• Eryn

Food! - Strong Nation Challenge

By: Stacy-Ann Brown To maintain a healthy lifestyle, having a balanced, healthy diet is critical to achieve this. Many people including myself struggle at times to achieve that balance. In 2020, the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic which saw us quarantined in our homes for weeks/months. Many healthy eating habits went out the window, as many of us turned to food for comfort during this stressful time.


For me, I am a stress eater. Losing my routine, the stress that came with the uncertainty of what has been happening, I turned to the usual comfort of food (most times not the healthy kind). Not only was I comfortable, but the food also got comfortable all over my body.


I needed a change, and when Strong Nation announced the Stronger Together Challenge I was excited. Although I had done the challenge twice before, I never tried the food guide. Why you asked, because I don’t like to try new foods. This time however, having to deal with covid restrictions for over a year, where movement has been limited, work from home is mandated/recommended, it has been a struggle to really keep a healthy diet going. Now I have “covid weight” which I needed to get rid of, but overall I really wanted to get back to maintaining a healthier diet. I decided to go all out, workout plan and food guide with this challenge.


I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty and easy to prepare the recipes were. To date, I have tried seven (7) of the suggested breakfasts, five (5) lunches, four (4) dinners and three (3) snacks. Preparation and cooking time for breakfast and snacks ranged from 10-30 mins and for lunch and dinner from 15 to 45 mins. Preparation time can be reduced if you pre-prepare some of the ingredients in advance like the night before.


BREAKFASTS



LUNCHES



DINNERS



SNACKS


Favorite Recipes


It is so difficult to choose just one favorite from those that I have tried as they are ALL so yummy and good. I absolutely love all the breakfasts that I have tried. My least favourite was the Bromelain Blast Smoothie (maybe that’s why I forgot to take a pic). However, if I really had to choose, I would go with the Overnight Power Oats. I’m a huge fan of oats and it’s high fiber content, plus it’s such a versatile ingredient. With this recipe, you experience the crispy crunch from the apples as well as the almonds. The yogurt and sunflower seed butter give it a nice smooth creamy texture. Sooo good!


My favorite lunch is the Chili. I also love sweet potatoes and the fact that this recipe includes sweet potatoes and is spicy was a huge plus for me. My favorite dinner is the Pesto Pasta, very easy to make. I’ve made it a couple times and even threw in a few shrimps at one point. For snack, it’s a tie between the Banana Sushi and the Protein Mug Cake. Again, super easy to make (at least 5 mins) and I’ve used the Chia Jam from the Pancake recipe as a topping on my Protein Mug Cake. The Mushy Nut Mash-Up was good too but it had a weird after taste, not sure if it was the thawing of the frozen raspberries in the microwave, however, I haven’t tried it since the first time, but I will definitely try again.


Overall, if I had to rate the recipes out of 10, I would give them an average of 8.5. I have absolutely enjoyed trying these recipes and will definitely be incorporating these in my diet, going forward.



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