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Jared, Jared, Jared...you and those pair of oversized jeans you hold up in your commercials are so deceiving, shame on you. The basic Subway commercial essentially sets Jared up for being their prime example of what "healthy" Subway sandwiches can do for you---help you loose weight by just eating their meals (doesn't mention what choices he makes or whether or not he exercises).

The truth is, that if anyone looked at the nutritional information that Subway has available on their website, they would see that the commercials aren't everything they're cracked up to be. Okay, my reaction to their menu and semi-false advertising aside, it's up to you to order something that's healthier and better for you. Thankfully, while Subway might not be the fresh and healthy choice that TV makes them out to be, they definitely land on the healthier side of your dining out options (when you make the right choices), especially when compared to McDonalds or something.

My suggestions are based solely on getting a sub, not about breakfast or soups or salad. I know that they offer all those things, but I've never tried them and don't feel right giving suggestions. On the other hand, I can say this much: If the soup is creamy looking, just say no because cream = not so healthy. Also, I can say that add your toppings/fillings to a bed of salad is going to definitely be healthier than putting them on bread. If you're getting a salad though, ask them to use spinach instead of the normal iceberg lettuce for a more nutritious salad. Anywho, on to sandwiches!!


 
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90-sec microwave muffin!
I recently found a recipe for a microwave mug blueberry and flax muffin. Silly me, I only wrote down the recipe and not the website, so my apologies to the original creator of this recipe! (If I can find it later, I'll add a link to it). As I mentioned before, I'm all about easy breakfasts because I'm too lazy in the morning to work on something extravagant. That means breakfast either has to be prepped/prepared ahead of time, or really quick and easy to make; this falls under the quick and easy category. Mix everything together in a small bowl, pour it into a microwave safe mug, microwave for less than 2 minutes, and breakfast is served....YEEEESSS!!! And it helps that it tastes good, too! ^_^

When I started eating healthier, I seriously had no idea what an actual flax seed was or what it looked like (see the picture below), much less what good it could do for me. Come to find out, that although flax is full of fiber, it's actually pretty low in carbs and makes a great addition to a weight loss/health diet.


 
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I can't believe people bought these...
"Ch-ch-ch-chia!" I don't know if you have or haven't heard of this chia seed health fad that's sweeping the nation, but it's definitely arrived. As indicated by the post title and the quoted famous commercial jingle, chia seeds are indeed related to the pretty well known chia pets that were sold popularly in the 80s/90s (pictured to the left). The seeds grow into this carpet-esque grass that the Chia Pet company used to grow into animal shapes, all you had to do was water and trim your decorative "plant."

Anywho, now we're in the 21st century and health folk everywhere are touting the benefits of eating the tiny little seeds these Chia Pets were grown from. You can eat them whole or ground down, raw or sprouted, and in just about anything. They also turn sort of gelatinous when left in liquid...and hence recipes like this chia puddings or chia drinks were born, breeding healthy snacks everywhere!


 
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A quinoa bake square with breakfast yogurt parfait!
I recently found a Pinterest pin for a quinoa breakfast bake. I'm all about having something pre-made and ready to go in the morning for breakfast, so making something like this one afternoon will give me part of breakfast for the rest of the week (and enough for some daytime snacking, too, tee hee ^_^)! 

You know, when I tell people I know that I eat quinoa (pronounced keen-wah; it's okay, I didn't know at first either), I usually get one of two responses: 1) They have no idea what it is, or 2) They say, "Oh, I've heard of it, but what is it?" Since I'm from Hawaii and pretty much everyone here eats [white] rice everyday with one or more of their meals, my answer to the question is normally starts with, "You eat rice? It's like rice. You can cook it the same way and eat it the same way, but it's healthier and better for you." If you look at the pic on the left, they don't look alike, but they have the same texture, about the same taste, and can be used in pretty much all the same recipes. And then, of course, people ask how is quinoa better for you? And then I have to launch into explanation mode...


 
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After dumping a ziploc of fruits into a blender cup
Thanks to one page of a book I was skimming in Barnes & Nobles just before the new year, I ended up with a new year's resolution of sorts without even realizing it. I don't go to the gym everyday, and I don't want to go everyday (I'm a lazy butt), but when I do go, I like to work out my whole body if I can. The book suggested that for people like me who do whole body workouts, I should be going to the gym three times a week (Monday, Thursday, & Saturday)~~~~so I'm trying it out to see what it does for me.

What that really means is that my sleep-loving self has been getting up pretty early three days a week and going to the gym. Being as lazy as I am, making breakfast early in the morning is hard for me. One of the easiest things to make in the morning is a smoothie, especially if you take a couple minutes to prep the ingredients the night before. Just measure out the fruits or veggies you're going to use into a ziploc bag (see my picture below with the recipe; you can spot a ziploc with fruits); keep it in the fridge or freezer, and just dump it into the blender with any liquid ingredients the next morning! The hardest part is really just trying to figure out what goes into the smoothie.


 
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From the Pilsbury homepage
Kind of dramatic post title, I know, but here I am thinking about carbs again...they taste so good, and they're so hard to get away from, especially when you love bread and baked goods. Out in the grocery store and newspaper ads, that means that after a childhood full of the stuff, when I see Pillsbury products go on sale my first instinct is, "Oh cool! That would be so easy to make into (fill in the blank with your own ideas)!" Which is normally promptly followed by, "Wait, crap...no, bad self! Can't have Pillsbury! SO bad for you!" It's so troubling having to fight myself (-_-") arg.

When I'm at the store, even if I'm pretty sure I'm not going to buy it, I'll still look at the nutritional information on the back/side to prove to myself that I'm making the right decision in not buying it, hahaha. Actually, though, Calorie Count has created a pretty comprehensive list of all the Pillsbury products and their corresponding nutritional information; they've even gone so far as to give a Nutrition Grade to most of the items! While a C might be a passing grade in school, it's definitely not a pass for my health, much less many of the other items that they ranked as D's. Have a look for yourself, click on the Pillsbury products that you've bought or eaten and see if you're happy with the results. First of all, pay attention to the serving size, and THEN look at the information below it. For example, ONE Grands Flaky Biscuit is almost 200 calories by itself!! *SHOCK* That, and the accompanying 9g of fat and the 24g of carbs (5g come from sugar), whoa! There's barely any fiber, a small amount of protein, and in comparison to the "bad" carb and calorie numbers, it's nutritionally just not worth it. Think of it in terms of something else, like a car; you wouldn't pay $40k for a car that has a great body kit, a nice paint job, and a super luxurious and comfortable interior, but doesn't have tires or is missing the windows and/or the engine, right? It's normally just not worth it.


 
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Let's not all end up with a belly like this guy...
Obviously, the post's title is just a joke, I don't love beef that much. A lot of people out there would love nothing more than to just heat up a grill, slap a few steaks on, and sit back with a beer...I'm not one of those people, hahaha. I should clarify that I actually like beef and the way it tastes and having a steak every once in a while sounds like an awesome idea. When I was a kid, my mom pretty much only ever bought beef or pork for our dinners, no white meats and no fish (I wouldn't even have eaten the fish at the time). If we had chicken or turkey, it was only the Oscar Mayer sandwich slices, something that someone else gave us, or something I ordered from a restaurant. Now that I'm cooking for myself and eating a lot healthier, I definitely do not eat red meats that often. When I do make the conscious decision to eat beef, I don't like when it's super fatty/marbled, and I only eat it maybe four times a year or less now (and only that often because my boyfriend enjoys having some every so often to break up all the white meats and fish). Because of the rarity of my eating it, the meal tends to be a nicer dinner to sort of celebrate the occasion of eating red meat, hahaha.


 
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You're average run of the mill yellow (corn?) tortilla chips
Yesterday I posted a recipe to make a healthier version of a spinach artichoke dip, but I realized today while I was eating some of the leftovers that I probably should have included something about the chips, oops?

Tortilla chips are something I see all over the place normally being served as part of an appetizer like chips and salsa, or chips and spinach artichoke dip, or just a basket of chips to go with your meal. Let's be real, you know chips aren't good for you. Most kinds of chips are [deep] fried to make them crispy. I know there are bags of chips at the store that say they're baked instead of fried, but don't be fooled! Turn the bag over and look at the nutritional values on that thing! Sure, it's not AS bad as the regular chips, but just because they're baked doesn't mean that all the unhealthy ingredients they used have just disappeared!
This is the point at which I realized that making chips isn't all that hard (tortilla chips, at least). Normally, all you have to do is buy your own tortillas, cut them up, and crisp them up in the oven (instead of frying them). The problem arises when you try to find a tortilla to buy and take home; there are so many different brands and different kinds, it's almost as bad as looking for a "good" bag of chips, hah. If you're still intent on buying the store bought kind instead of the make it yourself version, at least go to HealthCastle.com's chip comparer. It's a website apparently created by dietitians, and this comparing tool allows you to filter through the top 40 chips to figure out which is the "healthiest" for your needs.

 
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Avocados are definitely NOT in season right now (middle of January :P) in most of America, but I still have lots of avocado ready for use. "How?" you ask? By freezing it! It was one of the first Pinterest pins I actually tried out. Basically, it involved pitting, peeling, and mashing the avocado up with lemon juice, and then freezing it. And what that really means is that now that avocados are expensive and out of season, I still get to use them! Woot woot!

I took a bag out of the freezer yesterday to thaw with the intentions of making healthier brownies, but I ended up making a few other things instead. If you're confused by me saying brownies, just know that avocados make a good replacement for butter in lots of baking recipes! It's just as creamy but a million times better for you.


 
It's almost like meatloaf is that school lunch or that dinner your mom makes that people just don't really ever want to eat. Even when I was in school, when they tried to feed us meatloaf as the entree for the day, I opted to eat a sandwich instead, hahaha. Now that I'm older, I realize that meatloaf isn't that bad tasting, but it's definitely not always that healthy either. Most meatloaves are made with ground beef and bread or croutons, and then it's topped with a ketchup based glaze or some similar concoction that may or may not include honey, BBQ sauce, sugar, etc. I disapprove, on many fronts. Ground beef: not the best choice. Bread and croutons need some analyzing. Ketchup is a no-no, and so are most of the things they put in those glazes.

My boyfriend's fridge is always a weird mish-mash of random goods and barely any vegetables. That being said, I normally have to find creative ways to make dinner something healthy and palatable. This is where the idea for turkey meatloaf (a.k.a. turkeyloaf) came from. I figured, as far as I knew, you could pretty much throw anything into a meatloaf, call it a meal, and still have it come out tasting alright, hahaha. And so my 7-Ingredient Turkeyloaf was born.