Tagged: clean Eating

Zucchini Bread Recipe

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Good afternoon, this has been a childhood favorite of mine for years. Smelling this bread cooking takes me right back to the kitchen I grew up in. I remember coming in out of the fields and sitting down on my bar stool at the island waiting for my mom to take this bread out of the oven.

Below you can find the original recipe and if you want to make it healthier I will give suggestions next to the ingredients. I always make this bread in small mini loaf pans because my husband and kids like to eat it for breakfast, snacks, it makes it easier to grab and go. It may not be the healthiest recipe but when I bake I always use the everything in moderation rule. I’ll only eat one mini-loaf at breakfast in place of my Ezekiel bread.

Zucchini Bread: 

1 1/2 cup flour (wheat flour)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar (brown sugar)

1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg

1/4 cup oil (applesauce)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

*(healthy substitutes) 

  • Mix first 6 ingredients together
  • In a mixing bowl beat sugar, zucchini, egg and add oil
  • Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture and fold in nuts
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hr (mini-loaf pans, require less time and you will need to check every 10-15 minutes, they don’t take a full hr to cook)
  • grease pan and cook until a tooth pick comes out clean

 

Enjoy and Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

Cook With Michelle Thursday: Homemade Wedding Soup

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Good MORNING!

It is blustering cold here. My oldest has a snow day and I want to stay wrapped up in my bathrobe and drink coffee all day. I have wedding soup cooking on the stove and the house smells immaculate as the wind gusts bang against our windows and the girls clang around in pretend high heels and frozen dresses.

As a new season of resolutions and goals begins, my husband and I have really made a commitment to cut out snacking and eating out in the New Year.

Evening snacks are our nemesis. We used to be in a very good grove when it came to preparing a meal plan, eating clean, not snacking past 8pm and limiting our eating out as a family to one time per month.

But, life happens. Right. It throws you for a loop and some of our good eating habits sustained through a difficult season while some of the negative ones returned.

You learn from setbacks and mistakes and use them as knowledge to become better.

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Soups are great to freeze for future lunches

One thing I love to do is prepare meals for lunches and freeze them. Easy and quick to grab when you are in a rush and this also prevents my husband from buying his lunch. I feel the winter can be a hard time to fit your daily serving of vegetables and soups are a great way to get those servings of vegetables in.

Here is my homemade wedding soup recipe:

Ingredients:
1 bag of celery
1 bag of carrotts
1 full chicken
1 3lb can of chicken broth
meatballs (you can make your own or buy tiny meatballs) I cheat sometimes and buy a frozen pre-made bag at a little mom and pop Italian Store in town
escarole (we buy it frozen at the Italian Foods store)
Romano cheese (I also buy this at the local Italian store, can you see the trend that we love Dioguardi’s)
salt
pepper
Acini De Pepe 1lb

Cooking Directions:
I created some of my own chicken broth by boiling the entire chicken in water; enough to cover it a few inches. I cooked on medium to low for 2-3 hours. I removed the chicken (carefully) and let it cool. I bought a Ninja last year at target and am in love with how it dices the vegetables for soups and salads and it is a huge time saver. I placed the carrots and celery in the ninja one at a time and diced them up. I ladled out any remaining chicken and made sure the broth was ready for cooking. I added the 3lb can of broth and diced veggies. Once the chicken was cool I shredded it and added it back to the pot of soup. Add meatballs, Romano cheese, salt, pepper (to taste), and escarole.

Cook the carrots and celery until soft. Boil the pound of pasta separately and strain. Add to soup once cooked and ready.

Enjoy, What’s your favorite winter soup? Hope you will enjoy this Wedding Soup recipe and that it keeps you warm on this cold winters day!

Fitness Tip: 1 cup of escarole is rich in fiber, vitamins K, A, and C. It can help aid in prevention of osteoporosis and hypertension. Dark leafy green vegetables like escarole may produce healthy eye health and prevent development of cancers.

Blessings, Michelle

 

 

Homemade Wedding Soup

Homemade Wedding Soup

 

Holiday Party Favor’s: Cook with Michelle Thursday

Good Afternoon Live Fit,

Quick post this afternoon as I need to squeeze in my workout still today (Back and Biceps). We been preparing for Christmas and my husband has been remodeling our kitchen in the mist of the holiday season. The days have seemed so long lately as we are missing our sweet Angelina Hope so much. We have been trying to document and create family traditions to help celebrate Angelina as we decorate, bake and wrap presents with the girls.

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

 

Today I made my homemade Granola and packaged it in these adorable little gift bags for my training clients and for a Christmas cookie exchange that is being hosted by one of the other girls that teaches aerobics at our gym.

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

 

I am so blessed by these women who I have gotten to know over the last few years at the gym. Our conversations are usually held while crab walking, performing burpies, holding planks and running stairs. We usually don’t get together to often outside the gym due to the craziness of life but are having a cookie exchange tomorrow and I wanted to make a cute favor to bring. I am so excited to hang out with these ladies as they have been such an incredible extended support system over the last year. It brings this verse to mind:

“Two are better then one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Below is the link to the recipe for my homemade granola recipe: I love making big pans of this recipe and placing the crumbled up granola in little snack baggies to throw in my gym bag or purse for a quick on the go pick-me up and in my chobanni yogurt. 

https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2013/08/08/quick-clean-eating-on-the-gohomemade-granola/

Packaged and Ready to Go!

Packaged and Ready to Go!

I got the gift bags at a local Giant Eagle for $1.99 and the small clothes pins at Micheal’s for .99 cents.

Are you attending a cookie exchange this year? what is your favorite type of cookie to make? Do you make favors for any of your holiday parties? Please share your idea’s and favorite cookie idea’s in the comments section below! 

 

Blessings, Michelle

Nutrition Tip Tuesday: Eating Smart this Holiday Season

Welcome to Nutrition Tip Tuesday in the Live Fit Community. What is it about the holidays that sends my appetite desiring more. Maybe it’s because so much time during the holiday season is centered around food and celebration. I personally feel when I am more active in the summer months and on the go I’m not reaching for that midnight snack that I often reach for in the winter.

Over the years I have developed a little bit of a strategy to propel me through the holidays and winter months and it’s about this time each year that I start to implement it again, when I am feeling like that 10pm snack is sounding pretty stinking good. 

Here are a few simple steps that help me eat smart during the holidays.  These tips allow me to celebrate our savior being born, enjoy family, delicious food, and not focus on what I shouldn’t have ate at holiday meals.  

Tip 1: This visual aid is a great reminder of how to eat smart this holiday season. You can create one on your own with using a plate/paper plate and a dry erase marker. 1/2 of your plate should consist of fruit and vegetables. 1/4 meat or protein and 1/4 starch or whole grain. Often times at meals we end up filling 1/2 our plate with starch and 1/2 the plate with protein.

Healthy Portions Visual

Healthy Portion’s Visual

 

Tip 2: Avoid eating two hours after dinner and two hours before bedtime. This can help with unnecessary cravings. I have really noticed over time I don’t have them anymore after consistently giving up eating after dinner for 2 weeks.

Tip 3: Eat to nourish your body. If you are feeling like you want to fill your plate for seconds drink an 80z glass of water and see if you still feel hungry after. If there are appetizers, holiday drinks, and dessert consider these calories before grabbing a second plate. I am a big believer in eating in moderation. I love dessert so I will cut back on appetizers and bread with my meal.

Tip 4: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season don’t forget to eat breakfast, it helps start your metabolism and try to eat it within one hour of getting up each day. Plan your meals I talk about my meal rotation plan: here:https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2014/04/04/egg-steak-and-rice-stir-fry-cook-with-michelle-thursday/ This will help when you are busy and on the go (having healthy snacks to keep on hand (nuts, granola, smoothies, veggie trays). These healthy snacks preventing you from reaching for that (bag of chips or crackers). They prevent unneeded stops in which you may be hungry which could cause overeating, picking up things that are unnecessary and fast food trips.

Below is a picture of a really quick meal I made. My husband is remodeling our kitchen and I honestly wanted to eat a burger and fries. It’s so chaotic in our kitchen area currently, some days it’s so hard to cook. Instead of heading out to grab fast food I made homemade burgers on the stove grilled in a little bit of evoo. I have a half open sandwich since we were eating homemade fries. For the fries I grabbed two big Idaho potatoes and cut them small drizzling a small amount evoo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, a sprinkle of seasoning salt and pepper to taste. I baked them in the oven until crispy at 375 stirring them every few minutes so they wouldn’t burn. Fruit isn’t pictured here but generally I prepare it for our family to eat throughout the day breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Quick Meal

Quick Meal

Live Fit how do you eat smart during the holidays? Please share your comments and healthy quick recipes with us below in the comments. 

I hope you find this information helpful and are able to apply it to your life as you enjoy this holiday season.

Blessings, Michelle 

The Fitness Professional’s Manual Third Edition by National Exercise Trainers Association; was referenced when writing this post. 

 

Egg steak and rice stir fry : cook with Michelle Thursday

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Do you ever wonder to yourself around 3:30 what am I going to make for dinner? When 4:15 rolls around my girls are always asking: “mom what’s for dinner?”

That’s why I’m introducing: Cook with Michelle Thursday

Thursdays will be the new designated day on Live Fit’s site in which I’ll be sharing what’s cooking in our kitchen!

I also encourage you to share your recipe ideas in the comments section! I know when we find a new recipe we like it’s automatically added it into our family meal rotation.

Do you have a meal rotation?

Our meal rotation consists of 10-15 different meals that I rotate throughout each month. I often have a few quick go to meals when we don’t have much time in which I keep the things needed to make these meals in my lazy Susan.

I’ve found our meal rotation keeps us eating healthy, provides a good variety of food and helps cut down on our grocery budget. I work up a meal plan pulling meals from our meal rotation for each week and grab the things I need at the store and try to stick to my list. If I’m without my list I have no direction in the store and often forget things. When I end up heading back to the grocery store I end up buying more unneeded items.

Canning is one other way I cut my grocery budget and keep my family eating fresh from our garden all year long. You can read more about canning in these posts: Canning Recipes

On tonight’s dinner menu: Egg Steak and Rice Stir Fry

I picked an Egg Steak and Rice Stir fry for a few reasons. One I needed to use up some steaks we grilled a few days ago. Secondly, our chickens have been producing 6-7 eggs a day and thirdly I had a lot of vegetables in the fridge.

Egg Steak and Rice Stir Fry

half onion
Colored peppers (I used orange and yellow)
I diced carrot sticks up in my ninja (easier for the kids to eat)
Broccoli

Sauté the above in olive oil

Cook 12 eggs in a separate skillet (I added mozzarella cheese and tomato basil feta to the eggs)
I cut up the steak and added it in with the eggs

Cook 2 servings of rice in separate pan

Add all together with a dash of salt, pepper, seasoning salt and garlic and you have a egg steak and rice stir fry!

Enjoy and blessings, what is your favorite stir fry dish?

Michelle

Peanut butter almond protein bars

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My oldest daughter loves helping in the kitchen. My husband is always cleaning us out of protein. I have been trying some different recipes to make a homemade protein bar. Here is what Ava and I came up with in the kitchen today. This recipe is perfect because it was non-messy, she was able to stir these, and then roll them into balls.

Peanut butter almond protein bars:

Dry ingredients first: (I used my ninja to grind these all up very fine)

1/2 cup almonds
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup Reese chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
Chocolate protein powder(2 scoops)

Grind these all up in the ninja

Wet ingredients:

1/3 cup honey
2 cups peanut butter

Fold the dry and wet ingredients together, roll in balls and throw in the fridge. Give the about an hour! They are tasty and you could get creative adding in different ingredients, great for a quick refuel after your workout.

Blessings, Michelle

Motivation Monday: Start this week off with a healthy breakfast

Where does the weekend go seriously? Well I have really learned the hard way in the past. Working out hard and putting in my hours and not seeing results. That is when I realized how much diet and fitness work together. Our diet is just if not equally important as our fitness regimen. You want to be rewarded for your hard work by seeing results. Thats when I realized that my mom was right, It has to start with a healthy breakfast. Not with somedays, everyday. Consistency here is the key. Eating a healthy breakfast is the basis of any good and healthy routine in life.

If you have kids, or a crazy work schedule, believe me I get it. It’s hard to plan out your meals and I have fallen victim to starbucks, dunkin donuts, the big breakfast (oh man it’s good), countless times because I failed to plan. I also extend out grace on certain occasions, well because come on Starbucks is a nice treat. Most days I have gotten into the routine of making breakfast that provides lean protien, fiber, and carbs out to my kids. At first it was hard, I mean MOMMY, Mom, I NEED Water, I’m hungggery, I pooped(ya, gotta love my middle child so dramatic in the morning), I just want to throw anything I can at her because I feel a bit scattered brained and then I remember, hey I have to feed my kids healthy breakfast too!

It was also overwhelming to me when I got online to find out healthy idea’s that I could make quick for my husband and kids. I get asked a lot at the gym about my diet so I thought I would share breakfast on most days and my oatmeal trick with you:0

A few Tips why breakfast is important:

1. Eating breakfast starts us off on the right foot, helping us make better choices throughout the day
2. By skipping breakfast to cut back on calories, it could cause you to over eat at other meals
3. It helps balance your fitness regimen by fueling your workout
4. Helps control your hunger and keeps you from reaching an unhealthy mid-morning snack

A few things to incorporate with your breakfast:

1. Lean protien-holds you over longer and helps you feel full until lunch (eggs have the highest quality of protien-grab an omelet instead of a bagel!)
2. Fiber- helps digestion, decreases cholesterol, controls our blood sugar, and helps with weight loss
3. Complex carbohydrates- whole grains, veggies, fruits are high in essential vitamins and minerals. They contain fiber and polysaccharides(which require more energy to digest and are released into our blood stream slower). (USDA recommends 55-60% of our total caloric intake be from this form of carbohydrates). While only 10% is coming from simple carbohydrates. These are refined sugars, table sugar, low nutrient density food, honey, corn syrup.

We usually have this variety for breakfast:

chobani yogurt w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Malt o meal w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Omelet w. butter 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid morning)
Oatmeal w. nut mixture and a pinch of brown sugar (smoothie mid morning)

Below is a picutre of how, (If I know the week is going to be hectic) I store my oatmeal. I make a big batch on Monday and then I pull it out throughout the week warm it up and add some brown sugar and nuts. The kids love all of this!

Please share your idea’s below, on our Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter. I love getting new ideas and it’s healthy and good for our bodies to change up the foods we eat. #livefitin2014

Blessings, Michelle

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