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Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #22 - Start your Day the RIGHT Way!

You know that old saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" Its an old saying for a reason - its TRUE!

Breakfast is just that - time to break your fast. After not eating for at least 10 hours (because you closed the kitchen well before bedtime, and you're getting plenty of sleep, right?) your body is ready to refuel with healthy food. And you might find - as I do - that starting the day eating clean makes it a little easier to eat right all day long!

Here's a great clean meal that will get your calorie-burning engine going and set you up for a successful and energy-full day. As a bonus? It is delicious and will leave you satisfied!

1/2 c Olf fashioned rolled oats/1 c hot water
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 banana

Scrambled Eggs:
1 whole egg
2-3 egg whites
*add pepper for flavor

12-16 oz water with a packet of Emergen-C

Total Calories: 320-340
Total Fiber: 5 grams
Total Protein 19-34 grams
More than 100% of your daily vitimin C requirement
Includes potassium (banana), which is important when exercising

Your Challenge: Start EVERY day with a healthy, nutrient-rich, breakfast!

Remember: breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and dinner like a pauper.

Eat your (clean) breakfast - your body will love you for it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #21 - Use SUNCREEN

It is starting to heat up outside and its a good time to remember to protect your skin from the sun.

Sunscreen does double duty - The regular use of sunscreen helps protect your skin from cancer-causing sun exposure, and can help your skin look younger. Protecting your health AND your looks? Sounds great to me!

Your face, neck and chest need the most protection. The skin on these areas are the most delicate and are most likely to show signs of aging (due to the fact that these 3 areas typically get the most sun exposure). DON'T FORGET YOUR SCALP! Ditch those visors and wear a hat - many cases of melanoma occur first on the scalp (where you are unlikely to notice it).

Buy a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. You do NOT need to buy anything greater than SPF 45! Look for Broad Spectrum sunscreens as they provide maximum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Look for Zinc Oxide, it absorbs light, therefore reflecting UV rays. Also look for Titanium Dioxide, it provides a physical protection while preventing skin damage and excessive melanin synthesis.

Remember... you might not have early signs of aging now, (i.e. Fine lines, sun spots, wrinkles), but that doesn't mean it won't catch up with you later. If you tan easily you still need protection! One hour in direct sunlight can cause permanent damage. So keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful!!!

Mamas protect your kids too! Most sun damage is done by the time you are 18 years of age.

Your challenge: USE YOUR SUNSCREEN. Use it every single day. Your skin (and your doctor!) will love you for it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #20 - Close the Kitchen!

Late night snacking can sneak up on you when you don't even see it coming. That last bite of something left on the kitchen counter, a few cookies during the evening news, a cup of hot chocolate... Because you are slowing down for the day, late night calories don't get burned off. Instead, they go to bed with you, stowed away as fat.

To avoid late night munching, try "shutting down your kitchen" right after dinner:
  • Put away leftovers and do the dishes
  • Wipe down the counters
  • Close the blinds and turn off the lights
Once the kitchen is closed, brush your teeth. This will further discourage you from snacking!

Creating a simple evening ritual of closing the kitchen can help you to avoid excess calories and bring an organized end to busy days.

This week:  Close your kitchen right after dinner!  Your body will love you for it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

In Season- Asparagus

This week I wanted to feature the beautiful and healthy veggie- asparagus!  A wonderful source of antioxidants, plus fiber and folate, asparagus is considered a disease-fighting veggie.  It's been available in our stores and farmer's markets for about a month, get some now before the supply dwindles and becomes more expensive.

Most of the time I fix asparagus on the grill; I trim the end, place them in a dish or a zipper bag, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with a combo of salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Then when I've nearly finished grilling whatever protein we are having, I place the asparagus on and let them grill a couple minutes, gently roll them to get the other side grilled and that's all!

But, here is a fabulous gluten free and Paleo recipe for an asparagus salad.  So easy to fix some for dinner and save it for lunch the next day.  The recipe is written as a single serving, but it's so easy to increase to serve more.  But it's also very easy to have all the ingredients prepped to just fix yourself a single serving each time you want some.

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad
219 calories per serving


  • 1 large hard boiled egg, peeled and sliced
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped asparagus
  • 2 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper, to taste

View the rest of the recipe on Skinnytaste

Read more about asparagus and it's important nutritional properties- 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Didn't Know.

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #19 - Express Workout!

Think you don't have time to exercise? Guess again! In just 10 to 20 minutes, you can get an excellent full body workout. Its called the Express Workout, and you can do it wherever you are, whenever you want!

For a quick workout at home, on vacation, or even in the office, try this circuit (repetitions in parenthesis are for beginner, intermediate and advanced, respectively:

Pushups - box-style, on your knees or on your toes (20, 25, 30)
Dips (20,25,30)
Butt Bumps (20, 25, 30)
Wall Sit (60 seconds for all levels)
Flutter Kick Hold 10 kick, 10 hold (3 sets, 3 sets, 4 sets)

Repeat entire circuit 3 or 4 times.

Your challenge:  Do the Express Workout every (non-Bootcamp) day this week.  Your body will LOVE you for it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Apple Recipes

This week's challenge is to remember to eat an apple.  I thought I would provide a few fun ideas getting your apple a day eaten in case you want to eat it in some other form and need a little variety.
  • Core the apple whole, then slice it in rounds, spread a little peanut or some other nut butter, then sprinkle with a few chopped nuts and maybe a couple of chocolate chips for a sweet treat.
  • Take an 8 oz container of vanilla Greek (or regular) yogurt, mix in a heaping table spoon of peanut butter, sprinkle cinnamon and then use it to dip apple slices.
  • On Sunday, when prepping your veggie bags for the week, chop about 5 apples, toss with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon (you can even do less sugar and more cinnamon).  Pour it into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Each morning you can heat some up to eat with oatmeal for breakfast or eat it on it's own.  Or even eat it cold with some chopped nuts and yogurt.
Enjoy apples!

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #18 - An Apple a Day

You know that old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Turns out it might be more true than you thought!

Apples are the perfect snack food. They are crunchy, sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious and also chock full of nutrition. Apples are low on the glycemic index which helps stabilize your blood sugar. They are also high in fiber which is not only good for your digestive system, but also helps you feel satisfied. As an extra bonus, apples don't need to be refrigerated and come in their own "wrapping" making them the epitome of a "grab and go" snack.

Your challenge: Eat an apple a day. When you do your grocery shopping, branch otu and try more than one variety of apple. Pay attention to what your favorites are, and make this challenge a part of your regular eating routine throughout the year. Be sure to come back to the blog and post a comment letting us all know what your favorites are so we can all try them too!

Have a great week, and remember: An apple a day DOES keep the doctor away, and so much more.