Oatmeal Mix Up

Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, it gives energy, keeps you full, and elevates your mood in the morning, but is can certainly get boring!! Here are some combinations you can try!

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Island Oats

1 cup cooked oatmeal

1/2 cooked plantain
1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp of cashew butter
1/2 cup coconut, almond or skim milk

Banana Plum Perfection
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 banana
2 dried plums (chopped)
1 tbsp oat bran
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut, almond or skim milk

Autumn Oatmeal
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut, almond or skim milk
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 apple, chopped

Honey Nut Oats
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. honey
2 prunes, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts

Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tsp dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup raspberries
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey

I always add a scoop of protein to compliment the oatmeal, hope ya’ll like!

Simple swaps that can change your life

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Whole grains for white, quality for quantity, Wii Fit for Mario Kart— just one smart swap can lead the way to a healthier and happier life. We decided to go all out and provide 89 “this for that’s,” so there are no excuses when it comes to making healthier choices!
Fitness
1. Planks for crunches. Okay okay, have I said this enough? Crunches may not be the secret to six-pack abs. Give planks a try instead to work that whole core. Extra points for holding it for a minute straight! More muscle focus if you plank on your elbows.
2. Interval workout for relaxed run. Congrats on that 26.2-mile marathon. Now try a 20-minute interval run that involves lots of sprinting with some walking recovery. It may kick up the heat even more.
3. Incline for flat treadmill. In a perfect, outdoor world, flat roads rarely exist. (Sorry, Midwestern readers!) Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline, and feel the muscle-building burn!
4. Zumba for elliptical. Trash that Cosmo-reading elliptical routine and surprise the body with a fun, calorie-burning cardio session. Sure beats staying stuck to a machine.
5. Dynamic for static stretching. Stretching out cold muscles could lead to injury. So incorporate some active movement into a stretching routine— try lunges and arm swings before working out.
6. Warming up for rushing right to it. We know that barbell looks tempting. But before hitting the weight rack, do an active warm-up to loosen up limbs and get the most out of the workout.
7. Standing for sitting at a desk. How often does someone complain about having to sit in a cubicle all day? We have a simple solution (no college degree required)… stand. Use a pile of books to prop up the computer, or purchase one of these.
8. Exercise ball for office chair. Okay, we get it. Some people really don’t want to stand at their cubicle. So stay seated, but on a Swiss ball! It can help with balance and that six-pack. Fitness at the fingertips!
9. Gym for napping. Falling asleep at the wheel? Pull over. Tired in front of the TV? Hit the gym. It provides a big boost of energy and burns calories.
10. Free weights for machines. Skip the big machines (they’re sweaty anyway) and go for the little guys— free weights are more versatile and allow for a full range of motion in the joints.
11. Pull-ups for bicep curls. Isolating muscles is so 2011. Pull-ups are not only impressive (I can do two, thankyouverymuch) but they work way more than one muscle. Talk about multi-tasking.
12. Squats for leg press. Forget staying seated to work out the legs. Amp up the training sesh and do some squats to strengthen all the leg muscles, with some gluteus maximus work in there, too!
13. Personal trainer for guessing games. Just when we think we’ve had enough, trainers may help push us through that second set of burpees. Look for a deal online to cut the cost in half!
14. Foam rolling for static stretching. Need to get the knots out? Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to the toes. It’s almost like a personal massage.
15. Exergames for Mario Kart. Mario may be booking it through the race course, but holding the remote control does next to nothing for our own heart rate. Try out Wii Fit or Just Dance— they’re designed to provide light to moderate exercise.
16. Rowing for biking. How often can we row, row, row a boat indoors? Take advantage of the rowing machine instead of the good ’ol bike; it’s a super upper and lower body exercise.
17. Stairs for escalator. We’ve heard the tip a million times, so here it is for the millionth plus one. If the option’s available, go the old-fashion route and climb the stairs to burn some extra calories.
18. Fun workout for dreaded one. Loathe the elliptical? Try the stair-master. Hate the bench press? Do push-ups instead. We can still challenge ourselves without doing exercises we hate.
19. Active date for dinner and a movie. Save a night at that French restaurant for retirement and go on a fun, active winter date with a special someone. Sledding can be just as intimate as duck confit, and it sneaks in a hill-climbing workout, too.
20. Parking farther away for getting a spot up close. There’s no need to circle the parking lot five times looking for the perfect spot. Just park further away and walk the extra 100 feet to Target. (Doesn’t count as a trip to the gym, though!)
21. Walking further for running shorter. New to running? It’s okay. Even if a mile is all that’s possible, keep walking for a good cardio workout. Hold some light weights to up the intensity even more!
22. Working out with a pal for exercising by yourself. Grab that special someone or just a friend and hit the gym; working out with others may strengthen trust. Plus he or she could help motivate us through that final set of push-ups!
23. Hands-free running for holding handles. Hands off! On the treadmill, don’t rely on the handlebars. They take some of the stress off the body and make that workout less challenging.
24. Cherry juice for muscle medicine. Feeling sore? Rather than popping some pills, try drinking a glass of cherry juice. The antioxidants could help keep muscle swelling down. (Take that, Aspirin!)
25. Homemade post-workout snack for a protein bar. Bring a PB&J or another post-workout snack to the gym rather than buying a protein bar. We need some after-exercise fuel, but don’t get it in the form of excess sugar!

Health
26. Cooking for eating out. Even if we try to eat healthy at a restaurant, that pesky bread bowl or sneaky salad may pack more calories than we planned for. Trust those top-chef skills and turn on the (skillet) heat. Cooking at home will more likely result in a healthier meal, not to mention a happier wallet.
27. Pan-fried for deep-fried. Obvious news flash: Deep-fried food is unhealthy. Keep things crispy by pan-frying lean protein or veggies in the skillet with some cooking oil. We promise it’ll be just as tasty!
28. Local produce for supermarket veggies. Take a trip to the farmer’s market instead of Walmart’s produce aisle. According to the USDA, local, seasonal fruits and veggies may be more nutritious. It helps out local economies, too!
29. Oil and balsamic for other dressings. Ever flip that dressing bottle around and see a million ingredients listed? Think “less is more” and lightly dress a salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar— no additives included!
30. Whole fruit for fruit juice. A glass of O.J.’s missing the pulp, skin, and full fiber content of an orange. Skip the glass and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the benefits of this sweet, healthy snack.
31. Raw spinach for iceberg. Let’s be real, iceberg lettuce is boring. Besides, spinach is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Plus, Popeye loves it. Can’t go wrong!
32. Greek yogurt for sour cream. Sour cream can taste pretty good in a burrito. To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to amp up the protein and slash the fat.
33. Cinnamon for sugar. Here’s a spicy suggestion: Using cinnamon, rather than sugar packets, in coffee can heighten the flavor without adding extra calories. Try it in oatmeal, too!
34. Air-popped popcorn for chips. On a salt spree? Air-pop some popcorn and add a dash of salt— three whole cups is only about 100 calories. That’s way more satisfying than six measly and greasy chips.
35. Salsa for cream cheese dips. You say tomato, I say salsa. Dip the chip into this healthy alternative to cheesy spreads. Plus, salsa packs a fiery, flavorful punch!
36. Frozen grapes for popsicles. It may sound a little weird, but hear us out. Stick a bunch of grapes in the freezer and snack on them a few hours later— it’s like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no added sugar!
37. Sparkling water for soda. Need a carbonation kick? Say sayonara to fructose-filled sodas and fill up with sparking water. Try a fun flavor like lemon-lime, or even vanilla. So long, Vanilla Coke!
38. Fresh fruit for syrup at brunch. Every now and then, there’s nothing like a good stack of pancakes. Cut calories by skipping Aunt Jemima and spreading those cakes with fresh fruit.
39. Red wine or beer for a margarita. Wanna’ stay healthy at the bar? Ask for a glass of red wine or a beer on tap over a sugary-filled margarita. About half those calories will disappear!
40. Brown rice for white. It’s in our manifesto, so we can’t ignore it: White rice is stripped of many essential nutrients (like fiber), so get the full, nutritious benefits of brown rice that’ll also help fill us up!
41. Whole-wheat pasta for white. Just like rice, whole-wheat pasta has a nutty flavor that’s filled with antioxidants and fiber. White pasta just doesn’t do the trick!
42. Oatmeal for sugary cereal. Cap’n Crunch and Frosted Flakes should stay a part of our childhood past. One bowl of cereal can be filled with sugar (and who eats only one bowl?), so choose some heart-healthy oatmeal instead.
43. Biking to work for driving. If the office is a few miles away, skip the Sedan and hop on the bike (weather permitting). A little bike-ride can boost endorphins before the workday starts [1]! (Paying for gas is no fun, anyway.)
44. Packing lunch for eating out. Lunch boxes aren’t just for middle school. Pack a sandwich or some leftovers to bring to school, work— wherever. It’ll make that vending machine look far less appetizing.
45. Eating three meals for skipping out. We should only eat when we’re hungry, but being too busy to squeeze in a mid-day meal can leave us feeling tired and grouchy— not to mention depriving us of essential nutrients to get us through the day!
46. Mustard for mayo. For tomorrow’s turkey sandwich, skip the fat-filled mayo and spread some tasty (and naturally fat-free) mustard on the bread!
47. Avocado for butter. Take plain old bread to the next level with avocado spread instead of cholesterol-filled butter. Add a dash of sea salt and some sliced tomato for a mid-day snack!
48. Lean meats for fatty ones. Bacon is overrated. For a boost of protein when watching fat intake, go after lean meats like turkey and chicken over pork and beef.
49. Marinara for white sauce. We doubt penne ala vodka is made with Grey Goose, and besides, all the extra calories in white sauce aren’t worth it. Choose marinara sauce for that next bowl of spaghetti— the garlic and tomatoes will spice the meal right up!
50. Doggy bag for food coma. How often do we leave a restaurant actually having room for dessert? Forget trying to lick the plate clean, and take half the meal to go. To avoid eating more than planned, ask the waiter to wrap half of it up before serving!
51. Chewing slowly for speed eating. What’s the rush? Slow down and chew food— studies show people who eat faster consume more calories.
52. Hard-boiled eggs for fried. Who needs extra grease in the morning? Drop some eggs in boiling water and cook them up for a protein-packed breakfast.
53. Eating at the table for chowing in front of the T.V. Dining in front of the television can lead to serious over-eating. So forget multitasking and carve out time in the day to enjoy a meal at the table.
54. Eating breakfast for hitting snooze. It may be temping to hit the snooze button more than once in the morning, but allow some time for breakfast— it may help jumpstart metabolism, and at the very least could help some of us wake up before heading to the office.
55. Black coffee for latte. If that caffeine fix is calling, order a simple black coffee. A soy-mocha-extra-shot-frappuccino extravaganza isn’t worth the calories (or dolla dolla bills).
56. Toast for bagel. How often do we eat five slices of toast for breakfast? Well, that’s what a bagel can amount to, so fight that Dunkin’ Donuts craving and enjoy a slice or two of whole-wheat bread.
57. Medium plate for large one. Using a larger plate may have us eating more than planned. Switch to a smaller one (about 8 to 10 inches) and save more than 20 percent of the calories a large plate could pile on.
58. Eating from the bowl over digging into the box. Some mindless handfuls of cereal can turn into more than a bowl’s worth. So portion out food rather than eating straight from the (soon-to-be-empty) box.
59. Chopsticks for forks. Slow down and eat that Pad Thai with some chopsticks. It may be a challenge, but it’ll stop us from speed-slurping those noodles with a fork.
60. Grocery shopping when full for shopping while hungry. Whole Foods may damage our bank account if we head in with hungry eyes. (Wait, how did three packages of all-natural cookies get in the pantry?) Shop when full to avoid buying more than what’s necessary.
61. Stopping when full for cleaning the plate. Sorry mom, but telling us to clean our plates before leaving the table has led to some bad habits. Listen to the body and stop eating when it’s had enough— a plate half-full means more leftovers and fewer calories!
62. Raw nuts for nut butter. Nut butters can sneak in extra fat and sugar that raw nuts don’t have. Plus, eating three spoonfuls of peanut butter may be easier than we think!
63. Power nap for energy drink. For a quick pick-me-up, take a 10-minute snooze rather than grabbing a Red Bull. Energy drinks can pack as much sugar as six Krispy Kreme donuts, while a catnap is always calorie-free.
Happiness
64. Gratitude for complaining. Feeling thankful can actually make us happier and healthier, so don’t forget to appreciate every bit of good in life!
65. Outside for inside. Soak up the sun— even in the winter. Exercising in the cold is safe, and getting outdoors could help battle Seasonal Affective Disorder.
66. Meditation for comfort food. When stress strikes, don’t grab a tub of ice cream for comfort. Try dimming the lights and meditating for as little as five minutes— it’s totally calming.
67. Yoga for Facebook. Got a spare 30 minutes? Those Facebook friends won’t post any shape-shifting statuses. Use the free time to roll out the yoga mat and work on flexibility and strength while alleviating stress and anxiety.
68. Being upfront for acting passive aggressive. Roommate forgot to clean the dishes again? Rather than bottling up that anger, be forthright (but nice!). Working out issues is better than building up inner frustration.
69. Journaling for emotional eating. Sometimes a cookie or two can lift our spirits, but writing down our thoughts can be just as therapeutic— no calories involved.
70. Working at a desk for working in the bedroom. Finish that assignment at a desk rather than between the sheets. Working in bed could make it harder to fall asleep!
71. Fun alarm clock song for annoying ringer. Who wants to be woken from a peaceful slumber thanks to an irritating beep? (Waking up early is hard enough.) Choose a fun little melody on the cell phone to wake up to instead!
72. Fancy silverware for plastic. Let’s get a little classy— even in that shabby apartment. Using some nice forks and knives will add some style to that bowl of ramen noodles, making us feel like real adults.
73. Carpooling for driving alone. H.O.V. lane aside, carpooling with a pal can make a morning commute less boring. Besides, it reduces air pollution and cuts down on gas money.
74. Breathing for bein’ a stress mess. Calm breathing can boost relaxation and calm the mind. Take a long, deep breath to relax the bod rather than stressing out.
75. Smiling for frowning. Even when we’re alone, smiling can improve mood. Try grinning in the shower or on the way to work— it may really make us feel cheerful.
76. Book for television. All those zombie shows may not only freak us out, but also give us nightmares. Get a dose of knowledge and read a good novel before bed. It may help us get better sleep, too!
77. Keeping the same bedtime for winging it. Setting a bedtime schedule may help us fall asleep faster, so pick a good time and try to stick to it!
78. Little milestones for big goals. Thinking big is great, but huge goals may take time to reach. Don’t forget the small achievements we can make— they’ll also add up to big, positive change!
79. Clean workspace for clutter. Take some time to put away the laundry and organize the paper-piled desk. Having a clean space may make us more organized and eager to tackle the day.
80. Venting to a friend for bottling it up. Sometimes life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. When sad or stressed, reach out to a trusted friend instead of holding in the feelings. Just talking could make us feel better!
81. Self-love for self-criticism. We often focus on our faults rather than our worth. Stop pointing out the negative and focus on all those redeeming qualities!
82. Focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Don’t focus on yesterday’s issues. Think of the possibilities and go after that goal!
83. Moderation for deprivation. We can still be healthy without skipping dessert. As long as we regulate our indulgences, they can help keep that smile around. So go ahead— treat yo’ self.
84. Planning for procrastination. Got a lot to do? Making a plan, rather than waiting ’til the last minute, helps ensure we get things done.
85. Honesty for excuses. The gym wasn’t too crowded, and the bus actually didn’t come late. Skip the excuses— being honest with others and ourselves is the best option.
86. Comfy shoes for fancy footwear. Blisters and sore soles are never fun, no matter how suave those shoes may look. Better keep it comfy in the foot department.
87. Saying no for over-committing. Sometimes saying no is hard, but agreeing to too much can be overwhelming and bring on sickness. Figuring out what we can realistically commit to will help keep stress away.
88. Color for drab shades. Science suggests wearing red can boost confidence and self-esteem. So save the black for the Batman costume and brighten up that wardrobe.
89. Calling a friend for texting. Phone a friend rather than shooting them a text. It’s more personal, and hearing a friendly voice may lift the spirits.

Hump day motivation

Happy Hump day!! These are my fav jeans and I can proudly say I’ve had them since HS and I never thought I would fit them again after gaining so much extra weight while pregnant with my son! I wore these over 7 years ago….and my man wonders why I have so many clothes. I’m so glad I kept them! Still my favs! So ladies if you think you can fit into them old jeans think again you can! Get them out hang them up where you can see them and push yourself!

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Buffalo Chicken Dip- Healthy Twist for Superbowl weekend

My boyfriend Jake and I love buffalo chicken dip and a year or so ago I served this recipe. This helps  to make it not as unhealthy as it usually is. Now that is it Superbowl weekend coming up I would like to share the recipe with you! ! Hope you all enjoy!
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Ingredients
• 3 Large Chicken Breast
• 1 8oz packages light or fat free cream cheese (preferably Kraft Philly Cream Cheese)
• 1 cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt Plain (found in the refrigerated section)
• 1 packet of Hidden Valey Ranch the dry seasoning ( I only used 1/2 a packet)
• 1 cup buffalo wing sauce ( like the Franks buffalo wing sauce)
• 1/4 cup fat free cheese
Instructions
1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Season chicken with pepper and rub with olive oil. (you do not need salt becuase its in the ranch packet)
3. Cook for 45 minutes in the oven or you can boil the chicken (if you boil it you do not need olive or pepper yet)
4. Shred chicken with a fork. (if you boiled it just add pepper after you shred it up)
5. Add cream cheese, ranch mixture ( Mix the yogurt and ranch packet yup ) cheese and wing sauce.
6. Stir well until all ingredients are combined, and layer a thin layer of cheese to it .

7. Bake in oven at 350 until the center is completely warm (20 min)

8. Serve with celery sticks, or pretzels or whole wheat tortilla chips .

Love in Fitness,

Stephanie

Things to know to help you get to your goals!!

For many people during this time of year, their main goal is to shed a few pounds and to tighten up a bit for the warmer weather to approach. First, lets start off by clarifying that “dieting” is a temporary fix, and that it takes a lifestyle change to get you to your ultimate fitness and health goal. This may sound frustrating that you have to change your habits that you’ve formed over the years, but I think by us explaining exactly what happens in your body with certain nutrients will help you make better and smarter food choices from this point forward.

First, I want to start off with a lesson about PROTEIN, FATS, and CARBOHYDRATES. Mostly everyone knows what they are, but why is it then that people will look to completely taking out major Macronutrients such as these? Taking out or reducing carbs is what I run into most with people who are trying to shed fat. The truth is, most people do not intake enough of these nutrients for their bodies to support weight-loss, let alone their energy levels. It is all about a BALANCE of these nutrients. Without a balanced meal plan, many things go wrong throughout the human body; therefore, causing an unbalanced shift in certain hormones (covered next lesson), which affects your mood, fat-loss, and lean muscle mass growth.

PROTEIN→ Protein consists of the essential amino acids that our body needs to replicate DNA, support metabolic functions, and build lean muscle mass. Besides providing energy to the body, dietary protein is also required for grow; especially by children, teenagers, and pregnant women, tissue repair, immune system function, hormone and enzyme production, and for lean muscle mass and tone maintenance. When eaten, the proteins contained in foods are broken down into amino acids, an important dietary source of nitrogen. There are 20 amino acids and the body can make some of them from components within the body, but it cannot synthesize nine of them, accordingly called the “essential amino acids” since they must be provided in the diet. They include: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Protein that comes from animal sources are called “complete proteins” because they contains all of the essential amino acids while protein from plants, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables are called “incomplete proteins” because they are lacking one or more essential amino acid(s).

FATS→ Besides being a source of energy, fat stores protect the internal organs of the body. Some essential fats are also required for the formation of hormones and fats are the slowest source of energy but the most energy-efficient form of food. Each gram of fat supplies the body with about 9 calories, more than twice that supplied by the two other macronutrients. Because fats are such an efficient form of energy, they are stored by the body either in the abdomen or under the skin (subcutaneous fat) for use when the body needs more energy. Fats that are in foods can be broken down into 4 main categories of saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fatty acid fats. We will discuss the differences of these fats in another lesson.

CARBOHYDRATES→ There are two basic types of carbohydrates, depending on their size. Simple carbohydrates are those that cannot be broken down into simpler sugars. They include various forms of sugar, such as glucose and fructose. Complex carbohydrates are larger and consist of long strings of simple carbohydrates. They include sucrose, lactose, maltose, maltodextrins, fructo-oligo-saccharides, starch, amy-lose, and amylopectin. The human body uses carbohydrates in the form of glucose and it can convert both simple and complex carbohydrates into energy very quickly. The Glycemic Index is resourceful for classifying the different types of carbohydrates (Which will be explained in another lesson). The brain needs to use glucose as an energy source, since it cannot use fat for this purpose. This is why the level of glucose in the blood must be constantly maintained above the minimum level. The body also stores very small amounts of excess carbohydrate as energy reserve. The liver stores some as glycogen, a complex carbohydrate that the bodies can easily and rapidly convert to energy. Muscles also store glycogen, which they use during periods of intense physical activity.

**This may be a little much to take in all at first, but understanding the basic functions of these macronutrients will help us better guide you through the next 20 days when we start breaking down the functions of these nutrients!268525_419616681443594_1834299604_n

Touching Base

Hello y’all!

I am so sorry for the delay in posts lately. We have moved and I can say we have somewhat settled in. I will getting back into posting once I get my office squared away. On top of posting about fitness & health, I will be posting about my journey towards my first bikini fitness competition! I will also be adding in some about us settling into our new home, things about my life and the people in it. I hope you all have been sticking to your new goals that the new year brings and stay consistent with your goals and make baby steps towards a better version of you.

Love in fitness,

Stephanie