Copyright © While They Sleep

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Healthy Eating

I've been trying to eat healthy & prepare more meals at home.
I kinda fell off track with my Sunday meal prepping, which when I do, I cook enough to last mid-week at a minimum.
Although I've slacked off a bit on meal prepping, I am trying to get back into.
I know for me, weight loss is going to be slow and steady.
And I've made peace with that.
I am not looking to diet - I have to keep reminding myself that.
I want to make a lifestyle change, which means I want to be able to enjoy foods and drinks as long as I understand what I want in the long run: to live a healthy and happy life.  

In between meal prepping, I tried out some yummy, healthy recipes. Some meals I just whipped together myself using healthy ingredients I had around the kitchen. I like to cook like that - a dash of this, a pinch of that.  I often tweak recipes with a lil' this and a lil' that.

Here are a few things I tried over the last couple of weeks: 

Garlic Cajun Shrimp

I whipped this together with a few things I had in the fridge! 

Here's what you'll need
  • Shrimp (I like to get shelled shrimp and peel some of the shells off & leave some as is). I used about a pound. 
  • 1 Sliced Onion
  • 1 Red or green bell peppers (I used one large red bell pepper sliced) 
  • 1 Squash or zucchini (I used 1 medium sized green squash sliced)
  • Minced garlic (We use garlic everyday, so we mince a lot and put it into a glass jar in our fridge.  We often mince red peppers into the blender with the garlic - but not too much or it's too spicy for Elijah) 
  • Cajun seasoning. (I used Old Bay's Seasoning.  It's one of my favorites!)
  • Sea Salt
Here's what you do! 
In a large pan, heat some oil (I often use canola, sunflower or olive oil).  Once oil is nice and warm, add sliced onions to lightly brown. Once lightly browned, add minced garlic and stir together.  Everything at this point will be added simultaneously. Shrimp cooks VERY fast so you don't want to waste too much time in between adding the shrimp and veggies or your shrimp will shrivel up and your veggies will be mushy.  Add all the shrimp, bell pepper, squash or zucchini into the pan.  Stir.  Sprinkle cajun seasoning on top of everything. Stir somemore.  Sprinkle sea salt on top of everything. Stir again.  Put heat to medium-low and let it simmer and cook.  Check back in 5 minutes and stir again.  It'll be nearing done at about 10 minutes.  But watch it closely during that time.  

And VOILA! You have a delish, healthy and quick meal for dinner! 

This can be eaten with so much! Whole wheat pasta (or spaghetti squash), brown rice, quinoa, or alone! We ate ours with a side of brown rice and corn on the cob - which I boiled and put a lil' bit of real butter on.

This was a HIT in my house.  Elijah ate this up so quickly! He loves shrimp and definitely loved this recipe :)

Banana Granola Honey Nut Muffins

It was a nice weekend to be home.  The weather was pretty Saturday morning on May 4th.  I felt like baking something, and noticed we had a few oh-too-ripe bananas laying around PLUS, I had just bought muffin pans (FINALLY) so that I could make turkey meat balls in them as part of my meal prepping. 

SIDENOTE: A friend of mine posts her healthy and clean eating recipes, amongst other things, and I got the idea from her to make meat balls as your protein for your work-week prepped meals.  Instead of eating a three ounce portion of chicken breast, you could have two or three meat balls (depending on the size) and mix it up a bit!  

With my newly purchased muffin pans, and ripe bananas in the kitchen, I decided to whip up a breakfast muffin with what I had laying around! Plus, I don't know about you, but I LOVE muffins.  The problem is, they are often very high in hidden calories, which is why I rarely every buy one. Why not make them so you can control what's in them (and subsequently how many calories are in them)!

**I did not feel like getting dressed and to the store for healthier alternatives in some instances, although I will for the next time I make these delicious treats!**

What I used:
  • Two ripe bananas smashed. 
  • Granola (I actually used Cashew Clusters with almonds and pumpkin seeds from Costco - they are a DELISH snack and also yummy to add to recipes)! I used a handful that I broke up into small chunks. 
  • Honey (whatever your preference is - I use an organic honey from Sprouts) 
  • All Purpose Flour (It's what we had)
  • 2 tbsp's Baking Powder 
  • 2 tbsp's butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter). 
  • 1 cup white suger (I know, I know - bad Naz!) 
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg (or egg whites) 

What I'll be using next time:
  • All Purpose Flour - Next time, I'm going to buy a whole wheat or gluten free flour for this recipe and make it healthier. Muffins can be dangerously high in calories if you're not careful with healthy substitutes! 
  • So I splurged with the white sugar the last time I made these yummy muffins.  I justified this because I hardly ever eat muffins (or anything sweet). BUT, next time, I will use far less sugar and instead use brown sugar or agave nectar.  


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. 
    2. In a large bowl, beat egg, and stir in smashed bananas, sugar, and butter. 
    3. Add flour, baking powder and salt.  Stirring just until combined. Stir in granola. Fill muffin pan cups 2/3 full.
    4. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Check center of muffins with toothpick! No batter should stick to your tooth pick when you pull it out! 
    5. Remove muffins from pan and enjoy! 

Meal Prepping

In an effort to get on track with my health & fitness goals, I have been off and on meal prepping - preparing enough food on Sundays (or Mondays) to last through the middle or end of the work week.  My staple (because it's easy, healthy and tastes good) is baked chicken, a veggie side, and black beans.  

This Monday, I decided to be a little more flavorful in my staple prepped meal.  I seasoned the baked chicken as I usually do - lightly marinated in minced garlic, sea salt, and sprinkled with Italian & Lemon Pepper seasoning.  I baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then I made my black beans on the stovetop like usual (in a little canola or olive oil, with grilled onions), but this time I decided to add turkey chili and give it a black bean chili twist.  Still healthy & tastes delish! I did cheat and just use a can of low calorie, low sodium turkey chili though - nothing fancy!  Then I grilled up some kale with minced garlic and onions seasoned with a little sea salt and lemon pepper.  

Everything turned out delish and will last us through Wednesday or Thursday for dinner! I made a little extra chicken to cut up into our salads for lunch too! 

Other Great Finds

Here are a few other great food finds I wanted to share with you!

Hemp Hearts: Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds. To learn more about the benefits of Hemp Hearts, go here. I bought these at Sprouts and like to sprinkle some onto my oatmeal. You can use them in pretty much anything! They don't have much of a taste, but are packed with nutrition! 

                                                                                                                                      Cashew Clusters.   I used these in my Banana Granola Honey Nut Muffins recipe above, and bought them at Costco! They are a delish healthy snack! But they are addicting, so I pack 4 or 5 pieces only in a zip lock bag and take it to work, otherwise I would eat way more than I should. They're that good! 

Lastly, for now... 

Brown Rice Protein Powder.  I bought this at Sprouts in my attempt to move away from Whey protein powder (i.e.: My Muscle Milk Protein Powder that I have been using for a long time).  It was kind of expensive, in my opinion, but the more affordable one out of the various brown rice protein powders they had. From my research, whey is actually not that great for you, especially for women.  I'm not going to try to sway you one way or the other - do your own research before deciding on a protein powder for yourself. I am by NO means, a doctor

I liked this Brown Rice Protein Powder (picture above) - Chocolate Protein Energizer, but am more interested in an Organic, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO, Kosher, Non-Fat, Low in Sodium, and Free of Sugar, Dairy, Lactose, Cholesterol, Soy, Corn, Wheat and Allergens protein powder, which I found through the Tone It Up (TIU) personal trainers I follow.  Unfortunately, it is always out of stock or on back order.  I saw that it was in stock just today, so I'm going to order some asap! To learn more about Perfect Fit Protein Powder from the TIU Fitness Trainers I follow, please visit here: Perfect Fit Protein Powder. On a side note, the TIU Trainers are amazing! They post fitness videos you can follow on their website or youtube for FREE.  You can go at your own pace, at home - and the results from their amazing moves are no joke! Check them out on youtube here: Tone It Up!


Post a Comment