Archive for Blog – Page 2

Healthy Avocado Brownies

I know what it is like to just want to eat some delicious brownies and still want to stick to your clean eating plan! Well, here is an AMAZING recipe to enjoy some Guilt Free Brownies, hey, it helps that it has good fat in it too!!

avodcado image

Ingredients

• 1 large avocado

• 1/2 cup unsweetened natural applesauce

• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 3 large eggs

• 1/2 cup coconut flour

• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a blender or food processor combine avocado, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla.*

3 Add these ingredients to a large bowl and whisk in eggs.

4 Add in coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda and stir until well-combined.

5 Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil and add batter.

6 Place in oven to bake for 25 minutes (slightly less for fudgier brownies or slightly longer for more cake-like brownies).

7 Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into 16 brownies.

8 Keep them on the counter in an airtight container at room-temperature for up to 2 days or for a longer shelf-life store in the fridge or freezer.

 

4th of July – Yogurt Cake

Hey warriors! Here is a delish and healthy way to enjoy cake this 4th of July. I call it Yogurt Cake!  It’s light, cool, refreshing and super good! All you need is a white cake mix, egg whites, 2 Greek yogurt cups (flavor of your choice), some water, cool whip and fruit of your choice to decorate the top.

Since the 4th of July is Monday I chose to make a strawberry flag cake. I chose strawberry Greek yogurt for my cake flavor and mixed berry Greek yogurt for my frosting. I created a flag on the top of my cake with strawberries and blackberries.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°. For this cake you’ll want a 9×13 glass pan. Grease it with light cooking spray and set to the side. Mix your white cake mix, 2 egg whites, Greek yogurt cup, a cup and a half of water in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth and pour into your pan. Bake for 25 mins and let it cool completely.

ingredients cake
For your “frosting” combine a tub of light Cool Whip and your other Greek yogurt cup. Combine until smooth and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to “frost” your cake.

While you are waiting for your cake to cool you can cut your fruit. I washed and cut strawberries in half for the stripes of my flag. I used blackberries for the blue area of my flag.

When the cake is cooked, frost it with your cool whip/Greek yogurt mixture. Once your cake is fully frosted use your fruit to create your flag design.

Now you can take this cake to a party and enjoy without the guilt! Be ready to share the recipe – people will ask you for it because it’s that good! Enjoy!

(This cake is easy and the fruit and yogurt can be customized to your liking, have fun with it!)

When you think you can’t, YOU CAN!

Tour de Cure Atlanta,GA

When you think of a time when you have gone out of your way to help someone, is it fresh in your mind, or is it way back there? What is it that you have done to help others that may be less fortunate than you? It’s not always about money, but common issues that many deal with on a day to day basis; like health (physical or emotional), living situations, or simply just time.

I had the pleasure of doing just this on Saturday 6/11/16. I participated in the Tour De Cure here in Atlanta for American Diabetes Association. I signed up through my work to do a 28 mile bike ride. Not only was my work offering to create a team for this event, it just so happens to be my biggest passion when it comes to physical activity, CYCLING!! It also gave me a great opportunity to participate and raise money for such a great cause! It is a different sense of accomplishment when you know that each dollar you raised, each one of those miles you rode meant something so much bigger to someone who suffers from diabetes. So really it is simple. Raise money and ride your bike. Those are 2 things I am good at! 🙂

The morning of the ride, I was just in the starting stages of getting better from 3 weeks of one upper respiratory infection after another. I had not been on my beloved bike in four whole weeks. Gearing up and heading to the starting line, I knew one thing…I WAS READY! Red riders (riders living each day with diabetes) were there, strong riders, riders with no experience at all, even my roommate was with me as we pulled away on this adventure.

Now, they didn’t make this an “easy” ride by any means. A lot of hills, a lot of open roads on one of the hottest days here in Atlanta this year to date. But I pedaled for every dollar raised, for every Red Rider I saw, for everyone I know in my personal life that has struggled, does struggle, and manages their diabetes. I kept going up these hills even when I stared up from the bottom wanting to give up.

I didn’t give up.

Why?

Because they can’t. They fight every day with the same passion and the same drive I did. I knew I had to for them!

Two hours later, closing in on the end of the ride now. 28 miles and here we come to the finish line! What a fun day they had organized. A beautiful bike ride to start and then to end with a celebration where we had burgers, fruit, water, Gatorade, and massages. A family oriented day full of giveaways and events. We even got medals for completing it!

It leaves you feeling accomplished and feeling like in some way, you have helped in the fight against Diabetes. I will definitely be back next year and I hope to surpass my fund raising amount from this year!

-Emily Hardy (Ambassador)

The Cure

#LoveYourNow

Often times, when we’re working towards goals, we just think… “When I lose 30 pounds, I will be happy.” Or, “when I make $ XX.00 I will be happy.” Love your now – love where you are now.  It may not be all sunshine and roses every day, but having a positive attitude can really change your perspective on life.

The key in life is to love your now, while working towards your goals.  I used to feel like I would only be happy when I got to a certain point in my life, but that’s a hard way to live.  It’s important to live in the moment, and love every moment, because you never know when they are gone.  I’ve heard it said before – if you only looked forward to your days off of work, big holidays, or vacations, you wouldn’t be living life to the fullest – would you want to live life to only enjoy 20% of it?

As it relates to my health & wellness journey and yours too, it’s best to always be striving to be and do your best.  Of course, I would love to lose some more weight, get stronger, and not eat as many sweets; and I am working on it, but I embrace the body that I was given each and every day.  I am grateful. I am grateful to be able to work out, I am grateful to walk, run, skip & play. I am grateful for each breath of fresh air, I am grateful for each and every moment.  Living life to the fullest takes one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.   Live in the moment, embrace what you are given, and work towards your goals.

“Every day may not be good, but something there is good in every day.”  Choose to have a good attitude, choose to love yourself. Choose to live in the moment; and love your now. If you’re having trouble loving your now, try to not be so hard on yourself.  Pull out a piece of paper, and write down 10 things you are grateful for, 10 things you love about yourself, or 10 things you are proud of.  In today’s society, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the madness of perfectionism – but just remember, you are where you should be for a reason.  Love your now, love where you are, and enjoy the journey – because I know it’s going to be a great one.

Chocolate Black Bean Protein Balls

I know what you are thinking, black beans with chocolate?! How could that be good?! Give it a chance, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Ingredients:
1 Can Black Beans
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Serving Chocolate Protein Powder
5 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)

Coating Ingredients
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain the can of black beans well.
2. Place black beans and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in large bowl or food processor. Blend with hand mixer or process in food processor until very smooth in consistency. You may need to scrap down the sides. Slowly add in cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder. Taste and add more cocoa powder  or the honey if necessary. Depending on the sweetness of your protein powder, you may not need the honey.
3. Place batter in fridge for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from fridge and form batter into 12 even dough balls; roll them with your hands. A tip: To keep your hands from getting too sticky, spoon small amounts on a plate lined with parchment paper and place back in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes. Then take them out and roll them into balls. Place  back in fridge while you make chocolate coating.
4. Place remaining cocoa powder and coconut oil in small microwave safe bowl. Put in microwave for 15 second intervals until melted.
5. Coat each ball in melted chocolate by using a fork or toothpick (they don’t have to be perfect!). You can also try drizzling the chocolate on top.
6. Optional: Try rolling the balls in cocoa, sprinkles, nuts or coconut.  Place back into the fridge or freezer and enjoy!

-Krista (Ambassador)

Love Yourself

So many people, including myself, struggle on a daily basis of how much we want to change our bodies.

“My butt is too big”

“My legs jiggle”

“I have stretch marks everywhere”

“I have bye -bye arms”

“My boobs aren’t big enough”.

The list goes on and on. We may not say it out loud but we sure as hell are saying it to ourselves. No matter how much work you do on the outside, if you do not also work on the inside, the outside appearance won’t matter. You need to learn to love yourself from the inside out. I am going to give you a couple tips on how to do this:

I want you to start by getting a piece of paper and something to write with. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….trust me, this blog is not going anywhere….still waiting….ok …you got it? Now, I want you to answer these questions:

1. What is the most critical thing you say to yourself? Write it out. How did that feel to put it in writing?

Would you say that to your best friend, even if you thought it?

Now, how do you think you impact your self worth and self image EVERYTIME you say that to yourself?

**Tip #1: Speak highly of yourself to yourself. Tell yourself that your ass is starting to look amazing, that you are a really great person, that you have a rockin smile. Tell yourself that you a proud of yourself. If this feels foreign to you, as I suspect it does, keep doing it. It will become easier.

2. What is one thing you love about yourself? Something you wouldn’t change at all. Write it down on a post-it. Write it on your bathroom mirror. (side tip: white board markers are AMAZING for this and they can just wipe off)

**Tip #2: Write down your favorite quotes or affirmations. When they are visible you are more likely to read them, even if it is just subconsciously noticing them.

3. How do you reward yourself? Is it with food, with clothing, with money? Why do you choose this?

**Tip #3: Don’t reward yourself with food. You are not an animal.

4. Do you love yourself? I mean truly love yourself and your life?

** Tip #4: Look in the mirror EVERY DAY and tell yourself “I love you. You are perfect the way you are today, right now in this moment.” This doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to work on your health and body. It just means, do it out of appreciation and love for your body instead of hate.

5. If you could tell your past self one thing, what would it be?

** Tip #5: Live life without regret. If something didn’t workout the way you wanted it to, at least you got the experience of it. Without that experience you wouldn’t be the same person, sitting here today, reading this blog, getting ready to change your life for the better.

Now, I challenge all of you every day this week to:

1. Tell yourself “I love you” at least 3 different times.

2. Give yourself a compliment for each negative statement you notice.

3. Give back, pay it forward, treat someone (in a caribou line, by holding a door, leaving a nice note, send flowers, etc). It often feels so good to help others out as well!

4. Way up every morning, put a smile on your beautiful face and kick its ass!

5. LOVE yourself. RESPECT yourself. Do what makes your soul happy.

-Amanda Dunn (Ambassador)

Healthy Cowboy Caviar

“”It’s a holiday, I can splurge!”
“I hate holidays because I get so off track with my eating habits!”
Every heard either of these phrases before? Have you sat there and weighed out your food options at a holiday party, family reunion or summer BBQ? Why do we put ourselves through this torture? Why not “have your cake and eat it too” so to speak?
Guess what, you can! Today I’ll teach you how to make a super delish, super fresh and yummy, summer dip! Cowboy caviar can help satisfy your craving for dips and keep you on track.
Ingredients you’ll need:
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black eyed peas
  • 1 (17 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (green and orange for color)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Gather all of your ingredients together. Then combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Next cover and chill in your fridge for a bit. After your caviar is chilled add avocado slices and cilantro! (The cilantro makes the whole bowl pop with flavor! YUMMM!) Finally serve with your choice of chips.
I love blue corn chips for an authentic feel. However, this dip is also good with pita chips, nut chips or any chip of your choice. By choosing baked chips you can stay on track and still enjoy a delicious, summer snack! Or you can just eat it straight out the bowl with a spoon. 🙂 Enjoy!”

There’s no time like the present

Back in 2014, I was following Amanda’s fitness journey and was inspired by her Workitout100 challenge. It was so motivating to watch her post her workouts and create a following to take on the challenge. So I decided to take the plunge and sign up!
The timing of this challenge could not have come at a better time. You see, my husband and I were temporarily living in Michigan and were awaiting the news about where we would be moving next. We had high hopes of moving closer to family or staying in Michigan longer. Then we got the bittersweet news that we would be moving to Nebraska for my husband to continue his training. We were excited because he loved the program and we both liked Omaha. However, it meant we wouldn’t be close to family and I had to put my career goals on hold. I had been accepted into a PhD. program for psychology, but was not able to attend. It was a difficult time. To make matters worse, my husband had to begin studying for an extremely difficult test for the remaining months before our move. This meant long hours and lonely evenings. That’s where Workitout100 came in!Prior to the challenge I had been working out pretty consistently, however I decided to use this as motivation to get back into weightlifting. Workitout100 ended up turning into a form of therapy for me.  Through consistent workouts, I began noticing myself getting stronger. Being able to plan and control my workouts helped me cope with my situation. Having a sense of control and an outlet for my frustration helped me during a very difficult time. The support that came with the challenge was also a huge help! Having the support of Amanda and Laura was wonderful! I can’t tell you how many times knowing they were there to cheer me on helped me get out of bed to workout or motivated me to go walk my dogs.  My 100th day was the day before I moved to Nebraska and it was a really great way to close that chapter of my life. Now Workitout100 is my lifestyle and I love encouraging others to be active too.

Being an Ambassador for Workitout100 is something that I love because I believe in it 100% because I saw what it did for me. If you are on the debating whether or not you should do it- stop second guessing yourself! You can totally do this and I would love to cheer you on along the way!

-Krista (Ambassador)

Endorphins make you happy.

I’m just going to get at what we all already know, being an adult is hard. When we were all growing up, we wanted to be older because then we could do whatever we wanted. Little did we know, how much of whatever we wanted to do also came with what we were required to do. And through the balancing act of whatever we want to do and what we are required to do, comes the hard part; the stress. Sometimes when you let that stress build up, it really starts to weigh you down.
I’m saying this all based on personal experience. Once upon a time ago, I didn’t have a good balance of what I wanted to do and what I as required to do. I felt stressed and bogged down constantly. My normal positive demeanor wasn’t a constant factor in my personality as often anymore. Then I discovered something that changed everything: endorphins. When I started working out more consistently a couple years ago and found a workout that I enjoyed, I felt my attitude changing. I felt happier, experienced less stress and more confident than I had been in YEARS. And I completely credit it to the natural endorphins my body was releasing after I completed that workout for the day.
If there is any bit of advice I can bestow on a friend, colleague, or new acquaintance, it will be to go find that workout that gets your heart pumping and challenges you. If you’re a social person, try out that workout class you’ve been eyeing or grab a friend to join you at the gym. If you enjoying solidarity, find that path to bust through those miles on or that playlist to help push you at the gym. Because when you do, the combination of completing that workout, and enjoying it while you did, will trigger your body will release the endorphins into your brain, giving you a positive and energizing outlook on life. Find your favorite way and enjoy the endorphins. They’ll make you happy.
Brittany (Ambassador)

Avocado Turkey Burger

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, which means BBQ season will officially be in full swing! I’ve always been a burger kind of gal, so finding different, sometimes healthier alternatives to your typical beef patty is a fun way to be adventurous in the kitchen…or the grill!

My favorite burger right now is my Avocado Turkey Burger. We all know that turkey is leaner meat, and avocado is a healthy fat, which are probably the only two things that can qualify as “healthy” in this recipe ; ) But I’m sure there are many substitutions for ingredients this recipe calls for. That’s the best thing about cooking – experimenting!

first picture

avocado slicer

Ingredients you’ll need:

1 lb of lean ground turkey

¼ cup Panko crumbs

1 ripe avocado, diced into small ‘squares’

Siracha – to taste

Whole Wheat Buns (or lettuce if you want to make a lettuce wrap burger!)

Swiss Cheese – or whatever cheese your prefer or maybe no cheese!

Honey Mustard or your favorite condiment

How to:

Grab a big bowl, fill with turkey, avocado squares, Panko crumbs and as much Siracha as you want! The Panko crumbs are what ‘binds’ our burgers so it *hopefully* stays together when cooking.

third pic- insta pic

Now the fun part, smoosh it all together with your hands till you get an even consistency. Now we make patties! No right or wrong way to do this, although don’t make them too thick as it’s harder to cook all the way through without burning (lesson learned). I usually grab a handful of turkey, round it into ball, then flatten it out a bit once it’s on the skillet/pan/grill. Cook until it’s done, until there is no more pink!

fourth raw burger

fifth cooked

I can’t promise you that some of your avocados will escape, so be careful if you’re grilling these bad boys.

Dress it as you please on whatever you please. Pairs well with veggies & a beer – or tea 😉

last final pic

Do you have Memorial Day plans this year? Do you have a signature dish you always bring to the BBQ?

-Courtney (Ambassador)