Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

High Protein Snacks for Weight Loss

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snacks

Snacking is Good.

So there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about snacking and if it’s good or bad. So let’s get something straight: snacking is not bad. Snacking is good. It’s good to fuel your body; to be putting in good things in your body consistently, throughout the day. Your body is like a machine and you’re not gonna drive 200 miles and expect to not stop for gas, right? And putting food in your body, snacking throughout the day is the same way. If you wanna keep that energy and that focus up, you need to be constantly putting food into your body.

The Bad Snacks

These are examples of not so great snacks:

  • excess sugar
  • excess salt
  • potato chips
  • candy bars
  • donuts

The Good Snacks

There are better out there that are made up of whole foods such as the following:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • plant based protein
  • animal proteins
  • chicken salad or wrap
  • dairy
  • nuts or seeds

So the excess sugars, the excess salts, those are what causes our body be low on energy. When we eat foods that are high in sugar and salt; but low in nutrition; we may get energy quickly, but we end up crashing 1-2 hours later, and looking for something else.

If you want energy to sustain you throughout the day, you want to choose foods that are high in nutrient value and in their most natural state, lots of whole foods and snacks.

Meal Timing

 

It is important to be eating every few hours.

I know in the beginning, I had trouble with this. It is easy to get busy with work, errands and kids.

If you have a hard time remembering to eat, I suggest setting a timer, as a reminder.

 

Here are some high protein snacks to get you started.

  1. High Protein Dip for fruit – Get the recipe here.
  2. Peanut Butter Banana RollUps – Get the recipe here.
  3. Spinach Quiche Cups – Get the recipe here.
  4. Zucchini Tuna Cakes – Get the recipe here.
  5. Apple Protein Cookies – Get the recipe here.
  6. Skinny Bell Pepper Nacho Boats – Get the recipe here.
  7. Turkey and Cheese Rolls – Get the recipe here.

Enjoy!!

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5 places to find new healthy recipes

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All my favorite places to find new, healthy recipes, so you never get bored again.

healthy-recipes

Do you ever get bored with your cooking? I get bored eating the same thing every day. I love to cook but often don’t have time for looking up new recipes. I even have a cupboard full of cookbooks!! As a busy mom, I just don’t have the time or energy to look up new recipes, every day.

Eating out is not a good option, for me. Often times, we go out for dinner and one look at the menu, I wish I would have just stayed home.

{Disclaimer: I almost never follow the recipe, exactly.}

 

Here are my top 5 places I find new recipes.

1. Pinterest

Who doesn’t love Pinterest? —> Follow me here http://Pinterest.com/mistyshaheen

I like to do a search of ingredients I have on hand and find a recipe, without running to the store. I have found so many good recipes, like zucchini noodles, ground turkey and kid-friendly breakfasts. I love the mobile app, because I usually only have my phone available, in the kitchen.

2. allrecipes.com

Before Pinterest came, All Recipes was my go to place on the internet. I still use it, sometimes, even now. Some of my favorite recipes have come from this site. I love the search feature where you can put in multiple ingredients I have on hand, and it will find recipes I can use.

3. Big oven android app

When I need something fast, I have the Big Oven app on my phone. This is great for Saturday morning pancakes.
4. Meal service like Blue Apron or Plated

I have used Blue Apron and did a review here. I really liked it, but it can be pricey, compared to the other options. It comes out to be about $20 a meal. They send you recipes, all the ingredients you need; you just need to cook it.
5. Digital meal planning like Emeals

I just started using Emeals, last week. And I love it! Fresh recipes, delivered through their app, custom grocery lists and is low cost. For $8-10 a month, you get a week’s worth of recipes, custom to your diet.

 

 

 

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Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss and Avoid Gaining The Weight Back

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Weight Loss Vs.Fat LossDo you ever wonder why some people lose weight only to gain it all back?

There’s a reason for this. It is weight loss and not fat loss.

Sometimes when someone goes on a “diet”, a common mistake is calories are reduced activity is increased.  Weight can be lost, quickly, but sometimes, the weight is actually muscle, not fat. 
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To maintain muscle, we need to be, actively, using the muscle and we need to be feeding the muscle and if either of those requirements are not met, muscle mass can be lost. When this happens and the person goes back to their old habits of bad eating fatty foods and inactivity; the weight comes back, but in the form of fat.

The result is the person ends up gaining more than they originally lost.

This is very common among people who diet frequently, use fad diets and are not changing their lifestyle.

Our body also loses muscle mass, as we age. This can be avoided with strength training and the right nutrition.

So how do you lose fat and not muscle?

With the right nutrition and the right workouts, muscle mass is maintained and can be increased.

It is recommended for women to strength train a minimum of 2 times per week. Different types of strength training may be running, bodyweight exercises in the form of a bootcamp, CrossFit, lifting weights or even yoga.

 

Muscles are made up of proteins, carbohydrates and water. To maintain muscle, one needs to get the right nutrition and in the right amounts. The best way to do this is to eat protein, several times, throughout the day and eat complex carbohydrates 2 to 3 times a day.
I put together a list of my favorite go-to meals and snacks to power through the day. In this guide you will find breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that combine healthy portions of lean proteins and complex carbs. For your convenience, I also give you recipes and a printable grocery list.
power meals
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Turkey Spinach For Heart Health

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Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer in Americans?

To Your Health

Obesity is a big risk factor for heart disease. Heart health should be enough to lose those unwanted layers of fat.

Here are a couple things you can do to reduce your risk factors.

  1. Get on the move.
    Studies have shown increasing your activity is great for the heart. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day, to get the biggest benefit. Other types of workouts and activity is great, also. Make it part of your lifestyle.
  2. Eat Better.
    A heart-healthy diet includes lean proteins, healthy fats (like omega 3s), plenty of water and lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Get my 5 Day meal plan here.
  3. Better Sleep.
    Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased heart disease. Go to bed at a decent hour, ensuring 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

Meatballs

 

These meatballs have become a staple at our house.

We have them at least once a month, they’re made with turkey and spinach.

Ground turkey or chicken is leaner than ground beef and can be used interchangeably with beef. My kids don’t even notice the difference. We can still have spaghetti and meatballs and they never realize it.

Getting my kids to eat healthy hasn’t always been easy for me. My son has a speech disorder, called Apraxia. He has had aversions to food ever since he was a baby, especially meats, vegetables and fruits. To this day, at age 6, it is still difficult to get him to eat fresh fruits, like grapes, berries, and pineapple. Getting him to eat healthy hasn’t always been a walk in the park, however, I have learned to make easy baby steps to help him adapt to new foods. Now, both my kids they love ground turkey in burgers or meatballs. Broccoli, sweet potatoes with chicken is one of our go to meals, I make at least once a week.

1 whole onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup spinach
2 pounds ground turkey
Ground black peppercorn
1 egg,
1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

This recipe has been kid tested. I prefer to make these on the stovetop, but they work in the oven, too. I like to double my recipes to save myself some time the next week. If you are a family of 1-2, you can make half the amount.

In a food processor, add 1 whole onion, 2 cloves of garlic, half a cup spinach. Add this mixture to 2 pounds of ground turkey, add in ground black peppercorn, one egg, a third cup of Italian bread crumbs and one quarter cup Parmesan cheese. Mix all ingredients into 1-inch balls. Cook on medium heat, turning ever 3-4 minutes, until completely cooked. If you are making these in the oven, you want to bake on 375, for 10 minutes; rotate the meatballs, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Reserve half and freeze. Serve remaining meatballs warm in a meatball sandwich or over pasta.

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How to Make a Spaghetti Squash

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If you are new to making spaghetti squash like I was, this post is for you.

I am a lover of pasta – any and all Italian food – and swore I would never give up pasta.

That was before I fell head over heals for spaghetti squash! It tastes like angel hair pasta, with none of the guilt.

How To Cook A Spaghetti Squash

Check out my recipe with chicken and bacon and it will make you and anyone else a believer and lover for this vegetable.

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Chicken Bacon and Cheese Spaghetti Squash

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Several years ago, a woman told me how great spaghetti squash was and I didn’t believe her. I had no idea how a squash could taste like spaghetti.

It took me a couple years to finally try it and – why did I wait so long?!!

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I usually make spaghetti squash with meat sauce, like the one in my 5 day meal plan, and we do like it but I wanted to try something different.

I made this recipe awhile back and it will make a believer out of anyone – it is that good!

Learn how to make a spaghetti squash here.

 

While the squash is in the oven, in a skillet, cook bacon and set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper, cook in the same skillet. Set aside.

Sautee onion and garlic in the meat drippings. While cooking, dice up the chicken and bacon.

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Separate the spaghetti squash, after cooked. Add it to the skillet with onion and garlic. Add diced chicken, bacon, ricotta cheese and grated parmesan.

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Stir it up, so the cheese melts and squash becomes creamy.

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If you love this recipe, you will love all the meals in my 5 day meal plan. Facebook Post

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Post Workout Treat

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Old Fashioned Oats (3)

Do you have a sweet tooth, like me? As in, I could easily eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting or would often find myself eating girl scout cookies, one at a time, until the box had mysteriously disappeared. OOPS!!

I always would wait until after the kids went to bed, so I could eat them in peace, like a special treat for getting the kids in bed.

Then, I had to hide the box so my husband wouldn’t notice I had eaten them all. Of course, I felt guilty for eating them all and knew the scale was not going to be nice the next few days.

Well, I found a better way to satisfy my sweet tooth and I want to share my secrets with you. I no longer eat pints of ice cream; actually, I rarely eat ice cream, at all, anymore. I can’t tell you the last time I had girl scout cookies or a box of Oreos – my waist line is very thankful, now.

One day, I was obsessively pinning random things on Pinterest and found these gems that were labeled “energy bites” and thought that is just what I need! I definitely was in need of lots of energy!

If you have not seen these floating around Pinterest, you are in for a treat. If you were the original poster, please let me know so I can give you proper credit.

Add 1 cup of old fashioned oats to medium mixing bowl.

Old Fashioned Oats

Then, add peanut butter, honey and protein powder. Finally, throw in coconut, chia seeds, flax seed and chocolate chips.

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Combine all ingredients and roll into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment paper and put in the freezer, for 1 hour.

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I was instantly in love! I have always been a fan of cookie dough, in the raw, of course; even better if it is frozen. While these are nothing like raw cookie dough, they are something I could whip up quick, always have ingredients on hand and they satisfy my sweet tooth.

1 cup old fashioned oats1_2 cup peanut butter or almond butter1_3 cup + 2 T honey2 scoops protein powder1_4 cup

These are a perfect workout treat, to replenish your body, while still satisfying your sweet tooth. I have changed the original recipe, slightly, for a nice balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Use these after lifting weights or your favorite workout class.

Have you joined Thrive Market yet? Great place to get your organic pantry items. For every new membership, they donate a membership to those less fortunate! I love a company that gives back.

What is your favorite post workout meal?

 

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High Protein Potato Soup

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High Protein

 

 

Last week, we had beautiful weather and we were looking for some family fun activities.

The kids and I were on our own, as my husband worked all weekend. I love teaching my kids about nature and where our food comes from. Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin patch?

mistyshaheen

As a child, I don’t remember going to any pumpkin patches or apple orchards. As far as I knew, our food came from the store.

I have tried to grow a garden, in the past. Let’s just say, that is not my purpose and I fully support for those that have perfected their art!

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After 3 hours of slides, playing in the corn, picking out a pumpkin and riding the little tractor train, neither kid was wanting to go home.

And – yet, they were both asleep before we got out of the car.

 

We came home and I was feeling like I wanted some comfort food. I have found myself in a big food rut and I am digging my way out! I don’t know what it is about fall and cooking, but I am always inspired to cook in the fall. Why can’t I be that inspired in March?

When I was growing up, I remember my mom always making potato soup; although, it was a bit different than you found at the store or local pub. I remember it being really thin base, and we would load up on the Saltine crackers.

As I have learned to cook, I have adapted my own potato soup to be more thick and I try not to use crackers – they are just a filler, anyway.

A few years ago, I gave up the cream of soup I used to make creamy soup with. I prefer my soup without the BPA, thanks!

But I have had trouble finding the right consistency of not too thick, but not like water, either. This soup was so simple and easy, anyone can make soup from scratch!

 

I had some baked potatoes, leftover, that needed to be used up, along with some zucchini that was about to go bad, if I didn’t cook it soon. If you don’t have zucchini, it would be great with broccoli or asparagus, too.

I remembered I had Herbalife soup mix in the cupboard. I love adding this soup mix to my soups. It gives it more protein and a perfect consistency and flavoring.

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Ingredients

1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
1/2 pound of turkey bacon
5 medium potatoes, baked
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
2 packets Herbalife soup mix

Sautée onion and garlic in the butter. I put the turkey bacon in the oven to cook.

Add in soup mix, water and milk. Then, add in potatoes and zucchini.

Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Makes enough for 4 servings.

 

To order the soup mix, create your free account here.

**This post includes affiliate links, which means if you purchase from the link, I will earn compensation. Thank you for your support.

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Blue Apron Review

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Do you ever get stuck in a food rut? Do you get tired of eating the same thing, but not sure where to find new ideas?

The two places I go to when I need a new recipe is Pinterest or All Recipes. There are times when I don’t even have the time and energy to search for new recipes.

Busy Mom's Secret

We eat clean 90% of the time. While I love to cook, when I am busy and don’t have time to plan out menus, I resort back to my tried and true meals that I know how to cook without a recipe and I know everyone will like (yes, I still have a picky eater).

Do you ever just wish someone could lay out the recipe, go to the store for ingredients for you? I enjoy cooking, but the whole meal planning has been a work in progress.

I enjoy going out to eat at local establishments, sometimes, but half the time I am disappointed with the menu and wish I would have stayed home.

Recently, I found myself working a lot, I was neglecting my own nutrition. I was making the same meals, for weeks, to the point I became very bored with my food. It got to the point I was not wanting to cook, so we were either eating out more or I was skipping meals out of laziness.

Then, I discovered the best kept secret for busy moms, also known as Blue Apron. There are a few others that offer a similar service.

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My friend sent me a gift, from Blue Apron. Blue Apron is a meal service that focuses on whole foods and fresh ingredients. They send you pre-selected meals, based on your eating preferences. They send the recipe and all the ingredients, in the correct amounts. You cook the meals for dinner, at your convenience; all can be cooked at 30 minutes or less.

What I loved:
Convenience {All ingredients were shipped to my house, with recipes included}
New recipes {They were all delicious}
Everything was included {I felt like I had a grocery shopping fairy}

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What I didn’t love:
A week after my first shipment, I was receiving emails from them, that they were trying to charge my card. Wait… this was a free gift and I hadn’t decided if I wanted to continue, yet.

While a minor annoyance, at the end of the day, I would use Blue Apron again and recommend them to anyone that is low on time or creativity for meal planning.

If you are not using a meal planning service, you grab my clean eating grocery list HERE and make shopping easier.

Have you used any tools for making meal prep or planning easier?

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Guilt Free Chicken Parmesan

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I have been in a little kitchen funk, lately. Feeling uncreative, too busy to find new recipes, I tend to make the same things over and over. I know what works and I can make, easily, without looking up a recipe. Pretty much, I can make the same thing, every week, with my eyes closed.

While easy on the imagination, however, my taste buds have been screaming at me for more variety.

So, I was excited when I found some inspiration for one of my old Italian favorites.

Chicken Parmesan, without the calorie overload.

Chicken Parmesan

Whether you are keeping your calories low or avoiding gluten, altogether; this recipe will be right up your alley!!

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium zucchini, sliced
4-6 oz shredded cheese
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

You will find lots of zucchini out, right now; tis the season. Take 2 medium zucchini, cut into strips about 1 inch in width. Layer the strips on the bottom of your baking dish.

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Rinse, trim and season your chicken breasts. I seasoned mine with lemon pepper seasoning + Italian seasoning. Slice the chicken in strips, for faster cooking and making it easy for kids to eat.

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If you like cheese or if you have kids, layer your cheese over the chicken. I recommend mozzarella and parmesan, but you can use any shredded cheese you want. This is what I had on hand.

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Pour your sauce over all the ingredients and boom, you are half way to a taming those Italian loving taste buds. Cover with foil.

*I layered the cheese over the chicken, but you can add it last, after the sauce for extra cheesy goodness.

Bake in an oven, on 350 degrees, for 45-60 minutes.

Have you joined Thrive Market yet? It is great place to get your organic pantry items. For every new membership, they donate another membership to those less fortunate. I love companies that give back!

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