Friday, July 25, 2014

Kale Salad

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients:
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unfiltered raw cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 pinch Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
2 cups chopped kale
½ cup chopped cauliflower
½ cup chopped broccoli
½ cup chopped cabbage
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preparation:
1. Combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger, and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. Combine kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and cilantro in a large bowl; mix well.
3. Drizzle cabbage mixture with dressing; toss gently to blend.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 215
Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 361 mg
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 8 g




P90X/P90X2 Portions (per serving)
2 vegetables
½ fat
1 condiment


P90X3 Portions (per serving)
2 carbs
1½ fat


Body Beast Portions (per serving)
3 vegetables
1 liquid carb
1½ fat


21 Day Fix Portions (per serving)
2 green containers
½ yellow container
1 blue/orange container

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY Coffee Creamers

If you start your morning with a cup of coffee, beware of non-dairy coffee creamers – especially the powdered, flavored varieties. These imposters contain no nutritional value, and are filled with toxic additives. They often – ironically – contain dairy by-products and are frequently filled with processed chemicals, hydrogenated oils and artificial flavorings, consequently transforming your daily wake-up drink into a potential heart attack in a mug.
They contain cheaper and more easily-dissolved alternatives, including chemical sweeteners, processed oils and stabilizers, with no real cream to be found. Instead, the creamy texture and flavor is provided by processed vegetable oils.
While powdered coffee creamers are labeled as ‘non-dairy,’ if you have milk allergy or are vegan, be sure to steer clear. These products are free of lactose, but still often contain casein, a dairy-derived product that may trigger a reaction in those sensitive to milk.

Non-dairy creamers may also contain sodium caseinate, a chemically-altered and extruded form of casein, which in its final form is not even considered a dairy product by the FDA due to the sheer amount of chemicals used.

Powdered non-dairy coffee creamers frequently contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or, as they are more commonly known, trans fats. Some brands contain up to one gram per tablespoon. Hydrogenated oils are created by adding chemicals agents, sometimes metals such as platinum and nickel, to pressurized and already-processed oils to further alter their molecular structure.

Instead of sugar, many non-dairy creamers contain corn syrup or corn syrup solids. Corn syrup solids are produced when corn starch is bathed in hydrochloric acid. For those unfamiliar, hydrochloric acid is an industrial chemical solution with highly corrosive properties that is also used in the manufacturing of plastics. Additionally, the corn itself is often derived from GMO varieties, adding all of the risk factors associated with GMO’s to the toxic brew.

If these facts aren’t already scary enough, these imposter creamers often use sodium aluminosilicate as an anti-caking agent. The aluminum in this chemical compound has been linked to cell damage, bone disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and organ damage.

Furthermore, the popular television show Mythbusters proved that sodium aluminosilicate is flammable when dispersed. Since when are metals and flammables acceptable in our beverages?

The liquid creamers like in the picture below also contain many chemicals and are just as bad for you.
So, in the face of toxic creamers, what’s a coffee lover to do besides drinking it black? The answer is simple: Make your own! It not only saves you money but you will know what exactly is going into your body! There are many ways to make your own, here are some recipes....

Coconut Coffee Creamer
1 can of full fat coconut milk (Golden Star is a good, clean brand)
1/4 c. almond milk (optional)
1 shake of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or spice of your choice
1 shake of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, vitamix, or magic bullet. I also use my hand blender with the whisk attachment.
  2. Serve with coffee and store in the fridge
French Vanilla Creamer
 
14oz sweetened condensed milk
14oz milk (whole, lowfat, or skim – doesn’t matter)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR Vanilla Coffee Syrup for a stronger flavor
1 large mason jar, or other container of your choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR Vanilla Coffee Syrup OR vanilla bean paste
 
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into your mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly, and shake vigorously for a few minutes until well combined.
*To Make it creamier, substitute the milk for heavy cream
**I use the milk/cream that I use expiration date as a guide to how long my homemade creamer is good for
 
Use the French Vanilla as a base and add additional ingredients to make new flavors. These are from MrsHappyHomemaker.com
 
Chocolate
  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • (1 tsp vanilla extract, optional)
Chocolate Almond
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Strudel
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Vanilla Caramel
  • 2 tablespoons  caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Raspberry
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
Irish Cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut, heated & strained, for the milk/cream)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
Peppermint Patty
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Cinnamon Vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pumpkin Spice
  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Almond Joy
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut if you heat it first, strained, in place of the milk & extract)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Sweet Cream
  • Use 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream instead of the milk in the base recipe
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR the inside of a vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Orange
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange extract
Hazelnut
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Chocolate Hazelnut
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Cinnamon Cake
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
  • 2-3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggnog
  • replace milk in base recipe with equal amount of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Toasted Almond
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Directions & Tips:
In all these recipes, anything that has a dry or thick ingredient (like cinnamon, honey, etc..) should be heated up with a small amount of your milk/cream from the base recipe so it can dissolve properly. You don’t want grainy creamer! Next, add the rest of the milk/cream along with the sweetened condensed milk.
If you want them really creamy, just use heavy cream instead of milk in your base recipe. Of course that makes the fat content go up so be careful if you are watching your intake.
You stick a piece of tape on my mason jar lid with the expiration date from the milk used & have this as a guideline as to when the creamer should be used by.
Have fun experimenting to create your own favorite natural made creamer :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Skillet Meal

You gotta love a meal that only dirties one dish! And this meal is full of flavor with fresh summer veggies. It's one the whole family can love!


Ingredients:
  • 1 lb small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt, freshly cracked black pepper
  • 14 oz chicken or turkey sausage, sliced 3/4″ thick
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced 1/2 inch thick
Directions:
  1. In a large, non-stick skillet with deep sides and a cover, add the potatoes and oil over high heat. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss the potatoes around in the oil and seasonings. Once it starts to sizzle, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low for 25 minutes, flipping the potatoes occasionally so they brown easily. Once tender, remove to a plate or bowl.
  2. Add the sliced sausage to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat, browning on all sides. Remove to the same plate or bowl with the potatoes.
  3. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, and rosemary to the pan and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers and onions are lightly browned.
  4. Add the zucchini and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes and sausage to the pan, cover, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Make Your Own Fruit Roll Ups

Artificial ingredients, preservatives, & harmful chemicals are everywhere in foods these days. And as a mom, I can't stand the thoughts of letting my kids eating all those additives. So today I'd like to share a kid favorite, but the healthy alternative, fruit roll ups!
Take a look at the ingredient list in General Mills Fruit Roll-Ups: pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, citric acid, sodium citrate, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, dextrose, maltic acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavor and the following food coloring: blue 1, red 40 and yellows 5 and 6.
Here is the ingredient list for my Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups: organic fruit
Which one sounds most appealing to you?! Exactly. 

This recipe is pretty flexible. You have the freedom to pick one fruit or mix different kinds. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Below the recipe are some fruit combination suggestions, but feel free to try out your own combos too. I suggest making a few different trays of fruit at the same time because these won’t last long in your house and though they are VERY simple to make, they do take a long time to set.
1. Warm the fruit in a pot on the stove and mix it into a puree. If there are seeds in the puree you can pour it into a sieve to get the seeds out (I didn’t).
2. Spread the puree on a oil-sprayed silpat baking mat or parchment paper (BE SURE to spray! If you don’t it will stick!). 1 1/2 cup of fruit puree is enough for 1 baking sheet, and put in the oven on 140°F (or as low as your oven can go. my stove’s lowest temperature is 170). Leave the oven door open a little bit to let the moisture out.
3. They are done when the puree isn’t sticky anymore, you normally need between 5-8 hours depending on the oven and your fruit choices. (If you live in a warm climate, you can just leave the pan in the sun for the day).
4. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut them and roll them with wax or parchment paper when they are still warm. Enjoy this healthy alternative.
You can also use a dehydrator if you have one! Just check your recipe book for heating times and directions. 
Fruit combination ideas:
Yellow: 1 fresh mango, 200 g dried apricots, 1 orange (the juice)
Purple: Frozen raspberries, frozen blackberries or blueberries and 1 banana
Green: Kiwi and mango
Blue: Blueberries and grape juice
Red: Strawberries and banana

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

3 Day Refresh

Today I started the 3 Day Refresh. It is a healthy, quick cleanse that is meant to give you a boost to get back on track. Think indulgent weekends and feeling blah, this can get you back to feeling good and eating habits back on track.
I figured I could use a good boost myself :)
Day 1 has come to a close for me and here are my thoughts....
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, meaning I was not a starvin Marvin all day lol
The Fiber Sweep drink is ok, I am just not a fan of lemon flavor drinks aside from lemonade so I put a few drops of water flavoring in it and it was no problem from there! Only one of those a day in the morning. I can tolerate it for 3 days.
The Vanilla Refresh drink was yummy considering you only made it with water. You get 2 of those a day. One at lunch and one at dinner.
I got a wide variety of fruits and veggies to pick from which I love, don't feel deprived. I even feel good enough and full enough to go workout in a bit!
I'll weigh in the morning and report again at the end of tomorrow about day 2 and any changes I've had. Stay tuned! 
Day 3 complete! I ate the same things pictured above for all 3 days, I am not one to require large variety each day. There was certainly room for many combos of foods to eat though!
Results: I lost 5 lbs and an overall loss of 6 inches! Belly bloat is gone and I'm feeling pretty good! I would most definitely do this again especially after a holiday where one tends to overeat or over indulge. I'd also recommend this for those with a vacation or event coming up and would like to lose the bloat, drop a few lbs and inches.
Or if you are ready to jump back into a fitness routine and are way off track, this would be a wonderful kick start to get you started!
If you have any questions or would like to chat, please email me at nicolejonesfitness@yahoo.com I'd be happy to assist you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Healthy Ideas for Your 4th of July


Headed to or hosting a 4th of July party this week? Here are 4 healthy options for you! 

  1. Fruit Kabobs are a great option. Easy to make and festive looking! Makes for a great kid project as well. Simply layer strawberries, bananas, and blueberries or blackberries.
  2. Dessert doesn't have to break your calories! Try a simple layering of angel food cake, whip cream, and red/blue fruits for a beautiful dish. This is a household hit every year for me.
  3. Want to make a festive drink?  Place a few strawberries, blueberries, and chunks of pineapple in a glass. Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon. Get your cups, toss in ice cubes, bits of your fruit mix, and top with a ginger ale! 
  4. For another flag dish, simply cube red fruits, cheese, and a dish of blue fruits.        


Happy 4th of July everyone!!!