Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Easy Healthy Lunch: Salad Bags!

Coming up with healthy and quick lunch ideas can sometimes be a pain in the butt.  After my new pledge to incorporate more raw foods into my meals, I decided that the best option for lunches is an obvious one: salads!

However, I am almost always on the go around lunch time, and salads aren’t exactly the simplest thing to whip up when you’re in a hurry.  There’s way too much chopping involved!  Not to mention, how am I supposed to know what to put in it?

Problem solved, friends!

Most people do their grocery shopping on Sunday.  If you do, then this will work out perfectly for ya!  If you don’t, try to make a trip before the busy week begins, just to pick up essential produce items.

Step 1: Choose a base.

-This could be Romaine, Spring Mix, Butter Lettuce, or shredded cabbage…it’s up to you!

Step 2: Choose your veggies.

-I like carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, and celery

Step 3: Choose a protein.

-Sometimes I don’t want meat on my salads, so I like to add garbanzo beans or hardboiled eggwhites.  If you’re a meat-lover, grilled chicken, shredded pork, or deli turkey are all great options.  If you wanna get really fancy, add some grilled or baked salmon on top!

Step 4: Choose a healthy fat.

-A dressing made with olive oil is a great choice, but avocado slices add great texture and flavor!  Cheese doesn’t really count as a “healthy fat”, but a little feta cheese can make a world of difference in a salad.

-Don’t forget that your dressing also counts as a fat (unless you use pure vinegar), so don’t go overboard with this step!

Step 5: Choose a dressing.

-You could choose a homemade mix of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar, or go the store-bought route.  Remember to check the ingredients (the fewer, the better) and the fat and calories per serving.  I like to choose one that has less than 90 calories per 2 tablespoons.

-Try organic!  When I think “organic” I think “expensive”- but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that organic salad dressings at my store were only 40 cents more than the normal kind that I would usually buy.  It’s worth the switch to get rid of all of the processed and “foreign” things they throw in there.  Yuck!

Step 6: Chop, chop, chop!

-After you shop, immediately wash your lettuce and veggies, and get to choppin’!  Prepare enough to fill at least 5 sandwich baggies (or tupperware) per produce item.

Step 7: Grab and go!

-Before you leave for work or class, just grab a clean tupperware with a lid, and fill with a handful or two of your base, and a handful of each of your other items from their baggies.  Pour a little dressing in a smaller container, and your lunch is ready to go!

I’ve been using this lunch idea for the last week, and it is such a time saver.  Not to mention, it takes out the guess work of “how am I going to eat healthy for lunch today?”, which can sometimes frustrate people and force them to make an unhealthy decision.  With pre-made salad fixin’s at your disposal, there’s nothing to think about- just grab and go!

Eggcellent

A few weeks ago, Corey and I were at our gym having coffee after our workout, and we accidentally did some eavesdropping.  We overheard one of the trainers explaining to a client why it is so detrimental to work out on an empty stomach in the morning.

As someone who almost always does this, I was intrigued.  Her reasoning made sense- basically, your body will use up important things that you need if it doesn’t have some sort of “fuel” to run off of before your work out.  She told her client that even eating one bite of something like oatmeal or yogurt is better than nothing.

Ever since overhearing that conversation, I’ve been making it a point to eat a little protein before my morning work outs.  Enter, the eggcellent hardboiled egg!

I just eat the eggwhite and throw the yolk away, and I’m ready to work out!

Egghead

Workout

Yesterday morning started with yet another BodyPump class.  Afterwards, I got on the elliptical for 20 minutes.  I barely noticed I was sweating because I was so focused on what was happening in the Casey Anthony trial!  It will be sad when this local entertainment is over.

Breakfast

It was ridiculously hot yesterday.  Pretty much every day from here on out is going to be that way, because summer in Florida is no joke.  The perfect breakfast for a sweaty day will always be a nice, cold smoothie.

Into the blender went:

-1/2 cup almond milk

-1 scoop chocolate protein powder

-8 fresh strawberries

-1 banana

-1/4 cup Greek yogurt

-1/2 tablespoon peanut butter

-ice cubes

Sluuuuuuuuuuuuurp!

Lunch

I had some spare time on my hands in the afternoon, and decided to take advantage of not being in a rush at lunchtime, like I usually am.  I got to choppin’ and threw together a big salad.

I topped a bed of chopped Romaine lettuce with tomatoes, raw broccoli, hardboiled egg whites, red onion, and reduced-fat cheese.  I drizzled some Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing over top and dug in.

Dinner

When Corey got home from work, we decided to go to happy hour at Caddyshanks.  I enjoyed a Magic Hat #9 while we chatted about wedding plans, work, and house-hunting 🙂 .

Sometimes, the things that happen to us are just comical.  Two weekends ago (when my blog space was dunzo), Corey bought a Groupon to a really expensive restaurant called Funky Monkey (strange name choice for a nice restaurant, no?) Even with the Groupon, we couldn’t afford a glass of wine each if we wanted to eat dinner there, too!  The food we ordered was seriously delicious.  As soon as we handed the Groupon to the waitress, she told us they weren’t taking them that night.  Of course!

The comedy continued last night when we decided we would go there again to actually use our Groupon.  We called to make sure they were taking it and the waiter told us they were, but they were completely booked until after 10PM!  When we were there last week, there were only 2 other people in the whole place.  Oh, well!

After our dinner plans fell flat, it started pouring rain, so we decided to stay at Caddyshanks and order food.  We split a cheesy calzone filled with veggies.

This was HUGE, even after we split it.  I could not finish the whole thing, even if I wanted to!

I’ve got a lot of studying ahead of me this weekend…oh, joy!

Taco Night

Workout 

I started off Wednesday morning the best way possible- with BodyPump!  I got to the gym a little earlier than usual, so I had time to hop on the treadmill for 15 minutes for some running intervals before class.  After class was finished, I got back on the treadmill for another 10 minutes of intervals before calling it quits.

Breakfast

I made one of my favorites for breakfast.  A PB+Banana Sammy!

I topped a toasted whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, banana slices, and a drizzle of honey for good measure 🙂 .

Lunch

While watching TV (mainly the Casey Anthony trial) in the morning, I must have seen the same Subway commercial ten times.  It was advertising the new Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sub, and each time I watched, the more tasty it looked. I decided to save my 5 bucks and make my own healthy version at home!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard and deli turkey.  I sliced an avocado and placed the slices on top of my sandwich.  Take that, Subway.

On the side, I had some baby carrots and a dill pickle spear.

Dinner

As I’ve mentioned before, I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to meals.  I know what I like, and I’m OK with that!  I have a feeling when Corey and I have a family one day, we will definitely be the family that has certain nights of the week dedicated to the same meal.  For example, Taco Night!  Who wouldn’t look forward to that each week?  Well, it was taco night for us on Wednesday, and we let one of Old El Paso’s Soft Taco Dinner Kit take care of the details.  I generally like to buy my own taco shells so that I can get whole wheat, but I decided regular shells wouldn’t kill me.

I cooked some ground turkey meat with a packet of taco seasoning, and then got busy chopping up tomatoes, red onion, and lettuce for toppings.

We each had a salad to start, topped with lettuce, onion and diced mango.

I filled up two shells for myself, with all the toppings- tomatoes with red onion, lettuce, a little shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, and a small dollop of sour cream.

I love taco night!

Do you have certain nights of the week that you eat the same meal? 

 

 

 

Energy Crash

Yesterday morning started off on a great note.  Corey and I managed to drag our butts out of bed at 6:30AM, and we headed out the door for a 3-mile run.

We cut our new route a little short this time, because a) Corey’s knee was bothering him and b) I was dying.  What can I say- sometimes I can power through the pain, and other times I feel like laying down in traffic would be a better option.

I will say this: I don’t know how runners in Florida can manage to run outside at any other time than early in the morning.  It has been so hot lately!  My car has read “100 degrees” for the last 3 days, and it’s brutal.

Breakfast

A big, creamy yogurt bowl sounded great after a sweaty run.

I filled a small bowl with a cup of Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt, and topped it with sliced strawberries and banana, walnuts and a drizzle of honey.

Lunch

For lunch, I was in the mood for a veggie-filled salad.

I topped chopped Romaine lettuce with a chopped plum tomato, raw broccoli florets, a chopped eggwhite, and half of an avocado.  I also drizzled a little Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing over top.  I’ve decided that a little avocado on a salad makes a world of difference in the flavor/texture department.  Love it!

Energy Crash

As soon as I got to my class, I felt like something was wrong.  Even though I got 8 hours of sleep the night before, and I ate two filling meals before class, I had a sudden energy crash!  I could not keep my eyes open for the life of me.  I know Anatomy and Physiology isn’t the most titillating subject for some people, but it’s never bored me to the point of falling asleep, so that’s why I was confused as to what was going on with me.  I even contemplated leaving during our break so I could go home and sleep!

I think the fact that I didn’t have carbs in my breakfast or lunch may have had something to do with it.  I will be testing this theory today!

Dinner

I was pretty hungry when I got home, so Corey and I quickly got to work on dinner.  We marinated some salmon fillets in teriyaki and cilantro and threw them on the grill.  We also grilled some zucchini slices, mushrooms, and sliced bell peppers.

 

How do you cope with a mid-afternoon energy crash?

Workout Funk

If you take a look at my Workout Log, it’s not hard to figure out that I’ve been in a little “workout funk” lately.  Corey and I have both been waking up every morning with this weird feeling…I think they call it “laziness” ?

Before we moved, we used to wake up almost every weekday at the same time, and get in our prospective workouts at the gym before starting the day.  Lately, this has been quite a challenge.  I’ve been taking way too many days off, and I’m not happy about it!

I’ve decided the best way to get out of my funk is to set some small goals.

Here’s what I came up with: 

-Aim to work out every weekday, plus one weekend day.

-Add more outside running to my routine.

-BodyPump twice a week.

-Spinning at least once a week.

Some people set fitness goals based around their weight or appearance, and this is something I used to do all the time- but I’m at the point where that is just not a good idea anymore.  Setting body-related goals just causes me to obsess over numbers, and that’s not very productive!  I think getting my mind and body into a routine is the best way to ensure that I get my workouts in, and the benefits of that will follow.

Onto the food!

Breakfast

I toasted a whole wheat English muffin, and topped it with pear slices and a drizzle of honey.

A large cup of coffee was enjoyed alongside my pear sandwich.

I’ve been slowly trying to ween myself off of my beloved Coffeemate Sugar-Free Hazelnut Creamer in favor of  “raw friendly” almond milk, but I’m not gonna lie…it’s tough!

Lunch

Yesterday’s lunch reminded me of being in pre-school, possibly because of the finger-foods I had on the side, but it was still filling and delicious!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard, a slice of meunster cheese and deli turkey.  On the side, I had some baby carrots and sliced kiwi.

Dinner

In favor of trying to eat more natural foods and stay away from processed crap, I’ve been browsing through the organic brands at the grocery store lately.  It definitely is more expensive, but I think a few substitutions here and there won’t break the bank.

I was craving some comfort food last night, so a bowl of macaroni and cheese sounded perfect!

I picked up a box of Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, made with whole wheat pasta and natural cheese.  I was a little skeptical about how it would taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.  To spruce it up and add some extra nutrition, I added some roasted broccoli and a sprinkle of 2% shredded cheddar cheese.

Alongside, I had a salad made with chopped Romaine lettuce and raw broccoli florets.

I topped my salad with Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing.

I’ll admit that 87% of the reason that I got this flavor was the fact that it had the word “goddess” in it.  I’m a marketer’s dream.

 

Do you have any tricks for getting out of a “workout funk” ? 

Going Raw

So, what the heck have I been up to the last 2 weeks?

Lots!

I’ve done lots of wedding-related things, but I am planning to dedicate a post to each step of the way, so stay tuned for details!

Going Raw

Corey and I got a subscription to Netflix, and we have been in documentary-heaven lately!  (Nerd alert) We came across one called Food Matters, and we decided to give it a whirl.

Basically, the documentary described the problems that exist within our country when it comes to nutrition and people’s health.  There is a clear link between eating organically-grown, natural foods and staying illness-free.  The documentary went on to show case studies where cancer patients were treated with nutrition and vitamin therapy, meaning they were given a diet of raw, whole foods, and also consumed huge amounts of vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Niacin.  The case studies showed patients with giant tumors that disappeared after months of this therapy, without the assistance of prescription drugs or chemotherapy.

If you think about it, the prescription-drug industry creates billions of dollars, because we are told that we “need” medicine to feel better.  The truth is, natural foods and vitamins are medicine, and if we made it a priority to eat the right way, we would feel the right way, too.

I am not one to try and push my views about eating on other people, because I know that eating healthy, no matter to what degree, is a personal choice.  However, this documentary really struck a chord with both Corey and I, and we decided that we really want to make an effort to incorporate more whole foods, as well as a vitamin regimen, into our daily lives.

The reason the raw food movement is called “raw” is because a lot of studies have been done that show that cooking vegetables above a certain temperature kills the important enzymes that are the whole reason you’re supposed to eat vegetables in the first place!

Here are some small changes I have made to better align myself with the raw food movement:

-Every morning, before consuming anything (including coffee), I chug at least 16 oz. of water.  Water is a natural “irrigation” system for your body, and drinking it first thing in the morning helps to immediately flush your body of toxins and waste.

-Every night before bed (after eating something), I take vitamins.  I plan to add more to my regimen, but as of right now, this includes 1000mg of Vitamin C, 1000mg of Niacin, and 1000mg of Flaxseed Oil

-At least 2 meals per day must be 80% raw.  This means the bulk of a meal is in the form of veggies, nuts or grains

I am the first person to admit that “diets” or any type of restricted eating have never worked for me- they actually cause me to sabotage myself!  When I know I “can’t” have something, that means I HAVE to have it!  Therefore, I’m not going to say that this is how I’m definitely going to eat 100% of the time, because I have always felt that life is all about enjoying the indulgences it has to offer.  But, I am a big believer in the science behind this, and I think it does a body good to go “raw” in any way that you can!

Here are some examples of my latest raw meals:

Breakfast

Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey and fresh blueberries.

Lunch

 

Chopped Romaine lettuce, carrots, green pepper, tomato, hardboiled eggwhite, and avocado, topped with organic dressing.

Dinner

Grilled shrimp on a bed of chopped fresh Romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and onions.

 

What do you think about eating “raw”?  

Weekend Eats

Well, just as fast as the week flew by, the weekend also came and went.  So sad when that happens.  At least it was a fun one!

Let’s recap some fabulous eats from the passed 4 days.

Breakfasts

I have literally eaten the same thing for breakfast all week.  Oats with peanut butter and honey!

Lunches

During the week, I’ve been alternating between this simple salad:

Romaine, bell pepper strips, and Natural Fresh Ginger Dressing.

And this Subway sandwich:

Spinach, tomato, green peppers, pickles and banana peppers, toasted with provolone on wheat, with a touch of honey mustard.  After hearing several deli meat commercials talk about “other” sandwich places using turkey made with fillers and preservatives, I took a lucky guess that they were referring to Subway, and I decided it’s probably smarter to just skip the meat all together.  It is pretty creepy looking.

On Saturday, Corey and I stopped by a new place, called Rangetsu.  It’s a really nice Japanese restaurant that doubles as a nightclub at night.

I started with a salad with Soy Vinaigrette, followed by a Salmon Bento Box, which included half a California roll, rice, and 4 fried chicken-something-or-others.

Corey and I both raved about our meals.  It was so good!

Dinners

On Thursday, we went to Tibby’s.  I tried to be good and steered clear of all the fried menu options, and chose a grilled chicken sandwich, instead.  I clearly told our very rude waiter that I did not want mayo.  What did I get?  Extra mayo, no pickle.   I like pickles.  I was not a happy camper, but I ate it anyways.  I also had sweet potato fries as my side.

On Saturday, we went over to Austin’s house to have a little cook out.  Corey got to work mixing up some burgers:

While I sat around cheating ocolates and magging readazines.  <—— The only way you’re laughing at this is if you have the same last name as me.

The boys drank a concoction that is probably better suited for frat parties than cook-outs- Loaded Coronas.

You drink the top off of the beer, then add Bacardi Limon and a lime wedge and wave goodbye.

Once the burgers were ready, we dug in while watching a marathon of Lady Gaga videos.  What can I say- just your typical wild, post-college Saturday night.

Dessert

On Thursday, after Tibby’s, we decided to get some frozen yogurt.  Corey and I shared a cup of Red Velvet and Cake Batter, topped with a few of our favorites, like Golden Grahams.

I was overly excited to discover an amazing topping- Frosted Animal Cookies!

I was obsessed with these in middle school- and possibly high school.  I even divulged to Corey that I had a shirt with a string of frosted animal cookies across it…he’s still making fun of me.

Workouts

I took another accidental 2 days off after Wednesday’s workout.  I really need to stop doing that.

On Saturday, we went to the gym and I completed 25 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 20 minutes of running on the treadmill.  And, yet, another day off was had yesterday.  Ugh.  I’ll get it together this week!

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