Feb 23, 2015

Get in top shape for Vacation!

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Spring Break is not far off. Being in Indiana with subzero temperatures has me MORE than ready to get ready for warmer weather and some vacation fun! 



Prepping your mind and body for warmer weather is ultimately about keeping a regular exercise regimen and healthy eating lifestyle. There is NO substitute! No magic pill, no chemical, no hypnosis that can make it melt away. Here are a few tips to help you get started on the right foot to feel {and look} better!

BEAT the BLOAT!

  • Avoid carbonated beverages - these will create more gas in your body
  • Watch the Salt - Highly processed foods, carryout, and fast food all have salt overdose
  • Eat in - Plan ahead for healthy meals to avoid carryout and fast food
  • Drink up - Be sure to drink water daily! Your weight (lbs) / 2 = ounces of water to drink daily
  • Eat frequent, smaller meals to avoid bloat and also manage hunger and metabolism more effectively.
  • Try the 3 Day Refresh to reset nutrition and shed pounds and inches in a pinch!


BRAIN POWER

  • Motivate yourself with a photo of your destination or a new bathing suit for vacation
  • Raid the pantry - Eliminate sugary, processed, or other junk food. It all slows metabolism and weight loss
  • Don't skimp - your body needs fuel to burn calories. Calculate your body's caloric requirement and log food to be sure you are eating enough.
  • Plan ahead - Treat daily exercise like any other appointment. Put it on the calendar so you get it done!
  • Make it Fun - Find a friend or fitness group for accountability and motivation. You will have fun and get fit!


Feb 7, 2015

Hearty Oatmeal - 2 Ways

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Oatmeal is one of my favorite, easy go-to breakfast meals. It is the perfect choice to fuel my morning and just like Greek yogurt, there are so many options to make it your own!



A great variation is this banana bread slow cooker oatmeal from Garnish with Lemon (ingredients photographed below). This method uses steel cut oats, so it is a bit thicker. Initial prep takes more planning, but this recipe is easy to make on Sunday and keep for breakfast all week!



My favorite method uses quick oats made on the stove. Ready in less than 5 minutes and family approved! If you are following the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, this is a very hearty way to start your day!



Hearty Quick Oatmeal with Fruit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 quick oats
  • 3 Tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar or agave
  • 1 cup blueberries or favorite fruit

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. 
  2. Stir in quick oats and cook for 30 seconds on medium heat.
  3. Stir in egg whites and cook for an additional 45-60 seconds, until desired consistency. Oatmeal will thicken a bit as it cools.
  4. Pour cooked oatmeal into bowl and add coconut palm sugar.
  5. Stir in blueberries and enjoy!

21 Day Fix count: 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 1 tsp, 1 purple 

Feb 5, 2015

Say It Sweetly...Frosted Popcorn

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My daughter loves snack day at school, especially when she gets to bring it for her friends and teachers. Our most recent snack was frosted popcorn and was a huge hit! I was able to make three batches the night before school and store in food bags. The next morning, Miss C helped me assemble snack bags and added conversation hearts to each one. The perfect Valentine or anytime treat!



FROSTED POPCORN

Yield: 27 servings (1 cup each)

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 packets of lightly salted microwave popcorn (I used Pop Secret Sea Salt)
  • 1 bag candy melts in your favorite color (found at local craft store)
  • Nonpareils or sprinkles of your choice
  • Conversation candy hearts or preferred garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS
  • Pop 1 packet of popcorn in microwave as directed. Pour cooked popcorn into large bowl. 
  • Melt 1/3 of candy melts in glass measuring cup for 30 seconds until melted. 
  • Stir melted chocolate with a spoon and drizzle over popcorn. Using a large spoon, stir popcorn and chocolate mixture until evenly coated. 
  • Add nonpareils or sprinkles while the chocolate is still warm. Stir again and transfer to airtight bag or container. 
  • Allow to cool before adding conversation heart candy or other garnish. Repeat with remaining popcorn packets. Serve or package as desired. Enjoy!



Feb 3, 2015

Greek Yogurt

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So many times, I find myself wandering to the refrigerator looking for something to eat...it's almost a mindless habit. Once I'm there perusing my food options, it's nice to have healthy options staring at me instead of chips, crackers, and cookies. This Greek yogurt snack has been a wonderful healthy alternative! It is perfect for a quick breakfast or a sweet evening snack. If you are not a fan of the taste of Greek yogurt, experiment with different add-ins. Read on for ideas. Easy enough to make in a hurry and very filling! Enjoy!



SWEET GREEK YOGURT

INGREDIENTS

   3/4 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt (I like Fage)
   1 tsp agave or honey
   1/4 cup blueberries
   1/2 tsp pecans, almonds, or walnuts (opt)


DIRECTIONS

   Measure yogurt and add agave. Stir well and add your favorite berry, nuts, or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

MORE IDEAS: Try mixing Shakeology or PB2 (powdered peanut butter) in with yogurt for a smooth mousse and garnish with chocolate chips. Mix with mashed bananas and pecans. What's your favorite?