The Ten Tips You Need to Stick to Your Fitness New Year’s Resolutions!

I’m sure if you are reading this, one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit and healthy. CONGRATULATIONS. That first step is huge!!! But the REAL hard work lies ahead…

In the past, have you ever made a “get healthy & fit” resolution, only to burn out a month or two in? Have you started out strong and inspired, and then lost motivation? It’s not at all uncommon! But I’m here to HELP you make THIS YEAR’S resolution STICK!!!

Part of the reason people burn out so fast is because they set themselves up for failure from the start. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out... While it is absolutely wonderful and commendable that so many people resolve to exercise and eat healthier, they often times put too much pressure on themselves and try to change everything at once, without taking any time to adjust. They swiftly become exhausted from their new lifestyle and go back to their old ways. Believe it or not, simply making new DECISIONS is tiring in itself, let alone breaking out of your comfort zone to eat well and exercise!

 

Here are my TOP TIPS for sticking to that New Year’s Resolution YEAR ROUND!

  • Make it a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet. The moment you tell yourself you “can’t” have this or that, is the same moment you confine yourself to the drudgery of a “diet.” If that is something you can picture yourself doing for all eternity, then by all means go for it. But be honest with yourself. Will you be able to resist eating cake or pizza forever? Probably not. So rather than condemn yourself to tilapia and asparagus forever and always, make a change that you can maintain for the LONG TERM. Think about all the healthy, delicious foods you CAN have and the treats that you CAN have on occasion! Being healthy and fit is a MARATHON, not a sprint. Make it a lifestyle that you can maintain for the long term, otherwise you will gain all the weight back, PLUS MORE.
  • Transform at YOUR pace! Just because someone else is able to eat chicken and broccoli every day, or do two-a-days at the gym, doesn’t mean you have to do that too! If you don’t like chicken and broccoli, there are other options! If you don’t have time to go to the gym twice, go once! Don’t follow workout or nutrition routines that you hate… create something you enjoy so that it will LAST!
  • Set realistic goals for yourself. Things like drinking more water each day, cutting down your three sodas-a-day to one-a-day, including more vegetables at dinner, increasing the weight you lift on a particular exercise, or adding an extra ten minutes to your cardio are all attainable, healthy goals. Once you succeed at these, make new ones and continue to build and expand on the solid foundation you’ve laid.
  • Challenge yourself, but don’t overwhelm yourself! Just because the fitness models you see in the magazines can bench or squat a certain amount of weight, doesn’t mean you will be able to do that too. It took these people months and years of training to get to the point they’re at both with their strength, as well as their physique. Build up at your own pace!
  • Do a little research. One of the best ways to stick to a healthy eating plan or exercise schedule is to keep it interesting! There are SO MANY fantastic, resources for recipes and workouts! Try googling “Clean eating *fill in the blank favorite food*.” If you want a workout plan all laid out, I have both a weight-lifting Fit Body Program as well as a home-workout Bikini Body program available! Some people enjoy having a plan that is clearly laid out! Don’t be afraid to use your Google search engine to find motivating bloggers & nutritious chefs!
  • Be patient. It took more than a day to put it on and it’s going to take more than a day to take it off. Transforming your lifestyle and your physique will take time. The sooner you recognize and accept this, the better! You WILL have set-backs and losing weight/getting fit WILL take time. You will occasionally eat something unhealthy, you will miss a workout, you will stumble, you will make mistakes… you’re human! Nothing worth having ever comes easily… if it WERE that easy, everyone would be in shape! Know that you are only a failure if you QUIT. So don’t quit! You will regret it in the long run!
  • Develop a positive attitude.  Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes, try doing the opposite. For example, if you slip and eat a slice of cake, don’t tell yourself cruel things like “I’m a pig” or “I can’t do this.” Instead swap those negative affirmations out for positive mantras like: “I can do this,”or “I had a treat and now I’m getting back on track”… and MEAN IT!
  • Start exercising! The trick is to find something you enjoy so that you will actually DO IT. There are SO MANY options, some of which include: weight lifting, pilates, yoga, cross fit, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, powerlifting, olympic lifting, jogging, cycling, spin, zumba, interval training, jazzercise, jumping rope, dancing, running, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming… the list goes on!!
  • Surround yourself with people who support you. There is nothing worse than having negative and/or jealous people around when you are trying to make a healthy, positive change to your life. There WILL be people you THOUGHT were your friends try to drag you back to your old, unhealthy ways. They might tease, taunt or grill you about your new habits. Some people can’t handle change. If you find that your healthy habits are being mocked or demeaned by those around you … ask yourself why your ‘friends’ would want you to go back to being unhealthy. Do they not understand the sudden change? If so, explain to them why you’re doing it… Or, are those friends just jealous? If so, you may want to rethink having them in your life… If you’re going through something like this, check out my article: How to Deal with Negative People
  • Plan ahead! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Prepare your meals and workouts in advance. Always keep workout clothes, a water bottle and protein powder with a shaker cup in your car so you never have an excuse not to hit the gym. Always carry an apple, a serving of almonds in a Ziploc baggy, and a packet of tuna with you.. that way you never have an excuse to hit the vending machines or burger joint!

You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe in yourself, don’t give up and you will get there ❤

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Testimonials

“I have been following you for over a year now I absolutely love the workouts and meal plans! You are such an inspiration and the fact that you are ok to admit you are human and imperfect is so humbling to me. I needed to know other gorgeous girls that were fit could still eat and be happy and look great! I really enjoy exercise… Of any kind! So when my eating disorder kicks in and makes me feel useless as a person, I always go back to this website and get some guidance and courage back that it’s ok to eat and live healthy and being skinny is not what it’s all about. I wanted to thank you for being so amazing and inspiring me everyday to be a better me!!! I do your workouts everyday and love every minute of it. I’m at a healthy weight now, and my goal is to be stronger and leaner instead of just “skinny.” – Hayley Pierce

“I really want to thank you for what you have done for me. Though you don’t even know it you truly did save my life. Before I found your Instagram account I was completely destroying my body both physically and mentally. I was eating 500 calories or less a day and drinking large amounts of alcohol to cope with things. I have always been so self conscious of my weight and mainly the number on the scale. But after being in and out of the hospital I found you IG account and it opened my eyes. You truly are my role model and thanks to you I have purchased your Bikini Body Challenge and have completely taken the steps to change my life. I know the road ahead won’t be easy but I strive everyday to better myself thanks to you. I can’t wait to see my body transform, in a clean and healthy way, to what I have always wanted and dreamed of. Thank you for the motivation and helping me change my life. I can’t wait to start my new journey.” – Lindsay Phillips

“I stumbled upon your Instagram page which lead me to your website and I have to say I’m so glad I did. I was at a point where I was feeling low about myself and no matter how hard I was working out or dieting I wasn’t losing any weight and I wasn’t seeing a difference in my body. I started following your meal plan and I was amazed at how great I was feeling and how quickly I was see results! I just wanted to give you a heartfelt thank you for being a motivational figure for me, you made me believe in myself again, thank you xoxo” – Tami Goodson

“I just want to say thank you. For years I’ve tried to change my lifestyle and eating habits. But I was dealing with bad depression which made me a chronic over eater. (thats just how i dealt with it) so everything was harder. Finally I’ve been motivated to change my life around in all aspects of it, and give it all I’ve got. Your blog really motivates me, and is a huge part of why I’m eating better and exercising. Thank you so much. Words cannot describe how great full I am. I stumbled across your blog at the exact moment I needed to”. – Hailey Christensen

“You have honestly gave me the nudge I needed. I read your blog as if its a book on my nightstand, and then I’ll reread it while I’m doing my cardio at the gym. I’m addicted the high I get at working out, and I have you to thank. You have given me the inspiration and motivation I need. And you have given me so much that I have been helping those around me here in Morgantown, WV To practice healthy lifestyles, especially in college. I’ve gained… A wolf pack of gym rat friends, I guess you would say. It’s an incredible feeling. And knowing how big the fitness family/community is truly inspires me. I just want to give you my thanks for all the pushing you’ve given me! It’s not only been working, but it’s given me the kick in the ass I needed. And I honestly love sharing my success stories with those around me on campus to try to help them. Again, Thanks!!!” – Kayla Lipscomb

“I have trouble eating healthy in my everyday life at home and while I’m away from home as well. I’ve always had trouble making healthy choices, but your blog has inspired me to make better choices all the time, and has made me excited about doing it! I’m about to start a weekend job as well at an outdoor area with absolutely no refrigeration and your grocery list has helped me make a list of healthy items that don’t need to be cold so that I can eat healthy while I’m there! Thank you!” – Tandy

“I recently completed a 90 day fitness dvd set. I worked my butt off, counted calories, ate 10 cupcakes, beat myself up, and started again! After the three months were over my body looked the same and I had only lost 5 pounds. I was devastated!!! I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! Thank you for showing me I was doing it all wrong!! I have been eating clean for only a week now and I already know THIS IS IT! I weighed myself this morning and I’ve already lost 5 pounds! I know you say not to track progress based on the scale alone but I believe that was just the push I needed to start believing in myself again! I’m so happy I stumbled upon Maguire Fire Fitness! This is only the beginning for me! Thanks for getting me PUMPED!!! :)” – Savannah Myers

“I saw your blog about a week ago and as soon as I got paid I went to the grocery store and followed your shopping list. For the last week I have been eating lean meats and sticking to a healthier/clean diet. I also began a weight training schedule from bodybuilder.com, the female fitness training bible. I know it is very early to tell if this combo was the exact cause but I think it speaks miles that I can say I lost 4 pounds this week. I used to run 11 miles in one trip and use that as an excuse to eat at Chipotle. Your blog has taught me a lot about how I need to change my lifestyle to become healthier and a better runner and cyclist. Keep up the great work, I look forward to showing you a before and after picture later this year!” – Ashley Mann

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH LEMON BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

 

brussels-sprouts-pomegranate-salad(h1).jpgWe love Brussels sprouts in our household and apparently so do many of the readers of this little food blog since my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic-Maple Vinaigrette gets crazy popular this time of the year!

My other recipe using Brussels sprouts and butternut squash is proving to be a hit this season as well. It’s probably because Brussels sprouts are in season; they’re abundant near the end of September thru to February.

Tip #1: Does size matter? (aka how do you choose Brussels sprouts?)

Well, it depends. For all Brussels sprouts, it is best to pick the ones that are bright green, compact in appearance, and firm when you squeeze them. My preference is to pick the smaller sprouts since they tend to be sweeter and more flavourful while the larger ones are more cabbage-y and bitter in flavour.

Tip #2: How do you shave (thinly slice) Brussels sprouts? I’ve got three ways to prepare these little green vegetables.

For all methods, it’s important to rinse the veggies, cut off the dry stem of each sprout and remove the bruised, loose leaves before slicing them up.

  • Hardest: Use a sharp knife. This one requires the most amount of care and time. Slice each Brussels sprouts in half before finely slicing up the sprouts. Using a knife may not create the fine texture that can be created using the other methods.
  • Medium: Use a mandoline. Using a mandoline creates a nice uniform cut and is faster than a knife (unless you’ve got the skills!). Watch out for your fingers though as the blades on the mandoline are sharp.
  • Easiest: Use a food processor. This is what I used. It’s by far the fastest and easiest method. Plus your fingers are safe. Using the slice attachment, simply whiz the Brussels sprouts through the machine and you’ve got shaved/shredded Brussels sprouts in a couple minutes.

What else is in this salad?

Delicious, seasonal pomegranate arils (seeds) and sliced Gala apples. Not only does it add a nice fresh, sweetness to the salad, but a lovely red colour that contrasts with the green of the sprouts for those holiday colours! In addition, it adds a nice crunch to the salad as well.

Speaking of crunchiness, there are sliced almonds, which also adds a nice nutty flavour. Slivered almonds would be great in this salad too or other nuts such as pine nuts or toasted pumpkin seeds would be wonderful. A finely diced shallot gives the salad a nice onion/garlic flavour that’s mild and sweet, but with a little bite.

Since I put cheese in everything that I can, this salad uses a creamy, soft goat cheese. I like to crumble the soft cheese into the salad and mix it well with the other ingredients as the mild saltiness and flavour of the goat cheese goes well with everything in the salad.

Finally, a basic lemon-balsamic dressing is used to give the salad a bright citrus flavour that compliments the other ingredients.

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH LEMON BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6-8 as a side dish

Calories per Serving: 317

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

  • 1 lb (6 cups) Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, bruised outer leaves removed, and thinly sliced (*see first Note)
  • 2 apples (2 ½ cups), thinly sliced
  • 1½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 5 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 (⅓ cup) shallot, finely diced

For the vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Set aside.
  2. In the large bowl, assemble the salad by combining all the salad ingredients together. Drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette on top and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

NOTES

  • I used a food processor with slicing disc to quickly slice the brussels sprouts. You can also use a mandoline or a sharp knife to make shaved Brussels sprouts, but it will take a little longer.
  • I used Gala apples in this recipe. Substitute with any apple of your choice if you like.
  • If you are planning to have leftovers, keep the salad separate from the vinaigrette and cover both in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Re-whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle just before serving.
  • Store remaining dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Nutritional calories represent one serving with eight servings total.
  • Nutritional values are estimated based on the ingredients used by the author; your ingredients may differ

Recipe Credit Yay for Food!

Southwest Chicken Detox Soup

 

southwest-chicken-detox-soup-15To make this Southwest Chicken Detox Soup, I used Old El Paso Green Chiles to give the broth a smoky undertone, then loaded it with:

  • Skinless chicken breasts for lean protein.
  • Cabbage, broccoli, avocado, garlic and turmeric… All detoxifying ingredients that help your body release toxins.
  • Ground cumin and crushed red pepper for additional southwest essence.

The combination of the Old El Paso green chiles and the spices, enhances the natural flavor of the chicken and veggies for a bold tantalizing flavor.

Plus, the release of toxins helps your body work more efficiently meaning: purging water retention, a metabolic boost, more energy, and better sleep.

You’ll be amazed at how good you feel after eating Southwest Chicken Detox Soup for several days.

To learn the specifics of the detox soup cleanse, visit our original recipe post. To learn more about Old El Paso ingredients that will make your healthy dishes exciting, visit OldElPaso.com.

Southwest Chicken Detox Soup Recipe – A fabulous healthy low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free soup, with tons of flavor! This cleansing soup packs a punch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 – 4.5 ounce cans Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles
  • 14.5 ounce can “fire roasted” crushed tomatoes
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Set a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chopped onions, and garlic. Sauté  for 5-6 minutes to soften. Then add the chicken breasts, Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, all spices, carrots, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20+ minutes, until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Then remove the chicken with tongs and set them on a cutting board to cool.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage and broccoli to the pot. Continue to simmer to soften the broccoli. Meanwhile, shred the chicken breasts with two forks, and stir it back into the soup. Once the broccoli is tender, taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm with a generous amount of diced avocado on top!

NOTE: If the soup base boils down too much, add 2-3 cups of water to the broth. Then taste for seasoning.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 8-12 bowls, Serving Size: 12

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 187 Calories
  • Total Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg
  • Sodium: 1093mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13.9g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 4.9g
  • Protein: 13.6g

Recipe found at A Spicy Perspective

How to Deal With Negative People

All too often I receive messages from followers about people in their life who are unsupportive and negative about their newfound, healthy habits. It may be anyone from their boyfriend/girlfriend to their parents to their friends, or even their co-workers. The good news is, there are ways to help these people see how positive your new lifestyle really is! First and foremost, make an effort to understand where they are coming from… Once you have pinpointed the reason for their remarks, it makes it easier to find a way to approach them. The reasons behind negative remarks about a lifestyle change typically stem from one of the following: concern, jealousy or misunderstanding.

Is It a Place of Concern?
Keep in mind, change can be a very scary thing to some people. Many individuals appreciate consistency and continuity in their lives and the behavior of others around them. It’s comforting! When that continuity is broken and that consistency becomes disrupted, people are left unsure and wary. These feelings can be exacerbated if they think that someone they care about may be doing something harmful or something they deem “extreme”.

How to Deal – If their remarks stem from a place of concern, take some time to patiently explain to them the positive benefits of your new lifestyle. If they are able to see all the GOOD things your new habits are doing for your health and your emotional wellbeing, they may back off because they will see that there is no need to worry. For example: “Eating these foods and exercising the way I do gives me so much energy! I feel refreshed, happy and confident. I love the way eating well and working out makes me feel.”

Is It a Place of Jealousy?
Jealousy can be a very ugly emotion. It can bring up a lot of negativity and toxins in others that you may not have known existed. When someone sees you improving and doing something positive with your life, they may become angry. This anger has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own insecurities. They may be angry because they are reminded of their own shortcomings. They might be insecure about their own unhealthy habits and the way it makes them feel. They may want to keep you down because it boosts their own self-esteem.

How to Deal – If this person has continuously harassed you despite your attempts to explain your new lifestyle to them and despite your efforts to explain the way their words hurt you, you may need to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship. Are they toxic to your wellbeing? Are they bringing more negativity and stress to your life than happiness? A REAL friend, someone who TRULY cares for you would not continually hurt you or try to bring you down. I have had to remove some of these toxic friends from my life… and I will tell you honestly, it was worth it. But that is a decision you will have to make for yourself. It’s obviously more difficult to cut a person like that out if they are a family member or a spouse. If you don’t want to cut this person out of your life, consider limiting your exposure to them, or simply avoiding the topic of health and fitness.

Is It a Lack of Understanding?
Sometimes when people don’t understand something, they mock it or pick it apart. It isn’t necessarily because they don’t like it… it may just be because they don’t get it.

How to Deal – Patiently explain to this person why you do what you do. Depending on that particular person, they may actually find the health benefits behind eating clean and exercising on the human body interesting! Or maybe they are a person that does better with actually engaging in the activity. Ask them if they’d like to tag along with you to yoga class or invite them to try some of your healthy recipes. You will have to use your own knowledge of the individual to find the best way to approach them! If you find, however, that despite your efforts to explain or engage them in your new habits, they still mock you, tell them how it makes you feel! Be open about your hurt feelings. If that person cares about you, they will not want to hurt your feelings!

Tips for Success:

Focus on You – When explaining to others how their negative remarks make you feel, don’t attack them. I know, easier said than done in some cases.. but there are better ways of expressing yourself. Using the words “me” and “I” instead of using the word “you” will greatly increase the chance of them hearing you out. By saying things like “YOU do this”, “YOU do that”, they may become defensive and refuse to hear what you have to say. Instead, turn the focus onto yourself. Say things like “It makes ME sad when I am told my food is weird” This illustrates your feelings and your thoughts without creating a tense and potentially hostile environment.

Be Respectful and Expect It In Return – If you show others respect, you deserve it in return. Remember that and do not settle for anything less. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. It would be unfair to mock or degrade others, only to turn around and criticize them for mocking you for your own lifestyle. Make sure you are not, in fact, doing what you accuse others of doing.

Create a Support Network – Reach out to people with similar interests and lifestyles. It might be tough at first if you are not naturally outgoing. But in this day and age, social media makes it easy to make new friends without that awkward initial “hello”. Try to step out of your shell at your next yoga class or spin cardio and talk to the person next to you. You’re more likely to meet people with a similar lifestyle if you reach out to individuals who are engaging in activities you enjoy.

Rid Yourself of Negative Thinking – It can be hard to do and may take some time, practice and extra effort… but creating a positive mindset is KEY to being successful at your health and fitness! The next time you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, STOP, and immediately make yourself focus on something positive about the situation. Like I said, it will take some time and extra effort, but if you put in the work, it will be worth it.

I’ll leave you with this quote as food for thought: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.” – Tony Gaskins

Chocolate & Banana Protein Sandwiches

The other day I was craving a frozen sweet treat. Since I was planning on heading to the gym an hour and a half after my meal, I wanted to fuel up with a clean carbohydrate and protein. This recipe is SUPER simple and easy! Kids will love it just as much as adults and it could make for a fun family kitchen experiment! =)

Chocolate & Banana Protein Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 3 TB Sugarfree Coconut Milk (this will need to be adjusted depending on your protein powder)
  • 1 TB Natural Peanut Butter (optional)
  • 1 Small Banana

 Directions:

In a bowl, mix 1 scoop protein powder and the sugar free coconut milk (if you’re using peanut butter, combine with these two ingredients as well). Keep in mind that if you’re using a casein protein, you will need more liquid than if you use a whey protein. (Either one is fine!) Mix until protein and coconut milk are a thick consistency. Slice up a small banana. Make mini “sandwiches” using the sliced banana and protein powder mixture. Put on a small plate and pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so. Enjoy!

Healthy with a kick Sweet Potato Fries

Since I began my fit lifestyle, I have tried a wide variety of healthy recipes. I usually end up forgetting an ingredient or adding something that wasn’t supposed to be in it (oops). Sometimes those recipes turn out absolutely terrible… while on other occasions, they turn out fantastic! This Healthy Sweet Potato Fries recipe, just so happened to be one of those GOOD accidents!  Healthy and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t know about you, but I think sweet potato fries are amazing!  These are awesome paired with just about anything.. Today I had them alongside steamed asparagus, and broiled chicken topped with salsa!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Large Yams
  • 1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites (or 2 Egg Whites)
  • Tsp Chili Powder
  • Tsp Garlic Powder
  • Tsp Oregano
  • Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop yams or sweet potatoes into classic french fry shapes. Try to keep them an even thickness or they won’t cook properly (ie. make sure some aren’t super thick while others are slender). Mix spices in a small bowl. Put uncooked yam/sweet potato into a large bowl and add the egg whites. Toss the yam/sweet potato until it is coated in egg white. Next, sprinkle the mixed spices on top and toss until all fries are lightly coated with spices. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray and spread the fries out evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes (keep an eye on them so you don’t over bake). Flip the fries and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until they reach a desired consistency (less time = softer fries, more time = crispier fries). If you like them really crispy, turn your oven to broil for a few minutes after the full 35 minute cook time is up. Keep an eye on them though so they don’t burn! Serve warm and enjoy!

These gluten free chocolate, chocolate chip banana muffins can be served as a snack, for breakfast, as a healthier dessert, or grab one when you’re on the go (without feeling too guilty) – because they contain almost 9 grams of protein.

These gluten free chocolate, chocolate chip banana muffins can be served as a snack, for breakfast, as a healthier dessert, or grab one when you’re on the go (without feeling too guilty) – because they contain almost 9 grams of protein. They’re also made without oil or butter and contain very little added sugar!

In fact, if you want to make them healthier still, you can cut back on the sugar (even though there’s only 1/4 cup in the whole thing). In fact, you can omit it entirely, if you like. Though I do try and use the least amount of sugar possible to please my taster’s palates. (And they’re apparently enjoying these a little too much because I’ve had to hide the ones pictured here just so I’d have something to photograph for my site!

 

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE BANANA PROTEIN MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tin.

Measure and whisk together the GF flour mix, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, protein powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

In a separate bowl, blender or standing mixer measure the eggs, milk, applesauce and diced ripe bananas and give it a whirl until its thoroughly smooth and well blended. Then add to the dry ingredients and stir until there are no dry bits remaining.

Spoon into the muffin tin, filling them about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way.

Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean). Oven temperatures may vary, so be sure and keep an eye on them. Cool them on a rack and then keep them covered. They may be frozen if placed in a well sealed container.

Makes 12

For more great recipes like this one, check out http://www.JaniceAmeesGlutenFree.com

Gluten- Free Chocolate Almond Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour – 2 cups (or finely ground almonds)
  • Coconut Sugar (Sucanat, Organic Cane Sugar or Brown Sugar) – 6 Tablespoons
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Chocolate Chips (Dark or Semi-Sweet) – 2/3 – 3/4 cups
  • Coconut Oil (Unsalted Butter or Unsalted Vegan Butter) – 6 Tablespoons (gently melted)
  • Egg – 1 or *1/4 cup Egg Replacement

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet.

Measure and whisk together the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whip the egg and oil together before adding to the dry mixture. Stir well.

Scoop a spoonful into your hand and shape into a round, flattish dish. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12 – 14 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary so keep an eye on them. Cool slightly before removing from the tray. Makes approximately 20 cookies (depending on the size you make them).

Enjoy!

 

*To make an egg replacement: Measure 1 Tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds and 3 Tablespoons hot water. Stir together and allow to gel before treating as you would a regular egg. If you don’t want dark speckles in your cookies, I suggest using white chia seeds. 🙂

Getting help

Studying some Psychology in college gave me a newfound appreciation and understanding of the importance of therapy and mental health counseling and a positive mindset. If you or someone you know is suffering from  depression,eating disorder, self-harming or if in general, you feel as though there are things in your life you can no longer handle on your own, I hope you will take a moment to look through the links I have listed below. There is absolutely NO SHAME in seeking help. It takes courage to reach out!

If this is an emergency, or if you are worried that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, please call your local authorities (911), contact a mental health professional, or call and talk to someone at 1-800-SUICIDE. 

HELPLINES:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) –  www.hopeline.com – 1-800-SUICIDE

S.A.F.E. Alternatives –  www.selfinjury.com – Self Abuse Finally Ends

National Domestic Violence Helpline –  www.ndvh.org   – 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network –  www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Eating Disorders Association – www.nationaleatingdisorders.org – 1-800-931-2237

The Trevor Project is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)

FIND TREATMENT OR COUNSELING:

 American Psychological Association – counseling services locator

AAMFT – counseling services locator

Befrienders Worldwide – treatment and counseling services locator

SAMHSA – substance abuse treatment center locator

SAMHSA – mental health services locator

For Help with SELF-INJURY:

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES is a nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational resource base, which is committed to helping you and others achieve an end to self-injurious behavior.”

Self Mutilators Anonymous – www.selfmutilatorsanonymous.webs.com – “Self Mutilators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from physical self-mutilation.”

For Help with EATING DISORDERS:

National Eating Disorders Association – “non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.”

FINDINGbalance – Faith based help for eating and body image issues.

For Help with ADDICTION:

HBO – “The Addiction website brings together many of America’s top addiction experts to demystify this much-misunderstood disease.  To find help now, or to learn more about the latest breakthroughs in treatment, select a link.”

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Meetings can be found in Australia, the UK and USA.

Al-Anon/Alateen – “Offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics.”

Narcotics Anonymous –  an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 33,500 weekly meetings in over 116 countries worldwide.” Visit their website to find a meeting in your area.

Additional Information:

International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression

Teen Advice/Support site – TeenHelp.org

The Jed Foundation – The Jed Foundation works nationally to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students.

Mental Health America – Resources promoting mental health nationwide.

Help Guide… for information on: abuse, addiction, depression, eating disorders, mental health and trauma

For more information on Specific Mental Illness’ visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness

To Write Love on Her Arms – “To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.”

**DISCLAIMER** I am NOT a dietician, counselor, personal trainer, doctor, or any other healthcare related professional. I do not mind giving advice or suggestions, but please keep in mind that I have NOT been trained in these fields. If you ask me a question I will answer it to the best of my ability.