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What to Eat in the Heat

17 Jul

Eat Smart in the Summer

It’s hot. Really hot. And cooking just seems unbearable, even in the air conditioning. You don’t really want to eat something hot either, just the thought gives you heat stroke. So what do you do? Stay inside all day and not eat? NO. You eat smart. Eat cold things that lower your body temperature, and eat things mainly comprised of water. Most fruit is 80% water, and very filling. So here are some ideas for you to cool off with:

1. Frozen Fruit 

Take your favorite fruit and toss it in the freezer for an hour or two. The sugars actually crystalize and taste sweeter too. It’s like a popsicle! But healthy.

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2. Bananas

The heat depletes us of essential electrolytes and potassium. Eating a banana is a great idea if you plan to take your workout outside {Or do CrossFit @CrossFit Lake Effect 🙂 }

chopped-banana

Photo Credit HERE

3. Almonds

Almonds are always wonderful, but they have the healthy fats and protein your body needs. When cooking meat is out of the question, reach for some raw, heart healthy nuts.

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Photo Credit HERE

4. Whey Protein Smoothies

Probably a favorite of many. Protein shakes are easy and nutritious. They quickly absorb into your system, and are very refreshing. You can mix it up by sneaking spinach in, or adding fruits.

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5. Greek Yogurt Parfait

I love dessert, but I don’t like the heavy feeling that comes with it. Instead of eating ice cream this summer, my new favorite treat is a greek yogurt parfait. I use 1/2 cup plain 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, 1 Scoop french vanilla {or chocolate} whey protein, 2tbs PB2, and a frozen fruit of my choice. If I just came back from a workout and eat this is lieu of dinner, I’ll add a handful of walnuts too.

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Table Scraps: How to take care of your Dogs in the Summer

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My dogs are use to running 3- 4 miles at least 3 times a week, but when temps reach the 90’s, they don’t get a whole lot of exercise. Here are some helpful ideas for taking care of fido in this heat.

1. Use the opportunity to give them a cold bath

2. Put ice cubes in their water bowls {This will turn into “bob for the ice cube”}

3. Get them a new toy. I bought both my dogs kong treat balls and I fill it with peanut butter. This keeps them preoccupied and running around the house for hours. They also play keep away with each other – helps keep them entertained.

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4. Play fetch inside. My floors are ruined already, so I have nothing to lose. I try to give my dogs a little bit of a cardio workout throwing their balls down the stairs.

Your turn:

What do you eat to beat the heat?

Do your animals {kids} keep active, even in the heat and humidity?

Snack Attack!

7 Jul

Eating Smart

clean snacks

1. Eggs: The incredible, edible, eggs. They are my go to. They have saved me numerous times from the ravenous 3:00pm wall. {Have you experienced that? when you need food NOW and will raid the pantry and eat everything and anything?!}

2. Frozen Fruit: I like frozen grapes and watermelon the best. I have a bad habit of chewing ice, so this helps me overcome that too. I buy fresh, organic fruit, wash it, and toss it in a bowl, throw it in the freezer {without a lid…it takes FOREVER to freeze if you put a lid or seal over it} I’ve even convinced my nieces {ages 4 & 5} that it’s an ice cream treat. Healthy habits start young!

3. Fresh Fruit: Grapefruit is widely known for its effect on metabolism, but it is also high in antioxidants. Read HERE about why you should eat more grapefruit. Other fruits I can’t get enough of lately are strawberries and fresh picked blueberries!

4. Greek Yogurt: Need more protein? Ditch your regular yogurt and switch to low fat Greek Yogurt. With about 20g protein a serving, and calcium for strong bones, you can’t go wrong. I like to put some PB2 and fresh fruit into mine. Again, it’s a pseudo ice cream treat…add a scoop of whey protein for a healthy on the go breakfast!

5. Protein Bites: I’m a huge fan of Quest bars. but they get pricy at about $3/bar. I use to eat one or two a day, but now I save them as treats. I make my own power bites that are vegan and gluten free. You can find the recipe HERE.

6. Protein Shakes: Quick and easy, good after a hard workout, I love protein shakes. Especially in the summer. They are so versatile, you can add nutrients in based on your own needs. I like to use 1 scoop whey protein, 1 handful spinach {I’m popeye for sure!}, 2 tbs PB2 {powdered Peanut Butter}, 1 tbs Stevia, 1 cup ice, and 8 oz water. Again, pseudo ice cream!

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7. Turkey Jerky and Avocado Slices: Yum! Just make sure that your turkey jerky is sulfate and preservative free. This snack is full of protein, omegas, and healthy fats. This is a great snack for that 3pm wall, or pre-workout {just don’t over due it…especially if you’re on your way to CrossFit! whoo..burpees might take on a new meaning…}

8. Carrots and Almonds: One of my favorite combinations. I buy the 100 cal pack natural almonds because I have a tendency to eat the whole bag if I don’t…and often times I will eat the whole bag of baby carrots. During the school year this was a go to for me, since I never really get to sit down and eat, I can just walk around on playground duty with my bag of carrots. My palms actually turned orange, and the kids call me  ‘Mrs. Rabbit’, but that’s fine by me! Much better than eating a bag of chips! It’s also good when you’re craving something crunchy. Also, it’s a superfood, full of health benefits {Maybe this is why I have 20/20 vision!}.

9. Cottage Cheese and Sliced Tomatoes: I have to give credit to Kristin Johnson for this one. I kinda forgot about cottage cheese, but this is a great side for lunch or snack on its own. I sprinkle it with pepper and sea salt.

10: Protein Pudding: This is credited to my friend Kyle Dorsch (Thanks Kyle!) You need chia seeds, whey isolate powder, and almond meal.

PROTEIN PUDDING- {from Kyle}
Ingredients:
Protein of your choice (I use either ON 100% Whey or Promasil by Rival-us). The flavor is up to you but I’m partial to my vanilla.
Almond Meal (Flour)
Chia Seeds
Steps:
1. Mix approximately 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of chia seeds with double the amount of water. (1/4:1/2 – 1/2:1). Let them soak for about 10 to 15 min or until the chia seeds form a nice “gel” like coating (you may need to stir them to get the floating seeds to soak).
2. Determine your desired amount of protein you want to intake (I use 2 scoops which equals around 53g) of your preferred protein and mix it into the chia seed mixture.
3. Mix an equal amount of almond meal into the chia seed/protein mix (1:1 ratio for protein and almond meal)
4. Stir and enjoy
A few side notes:
– Feel free to soak your seeds over night, so if you workout in the morning they are ready when you get home.
– If you feel the pudding is to “clumpy” or “thick” just add some water and/or seeds until you are happy with the consistency.

Food is Intimate

Our relationship with food is a reflection of our spiritual life. When we are out-of-wack, we tend to “medicate” with food. Think about what you do when you’re happy…do you celebrate with food? When you’re sad..comfort food? what about when you’re lonely or bored? Food is a powerful drug. Unfortunately, if food is your weakness, it’s not as if you can abstain from it like a drug addict or an alcoholic. But chemical and spiritual warfare are at hand if you’re struggling with food.

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Here’s a book that I read that really helped me to understand the link between my diet and spiritual life. Just know that if this is you…You’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with their diet and health. I am not a doctor, but this is why I’m here .I struggled and I have found what works for me, I now live passionately and vibrantly. I want you to too! “Life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”

I BLOG         strength through hardship

The ‘Power’ of Food

3 Jul

Good Eats

food-as-medicine

Photo Credit HERE

The more I eat REAL food, the better I feel. I know I’m not alone on this one. On my journey to strong, I have come to banish counting calories, scales, and the obsession with dress sizes. When your intention changes from being “skinny” to being STRONG, you appreciate food more, and your body. I have a new respect for food. Everything I consume, I think of what it’s doing for my body, after all “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  Hippocrates.  I think we can get so wrapped up in counting calories and the whole ‘calorie-in-calorie-out’ mentality that we forget how God intended food to be used…to sustain us and give us strength.

I have been a calorie counter for years. But now I focus on portion control and quality of food over quantity. It’s so refreshing to look forward to eating fresh avocado, or using organic coconut oil and not have to worry about if I’m over my calorie limit for the day! Understanding the benefits of healthy fats and how they work in your body is very important. That being said, I’m on a quest to make the healthiest protein bar possible. I’m always on the go, so I need something that is going to give me energy without a sugar or caffeine crash. I also need protein to keep up with my workout regime and active lifestyle.

Raspberry Chocolate Power Bites {No Bake}

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Ingredients: Serves a Bakers Dozen…{I ate a few in the process…too good to wait!}

1/4 Cup Fresh Raspberries

1/2 Cup Halved Walnuts- mashed

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour {great source of plant fiber}

1/4 Cup Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter {I use Just Good Stuff Organic Powder}

1 tbs Coconut Oil 2013-07-02 20.07.47 {Coconut Oil is my new fav. Read more about the benefits of Coconut oil HERE}

Coating Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Flaxmeal

1/4 Cup Organic Stevia

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together except for the coating.

If you have a food processor, this would be much easier. But since I am an unpampered chief…I used my Oster on the go blender. {See..cooking doesn’t have to be fancy schmancy. Mix it means mix it…doesn’t matter how it’s done.}

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Next, I put it into a bowl, spooned it out, rolled it into a ball, and then I dipped it into a bowl of stevia, and then rolled it into a bowl of flaxmeal to give it that “faux-powedered sugar” appeal.

Put it in the fridge to harden for up to 2-3 hours.

Results: YUM

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Bites {No Bake}

Ingredients: makes about 2 dozen

4 Cups Chocolate Whey Protein

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {Organic, Just Good Stuff}

1/3 Cup Sliced Organic, Raw Almonds

1 tbs Coconut Oil

Coating: 1/3 Cup Flaxmeal 1/4 {ish} Cup Organic Stevia

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients except for the coating.

Coating: in two separate bowls, one with flaxmeal, and one with stevia, roll the balls.

Place in fridge to let harden for 2-3 hours.

RESULTS: Ah-Ma-Zing!

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{This has BOTH the chocolate and the raspberry, you can see the raspberry has a “raspberry” color.}

Power Pet Treats {bites would sound bad here…don’t ya think!}

Our four legged friends often get the short end of the stick when it comes to nutrition. But if you have a dog like mine, you realize that dogs are just as sensitive to all this processed food as we are. Again, God intended them to eat food that HE created. So I decided to show them some Paleo love too!

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Ingredients:

2 Sweet Potatoes

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter {I used USDA organic peanut butter…ingredients: peanuts and sea salt, and organic cane sugar}

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1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

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1 Egg

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Steam, peel, and then mash the sweet potatoes.

Mix all your ingredients together. Scoop out desired bite sizes and bake for 10 minutes {or until golden brown}.

RESULT: Happy Dogs. I ate them too actually… They are really good. I think if you added some stevia or salt…either way, it would make a good “people treat” too. I actually had to put them away because I kept “tasting” them.

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Happy Pups

My Steps to Strong

30 Jun

Step 1: Keep the Faith

The one thing that has always been consistent in my life is my faith. I know with all my heart that it is God who has gone before me, and led me into circumstances that have made me who I am today…and the person I hope to become.I love this quote

“God loves me just the way I am, But He also loves me too much to leave me that way.”

Each day that I am given is a gift. Jesus said that the greatest gifts on this earth is to… “abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13  God is love. I want to reflect that to everyone…even the people I DON’T always get along with….Jesus was loving to those who slandered Him, spit on Him, and eventually Crucified Him. My patience pales in comparison. Jesus is strong. And if God is for me, who can be against me? Also, Jesus wasn’t just mentally and spiritually strong, He was also physically strong. He was a carpenter, He engaged in manual labor most of His life. For decades people have shaped the image of Christ into what they want Him to be, but Jesus does not fit into a box. Read HERE for a great article on the true image of Christ.

 

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Step 2: Strengthen Your Relationships

You will fall in life. But who is there for you when you do? Are you there for them? Refocusing on who is a priority in your life is important. Some people may just be unhealthy to be around, and that’s O.K. You can love them from a far {or tolerate them from afar} but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone. Look around you, who do you love? Don’t let a day slip by without letting them know. and also…If you want a good friend, you have to be one first. Sometimes that’s hard to recognize when we get caught up in the busyness of life.

friendship

Step 3: Find What Moves You…Literally

For me, I LOVE CrossFit. It’s such an amazing sport. You challenge yourself daily.

stronger

I love setting goals. My CrossFit goals are:

1. Figure out Double Unders

2. Kipling Pullups

3. Muscle ups

4. Work on Olympic Lifting

5. Focus on Form.

One thing I’ve really noticed about CrossFit, is that you shouldn’t try to figure it out on your own.

Crossfit is not dangerous

One of the first steps to joining a CrossFit gym is taking a Fundamentals Course. You need it. Don’t skimp. CrossFit is NOT throwing weights around. It’s physics, it’s form, it’s challenging. I personally know I won’t challenge myself like this on my own.

It’s quality coaching and the atmosphere of other CrossFitters who make CrossFit amazing.

crossfit pic

Step 4: Nutrition

If you feed your body with junk, it will perform like junk.

Eat Real Food. Eat Protein, Veggies, and Fruit. Avoid processed foods.

Nutrition Goal: Embrace my inner chief.

I love quest bars, but I wanted to see if I could make my own Protein Bites. Here are my results:

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Paleo Baked Protein Bites

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Paleo No-Bake Protein Bites

Baked Paleo Protein Bites

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Dry Ingredients:

3 Scoops Iso Define Chocolate Protein Powder {any whey protein powder will work}

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {PB2}

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds

1/4 Cup Raw Shredded Almonds

4 packets of Organic Stevia

Wet Ingredients:

2 Eggs

2 Mashed Bananas

2tbs Organic Honey

Instructions: Mix all together in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 18-20 minutes.

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Result: 2013-06-30 13.36.57 Yum! Tastes amazing fresh out of the oven, or after refrigerating.

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{Nutrition facts added up by me and entered HERE }

NO-BAKE Protein Bites {Paleo}

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Steal Cut Oats

1/2 C PB2 {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/2 C Chocolate Powdered Peanut butter {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/4 C coconut flour

1/4 C Sliced raw almonds

1 tbs Honey

8 packs Stevia

4 Scoops of Whey Protein {chocolate}

Directions: Mix it all together. {I use a spoon. yea, I know, so cultured in the arts of culinary…} Roll into balls. Put in fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

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{Nutrition Facts to come. }

So here are my “baby steps” to fitness. What about you? Do you keep track of your goals?

What are your top fitness goals?

Shop the Perimeter

23 Jun

Getting Restocked.

If you don’t make a plan, you plan to fail {I am so turning into my mother…}

Last week I practically survived on baby carrots, Spinach Protein shakes, grapefruit, and quest bars.

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Although, it’s healthier than other “on the go” food choices, I really missed cooking in the kitchen. So it was time to get stocked up.

Grocery List

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I love to grocery shop. I consider it prosaic..I love reading food labels, and seeing what’s in season, or if there are any new products out. I spend more money on food than anything else. I buy my clothes at Goodwill, and my food at top quality. It’s worth the trade off. I’m sure you’ve heard of this, but I usually focus on shopping the perimeter of the store when looking for healthy choices. I could never understand why people buy “flavored” items…when you could just eat the real thing (ex: strawberry fruit snacks….Just eat Strawberries people!)

I had to go to a couple stores today to find my beloved Ezekiel Bread…But it’s the only bread I’ll eat. It’s made from sprouts and seeds.

2013-06-23 12.40.04 AND it’s the only “bread” that won’t upset my IBS.

I think you should always try something new too, so tonight I’m going to make “Chicken Sausage”

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I will eat it sans bread of course, But Ryan will eat em’ just like they are hot dogs.

Then I got into the great protein debate…..I LOVE GNC, and I’ve been using their protein powder for a long time. But it does get pricey.

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The ISO-DEFINE tastes amazing, is 150 cal, 4.5g fat, 2g sugar, 9g carbs and 20g protein. It’s also $50 and have 20 serving sizes. Making it $2.50/ shake.

The Designer Whey has 100 cal, 2g fat, 2g sugar, 6g carbs, and 18g protein. It was $21 and 28 servings….making it .75 cents per protein shake….

and the winner was….

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What Protein Powder do you use? I use it everyday, so it really matters to me that I’m putting the best into my body. But at the same time…money matters too. I am joining Lake Effect Crossfit soon, so I need to watch my pennies! With every decision we make, saying YES to one thing, means saying NO to another. So I’am going to be a “frugal foodie” from now on. My main mantra is that you need to eat food. Real food. In the form that GOD made it. So, lets just pray that fruits and veggies remain affordable!

Because this is my attempt to grow my own food:

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Let’s just say that if I had to grow my own food…I’d be dead by now! I seriously eat at least a 1lb bag of veggies/ day….three jalapeños and a few green tomatoes would not even last me past breakfast! God Bless Farmers!!!

I also heard the other day, “Fruit is God’s desert”. I LOVE FRUIT. I do eat it like desert, because it is full of carbs and sugar. I know a lot of people like to go “bananas” with fruit, and claim that it’s a “free food”, but I actually gained MORE weight juicing fruits and eating them in large quantities. So like anything, balance is key. My new favorite is putting grapes in the freezer! They’re like popsicle bites! So good!

I also LOVE 80 cal vanilla greek yogurt with PB2 and fresh fruit. {it’s a taste of heaven on earth!}

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And I will leave you with this little tid-bit for inspiration. I had a friend once tell me that “eating it the most intimate thing we do.” This is so true {think about it for a sec…it effects every cell in our bodies, and it can control how we feel} This being said, you can’t have a good workout without proper fuel. Eat to live. Not Live to eat. Food is power, use it wisely!

health

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