and sugary cereals with prizes in the box were a staple in our house. I wasn’t a big breakfast eater, and I’m sure my mom was just happen when I ate breakfast period – no matter what it was. However, she had no idea what it was doing to my day at school.
Ironically, my mom must have known a healthy breakfast had it’s advantages because my mom always made me a healthy big breakfast on test day. The problem is, no healthy breakfast in the world could help me get a better grade when I wasn’t paying attention all the other days I ate crap. What a child eats for breakfast greatly determines how they feel at school.
Fuel the Brain
You probably wouldn’t let your kid eat a piece of cake or some brownies for breakfast, but the majority of breakfast foods for kids are as equally unhealthy. They may taste good on the tongue, but they do nothing for the body.
Sugary, high-glycemic breakfasts set your child up for failure. They will get your child happily out the door, but in just a couple hours (if that), they will likely lose energy, along with their attention span – unless they are lucky enough to have a stimulating class (like PE) that gets their blood sugar back up mechanically from exercise or activity.
Your child needs healthy low-glycemic foods rich in fiber, with a little healthy fat. Lower glycemic foods deliver an IV drip-like affect of energy throughout the morning. Sugary foods hit the system fast, and also leaves the system fast. Lower glycemic foods and healthy fats take a slower time to break down in our system. The longer it’s in the tummy, the longer the energy will last from the meal. Meals high in fiber keep the tummy full too, as well as regular blood sugar (and a ton of other great stuff too).
As I look back, I remember eating nice big healthy breakfasts on Saturday mornings or on Holidays because that’s probably when my mom had more time to cook. Yet, that would be a good time to have a “treat” like waffles or french toast, because it’s not like I needed a lot of energy to watch cartoons all morning. But, for school, it’s a different story. Kids need all the help they can get to be alert, feel good and do well in school. A healthy breakfast is a must for your child’s brain – not to mention their waistline!
Eat This, Not That
This info graphic by HowManyCaloriesCounters.com shows what, and what not, to eat before exam day – but I think it’s how all students should eat to perform their best EVERY day.
Who’s the Boss?
I think back to my school days, and I can’t BELIEVE what I ate. Processed foods and coke were my go-to foods. I didn’t even know what oatmeal was. Whole grains? What is that? Eggs? Yuck! Yogurt? You mean frozen yogurt? Honestly, what kid is going to choose oatmeal over Captain Crunch or Pancakes!? Sure, there are a few kids who like eggs and toast, but most kids would prefer the breakfast that comes in a flashy fun package, complete with a toy.
I remember thinking Special K was for overweight women and Raisin Bran was for old people – I only knew what the commercials taught me. It’s time for parents to be parents. It’s time parents teach their children to eat healthy – and to help them understand why it’s important (other than just being about weight).
You want your child to FEEL good. You want your child to perform their best – and I’m sure you don’t want them to gain weight or struggle with weight related health issues like diabetes. If you wouldn’t let them take drugs in your house, or make other poor choices that are dangerous or unhealthy, don’t let them make poor choices with food. While one poptart won’t hurt here and there, a child who is allowed to eat whatever they want when they are young, could have serious repercussions later in life.
One article in the NY Daily News on this topic said, “Childhood is a critical period in which dietary and lifestyle patterns are initiated, and these habits can have important immediate and long-term implications,” says lead author Dr. Jianghong-Liu, associate professor at Penn Nursing. “Breakfast habits appear to be no exception, and irregular breakfast eating has already been associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, frequent alcohol use, and infrequent exercise.”
Top 10 Sugar-Bomb Cereals
Here are the top 10 sugar-bomb kids’ cereals, ranked by percent weight in sugar by the Environmental Working Group. NOTE: 26% is the recommended MAX.
- Kellogg’s Honey Smacks: 55.6% sugar
- Post Golden Crisp: 51.9% sugar
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow: 48.3% sugar
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries: 46.9% sugar
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original: 44.4% sugar
- Quaker Oats Oh!s: 44.4% sugar
- Kellogg’s Smorz: 43.3% sugar
- Kellogg’s Apple Jacks: 42.9% sugar
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries: 42.3% sugar
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original: 41.4% sugar
FOLLOW my blog (located at the top right of my blog) for more healthy back to school tips this week!
Last night I posted a pic of this salad I made on instagram & facebook and you guys asked me for the recipe for the dressing. As always, I threw this recipe together last night without measuring anything – just making it up as I go. If I had to guess, it went a little like this…
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup hellmans 15 calorie light mayo
- 2 tablespoons honey mustard
- 2 tablespoons of Stevia (instead of honey)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 4-5 dashes of cayenne pepper (optional)
Note: This morning I went online and looked at other recipes, just to compare what I did with mainstream recipes. Many recipes called for up to a CUP of honey (ouch on the calories) and up to a CUP of olive oil (double ouch!). I admit, 1/2 cup of olive oil would probably taste better, but is too many calories for me. That’s also why I add the mayo – to thicken it up and richen the taste up, which also helps the dressing stick to the salad better, so less waste.
Here’s what Steve said when he was done eating: “Do you know that roller coaster I really love at Sea World? It’s so fun I don’t want it to end and I’ll happily stand back in line to do it over and over. That’s how I feel about this salad.” So, I guess my lower-cal version did just fine! 🙂
- Grilled Southwest Chipotle Chicken
- Vidalia Onion
- Sliced Almond Accents
- (and I ended up sprinkling on a few Craisins just for Stevo)
Here’s a pic of Steve’s salad:
Many of you know Sundays are food prep days at the Pfiesters. I love to cook! I also love to eat! But, since I don’t LOVE to workout, that means I need manage what I eat very closely so I don’t have to workout any more than I have to! ha!
If I want to eat healthy, I have to plan well. That starts with shopping and ends with food prep, including measuring everything out and tallying calories so I know exactly how much I can have without packing on the pounds. This is probably the last week of fun cooking for the Pfiesters. After this week, we’ll be cooking even cleaner, plainer and more strict as Steve prepares for his next bodybuilding show. So, this is our last healthy hurrah.
Yesterday, I posted everything I cooked on my facebook and people asked for more details – so here they are!
First up is storage. When I tell people what I cook for the week, often times people’s first response is “won’t it go bad?” If you don’t have a husband that eats your weight in meat, then you may want to divide your cook days up, freeze some of it, or trim down the food prep a bit. Below are some recommended storage times from Food Safety so you can determine how much you should cook at once.
Poultry: 3-4 days (4 months in freezer)
Poultry in broth or gravy: 1-2 days
Ham: 7 days for whole ham, 3-5 days for 1/2, 3-4 sliced
Fish: 3-4 days (4-6 months in freezer)
Smoked Fish: 14 days
Gravy or broth: 1-2 days
Left Over (carry out) 3-4 days if refrigerated within 2 hours of serving
Pasta: 4 days
Beans: Up to a week
Casseroles: 3-4 days
Rice: 3-5 days
Hard Boiled Eggs: 7 days
Ok, say this with me: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. I know, I say this all the time, but it’s SO TRUE! If I want to eat healthy during the week, I have to shop and cook healthy on the weekend. Here’s what I prepared, along with what I plan to serve it with. You’ll notice we eat most of our higher carb meals during the day, when we need the most energy, and save our meat and green veggie meals for dinner since you don’t need a lot of carbs to sleep.
My Meal Plans:
LUNCHES: Turkey Taco Meat for soft tacos using low-carb tortillas or served over a baked potato
LUNCH: Salmon to eat with sweet potato pie
LUNCHES: Turkey Joes to eat alone, on sandwich thins or on top of half a potato
LUNCH OR DINNER: Caribbean Chicken to eat alone, as a burrito or served over rice
DINNER: Turkey Taco Salad
DINNER: Grilled Chicken to eat with asparagus or broccoli or putting on salads
DINNER: Tilapia to eat with a green veggie
SIDES: Steamed Jasmine Rice
SIDES: Sweet Potato Energy Pie
FREEZER: Marinated Orange Chicken (to cook later)
FREEZER: Marinated General Tso’s Chicken (to cook later)
Here are the fresh ingredients I will need later:
Arugula, Spring Mix & Kale
Ingredients for Soft Tacos or Burritos (light Sour Cream, salsa, onion, etc)
Some of you asked how I could cook everything in less than 2 hours, so here you go! If you don’t care about the process, the short story is I multi-task. I am cooking several things at once and making the most of my time. I had the grill, stove, crockpot and rice steamer all going at once. That’s the short story if you want to skip the next 3 paragraphs and get to the recipes. 🙂
First, I started browning the turkey for the taco meat. Then I started filleting half the chicken for the grill and dicing the other half of the chicken for the Caribbean Chicken dish. I divided up the filleted chicken and threw them in ziplock bags with marinade and through it in the freezer, which I’ll cook later in the week. Then I threw the diced chicken in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. By this time, the turkey was done and I put it in a tupperware container to cool. (Let food cool before you place in your refrigerator to prevent your refrigerator from working overtime)
One round of turkey done. Now it was time for the second round. While I had the chicken marinading and the grill heating up, I diced up the onion and threw it in the pan with a little olive oil. While the onion was cooking, I put rice and water in my steamer and the quinoa on the stove. Once the onion was sautéed to my liking, I added the ground turkey and put the chicken on the grill. Then I threw a bag of sweet potatoes in a big pot to boil while I finished the turkey up. By the time the turkey and chicken were done, so was the quinoa. I then added the quinoa, and the rest of the ingredients, to the ground turkey and put everything in containers.
By this time I had the taco meat, Turkey Joes, grilled chicken, rice and quinoa all done. All I had left is the sweet potato and fish. I slapped the tilapia on my grilling pan with some lime juice, olive oil and seasonings and left it on the grill while I cleaned up the kitchen and finished boiling the potatoes. Finally, Steve cooked the salmon while I mixed the sweet potatoes together and my work was done! Later that night the Caribbean chicken was done and ready for storage too. Time for bed!
First, I need to tell ya – I love to cook, but I’m not a chef. I just want to eat health AND enjoy my food. I am a very creative cook who rarely follows a recipe. I make stuff up as I go along and enjoy the creation process (which admittedly makes it hard for me to share what I make because I’m adding a dash of this and that as I go). I’m working to improve that! I cook as simply as possible to limit ingredients and calories. I LOVE seasonings and I love trying new things. I also know if I make something taste TOO good, we have a hard time eating the correct portion. So, I try to cook smart and I avoid cooking my favorite dishes too often. My goal is to cook food for fuel and not just always for entertainment. Here is what I cooked yesterday.
This is a 1st-time creation and Steve LOVED it! Steve liked to add avocado to his meals to add quality fat for energy. This is great served over 1/2 a baked regular OR sweet potato!
Made approximately 7 Cups, 14 1/2 cups servings.
206 calories, 22g protein, 19 carbs, 5gm fat.
Turkey Taco Meat:
2.5lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 packets of taco seasoning
Makes great taco salads, burritos, low-carb tacos and toppings for a Mexican baked potato with light sour cream. YUM!
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken:
Fileted Chicken Breast
1 Cup Kikkoman Triple Ginger Marinade
1/8 -1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Always a staple in our house! Last night I put a breast over a bed of arugula with slivered pear, onion, turkey bacon bits and honey roasted sliced almonds with plain balsamic vinegar on top.
1.5lb Diced Chicken
1 Small Can Diced Pineapples with juice
1 or 2 Cans Black Beans drained
1 Can Cilantro & Lime RoTel Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Lawry’s Caribbean Marinade
1 T Stevia
1 tsp salt (to taste)
Serve over your preference of rice or quinoa.
2 Cans of beans – 240 Calories, 23g p, 30g c, 3g f
1 Can of beans – 187 Calories, 19g p, 20g c, 3g f
(2 cans if eating alone, 1 can if you plan on putting it over rice, or putting it in a wrap)
Sweet Potato Energy Pie:
This is Steve’s preferred carbohydrate source – especially before his workouts. We purposely add nuts to add healthy fat to slow digestion so that it lasts longer (stays with you longer, which helps you feel fuller longer and give you a longer lasting energy). This is NOT going to be like the high-calorie ooey gooey pie grandma makes. It tastes great, and is much tastier than just a plain sweet potato, but this recipe is about making a yummy fuel source that is easy, tasty & healthy.
Mash the following ingredients together
8 Sweet Potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 T of light butter
2 T Light Maple Syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 T Sugar Twin Brown Sugar (0 calories)
1-2 tsp Salt (to taste)
After the potatoes cool, I peel them and mix everything in a big tupperware container. I don’t bake it or top it with anything. I eat it as is! 🙂
12 servings: 116 calories
Note: I determine serving size based on # of potatoes used. I don’t want to eat the equivalent of 1 potato, but prefer portions to be 1/2-3/4 a potato.
More About Safe Storage
• 8 Chicken Breasts (filleted into 16 pieces)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup lime juice
• LOTS of this yummy Chipotle Seasoning (until each breast was nicely covered)
• Salt (to taste)
Grill on medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes on each side. End result is one juicy, flavorful batch of grilled chicken – the perfect centerpiece for any meal!
Grilled Mexican Corn:
A Bag of Today’s Harvest Frozen Corn
Chopped Fresh Cilantro out of my “garden” (to taste)
5 Diced small red and orange sweet peppers
One Tablespoon low-fat Hellman’s Mayo (optional)
Mix corn, lime juice, cilantro and peppers together.Wrap the loose corn in tin foil and place on the grill until the corn is a little charred. Once the corn is done, add the optional mayo and top with sliced avocado.
What is YOUR favorite seasoning for grilling out?