11-19-2012

My Grocery Shopping List

Curious as to what I buy every week at the store? Want ideas as to what you should buy? I hope this video helps to give you some direction! I am missing a lot, since this is just what I got this week, but hopefully you get the idea. Basically, stock up on veggies, fruit and your favorite protein sources.

Let me know what you think! What are your grocery store must-haves? Do we buy the same stuff?

11-14-2012

Easy Recipe – Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf!

I originally found this recipe via PaleOMG and thought I need to try this. I love meatloaf, I love chicken, and I love things with easy prep time.

I will put her recipe below, and list what my modifications were in bold. I didn’t have some ingredients, but it still turned out delicious and was a hit with my family! The only main thing missing was onions and celery, so I guess when I throw those in it will be even better!

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf (source: PaleOMG)
Prep time:  5 mins *prep time really did only take 5 minutes. Perfect.
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  35 mins
Serves: 2-4 *I doubled everything because I needed it to serve 5, and wanted leftovers for lunch
Ingredients
  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour or ½ cup almond flour/meal *I didn’t have almond flour, so I used about 3-4 tablespoons of rolled oats instead for binding purposes
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Red Hot)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced *I didn’t have this but will add next time
  • ¼ small yellow onion, diced *I didn’t have this but my mom isn’t a huge fan of onions anyway
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder *I used 1.5 teaspoons of diced garlic instead of powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper *I didn’t have this so I used basil for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
  3. Plop mixture into two mini loaf pans OR one large loaf pan. You make the call my friend.
  4. Bake for 25-35 or until chicken is completely cooked through.
  5. I used the poke technique. Poke the meat, if it sinks in, like it’s uncooked, it probably is.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Eat.
  8. HOLY CRAP THAT WAS EASY!

As she says, it really is SO easy. Therefore, it’s also easy to make extra for leftovers. Which is what I am eating for lunch as I type this :)

I have never had meatloaf made out of ground chicken before, but I already know this will be a staple in my household.

Let me know if you decide to try this, and what you think!

Final Product =)

11-07-2012

Have you ever tried a green smoothie?

I love green smoothies. What a great way to get your veggies in. I’m not a big fan of vegetables so if I can drink them that’s perfect.

I was drinking green smoothies regularly over the summer but then fell off. I am trying to get back into it now, and have been having one for breakfast (along with some eggs or something for protein). This is what I made this morning:

Yes, I know it doesn’t look like the most appetizing thing in the world…but I promise you, you don’t really taste the veggies at all!

This smoothie was:

  • a handful of frozen kale
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water

I could only taste the banana. Think about all of the nutrients packed into this 1 smoothie! I would highly recommend it as something for breakfast, or a midday snack. Here are other smoothie recipes I have made in the past:

Green Machine

  • handful of frozen kale (you can also use spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery that comes already cut up (the pieces are the size of your finger)
  • 1 banana

Lots of Veggies!

  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery
  • handful of baby carrots
  • 1 banana

Simple Smoothie

  • 1 apple
  • handful of baby carrots

More Fruit!

  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 an apple
  • your choice of celery or carrots

Lean and Green

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (for protein)
  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • your choice of celery or carrots
  • 1 banana or 1 whole apple

Very Berry

  • handful of kale (or spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery
  • 4-5 strawberries
  • 1/2 a banana

*I use 1 cup water for all my smoothies.

These are just some of my ideas…there are many more combos of veggies and fruit you can try! Also, you can try using almond milk instead of water if you want it to be more filling and frothy. If you want protein, you can add egg whites (you can’t really taste them either, but it does have somewhat of an after taste), or protein powder. I have never tried adding protein powder, so I’m not sure what that will taste like.

Do you drink green smoothies? Which recipe will you try?

10-24-2012

Health/Fitness Links to Get You Through the Day

I found some really good stuff this week! Let’s get right to it…

  • How to grocery shop to lose weight – I found these tips on a new blog I’m following, Fitness Wayne. These are great tips to remember when you go grocery shopping. Main thing I’d follow: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where the healthy stuff is!
  • Healthy tailgating tips – Fall = going to Rutgers football games and tailgating with friends. We all have our favorite team and have our school pride. But don’t let tailgating derail your efforts!
  • 5 ways to eat sweet potatoes – Like sweet potatoes? Here are 5  variations for ya! I still have to try making some sweet potato fries, I hear they’re great!
  • Total body tabata home workout – Another great workout by Blonde Ponytail. I’m all about at-home, minimal equipment workouts!
  • “Therapy Thursday: Shin splints” – A blog post by another blogger I just started following! Steph, author of The Friendly Runner, writes about the woes of shin splints and how to fix them. As a sufferer of shin splints, I loved this post and am happy to say I do all of these =) Maybe not consistently…but that’s another story.

Which link did you find the most useful? Let me know if you implement any of the tips, workouts or recipes!

 

10-17-2012

Health/Fitness Links to Get You Through the Day

Hi friends!

Sorry for the late post…again, it’s been a crazy busy week! But it’s lunch time, so if you’re perusing the internet, check out these links!

  • 31 Health Foods You Should Be Eating Now – TIME did a great job with this. Try to add these foods to your grocery list! My favs are tuna, bananas, and spinach (which I include in my salad every day).
  • StandApp – What a cool app if you’re at a desk job. It reminds you to stand, and gives you exercises to do for your vision if you’re at a computer a lot.
  • What to Expect at Your First Crossfit Class – Thinking of trying Crossfit? This blog by ACE Fitness outlines what to expect, exercises you may do, what to wear, who it’s for, and what to watch out for. Any Crossfitters on here? What tips would you give to new Crossfitters?
  • 5 Brown Bag Lunches You Can Make in 5 Minutes – I make my lunch every single day. These are good lunch ideas for those of you who want to start bringing your own lunch. Think of how much money you will save! It will benefit you in the long run…it’s so much healthier than buying lunch every day!

Which link did you find the most interesting? Poll question: Who brings their lunch to work daily?

 

10-08-2012

Fast, Easy and HEALTHY Dinner Idea

I currently live at home with my parents and younger brother. They are away on vacation for 2 weeks, so it’s just me and my brother, aka I will be making the easiest meals ever (or attempting to). You don’t realize how awesome it is living at home until your parents leave ;)

Last night we were starving and needed something quick because we both had to go out. I open the fridge and all I had was chicken, spinach and mozzarella. No time to make pasta or rice. SO, I grilled some chicken, threw together a spinach and chickpea salad, added sauce to the chicken, melted some mozzarella on top, and VOILA!

Ok so the mozzarella was actually string cheese mozzarella that I then pulled apart, but still…delicious…and it literally took maybe 15-20 minutes.

You have your protein, veggies, some fiber with the chickpeas, and cheese for a bit of flavor. I like adding sauce to things as well for more flavor and to make it more filling (just make sure you choose one with minimal ingredients and always check to see how much sodium it has…the lower the better!).

Here’s what you need:

  • chicken breasts
  • spinach (or any leafy greens to make a salad, such as kale, mixed greens, romaine, etc.)
  • chickpeas/garbanzo beans (my favorite bean)
  • optional: pasta/marinara sauce (again, just check the nutritional facts)
  • optional: mozzarella cheese to melt on top of the chicken

How I made it:

  1. Cook the chicken in a casserole, rather than something shallow
  2. Once it’s fully cooked, add in your pasta sauce. Optional: adding more veggies such as onions, peppers, etc.
  3. Let the chicken and sauce bubble for a few minutes. During this time you can prepare your salad. Throw the spinach and beans in a bowl…done!
  4. Serve chicken with sauce over salad and throw some cheese on top

Enjoy!

10-04-2012

My favorite food logging app: “LoseIt!”

Logging your food intake can help you stay on track with eating clean, and also help you realize where your weaknesses may be. Actually writing down everything you eat may allow you to realize those little snacks you sneak in throughout the day actually add up. I like to track my intake with an iPhone app called LoseIt! (similar to other apps such as DailyPlate or MyFitnessPal). I love seeing how many grams of carbs, protein, sugar, fiber, etc., I get per day.

LoseIt! is so easy to use which I love. When you first open the app you will immediately be able to figure out how to use it.

This is the home screen which is called “My Day.” You can set it all up to enter your goals and it will tell you approximately how many calories you should be eating.

You can add foods based on what meal it was for, or if it was a snack. You can also log your exercise in LoseIt! as well, so you can track food and exercise all in one central place.

You can search the foods they have in their lists, and then it saves your most popular foods under “my foods” or saves whole meals (if you have a meal of multiple ingredients).

I also like that you can scan barcodes if LoseIt! doesn’t have the item you need in their inventory. I have never had an incident where I haven’t found the food, or haven’t been able to scan it. When you scan it, it automatically puts in the serving size and nutritional info (though you can change the serving size if you ate more or less).

Once you input all of your food for the day, you can go back to “My Day” and then click on “Nutrients” to be able to see your nutritional breakdown, both for the day and the week if you wish.

Lastly, like I mentioned above, you can track your exercise. They have a huge list of options and then you can get more specific in terms of time and level of exertion.

I seriously love LostIt! It’s such an easy, straightforward app. When I feel like I need to get back on track, I start putting in my foods. I generally just want to make sure I’m not getting too many grams of carbs and sugar, I’m not overly concerned about calories. If anything, it helps me see that I don’t eat enough calories some days, even though I feel like I’m eating a ton!

Do you use a health related app? What’s your favorite?

09-20-2012

Sweet tooth? No worries.

Do you have a crazy sweet tooth? Don’t worry, so do I.

Can I have these…like now?

Part of eating healthy is giving up those sweet treats you love so much. Now, you don’t have to completely give them up, or give them up forever, but we’ll get to that.

Snacks to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

I have several go-to snacks for when I get a craving for those Oreos or ice cream. My best recommendation would be to get some healthy yogurt. On nights I’m craving ice cream, I’ll whip out some vanilla yogurt and that will do the trick. My favorite recently has been Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla and it’s only 70 calories! There are so many flavors to chose from, so you will be able to find one you like. Just make sure you look at the ingredients and make sure it has very few (signs a product doesn’t have many added preservatives or chemicals). Also make sure you look at how many grams of sugar it has. I prefer yogurts without fruit because the fruit adds in a ton of sugar and preservatives. I say buy plain yogurt and add in your own fruit! That’s way more natural.

Other options for a sweet tooth are fruit. Find your favorite fruit and when you get a craving, eat that! I LOVE cutting up a banana and then drizzling a tiny bit of honey on it. Delicious! I also love cantaloupe and watermelon. Those two fruits have high water content, meaning they are more filling, and also have less sugar and carbs to worry about!

Okay, so maybe your just not going to be satisfied with yogurt or some fruit. FINE, here are two other options that are still on the healthier side, but you should indulge in moderation ;)

I love Honey Nut Cheerios. When I really want cookies, I usually eat a small bowl of that instead. If you’re going to eat cereal, at least make it a healthy kind, not Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Go for cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios, Kashi, Honey Bunches of Oats, etc.

Lastly, I like buying chocolate bars. BUT, not your ordinary chocolate bars. I buy 90% cacao bars, aka 90% dark chocolate. This definitely is an acquired taste, but once you get used to it, it is awesome. This satisfies my sweet tooth in a second. It’s a little bitter, so you can’t really overindulge like you can with milk chocolate. Plus, we all know dark chocolate may help keep your heart healthy. What’s not to like?

(By the way, if you’re not going to click the above link to read about the benefits of dark chocolate, the main take away you should know is: “Eating a small, 1.6-ounce bar of dark chocolate every day is good for you.” So yeah…dark chocolate > cookies)

It’s Okay to Indulge

You can have those sweet treats…every once in a while. If you really are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, then try to make these swaps, but it’s okay to indulge anywhere from 1-3 times a week. At the same time, if you’re wondering why you’re not losing weight or getting leaner, take a look at your diet. Could you be eating cleaner? I try to eat clean 80% of the time, and let myself have a “cheat” or two on the weekends. I know weekends are hard to stay good, so I really try to make weekdays count.

If you really want to change your lifestyle, I highly suggest using a food log. Track every single thing you put in your mouth…you may be surprised by the results. My suggestion is aim for a 80%/20% ratio (80% clean, 20% “cheats), and if you’re really trying to get leaner, make it 90%/10%.

Speaking of food logs, stay tuned for my next post about my favorite calorie tracking app!

09-17-2012

Grocery List Essentials

If you have no clue where to start when you go to the grocery store, then at least make sure you get these 6 things.

I made sure to think of foods that can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

1. Eggs are obviously great for breakfast, and you can eat them hard boiled or make an omelet (in which you can then add in broccoli and mixed greens). Eggs are also great as a snack. You can make a bunch hard-boiled, and then grab-n-go.

2. Canned tuna is a MUST-HAVE. You may think it’s gross and plain, but I rarely have it alone. Lately, I’ve been mixing tuna with freshly steamed broccoli as a snack. I also like to make salads using canned tuna.

3. Bananas are the perfect pre-workout snack. You can dip them in peanut butter, or just eat ‘em plain on your way to the gym. Very portable and full of nutrition. I love bananas as a quick source of carbs before or after a workout.

4. Chicken. Also a must-have. Cook it in bulk on a Sunday and you’re set for lunches all week. I like to make mixed-green salads with grilled chicken. For dressings I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I like to add almonds too, for a little extra crunch.

5. Mixed Greens can be used for anything. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner. You can make delicious salads with mixed greens as the base, and then add in any veggies you want. I have mixed greens at least once a day with a lunch. I like the bagged kind because it’s easy. I don’t have to worry about waking up and having to wash, cut and dry lettuce leaves. Although it is a little more expensive than if you bought lettuce heads. I think it’s worth it, but I’m also lazy in the mornings!

6. Broccoli. This vegetable is PACKED with nutrients. Healthy carbs, calcium, and so much more. It is also very filling. When I have broccoli with my tuna as a snack, I’m full for at least the next 3 hours. In the mornings, I put some broccoli heads in a bowl with a bit of water, then microwave for 2 minutes. I drain the water out, and voila, it’s ready to be packed in my lunch bag.

You can find my full grocery shopping list here. Eating clean doesn’t have to break the bank.

What are your grocery list must-haves?

08-26-2012

My Grocery Shopping List

A few people had asked me to do a post on what I buy at the supermarket for all my meals. I general eat pretty clean throughout the week…it’s the weekends that get me! Here’s what I generally buy for each meal category (and what meals I make) for some inspiration or if you’re looking to change things up in your diet.

Breakfast Items:

  • eggs (usually eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast)
  • egg whites for when I’m having hard boiled eggs as a snack later in the day, or with my lunch
  • organic chicken or turkey sausage (sometimes I have this as a snack in between breakfast and lunch)
  • for emergencies (like no time) -honey nut cheerios with skim milk
  • protein powder (will talk about this more below). I like to use my magic bullet to mix up protein powder, water and peanut or almond butter. Then I pour it into my coffee mug and pour my coffee on top. Delicious, filling and quick!

Lunch Items:

  • during the week I really only eat a mixed green salad, so I buy the bags of mixed greens, and add in any type of protein I’m feeling that day, like eggs or tuna. Sometimes chicken if it’s leftover from dinner
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing
  • cherry tomatoes
  • dried cranberries
  • alfafa sprouts

Dinner Items:

  • here’s where you can go crazy with any type of protein (and ways to cook it): chicken, fish (salmon, tilapia, etc), turkey any sort of beef. I usually make my own ground beef for burgers instead of buying it already ground up. I typically grill everything outside since my mom hates when food smells take over our house.
  • any veggies you like…my favorites: zucchini (both the green and yellow kind), asparagus, spinach, chick peas to add in a side salad, portobello mushrooms (or general mushrooms), spaghetti squash, acorn squash (delicious in a homemade chicken soup), cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, red and green peppers (my mom always adds these into any pasta or tomato sauce we make…love peppers), onions
  • healthy carb options: quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice (and you also can get your carbs from some veggies too, like broccoli)
  • quick dinner idea: rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store

Snack Items:

  • Protein powder (!) my favorite, quick and easy snack. I use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey protein. Sometimes I just make a protein shake with just water, other times I add stuff like almond butter and cinnamon in, and it’s delicious!
  • All berries – blackberries, blueberries, strawberries (these are low carb/low sugar so they are a great snack)
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Pre-workout fruits: bananas, apples
  • Grapefruit (I’ve been having this between breakfast and lunch…surprisingly it is rather filling)
  • Nuts: cashews, pecans, almonds, pistachios…and you can add these in salads. My favorite are cashews.
  • Almond butter to put on bananas or apples
  • Celery (also pairs well with almond butter…and hummus of course)
  • 80-90% Dark chocolate. Tastes bitter at first but you get used to it…now I can’t have milk chocolate anymore

*Splurge-y snack items that are still considered “healthy” (unlike the Ben & Jerry’s I just had last night…)*

  • Nature Valley bars (I LOVE the Sweet & Salty almond bars as an emergency pre/post-workout snack if I’m starving. They are so good.)
  • Chobani greek yogurt (The reason I put this here is because I get the ones with the fruit, which = more preservatives/ingredients/sugar/carbs. But if you buy plain and put in your own fruit, then it’s a pretty dang healthy snack!) I like the apples and cinnamon flavor…YUM.
  • Normal flavored yogurt (I’ve been having Stonyfield Organic Vanilla yogurt as a post-dinner dessert occasionally)
  • Honey nut cheerios/plain cheerios

I feel like I am forgetting a lot of stuff, but that’s what I can think of right now, and I even went into my food log app to see if I’m missing anything.

I hope this helps and provides people with some new ideas! If you have anything I am missing, leave it in the comments because I am always looking for new snack ideas.

If you had to pick one healthy food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?