Friday, January 30, 2015

Eat the Rainbow and Chug the Ocean

Eat Colorfully and Stay Hydrated

When photographers or artists portray food... they don't portray "beige chips, artificially dyed drinks and dull boxed foods." Artists gravitate towards nature's beauty.... "red apples, orange pumpkins and purple eggplants."  The naturally appealing colors draw in the eye, and should also draw in your eye when on your plate. 

Foods full of color also tend to be those full of nutrients! When considering nutrition, the more colorful the food (natural of course) the better they are for you. Brown rice vs white, iceberg lettuce vs spinach... color wins!  Dive in to the produce section of your grocery store and taste the rainbow. 

-What makes foods so colorful? Phytochemicals provide fruits and vegetables with their color, taste and smell.  Phytochemicals also stimulate your body's Immune system and help prevent damage to your DNA, thus helping you stay healthy.  These phytochemicals also act as antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative damages we encounter through the day.

What do the colors mean:
  •  White- allyl sulphides, helps with arterial, circulation and heart health
  • Green- sulforaphanes, inodoles, zeaxanthin, helps with eye, lung, liver function and wound healing
  • Yellow/orange- cryptoxanthin, flavinoids, helps with immune health
  • Orange- alpha and beta carotenes, helps with eye and immune health
  • Red/Purple- anthocyanins, polyphenols, helps with heart and brain health
  • Red- lycopene, helps with heart health and DNA protection

Along with eating fresh and colorful foods, chug the ocean! Not literally, but staying hydrated goes hand in hand with staying healthy.  Your body is 60% water and vital in staying healthy. Water is necessary for washing out toxins from your body, help your kidneys and liver function as well as carry nutrients and aid in digestion. Dehydration can mask itself as hunger, so enjoying a glass of water before a meal or snack can help decrease overeating. Being dehydrated is not only unhealthy, but makes you feel tired... who has time for that? 

How much water should one drink in a day?  Many people would recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This is a very good goal to have, but that is only 1.9 liters, most studies state that men should drink 3 liters a day and women 2.2 liters a day. Another general rule is to drink enough water to prevent you from feeling thirsty (remember it can feel like hunger) and to have your urine be clear. These guidelines include all fluids not just water, but I doubt they intended it to include soda or alcohol! More water should be drank if you exercise, live in warm climates, have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. 

Spice up water to ensure intake! I'm not talking about cayenne (but it could be a nice kick to lemon water).  Drinking enough water through the day does not have to be boring. Add fruit, mint, cucumbers to it. Enjoy coconut water which is full of electrolytes or a sparkling water.  My favorite is La Croix, it is all natural and comes in many great flavors.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Flourless Flapjacks

 Banana Pancakes

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Bananas
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Dash of Vanilla 

-Mush bananas with a fork
-Mix in eggs, cinnamon and vanilla
-Spray pan with cooking spray
-Heat pan over medium/low heat
-Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes before flipping
-Top with fruit, syrup or a little agave 

-Meal prep these for the week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Chicken of the Sea" Burgers

Tuna Burgers

  • 2- 6 1/2 ounces Packages Tuna
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Onion Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Carrots Grated (Watch your fingers!)
  • 1/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Pinch of Celery Salt
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 8 Whole Wheat Mini Buns

-In bowl, mix tuna, onion, carrots, bread crumbs, cayenne and salt
-In Small bowl, whisk eggs
-Mix eggs with the rest of ingredients
-Form 6-8 patties
-Heat olive oil over medium heat
-Cook patties for 3-4 minutes before flipping once
-Toast buns
-Assemble burgers and enjoy!

-Create burgers on Sunday, store in the refrigerator and enjoy all week
-Try them over greens to add protein to your salads

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Green Eggs and Kale?!

Egg and Kale Muffins

  • 1 Dozen Eggs
  • 3 cups Kale
  • 1/4 Onion Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Chopped
  • Sweet Peppers Chopped
  • Mushrooms Chopped
  • Cilantro Minced
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Spray muffin tin with cooking spray
-Warm kale over medium heat until wilted
-Saute onion, peppers, jalapeno, mushrooms in drizzle of olive oil
-Mix kale and vegetables together and set aside
-In large bowl, whisk eggs
-Evenly distribute vegetables in muffin tin
-Pour egg mixture over vegetables
-Sprinkle cilantro on top of egg muffins
-Bake 30 minutes until golden brown on top
-Let cool 2-3 minutes in tin before removing
-Store for the week in the refrigerator

-Make these ahead of time to enjoy during your week of meal prepping

Monday, January 19, 2015

Prep School 101

Meal Prepping

Last year I blogged about the reasons why I meal prep, and the last blog focused more on how to start planning for your weekly meal prepping. Today, I am going to walk you through my actual week of meal prepping. 

To be completely honest, I have been traveling for holidays and residency interviews too much these past few months and haven't been meal prepping. My body is craving a steady healthy menu of meals that aren't ordered off a menu or made with sticks of butter at family holidays.

This Saturday I sat down and made a meal plan and list of ingredients I needed. My List:

And then hit the grocery store. My grocery haul:

Sunday morning, I did a quick jog and then began my meal prepping! This week's menu includes a lot of high protein meals. I am trying to get as much protein as possible from my diet before I start introducing protein powders. (See my blog on protein powders.) I am also trying to make an effort to eat breakfast daily; I am awful at skipping breakfast and just being starving by lunch. This is a bad habit I hope to change this week.


-Banana Pancakes

-Salad: When I am home and not packing daily lunches, I enjoy washing and cutting all of my veggies for the week on Sunday. When hunger hits, these veggies are all prepped and starring at me every time the fridge is opened. This week I also added black beans to these salads for extra protein.

Snacks: Portioning out my snacks at the beginning to the week is the best way I have found to prevent munching my way through an entire bag of almonds or chips. 
-Carrot Sticks
-Apple and Peanut Butter 


After I cooked and cleaned up my kitchen, I sat back and enjoyed a tuna burger. Meal prepping this week will help me eat healthy and get back on track.  I can't wait! I hope you take my week's meal plan and get started on your own meals for the week! The recipes will be posted throughout the week and then linked into this post.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fresh Powder...Protein Powder

With the healthy resolutions in full swing, it only seems like the perfect time to discuss protein. Protein in your diet not only helps with muscle health and growth, but it keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day.  This is crucial in managing a busy schedule as well as maintain a healthy weight. Protein is found in many healthy foods such as nuts, eggs and chicken. These options are great, but if the thought of eating them daily seems mundane... Protein powders are a great solution.

So what is the difference between the different kinds of protein powders?

1. Whey: Complete protein from milk, easily digested and absorbed rapidly (great for post workout). Avoid if you are dairy or lactose intolerance.  Helps with muscle building and repair. When looking at whey proteins an isolate has the highest ratio of protein to fat. Whey is a less expensive protein option and comes in multiple flavors. 

2. Casein: Another complete protein from milk that is digested slower than whey. Avoid if you are dairy or lactose intolerance. Since casein takes longer to absorb, this type of protein is better for meal replacement and feeling full longer. It is not the best protein for post-workout recovery.

3. Brown Rice: A vegetable based protein that is easily digestible and also has fiber, complex carbs and vitamin B. Great choice for those of you with food allergies. Since it is not a complete protein there are some missing amino acids and should be paired with other proteins. 

4. Soy: A complete vegetable protein. Great choice for vegans and those of you with food allergies. When looking at soy proteins an isolate is much better than a concentrate. High levels of soy may alter hormones in the body and has been linked to increased estrogens. This is not a protein for women who have had an estrogen positive breast cancer. Overall this protein is a good alternative that can be enjoyed in moderation.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Eggplant: Grill it, stack it, Bake it!

Grilled Eggplant Bake

  • 1 Medium Sized Eggplant Sliced
  • 1 Red Onion Sliced
  • 1 jar of Organic Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 a bag of 2% or Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan 
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Season Eggplant with salt and pepper
-Lightly Grill Eggplant slices
-Lightly grill Onion Slices
-In 9x13 baking dish: 
             Layer eggplant
             Half of Sauce
             Half of Mozzarella
-Repeat layers
-Top with Breadcrumbs and Shredded Parmesan
-Bake for 25-35 minutes or until crispy on top

  • Health Benefits of Eggplant:
-Eggplant is full of flavinoids, fiber, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants. Low in calories! These healthy nutrients are responsible for improving heart health and lowering cholesterol. 
-Eggplant has been shown to help with weight loss because the high fiber causes early satiety. The bulkiness and low calories of Eggplant help with making you feel full longer thus eating less calories overall. 
-Lastly, eggplant may help with cognitive function and reduce cancer risk due to the high levels of antioxidants.