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Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

By New You Editorial
Posted On Feb 27, 2015

Fitness expert, Elise Joan, helps us celebrate National Nutrition Month with some salient advice on how to live healthy in even the most stressed out situations. We also love her step-by-step cooking app SideChef.


by Ruchel Louis Coetzee

NEW YOU: What advice would you give to a young mother who works full time, has small children at home and has limited time to plan a healthy meals?

Elise Joan I have a few tips here that can be seen on my SideChef videos as well!  Here are my top 3 pieces of advice:

chopped-veggies1) Shop for ingredients that can be multi-purposed! For example, kale and quinoa can be used during the week for salads, hot stir fry bowls or even smoothies!  This way you can do one big grocery shop at the start of your week, and keep your list on a budget.  As a bonus, all the healthy fresh foods you buy won’t sit endlessly on that forgotten shelf of the refrigerator.

2) I like to spend Sunday doing simple food preparation, like chopping vegetables, marinating meats and preparing a few healthy snacks for easy transport during the week.  This way, I am not daunted during the week as things get more hectic.  All I have to do is toss the prepared foods in a pan or a salad bowl.  Parents can even make this a fun, family activity by turning on some music and having the kids help out!

3) Healthy eating will only go so far without physical activity as part of the routine.  It is precisely for busy moms that I created my online Yoga and Fitness program at www.elisejoanfitness.com, where you can mix and match 10-minute workout segments to create your own fitness playlists.  Most busy young moms don’t have time or money to go to studios or gyms, hire sitters and take time away from their kids.  With my online program, whether a mom has 10 minutes or two hours, she can create a program that keeps her fit and healthy on her timeline and budget.

NY: What advice would you give to a person living alone (not matter age) who has to plan healthy meals?  

EJ This is exactly the situation I am in, and it can be tough.  Cooking for one isn’t always as fun, but on the upside there is only one person to cater to regarding preferences.  I’d advise buying fresh foods in small quantities a couple times a week. It’s easy to waste food when cooking for only one person, and that’s an unnecessary strain on the budget.  Check out SideChef for some of the various recipes that can add diversify to a cooking repertoire.  I like to check out some of the Thai and Italian options, and instead of pastas or rice, use a healthier base like kelp noodles or shredded broccoli stems.  There’s lots of fun ways to change it up.  And if there is extra, get social and invite over a few friends.

NY: Give us 3 simple recipes for above categories.  

EJ Check out my suggestions on SideChef, but here are a few of my simplest and healthiest favorites:

quinoa-kale1) Hot kale & quinoa bowl: In a large bowl, toss blanched kale with 1/2 cup of quinoa. Then add favorite roasted veggies to taste.  I like to toss in sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts, which can be drizzled in olive oil & roasted in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes or until browned.  I add some sesame and tamarind for flavor, but other favorite spices can be used.  Then play with this throughout the week by adding new & different veggies.

2) Beet and spinach salad:  In a salad bowl, toss chopped baby spinach, sunflower seeds, shaved almonds and diced green apples.  Then add avocado to taste and about three marinated beets diced. Drizzle with balsamic, and for adventure, some crumbled goat cheese.  This adds texture, flavor, crunch, sweetness and healthy greens, proteins and fat.   Add any choice of meat to this too, it’s great with grilled chicken.

3) Go-to morning smoothie: In a Vitamix or blender, throw in 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 2 cups frozen cherries, raspberries and blueberries (or berries of your choice), 1/2 frozen banana, and Designer Whey protein powder if desired.  Mix on high for 60 seconds for a smooth, creamy and healthy morning jump-start.