A Little Taste Of Heaven

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I found these Belvita breakfast biscuits on my most recent trip to the grocery store. They are absolutely delicious. They come four to a package and I couldn’t resist having two biscuits before work with my morning coffee and the other two biscuits after my workout today. Although they are not on the top of my list for healthy snacks, (Tis the season for gingerbread), I’m happy to report they do not include high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. I like to pair the biscuits with raw almonds and a banana to make this a healthier snack. They are heaven with hot, steaming coffee. If you are a coffee lover, consider trying the bulletproof coffee recipe above with the optional add-ins.

Set The Tone For The Week

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.”
― Germany Kent

  1. Wake up- (EARLY) Meditate 10 minutes – express gratitude for life, loved ones, and your health.
  2.  Stretch- 10 minutes to get the blood flowing and work on flexibility
  3.  Hydrate with water first and then coffee
  4.  Eat a healthy breakfast- fruit, organic oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, nuts
  5.  Tell your loved ones you love them
  6.  Listen to positive affirmations on your way to work. Tell yourself it’s going to be a great day 🙂

What Does Your Morning Routine Generate?

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.”
― Todd Stocker 
Do you jump out of bed in the morning with plenty of time for a workout and healthy breakfast? Or do you hit the snooze button, skip breakfast, and have a major panic attack trying to get to work on time?
The secret to success lies in your daily routine. Consider trying an experiment in which you follow my guidelines for thirty days to help you establish a successful morning routine.

Are You Fighting Disease OR Feeding It?

“I really regret eating healthy today- said no one ever!”

Are you guilty week after week of not having your evening meals planned and therefore resorting to the drive-thru for fast food or take out pizza again? How about your daily lunches at work? Are you fueling your body with healthy foods that will provide you with energy? Or do you end up skipping lunch, leaving you famished and resulting in binging and overeating later in the day?

 

 

 

 

It’s important to make meal prep and planning a priority. In order to make good food choices for you and your family, you need to have healthy food choices on hand. It’s easy to fall into the trap of convenience and fast food when you are short on time or didn’t make it to the grocery store. 

 

Your food choices are truly the key to good health. Try these tips for making better food selections throughout your week.

  1.  Take time on the weekend to plan your meals. Try to research new recipes for ideas. You might be surprised how much you enjoy trying new dishes that may become regular staples in your weekly meal planning.
  2.  Make a grocery list– make sure you note ingredients of any new recipes so you’ll have everything on hand.
  3.  Meal prep- Try to prewash and cut veggies and fruits for meals during the week. Make a point of cooking or preparing casseroles or soups ahead of time. You’ll be so glad you did on those late days when your tired and don’t want to think about meals.
  4.  Try to make ahead snacks or salads for healthy lunches for you and your family. Consider fruit slices, nuts, and yogurt for healthy sides.
  5.  If you have to resort to fast food- consider making the best possible choices by choosing lean protein, grilled chicken, baked potato, or side salad if possible.

 

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Check out these great ideas in this Meal Prep Guide

 

Creamy Chocolate Power Smoothie

 

This is one of the best shakes I’ve ever made. It was smooth and creamy and tasted just like a delicious chocolate milkshake.

Here’s the recipe:

8 oz of organic almond milk

1/2 banana

1/3 avocado

1 scoop plant-based chocolate protein powder

2 tbsp of organic cocoa

1 tsp of flaxseed

2 tbsp of organic tahini or nut butter

ice cubes

Place in processor and blend until creamy; top with blueberries to add antioxidants!

 

No Coffee, No Dairy, No Meat – Day 10

 

Day 10 update on my Alkaline Diet Challenge. Although I haven’t been perfect in selecting all non-acidic foods, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been able to cut out all meat, coffee, and processed foods. I’ve cheated a little when it comes to dairy; I’ve eaten cottage cheese due to the fact I had purchased a new container of it prior to starting the challenge.

I thought for sure that it would be rough coming off coffee but surprisingly it hasn’t been difficult. I haven’t had any headaches or crazy cravings for my morning brew. I’ve substituted hot tea with turmeric which is perfect for taking the place of my coffee.

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Results so far:

  1. Down 4 lbs
  2. Abs/Arms appear more defined
  3. Allergy symptoms gone: No more mild headaches/ eyes watering
  4. Cravings gone
  5. Energy increased
  6. Skin looks better

I’m very pleased with my results so far; I plan to definitely continue this for thirty days. After that, I plan to re-evaluate and decide if I want to continue with this new lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Too Acidic?

I’ve gradually cleaned up my diet over the past few years and also transitioned to more raw fruits and vegetables in my meals. However, I still suffer from mild headaches, sinus issues, and eye irritation. I recently stumbled across an article on the benefits of an alkaline diet and discovered I have many symptoms associated with being too acidic. That being said, I did some research and to my dismay, coffee is top on the list to cut out. I love coffee and look forward to it every morning to jump-start my day. Needless to say, cutting out my java is going to be a major challenge. Next on the list was chocolate. I love having a piece of dark cholate after dinner; of course two of my favorite things would have to be on the list.

Check out this picture below that details acidic symptoms:

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“You will know if you are too acidic if you get sick often, get urinary tract infections, suffer from headaches, and have bad breath and body odor (when you do not use antiperspirant). Acidosis is the medical term for a blood alkalinity of less than 7.35. A normal reading is called homeostasis. It is not considered a disease; although in and of itself it is recognized as an indicator of disease. Your blood feeds your organs and tissues; so if your blood is acidic, your organs will suffer and your body will have to compensate for this imbalance somehow. We need to do all we can to keep our blood alkalinity high. The way to do this is to dramatically increase our intake of alkaline-rich elements like fresh, clean air; fresh, clean water; raw vegetables (particularly their juices); and sunlight, while drastically reducing our intake of and exposure to acid-forming substances: pollution, cigarettes, hard alcohol, white flour, white sugar, red meat, and coffee. By tipping the scales in the direction of alkalinity through alkaline diet and removal of acid waste through cleansing, and acidic body can become an alkaline one.― Natalia Rose

A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity.
Going on a more alkaline diet means I will need to also cut out meat and dairy. Although I’ve reduced my meat consumption, I love yogurt and cottage cheese. Therefore, it’s going to be a challenge to find optional protein sources. This picture shows some examples of acidic and alkaline foods.
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I’ve decided to experiment with an alkaline diet for the month of August. I’ll keep you updated on my meals and results.

Weekend Six Pack Ab Challenge

It’s important to fuel your body if you want to get the most from your workouts. This morning, I started with a glass of lemon water, grapefruit, and a protein smoothie. This provides me with the proper nutrients for instructing a calorie torching circuit workout. I plan to finish my class with my weekend ab challenge – the 300. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Smoothie: 8 Oz of organic almond milk, a handful of organic spinach, 1/2 of organic banana, 1 tbsp of organic flaxseed oil, 1/2 cup of organic raspberries and blueberries, 1/2 cup of greek yogurt

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The Importance Of Fueling Before And After Workout

Our bodies need to be properly hydrated and nourished to function at optimal levels.  Proper nutrition is vital to feed our cells, boost metabolism, and provide fuel for an active lifestyle. If you want to maximize your workout results, make sure to follow these tips:

Pre-Workout Fuel:

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Water– You should drink water before, during and after your workout. WWW.WebMD.Com reports:  Drink fluids throughout the day before you exercise. Then follow this formula :

  • One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
  • 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
  • During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

Complex Carbohydrates/Protein: Medical News Today reports:

Ideally, a person should eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates and protein around 2–3 hours before exercising.

Avocado and eggs, on organic whole wheat toast

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Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Organic oats with berries, greek yogurt, and walnuts

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Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

 

Post-Workout Fuel:  Fuel your body with a good source of protein, carbohydrates,  healthy fats and water to help muscle growth and repair. It’s ideal to get a snack or a light meal within 20 to 30 minutes after your workout.

Protein Smoothie –   Almond milk, scoop of whey protein, blueberries, 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, tbsp organic coconut oil, tbsp flax seed

 

Additional post workout fuel ideas via Very Well FIt:

  • Brown rice and boneless skinless chicken breast – Prepare with your favorite low-sodium spices or salsa for a nutritious recovery meal. This can be done in the crockpot, stovetop, or oven. Some athletes prefer white rice over brown to reduce possible stomach upset. 
  • Power smoothie – Blend your favorite fruit with plain yogurt, almond milk, soy or favorite tolerated dairy, some water, and ice. A great boost of healthy fats can be added with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter. 
  • Egg scramble – Easy one-skillet meals where one whole egg, egg whites, vegetables, and sweet potatoes can be tossed with favorite spices and sprinkled with fresh black pepper. 
  • Pass the peanut butter – The all-American favorite sandwich on whole-grain sprouted toast is a post-workout pleaser. Leave off the sugared jam and enjoy with a drizzle of local honey. This nutrient-dense meal contains quality plant protein, healthy fat, and high fiber. 
  • Check the leftovers – What you cooked the night before is calling your name and ready to refuel that body. Do you have cooked quinoa ready to go? Toss on salad greens and sprinkle with balsamic for a well-balanced meal.
  • Wrap it up – Whole grain high fiber wraps are a great start to a wonderful recovery meal. Add some fresh avocado, lean meat of your choice, greens, beans or whatever suits the theme of the wrap, roll up and enjoy.

Additional snacks to enjoy recommended by the American Council on Exercise:

  • Non-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fruit or banana. 
  • Banana with 1 tablespoon almond or nut butter.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • 4 ounces of albacore tuna on 1 slice whole grain toast.
  • Whole wheat English muffin or whole wheat pita topped with a slice of low sodium turkey meat and hummus.
  • Protein shake with 2 scoops whey protein and 1/2 banana blended with water.

Friday Quick And Easy No Meat Meal

Today is a no meat day for Lent and I’ve been experimenting with different ideas for vegetarian meals each week. I found these Garden Veggie Burgers at Publix and they are pretty healthy when you compare them with other vegan products like Morning Star that are often soy based. These GreenWise veggie burgers list carrots, green beans, onion, broccoli, and zucchini on the ingredient list.

I prepared the garden burgers on a griddle with olive oil and sauteed onions. They had a much better texture than most veggie burgers that tend to be mushy. I topped the burgers with avocado, onions, and feta cheese and added a side of baked sweet potato fries. I’m also trying to incorporate more raw veggies into my diet and added a side of sliced organic apples, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. YUM!!