Sassing "it" up means basically anything you make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This. Will. Sass. It. Up. Eggs in the morning, grilled chicken in the afternoon, veggies in the evening, this is your go-to kick. Me? I used it with roasted cauliflower. Weird perhaps, but it gave broccoli's step-sister a little extra zing that sometimes it lacks.
And it's clean. Oh is this clean.
Without further ado...
Super Creamy Avocado Sassy Sauce
1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño - chopped and seeded
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 fresh lime juice, squeezed with your citrus squeezer (or your hand)
1 scallion - roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss it all in your food processor (if you don't have one, I highly recommend! I don't have many gadgets, but I do have this and it changed my life. Sad as that may sound.) If you don't eat it all up in one shot, store for a couple of days in the fridge. And then let it go if you don't get to it. Just let it go. Don't be like my mom and hold onto it for a couple of weeks. Really.
So I'm knee-deep in meal planning. Literally. I've never accumulated, and practiced so many recipes, it's pretty awesome I have to admit. There is always something new to try, and this is especially helpful since I got me some kids, and keeping them well fed is a total win-win. They're happy, and I hardly (hardly) have to deal with a total meltdown due to failure to feed. (Oh how I've learned over the years. Staring out preggers with baby no. 1 and reading Raising Babe totally filled me with disillusionment and visions of grandiose mothering that I was certain I could fulfill. Until I realized I didn't live in France. I got you baggie of snacks up the sleeve moms, I got you! Psshaw, French kids don't snack... Americans run on snacks!)
Back to my awesome salad that you have to try, which I must admit I slightly lifted from dear old Martha Stewart, but did definitely alter quite a bit so maybe, just maybe it's my recipe now. (BTW, have you been on her site lately? No joke I had to dodge about 5 pop-up ad bullets plus endure an exceptionally long ad I couldn't skip for whatever insane reason that made me curse the daylights out of the arts and crafts mogul. Mo' money mo' ads to sift through I guess. I'm waiting for the day you'll have to go through national security to get at my content 😉
Ok, back to the salad. This is a little twist on chicken salad, except here I made it with no mayo. Because honestly, chicken salad slathered in mayo... need I really say more? In this we highlight the highly consumed only as a snack hummus and make it the main, creamy, delicious ingredient, outside of the chicken of course (which offers a wee bit more protein into your salad as well). Win-win again. Definitely give this salad a go, hubs took the leftovers to work with him because he couldn't get enough... I just may get a chocolately treat from Grand Central tonight for being such a good cooking wifey! The wins seem to never stop for me.
Healthy Chicken Hummus Salad
1 pound (2 small whole breasts) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup plain hummus
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
1 small apple
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive-oil cooking spray
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place in saute pan. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes (flip halfway through cooking time). Remove from pan; set aside.
In a bowl, combine hummus, mustard, chives, salt and pepper. Core the apple, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Place in the bowl and add the lemon juice, toss to combine. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to salad and stir to combine.
Yup, that's exactly what I'm asking you to do. Crazy perhaps, but totally possible. Here's a little snapshot of what I'm talkin' about. Imagine dinnertime, kids are annoying, you're beat, and hubs decides to step in and do the right thing by making dinner. Yay! Someone pour me a glass!
But then you see what's happening in the kitchen, and while you appreciate the effort (and make sure to say it out loud that you do) you suddenly realize that dinner is going to take on this murky colored palate of beige and brown, and you already know that the first bite is going to taste exactly the same as the last. To me, that's not joyful eating. That's eating so as to avoid the crabbiness that comes from waiting too long to eat.
So you down the glass (it's been a long day), and you head into the kitchen, energized by the mere fact that you can't witness any longer your husband tossing everything he can find in the fridge into a heated skillet (did he really just pour half a bottle of my white in the pan, wtf?)
To guarantee that you don't eat just for the sake of eating, because there is no joy in that, prep yourself with my tips so when you find yourself in a situation like the one above, you know that joyful eating is only a few mere moments away, and that it's going to taste awesome, and be guilt-free! Can I get an Amen?!
Get at that joy... here's how:
• Start subbing out unhealthy mayo with a better, protein packed alternative. Welcome full-fat Greek yogurt. (Yea, I said full-fat). Liven up chicken or tuna salads, even casseroles, by using the stuff. A mix of yogurt and spicy dijon make for a great and tasty alternative.Or heat things up with a little hot sauce and yogurt. Or go sweet with honey, or get crazy with a soy sauce and yogurt combo. Anything goes, just make sure not to over saturate it, this is full-fat so use your kid gloves!
• If Greek yogurt isn't your thing, you're in luck because there is something else you can use... hummus. This is actually an awesome alternative and you can get really creative by using all sorts of different flavors. You're still getting a creamy consistency, but it's coming from chickpeas - savvy!
• Use herbs. Fresh herbs are so under utilized and I get why, you have to buy a huge bunch when all you need is a sprig. Tip: Get a small glass and fill it with water and place the remaining herbs in the fridge. I can keep parsley, dill and thyme for so much longer when I do this... and it's also nice to open the fridge and see fresh green, thriving herbs staring back at me! They add so much flavor to foods, plus they're like little superfoods, each with their own benefits. (Did you know that parsley and cilantro are detoxifying herbs? They contain all the chelating vitamins and minerals essential for a detox, and are especially helpful in eliminating heavy metals that can build up in our systems due to environmental pollutants.) Why they're placed on plates as only a garnish is beyond me. They both deserve a much mightier role in foods!
• When life hands you a lemon... use it. I suggest using lemons and limes like they're going out of style. We're well aware that lemons and fish go hand in hand, but it's time to expand its repertoire! Squeeze lemons on quinoa, rice, baked apples, chicken burgers, spinach, basically anything. It makes a meal perk right up which = more joy!
• Dip it, spread it, or smear it to kick it up a notch. Dips and spreads are a super fun way to spice up any meal or snack, so try a pico de gallo, a baba ganoush, a pesto, or a simple mix of raw honey and spicy dijon for a sweet and spicy twist. Homemade dips are easy to make, and they can really enhance the flavors of any meal. And make it fun for the kiddos.
• Add-ons like nuts and seeds are good last-minute additions to most meals. Toss them on at the end for a mighty crunch, or toast a few nuts to really create texture and flavor... you're really going to be impressing the masses with that move you clever chef!
Simple tips, lots of joy. Just how eating should be! Now go get your joy on
You embark on a google-mapped road trip with a prediction of 7 hrs and 18 min in travel time. You end up with a 10 hour and 21 min journey, two strung out kids strapped into caked and crumb-filled car seats, and two weary-eyed parents with cartoon theme songs stuck in their brains for the next two days. Ok, it sucked, but you get over it, after all, there is wine at the end of this journey. And there is also the warm embrace of your whole immediate family, each with their own tales of long car rides. We suffer, we suffer together. And we laugh.
The house we rented this year is expansive, it's gorgeous, it's clean; there is food, and we can all sit down and eat our first of many meals together at the start of this week long, annual family vacation. Cousins are thrilled to be spending time together, and us siblings and our "others" (our affectionate, yet clearly void of emotion, nickname for our spouses; those who, without them, we'd be farmers without a crop to harvest—in other words, they get sh*t done), are ready to enjoy some quality time relaxing; while catering to 11 kids mind you. But we're ready, and well prepared, this isn't our first rodeo.
On the drive in, as we fast approached our lake house destination, it was none too apparent that we were smack in the middle of nowhere. We realize quickly that this will not be a vacation that involves a boardwalk, or arcades, dinners out, date nights, or daily excursions to mini golf, baseball fields, and t-shirt and trinket shops as in years past. (Although there was one outing to a "close-by" mini golf course—a 40 minute drive—early in the week, that undoubtedly deterred any further outings unless ultimately necessary, like a food run. Leave the lake, and the stagnant heat makes any excursion a miserable one.) Nope, this trip was certain to be centered around good old-fashioned family time. And while at first it was slightly daunting—WHAT are we going to do all week? HOW are we going to take all this solitude?There is no local coffee joint?!—once the harsh reality has settled in, quite forcefully, things tend to get a little better.
This is usually the unbelievable task at hand when going on vacation—you have to let it all go, slowly release your kung-fu grip on your smartphone, and reside yourself to days filled with conversations, plenty of eating, lots of cooking (20 people eat a lot of food!), fishing, kayaking, lying on a raft, swimming in the warm waters, and simply tilting your head back and looking up to a blueness you never seem to truly notice, except for a few moments here and there during your usual hectic days filled with MUST GET DONES! This is back to the basics.
There is so much I appreciated about this trip, and so much I learned about my family, especially from my nieces and nephews, that I am truly grateful for the time spent there. It made me look at myself and notice some truths that needed to be examined, reassessed, and ultimately changed despite years of mental reinforcement. I ended up admiring these kids so much that it made me want to be better.
Let's start with fear. I still have a fear of swimming. If you don't have a floatie on me, I'm as good as a canoe with a hole in it. I'm not staying up, and the doggie paddle is only going to get me so far until I lurch, lunge, and grasp at anything within arms length to save my drowning self. It's a sad sight. And I've always been like that. It all started when I was kid and has yet to loosen its grip on me.
These kids though, I didn't see any of the same fears. They all wanted in that water, and badly! They were jumping in from a trampoline, they were getting tossed in by uncles, they were tubing and getting thrown off, skipping across the water like listless dolls, doing face-plant belly flops, and loving every minute of it. It was hilarious! Water in the ear, whatever! Up the nose, blow it out! Flip went wrong and landed face first, let me try it again! These brave little minions showed no fear and I couldn't be more amazed by them. To them, it was just another fun day in the water, trying new things. Oh how I wanted to me more like them!
Then there were the nighttime activities. When you're stuck together, you create together, and the kids didn't disappoint. There were all sorts of performances going on, and it didn't matter if it was singing, lip-syncing, or even making a movie, they all wanted in on the action, and a roomful of cousins and adults didn't intimidate them, not one bit!
Me, as a kid, did the whole screaming, running red-faced into another room thing if anyone happened upon me doing my best rendition of Marie Osmand. I was terrified of attention and what people thought of me, even as little as five years old. And, as you can guess, I'm still like that. I have such trepidation when it comes to approaching people and I of course, want everyone to like me. It's exhausting when you think about it. It would be so much easier to be like these kids; just get up and do your thing, have fun with it, and enjoy it, and if you don't like it, no skin off my back! There is so much less internal chatter deterring you, talking you down, and making you feel bad.
These kids got up, performed, and had a blast! And we had a blast watching them. I kept thinking to myself that I needed to be more like them. Why can't I be more like them? It didn't make sense to me that I made myself suffer so much on a daily basis. And what made even less sense was that I was the one doing it! The responsibility laid completely in my hands (and in my mind). I had, and still have, no one to blame but myself.
That's a harsh reality. But I want so bad to have more fun. To be more fearless. To do what I want to do, to perform in my own way and to actually enjoy it. Life should be more like that. And why can't it be? It's all so possible, especially when you see these fearless, confident kids doing their thing, no holds barred. I want to be a kid again, but this time, do it like my nieces and nephews are doing it; awesomely!
The lesson I have set up for myself is to try to enjoy myself this summer, to relax and not hold onto old, worthless fears that don't serve me. Not everyone has to like me. I don't have to be self-conscious in front of everyone I meet, fearing that they're judging me. So what if they are? I want to do my thing, to feel free and fearless, and stop the internal chatter that keeps telling me I can't do it, whatever it may be.
I thank my nieces and nephews for reminding me what it's like to just be you, without excuses or shame, and enjoy things! I am blessed to have had this family vacation, and to have such wonderful people around me, who I can learn from, even if they don't realize that by just being themselves, they're teaching the world.
This time of year is the best time of year when it comes to eating. These foods are joy personified! When you come to learn the many benefits of eating a certain type of food—like supporting lung health (broccoli), or reducing inflammation in the body (herbs and spices)—you begin to truly appreciate what you eat, and how it affects your body, and mind.
Enter summer, and the endless bounty that can be found only at your local farm, or for the quasi-urbanites like myself (I can't bring myself to say I'm a total suburbanite only because I have Metro-North blaring past me a mere 20 feet away from every window in my apartment), we have the farmer's market, which I adore! And the food is fresh, in season, and ready to pack you chock full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals; all without the supermarket industrial organic jargon, and ethical growing standards system confusion employed by certain natural food stores. If you're at a farmer's market and you catch yourself pondering the issue of humanely raised animals, the farmer is right there to answer your question. Genius. You get to ask before you buy... from the source!
So one of my absolute favorite finds at the market that brings me back to my childhood, are the super fresh, super sweet, unbelievably little, locally grown strawberries. I heart them. They remind me of my mom's garden she used to have in our backyard where we lived in Ohio. We used to take this huge spaghetti pot, walk what felt like miles to the garden, and fill that pot up until it was overflowing with the sweetest strawberries ever.
Because of that, I'm definitely one of the few who wait out the year until it's legitimately strawberry season before I buy any. I don't do the Driscoll's organic, buy them in January, type thing (even though my kids would LOVE that.) Nope. I wait for the real deal, tiny, little strawberries that pop up from June to August at my farmer's market. Once the market ceases selling them, I'm out of luck until next year. (Same goes for the blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries. I really should learn how to can.)
So what's so amazing about the strawberry and why should you stock up on them when they're in season? Except for the obvious reason that they taste amazing? Well they're little powerhouses of fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and vitamin C. Plus, they contain chemicals that help to protect against breast and cervical cancer. They also contain anthocyanins, which inhibit a compound in the body used for signaling inflammation, and have significant antioxidant ability as well.
And they taste so yummy and sweet! You see, you simply can't go wrong by eating more joy!
Stock up fast though, time is running out!
And in case you bought too many and don't know what to do with them, I have a delicious and versatile recipe for you!
Strawberry Joy Recipe
• 1 cup fresh strawberries
• 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or even less I used because the strawberries are so sweet on their own!)
• 1 Tbp marscapone cheese (But only if you're feeling luxurious! This is treat day sista!)
Blend all ingredients in food processor. Eat some joy!
What to do with this awesome sauce? Drizzle it over yogurt. Eat it with a spoon. Smear it on toast. Add it to your smoothie. Eat it as a frozen treat! Options are endless.
Pretty much equals an impossible balancing act that tips the scales in favor of a wasteland of food left lingering in my cupboards—discarded attempts at trying to serve healthy snacks to my kids; did I really think freeze-dried cantaloupe was a good option?!— which inevitably leaves hungry and cranky kids toiling around the kitchen, grabbing at scrapes of apples and rice crackers I toss at them, as I pull out beans and bananas in an effort to hold onto some resemblance of healthy without losing my mind; except I'm pretty sure I've already left my mind somewhere between Whole Foods, Target, and Starbucks.
Just another day in the life of trying to stay somewhere between healthy and sane during dinnertime. (Which I loathe.) Not only is it the thinking, prepping and actual cooking that goes on here that's simply exhausting, but it's the insanity that engulfs my personal space. They're at my legs, they're in my cupboards, they're pulling out pots and pans and expensive gadgetry I had to save up for; they're pulling all my sh*t out like they own it! And my inner child starts screaming, MINE, MINE, THESE ARE MY TOYS!
Ever since my first child, dinnertime has turned into my greatest nightmare. And now there are two of them! Thankfully one of them eats everything I literally throw at him. But seriously, in trying to serve home cooked, healthy meals every single night, I've reached my limit and then some. But I can't stop. How do I stop? How do I decide that frozen, processed, artificial, can there BE anymore ingredients listed, chicken nuggets be a good idea? I have to choose between my sanity or time saver, nutritionally compromised meals. (And what do I do with that time saved? Play? Yet another thing I'm not good at!)
And listen, do-gooder dentist... I don't feed my kids goldfish nor do I place bottles in cribs. "Not healthy choices for healthy teeth, Mom". Beside the fact that you insult my integrity by quickly assuming I offer both options to my children when you spot a cavity, which I just stated I don't— but I'm not about to speak up and create, what he will only assume to be the illusion of a health-mongering mother who would never do such a thing—I'm sick of you calling me "Mom". WHEN did that become acceptable social behavior? How about asking me what my name is, since I am indeed forking over hand over fist amounts of money for you to poke, scold, and drill my child while passively criticizing me.
Odd placed rant over, let's get back to my fear that my frantic attempts each night to put something healthy on the table will scar them for life. Will this happen? I'd say so. And it will most definitely come back to haunt me, I have no doubts of that. "PUT BACK MY POTS! DON'T TOUCH MY SPIRALIZER, YOU'LL LOSE A FINGER! DID YOU SAVE UP FOR THAT FOOD PROCESSOR? BE CAREFUL! THAT IS NOT A TOY! WHY ARE THERE PUFFS IN MY PANS?!" This will be the rhetoric I'll hear years down the road when the boys are old enough to realize I'm not the center of their universe and in fact, I hadn't a clue as to what I was doing when raising them. They'll be merciless, I can see it now!
I'll remember this tonight when I'm in my kitchen, tossing rice crackers as though I were at the petting zoo (the little guy came right up to me and let me hug him once I gave him a treat, and then he walked away), and I'm knee deep in homemade fish sticks, baked potato chips dusted with parmesan cheese and thyme, finished off with farmer's market asparagus roasted with olive oil and garlic. (How you like me now Dentist? I'm gonna call him that to his face! Well Dentist, I do not feed my children goldfish, or juice, or candy. I try every night (morning and afternoon as well, but let's not get into that too!) to make a home cooked meal.) This is why my sanity is teetering on the edges, but I will continue to do so, because before I know it, I'll have all the time in the world to perfect my cooking craft with no animals at home to feed.
Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.
Well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week. (Read: I eat chocolate several times a week!)
Which begs the question… Is Chocolate Good for You? (Please say yes, please say yes!!)
The answer is both yes and no. (Boooooo! But that's kind of ok still!)
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.
But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients. Read your ingredients!
How to Eat it Responsibly
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain.
So how do you get the most out of your chocolate fix?
• Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
• Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
• Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible! (Rule of thumb for pretty much everything you eat! The less processed... the better!)
Here's a super simple recipe you're sure to love! Get your kids involved and make a batch!
Raw Chocolate Truffles
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes 25 truffles
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
½ cup maple syrup
Water (to mix)
Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, raw sugar, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love
• Mix cashews in a food processor until it turns into a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
• Add the maple syrup. Pulse to process.
• Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
• Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
• Form teaspoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!
Enjoy responsibly 😉
And in other chocolate news...
I'm currently undertaking the massive task of forging my way through a textbook of a cookbook, ironically titled The 4-Hour Chef by one crazed mastermind Timothy Ferriss. Well, apparently he too is an aficionado of finer things, and recommends chocolatier Michel Cluizel if you're looking for a superb chocolate fix—and those raw chocolate truffles up above ain't cuttin' it!
His Noir Infini 99% Cacao "... will make you a chocolate snob for the rest of your life!" 5 grams will satisfy you in a way that would require 50 grams of a less-intense chocolate. How's that for satisfaction?!
(And of course, this can be found on Amazon.com - like absolutely everything else in life!)
I'd like to extend a personal invitation to any of you who are FED UP with being fed up with your body! That's right, it's deal day! (every day!)
If you're convinced your scale is dyslexic - why else would it be showing you 153 instead of 135?! - and you've suffered through cleanses, juices, and supplements for weeks on end with nothing more to show for it than a husband who thinks you're bat-sh*t crazy, it may be time to reassess the situation.
Let's dish over a cup o' joe and see if I can't offer you some glimmer of hope in how to navigate the world of food and fitness, and get you to your goal weight. As a personal trainer and health coach specializing in weight loss, you seriously have nothing to lose but the weight
Contact me today and let's get moving on plan that can help you shed the weight and redeem your bat-sh*t crazy, sexy self!
P.S. the cup o' joe is on me!
P.S.S. I got a spring sale going on until Memorial Day Weekend... methinks you should jump on it! Just click that little link on the nav bar up overhead and learn of the possibilities!
Oh no you didn't?! Did you just ordered turkey with low-fat cheese on whole wheat bread with honey mustard? OK. We need to talk. Sit down. Let's rethink this whole lunch thing.
Lunch doesn't have to be surrounded by two pieces of highly processed, perfectly square, squishy, nutrient void pieces of whole wheat bread anymore. It's time to throw that option to the curb and rethink our mid-day meal.
Lunch options of old: the traditional two pieces of bread, filled with processed meat, processed cheese and processed condiment of choice. Or maybe one of those sexy hot plate options in your deli display case. (To me those dishes never look appetizing. Those big, fat, unhappy meatballs sitting in their greasy sauce. The coagulated pasta of the day; a grey looking piece of pork, or charred grilled veggies, each respectively sitting in their own pile of grease. I equate all these dishes to old photos I occasionally come across of me and my siblings from the 70's, all dressed up in plaid pants, a sea of browns, blues, mustard yellows and mossy greens. A sad compilation of colors boldly signifying the times.) What I'm getting at is that these options are all out-dated and not at all appealing or appetizing.
Yet we persist and day in, day out as we opt for the tired and old. I think it's time to start thinking outside the bread box and reclaim our right to food that doesn't ooze grease, or sit in a pool of it. No more meat surrounded by bread. No. More. I want to feel awesome after I eat lunch, not lazy and lethargic!
Unless you enjoy being left in the afternoon with nothing more than a sugar craving and have 10 minutes to spend piecing together spare change to hit the vending machine for... something healthy?!, then you're ready for fresh options!
I have a list for you of what I go to these days so let's change things up, get out of our lunch rut, and get more nutritional bang from our mighty buck!
Spicy Chicken Slider with Hot "Mayo" wrapped in a Lettuce Leaf
Ok, so this one was created by stealing meshing ideas that came to me from different sources - no need to reinvent the wheel! One of my clients mentioned how she made these awesome sliders and left the bun behind by wrapping it up in a lettuce leaf, which gives you the crunch that offsets the softness of the slider. Brilliant!
The spicy component came from a recipe over at Iowa Girl Eats, who had the genius suggestion of adding left over roasted red pepper hummus to your hamburgers (because we ALL have left over hummus, the gnarly left over scrapes that look a little too funky for me to swipe a carrot through - yea, that left over part.) This is perfect for it.. just scoop it out and add it to your ground chicken, toss in a few homemade bread crumbs (that you've made from your left over baguette you got fresh from the bakery - hey, I never said to not eat bread EVER!), add an egg or two to the mix, a little salt, pepper and Cajun spice if you have some on hand, or hot paprika - I'm a spice junkie. Mix it together, place them on a cookie sheet and bake 'em in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Prepare a crisp piece of red lettuce on the plate (the darker varieties are even more full of rich nutrients) and place a dollop of spicy "mayo" on top - which is actually 1/2 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt with a couple drops of hot sauce mixed in (changed my life this little discovery!) Do all this and you should have that:
Now I know what you're going to say... but I don't have time to make my own lunch. I have a life. Fine, purveyor of over-scheduling, here's what you do. You make this meal that takes all of 30 minutes in advance. My number one rule for taking charge of your health is to.... PLAN AHEAD. Otherwise you're letting life's little hiccups control you and your eating - and your health - because unless you have a plan intact, when something in your schedule derails your day, your eating is even more vulnerable and basically, you're screwed.
Ok, your next option...
This is Not Your Typical Tuna Salad
This is fancy at its lowest, but tasty and healthy at its highest! So simple it's ridiculous. This was adapted from my bestie friend's Nana who used to serve this to us many moons ago, and it always tasted amazing!
Here's what you do:
Open a can of wild caught tuna. Chop up some red lettuce. Dress with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Add a little Pink Himalayan salt (my new favorite) and pepper, and you're done.
If that's too easy for you, you can up the fancy and throw in some red onion, avocado chunks, capers, chopped parsley or cilantro, and some seeds or nuts to give your salad an immunity boost. All of the above is highly recommended.
Now I have one more for you. (Notice the theme here, all meals are small and center around protein. This is what will keep you full during the day and help to squash that 4:00 sugar craving!)
This Ain't Your Boxed Mac 'n Cheese!
Enter Jamie Oliver. (I love you, I think your fabulous and I want to eat all your food.) This recipe I slightly adapted from a cookbook I got from a Christmas White Elephant gift grab bag (you know, when you pick a number, choose a sub-par gift and ultimately steal from those who picked better gifts in the grab bag - typical Christmas Day fun with my family.) This recipe is so awesome even my three-year-old gobbles it up!
First, cook 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups vegetable stock (add a little more if you like you're quinoa a little more wet.) In another pot, cook your greens. Here I added steamed peas, but I've added broccoli to this dish other times, so choose whatever green you like and steam it, flavor as you like - salt, pepper, olive oil - and add to the quinoa. Add 1 cup of parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, and enjoy! Sometimes I'll add a small green salad on the side and scoop some quinoa right in there. Yummy!
Those are my "outside the bread box" options for you to consider. Give them a try, and let me know what you think!