You’ve made it halfway! We’re in the home-stretch now. Today’s challenge is all about food! We can’t contain our excitement. We have our favorite recipes ready to go and can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves!

A healthy, happy life is more than staying active and keeping a positive mindset. We need fuel to fill our bodies and prepare us for the healthy lifestyles we live. You can’t overcompensate an unhealthy diet with absurd amounts of cardio…and who would want to do that?? We love food and love what it can do for our bodies. A healthy lifestyle is all about having a balance! Lindsay, a Registered Dietitian and avid blogger, has some nutrition tips to keep our food lovely!

 


Lindsay-lean-green-bean

As an RD, I get a lot of questions about how to choose the best foods to eat. I love the message behind Jenni’s challenge and am always happy to share my knowledge, so I put together a few tips for choosing healthy recipes. There are SO many recipes out there on blogs and websites, in cookbooks and magazines, in recipes boxes, etc that it can sometimes be hard to narrow it down and choose ones that not only taste good, but are also healthy fuel for you and your family.

Here are 4 tips for choosing recipes:

– Check the serving size. Sometimes recipes might appear unhealthy if you look at the ingredient list, but if you realize that the recipe is designed to feed 12 people instead of 2-3, then it might work out to be a fairly healthy choice.

-Look for balanced recipes. Does the recipe you’re following contain lean protein, healthy fats, fruits or vegetables and/or healthy carbs? Make note of what nutrients you’ll be getting from the recipe and then choose additional recipes/side dishes etc to add to your meal to make sure it’s balanced!

-Watch the amount of sugar. Remember that sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no sugar in the recipe. You can read more about that in my post: Don’t Be Fooled By The Sugar-Free Label. Look at the ingredients used and pick out all the sources of sugar- both added like sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc and natural sugars like fruit. I often try to choose recipes that are naturally sweetened with things like applesauce and dates and if the recipe I’m using contains a lot of sugar, I almost always cut it at least in half. Chances are people won’t even notice!

-Look for fiber! Fiber is great for helping you stay full. Choosing recipes made with whole grains and other sources of fiber can be great nutritious meals and snacks!

One of the most popular recipes on my blog: Quinoa Breakfast Bars

They’re packed with whole grains, fiber, healthy fats and protein to keep you full all morning long!

— Lindsay

Quinoa Breakfast Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Breakfast bars from The Lean Green Bean
Author:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups oats
  • ⅔ cups nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • ⅔ c peanut butter
  • ½ c honey
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup applesauce (substitute with mashed banana)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅔ cups craisins or raisins
  • ½ cups chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan or line with parchment
  2. Combine the first few ingredients: applesauce, vanilla, eggs, peanut butter and honey until well mixed
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just incorporated
  4. Turn out into the prepared pan and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Let cool, then cut into bars and store in the refrigerator

 


 

Thanks for the tips, Lindsay! Check out her blog here for more advice on nutrition, healthy living, and awesome recipes like this one!

We tried to think up #whatslovely about our food choices and came up with these killer recipes. Here are some simple and quick recipes to keep your body lovely and healthy!

The Wake-Up Call

  • 2 cups greens
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup frozen fruit
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Throw all of your yummy and healthy ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Nutritional information: 261 calories, 4.5 fat, 40 carbs, 15.5 protein

* (nutritional may vary on the type/brand of ingredients you use…this is a reference for your personal use on the ingredients we used)

PB Protein

  • 2 cups greens
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

Throw all these goodies in a blender and enjoy! This is a perfect grab-n-go!

Nutritional information: 297 calories, 10 fat, 39.5 carbs, 20 protein

* (nutritional may vary on the type/brand of ingredients you use…this is a reference for your personal use on the ingredients we used)

All of these delicious and filling smoothies can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer! Just leave out the milk, Greek yogurt and peanut butter and add it in when you plop your ready-made smoothie bag into the blender! Add some goodies like granola or raisins to the top to make your breakfast a work of art!

Fitzala smoothie bowl
Gluten-Free Scrumptious Mac Shells

  • 1 serving of gluten-free shell pasta (you can substitute whole wheat pasta for the GF)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic & onion powder
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Veggies (of your choice)

Nutritional information: 411 calories, 13.5 fat, 60 carbs, 17 protein

* (nutritional may vary on the type/brand of ingredients you use…this is a reference for your personal use on the ingredients we used)

This is one of the easiest dinner recipes and is totally yummy! First, fill a pot of water and throw in your pasta shells! I add in my spices now so they cook into the pasta. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. While your pasta is softening up, throw in your veggies of choice. I tossed in a pre-made “stir fry veggie” bag I bought at the grocery store, containing snow peas, carrots, and broccoli. Let everything simmer until your pasta is to your liking. Strain your pasta and veggies and throw them back into your now-empty pot! Keep it on a low simmer while you grate your cheddar cheese in. Mix everything around and then TA-DA! Your dinner is ready! Throw everything into a bowl and grab your fork! This meal always gets my pasta craving without sacrificing my healthy diet. You can also add chicken, ground turkey meatballs or shrimp to give a protein boost to this meal.

Now it’s time for you to share your healthy creations! Head on over to social media and post your lovely go-to recipe! You may just be featured in tomorrow’s newsletter!

Don’t forget to look at the #whatslovely infographic or the whole #whatslovely series!

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