My Newest Food Fetish: Lentils

I had never cooked lentils (unless they were in a canned soup) until a few days ago, and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out all these years!!! At first glance, lentils may not seem very exciting…brown bean-like things with no taste – right?

Wrong. Lentils can be über flavorful. But more importantly, I discovered that they are VERY easy and quick to make. After getting home from the gym at 7pm I’m hungry, and I want to eat NOW. I won’t wait more than 15 minutes to eat! So, I discovered 2 products that will make a healthy meal in 10 minutes or less…

Sprouted lentils are AWESOME because they take 7 minutes to cook (non-sprouted lentils take 30-45 minutes) and they are extremely healthy for you! Sprouted lentils are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.Their high fiber content also prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils provide excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils (you won’t be able to eat even that much…they are sooo filling).

When you’re hungry and in a hurry, an all-natural curry sauce goes great with lentils! Once the lentils are cooked, just drain them and put them back into you pot, add a whole jar of curry sauce, and stir for about 1 minute. This curry sauce is also super healthy for you, and includes healthy coconut fats, and vegetables!

1 whole bag of sprouted lentils: ~ $3.00

1 jar curry sauce: ~ $4.00

5 healthy meals/servings for $7 in under 10 minutes? PRICELESS  : )

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Food of the week: Carrots!

I know your thinking, carrots…that’s not a very interesting ingredient! And I have to be honest with you, I’m not a huge carrot fan myself. I definitely don’t reach for carrots when I’m looking for a healthy snack. But I really want to like carrots, because they’re SOOOO cheap and they keep forever! So I went on a quest to find a few easy and healthy ways to use carrots that are a little more appetizing than just biting into a huge chunk of raw carrot. But first…some nutritional facts about carrots!

Health benefits of carrots:

  •  1 cup of carrots = 52 calories   That’s a lot of carrots!
  • Good source of dietary fiber (that’s the digestible kind!)
  • Great source of beta carotene…it boosts the immune system, promotes eye health and hair/skin/nail health
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, K, and Potassium

How to incorporate carrots into your diet this week:

  •  Use carrots to dip in your guacamole or humus instead of crackers or chips. Much healthier!
  • Moroccan Carrot Salad:   (This recipe sounds kind of weird, but I promise it’s REALLY good! And really easy!)        
    • 4 cups carrots, coarsely grated (I get the pre-done carrots!)
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon  paprika
    • Pinch of salt 
    •  1 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Oven Roasted Carrots:
  • 12 carrots
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
  •  1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut carrots into ½ inch thick slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay carrots on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Toss with dill/parsley and enjoy!

  Have a happy healthy Day!

Caitlin

Moroccan Carrot Salad for lunch today! Yum yum! And it took me literally 1 minute to make last night!

 

 

Travel Tips – San Francisco

 Last week/weekend the Hubs and I went to San Francisco! Part business trip, part fun. Well, now were back in MN and the weather isn’t much different. It was cool and rainy most of the time we were in Cali, but we still managed to have some fun!  Ever the health conscious one, I’m now reporting back to you on the fun (and healthy) things you can eat and do in the San Francisco area!

1. Eat Seafood – We stayed on Fisherman’s Wharf and of course there was plenty of fresh seafood to be found. I prefer seafood over meat for both its taste and nutritional value, so I made sure to take FULL advantage of the fresh seafood! My favorites were the fresh crab right off the wharf and the seafood ceviche that I had at a mexican restaurant in Santa Cruz.

2. Walk walk walk – Walk wherever you can. San Francisco is a pedestrians town (but make sure to pack an umbrella if you visiting in March apparently!) We walked along the piers and saw some fun street performers and tourist attractions.  We walked to our St. Paddies Day destination (a block party about a mile away from our hotel), and we even visited the California red wood trees and did a mile loop in the pouring rain (note to self…next time bring rain boots!)

3. Eat Bread – woa woa woa. Yes you read that correctly. San Francisco is the birth place of sourdough bread, and it would be a SIN to miss out on some freshly-baked San Francisco sourdough bread when you visit. I’m not a big proponent of eating a lot of breads/starches, but if your going to eat bread while on vacation, San Francisco is the place to do it. Because its such a local specialty, the bread is made fresh on the spot, and doesn’t contain all the bad for you preservatives and corn syrups that most other breads contain. Just be careful how much you eat!

4. Go to the gym – Yes, even when travelling you should try to go to the gym a few times. Even the cheap hotels usually have a treadmill tucked away in some tiny room. Take advantage of this!

5. Drink LOTS of water – Flying is very dehydrating…and we all know what happens when were dehydrated…we have the tendency to overeat. Plus, it’s just not healthy to be dehydrated. So drink up while traveling!

Here are a few pictures from our trip!

St. Paddys Day! (yes im drinking a Guinness of course!)

Rainy walk through some redwoods!

mmmm fresh crab!

Seafood Ceviche from the mexican restaurant in Santa Cruz

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Saint Patties Day the Healthy Way?

I am a bit of an “American mutt”…a bit of this a bit of that…but I am particularly fond of my Irish heritage…especially this time of the year!  Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, whats not to love?  It involves lots of drinking, good food, good friends, and occasional sightings of men wearing kilts.  Now, I know your thinking to your self…”I thought this was supposed to be a heathy living blog…”  Well, your absolutely right!  Healthy living doesn’t mean you never have a drink or never treat your self.  In fact, I think that avoiding social events for health reasons is borderline obsessive, which is NOT healthy.  Healthy living is more than eating healthy and exercising.  It’s also about mental health.  You need to be able to go out and have a good time with friends and family and not feel guilty about it.  BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t make healthiER choices while having fun.  And so, without further adieu, I give you the healthy living guide to St. Patties Day!

1. DRINK GUINNESS – First of all, it’s St. Patrick’s day. Put down the Bud and drink an Irish beer for one night of the year.  Second, Guinness is a heavy beer, so you will feel more full when drinking it, and thus drink less beer than you would if you were drinking something else.  Lastly, Guinness has fewer calories than you would expect. 16oz of Guinness contains just 196 calories (surprising for such a heavy beer!), not much more than a light beer! (16 oz of Michelob Golden Light has 146 calories!)

2. Skip the fried fare – Yes, fish’n’chips are a traditional irish dish, but there are plenty of other delicious irish dishes that aren’t deep-fried.  For a better (but still delicious option) try shepherds pie. The “crust”  is made out of mashed potatoes, and its filled with lamb or beef, loads of veggies, and tomatoes. You’ll get your Irish fix and your veggie fix all in one!

3. Do an Irish jig – OK so you don’t necessarily have to do an Irish jig, but if you’re at the bar this St. Patties day, get up and shake your booty a little! It can’t hurt to start burning those extra calories!

Cheers to St. Paddy!

Have a healthy happy day!

Caitlin 

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