Counting Calories… via App

Good Morning!

For some people the diet is the struggle, for some the exercise is the struggle… But for a lot of people it can be a combination of both!  One thing that I have found helpful the last few weeks is being accountable for what I am eating and doing everyday!  It’s very easy to go over your caloric needs for the day if you are a “grazer” (and eat all day as I do) or even if you just decide around dinner time you are starving and have a huge plate of food at dinner time.  Today there are a variety of apps that you can use to assist in calorie counting and exercise/food tracking.  One of the most popular apps today is called myfitnesspal.  There is a website version and a smartphone app to coincide so you can keep track of calories when you are on the go!  Another popular app is Loseit!  I highly recommend browsing your options and finding an app that you like and that will work for you! 🙂  Being accountable can really assist with diet and exercise changes, especially in the beginning of a new routine!  I have been using myfitnesspal and I can pre-populate the day’s food- so I know what I can have when I am doing my meal prep.  It also allows me to make a little wiggle room in my diet so I can have that slice of pizza on a Saturday night with friends if I want to!  I really like the app because it allows me to change my macronutrient needs for the day to match my current program or diet.  It also provides charts that make it easy to track my progress, and see where I can make necessary changes to keep me going strong!

Are there any other diet/exercise tracker apps out there that anyone finds particularly useful for themselves?

Check out my dinner last night!  Homemade chicken quesadillas…And it’s low carb. YUM!

food

A Healthy Twist on a Congo Bar

Good Morning!

So With the holidays among us there is lots of baking to be done!  Cookies and brownies, and cupcakes.  Cakes, and Pies, and Pastries and Breads! But with all this temptation staring you in the face, and tickling you in the nose, how can you avoid it?  Or do you have to?

Well avoiding sweets is one way to be successful in a diet… And some people just naturally don’t like sweets.  But I find if I avoid it, it comes back to haunt me later and I end up binge eating on donuts, pizza and ice cream. lol.  So rather than avoid, I try to find healthy alternatives and just moderate how much and how often I eat them.  Most of the time, I can find a reasonable alternative and I can make a batch, and freeze it so it’s there when I need a treat, but don’t want to dive into a batch of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies.

So here is a healthy twist on a congo bar recipe a friend of mine shared with me.  I made the recipe to original order the first time, and thought it was okay.  A little soft and gooey for me, but if you like fudge-like brownies this might be perfect for you. The second time I made the recipe I cut the maple syrup to half a cup and added a scoop of PB Cookie Protizyme  Protein Powder.  I used Teddy’s Natural Peanut Butter.  This made the recipe more fluffy and cake-like, which I loved! If you want to reduce the calories and fat further you can substitute PB2 for the Peanut Butter (or even half the peanut butter) and a sugar-free syrup or similar substitute for the maple syrup.  The best part about the recipe is that it is simple, easy to revise to your liking, and it’s gluten-free and vegan so it can be shared by many!

http://thehonoursystem.com/2014/05/14/chocolate-peanut-butter-chickpea-cookie-bars-gluten-free-vegan/

Here is the photo of the recipe when I made it the second time.

chickpea cookie bar

Enjoy! 🙂

Need something to bring to a holiday party? For some additional sweet treats under 150 calories, check out some of these recipes below!

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/sweet-treats-under-150-calories?utm_source=un_display_na_ti_20150513_outbrainrightrail

Avoid getting sick this winter!

‘Tis the season for colds and flu bugs!  I noticed the last couple years since I have altered my diet and sleep habits, I actually have been sick less frequently, and for a shorter time periods when I did get sick.  Brush up on your knowledge of how to avoid getting sick this winter!  Here are a couple great articles:

http://www.today.com/health/26-ways-avoid-getting-sick-winter-1D80290214

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20250939,00.html

Fall is here! And you know what that means…. Pumpkin Everything!

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin spice lattes; pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin pies, and pumpkin… pancakes?  😉  Pumpkin Pancakes are one of my favorites because there are tons of healthy recipes you can use as opposed to traditional recipes that are higher in fat/calories/carbs.  They are packed with that pumpkin spice flavor, but are pretty much guiltless and they taste delicious!  Below are two recipes I have tried and recommend!  There are plenty of other gluten free or paleo recipes out on the web as well.  But I haven’t tried them yet!  Enjoy! And Happy Fall Everyone! 🙂

pumpkin pancakes

http://therecipecritic.com/2013/09/skinny-pumpkin-pancakes/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-jamie-eason-pumpkin-spice-pancakes.htm

Paleo Apple Pie

In continuation of yesterday’s post about healthier alternatives to some of our favorite foods, I thought I would share this great recipe that I tried today.  This is a Paleo Apple Pie Recipe!  First time trying it, but looks like it came out pretty good! 🙂  Enjoy!

apple pie

http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-apple-pie/

Healthier Alternatives to Our Favorite Comfort Foods

Let’s face it… We all love certain types of “junk food”.  My all time favorite is pizza.  Some love Chinese Food, or Five Guys, or Ice Cream!  How do we manage to be surrounded by these things and stay on track?  By finding healthier alternatives!

For example, in the image below is a homemade pizza made with a cauliflower pizza crust.  This alternative is significantly lower in carbs, and calories!  I made it with peppers, onions, diced tomatoes and a reduced fat cheese.

pizza crust

Here are some additional recipes for Healthier options:

http://www.endofthreefitness.com/practically-paleo-cauliflower-pizza-crust/

http://feedmephoebe.com/2014/02/healthy-sesame-chicken-recipe/

http://paleogrubs.com/burger-recipes

 

Proper Breathing While Exercising

Hi Friends, sorry it has been a while since my last post.  Been a busy couple of weeks with the end of Summer and Start of Fall.  Everyone is getting back into their routines, including me! 🙂  I plan to write soon, but in the meantime, figured I would share some great articles on proper breathing while working out- (whether cardio or strength training). When lifting, some theories of proper breathing techniques, can slightly contradict each other.  I usually just recommend that people breath naturally!  As long as you are breathing, you’re not gonna pass out.  Remember that our muscles need oxygen, so breathing is essential! 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great week!

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/know-when-to-hold-it-how-to-breathe-while-lifting.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/171922-how-to-breathe-correctly-when-lifting-weights/

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/how-to-breathe-when-running

http://oxygenfactor.com/how-oxygen-affects-muscle-performance/

Resistance Band Training

So, one of my favorite pieces of equipment is the resistance band. This little piece of rubber can provide a full body workout from almost anywhere! It’s easier on the joints, and you can work with different levels of resistance (bands come in light, medium, or heavy usually). I try to incorporate at least some exercises using them with all of my clients so they can see the versatility the band provides. So if you’re working late at the office, or prefer to workout from the comfort of your home, you can get a decent workout using just a resistance band!

Below are some helpful links on how to use these bad larry’s to their full advantage! 🙂

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/full-body-resistance-band-workout

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw10.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkq0-jvz1Dc

Truth is… It pays to be nice.

Truth Is… People can be mean. Someone is going to talk shit about you behind your back at some point in your life. Those people usually are talking shit because they are battling with some insecurities of their own, or they were hurt by someone or something and are bitter and holding a grudge.

Truth is we have all been there!…We all talk shit at some point in our lives, whether it’s venting to your best friend, or being mad about a girl flirting with your boyfriend, or mad at your parents, or whatever…We’ve all been there. If we didn’t we’d be some seriously narcissistic mf’s. We’ve all got problems and nobody’s perfect. But would I intentionally be mean to a person?…No. Would I ever intentionally go out of my way to hurt a person or damage them in some way?…No. That shit’s just bad karma. No one likes a bully.

I have come to realize, people can be mean. They say hurtful things, do hurtful things, and sometimes the people you go the most out of your way for are the ones that hurt you the most. I have learned that it is easier to try and see the situation from another perspective than your own. Not necessarily understand what happened or why, but sometimes by seeing it from another perspective it can allow you to move on easier, accept it for face value and not let it tear you apart completely. It is easier to forgive and move on, and be at peace… Than it is to live with feelings of hurt, anger, revenge or regret. So be mad, or sad, or emotional as f for a hot second, cause you’re entitled to that; but don’t let it consume you. Don’t let it ruin you. And don’t let it dull your shine.

Nice people, good people, people with big, smooshy, soft hearts… In the end, we win. So be the bigger person… Forgive people. Don’t hold a grudge.  Give people a second chance. Pay it forward. And be Nice. 🙂

Below are some great articles on the health benefits of being nice. <3

http://healthland.time.com/2013/05/09/why-kindness-can-make-us-happier-healthier/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/nice-boost-health/story?id=22783648

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/priya-advani/random-acts-of-kindness_b_3412718.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-gift-adhd/201108/being-nice-can-change-your-brain

Flaxseed; Ground or Whole?

So Flaxseed is a plant based food that has been around for a very long time. It is believed that it may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and even diabetes. It is currently what I call a “fad food” because everyone is consuming it- adding it to recipes, adding it to shakes, adding it to oatmeal, etc. But I always like people to know why this is so popular. Flaxseed is considered a sort of super food because it is rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fiber, & Lignans. What people might not know, is that it is very difficult to digest in whole (or seed) form. To obtain more nutrients from this super grain, you may want to buy the ground flaxseed as opposed to whole! 🙂

Here are some additional links below:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-of-flaxseed

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/flaxseed/faq-20058354