Monday, November 10, 2014

Some of my favorite meals!

One thing that I didn't mention in my last post (that gave easy tips for those who are starting/wanting to eat healthy) was how important it is to make sure you're getting enough calories in for the day. Sure, you have a list of healthy meals ready to go, but just because they're healthy doesn't mean it'll be enough for you!! I have had this problem so many times and all day I'm feeling extra hungry, but I followed my meal plan, so I don't think much of it. That is, until I put everything I ate into My Fitness Pal and I realize that I should have eaten at least 300 more calories.. Whoops!!

One thing that I've found really helpful is to have your list of meals in front of you and put them into My Fitness Pal before your day begins.. you can even do it for the whole week if you want, and then just edit the days if anything changes! That way you can see how much more or less you should be eating so that you can feel satisfied throughout the whole day. There's nothing worse (okay, yes there is) than thinking that you have to be starving all day if you're eating healthy. NO WAY is that correct! Eat the right amount of calories from healthy food, and you will be happy, healthy, AND full!

A good way to keep track of how much you're eating is to invest in a food scale! I have a little cheap-o one from like walmart, but it works! You can measure everything you eat just by putting it on a scale rather than trying to figure out how much one cup of chicken is (especially if it's a chicken breast.. no need to stuff the chicken into a measuring cup!!)((Although, let's be honest.. that would be really funny to see!))

Here's the link to my Pinterest board of healthy foods, and hopefully I'll be able to test some of those out soon and let you know what I think!!

As far as tried and true recipes, here are my favorites so far!!

Chicken, brown rice, steamed veggies!

Chicken Breasts
Frozen vegetables
Brown rice + water + rice cooker
Italian seasoning

FOR THE RICE: I like to make my rice ahead of time in my rice cooker, put it in the fridge, and then heat it up whenever I need it. If you have a rice cooker, add 1 cup of brown rice and up to line 2 of water. Press "Start" and serve when the switch turns from "Start" to "Warm". If you don't have a rice cooker, you're out of luck. KIDDING! I've just never made rice on the stove before, but here's a tutorial for you!

FOR THE CHICKEN: Preheat your oven to 350*. Grab a cookie pan (or any pan with taller sides), spray it with pam, place chicken on the pan and season with Italian seasoning. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it's no longer pink. I just made this last night, but I added parmesan cheese before baking it.. YUM!! The options are endless! Try to find seasonings with low or no sodium!

FOR THE VEGGIES: My rice cooker also steams foods, so it's another super easy thing for me to do. If you have one similar to this, add a cup of water to the bottom portion, place the steamer tray on top, add frozen veggies, and cook for 20 minutes. (SCORE! Veggies and chicken cook for the same time! Here's how you can steam veggies without a steamer.

Sweet Potato Fries
(I feel the need to say that this is not a complete meal. This is just a side dish!)

Peeled and cut sweet potatoes
Coconut Oil

These seriously couldn't be easier to make! Preheat oven to 400*. Peel your sweet potato and cut it into "fries" (I have the hardest time cutting sweet potatoes.. is it just me?!). Heat up a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave and then toss your fries in it, place them on the pan, and cook them for about 20 minutes. Serve them with ketchup! I'M IN LOVE WITH THESE! Honestly, I can't get enough. I might just need to buy sweet potatoes by the truck load.

Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

This is Crystal's recipe! She makes other variations as well, but this is the only one I've tried so far! (Crystal is my coach, and is the one that inspired me to make a change in my life! She is absolutely amazing, and one of the sweetest people ever!)

1/2 cup of cooked oats
dash of almond milk
(mine is homemade in this picture, hence the waterbottle)
small dash of vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
half a packet of milled flax seed
5 crushed almonds (or about 3/4 tbsp) (not pictured)

Mix it all together and enjoy a healthy, filling, delicious breakfast!

Chocolate Shakeology

Chocolate Shakeology
4-5 ice cubes
1-2 cups of milk (cow, soy, almond, etc.)

I'm not going to lie, this might be my favorite meal every day. I'm all about easy meals, and this couldn't be easier. I mix one scoop with 4 or 5 ice cubes, and about a cup or a little more or milk. Put in a blender and mix until smooth! (Almond milk or other healthier milks are obviously healthier than regular milk, but if you only have regular cow milk, that's totally fine too!)

I actually bought a little shaker cup because cleaning my blender everyday was getting annoying. So now, I put about 8oz milk in the cup, 4oz water, one scoop of shakeology, and mix it all up! It's not as good as when I blend it, but it's the perfect lazy solution!

Also, if you blend it with half a banana, it tastes like banana bread with chocolate chips in it. HOLY DELICIOUS!!

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe
This is not my picture or my recipe. Here is the website where you can find the recipe!

I made a few changes to her recipe, but I made them simply because this was a last minute dinner, and I didn't have all of the ingredients. 

I didn't add an onion.
Instead of a green bell pepper, I used a yellow one.
I used mozzerella cheese instead of provolone.

This was amazingly delicious!! I had it for left overs a couple more times, and I was in love every time!! SOO so good!

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
I didn't take a picture of this when it was in the pan, so here's one serving of it!!

This stuff was amazing and super easy to make! Find the recipe here!!

Cottage Cheese and Fruit
This is such a quick and delicious breakfast or snack!! My favorite fruits to pair cottage cheese with are peaches and pears. Probably pears, but those are my favorite fruit ever! Add a piece of whole grain toast and you're good to go!

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
Again, I didn't take a picture of just the crust.. but here's what our pizza looked like right out of the oven!
The cool thing was that it didn't taste like sweet potatoes! I wouldn't have minded if it did, but you're able to put whatever toppings you want on the pizza without having to worry about competing flavors! The recipe (which you can find here) calls for almond flour to make it gluten free and probably a little healthier, but I have a 5 gallon bucket of flour, so I couldn't justify buying the almond flour. It's definitely a healthier option than ordering from Dominos though!!

One thing I would suggest is to spread it out pretty thin on your pizza stone because this one rose quite a bit in the oven. It was pretty thick to begin with, so it just got even bigger and the pizza was very bready.

Easy Breakfast Casserole
You'd think I would have learned to start taking pictures of my food when I make it so I don't have to use other people's.. but I didn't. This is obviously from the blog Four Fit Sisters and you can find the recipe in video form here.
This is a great thing to make on Sunday night and then just cut it up and put it in individual containers for breakfast everyday the next week!! I LOVE it!! I've been having it for the past few days and it's so nice to have it pre-made and HEALTHY!!!

Anyways, this seems pretty long. Although when it comes to finding good recipes, I feel like I can never get enough!! I'm going to be trying some more new recipes this week, like these turkey meatballs with roasted zucchini, these sweet potato, apple, and cinnamon pancakes, lemon raspberry pancakes, and make ahead baked pancakes. (I just really like breakfast foods, I guess!)

I'll write another "Favorite meals" blog post when I gather a few more delicious recipes, but here's a good jump start for you! As always, try to stay within your suggested caloric intake number, and strive to eat healthier than you did yesterday! Pair it with a good workout, and you'll feel even better!

As always, let me know if you ever have any questions, and I'll do the best I can to answer them!!

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