Viewing posts categorised under: Recipes

Flippin Delicious Whole Food Carbohydrates

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

goals Nutrition Recipes Uncategorized

Every decade seems to have the source of all evil (or fat) macronutrient. For years we endured fat phobia! Fat free foods lined the shelves & as companies removed the evil fat, told you to ditch your butter & replaced it with yummy chemicals like hydrogenated XYZ. YUM Chemicals! Thankfully that trend of low fat living seems to have passed once everyone realized they were ADDING body fat by eating less dietary fat. So of course we are on to demonizing the next macronutrient.Good-Carbs-vs-Bad-Carb-300x217

INSERT low carb everything!! *Sigh*

Carbs aren't bad

Fat is not bad

Protein isn't bad

It's all in the quality, quantity & what's best for YOU! The biggest issue I see with carbs is the dependency on super processed options such as long ingredient breads, pastas, breakfast pastries, sugar filled cereals, "fruit" filled yogurts & so on. These foods aren't BAD because they are carbohydrates, they aren't IDEAL because they are super processed & not very nutrient dense. SO when people ask if they should go low carb I say YES you should go low Kashi for breakfast, a "whole wheat" sandwich for lunch & organic pasta for dinner. You SHOULD replace those with mostly amazingly delicious, super nutritious whole food (single ingredient) carbohydrate options.

What am I talking about:

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Winter Squash: butternut, pumpkin, kabocha, delicata, spaghetti, acorn etc.

  • Plantains

  • Parsnips

  • Beets

  • White Potatoes **GASP**

These are the highest quality & most beneficial carbohydrates that our body can best utilize for energy without crappy additives. Am I say NEVER have pasta or bread? No but maybe not every day of the week. Especially if your goal is fat loss or optimizing your health.

Ok enough WHY you should eat the good starchy foods, let's chat HOW! I've become the queen of incorporating these carby root vegetables into every meal of my day. I've gathered a few easy starter recipes PLUS more fun recipes around the web. Ready to upgrade your boring bread, pasta & grain based diet to include MORE whole food based carbohydrates?? Woohoo!!

ParsnipParsnips:

A first cousin of the carrot with a sweeter taste & starchier make up. This root veggie is delicious in a variety of preparations including roasted, baked into fries & mashed or pureed. Give this mashed recipe a try, I find the taste SO much more flavorful then standard mashed potatoes. Plus it adds that texture contrast we crave!

 Garlic Mashed Parsnips:Ingredients:- 1 lb parsnips (my store sells them in a bag)- 1/3c unsweetened almond milk (or liquid such as coconut milk or broth)- 1 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste (or add herbs of choice!)- 1 tbsp fat (coconut or olive oil, butter or ghee)6952340499717b93683c65d2b07ab63cDirections: 1) Peel and chop the parsnips like you would a carrot.2) Boil the parsnips until tender. Drain.3) Add in other ingredients and mash! I use my immersion blender, but a hand or stand mixer would work the same. Basically do the same as you would for mashed potatoes, which I know you all know how to make. Other Awesome Parsnips Recipes:Paprika Parsnip Fries w/ SrirachaCider Roasted Carrots, Parsnips & Brussel Sprouts (my add in!)Parsnip & Kale Soup 

0923_gunst-squash4-e1411417750609Winter Squash:

While most people have tried butternut squash, there are SO many varieties of deliciously creamy winter squashes!  These healthy whole foods carb source has a never ending amount of preparations to where you will never tire of the great squash.

 Super Simple Roasted Kabocha Squash:Ingredients:- Kabocha Squash- Coconut Oil- Salt & Peppertumblr_lsom5leAfs1qdei8mDirections:1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees & line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.2. Use a GOOD knife to cut squash in half & scoop out seeds from the center.3. Toss with coconut oil, salt & pepper, lay flat on baking sheet.4. Cook for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.Other Favorite Winter Squash Recipes:Rosemary Bacon Butternut Squash FriesTurkey & Mushroom Stuffed Delicata SquashPizza Spaghetti Squash Pie - my FAVplantains

Plantains:

Plantains are a member of the banana family but contain more starch & are lower in sugar.Green plantains are less ripe & usually cooked in a savory way. The yellow overripe variety is on the sweeter side & often used for dessert recipes.

 Simply Sautéed Plantains:Ingredients:- 1-2 Slightly Yellow Plantains (w/ black spots like an overripe banana)- Coconut Oil- Himalayan Sea Salt (bc it's so tasty)Directions:Plantains5-7251. Heat medium sauté pan to medium, peel the plantain & slice 1-1 1/2 inches thick. TIP: I slice the peel long ways down each side to make easier to peel.2. Add coconut oil to the pan, let heat up & add plantains. Cook 2-3 minutes on one side until golden brown & flip for another minute or so.3. Sprinkle w/ salt & enjoy! I love these for breakfast beside eggs & kale!Other Go-To Plantain Recipes:Chicken Mofongo - SO good!Homemade Plantain ChipsPlantain Tortillas

Ready, Set, GO FORTH & cook your way into deliciously nutritious carbohydrate heaven. I promise you won't miss mediocre bread or boxed pasta when you can have flavorful plantains or creamy mashed parsnips. Gauge your portion on about a palm sized portion for us ladies & two palm sized portions for you gentlemen. I stick with 2 servings a day with 1 meal being mostly lean greens, protein & that healthy fat for fuel! But you do you, test, notice how you feel & adjust as needed to FEEL your best. Happy trial & error! <3

Have a QUESTION or favorite RECIPE to share?? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email at emma@healthybalancewithemma.com. Follow me on IG to see MORE ways I incorporate many of these recipes into my day.

SUNDAY MEAL PLAN: WEEK OF 12/4-12/9

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Habits Recipes Uncategorized

11709665_10152999976828589_2402333278699294805_n{SUNDAY MEAL PLAN}

It's been a minute since I shared our meal & prep plan for the week ahead. Never fear it's still been a Sunday staple but we've been keeping in on the boring side out of ease. This week we are making a few new recipes PLUS I'm indulging my hubby in a mid-week Mexican food penciled in.

Tonight we will be prepping the first few night's protein & sides so we can simply saute a few veggies to have food on the table quickly:

SUNDAY: Chicken Mofongo w/ Simply Kalep1090088

MONDAY: Ina Garden's Roasted Chicken w/ Fall Roasted Veggies

TUESDAY: Leftovers - Monfongo or Chicken, to each is own!

WEDNESDAY: Jalapeno's - hubby' request! I typically get fajitas w/ blacks beans & guacamole

THURSDAY: Salmon w/ Baked Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli - Straight from the freezer to oven!

FRIDAY: Out to Dinner w/ Friends - Heading to a new spot, the Atlantic Eatery! 

SUNDAY PREP PLANS:page-130-web-horizon

  • Cook the mofongo for tonight & to have as leftover for lunch or a dinner. We are using chicken thighs instead of breast because they were on sale! Easy swaps to save a buck.

  • Roasted the chicken! Again i'll use the leftovers on top of salad for lunch at least once. PS If you haven't made Ina's perfect roasted chicken, you must! It's awesome to have in your culinary arsenal.

  • Chop the veggies for tomorrow night & make vinaigrette for it plus to use on salads. Monday's I get off work in time to roast those bad boys in the oven. If it was a laer work night i'd go ahead & roast them tonight to reheat tomorrow.

  • Since the oven will be on I am going to roast some beets, chopped sweet potato & broccoli to have throughout the week. Having these pre-cooked veggies make it MUCH easier to increase my veggie intake every day!bananabread2

  • I'm craving banana bread so I'm going to try out this recipe but make them into muffin. I may toss in some leftover canned pumpkin just for a little fall flavor. Will let ya know if good!

That's about it around these parts. Keeping it simple & making it easy for us to get in home made meals on the busiest of weeks.

What's on your weekly meal plan? Any new recipes your are testing out?

Forget the Fuss – My BAS Salad Cheats

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

goals Meal Prep Nutrition Recipes

Scrolling through my own Instagram page I noticed the large trend in many of my meals being what I fondly call a BAS. Aka a big ass salad. They are a staple in my diet & one of my daily DEAL breakers I have written about previously. They are an easy way to get in a big dose of veggies (yay micronutrients!), have a lot of volume (which is needed for someone who enjoy a larger quantity of food to feel satisfied) & make me take the time to sloowwww down for lunch. BUT I will admit that I don't always have time mid-day to spend 30 minutes chopping, sautéing, mixing  or whatever appears to be needed for a satisfying salad. SO I wanted to share a few of my quick cheats to having everything needed ready & waiting for assembling so you too can enjoy a daily BAS.cheatsdesignCHEAT #1: Protein - Save Small Dinner Extras OR Prep a Little MoreWe often cook a meal & just have a little bit of extra meat leftover. For example when my husband grills a few chicken breast, I often eat 1/2 or 2/3 of a piece because the serving was quite large for me. I save that extra bit, throw it in tupperware & toss is on a salad for lunch. When I am thinking a little more ahead I simple toss on an extra chicken breast or two & use it throughout the week.This is an example (nope not glamour shot of how I eat but real) of how this weeks salad toppers are looking:

meats

Top Left (Steak), Top Right (Burger), Bottom (Chicken)

Sunday Dinner: We cooked grassfed burgers & I saved an extra to be used as a lettuce wrap this week.Monday Dinner: We grilled a flank steak that was around 1lb. We each had our share that night & there was a nice serving leftover which will be delicious for lunch on Wednesday. Heck I will probably just recreate the salad we ate that evening, as it turned out awesome!steak saladMonday Meal Prep: We did a little bit of meal prep on Monday, as it was a holiday weekend. Chicken was on sale so we cooked the 3 pack for him to use for 2 lunches plus enough left for me to use for 2 as well. Easy peasy!Forgot to cook? No problem. These are a few additional no cook protein options for salads that we keep on hand. Canned tuna, salmon, hard boiled eggs or quality deli meat can be easy options as well. Note: Beans such as black, chickpeas, lentils & so on are really more of a carbohydrate source. However if I am only have a small portion of meat leftover I enjoy adding some extra eggs, cheese & even beans to supplement the source of protein. Plus a little variety never hurts!image2CHEAT #2: Buy a Variety of Package Greens OR Pre-Wash Ahead:I love the idea of buying a beautiful head of lettuce from the farmer's market to use for my salad bases during the week. But I'll be 100% honest, I can be LAZY & hate washing greens. If I wash them too far in advance, they go bad quickly. If I wait until I am ready to eat, I get busy or don't feel like taking the time to clean. Therefore I go grab another food that is more convenient. So instead I bite the bullet, pay a little more & eat the pre-washed organic greens. I enjoy a variety to mix & match so it makes each meal a little different. Super simple but quite effective.
greens

I love this variety because I can even saute some of these greens, throw in a smoothie or sneak in a sauce to use up.

CHEAT #3: Easy Flavorful ToppingsThere are days I have plenty of time to chop veggies to eat raw or cooked in my salads. On a Tuesday at 1pm with 30 minutes to eat, that's not going to happen. Therefore I stash a variety of easy salad toppings that add different textures, flavors & nutrients for a well balanced salad I actually WANT to eat.image1-1I do work to add as many VEGGIES first, then a small amount of fruit (with preference of fresh over dried). My next toppings include a satiating mix of healthy fats:image2-1I am MINDFUL of the portions used when I toss in a mix of nuts, seeds, cheeses, olives & avocado but I always include a serving of dietary fat in my meal. Why? These add much needed nutrients for brain function, skin health & tons of other key functions in our bodies. Not to mention they create a sense of satiety to keep you fuller, longer between meals.CHEAT #4: Easy Salad Dressings Made Ahead of TimeI won't pretend to not have a bottle or two of pre-made salad dressing in my fridge. I am careful to check the ingredients to include the shortest list possible with no gross corn syrups or added sugars/sweeteners. All common in many "light" dressing many deem as healthier options. However I prefer to either make 1 salad dressing on a Sunday to store in the fridge or simple toss a little vinegar, oil, salt & pepper on top & call it a day. A few of my favorite clean go to's include:image1Nothing fancy here & all are easy pantry staples to match a variety of salads. My favorite dressing is a mix of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon, olive oil, salt & pepper. Sorry I totally don't measure but don't be scared to mix, taste & balance to your palate preference. However no guilt if you must use a pre-made dressing. Just take the time to read your ingredients & make a more educated choice for your goals.Takeaways:Don't overcomplicate the meal by thinking you have to create a new gourmet salad every day of the week. Follow this simple formula, pick a "theme" for the week & start with making the goal of included 2-3 BAS this week:
  • BASE OF GREENS: PRE-PACKAGED READY TO GO
  • PRE-COOKED PROTEIN: LEFTOVERS ARE GREAT, COOK ONCE & EAT ALL WEEK
  • CHOOSE YOUR TOPPINGS: MIX OF ALL THE VEGGIES YOU LIFE + A FEW SPECIAL INGREDIENTS (INCLUDING HEALTHY FATS, FRUIT & EVEN CARBS LIKE QUINOA OR SWEET POTATOES)
  • DRESSINGS: MAKE 1 HOMEMADE OPTIONS FOR THE WEEK OR KEEP A CLEAN OPTION ON HAND
I have a feeling they will catch on & become one of your weekly staples that leave your feeling great midday. Questions? Just ask!Any favorite BAS ingredients that really make your meal?

Healthy Upgrades + Homemade Granola Recipes

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Meal Prep Nutrition Recipes Uncategorized

The weekday breakfast is what starts our busy day off on the right, or often totally wrong foot. Most people are rushing out the door & lucky to give their bodies any fuel to power through their mornings. The standard diet is a high carb, high sugar option such as cereal, bagels, pastries & granola. I totally understand the lack of wanting to dedicate much time to dirtying up extra pans. Our brains are on so many to do's that building the perfectly balanced breakfast isn't always feasible. While I do suggest some awesome make ahead meals such as a healthy frittata, sometimes you just have to grab what's on hand & go!My husband is absolutely one of those people & for years grabbed his individual flavored yogurt, topped it with some pre-packaged granola & quickly consumed on the way out the door. Insert Emma...*evil laugh*...Image-1Overtime I started to offer him a few simple swaps to upgrade the nutrition he was getting. I knew he would not be on board with adding any more difficulty to his morning routine so instead of aiming for perfection, we aimed for homemade higher quality.Old Breakfast:

  • 1 Individual Strawberry Chobani:chobani-cacao
140 calories/20g carbs/14g protein/0g fat/19g sugar
  • 1/2c Cherry Vanilla Granola (Back to Nature):
200 calories/38g carbs/5g protein/4g fat/12g sugarMeal Total = 340 calories/58g carbs/19g protein/4g fat/31g sugar

Current Breakfast:

  • 6oz Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt (Atlanta Fresh Local)peanut-butter-yogurt
136 calories/12.5g carbs/16g protein/8g fat/12g sugar
  • 1/2c Homemade Granola (recipe below)
152 calories/23 carbs/4g protein/5.2g fat/7g sugarMeal Total = 288 calories/35.5g carbs/20g protein/13g fat/19g sugarStill the same simple breakfast, but with way less sugar & based in single ingredient foods. I buy whole milk yogurt for some healthy fat in the meal & he often include a handful of berries to his bowl. The ingredient list on plain yogurt to the sweetened varieties is WAY shorter, as well as skipping the preservatives from both the yogurt & "healthy" pre-packaged granola.My easy to make granola recipe is just a few ingredients that can be made in a big batch to last for weeks. Not to mentioned be tweaked to your preferences. You can add in nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds & much more!

Classic Homemade Granola:

IMG_3244
  • Ingredients:

2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (we use gluten free)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4c honey or maple syrup (I use 2tbsp honey + 2tbsp maple)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanila

  • Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees & line baking sheet w/ foil.

2. Whisk together coconut oil, honey, salt & vanilla in a bowl.

3. Add oats & stir to coat throughly.

4. Add granola to baking sheet & cook for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once midway through.

5. Let cool & store in airtight container.IMG_3249

* I have reduced both the oil & honey for a less sweetened version which turned out great. I usually add chopped almonds to this basic mix for extra crunch!

You may not be completey ready to do a full pantry clean, ditch every food habit you're attached to or strive to be the next healthy iron chef. BUT that doesn't mean that the small upgrades over time won't add up! Change your mindset to view it as what nutrition can you ADD to your meals, instead of what has to be taken away!

Small changes over time creates consistency. Consistency trumps perfection every time!

What's one staple in your diet you KNOW is not ideal but need help to upgrade? Let me know so we can troubleshoot it together! Leave me a comment or email me at: emma@healthybalancewithemma.com

Want more recipes like this? Sign up HERE for my weekly newsletter to receive even more recipes, nutrition tips, tricks & easy ways to find your healthy balance!

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Sunday Grocery Haul + Weekly Menu + Recipe

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Meal Prep Recap Recipes Uncategorized Weekly Menu

Happy Valentine's Sunday! Nothing says love like a little weekly meal planning right? My husband thinks I am so romantic. <3
romance-dinner-money-love-coupon-valentines-day-ecards-someecards
I won't lie, Valentine's Day is not a big holiday around our household. However we do enjoy any excuse to cook up a delicious meal. We are staying in, cranking up pandora & going to enjoy cooking together this evening. Therefore I wanted to share our grocery haul & what's going to be on our plates (or mostly bowls) this upcoming week.
 
Sunday Meal Prep:
~ Bison & Bean Chili: a new recipe we are testing out.
~ Chicken Mofonago: love this meal, link to recipe below.
~ Egg Muffins: making spinach, red pepper & feta.
~ Simple Almond Granola: for the hubby's breakfast.
Weekly Meals
 
Weekly Grocery Haul - Total Spent $91.22
 
Protein:
~ Ground Bison
~ Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
~ Applegate Deli Turkey
~ Liquid Egg White
~ Cottage Cheese (unsalted)
~ Stoneyfield Plain Greek Yogurt
~ Canned Salmon
*we have eggs & local yogurt in the fridge already.
 
Produce:
~ Green Bell Peppers
~ Green Plantains
~ Spinach
~ Jalapenos
~ Onions
~ Cucumber
~ Tomato
~ Apple
~ Banana
~ Frozen Broccoli
~ Lemons & limes
*we still had kale, avocado, sweet potatoes & spaghetti squash.
 
Dry Goods:
~ Canned Tomatoes (varying for chili/mofongo)
~ Whole Almonds
~ GF Rolled Oats
~ Canned Black & Kidney Beans
~ Canned Boneless/Skinless Salmon
~ Unsweetened Almond Milk
 
And that's a wrap. So how will our meals look this week based on these groceries?
 
Breakfasts: Eggs, egg muffins or cottage cheese/yogurt bowls for me. My husband sticks with yogurt & homemade granola.
 
Lunches: I usually will eat a salad topping w/ deli meat, leftovers or I keep frozen turkey patties & such on hand for quick make meals. The hubby eats out for lunch....yes everyday.. no comment!
 
Dinners: Mofongo, chili or we keep frozen salmon on hand if we get bored with those options. I add sautéed kale or a spinach salad on the side of each dinner for extra veggies.
 
Snacks: Check out my Vlog to see what I stick with for healthy snacks on the go: VLOG - Healthy Snacks on the Go
 
What's on your meal plan this week??
P1090088-1024x768Chicken Mofongo Recipe: we tweaked the following recipes just a bit after a few attempts. While i have no problem w/ bacon, we actuallyleave it out because it overwhelms the dish. We use 4 chicken breasts for extra protein. We first tried mofongo in Puerto Rico & fell in love. This is definitely a different version but something new to add to the mix: Chicken Mofongo Recipe

Chimichurri Recipe – 1 Sauce, 3 Meals!

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Nutrition Recipes Uncategorized

chickenchimichurriIn the gym, I am a big fan putting in the hard work, embracing the process & truly believe that trying to take shortcuts won't get me results! In the kitchen however, I am always seeking ways to be a bit lazy while still getting what I want. If I can skip a step or two, fine by me!! As long as the end result tastes good I am all about it.I am also relatively cheap in my grocery shopping. Don't get me wrong, I spend money on quality ingredients such as organic meats, eggs & certain veggies. Yet I still want my budget to stay on the lower side so I am often looking for ways to utilize every last bit of what I buy. I HATE throwing out food, which often leads to a bit of...creativity in the kitchen? Or as my husband call it, my special concoctions. Luckily for you this isn't that type of recipe.Technical report templatesWe found top sirloin steaks on sale at Whole Foods on Sunday & decided to cook those up but wanted a sauce to go with. We both enjoyed a chimichurri sauce at a restaurant recently & decided to give that a go. Which meant buying a big bunch of parsley, cilantro & oregano. Yes I should start growing my own herbs but I struggle with black thumb syndrome. AKA I am too damn lazy to water them daily..Instead of wasting 1/2 a bunch of each herb we doubled the recipe & ended up with a ton of sauce. We knew we didn't want steak every night this week so my brain began wondering how to reuse the extra. I saw a packet of chicken breast in the freezer & decided that would be a perfect vehicle for meal #2. This sauce is quite versatile, super easy to throw together & filled with whole food ingredients.Basic Chimichurri Recipe:

Servings: MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPSchimichurri-sauce-940
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Combine vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, garlic, shallot, and jalepeno in a medium bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in oil. Remove 1/2 cup chimichurri to a small bowl, season with salt to taste, and reserve as sauce.*Adapted from Bon Appetit recipe.*
Meal #1: Grilled Steak w/ Chimichurri Sauce, Sweet Potato Soup & Sauteed Red Wine Kale6Meal #2: Marinated Chimichurri Chicken w/ Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice & Spicy Broccolinichimichicken*Preparation: I simply defrosted a pack of 4 boneless chicken breast overnight, in the morning put 1/4c of the sauce in a plastic ziplock, tossed in the chicken & let it marinate while at work. When I came home I heated up my cast iron skillet to medium, added the chicken w/ extra marinade & cooked it about 10 minutes. Make sure you don't move it around to much in order to get that nice crust on the outside. We added a little extra chimichurri on top & enjoyed!Meal #3: Eggs, Leftover Steak & Potato Hash w/ Chimichurri (the hubby's breakfast recipe)IMG_0668* My husband even used up the last few bites of the steak we cooked for a breakfast treat. Steak w/ eggs & chimichurri sounds fancy for breakfast right? In reality this took about 5 minutes using last night's leftovers. It's an easy way to have a quick grab & go breakfast for the busy work week.Shockingly by the end of the week I was still not tired of any of our meals. Choosing simple ingredients that are easy to use in a multiple of ways keeps actual cook time short but variety of meals endless! Although I can honestly say, eating the same meal 2-3x a week is just fine with me. As long as I like the meal that is. Which is why I eat foods I enjoy & don't force myself to eat "superfoods" I hate. It's all about finding what works for you! Any eating plan can work if you stay consistent, but that's the struggle right? That's why you have to experiment with what makes you feel good, fits your lifestyle & gives your body what it needs. Is figuring out how to balance your busy life with healthy goals still a struggle? Email me today & let's troubleshoot together!Any favorite versatile ingredients you use for multiple meals throughout the week?Ready to receive exclusive weekly updates straight to your inbox? Sign up for my weekly newsletter to get access to recipes, new workouts & practical tips to maintain YOUR healthy balance. Click HERE to sign up today!
 

Simple Lemon & Mustard Salmon Salad

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Recipes

One of the most common roadblocks that I work through with clients is the quick fix meal. I hear frequently from people with busy schedules, can't cook or simply don't like to. I can totally relate! Im no gourmet chef & don't care to spend much time in the kitchen during the week.Now don't get me wrong, I love food! You won't see me eating bland meals I dislike just bc they're "healthy". I eat most of my meals from home & enjoy what I eat. What I've learned to do is build a repertoire of quick fix & no cook meals that fit with my criteria for MY goals: ~ whole foods ~ high protein ~ lots of veggies ~ healthy fats ~ delicious!1937225_583253035161288_6027473260461089615_nToday's lunch checked all those boxes & is a favorite no cook flavor filled recipe! Try out this easy salmon salad for fresh flavor, a nutritious dose of healthy omega 3's & enough protein to hold you for hours. Add on top of a big bed of greens or pair with your favorite side of veggies for a well balanced meal.Lemon-Dijon Salmon Salad: 1 Can Wild Alaskan Salmon Juice of 1/2 a lemon 1tbsp Dijon mustard 1tsp olive oil S&P to tasteAny favorite no cook meals?Ready to stay up to date with the helpful nutrition, fitness & lifestyle tips? Sign up for my newsletter to never miss out on the tops ways to find your healthy balance! Click the link below, sign up & show up strong every single day: Receive Healthy Tips, Tricks & Recipes!

Protein Packed Pumpkin Oatmeal – Step By Step Tutorial

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Nutrition Recipes Uncategorized

Protein Packed Pumpkin Oatmeal in a Jar

As much as I hate to admit it, I to fall prey to the pumpkin madness once fall arrives. There's just something about the spices that accompany it that screams fall comfort. One of my favorite uses of pumpkin is to add volume, creaminess & a boost of nutrition to my oatmeal.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

2015-02-28 09.34.38gluten free oatmeal

egg whites

canned 100% pumpkin

chia seeds

banana

cashew milk (or milk/nondairy of choice)

almost empty nut butter jar (I used peanut butter)

cinnamon &/or pumpkin pie spice

2015-02-28 09.36.23Step 2: Add Oats & Bring to a Boil

1. add 1/3c gluten free old fashioned oats to small pot.

2. pour in 2/3c cashew milk or milk of choice.

3. toss in 1tsp of chia seeds.

4. stir & bring to a boil.

5. remove pan from burner & cover with lid for 20-30 minutes.

*most of the liquid will be absorbed during this time & chia seed expands to add volume. I will often start this in the morning & then go take a shower while they sit.

 Step 3: Return to a Boil & Add the Fun

2015-02-28 10.18.011. Remove the lid, add 1/3c of water or milk, 1/3 thinly sliced banana & turn the burner to medium. Stir vigorously until banana combines with other ingredients. Allow mixture to come to light boil.

2. Add 1/3c liquid egg whites & stir vigorously for 2 minutes until egg whites have cooked & combined with oatmeal. Make sure you continue to stir so you they blend with oats instead of scramble.

3. Reduce heat to medium low, add 1/4c pumpkin, cinnamon, pie spice & stevia (if desired) to taste. Allow to combine for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency is reached.

Step 4: Add to Almost Empty Jar & Enjoy!

2015-02-28 10.23.11

 1. Add deliciously creamy oats to your almost empty nut butter jar. I usually let them cool off just a touch in the pot before adding to a plastic jar. Glass jars are recommended.

2. Stir in any additional ingredients desired. I've used chopped apple, the rest of the banana I sliced, dried fruit, dates & even mini chocolate chips.

3. Enjoy!

2015-02-28 10.25.57-1

Life Lately in Food, Fitness & Seasonal Change.

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Fitness goals Habits Nutrition Recap Recipes Uncategorized Workouts

fallThe fall season is finally creeping into the hot & humid weather. Well technically it is fall, but the 91 degree heat index today doesn't quite make it feel like a crisp fall day. Such a tease after a few days of cooler temperatures! Either way those cool days flipped a switch in my internal seasonal clock. My taste buds are leaning towards hearty warm foods over cold salads, my desired forms of exercise is beginning to shift & even my sleep clock feels a bit different. I love this change & fully embrace mixing up the normal routine depending on what feels natural given the time of year. We all need a bit of change from time to time! What does that mean for my food, fitness & general routine? Here is a snippet of life lately in food, fitness & seasonal change.foodfitnessFood:While I am still enjoying salads, they are now being filled with warmer toppings & heartier ingredients. Roasted starchy vegetables such as roasted winter squash varieties, sweet potato & beets have been thrown in the mix. I've swapped out the crisper romaine & spring mix for heartier arugula, kale & spinach as my salad bases. This time of year also means swapping out berries for delicious apples or pears. These also make a delicious addition to the daily salad.

Beets, apple, walnuts, goat cheese, caramelized onion & roasted turkey.

Beets, apple, walnuts, goat cheese, caramelized onion & roasted turkey.

The crockpot has also been a mainstay on the counter top. As nothing beats a slow roasted piece of meat, a delicious chunky stew or flavorful thick soup to come home to on a fall evening. These main meals have also been accompanied by warmer sides such as risotto, quinoa, roasted fall vegetables & sweet potatoes.
Herb roasted pork loin, mushroom & sage risotto, roasted parsnips & carrots, salad with pear & goat cheese.

Herb roasted pork loin, mushroom & sage risotto, roasted parsnips & carrots, salad with pear & goat cheese.

Breakfast has also been mixed up a bit. During summer months I tend to embrace cold foods such as hard boiled eggs, cold leftovers (weird I know), yogurt bowls & smoothies. Lately I cannot get enough eggs in every form. Oatmeal has made a comeback in addition to savory bacon & breakfast scrambles.
Eggs over sauteed breakfast chicken sausage & kale. Plus a side of plantains cooked in coconut oil.

Eggs over sauteed breakfast chicken sausage & kale. Plus a side of plantains cooked in coconut oil.

As I look at how my intake has changed, I absolutely notice trends. The top being my carbohydrate consumption has increased in the form of oatmeal, apples over berries, winter squash over summer varieties, rice instead of green beans & more. But wait...does that mean I'm going to add the dreaded winter weight many gain during hibernation? As long as I am mindful of my consumption, absolutely not! In fact I've found my body responds well to switching it up from season to season. My body is often much smarter than me when I bother to listen. Without consciously thinking about it, the temperatures decrease & my desire to get outdoors to run increased. At the same time my body started gearing me towards a slightly higher carbohydrate intake to balance the new addition of cardio to my routine. Smart right? Instead of worrying about keeping tight control over my fall food changes, I will simply make sure I still get in balanced meals full of protein, healthy fats, lots of vegetables & whole food carbohydrates.Fitness:As mentioned I have suddenly had the running bug pop out of nowhere & grab hold tightly. Now that it's not 1,000 degrees outdoors I am enjoying increasing my mileage while being smart about doing so gradually. I have battled my fair share of running injuries from stress fractures to severe tendinitis. Many a tear has been shed after having to bow out of races I signed up for or waving goodbye to my husband as he ran with our running group. This time around I am taking it slow, focusing on having fun & have no lofty goals to run a big race anytime soon. No easy task for me & something I keep having to remind myself of. My instinct is to jump from my first 5K distance in 3 years to "hey maybe i'll run a 1/2 marathon in a month". Seriously Emma... Anywho I am putting some limitations on the distance for now & just enjoying the fresh air & fun with friends.
Beautiful morning group run by the river.

Beautiful morning group run by the river.

Another reason I have no desire to overdo the mileage is because I love lifting heavy things. That has not & will not change. What has changed is my frequency, program & intensity. In the past I have made the mistake of picking up a new activity such as running & simply adding it to my already full workout schedule. Previously I was lifting 5-6 days a week, 2x HIIT workouts & a day of power yoga. If I tried to maintain that routine & added 3 days a week of running in I can guarantee over training or injury would occur. This time around I am sticking with 3 days of total body lifting, 3 days of running & 1 day gentle yoga. My runs also vary from a medium distance steady state run, a sprint day & a long run over the weekend. If I ever have a week I feel as though I'm under recovering, one of these will be the first to go!
Front squats for fun!

Front squats for fun!

Yoga is also become a mandatory addition & no longer an "if I feel like it" once a month activity. I have to stretch frequently & move my body in more restorative ways. I finally got real & admitted it doesn't happen as much as needed alone. Sunday is yoga day & I still take time each night to improve flexibility & mobility during the week. If you are going to ask your body to work hard, it's a must to take time for self care. Another lesson learned through multiple mistakes.
foamroll

Foam rolling those hard working legs.

So that's a little update about life in my world. I also love using this time of year to reevaluate goals you might have set at the beginning of the year. Many make those new years resolution only to never look at them after a few weeks. Take a few minutes & consider how you have or haven't progressed towards those goals. Any you can check off? Still want to nail before the end of the year? Or may have taken a backseat or a total change in direction? That's ok no matter where you stand! It's a great opportunity to change with the season & decide an intention for these last few months of the year.Happy Fall! Any fall activities or recipes you are excited to transition into?

Creativity with Cauliflower + Recipes

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Nutrition Recipes Uncategorized

For many years I overlooked, ignored & completely neglected the amazing vegetable known as cauliflower. At first glance this boringly white & oddly shaped cruciferous veggie seemed to simply be a garnish added to a cheap vegetable tray. Nothing like cold, raw cauliflower to turn most people off adding it to the grocery cart. However over the past year I have found it to be one of the most versatile veggies, boasting a tons of unknown health benefits.

A Closer Look at Cauliflower Nutrition:

  • Nutrition Stats: 1 cup cooked = 29 calories.
  • Vitamin & Mineral Content: a serving contains 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
  • Brain Benefits: a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.
  • Detox Properties: includes antioxidant nutrients to boost Phase 1 detoxification activities and sulfur-containing nutrients to boost Phase 2 activities.
  • Digestive Support: contains 9 grams of fiber for every 100 calories.
  • Additional Health Links: includes anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting & cardiovascular improving properties.
Recipes to Try:
  • Mashed Cauliflower: I love mashed cauliflower as a creamy side dish to any main meal. We use this basic method & mix it up by adding different herbs, cheeses & additional seasonings for any occasion.
florets

Step 1: Cut head of cauliflower into florets.

Step 2: Add to boiling, salted water.

Step 2: Add to boiling, salted water.

Step 3: Cook until fork tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain & add to bowl.

Step 3: Cook until fork tender, 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Blend in bowl w/ immersion blender. Add salt, pepper & additional ingredients to taste. (we love garlic, parmesan or goat cheese)

Step 4: Blend in bowl w/ immersion blender. Add salt, pepper & additional ingredients to taste. We love garlic or goat cheese!

mashedplated

Step 5: Enjoy! We ate this goat cheese mashed cauliflower w/ pork tenderloin & green beans.

  • Shepherd's Pie: We use this mashed cauliflower dish to top a basic shepherd's pie recipe, which is posted here. It's a great way to lighten up a heavy dish plus add additional vegetables to your day.
Shepherd's Pie - 1/2 with cheese, 1/2 without.

Shepherd's Pie - 1/2 with cheese, 1/2 without.

Sherperd's Pie served with sauteed kale. My fav!

Sherperd's Pie served with sauteed kale. My fav!

  • Cauliflower Rice/Cous Cous: This is another fun way to cook cauliflower that takes a short amount of time to throw together. I love this method as it can easily be seasoned to go with any flavor profile you are aiming for.

Here is our basic how to:

Step 1: Chop head of cauliflower into florets.

Step 1: Chop head of cauliflower into florets.

Step 2: Add florets to food processor.

Step 2: Add florets to food processor.

Step 3: Process into rice sized pieces. Tip: don't over process, as it's good to have the texture.

Step 3: Process into rice sized pieces. Tip: don't over process, as it's good to have the texture.

Step 4: Heat up a saute pan over medium heat & add riced cauliflower. Cook for 5-10 minutes until desired tenderness. We usually saute onion & garlic before adding cauliflower. Add salt & pepper to taste & serve!

Step 4: Heat up a saute pan over medium heat & add riced cauliflower. Cook for 5-10 minutes until desired tenderness. We usually saute onion & garlic before adding cauliflower. Add salt & pepper to taste & serve!

~ Additional cauliflower rice flavor combos to try out:

Lemon & Garlic: Lemon adds a fresh punch to any recipe. This paired amazingly with simple grilled chicken & sauteed asparagus.

Spanish Rice: Looking to lighten up a mexican meal at home? Give this a try! We served a side with steak fajitas & the must have homemade guacamole.

Fried Rice: Making an asian style stir fry but want to skip the rice or increase the vegetables on the plate? Sub in this fried rice style cauliflower to round out the meal.

  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust: We made the infamous low-carb pizza crust a couple of times & really enjoyed the final product. We followed the recipe here & added our own his & her topping combos of preference. Cooking tips: Get as much moisture out of the riced cauliflower as possible & go light on the toppings. Too much cheese & heavy toppings will weigh down the delicate crust.
His & her toppings of 1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 sausage & peppers.

His & her toppings of 1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 sausage & peppers.

  • More Fun Way to Enjoy Cauliflower:

Cracklin Cauliflower: a flavorful curried version, roasted with tons of taste.

Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Soup: a great way to warm you up in the winter months.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: a fun way to entertain a crowd with a healthy twist.

Cauliflower Steak w/ Chimichurri: an eye catching dish that pleases a dinner party.

 Question: Any favorite ways you have enjoyed getting creative with cauliflower?