Monday, October 20, 2014

Death by Chocolate Chip Smoothie

I may get my coffee at Starbucks but I get my smoothies at home.  


1 serving chocolate whey protein powder (I use USANA's Nutrimeal)
1 TBSP raw cocoa powder
2 TBSP PB2 
16 dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa)
Handful of ice
10 oz water

Throw it all in a blender and there you have it!  Clocks in at around 375 calories.

I had a workshop last night from 6:30-7:30, where I knew we'd have veggies but not a meal or protein.  

This satisfied me without making me full and uncomfortable and kept me from pigging out when I got home at 8:00!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Got ahead, order that cup o' joe!


As I sit here glaring into my coffee cup - thinking it's been too long since I've blogged but trying to determine what I'd like to share today - it hit me.  Coffee and how to keep it as a part of your daily healthy lifestyle.

 



1. Drink a big glass of water first thing.
It's simple fact that our body is made up of mostly water - 60% of it as a matter of fact. A hydrated body is a happy, efficient body. You might think that cup of coffee is what gets your juices flowing in the morning, but you will be much better served by starting your day with water. This can be a cool glass from the refrigerator or a nice warm mug of water with lemon (or maybe even a little Apple Cider Vinegar).

2. Opt for full-fat creamer or milk..
Non-dairy & flavored creamers are a big no-no if you're looking for healthy coffee options. Besides containing uber processed ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides and sodium caseinate) most brands also contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is very high in trans fat.

3. Use stevia to sweeten.
Everywhere I turn, people are opening packets of sugar or other artificial sweeteners and dumping them in their coffee cups. Sugar, which has a high amount of fructose, leads to diseases like obesity and diabetes. While no controlled studies have been completed, it has been observed that those using Artificial Sweeteners had the same increased risk as those using sugar. Avoid both - turn to Stevia, a healthy, natural sweetener which also has 0 calories.

4. Add cinnamon or cocoa powder.
Both add flavor and have surprising health benefits. Cinnamon has been linked to lowering blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics. Cocoa powder (raw, unsweetened) is full of antioxidants and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

5. Refrain from your 2:00 coffee break.   
I know a lot of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the afternoon or after a meal. Cutting this habit (and kicking all caffeine after 2:00) will help you sleep better at night and keep you from having the crash that follows the high that often accompanies an influx in caffeine. Instead of reaching for the coffee pot during an afternoon slump, take a walk around the building or the neighborhood.

 
Me? I enjoy my coffee black. No added flavors, no cream, no sweetener. I started drinking coffee because I loved the smell, and then the taste, of it. 

If you are adding all those extras to mask the taste, though, maybe it’s time to switch to a new morning brew.   Some of my best at-home coffee cost $7 a pound – some of the worst has cost $20.  Like anything else, you have to shop around to find what you like. 

And if all that taste testing still leaves you eager to cover up the taste, you might just want to look into finding a new morning beverage.  Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning

For years people have been touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I first starting using it one winter when I had the flu - and I was immediately hooked when I realized it did much more than open my nasal passages and ease my headaches.

Here are a few reasons to add raw, unfiltered ACV to your grocery list (I like Bragg's).



Detoxification: ACV is rich in natural minerals, enzymes and vitamins, making it a great detoxifier. The acid binds to toxins and help the body elimate them more effectively, which also improves immune response. ACV also improves circulation, breaks up mucus in the body and cleanses the lymph nodes.

Promotes weight loss: ...when accompanied by a healthy diet. What it's really doing is helping balance blood sugar for longer periods of time, helping to control appetite and cravings caused by blood sugar crashes.

Helps with digestion: Probably the biggest claim to fame! IT can help with indigestion adn gastrointestinal discomfort and I have one friend who swears up and down that her acid reflux is completely cured since she started the practice of a glass to start her day! I

Helps ward of sickness: As mentioned above, ACV rids the body of mucas, making it my go-to when I have a sinus infection approaching. But the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes make this an item that can ward of common illnesses. In addition, ACV has antimicrobial and anitceptic properties.

Bonus:
When applied topically it can help alleviate skin problems & makes your locks soft and shiny:

When used as an astringent for acne prone skin, ACV has been said to help clear up and balance skin.

Diluting 1/3 cup ACV with 4 cups water and pouring over your hair after shampooing will remove buildup of styling products & conditioners, as well as balance pH levels, kill bacteria and cure dandruff. NOTE: due to the acidic properties of vinegar, daily use of the rise is not recommended.

Add Bragg's ACV to your shopping list and start your day tomorrow with a nice cup of warm water and 1-3 TBSP of ACV. After 7 days, let me know the results you see! I guarantee you'll be hooked.

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