Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Keep Your "Get Fit" Resolution Past January

So, we have all made our New Year's resolutions to get fit, hit the gym, lose weight, and get toned - but how do we do that?

You, like many, may have started strong out of the gate only to give up after the first few weeks into January. FEAR NO MORE MY FRIENDS! Here are some tips for success from day one to day 365 of 2015!

Start with the right attitude! How you envision or "see" yourself at the beginning of your workout regimen will ultimately define where you end up.  For example:  Jan 1, 2015 you awaken full of restrictive, self-critical thoughts. How are you suppose to take action in that mindset to make yourself feel happy, healthy, strong, and confident?  Answer: You don't.  Wake up each morning realizing this day is a gift. Be thankful that you can workout, push yourself to workout, and know that each tiny workout and each little step simply brings you one inch closer to where you want to end up.  Before you know it, you will see the progress you've made and will continue to take notice.

Focus on the tiny victories. Wake up and feel excited to try something new! Did you wake up today and feel excited to workout? Do you sleep better when you don't have a heavy dinner?  Do you have more energy when you workout in the morning?  Are you able to spend quality time with a friend or significant other by going on a hike twice a week?  Cultivate those healthy habits and happier thoughts and feel empowered by them.  Be excited by each little victory and before you know it you will have made a giant leap!  Enjoy the journey and don't burn yourself out with unrealistic expectations the first few weeks. If you notice yourself getting tired of the same ole same ole, join a fitness class or buy a cheap fitness DVD, it can keep you motivated and will help you work different muscles.  After all, the journey is long and in the end it's only with yourself.

Do not get discouraged. The ugly truth of the matter is, your progress will slow down after the initial few weeks.  On average, it takes three months of consistent healthy habitual practices to re-calibrate to a stable version of a "leaner stronger" you.  If you are starting a new program, you may notice change within the first three weeks (naturally our bodies want to drop weight and build muscle) and then a couple of months where the progress seems to slow down- the time many of us start to get discouraged- DO NOT STOP at this point!  This is a vital component of any weight loss/weight maintenance program.  During this time, we are changing on the hormonal level and our bodies are shifting metabolically.  Stop and focus on all the things that are happening positively with your body- increased energy, power, self-confidence, knowing you are taking care of your one and only body, how much you have grown from the previous you, and how you are trying new recipes or activities that you've never done before!  Just keep reminding yourself "It's worth it and YOU are worth it!"

It's all a balancing act. Diet does not equal restriction.  According to Webster, the first definition of diet is " the kinds of food that a person or community habitually eats" i.e. common foods that get in your belly! I want you to take notice of the kinds of habits you are making.  Are they good? Bad? Can you change them?  Are they want you want them to be?  Habits are 100% in your control and can always be made or broken.  Do you eat for enjoyment and because you want to fuel your body or are you eating because your lonely, bored, emotional, etc? I challenge you to rediscover a yummy, healthy recipe you haven't tried in years.  Enjoy a crisp and fresh carrot and make a date with your friend to cook a healthy meal at home.  Stop, and really taste that homemade brownie.  Most importantly, MOVE your body. Keep yourself in MOTION. Remember that your body is a unique gift that cannot be exchanged, replaced, or refunded.  There's only one per customer so enjoy!

Breakfast Burrito

Servings: 4
Fat: 3 g
Sodium: 230 mg

4 whole-wheat tortillas
4 large eggs
1 tsp water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup grated low-fat cheese
1 avocado sliced 1/4 cup salsa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat tortillas in oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Whisk together eggs and water in a medium bowl.  Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add egg mixture and cook, stirring to scramble, until just cooked through. Remove from heat.
4. Put a tortilla on one sheet of foil.  Spoon 1/4 of egg, cheese, avocado, and salsa, leaving room to fold over bottom and sides.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Brunch Parfaits

Servings: 4
Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 140 mg

1/3 cup apricot preserves
3 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat granola
2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted

1. Place apricot preserves in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 10-15 seconds or until preserves melt.
2. Add strawberries and toss gently to coat.
3. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into 4 parfait glasses, top each serving with 1/3 cup strawberry mixture.  Repeat the layers with the remaining yogurt and strawberry mixture.
4. Top each serving with 2 Tbsp granola and 1 1/2 tsp almonds.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gluten Free, Low Carb Pancakes

Servings: 2
Calories: 80
Fat: 1g
Sodium: 39 mg

1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup low-fat milk
cooking spray

Place egg whites into mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer until whites are mostly firm.  Combine almond meal and baking powder in a bowl.  Whisk together vanilla, egg yolks, and milk in a small bowl until blended well.  In a large bowl, combine egg yolk and almond meal mixture.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and grease well with cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup batter in a pan and cook until underside is lightly browned.  Flip pancake and cook until second side is lightly browned.

Healthier Bagel Recipe

One of my favorite aspects about traveling is eating a complimentary bagel breakfast at a hotel.  I know it sounds trivial and silly but I LOVE bagels (and to keep myself from overindulging in them, I only eat them when on the road.... or at least try to) ;]  If you are like me and love your carbs in the morning (bagels specifically) then you will want to try out this healthier bagel recipe!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Servings: 1
Fat:2 g
Sodium: 50 mg

1 bagel thin (Arnold's works well)
1 laughing cow smooth sensation cream cheese spread (cinnamon cream)
fruit of choice, sliced
Optional: 1 tbsp of granola

Split bagel in half.  Spread half the cream cheese spread on each half of the bagel.  Add fruit and additional toppings.

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

This recipe is microwave safe!  I know I am always hesitate whenever it comes to cooking eggs in the microwave, if you are like me, do not fear!  Cooking eggs in the microwave are safe to heat. If you desire, you can use a fat-free egg substitute (liquid egg) or you can cook your egg in an 8 oz ramekin if you prefer.

Servings: 1 sandwich
Calorie: 300
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 200 mg

whole wheat English muffin
slice of cheese
slice of ham
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

Slice English muffin in half (toast if desired). Place on half of the muffin on a microwavable safe plate and gently crack the egg open on it.  Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over egg; to taste.  Add cheese and ham on egg; replace top muffin.  Microwave an additional 10-20 seconds or until cheese melts.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Breakfast Quinoa Pudding

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 235 kcals
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 130 mg

1 1/2 cup quinoa
2 cup fat-free milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup ground flaxseed

In a medium pot, add quinoa and cover with water; bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes, then drain and run cold water over quinoa. Return cooked quinoa to pot and add milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; bring to a boil stirring consistently.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs; then slowly add to milk mixture while whisking continuously. Immediately stir in raisins and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes; stirring every 5 minutes; serve!

Breakfast in a Cup

Servings: 2 mugs
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Calories: 325 kcals
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 400 mg

1 cup shredded sweet potato
1/8 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp canola oil

Scrambled Eggs:
4 large eggs
2 tsp. diced green peppers
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread shredded potatoes on baking sheet in an even layer.  Sprinkle with salt, some pepper, and pour over oil.  Bake until golden brown and crispy, turning frequently, 10 minutes.  Spoon the potatoes into two mugs and top with scrambled eggs; sprinkle with cheese.

Apple Banana "Baked" Oatmeal

Flaxseeds are high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids that have heart healthy effects.  They are also high in fiber that makes you feel full longer.  They are believed to have protective effects against cancer (breast, prostate, and colon).

Servings: 1 mug
Time: 4 minutes
Calories: 300 kcals
Fat: 4 g
Sodium: 193 mg

1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 banana, mashed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 apple, chopped
2 tsp honey

Add oats, flaxseed, egg, and milk in a mug. Stir well with a fork, Add banana, cinnamon, apple, and honey.  Stir again until completely combined.  Cook in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Stir in a little extra milk or yogurt if desired.