It’s late and I have to get on the road early in the morning to teach a big class. But since I already took all of the pictures, I thought I would try to get my “What I Ate Wednesday” up on the blog. I’ll try to make this one quick since that’s how my day went anyway
Breakfast was kind of light. My stomach can’t handle a heavy meal before teaching a paddle yoga class. So, before I left this morning, I blended up 3/4 cup light coconut milk, about 1 cup of fresh pineapple, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and some ice and water. Tasted exactly like a piña colada!!!!
I had to go straight to an appointment after teaching my class, so I packed myself a little snack – a zucchini blueberry spelt muffin, fresh organic strawberries, and a few almonds. The muffins were a combination of recipes and turned out awesome. I plan on making a huge batch of them to freeze for school lunches!!
I was starving when I finally got home, so I made an open-faced sandwich on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with homemade hummus (made last week), cucumbers, and tomatoes with kale chips and fresh fruit. An awesome and filling lunch!!!!
Jake and I snacked on bananas with a little peanut butter this afternoon.
Then we made a huge Cobb Salad for dinner with two kinds of lettuce, grilled chicken, nitrate-free bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, avocado and a little crumbled blue cheese. We topped it off with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
The kids made their own little salads too! They had their bacon on the side along with some scrambled eggs
A very rare dessert – this is some of the leftover homemade key lime pie from Darren’s birthday yesterday. If I’m going to squeeze the juice out of 30 teeny tiny little key limes, you better believe that pie isn’t going to waste!!!! SO yummy and so worth it!!!!
For any new visitors to Healthy Plate Happy Family, this is the one day during the week where I show you a picture of everything that I ate during the day in hopes of showing you how to put “healthy eating” all together.
I have procrastinated putting this post together because of my colossal dinner FAIL. But I guess you will see that I am living real-life here, with chaos and changes in plans and crabby little ones, and sometimes you just have to roll with it!
First up, for breakfast, I took advantage of a nearly empty Almond Butter jar and made a pumpkin version of Overnight Oats in a Jar. Now, Overnight Oats can be made in any container you’d like. I just happen to like taking advantage of the little bit of almond butter that is left to blend in with the other ingredients.
Overnight Oats are a super convenient grab-and-go breakfast. The night before, you simply blend up 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid (usually milk or water) and leave them to combine and thicken up overnight. The flavor combinations and toppings are endless here!
Today, I went with pumpkin because I had a can of it open. Into the jar (last night) I mixed together:
Store this in the refrigerator overnight. This morning, I topped it with some raisins and chopped pecans. YUM!
I had a snack mid-morning of carrots, gluten-free rice crackers, and this Avocado and White Bean Dip. It is really tasty – like a combination of hummus and guacamole. And it is usually a little more green, but I made this a couple of days ago. Perhaps the blinding brightness of the carrots will make up for it!
After a marathon grocery shopping trip, I came home and made lunch. Today it was a massaged kale salad, one of my favorite salads. This salad took me some time to warm up to. In the beginning, I would make a smaller portion and could eat it as long as it was paired up with a sandwich or soup. Now, I’ve grown to really like it and it can be my whole lunch. I love this because of the powerhouse of nutrition – Vitamins A, K, C, calcium, fiber and loads of antioxidants in the kale, plus a little healthy fats from the avocado and olive oil to help absorb the nutrients. And I haven’t even gotten to the add-ins!
Start with a huge bowl of washed kale (stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces).
Make the dressing with a small wedge of avocado (a little less than 1/4 of an avocado), juice from a wedge of lime, 1 tsp. olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Did you get all of those precise measurements?!?!?!?
Mash them up until it sort of looks like guacamole.
Dump the avocado mixture into the bowl of kale, and with CLEAN hands, massage the dressing right into the kale leaves. This will tenderize the leaves making them much easier to eat and more palatable.
Then your huge bowl of kale will be reduced to a more reasonable looking portion like this.
Taste and adjust seasonings. I usually like to add an extra squeeze of lime to give it more of a tangy flavor. At this point, you can cover the salad and let it sit for a little while. But I don’t recommend refrigerating it for a long period of time, or it will get pretty soggy, at least for my tastes.
Top with lightly toasted nuts (today was almonds), carrots, and cucumbers. A lot of times, I’ll add diced apples or dried cranberries in as well for a little sweet contrast.
So I realized this afternoon that Darren and Hailey were going to be gone for the rescheduled Daddy Daughter Dance, so I would be having a little dinner date at home with Jake. But then he wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to play Monopoly and snuggle on the couch. Next thing I know, he was hungry for food RIGHT NOW, and I was scrambling to pull some dinner together. I could tell he wasn’t feeling well because he didn’t really want any of his usual favorites. He wanted grapefruit, then a homemade popsicle (pureed watermelon and strawberry), and then asked for a treat or a smoothie. At this point, I was starving too and I also felt like Jake needed a little more substance. So I decided to scrap my plans for a Greek salad and falafel, and make the treat/smoothie/dinner all into one dish!!!
Behold, the Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie!
Believe it or not, this thing was so filling that it turned out to be my dinner! Maybe dinner wasn’t a fail afterall?????
Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie
Mix all ingredients in a blender until super smooth and creamy. Add more almond milk to thin or ice cubes to thicken, as necessary. This made 2 decent size portions. You could scale back to 1 cup of cherries/strawberries, 1 T. cacoa, and 1 cup of almond milk for an individual portion.
So there you have it for this Wednesday!
I am quite obsessed with kale. When I combine my finance background with my love for nutrition, the reasoning goes something like this – you simply cannot get more nutritional bang for your buck when it comes to kale!!!! For a mere $1.49, I can get a bunch of kale so big that I have to wrestle it into the bag. I must look like I’m losing the battle sometimes because I have had people in the grocery store ask me what it is that I am buying!
There are a lot of reasons why kale is considered one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
The Nutritional Details: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (SOURCE)
What does all of that mean???
Something else I found particularly interesting is that kale contains indole-3- carbinol, a nutrient that seems to play a role in how estrogen is metabolized in the body and may play a protective role against breast cancer. According to the naturopathic physician quoted in this article, “We sometimes use it as a supplement in patients with breast cancer, anyone who has a reason to be concerned about developing breast cancer and for those with estrogen-dominant illnesses like fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease or endometriosis, to try to help modulate negative estrogenic effects in the body. Eating kale is a natural way to do that.”
With all that being said, I learned a couple of years ago when my mom was experiencing some heart problems that the high amount of vitamin K can cause problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants (blood thinners, such as Warfarin, Coumadin, etc) or other medications should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Please consult your doctor before adding or increasing the amount of kale and other greens to your diet.
But for those who are looking to add more of this SUPERFOOD to their diet, I highly suggest starting with kale chips!!!
Start by removing the tough stem from the center of each stalk. This part can taste bitter. Tear the remaining leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Wash and dry kale (I use a salad spinner)
With clean hands, massage kale leaves with extra virgin olive oil to get them completely coated. For reference, I used about 2 teaspoons of oil for a whole head of kale.
Spread on a SINGLE layer on a baking sheet (or two sheets if necessary). Sprinkle with coarse ground kosher salt. For this batch, I used about 1/2 teaspoon.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Start checking the kale chips around 12 minutes as you will want them to be super crispy, but not burnt. Mine are usually perfect around 14 minutes. I just taste as I go, which depletes about half the pan!
With the kids helping me, we can usually eat an entire batch in one sitting. And by sitting, I mean standing over the pan shoving them in our mouths!!!
There are a TON of variations all over the internet. But this classic version is quick, easy, and SO good! I hope you’ll give them a try!