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Curly Nikki

Keep Your Arms & Legs Inside the Wagon

By January 27th, 202167 Comments

Keep Your Arms & Legs Inside the Wagonlazy mom bun

Last week, I jumped my butt back on the healthy living wagon and I’m proud to say I’m strapped in and holding on for dear life. But given the already demanding and varied ish on my plate, I’ve had to adapt a model that works for me. My problem isn’t so much that I don’t know what to do– I made the small changes years ago and even when I’m off my game, you’ll never find white bread, chips or soda at the crib— my problem is convenience, or rather the inconvenience. On those days when I’m down to my last nerve, the last thing I feel like doing is marching into the kitchen to mince, dice, chop, or otherwise prepare anything that doesn’t end in ‘Helper’ or include microwaving directions on the packaging. To further complicate the oft-bumpy road that my wagon travels, I HATE doing the dishes. And until you can load the entire kitchen into a dishwasher, it’s really not a solution. For this reason, I often hunt for recipes that require the least prep so that later I’ll have fewer bowls and pots… otherwise I’ll just stare at them longer than it would actually take me to wash them. I’ve also learned that having bailout snacks in arm’s reach, like tuna salad and hummus, are a great idea for stopping me in my tracks. I can nibble, pull myself together and rethink that Double Cheeseburger. For me, that’s what it really comes down to: keeping myself from getting so hungry that a 500 calorie burger appears to be my saving grace (get thee behind me you delicious devil!). But I digress…

So for me to go hard on green living, I need reasonable, convenient alternatives.

Here are a couple of my favorite short cuts-

Keep Your Arms & Legs Inside the WagonAside from my quick, go-to dinner of broiled or bake lean meat + sauteed spinach (with olive oil, mushrooms and garlic), I’m loving these Kashi pizzas. They’re reasonably low in fat and calories, meatless, but somehow, almost taste great.

Keep Your Arms & Legs Inside the WagonKeep Your Arms & Legs Inside the Wagon

Due to the cost and time of juicing, I’m going to stick to consuming my fruits the old fashion way- eating ’em (although Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead was incredibly convincing). But when I lack the desire and energy for even that, the above fruit smoothie will do. In line with NAKED brand juices, it’s made with minimal processing and doesn’t contain artificial colors or flavors, added sugar, preservatives or genetically modified ingredients. Although the sugar is moderately high, I’d say I’m still doing better than what I could be doing. Plus, it provides 8 fruits and veggies servings. Once or twice a day, usually in the morning with my egg and oatmeal, I’ll toss back 4 ounces and keep it moving. I’m dying to try the blueberry one… it’s full of fiber.


Anyone in the same boat as me?


What short cuts do you take that don’t contain absurd amounts of sodium, sugar or unpronounceable ingredients?

67 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I made the healthy living switch fully about a year ago. I went cold turkey off sweets, breads, juices…basically anything I felt I couldn't live without. I minimized my meat intake and beefed up the fruits and veggies. I have since slowly reintroduced sweets, breads, and juices back in my diet but in low quantities. So my shortcuts are keeping fruits and veggies in the house, keeping nutritious snacks, like banana chips or dried fruits, on hand, and getting enough fiber are a must. I eat the "grainiest" whole grain bread I can find (Look in Big Lots for bread for $1.80 instead of the same for $3.00ish in Wal-mart). I also love the Naked and Odwalla juices and smoothies. Those are treats though, especially when they are on sale.

    D. Hosley

  • Samantha Nneamaka says:

    I LOVE EATING HEALTHY !!!!
    i went vegetarian for 2 monthhs. loved it then hated and so i trashed it so now im eating the same whole organic foods just with seafood and poultry thrown in there. a whole lot of water and a handful of walnuts a day plus a multivitamin .

    L O N G L I V E T H E Q U E E N

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi CurlyNikki! I have been quite successful with the VitaMix blender. I use it to make spinach-based smoothies (with coconut water and/or fruit added to taste). I have one or two a day. I prefer my blender to juicing because I don't lose out on all that fiber. My energy and sleep have not been this good in ages. I don't suffer from hunger pangs and sugar lows as I did before. I've also reduced my meat and dairy intake considerably; I've found my digestive system has given less trouble.

    Congrats to you, and best of luck!

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    My favorite dish right now is roasted broccoli and shrimp. I buy frozen shrimp by the bag. It takes less than 10 minutes to prep and about 20 to cook. Preheat oven to 425. Cut up two heads of broccoli florets. Season them with EVOO, salt & pepper. Pop in oven for 10 minutes. Prepare shrimp and season with EVOO, salt & pepper. Add to roasted broccoli & toss together. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. When done squeeze some fresh lemon juice on them. Delicious

    Other shortcuts include purchasing frozen fish & seafood and roasting vegetables. I use EVOO to roast the veggies, and it takes about 15 minutes to roast.

  • Nichole says:

    Love the ideas. I'm gonna try the kale chips. Kale is supposed to be one of the most nutritious foods ever. A brilliant tip I picked up from an home organizer on You Tube name Alejandra is to have a healthy snack drawer or section in your fridge. Basically before putting away your produce,wash and prep carrots, celery, grape tomatoes etc. whatever you like to snack on and store them away in serving size zip lock bags that you can grab and take with you to snack on throughout the day. I recently discovered a superfood called chia seeds (they're similar to how you would use flax seeds) but they're supposed to have more antioxidants and you don't have to grind like flax seeds. If you like tapoica pudding, you soak some of it in almond milk with a bit of honey. Love it and it takes care of my sweet tooth craving.

  • Anonymous says:

    I buy the styrofoam coffee cups with lids and fill up about 4-5 of them when I make smoothies. I put plastic wrap over the cup before I put the lid on and freeze them. I take one to work and by mid-morning it has thawed enough to eat like a slushie.

  • KayDanai says:

    I loooooove Green Goodness!!! All the Bolthouse drinks really, except blueberry because I'm allergic and wouldn't want to visit the emergency room.

    I'm a grad student with a full time job, so as of right now health choices take a back seat to quick easy and cheap. Hopefully I can get back on track soon!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Cute post! Good for you trying to make your life healthier!

  • Anonymous says:

    MsJisola, I do everything that you do. Anonymous 10:36 am, I, too, follow a paleo diet. People love to eat those frozen dinners, but they need to flip them over and look at the sodium. It is ridiculous. People wonder why they aren't losing weight when eating these meals. The sodium is killing you! Using lots of spices instead of salt on the meats will make you forget out salt and dips. Strangely, the Bolthouse and Odwalla drinks break me out. Remember, not everyone that's thin does not have a weight problem or challenges with food/health. I weigh a lot more than my friend, but I am in way better shape than she is. I have a hoarder's supply of ziploc bags that I use for freezing just about everything. If I want something sweet, I eat peanut butter. I agree with the above ladies saying juice, juice, juice. If you are going to do caffeine, drink green tea. I do not drink sodas, juices, or coffee. It's green tea or water.

  • Vonnababy2 says:

    I often make my version of a "green smoothie". I blend fresh spinach with a little water first, then add frozen fruit (usually blueberries, strawberries and babanas) top with soy or almond milk (regular milk with spinach is a no no for me), then blend. It's a healthy snack or breakfast replacement…

  • Jackie says:

    Amy's Roasted Veggie Pizza is better than Kashi pizza. Also Dr.Praeger's food line is the bomb. I like the spinach pancakes and California Veggie burger.

  • Libby says:

    I'm with you! But no matter what product or how I try it, I can't get with Kashi. I haven't had beef or pork for almost 5 months now and I'm trying to do better with eating the fresh fruits. Just bought my first bag of "Cuties" this weekend and they are so cute, delicious, and just enough for me. I've tried smoothies in the morning which taste great, but cleanup is a chore. I guess the bottom line is I've got to make a commitment and find my right path to sticking to it. I wish you all the best in your own personal journey. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 5:06PM – I say this with love & concern, not judgment. You cannot just live in fear and pray for motivation. It is a blessing that you are not hypertensive or diabetic…yet. So don't keep tempting fate. Until you can take steps to get your cholesterol levels in a healthy range on your own via diet and exercise, you should consider medication as a precaution.

  • Anonymous says:

    Everyday, I drink a scoop of Green Vibrance in some juice. Not only does it provide my vegetables, I also get billions of probiotics. I found out about it here at CN.

    Nikki are you still drinking Green Vibrance?

  • Anonymous says:

    Since you like hummus, you should try making a chickpea salad. Use canned chickpeas…always drain them to get rid of excess salt. Make a simple vinaigrette with lemon juice or white white vinegar + olive oil. Toss the chickpeas and salad greens in the vinaigrette. 10 minutes max! You can also add chopped red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little bit feta cheese if you have a few more minutes.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 50 and postmenopausal. My total cholesterol was over 240 in 2009, and my Dr gave me 6 mos to get it down. I was unable to accomplish that, so he prescribed Crestor. I filled the prescription but didn't take it.

    Fast forward to December 2011. My total cholesterol is nearly 300 but I am not hypertensive or diabetic. I do not have metabolic syndrome, but live in fear of a stroke.

    I watched the movie "Sick fat and nearly dead", but am unable to implement the plan due to the exhorbitant cost (Yeah, I know, ill health is way more costly).

    I pray everyday for the motivation but it's just not coming. I may have a fast food meal(McD, chinese, TGI Friday's or Popeye's) two or three times weekly, but it's my lack of motivation to exercise that is the problem.

    I applaud you healthy eaters, and I watched the link to Annette Larkin's interview. Outstanding! She has given me inspiration.

  • Discover Joy Daily says:

    Oohhwee I hate washing dishes too. All do laundry, change sheets and vacuum all day, but that kitchen..it's a battle.

    Anyway, sounds like a plan. I'll have to check out that Kashi pizza!

  • AusetAbena says:

    Amy's Kitchen is the go-to healthy convenience food. I highly recommend the Indian samosas, the blackbean vegetable soup, the chilis, and I hear the pizzas are great, though I have never tried them. They also have low sodium versions of their food. If you take a chili (fully cooked, you just heat it up), add a side salad, and whole wheat/grain bread, you have a delicious healthy meal. I usually put avocado on top of my black bean soup or chili.

  • Anonymous says:

    The plastic is super convenient, however extremely wasteful. What we do is use one bowl, one plate, one cup, etc for the week. After we eat we "rinse" everything off real quick and set the dish aside. By the end of the week we only have a few dishes to wash!

  • Anonymous says:

    I also cook at least meat for the week. I make a weeks worth of meat and then the only concern is whipping up a vegetable which is usually frozen so I just have to throw it in the pan with some olive oil. I also prepare my salad for the week. It is time consuming but it really helps throughout the week.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki–I commend you on your journey to being healthy, mind, body, and soul. Our bodies truly are temples, and God gives us the wisdom and resources to take care of them!

    I'm petite as well and like you, I had high cholesterol when I went for a routine physical exam in 2005. The doctor even said that I would likely have to take medication for it when I get older. During that time, I was eating primarily fast food, junk food, and sugar. Why? Because that's how I've been eating the majority of my life and well, it taste good. lol I used to not be able to have lunch or dinner w/out dessert.

    Fast forward to the summer of 2010 when for the first time in my life, I started to gain weight (late 20's) and I thought I am not going to buy a new wardrobe. I started to pay more attention to what I was eating and exercising at least once or twice a week. I drink primarily water and juice, and eat mostly fish, some chicken, and veggies/fruits. I allow myself to have sweets mostly on the weekends.

    I went for another physical exam later on in 2010, and my cholesterol was normal! And I haven't had a problem with it since.

    ~caramelcurls

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG, that is me all day long. I have already made awesome strides, but it is still a struggle with my hectic schedule (full time grad student, intern, full time work, family, etc) The summer is especially hard, we eat fish and chicken all year long but the nice weather unforunately brings out the grill and that means steak and hamburgers!!! The best thing for me is being prepared. When I dont take the time to prepare is when I end up falling off.

  • Anonymous says:

    For a quick snack, make kale chips. Just spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, take the ribs out of the kale leaves. Run in salad spinner to get rid of excess moisture after you wash them. (Get them as dry as possible so they won't steam.) Spray a little oil on the pieces of kale. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Voila! Potato chip substitute. Sprinkle with a little sea salt or any other flavor you like–garlic etc. Yummy!

  • Anonymous says:

    The best thing I can say is prepare on the weekend if you can. Get your hubby involved if you can, try cooking together, so that it is fun and the more fun you have the more you will do it. The key to a man's heart is his stomach and the remote (sports)! We have left overs during the week (no more than 2 days) and I repurpose them to create new dishes throughout the week. Weight watchers has a 30 minute cookbook and 20 minute as well. That is definitely my go to when I am out of ideas. Also, sparkpeople has a slew of recipes and an app for recipes as well. The best thing about spark peope is you can swipe an unhealthy recipe for a new one like healthy mac & cheese, brownies etc. Ex. Swiping out the oil with carrots etc.

  • monniej says:

    oh, i'm right with you, sister. i got the green goddess in my fridge right now. i can have about 3-4 servings of fresh a day and i do green goddess to close the gap. also love kashi, amy's and archer farms (target brands) frozen pizza. in a pinch they're all all good! i always keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer! my fav quick meal – cous cous (cooks much faster than rice), frozen shrimp (nuke for 1mins and remove tails), a can of cajun tomatoes, cajun seasoning and franks red hot makes the most divine super in less them 30mins! you can make the same dish with grits for breakfast. yummy! 🙂

  • WineGrrl says:

    I love nuts. I try to keep a lot of the unsalted, roasted kind around.

    Roasted seaweed keeps the potato chip monster at bay. I love the taste (especially the lightly salted Korean variety), but I realize I am in the minority here.

  • adrien says:

    oooh! and peanut butter! a half a spoonful goes a long way to curb my craving for sweets. i know it has a lot of fat and sugar but i need so little of it to satisfy that it just works.

  • adrien says:

    i bake chicken breasts. i toss them frozen into pan with about an inch of water. add garlic, onion, seasoning for whatever im in the mood for (taco, lemon pepper, etc) cover with foil and bake for about 20-30min. it comes out perfect everytime. then i cut it or shred it and refridgerate it. that way i can use it for salads or on pasta or even by itself when im hungry instead of junk, since it's already cooked and convenient.

    also, hummus single packs, baby carrots, boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and i make big bowls of black bean dip (thanks Nikki!) to snack on throughout the day or for lunch.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hear you! I hate dishes too!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Yep, I'm really skinny… always have been. But that doesn't mean I'm healthy, in fact, my cholesterol is slightly elevated (probably from all the bacon!). I'm committed to making these changes not just for my health but to teach Gia before she can learn the bad habits. To this day, breakfast doesn't feel like breakfast unless there is hasbrowns and sausage. Seriously. I want her to have a mature palate… for her to appreciate the fruits and veggies that have only been on the periphery of my diet, lol.

    These suggestions are AMAZING! Thanks so much for all the tips and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one loving BoltHouse Farms!

  • ShoeHOTLINE says:

    Great Suggestions ladies.

    I typically follow 1-3 from @MsJisola and keep plenty of fruit, and nuts on hand for snacking.
    Since the hubby and I both have a sweet tooth I also try to keep sugar free Popsicle in the freezer

  • Spokenheart says:

    That green goddess drink is my ish! i dont eat alot of vegetables. In fact there is only like 4 begetables that i like and living in florida is not an encouraging place to keep fruit in the house. SO i love grabbing one of those and making up for my lack of veggies. and it taste so much better than it looks

  • dajewel1982 says:

    here is the catch 22: just to get going with juiceing and making green smoothies is a challenge because your tired and busy in the first place. but, once u begin drinking them your energy goes thru the roof!! more than coffee and them silly energy drinks so much so that u will fight thru the tiredness to make ur smoothies and juices every single day.

  • Emily CottonTop says:

    I am with you guys on the Kale love it so much.. I have a bunch I need to prepare for tonight's dinner. Yesterday I did a quick stirfry with lean chicken breast, cabbage, brussle sprouts, carrots, green and red pepper, onions, garlic, a dash of curry …cant forget the broccli and it was delish.. hubby loved it.. i used braggs amino acid instead of soy sauce. he had a little brown rice with his.. I ate mine without.

    I would love some raw vegan recipes to try!

  • ClosetConfections says:

    A friend sent me a link to this video a couple of weeks ago: http://www.citizenwars.com/70-year-old-woman-40-raw-food-diet/. And ever since, I've eliminated all meat except fish and have been working to incorporate more veggies. I have a looooong way to go before becoming raw vegan, but I'm not ruling it out for the future… especially not after seeing her results!

    It's sort of pricey, but I've started drinking one of these each morning: blueprintcleanse.com.

    It's mostly veggies, so it takes a while to get used to the taste (it's not sweet at all like the Naked Green Juice). But I can tell you that after just two weeks, my skin is glowing and my eyelashes are thicker/longer!

  • BlondeByDesire says:

    Nikki you are super tiny – I can't believe you have a problem with food or weight gain. You would never know you have a baby a little over a year ago.

    I love green smoothies and mix my own as another poster mentioned, spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, greens, fruit of your choice, bananas, flax seed, water and blend. Sounds not so good, but it's yummy. And it's a full meal rolled up into a healthy drink where you control what you put into it. I recently ventured and bought the beast of blenders called a Blentec – at a price tag of $400 dollars – it's worth every penny in gold. You can juice, smoothie, soup, ice cream, yogurt – it's you're all in all machine.

  • cassburt88 says:

    Great post and great discussion! My husband and I LOVE the Bolthouse brand drinks! Our favorites are the Green Goodness, C-Boost, and Amazing Mango. Bolthouse also makes salad dressings. What I like to do is stock up on in-season produce, wash and prep them, then freeze them. You'll have fresh-frozen produce whenever you need it; great for quick meals, smoothies, and snacks. The freezer can be your best friend when you're short on time! A good idea for busy families would be to take a day (if time permits)to just cook or prep everything for the week and store it in the fridge or freezer. I know, easier said than done, but it could really help during dinner time.

  • BreenaBWell says:

    Lots of green smoothies using kale or chard or spinach to receive the benefits of uncooked veggies. I'm starting my transition veganism, but my food choices go beyond vegan as I can't eat anything wheat or soy. I think that pretty much leaves me in the category of a raw foodist or fruitarian. Eating raw means pretty much eating all day long. Yes, convenience is an issue – I have the empty chip bags and fast food receipt for fries to prove it. Everything has to be planned out….ugh! I'll get there!

  • Anonymous says:

    I hear you Nikki!!!! In between my 9 month old daughter and working long hours, cooking is the last thing on my mind. I try to stick with things I can cook in the oven (ie salmon, tilapia, etc.) and as much as I love fresh herbs, I use dry herbs because of time constraints. On the nights when hubby makes it home from work early enough, he will cook a nutrious meal while I watch the baby. Otherwise, my go to dinner is sandwiches or cereal…so I am looking for suggestions also….LOL

    Nicole

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    I'm loving these suggestions! Thank you ladies! Keep them coming! #genius

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh and for breakfast: cook steel cut oats in half water and half almond milk. They last longer than instant oats, so of you make a big pot you can eat it for like 3 days. Just pop in tbe microwave and add a sweetener of your choice and fresh fruit in the morning!!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ anon 10:38

    amen to that sauted spniach, that makes it taste soooo much better. Add mushrooms and you got a meal!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ anon 10:38

    amen to that sauted spniach, that makes it taste soooo much better. Add mushrooms and you got a meal!

  • Anonymous says:

    I suggest cooking a lot of something and then portioning it out into air-tight containers and freezing or refridgerating the portions. I'm vegan so this prevents me from grabbing chips or stopping and buying fast food fries (hey, chips and fries are vegan too lol.) Sunday I made pot stickers with cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu( you could use chicken). I froze them and then popped a few in a pan yesterday for dinner. They were done in 10 minutes. I also made whole wheat penne with sundried tomato pesto and then put portions in the fridge. When I want a serving I'll sauté spinach and mushrooms and then add the pasta. It's done in like 5 minutes. You could put some grilled chicken or Parmesan chicken in your pasta. Anyway, this stuff is faster than microwave meals and you always know what you put in it!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am following the paleo diet so for me, my home is filled with lean meats, eggs, veges, fruits, nuts and seeds. I always have nuts on hand for a quick snack and can mix in dried fruit and coconut flakes flakes for a quick cereal. I also keep water packed tuna on hand and nut butter to give me a boost of energy.

    I find ut helpful in the dishwashing department to marinate all meats in the large kitchen baggies and no matter the weather use a grill

  • Crystal says:

    I love those Kashi pizzas! I stock up when they are on sale and keep them for when the going gets really rough. My main shortcut is always having pre-washed salad greens and baby cut carrots in the fridge, that way at least I always have a quick vegetable on hand. Leftovers are also key. If I roast a chicken, I'll put whatever is left over into the freezer – so I usually have pre-cooked shredded chicken with which I can make soups or put in a salad. Canned beans are also my mainstays. I'll use my immersion blender to puree some chickpeas with garlic and olive oil to make a quick hummus and serve with crackers and baby carrots.

  • MsJisola says:

    Here are a few quick ways to have a ready meal:
    1. Buy a rotisseree chicken – part dinner, part sandwich, part stew
    2. Buy veggies that come in a microwaveable bag and/or buy Ziploc steam bags (you can bake a potato, including sweet in less than 10 minutes)
    3. Buy family packs of chicken, clean, season and portion out in ziploc bags and freeze for when you need it
    4. If you like to add veggies to your dishes, pre-cut those and freeze (or buy pre-cut)
    5. Keep pre-washed veggies like spinach and mixed greens in the fridge
    6. For work, I make my version of McDonald's egg mcmuffin (1 slice provolone cheese, 1 slice of real turkey bacon by Applegate farms or similar(not that Jenny-O, Oscar Mayer nonsense), 1 hard boiled egg and 1 multi-grain muffin (this has 100 calories and good amount of fiber) or I have instant multi-grain w/flax oatmeal.
    7. Keep bags of mini carrots, Greek yogurt (12 or more grams of protein), fruits

    Hope this helps!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair is blinging, that bun is luscious!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the Kashi pizzas!

  • Smlisley says:

    I always have pre-washed spinach in the fridge thow it on a sandwich, grab a couple handfuls for a salad etc. I also buy giant bags of frozen fruits and veggies. The fruits thaw on my way to work and I just toss them in my oatmeal. The frozen veggies are great for packing with my lunch and for those days when I'm not down with cooking. Those have really saved me.

  • Rhonda says:

    I love your stories!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @staceylee, if it's not too much to ask, give me some of your other quick favorites! What do you do for breakfast?

  • Anonymous says:

    Your bun is cute Nikki! I have the same problems as you and have to keep snacks in the car and in my purse all the time.

  • Staceylee says:

    Hi Nikki,
    When you try your raw kale devein it, put a little oil and Braggs on it, then massage the kale. This breaks it down and softens it. I'm raw vegan (100%) believe me I know my kale 🙂 Good luck with everything!!!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    ^^^brilliant 🙂

  • terysa says:

    Quick tip for washing for juicer and/or blender. Put a little squirt of dishwashing liquid, add water, and let the juicer run for a few minutes. Then rinse out with cool water. Perfect and sparkly everytime.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @StaceyMarie, how big are the juices you drink (the Monster and green goodness)? And your recipes sound divine, may I come over? That rotini is right up my alley. I love bacon entirely too much to give up meat, but I have cut back quite a bit. I try to keep meat to once a day. It's tough because I don't feel like I'm 'eating' unless there's meat on my plate… and not just any meat, fried or greasy!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @TLowe, my juicer would DEFINITELY be collecting dust. I hate washing blenders so I'm sure the juicer would be worse, lol. Hubby likes the pizza, which says a lot. The mushrooms almost make you feel like you're eating meat 🙂 I add extra mushrooms and onions before popping it in the oven.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    I love the Green Goodness!! It's just as delicious as, but cheaper than the Naked Smoothie Green Machine. I'm also drinking Odwalla's Chocolate Protein Monster (I'm trying to gain 10 pounds, as apparently not everything grows bigger in the South). I usually drink the "monster" in the morning and then drink either the "goodness", water, sugar free juice, or a protein drink w/other meals. I, too, hate washing dishes and my dishwasher is the LeftHandRightHand brand, but I love to cook, so I've been using a skillet or my crockpot. I've made tri-color veggie rotini with broccoli, tomatoes, kale, and salmon, w/fresh teryaki sauce (agave nectar and low sodium soy sauce)in the skillet. This week, I'm making 15 bean soup w/turkey sausage and spinach in the crockpot. I try to only have one hamburger a month until I pick up the weight and then I'll go back to being red meat-free. My favorite quick meal is Annie's Homegrown P'sghetti Loops w/Soy Meatballs. I'm a thoroughbred Southern girl, but I don't miss the meat and it's delicious!

  • naturaldo says:

    Yep, I'm in a similar boat. I decided to switch to a veggie diet back in November and so far I've been successful. It's definitely challenging because my
    Choices are LIMITED!!!! Thanks for the kashi pizza idea. I've also thought about juicing but I fear I'll fall off the bandwagon and my juicer will go
    to waste lol.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @shemsa08, girl yes! I keep paper plates and plastic forks and spoons and give hubby the side eye every single time his ass reaches for a real plate…

    But sometimes I get frugal and end up washing the plastic forks, lol, which defeats the purpose, right?

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Raw Kale?! I love it, but never tried it raw… seems very fibrous, lol. It's worth a shot though. I'll report back!

  • Shemsa08 says:

    I feel your pain about dishes ! lol.. A solution I have found to that problem is alwayssssss having paper plates, and plastic cups at all times.. it has drastically reduced the amount of dishes you have to do.. and you can take it a step further and even get plastic utensils lol..you may spend a little more for the convenience but you save on time and since you like convenience this might be the trick for you too ! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Despite the convenience, I don't buy or eat a lot of processed "healthy" foods…they're too expensive and usually full of sugar or salt or both.

    I love kale and have learned to eat it raw to enjoy all of its health benefits. I buy a bag of chopped, pre-washed kale. I make a simple vinaigrette dressing with lemon juice, dijon mustard, a tiny bit of white wine vinegar, lots of minced garlic, salt & pepper, and olive oil. I just whisk the ingredients together in a big bowl, then add 1/2 of the kale and toss to coat all of the leaves with dressing. There's enough to have as a side with both lunch and dinner. Super quick, yummy, and full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber.

  • terysa says:

    I prepare my juices at night and drinking Carnation Breakfast Essentials for a quick breakfast has been my saving grace!

  • HolisticLifeRN says:

    its tough, but i think i do pretty good. my kids love fruits so my house is always stocked with fresh fruits. Ive also discovered the love of smoothies, especially the "green smoothie". I don't mind eating vegetables but time is always a problem. I just add spinach, fruit, and almond milk and there you have it. It feels you up too! For dinner, I always have a stock of chicken breast and fish (don't really like red meat or pork) along with a stash of peppers, onions, garlic, etc and brown rice and an instant meal is created. It seriously can take all of 20 minutes to throw together 🙂

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    I agree,convenience will get me if I am not prepared. I try to keep packs of tuna, chicken around so I can make a quick salad. Having all the salad essentials(tomatoes,cucmbers,peppers)helps also. I also try to keep healthy snacks like fruit,carrots,celery,granola bars,yogurt around when I get in snack mode. It is a challenge but I'm determined to drop 20 lbs and keep it off this time. LOL. Good Luck Nik!!

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