Monday, April 27, 2009

Melt in Your Mouth Banana Nut Muffins

I made up this recipe this evening, since I had a sweet tooth but didn't want anything too heavy. Bake this seemingly sinful (but oh-so not) dessert whenever you need a little comfort food. These melt in your mouth muffins are perfect for any time--and the ingredients are simple and light.

-1 cup corn flour* (or whole wheat flower) *I use corn because I'm sensitive to wheat
-3 ripe bananas (small to medium size)
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 cup soy milk
-2 TB apple sauce (unsweetened)
-1/4 cup Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
-1/4 cup organic sugar
-1 small egg (or equivalent in egg whites/beaters)

Mix well and bake on 350 for 12-14 minutes.

A (More)Heathy S'more

Want to make your favorite childhood campfire treat just a tad more healthy? Try this recipe for a more guilt-free treat...and embrace your inner-child!

-1 low fat honey graham cracker
-8 Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips
-1 TB light cool whip 

1. Place 1/2 the graham cracker in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or until the chocolate melts. Add the cool whip and top with the other half of the cracker, creating  a delicious "sandwich."

2. Enjoy : )

Estimated Calories: About 90 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Put Leftovers to Use: Hawaiian Quinoa

So today I had leftover pineapple chunks from my afternoon salad. Instead of just throwing them out or eating them plain, I decided to use them to snaz up my dinner--and created a lovely recipe while doing so!

-1/2 cup quinoa
-1 cup water
-1 zucchini 
-1/2 small can pineapple chunks (drain the juice)
-1-2 TB olive oil
-cajun seasoning
-drizzle of soy sauce or hawaiian seasoning to taste 

1. Boil quinoa then let simmer for about 10 minutes covered (or until water is drained)
2. In the meantime, stir fry the zucchini and pineapple with olive oil
3. Add in the quinoa and top with the cajun seasoning and soy sauce 

Enjoy : )

Rachel's Berry Blast Banana Smoothie

Lookin for a lift to get you going in the morning? Power up your a.m. routine with this protein smoothie recipe. It's dairy free, high in protein and fiber (which keeps you full longer), and is filled with natural antioxidants! One more plus? It's super easy to make.

-1 cup light soy milk (I like Organic Vanilla or Silk's Light Vanilla)
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries 
-1 medium banana 
-1 TB flax oil
-1/4 to 1/2 scoop chocolate soy protein powder

Blend together in a blender for about 30 seconds and enjoy!

approximate calorie amount: 370 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interval Routine: #1 Calorie Blaster

Interval training is the new best thing to do at the gym! Intervals, which involve staying at a steady pace with periodic speed bursts or sprints, holds many benefits. Studies have shown that intervals, when compared with a steady workout, burn more calories and rev up your metabolism all day long!

But, don't be fooled. These calorie-blasting workouts can be tough.

If you're a beginner like me, try my favorite workout done on the treadmill. (If you hate running, you can do this on a bike or elliptical too!)

Minutes 1-5 Warm up, walking at a 3.5 pace
Minutes 5-6 Walk at a 4
Minutes 6-6:30 Sprint at 7+
Minutes 6:30-7:30 Walk at 4
Minutes 7:30-8:00 Sprint at 7+
Minutes 8:00-9:00 Walk at 4
Minutes 9:00-9:30 Sprint at 7+

((Repeat this workout until you reach 30 minutes; then cool down at a 3-3.5 for 5 minutes))

Remember: stretch after  : )

Grapefruits 'n' Flax Talk

According to, grapefruits can actually peak weight loss! Eating a grapefruit or drinking 8 oz of grapefruit juice has been shown to block the enzymes involved in the fat-storage process. They also speed up our fat-burning process, so that we burn more calories throughout the day. 

Enjoy a grapefruit with breakfast like I do to make the most of their amazing benefits! 

To make your grapefruit breakfast side (or snack) even more wonderful, sprinkle it with some flax seed(comes in oil and whole form), which has endless benefits. Nutritionists have found that flax seed works wonders, from protecting you from illnesses to keeping you full longer and  helping you manage your weight by maintaining a healthy digestive system. So flax is a go in my eyes! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Healthy Corn Muffins (Gluten free, Wheat free Dairy free)

I modified the basic corn muffin recipe to make this much healthier version. Have fun with it, and experiment with different fruit, nuts, and spices to change it up!

-2 cups corn flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 cup oil (or can substitute apple sauce)
-1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
-1/4 cup organic natural cane sugar
-3/4 cup soy milk
-2 eggs (or equivalent in egg beaters or egg whites*)
*cuts down about 100 calories and cholesterol! 
-1/2 cup blueberries or fruit of choice (like chopped apple or banana)
-cinnamon to taste 

Mix together all the ingredients and place in a muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes and enjoy. : )

Tid Bit of the Day: Lower your portion sizes!

Today, when talking to my younger sister about following a healthy diet, I realized something. While my sister eats much "worse" than me when it comes to food, she has one very important thing down pat: controlling her portions. 

Basically, she eats whatever she wants but downsizes everything. She explained to me that she loads up of greens, whole grains and fruits, and that if her roommates are making brownies, ya, she's going to have one, but just one

Then there's me, eating healthy meals such as ground lean turkey burger and snacking on whole raw almonds. But all the while, I'm sitting here constantly envying those people that can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. Well, now I know their secret. They never overdue it.

So, here are some tips for those of you who are a lot like me to help you control your portions:

1. Pre-package snacks in a plastic baggy with the recommended or reasonable portion size (14 baby carrots, 20 almonds, 1 sliced apple,etc.) This will help you have a healthy snack on the go and not worry about eating the whole box!

2. Portion out meats ahead of time: Freeze portions of turkey burger or chicken so that they don't go old in the fridge and you don't eat the whole serving at once! If you buy Jenny-Os lean turkey burger, try splitting the portion into 4 and storing it in the freezer. Then you can get 4 dinners for the price of one!

3. Brush your teeth: If you find that you absolutely can't stop eating even though you've had more than enough and are starting to feel full, brush your teeth and know that means "I'm done for the night." Some people also chew gum, sip tea with lemon or have a taste of something really sour to signal their body (and mouth) to STOP. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coffee no more?

So, as you may already know, I am obsessed with the newest trends in health and fitness, constantly flipping through articles and finding the newest health foods and recipes.

And for the most part, I consider myself a healthy girl: I don't smoke, I drink a gallon of water a day and I eat 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks per day. On top of that, I rarely allow myself to "cheat" and I exercise nearly every day. 

Healthy, right? Just about. I left out the fact that I consume a cup or two of coffee every morning after my breakfast. Yes, I've read that coffee really does have health benefits such as lowering chances of some cancers, and can be OK if you drink it in moderation, the real question is: do I really need it?

Before I came to college, I went 18 years without a trace of coffee in my body, so why now, 4 years later, do I rely on it each and every day? I realized the other day, I had become addicted, and I wasn't happy with myself.

For the first time, I took a long look at myself and realized I wasn't being all that healthy after all. 

So, this week I made a promise to myself: absolutely no coffee. Yes, I may experience headaches or mood swings, but I think in the long run I am helping myself and my body. 

I'll keep you updated on how it goes. But, ta-ta-for-now java!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Thin Mint" Tummy Remedy

We all know that feeling when we eat just a little too much for dinner and feel like we're going to explode. It may be because you over-did it at your favorite restaurant, or maybe you ate way too fast. But good news for you: there is relief.

My new favorite after-dinner bloat remedy is... (drum rolls)...: PEPPERMINT TEA.

Studies have shown that peppermint relieves bloating by calming digestive muscles.

Simply brew one cup of hot peppermint herbal tea in a tea kettle post-meal and vuala: bloating be gone.

My favorite brand is Bigelow's Peppermint Herbal Tea (caffeine free), which also comes in lots of other yummy, soothing flavors like "Sweet Dreams" and "Chamomile." 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guilt-Free Tuna Melt

The other day, I wanted to make something both delicious and filling for lunch. So I came up with this fabulous recipe for a tuna salad melt. Hope you enjoy!

-1 small can tuna
-1 TB olive oil
-Oregano(or herb of choice) to taste
-Dill to taste
-dash of salt and pepper
-1/2 apple (chopped)
-5-10 raisins
-1 piece Ezekiel bread (or whole wheat if you like) *I like Ezekiel because it's gluten free/wheat free and organic
-1 piece soy cheese (cheddar/jack/mozzarella, etc)
-few pieces arugula or spinach to top

1. Toast the bread with slice of cheese
2. In the meanwhile, mix together the other ingredients well
3. Spread the tuna on the bread and top with arugula
4. Eat the extras as a delicious side!

Mmmm : )