Tag Archives: nutrition

Thriving Thursday: Sweet Teryaki Salmon

Confession: I HATE fish. I actually really dislike seafood in general. I’m not one of those picky, “I hate the consistency” people but oysters?? Truly the consistency is like snot. And fish? Any kind of fish is just so salty and YUCK. I’ve disliked it since I was a kid. When my mom made her delicious fish for dinner, I would eat a bowl of cereal.

However, (this is how I know I’m an adult) I LOVED this fish I cooked last night. Everyone always talks about how good fish is for you so I figured I’d give it another try. Teryaki was the closest I could get to make it taste like chicken. Haha. So I adapted a recipe from one of my cookbooks and came up with this. It is SO delicious. Sweet and tangy all at the same time.

Money Saving Tip: Wild-caught salmon can be really expensive ($13 for 2 fillets??) so we ate small portions with lots of veggies to make it last for the next day’s dinner too.

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Sweet Teryaki Salmon (3-4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Bragg’s liquid aminos (healthy soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 wild-caught salmon fillets or steaks
  • Whatever you would like for your side (bed?). I used leftover mashed sweet potatoes (from the Sherpherds Pie) and added sautéed red peppers and mushrooms (YUM). It would also be really good with a spinach salad, roasted veggies, and/or quinoa.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix first 6 ingredients until combined. Set aside 1/4 cup of marinade in fridge for basting.
  2. Combine salmon and marinade in a plastic bag and marinate in fridge for 1 hour.
  3. While it’s marinating, cook your side.
  4. Lay marinated salmon on parchment paper in a deep baking pan.
  5. Broil or grill for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Brush with reserved marinade.
  7. Enjoy!

We’re getting very close to the weekend. I hope you all have happy Thursday’s! 🙂

 

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

Sweet potatoes are flippin’ awesome. They are fantastic for digestion, heart health, skin health, and blood sugar levels. Specifically, they are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins C and E, and Manganese.

This recipe was my attempt at making my mom’s amazing shepherds pie but without the starch of potatoes. With that in mind, it was GROSS. But once we stopped thinking of it as Shepherds Pie and started thinking of it as a dish on it’s own, SO DELICIOUS. Isn’t it weird how your brain can trick you like that?

This was incredible easy to make and I just kept it in a crockpot in the fridge and reheated it (on the lowest temperature possible) for 3 nights straight. Thank you bulk-cooking!

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Sweet Potato Pot Pie (6-8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 7 organic sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup organic milk (almond, coconut, dairy, whatever)
  • 1 organic yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds organic ground turkey
  • 1 package of organic gravy mix
  • 8oz organic frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Boil sweet potato chunks in a large pot until soft. While they are cooking, mix gravy. 
  2. Drain water from pot add the milk and mash it all together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, deep pan, sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
  4. Add turkey to pan and cook until brown.
  5. Add gravy and frozen veggies to pan and mix together.
  6. Either in the large pot or in a crockpot, layer the meat mixture, then the mashed sweet potatoes. Heat in the crockpot or oven on low for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to mix together. YUM
  7. Enjoy!

Monday Advice: Enjoy Your Holiday Meals!

Alright ya’ll, listen up! For the next 24 hours, do everything you try not to do on a regular basis.

For example:
– Don’t exercise just sleep in instead!
– Keep on your pajamas for as long as possible.
– Eat that cheese and chips and stuffing and dessert!
– Just enjoy the holidays.

The catches (you knew there’d be a few):
– Note how your body feel before the crappy food and after. Remember that feeling.
– Try to throw in some veggies (raw if possible) even if it means sneaking a salad in the middle of the day. Remember how good you feel after you eat those.
– Go on walks! Walks any time of day any weather during the holidays are wonderful. Do it with a loved one. Just take a quiet break from all the shenanigans and get your blood pumping.

That’s pretty much it. I’m getting my routine check up at the doctor right now. After this, let the relaxation begin!

One more thing, make sure to thank all those people that have to work today and tomorrow. There’s a lot of people that have given up their holiday to make sure the world keeps turning. Thank you guys!! Hopefully you get some time to rest too.

Much love and Merry Christmas Eve!

Throw-It-In-Your-Bag Thursday: Homemade Trail Mix

I’ve been getting a little fired up in my posts the last couple days. Warning, that trend is about to continue … I’ve been getting it from patients and friends: I just don’t have time to eat healthy! I have so many presents to buy and still have to work my job! OH-EM-GEE guys. This is not an excuse, it just means that you have to be better planners for the few weeks that your schedule is tight. If you can learn to do it now, imagine how many busy times it will help you through.

Here’s what most people do when they don’t have time to pack a lunch: eat fast food or don’t eat at all (less likely but the healthier people think this is a better option). NEITHER of these is ok. You MUST eat multiple times a day to give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, you’re not going to get those nutrients from fast food. End of story.

Now that we have that established, how the heck do you bring enough food to last you an entire busy day??

Well, you can make a smoothie (recipe for an awesome one is on its way), make a healthy sandwich, bring a couple pieces of fruit and….drumroll please…make your own trail mix! YAY!

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The trail mix has to be homemade because packaged and pre-made mix usually has quite a bit of sugar in it. Sugar coated dried fruit, nuts roasted and nutrients killed, or just plain chocolate chunks that pretty much cancel the goodness of the other stuff. I’m lucky enough that my grocery has an awesome bulk section (see above) but you can buy packaged raw nuts and seed too. No excuses.

A Few Rules:

  • no roasted nuts
  • no sweetened dried fruit
  • no chocolate unless it’s unsweetened
  • NO SUGAR

Trail Mix Possible Nuts:

  • almonds, raw
  • cashews, raw
  • walnuts, raw
  • pecans, raw
  • pistachio nuts, raw
  • brazil nuts, raw
  • macadamia nuts, raw
  • Any other nuts you like but NO PEANUTS! The processing of those hasn’t been so great lately.
  • sunflower seeds

Trail Mix Possible Sweetness:

  • raisins, unsweetened
  • dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • dried apricots, unsweetened
  • dried mango, tough to find unsweetened but so tasty when you do
  • chocolate morsels, unsweetened (aka. bittersweet chocolate chips)

Instructions:

  1. Buy a few bags of whatever ingredients you like and keep them handy.
  2. Throw a couple handfuls of each into a resealable plastic bag whenever you need and throw them in your backpack, briefcase, or car. Make enough to last you a few days.
  3. That’s it!!

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I made this mix while writing this post. It took me a total of 2 minutes and 39 seconds. Just kidding, I didn’t time myself. But it was really quick!

Anyone else have mix-in ideas?

Thirsty Thursday: Spiked Peppermint Hot Cocoa

I don’t drink very much. In fact, I really dislike being drunk. So when I do drink, it’s because I love the taste and the calmness it can sometimes give me. Anyway! I get lots of questions from patients (whispered of course) along the lines of: please please please tell me I can still have a glass of [insert alcohol here]? Good news! While the company I work for may not condone it, I whole heartedly support a solid glass of something alcoholic every once in a while.

Wine is great, beer is great, and liquor is great BUT (you knew it was coming) there are a few rules to remember when drinking:

1. Alcohol is very high in calories and while I don’t think ANYONE should be counting their calories, they should be monitoring the amount of bad calories they take in. And yes, alcohol counts as bad calories. So if you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount you consume.

2. Most mixed drinks are loaded with sugar. And I mean loaded. If you’re going to have hard alcohol, mix it with soda water, tonic, or just drink it straight. This keeps the calories and the sugar content down. My drink of choice is tequila on the rocks with lime. Delicious, effective, and relatively healthy.

3. Normal beer contains lots of gluten. Some people are unknowingly gluten-intolerant. If you’re getting outrageous hangovers, a bloated belly, stomach pains, or headaches while drinking it may be time to consider the gluten-free option of drinks. Redbridge is my favorite.

4. Non-organic wines have added sulfites and lot’s of people react to it without knowing they’re having a reaction. If you experience any of the symptoms from #3 while drinking wine. Try organic wine and see if they go away. Organic wine has no added sulfites. Any sulfites in organic wine are naturally produced through the fermentation process. If you find that you have less of a reaction with organic wine, try sulfite-free wine next and see if that feels even better.

Side Note: If you feel at risk for addiction, there are special rules that apply. You should limit or completely stop your intake of alcohol until you speak to a psychology professional.

With that said, I recently made one of my favorites. A delicious, holiday drink:

Spiked Peppermint Hot Cocoa (1 serving)

Ingredients

2 cups coconut/almond/raw milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 oz (half a nip) of peppermint liquor

Instructions (not sure why the photos are so crappy, sorry!)

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1. Heat the milk in a pot on medium heat. Stir in cocoa while heating.

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2. Remove from heat, stir in liquor.

Enjoy! 🙂

What’s your favorite holiday drink? Let me know and I’ll try to make a healthy version.

Thursday Recipe: Sugar, Gluten, and Dairy Free Chocolate Macaroons

Macaroons are one of the most deliciously allowable foods for those of us that are gluten, dairy, and sugar challenged. I have yet to really explain to you all why I try to be sugar-free but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, sugar is really not good for you. You can substitute Stevia or Xylitol for sugar but sometimes it can taste a bit wonky. In this recipe, it just works!

So I made these macaroons and they are so flippin’ delicious. There are a few more steps than I’m used to but SO worth the brain power.

Chocolate Covered Macaroons

Cookie Ingredients:

4-5 egg whites

14 oz of unsweetened coconut, shredded

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Chocolate Ingredients (this chocolate covering is optional):

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Instructions:

^ Beat egg whites until frothy.

^ Stir in coconut, butter, and sweetener.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls and drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes. Cool in fridge until firm.

The chocolate is optional but SO good, just do it:

^ Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and butter together. Add sweetener. Dip macaroons in chocolate. Cool on wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Like an idiot, I got so excited to eat these babies that I didn’t take an after picture. DOH! But you can imagine how pretty AND tasty they were. And so easy to make. Try it, you will amaze yourself.

Does anyone have plans for a nice meal this weekend?

Who are you gonna smile at today?

Recipe Sunday: Healthy Fried Rice

Hey All. Sorry about the late post but Mike and I have had such a busy and relaxing (awesome combo) kind of day. Earlier this week I tried my own healthy fried rice and it didn’t come out so well. I only post delicious recipes so I retried it last night and it ended up being so good!

Healthy Fried Rice

Ingredients:

brown rice (cooked)

3 or 4 eggs (beaten)

veggies (I used red pepper, spinach, and broccoli)

liquid aminos (the healthy soy sauce, I use Bragg brand)

meat (optional)

little bit of sunflower oil for cooking

Instructions:

^ Saute all the veggies on low heat. If you are using meat, cook with the veggies. When it’s all cooked through, add the beaten eggs. Stir as it cooks to coat everything in egg. When egg is cooked, empty it into a bowl.

^ Add the rice to the empty pan and spray some liquid aminos on there (it has a very salty taste so make sure not to use too much). Just until it has the “fried” brown look. Cook until heated.

Add the veggie/egg/meat and mix it all together. Enjoy!

Ashley life Update: Last week, Mike and I decided that we were starting to settle into a very sedentary life. Unacceptable. So today, our day off together, we went for an awesome pancake breakfast and then to a GIANT antique market about 40 minutes away. We didn’t have long at the market but we saw some really beautiful stuff and I bought a cast iron skillet, yay! I’ve been wanting one for a while because they’re such a healthy, non toxic way to cook and they last forever. Got an 8″ pan for $14 (I’m a great haggler). It was a wonderful day with my man 🙂

 

I hope your Sunday was as great as mine! If not, tomorrow is a new day, so smile 🙂

 

Produce: To Buy Organic or Not?

I had a realization last night that I really want this blog to be about staying healthy with no time OR money. I think I’ve done pretty well with the no time but where’s the money guidance Ashley!? Where is it?

Organic produce: SUPER expensive but sometimes it’s really worth it. Here’s an easy to follow list of rules when buying produce. Or anything really.

Rule #1: If it’s available, buy LOCAL – this is because the closer you can get to where your food is produced, the more you can be comfortable that it’s not grown with any pesticides or other crappy chemicals. Also, the shorter the shipping distance, the more nutrients left when it hits your mouth. And you’re supporting your local economy! Here’s a guide to see if your community offers the best thing for local produce, farmer’s markets.

Rule #2: If it’s available, buy ORGANIC – again, chemicals (such as pesticides) are bad in food and very bad in your body. Get that stuff out of there! Also, non organic produce is often genetically modified and much lower in nutrients. [According to a study done by Stanford, link here, there are no more nutrients in organic food than conventionally grown. However, there is a strong but so far unstudied likelihood that the presence of pesticides affects your body so much that it is not able to absorb all the nutrients in the produce.]  If you’re gonna eat an apple, might as well get all the good you can out of it, right?

Rule #3: If organic is too expensive or there’s a limited selection, follow the list of the CLEAN FIFTEEN and DIRTY DOZEN. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out this awesome list every year of the cleanest and dirtiest produce on the market that year. If it’s on the clean fifteen, it has very few pesticides and isn’t a huge harm to your body. If it’s on the dirty dozen, only buy it organic because conventional farmers basically bathe it in a chemical bath.

^This is a great pocket guide you can download from the website but you should definitely check it out in all it’s glory. Here’s the link. I am signed up for the newsletter (they don’t bombard your inbox like I do) and I got the app for my phone so I can have it whenever I’m at the market.

How is your market’s selection of organic produce? What has been your organic buying practice up to now?

Don’t forget to smile 🙂

Sunday Recipe: Carolyn’s Squash Bowl

My friend and fellow blogger posted this recipe on Friday and I made my own version that night for dinner. Here is her original post. She is an incredibly healthy and fit woman and I learn a ton of new stuff from her. Check out her blog!

I don’t really love the format of “reblogging” so I’m just going to copy/paste the recipe here.

Roasted Stuffed Squash

This is a great fall meal and its easy to make, and lasts a while in the fridge. You’ll need:

Ingredients:

Acorn Squash (as many as you want to cook)

Quinoa (or any other easy-to-cook grain like brown rice, kamut, wheat berries, etc.)

Veggies (I usually use spinach and mushrooms, but you can add anything you want!)

Chickpeas (or black beans, or lentils, etc as you can see this recipe is really what you make of it)

Tiny bit of butter

Paprika

Sea Salt

Pepper

Garlic Powder

Instructions:

1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (save these to cook later)

2. Put squash halves on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes (or until the squash is soft)

3. You can coat the seeds in olive oil and any spices you want and toss them in there on a baking sheet with parchment paper for about 10-15 minutes for a super tasty snack!

4. Cook up the quinoa (or whatever grain you’re using accordingly)

5. Saute those veggies

6. In a large bowl, mix the veggies, cooked quinoa, chickpeas, a tiny bit of butter and the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

7. When the squash is done, fill the centers with the veggie-quinoa mix and BOOM you’re done.

8. Grab a fork and get after it.

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These things are small but very filling and nutritious so I usually just have one half at a time. Throw some plastic wrap over any of the extra squash halves and you’ve got yourself a delicious lunch for tomorrow, or easily reheatable dinner for another night this week. Enjoy!”

I filled our squash with veggies,  kidney beans, and these egg noodles I’ve been wanting to try. I think it would be better with chickpeas and quinoa though. I’m also out of paprika so I used Jamaican All Spice.

There was a photo but it was lost in my recent phone disassembly. BOOO. I definitely plan on cooking it again though and will post photos when I do.

Thank you Carolyn! It was delicious.

Ashley Life Update: Mike and I are holed up in our apartment this weekend trying to get over the last of our flu/cold/strep throat. It’s times like these that make it very tough not taking any kind of medication (including ibuprofen). I’m relying on sleep and my body’s ability to heal itself. Man it takes some self-control though! Hopefully we can end today well and wake up tomorrow morning fresh as the day we were born! Hah. We shall see. I hope you’re all having wonderful Sundays.

SMILE 🙂

Thirsty Thursday: Pick Me Up Green Machine Smoothie

How much time do you usually have for post-workout meals? Or even lunch? Not very much time? Me neither! That’s why this recipe is perfect. You can make it in the morning, stick it in the fridge, and eat it any time of day. I used to bring it on Pedi-cab shifts with me and now I just pack it in my lunch and have it as a pick me up.

Smoothies are awesome because you can work with whatever you have in the fridge. The only necessary requirements are:

Ingredients: a soft frozen fruit, a soft room temperature fruit, some dark leafy greens, and some liquid.

For soft fruits you can use: berries, banana, melon, peaches/nectarines, etc.

For leafy greens I highly recommend spinach (it’s tasty in smoothies and high in protein) or kale.

For liquid use coconut water, almond milk, or even just water. Definitely nothing like juice from concentrate which has lots of added sugar.

^This smoothie has coconut water, frozen blueberries, a room temp banana, a big handful of spinach, and a scoop of protein powder.

Instructions: Combine it all in a blender and blend until smooth. The sooner you drink it after blending, the better. This is because the food is already partially digested and the nutrients start to diminish as soon as you blend it. Freezing it helps pause the process so, if you can, keep it cold.

^ It looks kinda gross but it’s actually sweet and very tasty.

Ashley Life Update: I’m still sick! Bleh. But I’m doing very well and not taking any kind of medication other than what I described in this post. I’ve just canceled all my evening plans for the next week and am going to bed at 8:30. Luckily I have an awesome job that keeps me busy all day so I barely have time to think about how crappy I feel. Also, I made a big change to my life yesterday. But you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it!

I hope you’re all having wonderful days. We’re getting closer to the weekend so just sit back and enjoy the rest of your work week. Besos!

🙂