How to Sneak Greens Into Your Meals Without Noticing

Leafy greens are chock full of vitamins and minerals that our body needs, especially nutrients such as Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. For that reason, getting at least a cup of greens every single day is vital. There are many options when it comes to leafy greens and many ways to sneak them into your meals without hardly being able to notice.

When finding the right kind of greens, the primary focus that you have to consider is oxalates. Oxalates are particles in the food that prevent the absorption of certain nutrients, such as calcium. These can be troublesome in high amounts, so it is best to eat as little as possible and in moderation.

So as a result, you could stick with collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. These are low in oxalates, and thus have more usable calcium as opposed to greens such as spinach. By no means kick spinach to the curb, but do make sure you don’t overdo it
on spinach alone.

A great way to eat greens is to cut them into smaller pieces and add them to soups and stir-fries. This is a great way to incorporate them into your meals, not only because you will barely notice them if you aren’t a huge fan of greens, but also because by doing this, you will inevitably be eating a lot of other vegetables too. Soups and stir-fries tend to be full of delicious and nutritious veggies.

Another way that a lot of people utilize greens is in smoothies. Adding a cup of greens to your smoothie will not compromise taste, and adds an extra punch of nutritional value. Also, if you add darker berries to the mix, you will never even know any greens are in there.

And of course, salads. Enjoy a salad alongside your meal as often as possible to get your leafy greens for the day.

Eating greens is not tough to do, even if you dislike the taste or texture of greens. By utilizing a few easy tips, you will be able to enjoy all of the benefits that you get from greens, without having to worry about that taste or texture.

Did you know that eating simple foods can reduce your stress levels?  What do I mean by simple foods?  Healthy, whole foods that aren’t processed or filled with chemicals.  Generally, these foods are going to be found on the perimeter of your supermarket, you’ll hardly need to venture into the middle aisles at all.

Think about how much time you’ll save not looking up recipes, spending hours trying new recipes out in the kitchen, and all the extra food prep that comes along with it.  Stick to simple ingredients, meals with no more than six ingredients and see how much easier your meals become.

What’s your staple go-to recipe?  I know we all have one or a handful of recipes that we could make with our eyes closed.  These are always our back up plan when we have no idea what’s for dinner, and we want to avoid takeout.  What’s that for you?

I’d love to hear, and I’m sure others would enjoy reading the responses below to gain ideas themselves.  So let me know what your tried-and-true go-to recipes.

I like soup and salad or soup and sandwiches.

Navigating the kitchen without a plan is a recipe for disaster.

There’s an immense level of stress associated with not planning your meals for the week, especially if you’re cooking for more than just yourself.

Planning your meals for the week is an incredible way to take a load of stress off and make sure you’re eating healthy food consistently.  Planning takes the guesswork out of what to cook, what to eat, and what to buy at the grocery store.

An easy way to create a meal schedule for the week is to have a chunk of recipes you switch up weekly to avoid boredom.  You can choose the menu for the week together as a family, even, to include them in the decisions.

 

Foods That Fill Your Energy Reserves

Reaching for the coffee is something we’re accustomed to doing when we need a boost of energy. Instead of reaching for a quick boost, that comes with a crash soon after, let the foods you eat fuel your energy naturally. By choosing the right foods and adding them to your daily routines, you can pump up the power to conquer anything that comes your way. Here are some of my favorite energy boosting foods for the next time you’re feeling sluggish.

Quinoa. The hard-to-pronounce ancient grain is a fabulous source of proteins and amino acids, along with plenty of other stuff too. Because it’s so dense with nutrients, this kind carb is ideal for upholding high energy levels for longer.

Tuna. Scoop out the inside of a cucumber sliced lengthwise for a carb-less “bun” and stuff it with tuna fish. It makes a satisfying lunch that will beat that mid-day slump so you can trudge on through the rest of your day without defeat.

Lentils and beans. An economical way to boost your energy is with lentils and beans. They each have tons of fiber which keep your blood sugar levels steady, ideal for maintaining energy all day long.

Oranges. With plenty of vitamin C, oranges are a smart choice for boosting immunity and for increasing energy too. Have them with lunch before returning to work, and you’ll feel even-keeled all afternoon.

Nuts. Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and even natural peanut butter contain the nutrients and essential fats you need, along with protein too. They make a great on-the-go snack that provides a satisfying crunch anytime you need a bite.

Spinach. Spinach is rich in amino acids that will keep you going all day long. Spinach is also an easy food to add to almost any recipe, so sneak it in as much as possible.

Dark chocolate. And finally, let’s end on a sweet note. Real dark chocolate with at least 80% cacao is a mega-energy booster. Savor a square of the good stuff, and you’ll be good to go. Plus, you’ll satisfy that sweet tooth all in one fell swoop.

Start adding these foods to your meals and see how more energetic you feel.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve dreadingly prolonged going to the grocery store because I didn’t want to look up recipes, make a shopping list, cook things I’d never cooked before, and therefore didn’t feel confident cooking.

That’s the perfect recipe for take-out, right?

Until I finally learned my lesson, and it’s been easy sailing since…

Instead of focusing on recipes, I focus on foods.

What foods would you like to eat in the coming days?

Think about what’s in season, readily available and fresh.

Make a list of a handful of vegetables you’d like to eat in the coming week, along with a few fruits that are making your mouth water thinking about.

Go from there and create recipes with your ingredients, instead of the other way around.  Eating healthy can (and is, in my house) absolutely simple.  Recipe free, even.

Do you get caught up on recipes, too, like I did?

How do you navigate this each week?

No bake cookie balls

Have you ever tried these fast, minimal ingredient cookie balls you can make in mere minutes without the help of an oven?  You can even choose your ingredients wisely and use them as healthy energy balls.

A favorite quick & simple no bake cookie ball recipe is:

  • 1/2 cup of Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix ingredients using a food processor, starting with the dates first.  Add nuts after dates are processed, adding the rest of your ingredients to blend together.

Roll into balls and refrigerate until chilled.

These are the perfect snacks when you want a bite to eat, and they even work well for your 3pm pick-up.

Feel free to add more ingredients that you’d enjoy, such as coconut flakes or dark chocolate chips.  No bake cookie balls are so simple to make, it’s hard to mess them up.  So experiment and find what YOUR favorite no bake cookie/energy ball recipe is.

So, what’s your favorite type of cookie?  And how do you think you could create a no bake cookie version of it?

Do you struggle with figuring out what to cook for dinner, too?

You just worked all day, and instead of looking forward to going home to relax… you’re dreading the commute home because you have no idea what you’re feeding your crew for dinner.

Sound familiar?

You have enough on your plate — you shouldn’t have to worry what you’re going to put on everyone else’s plate, too.  Here are a few quick meals with minimal prep time.  Enjoy!

  1. Stuffed Sweet Potato Bar. Bake sweet potatoes and leave out all the toppings you have on hand to create your own baked sweet potato bar.
  2. Open face Avocado sandwich & soup. Add your favorite toppings on a slice of bread with smashed avocado.  Tomato and red onion would be yummy.  Pair with your favorite soup — you can even pick this up from the hot bar at the store already made.
  3. Flatbread on pita and salad. Take personal pan pizzas to a healthier level with these simple flatbreads on a pita.  Pair with a small side salad — simple and delicious!

What’d you have for dinner last night?  Inspire me!

Health Benefits of Your Favorite Holiday Spices and Seasonings

It’s true that the holidays have earned a bad reputation for unhealthy eating. However, used appropriately, the seasonings and spices you turn to for flavoring your dishes have some incredible health benefits. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cinnamon. The smell of it instantly conjures up images of the holidays with snowy hills and cozy times by the fireplace. It’s warm and spicy and is terrific in your cookies and other holiday treats. In ancient times, it was used to help with indigestion, and it’s been shown to have incredible anti-inflammatory effects.

Rosemary. The heavenly scent and sublime flavor of rosemary is a lovely addition to any dish. Rosemary is excellent for helping quell indigestion, as well. It also has antioxidants, which helps chase away those meddlesome free radicals.

Peppermint. Ah, is there anything more refreshing than peppermint in your hot cocoa? It too is rich in antioxidants, making it another winning
herb to keep on hand.

Ginger. In Asian cultures, ginger was used in the creation of just about every single dish. It can cleanse the body, relieve nausea and boost the
appetite. During the holidays, powdered ginger is used in soups, cookies, cakes, and salad dressings too.

Nutmeg. Warming and soothing, just like cinnamon, nutmeg is added to tons of savory dishes as well as your beloved pumpkin pie. It has a calming property to it which might explain why we feel so relaxed after eating foods that are seasoned with nutmeg.

Cloves. Earthy, warm, and sweet, cloves impart an interesting flavor to everything from savory dishes to sweets. They have lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Are you getting ready to cook and bake for the holidays? Which of these spices is your favorite to use?

Do you struggle with sleep?  Sometimes no matter how much we dream of a good night’s sleep, our bodies have other plans.

I’m sure you are well aware of what NOT to drink to disrupt your sleep… like a big, hot, delicious cup of coffee.

But do you know what you SHOULD drink to help you catch some Zzz’s?

Here are some of my favorite drinks that are helpful for drifting off to sleep:

– Sleepytime Tea.  There are many different brands to choose from that you can find at any grocery store, so pick one up and give it a try.

– Golden milk.  It’s also great for your health overall, too!  Golden milk is so versatile and can be easily made vegan by using plant-based choices.

– Tart Cherry Juice.  Naturally a source of melatonin which helps promote healthy sleep.

– Magnesium.  Helps to promote great sleep, and is also helpful for digestion.

So tell me, what do you do to get a great night’s sleep?!