Thursday, October 31, 2013

halloween, a 3 part series: give me something good to eat (part 3)

i drew my inspiration for this final installment of my blog trilogy today from the ever inspirational and fit heidi powell.  heidi and her husband chris have been inspirations not only to myself but to countless others looking to improve their lives.  so you can imagine how happy i was to see the following cute recipe ideas on her website.

the following is taken directly from heidi's site:
While NO candy is certainly a “healthy” option, we do need to be okay with rewarding ourselves with a treat every now and then, guilt-free. Halloween is a great time to do this. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing what pieces of candy might satisfy your sweet tooth, without pushing you over the edge.
  1. Fun Size pieces are ‘portion perfect’, and a clear winner in our family, over king-sized or regular-sized candy bars. Portion control is key to rewarding yourself, and these mini treats make it easy. Oftentimes, we find it hard to eat only half of a Snickers bar. Thanks to Fun Size, we can eat the entire portion and cut our calories in half, compared to the regular or king-sized versions.
  2. Chocolate Lover? Choose a handful (or Fun Size pack) of peanut or almond M&M’s over Tootsie Rolls. Tootsie Rolls may be lower in fat, but are loaded with sugar, which will spike and crash our blood sugar levels, leaving us craving even more! The fiber and protein in the peanut or almond M&M’s will keep you fuller longer (protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient), and the fat/fiber combo will actually slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping us to avoid the spike-crash-craving cycle.
  3. If you are looking for a fruity candy to satisfy your sweet tooth, choose a hard over chewy candy. Chewy candies not only get stuck in your teeth and lead to tooth decay, but they also disappear much quicker in our mouths, leaving us vying for more. While hard candies are pure sugar and have a higher calorie count, one piece can last quite a while (as long as you don’t crunch it to pieces), satisfying the craving, and leaving us less-likely to reach for more.
Now go enjoy your Halloween with a little less guilt. Regardless, don’t forget to brush your teeth, and leave the candy where it belongs…on Halloween ☺.

here is a great idea for healthy snacks for your kids, also from her site:


For the Banana Ghosts:
Supplies:
-Bananas
-Regular-sized and mini chocolate chips (You should have seen how excited they were that they got to use chocolate chips AND eat them. lol)
1. Cut a banana into thirds.
2. Place two small chocolate chips on the banana for the eyes and one regular-sized chocolate chip for the mouth.

and, finally, for the fit beasts everywhere, the best ever pumpkin pie protein shake:


Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake - serves 1
What you’ll need:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 scoop Vanilla flavored protein powder (she uses an Oatmeal Cookie flavor…but Vanilla is delish too)
3-4 shakes each of cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
How you’ll make it:
1. Pour all ingredients into blender.
2. Add ice and blend to experience healthy heaven in your mouth ☺.
What’s in it:
Each serving has 236 incredibly healthy calories, 23 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat.

thanks to heidi and her fabulous tips, you can now have a fun and healthy halloween!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

halloween, a 3 part series: smell my feet (part 2)


who isn't tempted by little fun-sized trick or treating candy?  from the tiny reese's peanut butter cups to the snickers bar you can wrap your hand around, there are halloween candy jars everywhere these days.  remember, the little indulgences add up and just because they're small doesn't mean that they are calorie and fat free.  take a look at the chart below and see how the top 5 favorite candies stack up:
1 treat size (fun size)CaloriesFat (g)Sugar (g)
Snickers723.77
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup804.57
Almond Joy915.19.2
Reese's Nutrageous955.57.5
don't see the candy you crave?  here's a bigger list to depress you...uhm, i mean, to educate you:
1 treat size (fun size)CaloriesFat (g)Sugar (g)
Milky Way762.910.9
Butterfinger100410
M&M's90411.5
Peanut M&M's934.79.1
Nestle Crunch51.32.75.6
Peppermint Pattie4718.6
Kit Kat733.76.7
Dots70011
Skittles80.815
Jelly Belly Jellybeans3507
3 Musketeers63.3210
Milky Way Dark81311
Hershey's Bar66.747.7
Take 51055.59
100 Grand95411
Nerds50012
Whoppers100413
Mike & Ike5009
SweeTarts1002.4
Milk Duds4026.3
Babe Ruth85410
Heath Bar774.78.7
now that you've seen the stats, what's your choice going to be at the office candy dish or as you're picking through your kids piles? :)
eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

halloween, a 3 part series: trick or treat! (part 1)

happy halloween, beasts!  i absolutely love this holiday but know that it can be a real diet buster with all of the sugary hoards of candy.  i know it's easy to buy lots of candy to hand out and you tell yourself that you'll stash the extras away somewhere so you can indulge in a treat every once in a while, but let's be honest....that doesn't happen.
those extra bags stay out and you graze.  and then you feel guilty
but, those leftover bags of halloween treats don't have to taunt you.  sweat off a few fun-sized indulgences on your next workout.
check out just how many of your favorite fun-sized candies you're burning off at your next workout.  keep in mind that all calorie counts are based on a 130-pound woman and fun-sized candy bars.

TO BURN OFF . . .YOU NEED TO DO . . .
Charleston Chew (30 calories)10 minutes of leisurely walking (2.5 mph)
Nestle's Crunch or York Peppermint Patty (60 calories each)25 minutes of yoga
3 Musketeers (63 calories)26 minutes of Pilates
Hershey's milk chocolate bar (67 calories)15 minutes of dancing
Kit Kat (70 calories)10 minutes of rowing (moderate effort)
Regular M&M's (67 calories)9 minutes of jumping jacks
Heath bar (77 calories)12 minutes of aerobics
Milky Way, Mounds, Snickers, or Twix (80 calories each)9 minutes on the elliptical
Butterfinger or Baby Ruth (85 calories each)10 minutes of Zumba
Peanut M&M's or Mr. Goodbar (90 calories each)13 minutes of hiking
Take 5 (100 calories)17 minutes of leisurely bike riding (10-12 mph)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (110 calories)7 minutes of jogging (10-minute mile pace)
info found ::here::

so be smart.  stick to your goals and don't let it all go to your hips...and thighs...and glutes....and stomach...

happy halloween from me to you

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ch-ch-ch-chia!

unless you've been living  under a rock, you've heard of chia seeds.  whether they're used to grow "hair" on tacky christmas presents
mixed in with baked goods,
puddings,
or other foods, chia seeds are everywhere.  at least twice a day, i consume them.

first, in the morning, i mix them in with my greek yogurt and raw cashews.  delicious.  then, as the day drags on, i drink them.  yes, drink them.  my all-time favorite way to benefit from these little nuggets is to mix them in with flavored water.

commonly known as chia fresca, this drink is not anything new.  essentially, you mix in chia seeds with citrus water and that's that!  but here is how i make mine

using the juice of a few lemons mixed with water, i heat the mixture to near boiling point and then add a few bags of tazo passion herb tea.  once infused, i let the mixture chill in my refrigerator until i'm ready to drink it.  that morning, i'll add about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to my water bottle and i let the magic happen.  the hard chia seeds will start to absorb the liquid....and the flavor...and get all gelatinous.  and that, my friends, is how i make my own chia protein water!  this protein water boasts 8 grams of protein, all 8 essential amino acids, and to put it into perspective a little bit, each 2 tablespoons of chia seeds offers:
    • five times the omega-3 content of a 1/4 cup serving of walnuts
    • twice the iron and magnesium of a cup of spinach
    • as much calcium as a half-cup of milk
    • as much potassium as a third of a banana
    • more than twice the fiber of a cup of oatmeal
read more on the benefits of incorporating chia seeds into your own diet in this amazing bodybuilding.com article found ::here::

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

pomegranate power

i used to get sucked in by the 100 calorie snack packs in the grocery store.  they would get stock-piled in my office for those moments of late afternoon weakness when i needed a little something to keep me going, or when i just flat out needed something to munch on.  well-known companies package cracker and cookie mixes in the little packages and most people think they're not really eating anything bad for them...since they're only 100 calories.  here's the problem, those salty and sweet treats are worthless.  you're more likely to continue snacking on other foods and sugary drinks when you eat them.  well, i have an alternate snack that will satisfy your taste buds for well under 100 calories.

pomegranates have been cultivated since ancient times and are typically in season from september to february.  that means, they're in season and prime pickings right now!  most people only consume the arils, the red juice pouches that surround the actual seed, but you can actually eat the seeds, too.  most people don't know that the seeds are not harmful.  they also don't know that there are actually benefits to consuming the seed.  pomegranate seeds are rich in oil.  linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, makes up the largest percentage of the oil in pomegranate seeds.  the rest of the seed is comprised of protein, crude fiber, vitamins, minerals and polyphenolic compounds...all good things.

as the pomegranate aril surrounds the seed, and the two can be eaten together, the usda analyzed the nutrition of the two components as a single entry in the nutritional database.  a half cup of arils, with seeds, supplies 72 calories, 1.5 g of protein, 0 g of fat, 16 g of carbohydrates, and 3.5 g of dietary fiber.  this same serving supplies 12 percent of the daily value for vitamin k and 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin c for adults.  i doubt that you could find that same nutritional benefit in a package of 100 calorie snack mix.

the health benefits that come from including pomegranates into your diet are almost as good as the taste.  pomegranates contain polyphenols with powerful antioxidant properties.  these compounds may reduce plaque buildup caused by excess ldl cholesterol.  they also contain flavanols that may offer memory enhancement and protection against cognitive disabilities.  in a mice related study, researchers gave pomegranate juice to mice for six months and found that the mice learned maze tricks more quickly than mice that did not drink the juice. 

i hope you'll think about eating these little jewels.  i myself bring a half cup of them with me to work.  i leave them on my desk, snack on them all day, and don't feel the slightest bit bad about this healthy indulgence.  but i must warn you, if you do not properly know how to get the seeds out, you're in for a messy experiment.   here....i'll help.

1.  cut off the top of the pomegranate, about 1/2 inch.
2. gently score the outside of the pomegranate into segments, like you would if you were cutting orange segments.  you don't want to cut all the way through, but just deep enough that you can pull the pomegranate apart.


3. submerge the pomegranate into a bowl of cold water and gently remove the seeds
4.  you'll get little white pieces from the fruit floating around in the water, so make sure you remove them.  i drain mine in a strainer and gently pick through for any damaged seeds or bits of "debris" and then store in an airtight container.
a little tip for picking the best pomegranates in the grocery store....pick a heavy one.  that means more seeds!!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

killer abs

we might be venturing into sweater weather, but you won't see me cozying up with sugary hot chocolate and avoiding shaving my legs.  colder weather is a time to put in killer hard work on your body so you're ready for the spring and summer reveal!  get a jump start on your abs with this great set.


eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

the fit beast feasts: protein waffles

there is almost nothing better than having breakfast for dinner.  in this fit beast's world, most of those breakfast foods that i used to eat are off limits.  but not now! not now that i've fine-tuned my protein waffle recipe.  i have zero guilt when eating these and feel like now is the time to finally share the recipe with you.  i've tried lots of different protein powder flavor combinations and have found what works for my taste buds.  but feel free to try this out on your own.  the recipe yields only 2 waffles so you won't have to feel bad about wasting them if you don't like the flavor you've created.  but give mine a shot!

ingredients
1 scoop optimum nutrition cinnamon graham cracker whey protein
1/2 cup oat flour (you can buy oat flour but it's expensive--make your own with whole oats and a blender)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring/extract
unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
handful of blueberries

combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  the mixture will be stiff and almost like cookie dough.  at this point, slowly and gradually stir in the almond milk until the consistency reaches waffle batter.  mix in blueberries.

if you don't know what to do from here on out, ladle half of the mixture into a preheated waffle iron.  i skip the butter but add plenty of sugar free maple syrup.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.