Your time is crunched with trying to balance it all with your kids activities, working full- time, and trying to squeeze in your daily excercises in the day. How do you find time to prepare a healthy meal for your family?
Here are some ideas to help you:
1. Roast a chicken for the week.
When your rushed for time or coming from your child's baseball game. Roasted chickens are easy to make and the leftovers can help prepare different meals such as chicken salad sandwiches, add chicken to homemade soups or green salads.
2. Marinade lean meats ahead of time..
Just finished your workout and need to get in protein to help build muscle. Prepare portion lean meats into ziplock bags and use your favourite marinade. Keep them stored in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days. Summertime is here, so have them on skewers and BBQ them or add vegetables and have a stir-fry.
3. Keep dried or canned beans on hand in your pantry.
Adding vegetarian meals in the week provides balance and variety into your meal plans for you and your family. Beans are high in fibre and can help lower cholesterol and help contribute to a healthy heart. Beans are a good alternative to meats and easy to prepare. You can make bean burrito's, bean salad or have baked beans with toast for lunch or supper.
"Stay Strong, Live Long!"
Mac & Cheese Bake- Serves 4
2 cups of whole wheat penne
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 fresh button mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to bake at 350'F. Grease a 9x9 baking dish.
2. Cook pasta as to the directions on the box. Once done, transfer to a bowl.
3. Add cream of mushroom soup, skim milk, chopped mushroom, shredded cheese and black ground pepper to the cooked pasta. Mix thoroughly.
4. Transfer mix to a baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 30 min at 350'F.
5. Broil for 2 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm and enjoy the game!
Note: You can add a lean meat of your choice and veggies on the side to make it a balanced meal.
Pineapple Coconut Mini Muffins
2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large very ripe bananas)
1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup skim milk or almond milk
1 and 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine & mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon & set aside until needed.
In a separate bowl, combine & mix the honey and brown sugar together. Using a fork works to break all the lumps. Then, add the mashed banana, Greek yogurt, and beaten egg.
Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients all together. Slowly add the milk and continue to mix the ingredients together.
Add the pineapple to the batter until distributed evenly, but don't overmix the batter.
Spoon the batter into the mini muffin pan 3/4 full (leave enough room for the batter to rise when cooking). Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top of each muffin. Bake for 15-17 minutes until browned on the edges. Poke muffins with a toothpick until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from tins and allow the muffins to cool completely.
Muffins will remain fresh and moist stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze any remaining muffins.
A healthy heart is a happy heart! February is all about heart health & by taking care of your heart you can reduce high blood pressure, decrease the risk of a stroke or other harmful health problems. There are so many ways to taking care of your heart. We know that decreasing stress, exercising regularly & good nutrition all contribute to a healthy heart.
Here are some nutrition tips for a healthy heart:
1. Fibre- A good healthy diet will consist of 25 to 38 grams of fibre daily. Increasing your fibre will help lower cholesterol. You can get fibre from fruits, vegetables & whole grains to name a few.
2. Healthy weight-Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly & eating healthy balanced meals will help shed some unwanted pounds. Learn how to portion meals from a certified nutritionist.
3.Limit High processed foods & salt- Learning to read labels can help compare & find foods that are lower in sodium. Avoid adding salt when you eat as well as cooking. To enhance flavours you can use lemons, some dried spices, or products like Mrs. Dash. Watch for highly processed foods such as cookies, muffins, wieners, chips...and the list goes on. So, choose less of these.
Be good to your heart, because a healthy heart is a happy heart!
Honourable Hero-Team in Training & Pineapple Challenge-Calgary/Prairie Chapter for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of CanadaRead Now
I am proud to be the honourable hero for both Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada's (LLSC) Team in Training (TNT) -Prairie's Chapter & Pineapple Challenge-Calgary.
I wish all participants good luck in their training & fundraising this year! Without all of you (participants, LLSC staff & volunteers & supporters) I wouldn't be here today.
I hope to represent LLSC-Prairie Chapter/Calgary the best that I can. I want everyone to know without the support from these groups, my family & friends wouldn't have received the support that has touched them knowing a loved one has been diagnosed with a blood cancer. I have seen how each person close to me has dealt with and coped with such devastating news. I thank LLSC for the tremendous fundraising they do and for increasing blood cancer awareness.
I also want to thank everyone who has run for me, helped me fundraise for a charity that is so close to my heart. Since being diagnosed in August 2007, I have accomplished many things. I have continued to run, train & become an NPAA Bikini Competitor. I have started my own nutrition company, JCJNutrition. I've been able to keep my passion for food & nutrition, fitness, watch my nephews grow up & enjoying life with my family & friends at a higher level. Thanks to charities like LLSC Team in Training, Light the Night & the newest addition Pineapple Challenge, I have been able to get back to quality of life.
Thank you everyone & help me support those who are battling blood cancers. Continue to follow me in this journey & this great opportunity with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada-Praire Chapter/Calgary, AB.
Who is going to win this Super Bowl? Are you hosting this years Super bowl party? This is such an easy recipe to do when you are entertaining guests or out & about running around getting stuff done!
1 lb of Ground Turkey
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of Chiili style beans in sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes undrained
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp of cumin
2 Tbsp of chill powder
2-3 fresh tomatoes chopped in chunks
Get your medium size crockpot ready.
1. In a non-stick skillet, cook the ground turkey to fully cooked. Once cooked set aside in a bowl.
2. Chop fresh tomatoes into chunks and chop onion & garlic cloves. Add to crockpot.
3. Now add the beans & diced canned tomatoes with their sauce. Mix well together.
4. Add the cooked ground turkey to the crockpot & all remaining spices (chill powder, ground pepper & cumin). Mix together.
5. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.
6. Serve with brown rice or whole wheat, whole grain buns & Enjoy!
A little something new....so these past months you all know that I was training for my first competition. It was the best experience ever! I learnt a lot about myself and took up challenges I never thought I could do. This has been quite the journey, trying out new foods, prepping many meals for the week, and playing around with new recipes. I wanted to share this one with you all. It was one of my favourite recipes while training and trying to keep my meals clean (sorta speak). It definitely satisfied my sweet tooth and so easy to make.
3/4 cup Sweetened Almond Milk (I used Chocolate)
2 cups of Quinoa (cooked)
1 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
Mix all ingredients in a decent size sauce pot on medium -high heat. When it starts to lightly boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until desired temperature reached.
Let cool and serve in a bowl or large cup.
This recipe is good for anytime. You can have it for breakfast or dessert! I hope you enjoy it! ~JCJ
What is Selenium?
It's a mineral that helps with preventing cell damage by working as an antioxidant in our bodies. Pretty cool hey? Another thing it does is to help our thyroid function properly by converting certain enzymes.
How much Selenium do we need? According to Dietitians of Canada, we should aim for 55 mcg/day for women and men aged 19 and over. Food sources that you would find this mineral would be Brazil nuts (eat in moderation), cottage cheese, and pasta to name a few. Whole and natural foods are the best sources of this mineral. Any supplementation, ask your family physician.
A close girlfriend of mine got me hooked on protein pancakes last summer. Her enthusiasm and goal settings on weight loss inspired me to create a recipe that would be good at breakfast, lunch and dinner! This recipe is so simple and tasty with berries and Canadian Maple Syrup!
JCJ's Protein Pancakes
1 cup of GarFava Bean Flour
1 scoop of Whey Vanilla Flavored Protein Powder
1/4 cup egg whites
1 cup OJ
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of Baking soda
1/2 cup of Blueberries
1/3 cup of favourite granola
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until mixed thoroughly.
2. Preheat flat pan to medium high heat.Lightly spray pan with canola oil.
3. Portion out mixture with a 1/3 cup and transfer to heated pan. Make pancakes about 3" in diameter.
4. Cook one side until it can be easily flipped to cook other side. Flip pancake to other side and cook until lightly brown and firm.
5. Serve warm and add your favorite fruit mix and lightly drizzle with maple syrup.
*GarFava Bean Flour is a mix of garbanzo and fava beans. It is very high in protein. It can be hard on the digestive system, so introduce it slowly. You can find this bean flour at your local natural foods stores.
This is one of my favourite Chili recipes from a visit to Cincinnati. A sales rep I was chatting with told me how, in Ohio, they put cinnamon in their Chili and they serve it a different way. I had to check out what all the hype was about! Cincinnati is known as the "Chili capital of USA!"
JCJ's Fav Chili
1 Qt. water
2 lbs. of Lean Ground Beef
1 Tbsp of Salt
1 Tsp of Cinnamon
1 tsp Black pepper
2 chopped onions
1/2 tsp of chili pepper
3 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 small can of tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
1. Add ground beef to water. Add all other ingredients and bring to boil.
2. Simmer for 3-4 hours.
3. Remove garlic and bay leaves.
Here is the unique ways they serve it up in Cincinatti!!
Cincinnati 2 way: Spaghetti topped with chili.
3-way: Spaghetti topped w/ chili & grated cheese.
4-way: Spaghetti topped w/ chili, grated cheese & chopped fresh onions. The Best!
5-way: Same as a 4-way but add kidney beans to the chili (for those who love their beans).