Fav Recipes* Brussel Sprouts

Despite them not being at the top of everyone’s grocery list, I’d have to say that brussel sprouts are one of my absolute favorite veggies. I truly believe the reason that most people feel as though they don’t like the taste of certain vegetables, like brussel sprouts, are because they’re not preparing them properly. I see people simply steaming, and not seasoning, their vegetables and expecting them to taste as good as the meat that they spent days marinating.

In order to live a healthy and balanced life, you have to eat a certain amount of vegetables in order to get the key nutrients your body needs, such as potassium, Vitamins K and C, and, folate. Vegetables also aid in weight loss as they are naturally low in fat and calories. An easy way to partake in all of the goodness that vegetables have to offer is to preparing them in a way that makes them taste good. There are various ways to prepare vegetables such as steaming, baking or even sauteing.  And there are various ways to spruce up the taste of vegetables such as cooking with fresh garlic/onion, onion/garlic powder, sea/himalayan salt,  pepper, lemon/lime, fruits, etc.

Some of the best vegetables for you, packed with nutrients and low in calories are: broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans, green peas, kale, carrots, and, asparagus.

To help get you started on your journey to enjoying more vegetables or switching it up from your normal routine, below I’ve shared my simple yet delicious recipe for preparing a quick plate of brussel sprouts.

Brussel Sprouts Recipe:

Purchase your brussel sprouts, either frozen or fresh, clean them and cut them in half. Blanch them for 1-2 minutes. Remove the brussel sprouts, put them on a baking pan, and season with different spices such as black pepper, onion powder, use fresh garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. After mixing and evenly distributing the seasonings, place in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.

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*things to note: Though it is encouraged to purchase organic vegetables, purchasing frozen or fresh vegetables is fine.  Additionally, most recipes come with a set of suggested measurements, I do not follow that, I cook with more of a feeling than of actual measurements. ENJOY!

Stuffed Chicken and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Eating the same thing over and over again can get increasingly tiring, boring and can make cheating more likely with unhealthy more desirable foods.  This is why I always look for creative recipes for fun meals and fun snacks. It is true that we eat to nourish the body, not for pleasure, but why not enjoy healthy, tasty meals that provide the daily nutrition we need?

The meal that I just had for dinner was absolutely delicious!

I made spinach and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts with roasted brussel sprouts. I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from shows like Master Chef, which, with this meal I could be a pretty tough contender. I will describe the dish below, but I encourage everyone to add your own flare spice and use common sense for cooking times, because I pretty much winged this recipe…and it was banging!

Ingredients:

I started with organic, free range chicken breasts, 5 of them, a package of organic spinach, 8 oz low fat mozzarella cheese, package of frozen brussel sprouts and a cabinet of seasonings/oils.

Recipe:

Clean chicken first and foremost. Heat oven at 400 degrees. Get baking dish and rub with olive oil. Place cleaned chicken in dish and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, making sure to lightly coat each chicken with olive oil.

Cut small slits into the chicken and after cleaning spinach, stuff the chicken with both that and slices of mozzarella (don’t cut mozzarella too thick, if you get shredded mozzarella that works as well). Once chicken is stuffed, add oregano and more black pepper then place into oven for about 40 minutes. Make sure the chicken is no longer pink before indulging.

On a separate pan, again lightly coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add frozen brussel sprouts and sprinkle with more salt, pepper and garlic salt, making sure to coat each brussel sprout. Place in oven for same amount of time as chicken, making sure to get a brownish color from sprouts.

Once done, take out of oven and enjoy!! I was not always a fan of brussel sprouts but these were delicious to me and a great pair for the chicken!

 

Stuffed Chicken and Brussel Sprouts

I always check out Pinterest for fun and healthy recipe ideas, ranging from breakfast bakes, lettuce wraps, snacks, dinner ideas or fun detox drinks!

Storm Prep….

With the big snowpocalypse that hit the east coast/midwest of the United States a few weeks ago, I’m sure most of us went to the grocery store to stock up on necessities. But what really is a necessity? That snow storm lasted all of 2 days and people stocked up for weeks’ worth of snacks and food, and I guarantee not everyone made the best choices.

For those of us on this healthy lifestyle journey, we have to always stay prepared, even doing a storm. During last year’s historic winter, especially in Boston, I was able to really get a move on my weight loss, and a lot of people were stunned by that. During most storms people tend to binge eat or overeat and they usually are making poor choices because poor choices are an option for them.

A storm isn’t an excuse to pig out, yet an opportunity to try new healthy recipes/snacks and the best way to do that is by being prepared. If you know that you’re going to be stuck in the house, don’t even invite in the temptation! It starts at the grocery store.

Take a list of foods to the grocery and stick to that! You don’t have to buy potato chips, candy, cookies, donuts or whatever other junk food that expires months and months after what you should really be comfortable with! Instead buy nuts/seeds, rice cakes, peanut butter, fruit and veggies (don’t overdo it where you won’t eat it all in that time period), water instead of soda, soups low in sodium, popcorn or oatmeal for an example!  And along with having the right foods in your house remember to exercise restraint!

SnowStorm

 

Don’t eat just because you’re bored, remember we eat to fuel our body not to kill time, besides…you wouldn’t want to run out of food lol!

 

I’ve attached a “Clean Eating” Grocery list that you can take to the store with you, during a storm or not, just as a guideline of what smarter choices we can be making while shopping!

Clean Eating

 

Just by doing little things, such as keeping bad foods out of reach, and by practicing portion control, even doing storms, can we make a huge impact on our healthy lifestyle journeys!

 

Breakfast Bake!

Hey guys! Hope everyone is excited to get their March off to a fabulous start! With that being said…is everyone still working towards their goals?

In order to stay on track it is crucial to plan! Proper planning prevents poor performance!!! How do you properly plan a healthy lifestyle change? Say it with me people….meal prep!! I’ve talked about my meal prep in other blogs but I wanted to hit on the most important meal of the day, BREAKFAST! Normally for breakfast I will either do scrambled eggs and turkey bacon or steel coat oats and fruit but I’ve always lacked a vegetable and didn’t know how to incorporate it. (I didn’t think oatmeal, strawberries and kale would be  a good combo, you know) At work, most of us are participating in a weight loss challenge and one of the girls brought in an egg bake and it looked/smelled delicious.

I thought this would be perfect for me because I could include any vegetables that I wanted. An egg bake is basically a baked omelet! For my bake I had…


1. About 10 eggs

2. Green and red peppers (used 1 of each)

3. 1 Sweet onion (used 1/4)

4. 1 tomato (used half)

5. Fresh broccoli (used full crown)

6. 6 slices of turkey bacon


I always soak my veggie/fruit in vinegar water before using them While my veggies were being cleansed, I baked the bacon in the oven and prepared my baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. I then rinsed the veggies off and chopped them up. I placed them in the dish, the bacon on top and poured the raw eggs over top. I then popped the dish in the oven on 350 for about 25 minutes (did the good ole’ stick a fork in it if it’s done trick) and took it out to cool. I did taste a forkful and it was delicious and I will be using it for my breakfast for this upcoming week! Will probably pair with an apple/kiwi and cup of water and will have a great breakfast meal!

As far as calories, fat, or even serving size, because I didn’t follow a recipe I am not 100% sure and do not want to lie to you but look at the ingredients you’ve included…they’re all good foods so just don’t overindulge and you’ll be fine!

Also, feel free to add any other foods such as mushrooms or spinach or even take items out, use what you like! Some people include cheese on theirs, but I am trying to avoid dairy (minus eggs) so I did not!

Remember, breakfast is THE most important meal so don’t skip out on it, it should be your biggest meal! And, also you are what you eat so limit your processed foods!!

Check out my bake below as well as a pic of all of the veggies I used.

girls with goodsbeginning breakfast bake

My love for Italian Food

If you’re like me, you love all of the food that your body doesn’t love so much. I love any type of pasta, pizza or bread and instead of limiting myself I realize that things are okay in moderation and okay if you use the right ingredients. Lately I have really been wanting pizza but even on my cheat days I hate eating pizza from your local shop or a Dominos/Pizza Hut. I looked on the website that I’ve previously shared http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pepperoni-onion-olive-pizza and found a relatively healthy pizza recipe. It is very common that people go on diets or cleanses and lose weight then immediately gain it back because they cut out all of the bad foods for a small period of time and went right back to eating it. For this reason I found it to be extremely important to find a way to still enjoy the foods that I love without compromising my commitment to a healthier lifestyle, besides you don’t want to torture yourself and its never good to completely cut out an essential food group.

I went to my local grocery store and found whole wheat dough with only 140 calories, 2.5g of fat, 2g of sugar and 240 mg of sodium. It was a generic brand and was on sale for 1.00. I used Francesco Rinaldi Traditional pasta sauce with no salt added (70 calories, 2.5g of fat, 40mg of sodium and 6g of sugar) and it was 1.50 and you can use this again because the can is so big. I sliced up part of an onion I already had. I bought a small green pepper, it was .69 cents, and used the whole thing. I also bought mozzarella cheese, which was 2.89 and made with skim milk instead of whole. ( 80 calories, 6g fat,170 mg sodium). The total sodium count is higher than I would have liked but I did not use much of either of the cheese or sauce. I also used minimal garlic salt, basil and pepper to season the pizza dough and sauce. And as a side I had a garden salad with balsamic vinegar. It was a very good lunch and there are left overs!!

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I set the oven to 450 while I prepped the pizza. Then, just spread the dough out , put olive oil on the pan first, and put olive oil on the actual dough. I pushed the middle down to make the crust stick out a little more. Spread the sauce in the middle and added the onions, peppers and cheese. I sprinkled basil, garlic salt and pepper before the peppers and onions. I then stuck it in the oven for 20 min on 450 degrees!

Hope everyone sees that you don’t necessarily have to give up your favorite foods, just eat in moderation…and with that being in said if you don’t believe me check out this article about two twins who each did extreme diets. One twin gave up sugar and the other gave up fat, please read about how these diets effected them and their bodies right here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2546975/One-twin-gave-sugar-gave-fat-Their-experiment-change-YOUR-life.html.

Does anyone have any foods that they absolutely love and found healthier substitutes for?

before cooking

done

ingredients

New Recipes!!!

With the New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions, new people in the gym and NEW RECIPES!!

I must admit that I love good tasting food and love to find good tasting food that is also good for you and one of my resolutions was to do just that. I asked around and did some research myself and found a site that had all different kinds of recipes that I was instantly excited to try.

The first recipe that I tried was jerk-style chicken. Chicken is my go to protein because its inexpensive and super easy to cook!

Here is a link to the website that I found this recipe and many more on http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/jerk-style-chicken !

With my jerk chicken I made whole grain rice and green beans giving me a meal under 350 calories! (See pic below)

Another website that I absolutely love is http://www.skinnytaste.com/ !!!
Do you guys have any websites or recipes that you really love? Comment below!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Importance of Meal Prepping

One thing I’ve noticed is that when I am not eating the way I should be eating, no matter how hard or how much I work out…I don’t lose any weight. While in school it was very hard to get myself to eat healthy or to even eat regularly, being a working adult, I can also see running into this problem. This made it very important for me to properly plan out my week with what food I would be eating, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Being that I live alone I go grocery shopping every week and buy only what I need for that week, especially because I buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. I started following different Instagram accounts and pinning things on pinterest that talked about “meal prepping” so I could get a better understanding of what to do and what not to do. After all, meal prepping a bunch of foods that aren’t very good for you doesn’t help you at all. I looked into what food groups you needed to eat and what you could go without and I also was aware of what budget I wanted to stay in, fresh food is definitely costly but worth it.

Two of my favorite and very simple meal prepping meals are :

1. Baked chicken, broccoli, and roasted potatoes.
2. Homemade turkey burgers, sweet potato fries and string beans.

The most important thing is to have a balanced meal and to watch your portions. Also be sure to make enough food for the whole week! Some weeks I’ll do salmon for the beginning of the week and do chicken for the end!

For breakfast I’ll do different things such as oatmeal, whole grain cereal or turkey bacon and two scrambled eggs. If I do ever eat bread it is whole grain!

For snacks, I’ll have peanut butter with either a rice cake, apple, crackers, or celery stick. I’ll also do greek yogurt some days! For those with a sweet tooth I’ve found that freezing grapes is a good way to avoid eating candy!

These are just some examples of the meals that I have, I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again but I know that a lot of people can’t do that without getting bored!

A good piece of advice that I’ve gotten was to remember why you are eating, because you are actually hungry and need to give your body nutrients/energy….not because you are bored or because something tastes good, or even if you are just craving sweets! Eat with a purpose and eat smart.

Some of the IG pages that I follow are @Meal @fitnessdishes @gymexcercises and @6packexercises !

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