Sips & Dips

Eating Smart No-Brainers

Unless Mexicali nachos are involved, that is…

But when you’re not being tempted by delicious nachos, it really isn’t that hard to eat healthy smart.

Smart eating is fueling your body with the necessary food to perform your daily tasks as best as possible…. 80 to 90% of the time. That means allowing for 10 to 20% of your diet to have some wiggle-room (everything in moderation, right!?)  so you can maintain smart eating habits and don’t drive yourself crazy or feel like you’re on a psycho-diet (psycho diet = stupid bad).

OK so we got the percentages right for when we eat like we should (Thank God we got that figured out, right). So now I can get to the good stuff: how to make your most-of-the-time diet (not diet as in psycho diet, just as in what you’re consuming) as efficient yet tasty as possible.

Here are some of my favorite options for breaky (that’s breakfast for all you abbreve-impaired out there):

In-A-Hurry Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 banana

4 tbsp. Vitamineral Green ( a superfood powder by HealthForce that you can find in most health food stores, or Whole Foods)

This powder is da bomb-dig & is packed with immune-boosting, therapeutic superfood

Directions: You’ll need a blender for this one (shocking, I know)

Pour the almond milk, then berries, then Vitamineral Green, then the banana on top.

Blend on the “ice crush” setting until smooth. Pour in a glass (or a red Solo cup if you’re heading out the door like me), add a straw and you’re G2G (good to go… again for the abbreve-impaired)!

English Muffin PBJ

1 whole wheat english muffin

1 tbsp all natural peanut butter (getting all natural is very important with peanut butter. Some brands ad sugar and oil and a few other highly unnecessary ingredients. Make sure the ingredients are only dry roasted peanuts, you won’t even notice the difference)

1.5 tsp fruit spread (again, try to find a kind that has as little added sugar as possible. A lot of brands add a ton of sugar to jam or jelly, however fruit contains quite a bit of sugar in-and-of itself)

Directions: Toast the english muffin and spread the PBJ on it open-faced style and boom– you just made yourself a tasty breakfast with a little protein, fiber and carbs to sustain your energy until lunch.

Coffee

The only ingredient for this one is coffee… Duh. I always suggest that if you need a caffein kick in the morning to stick to black coffee or just ass a dash of creamer. Quite often people will order coffee drinks every morning rather than coffee, which include tons of junk that weights you own and usually as many calories as you should eat in a small meal.

Here’s some ideas for your lunch break:

Power Mix

I call this mix of veggies and beans my “power mix” because it fills you up without weighing you down, and it’s full of nutrients to keep your immune system boosted like the Tommy Lee Jones in Space Cowboys.

There can only be one reason this didn’t win Best Picture in 2000: Y2K

1/2 Sweet Potato (or a yam if you’re feeling sassy)

1 medium onion

1/2 cup black beans

1 cup frozen broccoli

2 cups chopped or torn kale (or however much you feel like)

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup marinara sauce

Directions:

Dice the sweet potato and onion and place in a medium to large saucepan with the frozen broccoli and garlic on medium heat and cover with a lid. No need for oil! As the frozen broccoli cooks, the ice will melt into water, steaming the veggies. Add a little extra water if you fear burning!

After a few minutes, add kale so it can steam as well.

Keep lid on for 4 to 5 minutes.

Once the potatoes and onion are soft, remove from heat and add black beans. Stir in marinara and voila!

Wasn’t that easy? 

KBQ (Kale, Beans and Quinoa)

1 cup chopped kale

1/2 cup beans of your choice

1 cup quinoa

Mustard to taste

Directions: Cook the quinoa (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water) as you would rice.

Add cooked beans (I like to cook my own beans rather than canned so as to reduce sodium levels. Cooking beans is easy: just rinse well, add to a pot of hot water and cook for about 1 to 1.5 hours and rinse again)

For the final touch you can either steam the kale in a saucepan with water, or if you’re like me and taking this dish to-go, put the three ingredients (sans mustard) in a medium-sized tupperware container (kale-raw) and when you are ready to eat, microwave with the lid on for 1 minute (the steam will cook the kale) and add mustard for some flavor.

Easy snack ideas:

– Sliced apple (honeycrisp, anyone?)

– Simple bar (under 190 calories) like Luna, Kind or Cliff Mojo

– Coffee with coconut milk creamer (So Delicious makes hazelnut and french vanilla)

– Veggie medley: raw carrots, jicama and grape tomatoes

Dinner Time!

Go-To Simple Salad

1.5 cups Spring Mix or Mesclun lettuce

3/4 cup grape tomatoes (whole)

1/3 cup corn

1/2 cucumber (halved and sliced)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp honey mustard

Directions: Add the veggies into a large salad bowl. In a small container add balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning and mustard. Stir well. Pour dressing over veggie mixture and toss well. Yum.

Homemade Pizza a-la TJ’s

1/6 Trader Joe’s Uncooked Pizza Dough ( Making from stratch is best but hey, ya work with what ya can work with, amiright?)

2 ounces light mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup marinara or tomato pizza sauce

1/4 cup corn

8 slices of jalepeno (pickled/optional)

1.5 tbsp soy chorizo (optional)

3 sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped kale or spinach

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (I prefer orange)

Directions: Let dough sit out to oxidize for about 20 minutes on a cuttin board with flour.

While the dough sits, chop your veggies.

Roll out dough to desired thickness and spread ingredients on top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

How Easy!?

Winter Veggie Scramble

*This tasty recipe serves two*

2 large red potatoes or 1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 cups spinach

4 cloves chopped garlic

I cup grape tomatoes, halved

3/4 cup corn

1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a medium-sized pot, boil potatoes to desired softness. While the potatoes are doin’ their thang, dump the onion and garlic into a large, deep saucepan with olive oil. Cover. Stir every few minutes.

Once the onions have gotten their sweat on, and the potatoes are nice and soft, drain the water from the potatoe and add those puppies into the large saucepan.

Add spinach and cover to allow spinach to steam.

Add tomatoes and corn, stir.

Remove from heat, add sweet chili sauce, and enjoy!

A quick note about these recipes: Except for the final scramble, these recipes serve one. Feel free to double or triple if you want to share the love (just make sure your blender is big enough first).

Also, if you’ve noticed I try not to add salt when I cook, as high sodium levels can lead to high blood pressure and bloating among other things. I like to save my salt for when I make popcorn (air popped, with little oil). I suggest limiting oil when cooking as well. In most cases using water and steaming instead has the same effect, without all the fat and calories that oil provides. 

As they say En FranceBon Apetit Mes Amis!

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