Here are some ideas for some delicious (and secretly nutritious) appetizers, sides, and desserts for the biggest meal of the year!
First Let’s Start with Some Favorites from Previous Years:
Now Let’s Talk New Additions:
The holidays are a special time of year filled with family, friends, and seasonal treats. Here are a few tips on enjoying the holidays in a balanced way!
1. Choose a Healthy Alternative- Eating healthy year round, (yes even during the holidays) can be done! It doesn’t mean giving up the foods you enjoy most, but simply swapping them with a healthier alternative! In fact, once you do so, you will notice how good you feel, and I can promise you will wonder why you ever even enjoyed those sugary treats to begin with!
2. Pick and Choose your Treats- The holidays are filled with special treats that only come around this season. There is nothing wrong with enjoying one or two of your grandma’s favorite cookies, or a piece of your mom’s famous pie…But the problem comes when people enjoy every holiday treat that is put in front of them. If you simply think ahead of time about what you REALLY want to enjoy this holiday season, it will keep you from having to work extra hard to take off those holiday treats in January! Plus, the added bonus is that you will truly savor and enjoy every bite of those holiday treats you do have much more when you only have a few of them!
3. Be Prepared- One way to prevent overeating is by eating small frequent meals throughout the day, and always having a protein rich snack before heading off to parties or holiday dinners. That way, when you finally sit down to eat a meal, you will be able to properly pay attention to your body’s hunger cues because you won’t be overly famished to begin with.
4. The party is about MORE than what is on your PLATE- Food is an element of a celebration, but not the defining factor, or the most important thing. If you keep this in mind when you’re on your way to a party, you can remind yourself that spending time with family and friends is the highlight of the event. This helps take the focus off the food and puts it back on the things that matter most.
5. It’s OK to say NO- During the holidays, many people are offering foods left and right as a gesture of love. I have learned that If I’m truly full, it is ok to be honest and politely say, “No thank you”. Most people will respect you when you politely say no. The great thing about this is, it allows you to say yes to the things you truly do enjoy this time of year!
6. BRING your OWN dish to pass- If you bring your own dish to pass, you can bring something that is tasty and healthy! The best part is, Dashing Dish offers tons of seasonal eats that are just as rich and delicious as the traditional dish, so no one will even know its healthy until you tell them!
7. Learn to Bounce Back- I find that one of the greatest downfalls when it comes to overeating is that it sets most people on a dangerous slippery slope. If you do overeat- don’t make that mistake! Remember, it is not one meal that will make you unhealthy so don’t let it get you in a defeated mindset! Just make the simple choice to bounce back. Start the next day by being active and make the choice to get right back on track with a healthy lifestyle! That is what balance is all about after all!
I can’t believe it’s already about that time of year again…Back to School!!! Where did the summer go!?!
My sister is a 3rd grade teacher, which always reminds me how ‘quickly’ the summers seem to go by! To kick the school year off right, there is no better time than now to start thinking about healthy lunches! I hope this video provides some quick and easy healthy lunch ideas that your kids will actually enjoy!
Fourth of July is a time to Celebrate! This celebration takes place to observe our nations freedom, and to honor the awesome men and women that serve our country!
I don’t know about you, but this celebration always seems to revolve around the outdoors and the wonderful food that is best during the sweet summer time…Which means grilling and all things BBQ of course! Here are a few ideas to get your holiday cook-off started!
It’s almost Memorial Day…Which means it’s almost Summer Time! What a Better way to Celebrate the Coming of Summer than a Recipe Round-Up of No Bake, No Heat Required Recipes!?!
I Hope this Round-Up of Cool & Refreshing Summer Time Meals, Snacks & Treats Inspires You to Get Healthy in an Enjoyable Way this Summer!
Did you know that if you have given your life to Jesus, you are never alone?
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” This is one of many promises that the Lord gave us that when we invite Him into our lives, that He will never leave us.
This is such an awesome truth for SO many reasons. I sure do find this truth comforting, especially in this ever-changing world!
But the most amazing part is…It doesn’t stop there!
When Jesus went to be with the Father after dying on the cross, He also promised to leave us a comforter, counselor, and teacher who would be with us to guide is through this life. That helper is called the Holy Spirt. (John 14:15) We can see in the Bible that the Holy Spirit was given to us to help us in all things. This means that in every life situation that we can go to the Lord and ask for direction, guidance, and help in any situation.
We can also be sure that if we need to be comforted, encouraged, or reminded of the truth of God’s Word, He will be there to remind us of the promises that we have stored in our hearts! (John 14:26)
God has great things in store for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11), and we can receive all that He has for us in every area of our lives if we follow His leading and depend upon His strength. A vital part of following His leading is listening to His voice on a daily basis, and the Holy Spirit is a vital part of that communication.
Communication from the Holy Spirit can be achieved by simply going to the Lord every day and asking Him to lead us. From there, we must do our parts by quieting our hearts enough to listen to His leading, (which is often a still small voice in our hearts).
If you are feeling worn out, burdened, or are in need of any kind of help today, the Holy Spirit is waiting to help you, and all you have to do is ask! (Luke 11:13) We can be confident that it is His will to help us, and teach us the right way to go and provide help in whatever we are facing. (John 16:13) There is nothing too big and nothing too small. You can go to the Lord about anything, He cares for you and knows just what you need, because He created you! (Psalm 139:13) Be encouraged today~ for you are never alone or without help!
“So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9
We ALL have days where we trip and fall, making us feel discouraged. In fact, I can guarantee that every person has days where they simply lack the motivation to keep pushing forward towards their goals.
I, too, have plenty of days where I am discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated to press on towards my goals with stamina and vigor!
So, the question is… on days like these, how do we stay motivated?!?
Well, to put it simply, we can’t… (Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere positive with this!)
The reason being is that motivation is an emotion, and like all emotions, they are fickle. They are up one day and down the next.
Let me give you a real life example of this (and I know that almost every woman can agree with me on this one). One day I can wake up and feel like I’m on top of the world and the very next day I may wake up and feel terrible! This one example alone goes to show that emotions can not be trusted and they are certainly not stable.
It is for that very reason that we can’t base our decisions off of emotions. This includes the emotion of ‘motivation’. If we relied on motivation to finish everything, we wouldn’t end up finishing most things we started…and even if we did, things would turn out very different than how we imagined.
You see… when we begin something, we often have a great sense of determination and motivation. We have a goal set in our mind and we pump ourselves up so much that we can almost taste the victory! Fast forward a couple of weeks and here comes that all too familiar lack of drive, (aka lack of motivation). This change in emotions can be attributed to many different reasons; a lack of results, increased stress, or a realization that the process is harder than we originally expected.
Which leads me to my main point… Instead of staying motivated, we must simply make a COMMITMENT to do something and align our actions with that decision regardless of how we feel.
I do this all the time in my own life in so many different areas. Once I make a decision to do something, I make a commitment. I bring it to the Lord and I surrender that area of my life to Him and ask Him to give me the strength to do whatever it is that I am setting out to do. From there, I make goals and often times I write them down.
When the ‘going’ gets tough, which often times it does…I run to the Lord and pick up the Word of God for encouragement! I encourage myself with the promises that He has given me of success and remind myself that He has promised me an awesome future (Jeremiah 29:11).
I also re-read the goals that I wrote down and reflect on the commitments I made and why I made them in the first place. I make the choice to reign in my emotions and get back up, encouraging myself that “tomorrow is a new day!” (Sometimes I have to do this many times… but the point is, I don’t let myself stay in an attitude of defeat!) I remind myself that I can truly do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength, and that means ALL!
We must recognize that one of Satan’s greatest tactics is to get us feeling discouraged and like a failure, because it is then that we will lack the determination to keep running the race and pressing on towards the goal. We must not fall into that trap! The most important thing that we could ever do is make the decision that no matter how many times we fall, that we will always get back up. We must make the decision to keep doing what we know to do and the results will come if we make the decision to not give up!
Prayer: “Dear Lord, I thank you that with you I can do ALL things! Help me to be determined to keep running the race and pressing on towards the goals to which you have called me to. Help me not to fall into the trap of discouragement and a defeated mindset. I thank you that no matter how many times I fall, that you will always help me get back up. I am making the decision today to keep doing what I know to do and I know the results will come as I make this decision not to give up! In Jesus Name Amen”
Does the thought of preparing food for your family during the week overwhelm you, or seem like it is just one more thing that you ‘have to do‘, but barely have time for?!?
I remember feeling this way when I was in nursing school, (and that was when I was only cooking for myself!) It wasn’t long after I got married that I realized that cooking every meal on the spot was not easy, especially if I was going to stay on track with healthy eating. (Let’s face it… sometimes when you are overly hungry or busy it’s easy to grab anything in sight, regardless of how healthy it is!) If that sounds familiar in any way, don’t worry… there is a solution!
I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.
There are so many benefits to having one (or two) meal prep days during the week, but some of the best things about it is that it saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.
Sound intriguing?!? Well… Let me show you how it’s done in just a few simple steps!
STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP
I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes on my “Favorites Board”. (This can be found under the membership section of Dashing Dish.) I create a ‘favorites’ list each week based on what I want to have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.
From there I write down the ingredient list for each recipe. (I generally divide the ingredient list by 2 if I plan to prepare it for my husband and I and it is a recipe that calls for four servings or more). After writing out my grocery list I double check that I don’t already have something in my fridge or pantry. Then… I’m off to the grocery store!
If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD
When I get home from the grocery store I generally don’t put any of the groceries away, (unless of course they are frozen and will melt quickly)…I simply take everything out of the grocery bag and set it out on the counter, putting things in organized piles according to each recipe. I then pull up my favorites list and get to cooking! I generally start with the breakfasts and move on from there.
Throughout the week I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go. If I don’t end up eating them I simply freeze them for a time that I am in need of a quick and healthy snack!
This week I made my PB & J Protein Pancakes.
Some hard boiled eggs, (my husband loves these as a breakfast side and snack!)
Strawberry Baked Protein Oatmeal, (recipe to come!)
And for a snack I made my Protein Blueberry Muffins (recipe to come!)
For lunches and dinners I generally prepare big batches of veggies and lean meats to use in my recipes.
I like to cook my veggies in big batches either in a sauté pan or on a big roasting pan. That way they are ready as sides, snacks, or to add to a recipe. I use this method of cooking in my Zucchini Chip recipe and Parmesan Green Bean recipe, but you can do this with any veggie.
One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken is in the crockpot! I make big batches and use the shredded chicken in my recipes for the week! If I am making Crockpot Shredded Chicken to prepare my recipes, I generally pop some frozen chicken in the crockpot and set it to high heat the morning of my meal prepping day. (That way it is all ready when I am ready to start meal prepping!)
If the recipes call for sautéed chicken or lean ground meat, I will cook it in big batches in my biggest pan! That way I am only prepping chicken and/or lean ground meat once for all the recipes!
STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES
For lunches I typically make something really simple such as a couple big salads and wrap sandwiches and put them in Tupperware containers or wrap them in foil individually. (Leftovers from dinner are also a great option!)
For dinners I typically make a few different main dishes and a couple of side dishes.
This week I made my Three Cheese Stuffed Peppers…
and my BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes!
STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY!
After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in Tupperware containers and place it in the fridge! That way I have something to throw in a cooler if I am heading out for the day or to pop in the microwave and/or oven to heat up and have a delicious dinner on the table in minutes!
This whole process from start to finish takes anywhere from 2-3 hours. I typically pick a block of time on the weekend to get it done. I hope this post helps show you how easy it can be to prepare meals for the week in just one day. If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. And if that’s you, a great place to start may be my meal plans…But before you know it, it will become a part of your routine and you may even find yourself loving it!!!
Christmas breakfast is unquestionably one of the most celebrated meals enjoyed by families all over the country! Enjoy a healthier alternative to the most craved breakfast foods with some of these popular Dashing Dish breakfast recipes!
*I starred some of the recipes that I will personally be making this year!