5 Delicious, Simple & Healthy Recipes to Make This Week

So I put in place some stricter routines for my eating to get myself back on track with healthier (and super tasty!) eating and to save some money! I spent a Saturday planning out meals, cleaning out the cupboards and fridge, and stocking up with the ingredients I needed for the week. I was tired of feeling bloated and ready to fuel my body with what it needed to be at full speed! Not only am I feeling better but I’ve really found some amazing recipes which helped add some variety to the Lean Cuisines I also picked up for quick lunches throughout the week.

5 EAsy & Delicious Recipes to Try This Week

Day 1 – Dinner: ‘Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce’ from kitchenswagger.com

The sauce on top of the salmon was divine! It was easy to make too with the help of my little food processor. Paired with some steamed vegetables, this was a great dinner to enjoy after a busy day. 

Day 2 – Lunch: a colorful salad to take to the office

I’m getting better at blending tastes and building more creative salads and I’m loving the results! This salad has a spring mix salad mix and butter lettuce base with chopped red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, blackberries, and tomatoes. Top off with some fresh italian cheese blend and poppy-seed dressing.

Day 3 – Dinner: ‘One Pan Healthy Italian Sausage & Veggies’ from chelseasmessyapron.com

I loved the flavor of this dish. It was so easy to make too. Just chop everything up, toss with the seasonings, throw on the pan and cook. Wah-lah dinner is ready! 

Day 4 – Dinner: ‘One Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas’ from number-2-pencil.com

I let loose a little for Thursday, indulging in a healthier version of fajitas (I love fajitas!). These had such awesome flavor! I loved being able to make it all on one pan for a quick after-work dinner.

Day 5 – Lunch: ‘Sun-dried Tomato Spinach Grilled Cheese Sandwich’ from eatgood4life.com

I worked from home so I was able to cook up a warm lunch. This sandwich had the perfect blend of flavors!

As I find myself getting back to cooking more, I am getting more and more creative and am enjoying my meals so much more. I am also finding coming home and cooking after a long, busy day has been very relaxing too! 

 

Why It’s So Important to Get Your Vitamin D

About a month and a half ago I was feeling like I hit a brick wall. I felt so drained, physically, mentally and emotionally. It was so bad that one Sunday morning I got up and started my chores…I got the toilet scrubbed and had to go back to bed. Just cleaning the bathroom completely exhausted me, took all the energy I had. The few weeks prior to that I had been feeling so tired, and each day it got worse. I heard from a friend at work that she might have Mono…could I have picked it up from her? Did we sip each other’s drinks the night we were all out? Why was I so so tired?  So tired that I struggled to think and process things happening in my day. So tired that I was having weird moments of sadness. So tired that it was a daunting task just to walk from my bedroom to the kitchen. So finally I gave in and headed to the doctor’s. Initially the thought was that maybe I was having some kind of weird flare-up of my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. But what was unusual is that I wasn’t in pain which is usually the first sign of a flare-up for me. I had no pain, no cough, no stuffy nose, no stomach ache, I was just completely exhausted. So we did blood tests…for everything she could think of, let’s just knock out the possibilities. Check thyroid, check white blood count…check vitamin levels…

We all know that we are supposed to have our daily vitamins but I have to admit I spent most of my life not putting as much thought into it as maybe I should have. I eat pretty healthy, lots of vegetables and fruit. I know I have to push myself to eat red meat and leafy vegetables from time to time to make sure I’m getting enough iron but other than that I wasn’t as responsible as I could have been about taking daily vitamins…I had them in my cabinet, which apparently doesn’t really count unless you take them. (Yeah I know, here I am a Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle Blogger admitting she wasn’t taking her vitamins…I never said I was perfect). 

I spent a few days working from home and taking naps in between meetings and office work to help keep my energy up while I waited for the test results. I found that the mini naps helped give me bursts of energy so that I could get more done throughout the day – it just turned into a weird work schedule, in a way I guess my days were sort of longer those three days because I scattered work out. My doctor’s office called with my results that Wednesday: Good news, no Mono and no other virus. Bad News: it wasn’t going to go away on its own…turns out deficiency in just one vitamin can shake your whole world up. The typical range for a healthy level of Vitamin D is 50-100…my level was 10. Whew, what?!  Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common in the NorthEast Region because of our winters but I hadn’t realized I could feel this awful and it could get that low. I started taking 5000 units of Vitamin D a day, instructed to do so for a month to get my level boosted back up. These things take some time to build up though so this was going to be a little bit of a journey to feeling better again. Three weeks later I started feeling like my spunky self again. I added in a daily vitamin…let’s stop and note just for a moment that I really hate taking pills (thank goodness that 5000 Units Vitamin D supplement was a little guy) and I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to taste (hey, we all have stubborn quirks!). I totally saw these vitamins for kids called ‘Smarty Pants’  that I was teasing saying I should get them for my son because he can be a smart butt. Well they have them for Women too – ‘Smarty Pants Women’s Complete Gummy Vitamin’ – so I picked them up. They are actually super tasty and the levels are good in them for me. (*Always check with your physician to see what’s best for you) . I feel like such a better version of me, well I feel like me again. My moral of the story: Vitamins do matter, like really, really matter! 

According to www.medicalnewstoday.com, Vitamin D is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. Typically, we absorb Vitamin D from exposure to the sun, however this time of year our time outside is greatly reduced.

  1. For energy – from my experience if you are deficient in Vitamin D you can end up feeling super drained and exhausted.
  2. It is important for healthy bones. Vitamin D helps with the regulation of calcium and in maintaining healthy levels of phosphorus in the blood.
  3. It helps reduce the risk of catching the flu – which is super helpful during flu season!
  4. Good levels of Vitamin D help reduce muscle and bone pain.
  5. A deficiency can put you in a funk. You may be feeling kind of depressed or sad if you are low in Vitamin D.
  6. It promotes stronger, healthier teeth.
  7.  It increases your mental clarity and sharpness.
  8. Some studies show reduced amount of abdominal fat in people that were sufficient in Vitamin D. That sounds like a good perk to me!

So where do we get Vitamin D when we can’t get in the sunshine? I found this one a bit challenging to solve with changing my diet. Vitamin D is a tricky one to find in a lot of foods. My best advice is to talk to your doctor and pick up a supplement that is suited for you. Here are some foods that will also help (sorry, the list is a bit short).

  • Look for fortified dairy foods such as Vitamin D fortified yogurt, cheese, milk, cereal, etc.

  • Cod Liver Oil, if you dare…this one isn’t for me.

  • Egg Yolks

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna

  • Beef liver…another one that I don’t think is going to make it to my plate.

This week, I’ll down my dose some. Down to one 5000 Unit Vitamin D supplement a week and two (chewable, yay!) 400 units of Vitamin D a day. This little ‘adventure’ was eye-opening for me. We all know what we should be doing but putting it into action sometimes takes a little push, I got mine! 

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.  
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7 Super Reasons Parsnips Help You Get Healthier

I have always had a love for root vegetables – potatoes, carrots, fennel, and more – but over the past few years I have truly come to love parsnips. Not quite as common as their closely related cousin the carrot, parsnips are an easy vegetable to add to many recipes and are a perfect dish to enjoy during colder months.

7 Health Benefits of Parsnips

1.) High in dietary fiber. Parsnips are packed with soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels and helps maintain healthy digestive function.

2.) Is a great resource of folate which is needed for the formation of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, is important for the development stages, and aids in energy metabolism.

3.) Contains high level of potassium which is needed for skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle function. This nutrient is important for healthy heart function.

4.) Are high in Vitamin C which helps improve eye health, helps repair and regenerate connective tissues, protect against heart disease, and aids in the absorption of iron.

5.) Good resource of manganese and Vitamin K which helps with digestive health and wound healing.

6.) Due to high dietary fiber content, parsnips are great at helping you stay fuller longer.

7.) They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and organic compounds which helps fight against disease.

Some Delicious Recipes to Try

Oven Roasted Parsnips with Thyme from FoodnessGracious

Paleo Risotto with ‘Parsnip “Rice” from Empowered Sustenance

Baked Parsnip Fries from Sweet as Honey

Roasted Parsnip Salad from Girl Gone Gourmet

Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup from Sharing Our Food Adventures

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.
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Why I Eat Brussels Sprouts Now

My first experience with Brussels Sprouts was not a pleasant one. They were tough and they were bitter. I vowed to never eat them again…that was when I was sixteen…seventeen years later and I love them. I remember the second time I tried Brussels Sprouts. My mom and I were at a local farm to table restaurant and they were a featured appetizer that night. They were cooked perfectly with crumbled bacon and a balsamic glaze over top. Since that day I look for them on menus now! Brussels Sprouts are a very particular food, packed with health benefits but a bit touchy on taste – they only taste amazing if they’re cooked and prepared right! They’re also great raw, pull the leaves off and throw into a salad.

Not only have I come to love the taste but I feel a little bit of pride knowing I’m chowing down on a top Power Food!

I was super excited to partner up with The Jen Reviews Team to bring you some awesome benefits of eating Brussels Sprouts:

Here’s My Top 5 Most Pleasing Health Benefits That I Get From Brussels Sprouts:

1.) High in Fiber

2.) High in Vitamin C

3.) Full of Antioxidants

4.) Can Act as an Anti-inflammatory (which is great for my Rheumatoid Arthritis)

5. Promotes Healthy Digestion

Want to know more great benefits of Brussels Sprouts? Want some tasty recipes to try?

Visit Jen Reviews and read more on 15 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts +8 Delicious Recipes!!!

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research

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10 Amazing Benefits of Rambutans

I am totally that girl that has all kinds of yummy, exotic fruit on her desk…the strange to some folks…kumquats, lychees, and one of my favorites – Rambutans! 

Rambutans are those spiky red fruit that you may see popping up time to time. They are native to the Malay-Indonesian region and some other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. Packed with sweetness and lots of nutrients, these make a fantastic power snack!

I was super excited when they arrived in my SuperFood Box last week…fresh and ready to eat. Usually their a bright, vibrant red but they had faded a little in their travels but still wonderfully delicious when I cracked them open. Though they look a bit intimidating, they are an easy fruit to pop open. Just press on the seam and pull the spiky exterior off. The fruit encases a pod – I just oddly munch the juicy fruit off of the pod (Yup I’m that girl).

10 Amazing Health Benefits of the Rambutan

  1. They’re high in fiber.
  2. Packed with vitamin C.
  3. Good source of Copper which is necessary for the production of white and red blood cells.
  4. They contain a high amount of antioxidants.
  5. Good source of phosphorus which helps remove the waste in kidneys.
  6. They contain gallic acid which eliminates free radicals and helps prevent and fight cancer.
  7. They are a great energy booster.
  8. They are rich in water content so they are very hydrating and are good for your skin.
  9. Good source of iron.
  10. They also have antiseptic properties which helps the body fight off infections.

Stay tuned this week for my full review of my Superfood No Worries Box!

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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15 Sweet Healthy Benefits of Honey

We all have that occasional sweet tooth…I know…but there are many healthy options out there. One of my favorite sweet treats is honey. I remember eating spoonfuls of honey with my Grandpa on a Sunday afternoon. It always brings so much warmth to my heart. 

Honey:

  • Studies have shown that replacing sugar with honey has helped with weight management and with lowering blood sugars.
  • It has also been shown that raw honey can trigger certain hormones that will help suppress the appetite.
  • Honey is a natural energy source. It has been nicknamed, “the perfect running fuel”, containing carbohydrates that can be easily processed into energy.
  • It’s packed with anti-oxidants that helps boost memory.
  • Honey contains no fat or cholesterol.
  • It holds anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It can help with allergies due to the small amount of bee pollen it contains and can also help reduce sinus inflammation.
  • Honey coats the throat which can act as a natural cough suppressant.
  • Some studies shows it can aid in a good night’s rest.
  • It can reduce acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Honey boosts your immune system.
  • It helps cleanse and strengthen your digestive system.
  • It is a natural aphrodisiac.
  • It has antimicrobial properties which can help fight gum disease.
  • And honey has carcinogen-preventing properties that aid in cancer prevention.

Honey is a natural sweetener…but be weary of processed honey, raw honey is the best way to go. Remember that honey still contains fructose so be sure to use it in balance and moderation.

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
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5 Top Goals To Get Focused on Self-Improvement

September is National Self-Improvement Month and with a new season ahead of us it’s a great time to get setting some new goals. Here’s the top goals to set for yourself this month. *These are high level goals, over the next few weeks we’ll break them down more with tips, tricks, and ideas to soar to the top! 

1. Get Fit. A healthy body is a gateway to a healthy life and mind. It improves our overall happiness and helps boost our energy day by day. Find ways to add better eating habits and healthy exercise routines into your weeks consistently. 

2. Financial Organization. Set goals to build a budget and to stick to it, set savings goals. This goal is all about building more security and financial freedom into your life. 

3. Focus on Building a Healthy Mind. Daily affirmations and meditation are great ways to building a clear and strong mind and to help you manage stress better. 

4. Make “Me” Time for Yourself. It’s important to have time to yourself to decompress from the stresses of every day life. This helps you recharge and reflect for what’s going on and for what’s to come. 

5. Expand and Keep Growing. Never give up on your dreams. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for them. Take classes on topics that intrigue you, visit a new place, keep practicing that craft you love. 

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