Wellness Wednesday: Eating Healthy on the Road

I’m on the road a lot for work. Eating healthy on the road is hard. Extra hard when you love food and you use food as a way to keep you entertained and/or you have a 3-4 hour drive.

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately to make it work:

  • Pack my lunch and snacks when I can. Keeping easy-to-grab stuff is good. Examples are:
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, and clementines that are prepackaged and easy to take with you
  • Light popcorn
  • Bags or containers of easy to munch on veggies.  My favorites are carrots and sweet snap peas.
  • Boiled eggs.  See my post on cooking these in an instant pot.
  • Healthy muffins
  • Nuts.  I actually don’t do this because I don’t feel like the “juice is worth the squeeze” calories-wise but these are super healthy for you in moderation.
  • Pre-made salads or bistro boxes.  I’ve not done this yet but I know a lot of people that do.
  • I’m still scoping out the best places to eat out but my favorite go-to is Panera Bread.  There are so many healthy options there and I always get a fruit cup as my side.
  • When I eat at a place with customers, there are typically not all that many great options- even the salads are horrendously high in calories and fat.  I stick mostly to the vegetables- as long as they aren’t a casserole or in a sauce.  If I can’t find anything, I’ll go with a baked potato (sweet potato if they have it) with sour cream on the side and a side salad with extra tomatoes, no cheese, and dressing on the side.  It’s hard.  I’m not going to lie.
  • When they sit those chips and salsa down in front of me or that delicious smelling loaf of bread, its soooo tempting.  I try to think about my end goal and resist.  I drink a sip of water every time I want a bite of it.
  • If I have a customer that says they don’t want to choose or I know they like sushi or seafood, I’ll often times suggest this because it’s an easy one for me.
  • If I’m spending the night out of town, I try to stay in a place that has a mini fridge and microwave.  I can either pack something in my cooler to bring along or I’ll sometimes make a run to the grocery store for a frozen dinner and some fruit or yogurt for a sweet ending.
  • I pack a couple of drink mixes (either Crystal Light or Kroger’s brand) with me to satisfy my sweet cravings and help my water intake.  Win-win.
  • Sometimes when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time for getting a healthy meal but know I need to have something decent, I’ll run into a convenience store and grab a banana and a Muscle Milk protein shake.  Most stores now have bananas (and if I’m lucky a few other options too).

What are you’re beat healthy eating tips for the road? I could use the recommendations!!!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

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Snacking Healthy: Salted Chocolate Coconut DeLight

My adventure on Noom and my new healthy lifestyle continues. (if I was saying this out loud I would’ve used air quotes around healthy lifestyle) And as I continue to Noom right along, I’m learning how to better use my very limited calories to the ensure I’m satisfied from not only a hunger standpoint but also a craving side as well.

You see, I have a sweet tooth. Actually, I’m pretty sure all but about five of my teeth may be sweet teeth- two for breads and carbs, one for burgers, one for seafood, and one for prime rib. You get the picture though. I need my sweets.

And I don’t mean fresh fruit….although I do enjoy that.

Because of my sweet teeth, I’m always looking for a good way to satisfy them. And I found one that I’m currently obsessed with. I actually plan the rest of my day’s meals around this sweet snack.

Yes, I really think it’s that good. And I’m going to share it with you because, unlike the two toddlers running around my house, I like to share things. So here it goes.

I call it Salted Chocolate Coconut DeLight and it’s only two ingredients:

  1. Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt- Toasted Coconut Vanilla (only 80 calories)
  2. Endangered Species Chocolate Bark- Salted Hazelnut (about half a serving or two larger size pieces) crumbled

That’s it. You probably thought as much as I praised this sweet treat that it would be something complicated. Instead it only takes a few minutes to put together. And even less to clean up. That’s a winner in my books.

Plus, I buy these Greek yogurt cups at Sam’s in a box with Lemon Merengue and Strawberry Cheesecake, which are also pretty fantastic. The bark came from Walmart and wasn’t cheap but was worth it.

Enjoy and happy snacking!

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs- A Perfect way to Start

Boiled eggs in the Instant Pot are a perfect way to get started with your Instant Pot.  If you’re like I was in the beginning, you’re just a little bit nervous.  Starting with a simple recipe like this will make you feel confident when they turn out perfectly……or at least it did me!

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

I didn’t come up with this on my own.  Thank you to Pinterest for helping me to find this recipe for Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot from Heather at Passion for Savings.  Definitely go check out her blog.

A little bit about these eggs:

  • I think these are technically steamed rather than boiled but they turn out better than I ever made by boiling because they’re all consistently cooked with the pressure.
  • They peel sooooo much easier than the ones I’ve made boiling.
  • They save me a ton of money because I had been buying the boiled eggs from Sam’s Club- two dozen for $8.78.  Now I can buy a two 18-packs for $5.86 and cook one almost as fast and for a fraction of the cost.  When I’m on Weight Watchers, boiled eggs are a go-to snack and breakfast food because they’re so healthy, easy, and fast.
  • I cooked 18 at a time but could’ve easily done two dozen the same way.
  • Some of the eggs cracked- making them a little “uneven” looking but they taste the same.  I’m assuming that this happened because they had small cracks that I didn’t see before I cooked them.

At this point you’re probably ready for me to tell you the recipe.  Here it is, even though it’s really too simple to even be considered a recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 dozen eggs
  • 1 Cup Cold Water

Directions:

  • Put your trivet in the Instant Pot and gently put the eggs on it, stacking them as necessary.
  • Add 1 Cup of cold water to the bottom of the Instant Pot
  • Secure the lid and set the valve to seal
  • Cook on Manual for 8 minutes
  • Allow the eggs to Natural Release for 2 minutes and then Quick Release
  • Quickly remove the eggs to an ice bath to cool off
  • Peel and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Now you can enjoy your boiled eggs.  Happy Instant Potting!

Sweet Saturday: In the Kitchen

Today was a great day with the girls. They love to “pay kitten” (aka Play Kitchen). They’re very creative and I only had to retrieve one chewed up plastic French fry from Kate’s mouth. I call that a success.

People often ask if they get along well. And I always answer with “Eh.” Their personalities are very much their own, as are their looks but on occasion we will catch a few super sweet moments between the two sisters when they think no one is watching.

And it warms my heart!

As you can see, we moved their rooms around so that they now have Anna’s kitchen and table that she’s “too big for” now. If it didn’t make these two so happy that might make me a bit sad. Such is life!

Downstairs in the real kitchen, I’ve almost made it a whole week back on Weight Watchers. My goal is to get healthy and fit back into my old clothes, at least the few pre-twin pieces left after last year’s KonMari-phase cleared out my closet of anything that “I didn’t love.”

This year I’m not doing resolutions since last year failed so miserably. I think the Balanced app is a great idea but took too much time. I quit about a month in.

In 2018, I’m just trying to get back on track with goal setting and one of my goals is to get healthy. Weight Watchers has been good to me before. I lost 40 lbs in college.

And now I get to lose it all over again. What a great opportunity (typed in very sarcastic tone)! The good things is, Weight Watchers seems to have done some good updates and the app is super user friendly.

I’ll probably be finding all kinds of tricks to eat as much as I can for as little points as I can so stay tuned!

P.S. If anyone has any tips on replacing tasty coffee creamers with a low point alternative, PLEASE let me know!

Red, White, and Blue Pico de Gallo

It’s just not Independence Day if you don’t make something red, white, and blue. I scoured Pinterest, looking for a healthy patriotic dish that wasn’t a dessert. I happened upon this recipe for Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa by Maria and Josh of Two Peas and Their Pod. 

It immediately jumped out at me because of how different it is. And, I’ll admit, I was a Jicama virgin until today but I’m loving its crunchy texture. 

I didn’t follow the exact recipe above because it is Independence Day and I am free to do things my way. Or, more likely, I just didn’t want to follow their exact measurements. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 lb fresh blueberries 
  • 1 jicama (mine was almost 1 lb), diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped   
  • 3/4 cup Cilantro, chopped 
  • Juice of 2 small limes

Directions:

Mix everything in a large bowl. Serve either cold or room temperature. 

It’s great with chips but I paired it with pan-fried tilapia and grilled corn on the cob.

Garen really liked it and so did I. He said that the cilantro, pepper and lime offset the sweetness of the fruit very well. He even liked it with fish, even though he’s not a huge fish fan. He requested it for dinner tomorrow night so it must be good. 

Baked Parmesan Crusted Zucchini

I love zucchini any way it’s cooked. Growing up, my Grammy made the best fried zucchini. My mouth waters just remembering it. 

I rarely make it because the frying isn’t all that healthy and it’s also kind of a pain. I decided to take a stab at doing an oven baked, slightly-altered version with some fresh Parmesan and bread crumbs that I needed to get rid of.  Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4-5 zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise 
  • 1 cup garlic bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan 

 
Instructions:
Preheat over to 425. Spray a large baking sheet or pan. (I also cover mine in foil because I’m lazy and it’s an easier cleanup) Melt butter. Slice zucchini thinly lengthwise. Toss in a large bowl with the melted butter. 

In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, pepper, and cheese. Dip and coat each strip of zucchini in the mixture. Lay them on the pan in a single layer. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they brown. If you want some good color, use the broiler for a few minutes. 

 
It isn’t the same as Grammy’s fried zucchini but it was prett tasty….and much healthier. It went well with Sriracha Honey Chicken and a salad. 

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe?