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Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Why to Never Skip Breakfast + Carrot Cake Oatmeal

8 Aug

Breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. So often the diet mentality is to put off eating as long as possible after waking. But that is far from the healthy route to take. Why?

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When your body is deprived of food for long periods of time, it goes into a semi-starvation mode and can create a lot of physical, intellectual and behavioral problems. According to WebMD, skipping breakfast is strongly linked to the development of obesity. After much research, it has been found that skipping meals, especially breakfast, very often leads to overeating later in the day or gorging out late at night. These infrequent large meals can lead to weight gain. Not only does it lead to weight gain, but also the accumulation of fat.

What is the solution? Break the last 8-12 hour fast you have currently been on throughout the night with a delicious, healthy breakfast. Great options include high fiber, high protein and low sugar meals. Fiber and protein will keep you satisfied until the next meal, and less sugar will help avoid any spike in blood sugar levels. Oatmeal, fruit and yogurt parfaits and eggs with toast are good healthy choice. Remember, homemade will always be healthier than take out, so strive to plan ahead, even if it means making it the night before! Here is a sinlessly sweet oatmeal recipe to help you get excited for breakfast.

I also created a different overnight oats version of this carrot cake oatmeal recently in an acorn squash, so take a look at this recipe as well for one made a little differently here! This was used the natural sweetness of carrot juice to create a delicious taste, and then I placed it in a cooked squash for a delectable breakfast!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Recipe

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other nondairy milk/water)
1/4 cup cooked carrots
1 tablespoon unsweetened dried coconut
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
A dash of sea salt
Add sweetener to taste (i.e. honey)

Directions: Place oats, milk, and carrots in bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and place into blender. Blend until smooth. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into bowl and top with any desired ingredients.

Tip: This can be made the night before and stored in the fridge until morning.

 

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Fun Survey and E-Book Release!

4 Aug

I am so excited to finally announce that my friend Amy and I’s E-Book, Healthy Eats: All Day. Every Day. is finally done! It is now available to buy for just 8.99 right on here under the “Buy Ebook” tab! We have worked so hard in creating some deliciously amazing recipes that have been not been posted anywhere before. It was so fun to be in the kitchen almost every single day, experimenting with recipe and recipe! This book includes 35 recipes, from breakfast, snacks and drinks to appetizers, entrees, and desserts! Look under the buy ebook tab for some sneak peaks of the recipes included within!

 

On another note, I found this fun survey from Tina over at Carrot’s n Cake, and decided to take it! Maybe you can get to know me a little bit through it as well :)

 

 

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

My Pumpkin Pie Shake! Such a delicious and quick option, and just the flavor puts me in such a happy mood as I think to the holiday season :)

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2. How much water do you drink a day?

I’m actually really bad about staying hydrated, but I’ve tried to be a lot better! I at least get in 8 cups, but I know it should be way more than that! I also always have a coconut water each day and start my mornings with my delicious green juice most of the time!

 

3. What is your current favorite workout?

After running miles upon miles for the past 5 years as a competitive runner, I have been loving to just 1 to 2 miles runs of alternating comfortable and fast pace. I’ve also turned my focus to more strength work lately. My favorite most definitely is my spur of the moment, made up on the spot, quick 20-30 minute workouts after a little 2 mile run!

 

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

Thankfully I have experienced complete freedom from counting calories, so I really don’t know! I know I listen to my body and eat what my body needs :) I most certainly eat tons of calories in healthy fats like nut butters and avocados (I literally go through a homemade jar a week!)

 

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

I love my snacks. I feel like I am always snacking. Usually its fresh fruits and veggies with some kind of dip like yogurt and cottage cheese for fruit and nut butters and hummus for veggies! Here are some of my favorite dips:

 

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

It depends what my body is craving. I just listen to it! If I know I’ll be away from my house, I usually pack a turkey sandwich on Ezekial or Paleo bread, with hummus, avocado, and lots of veggies, along with some snacks on the side. If I’m home, the sky is the limit of possibilities. Sometimes I am craving a salad, sometimes I am craving breakfast foods like pancakes, and sometimes, I just want a little bit of everything :)

 

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

Legs and abs. I tone my arms, but never do just arm-focused workouts really. I love doing tons of squats, lunges, and other free weight exercises—nothing like that “I can’t even stand” feeling the day after a great leg workout!

 

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Arms. No, I don’t believe that if I do arm workouts I will look like a crazy body builder and that is the reason I don’t work them often. But I never feel too accomplished when just doing arms, so when I do them, I incorporate those type of exercises into a total body workout

 

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Chocolate and ice cream all the way. I love my chocolate, which killed me on my sugar detox that I just finished up (over a month of no sugar or sweeteners!).  I also can never pass up stopping at one of those delicious frozen yogurt self-serve places where you get to create your own! I really don’t enjoy those typically loved greasy foods, or any fast food, so those don’t even tempt me. I’ve learned to listen to my body, and my body does NOT like the feeling after eating those foods.

 

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Most Certainly! I take my raw women’s multi vitamin, probiotics, fish oil, and sometimes even my delicious gummy vitamins just because I like them :)

11. How often do you eat out?

Not very often. When I’m up at college, I eat at my sorority house every lunch and dinner. I don’t know what that would be considered, but there are always healthy options!

 

12. Do you eat fast food?

Not the typical fast food that offers all that yucky, greasy stuff. I do occasionally like Chick Fil A when I’m out with friends, and I am totally obsessed with Panera Bread!

 

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

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 God is certainly my number one supporter. The one who never fails me. But my other two would be my mom and my boyfriend. My mom has been there from day one and I know I can always come to her about anything; she was my best friend for a lot of my low times throughout high school. My boyfriend couldn’t support or encourage me more! He is absolutely amazing and I consider myself blessed to have him up at college with me, I don’t know what I would do without his love and support. At the very end of a long, hard day, I love knowing I can just come lay, cry, or laugh in his arms.

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14. Do you have a gym membership?

Nope! But when I’m at college we have a huge, very nice gym that is free to us.

 

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Unfortunately usually only like 6-7 hours. My body would love more, but with all that I’m involved in along with school and time spent with my friends and boyfriend, I rarely get much more! I really don’t like sleeping in though even when I can, I just feel like I’m wasting my day away :p

 

16. Do you have a “cheat”day?

I hate that word. I eat what I want, when I want it. I probably cheat every day when it comes down to it. But hey, I eat mostly healthy, and when I want something that could be considered “cheating”, I enjoy it to its fullest!

 

17. Do you drink alcohol?

 

 I do not! Yes I am only 20, but even when I’m 21, I will rarely have a drink. Not because of nutritious reasons, but because I am a firm believer that nothing truly good comes out of it.  Do I think one drink with yours good friends or family is bad? Definitely not. But in the college atmosphere, I desire to live a life that can be a light for Christ, and because of that I have chosen not to drink in that environment J

 

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

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I have a friend that comes with me a couple times, but we usually aren’t too productive together :) My boyfriend comes with me a lot, but we do our separate things! I wish I did though because I feel like I don’t push myself as hard as I could most of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

The best thing that has changed is turning my commitment to a healthy lifestyle into a passion and hobby. God has given me such a love for being in the kitchen, coming up with unique and tasty recipes that make eating nutritious yet still delicious! Whether blogging about it, creating it, or sharing it with friends and family, healthy food has become a great part of my life. I love how I am able to influence others to live a healthy lifestyle as well through sharing my own journey<3

 

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I started off my morning like every other, reading God’s word with my cup of coffee. That is by far the healthiest thing for my life. Living a healthy life doesn’t always have to do with food, but the Bible is called my “daily bread” for a reason :)

 

Watermelon Lime Pudding

25 Jul

Here is another creation of mine in order to beat this summer heat! I absolutely love watermelon. It’s probably my favorite fruit. My only problem is once I cut it open, I can’t stop. No self control when there’s delicious, refreshing watermelon in front of me!

Usually I just eat my fruit plain or with some type of yogurt dip/nut butter, but this time I decided to make a recipe with my favorite fruit! With watermelon being so sweet, I thought the pairing with lime would be the perfect combination.

I’ve made another recipe similar to this, but pumpkin flavor! As you know by now, that too is one of my favorite foods. That one can be found here.

How do you like to beat this summer heat? What is your all-time favorite fruit that you just can’t stop eating once you start?!

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Watermelon Avocado & Lime Mousse

-1 cup watermelon
-6 oz soft tofu
-1 very ripe banana
-1/4 cup mashed avocado
-juice from 1/2 lime
-1tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Scoop out lime and serve mousse inside!

Tip: **If it isn’t sweet enough for you with the banana and watermelon, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of honey!  **Use mini chocolate chips for “seeds” if your desire a pretty presentation.

Watermelon Benefits
1) Contains 92% water: aids in hydration
2) Full of antioxidants: neutralizes free radical damage in body, reduces inflammation, reduces chance of cancer and arthritis
3) Contains phytonutrients: naturally occurring compounds that are bioactive and able to trigger healthy reactions in body
4) Filled with Citrulline: this converts to Arginine, which is great for our hearts, livers, and circulatory system
5) Rich in vitamin C and Beta-Carotenes: anti-inflammatory properties
6) Aids in bloating and constipation: watermelon has a natural diuretic effect which can help eliminate water retention and wastes
7) Stops itchy skin: as a cleanser, it flushes out toxins that take the form of itchiness
8) Reduces blemishes: rub watermelon on your face, leave juice on for 10 minutes, rinse.

8 Minute Abs

24 Jul

Are you ready for the challenge? This is my go-to after a quick run when I don’t want to go to the gym for strength. Abdominal muscles are such a key group in your body that are important for so many reasons when living an active life.

No stopping, no breaks, eight complete minutes of constant work for those abdominal muscles! Challenge yourself. I am always sore after doing this :)

What is your favorite muscle group to work??

Facts and Tips about abdominal muscles below.

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Ab Facts
1) You don’t need to train them every day: you will actually overwork them. Think of them as any other muscle group, they need rest days
2) Doing ab specific exercises alone will not tone your stomach. To reveal chiseled abs, you need to train all your major muscle groups, do cardio, and follow a healthy diet.
3) If your abs are the star of the show, think of your lower back as the supporting cast. Strong lower back muscles allow to to safely complete intense ab workouts without injury
4) Skip the ab equipment on infomercials: the most effective ab-targeted moves are actually ones done at home with no equipment (see above workout).
5) Don’t let those abdominals be overlooked: those with a high percent stomach fat are more likely to develop osteoporosis
6) Last and most importantly, diet rules over any exercise: there is no workout that can help a bad diet. Eating healthy monounsaturated fatty acids like avocados, nuts and olive oil are known to actually help prevent weight gain in your belly. Fat is your friend, no foe :) (look here and here for some great healthy fat recipes!)

Source: http://www.fitbie.com

Sugar Detox Comes to an End…Or Does It?!

11 Jun

Yesterday marked the end of my 21-day sugar detox! It was such a wonderful experience. Here I thought I would be counting down the days until I could have sugar again..but time went by so quickly, I almost forgot it was coming to an end!

In the beginning, I was having to give up so many foods that I normally ate, like stevia in my coffee, chewing gum throughout the day, protein powders, agave in my Greek yogurt, ketchup and honey mustard that I used all the time, and the list goes on. Oh, can’t forget my vitamins and probiotics that had FRUCTOSE in them! I couldn’t believe it. But, cutting sugar completely out of my diet, helped me feel just all around so much better! And I learned some important lessons:

1) Check your food label ingredients. Buy the kind with the least ingredients (and one that you know what they are!)
2)As much as I missed making all my yummy shakes with protein powder, after working out, the best fuel to give your body is real food. Not all these processed powders and bars. I found things like chicken and sweet potatoes or cottage cheese and fruit as such great refuel after workouts instead of my typical shakes.
3)SO many things have added sugar that you would never guess. Again, check your labels.
4) There are so many ways you can add natural sweetness without sugars, such as dried fruit like dates and figs, or even fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, watermelon, and berries!

Here is an excellent example about checking your ingredients. Most cottage cheese brands, like publix, friendship, and breakstones all have many ingredients, some of which you don't even know. But Daisy brand only has FOUR. And they are all natural, with no preservatives or additives on the label. Which one are you going to choose next time?

Here is an excellent example about checking your ingredients. Most cottage cheese brands, like publix, friendship, and breakstones all have many ingredients, some of which you don’t even know. But Daisy brand only has FOUR. And they are all natural, with no preservatives or additives on the label. Which one are you going to choose next time?

To sum up these past three weeks, its been such a great lifestyle change. This didn’t become just a 3 week challenge, only to go back to the way I use to eat. This was a way to change my habits, and to get away from that s0-s0 sweet taste that I wanted everything to be. I will NEVER use artificial sweeteners like Splenda or buy any of those “sugar free” products (aka, tons of added fake sugars and chemicals) again. Stevia will be limited, as I now have such a different liking for sweetness, that many things I use to have to load with agave or stevia like greek yogurt or grapefruits, I like plain now!  And natural sugars like agave and raw honey will mostly be the only types of sweeteners I use.

I love the new lifestyle, and how I feel with no sugar, that I’ve decided to extend my sugar detox until the end of June! My good friend Amy (find her over at Fit Fun and Fantastic) and I who originally began this challenge, will both be continuing our no sugar lifestyle for a little bit longer! Are you in?! Feel free to join now :) You can find me on instagram at @FreshFitnHealthy if you want to follow my day to day no sugar creations!

As for now..how do you feel about added sugar? I believe raw honey is great for our bodies, and am in no way saying I’m staying away from that for a little longer because I think its bad. But eating no sugar except that naturally occcurring in fruits and vegetables, has made me feel so wonderful! So why not continue my journey for a bit longer? :)