Monday, November 11, 2019

Top 10 Holiday Health Tips

The holiday season can be quite tempting! Don't let it derail you! Use these tips to help get you through it without ending up carrying extra Lbs come the new year!



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Low Carb Spaghetti & Meatballs....YES There IS Such a Thing!


Spaghetti Squash

Here is a video link to it if you prefer ==>>> Spaghetti Squash Video

1.  Cut a medium to large spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds. Cutting it is honestly the hardest part! 


2.  Very lightly coat the inside with olive oil.  
3.  Sprinkle some of your favorite no salt italian seasoning on top.



4. Place it face down (skin side up) on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees skin side up for about 45 minutes (60 minutes if it's a large one). 
5.  Use a fork to shred "spaghetti" out of the skin, then blend it together to spread the olive oil and seasoning. 
6.  Eat it alone or add marinara and meatballs to it!

Meatballs
Option A (easiest)
Buy frozen turkey or beef meatballs and heat them up.  This is easier if you're a working parent that gets home late, has to take the kids to and from activities, etc.  There are many healthy versions out there. My favorites are from Costco. 


Option B 
Make your own out of ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning. When I make them, I make a lot at once and freeze them using 
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
1 egg
Seasoning of your choice

1.  Blend the ground turkey with breadcrumbs, seasoning and egg.  
2.  Form into balls and either bake them or cook them in a sauce pan until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.


Sauce
I always have sauce pre-made that I freeze and defrost as needed. You can either buy your favorite sauce in a jar (which is totally fine if you're in a pinch) or make your own.  There are plenty of healthy varieties without added sugars.  I love pretty much every sauce that Trader Joe's sells but sometimes I buy others as well. What I like to do is personalize my marinara sauce.  I add browned garlic, onions, diced tomatoes, seasoning, browned ground turkey and sometimes diced bell peppers too.  It's delicious and gives it a really good taste.  

When we have dinner, we always like to have some greens too! I usually just make a basic, easy Greek salad to go with it out of romaine, sliced black olives, diced tomatoes & feta cheese. I add a little olive oil,  balsamic and seasoning and that's it. Super easy too!



Greek Salad


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

10 Minute Meals: Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich & Veggies

Ok so when I started 10 Minute Meals, I knew that most would be homemade BUT some would be SEMI-homemade because, let's get real, life gets busy! This is one of those "semi-homemade" meals that I make as a quickie lunch when the kids are STARVING or when they get home from school and want a quick snack!


The sandwich is ready made. I just buy it and heat it up from Costco! THEN I add cheese and heat it up a little longer and add pickles (at the kids' request) too!


While this is happening, I steam the Normandy veggies.  I then add them to the plate and sometimes I also melt some cheese on top of it for them.  Super easy, healthy, clean and MUCH better than a McDonald's drive thru!


Below is the nutritional information for the sandwich.  At 280 calories (including the yummy bun) and 15 grams of protein, it's a great choice for kids, who tend to lack protein in their diets because many are carbivores! They LOVE bread, crackers and pasta but aren't big fans of meat, fish or poultry.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal


Overnight Oatmeal 
2/3 greek yogurt
1 scoop chocolate shakeology
1/4 oats 
4 oz almond milk
2 (honey) 


Place all ingredients in a jar, mix and leave overnight!! Wake up to a protein packed breakfast that's healthy, filling & tastes like dessert in a cup!!


21 Day Fix:  1 reds 1 yellow 1 blue

Friday, September 20, 2019

Weight Loss Is About Much More Than Exercise + a Meal Plan

You don’t have to be a physician to know that those who lose extreme amounts of weight using extreme exercise and diet protocols are extremely likely to gain all of their weight back, and then some.  That means the BEST way to lose weight is by implementing lifestyle changes you can keep up with AFTER you've lost the weight so you KEEP it off!
To be clear, by making a few key adjustments to your daily habits and diet and exercise plans, your weight loss can be extremely successful and more importantly sustainable. Here are eight tips, proven by science to not only help you shed fat fast, but also keep it off for the long run!

DON’T RELY ON EXERCISE ALONE
You’ve likely heard the old fitness chestnut “you can’t out exercise a bad diet.” “Exercise is not the only thing you should do to lose weight,” says Kelliann Davis, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center. “It has to be in combination with diet.” In a study from St. Louis University, people lost weight whether they exercised, cut calories, or both. But those who did both, cutting their daily calories by 10 percent while embarking on an exercise plan, doubled their insulin sensitivity — a metabolic indicator of long-term weight-loss success. People who begin diet and exercise plans at the same time are also more likely to be following both a year later, according a study in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

EXERCISE INTENSELY
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, people who did high intensity interval training (HIIT such as that in the Insanity Max 30, 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts) alternating 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 40 seconds of rest for 30 minutes, burned three to four more calories per minute than those who performed steady-state exercise, such as running, cycling, or resistance training. And it only gets better from there: “There is evidence that your body starts to burn fat preferentially as a fuel as you become fitter,” says Davis. Those benefits extend post-workout, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The researchers found that people with a high aerobic capacity (developed through intense cardio workouts) continued to burn fat at a higher rate post-workout than people with a low aerobic capacity. That’s reason enough to ramp up your HIIT training, which is a cornerstone of many Beachbody programs. And you can find TONS of them via streaming on Beachbody On Demand.

TRACK YOUR WORKOUT PROGRESS
“People typically overestimate how much and how hard they exercise,” says Davis. They also underestimate how much they eat! Science agrees: In a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people misjudged their calorie burn during vigorous exercise by up to 72 percent. Your move: Invest in a fitness tracker — preferably one that can monitor your heart rate (the most accurate way to gauge exercise intensity). “Keep track of your workout duration [i.e., the amount of time you spend exercising, not chatting], exercise intensity, and caloric burn to see if you’re hitting your goals,” Davis says. If you are, that knowledge will inspire you to keep at it. If you aren’t, you’ll know where you need to dial it up.

KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL
Devote the same attention to your diet by keeping a food log or tracking your intake in an app such as the 21 Day Fix tracker app. In a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, people who recorded everything they ate each week for a year lost 3.7 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Then weigh yourself regularly to make sure you’re meeting your goals. In a study in the Journal of Obesity, people who weighed themselves daily lost 4.6 more pounds after 12 months than those who rarely stepped on the scale.

EAT MORE PROTEIN
A salad might be the classic weight-loss food, providing plenty of hunger satiating fiber, but unless that salad is topped with protein (think: meat), it won’t fuel weight-loss success. Not only is protein inherently anabolic (simply eating it triggers protein synthesis, the cornerstone of muscle growth), but like fiber, it’s also slow to digest, curbing hunger for hours after eating it. Which proteins are best for weight loss? That’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. But in a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the following protein-rich foods performed particularly well: Yogurt, peanut butter, nuts (other than peanuts), skinless chicken, low-fat cheese, and seafood. Shoot for .7 g to 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, consuming at least .25 g of protein per pound of bodyweight per meal.

DRINK MORE WATER
Thirst and hunger are both registered by the hypothalamus, which often gets its signals crossed — sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re really thirsty. Similarly, filling your belly with water can help you tamp down feelings of hunger, according to British researchers reporting in the journal Obesity. In the study, participants who drank 12 ounces of H₂O before a meal lost significantly more weight after three months than those who didn’t. Need another reason to stay hydrated? You burn two percent fewer calories per day when you aren’t, according to a study at the University of Utah.

CATCH MORE ZZZs
People who sleep less than 5 hours a night are about 40 percent more likely to develop obesity than those who log 7 to 8 hours, according to a study in The American Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers noted that sleep deprivation may reduce the motivation to exercise and trigger counterproductive eating habits. “A lot of people overeat during the day [in an attempt to keep their energy levels up] to compensate for not getting enough quality sleep at night,” says Robin Berzin, MD, a functional medicine doctor and founder or Parsley Health in New York City. Turn off your phone, computer, tablet, and TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime, suggests Dr. Berzin. The blue light from these screens can reduce your production of the sleep hormone melatonin, giving you less deep REM sleep and leading to grogginess the next morning, according to a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

RELAX
Fewer worries can lead to less weight, according to a study by Greek researchers. They found that people who completed a stress management program lost an average of 6.7 more pounds than those who did not. Many people live in “permanent emergency mode,” waking each morning feeling rushed, and staying in high gear until bedtime, says Dr. Berzin. This frenetic pace can spike levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and insulin, starting a cascade of metabolic effects that can result in weight gain. Her advice: Learn a stress management technique, such as meditation, and practice it regularly.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS, SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you’re exercising regularly, eating healthfully, drinking plentifully, sleeping peacefully, tracking your fitness consistently, and still not losing weight, you might be hamstrung by a larger problem that’s not entirely under your control. “A lot of people have underlying medical issues — hormone imbalances, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders — that are cutting them off at the knees,” says Dr. Berzin. For example, about 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, according to the American Thyroid Association, and about 23.5 million have autoimmune disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health. Both conditions can make sustained weight loss more difficult. In many cases, a doctor can make a diagnosis with a simple blood test, and prescribe a course of action that can unshackle you from the condition that’s preventing you from achieving your ideal weight.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Pumpkin Pie with Whole Wheat Crust!

Pumpkin-Pie-Whole-Wheat-CrustPumpkin Pie with whole wheat crust! Because you can still enjoy Thanksgiving and fall foods without compromising your nutrition or your goals!
Total Time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Yield: 9 servings
Ingredients for Pie Crust:
1 cup quick-cooking old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground raw almonds
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or raw honey)
¼ tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. water
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie:
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. sea salt
⅔ cup evaporated nonfat milk
For Pie Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Combine oats, flour, almonds, maple syrup, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; mix well.
3. Add oil to oat mixture; mix well. If needed, add water to hold mixture together.
4. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light brown.
For Pie:
1. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
2. Combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium bowl; mix well.
3. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and milk; mix until just blended.
4. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crust. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Quinoa Burrito Bowl


Perfect simple snack, lunch or dinner! 
Quinoa
Black beans
Ground beef, turkey or chicken
Salsa
Grilled onions
Grilled peppers
👌


21 Day Fix  = 1 red 1 yellow 1 green

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Top 5 Health Benefits of Dairy

So lately dairy has been getting a bad rap for some reason! And unjustifiably so because, not only is it loaded with nutrients that HELP your body, it’s an excellent source of protein.



Last month, I attended an educational event hosted by Real California Milk, where we discussed the current perception of dairy and why it’s actually an essential part of a balanced diet. Lately I’ve read stories that blame dairy for causing acne, inflammation, congestion and a slew of other issues. This tends to happen when a particular diet becomes popular, such as Whole 30 or Paleo, encouraging the elimination of entire foods and food groups.

Sadly the information that gets shared around, particularly on social media, sometimes lack proper research & can be very misleading. And in this instance, those that are abstaining from dairy because of the health issues it’s accused of causing are missing out on nutrients, healthy fats, protein and not to forget flavor that they can’t get from any other food!

Dairy is not only good for the obvious, strong bones & teeth, it also provides benefits in other areas such as digestion & heart health.


Let’s look at the top 5 benefits of dairy & the sources we can consume to reap these benefits! Then you tell me if dairy is something that should make up your meals & snacks daily

Probiotics
The probiotics in dairy support healthy gut, metabolic function and have also been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease & type 2 diabetes.

Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
Antioxidants help support a healthy immune system & fight oxidative stress. Phytochemicals help reduce inflammation, support optimal metabolism & promote healthy blood vessels. Pair dairy with vegetables & herbs/spices (such as turmeric) and you’ll boost both immune and anti-inflammatory benefits & add flavor to your foods as well.

Protein
An integral part of our diet, and dairy foods are great source of high quality protein. The protein in nutrient-rich dairy products doesn’t just improve energy, it also helps build lean muscle and keep you full between meals, incorporated into plant-based and/or vegetarian diets.



Calcium and other Vitamins & Nutrients
We all remember being told as a child to have our milk for strong bones & muscles, but we’re rarely reminded of the other important nutrients dairy provides. Dairy also provides essential nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B12, and riboflavin1.

So, now that you know dairy is NOT the bad guy, why not try implementing new sources of it into your meals and snacks? Below are some of my favorite ways to consume dairy.

Did you know that California is the number one dairy state in the country? California dairy farmers believe in responsibly produced, nutritious dairy foods that nourish people and foster a sustainable future, making our state an excellent source for quality, sustainable dairy foods. My favorite sources of California dairy are yogurt, full fat cheeses, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream & labne. There are so many ways to incorporate these clean sources of dairy into your diet & I’ll be sharing recipes & creative yet simple ways of doing that soon!

If you have any questions, need serving suggestions or nutritional info or recipes, reach out! Comment below or send me an email (ellieperico@aol.com or a message on IG @fitcopmom / @fit_fluential_mom) and I’d be happy to help.

*This post is sponsored by Real California Milk, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

No MORE Hypothyroidism & Hashimotos!

Happiness is being off thyroid meds for a year after drs SWORE I'd be on them forever

After reading about side effects of the meds, which include:

fever,
hot flashes,
sweating,
headache,
irritability,
nausea,
Insomnia,
changes in appetite, weight & menstrual cycles,

with no relief whatsoever, I decided to take my health into my own hands & find a holistic way. I experienced most of those "common side effects" & it did NOT make sense to take a pill that CAUSED that! Those were worse than the symptoms of hypothyroid/hashimotos before getting on meds 20 yrs ago

So, w/ an approach solely based on nutrition & fitness, I changed my diet, added a few things I read up on, changed macros & w/in a few months, I was feeling great! At the same time, I also stopped taking all thyroid meds prescribed to me

Needless to say, I was nervous when I was due for my first blood test to check levels after that but I couldn't wait to see results .
Well, I can't say I was surprised when, for the first time EVER, all 3 (TSH, T3 & T4) were NORMAL RANGE! My dr couldn't believe it & neither could I because for over 20 yrs, I dealt w/ constant changes in prescriptions that never solved the problems

My hashimotos lead to irregular periods, infertility, anxiety, depression, puffy face, hair loss, weight gain, memory lapses, constipation, dry skin & so much more. I was tired of getting NO relief from those symptoms &, to top it off, more negative side effects from meds

This is now my 3rd blood test checking thyroid levels that came back NORMAL RANGE across the board! At almost 43, I now have more energy, regular monthly menstrual cycles, a healthy digestive system, improved skin, tons of energy, controlled weight & look/feel 10x better than I did in my 20s & 30s

So, if you're battling the same, don't give up. If you need help, reach out. I would never tell ANYONE to get off meds prescribed by their doctor, that was my own choice, but changes you make can have a positive impact on you that you may feel better even while on your meds. Then you & your dr can determine your best path

So, email (ellieperico@aol.com), send me a message on FB (Ellie Perico) or text me (818-632-6969) and let me help YOU get off those meds and feel better too!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Salted Caramel PB Brownie Sundae


Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae with just over 200 calories! Youncan also do this with a Shakeology mug cake! I'll be sharing that recipe again soon!

😍 When you're craving something sweet & chocolatey, try making this healthier version of a typical brownie sundae which can go for over 1000 calories at some restaurants 🍫

This is a great example to show that you can still incorporate sweets into your regular diet without getting off track or bingeing. Healthy eating definitely doesn't have to be boring and you don't have to give up your treats!

This is a Death by Chocolate Paleo Blender Brownie by Delicious Obsessions topped with 1/2 a serving of sea salt caramel Halo Top ice cream + 1/2 a serving of chocolate PB2. Add extra water to the PB2 to make it more of a sauce. Below is the recipe for the brownie! Enjoy!

NGREDIENTS
1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I buy my vanilla extract here.)
2 tbsp. coconut milk or coconut water (I buy my coconut milk here and my coconut water here)
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips* (I buy my chocolate chips here.)
1 cup cocoa powder (I buy my cocoa powder here.)
¼ cup honey (I buy my honey here.)
½ tsp. baking soda (I buy my baking soda here.)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 355 and grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.
Place everything in blender except baking soda and puree until smooth.
Pulse in baking soda and spread batter into prepared dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing.
* Depending on the type of chocolate chips you use, there can be a lot of added sugar in them. I prefer to use Lily's brand chocolate chips which are only sweetened with stevia and erythritol. Some people have used an unsweetened dark chocolate bar that has been chopped in place of chocolate chips and then added a little extra stevia or sweetener of their choice to off-set it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Macros & Understanding Carbs!

Understanding carbs is KEY to, not just trimming down, but also healthy weight gain, building lean muscle, more energy, less bloating & feeling better all around

Fats have long been blamed for making us fat but the real issue is an excess of carbs, particularly carbs found in refined processed foods such as pasta, bread, baked goods, sodas, juice & junk food in general.

Balanced healthy diets, what I believe in, are intended to replace high carb foods & refined processed foods, with veggies, meat, fish, poultry, clean low glycemic carbs such as quinoa, brown rice, potatoes, squash & healthy fats too.
The idea is to replace the craving for carbs & sugars by eliminating them or minimizing them as much as possible in your diet.

When you digest foods high in carbs, they convert quickly to glucose (sugar), which your bloodstream transports throughout your body. A rise in blood sugar level triggers the release of the hormone insulin. The function of insulin is to bring your blood sugar back down to normal levels. The way it does this is by using some of the glucose as energy & the rest gets stored as fat.

A key point is that when the body has a choice of using fat or carbs as a fuel source, it always uses carbs first. The reason for this is that our bodies can only store half a day’s supply of glucose, whereas it can store almost limitless amounts of fat.

So its easiest for our bodies to use up the carbs first for energy, but then needs to store all of the extra carbs you don’t burn as fat.

So, when we start the day with a high carb breakfast, schedule cereal, toast, orange juice, bagels, etc, it converts to glucose quickly causing blood sugar to rise. Then insulin levels rise to deal with the rising tide of blood sugar.

We don’t need all of that glucose for energy so the extra gets stored as fat, usually around our mid section (belly).

Same thing happens at lunch since it’s typically a sandwich, wrap, pasta, rolls etc. The high sugar spike/roller-coasted, i.e. carbs converted to glucose in our blood, release of insulin, storage of excess glucose as fat, continues all day. Our sugar levels dip too low, causing the typical afternoon slump that can leave us feeling tired, in a bad mood & craving more carbs. And as a result our body never gets to use our fat stores for energy.

For someone on a low carb/low sugar diet, the level of carbs in the diet are low so the sugar spike doesn’t happen & insulin is not triggered. The carbs that you do eat are in the form of high-fiber whole foods, which convert to glucose relatively slowly so your body uses fat for fuel instead. A nice side effect of this is that you lose weight, burn fat & lean out! And because you don’t have the sugar spikes & carb crashes, your energy levels hold steady.

So do you notice this pattern in your diet? Do you think you can cut some of the refined processed foods like breads, pasta, etc & if you notice a difference? Do you need help doing this? Comment below or send me a message if you do

Monday, June 3, 2019

Portion Fix Lunch: Simple Spaghetti Squash Pasta — and Dessert!

It’s hard to believe that a few simple ingredients can combine to make a meal that will leave you feeling full for hours. (Did I mention that it includes chocolate?)

What’s in our Ultimate Portion Fix containers:

Measurement for each container is below

1 Green: spaghetti squash
½ Green: roasted broccoli
½ Purple: marinara sauce
½ Purple: apple
1 Red: ground turkey
1 Yellow: chocolate-covered almonds
1 Blue: Parmesan cheese
1 tsp.: olive oil (not pictured)
Roasted spaghetti squash stands in for pasta topped with jarred, all-natural marinara sauce and cooked ground turkey.

Roast broccoli with a teaspoon of olive oil for about 15 minutes and finished it with shavings of Parmesan cheese (you could sprinkle some of the cheese over the pasta, too).

Start or End the meal with apple slices and chocolate covered almonds!

Red = 3/4 cup
Yellow = 1/2 cup
Green = 1 cup
Blue = 1/3 cup
Purple = 1 cup

Monday, May 20, 2019

Low Cal Low Sugar Skinny Cocktails


Who says you can’t enjoy sumner, stay in shape and have an adult beverage too 🍸🍹🥃? Here are some of my faves

And remember, I don’t condone diet sodas, energy drinks, etc BUT it’s ok once in a while, just like anything else (i.e., 🍩🍔🌮🌭🍟🍦🍭🍫). I usually opt for plain soda water in my drinks but below are some other options too

Opting for diet sodas lowers the sugars, which is what makes cocktails so high in calories so you’re swapping one evil 😈 out for the other but it’s ok 😉. Soda water when you can & when you can’t, enjoy one or two w/ diet & call it a day .
Here ya go:

🍹Skinny Margarita🍹
Tequila (duh!), soda water, fresh squeezed lime , a packet of stevia & ice. Most bars & restaurants use agave but by adding stevia instead it’s only about 75-100 cals & 5 grams of sugar vs over 500 calories & 40+ grams of sugar in the reg margs

🥃Rum & Diet Coke🥃
Run, Diet Coke or Pepsi & ice. That’s it. Same as rum & coke but about 150 fewer calories & 25 or fewer grams of sugar

🍸Diet Red Bull & Vodka🍸
Diet Red Bull, vodka & ice. Yes, I know, an energy drink. No they aren’t good for you, but neither is diet soda, dessert, bacon, etc. Once in a while AND moderation (1 not 5 lol) won’t kill you & if you’re going out when you’ve had a long day & you’re tired, this will help

🍸Vodka Gimlet🍸
Rosie’s like juice OR simple syrup, vodka or tequila & ice. That’s it, guilt free, clean & about 150 cals

🍸Classic Martini🍸
Vermouth & gin with an olive & that’s it! Only about 175 calories & minimal sugars from the alcohol

🍹Mojito🍹
Soda water, sugar, muddled mint leaves 🌱 & 🍈 like. About 160 cals & 10-15 grams of sugars depending on the amount of sugar added. Ask for lightly sweetened

🥃Paloma🥃
Grapefruit juice, soda, lime 🍈 & ice 👌🏼. Simple & easy & only about 160 calories. Skip the sugar around the rim to minimize sugars & cals

🥃Old Fashioned🥃
Bourbon w/ a splash of bitters for flavor & ice + a bit of sugar IF desired only

🍸Vodka Soda🍸
Just soda, vodka & fresh squeezed lime 🍈. Less than 100 cals

🥂Champagne🥂
Only 90 cals! Less than wine 🍷 & most mixed drinks

🍸Gin & Tonic🍸
Like the name says, just like the name says

Enjoy 🥂

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Crock Pot Kale, Feta and Veggie Frittata



Love this recipe because I can make it ahead and have breakfast, lunch or dinner ready to go in the fridge. I seriously eat this for any meal of the day, throughout the day! And it's so versatile. If I have other veggies, such as normandy veggies, in the fridge, I toss those in there as well. And if I have some ground turkey, I may add that too (cooked prior to adding). The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Equipment:
I used my Ninja Cooker, which made it easy to saute the kale right in the slow cooker, but if you don't have a Ninja you can use a 5 or 6 quart oval slow cooker.

Ingredients:
1 - 2 tsp olive oil to saute the kale (only 1 teaspoon for the Ninja, but 2 teaspoons to saute on the stove.)
5 oz. baby kale
non-stick spray or oil (to spray the slow cooker if you don't use the Ninja)
6 oz. roasted red pepper (from a jar), diced fairly small
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4-5 oz. crumbled Feta
8 eggs, well beaten
1/2 tsp. Kirkland organic no salt (or other all-purpose seasoning blend)
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Greek yogurt for topping (optional, but good)

Instructions:
Wash kale if needed, and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Heat the oil, either in the Ninja Cooker on the Stovetop/High setting or in a large frying pan on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the kale and saute until it's softened into a flat layer, about 3-4 minutes in the Ninja Cooker and slightly less in a pan. If you're using a regular slow cooker, spray it well with non-stick spray or oil and transfer the cooked kale to the slow cooker. If you're using the Ninja Cooker, turn to Slow Cook/Low setting.
Drain red peppers and chop into fairly small pieces. Slice the green onions and crumble the Feta. Add the chopped red pepper and sliced green onion to the slow cooker with the kale. Beat the eggs well, pour over other ingredients in the slow cooker, and stir so all ingredients are well-combined. Season with Spike Seasoning and black pepper, then sprinkle on the Feta.

Cook on low for 2 - 3 hours, or until the frittata is well set and cheese is melted. (I cooked mine for 2 hours and 45 minutes and it was perfect, but I got distracted with a phone call and it may have been done slightly sooner than that. I think the Ninja cooks a little hotter than other slow cookers, so it may take slightly longer if you don't use the Ninja Cooker.) Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.

This will keep well in the fridge for several days and can be reheated in the microwave. (Don't microwave too long or it will get rubbery.) 
(Makes 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from several cookbooks and food blogs where she saw egg dishes cooked in the slow cooker.)
21 Day Fix Breakdown: 1 green (kale & peppers), 1 gray (olive oil), 1 red (eggs), 1 blue (cheese)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sweet Potato Crust Spinach, Feta & Egg Frittata 


Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1.5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°, then peel and slice sweet potatoes. I sliced mine using a mandoline, but a knife works great as well. The mandoline speeds up the process significantly and gives you even slices. Coat a pie dish with cooking spray, then fill the bottom of the dish with a layer of sweet potato slices. Cut the sweet potato rounds in half and fill around the edges of the pie dish; round side facing up. Once the entire dish is filled, coat one more time with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat up to 375°.

2. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

3. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

Each serving( 4 total) contains the following:
CALORIES 196 FAT 8.5g (sat 3.5g, mono 3.2g, poly 1.2g) PROTEIN: 12g CARB 18g FIBER 4gCHOL 197mg IRON 2mg SODIUM 562mg CALC 155mg
Via Cooking Light 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Healthy Version of Alfredo Sauce 



Who says Alfredo sauce can’t be healthy? It absolutely can! And if you replace the pasta noodles with spaghetti squash it’s even better

Try the alfredo sauce recipe below & let me know howyou like it!

Makes enough for about 4 people. Takes about 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook so it’s easy to make anytime!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup broth vegetable or chicken
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Instructions
(1) Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
(2) Sprinkle with cornstarch and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
(3) While whisking, slowly add in broth and milk.
(4) Continue whisking to combine until smooth.
(5) Raise heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
(6) Once simmering, simmer for about 2 minutes, until it starts to thickened, again, whisking constantly.
(7) Remove from heat and little by little, whisk in greek yogurt.
(8) Once combined, place back on the heat (medium) and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
(9) Bring to a simmer and simmer for an additional 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
(10) Serve over pasta OR baked spaghetti squash (directions for spaghetti squash below) immediately. If you let it cool, it will thicken up a bit
If not using immediately, store in airtight container in the fridge.

Notes
Nutritional information is for 1/4th of the entire sauce recipe.
*This makes enough sauce for about 1/2 - 1 pound of pasta/ spaghetti squash depending on how saucy you like your pasta!

Baked Spaghetti Squash

(1) Preheat oven to 400. Bake spaghetti squash for about 10-15 min to make it easier to cut.
(2) Split/Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove the seeds
(3) Drizzle the center of each half of split and seeded spaghetti squash with 1/2 tsp olive oil or use olive oil spray. Using your fingers, rub oil evenly into squash. Season with your favorite no salt seasoning.
(4) Place spaghetti squash in a large baking dish center down, and bake for 1 hour. Spray the baking dish or pan so it doesn’t stick
(5) About 30 minutes into baking, begin your sauce (directions above)
(6) When spaghetti squash is finished (center should be tender and come apart when scraped lightly with a fork), use a fork to scrape out the insides. They will come out looking just like spaghetti.
When the sauce is done, either transfer the squash "noodles" to your sauce and toss to coat the squash thoroughly or pour it over the squash.
When ready, serve and top with fresh parsley for garnish.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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 350º 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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Low Carb Cheesy Bread



Love cheese but hate carbs?




TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium zucchini, or about 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • Marinara, for dipping

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment. On a box grater or in a food processor, grate zucchini. Using cheesecloth or a dish towel, wring excess moisture out of zucchini.
  2. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl with eggs, garlic, oregano, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, and cornstarch and season with salt and pepper. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Transfer “dough” to prepared baking sheet and pat into a crust. Bake until golden and dried out, 25 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella, crushed red pepper flakes, and parsley and bake until cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  5. Slice and serve with marinara.
Recipe via Realhousemoms.com