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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Healthy Eating for A Busy Schedule

Life is busy and unfortunately something that can slip when the schedule gets hectic is healthy eating! Recently I hosted a twitter chat and heard some of the biggest challenges around healthy eating for a busy schedule, here's a recap of the challenges and tips.

Challenge 1: No time for breakfast 
Solutions: Make a batch of smoothies the night before and store in a to go mug, so you can drink your breakfast on the go. Rethink breakfast and have leftovers instead. Eggs, toast, and a piece of fruit takes only minutes to pull together. Make a batch of oatmeal on the weekend and then on the weekdays, just heat up a bowl of oatmeal quickly. Keep a box of bars like KIND Snacks Fruit & Nut bars in your car or at the office, for an easy breakfast fix.

Challenge 2: Too busy for lunch
Solutions: Think of lunch as snacks instead of a 'meal' - for example: have a yogurt cup with fruit and granola and then later have pistachios and dried fruit. Schedule time in your day for lunch! Set reminders in your calendar that it is time for lunch. Opt for a liquid lunch and have boosted up smoothie with fruit, vegetables, and a protein source (e.g. yogurt, kefir).

Challenge 3: Need quick dinner ideas
Solutions: Three of the quickest dinners I can suggest: tacos, breakfast (or as we call it at our house 'brinner'), and stir-fry. The best part each of the meals are really complete meals and can include grains, vegetables/ fruit, and protein.

- Tacos: Here's a suggestion of what to include... Veggies: chopped onion, tomato, cucumber, and olives, Protein: chicken, beef, or tofu, Grains: whole corn tortillas (soft or crunchy) or brown rice. Toppings: guacamole, plain yogurt, and shredded cheese.

- Breakfast at dinner: Eggs, whole grain toast, and fruit!

- Stir-Fry: Keep bags of frozen stir-fry veggies on hand (snap peas, carrots, broccoli...) and stir-fry with chopped garlic and fresh ginger. Then remove the veggies and cook your protein of choice (e.g. chicken, steak, or tofu) with chopped garlic and fresh ginger. To finish make a sauce of equal parts: light soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

For more tips - check out the recent 5 Ways to Add Grilled Veggies to Your Meals post!

Challenge 4: Need smoothie ideas
Solutions: Think of the formula: fruits, vegetables, and protein! Making smoothies is quick and easy and you can easily mix up the variety and add in an extra boost when needed with: chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, fish oil, or flax oil.

Mango Smoothie: 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup frozen mango, and splash of juice or water (to make it easier to blend). Blend until smooth! If desired, sweeten with honey.

Fresh Strawberry Kefir: 1 cup fresh strawberries (stems removed) and 1 cup plain kefir. Blend until smooth!

Green Monster: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and splash of juice or water (to make it easier to blend). Blend until smooth.

Share your biggest challenges for eating healthy with a busy schedule and I may include solutions in an upcoming post, email Molly: molly.morgan@gmail.com.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting Excited About Eating Healthy

Let's face it, fruit and vegetables do not get the same amount of marketing dollars ... $4.6 billion is spent on fast food advertising a year compared to only $6.5 million on marketing nutrition per year. Here are some fun resources to help children get excited about healthy eating!


Super Sprowtz: These fun characters including Brian Broccoli (pictured below), Colby Carrot, Erika Eggplant, and Suzy Sweetpea have super powers and have great books that accompany them to educate children on the benefits of vegetables in a very entertaining way!

 

For more information on the Super Sprowtz visit their Web site: www.supersprowtz.com

Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: This fun and engaging book, Sami & Sax in the Land of Quinoa educates about the importance of healthy eating. Plus there is an option to get dishware from liviga which helps you and your children with portion control, without measuring cups! The circles on the plates are portion size guides to help you balance your plate. The plates are available in blue or pink. 

Fore more information on the Sammie and Sax book or the dishes, visit: www.livliga.com


Reference: Fast Food Facts 2013 by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Healthy Snacks for the Workplace

What you snack on makes a difference and planning ahead can keep your energy levels up throughout the day at work. Check out the below infographic for tips and ideas! Happy snacking! 



Monday, August 25, 2014

5 Ways to Add Grilled Veggies to Your Meals

Grilling vegetables is simple, delicious, and goes well with so many meals! Try these ways to work in grilled vegetables into your meals:


Grilled Asparagus Pizza - Grill asparagus for 8 - 10 minutes, until lightly charred and tender. Remove from the grill, slice into 1-inch pieces. Then on a whole wheat flat bread, lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Then top with the asparagus and crumbled feta cheese. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees F for 8 - 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve as a main dish or as a appetizer!

Grilled Veggies with Pasta - Prepare your favorite vegetables (like: red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, onions) and cut them into large slices. Place the vegetables in a grill basket on grill on a pre-heated grill for 15 - 20 minutes, until lightly charred and tender. Toss the grilled veggies with cooked whole wheat or brown rice pasta and lightly toss with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Sweet Potato Planks - Scrub a sweet potato and then slice lengthwise into half-inch thick slices. Place on a pre-heated grill and grill for 10 minutes per side or until the potatoes are lightly charred and tender. Serve as a side dish!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich -  Clean a portobello mushroom and marinade in 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar for at least 30 minutes (or more). Then remove the mushroom from the vinegar and place on a pre-heated grill, then grill for 7 - 10 minutes, until the mushroom is lightly charred and tender. Serve on a whole wheat roll with your favorite burger toppings like -- tomato slices and leaf lettuce!

Grilled Peach Salad - Place peach slices on a pre-heated grill and grill for 7 - 10 minutes, turning throughout, until the peach slices are lightly charred and tender. Then place 3 cups of baby spinach in a bowl, crumbled feta, other chopped veggies (like red onion, cherry tomatoes...), and top the salad with the grilled peach slices. Finish with some sunflower seeds or pistachios (without the shells) for crunch and Honey Vinaigrette Dressing (See recipe below).

Honey Vinaigrette*
Yield: 16 servings (1 tablespoon each)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup canola oil, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: In a small mixing bowl or salad dressing shaker, combine all of the ingredients, and whisk or shake, mixing thoroughly. 

Recipe from Molly's book, Skinny Size-It - 101 Recipes That Will Fill You Up and Slim You Down

In case you need some motivation to eat more meatless meals... did you know? Producing 1 pound of beef uses... as much fuel as driving a car 32 miles, or as much energy as 256, 100-watt light-bulbs per hour, or as much grain as 20 loaves of bread. Meatless meal facts adapted from the Meatless Monday campaign.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Infographic: Building a Balanced Lunch Box

Here's an infographic to help with Building a Balanced Lunch box!


For more posts on back-to-school: Lunch Box Packing Product Tips and Lunch Gear Picks and Tips.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lunch Box Packing Product Picks



As you are preparing your shopping list for back-to-school, when it comes to lunches, here are tips and product picks to fill your lunch boxes for protein, whole grains, and drinks!


Protein - Including protein at lunch helps to balance blood sugar levels and fill your little one up! Think beyond the traditional and add in hummus in mini cups as dip for veggies, 50% Light Cheddar Cheese Snacks, Greek yogurt, or almond butter packets.



Whole Grains - Add in whole grains with granola bars, whole wheat wraps, whole wheat bread, and whole grain crackers. A favorite granola bar of mine are the KIND Healthy Grain Bars (pictured left) - made with 5 super grains: oats, millet, quiona, amaranth, and buckwheat. A favorite cracker are the classic original Triscuit or the tasty new Brown Rice Triscuits.


Drinks - If you are packing a drink for your children, look for juice options that are made with 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice with no added sugar, to pack in vitamins and minerals. For example: good2grow with fun no-spill character toppers (pictured right) or Honest Kids pouches. Plus switch it up from time to time and pack mini water bottles or small cans of sparkling water! Or even opt for shelf-stable milk drink boxes like those by Horizon Organic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lunch Box Gear Picks and Tips


If you are getting ready to think back-to-school, likely you're thinking about gearing back up to pack lunches daily! Here are some of my top lunch box packing gear picks:


Lunch Box: Packing a lunch starts with having a great lunch box because they are not all created equal - some are very hard to keep clean and are not washable. Here is a great lunch box option by BuiltNY that is a great size and can be washed (pictured left).

Easy Packing Option: Look for containers that make packing lunch easy! A personal favorite is the Eco lunch box three-in-one (pictured right). In this container, there is plenty of storage for a sandwich, veggie, and fruit. There are many similar style options available at ecobox.com! Plus it cuts down on waste!


Reusable Bags: There are reusable snack and sandwich bags that are awesome and hold up really well like: lunch skins (pictured left). They wash really well and can go right in the dishwasher and they come in fun prints.

Cold Storage Options: Depending on the time of lunch for your little one and what you are sending, sometimes it is a must to include an ice pack. Check out these storage containers from Fit Fresh (pictured right) that have ice packs built in. They are perfect for sending yogurt, applesauce, or fruit salad and really easy to clean.

Stay tuned for my lunch packing product picks!