Tag Archives: Healthy

How To Cook Turkey Meatballs

HowToCookTurkeyMeatBalls

This is by far the cleanest meatball recipe that has a little bit of flavor with no extra added sodium. I have another version of this that tastes even better, but sadly it isn’t as clean & you’ll be drinking plenty of water afterwards. When you’re working on building a better body, you’ve got to cook the food to get there. Of course I’m sure you’ve heard it before that results begin in the kitchen. You’re going to keep hearing that for a long time to come. Nutrition always comes first. You are what you eat. If you’ve been looking for a different way to get more protein in, look no further than to read about this turkey meatball recipe.

Do I have cheat meals? I sure do! But if I ate them every night, my body would get way out of proportion. When I’m going to eat a big cheat meal, I make sure I get in a serious calorie burning workout so I can earn my cheat meal. Yes, you have to earn it. Working hard all week long in the gym cooking clean foods in the kitchen can win you that right. Your body will speed up it’s metabolism to burn this meal off since it will see it as irregular to what you normally ingest. This process is more efficient the lower your body fat percentage is. If you’re over 20% body fat, you may want to limit those big meals as your body will end up shuttling the extra calories stored as fat instead of helping you get leaner.

SPAGHETTICHEAT

Instead of the traditional spaghetti & meatballs, substituting meat for turkey & replacing pasta with veggies as a side can significantly reduce the calories you consume in a meal. I used a muffin tray to bake the turkey meatballs. You could even call these turkey muffins if you wanted. I just like using the tray because it’s easy to work with preparing ground turkey. I can literally just scoop the mixture in the pan & press the mixture down to have an easy fit. There’s not a lot of ingredients to this, & it’s not the prettiest dish you’ve ever seen. It gets the job done. I tried to keep it very simple yet giving the meat a little better texture & a hair more flavor. If you feel you need to get more of a kick from this dish, you can add a 1/4 cup of Sriracha & use bread crumbs that have sodium in there. It’s not that sodium is bad. Sodium is needed to control blood pressure & for the muscles to work properly. It’s just that 9 out of 10 Americans consume more sodium than they actually need, leading to high blood pressure & heart disease. So with that being said, just make sure you eat clean whole foods that are unprocessed & not prepackaged. Fresh is best!

Ingredients: (You can up to triple the seasonings for extra flavor, not the bread crumbs/almond milk though!) (If you want different flavor ideas, read my post on healthy seasonings.)

  • 1/4 cup of worcestershire (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (14 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil (14 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh fresh oregano (14 ml)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of black pepper (~7 ml)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla coconut almond milk (240 ml)
  • 1 cup of sodium free whole wheat bread crumbs (240 ml)
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey (~907 g)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil  (14 – 28 ml) (to coat the muffin pan)

Directions:

  1. Turn on your oven and pre-heat to 400°F (~204°C).
  2. Add almond milk + bread crumbs into a bowl & whisk together. Let this set for a few minutes so the bread crumbs can absorb the almond milk.
  3. Add eggs, oregano, pepper, basil, & worcestershire to ground turkey & mix together.
  4. Coat the muffin pan with coconut oil. (You can place the muffin pan on top of another pan with aluminium foil in case there is some spillover.)
  5. Combine bread crumb/almond milk mixture with ground turkey mixture
  6. Scoop ground turkey combination evenly into the muffin tray.
  7. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. (Make sure internal temperature of the turkey meatballs are at least 165°F (~74°C).
  9. Place turkey meatballs on a dish and serve with your favorite vegetables!
  10. Optional: Add avocado for some extra healthy fats.

If you need a muffin tray, don’t hesitate to order one now!

MuffinTray

Time Sheet:  

  • Prep time – 5 minutes.
  • Cook time – 25 minutes
  • Total time – 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 Turkey Meatball
  • Calories – 145
  • Fat – 6 g
  • Carbs – 8 g
  • Protein – 18 g

As I described in the video, I pronounced worcestershire wrong. The main part was at the end of the word. I pronounced the “shire” part like you would normally say it. Turns out, the “shire” is pronounced “sure”. Well, I laughed so hard when I saw this for the first time, at least I’m not this bad! Enjoy the video below. If you’re looking for another turkey dish, be sure to check out my post on Turkey Lettuce Wraps.

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Healthy Seasonings

Healthy Seasonings

Healthy Seasonings

In order to get lean, you have to stay consistent with your food. But we all know that sticking to your nutrition plan can be really tough if you’re eating boring grilled chicken everyday!

Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland. I’ve found that one of the best ways to keep my meals interesting is to play around with spices, seasonings and sauces. However, the important thing to remember is that the sodium in seasonings can add up quickly. Here are some of my favorite healthy spices and sauces.

Healthy Seasonings

Look for Salt-Free Options

Most of us grew up thinking that salt-free is basically flavor-free. Not true! There are many delicious no-salt spices out there, particularly the Salt-Free line from Mrs. Dash. My favorite Mrs. Dash no-salt seasonings are Southwest Chipotle, Tomato Basil and Hamburger. They all have zero salt but tons of flavor! Johnny’s Garlic  is one of my favorites as I use it in just about everything.

If you can get around under 100mg of sodium from every 1/4 teaspoon serving, that’s a good place to start. Weber’s Bold Chipotle has 100 mg of sodium (Sam’s Club) and is another great seasoning to try. Johnny’s Garlic (Costco) has 60 mg of sodium. The Simply Asia blend you see above (Costco) is another good option with 80 mg of sodium. I’m also a big fan of any Kirkland seasonings (Costco).

Natural seasonings with little to no salt in them are the best. Fresh onion, cilantro, jalapenos, shallots, lime, paprika, garlic and ginger are all delicious natural flavors to play with. When you can’t do fresh seasoning, keep your pantry stocked with some pre-packaged seasoning blends such as an Italian seasoning, chopped onion or garlic powder.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

I’m half Brazilian, so for me, the spicier the better! I love Sriracha but it does contain sodium, so use it in moderation. Another favorite of mine is the TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce (can be found inside a – Chipotle – Mexican Grill – restaurant); anything chipotle-flavored is amazing to me! Use that sparingly as well; you can get into the 1,000s of mg of sodium quickly if you pour this all over your Chipotle salad/brown rice bowl (which already has a lot of sodium). By the way, Chipotle Mexican Grill has the best tasting healthiest meals from any upscale fast food place ever! Pre-workout or post-workout, you can eat there. Try that pepper sauce out!

At the end of the day, I’d rather have more sodium than unnecessary fats and additional carbs. No matter what type of sauces you love, just be sure to check the nutrition facts. You don’t have to avoid your favorites if they contain sodium – just use them sparingly.

sriracha nutrition label

Sriracha Nutrition Facts

Mix it Up

Variety is the spice of life, so don’t be afraid to mix it up! Create your own perfect blend for chicken, steak and turkey. Keep containers of your favorite special seasonings and sauces to shorten your weekly food prep time.

The right seasonings do a lot to keep your healthy diet interesting and delicious. Keep your spices in stock without blowing the bank by checking out farmers markets or buying them in bulk. To learn more about keeping your food costs down, read my blog post about Eating Healthy on a Budget.

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The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut Water

Coconut water’s popularity has undeniably skyrocketed in the last decade. Introduced to the U.S. as a part of the wellness movement, coconut water has become known as “Mother Nature’s Sports Drink.” And for good reason!  It’s packed with potassium – more than four bananas, actually – naturally low in calories, as well as fat and cholesterol free. Let’s take a look at some more of the amazing benefits that coconut water has to offer.

Hydration

Coconut water is excellent for keeping your muscles hydrated. It is loaded with natural sugars that give your body energy while training. The best time to consume this beverage is during a training session, particularly when working with weights or performing a high intensity cardio session. You can even mix coconut water with BCAAs during your workout for a delicious boost.

We want to preserve lean muscle while training as much as possible and drinking coconut water mixed with BCAAs can help us do just that. Coconut water acts like creatine, helping shuttle more water into the muscle to keep it hydrated. It can actually help keep your muscles from cramping during longer, more intense workouts, which is why many athletes swear by it during competitions.

Electrolytes

This incredible beverage naturally hydrates even better than regular sports drinks. It does this with fewer calories, less sodium and a lot more potassium. Coconut water is a rich natural source of electrolytes, which are vital to a properly functioning nervous system, heart, muscles and brain. It contains five electrolytes that our bodies rely on: potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium.

Digestion

Because it is high in fiber, coconut water is known to aid gastrointestinal issues. It can help prevent indigestion and reduce acid reflux, constipation and nausea or vomiting. With all of its nutrients and electrolytes, many even say that coconut water can help cure your hangover!

Cytokinins

This natural sport drink is also brimming with plant hormones called cytokinins. These plant hormones are thought to have significant benefits for our skin, even helping to slow the aging process. Coconut water can even be applied directly to your skin and used as a moisturizer to fight dry skin and fine lines. When drinking coconut water, it can help balance your body’s pH levels, hydrate connective tissue as well as improve your skin elasticity and tone from the inside out.

Just ‘Dew’ It

In Hawaii, coconut water is often referred to as ‘noelani,’ which means ‘dews from the heavens.’ Knowing the amount of amazing benefits it provides our bodies, coconut water definitely lives up to its name! It packs a huge nutritional punch without all of the additives, chemicals or artificial colors and flavors of sugary sports drinks. Just be sure not to overdo it or drink it all day long – while coconut water is great for your body, it still has calories that can add up throughout the day if you aren’t training.

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Sweet Potato Muffins for Your Sweetie

How To Cook Sweet Potato Muffins

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now is the time to plan your special day. Whether you are spending a romantic evening with your loved one, celebrating your fabulous single self with friends, or snuggling up on the couch with a Redbox movie and some wine (we’ve all been there – plus hey, Hallmark and Hershey’s created this holiday, right?), make sure you consider your strategy for avoiding the major diet pitfalls this holiday can bring.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Having a plan for navigating around your worst Valentine’s Day food temptations will not only help you keep off those extra pounds of fat, it will bolster your willpower. If you love sweets, Valentine’s Day can be particularly rough on your diet. But instead of denying yourself something sweet, why not replace the empty calories of candy or chocolate with something delicious and healthy? Better yet, show your sweetie that you care with something homemade! These sweet potato muffins are guaranteed to hit the spot.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. of cooked sweet potato* (skin off)
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 scoops of your favorite  protein powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2/3 c. uncooked rolled oats (not steel cut, or even partially steel cut, it messes up the texture)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

*For a delicious variation, try Japanese sweet potatoes! They are red on the outside and creamy white on the inside.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Evenly blend all of your ingredients together. I personally use a food processor to shred the oats even further for a smoother texture. Use a muffin pan with 12 baking cups and evenly pour in your batter. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into one of the muffins comes out clean. The bake time may vary slightly based on the strength of your oven.

Next, make your protein frosting. Stir together 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, slowly adding water and stirring until a thick mixture is created. My favorite frosting flavor for these muffins is cinnamon roll, using MyoFusion Cinnamon Roll protein. It’s amazing! Allow the muffins to cool slightly; about 5 minutes should do the trick. Finish by evenly spreading your frosting over all of the muffins. This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Put them in a nice tin and give them to your special someone. Enjoy and don’t overindulge, please!

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