What I’m Eating:
This week’s secret ingredient is the almighty BANANA. Never underestimate the power and versatility of America’s number one fruit. Have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a snack, or dessert. Not only are bananas nutritious and awesomely sweet, they’re very inexpensive. Known mostly for its high levels of potassium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure and keeps your “ticker” functioning properly, bananas also provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Bananas are also used as a natural antacid to prevent stomach ulcers and protect against ulcer damage. Here’s one more thing you should know about bananas. They can help build stronger bones due to a compound known as a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide), which works with probiotic or the friendly bacteria in your colon.
Below are a few ways I like to enjoy these beauties!
Banana Raisin Wrap
Sweet Potato Fluff
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Coconut-Banana Creme Bowl
I strongly believe that the more we learn about food, the healthier we become. Learning about the history, benefits, and how to prepare different foods helps us to make healthier choices and to step outside of our comfort zone. Maybe the next time you’re cruising around the grocery store, you’ll pick up that pint of blackberries or bunch of cilantro you’ve been eyeing for a while. Many people are curious about certain foods, but have no idea how to cook them. Each week I will show you how to cook one basic healthy ingredient such as oatmeal, fennel, almond butter, or chicken. You can find videos on how to prepare the mystery ingredient on my Youtube channel (links provided below). I will also add videos that show you five different ways to incorporate them into any meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even dessert. Chicken for dessert? Hmmmm, maybe not! This series is called ‘(food name) All Day, 5 Ways.’
This week’s mystery ingredients are the awesome garbanzo beans also known by many as Chickpeas. Now I understand some people have never ventured over to the world of chickpeas or have no idea what these things are. Maybe you’ve dipped a few baby carrots or celery sticks in a pool of hummus, but never knew the primary ingredient, but if your only understanding of hummus comes from a certain movie…well then I hope I can help you out a little bit. No, I will not teach you how to make a hummus hose!
Here’s some cool stuff about garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are from the legume family meaning they are the fruit or seed of a plant. Many sources trace their origins back to India, but you can also find variations in areas of the Mediterranean, north Africa, and Mexico. I won’t bore you with extensive fun facts about these beauties, but there are many reasons why you should consider including them in your diet.
Photos Courtesy of:
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
Almond Choco-Cherry Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (40)
1/2 banana, frozen pieces (55)
1 tbsp unsweetened coco powder (12)
1/4 cup frozen dark cherries (50)
½ tbsp almond butter (48)
1 cup spinach (7)
1 scoop protein powder, vanilla or chocolate (120)
*Throw all ingredients into blender until smooth. Add extra almond milk or water to thin out if you prefer thinner consistency.
I am a very busy lady these days, but there’s always time for Baldy and smooches. I decided to go out for dinner this weekend for the first time since starting this program in order to see how I would behave when out in the ‘real world.’ You know, I still have a lot to work on, but I’m doing pretty darn good. Now, I’ve never been one to turn down a churro and I definitely didn’t turn down one this weekend. Instead of eating the entire thing, I gave half to my sweetie. I must admit that it wasn’t as good this time around and I think it’s mainly due to the fact that my palate has graduated from juvenile things to awesomeness a.k.a. ‘real food.’
Okay, well maybe I should back up for a second. The churro was a sweet treat after our monthly grocery haul at Cosco. However, Baldy and I decided to go out and watch the new Brad Pitt movie, World War Z. Great movie, by the way! I’m very proud to say that I opted not to eat the Nestle Crunch candy that calls out my name every time we pass the concession stand. I snuck in some baby carrots and edamame. The lady sitting next to me during the movie also snuck in some goodies. Fresh fruit. Way to go, Mystery Lady! After having my Brad Pitt fix, we got dinner and once again the rules went out the window. Spinach Quiche, beet salad, roasted vegetables and a few pita bread slices. Oh, we also shared a pecan pie bar. Again, it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be!
I had dairy and bread for dinner and it was no big deal. It didn’t kill me and I enjoyed it. I created the fingerlickinnutrition “guidelines” to give me direction, not as a means of control. Trust me, there aren’t any little green broccoli men swooping down from food heaven spanking my hands every time I eat something that’s ‘bad’ for me. I’m learning to make logical decisions that will serve me well beyond these 60 days. So far, I’m liking the results and I don’t feel stressed. Now if only I could hire someone to cook the rest of these meals for me. That would be awesome with a capital A! Tomorrow I’m back in the kitchen and burning the floor with Shaun T. Am I Insane or what?
Breakfast: Apple Fruit & Oak Bake with boiled egg (436)
Snack: Berry-Vanilla Protein Smoothie (372)
Lunch: Shrimp and Lotus Rice Bowl with Vietnamese Dressing and Nori Chips (488)
Dinner: Carrot Ginger Soup with Lemon Cod (Sides: Sweet potato fries, broccoli, and seaweed salad) (515)
*Also snacked on a few brazil nuts and walnuts. Would like to add more greens to the menu, but overall, the food was awesome. Recipes coming soon!