Tag Archives: Eating Healthy

The Cost of Healthy Eating

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With the start of a new year, many have made promises to themselves to begin a healthier lifestyle. Many also get concerned that eating healthy also means that you will be spending more at the grocery store. But, friends, this is not always true. This post is going to be about my weekly shopping this week. I like many of you had to re-promise and commit to a healthy lifestyle again.

For my husband, 2 kitties, 1 puppy, and myself our typical weekly grocery bill is between $80-$120. Had to include the animals because their food can be pricey too and is included in our costs. This week, back to eating healthy our bill was $77. Imagine that, a cart filled with healthy proteins, fruits, and veggies was cheaper than cart filled with junk! On top of that the only coupon I used was for 50 cents off some tea.

Here are some tips to help keep your grocery bill low while eating healthy:

1. Know what you already have. Before going shopping make an inventory of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. This is also a great opportunity to clean out, or toss things that you know you will be tempted to eat that you should not. You may be surprised about what you already have that you can turn into a meal or use within a meal during the week.

2. Plan ahead. This one is oh so important! Create a menu for the week, or the next time you will be able to go grocery shopping. Write down exactly what you will eat each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. This menu will then help you make your list. You will know exactly how many bananas, green peppers, chicken breasts, etc. that you need.

3. Make a list. Using your menu and your inventory, make a list of exactly what you need. You can write this list on paper, or use an app on your smartphone. I use the app called list ease. Keep your list organized. Divide it into sections similar to how the grocery store is organized. My go to categories are, produce, aisles, frozen and dairy.

4. Buy what you know you will eat. If you are on a budget, don’t try weird stuff that you aren’t sure if you like. If you don’t enjoy eating salads, don’t buy 4 heads of lettuce your first week eating healthy, buy 1.

5. Go shopping when it is crowded. I had to add this one after my last shopping trip. I HATE SHOPPING WHEN IT IS PACKED. But, it keeps me from browsing and adding unneeded stuff into my cart. When it is crowded, you go in, get what you need, and get out.

6. Buy in larger quantities when it makes sense. Example: apples are $1.29 per pound at our grocery store. I can buy a 3 pound bag of apples for $2.89. I know I will eat those apples anyway, so it makes sense to buy the 3 pound bag. We also buy our onions this way. The same exact chicken, same exact company, is cheaper per pound when you buy it in a larger quantity. Buy more chicken one week, and freeze it for the next. Frozen chicken works great in a crockpot!

 

So for an entire week of meals I would say $77 isn’t bad. That’s $11 per day for 2 people.This also saves money because we are not going out to eat!

Here is some insight to what we will be eating this week. Our breakfasts and lunches are not always the same. My husband usually has a v8 or eggs for breakfast, and tuna or leftovers for lunch.

Saturday: Breakfast, homemade bread with OJ. Lunch, Greek yogurt with fruit. Dinner, Thai chicken w/ peppers w/ brown rice. Snacks, Lara bar, carrots and hummus.

Sunday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch, no mayo chicken salad, which can be found here https://tastefullyhealthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/no-mayo-chicken-salad/ with pita crackers and fruit. Dinner, vegetable soup and grilled cheese with tomatoes. Snacks, pineapple and cheese stick.

Monday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch egg salad w/ pita crackers and grapes. Dinner, vegetable soup and baked potato. Snacks, Lara bar, fruit, beef jerky.

Tuesday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/fruit. Lunch, tossed salad. Dinner, whole wheat pasta with meat sauce and a salad. Snacks, carrots, fruit, beef jerky.

Wednesday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/ banana. Lunch, Cobb salad. Dinner, Hamburgers and homemade fries. Snacks, fruit & cheese stick, carrots.

Thursday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, hamburger salad. Dinner, Tyson light breaded chicken, broccoli. Snacks, beef jerky, fruit & cheese stick.

Friday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, leftovers or salad. Dinner, brown rice and black beans w/ salsa. Snacks, carrots, fruit & cheese stick.

 

Needless to say, eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive. You just need to be smart about it. Your body will thank you!

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Bacony Brussels Sprouts & Meatloaf

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Healthy Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts

This entire meal is gluten free, dairy free, and Paleo friendly. Normally, I do not go through this extent of making a side dish, but dang these Brussels sprouts were sure worth it! They go well with the meatloaf because they both bake at 350.

 

Bacony Brussels Sprouts Directions:

Ingredients:

6 strips of bacon (natural, nitrate-free is best)

1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Ground Black Pepper to taste

 

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Dice bacon and cook it in a skillet until crispy.

3. Steam the Brussels sprouts anyway you choose for about 5 minutes. Cut off the stem, and cut them in halves or quarters depending on size.Healthy Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss the sprouts, bacon, bacon grease, and spices.

meatloaf and brussels5. Line a baking dish with foil, I only do this cause I hate to scrub dishes. Spread Brussels sprouts evenly in the dish.

Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through. When you are done you should have this:

Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts

Meatloaf

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef 97% lean

1 cup almond meal/flour

2 eggs

6 oz tomato paste

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon dried basil

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

 

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Beat eggs together.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand.

4. Place meat mixture into a large baking dish, or large loaf pan.

5. Bake for 1 hour, until the meatloaf is no longer pink in the middle.

Meatloaf

 

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini

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The P.E. teacher at work had shown me a picture of a similar recipe Friday after school, and I thought “OH, I could totally get my family to eat that!” And so, here is this recipe.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with ZucchiniIngredients:

1-1.5 lbs thin sliced chicken breasts

1 small zucchini

1 package of bacon (you won’t use it all)

Salt free spice (like Mrs. Dash)

Ground Black Pepper

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut zucchini into thin french fry like sticks. For me the easiest way to do this was cut the zucchini in half the “short way”, then cut each of those halves in quarters, so you have 8 pieces. Then cut them like fries!

zucchini sticks2. Spread out one piece of chicken. Season the side that will be on the inside of the roll-up with salt-free seasoning. Lay 5-6 zucchini sticks on one end of the chicken and roll it on up.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini3. Then, wrap a piece of bacon around that, and place on a baking sheet.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Zucchini4. Grind pepper on top of roll-ups.

paleo bacon wrapped chicken with zucchini5. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your rolls (hahaha). Remove and enjoy! We cut into one of ours to be sure that it was cooked all the way.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini

 

We served it with fresh green beans. Oh and everyone loved it! My father-in-law only ate the ones without the zucchini though.

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla

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I need to start by saying that I get extremely frustrated cooking in such a small kitchen. When we move, I have certain requirements for our new house…it’s not many. It must have a kitchen with a lot of counter space, and it must have a dishwasher. Our current kitchen is lacking both of those, causing me stress!!
Anyway, here is what we made for dinner. My intention was to cook for my husband, but my frustration got the best of me. I really stink at flipping anything while cooking, grilled cheese, pancakes, and yup, you guessed it, quesadillas!
Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts (about 8 oz) boiled

Juice from 1/2 of a lime

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ground sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

olive oil spray

8 whole wheat tortillas

1 can refried beans

1 small can diced green chiles

1 1/2 cups fat free cheddar cheese, shredded

Chopped scallions, green part only

 

What To Do:

1. Chop boiled chicken. The chopper from Pampered Chef works great for this.

2. Mix chicken, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl.

3. Spray olive oil on a large non-stick skillet. On a plate assemble quesadilla with 1 tortilla, spread refried beans, green chiles, chicken, scallion and cheese, top with a second tortilla.

4. Cook until lightly browned. Carefully turn with a spatula. Press down on quesadilla with spatula while cooking.

5. Makes 4 quesadillas. Cook each quesadilla  individually, re-spray the pan with olive oil spray each time too. Cut each one into 4 pieces. Serve with salsa.

Each quesadilla should be about 9 points. However, the Weight Watcher’s website is currently down, so I can not double check this.

Easy Cheesy Quiche

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This was my first ever quiche! (That I made, not consumed). The recipe originated from the Weight Watcher’s website and can be found here. What caught my eye was that the main ingredients include a whole lot of cheese.

One of the biggest challenges was finding a pre-made pie crust, and finding the cheeses in lower fat, or lighter variations. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but apparently everyone wanted to buy ricotta cheese this week. We were able to find fat free cheddar, and low fat ricotta, which was lower in fat than the part-skim kind.
So, here’s the recipe!

Easy Cheesy Quiche

Ingredients:

6 oz, or a 9″ refrigerated pie crust

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 of a medium red onion

1 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese

1 cup fat free cheddar cheese

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

10 oz of frozen broccoli, or spinach thawed and drained, or fresh zucchini diced. (Broccoli was used this time around. I also forgot to thaw it out ahead of time, so I ran it under warm water, then drained it. Red pepper would also be a yummy addition)

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Press crust into a 9″ pie plate, and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Transfer onion to a large bowl.

3. Add the following ingredients to the onion, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, egg and egg whites, Dijon mustard, dried oregano salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Fold in broccoli and or other vegetables.

5. Spoon mixture into crust and level it out with a spoon. Top with Parmesan cheese.

6. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

7. Cut into 8 pieces. Each piece is 6 points.

10 Tips for Eating Healthy

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You are what you eat No, you feel how you eat.

Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging as frequently is that we simply have not been being healthy as frequently. In the beginning of my weight loss journey I vowed to not be one of those people who puts all of the weight back on. Unfortunately, I have put SOME (about 20 pounds) of the weight I lost back on since our wedding. I am holding myself accountable for this, and hitting the reset button right now. I haven’t been active with Weight Watcher’s so I am officially signing back up today. Weight Watcher’s is not the only way to be healthy and lose weight, but I know it’s what works for me, and has worked for many others.
Myself, and hopefully my husband too will also be sticking to these tips for eating healthy, and continuing to eat healthy long-term.

1. Plan Ahead.  Planning ahead is critical to both long and short term success of eating healthy. Plan what you will eat for all meals, and snacks either daily or weekly. Plan and create a grocery list. If you know you may be eating out, check out the menu and make a smart choice before hand. Plan ahead when you will work out, have me time, do house work etc. Being well prepared also helps to reduce stress, stress can add to weight gain…moral of the story, plan ahead. Oh, and sometimes life throws us a curve ball, so don’t get upset if your plans don’t go as intended.

2. There is a Difference Between Need and Want. My parents used to say this to us quite a bit growing up. It’s even more true when it comes to your body and eating. Think of food as fuel. Your body needs fuel to function, it merely WANTS all the other stuff. Eat foods that will fuel your body. Eat because your body needs it, not because your brain wants it.

3. Track What You Eat. Whether you count points, count calories, or just write down what you ate, tracking can turn into a resourceful tool for you. When you track, you have something to refer back to which allows you to see why you were or were not successful. It helps you to notice if you struggle with eating at a particular point of the day. Tracking also helps you to remember your favorites. It also helps to track your weight and body measurements to monitor your progress.

4. Ask Yourself, “Are you hungry?” before eating.  When you ask yourself that question, it forces you to think about what you are about to eat. How do you know if you are really hungry or not? You could ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough to eat and apple?” If you answer no, then you probably shouldn’t eat that tempting snack. If you answer yes, then your body needs something to fuel it.

5. Be Mindful of How Much You Are Eating. Portion control is an issue for many of us. In my book, there is a difference in eating a large healthy meal, and a large unhealthy meal. Think about what it is you’re eating, and what a serving should be. Use measuring tools when at home. When eating out (typically the portions are HUGE) use the eat half now, eat half later rule.

6. Learn How to Cook.When you cook at home you know exactly what’s in your food. You have control over it all. Once you are familiar with your favorite ingredients you can throw a lot of yummy dishes together. Cooking at home good for your body and good for your wallet.

7. Ask Questions. When you eat out, ask questions. Ask to see nutritional information if it isn’t already posted. Ask how things are cooked, baked, boiled, cooked in oil etc. Ask for substitutions. Most restaurants are more than willing to accommodate, but it can take courage to ask. Ask your doctor questions about healthy eating. Ask others questions, but prepare yourself that you may not like their answers.

8. Monitor your fluid intake. Water, water, water. Drink enough of it every day. Lay off of the other drinks including sodas, alcohol, and other sugar drinks. Limit artificially sweetened drinks as well. Be aware of how much water you should be drinking, and space it out throughout the day.

9. Keep it Healthy in Other Areas.I have found that when I am healthy in other areas, I am more apt to continue to eat healthy. Exercise to keep your body healthy. In the area of hygiene,  brush 2 times a day, floss daily, use a body lotion, facial lotion to keep your skin looking healthy (and reduce stretch marks/sagging skin if you are losing weight). Keep your mind healthy, make time for yourself, to be social and to relax. All systems of our body work together like a machine, so we need to keep them all healthy.

10. Surround Yourself With Positive.Finding people who support you can, for some, make or break healthy eating. The best option is to be able to surround yourself with others who are also eating healthy. This isn’t always possible. Thank goodness for social networking. Check facebook to find groups that have similar health goals and support one another. Part of surrounding yourself with positive if being positive about yourself. Use positive talk, celebrate small achievements.

So here is to a new start. Looking forward to not needing to squeeze into my clothes every morning. I want to need to wear that belt that’s hanging in my closet!

Mayo-Free Egg Salad

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Would you believe that about 6-7 years ago I HATED eggs! It was a texture thing, until one day I tried them…and now here I am posting about egg salad. Who would’ve thought!

 

What makes this egg salad unique is that it has no mayonnaise, making it quite healthy for you! Everyone has their own way of making egg salad, so if you prefer other ingredients then go ahead and add those. I love packing this for lunch, but usually do not eat it as a sandwich when I do. Instead, I take celery and a few wheat thins.

 

Ingredients:

3 Hard Boiled Eggs (remove the yolks from 2 of them, so you will have 2 whites and 1 whole egg)

2 Stalks of Celery

1 Dill Pickle Spear

1 Light Swiss Flavored Laughing Cow Wedge

Some mustard (how much and what type depends on what kind of flavor you want)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

I have found that using my chopper is a fast, easy and safe way to chop up all of the ingredients that need chopping. It does an especially nice job of finely chopping the celery. Everything is much more even and uniform than when I do it by hand.

Once everything is chopped, dump it into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Mix and mash it all together using a fork. Take special care to make sure that the cheese gets blended well throughout.

Finally serve it up however you prefer. As you can see this makes quite a bit. If I wasn’t so hungry I would have saved some to have another sandwich for dinner!