Healthy Convenience in a World of Fast Food, Express Check-outs and Pills that "Cure All"

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Images 32 1 | Healthy Convenience In A World Of Fast Food, Express Check-Outs And Pills That &Quot;Cure All&Quot;

 

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Convenience.

 

Who doesn’t appreciate it?

 

After all, our society caters to it.

 

Microwaves. Fast food. 10-minute Chinese takeout. Frozen dinners. Delivery services. Drive thru cleaners. Express pedicures and massages. 30-minute Meals with Rachel Ray. 10-minute beach body workouts. Express check-out lines. Fast-pass Disney World ride vouchers. Pre-cut vegetables. Online shopping. Mobile bank deposits. GPS directions. Siri’s assistance on the iPhone. Google. Energy drinks to keep going and going and going.

 

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You name it—there’s a faster, cheaper, quick-fix, more convenient option.

 

On balance, convenience can be a great thing.

 

Who doesn’t love spending less time in traffic if there is a carpool lane? Or being able to Google the answer on how to fix a flat tire, or properly roast a chicken, instead of having to make an appointment or dig through a cookbook?

 

However, there are some things in life where convenience is not always the best option.

 

I rarely watch TV, but the other day at the gym, a commercial came on the tube advertising a new heart medication on the market.

 

The story line played out, showing a man, probably in his 50’s, eating a piece of broccoli and doing pushups.

 

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The words on the screen stated, “What if a piece of broccoli prevented heart disease?…Or one push-up prevented a heart attack?…Too bad it doesn’t.”

 

Following those words, the plot revealed the man smiling and looking happier and healthier than ever, as he held up a pill bottle for this heart medication in his hand.

 

“Take ‘such-and-such’ medication to prevent heart disease and live a long, healthy life”…followed by a slew of health advisory warnings, read off by the narrator at lightening speed and written in fine print below the happy man:

 

May cause headaches, nausea, bloating, constipation, shortness of breath, blood clotting, strokes and in rare cases, premature death. Do not take without consulting with your medical practitioner.”

 

Phew.

 

Convenience!

Take a pill, feel better.

 

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The commercial made me cringe. As a society, why is it that we’ve gotten so far away from the basic, tale-as-old-as-time principles for living healthy lives through the basic building blocks of good nutrition, regular physical activity, and quality sleep?

 

My roommate Laura recently explained this to me.

 

“Eating healthy is just pretty hard to do Lauryn. I don’t really even know how to cook a vegetable—yet alone like vegetables. And working out? Sometimes it just sounds so much better after work to come crash on the couch and order a hamburger.”

 

However, despite her assertions that healthy living is a chore—rather than a highly valued commodity—she decided to set out on an adventure she had never embarked upon before: ‘eating more vegetables.’

 

She came home from HEB grocery store two nights ago, beaming from ear to ear.

 

“You’ll never guess what I bought at the store…” she said.

 

“What?”

 

“Kale!”

 

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For the past two nights, Laura has made homemade kale chips (drizzle kale with olive oil, sea salt and vinegar and roast on a baking pan at 400-degrees for 10-15 minutes) and loved it.

 

“These are actually good.”

 

And not only kale. She also has committed to squeezing in 30-minutes of working out in the apartment gym most days and has reported “feeling more energetic” over the past couple weeks.

 

Baby steps.

 

Good health all starts with that one piece of broccoli, trying that kale, squeezing in that 30-60 minutes for you in the gym, and opting to cook in rather than order take out.

 

Every step you take towards your well-being, the more that consistency will pay off.

 

That being stated, taking these steps does not have to be so daunting. It just doesn’t.

 

Here are a few easy, quick recipes for some of my favorite foods that are quick and convenient to prepare, deceivingly delicious and good for you!

 

They include:

 

-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

-Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes

-Sauteed Kale

-Meatloaf Muffins

-Banana Pancakes

-Roast Chicken

 

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Ingredients

-Brussels sprouts

-Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp

-sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees
  2. Wash Brussels sprouts and place in glassware baking dish
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper
  4. Roast in oven for 35-45 minutes, until tender

 

 

Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes spread with coconut butter

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Ingredients:

-Japanese sweet potato (or other sweet potato variety of choice)

-Coconut butter, 1 tbsp (or Ghee, or grassfed Kerrygold butter)

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees
  2. Wash potato thoroughly
  3. Slice or poke potato over skin with knife to allow it to ‘breathe’
  4. Wrap potato in aluminum foil
  5. Bake in oven for 30-50 minutes (depending on size of potato), until tender
  6. Spread with coconut butter, or spread of choice

 

 

Sauteed Kale (Or other greens-spinach, rainbow chard, collard greens)

 

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Ingredients:

-Lacinto Kale (also called ‘Dino Kale’, or green variety of choice)

-Coconut oil, 1 tbsp (or Ghee, or grassfed Kerrygold butter)

 

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly wash greens
  2. Place oil in pan on stove on medium heat
  3. Add greens to pan
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt & pepper, to taste
  5. Add a splash of water (2-3 tbsp) to pan to keep moist
  6. Cover pan with lid on stove and allow to cook
  7. Stir with spatula until fully cooked (don’t overcook, ie. Burn)

 

Meatloaf Muffins

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing the muffin tin

½ cup finely diced button mushrooms

½ cup finely chopped zucchini squash

¼ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 teaspoons coconut aminos (near soy sauce aisle)

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds ground turkey (or bison/beef)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ cup carrot juice

¼ cup water

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil.

 

  1. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms and zucchini for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool.

 

  1. In a bowl, combine the tomato paste, mustard, coconut aminos, rosemary, fresh garlic and pepper.

 

  1. In another bowl, mix together the meat, the sautéed vegetables, egg, thyme and garlic powder. Stir in half of the tomato mixture and combine well.

 

  1. Spoon the meat mixture into the greased muffin tin and bake for 10  minutes.

 

  1. While the muffins are baking, combine the remaining tomato mixture, carrot juice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the muffins are removed from the oven.

 

  1. Remove the muffins from the oven and spoon or brush the sauce on each muffin. Place the muffins back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until fully cooked through.

 

Banana Pancakes

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Ingredients:

-Banana (ripe)

-1 tbsp raw almond butter

-1 egg

-Cinnamon, to taste

-Coconut oil, 1 tbsp (or Ghee, or grassfed Kerrygold butter)

 

Directions:

  1. Mash banana up in a small bowl
  2. Mix with egg, almond butter and cinnamon
  3. Heat oil in pan on medium
  4. Pour half of banana batter into a small circle in pan
  5. Allow to lightly brown on one side, then flip like an omelet to cook through on other side
  6. Repeat with rest of batter
  7. Spread with extra almond butter on top if you like
  8. Bon appétit.

 

 

Roast Chicken

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Ingredients:

-1 free range/farm raised 4-5 lb whole chicken

-Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450-degrees
  2. Wash chicken and thoroughly dry the chicken inside the cavity and out with paper towels
  3. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and generously sprinkle the entire chicken with sea salt and pepper (inside the cavity as well)
  4. Cook for approximately 60-minutes, until golden brown on outside and moist on inside

 

 

 

Not so intimidating, right?

 

 

 

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