Friday, February 19, 2010

Healthy Dinner Ideas

One of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is eating nutritious meals. As I've said before, what you do at the dinner table has a lot more to do with your six-pack than what you do in the gym. The American diet makes this task astronomically difficult. We eat too many calories, too much fat and way too much sugar. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66% of Americans are considered overweight.

I've got the healthy breakfast down by now, that's easy enough; egg whites with chopped spinach and whole wheat toast with almond butter- usually gets the job done. I can typically get through the day with some healthy snacks like a piece of fruit, nuts and a nutritious lunch. It's dinner where the you-know-what hits the fan. I get home from class and have zero self control, I'm too lazy to cook or move and usually end up head first in [my roommates] bag of chips.

So in the event you share a similar epidemic, or hate to cook, or think you can't cook anything healthy that actually tastes good too, I have the perfect recipe for you. This is our family's go-to meal because it is basically nutritionally perfect, it fills you up, it tastes good, and you can eat pretty much as much as you want- naturally my favorite part!

You will need: (this feeds about 3 people....or one with left overs!!)
1-2 either red or green peppers
1-2 zucchinis
1-2 yellow squash
Olive oil
Chicken, shrimp or tofu, etc. (optional)
Spices to taste (cumin, crushed red pepper, paprika- just a few I typically use)
(Obviously you can get inventive with this and add mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, etc. but this is just a basic recipe if you are as clueless about cooking as I am)

Chop up peppers and toss in a sauce pan on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. While they begin to cook (stir occasionally so they don't burn), chop up the rest of the veggies and put them in a separate pan drizzled with olive oil. Here is where you can cook your protein if you decided to do so or throw some brown rice on the stove (or quinoa if your feeling really adventurous. To make it taste better boil chicken stock instead of water and add a vegetable bouillon cube). Once contents are thoroughly cooked combine the veggies (and protein) and add spices. And that my friends, is one healthy (and easy) dinner!!

*This post is dedicated to my girl Makenzie who shares a love of eating (mostly healthy) and fitness but most importantly good laughs, great memories and the best friendship I could ask for....All together now.... awwwwwwww :) luv u girl!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A little Mama Motivation

For those of you who know my mother, you know she’s built like a brick house. But those pipes weren’t God given. She works hard and there’s no one like Mom to light a fire under my increasingly voluptuous bum! Mama graciously signed me up for the 2010 Twin Cities (half) marathon. While I participated last year I fear my training and motivation has declined as steadily as my training and motivation to enter the workforce in 3 months. To my fellow bus riding, gym absent, late night munchie eating, beer pounding peers out there, I encourage you to set a goal for yourself that you cannot back out on. (Hey, if I’m going down I’m bringing you with me!) If the pure and simple joy of feeling great, being healthy and having bountiful amounts of energy doesn’t get you going, the fact that SPRING BREAK IS 5 WEEKS AWAY WILL! Hello people, bikini season, think about it!

Call me cliché but it’s true; eat less (junk food, that is) and move more. Don’t drastically cut calories or skip meals because you will end up throwing your metabolism off balance. Eating every 2-3 hours maintains your glucose levels from spiking and dipping which cause hunger bangs that lead to over consumption.

Fill up on water. A lot of times hunger is confused with dehydration and we end up consuming unnecessary calories. Water is not only essential for maintaining basic bodily functions but it can fill you up so you don’t feel like your eating less than usual.

Finally, do some form of physical activity, 30-60 mins, 4-5 days a week is recommended for weight loss/maintenance. I go through spurts where I would rather rip my toenails out one by one than go to the gym. SOOOO, find something that gets you going that doesn’t involve 45 mins of agonizing pounding on a treadmill (see previous posts for ideas ;) )

If you relish in self-induced torture like I do, here are some links for upcoming half marathons:

Twin Cities: June 6 (Pleasssssse join me, I’d love ya foreverrrrr!!!)