Tag Archives: healthy living

Sweet Roasted Peppers & Sausage

Happy Monday everyone! No…Not so happy? LOL. Personally, I kind of look forward to Mondays because I work all weekend long and I’d much rather be in class than at work. But that’s just because I hate my job, I’ll definitely be ready to be done with school when I graduate in May.

Anyway…enough rambling. Tonight I have a recipe for you all that’s crazy easy, healthy, and-most importantly- delicious! I haven’t made it in quite awhile, but I was hit with a craving for it today. It’s a recipe I got from my mom and I’m pretty sure she made it up. If you’re craving Italian, this is a great way to satisfy that craving without all the carbs. Also, in addition to minimal prep work, the two main ingredients can be cooked with very little supervision. So you can be working on something else (or reading a good book) while dinner is cooking. Which, in my opinion, is one of the best things about this recipe!

*Serves One

You’ll Need:

2 bell peppers, sliced (any color)

2 sweet Italian sausage links

1 jar marinara sauce (I used a roasted red pepper and garlic sauce by Prego, but your favorite brand is just fine)

Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Mozzarella cheese (optional)

…Seriously, that’s all you need!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a bowl, combine sliced peppers, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss the peppers until they’re well coated

3. Spread peppers evenly on a foil covered cookie sheet and roast in the oven. the longer they roast, the sweeter they’ll be. So unless they’re burning (I’ve never had this happen) let them roast until you’re too hungry to wait any longer or the edges start to blacken, whichever comes first.

4. Bring water to boil and boil sausages on high for 20 minutes

5. once sausage is done cooking, slice into strips or coins and set aside

6. Warm the marinara sauce while the peppers are finishing roasting

7. Once everything done, pour marinara sauce over peppers and sausage and top with a little mozzarella cheese if desired (FYI,  this dish won’t be quite as healthy if you use a ton of cheese).

8. Enjoy!

-Vanessa

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Healthy Substitutes

today I’m joining Brittany in her observance of Salubrious September  with a post about healthy eating and dealing with cravings. You know from this post that I’ve been trying over the past year or so to eat healthier. Whether I like it or not, I’m heading into my mid-twenties (Brittany, no comments from you. You’re only a year younger!). Unfortunately, diabetes and obesity also run in my family. So I have to be very careful about that. Since I’ve started cooking more and making healthier choices, I have mostly lost my taste for fast food and actually prefer whole wheat pasta. But I’ll be honest with you, I still have a huge weak spot for soda, ice cream, and Starbucks. Maybe I’ll always want more of these things than I should, or maybe I’ll eventually lose my taste for them as well (my mom swears she really doesn’t crave sugar anymore). But in the mean time, I have to make sure I’m making healthy choices without depriving myself. It’s important to indulge in your cravings once in awhile or they’ll get out of control. But the rest of the time you just have to say no. Or…you can find healthy substitutes that trick your brain into thinking it got what it wanted. Read on to find out how.

I really really love soda. Unfortunately, it’s also really really bad for you. of course, diet soda is an option. But I have a sensitivity to all artificial sweetners except splenda, they give me killer headaches. And really, diet soda isn’t that appealing. Well I’ve come to realize that while I do like the taste of soda, sometimes its just the bubbles that I crave. So now, if I’m really craving soda I trying drinking ice cold club soda first. Usually, this satisfies my craving and I just saved 150 calories while also getting extra water.

source

Ice cream is my second most common craving. But this one is a little easier to find substitutes for. There are lots of healthier ice cream alternatives out there that are way more delicious than diet soda. One I highly recommend are Skinny Cow products. I had the ice cream sandwiches a long time ago and remember not liking them very much. But it’s possible that my tastes have since changed or they changed their recipe. Either way, two of their products that I do like and have had recently are the white mint truffle bars and the mint with fudge ice cream cones. The cones are 150 calories and the truffle bars are only 100! As long as you’re not having one every night, these are a perfectly reasonable dessert. And they don’t taste low-cal at all, I promise.

Starbucks is a slightly harder craving to satisfy with an alternative. I can’t make drinks like Starbucks does at home, even if I wasn’t worried about the calorie content. But I have found one thing I can make at home that’s slightly lower in calories (not to mention cheaper!). it’s not Starbucks, but it’s pretty darn good. Hot chocolate with cinnamon. Yum! Swiss Miss milk chocolate hot chocolate mix only has 138 calories, as opposed to the 438 calories in a starbucks’ White Chocolate  Mocha. The cinnamon hot chocolate can be made with water or fat free milk and will usually satisfy my Starbucks craving.

Source

Question of the night: do you have any healthy substitutes that you reach for when you have a craving for something not so healthy?

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Changing Tastes

Tonight, I was hit with the craving stick. Chinese, to be exact. I Urbanspoon-ed it and found a little spot close to the house.

Drove over, placed my order, drove home, cracked it open, and ate…only the vegetables and chicken. I wanted vegetable fried rice and chicken with broccoli. And then my taste buds rebelled.

Suddenly they were only craving the vegetables and chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I like vegetables and chicken…but I started this journey intending to end up with fried rice. And the fried rice sat alone, neglected in his sad little container.

The same sad little container that is now sitting at the bottom of the dumpster. Boo begged for it, but I didn’t want to give him some over-processed food. Which made me realize, “If I wouldn’t feed it to my dog, why would I feed it to myself?!”

Dinner epiphany y’all!

And because September seems like as good a month as any…I’m starting a movement.

 Salubrious September!

Sure, we’re 8 days in, but better late than never! So September will be the month to jumpstart your healthy living habits!
I’m at the point in my life where I’m starting to feel a difference in my body depending upon the fuel it receives. Even Military Man mentioned that he is starting to crave home cooked meals as opposed to fast food. Oh, and remember how I said give me a year to get him off spray cheese? Well it’s happened! We were at Walmart and he mentioned that it doesn’t even sound good to him anymore. SUCCESS!

My one of my personal September goals will be to get active! I love group exercise, dancing etc, but I’m not a fan of treadmills and the actual “going to the gym.” I like to workout at home….but then I sit down…and Gilmore Girls is on…and then 2 hours go by and it’s time for bed. Sound familiar? So I’m going to commit to walking Boo at least 3 times a week. It’s good for both of us!

Need motivation for yourself?

Here are 3 ways to participate:

-Make your own meals: Go grocery shopping and spend most of your time picking up fresh produce. Try to avoid the processed foods…and if you do grab some stuff just remember that moderation is key!

-Commit to be fit: Every day, do some sort of fitness activity. Move! Take a group fitness class. Take your dog for a walk. Or your cat. It can be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Just move! Park away from the door, so you have to walk farther. You’ll feel better after. I loathe working out, but after it’s done, I never regret it.

-Listen to your body: If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, let yourself rest. Take a night off and recharge. Go to bed early after a nice warm bath. If you’ve been battling an ice cream craving for weeks, indulge a little. Savor every spoonful. Even better, take a walk around your neighborhood as you enjoy your frozen treat.

So my September goals will be:

-Wake up earlier. I’ve fallen into the trap of staying up way too late. Time to reset my inner clock!

-Walk Boo at least 3 times a week (Goal is every day!)

-Make more smoothies! I love making smoothies with fresh fruit and veggies. I think it’s high time to bring those bad boys back!

Some other suggestions for your Salubrious September: Drink more water, participate in Meatless Mondays, get 8 hours of sleep, take up sudoku.

 

Have a great night!

Let me know if you plan on participating in Salubrious September! What are some of your health goals (if any)?

-Brittany

**Disclaimer: I’m not an expert. These are just my opinions and are in no way meant to replace Doctor instruction. Do what works for you!**

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