How to Eat Healthy Without Spending Too Much Time in the Kitchen

Are you eating real, whole food as much as you’d like?

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

It saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP
I begin planning my food by making a list of recipes and meals for the upcoming week. I create a list based on what I will have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I use a weekly shopping list as my guide and then I’m off to the store!

If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal suggestions come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD
When I get home from the store I keep out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. I pull up my meal suggestions and get to washing and cooking! Throughout the week, I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go.

I generally prepare big batches of veggies. I start with washing the greens, then set aside to dry and move onto slicing, dicing and dividing veggies into containers for use in cooking and salads. When a recipe calls for sauteed chicken or lean protein, I cook it in big batches in my biggest pan or crock pot! That way, I am only prepping chicken and/or lean meat once for all the recipes! I store extra chicken in the freezer for use later.

STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES
To keep it simple, I make a large salad in advance and then add the extras when I’m ready to eat it. If I’m taking it to go, I divide it into containers or use as leftovers.
For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week.

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY!
After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge! That way, I have delicious, fresh, whole foods for all meals during the week in minutes.

If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. A great place to get a jump start is with my meal suggestions , which provide weekly shopping lists and quick & easy recipes, along with simple steps to prep and store for the week.

SOUTHWESTERN SALMON BURGER

(makes 4-5 servings)

  • 2 BPA-free 8-ounce cans of pink salmon
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipolte
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Rinse the salmon, pat dry, and cut into 1/4 – inch cubes.

In a large bowl, combine salmon, almond meal, eggs, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, salt, cumin, chipolte, and lime juice.  Form mixture into 2-inch patties.  Heat sunflower oil over medium-high heat.  Cook patties for 4-6 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate & serve.

Serve with 1 slice toasted gluten-free bread & a side of steamed broccoli.  You can mash avocado on gluten-free toast or make an avocado sauce in a blender/food processor with avocado, lemon juice, sea salt & pepper.

For an even easier, try Salmon Dill Burgers:  

Forget all the veggies & spices.  Use 1/2 cup almond meal, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, and only 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cooked burgers will last in the fridge for 3 days.

Have fun and enjoy!  To Happy, Healthy Eating & Living!  If you’d like more in depth information about recipes or health coaching, feel free to reach out to me!

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The Perfect Grilled Lemon Chicken

Fabulous Food Friday w/ Taunia May, Holistic Health Coach

As the weather is warming up after the long winter, it’s time to take the covers of the patio furniture and grill.  Enjoy some good sunshine for some vitamin D and have some wonderful food on the grill.  Along side the Grilled Lemon Chicken grill up some vegetable skewers as a side dish or serve with a nice green simple salad.

 

The Perfect Grilled Lemon Chicken Recipe:

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine oil, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Transfer mix to a large plastic bag.  Add the chicken breasts, and allow to marinate for 24 hours.   The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake or grill for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

 

Sometimes as the weather warms it’s clear that we’d love to be in better shape than we are now or would love to have more energy to enjoy the longer days.  It’s important to be supportive and loving to ourselves and each other.  So, today, I’d love to share an affirmation.  Challenge yourself to say this.

“I take complete control of my health.  I deserve to feel energized every day.  I am beautiful and strong.”

The Magic 9-Letter Word

Did you know that studies show that this one thing can make you 25% happier?  It boosts our immunity to anger, disappointment and frustration.

It’s even been shown to health pain and illness in your body.  It can certainly heal relationships, especially with your beautiful and miraculous body.

That one thing is GRATITUDE, and amazing things happen when you integrate it into your meditation practice.

Here’s a fun exercise to try:

  1.  As you sit down to meditate, breathe in deeply and imagine your heart filling up with glowing, green light.  Allow this energy to pulse and radiate to light you from within.  As you deepen into the glowing, green energy in the center of your chest, begin to give thanks for your life.  Give thanks for anything that pops into your head.  No filter, just give thanks for it and show it appreciation.
  2. Think about five things to be grateful for on this day.  See these events as pictures.  It may be the way your dog greets you or that nice person that let you have the parking space in the crowded lot.  It could even be seeing the birds fly to their nests as darkness comes.  Just let the images flow in and notice the feelings they give.  If an unwanted image pops in, let it pass like a random car on the road.  If it is important, you can think on it later.
  3. Now, see the people behind the images you are grateful for and express thanks to each of them.
  4. Remind yourself that whatever you focus on expands.  When you focus on gratitude and positivity, you will get more of that in return.

What you appreciate, appreciates.

Be mindful that you will attract more abundance, love and health by being grateful for your current state in these areas.  Your body, your health, and your relationships can only be improved by honoring where they are in this moment.

 

THE SKINNY ON FATS

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For years, health experts preached that a low-fat diet was the gateway to health. They proclaimed fats as the enemy, linking them to cardiovascular and other diseases. The food industry jumped on this “theory” and bombarded us with fat-free and low-fat “food” options. A walk down the supermarket aisle will confirm our obsession with fat-free foods. To ensure that flavor was not compromised, sugars were added in increasing amounts. So, while our low-fat options exploded, so did obesity rates, as well as other related illnesses. Clearly, low-fat did not deliver the promised results. We now know that healthy fats DO NOT make us fat. In fact, they are one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and protein, that your body NEEDS to function at optimal levels. And, truth be told, fats help us stay slim!!

THE WHY
So, why do we need fats in our diets, how much is enough, and what kind of fats should we incorporate into a balance eating plan?

Fats provide essential fatty acids, protect your heart, keep your skin and hair soft and subtle, lubricate your joints, protect your nervous system, and protect cell membranes from inflammation. Fats deliver vitamins A, D, E, and K to your cells and are also a great source of energizing fuel. So, you can see that your body really can’t function without them!

THE WHAT

THE BAD FATS:
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of fats. The SAD diet (Standard American Diet) consists mainly of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. Why? Because they taste so good and are widely available in our food supply. Fats, together with sodium and sugars, enhance the flavors of foods and keep you coming back for more.

Most of us have heard about bad saturated fats. Usually solid at room temperature, these are found in animal products such as meat and dairy. New research, however, shows that some saturated fast, such as coconut oil, can be metabolized by the body faster than others, hence they are rarely stored as fat. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been altered through the process of hydrogenation to extend their shelf life. These should be avoided at all costs, as they are associated with heart disease and related illnesses (think: packaged cookies, pastries, muffins, candy bars, and cakes).

Healthy unsaturated fats play a huge role in your overall health and well-being. They are either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats and are considered good fats because they help lower cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Polyunsaturated fats provide us with essential fatty acids, essential meaning we must get them from our diet as our body does not manufacture them. These fatty acids keep your brain functioning well and aid in the healthy growth and development of your body. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are central to reducing inflammation and heart disease. It’s always best to get your omega-3s from food, but supplement if you need to. Most people get too many omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and margarine. YIKES! Monounsaturated fats are found in peanut butter, nuts, olive oil, sesame oil and avocado.

For good health and a balanced diet, it is important to get fats from both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources. Keep in mind thought, that even the good fats should be eaten in moderation. All fats are calorie dense at 9 calories a gram, so expert guidelines suggest that 20-35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, with no more than 10 percent coming from saturated fats. And remember, the next time you are in the supermarket and spot a fat-free or low-fat label on a food item, take that as a red flag and your cue to run as fast as you can to the fresh produce section!

TODAY’S RECIPE

Cashew Cream

1  cups raw cashews

water (enough to cover the raw cashews for soaking)

1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh water

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water.

Soak the raw cashews for at least 4-8 hours (I usually soak them overnight).

Drain the water off the cashews and rinse them.

Place cashews in a high speed blender (Nutri bullet or Vitamix are my personal favorites).

Add about 1/4 cup fresh water and blend.  If it’s too thick, feel free to add a little more water until it’s the consistency you like.

I love to use cashew cream as a dairy substitute in place of heavy cream or instead of cream cheese or sour cream.

If you are loving the idea of a mexican dish this weekend, top with a couple slices of avocado and some cashew cream!

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If you’d like you can stir in juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/8 tsp salt, dash black pepper and that will make it more of a true sour cream flavor.  I love adding some fresh or dried herbs to make a dip for veggies. It’s a nice switch up from hummus.

 

 

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical power when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails.  However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well know for their powerful beauty benefits.  Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers  All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.  Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K.  Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature aging, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy looking face.  Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach  All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain.  There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric  This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities.  Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems.  It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds  WOW!  These really are powerful.  What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?!?  The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins B, C and E.  Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance.  Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley  Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside.  This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body.  It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage.  Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet.  Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad.  Who said that beauty was hard to keep?

Lemon & Beet Salad with Chicken

LEMON & BEET SALAD WITH CHICKEN

(makes 3-4 Servings)

1 cup chicken breast, chopped

2 medium green apples, peeled and chopped

1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup canned beets (BPA-free can)

Sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.   ENJOY!

Feel free to play around with this salad!  If you don’t have beets add red bell pepper, have fun and enjoy!

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How does food affect your mood? – Fabulous Food Friday w/ Taunia

Taunia May, Holistic Health Coach

How does food affect your mood?

Did you know that food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level? Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine.  It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy.  When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.

Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell.  Pretty cool, huh?  Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.

Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:

  1.  Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.
  2. Non-green veggies
  3. Raw Cacao – chocolate in it’s pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients.  It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, copper, and manganese.  It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.
  4. Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.
  5. Cultured and Fermented Foods – a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.

I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.”  Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind.  Don’t just take my word for it.  We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food?  By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.

With it still being rather cool out, I thought I’d share a satisfying soup this week.

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Lentil Soup

Makes approximately 6-8 servings

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large vidalia or yellow onion, finely diced

2-3 large carrots, finely diced

2-3 celery stalks, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon stone-ground mustard or other prepared mustard

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

1/2 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups french green lentils (for quicker cooking time, soak for 4-8 hours or overnight)

1 bay leaf

6-8 cups vegetable broth or water (veggie broth will add amazing additional flavor)

salt and pepper to taste

4-6 cups loosely packed baby kale, rinsed and drained

parmesan or asiago for serving

  1.  In a large stock pot, add the olive oil and warm over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add celery and carrot and saute for another 5 minutes
  4. Add garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes, until you can begin to smell the garlic more
  5. Add mustard and tomato paste and stir until it coats the veggies and becomes a paste 1-2 minutes
  6. Stir in the red wine, scraping the goodies off of the bottom and sides of the pan.
  7. Let this mixture simmer about 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.
  8. Rinse and drain the lentils if you have soaked them ahead (this makes them easier to digest and they also cook more quickly).  Add the lentils to the stock pot and stir in.
  9. Also stir in the vegetable broth and bay leaf.
  10. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  11. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (sea salt is recommended), continue cooking lentils for another 10 minutes, until tender.
  12. If you see some of the lentils beginning to fall apart the soup is probably done.
  13. Stir in the baby kale and allow to wilt.  Taste test and add in ground pepper and more salt if needed.
  14. Serve up the soup and enjoy.
  15. Optional toppings, freshly grated parmesan or asiago cheese.

Helpful hints:

Sometimes additional fiber from lentils and fresh greens can be hard for people to digest.  Soaking the lentils prior to cooking helps start the break down so they are easier to digest and the nutrients are more available to the body.

Same goes for fresh greens such as kale.  If you feel as though a fresh green salad is difficult on your system, cooking the greens can begin that digestive process and again make it easier for everyone to tolerate.  The beauty of soups is that the nutrients stay in the broth so you eat those as well rather than sauteing in water and removing the cooked vegetables to eat them.

For more healthy recipes and tips, follow me on facebook or check out my website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy

Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy w/ Taunia May, Holistic Health Coach
I wanted to share some tips with you for when you are really busy but still want to eat healthy, because it makes you feel GREAT to keep eating healthy, right?!
And we aren’t going to let “being busy” stop us from feeling great, right?!
Well, I have some tips for ya on what you can eat to stay healthy when you are busy!

Smoothies
So fast, just pour some coconut water, rice milk or hemp milk into the blender, then throw in your fruits AND some veggies (spinach, cucumber, romaine lettuce, just to name a few).
Add some protein if you like (hemp seed or chia seed, or maybe a scoop of hemp protein powder) and some healthy fats (avocado, coconut milk. or the proteins I mentioned before which also have you covered on the healthy-fat front!).
For extra flavor, add some vanilla extract or dash of cinnamon.

Salads
Chop up a bunch of lettuce – romaine or red leaf – and add some spinach. Pile on some other veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, sliced beets, bell peppers, onions…whatever you like.
Add some protein. Choose pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cooked organic chicken breast, kidney beans, sprouts, a hard-boiled egg, or salmon or tuna.
Make a quick dressing with stone-ground mustard, olive oil, and a couple sprays of Bragg’s Amino Acids (or just a bit of sea salt if you don’t have Bragg’s or can’t find it). Toss it all together and eat.
If you chop the veggies in bulk you can make a couple salads at a time, don’t add the dressing to them yet, and they usually last a couple days.

Know where you can get healthy take-out.
This could be from a nearby restaurant (I love my local Vietnamese restaurant and it’s really close and inexpensive) or you could find a place like Snap Kitchen in Austin, Texas, which I recently explored and am now in love with. They prepare healthy food to go. I stopped by this morning and picked up a couple dishes to tide me over the next few days. They have organic and locally-sourced produce, organic chicken, and free-range grass-fed beef and bison. Their portions will keep you on track but you can also get a medium or large size meal if you want to have extra leftovers.
No, it’s not quite as cheap as buying and preparing it yourself, but if you are a busy person (OR you just don’t enjoy cooking) and would just spend the money on junky fast food or pizza delivery, then it’s a much better value.

It’s always the small habits that add up. Don’t let yourself fall back into old habits that cause you to not feel so great! I’d love to hear from you, too: what do you like to eat when you are really busy?

Are you looking for more healthy recipes?  Connect with me here as well www.tauniamay.com

Enjoy your weekend!

Taunia

FABULOUS FOOD FRIDAY W/ Taunia May, Holistic Health Coach

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I’m excited to be here!  Mornings can be so busy with rushing to get out the door with work, kids, gym workouts, etc.  It’s difficult to stay on the healthy track with so many diversions and when hunger pains set in you just want to eat!  Right!?!?  This is where many healthy habits can fall apart especially when we are just starting a new regimen.  When making changes in our lives for more healthy options, it’s important to think ahead.  I’m going to be sharing delicious, healthy and quick recipes in the Fabulous Food Friday series.  If you have any requests, please do let me know!

This is one of my favorite, make ahead, healthy and tasty recipes.  You can enjoy it for breakfast or a snack any time of the day.  Click on the link below to see a quick step by step video.

Easy Chia Pudding video

Easy Chia Pudding

  • 4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 small banana, mashed OR 1/4 cup all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of Nutmeg
  • dash of Cinnamon

Optional Toppings:

  • Shredded Coconut and berries

Optional Mix-in’s

  • Almond butter
  • Stevia
  • Honey
  • Cacao Powder

Directions:  In a pint sized mason jar w/ lid, add non-dairy milk, mashed banana or applesauce, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and chia seeds.  Place tightly on the mason jar, shake to mix well.  Place mason jar in refrigerator over night or at least for 4-6 hours.

Grab and go to take to work or school.  Add any optional items such as coconut or berries or almond butter to your own liking.

Play around with this recipe to make it your own and enjoy!

 

Healthy Tip:

Be sure to get good, healthy fats everyday.  Some of my favorites are:

Coconut oil

Avocado

Chia seeds

Nuts (almonds and cashews)

Believe it or not healthy fats as mentioned above actual help you to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.  We all need these healthy fats for our organs and our skin to stay young.

Coconut oil is so versatile.  Did you know you can use it as a makeup remover and skin moisturizer as well as using it in the kitchen?  I love to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my morning smoothies.

See you next week back for more recipes and healthy tips!

To Your Health!  — Taunia

www.tauniamay.com