Food

POPCORN

The Best Popcorn You’ll Ever Have

It’s no secret that popcorn, in it’s healthiest form, is a low calorie snack. But if you squirt on a bunch of salt and fake butter you can pretty much kiss low calorie goodbye.

I love stay in movie and popcorn nights. I don’t like the nasty smell that lingers from the microwave for hours after you’ve popped a hot steaming bag of store bought “theatre style” kernels.

Solution! This idea is all over Pinterest but I first heard about it from my Mom.

1. Take a brown paper bag (those lunch ones you can get for pennies)
2. Put ⅓ cup of organic popcorn kernels kernels in the bag
3. Add a little olive oil, just a dash of salt (you could also do cinnamon or any other spice you’d like for flavoring)
4. Fold the top of the bag over and put it in the microwave for a couple minutes (listen for it to stop popping like normal pop corn)

That’s it! Way healthier than store bought bags and yummier too!

Have a movie night with friends! Each person can have their own bag with their own spices or flavorings.  It’s a cheap, yummy snack that won’t leave that nasty fake butter smell lingering in your microwave!

Cheap, easy, yummy, and healthy. Doesn’t get much better than that! Snack on.

BREAKFAST

4 Reasons To Eat Breakfast

You’ve heard it from your mom, your best friend, and probably your doctor too: “Don’t skip breakfast!” But between the stress of establishing your career, trying to drop a few lb’s, and trying to get in a few kicks, breakfast often becomes a last priority as you rush out the door in the morning.

Besides, let’s be honest, most of your at-home breakfast foods don’t really say “eat me”. Cold sugary cereals, or greasy eggs and sausage—is your mouth watering? While more enticing breakfast options might be out there (cinnamon rolls  anyone?) they often leave you high, dry and another-pound-oh-my in the health department.

There are plenty of medical reasons for opting out of morning mealtime but the hidden effects on your lifestyle and health can be surprising:

1. Weight: Skipping breakfast means that you’ll end up eating more than usual later in the day as your body tries to overcompensate for lost calories. Also denying your body its morning fuel tricks it into entering starvation mode which leads to blood sugar imbalance and insulin irregularities.  And of course eating breakfast means your energy levels are higher so you’re able to move around more.

2. Hormones:  Do you have a bad period? Skipping breakfast has been known to contribute to painful periods and irregular bleeding.

3. Memory/ Cognition: Not having breakfast means not having brain fuel. It’s hard to be as sharp as a tack when you’re body is working hard to conserve energy.

4. Mood: Having a bad case of the mornings isn’t necessarily just a lack of sleep. Skipping breakfast contributes to low blood sugar. (Aka you become Miss Crabby Pants.)

So, that’s interesting. But I’ll admit it, I rarely eat breakfast. I usually just have a cup of coffee and hold out for lunch. When I do eat breakfast, it’s maybe a nectarine as I run out the door or donuts that someone kindly brought in to work.

But, for the next week, I’m going to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast! I’m going to track the benefits and I’d love if you did it with me! Let me know if  you notice a difference in your mood? Weight? Sleep pattern? Let me know and I’ll do the same!

PASTA

3 Tips For Eating Out Less

It’s been a long day at work. It’s been one of those days – a Wednesday that resembled more of a Monday. Who wants to break out ingredients to put together a meal when you could just run to good, ole’ In ‘n Out. I’ve had… plenty of these days. This mindset has the potential to lead you down a road that’ll have you dining out more than you’re dining in.

Eating out is super convenient. I’m a sucker for In ‘ Out’s lettuce wrap burgers and any place that has a good gluten-free pizza. And all I want to do when I get home from work is get in my snuggie, and cuddle up with a glass of wine, and order in. [#9 Chicken pad thai – mild, please.]

Though it’s convenient, this does not mean it’s healthy! Restaurant food [not just fast food] is usually not the best food you could be eating. This does vary from restaurant to restaurant, but we often don’t think about if our restaurants of choice are some of the ‘safer’ restaurants. There is nothing worse than finding out your favorite soup was just frozen in a bag.

For real.

Aside from the quality of the food, it’s expensive! The, “It will last me two meals!”, outlook will add up quickly. We may think we’re saving money, but in reality it’s always cheaper to buy groceries, make meals, and take some leftovers for lunch.

So what is one to do? We’re busy. We’re working 60 hours a week. We’re trying to make time for friends.

Here’s a few tips to having a better diet and saving a buck or two!

1) Invest in a crock-pot. You might think crock-pots have old lady written all over them. But these things are awesome! Throw a roast in the morning and it’ll be ready to eat in the evening. Pinterest has some killer recipes. [Grandmas always know best!]

2) Find a well-rounded meal that sounds good and cook enough on Sunday night to last you a few days. Italian tends to taste crazy good the next day. Try a veggie lasagna or Italian chicken dish.

3) Pick a day to go out. Cooking can be a lot of work. Pick a day to treat yourself. In a relationship? Make this night out your date night. Don’t deprive yourself. Be smart. That includes indulging every now and then.

Happy cooking in!

EXPERIMENTKITCHEN

Get Experimental In The Kitchen!

We’ve all heard our moms and grandmas tell us in the kitchen, I just made this up; No recipe, just whatever I had in the cupboard and fridge. Way to go mom and grandma for leaving us with a great piece of advice and a money saving trick.

There comes that time at the end of the week or end of the month (whenever you do your grocery shopping) that the food supply is starting to look pretty slim. When I was first on my own and faced my diminishing cupboards, I headed out to Trader Joe’s to buy some groceries that could round out a meal. The more I cooked, though the more creative I got. The more I found myself thinking, hmm..this might taste good together instead of reflexively thinking gotta go to TJ’s!

This did not happen without [huge] failures. My fiancée and I thought it would be a great idea to make peanut butter chicken. [This is a real thing, folks.] I googled it, and it looked pretty good, so we attempted it and it was disgusting. Like, so bad that we threw it away and went to In ‘n Out. You’ll have these failures, but you’ll learn from them every time. Another great tip is to google some ingredients you’re trying to get rid of and see what new recipes you can discover.

Have you come across a great recipe by mistake? Share it with us!