Turkey and butternut squash chili

Nothing goes better with cold weather than a nice hot bowl of chili! I typically do a traditional Texas chili but I changed it up a little last night. Here is the recipe for my turkey and butternut squash chili!

Ingredients:

🔹8 oz butternut squash cubed

🔹2 tbsp Chile rub

🔹1/4 oz cilantro

🔹15 oz crushed tomatoes

🔹12 oz ground turkey

🔹1 shallot

🔹1 oz cheddar-Jack cheese

🔹2 oz sour cream

🔹1 tomato

Recipe:

Halve and peel shallot. Dice halves. Core tomato and dice. Stem and mince cilantro.

Place a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil, butternut squash and shallot to hot pan. Stir often until squash is browned and begins to soften. 7-10 minutes

Add turkey, half the Chile rub and a pinch of pepper. Stir often, breaking up meat with a spoon until no pink remains.

Add crushed tomatoes and 1 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until thickened. 10-12 minutes

Taste chili and stir in remaining chili rub if desired. Plate dish with cheese, sour cream and cilantro

Fast Food

Often times when we think of fast food, we think of unhealthy, greasy, fatty food items. Places like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, etc come to mind for the average person. The true definition of “fast food” is food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out. Just because there isn’t a drive through doesn’t mean it can’t be fast food!

Did you know your grocery store can fall under the fast food category? Many grocery stores have salad bars or pre made meal options available to grab and go. My favorite “fast food” place is Whole Foods or Central Market! Their salad bars are AMAZING! They have so many healthy options to pick from!

Fast food doesn’t have to mean greasy, fatty foods. You can find healthy options almost anywhere you go now. Let’s change our thinking of the words fast food since it just means a quick meal option that’s easy to take on the go and isn’t actually a specific food.

What’s your favorite fast food place?

Aging and weight gain

As we get older, a common myth people still believe is that they gain weight because of age. Your age doesn’t cause you to gain weight.

As you age, your body’s production of hormones that help maintain muscle mass decreases. As you lose muscle, more of your weight can be attributed to fat. In addition, as we age we often become less active. Many people still continue to eat the same portions and foods they are back when they were more active and able to burn it off quicker. Additionally, as we age we think we need less sleep or busy ourselves so much that stress causes a lack of sleep. These are factors that cause you to gain weight as you get older. But there are things you can do to work with your body and fight off the excess weight gain!

Exercise: Exercise with weights at least twice a week at a minimum. Lifting weight builds muscle strength. You don’t have to lift heavy weights! Start light/moderate and build your way up in weight and intensity. No gym membership? There’s plenty of at home workouts you can do. If you have a desk job, make sure to get up and move every so often. Do a lap around the office every hour and take the stairs when you can.

Diet: Watch your food intake and be cautious of portion sizes. Figure out how many calories you should consume in a day for your age and size. Eat lots of veggies and lean protein!

Sleep: Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep causes a lack of endurance. So you’re less likely to want to workout or get up and move as much. Ultimately encouraging a sedentary lifestyle which brings on weight gain.

Don’t let aging be your excuse for weight gain! Stay active, eat a healthy diet and get a good amount of sleep each night!

Salmon with wild rice

Ingredients

-2 6oz salmon filets

-1/2 cup seasoned wild rice

-1/4 oz fresh parsley

-4 oz grape tomatoes

-2 cups chopped broccoli

-2 tsp grainy mustard

-2 garlic cloves

-Olive oil

Recipe

Bring medium pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and wild rice to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until tender. 20-23 minutes

Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Mince parsley. Rinse salmon, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.

Place water and steaming basket in a medium pot. Bring water to boil and place broccoli in pot. Steam for 5-6 minutes

Place a medium non stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and salmon. Cook 4-6 minutes each side. Remove from burner and plate salmon.

Use same pan used to cook salmon. Add 1 tsp of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and parsley. Stir till tomatoes blister. 1-2 minutes. Remove from burner and mix in mustard. Top salmon with mixture.

Plate rice and broccoli with salmon and enjoy! 🍴

Curb your cravings

Craving something sweet? You don’t have to eat candy or ice cream. Sometimes you body just wants something as simple as fruit and yogurt!

These are a few things I go for when I’m craving something savory, salty or sweet but want to stay on track with my diet!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a DQ blizzard on occasion. But that’s not always the best choice for me. Especially when I’m trying to stay on track. You can find healthy alternatives to curb your food cravings!

That scary word…..”Fat”

I’m sure people are going to think I’m ridiculous for saying this, but I wish we could rename fats, from food, something else. Yeah yeah I know it sounds stupid. But a good majority of the general public sees that word and freaks out. I think it’s due to the word association with the word body fat. We define fat (from the body) as connective tissue that stores cellular fat. Or….the yellow blob stuff that we see in pictures in ads and learned about in heath class.

Body fat is not the same as food fat. Will fats from food make you fat? Yes and no. It’s all about portioning and eating the correct fats. If you eat a proper amount of fats, you can make it work to your advantage. With that being said, I’m referring to fats from avocado, olive oil, eggs, etc. NOT fats from things like Doritos, pastries, sugary drinks, etc. Should you completely avoid the “bad fats” all together? Some would argue yes. I say no. That’s what cheat meals are for! I don’t recommend consuming them every day but on occasion is fine! If you can completely avoid them all together, more power to you! I however want a greasy burger and pizza every so often. 😉

Fats are a good thing! Let’s stop being so scared of them! Use them as fuel for your body and don’t feel bad about consuming them, when they’re the good kind. Eat your avocados every day, and eat those eggs! They are fantastic for your body. Just make sure to portion things out properly! Figure out how much fat is recommended for your body per day. Once you understand the fat amounts in each food, you can portion things visually and it becomes really easy! Let’s get back to enjoying foods (especially ones with FAT) and not being scared of them! 🍴💪🏻

Ponzu Salmon and Rice

Last night I made ponzu salmon and rice. It was under 500 calories and incredibly filling. Decently easy and tasted great!

Ingredients:

🔹2 salmon filets (6oz)

🔹6 oz cremini mushrooms

🔹2 garlic cloves

🔹2 green onions

🔹1/2 cup jasmine rice (can sub brown rice)

🔹2 oz peas

🔹1 oz ponzu sauce

Recipe:

Bring a pot of 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Pour in rice. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender. 18-20 minutes

While rice cooks chop mushrooms and onion. Mince garlic. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Combine ponzu, ginger and green onions. Place 2 tbsp of mixture in a separate small bowl and set aside.

Spray a medium nonstick pan with cooking spray. Place over medium heat. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until soft. Add rice, peas and garlic. Cook till peas are warm. Mix in ponzu sauce mixture. Cover and remove from burner.

Spray a second medium nonstick pan with cooking spray. Place over medium heat. Add salmon. Sear until golden brown. 4-6 minutes each side.

Plate salmon and rice mixture. Pour remaining 2 tbsp of ponzu mixture over salmon. Enjoy!