Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chocolate PB Banana 'ice cream'

This is one of my most favorite healthy desserts to make. For those who know me, you know I LOVE ice cream. So about a year ago I discovered how to make a healthy balanced meal out of ice cream ;)

ingredients for one serving:
1 ripe banana
1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup skim milk

200 calories (approximately)
21 g protein
(may vary depending on type of protein powder)
30 g carbs

1. Slice banana into 10 or so pieces & place in ziploc bag & then into the freezer until frozen.

2. Put frozen banana into a food processor or blender & add peanut butter, milk & protein powder.

3. Blend until smooth creamy texture.

*Enjoy immediately if you like it soft serve style or put it back into the freezer for a more "frozen" style.

I love to make different flavors like Vanilla Banana with sliced strawberries {or any fruit for that matter} & almonds, Vanilla Banana with sugar free choc or caramel syrup, be creative!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Craving something sweet?

We all get those cravings, you know the "I just need something sweet, anything sweet" cravings. For a lot of us, giving into these cravings is our major barrier keeping us between where we are & where we'd like to be. But this doesn't have to be the case. If you are smart about what you put into your mouth, you will be pleasantly surprised at how effortless being fit & healthy can be.
This is one of my go-to snacks when I'm craving something sweet but don't want to indulge. Try it the next time you feel a craving coming on.

{the pic doesn't make it look as good as it tastes!}
Fruit Parfait

I usually make a bowl for Tyler & I so there's no leftover fruit cut to just go bad.

Makes 2 servings
approximately 200 calories

1 Banana
1 Apple
4 giant strawberries {costco} or 8 small
Handful of grapes
Handful of berries
{insert fruit here - be creative!}
1 - 6 oz container of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt

Be creative with the different flavors - The other night we tried Toasted Coconut Vanilla & it was delicious!
When I use just plain vanilla yogurt, I sprinkle cinnamon into the bowl and mix it all up - It's so YUMMY!

Go a step above & try greek yogurt for more protein!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eating 5-6 Small Meals a Day

There isn't anyone who won't benefit from this eating regime. It has been proven that by eating 5-6 small meals daily you will:
-increase metabolism
-it will help you avoid cravings
-increase your energy throughout the day
-prevent blood sugar spikes & drops
-regulate insulin levels
& best of all
-it will help you get rid of that excess fat!

Some simple rules to follow:

1. each meal should consist of a lean protein & healthy carb - your body digests protein at a slower rate than carbs, therefore you'll feel fuller longer and your body will burn more calories digesting. When you eat carbs they are digested and put into the bloodstream in the form of glucose (blood sugar). This triggers the release of insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels. The type of carb consumed, determines how high of a level of insulin is released. So for instance when you eat those simple refined carbs, your blood sugar spikes & therefore causes a high level of insulin to be released. And when you consume carbs alone (without protein) it causes a faster rise in insulin. One of the jobs of insulin is to transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells to be used either as energy or to be stored as glycogen for later use. In other words, if you don't use it for energy it will be stored as FAT.

2. NEVER skip breakfast - you're body has literally been starving all night & in the morning your metabolism is at it's lowest point. Eating breakfast first thing in the morning will jump start your metabolism for the day. If you skip a meal it sends your body into a preservation mode that slows down the burning of your excess fat stores.

3. Drink WATER - This is SO important people! There are numerous benefits of drinking water - I could write a whole post about it! When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Dehydration causes reduction in blood volume which causes a reduction in supply of oxygen to your muscles. This in turn can make you feel tired. Dehydration also slows down the rate of fat burning. Water lubricates joints, helps maintain muscle tone, and helps you stay 'regular'. Drinking water with a meal will help you feel full sooner, therefore you will eat less. Drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces every day - and even more if you exercise. Example: A 140 lb woman should drink at least 70 oz of water per day but even more if she exercises. Drinking COLD water can benefit you even more because your body absorbs it quicker & in order for you to digest it your body must 'warm' it up first so in turn you burn more calories digesting cold water.

4. Fiber - Our bodies can't digest fiber like it does other foods. It simply passes through without providing calories or nutrition, but it is still very healthy for us. Fiber helps fight some diseases & also aids in keeping us 'regular'. It makes us feel full sooner & slows down the rate of digestion so that we feel full longer. It also helps move fats through our digestive system more quickly therefore less fat is absorbed into the body. Meat, dairy, refined & processed foods contain virtually no fiber so eat natural and whole foods. Some examples are: Whole grains (oats, wheat, barley), legumes, fruit, vegetables, brown rice

5. Plan Ahead - when we fail to plan ahead we usually end up doing whatever is quickest and easiest at the feeling of starvation. When we are at this point we usually end up craving and eating high fat foods, high sugar foods, processed foods, or fast food. When we are constantly in this cycle, we experience weight gain and low energy levels. By planning ahead you already have your go-to meals ready or at least readily accessible. Just in case I get stuck somewhere when I need to have another meal, I always carry something in my purse. Examples: a meal bar such as zone bar or balance bar, or an apple & raw almonds.

I hope this is beneficial and that it will help you all make an easier transition to eating small meals throughout the day. Track your calories for the first two weeks to prevent overeating. I usually try to stay around 200-300 calories per meal but of course it varies depending what my day is like! (And of course it will vary depending on your daily caloric needs).