How-To: Make Healthful Meals FAST!

One of the top challenges I am asked about is how to prepare healthful meals QUICKLY (or fast, but that’s not grammatically sound and I am nothing if not a grammar nerd!).  So, I thought I would write a post (and create an Instagram video series) on my top five tips for quick and easy meals that are also delicious AND good for you!  This is a great addition (if I do say so myself) to my How-to series, including How-To Plan and Prepare Healthy Meals and How-To Make & Eat Healthy Snacks at Home and On the Go!

With no further ado, let’s go with my top five tips, and I’ve even tried to order them from least expensive (in terms of both money AND effort) to most expensive:

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Coconut Lime Yogurt Delight

Is it time for a taste of the tropics?  I tell you, this is the LONGEST winter I have ever seen in Calgary.  Sure, sure, we’re the Great White North, but this is getting a little bit ridiculous! We had a snowfall warning today for up to 20 cm (that’s the better part of a foot, Imperialists!) and it’s the middle of April. I mean I know that we have a reputation for dog-sledding ten months out of the year, but that’s just a stereotype, not reality. Although I do like the joke about Canada’s four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction (ba-doop-ching!). Perhaps the travel agent business is actually the business to be in, catering to cabin-fever-crazed Canucks looking to get away from our perpetually white landscape (and generally pasty skin for the Caucasian part of our medley mosaic). In any event, I am in the business of delicious, healthful treats to keep your mind off of the weather and keep you from hibernating in a parka spooning with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Without further ado, I bring you: Coconut Lime Yogurt Delight!

 

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No-bake Paleo Almond Butter Bites (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Vegan)

Paleo Almond Butter BiteWelcome to the second installment of the SWYPO* Series.  I’m clearly on an almond butter roll, after the Flourless Almond Butter Muffins.  Now we aren’t even baking – it’s time to enjoy the natural, rich sweetness of almonds in a creamy cool treat that might even get you thinking about fudge.  Just the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but without any gut- and hormone-disrupting refined sugar, milk solids, chocolate or well, peanut butter!

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The Dark Side of IIFYM ( and diets in general)

http://bgg2wlplugins.bgg2wl.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/emotional-eating.jpg

http://dietsinreview.s3.amazonaws.com/diet_column/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/stress-eating.jpgRemember when I raved about the dietary approach called If It Fits Your Macros, or flexible dieting?  I experienced some significant personal growth with respect to the way I approached and related to food.  I still believe that others can experience these breakthroughs via IIFYM as well. Not to mention, I and countless others have achieved significant changes in our physiques.  But, at what cost? And were those changes sustainable?  As I alluded in my How-To: Take a Break post, following IIFYM for a long-term, continuous basis is not feasible or sustainable.  Like all diet plans and program, “flexible dieting” or If It Fits Your Macros has both benefits and pitfalls for its followers.  I’ll be exploring the less desirable aspects of this program (and other “restriction diets”) in this post.

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Flourless Almond Butter Banana Muffins (Dairy-free, Fruit-sweetened, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Refined sugar-free)

Flourless Almond Butter Muffins SWYPOWelcome to the first installment of the SWYPO* Series.  These fluffy, light and moist muffins will have you scratching your head in disbelief.  How can they be SO airy with NO flour?  How can they have such a delicate, sweet flavour with NO sugar or added sweeteners of any kind?  With just a handful of wholesome ingredients, these muffins come together in one bowl.  You can whip them up any time.  Starbucks, step aside.  There’s a new muffin game in town.

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Welcome to the SWYPO* Series

Courtesy of whole30.com

Courtesy of whole9life.com

That’s right folks, it’s time for a wink and a nod to the concept coined by Whole30 founders Melissa & Dallas Hartwig of “Sex With Your Pants On” concoctions that attempt to mimic the deliciousness of a “real deal” junk food treat with only Whole30-approved ingredients.

DURING your Whole30, these baked (and no-bake) goodies are explicitly off limits, and for good reason:

…If you continue your Whole30 program eating Paleo pizza, Paleo ice cream and Paleo pancakes, well… all it makes you think about is how less-than-stellar this version is, and how delicious the other version would be. Just like… well, you know.

The problem is, if you continue to have sex with your pants on, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re gonna want to take your pants off. And during your Whole30, that spells trouble…

Do you really want to spend the entirety of your Whole30 obsessed with all the stuff you can’t have, and eating the same foods you’ve been eating all along? We sure don’t! If you come out of your program with the same habits, patterns and food choices you had when you started, what are your chances for long-term, life-changing success? After all, those very same habits, patterns and food choices are what got you into trouble in the first place!

See more at http://whole9life.com/2011/10/sex-with-your-pants-on/.

So, what exactly am I doing? Well, I’ve set out, deliberately and intentionally, to create goodies that use only nourishing and nutrient-filled real, whole food ingredients that are compliant with the Whole30 program and yet are incredibly delicious, better-for-you desserts and sweet treats. Some are so good, in fact, that I’d dare to call them SWYPOFF (Sex With Your Pants Off)! Because there are going to be times in your life after your Whole30, that you’re going to want or need (i.e. to share with friends or family or to mark a special occasion) a certain special something. But after all you’ve learned from your Whole30 about healthy food choices and their impact on your life, you’re not often going to want to stomach (literally and figuratively) the laundry list of gut- and mood-disrupting and downright unpronounceable ingredients that can show up on processed options, or even in your own (or your mother’s own) homemade, from-scratch baking (there’s a time and place for those treats, too).

Still wondering whether a treat is worth it and whether you should just go for it and have the REAL DEAL? Check out: http://whole9life.com/2011/04/whole9s-guide-to-nutritional-off-roading/

And if you’ve made up your mind that one of my SWYPO goodies is just the ticket, then I hope to see you back here soon! (But not DURING your Whole30).

Questions?  Comments?  Criticisms?  I take them all!  Comment below or send me an e-mail per my Contact Information in the side panel.

(High-Protein) Power Potato Salad (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly)

Power Potato Salad PlateYou might think of potato salad as strictly a summer food, the stuff of cookouts and backyard barbecues.  Well, it’s time to think again!  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s entirely likely that you’ll have leftover boiled potatoes on hand.  Keep yourself fueled up for the busy-ness of the season with this high-protein option (and save the recipe for next summer, too!). You can also make a version that is Paleo-friendly (and yes, it can be Whole30-compliant).

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How-To: Make (the best!) Mayonnaise at Home (Paleo, Whole30)

Homemade Mayonnaise Quick and Easy

Ready for a healthier version of something you likely already have in your fridge?  A creamy, cool condiment gets the makeover treatment.  I’ve culled the web and done a lot of experimenting on your behalf to bring you The Best Homemade Mayonnaise (Ever).  I didn’t just make this up on my own, but I will share the unique combination of ingredients and technique I used for the richest, creamiest, most-delicious mayonnaise you have ever tasted, without any of the less-than-desirable ingredients and additives you might find in store-bought stuff.   Keep reading

Whipped Chocolate Protein Frosting

Whipped Chocolate Protein FrostingA thick, rich and creamy chocolate frosting that is delicious?  Easy.  But what about one that is HEALTHY, HIGH IN PROTEIN, and FREE OF REFINED SUGAR and this-can’t-be-good-for-me-but-it-really-is?  Yes, oh yes. This is the perfect topping for any of my cakes, and especially my latest and greatest Healthy Single-Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake.  But of course, no one would be the wiser if you just wanted to eat it straight off of the spoon.  And I certainly wouldn’t blame you.

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Healthy Single-Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake (Gluten-free, Grain-free, High-fiber, High-protein, Refined sugar-free)

Single Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake with Whipped Chocolate Protein FrostingIf you’re anything like me, you have a hard time sharing desserts.  Now you have the perfect excuse NOT to: this is, by definition, a single-serving dessert.  A.k.a. – one person!  Never mind that this recipe actually creates three perfectly moist, fluffy mini-mug cakes.  That just means three times the dark chocolate and subtle coffee flavour all for little ol’ you!  And when it’s free of gluten and refined sugar but high in fiber and protein, you can eat it all down to the very last bite!  Use the modern miracle of the microwave to whip this up in mere minutes!

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