Turkey Meatballs

As promised, here’s the recipe I use to make turkey meatballs. This recipe is from The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper, and it is SO good. I have some of these in my freezer at all times to throw together for a quick meal. You can put them in soup, pair with whole wheat spaghetti and low sodium spaghetti sauce, throw on a whole wheat hoagie for a meatball sub, etc. So, here’s the recipe below. Give them a try! (I do often substitute the fresh garlic and fresh parsley for the dried stuff, and they still turn out great.)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Lean ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
  • Olive oil spray

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a large mixing bowl and shape into 1-inch balls. The recipe should yield about 30 meatballs.
  2. Spray a large non-stick skillet with olive oil.
  3. Cook the meatballs for 5-6 minutes, occasionally turning them to brown all sides.

Preparation is Key!

Life gets  busy. Trust me, I know! Thus, the lack of blogging recently. The last several weeks have been packed full of things to do, but I’ve learned how important it is to be prepared for the week. Eating healthy and fitting in workouts does take time, which isn’t always abundant. So, here’s what you have to do. Take the available time you do have, and prepare!

Each weekend I plan out my meals for the week, and I make several ahead of time. This way I have lunches and dinners prepared that I can quickly heat meals up when I’m in a time crunch. Even if you can’t cook meals ahead of time, it is still important to plan ahead and have the groceries on hand. You don’t want to start to cook a meal and realize you don’t have the supplies on hand.

Also super helpful – stock the freezer! At all times I have pre-measured servings of meats in the freezer. I have several four ounce servings of chicken wrapped individually in freezer paper. When I’m ready to make a meal with chicken, such as stir fry, I can grab a packet and its ready to cook. I also have turkey meatballs in  my freezer at almost any given time. I’ll make them ahead of time, and then I can then quickly heat them up to place in whole-wheat spaghetti, combine with vegetables in chicken broth to make a quick soup, or have a couple for a snack. Another thing I like to make ahead of time and freeze are Italian Turkey Burgers. A pound of ground turkey makes 4 patties. These are great pre-made burgers that just take a few minutes to cook in a skillet. (For both the Turkey Meatballs and the Italian Turkey Burgers, I’ll post the recipes soon :)) Also stocked in my freezer is frozen fruit. I love frozen berries. Plus, they last a lot longer in the freezer than the refrigerator. In addition, you can combine with greek yogurt and make a smoothie in a snap.

One more tip – measure out your snack ahead of time so you can grab them on the go. For instance, I really like to eat Quaker Oatmeal Squares. So each time I buy a box, I go ahead and measure out servings and place in Ziploc bags so I have snack packs already made that I can grab on the way to work or school or wherever. It’s helpful for time purposes, and you can make sure you don’t eat more than you’re supposed to, which is easy with snack foods.

Hope these tips help! Recipes to come soon!

A Little Something Sweet

As is the case with most girls out there, one of my biggest weaknesses is chocolate. It’s the one of the few foods that I do start to miss after a while. So, I’m always on the lookout for a healthy option to kick those cravings. This week I stumbled upon the perfect thing. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites.

Okay, technically it’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. And, technically it’s not actual cookie dough. I promise, it is tasty, though. Made from a blend of cashews, oats, agave, syrup and chocolate chips, it’s just enough sweet to get you past those moments when you really want something chocolate.

If you’ve never tried recipes like this, you’re probably really skeptical. I was the first time I tried this kind of a recipe, and I’ll admit it’s not quite the same as a freshly made chocolate chip cookie. That being said, don’t rule it out. Give this a try, and I bet you’ll like it. After all, it’s all about adjusting you’re taste buds to new things.

You can find the link here. (This website actually has a lot of other great recipes, too!)

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

One of the ways I’m maintaining healthy eating is by making just about everything I eat myself, including my salad dressings. One of the dressings that I love is the Balsamic Vinaigrette I make. So, I thought I’d share it with you. I took a recipe I found, but tweaked it a bit because I originally found it too bitter. I love it now! And, it makes the perfect portion for an individual salad. Hope you enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Agave Nectar

Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over salad.

What I Ate

If you enjoy reading a lot of different blogs like I do, you may have seen many bloggers do a “What I Wore” post. In these posts the blogger posts snapshots of different outfits they’ve worn throughout the week to give their readers ideas and inspirations for outfits of their own. Well, I’m going to do something similar, except with meal ideas – a “What I Ate” post. I’ll update you at the end of the week with pictures of different things I’ve eaten throughout the week so as to give you ideas of delicious meals you can try yourselves.

Below are some of what I ate this week. Hope it gives you some inspiration!

Turkey Meatballs w/ Spinach in Chicken BrothSalad made of Arugula, Romaine, Spinach, Carrots, and Garbanzo beansTurkey Meatballs w/ Green Beans and Roasted Red Pepper StripsHomemade Tomato SoupStir Fry Veggies – You can try this with any combination you like!“Brownies” These are from the recipe previously mentioned. I tried pressing them in a pan instead of rolling into balls, but it didn’t quite fill the pan.Mixed Greens Salad w/ Hard-Boiled Egg Whites and StrawberriesCurried Chicken and Quinoa Salade w/ Apples, Celery, and Raisins served over Fresh Spinach

 

Becoming a Yogi

Yoga has quickly become one of my favorite forms of exercise. I know a lot of people are under the impression that it’s a not a great workout, but I promise you – it is! While not a fast-paced workout, yoga is great for building strength and producing lean muscle. And, you will burn calories. When you have to hold your entire body weight in downward dog, I promise you’re going to feel it and you’ll see the results. After a few weeks, even a few days, of doing yoga I felt my body becoming stronger.

I, personally, love yoga for it’s stress-reducing qualities. After a long day, it’s one of my favorite ways to unwind. When I’m done with a great yoga workout my body feels so relaxed and I feel stronger. Throughout yoga you have to concentrate on your breathing and holding your body in all sorts of weird positions, so it’s a great way to clear your mind from the stresses of the day.

Now as much as I love yoga, I also know that it’s not the highest-calorie-burning workout. I use it in conjunction with various cardio. The cardio will burn the calories and help you lose weight, while the yoga works to build muscle.

If you’ve read my blog at all before, you know I’m a huge Bob Harper fan. So, it’s not surprising I’d recommend his workouts. Here are links to a couple of his workouts. If you’re just beginning I like the video he did for The Biggest Loser. It’s a great workout, but quite as intense as the other. Hope you enjoy! Namaste 🙂

The Biggest Loser: The Workout – Weight Loss Yoga

Bob Harper: Yoga For The Warrior

For That Sweet Tooth Craving

If you all are like me, the one thing you will miss when trying to eat healthy is something sweet. I can’t even tell you how long it had been since I’ve had something chocolate…until this weekend. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was kind of skeptical, since it’s a “brownie” recipe mainly comprised of dates, but I decided to try it anyway. I was really missing chocolate :) .

Well, it was wonderful. You simply blend dates, cocoa powder, walnuts, and a splash of vanilla in a food processor, roll into balls – and voila! Brownies. Kind of. While not really, truly chocolate, these tasted wonderful. Now maybe it’s just because I haven’t had anything sweet in about a month, but I think they tasted pretty close to real brownies. So, I wanted to share this with y’all for when you, too, are missing a little something sweet. Be careful though – only one or two at a time. Those dates do have sugar in them. Below is the recipe for exact ingredient measurements.

Healthy Sugar-Free Cookies | Triumph Wellness

Start with the Basics

The first time I went shopping for all this new “healthy” food, I was quite overwhelmed. There were so many new things I needed, and I didn’t even know where to find half of them in the grocery store. However, after than initial trip to the grocery store it’s been much easier because I’ve realized there a lot of things that you can and will use over and over again. Here are some basic items that should be a staple in your kitchen:

  • Olive Oil!! – I can’t tell you how often I use this. Almost every time I cook I begin by spraying my pan with olive oil, and I toss just about every vegetable I cook with olive oil and herbs. It’s a much healthier substitute for other oils you may use.
  • Greek Yogurt – This is an awesome source of protein, which as I’ve mentioned before is a huge staple of any healthy diet. It’s a great go-to breakfast item when you don’t have time to cook. Pair it with a cup of berries, and you’ve got a great start to your day. It’s also a good choice for a snack.
  • A collection of your favorite herbs and spices – Use these to add flavor to vegetables, chicken, whatever you like. Remember, we don’t want our food to be dull or we won’t keep eating it.
  • Agave – Agave is a natural sweetener that can serve as a substitute for sugar. It is quite sweet so you can use much less of it. For instance, you can 2/3 cup of agave for 1 cup of sugar. I like to use it to sweeten oatmeal, and I also use it when making vinaigrette dressings.
  • A fresh supply of fruits and veggies – It’s good to always have these things on hand so that you’re always ready to have a healthy snack or prepare a healthy meal. One of my go-to recipes for dinner has become stir-fry veggies because it’s quick, easy, and delicious. If I didn’t have these things on hand, however, I wouldn’t be able to just whip this up whenever I wanted. It’s all about reducing temptaion. If you don’t have fruits or vegetables in the fridge, those potato chips will be much more tempting.
  • Eggs – I use eggs ALL the time. Omelets for breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs for a snack or with lunch, Frittatas for dinner. You get the idea. Just remember, we’re primarily going to be eating the whites.
  • A great set of knives! – Okay, not a grocery item, but SO essential! You’re going to do a lot of chopping with all those vegetables you’re going to be eating, so you need a nice set of sharp knives.

It’s really all about preparation. Have a healthy supply of food on hand at all times. That way when unhealthy temptations come creepin’ you can reach for something else.

Eat those veggies!

I’ve eaten more vegetables over the course of the last couple weeks than I ever have before and definitely cooked them in ways I never have before. Vegetables are an incredibly important part of our daily menu, but the part we often are tempted to skimp out on.  They offer all sorts of vitamins and minerals our bodies need.

When it comes to your veggies, it’s all about finding what you like – how you like to cook them, what combinations you like, which meals they go best with, etc. Some of my favorite combos are spinach and mushrooms, which go great with eggs in the morning, and zucchini, squash and carrots all roasted together. Roasting vegetables has become one of my favorite ways to eat them. You simply toss them in olive oil and seasoning and stick them in the oven. The flavor is wonderful.

However, roasting them in the oven is not always the quickest, and if you’re like the majority of people in this busy world time is not something you always have a lot of. In fact, today was one of those days for me where after working late, I definitely did not have time to come home and let my dinner sit in the oven for 40 minutes – especially if I was going to fit in a workout. So, I decided to try something different, and it came out so great I wanted to share it with all of you.

Here’s a quick go-to dinner option for your veggies: Chop up zucchini, squash, onions and bell peppers – as much as you want and for as many people as you want. Toss in olive oil, a dash of salt, black pepper and any herbs and seasoning you like. Just avoid using seasoning mixtures with added salt. Spray a large skillet with olive oil and saute your veggies until slightly browned on both sides. The sauteed onions add great flavor to the mixture.  Below is a picture of what mine looked like tonight. I apologize for the poor quality. My camera was dead and I don’t have a fancy iPhone like most of you 🙂

Let me know what your favorites are!

Breakfast! It really is that important.

Everyone knows and has probably heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, for some reason it’s the meal we all often skimp on. If you’re like me, it’s hard to get up in the morning and take the time to actually prepare a substantial meal. However, if you can get in the habit of doing so, I guarantee you’ll see how worth it this is. It’s the kickstart your metabolism needs to get you ready for the day.

That being said, there’s one major component that is a breakfast must. PROTEIN! You need this to start your day out right and fuel your body. I try to always include some form of protein, as well as a fruit and some kind of grain such as toast or oatmeal.

I promised pictures, so below is an example of a great breakfast. This morning I had berries, sweet potato hash browns (homemade! see how-to below), and a 3 egg white/1 yolk omelet with 1 tsp of parmesan for my protein. So filling and so delicious. When you eat tasty breakfast like this, it will be worth getting up those 15 minutes earlier.

Now, here’s how one goes about making sweet potato hash browns. Simply chop up a cup of sweet potatoes, toss in olive oil and your favorite seasoning, and bake for at least 30 minutes until they’re soft. I used a dash of salt and pepper, and rosemary to season mine and they turned out great, but you can experiment with your favorites and see what you like.