Hey ‘Oven Lifers-
Andrew here, Amanda’s lesser half. We’ve decided that I should pitch-in on the blog and provide another perspective for followers. Like Amanda, I’m a full-time parent with a full-time job so I’m on the same journey to find balance and success in both areas. Unlike Amanda, I haven’t always been the greatest about fitness and nutrition. And really, that is an understatement. I may dive into my ups and downs in a future post, but for now I’ll just say that I’ve made some satisfying progress in the last 18 months. So, starting out at least, my contributions to Just ‘Oven Life will be about some of the small changes that have worked for me, sprinkled in with a little #dadlife.
First up, snacking! In the past, even when I’ve tried to be “good” and eat healthy meals, one of my biggest downfalls was the fact that I wouldn’t be full enough to make it until the next meal. This would lead to one of two things: reaching for the crummy snacks like a snack-size bag (or 2) of Doritos at the office or overeating at the next meal, both of which negated any progress I achieved with the initial healthy meal. To combat this, I started planning my snacks ahead so I was prepared when I inevitably needed one. Below are some of my favorites. They’re not very time-consuming. I find them all tasty. And none of them will leave you feeling guilty.
No Bake Energy Bites (aka peanut butter balls)
If you’ve been a follower of Just ‘Oven Life then you know this is a family favorite. Not only does Genevieve love to help make them, but both kids love eating them (on Polar Vortex Wednesday, when we were all stuck at home all day, we went through about a dozen). And bonus for adults, they’re just under 100 calories per ball.
We usually double the recipe for our family of 4 and it lasts us the week. I throw one or two in my lunch bag every day.
Nutrition info (via MyFitnessPal): 92 cal; 10 g of carbs, 4 g of fat, 3 g of protein
Hard-boiled eggs may not be for everyone, but I love them. Plus, both kids like them, although Genevieve gives the “yellow ball in the middle” to her brother 🙂
It took me a bit to perfect making them but once I did it’s become an easy meal prep item. For instance, last Sunday morning as I was making scrambled eggs for breakfast, I just threw the hard-boiled eggs on the other burner while I was at it.
Another bonus is that the eggs are super cheap. We usually buy an 18-pack and they cost $2.49 last time we bought them.
Here is how I make them:
- Place the eggs in the bottom of your pan first. I usually make 6-9 at a time
- Fill the pan with water until the eggs are completely submerged and there is about an inch of water above them
- Place the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil
- Once boiling, turn the heat off and cover for 11 minutes
- Remove the eggs from the pan and place them in a bowl of ice water, totally submerging them
- Let sit for 10 minutes then they’re ready to enjoy or refrigerate!
I usually throw one in my lunch bag each day.
Nutrition info (via MyFitnessPal): 70 cal; 1 g carbs, 5 g fat, 6 g protein
Carrots and Hummus
I’ve loved baby carrots since I was a kid. They make a great snack or a side for a meal. And their low calorie amount means I can go overboard with them and feel zero guilt.
We’re also a big hummus family. Again, both kids love it. Our current favorite is Hy-Vee’s “Everything” hummus. Cormac basically just uses the carrot as a spoon to shovel in the hummus.
Carrots and hummus aren’t as big of a staple in my snacking plan as the balls and eggs, but when I have them I usually pack about 15-20 carrots and 2 spoonfuls of hummus.
Nutrition info (via MyFitnessPal):
- Carrots (2): 64 cal; 14.5 g carbs, 0 g fat, 1.8 g protein
- Hy-Vee “Everything” Hummus: 50 calo; 4 g carbs, 3 g fat, 1 g protein
Almonds and Raisins
First point to make: you have to be a little careful with almonds. You’d think having handfuls of those little things wouldn’t be a big deal. But, one serving (about 22 almonds) is 170 calories. Now there is a lot of good packed into those calories, but I was pretty surprised when I found that out.
Funny story about how I learned that. When Kevin Love from the NBA lost a bunch of weight there was a story about his super-stringent nutrition regimen. One of his daily items is 12 almonds. I was confused by the small and specific amount so I looked it up and learned that is roughly 100 calories.
I personally find having just 22 almonds for a snack to be a little blah, so I throw in a handful of raisins to add a little favor without adding too many calories.
I usually mix about 1/4 cup of raisins with my serving of almonds and it makes a great afternoon snack for right around 300 calories.
Nutrition info (via MyFitnessPal):
- Almonds: 172 cal; 6.1 g carbs, 14.2 g fat, 6.1 g protein
- Raisins: 120 cal; 32 g carbs, 0 g fat, 1 g protein