The key to leading a healthy lifestyle is having the KNOWLEDGE. That is why we have a goal at WiO to keep our clients as educated and informed about health as possible. Below is an interview,with holistic health coach Lynda Layng and it is filled with great advice and amazing recipes! Enjoy and we hope you learn something new!
~The Healthy Hoboken IT Girl~
Eating is a way of life. We plan life around our meals- lunch breaks, dinner dates, grocery lists and dinner time with family-around the table we sit. Staying fit through exercise is half the battle, knowing what we put in our bodies is the other half. And being educated is the first step.
I eagerly tracked down holistic healthy coach, Lynda Layng to gain insight on:
1.) Tips on how to incorporate healthy-living in a fast paced life
2.) Domesticating wholesome foods into our diet regimes
3.) Gathering a handful of her favorite recipes to share; breakfast, lunch & dinner
“Clean Healthy Goodness” is Lynda’s mantra for her recipes. After all, free tips on leading a healthy lifestyle can always come in handy! Lynda’s guidance may be just the health kick you need if you feel your poor diet is contributing to negative health effects. Her instructions may serve as a reminder that there are always steps we can take in order to better life’s “wellness plan”, even if they’re small. Lynda’s, “Healthy Living Advice” caters to all lifestyles & personal food preferences, as she matter-of-factly tells me, “I’m open to all diets, “one size doesn’t fit all”, and “Don’t deny yourself anything! NEVER say, oh, I’m not allowed to have”. The key is creating a balance. One that Lynda has mastered.
Lynda grew up in a small New England town known as Tolland, Connecticut and was the youngest of six children. She was raised by older parents who did everything they could to get dinner on the table for all those kids. Their focus might not have been all about nutrition & exercise; this eventually contributed to Lynda’s career path and became the backbone for leading a healthy lifestyle. A few years after graduating from college, both Lynda’s parents passed (her mother of breast cancer and her father of heart disease). A quest for cooking wholesome, creative, healthy recipes, that tasted good, took over in a major way.
She found her way to Hoboken in 2004 and is currently attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and refers to herself as a “holistic health coach” as well as a “healthy living blogger”. She blogs at healthyhobokengirl.com. “This past year I started teaching healthy cooking classes and sharing my recipes at local gyms and wellness centers. I found this so rewarding, I enjoy helping others live a better life, combined with my passion for healthy cooking”. As her cooking centers on clean healthy goodness, she plans her weekly menu around the seasons, on Sunday afternoons telling me, “Prepare your weekly menu like you prepare your workout routine for the week. Making time for what is important to you.”
~To start your day off right, her favorite breakfast which she refers to as, “The bomb” aka 'Overnight Oats' are out of this world, and really are one of the quickest breakfasts in the morning”:
Place one heart healthy serving (1/3 cup) of raw old fashioned oats in a large mug, cereal bowl, or tupperware container. Soak the oats overnight by adding milk or unsweetened almond milk/hemp milk to cover the oats, stir to combine. Cover bowl and place in the fridge. The next morning breakfast is almost ready....remove the oats from the fridge (most of the milk will be absorbed) and add a splash more milk and any toppings you enjoy. I usually add 1/2 banana or berries, cinnamon, chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of almond butter...the possibilities are endless-have fun and get creative. Stir to combine and enjoy...my favorite part... no messy oatmeal pot to clean!~
Lynda feels that health and fitness goes hand in hand. “By putting good things in your body you’re going to feel better about yourself & will want to work out. They compliment eachother”. Advice she gives people that are apprehensive about cooking or have a fear of the kitchen: “If they don’t have the time or want to spend louds of time in the kitchen, they have the option of buying pre-chopped veggies at the store, or cooking with a friend makes it more fun and comfortable, start with your favorite meal your mom used to make, and don’t overwhelm yourself! Get a couple good recipes down to get in the groove and then start branching out”.
~Common food substitutions: Yogurt instead of Sour cream; Unsweetened apple sauce instead of sugar, in her muffin recipe this greatly moistens the muffins); She never uses sour cream as she embraces the vegan diet and uses unsweetened almond milk; swaps parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast, it has ½ the fat and more vitamins~
Her recipes are influenced by the seasons, Sunday is a day she spends creating weekly meal plans and uses cookbooks for inspiration if need be. She tells me, “Eating Well Magazine is a good reference for healthy delicious meals, they have a cookbook called, ‘The Simple Art of Cooking Well’, I also get inspiration from other healthy living blogs and any of Giada De Laurentiis cookbooks are great for entertaining.
The IT girl’s top 3 “must have” ingredients:
- 1. Oatmeal
- 2. Fruits and vegetables
- 3. Avocado
As the interview comes to a close I ask Lynda for recommendations she has for people in sustaining the upkeep of leading a healthy life. “Take it one step at a time, gradually get into it, stay active, increase your fruit, water and vegetable intake, make it a priority to make meal/workout plans for the week-you have more energy when you are putting good wholesome foods in your body”. Prepare foods in larger batches, and freeze in portion size containers. Cook once…and eat multiple times. Make yourself a priority. Jump on board, “The get-Healthy-Train-Track” before it passes you by!
Roasted Chickpeas: Portable Protein Pellets
These are my new best friends…the greatest little snack or salad topper you could ever imagine. They are filling, crunchy and delicious…and the flavor varieties are endless. You can’t go wrong, introduce yourself to your spice cabinet and roast these little round protein pellets for a start to a wonderful meal. You will not believe how easy they are to prepare.
Yields: 2-3 appetizer portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Watch carefully.
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*optional paprika, cumin, fresh chopped rosemary, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas.
- Spread the chickpeas on a paper towel lined rimmed cookie sheet, or between two clean dishcloths.
- Dry chickpeas and place on a small rimmed cookie sheet.
- Pour olive oil over the chickpeas and mix with your hands.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste *(option add any other spices you enjoy)
- Roast chickpeas in the oven for 20minutes, shake or stir them around so they get brown and crunchy all over.
- Pop back into oven to finish cooking, watching them closely, to your desired doneness. They will be a toasty, crunchy golden brown when finished.
- Let cool, add on the top of your next salad, or pack them for a quick healthy snack at work.
Once they are done you can add more spices on top. My new favorite flavor is cumin and lime. I cook them with cumin and once out of the oven I sprinkle fresh lime zest and lime juice over the top…wow what a burst of flavor! Enjoy!
Game Time Chili
This wintery classic pot of deliciousness gets a nutritional boost from shredded sweet potato. I call it the stealth vegetable because it melts into this chili so well that even picky eaters will gobble it up. Feel free to add in more protein if you wish, like shredded white meat chicken, ground turkey or lean ground beef. Enjoy it with the whole family, add some homemade corn bread on the side, and the footballs fans will not only be cheering for the game…they’ll be cheering for the chef!!!
Prep time: 35-40 minutes
Cook time: 25-35 minutes
Yields: 8 servings (serving size: 1 ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeño peppers* (optional: if you’re not into spice)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons of chili powder
½ uncooked quinoa
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
¼ cayenne peppers
1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce can) of diced tomatoes* (I like fire roasted-great flavor)
2 cups of water
1 (15 ounce can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce can) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce can) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and bell peppers, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. During the last minute or so, add the minced garlic until fragrant, stirring frequently.
2. Next add all the spices, chili powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper, stirring for about a minute.
3. *Optional: At this point, if you are adding raw ground beef, turkey or chicken, combine in and brown meat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink.
4. Stir in the water and sweet potato. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is softened and beginning to break down, about 6-8 minutes.
5. Add crushed and diced tomatoes, quinoa, beans and jalapeño pepper; return to a simmer and cook, stirring and adjusting heat to maintain a gentle simmer. The sweet potato will start to melt into the chili, about 25-30 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
6. Serve with your favorite toppings; scallions, cilantro, low-fat cheese.
If you are a health professional and would like to be interviewed for our WiO Health blog please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to feature you!