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

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

 

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 often 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

Know your vegetables, proper meal planning

When balancing out a meal, often times people think they are balanced if they have some protein, a ton of veggies and often a starchy grain like rice or pasta. However, what people don’t realize is that sometimes they are doubling up on the starches on their plates because they are choosing vegetables with a high starch content. One of my favorite links to provide clients with is from the American Diabetes Association. This website provides a detailed break down of both the starchy and non-starchy vegetables! It also provides tips for gluten free meal planning (if you have a gluten allergy), info on the glycemic index and much more!

If you want to have a starchy vegetable with dinner, maybe substitute it instead of the rice or pasta you were planning to have, and just have two vegetables instead- a starchy and a non-starchy. On a low carb day, or for a lower carb meal, try using all lower starch veggies for your dish.

Just remember, knowledge is power! The more you know, the easier it will be to succeed! 🙂

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/grains-and-starchy-vegetables.html

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/non-starchy-vegetables.htmlcapr

The Body Type Breakdown

Okay, so there are three different body classifications- ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.  Basically, the idea behind this classification system is that our bodies are all a little different… Some of us are naturally skinny, some of us naturally muscular, and some of us just naturally chubby.  Most of us are a combination of these, but knowing what classification you are dominant in, can help you attain your goals.  Different training programs and diet programs can work better for one body type over another.  Below is the link for the BodyBuilding.com Body Type Test.  Find out your body type and use it to maximize your results! 🙂

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm

Diet, Exercise & Sleep- the Major 3!

I always follow the belief that there are three components to a healthy, balanced lifestyle; and those are Diet (or nutrition- what you are eating on the day to day), exercise, and getting adequate sleep.  Whenever people make changes to their current lifestyle that effects any one, or all of these major components it is important that they know how each effects the body.

For example, your diet effects your body in a number of ways.  There is a reason why you will see all over the place that results are 70% diet and 30% exercise.  Altering your eating habits can alter insulin levels throughout the day which can be beneficial or harmful depending on how you plan out your meals.  The goal is to balance out your plate with macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates), and eat frequently to keep blood sugar levels steady and avoid spikes or drops, to prevent your metabolism from slowing down.  This can change the way your body utilizes the macronutrients.  Frequent drops in insulin levels, can cause your body to store more fat or carbohydrates as a sort of survival or starvation mode.  Eating the wrong foods at night can effect the way your body works while you sleep or it can even effect the way you sleep, and how you dream.

Exercise effects the body by imposing stress on the muscles.  It is important to understand the significance of breaking down your routine so to avoid overtraining the muscle groups, and balancing out the strength of each muscle group.  Circuit training is okay depending on the routine, but being aware of where and how you could be overtraining is important, to ensure maximal results.  It is also important to get adequate rest for your muscle groups to allow them time to recover and heal.  This is an important part of exercise, because rest prevents injury and can maximize strength and results when the muscle can heal properly.

Sleep is crucial for life.  Your body needs rest to recover, and provide you with energy and clear focus everyday for anything you do.  It is also when growth hormones are their peak for optimal recovery and muscle growth.  So if someone you know thinks they are a badass because they can run a day on 3 hours of sleep… They really aren’t.  Remember to allow yourself time to sleep.  🙂

Check out these articles below for more information on this topic:

http://www.newhealthguide.org/Why-Is-It-Important-To-Have-A-Balanced-Diet.html

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/behar2

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221,00.html

Sick of Salad? Try these!

So I have been experimenting with some low carb alternatives, because salads have just gotten boring. They taste great, and I still love them, but it’s nice to have some options! Here are three great recipes I tried recently that I would recommend.

Chicken & Avocado Salad w/ Cilantro & Lime

-This recipe is great. Very little Mayo, but still super moist because of the avocado. The only thing I feel like it needed was more flavor. Maybe more lime or some additional spices to pull the flavor of the lime and cilantro together with the avocado and chicken. But overall a great recipe!

http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/05/recipe-for-chicken-and-avocado-salad.html

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

-Super easy, full of flavor! You can have this as a meal, a snack or even serve it as an appetizer. Took all of 10 minutes to make!

http://www.ellaclaireinspired.com/buffalo-chicken-lettuce-wraps/

Paleo Stuffed Peppers

-Amazing. I always wanted to try and make stuffed peppers. These are full of flavor, you can make them spicy or mild and were great for dinner, and an easy reheat for lunch!

http://www.ourpaleolife.com/2013/09/paleo-stuffed-peppers/