Monday, March 4, 2013

Healthy Eating With Your Family

 Hi everyone!
 It's Rachelle again. Mariam asked me if I would do a few posts expanding on some healthy eating ideas. Remember a while back when I did the Relief Society night on nutrition? So I just want to share with you some of my family's favorite recipes throughout the next few weeks, and give you some tips/advise that I've used to get my family excited about eating healthy. I adore eating healthy. I love everything about it. I love studying vitamins and minerals and learning what they do for our bodies. I love hearing miraculous stories of people overcoming serious health problems just by changing the way they eat. I love trying new recipes and I get so excited when I make something new and my family thinks it's amazing. Nutrition and cooking with whole foods is my passion, to say the least. However, I am no expert and I certainly am not a chef! I am far from perfect and still mess up from time to time and binge on a package of Oreos on one of my "off" days, and I certainly enjoy myself at a neighborhood picnic. I'm human. But, I have found that the more I stick to eating a whole foods, unprocessed diet free of all the junk that is so readily available to us these days, the better I feel, and guess what? My Kids and Husband even agree! We are all happiest when we keep our diets simple and eat all of the amazing foods that God placed on this Earth for us to enjoy. I hope that you find these posts helpful. Here's to your health!

 Advice to get your family to embrace healthy eating:

Inspire Them

This might be hard to take in, but in the beginning do not worry so much about your family's health, but about your own. I know that may sound backwards, but it is so very true.

People don't like to be told what to do, or even worse, that they need to change. It is far better to be an inspiration to another, than to try and force them to change things that they may or may not be interested in changing.

If you think about it, we tend to make things too hard by wasting our efforts trying to force others to do things that they are either not ready for, or not yet interested in. How much easier is it to just lead by example and show them your love for whatever the thing is which you want to teach them? Let them embrace it out of their own free will. People have a strong desire to be in control of their own choices and when you try to take that away from them, they are not likely to let you do so easily. They may even rebel! Instead, lead by example. When they see the effects the changes you made have on you, they eventually will want the benefits you are reaping for themselves.

Envision What You Want
It is ever so important for you to know what your goals are. Do you want to overcome a health problem? Are you tired of feeling out of sorts and are looking to feel younger, healthier and more vibrant? Do you want to get back to a healthy weight and have more energy?

Whatever your reasons may be, write them down! Keep a list somewhere where you can see it constantly and let it inspire you. When you lay down at night, don't think of all of the things that you did wrong, or that you didn't accomplish during the day; instead, make a mental note of all that you did accomplish.

You will get so much farther with reaching your goals if you can choose to concentrate on the positive. When you make a list of all of the things you did wrong, like that bag of cookies you ate when you were stressed at work, or sleeping in late and skipping your workout routine, you defeat yourself.

How can we expect to get anywhere when we do not allow ourselves to see how far we have come?

It is ever so important to envision what you want and then be proud of yourself for the steps that you are taking to make it a reality.

It is so hard to stick to anything if you do not know why you are doing it.

If you want to make real changes in your life you need to know why you are making them.

The more you study up on eating whole foods, the more you will see, in a very real way, how beneficial they truly are. The more you read and educate yourself, the more confident you will feel with what you are doing, and the more likely you will be to not only stick with it, but to love it as well. For myself, I know that the more I read about health, whether it be food related or something else, the more excited I become. I have also realized that the more my family sees how excited I am, and the more interesting things that I can share with them, the more they want to educate themselves as well.

We are human, so we will undoubtedly make mistakes. It is so very important that we learn to forgive ourselves and move on. Nothing is gained from harboring feelings of regret. If you make a mistake, get up and keep going.

YOU WILL NOT BE PERFECT. Don't expect to be, because nobody is.

Don't Give Up

It isn't going to always be easy, but it is going to be worth the effort you put into it. When I see my little ones choosing to spend their money on fresh fruit rather than candy it feels so satisfying! When I hear them trying to teach the man behind us in line at the grocery store about how to make healthy cookies rather than getting the junk he is buying, it feels so... well, it feels so embarrassing, but in a way that I am proud of! :p

Hang in there when things get a bit tough. I promise you that it will be well worth your efforts. Even if you have to take baby steps, and most of us do, don't give in to the temptation to give up!

Remember, nothing worth having ever comes easy, and the more we have to work for something, the more we will grow to appreciate it.

Have Fun!

Trust me, eating healthy can be fun, and delicious! There is so much to explore. There are so many exciting things to learn, so many new flavor combinations to try! This need not be a chore, this can be an adventure! I love eating this way. I love everything about this lifestyle. I am so very passionate about it, that I take time out daily to think about the changes that I have made and to enjoy them.


This week I will be sharing breakfast recipes. I hope you enjoy!

As far as breakfasts go, I will be honest. Our family has our favorite breakfast, and we eat it most everyday. It is rolled oats, cooked or uncooked, but always with liquid added, topped off with all sorts of goodies. We like, raisins, cinnamon, flax, frozen blueberries, shredded coconut, apple, orange, banana and grapefruit slices, date sugar, sliced almonds, etc. It is so good and so good for you.

Other breakfasts that we like, yes we LOVE our oatmeal. :P


Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal

Orange Creamsicle Oatmeal

Tofu Scramble

Apple, Sweet Potato Bake

Veggie Mash Breakfast Burritos

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal
In my opinion, there really is no need for sugar and other sweeteners when it comes to oatmeal. In fact, we all love it plain! This particular version is one of my favorite breakfasts and was one of the first things I made when I started to cook more plant based. It is fabulous with fresh cherries, but is equally good with frozen.  It is an easy and tasty recipe, which I had to include here, along with the Orange Creamsicle recipe. Try the suggestions listed below for spicing up your oatmeal and be sure to come up with your own.  Experimenting with oatmeal flavors can be a ton of fun! As a side note, we love steel cut oats maybe even more than oat meal. Feel free to replace the oatmeal for the steel cut oats as well.

• rolled oats (as directed on box to make 4 servings)
• 1 1/2 cups sweet fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and cut into quarters
• 2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1/4 cup pistachios or macadamia nuts for garnishing
• Optional: Milk of choice for serving. Our favorite is Almond milk.

1. Cook oatmeal as directed on the box
2. While oatmeal is cooking, add in cherries
3. When oatmeal is done, stir in vanilla and cinnamon
4. Garnish each bowl with nuts and serve with milk, if desired

Orange Creamsicle Oatmeal
Another good flavor! We like to eat this using 100% frozen orange juice concentrate, though nearly not as healthy for you, but if you are in a time crunch feel free to do so as well. You will notice that when the orange juice and the milk combine they may separate a bit, do not worry, this recipe is for taste, not appearance.

Serves 4

• rolled oats (as directed on box to make 4 servings)
• 1 orange, juiced
• cream from off the top of one can of full fat coconut milk, previously refrigerated overnight
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 orange sliced, for garnish (optional)

1. Cook oatmeal as directed on box for four servings. While oatmeal is cooking, mix together the juice from the orange and the cream from the chilled coconut milk . Stir in the vanilla. Once your oats are done, let them cool for a couple of minutes and then add in your juice/cream mixture.

2. Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes and an orange slice.

Other flavor combinations worth trying
• Green smoothie—my kids love this! Just replace most or all of the liquid with left over green smoothie.
• Pineapple, strawberry, mango.
• Strawberry, rhubarb.
• Apple, cinnamon, nut.
• Banana, walnut.
• Raspberry, banana.

Get creative! Even better, let your kids get creative! What's more fun than being able to try your own concoctions?

Breakfast Greek Tofu Scramble
This is one of my absolute favorites.  It is quick to throw together, and has the most amazing flavor. It is perfect for when you are on the go, but I must admit, the cook in me is dying to make this completely from scratch sometime real soon. It would be amazing as a filling in pasta, for pizza topping, in a casserole with filo dough, or just served with pita bread.

• 1 pound extra firm organic tofu cubed, with liquids drained
• 1 6.5 ounce can of sliced mushrooms, rinsed to remove extra salt; or use fresh!
• One 14 ounce can artichoke hearts drained and rinsed if they were in oil
• 1/2 cup chopped olives of your choice (I used green, but this would be great with black or Kalamata as well)
• 4-8 ounces fresh spinach
• 1-2 cups of cooked chickpeas
• 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

Greek  Sauce
• 1/3 cup mayonaise, or mayonaise replacement. My family loves veganaise.
• 1/4 cup fresh mint or dill (I used mint)
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 2 cloves chopped garlic
• 1/2 -1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into small pieces

• Mix all ingredients except cucumber until well combined, stir in cucumber. Chill until ready to serve.
• In a frying pan over medium high heat, pour just enough water of broth to sauté ingredients.
• Combine all ingredients, except spinach, and cook until tomatoes soften a bit and everything is heated through.
• Add spinach and continue cooking until it wilts.
• Stir well.
• Drain any excess liquid.
• Take off heat and let cool for a few minutes, then add sauce and serve.

I served this with HUGE slices of watermelon. Seriously, HUGE!

 Apple Sweet Potato Bake (Two Ways)
I LOVE apples and onions, but for some reason my little ones haven't learned to love that combo yet.... You can make this recipe two ways –one way is sweet, the other savory, and both are delicious!

Apple, Sweet Potato and Raisins

• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 3 apples of your choice, chopped (we used red delicious, but I think that pink ladies would also work really well)
• 1/2 cup of raisins
• Cinnamon, to taste
• Salt, to taste
• 1/2-2/3 cup fresh orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place potatoes, apples, and raisins in a baking dish or on a cookie tray and mix together.
3. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and salt to taste.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender.
5. When done, place in a serving bowl and mix in the juice.

Apple, Sweet Potatoes and Onions

• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 3 apples of your choice, chopped (we used red delicious, but I think that pink ladies would also work really well)
• 1/4-1/2 cup red onion, sliced
• Cumin, to taste
• Garlic, to taste
• Salt, to taste
• 1/2 -2/3 cup vegetable broth

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place potatoes, apples, and onions in a baking dish or on a cookie tray and mix together.
3. Sprinkle  generously with cumin, and garlic and salt to taste.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender.
5. When done place in a serving bowl and mix in the broth.

Veggie Mash Burritos
This is a great breakfast to add a little variety to your morning. I am going to leave the seasonings up to you because of how versatile this can be, however, I will leave you with some of our favorites for ideas.  It is delicious garnished with salsa, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc., so get your creative juices flowing.

Serves 4-6

• 4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 8 ribs of celery, finely chopped
• 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup of corn
• 1 cup of peas
• Enough vegetable broth or water to cover the vegetables
• Your choice of seasonings

1. In a large pot or frying pan, add your vegetables and enough vegetable broth or water to cover them.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. When you have reached a boil, turn down heat and continue to cook at medium low/medium high, until the vegetables are quite tender.
4. Once they are tender, you want to either drain liquid to make approximately one cups worth, or add liquid to do so.
5. Once you have a cups worth of liquid in with your vegetables, you want to mash them until they are almost smooth, but a few chunks still remaining, adding liquid as needed to get the consistency of mashed potatoes.
6. Add seasonings* and serve in a tortilla.
7. Top with ketchup, salsa, avocado slices, tomatoes, etc.

*Seasoning Ideas
• Italian seasoning, garlic, pinch of salt
• Garam masala
• Cumin, chili powder, garlic, pinch of salt
• Salt and Pepper

I hope that you find this helpful. Next week I will share with you some tips that I use for getting my family excited about eating healthy, and share with you some lunch recipes and some lunchbox ideas for the family on the go.

Have a great week.


1 comment:

  1. so excited to try these fun recipes!!! thanks rachelle