Did you know that I am not normal? And maybe you aren’t either!
And I mean that in a good way.
I’m not normal in the sense that I want to be the best version of the healthiest me I can be. I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself to become better.
Sadly, that's not normal.
Most people just coast through life not wanting to put in the time or effort to be the best.
Unfortunately, most people coast through life accepting their health as unchangeable. They do what is typical in our society - eat too much, sit too long, go for the easy way out.
I enjoy physical activity! I prep food every week. I care what goes into my body. And I'm guessing but I probably eat more than the average person when it comes to vegetables.
I don't have any hard data on this, but just by talking with hundreds of people, I would guess the average person consumes less than two servings of vegetables per day.
And most of those are the same ones, over and over again.
A lot of people just don't know what or how to cook certain foods.
My biggest challenge doing this over the computer is that while I can tell you all about a certain vegetable, I can show you what it looks like, I can even tell you what is great about a certain veggie... until I can get you to experience it, it’s just to ‘weird’ to even think about.
I’m going to introduce you to jicama today. Just to say it seems a bit odd, but think of the first letter as being an “H”. It looks a bit like an odd shaped potato. In fact you would peel it like a potato and the inside reminds me of a white potato. BUT the similarities stop there. It tastes different, in fact ,you can eat it raw or cooked.
Jashbrowns are a favorite way to cook jicama for rockstar Jennifer.
I peel the jicama, which is a root vegetable, and then slice it into thin French fry shapes. I add these to a taco salad so that I have crunch without a taco shell. My kids love it this way too.
Check out this recipe highlighting jicama paired with cucumbers as a side dish.
Jicama Cucumber Salad with Chili Dressing
Puree vinegar, oil, onion, chili powder and salt in a blender until smooth. Toss jicama and cucumber with the dressing in a large bowl; stir in mint. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the salad with more chili powder before serving, if desired.
A simple concept - eat five servings of vegetables every day. I’m hoping I’ve given you enough education so that jicama doesn’t feel so weird when thinking of vegetables. By adding jicama to your grocery list, you can up your vegetable count.
To your best health,
Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. Medical professionals are always shouting out the goodness of adding more and more vegetables to your nutrition plan. These lists are your reasons for eating more vegetables. I gave you some ideas but don’t copy my list, create your own.
Each list has a purpose. Each list is real and true.
On one list, identify the grievances, the fears, and challenges with adding more vegetables to your day.
It's all legitimate, it's all real. Don't hold back.
On the other list, write down the benefits, advantages and opportunities you have when more vegetables are on your plate each day.
Now, take one list and put it in a drawer. Take the other list and tape it up on your refrigerator. Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it's safe and sound. Read the other list every day.
The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what's happening and what will happen.
You get to pick which list goes where.
Picking your list is possibly the most important thing you'll do all day.
To your best health,
Rock stars Deb and Adam have been talking up a new salad they created for months. They practically handed me all the ingredients one day so I could make this salad. It was delicious just as they said. Why, oh why, did it take me so long? I am grateful I made it before the summer was over. This is going to be hit for picnics.
D.A. Summer Salad
Mix, chill, and serve. Yep, it's that easy.
If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, this will take a bit longer. You can also be creative as this recipe will work wonderfully with coleslaw mix, riced broccoli, or any blend of greens. You'll need about 6 cups of greens.
Creamy Italian Dressing
Mix all ingredients in a blender. If mixture is too thick, add either vinegar or water. Remember, your dressing will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad.
Place egg, dry mustard, salt and lemon juice in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and whirl until well mixed. Slowly incorporate the remaining olive oil. Drizzle it in with as small a stream as possible. You'll hear it start to emulsify. Don't rush this. Be patient. Continue to blend until the oil is incorporated and your mayo is light and fluffy.
Who doesn't need to challenge themselves to eat more veggies?
Veggies are the triple win:
That's a triple win. Now I want you to eat more of these triple win foods.
Here's the ABC Veggie challenge. Your goal for the next 30 days is to place a check mark next to each letter of the alphabet (each letter stands for a veggie that you'll be eating). These are the rules. You can only check off one letter each day. You must have already eaten that vegetable before checking it off. For example, if I ate spinach today I could check off the S. I will have kale with breakfast tomorrow, so after I eat breakfast I can then check off the K. Its a 30 day challenge and only 26 letters so you have a bit of lee way. The vegetables listed are just ideas; you can pick another vegetable that starts with that letter. You don't have to go in order but you need to check off all 26 in 30 days. Who's up for the challenge?
A is for asparagus and artichoke
B is for beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
C is for cucumber, carrot, and cabbage
D is for daikon and dandelion greens
E is for endive and eggplant
F is for fiddleheads
G is for green beans
H is for herbs of all kinds
I is for icy (came from the freezer)
J is for jicama
K is for kale
L is for leeks and lettuce
M is for mushrooms and mustard greens
N is for not bought in a grocery store (grown at home, CSA, farmer's market)
O is for okra and onion
P is for parsnips, peppers and peas
Q is for quiet when eaten (think raw crunchy carrot vs. softer cooked carrot - much quieter)
R is for radish, romaine, and rutabaga
S is for spinach and Swiss chard
T is for turnip and tomato
U is for veggies grown underground
V is for very spicy vegetables
W is for watercress
X is for an "xtra" serving of veggies
Y is for yams, yellow squash, and yellow peppers
Z is for zucchini
This recipe is one for the summer. It will be a refreshing side to any barbecue meal you make during the nice weather that's coming up!
Mash avocados in a large bowl. Add sour cream, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and mix together with avocados. Add the cole slaw mix and stir until everything is well combined.
On a hot summer day, this is a dish that leaves the oven off, yet it also delivers a great source of protein, loads of veggies, and is complimented with a healthy fat in the avocado. It’s a win-win. While easy to make, this dish is also very adaptable. You can add thinly sliced radishes, sprinkle on chopped green onions, or add crunchy jicama fries on the side.
Super Simple Tuna Salad
Stir all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined. I serve this salad on top of a bed of greens but it is so yummy it can be eaten alone.
Last week I shared with you one of my favorite past S3 recipes that I love because it makes a lot, is easy to grab and go, and tastes great weather its warm or cold. This is another one of those recipes that I love for those same reasons.
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
by Coach Nancy
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno and sauté until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cauliflower, sauté until the cauliflower is just tender, 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables and cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Add chopped cilantro and serve.
We did S3 a few years ago and I acquired a few recipes from my team. I just had to share them again with you. They transport easily. They can be eaten hot out of the pan or served chilled. They work at a pot luck because they both make so much. This is here one of my all-time favorite recipes.
Egg Roll in a Bowl
by Coach Nancy
Cook ground beef in a skillet until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan leaving the drippings. Add celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until cooked and softened. Add coleslaw mix and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Mix ground beef back in. Add the ginger, coconut aminos, and rice vinegar. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes and it is ready!
Meal Combos limited only by your imagination
by Dean Carlson
When it comes down to it, who wants to really think about their food as "carbs, protein, and fats"? We just want great tasting food, and we want to make it as simply as possible. This guide is just what you have been looking for!
There are no secrets to getting and staying lean, feeling good, and building healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
But there are strategies.
And maybe the most important strategy is to keep things simple.
But don't confuse simple...with boring.
All-star chef Jennifer Nickle created this amazing tool that helps you build amazing meals that pack in maximum flavor with minimum effort.
Introducing the Perfect Meal cheat sheet.
Following the simple steps in this infographic, you'll be able to mix and match ingredients and flavors to create literally hundreds if not thousands of easy, healthy and delicious meals.
Download the infographic and print it out. Putting it in a binder keeps it handy in the kitchen and easy to carry to the grocery store. And don't be shy about passing it to your friends. Serious points!
Again, don't forget to download the PDF of this amazing "cheat sheet" so you have it handy next time you want to create the perfect meal.
Learn even more healthy eating strategies.
In ProCoach Nutrition Coaching, we give men and women just like you the strategies and support they have been missing to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.
Over the course of 12 months, they build the skills and habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
One of the biggest complaints we hear about nutrition and fitness is that is just too confusing. And while it can be, once you get the personalized attention from an expert coach, the path becomes clearer and the journey easier.
Sick of hearing how good vegetables are because you just don't like them? You haven't tried this!
by Dean Carlson
You know that eating plants is not only good for you, but necessary for optimal health and fitness. Yet ask how many people actually eat vegetables (more than a couple times a week) and you get crickets. Check this voodoo out. It's a 3-step formula created by some genuine ar-teeests when it comes to delicious food, James Heather and Jennifer Nickle. Resistance Is Futile!
It's no secret that just about every nutrition strategy out there, from Paleo to Vegan and everything in between has one thing in common:
Eat Your Veggies Already!
But just because you know they are good for you it doesn't mean you are eating them, and you know what? I get it.
My recollection of veggies growing up were of soggy green beans, creamed spinach, and lima beans. (My dad loved lima beans, so mom made them. I did everything possible to avoid them, and truth be told still do.)
Part of being a human is that some memories, especially some bad ones, are really hard to get rid of. And when your whole life you had made it your mission to avoid vegetables, it's a hard habit to break.
Good News Alert
Veggies don't have to suck. True story. I used to HATE HATE HATE most vegetables. But I didn't know what I didn't know. HOW you prepare them, flavor them, and even when you eat them can turn a die-hard "vegaphobe" around.
If you are looking to improve your own veggie intake (and you know you probably should be), download the formula for your printer and stick it to your fridge for quick reference.
Again, to remind yourself to step outside your "plant-food" comfort zone, you can download this printable version of the above infographic.
Want more strategies for fine-tuning YOUR nutrition?
Diet's just don't work long term, but finding and sticking to a plan that work for you can be a lot harder than it seems.
That's why here at The Grateful Plate we work one-on-one with our coaching clients to help them find how to make eating healthy work for them and their busy lives.