Simple Power Snacks – Avocado and Sunflower Seeds

This super simple snack packs a punch and lots of energy for the rest of your busy day.

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

Ingredients:

  • Avacado
  • Roasted and salted sunflower seeds without the shell

The Cooking Part …

  • Cut the avacado
  • Remove the Seed
  • Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top – about a handful or so
  • Spoon it out of the avocado shell and eat it
  • You can add salt, pepper, garlic salt, chili powder, etc for some extra flavor and spice.

What to serve with …

This goes well with all sorts of stuff: tuna fish, tomatoes, salads of all sorts, crackers, celery

Easy and Impressive Egg Fritta

Want a breakfast that looks great, tastes good, and is easy to prepare? It can feed just one or two people or a whole bunch of you. If you don’t want to share save the leftovers for lunches or future breakfast meals.

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

Ingredients:

  • Butter or other cooking oil – olive or avocado oil works well here – enough to cover the bottom of your pan
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Scrambled Eggs – 6 to 12 depending on the number of people eating and how big your pan is.
    • optional: Milk or half and half for scrambling
  • Broccoli – 1-2 crowns
  • Shredded Carrots – 3-4 large

Garnish Items – if you want:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese – enough to cover the top of the fritta.
    • Amount will depend on personal preference and size of the pan.
  • Sliced grapes tomatoes, pico de Gallo, or salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado

The Cooking Part …

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an oven safe pan, melt the butter in the pan over the stovetop.
  • While it melts dice the onions and garlic.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter.
  • Chop the broccoli into small pieces, eliminating the hard parts of the stems, and shred the carrots.
    • Amount of carrots and broccoli will depend on your preference and how many eggs / people you are feeding.
    • You want enough to have the fritta feel hearty but not so much that it drowns out the egg.
  • Add broccoli and carrots to the butter, onion, and garlic.
  • Cook on medium to low heat until the onion is transparent and the broccoli and carrots are soft, but not withered looking. About 5-10 minutes.
  • Scramble the eggs and pour over the mixture and cook until the egg sets up.
  • Transfer pan to the oven until the egg is cooked through. The top begins to set.
  • Add cheese if you want and return to the oven. Place on high broil for 5 minutes to melt the cheese
  • Top with the tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado

What to serve with …

All sorts of breakfast foods – toast & jam, fried potatoes or hash browns, fruit, breakfast salad, juice, coffee, tea.

This meal will keep in the fridge, it is also great as a left over for lunch the next day or you can freeze and reheat as needed for future breakfast meals.

Cilantro Lime Butter Chicken

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

Heat oven to 350 degrees if you are going to bake. You can also do this on the stove top with a frying pan.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts – thawed, trimmed if you want, and enough for each person in your party to have 1 servings (3-4oz).
  • Limes – 1/2 sliced and 1/2 for squeezing
  • Cilantro – leaves chopped, stems removed
  • Butter or coconut oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan, extra if you want it melted on top of chicken for serving
  • Melt the butter in the pan of your choice.
  • Arrange the chicken breasts in the pan
  • Squeeze 1/2 the lime over the chicken
  • Sprinkle with 1/2-3/4 of the clinantro
  • A little salt and more pepper than salt for cooking

The Cooking Part …

  • Cook until Chicken is done. I usually bake for 30 min or cook stove top for 10-15 min on med each side. I use a meat thermometer because it is easier for me to make sure it is done. I also set a timer to remember to flip or check.
  • Once done I cover and let rest about 5min while I finish prepping the sides, salad, and get the service ware ready.
  • Serve hot with extra slices of lime on top of each piece and a sprinkle of cilantro. Sometimes I add a dollop of butter too.

What to serve with …

I usually serve with any of these: roasted/baked potatoes, rice, asparagus, cauliflower, salad, and/or black beans. Enjoy!

Delicious and Simple Baked Salmon

In this easy to make main dish, I often stick it in the oven – make sure the timer is set loud enough – and then I work out while it cooks. Helps balance my life – good food and healthy body.

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

This one is super easy and allows you to go do something else while it cooks … Like Workout!

Ingredients Needed: Salmon filets, butter or coconut oil, rosemary in whatever form you have, I like ground for this dish, black pepper – I like the kind I can grind

  • Get some salmon – make sure it is thawed out (I often forget this step and end up with frozen items :). Enough for everybody to have a portion (3-4oz piece, size of a deck of cards).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking dish with foil (if you want easy clean up)
  • Melt some butter or coconut oil – enough to cover the bottom with a little layer of liquid. I just put the oil in the baking dish and throw it in the oven while I get the salmon ready.
  • Arrange the salmon in the baking dish skin side down
  • Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze one half over the filets.
  • Sprinkle Rosemary over the tops of each piece
  • Grind fresh pepper over them
  • Cover with a piece of foil and bake for about 30 min depending on the thickness of the fish. Should be flaky and light pink inside.
  • Garnish with fresh lemon slices from the 2nd lemon half cut earlier

Pair with salad, roasted vegetables, rice pilaf, or baked potatoes to make a full meal.

Note: if it is to dry melt some butter over the top and note for next time cooking. Shorten the time.

Eat Well, Feel Well

Over the last few years I have been diving deep into the connections between mental health and physical health. As I have been working with mental health clients using physical exercise some surprising interventions have made the most impact. One that continues to be a solid help is eating a balanced diet at regular intervals.  Here are some reasons to care and tips to track your own moods as they relate to your food choices.


Easy Budget Meals Your Family Will Love

When we look at the links between blood sugar and mood we see some themes. When one doesn’t eat for long periods of time irritability, depression, sadness, a general feeling of malaise are common. My clients articulate this as “blah” and it makes sense given that feeling low energy often gets tagged as depression in our culture or “what’s wrong with me because I can’t get things done”. Things just aren’t as vibrant, colorful, interesting, or exciting when you aren’t feeling well. When you don’t eat for long periods of time, you don’t feel well.

In the body the brain registers this as dangerous and a slew of chemicals is pumped from the endocrine system to accommodate this threat. Some describe feeling a “little high” or “being detached” from the world and people around them. They report using food to help them achieve these states helps them “numb out” from painful emotions. The problem becomes this behavior feeds its own cycle and often the thoughts around these somatic sensations are distorted. As noted above people label their low energy as depression, the shaky nauseous feeling as anxiety, and the lack of focus as ADHD. However, what’s really going on doesn’t need a psychotropic med it needs a balanced meal.

To begin your own exploration of how food impacts your moods tracking can be helpful. Note what time you eat, what you ate, what emotions you were feeling before and after the meal, and any physical (or lack of) sensations you had. Track for 1-2 weeks without changing anything.  This can help you see patterns in your behaviors, moods, and physical sensation. It is important to begin this process without judgment. There is no need to judge, you are doing what you are doing, just allow yourself to objectively see what it is you are doing. From this place of observation it becomes easier to determine what you would like to change and how you’ll be most successful changing it.
Here’s to happy eating and contented feelings!
Food Diary Log Example:
Date
Meal (can include calories or nutrition info if wanted)
Time eaten
Emotions Before
Emotions After

Physical Sensations

 Photo Credit: www.naimamohamed.com