Daily Vitamins Overload, Proceed With Caution!

We all see those products that claim to have tons of additional vitamins or calcium or iron in them helping us meet our daily requirements.  Well, did you ever stop to think there may be too much of a good thing?  Here’s a great article I stumbled across from a fellow blogger and thought I’d share:

Daily Vitamins – don’t over do it – Women’s Health Magazine.

So granted this is great for those who don’t take any additional vitamins or supplements and are by default acquiring their daily fill but how about the half of us who do take packed vitamins and minerals already?  Could we be hurting ourselves instead?

What do you think?  Do you take a daily supplement?  Do you buy in to the boxes that say “a full day’s serving of fiber in one bite!”?

via Daily Vitamins – don’t over do it – Women’s Health Magazine.

Summer Recipe: Greek Quinoa Salad

 

We all know how great quinoa is for us.  It’s one of the only carbohydrate types that has a solid amount of protein per serving. I decided to get a box and play around with a recipe for a cold salad to suit my taste.  The title is deceptive however calling it a “salad”.  It is a cold salad but does not contain all those leafy and bulky greens/veggies that generally accompany that title.  It’s still healthy nonetheless.  Hope you enjoy:

Ingredients:

Quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)

1 can drained/rinsed chickpeas

Kalamata olives (10-15 diced up into 1/3rd’s)

Red pepper (1/3 diced)

Red Onion (1/3 diced)

Tomato (1/3 diced)

1/2 Garlic Clove (ground)

Dash of Salt

Ground black Pepper (to taste)

Feta cheese (topping – to taste)

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Lemon (1/2  of a lemon squeezed)

Parsley Sprigs

* Diced 1/3 cucumber optional

 

Directions (makes 4 servings):

1. Cook quinoa on stove with 1 cup water boiling and reducing to a simmer until tender. Let cool.

2.  In the meantime drain and rinse out the container of chickpeas.  Dice red peppers, onion, olives, tomatoes and cucumber.  Chop garlic up finely and set aside.

3.  Once quinoa has cooled mix in all of the ingredients above. Add in the Dijon Mustard and Olive Oil stirring until blended.

4. Finely chop parsley and mix in.

5. Squeeze lemon into container and add salt/pepper to taste.

6.  Stick in the fridge and let cool for 1-2 hours.  Enjoy!

 

 

Healthy Salad or Death Trap?

Salads can be fantastic for you and your body but can be a caloric meltdown as well.  This is not old news and it’s a no brainer… think about it.  If you eat a salad containing clearly over an ounce or two of cheese, with bacon, meats, sour cream, or any type of creamy dressing you’ve pretty much guaranteed at least 500 calories in that puppy.  That’s not to say that by controlling the ingredients on your salad and getting dressing on the side that you can’t ever eat a cob or taco salad.  You just have to tread lightly….

I found a great article in Shape magazine the other day on “12  Salads Worse Than a Big Mac” and wanted to share with you: http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-salads-worse-big-mac 

In addition to further help you save your waistline, here are my top 3 strategies for ordering salads:

1. ALWAYS get dressing on the side.  Even better?  Use half of what they give you.  Dressing is meant to compliment that salad not drown it.

2. Pick ONE Protein.  To keep calories in check and still keep you full protein is essential just choose wisely pick one of the following: beans (black, chickpeas), nuts (sunflower, almond, walnut…), egg, shredded chicken, cubed steak, diced tofo, or salmon/tuna sans mayo

3. Watch your crunchies. Bear in mind sometimes just  5 homemade croutons can cost you 60 calories plus!  Skip the tortilla strips, fried wontons, croutons etc unless you truly know the nutritionals and can spare the added calories.

Pumpkin Everything Recipe – Dairy Free

pumpkin everything recipe

Although its not fall yet I was in a baking mood this past weekend and decided to make something with pumpkin.  I had few ingredients so I thought I’d get creative and hope for the best.  From the recipe below I  went a little crazy and made cookies, bread, and muffins out of it so enjoy.  It’s quite low fat and has no dairy yet tasty at the same time, win win.

Pumpkin Favorites – Ingredients

I can of pure pumpkin

1 cup sugar

2  cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or all spice – I didn’t have any!)

1/8th tsp of salt

Dash of Wheat germ (optional)

*Optional additions:  walnuts, raisins, cranberries and/or chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients stirring until well blended.  *Here I added in walnuts

2. Separate the batch into two separate bowls

3.  In one bowl mix in raisins, the other chocolate chips and blend separately

4.  Pour into whatever container you see fit, or drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet for cookies

5.  If baking cookies do 450 degrees for 18-22 minutes

6. If baking bread do 450 degrees for 40-45 minutes (toothpick test)

Voila!  Hope you enjoy your creations as much as I enjoyed mine!

Top 5 Cardio DVD’s

The best exercise plan is one that gets you moving whether that be indoors, outdoors, underwater or out in the mountains.  It’s great for your body to use a combination of types of exercise to get the best results possible and to counteract any plateaus in your health plan.

But, what if you can’t?  What if you are too busy to get out to a pool or gym?  What if you don’t live near a trail or you have to stay home with a young child?   It doesn’t mean that all hopes are lost.  I found after having a child that I don’t have that flexibility to just go out to a class or out for a run whenever i feel like it so I turned to exercise videos and I LOVE them.  I think they are one of the best ways for you to take control of your body and get those cut results you are looking for while still taking some direction from experienced trainers.  It’s like having a personal trainer in your home for only $14.99!

Looking for some great cardio exercise DVD’s to try?  The videos below are not for the weak!  They are in no particular over preference as i love them all!

1. Ultimate Fat-Burning Collection (The Firm) – 4 kick butt 40-60 minute workouts using primarily cardio but added weights.

2. Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (Jillian Michaels)

3. Cardio Conditioning (Bob Harper) – this one uses a kettleball, don’t have one?  One heavy 8-15lb weight will be just fine.

4. Less is More Cardio (Cindy Whitmarsh) – 30 minutes straight cardio, she’s efficient, ripped, and quick while getting the job done.

5. Ultimate Cardio Body (Bob Harper) – uses light weights… let’s just say the beginning 15 minutes involve over 150 lunges…. you want to hate him but love him at the same time for the results every time.  Say goodbye to if you have any cottage cheese looking dimples on the back of your thighs!

Healthy Living Step 2: Move On!

I mentioned in the first post of this three part segment, Internalize, there are three things you can do to start building yourself a path to healthy living.  The whole idea around step one is so that you will internalize the problem at hand.  Realize that nothing comes easy and if you don’t take that initial moment to figure out what’s going on with your body and where you are wanting to be, nothing is going to change.

To give you an idea of who am I to speak on this, I come from a place where I didn’t always “succeed” in the weight department.  After college I partied, didn’t exercise, got no more than four to five hours of sleep a night, and ate whatever the hell I wanted.  Shockingly enough that trend led me to an overall 35 pound weight gain!  It took me to having to borrow my mom’s “fat suit” for a job interview to face the cold, hard music.  I finally caught on to what I wanted to change and how much I was willing to dedicate myself from that point on to make a change.

Over the course of the next three years I slowly watched what I ate, cut out the really bad stuff, increased exercising, and got those precious seven to eight hours of sleep.  I finally reached where I wanted to be and because I internalized it and I didn’t force change.  It formed to being a part of my life.  End result? I lost the 35 pounds and have managed to maintain that loss throughout a pregnancy and after!

So good luck, reach out and communicate with someone if you need help with the process, and stay strong like kicking any bad habits no one likes it at first but it will grow on you.

What Are Your Fitness and Nutrition Goals?

honey crunched

I want to hear from you.  What are your biggest challenges in maintaining a healthy weight?  Is it motivation, time, stress?  What are your goals?

We can all work together through sharing information and different expertise.  We can share our successes and failures and in turn help motivate each other.  Remember what you might know might be the missing puzzle piece for someone else.  So share the wealth!