Sunday, February 26, 2012

Everything Mom Schedule

I combined some of my schedules together. My exercise schedule along with my cleaning and my "mom" schedule. It is very helpful for me to see it all in one if I could just do all this consistently I would feel complete. I rarely miss my exercise and important family duties but my goal is to do better with cleaning.

With the exercise SS cardio stands for steady state cardio, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and I am only doing it daily because I have been a slacker with meal planning the last 2 weeks.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love at Home

Healthy meals and regular meal times together are just one way to show our children how much we love them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Ways to Eat Vegetables for Breakfast

I do not like green [things for breakfast], Sam I am.

"If it's your job to eat a frog it is best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest [ugliest] one first." - Mark Twain
It is a good thing that the "green things" that we are talking about in this post aren't eggs, ham or frogs. They are vegetables and they are not always green.

For some reason most of us view vegetables as non-breakfast foods. Our American diets declare that syrup smothered waffles (basically sugar with sugar on top) are acceptable breakfast foods instead. We even see fruit as acceptable but don't consider the thought of vegetables for breakfast as normal.

But think of how much healthier we could be if we changed our thinking and made nutrient, vitamin, fiber rich vegetables part of our morning every day for the rest of our lives. Vegetables are cancer, diabetes and heart disease fighters. It would give them that much more of an opportunity to work their magic in us.

Just imagine if we were to start out on a journey going the wrong direction we would loose a lot of precious time and focus. Breakfast is the same idea. Every day is a journey in our lives. We can start it out right by doing a few things to help us get more vegetables in early in the day. 

Here is a dare for vegetables at breakfast for an entire week and see how you feel!

Here are 10 ways to do it:

1- Green smoothies- Vegetable + fruit + ice + liquid. These are becoming very popular and rightfully so. If you have a good blender the family will never know that these yummy tasting shakes are good for them. True green smoothies are supposed to have a higher percentage of vegetables compared to fruit but many people also enjoy them in the opposite proportion. Some brands like Sun Warrior offer rice proteins that can add a natural punch of protein to these smoothies. I just add a regular vanilla whey and it also ads flavor.

2- Eggs- As long as these are not drenched in cheese and other fats, omelets can be a healthy choice and great host to vegetables. An egg white omelet with spinach and a dust of feta cheese was a nice new food introduced to me at the beginning of my journey. I was surprised at how much I liked it. Also garden vegetables cooked then scrambled with eggs and topped with salsa can add flavor, color and excitement to a drab egg breakfast. I love cooked vegetable in crepes by they way! Delicious!

3- Eat them raw- Raw vegetables are a great way to fill up the tummy in the morning. They feel so fresh and light. A mix of cucumbers, olives and carrots is a delicious treat. It is such a simple combination and yet the black canned olives seem to marinate the cucumbers and carrots. This is also a delicious and surprisingly popular party mix. Try it I bet you will take home an empty dish!

3- Black Beans- Yes I know what you are thinking. "Black Beans are a legume" or you may be in the "Black Beans are a vegetable camp" but if you know French you will recognize that the word legume actually means dried fruit. So did the French get it right? Are they considered a fruit in our language as well? Either way they are plant based, protein packed and are very good for breakfast. Black beans can be part of an omelet, can be eaten on their own or even made into a delicious breakfast hummus.

4- Cooked-Despite popular belief vegetables can be eaten cooked and added to the breakfast meal as a side dish just as they are cooked for other meals throughout the day.

5- Juiced- Some vegetables are made for juicing. Carrots for example can be made into a delicious juice that can add a great flavor to other drinks or a tasty drink on its own. But like fruit juices, although they are vitamin rich, they should be used with caution since they lack the fiber benefits of whole foods.

6- Hide them- I LOVE this one especially for my family. You can hide several vegetables in breakfast foods and your family will only notice that breakfast just got better! For example sweet potato or pumpkin in french toast, cauliflower in eggs (yes believe it or not it is delicious) and zucchini in almost any waffle or pancake. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Sienfield is an entire book dedicated to sneaking in vegetables to the family's diet without them knowing.

7-Soup- I know sounds a little odd for breakfast but I lived in Spain for a year and a half and these people have mastered the art of a cold soup named Gazpacho. It was strange for me at first but I got to the point where I crave it and love the taste. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Vegetables can also be served as a hot soup for breakfast.

8- Yogurt- Adding cooked and purred vegetables to a low calorie Greek yogurt can also prove to be a filling and nutrient dense meal without the calories. Sweeter vegetables such as purred pumpkin can be mixed in with the yogurt and topped with toasted oatmeal for a pumpkin pie taste. I like an artificial sweetener or a calorie free sugar free pumpkin pie syrup on mine or just cinnamon.

9-Other ideas- Sliced Tomatoes on whole wheat toast or an English muffin with a lean turkey can be a yummy and filling breakfast. Also an egg and potato breakfast casserole with green peppers has been a hit at my house.

10- Breakfast pizza- I am not joking on this one. A healthier version of breakfast pizza can be made. A tomato sauce on top of whole wheat flat bread, dusted with mozzarella cheese and topped with garden veggies can be cooked to tasty perfection. Not to mention the delicious smell that your family will wake up to!

So take the challenge: vegetables at breakfast for one week! Any way you can get them in... (Except for fried. Remember never fried ;)

Good luck! Happy Healthy Eating!
- Susan

For my free clean eating meal plans go here and enter your name and email. The printable pdfs come with shopping lists, bulk prep, the meal plan and recipes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Form You Run With - A Healthy Life Lesson

For exercise beginners and those trying to transition to healthier eating here is something to keep in mind.

I once ran with a group of very elite runners. All were major marathon winners but me. It was a valuable time to ask questions and get feedback on running. I asked the age old question "What is the best running form?" I was surprised as they almost answered in unison "The one you run with." 

They explained that if you are a long distance runner who runs lots of miles a day and longer on the weekends your body will take on the form that is best for it to run with, one in which it expends the least amount of energy with the greatest amount of efficiency. I thought this was interesting. While there are a few different philosphys on running form I found this a very profound lesson on healthy living transition.

Lots of beginners ask questions like "What is best? Working out in the morning or working out in the evening?" While I have my own opinion on which one is optimal the real answer is "The one you run with." Which one can you do and which one do you do? Which makes it easier to exercise or eat healthy and brings you closer to living the healthiest lifestyle possible. 

If working out in the morning makes you grouchy all day and you gave it a good full hearted try, revert to what is easiest and best for you to maintain. The same goes for eating. If you are following a meal plan and one of the meals makes you gag and you have given it a good try then switch it out for something else with similar nutrient content such as carbs/fats/protein (unless you are training for something then talk to your nutritionist).

As a person is starting out. It is best to find workouts and environments that make you the most comfortable. Ones that you would like to return to. As your muscles begin to build memory (fiber recruitment) you will be able to take on new challenges.

There are many more questions like this. What is better? Running or Weightlifting? Pilates or Yoga? Although all have answers and depend on goals, the answers differ for beginners. Which one do you run with. Which one are you able to maintain and will keep you on your journey? This should not be used as an excuse but as a tool. Once again as your body adapts and plateaus it is important to find new challenges but for now "run with it!"

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my free clean eating meal plans go here and enter your name and email. The printable pdfs come with shopping lists, bulk prep, the meal plan and recipes. Remember it's never too late!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ninja Chicken Pot Pie-264 Calories

This is what I call a Ninja Mom Recipe. Your family eats healthy and they don't even know it. This is a bad picture but it was the only one I could snap before my family devoured it! This isn't considered a clean recipe because it has a low calorie crust and fat free condensed soup but it is under 264 calories and, in my opinion, it is way better than regular pot pie. My kids loved it but even more my mom loved it. She is the one that I have to play ninja with sometimes ;) If she knows I have substituted healthy ingredients she usually won't like it but she loved this...and also liked it better than regular pot pie.

This recipe was taken from Spark People and was adapted from Hungry Girl. I would highly recommend Hungry Girl's recipes and her book. Like I said they are not usually clean (whole foods, lean meats and no whites or unhealthy fats) but her recipes are tasty and are much lower calorie versions of regular meals that we are used to. They are perfect for that transition stage that I had to make (and in many cases am still making) from junk food to clean food.

Here is the link to this recipe. I have left it in it's original format.


    1 16oz package of Mixed Veggies
    8oz 99% fat free chicken breast
    1 10.75oz can of fat free cream of celery soup
    4 reduced fat crescent rolls


-preheat oven to 350
-cut chicken into cubes and then cook (til light brown) in pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray
-cook beggies in microwave according to directions on package
-mix chicken, veggies, and soup and pour into a 9" round baking dish (casserole)
-cook in oven for ~30mins (until mixture begins to boil slightly)
-combine crescent rolls and then roll with a rolling pin until very thin (i actually just flatten each roll and stretch as much as i can bc i am without a rolling pin and it works fine!!)
-after mixture boils, place dough on top and bake for another 15-20 minutes (until golden brown)

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 264.3
  • Total Fat: 6.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 36.0 mg
  • Sodium: 674.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 27.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7.5 g
  • Protein: 18.2 g

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user LAULLYPOP84.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Cauliflower Pizza

Once inside our digestive system our body treats sugar and white bread the same. My family has always liked pizza but the calories can get pretty hefty so I wanted to see if there was a way to make it without the dough .

I was excited to receive an email from my friend Merri with this idea. Cauliflower pizza where the crust is made out of cauliflower.

First of all we love caulirice! That is when you take a head of cauliflower and chop it up with a food processor or salad shooter to the consistency of rice and cook it in the microwave 8 minutes covered without water. It turns out to be a fluffy and delightful low calorie substitute for white rice.

This recipe uses caulirice as the base. We had a split vertict on this. 3 liked it, 2 did not and 1 was impartial. I was the impartial one. I added way to much cheese and that bothered me a little.

The recipe below is taken straight from recipe girl. I adapted, as you can see in my pictures, but left the original recipe intact.

cauliflower crust hawaiian pizza

Yield: One 9 to 12-inch pizza (feeds 2 to 3 people)
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 18 min


1/2 LARGE head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (or try another kind!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 cup tomato-basil marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
3 slices Canadian bacon, cut into strips
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits


1. Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. You can use the food processor if you'd like, but you just want crumbles, not puree. You'll need a total of about 2 cups or so of cauliflower crumbles (which is about half a large head of cauliflower. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them (dry) for 8 minutes (see Tips below if you do not have a microwave). Give the cauliflower a chance to cool.
2. Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface). In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles (about 1 1/2 cups since they shrink after cooking) with the remaining crust ingredients. Pat the "crust" into a 9 to 12-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.
3. Prepare the pizza: Spread the sauce on top of the baked crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top. Add the bacon and pineapple, spreading it out around the pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Broil the pizza 3 to 4 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into 6 slices and serve immediately.


From Eat, Drink, Smile (tip from Beth): For those who don’ t have a microwave: You can steam the florets just until they are tender (not mushy) on the stove and then let them cool before grating them. The texture/consistency won’t be the same (It will be more like a puree) but it still works fine once you mix all the ingredients together.
*Other topping ideas:
Marinara or pizza sauce with your favorite toppings
Pesto with thin sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella
Alfredo with sausage, mushrooms, Provolone & Asiago cheese
Barbecue sauce with shredded chicken, green onions and smoked gouda
*This pizza is best served on a plate with a fork.

Nutritional Information per serving FOR THE WHOLE PIZZA- per slice:
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories per serving: 151
Fat per serving: 7.2g
Saturated Fat per serving: 4.1g
Sugar per serving: 3g
Fiber per serving: 2.2g
Protein per serving: 12.6g
Cholesterol per serving: 53mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 9.2g
WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 4 Old Points Program: 3
Nutritional info per serving for JUST THE CRUST- per slice (if you want to do your own toppings):
Serving Size: 1 slice (pizza cut into 6 slices)
Calories 84, Fat 4.3g, Sat Fat 2.6g, Cholesterol 40.8mg, Sodium 166mg, Carbohydrates 4.6g, Fiber 1.9g, Sugar 0g, Protein 7.1g
WW Points Plus: 2 Old Points Program: 2
Source: (inspired by and adapted from Eat, Drink Smile)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Deceptively Delicious

Alright I am a little slow on somethings but I decided to got checkout Deceptively Delicious from the library. The minute I opened it I began to hug it and say "Where have you been all my life!"

Ok so I didn't say it but I thought it. I LOVE this cook book!

The main basis of this book is how to hide vegetables in yummy foods that kids will eat like chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, brownies and so forth. She also teaches you how to puree, prepare and store the vegetables. 

The book is put together in a fun manner and has colorful pictures and descriptive information. I dislike it when I get a cookbook and most of the recipes require ingredients that I have never heard of and I will never use again.

Also I wish that I would have found this cookbook when I first started trying to eat healthy with my family. I feel like I have for the most part pieced together a good lifestyle but it took a lot of time to figure it all out. It not only contains recipes but introduces other useful information. 

This book is rich with details on how to feed children in a simple, healthy and practical manner. The writer is a nutritionist who is also a mother which I like. Some books are put together by chefs and are really not that practical when applied to families in the real world.

The one downside is that it doesn't contain nutritional stats on the recipes. I like to know the calories and the macronutient stats like carbs, fats and protein but everything else about this cook book is wonderful.

Deceptively Delicious is definately a keeper!

Happy Healthy Eating!
- Susan

For my free clean eating meal plans go here and enter your name and email. The printable pdfs come with shopping lists, bulk prep, the meal plan and recipes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

HIIT is one of those things that amazingly fit people keep secret from the rest of us.

The Photo*
To the left you see a marathoner. Endurance training (or extended steady state cardio) tends to put the body in a catabolic state which means your body begins to feed on the energy stored in its own muscles causing a person to be skinny but not defined or muscular.

On the right is a sprinter. Sprinting is a very good form of HIIT training.
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