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Clean Cheats Iced Latte

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Summer is in full swing here, with record breaking heat. The kids are done school, with a good 2+ months off, and I’m finding ways to sneak some relaxation into busy days full of taking care of the family, changing diapers, constant breastfeeding, and cooking.

There’s been lots of dips in the pool, and THIS! This iced latte is amazeballs. It makes my mornings (or afternoons, let’s be honest) sparkle! And there’s like 15 calories in the whole thing! Clean cheats for the win!

What’s a clean cheat? Something that tastes so good that you feel like it must be unhealthy, when in reality it’s not messing with your nutrition goals at all.

Alright, go make this iced latte and take a 10 minute break. You earned it!

Clean Cheats Iced Latte

1 cup ice
2-3 drops stevia – try a vanilla or caramel one for fun
3/4 cup extra strong cold coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
A dash of cinnamon

Fill cup with ice, add stevia drops followed by coffee and cashew milk. Stir then top with cinnamon.
Enjoy!

*The stevia I used is Toffee Caramel, like this one, but I’ve heard great things about this sweet leaf version.

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Cucumber Hummus Turkey Roll-ups

Cucumber rollups

This! Such a great snack. It takes minutes to make, has some great protein, and tastes delicious (and no, I wasn’t even starving, so this is legit).  If you’re searching for a healthy snack and a way to get a bit more veggies into you, try out these cucumber hummus turkey roll-ups.  You could also sub in zucchini and/or ham.  This is a perfect 150 calorie snack!  (And you get double of what’s pictured here).

Busy mamas (or the ones with newborns, like me), you can whip up a big batch of these in just a few minutes and pop them in the fridge for emergency snacking.

Speaking of newborns.. yep, I had my wee little Andrew 2 weeks early.  I’m not sleeping much (4-5 hours, which is an improvement from 1-3 hours), but I’m sure smitten.  He likes to be snuggled, and that’s about it.

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Back to these roll-ups.. Make them.. ready, set, go!

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Thinly slice some cucumber or zucchini, spread on some hummus, top with turkey or ham pieces, and roll! Or save time and eat them flat.  So easy!

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cucumber hummus turkey roll-ups

A 4” long piece of cucumber
2.5 Tablespoons hummus
3 oz turkey breast

Thinly slice the cucumber vertically into strips (use a sharp knife, or a vegetable peeler).  You’ll have 12-15 strips.

Spread some hummus onto each slice, top with pieces of turkey breast, roll, and enjoy.

Calorie-free ways to make your water taste better

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Water is so so important, as I know you’ve heard over and over again. Not only is it important to help you maintain optimal health, lubricate your joints, promote proper digestion.. but it also really helps with weight maintenance or losing weight, staving off headaches, avoiding cravings, and helping with mood. Wow, right?!

I know that when I haven’t been drinking enough water, the first thing I want is sugar. ANYTHING SWEET, and NOW! Use that as a sign and gulp down 4-8oz of water, wait 5-10 minutes, then grab a healthy snack if you’re still feeling hungry.

I know the old saying that everyone should drink 8 glasses of water per day, but that varies so much depending on your weight, activity level, and even the weather. A good goal to aim for is half your body weight, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs, then you’d want to drink at least 75oz of water per day. Add in MORE if it’s a really hot day or if you’ve done a super sweaty workout.

Getting bored of the same old glass of water? Add some flavour!

Calorie-free ways to fancy up your glass

  • a wedge of lemon or lime
  • a slice of orange
  • a slice of cucumber
  • a sprig of mint
  • some berries
  • frozen grapes
  • cubes of watermelon
  • a bit of freshly grated ginger
  • use sparkling water

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calorie-free additions to make your food taste great

herbs and spices

Are you getting bored with the same old same old thing to eat?
Here are some ideas to add lots of flavour without adding any significant calories.  I like to call these my FREE foods. Big flavour, no guilt!

Herbs and spices – I love love love cinnamon. I’ll sprinkle it on sliced apples, in my yogurt, and in my oatmeal. Toss herbs and spices them into and on everything! Chicken with rosemary is great.  I use this Southwest mix on my roast veggies as well as grilled meats, instead of using a commercial (high-sugar!) BBQ sauce: 
Smoky Southwest Seasoning (add to meats and veggies before roasting or grilling)
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt

Red pepper flakes (ok, this falls into the herbs and spices category, but I loooove them.  Red pepper flakes are fabulous in scrambled eggs, and on top of mashed avocado on toast.

Lemon or lime juice – add a squeeze to fish or on top of any food that you want to add a little pick-me-up, or drop a wedge into your water.

Mustard – add to sandwiches or dressings for a big punch of flavour

Tabasco or Sriracha hot sauce – so good in eggs or with a bit of Braggs liquid aminos (a gluten free alternative to soy sauce) in a stir fry.

Garlic and ginger – add one or both to roast or pan-fried veggies

Salsa – while this isn’t calorie-free, it’s very low in calories, and you’ll only be using a little bit.  Add a spoonful to scrambled eggs, use as a sandwich spread, or as an alternative to salad dressing.

pumpkin-less healthy pumpkin spice latte

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Am I crazy? maybe maybe.  Today was one of those days where I just wanted to cozy up on the couch with a warm mug of pumpkin spice latte and not move a bit.  Tragedy – no pumpkin puree in the house!  Not a problem though, because this recipe is pretty dang good, and I don’t even miss the pumpkin.  Bonus: no having to open a full can or make your own when you’re just going to use a tiny bit anyhow.

pumpkin-less pumpkin spice latte

A cake and greens original
Makes about 12oz

1-2 shots of espresso, or 1/3 cup very strong coffee
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or a few drops stevia, to taste (I use maple syrup)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
a dash of cinnamon

Pour your espresso or coffee into your mug and stir in spice and sweetener.  Steam or heat and froth your almond milk, and pour into your mug.  Top with a dash of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

how i’m staying healthy while pregnant

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Oh the pregnancy struggle.. The one time in your life when everyone else gives you complete permission to do nothing and eat whatever you want.. but is that really the best choice for your body?  In my first pregnancy I started out trying to run 4-5k as much as possible, but that quickly became a bit of a joke.  Runs turned into walks, which turned into skipping it altogether.  Not this time!  I don’t want that feeling of absolutely dying when I try to play my first game of ultimate, or spending a year + wishing about my pre-pregnancy clothing.

I’m at 20 weeks now, and am doing pretty well!

Fitness
This time around, I have a plan for fitness.  I’ve jumped into the PiYo workout program, and have found that it’s PERFECT for pregnancy.  I’d never been into yoga or pilates, but this is faster paced and upbeat, plus I just plain feel GOOD after I do it.

It’s easy to modify!  In the videos, there’s a modifier that is so easy to follow.  I just love her.  You bet I’m modifying already, and will likely be a whole lot more as the weeks go on, but I’m not just going to quit.  I don’t want the terribly hard road back to fitness when I have this baby. I have high hopes that it’ll be easier than last time because I’m not spending a year or two inactive.

Other bonuses: No impact, increased strength and flexibility, and I can do it whenever I have a bit of time at home. No heading to the gym.  I still try to get it done when the little one’s sleeping, but sometimes she just has to sit and play or eat while watching me. Even better is seeing her attempt the moves along with her mama!  Plus, some of those workouts are less than 20 minutes long!

Nutrition
I have a nutrition plan too, although let me tell you, this has been a STRUGGLE for me.  My cravings are strong and my willpower doesn’t exist right now.  Do I want to make a million cookies? Totally.  Do I do that sometimes, and then eat most of them? Yep.  Still, I keep pulling myself back towards my plan, which has got to be better than no plan at all.

This is where the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan comes in (the workouts are amazing too, but I’ve delved deep into PiYo).  There are easy to use containers for portion control, and food lists.  I have so much fun combining foods and making delicious meals that work with the plan.  Healthy can be good.  My favourite part is that there’s room for things like chocolate! YES!

Want to join my next challenge group for either of these programs, or have any questions? Send me a note here.  I’d love to help get you started on your journey too!

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quick and clean snack ideas

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Snacking.. good or bad? I’m a strong believer in it being a very good thing, as long as it’s intentional. You know those moments when you’re out trying to madly get some errands done and the bear in your stomach rears its head, telling you that you need to eat ALL THE THINGS, and right now?! Yeah, that one.. We really want to avoid it, and the number 1 way is to have a healthy snack planned, plus a few extras always available in your car or purse.

My #1 healthiest option is a shakeology, but here are some more great options that I love.

Toast with avocado: mash 1/6 of an avocado on a slice of whole grain toast, add a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lime, and some red pepper flakes. I can’t get enough of this!
Nuts: Seriously.. I don’t go anywhere without a little bag of nuts. They’re my emergency on-the-go snack food. Protein and healthy fats. Boom! Just be aware of how many you’re eating. 15 almonds is 100 calories.
Hard boiled eggs: I like to cut one or two in half, sprinkle with salt, and add a bit of salsa. These are even decent on the go.
Edamame: Boil or steam one-half cup of unshelled edamame with a pinch of salt for a fiber-rich snack.
Greek yogurt and berries: Top 1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt with berries (defrosted frozen blueberries have lots of delicious juice to mix in). You can add a bit of high protein whole-grain cereal, seeds, or granola for crunch.
Veggie sticks and hummus: A few tablespoons of hummus and 10-15 baby carrots, or celery sticks. Yum.
Apple and almond butter: Slice up an apple, sprinkle with cinnamon, and dip into a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter.

What are your favourite snacks to keep you fuelled throughout the day, or stop the hungry bear while on the go?