For the Moms

Makin’ Banana Pancakes

Sometimes busy week day (and lazy weekend) mornings call for a quick, hassle-free breakfast. And sometimes it can still be really delicious and nutritious. Bonus points if it makes your kitchen smell like culinary heaven.

This week at Indulge In Nutrition, we’re bringing you an easy, healthy pancake recipe for a breakfast your family is sure to enjoy- you can even include the little ones to help you make sure the batter is stirred just right. ūüôā

Our favorite part of making these healthy pancakes was the fact that we didn’t even have to go to the store to buy and special ingredients. They were all things we had laying around the house (and you are sure to have them, too!)

These healthy pancakes are also FREEZER FRIENDLY! You can whip them up on any day of the week (breakfast for dinner on a Monday night here), let them cool, and then freeze them individually to be popped in the toaster or microwave on a rushed morning.

Ingredients for ~12 Freezer Friendly Healthy Pancakes:

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Directions for Freezer Friendly Healthy Pancakes:

Heat a griddle or pan to medium heat.
Measure out all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) into a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix the ingredients. This is a good step for the little ones, as it’s not too messy!
Add the milk, honey, eggs, and melted butter to the dry ingredients.

4. Add the mashed bananas in a little at a time and slowly fold them into the rest of the batter.

Is Your Salad Skinny?

One of the most common meals that come to mind when you think of healthy eating or starting a diet is a salad. It’s tempting to think that anything involving a bowl of lettuce is the best choice for cutting calories, but we often don’t take into account all of the things we add to that lettuce. With the literal hundreds of different ingredient combinations you can whip up and call a salad, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly how it all ads up. If we aren’t careful, it’s really easy for that skinny salad to become not so skinny. And a fat salad just kind of defeats the purpose, right?

Listed here are a few ways that calories can sneak into that salad, along with ways to foolproof your salad.

1. Using a lot of cheese:

I know I can’t be the only one guilty of this? Sometimes I think it’s okay to put 3 big scoops of cheese on my salad…and while my taste buds might definitely appreciate it, my waist line does not. And an appropriate serving size for a salad is more like 2 tablespoons. Oops. It’s also important to pay attention to the kind of cheese you’re using- try low-fat, lower-calorie options like feta or part-skim mozzarella.

2. Wrong sources of protein:

Adding high-fat protein choices, like ham or bacon can increase the calorie count in your salad fairly quickly! Opt for a leaner source like grilled chicken breast, grass-fed beef, tuna, salmon, or even a non-meat pick like black beans or tofu.

3. High calorie salad dressings/too much salad dressing:

Have you ever looked at a bottle of Ranch dressing? I use Ranch dressing as an example because I live in the [...]

INDULGE in Nutrition’s 5 Best Weight Loss Tips

It’s the end of April, which means summer is quickly approaching (despite what the weather may be trying to get us to believe!) And the impending summer brings with it visions of building sand castles with the little ones, wading in the cool water, barbecues and picnics with loved ones, and…those shorts. Or maybe that swim suit or tank top that fits just a little too snug for comfort (literally).

We know it comes with the territory- having babies and being responsible for a human life is a huge job that seems to leave little time for thinking about yourself, much less taking time to spend 5+ hours a week in the gym and the kitchen. And it’s honestly probably not something you think about (or should be thinking about) right after child birth. You have babies to nurse, toddlers to feed, a house to clean, maybe a career to further, and relationships to maintain- and it’s too easy to get lost in the mumbo-jumbo of weight loss.

In today’s world, there is¬†a LOT of contradicting information and a lot of fad diets telling you how to lose weight, and it can be overwhelming.¬†But here at INDULGE in Nutrition, our goal is to help you separate fact from fad and give you science-based information that you can actually apply in your life.¬†Fitting into your pre-baby skinny jeans or weighing 120 lbs. isn’t the goal here-¬†¬†the goal is to be healthy, happy, and full of energy to play with those kiddos! Here are 5 of our BEST factual weight loss tips to help you¬†do that, just in time for summer fun! (And fitting back into those cute shorts is just an added bonus ūüôā )

Incredible Hulk Juice (or a Clean Green Smoothie for Mom)

If you are subscribed to our INDULGE in Nutrition monthly newsletter¬†you got to read all about¬†National Nutrition Month(NNM)¬†which has been going on throughout the month of March. The theme for NNM this year is “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle,” and that is exactly what we have been trying to give you the resources to do!¬†There have been a lot of green things in this kitchen this month- we hope you are loving it. And more importantly, we hope you are teaching your kids to love it!

Before we move on to Easter fun on this blog, we wanted to share one more green recipe! Green smoothies are quick and very easy to personalize. They are also packed full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (all in one drink)! Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients in this particular smoothie:

Dark, leafy greens: Baby spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale- These all promote good blood clotting, healthy vision, immune function, and skin and bone health. The fiber content improves digestive function (hello roughage)! They have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes, improve muscle strength, lower the risk of certain types of cancer, detoxify the body, and act as anti-inflammatory agents. They are also good for women hoping to get pregnant (thanks to the folate content).
Green apples: Can lower your risk of chronic diseases, promote weight loss, and regulate blood sugar. It also is very good for your heart!
Celery stalks: Thanks to it antioxidant content, celery can help us have healthy cells, blood vessels, and organs. It reduces inflammation, can be soothing to our nervous system, regulates pH in the body (no one wants to be acidic), and lowers blood pressure and LDL(“bad” cholesterol. And [...]

Thanksgiving Fruit Turkey

The holidays are a lot of people’s favorite time of the year. For most of us they are filled with family, friends, religious activities, and each year brings back sweet memories we thought we had forgotten. I love the holidays! I also love to EAT all through the holidays. While the average person doesn’t gain that much weight during the holidays, we eat much more food per meal than we typically do throughout the rest of the year. It can also be extremely difficult to diet throughout the holidays, and the likelihood of being successful is low due to the festive atmosphere. So where does that leave us?

One way to ease up on our bodies this time of year may be to incorporate more fresh foods into our holiday meals. I’ve always thought that Thanksgiving could use a little more fresh fruit (seeing as how most of the fruit comes in the form of pie.) A Thanksgiving Pear Turkey would be a hit. It’s not too “out there,” for those who may not be as health conscious, it’s cute, and pretty simple to put together!

You can pick and choose the kind of fruit you want to use depending on what is in season in your area and what might be on sale. (I got a whole pineapple for $0.99!) I also used 1 banana, 1/2 apple, 1 cup of grapes, a handful each of raspberries and blackberries, and a pear. You will also need a few carrot slivers for garnish.

 

 

First, wash your pear and slice it in half length wise. When shopping for your pear it is best if you find one with a fat bottom and a taller skinnier neck to look more [...]

Healthy Pan-Grilled Chicken and Squash Nuggets

After a fun¬†weekend filled with friends, Halloween parties, Aggie football, and too much candy (oops!), my alarm went off way too soon on Monday morning. I’m sure this is every weekend for you moms! You know the days I’m talking about- the ones where you hit snooze one too many times, leaving you running late.

On days like that, having a grab and go meal or snack for the kids (and yourself) is a life saver! Sunday is my favorite day to prep all of my food for the week, and that normally lasts me until Thursday (my busiest day when I’m not home to cook.) Being able to have a healthy snack ready to grab on Thursday morning as I’m headed out the door keeps me from having to buy fast food, and is great on my tummy, body, and¬†my dad’s bank account. ūüėČ

One of my favorite grab-and-go’s to make are Pan-Grilled Chicken and Squash Nuggets. They are easy, have two main ingredients, and can be personalized based on your taste. These nuggets are another way you can sneak in vegetables to your child’s diet, too! You can use ground chicken or turkey, although the chicken is more visually appealing. You can also use zucchini instead of squash, or any other moist vegetable. Season according to personal preference.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground chicken
1 c shredded squash (1 whole squash makes about 1 cup of shredded squash)
olive  oil for pan
spices and herbs of choice (I used garlic salt, italian seasoning, cumin, and chili powder)

Recipe:

1. Shred squash into a medium sized bowl. Heat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil.

2. Add ground chicken to squash and mix well.

3. Add seasoning.
4. Using hands [...]

  • Permalink ">Hereford Cattle by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Gallery

    What Does Your Steak Eat?

What Does Your Steak Eat?

People say, “you are what you eat.” But an even truer statement is, “you are what you eat eats.” This is something we often don’t think about when picking out our meats. We tend to think that meat is meat no matter what the label.

Generally speaking, there are grass-fed cattle and grain-fed cattle. Cows that are grass-fed are left to live off the land until the time of slaughter, but grain-fed cows are fed corn or grain-based feeds to fatten them up faster. They are also given hormones and drugs to speed up the fattening process even more. Yuck!

This difference in diets of cows also affects the nutrient composition of their meat (and our food!) Grass-fed beef has fewer grams of fat, and since fat has 9 calories/gram, it has less total calories too.¬†While the content of omega-6 fatty acids in each kind of beef is pretty similar, grass-fed beef has a much higher content of Omega-3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Omega-3 and CLA are both known for their healthy effects on the heart. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good fats” we hear about and can help lower chances of high blood pressure and heart attacks, and CLA is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

A common misconception is that Omega-6 fatty acids are less important or not as good for you as Omega-3’s. This isn’t true! We actually need Omega-6’s too, but the typical American gets way more than we need! (Our ratio of Omega-6:3 averages 20:1-15:1, when the AHA recommends¬†1:1 – 5:1). Grass-fed beef contains the Omega-6 we need, with a much better ratio of Omega-3 to balance it!

Grass-fed beef also contains more Vitamin A, [...]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Fuel Up the Right Way This Week – 6 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Fuel Up the Right Way This Week – 6 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas

This week we wanted to share with our readers an assortment of quick and healthy breakfast recipes from some our favorite blogs on the web. These posts can all be converted into make ahead, grab and go breakfasts, or are quick to throw together in the mornings. They feature a fruit or vegetable, are minimally processed, and have no or low sugar. What more could you ask for?

 

This Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie recipe from My Recipes is quick to create. The only sugar comes from the yummy pineapple and the healthy greek yogurt! You could easily add spinach or kale to get an extra serving of veggies in your kids to start their day off with.

 

Looking for something a little more savory, but still just as easy? Mary at Barefeet In The Kitchen has created a delicious¬†Bacon, Potato, and Vegetable Breakfast Hash. You¬†could personalize this recipe to include your family’s favorite vegetables. Simply chop your vegetables at the beginning of the week (I do all of this on Sundays),¬†refrigerate¬†them¬†in an airtight container to keep fresh, and just throw it all in a skillet each morning with eggs and seasoning.

If you’re looking for a make ahead muffin, Sugar Free Mom, Brenda, has a great recipe for you!¬†Sugar Free & Dairy Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins¬†are a breeze to make and freeze or store in an airtight container to use throughout the week as breakfast, lunch box additions, or after school snacks. The muffins use vegetables as their star, are made with clean ingredients, and also have a gluten free option!

 

4-Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies¬†from Melissa at My Whole Food Life can be made using any kind of nut butter, and can trick your kiddos into thinking they’re [...]

Winner, Winner, (One-Pan) Fish Dinner!

Words like “fast,” and “easy”¬†are convenient, but they don’t necessarily scream “HEALTHY!!”, especially when used to describe our food. But when it’s Wednesday night and the baby is crying, the other kid is clinging for life to¬†your leg while you’re on the phone and trying to put dirty clothes in the washer because no one has clean ones, AND your husband is on his way home from work thinking dinner is waiting on him….fast and easy are just too good to pass up. Can anyone relate?

My equivalent of that scenario is “test week,” where I don’t understand the exam material no matter how much I’ve studied it, and I have meetings, work,¬†extra-curriculars, church, and friends all pulling me in a thousand different directions. It’s those moments when I’ve spent the last 5 hours in the library, and I come home to a messy room and a bed I can’t wait to crawl into that I’m tempted to make fast, easy food and call it a night.

Whatever is your “fast and easy” moment, I have the answer to your prayers to not lose your mind on those crazy nights. It’s a One-Pan Fish Dinner! Or chicken, pork, or whatever meat you prefer.

This dish can be prepped in 5-10 minutes or less, and ready to eat in less than 30! Choose any meat (although chicken and fish work best in my opinion) and 2 or 3 different vegetables. Throw it all in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven. I used tilapia, broccoli, red bel peppers, and yellow squash (get them soon before they go out of season!), but feel free to make it your own and use what you and your family prefer!

When you’re [...]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Childhood Obesity Awareness Month + Easy Carrot & Oat Cookies

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month + Easy Carrot & Oat Cookies

If you’ve gotten a chance to read our September newsletter (subscribe here), you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Studies and statistics tell us that over 17% of the nation’s children and teenagers were considered obese in 2012- a figure that is increasing every year. These kids have an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases, several types of cancers, joint problems, sleep apnea, asthma, and high blood pressure. They are also likely to experience a lowered self-esteem and social discomfort.

Those numbers and facts are frightening, to say the least. So what can you as a parent do to help fight childhood obesity in your own home?¬†If your child is overweight or obese, it is important¬†to¬†scale back¬†their calories (mostly from added fats and sugars) but to also allow them enough calories for normal growth and development.¬† Find ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and nuts and legumes into your daily menu. Kids aren’t¬†famous¬†for their vegetable intake, but there are ways to sneak it into their food without them knowing.

My mom is notorious among our friends and family for her Vegetable Cakes.¬†She uses box cake mix, eggs, water, and tons of grated vegetables like squash, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage.¬†¬†People LOVE¬†them! The trick is that she doesn’t tell them what kind of cake it is until after they try it (and love it).

Today I want to share a similar recipe for a cookie chock-full of veggies with no sugar (besides that from natural ingredients).

I’m not sure if more of this dough went in my mouth or in the oven, but they taste great either way. This is one cookie you DON’T have to feel guilty about ūüôā
Natural Carrot & Oat Cookies