Thursday, July 26, 2012

40 Unexpected Ways to Sneak in Veggies


1. Frittata it. We love starting the weekend with an egg-heavy brunch. Mix eggs with veggies for a healthy and hearty breakfast. Bonus points if you make enough to munch on all week! 

2. Add finely minced broccoli to scrambled eggs. This veggie addition doesn’t change the texture of eggs and fits in at least a whole serving of veggies. 

3. Steam and puree or finely grate cauliflower to mix with scrambled eggs. Try it with chicken or tuna salad for an entrée. 

4. Bake ‘em. Breakfast sweets can be packed with veggies, too. Try making some travel-friendly bran muffins packed with zucchini and carrots in addition to the classic raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon. 

5. Veg out on savory oatmeal. Yeah, the classic might be brown sugar with fruit, but oatmeal (or steel-cut oats) can be savory, too. Cook plain oats with water and add your choice of steamed or sautéed veggies. Top with an egg for extra protein and season with salt, pepper, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. 

6. Make pudding a healthy breakfast. Only if it’s avocado-based! 

7. Try pumpkin or butternut squash pancakes or waffles. When the skillet is heating next Saturday morning, throw some pumpkin or squash puree into any pancake or waffle mix to fit in an extra serving of veggies (and get a fun orange tinge, too). 

8. Add greens to breakfast smoothies. A handful of spinach or kale blends well with any fruit smoothie. Try the classic “Green Monster” by blending 1 cup milk of choice, 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, and 1 tablespoon almond butter. 

9. Grab an avocado smoothie. Like the green smoothie, this avocado-based treat is perfect for breakfast or a nutritious midday snack. Packed with healthy fats, vitamin E, and vitamin B6, avocados are definitely one superfood we’d love to learn to liquefy. 

10. Slurp a carrot smoothie. Carrot juice is pretty easy to find, but without an expensive juicer at home, it’s hard to make on demand. Luckily, grated carrots are easy-peasy to fit into any fruity smoothie. Bonus points: Because we’re using all parts of the veggie, none of the fiber is lost from the juicing process. 

Pasta and Grains 
11. Green up pasta dishes. When spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu, add a load of extra veggies to the dish itself instead of opting for a boring ’ol side salad. 

12. Substitute veggie strips like zucchini, squash, asparagus, or spaghetti squash and skip the pasta altogether. Add veggies to the sauce too for bonus points. 

13. Remember herbs are leafy greens too! Add fresh herbs to any rice, pasta, or grain dish. Or whip up a quick homemade herb pesto to add to scrambled eggs or use as a sandwich spread. 

14. Fancy up macaroni and cheese.It’s a childhood favorite, but grown ups crave it too — don’t lie! When guilt sets in for wanting to demolish the whole box, throw in a load of fresh veggies to justify the choice. Spinach, tomatoes, peas, and broccoli make awesome additions. Extra credit for skipping the boxed mixes and making it all from scratch. 

15. Mix the potatoes. Sweet and regular mashed potatoes are perennial favorites. To add some extra nutritional value, mix the two types of potatoes 1-to-1 in a mash. 

16. Sneak them in casseroles.Anytime that casserole dish comes out of the cupboard, get out the grater, too. Finely shredded zucchini or summer squash can be added to virtually any casserole without changing taste or texture! 

17. Sub greens for sandwich wraps or breakfast burritos. For tougher greens like collards, kale, or chard, blanch the greens and pat dry before wrapping. 

18. Try veggie grilled cheese. Cheese sandwiched between two slices of bread doesn’t have too much green value. Every time the cheesy craving strikes, throw in a few layers of veggies, too. Spinach or arugula, tomato, and avocado make awesome additions. 

19. Make vegetarian quesadillas. Instead of opting for the classic chicken-and-cheese, throw in a variety of veggies and cut down the cheese by half for a healthier version. Some favorite fillings are corn, peppers, onions, and greens. 

20. Bite a better burger by adding carrot puree to ground beef recipes. From hamburgers to meatloaf, a few steamed and pureed carrots (or a mix of carrot and sweet potato) go a long way. 

Sauces and Condiments 
21. Pick a pumpkin marinara sauce. Tomato sauce is a great vehicle for any extra pureed veggies. The easiest? Throw in a can of pumpkin puree! 

22. Load up. Basic tomato sauce is great — definitely counts as one veggie! But the more veggies added, the better. Try adding pureed carrots or winter squash, peppers, onions, or greens. 

23. Health up the Hollandaise. Nothing’s better than a Sunday-morning plate of Eggs Benedict, but the classic Hollandaise sauce can be less than healthy. Try subbing this avocado Hollandaiseto fit in some extra green. 

24. Mix butternut squash puree and grated cheese to use as a spread in grilled cheese, quesadillas, or pizzas. 

25. Spice up salad dressing. Say bye-bye to classic oil and vinegar and hello to veggie-based dressings. Some ideas include butternut squash, tomato, beet, or zucchini. 

26. Bake an egg in an avocado. It’s the perfect healthy vehicle for some seriously awesome protein! 

27. Turn it into a fry. Slice zucchini, avocado, carrot, or green beans, lightly bread and bake until crispy. 

28. Cook up kale chips. Lightly coated in oil and sprinkled with salt, crispy kale chips are a great (and much healthier) stand-in for potato chips. 

29. Serve a colorful pie. Yes, a cheesy, meaty pizza pie is hard to pass up, but a really great pizza is a great vehicle for a big pile of veggies. Practically anything works, from greens and tomato to roasted squash or root vegetables. 

30. Prepare a pizza salad. If pizza’s on the dinner table, throw a salad on top for a fun meal to eat, and an easy two-in-one dinner. A favorite? Arugula salad with tomatoes and Parmesan on top of a mixed veggie pizza. 

31. Splurge on spinach. Tomato sauce is a great way to get a serving of veggies. Even better? Spread a layer of spinach puree on the pizza dough BEFORE spreading the sauce for another dose of veg (and some extra greens). 

Soups and Stews 
32. Add veggie puree to chicken soup. Making classic chicken soup? Add a can of pureed tomatoes, squash, or potato. It will make for a thicker soup and will sneak in some extra veggies. 

33. Add carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash puree to any chili or stew recipe. 

Baked Goods and Desserts 
34. Bake veggies into bread. Another sweet veggie-packed delight, zucchini bread can be a great way to get in a serving of veggies while fulfilling that sweet tooth. 

35. Disguise greens in chocolate! These spinach brownies use pureed spinach leaves in the wet mixture to get in that extra dose of greens in the dessert course, too! (They’re vegan, too.) 

36. Choose chocolate cake with carrot and squash. Chocolate cake base is perfect to disguise the veggies packed in the batter. Make avocado frosting for even more veggie bonus points! 

37. Pair chocolate and beets. The cocoa covers the earthy beet flavor well and the sweetness of the beets pair well with the sugary cake. 

38. Stick to the sweet stuff. Lets just admit it, chocolate is basically the best way to hide veggiesin pretty much anything. Case in point: sweet potato brownies. 

39. Add carrot or sweet potato puree to chocolate chip cookies. 

40. Pack avocados in chocolate pudding. Yes, we can even sneak some extra nutrients intochocolate pudding. Plus, avocados’ silky texture gives this pudding another plus. 

Courtesy of: Be Nourished By Nature 

As always, make champion choices!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Next Great Thing?

SO, this video of a bizarre Korean exercise machine makes the Shake Weight not look so bad. Surely you've been saying to yourself “I wish I could get the workout of a horseback ride in the comfort of my living room,” ... and if so, then this is the gizmo for you. This lovely device is meant to chisel your core, butt and thighs as you struggle to stay on a small seat that bucks and gyrates like an angry bronco. Not to mention: These crazy pelvic thrusts just might remind you to do your Kegels.

As Always, Make Champion Choices,

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Book I'll Write

NOT sure how many of you know this, but I use to teach technology training for a living, taught software applications and database design etc. My license plate even said PC TRNR. I quit full-time work to focus on rugrats. Presently enjoying my last round of potty training. Meanwhile I'm studying to get my personal trainer certification in the fitness industry. I think I need to write a best selling novel titled something like 'PC Trainer to Potty Trainer to Personal Trainer' ... watcha think? :) Or something like that ... 

As always, make champion choices,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Study Yourself

I did not write this, but man oh man do I agree 100% ... could NOT have said it better myself. 

Words by: Metabolic Effect 

We humans are funny, we would rather be looking for a program compared to actually doing one. This is why many people bounce around from protocol to protocol and from diet to diet without ever making progress. The assumption is that there is a protocol out there somewhere that is perfectly suited to you. This is a fallacy, and part of the reason people struggle so mightily with change. There is no perfect program!! Body change is not a protocol it is a process. The only way to achieve long-term body change is to take the time to understand your metabolic expression, psychological sensitivities and personal preferences. From there you build your own program by following the process over-time. You learn, you practice and then you master one element at a time until you slowly create a new lifestyle. One that controls hunger, elevates energy, reduces cravings and delivers health, fitness and fat loss. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. The faster you start studying yourself and stop studying every one else and every new program on the market the faster you become an expert in you and change for good!

As always, make champion choices,

Friday, July 20, 2012

What a Day

Well Happy Friday Butter Beans! It's been a day and it's not even 8:30 a.m. First our shower handle broke, like just broke off completely. Lovely to use the kids' shower. Then I cut myself shaving use a cheap razor. Ouch. Then I actually put my pants on backwards and was having a hard time figuring out what in the world was wrong with my zipper, only to realize they were inside out. Yep, inside out. Then my 4 yr old ran into my bathroom while I'm fighting with my pants and decides to pee all over the bath rug. It's not like the toilet was oh so far, but yep, right on the rug. You know what though ... none of it even matters, I am smiling and thankful for another day to go out and enjoy the world. Have a good one. {Oh and did I mention I have SEVEN children in my house right now} 

As always, make champion choices,

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Abnormal

Drum Roll Please... so my doc mailed me some test results from last week's ultrasound. Apparently I am 'abnormal'. It says, and I quote, "1 cm cyst, left ovary. 1 cm well-defined hypoechoic structure in the right ovary, possibly a hemorrhagic cyst. Suggest short-interval sonographic followup. Please follow up with gynecologist." Lovely. What the heck does all THAT mean? Why do they mail such things, no phone call or nothing. Okay - so I guess I need to go see the gyno! I needed to do that anyway, so I'll go ahead and find me a new one here in my new city of San Antonio. I really liked my OBGYN in Houston, but I am not driving 3 hours to see her! 

I also have elevated testosterone levels, whatever that means. 

Meanwhile I got one heck of a charlie horse last night and it was very painful, so much so that today my calf is bruised. But I'm working it out. 

At any rate; Wish me luck. 
As always, make champion choices!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom to Choose!

Now declare your independence from bad habits. We have freedom to choose, but our choices are not free, they always have consequences. We are the result of our choices, good and bad. So we do you choose today that will help you be FREE in the future? This is your body and your life and your health. You are free to choose how you design it. 

As always, make champion choices,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Goal Check

Happy July !

July 1st ...welcome to mid-year. Today is a great day to check in with all that you have accomplished this year thus far. Celebrate it.

Then take a realist look at anything that may be missing, that if you put into action, would make the biggest difference. Create the second half of your year.

I am reading a book called 'PUSH' by Chalene Johnson.  I love it.   In addition, my husband and I just participated in a workshop series called the 8 Pillars of Financial Greatness.  The book PUSH is largely about health (but not entirely) ... and the 8 Pillars is about money ... but really, in my mind, they kind of go together hand-in-hand even though they are completely separate and have nothing to do with each other.

Basically - you need to figure out the core value of who you are, and thus your core priorities.  What are the top 5 priorities and things that you value in this world ... health? money? career? family? time? travel? spirituality?  Whatever they are - define them.   THEN rank them.   Now that you know what is important to you, align your goals and your time spent to be in sync with those intrinsic core values of who you are, so that you are in harmony and set up for success.   If you're spending time and money volunteering at an animal shelter and donating money to them, but animal rights is not in your top 5 core values, then you may need to re-adjust.  That's just a minor example.  Trust me, I'm not against animal rights :)  I love animals, but it is not in my top 5. You can care about a lot of things ... and you can be interested in all sorts of things ... but get down to the heart of who you are, what you want and what you live for.

Remember, you really do get to decide how to design your life.

As always, make champion choices!