Healthy doesn’t have to be bland. And dinner doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here’s what I had for lunch the other day … I had actually made it for dinner the night before and I had enough for lunch the next day!!! If you try out the recipe, please comment below and let me know how it turned out! 🙂

BAKED CHICKEN

  • Take a shallow baking rack and cover with aluminum foil. Spray a little olive oil on it. (I put my olive oil in a spray bottle, which helps it go a long way.)
  • 2 Chicken Breasts butterflied and spray with a little olive oil. (I always try tenderize my meat with either a tenderizer.)
  • Season with Tomato Basil Mrs. Dash on both side.
  • Bake in the oven at 350º for 15 minutes. (I have a convection oven, so please be advised that cooking times may vary if you have a conventional.)

Comes out nice and juicy!

BROWN & BLACK RICE

My new favorite grain is black rice! I was running out of it and brown rice, so I decided to mix them together to make a full serving me and my husband could split for a few days.

  • 1/2 cup of brown rice + 1/2 cup of black rice
  • Follow the directions on the packaging 😉 — Plus I add a little olive oil to water.
  • While it’s cooking – dice up 4 small sweet peppers and 1/4 cup yellow onion.
  • When the rice is 95% cooked I mixed the veggies with it, add 2 Tbsp. parsley, 1 Tbsp. garlic powder and crack pepper to taste. (When I’m eating super clean I avoid salt as much as possible, but if you want to add some, just a dash of sea salt or Himalayan salt is best.) Mix it all up and VIOLA … no more boring rice!

Did you know …
Black rice is even better for you than brown rice. That’s because the bran hull contains significantly higher amounts of vitamin E, which bolsters the immune system and protects cells from free radical damage. In fact, black rice contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to a study from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

GRILLED BRUSSEL’S SPROUTS

I’m addicted to Brussel’s Sprouts! And the way these are made, your kids may eat them too!!! hahaha, but no promises 😉

  • Remove steam part and cut in halves
  • Place in bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. white or red balsamic vinegar, lemon and cracked black pepper to taste. Mix it up real good!
  • Grill those bad boys up so you see the grill marks and they’re cooked through yet crunchy!
    • If you don’t have a grill you can use a small indoor one or even broil them in the oven.

MORE RECIPES

Love this and want to create more healthy, but yummy food?! Download my ebook “For the Love of Foodies” by clicking here.

Bon apetit!

♥ Vanessa

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” right?

I just really started understanding what that really meant just a few years ago. Wish I did sooner because it’s SO TRUE.  Doing all those crunches and then eating whatever you want sure isn’t gonna do it. Pushing yourself in your cardio class and then indulging in sweets daily, definitely won’t do it.

 

Do not workout to eat.

Eat to workout.

Because in order to get rid of that stubborn belly fat that hides behind all the hard work we do through exercise, we MUST have a clean diet. And that clean diet FUELS your workouts.

So how do you eat clean? This doesn’t mean that you NEVER, EVER, EVER have a slice of pizza, have a piece of cake, or enjoy a glass of wine. It means eating wholesome, natural foods, 80-90% of the time and “fun (cheat) food” 10-20%” of the time.

And a good way to start eating clean is with a clean grocery list, but before I list my grocery list, here are some helpful tips.

Healthy Grocery List & Tips for grocery shopping

TIPS FOR GROCERY SHOPPING:
  • Get rid of the junk food – now! Time to go through your fridge and pantry and remove any temptations.
  • Do NOT go hungry! Because otherwise you’ll stray away from you healthy food list and start buying junk, or just over-buying.
  • If you’re on a budget, stick to the minimum requirements and look for coupons and deals at local stores.
    • This is a cool site: http://www.organicdeals.com/ (I also follow them on Facebook)
    • I also use the following free smartphone apps: Zipongo, coupons, fooducate.
  • Just because something is labeled “low-fat” “a good source of…” or “healthy” DOES NOT mean it is healthy!
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. It shuts down your metabolism, promotes fat storage (especially in women) and breaks down muscle tissue (makes you rethink your weekends, right?!) If you can’t go a few weeks without a drink, then … there may be other, bigger issues to resolve other than weight.
  • The following foods generally should be avoided or just set aside for your one or two cheat meals: soda (includes diet soda), fruit juice, sports drinks, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, ice cream, pudding, flavored yogurt, deli meats, processed meats, white breads and pastas, sugary cereals, and any packaged processed foods that are full of sugar and processed, chemical crap! Did you know that sugar spikes insulin and promotes fat storage? So avoid it as much as possible if you want to lose weight,  get leaner and just be healthy!

GROCERY LIST
(asterisks indicate my highly recommended foods):

Protein:

  • Protein powder (Vegan options available)*
  • Eggs & Eggwhites*
  • Boneless/skinless chicken breast*
  • Canned Tuna (in water)*
  • Tilapia*
  • Wild Salmon*
  • Lean Ground Turkey or Turkey Breast
  • Tofu (Vegan friendly)
  • Plain Nonfat Cottage Cheese
  • Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt (Fage is my favorite brand)
  • Nonfat cheese sticks (great as a snack)

Fibrous Veggies:

  • Kale*
  • Asparagus*
  • Spinach*
  • Broccoli*
  • Green beans*
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Artichoke

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try other veggies (including those that are not as fibrous). There are so many others out there besides what I’ve listed, so explore and have fun!
Complex/Starchy Carbohydrates:

  • Old-fashioned Oatmeal*
  • Low-carb/Low-sugar cereal
  • Brown Rice*
  • Quinoa*
  • Sweet potatos*
  • Yams
  • Whole Grain Bread (I personally LOVE Ezekiel bread, from the brand Food For Life, and they are also gluten free)

Healthy Fat Options (pick at least 2):

  • Olive oil*
  • Natural peanut butter or almond butter (please note that the only ingredient should be: peanuts or almonds. There should be oil on top, low/no sodium).
    • And I LOVE PB2, which is powdered peanut powder that’s half the fat of regular peanut butter, easier to add to shakes and you can add water to make it into the peanut butter consistency that we’re used to.
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios

Fruit

  • Blueberries*
  • Raspberries*
  • Strawberries*
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Banana (women should limit to 1/2 of a banana and make sure it’s on the greener side and not so ripe)
  • Lemons (for water & fish)

Beverages

  • Water* – MUST HAVE and make sure you’re drinking frequently
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk* (can be flavored, I like vanilla)
  • Sugar Free Coconut Milk
  • Green tea bags*
  • Coffee* (watch for those creamers, they are REALLY fattening)

Condiments & Spices

  • Balsamic Vinegar*
  • Honey
  • Salsa
  • Chili powder
  • Mrs. Dash*
  • Mustard
  • Cinnamon*
  • Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
  • Stevia or Truvia

Vitamins

  • Fish Oil*
  • Multi-vitamin* (or Shakeologycan also be your daily multi-vitamin … and then some!)

……………………………………………………………………..

Hope this was helpful and let me know if you need any help.

If this helped you do some of your grocery shopping, please leave a comment below!

 

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