01 February 2017

Health Goals and Recipes to Get You There

We're a month into 2017 so it's time for a check in on goals! If you made a health and wellness resolution and stuck to it, you're well on your way to setting up lasting lifestyle changes.

I'm big on goal setting. Although some people prefer to stick with a few big ones, I've made a long list of resolutions every year for the better part of a decade. SMART goals-  Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely. I'm pretty rough on myself when it comes to evaluating whether or not I'm on the right track. I usually revisit the goals and "grade" myself a few times a year just to be sure I'm making progress. In an upcoming post, I'll share the new tools I've found to help me get there this year.

Today, I'm looking at fitness and wellness goals. One month in,  and I'm off to a strong start. Post-holiday, I managed to cut back on the sugar (mostly) and booze, and the rest of my eating habits have fallen back into place.

I've always been a fan of a big, healthy breakfast. And dinners have been clean, low-carb recipes. If I'm being totally honest, I could clean up my snacking after work. I grab a handful of this and a handful of that. My after dinner sweet treat is either a little bowl of yogurt with berries or a 1/2 banana, 1/2 T peanut butter, cinnamon and a handful of nuts.

As for workouts, my goal is 20-30 minutes of bodyweight strength training/HIIT three times a week. And two runs. Check and check!

Here are a few healthy recipes that have been in the rotation this month:

Avocado Toast topped with an Egg and salsa! This has long been a go-to breakfast for me. The mashed avocado is full of healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber. Be sure to put it on whole grain bread.

Protein Pancakes with Fresh Blueberries Berries were on sale last week at the grocery, so I picked up a couple of packages, washed them and threw them in the freezer for recipes just like this one. Berries have been my THING lately-- not just for breakfast. I'm back on a berry bowl kick-- mix them with some oats, walnuts, cinnamon and a splash of almond milk, and you have a delicious evening snack that's low in carbs and high in antioxidants.

A little of this, a little of that. Sometimes it's leftovers. Other days, it's a healthy-ish egg salad. I could do a lot better in the lunch department. That's a focus for February.

Dinner Ideas
Skillet Bruschetta with Greens and Beans You might have seen this Bon Appetite winner featured on Cup of Jo's 12 Five Ingredient Dinners post. When we make it, we skip the bread and add some chicken stock to make a creamy base and then top it with an egg. The recipe also calls for kale (this girl doesn't do kale...except for this kale gratin) but bring on ALL the spinach! Whatever your pleasure when it comes to green leafy stuff, it packs a punch of vitamin k, vitamin c, fiber, folate and manganese. 

This totally satisfying comfort meal comes together in less than 15 minutes, so it's perfect to throw together on a weeknight.

Creamy Mexican Chicken Chili This is another winter warmer that you can prep ahead of time for a healthy weeknight meal. We added carrots to this recipe for color and adjusted the spices. Soup is such a quick and easy dinner that it usually ends up on the meal plan every week.

Black Bean Brownies Everyone I know turns up their nose at the idea of black bean brownies. But I've made this recipe a couple of times- once awhile ago and once last week. Both times, they were a perfectly delicious substitute for the real thing-- I INSISTED the Sailor try them, and even he agreed!

Coconut Butter-  Whoa. At between $8-18 a jar, a coconut butter addiction can make a serious dent in your budget. Making it at home takes about 20 minutes and saves a bundle.

You guys- this recipe is SO easy and is such a satisfying treat. Bob's Red Mill unsweetened coconut flakes, about 1/2 T of coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Put it in the food processor and periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Should be good to go in about 12-15 minutes. Store in the pantry for up to four months.

I made plain coconut butter this time, but you can get creative. I'm thinking cinnamon raisin coconut next time.

Here's a link to Chocolate Covered Katie's 70 Recipes with Coconut Butter. Yes- 70!!! Cannot wait to try the butter in overnight oats and the Blueberry Baked Oatmeal Mug Cake. This peanut butter lover may have a new favorite butter!

Have any healthy recipes to share? Leave the links in the comments!

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