Hello…and Happy Try-It Thursday!

Well, those Vikings surprised us all last weekend! And because of their win…we are having a family football party this weekend. (And hopefully watching another win!)

Here are a few of the yummy (and healthy) snacks that will be on our table.

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Bites
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup favorite hot sauce
  • 3½ oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (you won’t use all of it)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups Corn Flakes cereal, crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, hot sauce and cream cheese; mix well. Stir in cheddar cheese and green onions and set aside.
  3. Using 3 separate bowls, set out the flour, eggs and crushed cereal. Scoop out chicken mixture and make 1½-inch balls, first rolling in flour, then dipping in egg and last coating with cereal. Repeat this until you have about 30 balls.
  4. Place balls on sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden.
  5. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Recipe Source: Eat Yourself Skinny

Skinny Brownie Batter Dip

  • 1 (18.4 oz) box Brownie Mix, Dry
  • 2 cups fat free PLAIN yogurt, I have tried it with greek yogurt and it gives it more of a sour flavor
  • 2 cups lite cool whip, thawed
  • mini chocolate chips, optional
  1. Combine brownie mix, yogurt and cool whip together in a large bowl. Stir until completely combined. If desired you can stir in some mini chocolate chips as well.
  2. I garnished mine with some mini chocolate chips and served with graham crackers, nilla wafers and teddy grams.

Recipe Source: Eat Yourself Skinny

Today we are going to share some quick wins for healthy habits.

Quick Win #1: 

Turn in early. Often when we are tired and lack energy we eat more. Pick a bedtime that works for you (and gives you at least 7 hours of sleep before you have to wake up.) Set your phone alarm 60 minutes prior to bedtime as a reminder to start your bedtime routine.

Quick Win #2:

Journal. Journalling has been shown to help decrease anxiety and increase happiness. Keep your journal next to your bed and spend a few minutes each night writing down your thoughts. (And write down 3 things you are grateful for.)

Quick Win #3:

Take a quick walk. Movement is energy. Often just a change in routine and expanding those lungs can give you a burst of energy.

Quick Win #4

Make time for fun. Plan activities that involve moving around and not food. Hiking, snowshoeing, swimming are just a few of my favorites.

Quick Win #5

Mindset Matters. Pay attention to what you are telling yourself. Change your words from “I need to lose weight” to “I’m getting healthy” or “I’m so tired” to “While I don’t have the energy to exercise for 30 minutes, I can walk for 10 minutes.” Instead of focusing on how hard it is to “diet”…celebrate the gift of making healthier choices for yourself. Our thoughts and beliefs lead to habits and behaviors which impact our results.

Snacking can offer a big opportunity when it comes to making just “1” change for good health. Often when we are on a diet, many of us think snacking needs to go…and then we find ourselves starving, which diminishes our willpower–and then, oops…we grab the first thing we see to eat. (And the choice isn’t always a healthy one.)

What if…we changed our thinking and instead planned smart snacks in our healthy eating plan.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Save time by slicing veggies
    Store sliced vegetables in the refrigerator and serve with dips like hummus or low-calorie dressing. Top half a whole-wheat English muffin with spaghetti sauce, chopped vegetables, and low-fat shredded mozzarella and melt in the microwave.
  2. Mix it up
    Mix dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and popcorn in a snack-size bag for a quick trail mix. Blend plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt with 100% fruit juice and frozen peaches for a tasty smoothie.
  3. Grab a glass of milk
    A cup of low-fat or fat-free milk or milk alternative (soy milk) is an easy way to drink a healthy snack.
  4. Go for great whole grains 
    Whole-wheat breads, popcorn, and whole-oat cereals that are high in fiber and low in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Limit refined-grain products such as snack bars, cakes, and sweetened cereals.
  5. Nibble on lean protein
    Choose lean protein foods such as low-sodium deli meats or unsalted nuts. Wrap sliced, low-sodium deli turkey around an apple wedge. Hard-cooked (boiled) eggs.
  6. Keep an eye on the size
    Store snack-size bags in the cupboard and use them to control serving sizes.
  7. Fruits are quick and easy
    Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruits can be easy “grab-and-go” options that need little preparation. Offer whole fruit and limit the amount of 100% juice served.
  8. Consider convenience 
    A single-serving container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt or individually wrapped string cheese can be just enough for a quick snack.
  9. Swap out the sugar
    Keep healthier foods handy so kids avoid cookies, pastries, or candies between meals. Add seltzer water to a ½ cup of 100% fruit juice instead of offering soda.
  10. Prepare homemade goodies
    For homemade sweets, add dried fruits like apricots or raisins and reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Adjust recipes that include fats like butter or shortening by using unsweetened applesauce or prune puree for half the amount of fat.

Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas
  1. Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
  2. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
  3. To assemble the wraps, spread about ½ cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about ⅔ cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

Recipe Source: Eating Well

 

Greek Power Bowls

FOR THE BOWLS
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. halved kalamata olives
  • 3/4 c. crumbled feta
  • Fresh dill, for garnish
FOR THE DRESSING
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Set aside to let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
  2. Assemble bowls: Place cooked quinoa or brown rice into bowl and top with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced chicken, avocado, kalamata olives, feta, and dill.
  3. Make dressing: In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and dried oregano and season generously with salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Recipe Source: Delish

Balsamic Tuna Salad Sandwich

  • ounces tuna packed in water, drained
  • tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • slices whole-grain bread
  • pieces romaine lettuce
  • small orange

Make it: Mix tuna, vinaigrette and celery. Place on bread with lettuce. Serve with orange.

Recipe Source: Fitness Magazine

If I’m ever going to misstep with my healthy eating goal–it’s at lunch! Whether it’s because we have less control over our choices, we are in a hurry so we just grab something, or we’ve had a stressful morning so we “deserve” those fries.

Did you know that if eat a typical fast-food lunch, you’ve exceeded your nutritional needs by hundreds of calories?
Double Bacon Cheese Burger + French Fries + Small Drink = 1300+ calories
US authorities recommend 2,700 calories per day for men and 2,200 for women.

Healthy Lunches for Eating Out

  • Make a list of your favorite lunch spots
    • Simple Success Tip:
      • Check out their menu online to review healthy options
      • Have 1 or 2 healthy options ready for when you order
  • Pay attention to the serving sizes
  • Skip the buffets
  • Choose foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, poached, or lightly sautéed or stir-fried
  • Ask for fat-free or low-fat milk instead of cream for coffee or tea
  • Pick food without butter, gravy, or sauces—or ask to have the food without it
  • Choose a lower-calorie salad dressing
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side, and use only some of it
  • Pick drinks without added sugar, like water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or diet iced-tea, lemonade, or soda

Healthy Brown Bag Lunches

  • Add more vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, and onions to a sandwich instead of extra meat or cheese.
  • Accompany a sandwich with salad or fruit instead of chips.
  • When eating a salad, dip your fork into dressing instead of pouring lots of dressing on the salad.
  • Be creative:
    • Try whole grain crackers instead of bread
    • Top your cottage cheese with almonds or walnuts for extra nutrition
    • Hard-boiled eggs are a great protein source
    • Popcorn makes a great afternoon snack
    • Make a healthy dip for fresh veggies
    • Make a wrap
    • Be creative with salad toppings.
  • Plan ahead and make a few extras when you make your evening meal–leftovers are a great lunch.
  • Make lunch size freezer meals for those grab and go days
  • A good rule of thumb when planning your brown bag lunch:
    • one protein
    • one grain
    • one fruit
    • one vegetable
    • one dairy

How about you, what’s your favorite healthy lunch?