Quote for intro

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."-Virginia Woolf

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Packed Lunch - Prep Yuck Free Lunches Part 2

Marvelous Mason Jar Salads
One of my big secrets in life is you should incorporate a salad into everyday. It is just a very easy way to ensure your health.

Prepping lunches for the week ahead helps keep me from making bad choices. This is especially so, when I only have a half hour for lunch breaks and job stress always makes me hungry. So my Sunday prep benefits both my family and I.

This week from all the prep I normally do (see part one) I will have the following lunches:

Monday - Wednesday: Mason Jar Salads This one of the most fantastic ideas I have seen on the web. I prep on Sunday with tons of fresh veggies, spring salad mix, grilled chicken breast (1 split into thirds) and just a bit of grated cheese. I wait till the morning of to top with just a bit of dressing.

Thursday: Egg salad either on a bed of spring mix or whole wheat or sprouted wheat bread.
This is where boiling the eggs on Sunday, cooling and peeling them and putting them in a storage container makes life easy. I just take two out and add the other ingredients and in less than 2 minutes I have lunch.

Friday: Leftover day! I clean up what's left of all the fresh vegetables and anything else and usually end up with a kicking' salad.

Don't forget your drinks!
The other thing that I do for myself during Sunday prep is to make a huge pot of ice tea so that I have something other than water to drink.

I use this glass stovetop whistling kettle to boil my 12 cups of water. No plastics here!
Then I pour it over my tea leaves into this glass tea pot with glass infuser. Again, no plastics!
After the brewing time, I let the tea cool enough to either safely transfer into individual servings in Mason jars (got to love the Mason jar) or to store the pot in the refrigerator. So ice tea when you need it!

Being prepared is the best way to keep your life Yuck Free and full of delicious whole foods.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Packed Lunch - Prep for the Week Ahead Yuck Free

Prepare to be Yuck Free!

In order to live Yuck Free, planning and preparation are essential. So often when you are hungry, you go for what is available, not necessarily the best option for health or wellness. So to combat this, I prep on the weekend for the week to come. 
Meal planning went out the window along time ago. Instead I plan a general idea and learn to be flexible. Also keeping core ingredients available and prepped, helps making life easier and on track.
My biggest secret is that when I get my whole foods home from the store, I immediately process them so they are ready to use. Nothing ruins your diet like looking at stuff in the frig and thinking "I would totally eat a salad if I didn't have to chop all that up."

The "to do" list after shopping. 

Yes, I spend about an hour to two hours (depends on what I buy) in the kitchen prepping but when I go to eat something it is virtually done.
1. Process vegetables and put in storage  containment: 
-Chop / slice cucumbers, carrots, radishes, scallions, celery, peppers, etc.
I have food processor that I love and comes in very handy when I need to slice cucumbers, carrots, radishes and onions.
I hand chop bell peppers (Trader Joes has a bag of organic tri-color bells that I get every week.)
- Rinse salad greens and cherry tomatoes.
2. Process fruits and put in storage containment: 
- Wash apples, oranges, grapes and berries.
- Cut up melons, mangos, strawberries and kiwis.
3. Cook hard boiled eggs. (We eat these for breakfasts, snacks and to go in sandwiches or salads.)
4. Cook a 1 pound package of organic chicken breast or breast tenders. 
I season with garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper. Can be grilled (preferred) or pan fried. Let cool and freeze for individual use. IF I come across already prepared grilled chicken and its organic I will buy that to save time. But that isn't often.
5. Prepare a side type of salad. 
A good pasta salad can go a long way. I use them as sides for dinners, main courses for lunches and an anytime snack for my husband (I've seen him eat it for breakfast.)

Pack a Yuck Free lunch!

Examples of the week ahead packed lunches for my 9 year old.
Monday - Pasta salad with 1/2 a chicken breast, watermelon slices and a yogurt squeeze.
Tuesday - Grilled chicken wrap with cream cheese and bell pepper slices, grapes and pasta salad side.
Wednesday - Peanut butter and jelly on sprouted wheat bread, cheese stick, banana and bell pepper sticks.
Thursday - Ham and cream cheese wrap with pickles, bell peppers on the side, grapes and yogurt squeeze.
Friday- Chunked chicken, cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, cherry tomatoes and orange slices.
Packing takes no time at all when everything is grab and go! No Lunchables here! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday Breakfast minus the Yucky Bloat

I am one that likes to experiment with new diets out there just to see if I can get additional health benefits from it. Then after a while I will incorporate the elements I find beneficial into my life. I almost never follow one given thing 100% (other than the obvious no artificial anything).

So in the next month I will be experimenting with the Wheat Belly Diet.

The Wheat Belly Diet suggests that, like many things, wheat is not what used to be due to human tampering. And that by the elimination of wheat products, unhealthy oils, sugars and high glycemic flours, one can have a healthier being. Perhaps even clearing up brain fog, skin flaws, digestion ailments, the list goes on and on.

So here I go. Downloaded the book and the supplemental 30 minute recipe guide Wheat Belly 30-Minute (Or Less!) Cookbook  and now I just have to follow the rules. I more or less did with this fantastic wheat free Sunday brunchfest.

Open- faced Ham and Egg Sandwich with Arugula and Mandarin Orange Salad

1 slice gluten free bread 
(I used Udi's because I haven't made the Wheat Belly mix yet. Udi's while gluten free, would not be on the Wheat Belly Diet due to the flours they use.)
2 slices organic ham
2 slices organic roma tomato
1 slice organic cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup arugula 
1 mandarin orange

Set your oven to broil temp.
Lightly toast the bread.
Layer the bread with ham, tomato and cheese. Broil until the cheese is melty.
While broiling prepare an over easy egg in a skillet.
Plate arugula with the mandarin orange. It really needs no dressing as both flavors are so strong.
Top the sandwich with the egg and enjoy!
This couldn't be easier or yummier. I great replacement if eggs benedict was your favorite thing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cooking spray ..What was I thinking not checking the Yuck factor?

So often in life we just amble along doing what we have always done. Well, I have questioned a lot of my regular life habits and found I was blindly following the mainstream and risking my family's health in the process.
Little things to question continue pop up on a daily basis. Just when you think you have it covered!

The other day the light bulb went on when I grabbed a bottle of cooking spray to grease a casserole dish. Why have I not checked this item's ingredients and what makes it come out of the can like that? It can't be a natural occurrence. And I was correct.
Even despite the fact that cooking sprays come in many varieties, some with more artificial ingredients than others and some with limited ingredients including organic olive oil, all commercial sprays are equal in that they use a propellant to get the oil out.
Propellants used in foods and beauty products contain CFC's that endanger our lungs and the environment. For instance the cooking spray I was looking at uses either isobutane or propane as its propellant. That just sucks. I don't want to eat that.

So needless to say that went in the trash. Manually spreading olive oil around a dish works just as well and no propellant. But sometimes I liked getting that fine mist coverage. So after a bit of research I found this Prepara Oil Mister . You add your own yuck free oil to the glass container and just manually pump it and out comes the spray. No propellants! Works like a charm and has been on my shelf working great for months. It seems to me that it doesn't use as much oil as the regular spray can either so your oil lasts longer.

Moral of the story is don't amble along. Question everything. You deserve to know and you deserve better.