Welcome to Busy Women Mealtime Makeover! Whether you are one of the lovely busy ladies participating in the makeover or just interested in taking your meals up a notch – girl, do I have some rockin’ recipes for you! From now until March 2nd, I’ll be featuring twelve new delicious makeover-friendly recipes. These recipes are from other busy women like me and you! This week, we are focusing on eating more whole grains. (And if you want to join in and get the entire makeover PDF complete with meal plans, shopping lists and recipes, videos and photos of me cooking for added support, weekly emails with additional recipes and kitchen tips and tricks and access to our online forum, you can totally start a few days late – click here and sign up!)
My friend Gina is a perfect example of a woman who stood up for herself and her family and achieved the life she desires and deserves. Not only is she a mama, she is also running her own health coaching business, Shore Healthy, where she helps families and mamas get back on track eating healthy food and living healthy lifestyles. Gina is a success story and she is an awesome cook in the kitchen!
Gina, you are busy, right? How do you get a decent, healthy meal on the table?
Typically, I spend some time on a Sunday or Monday morning and grill up a bunch of chicken breasts, make a big batch of brown rice or quinoa (they store well in a container in the fridge for a few days), and always make sure I have fresh leafy greens in the fridge. I make sure we have fresh fruit and veggies stocked. Hard cook a bunch of eggs. After school snacks are huge here. It's lovely seeing my kids reach for an apple with almond butter after school. My kids are all in sports each season so we are always on the move. If we don't prepare ahead of time, we'll end up with a pizza on the table, which is fine on occasion. I mean really, who doesn't like pizza?! I add greens chopped kale, collards, spinach, chard, bok choy) to everything ~ chopped up in a quick soup, scrambled eggs, grains or beans. Sometimes we will make a homemade dough and make our own pizza that we will load up with chopped greens and other veggies before adding cheese. It doesn't have to be complicated. I'm not that great of a cook and I don't have very much extra time. We make it work though. Simple quick recipes, jam packed with wonderful nutrients and alot love. 🙂
Why do you make healthy, real food a priority in your life?
The short version is I went through a period of time that I just didn't care to be in the kitchen. We lived on junk. I mean artificial, chemical, over-processed JUNK. I was run down and kept getting sick. My kids had mono, terrible seasonal allergies, and 2 of them are highly reactive to artificial food dyes. It was a miserable few years. My little guy was on the nebulizer up to 4 times per year. I finally realized I couldn't do it anymore. I realized that we truly are what we eat. Food does matter. You get out what you put in. Get my drift? So we turned it all around over a period of time and we succeeded. None of us have been sick in years. In fact, we are all thriving. I love food. We all love to eat. We just had to figure out the right way to do it. My boys are picky, but they know eating well is part of being healthy and strong for their sports.
What is your favorite thing to make when it is cold outside?
A quick and simple Quinoa Breakfast Porridge. I'm all about few ingredients and quick healthy meals.
What is that one thing that busy people can do this winter to eat a little healthier?
Prepare ahead of time. Learn to enjoy being in the kitchen. It's not that scary of a place to be, it's actually quite fun to experiment. Involve your kids. My kids love helping prepare dinners. When they're involved in preparing the meal, they more often enjoy eating it. They take pride in it. Have a night off from the kids? Involve your spouse. Cooking together can be a very romantic. Put on some nice music, light some candles, have a glass of wine and get your hands in the food together. The kitchen is a very sexy place to be with the right atmosphere. Oh yeah! 😉
What is your favorite gadget in the kitchen?
Ahhh.....my awesome vitamix! The best investment I have made! We make lots of green smoothies, so it's always being used. I've also made soup, juice, almond butter, regular butter, whipped cream and other things in it, too. I recommend it to everyone.
2c rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries OR raisins, whatever dried fruit you like, chopped to bite sized pieces.
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2T chopped almonds
2 T flax seeds
½ cup carob chips, dark or unsweetened chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl. After mixing wet ingredients, poor them into large dry bowl and toss until oats and seeds are well coated. Press into an 8 inch square dish and press firmly to settle ingredients. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
Cut into about 1-2 inch pieces and wrapped individually in wax paper, store in the freezer so they are easy to grab on the go. They taste great and are sweet so smaller pieces go a long way!
Note: You can also spread them thinly on a baking sheet and toast in over at 200. Keep tossing, and do not burn. Remember, the granola will harden more when it cools. You can use this also as an easy snack or as a cereal! Mix and match with whatever fruits and nuts you want. Be creative! Have the kids help and they will be more willing to eat them, they are delish!
Gina runs here business Shore Healthy where she helps busy mamas find themselves through better eating habits. She has an awesome free gift on her website complete with healthy and delicious school lunch ideas. Check it out.
**Check out all the Busy Women Mealtime Makeover recipes by clicking here.**