greens

Cook Smarter, Not Harder

When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals. Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.

Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.

I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy.... I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)

I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.

On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!

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Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!

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To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps: 1.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel each and every night 2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways 3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation 4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup) 5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night - pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese - pork lo mein)

Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it's just about being intentional!!!!

Cook smarter not harder!!! >

8 Nutrients to Lift Your Spirits

Are you battling with the winter blues?! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 9% of adult Americans have feelings of depression or hopelessness. In fact, major depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans between the ages of 15-44 years old.

What if I told you that you could help fight feelings of depression at your dinner table?!

What if your mood could be lifted simply by what you choose to pack for lunch?!

A healthy cognitive system is essential in regulating mood and maintaining normal brain function and this starts with NUTRITION!

Over the next several days, I'm going to share with you 8 Nutrients that can help Lift Your Spirits!!!

TODAY'S SPIRIT BOOSTING NUTRIENT

CALCIUM

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  • The most abundant mineral in the body and helps maintain strong bones
  • Calcium is a critical chemical involved in the release of neurotransmitters, which acts as messengers between cells.  Deficient amounts of calcium can be linked to various problems, including depression
  • Calcium deficiency affect women more than men
  • Since estrogen plays a large role in calcium production, calcium consumption may improve PMS related depression
  • The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 1,000mg per day for adults

Shopper

ACTIONS TO TAKE

  • Don't Skip Breakfast!  Enjoy low-fat milk or yogurt as part of a morning meal.  1 cup of milk has 305mg of calcium and 6oz low-fat yogurt has 310mg per serving
  • Pack Greens for Lunch!  Kale has 179mg per 1 cup serving or serve a warm brussels sprouts salad for dinner! 
  • Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes. 1/2 cup beans has up to 30mg of calcium per serving
  • Snack on Hummus with baby carrots, raw broccoli florets, or whole wheat pita crackers.  Add hummus to sandwiches for a healthy fat source!  Hummus has approximately 60mg of calcium per serving.
  • Drink fortified Orange juice or Soymilk which can provide about 300mg of calcium per 1 cup serving. 
  • Don't Skip on Sardines!  4 sardines can provide almost 250mg of calcium!! 
  • Get familiar with Ricotta!!! Ricotta cheese provides almost 350mg per 1/2 cup serving!!! Ricotta is great in lasagna, a perfect addition to an omelet, or use as a healthy spread to replace cream cheese. 

REMEMBER FOOD IS PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE!  WHAT YOU EAT TODAY IMPACTS HOW YOU FEEL! TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY WITH EACH MEAL YOU EAT! 

salat herz