Fitness · Food · Uncategorized

What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking

selters fruit

I am currently wearing a shirt that reads:

Coffee

Contracts

Cocktails

You see I love coffee and wine almost as much as my family. O.k. that is a complete stretch but not a long stretch. Before I go any further I need to preface by saying I am not a raging alcoholic and my wine intake was typically 1 glass of wine/night, 2 glasses maybe a few nights/week. I started by cutting back to wine down Wednesdays and allowing 1-2 glasses, and  2 nights during the weekend 1-2 glasses. Lately I have been trying to cut it back further to strictly a social situation where we are out to dinner or out with friends.

I recently have really focused in on my nutrition. I have always been a fitness guru and tried to eat healthy and clean but I really have taken it to the next level. It’s really a lifestyle as cliche as it sounds. So I needed to start putting extremely healthy and nutrient foods into my diet. This means healthy and adequate amounts of nutrient rich oils, legumes, greens, protein, etc…you get my drift. So what gives? My 200 calories worth of wine had to give. Say it isn’t so?! If you know me you know this was a huge step in my journey towards a truly healthy self both mind and physical. You probably see where I am going with this. What the heck do people drink at night if it doesn’t contain alcohol? Sugary juices? and something other than water? and what do you do if you are really really craving that glass of wine?

There are a million options out there, some complicated, some not but I was too annoyed to really research; annoyed with myself and my new found journey to be healthier. HA! I joke. Kind of…So here we go:

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Seltzer waters are always a safe bet (but don’t sip on these all day you really do need pure water intake and 1/2 your body weight friends). Add a splash of cranberry or limeade (just a splash/watch that sugar), some fresh fruit dropped or muddled. I personally love adding basil or mint into plain old soda water.

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Tea is also a great option. Specifically Sleepytime or Chamomile so you can get sleepy and forget about the wine. I seriously sound like I have a problem, but I promise I do not.

shopping

Kombucha I recently discovered and absolutely love b/c it is definitely something you sip on and it is said to have pretty advantageous health benefits.

A few nights ago I was really just wanting that glass of wine and it was like Sunday so it was absolutely not going to happen. So I popped in a handful of grapes (love me some grapes) and poured myself an ice cold glass of orange seltzer water in a wine glass. I kid you not the pairing truly worked.

Here are my findings after cutting back the wine. I have way more energy (for obvious reasons). I wake up and am not lagging to get out of bed. I’m up and no stress or rushing around in the morning. No more morning bloat (well for like 3 weeks until Aunt Flo visits). I perform better in my workouts and am seeing so much definition and progress, b/c again the bloat and inflammation is down.

So I’m sticking to this new way of life and honestly it’s not so bad once it becomes a part of your life. It’s just the first few weeks/month of transition to new habits that is the hardest part.

-Yesenia

Food · Uncategorized

Thursday Seven… 7 Low Calorie Cocktails

With summer approaching so do the sugary refreshing cold cocktails. Check out these mouth-watering low-calorie cocktails inspired by Shannon Rosenberg on Buzzfeed.

 

  1. Watermelon Mojito

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peanutbutterandpeppers.com
A refreshing cocktail with a mix of watermelon, rum, club soda, and mint.
Ingredients. Click for recipe.

The-Paloma-3

bsinthekitchen.com

A mouth-watering blend of grapefruit, lime, and tequila. Swapping out the tequila with vodka is an option. Salt or sugar the rim for an added delight. Click for recipe.

3. Blueberry Mint Fizz

Blueberry-Mint-Fizz

waitingonmartha.com

Crisp and refreshing a blend of blueberry soda, St. Germain, soda, mint and blueberries. Click for recipe.

4. Yves St. Laurent St. Germain Cocktail

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boulderlocavore.com

An elegant mix of dry white wine or Champagne, St. Germain, and Sparkling Water or Club Soda. Click for recipe.

5. Tequila Cocktail

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lovemaegan.com

With Cinco De Mayo just around the corner this delicious cocktail will have your taste buds jumping for joy. Made with Agave Silver Tequila, Pure Coconut Water with Pineapple, Fresh Green Apples, Fresh Mint, Ice, and finished with a Lime Flavored Cocktail Rimming Sugar. Click for recipe.

6. Fresh Grapefruit GreyhoundGrapefruit-Greyhound.jpg

camillestyles.com

Perfect for a garden party this cocktail features just 3 easy ingredients. High quality vodka, freshly squeezed grapefruit, and club soda. Click for recipe.

7. Skinny Summer Cocktail

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simplegreenmoms.com

Looks just about too pretty to drink. Throw some Pellegrino Sparkling Mineral Water, lemons, liquid Stevia, Ice, Organic blueberries, Organic strawberries and your fave vodka together to get this summer must have. Click for recipe. 

I would venture to say I am all set to bring on the cookouts and all things summer with these amazing and refreshing cocktails to choose from.

-Yesenia Whipple

 

 

Food

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

I have been in such a snacking kind of mood lately. I think it might be the start of the holiday season, football season, eating season, ha! Call it what you may I am all about some picking at kinds of food. With all the ‘forbidden’ starches out there on this healthy lifestyle I thought I would share a delicious recipe I found on Half Baked Harvest.

Now the ‘forbidden’ starches. Listen all in moderation right? It’s about a lifestyle not depriving yourself. So if you feel like eating white rice every once in a while then do it! Otherwise you will find yourself one day sneaking to the back of sushi restaurant looking for sticky white rice by the hand-fulls. Yes, there go my dramatics again and just a disclaimer I have not actually ever snuck to the back of a sushi restaurant; white rice by the hand full…well I guess you will always wonder on that one.

Recipe & Image Credit: Half Baked Harvest

-Yesenia Whipple

Food

Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Chips

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I have been dying to try these chips and I cannot believe it took me so long to make. The recipe is so easy and the worst part about making these is the amount of time it takes for them to cook.  While you breathe in the delicious smell coming from your oven you can rejoice in the fact that these zucchini chips will only run you 60 calories for about 20 chips.

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 30 mins

TOTAL TIME: 40 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (you could also use skim milk)
  • 2½ cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini
  • Cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl stirring with a whisk.
  3. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Place coated slices on an oven proof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and crisped.

-Yesenia Whipple


Food

Must Try Zucchini Recipes

Let the mouth-watering begin. I never knew how versatile Zucchini was. You can basically make anything with it. Here are some recipes that are on my must try list:

Zucchini pasta – you can toss with different pesto, avocado creams, Parmesan, or dressings. Add Shrimp, salmon, chicken, or steak to make it a delicious full meal.

zucchini pasta

Zucchini pancakes – I love pancakes, the syrup, the butter, everything about pancakes gets me excited. So for a healthier twist you can make Zucchini pancakes.

Zuchinni pancakes

Zucchini Ice cream – Who knew?! Pair with some fresh fruit and BAM! A party in your mouth.

Zucchini Bread Ice Cream

Zucchini Cupcakes – Topped with buttercream frosting. This  is yes a major treat. But everyone needs a good indulgence in their life every once in a while.

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There are so many many many recipes substituting zucchini; I could not possibly name them all. These are on my short list of recipes to try.

What are some of your favorite recipes with healthy substitutes/variations?

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness · Food

Pre and Post Workout Snack Tips

Hi everyone!

Eating healthy and working out go hand in hand. However, do you know what the best foods to eat before and after working out are? I did some research and found some great tips on this topic so of course I wanted to share.

One of the things I discovered is how important it is to eat before a workout. According to Livestrong when you eat prior to working out you will not only maximize your workout, you will also increase your energy levels throughout the day. Our bodies need enough nutrients to carry us through not only pre workout but also during and post. Your immune system will operate at its optimum level and your blood sugar levels will be balanced all day.

Some great tips to try to establish into your routine are:

banana oatmeal

  • Morning workouts: eat something within 30 minutes of waking up. This will rev up your metabolism. Some good eats are banana, small portion of oatmeal, non-fat plain yogurt. Try to choose foods that are low in fat and fiber for pre-morning meals.

apples and peanut butter

  • Afternoon workouts: If you are like me I am always ready for an afternoon snack. So if you also tend to work out in the afternoon try eating a small portion of oatmeal, apple slices or banana with peanut butter. A small bowl of vegetable soup is also a great option.

shakeo

  • Post workout: You should eat at least 30 minutes after you work out. This will prevent your body from burning muscle. Protein should be your go to. Protein shakes my favorite being my delicious Shakeology, raw almonds, and hard-boiled eggs are great to consider.

small meals

  • Eating small meals every 2-3 hours will maintain a sustained balance of nutrients and energy; in turn charging your metabolism to run at its best. This will also keep your hunger levels at bay so you do not end up overeating when it’s time for your next meal.

water

  • As for water, it goes without saying hydration is just as important as feeding your body the right foods. You should drink ½ of your body weight in ounces every day. Not only does your body need water to operate, but it also needs to be replenished of the water you sweat out during a workout.

What are some of your favorite snacks for pre and post workouts?

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness · Food

Do’s and Dont’s to a flatter belly

abs

Abs are made in the where? Kitchen! How many times have we heard this? Well you are hearing it for a reason so here are some tips and tricks to get rid of some bloat and get that envious set of chiseled abs.

Let’s start with exercise. The best thing you can do for your abs is to work on your Core. “Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.

It is likely not reality to have absolutely flat abs every single day of the week. A lot comes into play like the foods we eat for example. Some foods contribute to bloating, gas, and water retention. So on those days you really want to avoid the bloat and squeeze into a bikini or a pair of your favorite skinny jeans try to avoid the following foods:

broccoli

  • Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale – do not say buh bye to these nutrient rich foods all together. What to do: smaller portions, and steam them to soften the fiber and cook some of the water out. This will allow for more space in your GI tract and easier digestion.

beans

  • Legumes (or beans) – Not new news but beans cause gas. Combine them with whole grains like rice or quinoa and your body will eventually start to get used to them. The more sporadic your bean intake the more likely you will have bloat and gas.

dairy

  • Dairy – Dairy products can cause gas and bloating as your body may not have the enzymes necessary to break down lactose. Try to choose non-dairy alternatives; there are a slew of products that are just as good if not better without the lactose.

salt

  • Salty Foods – it is hard to avoid salt these days. Sodium can be found in so many foods. Look at the amount of sodium in your foods and eventually you will become familiar with what to avoid or eat less of. If you cannot avoid salt at times you should drink lots of water to help flush it out

Incorporating these foods will contribute to getting rid of bloat, gas, and stomach discomfort:

ginger

  • Ginger – a natural anti-inflammatory that helps with your digestion, ginger will reduce puffiness and gas. Try adding ginger to salad dressings, smoothies, and teas.

lemon

  • Lemon – add lemon to your water. Lemon has so many wonderful benefits like antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. Lemon is also a digestive aid and a cleanses your liver.

tea

  • Peppermint and chamomile tea – have some peppermint tea in the evening to relax your GI muscles and dissolve gas in your stomach.

asparagus

  • Asparagus – a natural diuretic, anti-bloating super-food will help rid that pesky water weight away.

cucumber

  • Cucumbers – contains quercetin, an antioxidant that helps get rid of swelling. Add to your water, or just snack away on some cucumbers and say goodbye to that puffy belly.

banana avocado

  • Bananas, avocados, pistachios, oranges, and kiwis – these delicious treats help to regulate sodium levels in your body.

Please share your tips and tricks on obtaining rock hard abs! I would love to hear from you!

Having shared these tips and tricks I do want to disclaim that I am by no means a doctor or nutritionist. I am a personal trainer and fitness and health enthusiast. The information provided comes from my personal experience and if you have any concerns, questions, etc… you should always consult medical professionals.

-Yesenia Whipple

Food

3 Avocado Clean Eat Recipes

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Avocados not only taste good but they are packed with almost 20 essential nutrients. They are nutrient dense and enable the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Here are avocado inspired recipes you can incorporate into any breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and/or dessert.

Avocado Tomato On Whole Grain Toast

Avocado tomato on whole grain

Chicken Avocado Burger

chicken avacado burgers

Ingredients
1 pound ground chicken
1 large ripe avocado – cut into chunks
½ cup panko crumbs or other bread crumbs
1 chopped clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Toss the chunks of avocado, breading and garlic together.
2. Blend mixture into ground chicken being careful not to mush the avocado.
3. Form into 4-5 patties and grill until done

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium ripe avocados

1 cup strained low-fat natural plain yogurt

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup lime juice

Pinch sea salt

Optional Garnish

3 cups fresh tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango, melon or passion fruit), cut into chunks

Directions:

  1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh out from skins with a spoon. Cut flesh into large chunks, about 3 cups. Place all ingredients, except garnish, into a food processor and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes. While puréeing, stop mixer every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Scoop mixture out into a shallow nonreactive freezer-safe container – 9 x 9-inch is ideal. (NOTE: At this point, if using a commercial ice cream machine, freeze mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Place container with yogurt mixture into freezer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture begins to freeze slightly around the edges. Scrape down the edges with a spatula and mix yogurt thoroughly with a whisk, blending in ice crystals until mixture is creamy again, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place container with yogurt back into freezer for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process of scraping the sides and mixing 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. Each time the mixture will get a little harder to whisk. After the third mixing, place mixture back into the freezer until hardened and ready to eat, about 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Remove from freezer and scoop into serving bowls. If yogurt is too hard to scoop, allow it to warm slightly for a few minutes on the counter until softened. Top with chunks of fresh tropical fruit, if desired, and serve immediately. Best if consumed within 1 week. Store covered in a sealable freezer-safe container in the freezer.

Nutrients per 1/3 cup serving (not including fruit garnish): Calories: 120, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 14 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 35 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

TIP:
For mixing, a food processor may be used in place of a whisk. Be sure to break up any large chunks into smaller pieces for easy processing.

Food

Fun in the kitchen

 

clean and green

Had a little fun this afternoon experimenting. Balsamic, coconut oil, garlic, green beans, almonds, and tomatoes.

For a snack or side dish- I recommend either taking the tomatoes away or keeping the tomatoes and adding a little low fat cheese.

For a main meal- I suggest adding some diced chicken and/or some whole grain pasta.

What would you add?

-Yesenia Whipple