Tag: pasta

A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

Whether your family consists of kids, you’re a newly married couple, or you are a baby boomer near or in retirement, a great way to keep up with your health is by using those around you to keep you in check.  It doesn’t mean that they hold you accountable for what you put in your mouth, but it might mean that the reason you serve healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables with meals is to be a mentor to inspire and provide an example to the people in your life (kids, sisters/brothers, cousins, spouse, etc).  It means YOU care enough to help show those around you that through healthy eating and regular exercise you decrease your chances for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Consider making health a daily family event or routine.  For example, make dinner an occasion where you make a protein, carb, and vegetable side.  You can help your kids learn about their food choices by placing foods in categories that are easy to understand such as “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” which is used in school heath curriculum.  For example, fruits and vegetables in their raw form are usually “Go” foods (eat most often, almost always) while canned fruits in light syrup or frozen vegetables would fall under “Slow” foods (eat less often, sometimes) because a lot of the nutritional value in these foods lessens once they are altered.  Examples of “Whoa” foods (eat least often, once in awhile) might include donuts, cake, cookies, chips, and other foods that are high in sugar and sodium.  Help teach those around you how to categorize their foods.  Make this a fun activity for kids (or adults) by cutting out foods they love and asking them to place each picture under the correct category.  This helps them learn while providing a great chart to hang on the refrigerator as a reminder.  We all need a reminder every now and then and what better place than on the front of the refrigerator so you are constantly reminded every time you open it?! 😉 Once you understand the idea of categorizing individual foods such as breads, cheese, meats, pasta, etc. into “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” you can take it a step further by combining food groups (as we often see when we make meals).  For example, a bagel pizza or English muffin pizza made with low fat cheese or vegetable lasagna/pasta made with a red sauce would be considered “Go” meals while macaroni and cheese or pizza would fall into the “Slow” meals group and deep dish sausage pizza or fried chicken with gravy would fall into the “Slow” meals group.

Remember that your attitude toward food, nutrition, exercise, and fitness impacts your children, your spouse, and those around you so make sure you are the positive influence that helps them stay healthy!  For example, take a 30 minute walk in the evenings with your spouse or take a family bike ride.  Think of fun activities that allow you to make memories and are fun so that your children, spouse, and family have a positive experience as it relates to exercise.  Making a positive association with exercise and healthy foods is very important, if not vital.  This helps you, your children, your spouse, and family recognize the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise while also making them feel like it is easy, fun, and stress-free.  After all, remember that health starts with family and friends because children, friends, and family often echo the behavior of people they are surrounded by.  Be the difference in your family and group of friends to show those around you how to make health a priority through regular exercise and healthy eating.


A recipe for health: Summer Spaghetti

A recipe for health: Summer Spaghetti

I thought it would be different to share a healthy recipe today.  I am a huge pasta fan so I thought my simple Summer Spaghetti recipe would be a great one to share.  You can vary it however you want and feel good about eating it because it is much lighter than a typical “red sauce spaghetti.”

Summer Spaghetti

-whole wheat pasta of your choice (I have used several different types, but I think classic spaghetti noodles work best)

– 1 TBS pasta water


-Parmesan Garlic shredded cheese (yellow bottle next to plain Parmesan cheese)

-Asiago and Parmesan cheese (I use about 1/4 cup of each)

-half lemon squeezed (or less depending how much acidity you like)

-1-2 TBS pesto

-1 cup chopped broccoli (you can substitute yellow or green zucchini or any veggie you prefer)

-Pepper, red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook the pasta to your desired tenderness. Cook broccoli in microwave or on stove. Combine pasta, broccoli, lemon, EVOO, pasta water, and pepper in saucepan or skillet and stir together over low heat.  I mix in the cheese last and leave it on a few more seconds to allow to combine with all ingredients. Now, enjoy!

That’s an easy and light summer recipe that can be thrown together very quickly!  Remember, exercise is great, but leading a healthy lifestyle is a balance of nutrition and exercise.  You should try to exercise and eat for success (and in moderation, too)!


Go meatless (sometimes)…and love it!

Go meatless (sometimes)…and love it!

As I was working out tonight I was thinking about the blog and what might be a good entry this week.  I recently started eating more meatless meals, not to lose weight, not because I think it is healthier, but because sometimes I just don’t crave meat or the thought of meat kind of grosses me out (at times) when I go to fix dinner.  No, I am not a vegetarian and while I know that some people would say it is better for you, I truly believe in “everything in moderation.”  I do what I feel is right for MY body and I suggest you do what you feel is right for yours, too!  In all of my posts, I want to continually emphasize that you should always do what YOU think is best for you and take my advice or leave it, use some of it, and realize that I do not have the answers to each individual’s unique lifestyle and routine.

Since I have been going meatless more frequently than I usually do, I decided I actually kind of enjoy my meatless meals, maybe some more than the ones where I do eat meat.  I typically enjoy “Meatless Mondays” each week, but I have now taken it even farther and decided to also eat at least one meatless meal per day.  So, whether you already occasionally eat meatless or whether you never eat meatless I challenge you to “Meatless Mondays.”  This is a great way to start and ease into what meatless meals can offer!  I promise meatless meals can be just as delicious, fun to cook, and can make your creative juices flow! 🙂   This means you will eliminate meat on Mondays, so no meat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  No cheating either!  Sounds challenging maybe, but it really isn’t.  Consider peanut butter toast and sliced apples for breakfast, grilled cheese and veggie soup for lunch, and pizza or pasta minus any meat for dinner.

Once you have “Meatless Mondays” down I encourage you to take it one step farther as I have by eating one meatless meal per day.  That should not be hard and should be a routine that you already have in place.  One meatless meal per day is actually very healthy as the consumption of meat at every meal is not necessary (or healthy)!  It does not have to be the same meal each day.  It can be breakfast one day, then dinner the next, followed by breakfast again, and then lunch the following day.  For example, you might have a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for breakfast, a spinach and feta quesadilla for lunch, and then chicken parmesan with broccoli for dinner.  You went meatless at lunch so you met your goal for one meatless meal that day.

You say that you can’t get full on meatless meals?  I DON’T buy it!  That’s crazy!  Eat more veggies, which are one of the best things you can fill your body with!  Consider some of the following if you don’t believe me: 1) veggie stir fry with brown rice 2) pasta with a meatless marinara sauce and garlic bread 3) sliced potatoes layered with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and ranch dressing (potato nachos) 4) breakfast foods including eggs, hashbrowns, waffles, pancakes, french toast, biscuits 5) veggie pizza.  You can’t tell me that none of these foods speak to you because it includes nearly every food group (and all are meatless)!

So, next time you sit down for a meal think MEATLESS!  I know I do and my body still loves me and I feel great!


Whole grains = full & focused!

Whole grains = full & focused!

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that take the body longer to digest, so their nutrition is released slowly and continuously, leaving you feeling energized and full for much longer, partly because they won’t spike your blood sugar.  They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, potassium, and manganese.

Consider these foods:

Breakfast – oatmeal, steel cut oats, whole grain toast

Lunch – whole grain bread (sandwich), whole grain pasta, brown rice with vegetables

Dinner – whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa stir fry

So, next time you fix dinner, sit down to eat, or have a snack, consider whole grain options!


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