Recipes

What to Pack for School Lunches

Packing lunches for school is a necessity for the school year... but honestly something that we all kind of dread.

By the second month, it feels like we are packing the exact same thing every day! So here are some ideas we put together for you all. A lot of it is simple but can be helpful to have ideas, right? 

The first biggest tip we can share is to PREP for the week! 

Plan what lunches you want to prepare for the week and keep it simple. It's ok if you have the same foods for a whole week if you want- just switch it up the next week! 

Second, prep as much as you can in advance!

Cut up a ton of veggies to have ready to eat and store in glass mason jars or glass storage containers. This makes packing lunches and grabbing healthy snacks so much easier. 

When you are cooking dinner, grab some extra veggies and chop while you are cooking to have fresh things available all week. 

If you can, go ahead and divide and store other foods in small containers to put straight into the lunch box like chicken salads, sauces, trail mix, etc. 

Third, an easy rule for preparing lunches is to always include fat, fiber, and protein in meals.

This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and give kids balanced meals to have the most consistent energy and focus possible. 

Fiber:

-Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper (easily prepped in advance!)

-Mini sweet bell peppers are ready to eat as-is

-Fruits: apple slices, grapes, oranges, berries, etc. 

-Hummus in individual snack packs (at Costco!) to pair with veggie sticks or gluten free crackers

-Dried fruits or raisins (check for sugar and sulfates or unwanted preservatives)

-Nuts (omit if nut-free classroom)

-Seeds 

-Pressed by Kindbars (at Costco); a nut free option, too!

-Larabars

-Gluten free or grainfree granola 

-Custom trail mix to your liking with coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, clean chocolate chips, etc. This is a GREAT way to get kids involved with packing their lunches and being excited about creating their own food!

-MamaChia squeeze pouches 

-GoGo squeeze pouches

-Pure Organics or Stretch Island fruit strips 

-Plantain chips

-Cassava chips

-Non-gmo air-popped popcorn (if you tolerate corn)

-The Good Bean Dried chickpeas (if you tolerate beans)

-Pickles (check for unwanted dyes and sugars; love the organic dill pickles from Trader Joe’s)

-Gluten free pasta with veggies and protein (nuts, seeds, or meat) Trader Joe's is our favorite price and flavor.

- Jackson's Honest chips 

 

Fat:

-Guacamole snack packs or tubs (Great prices at Costco)

-Justin's Almond butter snack packs: pair with carrot/celery sticks, or apple slices for the fiber.

-Trailmix has great fats as well!

-Chia seed pudding

-Avocado slices

-Grassfed/Organic/Raw cheese (if dairy is tolerated well)

-Simple Mills muffins (mixes are easy to make!)

 

Protein:

-Trail mix. (Pumpkin seeds are an amazing form of protein!)

-Simple Mills almond flour crackers,sprouted seed crackers (if nut free is required), or cookies.

-Organic turkey breast slices rolled by itself or with mayo or hummus spread

-Lettuce wrap with turkey and avocado slice

-Lettuce wraps with tomatoes, bacon for a breadless BLT

-Hard boiled eggs

-Deviled eggs or egg salad

-Chicken Salad with crackers

-Chicken tenders with sauce to dip

-Protein bars like RX bars and Primal Kitchen are favorites

-Unsweetened organic/grassfed yogurt with berries and granola

-Egg muffins- another great thing for kids to help make! 

-Smoothies store well in insulated thermos' and can be super nutrient dense and a fun treat! (Using collagen is a great protein source to add!)

Curb Your Sugar Cravings with this Delicious Smoothie

When you cut refined sugar out of your diet, what is the first thing you crave? I don’t know about you, but for me, it is chocolate. I’m not even much of a chocolate person, but I crave it when the sugar is gone.

Oftentimes, there are ways to curb our cravings without giving into unhealthy ways of eating again. That’s why I love this smoothie.

This Chocolate Almond Banana Smoothie is the perfect way to satisfy that sweet tooth and keep you cool and refreshed this summer. Made with almond butter, almond milk, cacao powder, and bananas, it almost tastes like a liquid peanut butter cup!

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
1 banana
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 date
Dash of sea salt

To make this delicious smoothie, simply toss all of the following ingredients into your favorite high-powered blender, and blitz until smooth. If you’re feeling fancy, top with almond slivers and/or cacao nibs for some added crunch.

Almond milk is quickly becoming the favorite non-dairy milk product of the health conscious and lactose sensitive. Fortified almond milk contains many of the same nutrients as cow’s milk, without any of the effects of the lactose - and it has a fraction of the calories. Almond milk also contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.

You’ll notice that this recipe also calls for cacao powder. You may be asking yourself, “Couldn’t I just use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder? What’s the difference?” You could use the cocoa powder sitting in your pantry that you would typically use for baking, but you would be doing your body a disservice. While the two powders look identical, there is a vast nutritional difference.

Cocoa powder has been roasted at high temperatures, which removes the enzymes that actually makes chocolate (or cacao) healthy. Cacao powder is cold pressed, so it retains all of the healthy enzymes. By using cacao powder, you will feel a mood boost – as if you were eating a chocolate bar, without worrying about looking great in a swimsuit.

If you are trying to stay healthy, but can’t seem to shake that chocolate craving, this smoothie is sure to help.

Want fresh, chef-crafted smoothies to sip on this summer but don’t want to make them yourself?

Get a month of free smoothies when you sign up for a SAVOR meal delivery service from now until July 31. To get started, simply fill out a food questionnaire and mention this blog post!

 

Written by Savor Culinary Services | www.savorculinaryservices.com

Conversations with Jake: SAVOR Culinary Services

Jake recently had the pleasure of talking with Chef Deb from SAVOR Culinary Services, a personal chef company that has been in business for over 15 years and served over 5,000 families in the DFW area.

They provide busy families, professionals, athletes and those with special dietary needs, chef-prepared, customized meals made with fresh, wholesome ingredients delivered right to their fridge! Besides their weekly prepared meals, SAVOR also provides food intolerance testing, dietary consulting and boutique catering.

Here is a recording of Jake and Deb's conversation:

Do you experience some of the symptoms Jake and Deb talked about like fatigue, brain fog, weird weight gain, etc.? Let us know! We would love to help you find natural solutions to the root cause behind your symptoms so you can experience optimal health.

 

Fore more information about SAVOR, click here.

Oven Roasted Summer Okra Recipe

Summer is in full swing, and fresh summer veggies are here! From juicy tomatoes to Texas blueberries, to crunchy cucumber, we are loving all that summer has to offer... especially okra!

Not familiar with okra? Though it may be most commonly seen as either pickled or fried, we're loving it baked! Baking the okra is a great way to enhance the texture or bring out a wonderful flavor that's lost when it's deep fried. Not only is the flavor better, but choosing to bake okra rather than fry it will eliminate unnecessary flour and likely unhealthy oils. Thus, baked okra is a much healthier option!

Okra only comes into season during the summer months and is regional to the south. The fact that it's only seen in the summer makes it that much more exciting to get our hands on it here in Texas! There's nothing quite like seasonal and local food for a health promoting, and flavorful meal.

WHY EAT SEASONALLY AND LOCALLY?

With the modern grocery store at the forefront of our diets, you may be wondering why you'd even need to bother to eat seasonally. We have virtually any fruit or vegetable at our disposal any day of the year, so why limit ourselves? We beg to differ. 

At Stewarding Life Wellness, we practice a food is medicine functional approach and believe that choosing the right food has a powerful impact on our health. Eating seasonally and locally is one of the best choices you can make in the kitchen, and here are just a few reasons why...

1. Seasonal food is fresher, and more nutrient dense. 

Ever grab a bunch of spinach at the grocery store only to bring it home and have it rot less than 48 hours later? We've been there! Food that you buy at the grocery store has often traveled hundreds of miles to get to you and may have been harvested weeks ago. The expiration date is quick, and the nutrient density is low.

Eating seasonally and locally ensures that the food is fresh which in turn means it's also more nutrient dense. All vegetables are not created equal, and it takes mindful selection to find the healthiest option.

2. Eating seasonally helps to avoid food sensitivities and leaky gut.

Though we're told that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", the human body wasn't designed to eat apples every day of the year. Rather, our ancestors ate what was seasonal, and it's the way our bodies are designed to enjoy food.

Eating the same foods every day of the year can make us far more likely to develop sensitivities to those foods and risk the development of leaky gut

3. Eating with the seasons is what God intended for our health.

God intended us to eat seasonally, and we'll find that when we do so, we're healthier and happier for it!

HOW TO FIND LOCAL OPTIONS.

Doing a quick search for a local Farmers Market, CSA, or farm store is a great way to find local options near you. They're far more common than you think.

Eating local is so important to us that we partner with Farm to Fork Foods in Arlington, TX to have local food delivered right to our office in Keller, TX for your convenience! Check them out to sign up for your drop.

Find okra in the summer in Texas is a breeze, and we love snacking on it and pairing it with a nutrient dense meal!

OVEN ROASTED SUMMER OKRA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb fresh okra
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for strict autoimmune diet)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  2. After washing the okra, slice off the tops and the ends and cut the okra down the middle length-wise.
  3. Place the okra on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and top with oil and seasonings.
  4. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes of until  softened and lightly crispy.
  5. Enjoy!! 

We hope you enjoy this delicious summer okra!