Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Post: Healthy Meals For Families

Most of you know that I've developed an interest in healthy eating as part of my goal to have a healthier body.  My friend, Cathy, has been a role model for me for several years as I watched her transform her body and overall health.  She doesn't have abs of steal - she has abs of titanium!  I asked her to share some of her healthy eating  ideas that we can all use no matter how busy we are. 
So, without further ado, here's Cathy. . .

My first career was as a stay-at-home mom. I moved to Virginia Beach 15 years ago with my navy husband and two small children. I entered a bodybuilding contest and finished in third place shortly after I moved here which began my love for fitness/nutrition. In 2003 I became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and started working at the YMCA. I am also a 500 hour RYT yoga instructor and have been teaching yoga for 6 years.

Through my love for fitness and nutrition, I decided to return to college. I recently became a Registered Dietitian. I now work as a Clinical Dietitian with Sentara Obici Hospital. I also teach nutrition classes at Tidewater Community College. I am passionate about helping people learn about healthy eating. It is my goal to help the young and the old learn about nutrition and to reduce the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in this country

Cathy Bowers, RD, ACE CPT, 500 RYT

Fixing Quick and Healthy Meals for a Family on the Go –

It is challenge in today’s world to make quick and healthy meals for the family that is constantly on the go. Moms and Dad’s are working one or two jobs and the kids are involved in numerous activities. Some of us are going through the fast food drive through more times than we would like to admit too.

Here are some simple tips to help you feed your families good healthy meals that they will enjoy and that will not stress you out in preparing them. As in any new habit it takes some time in develop but you will be so glad that you did. Decide for yourself which of these tips will work best for you and your family and give them a try.

1. Try to do grocery shopping every two weeks and plan for at least 8 meals. Use your own recipes or print out some easy recipes from cookinglight.com or prevention.com/health/. If you plan for meals ahead of time, you will have the necessary ingredients already at home to make. Look for recipes that are easy and that your kids could help you in preparing. Perhaps let them look at different recipes to see what they would like to help you fix for the family.

2. Try making 3 meals on Sunday afternoon to prepare for the week ahead. I use my oven, stove top and crock pot to help me prepare my meals. I will perhaps bake some chicken, cook a stir fry on the stove, and make some soup or bean chili in the crock pot. I then have my meals for the week so all we have to do is heat them up after work. You can also cook ground turkey for tacos or spaghetti sauce on Sunday and use it later in the week.

3. Look into your favorite websites for quick and easy meals that your family will enjoy. Here are some of my easy and healthy recipes –

Bean Chili –

1 can of black, pinto, kidney, and garbanzo beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp of chili powder and cumin

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer for 15 min.

Tortellini –

1. 1 package tortellini – cook and drain

2. Add 1 jar marinara sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 5 oz. of spinach, and ½ lb of shrimp (optional)

5. Cook till heated through and serve

Feeding your family quick and healthy meals is easy to do. Talk to your friends and share ideas and recipes. Set aside time to plan your menu and get the kids to help. Cook with your kids on Sunday and get ahead for the busy week. You will feel more relaxed during the week knowing that you already have a meal waiting for you and your family at home.

Thanks, Cathy for your great ideas.  So, now there's no excuse to not feed our families quick and healthy foods.  By the way, Cathy has a fellow R.D. who first published this post on her blog.  Please check out Megan's blog for additional healthy eating ideas. 

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