New 30 Day Challenge Starts Oct 8th!

Rethink Your Drink

nutrition Jul 10, 2018

It’s summer.  It’s hot.  And nothing sounds better than a cool, refreshing beverage.  There are 92 days of summer, and the choices you make on each day can make a huge impact overall.  Many drinks contain hidden calories and sugars that are all too easy to gulp down.  The worst part is, these drinks don’t make us feel satiety (or fullness); that’s why calorie-laden drinks are often considered to contain “empty” calories.  But have no fear!  Here are some drink swaps you can make each and every day to enjoy a refreshing drink while cutting back on calories.  All drinks are based on 16 ounces.

 

Swap lemonade for iced tea with lemon.

**This swap would save you 200 calories and 50 grams of sugar.  Choose this swap every day throughout the summer, and you’ll save 18,400 calories, which adds up to a 5 pound weight difference (~3500 calories = 1 pound…ish).

 

Swap soda for flavored...

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Healthy Nut Butter Cups

dessert recipes snacks Jun 26, 2018

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, then this recipe will be your savior.  I’ve had people say these taste better than the real thing…but these are healthy!  Of course, everything in moderation (your mom hit the nail on the head with this).  Enjoy 1-2 of these every day to kick that sugar craving and reap all the healthy goodness.

What makes homemade treats healthy?

 Dark Chocolate

It’s a true joy that a food so delicious is also good for you.  The darker the chocolate, the better.  Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk and lots of awesome antioxidants and fiber, which keep you feeling healthy and full.

Nut Butter

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any nut butter you choose!  Peanut butter is classic, but try it out with almond butter or even sun butter (made from sunflower seeds).  With all the nut allergies these days, sun butter is your best bet if you’re making these for a school...

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Protein Deep Dive

nutrition protein Jun 26, 2018

BBQ chicken.  A juicy steak.  Seared salmon.

Is your mouth watering yet?

These are all forms of protein, which we know is important for health.  Have you ever wondered what protein actually is and why it's so important to eat enough?

Deep Dive: Proteins are the blue-collar workers that make up the backbone of everything we do. Every function in our body is performed by chains of amino acids folded and formed in highly specific ways to form unique proteins. Proteins are the key components of cells that, when tied together, allow our body to function. Each protein is a small piece of the puzzle that makes up our muscle, hair, collagen, and even antibodies (immune system). It's everywhere! 

We are constantly breaking down protein and rebuilding it into new proteins. By doing this, we maintain what is called a positive nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is the primary chemical associated with amino acids (nitrogen = amino group). When we are in a positive...

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Why am I tired all of the time?

nutrition Jun 25, 2018

Everyone has a lazy day every once in a while.  This is healthy and normal!  But are you a person who feels tired and sluggish more often?  Four or more times a week, or maybe every day?  Sometimes fatigue is a result of too little or too much sleep, or even from dehydration.  However, when these are not the answers, the sluggishness is usually from iron deficiency.

Iron is found in all kinds of plant and animal foods, but iron from meat is better absorbed than plant-based iron.  The best sources are beef, poultry (dark meat), beans and lentils, and dark green leafy vegetables.  Iron is also added to many breakfast cereals.  With iron in so many common foods, why do people still experience iron deficiency?

Here’s what they don’t tell you: calcium competes with iron for absorption.  This means that when you eat your iron-rich breakfast cereal with a cup of milk (soy, almond, or regular), the iron isn’t being absorbed well...

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Who needs the ice cream truck when you have your own popsicles?

dessert recipes snacks Jun 03, 2018

It’s after Memorial Day, which means the summertime season has begun!  It may not be officially summer just yet, but it sure feels like it.  Summer calls for fun, friends, and tasty treats.  With these 100+ degree days, we’ve been super into popsicles lately.  While it may be intimidating and sound messy to make your own popsicles, we promise that it can be fun and mess free! 

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Buy some popsicle zip-top bags. We’ve been using the Zipzicle brand which you can order on Amazon.  Or, go the old fashion route and use an ice tray, cover it with foil, and insert toothpicks for the handles.
  2. Choose what you want to fill your pops with. Get creative!  Here are some of our favs:

-Tropical Paradise: pineapple, banana, mango, orange juice

-Watermelon Refresher: watermelon, mint, honey, coconut water

-Berry Green: mixed berries, spinach, coconut water

** Make it a protein pop!  Use your favorite...

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How many fruits and vegetables do you want me to eat!?

nutrition Jun 03, 2018

“Eat your fruits and vegetables!”

“Eating spinach will make you strong like Popeye!”

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

 

It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables.  This message has been told to us hundreds of times throughout our lives.  We all know it’s good for us to eat more of the green stuff (and the purple, red, orange, yellow stuff, too!).  So why is it so hard to actually do it?

 The USDA Dietary Guidelines suggests that adults eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  This is a great starting point.  However, research has shown that people receive the most health benefits by eating 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day*.  In a recent study, those who ate 10 servings per day had reduced incidence of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and premature death.  That’s a pretty good incentive to eat your fruits and veggies!  Not surprisingly, most...

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Did someone say Buffalo Chicken?

It’s after Memorial Day, which means the summertime season has begun!  It may not be officially Summer just yet, but it sure feels like it.  Summer calls for fun, friends, and barbecues!  Want to impress your friends and family with a delicious dish that’s super easy to make?  This buffalo chicken recipe is not only a crowd pleaser; it’s also high in protein and a perfect addition to any healthy diet (but don't tell anyone, they won't be able to tell!).

The beauty of this meal is that you don’t do the cooking.  All you have to do is throw these ingredients in the crock pot and let it do all the work for you!  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your summer days without spending it all in the kitchen.

 

Buffalo Pulled Chicken

4 chicken breasts

1 bottle buffalo sauce (approx. 18 ounces)

            -We use Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce…it's not as spicy as regular...

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3 Delicious Meal-Prep Proteins

Sunday's are perfect for prepping healthy meals for the rest of the week. Protein is essential for building and repairing your body, especially while you are working towards healthy changes. When you are working hard, it is even more important to get protein every 3-4 hours. Leaner, lower fat protein options are best so you are getting the full benefit of protein without the added calories from fat. These options make it easier to hit your calorie allotments for each meal without going over.

 

Take some time and help yourself for this week by making a few meal staples. Set yourself up for success with three delicious recipes that you can portion and store in the fridge or freezer for later in the week. We focused on making high-taste & low fat lean protein recipes, Enjoy!

Lean Carnitas

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 head garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground...
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Healthy, Tasty Ice Cream

dessert recipes snacks May 24, 2018

Memorial Day is around the corner, which means summer is almost here!  If you’re like me, then you know that summer isn’t quite the same without some ice cream to cool you down.  Unfortunately, ice cream doesn’t always fit into a daily healthy eating plan.  That is, until now!  Here is a recipe for a delicious snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you off while also being healthy and made from natural ingredients.  Sign us up!

The best thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a fancy ice cream machine.  A simple blender or food processor will do.  With this healthy ice cream recipe, you can enjoy all the deliciousness of summer while sticking to your health and fitness plan!

 

Healthy Ice Cream

(makes 2 servings)

 

2 frozen bananas (take the peel off before freezing!)

Splash of your choice of: almond milk, regular milk, coconut water

 

Add Ins:

For chocolate – add 1 teaspoon...

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Creative Crockpot Chili

dinner recipes slowcooker May 20, 2018

Sundays are for relaxing but there's always errands to run. Sundays also mean getting ready to have a great week. Always striving to push the needle, let's make it easier on our hard-working week-day selves and meal prep! I put together two recipes for slow-cooker chili that are quick and painless to prep and will give you a few lunches for the week. The slow-cooker is one of my favorite methods of sneaking those 4-5 servings of vegetables in. With minimal prep-time in the mornings, you can have the enticing smell of slow-cooking chili wafting through your house until its ready. No chili tastes the same and use it as an opportunity to throw in new ingredients and personalize it to your taste!

Nutrition benefits

Chili is a great way to get the following 3 things:

1. Veggies - It's super easy to pack the crockpot full of diced bell peppers, tomatoes, onion for starters. If your getting crazy with it, throw in some nutrient packed foods such as diced mushrooms (Vit. D),...

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