Grab and Go Snack Station in Your Fridge {Vlog}

snacks on the go collage

 

Snacks can be a valuable part of your healthy eating program.  Going without food for more than three to four hours can result in making bad food choices and/or eating more calories than your body needs.

I put together a quick video showing you a sneak peak into my fridge and how I organize the second and third shelves into “Grab and Go Snack Stations”.

snacks apple walnuts

A few days a week, I try to make sure I have fresh fruit and veggies cut up and stored into containers and/or bags.

snacks hommus eggs

I love finding preportioned snacks, such as hummus and guacamole, makes my life easier when my schedule doesn’t allow me to make my own fresh batch.

snacks guac cup

This time of year, I’m so busy with extra stuff like holiday shopping, taking my boys to their after school activities, holiday parites, etc.

snacks chobani flip

I just feel like I have less time to be in the kitchen as often as I like. So having snacks on hand that are easy to assemble makes it easier for me to eat healthy.

snacks leftovers

I’ll even try to make extra food for dinner so I can have leftovers to last me for the next few days as meals on the go!

snacks juice plus isapro

Plus, having a snack station in my fridge helps my boys to make healthy snack choices as well! Even my five-year old son can assemble a snack!

Do you have a “grab and go” snack station at your house?

What are some of your favorite “grab and go” snacks? 

 

7 Strategies to Avoid Mindless Eating


7 strategies to avoid me

Whether you’re at your computer munching on a bag of pretzels or watching television chomping on a bag of potato chips, or a few bites of your kid’s leftover meals, mindless eating is one definite way to pack on the pounds. In addition, just mindlessly eating 100 calories a day, can lead to consuming an extra 700 calories at the end of the week.  Worse yet, keep eating an extra 100 mindless calories a day and you’ll be gaining up to 10 pounds in a year!To prevent mindless eating and unintentional weight gain, follow these mindless eating strategies:
  1. Write it down. Food journaling is a great tool to use because it helps you discover the emotions that lead you to over snack or to overeat at meals. If you note in your food diary that you did overeat, ask yourself why, without being judgmental. What events or emotions triggered your eating?
  2. Savor the silence. Our daily lives are full of distractions. Consider making mealtime (especially with families), an electronics-free zone this includes silencing the cell phone.  Focus on the taste of your food as well as taking the time to enjoy your family.This will allow you to check in with yourself so that you can stop when you’re satisfied.
  3. Know your trigger foods. Out of sight, out of mind. Make it a rule to keep your trigger foods out of your grocery cart and out of your house!
    Eat with your stomach, not with your eyes
  4. Slow Down. Take the time to enjoy the food you are eating. Try to slow down your eating my chewing your food about 15 to 20 chews or just enough number of chews to really savor the food in your mouth. Another technique is to eat with your non dominant hand because it requires more attention to coordination and placement. Set your fork down and take a 30 seconds to determine if you are still hungry or if you’ve had enough.
  5. Eat only when hungry. Eat only when hungry. Ask yourself if you are truly hungry before reaching for something. Try drinking a glass of water or some hot tea. If you are still hungry then eat, but try to eat until about 80% satisfied, not until you are stuffed. Aim to eat until your 80 percent full – any more will make you feel stuffed and any less will make you feel deprived.
  6. Smaller Plates. Portion sizes have increased in size over the years, just like our waistlines. To avoid this, check in
  7. Avoid the Stomach Growls. When you are ravenous, the more likely you are to overeat and consume more calories than your body needs and before your brain can register all the food you devoured. Try eating smaller frequent meals every 3 to 4 hours with a small snack in between meals if need. This way you are less likely to experience the powerful stomach growls.
Start out by practicing mindful eating by taking on one or two of these strategies and gradually add them into your eating plan. Mindful eating is a process of making peace with all foods, no foods are off limits – the focus becomes how you eat, not what you eat. You may find what you want to eat shifting dramatically for the better too. It can be practiced with chocolate or salad, cupcakes or oatmeal. You can practice mindful eating at home, at work, or even as you snack on the go. Chances are, you’ll not only gain a greater appreciation for your food, but you’ll find your habits changing in the process too. In no time, you will see, feel and taste the difference.
Resources:
Benefits of Mindfulness
Five Strategies for Mindful Eating and a Healthier, Slimmer, You
 https://www.healinglifestyles.com/index.php/mindful-eating

 

How To Cook Perfect Quinoa

quinoa collage

Every Sunday and/or Monday, I try to prep my meals to last for the next few days. This is a time saver for me as I can use quinoa as a side for just about any meal. I’ll add it to my egg omelet in the morning for some good carbs after my weight training or I’ll add it to my salad for lunch for filling fiber. Today, I’ll be sharing with you how to make the perfect fluffly quinoa. It’s super easy and the best part, it’s super good for you too.

quinoa box

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) comes from South America. Thousands of years ago this super grain was an important grain during the Inca civilization. The Inca’s referred quinoa as the “Mother Grain” because of it’s health benefits.

Five interesting facts about quinoa:
1. Quinoa is a high quality protein. Is one of the only grains that stands alone as a complete protein grain. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Most grains are not considered “total protein” sources because they lack adequate amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa has a significant amount of both lysine and isoleucine making it a great choice for vegetarians who may have trouble getting in all their amino acids.

2. High in vitamins and nutrients. Quinoa is rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and potassium. Quinoa is one of the richest sources of potassium, which helps to control blood pressure.

3. Gluten free grain. Contains no gluten so it’s perfect for those that follow a gluten free/wheat free diet. Plus, quinoa is so versatile in many recipes. (see below some of my favorite quinoa recipes).

4. Great source of iron. One serving of quinoa contains 12% Daily Value of iron.

5. Source of heart healthy fats and fiber. One serving of cooked quinoa contains 3 grams of dietary fiber and 2.5 grams of fat. Perfect for keeping you full and satisfied.

Most conventional grocery stores carry it, you’ll find it down the rice aisle. You can for sure find it at any health food store. At one point Costco use to sell a big bag of quinoa, recently I haven’t seen it on the shelves. They come in a variety of colors, such as ivory (white), red and black.

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
2 cups liquid, such as water, broth or coconut water
1 Tbsp of Olive oil (optional) or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Kitchen tools:
Fine mesh strainer
2-quart saucepan with lid
Spoon

Method:

quinoa 1 cup

1. Measure quinoa and liquid. Measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid.

quinoa rinse

2. Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, and rinse for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain.

Why rinse quinoa? Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although the boxed quinoa I purchased says pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.

quinoa sauce pan

3. Add rinsed quinoa and liquid in saucepan, bring to a boil. Add quinoa, stir in the liquid and the salt (if using) and bring to a rolling boil.

quionoa lid

The 25 Days ’til Christmas Pyramid Workout

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It’s officially here! Christmas is just 25 days away! Yikes!

To kick of the season, I put together a fun workout that I like to call “The Countdown to Christmas” or “25 Day’s ’til Christmas” pyramid workout!

I designed this workout using the following equipment,  you can easily do this workout using what you have at home!

at home gym

 

This workout is for someone with a good fitness base, more for intermediate to advance. though you can always make modifications to make the workout easier or harder I did this workout under 35 minutes using the following equipment in my home gym.:

  • The Equalizer. If you don’t own the Equalizer, use a sturdy chair in it’s place.
  • Ultimate Sandbag, my bag weighs about 20 pounds. If you don’t own the ultimate sandbag, use dumbells instead!
  • Valslide, If you don’t own a pair of Valslides, use paper plates for the exercises on a carpeted area or use hand towels on wooden floors!

Do this workout with little to no rest between sets. Take your time using perfect form so you can get the most out of the workout. For some of the exercises, I linked a video to give you an idea of what the movement looks like. I meant to video tape myself doing this workout but I had my son home sick from school.

The workout went like this:

Here is a playlist I put together that goes with this workout!

Barre Workout for Glutes { Perfect for Those With A Foot Injury}


A few week’s ago I injured my ankle while I was running on the treadmill. I have no idea how it happened but I’m thankful it’s not serious. I am bummed that I cannot run since I’ve worked my way up to 6 miles (I haven’t ran that in over 5 years!). In the meantime, I’m trying to keep off of it but finding creative ways to still workout while recovering. I’m hoping this workout will help someone else that has a foot injury like me.

This workout takes about 10 minutes.  Today’s workout will lift and tone your derriere. you will work the glutes from two angles to create nice, tight, shapely assests! LOL :) Best of all, you don’t need an expensive membership to a barre studio or any equipment to work to this exercise (though I am demonstrating on a bosu ball but not necessary). Are you ready to get started? Press Play to follow along! 

Exercise #1: Kneeling seat work facing profile – side seat
Set up: Bring your folded blanket, think mat or bosu ball a few inches from wall. Have your left knee on the bosu ball and your right knee off the mat. Your left arm reaches long so you can grip onto the ballet barre;  your right hand reaches across your upper body to grab ballet barre – this will help keep your shoulders square and to remind your to keep your chest up, chin up and posture up right.
Pull your abs in, tuck your hips under slightly to engage your glutes, take your right leg with 3/4th bent knee to a turn out position (compare to a clock, right knee is facing 4 o’clock).
Muscles worked: gluteus medius
The movement:
  • leg is 3/4th bent at knee: lower and lift your 3/4 bent leg,  one inch up and one inch down. Do 10x’s 3 reps
  • Bend and a big stretch: small movement at the knee with a bend and a straighten. Really squeeze every muscles from your glutes to your thighs to your toes. Do 8x’s 3 reps
  •  Straight leg with small circles: keep your leg straight, toe pointed and draw small circles with your toe the size of a quater. Do 10x’s, 1 rep. Repeat circles in opposite directions; 10x’s, 1 rep.
  • Straight leg lifts: lower and lift your straight leg, one inch up and one inch down range of motion. Goal is to not have your foot touch the ground. Do 10’s, 3 reps.
Exercise #2 Kneeling seat work facing profile – working the back side
Set up: Bring a thick mat or bosu ball a few inches from the wall where ballet barre is located (you can do this next to kitchen counter or back of sofa). Kneeling down, have your left leg on the mat/bosu ball and your right knee off. Extend your left arm long along the ballet barre and grip onto the barre; with your right hand grab your right foot, tuck your hips under to engage your glutes. Release your right arm to reach across your chest to grab ballet barre; pull your abs in and begin the exercise. 
Muscles worked: gluteus maximus and hamstrings
The movement: 
  • Press back with flexed foot:   with your leg bent at 90 degree angle at the knee, press your foot back an inch, hold for one second while squeezing your glutes, and release. Optional: add a 3 lb. dumbell for extra resistance. Do 8 x’3 reps.
  •  Curls: your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle, keep your hips tucked under and abs tight, curl your foot towards your glutes and release. the movement should be small and percise. Optional add a 3 lb. dumbell for extra resistance. Do 8 x’s, 3 reps.
  • 1 press back, 1 curl combo: With your knee bent at 90 degree angle, perform 1 press back/ 1 curl = 1 rep. Optional: add a 3lb dumbell for extra resistance. Do 8 x’s, 3 reps.

Have fun and play around with the movent. Be creative! If you do these correctly you will feel the burn!

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