The holiday season is the pinnacle of baked goods and festive snacks, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your favorite treats just to get a jump-start on your healthy new year’s resolution. There are plenty of healthy holiday-themed snacks and healthy alternatives that are sure to het you in the holiday spirit. Below are a few recipes I found that contain healthier variations of classic holiday treats including almond milk hot chocolate and gingersnap cookies.
Almond Milk Hot Chocolate:
photo property of www.veggie--quest.com
I found this recipe at http://www.veggie-quest.com/2016/01/42-calorie-almond-milk-hot-chocolate/. First mix together cocoa powder, truvia, coffee, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of almond milk in a mug with a fork. Then add the rest of the almond milk and mix until smooth and microwave for one minute or until it is your ideal temperature.
Caramel Apple Gingersnaps:
photo property of www.foodfaithfitness.com
I found this recipe at http://www.foodfaithfitness.com/healthy-ginger-snap-recipe-with-caramel-and-apple-paleo/.
To Make the Caramel Sauce:
For the Caramel Sauce:
For the Cookies:
You may have hung your stockings and trimmed your tree, but how do you prepare for the temptations of Holiday foods? This season is a fun one for everyone, but is not the easiest for eating well. From social gatherings, to traditions that are based on food, temptation is all around throughout the holiday season. No need to worry though, this Trim Thursday we will be discussing the best ways to stay healthy through the holiday season. Follow the tips below and you’ll be sure to make it through December without having to go over the top when it comes to your New Year’s gym resolution.
1. Good Things Come in Small Packages
Perhaps the simplest, and most delicious solution to staying healthy throughout the holidays is portion control. Although this is something that can of course be used all year round, it’s especially applicable during the holidays. Social gatherings from work parties to festivities with friends are common ways to celebrate throughout December, and they often involve food. You can still enjoy seasonal treats by choosing smaller amounts. Take it one step further by selecting a smaller plate so there is less room to overindulge.
2. Turkey All Day, Everyday
This poultry choice doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving only fare! Turkey is healthier than other seasonal meats such as roast beef or ham, because of it’s lower fat and sometimes salt content. This makes it a good choice when selecting a main course for holiday meals.
3. Change Up Your Routine
Hygiene and outfit choice are always part of getting ready for a festivities, but did you ever think eating should be too? By eating a light snack before heading out to parties or other food filled events you can save yourself from overindulging. Like our first tip, this strategy allows you to still enjoy some of the foods that you love, because sometimes you just need a reindeer cookie, or eggnog shake.
Photo Credits: The Food Network
1 pound dried penne
2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/easy-lemon-pasta-with-chicken-recipe.html?oc=linkback
Fun facts: Chicken is the most common food to be combined with another food such as pasta, rice or chicken.
Fun facts #2: Salt is the most common spice to add to any recipe
It’s official, the holidays are in full swing and I think I’ve already gained 5 lbs. All jokes aside, the best holiday, Thanksgiving is in the past. However, going back to my hometown made me realize how many people from high school you see while ringing in that holiday cheer. Unfortunately I saw an ex-boyfriend, a mean girl, and that one person who just always creeped me out. No matter who the person is, I want to look my very best (even though I always look like a wet rat when running into these people.) So I’ve dedicated the next three weeks I’m attempting a plant-based diet/vegan diet. The difference between the two are people on a vegan diet don’t use any animal products including leather bags etc. People on plant-based diet don’t consider those things, it just impacts what they are eating. Plant-based diets aren’t re difficult as you would think, and looking at my current diet, it seemed extremely feasible. I swapped traditional dairy including milk and butter with plant based alternatives about a year ago. I personally prefer the taste of almond milk and vegan butter tastes that same as traditional butter. I also don’t cook meat because I don’t really like it. I think the only real issue will be my beloved cheese. I started on Monday and I’m going to walk you through what I ate in a day and show you how easy and satisfying vegan eating can be.
9:00 a.m: Starbucks iced coffee, sweetened with soy milk
Coffee is always a staple in my daily diet, and this option totally gives you that silky milk feel without actual milk. Starbucks’ soy milk actually has a nutty flavor which is super delicious is coffee. I actually prefer my coffee made with soy milk than my old half and half order.
12:30 p.m: Mediterranean Bowl
This is seriously so good and won’t have you missing meat at all. I started off by cooking a Boca burger in a skillet on medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping frequently. Then cut up some assorted veggie, I included lettuce, cucumber, red peppers, red onion, and banana peppers. Heat up some rice and add some hummus and you have a delicious meal in no time. The rice and burger keeps you feeling full all day.
6:30 p.m: Veggie Pasta
Pasta has a really bad reputation of being super unhealthy but it’s really easy to make it delicious and nutritious. I start out by boiling whole wheat pasta. While that’s cooking, I start to wilt spinach with minced garlic, lemon and capers. Once the pasta is done, I toss everything in marinara sauce and enjoy.
9:30 p.m: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
The key to adjusting to a new diet is balance. This recipe is awesome to satisfy your sweet tooth without eating tons of sugar. I keep frozen bananas in my freezer at all times just to make this recipe. Blend frozen bananas until smooth. Add dairy free chocolate chips and enjoy the most delicious plant-based ice cream.
That's what I ate yesterday, and as you can see, you can still treat yo' self while eating on a plant-based diet. Delicious can be nutritious too.
Yesterday was my little brother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Fred). Following my family’s long standing tradition, he got to choose where we ate for his birthday celebration. Unsurprisingly, he chose Red Robin, his favorite place to get a huge burger. While I’m normally satisfied with a veggie burger no matter where we are, Red Robin’s bottomless fries were not enough to make up for their pitiful veggie option. The patty was falling apart, mushy, and had little to no flavor. After three years of being a vegetarian, I can proudly say that the only thing I have ever missed from the meat world is a really tasty burger. Black bean burgers are popular, yet they taste nothing like a real burger. They are a great meal on their own but they would never cut it as a burger for me. So over the years I have been on the hunt for the best recipe, restaurant, or grocery store burger that would satisfy my craving. I am happy to say that I have come close.
This recipe is another “everything but the kitchen sink” style recipe. My ingredients are the best combination I have found so far, but if you don’t like one of the ingredients, substitute it for one that you do. The real key is making sure there is a balance between wet and dry ingredients in order to keep that burger consistency. This recipe will make 4-5 large burgers (because I always want leftovers) so be prepared to make a few patties.
To conclude this health week, and exploring a variety of different diets and lifestyles, it seems fit to focus on one of the most popular diets, the DASH Diet. The DASH Diet is a dietary plan that is designed to lower blood pressure without medication and reduce the risk of other diseases, as well as help you maintain a healthy weight. The DASH Diet plan is rich in fruits and vegetables, and is low in fat. It mostly includes whole grains, lean meats, nuts and beans. Rather than a list of food restrictions, this diet focuses on food amount intake. For more information you can visit www.dashdiet.org.
photo property of http://blog.beetnikfoods.com/the-dash-diet-explained/
I found a few recipes that follow the DASH Diet guidelines that are easy, healthy and delicious. The first recipe I found is this apple oatmeal recipe at http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-slow-cooker-recipes/apple-oatmeal/.
photo property of http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-slow-cooker-recipes/apple-oatmeal/
The next recipe I found is this chicken potatoes and green beans recipe at http://dash-diet-phase2.blogspot.com/2016/10/dash-diet-crock-pot-recipes.html#.WC9ytDcoGkh
One-Pot Chicken Potatoes and Green Beans:
photo property of http://dash-diet-phase2.blogspot.com/2016/10/dash-diet-crock-pot-recipes.html#.WC92yzcoGkh
The final recipe I found is this balsamic pork roast recipe at http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-slow-cooker-recipes/balsamic-pork-roast/
Balsamic Pork Roast:
photo property of http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-slow-cooker-recipes/balsamic-pork-roast/
Ah, the paleo diet. It’s been around for awhile and when I first heard about it, it sounded crazy. Eating like a caveman does not sound appealing to me because, let’s face it, cavemen had it hard. Before doing any research on it, I thought it was people deciding to hunt for their own food and gather all the berries they would eat. Now that still sounds crazy to me, but it is not at all what the diet is about. The paleo diet is all about cutting out what our bodies don’t need and don’t want. All the processed food and refined sugar does nothing to nourish our bodies, so why keep filing our diets with it? Because going paleo means eating clean, you will automatically be eating more fruits and veggies, healthier fats, and you’ll be so full after every meal, you won’t feel like you're dieting.
This all sounds great but of course cutting out pizza, ice cream, and all of our guilty pleasure foods can’t just happen overnight. If you are seriously considering this diet full time, I recommend checking out the Paleo Mag. It is a great place to find out more about the diet, hear real experiences, and get yummy recipes. I think the key is to take it one step at a time. If you drink soda everyday, start by cutting that out. Then try going a week without soda or dairy. Then maybe try going the next week without refined sugar. If you try to cut out all the bad stuff at once, you will be overwhelmed by the challenge. By cutting out just one thing at a time, you will get stronger, cravings will fade, and you will begin to get used to the diet.
To make the beginning a little easier, I have just a simple recipe that you could start out with. This easy Lemon Chicken can be enjoyed on the Paleo diet, or shared with friends who just enjoy good food.
Lemon Chicken Skillet
This recipe from Primally Inspired is perfect after a long day of classes or if you’re in a time crunch. It uses simple, healthy ingredients, and will please even the pickiest of eaters.
The Paleo diet may sound crazy at first. Any diet can feel overwhelming and intimidating from the outside. But this diet isn’t using all new food and recipes. Think about the foods you do enjoy, like your favorite chicken dinner, a fancy omelette with veggies, or a healthy homemade trail mix. It may seem limiting at first if you focus on what you can’t have, but I bet as soon as you start, you’ll realize the limitless potential for freedom this diet has in store.
Photo credits: AllRecipesMediterranean Quinoa Salad
Check out our 2nd installation or our simple ramen recipes!
Veganism has blown up all over the internet and has become a trendy diet promoting delicious foods with life-changing benefits. The argument that vegan meals are “boring” or “time consuming” has also been challenged with about one million results on YouTube. These videos give viewers healthy and delicious alternatives to foods that include animal products. Veganism is now a lifestyle that isn’t too hard to adapt to, and options are becoming more readily available. Documentaries like Food Inc. and Cowspiricy have encouraged this lifestyle, and I would expect the popularity of this diet to continue to increase. Today I put together a full day of vegan meals, to show how easy it is.
Avocado Toast is another trendy and delicious meal. It takes no time to make and is easy to take on the go. The combination of carbs and healthy fats will keep you satisfied until lunch. Here’s how I make my avocado toast
Toast your bread. Then spread the avocado mash onto the bread. Place the rest of the ingredients on top, and enjoy.
Mexican Quinoa Bowl
This vegan take on Chipotle is the perfect dish to take to work or campus. It can be eaten cold or warm so it super convenient for on the go people. It’s delicious and filling, with beans being a nice source of protein. It’s also customizable; if you don’t like tomatoes, don’t add them.
Combine all ingredients in a Tupperwear container and enjoy.
Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta
This is a great example of a recipe that typically uses animal products, turned vegan. This recipe is similar to a fettuccine alfredo and will definitely satisfy those cravings. Pasta is super filling and great for a dinner option, so that you don’t miss that protein.
Coat asparagus in ½ tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes on 400. Once finished cooking, remove from oven and roughly chop into thirds. Bring a pot of water to a boil, while the water’s heating, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and all minced garlic. Whisk and continue cooking for 1-2
Add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk. Cook for 30 seconds, then whisk in almond milk 1/2 cup at a time. Lower heat and continue cooking to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add nutritional yeast. Once your sauce has reached desired thickness, add lemon juice and stir.Cook pasta according to package instructions. Then drain and set aside. Add chopped asparagus and the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Enjoy.
Veganism is a lifestyle that has not only changed people’s health, but their lives. Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring, and if you’re willing to make the change can be extremely delicious. I hope you at least check out some vegan recipes and try them out. Even if you don’t make the full vegan plunge, Meatless Monday’s are pretty fun too.
Nutritional, Efficient & Simplistic
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