#HH30Days Week 3 Recap: Some New Favorites!

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How is everyone doing with the Real Food Challenge??  I hope you are enjoying it and feeling great!  I wanted to share some of my new favorites that have been helping me get through the challenge without feeling like it’s a challenge at all!  It’s really more of a reminder to make good choices and most importantly, to plan ahead.  When I plan ahead, great things happen for my food choices.  When I don’t, well…that’s another story, and it ends sort of sadly.

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Which is why I’m glad to share these ideas with you!  One of my favorite breakfasts, and one that has become my go-to this past week is an almond butter green smoothie.  I use almond milk, almond butter, a ton of spinach, a banana, and a little bit of yogurt for protein.  It’s great because it doesn’t need any added sweetener, plus it keeps me full until lunch.  Ok, let’s be honest, nothing keeps me full until lunch.  But it really does tide me over until snack time, which is still no small feat! 🙂

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Another thing that has helped me a ton is planning ahead and preparing my lunches.  I’m always on the run, so it’s helpful to have something I can just grab from my lunch bag and eat without having to find a microwave.  For that, I bring you…my favorite veggie rice bowls!  I have a mild obsession with peanut butter, so using veggies as a delivery vehicle is a great way to feel good about it.

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I started with some brown rice, then added in a ton of veggies, including cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes, and some leftover grilled asparagus.  I put a big dollop of peanut sauce on top of the rice, then added some cubes of tofu for protein, then added the veggies on top.  It was delicious!  I was actually surprised at how easy they turned out to be, plus how tasty they were!

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These were so easy to grab and go, plus they made me look forward to lunch everyday!

Comment below to let us know how you are doing with the Real Food Challenge!  We would love to see your photos of your meals!  Tag us on instagram!

 

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#HH30Days Week 2 recap! Teaser: I love dessert.

Peach Sorbet and Chocolate “Ice Cream” Recipes!

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It’s the truth.  I love dessert.  Who doesn’t?  If you’re struggling with finding #HH30Days-friendly desserts, you will love this post!  Lots of cool, creamy treats for the warming weather to add flavor and sweetness to your life without a ton of calories or processed junk.

To start, I’ve mentioned before that I buy a ton of summer produce, then freeze it and enjoy it all year.  One of my absolute favorites is summer peaches.  They are juicy, sweet, and an absolute treat when they are in season every year.  One of the advantages to freezing them is that they can easily be transformed into a healthy, homemade sorbet.

I started by taking about one peach worth of peach chunks out of the freezer and putting them right into the blender. IMG_2083

I then added 1/3 cup of almond milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and that’s it!  No sugar added!  Woohoo!  Now whirl it up in your blender.  I’m not going to lie-it gets stuck a bit.  If you have a tamper stick to shove in there, get it ready!  If it gets really frozen and stuck, you can add a touch more almond milk to loosen it up.  Just don’t go too crazy or you will end up with a smoothie rather than a sorbet!

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Looks smooth and smells like cinnamon!  Time to dig in!
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Now, if you’re not into the sorbet idea, or if you aren’t a fruit hoarder like I am, you might want to go with something a little creamier, that uses ingredients you can get delivered in your bag right now: bananas!  This is too easy for words.  It takes a little time, but it’s worth it!

Start by slicing a rather ripe banana into 1/2 inch slices, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  I use wax paper so it doesn’t freeze to the baking sheet.

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Then place the whole sheet in the freezer for an hour:

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Take them out of the freezer and pop into a food processor:

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Now here is the fun part.  You can make this whatever flavor you like!  I added one tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  You could add in peanut butter or any flavor you like.  Share your ideas in the comments section!

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Whirl it up!

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So smooth!

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Now, in the interest of being honest and not pretending chocolate ice cream and bananas taste the same, I will admit that it’s not just like eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream, BUT, and this is an important point: the calorie difference is ridiculous.  A cup of chocolate ice cream (premium) contains around 530 calories and 34 grams of fat.  Compare that to this little gem, where there are about 100 calories and .4 grams of fat in the banana, then none in the cocoa powder and vanilla, and it’s no contest.  This is a great option for a healthy and sweet treat!

Share your ideas and experiences for #HH30Days treats below!

 

#HH30Days Snacktime!

 

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So have you signed up for the #HH30Days challenge yet? I have! And I am determined to stick to it for 30 days!  How do I plan on doing that while also working full time and dealing with life in general? Good question!

Planning

So let’s think about this: if I want to eat healthy things, then I have to have healthy things available to me. That means I need to shop on HH’s site for delicious things that I want to eat, and it just so happens that one of my favorite things on the planet is tzatziki. To be even more specific, Cava Mezze’s tzatziki. I’ve googled online for the recipe more times than I care to admit, but now I don’t have to because I can just order it and have it ready-made and in my bag on my delivery morning. JACK. POT. I could eat it with a spoon, but I use celery instead:

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Another favorite is guacamole and chips, but I keep it healthy by substituting red peppers for chips.  Still delicious!

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Prep work

For me, and for many people I think, the most important part of the week is the part before it even starts. Basically, Sunday night. If I prepare and plan on Sunday night, then I have healthy options in the fridge that make it easy to grab and go. If I have to work late, then I have to take all of my meals with me, and that’s especially doable if I have a fridge full of healthy prepared meals. So I take all the yummy things I got in my bag and make them into something delicious. This week, it was a quinoa salad with corn, black beans, red peppers, mango, and…spring garlic! I am obsessed with it lately!

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PROTEIN (MY BFF)

So really, my sister is my BFF, but protein is a close second.   It helps me feel full on fewer calories, so that’s a win right there.

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Pairing protein and veggies or fruit is an excellent way to feel full on a smaller total amount of calories. For example, celery and tzatziki (can you tell I love that snack?), carrots and hummus, an apple and peanut butter, hard boiled eggs…it’s all a win, because they will keep you feeling satiated and not ravenous for longer than a bag of chips will.

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Share your favorite healthy snack below!

Hometown Harvest’s Spring Celebration Green Smoothie

Bag items: bananas, strawberries, Greek yogurt, kale, nut butter
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Well, after a long winter, I personally am thrilled that it is FINALLY Spring!  I think my favorite produce has to be strawberries.  I buy them in bulk from HH, eat most of them, freeze some of them, and then I make smoothies year-round with them.  Well, strawberry season is almost here, and along with it, the rest of Spring’s yummy produce, like asparagus and rhubarb!  I’m so excited!

So let’s start the season with a fresh and yummy smoothie.  This one has everything you need available to toss in your shopping bag and make your life easier.  I like making these in bulk, separating them into drinkable containers, then I have breakfast every morning when I rush out the door.  Healthy and easy!

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Now smoothies with kale have become quite popular, and for good reason: you get all of the vitamins and nutrients of the dark leafy greens, especially vitamin K, but it’s largely undetectable to those who might otherwise not love the taste of kale!  I have a good layering technique for all of you smoothie lovers out there-keep reading!

Start by adding milk to your blender, then the nut butter, yogurt, and strawberries:

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Then add the kale:

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Then add the banana on top.  I like using the banana to weigh down the other ingredients so they don’t get stuck in the blender:

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Blend it up:

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Pour and enjoy!

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Hometown Harvest’s Spring Celebration Green Smoothie

Ingredients

3/4 c. milk (any kind is fine)
1/2 c. strawberries, hulled
1 Tbsp. nut butter
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 c. kale leaves, loosely packed
1 banana

Instructions:

  • Add the milk, yogurt, strawberries, and nut butter to the blender.
  • Add the kale leaves, then place the banana on top to weigh down the kale.
  • Blend and enjoy!