The new year often brings promise of more....hope, love, growth, health. Not to worry if you set New Years resolutions and have already "fallen short." Pick yourself right back up and keep going. I've learned to look for the lessons and the positives along the journey of life (come what may) regardless of whether I have reached my goals or not. I was listening to my favorite health podcast the other day - modelhealthshow.com, and heard something from the guest, Jariek Robbins (Tony Robbin's son), that really impacted me and my husband. Well, actually I heard a TON that I want to apply and implement in my life, but what struck me the most was when he said, "if everyday you are looking for the chance to help or give to someone (big or small), it doesn't matter what happens to you, you will always be on top." I just love this. Just think if everyone in the world had this mindset. Wow. Now you know what one of my daily goals is. :)
In that vein, and as an act of solidarity for all my friends, clients, family and followers who have committed to taking better care of themselves this year, for the month of January I have been posting at least one picture daily on Facebook and Instagram of what I am eating (dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, high fiber, and no added sugar). These are all healthy meals, snacks or products that I am actually eating, not just taking pretty pictures of;). My hope is that these pictures will inspire you, give you food ideas and ultimately show you that healthy eating can be delicious, beautiful, simple and.... not that hard. :)
FYI - for most who follow the Whole 30 I recommend still including beans and lentils (except soy) to protect your gut bacteria. With that in mind, all meals/snacks/ingredients below are Whole 30 compatible (if you accept the addition of beans and lentils).
Here's a round up of some of the pictures thus far:
Snow peas (straight from a produce steamer bag), traditional hummus with drizzled Frank's Buffalo Sauce and smoked paprika on top for a kick.
Smoothie bowl (inspired by my sister who prefers spoons over straws for her smoothies) of almond/coconut milk + mixed frozen berries + raw spinach + splash of OJ + chia seeds + hemp seed + almonds. Toppings add a nice crunch and now I know why smoothie bowls are a thing, they feel more substantial and satisfying!
salad bowl from Noon Mediterranean (formerly Verts) with sesame carrots, marinated jalapeños and carrots, pickled onions, hummus, spring mix, chickpeas, cucumber tomato pico, and a DELICIOUS vegan spicy cilantro dressing. It IS possible to eat healthy while eating out! For a list of healthier choices at local Austin-area restaurants, check out my faves list.
Meal prep tip:
Freeze extra chopped herbs or onions in ice cube trays with a little water or broth to help out your future self when cooking soups, stir-fry, scrambles, one pot meals or casseroles.
Mango Almond Chia Pudding. If you have gone dairy-free and miss your yogurt, try this! For one serving, mix 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat, from the can) with 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 cup of your favorite fruit, 2 dates, diced and 1-2 Tbsp of your fave nut or seed. It is creamy, lightly sweet and is filling enough to get you through until lunch, yay! I love to make a big batch and divide into mason jars for easy grab-no-go's for the work/school week.
I always keep a box of raw spinach at the ready, so I quickly filled a bowl, added some leftover spaghetti squash cooked the day before, then topped it with jarred mushroom garlic sauce. I sprinkled it with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast and wa-laa, a high fiber, healthy vegan dinner is minutes!
Honey crisp apple slices paired with Kirklands organic almond butter sprinkled with cacao nibs (for a chocolatey, high fiber crunch). Don't go overboard on cacao nibs, one daily serving is plenty. Like many, many other foods that grow in soil (for example, avocado, cocoa powder, chocolate, grains, and vegetables) they contain cadmium and lead, heavy metals that are not excreted by the body and are toxic in high amounts. Foods that also contain calcium, iron and zinc help to reduce the absorption of cadmium and lead. Good news is that dark chocolate and cacao nibs contains those minerals. I still choose to use cacao nibs occasionally because the ratio of cadmium to antioxidants is pretty hard to beat in the chocolate industry when avoiding sugar. Everything in moderation, even the healthy stuff:)
Sautéed shredded cabbage in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, topped with leftover turkey marinara and topped with World Market habanero olives (feel free to go for plain or garlic olives if a burning tongue is not your thing, ha).
Salad from a cafe (you can build something similar from Jason's Deli, Salada, or a restaurant with a salad bar). Spinach, kale, boiled egg, chickpeas, fruit, carrots, pickled green beans, avocado, cabbage, onion, turnips, pecans, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and a no sugar, gluten-free, vegan buffalo vinaigrette. YUM!
Blackened chicken breast seared in my cast iron skillet then finished in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. I also sautéed then baked cashews, asparagus, and baby potatoes with Capitol Hill Seasoning.
Breakfast of champions, no fake cereal needed!
Swiss chard, frozen carrots, mixed frozen berries, chia seeds, flax milk, almonds.
I packed this in two glass containers for work. Raw spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes and avocado, boiled egg, black beans from the can, and salt, pepper and lime juice. This is so filling and colorful:)
Nancy's Sky Garden for the lunch win. I couldn't love this place more. And I just learned they are opening a new location on Lake Creek Blvd with patio seating (all North Austiners and Cedar Parkers rejoice!). Thanks for the heads up Karen!!
One of my favorite bars ever - RxBar Chocolate Sea Salt. Thank you amazon for keeping me stocked up and ready for road trips:) It's like a huge tootsie roll without all the added sugar (and no dairy or gluten too). Just be ready to floss after!
Another salad while at work. Spinach, kale, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, green peas, cabbage, beets, onion, kalamata olives, avocado, flaxseed and pineapple. I used balsamic vinegar and nutritional yeast for dressing.
Now I bet you are hungry:)
If you buy and stock healthy food in your house, it is SO much easier to throw simple, quick healthy meals together.
Need some help with improving your pantry or refrigerator staples? Check out my staples list.