As a busy mom of two, I understand how hard it can be to make meal planning with healthy whole foods a priority. That is why I’m beyond excited to introduce you to Sarah Adler with Simply Real Health, Inc. In 2012, Sarah realized that people were not only confused about food and what eating healthy actually meant, but didn’t know how to implement it in their own lives without feeling like it was a part-time job. So Sarah, a certified nutrition and health coach, developed a full service nutrition consulting company focused on making healthy eating and living more simple, realistic, and adaptable for a busy lifestyle.
Recently, I had the opportunity to explore Sarah’s custom winter meal plan. On Friday, Sarah emails the meal plan for the entire week, giving you the entire weekend to prep. The meal plans include everything you need and more: grocery shopping lists, recipes, meal guides, and a full set of tips for setting up a new healthy lifestyle. This is way more than just your average meal plan. Sarah goes above and beyond to educate and guide you through the entire process.
I chose to share with you two of my favorite recipes from week one. First up is the Kale, Avocado, Feta and Roasted Squash Salad. The maple-basil dressing is actually one of the best dressings I had ever had in my life. Fact.
Kale, Avocado, Feta + Roasted Squash Salad:
This salad gets better with time. Make a batch and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Marinating the kale
in this great dressing helps break down the bitterness and is a great base for a lot of other veggies and
Makes approx 2 servings
1 head leafy green kale
1 cup roasted butternut squash
sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1/3 cup Maple-Basil Dressing
Wash and discard the kale stems, and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Dry
leaves with a paper towel. Pour dressing over the top and use your hands to massage it into the leaves
(this is the part that changes the kale-taste). Add squash and feta cheese, cover and place in the fridge.
Add avocado only right before serving.
Optional to add some chicken, cooked sausage, turkey slices, etc
Makes approx 4 servings
¼ cup olive oil
5 TB red or white wine vinegar
2 TB dijon mustard
1 TB pure maple syrup
10 fresh basil leaves
sea salt + pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Store in a glass jar or sealed bowl.
The second recipe was my husband's favorite meal of the week, the Thai Soba Noodle Bowl. It's packed full of vegetables and a great way to sneak in extra nutrients without sacrificing flavor.
Thai Soba Noodle Bowls
Makes approx 3 servings
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
¼ lb green beans, ends removed and cut in half
1-2 handfuls kale, chopped (added to the skillet last)
½ package 100% buckwheat soba noodles (wheat+ gluten free)
To add after the veggies are done cooking:
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 inch grated ginger
1 tsp honey
juice of 1 lime
optional add ins: dash of tamari sauce, 1 handful cilantro for garnish, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds or
chopped peanuts for sprinkling
Heat 1 (generous) spoonful of coconut oil or a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet. Chop veggies, starting
with the onion and garlic, and add in one at a time (in the order listed above) a medium-high heated pan,
stirring as you need to prevent any burning. While they are cooking, bring a few cups of water to boil in a
separate saucepan for the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the package, then drain and rinse. Add
the noodles to the vegetable skillet and add lime juice, shredded chicken, toasted sesame oil and ginger.
Stir to combine. Optional to sprinkle with cilantro and chopped peanuts, cashews or sesame seeds before
Check back next week when I will share two more of my favorite recipes from week two of Sarah’s meal plan. In the meantime, check out Sarah’s 10 Tips for Healthier Everyday Eating.
10 Tips for Healthier Everyday Eating:
1. Swap your sugar/splenda/stevia/fake sugars for raw honey, organic grade b maple syrup or molasses. Those are the only naturally occurring sweeteners and interact with your body better than refined ones.
2. Stop drinking soymilk and eating tofu (there are a few rare exceptions to this rule, but in general, they should both be avoided, for men and women alike).
3. Anything that you would have in a sandwich, have over a salad.
4. Have a goal to eat vegetables at every meal- soup, salad, in smoothies, etc.
5. Buy high quality meat, dairy and eggs. Organic and grass-fed if possible, but at least ones without antibiotics and hormones, no matter what it is.
6. Keep real food based snacks on hand in your office, car, home, and when you travel. Nuts, smoked salmon, kale or apple chips, larabars, and sun dried tomatoes are some of my favorites.
7. Figure out what foods you really love and enjoy, but that maybe aren’t the most “nutrient dense” [wine, chocolate, coffee, bread, etc] and have those. But leave all that other clutter stuff behind! Most people have at least 2 they LOVE.
8. Use grains and dairy (good quality) as flavor and texture enhancers in your meals, not the main event. They can be real foods, but we totally overeat both of them and miss out on a lot of other nutrients and food categories (like vegetables, beans, eggs, seafood, meat, etc)
9. Before you “get” to have your morning coffee or tea, drink 8 oz of water first. Cold, iced, lukewarm, whatever you prefer. Continue to drink more throughout the day—so many people misinterpret feelings of hunger for dehydration. Try adding sliced cucumbers, mint, oranges, lemons, limes or berries and keeping a pitcher in your fridge or car to make it more exciting. Kombucha and sparkling water are great too.
10. Try a new real-food once a week. This may be a new veggie/fruit, cut of meat, different type of egg, a new recipe, a new clean snack that you find. Take 5 minutes in the store to find something new and fun.
Check out even more places you can find Sarah: