Healthy Food On Hand

Since Ryan and I didn’t arrive back in Orlando until around 8 p.m. last night, we didn’t have the chance to get to the grocery store to stock up on food for the week.

Fortunately I assembled a pretty decent lunch using food we had around the apartment.

Noodle Bowl!

Today’s meal featured Carba Nada egg fettuccine pasta with Barilla marinara sauce, steamed broccoli and Parmesan cheese.

Carba Nada


Bowl o' Goodness

For not having a lot of food on hand, this lunch was pretty great!

Healthy Food On Hand

I try to have the makings for a healthy meal on hand at all times, and find that keeping a pantry or freezer stocked with certain items makes this a lot easier. In our pantry you will almost always find:

  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Soup
  • Peanut butter
  • Protein powder

Our freezer will almost always be stocked with the following items:

  • Veggies (edamame, corn, broccoli, etc.)
  • Fruit (strawberries, bananas)
  • Whole wheat bread (sandwich thins, Alternative Bagels) Note: I freeze bread all the time because it takes me a while to get through a whole loaf of bread or package of bagels.
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon burgers
  • Veggie burgers

Even though I may complain about having no food sometimes, I always seem to have something I can conjure up into a healthy meal.

Question of the Afternoon

What healthy foods can almost always be found in your pantry or freezer?

Healthy Food Staples

Cheese is one of those foods I think I could eat at every meal and still not get remotely sick of it.

There are so many different varieties of cheese and it’s just so darn delicious that I cannot help but crave it all the time!

Today I included a slice of Land O Lakes smoky Provolone cheese in a cheese, arugula, spinach and cucumber sandwich.

Oh Provolone!

On the side I enjoyed cucumber slices and grape tomatoes for some added color and nutrition.


I am looooving grape tomatoes lately. They’ve been on sale for more than a month at my local grocery store and it’s fantastic!

I also had a cup of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn because it is the JAM.

Chedda Makes it Betta

This was a great lil’ Monday lunch.

The Spread

Healthy Food Staples

Woohoo! Today is the day I begin tackling the first of your reader’s requests from last week. First up: my healthy food staples!

There are certain foods I try to always have on hand. I find that I can create a healthy meal fairly easily as long as I have a few tasty and nutritious staples available to me.

Each week, I make sure I have the following items in my kitchen to make healthy eating throughout the week easier and oh-so-convenient:

  • Greek yogurt: I love the creamy consistency and wonderful protein content of Greek yogurt. A cup of this stuff, paired with berries, nuts, barley or low-fat granola makes breakfast a breeze and keeps me feeling full for hours. It’s also fabulous in Greek yogurt pancakes.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

  • Whole wheat tortillas: These lil’ babies are so versatile. I use them almost every day in my morning snack when I make microwavable quesadillas by microwaving a stick of string cheese on top of a tortilla and folding it over. They’re also great for wraps made with lean meats or peanut butter and banana roll-ups.
  • Nut butter: Though peanut butter is obviously my nut butter of choice, having any nut butter on hand makes it easy to incorporate healthy, filling fats into your diet. Simply stir a scoop of the nut butter into your morning bowl of oatmeal, or spread it over a whole wheat sandwich thin and enjoy with sliced pears for an easy pb & p sandwich.

"Gimme the PB and Nobody Gets Hurt!"

  • Protein Powder: I don’t consume protein powder daily (or even weekly sometimes), but I do like having it available to blend into smoothies or stir into oatmeal to add extra protein to otherwise less-than-filling meals. My favorite protein powder is All the Whey, but everyone’s tastes are different. I had to try a bunch until I found my favorite!
  • Fresh veggies: For me to feel truly satisfied after a meal, I have to eat a lot. I like to fill my plate with lots of vegetables so I can eat a ton without overdoing it in the calorie department. Though I don’t count calories, I am aware of them and find that filling up on vegetables not only provides my body with healthy nutrients, but also makes me feel more energetic and satisfied after a meal.
  • Oatmeal or Barley: Having a go-to whole grain on hand makes it easy to always have a healthy meal available to you. I love incorporating oats or barley into yogurt bowls made with Greek yogurt because they add extra fiber to my meal, which keeps me feeling fuller for longer. Protein pancakes made with oatmeal also have some serious staying power.
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit: Fruit is so tasty and I’m always in the mood for fresh berries, so having fruit available makes it easier to select something nutritious to snack on. Apples with peanut butter and frozen bananas make great snacks. Tossing a handful of berries into a morning bowl of oatmeal or a cup of yogurt adds volume, vitamins, flavor, texture and fiber! Eat up! Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies.

Smoothies with a Spoon = Extra Thick

  • Eggs: You’ll always have a great source of protein on hand if you keep eggs in your fridge. I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner and love using eggs to make healthy meals such as a healthified Egg McMuffin, banana almond-stuffed French toast or French toast strips.

Dippy Eggs!

And there you have it. My healthy food staples. I love ’em all!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What are YOUR healthy food staples?

Let’s share some ideas! đŸ˜€

First Time on Your Own: Healthy Food Ideas

Sadie called me at work after seeing my post this morning and was highly embarrassed that my blog not only featured a picture of her poppin’ a squat, but also showcased her doggie booty for the world to see.

She requested that I post a more flattering picture of her, and since I fear the wrath of Sadie, I had to oblige.

Much Better

Now that that’s out of the way and I don’t have to worry about our apartment being covered in drool and feces, let’s move on to lunch, shall we?


After my appointment at the bridal boutique last night, I headed next door to browse around at The Fresh Market.

I stumbled upon Brie cheese for the reasonable price of $4 and picked some up to enjoy throughout the week.

Oh Brie, how I love thee.

I incorporated approximately 1.5 ounces of the cheese in a broccoli barley bowl for lunch today.

Barley + Broccoli + Brie

Three “B” Bowl!

Eat Up, Buttercup


For dessert I had a small brownie.

Frosted Brownies

I made a small pan of brownies for the guy at work who helped me format our save the dates and had to sample one before they were devoured by the office freegans.

Healthy Food Ideas for Your First Time on Your Own

Last night my sister, Leslie, called me because she recently moved into an apartment for the summer and is now faced with the task of preparing her own meals for the first time in her life.


Leslie lives in her sorority house during the school year where the girls have all of their meals prepared for them, so though my sister will be a senior in college next year, this is the first time she’s been responsible for preparing her own breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. (Hello longest sentence ever!)

Leslie said she felt completely clueless as to what to make and since she wants to make healthy choices, she found herself eating plain, boring “rabbit” food because she didn’t know how to prepare simple, healthy dinners for herself.

I know exactly how she feels because when I graduated college and was faced with making my own meals for the first time, my entrĂ©es of choice were often Lean Cuisines, oatmeal or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I didn’t know where to begin!

We started brainstorming on the phone last night and I came up with the following ideas for simple, yet healthy meals she can prepare on a tight budget:


  • Oatmeal with various add-ins (nuts, fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips)
  • Whole wheat waffles topped with bananas or sweetened ricotta cheese
  • Whole wheat or protein pancakes
  • Greek yogurt with granola, berries or nuts
  • Eggs or an omelet with veggies and cheese and with whole wheat toast
  • Egg sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and fruit
  • Smoothies with yogurt (or protein powder), frozen fruit, milk and ice cubes

Lunch and Dinner

  • Whole wheat pasta or ravioli beefed up with lots of steamed veggies
  • Tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwiches with sliced green pepper or cucumber on the side
  • Sloppy joes with lean ground beef
  • Baked potato or sweet potato with cheese and veggies
  • Tacos or taco salad
  • Grilled cheese and vegetable soup
  • BBQ meatloaf
  • English muffin pizzas
  • Flatbread pizza topped with lots of veggies
  • Breakfast for dinner (see above options)
  • Lean chicken sausage with peppers

Some of the ideas listed above may yield portions that are much too large for one person, so I suggested that my sister freeze the remainders of dishes such as sloppy joes or BBQ meatloaf to thaw and enjoy another time.

What were your eating habits like when you were first responsible for making your own meals? If you’re still in school, what are you eating habits like right now?