Friday, January 4, 2013

Meal Prep Tips & Healthy Habits to Remember

Hello & Happy New Year, everyone! 
I have GREAT news! I am feeling much better finally & coming back!
What a long trip this has been but it has really taught me to be thankful for my health. 

To start the new year, I shared some pictures of food that fits in any healthy meal plan in the post

Here are some tips to remember with your food prep.


Here is a picture of a typical chicken breast:

This is also what people think of as an appropriate serving or portion of chicken breast;

Here is a picture of an ACTUAL serving or portion of chicken:
An appropriate portion of meat is the same size as your palm & as thick as a deck of cards.
No pesky weighing is necessary!

Here is the same portion with a serving suggestion:

Make several portions & season with different salt-free seasonings. 
Here I used different McCormick & Mrs. Dash seasonings to cook several portions in one dish at once:

Buy vegetables in bulk, wash, & store for easy access for snacking &/or meal prep:

 Fresh fruit is always a beautiful (& edible) centerpiece!
It's also a good way to get kids to watch your healthy habits & help themselves to do the same.

- Baking Bread -
Baking bread is SO easy! 

Here I had done it by hand:

Check back soon for simple recipes, techniques, & equipment in an upcoming post.
You still make everything from scratch, but the machine does the 
kneading, rising, & baking for you all in one place. 
It allows me to bake my own bread EVERY OTHER DAY without spending all day doing it.
Here is a machine baked loaf:

Making your own pasta is also SO easy! 
Check back soon for simple recipes, techniques, & equipment in an upcoming post.

Here is my first attempt at fettuccine!
On the drying rack, looking delicious!

I immediately made my first dish with leftover Christmas turkey:

Turkey Fettuccine Primavera

Always, ALWAYS make too much!
That way you have extras lying around for busy nights.

I hope this helps makes your healthy living easier!

In good health & with much love & consideration,
~ Natalie "FNT!" ~

Healthy Meal Plan Recipes!

Hello & Happy New Year, everyone! 
I have GREAT news! I am feeling much better finally & coming back!
What a long trip this has been but it has really taught me to be thankful for my health. 

To start the new year, I thought I would share some pictures of food that fits in any healthy meal plan.

It always amazes me when clients tell me that eating healthy is boring. 
Do you know what is boring???
STEAK & POTATOES are boring...
BURGERS & FRENCH FRIES are boring...
FRIED CHICKEN is boring... 
So many of the foods people eat everyday are BO-RING!

Eating healthy is full of variety, color, flavor, nutrition, you name it! 
All of the dishes below are categorized by breakfast, lunch, or dinner based upon 
caloric value & portion sizes. Dishes that can be interchanged between meals can do so by
adjusting the portions of different ingredients to fit your caloric needs.

***Remember, on average, 1500 calories fulfill typical daily caloric needs for 
women who are MAINTAINING weight which can break down like this: 
Breakfast = 300 calories
Snack = 100 calories
Lunch = 300 calories
Snack = 100 calories
Dinner = 500 calories
Snack = 100 calories
Total = 1400 calories + 100 calories of wiggle room = 1500 calories

2000 calories applies to the average MAN who is maintaining weight. These are only averages!!!

Next will be a post with special tips on prep, additional sides, etc. 
Enjoy & PLEASE feel free to ask any questions about prep, ingredients, etc! 

Veggie Scramble
Three eggs (adjust yolks to your caloric intake)
scrambled with as many vegetables as you like!

Spicy Whole Grain Tuna Wrap
My famous tuna breakfast! While pregnant and breastfeeding, I added the extra 100 calories of whole grain tortilla chips for some extra carbs and calories. If cutting calories, do not do this.

Question from Nicole: 
How do you make the spicy tuna mixture?

I make a batch that makes three wraps & store the extras in the fridge. First, you need a whole package of starkist chunk LIGHT tuna in the flavor fresh pouch - & it HAS to be the hickory smoked flovor. I tried other flavors & it does NOT turn out as yummy. Put tuna into a small storage container.

Add 2 ounces of Neufchatel cheese (with the cream cheese in the store) & about 1/4 -1/3 cup of red hot, depending on how spicy you like things. (I never measure stuff, so these are estimates). 
Mash the tuna, cheese, & red hot with the back of a spoon & stir/mash/stir/mash until it is a orange-y mixture like you see above.

Heat a whole wheat tortilla for 7 seconds in the microwave (makes the wrap a little more flexible).
Giant Eagle brand wheat tortillas have good nutrition & don't crumble. There is also a brand at Sam's Club called Santa Fe Tortilla Company that is AMAZINGLY healthy and flexible!
Take a little extra cheese & smear it along one side of the tortilla so that when you wrap it up the cheese serves as a seal to hold the wrap shut. 

Spoon 1/3 of the tuna mixture into the wrap and distribute evenly. 
Add iceburg lettuce or you can try some other lettuce if you like. 
Spinach just didn't give a great crunch in this the way I like. 
Wrap it up. EAT! & then you are in love.... with a wrap.
Also, look on the back of the smoked flavor pouch for a tasty quesadilla recipe. It is also delish & kids even eat it, having NO idea it's fish. Sneaky!

Veggie Stir-fry
I will stir fry anything! 
This one has cabbage, broccoli, apples, carrots, light tuna, almonds, & celery 
with a teaspoon of light-sodium soy sauce.

Smoked Tuna Fugi Salad
1/2 of a Starkist Flavor fresh pouch hickory smoked flavor, lettuce, broccoli, almonds,
chopped brussels sprouts, & chopped Fugi apple.
Served with Citrus-soy vinaigrette & 1/2 of a homemade dinner roll.

Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger
Morningstar Farms spicy black bean burger on a toasted whole wheat bun 
topped with shaved (sharp cheddar) cheese, a pineapple ring, & salsa. 
Served with whole grain tortilla chips (about 5 or less- not a bag on the side!).

Spicy Citrus Black Bean Burger Salad
Morningstar Farms spicy black bean burger, lettuce, 
almonds, broccoli, chopped brussels sprouts, & fresh squeezed tangerines
which were also used to whip up a homemade citrus balsamic vinaigrette.

Smoked Tuna Citrus Salad

1/2 of a packet of Starkist tuna in the flavor fresh pouch (I used hickory smoked flavor), 
lettuce, broccoli, almonds, chopped brussels sprouts, & fresh-squeezed tangerines 
which were also used in a homemade citrus-soy vinaigrette.

Cabbage-Vegetable Soup
The start of the soup before it has cooked down. 

I throw EVERYTHING in my soups! 
It looks like this one has cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, & corn. 
ALWAYS be sparing with corn & peas! 
Remember that these are NOT actually categorized as vegetables; 
but are instead starches, just like potatoes.
Cabbage-Vegetable Soup once it has cooked down.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad
Lemon pepper chicken breast portion, lettuce, broccoli, a fuji apple, dark red kidney beans, & almonds.

Strawberry Chicken Salad
 Chicken breast portion, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, & vinaigrette.

Turkey Chili
Start of the soup: 
Ground 99% fat free turkey breast with onion & garlic.
Add the vegetables & beans & cook down.
The final, cooked-down version.

Here is an example of a lunch portion of chili (this is vegetarian chili) 
along with a serving suggestion.
Vegetarian chili with lettuce for dipping & fresh strawberries.

Chicken & Vegetable Skillet

2 meals in one skillet. 
Two tenderloins and half cooked vegetables served for dinner, the other half is stored in a container to take with you to work the next day. Always use salt-free seasonings and herbs to add lots of flavor. Always use fat-free cooking sprays.

Grilled Curried Chicken

(using only a curry powder rub - no fattening curry add-ins) with brown rice, 
warm steamed granny smith apple, & steamed broccoli.

***You will see me mention grilling things in an aluminum foil pouch. 
Here is an example of how this done!***

Spicy Strawberry-Almond Salmon
Salmon topped with crushed red pepper, sliced strawberries, & almonds 
served with brown rice, steamed broccoli, & three fresh strawberries.

Grilled Citrus Salmon

Fish grilled in an aluminum foil packet with fresh squeezed lime & orange juices marinade. 
Served with brown rice, steamed broccoli, & balsamic caramelized pears.

Chili-Lime Marinated Salmon

Grilled in an aluminum foil packet with homemade marinade & cherry tomatoes. 
Served with brown rice & steamed broccoli.

Tropical Grilled Salmon

Grilled in aluminum foil packet with homemade lime/tangerine/pineapple/lite soy sauce marinade
along with the fresh squeezed tangerines & pineapple chunks. 
Served over brown rice with steamed broccoli.

Spicy Sweet Pineapple Salmon

Grilled in a foil packet with fresh pineapple chunks & juice, lime juice, & fresh ground black pepper. Served with brown rice & steamed broccoli.
(Two homemade bread loaves cooling in the background.)

Bruschetta Chicken
Chicken breast portion over a bed of brown rice & spinach,
topped with a mixture of
a dash of olive oil, sliced grape tomatoes, & basil,
with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese & steamed broccoli.

Lemon Pepper & Garlic Chicken
Chicken breast portion sauteed with spinach, grape tomatoes, fresh garlic, & salt-free lemon pepper seasoning. Served with steamed broccoli & a 1/2 cup (1 serving) of starch of your choosing.

Lemon Pepper Salmon
Salmon seasoned with salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning. 
Served with a steamed apple & broccoli.

Spicy Curried Salmon
Salmon seasoned with spicy mrs dash and curry powder.
Served with a steamed apple & broccoli.

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore
Part 1:
Low-cal vegetable/tomato sauce topped with 
whole grain rotini, (fresh!) sliced mushrooms, & julienned green peppers…

Part 2:
Previous picture topped with raw boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, more low-cal vegetable/tomato sauce & 2% parmesan & mozzarella cheeses.
Pack leftovers for lunches in appropriate portions.

Good luck with your goals!
In good health & with MUCH love, 
~ Natalie "FNT!" ~