CAKE!

Hey guys!

Hope everyone’s Summer is fantastic!!  Mine sure is, especially after trying the cake I made for my brother’s’ 20th birthday! The recipe is the same as the cupcakes I made for my birthday! And I’ll admit, this cake was a million times better than my own birthday cake! Why? First, my brother actually LOVED the cake (he doesn’t like healthy food) and secondly, I made a brand new frosting!

blog cake

Ingredients: Frosting

  • 16 oz. fat free regular cream cheese
  • Stevia (add depending on how sweet your wanting it)
  • Agave (add depending on how sweet your wanting it)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. milk

Ingredients: Cake

  1. 3 Tbsp Almond milk
  2. handful of dark chocolate chips
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 Tbsp ground flax seed (let soak in water for 10 minutes)
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 2/3 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
  7. 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (cook one cup raw)
  8. 2/3 cup agave
  9. 1/3 cup honey
  10. 1 cup hark chocolate cocoa (or regular)
  11. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  12. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  13. 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  • Blend eggs, flax seed, vanilla, coconut oil, agave, honey and almond milk in a blender.
  • Add in cooked quinoa and blend until smooth.
  • In a bowl mix cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt and baking soda.
  • Add the liquid from the blender to the dry mixture and mix.
  • Put into cake pan (greased with olive oil or coconut oil)
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or until the center of the cake can pop back on when pressed on).

blog mason cake

My totally unhealthy eating brother Mason, enjoying his HEALTHY cake! :)

“Ice Cream” Pops

 

Hey ya’ll!

This past week I tried out some new recipes and fun snacks! Some were great, and some were not so great! I’ll share the great ones!

I made popsicles! But not just any popsicles, yogurt pops!

blog Yogurt pops ingredients

Ingredients:

  • Canister to make popsicles
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Agave (to add sweetness)
  • Fruit of any kind (berries, peaches etc.)

blog yogurt pops

Directions

  1. Put yogurt into a bowl (depending on how many popsicles you want) and add agave to the yogurt (depending on how sweet you would like)
  2. Add a few spoonfuls of yogurt to the popsicle holders
  3. Add some fruit
  4. Repeat this process until the containers are full with fruit and yogurt
  5. Put in the freezer for 2 or more hours and voila! You have a healthy “ice cream” pop!

Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein that contains many probiotics that help your belly bloat. However, not all yogurts to this deed! Many contain high amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners/corn syrup, food dye that is supposevly “fruit” and more.  The type that I recommend is plain greek yogurt! Many of you freak out at the word “plain”, but you can always add natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, maple and fruits to spruce it up!

yogurt pops 12yogurt pops

 

Summer Salads

Hey ya’ll!

I have been super busy with vacations and such, sorry. However in the midst off all this craziness, I have discovered my new favorite summer salad! I made it for the family on Father’s Day as a side, and it ended up being the hurrah of the night! None was left (which is rare when my brother is in town) haha. Here it is!

brooklyn and billye smile

 

My cousin and me eating the salad…day 2!

Ingredients:

  • Spinach (as much as you want)
  • 1 gala apple (depends on how much sweetness you would prefer)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (I like onions, but some don’t)
  • 3 Tbsp low-fat feta cheese
  • Handful of dried cranberries (or the cranberry trail mix I recommended)

Dressing:

  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar

SALAD

Toss together for a PERFECT salad!

Recipes…recipes…recipes

Hey everyone! I have tried out a few recipes this past weekend and am wanting to share them with you!

Black Bean Mango Salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1 cup thinly green onion (I used red)
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 can no-salt added black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp salsa

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together until combined
  2. Eat and enjoy

Blog blackbean mango tacos

This recipe is a simple way to have mexican at the house. I threw it into a whole wheat tortilla with a side of fresh guacamole, but you can always have it in a bowl by itself! This really fills you up, tastes delicious and only takes 15 minutes to make! I doubled this recipe when I made it for my family (four person).

Dessert recipe time!

Almond Butter Bars 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup and two tablespoons of Almond Butter
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In medium bowl combine 1/2 cup almond butter, coconut oil, almond flour, and coconut sugar. Then press into an 8 inch square dish.
  2. In a glass bowl microwave the chocolate chips and 2 tbsp of almond butter, remember to stir every 20 seconds.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate over the almond butter mixture in the baking dish. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
  4. You can cut out about 32 bars.

almond butter bars

I didn’t personally make these, but a friend of mine did while I tasted and ended up passing the recipe on to me! Easy alternative to cakes, pies and cookies.

Muscle Building Tips

Hey, hope your day has and will be fabulous!

Jillian Michaels is my absolute inspiration, she is the reason why I do what I do. Everyday I learn something new from her,  either watching youtube videos, reading articles or going to her blog. She really encourages the FIT not THIN look and  approaches  life change with a healthy manner. For those of you who are not trying to lose weight, but rather build muscle (as I am), your best bet is to lessen the cardio and really work on weight training. When working with weights (legs, arms, abs) it is best to do less reps with more weight. I have been doing this myself all week, and let me tell you, I am more sore than I have been in a long while! It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

jillian michaels

Now, for those of you who are trying to shed  extra weight, the key is to do a lot of cardio, cardio, CARDIO! This really is the best exercise to lose weight, as I have learned from Jillian Michaels and watching reruns of The Biggest Loser. However, you shouldn’t skip out on the weights because if you do lose a whole lot of weight from only cardio you will end up with alot of excess skin. Doing both cardio and toning will be helpful by replacing some of the excess skin with muscle!

tara biggest loser

Losing weight is possible, but you must have 100% determination for change. It’s either all the way in or not, there is no in between. It REQUIRES proper nutrition, exercise, mindset and WATER. Water plays a huge part, as it keeps you hydrated, speeds the metabolism and can curve your hunger cravings. Never leave the house without it.

Meal Plan

Hey! At the end of the school year I threw together a meal plan of some foods that I eat on a daily basis. I will be adding more recipes to the meal plan this summer when I try them out, but to get a head start on your health over summer…go to the store… buy these foods… get cooking!

Meal Plan

Breakfast: Served with green tea and if needed honey!
• Two eggs with a bowl of fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, banana, etc.).
• A bowl of granola or cereal (that I recommended) with fruit inside.
• Instant oatmeal with and of the following combinations:
o Raisins, cinnamon, milk and applesauce
o Blueberries, yogurt and seeds or nuts. (you can use any fruit)
o Cheddar cheese, onion and paprika. (if you don’t want something sweet)
o Peaches, yogurt, honey. (you can use any fruit)
• Slice of whole wheat bread or rice cake with nut spread, and a side of fruit.
• Omelet filled with assortment of veggies, cheese and topped with salsa.
• Yogurt Parfait with granola and fruit
• Smoothies (you can add nut butter or flax seed to any of these)
o 1c. Kale, 1c. Mixed berries, ¼- ½ c. almond milk, 1/4c. Yogurt and 1 tbsp.                   peanut butter. (You can use the frozen mixed berries).
o 1c. Pineapple, 1c. Kale, 1c. Grapes, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1tsp. ginger, 1tsp. m             flaxseed.
o 1 orange, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ cup spinach leaves, 1 1/2 cup almond                       milk, 1 peach (you can use the frozen citrus fruits).
o Strawberries, banana, almond milk, yogurt.
Lunch: Served with lemon water!
• Turkey or chicken wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with cheese, veggies (spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato etc.) with light mayo, mustard or salsa. Side of fruit and handful of pretzels or pita chips.
• Peanut butter and honey sandwich with a side of carrots, cucumber and fruit.
• Mixed veggies and pita chips with hummus and a side of fruit.
• Tossed salad with chicken, spinach, hardboiled egg, strawberries, cucumber, seeds or nuts and a vinaigrette dressing and a side of whole wheat crackers.
• Sweet potato with yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit. (I add spinach also)
• Any leftover soups or chili.
• Chicken, cheese, spinach and avocado sandwich with pita chips and fruit.
• Tuna Salad (canned tuna, celery, nuts, grapes, raisins with mustard and light mayo) or egg salad (hard boiled eggs, mustard, light mayo salt and pepper) either on a sandwich or dipped with veggies and whole wheat crackers with a side of fruit.
• Quinoa (1 ½ cup cooked) with chicken, cucumber, onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, carrots, 1/12 cup lemon juice, 1/6 cup feta cheese, 1/12 c. olive oil and pepper with pita chips and fruit.
Snacks
• Celery, peanut butter, raisins.
• Orange and trail mix
• Apple and peanut butter
• Cheese cubes and grapes
• Granola bar
• Air popped popcorn
• Granola and fruit
• Almonds and fruit
• Veggies and hummus
• Handful of pita chips or pretzels (don’t resort to this option every time!)
Dinner: Served with ice water
• Veggie Quesadillas (on blog)
• Corn bean salsa chicken slow cooker:
o 2 cans DRAINED black beans
o 2 cans DRAINED corn
o 2-3 cups cut up chicken breast
o 1c. salsa, ¾ cup water
o Cut recipe in half and place in 2 gallon bags and put in freezer until you                   want to cook it. Then cook in slow cooker for 3-4 hours high, or 7-8 hours low.         Top with cheese, avocado and tomato, serve with a salad.
• Turkey and Balsamic Onion Quesadillas (Serves 2 or save for seconds!!):
o 1 small red onion
o ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
o 4 whole wheat tortillas
o 1c. Cheddar cheese
o 8 slices of turkey
o Combine vinegar in bowl with onions and let marinate for 5 minutes, pour            vinegar out and use for a salad dressing later. In a skillet place the tortillas                filled with ingredients and cook until hot.
• Lentil soup (on blog)
• Sweet Potato with steamed veggies (broccoli, asparagus, squash etc.)
• Baked or grilled Chicken (season with lemon juice and pepper) with steamed veggies and fruit
• Zucchini spaghetti (on blog) with tomato sauce
o 1½ tablespoon olive oil
o 1 medium onion, chopped
o 1 cup carrots, chopped
o 1 cup celery, chopped
o 1 red bell pepper, chopped
o 10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
o 4 garlic cloves, chopped
o 3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in a food processor with all          the juices
o salt and pepper, to taste
o Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper,                          mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté until onions are softened, about 3-4 minutes.              Add tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, until vegetables are soft.          Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree sauce. Season with salt          and pepper.
• White Chicken chili
o Chicken breast cut into bite size
o 3 cans sodium free of white beans
o 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
o 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
o Chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic
o Add dried oregano, cayenne pepper and cumin powders.
• Chili: (served with salad)
o Two cans of sodium free tomatoes
o Two cans of sodium free beans (black and red)
o One can of sodium free corn
o Ground turkey
o Addition of any other veggies
• Black bean soup (on blog)
• Stuffed bell peppers (on blog)
Dessert
• Baked apple with cinnamon and honey
• Dark chocolate
• My energy balls (on blog)
• Cool whip with fruit
• Yogurt
• Banana ice cream (on blog)
• Fruit and nut butter

Grocery List

  1. Eggs
  2. All natural low sodium peanut butter
  3. Greek yogurt
  4. Granola (bear naked)
  5. Spinach
  6. Kale
  7. Almond Milk or Silk Milk
  8. Canned black beans (no sodium added)
  9. Pita Chips
  10. Low sodium pretzels
  11. Bananas
  12. Frozen berries and citrus fruit
  13. Flax seed
  14. Apples
  15. Whole grain bread
  16. Whole grain tortillas
  17. Lettuce
  18. Tomatoes
  19. Carrots
  20. Bell Pepper
  21. Cucumber
  22. Broccoli
  23. Canned corn (no salt added)
  24. Fresh green beans
  25. Fat free Cottage Cheese
  26. Fat free cream cheese
  27. Air popped popcorn (skinny girl)
  28. Package of low-fat cheese squares
  29. Green tea packets
  30. Avocado
  31. Salsa
  32. Brown rice
  33. Quinoa
  34. Sweet Potatoes
  35. Instant Quaker oatmeal (plain oats)
  36. Salmon
  37. Fat-free turkey sandwich meat
  38. Chicken breasts (white meat)
  39. Trail Mix (cranberry, almond, seeds)
  40. Kashi bars/kind bars
  41. Whole wheat crackers
  42. Dark chocolate (60% or more cocoa)
  43. Fat-free cool whip
  44. Snapped peas
  45. Zucchini
  46. Asparagus
  47. Squash
  48. Celery
  49. Watermelon
  50. Peaches
  51. Lemons
  52. Grapes
  53. Cuties (baby oranges)
  54. Hummus
  55. All natural honey
  56. Olive Oil
  57. Shredded Wheat Cereal
  58. Rice cakes
  59. Apple sauce
  60. Whole grain bagels or English muffins
  61. Low-sodium chicken broth

Make sure you have a fun treat once a week! You deserve it!

Summer Swimming Snacks

Wow, school has already come to an end… and I couldn’t be more ready for summer!  I have so many things planned! One of my favorites is swimming!  This heat cooling, active and relaxing activity is a great way to get cardio in. Running and swimming are the two best ways to get your body moving. If you are just tired of running everyday (as I am) jump in the pool and swim some laps. You can do it by yourself or even turn it into a game with friends, racing for prizes. This water exercise really works up an appetite, so bring out the fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, and celery for an easy, healthy bite. Being some of the best foods to eat in the summer due to the high amounts of water storage to keep your body cool and bloat free, they are also a light and tasty snack for hot summer days.

watermelon

I will be trying out some new summer meals and snacks to keep you healthy but satisfied over summer!

P.S. – Dont forget to wear sunscreen!

Summer is here!

Hey!

Now that summer is here there is no excuses! Time to get a gym membership! I go to Fitness Connection, as do some of my friends who love it! There is a movie room, weight room, girl’s room, upstairs cardio, and even a place where you can take classes for no extra charge! If you are wanting to get in shape, drive on over to Fitness Connection off of Stacy and 75!

workout at gym

I have some great alternatives for baking and cooking ingredients.

Instead of butter

butter vs. avocado

  • Avocado
  • Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Nut butter (for a spread alternative)
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

Instead of sugar

Steviaxylitol

  • 100% Natural Maple syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • 100% Natural Molasses
  • 100% Natural Honey
  • Stevia
  • Xylitol
  • Lo Han
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Date Sugar
  • Brown Rice Syrup

Instead of White Flour

Quinoa Flour

  • Quinoa Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Flax seed meal
  • Chia seed meal
  • Coconut Flour
  • Brown Rice Flour
  • Rye Flour