Tag Archives: Diet

Adventures in Keto

In my last post I mentioned that I started doing Keto and if you’re like me, you’ve heard the term on social media and know it has to do with eating large amounts of fat…but you don’t really know what it’s all about.

I’ve been friends with people who follow a ketogenic diet on social media for quiet some time and I thought they were insane because all they ever posted were chicken wings, crazy amounts of cheese, bacon, steak and butter. Now there is nothing wrong with any of those items…. I’m actually a huge fan of all of them! I just couldn’t wrap my head around how eating those could possibly help you lose weight and be healthier. Then I met a dude who was super passionate about Keto and how it helped him and he explained it all to me. I mean he totally explained it all… like science nerd explanation complete with YouTube videos and books! After falling down the YouTube rabbit hole and taking a shit ton of notes I decided I couldn’t judge these people on Instagram without trying this and the science behind it all actually made a ton of sense to me.

I am not about to attempt to explain it myself. While I’ve read tons and watched a bunch of video AND took notes, I’m too new to actually explain it. So if you want to learn more about ketosis, read this: What is the Keto Diet 

Prefer videos? Check out Thomas DeLauer on YouTube he is easy to understand (and easy on the eyes) and really gets into the science behind the ketogenic diet.

Now as a sugar junkie, carb loving woman, my inner fat girl threw a hissy fit when I decided to give this a try. No pizza, no bread, no sugar….how was I going to survive?! No really…. I was pretty sure I was going to die. (I can be quite dramatic at times.)

But I didn’t. As I type this I am just about a week into it, intermittent fasting and all, and I gotta tell you, I feel awesome! I am never bloated, I don’t get hungry during my fasting (except for that one I baked a cookie cake before I even had my first cup of coffee, lol) and eating a ton of healthy fat is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Yes, I did have some “keto flu” symptoms. I had a headache one day and brain fog another. I also had some bad charlie horses in the middle of night because I need more electrolytes and I had this feeling that I can only really describe as “energy buzzing”  for a short time on days 3 and 4, but all in all it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, having a Keto Guru in my corner helped A LOT in figuring it all out and answering all of my dumb questions when I was too lazy to Google them. (Thanks dude!)

As you know I’m also a total Pinterest junkie so of course I did my “keto homework” and found lots of “fake keto” recipes. What’s fake keto you ask? Well, it’s recipes that are keto friendly but simulate the delicious carb heavy foods that you love! Recipes like the ones below have been my saving grace in all of this because if I can simulate a carb or sweet treat, I’m a happy camper. These Fathead bagels and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs have been staples in my diet this week! They are sooooooo good!

Want the recipe? Check out Wholesome Yum’s blog here!

Want the recipe? Check out PaleoMomNoms blog here!

So  stay tuned for more Keto updates from me as well as life saving recipes that I try along the way. If you’ve done Keto before or currently follow a Keto Lifestyle, I’d love to hear your best tips and tricks to making it through the first few weeks!

 

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Sugar. Sugar! SUGAAAAR!

After being a slacker for a few weeks, I’m happy to report that I spent New Year’s Day scouring the web for new recipes to try so I get my ass back on track. I spent most of the holiday season studying, chasing my goal of 500 miles for the year (which I fell short of but that’s okay) and holiday shopping/prepping. I had very little time or desire to grocery shop and meal prep. I barely wanted to do my workouts but thankfully I stuck with those.

Sugar and I have been BFF’s for a very long time and our relationship is very toxic. I have no control when it comes to sugar. It’s my crutch when I’m feeling stressed and anxious and I was feeling both during the holidays. I also love baking and it doesn’t feel like the holidays to me without it, so I created the perfect storm for myself over the past few weeks.

Thankfully I didn’t gain any weight during this downward slide, but I did become highly dependent on sugar again and that’s no good.

I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of the 21 Day Sugar Detox book but I haven’t ordered it yet (don’t ask why because I don’t have a good answer to that) but I started searching for recipes that are compatible with it and that’s a start.

With my list of ingredients in hand, I braved the grocery store right before a snow storm was arriving. I had to get what I needed to begin the process of meal planning, prepping and detoxing myself of sugar! I figured if I steered clear of the milk, bread and egg aisles, I would okay. What is it about snow storms that make people want to make French toast, anyway?!

The first recipe I decided to try was for Paleo Banana French Toast muffins that I found on What I Gather. Now I know there are different stances when it comes to paleo on the topic of muffins, cookies, cakes and pancakes. Many die-hard fans of this lifestyle feel that our ancestors did not eat these items so we shouldn’t create paleo forms of them, while others feel that it is okay to do so using paleo approved items. Since I don’t follow a paleo lifestyle (I just like some of the principles of it) I didn’t think twice about making these.

Paleo Banana French Toast Muffins
Recipe from whatigather.com
Makes 12 muffins

Paleo Banana French Toast MuffinsIngredients
2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
 2 ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp ghee, softened (I used coconut oil which the original recipe said was okay in a pinch)
3 eggs (For an egg-free version add an extra banana and 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
For the drizzle topping
1 tbsp ghee, melted (I used coconut oil again)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, add almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Add vanilla, softened ghee and eggs into bowl with bananas. Whisk until large clumps disappear and mixture is mostly smooth. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well. Line a muffin tin with liners. I also spray the liners just for a little extra insurance that the muffins won’t stick. (You can also use a silicone baking pan and then you can skip the liners and spray). Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each tin until they are all evenly filled. Each tin should be about 3/4 full.
For the topping, mix melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle about a teaspoon of the topping onto each muffin.
Pop the muffins into the oven for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick entered into center of the muffin comes out clean).

These muffins are not sweet, but they satisfied my craving for something “naughty”. They were really yummy with a little pure maple syrup drizzled over them and I’m sure they would be amazing with some almond butter on top too.

They are not something that I would eat on a daily basis because I view these as a “treat” and they are a less evil option for me while I retrain my brain and break the sugar addiction that I relapsed into these past few weeks.

Do you follow a paleo lifestyle? If so, what is your view on “paleo approved” muffins, cakes and pancakes?

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Lunchtime Meal Prep…Body Beast Style!

Today I decided to meal prep my lunches for the rest of the week. I’ve been dying to try a recipe from the Book of Beast for Turkey Chili and I’m so glad I finally got around to doing it today.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, chili is perfect for this time of year, right? Well…I of course pick the 80 degree freak of nature day to make this. Oh well! Did I mention it’s going to be almost 90 tomorrow?! So much for the nice sweater and boot weather we were having. I’m so done with summer.

Body Beast Turkey Chili

This recipe was super easy to prepare and it was really yummy. I put some green jalapeno hot sauce over it and I wish I have an avocado on hand, because a few slices would have been perfect. I just realized I have some tomatoes sitting on my window sill, so those will be chopped up and tossed on top of tomorrows lunch!

Each serving works out to be about 433 calories and contains 43 grams of protein!

I also made a cup of rice to serve this over and split it into the 4 servings.

I love knowing that my lunches for the week are all taken care of. Meal prepping, especially for lunch has really been a game changer for me. In the past, I’d scrounge for something to have or just snack instead of eating a meal, because I couldn’t think of what I wanted. Now it’s all done for me. Everything is measured out, I know how many calories each container has inside, I heat and I eat.

Do you meal prep? If so, I’d love to hear what your staple meals are. Do you meal prep for all meals? Right now I’ve just been prepping for lunch. I meal plan our dinners and I always have a few options within the same caloric window for breakfast, in addition to Shakeology.

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Ready. Aim. Focused.

It seems I found my groove so well, that I haven’t had time to sit down and write.

Wow!

The past two weeks have been quite the whirl wind. The kids went back to school, so we started a new routine. I made lots of small changes to my fitness and nutrition, which are yielding big results, and I’ve been working on lots of personal development, which feels amazing.

With the kids back in school, my day starts a lot earlier and it allows me to get my Focus T25 workouts in bright and early. This week I started the Beta phase of the program and I absolutely love it. I’m not sure if it’s because all of the workouts are new for this month, because there are weights involved or if it is because I was doing Alpha for so long, but I’m honestly enjoying the change. My favorite so far is Speed 2.0. I can feel everything engaging, I get a good sweat going and I didn’t clock watch at all when I did that one. I know…it’s a 25 minutes program, but I do catch myself clock watching at times. I find I look for the halfway mark and the 5 minute mark, but I didn’t do that with Speed 2.0, I was actually shocked when it was over.

This week was a rest week for Body Beast with the hybrid Mike is doing, so I just followed my regular T25 schedule. I’m looking forward to new workouts with Body Beast next week, too. I’m sure there will be lots of soreness in my future!

Meal prepping has continued to be a life saver for me. I slacked a little with it this week and it resulted in us ordering pizza last night. We used to order pizza every Friday night… it was tradition, but we hadn’t done it in the past month and I didn’t have anything ready to toss together for dinner so I said why not. I had no idea I would gorge myself as soon as it entered the house. I ended up feeling tired and sluggish after eating it, which is something I never noticed before, but I guess with the nutritional changes I’ve made over the past few weeks, my body rejected the amount I forced it to consume.

MyFitnessPal has also become part of my routine again. We were challenged as part of the accountability group I am in for Focust T25, to track AND post screen captures of our food intake daily. It really made me think twice before I grabbed a cookie, handful of almonds or an extra scoop of rice. For the most part, it just helped me to tweak the types of food I was eating. It also helped me to ensure I was hitting my daily caloric goal, because I didn’t realize I was under most days, before I started tracking. The small task of logging my meals showed not only on the scale the past two weeks, but in my measurements (You all know I feel about the scale by itself.) so if you have been stuck and you’re getting frustrated by a lack of results, make sure you take the time to journal your food!

The other thing I have been spending a lot of time on is Personal Development. It’s one of those things that I’ve been told to do, as a coach, but I allowed everything else to come first and I never had time. Sound familiar? Because that’s the excuse I hear all the time, from people who want my help getting healthier, but haven’t committed yet. Ironic, isn’t it? Well… I realized the irony, I made changes, and I committed. I’ve been reading a minimum of 10 pages per day (my current book of choice is The Compound Effect), I watch or listen to at least 15 minutes of inspiring video or audio a day (so easy to do while running errands in the car or I pop ear buds in while I fold laundry), I’ve made a digital dream board which I plan on printing and hanging where I can see it daily and I’ve set goals for myself.

I could kick myself for not starting this sooner, but I can’t change the past, so I’ve just been focused on my daily tasks and enjoying the feeling it brings.

obstacles

Lastly, many of you who have been following my blog from the beginning, know that Shakeology has been a staple in my diet for years. Lately, I’ve had a lot of people messaging me on Facebook, asking questions about it as well as the programs I’ve done, so I’ve organized 7 Day Shakeology Challenges over on Facebook. I am so excited by the positive response it has received! If you have ever wanted to try Shakeology, need to jump start healthy habits and gain energy without sugary energy drinks and tons of coffee, stop by my page or comment below for more details! I’ll also be starting some program based challenges soon!

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Finally Found a Groove

After being wishy washy for a while with my nutrition and fitness, I think I have finally found my groove.

As I mentioned before, I started Focus T25 a few weeks ago. I did three weeks of the program just to check it out and see how I liked it, then restarted it with a challenge group on Facebook. I gotta tell you…I have NEVER sweat as much with any program, like I do with T25. Okay…I sweat my ass with Insanity but this is almost a tie! A TIE…that’s crazy!

This program fits into my schedule like a glove and while I get frustrated at being rhythmically challenged, my two left foot are making progress! I may even develop rhythm, along with cardio endurance, thanks to this workout!

I’ve also made some changes in my diet. I borrowed a few books from the library on Paleo and Whole 30 diets. While I’m not adhering to either 100%, there is tons of amazing information in there and I’ve taken that info into account, when assessing my dietary needs and goals. Two of the books I found most informative are Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC and It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig.

The other change I made was incorporating weight lifting into my routine again.

I LOVE lifting. It makes me feel strong, I can feel my metabolism really kick in and I love the way my arms look when I lift.

Mike just started a Body Beast/Focus T25 Hybrid this week, so I decided to join him at night when he does the Body Beast workouts. It feels great to lift again and I can already feel a difference in my body by adding it! Weight lifting is so important even if you are looking to lose weight. Having more muscle increases your metabolism, even when you are not working out, so your body burns more calories all day long.

Another aspect that has really helped me the past few weeks is meal planning and meal prepping. All of the programs I have done come with amazing Nutrition Guides which are full of recipes, so I started digging through them, the books I mentioned above and of course Pinterest, for meal ideas and tips on meal prepping (I’ll have a separate post on this soon!)

One of the great recipes I’ve used came from the Body Beast guide…this recipe is quick, tasty and can be transformed into many different meals throughout the week. They also freeze really well so you can make double batches and just pull one batch from the freezer midweek and you’re good to go!

Body Beast Sagi's Signature Meatballs

This is another good recipe I tried this week from the Body Beast guide. I didn’t have the seeds on hand so I used some ground flax seed and unsweetened coconut in it’s place. They were missing some crunch without them, so I need to try this again!

Body Beast Power Protein Balls

Finding my groove has been a long time in the making and I’m happy I finally lifted the right rock to locate it. I look forward to sharing more on this new chapter with you as well as recipes, tips and anything else I come to realize along the way.

If you are trying to find your groove, please stop by my Facebook page. There are a few different accountability groups going on as well as info on the programs I have completed on my journey.

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August Challenge: Clean Eating & Yoga

August is upon us and with it brings us a new challenge!

First off…congrats to everyone who stuck with the July Squat & Plank Challenge. I know how hard it is during the summer to stick with these things, so even if you missed a few days (I know I did), you still did awesome if you kept coming back to it!

This month I’m changing it up a bit. I found out that many of us struggle with nutrition, so a clean eating challenge seemed like the logical way to go. I also found that many of us have a lot of stress in our daily lives, so I’ll be posting  daily yoga video on the Facebook Page to help center and relax us!

I have already posted some Clean Eating basics over on Facebook, as well as Day 1 of the Yoga routine. There is also a tab on the upper right side of the Facebook page where I have a link to Pinterest. I’ll be pinning lots of clean recipes over there, so make sure to check it often or follow me on Pinterest.

#EatCleanWithNikki

For this challenge I want us to all work as a team. I’ll help you as much as I can but expect the following from you:

  • You need to check-in daily on the Facebook Page.
  • Share any new clean snacks you may have found, as well as recipes that you’ve tried.
  • Share any slip-ups or struggles you may have. I try to be as honest as possible here on my blog and lord knows I get derailed quite often. We are all human and we can’t be perfect. If you have a slip-up and happen to not eat so clean for a meal, it’s okay! Dust yourself off for your next meal and make sure it’s as clean as you can make it.
  • No matter how much you dislike yoga, try it! If you really hate it, just lay in corpse pose for at least 10-minutes, clear your mind and focus on breathing. We all need to take a break from our daily crazy tasks to just breathe.
  • Don’t try to go cold turkey! If you use 6 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee a day, cut back or try something like Stevia in the Raw. Going from 0-120 with this will only set you up to binge. I’d rather you take baby steps to ingrain a new, healthy habit. Just make sure you are making changes.
  • Be supportive of one another!

Following an 80/20 rule will also make this less stressful and stress is one of the things I’m also aiming to reduce with this challenge!

We have a few different diet restrictions (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegetarian & Vegan) participating in this challenge as well as a yoga instructor, so please feel free to post questions! If I don’t know the answer, someone else might!

If you are on Twitter or Instagram and take photos of your yoga practice, meals or snacks, please use the hashtag #EatCleanWithNikki and be sure to follow me! I’ll share some on the blog as we go through the month!

So who’s ready to eat clean and de-stress with a quick, daily yoga workout?

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A Day In NYC for #FitBlogNYC (Part One)

fitnessmagazinemeettweetbanner

This past Thursday, the day I had been waiting for, finally arrived…. FITNESS magazine’s Meet & Tweet, also known as #FitBlogNYC!

I woke up bright and early to catch the bus and head into Port Authority. From there, it was a quick walk over to the venue and the meeting spot where some of us had agreed to meet. We grabbed some coffee, exchanged business cards and just chit chatted before heading over to the Mercedes Club, where the event was being held.

#FitBlogNYC 2013

Some of the amazing bloggers I got to meet before the event. To name a few @ExSoyCise, @SusanFishback, @TreadmillRunway, @weightsover, @MsHealthyWife, @BlondesRun, @DianaAntholis and @Frolic_Life_Syl who was kind enough to be my buddy for the afternoon. I know I forgot a few people here, but my brain is still in overload, my apologies.

Upon arriving, we headed upstairs to check-in. We received our ID badge, an awesome Camelbak water bottle and there were morning snacks/refreshments for us. After grabbing a muffin and some juice, we headed outside to the rooftop patio where the speakers would be presenting.

First up, were introductions by FITNESS magazines Editor-in-Chief, Betty Wong (@FITNESSBetty). She introduced us to the lovely Heather Muir (@PYTbeauty), who is the Beauty Director at FITNESS as well as Sarah Lucero (@stilaPROartist), who is a celebrity make-up artist and Executive Director of Global Artistry for Stila Cosmetics, as well as a Stage 3 Breast Cancer survivor.

Top: Betty Wong telling us about the day in store. Bottom: Heather Muir (L) & Sarah Lucero (R)

Top: Betty Wong telling us about the day in store. Bottom: Heather Muir (L) & Sarah Lucero (R)

During their seminar on “Insider Beauty Secrets to Get You Glowing”, they discussed ways to get pulled together in a flash, even when it’s 95 degrees outside. Their top tip? Less is more when it’s hot out!

  • Match the weight of your make-up to the weight of your clothing.
  • Use waterproof/water resistant beauty items.
  • Always carry blot papers with you as well as a refreshing mist.
  • Use sheer foundation – Don’t try to cover up every little imperfection!
  • PowerPout” is hot this season! Use a punchy orange to achieve the look.
  • Use vibrancy in your lip & eye color by using neon or pastel colors.

We also learned Sarah’s Top 3 Beauty Secrets:

  1. Make sure you get enough rest (8-9 hours of sleep per night)
  2. Use a good moisturizer or balm that is multitasking and color correcting.
  3. Wear the same color tone on your check and lips.

“Believe in the Beauty of the Future”

Our second seminar featured, FITNESS magazine’s Senior Editor, Lisa Haney (@FITNESS_Lisa) and Jennifer Ashton, M.D. (@DrJAshton), who  is an ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, ob-gyn, triathele and author of the book, “Your Body Beautiful: Clock Stopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond” as well as “The Body Scoop for Girls” – which I plan on picking up for my daughter.

Lisa Haney & Dr. Jennifer Ashton, speaking about being "Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 20s, 30s and Beyond"

Lisa Haney & Dr. Jennifer Ashton, speaking about being “Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 20s, 30s and Beyond”

They hosted a seminar on “Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 20s, 30s and Beyond”. Dr. Ashton gave her down-to-earth advice on a holistic approach to health and why you need to be able to talk to your doctor as if they were BFF.

Some of the topics covered and take away points included:

  • Angelina Jolie’s recent mastectomy.
  • You need to treat the whole person, not just the symptom.
  • Your body needs to move, rest and be nourished.
  • Size and body weight does not matter. It’s about the type of fuel you put into your body.
  • Bad carbs in excess are not our friends.
  • Alcohol increases your risk of Breast Cancer
  • Follow a 5/2 diet. Eat healthy 5 days a week & enjoy the weekends. This will help to curb the unhealthy food cravings over time.
  • 2.5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of Breast Cancer
  • Birth Control pills can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer, which is why Dr. Ashton prescribes them for her gay patients, despite not needing the birth control aspect of them.
  • Grapefruit juice interacts with many medications!
  • You can Google “Drug Drug Interactions” to check if you have any. Make sure you include all supplements you are taking, even OTC!

“Life Is An Olympic Event and We Have To Train For It”

Our third seminar was one I was looking forward to! It featured FITNESS magazine’s Digital Director, Christie Griffin (@ChristieGriffin) – who is one of the sweetest people ever! – Dana Weiss, Possessionista (@Possessionista), Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen (@SmittenKitchen), Jill Hanner who is a Ford Fiesta Agent and YouTube guru (@JillHanner) and last but not least, Erin Whitehead from Fit Bottomed Girls (@FitBottomedGirl) discussing their unique success stories and how they turned their passions into profit, during “My Blog Is My Business”

From Left to Right: Christie Griffin, Dana Weiss, Deb Perelman, Jill Hanner and Erin Whitehead

L to R: Christie Griffin, Dana Weiss, Deb Perelman, Jill Hanner and Erin Whitehead

Some of the biggest take away points from this seminar where:

  • Don’t blog for money. Blog, then make money. – Dana
  • Make what you want to talk about the center, then make money. – Deb
  • Have a strong message and know who you are! – Erin

Don’t Waste Your Time:

  • Worrying about what other bloggers are doing.
  • Comparing yourself to other bloggers.
  • Obsessing over numbers or followers.
  • Give too much weight to negative comments you may receive.
  • Ignore search engine optimization offers.
  • NEVER pay to rank in a search engine.

Tools They Love:

  • Skimlinks: It’s Dana’s “Magical affiliate fairy” and allows her to focus on content, instead of links.
  • Make sure you auto-redirect if you change your RSS feed! – Deb
  • Google is Erin’s best friend. She uses Google Docs, Analytics and more.
  • Jill is also a fan of Google but mainly uses Instagram and Twitter as her tools.

How To Pitch Yourself to Companies:

  • Email links of your work with other companies when reaching out.
  • Make sure you be yourself!
  • If you are offered a book deal, make sure you write a proposal.
  • Be passionate with your blog. It’ll bring new followers and eventually bring money.

Other Tips They Offered:

  • For Pictures – Use a DSLR camera with a 50mm lens. It allows for a good photo, even when less lighting is available.
  • On YouTube – Lighting and Sound are key! Also just like with your blog, BE YOURSELF!
  • BlogAds is a site that sells ads for you and can formulate a starting price based on readership.
  • Should I blog for free? – You bring value to these companies. Make sure you know your value, however, if you would write about them anyway, don’t push for more money.

“Don’t Blog For Money. Blog, Then Make Money.”

Our fourth seminar featured  FITNESS magazine’s Deputy Editor, Mary Christ Anderson (@FITNESS_Mary) and Celebrity Trainer Brett Hoebel (@bretthoebel), Founder of Brett Hoebel Fitness, featured trainer on The Biggest Loser season 11 and creator of RevAbs.

Mary Christ Anderson and Brett Hoebel discussing the Extreme Fitness Trend.

Mary Christ Anderson and Brett Hoebel discussing the Extreme Fitness Trend.

The topic of discussion here was “The Extreme Fitness Trend: Should You Try It?” They discussed how going to extremes is the new thing in fitness today…but does it work? We learned how and why 20-minute workouts can get the job done better than long, all-out sessions.

First off they discussed CrossFit:

  • CrossFit took fitness and turned it into a sport.
  • CrossFit is competitive but has a strong community base.
  • CrossFit is AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) or Time Based.
  • Shorter means it must be tougher!

Then they moved into the Tough Mudder trend and how many people where doing them for social media bragging rights. Brett’s advice was to “Know what you’re getting into when doing Tough Mudders”.

Programs like P90X and Insanity were also discussed, since they are also extreme in nature. The subject of lack of time being the biggest excuse when it comes to not working out was discussed, too. Brett said that 20 minutes is the magic bullet for many busy moms and people who are short on time. It allows you do a few rounds of moves with maximum benefit, but you HAVE to get breathless while doing it!

When asked about his thoughts on TRX, Brett responded “I thinks it’s amazing!”

“If Want Results In A Short Amount Of Time,
You Have To Get Breathless!”

Our fifth and final seminar was all about food, and you guys know how much I love food and cooking! It was hosted by FITNESS magazine’s Executive Editor, Pam O’Brien (@FITNESSPam), along with Rocco DiSpirito (@roccodispirito), who if you don’t already know from Food Network, is one of FITNESS’s favorite celebrity chefs, author of “Now Eat This! Italian” and star of the AOL web series “Now Eat This! Italy“.

Pam O'Brien and Rocco DiSpirito discussing how to Eat What You Love - And Still Lose Weight!

Pam O’Brien and Rocco DiSpirito discussing how to Eat What You Love – and Lose Weight!

In this seminar, they discussed how to “Eat What You Love – and Lose Weight“, and Rocco revealed secret ingredients for speedy, healthy meals, as well as cooking tricks that slash the fat, but keep the flavor!

Some of the advice given to us during this segment were:

  • Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. (Check out this link, from his tweet above in the photo, for 10 Healthy Foods Under $1)
  • Always say no bread at restaurants.
  • When eating out, split meals to go, when ordering, this way you won’t be tempted to over-eat.
  • Make sure you are eating 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain foods.
  • Juicing is good, but blending is better. Blending keeps all of the fiber from fruits and vegetables

Items to keep on hand in the kitchen:

  • Non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Non-fat cottage cheese
  • Parmigiano Reggiano – Tip: Use a micro plane to grate instead of a box grater! A little goes a long way.
  • Low calorie, Stock in a box
  • Herbs and Spices. These are calorie free/guilt free and big on flavor.
  • Vinegars
  • Dijon Mustard – Only contains 7 calories per tablespoon!

Two of Rocco’s favorite ways to prepare Spaghetti Squash are with garlic and oil – OR – with butter and parmigiano reggiano.

As you can see, the morning was full of amazing and informative speakers. I feel so lucky to have been invited to this event and to have listened, met and spoken with so many inspirational and wonderful people.

I will be sharing information on the wonderful and generous sponsors from #FitBlogNYC in my next post ….so keep an eye out for it!

CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO!

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Fuel Your Body Right

I hope you are enjoying the quick tips, workouts and fitness motivation I have been posting. I love searching Pinterst for fitness inspiration, and hope that the stuff I find, inspires you as well.

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Healthy Baking Substitutes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means many of us will begin baking for family events, holiday dinners, office parties, cookie exchanges and quite honestly, just because it makes us feel festive.

That sweet tooth and favorite cookie recipe doesn’t have to be ignore this season. All you need to do is change your perspective on food and make a few improvements on those sugary, overly processed ingredients our recipes normally call for.

Here’s a handy list I found on Pinterest:

It’s amazing how much sugar and how many calories you can save with these simple substitutes. What’s even more amazing is that you can’t even tell you changed anything with most of them.

Do you have any healthy holiday baking tips?

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Filed under Recipes, Snacks & Treats

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers

Football season means finger foods, chips, salsa and beer! It also means a lazy day in my house, but I don’t like to toss out all of the hard work I’ve accomplished all week, nor do I like to give up all of the foods that I enjoy. I’ve been avoiding the beer and trying to keep the finger foods on the healthier side, which can be tricky, but I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It’s not picture perfect, but when compared to the deep-fried ones you might normally pull from your freezer and heat up, or order at your local sports bar, they are a gift from heaven. Plus, you can feel like you are cheating without all of the guilt!

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers
(Makes 6 Servings)

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers – served with baked sweet potato fries and bbq sauce.

Ingredients:
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced into strips) – or a package of chicken tenderloins
1 cup corn flakes (crushed)
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.

In a shallow dish combine crushed corn flakes, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, and dry ranch dressing mix.  In a small bowl beat together eggs and milk.

Dip each chicken strip into the egg/milk mixture and then roll in the crushed corn flakes/ranch dressing mixture. Repeat until all of your chicken strips are well coated.

Place chicken onto your coated baking sheet and bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through ( internal temperature 165 degrees).

This recipes is really quick and simple, plus it goes great with some baked sweet potato fries. I have made it a few times already and even my son, who is a VERY picky eater LOVES them!

What are your healthy football snacks?

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Filed under Main Course, Recipes