28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House

Hi There!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Getting ready for Baby Erin to make her appearance has preoccupied my time and energy, as well as getting used to working from home – I’m a freelance writer and musician/worship director. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m glad that I have the opportunity to stay home with little Erin after she’s born, which should be some time in the next two weeks.

That being said, with all the preparations going on, one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is what we’ll be eating, especially for the first two weeks. I’ll confess, I probably haven’t done as much freezer cooking as I should. But I have been collecting an arsenal of super easy recipes, and we just got a steal on a new blender, which we desperately needed, so we can make smoothies, after all, if you’re nursing you need something fast right?

Through the years, Micah and I have learned that if we want to eat healthy, there are certain foods we can buy in bulk to have on hand, so we won’t be tempted to grab fast food. Even though there’s two of us, soon to be 3, we’ve learned how to prep and freeze certain foods when they go on sale, so that we can get the best deals,and there are some foods we do eat a lot of quickly. You’re food list might look a lot different than mine, but I’m attaching a list for you to use so you can stock up on these delicious and nutritious foods too. It just so added up that we have 20 staple foods that we keep in our house on a regular basis. This is one of my favorite ways to plan a menu for the week. Why are these our staple foods? Continue reading “28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House”

What’s in your cart? $30 of Healthy Groceries

Happy Monday! I’m finally recovering from the whirlwind week last week, and getting back on schedule! It was great to spend time with my family, and celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went shopping, seriously, and one of our favorite places to shop is this retail chain in NC and SC called “Hamrick’s”. It’s amazing. Their merchandise selection keeps getting better and better, and this weekend, I’m proud to say that this bargain hunter walked away with a badly needed new pair of ballet flats, a date-night top, a pair of Marika leggings…and a really adorable spring top for (drumroll) $32ish! And the best part: the leggings were only $5!!!!! Micah just got a job closer to home (only 2 miles!) and we’ve been doing 21 Day Fix which is Ah-mazing. I’ve had tummy troubles like IBS my entire life, and the symptoms were GONE by the 3rd day. This is a program we’ll be doing again and again! But you can check all that out on my blog’s 21 Day Fix page. 🙂
This post has been long in coming, but it was inspired by the plethora of people in my life who love to say: “I can’t afford to eat a healthy diet.” Well, good news, you can. I went to the grocery store today, just for you and picked out some amazing foods that are staples of a healthy diet. The best part, I only spent $30.09 for the food pictured below. Through the years, I’ve encountered a lot of people who have heard how important it is to follow a healthy diet, but don’t have any idea of what that means. Let me explain this to you. You need a variety.

What you’re looking at is: 12oz. fresh broccoli
                                            7 bananas
                                            2c. mozzarella cheese
                                            1lb. ground chicken
                                            2 cans no salt added corn
                                            4 cans reduced sodium black beans
                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans
                                            roasted, unsalted peanuts (Make sure there are no added ingredients.)
                                            roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (I usually buy raw, but they were out.)
                                            1 bag of radishes
                                            2 giant heads of romaine lettuce
                                            1 lg. tub of greek yogurt
                                            1 ginger root
                                            2 bulbs of fresh garlic
I can hear some of you saying where’s the fudge rounds…? Let me explain this: treats are treats…I’ve seen buggies in the store that have about 70% junk food 30% real food. This is where their money is going. They complain about being addicted but have junk food all over their house. Don’t get me wrong, a treat is ok, but if you’re eating a treat everyday, then it’s no longer a treat, it’s part of your diet.

Now to debunk some common misconceptions about healthy eating:

Myth 1: It costs a fortune. You do not need to buy everything organic! I know people that use the cost of organic as an excuse…really? The only ones to be careful about are the dirty dozen, according to my husband, who has a biotechnology degree, and studied what pesticides actually do. Buy in season, and locally, if possible, there’s a reason that this is really popular right now…because it’s cheaper. Buy in bulk. Get another family to go in on the cost of a crate of a particular food. you’ll both benefit from making a healthier choice. Grow your own herbs, instead of paying $3 every time you need fresh rosemary.

Myth 2: I don’t have time. If you’ve never heard of a crockpot, then I suggest that you acquaint yourself with it. This is how I worked 5 jobs and still ate healthily. All is takes is 15 minutes. You actually will spend more time driving somewhere to a drive-thru to eat a much less healthy meal.

Myth 3: Healthy food tastes bad. Trust me, we make some delicious stuff at our house, chili, protein cookies, etc. I had PF Chang’s-inspired clean chicken lettuce wraps for lunch….nom, nom. We don’t eat cardboard. You don’t need all that added junk. I looked at the label for corn meal the other day and 9 out of 10 brands had added wheat flour. We’ve duped ourselves into thinking we need all those fillers, like MSG, bleached flour, modified food starch, but we’re wrong.

Myth 4: I’ll still be hungry all the time. If you’re eating the right portions, the right calories for your activity level and getting enough protein and fiber, that won’t be the case.

Do some research? How healthy is your daily food intake, really?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Julie

Fired Up and Ready to Go!

Here I am writing to you now…Micah and I have really gotten fired up this weekend! My heart is full! There’s a lot of reasons, but a very big one is that our band, These City Walls, and Micah’s dad’s band are joining together to form a canned food drive for CUOC, Christians United Outreach Center, a local ministry that has fallen on tough times. Because 33% of children in Randolph County are food insecure, we felt led to do something. This post is not to make us or our band, These City Walls, hyper-spiritual sounding, but the more people that help, the better, and trust me, we can’t do this by ourselves!   James 2:15-16 says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” The concert proceed, non-perishables will go toward feeding the hungry in our community! It’s not about the money, honey! Please spread the word as we prepare for this event. Times are tough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spread hope for the broken. 
Okay, So that’s my Monday morning soapbox.  

It was great to have such a refreshing weekend, and to get to spend time with my husband, I must confess, I’ve had a few problems, with dreaming big the past couple of years, but not anymore. I don’t want to waste my life wondering what I could’ve done with it. We went swing dancing Saturday night in Winston Salem and I got to dance more last on Saturday than I have in years! So much fun! I even got to dance with one of the teachers, and he said I did great! Man, was I on cloud nine! My sweet husband knew that going swing dancing would be just the thing for us to get away and just let our hair down. I’ve got a full writing docket the next couple of weeks, but I’m super excited that I get to use this gift so much, because that’s what it is, a gift. Just like our bodies are a gift. Why waste time, tearing them down, when we can build them up? When I was dancing, I was so glad that I strength train, because we were doing Lindyhop, and let me tell you Lindyhop is no joke! So, don’t waste time procrastinating with your fitness goals!!!! Now, I love fitness, but I don’t live for fitness. I stay fit so that I can live a healthy life, and serve God and minister to others. Oh and here’s a vid of the “Shim Sham”. It’s the Cupid Shuffle of swing dance. lol!
Happy Monday!


Oh, and By the way, today is my first link-up, so share the love and help our your fellow bloggers!Oh and you can still enter to win the Mash-Up Conditioning dvd today!

Allergies, Pollen, and Hayfever, OH MY!

Tis the season…to sneeze.
News stations have been reporting that we have had the highest pollen count in 20 years…and my ears, nose, and throat said, “Amen”! This has been a rough allergy season for me, but the past few days, they seem much better, and my migraines have ceased for the moment. I don’t even have to take medicine but once every 3 or 4 days, as opposed to every 3-4 hours. “What has brought about this turnaround?”, you might ask. Well, allow me to share with you what has worked for me, so that you may try it yourself. Of course, with a doctor’s supervision.

No wheat, or dairy, except for yogurt, and pepper jack cheese(because of the capsaicin, which clears sinuses). Although recently stated by prominent members of the medical community to be an old wive’s tail, this always reduces my symptoms. If I’m having too much drainage. I know immediately to not cheat on my gluten-free diet, and eliminate dairy as well. After a few days, my sneezing reduces.

Black Cumin Seed Oil. A natural inflammation fighter, this supplement tastes like aftershave going down, but after a week’s time, cut my use of claritin in half. My headaches are almost non-existent now.

Leave your shoes at the door. Not tracking pollen all over my house has kept my symptoms to a minimum. We leave our seasonal shoes in a basket by the door.

Vacuum, often.

Wash your hair and face, daily. Pollen gets blown into our hair around our face, and for those of us with longer hair, causes the little pests to be in close contact with our eyes and face.

Breathe. Practicing pilates has taught me to breathe more deeply in order to calm my body’s response to allergens, not allowing my system to get too hyped up. The unrelieved stress will often trigger a headache or allergy attack for me. Be patient. Take a moment to pray.

I hope this will help ease your seasonal issues. I still have some days that are better than others, but my symptoms have been greatly reduced.

Consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials. James 1:2

How to Have a Healthy St. Patty’s Day

Hi There!
As you all are aware, St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! I was thinking this morning, since Micah and I try to be healthy, and avoid gluten, this holiday could be a challenge, but I gave some thought, and realized that this should be the easiest holiday to celebrate! It’s all about green! (And please, forget about those cookies with the green sprinkles, can’t we be a little more creative?) There are so many healthy options out there that are healthy and green.
-take a Clean Green tray to your office/school party filled with green fruits and veggies.
Kiwis, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, honeydew, pistachios, wasabi peas, edamame, sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, celery, white raisins, avocado/guacamole, salsa verde, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, green onions…and many more
-make an all green salad…these are really full of flavor, and antioxidants
-get out and walk (in green grass)
-get up and dance to irish folk music
-wear green to a group fitness class

-do a simple leg workout, such as 40  squats, bridges, or lunges or standing kickbacks and leg raises
-drink green tea
-if you must dine out, ask for a box as soon as your food is delivered, and box up half of the portion. this will decrease your calorie intake
-everything in moderation, if you’re going to have a beer. drink a low calorie, and that’s it.
Maybe my St. Patrick’s Day won’t be so unhealthy after all!

Have fun and be safe!

Yours in fitness!
Julie