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Category: Clean Eating

Healthy Sweet Treats

Are you on a journey to a healthier you? Are you looking to lose weight, but struggle with that sweet tooth? I FEEL YOU HOMEGIRL.

Sweets, specifically chocolate and ice cream, are my weakness. When I am carefully watching my food intake, I can smell chocolate from a mile away. Just ask my boyfriend… If he tries to eat chocolate when I’m gone, I WILL KNOW.

So how can we reach our fitness and health goals when we’re constantly craving sweets?? The trick is to find healthier options! Here are a few of my favorite healthier sweet treats!

1.Halo Top Ice Cream

If you tend to reach for the pints of Ben and Jerry’s, substitute Halo Top instead! I promise this ice cream doesn’t TASTE healthy at all! All their ice cream is high in protein, low in sugar, low in calories and made with all natural ingredients! Halo Top comes in a ton of flavors- my faves are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Birthday Cake- but I have never tried a flavor I didn’t like!

2. Protein Powder Mug Cake
Craving cake? Try a Protein Powder Mug Cake! I like to use this easy recipe. Typically I have all the ingredients on hand, so I whip it up and enjoy! You can use whatever kind of protein powder you like. I typically top my mug cake with some PB2 to give it a little extra flavor and to pretend I have frosting on my healthy cake!!

3. Energy Balls

I love whipping up batches of these energy balls for a quick pre-workout snack or to fulfill my sweet tooth! There are many ways to customize this recipe to switch it up. This recipe does call for regular chocolate chips- I always use dark chocolate chips instead!

4. Protein Peanut Butter Cups

pb cupsThis is one of my FAVE guilt-free sweet treats! If you are a peanut butter cup fan, these are for you! I typically use whatever chocolate protein powder that I have on hand. I use PB2 instead of peanut butter and I skip the liquid stevia. Simply mix all ingredients, put into a mini muffin tin and store in the fridge!

5. Dark Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries 

This sweet treat is SUPER simple! Wash and cut up some strawberries. Then melt 1 square of dark chocolate. Put your strawberries on a plate and drizzle the dark chocolate over top! Super sweet and yummy!

What are your favorite healthy alternatives for sweets? Share your recipes with me below!

Healthy zucchini bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Truvia
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with coconut oil. Set pan aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine Truvia, coconut oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Stir until well-blended.

4. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine.
5. Add the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips and fold into the mixture.

6. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.

7. Place in the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.

8. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Homemade sweet potato fries

Are you looking for a veggie that tastes yummy and provides health benefits as well? Look no further than the sweet potato! Sweet potatoes are a great complex carb and an excellent source of fiber.

We make sweet potatoes nearly every week during our meal prep. The recipe is simple, delicious and nutritious.

If you don’t have time to make your own sweet potato fries, there are also frozen sweet potato fries you can find at the grocery store by the frozen french fry section. Just be mindful of the added ingredients that may come with purchasing frozen sweet potato fries. 

Sweet Potato Fries

  • Sweet potato
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning of choice (our faves are Pink Himalayan salt or Cajun seasoning)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel the sweet potato using a potato or apple peeler. If you don’t have a peeler of any kind, you can also use a knife!

2. After the sweet potato is peeled, cut the sweet potato into thin strips.

3. Put the sweet potato strips into a bowl and toss with olive oil. Make sure the sweet potato strips have a light coating of olive oil on them.

4. Put the sweet potato strips on a baking sheet. Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over top. We like to use sea salt, Cajun seasoning, seasoning salt, etc. You can choose your favorite seasoning to cater your taste buds.

5. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the sweet potato strips over. Cook for another 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday fit tip- keep a food journal

Today’s fit tip: keep a food journal. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, a simple notebook and pen will do the trick. There are also tons of free apps for tracking food on your phone! One of my favorites is MyFitnessPal.

Tracking the food that you eat can help you be more conscious about what you are really eating and help you see where you can improve your eating habits.

There’s only one rule- write down EVERYTHING that you eat. Every little thing that goes in your mouth gets written down. That handful of chocolate chips or those two french fries off your kiddo’s plate add up. If you bite it, write it.

Start small and track everything you would eat on a normal day. Then evaluate the list. Are you eating more than you thought you were? Are you eating less than you thought you were? Are the foods you eating not as healthy as you thought?

Use the info you collect to switch up your eating habits! Do you typically keep a food journal? Do you track your food through an app? Tell me about your food journal experiences!

Grab-and-go breakfast ideas

Let’s be real. Mornings are hard. It’s tough enough to get out of bed and get ready for the day, let alone find something delicious, nutritious and filling for breakfast. But luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to share with you. Here are my favorite go-to, quick breakfast ideas!

    1. Instant oatmeal: I love oatmeal and find that it keeps me full all the way until my morning snack! When I’m running around in the morning getting ready, I empty a packet of instant oatmeal into a mug or cup, put in water and pop it in the microwave. The mug makes it super easy for me to carry around while I finish getting ready or finish packing my lunch. You could also take your mug of oatmeal on the go in the car if you needed to.
    2. Protein pancakes: When I meal prep for the week, often I make a big batch of protein pancakes. Then I put them into freezer bags and stick them in the freezer. In the morning, I pop the frozen pancakes into the toaster, drizzle with sugar-free syrup and eat them up! The protein pancakes that we’re eating now are Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes, Dark Chocolate Flapjack and Waffle Mix, 18 Ounce! They are delicious and boyfriend approved!
    3. Peanut butter toast: YUM! Love me some peanut butter toast! Sprouted grain bread or a whole wheat sandwich thins are great bread options. When picking a peanut butter, choose an option that is low in sugar. While I’m packing my lunch, I pop the bread in the toaster. Then a quick spread of peanut butter and you’re out the door! Peanut butter is a healthy fat but make sure to just use a serving size. Typically the serving size for peanut butter is 2 tablespoons, depending on the kind you get.
    4. Healthy muffins: Muffins are great because you can literally just grab one and run out the door! These blueberry muffins are delish! Do you have a fave healthy muffin recipe?
    5. Greek yogurt with fruit: During Sunday night meal prep, I cut and wash fruit and other produce for the week. When I eat greek yogurt, I typically buy the individual containers. I open the container, add some fruit, give it a stir and eat it up! Greek yogurt and fruit would also be an easy meal to eat right at your desk if you can’t eat before you leave.

What are your favorite quick breakfasts? Do you have any recipes to share with me? Share your breakfast ideas and recipes in the comments!

What is clean eating?

Clean eating? As in eating cupcakes in the bathtub? Not quite…

So, what is clean eating? Clean eating is eating whole, real foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, therefore making them as close to their natural form as possible. This means avoiding processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread, pasta. 

Here are some examples of unprocessed foods:

-fresh fruit and veggies

-nuts

-eggs, boneless skinless chicken breasts

Clean eating is about more than getting fit. According to BodyBuilding.com, “[clean eating] is about making choices that promote optimum long-term health for your body.”

It really is amazing what eating GOOD foods can do for your body. Eating clean truly gives me more energy, helps me sleep soundly and overall I just feel great! Anytime I deviate from my clean eating routine, I instantly notice the changes in my body. How insane is that?!

If you’re looking to start eating clean, here are a few suggestions!

  1. Don’t treat clean eating like a diet. Eliminate that word from your vocabulary. Choose to eat clean and eat whole, real foods as often as possible. Have a cheat meal every now and then to keep you sane.
  2. Say goodbye to added sugar. This is harder than it sounds, but it is well worth the effort. Naturally occurring sugar, like the sugar found in fruit, is totally okay! Just say goodbye to  the added sugar in juices, syrups, sodas, etc.
  3. Learn how to read labels. If you are purchasing something outside of the produce or meat section, take time to read the label and learn what is in your food. If there’s a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t put it in your cart. *Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to read nutrition labels.

Have you tried to eat clean before? How did your body respond? Share your story below in the comments!

Eat breakfast, lose weight

Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day! I bet you’ve heard that a million times. But why exactly is breakfast so important?

According to WebMD, “breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school.”

What if I’m not hungry in the morning?

Don’t worry! You don’t have to eat a huge breakfast. If you aren’t usually hungry in the morning, just grab a piece of fruit or a protein bar for the road. Even a small breakfast is better than nothing at all! Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to eat overeat later in the day, and even makes you more likely to be overweight.

I’m always running late, I don’t have time for breakfast!

My friend, you are talking to the QUEEN of meal prepping. If sleeping as late as possible is your thing, take time to meal prep your breakfast. This makes mornings a breeze! Some weeks I make a big batch of healthy muffins, other weeks I prep protein pancakes and pop them in the toaster in the AM. There’s tons of options for breakfast foods that you can make ahead of time.

I thought skipping breakfast would help me lose weight….

No! Skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight GAIN. Skipping breakfast throws off your body’s “rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it,” according to WebMD.

Takeaways:

-Do your best to eat breakfast every morning, even if it’s a small meal like yogurt or a piece of fruit.

-Eating breakfast and eating every few hours increases your metabolism which can lead to weight loss.

Easy Salsa Chicken

I’m always looking for quick recipes that taste good and are healthy to eat. One of my go-to recipes is what I call easy salsa chicken. All you need is a crock pot, boneless skinless chicken breasts and salsa!

Easy Salsa Chicken  

Ingredients:

-Boneless skinless chicken breasts

-16 oz jar of salsa

  1. Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. You can use as many as you would like.
  2. Dump your entire jar of salsa over the frozen chicken breasts.
  3. Set your crockpot for 8 hours and enjoy!

Note: There’s many ways to enjoy this dish. When I get home, I like to take a fork and shred all the chicken so it is easy to use in many ways!

One way I eat this meal is by making healthy tacos! Buy whole wheat, high fiber tortillas and make tacos using the chicken, salsa, veggies of your choice and a dollop of plain greek yogurt -it tastes like sour cream, but is a healthier option!

Another option would be to use the shredded chicken to place on top of a salad. I often make a salad using spinach, top with the shredded chicken and use extra salsa as the dressing.

When preparing this dish you can choose to throw in more chicken breasts than needed for dinner and use that chicken for meal prepping lunches for the rest of the week!

5 tips to stay on track during the holidays

The holiday season is here! During the holidays I like to enjoy a few treats, while still taking care of my body. I’ve put together a few tips to help you stay on track and enjoy the holidays!

  1. Eat before you go. Eat a small meal or a light snack before you leave for your parties or events. This prevents you from showing up hungry and wanting to eat everything in sight. Tip: Keep a protein bar in your purse in case you need a quick snack in the car!
  2. Stay hydrated. Keep up your water intake! More water in your system = less sugar cravings and keeps you fuller longer. Talk about a win-win!
  3. Remain active. Utilize your mornings. It’s easy to stay snuggled up in bed, but find a workout buddy and sweat it out right away in the morning! This ensures that you get a workout in before work, parties or any other holiday events.
  4. Bring a dish to pass. Talk to the host and offer to bring a fruit or veggie tray. By showing up with a healthy option, you know that you have at least one guilt-free munchie!  
  5. Keep an eye on your drinks. By all means, have a drink and enjoy yourself! But keep an eye on what you are drinking- those sugary cocktails add up fast. Always drink a glass of water between drinks and do your best to choose clear liquors, like Vodka.

Grocery Guide

Are you ready to eat better, but don’t know where to start? I remember that feeling all too well. To help you out, I’ve created a grocery guide. Take this list with you to help you stock up on healthy options!

Fruits and veggies:

-Spinach

-Sweet potatoes

-Broccoli

-Strawberries

-Apples

-Carrots

-Bananas

-Red potatoes

 

Meat:

-Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

-Ground turkey

 

Dairy:

-Greek yogurt

-Eggs

-Egg whites

-Milk

 

Bread:

-Sprouted grain bread

-Whole wheat tortillas

 

Dry & Shelf goods:

-Oatmeal packets (low in sugar)

-Black beans

-Corn

-Almonds

-Peanut butter/PB2

-Brown rice

 

Miscellaneous:

-Hummus

-Protein bars

-Protein powder