Core Crusher

WOW, its cold in Pittsburgh. As expected,it is January. But still, it’s just shockingly (is that a word?!) cold!!!

So I have a great core workout for you to warm up the body! I am not a fan of “AB” exercises.  They aren’t my favorite, unlike squats, I could do those for days (I know, strange!) But I find core circuits to be fun and a challenge that I like.  There are several different exercises on here, so its a good variety.  I created this for my own  workout but also tried  with a client, and she loved it! If you try it, let me know what you think!Core Crusher

Now, on to food. I am always looking for healthy recipes to try to  and also keep my interest in meal planning! I love to cook! So, I was searching SkinnyTaste which is one of my favorite spots to go to find new recipes…and This recipe sparked my interest.  Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast.   Guys, it was SOOO good, you have to try it! and anything in the crock pot is a WIN! I made it on Sunday and ate it on top of a large salad and same with Monday night. It had SO much flavor! I did splurge on a pork shoulder from Whole Foods simply because I am trying to buy better animal products when I do eat them. (That’s a whole post topic in it of itself) I feel it was definitely worth it.  Also, if your counting Weight Watcher Points, it was 5PP for a 3 oz serving! You must try it!

Have a fantastic Thursday, stay warm!

What are your least favorite types of exercise?! Do you have a must try recipe?!

Back to Basics

First of all…Happy 2015! WOW! I am really coming off from a long, amazing, fun/food-filled holiday bender! Are you?! I am SO ready to get back in the swing of things around here after all the fun.  I spend ALL weekend organizing, cleaning, cooking, and figuring out how to make this year better than the last. I think I have some good ideas! ;)  and thanks to Heather from FitNCookies , my blog will stay more organized! (More on that later in the week!)

Today, I want to chat about going back to the basics.  This month, I want to focus on cleaning up my diet a bit! After a season of holiday festivities, it could use it! More fruits, more veggies, more water! All about the healthy eating in this house.

Yesterday, while figuring out how to keep my health goals attainable, I started to think about what I always tell my clients.  I actually took my own advice, I “walked the walk”.   It may sound silly, but these easy tips will help you stay on top of your healthy eating goals for 2015.  None of these tips are new, rocket science, or state of the art…however, they work!

Back to basics fridge organization

Taking it old school…

  1.  Plan Ahead. I can’t stress this enough! What will you eat? Do you have enough food to last you until you head back to the store? Healthy options to grab and go? We all know what happens when you’re not prepared.  Think, plan, shop, prep!
  2. Meal Prep. Yesterday, I prepped all my veggies, salads, and snacks.  As you can see above in my fridge! I have carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red pepper! I made a bunch of hard-boiled eggs too! I created a quinoa salad with loads of veggies.  I didn’t add any seasoning or dressing, so we can switch it up through the week.  It’s so much less stressful to make a salad with 90% of the work is already done for you.
  3. Stick to your list. I think this was the first time in a LONG time that I made a grocery list and stuck to it 95% of the time.  I was proud of myself.  I was also realistic about what to add to our grocery list.  Snacks and treats were on the list too, I know its important to indulge!! But I planned them into the week!
  4. It’s all about the placement.  I switched around my whole fridge around yesterday.  All my fruit, veggies, and healthy grab and go snacks are all placed conveniently on top.  All in clear containers so I can see whats inside. I am much more likely to grab carrots and celery if they are placed in my face and already cut up!! Again, it’s all about the placement!
  5. Keep track. When I am “cleaning” up my diet and trying to lose a few pounds, it’s essential for me to track.  I know, it’s not for everyone, but that is what works best for me. I either write it all done, or on my phone!  It really helps me to look at what I am eating and how I can improve.  I will be tracking with Weight Watchers, simply because I love it, and it works really well for me!

That’s it folks! Five basic tips to help keep you on your A game!

What is your favorite basic tip to stay on track? 

Are you cleaning up your diet this January?! 

9 Foods You Should Eat Everyday!

Hi Yall! Happy Friday! This week as been so strange…I feel like it flew by but then again was super long! All I know is TGIF!!!

My favorite “food” quote of all time is ….
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”~ Hippocrates
And I truly believe this for many reasons. Check out the list below on why you should add these nine foods to your daily diet! 
 
Here are NINE foods that you should eat everyday for your health and well-being! 
  1. Garlic–This food has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral benefits.  Garlic is full of antioxidants! 
  2. Grapefruit–Boosts your liver function! It is packed with properties that aid the body in detoxifying!
  3. Avocado–Research shows that this “fruit” may lower our cholesterol.
  4. Tomatoes–Rich in vitamin C.  Also, has Lycopene, a carotenoid that offers antioxidant protection again several types of cancers.
  5. Hemp Seeds–Packed with loads of essential fatty acids and full of protein!
  6. Kale–It’s a super food! High in iron and again, packed with antioxidant powers!
  7. Cucumbers–Known for their hydrating qualities but also their cleansing abilities inside the body.
  8. Peppers–Rich in color, loaded with rich antioxidants such as Lycopene, Lutein (great for eye health), and Chlorophyll which aids in elimination free radicals in the body!
  9. Spinach–Anti-inflammatory.  Research is telling us the inflammation in the body is the start to A LOT of diseases and cancers!

Here is a great picture I found from Food INC. to showcase these nine foods! nine foods to eat How do you add these foods to your daily diet? 

Tuttorosso Tomatoes (GIVEAWAY)

Hello my friends! I hope you had a fantastic, enjoyable weekend, I know I did! 

I have a fun giveaway for all of you today! As you may know, or perhaps have experienced, wooden spoons are often handed down from generation to generation. If you have a fun family story, Tuttorosso Tomatoes would love to hear it and even post about it on their Facebook page (to share with others). They are hosting a contest based on the family stories! 

I thought you might be interested that Tuttorosso will be giving away 3,000 wooden spoons and is ending tomorrow, November 12th  http://www.facebook.com/tuttorossotomato — to celebrate the nostalgia and heritage of the wooden spoon in so many classic tomato-based recipes (chili, soup, lasagna, manicotti, salsa, etc.).
 
Anyone can get in on the wooden spoon random drawings by ‘liking’ Tuttorosso on Facebook and providing some contact information. The winner will win the grand prize of one Tuttorosso personalized heirloom wooden spoon and a 6-piece signature cookware by La Creuset). How Fun!!! So go ahead…share your family history! 
 
I am also having a giveaway from Tuttorosso Tomatoes! Comment below about a favorite family memory that revolves around food! I cant wait to hear them! The winner will be picked randomly tomorrow (Tuesday, November 12) at 6:00 PM! 

Three Seed Breakfast Bars

Happy Tuesday! Let’s say I may still be struggling after an awesome weekend at my old stomping grounds, Kent State! It was homecoming!! Such a blast from the past! I enjoyed every minute!

I came home early Sunday afternoon and started preparing right away for the week! Stocked up at the grocery store, baked some pumpkin carrot cake (just because I am obsessed with pumpkin), and made a delicious grab and go granola bar that is healthy.  A granola bar that you can pronounce all the ingredients, it has zero chemicals, zero preservatives, and is really yummy!

Let’s take a look at  two popular granola bars that you can buy at the grocery store, shall we?

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special k

Check out those ingredients.  Remember, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. The first ingredient listed is present in the largest amount. What do you think? I see sugar, corn syrup, different types of oil, partially hydrogenated oil and a few extra things that I do not know what they are, EW! This is only two types of granola bars, there are TONS of options. Some may be better and some are way worse.  Granola bars that you buy in a grocery store are not only expensive but simply just not good for us! We are not getting a lot of bang for our ‘healthy’ buck! And what I mean by that is you’re not getting a lot of dense nutrients.

The message here is stay clear of what I call “Fake Health Foods”, make your own at home that taste better and fresher. And, this recipe, for my five seed granola bars, is very adaptable! It’s as easy to make as rice crispy treats! I bought all my ingredients at Giant Eagle Market District, they have an AMAZING bulk section.  So, I was able to buy foods that are often expensive at very low costs, and in the exact amount I needed them in.  So I would recommend finding a grocery store that has a bulk section, check out Whole Foods!

Three Seed Breakfast Bars

three seed

  • 1 1/4 C old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/3 C raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Green Pepitas)
  • 2 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 2 C Whole Wheat puffed Cereal (or regular, whatever you can find!)
  • 1/2 C Chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 C Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 Almond Butter (I used freshly ground)
  • 3 Tbsp organic honey
  • 3 Tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray
  2. Spread oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and flax seeds on a rimmed baking pan.  Bake, at 4 min, shake pan to mix, continue baking another 4 min OR until flagrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.  add cereal, apricots, and blueberries; toss to combine
  3. Combine almond butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, salt in a small sauce pan.  Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles around edges.  Pour almond butter mixture over cereal/seed mixture and stir until combined.  Then pour into your ready pan.  Coat hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down firmly to make an even layer.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  Cut into 12 bars.

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers 

I suggest you make these for your friends and family…today!  Yes, these may have sugar in them, however, you control how much, these are so adaptable! Unlike the bars you buy in the stores, you know exactly what your feeding yourself or loved ones! Eat these along with a piece of fruit and some coffee, your breakfast is set!

Enjoy!!

I am Back

Hello my friends, I am BACK after a summer vacation away from blogging. I took some time to re-charge, get inspired, find motivation, and all other good stuff you do on a vacation away from your blog! I am ready to jump feet first back into blogging, recipe sharing, and discussing hot health and wellness topics, I have missed you all! :)

Here is another fantastic commercial from Chipotle. Its honest, real, and truthful about what we are facing in our food industry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE&w=420&h=315]

What do you think? Do you feel it portrays our food industry in the correct way? 

Teriyaki Salmon & Vegetable Kabobs

Hi there! Hope all is well! How is your summer going?! There is a heat wave going through Pittsburgh/east coast right now…ya its hot! Too hot for me! 
heat-wave
So right now, I don’t want to turn on the oven OR stand in front of the stove top.  So lots of salads and other options are going on right now.  I have a fantastic recipe for you guys, you’re going to love it! Nick got a grill for his birthday this year, so we have grilled up a storm. Grilling everything! So easy and so delish to just throw something on the grill, flip it once and your done! 
So lets jump right into this recipe.  

Teriyaki Salmon & Vegetable Kabobs

salmon

  • 1 large salmon filet
  • Mixed veggies of your choice, I used red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms
  • Teriyaki sauce, your choice! I used a low sodium option
  • Skewers

Cut the salmon long ways, then into chunks big enough to withstand the grill/skewer.  Marinate the salmon in the teriyaki sauce, enough to cover the salmon. I marinated the salmon over night, but an hour will do! Then the fun begins, build your kabobs! Brush the grill with some olive oil.  Place kabobs on grill and let the magic happen.  Flip after about 8-10 minutes.  Grill for another 5 minutes.  The salmon will begin to flake, that’s your queue!

Serve over a spinach salad or a bed of brown rice/quinoa! So Yummy! I hope all enjoy!

What is your go to meal when it’s too hot to cook?!

 

 

Your Body…On a Can of POP/Soda!

Who drinks pop or Soda? Pop if your here in Pittsburgh! I have to admit, I use to drink pop A LOT!! Diet pop was my choice.  I have cut WAY back, like way back. Now I drink it as a treat!  So every once in a while I still enjoy an occasional Diet coke…I know I know, how awful!

Check out this diagram below that I found…you may not pick up the can of coke again! Or maybe, just maybe…you’ll at least think twice about it!

soft drinks

Do you drink pop/soda? Here are some options and not sugar and chemicals disguised as POP!

healthy beverages

So skip the pop today, chug some water instead! 

 

What is Really in a Shamrock Shake?

Now that St. Patrick’s Day is over, and maybe the Shamrock Shake buzz is done…I can post this. I didn’t want to burst anyone’s bubble :)   Do you actually know what is in a Shamrock Shake? Well, let me show you.  Let’s just say this…a lot of STUFF! Artificial this and artificial that with a touch of chemicals and sugar and loads of calories, maybe reading this make think twice before ordering it and opting to make and at home version instead!  Did you ever wonder what made the Shamrock Shake fluorescent green, perhaps it’s one of the 54 ingredients?  I found this on the Huffington Post…and had to rely the message to all of you! Enjoy!

0315shamrockshake_final

 

Bliss Cleanse

I joined the “30 Days of Bliss” virtual book tour! Here are my thoughts on the fabulous book ‘Bliss Cleanse’ by Lindsey Smith and Lorraine Miller.

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Remember Lindsey is the Food Mood girl from Junk foods & Junk moods!
I absolutely LOVED this book. This book was just what I needed. it was so…refreshing! I finished it in one night! It takes you through your own personal journey to BLISS. What is Bliss? I think that everyone has their own personal definitions of bliss… I think bliss is happiness, and to me, happiness is peace, peace of mind, body and soul. Bliss is being grateful for everyday things and life. Something we all strive for, work towards, and thrive off of!

Bliss Cleanse takes us through four seasonal cleanses. Each two-week cleanse is based on of the seasonal veggies and fruits, lessons on how to be grateful for life and the simple things, mantras, and daily checklists. Plus a ton of tips for healthy living. There are several recipes and guides to help you meal plan for those two weeks. I can’t wait to start cooking some of these recipes. I’ll be posting a recipe tomorrow from the book…stay tuned!!!
(while I’m writing this, I am enjoying a coconut milk chamomile tea latte inspired by Bliss Cleanse–I even got Nick to enjoy one! Mmmmm)

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I personally cannot wait to do the Spring Cleanse. I always love doing some sort of cleanse when the new season approaches…especially in the spring/summer.
Before the book gets into the details of the seasonal cleanses, it teaches us or reminds us of the importance of cleanses and how to make it our own. How to do a cleanse properly.  They even give us a shopping list for each part, my kinda book!

It is a great read for a spiritual renewal, nutrition re-start, and a reminder of adding movement into our daily lives.   There are several different parts of the book.  It takes us through Mind, Body, and Spirit.  How to cleanse all three.  My favorite section was the Mind and Body. Actually…I really got something from each section. Lorraine and Lindsey talk about meditation, mineral salt baths, and even give us recipes for our very own home remedies!  Do yourself a favor, READ this book.  You will not be sorry. Such a fabulous reminder on some many important things that we tend to put on the back burner.  Our bodies need to be cleansed, use this book as a guide, a guide to a better version of YOU!

Now…fun news! One of you lucky readers will have a chance to win a E-copy of BLISS CLEANSE!!!!
All you have to do:
~Comment on this post…Tell me what BLISS means to you!
~Give a shout-out on Twitter telling me what your BLISS is! @healthypassion1
~The winner will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:00 PM
 
Okay friends…that is all for now! Check back tomorrow for an AWESOME recipe of yummy healthy cookies from BLISS CLEANSE!!! :) Happy Monday!