7 STEALABLE HABITS that create food confidence

7 Stealable Habits That Create Food Confidence

7 STEALABLE HABITS that create food confidence

Becoming food confident doesn’t happen overnight. Eating mindfully and choosing food that nourishes your body takes practice, especially if you’ve got a busy schedule and are used to eating on the go. Instead of reaching for a quick fix or going with the latest diet trend, a better idea is to create your own healthy habits. I’m talking about do-able things you can implement every day, every week, or every month that support the healthy lifestyle, creative exploration, and mindfulness you desire.

Below are some of the habits I’ve developed over the years that help me stay one step ahead of my busy schedule and support me in creating the healthy lifestyle I want to live. That’s what creating food confidence is all about.

1. When meal planning for the week, I choose one veggie and make several meals using it.

Based on what’s in season, I’ll choose a star veggie for the week and buy it in bulk or family size. That makes it easy to navigate grocery shopping and is a great reminder of how versatile veggies are! (This is especially helpful if you’ve been throwing food away that you bought, but never made.) If you buy a amily-size portion of asparagus, for example, you could make my asparagus-zoodle dish one night, grill the asparagus another night and try my asparagus and white beans on the last day. All super simple, but very different ways to use one veggie.

For inspiration when planning meals, I head to Pinterest to find fun new recipes using my chosen veggie. If the idea of one veggie seems limiting, then you could certainly go with two, but the idea is to simplify!

TIP: A favorite veggie to cycle through in the summer is zucchini – it’s great sauteed, roasted, or in zoodle form! Pick up several pounds at the market and make my Lemony Zucchini Noodles with Spinach, Cherries, and Pine Nuts, these Lasagna Zucchini Boats, Baked Parmesan Zucchini, and even Turkey Burgers with Zucchini throughout the week.

2. I automate breakfast to make my busy mornings flow.

I don’t like to overthink my meals, so I automate as much as possible. This works especially well in the morning. Many of my clients tell me they have no time for breakfast so “automating it” is always my go-to advice. Making a big batch of my Mango Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding or Easy Egg Muffins saves time and leaves no excuse for either not eating or stopping somewhere on the way to work.

chia seed pudding with mango and kiwi

TIP:  If you’re into the idea of having breakfast all laid out for you in the morning, but aren’t a fan of eating the exact same thing every day, overnight oats are the way to go. You can make 5 jars to last you all week, but add different flavorings to each one to mix things up a little bit. (Check out some mix & match flavor ideas for your overnight oats here!) Breakfast will still be automatic, but you can squeeze in some variety!

3. I read cookbooks for ideas and inspiration.

Even if I don’t always follow the recipes to a tee, cookbooks are great for gathering inspiration. I learn a lot about flavor combinations and cooking techniques and I’m always left excited to cook after flipping through a cookbook. Here are a few of my favorites:

4. I roast a ton of veggies on Sunday night.

roasted Brussels sprouts

I’m much more likely to snack on veggies, add them to sandwiches, and omelets or make a Buddha bowl for lunch if the veggies are already roasted and ready to go!

My favorite way to cook a huge batch of veggies is to roast them because it’s so easy and I can roast just about any veggie with my versatile formula. While cooking Sunday dinner I always leave the oven on and throw in a tray or two of cauliflower or Brussels to roast while the oven is hot. They cook up while we eat dinner and it adds no extra time to my dinner prep.  This saves me time and money because at the end of the week I don’t end up with a fridge full of limp veggies that I never got around to cooking.

5. Every month, I create a goal of trying one totally new-to-me cooking technique or recipe.

I don’t ferment my own sauerkraut or make homemade yeast bread every day, but once a month it’s a good reminder of how fun cooking can be! I gather inspiration from those cookbooks I mentioned earlier and tackle one big food project.

It’s a great way to slow down and pay attention to my food and how it’s made, rather than running on autopilot all the time. Even when my experiments don’t turn out perfectly (it happens!) it’s a creative outlet and great practice in patience and mindfulness. Next on my list is to make Homemade Coconut Yogurt!

6. I host (or attend) monthly supper club.

Instead of having friends over for dinner where one person does all the cooking, my supper club friends and I take turns hosting each other. We have theme nights and each of us chooses a meal type to bring. This is a great way to make cooking fun and introduce my friends to healthy new recipes.

I love having friends over to eat, but it can get seriously stressful to plan everything out and get all the cooking done yourself.  With a supper club, entertaining  is way more fun. The host always makes the main meal and the guests bring the apps, sides and dessert. It’s always a super fun time and I look forward to the first Thursday of every month with my girls.

7. I plan for leftovers.

I double dinner recipes so that I have leftovers for lunches or even another dinner. If it doesn’t look like I’ll get around to eating the leftovers before they go bad, I freeze them and have a whole dinner ready to go for an emergency.

This one’s for you, tempeh fans. Slightly spicy, perfectly saucy, and full of Mexican flavor, this easy to make enchilada is sure to please the entire family.

Doing this has saved me from plenty of desperate take-out meals, and no one ever complains about having the same delicious dinner twice in a week! My Skillet Tempeh Enchiladas, Creamy Potato Corn Chowder, and Kung Pao Tempeh all make for great leftover meals!

What are some of your healthy habits that create Food Confidence?


Want to create some healthy habits together? Join me and hundreds of others in my next session of Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating. We start September 4th!  Click here to learn more and get on the interest list!

Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating starts in September, 2017!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bites

These Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bites are my new favorite afternoon snack. They’re made with a secret ingredient that is sure to surprise you. Here are some clues: it’s a whole food that’s high in fiber and protein. It’s also inexpensive, super nutritious and you probably have it in your pantry right now. Any guesses?

It’s black beans! That’s right, one can of black beans is the secret ingredient in these chocolatey protein energy bites. You might be thinking, oh that sounds gross — and I get it. I felt the same way about this chocolate avocado pudding — until I tried it. So trust me, these little bites are delicious — and healthy. What I really love is that at about 120 calories per serving, they contain 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber!  This is pretty good, considering most energy bites are loaded with sugar and fat — and not much else.

Because they’re made mostly with peanut butter and beans, they’re very creamy, so I would store them in the freezer and eat them cold.  I just had one this morning for breakfast, alongside my oatmeal. It was a great little add-on to my meal. Of course you could have one (or two!) for an afternoon snack or for some pre-workout energy, too!

If you’re thinking, what about the beans? I promise you don’t taste them at all.  Not even a little bit. My husband had no idea when I asked him what the secret ingredient was. He was shocked when I told him it was black beans.

You could definitely change up this recipe and use almond butter. Next time I might add some peppermint extract!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Serving Size: 2 balls (makes ~20 balls)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or other liquid sweetener of choice like agave nectar or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, process the almonds until they are a fine crumb. Add the beans and process until they are well incorporated. Add the peanut butter, honey, and cocoa powder and process until the mixture is smooth.
http://foodconfidence.com/2017/07/14/peanut-butter-chocolate-protein-balls/

 

 

The Best Spiralized Veggie Noodle Recipes

Here are some of my favorite spiralized veggie recipes, from hearty main dishes to light and refreshing salads!

I love my spiralizer. It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools, and it definitely gets used in my kitchen at least once a week. I love pasta just as much as the next girl, but I’m always looking for fun ways to enjoy my veggies and get more in. Enjoying a big bowl of veggies that feels like a big bowl of pasta? Sign me up! Here are some of my favorite spiralized veggie recipes, from hearty main dishes to light and refreshing salads:

My Asparagus & Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto

This recipe couldn’t get much healthier – it’s veggie on veggie on veggie! From the zoodle base and the asparagus and tomato add-ins to the spinach-packed pesto, you’ve got the most satisfying bowl of veggies ever. The spinach pesto adds tons of savory flavor and creaminess, while the zoodles keep it light. It’s the perfect recipe to use up lots of farmer’s market produce.

My Creamy Sweet Potato Mushroom Pasta

Here’s another awesome veggie on veggie on veggie meal! Sweet potatoes make for excellent hearty spiralized noodles. Then these veggie noodles are mixed with mushrooms and onions for more veggie power and swirled in a creamy and rich sauce made of, you guessed it, more veggies! This is a great recipe for when you’re craving comfort food but still want a healthy meal.

My Lemony Zucchini Noodles with Spinach, Cherries & Pine Nuts

This cold zoodle dish is a delicious low carb and veggie-packed take on pasta salad. I love the combination of salty feta, sweet + tart cherries, and nutty pine nuts. This recipe is perfect for taking to a summer BBQ for a lightened up side dish.

Rainbow Veggie Pad Thai Noodles

This Pad Thai from Half-Baked Harvest mixes regular noodles with beet and sweet potato noodles for a satisfying, colorful, and veggie-filled version of traditional Pad Thai. The best part? This recipe is quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!

 

Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles

These noodles from Alex at Delish Knowledge are filled with salty, savory goodness from olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. The fresh veggies and basil keep everything light and summery, too. Yum!

Butternut Squash Noodles Carbonara with Mushroom Bacon

That’s right, these noodles from Kara Lydon are totally vegetarian, but keep all the smoky, savory, filling goodness of traditional carbonara pasta! The butternut squash noodles lighten up the dish, so you can still feel good about the cheesy sauce, and the mushroom bacon is a genius meaty addition. This is another great one for when you’re craving comfort food but want some veggies, too!

Zucchini Pasta with Lentil Bolognese

This zucchini pasta from Minimalist Baker is a hearty, vegetarian take on traditional pasta with meat sauce. I love the meaty flavor of the lentil bolognese with the light and fresh zucchini noodles. It’s just about the best veggie stand-in you’ll find for spaghetti and meat sauce. 😉

Fig & Zucchini Pasta with Hemp Seed Crumble

This light, summery zucchini pasta salad from Nutrition Stripped features a savory hemp seed crumble as a vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese. Anything with fresh figs and avocado is a win in my book!