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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meal Prep Short Cuts!

When it comes to healthy eating, preparation is the key to success. (Those Boy Scouts are onto something.) In fact, one study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests that spending time on preparing and cooking meals at home is linked with better dietary habits. But if you love the convenience of prepackaged foods and restaurant meals, it might be hard to go cold turkey on your take-out routine.
Luckily, planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will make healthy choices a no-brainer. Instead of running to the deli for a cold cut calorie bomb, you’ll have a home cooked feast on hand that can be heated up faster than you can walk two blocks. And hey, you’ll save money while you’re at it.
Plus, if you’re intimidated by cooking, there are tons of sneaky tricks that can help make assembling delicious meals a cinch. From easy breakfast options to methods for whipping up meals in bulk, we’ve got expert tips to set yourself up for a fuss-free and healthy week. Whip out your favorite Tupperware and get started.

12 Meal Prep Ideas to Try Now

How to Meal Prep Chicken
1. Season meat three ways using just one pan.
If you’re sticking to lean meats like chicken, chowing down on the same flavors can get tedious after a while. Save time without boring your taste buds by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once, using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Sriracha, BBQ, honey mustard — you can have it all. Three birds, one pan! Photo and recipe: Kevin / Fit Men Cook
How to Hard Boil Eggs for Meal Prep
2. Hard-boil eggs in the oven — not in a pot.
An excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B and healthy fat, eggs should be a staple snack for any health fiend. The problem: You can usually only fit up to five eggs in a pot. To make a delicious dozen in one go, bake your eggs in muffin tins for just 30 minutes. Ta-da! You’ll get a perfectly hard-boiled batch. Pro tip: Do a small test run first to ensure your oven doesn’t run too hot or too cold before cooking a full pan of eggs. Photo and recipe: Lindsay / The Lean Green Blog
Coffee Smoothie Cups
3. Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins.
Never have the time to measure out a million fixings for a morning sip? Save time by buying the ingredients in bulk, blending your favorite beverage, and then freezing the mixture in muffin tips. Next time you need a shake, stat, toss two or three “smoothie cups” in a blender for a quick and easy breakfast. Photo and recipe: Matt / Muffin Tin Mania
How to Store Vegetables for Meal Prep
4. Chop or spiralize raw vegetables in advance.
Too hangry to make dinner at the end of a long day? Cut veggies in bulk ahead of time to avoid wasting precious minutes chopping on busy weeknights. Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated properly in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware. Photo and tip: Ali / Inspiralized
How to Roast Vegetables for Meal Prep
5. Roast different vegetables with same cooking time.Roasting vegetables is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness, but waiting 30 to 40 minutes for each pan of nutrient-rich goodness to cook can be time-consuming. To prep a large batch of veggies, try pairing them based on roasting time. Fast-cooking vegetables that can bake in the same pan include asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting vegetables include carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips. Photo: Jenny / Picky Palate
Portion Control Jars for Meal Prep
6. Make portions crystal clear.Guard against overeating by portioning your nuts, pretzels, veggies or favorite nibbles into plastic baggies or portable jars. It’s easy to mindlessly munch when you’ve got an entire bag sitting in front of you, but having just enough ready to go for lunch or a snack will keep you from going overboard. Jars: Blender Bottle Go Stack Twist ‘N Lock
Meal Prep Ideas Oatmeal Jars
7. Customize healthy oatmeal jars.Fiber-rich foods like oatmeal are ideal for keeping you satiated until lunchtime, but most packets have lots of added sugar and unnatural preservatives. If you DIY and use portable glass jars, you’ll control exactly what and how much you’re eating. From “monkey mix” to “raspberries and dark chocolate,” these genius flavor combinations will keep your taste buds happy, too. Photo and recipe: Rachel / Clean Food Crush
Smoothie Baggies for Meal Prep
8. Bag up smoothie ingredients.
Ever put a little of this, a little of that in your blender and end up with a supersizedsmoothie? Save yourself from unnecessary calories by pre-assembling and freezing the ingredients. By measuring out your berries, yogurt (frozen in an ice cube tray) and greens ahead of time, your shake will be perfectly portioned, every time. Photo and recipe: Rachel / The Chic Site
Muffin Cup Souffles Egg Muffins
9. Use muffin tins for smarter breakfast frittatas.
You could enjoy a fancy frittata every morning of the week, and only turn your stove on once. The secret? Make-ahead egg muffins! Make several of these recipes in advance (you can store in the fridge for up to five days) so you don’t get bored throughout the week. Wrap them in a paper towel to microwave them so they won’t dry out. Photo and recipe: Kendra Montgomery / Full Fork Ahead
Protein Balls Recipe for Meal Prep
10. Always roll with some protein-rich snacks.
Protein is essential for muscle recovery after a tough workout and it also keeps hunger at bay — making it an A+ choice for snacks. Instead of reaching for a packaged protein barthat could have more than 400 calories and 28 grams of sugar, try making your own energy balls. Whip up a batch and store them in the fridge for up to six days. Photo and recipe: Lee Hersh / Life by DailyBurn
Grilled Pesto Salmon Skewers
11. Skewer meats for quick portions.
Kabobs aren’t just for street meat. Weighing your chicken (or salmon or beef) and putting it on wooden skewers can help you control how much you’re eating in one sitting. (Four ounces of chicken has approximately 36 grams of protein, and six ounces of salmon has 34 grams of protein.) Cook up a batch and save some skewers for the rest of the week. If you’re using wooden ones, remember to soak them in water so they won’t catch fire in your grill or oven. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by DailyBurn
Strawberry Feta Mason Jar Salad
12. Pre-assemble jarred lunch salads.
Think salad from home is a no-go because it always gets soggy? Think again. Using a glass jar will save your veggies from getting mucky before lunchtime. Put your dressing at the bottom of the jar, layering sturdier vegetables like peppers and beets, and then saving the leafy greens for the top. Put a paper towel square at the top to absorb moisture if you’re storing the salad for multiple days. Photo and Recipe: Cassie / Back to Her Roots
Via the Daily Burn