Gluten-free Living Series: Continuing Healthy Habits & Meal Templates

Happy Thursday! Friday is almost here! Woohoo! We are nearing the end of January which means that most of us are one-month into our New Year’s resolutions. How are you doing on your goals? I feel like I’m making progress towards each of my goals, albeit at different speeds. One of my main goals was prepping and planning ahead, which I have been doing great with! It’s really made my life during the work week a lot easier and has freed up some precious time. Besides doing my weekly prep and using my favorite grocery service, one of the things that has helped me stay on track is having a meal “template” for my day.

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One of the questions I get asked most often about gluten-free living is simply, “What do you eat?!”. As evidenced by this blog, gluten-free eating is not boring and certainly doesn’t skimp on deliciousness but I feel like many people think living gluten-free every.single.day is impossible. While it’s hard at first, it is definitely possible to eat a healthy, gluten-free diet day in and day out. A long time ago, when I first started this blog, I had a section called “daily eats” where I post what I ate everyday. It helped me with my accountability but took a significant chunk of time, so I ended it even though it was fairly popular.

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Well today I thought I would share a rough estimation of what I eat every day. I tend to vary my evening meals and snacks but keep my morning meals/snacks the same. Having a sort of “template” for my meals has really helped me ease the stress of eating gluten-free and helps when I’m prepping and planning meals for the work week. Here is my usual weekday eating template:

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician. These meals are based on my own caloric needs and health requirements based on my personal activity level and resting metabolic rate, which I have had tested by a medical professional. I am also under the care of a nutritionist in conjunction with a sports medicine doctor for various health reasons.

5:45am: 2 medjool dates or 1/2 banana with 2 tsp. peanut butter or date bars/balls
6-7:30am: workout time! I usually do about 50 minutes of weight lifting with cardio bursts and follow it with 20-30 HIIT cardio. Or I do 60 minutes of cardio, usually spin.
8:00am: post-workout protein shake: 12 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed or coconut oill, 1 scoop whey protein powder, cinnamon
10am: 2 egg muffins or hard-boiled eggs + fruit (apple,pear,citrus)
1pm: lunch time! I usually have some sort of salad (I’m on the third day in a row of eating this) with tuna, salmon, beans, or tofu. Or some soup.
4pm: snack: some edamame or carrots & hummus.
6:30-7:45pm: 75 minute vinyasa yoga (not every day, but I shoot for 2-3 days a week!), I may have a small snack afterwards if I’m not eating dinner right away or a larger afternoon snack.
8:30pm: dinner: this varies greatly but usually involves roasted veggies, some sort of fish/tofu/beans/chicken, and a small amount of quinoa or brown rice and possibly a glass of wine.

That’s my meal template for work week. The weekends vary a little bit but I generally still eat about 4-6 times a day, depending on what I’m doing.

Do you have a meal template? Do you think they’re helpful?

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Green Egg Muffins

First, some exciting news – I can’t discuss details yet but you will be seeing some gluten-free recipes and photography by yours truly coming to a magazine stand near you in the not-so distant future. I can’t begin to express how utterly excited I am about this – to say that 2012 is off to great start would be an understatement. Thank you to everyone who reads or simply glances at this blog; putting my recipes and photography out there has helped me grow in unexpected ways and I always appreciate everyone’s comments, tweets, and encouragement! (P.S. did you catch the photo feature on bonappetit.com?! I discovered that completely by accident but was so excited).

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I hope everyone enjoyed the tips posted earlier this week! I am going to try and post some additional health and fitness related things in the future but don’t worry, the main focus of this blog will still be recipes, both healthy and indulgent. Just don’t expect me to turn into a blogger that tries to make everything over-the-top healthy – I love chocolate, red wine, butter, and cream far too much. I would say that I eat very healthy and clean about 85% of the time but I’m not a girl who turns down a gin martini (extra dirty, extra dry please) just to save some calories. I am a big believer in moderation and quite frankly, there’s more to life than love handles. With that in mind, I thought I would share a healthy recipe that can help balance out those gin martinis.

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Behold, egg muffins. Not quite frittatas, not quite quiches – just veggies and eggs together in portable muffin form. I make a variation on these guys every week to have as a quick breakfast or afternoon snack since I’m all about prepping and planning ahead. The husband doesn’t eat them since he really isn’t fond of the texture of baked scrambled eggs, which means more for me! If you’re a frittata lover like me, then you will love these little egg muffins packed with good green stuff like kale, cilantro, and jalapenos. They’re great to grab and go during the week or on those weekends where you have a to-do list a few miles long. Speaking of which, I need to get going on my to-do list that includes pie making, errand running, wine drinking, workouts, and house cleaning. Happy Friday!

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Green Egg Muffins
Adapted from: Oxygen Magazine
Yields: 12 muffins

3 cup kale, de-stemmed and chopped into thin ribbons
1/4 onion, small diced or 4 green onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1 jalapeno, very finely diced (de-seed and remove the white parts to decrease spice)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
11 egg whites (I use a small carton of organic, free-range liquid egg whites. You can also just use 12 whole eggs if you don’t like egg whites)
7 whole eggs
salt + pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and line with muffin liners (optional, I usually don’t).
2. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl steam prepped kale in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until soft and wilted. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In that same microwave-safe bowl, add diced onions and microwave for about 1 minute. This helps take away some of the strong, raw onion-y taste. Add onions to the bowl with the kale.
4. Add cilantro, oregano, jalapeno, salt, and pepper to the same onion/kale mix and stir to combine. Set aside for now.
5. In a separate large bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg whites, salt, and pepper. You want the mixture to ribbon off the whisk and be fully scrambled. Whisk hard and use those biceps!
6. Distribute the veggie mixture evenly between your 12 muffin cups.
7. Distribute egg mixture evenly between cups, pouring over veggie mix. I usually use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to do the job.
8. Bake for about 30 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and puffed up.
9. Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Try to remove them to a rack as soon as you can safely do so, while keeping the muffins intact. If they sit in the pan too long, they continue to stem and the texture can get rubbery.
10. Store in your fridge and reheat in a counter-top oven or microwave.