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5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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3 Easy Ways (+ 1 Cookbook!) to Lose Weight by Eating Well

3 Easy Ways (+ 1 Cookbook!) to Lose Weight by Eating Well

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The Healthy Family, Healthy You way says that slow and steady wins the race. That means, eat for health and a healthy weight will follow. The more you eat real food, the more your body will understand when it is truly hungry or just bored, stressed, tired, etc…. In addition, junk food and highly processed food makes us think we’re still hungry when we don’t need more food.

(Click on the above pictures for a great alternative to summer treats filled with junk!).

Here are a few healthy ways to LOSE weight while you GAIN health.

1. Aim to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, crowd out the bad stuff with the good stuff. To keep yourself accountable and on track, plan your day ahead of time. How are you going to get there?

Here is 1 example:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with half a cup of fruit (1)

Snack: Apple with 1 TB peanut butter (1)

Lunch: Salad with 2 cups greens, 2 cups mixed raw vegetables, such as red pepper, tomatoes and carrots.(4)

Dressing. A portion of the following recipe: 1 Avocado, 1 roasted red pepper, Juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper. (1)

Add 1 cup brown rice or quinoa and 1 cup beans. (1)

Snack: Green smoothie with almond milk, 1 banana and 1 tsp matcha green tea powder. (1)

Dinner: Whatevs, baby, you are already up to 9 servings! And does this look like a starvation diet to you? Not for a second! But if you want to be even more of a healthy, energetic rock star, go ahead and make steam bags of frozen veggies and brown rice and ready to eat flavored tofu. Then, treat yourself to a healthy dessert. SEE NUMBER 3 FOR GREAT SUMMER IDEAS!

2. Pair up with a buddy. Have a good friend who is also trying to eat well? Try reporting what you eat to one another for one day. If that feels good, keep going. In the future you may choose only Mondays or Monday through Thursday. Your partnership will support you on the days you need it. Use each others success to keep yourself motivated, enthusiastic, focused and in a positive mindset. Don’t underestimate the power of 1 day. Some people get so discouraged that they don’t think they can eat as they intend, without “cheating,” for even one day. For them, that one day is what they need to move forward to future days. You can make that happen for a friend! For yourself! Don’t you feel good already?

3. Find healthy (not diet!) substitutions for treats you love. Whether you are sensitive to dairy, don’t eat it for other reasons, or are open to seeing how good you can feel without it, I have a great substitute for you. The summer started and I could not get rid of a craving for for a creamsicle. Well, I have found a substitute!

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Allow me to introduce you to this fabulous Ice Pop cookbook. “Cook” book? For ice pops? Yup! Cookie Dough, Creamsicle, Butter Pecan… Great ideas like using a touch of spinach for green color. No spinach taste and no food coloring. Genius! Why buy popsicles with corn syrup, guar gum, food coloring and preservatives? Instead, you could go through the entire summer making all of these ice pops with your kids. Guaranteed activity every day! Then when they ask for a popsicle for breakfast, you might even say yes without guilt!

So, where do you get this substitute? Right here, Right now. This is just one of the great offerings from Leanne Vogel, over at Healthy Pursuit.

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to your love affair with summertime frozen treats, you need these 45 recipes (in the new, Purely Pops

Cookbook, created by Leanne from Healthful Pursuit).

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If you don’t know Leanne, she is a holistic nutritionist with a solid track record of creating empowering recipes that show just how simple it is to fall in love with life, food allergies, weight loss goals and all.

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Purely Pops Cookbook is a collection of 45 no-bake recipes for irresistible vegan and gluten-free & ice pops. It’s your guide to making ice pops with natural sweeteners, real flavors and whole food goodness. No dairy, eggs, nuts, wheat, gluten, grains, bananas, sesame or soy.

Beat the heat with a freezer full of homemade frozen treats that will encourage you + yours to enjoy a happy, healthy summer.

(I know you’re going to love it!)

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p.s. I’ve made a lot of great friends and contacts in the food blogger world. Some of these bloggers are nutritionists and some are moms like me who have done their research. Instead of buying their products for myself and keeping it a secret from you, I’m going to start sharing some of them with you. When I give you a link to the product, it may be an affiliate link. That means that I make a little money if you purchase the product I’ve endorsed. I’m confident that we have established a relationship based on trust and that you would never doubt my intentions or think I’m saying or doing something to make money. I want you to know that your welfare is always what comes first. Your welfare is my motivation. If you ever have any questions about this new development, please talk to me any time. natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! + 3 Recipes!

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! Plus 3 Recipes!

Are you traveling later this summer and nervous about access to healthy food? Or, did you already travel and have a disastrous food experience? If so, read on!

I thought it was sometimes hard to be kosher and vegetarian while traveling. Forget it. With this vegan business of mine, my chance of starving, even with a 5 star kosher restaurant in my hotel, is about 90%!

Here’s what I’ve learned that may help you.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road!

1. Call ahead. Talk to caterers, restaurants, your hosts, whomever is relevant, to plan for your allergies or dietary restrictions. Stress that if what you need is very different from the food they normally make, you have some great, simple ideas; you’re happy to help cook; you can even bring some special ingredients or run out to the grocery store.

2. Determine your resources. Will you be staying in a house with access to a full kitchen, a hotel with a microwave and refrigerator, a hotel without either or camping in the outback? Do you have to pack everything in your travel bag or can you hit the grocery store when you arrive at your destination? Make a list of items you can eat with your circumstances and then the corresponding list of foods you need to bring with you and/or purchase at the store. Some items will need to be made ahead of time at home, and some make more sense to prepare at your destination.

3. Determine and plan for your biggest challenges. For instance, if you usually find yourself hungry and buying a sweet roll or fast food on your way to your flight, bring something healthy and satisfying, like my No-Grain Granola/Trail Mix. If you know your kids are going to beg you for unhealthy and expensive snacks, make your own granola bars and bring them with you. If the caterer can accommodate your food requirements for one meal, but not another, plan for that too. For a healthy meal replacement, make my new Basic Travelin’ Green Smoothie.

Here are the recipes:

Recipe 1

Grain-free Granola/Trail Mix

Grain free Granola and Trail Mix

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup golden raisins

2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil (can use microwave and melt 10 seconds at a time).

Mix pumpkin and sunflower seeds with coconut flakes. Add melted coconut oil and mix well. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes (until slightly browned/roasted but not burned). Don’t you dare leave the room or it may burn! Keep a close eye on the oven.

Remove from oven. Place into your storage container (glass works great). Mix in the raisins and maple syrup thoroughly. Enjoy! Keeps at room temperature (for 3 days) or in the fridge (for 7 days).

Recipe 2

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

Travelin Green Smoothie

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

I bought Teavana’s powdered matcha tea for my travelin’ greens. I got the idea and information about its health benefits (and a great smoothie recipe!) from my buddy over at Healthful Pursuit.

My recipe is super easy and convenient, whatever your resources. If you have electricity you can use an immersion blender and if you don’t, you can simply bring an old fashioned egg beater!

Ingredients

TGS Ingredients

1 very ripe banana

1 teaspoon powdered matcha tea

3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Directions

Travelin Green Smoothie Ready to mix

Break up the banana into your vessel. For the immersion blender, they often come with a tall plastic container designed for smoothies. If using an egg beater, you can simply use a wide enough cup. I used a standard tall drinking glass.

Add powdered tea and then add the non-dairy milk.

Mix with immersion blender or egg beater until frothy!

Recipe 3

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

granola bars and chocolate chip cookies

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

You won’t find a healthier or easier recipe than this! These also make a great substitute for sandwiches at lunch.

I first made these one morning before taking the kids to school. My hubbie was like, “Okay Mrs. Cleaver. Way to whip up some cookies before school!” Delish! Easy! You CAN do this in the morning!

Ingredients

2 bananas

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup flax meal

Dash of real vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Mash bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add oats, almonds and flax meal, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix again.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then…you have to make a decision: Are you making granola bars or cookies?

For cookies, simply take a big spoonful of the mix and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten the top with the back of the spoon. Space 2 inches apart.

For granola bars, dump the whole mixture onto the parchment paper and then flatten with the back of a spoon. When you’re done baking the full sheet, use a pizza cutter to cut out bars.

Bake in center of oven 10-15 minutes, with the cookies on the lower end and the bars on the higher end.

Tip: For either the cookies or the bars you can mix in different nuts (whole or ground) and dried fruit, depending on your preferences. However, I will tell you that I tried coconut flakes and the flavor really got lost.

 

Let me know if you have any travel tips and if these tips work for you!

Red, White and Blue Recipes! 1 pie, 1 Salad & 3 Drinks!

Red, White and Blue Recipes! 1 pie, 1 Salad & 3 Drinks!

All-American fun with watermelon and corn! And Pie!

I know most people are focusing on barbequing meat this weekend. Let’s also focus on what will be refreshing, healthy and seasonal.

Don’t forget FUN!

Fourth of July Face Pie! (Serves 8)

FourthofJuly Face Pie

Fourth of July Face Pie! (Serves 8)

Lemon crème recipe, courtesy of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Ingredients

1 12.3-ounce package reduced-fat, extra-firm silken tofu, crumbled
1/3 cup Grade A (light) maple syrup or agave nectar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon peel, grated

1 graham cracker crust (optional)

1 pint blueberries

1 large strawberry for face pie

Directions

Blend tofu, maple syrup or agave nectar, lemon juice, and lemon peel until very smooth in a blender or food processor (or place in a bowl and use a handheld blender).

Pour into graham cracker crust (or skip it. You can also find healthier versions at health food stores).

Wash and dry blueberries.

Sprinkle blueberries evenly on top of creme. Slice the strawberry from the top down. Take 2 pieces and place them for eyes (with pointed ends facing out); 1 piece for the nose (pointed down); and 2 pieces, facing one another (pointed ends facing out and inside ends touching), for the mouth.

Option:

Of course, for a 4th of July pie, you can also use the blueberries and a pint of sliced strawberries to make an American flag design. Place a square of blueberries in the corner. The pie itself can serve as the white stripes in between the red rows of strawberries.

Cover with the top of the graham cracker crust container and put in refrigerator until chilled.

p.s. You can also use this lemon crème in a parfait, with blueberries and strawberries or raspberries on top. This would be especially adorable in the tiny dessert cups that are all the rage now.

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad (Serves 4-6)

Summer Corn Salad

Ingredients

3 cups corn (defrosted frozen, cooked and cut off the stalk or raw if that’s what you’re into!)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 a large or 1 small avocado, diced

Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Directions

Mix corn, tomatoes and avocado in a mixing bowl.

Add lemon juice and salt.

Mix gently. Transfer to serving dish if you like.

Enjoy!

Watermelon Slurpee (Serves 4)

Watermelon slurpee

Watermelon Slurpee (Serves 4) 

Ingredients

4 cups cubed watermelon, frozen at least 8 hours before you go to make the recipe

2 cups filtered water

Directions

Blend.

Pour.

Add straw.

Enjoy!

Watermelon Slurpee 2

Next Step: Take leftovers and make adorable ice cubes!

Watermelon Ice Cubes

Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 1)

WatermelonLemonade

Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 1)

Ingredients

8 oz cold organic lemonade

1 adorable ice cube, made with leftover Watermelon Slurpee (see above) Recipe

Straw

Tiny Umbrella

Directions

Pour the lemonade into a clear glass

Add the ice cube

Garnish with straw and tiny umbrella

Serve to your delighted and impressed guests!

Watermelon Spritzer (Serves 1)

Watermelon spritzer

Watermelon Spritzer (Serves 1)

Ingredients

8 oz cold seltzer

1 adorable ice cube [stars might be most appropriate for 4th of July], made with leftover Watermelon Slurpee (see above) Recipe

Directions

Pour seltzer into a clear glass

Wait until you are serving your guest to pop out the ice cube and put it in the glass. It may start to melt quickly and you want to make sure they get a chance to say, “awww,” and appreciate how cute it is!

 

Happy 4th of July!