Quick and healthy banana “ice cream”

Roll back a year, and I had pretty much a nightly date with a carton of ice cream. No – I didn’t eat the whole thing each night, but most nights after dinner I would have a couple of scoops. Healthy, eh?

I’ve since broken that pattern – mostly after the detox that I did last year. Giving up dairy hasn’t hurt the cause either. I have to admit that I’ve had a couple of indulgences over the past year, but nothing like what it was before.

When I have a craving, I’ve discovered a delicious alternative. It tastes like ice cream, but is sooooooo much healthier.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!

Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

almond milk

vanilla (to taste)

Directions:

I use a hand blender, but you can use a blender as well. Put banana, and enough almond milk to be able to blend the banana into the blender. Add a dash of vanilla to taste. You could also add cocoa powder for a chocolatey taste. Blend until creamy.


Yep, that’s all there is to it!

Here’s another tip. When I buy bananas, I rarely eat them all. So I peel them, cut in half, and throw into a ziploc bag, which I then keep in the freezer. I always have frozen bananas on hand for a smoothie or to make some ice cream!

Damn – writing about the ice cream is making me hungry! Think I’m gonna go make some….

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Does Healthy cure all?

Can being healthy cure all?

I’ve been asking myself this quite a bit this week. You see, I started this whole thing because I’ve felt like crap for the past few months. And I’ll lay it on the table. I got laid off from my job a month and a half ago, and ate junk for the first 3 weeks (see my Mini Egg fiasco). Until I couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired of feeling crappy, tired and fat.

I had a thought – maybe if I made myself eat healthier, I’d feel better and be more motivated to do something about my work situation.

My first instinct was that for me to be successful, I should get other people on board for support. Hence the blog.

And the results? I am quite happy with how (relatively) easy it’s been for me to eat healthy over the last 2 weeks (which is inspiring me to help others find it easy too). I’ve stayed on track and have enjoyed some absolutely fabulous meals. But my problem has never been eating healthy for a short period of time. I can get myself to do anything for a few weeks (even the juice/soup detox I did last year for over 3 weeks). It’s the long term commitment.

I’ve even felt better physically over the past week – more energy, no crashes, better sleep. I haven’t been doing a lot of working out, other than my walks two times a day with my dogs.

But I haven’t felt better mentally. I’m still beating myself up other things, getting discouraged. Not sure what to do. Maybe feeling healthy will set me up for feeling better mentally soon. If the physical is there, the mental part has to come soon.

Doesn’t it?

I guess I’ll find out soon how much of an impact being healthy can have. And don’t worry – I’ll share…

Not to worry…

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This is just a technical post. Carry on!

Shrimp skewers

I felt like shrimp tonight, and so I fired up the BBQ and made some tasty shrimp!

I served it on top of a salad, and had the most delicious dinner. I must say that some nights I’m really outdoing myself! Some of these meals are restaurant quality…or better. My talent has been finding these awesome recipes! This from the girl who often hates to cook. Maybe I should have people over for dinner more often…..(if only the house cleaning fairies would visit!)

(Oh, wait, I said “girl”. Is it ok to still say “girl” or have I really outgrown that and have to say “woman”. Funny, I still feel like I’m in my 20’s, so “girl” it is.)

The shrimp skewers were simple and quick – easily something you could throw on the BBQ (or inside grill if you have one) and have dinner ready in about 20 minutes. My salad ingredients were mostly cut up already, so I just had to assemble them together.

When you read the ingredients below, you may think that butter isn’t healthy. I believe that we need to have some healthy fats in our diet, and believe it or not, many nutritionists and naturopaths believe that butter is healthy, when used in moderation. I don’t use it every day, but there are certain times I do use butter. Our bodies need fat, so make sure you include a healthy fat every day – butter, animal fat (yep, animal fat), olive oil.

If you want to be healthier, ditch the margarine and replace with butter – the fats in margarine are the unhealthy fats!

(Just a reminder – these aren’t actual photos of the meals, for the most part. I get so excited with what I’ve just created that I finish it BEFORE I remember to take a picture! Note to self – must remember to photograph meal before eating.)

Shrimp Skewers

If you have frozen shrimp, but the shrimp in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, take room temperature butter (unsalted), and add in 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on your taste).

Peel shrimp, then place onto skewers. I put 6 shrimp per skewer.

Baste both sides of the shrimp with butter mixture then place on grill.

While cooking, turn shrimp and baste. Cook until shrimp are fully pink.

Salad

Ingredients:

Lettuce (this time I used red lettuce – it was soft and buttery!)

Red pepper

Cucumber

1/2 avocado

crumbled goat cheese

sprouts sprinkled on top

Take shrimp off skewers and serve on top of salad

Apple Cider Salad Dressing

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Add a dash of maple syrup. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard powder and shake to mix.

Pour dressing over salad.


Voila. A simple and delicious dinner!!

Cross your fingers and hope it lasts!

Day 11 report.

I’m having a hard time believing it myself. I haven’t felt hungry for days. And it’s not as if I’m eating all the time…in fact the last 2 days, I skipped lunch. Not just because I got busy in the middle of the day but because I wasn’t really hungry. I’m crossing my fingers that this lasts!

Take yesterday. I had an omelette for breakfast around 10:30, then had a couple energy balls in the afternoon, let’s say around 4 (see the recipe here). I had a private dog training session, and didn’t get home until 9. AND I WASN’T HUNGRY. My blood sugar doesn’t seem to be spiking and falling the way it used to. I remember getting up in the morning and feeling so hungry I would almost feel nauseous after a night of high carb/sugar eating. Now…nothing. I’m not hungry in the morning. I’m not hungry in the evening.

I did eat the most delicious salad for dinner last night when I got home. I’ve posted my favourite salad recipe here.

I’m wondering how long this will last. I’m hoping that maybe I’ve found the key.

Here’s what I think is the reason – increased protein (not huge amounts, but a bit of protein at every meal, which is what the holistic nutritionist and naturopath recommended). Increased fat (coconut milk, olive oil, animal fat, nuts, little bits of butter). Lots of fibre through fruit and veggies. No simple carbs (no wheat, rice, grains of any kind).

Maybe this is what normal people feel!

Breakfast Omelette

My new favourite breakfast is quickly becoming the breakfast omelette. The past week I’ve been alternating between omelettes and smoothies for breakfast (depending on how much time I have!).

The great thing about an omelette is it makes it easy to have veggies and protein for breakfast.

Here’s my recipe for today’s omelette.

Tomato, Pepper and Avocado Omelette – cooking time, approx 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

Coconut oil

Chopped onion

1/4 red pepper

1 plum tomato

1/2 avocado

Chile powder (to taste)

2 eggs

salsa

Directions:

In pan, melt coconut oil. Add onion and pepper and brown for 2 minutes. Add tomato, avocado and chile powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer from pan to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy. Pour the egg mixture into the empty pan. As the egg cooks, lift up the sides and let the uncooked egg run underneath. When the egg is almost set (no runny egg left on top), spread the tomato mixture to one half of the omelette. Flip the other side of the egg on top, so that the egg is folded in half (and over the tomato mixture). Cook for another minute or two on each side.

Serve with salsa for a healthy and tasty breakfast!

9 Tips to make Healthy Easy

Why is healthy not easier?

For the most part, it takes work. Planning, shopping, cooking, chopping. (Hey that rhymes!)

And isn’t UNhealthy totally easy? Just dial 967-11-11. Stop at one of the 6,000 fast food places on the way home and pick something up for dinner. Aisles of convenience food in the grocery store (most of which contains chemicals and preservatives that aren’t good for us, not to mention the high-fructose corn syrup that lurks on so many convenience foods). Heck – you can even buy pre-cut potatoes in a bag. We don’t have time to peel and cut potatoes anymore??? (I have to admit I was disgusted the first time I saw the commercial.)

By the way, is it just me or is pretty much every convenience item made of wheat?? (Except fruit of course!) That rules that out!

So exactly how can it be easier?

I’m not gonna lie – planning has made it easier for me. Planning does take time, but saves in the overall scheme of things. And I’m working on some ideas to make planning easier too!

I’ve put together 9 tips to make eating healthy easier. Keep in mind that I’m also trying to keep the budget under control.

  1. Plan each week’s meals before the week starts. You can’t eat healthy if you don’t have healthy food on hand. I use a meal planning template, and input each day’s meals and snacks. I put all of the week’s recipes on my meal plan as well so I don’t have to go searching for them each day.
  2. Plan leftovers into your meal plan. And if you have more leftovers than you planned, you can skip one of your meals. Yay!
  3. Make your grocery list from your meal plan. When you go grocery shopping, stick to it! Stray from your list if one of your staples is on sale, but otherwise, limit the impulse shopping.
  4. Cut up your veggies as you unpack your groceries. When I get home from grocery shopping, I cut up veggies and put them in baggies in the fridge. So broccoli, peppers, cauliflower – anything that needs to be cut up can be so much easier if you do it before you put it in the fridge. I even wash lettuce and put in the salad spinner, then into a bag. During the week, reach in the bags and pull out what you need. The hard work’s already done!
  5. Plan the time consuming meals for the weekend. Plan quicker meals for the week. That way it’s easier to come home and throw dinner together. 20 Minute Supper Club is a great resource for those evening meals. Pick through and you can find lots of gluten,sugar and dairy free meals.
  6. Make sure when you cook on the weekend you have lots of leftovers! That way you can get through much of the week’s lunches just using up your leftovers. Many people recommend using the weekends to cook meals for the week and freeze them, but I can never find enough time on the weekend to do that. If you can, that’s awesome.
  7. Be flexible with your week. Even though I have meals planned by day, I move them around all the time, based on how I feel on a specific day, how much time I have (in which case I may cook a quicker meal).
  8. Include non-cooking meals into your plan. Salads, wraps (with lettuce if you’re gluten-free). Eggs are a really quick meal option (although technically cooking, I suppose). And there’s lots of great ways to cook eggs.
  9. In the summer, BBQ makes healthy meals so easy. Throw on some meat (which you could marinate in the morning). Grill veggies on the grill, or wrap in foil and throw in some coconut oil and spices. Serve with a side salad. And you have a delicious meal! For winter, we have a deluxe Foreman Grill (which also doubles as a griddle) and we cook most nights on it – easy and fast!

Share your tips in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!