Showing posts with label eat healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eat healthy. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Parties: Healthy, Budget-Friendly Summer Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Summer is a time for family gatherings, church picnics, block parties, and other social gatherings – and you’re usually expected to bring a dish! Looking for some new ideas? You’ll love these low-cost and tasty dishes. Each of these three summer recipes was selected for its healthy, family-friendly, budget-friendly, travel-friendly qualities. Bon appetit!

A Healthy Summer Snack: Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad

This is a light, refreshing, delicious, and easy side dish/snack to take to any summer gathering (or to have at home).

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 3/4 cup thawed frozen or fresh sweet corn
  • 40 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (use the stems too!)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or 2 limes)
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
To prepare: 
  • Prep all the veggie ingredients and add them to a large serving bowl. Toss well to combine. 
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the veggies. Toss gently to coat evenly.
  • Serve with chips!

Get the original recipe from Produce on Parade.

Healthy Summer Main Dish Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

This creative recipe from is low-carbohydrate and high-protein. And its presentation as a “boat” makes it appealing to kids. You’ll start with halved, de-seeded zucchinis. You’ll be filling the boats with browned ground chicken, into which you have stirred some garlic and a favorite pasta sauce. After spooning the mixture into your zucchini boats, simply top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and then bake until the cheese melts and the zucchini is soft. Super simple, and super delicious! Get the full recipe and details here.

Healthy Summer Dessert Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Fruit Cones

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a healthier or easier summer recipe than this. Here’s what you need:
  • Ice cream cones
  • Assorted fruit, cut into pieces
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)
All you have to do is cut the fruit of your choice into bite-sized pieces (as you would for a fruit salad). Place that fruit inside of the cones. That’s it! When you serve it, put out chocolate syrup for guests to add on top! Refreshing, somewhat healthy, and delicious! 

Summer Savings

These healthy recipes are just one step on the path of healthy living. If your summer involves trips to the doctor, it’s good to know that you can save an average of 43% on your prescriptions with the FamilyWize prescription savings card, which is free to all consumers, insured or uninsured, and has no eligibility requirements. Request a card at, or call 800-222-2818. Try it today and start saving!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fast Dinners for the Busy and Frazzled

Recently, I’ve written about fast and easy meals for breakfast and lunch, and dinner can just as simple! At the end of a busy workday, the drive-through is tempting. And grabbing takeout is so much easier than making a meal at home. But don’t give up: with a little forethought, you can enjoy yummy dinners with little prep and even less guilt.

If you are not a fabulous cook, don’t worry: there are simple meals you can make, even if you don’t know the difference between a tablespoon and a serving spoon. So let’s dig in and get to the good stuff!

The three part approach. Dinner doesn’t have to be complex. So use a simple formula: protein, vegetable w/fat, and starch. You might choose to throw chicken thighs on the grill (protein), make small side salads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (vegetable w/fat), and add a couple of corn cobs to the grill (starch). If you aren’t someone who loves to grill, how about baked pork chops, microwaved frozen vegetables with butter, and a side of basmati rice? These meals will take very little time, and you’ll enjoy the payoff.

One-skillet meals. And no, these don’t have to be a boxed meal! Toss some cubed chicken in a hot skillet with some coconut oil. When the chicken is cooked through, add a bag of frozen (or fresh) vegetables of your choice. Stir until the vegetables are cooked, then add some leftover white or brown rice, and cook until all is hot. Add some soy sauce, and you’ve got a stir-fry. And there are so many one-skillet options (check some out here, here, and here).

Manage your time. I’ve been caught off-guard several times, when work demands outwitted my time management. By taking an hour or two on your day off, you can prepare a meal that you can pop in the freezer for later that week. You might consider meal-planning services, which can make eating healthier a little easier.

Keep a list of emergency go-to’s. Sometimes when we give up and get fast food, it derails our healthy plan for the rest of the week. But it doesn’t have to! Healthy options are out there, even on the go! Look for restaurants like Chipotle, Muscle Maker Grill, even Subway. Ethnic restaurants often provide vegetable-laden dishes that you can swing by and pick up. While making food at home may be ideal, some moments in life don’t allow us the time. So rather than get frustrated and eat junk food, grab something healthy and enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out my post about crockpots for more easy dinner ideas, and you can always swap breakfast or lunch ideas for dinner! 

Schedules get busy, and the challenge of eating healthy can seem impossible. But with some planning, you can embrace eating healthy while still living your life. So don’t give up! And let us know in the comments what works best for you and your family.

Contributing Writer

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road

We've all been here a time or two: We've just renewed our focus on getting our eating habits back into line, we've joined a gym and started a new routine, and sure enough, our pants are just a tad bit looser. Hallelujah for a new start! Then a vacation/work trip/holiday travel interrupts our progress, and fear attacks. How will we ever manage to get back on track? How can you stay on track, when faced with convenience store nourishment and fast food delectables? How on earth can you maintain your new habits?

Road trip

I'm the first one to tell you, it takes some planning. Healthy eating and traveling do not go together without some forethought. But it can be done, and with less inconvenience than you might think. Here's a few tips for eating healthy while on the road.

Have an itinerary. All trips have some sort of plan. So get with your co-planner(s) and decide what that might look like. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but you need to have some idea what your needs might be. If it is a day trip, you can pack snacks and healthy fare in a cooler. If it is more than that, you'll need to evaluate what’s available at your destination and also what you will need on the way.

Do your research. Again, this doesn't have to be locked down with no wiggle room, but get familiar with the restaurants, fast food options, and grocery stores in the area you are traveling to. Is there a great convenience store chain in the area, like Wawa or Sheetz? What sort of restaurants and fast nibbles do your traveling companions enjoy? If you have children with you, what are their preferences and/or food allergies? Remember that every town has a grocery store, and sandwich meat, salad fixings, and fruit go a long way to creating a meal.

Be flexible. We live in a country with a plethora of food choices. Perhaps you had your heart set on a burrito bowl at Chipotle, but the gang voted for Applebee’s? There are plenty of choices at either for the health conscious, so don't be disheartened. And who knows – maybe you'll discover a new favorite along the way!

Make wise choices. Eating out is rarely the ideal when it comes to food quality and preparation. The exceptions are the rare mom-and-pop restaurants and farm-to-table dining experiences that are becoming popular. If you have food intolerances to contend with, ask for that menu, and let your waiter know what your issues are in clear terms. Ask to speak to the chef, if the restaurant doesn't have an allergen-friendly menu. Look for foods that make sense for your needs: Are you avoiding fried foods? Aiming for more vegetables and less starch? Do you need to be dairy-free? Ask questions of your server or food preparation staff member to be sure you get what you are seeking.

Cafe in the summer

Splurge a little. Remember that your body naturally detoxifies itself. So if you are traveling to the fried chicken capital of the world, it might be a good time to allow some breathing room for your diet restrictions. Eat healthy for breakfast and lunch, and enjoy a special dinner. Give yourself a pass to enjoy time with loved ones, and if food makes that time more pleasurable for you, then perhaps it’s worth the experience to simply sit back and enjoy it, rather than turn it into a minefield of food limitations.

Traveling while eating healthy doesn't have to be a chore! You can have fun with it, enjoy some rare indulgences, and return home and back to your routine in no time.  Routines are mindsets – when you adopt them as part of your lifestyle, taking a day off here and there is no big deal.

Let us know what methods you use to maintain health while you travel. Any favorite tips that have gotten through some odd situations? Share in the comments below!

Contributing Writer