10 foods I eat every single day

April 21, 2015 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Food, Review by lindsaymwright

My friend and fellow blogger, Heather recently posted about the ten foods she eats every day and I just had to steal it.  I am a great many things and a “creature of habit” just happens to be one of them.  When I shower, I have a washing routine and if I deviate from that tried and true routine, I’ll forget something and end up with hairy legs or dirty hair for the rest of the day.  I get out of bed the same way, I tie my shoes in an odd (but fine-to-me way) and I like eating the same foods day in and out.  I crave routine.  I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Anyway, here are 10 foods I LOVE and eat every single day!  Feel free to post some of your most-loved foods down in the comments.

My Favorite Foods

1.  CEREAL

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Cereal might very well be my favorite food of all time.  It’s the thing I look forward to all day – sitting on the couch with Travis and eating my cereal.  I have a method too (of course she does) – Fill the bowl with the “healthy” cereal first (i.e. bran flakes, TJ fiber twigs, Grape Nut Flakes) and then, with whatever milk is left over, I eat the “unhealthy” stuff (i.e. Honeycomb, Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch).  Doing this gives me SO much joy.  I’ll never ever stop.

2.  BLUE DIAMOND ALMONDS

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As an tastemaker for Blue Diamond Almonds, I get fun stuff in the mail.  They recently sent me their new Honey Dijon and Honey Roasted Cinnamon almonds and man-oh-man are these good.  I think the Honey Roasted Cinnamon might be a new favorite.

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Almonds are packed with all sorts of healthy fat, Vitamin E and other nutrients.  They have staying power too – a handful will keep me full for much longer than any other snack.  I just checked and we have FIVE canisters of various flavors in the house.  Variety is the spice of life, I suppose.  Go here for the full Blue Diamond flavor list!  (and if you see one that your local grocer doesn’t carry, just ask!  I did this with the Sea Salt Caramel flavor and the store manager got them in the next week!  Never hurts to ask.)

3.  SPINACH

For the last two years, I’ve made it a personal goal to eat a salad every day.  I’d say I hit that goal about 6 days out of the week.  The base is always spinach.  I also throw a handful or two into smoothies – you can’t even taste it.

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4.  HUMMUS

I’m a 5-year-old and like to dip my food into stuff.  Hummus, guacamole, ranch, ketchup – they’re almost always on our table.  Hummus is a great healthy fat and we usually get the Tribe “Everything” flavor.  <-Quick tip – I also sub in hummus for recipes that call for mayonnaise.  Still creamy but a tad healthier.

5.  CHICKEN

I think I’ve blogged about my Crockpot chicken recipe before (if not, 7 breasts + 1/2 cup BBQ sauce + 1/4 cup Texas Pete – cook in crockpot on low for 4 hours, shred with fork) but I make it every week.  It’s a great lean protein source that you can throw on top of a salad, in a quesadilla or use as your main dish.  Now that it’s getting warmer, we’ll be grilling once or twice a week so I’ll marinade the chicken in the same sauces.  006

6.  BERRIES

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.  I love them all.  We actually have a couple of raspberry plants in our backyard that I’m hoping will produce this year.

7.  EGGS

Eggs and egg whites make their way into my belly every day.  I make my morning protein pancake with an egg and two whites and often have cheesy eggs for dinner.  We typically buy Eggland’s Best.

8.  TEDDY GRAHAMS

Yeah, most of this list is healthy but I also love junk food.  (Thank you Father for that freedom!!!).  I love love Teddy Grahams (that’s one level up from just love).  They’ve been a favorite snack food since I was a little girl (replaced by Dunkaroos for a short time but then I went back to my roots).  I only buy the Honey or Cinnamon flavors and grab handfuls of them at random times throughout the day.  YUM! 041

9.  PROTEIN POWDER

Not really a “food” but still something I have often.  Protein keeps me fuller for longer and helps with muscle growth and recovery.  While I try to use whole foods as my primary protein source, supplementing with a protein shake or smoothie helps me to meet my goals (~130 grams a day).  My favorites: Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Natural Whey and PlantFusion (vanilla bean).

10.  CHOCOLATE

Of course chocolate had to make the list.  Like any normal American household, we have a junk drawer (or five).  I keep all sorts of weird, random schtuff in there but always have some sort of chocolate on hand.  When I’m bored, I’ll sneak in there and get some.  I get bored every day. Smile  All time favorite –> peanut butter M&M’s.

QUESTION:  What foods do YOU eat every single day??  Do you crave routine or embrace change?

splendid…lindsay

**This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  All opinions are my own (and we go through a canister or two every week!).**

why i stopped thinking about food so much

April 8, 2015 in Blog, Body, Diet, ED, Food by lindsaymwright

Hump day.  Hump day.

Also known as Wednesday.  Also known as a pretty busy day for us.  We have Trackstars, a meeting, MoveMore groups, another meeting and schoolwork.  Since it’s Spring Break for our town, I moved my afternoon MoveMore groups to an earlier time (and then proceeded to fill up all of that free afternoon time with SCHTUFF.  It’s just how I am apparently – can’t stand dead space).

So I was thinking about FOOD the other day and how much I love it (this seems to happen on the regular).  Last week’s stomach bug took my appetite away COMPLETELY and nothing sounded or looked good for a full 6-7 days.  I couldn’t even be around the smell of it – Travis cooked tacos one night and I had to stay in the living room.  I’m happy to report that alllllll the food looks good again and you can find me in the kitchen snacking on something most any time of day!  Being hungry again just makes me think about all the time I spent as a teen doing two things:  1) avoiding food and 2) thinking about food all the time.  It’s rather hard to do both of those actions simultaneously without going a little nutty.  Which I was.  Today I want to share my eating history and where I currently stand with food.

Let’s look back, shall we?

My Eating History

High School & College

Anorexia & Bulimia Days.  Obsess about EVERYTHING I put into my body.  Keep a calorie record (all the way down to a piece of sugar-free gum).  Late night binge/Starvation patterns.  Intake ~ 500 calories a day.

Early Marriage

ED Recovery Days.  Slowly transition out of calorie counting.  Still VERY attracted to the latest diet fads & still some binge/starvation behavior occurring.  Intake ~1,200 calories a day.

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Pregnancy

A HUGE turning point in my relationship with food.  View food as necessary fuel for myself and growing baby.  No counting calories.  Adopted an 80/20 mentality of intuitive eating.  A season of rest!  Intake ~ who knows?!?

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Present Day

Nowadays I eat when I’m hungry (and sometimes when I’m bored).  No foods are off limits – I just keep my portion sizes in check.  I refuse to let the words “cheat meal” or “I earned this” slip into my vocabulary.  No counting calories or macros.  Intake ~ 1,800-2,000 calories a day (rough estimate).

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A HUGE turning point for me and my relationship with food came when I stopped thinking so dang much.  I slowly began eating for FUEL and I just stopped thinking about what my next snack/meal would be.  I stopped planning ahead for social events and gatherings (wondering if the gathering I was going to would have food options that fit my regimented intake).  Instead, I began to eat what was presented and then I moved on.

Now listen – I’m not bashing food planning or healthy eating or calorie/macro counting AT ALL.  I just know that for me, freedom surrounding food is a big deal.  I’d much rather be 5 pounds heavier and able to eat without restriction.  It just isn’t worth that mental battle.  Maybe you’re a reader who’s struggling with restriction and obsession.  I’m here to tell you that life doesn’t have to be that way.  Ask yourself this – how many minutes a day am I thinking about FOOD?  And then, what could I replace those thoughts with that would actually better me as a person/mom/friend/wife??  Surely there’s more to life than obsessing about ourselves and this food stuff.

QUESTION:  What’s YOUR eating history??  Do you track calories/macros?

splendid…lindsay

5 ways to “spring clean” your body!

April 7, 2015 in Blog, Body, Diet, Food, Goals, Inspiration by lindsaymwright

Spring is in the air and if you’re like most women, you’re looking in the mirror and wondering what happened to your body during these last few months of hibernation.  Or maybe not.  Maybe you’ve been rocking your Winter workouts and you’re ready for that Spring Break bikini.  Either way, the changing seasons are great time to refocus and clean up a few of those old (notsohealthy) habits.

Here are FIVE quick fixes that you can start making TODAY that will help you see results come May!

5 Ways To “Spring Clean” Your Body!

1)  Guzzle WATER!

Aim for around 96 ounces of water per day (120 ounces for your husband!).  With this goal, you’ll find that you won’t have a lot of room for other liquids – make H20 your top priority.  If plain water is too boring for your palate, try adding sliced lemon or lime to liven things up!  Not only will your skin elasticity and digestion improve, but you’ll rid your body of toxins and increase your metabolism.

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2)  Steer clear of processed sugar!

According to Men’s Health, the average American eats about 92 grams of sugar a day, when the human body needs only about eight grams for energy, an amount that should always be satisfied through natural sugars from fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.  Avoiding processed sugars can aid the body in combatting colds, improving digestion and the turnover of new cells.  I know that for me – simply paying more attention to my shopping cart and putting back those junk food items that creep in helps a ton!

3)  Find 30 minutes a day to MOVE!

You just KNEW I’d have a MOVE MORE tip, didn’t you?  Smile  We all know that exercise is fundamental to feeling great.  But did you also know that just 30 minutes of moderately challenging movement each day can help rid the body of toxins and waste?!  Through perspiration, we can give our bodies a mini “detox” every single day!

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4)  Trim down your portion sizes.

This is probably the easiest habit to change.  Simply eat a little less (and I’m NOT talking about starving yourself or even counting calories!!!).  According to the CDC, over the last 50 years right here in America, “the size of a hamburger has tripled, a basket of fries more than doubled, and the average soda has grown from a modest 7 ounces to a jumbo 42 ounces.” And some wonder why “The average American is 26 pounds heavier than in 1950. [And] about one-third of us are overweight or obese and that number is projected to hit nearly 50% by 2030.”

Some tips on controlling portion sizes:

  • Use smaller salad plates for your meals instead of the larger dinner plates.
  • Split a meal with your husband or friend while dining out.
  • Refrain from going back for seconds.

5)  Know the difference between CRAVINGS and HUNGER.

Before you reach your hand into the potato chip bag (or for me – the cereal box), ask yourself one question: “Am I really hungry or is this a CRAVING?”  Listening to your body will help you eat intuitively and you’ll be more inclined to reach for healthier foods that will nourish instead of harm.  If you’re not sure whether you’re actually hungry, try drinking 8 ounces of water and waiting a few minutes.  True hunger is a rare thing in most people, as we tend to graze all day.

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Lastly, listen to your body!  <-I feel like that phrase is way overused – but still, listen to what your body is saying.  Move a little more, eat a little less junk.  It’s not rocket science.  I think we overcomplicate these things and put way too much stock into a complete overhaul.  Small changes over time produce the best results.

QUESTION:  Any other (gentle) tips for spring cleaning your body??  Leave them below!

splendid…lindsay

how to perfectly poach an egg

March 19, 2015 in Blog, Breakfast, Fitfluential, Food, Review by lindsaymwright

I think I told you that we celebrated my mama’s birthday on Sunday with a special brunch.  A new (fabulous) restaurant opened in town and I’d been dying to check it out – her birthday seemed like the perfect occasion!  The Bowery’s menu is a fun mix of eclectic and traditional, all inspired by LOCAL ingredients.  The food was amazing – the company and fellowship even better.

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When I was deciding what to order, the Appalachian Benedict popped out at me.  A cornmeal biscuit?  Locally-sourced country ham?!  And lastly – A POACHED EGG!!  I’d never poached an egg by myself but I LOVE them.  The dish was amazing and I walked away with a mission – learn how to poach an egg.  (Biscuits would have to wait for another year day)

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As I’ve written about in the past, I’m partnering this month with Eggland’s Best to help shed light on their incredible egg.  March is National Nutrition Month and Eggland’s wants to show people how making the simple switch from an ordinary egg to an EB egg is going to give them SO MUCH MORE nutrition.  Compared to an ordinary egg, an EB egg has:

  • 10 times MORE vitamin E
  • 4 times MORE vitamin D
  • 3 times MORE vitamin B12
  • More than DOUBLE the Omega 3
  • 35% MORE Lutein
  • 25% LESS saturated fat
  • 60 Calories per large egg

You can find Eggland’s Best eggs in most any supermarket – I bought mine at Walmart.  With fresh eggs in hand, I got started.  Since I’d never poached an egg before I googled.  Naturally.  I found a million different recipes but landed on this one from Jamie Oliver since you can never go wrong with his advice (plus that accent….).  I LOVED this video tutorial and the tips that he included (I’m a visual learner).  10 minutes later, I had a couple of perfectly poached eggs.  I served mine atop some cheesy Ezekiel bread – an easy and nutritious breakfast (or lunch…or dinner)

The Perfectly Poached Egg

via Jamie Oliver

Tip #1 – USE FRESH EGGS!!

The best poached eggs are made with FRESH eggs!  Based on an independent study, Eggland’s Best eggs were shown to maintain freshness longer than ordinary eggs.  Jamie suggests getting the eggs towards the BACK of the line – they’ll be the freshest!  (also look for the “Best by” date on the side of the carton)

Tip #2 – BRING THE WATER TO A GENTLE SIMMER

Poaching is NOT boiling.  Boiling will smash the eggs all around.  Bring the water to an almost boil then reduce the heat.  <-Jamie does NOT suggest using vinegar (most recipes call for it) – he says it makes the eggs taste vinegary…makes sense.

Tip #3 – USE A BOWL TO DROP THE EGG

After your water is simmering, crack your EB egg into a bowl and THEN ease it into the water (rather than plopping it right into the pot).

Cook for 3 minutes at a low simmer.  Use a slotted spoon to retrieve your egg then gobble it up however you wish!

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There you have it!  The perfect (non-intimidating) poached egg!

QUESTION:  How do you like your eggs?  <-any which way!  Scrambled with cheese on top is my go-to though!

splendid…lindsay

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

wordless what i ate wednesday

February 25, 2015 in Blog, Food, WIAW by lindsaymwright

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QUESTION:  Best thing you ATE yesterday?? <-those tacos above…it WAS Taco Tuesday so we had to celebrate!

splendid…lindsay

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a healthier no bake cookie!

February 24, 2015 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Dessert, Recipe by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.  All opinions are my own.

After several attempts and many (many) soupy cookies made (and eaten…we’re not crazies), I’m happy to say that I’ve finally created a healthier No Bake cookie recipe!!  While these cookies are known by many names (no bakes, stove tops, cow pies, Raggedy Robins), they’ve always been synonymous with SNOW DAYS in my family.  It snows, you make Stove Tops.  That’s just what you do.  This tradition can be both good and bad – good for the soul but bad for the hips.  The original recipe isn’t exactly healthy.

Welp.  It snowed last week.

So….cookies were needed.

What’s a girl with hips to do?? 

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I knew I wanted to create a healthier version and it still TASTE like the real cookie.  Honestly, I didn’t want to sub in bananas or applesauce or add chia seeds or flax.  I’d rather eat fewer cookies and have them taste good than completely change up the recipe, so I simply made a few changes to the original.  For example, I subbed in natural peanut butter (versus Jif or Skippy that has added sugar) and I reduced the amount of butter and sugar (the sugar is actually cut in HALF and they still taste amazing AND set up!!!).  I also used 100% cacao cocoa to give the cookies an added antioxidant punch.

If you’ve made these cookies before, you’ll know that they’re extremely TEMPERAMENTAL.  If even the slightest thing is off, they’ll either get too hard or be a soupy mess.  I’m happy to say that even with the substitutions I made, they still set up perfectly.

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One of the best changes I made was substituting Blue Diamond Almond Breeze for the cow’s milk.  Lactose tends to cause me belly issues so I’ve tried to limit the amount of dairy I get (probably for the past three years or so).  Blue Diamond’s unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk has just 30 calories in each cup (!!!!) and ZERO grams of sugar (to compare, a cup of whole milk contains 100 calories and 17 grams of sugar).  I don’t know about you but that can really change up the nightly bowl of cereal.

Or in this case, you can eat more cookies ….which is always a good thing.

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Healthier No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Almond unsweetened Vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and almond milk in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Allow to boil (rolling boil) for 2 minutes.  Take them off the heat.  Add in peanut butter, oats and vanilla.  Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Allow to set up for 30 minutes.  Enjoy with a glass of almond milk! ;)

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QUESTION:  Ever had “No Bakes”?  What do YOU call them?  Other ways you substitute almond milk in recipes (I’m all ears)?

splendid…lindsay