Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love your breakfast

I love finding healthy ideas for meals. Dinner recipes are everywhere, but I often forget about breakfast. I usually end up slipping into the habit of grabbing a granola bar or eating a bowl of (sugary kids) cereal. The time to break those habits is now!

Breakfast is so important people. The reasons why go on and on, but my favorite reasons: you'll be more energetic and awake throughout the day and you'll boost your metabolism. Don't skimp on breakfast. This is the best time to fill up, remember you're burning calories all day long!

I found and tried some of these fabulous healthy breakfast recipes. I dare you to try them: (About 350 calories)

Mediterranean Wrap

Whisk 1 egg and 2 egg whites with 1 tbsp of water. Pour eggs into a nonstick skillet (coated with cooking spray) and scramble over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup baby spinach, 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (I left that one out, ew), 1/4 c reduced-fat cheese (try feta), and 1/4 c chopped tomato. Lightly fold into eggs until spinach wilts. Fill one warmed whole-wheat wrap with egg mixture.

Banana-Pecan Cereal

Top 1 1/4 cups whole grain flake cereal (Post Bran Flakes) with 3/4 cup skim milk (I substituted vanilla soy milk), 1/2 medium banana sliced, 1 tbsp chopped pecans, and cinnamon. You can also substitute yogurt for milk to make a thick mix.

Southwest Frittata

Whisk 1 egg pluss 2 egg whites in a bowl. add 2 tbsp shredded reduced-fat cheese, 1/3 cup corn (thawed or frozen), 1/3 cup black beans and 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro. Saute 1/4 c chopped red bell pepper and 1/3 cup chopped onion with 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet until veggies are soft, about 3 minutes. Add egg mixture to pan and cover until eggs are set, about 8 minutes. Serve with 1/4 cup salsa.

Apple-Cheddar Melt

Spread half a 3-oz whole wheat bagel with 2 tbsp plain hummus. Top with 3 slices apple and 1 slice reduced-fat cheddar. Broil until cheese is golden and melted, 1 minute. Serve with a cafe au lait made with 6 oz skim milk and 6 oz coffee. (You can use swiss cheese in place of cheddar.)

Pineapple-Ginger Parfait

Layer 6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (canned in juice, drained), 1 tbsp sliced almonds and 1/4 cup granola. (Pineapple hurts my mouth so I replaced it with berries, and it was delish!)

*TIP* I have found the best way to stay consistent on eating healthy is to plan out my meals for the week ahead of time (I try to do it on Saturdays) and then go grocery shopping for everything I'll need for that week.

AND REMEMBER healthy snacking in between meals. Stay away from the sugars and sodas. I have a great list of healthy sweets I'll share with you all soon, so if you need to get your sweet kick you'll have some options!

I'm still working on perfecting this, so let's all work on it together, yes? Next post I'll share some healthy lunch recipes.

This feels soooo much better then dieting. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The truth about MILK

A few years ago I bought and read a popular book called "Skinny Bitch" "a no-nonsense, tough love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and look fabulous". I love this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who 1. Isn't offended easily and 2. Wants to get health smart and skinny.

As we have been unpacking I found this book and started reading it again. What a great reminder of things that I have forgotten! Granted, this book is a tad extreme for me. One chapter encourages you to be a vegetarian, and I have to skip this-because their reasoning is so right, but I just know that's not something I could do!! Maybe one day I can work into that. For now I have to take babysteps, or I'll fail miserably!

Today I wanted to post on a specific chapter I read last night that I think is information everyone should know. Milk does a body good. True or false?

You see the ads in every magazine and the commercials on tv. We have all been ingrained to know that milk is healthy, we all need milk! Isn't it amazing how much we read and believe without any studying or research? I know I do this all the time. Well take a seat because you might be shocked when I tell you that the answer is...FALSE!

Think about this: when we have babies, we breastfeed them until they are a certain age. And then we stop, right? And that goes for cows and all other mammals on earth. They produce milk only when they give birth, they feed their young, and then they stop. In the book they address the fact that we are the only species on the planet that drinks the milk of another species. Why? Because the multi-million dollar dairy industry has convinced us that we need milk to have strong bones.

If you actually look at statistics, Yale researchers found that countries with the highest dairy and meat intakes also suffer the highest amount of osteoporosis rates. What?! I had never once doubted the ads that tell me milk makes strong bones. I have always pushed myself to drink more milk, even though I've never loved the stuff. (Until I got prego, imagine that...) I just "knew" that if I didn't drink my 2 glasses of milk everyday my bones would be brittle and break. Everyone knows that, right??

The truth is, we can get adequate calcium from leafy greens, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and beans. And another plus? All these foods come without the steroids, hormones and antibiotics found in dairy. This is something I've been a huge fanatic on lately. Watch the documentary "Food Inc.", you will seriously die. All of the hormones and steroids that are being pumped into the animals we eat via meat and dairy, it's disgusting. It will totally give you a new perspective on watching what you eat!

Farmers pump their cows up with tons of steroids and hormones so that they will produce much more milk then they are designed to produce. Do you think that farmers in this business milk their cows every morning by hand, just like a movie? No way-they hook their animals up to machines that pumps the milk all day long. Their udders get swollen and infected from the machines, but do they stop pumping? No way! (Infection=puss and open sores. Yummy.) Sure they pasteurize the stuff, but that just adds to the fact because pasteurization kills all the enzymes and natural antibiotics that would make our bones healthy in the first place!

Have you ever tried Soy Milk? When I was single I bought soy milk because I could drink it in the mornings before the gym and I wouldn't get side aches. I remember the first time I tried it and I was so worried it would be disgusting, but I loved the stuff!

If you eat a lot of cereal, like me, try soy milk instead of regular milk. Then try cutting milk out of your diet-no more drinking the stuff! Eat your veggies, nuts and beans. No calcium pills, no milk. And try to get the "milk=healthy bones" out of your mind, because it's just not true.

If you are interested, I recommend picking up a copy of the book and reading it. If you aren't, stay tuned and I will post more from the book on my blog!