Eat Pretty

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Eat Pretty, by Jolene Hart, is a life changer if you’re looking for a way to update your current beauty routine. Her take on food is to eat all the “pretty foods”-foods that will literally make you prettier by providing your body with the necessary nutrients to glow, whilst eliminating “beauty betrayers”-foods that will give you dull, blemished skin.

I found this book last year while shopping for Christmas presents, and ended up getting a present for myself. The book offers scientific terminology in an non-textbook-y way, so it’s easy to digest and relatable. If you’re looking for motivation to eat better, this book might help. Not only does it give you countless of reasons why you should ditch the junk and “eat pretty,” it also arms you with a list of seasonal veggies for every season with the health and beauty benefits outlined. It also features  recipes perfect for the season, such as roasted veggies for the winter and crisp salads in the summer.

In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a different perspective on eating well, I definitely recommend checking out Eat Pretty. The worst that can happen is that you now have the prettiest book you’ve ever seen. The decorations on this book are almost as good as the information contained inside.

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Summer Lasagna

This lasagna features veggies that are in season for the summer such as squash, baby arugula, carrots, and tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles (how to cook lasagna noodles)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint low fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag Dole baby spinach and arugula (comes with shaved carrots)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Happy cooking!

Spinach Lentil Soup

Not only are lentils high in protein (18 grams) per 1 cup serving, they also provide lots of minerals like folate, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. This savory soup is also packed with vitamin A and C from the tomatoes and spinach. It’s ready in 30 minutes, which means its perfect for busy weeknights when you’re trying to eat healthy but don’t have much time.

The recipe yield is three, 1 cup servings out of only 1/2 cup of lentils. Substituting legumes for meat at least once a week is a great way to budget, since a small bag costs around $1, and lasts for at least a couple of recipes.

Another great aspect of lentils is their fast cooking time. Most legumes made from scratch require overnight soaking and still cook for at least an hour. With lentils, you don’t need as much planning, and you still get a delicious, nutritious meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 vegetarian bullion cube
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • pinch of fresh parsley, optional
  1. In a medium pot, bring to a boil water, lentils, and carrots, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, sauté the garlic in olive oil until golden, then add in the tomatoes.
  3. Add in the sautéed tomatoes, spinach, bullion cube, and salt and pepper to the lentils, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, occasionally stirring.IMG_1143.jpg

Serve in a bowl, garnish with fresh parsley,  and enjoy!

 

 

My New Roots Review

Today I stumbled upon a whole food blog I really enjoyed, My New Roots. It features nutritious, wholesome food, but most importantly, the blogger, Sarah B., says she doesn’t like labels when it comes to her diet. That viewpoint really resounded with me, since its a question I often have to answer. I like her answer, which is that she likes to eat food!

My favorite part was the diversity of food she includes, which features seasonal, vibrant vegetables and plenty of desserts, a definite plus. I’m looking forward to trying out her 5 Ingredient Magical Popsicles. The recipe calls for only 5 nutrient packed ingredients, including my favorite, dates and cacao, but you can also add optional add ins and toppings, which in my opinion are a must.

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Picture from mynewroots.org

Another recipe I’d like to try is the Earth Bowl, which is made using freekeh, an ancient dietary staple in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. To be honest I’d never heard of it before, but it sounds delicious. Paired with lots of fresh, crunchy veggies, its perfect for the summer.

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Picture from mynewroots.org

Berry Muffin Protein Shake

I start off most mornings with a protein shake. They take less than five minutes, so they’re perfect for when you’re on the go. This shake is packed with protein, healthy carbohydrates, and lots of antioxidants that will keep you full till lunch.

Most of the time I opt for a post-workout meal instead of a shake, but if a shake is your thing then this shake is also perfect. The ratio of carbohydrate to protein is balanced, so you get the muscle building protein as well as the glycogen restoring carbohydrates. Its important to replenish both these stores immediately after working out. According to bodybuilding.com, a protein shake is a good option post-workout since the nutrients are absorbed by the body quickly.

Some ingredients in the recipe can be substituted. For example, the recipe calls for almond milk, but you can opt for any other nut milk or even cow milk. The kind of protein powder in the recipe is also your preference, whether it be casein, whey, or a vegan powder.

INGREDIENTS

-1 cup almond milk

-1 scoop vanilla protein powder

-1 large frozen banana

-1/2 cup frozen berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

-dash of cinnamon

-1 tbsp. coconut (optional)

-handful of walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend, add toppings, and enjoy!

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Kale and Quinoa Sauté

I love this recipe because it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare, so its perfect for a busy day. I make it in large batches and then eat it throughout the week, either as a side dish or main entree. I love it because not only is it a nutrition powerhouse, it is versatile, you can top it with whatever you like. I personally like it with some avocado and fresh tomato slices.

Quinoa has been getting a lot of attention lately because it’s packed full of so many nutrients in such a little grain.( Quinoa nutritional facts) If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it, it’s an easy way to add more protein to your diet. A single cup has as much as 8 g of protein, as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids.

Kale is another food that has become one of the “superfoods,” and within good reason. It’s a great source of vitamin A and C,  and even contains a small amount of ALA omega 3. According to The Huffingtonpost, however, it does have a high amount of pesticide residue, and should be purchased organic. The price between organic and conventionally produced food can be quite steep sometimes, but thankfully organic kale is still pretty affordable.

Ok so now on to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

-1 cup of uncooked quinoa

-1/2 head of organic kale

-1 tbsp. lemon juice

-1/4 tbsp. cumin

-1/4 tbsp. salt

-pepper to taste

-1 medium avocado (optional)

-1 medium tomato (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot, then add quinoa. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. The quinoa should now be nice and fluffy. Remove from heat.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, de-stem kale and rinse with cold water. Marin Mama Cooks does a great job of demonstrating how to quickly do this.
  3. Heat up a medium sauce pan. While the pan is heating, chop the kale horizontally into small pieces.
  4. Add olive oil and garlic to the pan and sauté until the garlic is golden. Add in the kale, stirring occasionally until it becomes tender. (I like when the kale is still slightly crunchy in the center, so I’m careful not to overdo it).
  5. Stirr in salt, cumin, pepper, and quinoa.
  6. Transfer a serving to a  bowl, top with tomato and avocado, drizzle with lemon juice, and enjoy!

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HAPPY EATING