Whole to Healthy: Ambassador Spotlight

Christy

CHRISTYWhole to Healthy is the name of Christy’s blog, business and page. I fell in love with Christy’s story because she has struggled with something that MANY, many, many women deal with– thyroid issues. Not feeling well, doctors not finding anything wrong, getting prescribed medication for depression, yet knowing there was something else. She is almost done with her Master Nutrition Therapy Degree and will be offering raw vegan and paleo 30-day programs soon.

CHECK OUT HER STORY HERE

Christy

Christy Beauchot Smith, a Certified Nutrition Therapist, didn’t always have the passion for nutrition that she has today.  Her younger years were spent eating large amounts of cookies and candy with no care, or side effects, until she developed Hashimotos Thyroiditis at the age of 25.  What she ate, and how she felt, quickly became a concern for her. Her once thin frame began carrying more and more weight that seemed impossible to lose.  After being introduced to the all natural, whole foods way of eating through a wellness program that she eventually worked for, not only did she lose the weight, but she found her true calling.  Now, a busy mother of two young boys, and the owner of two businesses Whole to Healthy Nutrition, and DipSticks Gourmet Pretzels, she is currently enrolled in the Nutrition Therapy Institute and will earn her Master Nutrition Therapy degree by fall of 2013.  Her love of cooking and helping others, combined with this nutrition degree will give her the tools she needs to help people take back their kitchens, and begin their own healthy paths, without feeling like slaves to the diet world. Christy was also featured in an article about juicing for Shape magazine online and was asked to create 5 heart-healthy juice recipes for Omega Juicers. Beyond the kitchen, Christy loves hiking, box jumps, listening to all kinds of music, hanging with her family and her lovable golden retriever and rescued yellow tabby cat, watching The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey, playing piano, and obsessing over all things monkey-related.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

You will rarely find me EXCITED about cooking anything. HOWEVER, I love to eat yummy stuff and I especially love to eat yummy stuff that’s REALLY simple!!
Here is a quick recipe I found to make my sweet potatoes/yams a little different than just… say.. the microwave.
PS– Dairy free, gluten free, and meatless! Whoop!
PS this video was a sponsored vid

Fitness Holiday Gift Guide

this is MY bag. I love black, its sexy and goes with everything!

A Sweaty Betties Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

are you wondering what to give your fellow fit gals for Christmas? Do you need to just drop a giant hint to your husband/boyfriend/parents? Here’s a great gift guide full of some of MY personal favorites and some of these are also a hint to my hubby… so make sure you leave this page open and pass the link around;)

Workout Clothes– when you’ve been working out as long as I have, you realize that a brand spankin’ new workout outfit can make you have the best workout of your life! Seriously! I used to just think “Oh I’m going to get sweaty anyway” and just wear scrubs to the gym… but I got the cutest workout top and pants from a friend.. and man! Nothing like a feeling of looking good to feel good! Here are a few of my favorite brands (and a little less $ but cuter (in my opinion) that Lululemon)

MPG (Mondetta Performance Gear)– This is great gear for runners, yoga peeps, weight lifters and group exercisers. Just good quality and I LOVE the colors and how they change it up each season.

I have this exact top. I LOVE the color. One of my faves

WOD Gear I’m totally into Crossfit, even though I don’t belong to a box. These are super cool clothes for the crossfitter (and just cool chick) in your life

I love the wide waistband pants… very slimming

Lorna Jane Activewear– OK I was visiting in Marina Del Rey and just walked into a Lorna Jane Store. I had vaguely seen the brand before, on Instagram, but I fell in LOVE after really seeing their stuff. OMG–> Seriously, Lulu just needs to go. Not only do they have fun colors, styles, etc. but I LOVE the brand message: MOVE, NOURISH, BELIEVE.
Powerful Stuff. They do have a few stores in California (based in Australia) but you can shop online.

I don’t have this top yet, but I’m in love with the back and I want it!

Books— I’m a total book nerd and you can see my past post on my FAVORITE inspirational & workout books

Gym Bags- Hello!! The one thing I love to have besides cute workout gear, is a cute gym bag! It makes carrying my jumprope, workout papers, towel, water and ID much more fun. (and stylish) Here are two really cute ones:

oGorgeous– these bags are to DIE for. Seriously. I am lucky enough to call the designer, Cassey, my friend, and I saw how much work she puts into each bag.. insane. The quality is amazing, they are lined, have cool zippers and pouches where you need them and are cute in and out of the gym (Mine has become my day to day purse. LOL) Great for yoga mats too!

and there’s even cute Yoga bags!

 LiveWell360– these are also some sassy bags I just came across. I love the colors and they have cute inspirational quotes on the liner! LOVE!

love the yoga strap on this one!

Fitness Jewelry- a bunch of you wanted some dumbbell, kettlebell and other assorted fitness jewelry, so here were a few I found

cool tire and sledgehammer necklaces

Creative Galina etsy for Dumbbell Necklaces

www.gymgems.com for other silver dumbbells

Motivational Jewelry- my favorite bracelet all year that I wear almost everyday, is my Cynthia H Designs “Believe in Miracles” I love to have little reminders

LOVE these!

EQUIPMENT:

JumpSport Fitness Trampoline- This is just so cool, especially if you live in a tiny apartment, as I do now.. and sometimes things get a little boring! These things are fun, foldable and there’s a lot more you can do than just bounce!

JumpSport Fitness Trampoline

 

Kettle Bells/Dumbbells– gotta get em!! All the SB Workouts need at least SOMETHING!!

Motivation & a Plan- Well hello! I’m totally going to plug my own site! Get a Sweaty Betties Fitness Membership, you’l get weekly emails with meal plans, motivation, workouts to follow and monthly webinars and calls with ME and other experts. BAM! Your year is covered.

Eco-Friendly Re-usable Water Bottle– I found this cool water bottle on the Egg Whites International site. You can private label them (A SB Bottle??) but they are carbon filtered, so you can fill your water up anywhere and have safe, clean water! Great for the environment and travel!

TRX System- this is a cool ass gift– a little pricey and I’m totally glad I WON mine. A must-have for the hardcore at-home gym person. These are so great for creativity, core, balance and strength

Footie Pajamas– There is something ridiculous, yet cozy and sexy about one-piece pajama sets. I totally want one!!

One-Piece  Pajamas

Stocking Stuffers:

Dry Shampoo- this is the workout girls dream. I swear. You just can’t wash and style your hair every day because you’re sweaty. It just wrecks it (plus who has time?!) Blow dry your sweat out, spray this is to tame the grease and it smells amazing! You won’t want to wash for a week! LOL BONUS: Under $5

Socks- I’ve been getting socks for years for Christmas. Nothing like a cute pair of fun lifting or crossfit socks. I love these socks from Sox Box they have all different colors and fun words!

Jump Rope- I’ve bought plenty of jump ropes in my day. I used to try and find the cheapest ones I could, which were still around $7.99 and buy about 10 of them for my group training classes. Unfortunately  these things would break after just a few uses and I’d end up pissed! I finally broke down and decided to pay a little more for a rope and honestly, it was a great investment. Ever since the May Jump Rope Challenge I’ve gotten to be a better jumper, plus, you can take your cardio with you anywhere. Here is a cute pink rope (its the one I got!)

Headbands– I’m going to do a shameless plug for my own personal “I am a Sweaty Betty” Sweaty Bands.. but honestly, Sweaty Bands are the best invention in head bands, ever. I love throwing my hair in a pony tail, throwing on one of my three (and hopefully soon to be more) Sweaty Bands and just go! They are so cute, easy and don’t slip! They have sooo many, you’ll want at least … well.. half a dozen. LOL

Sin<less Cocktails– I’m not a big drinker. Once in awhile (like once or twice a year) I like to have a drink, but I hate the calories and I’m totally a sweet, cocktail girl. So, I was soooo excited to find this brand who not only makes a low-calorie cocktail mix, but they do it with stevia and other healthier ingredients– TOTAL QUALITY. Seriously, read their “about us” page and you’ll love the company as much as you do the drinks. Anyway, they have a LIMITED HOLIDAY MIX of flavors, including: green apple, vanilla sour, and cinnamon! YUM!

Steamer Veggies Review

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers


I’m often asked to review different products on this page; from gadgets & doo-dads, to different diet shakes & energy formulas, but when I was asked my Green Giant to review their Seasoned Steamers™ vegetables in October, I thought, What perfect timing! It’s the month of our JERF Challenge (Just Eat Real Food) and I am realizing how often it’s just inconvenient, to get real food prepped, cooked and seasoned to taste good!

I’ve said this many times: I am not a cook. I have definitely been trying new recipes and new methods lately, but some days I still go to my old pal the microwave so I can heat up something quick and easy.

I’ve actually bought frozen veggies many times; they’re convenient and are always in season! The Green Giant® Seasoned Steamers™ however, had a nice– already seasoned flavor, so they were ready to eat. The ingredients were simple; a little but of sea salt, pepper and olive oil.

I don’t like to make complicated recipes, so throwing the bag in the microwave, some rice in the cooker and some turkey on the stove to brown (not pictured) and I had a simple tasty dinner. This is something that I can do anytime and I love that there are six different blends to choose from!

Seasoned Steamers™, a new line of Green Giant® vegetables, gives you unexpectedly delicious taste in every vegetable bite.  These chef-inspired, seasoned vegetables come in six new varieties ranging from smoky roasted cues to ethnic inspired flavors.  By roasting, seasoning and freezing individual pieces, our vegetables lock in flavor so delicious, your family will ask for more.  In less than 8 minutes, your family can enjoy new Seasoned to Delicious™ Seasoned Steamers™.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by General Mills via Glam Media. The
opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the
opinions or positions of General Mills.

#JERF October Challenge

Example of #JERFChallange Breakfast


What is ‘REAL’ food? 

(this was a PERFECT Description from Domesticity Nouveau)

It’s food that has only itself as an ingredient:
Onion vs battered onion ring.  Roasted chicken vs chicken nugget.  Baked potato vs potato chip.

It’s food that you could grow or raise yourself:
You might not want to or have the space, but you could grow lettuce and you could raise a cow.
It is highly unlikely that you have access to a laboratory to synthesize instant cheese sauce.

It’s food that comes in its whole natural form:

A chunk of beef and fresh vegetables rather than a frozen dinner entrée of beef pot pie.  It’s chicken broth and cream instead of a can of cream of chicken soup.

THE CHALLENGE:

Make at least ONE REAL FOOD MEAL a day.

Take a picture.

Instagram or tweet the pic to @SweatyBetties #JERFChallenge

Get Creative! Look up Paleo Blogs & share recipes! This should be fun! 

Example of #JERFChallange Breakfast

#JERFChallenge Dinner Idea

 

PS. for the training challenge, I personally am starting over with my 12-week Program. Since my move, I got off track and had no gym for 2.5 months. I’m starting with week #1 this week! Feel free to join back in! I’m also going to be taking progress pictures AND measurements this time! Eeek!!

Birthday Bash Winner Announced!!

Screen shot 2012-09-17 at 10.31.07 AM

THE WINNER IS…….

JENNIFER ELLIS entry #2895

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sweaty Betties are 1 year old!! Happy Birthday to us!! Of course no birthday bash is complete without presents!!

 

Talk about GREAT prizes — HO-LY COW!! Over $900 Value of Prizes!

 

There will only be ONE winner of all of this! So try to go through as many steps as you can to get the most entries!!

 

THE BIG BIG PRIZE:

 

A “CLICKED-out” Beach Cruiser Bike from Click Espresso Protein Drink I’m soooo excited about this bike, I want it!!

CLICKED out Beach Cruiser Bike!

 

$100 Gift Certificate to ActivewearUSA.com

$100 ActivewearUSA.com Gift Certificate

 

Gift Set– 2 tins of our sugar free,0-5 calorie dessert flavored teas, 1 box of biscottea, and a tea strainer

 

From The Necessiteas

 

 

One pair of Skora Running Shoes

Pair of Skora Running Shoes

 

1 Case (4 boxes of 12) of Primitive Fuels Snacks

1 cases (4 boxes of 12) of Primitive Fuels Snacks!

 

1 Box of Simply Bar— low-calorie, high-protein bars

Box of 12 Simply Bars

 

One Month Klutch Club Box

One Month Klutch Club Box with lots of fun samples, gifts and surprises!

 

Steps to enter this giveaway:

    1. Using the widget below, complete all the steps that say REQUIRED.  They are the first 3.  That is all you have to do, no more, no less.  If you choose to do the rest you will gain extra entries and increase your chances of winning.

 

  • After the required entries are completed, complete one, two, or all of the extra entry requirements to increase your chances of winning

 

 

  • After you are done for the day, you can COME BACK EVERYDAY and share this giveaway via the social media outlets at the bottom of this post for an additional entry.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crock Pot Meals for a month– Under $75

Crock Pot Meals for a Month and under $75... yes please!

If you have followed any of my posts from “back-when” you will know that I do not cook. I just don’t. I don’t have many recipe ideas, nor do I care if I eat the same thing (chicken and veggies) every day for the rest of my life. However, my husband cares and since we are moving soon and he is now working out of the home, I thought it would be nice to have some meals ready when he comes in… annnnnnd I’ll be honest, I’m kind of getting bored of the same thing (just too lazy to do anything about it)
Well, my sister-in-law is living on one income with two kids to feed, so she’s always looking for budget-friendly meals AND of course, being a mom keeps her busy, so she doesn’t always want to cook.
She found these recipes on pinterest, did this last month and loved it, so she invited me on the grocery “tour”. I bought more food in one trip than I EVER have in my entire shopping life. I told her that my bill was going to be $120-130.
She said “No, I bet its only $80″… well… beat that! It was only $76 (and that was because I had a few extra things in there)
Total cost for these meals: $68!!** HOLY CRAP! I sure hope I like them, because I love the price.
They are all in the freezer and ready to go, so the first two weeks after moving, while I’m unpacking and have other things to do, we don’t have to spend more money eating out! I can’t wait!! I hope you all enjoy and please share some more crockpot recipes if you have them!!

** Depending on your grocery store and location or “on hand” ingredients, you may spend slightly more or less

Crock Pot Meals for a Month and under $75… yes please!

 

I am going to add Notations of MY modifications 😉

We created a big shopping list– bought EVERYTHING for less than $75 and this should last at least 18 meals for 2 people. I have a feeling there will be leftovers in many of the meals.

Not all of them I would consider “the healthiest” but you can make substitutions and change as you wish.

These recipes were taken from Pinterest and ringaroundtherosies.net

We also did not follow the recipes as they were written– Basically–

PUT INGREDIENTS IN BAGS— FREEZE. DONE.

PS Most of these are gluten-free and paleo (if you don’t add the pasta/rice)

 BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork – prep/no cooking, freeze

Ingredients:

– one 4 – 6 pound pork shoulder (I bought a pork roast, I’m not sure the difference, but it looked good/less fatty– I’d never bought pork before, so we’ll see how this one works!)

– all purpose seasoning 

– one bottle of barbecue sauce (you can buy low-sugar BBQ or just use half the bottle to lessen the sugar)

– one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained

Directions:

– Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker.

– Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.

– Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.

– Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.

– Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.

– Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.

Strain & serve!

(We took ALL of the ingredients– dumped in a gallon bag and threw in the freezer– I plan on defrosting for a day and just dumping into the crock pot— serve with brown rice?)

 

Lemon Garlic Chicken – prep/no cooking, freeze (this one we portioned into TWO bags)

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb. in each bag)

2 T. butter (1 tbsp. in each bag)

1/4 c. water

3 T. fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I just used dried and  it worked  perfectly)

1 package cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat or fat free)

1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in  a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place  chicken in a slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil.  Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker  15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

4. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the chicken and place on a serving  platter. Add the cream to cheese to the juice in the crockpot, and whisk until smooth. 

Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top!

(Again— dumped everything into two gallon bags and into the freezer– I think it will workout just fine)


Chicken & Spinach – prep/no cook, freeze (split recipe in half between two bags)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 jar Classico Pasta Sauce (or any marinara– 3 cheese, mushroom, etc.)

Onions, bellpeppers, etc.

Cajun seasoning to taste

Sliced zucchini & squash (the yellow ones that look like cucumbers) (optional)

mushrooms sliced (fresh or can)

Bag or container of fresh spinach (i break off the larger stems)

Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)

 Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies and top with  spinach.   I cook it about 6 hour (Dumped everything in two bags— freeze)


Beef/Turkey Taco Soup – make day of, freeze leftovers

2 cans of kidney beans (I only used one)

2 cans of pinto beans (I only used one)

2 cans of corn (I only used one)

1 large can of diced tomatoes —1 can tomatoes and chiles

1 packet taco seasoning

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger

shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment

1 package of tortilla chips or bake corn tortillas 

 Directions:

brown meat if you are going to use it

drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)

sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat

drain and rinse the beans and add

add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans

stir.

  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the  better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. About 20 minutes before serving, add  desired amount of crushed chips into the crockpot. Then,stir well, and serve with a handful of  shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. (I cooked the meat ahead of time and then just threw all the ingredients in two bags– I may or may not add the cheese and sour cream when the time comes to eat. Will probably make with a salad on the side) 

Crock Pot Pizza Soup – prep/no cooking, freeze in zip lock bag (split recipe in half between two bags)

–1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce

–3 empty jars full of water

–1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

–1/2 red onion, chopped

–1 cup sliced mushrooms

–1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)

–2 cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)

–1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (Hormel turkey pepperoni is labeled gluten free)

–8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)

–1 T dried oregano

–1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (if your pasta is tiny, use 1/3 cup. if it’s big, do 1/2. I used 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s brown rice penne) (I didn’t add any pasta to this one, it might actually be great with garlic bread… mmmm!)

–shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

The Directions.

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces–I sliced, then cut the pieces in fourths. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese

(I didn’t make this yet, just threw all ingredients in two bags and freeze)

Slow Cooker San Francisco Pork Chops – prep/no cooking, freeze (I totally didn’t make this recipe at all, my sister did. I personally don’t care for pork chops, ever.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick

Salt and pepper for seasoning

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

Mashed Potatoes or Hot Cooked Rice (for serving)

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.

 

Chicken Curry (this one we put into two bags)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I didn’t do this step)
4 tablespoons curry powder (2 tbsp in each bag)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (1 tsp each bag)
1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs, or breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces. (I just put entire breasts in the bags)
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes. (I didn’t add these, but I will chop them fresh, so I marked on the bag to chop potatoes later)
2 cups baby carrots.
1 coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion (used a white onion)
1 zucchini chopped, about one cup
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 2 tsp. chopped garlic in a jar)
2 chicken bouillon, one per bag (used a half cup of chicken broth from a can)
.5 cup raisins (for garnish) (raisins are nasty!! Did not use! LOL)

.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish) (didn’t use any nuts either)

Savory Chicken (split this recipe between two bags)

(we used a bag of frozen broccoli, threw all the ingredients in a bag and froze.)

Lazy Day Stew

(I didn’t use stewing beef, I used ground turkey on this one and I even added another can of corn and NO lima beans, I used kidney beans instead. We also did not use the tapioca– it was probably just for texture anyway. Dumped everything into two bags and froze)

 

What is the BEST Protein Powder for Weight Loss and Toning?

Weight Loss Shake - Protein Powder

“What kind of protein powder will help me lose more weight?”

WILL protein powder help me lose weight?”

“My friend started doing these protein shakes and she’s lost 10 lbs. Should I buy that shake?”

Here is the answer:

There is NO protein powder that makes you lose weight or helps you tone.

(here is a quick rant I did after this blog was posted)

“WHAT?! What does it do then???? Why am I spending my money on it? Why am I told to use it??!”

OK, OK, calm down… here is the deal—> PROTEIN is one of three macronutrients: Carbs, Proteins, Fats.

Lets do a quick lesson in nutrition:

Carbs (Carbohydrates)– carbs are used for ENERGY. Carbs convert to glucose which is the only fuel your brain functions on (hence, why you feel so dumb on low/no carb diets) Carbs include sugars and many people have dubbed them BAD… this is not the case. They are essential. Carbs are found in fruits, grains, vegetables, and sugars.

Fats— another “bad” one. Fats don’t make you fat.(too many fats can… but, I digress) Fats are essential for making hormones as well as feeling FULL. Fats are pure energy, but are used/digested slower than carbs. Fats are found in seeds, nuts, meats, and oils.

Protein-– protein is essential for building structure– hair, nails, skin, etc. Proteins are slower digesting and can help you feel full as well, and therefore (you might) eat less. Protein is found in some grains, eggs, cheese, and meats.

Soooo… that being said, as you can see, there are no “Special fat-burning powers” or “magic slimming properties” specifically of protein or even any kind of protein powder. In fact, due to the fact that protein powders are mixed to make a liquid, most of them are digested faster, so they don’t even provide the same benefits of satiety as, say, chewing on a big piece of meat.

HOWEVER– you still NEED protein. EVERY DAY. If you work out, you need MORE protein. Protein helps build/rebuild muscle. Many successful weight-loss programs (and even I suggest) that you eat protein with each meal. The point here is, its NOT the “brand” or the kind of powder that matters. Powders do have their place. They are convenient– a lot of people find that they don’t have time to prepare “meals” all the time. They are a great alternative for vegetarians or for people who don’t digest meat well. Protein is essential in any weight-loss program because it helps build muscle (which increases metabolism) and it helps the “dieter” feel full and doesn’t create a spike in blood sugar.

“Should I even bother buying protein powder then?”

SURE!! If you have a hard time eating meat or getting in enough protein for your daily needs, then yes, its still a good idea to supplement with a shake. It still is always best practice to choose REAL food, over processed food when you can. Powders are great for travel and in between meals or post-workout.

“What kind of protein powder should I buy?”

Whey is a quick digesting protein that is generally cheap and easily mixable. If you are allergic to whey or dairy, you may want to try a liquid egg white protein or powdered egg white protein. Try and steer away from soy, as nearly all US Soybeans are genetically modified and soy has been shown to raise levels of estrogen, increasing cancer risks.
If you are vegan– look for pea, rice or hemp protein powders, (VEGA is one Vegan brand that I am aware of) You can read up on different kinds on the Bodybuilding.com Protein Guide.

“What else should I look for in a Protein Powder?”

QUALITY! Very often with protein, you get what you pay for! Did you know that most of the whey protein companies get their whey as byproducts of the cheese industry? Interesting stuff. Just understand that if a product is significantly cheaper than other products, they are probably using substandard ingredients. This is not always the case, but do not purchase based solely on price.

TASTE! You have to drink it, so make sure you like it. There is no one brand that I suggest to everyone, because some people like thick shakes, some people like a “chocolate milk” consistency. It really just depends on YOU. Some supplement stores will let you try a sample before you buy.

Here are a handful of brands that I have tried (or have had friends recommend) as a place to start– understand that I don’t recommend them over a whole-food based diet, but do recommend for reasons stated above. (and YES I still use powders)

Isagenix — made with no artificial sweeteners (sucralose/aspartame), no soy or gluten and adaptogens for adrenal health, with some of the highest quality I have seen. The IsaLean also has enzymes for digestion and live cultures for gut health. It has AMAZING ingredients and quality, you get what you pay for on this one.

Gaspari Myofusion— a thicker whey shake, I love the taste of this one, but def. a preference thing. Some people do not like the consistency. Great mid-priced brand and reputable company

Optimum Nutrition (ON) Whey— this one is thinner and I think tastes better with almond milk than water. Not a personal favorite but it has great reviews on bodybuilding.com. I prefer to cook with this one. Uses sucralose.

Muscle Pharm Combat— similar to ON. High reviews. Has a blend of 5 different proteins for sustained release. My husband actually works for this company so I can get it free but I honestly don’t care for it all that much. (just goes to show you how much tastes vary!!) Uses sucralose.

Nature’s Best ISOPURE— a whey protein ISOLATE. not a blend, more grams of protein per serving. Isolates are great if you are really dieting for a show or need straight protein, no carbs, etc. Great taste.

Muscle Milk– have a lot of great flavors, but higher in fat. Some controversy on possible lead?? I think Muscle Milk tastes delicious, but haven’t heard the best things about the quality.

Dymatize Elite– a thicker protein, similar to Gaspari, a little higher price, but popular brand and reputable company.

Share with someone who might find this helpful!! And I LOVE to hear your comments!!

*FTC Disclosure: some links above are affiliate links in which I may receive a commission if used. ALL opinions are that of my own and I do NOT endorse products that I don’t believe in or wouldn’t let my own children use.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bars

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bars

Need a delicious and healthy Breakfast or Snack Idea?

These bars are where its at!! Plus, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin….ever.

Its not quite paleo, because there are little bit of oats and protein, it’s as close to Paleo in a delicious bar as I’m gonna get today… They are moist and delicious!!

This recipe is adapted from my friend Jaquelyn Kay, who adapted it from Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread.. so basically its a twice removed recipe from the star Jamie, herself 😉

All the amazing ingredients you can get from VITACOST. They have a freaking AWESOME selection of things like coconut flour and greens, etc. (watch out, my cart was full in about .5 seconds!!)

GLUTEN-FREE  

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease your pan with olive oil (9×9 square pan works best)

In small bowl combine: (set aside)1/3 cup Truvia and 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 cup almond flour  (you can make almond flour by blending a cup of almonds in a Magic Bullet or food processor)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour  (you can make oat flour by blending a cup of oats in a Magic Bullet or food processor)
  •  2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin (you can use applesauce if you don’t like pumpkin or can’t find it)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together  flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and whites, coconut milk, honey, and pumpkin.

Pour a shallow layer of batter into the loaf pan (about 1/4 of the batter). Sprinkle heavily with half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter & cinnamon/sugar on top. Draw a knife through the batter to marble. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean when you poke the center of bread.

Creamy Mushroom (Low-Carb) Soup

This is an easy soup and is low-carb, can be non-dairy, paleo & even vegan (if you use vegetable broth)
Its perfect for those cold winter days all by itself or as an appetizer

-16-20 oz of mushrooms (1 -2 containers)
-2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable
– 1 whole white or yellow onion
– 1-2 tbsp. tarragon
– 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1/4 c. non-fat greek yogurt (optional)

First–CHOP up the onion into itsy bits and chop the mushrooms into itsy bits.

Saute the onion in approx 1 tbsp. olive oil for 5 mins.
add mushrooms and a little more oil and saute for another 5-10 mins.

MAKE SURE YOU LET THIS COOL.

Take the onion and mushroom mixture and dump it into a blender. Add 2 cups of your broth and blend.
Check the consistency, you may need to add another cup of broth to make it less thick.

(if you like a creamier soup, this is where you can add the greek yogurt)

Pour into saucepan, add garlic salt and tarragon to taste.
Simmer soup for 5-10 mins.

Serve hot!!

ENJOY!!