build it better: eggs

I know a lot of people prefer sweet things for breakfast, but in my opinion, there is nothing better than eggs for breakfast.

They are healthy.

Pretty cheap. (My husband wishes I would buy the really cheap ones, but I refuse).

So very versatile.

And they definitely don’t need to be limited to breakfast. (I will admit that I eat them so frequently for breakfast that they don’t make an appearance for lunch or dinner very often, but I’m working to change that).

Eggs are pretty perfect on their own, but there are ways that you can make them even better!

  • purchase Organic or Free-Range Eggs
  • add vegetables! Think veggie-filled omelets, frittatas or eggs served over greens (a personal favorite)
  • combine with a whole grain. Serve with some whole-grain toast, or over brown rice or quinoa with sauteed veggies.
  • eat the whole egg! There are loads of vitamins and nutrients in eggs and they are usually found in the yolk.

Egg Recipes to Try:

 What is your favorite way to eat eggs? 

 

build it better: smoothies

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Now that I live in a sunny, warm climate year-round, I’ve found myself turning to smoothies on a more regular basis than I did when we lived in Minneapolis. Smoothies in the winter just never worked for me. But spring is here and summer is around the corner so it is officially smoothie season!

Smoothies are typically a breakfast meal for me, (I’m not so sure they could work as a lunch or dinner) and my current favorite is a combination of frozen pineapple, spinach, almond milk and greek yogurt. To turn a smoothie into a meal, you’ve got to be sure to include protein, some healthy fat and some volume in the form of fruit or vegetables.

Here are some of my favorite fats, proteins and flavors for smoothies! Blend away!

Fats:

  • nut butter or nuts
  • avocado
  • ground flaxseed
  • chia seeds

Proteins:

  • protein powder (there are ENDLESS amounts of protein powder – find one that you like!)
  • greek yogurt
  • milk

Flavor:

  • frozen or fresh fruit
  • splash of juice
  • small amount of honey or agave
  • dates
  • coconut

Extras:

  • vegetables! (spinach or other delicate greens work well)
  • green super food powder

Inspiration:

What always ends up in your smoothies? 

build it better: oatmeal

 

Oatmeal is often a breakfast staple this time of year and for good reason. It fills you up, keeps you warm, and for me, is definitely associated with chilly winter mornings as a child.  I have to admit, since moving to a warmer climate, I haven’t had oatmeal as often this “winter” but it is still something I eat on a regular basis.

Oats are a healthy option for breakfast because they contain fiber (both soluble and insoluble), protein, are 100% whole grain and contain a whole slew of minerals.

Picking the Oats:

  • Steel-cut oats are best  – they are the whole oat groat which is then cut in pieces instead of flattened meaning it takes longer to digest which helps you feel full longer. They are essentially the least processed form of oats and are sometimes called Irish Oats. They do take longer to cook, but result in a chewy oat.
  • Rolled, Quick or Instant Oats are also good choices.
  • Instead of using the flavored packets which contain hydrogenated oils, corn syrup and a ton of preservatives, try making your own and topping it as you like! You can even make a big batch to eat throughout the week.

Topping Ideas:

  • Nut Butter: Peanut, Almond, Cashew, etc.
  • Sweeteners: Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave, Brown Sugar, Stevia, etc.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, etc.
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruits
  • Shredded Coconut or Coconut Oil

Ways to Add Protein:

  • Nut Butters
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Egg
  • Protein Powder
  • Milk
Recipes to Try: 

What do you put in or on you oats? 

build it better: entree salads

I love big salads.  They are a great way to get in tons of fresh veggies, good fats and protein and they don’t weigh you down like heavy meals can. They are energizing and always make me feel great!

In order to make a salad filling enough for a meal, though, you’ve got to be sure that you incorporate the right mix of ingredients: lots of fiber-filled fresh vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and a combination that tastes great!

My Tips for Building a Healthy Salad: 

Green Base: I like to have a few varieties of greens – something crunchy and something dark!

  • Romaine
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Herb Salad Mix
  • Dark Greens (Kale, Chard, etc.)

Veggie Toppings: 

  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Roasted Veggies (Squash, Sweet Potato)

Protein/Fat/Flavor Toppings: 

  • Lean Protein: Beans, Chicken, Fish, Tofu, Eggs, Cottage Cheese
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado, Nuts, Hemp Seeds, Olives
  • Flavor: Cheese (I like to use a really flavorful cheese like Feta, Goat, Blue, etc), Fresh Herbs, Fresh or Dried Fruits

Dressing:

  • Bottled Dressing (like Annie’s or some of the other organic/natural brands)
  • Simple: drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, salt & pepper
  • Favorite Vinaigrette: chopped shallots + olive oil + lemon juice or vinegar + mustard + salt & pepper
What are your favorite salad combinations, I’m always looking for healthy, delicious and satisfying salads!