After discovering all the health benefits of quinoa, I started exploring ways to fit it in my diet and make it enjoyable. I tried instant quinoa flakes as a healthier alternative to oatmeal. It was less than unsuccessful. I then tried to become a quinoa cooking expert which turned out to be nearly impossible for me. It was always either too crunchy or too soggy, and always took way too long to cook. Then I discovered that the Food Co-op downtown has precooked quinoa in their premade lunch cold case that is cheap and most importantly, fluffy and delicious! I started getting creative and discovered that it can be used just like pasta. I started mixing all sorts of veggies, dressings, and sauces to create and unlimited amount of options. My favorite is a southwestern style salad made with corn, beans, bell peppers, lime juice, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, and more. I also made a Thai curry inspired dish as well as a Mediterranean one.
My latest health food kick is Shakeology. A meal replacement mix that comes in all different flavors. I chose to test out chocolate and I have not been disappointed. The idea is to replace one shake with one drink a day to not only cut back on caloric intake, but also to make sure your body is receiving all the necessary vitamins and nutrients it needs. Although it is a little pricy upfront, each shake estimates to be around $4. One shake has the nutrients of 3 cups of lettuce, 4 cups raw mushrooms, 1 shot of wheat grass, 1 bowl of exotic fruit, 3 raw onions, 7 raw carrots, 4 cups nonfat yogurt, 4 cups red radishes, 4 cups raw broccoli, 1 cup peas and 10 cups raw cauliflower; all whose combined cost estimates around $41. The drink mix also comes with a recipe book and an assigned Beachbody coach who can give you advice to help you reach your goals or answer any questions you might have. My favorite recipe so far has been the chocolate peanut butter shake, however I am excited to try the espresso one tomorrow. Drinking these shakes has already been so helpful in staying full and on track with my goals while on the run constantly.
A very close friend brought one of my new favorite treats to my attention. Originally blogged about by Monica Matheny, fresh oatmeal smoothies had me very intrigued! Made in mason jars, Monica places oatmeal, milk, chia seeds, yogurt and whatever fruit of flavor combination desired and refrigerates until ready to eat. I tested this treat out to find that I wasn’t too crazy about the soggy oatmeal texture that takes place. I wasn’t ready to give up on this idea though. I decided to take the oatmeal out and instead put more fruit in to make them more flavorful and healthy. Let’s just say I am in love! This is such a great breakfast item, that you can make the night before and take on the go in the morning. They will also be a refreshing treat in the hopefully warm months to come and can be tailored to any palate or craving!
Here is the link to Monica’s original oatmeal smoothie post: