Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taco Soup

I got this delicious Taco Soup recipe from my good friend, Jeni. I've altered it slightly to make it vegetarian. I love making soup because it's so quick, easy & comforting. This one is very hearty & full of fiber & protein. It can either be made on the stove top which will need to simmer for about 30 minutes or it can cook in the crock pot all day while your out & about.

1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can diced green chillies
1/2 bunch cilantro

Top it off:
Plain Greek Yogurt (rather than sour cream)
Diced red onion
Diced avocado
Tortilla chips-broken
Grated cheese-I like Colby Jack or Pepper Jack

Buy all canned ingredients Low-Sodium and/or Organic. Empty all cans into large pot or crock pot. DO NOT DRAIN! Chop cilantro & add right at the end so it keeps it's bright green color. Dish up & top with desired toppings. I love all the topping I listed above. Eat up & ENJOY!
Serves 6-8 people.

See what I mean? So simple & healthy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Orange & Peachy Protein Smoothie

Protein is the building block of muscles and essential for repair and growth of muscle after exercise. Whenever you exercise, and particularly during resistance exercise, you are breaking down your muscle tissues. Research shows that protein consumed before exercise and within 30 minutes of finishing your workout will help with growth and recovery.
Do the following math to calculate your protein needs:
    1. Divide your weight by 2.2 to calculate your weight in kilograms. 2. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8-1.7 gm/kg (depending on factors mentioned above). Here's an example if you weigh 200 pounds and consistently do heavy resistance exercise:
      200/2.2 = 91 kg 91 kg x 1.4 = 127 grams of protein per day
I always mix up my protein into a smoothie after my workouts. It provides what my muscles need plus it's totally delicious & refreshing. Try this recipe of mine so you can start getting the protein intake that you need, maximize your efforts of your training & speed your recovery.

 Orange & Peachy Protein Smoothie
1/2 Banana
1/4 cup canned mandarin oranges (drained)
1/4 cup frozen peaches (use fresh if they're in season)
1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 serving Soy Protein powder
Water 1 1/2 -2 cups
Ice (optional)

Blend ingredients in a blender. Add more or less water until your smoothie is at the desired consistency. Add ice if your using fresh peaches to add a crunch & make it chilled.

Nutrition Facts:
300 calories
39 grams carbs
1.5 fat grams
28 grams protein

Drink this smoothie as a large snack or meal replacement. Enjoy!

*Greek yogurt is a wonderful alternative to regular yogurt. It has ZERO fat, all natural ingredients & very high in protein.
* I prefer Soy protein to Whey Protein. It's vegetarian, easier on my stomach & from my reading, it's is better for woman to help build lean muscle as opposed to bulk. Depending on which brand of protein you are using it will fluctuate the calories & protein of the smoothie.

Read more about the benefits of protein HERE.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quick Yoga Routine

 Do you have tight hamstrings combined with lower back pain? Read an article, {HERE} at Runner's World & learn a quick yoga routine to help you stretch those muscles & ease the pain.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a great time spending time with my family.  Be sure to watch all those tasty Holiday foods & snacks that seem to appear all over the place. Don't deprive yourself, after all it is the Holiday season, but make smart choices. Serve yourself smaller portion sizes to compensate for all the extra sides, don't drink extra calories, eat slowly & listen to your body telling you when it's time to stop eating, look online for healthier recipes of your old favorite treats & desserts, and definitely don't slack on your exercise routine. Listen to your body & use your know what's healthiest for you! Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

15 Hauntingly Healthy Halloween Snacks

HERE are some great Halloween Healthy Snacks for you and your kiddo's. You'll have lots of fun making them AND eating them. Some of the recipes would also be perfect for your Halloween Party. Have a spooky and healthy Halloween!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Last Call

The warm weather is coming to an end for the year. Take advantage of the warm sunshine while it lasts and get active outdoors with your family! Go hiking, take a walk to the park, go for a bike ride, play frisbee...whatever it is that you and your family likes to do, just go out and do it! Soak up some vitamin D, get your heart rates up and spend time together. Enjoy it!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Exercise at my desk? Really?

Sit down and shape up

Working behind a desk provides more opportunity for exercise than you may think. Sure, you won't get to the Olympics or develop six-pack abs, but there's plenty you can do at work to improve – or maintain – your health.
Try these tips:
  1. Roll your ankles regularly to help improve blood circulation. Just lift your feet off the floor and move them in circles a few times.
  2. Sit with your back straight, your shoulders back, and the top of your monitor at eye level. Make sure your wrists don't lay on your keyboard or mouse pad – unless it has a wrist rest. This helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Bend your legs at the knees so that your knees are slightly higher than your hips. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a small stool.
  3. Roll your wrists often to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you type a lot.
  4. Stretch your arms, legs, neck, and torso while sitting to prevent feeling stiff.
  5. Stand up about every 30 minutes and stretch or walk around a bit. Stretch your calves. This can help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs. Believe it or not, middle-aged computer users frequently develop blood clots.
  6. Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this every 10 minutes while you're working at your desk.
  7. Stretch your neck by flexing your head forward and backward, side to side, then look right and left. Don't roll your head around your neck because it could damage the joints in your neck.
  8. Get a hand gripper. They don't cost much and they provide an excellent workout for your forearms. Use it when you have to read something – you probably don't use your hands too much then.
Article found HERE

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Juicy News About Cranberries

by: Lee Strogov

Research shows that these little red power packs do far more than prevent UTIs.
Long recognized as a homespun preventive for urinary-tract infections, new research suggests that cranberries are packed with numerous other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, helping to prevent certain ulcers and even delaying gum disease.

Getting Out of A Sticky Situation
Originally, cranberries were thought to help prevent urinary-tract infections by acidifying the urine. But studies performed since the 1980s provide evidence that cranberry’s action is quite different: It contains compounds that prevent infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the surrounding cell walls. This “microbial anti-adhesion effect” shows promise for fighting infections in other parts of the body, including the stomach, the respiratory tract and even the mouth.

“Cranberry juice may essentially help our bodies to flush out some harmful organisms,” says Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., a Beverly Hills pharmacist, nutritionist, herbalist and author. Unlike antibiotics, which kill bacteria, cranberry’s mode of action appears to involve interfering with their ability to initiate an infection.

According to research conducted jointly by the University of Michigan and Rutgers University, cranberry juice may inhibit the attachment ability of a type of bacteria that is a common cause of upper-respiratory infections. Studies also found that cranberries interfered with the attachment ability of some strains of H. pylori, a major cause of gastric and duodenal ulcers. And, according to a report in The Journal of the American Dental Association, cranberry compounds also keep plaque-causing bacteria from adhering to one another, potentially reducing the risk of gum disease. Cranberry has shown similar promise for fighting cavity-causing bacteria as well. Note that these were all test tube studies; whether or not cranberry taken orally has a similar effect on these organisms when they are in the human body remains unclear.

“This bacterial anti-adherence mechanism is very distinctive and offers a possibly useful alternative to antibiotics,” says Martin Starr, Ph.D., science advisor to the Cranberry Institute. Starr adds that test tube studies show that cranberry juice has effects on even drug-resistant bacteria. “The cranberry was effective on the garden-variety bugs as well as the nasty drug-resistant ones.” This, Starr explains, has huge potential implications when it comes to the drug-resistance issues prevalent in today’s medical environment.

How To Take
If you don’t mind the tartness of the unsweetened juice, have the equivalent of one glass daily (it needs to be mixed with still or sparkling water). Or, drink a mixture of 20 ml of the concentrate (about 1 tablespoon) and four parts water daily, or take cranberry supplements (follow label directions). To ensure supplement bioactivity, select a product made from the whole cranberry or cranberry juice concentrate.
Research suggests that nutrients in cranberry juice reduce the risk of heart disease.

Berry Good For Your Heart
There may be some compelling heart-healthy reasons to increase your intake of cranberry products. Research conducted at the University of Scranton, Pa., suggests that nutrients found in cranberry juice can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, as well as by increasing the presence of antioxidants in the blood. In the first month of the 90-day trial, each of the 19 participants consumed one daily 8-oz serving of juice. The second month, they consumed two 8-oz servings daily, and the third month, three servings. At the conclusion of each of the three months, researchers measured the participants’ total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and antioxidant levels.

After one month, there was no change in any of the participants. However, once intake rose to two glasses daily, antioxidant levels rose by 111%; when three glasses a day were consumed, that figure climbed to 121%. What’s more, the HDL of those drinking three glasses of juice per day rose by 10%. According to Joe Vinson, Ph.D., the chemist who led the study, that equates to about a 40% reduction in heart disease.

“It’s definitely one of the most important fruit juices you can drink,” says Vinson. “There are some suggestions that cranberries are the No. 1 antioxidant fruit, and that even orange juice doesn’t compare to cranberry juice when it comes to positively affecting antioxidant levels in blood.”

Cranberry supplements give you the nutrients of juice without the added sugars.

All Thriller, No Filler
Before you run out and buy cranberry juice in bulk, you might want to take a few things into consideration. To reduce their bitterness, commercial cranberry juices and cocktails contain added sugars—enough to possibly counteract some of cranberry’s beneficial effects. In Vinson’s clinical trials, those volunteers who drank sweetened cranberry juice experienced a rise in triglycerides, which are associated with increased risk of heart disease. There are also plenty of us who’d prefer to do without the 435 calories and attendant sugar that comes with three glasses a day.

Mindell’s suggestion is to take cranberry extract or cranberry concentrate instead of loading up on the commonly available sweetened juices. “Most people would never drink pure cranberry juice; it’s too tart,” he says. “I’m totally in favor of the concentrated capsules or liquids that give you the active ingredients without the unnecessary sugar.”

However, not all cranberry supplements contain proanthocyanidins, the active ingredients that fight bacterial infections, warns Amy Howell, Ph.D., a scientist at  the Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research at Rutgers University. Products most likely to have them are those made from the whole cranberry or cranberry juice concentrate. Another of Howell’s favorite ways of getting an occasional cranberry “fix” is to sprinkle the dried fruit on her breakfast cereal.

The Bottom Line
A growing body of research suggests that the cranberry may provide multiple pathways to improved health through microbial anti-adhesion and cardiovascular benefits related to increased HDL and antioxidant activity. A picture is emerging that gives us many reasons to incorporate cranberry products into our diets.

Article found in WellBella Magazine February 2010 issue

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Healthy Summer Grilling

Veggie Burgers

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small summer squash, shredded
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

      1.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat, and cook the onion and garlic for about 5
         minutes, until tender. Mix in the carrots, squash, and zucchini. Continue to cook and stir
         for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and mix in oats, cheese, and egg. Stir in soy
         sauce transfer the mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate 1 hour.

      2.  Preheat the grill for high heat.
    3.    Place the flour on a large plate. Form the vegetable mixture into eight 3 inch round patties. Drop each patty into the flour, lightly coating both sides.
    4.    Oil the grill grate, and grill patties 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and nicely browned. 
    5. Serve on a whole wheat bun with you choice of toppings and enjoy!
    Nutritional Information:

    Veggie Burgers
    Servings Per Recipe: 8
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 193
    ·         Total Fat: 4.3g
    ·         Cholesterol: 30mg
    ·         Sodium: 158mg
    ·         Total Carbs: 31.9g
    ·         Dietary Fiber: 3.1g
    ·         Protein: 6.9g 
    Recipe from

Summer Fitness Tips

With the summer months upon us, here are a few ways to ensure you maintain peak performance and look great while having some fun in the sun.
Fitness Tip 1. Our bodies are made up of 65% water. Being well hydrated is especially challenging in the summer, but critical to good blood volume, cardiac output, and delivery of oxygen to the working muscles. Staying well hydrated also decreases the risk of muscle cramping, regulates core body temperature, and will allow you to recover faster.
Fitness Tip 2. Cooling down after exercising reduces the risk of injury just as much as a warming up process. Gradually slowing down the level of activity helps the heart rate and breathing return to normal. 
Fitness Tip 3. When participating in summer outdoor activities pack efficiently to avoid unnecessary weight to carry. Also, if your looking to tone up and build muscle, start with a low-weight, high-rep workout. You'll have better form, control, and strength in no time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Smarter Way to Cut Calories

By Cynthia Sass, R.D.
Not getting enough calories can stall weight loss.
A client recently told me she was trying to limit her calories to 1,000 a day. In her mind, the math was simple: If eating 1,500 calories a day was helping her slim down, slashing her intake  bu a third would give her even better results. Seems logical, but when it comes to calories, there is a tipping point. When your fuel intake dips below what it needs to support the activity of your muscles, bones, and organs, your cells simply can't function properly. (Just imagine how less productive your office would be if 30% of the employees called in sick!) First, your body will make the shift into conservation mode, causing you to burn fewer calories. Under eating will also affect your energy level and your looks (even short term, your skin can get dry and flaky, and your hair will fall flat).
To trim down, you do need to curb calories to pull some fat out of storage, but striking the right balance is key. To reduce your intake without underdoing it, try this three-step formula:
1. Multiply your weight goal by 10 That's the number of calories you need per day without physical activity. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds but your weight goal is 120, aim for no less than 1,200 calories.
2. Factor in daily activity If you have a job that keeps you on your feet or you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle, add another 3  calories per pound of your ideal body weight. A nurse or busy mom who want to weigh 120, for example, can afford an additional 360 calories a day. But if you sit at a desk all day and your fingers do most of the work, stick with the basic equation.
3.  Tack on extra for exercise On the days you work out, add half the calories you burn to your allotted intake. This will give you the extra energy you need to sail through a sweat session, but won't undo all your hard work. 

Unsure about all the calories you torch at the gym? Go HERE
To calculate calorie intake needed & include your daily activity, Go HERE  (It's free)

Article from Shape Magazine August 2010 issue


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