Food for Thought

The foods you choose, determines your mood!

Foods high in refined sugar can cause anxiety and eventually depression.  Your body needs the proper nutrients to make the chemicals in your body that contribute to mood.  You do need fat, but healthy fats like olive oil and nuts.  Your body loves protein!  It also loves vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables.  Rather than think of all the food you CAN'T have, let's look at a list of foods you CAN and should have!

peanut butter                   
lean chicken                     
cheese sticks                   
skim milk                             
beans (black, pinto, etc.)  
skim cottage cheese
whole wheat breads, tortillas, and pastas
brown rice
asparagus, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes
string beans, eggplant, cucumber
beets, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach
broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots      
berries, melons, oranges, grapefruit
peaches, pears, apples  
These are just a few!  Anything you can do to increase your intake of nutrient dense foods along with limiting your intake of simple sugars and fat will help you FEEL GREAT!

I also take vitamin D and fish oil supplements daily.  

Try and eat a little protein anytime you eat carbs.  This helps stabilize your blood sugar, and thus...your mood.

Here are a few healthy recipes my family and I enjoy

Blender Pancakes

1 c. washed wheat kernels
1/4 cup milk
Blend on high for 3-5 mintues

Add:  1 egg, 1/3 c. olive oil, 1 TB baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TB applesauce
Blend for 2 more minutes.  Pour pancakes onto hot griddle. 

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes

In a blender mix:
3 eggs, 3 TB skim milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 TB whole wheat flour, 1 heaping cup fat free cottage cheese, 1 and 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Blend well then pour pancakes onto hot griddle.

Whole Grain Waffles

2 eggs                                3/4 c. quick oats
1/4 c. olive oil                    1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c. applesauce               1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp pure vanilla              4 tsp baking powder
2/3 c. powdered milk        1/2 TB sugar
1 3/4 c. cold water

Mix all dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, whip all the wet ingredients together.  Combine and mix until smooth.  (adapted from recipe by A. Orme)

Homemade Syrup (Not healthy...just less sugar than regular syrup)

In saucepan combine 3 cups sugar, 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 1 tsp maple extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

*I find I can use less syrup on my pancakes and waffles when I also pour a little milk over the top of them.  This way I get the maple flavor, less calories, and a moist breakfast!

I love to make smoothies after a hard workout.  Here are some of my favorite.

Green Smoothies

Add any combination of the following: Frozen berries of choice, frozen peaches, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, skim milk, orange juice, fat free vanilla yogurt, 1-2 cups spinach, carrots, 1 TB ground flax seed.  May add vanilla protein powder if desired.   

(Orange juice will mask the spinach taste.  Green, but delicious!)

Peanut butter Banana Protein Shake  

3 Cubes of ice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use whey protein--no sugar added)
2 TB creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla fat free yogurt
1/2 frozen banana
skim milk

Blend in a blender.  Add enough milk to get desired consistency.

Chocolate Banana Protein Shake

1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Whey protein--no sugar added)
6 ice cubes
1/2 water
half of a frozen banana
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
skim milk 
(may add 2 TB peanut butter if desired)

Blend in a blender.  Add enough milk to get desired consistency.


Waldorf Salad

1 c. diced green apples
1/2 c. dried cranberries (also good is 1/2 c. frozen cranberries crushed up)
1/2 c. crushed almonds
1 c. fat free vanilla yogurt
dash of lemon juice
Mix together and serve in a whole wheat pita or eat plain!  I got this one from the Chalean Extreme exercise video.                                                                                                                                                           

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

3 c. roughly chopped cauliflower
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper
2 TB olive oil
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 c. soft butter (not margarine)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil, spray with Pam, spread cauliflower and potatoes over foil.  Drizzle with olive oil then add salt and pepper to taste.  Put tin foil over the top of vegetables.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook another 15-20 minutes.  In a food processor, mix vegetables, yogurt, and butter.                                                                                                                                       


Sort of Healthy Alfredo Sauce

4 TB real butter
11/2 tsp garlic salt
2 TB whole wheat flour
2 c. skim milk
1/8-1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c. fat free Parmesan cheese
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 (12 oz) box whole wheat fettuccine (cooked)                                               
Melt butter in saucepan.  Add garlic, flour, milk (add slowly while stirring), and pepper.  Simmer.  Stir often.  Add Parmesan and simmer 8 minutes.  Lastly, stir in the mozzarella.  Once  the mozzarella is melted mix with noodles.  We usually add in cubed chicken and broccoli--yum!    


Cranberry Tuna Sandwich
1 can tuna drained
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp onion flakes
1/4 cup light vanilla yogurt 
Swiss or provolone cheese

Mix everything but the cheese in a bowl.  Place sliced cheese on whole wheat bread and top with tuna mixture.  Easy tuna sandwich! (with no unhealthy mayo)

Crock-pot Mediterranean Chicken

Place 4-6 frozen chicken breast in crock pot.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle on top of chicken: 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 TB onion flakes, 1 tsp basil (or 1/3 c. fresh, chopped), 2 tsp chicken bouillon, several dashes of salt and pepper.  Cook on high for 2 hours.  Then add 28 ounces of diced tomatoes.  Cook on medium heat for 2-4 more hours.  Shred chicken.  Add one bag of baby spinach and cook 15 more minutes.  Serve over whole wheat spaghetti noodles topped with crumbled feta cheese.  (We usually make this meal without chicken.  Replace chicken with 2 or 3 cans of your favorite beans.)    

Balsamic Veggies

2 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
1 onion peeled and diced
1 green pepper diced
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
2-3 cups prepared couscous

Place vegetables in a skillet.  Drizzle with approx. 1/4 cup olive oil.  Coat with desired amount of steak seasoning.  Then add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.  Cook on medium high, covered.  Once vegetables are soft, serve over couscous (I make the couscous with chicken broth instead of water)
 (This recipe is adapted from C. Potter)                                                                                                                 


Lacey's Healthy Cookie Dough

1 cup garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup raisins
1 TB vanilla
6 TB almond butter (or peanut butter if you like peanut butter cookie dough)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup applesauce
2 TB honey or sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Puree all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add chocolate chips last.  Roll into balls or just eat it right out of the bowl. Refrigerate uneaten dough.

If you wish to bake them, add 3 TB olive oil, 2 egg whites, and 1/2 tsp baking soda.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cookies 

You'd never guess these delicious little creatures are actually healthy!

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp salt
2 TB quick oats
1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Puree all ingredients in a food processor.  Roll into little balls!  Eat without guilt :)

(adapted from recipe found at

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