Breakfast Oats

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You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup dry instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup red Raspberries
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • Chia and/or hemp seeds to sprinkle

Annnnnnd any other goodies you’d like to add would be juuuust fine!

Prepare oats to package, add goodies and milk and enjoy – cool thing about oats it you can pretty much put anything on it …

Other goodie ideas:

  • any fruit (blackberries, apple slices, banana, pear slices, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, ect)
  • Spices (pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, vanilla extract. )
  • Milks (cows, hemp, almond, rice, soy)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia, hemp, flax, pecans)
  • chocolate chips – yep! you just read that right hahaha

 

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How much should I eat? (portion control)

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So measuring up portions can be tricky when people are constantly telling you to eat this and eat that. Or their telling you to have 4oz chicken…. Well that’s all fine and dandy if you have a food scale but lets get honest, most of ya’ll don’t have one. So how do you know how much if right for you personally? The average 4oz is fine but say a bodybuilder at 210lbs is going to need more than a young 20 year old girl at 130lbs…. so here are some basics when it comes to portions and knowing how much to eat for you.

Keep in mind portion and serving sizes are different too. Serving size is just a standard way they measure food. Portion is how much you actually pile on your place. Both are a part of weight loss and very important.

1. Close your hand into a fist. This usually amounts to anywhere around 1 cup depending on your hand. If you look at your spouses fist it may be bigger than yours, that’s because his/her body may require more calories and thus bigger portions.

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  • Veggies (portion is 2 fists worth (2 cups) ..but in reality you can eat as MUCH veggies as you want!!!)
  • Carbs – brown rice, sweet potato, cereals, quinoa, beans, oats, fruit.

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2. Open up your hand and just look at the palm. Depending on how big your hand is its usually around 3-5 oz size. This is your protein sizing. Turn your hand to the side, this is how thick your meat should be and or make up for the size if your piece of meat is thicker than your hand.. (you know… use common sense haha) ** ONLY the palm, no fingers included lol**

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  • Meats (chicken, turkey, game, tofu, steak, fish, eggs etc.)

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3. Now give yourself a thumbs up! =) (hee hee) this is your fats and dressings. Usually keep it at about a tablespoon.

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  • Almond/peanut butters
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasonings (I like Mrs. Dash – no salt! )
  • Sour Cream and Cream Cheese – if your trying to lose weight .. limit these.

4. Tip of your thumb is about a teaspoon.

  • oils
  • butters

Hope this helps for those of you without a scale or for when your out to eat and the restaurant gives you a HUGE serving …. just eat “your portion size” and take the rest home. You can have the rest at another time =)

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** Count your calories and macronutrients , don’t go over or under but get them as close to your goal as you can. Workout and be patient.. the rest will fall into place! YOU GOT THIS! =)

 

Things to Jazz up a Smoothie!

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I don’t know about ya’ll, but I like smoothies, especially when I can put all kinds of goodies in it and have it still taste AMAZING! They usually are grate for the morning when your in a rush to make something and you can just pour a bunch of berries into the blender add a little ice and almond milk and Ta-da !

Here are some ingredients you may have used before but there are also some others that most people wouldn’t think of putting into a smoothie! Happy Blending!! =)

Fruits – pretty much any but here are some favorites.

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • cuties (tangerines)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • dragon fruit
  • kiwi
  • pear
  • pineapple

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Veggies

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Any greens
  • Carrots
  • Greens powder mixes
  • Algae
  • Beets
  • celery

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Fats

  • Chia seed
  • Flax Seed
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil or shreds
  • Nut butters – almond, sunflower, peanut, hazelnut etc..
  • shaved almonds or nut pieces (walnut, pecans, pistachios)

Protein

  • Protein powders (vanilla or strawberry is my favorite)
  • Tofu

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Other

  • yogurt
  • Almond / Coconut/ Hemp/ sunflower seed milk
  • cocoa or cocoa nibs
  • Spices – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
  • pumpkin puree ( unsweetened)
  • Stevia – this is a miracle worker lol… if something isn’t sweet enough this is a sugar substitute that’s calorie and carb free and its from a plant!
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Cereal and granola
  • Grits and quinoa
  • Dates, dried fruit, cranberries, raisins.

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Tip of the Week #16 Shop the outside Perimeter

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Some of you may have heard of it, some may have not.. But usually when starting a diet, wanting to live a healthier life or even talking to someone about making “healthier lifestyle changes” you often have heard to “shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store.” Here is why shopping the outside is a good KEY towards eating healthy.

1. Hello Produce! This is the FIRST section I always head to! Fresh fruits and veggies are always good to have on stock and usually should be something you buy on a constant basis. (don’t buy too much because it goes bad fast too … This is also a good sign its a good food to put into your body… think about how long a box of crackers sits on the shelf at the store, then at your house and so on.. ) Also try new stuff you may have not tried before. (leeks, eggplant, kale etc..)

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2. Meats – Lean meats are the best, things like beef, chicken, turkey, bison, seafood and other good sources of protein.

3. Bread is a tricky one because not all the stuff over there is “healthy” ahem … cakes, doughnuts, pre-made brownies… go for 100% whole wheat bread, sandwich thins or gluten free breads. All the other stuff…. skip it!

4. Dairy… Yogurts (not Yoplait!! …why? Waaay to much sugar and crap!) shoot for Greek yogurt, coconut milk yogurt and ones not full of syrups. Grab some plain yogurt and put things like your own fruit, peanut/almond butter, nuts, and seeds on it. Low fat cheeses, low fat milk or almond/coconut milk. Cottage cheese, eggs and egg whites in this section.

Now with that being said, there are some great things lurking within the middle isles too… Don’t forget your Brown rice, nut butters, beans and canned tomatoes, tuna, and oats.

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Needless to say, don’t forget things you need and one cookie or two really wont kill you. Make it a “treat” and you’ll be golden. . . . Happy shopping! =)

Good Post-Workout Snacks!

postwork1 Its good to eat something little before a workout! ( I usually have 1/2 cup oats every morning.. just enough to take away that hunger fast I got while I was asleep ) But post-workout snacks are just as important too! Here are some amazing (and healthy) post- workout snacks!!!

** Post-workout = after your workout**

Think high protein and good carb! =)

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  • Protein shake with fruit. (my first choice is a banana!)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Almond/Peanut butter on whole wheat toast or pita bread
  • Hummus on a pita bread
  • Turkey rolled up in a Whole Wheat tortilla.

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  • Banana or apple with 2 tbsp. almond/peanut butter
  • Dried fruit and nut mix (shoot for lowest sugar you can find… and with minimal m&m’s lol. )
  • Fruit smoothie (with protein powder and chia/flax seed)
  • Egg whites on toast topped with avocado
  • Turkey and tomato wrapped in whole wheat tortilla
  • Egg while veggie omelet
  • Chocolate milk with fruit

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Green Mango Tango Smoothie

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Made this the other day! so good and couldn’t even taste the spinach!

You’ll need:

  • 2cups almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Vega’s Mango Tango Smoothie flavor… but vanilla would be good too)
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen mango chunks
  • 2 cups of spinach

blend all together and voilà!! yum . great for a mid day pick-me-up or even for breakfast!

Do Juice Cleanses Work?

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You hear about all kinds of cleanses and even celebrities doing them, so then the public is more inclined to try them… but the real question is, do they work? Weather its all veggie juice, fruit juice or that lemon, cayenne pepper cleanse that Beyoncé did, we’ve heard of them all and how wonderful they are supposed to be. You can buy a juicer and make your own, buy them pre-made at health stores or even get them delivered to your door….

What they promise is extreme weight loss, detoxification, clearer skin and mind, better sleep and many other claims, but do they really do that???  From cleanses that are one day up to two weeks they all basically claim the same things. Sure it may seem like a good plan to “get you on track for a clean diet” but in reality its kind of dangerous and may even be harming you if you don’t know what your doing and/or not doing it properly.

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Ideally I wouldn’t recommend doing a cleanse for more than 3 days max (but that’s just me…) . No matter how many fruits and veggies you may juice yourself or the juices you purchase may contain there still is most likely a high amount of sugar in it. It lacks that amount of fat that you need in your diet to help you absorb those vitamins that come from the fruits and veggies your drinking. Also most juice fasts claim that you’ll get all the nutrients you need, when in reality it actually removes some nutrients that that whole fruit or veggie have.

Some of the antioxidants that the skin of some fruits carry (like the skin of an orange) gets lost when you juice, also since your juices aren’t carrying the fiber that some of the skins have, your blood sugar levels could spike since your body absorbs fructose sugar (sugar from fruit) easier. This could be dangerous if you have diabetes, or any other form of health concern you may or may not know about.

As far as loosing weight, its most likely water weight you will loose. And if you do drop a lot of weight in a quick amount of time, you more likely to gain it all back, slower weight loss is ideal. And here’s what really gets me…. even though they claim that the cleanse will help you detox and clean out your body…. “get rid of toxins”….. Your body is already super good that this for one, the liver and kidneys are great for getting rid of unwanted things through normal everyday bodily functions. Along with that, if your wanting to “get rid of all the crap” that you put into your body, why just not put it there? Why not just not eat crap that makes you feel sluggish and eat your fricken fruits and veggies and not have to worry about “detoxing”? LOL

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Also its expensive…. have you ever bought pre-made juices? The good ones are not cheep! Plus if you order them off a website there is shipping on top of that! Or if you were to buy a juicer, those can range up to $300, plus not to mention all the fruits and veggies you’ll have to use to make the juice, a bunch of spinach doesn’t go as far as you’d think.

So..back to the main question… should you do a juice cleanse? Well the question is up to you. I like to incorporate 1-2 juices here and there every once in a while, but not all day, and not everyday. It works for me, but you have to find what works for you. Some people feel that it helps them fight off cravings that they had in the past, so they like to do them to “start off a new diet”. Some people state that they feel like they have more energy or a clearer mind. . . . all in all, make it a short cleanse if you do one, you’re body needs more nutrients then just juice all day every day for a month. And as far as if you’re mainly doing it for weight loss purposes, you better off just eating a healthy diet because most of what you will loose throughout the cleanse is water weight.

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Spinach, Cantaloupe and Strawberry Smoothie

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You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup chopped up cantaloupe
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend it all up and you got your smoothie!!! yumm

Feel free to add anything to it .. some favorite options are

  • yogurt
  • stevia
  • protein powders
  • any other fruits or veggies
  • peanut/almond butter

Tip of the Week #13 Eat more!

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Yup! That’s right, eat MORE if you want to lose weight.

Now… lets set this straight from the start, I don’t not mean eat more gummy bears and pringles… I mean eat more high quality nutritious foods.

A lot of people think that losing weight is all about not eating what you love, and eating less and being miserable and feeling constantly hungry. WRONG! You can still eat things you love (every once in a while – not every week or every day). Along with that, people think that if you don’t eat or eat very little you will lose weight as well. This is also WRONG! Eating fuels the body and keeps it running, without it you cant function properly and as well either.

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So without further ado, and without getting off subject. EATING MORE……….

RULE#1 DRINK A LOT OF WATER………AND I MEAN A LOT!

Enough said!

RULE#2 IF IT GROWS ON A TREE OR IN THE GROUND, I’LL EAT IT

that means load up on those fruits and veggies, now virtually you can pretty much eat as much of these and be in the clear. Now if you only eat fruit… not as good, but try to add in some veggies too. Experiment with the veggies, grill something you normally wouldn’t, like mushrooms or make a veggie kabob! This also includes nuts and seeds that are high in good fats and omega-3’s. You should ideally be including fresh fruits and veggies into every meal you eat.

RULE#3 6 SMALLER MEALS A DAY, SHOOT FOR AROUND 250-300 CALORIES EACH MEAL

Eating this way can speed up your metabolism and also leaves you not hungry throughout the day. Learn to make your meals ahead of time or even the night before so your not tempted to go to that vending machine.

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RULE#4 EAT GOOD PROTIEN AT EVERY MEAL

Especially at breakfast! Breakfast is the first meal of the day, you need to fill it with foods that will keep you full for a long time… that means Lucky Charms are out of the question! But the more you incorporate a lean protein source, the fuller you’ll be throughout the day and you’ll be able to fight off those cravings that hit you mid-day. 30g of protein will last you about 3 hours of fullness.

RULE #5 EATING BEFORE YOU WORKOUT

Eating a snack or small meal before your workout that high in protein will actually not only help your metabolism but it will speed up your recovery time and muscle growth. Also make sure you get a post workout meal in too to refuel your body (make sure its high protein too).

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Clean Eating 101 – Its a Lifestyle not a Diet!

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to tha...

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to that of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. Temporary image as original is non-commercial use only. If you have a better image please replace this. Thanks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So some of you might not know what I mean when I speak of “clean eating”, so here I’m going to kind of go through what it entails and what it all means to “eat a clean diet”. (basically my diet- give or take some cheats here and their =))

What is Clean Eating??

  • Clean Eating is based off of eating whole and natural foods. It cuts out all processes man made products for the most part and focuses eating mainly things that come from the Earth to feed your body. (Nuts, Fruit, Veggies, Lean cuts of meat, and Legumes). It gives your optimal nutrition to function property and when done correctly can leave your feeling amazing!
  • Realistically there really isn’t fitness or weight loss goals that can be achieved without it. Its the basics of most nutrition and diets (with out cutting out natural sources) and it doesn’t leave you feeling deprived or hungry.
  • Feeling health, being healthy and loosing weight or maintaining a good weight is mainly based around nutrition. People seem to think that weight loss ideally comes from working out and spending hours at the gym, yes it does help but nutrition is about 80% of the battle, whereas, fitness and physical activity is 20%

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What are the basic Principles?

  • Avoid all processed food. Whole grain bread and natural cheeses are ok, its the stuff with 80 ingredients that you cant even pronounce.
  • Eat Whole Foods. Things that haven’t been messed with like veggies, fruits, grass-fed meats, natural nut butters and milk, and unsalted and processed nuts and seeds. Herbs and Spices will become your best friend, so will natural oils.
  • Get used to cooking your own food! This way you know what’s in it, how it was prepared and you don’t have to second guess whether or not its healthy or not. Makes it SO much easier! Pre-made meals does not count as “clean eating” even if its a lean cuisine meal haha.
  • Eliminate the sugar! sugar and fake sugar really isn’t good for us. You will use very little natural sugars in  this diet because you wont need them! (stevia, honey and agave nectar are some you can use)
  • Include Protein, Carbohydrate and fat within every meal- Your diet will mainly consist of lean meats, a healthy starch (such as a sweet potatoes or brown rice), a ton of veggies and fruit here and there. You’ll fell more satisfied with this way of eating because you will be eating for optimum nutrition. You’re giving your body what it needs and once you get past the food addictions (things like craving sugar and bad carbs) you wont really have any trouble eating this way for the rest of your life.
  • Eating 6 smaller meals a day! – eating 6 smaller meals revs up your metabolism because your constantly giving it healthy foods, therefore its receiving its proper nutrition, but then again your pretty much eating every 3 hours so there is either no time to even get hungry or have your body “feel” hungry because you wont be going hors without eating.
  • Drinking Calories is a Big Fat NO- sugary drinks are obviously a no-go. Make water your first choice by far (if it get boring you can add fruits to it) but you can also have unsweetened tea, and coffee with little skin milk and stevia, low-fat milk, and nut milks.
  • Physical Activity becomes apart of your day- yes just like any other diet you read or see, you have to ideally get moving. No it doesn’t have to be 3 hours at the gym everyday but even a walk around the block is better than nothing.

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What to Expect from Eating Clean:

  • More energy and alertness
  • Clearer skin, whiter eyes, and stronger hair and nails
  • Provides a natural detox
  • Weight loss (if there is weight to loose)
  • Leaner body
  • Motivation and a sped up metabolism
  • Feeling more healthy all around and more happy as well.

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