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Healthy Eating in 2015…Back to Basics

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t judge people for making them or anything, but I’m more of a believer in making a change as soon as you see the need for it, not waiting for some contrived start date. Plus, if my old gym was any indication, few people keep them. It was nuts there the first few weeks of January, then back to normal within a month.

HOWEVER, I know that lots of you are making resolutions right now, and I myself have definitely slipped into bad habits over the last few months. I’ve got to lock it down now. Every time I call the Chinese place I want to go all Becca on myself…

Here is my healthy manifesto, though:

1) Healthy doesn’t mean unsatisfying—I believe things can taste good AND be good for you.

2) This is NOT a diet, this is about making good choices most of the time. I don’t believe in diets. Diets involve deprivation, and when you tell yourself you can’t have something it just makes you want it more. They’re unsustainable and that means that eventually people revert to their old ways. Plus, they’re just not fun, and I believe in fun. (And food. I love food.)

3) Quality of food  (i.e. packed with as many nutrients & as few chemicals as possible) is much more important than type, quantity, fat content, etc. And exercise is and always will be critical. Never underestimate the power of walking. Walking is amazing for body and soul.

So I’ve outlined some of my favorite healthy recipes below. This is as much for me as anyone else…for the last few months my schedule has been insane and I’ve been totally exhausted. That means I’ve been choosing convenience over everything else, eating out more often and have lacked the willpower to use portion control like I should. So now that I’ve had a week or so to decompress, I’m getting back to my good habits.

Breakfast

I really do believe that eating a good breakfast is one of the most important things you can do to keep your energy up, your metabolism going, and keep you from making worse choices later in the day. The breakfast recipes below are focused on things you can either make ahead of time and reheat, or smoothies (which are my favorite way to get fruit and veggies in the morning). Any kind of egg casserole dish is great because it reheats really well and you can put all sorts of veggies in there. Muffins, if made right, can be quite healthy.

Spinach, Kale, & Feta Egg Casserole done

Kale, Spinach, & Feta Casserole

Quinoa Nut Maple Granola

Quinoa Maple Nut Granola

Morning Glory Muffins

Cheryl’s Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

almond apple smoothie apples

Apple Almond Cinnamon Smoothie

coconut egg smoothie finished

Cherry Coconut Milk Smoothie

apple cinnamon muffins finished

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

kale egg casserole finished

Kale, Egg, & Bacon Breakfast Casserole

eggs finished closeup2

Make-Ahead Eggs with Veggies

spinach smoothie finished

Spinach Pineapple Smoothie

sweet potato frittata finished

All manner of frittatas—really, the sky’s the limit (a few of my faves here, here, and here)

Lunch & Dinner

I’m a big fan of leftovers. With the hours I work, there’s no way I’ll have the energy to cook when I get home, and leftovers also keep me from having to think about what I’m packing for lunch every day. The keys here are picking things that are high in fiber and protein, and wherever possible will make really good leftovers (whether for lunch at work or subsequent dinners). You’ll notice there are no salads below. For me, salad is not a meal, it’s a precursor to a meal, so you’ll have to go elsewhere for salad “recipes”.

Sides and veggies:

Parmesan Garlic Roasted PotatoesParmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes

sweet potato fries finished closeup

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

gorgonzola caramelized onion penne brussels sprouts

Caramelized Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Main dishes:

cauliflower risotto finished3

Cauliflower Leek Risotto (substitutes cauliflower for most of the rice)

Dynamite Chicken

Dynamite Grilled Chicken (can be pan-sauteed as well)

Kale & Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta & Flax

Kale & Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta (can use regular pesto as well)

Easy Sesame Chicken with Veggies bowl

Easy Sesame Chicken with Veggies (use brown rice instead of jasmine for more fiber)

One-Pot Farro

One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes

chicken quinoa veggie bake finished

Black Bean, Spinach, & Chicken Quinoa Casserole

sweet savory quinoa finished

Sweet & Savory Chicken Quinoa

man pleasing chicken finished

Pinterest’s Famous “Man-Pleasing” Chicken

Not great leftovers, but delicious for dinner:

Pan Caramelized Salmon

Pan-Caramelized Salmon

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Salmon

Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Salmon

maple citrus salmon grilled

Maple & Citrus Grilled Salmon

Desserts

Desserts in a post all about eating healthy?? Heresy! Well, I think that’s silly. Like I said above, totally depriving yourself of what you want will usually lead to you going on a crazy binge, or getting too discouraged to continue. There are gobs of healthy and satisfying desserts out there, so long as portion control is there (and indulging in something richer from time to time isn’t a sin). I often adjust recipes to make them healthier because I actually like the way they taste. Substituting part or all whole wheat flour, cutting back on sugar or using a less-processed sugar—these kinds of things can really make a difference. So here are some of my favorites.

Pear-Apple Pie with Streusel

These pies (whole wheat crust, fruit, very little sugar)

peanut butter oatmeal choc chip cookies finished2

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pear Cake with Honey Glaze

Fresh Apple Cake or Pear Cake with Honey Glaze

peach crisp mixed fruit closeup

Healthy Peach Crisp (can use frozen peaches in off-season)

Perfect Black Bean Brownies baked

Black Bean Brownies (gluten-free)

Healthy Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Healthier Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (gluten-free)

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake or Dark Chocolate Lava Mug Cake (because one serving is always a good idea)

chocolate cornstarch pudding finished2

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

So good luck! I’m ready to knuckle down and get back to the delicious, healthy, nutritious food that makes me feel good! Let me know what your go-to healthy recipes are!

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Comments

  1. Great collection of recipes! I agree with you on the concept of “dieting.” And focusing less on the “amounts” of things in my food and more on the wholeness of the foods is also one of my goals for this year!

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  1. […] forget to look at all these great healthy recipes I posted at the beginning of 2015.  There are a ton of yummy make-ahead breakfast options, easy […]

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