nutrition

No Bake Energy Bites

Time for some real talk. As much as I love to cook, and as important as eating whole, healthy foods is to me, sometimes I just don't eat lunch. (Working on it!)I know it's terrible, but the reality is that by the time I make breakfast, clean that up, make a snack, wash a few more dishes, then make lunch for E, I'm kind of done. A lot of times I'll make a superfood protein smoothie, but if I am running out the door, I'll also grab a couple of these energy bites! They are packed with good ingredients that can help fuel you even in the midst of chaos.

These are also great toddler or kid snacks! They are super portable, healthy and filling, and you can customize the recipe very easily to everyone's favorite ingredients. We love to take these on picnics, hiking and camping for a quick snack. Plus, it's fun to get in the kitchen with the little one and let them help pick out flavor combinations and help stir up the ingredients!

If I want to leave out the chocolate I will often times substitute pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or any other ingredients that sound tasty!

Recipe adapted from this one by Gimme Some Oven:
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2/3 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup Justin's almond butter
1/2 cup organic flax seed (whole or ground to your preference)
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Just under 1/4 cup raw, organic honey
1 T organic chia seeds
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 T organic coconut oil
Optional: 1 scoop Young Living Vanilla Spice protein powder

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.

1. To make individual balls, cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes. This allows the mixture to stick together better! Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. OR

2. To make bars, press mixture into a parchment-lined brownie dish and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Remove and cut into bars!

Other combination ideas:
+ Trail mix: 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 1/4 cup pistachios + 1/2 cup chopped almonds
+ Fall favorite: 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/2 cup diced dried apricots

Nutrition Tips 05: A Day in the Life of Food

Since we talked about nutrition quite a bit in the last post, I thought it would be fun to have a peek into my daily life with the new nutrition plan. Honestly, these new guidelines are a lot like the way that I used to eat, just with a focus on getting enough protein, healthy fats, and calories. I've heard countless trainers, dietitians and physicians talk about how women aren't eating the right things and simply aren't eating enough. When we don't have enough calories and good fats (think avocado, coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil), our bodies can't make hormones, which can cause abdominal weight gain, mood instability, and inability to loose those excess pounds. Yikes. (Find more about that stuff here and here. These are two of my favorite references sites, so poke around if you want to learn more!)

One thing that has really upped our vegetable game and given us some variety is joining a CSA! It's fun to get new things every week and super cost-effective since we get a large box of organic produce for $35! This summer's crop has us eating lots of greens and summer salads! 

For me, a nutrition plan HAS to be simple and sustainable, otherwise it's just another source of stress in my life. Luckily, I find this pretty simple for the most part, so hoping to make it easy for you too! Here are a few guidelines that I follow to make sure that I'm getting all the things my body needs:

+ Eat four times a day: for me this looks like three dedicated, balanced meals a day with a protein smoothie in the afternoons (ideally after a work out of some sort!).

+ Eat within one hour of waking: this one is tough for me since I often don't want anything to eat in the mornings, but I'm working on it! If I know I have a super early morning, I'll make a batch of overnight oats with a little protein powder thrown in. 

+ Have a plan: If I have even a loose idea of what I'll be eating for lunch, I am much more successful with actually eating. Since I've been primarily working from home (more on that in the next post!), it's become very easy for me to just skip lunch. Which is quite possible the worst thing I could do! Snacking on carrots and hummus does NOT count as a lunch, so if I know that I'' be eating a salad or leftovers that day, I more apt to actually do it. 

+ Prep (a little) on the weekends: Now that I'm at home during the week I don't prep as much as I used to, but even making a batch of chicken salad and chopping up fresh veggies for egg scrambles and salads makes cooking during the week so much easier! Plus, it makes me feel like less effort is involved ;) (because, life with a toddler!).

Okay, so here's a typical day for me!

6:30 am: wake up, drink some water (sometimes with lemon oil for liver support), have a small mug of warm homemade chicken broth (see the benefits of bone broth here), then a cup of black coffee. Drink a total of 8 ounces of water during this time.

7:30 or 8:00 am: two egg scramble with backyard squash or zucchini cooked in coconut oil + 1/2 of an Aidells chicken sausage + a piece of gluten-free toast with grass-fed butter and low-sugar organic jam OR a handful of organic blueberries. *Working on getting this meal in within an hour of waking! This is the tough part for me! Also working on making sure it is high-protein per my doctor's recommendations to reduce fatigue. 

12:00 pm: mixed greens salad + chicken salad with 1-2T olive oil and balsamic as dressing + a few carrots & hummus OR leftovers from the previous night's dinner (vegetable & beef spaghetti + zoodles) 

2:00 pm: post-workout protein smoothie with 1/2 frozen organic banana + a large handful organic spinach + 2T organic coconut oil + a little almond butter (about 1T?) + Califia unsweetened almond milk + 1 drop of peppermint oil + 1 scoop grass-fed protein powder. I just started a new adrenal-friendly workout program with a friend, more on that soon! 

6:30 pm: bunless burgers (grass-fed beef) with homemade pickles, Primal Kitchen mayo and ginger chili sauce + sweet potato wedges + homemade coleslaw OR roasted chicken with potatoes & carrots + a spinach salad with olive oil and balsamic dressing OR smoked chicken + roasted asparagus & okra + tomatoes & cucumbers mixed with olive oil, balsamic + a drop of dill oil + a tiny bit of black rice. More meal ideas coming soon! 

 

So there you go! I'll be sharing some more tips and tricks and favorite recipes along the way as we navigate through this. I hope that some of these help you with your nutrition plan as well! When all else fails, focus on quality protein (grass-fed, pastured), healthy fats (avocado, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil), and as much organic as possible. Be well friends!