Calories vs. Nutrient-Density

Nutrition can be So much conflicting research and the onslaught of news and "experts" sharing their knowledge can get confusing, making us lose our confidence in our healthy eating choices. Well, I'm here to discuss a really SIMPLE way to focus on the foods you can ADD to your plate instead of what to avoid, and to focus on your nutritional bang for your buck, instead of the good ol calorie. 


Calories are great and all, but they aren't a good measure of how nutritious a food is. Just because a chicken sandwich is 300 calories, doesn't mean that it is nutrient-dense. What I mean by that is how much NUTRITION is in the food you are eating. 200 calories of low fat pretzels does not equal 200 calories of roasted broccoli. The broccoli is DENSER in the healthiest components that our foods could have, such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and a myriad of other components. These all function together to protect our bodies against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, aging, memory loss, and many other diseases. So you can see, the most nutritious foods we could eat are fruit and vegetables. They are dense in nutrition and low in calorie, so you get more health benefits bang for your calorie buck!

My professional opinion is to not focus so much on calories, but focus on the TYPES of foods you are eating. Which is why I LOVE the meal plan I follow now! (contact me if you want to get your hands on it too!) it is all about balancing out the different nutrients your body is consuming in theright portion so we get the most bang for our buck. By focusing on how much nutrition is in each food, not just the numbers and calories, we will start consuming powerful amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that will boost our health. Eat mostly vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and you will be well on your way to achieving health and vitality!

So as you go about your day, plan out your meals, and try to sift through the confusion that is "health news," focus on how you can make your meals more nutritionally DENSE by adding as many vegetables and fruits into your day as possible! The more of these foods you eat, the better you will feel, the healthier you will be, and the more energized and well-functioning your body will become. Here's to your health, and happy weekend! :)

Daily Manna: pancakes, rest day, and a muffin recipe!

Well hello there! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend and are having fun gearing up for Christmas! I know I am! My hubby and I decorated our apartment and we are so excited to celebrate our first Christmas together! I love everything about this season and am looking forward to many cozy nights sipping tea and watching Christmas movies! :) 

I thought I'd bring back my daily manna posts 2 years ago? I used to write these daily posts as a journal to myself and I absolutely loved them! But, life got in the way, which is typically the case, and I didn't give this blog the attention it deserves. Blogging is near and dear to my heart so I definitely want to take care of my blog more and give you more content to read! 

And with that is today's daily manna!  

Today was a rest day for me workout-wise. I don't take nearly enough rest days as I should, and since I felt a little under the weather earlier this week, I decided to take it easy on my body. So, I started my day out with quiet time with Jesus and read and journaled. Then I whipped up my shakeology and sipped on yummy superfoods! 


I blended a scoop of vegan chocolate Shakeology with coconut milk and good!  

I blended a scoop of vegan chocolate Shakeology with coconut milk and good!  

I decided to make my hubby and I some pancakes since I had some extra time in the morning (I am a super early riser). I used the gluten free pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe's and mixed in oats and flaxseed for some extra fiber and healthy fats! I topped these babies up with sunflower seed butter (I'm obsessed). They hit the spot!  


Around 9am, I definitely needed something warm since our office was freezing! I had an extra tea bag from sbux (I usually order grandes with just one tea bag and sometimes the kind souls at Starbucks let you take the second tea bag home!) so I boiled some water and snuggled in my office chair with my tea. I also had a Larabar but forgot to take a picture of it...sad day! 


After a busy morning meeting with patients, it was time for lunch! 



Lentil veggie stew with brown rice and a side of carrots. And for! I love kiwis!  


Work ended pretty quickly in the afternoon and once I got home and did an inventory of our fridge, I grabbed my purse and headed to sprouts. We literally only had kale and quinoa in the fridge, and I knew we needed some more supplies! I love going to the grocery store when I'm NOT in a hurry, and this afternoon provided me with that opportunity! I walked along each and every aisle and thoroughly enjoyed myself.



I also snacked on some almond because PSA: do not go grocery shopping hungry!  

Almonds yummmm :)  

Almonds yummmm :)  

I got home and organized our fridge and pantry and settled down to some Netflix time. I love being productive when I'm home (and I DID clean the kitchen floor!) but today, rest was calling to me, and I listened. 

Until...baking called my name. I have been wanting to experiment with spelt flour lately, so I decided to whip up some almond blueberry muffins. I just basically threw what I had into a bowl and hoped for the best! The recipe went something like this: 

Makes 9 muffins:

1/2 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup applesauce

1 T coconut oil

1 whole egg

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup baking stevia (or sugar) 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

I mixed the batter thoroughly, poured the batter in 9 muffin tins, and then baked them on 350 for about 20-25 minutes (I've found the baking time REALLY depends on your oven, so check with a toothpick!). While I waited for these to bake, I whipped up a quick dinner. 

I had made the quinoa and black beans yesterday, so dinner was a breeze tonight (yay for meal prep). Basically cooked quinoa and added a can of cuban black beans and about 1/2 cup fresh salsa (laziest dinner ever). So for today, I made a huge salad (massaged kale, romaine, cucumbers, and tomatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic salt), with the quinoa-bean mix, and a small handful of rice chips! This dinner hit the spot and left me feeling satisfied and happy! 


And a little bit after dinner, it was time to taste-test my muffin. I smeared it with a bit of Justin's vanilla almond butter which legit tastes like frosting...SO GOOD! And I'll definitely be baking with spelt from now on! Some benefits of spelt include its high fiber and protein content, and how abundant it is in important minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins! Plus the spelt flour gave these muffins a crunchy top and a soft and fluffy middle...just the way I like it!

After my delicious muffin, I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen and am now enjoying some quiet time waiting for my hubby to get home. On Thursday nights, he leads a small group bible study for high school guys in our home, so I plan on heading to our bedroom and having some quiet time, reading, and journaling, then hopefully dozing off and getting a good night's rest for my Disneyland day tomorrow! I'm oh so excited! 

It truly was such a good day today. It's so important to look for the good in every day and gather the blessings God lays before us, just as the Israelites gathered the manna God provided for them. I am so grateful today for my job, my coworker, my sweet bosses, my husband, and our quaint little apartment. I'm thankful for my clients who bring such joy into my life and are KILLING it with their healthy lifestyle habits this week during our challenge. Lastly, I'm so very thankful for my relationship with Jesus and the grace and restoration He has shown a broken girl like me. His love is SO sweet! 

I hope you all have a restful's FriYAY tomorrow!! :)