For most of us, the biggest thing holding us back from our health and fitness goals is food.
While ordering take-out, or microwaving our meals is the easier and more convenient option, it’s not always the healthiest. When you cook your own meals, you’ll find yourself making healthier choices because you can see what goes into your food at every step of the process.
I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite recipes that have been helping me achieve my energy and fitness goals this year. These are not only healthy and delicious, but they’re also “newbie” friendly. I promise -- these simple recipes will make you want to spend more time in the kitchen!
Before we get into it, these are the “superfoods” I’ve been making an effort to incorporate into my diet more regularly. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received when it comes to food is focus on what you need to add to your diet, and what you need to cut out.
These ingredients have been known to support heart health and give you more energy throughout the day. You will notice a lot of these are used in the recipes below.
Avocado Salmon Carrots
Blueberries Pomegranate Chia Seed
Flaxseed Oatmeal Almonds
Brown Rice Cantaloupe Spinach
Breakfast: Avocado English Muffin
1 whole wheat English muffin
2 slices turkey bacon
olive oil to taste
sea salt to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
Cook the turkey bacon until crispy.
Toast English muffin.
Slice and scoop avocado, and spread it onto the English muffin.
Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle sea salt and red pepper to taste.
Rip turkey bacon slices in half, and place on top
Tip: This also makes for a satisfying lunch!
Breakfast: Chia Seed Pudding
1 cup chia seeds
¼ cup milk of choice
1 tbsp honey or vanilla
toppings of your choice (chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries, banana, pomegranate seeds, almonds, granola, etc.)
Add chia seeds to a bowl or mug.
Add milk, honey or vanilla, and whisk for about 1 minute.
Wait 30 seconds, and whisk again to keep seeds from sinking to the bottom.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let settle in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Decorate the pudding with your favorite toppings.
Lunch or Dinner: Shrimp Zucchini Boats
*This recipe comes from Delish, but I’ve made some adjustments to fit my taste.
4 small zucchini
¼ cup shredded parmesan
¾ pound raw, deveined and peeled shrimp
3 minced garlic cloves (or add garlic powder to taste)
salt to taste
shredded mozzarella cheese
pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper
chopped red pepper flakes to taste
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop the insides out, and set aside.
Put the zucchini boats on a baking sheet with tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
Add butter to a skillet, and cook shrimp until they’re pink. Set aside, and chop into bite sized pieces.
In the same skillet, add more butter, and cook the zucchini insides with the bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper until fragrant. Add shrimp, heavy cream, lemon juice and parmesan, and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the mixture to your baked zucchini boats, and top with shredded mozzarella and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Tip: These are also just as delicious as leftovers. Just pop in the toaster oven!
Lunch or Dinner: Turkey-Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats
*This recipe is from Taste of Home, but I have made some adjustments to fit my taste.
5 bell peppers
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 chopped medium tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 package ground turkey
2 tsp cumin
1.5 cups soft bread crumbs
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Cut peppers lengthwise and remove seeds. Place on a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large skillet with olive oil on medium heat, cook and crumble to turkey until it’s no longer pink. Add seasonings.
Let cool slightly, add bread crumbs, cheese and tomatoes.
Fill peppers with the turkey mixture. Cook for 25-30 minutes.
Tip: Stay away from green bell peppers. The red, yellow, and orange ones have the best taste when baked! Also, these are delicious as leftovers.
Snack: Apples and Almond Butter
1 apple ¼ cup almond butter or peanut butter
Cut the apple into slices.
Add almond butter to a small bowl.
Tip: I prefer to use almond butter over peanut butter so I can sneak another “superfood” into my day.
Snack: Flaxseed Energy Bites
You may recognize this recipe in a previous article of mine on healthy snacks, but I think it’s worth sharing again. These have been my obsession! They make the perfect post-workout snack
1 cup rolled oats ½ cup flaxseed meal
½ cup peanut butter ½ cup chocolate chips
⅓ cup maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir. The peanut butter will be difficult to disperse evenly, so you may want to use your hands.
Use your hands to roll the batter into 1 inch balls — like you’re making cookies.
Place on a cookie sheet, and put in the freezer for about one hour.
Enjoy right away, or save in the refrigerator for later!
Snack: Go-To Banana Smoothie
1 frozen banana ¼ - ½ cup milk of choice
1 tbsp almond butter 1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp chia seeds
Peel a banana and slice into coins.
Freeze for 20 to 30 minutes so the banana is cold, but not completely frozen so it’s easier on your blender.
Blend all your ingredients to your desired consistency.
Tip: I like my smoothie thick enough to eat as a smoothie bowl. Sometimes I’ll top it with chocolate chips or shredded coconut.
Enjoy! And let us know what you think!