Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Skinny Hot Chocolate with Real Cocoa



This is super simple to make! You can spice it up with any other spice you like too (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice or any of my fave Flavor God sweet seasonings too! For more servings just multiply the recipe accordingly

INGREDIENTS
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Stevia (Depends on your liking for amount. I use 2 packets per cup)

Add the cocoa powder to a large cup with a little bit of water. Mix it up until well blended then microwave it for about 30 seconds.

Add the almond milk, mix well again and microwave it for about 30 seconds again. The time really depends on how hot you want it and how powerful your microwave is!

When done, take it out, add the stevia and enjoy. I love whipped cream so I add a tiny bit to the top and it’s perfect for chilly days like the ones ahead

Notes: Any milk Can be substituted for the almond milk and any sweetener may be substituted for the stevia BUT almond milk and stevia are the best choices for calorie, sugar and carb control

For those on special diets, this is a vegan, gluten free, low calorie, dairy free recipe

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Benefits of Green Tea



Messy hair, tired eyes but don’t care! What I DO care about though, is feelin’ good! And green tea helps me do that, especially after a late night out

It’s part of my morning routine after my ACV shot & warm water with  lemon. And in the colder months, my afternoon pick me up too

So many benefits to drinking it, not to mention the little boost the caffeine gives you
Below are just a few of them! Pretty sure after reading them you’ll be incorporating it into your daily routine also! You’d seriously be foolish not to!

I buy mine in a box of 100 and it’s green tea + matcha, another very beneficial herbal tea ingredient that I’ll be blogging about next so stay tuned. But in the meantime, here are some of the many benefits of green tea alone


Green tea is loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, including a catechin called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). These antioxidants have various beneficial effects on health including helping prevent various types of cancer (i.e., breast, prostate & colorectal), fight cell damage & reduce inflammation

Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, not making you jittery, but enough to produce an effect and provide more stable energy. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work together with caffeine to improve brain function. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects

Green tea has been shown to boost physical performance, metabolic rate & fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree & confirm. It has also been shown to reduce fat in the abdominal area, the most dangerous place to carry excess weight & fat. This varies by individual but it’s yummy & good for you so whether it really does this or not, it’s definitely worth it anyway

Green tea has bioactive compounds that can have various protective effects on the brain. They may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer's & Parkinson's, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. Studies show that catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes & animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's & Parkinson's

Green tea contains catechins that may inhibit the growth of bacteria & some viruses, including influenza. This can lower the risk of infections & lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of cavities & reduced bad breath

Green tea has been shown to cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels & improve insulin resistance in several studies, hence helping lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Green tea has been shown to lower triglycerides in the blood as well as total and LDL cholesterol. It has also been shown to dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, protecting the LDL particles from oxidation. Studies show that, because of this, green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease

***See Healthline.com for more detail and additional benefits of green tea

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Zucchini Grilled Cheese

These are amazing! Zucchini Grilled Cheeeeeeese! Delicioussssss! And low carb!


SERVES: 3-4

INGREDIEditENTS

2 c. grated zucchini
1 large egg
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cornstarch
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for cooking
2 c. shredded Cheddar

DIRECTIONS
Squeeze excess moisture out of zucchini with a clean kitchen towel. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini with egg, Parmesan, green onions and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper.

In large skillet, pour enough vegetable oil to layer the bottom of the pan.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture onto one side of the pan and shape into a small square.

Repeat to form another patty on the other side.

Cook until lightly golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Remove from heat to drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining zucchini mixture.

Wipe skillet clean.

Place two zucchini patties in the same skillet over medium heat.

Top both with shredded cheese, then place two more zucchini patties on top to form two sandwiches.

Cook until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes per side.

Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Poached Eggs! On Toast & So Much More!




Poached eggs seem to be the topic of conversation in my groups lately! One of the motivating women in it keeps sharing her yummy pics of poached egg breakfasts & it has us all drooling over them

If you haven't tried it, you may want to. I haven't yet, if you can believe that, but I'm shopping & meal prepping again soon & this is on my list

Here's a How To Poach an Egg with a modified recipe via TheKitchn.com

INGREDIENTS
Water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or other mild-tasting vinegar

EQUIPMENT
Small saucepan
Small measuring cup
Timer
Slotted spoon
Paper towel

INSTRUCTIONS
Fill the saucepan about 2/3 full w/ water & bring to a boil

Turn heat down & let the water relax into a brisk simmer. You should see bubbles coming up to the surface, but it won't be rolling. (It's easier and quicker to control the simmer if you bring it to a boil first, then reduce the heat rather than trying to get it to the perfect simmer from the get-go.)

Crack the egg into a small measuring cup, preferably one w/ a long handle. This will help you ease the egg into the water

Add vinegar to the water: This step is optional, but many people like to add it to the boiling water because it helps the loose, billowy white cohere to itself & cook into a more compact shape. Taste isn't noticeable, although you might notice a firmer, more "squeaky" texture to the white

Use the measuring cup to carefully lower the egg into the water, then tip it out into the water. Make sure the water is at a bare simmer

The final cooking time for a poached egg is very much up to you. It depends on how well you like your eggs done and how hot the water is. But 4 minutes, give or take, in lightly simmering water, will give you a firm white & a gooey but still runny yolk

Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water

Pat the egg dry: This is optional

Place the egg on toast, salad, lean protein & enjoy. Season as desired


If you want to poach multiple eggs at once, make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate all your eggs without crowding them or poach in batches if necessary. Crack each egg into its own measuring cup before you start & slip them into the water one after the next. Add 30 seconds for each extra egg 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Broccoli Cheese Protein Muffins


Easy peasy way to get your protein in! Egg white, broccoli & cheese muffins! Grab and go, I don't even heat 'em up!

Ingredients
2 pints of egg whites
2 cups steamed broccoli
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chunky salsa of your choice
No salt seasoning if your choice
Smoked paprika (optional)
Non stick cooking spray
12 count muffin tin

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Spray muffin tin with non stick cooking spray
3. Pour egg whites into it leaving a small amount of room in each one for other ingredients
4. Add broccoli. I buy frozen broccoli, steam it and have it ready to go in the fridge
5. Sprinkle cheese on top
6. Add about half to a full teaspoon of salsa
7. Sprinkle seasoning and smoked paprika on top
8. Bake until golden brown. Test them before removing them. If they come out of the tin while and are fully cooked all the way around, they are ready to go. I like my eggs very well done so I wait until they are very golden brown.
9. Let cool and enjoy!  I eat them cold but you can reheat in the microwave if you wish. I sometimes add a slice of baked sweet potato on top OR you can bake them with the sweet potato on the. Ittom, adding it before you add the egg whites to the tin. TONS of options with these

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Can Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?



πŸ’¦πŸ’¦ WATER πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

We ALL need it! But how much AND does it really help you lose weight, lean out, etc? Well here ya go! I watched an excellent video the other day with tons of tips and studies explaining how and why it DOES! Here's a bit of it! I'll be hosting a ⚡️⚡️ FREE⚡️⚡️ Water group in a few weeks to help motivate you to CHUG πŸ’§! If you'd like more info, send me a message through this site, in Facebook, Instagram or via email at ellieperico@aol.com! Now....for the details!

Can drinking water help you lose weight/cut fat?

Here are some studies that have been done that prove YES!

1. Drinking half a liter or 17 oz of water increased metabolism from 24-30% for 1.5 hrs!

2. Drinking water before a meal decreases appetite = you eat less!

3. Half a liter before meals lead to 44% more weightloss than people who didn't drink before meals!

4. All metabolic processes that take place in your body work more efficiently with adequate water intake. Think of it in car terms, as the oil for your engine.

How much water should I drink per day? 

The general rule is half your body weight in ounces. So, if you're 150 lbs you need AT LEAST 75oz. More if you're exercising and/or sweating for any other reason, hence losing extra water. 

What if I'm bloated? Do I drink less? 

If you're bloated, that's an indication that you're bloated. DRINK water. It seems ironic but that's your body's signal to give it H20! It retains any water you have anticipating it may not get any for some time. Similar to when you don't eat.

People think if you don't eat you'll lose weight. Not necessarily. Your body's metabolism will slow down and it will create fat stores. 

Should I drink tap, filtered or bottled water?

Ideally, the best option is getting a good quality filter and drinking filtered water from a BPA free bottle. Stainless steel is a great option. It's been estimated that 205 million Americans are drinking contaminated water, including tap AND bottled water filled with pollutants, fluoride, heavy metals and even prescription drugs! 

Bottled water is no better either! I've been drinking bottled water for years and after reading this, I'll be finishing all of the water bottles I have at home and permanently switching to only BPA free bottles like my kids use
.
They did a study that women who had higher BPA levels in their body weighed 40 lbs more than women who didn't. The BPAs are coming from bottled water, plastic containers for food, etc.

Water in general will help with weightloss not only to make you eat less but to make the body function better as a whole. Your digestive system will work better, you'll have more energy, skin will improve and you'll have less headaches. 

So remember, water is a CRITICAL part of your weightloss and/or fitness routine. Drinking water alone won't shrink your belly BUT drinking water and combining that with a proper diet and fitness routine will lead to success, NO doubt! 

Remember, if you'd like to join me πŸ’§πŸ’§ WATER ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP πŸ’§πŸ’§ contact me! I may be adding a bonus free meal plan with recipes and snack ideas along with daily nutrition and fitness tips just like I do in my client paid groups! JUST in time for summer πŸŒžπŸ‘™πŸ’¦


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Food Swaps: Shrimp Scampi Pasta vs Shrimp Scampi Zoodles 


Food Swaps! They’re so important to learn when it comes to getting HEALTHY and this Shrimp Scsmpi comparison is one of my faves!

Low Carb vs High Carb! Comparing Zucchini Noodles & Pasta - Shrimp Scampi recipe included also ⬇

A simple swap can make ALL the difference in your carbs! I love pasta but rarely do I just have it. Most typical pasta plates look like the right pic (around 2 cups pasta) and 88+ grams carbs

On the left is what I usually do! There's around 6 oz of zoodles (about 3+ cups) which is only 10 grams of carbs. This means more volume for less cals.  It's important to remember though that carbs are NOT bad - You NEED them! Just be mindful of portion sizes when meal planning depending on your goals AND the types of carbs you eat! Pasta tends to be very heavy, causes bloat and raises insulin leading to cravings

Quick Shrimp Scampi
3-4 zucchini squash
2 bags raw peeled shrimp (about 400 g each)
1-2 cloves of garlic (preference)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp butter OR 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil

Use a vegetti or similar to spiralize the noodles. Put zucchini noodles into a colander and salt liberally let sit for 20 minutes (very important!) After 20 minutes, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel
Melt butter/oil and the 1-2 garlic cloves in a skillet or saute pan. Saute noodles over med-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sautee shrimp in butter/oil then add spices + lemon juice and simmer until cooked through (usually no more than 5 mins). Add on top of zoodles. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired and ENJOY πŸ˜‹


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Squash Lasagna!


Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Because we ALL love lasagna but not the ton of carbs that come with it. So here’s a clean and healthy solution. The carbs and sugars will vary depending on the marinara you choose but an estimate is below

 Prep Time 15 mins
 Cook Time 1 hr 17 mins
 Total Time 1 hr 32 mins
 Servings 4 Servings
 Calories 474

Ingredients
1 small spaghetti squash (approx. 3½ to 4 lbs.)
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups all-natural marinara sauce
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (optional)



Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane.
4. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 350ΒΊ F.
6. Scrape spaghetti squash flesh into stringy noodles.
7. Lightly coat 4-quart baking dish with spray.
8. Evenly layer half spaghetti squash, half marinara sauce, and half ricotta cheese in baking dish. 9. Repeat with second layer.
10. Evenly top with Parmesan cheese.
11. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
12. Garnish with basil if desired.

Nutrition Info
Portion Fix Containers
1 Green
2 Purple
1 Red
1 Blue

Via Team Beachbody

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mason Jar Quinoa Chicken Salad


LOVE mason jar salads! And this is one of my faves because I love the quinoa in it! Keeps me full and that takes care of that carb craving

 Prep Time 20 mins
 Cook Time 0 mins
 Total Time 20 mins

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil extra virgin
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups sliced cucumbers
4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3 cups grilled chicken breast boneless, skinless, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions
To make dressing, combine vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.

Add mustard; mix well.

Slowly add oil while whisking; mix well. Evenly divide dressing between 4 one-quart Mason jars. Set aside.

Evenly layer quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken, and cheese on top of dressing in jars.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Shake before serving.

Variation (Add 1 green container per serving): Add 4 cups fresh baby spinach.



Portion Fix Containers
2 Green
1 Red
1 Yellow
½ Blue
1 tsp.
2B Mindset Plate It!A great lunch option. Replace quinoa with more veggies for dinner.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Benefits of Warm Water with Lemon in the Morning 


Lemons are vitamin C rich citrus fruits that enhance your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within bringing a glow to your face. One of the major health benefits of drinking warm lemon water is that it paves the way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy.

Lemon Water Flushes Out Toxins And Is Extremely Beneficial For The Body
Warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier. It prevents the problem of constipation and diarrhea, by ensuring smooth bowel functions.

Nutritional Value Of Lemons
A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fibre. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A.
Lemon, a fruit popular for its therapeutic properties, helps maintain your immune system and thus, protects you from the clutches of most types of infections. It also plays the role of a blood purifier. Lemon is a fabulous antiseptic and lime-water juice also works wonders for people having heart problems, owing to its high potassium content. So, make it a part of your daily routine to drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning and enjoy its health benefits.

16 Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water


  1. Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
  2.  Lemons contain pectin fibre which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial 
  3.  It balances to maintain the pH levels in the body 
  4. Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins 
  5. It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile 
  6.  It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium 
  7.  It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases 
  8.  It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid 
  9.  It helps cure the common cold 
  10. The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells 
  11.  It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute 
  12. It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heartburn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
  13. It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne 
  14. It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems 
  15. Aids in the production of digestive juices 
  16.  Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session

Packed with all the goodness, make it a point to begin your day with a glass of warm lemon water. Its cleansing and healing effects will have positive effects on your health in the long run. However, it is very important to note that when lemon juice comes directly in contact with the teeth, can ruin the enamel on the teeth. Hence, it is advised to consume it diluted and also rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking lemon juice.

Via Food Matters