I mean, I'm home all day without the watchful eye of another adult and I'm not on a diet, so what's keeping me from stuffing myself with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk like a junk food zombie?
Oh, just this little thing called intentional living, which means I'm also trying to be more aware of what I eat. Not full-blown mindful eating (which is a thing, Google it...it's serious), but conscious eating. And it's working.
Therefore, what could have turned into an outright junk food zombie binge, well, hasn't. I'm pretty proud of that. Plus, I hear it's cold basically everywhere right now, which makes everyone want to eat, so it feels like a good day to share some recipes and snacks with you. Here's how we've been staving off the junk food zombies apocalypse around here:
I made this banana cake earlier in the week as a treat for lunch with the hubs. I substituted whole wheat flour and considered using Splenda for the brown and white sugars, but I haven't had much success baking with it, so I opted for the real thing. I only had three bananas (because an adorable three-year-old ate one while we were baking), and it still tasted just fine; I was also a little unsure because they weren't super ripe, which didn't seem to matter other than making them more difficult to mash. Oh yeah, and I didn't have walnuts (therefore omitted) or buttermilk (added lemon juice to regular milk as a substitute).
I didn't eat the whole thing with that fork straight outta the pan, I promise. I just tested a corner to make sure it was yummy before dishing it out to the fam. We also topped it with a basic vanilla glaze like this one.
I needed a little light snack before a workout, and I have never (ever, ever, ever) found a protein powder I liked (ever) despite spending way too much money trying different ones out. I'm more of a fruit smoothie gal. This totally made-up recipe turned out more like a milkshake, which I was totally fine with.
Frozen blueberries, blueberry frozen yogurt, and a splash of milk! Simple, fast, and delish! In fact, I didn't get to finish mine before it was stolen by the banana bandit.
We do have this little single-serve blender which makes shakes and smoothies way faster. You just take off the blender blades and replace with a sports bottle top. It's sort of similar to the Magic Bullet that was popular a few years ago, except it works a lot better than my MB ever did.
Cherries, Berries, and Nuts:
Now, obviously I didn't make this. And I've actually never heard of the brand or product before. I picked it up thinking it would be a great topping for steel cut oats this weekend, but it is awesome all by itself! Plus, it rates an A- on Fooducate, so I'll take it!
Whole Grains and Bean Soup:
I love Bob's Red Mill. I've never had a product by this company that I didn't like. So, I picked up two of these soup mixes, thinking they sounded beyond perfect for sub-zero days. This one is absolutely packed with beans and grains (hence the name, I know) like red beans, pinto beans, lentils, sesame seeds, rye berries, some grains I've never heard of...you name it. It's also a Fooducate A-.
There were a few recipe suggestions on the package along with the basic version, which is what I opted for. It definitely requires some pre-planning, seeing as how the directions say to simmer on low for 90 minutes. Here's where it got tricky.
I cooked this stuff for 3 hours! We haven't actually eaten it yet. The original instructions call for 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, and that's it for liquid. It doesn't specify to cover or not, so I didn't. For the first 90 minutes. I also added a total of 8 cups of water during the
ordeal process. It just kept drying out and sticking to the bottom of the pan. I finally filled it back up with water and added a lid for the last hour.
Maybe I just like soup with more broth and less crunch than some people? Not sure. But I am happy that tomorrow night's dinner is ready!
Crackers, Cheese, and Almonds Plate:
If you're looking for a snack or an appetizer (say, while your family is starving and you're swearing you really did put dinner on in plenty of time), do what I did: rummage around and throw together a sampler platter. Something with crunch (pita crisps, tortilla chips, multi-grain crackers), a cheese or dip (any variety of cheese, hummus, salsa), and whatever kind of nuts you like, and you're done.
The three of us chatted and played around the table while our quicker/alternative dinner (turkey burgers on wheat with sweet potato fries) cooked alongside tomorrow night's bean soup. Bella hoarded all the crackers because they're so good!
Junk Food Zombie Maggie would have ordered pizza when the soup wasn't done. Junk Food Zombie Maggie would have made chocolate cake instead of banana, inhaled ice cream instead of sipping a blueberry milkshake, scarfed Hershey kisses instead of a handful of trail mix. Junk Food Zombie Maggie would have spent the last five (six tomorrow) snow days sitting on the couch watching Judge Judy in her pajamas.
I like Plain Ol' Maggie better. What a difference intentional living makes.
Fittingly, Bella and I listened to "You Are What You Eat" by Fatcat and Fishface on the radio this morning.
She also built a tower out of "white raisins" and helped with the kitchen chores after dinner. The best part about all this self-improvement is that I love the healthy, motivated example I'm setting for my daughter.
Are you a junk food zombie at times? What triggers your transformation? And, more importantly, how can intentional living help you make better, more conscious decisions?