Healthy eating is…all about the planning.

Hi Friends!  This week has been another great week on working towards my healthy living goals for 2015.  I am making it a habit to drink more water regularly, have been trying lots of new work outs at the gym, and have been experiment in the kitchen a bit.

As a dietitian, I have always felt that two of the bigger tools to improving your diet are:

  • Planning ahead: If you make a shopping list, pack a lunch, prep healthy foods ahead of time for meals or snacks, etc. then you are going to be more likely to make better choices in the moment. When you are tired after a long day at work knowing all you have to do is pop something in the oven to heat up instead of cooking a full meal may make the difference between going through the drive through or making unwise choices!
  • Everyone can cook: No matter how bad of a cook you think you are or you will be…trust me you can cook.  Everyone will burn things, have disastrous flavor fails, set off the smoke alarm, under cook something, or accidentally dump half the container of baking soda in.  It will get better, just like any sport or hobby…practice makes perfect!  And I know I still have disastrous moments every now and then…you just shake it off and throw it away and know what not to do next time.

With those two things in mind, I have become a big fan of Lindsay at the The Lean Green Bean Blog’s  Sunday food prep movement.  This is one dietitian who nailed it when it comes to planning ahead and keeping her fridge stocked with quick and healthy meals.  I have been participating the past few weeks and have gotten a bit more confident on what works and what does not. Follow along with other bloggers, foodies, dietitian, healthy living fanatics on Instagram with the hashtag #SundayFoodPrep.

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Additionally, I wanted to share a few quick tips to make a healthy pasta bowl as a fast and easy dinner option.

Easy Pasta Bowl

2 vegetables (zucchini, squash, broccoli, onion, grape tomatoes, spinach)

2-3 (depends on flavor preference) fresh cloves garlic

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Pesto or marinara sauce

whole grain pasta of choice

Protein of choice (chicken, beef, tofu)

Optional: reduced fat cream cheese, fresh Asiago/Parmesan cheese for topping

  • Mince garlic and saute in olive oil with chopped vegetables in skillet.
  • Cook pasta following directions on packaging and drain.
  • Prepare protein as desired (either in skillet on stove top or on grill), season as desired–I used Italian dressing
  • Mix cooked protein, pasta, and sauce of choice into skillet with sauteed veggies.  If tomato cream sauce is your thing add in about 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese.
  • Top with fresh grated cheese and enjoy!
  • Tip: pay close attention to serving sizes on packaging and added sugar in marinara sauces while choosing/preparing!

IMG_0410For tonight’s bowl I choose grilled chicken in a pesto sauce with whole grain bow tie noodles and sauteed grape tomatoes and onions!

Have a great week and GO BUCKS!

Amy

Healthy 2015, Week 1 + Green Smoothie Recipe!

Hello friends!  Since this week started a new year, I thought I would share a little bit about what I have been up to since Rebekah and I announced our healthy winter goals for 2015.

  • Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily: I have been using my MyFitnessPal app to not only track my calories through out the day/week to see where I stand, but I have been using the app to track my water consumption daily.  Most days I have surpassed my minimum goal of 6 glasses and have noticed I am more on track with my hunger cues.
  • 4 work outs per week: This week was a rough week.  I had a sinus infection, so I spent a lot of my time sleeping and praying the antibiotics kick in.  Luckily, I am feeling better and made it to the gym the past 2 days!
  • Trying a new workout per month: I finally was able to switch gyms (the New Years deals really helped) and have been getting back in a grove of picking fun and challenging fitness classes for the week. The past 2 days I went to a pilates and a yoga class, it’s been about 2 years since I did either…so I am counting that as a “new workout.”
  • Try a new recipe or food each week.  This week I made my own green smoothie recipe and prepped a bunch for the week.  See below and give it a try!

Green Smoothie (serves 2)

3 cups baby spinach or kale (I used a combo)

3/4 cup frozen strawberries

3/4 cup frozen peaches

3/4 cup orange juice (tart juices work best)

1 1/4 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Optional: 1/4 cup oats or 2 table spoons ground flax (I opted to use both)

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Combine and blend together.  Recipe should make roughly two 8 oz (1 cup) servings!

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Adding up all the calories and grams of protein, this smoothie ends up being roughly 200 calories and 10-15 grams protein (depending on if you add flax or not).

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Stay tuned to read Rebekah’s update later this week on how she is doing (moving into a new apartment and all)!

Peace, Love, and Buckeyes,

Amy