Indulgence with Moderation

When we try to fit into a routine of doing everything by a strict set of rules, regardless of circumstance, we force ourselves to adhere to a standard we can never live up to (and, as a result, we make ourselves pretty miserable). This is why fad diets never seem to work and why living a healthy lifestyle with occasional indulgences is often a healthier choice.

Living Healthy… Most of the Time

Eating vegetables, fruits and lean meats makes us feel good and gives us more energy than eating heavy processed foods. We all know this. But having to be so strict with our diets can be extremely difficult. Counting calories never made anyone feel good all the time, and in fact, being really strict with your diet can start to make you feel worse about yourself.

That’s why it’s better to be generally healthy than to adhere to a crazy diet that forces you to live like a caveman or to never, ever eat bread. We all know how to live healthily and what foods are good for us, and if you don’t, there are plenty of places you can go to find out more about the food groups and the amount of servings you should have every day.

Indulging… Every Once in a While

The point is living healthy doesn’t mean going completely without the foods you love. It’s okay to eat chips sometimes as long as it’s not every day, and it’s fine to go out to eat as long as you’re considering what you’re putting into your body. You can eat healthy and still indulge as long as you think about the choices you make as you make them. Remember, it’s an impossible standard to expect yourself to be good 100 percent of the time… but you can do what you’re supposed to 75 percent of the time and still get results.

Gnocchi Verdi with Red Walnuts and Gorgonzola

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Pasta
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 garlic clove, mashed
6 ounces baby spinach leaves
2 1/2 cups ricotta
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
5 oz. gorgonzola cheese
1 cup  whipping cream

Head on over to There’s a Newf in My Soup! for the directions and full recipe!

Banana Red Walnut Muffins

Makes about 16 muffins

Ingredients

For the Muffins
1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups pancake mix (I used Pioneer Baking Mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup 1% milk (You can use whatever you have on hand)
2 ripe bananas, sliced in half length-wise and then diced into 1/2″ pieces
1 cup chopped Red (or regular) Walnuts

For the Crumb Topping
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Head on over to Blue Bonnets and Brownies for the directions and full recipe!