FIVE, not so healthy snacks, SWAPS!

1. Smoothies

Fruit is extremely good for you and should be eaten everyday. However, smoothies are the #1 (in my opinion) misunderstood snack when someone is trying to lose/maintain their weight.

Just because there is fruit IN your drink, does not mean that it is a healthy option.

A typical strawberry banana smoothie almost always includes whole milk or cream, processed fruit juice, yogurt with added sugar,or, frozen yogurt.

Rhubarb Cheesecake Smoothies.  For a warm evening this is the most delicious dessert you could have, and the most important is that you can prepare it with every kind of ingredient you like, and spent realy good time!

What you thought was the perfect afternoon energizer, is really just a fattening, sugar loaded, energy crashing dessert in disguise. We’re talking 600 plus calories in a 16oz cup.

Replace it with: Smoothies

Yes, you can still have your smoothie and lose weight too! It’s all about KNOWING what goes into your cup before drinking it.

Instead of all those unnecessary additives from your local coffee shop or smoothie kiosk, try making your own smoothie at home using:

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries,
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of leafy greens.
  • Optional: 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 tbsp. chia or flaxseeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, 6oz plain Greek yogurt.

Simply Strawberry Green Smoothie - my new favorite meal replacement! Ingredients:  2 cups frozen strawberries   1/2 frozen banana   2 tablespoons flaxseeds   3 cups fresh organic baby spinach    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2. Yogurt Parfaits

Same thing applies for these sneaky, sugary cups. Most pre-made parfaits consist of flavored yogurts, granola, and honey. This can have 30 plus grams of processed sugar, which is about the same as a Snickers Bar.

Replace it with: Chia Pudding

Very Berry Chia Pudding: pretty tasty little sucker (raw, vegan).   www.onedoterracommunity.com   https://www.facebook.com/#!/OneDoterraCommunity

Chia seeds are high in omega-3’s, protein, fiber, and keep us feeling full for longer due to their ability to absorb liquid within the body.

Recipe

  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, skim milk, or water
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla or almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
  1. place all ingredients inside of a mason jar, or glass lidded bowl, and shake well to combine.
  2. Allow at least 30 minutes for chia seeds to gel and pudding to form. Best results would be to sit overnight.
  3. Add berries and enjoy

3. “But they’re baked”- Wheat Thins, Pita Chips, Pretzels.

Homemade Wheat Thins.  You'll never go back to the store bought version!

Salt, processed carbs, high in calories and do not satisfy cravings! These snacks are also usually accompanied by a fattening dip such as spinach and artichoke , French onion, or sliced meat and cheese.

Replace it with: Raw Vegetables and Pistachios

Slice up some bell peppers, carrots, celery and cucumbers to satisfy your craving for a crunch, along with 24 pistachios for a dose of healthy fats, fiber, potassium and protein.

You can also dip your veggies into 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter or hummus, in place of pistachio’s.

How to make Homemade Hummus | foodnfocus.com

4. Diet Soda, Bottled Lemonade/ Iced Tea

Please, step away from the toxic cans of chemicals and artificially flavored sugar water

This is almost like a long-term low-dose poison-  Correct. Aspertame in this stuff is linked to alzheimer's!!Minute Maid Lemonade $1 at Walmart

I know that the taste of these beverages on a hot summer day is unlike any other, but that mere 5 minutes of pleasure wreaks havoc on our systems.

Read Here.

Replace it with: Fresh Lemon or Lime Water, Sparkling Water, or Fruit Infused Water.

I often like to create a mixture of all three

I use frozen fruit as my ice cubes, which makes for a perfect treat at the end of my drink.

Slice up a bunch of lemons and infuse your water overnight to create lemonade. Or, use fresh herbs such as mint with cucumber or basil with watermelon to make drinking water much more tasty.

 Strawberry Lime Water

5. “Bars”

I cringe when a client of mine tells me that they brought a Nutragrain, Fiber One, Speicial K or Nature Valley granola bar to work as a snack. Their ingredients list alone are frightening, packed with artificial additives, processed oils, and way too many words that I wont even try to pronounce.

Replace it: Homemade Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic, liquid egg whites
  • 1 scoop (2Tbsp) protein powder (I use Sunwarrior)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 ripe, mashed banana
  1. Mix all ingredients together, leaving out the banana
  2. Once well combined, add in your mashed banana and mix again
  3. Pour batter onto a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  4. Cook as you would a regular pancake, flipping when little bubbles start to form in the middle.

Let cool and store in a Tupperware container to eat as a snack later in the day.

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yuuuuum!

Don’t get caught in the advertising traps of “100% whole grain, Fat Free, All Natural or 1/2 the fat”

Know what is in your food, because that is your body’s fuel.

healthy body + healthy mind = happy life

Real Food Fast

Working in the Fitness field, I am always bombarded with constant complaints about how hard it is to eat healthy on the go.

While I understand that it takes time to make a bunch of chicken breasts, cook up some Quinoa, roast sweet potatoes and chop veggies for the week, some things are just worth taking the time to do. And if you truly want to see results, this is one of those tasks that you must be willing to take on for the sake of your health, and all of your hard work in the gym.

However, for clients of mine who just can’t seem to find the motivation to do this (shame on you) I offer some helpful alternatives that make eating healthy seem a bit easier.

Wherever your day may lead, these are all great choices to take on the go. So grab a lunch box, shopping bag or purse, and pack it with these nutritious and filling foods that will keep your diet clean, lean, and on the right track.

Fruit: Bananas, Apples, Kiwi, and Citrus fruits..anything with Skin. You can also pack a small Tupperware container with Berries, Pineapple, Watermelon, etc.

Veggies: Celery sticks, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Bell Peppers, Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Snap Peas, Asparagus Spears, Ziploc bags of Baby Spinach as a base for a salad, or Collard Greens used as a wrap.

Complex Carbs: Individual cups of Brown Rice. Rolled Oats. Whole Grain Wraps for a sandwich, Brown Rice Cakes, Microwave ready Sweet Potatoes

Protein: Can or Packet of Tuna/Salmon. Low Sodium Sliced Turkey Breast, Beans, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Hard boiled eggs, Whey/Brown Rice Protein Powder.

Healthy Fats and Energy Boosting Snacks: Natural Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hemp/Flax/Chia/Sunflower seeds, Nut Butters, Hummus, Avocado, Coconut Oil/Flakes.

Combine a few to make a delicious Trail Mix that wards off afternoon hunger!

Bars: Lara Bar, Kind Bar, Think Thin Bar, Luna Bar

Hydration: Water, Green Tea, Seltzer Water.

Add Lemon, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, or frozen fruit for a natural sweetener throughout the day.

Instead of filling your fridge, pantry, and body with empty calories, choose nutrient packed foods that will keep you feeling fuller, longer!

“Grab and Go” does not have to mean fast food. It can mean healthy food…fast!

New Workout: Tabata Trek

What is Tabata Trek you ask?

It is an intense, total body workout, that involves a spin bike, a set of weights, and a “ready to work” mind set.

As a Mad Dogg certified Spinning Instructor, I have been taught to never perform any type of activity on a spin bike that you wouldn’t do on a regular outdoor cycle. This includes the use of weights.

A Tabata Trek class involves the following:

  • Warm up
  • HIIT on the Bike
  • Strength training off of the bike.
  • Cool Down and stretch

Here is an example of how I run my class

Tabata Trek

Make sure to re-hydrate with at least 40 ounces of water post workout, and refuel those muscles with a combination of Complex Carbs and Protein.

Some of my favorites include:

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Oats with cinnamon, spinach and egg whites

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oats with blueberries , cinnamon and Greek yogurt

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Collard Green Wraps with Chicken, brown rice, peppers and onions.

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water with mint and fresh lime

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cranberry lime seltzer with frozen berries

What new workouts have you done lately?

Beneficial Energy Boosting Coffee

One jar of Coconut Oil has an abundance of health and beauty benefits, and as of lately, I have been loving adding 1 tsp into my coffee for a quick and delicious boost of energy.

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Unlike other fatty acids that get stored in your body’s cells, Coconut oil or MCFA (medium-chain saturated fatty acids) is absorbed into the portal vein, transported directly to the liver, and used as fuel to produce a quick release of energy.

“In layman’s terms, that bacon and cheese omelet you ate most likely sits around in your cells waiting to be burned up or stored as fat for later. However, coconut oil gets shipped directly to your liver, where it is put to work to help you get up and get going”

I can definitely feel the difference during my workouts in both energy and intensity; something that plain black coffee does not do on it’s own.

So if you are like me, and do not take workout supplements, try adding some coconut oil to your morning coffee, and start your day with a healthy dose of energy!

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Be Stronger Than Your Excuses

I will not mention the weather because I don’t want to jinx it, so lets move on….

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The hardest part about starting a workout program is finding the motivation to do so. We all have excuses as to why exercise and eating well is not a part of our weekly routine, but the truth is, no excuse is good enough when it comes to taking care of our body.

If you have to wake up an hour early, do it. If you have to come home an hour late, do it. If you have to cook a bunch of chicken and chop up vegetables for the week on Sunday, DO IT!

See the pattern here?

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Stop allowing your mind to tell you that you can’t, because eventually, if you keep neglecting your health, you really will not be able to.

As soon as you begin to head down the path towards a balanced life, everything will suddenly feel lighter, both mentally and physically.

Start now. If not now, when?

Here are some tips that I recommend to clients who are struggling with finding a healthy balance.

Figure out what works for you and stick to it.

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Put yourself first. Everything else can wait an hour until you are finished.

Make your breakfast the night before so that it is ready in the fridge for the following day. Oatmeal, eggs, green protein smoothies, or fruit with nuts and yogurt are all great “grab and go” meals.

Use your Sunday as prep. Make a batch of proteins such as chicken, lean ground turkey, beans, or hard boiled eggs. Chop all of your vegetables and set them in Tupperware containers, along with a carb such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, or quinoa. All you have to do is pick what you want, pack it up, and go.

  • Make sure to also add a healthy fat to each meal, such as almonds, flaxseeds, coconut oil, avocado, or hummus.

Craving sweets? Grab a piece of fruit with a small handful of mixed nuts, make a cup of sweet tea, or drink a glass of water.

  • Try and figure out why your sweet tooth is acting up, and fix the problem right then. Ask yourself: Did I eat enough at lunch? Drink enough water? Have a healthy fat with my meal? If so, and your body really just wants a taste of the good stuff, snack on a small piece of dark chocolate.

Acknowledge that you are eating it, savor it, and move on.

Spice up your life. You do not need to add cream sauces, butter, or high sodium marinades to your food. Herbs and spices, lemon juice, and fresh tomato sauce can add an abundance of flavor to any dish.

Check the Online menu. Before you head out to dinner, look over the online menu so that you have time to figure out what you want to eat. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a vegetable medley or salad in place of pasta, or to change the way your meal is prepared. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate you.

GREEN FLAG

Baked
Boiled
Broiled
Fresh
Grilled
Red sauce
Roasted
Seasoned
Steamed
Vinaigrette
Whole Wheat

RED FLAG

Au gratin
Basted
Battered
Hollandaise
“Bet you can’t finish it”
Bottomless
Breaded
Buttery / Buttered
Casserole
Cheesy
Country-style
Covered
Creamed / Creamy
Crispy
Crunchy
Escalloped
Fried / Deep fried
Giant
Loaded
Platter
Smothered
Stewed
Stroganoff
Stuffed
Value
Volcano
White Sauce”

source

Your water bottle is your best friend. Always have it by your side.

  • Try adding lemon, cucumber, or orange slices for a refreshing boost of flavor, along with a cup of decaf tea throughout the day.

Always have a challenge in mind, and make it your mission to achieve it.

  • “I will run 1 extra minute today”. “I will try Yoga this weekend”. “I will perform a push up” “I will walk into the weight section with confidence, and bang out some bicep curls like the best of ‘em!”.

Pack your gym clothes for the next day in a bag by the front door, or lay them out so you can quickly get dressed and start your morning off right. Or…sleep in them!

Don’t think of exercise as a chore. It should be something that you enjoy because it makes you look and feel good. Figure out what type of exercise interests you, and use that as your starting point.

  • Incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretching into your routine, and if you are unsure about how to perform a certain movement, or how to work a piece of equipment, be sure to ask a trainer at your gym, or the class instructor. It is their JOB to help you.

If it feels too easy, it probably is.

  • If you don’t feel like you’re working out, then bump up the intensity. Don’t be afraid to sweat, or feel the burn when lifting weights. Those moments of discomfort are what change and challenge our body.

Realize that everyone is here for the same reason. The gym can be an intimidating place at first, but it’s important to realize that nobody is any better than another when it comes to exercise. Our goals may vary, but the fact that we are taking care of ourselves is what we all have in common.

All you need is yourself, and a little room. If you do not have a gym membership, use your living room as your workout area and your body as resistance. Push ups, squats, jumping jacks and mountain climbers are all challenging movements that target a large group of muscles and speed up the metabolism.

Remember why you are doing this. Whether it is for weight loss, muscle tone, lowering cholesterol, or stress management, remember why you are taking the time to workout and eat well. As the weeks pass, you will no longer need the reminder. It will become a part of your life that will continue to benefit you in more ways than one.

A healthy body is a happy body. Take care of yourself because no one else will. You are your own worst enemy, and best friend all in one. Become one with yourself, listen to your body, and begin to feel amazing.

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Peas and Crayons

Playlists and Pine Trees

Does anyone else feel like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a lot closer than it really is?

Not that one month is a long time, but I always end Thanksgiving break with the notion that Christmas is like..two weeks away; One long weekend, quickly followed by another.

I guess we are all ready for a break once the end of the year rolls around, and though I have not started my Christmas shopping yet, I did get a head start on the decorating process!

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Matt and I are still debating on cutting down a real tree vs. buying a fake one this year. We both agree that a real tree makes Christmas feel like Christmas, however carrying it in and out of our apartment and picking pine needles out of the carpet for weeks can become a rather strenuous task.

(plus I really want a white tree this year, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it)

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So along with decorating for the holidays, I also created a new workout and playlist for some Post Thanksgiving/Pre Christmas Fat Burning Fun!

Circuit workout

  • Beautiful People: Chris Brown
  • Shooting Star: David Rush (LMFAO)
  • I Can Only Imagine: David Guetta (Christ Brown)
  • Fire: Scooter
  • Dance in the Dark: Lady Gaga
  • Don’t Wake Me Up: Chris Brown
  • Bad Influence: Pink
  • Teeth: Lady Gaga
  • Seek Bromance: Tim Berg (Avicii)
  • Numb: Usher
  • Burn It To The Ground: NickelBack
  • Memories: Weezer

Enjoy!!

OH! One more thing…

I have been loving the addition of 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flaxseeds in my oatmeal.

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Allowing the oats and flax to settle in water for 10 minutes before heating in the microwave creates a fluffy, creamy texture, and it’s the perfect way to add some healthy fats to breakfast.

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  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1.5 tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Protein
  • 1/4 chopped apple
  • pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon

Deeelicious

side note: to create a vegan egg, mix 3 tbsp. water with 1 tbsp. ground flax, allowing to settle for 15 minutes. Best results are when placed in the fridge during that time.

So If you’re not a fan of Egg White Oats…

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Or if you just don’t eat eggs for that matter, try this version next time Smile.

Rock Hard Hammie’s

How cute is my new strainer?

It’s perfect for rinsing beans, sliced veggies, fruit, and smaller amounts of pasta.

white beans and ground turkey spinach salad

Also, my new grill pan, compliments of my Aunt who knew how much I would love such a heavy duty tool.

and by heavy, I mean heavy.

You would not want to get hit over the head by a crazy Italian woman with this cast iron cooker.

corri!!

Today’s workout was all about the legs. Squat-erday..my favorite.

Rock Hard Hammie's

I refueled with a hot bowl of Peanut Protein Oats topped with blueberries and ground cinnamon for muscle recovery.

 

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior
  • 2 tbsp. peanut flour
  • 1 cup water

warmed me right up!

Well, I’m off to enjoy this chilly, but beautiful first weekend of November.

Remember to set your clocks back tonight! We get one extra hour of sleep :)

So long late day sunshine…