Making healthy living easy has always been the goal…for my family, friends and YOU. When I changed my lifestyle eight years ago, I had found that creating checklists helped me efficiently stock products while also not overdoing it. As it’s getting colder, I’m now grabbing pantry items more readily. Ingredients for warm soups, hearty healthy whole grains and satisfying snacks fill my cabinet, so wanted to provide my resources. If you’re looking on how to give your pantry a healthy upgrade, we’ve got you covered.
Easiest fast-food ever = vegetable soup. Soups (and smoothies) can be nature’s easiest way to consume tons of nutrient dense, plant based goodness. This simple soup recipe I eat for lunch, dinner and even breakfast. (In the morning, I think of it as a warm breakfast smoothie.) My mother adapted the recipe from a 1980’s Weight Watchers cookbook and has been making it ever since. I’ve recently modified it to make my life easier, throwing all the ingredients (and more) in an Instant Pot. My family loves this recipe, so it’s a staple for every season. Try it…you will, too.
My favorite fruit and veggies as a kid were green apple Jolly Ranchers and the infamous steakhouse bloomin’ (fried) onion. As I grew older, I walked away from candy and fried foods, thinking I was eating healthy with my bag of Baked Lays and fruit infused frozen yogurts. It wasn’t until my wake up call with stage IV disease that everything in my diet changed. Truth be told, it wasn’t just my diet that shifted, it was my mindset about the food we eat and how nutrient dense food was important for my survival.
I’ve been painting the town green the past five years. What I mean by this is that I’ve been telling everyone and anyone about my love of plant-based eating, as well as drinking green juices and smoothies. My family has been on board, knowing that I feel vibrant and my health is stable. (So there aren’t many “EWWWWW, that looks gross” comments.) We hit a huge milestone four years ago. Not only did my then, 6-year old, ask to try my green smoothie recipe, but he also wanted seconds. That interested my husband, who has been craving them ever since.
I don’t enjoy cooking. Following recipes takes too many steps and bores me. When I do prepare meals, I often experiment with ingredients and use only a few. Sometimes they work, other times they don’t. My goal is to satisfy my child with hidden nutritious ingredients. In addition, the preparation must around 5-minutes. When it comes to snacks, I try to serve clean and healthy ones. While I don’t love to cook, my mother still enjoys her kitchen. My childhood memories include the sweet scent of blueberry and zucchini muffins baking in her oven. To make her proud, below is a quick recipe for healthy banana blueberry muffins that even my husband ate.
I’m a juice junkie and obsessed with green smoothies, but I wasn’t always this way. As a former work-aholic, I spent years consuming energy drinks, cups of caffeine and carb-loaded meals. I thought these would bring me energy. I was right, just the wrong kind. You can feel a BIG difference between an immediate energy spike from a sugar-laden coffee vs. the mind-clearing, sustainable energy that wholesome foods provide. One of the BEST choices I made when I changed my lifestyle was to eat and drink more plants. And when I speak or write about taking small steps toward better health, my recommendation for everyone is to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet, which is easy when you start incorporating homemade juices and smoothies.