Thursday, April 11, 2013

Healthy Slow Cooker Taco Soup

This is a super easy recipe with little prep work. It takes about 15-20 mins to prepare and put in a slow cooker, done!

2lbs ground turkey
1 large onion chopped
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans light red kidney beans
1 can mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1-2 small cans diced green chiles
1 can corn (drained) no salt added (optional)
1 can sliced olives (optional)
1 packet ranch seasoning mix
1 packet taco seasoning (lower sodium)

Brown ground turkey in a pan with chopped onions, once fully cooked
Put all ingredients into a slow cooker, do not drain any canned items except for corn and olives if you choose to use them.
Add the seasoning packets and stir all ingredients.
Set the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours

Super easy right? I know how the end of the day gets so busy so for me this is great I can prep in the morning and come home and dinner is ready! This makes a lot of food and its great for leftovers!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Juicing! Some of my favorite recipes.

I love juicing! There are so many different recipes and there really is no wrong way most everything i have experimented with tastes good.
When it comes to how much, that really depends on the type of juicer you have so i say at first try a few things until you have an idea.
This is also a super easy way to get kids to eat there veggies! Whats even more fun is freezing the juice after in Popsicle molds. A healthy alternative to sugary Popsicles.
My favorite recipes:

4-6 strawberries
1 green apple
1/4-1/2 lemon (peel on)
2 large carrots
*optional, add blueberries, cranberries, blackberries.

1/2 tomato
2 large celery stalks
2 asparagus stalks
2-3 Brussels sprouts
1-2 large carrot sticks
1/4 lemon
*optional when done sprinkle some sea salt and pepper

1 mango (cut up and take the center seed out)
1/2 papaya
1/4 cup pineapple
1 orange
*optional add pomegranate seeds, jicama

1 cucumber
1 apple (any color)
1/4 lemon
1 cup grapes
1/2 pear
1/4 cup watermelon

1 apple
1/2 beet (no leaves)
3 large carrots (tops removed)

1 inch cube ginger (peeled)
1/2 cantaloupe (peeled and seeded)
1/2 pint strawberries (tops cut off)
1 orange peeled
*add 1 cup sparkling water to finished product for a fun bubbly drink

These are just a few of many combinations! Get creative and make your own recipes. Some other ideas of items to add are, Mint leaves, radish, potatoes, squash, cherries, grapefruit, pumpkin, honeydew melon, peach, plum, peppermint, wheat grass, and more.
So many fun ideas so get juicing!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Burn Fat While You Sleep

Yep you read it right! Burn fat while your sleeping, how you ask? Well its actually pretty easy and it's one every one can do! Eat protein right before bed. Plain protein no sugar or fats mixed with it that doesn't count. The reason being when we go to sleep our bodies go into fat storage mode, it's resting and your digestive system slows down. That's why health experts say don't eat past 7pm or don't eat carbs at night. That is true but I know for me that's hard to do. So I eat less carbs with dinner if you want something sweet or "dessert" wait until the next day right after you have eaten breakfast (that's when your metabolism is at it's best). If you are really struggling with a sugar craving keep some sugar free candy on hand, or if I'm really being bad a diet soda does the trick.
So good examples of protein before bed are, Fat Free Cottage Cheese this one is the best! It is a slow digesting protein so it will keep you burning fat longer. Unfortunately you can't add fruit with it at night, but I just tell myself a small bowl really quick with a glass of water isn't so bad. Another is a protein shake with water, they make some that are specifically slow digesting ones that are great but regular protein powder is good too. There are others but those are the quickest and most convenient.
Quick Tip: drink a big glass of water right when you wake up before you eat to jump start your metabolism and always have protein with breakfast! The longer you wait to get protein in your system the longer you will continue to store fat. Just the thought of me constantly storing fat is enough motivation to eat more protein!

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Ya, but it's the weekend!"

Ok let's get honest, not many people stick to their healthy routines on the weekend. We have all used and heard the excuses. "It's how I relax" "I deserve a reward" "it's my cheat day". Sound familiar? So how do you do it? How can you enjoy your weekend without feeling deprived? Here are a few ideas on keeping a good balance. Number 1: Do not, I repeat do NOT have a cheat day! This is a big mistake, people always over do it. Instead have a cheat meal pick one meal where you are allowed to eat whatever and however much you want but it stops there. So how do you get through the rest of the weekend you wonder? It's all about balance, remember this is for people looking to live a healthy lifestyle not diet. Luckily that makes this easier. Eat small portions, don't fill your plate! Choose the healthier options pick a side salad with squeezed lemon juice for dressing instead of fries. Ask for your burger wrapped in lettuce rather than the bun. I promise it still tastes good. If you go out for dessert, get a low fat frozen yogurt(sugar free is better) and in the smallest size. This way you aren't telling yourself "no you absolutely can't have something"I know for me when someone tells me I can't have it I want it even more! That's not what this is about, it's about making these choices all the time everyday! It's a lifestyle. Your not deprived. You can have food, if you go out for pizza dab your piece on a napkin to take off the extra grease then only eat ONE piece! The more you make these choices daily the easier it will become to where you aren't even having to think about it! Just make sure the rest of your meals are healthy and you'll be feeling great! Side note: always ask yourself "is whatever I'm about to eat worth it to me?" And "will I feel good about myself after?" It's all about self esteem and if you don't feel good about your choices, you won't feel good about yourself.h

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hemp Hearts

My new found love and secret I'm going to share with you Hemp Hearts! These are raw shelled hemp seeds and contain many health benefits. They are virtually tasteless and can be sprinkled on nearly everything. 3 Tablespoons of these power seeds contain 10grams if protein! Amazing! They are great in oatmeal, yogurt, mixed in a bowl of fruit, on whole grain/bran cereal. They are great in green smoothies or protein shakes. One of the most important tips for losing weight is lots of protein! It's a common myth that most women think eating a lot of protein will make them get "big". Not True! Protein helps build lean muscle which will help you look thinner and more toned. You should know now by the last post that muscle helps you burn fat continuously throughout the day. These Hemp Hearts are such a quick easy way to get extra protein, they can be found at your local vitamin shop or health food store in the refrigerated section.
Did you know that these little seeds can also be made into hemp milk! It's actually quite easy, throw them in a juicer or blend them in a blender using a strainer after to drain the milk into a container. Great for all those people on non dairy diets.

Exercising with Kids

I have 3 kids ages 8, 4, and a 2 year with old and they definitely keeps me on my toes, if your a mom you'll get it. I know my kids are always saying "I'm bored" so I thought of some ways to entertain them and exercise.
1: Play a game of tag, but while running add in some jump squats. You can tell the kids your pretending to be a frog they'll love it!
2: Make your kids part of your workout, do pushups but have them do it with you. Make it a contest exercise is always more fun when its competitive. 
3: If you go to a park run up and down the hills, you can also use the park bench for some great exercises. With the bench do "step ups" this is where you alternate legs stepping up and down on the bench, great for quads and glutes. Quick fact: Legs are the largest muscle group in the body, working legs is the fastest way to build muscle and continue to burn fat after your workout. "Bench Dips" facing away from the bench put your hands on the bench (almost a crab position or backwards push up) put your legs out in front of you and using your arms move up and down. this is a great exercise for triceps (you know that jiggly part that shakes when you wave).  
4: This is good if you have smaller children, put them on your legs (make sure they are holding on tight) and do leg lifts its really good for abs too! 
5: Go for a family bike ride, or a walk. If you have a stroller while walking do some lunges while pushing the stroller. Alternate running for 30 seconds and walking for 1 minute. Its better to alternate than just run or just walk this will keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone.
These are only a few ideas but you can use your imagination and create your own mix, and remember make it a family event. Getting your family in a good habit of being active will keep your kids and yourself healthy. End your exercise with a good snack, Almonds, veggies with light ranch, a green smoothie(will be posting recipes), or pieces of turkey rolled over string cheese(low fat of course).