Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blog Updates!

A few updates for my readers to get the most of my blog!

To the right of my blog you will see several new things:

     "Favorite Health Helpers and Products" Here you will find some great websites that have helped, inspired, and encourage me!  I hope they can for you as well!

     You can now search the blog posts, recipes, etc... this is obviously in the early stages, but I hope it will be helpful in the future!

     You can now join my blog as a follower through google plus!  Its fast, easy, and simple to join!  (would I make it any other way? lol)

     And of course I have my blog archive listed in ascending order for your ease of reading!

On the top left of my page you can subscribe in a variety of different ways to comments or posts.

AND MOST IMPORTANT!  You can now subscribe by email to get new post alerts at the bottom of the page!  Don't miss out!

Currently I am running a goal of 100 likes on my facebook page NHN Facebook! Once that goal is reached, I will be doing my first healthy giveaway!  I will announce the prize and contest instructions/rules once the 100 likes is reached. Want a hint of the prize?  Search through the photo albums!

The next contest I have planned will be aimed at getting subscribers to my actual blog, so keep sharing and spreading the word!  If you haven't signed up to follow, please do so!  I promise healthy prizes to help you reach your goals!  I may even have some super fun ones up my sleeves for the future!  Stay tuned, friends!!

I am working on getting a pin it button for recipe and meal idea posts for my happy little pinners of pintrest!  I also plan to eventually add it into the blog's list of social media outreach!  I want as many people as possible to be able to connect and be inspired!

And one more personal update, I've now reached -18.6 total lbs lost!  

I've been pleasantly surprised on how fast the likes on facebook are coming in, thank you for all the love and support! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

My "Ugh I don't feel like cooking, but I want to be healthy and not think" go to meal

Here it is!  My first meal post, this one is more of a meal idea (with instructions) than a specific recipe.  It comes in several varieties with a basic core of 3 things: Chicken, Vegetable of choice, and potatoes:

Lower carb potatoes!  Yes, that is right folks... they DO exist!  I will be discussing the product further, but for now I will give you the name : Tasteful Selections Honey Gold Potatoes Tasteful Selection Products Page (I will be posting soon about their wonderful customer service!). A serving of these potatoes is 148 grams  90 cals, 0 g fat, 0g cholesterol, 20mg Sodium, 16g Carb , 3g Fiber, 2g Sugar, 3g Protein.  

The cleanest chicken I can get my hands on is HarvestLand individually wrapped boneless skinless chicken breasts. (I prefer it this way, much easier to take one or two portions out at a time).Harvestland Chicken  most of the breasts are just at 4oz give or take an oz or two (Always measure on a food scale if counting calories, a lesson we will also talk about in the future) If you are able to get your hands on a lesser processed, organic chicken breast that better fits your means and/or budget than by all means, please do! Please click the link for the nutrition information.

Then of course the vegetable of your choice, some of my favorites are broccoli, zucchini (courgette), yellow summer squash, baby broccoli, asparagus, Brussels's Sprouts, fresh green beans..... your choices are endless, depending on your tastes and availability. 

This go to meal is called "Ugh, I don't feel like cooking, but I want to eat healthy and not think."  It takes 30-45 minutes, depending on your ability to prepare it and how best your oven works.  In the summer to cut back on the heat produced in my house, I use my favorite machine.... the ultimate toaster oven (I like to think of mine as an adult version of the easy bake oven, it has bake, toast, warm, defrost, and convection bake settings.  If anyone is interested in the brand and specs, let me know in the comments).  

Anyway here are the basics for fast preparation and cleanup of this meal, it gets baked together at the same time, and my pans get lined with aluminum foil.

Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees
Prepare your chicken breast how you like, I enjoy using Bullseye BBQ Sauce Memphis Style (2 TBSP = 50 cals, 0 fat, 290 mg of sodium).
I also enjoy sprinkling spices in this order; a good layer of Garlic Powder (make sure its unsalted to keep your sodium down), a sprinkle of pepper, a good layer of onion powder, a layer of paprika or smoked paprika, one more sprinkle of garlic powder, and then a quick spray of Olive oil cooking spray on top for a crispy "crust". All you need to do is put it in the pan lined with foil for easy cleanup, no need to spray the pan.

Then line a cookie sheet or oven pan with foil, give it a very quick and even spray of olive oil cooking spray, lay your choice of veggie out evenly, preferably not on top of each other, then give the tops a quick and even spray of the olive oil spray (I choose not to count the calories in quick sprays, that choice is up to you).  Then season as you like, I love garlic powder, or just a small amount of salt and pepper, onion powder.... again the choice is up to you!

Then after you have measured out your serving of the Honey gold, cut them into slices, do the same above foil and spray method as the veggies, after the potatoes are laid out (again preferably not on top of each other if you can fit it), give the tops a quick and even spray.  My go to topping is dried rosemary (oh I LOVE!), a pinch of salt (or leave it out if you need to keep low sodium, things like Mrs. Dash, would work just fine), and pepper.  Sometimes, for a change I switch the rosemary out for dried chives.

Put all the pans into your oven (use the top rack for your chicken, I usually put the veggies next to it, and the potatoes on the bottom rack).  Now hopefully you know your oven (if not, get to know it by cooking!  Mistakes happen, its all about learning!), but for my basic rental home oven and my toaster oven, I let it go for 40-45 minutes.  Depending on the veggie and your oven, check them in about 20-30 minutes.  I love my veggies extra crispy, where as some people don't.  *cooking times will vary depending on your oven, don't be afraid to experiment!*  

Once you have this meal down, you can get it prepared and in the oven to table in the amount of time it would take you to decided on a place to eat out and go get it!  Use this as your to go to "lazy meal", its satisfying, filling, and eventually you will be on automatic pilot to make it.  Go sit down in front of the tv while it cooks, read a book, or do a short workout!!

*Depending on the portions, veggies, and sauces you decide to use, your meal's nutritional value will vary.  I'm usually able to keep my meal below 300 calories and 1 gram of fat!

Here are the potatoes before being put in the oven (these are the fabulous honey golds):

Here are the potatoes right out of the oven with rosemary (again these are the sunrise medley, higher in carb version)

Here is the BBQ Chicken, asparagus, and Sunrise Medley potatoes with rosemary version (these pictures were taken before I realized the lower carb miracle of the Honey Golds):

Here is the BBQ Chicken, garlic broccoli, and The Sunrise Medley version of the listed potatoes (they are higher in calories, and carbs than Honey Gold) flavored with Chives, pepper, and a tiny pinch of salt. As you can see it is Ranger approved (My kitchen manager)!

Here is my other kitchen manager, Marshall, approving the meal.  We couldn't leave his approval out, could we??!

I hope this meal idea will help you get started and show you that it is really not that hard to start eating better!  Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions?  Please leave it in the comment section, and I will get back to you!  Variety is the spice of life, but sometimes you need an easy to go to meal!!  Happy healthy cooking!

Recipe Makeover Requests

Have a recipe you love, but it doesn't love your health?  Please comment here, or visit my facebook page: Natalies Healthy Nosh Official Facebook Page click like, and send me your requests there!  I plan to work on my favorite suggestion as soon as they start coming in.  Also feel free to share my blog and its official facebook counterpart, and don't forget to subscribe by clicking "Like".

My first few recipes plus my favorite products (with links) are to come!  I've also had a great tip to add a Pintrest button to my recipes. I am looking into this right away!  Thanks for all the love and support from my online friends, real life friends, and family!

Welcome to my blog and a little about me

Welcome to my page!  The future home of Natalie's Healthy Nosh!  My mission is to help everyone eat healthier, but still keep the taste. I also want to introduce you to easy and fast meals that fall into my vision of clean eating.  Healthy is a relative word, so when I use it, I mean cleaner, less processed eating.  Everyone requires different nutrition needs and has different tastes.  I am by no means an expert; so please consult with your doctor if you plan to make a drastic change with your health and your body! In other words I am not responsible for anything you choose to take from my site and use.

I welcome you to chime in on my posts in the comments! For example other ways you made the recipes work for you or made them taste better!  This is a learning process and I'm in it with you!

I do NOT believe in diets.... diets are temporary changes in what you put in your mouth.  I am promoting a healthy lifestyle change that will stick!  You may not agree with the use of my ingredients, but this is why I invite you to change them as you see fit!  This is a means for a starting point!

In addition to my recipes I plan to share ones from around the net that I have tested out.  I also plan to share some of my favorite products, and hopefully help you find them in your area!  I will be adding links to some of my favorite and personally tested websites and apps!  I also plan to hold some future giveaways of my favorite products to help you along!

A little about me:

    I'm going to try not to focus too much on my own personal journey, as it is a small sideline of my blog.  However, from time to time I may update you on it in hopes of inspiring you to make changes!  I always say, I'm here to inspire!  I'm currently 27 years old, and over the past 6 years I put on a significant amount of weight due to some personal health issues.  I've got them squared away for the most part, and I was ready to make a lifestyle change!  In the past, I have dieted... it got me nowhere... so I decided to move more, eat less and cleaner.  As of today's entry I work out 4-6 days a week (this includes cardio and strength training), and I have lost a total of 17 pounds in 75 days (there is no race)  I'm sure you've heard it before, but BELIEVE me; if I can do it, so can YOU!  I eat as clean as possible, with fresh foods and minimally processed ones.  I personally am not against using sweeteners like Splenda and Stevia in moderation.  Moderation is a key word in all things in life. 
I encourage you to drink as much water as you need (at least 64 ounces a day).  I have personally found that my body requires more to feel good.

Since I have started my journey a few awesome things have happened to my body from eating cleaner and working out.  Here are just a few that may inspire you:

1.  My hair has gotten thicker, and I have new growth at the hairline, not that it was super thin to begin with, but its a good sign in my book!

2.  My back pain has gotten much better, and I last longer before it hits me.

3.  I am much more motivated in life in general, which is an ever changing betterment.

4.  I can clean the house for longer periods of time without getting winded, tired, or my back hurting.  I can also grocery shop without getting pooped.  I use to ask Doo (this is my boyfriend's nickname of 6.5 years,  Yes we live together and aren't married YET) to pick up and lift everything... not anymore!  He's happy to come along and play on his phone while I take care of the shopping now! lol

5.  For the most part, I sleep much better!!

One more thing about me that I should share, is I'm not perfect, BUT I believe in staying positive while being grounded as much as I can!  I also LOVE to use exclamation points, the color pink, and all things that sparkle and shine!

I welcome you to share my blog and it's pages with all your friends and family!  I am here to inspire you to be healthy and live a longer, happier life!  Just give me credit, where credit is due, and I will do the same for you! We are not here to judge and if anyone gets mean in comments, they will be deleted and blocked!  I do however welcome constructive criticism without personal attacks!  This blog is a positive, safe place for people to unite in a healthier life!  Keep in mind this blog is every changing and ever growing, I will do my best to keep it pretty! :)

So go forth, my friends, and help spread love and health!