Healthy Meals To Help Shed The Holiday Pounds

Healthy Meals To Help Shed The Holiday Pounds

Healthy can be delicious.

In my article, "Perfection Doesn’t Exist But We Should Always Work On Bettering Ourselves," I mentioned that my main goal for self-improvement is my fitness level. Well, to be truly fit and healthy you must eat right. With Thanksgiving now behind us and Christmas around the corner eating healthy can be a challenge. Take on the added cravings from looking for the perfect holiday meal and desserts, plus all the parties you will undoubtedly be attending, you’re more than likely going to gain a couple pounds. It’s inevitable and the rest of society will be right there with you.

Now because of this, you, myself, and everyone else included will be making New Year’s Resolutions to lose the holiday weight through exercise and healthy eating. Since I have started this new year resolution early and have so far been pretty successful, I’d like to share with you some of my new found favorite healthy recipes to help shed the pounds and keep them off.

Below is a list of ten of my favorite healthy recipes! Those which I have taken from another source and adapted in some way you can find at the links provided.

1. Chicken Soup

The cold weather is here which, for my family, means we will be having a lot of soup as a result of my constant freezing. I typically make my chicken soup in a pressure cooker because it is so fast and simple. The first thing I do is take a couple chicken breasts and cook them in the pressure cooker on the chicken setting in some chicken broth with an array of seasonings. My go-to chicken soup seasonings are Nature’s Seasoning, Garlic Salt, Accent, and Tony’s. The chicken takes about 20 minutes to cook and then you simply take a fork and shred away. The next step is to add the chicken, more broth, cream of chicken soup, your desired veggies (frozen or fresh), cauliflower rice, lemon juice, and seasonings into the pressure cooker on the soup/stew setting and you’re ready to go!

2. Pancakes

I know what you’re thinking: “There’s no way pancakes can be healthy!” Well, I recently shattered that illusion that I held for the longest time. There are so many variations to make pancakes healthy. Some use almond or coconut flour and cream cheese as the main ingredients and others use banana and egg. Both are absolutely delicious, but I’ve found that when I’m in a pinch in the morning and need to make a quick breakfast I go for the banana nut pancakes. The original recipe I found on the SkinnyTaste site contains banana, egg, oats, and pecans. To add my variations include either vanilla extract, cinnamon, or protein powder. If you want to be a little more festive you can add a combo of two or three of my added ingredients.

3. Sheet Pan Fajitas

So darn easy to make and has the added bonus of an easy cleanup! When making fajitas I typically use chicken but you can, of course, use steak if you so desire. Step one is to cut the meat into strips and then cut your onion and peppers into strips as well. For the seasoning you can go either use a fajita seasoning packet that you can pick up at any grocery store or you can simply toss some oil on the meat and veggies and then your specific desired seasonings such as chili powder, paprika, chipotle pepper, red pepper, cumin, nature’s seasoning, and garlic salt. Coat meat and veggies thoroughly. Once cooked you can add a little fresh lime juice on top. To make the tortillas warm and crispy wrap in foil and place in the oven for about five minutes. Place the meat, veggies, and fajita toppings such as cheese, sour cream and salsa on top, wrap in your tortilla and you’re good to go!

4. Honey Salmon With Citrus Salsa

This one is another super easy recipe! To cook the fillets sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, rub some honey and flour on each side and then sear each side for 2 minutes. Once seared place the fillets in the oven for 7-10 minutes. To make the salsa simply dice an avocado, a bit of onion, and an orange. Then add some zest, lime juice, minced garlic and cilantro to your diced fruit and mix with a spoon. If you don’t have cilantro it’s no problem! You can substitute in some parsley and coriander instead. I also opted to have my salmon and citrus salsa over a bed of cauliflower rice which I also added some lime juice, parsley, and coriander to.

5. Grilled Cheese

A recipe that comes in so many forms! To make my grilled cheese a bit healthier I add some avocado, tomato, and chicken. To give it a bit more flavor or zest I add a bit of ranch, and I nix the oil.

6. Salad

We all think salad is typically pretty healthy as long as it's not drenched in dressing. Well, this is true if you use a veggie other than lettuce because sadly lettuce actually contains little nutritional value. For this reason, I typically have spinach or cucumber salads. My cucumber salad consists of half a cucumber, celery, bell pepper, carrots, cheese, chicken, cherry tomatoes, almond slices, dried cranberries and occasionally a bit of onion.

7. Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Peppers

This is literally so yummy! Start by washing all the veggies. Then cut your peppers in half and dice the onion. Saute the onion and spinach until caramelized with a bit of seasoning. The recipe calls for salt and pepper but I put nature’s seasoning and garlic salt on everything so that's obviously what I used instead. While the spinach and onion are cooking you can mix the ricotta and parmesan cheeses. Once the spinach and onion are caramelized add to the cheese mixture and stuff your peppers. Sprinkle some more cheese and seasonings on top. Place in a casserole dish and add some cherry tomatoes. Serve over cauliflower rice!

8. Balsamic Chicken

Another quick picker-upper! First, cook your chicken in a skillet with a little olive oil. While the chicken is cooking you can prep your veggies (washing, drying, cutting or snapping). Once the chicken is cooked add half of the balsamic mixture and then transfer to a platter. Next, cook the veggies in the same pan you cooked the chicken in using the rest of the balsamic mixture. Enjoy! The only variation I made to this dish is that I did not use any honey in the sauce. However, my friend Blair has made this dish with beef instead.

9. Fajita Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

I love pasta! And if taking a pasta dish and making it healthy by using veggie noodles instead of regular noodles that are full of carbs is what I have to do so I can enjoy my comfort food, then by golly, I’m gonna do it. The first thing you need to know about spaghetti squash is that it can be a pain in the butt to cut open. In order to make this less of an ordeal, I recommend poking some holes in your squash lengthwise (along the cut line) and microwaving it for about five minutes before cutting. Once you cut it open, scrape out the seeds (I find it's easiest if you use an ice cream scooper), sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and massage it into the flesh, add a dash of salt and pepper and cook flesh side down for about a half hour. While that is cooking, you can saute your chicken breast and veggies in a skillet with olive oil and your fajita seasonings. I used cumin, paprika, chili powder, chipotle pepper, nature’s seasoning, and garlic salt. Once cooked thoroughly, you can make your alfredo sauce using heavy cream and parmesan cheese. When the squash is done cooking shred it with a fork and add it to the skillet to mix with the chicken, veggies, and sauce. Enjoy!

10. Stir-fry

Anyone who knows me knows I love Chinese food, but I don’t have the money or the metabolism to constantly eat takeout. By making a homemade stir fry dish that is full of veggies and a lot of protein I can stay home in my PJs, turn on one of my favorite movies, and enjoy a glass of wine all by my lonesome. This dish is full of options. You can use chicken or beef, shrimp, whatever your heart desires. Same goes for the veggies. I typically use chicken, bell pepper, onion, and broccoli. Occasionally I’ll also add some spinach. To add some flavor to my stir fry I’ll season my chicken with adobo and then when I add the veggies to the pan I add nature’s seasoning and garlic salt. For the sauce, you can use a store-bought sauce like sweet n’ sour, orange, or soy sauce. If you want to go a different route you can make a homemade sauce that consists of soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes. To knock carbs out of the way I use cauliflower rice instead of white, brown, or jasmine rice.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

9 Things All Mexican Food Addicts Know All Too Well

Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

In the city I grew up in, there is a Mexican restaurant just about every five miles. They are the after school hangouts and first date go-to's for most of the kids here, especially the high school girls.

I know the servers at my favorite one know my order almost every time I go in there (at least once a week). However, a lot of people apparently get tired of eating Mexican food about twice a week... but I sure don't. If you are a Mexican food addict like me, I am sure you know at least a few of these yourself.

1. Cheese dip tastes like heaven and you have to have it.

That amazing creamy white cheese dip put on a perfectly salted chip is enough to make your day better. Forget the actual food---we'd be content living off of cheese dip and chips for the rest of our lives. Our restaurant trip is not complete without an order of it and if you are lucky enough to get your favorite waiter, maybe even get a large bowl for the night.

SEE ALSO: An Ode To Queso, My First And True Love

2. You never have to look at the menu.

We know when we decide to go what we are having and it is probably the exact same plate we order each time. I am sure the servers laugh after I order some days because there is only three things I rotate between. My burrito is always my go-to, unless I am feeling fancy.

3. Some of the servers know who you are when you walk in the door.

Either by first name or by order they know us. You are the ones that they tell to pick your own seat and already have your drink order placed by the time you sit down.

4. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend puts you on Mexican restaurant restriction on date night.

You drag them there so much, they get tired of eating there. So much so, they flat out say no when you ask to go there on date night. I mean, how does someone get tired of Mexican food to begin with though?

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Skin Color For A Mexican?

5. You can hum some of the songs that come on.

We may not know what they are saying in the song, but we know the song---trust us. We are in there so much we remember them. Don't ask any questions when we start humming.

6. You "have" a parking spot.

Do not park in my parking spot that is not actually my parking spot, but is my parking spot. Got it? Just do not do it. That starts my meal bad when you take my normal spot.

7. You used to hangout there all the time after school.

It was the hangout spot. Forget the nasty school lunch--- everyone goes to eat Mexican after school. It's the cool thing to do and it started your addiction.

8. You always want to introduce new people to your favorite restaurant.

Oh, you aced that exam? Let's go eat at this amazing Mexican restaurant I love! We always want to find people to go there to eat with so we always introduce new people to it.

9. People always pick on you about your addiction.

Yes, I love Mexican food. Go ahead and tag me in all the memes on Facebook about tacos. As long as I have my Mexican food, I am fine with that.

All in all, we LOVE our Mexican food and our go-to restaurants--- so here is your warning. Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

Cover Image Credit: jenaroundtheworld

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10 La Croix Flavors The World Needs

If your favorite flavor is Pure, you're wrong.


While La Croix has produced many, many, flavors, there's still a variety that we La Croix lovers are still waiting for. On top of this, there are also a lot of flavors that are hated (even despised) by many. While my personal favorite is Blackberry & Cucumber (preferably with a splash of vodka), many find the combination weird. I'm here to list a few new flavors that La Croix needs to highly consider.

1. Honeydew & Cantaloupe

I have a confession... I love honeydew. I know, this is a controversial opinion, but I honestly love the green melon that everyone just considers to be just a filler for fruit salad. Paired with the flavor of cantaloupe, I highly believe that the combination combined with the fizz of a delicious La Croix could be revolutionary. Just think about it until you start giving me hate.

2. Grape

I'm honestly shocked that this still isn't a thing, but everyone really is waiting for a grape-flavored La Croix. For any grape soda lovers, this could easily be a healthier alternative, and as La Croix is known for their natural flavors, this can be a nice step away from the traditional, artificial grape flavor. Just imagine the flavor of some delicious green grapes canned into a fizzy La Croix.

3. Prickly Pear

I know this sounds like a weird one, and some of you may have never even heard of it, but some know the deliciousness of the prickly pear. Growing on cactuses, prickly pears offer a mild flavor, somewhat similar to that of pears and apples. Again, this might sound weird to some, but it's clear that La Croix isn't afraid of offering out-of-the-box flavors. They offer other ones like Blackberry & Cucumber, Apricot, and one of the newest additions, a Cola flavor.

4. Guava

To me, a guava-flavored La Croix doesn't really seem like much of a stretch. I really think that it goes along with the quite random variety of flavors La Croix offers, and guava juice is actually a popular drink. You can buy guava juice in cans, so who's to say that the flavor can't be incorporated into some bubbles and have "La Croix" slapped on the cans.

5. Fig & Honey

Figs and honey are a traditional pairing and also one that could flood its way into La Croix-loving millennial hearts. Figs have a fairly mild taste, often actually being compared to honey. The two go hand-in-hand and once again, going right along with the unique variety of flavors that La Croix currently has. I will say that I don't know exactly how this one would be received right off the bat, but there will definitely be those that will enjoy it, just like those weirdos who like Pure and Coconut.

6. Pumpkin

OK, I'll admit that I'm not so sure about this one, but I can easily see La Croix doing some sort of seasonal, fall limited-edition type campaign here. Just like the Pumpkin Spice Latte and pumpkin flavored beers, there are some that love them and some that hate them. I'm not sure if La Croix would go full pumpkin spice with this one, because honestly the thought of drinking fizzy cinnamon kind of makes me queasy, but pumpkin by itself could be leading to something.

7. Strawberry & Rhubarb 

Anyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie knows how perfect the combination is. The sweet flavor of the strawberries paired with the tart rhubarb is delicious and something I could definitely see La Croix diving into. Though rhubarb isn't a citrus, the sour and pungent flavor definitely resembles it. Offering flavors like lime, lemon, orange, and more, we know that La Croix is a big fan of these more sour flavors.

8. Green Tea

I know this one strays from La Croix's typical fruit flavors, but I still think it makes sense. Matcha and green tea are definitely on trend right now, and I'd be very interested to see how La Croix would put their twist on it. Everyone loves a good can of Arizona Green Tea, but I'm definitely down to try a less sweet and carbonated version.

9. Taro

Again, I realize that this seems a little strange and, once again, veers from the typical La Croix flavor profiles, but I still see it working out. Taro is actually a root vegetable, however it is a featured flavor on many bubble tea menus. It's described as having a "sweet, nutty flavor", which is something that I don't think sounds completely out-of-the-box for La Croix. It'd definitely be interesting and something I'd be curious to try.

10. Spiked

I'm not gonna lie here, this entire list was pretty much just for me to have a reason to talk about my biggest wish for La Croix: Spiked La Croix. Spiked Sparkling Seltzer is really up-and-coming right now, with brands like White Claw, Truly, Spiked Seltzer, and even Smirnoff hopping into the game, so I really don't think it would be that much of a push for La Croix to release their own take on it. Let's be honest, we all are prone to throw some vodka in it now and then, so why not just make it easier on us and just do it for us, La Croix?! Taking some of the flavors they already offer and giving them an alcoholic twist would be loved by La Croix fans, college students, and housewives alike. Can you just imagine the possibilities?!

I really believe that some of these could be strong contenders for La Croix to take up and make their own. So, La Croix, if ya need some help developing, please free to hit me up... Anyways, what're some of your hopes for La Croix flavors? Let us know in the comments!

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