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Kick “DIET” to the curb

 Although we know more today about food and how it affects our daily life the typical American diet continues to be high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Not to mention low in many nutrients.

Living a whole and healthy life doesn’t have to be full of bland foods, deprivation or a rigid  diet.

Living a whole and healthy life doesn't have to be full of bland foods, deprivation or a rigid… Click To Tweet Truth is, there is no one size fits all eating plan. Click To Tweet

Truth is, there is no one size fits all eating plan.


The key is starting with a healthy diet will lead you to a lifestyle that blooms like a flower in spring. Cheesy I know but I had to do it. 😉

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start your journey.

1. Find your groove.

I love food prep and having a variety of foods ready in a flash stored in the freezer. Some swear by the slow cooker and others the microwave.

Focus of identifying a healthy way to cook and eat and flourish.

You don’t have to stick to six meals a day if you prefer a larger sit-down family style meal.

Be prepared for your kryptonite. If you are a sucker for pretzels and tend to eat more than your fair share. Try buying snack size baggies and portion out a serving size.

Aim for small changes. These are easier to stick to long term.

Eating just 200 fewer calories a day can result in 20-pounds of weight loss in a year.

2. Spice up your fruit and veggies 

Many times when we try out a new recipe meat is the focus and then we serve a plain salad with store bought salad dressing on the side.

Try roasting your broccoli and sprinkling with Parmesan cheese or sautéing spinach with garlic and olive oil. For dessert try broiling peaches and drizzling with a cinnamon honey syrup.

3. Meatless Monday?

The cornerstones of a healthy diet include whole grains, nuts, seeds, no starchy vegetables and fruits rather than meat.

Whole grains provide a sufficient amount of fiber and benefit the digestive system which helps you feel fuller. They also contain B vitamins which boost energy and gives your metabolism a boost.

Nuts and seeds provide nutrients like vitamin E found in almonds and sunflower seeds.

Legumes provide fiber, protein, iron, folate and other beneficial nutrients. Replacing meat with beans and lentils as a protein source is a great way to reduce saturated fat intake.

Add black beans or kidney beans to soup, chili or pasta.

1 1/2 ounces of sunflower seeds to salad

2 ounces of almonds as a mid day snack

4.   Watch portions 

If managing portions is a struggle for you try eating on a smaller plate or large saucer.

My biggest challenge is going out to eat. Portions are huge and tend to be high in fats and sodium.

When dining out consider sharing an entree and dessert.

Click here for a portion control size guide.

5.  Steer clear of liquid calories

Drinks don’t fill you up the way food does. Consider haveing fun with plain old water and jazzing it up a bit with fruit and herbs.

  • Strawberries & Mint
  • Cucumbers & Lemon
  • Apple slices, Cinnamon & Ginger

You may also try these options with mineral water as well for an extra fizz.

Quick Tip:  To figure a good amount of water to drink daily you can work this equation

Current Weight / 2 = Amount of water to drink daily in ounces

150/2= 75 ounces of water daily

6.  Reduce packaged foods and pay attention to labels

I am sure you have heard that the perimeter of the store is the best place to shop.  Fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables are usually sold there.  Highly processed foods are usually found in the center aisles.

A high percentage of the sodium, trans fats and added sugar Americans eat are found in the center aisles of the supermarket in the packaged foods.

If you have a favorite item that lives in the center aisle find a way to make it at home.

Regardless of the ingredients and steps, it takes to make it at home, you will definitely be healthier for doing so.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and how you maintian a healthy lifestyle.

Until next time.

Be blessed

 

 

 

Lemon Pistachio Date Bites

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I can honestly say I began baking because of my severe sweet tooth.  After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I knew I needed to get a handle on my sweet tooth if I wanted to successfully manage lupus without medication.

I love experimenting in the kitchen and finding healthy ways to curb my love of sweets.  This recipe hit the mark perfectly and takes a few minutes to prepare.

Pistachio nuts are a great source of vitamin B6 which aids blood health and the nervous system Click To Tweet

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup pistachios

12-14 Medjool dates

Zest of one lemon

Tsp vanilla

1-2 drops food grade lemon essential oil (I used DoTerra)

3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Juice of one orange or water 2-3 tablespoons

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Directions

Add 1 cup pistachios, Medjool dates, lemon zest and lemon essential in processor.

Blend until smooth.

Scoop out with teaspoon and roll into balls

When done place 1/4 cup pistachios and shredded coconut into processor and pulse till blended and combined 5-6 times.

Place coconut mixture into the bowl.

Place orange juice or water into a bowl.

Drop one of the bites into the orange juice roll around and then drop it into the coconut mixture using a fork to press onto the bite.

Place bites onto a plate or sealable container.

 



  

5.0 from 4 reviews
Lemon Pistachio Date Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Sweet Treat
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
The perfect healthy treat to curb your raging sweet tooth.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup pistachios
  • 12-14 Medjool dates
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 drops food grade lemon essential oil (I used DoTerra)
  • 3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • Juice of one orange or water 2-3 tablespoons
Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup pistachios, Medjool dates, lemon zest and lemon essential in processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Scoop out with teaspoon and roll into balls
  4. When done place ¼ cup pistachios and shredded coconut into processor and pulse till blended and combined 5-6 times.
  5. Place coconut mixture into the bowl.
  6. Place orange juice or water into a bowl.
  7. Drop one of the bites into the orange juice roll around and then drop it into the coconut mixture using a fork to press onto the bite.
  8. Place bites onto a plate or sealable container.

Mini Dutch Apple Pie


We are trying out a new dinner routine this year.  You see, the moment the kids walk through the door after school they want to devour everything in the kitchen.

Am I alone on this.  I have no clue what they are doing at school to get such ravenous appetites when they get home.

My husband normally does not get home until 7-7:30.


So I have devised a new dinner plan, and so far it seems to be working.

As soon as the kids get home they begin their Acts of Service while if finish up dinner.

We then sit down to dinner and catch up on what happened during the day.  I love this because they are still so amped up from school the conversation is animated and hilarious.  Even my 15-year-old chimes in happily. :0

After dinner, the kids start homework and prepare for the next day of school.

When my husband gets home, he usually eats dinner alone or while everyone is getting ready for bed.  Now we sit at the table with him while he has dinner and play what we call “Dinner Games.”

We have a different game for every day.  Tonight we had to create a sentence using the same letter of the alphabet throughout.  My sentence was “Busy Bees Bite Big Booties.”

We then enjoy a simple dessert as a family.

I love the portions of this dessert because the triplets like asking for seconds and thirds.  This allows me to say, “You already had your piece.”

These provided the perfect ending to the day.  Simple and delicious.


Ingredients

Filling:

2 (9 inch) pie shells (I use immaculate baking when I am in a bind, or you can use this recipe (my favorite 😉

5 apples – peeled, cored and diced

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

 

Crumble:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup butter

 


Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut pie crust to fit bottom of 6 ramekins

Lightly oil ramekins and place pie crust in the bottom, set ramekins in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl add apples, 2 tablespoons of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and zest.

Mix apples until evenly coated.

Place 1 cup of apple mixture into individual ramekins.

Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.

 

While pies are baking, prepare the crumble topping

In a medium bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and oats.  Mix well and then cut in butter until mixture well combined.

Remove filling from oven and sprinkle the crumble on top.

Turn down oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes.  Crumble should be brown and apple tender.

Enjoy

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mini Dutch Apple Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
 
Simple Mini Dutch Apple Pie that will have the whole family happy.
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 2 (9 inch) pie shells (I use immaculate baking when I am in a bind or you can use this recipe. http://simmerandboil.cookinglight.com/2015/12/22/homemade-pie-crust/
  • 5 apples - peeled, cored and diced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Crumble:
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut pie crust to fit bottom of 6 ramekins
  3. Lightly oil ramekins and place pie crust in the bottom, set ramekins in the refrigerator
  4. In a large bowl add apples, 2 tablespoons of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and zest.
  5. Mix apples until evenly coated.
  6. Place 1 cup of apple mixture into individual ramekins.
  7. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.
  8. While pies are baking, prepare the crumble topping
  9. In a medium bowl combine ¾ cup flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and oats. Mix well and then cut in butter until mixture well combined.
  10. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle the crumble on top.
  11. Turn down oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. Crumble should be brown and apple tender.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Lettuce Tacos

  

I love a great taco. It took me a while to accept the lettuce taco, but I have come a long way. 

This taco is my favorite. It is our favorite “Meatless Monday” meal. 


I would love to hear your thoughts. ❤️❤️❤️

Ingredients

6 Sweet Potatoes peeled and chopped

1/4 Olive Oil plus 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup grass fed butter plus 1 tablespoon 

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup Sriracha 

1 onion chopped

1 red bell pepper seeded and diced

1 yellow bell pepper seeded and diced 

1 cup quinoa (prepared according to directions)

2 heads romaine lettuce

   
   
Directions 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Place potatoes in pan sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

Add Sriracha and stir into potatoes. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. 

Increase oven heat to 500 degrees F and bake additional 10-15 minutes, until brown and crisp. 

  
While potatoes are baking sauté onions and bell peppers 

In a hot saucepan over a medium heat, combine peppers, onion, oil and butter; saute for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers soften.

Fill lettuce leaves with prepared quinoa and sweet potato. Top with sautéed onion and bell pepper. 

Enjoy. 😀

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