Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Egg Whites From the Egg or Carton?

I was in the store the other day and saw all the different options of eggs, egg whites, and egg substitutes. It's no wonder people are confused as to what they should buy and why. So I'm going to break it down into 4 categories and tell you what kind I think you should go for, if that's the way you think.



I'm worried about cost. Obviously buying all egg whites in a carton is more cost effective than eggs in a carton.

Not so fast there bargain shopper! Let me break it down for you (based on my local grocery store at least!).

A 32 oz carton of egg whites, store brand, costs $4.19. There are 4 cups in 32 oz, therefore, cost is $1.04/cup.

A carton of eggs, large, store brand, costs $1.39. I find that there is about 1/4 cup of egg white per egg. Using this math, there are 3 cups in a carton. Making the cost $0.46/cup. Even if I air on  the side of stingy and say that there is only 1/8 cup of egg white per egg, that makes 1.5 cups per carton. The cost in this case would be $0.92 per cup.

So there you have it. Bargain shoppers beware. Buy the carton of eggs!

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I'm worried about the chickens. I don't want to eat something that came from a chicken who sat on a cage its whole life.

Totally understandable, and I get it. Because sometimes I feel the same way. But be careful when you're in the store. Just because something says "cage free" or "free range" doesn't mean that it lived in green pastures its whole life. It can mean something drastically different. By definition, producers are allowed to label their products "cage free" and "free range" even if there's a huge barn with only one 8x8 opening for the chickens to get out of. They do, most likely, have more comfortable bedding though!  Instead, go for products labeled with both an Organic and Cage Free or Free Range label. Organic products are monitored by the USDA more closely than others.

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I make a lot of recipes with egg whites. I don't want to shell a bunch of eggs every morning.

Dude. I am right there with you. The only reason that I even have mornings where I shell eggs is because I have a garbage disposal that needs to be sharpened (and my roommate in college said that eggs shells did that, I wonder if she was right? Either way I've been doing it ever since haha). But my advice for this situation is--buy the carton of egg whites. Ease in the morning is something not to be taken for granted.

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I don't want to eat processed eggs or egg substitutes.

Hate to break it to you, but carton egg whites are 100% egg whites, pasteurized to make them safe enough to package outside of its natural spot, and shelf stable in the refrigerator. So there's really nothing to worry about.

Cholesterol free egg substitutes are different, however, that's where you're going to find preservatives and flavorings. Stick to egg whites.

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And finally...if you're craving an egg yolk. Just have it! Mix 1 whole egg, with 1 egg white and you'll feel better than ever.

Questions? Feel free to ask :)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Smile, it's almost Wednesday.

During my yoga class today, we had to hold a really uncomfortable pose for 1 minute without falling over. Luckily, I concentrated really hard and didn't topple over. However, this got me thinking about how awkward it would be to fall into the person next to me. Would it cause a domino effect? Is it okay to laugh if someone else does it? I mean, how could you not laugh? And finally, how long would it take to build up the courage to come back to yoga class? Those thoughts pushed me through the rest of the hour class. Thanks, brain.

When I got home, I wanted to watch some funny YouTube videos. So, please enjoy. And smile, because it's almost Wednesday.

Romantic Prancersize.
 
#DadQuotes...classic.
 
 

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Clean Eating Chicken Casserole

My morning started off great...I actually got up to run outside! Lately I've been making so many excuses not to run--it's too hot, I'm tired, and so on. So this morning when I couldn't fall back asleep at 530am, I got up and ran! It was literally just me and the bunny rabbits that early in the morning. When I got home I was so energized and ready for the day. I even left on time for work! Wins all around.

Tonight I came home and cooked up a super yummy Healthy Eating recipe! As I alluded to yesterday, it was a fresh take on my momma's chicken casserole. Most of what is in her chicken casserole isn't unhealthy, but it could be cleaned up. So I took out every processed product and replaced it! Joe-Joe didn't get a chance to try it, but I guarantee its boyfriend/husband/roommate approved!

Before you read the recipe, let me tell you why I chose the pasta that I did!



 
Dreamfield's pasta is a great choice for your night time pasta dish! It's packed with fiber and protein. These two ingredients work together in your body to slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate sugars. This then keeps your blood sugar from spiking, which keeps you from feeling lethargic or getting hungry sooner. Don't see Dreamfield's in your grocery store? Look for any pasta that has at least 4g of fiber and 6g of protein per serving!
 
Healthier Chicken Casserole
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup unflavored almond milk
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 cup chopped onion and celery
  • 1 package penne pasta

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring water to a boil in small pot, add raw chicken breasts. Let boil until chicken is thoroughly cooked (15 minutes). Once chicken is cooked, shred it using 2 forks and pulling meat apart.
  • Bring water to a boil in large pot, add box of pasta. Cook according to directions.
  • Sauté mushrooms in olive oil in sauce pan until fragrant.
  • Add almond milk, coconut oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Add corn starch one TBSP at a time and whisk.
  • Continue whisking until liquid has thickened.
  • Once thickened, place in a mixing bowl.
  • Sauté celery and onion in sauce pan (you shouldn't need to add more oil!)
  • Combine soup, celery and onion, chicken, pasta and 1 cup almond milk together in large bowl (I just used the pasta pot).
  • Place in greased baking dish.
  • Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Optional: Add bread crumbs on top and broil for an additional 3 minutes to crisp it up!

Enjoy!
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Funday

My sunburn is proof of the great day that I had today. Here's hoping my face fades from tomato red by tomorrow morning, or work is going to be fun.

Joe and I started out the day with a great bike ride! We rode over to church, hung out, and then rode back. And holy hills. Total the ride was 8 miles, but I would guarantee that 1/2 of it was uphill and 1/2 was downhill. Then, after we ate some lunch we ventured to the pool! Spent about 2 hours lounging and reading.

Guys, I have to admit...I have something on my mind lately....

What is it? I've been contemplating becoming a Beachbody coach. I feel like it would not only keep me accountable in my own fitness journey, but also feed my desire to help people. Although I have a job that pays well, I miss interacting with clients on a daily basis. I've been on the hunt for something to get me out of where I am and catapult me into a happier and more fulfilling work environment. Maybe this is it? I don't know. I'll be honest, I'm worried about entering into a program where I have to front money first with no guarantee of seeing a return. The "saver" in me just does not like that! I also worry that I would be "that friend" that wants you to try this, or this, and always talks about it. I don't want to prey on my current friends to change their lives. I just want to help those who are ready and willing to change their lives. Anyway, just my random Sunday thoughts!

Hope you all have a great start to the week. Tomorrow I'm going to "lighten-up" my momma's famous Chicken Casserole! 
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Nutrition Beets - Summer Eating

It's the first day of summer!! Can't believe I made it the whole way through my first Wisconsin winter alive. Thought I was gonna freeze to death a few times, but now, it's the best time of the year! Bike paths filled with bikers, runners and puppies. Laying by the pool with a spritzer while reading a book for 5 minutes before falling asleep. And most importantly, my allergies calm down :)


In honor of summer, I'm going to run through the best foods that you can buy at a farmer's market. And before you go, make a list! If you don't go prepared, I guarantee you'll forget something. Second, bring reusable bags or else people will judge you (I wouldn't though, just the really hippie green people do). And finally, get cash out. Or, make your boyfriend pay with his cash. The second option is more fun.

One of the reasons I love buying fresh product from the farmers market is that it lasts so long! It's traveled a lot less than produce in the store, so you'll get at least an additional week out of all your products. Besides having things last longer, you'll also have more nutrients available for your body in fresh produce! It hasn't had as much time to break down, leading to tastier and more nutritious food. Finally, you're helping out local farmers! Talk about a win win win!

Here's what's on my list this week!
  • Romaine
  • Kale
  • Sweet Corn
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Baby Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers (green, yellow, red or orange)
And some recipes I plan on making.....

 Grilled Mixed Vegetables
A perfect side dish!
Adapted from my girl Giada De Laurentiis
 
Ingredients:
  • Whatever vegetables you need to use up in your fridge! I love zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and tomatoes!
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Directions:
  • Lightly brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Cook 7 to 10 minutes, flipping only once so that you get really great grill marks!
  • While vegetables are cooking, combine 2 tbsp. oil  with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and fresh herbs.
  • When vegetables are done, drizzle herb mixture over them and serve warm.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What I Found In The Fridge At Work...

I was putting my lunch into the fridge at work this morning, when I saw something that made me really sad. HCG. Have you heard of this diet lately? It was the fad a few months ago, and continues to be a fad today. HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. HCG is not approved to be sold over-the-counter and has not been proven to work to increase weight loss. What you buy over the counter is "hormone free HCG" which hasn't been proven to work either. The plan that is "prescribed" to go with the diet is what scares me the most. It's a crash diet that makes you lose weight. They tell you to follow a strict 500 calorie PER DAY diet. That, my friends, would make anyone lose weight. Except its dangerous and pointless! When you restrict calories below 1,200 per day, your body enters into starvation mode. It clings onto any fat stores it can, and it causes you to lose water weight and muscle weight. When you eventually increase calories again, the body stores every nutrient it possibly can, causing you to gain all that weight back again.
My advice to "Sam" in the fridge: Follow a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You didn't put on the weight overnight, and its not going to go away overnight. Keep your head up and don't waste your money on the fad diet. Spend your money on healthy, natural foods that your body will get nourishment from. 
Have you ever tried a fad diet? What's your opinion?
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

GIVEAWAY! EnergyBITS!

As you may or may not know...I'm an EnergyBITS Ambassador. And tonight, I'm hosting the weekly Twitter Chat! We'll be talking all things Natural Food and Fitness. The other cool thing? I'll be doing a Giveaway here on the blog to celebrate! My friends at EnergyBITS will be gifting one of you their BITS! So...what are BITS??

ENERGYbits give you natural energy without the sugar, caffeine or chemicals. They are 100% spirulina algae, which has the highest concentration of protein in the world--and all for just 1 calorie per tab! I love that there's no fillers or other ingredients in them (making them gluten-free!). Bits come in tiny "bits" (did I really just type that?) that you can swallow by the handful or chew whenever you're hungry, tired, or just want to have a better workout. I usually swallow 5 at a time. But, if you're afraid of swallowing pills that won't work for you...you'll have to chew lol.

And, for all of my Tone It Up girls out there...you really can't get more LEAN, CLEAN, and GREEN than this. Protein is packed in each bit at just 1 calorie, the algae is NOT produced in a lab and is a food...not a supplement created with chemicals, and it's algae...literally GREEN.

Here's the live feed of our chat!
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Wedding Weekend Recap

Hi everyone! I went MIA this weekend...but for good reason! My cousin got married!! And, I was a bridesmaid. So that meant travel, rehearsal, all day party on Saturday and travel again on Sunday.  It was quite a whirlwind, but a fun one! In order to not bore you with details. I'll just show you some pictures! More from the wedding whenever they get posted :)

Sporty and ready for the plane!
 
Keepin' it cheesy in Wisconsin.
Rehearsal dinner outfit. So fancy.

Hair..jacked to Jesus.
My brother is so good at candid pictures...

3 generations.

Dancin' with Sammy T!
My best friends and I!!

My brother and the best cat lady around.
So sad to say bye to my dog :(
My day off today consisted of the pool, grocery store, and pool again! 
Hope you had a fabulous weekend too!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nutritious Travel Tips

Last night was the first ever EnergyBITS twitter chat! Shannon from http://www.badassfitness.com/ (@BadassFitCEO) hosted and she did a great job! I loved the positive energy and fitness tips that were given throughout. And guess what... I'M HOSTING THE TWITTER CHAT NEXT WEEK! My topic is "Powered Naturally by Food." Since I love blogging about recipes, I figured why not make the whole chat about natural foods, recipes and tips! In case you missed out, the chat is Tuesday nights at 9pm EST. Follow #PoweredByBits to make sure you don't miss out on a thing! (Don't know what EnergyBITS are? No Problem...check out my post about them here)
 
The thought of natural energy can't get out of my head these days. Especially with my upcoming trip home to Pennsylvania with Joe-Joe, I want to be sure to stick to natural and healthy foods. That way my body is happy and content all weekend long! Here are my travel tips!
  • Pack trail mix. Mine consists of pecans, almonds, shredded coconut, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips. While you're in the car, or at the airport, this will nourish hunger cravings and that sweet tooth. 
  • Don't, JUST DON'T, eat the McDonald's breakfast at the airport. I fall victim to the smell of greasy biscuits and sausage almost every time. And I feel like sh*t after eating it, every time. So just don't do it. Pack a pancake, energy bar, or even a PB&J to starve off hunger. You're body will already feel out-of-whack from traveling, being in a different place and (most likely) eating dinner out, don't make it worse by eating something that your gut isn't used to anymore....I'm gonna have to review this tip at least 4 times before we arrive at the airport :)
  • Lunge it out. Sitting in an airport waiting to sit on an airplane is pretty sedentary and boring. Do some squats, lunges or calf raises while you wait. People will look at you, but at least you'll deserve that nap on the plane you're going to take (cause come on, who doesn't nap on the plane). 
  • Bring a water bottle. It's much cheaper to fill up a reusable water bottle than it is to buy one! I always try to drink at least 32 oz of water before I get on the plane. Planes tend to give me headaches if I'm not properly hydrated. I wonder if that's a real thing, or if I just make myself think it? I'll have to ask my dad, the pilot. Maybe he knows?
  • Look cute. If you're wearing a cute outfit and feeling confident, you'll be less likely to eat the junk food :)
And with that, I welcome any tips that have helped you stay healthy and happy on the road!!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Weekend Catch Up!

Happy Tuesday! The best part for me is, this is my Thursday :) I'm traveling home to Pennsylvania this weekend to be a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding!! I'm so excited, especially because I've never been a bridesmaid before! I had my hair done on Saturday, getting spray tan tomorrow and my nails done! Things are about to get really girly around here! YAY! Speaking of my hair. This is the first time it's ever been brown. And I'm in love so far!!

Anywho, guess what I did this weekend! Tailgated! Finally! It's been way too long since I drank some adult beverages in the fresh air behind a truck. We were tailgating for the Zac Brown Band concert which was at an outdoor amphitheater. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun! I tried to keep it as healthy as I could and limited myself to some champagne (low calories) and just a handful or so of chips and dip.  Then, my friends and I camped out! We had a great time, but I still can't wait until my allergies go away for the year. I woke up in the morning so stuffed up and miserable!





How was your weekend?

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Meat Aisle 101


One of the hardest learning curves for me when I began doing my own grocery shopping in college was the meat aisle. I grew up in a family where my dad was the chef and he knew exactly what kind of meat he wanted to buy and why. Unfortunately, I never asked him why and spent some time struggling through. I now understand the meat aisle and what the best options are. So here are my tips for selecting healthy beef, turkey and chicken!

Beef 
I'm a true meat lover at heart, although some days I end up eating more vegan than carnivore. No matter, I love a good marinated steak with a baked potato. So, how do you pick the beef?

  • Keywords
    • "Round" - such as Top Round or Bottom Round are lean cuts 
    • "Loin" such as sirloin and tenderloin are lean cuts as well.
  • Always pick a cut that is at least 90% lean and 10% fat. While we're on that topic, be sure that all your ground meat products have a label like that, not just 90/10. The USDA requires all manufacturers write it out. If it isn't, that manufacturer isn't following the law, and I'm not so sure I'd trust that!
  • Cooking
    • Is medium-rare, ground beef 100% safe to eat? No. During the process of grinding the meat, potentially harmful bacteria on the surface of the meat can get inside to the center of the ground meat. Be sure to have your hamburgers reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees (the temperature at what salmonella and other food borne illnesses are killed). HOWEVER, if you are making a steak, roast or chop...then yes, medium-rare can be safe. With a fresh cut, be sure to have the center reach a minimum temperature of 145 degrees. Making sure to reach the correct internal temperature is the only way to guarantee the safety of meat.


Poultry
My personal favorite options, ground turkey and chicken, can be hard to find in the grocery store and to properly cook. 

  • Don't be fooled by healthy sounding terms! 
    • "Natural" - this has no enforcement when it comes to the USDA. There is no definition of what it means, so literally, any manufacturer can put this on their label. Don't waste your money!
    • "Free Range" - You may have watched some food documentaries that already de-bunked this myth, but I'll repeat it for you. Although it sounds like a "free-range" chicken lives on a vast farm in the middle of Iowa, the reality is they probably don't. It can mean that chickens were raised in a huge warehouse barn with one 2 feet x 2 feet door at the end. The chicken "has the option to go outside" but most don't. Again, don't waste your money!
    • "Organic" - If the package includes that the chicken was been certified by the USDA, you can be confident that the manufacturer is producing a quality product and isn't running a scam. Sometimes you can even find organic organizations that have given their approval to a manufacturer, which makes it even more trustworthy than what the USDA can guarantee. Although I don't get to do it often, I love going to the local food co-op in Madison and buying my chicken there. It comes from local farms and are certified by the store, which has a high standard when it comes to organic products.
  • What is allowed in ground poultry products? Whole muscle materials like the thighs, neck, breasts and drumsticks can be in ground poultry products. All of the skin and fat near those are allowed to stay as well. This is why it's important to read the lean percentage verses the fat percentage. Ground poultry products can range from 80% lean/20% fat to "extra lean" which is usually 97% lean/3% fat. Be sure to read, or you could end up buying a product that isn't as healthy as you were wanting!
  • Cooking
    • Just like meat, poultry has a minimum internal temperature you should reach to guarantee any bacteria is killed. It is 165 degrees. There's no "sometimes its okay to eat it raw" rule with poultry. So be sure to cook it the whole way through, overtime!

Onto my Recipe of the Day! In college, my roommate and I would always talk about our favorite meals, and they always ended up being the "one bite meal." Our definition of this was when you get everything you need in one bite. There's no chicken with a side of salad with a baked potato. Nope. Its like a sub, or a casserole. One bite, all the goodies. And that brings me to one of my FAVORITE one bite meals. Stuffed Peppers!

Jess's Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound, cooked, lean (at least 90% lean/10% fat) ground beef (use medium-heat)
  • 1 1/2 cups, cooked, brown rice
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans, tomato sauce
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare green bell peppers by slicing off top, and hollowing out the seeds. Then, place them in a large pot, cover with water. Bring water to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Drain and set green bell peppers upright in a foil-lined baking dish (usually 9x9 works well for me).
  • In a bowl, mix beef, rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  • Spoon equal amounts of beef mixture into peppers. 
  • Mix 2nd can of tomato sauce with Italian seasoning and pour over stuffed peppers. 
  • Bake for 40 minutes, making sure to baste peppers every 15 minutes with sauce.  

BAM! You have a one-bite meal with vegetables, fiber-packed brown rice and lean ground beef. 

Enjoy your weekend!!
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why I Follow the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan

I've been asked a few times lately why I (a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) am following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. "Shouldn't you know what to eat" has been brought up, and so has "you have a degree in nutrition, why do you need help?" Ah, if only a bachelor's degree in nutrition taught me the holistic approach to food that Tone It Up has taught me....

Don't get me wrong. I am a nutrition expert. I know how to, and am legally permitted to prescribe diet plans to people with all types of health issues as well as those who want to lose weight. I can tell you how to eat, map it out, and if you follow it...you'll get results. The problem with me is...I don't practice what I preach. Not surprisingly, everyone struggles with their weight and I'm no exception. So, I actually bought the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan when I was a senior in college. I was sick of feeling like the "fat" friend and wanted an easy plan to follow. Now, 3 years later...I'm finally committing myself to it. In the past I was so good at making up excuses. I was a graduate student with a full time internship, busy all the time, taking tests...I didn't have time to wake up early and pack meals. Or, I lived at home and my parents cooked for me, "I have to eat what they make me." Then, after moving out of my parents house, getting my first full-time job, and living with my boyfriend--I started to eat what he ate. Which was not good. It was pasta for dinner, peanut butter sandwiches at 9pm because I was hungry before bed, and trying to pretend we were still in college on the weekends (aka drinking and pizza). Before I knew it I was the most uncomfortable I had been in a while. Luckily, I checked myself right around the 10 pound gain mark and decided to change. It wasn't until now, the Bikini Series, that I really committed and have seen changes. And besides eating better, it's working out that Tone It Up gives me motivation for. For the first time since I was 17 I'm seeing the outline of abs. And all it took was someone challenging me.


So yes, I bought the Nutrition Plan as an RDN because I needed it. I needed structure in my eating and it has ended up teaching me so much more than that. In my own life, I am approaching nutrition naturally and holistically. Someday soon I will have a practice where I can share that approach as well. But until then, I am still the nutrition expert who needed help to kick her own butt into shape. 

Check it out at: www.toneitup.com OR www.toneitupplan.com!!
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Breakfast!

The other day my friend told me that she hates breakfast. Once I got over the shock I felt, it made me think about why people still don't eat breakfast...despite all the publicity it gets for being the most important meal of the day. Always a breakfast lover, I go to bed thinking about what meal I get to eat in the morning, so I really can't sympathize with those that hate it. But, I know you have your reasons why. And here's my reasons for why you should change your mind!
  • Hunger leads to nervousness, irritability, lack of interest and the inability to concentrate. AKA, you won't be the best student/employee you can be!
  • Skipping breakfast negatively impacts your nutrition for the rest of the day. AKA you're more likely to eat unhealthy foods because "hey, you didn't eat breakfast!"
  • Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. AKA your metabolism freaks out when you don't give it food causing your body to store the rest of the food you eat throughout the day as fat.
Anyways, give it a try! Here's my recipe for Overnight Oats that I tried for the very first time yesterday. It worked great. Especially for someone like me who likes to get as much sleep as possible and then is always running behind on time!
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
Directions:
  • Combine oats, almonds, protein powder and chia seeds in a tupperware container.
  • Add almond milk and stir.
  • Finally, add almond butter and stir until well combined.
  • Leave in refrigerator overnight. 
  • Throw it in your bag before you leave for work and you have a delicious breakfast at your desk!
Not into oatmeal or have a texture issue with it? No problem. You can always eat lunch foods for breakfast! PB&J on a whole wheat wrap, Toasted Turkey and Cheese Sandwich, or even a piece of leftover veggie pizza from the night before. Get creative!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Summer is here and with the nice weather comes cookouts, swimsuits and BOOZE. But let's face it, alcohol contributes a significant amount of calories to our diets and doesn't help our waistline. At 7 calories per gram of alcohol, it adds those calories without giving us any sort of nutrient in exchange. In the nutrition world, it's called: "empty calories." And much like other empty calorie foods...Oreos, chips, fries... our bodies can live without it.  I'm not saying a glass of wine is as unhealthy as an Oreo, but what I am saying is that moderation is key. I hear all the time from people that they want to lose weight, but then they cripple themselves by not giving up alcohol. Why, when on a "diet" do we give up unhealthy foods like cookies, crackers and chips, but we won't give up alcohol? It's a question that I find myself wondering about frequently. And I blame the research world. People have contributed to their own disillusionment by creating every study under the sun possible to prove that drinking alcohol is good for us, when in fact, we should have been studying why it's not. Think of it this way...Dr. Oz tells you that acai berries help you lose weight, and America goes out and buys MILLIONS of dollars worth of acai berries! We believe research studies. And research studies have told us that a glass of red wine a day is good for you. Lets not be naive and pretend that you leave it at 1 glass per day. 1 glass is 6 oz. I think the wine glasses I own fit at least 13oz of fluid in them, and your darn right I fill it up most of the way on my Friday night.

So, as my father would say.."whats your point"!? My point is that I want you to think about it. Think about why you're so willing to give up a cookie, but you refuse to put down that glass of beer, wine or liquor. Do you really need it? Are you using it as a cop-out? "I had a hard day, I need my wine." Why not drink some sparkling water or even a diet coke!

Before you get mad that my blog is Carpe The SANGRIA and I'm talking about not drinking wine... calm down. I drink alcohol on the weekends. Not both nights and not every weekend. That's how I'm helping to control my weight -- moderation. And, like all things in life, moderation is key.

I'd love to hear your opinion!
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tagged for 6 Random Questions!

I wish it wasn't Sunday night. I hate knowing the week of work is looming in front of me! Here's to a job switch sometime in the future. Anywho! Hope you had a great weekend! Joe-Joe and I were very busy this weekend. Friday night I went to a wine tasting with some girlfriends! It was all about Rose Wines, and I ended up learning some really good info about what makes a rose and why its different than other wines. Then we bounced around downtown for a while!

On Saturday, Joe and  I went to the farmer's market on the capitol square with some friends. This farmer's market is HUGE. It goes around the whole square and I was lucky enough to go on the weekend the cows were there visiting! The university brought in their cows to let kids play with them and learn. I, of course, took part as well. I choose to not grow up.


 
 
Then, we had to try some spicy cheese bread!
 


After the farmer's market, we came home and relaxed. Then I enjoyed some fun reading by the pool!! Did I mention I love summertime?

And lastly, the Pittsburgh Pens game! It was such a hard loss, especially considering we were at a Boston Bruin's fan's apartment! YUCK! Oh well, they'll get 'em next time!
How cute is he?!
Now, onto the 6 random questions Kristyn asked me! Thanks for tagging me girl!

1) What is your favorite magazine? - SELF Magazine! The articles range from beauty to fitness to relationships but its not as corny as Cosmopolitan Magazine. They also empower women, which I love!
2) If you watch Food Network, who is your favorite show host? - Joe and I actually don't have cable! But, I do love Chopped! Whenever I'm in a hotel on a business trip I'll put that show on as I fall asleep :)
3) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? - WOW! What a hard question. I think if I could transplant my family and friends and Joe's family and friends, I would choose Hawaii. I dream of one day waking up to go on a run outside, and outside is the beach!
4) What is your favorite cardio exercise? - In the summer-- running! Nothing beats going out on a run in the fresh air. Of course, my allergies hate me from mid-May to mid-June so my outdoor running gets put on a hold for a bit...but hopefully I can pick it back up here soon! But in the winter, SPIN CLASS.  I am obsessed with a good spin class with a great instructor.
5) What is your favorite animal? - Dogs. And more specifically, puppies! Haha.
6) What is your favorite way to use a mason jar? (hehe..if you use them) - The last time I used a mason jar was for homemade salsa...not too much of a canner. But Joe made Apple Butter back in the winter and we gave it out as presents!

I want to tag Laura, Kait and Sarah. Here are you 6 questions!
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  2. What is your favorite summer activity?
  3. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner...what's your favorite meal?
  4. Champagne, Wine or Beer?
  5. Why did you start your blog?
  6. What's your favorite meal to cook?
Have a great start to the week!!
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