All Posts Tagged ‘healthy

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Quick (Car) Lunches

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that I post photos of my “car lunches” often. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I drop my daughter off at preschool at noon, then head to the gym, put my son in the daycare they offer, workout, pick him up, drive back to preschool for pickup and quickly eat my post workout lunch in the car while we wait for my daughter. Not ideal. Not even close. I firmly believe in sitting down to eat and enjoying it slowly. But I’d rather eat food in the car then not at all, right? And from what I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo, that post workout meal needs to be eaten pretty quickly after exercise. (To be clear, I eat a bit before I leave to drop my daughter off as well. This post workout meal is in addition to a light lunch beforehand.)

Based on the simplest version of the formula I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo and Whole9, my post workout lunches consist of protein + carbs. Make sure you read the whole post on post workout fuel here.

Pictured above is a sample meal that I mix up depending on what produce is on sale each week. In the photo is a grass fed steak from our 1/4 cow share, butternut squash (kept cubed and frozen in the freezer for quick frying), yellow pepper, kiwi, pear and pumpkin seeds on organic mixed greens. Protein (steak) + carbs (butternut squash). The rest (fruit and greens) just fills out my meal and adds extra nutrients.

Other combinations that I enjoy post workout:

Chicken breast, sweet potato, strawberries, bell peppers, mixed greens.

Steak, grape tomatoes, butternut squash, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, mixed greens.

Chicken breast, red cabbage, sweet potato, spinach, peppers.

Salmon, cauliflower rice, peppers, jalapeño, red peppers, mango, spinach, micro greens, coconut milk.

Chorizo sausage, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, apple.

Soft boiled eggs, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.

Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, veggies and Italian sausage.

Tips:

  1. I defrost the meat I am planning on using the night before in a ziplock bag in the fridge. For the steak, I usually marinade it in the bag with lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. For the chicken, I do combos of balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, or just plain salt and pepper. For the salmon, lemon juice and chili powder.
  2. When prepping your meat, always double or triple the amount for lunches that week. No one has time to prep and cook one single steak or chicken breast at a time, ha!
  3. I keep it simple. IF I use dressing (rarely because I’m lazy!), it’s a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If I’m feeling adventurous or have extra time to spare, I’ll mix up some Sunshine Sauce from Mel Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
  4. Invest in a thermos or some sort of container to keep your food hot. I LOVE coming out of the gym and getting to enjoy hot food like spaghetti squash. I’ve found it even works well for soft boiled eggs, which really surprised me.
  5. Use frozen, cubed butternut squash and sweet potato/yams. I promise that in this case it is worth the money and your time. I save so much time not having to peel and chop them!

I know what you’re probably thinking…why don’t I just drink a protein shake instead? It’s so much quicker and easier. There’s a lot of reasons, and I’m not judging those who do use shakes (but seriously, lets talk about it over coffee another day), but at this point in my life, the extra few minutes it takes for me to throw together these lunches is so worth it to me. I make sure that my schedule leaves time for this because it is important to me. I DO realize that someday my life may change, and I may feel like I don’t have the extra minutes to do this, but for now, I’m making it work. Also, this food tastes amazing after the gym. They’re full of flavour. I get to actually CHEW them, which is exciting to me. My children look at what I’m eating and ask all sorts of questions about it. This is a lifestyle of preparing and cooking healthy food that is sustainable for the rest of my life. There are zero sweeteners in these meals. (All Whole30 approved, in case you were wondering!) Basically, I feel great when I fuel my body this way.

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Chicken and strawberry salad with Sunshine Sauce

 

Leave a comment with some of your favourite combos – I’d love to try them out!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Favourites – Week 4

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Whole30 is complete! As usual, I’m already looking ahead and planning to do another one. It’s funny how that works. You start to feel so good that you can’t wait to do it again.

This round, I learned that white potatoes make me feel exhausted immediately after I eat them. I had become suspicious of this over the past couple of months, so I tested it out over the first week and it’s definitely a problem. So I stuck with sweet potatoes and yams for the rest of the month and had no issues there.

Here are a few of my favourites from this past week.

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Top left: BBQ Chicken Skewers! These were so delicious. I combined a few different Whole30 bbq sauces to make my own sauce: 3oz tomato paste, 1tbsp orange juice, 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1 teaspoon salt. I cut 2 chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and marinated them in the bbq sauce for about 45 minutes. I chopped bell peppers and pineapple into 1 inch chunks, added grape tomatoes, and tossed them in coconut oil and South African Smoke seasoning from Trader Joes. Then I put everything on skewers and baked them in the oven (in better weather I would of course use the outdoor bbq) at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. I had them plain last night, but will be eating the leftovers on salad later today.

Top right: This was a car lunch again. The night before I marinated a grass fed beef inside round steak in lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. In the morning I quickly pan fried it and added it to mixed greens, grape tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, and yams.

Bottom left: Car lunch again. Stop judging me! My current schedule has me eating lunch in the car 3x a week, but it’s better than no lunch at all. This was a really simple leftover breakfast of chorizo sausage, yams and apple. I always find this hearty meal so comforting.

Bottom right: Pork side ribs from our 1/2 hog in our freezer. I put them in the crockpot, covered them in this Whole30 bbq sauce, and let them cook all day on low. They were awesome! We had them with my favourite yam dish again and salad. I was pumped to find a great Whole30 bbq sauce! I’ll be using this one again for sure.

I hope my recipe sharing has been helpful for you, and I hope it has helped you realize that Whole30 doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. I also hope my recipe links have pointed you in the direction of other awesome food bloggers. There are so many great resources out there!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Week 3 – Favourites

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Hard to believe I’m on day 21! Here are some of my favourites from this week.

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Top left: Car lunch again – leftover baked chicken (rubbed with Turkey Rub seasoning from Epicure), butternut squash, pear, raspberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. It was a perfect post workout meal!

Top middle: Soft boiled eggs, avocado, and some leftover Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo. 

Top right: Car lunch – chicken baked in paprika, garlic, oregano and salt with pan fried sweet potatoes, butternut squash and peppers with paprika, chipotle powder, garlic and salt. So good and so filling post workout.

Bottom left: Absolutely delicious Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo, with a simple salad and my new favourite: Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash by Popular Paleo. I want to eat these mashed yams every day! The Puerto Pibil made so many leftovers, which now makes it one of my favourite meals.

Bottom middle: One of my favourite salmon recipes by Melissa Joulwan, which I realized after is not available on her blog, sorry! Go buy her cookbooks Well Fed 1 and 2. We had it with yam fries, broccoli and cauliflower.

Bottom right: This is my go to, lazy, last minute dinner. Ground beef with taco seasoning (really just unmeasured amounts of paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt) with peppers, avocado, tomatoes and other random veggies on mixed greens. It’s sorta like a taco salad.

One week left! Wish me luck.

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Healthy Holiday Tips

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Every Wednesday morning I lead a walking/running class at Breakaway, a program that runs out of North Langley Community Church. For this week I’ve been asked to speak for about 5 minutes to the collective group of women and give them some fun and light healthy holiday tips.

I met with my sidekicks Jessica and Sheena and we came up with 5 simple tips for staying on track during the holiday season, and they encouraged me to share them on this blog as well, so here you go (the long version)…

  1. WATER. Don’t forget to drink it. ‘Tis the season of hot drinks – and usually these drinks are full of sugar, dairy and alcohol. It feels natural and instinctive to drive through the Starbucks drive through a few extra times during the Christmas season, and to almost always have a red cup in hand while grocery shopping or running errands. I’m not against the occasional fancy Christmas drink and I’m certainly not against coffee, but I am strongly against mindless, excessive consumption. My advice is this: pay attention to how much you are consuming. Choose consciously. Enjoy every sip, but enjoy less of it. A cup of coffee when you wake up in the morning is fine, but you don’t need one every time you leave the house, or every time you sit down to relax, and you don’t need 4 glasses of wine at the Christmas party. One will do. If and when your hand feels empty (I’ve noticed that for many people, it just feels natural to be holding a drink in their hand), replace those extra drinks with WATER. Water is your friend! Try it with lemon or fruit in it. If you want something hot, try herbal tea. Keep flushing out all that extra sugar and caffeine that most people ingest during the holidays by drinking water, water, and more water.
  2. SLEEP. More than water, sleep is your best friend. It’s healing and restorative in so many ways. It’s essential for full enjoyment of the holiday season. Aim for 8-10 hours on as many nights as you possibly can. If you start to feel sickness coming on, rest and sleep as much as you can. Sleep heals. Moms with young children and those who struggle with insomnia – just do the best you can. About an hour before you want to fall asleep, turn down the lights in your home. Put away your phone and laptop, and make sure there are no lights on in your bedroom, including computers or digital clocks.
  3. JUST ONE BITE is okay. This one is something that Jessica mentioned she learned while doing her Whole30 challenge. She explained that the permission to STOP eating something if you don’t like it really made a difference. For example, if you’re at a Christmas party and you fill your plate with Christmas goodies. and then take a bite of something and don’t like it, you don’t have to finish it. For some of us, this can be revolutionary. Give it to your partner, or throw it out. Don’t finish it just for the sake of finishing it. Let it go. Eat something if you really enjoy it, and don’t eat it if you don’t enjoy it. Sounds simple, but next time you’re at a party, be mindful of what you’re tasting and see how often you eat something even if you don’t really enjoy it. It happens more often than we think!
  4. CROWD OUT. One of the first techniques I discuss with clients is the “crowding out” rule. When you fill your plate during a meal, start with the healthy options. Fill your plate with protein, vegetables and fruit FIRST. Eat what’s on your plate, and then decide if you need or want anything else. Crowd out the less healthy food with healthy food. The more you fill your stomach with nutrient dense, filling food, the less space there is for empty, useless food.
  5. MOVE. Move your body as often as you can, in as many ways as you can. Find a way that you like to move your body: dancing, running, walking, hiking, yoga, etc. The possibilities are endless. Think outside the box! Jessica and Sheena had the cute and clever idea of making up short, effective workouts to do while your Christmas baking is in the oven. A quick scan on Pinterest led to these, and there are many more ideas out there.

A favourite fun exercise that the three of us love is called the Squatty Potty. Make a pact with a couple of friends to do the Squatty Potty challenge for a full week. The challenge is to do 10 (or more!) squats every time you use the washroom. It’s silly and light hearted, but a good way to get moving. Every little bit helps!

Take care and enjoy this wonderful Christmas season with your friends and family.

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Brussels Sprouts + Potatoes + Eggs

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If you follow my blog then you know by now that I eat weird things for breakfast, including brussels sprouts. Roll with it. And try it!

This recipe is relatively quick, filling and delicious. We especially love having this breakfast right before a hike, like we did this past week.

She asked for 5 eggs; we settled on 3.

She asked for 5 eggs; we settled on 3.

Hiking Mount Seymour

Hiking Mount Seymour

charleyhike

Make this recipe quicker by doubling or tripling the potatoes and brussels sprouts so you can reheat them throughout the week. The following recipe serves 2 very hungry people, and is Whole30 approved.

Ingredients

2 cups diced golden or red potatoes

2 cups halved brussels sprouts

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp arrowroot powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

salt and pepper, to taste

4-6 eggs (2 or 3 per person)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes in 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil.
  2. Add the paprika, arrowroot powder and salt, and toss again until the potatoes are evenly coated.
  3. Heat a large pan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts and stir in the pan to combine. Continue to fry the potatoes and brussels sprouts for approximately 10 more minutes, or until potatoes start to crisp and cook through. Be sure to stir every few minutes.
  5. When the potatoes and brussels sprouts are almost finished cooking, prepare your eggs. My favourite way to eat them is poached, on top of the potatoes and brussels sprouts. (For instructions on how to poach an egg, click here.)
  6. Serve your potatoes and brussels sprouts in a bowl or on a plate, with your eggs. Enjoy!
Ta da!

Ta da!

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Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent any extra time creating new things in the kitchen. To be honest, recipe creating is not my jam. I only started cooking from scratch a couple of years ago and I’m much more comfortable following recipes from some of my favourite cookbooks and blogs.

This recipe was born from a lack of proper meal planning leading to a lack of ingredients. I was aiming for this recipe (which I’ve heard is absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it once I’ve collected the ingredients), but ended up doing the following:

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

3-4 lb pastured pork roast

1 cup beef bone broth

1 jar salsa verde

4 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tsp oregano

For the cauliflower rice:

2 heads cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp dried cilantro

Salt

Butter lettuce or preferred lettuce for wraps

Directions

For the pulled pork:

1) Rub the roast with the garlic, cilantro, oregano, and salt.

2) Place the roast in crockpot with the beef bone broth, and then pour approximately 3/4 of the jar of salsa verde on top of the roast. (Reserve the rest of the salsa for topping off the wraps.)

3) Cook the pork in the crockpot on the low setting for 24 hours.

4) After 24 hours, remove the roast from the crockpot and shred it with two forks.

For the cauliflower rice:

4) Grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or pulse in food processor until it resembles grains of rice.

5) Heat the coconut coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.

6) Add the cauliflower to the pan, with the dried cilantro and salt. Fry it on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until it begins to get slightly crisp on the outside. Remove from heat.

For the wraps:

7) Wash and dry lettuce leaves. I like using butter lettuce or even cabbage leaves for extra crunch.

8) Fill lettuce leaves with cauliflower rice, pulled pork, and a dab of salsa verde on top.

Enjoy!

There's no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious.

There’s no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious. Trust me.

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Roasted Kohlrabi

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One of my favourite things about being part of a Community Supported Agriculture program is that it forces us to try new vegetables that we’ve never seen or tasted before. Last year we got some kohlrabi in our box and I had no idea what it was, and no idea how to cook it. I’ve experimented since then and it has now become one of my favourite veggies. After googling the health benefits of it and finding all good things, it has now become a regular vegetable in our house. Click HERE to read about the benefits.

No surprise, my favourite way to eat it is oven roasted. I like to mix it in with potatoes and a few other veggies to create a nice medley of flavours.

Ingredients:

-1 kohlrabi, peeled and stems/leaves removed

-2 potatoes (sweet potatoes work well also)

-1 large bell pepper

-2 cloves of garlic, diced small

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 tbsp coconut oil, approximately

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2) Rinse and chop the kohlrabi, potatoes and pepper into 1 inch chunks.

3) Toss in a bowl with the garlic and coconut oil. Spread the mixture evenly onto a lined baking sheet.

4) Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until kohlrabi and potatoes are lightly browned.

Enjoy!