Tag Archives: healthy eating

Cheeseburgers, Pizza & Wings, Oh My! How I Beat My Fast Food Cravings

I absolutely love cheeseburgers, chicken wings, French fries, francheesies, pizza, M&M’s, Snickers & ice cream? What’s your favorite? Mine depends on the day, but high on the list are wings, ice cream and pizza.

Photo Credit Jake Weirick

But, America is getting fatter and sicker and so was I. Worse? Big Food, the conglomerate of corporations that make up the bulk of our food supply, aren’t going to come to our rescue. They use cheap, ultra-processed ingredients that are stripped of nutrition to maximize profits. And, they want us to eat more and more as illustrated by one of their goals: To make food craveable.

The term, craveable, is defined by dictionary.com as: “having qualities that engender an intense desire for more: All too often, salt, sugar, fat, and “crunch” make a food craveable.”

As a Health Coach I like to help clients make some of those craveable foods healthier, and simple to prepare.

Let’s start with a cheeseburger and how I made it healthier:

  1. Start with organic grass-fed beef. Season with salt, pepper, parsley flakes, garlic, and onion powder and cook it in a frying pan, under a broiler, or in an air fryer.
  2. Buy organic, pastured cheese, or a plant-based variety. Once you flip the burger the first time, lay the cheese on top.
  3. Now for the bun. Good luck. I eat mine without, but if you can find a locally sourced fermented bun (KC, think Farm to Market) it can be a decent choice.

You can make some sweet potato fries in your air fryer but instead, how about making a lovely green salad? No? Okay, fries then? Slice the sweet potatoes and spray with either olive, avocado or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and toss in your air fryer for about 15 minutes (or whatever time your fryer suggests). No air fryer? Heat up your oven and cook at 400°

You can still have the salad. 😉 I’ve got a simple homemade dressing that you can make and store in the cupboard … all healthy oils and stuff.

Francheesies are one of my fave junk foods. Who doesn’t love a hot dog stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon? This one is easy, but I don’t recommend adding deli meats to your daily plan. Just have this every once in awhile and enjoy!

  1. Uncured, organic, grass fed hotdogs. I like Applegate Farms. Make a slit lengthwise being careful not to slice through.
  2. Same cheese as above, make into ½” wide, thin slices and put one or two in each slit.
  3. Wrap uncured bacon from humanely raised pigs around the dog and secure with toothpicks about 1” from each end.
  4. Cook in your preheated air fryer for about 7-9 minutes at 400°

Are you only feeding yourself or two of you? Make up mini meal kits by putting a burger, a slice of cheese and a bun or two hot dogs, two slices of bacon and a slice of cheese into storage bags and store in the freezer. Easy dinner when plans go awry.

Pizzas are easy to make healthy. You can buy or make a healthy crust. There are a lot of recipes available to create one that fits your health needs from gluten free to low-carb and keto. Organic pizza or barbecue sauce and cheese, uncured meats from humanely raised animals or organic, pastured poultry along with fresh or frozen veggies make pizza a breeze.

This is especially easy if you have a day of the week when you prepare a few meals for the week. If you’re making your own crust, start your dough and let it rise while making another dish. When it’s ready, top with your favorite ingredients and freeze for another day. (You can also freeze just the crusts and top when you bake.)

Chicken Wings If you live near a Trader Joe’s or Natural Grocers, you’re in luck! They have reasonably priced frozen organic chicken wings. If you also have an air fryer you can have dinner ready in 25-minutes. At the time of this writing the wings ran around $7 for two pounds. For the sauce, melt grass-fed butter or Earth Balance (1/4 c) and mix in 2 tsp. of hot pepper sauce and 1 tsp. of vinegar. Toss the wings and sit back and enjoy! This is much cheaper than buying them at the local bar.

For anything fried, from potato chips to French fries, the oil you use will make the difference between healthy or not. Check out this article for more info and instead, use avocado or coconut oil.

Snickers your thing? Purchase Lily’s chocolate bars (available on Amazon, Natural Grocer’s and many other stores) with whatever add-ins you like. They are significantly lower in sugar. Try gradually increasing the cocoa content of your chocolate. That automatically reduces the amount of sugar. Lily’s also makes semi-sweet baking chips … you can easily swap them for M&M’s.

For tacos, buy organic corn tortillas and use organic chicken, sustainably caught fish or grass-fed beef. Top with the cheeses above, add in organic sour cream …

Okay, I’ve got to stop. I’m getting hungry as heck. I’m going to cook some wings in the air fryer and toss a salad with my dressing. Oh wait! I promised you a salad dressing recipe. My kids simply call this Gramma’s Salad Dressing.

½ c Avocado Oil
½ c Olive Oil
½ c Apple Cider Vinegar
½ tsp Garlic Powder

½ tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to a bottle (I use an empty GT’s Kombucha bottle) and shake. If someone in your family likes a creamy dressing, add organic cream to taste, but you’ll have to use it rather quickly. (Alternatively, just add it to that person’s salad.)

Healthy fast food is more than a myth. By taking control of the quality of the ingredients, you can still have your faves. Experiment with spices to find your perfect combo. Most of these can be prepped ahead of time, on a day that works for you, so that they become fast food at the end of a busy day.

If you liked this, please consider sharing it with your favorite fast food junkie. Then follow me so you don’t miss any other incredible, amazing, life-changing words of wisdom. 😉

You can find more ideas in my book, No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us,and over on my website, www.enjoylifebewell.com

Healthy Connections July 2017

Health in the News with Nancy Oglesby

Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Action Newsletter reports that, Improving diet quality over time linked with reduced risk of premature death”.The study shows the impact of making healthy changes over time, in this case twelve years. As many of you know, my book No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us, is 90+ pages of simple changes you can make in your diet to improve your health. This research is validation that it’s worth it to start today!

Dr. David Katz is my go-to science guy. He breaks down the science that’s in the news, the trendy fad diets and puts it all in scientific perspective. His writing style is an acquired taste, but well worth getting used to! In this article, Two Diet Wrongs Don’t Make a Diet Right, he tells us how they got it wrong in What the Health, the new documentary on Netflix. (Dr. Katz’s Bio)

An excerpt: “If, for instance, my wife and I see a documentary advocating for vegan diets and the narrative suggests that (a) sugar in the diet is not a concern, or (b) deli meats are as likely to cause cancer as smoking, or (c) eating wild salmon is toxic for people, she turns to me and says: “I’m confused.” The goal of documentaries about diet should not be perpetual confusion and doubt.

If my wife is confused by food documentaries, I have to infer that she has a lot of company. Catherine has a PhD in neuroscience from Princeton, so she is extremely well educated and exceptionally smart. She lives with a nutrition expert husband, and is an expert cook in her own right. Yet, diet documentaries tend to confuse even my wife. Why?”

So, that’s the latest in health & wellness news. As always, I’d love to be considered for a speaking gig at your church, organization or company. For classes, visit my website at www.nancyoglesby.com, or shoot me an email.

I bridge the gap between what I should eat and what I do eat with the nutrition of 27 fruits and vegetables every day. This is what I call Nutrition Insurance!

Here’s a great video explaining the gap!

Pizza and Beer

_0jpjeqtsyg-carissa-ganPizza and beer? Really? What in the world does that have to do with living a healthy and fit lifestyle?

Wellness isn’t just about the food we eat or the exercises we do, it’s about joy and loving life, and if pizza is your favorite food, you will be stressed out and miserable when you see it in the grocery store, advertised in magazines, or when you’re out with friends and they order that extra-large, cheesy deliciousness and the server plops it down right in front of you so that the smell of the fresh-baked crust and those fabulous toppings drifts right up your nose!

So, we need to be realistic. Pizza doesn’t have to be on the list of foods you can never indulge in, but you can’t have it every day either. The solution? Eat healthy during the week and splurge on pizza and beer on Friday or Saturday night. Choose a time when you will really enjoy it and you’ll get an enthusiastic, “Go for it!” from me.

The key is to choose healthy foods during the week and keep your portions in check. What a terrific reward. Bada Bing!kindle-cover

To learn more about healthy eating, check out my book No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Craving Something Unhealthy?

Well, I was too! I wasn’t craving the worst thing, Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, but there are things on the ingredient list that just don’t work for me. The corn is most likely GMO which is a controversial subject, but I choose to err on the side of caution and avoid it when possible. And the pasta is made with wheat which I try my best to avoid because it causes me grief, and eggs (probably not pastured and who knows what the chickens ate) and sugar which shouldn’t be necessary to cut the acidity of the tomatoes because there are carrots in the soup.

All of which left me in the lurch so I started checking around and found Amy’s Organic Fat Free Vegetable Soup which was delicious once I added a squirt of olive oil, but pricey at around $3.60/can. That can was enough for one nice-sized bowl and I definitely bought it, then found it for a around $2.50 online through Walmart.

One day a few weeks ago I was walking through the grocery store and spotted a package of mixed veggies. That’s something I hadn’t looked at or purchased in years, but the picture got my attention because it is exactly what’s in Campbell’s or Amy’s vegetable soup. The light bulb came on! I checked out the ingredients on Amy’s can and knew that with a can of tomatoes and a few spices I could duplicate the veggie soup of my craving! And, it works! Here’s how:

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/3 bag of frozen organic corn*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen edamame*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen spinach
  • 1-2T reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • Dehydrated onion flakes, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today's lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today’s lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Using a large pot, put all of the ingredients together along with 1 1/2 tomato cans of water. Heat it all up and then simmer for a couple of hours.
I like extra corn and wanted a bit of protein thrown in. Use organic when possible and practical. You can use onions, garlic and celery, I just didn’t happen to have any on hand when I put mine together.
The second time I made it I cleaned out the bits and pieces of veggies in my freezer and added some okra, peas and kale. Play with it and enjoy!

So, the moral of the story is, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a healthy version, nor does it have to be difficult to create. I’d love the challenge of finding healthy alternatives for you. Visit my website http://www.nancyoglesby.com and click on Contact Me.

Bon Apetite!


Fresh Watermelon Orange Sorbet

I am on a summertime treat roll! Here’s my latest concoction:

  • 1 cup of frozen watermelon chunks
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and torn into four sections
  • 3 drops of liquid stevia

Layer fruit into smoothie/blender jar with the orange sections closest to the blades. Add in stevia and blend until smooth.

orangeWith my NutriBullet it requires me to shake the jar several times, but it’s so good that it’s worth it to persevere. With a regular blender you might have to stop and stir several times. I don’t add liquid and after blending it is like a soft serve sorbet … Delicious!

This Watermelon Orange Sorbet not only packs a nutritional wallop, but watermelon blended into a smoothie is the perfect way to preserve pieces that won’t be used up in time or a watermelon that you buy and is overripe or has an unappealing texture.

Another treat is frozen pineapple chunks, frozen sliced strawberries and a chunk of frozen banana blended with just enough juice to make a slush. I add a few drops of liquid stevia for added sweetness.

To feel really special, or for special occasions, dress it up with an orange slice and a fancy glass.

A client told me about just blending frozen pineapple and coconut milk. Another delicious smoothie for a summertime treat.

My next experiment is to make these and freeze them in Popsicle molds. After mowing the grass on a hot day, one of these puppies would be the perfect way to relax on the deck! Eating cold, healthy treats is a great way to cool off!

Summer treats … YUM!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach

Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices



Challenge #1: I Challenge You to …

Today I am challenging you to add in one healthy habit THIS WEEK!challenge Add in fresh fruit. Add in a green smoothie or salad. Add in a ten-minute walk or a meatless meal. Add in a little self-care. Add in a hearty, protein-rich breakfast. Add in a social gathering or a dance class. Add in journaling. Add in a cooking class. Add in lunch with a good book. Add in date night. Add in a brown rice or quinoa pilaf. Add in a healthy take-out by going to the grocery and picking up a rotisserie chicken and salad from the salad bar. Add in a gratitude list. Add in dancing in the living room to your favorite beat.

Today I am challenging you to add in one healthy habit this week. Start today. Pick an easy one. In a week or two pick another, one a bit more challenging, and make a plan to make it happen.

I’m not just writing these for you to read and forget about. I write them so that you can add in healthy habits. Pick one. Add it in.

I challenge you to better health!

If you’re interested in journaling, I’m offering two classes this week: Thursday, May 15th at 7PM and Saturday, May 17th at 11AM. Both classes are at my office in downtown Overland Park and are offered on a Love Offering basis. Email for details.

My First Ever Product Review!

1 Trader Joes SpaghettiTrader Giotto’s Organic Tomato Basil Marinara

Ingredients: Organic tomato puree (water, organic tomato paste), organic tomatoes, organic basil, organic soybean oil, salt, organic onion, organic garlic powder, organic oregano, organic garlic

Net wt 25 oz. (1 lb 9 oz) 709g

Price in Kansas City on April 2, 2014 $2.29

What I love about it:

  • No sugar added … NONE!
  • Everything except the salt is organic
  • Every ingredient is something you can find in my kitchen
  • Taste. It truly tastes as if it simmered on my stove all day.
  • Its usefulness in making tasty dishes like chicken cacciatore and spaghetti and as a base in my chili and some of my soups.
  • Price. Really, $2.29 and it’s all organic!
  • It comes in Mason jars and they make great iced tea glasses in the summer. (You can make sun tea right in the jar. No pitcher necessary.)

I hate to cook. It’s true. That’s why I teach a class called Cooking … Fast, Easy, Healthy and I consider it my job to find shortcuts that are not only good for your health, but tasty as well. It helps when they’re cost effective too.

Finding a product like this adds variety into my menu because if I don’t have to spend time preparing a delicious marinara I can spend it making a fabulous mushroom risotto!

So, what’s for dinner? I think I’ll have chicken cacciatore served over brown rice and quinoa fusilli with a fresh, green salad lightly dressed in olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper. Bon Appetit!

I know that not all of you have access to a Trader Joe’s and I’d be happy to ship you some except that I don’t think it would be very cost effective after the shipping costs are added, so instead, read the ingredients on the sauces available to you and when you find one that’s to your standards, try it out. I’d love to hear from you about the brands that you find. Let’s share!

Here is the link to my meatless, yet very meaty tasting, spaghetti sauce!

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Here’s Permission to Play With Your Food!

1 PLAYLet’s go back to food for a bit. It can be a lot of fun to experiment with foods you’ve never tried. By doing a bit of research online you’ll find recipes and suggestions on how best to prepare the food. By reading the recommendations you’ll have a greater likelihood of creating a successful dish.

According to Nutrition Source*, a publication of the Harvard School of Public Health research the results of the most effective type of studies, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, haven’t supported taking single antioxidants (vitamin c, e and/or beta-carotene among others). Results tend to be negative rather than positive in their use to prevent cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

As I’ve discussed with students and clients, the reductionist thinking that has been leading the charge in nutritional science for decades is coming under attack for ignoring nature’s delivery systems … the foods themselves. Taking beta-carotene out of the carrot or sweet potato doesn’t work as well, if at all, and in some cases is harmful.

Each fruit and vegetable has its own unique system of delivery and science is showing that the body often doesn’t know what to do with nutrients when they’re in a form other than that which nature provided. By adding in new foods, you’re adding in unique delivery systems increasing the likelihood of getting the nourishment you need. So, not only will you be adding new flavors to your menu, you’ll be adding a whole different package of nutrients!

Over the weekend a friend asked me what I thought about Black Rice. I didn’t remember ever hearing about it and so today, when I saw it at Trader Joe’s I purchased a bag. (For those of you without access, you can buy it on Amazon here.) After giving it a rinse, I just cooked it following the directions on the package. Mine took a bit longer to cook than indicated, but when it was done I was transported! It was almost creamy, a beautiful purple and tasted delicious. It has the perfect bit of crunch. I ate it with a sprinkle of salt and it was really good.

I think it would be a bit too creamy to use for pilaf, but will probably be great as a warm or cold whole grain cereal. I’ll be trying that tomorrow morning!

I looked up the nutritional information and wasn’t surprised to find out that it’s loaded with nutrients. Whenever a whole food is dark in color, chances are that it’s a healthier choice than its paler version. Black rice is no exception. It contains a large amount of anthocyanins, reducing the risk of heart attacks by preventing the buildup of plaque. Anthocyanins are also better at controlling cholesterol levels than any other food supplement**.

Black rice is a nutritional powerhouse! I recommend adding it to your diet. If you have kids, they’re bound to love it. It turns a dark purple when cooked. What kid doesn’t like dark purple food? (By the way, that’s why kids love green smoothies … they’re green!)

So, try something new. Look it up and learn about all of its glorious benefits. You won’t be sorry!

Bon Voyage!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Do you enjoy reading the blog, think the ideas are good, but just don’t seem to make them happen in your life? You might be a perfect candidate for the coaching process. Contact me to schedule a FREE Strategy Session by visiting my website www.healthworkskc.com/forms. Fill out the appropriate form and when I receive it I’ll contact you to set up a time to talk. The session is done over the phone, lasts about 45 minutes and you will definitely have one or two strategies when the call is over.

*Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health
**Natural News



11 Kitchen Hacks … Fast, Easy, Healthy!

I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to cut my time in the kitchen and still maintain a healthy diet. These are some of the things that work for me:

  1. If I want a slice of onion for a sandwich, or if I’m11 Kitchen Hacks Small chopping up a few tablespoons for tuna salad, I go ahead and cut up the whole onion and store it in a glass container in the fridge. I find myself using it up every time because it’s so easy. I’ll put onions with scrambled eggs, brown rice or pasta, or add it to a sandwich, just because it’s already cut up.
  2. I cook once and eat several times. I’ll make a double batch of spaghetti, cook an entire bag of pasta and freeze it individually for easy dinners. I do this with casseroles, soup and side dishes.
  3. Having great knives and glass cutting boards is a must for easy prep. Even if I cut only once, I want it to be fast and efficient. With glass cutting boards I don’t have to Chef-knivesworry about how sanitary it is. When I’m finished, I pop it in the dishwasher.
  4. A Foreman Grill is a big deal in my kitchen. I use it primarily for fish. I love the salmon burgers and mahi burgers from Trader Joe’s. From frozen they take about four minutes. Add in a side salad from the salad bar and a bit of rice pilaf and I’m good to go in under 15 minutes!
  5. I would have a hard time eating healthy if I didn’t have my slow cooker. In the summer it keeps the house cool and in the winter it makes soups so easy to prepare! This is where I cook my Vegan Spaghetti, Split Pea Soup, Sweet Potatoes, Chili … Actually, most things! My favorite is the Hamilton Beach; It’s reasonably priced and works simply.
  6. Sweet Potatoes & Butternut Squash are a big deal for me and I almost always have one of them on hand. I cook them in my slow cookerSweet Potatoes without any added liquid, for 3-4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. They are the best tasting sweet potatoes I’ve ever eaten. When I make Butternut Squash Soup, I don’t bother with cubing or peeling. I throw the whole, washed squash into the slow cooker until cooked, remove it, scrape the meat into the blender, and add the rest of the ingredients, then puree. I put it back in the slow cooker for about an hour to let the ingredients meld together. Delish!
  7. Then there’s my Ninja Professional. It’s a blender, food processor combined. Knowing what to use when took me a bit, but it was worth the investment. I can make GF breadcrumbs with the end pieces of the Udi’s bread I buy. I crush the chickpeas I add to my Vegan Spaghetti. I make my hummus, refried beans and black bean dip.
  8. NutriBullet makes my smoothies a breeze. I have a really small kitchen, so I keep most of my appliances in a closet. The NutriBullet caught my eye because of its small size. It sits on my counter and I whip up my morning smoothie easily. It also comes with three cups and a milling blade which makes grinding the fennel for my Vegan Spaghetti a snap!
  9. A toaster oven is great for reheating things that require crispness. One of my guilty pleasures is a dish called Crispy Tofu from Blue Koi, a restaurant in KC. I bring home leftovers and the next day I put them in the toaster oven, on toast, and they come out crispy and delicious! Toaster ovens are good for when you don’t need the large size of a regular oven. Oh yeah … they make toast!
  10. Salad in a Jar is one way to easily make a healthy lunch. Using large jars (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Spaghetti Sauce jars), fill about half way with your choice of lettuce. I use a mix of romaine and spring greens from the salad bar. Then toss in some premade Cole slaw mix or broccoli slaw mix, and veggies that you like on a salad. I use cucumbers, peppers and a little red onion. You can add beans (I like chickpeas) and dried cranberries. Then top it with a few grape tomatoes. On the day of, I add nuts and seeds. I take along a little container of salad dressing and at lunchtime I add the dressing, re-close the jar, and shake like a bartender to mix. The only caveat: Make sure you’ve got a fork that fits to the bottom of the jar you choose.
    These last three days in my refrigerator. It seems the bagged lettuce lasts longer in the jar than it does in the bag … weird.
  11. Just toss stuff together! You probably have some regular flavor profiles that you depend on. Try something with what you’ve got on hand. I tossed some edamame, onions and pasta together with some tamari, garlic, salt and coconut oil for a fabulous stir fry! Here are the pics:


I hope these make your life a bit healthier and easier. I am all about helping people fit healthy choices into their busy lives. I love for you to ‘like’ my Facebook page. It can be found at www.facebook.com/healthworkskc

Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Just a quick disclaimer: I make a small amount if you purchase from the links I provide. I do like it that you know exactly what model I’m talking about when I identify brands that I like and use.

Breakfast is for Champions!

It’s critical that you end your overnight fast, and fuel your body for the coming day, with good, solid nutrition. I’ve heard so many people say they feel hungrier if they eat. I’m going to guess that they begin their day with sugary cereal, donuts or muffins. This is your opportunity to end that!hat the

The key to a great start is protein, so start with an egg, nut butter, lean meat, beans or low-fat dairy. Protein powder is my easy solution. I don’t eat meat or dairy, so I add a scoop of Sun Warrior Raw Vanilla Protein Powder to my smoothie in the morning. Even a healthy fruit smoothie can leave you hungry if you don’t have protein to slow down the release of sugar into your system.

One way to add a healthy breakfast to your daily routine is to decide what you’re going to have and make it consistent. If you love eggs, have them two or three days a week. On the other days have a smoothie, yogurt or nut butter with an all-fruit spread on whole grain toast.

Fast, Easy, Healthy
Hard boiled eggs is one of the easiest, lowest-sugar ways to add protein to your morning and it speaks to our standard of having eggs at breakfast. Cook up several at a time so that they’re handy.

Make the same smoothie for the week. Buy the ingredients, measure and freeze into individual bags, and all you have to do in the morning is toss in the blender with your choice of liquid and you’re good to go.

If you choose the nut butter option, make sure to measure your nut butter so that you don’t kill it on the calories. I enjoy organic sunflower butter, Trader Joe’s Organic Super Fruit Spread (Morello cherry, red grape, blueberry, pomegranate) on a Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cracker (so much better than any others).

Be careful when you buy yogurt. It’s loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. To avoid that, buy a large container of plain yogurt and a bag of frozen berries. Thaw the berries and combine with the yogurt. Transfer to single serve containers.

winnerIf you love bananas, add a mashed banana to plain Greek yogurt, sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped walnuts and you have a powerhouse breakfast!

These breakfasts are all under five minutes in the morning and can even be taken with you on your commute (except for the yogurt).

Start your day with nutritious food as the first step on your journey to better health.

Nancy Oglesby, the practical health coach.