Friday Food : Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Pinterest and doesn’t need to go in the #FAIL or #CloseEnough bin! I came across this lovely looking breakfast meal a few weeks ago. In the picture it looks like it’s a dish for 2 people. On the main recipe page it lists servings size as 5 people. I would say depending on how you serve it, it’s about 3-5 servings. As the main dish certainly closer to 3. If you decide to use is as a side to pancakes or oatmeal (Mmmmm oatmeal) then you’ll be able to divide it more.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes

What You Need:

  • 16 oz of spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 8 eggs separated (keep both the whites and the yolks)
  • spices : salt, pepper, garlic

Directions:

For the how-to and even a few variation on the recipe ingredients visit the pin or head over to the main page for NomNom Foods.

Comments:

I used fire roasted tomatoes in my recipe and instead of fresh garlic I used the powdered variety.

I think in the future I would add more spinach or even look for other veggies, like corn or my sister suggested broccoli – if I wanted to make it the “main dish”.

I found it very difficult not to break the yolks! Not sure why, but as you can see, I only had 5 polkadots! Haha

What adjustments would you make to this recipe? Have you ever had a Pinterest “success”?

Aetna – What’s Your Healthy ?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AETNA®. The opinions and text are all mine.

The other day I signed into Facebook and as I was scrolling down I noticed a “sponsored post”. It was an image for Aetna and featured a room of young children at desks with the caption “They’re the reason I always get 8 hours of sleep”. I smiled to myself and kept scrolling. A few days later I noticed another post featuring a girl with a bowl of salad. Now the caption was “You’re the reason I choose salad over fries”. This second post struck a cord with me, especially since I recently had a conversation with a friend specifically about my choice to start switching from fries to salads.

Sometimes life works in mysterious ways, so when I was contacted by Aetna to help promote their “What’s Your Healthy” campaign, I accepted without hesitation.

Ali Sweeney of The Biggest Loser is working with Aetna is help people discover their ‘healthy’ and to share tips on ways to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Head over to Aetna’s What Your Healthy page at Https://www.WhatsYourHealthy.com/ to see and participate for yourself. Featured on the website are great 30 second videos from Ali giving advice on ways to sleep better, become more active, eat healthier and many other topics. Also on the site is a place to submit your own healthy and by scrolling down the page readers can see snippets of what’s been submitted and click for more information.

My own (adult) quest to find my healthy began in 2007 when I attempted to lose weight after being careless with my body for many college years. Yes, there were things I did before I was a blogger, before I had access to campaigns, before I even wanted to let people know I was making an attempt, heck before I was a runner! I carry these basic steps with me today and want to share them with you now, highlighted with a few of the videos from Ali! Please remember though, always check with a medical provider before starting any new diet or exercise program. I want you to be safe and happy and healthy.

Healthy snacking. I carried carrots and celery with me. I tried to avoid the temptation to load my celery with cream cheese or too much peanut butter. Sure there were days I glared at the other bus passengers with their chips and soda, but I made a commitment and I wasn’t a quitter.

Water. Even if you can make the argument you rarely drink anything other than water, chances are you could probably be drinking more water.

Walk. Park further away from the door. When shopping I would always search for the nearest spot and wanted to be in and out ASAP. I learned to park on the outskirts more and ended up with extra paces for the day. It is also good to take stairs over an elevator or escalator.

Stretch. Get up from your desk. Stand up while watching TV. Move your joints every once in a while (every hour if possible). Hey if you’re drinking enough water you’ll be moving to the bathroom regularly! Oh and for those with children at home, don’t forget there are many exercises safe for the whole family to do together.

Talk. People emphasize dietary and physical changes, but I don’t always see the addition of mental and emotion changes. Getting healthier can be a struggle. Change in general is hard for most people. Build your support network. Search out love in those around you and remember to return the love.

Reflection/Meditation. Find or make time for only you each day. This can be as simple as 15 minutes of not giving in to any distractions, including intruding thoughts. Life can be overwhelming, take care of the person processing it all (YOU). If your machine (brain/heart) breaks down how can you expect to be useful in any other area?

One area I forgot to care about for years and am only now beginning to respect is the need for quality sleep. Not just catching up on the weekends, but a strong 8-10 hours each night. I know everyone is different, but if you find it difficult to focus during the day, begin to grow sluggish in the afternoon, or look forward to naps, you may not be getting the sleep you need. Remember to turn off your electronic screens and keep them off. The backlight of many devices signal the brain it is time to wake up and process, even with the fastest “Lemme just see this 1 message”, making it tricky to get back into sleep mode.

Other things to consider? Some people need it to be a certain temperature to fall asleep or enjoy white noise while resting. Here’s another tip:

A final reminder – If you like Ali’s advice, feel free to share the videos with your own friends & family. Plus, there are many great ideas at Aetna’s What Your Healthy page Https://www.WhatsYourHealthy.com/  Head over to see them for yourself and add your own tips and successes. Come back to me when you’re down and tell me what you think. For now I’ll leave you with these questions.

Do you participate or follow campaigns to help promote healthy changes? What’s the last change you made to be healthy?

Sugar Detox Take One

I’ve never done a sugar detox (and I’m not going to start now). So why the title? Follow along and find out…

Honestly, I haven’t tried a “fad” diet in a long time. I call anything with a special name a fad diet.  When I was younger (teens and early 20’s) I tried all sorts of special diets to keep me aware of what I was eating and as a bit of “fun”. I remember the most UNHEALTHY diet I tried was a ladder program. Essentially you ate 200 (yes 200) calories on day one. Then 400 on day two, and it progressed to 600, 800, 1000, then back down through 600 and 400, starting over again at 200 if desired. I remember not so fondly the days of living off pickles and celery sticks. It was “advised” to only do this diet for one week at a time. Really? I can’t imagine why! Another fad diet was some version of the cabbage soup diet. I think I’m the only person who followed it, but managed to gain weight! Looking at it now, I can only imagine it was due to food allergies an my system going haywire.

I am the first person to admit I have bad eating habits. Weekends are often met with headaches or lethargy when I “forget” to eat because I don’t have hunger cues. During the week, without careful planning and upon emotional cues I will hit up various fast food or other restaurants. Now, I will share I’ve become MUCH better at what I chose when on-the-go. I’ve stopped getting meals and will only order a $1 menu sandwich to tide me over until I get to real food.  Let’s break it down …

I LOVE Wendy’s (their food NOT their commercials) so I can easily provide a concrete example of my “healthier choice” claims.

Normally when I went to Wendy’s I would order a Chicken meal or Hamburger meal. I would also upsize it for the fries and I’d order a bottle of water.

Home-style Chicken Meal : 510 calories + 20 g of fat (sandwich) + 410 calories + 20 g of fat (fries) + water =  920 calories and 40 g of fat!

VS

Crispy Chicken Sandwich only: 380 calories + 20 g of fat.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich only: 370 calories + 7 g of fat

What about red meat?

1/4 pound Single Meal : 580 calories + 31 g of fat (sandwich) +  410 calories + 20 g of fat (fries) + water = 990 calories and 51 g of fat!

vs

Junior Cheeseburger only: 290 calories + 13 g of fat.

Another moment of truth. I didn’t know those facts until I looked them up for this post. It really bothers me to know with the read meat, I’m looking at an almost 40 gram difference in fat. Oh and 600 calories. WOW The things I could eat for 600 calories. The chicken isn’t much further off of a different. Yikes.

Knowing numbers is important for decision making, but I don’t want to feel like a slave to the facts & figures…

I hate feeling like everything I do/eat is connected to some magic number. Everyone raves about different trackers and online journaling, but those have always lead me to a dark place. Over the years I’ve adapted to CardioTrainer on my phone and I’m having a strong love affair with FitBit right now, but let me explain what usually happens.

As I use fitness trackers I become obsessed with the numbers. I find running, Zumba, or even walking will allow me to get a certain number of “steps” or calories. Yoga or Pilates doesn’t translate into as many steps or calories. When I want to compete against myself or others I go for the higher intensity workouts and reduce my strength training or weights because they aren’t as “fancy” on the tracker. This leads to poor form and injury.

Same with food tracking. I become so focused on the numbers I stop eating a variety of foods. I stop considering how the food will benefit me in the long run and start wondering it it will fit into the perfect image created by the tracker. Even when I set profiles to private, I see the number on my screen and I compete with myself.

So what to do when you (I) realize even with every excuse in the book, some of the choices I keep making have to change.

It means I have made it to another attempt at getting healthier in 2014. I managed to stay active for at least 30 minutes everyday in January. Sundays and Wednesday are the most difficult for me so they’re my built in “rest” days. Even rest days can have 30 minutes of movement though, right? I’m so proud of myself and others for the #30in31 challenge. As I’ve mentioned before…I am sleeping better and feeling better and have finally gained back a chunk of endurance, things I thought were long lost to me.

Now to tackle food choices. I can’t (won’t) give up sugar (currently) and it scares me to consider going on a 30 day or even 2 week pledge to avoid it. This is my plan instead. I will reduce my sugar and start paying attention to ALL food choices. I lost weight last fall and one thing I was doing differently? Keeping up with ‘The Worst Book Ever’. I carried a small lined notebook around and I logged all my food choices. I did not log any facts about the food or sizes, I simply logged what I ate. For example:

Monday:

B: Oatmeal w/ brown sugar and blueberries

S: Nothing

L: Tuna sandwich and cherry coke

S: 3 mini candy bars

D: Mac & Cheese

At the end of the week I would make + or – signs next to the days I felt were healthy days or not-so-healthy days. Then I’d plan for the next week. Maybe I would plan to eat less pasta, maybe I would plan to buy more apples for snacks. I adjusted as I went along.

Starting this week I am making an honest attempt to not eat “extra” sugar. I will stop buying and eating the supplies of tootsie rolls, cow tails, M&Ms, and Crunch bars. If I want something sweet I will eat fruit. I will drink more water. I will power through feeling like crap. The weekends are fair game. In the past this has worked for me. 5 days of strict, 2 days of whatever. Let’s see how it works in 2014.