Snacks, the key to balanced eating
It is scientifically proven that eating every 2-3 hours keeps your blood sugars level, metabolism pumping and keeps you from over eating at meals. Doing so has made a huge difference in my own ability to make better food choices and maintain a healthy weight.
Having a snack in my car when I get in after a workout, or an apple on the counter when I get up from my computer in the afternoon I’ll eat that and be good to go till my next meal.
When there’s not I am likely to eat the whole jar of peanuts, or stop to buy a candy bar at the drug store on the way home...not healthy choices. Having a properly portioned snack in a little baggie keeps me in line. Go figure. And my family is learning portion control too.
Variety is the spice of life, eating the same snack everyday just won’t do. So watch for more snack posts in the near future, I managed to rein myself in and just give one recipe with a bunch of options in this blog post.
Today I’m sharing the simplest “homemade” snack I know, it’s a favorite of mine and my kids gobble it up too. Trail mix with just 4 ingredients that is ready in 3.2 minutes. I typically use dark chocolate (I stock up the day after any holiday, hence the Christmas packaging), unsalted or light salted nuts and sunflower seeds only if the kids haven’t seen them in the pantry and eaten them already. Look for dried fruit without added sugars or your calories go through the roof.
Super Simple Trail Mix
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
2 cups raisins
1 cup chocolate hard shell candy
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
Amount Per Serving 1/3 cup
Keep Moving Tip: Use what you like. unsalted almonds, a different dried fruit, more or less of any item, you can't go wrong.
More combo ideas:
Please share your favorite trail mix combination in the comments.
Beans, beans the magical fruit
Oh yes, you know the song. And believe me it’s a favorite tune in our house, cause this mama cooks with beans all-the-time.
Beans are actually one of my favorite places to save on the grocery bill and to channel my need to control the quality of ingredients. A can of beans is great in a hurry, but cooking dry beans is so satisfying and makes the house smell fabulous! They tend to hold together better and have a brighter color too.
In fact, I cook them so often that my friend Elizabeth and I started going in on a humongous bag of pinto beans every so often. Then we get to have a girls trip to Costco, it’s much more fun Costco shopping with her than on my own.
This week I cooked 2 pounds of black beans while we were at the house watching play off football. Football season gives me lots of time to cook.
Super easy recipe, you got this.
Toss the beans into a colander and rinse
I have yet to find a rock in my beans, but always look anyhow.
Toss the beans into the biggest stock pot you have, fill it with water to cover the beans by a few inches.
Bring to a rolling boil for 2 min, then cover and let sit for an hour.
Yes you can soak them overnight, but I rarely remember.
Drain the beans in the colander, toss back in the pot, cover with water and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a slow simmer for about 2 hours. The time varies on the type of bean, the age of the beans so taste one periodically to see if they are done. Smashing one with the back of a spoon will let you know how soft they are too if you don’t want to eat a zillion unseasoned beans.
Once they are finished, I let them cool. Then scoop 2 cups into a freezer bag. Then I have a stock pile of beans in my freezer.
15 oz can of black beans at Raleys is $1.49
1 pound of dry black beans at Raleys is $1.99
1 pound of dry cooked = 53 ounces of cooked beans or 3.5 cans
Savings on 3.5 cans vs a pound dry = $2.48
That’s less than half price for a better product. Typically I find dry beans for even less in the bulk section, on sale or at Costco since they have a long shelf life.
Tonight I’m using a crockpot burrito bowl recipe with the black beans. Stay tuned to find out how that turns out. Recipe. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-burrito-bowls-207333
Love to hear your favorite bean and how you use them. Keep moving mama!
Control? What's that?
Realizing I was no longer in control was my first lesson in motherhood. Babies do not come till they are ready and they never read the detailed birth plan. Turns out teenagers do things on their own time too.
It has taken years of practice, but I have found that if I focus on the few things that I can control, my whole family is better for it.
Running a group fitness program and a personal training business from home give me the exercise outlet. Each day I am inspired to learn new things about fitness and all its many topics, I just love it! Weird to some, but completely true.
Food is honestly on my mind even more than exercise. Baking, cooking, meal planning, visiting farmers markets...drooling over food blogs. Keeping the focus on real food for my family is my goal, doing that while living in our modern world is the daily challenge.
Attitude is a daily choice, I choose to do the best I can with what I've got.
So come along with me on this journey, I’ll share as I go if you will too…. keep moving mama!
Combining a love of real food, commitment to exercise, a home based business and a family without going over the edge is the balance I seek daily. There is a confidence that comes from combining these things into life.
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