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3 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Easier

3 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Easier

You want to start eating healthy, but you don’t know how to get the ball rolling. Here are some of my super simple tips to change your eating habits without breaking the bank!

1) Keep it simple!

One of the hardest parts of getting fit is eating healthy. Why make it harder on yourself by trying a bunch of crazy recipes that you have to spend hours cooking daily?

Seriously though...
Seriously though…

Some of the most successful exercise gurus will tell you that they stick with the same meals and rotate them on a regular basis. Eggs with salsa & turkey bacon, salad with shrimp & avocado, and chicken with steamed veggies are all meals I eat quite often. I usually use the same ingredients in multiple dishes. Which leads me to my next point…

2)  Keep down the cost!

Eating healthy can be expensive. Don’t let the cost turn you away from a healthier lifestyle. For example, I like to buy one or two rotisserie chickens ($4.99 a piece @ Costco!) and use them in different dishes throughout the week. I can make chicken breast and baked sweet potatoes on Monday, these delicious Lettuce Boat Tacos on Tues, throw some chicken on a leafy green salad on Wed, etc. If your family isn’t large or you just need them to last a while, the foods I buy for cheap and in bulk can usually be frozen. The idea for me is to make things as easy and inexpensive for our family as possible.

3) Always have a replacement!

What I mean by this is when you remove a food from your diet always have a healthy option to replace it with. This way, you aren’t ever fully missing a food and you are less likely to relapse due to a craving.

As a few examples, I replaced milk with almond milk, sour cream with greek yogurt, home-style pancakes (my husband’s favorite) were replaced by some delicious banana pancakes and I even make my own coffee creamer. That way, even if we’re craving something “bad,” I have a fall back.

AND I know the title only said THREE, but I’ll throw in a fourth tip for free 😉

4) Don’t stress yourself out!

In today’s world of Pinterest perfect and those online know-it-alls, it can be hard to try to measure up to your (or other’s) expectations. Stress will hurt you in the long run. Unless you are doing something on a time limit, like the 21 Day Fix,  you don’t have to eat perfect ALL the time. Every once in awhile, have that dessert to celebrate a birthday or drink that sugary cocktail and enjoy being out with friends. It’s all about moderation. Just don’t over do it.

These are some of the tips that work best for me… If you have any questions or other tips you would like to add, please leave it in the comments below!  

~Rebecca

Kims Spaghetti Casserole

Kims Spaghetti Casserole

This recipe has been in my life since I was a teenager. A close friend of our family gifted it to me at my bridal shower and it’s been a staple in my repertoire ever since.  

It’s easy and is such a crowd pleaser! It isn’t vegan friendly but you could probably adjust the ingredients to suit your needs. Not only is this recipe amazing the first night…it’s even better as leftovers after the flavors get to know each other 😉

 

Baked Spaghetti Casserole      

 

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package (16 oz) spaghetti
  • 1 jar meatless spaghetti sauce    (I use Traditional Prego)
  • 1 jar alfredo (I use 4-cheese alfredo)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 5 tblsp butter, melted
  • 2 cups (16 oz) small curd cottage cheese
  • 4 cups (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti, add to egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13X9 inch baking dish.

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Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce, alfredo and mozzarella cheese.

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Repeat layers.

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Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

 

makes 8-10 servings.

Lettuce Boat Taco Recipe

Lettuce Boat Taco Recipe

I love tacos! They are the perfect blend of flavors and you can mix and match toppings to suit your tastes. Everyone in the house is happy and we rarely have left overs on taco night.

Of course, now that I am eating “clean”, I have to think twice about all my meals, including tacos. I use the term loosely because everyone has a different definition of what that means. To me, eating clean means cutting out the following: added sugar, added salt, preservatives, white bread (which I haven’t eaten since I was 11 anyway), and most dairy. Therefore, I do as much cooking from scratch as I can. However, I’m not going to sit here and calculate macros and count carbs all day. I know what foods are healthy and what foods aren’t and go from there.

 

 

Cooking some ground turkey, I LOVE my cast iron skillets.
Cooking some ground turkey, I LOVE my cast iron skillets!

 

Clearly, I have to reconsider eating tacos with the salty taco seasoning, the carb filled shells, the sour cream, the cheese… oh how I love cheese! Taco salad is always an option, but when I’m on a diet I get so tired of anything with the word “salad” in it!
Luckily, I have a fabulous clean way to eat tacos that doesn’t include the bad stuff, and still tastes delicious. All it takes is a few variations on the usual taco recipe.

 

 

Hearts of Romain
Hearts of Romain

 

 

To make clean-eating tacos, follow these easy substitutions:

 

  • Use high quality ground beef, ground turkey or (my favorite) – pulled chicken, instead of low-grade ground beef

  • Use a salt-free Taco Seasoning. Home-made is the best choice ~ Here is my taco-seasoning recipe

  • Use Romaine lettuce leaves as taco shells. They have a nice boat shape, are very healthy, and have 0 carbs. They also have the crunchy texture

  • Use a salsa that has all natural ingredients. I love this organic Costco brand salsa

  • Ditch the sour cream and substitute Plain Greek Yogurt instead. Seriously! When all these flavors are mixed together, you can NOT tell the difference

  • Use a sprinkle of taco cheese blend. I know I need a little bit!

  • Add any other clean toppings you want!

    And there you have it! If you have any other healthy taco suggestions, leave them in the comments below!

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Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco Seasoning Recipe

One night I was making tacos and realized that I had forgotten to buy taco seasoning. I had already started preparing the meal, so I had to improvised! Honestly, I had never really thought about what was in taco seasoning, just that it was delicious! Honestly, have you ever considered what is in those tiny packets of taco seasoning? As it turns out, it is so much healthier (and cheaper) to make your own!

Although, this is my go to blend of flavoring for taco meat whether I am trying to eat healthy or not! It’s flavorful, delicious and inexpensive compared to what you pay for a packet of the name brand stuff. Here is my recipe for salt-free taco seasoning. Obviously, if you want salt you can add it (I would say about 1 teaspoon).

 

Salt- Free Taco Seasoning:

• 3 T chili powder (check the label to make sure the spice is salt-free)
• 1 1/4 T cumin
• 2 t pepper
• 1 t garlic powder
• 1 t onion powder
• 1 t red pepper flakes
• 1 t dried oregano
• 1 t paprika
• ½ t thyme

 

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OK. Now, here’s the hard part… Mix them all up, then put the mixture in a container. Seriously, it’s that easy! You now have your own homemade taco seasoning for cooking. I use these awesome spice jars for storing my seasonings!

That’s it! You’re done. Use about 2 Tbs for every pound of meat or adjust for your taste.

Now go make some delicious tacos and enjoy!

If you are looking for a healthy taco recipe, or if you just want an alternative to traditional tacos – check out my post on how to make lettuce boat tacos!

 

Affiliate Disclosure: We are grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases we will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to keep this website up and running. Thank you! 🙂
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Ever wake up and have the craving for fresh squeezed lemonade? No? Me neither! But apparently the small humans that live in my household do and they will beg ALLLL day until I finally break and let the word slip out, “OK”.

 

  Wait… No! I meant no! Inside I start panicking…

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  But I’ve already said it. Those two letters that are a binding contract for small dictators. “OK…” I say again defeated.

 

So it begins. We hand squeeze lemons, but let’s face it, I am the BEST lemon squeezer in all of the land, so I have to do most of the grunt work. Plus, one of the kids always has a microscopic cut in their hand that burns when the lemon juice touches them.

 

Squeezing Lemons

“It’s been 20 minutes and we only have how much juice?” Alright it’s time to move on.

 

Lemon Juice

The kids love helping me stir all the ingredients together. Of course it is never sugary enough for them so we always have to add more sugar. Then they each need a turn stirring it, again.

 

Alas, we are finished. My kids have puckered lips and by this time, I may or may not have needed to add some vodka to my lemonade.

lemon3NEW

If you are also interested in appeasing the tiny humans in your household, I have attached my recipe. You may want to double or triple it. This makes about a quart because that’s all the juice I can squeeze before going insane.

 

Ingredients:

  • About 6 lemons (7 if you want some fancy garnish)

  • 1 – 1.5 C sugar (tiny people say it needs at least 1.5 C)

  • 5 C water

Directions:

1) Hand squeeze lemons to get approx. 1 C lemon juice, or if you are smart you have a juicer. Set in the fridge to chill.

2) Make some simple sugar by mixing 1 C sugar and 1 C  water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved. Chill in fridge… or add ice cubes to cool if the little people are too impatient to wait.

3) Mix the remaining 4 C water, lemon juice and simple syrup into a pitcher. Pour over ice and enjoy! (Adding alcohol to your glass is optional)

 

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Kim’s Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

Kim’s Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

 

I seriously make this at least once a week in our house. We love it. Of course it isn’t the same as the yummy Japanese Hibachi restaurants…but nothing ever is. And the best part….it is insanely easy to make and pretty inexpensive!! All of the sauces can be bought in a traditional grocery store, I got them all in the international section at Food Lion. I’m sorry I don’t really have measurements, I just dump shit in and go with it…which is honestly how the best meals are made anyway.

First…marinate your chicken breast in teriyaki sauce for a few hours (or even the night before), I use this kind..

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Meanwhile, pour your frozen shrimp into a bowl with cool water. I buy a bag of already cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp from the freezer section at Food Lion. I can usually catch a big bag of it on sale for $8.99. A big bag usually equals 2-3 batches too! Once the shrimp is thawed out I drain the water out and pull the tails off and put it back in the same bowl and pour some teriyaki sauce on top to marinate for a little bit.

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Next…make the white rice. I just dump a bunch on the pot and pour water in and I use the old “fingertip measuring” (that sounds dirty). You could also use a rice cooker, but I don’t have one so whatever.

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Just the tip!

Back to the meat…in the winter I just cook it in the house on a grill pan, any other time I take it outside to the grill in order to cut down on the smell in my tiny house. Once it’s cooked, just cut it into a bunch of bite size pieces like this:

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Now that most of the ingredients are prepped we can start frying…  Pour some vegetable oil in a pan and start cooking some cut up onions. Add some frozen peas and carrots (it’s up to you how much of these things you like in your fried rice…I love cooked onions so I use a whole onion in mine).  Once they’re mostly cooked I slide them to the side of the pan and add the scrambled eggs (2).

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Next add the already cooked rice (here I used 2 cups of dry rice which equals about 4 cups of cooked rice) and a big ole hunk of butter (I use unsalted since its healthy lol)

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Next I add a little bit of Sesame Seed Oil to add some more flavor…go light on this oil because it is very potent and too much of it is a bad idea. You can always add more later on if it isn’t enough for you.

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Once the butter is mostly melted I add some shakes of this lite Soy sauce… (again there is no rhyme or reason in making this)

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Next I dump in the cut up cooked chicken and the cooked shrimp that has been marinating…I also add in some of the teriyaki sauce that I marinated them in…

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Cover and let it cook for a few minutes so the shrimp heats up. And VOILA!!! Yumsies. Also I highly recommend adding some Yum Yum sauce once you put it in your bowl…

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Bon Appetit!!

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Affiliate Disclosure: We are grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases we will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to keep this website up and running. Thank you! 🙂