Monday, January 20, 2014

week 3 menu

I hope that you all had the opportunity to check out the cleanse ( ). we did cause its going to be a more regular part of my weekly menu.  This week is a busy one for my hubby at work - he won't be home for dinner at all this week so I'm left to cook for myself and the kids.  I'm looking for things that are quick, delicious, and make enough for leftovers the next day or two.  Below you will find my meal plan along with a link to week 3 from last year (2013).   Have a fabulous week!

Happy cooking!

Healthy Home Revolution 2014 - week 3
January 19, 2014

Sunday:  football game party with friends

Monday:  soy roasted salmon, sushi rice salad, roasted mixed veggies

Tuesday:  lasagna soup

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: oven-baked black bean & cheese quesadillas, roasted broccoli, salad

Friday: homemade pizza night

Saturday:  Greek Spinach bake, falafel, greek salad

Other recipes I plan to make for lunch from the 7 ingredients listed in the cleanse:
kale salad with roasted veggies, lentil and lentil salad

Week 3 from 2013 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The 7-ingredient Cleanse - Review and Tips

Earlier this week I posted about a 7-ingredient cleanse I discovered in Vegetarian Times Magazine.    Click below to read more about it:

I really enjoyed this - I felt great, I liked the food I was eating, I wasn't hungry, and I saw a difference in my skin and body.  None of that usual end-of-the-day bloat.  And apparently my husband loved it too!  He got out of the shower one morning and suggested we do it every week!!!  Are you kidding me?  Who kidnapped my real husband?!?!  Just kidding - I'm excited that he is so in to it.  And this gives me the go to get creative with my 7-ingredients (I've already been searching the Pinterest archives).  We are most likely going to do it every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  I promise to keep other recipes coming also, which I will experiment with on the other days of the week. 

Please give it a try!  Here are my tips on making the cleanse stress free:

- plan ahead:  prepare your vegetables and other ingredients in advance so that its easy to throw a smoothie together.  Also cook or make the recipes on the weekend for the following week.  All of the recipes can be made ahead except for the smoothie.

- purchase ingredients that are already prepped for you, if you can and they are affordable.  I purchased baby spinach pre-washed in a big container from my wholefoods store.  I also found very affordable cooked lentils and cooked beets in the refrigerator section of trader joe's.  Highly recommend!!!  These pre-cooked lentils are great for any lentil salad, and the beets are perfect for the smoothies and to add to any salads.

- instead of fresh blueberries, opt for frozen blueberries for your smoothies.  I used frozen and kept out the ice cubes).

- Be kind to your body:  ease yourself into the cleanse, and slowly re-introduce ingredients.  I recommend going sugar free the day before you cleanse.  I also recommend adding gluten, dairy, and sugar back into your diet very slowly, not all at once.  You may not even want to add them back in one day, but perhaps over the course of a few days.  Listen to your body as you add these food groups back into your diet and take them back out if necessary.  Some people discover that they are more sensitive to gluten, dairy, and/or sugar than they ever realized once they have done a cleanse like this. Since this cleanse is for vegetarians, I added protein back into my diet first.  I continued to omit any sugar, dairy, or gluten from my diet that 1st day after the cleanse.  Then I added a little bit of dairy and gluten the next day.  As I always say, do what works for you and makes you feel good.

Overall, I highly recommend this cleanse for anyone who wants to try one out.  I know that my lifestyle is too active for a juice or smoothie cleanse - I need more calories and it wouldn't be healthy for me.  So this was perfect!  Give it a try and please contact me if you have any questions about it.

Happy Cleansing!

The Broccoli Stir-Fry with Avocado-Ginger Sauce

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

7-ingredient cleanse

My mother is always giving me her magazines, usually months after she received them since we only see each other every 2 months or so (we live in different states).  At thanksgiving she brought me the June 2013 edition of Vegetarian Times.  I'm always looking for good meatless inspiration for the week and in my search I came across an article about the 7-ingredient cleanse.  I searched all over the Vegetarian Times website, but could not find the link or anything on this cleanse, so I'm trying to give you most of the information in this post.  It's a 3 day detox focusing on these 7 ingredients:  broccoli, beets, spinach, blueberries, avocado, lentils, and almonds.

Why these 7?  Here are a few reasons to load up on these detoxing goodies:
Broccoli - member of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage); helps to regulate toxin removal in the cells;  full of antioxidants that help counteract oxidative stress in the body

Beets (and beet greens)- full of betalains, potent antioxitants that tout anti-aging benefits, reduce inflammation, and rid the body of harmful toxins; the greens are chock full of vitamins and minerals including beta-carotene

Spinach- helps to balance pH levels and prevent disease; contains more than a dozen disease-fighting antioxidants called flavonoids

Blueberries- linked to brain-boosting power and heart health; lower amount of natural sugar when compared to other fruits

Avocado- excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which reduces your LDL cholesterol and helps to raise your HDL cholesterol; contains many anti-inflamatory nutrients, including omega 3's, antioxidants, and phytosterols; a fiber superstar, packing up to nearly 10 grams per cup

Lentils- rich in protein and soluable fiber, which helps you to stay fuller longer by stabilizing your blood sugar; one of the easiest proteins for your liver to digest

Almonds (raw, skin on)- high in vitamin E, which helps fight inflammation; almond skin contains disease-fighting, immune-boosting flavonoids; great fiber-protein

While these 7 are the main ingredients of your meals/snacks, others are used in the recipes as well.  You can use the recipes they included, or make up some of your own using those 7 ingredients as the star.  Just remember what NOT to eat:  no dairy and eggs, no gluten, no coffee, no alcohol, no added sugar (raw honey is Okay), and no processed foods.

The article continued to suggest what you might eat throughout the day, (recipes included and I posted the links below).  For breakfast you can eat a blueberry beet smoothie; for snack you can indulge in raw almonds, apples, beet and lentil hummus with carrots and celery, or another smoothie; and for lunch and/or dinner you can eat honey-mustard broccoli salad with lentils, broccoli stir-fry with ginger-avocado sauce, and black lentil borscht. 

Here are the suggested recipes from the article.  I will post on these more as the week continues, and I provided pictures of the ones I've made so far. 

Beet and Lentil Hummus
Blueberry-Beet Smoothie

Honey-Mustard Broccoli Salad with Lentils
Broccoli Stir-Fry with Ginger-Avocado Sauce
Black Lentil Borscht

So if you are looking for a great way to rid your body of some toxins without starving yourself, this is the cleanse to try.  I'll write a post at the end of this week discussing my over all thoughts. 

Happy Cleansing!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 week 2

Hi Friends!  Sorry I'm a day late, but we have exciting things happening over here!!!  Prepping for a 3-day 7-ingredient cleanse, trying out new incentives for good behavior with the kiddos, new bedtime routines (thanks to newly eliminated naps), new healthy habits (more like re-enforced and re-introduced) and a week of getting adjusted to being back at work/school/home etc. 

All of these things will be future post, I'm sure of it.   In the meantime, I won't leave you hanging this week.  Below you will find my plan this week and a link to week 2 from last year for some more meal ideas.

But before I go, I do want to share a few of my healthy habits I'm re-instating this week.  First, I have changed my fitness routine.   I have always kept things moving and grooving, working out 6 days a week.  I did insanity through the entire month of December but found myself getting a little bored with that this past week.  And my muscles weren't sore enough - you know, that pain you feel after a tough workout?  I'm not sure it was challenging my muscle groups in the same way anymore.   So here is my new weekly fitness plan in case you are looking for some ideas:

Monday: my day off

Tuesday:  Insanity DVD (the plyometric circuit workout)

Wednesday:  Biggest Loser Super Sculpt DVD  

Thursday: Insanity DVD (pure cardio)

Friday:  yoga DVD

Saturday:  my own tabata and strength workout (using 2-3 rounds of tabata intervals, a 20-30 minute strength workout with free weights and kettle bells, and some ab exercises).

Sunday: Tao-Bo Cardio Bootcamp DVD with resistance bands

Other healthy habits I have started this week is to limit my coffee to the morning only.  If I feel I need caffeine after lunch, then I make myself some tea.  I am also making an effort to drink more decaffeinated teas in the late afternoon evening for antioxidant benefits.

We have also invested in a Ninja blender system in an attempt to make more smothies/juices since our old blender wasn't doing the job.  This thing is awesome!!!  It pulverizes everything - from raw carrots & celery, to the seeds in all the berries.  My kids are loving it too!  My son is ASKING to put kale in his smoothie!  Say what???  And I love the fact that all the nutrients from the pulp and skin are still in my drink (unlike a traditional juicer).   Here's a picture of my son's latest invention:  frozen pineapple and mango with fresh banana and carrots.  Delish!

Lastly, I am making a pitcher of water infused with flavors, such as lemon, cucumber and mint.  So delicious, encourages me to drink more, helps me fight off the munchies, and it is also full of health benefits including aiding in digestion and fighting against bloating.  So cheers to that!

Have a fantastic week!

Healthy Home 2014:  week 2
Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday: Chicken Meatball, spinach & mushroom calzone

Monday: 7-ingredient cleanse meal

Tuesday: 7-ingredient cleanse meal

Wednesday: 7-ingredient cleanse meal

Thursday: using up leftovers in freezer

Friday: homemade pizza night

Saturday: date night

And last year's week 2 recipes:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Week 1 - Healthy Home 2014

Here it is friends! The first weekly meal plan for 2014!

It's been 1 year exactly since the birth of the Healthy Home Revolution. If you didn't see the original post, I strongly encourage you to take the time to read it today and join me! Please read more below:

Have a fabulous week!
Happy Cooking!

Healthy Home Revolution 2014
Week 1 - January 5, 2014

Sunday: cooks choice
Spinach & cheese lasagna

Monday: strip steak, roasted potatoes, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes

Tuesday: chile lime chicken burgers, Santa Fe salad

Wednesday: book club

Thursday: BBQ turkey meatloaf, smashed cauliflower, Caesar salad

Friday: homemade pizza night

Saturday: chicken pot pie, salad

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!!! - Healthy Home Reflections

Happy New Year!  Thank you to all my readers for following my efforts in obtaining a healthier lifestyle for me and my family.  I can't believe that a year has already passed!!!  I wanted to take this time to reflect upon the past year and all that the revolution has done.

First year of healthy home:  The positive effects on my family

2013 and the Healthy Home Revolution has brought 52 weeks of meal plans and very few meals repeated - crazy!   That means we are eating many more home cooked meals versus take out or going out - this gives me full control over the fat, sugar, and salt content of our food, not to mention portion size.

I now have a 4 year old who loves to cook and bake with me, who likes to try new things, who wants to eat healthier, and who won't eat dessert before his "healthy food" (protein, carbs, veggies, fruit).  This little man has made a one-eighty, from being a picky eater to being more adventurous and knowledgable about food.  

My toddler girl, almost 2, spent the last year eating solids for the first time.  She now has been exposed to all sorts of flavors and although she can be picky at times like many toddlers, she is still willing to taste things.  

Exercise is now a habit.  I workout 6-7 days a week and I'm in the best cardiovascular shape of my life.  If I skip a day or two I don't feel the same.  I can even do the Insanity workouts where as in the beginning of 2013 I couldn't even get through the warm up.  Both kids exercise with me and know what it means when mommy is going to do her exercises.   They love it, joining in, laughing and cooperating through most my 40 min videos (some pauses needed).  My 4 year old knows how to do push ups, burpees, butt kicks, jumping jacks, high knees, etc; my toddler can imitate most moves from my Insanity DVDs.   My expectation of their behavior and cooperation became theirs.  

I haven't mentioned my husband much here - he has made many small changes of his own that have added up to a significant difference for him.  I can say that I see him think twice about what he orders at restaurant, where as before he was still eating like a teenager all of the time.  He eats breakfast now, doesn't skip meals, and has cut back on his portion sizes.  He has a few personal goals of his own, but I'll leave those for him to share.

So thank you again for trying out my recipes and taking my tips to heart.  I love having a community of virtual friends who have a common goal:  living a healthier life.   Here's to 1 year of the Healthy Home Revolution down, and the rest of our lives to go!!!

Happy Cooking!