Sweet Potato- maple quinuoaaa

This has got to be one of my favorite dishes of all time. It’s sweet, fluffy, and makes you go mmmmm with every bite. If you haven’t figured it out- I have a huge sweet tooth. I feel like I need something sweet after dinner every night to make me feel satisfied before bed. If I don’t, I don’t feel complete when getting in bed. Weird? Ya I know. To be exact I prefer something chocolate paired with peanut butter. duhhhhhh

Haha that’s pretty much my love in that picture. But my staple dessert lately has been oatmeal, 2 tsp chia seeds, with chocolate ( darker the better) and a serving of PB, OR 2 mixed in 😉 I recently tried Krema peanut butter and oh my it’s so good. It’s all natural and has a really good smooth texture that has no salt, sugar, or hydrogenated oil. It’s perfect!

Okay now I am getting off topic. Here is a great recipe that you could use as a dessert or even side dish.  Its vegan and gluten free, dairy free, Yeast free, Corn free! Saaay what! Yep!

First off how amazing is quinoa? 

Great info from 3 Fat Chicks on a diet

1. Protein Powerhouse

Proteins are essential to the building and repair of the body’s tissue.  Quinoa has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein.

. Dieter’s Dream

Quinoa is a satisfying source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster.

3. Internal Cleanser/Detoxifier

As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like celiac disease

4. Bone Builder

For vegans, people with lactose intolerance or those who are simply looking for non-dairy sources of this vital mineral, quinoa is a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium.

5. Brain Food

A cup of cooked quinoa offers 15 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brain power. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilize mood.

Def is a staple in my house now. Plus I love the nutty texture!!!

Second up, I love sweet potatoes. They are soft in texture and are smooth on the digestive system.

1.  They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies.  Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.

2. They are a good source of vitamin C.  While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation.

3.  They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight.

4.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

5. Their rich orange colour indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html#ixzz1oOXqLpWP

So this DISH makes for a POWERHOUSE!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup (dry) quinoa

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 shallots

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons brown sugar (I OMITTED THIS, BUT YOU CAN ADD FOR MORE SWEETNESS)

2 tablespoons olive oil Salt, to taste

optional: SPRINKLE CINNAMON, OR ANY NUT OF CHOICE

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil; add quinoa, cover and reduce to low heat.
  2. Puncture sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave for 8 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice the shallots.
  4. In a small pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, stirring often.
  5. Cube the sweet potatoes and stir into the quinoa along with the cooked shallots.
  6. Stir in maple syrup and brown sugar. Add salt to taste and garnish with cinnamon and nuts. Serve warm.

 

 

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How the Girl scout COOKIE CRUMBLES

Awww memories of girl scout cookies. The day  when you would eat a whole box in 2 days and not have a guilt in the world? Right….Well as you get older things change and you  need to start thinking about your indulgences. In January, charming little girls came to your door to ask if you would support them and purchase some cookies. Their poise and confident sales approach won you over. Your idea was to give the cookies away or hide them in the freezer when they arrived. Now that the cookies have been delivered, it isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. The cookies prob weren’t given away and you probably didn’t leave the package un-opened….Annual cookie sales provide these girls with a wonderful opportunity to learn sales and marketing skills. The better the girl’s skills, the more cookies we typically purchase which can really derail our weight loss goals. Since no foods are off limits in a healthy lifestyle, mastering portion control will be your key to successfully staying on track during this time of year.Here are the best Girl Scout cookie choices and the recommended serving size. SOURCE: from Spark People

Trefoils (5-cookie serving) or Shortbread Cookies (4-cookie serving)
Calories – 160 (Shortbread – 120)
Fat – 8 grams (Shortbread – 4.5 grams)
Sodium – 115 mg (Shortbread – 105 mg)
Carbohydrate – 22 grams (Shortbread – 19 grams)Protein – 2 grams (Shortbread – 1 gram)

Savannah Smiles (5-cookieserving)
Calories – 140
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 125 mg
Carbohydrate – 23 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Shout Outs! (4-cookie serving)
Calories – 130
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 130 mg
Carbohydrate – 18 grams
Protein – 2 grams

Dulce de Leche (4-cookie serving)
Calories – 160
Fat – 8 grams
Sodium – 70 mg
Carbohydrate – 20 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Thin Mints (4-cookie serving)
Calories – 160
Fat – 8 grams
Sodium – 120 mg
Carbohydrate – 22 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Here are the cookie choices that you will want to pay close attention to serving sizes when enjoying.

Lemonades (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 150
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 80 mg
Carbohydrate – 22 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Thanks-A-Lot (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 150
Fat – 6 grams
Sodium – 110 mg
Carbohydrate – 22 grams
Protein – 2 grams

Peanut Butter Sandwich (3-cookie serving) or Do-Si-Dos (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 160 (Do-Si-Dos – 110)
Fat – 6 grams (Do-Si-Dos – 5 grams)
Sodium – 135 mg (Do-Si-Dos – 70 mg)
Carbohydrate – 26 grams (Do-Si-Dos – 16 grams)
Protein – 2 grams (Do-Si-Dos – 2 grams)

Samoas or Caramel deLites (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 140
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 55 grams (Caramel deLites – 85 mg)
Carbohydrate – 19 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 140 (Peanut Butter Patties – 130)
Fat – 9 grams (Peanut Butter Patties – 8 grams)
Sodium – 95 mg (Peanut Butter Patties – 110 mg)
Carbohydrate – 13 grams
Protein – 2 grams (Peanut Butter Patties – 1 gram)

Thank U Berry Munch (2-cookie serving)
Calories – 120
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 75 mg
Carbohydrate – 18 grams
Protein – 1 gram

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite? Are you able to follow recommended serving sizes when enjoying them?

Mine are the Samoas or the Tagalongs ( of course because you all know chocolate and peanut butter are my best friend/ enemy 😉 ). In reality is having 2 cookies easy to stop at? NO! So I personally try to stay away and make delcious ‘sweet treats’ on my own and give a healthy alternative twist that won’t derail me off track.   In a lifestyle it’s all about balancing things you enjoy in life but also putting in the hard work. You want to be a fit person, right?  That’s why I’m sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy. One that works for me is listening to my body. If I feel like indulging I will, but you have to have the WILLPOWER to know when to STOP!
   If you indulge, well stay on track and stay active. For most of us, work is a reality of life. Whether you love your job or hate it, working for a living is something that you know you have to do, and probably don’t have much trouble motivating yourself to show up to each day. Wake up, get ready, arrive on time, do a decent enough job to not get fired (maybe better!), rinse and repeat…day after day, week after week. As responsible adults, we make our careers a priority out of necessity. We work to make money, which helps us live the lives we desire. You can complain about it, or just do it-EITHER WAY THE MOTIVATION IS THE money. So when it comes to a healthy lifestyle- what mOtivation is it going to take for people to take care of themeselves and health? Is it going to be the month later where 10+ extra pounds show up on the scale, or a trip to the doctors office to be told your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers  are off the charts to scare you to get healthy? Where does the line lie for you? What motivates you to get things done in life? So why do we treat other areas of our lives  so much less important? You can hate your job but still show up 40+ hours a week. So why not spend 20-60 minutes a day to take care of yourself! The benefits are huge: weight management, stress relief, stronger bones and muscles, a healthier heart, less depression, higher self-esteem, a sense of pride and accomplishment, a decreased risk for countless chronic and debilitating diseases—far outweigh the temporary “rewards” of skipping it (more couch time or a few extra minutes of sleep).What would it look like if we all treated exercise like our jobs (or at least our second jobs)? Doing exactly that can help you make fitness part of your life once and for all.
So before you dive into a box of cookies- decide where the line lies for yourself. Of course since I love healthy alternatives, I came up with my own healthy GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RECIPE! Look under recipes in DESSERT.

My <3 day consists of choc0 and Peanut Buttaaa!

yeSSSSSSSSSSS! It is Valentine’s day. What do you all think of this holiday. Well I know- it inspires me to make my 2 favorite things in the world. CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER. I def can’t go a day without eating the other. But remember- everything is in moderation and I make sure to fit it in daily calorie allotment. I mean if I had to go a day without the 2-I would not be a HAPPY person. I make a point to always have a nutritious breakfas lunch, and dinner, so I can indulge  little and make my healthy desserts. Well today for VALENTINES DAY

I made my favorite cake- but healthy!!! Try it and let me know what you think 😉

This healthy cake recipe is as rich as any other chocolate peanut butter cake recipe, but it has yogurt and ground flaxseed meal in place of some of the butter and less sugar than most chocolate peanut butter cake recipes. To make this low fat cake recipe even more healthy, use an omega-3 enriched peanut butter, such as Smart Balance. But my all fav is Trader Joe’s

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose  flour
  • 3/4 cup  whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute (or less) or can substitute 1/4-1/2 honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 16 oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten- or egg whites= 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preparation:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
    1. In a medium bowl, mix flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter, flaxseed meal, yogurt, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer. On low speed, add dry ingredients, beating until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
    1. Bake 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  1. Remove cake from oven and immediately spread peanut butter over top, allowing the heat of the cake to melt the peanut butter into a soft, spreadable frosting. Sprinkle chocolate chips over peanut butter. Using a knife, swirl chocolate chips and peanut butter together. Makes 18 servings of healthy chocolate peanut butter cake.

 

 

Back to healthy eating after overindulging! MOVE FORWARD!!

How to Get Back to Healthy Eating After Overindulging! I CAUGHT YOU!!!!!!!!!!
No but really we all indulge. That’s just part of LIFE. wE ARE HUMAN. jUST PUT IT BEHIND YOU AND MOVE FORWARD!

It’s distressingly common that a healthy diet will seem completely satisfying (or at least doable) until some sort of interruption comes along. Then, after a holiday or trip, you feel like your diet is ruined, and you don’t want to give up your favorite foods all over again. If healthy eating is important to you, the attempt to get back to healthy eating after overindulging should be just as important. Luckily, it’s doable. Here’s tips to help you get back to a healthy lifestyle! ESPECIALLY AFTER VALENTINES DAY! lots OF CHOCOLATE YUUUM 😉

1
Recommit to healthy eating. Realize that although mistakes were made, you have all the same reasons that you did before to value healthy eating.
2
Start right away. It’s always easier to think you will get back to healthy eating after overindulging as long as you can do it next week, but next week it will seem just as hard as it does today. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to start eating healthy right away, set a firm date to return to your plan.
3
Make sure you have plenty of healthy food options that satisfy your cravings. For example, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, try to keep fruit in the house. Doing this will help you feel less deprived as you start to get back to healthy eating after overindulging. OR CHECK OUT MY RECIPE PAGE- LOTS OF HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES FOR HEALTHY DESSETSMy healthy chocolate peanut butter cake. Yes these are my two favorite things

4
Consider a diet plan that includes the occasional indulgence. For example, if you allow yourself to eat any treat you want on holidays, or even once a week, realizing that this has happened won’t make you feel that you have failed at healthy eating. Maybe it would be better to eat healthy food all the time, but the important thing is to make a constant effort and not become discouraged.
5
Maintain a positive attitude. Beating yourself up about what you’ve already done is unlikely to help anything. If you have trouble staying positive, remind yourself that you got back on your diet plan when it was tough, and you are now facing the challenges of healthy eating fair and square.

If you think you’ll be in a situation that will tempt you to overindulge again, for example an upcoming holiday season or vacation, try to make a plan ahead of time about what indulgences you will allow and how you will stay healthy during this time. Maybe take a bath in your favorite indulgence…

haha I do want to do this one day 😉
FOR A COUPLE HEALTHY SNACKS TO GET YOU BACK AT IT………….

Or try one of these easy snack ideas for 250 calories or less to keep your blood sugar level:
• 1 small apple, 12 almonds + ice water with lemon =170 calories
• 1 cup baby carrots + 1/4 cup hummus = 157 calories
• 1 cup strawberries + 2 Tbsp. non-fat plain yogurt =70 calories
• 1 cup cantaloupe + 2 small gingersnaps = 113 calories
• 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese + 1/2 cup fresh mandarin oranges = 122 calories
• Hard-boiled egg, sliced, on 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 2 tsp. Dijon mustard = 141 calories
• 1 small apple + 1 Tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter = 172 calories

listen TO YOUR BODY!!! food CRAVINGS!!

You make a choice that affects your health every time you’re in the kitchen, at the grocery store, or even at work. Are your decisions as fit as they can be?
Sometimes you have to look deeper into these cravings. Why does it seem that we are always craving foods that are bad for us? When our bodies crave something, we often seek out foods that satisfy our food cravings to the extreme, whether it be salt, sugar, carbohydrates, or caffeine. Have you ever been told to listen to your body? When it craves a certain food or nutrient, it often points to something real going on in your body that should be addressed. Here are the answers to your questions about food cravings, plus a look at thefive foods we crave the most.

Chocolate

According to the Journal of Nutrition, chocolate is the most widely craved food in America. Most people have a taste for chocolate, which helps, but chocolate also contains key ingredients that may be linked to why we crave it so much. For instance, many people seem to crave chocolate when they are stressed or feeling down. Chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac stems from its phenylethylamine content, which regulates the body’s release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural mood lifters and often have a calming effect when the body is stressed. Chocolate also contains traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance found in marijuana. THCreacts with cells in the brain to release dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for the release of endorphins. The “high” from marijuana is therefore replicated to a much lesser degree when eating chocolate. In addition to its “feel good” qualities, chocolate contains large amounts of iron, a mineral that can be depleted during a woman’s menstruation cycle.  If you just have to get that chocolate fix, try dark chocolate to reap its antioxidant benefits!

Another way I  deal with my chocolate craving is using my Herbalife chocolate protein powder and making yummy treats out of it! Refer to my recipe tab for those delicious BITES

Salt

Salt, which most people associate with potato chips or French fries, is another commonly craved food. Like chocolate, some people are drawn to salty foods over other types, which can contribute to the nature of their food cravings. Some experts believe that Americans are so accustomed to a high-sodium diet, that they go into salt “withdrawal” when their eating habits change. This dietary change can be a real shock to one’s system, particularly for those who are dieting or have very low-sodium intake. Slowly cutting back on salt, rather than completely cutting it out of your diet, is a more effective way to reduce your intake of sodium. Finally, a desire for salt may simply be a result of dehydration, the process by which your body loses water, electrolytes and salt. The best way to fight dehydration is by drinking more water and by replacing the lost salt. Many sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade provide the necessary nutrients for hydration, especially after an intense workout. Sudden, excessive cravings for salt can also be a sign of some serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia. If you experience symptoms of any of these diseases, you should consult your physician immediately.
Carbohydrates
A craving for carbohydrates usually results in the consumption of refined carbohydrates, which are made from refined sugars and white flour. Consuming these items cause a rapid increase in your body’s blood-sugar levels. Not surprisingly, carb cravings often occur in the mid-afternoon, when your energy stores are at their lowest. While a high-carb snack will give you more energy, it will also cause a sudden drop in energy, which will encourage even more unhealthy snacking. Many carbohydrates are also referred to as “comfort foods,” which people associate with pleasant feelings. When you need a jolt of energy or a mood enhancement, it is natural to turn to the foods that have created those feelings in the past. Instead of reaching for a bag of pretzels or a few (or maybe more) of your favorite cookies, eat a handful of nuts and dried fruit or yogurt to give you the energy you need. The fiber in the nuts will help you to feel full for longer, while the low-glycemic fruit will help to stabilize your blood sugar so that your energy stores aren’t depleted as quickly. Adding a source of protein like yogurt, which takes longer to digest, can also slow down your body’s response to the carbohydrates.

Caffeine

Do you reach for a caffeine fix every time you’re feeling tired? Those who have serious cravings for caffeine throughout the day are most likely suffering from an addiction to caffeine. Caffeine stimulates activity in the brain, which in turn, causes the release of the hormone adrenaline. Despite achieving the desired effect, after the dose of caffeine wears off, it often creates a craving for additional caffeine to recreate the effect. There are healthier, more effective ways of preventing fatigue throughout the day. First, make sure you are getting enough sleep! Second, exercise daily. Although many people mistakenly think that they will be more tired by exercising, they are actually wrong. Overall, exercise will increase your energy level and will enable you to overcome your food cravings. Lastly, make sure you eat a healthy snack that is high in protein and whole grains every few hours to maintain your energy.
Fat
When most of us crave fat, we don’t reach for a packet of nuts or a spoonful of flaxseed oil. Instead, we look for sources of saturated fats, such as potato chips, or snacks that satisfy our sweet tooth and our fat craving. Essential fatty acids are healthy fats that contain vitamins A, D and E, which your body uses for healthy skin, hair and nails. Because most Americans eat a diet that is lacking in these essential fats and oils, your body may crave them regularly. Unfortunately, when you respond by eating saturated fats, your body will continue to crave the fat it really needs. Fat also adds flavor and variety to our foods, which can be obtained by adding other healthy foods to your dishes. The next time you’re craving fat, try eating nuts or seeds, nut butters ,avocados, or salmon and tuna. As a healthy substitute for vegetable oil, use olive oil when cooking.
******Food cravings are natural and unavoidable. However, they don’t need to be detrimental to your health if you respond to them appropriately. Stop and think about the real reasons behind your cravings and find solutions that will satisfy them and, at the same time, improve your health. Listen to your body, but don’t let it control you!!!!!

PROTEIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BITES!

These are my chocolate chip high PROTEIN cookie dough bites: 
1/2 Cup Almond Butter (I used crunchy AB because it’s what was open but you can use  Sunflower Seed Butter, Cashew Butter, or another nut butter of your choice)  TRADER JOES IS MY FAVORITE KIND!! ALL NATURAL

3-4 Tbsp Coconut Flour (or another flour if you don’t have coconut such as almond flour, cashew flour, oat flour, etc)

Or, for the Extra Protein Option, use 3 Tbsp of your Favorite Vanilla or Chocolate-Flavored Protein Powder

3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup/Agave (or honey, or yacon syrup)

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/3 to 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips (or carob, or cocoa nibs)

Yields 10 to 20 balls depending on preferred size

Peanut butter protein balls! Excellent tasty snack!

I know I keep raving about the doughballs and I keep making new versions.  These were the best YET without a doubt.  I made the peanut butter crunch doughballs again but did 1 or 2 things differently and I made a new version that was chocolate almond coconut.  YUM.

Peanut Butter Crunch protein dough balls!

3/4c peanuts
2T maple syrup
1/4c brown rice syrup
1/2c oats
2T peanut butter
1/4c ground flax meal
1/2t cinnamon
1/2T chia seeds
1 large scoop of your favorite protein powder!!

Grind nuts in a food processor.
Add all other ingredients and turn processor on.  Process until large doughball forms.
Scrape down bowl and process again.  Make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.  It should all come together into one big ball. Roll balls in the flavored protein powder or any thing of your liking 🙂  [If not, you should still be able to roll it into the balls.]
Roll into any size you want and store in the fridge. [If the balls seem a little too soft, refrigerate the dough before rolling.]

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