Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trim Down A Classic

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

  • 1 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup Grapes
  • 1 Cucumber Chopped
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Apple
  • Nuts
  • Pepper and Parsley

-Cook chicken with pepper and spices over medium heat
-Chop chicken and other ingredients
-Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
-Spice to taste with pepper, celery, cayenne pepper
-Enjoy over lettuce

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sippin' On A Smoothie

Morning Smoothies
  • 4 Bananas
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 Cups Berries
  • 2 Cups Kale
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
  • Protein Powder of your choice

-Add all ingredients into blender
-Blend until Smooth
-Portion into 5 smoothies
-Thaw smoothie in the morning and enjoy

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring Cleaning: A Fresh Week of Meals

Spring Cleaning Meal Prep

April showers bring May flowers!  With the warmer days I am craving fresh crisp foods.  Every year when the snow melts and the temperatures rise I stop craving warm soups, pastas and pizzas.  During spring I start craving fresh veggies, fruits and ice cream.  This weeks meal prep is focused on yummy fresh produce and lean protein.

This week's Grocery List:

Breakfasts: I am on my last rotation of medical school and still eating breakfasts on the go.  This week's fresh start of the day is smoothies.  Sweet fruit and filling protein. On Sundays it is easiest to make one big batch of smoothies, pour them into bottles and freeze them.  In the mornings, just take out one smoothie and let it thaw before enjoying.

Protein Berry Smoothie (Recipe in Link):

Lunches: Along with the theme of fresh crisp food, chicken salad with the crunchy nuts and fruit is amazing. Most chicken salads are not the healthiest choice mainly because the full fat rich mayo. This week, I took on the challenge of making chicken salad healthy.  Packed full of veggies and using non-fat Greek yogurt did the trick.

Chicken Salad (Recipe in Link):

Dinners: Nothing says warm weather like grilling to me. Fajita lime kebabs are this weeks yummy dinner. Eat them alone or over lettuce, black beans, brown rice. 

Fajita Kebabs (Recipe in Link):

These fresh easy meals were all prepped in one day, and enjoyed all week.  The recipes will be posted throughout the week. Hope this meal prep inspires you to eat clean and think of warmer days of spring and summer.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Berry Good Banana Bites

Oat Flour Banana Bites

  • 1 1/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1 cup Oatmeal
  • 3 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Agave
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Banana Mashed
  • 2 Bananas for topping
  • Assorted Berries for topping

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-To make oat flour: place 1 1/4 cup of oats into the blender, blend until flour texture
-Combine oat flour, oats, baking powder and salt in bowl and mix
-Add in agave, egg, milk, oil and mix well
-Fold in mashed banana
-Divide batter in a muffin tin and top them with bananas and berries
-Bake 15-20 minutes 

Healthy Alternative: Using oat flour instead of all purpose white flour, is a simple switch that has been shown to lower cholesterol. Oat flour has a higher fiber content that may lower coronary artery risks. It also has a lower carbohydrate content than white flour, and the beta-glucan fiber may help reduce type II diabetes. Oat flour is naturally gluten free for those with gluten sensitivity.  It is also full of B vitamins and vitamin E that adds to its health benefits.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Finally Got A Piece of the Pie

Cauliflower Pizzas

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Toppings: tomatoes, olives, mushrooms

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-Grate cauliflower into crumbles, cook it for 6 minutes in the microwave
-Allow cauliflower to cool
-Mix in eggs, mozzarella, spices
-Spray baking sheets
-Pat cauliflower mixture into 12 thin pizza crusts
-Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
-Top crusts with sauce, toppings, and parmesan cheese
-Broil or bake pizzas until cheese is crispy and warm

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sleep As Medicine

Is it Beauty Sleep or Really Healthy Sleep?
Last month I was on my Emergency Medicine rotation; the shifts are an assortment between day and night. One week could have two over night shifts and three day shifts, allowing me only 4-5 hours naps between them. This was a hard adjustment for me since I am so used to getting a full eight hours of sleep at night each night to function my best. During busy overnight calls in the past, I rely on coffee and increased food to keep me going. After a few weeks like this, I feel dehydrated and groggy from the poor diet and lifestyle choices made.

This month, I tried my best to pack healthy snacks, bring a large water bottle to work. Additionally, I tried to sleep as regularly as possible. The last week, I feel into bad habits of napping at weird times then being awake at night and munching on anything in sight..... crackers, cookies, pizza and pretzels.  Crackers and pretzels aren't even foods I enjoy!! Today I thought about what lack of sleep does to the body, specifically weight.

How does lack of sleep affect your health?

Many studies have all mounted to show lack of sleep (less than 7-8 hours at a time) increases a person's weight and risk of obesity. Studies have shown that decreased sleep in children not only increases childhood obesity ricks, but adulthood obesity and chronic diseases.  

Less sleep triggers the body to feel hungry and being awake more hours of the day allows a sleep deprived person more time to eat.  This is a vicious cycle!

Sleeping less also make individuals "too tired" to be active during the day and the body decreases it's basal temperature which slows metabolism. Slower metabolism leads to weight gain and storing the foods consumed instead of using them for immediate energy.

Studies have also shows that the stress lack of sleep puts on your body, increases stress hormones and inflammation.... this increases risks of diabetes among other diseases such as heart disease. The increase in stress hormones also lowers the immune system making it easier to get sick.

How To get More Regular Sleep:
-Have a routine before bedtime: Take a warm shower, limit TV or computer screen time, turn down lights, make to do lists for the next day, wind down!
-Go to be at the same time each night: Humans live by a circadian rhythm, this means we like to sleep when it is dark out and our body gets into the habit to sleep around the same time each day.
-Set aside time to get a full 7-8 hours a night. Don't stay up to watch that TV show, instead record it to watch on another day.
-Limit caffeine and alcohol hours before sleep. Both of these limit the body's ability to have a good deep sleep.

Now that my month in the ER is over, I am eager to get back to a regular schedule of sleeping. Not only do I feel more alert, but I now know sleep is preventing future risks of diseases.  

Time to catch some ZZZ's