Friday, September 26, 2014

Foodie Friday - Skipping breakfast is a BAD IDEA - meals included

 
For years I skipped breakfast. I was never that hungry so I just figured what's the point. And if I did make breakfast I always felt like I was rushing to cook it! But I have learned for weight-loss purposes, muscle growth, fat loss, endurance, mental clarity, and cravings that breakfast is essential to everyone's diet! Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day. Most of us probably eat are largest meal of the day at dinner time which is the worst time to eat a big meal!
 
Benefits to Breakfast:
1. Energy Boost for your day
2. Sharper Focus
3. Breakfast Helps Reduce Morning Crankiness
4. Metabolism Boost
5. Prevents Starvation
6. Keeps You From Overeating
7. Allows You to Properly Portion Your Meals
8. Helps Lower the "Bad" Cholesterol
9. Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight
 

 
 I eat the same breakfast every day. I know that sounds boring to most people but for me it's expected, it's planned, and I don't have to worry about what am I going to eat.
My breakfasts consist of scrambled egg whites with spinach and hot sauce with a 1/4 cup of gluten-free oat bran.  If I'm needing something sweet I will add a 1/4 cup of fruit in my oat-bran along with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. If I'm in a hurry I will drink my shakeolgy or eat a pre-made protein waffle/pancake.

So for all those non-breakfast eaters below is a list of 7 healthy breakfast recipes. You can change it up and do a different item every morning or you can just pick one meal and have that every morning during the week and then change it up on the weekends. You still want to have variety but you want it to be easy for you so that you are eating breakfast every morning. Bottom line the key to success is planning and being prepared!

Healthy breakfast recipes:
1. 4 egg white omelette with spinach with 1 slice of gluten-free bread (try Rudi's)and 1 teaspoon of
nut butter.


2. 3 egg whites scrambled with 1 egg with yolk with spinach and a gluten-free wrap or 1 slice of GF bread with hot sauce.


3. Protein waffle or pancake w/ 1 tbsp. of nut butter. MY FAVORITE
See recipe below and I have made a week supply in advance and reheat in microwave.
 
1/2 of mashed banana
1 scoop of  plant based protein powder (Tone it up, Sun Warrior)
1/4 c egg white
1/2 tbsp. of almond milk
sprinkle of cinnamon
 
whisk together...spray with cooking spray on waffle maker or pan for pancakes.


4. 1 cup cottage cheese with a 1/4 cup of fruit and 1 tbsp. of nuts. For added protein have 2 hard-boiled egg whites.


5. 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with a 1/4 cup of fruit and 1 tbsp. of nuts. You can add a little bit of honey if needed. For added protein have to hard-boiled egg whites.


6. Gluten free oatmeal or oatbran (Red Bob Mill carries GF) with 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil, 1/4 cup fruit, and 1 tbsp of nuts or nut butter. For added protein eat 2-3 egg whites scrambled or hardboiled. You could also make my Oats & Eggs recipe which combines the two.
 
http://imperfectlybalancedbyali.blogspot.com/2014/04/foodie-friday-recipe-oats-eggs.html
click

7. Green smoothie
See options in the picture below for ingredients.  I add shakeology to mine too.

 
 
 

Breakfast is truly my favorite meal especially when I go on vaca! Breakfast is the best meal to make your cheat meal because you will use it as fuel for the rest of your day!

xoxo
Ali
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Healthy Nut - Travel Must Haves - SAVE THE TUMMY


Whether it is a 3 day vacation or a 7 day vacation, you should always be prepared with some supplies to keep your stomach and immune system in check! I know for my body especially my stomach it has become use to eating a certain way and after 2 days of eating differently I start getting "tummy aches"!

A few tips that I would recommend for keeping your eating and stomach "in check" while traveling are:

1. Drink lots and lots of water. Take extra bottles or gallons with you if possible to keep in your hotel room! STAY HYDRATED

2. When you are eating out, try to choose meals that are the most similar to what you would eat at home....so if you eat chicken, sweet potatoes, and veggies at dinner, try to mimic that...but still enjoy your vacation! For me if I have multiple cheat days, it is not pretty!
   Think basic - chicken, fish, veggies, fruit, oatmeal, fresh juices, sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa...and always ask for no butter! I learned that the hard way on my last trip...way too much butter in my egg whites for goodness sake!

3. Take your vitamins...whatever vitamins and supplements  you take at home bring with you! It will keep your body in balance even though everything else is off! If you don't take vitamins I recommend the supplements below for trips especially. Vitamin C helps tremendously for immune system and controls stomach inflammation. Probiotics help keep the healthy bacteria in your gut active which helps with any tummy aches, bloating, or indigestion. And the Greens are simply because no one every eats enough fruit and veggies when on vacation and that will help keep your body in an alkaline state.

4. Depending on where you go, plan ahead and research any "healthy" restaurants or fresh juice bars. If I know I will be eating a lot of rich foods on my trip I make sure to drink 2-3 fresh green juices in between to help detox and give my stomach a break.

5. SLEEP - sleep is huge...it effects EVERYTHING. Try to still get 7-8 hours of sleep if possible. 80% of healing occurs while at rest so that will help ward off any germs or feelings of lethargy!

Hope these tips can help SAVE YOUR TUMMY!
xoxo
Ali

click pictures

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CQ7PYZ6/ref=sr_ph?ie=UTF8&qid=1411581307&sr=1&keywords=garden+of+life+probiotics

http://www.vitacost.com/Thompson-Vitamin-C-Powder

http://www.iherb.com/Paradise-Herbs-ORAC-Energy-Greens-120-Veggie-Caps/23550




Friday, September 19, 2014

Foodie - Salmon Cakes

Super Yummy & Kid Friendly Salmon Cakes
http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/homemade-wild-salmon-bites-for-kids/

http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/homemade-wild-salmon-bites-for-kids/

adapted from a Healthy Slice of Life Blog

To make these salmon bites you will need
  • 6 oz baked organic wild salmon
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs gluten free 
  • 1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs gluten free
  • 2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil (for pan fry)
Mix everything together (minus the oil).

Form into 10-12 bite sized patties.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add salmon bites to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on one side, then filp and cook 2-3 minutes on the other.

I mix up 2 Tbsp sour cream and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Garnish with chives.

xoxo
Ali

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Healthy Nut - Crazy for Coconut

 
http://www.skinnyandcompany.com/
 
On my eating clean journey I developed a love for coconuts, not just the taste but for the added health benefits.  A few of the health bloggers and instagramer's I follow rave about this coconut oil, so I decided to try it! I take a 1/2 Tbsp. every morning before breakfast. I have only been taking it for about a week so not sure I have noticed any of the benefits of it yet. Below are some of the reasons why it is so great to eat this particular coconut oil and the health benefits of it. I will keep you updated on my results of taking it daily:)
xoxo
Ali
 
 
Information obtained from the Skinny & Co. website
 
Skinny Coconut Oil is 100% pesticide-free, all-natural, raw coconut oil that is cold pressed at room temperatures below 100˚F. Other “virgin coconut oils” are expeller- or centrifuge-processed at high temperatures, which diminishes the natural nutrients of the oil. Unlike these oils that take coconuts from plantations to rooms to sit, our coconuts are hand-picked and processed in the jungles of Ben Tre Vietnam to ensure the highest quality.
 
 
Health Benefits Of Skinny Coconut Oil

Metabolism

Skinny Coconut Oil MetabolismDue to its high concentration of MCFAs, Skinny speeds up metabolism. Because they are so easily digested, MCFAs are immediately converted to energy, helping maintain a healthy weight. When looking at cultures that eat a coconut-rich diet, we find they are lean and obesity is rare. Even using coconut oil instead of unsaturated oils, such as corn, soy, bean, and canola can help aid in weight loss.

Brain Clarity

Skinny Coconut Oil Brain ClarityCoconut oil provides an alternative fuel to glucose for the brain. This fuel, known as ketones, encourages the healthy execution of important cerebral tasks. Ketones are highly neuro-protective, which leads to improved memory, cognition and attention. Ketones may also help curb cognitive decline in old age.

Heart Health

Skinny Coconut Oil Heart HealthContaining greater than 50% lauric acid, Skinny promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. The healthy saturated fat content has shown to protect heart cells, improve the function of the thyroid and help normalize cholesterol levels.

Immune System

Skinny Coconut Oil Immune SystemSkinny is the earth’s richest source of a special fat called lauric acid. Also found in a mother’s milk, lauric acid helps form the immune system and protects the health of newborns. Replacing processed vegetable oils with MCFA-rich coconut oil promotes lifelong healthy immune function. This nutritious MCFA is found in infant formulas, tube feedings, and is commonly used by physicians to help patients obtain optimal health.

Blood Sugar

Skinny Coconut Oil Blood SugarMCFAs in Skinny help maintain healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. Processed quickly by the liver, Skinny provides natural, long lasting energy and is much more effective than sugars, grains, and carbohydrates.
 

 
Coconut oil has many uses. We've highlighted some of the most popular uses coconut oil below.
Mix in with coffee, tea, smoothies and pressed juices for a natural energy boost.
Eat straight off the spoon for long-lasting brain clarity Use as a heart healthy replacement for butter or margarine

Skinny Coconut Oil BlenderInclude in smoothies and pressed juices to boost metabolism and rehydrate cells
Coconut Oil LotionWorks as a great lotion; locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated and energizedActs as a calming balm; soothing itchiness, dryness and small cuts or scratches

Eliminates dead skin cells, reduces flaky skin and lessens the appearance of wrinkles, leading to a younger look
Skinny Coconut Oil Hair CareSpeeds growth and strengthens hair from the root, leading to a healthy head of hair
Creates more body, shine, and volume as a leave in conditioner.
Skinny Coconut Oil PullingOil Pulling- Every morning place 1 tbsp. of Skinny in your mouth and swish for 5-20 minutes. This will lead to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and a brighter smile!


 


Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivation - Remember Why You Started

No matter what when you start something new whether it is a new job, school, working out, or eating right...you can hit a wall! The wall of "I just can't do this anymore" or "This is too hard"! But I am promise you if you get past that "wall" and remind yourself why you started it will all be worth it.  Its like climbing a mountain....you don't get to see the view until you finish climbing up the mountain...and then you are rewarded for your labor with the incredible view. It is just like that with creating a new habit or breaking an old one...it takes time, commitment, dedication, perseverance, self-control, discipline, positivity, support, and patience. Most people want instant results but I can promise you that will never happen! If you want to lose weight you need to exercise and eat right LONGTERM. If you want to lower your blood pressure or just get healthier, you have to eat clean LONGTERM not just for week. Everything in life takes work if you want long lasting results. 
So today whether or not you are doing the 21 Day No Sweet Challenge or you have set other goals for yourself, write down 2 reasons why you started and put it on your fridge, in your car, or in your bathroom...or even tell a friend. The more you push through the hard times in the beginning the easier it will be to stay committed long term. And when it comes to exercise and eating right, in the beginning I hated working out, but eventually I grew to LOVE it! And eating clean just takes time, just start somewhere whether its cutting out dessert, soda, white bread, or something as simple as switching from Jiffy peanut butter to organic all natural peanut butter! If I can do it YOU CAN DO IT:)

Keep up the great work for all those participating in my first Get Healthy Challenge.
xoxo
Ali




Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodie - Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweets Potatoes
serving size: 6 servings at 5 ounces each







6 RAW sweet potatoes chopped into cubes

Seasoning for raw potatoes before cooked

Mix together:
Fresh Rosemary 6 sprigs leaves removed and chopped finely
A couple shakes of each Oregano, paprika, onion powder
6 garlic cloves minced
5 tbsp EVOO

Wisk together and toss cubed potatoes in this seasoning.

Spread potatoes on cooking sheets. And then sprinkle some sea salt and pepper on them

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Then flip potatoes. Bake for another 20 minutes.

While baking make the dressing

Dressing for cooked potatoes
Mix together:
ACV 4tbsp
Dijon 3tbsp
1 small shallot very fine
1 jalapeƱo with seeds
Basil handful minced
Evoo 1 1/2tbsp
Honey 4 tbsp

Whisk together and put in fridge

Once potatoes baked, put in a large bowl and put only 1/4 of dressing on potatoes and mix. Continue adding dressing until taste preference. I actually only use about half and I save the remainder dressing to use again.


You can also just skip the dressing all together and use the herb seasoning and roast and eat that way. They taste just as good...I have done that before too!


Enjoy cold or heated up!


xoxo
Ali




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Healthy Nut - 21 Day Get Healthy Challenge #1

So if you didn't figure out what the first challenge is from the fact I gave you on Monday...Well, here it is...

I specifically chose sweets for the #1 challenge because that is what is the most difficult for me to give up...and for the fact that sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine...CRAZY!!!

The average American consumes close to 22 teaspoons a day, about 152 pounds of sugar a year.  And our kids consume about 34 teaspoons every day — that’s more than two 20-ounce sodas. (www.dryhyman.com). The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day.  For men that it is 37.5 grams and women 25 grams per day.   This does not include natural forms of sugar like from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Top 4 reasons why you should cut Sweets aka sugar from your diet:
  1. High Blood Pressure - Too much sugar in your diet causes blood vessels to become narrow, which causes high blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiac disease.
  2. High Cholesterol - People who consume too much sugar are more likely to have lower levels of HDL, good cholesterol, higher levels of LDL, bad cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides,  blood fats. This clogs up arteries and blood vessels which eventually leads to heart disease.
  3. Liver Disease - A diet high in sugar is believed to contribute to fatty liver disease. Too much sugar spikes insulin and drives fat into the liver cells, which causes inflammation and scarring, eventually causing the liver to become cirrhotic.
  4. Insulin Resistance - When sugar enters the body, insulin opens the door to allow sugar into the cells. However, when there are continuous sugar spikes, insulin becomes less effective. Sugar  produces toxic effects that lead to obesity and the threat of diabetes (www.droz.com)
Short term side effects of too many sweets:
Moods swings
Acne, rashes
PMS
Restless sleep
Fatigue
Muscle fatigue and weakness
Suppressed immune system

Long term side effects of too many sweets:
Anemia
Depression, Anxiety
Cystic acne, eczema, psoriasis
Infertility
Insomnia
Adrenal fatigue or dysfunction
Neuropathy
Insulin resistance
Diabetes
Alzheimer's disease
Substance abuse
(The Sugar Detox Book)

There are a few ways you can trick your taste buds to eating something sweet! Try adding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla or allspice to your coffee, cereals and baked goods.
In addition, some of these natural alternative sweeteners may also do the trick.
  • Raw Honey - Unlike white table sugar, honey is a complex food. One teaspoon contains 25 other compounds including proteins, amino acids and trace minerals.
  • Stevia - A low-calorie sweetener that comes from a plant native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so a little goes a long way. (www.drhyman.com)
Bottom line, when you eat sweets it needs to be in moderation and balance is key. Enjoy your sweet treat with your weekly cheat meal as your reward or find alternative healthy sweets that are clean and not full of white processed sugar.

For those that want to go all in, cut out ALL sugar, but I figured sweets would be hard enough for most people and that would eliminate a big portion of sugar from ones diet. The 21 Day Sugar Detox book is amazing and explains in detail the negative effects sugar can have on your body! I would highly recommend reading it!
http://balancedbites.com/category/21-day-sugar-detox

I hope I can inspire a few other people to join me on this 21 day challenge!! Be on the look out over the next 21 days for alternative healthy sweet recipes, nutritional facts, motivation, and more! And make sure to join the facebook challenge group!

xoxo
Ali
    Below is a print out you can use to track and stay accountable with 
    BREAKING YOUR HABIT OF SWEETS
    Click the picture to print
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nopgash8gqhn0dt/break_a_habit%20-%20sweets.pdf?dl=0