Monday, May 30, 2016

My Latest Favorite Gadget! The Foreo Issa Hybrid!

If you know me, you know I love my gadgets! Gadgets for the kitchen, the RV, my workouts and especially beauty gadgets! Not much of a make up kind of girl but I enjoy trying out new gadgets that help with hygiene, skin care and dental care! White, clean, healthy teeth are a must and I've been on the hunt for a really good electric toothbrush since I bought my first one about 10  years ago.

In that time span, I've tried pretty much every type of Sonicare, Oral B and Phillips electric toothbrush and I haven't been too impressed with any of them.  One of my biggest pet peeves is the battery life. It only lasts a few uses and I always had to keep the charger on my bathroom counter tops which, for this OCD girl, is not a good thing!  Other pet peeves were the head softening up in just a few weeks and needing replacement and water and mold collecting between the head and the base no matter how much I rinsed it.

So, with that said, I've been on the search for a solid electric toothrush for SOME time now and I was elated when I came across the FOREO!  It  has a unique design that's much more compact than the typical electric toothbrush and they make different versions of it for every member of your family! I have the ISSA Hybrid but they also carry a standard Foreo ISSA and even an ISSA Mini for kids that I can't wait to check out too! That's next on my list of gadget purchases!

So, why do I love this toothbrush so much and plan on getting one for each member of my family? Here are just a few of the reasons!

SUPER Long Battery Life
1.  One of my favorite aspects is the battery life and charge time!  Where as most electric toothbrushes have to be charged up every few days, the FOREO ISSA lasts for up to 365 uses!  If you brush two times per day, this means you only have to charge it twice a year! Say what???? That makes this girl SUPER happy. Charger is put away beneath the sink and I can keep my toothbrush in the medicine cabinet until it's next use!  Another perk to this is that I can travel with it without having to worry about bringing the charger and cord with me. We travel often so this is a big bonus!

Silicone and Standard Bristles
2.  The combination of silicone and PBT polymer bristles in the ISSA Hybrid is something I've never tried in a toothbrush before and at first, I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about it. But after trying it, I love the way it feels and cleans my teeth and so do my kids after trying mine.  The silicone bristles are not as abrasive as standard bristles on electric toothbrushes yet they're effective in cleaning teeth without damaging the gums. The silicone bristles are also a better choice hygienically when compared to standard bristles because they aren't porous and harbor less bacteria due to their natural properties.

Sleek Design
3. The ISSA Hybrid's design is another favorite.  It's much smaller than the other electric toothbrushes on the market today and easier to hold.  It is also designed in a similar fashion to dentist tools where the top comes off easily with a pull and there's no gap or area for water or mold to collect.

4. One of the main reasons to get an electric toothbrush is for the vibrations.  They help reach deeper around teeth and inside crevices and help loosen plaque. With most standard electric toothbrushes, there are just one to three settings at most.  The ISSA Hybrid has 8 levels of intensity so you find your level of comfort easily with the + or - buttons on the base.  The ISSA Hybrid will even remember your preference for the next time you use it! Another bonus, especially for those of us that can brush our teeth for an hour if I don't pay attention, the ISSA Hybrid shuts off after 3 minutes to prevent overuse.

5.  Last but not least, I LOVE that it's completely waterproof unlike my last 2 electric toothbrushes. All you do is seal the charging port and you can keep it in the shower since you don't nee do charge it for up to 6 months!  Now that is something that really sold me on it since I brush my teeth in the shower 90% of the time!

So, for those of you looking to check out a new gadget and especially if you care about your dental hygiene (and really, how can you now???) give the FOREO a try!  You'll save a lot of time and money too since the heads only need to be replaced once or twice per year where as the others need replacing every few months, if not more often!

For 15% off PLUS free shipping to check out any of the Foreo ISSAs or ISSA Minis, use ISSA05BB through June 30, 2016!

And if you have babies in the home, you can take advantage of a special promotion that won't be available for long! You can get an ISSA toothbrush + a Hybrid head + an ISAA Mikro AND 2 chargers!  All for $169! Check out the micro and get the deal here ===>>> ISSA Micro

Friday, May 27, 2016

Tips for Eating Healthy at Parties & Family Gatherings

In my work as a health coach, many of my clients are busy professionals who are often required to attend social functions as part of their jobs. Many of these folks are diligent about what they eat when they are home on their own turf, but find it hard to navigate the endless buffets and open bars at various events. And with Memorial Day weekend coming up, along with vacations, summer BBQs and more coming up, it's a good time to brush up on this!
Are you in the same boat? Do you struggle with what to eat at these events? Do you find it hard to make healthy choices? I'm here to help!
Below are 10 things you can do to help ensure that your next social engagement does not leave you with a huge hangover or a food coma. Hope they help!
1. The first tip is to make sure that you don't go to these functions starving.It's OK to be hungry because you know that you are going to eat something when you arrive, but you don't want to be so ravenous that you just start eating everything in sight. When we are hungry we tend to make poor food choices (it's the same reason why I tell people not to go to the grocery store hungry). Eat a snack before you go. An apple is a great snack because it's portable and has lots of fiber to help fill you up.
2. Take a loop around the food before you grab anything. You want to know all the options available before you start to fill your plate. As you look over the offerings, take note of everything that's available and start to decide what you'll eat and how much. The worst spot to be in is the one where you see something you really want, only to look down and realize that your plate is already full.
3. Stick to "special" foods that you wouldn't normally eat if you were home.Don't waste calories on fattening dips, potato chips, french fries or pigs in a blanket that you can get anytime. Spend your calories on the good stuff like scallops wrapped in bacon or special crepes.
4. Promise yourself you'll eat at least one or two vegetables. If your spread includes crudités, make sure you have some of those. Get your fill of carrots and celery, etc., and if you can, try to have a small plate of these items before you eat anything else.
5. Be strategic about alcohol. Try to avoid anything that is mixed with soda (lots of empty calories) and be mindful of how much you are drinking. Stick to wine or spritzers and if you have a cocktail, go for one that is mixed with club soda or tonic water. If you have a juice-based drink, ask the bartender to put a spritz of seltzer in with it.
6. Drink a glass of water before you go to the event, upon arrival, and in between each alcoholic beverage. This will help keep you hydrated.
7. Try to focus on the event and not the food. Spend time networking, talking to people, enjoying the music, the company, the ambiance, etc.
8. Position yourself away from the food. Standing next to the food or the bar makes it easy to graze throughout the event and/or keep getting yourself a drink.
9. Try to opt for a fruit-based dessert when possible. If the event has small desserts, promise yourself to only have one to three pieces. Make your pick, enjoy every bite, and then don't go back for seconds. If you still feel like you want something else, have a cup of coffee or tea and "nurse" it for the rest of the evening. And again, pick your dessert and move away from the dessert table.
10. Eat enough food at the event to satisfy your hunger so you won't go home and eat more food. If the event is in the evening, you'll want to eat enough so that you won't be hungry when you get home. While you don't want to go crazy at the event, you also don't want to go home hungry and eat dinner at 9 or 10 o'clock at night.
There you have it; 10 tips to help you navigate those social events. While you certainly want to enjoy the food and drink, you don't want to derail all your healthy eating at one event. And, if you're someone that goes to a lot of these types of functions, you don't want to start creating bad habits for yourself.
So at your next function, indulge (a little) and enjoy (a lot).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Buffet Style Meal Prep Guide - Meal Prep Monday Week 10

This is an example of what one of Beachbody’s Social Media Managers, Amanda Meixner, does for meal prep when she’s short on time. Instead of skipping her meal prep day altogether, she modified her routine to make it much faster. Instead of planning all of her breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week, she prepared simple foods that could be mixed and matched to create a variety of meals. Genius. I like to do this too because I don't always have time to prep foods and separate them into breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also have weeks when I have a wacky schedule and not sure where I'll be throughout the day so this works for me.
For her buffet-style menu, Amanda made baked salmon filets and chicken breasts, soft-boiled eggs, steamed broccolini, sautéed mushrooms with broccoli, baked sweet potatoes, and an Asian vegetable stir-fry that came pre-chopped. She cooked a large batch of oatmeal, and stocked her fridge with salad fixings, pre-cooked lentils, apples, bananas, hummus, almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette.
This simplified menu made shopping faster, and it took Amanda less than two hours to cook everything for the week! Then, each day, she used her colored Portion Fix containers to build healthy, delicious meals. Scroll down to the bottom for her grocery list.
Buffet-style meal prep by meowmeix

Below are two of the delicious meals Amanda made from her buffet. First is a lunch platter of chicken seasoned with lemon pepper and garlic powder, sautéed mushrooms and broccoli, broccolini, lentils, and hummus. This meal counts as 1 red, 1 yellow, 2 green, 1 blue, and 1 teaspoon.
Buffet-Style Meal Prep

Amanda made this dinner of chicken, stir-fried Asian vegetables, and baked sweet potato in minutes from her meal prep buffet. It counts as 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow, and 1 teaspoon.
Buffet-style Meal Prep by meowmeix

Amanda’s Grocery List:
1 lb. salmon
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 dozen eggs
1 container broccolini
2 containers mushrooms
1 bag broccoli florets
4 bell peppers in different colors
1 package fresh Asian vegetable stir-fry mix
1 bag baby spinach
2 bags lettuce
1 box cherry tomatoes
1 carton pomegranate seeds
1 large cucumber
2 large sweet potatoes
4 apples
1 bunch small bananas (about 8)
3 cartons mixed berries
Dry Goods:
old-fashioned rolled oats
olive oil
Prepared Foods:
prepared hummus
2 packages cooked lentils
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

And her every day, go to meal:

Via the Team Beachbody Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups

A yummy and healthy grab and go breakfast you can make ahead & take with you

2 cups gluten free oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk (I prefer unsweetened almond milk, but dairy or other milks will work, too)
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1
1/2 medium bananas)
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tsp of almond or vanilla extract 


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Add the milk, egg, extract and mashed banana and mix until combined. Stir in the apple.

You can either put the mixture into the fridge overnight or continue with the directions and bake right away.

Grease a muffin tin and fill each cup with the oatmeal mixture to just about the top.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cups are set.

Store in the fridge or these can also be frozen. Enjoy! 

1 yellow (oats)
1 purple (banana & apple)
1/2 blue (milk, maybe less than half but I usually go by halves if doing partial)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Should You Workout on an Empty Stomach?

What should I eat before and after my Dublin CrossFit WOD?

Much like blenders and marbles, digestion and exercise simply do not mix. When you work out, your blood wants to flow to your extremities. When you process food, your blood wants to assist your stomach. And when you try to do both, you’re inclined to do neither well. In short, your mom was right (although not necessarily for the reasons she thought): You should wait a while after lunch before you go swimming. When it comes to exercise, an empty tummy is a happy tummy. (Unless you’re a diabetic. Consult your doctor.)
Blood flow isn’t the only issue here. Even if you wanted to knock out some plyo while macking on a Royale with cheese, your body has ways to actively sabotage your efforts, and it isn’t afraid to use them. It’s primary method of action: Your nervous system.
At the risk of over-generalizing, your nervous system has two sides. Your sympathetic nervous system is responsible for “fight or flight” functions. It kicks in when you’re under stress (e.g., during hard exercise), releasing a cascade of hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol that prime your body for action. Your parasympathetic nervous system, meanwhile, is in charge of your “rest and digest” functions. It’s also responsible for healing.
The problem is that when your sympathetic system kicks in, it shuts down your parasympathetic system, including anything that isn’t mission critical for the task at hand. Have you ever had to urinate when something stressful popped up, causing you to completely forget about your need to whiz? That’s your sympathetic nervous system in action, and it treats your digestive process the same way. Since the food in your stomach doesn’t provide an immediate survival benefit—and yes, your body assumes your life is at stake if you’re exerting yourself strenuously (why else would you do something like that?)— it hits the kill button on digestion to support your attempt to fight or flee. If you’re walking or cycling leisurely, you’re fine—you’ll continue to digest what you ate. But if the going gets tough, your digestion stops going. Whatever is in your tummy will just sit there—and you’ll probably feel it.
Don’t confuse exercising on an empty stomach with training in a fasted state. An empty stomach means you’ve given yourself enough time to adequately digest your food. That can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the size of your meal. Being in a fasted state means you’ve gone without eating for somewhere on the order of 12 hours (typically overnight). At this point, your food has not only been digested, but the fuel it supplied has been largely depleted, leaving your blood sugar low and your liver glycogen wanting. In this situation, your metabolism shifts and you’re more prone to burn fat—but the benefit has more to do with athletic performance than weight loss.
Timing your pre-exercise feeding to avoid these conflicts is easy. The general rule is to wait 3 hours after a full, balanced meal. Wait 2 hours after a lighter meal where the nutritional balance is skewed toward carbs (e.g., half a turkey sandwich and a glass of juice). Wait 1 hour after a similarly carb-rich snack, such as a glass of chocolate milk. For anything less than an hour, keep your snack below 100 calories and focus on fast-absorbing carbs (e.g., half a banana). For more information on pre-workout nutrition, click here.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Shrimp Tacos

These seasoned shrimp tacos get spice and flavor from cumin and chili powder and are topped with lots of fresh veggies.
Total Time: 18 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 3 min.
Yield: 4 servings, 2 tacos each
1½ tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ tsp. ground cumin, divided use
½ tsp. ground chili powder
1 lb. raw medium shrimp, cleaned, deveined
¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. finely chopped lime peel
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas (or 6-inch whole wheat tortillas), warm
1 cup shredded red and green cabbage
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium avocado, sliced
Fresh cilantro sprigs (for garnish; optional)
Fresh lime wedges (for garnish; optional)
1. Combine oil, garlic, ½ tsp. cumin, chili powder, and shrimp in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine yogurt, remaining ¼ tsp. cumin, lime peel, lime juice, and cilantro in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
3. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add shrimp mixture; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp is firm and opaque.
5. Top each tortilla evenly with cabbage, tomato, shrimp, and avocado.
6. Garnish with cilantro and lime if desired; drizzle each taco with a small spoonful of yogurt mixture.
Calories in Shrimp Tacos