Cool little known fact about me? I was halfway through a dietetics program at Kansas State before I decided to leave and begin a dance teacher/esthetician career that I’m halfway in now. It’s a long story…I originally planned to open a dance studio with my sister and teach at night, which is actually the reason I started esthetics school. I didn’t want to be laying around eating Cheetos all day while waiting for school to get out so I could teach. Little did I know that God had a different plan for me and that instead of teaching little girls how to do turnout, I would be waxing and shaping their Mommy’s brows!
SINCE I am so in love with nutrition & all forms of health, I thought now would be a good time to do a post on the best things to eat and also promotes skin clarity and brightness during the cold + dreary winter months! One of the reasons I renamed the website and blog is because I wanted “The Blush Life” to encompass any and all things beauty related and unless you don’t have a pulse, nutrition will always be at the forefront of everything that you do. If you want to look beautiful, you have to feel beautiful. And you can’t do that without giving your entire body the TLC it needs.
I have in fact tried and tasted each of these tasty recipes. The goal for this post is list powerful meals that leave you feeling full but energetic, that are easily digestible, and that contain many (seasonal) produce items that pack a powerful punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
1.) “Lover’s Salad” from www.thediva-dish.com
Many yummy ingredients including: apples, grapes, dried cranberries, strawberries, parmesan & candied walnuts.
I can’t tell you how much I love Ari’s blog and recipe site on The Diva Dish. She has such a well-written blog that is oh-so-relatable as she on takes on finding everyday “unhealthy” meals and converts them into a lightened, higher-quality version. I think she has one of the best blogs to “dive into” if you’re scared to step into “healthy land.” Most of the recipes on her site are staple meals that you probably already make for your own family on a weekly basis. The Lover’s Salad has so many different ingredients that it is a perfect meal for holiday months when you’re stuck in a rut and you’re feeling your waistline grow by the hour! I also love the idea of making it for a family get together, so many people are used to the regular ranch + crouton combo that this delectable dish is more than satisfying for your tastebuds.
2.) Lentil Soup from Dinner was Delicious
So many reasons to include this in your WEEKLY lineup. It’s super easy, super cheap, and it’s great to enjoy either as a meal in a bowl or in a cup with half a sandwich or salad. What’s great about this meal is that the fiber from the lentils keep you feeling full while the assortment of veggies and chopped onion are great for fighting colds since it’s a clear based broth and you are avoiding excess dairy from cream or milk based broths. Writer tip — I may or may not add more than one bay leaf to this recipe when I make it. If I could OD on bay leaf I would!
3.) Spinach Artichoke Pizza from Two Peas and Their Pod
When I first started cooking for my then boyfriend/now husband it was a challenge to say the least. I could serve him spaghetti with Ragu beef sauce every night of his life and he would die a happy man. Because I lean towards more meatless meals, combining our food choices once we started living together was near impossible, literally, because I’ve come to find out that this is the ONLY meatless meal he will eat. In fact, the first time I ever made it, he didn’t say his usual “this doesn’t have meat in it, does it?” I’ve made it so many times now, it’s the only recipe I can make by memory. Ok I’m lying because really all you’re doing is adding your favorite toppings to an unbaked crust base, but don’t stray too far from this simple recipe. I love this because I usually bake it on a thin crust to keep the carbs down and I pile as many veggies on top as I can. The only thing I ever change or add is hummus, sun-dried tomatoes and garbanzo/black beans. Enjoy!
4.) Garlicky Baked Shrimp from Normal Cooking
This is in my regular routine and for good measure, it has two of my favorite ingredients to cook with: garlic and white wine. The ingredients are small and simple and because of that, it’s more likely to be thrown into the weekly lineup during hectic weeknight rushes. Low-cal and quick to cook, you can sub olive oil for butter if you’re looking for a dairy-free option. Shrimp is a great alternative to any red meat options and it packs on the antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Pair it with some lemon + feta roasted potatoes and you’re on your way to one of the best meals of your life.
5.) Triple Chocolate Muffin from Maria Kang
If you’re ever on Pinterest you see about 8392 pins a minute on clean eating/gluten free/low-carb dessert recipes. How I found this gem of a recipe I will not know. It beats all the others and it makes life worth living again. This recipe is a knockoff of the Chocolate Muffins from VitaTops if you’ve ever tried those. This recipe uses oats for fiber, egg whites for protein and applesauce and greek yogurt for a moist and rich muffin. These are the perfect sidekick for your sweet tooth and the recipe makes a huge batch so I would recommend freezing them so they don’t all go bad. That would be very, very sad.
Are there any healthy staples you add to your winter meal plans? Comment below!