Eating healthfully

Eating healthfully

I get this question a lot, “April, I want to start eating healthier, what do I do?” Now that is a huge question that usually prompts other questions for me about goals, lifestyle, likes/dislikes, etc. We can get pretty down, dirty and specific when you’re ready, but if you want to get started and then take a deep dive – this is what I would recommend.

1. Stick to whole foods

Aim for 75% of your diet to be whole foods. This means unprocessed and as close to their original form as possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense – they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than processed foods. If it’s made in a factory and you cannot pronounce many of the ingredients or there’s a million and one ingredients? You can be sure it’s not a whole food. Less is more.

2. Avoid added sugar

Check the labels. Sugar is okay in moderation, but you really don’t want added/processed sugar. Packaging can be deceiving at times so take a peek at the ingredents for yourself

3. Limit alcohol

It’s midnight, you’ve had a few and you’re STARVING. Do you really think you’re going to grab a salad or bowl full of fruit? Probably not. My go to was always pizza, peanut butter, cheetos and ice cream. Sometimes all at once! And then what happens…I wake up full of guilt because I know I just put all kinds of garbage in my body. Alcohol lies to you – you really do not need that bowl full of mint chip ice cream with a side of oreos.

4. Set yourself up for success

Keep the garbage out of the house and DO NOT buy any more. If there’s others in the household (insert the husband for me); that want the crap then there’s a couple things you can do. One, have a serious conversation as to why you want to eat more healthfully – don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Two. Have ah-mazing will power which is hard. Something I do is if it comes in the house and it’s something I really like I put it WAY up high in our pantry. You see I’m short and sometimes lazy, so I have to be REALLY hard up to pull out a stool and climb the shelves.

5. Ditch emotional eating

All of us do it. We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we even eat when we’re angry! Find something other than food to handle your emotions. Journal, buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, go for a walk, call up or text a friend, and my favorite…play with your pets!

6. It is not about perfection; it’s about consistency

Giver yourself some grace. It’s okay to have an ice cream cone with your kids. It’s okay to try that new pizza place. The world is not over! The option to be healthy is not ruined! Tomorrow is a new day. And actually NOT being so restrictive can work in your favor. For many – the more we restrict the more we want it and when we do cave – we cave hard and it’s tough to get back on track.

7. Eat if you are hungry!

You’re eating better, maybe you’ve added in exercise and sometimes you just never feel full! Well you know what. EAT! The key is making good, whole food choices. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want – just avoid grabbing the bag of chips or M&Ms

Go ahead now – make your shopping list , reorganize your pantry and get yourself in a healthy mindset.

Looking for more guidance, suggestions, motivation to get started? Someone to tell your why to, to help keep you accountable? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.

with health and happiness – April 😘

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are kind of a big deal in our house. Our kids LOVE them. Like seriously; I think they would eat pancakes for every meal if we let them! My husband makes these AH-MAZING homemade pumpkin pecan pancakes….but that’s not the receipe I have for you today; Sorry! I’ll see if I can share his secrets another day.

Now, when I think pancakes I think…might as well have a donut. Full of sugar, no nutritional value. You see – I’m the boring parent and the husband is the cool fun one who buys donuts and ice cream. I want my kids to enjoy these things, in moderation of course, so I’m always trying to figure out a healthier alternative that they still enjoy. This is what lead me to my protein pancakes.

Last weekend I randomly whipped these up using my knowledge of healthy foods and flavors and I have to say….turned out pretty good! I even have a video testimonial from my 5 year old daughter – we went live as she took the first bite – huge risk with her!

Now that we have mama and kiddo approval I‘m ready to share; please enjoy!

What you need

Let’s do this!

Mix all your wet ingredients until smooth – hand mixer not necessary. Add your dry ingredients and mix well – batter will be a bit lumpy due to the oats. If it seems too thick then add a little bit of water until at a consistency you are happy with. Now add the dark chocolate (optional) or other mix ins! Blueberries, walnuts, bananas….anything you can think of. My personal favorite is dark chocolate and bananas. It’s good; trust me!

Now all you need to do is cook them as normal on your stove top or griddle. I would advise cooking at a little bit lower heat than normal and let it take a little big longer only because these pancakes get thick! You may even find yourself manual spreading out the batter which I have to say is awesome if you like to make your pancakes in different shapes – better control of the batter. We often go for the Mickey and Minnie look

There you have it! Pretty easy, satisfying and a more healthy option than your average pancake. We either have ours plain or topped with pure organic maple syrup. Mmmmmm…….

As always please let me know when you try them! So curious as to how these turn out for others and what YOU think.

with health and happiness – April

Dessert smoothies

Dessert smoothies

Dessert smoothies are totally my jam right now. I’m always looking for a way to make decadent things healthy and virtually guilt free. I’ve found that smoothies have been the easiest way to do this so far.

I am a self proclaimed awesome baker of delicious treats; however, whenever I try to alter them and make them healthier – it just isn’t the same. I’m going to keep working on that, but until then if I want something dessert like, but want to make sure I’m staying on track with my nutrition whipping up a dessert smoothie is my new go to.

My five year old saw me with my cake batter smoothie the other day – sprinkles and all – and was like NO FAIR. I want a milkshake! So what did I do? Yep – that’s exactly it I totally let her believe I was having a milkshake and then I gave her some in her own cup which just delighted her to no end! She couldn’t believe that mom actually gave in! Score! One Kylie, zero mama, but little does she know I actually won this one 😁

Here are a just a couple of my latest creations. I’ll pop the full recipes over on the “from the kitchen” page.

1. French Vanilla Cake Batter

I’m not a huge cake fan – more of a buttercream frosting kind of a girl. But I do love cake batter flavored things! Have you tried the birthday cake Quest bar? So Good

This smoothie is a mix of protein, greens, fiber , fruit and even topped off with whipped topping and sprinkles!

2. Strawberry Angel Food

This one is inspired by my older brother. Growing up his cake of choice for birthdays was angel food, frosted in whipped topping and decorated with sliced strawberries. So simple, yet so delicious. My brother has since passed, but I still make his favorite cake (and now this smoothie) each year for his birthday. Can you guess what month he was born? I’ll give you a hint MY birthday isn’t in April as my name suggests.

Make with strawberry or vanilla protein, fresh or frozen strawberries, fresh greens and few secret add ins and you’ve got healthy and delicious dessert!

Let me know if you try either of these and what you think. I’m working on a chocolate one right now – Reese’s peanut butter cup perhaps? Fudge Brownie? Let me know your ideas so I can keep creating and satisfying our sweet tooth!

with health and happiness – April

6 ways to control cravings

6 ways to control cravings

I could totally go for <insert crave-able sweet and/or salty food here>  I’ll just have a “little” to take care of the craving.  Sound familiar? Doesn’t sound terrible; however, I guarantee in about a half hour you’ll be headed back to the pantry for more.  Not going to solve your hunger issue and really just increase cravings for the things you want to limit in your diet.  

 My pantry snack of choice that i know I’ve over indulged in?  Peanut butter filled pretzels – giant size, from Costco.  So salty, so yummy. Some days I’d even step it up a notch and add a handful of dark chocolate chips…..trying not to drool at the moment.

Now I’m not saying NEVER give in to your cravings or indulge, but when it’s a daily habit? That’s when it becomes an issue. All that salt and sugar I’d take in daily I realized was not smart. For one, it was like crack and I just wanted more ( I mean I’ve never done crack…..just assuming. Ha!) When I did cut it down/back I realized that I had less bloating, more energy in the afternoon (when I’d typically eat this stuff) and I really didn’t miss it!

So what do we do to help set ourselves up for success? Here are some thoughts.

1. Get the crap out

You know what it is that could go. Get it out and keep it out for a period of time. Reduce the temptation. Then when you feel the benefits of cutting those foods out add a couple back in. I’d also suggest not buying giant Costco size items 😀

2. Eat (for real!)

Yes, eat. You need to eat every few hours – something healthy preferably containing protein. Do not try to ‘save” your calories for later – doesn’t work. Trust me. Have some cut up fruits and veggies that you love ready to go in your fridge, string cheese, light Greek yogurt, raw almonds or a well balanced snack bar. These chocolate and toffee ones are my fave!

3. Chew gum

Pop a piece of gum, preferably mint. Often times works for me. My go to is Extra Polar Ice.

4. Drink more water

Keeping yourself properly hydrated may lessen impulse cravings. Pro tip: find yourself a fun cup and grab a straw. Drinking through a straw has been proven (by me!) to help you drink more water that without one.

5. Get up and moving

A brisk walk, game of basketball with the kids or even cleaning the bathrooms – just do something. This can help you understand if you’re truly hungry or if it’s a passing craving that in the end you don’t really care about anyway.

6. Do a 7 day cleanse

This is ultimately what worked best for me and the husband. And not one of those $7 run to the bathroom type cleanses. Doesn’t work. We followed one that included whole, real foods with some added supplements. Let me know how I can help you get started!

Was this helpful? Any tips that have worked well for you? I want to know! Leave me a comment below.

with health and happiness – April 😘