As a busy mom, I often find myself putting the importance of personally eating well on the back burner. I make sure that my son has well-balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, but it can be hard to do that for myself too. I was in a total eating rut a few weeks ago, mainly because I was swamped with work, and ate a bowl of goldfish crackers for breakfast one day and half a can of nuts the next day. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very healthy after those two days.
Similar to what Michele talked about in her post, The Importance of Alone Time, back in January it is just as important to take time for yourself and exercise as it is to take a few minutes each day to make sure you’re eating right. This can feel like an impossible task, but I promise you, taking 5 minutes out of your day to make something healthy is going to make you more productive the rest of the day.
I understand that this can be easier said than done. Making time to personally eat well is not a transformation that will happen overnight for most of us….take baby-steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. You might want to start by bringing a fresh lunch to work rather than a frozen one or going to a restaurant. If it feels daunting to do this every day, start with 2 or 3 days a week. Once you build this into your routine, add another day. To be honest, the only way that I can achieve this is to make a big batch of something healthy one day and then eat leftovers for the rest of the week. One of my girlfriends does meal planning for the week and sticks to it. This doesn’t work for me, but works great for her. Find a solution that works best for you.
Anyways, after the few days of eating garbage I decided it was time to make a change. I wanted to start with something that was easy and fast to make, but also delicious. The first thing that popped into my head was a chickpea mash sandwich that I’ve had at Open Face, a restaurant near my house. While my sandwich does not do theirs justice, it was very tasty and I’ve made it two weeks in a row! In my pictures I had the chickpea mash on a sandwich with lots of veggies, but it is equally delicious on a salad or in a lettuce wrap for low carb and gluten free options.
What fresh and healthy meals do you make for yourself that are quick and easy? We would love to hear any tips that you have!
HEALTHY CHICKPEA MASH SANDWICH
- 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (1 can drained and rinsed or dry beans soaked overnight and cooked)
- Juice of half of a lemon (about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons hummus (or more to taste depending on the texture you want)
- 1 pinch each of cumin, salt and pepper
Step 1: Using a potato masher, fork, or food processor, mash chickpeas until about three-quarters are mashed and one-quarter are still whole. You can experiment with the texture you like and mash more or less.
Step 2: Stir in lemon juice, olive oil, water, hummus, cumin, salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasonings, and mash more if desired.
Step 3: Eat on a sandwich, a lettuce wrap, scoop on a salad, or with vegetable crudité. (Or if you think it’s as yummy as I do, eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon!)
- I made this two times, once with canned chickpeas and the other time with dry beans that I had soaked overnight, cooked, and removed most of the skins. The second way produced a creamier version, but was obviously more time consuming. I think removing the skins from the canned chickpeas would produce a similarly creamy result, I just have not had time to try it yet!
- I used homemade hummus but any kind and flavor would work. One time I used plain and the second sundried tomato flavor and both were great.
Happy AND healthy eating!