Moving & Eating Healthy

As I am mentioned in some post we have moved. I despise moving and I hated it even more so this time.  Anyone ever notice how hard it is to eat healthy when you move? You don’t have food in the house yet, the dishes are pack, or you are just tired. The first night we had Sonic and I was not pleased. How can I lose weight eating like this? I knew the next day was busy but I was going to have something healthy for dinner. I had cold food in the house but not much more. I also had hardly any cooking utensils no scale or measuring cups. Hmmmmmm!

The crock pot became my best friend! I have 2 crock pots and decided I would put them to good use. In the first I put pork chops and in the other chicken. I was unsure what I was going to do with them as because the only food I had was some of my seasoning stuff. The answer was Italian Pock Chops and Chicken Tacos.

Chicken tacos was easy and didn’t take much guess-work. I mixed 3 packets of taco seasoning with some water. I just guessed how much, figuring if I started with only a little I could add more later. After I made the mix I put chicken breast in the crock pot, added the mix, and set on low for 8 hours. I did have to run to the store for beans, tortillas, and taco toppings but that was all at the local Dollar Store.  Throughout the cooking time I would stir and start to shred the chicken. After 8 hours I had moist shredded chicken ready for tacos.

Italian Pork chops was a little more tricky. I had a marinade mix in the cabinet and decided if it was good enough to marinade in then it was good enough to cook in. The best part was that it was low calories! As I looked at the packet I noticed a problem, I had no white vinegar or oil. Oh well! Again i just guessed on the water and hoped that just water would do ok to cook it in. It did great! It was so good in fact that I will be trying many more of these marinade mixes to cook with in the crock pot. Place the crock pot on high for 4 hours and we had a yummy lunch. I personally think it was much better than burgers and fries.

Moving and eating healthy can be a chore but it can be done. I would recommend looking at crock pot recipes that have 5 or less ingredient or using mixes like I did. You can pack your crock pot in a box with the stuff you will need (minus the meat) so it is easy to get to. Another solution is getting crock pot kits. I know Wal-Mart and Kroger sell a roast kit. It has a roast, veggies, and seasoning package that you can dump all of in the crock pot and have a yummy healthy meal. It takes planning but moving and staying healthy is possible.

Popcorn! A Great Healthy Low Calorie Snack!

You have probably read the title and thought I was crazy. I use to think of popcorn as junk food and it is if you get at the movie theatre. That being said, if you make it at home it can be a healthy snack. Even though you can buy 100 calorie popcorn bags at the grocery store your best bet it to make it from scratch at home.  Skip the oils, butters, and who knows what else they put in those bags.

There are two easy and healthy ways I like to make popcorn at home.

Hot Air Popcorn Popper– These are inexpensive machines that pops the popcorn with just hot air. No oil! It is very easy and quick. Just measure out the kernels, pour into the machine, and watch your snack pop away.

microwave Now I know you read that and thought I must be going crazy. Yes, you can make popcorn in the microwave from kernels and not in a bag full of mystery ingredients. Take a plain brown bag, add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels, fold bag down twice, put in microwave on high for 3 minutes. You can buy a bag of bulk popcorn kernels and a pack 100 brown paper sacks for less than you pay for a case of popcorn bags (which equals about the same amount of popped popcorn).

Is popcorn healthy?

There have been some recent headlines talking about movie popcorn being as bad for you as 3 or 4 Big Macs. What they don’t tell you

Hot Air Popper

is that homemade popcorn is not anywhere close to a Big Mac; maybe the bun but not the whole thing. Popcorn is very high in fiber. Fiber is essential to help have a healthy digestive tract. Most people do not get nearly enough fiber a day, so why not eat more popcorn instead of take a yucky supplement.

Are you getting your whole grains? Popcorn is a whole grain and just incase you have not heard whole grains are healthy for you. Whole grains are have been proven to reduce your risk of heart problems. Whole grains are also full of bran and vitamins.

Popcorn is also low in calories. It varies depending on your source but the common thought is 3 cups of popped popcorn is right around 100 calories. When you make it just check the bag. Wondering why they bag as an option for calories of kernels themselves before you pop them? No, they do not want or expect you to eat raw kernels. It is easier for most people to measure out raw kernels then to measure popped popcorn. This is especially true if you try the brown bag recipe above at work.

Low Calorie Popcorn Seasoning

Now you probably want to know how to you can eat your flavorful popcorn without all the oil, butter, and salt. Below are some great recipes (some I have tried and some I have not) you can try. I would love to hear in the comments which ones you try or what you do at home with your popcorn. Most of these mixes can be kept in an air tight container for about 6 months. I like to make a few batches and keep them in the cabinet so I have choices when I make my popcorn. You can also try any of these of by themself: parmesan,  garlic, cinnamon, onion powder, chilli powder, just about any powder.

  • Cinnamon Chocolate – Mix 1 packet (4 serving) of dry chocolate pudding mix with 5 teaspoons of cinnamon.
  • Parmesan Ranch- 1/4 cup shredded/grated parmesan and 1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix.
  • Pizza – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 2 tbsp of crushed Italian seasonings.
  • Sweet Peanut butter Heat up a small amount of peanut butter and honey till runny and drizzle over popcorn.
  •  Taco – Taco seasoning and a pinch of chili powder.
  • Cinnamon Sugar – Mix 1/4 cup of cinnamon and 3 tbsp of sugar.
  • Spicy- Drizzle with a thin hot sauce.
  • Maple – Warm up 1/4 cup of maple syrup till runny and drizzle over it. (Watch the brand you buy or it will be high in calories.)
  • Lime and Chili- Mix lime juice and chili powder to taste. (this one cannot be stored

Note: Trying these mixes or others is better than using the premade mixes. Just take a look at the ingredients on those bottles and it will scare you.