Saturday, December 31, 2016

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash


Easy side dish recipe that's delicious and clean! Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash tossed with cranberries and bacon for the BEST combo ever-tangy, salty, sweet, crunchy, crispy! Perfect for Thanksgiving, easy enough for everyday! Can't wait to try this one! 

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Total time 45 mins
Serves: 6

Ingredients
--1 pound butternut squash, peeled, chopped into 1-inch cubes
--1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, sliced in half through stem
--2 tablespoons olive oil
Dijon Maple Butter Sauce
--1 teaspoon butter, melted1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
--2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
--2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
--1/4 teaspoon salt
--1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
--1/8 teaspoon pepper

Garnish
--1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
--1/4 cup dried cranberries
--1/4 cup Feta cheese or to taste (optional)
--8 slices bacon, crumbled or taste (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon Maple Butter Sauce ingredients.
Set aside.
Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Add Brussels sprouts and squash, drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat.
Evenly spread out vegetables and roast at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Toss vegetables with Dijon Maple Butter Sauce and 1/4 cup pecans (it will seem “wet but will soak in the vegetables) then roast another 10-20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
Toss Brussels sprouts and squash with cranberries and feta and bacon if desired.
Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This Scale IS My Friend!

 So, most of you know I'm NOT a big fan of scales but the bottom line is, to keep your goals in check you NEED one. And hello.....New Year's Resolutions are around the corner so I'm sure you're all thinking about those goals too!

I don't weigh myself every day but I do weight myself a few times a week to monitor myself and stay on course.  Up until a few months ago, I've had a regular scale that just read weight.  

Weight is fine and all but it's best to have the big picture! Weight PLUS body fat, muscle mass, bone density, water and BMI truly define your progress and give you an accurate picture of your fitness.  The number on the scale when it comes to weight alone is NOT a good representation of your progress.  That's where the EatSmart scale comes in!


I got this scale, the Eatsmart Precicion Body Fat Scale Bathroom Scale w/ 400 lb Capacity and Step Off Technology, and now I don't even care what the number says when it comes to weight!  I'm  more concerned with muscle mass, fat percentage and my BMI.  And I can see that every time I step on it and every time my husband steps on it as well.



Below are a few shots of the scale and the different screens and information it shares.  The scale can hold up to 8 different user profiles and will recognize users as they step barefoot on the scale.


So, if you're on a weightloss or weightgain journey of your own, this is definitely a good investment.  It retails for over $59 but it's on sale now for $24.95 so jump on it!



















Monday, December 26, 2016

Flax Pumpkin Pancakes


My sis in law, who is quite talented in the kitchen, shared this yummy pancake recipe that I cannot wait to try! She makes some seriously AMAZING desserts so I know these will be yummy. Give them a shot! And if you need a birthday cake, cupcakes, cake pops...any dessert anytime soon, check out her Instagram or ask her (or me) for pics. She's also on Facebook at Sugarbakes! What she can do with her hands is nothing short of incredible! Thanks for this recipe Angelina!  My brother and Lukie are lucky boys! 😋👊👌
.
Here is the recipe! She used a 7 grain mix with flax & added a few extra goodies
.
Ingredients
1 cup mix
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 t cinnamon (not "pumpkin spice" ðŸ˜’)
2 eggs
4 oz yogurt
4 oz almond milk
2T coconut oil
Hemp hearts

Whisk dry mix and cinnamon. Blend wet ingredients together and whisk into the dry just until combined. Use an ice cream scoop, sprinkled on hemp seeds while cooking, flip! And eat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese!

I


It’s Fall, which in my house means Pumpkin season. I came across this healthy and delicious recipe for Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese in the 21 Day Fixate cookbook!
Ingredients
2 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp. Pure Maple Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1.5 Cups Almond Flour
¾ Tsp. Baking Soda (Gluten Free)
1 Dash Sea Salt (or Himalayan Salt)
2 Tbsp. Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the cream cheese and maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix the egg and pumpkin in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
Add the almond flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until blended.
Fill the muffin tins about ⅓ full.
Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin.
Evenly distribute the rest of the batter between the muffins (on top of the cream cheese). In the picture above I didn’t do this and left the cream cheese mixture exposed. You can do it either way.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with pumpkin seeds.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Transfer to a muffin rack and let them cool before eating.
If you’re on the 21 Day Fix, each muffin counts as 1 purple and 1 orange container. There is 0 sugar added in this recipe.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Tips to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain!


Every holiday season, you try the same old drill. Stuffing? Don’t need the extra carbs. Eggnog? No amount of nutmeg can hide all that fat and alcohol. Pumpkin pie? Too many calories… delicious, creamy decadent calories. Nope, this holiday season, you’re going to stick to your nutrition goals!
But have you ever been successful in doing that? How many times have you gazed miserably at the dessert table, avoiding it like the Plague, only to eventually give in? Come January, you’ve eaten everything you said you wouldn’t — and then some.
You’re not alone. The average American ate 32% more over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend alone. Despite your best efforts to keep unhealthy food out of your line of sight, with all of the social events, candy corners at the office, and tasty sabotages (i.e. gifts, from friends), you simply cannot control your environment as well as you can during the rest of the year. Regardless of all the oaths and intentions, most of us still gain weight during the holidays.
So how do you stay 100% committed to your nutrition plan during the holidays? You don’t!Trying to stay completely on track during the holidays may be the exact thing that causes you to gain weight.
There are several possible reasons for this. The first is the Forbidden Fruit Effect (or Theory of Psychological Resistance). You always long for whatever it is you can’t have. The deprivation itself makes holiday food all the more tempting. Your brain also perceives that you’re being punished and you end up in a battle between the side of you that has promised to stay in control and the side that wants no part of the food restriction. Guess which side typically wins?
The second cause is the Law of Dominant Thought, which says the focus of your thoughts will affect your choices, behaviors, and achievements. There is a reason why health experts recommend you clean out your cupboards of unhealthy foods. Out of sight, out of mind right? Unfortunately, during the holidays, indulgences are constantly in your sights — and therefore at the forefront of your mind. When you spend the day obsessing over not snacking on peppermint bark, you can’t be surprised when you go through the whole tin in one sitting. Where your mind goes, energy flows. Constant exposure to unhealthy foods, combined with the alcohol that often flows freely at holiday events, can make you more likely to overeat.
The third culprit that contributes to holiday binge eating is stress. The planning, cooking, decorating, and managing schedules of the holidays may push you to crave comfort foods — anything high in fat, sugar, and/or salt — that temporarily calm your nerves. But, in the end you end up more stressed from the disappointment of not being able to fit into your “skinny” jeans.
So, now you know what’s going on in your head during the holidays. So how can you overcome all of these influences and keep off added holiday pounds?
The solution is the Holiday Hall Pass. This sweet indulgence allows you to make the most of the holidays, with five safeguards to prevent you from getting too crazy. These safeguards — let’s call them holiday helpers — create an environment that evokes positive emotions that calm the negative ones you experience when you attempt to deprive yourself.
Holiday Helper #1: Exercise a little bit every morning.
The first little helper is a pre-performance morning exercise routine. Spend at least 20 minutes doing anything active: FOCUS T25, PiYo, walking the dog, whatever it is that you do. During typical weeks, fitness experts recommend one day of rest, but during the holidays, it’s best to be active every single morning to stay consistent. It can be an all-out workout or a simple physical activity to create a positive tone for the day, helping you keep off the stress.
Holiday Helper #2: Keep a journal.
If you simply write down what you do and feel throughout the day, you’ll become aware of your choices, causing you to continue to make good ones. Through writing, you bring a little logic back into the equation, which helps you overcome your emotional tendencies.
For maximum results, journal immediately before you show up to a holiday event. Write down what you’ve already eaten that day and how your choices have made you feel. If you’ve already chosen to eat unhealthily throughout the day, the awareness you bring through this journaling process will help you to create a plan of action for the upcoming event. It’s not about saying to yourself “Well, I’ve already ruined this day so I’ll start again tomorrow,” but rather asking yourself what one positive thing you can achieve at this event to feel good about yourself and the choices you made.
On the other hand, if you have been eating healthily so far and are energized and proud of yourself, bringing those thoughts and feelings to the present moment will enhance your opportunity to be mindful about what you choose to eat at the holiday event.
Holiday Helper #3: Don’t let yourself get hungry.
You should graze every 2–3 hours. Whether it’s a full meal or just a light snack. Keeping your metabolism up and your stomach satisfied will prevent you from becoming too hungry. You won’t end up with plates of food you have to haul away with a forklift if you aren’t starving when mealtime finally rolls around.
Holiday Helper #4: Set holiday indulging intentions for yourself.
Remember, this isn’t about denying yourself anything delicious; your intentions simply set the scene for an enjoyable-yet-controlled feasting experience. You can choose to allow a small indulgence with each meal, whether it be one piece of cake or a few little cookies. You can also choose to go ‘all out’ for one special night. Also use attentional cues — pre-made questions pre-programmed and scheduled in your smartphone to help you stick to your intentions. Some examples of attentional cues are: Are you proud of your food choices so far today? Would the people who want you to succeed be happy with your choices? Are you giving all the effort you can to following through on your plan? Does this food taste better than how your body looks/feels when you’re healthy?
Holiday Helper #5: Be easy on yourself
Feeling guilty about indulgences only amps up the stress, leading you right back to the second and third serving of turkey and cranberry sauce. Enjoy your holiday and indulge without beating yourself up.
By Dr Haley Perlus via the Beachbody Blog

Monday, December 12, 2016

How Fast Do You Eat?


Here's a question most people don't think about when trying to lose weight. Not how much you eat or what you eat but instead, "How fast do you eat?" Are you a fast eater, a moderate eater, or a slow eater? Most people tend to be fast eaters. We live in a world that wants everything at lightning speed. We want fast restaurant service, fast Internet connections, and fast results when it comes to losing weight.
If you’ve been trying everything to lose weight but without lasting success, then maybe it’s time for some slow. Consider this: if you really love something and thoroughly enjoy it, like eating or sex for example, would you really want to get it over within just a few mere minutes? If something is pleasurable, don’t you want to make it last?
Nutrition experts love to remind us, and rightfully so, that it takes the body approximately 20 minutes to realize that it’s full. The science of Mind Body Nutrition tells us that If we eat fast or while in an anxious rush, which usually means without paying any attention, the brain literally does not have enough time to assess the nutritional profile of our meal. The central nervous system and our digestive tract are short-circuited in their ability to determine if our nutritional needs have been met.
In the absence of this important information, the brain plays it safe and tells the body, “I’m still hungry.” So many people believe they have a willpower problem when it comes to food and appetite. We recognize when we’ve eaten a robust meal, and we can’t understand why we want to keep eating. The good news is that there’s nothing wrong with our willpower. We just eat too fast. Slow eating is a natural appetite regulator and powerful nutritional practice when it comes to losing weight. But please, don’t be afraid that slow eating means chewing each bite 50 times while staring into space. Eating slow means eating sensuously, it means tasting your food, loving it, celebrating it, and feeling warm and fuzzy no matter what you eat.

This blog post is a summary of Emily Rosen's All About Dynamic Eating Psychology video series. For more info go to her video series HERE

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What You Should NOT Eat for Breakfast & Why!

I’m sure you’ve had those days where you wake up and scarf down something that’s convenient so you can get out the door as fast as possible.

Now it should go without saying that starting your day with foods like doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes is a fat storing NIGHTMARE.

But many turn to other so-called healthier alternatives that are nearly just as bad.

Here are 3 of the WORST Foods to Eat in the Morning

1. Muffins

Most store-bought muffins are giant, which means they can sometimes contain over 600-700 calories that have absolutely NO protein or healthy fats to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

2. Bagels

Would you sit down and knowingly eat FOUR slices of bread?

Well, MOST bagels have the equivalent of four servings of bread, which will quickly convert into sugar making you store fat and feel lethargic in no time.

3. Cereals

Over-the-counter cereals are, by far, one of the worst foods for your waistline and your health.

The majority of over-the-counter cereals are empty calories, simple carbs and sugar, cleverly disguised as a “healthy” breakfast.

There are a few rare exceptions, like some of the cereals in the Ezekiel 4:9® line from Food for Life®, but I NEVER eat cereal when I’m trying to get leaner.

If you wake up and eat ANY of the above 3 foods to start your day, you'll feel like you ate a cup of salt!

Seriously, they’ll make you literally swell up, giving you an unplanned and unwanted "Food Baby," making you feel fat and bloated the entire day.  They also FORCE your body to depend on sugar all day—instead
of burning fat.

Instead, opt for lean protein and complex carbs.  A good example would be egg whites or 1-2 eggs paired with whole oats, fresh fruit, yogurt or cottage cheese. All foods you can still eat on the go and won't sabotage your day. My go to every single morning is Shakeology. Has the protein I need, tons of fruits and veggies, only natural forms of sugar in low amounts and I have have it while driving or dropping off the kids at school! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

6 Signs That Your Diet May Be Lacking in Protein


When protein is appropriately implemented into our diets, it can help us stay healthy, trim and energetic.
Simply put, protein is a very important nutrient that we must get enough of in order for our bodies to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, as with so many other important nutrients, people can neglect getting the necessary amount.

HERE ARE SOME SIGNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE A PROTEIN DEFICIENCY:

1. CRAVING UNHEALTHY FOODS

Without adequate protein, we are much more likely to crave non-nutritional foods. This is because our blood sugar is off kilter, tempting us to reach for carb-heavy and sugar-laden foods such as chocolate, candy, potato chips, pastries, soda and so forth.
If this happens, we should resist the urge to indulge and get a healthy snack with a good amount of protein. Examples of such snacks are nuts, seeds, tempeh,  natural peanut butter, oatmeal, Coconut greek yogurt, and hummus. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but all are foods that are quite easily accessible.

2. JOINT AND/OR MUSCLE PAIN

Since protein serves such an imperative role in sustaining our muscles, this side effect is not surprising in the least. Much of our protein is stored in what is called synovial fluid, located around our joints. Synovial fluid plays an important role in rebuilding muscles and lubricating our joints. When protein levels are low, reserves of protein stored in synovial fluid are often the first to be depleted. When this happens, joint stiffness and muscle pain is likely to result.
If this occurs, one is best served to eat a meal or snack that is rich in protein. If this protocol is followed, within the matter of a few hours, the pain once located in our muscles and/or joints should diminish significantly.

3. LOW ENERGY

As mentioned, low protein levels wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels. Without protein to stabilize blood sugar, our energy levels tank. Further, insufficient protein often leads to episodes of moodiness as well as a decreased ability to manage the stress that we encounter throughout the day. As a result, our bodies are devoid of the necessary elements to calm down.
The takeaway: our bodies need protein in order to be calm and composed, and to get ourselves through the day with efficiently and productively.

4. INABILITY TO SLEEP

As stated in item number one, the body will crave carbs and sugar without sufficient protein. This is true even when body shuts down in anticipation of sleep. When our heads finally do hit the pillow, our bodies will still crave necessary nutrition in the form of protein. Normally, individuals that do not get enough of the nutrient make a bad habit out of it. Unfortunately, this habit carries over to sleep when the body needs fuel in the form of healthy fats (generally derived from protein) in order to remain in a state of sleep.
--School-age children: 19-34 grams
– Teenage girls: up to 46 grams
– Teenage boys: up to 52 grams
– Adult women: about 46 grams (71 grams if pregnant or breastfeeding)
– Adult men: about 56 grams
There are many different ways to get our recommended amount of protein. Some of these sources include: beans, soy products,  greens, tempeh, and lean meat choices.
When this is neglected, the body will naturally seek supplementation; waking us up in order for us to fulfill its needs. This results in a state of wakefulness and an inability to sleep.

5. FREQUENT ILLNESS

Protein is an important nutrient for sustainment of a healthy immune system. This is because our blood requires sufficient protein to perform necessary functions – namely killing off the nasty and unwelcome trespassers that enter our bloodstream. White blood cells, for example, are protein-rich blood types responsible for seeking out and eliminating these unhealthy agents. Antibodies contained in white blood cells need protein in order to perform this function.
Without sufficient protein, our bodies’ ability to seek out and eliminate bacteria or viruses is drastically reduced. Naturally, this development makes the human body more susceptible to various illnesses.

6. INABILITY TO FOCUS

Protein is responsible for the health of various neurotransmitters in the brain. This is unsurprising since our brain’s neurons are made mostly of fat; with protein being the primary source of the healthy fat variety. Further, amino acids – the building blocks of protein – make up the foundation of our brain’s chemical receptors. Simply put, what we eat ultimately determines the nerve chemicals that will dominate these brain pathways, affecting how we feel.
Ingesting a heavy dose of carbohydrates ultimately makes us feel more sluggish because they increase the level of the amino acid tryptophan, which puts the brain in a ‘calm’ state. Lastly, eating protein raises levels of certain amino acids that initiate the production of norepinephrine and dopamine. These two chemical messengers keep us energized and productive, since they play a key role in brain activity and alertness.
So, in closing, if we wish to remain healthy, focused and energetic, we need to ensure that we’re getting a nice dose of protein. 

Via Power of Positivity!




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Guilt Free Two Ingredient Muffins


Want to make dessert but don't have all of the ingredients? Want to eat some muffins minus the extra added fat that you have to add with oil and eggs?  Try this!  SUPER simple & surprisingly enough, they turn out super moist and you can't tell any ingredients are missing!

Ingredients
1 box of cake mix in any flavor (chocolate, vanilla, lemon, etc)
1 can or 12 oz carbonated beverage (preferably unflavored seltzer water to avoid adding extra sugar or artificial sweeteners)

Directions
1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Spray the muffin tin with coconut or olive oil spray.

3.  In a large bowl, mix the cake mix and the carbonated beverage with an electric mixer on low speed while scraping the side of the bowl.

4.  Pour the batter evenly into all of the cups.

5.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven.  Insert a toothpick occasionally and once it comes out clean, they should be ok.  Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove and store in an air tight container.  Frost of desired.

21 Day Fix Breakdown
1 yellow (carbs)
1 purple (sugar)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

10 Tips to a Healthy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to mean an additional 10 pounds by the next morning.  
Here are 10 tips to avoid overdoing it on Thanksgiving and over the holiday party season in general.

1. If you're going to have dessert, go for pumpkin pie. Healthiest option of all. Avoid pecan. Highest in fat and sugars.

2. Choose the white meat/breast part of the turkey. 

3. If you want gravy, get it on the side and dip your fork in it then grab the turkey. Do the same with salad dressings

3. For alcoholic beverages, try to avoid beer. Best options are red wine or hard liquor with club soda (vodka soda is my fave!) 

4. Don't drink too much because alcohol lowers inhibitions and will cause you to overeat. 

5. Get your food and get away from the food table after you serve yourself. Don't linger or sit next to it to avoid temptation. 

6.  Drink a glass of water before you eat and before you grab any food throughout the day.  

7.  Avoid carbs and sugars at breakfast. Eat a high protein breakfast to help keep you full and satisfied until Thanksgiving dinner.  Save your carbs and sugars for a serving of dessert so you don't overdo it later in the day.

8.  Use a small plate vs a regular size plate. It'll look like you're eating more food than you really are.  

9.  Eat slowly.  It takes your body approximately 20 minutes to register it's full so chew your food and enjoy every bite.

10.  Bring your own dish.  That way you KNOW there will be something healthy for you to fill up on if there are no other healthy options.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner Revised!

So you’re probably going to eat more than usual on Thanksgiving and I get it. It’s a popular foodie holiday, but you also don’t want to wake up the next morning and feel like you've undone all of your progress. Of course, if you’ve been exercising and eating right, one day won’t undo all the work you’ve done but, as you head into winter, it’s easy to fall off the wagon and struggle to get back on.

So, with that in mind, here are some examples from Autumn Calabrese’s video shoot and the Team Beachbody blog to help you properly plate your Thanksgiving meal.

The Typical Plate 
Honestly, this is what the typical Thanksgiving dinner looks like. So, it looks pretty healthy but a lot is missing. First off, where are the greens? And, secondly, this plate is so high in carbs and sugar, it’s no wonder everyone wants to nap after the typical Thanksgiving dinner.


Registered Dietician, Ani Aratounians weighed in on this typical Thanksgiving plate. “It’s high in carbs and there’s lot of sugar and fat. Especially saturated fat. There’s butter everywhere and hardly any fiber. After eating this plate, you’ll feel stuffed and bloated.” And this doesn’t even take into consideration the pie. Or the wine. Or seconds…or thirds.

The Revised Thanksgiving Plate 
One easy way to totally redo your Thanksgiving plate (and still have all your favorites) is to start with the greens. Put the green beans and the salad on your plate first. Then, add the turkey (aim for the the skinless, breast pieces if you can find them), and then add on your other favorites in small quantities. The calories aren’t exactly low, but they’re much more reasonable than the first plate.



Aratounians’s thoughts on this plate were much more positive. “This is much higher in vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Overall, this is much more balanced for your blood sugar with the protein and fiber in the veggies balancing out sugar content. And it’s a much prettier plate too!” She recommends, if you are going to go for seconds (and really, who isn’t), go for the greens and protein (again, ideally, without skin).

I hope this comparison helps you come Thursday! What do you plan to eat on Thanksgiving? Try to plan ahead, serve your food when you're there and walk AWAY from the food table! And watch your alcohol calories too!

A portion of this post was taken from the Team Beachbody blog

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

5 Exercises to Help You Burn Fat

When it comes to dropping pounds, most people go about it precisely the wrong way: They underestimate the importance of diet, and overestimate the power of cardio. Jogging, bike riding (not to be confused with cycling), and other low intensity exercises can benefit your heart, lungs, and mood, but they’re the scenic routes to a smaller waist. Reams of studies agree: The cardio-emperor has no clothes (and frankly, he’s looking a little chubby.)
To burn fat, you need a smart, nutrient-dense diet and a workout program that’s packed with exercises that target as many muscle groups as possible. You’ll find five of those exercises—picked by a handful of the nation’s top trainers—on this page. So step away from the treadmill, weave these metabolic super-moves to your workout rotation, and watch the fat melt away.
5 Moves for Burning Fat Squat Press
Metabolic Super Move #1: Squat to Press
“Squatting and pressing are both moves that belong in everyone’s workout,” says Rachel Cosgrove, 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and author of The Female Body Breakthrough. The squat to press combines them into a single move, hammering your legs, shoulders, and every muscle in between.
Directions: Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your shoulders and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back and squat down until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, then drive through your heels as you stand up and press the weights straight above your shoulders. Lower the weights to return to the starting position. Do three to four sets of eight to 12 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Sit Through
Metabolic Super Move #2: Sit-Through
“Don’t underestimate the value of moving around on the floor for burning fat,” says powerlifter David Dellanave, owner of The Movement Minneapolis, in the Twin Cities. “The sit-through is surprisingly taxing—you’re supporting your entire bodyweight on all-fours and then moving through a wide range of motion while synchronizing the actions of multiple limbs and muscles.” In short, it taxes your body and challenges every aspect of athleticism: Mobility, strength, power, and coordination.
Directions: Assume a bear crawl position with your back flat and the balls of your feet and palms of your hands on the floor. In one movement, pivot your right foot, reach your right arm above your head, rotate your chest toward the ceiling, and slide your left foot underneath your body until it’s flat on the floor. You should now be sitting with your left leg extended and your right leg bent. Raise your hips, and reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat to your other side. Continue to alternate sides with each rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Goblet Squats
Metabolic Super Move #3: Goblet Shooter Squat
This innovative squat-lunge hybrid combines one of the best lower-body moves you can do, the squat, with a rotational element that nails your core. “It’s a killer exercise,” says Dellanave. “You get tremendous time under tension, a huge range of motion, and some good mobility work—especially in your hips.” says Dellanave. “It’s a killer exercise.” And its fat loss dividends are worth every drop of sweat equity.
Directions: Grab a dumbbell and hold it vertically in front of your chest, cupping the top end with both hands (imagine it’s a heavy goblet). Set your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back and lower your body until your hips drop below knee-level. Rotate to your right, dropping your left knee to the floor, and then stand up. Reverse the move, lowering your body, rotating back to center, and then standing up. That’s one rep. Repeat the entire sequence, this time rotating to your left and dropping your right knee to the floor. Continue alternating sides. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Deadlift
Metabolic Super Move #4: Deadlift
“In the hierarchy of fat loss, resistance training comes right after nutrition, as it has the largest impact on metabolism,” says Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S., a trainer at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. And no exercise works more “metabolically active tissue” (AKA muscle) than the deadlift, which targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, back, and shoulders. “It’s a true total body exercise, which is exactly what you need when training for fat loss,” says Rasmussen.
Directions: Load a barbell with moderately-heavy to heavy weights and roll it against your shins. Keeping your back flat, push your hips backward, bend your knees slightly, and grab the bar using an overhand grip with your hands just beyond shoulder-width. Drive through your heels, pulling your torso back and up and thrusting your hips forward as you stand up with the bar. Pause, and then slowly lower the bar back to the floor, keeping it as close to your body as you can. Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Sprint Intervals
Metabolic Super Move #5: Sprint Intervals
“It’s easy to spot a sprinter,” says Angelo Poli, ISSA, owner of Whole Body Fitness in Chico, California. “Even compared to other athletes, they look muscular and lean.” Since you’re working your largest muscle groups (the quads, glutes, and hamstrings) at a near-maximal intensity through a large range of motion, sprinting challenges your fast-twitch muscle fibers like few other exercises. “That’s good news,” says Poli. “Fast twitchers are the fibers with the most potential for both growth and serious fat-burning.”
Directions: Head to the track at your local high school or university. If you’re already fit, run 400 meters (one lap) as fast as you can, and then walk 200 meters. If you’re just starting out, run 200 meters (half a lap) as fast as you can, and then walk 200 meters. Either way, that’s one interval. Do four to eight. Don’t have access to a track? No worries—perform the workout on a smooth even trail, sidewalk, or beach, and measure each interval by time instead of distance. Sprint for 20 to 60 seconds (depending on our fitness level), and then walk for an equal amount of time to complete one interval.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mizuno Running Shoes? Heck yeah!


If you know me, you know I'm an avid runner! Borderline addicted to it and it's most definitely my preferred form of therapy!  With that said, I go through running shoes QUICKLY and have tried pretty much every shoe out there in the last 10 years since I've been running.

This month I was finally able to try out a pair of Mizunos again!  I've had friends that swear by them but, for some reason, I hadn't tried another pair of Mizuno Wave Riders since the Wave Rider 16! I've received running shoes for birthdays and holidays and just settled for whatever others chose for me!

Well to my surprise, I think I have a new favorite...again! I remember loving my Wave Rider 16s but this latest model is AWESOME!!  I've worn my Mizuno Wave Rider 20 running shoes A LOT in the past two weeks and was able to use them on all different types of terrain.  I ran trails, streets, sidewalks, the beach and even on rocks for part of the way while running a trail/beach combo.



I'm happy to say the shoe gave me tons of support and stability and I didn't even have to wear the insoles that I've had to wear in the past with other running shoes that didn't seem to offer as much support as I needed.  The Wave Rider 20 is definitely more responsive and much smoother than the first pair I had years ago.  They're

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is lightweight, super flexible and fits perfectly around my foot.  I've had an Achilles tendon surgery in the past so some shoes just do not work with the way the scar tissue from that surgery formed afterwards but these fit just right.  They weren't too high on the back but and were just right when it came to hugging your heel and fitting snug.  The triple layer of mesh was great too, especially since many of my runs were on hot afternoons.

Mizuno outdid themselves by improving this shoe so much! If you're an avid runner that has yet to give Mizuno a shot, I'd highly suggest you try out the new Wave Rider 20s.  Worth every penny and you'll be pleasantly surprised! To check them out and get yourself a pair in any of the 3 color combos available head over to Mizuno's website!

This is a sponsored post. I received a free pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 20 in exchange for this blog post. Although it is sponsored, the opinions reflected here are my own.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ricotta Pancakes! Yum!


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

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

Optional: sweetener like banana, maple syrup, honey

METHOD:
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.
Enjoy!


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



Ingredients
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)

Directions
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