Hi guys! Happy Tuesday! I thought I would take this opportunity to share one of my favorite easy weeknight “recipes” — TACO PIZZA! It’s not necessarily the healthiest thing in the world (although it’s much healthier than a typical pizza), but it’s so easy to make that I can throw it together after work on a week night. Since the goal of my blog is to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle despite all the things life throws your way, I thought this would be a fun, easy recipe to share. Plus, who doesn’t love tacos and pizza?
One of my goals on this blog is to show you that you don’t always have to follow recipes exactly, or have every single ingredient on hand. It’s more important to understand the “components” of a recipe and try to use what you have on hand, use what aligns with your dietary needs, and what you like. Read on —>
Hi! How was your weekend? Ours was a nice mixture of being busy and relaxing. We celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday, went on a few walks (the weather in NJ was beautiful!), did some shopping for an upcoming trip, and cooked a lot of food for the week. Speaking of food prep, I thought I would share what I did this weekend to prepare for a really busy week ahead. Besides being really busy at work, I also have several client meetings, Bar Association events, networking events and a family get together. I was also hoping to be able to sleep, eat, exercise and most of all, spend time with my husband. What’s a working girl to do? PLAN!
Thanks to my Sunday food prep, my meals this week will look something like this —>
Breakfast: Egg bake with spinach, shredded potato, onion, maple turkey breakfast sausage, garlic and spices. For days that I hit the gym, I also have 1 scoop of Sunwarrior protein powder with water or a protein smoothie.
Lunches: I packed 3 containers of quinoa, shredded rotisserie chicken and 1 cup of roasted chickpeas, broccoli, onion and carrot based off of this Chickpea Broccoli Buddha bowl from Hummusapien (I have meetings the other 2 days). I topped each bowl with 1 large spoonful of the peanut sauce from Hummusapien’s recipe. It’s one of the best sauces I’ve ever had! Perfectly sweet, salty, spicy and savory – the Thai would be very proud that you hit all 4 “S”s!
I spend a ton of time (more than I care to admit) thinking about, preparing, chopping, cooking, and packing healthy meals almost everyday. Despite the fact that I use skincare products everyday, I haven’t put nearly as much time or attention into carefully selecting and purchasing these products as I do with food.
I’ll stand at Wegmans and read 4 nutrition labels for a pasta sauce, but I don’t even bother to look at the label of a lotion I’m going to slather all over my skin? Doesn’t really make sense, huh?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I only recently started taking a serious look at what skincare products I’m using, what’s in them, and which ones I can find that are healthier for my body. I have made the conscious decision to put more time and energy into what’s soaking into my largest organ: my skin. As you know, the point of this blog is to help busy professionals (like me!) maintain a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic schedule. So I’ve done the heavy lifting for you guys! You can thank me later…
Did you guys know in 2016 the global skincare market is expected to reach sales of nearly $11 billion?! The Nutrition Business Journal reports that the organic/natural skin care industry is just shy of $4 billion.
This prompted me to start a little series here on the blog. Today’s post is the first in that series: identifying what is in your skincare products. Next up, we’ll focus on a few easy swaps you can make, healthy, environmentally-friendly companies making great beauty products (thank goodness for Acure!), and which products are the most important to swap for a healthier alternative if you’re on a budget. Read on –>
Hi all! I haven’t gotten into it too much on the blog quite yet, but I am a travel fanatic! I have traveled all over the world and in a few weeks I’m going to check several more places (Russia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia, etc.) off my list. I can’t wait to write about it! I focus on food on the majority of trips I take (shocking, I know!). Although I’m pumped to try some exotic, new foods when I get to my destination, I know that the airlines are not going to give me very good options on my way there.
I’ve flown 25+ hours to fly around the world. That’s a lot of time to eat snacks : )
Whatever you bring, you want it to (1) be easy to eat on a plane, (2) not smell, and (3) stay well in your bag.
I try to bring a variety of snacks to combat the sweet, salty, and savory cravings that may strike. Here are some ideas of things you can bring along with you if you’re traveling by plane:
Fresh fruit you can eat with minimal mess: grapes, apples, pears, blueberries, banana. I wash everything before I go to the airport, and pack them in Ziploc bags with a paper towel for easy eating.
Veggies: cut up peppers, cucumbers, baby carrots, or other similar veggies and pack in a small lunchbox/cooler bag to bring on the plane.
Hummus package: see #2.
Good quality dark chocolate.
Popcorn: I love taking Boom Chicka Pop and putting some in a Ziploc bag for the plane ride.
Gum and mints.
Lara Bars and KIND bars: Try to grab the KIND bars that have less than 5 grams of sugar so it’s more of a snack than a dessert.
Justin’s Almond Butter or Peanut Butter packets: these are a life saver. Keep a few in your carry on to add quick protein and healthy fats to airport oatmeal (from Starbucks!), a piece of fruit (i.e. apple, banana), or some veggies (i.e. carrots, celery).
Trail mix: either make your own healthy mix ahead of time, or grab some of the healthier options from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Wegmans.
Dried items: roasted chickpeas for some protein/fiber, raw almonds for protein and healthy fats, or dried fruit (with no added sugar) for something sweet.
Protein Powder: to make your own packets, put 1 scoop in a snack sized Ziploc bag. Bring a packet for each day you are away. It’s so easy to toss in a glass of water, milk, or non-dairy alternative and have a quick protein-rich drink on the go.
Here’s an airport tip in case you need a healthy breakfast on the go –> if there’s a Starbucks or other coffee shop nearby, grab an oatmeal (it’s a much better option than that stale bagel that’s been sitting in the airport for 3 weeks) and use the banana and Justin’s almond/peanut butter packet you brought to create a more filling breakfast. I like to slice the banana and add the nut butter on top.
Here’s an example of what I brought with me on a recent trip to Denver, CO:
Are there any snacks you like to bring with you when you travel? Is there anything you look forward to in the airport or on the plane? Who can resist airplane peanuts?! (Although I noticed they don’t serve them much anymore!)
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If you’re anything like me, you have plenty of weeks where you have little to no time to prepare healthy meals/snacks. Some people just throw in the towel and figure if they have no time, they will just grab take-out, go to the drive-thru, or grab something from their freezer. I like to think that I’ve come up with a happy medium for those weeks. I’m going to share some of the shortcuts that have helped me reach that balance.
The key: healthy food shortcuts from some of my favorite grocery stores. Healthy shortcuts = food items that are either already prepared, or have done all of the “heavy lifting” for you (i.e., chopping, peeling, steaming, etc.), so that you can easily incorporate them into a simple meal or snack. Healthy shortcuts are one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite working so much. Even though this may mean paying a little more for convenience items, I think it’s worth it in the end.
I’m on a budget – don’t get me wrong. But I also work a lot, and my husband works a lot, and we don’t always time to do everything we want to do throughout the week. I allocate a part of my budget to convenience items at the grocery store if I want to eat well but don’t have the time to prepare everything from scratch. Remember: You can’t do it all! Work, kids, school, healthy eating, exercise, relationships, family, friends…. the list goes on and on. The key is being able to recognize what areas you’re willing to pay a little more for. For me, healthy shortcuts are a big convenience factor that I’m willing to pay for.
Cauliflower Rice – although you can buy a head of cauliflower, chop and pulse it in a food processor, doesn’t it sound a lot easier to buy a bag of it already done for you? It’s SO much easier to toss this cauliflower rice into a pan with 1 Tb. EVOO and saute for a few minutes until cooked through. Plus, TJ’s version only has cauliflower and a little salt as the ingredients. Just the way it should be. Delicious! And so much easier.
Lentils – I love lentils, but I don’t love the amount of time it takes to cook them. Sometimes I just want to throw lentils in some soup or on top of a salad to add more protein but I don’t have the time (read: several hours) to cook dry lentils. Enter TJ’s Steamed Lentils, which are less than $3 and already cooked for you!
Brown Rice packets – when I food prep, I try to cook rice on the weekends if I know I’m going to use it for a stir fry or to add to taco bowls. When I don’t have the time, these brown rice packets from TJ’s save the day. Although you can heat the rice in the microwave in the packet, I like to remove it from the plastic and heat it on the stove (you can toss it in soup or in a skillet with veggies) to heat it up in a healthier way.
Hard Boiled Eggs – Another great, go-to protein source in our family is hard boiled eggs. I try to make my own most of the time, but the whole point of this article is for those weeks when you just can’t get it done. For less than $2.50, you can buy this bag of 6 hard-boiled eggs. They make it so much easier to get your daily dose of protein. Just chop them up and put them in a salad or eat along with a smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast. Remember, though, 1 egg only has about 6 grams of protein.
Organic Apple Slices – even I will admit this is a true lazy girl trick, but hey – I do what I can. I find that I’ll snack more on apple slices in they’re pre-cut and ready to go on my busiest days. This bag of apple slices is great to have on hand as a healthy go-to snack. They make for an easy and convenient travel snack, too! I have to have mine with some TJ’s Almond Butter : )
Tasty Bite packets – I keep a few of these on hand in the house to make a quick and easy vegetarian Indian meal when hunger (hangry!) strikes. Again – this is all about convenience and having back up options! Of course I’d rather make this from scratch. But let’s get real – who has the time to make an Indian dish from scratch on a weeknight? (If you do – I’m jealous!) Toss a packet of Tasty Bite’s channa masala, lentils, punjab eggplant, etc. with some of Trader Joe’s brown or cauliflower rice for a simple vegetarian meal when you have little time. I try to round out my meal with a big salad with tomatoes, cucumber and carrot to add some additional nutrients.
Organic Frozen Fruit – one of the biggest ways I trimmed my grocery budget and made room for these convenience items was to stop wasting fresh fruit and start buying frozen fruit for oatmeal and smoothies. I still buy plenty of fresh fruit (especially when it’s on sale over the summer), but I learned to buy the fruits we weren’t finishing throughout the week from the frozen section instead.
Whole Foods’ Guacamole – this is probably the hardest to stomach because although it’s delicious, it isn’t cheap. I love making my own guacamole when I can, but this is a great option to have on hand to throw on top of a salad, tacos, chicken, etc. throughout the week if you don’t have time. To keep it fresh – flatten it out in the container after using, put a very thin layer of water (enough to cover the guac), and store in the fridge. I dump out the water before serving and repeat the process all week long.
Frozen Greens – I love Whole Foods’ frozen kale and spinach because they’re easy to toss in a smoothie, steam for a side vegetable, or to de-thaw, sauté, and add to any dish. You can always find organic, affordable bagged options. Not only are they much easier to use, but you can ensure you have healthy greens on hand if you just keep some in the freezer all the time.
Are there any items I missed? I’m always looking to learn about healthy shortcut options! What are some of your favorites?
Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great week. I haven’t been quite as active on the blog front this week. I’ve been so busy at work… can’t do it all! When I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions, I try to take a step back and evaluate what I have going on. The first thing I do is drop anything I can that’s not mandatory and that doesn’t have a added benefit to my life. That step alone tends to make me feel a lot better. Although it seems counterintuitive, I make sure I’m taking the time to eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep when things are feeling extra stressful. If I don’t, it just makes everything feel that much worse. Hope this helps if you’re busy, too : )
One of the ways I like to unwind at night is by reading my favorite blogs. Here are some of the recipes and articles that caught my eye this week:
Natural Spring Cleaning – this post from Davida at The Healthy Maven is an amazing round-up of ideas to try in the home, mind and kitchen. I can’t wait to make some of my own cleaning products using the tips in her post! I like to do a spring cleaning of appliances this time of year – 1-2 cups of vinegar and a sprinkle of baking soda + run 1 cycle + air dry.
Lindsey posts great workouts complete with instructions, video and a printable/pinnable option – I can’t wait to give this 30 minute AMRAP a try sometime soon. Any workout <30 minutes, and I’ll try it!
Have you read anything great blog posts this week? What do you do when you start to feel too busy and overwhelmed?