Archive | March, 2014

Mexican Spaghetti (grain-free)

31 Mar
My half-eaten plate of Mexican Spaghetti served with roasted broccoli.

My half-eaten plate of Mexican Spaghetti served with roasted broccoli.

If you love Mexican and Italian food (or food in general) as much as I do, you will devour this healthy dish that marries the flavors of both. Mangia!

 

Ingredients:

1 lb grass-fed beef

1/4 tsp sea salt

10 turns black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp oregano

1 Tbsp chili powder

1/2 lb bag frozen or fresh sliced bell peppers

1 bag Explore Asia Organic Black Bean Spaghetti (or use spaghetti squash)

1 cup salsa

Garnish: avocado, black olives, fresh cilantro

 

Directions:

1. Brown beef, drain grease and add salt, black pepper, garlic, oregano, chili powder and bell peppers. Simmer for 15 minutes.

2. While taco meat is simmering, cook spaghetti according to box. Drain and place in large serving bowl.

3. Add taco meat, and remaining ingredients to bowl, mix and eat!

 

Serves 4

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Ch-Ch-Changes!

24 Mar
Photo courtesy of thecaregiverspace.org

Photo courtesy of thecaregiverspace.org

Ahhh, puberty. Remember it? As if learning to wear deodorant and operating a water pick to clean between our braces wasn’t hard enough, we also had to navigate hairy armpits and menstrual cycles as a girl, or a squeaky voice and vivid dreams as a boy. One thing is for sure, we were all painfully awkward for a relatively short period of time for a very good reason. That confusing experience literally made us the men and women we are today… and the same is true about all worthwhile changes.

So when we want to stop exercising and eating well because…
It’s hard
I don’t have the time
It’s boring

or when we want to give up on obtaining our dream job because…
The path is too hard
I’m not good enough
I don’t have enough money

or when we keep putting off being in a loving relationship because…
I don’t deserve it
I need to be thin first
All the good ones are taken

Just remember puberty. Remember how painfully awkward it was… then smile, laugh. Because all worthwhile changes are awkward at first, but then you get through it, and the universe on the other side is better than you could have ever imagined.

Butternut Squash Stuffed Bell Peppers

18 Mar
My de-constructed bell pepper served with steamed asparagus and kalamata olives.

My de-constructed bell pepper served with steamed asparagus and kalamata olives.

Sometimes I feel sassy and I like to replace tomato-based sauces with a simple butternut squash puree. Tonight was a fancy-sassy-saucy night…

Ingredients:

4 red bell peppers

1 lb grass-fed ground beef or bison, or ground turkey

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp sea salt

15 turns black pepper

2 tsp oregano, dried

2 tsp basil, dried

1 tsp fennel seeds

pinch of ground cloves

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 lbs butternut squash, cubed

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Place cubed butternut squash on a baking pan and lightly coat with coconut oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

2. While squash is cooking, brown meat and drain fat. Add onion, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, fennel seed, apple cider vinegar and cloves to meat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. While meat mixture is simmering, pre-heat oven to 325° and chop the tops off of the bell peppers. (Save tops to make into strips for dipping into hummus or guacamole or chop them up to use in omelets, frittatas or egg scrambles.) Steam bell peppers for 10-15 minutes. Remove and place upside down on towel to drain any liquid.

4. Place meat mixture in a glass mixing bowl and set aside. Place roasted squash, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder in a food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Place the pureed squash in the bowl with the meat and combine. Spoon meat-squash mixture into bell peppers and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bell peppers are tender.

 

Serves 4

 

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

Q and A: Calories In Vs. Calories Out

9 Mar
My perfect portion plate.

My perfect portion plate.

“Is eating healthy truly as simple as calories in verses calories out?” No… and a smidgen yes. Sometimes as a health coach, I feel that I’m unintentionally giving a Glomar response to nutritional questions, a “we can neither confirm nor deny” answer. The simple truth is that nothing is black or white, and we tend to ask questions that lead to a response that will either 1) justify our old habits or 2) justify fad habits. However, I also think that these questions are incredibly valid. So, once per month we’re going to dive into the tasty, thick and sometimes heated guacamole waters of nutritional enigmas. Shall we?

 

Calories In Vs. Calories Out

The “smidgen yes” part is easy to answer. If we eat too much in relation to our body’s needs (size, metabolism, etc.) and our activity level, then of course we will gain weight. This line is different for everyone, but your body is a smarty-pants and will tell you whether you’ve eaten too much or too little (or if the ratio of protein to fat to carbohydrates isn’t right). Feel bloated, stuffed, sick or aren’t hungry for the next 5 hours? Too much. Feel hungry or light-headed 30 minutes after eating? Too little.

 

The reason why I like to emphasize visual portion sizes and mind-body awareness over counting calories is because I think counting calories (or measuring food) for life isn’t realistic and can make one neurotic (hmm… does my sudden switch to third person signify that I’m speaking from personal experience?), that listening to our body’s signals develops a much healthier relationship to food and that calories do not differentiate quality of food. Eating 100 calories of almonds compared to a 100-calorie snack pack of mini-chocolate chip cookies is like comparing Stevie Wonder to a beta fish trying to play the banjo. Sure, it’s great at first, but then you realize how freakishly genetically altered it is and that you have a massive headache because of how awful it sounds. Stevie Wonder on the other hand? Never awful, always makes you feel satisfied, energized and wanting the best quality of music… err, food. What are we talking about?

 

Since our nutritional needs are as unique as our body, it makes sense to use our body as a portion tool. A healthy plate of food, generally speaking, will contain your unique palm size portion of protein (whether vegetarian or meat options), 2 fist size portions of vegetables and a thumblength of fat (including the fat in your protein; this one is a bit trickier so to put it in perspective: ¼ to ½ avocado, 6-10 pecans on your roasted Brussels’ Sprouts or 2 tsp of olive oil based dressing on your salad).

 

Put It Into Action

1. Listen to your body and write notes on how you feel (bloated, still hungry, stuffed, etc.) after eating.

2. Start serving your portions in relation to your body (fist and handful). Let’s start with dinner. Include a source of protein, vegetables and fat.

 

3. Leave a comment and let me know how it’s going.

 

To develop more behaviors for the health you deserve, contact me at 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.

Goat Cheese and Eggs Breakfast Quesadilla (gluten-free)

3 Mar

IMG_1392This simple beauty is inspired by my dear friend Monika who makes some mean refried black bean quesadillas.

 

Ingredients:

1 tortilla ( I like Enjoy Life’s Ezekiel Sprouted Tortilla or their Rice Tortilla for those of us gluten-free birds)

1 Tbsp hummus 

1 Tbsp goat cheese

3 eggs

1 tsp coconut oil

broccoli slaw

sea salt and pepper to taste

salsa for dipping (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to Broil. Spread hummus and goat cheese on half of tortilla. Set on cookie sheet and place in oven with the door slightly open, broiling for 2-2.5 minutes.

2. While tortilla is broiling, scramble eggs in coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste. Before eggs finish scrambling, throw a handful of broccoli slaw in the eggs to finish the scramble.

3. Remove broiled tortilla from the oven and set on plate. Place egg scramble on hummus/goat cheese half of tortilla. Fold tortilla in half forming a quesadilla. Use a pizza cutter to cut into fourths. Serve with salsa.

 

Serves 1