FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Simple Greek Salad

Monday is the start of the Summer Slim-Down Challenge! If you are interested in participating, there is no cost involved. I set up a Facebook page so we can support one another throughout the six weeks. I will be posting recipes and tips to help you shed those unwanted pounds. There are 40 people participating so far so it should be a great challenge!

There is a new, family-owned produce stand about a mile from us. They opened up a week ago and eventually will be a u-pick stand. My husband I stopped by last night and although they didn’t have much we were able to pick up a shopping bag of veggies for $5. I need to find out if they will have organic options as we do try to eat organic as much as possible (especially with fruits and veggies). I threw this salad together last night and not only was it very easy, it is quite tasty! Enjoy!

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Simple Greek Salad

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. kalamata olives, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • balsamic glaze

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.

 

The Little Things

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Orlando visiting the Disney parks. It was a terrific weekend even though it was the hottest weekend we have had all year! The heat index was over 100° on Saturday! Thankfully, we had some heavy thunderstorms roll through Saturday evening that cooled it down a little. Monday, my mom and I went to Epcot and had lunch at a sushi restaurant in Japan. If you are not familiar with Epcot, they have a World Showcase where you can visit different countries. It is my favorite Disney park! Each country is staffed by employees from that country; they come over on a work visa for a set period of time. Having people from that country working in the shops and restaurants adds to the authenticity of the attraction. Our lunch server was Nyoko from Japan. She had the best personality and lit up the room with her smile! We talked with her and asked her about her country and where she went to school. She has been at Epcot for two months as part of a 13 month internship program. She came over after graduating college with a degree in English and Korean. She plans to work for the Japanese Embassy when she returns. Due to some health issues with her lungs, her doctor suggested she wait a year to begin work at the Embassy so she came to Disney for the internship. At the end of our meal when she brought the credit card slip to sign, she included a note that read:

Thank you very much for coming! This job is a little bit hard for me, so I was tired. But you make me so happy! Thank you very much for talking with me 🙂 I really enjoy talking with you!! Please enjoy Epcot!
Nyoko

This note almost brought me to tears! What seemed like a normal, everyday conversation to us lifted her spirits and made her happy. I left her my business card and told her contact me if she ever needed to talk or had any questions about Florida. I hope she does!

We never know why we are put in certain places at certain times and how our presence can effect the people with whom we come in contact. Keep that in mind the next time you encounter a server at a restaurant or an employee at a store. You may be the one person that gets them through their day with a smile!

Summer Slim-Down Challenge!

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Summer Slim-Down Challenge
June 2-July 14

Get ready for the summer by shedding those unwanted pounds and making a lifestyle change you can implement permanently!

Join me on a six-week journey as we share recipes, motivate one another and share success stories.

You can find recipes and other helpful information on my website www.iveynutritionandwellness.com/challenge.

The Facebook event page will also serve as the hub for important information throughout the six weeks.
There is no cost to participate; simply join the event and get ready to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle!

Manage Your Sugar Cravings for Optimum Health!

sugar_the_flexi_foodieThe disadvantages of eating refined sugar are becoming increasingly recognised by health conscious consumers. Far from being something that only causes problems for the dentist, people are now understanding that sugar is responsible for a lot of serious health problems. Research has even shown that sugar can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. For this reason, and many more, it is imperative that we reduce our sugar intake or eradicate it from our diets altogether. Given that so many of the processed foods we eat are laden with sugar, this can prove to be difficult. However, by opting for a plant-based diet you’re much more likely to avoid such foods.

Sugar is a fairly addictive substance to the point where our bodies crave it if you suddenly stop consuming it. This is a temporary and completely manageable sensation and there are several things you can do to…

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FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lentil Veggie Soup

This recipe was originally from Forks over KnivesIf you have not watched this documentary, you are missing out! The film shows how most degenerative diseases can be prevented and cured by eating a plant-based, whole food diet.
I have had a bag of lentils in my cupboard for weeks so I finally decided it was time to cook the and this recipe was perfect! I cut the recipe in half (my measurements are in parenthesis) with the exception of the lentils. I also used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth because that was what I had handy. This recipe could be cooked in a slow cooker or stove top. I cooked mine in my dutch oven on the stove. lentils1

For more information on the health benefits of lentil beans, check out this article from Mind Body Green.

Lentil Veggie Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

• 2 small onions, finely chopped (1 onion)
• 2 carrots, finely chopped (3 carrots)
• 6 small white potatoes, finely chopped (3 potatoes)
• 1 16-ounce bag brown lentils
• 1 15.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, diced (1 cup marinara sauce + 1 can tomato paste)
• 8 cups vegetable broth or water (5 cups chicken broth)
• 1-2 cups finely chopped spinach
• salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients, except the spinach, and cook on low for 2 hours. Add the spinach about 5 minutes before the soup is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Info (Based on my recipe)
Serves 12 (1 cup per serving)

Calories 169
Sugar 5g
Fat 0g
Protein 11g
Carbs 30g
Sodium 292mg

Delicious & Easy Chicken Salad

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted! I have started writing about various topics but I have been blocked for some reason. We were also out of town for my birthday weekend. Want to guess where we were? Give up? Disney! Anyone who knows me is not surprised by that statement. This entire month has been filled with overindulgence and my waistline is the tattletale! The picture below is at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review at Fort Wilderness. It is a great dinner show for the whole family!

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As of yesterday, the fun was over! I am back to my healthy eating and hopefully I can shed these extra inches I have added to my waistline!
Here is my recipe for healthy chicken salad! Enjoy!

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Delicious and Easy Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (I used Fage 2% plain)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium apple, finely diced or shredded
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 10-12 almonds, toasted and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Mix well and serve over lettuce or in whole wheat wrap!
I served mine over a bed of organic baby spinach with tomatoes and cucumber.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

My step-daughter’s birthday is next Wednesday so when I asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate, she asked if I would make her Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken. I have made this dish a couple of times and it is delicious! It is not the healthiest dish I have posted so it technically does not fall under “fit” meals. However, compared to regular Chinese restaurant dishes it is much healthier because you control the quality of the ingredients. You can serve this dish over brown rice or make homemade fried rice and add various stir fry vegetables like broccoli, snow peas and carrots. Either way, it is a terrific dish!

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*Photo by DamnDelicious.net

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (I use egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola)
FOR THE SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • To make the sauce, whisk together sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder in a large bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
  • Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Top with sweet and sour sauce. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 55 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes to evenly coat the chicken.
  • Serve immediately.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there. Your job is priceless! Thank you!