I can demolish a bag of frozen fruit. It's a great snack and satisfies my sweet tooth without leaving me with a stomach ache. My favorite snack is frozen blueberries, mangos, or peaches. I've only found two downsides: 1) I have to huddle beneath a blanket when I eat these in the winter, and 2) The frozen blueberries turn my teeth and lips blue.

Just make sure you get the no-sugar-added frozen or fresh fruit and then freeze. Happy snacking!
 
 
This is one of my favorite soups. It's easy, very healthy, and has a lot of flavor. I first thought about some sort of kale soup when I read about the health benefits of kale. Kale is high in antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. It helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

The problem is that kale's a bit tough and it doesn't seem to be a common ingredient in many recipes. Cooking your kale in the crock-pot for several hours gives it a chance to soften up. Plus kale is one of the vegetables in season during the winter months, making it perfect for a warm winter soup!

In addition to the kale there are carrots, beans, onions, garlic, and tomatoes in this soup -  all of which are also great for you!

Hope you enjoy this White Bean & Kale Soup!
 
 
This is a great recipe for when you have a bunch of vegetables that you need to use up before they go bad. It's also one you can always have the ingredients on hand and make it when you realize it's dinner time and there's no plan. Fresh vegetables are great, or I also like to keep a frozen bag of mixed vegetables in the fridge just in case.

In this Thai Sauce Stir-Fry recipe I have listed the ingredients I used this time, but each time is a little different depending on what's in the kitchen. So feel free to experiment!

I like the really fun color of this sauce. It has a nice kick to it without being overwhelmingly spicy. Enjoy!
 
 
Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

This year for V-Day my special someone and I decided to experiment with a healthy sweet potato ravioli recipe. (We even broke out the nice dishes and candles for the occasion!) The idea came from a delicious ravioli dish we had on one of our first dates. However, that particular dish was so buttery and heavy I came away with a bit of a stomach ache - new recipe challenge accepted!

This recipe uses a minimal amount of butter, no sugar but instead a little honey, a little cheese for the sauce, and store-bought wonton wrappers. All the other ingredients are good for you! You can make your own ravioli pasta if you want, I chose the pre-made wonton wrappers because it was like pushing my own easy button.

The ravioli is very filling so we chose a side of okra to balance it out. Enjoy!
 
 
I love pie! Well, really anything sweet but apple pie is a favorite. The problem is that when I eat a lot of really heavy sweet foods my stomach ends up hurting and all I want to do is lay around and wallow in my lack of self-discipline.

So... I decided that instead of setting the unrealistic goal of never eating rich/sweet foods again, I'd find ways to make my favorites healthier.

This apple pie recipe is mostly apples (they're good for you!), and only 2 teaspoons of sugar in the whole pie. There's also no added butter beyond what is found in your pie crust. I know you're thinking... without all the butter and sugar this is going to be gross. Well give it a try because it's really good. Every time I make a pie it seems to disappear quickly.

My preference is to top the pie with frozen vanilla yogurt, emphasis on the yogurt. Frozen yogurt tastes the same as ice cream (depending on the brand), and is much better for you. I prefer Edy's Frozen Yogurt. If you get it at Target it's half the price as Harris Teeter. And of course there are other delicious flavors you can try as well. The frozen yogurt still has a decent amount of sugar in it to give it a delicious flavor, but yogurt has many benefits for the body including good bacteria that help the stomach.

For this recipe I have included a store-bought pie because it's delicious and super easy. I buy them when they're half-off so it's hard to beat the price. But for those that want to be even healthier, I will include a homemade crust recipe in a future post.

Hope you enjoy the apple pie!
 
 
Pizza is easy, tasty and has a little something for everyone. I prefer personal size pizzas so everyone can add whatever toppings make them happy. For example, I love mushrooms but someone *cough* does not, so this is a great way to make us both happy. Or have children? Load yours up with veggies and let them make a cheese pizza if they're still anti anything good for you.

A homemade pizza crust is easy and can be pre-made. But if you're not feeling it or running out of time, pre-made pizza crusts at your local grocery store work just as well.

Toppings... there are so many ways to go here. I have listed several ideas in the recipe. This particular recipe is based on what I "usually" make. Although typing up the list of possibilities has me wanting to try out some other options. Don't be surprised to see them in a future post.

Caution about toppings: I love them all and have to fight my inner urge to add a lot of everything. Too many toppings keeps the center from heating through and also makes the pizza more difficult to eat.
 
 
I love lima beans and I'm always looking for new ways to eat beans. The Lima Bean Delight is a favorite I've been making for a while now. It's pretty straight forward. A bunch of lima beans, ingredients for a cheese sauce, and Ritz for a nice crunch on top.

I usually get frozen limas because they're easy to find and most are low sodium or sodium free (as opposed to canned limas which can be high in sodium and preservatives). 

Also, for those who can't eat dairy, I've found cheese substitutes to work well and lactose-free milk or milk alternatives will work great in this recipe as well.

Try it now - Enjoy! 
 
 
My brother brings up a good point that I'd like to share with everyone: Make sure you work out at your current physical level and only push yourself to a reasonable extent. 

In the Staying Fit section I talk about starting small and adding time/intensity as you go. Although you will have to push yourself some (you'll never improve by sitting on the couch), don't push yourself if it feels too much. How much is too much? Well that depends on the person. What is too much for me might not be too much for you, and vise versa. 

For example, my fiance is 6'3" and makes running look easy. If I try to keep up with him I'll give out, durn those long legs! But if I set my own pace (meaning make him do laps and come back for me), then I can run much farther and push myself at my own rate. 

So... push yourself so you get a good sweat and get your heart beat up, but at the same time if you ever feel light headed or weak then tone it down. Like my brother pointed out, "Rome wasn't built in a day after all".

Love you Ryan. :-)