Category Archives: food

Smoothie bowl recipe, almost ice cream!

It’s the time of year when I want a sweet cold treat.  I found one that’s healthy too! How cool is that?

Smoothies always sound so delicious but I really don’t like to drink my calories.

I prefer the hand to mouth experience of eating.

So I went on a search for a smoothie recipe that I could have in a bowl and eat with my spoon.

 Someone else was thinking the same thing and I found lots of recipes for a smoothie bowl.

I adapted a couple and came up with my own based on the fruit I had available.

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Banana and Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

1 medium frozen banana

1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1/2 cup of milk or milk alternative

Garnishes

4 sliced strawberries

2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

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I think I have found another use for those bananas that get over ripe before I use them.  Now I will freeze them for a smoothie bowl instead of banana muffins.

Cut the banana into slices and add the pineapple to a food processor. I have a mini processor and it works really well for this smaller recipe.

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Add milk or milk alternative.

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Then pulse until frozen fruit begins to break down.  Stop occassionally and stir to rearrage large chunks.

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Continue to pulse until all the fruit has broken down and the smoothie has the consistency of ice cream!

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Then place the smoothie in a bowl.   I was excited to see that the smoothie filled a regular cereal bowl!

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I could hardly believe that a banana, some pineapple and only a half a cup of milk could fill this bowl with such creamy goodness.  The banana really helps the texture be similar to ice cream.

Then I added some garnishes:  strawberries, flaked coconut and slivered almonds to add more nutrition.  The garnishes also make the smoothie bowl look really appealing.

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I like to eat my smoothie bowl right away.  In fact I ate this one as I wrote up this blog post!  It was filling, nutritious and delicious.  It tasted too good to be healthy!

Here’s a link to check out: smoothie bowl recipes. You may be more adventurous than me and  try a green smoothie bowl.  If you try one let me know how it turned out!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Try a smoothie bowl recipe.  It satisfies the sweet treat craving and gives your body healthy nutrients!

Remember every little step makes a difference!

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5 benefits of eating your veggies!

This super food is low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

It comes individually packaged and can be eaten raw or cooked.

It’s Doctor approved and recommended.

What’s your guess? Fruit?

Nope, it’s vegetables!

Eating more vegetables is one of the simplest changes we can make to improve our overall health.

We all heard it while we moved the slimy cold brussels sprouts around and around on our plates. “Eat your veggies. They’re good for you”!

Some of us grew up hating veggies because they were chosen for us and poorly prepared. In my case boiled until they were mushy.

The choices available to us are incredible!

We aren’t limited to frozen corn or brussels sprouts anymore!

The produce section of the grocery store is a feast for the eyes!

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Such a variety of color and texture!

This week’s little step is to eat one more serving of veggies.

If I’m writing to a veggie hater I am confident you can find at least one veggie that you like.

Add a half-cup of raw or cooked veggies to your daily food intake.

If you already love veggies add a half-cup to your daily food intake anyway.

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photo credit Greg Westfall

In case you need to be reminded again that they are good for you.

Here are some of the amazing benefits.

Eating more vegetables can lower our risk of developing arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.

Vegetables fill our stomachs with nutrient rich, low calorie fuel!

We also feel fuller for longer because of the high fiber content.

When we replace higher calorie foods with vegetables, we win. Especially when we step into our clothes and they fit loosly.

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A plate of raw veggies can help satisfy the hand to mouth, crunch and munch craving.

Those are good reasons to eat our veggies!

Personally, I like to eat most of mine raw and crunchy at lunchtime. No more boiled and mushy veggies for me!

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Today’s little step: Add a one half-cup serving of vegetables to your daily food intake. Choose ones that appeal to you.

Every journey begins with one little step.

 

 

 

 

Healthy snack bar recipe!

Craving something sweet? Here’s a recipe for a healthy naturally sweet snack bar! I took some of these bars to share with my friends and everyone wanted the recipe.  That’s the best compliment!

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup of black figs

2 cups of nuts (your choice)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup of coconut

2 teaspoons of hot water

12 small squares of dark chocolate

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Directions

I use my little food processor for this recipe. It works great and does the chopping and mixing in just a few minutes.

Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

 

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Cut stems off of the figs. Place in food processor, add vanilla and pulse on high until they are well chopped.

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Add 2 teaspoons of hot water and pulse until they have the consistency of jam.

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Place fig jam in a small mixing bowl. Gradually add the chopped nuts and mix well by hand.

 

IMG_1104Gradually add the coconut and mix well.

Line a small cake pan – 8 by 11 with foil wrap and spray with oil.

Place mixture in pan and pat down.

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Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave on low heat.

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Once melted, pour and spread over bars.  Place in the fridge to cool.

Once cooled, cut into small bars.

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Store in a closed container in the fridge.

These are a great alternative to chocolate bars or granola bars that are loaded with sugar.

I found this recipe at cotter crunch.

Enjoy these  great  grab and go snacks.  Lots of healthy protein and natural sweetness!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Try a new recipe.  Especially one that is low in sugar and high in protein.

 

 

8 Smart strategies for food on the go!

 

We all have days when we need fast food. We live a fast life. We need to grab something on the go.

I like to write in the snack bar of one of our grocery stores. I love to watch the people and I am so much more productive.

I watch the people and I am interested in their food choices. Deep fried chicken, wedge fries and a side of potato salad.

I overhear complaints about sore knees, diabetes and doctor’s appointments.

It seems people don’t get the connection with what they eat and their health.

Better food equals better health!

Let’s find the good stuff!

What are the best choices?

  • A non-cream soup with crackers

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  • A salad with chicken or cheese and a lower fat dressing

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  • A sandwich

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  • A piece of pizza, not meat lovers

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  • Sushi

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  • A 6 inch turkey/chicken sub, extra veggies, hold the mayo

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  • A small bowl of chili with crackers

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  • A small chicken wrap, hold the mayo

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The best beverage choice is always water!

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Wow!  Good pictures make you want to eat healthy food!

What we feed our body matters.

We make the best choices even when we’re short on time.

Check out these links for some more great fast food choices.

Best choices for fast food

hungry and on the go

TODAY’S little STEP: Make smart choices when choosing fast food. You will fuel your body well to handle the busyness of life!

10 TRICKS TO BEAT THE HALLOWEEN MUNCHIE MONSTER

The scariest part of Halloween is the munchie monster that lives in my house. Me! I can pop those treat sized chocolate bars into my mouth as easy as can be. Before I even realize it I’ve eaten 700 calories. That’s the same as eating a double quarter pounder with cheese! WOW! Not good! But this Halloween is gonna be different. I’ve got a few tricks I’m going to try.

This post is so good I had to send it out again this year!

I also wanted to send it out a little before Halloween.

We all need to be reminded of a few tricks

to help us handle all the treats.

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  1. Buy the candy just before Halloween. If you buy it early it’s too tempting to sample it.

  2. Buy candy you don’t like. We usually buy our favorites.

  3. If you already bought the candy put it out of sight. Or better yet, have someone hide it. Out of sight out of mind!

  4. Eat your regular healthy supper before the trick or treaters arrive.

  5. If candy is too hard to resist, then give out other fun stuff. Like pencils, stickers, erasers, toy spiders and party favors.

  6. Chew some gum while you hand out the candy.

  7. Make a plan to eat only your favorite candy. Decide how many you will eat. Stick to the plan!

  8. If you attend a Halloween party eat the healthiest choice available. Limit the treats.

  9. Mix in some physical activity into the day. Walk with your trick or treaters. If you are home, put on your shoes and walk inside.

  10. Remember it’s just a day. It’s not a license to overindulge. You’ve worked too hard to blow it all on Halloween candy.  

If you are going to eat some treats you need to choose wisely. These favorite little treats are loaded with calories and fat.

  • Reece peanut butter cup – 1 fun size, 88 calories, & 6.5 grams of fat

  • Twizzlers – 1 fun size, 50 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Peanut M&Ms – 1 fun size, 93 calories & 4.7grams of fat

  • Hersey’s milk chocolate – 1 fun size, 50 calories & 3 grams of fat

  • 3 Musketeers – 1 fun size, 63 calories & 2 grams of fat

  • Tootsie pop – 1 full size, 60 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Nestle Crunch – 1 fun size, 60 calories & 3 grams of fat

  • Rockets or Smarties for U.S. friends – 1 roll, 25 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Doritos – 1 fun size, 140 calories & 8 grams of fat

  • Oh Henry – 1 fun size, 70 calories & 4 grams of fat

  • Cheezies – 1 fun size, 90 calories & 6 grams of fat

  • Cookies and cream -1 fun size, 50 calories & 3 grams of fat

Here’s my Halloween plan. I will eat 2 mini chocolate bars & one mini bag of cheezies while I give out the treats. Then I will chew some gum. I will walk inside while I wait. My husband will hide the leftover candy!

TODAY’S little STEP: Make a plan for your Halloween. Plan what you will eat and when. Add some exercise to your day. Decide what to do with the leftovers. Stick to it and you’ll beat the Munchie Monster!

You can do this!  Every little step makes a difference!

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

Summer smart eating tips!

Do you find the summer a hard time to stay focused on your healthy eating journey? Here are 20 tried and true tips to use this summer.

Tips that really work!

 

I find summer difficult because there is less routine, more bbqs and summer vacations.

A big part of my summer vacation with my family is….. the food.

When my extended family meets for a week of rustic camping we all bring our favorite treats and snacks.

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I bake some special treats just for that week at the lake. It seems I’m constantly going into the cabin to grab a little something. The evening campfires always involve sharing fun treats.

Here are some of the strategies I use for the summer! These tips and tricks really work!

Give them a try!

 

  1. When eating in a restaurant skip the appetizer, as it is usually high in fat. Have a salad with the dressing on the side. Choose an entrée that has meat, fish or poultry, either potatoes or rice and vegetables. Stay away from sauces and anything deep-fried.

  2.  Treat yourself to a fruit tray and some prewashed vegetables. When the work of preparing has already been done, it makes it easier for you to make good choices.

  3. When you are tempted by those treats and snacks, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Your mouth will be busy and you are less likely to eat something sweet or salty.

  4. Find ways to exercise everyday. Go for a long walk with a family member. Play games with your children, swim, canoe, and kayak; find fun ways to move your body everyday.

  5. Have some treats with your meal. Have your sandwich and raw veggies for lunch and then have a measured portion of some chips or cheezies. You won’t eat as much of the treat and you won’t feel deprived.

  6. Drink lots of ice-cold water. Use your fun water jug and stay hydrated.

  7. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Include some protein and fiber. You’ll feel full longer and you will have given your body some good fuel to start the day.

  8. Don’t eat out of the bag. Always serve yourself a portion of snacks in a bowl. Mindless eating can lead you to eat way more than you need or want.

  9. Read the labels on snack bags. Find out how much the suggested portion is and how many calories it contains. Then measure out that portion.

  10. Educate yourself, find out how many calories are actually in a s’more (it’s 268!). Decide if you really want to eat 3 or if 1 may satisfy your sweet tooth.

  11. Ditch the total deprivation mode. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats. Totally depriving yourself will only make you feel sorry for yourself.

  12. When visiting the ice cream shop choose your favorite flavor and order the smallest cone size. You will be satisfied and eat approximately 260 calories for 1 scoop or a baby cone, of something really yummy. With each scoop the calories add up much too quickly. If you are not careful, what was to be a treat becomes a whole meals’ worth of calories!

  13. When you do overeat, relax and don’t start the negative self-talk. Accept that you overate at that one meal. Forgive yourself and get back on track.

  14. Keep your discipline; enjoy treats and snacks in moderation. Don’t have days when you relax all your healthy eating rules. It’s too easy to slip back into those old comfortable habits. Stay disciplined!

  15. Plan your menu when camping to include lots of summer produce. We have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables available from local farmer’s markets and in our grocery stores now.

  16. When eating at a backyard bbq choose smaller portions of pasta salads as they usually have higher fat content. Instead choose the green salad and serve the dressing on the side. Have a hamburger and don’t eat the top bun. Choose fruit for dessert. When finished eating, leave the food area and visit with friends.

  17. Before you go on vacation increase your activity level and cut back on your calories. You will have built in a little cushion for the upcoming vacation and you won’t come home with extra pounds.

  18. Eat sweet treats with a meal. You will likely eat less than if it were a snack. Your blood sugar levels will be much more even.

  19. Put the snacks and treats in the cupboard. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. No mindless eating, be intentional!

  20. Relax and enjoy your vacation! Enjoy your time away from your usual routine. Enjoy your family and the opportunity to make memories.

I shared these tips last summer and decided they were worth reposting.

Remember our core Bible verse, “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

TODAY’S little STEP: Enjoy the summer with your family and friends. Pick a few of these tips and put them to use this summer.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

 

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

 

Strategies for summer struggles!

 I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

 

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When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

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One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation.

TODAY’S little STEP: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  Every little step makes a difference.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!