Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

I don’t know about you, but this girl likes her snacks. Snacks keep me happy and satisfied between meals, so I don’t turn into a crazed, hangry lunatic! Snacking can be tricky though. The wrong snacks can wreck your healthy eating plan. Some people do great with eating healthy meals, but go off the rails with their snacks. When I was growing up, snacking wasn’t considered a healthy habit. Eating three square meals was what was preached and snacks were frowned upon. We know so much more now and snacking the right way can make eating healthy down right easy. I’ve tried just about everything when it comes to snacks and below is a list of my very favorites and what I snack on week in and week out.

Protein/Snack Bars

I’m often snacking on the run and bars are definitely the easiest, most convenient way to fill my belly. Be careful though. Some bars are loaded with sugar, calories and all kinds of chemicals that I don’t want in my body. Finding a bar that tastes good and isn’t full of junk isn’t easy, but these three have done it. These are my three favorite bars that I always keep in my gym bag.

Quest Bars– Who doesn’t love Quest bars?? They are delicious, high protein and full of natural ingredients. I like to heat mine in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Yummy! My favorite flavor is S’mores, but I haven’t found a flavor I didn’t like.

Lara Bars– While these bars aren’t as high in protein, they only have a few ingredients and taste great. I don’t find them as decadent as the others, but they make for a good, healthy snack. My favorite flavors are Peanut Butter Cookie, Cashew Cookie and Pecan Pie.

Grab the Gold Bars– Oh man! I love these bars. They taste like a cookie and I’m just in a good mood when I eat them. They are gluten and dairy free and made with natural ingredients. Word of warning: You won’t want to stop after eating one. I only allow myself one at a time because I could easily pack back two of these lovelies. I order mine online from the Grab the Gold website. Word of warning #2: Find a good hiding place or else your family will plow through a case in two days.



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Chocolate Milk

You’ve probably heard by now that chocolate milk is an ideal post workout snack because of it’s blend of protein and carbs with the added bonus of calcium. You can also find convenient single serve bottles for easy portability and portion control. Of course, kids love it, too, which is one of the reasons it doesn’t last long in our household.



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Apple with Nut Butter

I find an apple and some nut butter to be a very satiating snack. The apple is a good carb that has filling fiber while the nut butter has that satisfying good fat. My favorite nut butter is cashew butter, but I also love peanut butter and almond butter. Don’t go overboard on the nut butter because it is very calorie dense.



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Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries

Oh yum. This is probably my favorite of all my snacks. I love to put a scoop of plain Greek yogurt in a bowl, add a little sweetener (stevia or honey) and throw in some raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries. Heaven on earth, I tell you. My favorite brands of yogurt are Fage and Greek Gods. Those are particularly rich and creamy. I usually have two big containers in my fridge at all times. One container is 0% fat and the other is the full fat variety. I use the full fat if I need a particularly hearty snack, but I’m careful to exercise portion control.



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Snacks are meant to be enjoyed and can help you in your quest to eat healthy. Hopefully, you can find something new to try from my list. I hear some Greek yogurt calling my name, so off I go! Happy, healthy snacking!

Get Back on Track after Blowing It

 

The holidays are behind us and it’s time to get started on a brand new year. Assessing the holiday damage on your waistline can sometimes be shocking and a little depressing. It’s okay. Take a deep breath. Look the truth square in the face and let’s get back on track.



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First of all, remember, you are not alone. Most people go a little nuts over the holidays. It’s easy to do. Honestly, I think I would be sad if I didn’t get to enjoy some fudge and peppermint bark at Christmastime. I’m sure there are people who eat clean through the entire holiday season, but…..no thanks! Good for them, but I’m glad I’m not one of them. A little indulgence isn’t going to kill me.



They taunt me with their seemingly innocent smiles



No matter if you went a little nuts or waaaaaay nuts, there’s hope. You can get back on track!



Work! Sweat!



  1. Set your sights ahead and don’t dwell on the past. Even if you’ve tried to get back on track in the past and failed miserably, keep reaching for that goal. It’s worth it. Stay positive and forget what’s behind you. Dwelling on our past failures can set us up for yet another failure. Look ahead with optimism and hope.
  2. Don’t make things too complicated. Eating well and getting in shape don’t have to be difficult or complex. Start slow if that works better for you. Get moving 15-30 minutes a day. Examine the way you’ve been eating. Most people know where their diet problems lie if they are truly honest with themselves. Start eating a little less. Eliminate the things that cause you to binge. A few simple changes in your diet and exercise habits can do wonders.
  3. Get an accountability partner. Everyone needs a workout bestie or two. Going to a fitness class or hitting the weight room is always better with a friend. Go beyond just a workout buddy though. Find someone who will encourage you to eat well and isn’t threatened by your healthy habits. The best accountability partners are those who truly want the best for us and will talk us off the ledge when we are about to devour a pan of brownies.
  4. Find a workout and eating plan that YOU like! No one particular eating and fitness plan is right for everyone. If everyone you know is doing a hardcore boot camp, but that’s not something you like and will stick with for the long haul, DON’T DO IT! If your friends are going gluten free, but that sounds awful to you, DON’T DO IT! It will take a little trial and error, but keep experimenting until you find what works for your life.
  5. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t expect to lose those 10 holiday pounds in two weeks. It will take time. Know that going forward and accept it. Be patient, patient, patient.
  6. Expect setbacks. You may really blow it one day. You may sleep through a work out or gorge on chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant, but that’s okay. It happens. Pick yourself back up. Lace up your sneakers and get back out there. Don’t wallow in self-pity. So, you blew it. Big deal. How will you respond? THAT is what matters. THAT is what will determine if you will be successful in your health and fitness journey.



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Forget about the past and get on with living healthy. Make this year the best one yet!

 

Dark Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

1 scoop of protein powder (flavor of choice, I use vanilla)

2 Tbs. almond milk

1 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. dark chocolate chips

1 tsp. stevia

 

Mix in a mug and heat in microwave for 60-90 seconds.

 

Chicken Basil Stir-Fry

1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ¼ inch slices

1 Tbs. cornstarch

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 small onion, halved and sliced

2 bell peppers (red, yellow, green or mixed, cut into slices

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

2 Tbs. soy sauce

1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn in half

Cooked brown rice

 

Coat chicken with cornstarch and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in skillet or wok and cook chicken until ¾ done. Add veggies and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ c. water, vinegar, soy sauce and cook, tossing until chicken is cooked through. Remove and stir in basil. Serve over rice, if desired.

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

20 oz. (1.3 lb.) lean ground turkey breast

¼ c. whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

¼ c. grated parmesan cheese

¼ c. parsley, finely chopped

1 egg

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp. salt

pepper

 

For the sauce:

1 tsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed

28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

¼ c. fresh chopped basil or parsley

 

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Mix all ingredients and form small meatballs.

 

In a small skillet, heal olive oil and add garlic. Saute until golden.

 

Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with bay leaf. Add garlic and oil.

 

Drop meatballs into the sauce. Set crock pot to low and cook for 4-6 hours. Add fresh basil or parsley and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

 

Makes about 24 meatballs.

Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

1 c. oat flour

½ c. almond flour

1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla)

½ c. coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

¼ c. melted coconut oil

1 c. dark chocolate chips

 

Mix everything (except the chips) well to make dough. Add the chips. Form into balls and cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Cookie Dough Balls

2/3 raw cashews

1/3 c. oats

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 Tbs. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ c. dark chocolate chips

 

Grind Oats and cashews in food processor. Add syrup, protein vanilla and blend again. Put in a bowl and stir in chocolate chips. Roll into 12 balls.

Banana Bread

2 c. almond flour

1 c. coconut flour

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 small unsweetened applesauce

2 mashed bananas

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 c. honey

 

Mix and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until brown.

Blueberry Banana Protein Pancakes

 ¼. C. egg whites

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 Tbs. almond milk

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground flaxseed

½ banana, mashed

Handful of fresh blueberries

 

Mix first five ingredients then add banana and blueberries. Cook on skillet. Enjoy!

 

 

Flourless Banana Pancakes



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1 ripe banana, mashed

2 eggs

2 Tbs. chopped walnuts

 

Mash banana. Add eggs and walnuts and mix well. Cook on skillet until done. Makes about 3 pancakes. You can add 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder if you’d like.

 

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