Monday, July 1, 2019

My Favorite Bbq Recipes For Your Next Summer Shindig

Dining outside on a warm summer night is one of my favorite parts of the season -- from picnics at the park to big backyard barbecue gatherings, many memories are made as we gather around a table to enjoy a meal alfresco.   

Unfortunately, much of what we put out on the grill isn't so good for us.  If you're looking to host an outdoor barbecue with healthier options than the typical hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs -- take a look below for some tasty yet healthy suggestions. 

Marinated grilled chicken or tofu  
Undeniably, grilled chicken/tofu is a healthy choice.  All you need is a great marinade, and you're all set. With so many different marinades to choose from and various herbs to combine for different flavors, you won't get bored with this option. 

Grilled veggie sandwiches 
Even if you regularly fill your plate with veggies, nothing stands out better than the grilled variety. Grab Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers and roast them over the open flame. A little misting of olive oil will keep them from sticking without making them soggy. Then, top them on whole grain wrap or bun for a satisfying meal. 

Turkey or Veggie Burgers  
Instead of ground beef, make your burgers with ground turkey.  They taste much lighter and won't leave you dragging afterward.  Or you can opt for a veggie burger if you want a meat-free option.  Homemade black bean burgers are a big hit in my house!  

Fajita kabobs 
Take your love of fajitas outdoors by skewering marinated peppers and onions.  If you're a meat eater, add some grilled chicken to your skewers.  Add a little fajitas seasoning, and you'll have a feisty barbecue dish that brings all the flavor while being kind to your health. 

Grilled watermelon 
Watermelon is a summer barbecue staple. And while it's already good for you, tossing slices of it onto your grill is a game-changer for the palate. No one will need a sugary dessert with a treat this good. 

Grilled fish 
Fresh fish on the grill evokes images of an island vacation. No matter where you live, you can make your own version of paradise by taking fish, wrapping it with veggies like asparagus in foil packets, and throwing it atop the flames. The best part is you can use any fish you like, though the fresher, the better. Try salmon, mahi-mahi, tilapia, or tuna.  

Cauliflower steaks on the grill 
Cauliflower…is there anything it can't do? When sliced into thick steaks, you can marinate it and grill it. Like Portobello mushrooms, it has a very meaty quality while being 100% plant-based and perfect for any meatless guests. 

Shrimp Skewers 
And finally, I'd love to remind you that shrimp on the barbie not only tastes fantastic but is also a healthy barbecue dish for your summer shindigs. Marinate them, skewer them, put them on the grill, and enjoy! 

What's your favorite backyard bbq dish?  Hit reply and let me know, I'm always excited to get some new ideas. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

How Food Journaling Can Change Your Life 

Jotting down everything you eat throughout the day can unlock so many clues as to what foods work best for you, and what foods may be negatively affecting you without you even realizing. It can be as simple as carrying a small notebook around in your purse, or even as quick as downloading a Food Journaling app on your phone to keep track. There are many great ones to choose from if you search for food journaling in your phone's app store. 

Here's what you'll discover about yourself when you start keeping a food journal. 

You'll solve that mysterious question, "Why do I eat if I'm not hungry?" To be successful at food journaling, you need to get to the root of why you're eating what you're eating, and why you're even eating at all. When you jot down all the foods you eat, make sure you're writing down the times, how hungry you are before eating it, and how full you feel afterward. What you'll discover is very telling. Many people spot the pattern that they eat on cue even when not hungry due to some other stimulus, like watching TV. When you catch that clue, you can change your behavior and stop the habit in its tracks. 

You'll see how much you're actually eating. It's not solely about the food on your plate. Eating can sometimes be a mindless activity, which is why food journaling helps bring you back into mindfulness when eating. Take note of your meals, not just what you fill your plate with but how much of it. Merely writing "veggie stir fry" won't give you any clues later, especially if you neglected to write down that you ate two bowls full.  

You'll see how fast you eat. Sometimes, eating too quickly can be the culprit in all of your food feelings. Either it leads to digestive woes (hello, heartburn!) or you feel mostly unsatisfied because you've wolfed down your food and those with whom you're dining are still eating. By recognizing this pattern through your food journaling, you'll be able to take better control.  

You'll discover how you really feel when you eat what you eat. After hearing many stories from clients, I've realized we choose what to eat based on what we like and seldom based on how it makes us feel. This is a crucial part of food journaling, to see on paper how we're choosing to eat things that make us feel bad -- and we know they will make us feel bad. For example, headaches seem to be a part of life, but they're so often caused by foods we're consuming, and we're not realizing the connection. So taking note of how you feel after eating certain foods, and keeping this laid out in your food journal, will help you see patterns, you may be completely unaware of at this moment. After you eat, think about if you feel refreshed and energetic, unmotivated and fatigued, uncomfortable in any way? Taking notes on how the food you eat impacts your life will help you make better choices.  

Perception is a huge factor in living a balanced, healthy life. You might very well think you're on the right track, but keeping a food journal will show you where you're straying and where any unseen harmful patterns are hiding.  

Have you ever kept a food journal? If not, are you excited about starting one? Do you need help getting started? Contact me and let me know what's on your mind.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Real Difference Between Canned, Fresh, & Frozen Veggies

You already know that eating vegetables is essential for your health, but which section of the store do you get them from? Vegetables come fresh, frozen, and canned, and many people wonder what the difference is between them. After all, aren’t they all vegetables? 

Here’s what you should know about each. 

Canned Vegetables 
Canned vegetables tend to be more processed. While these are handy to keep around, especially during the seasons of the year where storms can keep you in the dark, they can lack in nutrition over the other fresh or frozen choices. They also tend to have gobs more sodium than fresh and frozen varieties. With canned vegetables, try to find options without added sodium to make a healthier choice, if you choose canned vegetables. 

Fresh Vegetables  
Fresh veggies are indeed a prime choice, but not always -- they can lose a lot of their nutrients before they’re consumed. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks for them to get to your table from the time they’re picked. In this time frame, they can lose up to 50% of their nutrients.  

To keep their nutrient powers intact, cook them for shorter times and at lower temperatures. Make sure you use very little water to keep vitamin C and B vitamins from disappearing too. Steaming is a much better option than boiling, though if you must boil your veggies, add them after the water begins to boil.  

One of the best ways to get the most nutrients from your fresh vegetables though is buying them locally and while they’re in season. Make use of the freshest vegetables available to you for the best taste and most nutrition.  

Frozen Vegetables 
Interestingly, frozen veggies tend to retain the highest proportion of nutrients. They’re usually frozen right after harvesting to keep them fresh. But beware, they may be processed with additives like extra salt or sauces. Always read the labels to see what you’re getting, and look for brands that keep things as natural as possible. 

You can freeze your fresh vegetables from the farmers market, too. This will ensure nothing goes to waste and that you can enjoy them without losing vital nutrients.  

When it comes to vegetables, the bottom line is that getting them onto your plate is most important. If canned is the only option you have in your house while making dinner, it’s better to eat it than to skip a serving of vegetables.  

In my house, we tend to use fresh most often.  I have Hungry Harvest deliver "rescued" vegetables to my house each week. You can check them out here.

So, do you reach for the canned, fresh, or frozen veggies?  Hit reply and let me know what it's like in your house.