Hi there. This is a weird time for the world. We all feel it. I am a local small-business owner who has dedicated the last two decades to help people on their journey of feeling better than they did yesterday through exercise and healthy nutrition ideas.  I want to help where I can, so if you have suggestions regarding topics you would like to hear about, please email me at annpelino66@gmail.com. I welcome you to check out my website to learn more about me and how I can help.

Many of us are in search of tools, resources and a (virtual) hug during this difficult time.  

I am starting this new column by focusing on healthy nutrition as a key to keeping ourselves mentally and emotionally healthy during these stressful days.

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I went to the grocery store this morning and they were much better stocked than I imagined.  There were some half-empty shelves and some items were picked over as we have been seeing over the past few weeks.  This inspired me to my community by offering a few easy lunch/dinner recipes in this column since many of us are cooking more from home these days. While cooking our meals at home may typically be enjoyable for you; right now, without the ease of popping over for groceries, it can be very stressful.  

It’s of the utmost importance to boost our immune system as much as possible, so let’s fuel ourselves with nutritious food. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

1) Slow Cooker Black Beans and Rice

Rice and beans are two pantry staples that will take you far.  Even better, it is created in a slow cooker which will leave you able to do other things around the house and limit the mess in your kitchen. Quinoa can be used instead of rice here!   https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/slow-cooker-rice-beans/

2) One Pot Taco Pasta

Tacos and pasta?  You bet. This is a hit for all ages and calls for dried pasta, canned goods and a few fresh ones. Prefer not to eat red meat or do not have any beef?  No problem: substitute black beans or lentils.  No onions or peppers?  That’s fine, simply omit and use what you have — it will still taste amazing. https://www.wellplated.com/taco-pasta/

3) Lentils with Kale and Cauliflower

This cozy dish relies on warming spices and pantry staples.  If you can’t find fresh produce any frozen produce will work here. As with all of these recipes, mix and match what you have on hand.  http://foodfitnessfreshair.com/2014/03/30/cauliflower-kale-and-lentil-ragout/

4) Coconut Lentil Soup

Lentils, rice, pantry staples and water are all combined to make this delicious soup.  Double and freeze to save time for a future lunch or dinner. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/vegan-coconut-lentil-soup

5) Brown Rice Noodles and Veggies

This simple recipe works well with frozen or fresh vegetables and any noodle you can find on the shelf. https://pinchofyum.com/back-pocket-stir-fry

Along with healthy nutrition, please get outside for a walk at least once a day and ensure that you create a steady bedtime and wake up time.  The more you control how you set up your days, the better you will feel during this time of crisis and the unknown.  It is more important than ever to understand how to take care of ourselves on every level: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  


Warm Regards,