Eating well is one of those things. We all know it's the right thing to do, but sugar sneaks into every meal. This summer, make the decision to eat right and light. With these ideas and recipes, it shouldn't be difficult at all!
- Breakfast Parfaits: Layer your favorite fruits (berries, apples, bananas, etc.) with Greek yogurt for a nutrient-rich, delicious summer breakfast. Add some granola if you like, but be aware of the sugar content. A lot of store-bought granola contains way too much sugar, but you can make your own granola simply with oats, maple syrup or honey, a few spices, and some nuts.
- The Savory Breakfast: Consider a veggie-packed breakfast by making crustless mini quiche. Just combine six eggs with a half cup of milk and whatever seasonings and veggies you like (thyme, salt, pepper, spinach, and roasted red peppers, perhaps). Add a little Parmesan cheese on the top or stir in some goat cheese. Divide between greased muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Alternately, try a green protein smoothie by combining 1.5 cup of greens, 1 cup of liquid, and 1/2 cup of fruit. Add your choice of protein (nut butter, seeds, protein powder, etc.) and blend it up! Either of these breakfasts can be modified for your specific tastes, and can be made ahead of time so you can just grab them on your way to work!
- Snacks: Everyone needs a snack every now and then, but store-bought snacks are often loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats. Avoid the snack slump by keeping your pantry stocked with various nuts, dried fruits, organic cheese sticks, popcorn (like the Boom Chicka Pop sea salt variety), all-fruit fruit snacks, and low-sodium beef or turkey jerky. Just beware of your snack portions because even a healthy snack can quickly turn into too many calories. For easy portion control, measure your snacks into snack-sized Ziploc bags or small containers.
- Lunch Salads: The next time you're out, grab a box of large, wide-mouth mason jars. Then bring them home, wash and dry them, and prep a week's worth of healthy, delicious salads. The basic idea with a mason jar salad is that you'll put the wet ingredients (namely, the dressing and wet veggies like cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes) at the bottom, and top the jar with a handful of greens. Your salad will stay well for days and when you're ready to eat it, all you have to do is shake it up and enjoy! There are endless ways to make a mason jar salad, but try starting with this: pour a tablespoon each of olive oil and red wine vinegar at the bottom, then add a shake of Italian seasoning. Next add chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, sugar snap peas, and olives, if you like. Next, add a half cup of cooked and cooled quinoa and a little of your favorite cheese. Top with your choice of greens and close the lid. If you're interested, here are some more tips and recipe ideas.
- Marinated Chicken Dinner: For quick and easy dinners, purchase chicken breasts in bulk. Split it all up into gallon Ziploc bags and pour in some marinade. Try this Greek Chicken Marinade. For other bags, use a simple lemon juice and olive oil with thyme, salt, and pepper, or mix soy sauce with honey, oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper for an Asian inspired dinner. Try any of these grilled, baked, or cut up and cooked on the stove top. Serve them with an array of veggies such as a simple cold salad or steamed broccoli. Alternately, try roasting a tray of veggies to have on the side. Just place peeled and chopped carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on a large, rimmed baking sheet with oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes.
We hope we have inspired you to seek out healthy foods this summer. Bon Appétit!