Green smoothie

For me, smoothies are the best way to sneak in some additional fruits and greens into my diet each day. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder if I’m going to be exercising or peanut butter if I want it to be more of a meal replacement. But, sometimes I’m just craving something sweet and feeling those afternoon munchies creeping up on me.

This is a great smoothie to make if you just want something to tie you over until your next meal. It’s really low in calories but packed full of great nutrients and super flavorful!!

Ingredients

1/2 banana
1 cup organic baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (make sure this is NOT from concentrate. I only buy 100% pure orange juice where the only ingredients is ORANGES)
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk (or yogurt or whatever)
6 Ice cubes

Blend in your blender until completely pureed and smooth.

Enjoy!!

Advertisements

Pre-workout oatmeal

Most people know that it is important to eat the right things before and after working out and certain foods will do certain things for you if they are consumed before a workout.

Carbs are usually what I eat before working out because they give me a lot of energy while I’m exercising. And most nutritionists and trainers will agree that carbs are one of the best things to eat before heading to the gym. But, the type of carbs you eat are extremely important. If you eat a doughnut before working out; even though doughnuts are considered carbs, you will not get any benefits from eating it and your workout will most likely suffer. Eating something substantial with complex carbs like oatmeal will give you the fuel to get through a workout.

Here is a recipe for the oatmeal that I usually make:

1/2 cup multigrain rolled oats
1/2 cup water
1 packet Truvia (or a tsp of any sweetener you like)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl flax meal
1 Tbl chia seeds
1/2 banana, sliced
2 Tbl chopped walnuts
2 dates, chopped
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk

In a microwave safe bowl, combine oats, Truvia, cinnamon, flax meal, chia seeds, and water. Microwave for 90 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir in bananas, walnuts, dates, and almond/coconut milk. Microwave for another 60 seconds. Remove from microwave. Stir and allow to cool slightly.

This oatmeal is so good and it’s the workout fuel I need, especially for those early morning workouts I’ve been doing lately. If I am feeling like a need an extra boost of nutrients, sometimes I will stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter or add in some protein powder to this recipe. However, without the addition of protein powder or peanut butter, this whole bowl of oatmeal (and this makes a pretty big bowl) is only around 330 calories! For breakfast, that is a perfect amount of calories to consume and it will keep you full for a while!!

Healthy lunch ideas

Is the office making you fat??

I know where I work, they are always feeding us. And there are always cookies and soda around tempting me to fall off my healthy eating wagon. To combat all the unhealthy temptations, I pack my lunch everyday. Here is a sample of what I usually take:

1. Quinoa, black bean, and corn salad. This is packed full of protein and fiber! I add some jalapeno to it and a little lime juice so it has lots of flavor.
2. Fruit salad sprinkled with 1/2 Truvia packet. This had blueberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and lime juice.
3. Watermelon slices
4. 3 Gingersnaps, 2 marshmallows, and a small hand full of dark chocolate chips. I NEED dessert. If I don’t get my fix, then I’ll most likely be munching on cookies later on in the day.

Also, something that isn’t pictured is a Kashi pumpkin flax granola bar which I eat a few hours after I get to work so I’m not starving by lunch time.

By packing my lunch everyday, I know exactly what I’m getting and I look forward to it all day. I can determine how healthy/unhealthy I want to eat that day and by giving myself lots of variety, I hardly ever get bored. I also pack my lunch the night before so I have plenty of time to pack a nutritious and filling lunch for myself. If I waited until the morning, I would be rushing and just pack a bunch of random things that won’t do much for me.

The key to eating healthy at work is to pack a protein and fiber rich lunch that will keep you satisfied until dinner. A healthy breakfast is also extremely helpful. If you start your day out well, you are more likely to continue a healthy diet throughout the rest of the day!

You all know by now that I am a smoothie nut so I normally will drink a smoothie around 7am and then go workout. After my workout I usually will eat another small breakfast that normally consists of protein and fiber will a small amount of carbs. Something that I have been loving recently is quinoa “oatmeal.” I don’t have a photo of it, but here is the recipe I normally make after my workout:

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup coconut/almond milk (I used a mixture of the two but any milk will do)
1 packet Truvia (any sweetener works)
Sliced almonds
Blueberries
Banana

In a saucepan, combine quinoa and milk. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked all the way through. Top with almonds and fruit. You can drizzle more milk over the top if desired.

Figuring what works for you takes some time. Eating healthy is not always easy but it should be a lifelong thing for all of you. It is not that difficult to just cut back on the processed foods and opt for more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Once you make the small changes, you will see such a difference not only in your appearance, but your overall energy will improve dramatically!

If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding healthy eating, I would love to hear from you!! I am always eager to learn and share with you as much as I can about eating well!!

Protein powder review and NEW smoothie recipe

In the past, I have posted a bunch of different smoothie recipes with varying levels of protein. Most of you know I make one almost everyday, so I like to switch things up so it doesn’t get boring.

I have been doing this bootcamp for the past few weeks and decided that since I was working out a lot, I would try out some protein powder and see if that made any difference in my energy level/muscle development.

As a woman, I was a little skeptical about consuming whey protein. I had alway heard that women body builders and men were really the only ones that used whey protein and it made me a little nervous that it was going to “bulk” me up too much. I really only want to tone so gaining too much muscle mass was not really what I wanted. But, I figured I would give it a try and then let you all know how I made out.

After doing lot’s of research on the different brands of whey, I narrowed it down to two brands I wanted to try. One is called Designer Whey and the other is called Terra’s Whey. I decided on purchasing the Terra’s Whey in the vanilla flavor first and seeing how that one worked.

On the first morning I made a protein shake with the Terra’s Whey and then I went running 30 minutes after drinking it. I felt really good during my run. I had a lot of energy and felt like I didn’t get as tired as I normally get. I’m not sure if that was whey related or just the fact that running is getting easier for me because I’m doing it a lot more frequently. Either way, I noticed a difference in my energy level after I drank the protein shake.

The next time I drank a shake was about an hour before a bootcamp class. This time, I definitely had more energy and didn’t feel hungry at all for like a solid 4 hours (which is a long time for me since I eat like every 2 hours).

I have been drinking these shakes now for about a week now and haven’t noticed too much of a difference in my muscle mass. I have been doing a lot of weight training so I am definitely developing more muscle, but I haven’t noticed any big changes from the whey protein. I will definitely keep you all updated. But for now, if you are considering adding some additional protein to your diet, I would highly recommend the Terra’s Whey protein powder. It tastes really great blended up into a smoothie and definitely has some added benefits!

Here is the recipe for the shake I have been drinking everyday for about a week:

1/2 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk blend
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen berry blend (mine has blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 Tbl Better’n Peanut Butter (regular is fine or even PB2)
2 Tbl flax seeds
1 level scoop of Terra’s Whey Protein Powder
2 packets of organic stevia (agave or honey or any natural sweetener would work here too)
4-6 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on high until smooth.

** Anyone living in the Naples area who is interested in coming to the bootcamp I attend, let me know!! I will give you all the details! It is taught by the AMAZING David Simmons and I know you will ALL love it if you come to a class! He offers classes all the time and they are a ton of fun!

You can also follow him on Facebook for details and information about his classes!

Pumpkin pie french toast

Gooooood morning!!!

Today is actually a great morning. Ya know why? Because I woke up to some amazing french toast. And, my house smells like pumpkin pie.

Those are two ingredients for a pretty perfect day. The only thing that would make this day better is if it was sunny with a high of some fall weather. Floridians really get the shaft when it comes to the amazingness of fall weather.

Oh well. This french toast is so good that it will make you forget it is still 99 degrees outside and basically still summer.

Ingredients

8 slices cinnamon swirl bread (any bread will work here, I just had some cinnamon bread and thought that would be tasty. GF will work here too!)
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla soy)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbl butter (I used Earth Balance)

In a shallow dish, combine milk, eggs, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until eggs are all broken up and well combined.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter to pan.

Soak bread in pumpkin mixture until the bread is saturated. Allow excess batter to drip off and place into hot pan. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until browned and egg has cooked. Remove from heat and eat immediately.

Enjoy and happy Sunday!!