Lent Wellness Challenge

Genevieve’s Wellness Commandments for Lent 2016

February 10th-March 24th
Move Daily: It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym, but make a point to participate in some form of exercise.
Drink half your bodyweight in water everyday
Cut out all refined carbohydrates: Pasta, bread, white rice, baked goods, waffles, pancakes, crackers, snack foods.
Say no to dairy: Try your best to cut out all dairy. If you do well on dairy, you can leave Greek yogurt and organic milks, but I challenge you to try going dairy free! No cheese.
Make vegetables the star: Focus your meals around vegetables. Adding healthy fats like avocados and lean proteins like fish and chicken.
No added sugar: Read the sugar content on all your snack bars, yogurts and other packaged foods. Keep it under 10 grams if it is natural sugar (ie:dates, dried fruit, coconut sugar). Load up on fresh fruit instead!
Have an apple a day: Eat fruit between meals to keep full.
No booze
Pick a kryptonite and say goodbye: If you have a snack food or bad habit that holds you back, say goodbye for 6 weeks. For example, if you cannot control yourself with a bag of corn chips, cut them out.
Have a treat every once in awhile: You are working hard and using a lot of willpower, so treat yourself to a small treat from time to time. Be conservative, for example, a piece of dark chocolate or a bowl of popcorn.

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My Power Supply: A Meal Delivery Service

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Do you ever walk in the door at 7:00 pm starving after a long day of work and wish you had your mom’s healthy home cooking waiting for you? I do. Almost every night. I typically finish up my work day around 6:30 and by that point I am ravenous. My dinners are light due to my own lack of motivation to cook. I will have a sweet potato with fruit, left overs from lunch or some oatmeal. I cook for clients and usually prepare a decent lunch so I just want to eat and curl up with my iPad when I get home.

So for a week I decided to try My Power Supply. I first saw the company logo on a small refrigerator in an office building gym I use with one of my clients. I opened it up to see several packaged meals with various names printed on the labels. The literature attached to the fridge read GLUTEN FREE-DAIRY FREE. I was instantly interested. I grabbed a brochure and went home to do some research.

MPS is a meal delivery service that provides healthy flavorful dishes made with whole foods by local chefs in the Washington DC Metro and in LA. You can pay to have the food delivered directly to your door or chose one of the MANY pick up locations near your home or work for free delivery. I picked up my meals from Beloved Yoga about a mile from my house.

When you make an account you can chose meals centered around animal protein, vegetables or a mix of the two. I chose mixitarian (their term) meals but then went in and customized to my meals to mostly vegetarian dishes after reading some of the selections.

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Next you chose the size of your meals. I chose the boost which are the lowest in calories and portions. I was afraid I would be unsatisfied but I was not at all!

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You can chose to receive 3-5 days worth of meals. I did three days, which consisted of three lunches and three dinners. If you want to receive only lunch dishes or only dinner dishes, you can choose that option.

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Below you can see what I received for the week.

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As for cost, I found MPS to be a good bang for your buck. With the new customer discount I spent $48 on 6 meals. That is about what I would spend at the grocery store for the whole week (about 10 meals). However, I did get variety and the ease of just opening a container.

The meals I ordered cost $9/meal without the discount. Not bad right? I think if you are notorious for eating out at lunch during the workday or eating crap when you get home after a long day, this is well worth the money. I do think that if you are completely capable and motivated to prep your own meals, it is not worth the money. It is all about priorities. I know the week I used MPS I loved just coming home and eating my little contained meal. I liked not having to think. That being said, I prefer preparing my own meals when I have the time. I know what I like and what my body responds well to.

I started taking photos of my food because I thought I would share them with my readers.  I used just an iphone and they all look terrible.  So keep in mind that these all looked much more appetizing in person.  Here are two of my vegetarian dishes I enjoyed.  The Sweet Potato Pancake with Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad and the Lemony Quionoa with Butternnut Squash, Pecans & Sauteed Spinach.

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My favorite Meal was the Moroccan Tempeh Salad with Beets, Butternut Squash, Pistachios and Greens but of course I was busy that day and forgot to snap a photo.

If you have any questions comment below or email me!

Gluten, Dairy & Guilt Free Coffee Cake

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I have always loved coffee cake.  It was actually one of the first baked goods I learned to make from scratch! When I was an avid coffee drinker I loved sitting down with a cup of hot coffeee and a slice of anything sweet as I tackled homework in my collegiate apartment.  Now I no longer drink coffee, but I still love to enjoy a pick me up as I read my afternoon emails.  This coffee cake is the perfect guilt free solution.  It is not too sweet so it wont light up the chocoholic or sugar addict in you…I found this recipe on Dr. Axe’s website and made a few modifications:

Combine wet ingredients

  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 coconut milk

Combine dry ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking Powder

Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture and pour into an 8×8 pan

Comibine ingredients for crumble topping:

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle topping over cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and serve with a spoon of almond butter!

Green Lunches

I am not a nutritionist or even close to one (disclaimer), but I love to prepare and devour nutrient dense food.  Above are six Green Lunches that I have made in the past week.  I am not a recipe person.  I just buy whatever is on sale (usually what is in season) and roast, saute or enjoy raw.  From the top we have….

  • Sunny Side Up Kale: Sauteed kale with a sunny side up egg and half a banana
  • Green Bowl: 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 mango, 1 pear, 1/2 fuji apple, 1/2 avacado, 2 kale leaves in the blender. Topped with banana chips, coconut ribbon and raisins
  • Sauteed Kale and Roasted Japanese Sweet Potato: I use Himalayan sea salt, basil leaves and ground peppercorn to season
  • Kale, Brussels and Alfalfa Sprout Salad: Chopped and tossed with avocado, pumpkin seeds and my homemade vinaigrette (Dijon mustard, EVOO and balsamic)
  • Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Scramble: Cabbage and brussels sprouts sauteed with one egg scrambled in and served with half a banana
  • Mashed Delicata Squash with Lentils, Quinoa, Cannelloni Beans and Brussels Sprouts: This is kind of a “Hodge Podge”. I happened to have the lentils and quinoa already cooked so I mixed them in with my Delicata.  Delicata can be microwaved for 5+ minutes and scooped out of the skin for a mashed consistency.   I will make a batch of lentils in the beginning of the week so I can just throw them into dishes to add bulk and a nutty flavor.

I don’t plan my meals much more than a couple hours (or minutes in advance). This is because my mood and my physical state determines what I eat.  I suffer from a lot of stomach issues and sometimes I lack an appetite for certain foods or any appetite at all.  I hope my green meals give you some lunch time inspiration! Feel free to comment with questions or your own lunchtime suggestions!

Here are some fun nutrition facts on some of my most used winter foods:

KALE

  • High in fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin K, A and C
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Anti inflammatory and Cholesterol (LDL) lowering properties
  • Great Detoxify-er

CABBAGE

  • Contains Folate for women of child bearing age
  • Natural Electrolytes
  • Great Detoxify-er

LENTILS

  • Folate: Lentils contain more of this B vitamin than any other unfortified plant food. In addition to protecting against coronary artery, folate helps prevent birth defects
  • Fiber: half cup of lentils provides around a third of your daily requirements. We absorb the energy from lentils slowly, which helps keep blood-sugar levels even
  • Iron
  • Lentils are a significant (and virtually fat-free) source of protein

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

  • Great Detoxify-er
  • Antioxidants
  • Improves Digestive Health