A dear friend of mine asked me to give health-enthused moms ideas for go-to resources for creating healthy meals for a Facebook event. Well, if there’s ever a time to hop back into blogging and ensure you get a few dozen clicks on your first post, this is it.
So, welcome! My name is Jessica and I have a hilarious, extremely tall and in shape fruit loop-eating [we’re working on that] husband, three young children all under age six with personalities the size of Texas, two self-sufficient cats, one full-time job outside the home and another job that’s more of a passion – more to come on that. My husband and I are former division one college basketball players who still enjoy staying very active and we have now entered the phase where our children are dropped off at two separate locations while we work [oh, hello kindergarten]. So yes, you guessed it, we’re busy, and on the go … a lot.
About one year ago, we started to slowly make simple nutritional changes in our home after I listened to a pediatrician talk about the power of nutrition for children and adults. I always considered myself healthy, as did everyone around me, but over the past year, I’ve realized how little I knew about real food. Over the last 13 months, I’ve found some great resources to help spur up some ideas to spice up meals and expand our pallets. Here are a few of my favorites!
No. FIVE: Cafe’s / Cafeterias
The average person would not consider cafeterias a hot spot for healthy meal ideas. But, I’m finding that’s a myth that we foodies have to bust. I’m fortunate to work for a company that has several cafes and cafeterias, all with healthy options on the menu. However, even the not so healthy options can be reworked with plant-based ingredients to make for great entre’s at home. Sometimes we make “healthy” hard – and in our house hold, there’s not time for hard when it comes to food. One staple the cafeterias always have is a pasta bar. One day, I realized that this was a great idea for dinner. There are plenty of brown rice and quinoa noodles on the market and we eat and love them, but you can also do a pasta bar and leave out the noodle. The mixture of garlic, olive oil, a wide variety of colorful veggies and some chicken with a small scoop of mariana sauce is absolutely divine! Be observant when you are eating out and figure out how you can make restaurant meals healthy at home.
No. FOUR: Amazon
I recently spent approximately five seconds making this Facebook post …
“WANTED: Titles of your favorite real/plant-based food cookbooks.”
And soon after had several suggestions from friends actively engaging in bringing real food into their households. So the natural thing to do next is open up my Amazon app and start searching. Ta-dah! Two days later, these bad boys show up.
Now, I cannot vouch for them – yet – because they literally came in on Tuesday, but I do encourage you to browse Amazon and search for vegan / plant-based cook books. Consumers do a fantastic job leaving tons of detailed reviews and the descriptions for each cook book that I tapped on were very helpful.
No. THREE: Mighty Nest
I signed up with Mighty Nest about five months ago and for $10/month, we receive a surprise eco-friendly product each month to incorporate into our home. If you like the product and want more of it, you get an additional percentage off online orders for a short period of time after your monthly gift arrives. They also include a fun, healthy recipe with every delivery. Might Nest just informed me that Americans throw away 500 million straws a day. Anyone else just say a silent OMG?! This month, we received some stainless steel straws and I’m about to order a pack of six silicon straws for just $7. Additionally, they have a fantastic lunch gear section on their website that they feature in their email campaigns which includes eco-friendly products to make packing a variety of healthy foods in lunches easier. Things like silicon cups [these can be used for ANYTHING – dish washer and oven safe!], bento boxes and stainless steel dip containers.
No. TWO: Instagram
Oh where do I even begin. So many unbelievable people and companies to follow on Instagram for healthy food ideas and inspiration. Truth be told, if you were to scroll through my Instagram feed you would assume I was a plant-based chef interior decorator who follows random people who post a lot of kid photos. @Jillian.Harris is one of my favorites. She is an insta-story junkie, constantly posting about her family’s journey to moving more and more toward plant-based / vegan. You might recognize her from The Bachelor/Bachelorette or HGTV’s Love it or List It. @Fraichenutrition is one of Jillian’s friends who is developing her first cookbook and also a major plant-based foodie. A few other favorites to consider following are @ErinIreland, @Jessica_Gavin, @cookinglight, @100daysofrealfood, @hhcoachsteph and @WholeFoods.
No. ONE: 100 Days of Real Food
You guys are in the right place, at the right time. Lisa Leake and 100 Days of Real Food is my favorite go-to resource for easy, healthy recipes that are kid friendly and mom approved! It just so happens that she relaunched her Real Lunches, Real Easy resources and they are only available through the end of August! Yes, you can stop reading right this second and click the link to get her three lunch guides for just $24. They will literally transform your child’s school lunches. In addition, we have her first and second cookbooks and follow her blog. When I read through her first, the introductory content turned my food world upside down. Let’s just say I learned there is ZERO nutritional value in gold fish – no matter the packaging says. I’ve never seen a cookbook more easy to read [layout is everything!] or more educational while packed with simple, delicious recipes that are not intimidating.
Well, I hope at least one of my go-to recipe resources helps you transform meals in your home. At the beginning of this post, I mentioned a second job that’s more of a passion – and that’s owning my own Juice Plus franchise. The people in this company are responsible for jump starting our health transformation. In a nut shell, it’s fruits and veggies in a capsules with 37 clinical research studies that back it. Bottom line, real food is the best fuel and best medicine we can give our bodies. Read more here!