Healthier Choices

Although I make a living baking cakes, cookies, and all sorts of other treats, one cannot solely subside off of these things! It's funny, if you look at my cookbook collection they are either for desserts and pastries or healthy meals, but not much in between. I can thank my registered dietician/nutritionist mother for my love of fruits, vegetables, and appreciating the taste of fresh ingredients. But of course, sometimes it's easy to fall off the bandwagon, especially when I'm constantly making all sorts of unhealthy desserts. I swear I can hear that extra slice of cake in the fridge just calling for me when I wake up.

I've never attempted a juice cleanse or any sort of cleanse in general, mostly because they can be costly and such a drastic change is too daunting of a task. Instead, I've been slowly incorporating healthier habits into my diet. The biggest change so far has been drinking more water. If you know me in person you've probably heard about how much I loathe drinking water. Sounds kind of stupid and childish, right? No matter from the tap or bottle (though I don't buy bottled water anymore) it's always had such and unappealing taste to me. A few weeks ago I was reading Simple Lovely about how "life changing" it's been to drink 32 oz before even having a cup of coffee. 32 ounces?! I don't even drink that in a day, let alone first thing in the morning! Friends, I can say with 100% certainty that this is true. I feel a million times better in all ways possible. I might not drink 32 ounces, but usually at least 24. And miracle of miracles,  it doesn't taste gross to me anymore! To top it off, my new routine encourages me that it's possible, and even rather easy, to make small but important changes to my diet.

The salad photo above is what I had for lunch today. It was partially inspired by Ami's recent blog post and partially because this is all I had in my fridge. Nothing fancy, but it sure was delicious and easy to put together. Here's a breakdown of what my lunch included:

Edamame and corn: I like to keep frozen vegetables on hand for adding to soups and random dishes, but mostly for times when I run out of leafy greens. Quick and easy, just dump however much you're eating into a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes, then strain.

Ezekiel bread croutons: Gary and I have taken a liking to this bread for it's high fiber content and (relatively) good flavor. Okay, it's still sort of like cardboard but at least it's the tastiest of cardboards? I cut up a slice, drizzled it with a bit of olive oil, and then sprinkled some cheese on top. Put it in the toaster oven for 10 minutes and ta da! Healthy croutons!

Grape tomatoes: Just plain ol' grape tomatoes cut in half.

Quinoa: A couple days ago I washed and rinsed this quinoa thinking it was millet, which is what I wanted to cook. Whoops!

Shredded poached chicken breast: One of the easiest ways to cook chicken! My mom taught me how to do this and it's pretty much fool proof for deliciously moist chicken. Season a whole chicken with whatever you like (I used salt, ginger, green onion, and pepper). Place in a large stock pot, add some extra stuff (chopped onion, garlic, celery) and fill with water until completely submerged. Bring water to boil, then cover and turn off heat. Leave undisturbed for at least an hour, or until chicken is cooked. The heat of the water will cook the chicken, and as an added bonus you get chicken broth out of it too!

Extras: crushed seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, lemon zest.

Salad dressing: A mixture of soy sauce, brown rice vinegar, and a bit of sesame oil.

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Though this might be a lengthy/boring post on a simple salad, I hope it shows how easy it is to throw together a healthy, satisfying, and affordable lunch. What are your favorite healthy dishes to make? I'm always looking for new ideas!