Felicia Newell, RD, MSc
How USA Rice can help with getting back to a (Semi) Normal Routine
DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in sponsored partnership with the USA Rice; however, as always, all opinions are genuine.
Life is meant to be enjoyed and it’s good for your body and mind to let go of routine every once in a while, especially with how crazy 2020 has been. But what’s more important than breaks from the everyday? Looking at the bigger picture, and saying to yourself:
“Self – enough is enough, it’s time to get BACK into routine and focus on my health and quality of life.”
“Self – you feel much better when you’re in a routine and making positive changes to do things that are good for your body, mind, and soul.”
When seasons change and life starts to get into more of a routine with work, school, kids, etc., it is a great time to make new goals and intentions and to get back into the swing of habit.
As part of the USA Rice ‘Think Rice’ campaign (5 different ways rice can be enjoyed on 5 different days) my main goal of this post is to talk about why U.S.-grown rice is a healthy, affordable, and versatile pantry staple that I love to include into my family’s meal rotation several times a week (as well as provide you with an easy, delicious recipe below that I love).
But first – 4 tips that will help with getting back into a routine:
1. Set a monthly goal AND small weekly goals. What do you want to achieve in one month? Figure that out and break it down into weekly smaller goals. Write it all down and post it somewhere visible.
2. Make a plan now. Grab your calendar it’s time to schedule it all in. Writing it down increases your chances of following through. And scheduling it in like a meeting, ensures you are committed to making it happen.
What’s your meal plan? Your grocery lists? Your workout program? Your running schedule? Get it all down. Schedule 30-60 minutes per week to do a basic meal plan and write down a list of groceries you need.
3. Clean up your environment. Do you have your kitchen set up for healthy habits? Does your house encourage movement? It’s time to declutter rooms, clean out the fridge and make room for workout equipment and real food.
4. Find easy and affordable food items that stretch your dollars. This is where I want to talk about why I love rice. U.S.-grown rice as it’s such a versatile, affordable, nutritious food that is a staple in our pantry (used for so many things, including meals, in soups, desserts, etc.).[RR1]
Here are my top reasons why I love incorporating rice into my family’s diet.
USA Rice contains essential vitamins and minerals that many people do not get enough of in their diet, such as:
Potassium which is needed for many functions in the body, such as regulating water balance, and levels of acidity, blood pressure, and neuromuscular function, including a critical role in transmission of electrical impulses in the heart. Potassium is also an essential mineral required for energy metabolism and proper cell function.
Magnesium is also involved in so many bodily processes – it’s needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, lowering blood pressure and forming ATP — the energy the body runs on. Insulin secretion and function also require magnesium.
Many of my clients struggle getting these nutrients for various reasons, such as if they avoid or dislike certain fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. However, rice tends to be such a palatable and versatile staple that most people can enjoy.
Versatility and shelf stability. The fact that rice has such great shelf stability makes it a great item to buy in bulk, and with it being such a versatile pantry staple there are so many ways that you can make use of that shelf stability and use rice in many ways, such as:
a. In leftovers
b. Snack, dessert, dinner, lunch, breakfast, brunch etc.
Check out this delicious recipe from riceinfo.com that the whole family loves and is great for lunch, dinner, leftovers – any time of day really! What I love most about it is the delicious flavours – with nutty, creamy, zesty, and spicy flavours/textures, what’s not to love? I also am a huge fan off the ‘fullness factor’ this bowl has. It has such a great balance of fibre, protein and healthy fats it is sure to keep you full, satisfied, and energized for a long period of time!
Spicy Vegan Rice Bowl
Pinch of Salt
3/4 Cup Spicy Salsa
15oz Can Chickpeas
Avocado Oil, Drizzled
1/2 Tsp Salt
Black Pepper, To Taste
1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds, Roasted and Unsalted
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 of Lemon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Salt
*Of course, non-vegans can add a meat protein source of choice, if they prefer.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Start by cooking your rice. Use as much water as called for on your package of rice (different varieties have different amounts of water, which is why I'm not providing an amount). Bring rice and water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until rice is al dente. When done, remove from heat and set aside.
Rinse and drain your can of chickpeas, and dry them until they're completely dry. Toss with a drizzle of avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cut your head of broccoli into florets, then toss with a drizzle of avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the florets out onto a SEPARATE baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Put the two baking sheets in the oven. Take the broccoli out after 20 minutes, and take the chickpeas out after 30 minutes.
While the chickpeas and broccoli are cooking, make the sunflower cream. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Mix your cooked brown rice with 3/4 cup of your favorite spicy salsa.
Now assemble the bowls! Divide out the rice between two bowls. Add in the broccoli and chickpeas, and drizzle with the sunflower cream (you will have some left over). Add on the avocado slices and pumpkin seeds, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: Leftovers for these rice bowls will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
I love, love, love how versatile USA Rice is. Make sure you visit their website for many delicious recipes and ways rice can be incorporated into your lifestyle.