As the new year is approaching I am sure many of you are deciding on what diet plan and fitness routine to pick up. Not that I am discouraging starting fresh and changing up your habits, however diets are not the way to go. It is best to call it a lifestyle and not have so many boundaries on what is right and wrong.
What I mean by this is, if you were to start a new diet that completely cuts out sugar and carbs, you will eventually cave and want to stop because you are depriving yourself. With a lifestyle, it is okay to splurge every once in awhile and just get back on track the next day without saying “I broke the diet, might as well just stop the diet”.
How to get more motivated to workout? I went through a time this year when I was completely unmotivated to workout. I would make excuse after excuse in order to get out of it. Finally, I realized that working out really improved how I felt during the day! My attitude, mindset, and goals were all brighter.
I started to go to classes taught by other people who would keep me motivated and moving throughout the class. I also found a few workout buddies that I would either go on runs with, lift at the gym, or take a class with. You definitely need a friend to boost you up when you feel like you can’t do anymore! If you can’t find someone to go with, music is always a great option.
Winter is the best time to pull out a crock pot and slow cook chili, soups, and roasts. Here are a few of my favorite winter slow cooker recipes.
Crock Pot Chili
- 2 lb lean (at least 85%) ground turkey
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can (28 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (16 oz) no salt added black beans, drained
- 1 can (16 oz) no salt added red kidney beans, drained
- 1 can (16 oz) no salt added corn, drained
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 tsp. basil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a skillet, cook turkey and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is brown; drain.
- In slow cooker, mix beef, onion and remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
Roast with Veggies
- 3 sweet potatoes potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 4 cloves mashed garlic
- 3 lb. grass fed chuck roast
- sea salt and pepper
- 1½ Tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ cup water
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. grass fed beef bouillon granules
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Lightly coat slow cooker with olive oil. Place sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, and celery on the bottom of slow cooker.
- Season roast with sea salt and pepper. Heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Brown roast on all sides and place on top of veggies.
- Combine water, Worcestershire, bouillon and basil. Pour over meat and vegetables.
- Cook on low for 10 hours, or until the beef is shredded very easily and vegetables are soft. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Bon Appetit!
As many of you may know, my drill team director was recently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She has been a mentor to me with body wellness, and is the reason why I have become the “Demeter” (nutritionist) for the drill team.
That being said, clean eating, exercising, and taking vitamins is something that will keep you healthy and strong, however it doesn’t automatically prevent diseases from attacking your body. It is absolutely necessary to keep up with doctor appointments.
Make sure to stay up to date with your yearly mammograms and if you find anything that may seem the least bit suspicious, don’t hesitate to get it checked out.
I am all about holiday drinks, but am not crazy for the side effects! Here are healthier options for the classic Christmas drinks that will keep your sweet tooth covered without the after effects to bring you down.
- 2 cups almond milk
- 3 egg whites.
- 1/3 cup honey.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to sprinkle on top
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the eggnog into a pot and warm over medium-low heat for 15 minutes to cook the egg. You want this to get hot, but you do NOT want to boil it. Whisk constantly to avoid simmering.
- Remove from heat and set the pot in the fridge. Chill overnight.
- Whisk the eggnog because it becomes thick. If it is too thick, add more milk.
- Top with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Superfood Hot Chocolate:
- 2 cups almond or coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/3 tsp. ground turmeric (pinch of black pepper to activate it)
- 1/2 tbsp. of ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp. raw honey
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. maca powder (optional)
- Coconut sugar
- Blend all of the ingredients together for about 2 minutes (you can even add spinach).
- Pour into a pot and heat on medium-low heat until warm (or microwave it).
- Top with coconut whipped cream and coconut sugar.
My favorite workout day is by far leg day! They are the biggest muscles in the body, therefore when you work them out they keep shredding calories all throughout the day. Here are some of my favorite leg exercises:
If you don’t have a gym membership, purchase a workout rubberband and do 3 rounds of these exercises for one minute. If you want a firm and toned booty, try doing these exercises 3 times a week!
Squats and lunges with weights are always beneficial! I do 3 rounds of 12 reps and increase my weight by 15 lbs. each round. To burn more calories, do the squats/lunges slowly with weights and then set the weights down and jump with the squats/lunges for another 3 rounds. Remember to always hold your core in to protect your back and to keep building that sexy six pack.
For those of you who are looking for some healthier ideas this Thanksgiving or even just for the fall season, here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes: Serves 4
- 2 cauliflower heads
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ½ cup chives, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower pieces to the pot cover, and boil for 15-18 minutes. Drain and mash the cauliflower with a fork until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients.
- 2 lbs broccoli florets
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. pink himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl toss the broccoli with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt/pepper. Spread the broccoli florets on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Pumpkin Cheesecake (from 21 day fix)
- 2 cups cottage(2%) cheese
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs of almond flour
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp of stevia
- 1 tbs of maple syrup
- A few zests of orange
- Preheat the oven to 350 and spray with coconut oil spray an 8 inch pie pan.
- Blend the cottage cheese in a blender till it is smooth and no longer lumpy. Once smooth add the remaining ingredients into the blender until all mixed together and smooth.
- Put it all the greased pan. Bake for 30-35 mins the edges should be coming away from the sides of the pan that’s when you know it is done.
- Put in the fridge for a few hours or overnight
- Top with a few crushed cashews to give it the crunch texture.
Oh my goodness! This is one of my new favorites! I decided to switch gears and try a different type of smoothie (I have been set on my cacao smoothie). However, today I was in the fall flavor mood, apple pie sounded good! I experimented and came up with this delicious goodness!
Apple Pie Smoothie: Yields 1-2 servings
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric (need to add it in whenever I can)
- Pinch of black pepper (to help absorb the turmeric)
- 1/2 cup ice
Add all ingredients together and blend blend blend! I was honestly really amazed at how much I enjoyed this smoothie. You can always add in some spinach, I unfortunately ran out this morning. Let me know if you try it!
I am so excited for fall: weather, clothes, and most of all the food! Pumpkin screams fall and what is better than a warm, chocolatey, ooey gooey pumpkin cookie? Here is a healthy sweet treat to try this season!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Yields about 10 small-medium cookies)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 -3/4 cup quinoa flour (or any other gluten free flour)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tbsp. pumpkin spice
- 1/4 tsp. himalayan sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 – 1 cup of at least 62% dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry together (flour, salt, baking soda, spices). Next add in remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Roll into small/medium balls. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 9-12 minutes.
I’ve been really into protein shakes lately after my workouts because I not only get protein for muscle recovery, but I can also get a few serving of vegetables without the taste!
What I like most about this shake I threw together is that it tastes like chocolate, my favorite!
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (I use skinny gut)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2-1 ripe banana (spots are good!)
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper (to absorb the turmeric)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 2-3 tbsp. cacao powder
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 cup water
- Sprinkle chia seeds on top
Benefits: This shake has the spices turmeric and ginger. Turmeric and ginger are key ingredients to shrink the waistline by reducing inflammation. They also help with clear skin, and muscle soreness and pain. Black pepper is important because it helps the body to absorb the turmeric. Try this for your next recovery shake, you will not regret it.
Tomorrow is the first official day of Autumn! Although, it could not feel any less like Fall, the coffee shops are already coming out with their classic holiday drinks. Unfortunately, majority of those specialty drinks are full of chemicals and sugars that will be seen as a toxin in the body. If you are someone who loves those fall specialty drinks, try making this instead.
Turmeric Tea Latte
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp. raw unfiltered honey
- 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper (absorbs the turmeric into the body)
In a skillet, bring the almond milk to a simmer and add in all of the other ingredients. Stir until combined and at the temperature of your liking. You can pour into a glass from there, or if you are a fan of the frothy lattes, pour into a blender for about 30-45 seconds. Pour into your favorite fall mug and enjoy this liquid gold! You can always use the microwave instead but I like my faithful skillet! Have a GREAT DAY!!!