Even Simpler Healthy Breakfast

I’ve posted about simple egg breakfasts before, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything this simple!  This takes less than 5 minutes for me to make, from start to finish–no prep work, no chopping, or anything!

I’ve been eating a lot of protein+veggie meals with this 80-day program, and this has been one of my go-to meals.  It’s cheap, it’s easy, and I can make it even when my kiddo is home with me.  Win on all counts!

For this recipe, I *highly* recommend using unrefined coconut oil.  This program is the first time I’ve ever eaten unrefined coconut oil simply because there was some that was cheap, so I went for it.  I was afraid to add a coconut flavor to my food, but it really doesn’t add a coconut flavor as much as it adds flavor, if that makes sense.  I don’t like bitter cooked greens, so a little bit of sweetness from the coconut oil makes it taste amazing.  Sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt and garlic powder on there and it’s SO GOOD.

Enjoy!

Super Simple Breakfast

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup baby spinach (a couple of handfuls, really)

1 tsp unrefined coconut oil

Salt and pepper (or other spices) to taste

 

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Melt the coconut oil in the skillet.  Add the spinach and stir for about 1 min, until spinach wilts and darkens a bit. Add the salt and spices.  Stir to mix.  Add the eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until completely cooked.  Transfer to a bowl and voila!  You’re done.

I’ve eaten this alone, on a piece of Ezekiel toast, over some leftover roasted sweet potato, and in a corn tortilla.  Every option is great!

Clean-Eating Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce

I love eggplant, I love fried foods, and I love Greek food.  This recipe is the perfect combination for me, and it’s completely on my meal plan!  It has the crisp and crunch of a fried eggplant, but it’s not completely horrible for me.

The Tzatziki sauce had so much flavor!  I loved the kick from the garlic, and I ended up using a lot of the sauce for a chicken quinoa bowl as a kind of dressing.  I’ll be using this sauce for several protein options to add some flavor without compromising on my goals.

I will say that I had a horrible time finding whole wheat panko.  I went to 4 different stores and NO ONE had it except Wal-Mart.  I looked at Kroger, Target, and Trader Joe’s before I tried Wal-Mart, so it was pretty frustrating for me.  Learn from my mistakes and just go to Wal-Mart first!

I highly recommend this.  It took a while to make it, but then it was ready for the whole week.  It lost some of the crunch as it sat in the fridge, but I think it would help to reheat on the stovetop instead of the microwave.  Either way, it tastes great and is good for you!

Clean-Eating Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)

For the eggplant fries:

1¼ cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ tsp. ground smoked paprika

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder

¾ tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 40 ½-inch-thick fries (about 1¼ lbs.)

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425º F. Combine bread crumbs, paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano in large nonstick skillet; cook, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a large plate (or shallow pan).

Dip each eggplant fry into flour, then eggs, then bread crumb mixture. Place on large baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fries. Make sure there is a little space between each fry. Discard excess flour, eggs, and bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until eggplant is fork tender and breading is deep brown.

Season with salt and pepper; serve five fries with 3 Tbsp. Tzatziki.

5 eggplant fries is 1 green and a 1/2 yellow.

Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)

1 cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ cup coarsely chopped seeded cucumber (approx. 1⁄3 medium)

2 tsp. fresh dill

2 tsp. fresh mint leaves

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Keep cold in an airtight container.

Tzatziki Sauce: 3 tbsp is FREE (no containers!)  3/4 cup is 1/2 red container.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s my other favorite cookie recipe!  This has been my JAM on Refeed Days–I have been eating one of these at 5 AM before my workout.  It’s awesome!

My cookies look very different than other people who have made them–I am sure I messed up the recipe somehow, but even if I didn’t and it was just a weird fluke, they still taste awesome (honestly, I think I may have accidentally used almond flour instead of coconut flour).  My cookies spread out more than they puffed up, so they are a little thin and kind of flimsy.  But it’s a chocolate cookie, so I kinda don’t care.  If it tastes good, I’m okay with it.

Just like last week’s cookie, I’m only eating one or two per Refeed Day, so the batch went into the freezer.  I take the cookie out the night before and thaw it in the fridge, then microwave for 10 seconds right before I eat it.  It’s a very moist cookie, so be sure you have a napkin around!

Double Chocolate Cookies (from Fixate)

¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup canned lite coconut milk

1⁄3 cup coconut flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup dark chocolate chips, 70% cacao (or more)

 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Lightly coat baking sheet with spray. Set aside.

Combine oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and coconut milk in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside. Combine flours and cocoa powder in a small bowl; mix well.

Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture; mix until well blended. Add chocolate chips; mix until blended.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm.

 

1 cookie is 1 yellow container.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Refeed Day is the best.  I get to eat more, and I get to eat cookies.  This week and next I’ll be sharing my two favorite healthier cookie recipes with you all!  Please note that these aren’t HEALTHY cookies–they are simply better options!

The first is this gluten-free cookie.  Now, listen–this dough will not look like cookie dough.  It will be crumbly and you will think that you’ve messed up the recipe somehow.  IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE CRUMBLY!  I promise it will be okay.  They may not look pretty, but they will taste good!

I actually ended up adding a couple of tablespoons of water to my dough to make it a little easier to form–when I tried to put the first tbsp of dough onto the cookie sheet, it literally crumbled in my hands.  Oops.  I got the hang of it though.

The cookies won’t rise or spread much, so don’t worry about packing your dough too much as you shape the dough into the tbsp-sized balls.  Again, they will taste good, so who cares what they look like!

I have been eating one or two cookies at a time per Refeed Day, so I put my cooked cookies in the freezer in a freezer gallon bag.  I’ve been taking one out the night before I plan on eating them and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds right before I eat it.  It gets warm and yummy!

If you keep them on your countertop, eat them quickly because they only last for three days in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Fixate)

¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, solid

½ cup coconut sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. baking soda, gluten-free

¼ tsp. baking powder, gluten-free

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

¼ cup dark chocolate chips, 70% cacao or higher

Preheat oven to 325º F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer; beat until well mixed. Add egg yolk and extract; mix well. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.

Add oil mixture to flour mixture; mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Roll into Tbsp.-sized balls and place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

 

1 cookie is 1 yellow container and 1/2 tsp.

Easy Chicken Quinoa Bowls

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This is one of my favorite quick meals!  It is a variation of the typical meal I would bring with me to work when I was still teaching–one bowl, lots of healthy nutrition, and easy to eat!  No heating up is required, which was SO helpful when I was teaching and only had 20 minutes to eat lunch!

This meal is super versatile, too–you can switch out the protein, the veggies, the carb, and even change out the herbs and seasonings to make whatever type of quinoa bowl you want–Asian inspired, a taco bowl, etc.  I stuck with the Greek theme here because I needed olives in my life!

The hardest part of this super simple recipe is prepping all the ingredients, so if you can buy pre-chopped onions, frozen cooked quinoa, and of course pre-pitted olives, that helps so much!  I also used dried parsley because I already had it on hand.  There are several ways you could shortcut this recipe–use a food processor for the veggies, buy lemon juice instead of juicing whole lemons, etc–but I personally enjoy all the prep work so I don’t mind doing it all myself.

The recipe below makes one quinoa bowl, but this is really easy to double or triple and make multiple servings at a time.  I made 5 servings on a Sunday afternoon and ate it for dinner all week!

Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Quinoa Bowl, aka Quinoa Tabouli Bowl (from Fixate)

½ cup cooked quinoa

1⁄3 cup chopped onion (approx. ½ medium onion)

1⁄3 cup chopped tomato (approx. ½ medium tomato)

1⁄3 cup chopped cucumber (approx. ½ medium cucumber)

¾ cup cooked chopped chicken breast, boneless, skinless

1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

10 kalamata olives, pitted and whole or chopped

Combine all the ingredients and toss to combine.  Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Container counts (per bowl): 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 orange, 1 tsp

Banana-Blueberry Muffins–Toddler Approved!

I am slowly but surely working on my child’s picky palate–it is literally my worst nightmare to have a kiddo who is picky, but I also know that toddlers are just picky.  There are no two ways about it!

Sadly, my kiddo is obsessed with a certain brand of packaged blueberry muffins.  You know, the super-processed, loaded with sugar, horrible and delicious ones you get in little bags at the store?  He loves the stupid things.  So of course I wanted to find something that I could make at home that I felt good about giving him so that he could still eat his precious blueberry muffins, but that would be much healthier for him.  And this recipe is it!

I made these for myself for my 80 Day Obsession program because they fit into one of the container pairings I have for one of my meals and they are SO GOOD.  Originally the recipe calls for chopped apple, but I didn’t love that texture and flavor, so I subbed in blueberries and it was so much better!  Little man loves these, and they are very simple to make.

I have made these with ghee and coconut oil, and while the flavor is pretty much the same either way, ghee is much easier to use because it doesn’t harden from the cold eggs like the coconut oil did.

Enjoy!

Banana Blueberry Muffins (slightly adapted from Fixate)

Makes about 9 servings, 1 muffin each

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup mashed banana (about 2 ripe bananas)

1 tbsp butter or ghee, melted

1.5 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners and lightly coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Combine eggs, banana, and butter/ghee in a medium bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, mix well.

Add the almond flour mixture to the egg mixture, mix until blended.

Fold in blueberries.  Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pan cups about 3/4 way full (about 1/4 cup of batter per muffin cup).

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

These keep well in the fridge for about 5 days and will keep in the freezer for months.

Containers: 1 muffin is 1 purple and 1 blue.

 

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling

I’ve been hunting for some new recipes while I’m doing this new fitness program, and when I first saw this recipe, I was very skeptical.  I don’t typically like mashed sweet potato, and I was a little worried about it being such a big part of this meal.  But, I thought that maybe all the other ingredients would help with my texture issue, so I wanted to give it a try.

You guys, this is SO GOOD.  I could not believe how much I loved it!  The original recipe was written for this filling to be put in a collard green leaf wrap, which I liked a lot, but the second time I made this I ate it as a salad over spinach, which was even better! This is pretty simple to make as a big batch and then eat cold throughout the week.

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Make this recipe, you guys.  It’s gluten free, it’s clean eating, and it might even be Whole30 (just double check the sauce ingredients on that one)!  You’ll love it, too!

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling (from Fixate on Beachbody On Demand)

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/3 cup each

2 cups mashed sweet potato

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. melted ghee (organic grass-fed, if possible)

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless **I cooked mine in my CrockPot with some chicken broth then shredded it

1 cup chopped bell peppers (approx. 11⁄3 medium)

½ cup chopped tomato (approx. 1 medium)

½ cup sliced green onions

Combine the sweet potato and ghee until well mixed.  Add in the chicken, bell pepper, tomato, and green onions and stir until well mixed.  Keep refrigerated.

For the sauce:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. raw honey

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ tsp. + 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use

½ tsp. + 1 dash ground black pepper, divided use

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or small food processor.  Keep refrigerated in a small container and top 2 tbsp of sauce on filling just before eating (if eating over spinach).

If you want to make this as a wrap, put 2/3 cup filling in one large collard leaf green and wrap burrito-style–one serving is 2 wraps.  You can put 1 tbsp sauce on the filling before you wrap it, then wrap the wraps (ha!) in plastic wrap (double ha!) and keep in the fridge to hold it all together.

 

Either way you fix it, this meal is one red, one green, one yellow, one orange, and one tsp for my Portion Fix friends.  If you aren’t a Portion Fix friend and want to become one, contact me!  Let’s chat.

Banana Oat Pancakes (make-ahead and toddler approved!)

I love breakfast, ya’ll.  It’s funny because I normally just have my super shake for my breakfast every day, but I love all things breakfast.  If it’s filling, yummy, healthy, and quick, even better!

These pancakes are so good, really easy to make, and they keep well in the freezer so I can make a big batch over the weekend and eat on them all week long.  You can easily add blueberries or chocolate chips, or just eat them plain with a drizzle of maple syrup.  My son loves these, too!  Win for everyone!

Banana Oat Pancakes (from Fixate)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
1 large ripe banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 dash sea salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed and smooth.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1/2 tsp coconut oil.  Measure out 1/4 cup pancake batter and pour onto skillet, cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the top of the pancake starts to bubble.  Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through and golden brown.  Repeat with all remaining batter.

Top with fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and/or pure maple syrup.  If placing in freezer, let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap or put in zipper sandwich baggies, then place in a zipper freezer bag and freeze.

Each serving is 2 pancakes (1 yellow container).

Pre-Workout Comparison–C4 versus Energize

Since most of my workouts happen during the early morning, some kind of pick-me-up is definitely needed to get me going and to help me give my workouts my all.  I work really hard during my workouts, so a little extra umph helps me a lot!

I used to just drink some coffee in the mornings, but drinking a mug of coffee with some coconut milk creamer was a little too heavy on my stomach, and I like to sit quietly and enjoy my coffee, not gulp it down for my workout.  I started using Beachbody Performance Energize and really liked it, but decided to try a different brand to get some comparison and see which I liked better.   I know what you’re thinking–“she probably prefers the Beachbody one, *eyeroll*.”  And you’re right!  But for good reason so keep reading 😉

C4

*This picture is from Google Images*

I used C4 in their Watermelon flavor, which I really liked the taste of! Right off the bat, I didn’t love some of the ingredients–sucralose and artificial colors.  I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and colors as much as I can, so I didn’t love ingesting them first thing after waking up.  It took about 20 minutes for me to start to feel the energy burst, which for me was a super itchy feeling in my ears–I had expected a tingly feeling, but it was super itchy, which was just kind of annoying.  The itch went away once I started my workout, but it was a little alarming at first because I was afraid I was allergic to something in the pre-workout.  (By the way, itching or tingling is a very normal effect of pre-workouts, so don’t worry if you experience that).  I definitely felt an energy burst with this pre-workout, but it wasn’t as much energy as I was hoping for.  Overall, the flavor was the best part of this pre-workout for me; the energy burst was fine, but wasn’t as much as I wanted.

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*This picture is from Google Images*

 

With Energize, the only flavor option is Lemon, which is just fine, but not my first choice.  Right off the bat with this pre-workout, it has an edge because it does NOT contain artificial sweeteners–it uses stevia leaf extract and beet sugar, which are both plant-based sweeteners and not made in a lab.  It also doesn’t contain artificial colors, so it makes me feel better about what I consume right after waking up.  With Energize, it takes about 10-15 minutes to start to feel the energy burst, which is a tingly feeling in my fingers and sometimes around my jaw line. It was also a little alarming at first (I had the same fear that I was allergic to something), but again, that is very normal for pre-workouts.  The tingle is a much less intense feeling than the itching I have with C4, so I prefer Energize in this category, too.  Finally, the burst of energy I feel is much stronger with Energize than it is with C4–I literally have a bounce in my step when I drink Energize, and that was missing when I drank the C4.  Energize wins out in every one of my categories except for flavor, which honestly is the least important one for me.

Energize also comes with 40 servings instead of C4’s 30 servings, so I like that I can add in a few runs here and there in addition to my regular at-home workouts, still use my pre-workout, and not run out before the month is over.

Do you use a pre-workout?  Which one is your favorite?  I’d love to hear some different perspectives and experiences!

If you want to try out Energize for yourself, you can get 10 packets to see how awesome it is here.

#mySADexperiment

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably noticed me posting about my current health experiment–#mySADexperiement is 11 days in and is going strong!  I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what exactly it is I’m doing, so I wanted to answer some of those questions here.

First of all, SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’ve been pretty open about my struggles with depression and anxiety, and SAD is something I deal with every single winter.  When the days are shorter and the sun isn’t out as long during the day, we can’t get as much vitamin D, which is so necessary for our bodies and our sanity.  Because of this, a lot of us struggle with our moods, energy, and motivation during the winter months.  The “winter blues” can be mild to severe for different people, and for me it can get pretty intense.  Last year was the toughest winter yet for me, and I’ve been going into this winter with some anxiety.  I want to do whatever I can to alleviate and manage my SAD symptoms and enjoy this season–after all, it’s my favorite time of year!

I’ve done quite a bit of research on nutrition and depression/anxiety, and time and again studies are seeing a connection between what you put in your body and your emotional/mental health.  Now, I’m not saying that changing my diet will prevent or cure anything, but if there is a connection, it can only help, right?

The biggest culprit seems to be sugar.  Studies are showing that sugar is basically the devil–all kinds of negative consequences to our bodies, little to no nutritional benefits.  Too bad this time of year is filled with sugar, sugar EVERYWHERE.  I made chili last night with some Italian pork sausage and found corn syrup (aka sugar) in the ingredients.  WHY???

Which brings me to my experiment: during the 30 days of November, I’m being intentional about fueling my body with what it NEEDS and what will be beneficial for me, not with what I want (you know, all the bread and leftover Halloween candy).  Limiting sugar, staying away from breads and refined grains, and limiting dairy while loading up on fresh veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats.  I’m also committed to working out every single day, since exercise releases endorphins and helps with your mood.  My doctor has told me more than once that the first thing I need to do for my depression is work out, and I’m usually very consistent with my fitness.  During the winter months, however, it gets so easy for me to skip workouts and make excuses–who doesn’t want to stay in bed under the warm covers a little longer when it gets cold outside?

So far, this experiment is going really well!  I’ve gotten a workout in each day, and while I haven’t been perfect with my nutrition, I have been very intentional about what I’m eating and have been great at getting my veggies in–and I’m feeling really great!  I don’t expect to have zero SAD symptoms this winter, but I am determined to avoid the darkness I felt last year.  So far, the difference is night and day between how I’m feeling right now and how I felt in November of last year.

This time of year is notorious for being difficult for people to focus on their health, but I’m determined to be different this year.  I have committed to owning my health this season instead of letting the season own me, and I’m excited about making it happen.  I’ve got the all the tools I need between my streaming workouts and super shake, and putting them to use may not be easy, but it’s definitely simple.

If you want to join me in #mySADexperiment, click here!