Things That Make Healthy Eating Easier

It can be very difficult to change habits and embark upon a healthy lifestyle if you have been stuck in a routine for many years. Healthy eating, just like anything, requires some effort and planning at first until this becomes your new lifestyle and routine. Here are some things that make a healthy lifestyle easier to achieve.

Water Bottle
Not just any water bottle but a sturdy, fun one that you enjoy drinking out of. Make sure it does not leak and that it stays cold or staying hydrated is that much harder. Also look for a bigger one that can help you hit your fluid intake goals each day. Sometimes drinking 2  big water bottles is easier than 8 regular size ones. The one I have is from the container store. It’s 32 oz and fits easily into my work bag without leaking.

Crockpot
I’ve waxed poetic about my crockput multiple times but I really cannot say enough good things about crockpot meals. They require little effort and the meals are full of flavor without added fat, sodium, or sugar. Here are some my favorite crockpot recipes.

Tupperware Containers
Being able to make dinners and lunches ahead of time require dependable Tupperware containers. I love this pyrex glass set we received for our wedding shower that comes in all different sizes and can go in the microwave and dishwasher.

Smoothie Cup
Smoothies are one of my favorite breakfast items. They are easy to make and keep me full for hours. I also love something sweet in the AM and it’s a great way to sneak in protein, healthy fats, fruits and even vegetables for your first meal of the day. I got an insulated smoothie cup with a straw for Christmas this year and it has made my portable breakfast even easier!

Frozen Vegetables
Fresh vegetables are ideal but not always realistic to keep on hand throughout the weeks. Stocking up on frozen bags ensures that we will always have a vegetable with every dinner.

Protein Bars While I always prefer real food, keeping protein bars in my home, desk, and car make it easy to have something healthy if I get hungry. Some of my favorites are Kind Bars, Think Thin Bars, and Luna Bars.

My Iphone
My phone makes my life easier in many ways, including healthy living. I keep a running grocery list in my phone so if I ever have time to stop at the store I know what I need for the week. I also use my card star app for coupons and discounts. There are also a ton of workout apps and apps for logging your food intake. Here are some of the top rated health apps.

Crockpot Pulled Chicken Tacos

crockpot-pulled-chicken-tacos

I love my crockpot but never think to cook chicken breasts in it until coming across this recipe on pinterest.  I had some leftover taco shells, black beans and salsa from making tacos earlier on so picked up some chicken breasts to make something different.

I layered in the crockpot:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1/2 jar salsa verde
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning

I cooked on low for 4 hours and the chicken pulled apart easily with a fork. Served with corn tortilla shells and avocado they were great! I love the  taste of slow cooked foods. Lots of flavor without added fat or sodium.

I also used the leftover chicken for salads throughout the week!

Top 10 Things I’m Loving This January

top-10-things-im-loving-this-january

It’s time for another monthly round up! Here are the things I am loving this month

1. Skiing
I have two fun trips planned one with friends and one with family and hoping to take some day trips in February! I used to go all the time in high school and I cannot wait for this season!

2. Washingtonian Magazine
This was an awesome Christmas gift from a friend and I love reading about fun things to do in the DC, things I may have not heard of otherwise.

3. Laughing cow cheese wedges
I purchased a pack a few weeks ago and loved the endless ways to use them, including my stuffed mushrooms, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and as a snack!

4. DC Hikes
Thanks to this great winter weather I have been able to do some fun hikes in this area. On New Years Day we hiked Roosevelt Island and then the Billy Goat Trail with some friends a few weekends ago. It was more challenging than I thought!

5. Healing Your Hungry Heart
This book is both extremely helpful and inspiring for recovering from an eating disorder. It is very honest and open with great tools and strategies for recovery.

6. Quiches
I’ve blogged about crust-less quiches before as dinner recipes but it hit me last week to make one for lunch! I get about 4 servings out of it and it is so easy to make each week. I use a mixture of egg whites and almond milk and whatever mix ins I have. This week it was diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach!

7. PB and Co Natural Peanut Butter
This is by far my favorite peanut butter. They had a sale last week and I bought 5 jars! I love the old-fashioned original and every once in a while  I will also get a fun flavor for a sweet treat. This time I tried the chocolate PB and cinnamon raisin. Just one spoonful is a perfect snack!

8. Not Getting the Flu
Tis the season! This has been a very popular post this month in terms of helping keep you healthy and energetic through these winter months: What to Eat When You’re Sick

9. Eggplant
I’ve never really loved this vegetable but have really ordered it out and made it at home and found myself liking it! I think the key is roasting this vegetable so it is not as tough.

10. Downton Abbey
After hearing about this show from so many people I decided to check it out! It’s different from anything I’ve watched and I love the scenery, costumes, and accents!

Mashed Cauliflower

Last week when I made the Italian Turkey Meatloaf I decided to change up my regular green bean side and try a vegetable I never really used before, cauliflower.  Besides, what better pair is there than meatloaf and mashed potatoes? I bought a head of cauliflower at Trader Joe’s and worked on chopping it up into bite sized pieces. I boiled the pieces for about 5 minutes before adding to a blender with light laughing cow cheese wedges, sautéed garlic and rosemary and pulsed until reaching a desired consistency. It was very creamy and comparable to regular mashed potatoes and a fun way to prepare a vegetable.
Ingredients:
1 medium head of cauliflower, diced
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons rosemary
Directions:
Boil diced cauliflower for 5 minutes
Meanwhile sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat
Drain cauliflower and add to blender with garlic, rosemary and laughing cow cheese.
Pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Mini Italian Turkey Meatloaf

mini-italian-turkey-meatloaf

I never really loved meatloaf growing up, probably due to all the extra add ins and condiments which I don’t particularly like. But ground turkey is always so cheap at the store and I was looking for another way to use it besides chili and tacos.

I found a recipe online for light Italian turkey meatloaf, using only simple ingredients to compliment the turkey. It was easy to follow and we had fun making it together!

 

I realized as we started making it that I did not have a pan suitable for a loaf so I decided to go with miniature versions using a muffin pan which are great for portion control and each individual meatloaf had a great crust and a flavorful inside!

I served it along with mashed cauliflower and we loved it! Recipe coming soon 🙂

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

parmesan-crusted-chicken

After making stuffed mushrooms last week I had some Parmesan cheese leftover that I wanted to put into a recipe! I decided to use it has a low-carb “breading” for some chicken breasts. Parmesan is a strong, salty cheese and I knew it would hold up well! It gave the chicken great flavor.

To make this, I mixed together Parmesan cheese, paprika, basil and pepper. There is no need for salt as the cheese has enough!

I rubbed the chicken breasts in olive oil before patting on the mixture. Then I browned them on the stove top for 3-4 minutes per side before finishing in a 350F oven.

They were delicious! Any ideas for what I can do with the rest of the Parmesan I have?