Wednesday, May 27, 2015

6 Foods Our Bodies Need More Of!

No one likes to be on high alert when it comes to calories. In a dream world, that huge slice of German chocolate cake would only be around 100 calories, and nutritionists would suggest skipping vegetables in favor of a creamy pasta dish for dinner. Sadly, we don’t live in that world, folks, which means we need to be smart about what we put on our plates.

Annoying, the challenge of making healthy choices can lead to a lot of confusion and questioning at meal time. Who hasn’t experienced the dread of wondering whether or not the bite you’re about to take is “good” or “bad” for your weight loss goal? It can cause you to look at out food options in terms of what you can’t eat. But what if you changed your mindset, and looked instead at what you can eat?
There are tons of delicious foods you should be eating more of—not less! And you might find adding more of the healthy choices to your eating plan, will help you naturally eat less of the processed, sugar-laden, carb-loaded, fatty foods you don’t need. Here, Megan Roosevelt, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Grocery Girl, reveals 6 nutrient-dense foods you can load up on.

Sweet Potatoes “Fiber helps us feel full and satisfied, as well as manage blood sugar levels,” says Roosevelt. Consider the vitamin and mineral benefits, including potassium and vitamin C, and you should be opting for treat-like sweet potatoes, more often. You can bake them, mash them, or serve them up as sweet potato fries, just like your classic white potato.

Avocados Avocados are brimming with benefits. “Protein, fat, and fiber are the three key nutrients that help us feel full and satisfied,” says Roosevelt. “Healthy fats in our diet also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.” Next time you’re tempted to use sour cream, add a quarter of an avocado to your dish instead. Whipped avocado has a similar texture, but offers more healthy nutrients.

Zucchini You can swap in zucchini as a base for many recipes—from fries to brownies. Roosevelt’s favorite switch is for pasta. “Use a julienne peeler to make noodle-like strips, and you’ve got a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate option that’s also nutritionally dense and contains fiber,” she says.

Corn Tortillas White flour causes your insulin levels to rise, which promotes fat storage. Corn on the other hand contains more fiber, so you’ll stay full after noshing on that veggie wrap or taco. “Fiber delays digestion and regulates the release of glucose from our food into our bloodstream, helping us avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes,” says Roosevelt.

Sliced Whole Fruit There’s no reason not to eat more fruit, says Roosevelt, who again points out that it’s all about fiber—and flavor. “Feeling full after meals and snacks is key for weight loss. If we’re always hungry, it’s hard to lose weight,” she says. Her suggestions: Use fruit slices in sandwiches and wraps instead of jam or jelly (try PB and apple, or almond butter and pear), and toss fruit slices into your water for a hint of flavor that will get you to drink more.

 Dark Chocolate Need a sweet treat? Don’t deny yourself now, only to binge later. A one-ounce serving of dark chocolate is about 150 calories, and it contains flavanoids that have been shown to improve circulation and heart health, says Roosevelt.

Via My Fitness Pal Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Maple Pecan Shakeology!

Tried this recipe today and it's nothing short of a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!!!!!!!! Sweet, yet salty and so creamy.  Tasted like ice cream!
Total Time: 5 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 serving
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped raw pecans
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 cup ice
1. Place almond milk, Shakeology, pecans, maple syrup, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
Maple Pecan Shakeology

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cauliflower Sweet Potato Mash

It's no secret that I LOVE carbs and I love sweets. Well, this recipe helps take care of both of those cravings with one easy, low carb, paleo, gluten free, 21 Day Fix recipe!!  Makes a great side dish and a pretty delish food for your babies too!  When I make it for my little man, I add some ground turkey but, for adults, the recipe is below (minus the turkey!). Enjoy!

1 whole cauliflower
1 medium to large sweet potato
Seasoning of your choice, preferably salt free

1.  Break apart the cauliflower and steam or bake it in the oven so it's easy to pierce it with a fork.
2.  While you're doing that, either microwave your sweet potato or bake it to make it soft.
3.  Peel the sweet potato.
4.  Place the cauliflower and the sweet potato in your blender or your food processor. I have a Blendtec blender and it's amazing at making this.  A really good blender should be able to handle it.
5.  Blend until smooth, serve and EAT!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ways YOU May Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

If you just started an exercise plan or are working out more consistently, you may need to change how you fuel your body to get the most out of it. Common nutrition mistakes such as drinking your calories or eating too much post-workout may be the reason why you can’t lose weight (or inches) even though you’re giving it your all. Although getting fit isn’t just about the scale, it’s still an important factor, so we’ll break down 5 common problems—and how to fix them—to get you back on the path to results.
Problem 1: You have no idea how many calories you’re really eating
It’s common to think more exercise = more calories. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you may be adding on as many calories as you’re burning—or more. “Think about the food that you’re eating to fuel your workouts and ask yourself how it fits into your total calorie allotment for the day,” advises Felicia Stoler, MS, RD, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist. Just because you hit the cardio hard today doesn’t automatically mean you can supersize dinner. “Most people have no idea how much they’re really eating.” To get honest with yourself about your calorie needs, write down everything you eat for a day (yes, even that handful of nuts you’re holding right now) or use a site like MyFitnessPal. You’ll probably be surprised by your final number.
Problem 2: You’re hydrating with a sports drink
If you’re doing a hard, prolonged workout, then hydrating with a sports drink can be a good thing, but for your standard, at-home program, you’re usually better off with water. Sports drinks contain about 50 calories per 8 oz., and 14 grams of sugar (about 3.5 teaspoons). Your body will probably burn though that in an hour-long workout, but then you won’t be mobilizing fat stores as much. As for the electrolytes, yes, an hour-long program depletes them, but it’s nothing a good recovery drink can’t fix.
Problem 3: You’re addicted to that pre-workout snack
As long as they’re getting enough balanced calories in their diet, the average person should have all the glycogen stores they need to get through an hour-long workout, even first thing in the morning. Eating something beforehand might give your performance a little boost, but if you skip it you’re better off—teaching your body how to mobilize fat stores for energy (just like in Problem 2). The exception to this is if you “bonk” or run out of glycogen and blood sugar partway through your workout. When this happens, you don’t just feel a little pooped; you feel as though you’ve just run into a brick wall. If this happens, 50–100 calories of simple carbs, 10 minutes before you start, should fix it. Half a banana would be ideal.
Problem 4: You’re eliminating all carbs
So many exercisers try to eliminate starchy carbs—including whole grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn—when they’re trying to lose weight. But it’s water weight you’re losing, not fat. Not only that, the strategy can backfire. Depleting carbs from your diet means that you have to tap into your lean protein stores for energy, which ultimately can decrease your lean muscle mass. Muscle is critical for upping your metabolism—and burning more calories even while you sit around—so you may see your weight plateau. The lesson? Don’t be afraid to incorporate some whole grains and starchy veggies into your daily diet.
Problem 5: You’re not working out hard enough
If you notice you come home from a run only to find that you’re noticeably hungrier, consider upping the intensity of that run. A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity looked at sedentary, overweight men who either worked out at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or completed a high-intensity interval workout for the same amount of time. Those who did the intense interval exercise ate less at a subsequent meal, as well as the next day. Not every workout should be an intense interval session, but fitting in one or two a week can help turn the dial down on your appetite.
Via the Jessica Migala Team Beachbody Blog 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Super Cool Chore Chart for Kids!

If you have kids, you know how hard it can be to get them to do their chores. Money, toys, seems no bribe is enticing enough to get them to do them and do them regularly!  And not that we should be bribing them anyway right?! Well, I found an app that not my daughter not only looked forward to using AFTER completing her chores, she initiated doing them and asked if she could so more!!

Chore Monster is the app I'm talking about and I totally found it as a fluke! It popped up as one of those annoying Facebook ads and something told me I should click on it!  Glad I did! So, here's what it is and what it does!

You create the chores your kids need to do, assign a point value and then choose how often they need to be done. Your kids then have to check off when they're done (and you can choose to verify this and "accept" completion or not!).  Once the chore is complete, they get the points and, after earning points, obnoxious little animated monsters and rewards YOU create motivate your kids to keep going!

Best part...the app is FREE!! And it's available on Android and iPhone. So, check it out here  and if you'd like more information and a more extensive review, click here.