A Squared: What I'm Eating Now: Healthy Eats

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What I'm Eating Now: Healthy Eats

Warm weather is allegedly on its way to Chicago... though you wouldn't know that from the frigid temps we have experienced this week! We have seen a handful of 70-80-degree days though and those always get me anxious for summer in the city. And that warm weather also puts me in a better headspace about exercising and eating well. It's staying light out until almost 8 PM so Clery and I have been taking some nice long neighborhood walks at night. He loves to pick Alex up at the train and I love logging a mile or two and having a healthy way to pass the time after work (read: something to do besides snack and watch TV). I have also been eating more mindfully too-- plenty of fruits and veggies, healthy snacks, and lots of fresh food out on the grill!

Here's a quick snapshot of what I'm eating now... all healthier choices and all delicious!

Clery was desperate for a JonnyPop!

JonnyPops are the perfect sweet treat for this alleged summer weather that's coming our way: cold and refreshing and not nearly as harmful to your bikini body as a bowl of ice cream (though I totally condone those in moderation, as well). But when you need a little something sweet after dinner at home these are the perfect treat to keep on hand in your freezer for such cravings. Made here in the Midwest, These frozen fruit and cream pops are made with a few simple and natural ingredients like real fruit, cream, cane sugar, and a little salt. My Jewel-Osco grocery store carries their Strawberry & Cream and Raspberry Blueberry & Cream varieties and I have personally sampled both. I love that they taste like actual fruit and aren't super sugary like your standard frozen fruit bar. And the subtle creaminess makes them feel a little more decadent even though they're significantly lower in fat and calories than regular ice cream bars. And if you happen to locate the Pineapple Coconut or Coffee Chocolate varieties at your grocery store, please notify me immediately. 

There is also a really touching  backstory behind the creation of JonnyPops. Have a read here.

Popcorn is one of the best snack foods out there, in my opinion. It's a whole grain, light and filling, and can be flavored in so many different ways. The only downside is that I feel the need to floss immediately after snacking on popcorn... Does this irritate anyone else as much as it does me? My kernel issues aside, I love some popcorn and we have a new favorite in our house: KettlePop.

KettlePop kettle corn is delightfully sweet and salty and its handmade I old fashioned fire-burning kettles a batch at a time. It is USDA certified organic, non-GMO, and is made from 4 natural ingredients (love that!): popcorn, soybean oil, sugar, and sea salt. It's so simple, but so tasty with a subtle salted caramel-like flavor. And it's a snack that Alex and I could both agree upon, which rarely happens. Try it for yourself at your local Whole Foods or Costco!

Urban Accents Spice Blends
On the couple of warm nights that we have had lately-- and on a few chilly ones where Alex bundled up-- we've been putting our grill to use. I like to keep dinner light and simple when we're grilling and have been using Urban Accents Spice Blends a lot lately. They are available in a variety of different flavor combinations and are a perfect way to pack tons of flavor into meat before you put it on the grill.

I combined the Sonoma Pepper (a citrusy pepper blend) with a little whole grain mustard, onions, and a bit of butter, spread it on a few salmon filets, wrapped them in foil, and grilled. The salmon was super tender and had such a tasty peppery punch! And we have been rubbing their Kansas City Classic Rub on pork chops before grilling, which couldn't be easier. Since the rub has a great barbecue spice flavor, we just drizzle a little barbecue sauce over the top after grilling and serve.

Just Salad
If you're downtown and looking for a healthy lunch fix, you're in luck-- Just Salad has recently opened their first Chicago location in the Loop on Jackson Blvd. Already a lunchtime institution in New York, this is an ideal spot for salad lovers. The menu is extensive, so you'll rarely get bored between their seasonal, standard, and create-your-own options. And best yet, everything is assembled and chopped fresh for you when you order. This is also a great lunch option if you're health conscious-- each store employs a fitness and nutrition ambassador to help communicate the store's healthy lifestyle mission to its patrons. And while their salads aren't light on flavor or ingredients, they are on calories: Even the most decadent salad on the menu clocks in at under 500 calories!

There were several salads on the menu that caught my eye, but I ultimately decided to give their seasonal menu a go and ordered the Cajun El Paso Grill salad. It was a hearty and slightly spicy salad of romaine and spinach with avocado, spicy pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, black bean and corn salsa, crunchy onions, sustainable cajun-spiced shrimp, all chopped with a zest chipotle vinaigrette. It was really flavorful and I love a salad that is chock full of ingredients-- it keeps it interesting! Just Salads serves a slice of toasty bread with each of their salads and in addition to salads, you can turn a salad into a wrap, try one of their soups (like organic cream of broccoli!), or try one of their many smoothies too.

Editor's Note: Complimentary samples were provided in order to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed herein, as always, are my own.

A Squared


  1. those popsicles look so good! i hope it warms up in chicago soon! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    1. They are really yummy! Just had one last night hoping it would urge summer to arrive... 😄


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