what you focus on you create more of
1/14/2021 0 Comments
fast and slow.
Cucumber, avocado, tomato, sprouts, red onion, sun dried tomato cream cheese wrapped up in a flour tortilla. That's The Rabbit, and it's my favorite sandwich at 505 Eats in LaGrange. It's so good that I want to shovel it in as fast as I can but also slow way down and savor the taste.
I have often eaten the whole thing, but I always feel a little stuffed when I do. But it's so good-- I don't want to only eat part of it. The more I practice, though, the easier it gets to eat half and save the other half for later.
I eat the first half slowly, enjoying all of the textures and flavors. If I feel satisfied (not starving, not stuffed- just right) I wrap up the second half for later as I "surf the disappointment" of not eating it now. The disappointment only lasts a few moments, and I go on with my day.
There is research to back up this practice, by the way. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, author of My Stroke Of Insight, calls it the 90-second rule: “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens; any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.” Basically, if you choose to move on, you will only be disappointed for a few moments, then you can look forward to eating the other half later!
I challenge you this week to save part of your lunch for later and practice "surfing the disappointment."
Cheers to food so good you want to eat it fast and savor it slowly at the same time!
1/14/2021 0 Comments
the long game.
Here are just a few of our salad toppings. From left to right- pumpkin seeds, soynuts, sunflower seeds, lower-sugar cranberries.
We keep them, along with some nutritional yeast and flaxseeds, in a little bin so we can easily get to them when we are making salads. Yes, they add calories, sugar, and (good) fat to our salads, but we are okay with that. We are okay with it because they add a level of satisfaction to our salads that we wouldn't have otherwise.
All of our meals should be satisfying. If you are trying to eat healthy by restricting or only eating steamed broccoli and chicken breasts, your body will react by giving you cravings and hunger and unstable energy.
If you are not satisfied by your food, you will probably end up overindulging at some point in the near future. To combat that overindulgence later, add something to your meals and snacks that makes you happy. That may mean a little real cream in your coffee, or a spot of butter on your vegetables. It might look like cheese on your salad, or some avocado on your toast. It could be a little piece of dark chocolate after meals.
Yes, in the short run this will add calories. But if you are playing the long game, you will overindulge less because you don't feel like you are missing out on anything.
Cheers to playing the long game, and enjoying your meals along the way.
11/17/2020 0 Comments
PBB and Chocolate Chip Granola
Peanut butter, banana, chocolate... they go together so well! I tried coming up with a granola that would be fit to give for the holidays-- something healthy, but not quite as healthy as my usual granola. 😂 It's meant to be for snacking as opposed to eating it with milk. I would give it 👍👍-- it's perfect if you are looking for something a little different than the average holiday cookie to gift at the holidays.
2 C old fashioned rolled oats
1 large over-ripe banana (The riper, the better! )
1-2 T pure maple syrup
3 T melted coconut oil, divided
4 T peanut butter (The runnier, the better. I use Smucker's Natural PB)
3 T dark chocolate chips
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon, if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 325° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If you don't have parchment, just use a little coconut oil on the cookie sheet.)
2. In a medium bowl, mash banana with a fork.
3. Add 1-2 T pure maple syrup to the banana. (If you have a sweet, ripe banana, you can use less maple syrup.)
4. Add 2 T coconut oil and 2 T peanut butter to the banana mixture.
5. If using, add in vanilla and cinnamon.
5. Stir in oats.
6. Dump the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Use hands to spread the mixture out into a thin layer.
7. Bake for 15 minutes.
8. Add half of the leftover coconut oil to the chocolate chips and melt in microwave-- 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Take your time with this. You don't want the chocolate to seize up.
9. Mix the other half of the coconut oil with the remaining 2 T peanut butter in the same manner. You want it loose enough to pour over the granola.
10. After 15 minutes of baking, pour the peanut butter/oil combo over the granola. Then pour the peanut butter mixture over the granola.
11. Bake another 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven.
Let cool completely before you dig in! The peanut butter and chocolate will harden back up as it cools. The waiting is the hardest part!
Optional add-ins: I think cranberries would be delicious if you wanted to bulk it up and add a little color to it. Almonds might be nice as well. If you are add in cranberries or another dried fruit, you can add it after the granola is baked and cooled. If you are adding almonds or other nuts or seeds, you can add it in before baking.
9/21/2020 0 Comments
There is a chill in the air today, which makes me think of turmeric tea, aka "golden milk."
I first learned about the power of fresh turmeric three years ago, when I was a CSA member at JennyJack Farms. Each week we received a beautiful box filled with the vegetables that were harvested that week. We were introduced to several interesting and new items this way. I loved looking up recipes and trying to figure out what to do with our weekly bounty.
When I looked up turmeric recipes, I found out that there is evidence that it is a highly medicinal root. Here are some of it's benefits:
1. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
2. It may help prevent cancer.
3. It may help improve brain function.
4. It may lower the risk of heart disease.
5. It may help with mood.
I began making turmeric tea and drinking it before bed. It is delicious, and it helped me relax and prepare for good sleep.
These days I get my turmeric at Kroger. I usually buy more than I need when they have it, and I freeze the extra. In a pinch, I will use powdered turmeric, but it definitely is not as tasty.
2 C milk of your choice (I use almond milk)
1" piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped (or 1 t turmeric powder)
1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (or 1 t powdered ginger)
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t coconut oil*
1 t peppercorns*
1. Place ingredients in a sauce pan and let come to a gentle boil.
2. Turn heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes or so. (You may alter the time, depending on how strong you like your tea.)
3. Strain the tea into two mugs.
4. Add maple syrup or honey to taste.
5. Garnish with a little extra cinnamon.
*The peppercorns and the coconut oil help with the absorption of the curcumin in the turmeric.
Sometimes I will make a double batch and keep it in the fridge. That way I all I have to do is warm it up.
8/10/2020 1 Comment
I have to be honest with you. I am not a big fan of broccoli. I eat it because it is good for me, but I don't really like the taste. I usually steam it or roast it and use nice olive oil or grass-fed butter to make it taste better.
We are usually pretty good about using up our vegetables before they go bad, but the other day I noticed that we had two big heads of broccoli. I decided I was going to experiment with one of them. I washed it, chopped it, and threw it in the food processor and made broccoli rice. It turned out great! I ate it that morning with my breakfast -- it's very much like cauliflower in that somehow it tastes better when it is cut into such small pieces.
And there is magic in cutting broccoli up. It releases a cancer-fighting enzyme. Here is a quick video that explains it.
Who's got a sweet tooth? I love a little something sweet, but I have all but given up processed sugar. (Have you seen That Sugar Film?) To get my fix, I search for healthier versions of my favorites. This snack hits the spot in all the right ways. I sliced it, cut the slices in thirds, and froze them.
I have been trying a technique from Jill Coleman that involves strategic snacking-- she recommends taking a bite or two of your treat and then walking away. (We all know that the first bite is the best anyway, right?) The idea is that it will there if we want more, and that eating a few bites here and there will prevent over-indulging later on. (Read more about her eating philosophy here.) So if I want something sweet, I take a third of a piece from the freezer and eat it mindfully. Sometimes I put PB on it and it is even more delicious. I may even go back and get a second piece if I feel like it. Very rarely do I go get the last third of a piece in one sitting, but I know if I still want it, it is there.
I have been practicing this kind of snacking for a couple of months now. It has been so interesting! When I first started, I took advantage of my new-found food freedom. I had something sweet after every meal--including breakfast. But as I practiced, the need for the sweet taste seemed to wane a bit. Now, I don't even have a sweet snack every day. Just knowing it's there if I want it makes it somehow less appealing and/or powerful.
In conjunction with mindfulness, this strategic snacking strategy is a game-changer! Let me know if you have tried it or if you want to learn more about it!
7/14/2020 0 Comments
I love crunchy chickpeas as a snack. I love to make a little trail mix with some nuts and pieces of dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds. Or I will eat them by the handful by themselves.
Over the years I have tried to roast my own chickpeas, but they never stayed crunchy for very long. I don't know if it was because I was using canned chickpeas, or because I didn't dry them enough, or I didn't peel them. Or maybe I was using inferior recipes. I don't really know. All I know is that it worked this time, so I thought I would share.
First of all, I cooked my own chickpeas for the first time ever! I never realized how easy and how much better they taste when you cook them yourself. (Shout out to my SIL, Kel, who recently sent me an Instant Pot, which makes the whole deal so flippin' easy.)
I rinsed them after I cooked them and let them drain for a long time-- like all morning. I forgot about them, to tell you the truth. That was good, though, because they were nice and dry when I decided to roast them.
I used this recipe. The author recommends peeling the chickpeas, which I didn't notice until after the fact. They crisped up nicely anyway, but next time I will take a few minutes to take the skins off if I have the time. She also recommends leaving the chickpeas in the oven as it cools down. I didn't do this because it was late afternoon and I didn't want to open my oven door and heat up the house any more than it already was.
Anyway, if you are a fan of cinnamon, you have to try these! Use this recipe, and don't skip the steps that I did. I bet yours will come out even better.
5/27/2020 0 Comments
what I ate wednesday
When I began learning about nutrition and wellness, I used to love to peek into the lives of others and see what they ate on a daily basis. "What I Ate Wednesday" used to be a thing, and I am going to try to bring it back in case you are curious as well. 😁 So, here are my eats from last Wednesday. I didn't take pictures of my water, but I usually aim for half my body weight in ounces. Let me know if you have any questions!
5/21/2020 1 Comment
Do you remember when avocado pudding was all over the interwebs? I think avocados are still enjoying their time in the limelight, and with good reason. They are full of vitamins-- K, C, B6, E, and folate in particular. They are a good source of fiber, and really high in monounsaturated fat, which can reduce your risk of heart disease.
I found a recipe from The Pretty Bee, and I tweaked it to suit my taste. (I always try to use the least amount of sweetener possible, even when it is from fruit, honey, or maple syrup.)
Here are the ingredients:
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T pure maple syrup (You may want to add a bit more if you want it sweeter.)
1/4 C plus 1 Tablespoon milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
Throw ingredients in the blender and mix until creamy. You may need to play with the consistency-- add a little almond milk if it's too thick, or a little cocoa if it's too thin. Refrigerate it and serve chilled!
*Keep your servings small-- this little ramekin is probably two servings, and it is so rich I may spread it out even more. Fat is calorically dense, even if it is the healthy kind! You could even use it as a little chocolate dip for strawberries-- you could probably get 4 or 5 servings that way.
5/18/2020 0 Comments
i have a secret
I don't know about you all, but as soon as it gets warm again, I crave a good smoothie. Smoothies are tricky, though. Just because a smoothie can be a healthy treat, it doesn't mean it always is. If you buy a kit or purchase one from a store like Smoothie King, you have to check out the nutritional information. They are often loaded with added sugar and fat. I find the best (and cheapest way) to get my smoothie on is to make it myself at home.
I am a creature of habit, so I basically make the same on every time, but I change out the fruit. I like berries the best for sweetness, because the are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. They don't spike blood sugar as much as other fruit. I use only one fruit at a time, and I keep it at about 1/3 of a cup. I find that is plenty sweet for me.
My basic recipe:
1/3 C of fruit
1 scoop protein powder (This is what I use.)
1/2 C almond milk (may need to add more depending on your desired consistency)
an ice cube or two...
...and my secret ingredient: frozen zucchini! I chop zucchini, bag it in snack bags (about 1/4 C), and freeze it to throw in my smoothies. It adds another 1/2 serving of vegetables to my daily intake and I can't even taste it! Another cool idea is to add 1/4 C frozen spinach and then you would have a full extra serving of vegetables.
Sometimes, depending on how much healthy fat I have had already (or how much I plan to have), I add some avocado or peanut butter. This makes it more filling. You can also add chia or flax seed to bump up the fat and keep you fuller longer.
I usually use my smoothies as a snack, not a meal. Psychologically, I feel fuller longer when I chew my food. In a pinch, though, I will have a smoothie for a quick breakfast, but I load it up a bit more with the fat and sometimes even some oats to make it more satiating.
What do you put in your smoothies?
About the Author
Kim is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a mom of two grown kiddos, and a former elementary school teacher. Most days, she can be found training clients, prepping food, thinking about food, or writing about food. She is also obsessed with mindset and habits. She is a 9w1 on the enneagram.
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