Monday, October 31, 2016

Ricotta Pancakes! Yum!

Check out these quick, simple. Calcium-rich pancakes made with only 4 ingredients! Can't wait to give thesea try!

1/3 cup ricotta
Rice flour
1 egg
1/3 baking powder

Optional: sweetener like banana, maple syrup, honey

Mix together ricotta and the egg. Add baking powder and as much rice flour as you need to be able to form small balls with your hands. The mixture should still be sticky and very soft. Pan fry using coconut oil (or oil of choice). Put honey right on top when serving rather than putting it in the mixture because its healing powers get destroyed when heated.

21 Day Fix:  The entire recipe yields 1 blue 1 yellow 1/2 red

Recipe created by Soren's Purple Plate!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5 Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits!

“Raising kids is easy!” Said no one ever. But, it’s also incredibly rewarding. We all work hard to be a role model for our kids. We teach them how to make healthy choices, show them the importance of being active, and much more. Here are 5 ways you can help your kids, nieces, nephews, etc to learn the importance of eating healthy and being active.
These five ideas are in no way comprehensive, so share your own in the comments and make sure to scroll all the way down to find out about a 21 Day Fix contest in which you could win $5,000!

1. Exercise In Front of Your Kids
One of the many benefits of working out at home is that your kids can see you pushing yourself, getting sweaty, and reaching for goals. Actions speak louder than words when it comes to good habits, so get the family involved.
2. Bring Your Kids to the Grocery Store
Healthy eating starts with the food you buy. We always take our kids grocery shopping. It's harder, yes, but we like to use it as a time to teach them about good choices! EVEN when we have a monster shopping trip ahead because we decided to empty our fridge and freezer and THEN go to Costco! :)
3. Cook with Your Kids
While you may choose to go to restaurants or order takeout from time to time, nothing beats a home-cooked meal. 
4. Pack Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Healthy food helps kids perform their best in school and on the playground! That’s why I pack healthy lunches for my littles every day and I love using the 21 Day Fix Containers to help them make good choices! Veggies, fruits, protein, all of it! Here’s an example of one of those featuring a sandwich made with all-natural organic turkey, provolone cheese, and mustard on Ezekiel toast, mixed organic berries, broccoli, and mixed almonds and cashews with coconut pieces covered in dark chocolate.
Pack a healthy lunch
5. Make Holidays Healthy
Holidays are about family and fun. Make fun and healthy holiday treats like these strawberry Santas so they don't think candy and packaged treats are the only way! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

1 pound (454 grams) ground turkey breast (raw)
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup natural ketchup
1 8 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1-2 packets Stevia (optional, if you want to make it on the sweeter side)

Mist a skillet with oil and brown raw turkey, onions and green pepper over medium heat. (You could skip this step, but you will get a better flavor.)

Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. If you don't brown the meat first, then cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Serve with a whole grain bun, toasted. Pictured is an Ezekiel hamburger bun. For gluten free, my favorite is Udi's gluten free whole grain hamburger buns.

21 Day Fix = 1 red, 1 yellow, 1/2 green 1 purple 

Via Skinny Ms

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Low Carb, Low Cal Turkey Meatlof

This is one of my favorite recipes to make and one that my whole family loves.  It's a slight variation from typical meatloaf.  The eggs in the center are something my mother in law did and my husband loves them so I kept them in.  Feel free to remove them if you prefer.  They are a good source of protein and healthy fats though and turn out yummy when cooked inside.  As for the turkey, I love using the Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey packs and sometimes also combine the Extra Lean with a Lean pack in taco flavor.  It gives the meat a good flavor and there's really no need for additional seasoning. The Italian seasoning is good too. If you prefer to use regular turkey, you can spice it up as you wish. Enjoy and, if you try it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! I'll be adding step by step photos soon, as soon as I make it again :) The photo on top does not have marinara sauce and cheese on top but that makes it MUCH better!

Low Carb Low Cal Turkey Meat Loaf
1 pack of Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey 
2 tbsp of minced garlic
3 to 4 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or thin sliced cheese (provolone, mozzarella, etc)
3/4 cup marinara
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

2.  Brown chopped onions and garlic.  Set aside. 

3.  Add turkey, onions, garlic, 1/2 cup of marinara sauce & breadcrumbs into large mixing bowl.  Mix or fold to blend ingredients 

4.  Place about 1/3 of the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and spread out to shape the bottom of the loaf. It should be about 1/2 thick.   Then place the hard boiled eggs on top of that in a row down the center. 

5.  Place the remainder of the turkey mixture on top and form a loaf.  I do this all with my hands. It's just easier!  

7. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes to an 1 hour or until lightly browned. Once it is lightly browned, remove it from the oven but leave the oven on.  Brush top with 1/4 cup marinara & sprinkle some cheese on top.  Cook it for an additional 5 minutes or so until the cheese melts.  

8.  Let cool, cut and serve.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why You Crave More Carbs in the Winter!

Do Carb Cravings Increase On Shorter Days?

When winter comes, our intake of comfort foods goes up. Whether you’re lounging about in balmy California or bundling up to brave the sub-zero temps of Minnesota, you’re likely to crave carbs — healthy ones like potato-rich stews and hearty soups (like this Hearty Vegetable Soup) and not-so-healthy-ones like overly sauced pastas or cookies. One possible theory for this is that the shorter days are to blame.

That’s because nearly everybody suffers from a low-grade sadness brought about by lack of sun exposure. “Human beings are far more complex than plants, but we still need sunlight,” says New York-based nutritionist Sophie Anson. “A lack of sunshine and vitamin D is linked to depression and fatigue.” In the winter months, many people have lower blood levels of serotonin — a chemical in the brain which, according to Dr. Wendy Miller, M.D., Chief of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak, “produces a calming effect and helps relaxation.” A lack of sunlight negatively affects serotonin levels, much like a lack of confidence negatively affects sexual activity.

Big carb hits bump up production of serotonin and dopamine, another feel-good neurochemical that, according to Miller, increases motivation and alertness. After eating that candy bar, we can expect a short-lived improvement in our mood to counter the blahs. Unfortunately, this spike is followed by a sugar low and plummeting serotonin levels, leaving us feeling as bad as we did before we ate — or worse. “We crash and eat more again,” says Anson. It’s a downward spiral not unlike binge-watching the E! channel.

7 tips to counter those winter cravings:

1. Vitamin D drops or supplements can help, but nothing comes close to sunshine. Anson recommends getting outside for 15 minutes a day, and exposing yourself to the sun so your body can produce vitamin D. “Pull up your shirtsleeves or your pant legs and do it without wearing SPF. You’ll feel better than if you ate that piece of cake.” Of course, you won’t feel great at all if you pull up your pant legs too far — resulting in an indecent exposure arrest.

2. Focus on complex carbs. “Eating healthier carbs also has a beneficial effect on serotonin in the brain,” says Miller. Eat oatmeal with whole grains — wheat germ or flax seed — and lowfat milk, advises Shannon L. Szeles RDN, Clinical Dietitian at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak. “Or make a snack of a whole wheat English muffin with nut butter.” The combination will keep your sugar and hormone levels steady rather than causing spikes and crashes. Plus, it’ll help you get a little more fiber in your diet — and happy plumbing is always a mood lifter.

3. Alternatively, turn to low-fat proteins. “Some people won’t benefit as much from the complex carbs,” says Szeles. “Instead, they should have almonds as snacks.” Not sure whether you’re a complex carbs or low-fat protein person? Szeles advises that you track yourself for a few days: “Write down how you feel within 30-60 minutes after eating carbs. Hungry again? Sluggish? Stick to protein instead,” says Szeles. And if you’re still sluggish, try getting more than four hours of sleep at night.

4. Exercise. “It’s a surefire way to increase feel-good hormones,” says Szeles. Do you normally jones for a late-afternoon cookie? Take the stairs up and down a few flights instead. It won’t taste as good, but it’ll release the same hormones in the brain.

5. Establish a routine. “An exercise regimen and eating with consistency will stabilize everything,” says Szeles, “by keeping your hormone levels on an even keel.” This routine should include Facebook breaks, taken as necessary.

6. Don’t ignore the cravings. “Don’t think, ‘Oh, I’m craving these really bad foods, so I’ll get rid of all the carbs,’” says Anson. “Excluding all carbs from your diet does more harm than good — you’ll just feel hungrier.” Rather, address the cravings in a more healthful manner. You’ll feel a lot better with a snack like yogurt or almonds — something that delivers sustainable energy. Of course, if you really want the cookie, eat the cookie — within moderation, of course.

Via Matt Schneiderman for the Team Beachbody Blog