Simple, Healthy Work Lunches

Lunches can get repetitive and a spark of inspiration for some new, healthy meals to take to work next week is what’s on the menu today.

Planning your lunches is imperative to staying on track — you’ll save a ton of money, eat better quality food bringing it from home, and not have to rush out for lunch and back before your lunch hour ends.  It’s a win-win-win.

One great option is hummus and a variety of veggies, chickpea salad, and a piece of pita bread (or skip the bread), but it is filling and delicious.  Chickpea salad is a great alternative to chicken salad and is made by merely mashing chickpeas with a fork and combining with guacamole.

Another option is creating your own Chinese food. A yummy chicken teriyaki, broccoli, bell pepper, and brown rice bowl will conquer that craving for Chinese food while being healthy and keeping you full through the day.  For a meat-free option, just saute up your favorite veggies in the teriyaki sauce!

One great lunch you can prep for the week is mason jar meals.  Salad jars are so simple to create with tons of variations, easy to transport, and so very good for you.

What’s your typical go-to lunch during the work week?

Bouncing Back from a Sugar Binge

It happens to the best of us — we say one little treat, then we end up devouring a sleeve of cookies and instantly regretting it.  If we could turn back time, we’d take back many-a-decisions… but things aren’t that simple.

Here are a few of my tried-and-true ways to bounce back after that slice of cake wins the temptation game:

  1. Get up and get moving! Those calories have been consumed, but don’t let that ruin your day. Go for a run this afternoon, take a long walk around the block, or turn on YouTube and find a good workout video.  You’ll feel great afterward, and may even forget about that slice of cake altogether.
  2. Drink some water. It can help keep you more alert to fight that sugar crash and also help flush out some of that extra sugar. Coincidentally, next time you feel a sugar craving come on, try this trick before you reach for the sugar.  You’ll be amazed how a tall glass of water can take a craving away.
  3. Avoid carbs but eat a higher protein snack after, because that sugar won’t fill you up. Avoiding carbs will help you not spike your blood sugar even more, and by having a higher protein snack, you can ensure you will feel full longer.

What’s that one food you struggle with saying no to?

Sneaking in More Veggies

It may be a bit expected for a Health Coach to be telling you to eat your veggies, but let’s talk about some fun ways to make getting veggies into your daily routine easier.  Let’s face it, most people struggle with getting their veggie intake.  Wouldn’t you agree?  I’m told by most of you that time is the struggle for you — no time to do grocery shopping, food prepping, planning, cooking, etc.

I hear you loud and clear, and here are some of the ways I personally skirt that time-trap issue.  First on the plate is soups and stews, which is particularly welcome this time of year.  They are very heavy on the veggies, and with so many varieties, you won’t get bored. Also, don’t forget to get some veggies in with your breakfast such as in smoothies, a quiche, or omelets.

Making it convenient is a crucial step in getting more veggies in.  Try prepping them for the week ahead of time, keeping them on the top shelf of your fridge, so they’re at eye level, or use frozen veggies when you’re in a time pinch. Keeping it simple by purposefully doubling your veggie count at dinner or having a salad with every meal will make the number of veggies you consume a daily occurrence, and over time it will be no problem getting enough of them on your plate!

How’s it Going?

How are those Resolutions going, now that we’re into February?

Resolutions rarely seem to make it past the first few months of the year. We eagerly create them with good intentions but struggle with the follow through. Often this happens when an unreasonable resolution is created, or there is no planning put into the process of actually accomplishing these goals.

In order to set yourself up for success, it is important to remember a few things.

– Create a reasonable and achievable goal

– Make a game plan and individual steps to build towards success

– Replace your habits instead of trying to cut them out completely (so you don’t pick up another bad one to replace it)

– Remind yourself often of your goals (goal boards and pictures) so that your resolution is always in front of you.

It’s not too late.  What are you hoping to accomplish in the next few months?

Collagen Peptides

Have you heard the buzz about collagen peptides lately?

Collagen is an essential part of your health — it can benefit your skin, bones, muscles, organs, and joints. Unfortunately, collagen levels can slow down with age, so we can take collagen peptides to help keep collagen production going as we grow older.
Collagen can also help build muscle while burning fat. It is a part of muscle tissue, so it helps build muscle mass and also push through workouts to burn more fat. It can help with digestion, hair growth, and help to promote gut health.

You can get powdered Collagen Peptides to add to your smoothie, coffee, or water.

Affordable, Healthy Foods To Keep in Your Kitchen At All Times

Healthy food often gets the reputation of being expensive and out of reach. When you waltz into Whole Foods and see cash registers flashing $300 totals, and they’re walking away with only two brown bags of groceries…, it can feel like it’s an impossibility to feed your whole family healthy foods reasonably.

So, how do you eat healthfully without a second mortgage for a grocery budget? You might be surprised to know that there are many affordable, healthy food options out there that are ideal for stocking your kitchen at all times to help you make healthy meals at home.

While prices will fluctuate depending on where you live, you’ll find these items for around $2, give or take, so there are no more excuses for not keeping healthy foods in your home.

Brown Rice
A versatile and healthy side, brown rice gives you those necessary whole grains you need. Replace white rice and processed carbs with it to round out your meals. You can even buy it on the bulk aisle and store it in an air-tight container to get more bang for your buck.

Frozen Veggies
Frozen veggies lock in the nutrients and are frozen at the peak of freshness, which means they can be as nutritious as fresh veggies. These are great for throwing together a quick side, making stews or soups, or even casseroles. They often go on sale, too, so stock up during that next sale.

Old-Fashioned Oats
Buy the store brand and save a ton on this healthy and filling breakfast staple. Take what you saved and splurge on organic, fresh berries to top your oatmeal breakfast with.

Fresh Bagged Leafy Greens
With all the outbreaks of E. coli surrounding Romaine lettuce, choosing bagged up leafy greens like spinach or kale is a better solution. Plus, they’re inexpensive and very healthy. You can make them into salads, blend them into smoothies, cook them with eggs, and so much more.

Fruits That Last
Some fruits last longer than others and are quite inexpensive to boot. While a small container of fresh, organic blueberries could run you $8 and last you a day or two — a 5lb bag of navel oranges can cost you $5 and last all week. Apples, oranges, pears, pineapple, and melons are all great options for these inexpensive, long-lasting fruits to keep around your kitchen.

If you keep these things around, when life throws you a curveball, you’ll still be able to eat nutritiously and deliciously!

What self-help books have been on your bookshelf lately?

I’m a big fan of reading, especially inspirational, motivational, and self-help books. I’m always looking for new recommendations, so let’s create a great resource here in the comments below.

Let me know what your favorite inspirational/motivational/self-help book(s) are!

Did you know you can make pancakes with 4 simple ingredients?

Bananas. Eggs. A pinch of baking powder. And some cinnamon.

That’s it. So easy, so delicious.
Use 2 ripe bananas, 4 large eggs, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mash your banana with a fork in a bowl until smooth, add baking soda and stir. Add egg and cinnamon to mixture and stir.

Adding almond butter to these when they’re ready and warm is a delicious and healthy alternative to syrup — give it a try!

The cold winter months can be hard on stiff and achy joints. This time of year is when relief can come a little harder, which is why I’ll take any help I can find for some at-home natural relief.

Flax is a great source of Omega-3 which is vital for a robust immune system and for fighting inflammation. Try to get 2 tablespoons of the oil or the seeds daily.

Another herb that treats inflammation is turmeric. This is best taken in supplement form to take full advantage.

Another remedy to consider for achy joints is nettles. This herb covers both pain and inflammation which is a win-win for any sore joints! This could help reduce the number of other not so friendly pain relievers needed for relief.

(It is always a good idea to check with a doctor when adding supplements or before ever reducing medication.)

The Best Mushrooms to Eat for Your Health

We’ve always been told that we are what we eat, but as researchers catch up to that sentiment, we’re finding it’s more accurate than we previously thought. Food is medicine for the body that keeps it primed and healthy by delivering it essential nutrients. If we’re eating right, we’re preventing a lot of potential problems down the road.

Some of the best foods to eat for your health are mushrooms. Moreover, don’t worry, if you aren’t a huge fan of mushrooms, you can purchase them in capsule form and take them alongside your daily vitamins. You can still get the amazing benefits of these foods, without having to taste them.

In fact, adding just about any type of mushroom to your diet is terrific for your health, though some of them are particularly amazing. Care to try? Look for these!

Reishi
Renowned for health in Asian cultures for thousands of years, it is symbolic of well-being and longevity. Back then, only the Royals got to eat these. Nowadays, their immunity-boosting powers have been confirmed. They’re antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral. Stew them in tea or add them to soups for your boost. You can even grill them if you soak them overnight.

Shiitake
The Japanese are big on eating for good health which is why you’ll see shiitake mushrooms in many dishes. They’re full of vitamin D and are incredibly versatile to cook with. You can add them to just about anything, so get creative.

Oyster
Oyster mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have been shown to lower cholesterol. Making a tea out of them is a great way to indulge in their healing benefits.

Porcini
A bit similar in taste to portobello mushrooms, these notorious inflammation fighters are ideal for promoting better overall wellness. Chronic inflammation has been linked to every disease, which is why keeping inflammation at bay is so essential for your longevity. Eat them raw or grilled, sauté, or roast them. They taste great!

White Button
These are the ones you most often see in your produce section, and the good news is that they’re as outstanding a choice as the other mushrooms on this list. Hunters and gatherers used to feast upon them, believing they had magical powers. Even the Egyptians thought they could make them immortal which is why the pharaohs hoarded them to themselves. These days they’re easy to get, so use them in your salads, cook them in your favorite dishes, and get them on your plate any way you can.

Maitake
Keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control with this master mushroom. They’re known for their incredible cleansing powers and can help with destroying abnormal cells. Chop them into smaller pieces and use them in your cooking to protect your health and boost your immune system.

Mushrooms can do so much for your health. Learn to love them to reap the many benefits that come with making them a staple in your diet. So again, if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, check out your local Whole Foods and stroll down the vitamin aisle. You’ll find some encapsulated mushroom blends there that you can start with. Enjoy!