DIY Wednesday: Pizza Kale Chips

Ok, before you go running from this post because kale was mentioned, calm yourself.  Yes, kale is a leafy green vegetable.  Yes, it might not be the most appetizing thing IF it isn’t prepared properly.  Yes, kale is a trendy superfood and in everything including lotion and maybe you have tried kale chips before and weren’t impressed.  Hopefully, I can fix all of these things today, I’m just asking that you give it a shot.DIY Wednesday: Pizza Kale Chips | Life Healthfully Lived

You can find kale chips pretty much everywhere these days and while there are plenty of brands that do a good job and use minimal ingredients in their products, they’re expensive.  Like, way expensive for such a little amount of food.  I like to eat and I want my money to get me as much food as possible without having to take out a small loan.  Which is why when I can, I make my own versions of store-bought stuff.  Including these kale chips.

My sister was actually the first one to give me a homemade kale chip and while I thought it was going to be dry and crumbly and generally taste like ash, it had a nice crunch and taste to it.  I made my own a few times and recently decided to play with the seasoning and see what I could come up with.  I wasn’t going for pizza-flavored when I tried this, but that’s what it tasted like so I ran with it.  DIY Wednesday: Pizza Kale Chips | Life Healthfully Lived

Now, I will tell you one of the keys to getting a good chip and not a soggy mess is making sure that you dry the leaves SUPER well.  I used a salad spinner and then set them out on a towel for a few minutes to really let them dry off.  Whatever you do, make sure you dry the leaves as much as possible.  Other than that, make a really big batch because if you’re like me, you’ll eat the entire thing in one sitting.  Good thing these are vegetables and good for me….

Pizza Kale ChipsDIY Wednesday: Pizza Kale Chips | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 bunch of kale leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (more if you want extra cheesy flavor)
  1. Remove the thick stem from the kale leaves and tear the leaves into bite-size, or chip-size, pieces.  Rinse them really well under cool water and then dry them.  You can use a salad spinner (works best) or paper towels but make sure they are really dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Don’t use aluminum foil or you’ll end up with a mess.  Once your kale chips are dry put them in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Not too much but enough to coat the chips.  Massage the leaves a little to make sure they are really coated but don’t mash them up too much.
  3. Spread them in an even layer on the baking sheet making sure there aren’t any spots that are too crowded. Mix all the seasonings together and sprinkle them over the chips.  You can coat them really well to have super flavorful chips.
  4. Bake the kale chips for about 10 minutes and pull them out to check on them.  If the are getting brown on the edges and feel crisp they’re done.  If not cook for another 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.  Keep them in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. DIY Wednesday: Pizza Kale Chips | Life Healthfully Lived

DIY Wednesday: Chili Cheese Popcorn

DIY Wednesday: Chili Cheese Popcorn | Life Healthfully LivedPopcorn is one of my favorite snacks because it’s easy to make and you can eat a huge bowl of it without feeling gross.  I’m a huge fan of volume eating because I like food.  Unfortunately, a lot of popcorn that you can buy in the store is NOT so good for you.  Flavored popcorn tends to be full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, oils, and way too much sodium.  That can be a real bummer when you figure that out after you’ve already inhaled a whole bag by yourself.DIY Wednesday: Chili Cheese Popcorn | Life Healthfully Lived

But don’t you worry because I’ve got you covered!  You can make your own flavored popcorn at home with half the bad junk and all the tastiness.  I was surprised by how good these turned out and even Adam who tends to like plain things said these were addictive.  Husband approval means you know it’s good!

You probably have most of these ingredients already and if so you’re only a few minutes away from a healthy snack!

Chili Cheese PopcornDIY Wednesday: Chili Cheese Popcorn | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn (or you can use this method if you don’t have an air-popper)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Mix all the seasonings together and measure out one tablespoon into a small bowl.  Add the melted coconut oil and mix everything together.  You want it to be pourable.  Set this aside.
  2. Pop your popcorn and put it into a large bowl.  Make sure you do this after you get the seasoning mix together.  You want the popcorn to be hot when you mix everything together.
  3. Once the popcorn is popped, pour the spice mix over the popcorn and toss to coat.  It might take a few minutes, but keep tossing and the seasoning will get on all the popcorn.DIY Wednesday: Chili Cheese Popcorn | Life Healthfully Lived

 

Happy snacking friends and see you on Friday!

 

Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger

Friday night.  The weekend is finally here and I’ve finished dinner and I’m vegging on the couch watching Netflix.  I know, I’m pretty much a wild and crazy party animal.  I’m not quite ready to go to bed yet, I stay up like an hour past my bedtime on the weekends which is usually 9:30.  Again, party animal.

And it happens.

That little nagging voice in the back of my head.  You want to eat something, Katie.  You want to munch on something  salty, crunchy, sweet, whatever you can get your hands on.  You want to keep reaching your hand into the bowl or bag or whatever large vessel you can fill.  You want to keep eating even though you’re not really hungry, you’re just bored. Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

Every weekend is the same routine.  I know it’s coming.  I know exactly what will happen.  I’ll pretend like I can’t hear that annoying little voice, but I know I will eventually give in.  Because I don’t have any control over this situation.  I have no power here.  I’m stuck and always will be.

Right?

Nope.  That is so not true.  I’ve tricked myself into thinking that I can’t beat this habit.  That it is somehow a part of my being, the way I am put together, and there is no fighting it.  It is so much easier to stay stuck and feign that I’m weak against that little voice.  That voice that is really just me.

I’ve gotten into the habit of telling others that they have the motivation and willpower they need to overcome situations like this when it comes to their health.  But I’ve somehow convinced myself it doesn’t apply to me.  Pot calling the kettle black much?Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

I can say no.  I have total control over my own thoughts and feelings and emotions.  I know this because I have done it before.  There are days when I lack the motivation to go for a run or workout just because I’m lazy.  But I’m able to power through those roadblocks and do what I know is best for me.  So I know this isn’t a problem of not being able to exert control over my bad habits.

It’s me being a whiny baby and not WANTING to change.  Some weird part of me finds comfort in those late night binges.  It’s a way to be that person I was so many years ago when my whole day was a binge of unhealthy food.

I’ve talked before about how change is scary and hard for me, but it’s something I should embrace.  I’ve talked about how motivation is something that has to be renewed every day.  Well, it’s time to stop just talking about it and actually do it.  Because I’m tired of letting a little voice control a part of me.  A bad habit doesn’t get to dictate what I do.Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

So there it is out in the open.  My little secret, my stuck-in-a-rut problem for everyone to see.  Sure, it’s a little nerve-wracking to share it with the whole internet, but I know I’m not the only one who struggles with things like this.  I’m human and even though health and food and all that is “my thing” I still have setbacks and things to work on.  I probably always will, but it’s better to face them with the help and support of others rather than alone late at night.

Maybe this post can spark something in one of you.  Maybe it can help change the habit you know is a problem that you’ve told yourself you can’t fix.Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

You can.  Of course you can.  I can too.

Ready?

Holiday Night Snacking

Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and all the holidays in between.  This is the season of good cheer…. and food.  So much food.  I love food and this is the time of year that some of my favorite dishes are made (sweet potato casserole anyone?).  Having all this delicious food around used to be very difficult for me and would usually end in a late night binging fest.  Thankfully I have been able to control that unhealthy habit and my holiday eating is much better than it used to be.

Our pretty little Christmas tree!

Our pretty little Christmas tree!

These past few weeks though I have noticed that after dinner I have been going back to the kitchen to look for something else to eat.  I have no problem with having a little dessert or snack after my dinner, but this snacking is happening even if I am full from dinner.  Before I started to eat healthier I would never have thought twice about why I was eating when I wasn’t even hungry, but now I know to stop and figure out why I am wandering to the fridge after a full meal.

In this case, I know it’s because there is just food there.  After two Thanksgivings (one with Adam’s family and one with mine), there were plenty of leftovers that we were sent home with, including an apple cranberry crisp that I made and tahini brownie bites.  I am not one to waste food, so I eat it.  I know this habit can lead to binging on food so I have thought of a few tips that can help curb this “extra” eating.  If you know that this is a problem for you, you can use some or all of these ideas to help your snacking.

House in our neighborhood with a CRAZY amount of lights. Pretty sure you could see this house from outer space!

House in our neighborhood with a CRAZY amount of lights. Pretty sure you could see this house from outer space!

Make sure you eat enough throughout the day.  This is fairly self explanatory, but make sure that you are getting enough food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Eating enough throughout the day helps curb that nagging feeling after dinner that you didn’t get enough food and you need to eat something more.

Wait 20 minutes after dinner.  Before heading straight for dessert the minute you finish your dinner, wait just 20 minutes.  Most times just waiting that 20 minutes will give your dinner time to start digesting and you won’t even want to eat anything more.  If you do still feel like having something extra, go ahead but make it a small portion.

Plan for a dessert.  If you are someone that needs to have a little something extra after dinner, that is totally fine.  My husband always wants just a little dessert after his dinner and he makes it work with his eating throughout the day.  I don’t really count calories (and neither does he) but if I know that I am going to want to have a piece of that crisp after my dinner, I factor it into my other meals and eat just a little less at lunch or dinner.

Take up a hobby.  If you have the habit of always eating at night, think about taking up a hobby to occupy your time.  I like to read, and I have recently taken up cross stitching (yes I realize I am like a 65 year old woman).  Keeping my mind as well as my hands busy makes it harder to eat brownie bites.  If reading or cross stitching isn’t your thing, try yoga or crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles, or whatever interests you!

Sip some tea.  Tea is a really great way to feel like you are getting a dessert without actually eating a dessert.  There are so many different flavors out there like pumpkin spice, cranberry, and even chocolate tea!  I love sitting down after dinner with a good book and a mug of hot tea.  It’s a great way to wind down before bed and keeps me from eating when I really don’t need to eat.

These are the tips that help me from mindlessly eating after dinner.  I am not trying to bash dessert or night snacking at all, I don’t think that they are bad things.  I am saying that eating when you aren’t hungry or just because food is there is not a healthy habit to have.  Mindlessly eating is never a good thing and can lead to binge eating or eating too much.  There is no reason that you can’t enjoy your favorite dishes this holiday season.  Don’t feel guilty for making a conscious decision to eat any food.  If you do find yourself indulging when you don’t need to, find out why you did, make the choice to not do that again, and then move on.  Beating yourself up or falling into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating because of one slip-up is not good.  Getting right back on track at the next meal is the best way to stay on your healthy journey!

We got snow yesterday! Yay!!

We got snow yesterday! Yay!!

What are some ways that you avoid mindless or needless night snacking?  I would love to hear your tips and be able to share them with all my readers!