Clean Eating Oven Poached Salmon

oven poached salmon clean eating blog

As a busy Mom – I try to add fish into our meal plan at least once a week. Not only is it low fat & low calorie, it is also the quickest possible option for a fresh meal. Fresh fish only needs about ten minutes to cook – so there are many nights when it is my saving grace! I add a couple of vegetable steamers and dinner is DONE!

You may not be familiar with poaching if you are a newbie cook. Poaching is just baking something in liquid and its a great technique to use to keep meats moist. Try it with chicken too! Poaching salmon guarantees succulent results every time. This delicious recipe is packed with omega-3s that are great for the heart!

This recipe is part of my new Clean Eating Blog – where I share more of my favorite easy, healthy recipes. I hope you like it!

Clean Eating Oven Poached Salmon

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Yield: 4 servings

4 (4-oz) raw wild salmon fillets
Cold water
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and chopped, stems discarded*
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
4 wedges fresh lemon (for garnish; optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Place salmon in a baking dish. Add water until the level is halfway up the side of the fillet.
3. Sprinkle salmon with salt (if desired), pepper (if desired), and rosemary; drizzle with lemon juice.
4. Bake, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
5. Gently remove salmon from liquid; serve.

*I grow rosemary in a pot during the summer months, but any other time of the year I use dried rosemary, use whichever one you have on hand!

10 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight at Christmas – Part 1

10 ways to avoid gaining weight at christmas

I read somewhere that it takes the average person three months to lose the weight they gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Three months!! But it’s true it’s too easy to let our standards fall, make excuses to avoid working out, and maybe even pull out our ‘fat clothes’ because they feel better – Eek! I believe that balance is the key to living a healthy & happy life but right now, you’re on a slippery slope! It can be all too easy to let your real goals go in favor of a short-term indulgence.

10 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight at Christmas

1. Travel smart. Many people find themselves traveling during the holiday season, but that’s not an excuse to eat unhealthily and avoid exercise. Plan your meals in advance, and pack snacks when you are either on the road or in the air. Good travel snacks can include nuts or dried fruit. Pack your favorite workout DVD and a portable DVD player or use a fitness app while you are on the road. A short exercise sesh is better than no exercise sesh. To help you be a happier traveler, get a good night sleep before you leave to increase your mood and alertness. Eating a heavy meal before traveling can make you sleepy, so eat a small, low-fat meal before you head out the door.

2. ZZZZZZZ. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and get a full night’s rest as often as you can. If you fail to get a good night sleep, it can affect your immune system and make you grumpy the next day. No one wants to travel with a grouchy person, so do everyone a favor and get some shut eye. Sleeping well can also help you reduce your calorie consumption, because it inhibits the release of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin while promoting the release of leptin, another hormone that limits hunger. And keeping that hunger in check is a good idea when you find yourself surrounded by holiday goodies.

3. Hydration station. Staying hydrated is important in our daily life and becomes even more important when you’re stressed, as can so often happen during the busy holiday season. Stress can have a negative effect on your immune system. Drinking plenty of water can help by flushing toxins out of your body. For that very reason, choosing water instead of holiday beverages like eggnog and hot spiced cider is especially important, even though it can be challenging.

4. Caution with cocktails. With the holidays comes the drinking of alcohol, so make sure you have at least one glass of water in between each drink. Remember that one gram of alcohol contains seven calories, and yet it yields virtually no energy or health benefits. Calories from alcohol can add up quickly, so be mindful of how much you are drinking. If you do indulge in eggnog, which is super-high in calories in its traditional form, try making it with fat-free half-and-half substitute mixed with fat-free milk, and ditch the egg yolks for egg whites. Also, drinking may reduce inhibitions under the mistletoe, which is good, but it also reduces inhibition at the dessert buffet, which is bad.

5. Fighting temptation. The holidays are filled with temptation, and it’s your job to stop it in its tracks. Holiday parties can be troublesome with the surplus of fatty foods and beverages. You might be unaware of how much you are consuming and might eat because it is there, rather than eating because you are actually hungry. Eat a healthy meal before you go out, so you’re less tempted to munch on empty calories. Be aware of what you are putting into your body, whether it’s cocktails or shrimp cocktails. The office can also be a place where temptation lurks. Try to avoid going into the break room and grabbing those cakes, cookies, and other holiday dishes and treats people leave lying around at this time of year. Be the first in your office to bring in a fruit or veggie platter or other healthy choice to share. And if you are having a chocolate craving that just won’t go away, throw a banana in the blender with some Chocolate Shakeology®, nonfat milk, and ice, and you’ll be back on track.

I decided to split this post up because it was WAY too long! Check back tomorrow for 5 MORE tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain!

Clean Eating Chili Recipe

spicy chili recipe clean eating blog

Chili is one of my absolute FAVORITE weeknight meals. If you don’t have chili on your meal plan at least once a week during the Fall & Winter then there must be something wrong with you! It’s easy to make, ready in a hurry, freezes well, low-carb, and it’s a meal the whole family will eat. Tip: If you have kids, don’t add the peppers! You can always make your own bowl spicier, if you like it HOT!

This recipe is part of eSmoothie Recipes’ Clean Eating Blog – where I share recipes of what my family likes to eat for the other 4-6 meals of the day! We don’t drink smoothies for every meal! ;)

Clean Eating Chili Recipe

This hot, flavorful chili is so tasty, even meat eaters will love this recipe.

Total Time: 35 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: 10 servings, about 1 cup each

2 lbs. seitan
Nonstick cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and deveined, chopped (use gloves to handle)
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. sea salt (to taste; optional)
1 dash ground black pepper
1 14.5 oz can black beans, do not drain
1 14.5 oz can kidney beans, do not drain
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1. Place seitan in food processor; pulse until it has the consistency of ground beef. Set aside.
2. Heat large skillet, lightly coated with spray over medium-high heat.
3. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until translucent.
3. Add garlic, habanero pepper, and seitan; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until seitan is golden brown.
4. Add chili powder, paprika, salt (if desired), and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes.
5. Add black beans, kidney beans, and tomatoes; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture is heated through.

Tip: Serve chili on top of cooked whole grain pasta (½ cup). Any remaining chili can be frozen to be reheated at a later time.

Tip: If you find habanero too spicy, substitute with jalapeño.

8 Healthy Smoothies for Breastfeeding

Do you have any lactation smoothie recipes? – Brittany

Of course! I breastfeed both of my kids, and I was able to breastfeed my son for 13 and a half months. I think the key to keeping up your milk supply is taking good care of yourself, making sure you eat enough good food, and drinking lots and lots of liquids. Smoothies are also a great choice because they are quick and easy to drink with one hand! ;) – Heather

There are a few foods that you can eat that will help you keep up your milk supply. The most important thing is that you actually remember to eat and drink.

Here is a list of 10 of the best foods that are traditionally used as galactogues – (foods that increase milk production). Now I can’t promise a smoothie recipe for each one – but you don’t have to eat them all for them to work!

8 Healthy Smoothies for Breastfeeding

(And a few bonus tricks too just because!)

  1. Water – This one is a no brainer – but if you find yourself having to choke down another glass of plain water try these smoothies made with coconut water instead: Blueberry Coconut Water Smoothie or Blueberry Chia Seed Slush. blueberry flax coconut water smoothie recipe healthy smoothies for breastfeeding blueberry and chia seed slushie smoothie healthy smoothies for breastfeeding
  2. Lactation Cookies
  3. Oatmeal – Try my apple crisp smoothie! It tastes like dessert in a glass.  Apple Crisp Smoothie healthy smoothies for breastfeeding
  4. Garlic – Yep, there’s even a savory smoothie recipe with garlic in it – think Bloody Mary & V8, but you make it at home.  smoothie with garlic healthy smoothies for breastfeeding
  5. Carrots – Try my Pear and Carrot Smoothie or Bunny Juice
  6. Fennel – Try this Juice Recipe with fresh fennel smoothie with fennel
  7. Nuts – This one is easy & delicious! Just add 1-2 tbsp of all natural almond butter to your favorite blend. Or you could always try this easy smoothie recipe with only three ingredients. Blend together 1 cup of blueberries + 1 to 2 tbsp of almond butter + 1 cup of almond milk. (source) smoothie with almond butter
  8. Green Papaya – Honestly – this is kind of weird and I don’t have a whole lot to contribute to an unripe papaya. Blech.
  9. Sesame Seeds – Try this Raw Vegan Chocolate Smoothie from Mind Body Green (source) smoothie with sesame seeds healthy smoothies for breastfeeding
  10. Ginger – Fresh Ginger is a strong flavor – but you can tone it down by blending it with fruits like apple. This smoothie is super simple with just three ingredients. My recommendation would be to start with 1 green apple, 1 handful of fresh spinach, a tiny sliver of ginger, and a cup of water. Add more water or ginger as desired. (source) healthy smoothies for breastfeeding smoothies with ginger
  11. I kept this Mother’s Milk tea on hand at all times. I didn’t drink it every day – but if I felt like like a needed a little “boost” I would drink it a couple of times a day.
  12. I used these Fenugreek pills (My Brest Friend Fenugreek) whenever my baby was going through a growth spurt to increase my supply. Nothing else worked as well or as fast to get your supply up – but you have to take a lot of pills for them to be effective. Not fun, but worth it.

My Story – Losing Baby Weight

losing baby weight

Somebody told me one time that losing baby weight didn’t count as real weight loss.

I wanted to punch that person in the face.

Not only does it totally count as real weight loss but it means that you did it while raising one or more small humans – which in itself is deserving of all sorts of medals.

But here’s the thing – I’m betting that you can have an even better body after having kids than you did before. I know it’s possible, because I’m proof. And you don’t have to starve or chain yourself to the treadmill to get it done. (Because that would 1) suck – and 2) ain’t nobody got time for that!)

My Story

I reached a point in each of my pregnancies where I refused to look at the scale. At the time, I didn’t even own a scale, but the lovely nurse always made me weigh myself before every Dr.’s appt. How nice. I had enough people commenting on how big my belly was, and was I sure I wasn’t having twins to know that whatever the number was, it was high.

After my precious son was born I felt pretty good even though I was carrying around extra weight. I was focused on my two children, and breastfeeding, and recovering from my second c-section surgery. I kept expecting it to fall off like it did the first time, but I was older, I had more on my plate, and it wasn’t happening. Those early months passed in a blur and before I knew it I was taking my son to have his picture made at 7 months old, and I was still wearing maternity pants. The old ‘I just had a baby’ excuse I kept telling myself was wearing thin. I had to start at least making progress towards getting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Not only would it be expensive to replace my entire wardrobe – but I wasn’t ready to admit total defeat by buying all new clothes in a larger than normal size.

I didn’t really know where to start. I couldn’t go to a gym because I didn’t want to leave my precious, never been sick, newborn with a complete stranger, in a room full of random kids. (This was my thought process at the time – new mothers are a little crazy like that!) I googled a few Tracy Anderson workouts online – and they were so stupid! I don’t know how she has built an empire, but I never even worked up a sweat. I bought shape magazine and quickly learned that doing a few reps of the workouts in the back will do absolutely nothing. I bought some diet book that said I was begging to be fat forever if I drank cow’s milk – and I just thought why does all of this sound so crazy?

I started reading about nutrition, and even looked into going back to school for it – just to learn once and for all – what’s the best way to be healthy? I asked my OB/GYN how many calories I should be eating and he just said something really unhelpful like ‘my patients who breastfeed lose the weight easier than the ones who don’t.’ Uh, thanks Doc. I wanted somebody to tell me EXACTLY what to eat and how much and when. And I wanted a swiss nanny to come teach my kids french so I could go to the gym – but that wasn’t gonna happen.

I wanted to fit back into my clothes, yes – but more importantly I wanted to take good care of myself so I could be around for a long time – I had two kids to raise! And I wanted to set the example for both of my children that taking care of your own health is important and a priority. Whatever I was looking for it had to be something that would work for the whole family – I didn’t want to have to make separate meals for myself like a leper. And I couldn’t watch them eat all of the good stuff while I nibbled on lettuce and fake meat.

I wasn’t interested in a quick fix – I wanted to learn how to eat real food, and I needed a workout that would fit into my life, not the other way around. All of this – and I had actually considered myself a pretty healthy person for most of my adult life!

My Story – Losing Baby Weight Part 2 coming soon! 

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