So I’ve noticed lately that in many of my consultations the question always surfaces…. “How the heck can I squeeze veggies into my morning routine?” So this morning, I’m providing you with 3 easy ways to do just this.
I’m a big believer in “crowding out” junk foods (processed, sugary, empty calories, low nutritional foods which always lead to roller-coasters of hunger) with healthy, nutrient dense, low glycemic, fiber-rich foods – that’s a much more appealing concept than “removing and depriving”. Not just at dinner-time, but all times of day. Why? Well, for starters, we not only want to LOOK great and LIVE longer, but we want to FEEL great too, right? Vegetables are packed with phyto nutrients (phyto=plant) that give us energy, strengthen our immunity, aid in blood purification, are cancer reducing, just to name a few benefits. AND, the fiber in veggies helps fill us up with the good stuff leading to less cravings soon after breakfast- the cravings and highs and lows are usually a result of refined sugar and carbs… I’m sure most of you can relate to the bowl of cereal at 7 am followed by hunger pains at 9am!
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, control that inflammation, reduce sugar cravings, or just adopt a healthy lifestyle, here are 3 ways I incorporate these powerful plants into my morning routine.
OH! And my first requisite for suggestions on this blog: TIME SENSITIVITY. Who isn’t overloaded with tasks these days and too little time to do anything but the necessary!? My belief in living a healthy lifestyle rests in the following: PLAN, SHOP, ORGANIZE, COOK (and freeze!) Second requisite: BALANCE! I suggest trying to incorporate lean protein, healthy fat and veggies at each meal to keep energy and satisfaction at optimal levels
Eggs. For those of you who LIKE eggs, this is one of my favorites… and I get pushback a lot that people don’t have TIME to make omelets in the morning before work. If you can break 2 eggs and scramble in a bowl, and wait 2 more minutes for them to settle in a pan, you can do this !
1. On the weekends, I sauté with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) a variety of the following: onion, green/red pepper, mushrooms, spinach (or whatever I have in the fridge). I add a handful of frozen peas the last minute of sautéing. Add some sea salt, and place in a covered bowl and leave in the fridge for the week.
2. The morning of, I throw 2 eggs in a greased pan (olive oil spray), toss in 2 forkfuls of veggies, scramble up (I’ve never been crazy about the omelet shape – as long as it’s cooked I’m happy), add sea salt, maybe a little cheese, and turmeric (great anti-inflammatory properties). In place of cheese I will often cut a bit of avocado – a fantastic source of healthy fats.
2. Juices/Smoothies: As long as you have a good blender that pulverizes or you have a juicer, you’re set. I personally love my Nutri-bullet because it’s compact, easy to clean and affordable $85/Costco!
1. Ensure you always have at least one variety of leafy green on hand, some berries (I always have a bag frozen), perhaps a banana to aid in “creaminess” and some seeds or nuts (this is where the protein/fat comes in).
2. I’m not crazy about the particulars.. as long as you’re using one type of leafy green, I’m happy! One such example: 1 handful baby spinach or kale (remove the rough stems), frozen berries (low in sugar, very sweet), other great additions 1/2 green apple , 1/2 banana, and always a seed or nut: ground flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed, almonds, walnuts, and enough water to your consistency-liking. Many people use milk in their smoothies, but try it with water, with the right produce you really don’t need to add the dairy.
3. Veggie packed breads or muffins. If you can bake once and freeze 12 times, you can do this!!! I bake just about every other weekend. Wrap breads by the slice or through a bunch of muffins in a ziplock bag – grab and go! Or remove the night before and it’s delis in the am. My favorite veggies to bake with: pumpkin, zucchini, carrots.
This photo below is of a gluten-free zucchini & carrot bread. It’s great! A bit crumbly, but ‘ve gotten used to the consistency of using almond flour for baking. The key is using a binding agent – something a bit gooey to hold the bread together (banana/pumpkin are great for this).
Here is the recipe/instructions for this particular bread.. (I used a small loaf pan and made 3 of these)… If you are trying to go gluten/dairy/sugar free, this really is a fantastic alternative because it’s all healthy and packed with protein, healthy fat and veggies. If on the other hand you’re fine with a little gluten and natural sweetener, you can find muffins on my website which are yummy!
GF Carrot Zucchini Bread
Makes 10-12 servings
2 c. almond flour
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
2 large eggs
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1.5 c. shredded carrots and zucchini mixture (used a food processor)
1/4 c. sour cream or coconut milk
1/2 c. coconut oil
* this recipe does not call for a sweetener other than applesauce, but if you want to add some honey or maple syrup, go for it! ¼ – ½ cup is usually a good amount
Preheat oven 325. Grease a 9×5 in. loaf pan with coconut oil (or a few mini loaf pans).
Combine first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Combine remaining wet ingredients and veggies in another bowl and mix.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry until well-incorporated. If stiff, add a little more coconut milk.
Press dough into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out dry. Remember that when baking with almond flour, the resulting baked goods tend to be more delicate and crumbly, so allow bread to cool before removing.
I used this recipe for Apple Walnut Bread as well! I added in ¾ cups of chopped walnuts to the dry mixture and I removed the veggies and added a banana. It was delicious! You could also make Pumpkin Bread by using 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree in place of the applesauce and adding 1 ½ tsp. nutmeg to the dry mixture.
For more ideas or recipes, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s never too late to Revitalize & Nourish YOU!