WIAW: Everyday Lunch Soup

Happy Hump day from my best girl!

IMG_5047[someone is in need of a haircut!!]

Three fun foodie things to share before we jump into this week’s WIAW eats round up!

First up some new products from two of my favorite companies!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmazing Grass recently added two new flavors to both their green superfood line and their greens and protein line! I am a big fan of both as it is (chocolate superfood and the seasonal pumpkin spice and chocolate peppermint flavors are my favorite!), so I was excited to try the new additions!

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Watermelon Energy: I was worried I wouldn’t like this flavor as I am not a huge fan of fresh watermelon, but I was proven wrong! This reminded me of watermelon candy or gum. So fruity and not very ‘green’ tasting at all! It was delicious mixed into one of my green smoothies for a new flavor. I paired it with banana and frozen peaches for a very summery-tasting drink! Plus, I loved that this variety is infused with yerba-mate for a natural energy boost! No coffee needed for me. :)

Tangerine Immunity: LOVED THIS. I am a huge orange fan and I often make orange flavored green smoothies with fresh oranges. Well this powder took it too a whole new level of deliciousness! Not only was the tangerine flavor sweet and citrusy, but very tangy as well! I loved it paired with some rich cocoa powder as a great compliment to the sweetness. Orange and chocolate will always be a match made in heaven in my eyes. Another cool feature about this variety is that it’s made with a blend of mushrooms that boosts immunity and have a TON of antioxidants….but don’t worry, no funny, mushroom taste at all!

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Raw Reserve Chocolate: This reminded me a lot of my favorite Chocolate Superfood powder, so you know I loved it! Except this was actually more chocolatey, and less green tasting than the original Chocolate Superfood. Plus, with the addition of protein, the powder is smoother and more creamy when mixed into liquids! I think the next flavor Amazing Grass needs to attempt is Chocolate Peanut Butter….because they certainly have perfected their chocolate flavored products!

Raw Reserve Vanilla Chai: This tasted like a chai-tea latte! Delicious! I loved all the different spice flavors that come from the chai mixture and they were balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the vanilla. Perfect for mixing with a warm glass of almond milk and making your own at-home, healthy, hot beverage!

Thanks Amazing Grass!

fiberloveMy friends at Fiber Love recently debuted to new flavors of their amazing, soft baked fiber bars! Coconut Macaroon and Apple Pie! I was so excited to get my hands on these as I am big fan of every single one of their other bars….especially Blueberry Cobbler, Carrot Cake, and Orange Cranberry! I like eating them straight out of the freezer…kind of defeating the purpose of them being ‘soft baked’, but it really makes their flavor POP! I knew the two new flavors wouldn’t disappoint.

Apple Pie: Truly tasted like apple pie filling. In fact, crumbling this bar up and putting it on top of an apple pie before baking would probably be INSANELY delicious. You could really taste the cinnamon in this bar and the sweet apple flavor went so well with the nuttiness and heartiness of the grains. I spread this bar with peanut butter and was transported to taste bud heaven.

Coconut Macaroon: Can you believe I’ve never actually had a coconut macaroon? Well, I can tell you with certainty that I’d love them if they taste anything remotely similar to this bar! The coconut flavor was so fresh and tropical tasting and has the perfect amount of sweetness from the other fruits used in the bar.

Thanks Fiber Love! Quality, delicious products as always!

And now for a response to a reader question….

I get questions all the time about my lunches! A while back I addressed how I make my lunch salads, and revealed that my lunches are always pretty standard: salad with protein and veggies, some sort of sandwich/carby component, and a nice bowl of soup on the side! Well a few people have asked me about the soup I eat everyday! It’s no big secret and I actually don’t really follow a recipe….just a simple, ‘throw everything in a pot’ lentil soup that I make a batch of each week to add more staying power to my mid-day meal! Here’s what it usually looks like….

-one bag of red lentils

-1 carton of vegetable broth

-2 28 oz cans of tomato puree

-carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and a bag of frozen collard greens

-lemon juice

-lots of basil and red chili flakes

Easy as that! I mix it all up in a big soup pot, bring to a boil, cook until everything is soft, and then puree the whole thing using my immersion blender! I looooove pureed soups. Especially lentil!

I have a bowl of that everyday, along with my other lunch components! I usually don’t take a picture though because a bowl of brown and red pureed soups is FAR from photogenic. :)

IMG_5098[pre-pureed ugliness ;) ]

And now onto some other eats from the past week….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcheesy italian crab stuffed mushrooms//roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and parsnips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcauliflower-tofu crust pizza with feta and roasted veggies//roasted kabocha

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhaddock fillet with italian sauteed veggies//homemade tortilla//garnet yam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchopped turkey salad//tortilla with banana and peanut butter

SONY DSCtuna salad on crackers//garnet yam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthai peanut salmon rice noodles//toast with feta and tomato//roasted veggies

IMG_4996sprouted lentil-cabbage-kale salad//black rice tortilla with laughing cow and pumpkin butter

IMG_4997japanese sweet potato with laughing cow//power bowl with Cafe Mocha Amazing Grass

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtoasted plain bagel//spaghetti squash with marinara-veggie sauce and a chopped turkey burger

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsalmon salad//corn tortilla with humus and cucumber

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApower bowl//matzah with cream cheese and cucumber

IMG_5053japanese sweet potato//laughing cow//toasted scuffin//cucumber with thai peanut dip

Lots of potato loving this week apparently!! They’ve been extra delicious lately! :) Other than that…I have just been just eating much of the same for the past few weeks (sorry for the boring WIAWs)…although it all tastes delicious, I can’t wait till this semester is over and I have some time to dedicate to being more creative with my meals. But for now, convenience and cravings are winning out!

Have you ever tried Amazing Grass or Fiber Love products?

What’s your favorite type of soup?

Is there a certain meal that’s pretty much the same for you everyday? Or at least the same basic components?

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Cleaned up the living room for my parents.

Never too late to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!

WIAW: Seasonal Spring Foods!

Happy Wednesday everyone! We’re officially in April and we’re half way through this week! Two good things in my opinion. :)

The weather is really starting to shape up around here! Although we didn’t hit 65 like the forecast called for on Tuesday, we did make it to 60 which was HEAVENLY. I took Ella for a nice loooong walk. I feel so bad she’s been cooped up all Winter! And she loves being outside, so I know she appreciate the sunshine, the bird chasing, and all the recently uncovered grass!

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I wanted to say how much I truly appreciate each and every comment on my last post. It’s always hard to speak out about personal struggles, especially when they have to do with mental health, but you all were so receptive and kind. So thank you for your continued support!

Today is WIAW of course and since Spring is in full swing (or at least it’s supposed to be!) I thought we could celebrate by talking about all the plentiful spring produce that’s available right now! Think of this as the ABC’s of Spring produce! I also am sharing the health benefits of these wonderful foods, as well as how to select them at their peak of freshness at the store!
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Artichokes-

What to look for in the store: Tight, compact leaves and fresh-cut stem ends.

Health Benefits: Good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. They’re number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list.

Beets-

What to look for in the store: Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Health Benefits: High in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese. Lower blood pressure, boost stamina, fight inflammation, have anti-cancer properties, and are detoxifying.

Carrots-

What to look for in the store: Look for a good, smooth form and a hearty orange color. Select carrots that still have greens attached, as these tend to keep better and taste fresher. The leaves themselves should be fresh and bright green.

Health Benefits: High in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. Contain potassium, vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium. Good for vision, brain health, prevention of heart disease and cancer, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Fennel-

What to look for in the store: Look for fennel with fresh-looking greens on long branches. The bulbs should be bright white with no discolorations or soft spots.

Health Benefits: Full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. Provides relief from anemia, indigestion, constipation, colic, respiratory disorders, and it has benefits regarding eye care.

Grapefruit-

What to look for in the store: Thin, finely textured skins that feel heavy for their size and are firm when squeezed.

Health Benefits: Packed with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Aids weight loss, prevents arthritis, works as an antiseptic, prevents colon cancer, treats common ailments, and helps lower cholesterol.

Leeks-

What to look for in the store: The top green leaves should look fresh – avoid leeks with wilted tops.

Health Benefits: Protects blood vessels, provides folate, has high antioxidant properties, decreases chronic inflammatory diseases, and is high in vitamin C, B6, and K as well as iron and manganese.

Mint-

What to look for in the store: Choose bunches that stand up and don’t droop. Look for whole, unblemished leaves attached to crisp stems. The leaves should be a vibrant green color without dark brown or yellow spots.

Health Benefits: Good source of manganese, copper, and vitamin C.  Soothes aches, pains, and stomach problems, relieves headaches, useful as a decongestant, natural antibacterial.

Navel Oranges-

What to look for in the store: Choose oranges that are smooth skinned, deep orange in color, heavy for their weight and free of blemishes.

Health Benefits: Low in calories and high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Provides your body with nutrients that support essential physiological systems and may help decrease your chance of developing chronic diseases

Peas-

What to look for in the store: Purchase snow peas that have a fresh, green top. The green should be bright and the seeds very small and flat.

Health Benefits: High protein, vitamin and mineral content. Contain vitamins, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and K. Mineral content includes potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc.

Spinach-

What to look for in the store: Crisp, fresh and green spinach leaves.

Health Benefits: Extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. Good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

And now for some more food fun in the form of WIAW pictures!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArice noodles with thai peanut sauce, salmon, and veggies//toast with feta, tomato, and basil//roasted broccoli, asparagus, and parsnips

IMG_4997garnet yam//laughing cow//orange power bowl

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchopped turkey-veggie salad//tortilla with laughing cow and jam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbaked bean and cabbage salad//english muffin with peanut butter and jelly

IMG_4959seafood-spaghetti squash marinara with nutritional yeast//toasted everything bagel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAclassic pear power bowl

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steamed purple artichoke with garlic and olive oil <—just like my mom used to make when I was little artichokesandlemons.jpgI got an awesome package from Frieda’s featuring their seasonal purple and baby artichokes…plus some pretty unique lemons! Much sweeter and more flavorful than normal ones!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsalmon sushi//roasted kabocha//roasted broccoli and cauliflower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchopped turkey-artichoke salad//crisp breads and crackers with frozen banana, peanut butter, and cinnamon

IMG_4965overnight oats with peach, strawberry, and banana softserve

IMG_4966Two bar refuel after every workout! Two of my favorites: chocolate coffee Kronobar and a cherry pumpkin seed Kits bars

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJazzed up kashi pizza: I added broccoli, pesto, more tomato sauce, and grape tomatoes…without the extra toppings, it was just sad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApear power bowl//apple cinnamon protein muffins//freeze dried veggies

IMG_4932coconut crusted tofu and onions//roasted kabocha//roasted broccoli and parsnips

What are you favorite Spring fruits and veggies?

Any warm weather foods you’re looking forward to eating more of soon?

What are you munching on RIGHT NOW?

Oh and one more thing….I can’t believe it but this month (on the 14th!) my little ‘ol blog turns 4!!! Cannot believe it’s been 4 whole years since I started Healthy Helper! I plan on celebrating with a slew of fun giveaways from all my favorite brands just for you!! So get ready to celebrate!

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Offered to make photocopies for my group in my team based learning class!

Never too late to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!