Healthy Eating Goals + Coconut Curry Lentils with Kale

Hello my fellow foodies! Once again, there has been a bit of a delay in my posts, as my life is coming together in bits and pieces. I started my full time job, and I am moving tomorrow down to a new apartment in LA! I'm glad I finally have a moment to catch my breath and take some time to write.

I'm sure you all experience this, but when life gets busy, healthy eating habits can sometimes fall by the wayside. I always try to eat well, but it can be a lot easier to succumb to bad habits when you are on the go. I decided to make a list for myself of health eating patterns I need to better adapt in order to feel my best!

1. Eat more locally sourced produce
While I've mastered the art of organic, I really want to start eating more locally sourced produce from farmer's markets. Why? For starters, food loses nutrients the more it travels, so your grocery store produce isn't going to be at its healthiest after it has taken days to hit the shelves. Additionally, many times produce grown from local farms is actually organic, as many local farmers don't use pesticides or genetically modify their plants. The reason it's not properly labeled is because they can't shell out enough money to get the official USDA organic certification. Which leads me to my third point, support small agriculture!

2. Eat less at night
This is personally a really bad habit of mine, and I don't know if it's because my stomach has been accustomed to my patterns or what, but I am inevitably hungry late at night and always crave something heavy. This is something I really want to work on curbing, by eating fruit or not eating at all!

3. Eat more Fruit
On that note, I just need to eat more fruit in general! I used to have the HUGEST sweet tooth.. it was pretty insane (ask my friends who knew me when I was younger). I wanted candy all the time. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I kicked the habit, and now I rarely crave sweets, if ever. Unless, that is, I start eating sweets and become addicted again (ahem, I'm looking at you Sara the enabler). I think part of my reluctance to eat a lot of fruit is that I don't want to jump on the sugar bandwagon again. But, fruit is essential and full of nutrients, and it tastes good, so I have no excuse!

4. Eat less cheese
This one is a big one for me. Cheese is my chocolate, my guilty pleasure. I seriously love cheese. But it's fatty. And through experimentation with my own body, I've come to notice that cheese doesn't make me feel that great and makes me bloated (I suspect a slight intolerance). So I've really tried to cut down on it, and I have been pretty successful, but I'm still working.

5. Get tested for allergies
While I don't suspect I have any deathly allergies, I would like to go to an allergist and see what isn't working with my body to function optimally. Food allergies can be subtle, and they can create lethargy and bad moods, among other things (and who wants that?). I only want to put things in my body that are going to make me feel good.

Everyone's list should be individual, but it's always great to what others need to do for themselves--And I would love to hear yours!

Now onto the food...This recipe is super easy, vegetarian, and really healthy! I love working with different ethnic flavors, and it's especially fun to incorporate coconut into savory dishes (especially when they're spicy!). This dish can be enjoyed plain, or over rice, quinoa, or any other grain.

Coconut Curry Lentils with Kale

Ingredients (estimates, as always):
  • 1/2 cup pre-cooked lentils
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • A splash of marinara sauce
  • 1-2 squirts of Sriracha
  • A scoop of Greek yogurt

1. Chop your onions and garlic. Heat coconut oil over pan on medium heat, and add onions and garlic. When they're almost cooked (onions starting to turn translucent), add kale and toss until wilted.

2. With the heat on low, add the marinara sauce, Greek yogurt, curry powder, and Sriracha, and mix in with the rest of ingredients. Then add the lentils, and stir until mixture is heated. 

Eat away!