What’s in MY fridge?

I got an interesting call Monday evening. Yvonne McClellan of the News-Press called and asked to interview me and see “What’s in my Fridge.”  So, to my house, she came to visit and check it out.  (Click on the photo to be taken to the video or click the link below.)

What's In Your Fridge by Yvonne McClellanhttp://www.news-press.com/videos/life/food/2014/05/07/8810263/

What surprised Yvonne about my fridge?

  • I have sour cream and mayonnaise in my refrigerator.
    • I have a husband who still eats foods I choose to avoid.
    • I DO eat sour cream – I read my labels so I am not eating extra ingredients, just whole cream.
  • How do I have time to make so many tasty foods?
    • I make many of the foods in bulk.
    • I have found it doesn’t take any longer to make it from scratch than it does from a box.
  • How do I make healthy dinners every night when I am such a busy mom?
    • Since I do cook in bulk, I freeze things in portion sizes so on busy nights I can just heat and eat.

Recipes from the video!

Pico de Gallo
Refried Beans
Peanut Butter Protein Bites
Fruit Infused Water
Cream of Anything (Base for Cream of ### soups)
Homemade Chicken Stock

 

This was so much fun!  I hope you enjoy.  Drop me a note and let me know “What’s in YOUR Fridge!”

What makes a snack healthy?

Okay, all this talk about snacks this month is making me hungry.  Winking smile  Not really, I keep my hunger number between 2 & 4

As I began working to improve my health, and thus reduce my waist line, healthy food choices and portion sizes became really important.  I used to crave sodas, breads and pastas, and sweets A LOT! I was certain there was no way to overcome them. 

What I found was, when my body had the nutrition and components necessary for building a healthy body, the cravings melted away just like the inches on my waist.

Why or how could that be?  Lets look at a graphic to explain a bit of it.

How_food-affects_blood_sugar_image_only

What we eat as a snack is just as important as when and how much we eat.  When we grab a soda, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal as our answer to our hunger situation… we are really setting ourselves up to fail. 

This is why the coffee break became so important.  When you eat a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, or a donut for breakfast, as you can see in the chart, your blood sugar SPIKES quickly and drops off just as fast… leaving you in state of “starvation” via the mind tricks because of the sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar.

Otherwise, if your chosen food item is a good quality protein, then your blood sugar doesn’t spike, it stays stable and you don’t get those “I gotta eat a 10 pound donut” sensations 2 hours later.

When we eat was covered in my blog a week ago on how Snacking can make you skinny.

How much to eat depends on your personal caloric needs for the day, how much activity you’ve had during the day, and how long it will be until your next full meal.  I made some great snack suggestions earlier this month.

So, now you have the logistics of how it all works, suggestions of healthful snack option, and a hunger scale to use… all that’s left is a big glass of tasty water to keep things on an even keel.

Fruit_infused_water

Healthy snacking, and may the grumpies stay far, far away!

For more information on healthy alternatives and choices, please contact me.

 

There isn’t enough time to Eat HEALTHY.

Time and Money… The two things that keep most people from making a change, a different choice than they have made in the past.

Today = TIME: Jobs, Families, Homes to care for, cars to keep running, shopping, paying bills, a little ME time, kids activities, second jobs, COOKING… The list seems to go on forever.

A friend and trainer of mine, Paula English, once asked me if my “being busy” was actually a bad habit I had developed over the years. I was furious when she insinuated such a thing. How could she say such a thing, I REALLY WAS BUSY.

Then I took a look at everything I was doing in a day. I took a class, Mindful Based Stress Reduction, taught by Madeline Ebelini, who showed me, through 8 weeks of classes and learning the secrets, skills, and benefits of being mindful in my everyday life. What did I find? (yes, that is me in her video)

Paula was right. I had gotten so STRESSED out about everything I had to get done, the schedule, the TIME, the quality, all of it, that I had lost site of loving life and enjoying what life is about. Enjoying my family, friends, my career, and in prioritizing what I did need to do and choosing to leave other things behind. (Even saying NO to some things.) *gasp*

In recent weeks, while teaching a Waist Line Reduction, introductory class, we discussed obstacles in the way of people’s healthy choices. One of the BIG things was TIME.

“Time to prepare healthy food, time to shop for healthy food, effort to prepare healthy food.”

Enter: A FEW SUGGESTIONS TO FAST, HEALTHY FOODS!

Cook Chicken in bulk Healthy Grease Monkey

When cooking on the grill, cook extra to use the rest of the week.  We only ate 2 of these tonight, which leaves 3 to use for lunches or in a meal later this week.

Fresh Veggies are fast Healthy Grease Monkey

Tomato is slice and eat, salad is quickly rinsed and placed in a bowl, chicken was cooked in bulk, green bean casserole (from scratch – NO canned soup harmed in the making of this dish) also made in bulk to enjoy later in the week, on another night.  Beans were crispy tonight, so they will not be overcooked when reheated.

Mashed taters are from whole potatoes – not as quick, but doesn’t take me any longer than it used to when I made the boxed kind… maybe 5 minutes.

Pico de Gallo

Salsa is one of our main staples. I make a HUGE batch once a week and eat on it all week long. Burritos, egg scrambles, topping to chicken or other meat, hamburger topping, as dip with a chip or a spoon.

Quick snacks on the go Healthy Grease Monkey

By keeping fresh produce in the fridge, it makes quick snacks and such a breeze.  Here is a snack I’ve taken to work with me.  Throw in a little of a few things and go.

Stock your Fridge 1 Health Grease Monkey

Here is one shelf in my fridge tonight.  These are fast foods for myself or my daughter to enjoy with a quick grab.  Watermelon, fresh pineapple, blanched broccoli, Greek yogurt, grapes (that need washed yet), chicken boobs… all tasty stuff.

Stock your Fridge 2 Healthy Grease Monkey

My produce drawer is a bit empty tonight, was a “busy” weekend of running around, being the weekend of the 4th and all.  But again, quick easy foods.  Carrots, sliced bell peppers, organic sweet peppers, & romaine lettuce.  (My baby girl says the “OOOOH, THEY SQUIRT SWEET CANDY IN YOUR MOUTH!” when she eats the organic mini sweet peppers.  Love that she loves them. 

Bottom line:

  • Be mindful of what you are going to stock in your home.
  • Prepare foods in bulk to save time. It takes just as long to grill 6 or 10 chicken boobs as it does to grill 2.
  • Keep handy snacks ready.  Prepare several things at once on those days you are already in the kitchen. If I have to be in the kitchen while baking bread, I may as well be productive and get some salsa (pico de gallo) made as well.
  • Wash your veggies/fruits when preparing a meal for something else, again, use that time wisely.

I hope these tips help you in your quest to live a healthier life and to make healthier lifestyle choices, daily.

If you would like additional information on healthy eating or simple steps could improve your life left in your years, contact me.  Thank you, for reading!

Chocolate Covered Protein Bites-With a Sense of Humor

My darling daughter turns 6 on Friday. Saturday is her birthday and I am opting for non-traditional birthday fare…of sorts.

  • Fruit Salad with homemade organic whipped cream
  • Chocolate covered protein bites
  • Brownie pops
  • Fruit smoothies from Fresh Planet.

Tonight it was time to make the protein bites. I haven’t made chocolate for dipping in a long time, so I got to learn a valuable lesson tonight… that I will share. SmileDON’T ADD LIQUID TO YOUR CHOCOLATE!

Adding liquid to your chocolate causes it to seize and become a granular solid mass of useless schtuff!  LOL

The_Good_and_the_Bad_Chocolate

Here’s the Good the Bad and the ugly of tonight’s cooking lesson.

Instead, use 1 TBSP of grape seed oil for each cup of chips that you are using.

I melted 1 cup of white chocolate chips to coat 40 protein bites, as seen below.  I use two tiny spoons to swish them in the melted chocolate, then move them to a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  I refrigerate them for 15-30 minutes, then move them to a container for storage.

These are a nice snack/treat because they pack a nice protein punch.  I only coat them in chocolate for special occasions, but love them!!!

Click the protein bites link for the basic recipe, then just roll them in your melted chocolate or white chocolate for a tasty, special treat!

20130306_195003

For more information on healthy treats, contact me. I’m happy to share ideas!

Size matters! What does your dinner plate look like?

Health begins with the foods we eat, how much, what and how often.

Tonight, I was especially hungry, so I filled my plate!

Feel Good Fast - Full Dinner Plate

Grilled chicken boob (still moist and juicy), a baked sweet potato with Greek yogurt and fresh cut chives (not shown), roasted Brussels sprouts in grape seed oil, and a few peas that hubby wouldn’t eat.

It was a lot of food packed with nutrition, and I am full.  But why do I bring this up?  I am reminded of an Ice Cream Study. (It is time for desert)

What this study showed was very interesting.  The size of the dish and the size of the spoon.

Ice_Cream_Study_Conclusion_-_Feel_Good_Fast

If we were to take anything away from this study it would simply be this:

If you tend to over eat and always clean your plate, try using a smaller plate.

Suggestions:

  • Buy a smaller plate. Not a dessert plate, a 10 inch plate rather than today’s standard 12 inch. Leave the same amount of space you normally would.
  • Make it a “pretty plate” something you would enjoy eating off of, perhaps a piece of Grandma’s China – make eating special, not mundane.
  • Load your veggies up first, then only take enough meat to fill the small portion left on your plate.  1 serving is 4 ounces NOT 16. Smile
  • Use a smaller utensil. When it takes you longer to get the food to your mouth, your stomach has time to catch up with what you are eating and allows your body to receive the signals BEFORE you’ve over eaten.
  • Think, think, think… Before, during and after each bite, and talk kindly to yourself.

Before you know it, you can make new eating habits that are a positive step toward a healthier you!

If you would like more information on healthy choices, recipes, health based support groups, educational seminars, or personal in-home consultations to take your life in a healthier direction, just contact me.

Grilled Sweet Dumpling Squash & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Time to try something new!  I bought this little beauty right after Halloween because I liked the way it looked and thought it would be a nice fall decoration.  Then, as it sat there, I thought… wonder what it would taste like. (reverting back to my 2 yr old self)  So, last night I grilled it and it was great!

healthygreasemonkey.com Sweet Dumpling squash

Along with 2 grilled chicken breasts on the grill, I made the whole dinner out on the lanaii on the hubby’s awesome grill. Time to completion was 50 minutes for the meal.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

  • 1 Sweet Dumpling Squash
  • 2 Tbsp of butter (you can use olive oil, but I was feeling indulgent)
  1. Cut a hole in the top of the squash and with a spoon & your hand clear out all the “squash goop” and seeds. (Just like a pumpkin)
  2. Drop the butter down in there.
  3. Preheat the grill, I used 2/3 burners lit in our gas grill
  4. Put the squash in the grill, but NOT over the lit burners. (I actually placed it on the top shelf of the grill so it could bake)
  5. Check it periodically. I cooked ours for 50 minutes and it was great. (Not to squishy, yet not hard and chewy)
  6. Remove from the grill, snap your quick photo with your smartPhone, and serve.
  7. I just took a sharp knife and cut the back side out, then scooped the squash out with a spoon to serve.

I am looking forward to trying this again with olive oil and some seasoning.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • 6-7 Large, Fresh, Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp of olive or grapeseed oil.
  1. Wash your brussel sprouts and remove a few outside leaves.
  2. Cut the end off the sprouts and quarter them.
  3. Drizzle the oil on a large piece of aluminum foil or an iron skillet (one with a lid)
  4. Drop your quartered sprouts into the cooking vessel. (If foil, wrap it up and roll the edges to seal it up.)
  5. Place on the grill fro 15-20 minutes.
  6. Serve ‘em up and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy these two fall favorites.  Let me know how yours come out!

What a great way to add an extra veggie you your meal and not mess up the kitchen!

Finding Healthy Snacks

Hungry

I saw some really good advice the other day.  When someone offers you something not included in your diet, instead of saying I can’t have that, answer them with I don’t eat that.  (for my daughter that is corn products, for me that includes foods laden with tons or refined sugars)

The difference in those two words is immense. Can’t implies you are not allowed, you are prohibited, it is against the rules.  Don’t implies it is my choice and desire to nurture myself with this decision.  A simple, yet profound difference.

So, once you decide you don’t want something as a snack, what are some healthy choices that will not knock you off your lead lap to regaining/maintaining the health you desire. 

Please enjoy this list of “free” produce snack ideas.  I gathered this information from the book, Why Do I Feel This Way? – Understanding Your Body…Discover Your Solutions ~Gaber, RHN & Day, RDC.  These colleagues of mine have spent a lifetime using nutrition to maintain and regain health.

If you would like more information on healthy snack options, contact me.