It’s not a number on the scale

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It is a new month… so I have decided to weigh myself and then lock my scale up in the shop for 30 days.

Here is the thing…. I have been telling my challengers/clients for the last 2 years not to pay attention to the number on the scale. But rather to focus on their non-scale victories!

But I haven’t been doing this myself! I have been fixated on the number on this scale for my entire pregnancy worrying about not gaining enough or gaining too much weight… instead of just focusing on what I can control (eating healthy and exercising every day).

Today I decided it was time to break the habit of focusing on that number. That is not what is important! I want to be healthy and fit for my children. I want to have energy and not feel irritable and a lot of anxiety so I can be fun and present in the moment for my children. I want to feel good about who I am and feel like I have self control and can do anything. I want to live a healthy lifestyle so I can be active in my older years and involved in my grandchildren’s lives. The number on the scale is not one of my goals… it doesn’t drive us… it discourages us!

In a recent online poll, people shared their reason for being fit and healthy, and guess what? NONE of the answers had anything to do with the number on the scale. And all of them are pretty incredible:

Fitness has everything to do with body and mind. The endorphins and hormones that exercise produces does amazing things for sleep, mood, weight loss, sex life, and overall happiness. —Emily Steele, via Facebook

It’s being capable of doing whatever I set my mind to through patience, hard work, and determination. —Kelsey Arcocha, via Facebook

Having the ability to unleash your inner power at any given moment. Inner power is not just physical fitness, but mental fitness. Fitness abilities, physical and mental, make up the incredible individual that you are. —torin496b6c8d4

To me, fitness means discovering things I can do with my body that I’ve never been able to do before. —Calli Celine Allen, via Facebook

It means being able to physically do whatever I want to do. I’m 52 years old… and I’ve run almost 50 marathons and ultramarathons in the last 10 years, I still snowboard with my kids, I mountain bike, rock climb, do flips off the diving board, whatever I want. And I have no intention of slowing down. —Thom Patterson, via Facebook

It means being able to chase an evil toddler when you ask her to come here and she clearly decides “here” is in the opposite direction… it means being able to carry all 40 pounds of her like a Gronk heading for the end zone when she’s gone full shenanigans in public. —Holly Haddad, via Facebook

Fitness to me means being mentally and physically happy. I suffered from really bad anxiety but once I began running/working out I felt like it all melted away. —Tara Roy, via Facebook

Well, for me, it’s just being able to be emotionally stable. I don’t care to get my six-pack back. I just wanna be happy again. —Rebekah Marie Byrd, via Facebook

 It’s a sign that I am bettering myself from where I used to be, also it’s opening doors that I didn’t even know about in life. —Aaron Lassen, via Facebook

Being fit is eating healthy, exercising regularly, and being hygienic. But most important of all, no matter your weight or gender or appearance or habits or ability, being happy and comfortable with yourself. —ABCDBadwolf, via Facebook

So now my question for YOU is: What’s your reason for getting healthy and fit?

Tasty Tuesday: Skinny Burrito Bowl

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Spice up your next family taco night with these skinny burrito bowls. The recipe is high in protein and is loaded with fresh veggies and Mexican flavor! Ditching the traditional tortilla means you’re not adding unnecessary carbs into your diet either.

Recipe adapted from here

Photo via

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey (or you can use diced or shredded chicken)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice was used)
  • 11/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium and fat-free
  • 2 cups salsa, no sugar added
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (recipe for taco seasoning) or you can use Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle Seasoning (season to taste)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives or green onions
  • Avocado slices

Directions

Over medium heat, in a skillet, cook the onion and ground turkey. The turkey should be cooked until it’s no longer pink. Drain off any fat.

**If using chicken, cook the chicken (grill, bake, or boil) until done. Chop or shred chicken and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, saute chopped onions in a small amount of Olive Oil. Stir onions to keep from sticking and burning. Cook until onions are transparent. Then, add in chicken and mix well.

Add the broth, rice, 1 cup salsa, 1 cup diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, corn, and the beans. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper. If it starts to dry up, just add a little more broth. Turn off the burner.

Mix in the cheese. It will melt with the heat.

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with the remaining tomatoes, salsa, chives, and avocado slices. Add lettuce if desired.

NOTE: If using long grain brown rice, it will need to be cooked in advance. Uncle Ben’s 10 minute brown rice was used in this recipe.

Have a Healthy Halloween!

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Halloween is coming! So many sugary treats are spotlighted this time of year and Halloween seems to be the gateway into a sugar and treat filled holiday season. Don’t get sucked into “well, it’s the holidays” trap of indulging too much and regretting it later. You can still have lots of fun with your family and friends by using some of these fun Halloween-themed food ideas instead!

Original Post: 13 Healthy Halloween Treats

Jack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups
Add color and fun to your Halloween with these smiling jack-o’-lantern faces carved into navel oranges. Slice off the tops of the oranges, scoop out the pulp, use a paring knife to cut out jack-o’-lantern faces, and fill with grapes and/or mixed berries.Jack O' Lantern Fruit Cups Halloween Snack
Photo by Frugal Coupon Living

Orange You Lovin’ Fall Fruit Salad
Save the pulp from your jack-o’-lantern fruit cups to make this fruit salad. Fill small mason jars with pineapple slices, orange wedges, and top with Greek yogurt.
Fruit salad candy corn Halloween Snack
Photo by Amanda Meixner

Slithering Snake Dip
Eek! What is lurking in your hummus? A slithering snake made from black olives! Cute Food for Kids carved beady eyes from string cheese and added a carrot tongue. Even those who hate serpents will love this little guy.
Snake in Hummus Halloween Snack
Photo by Cute Food for Kids

Candy Corn Popsicles
Here’s a healthier spin on candy corn! These colorful homemade popsicles are made from pineapple juice, orange juice, and yogurt. We want the popsicles! Click here to get the recipe.
Candy Corn Popsicles Halloween Snack
Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Mummified Apples
Googly eyes and gauze tape turn green apples into mummies that are almost too cute to bite into.
Mummy Apples Halloween Snack
Photo by Marci Coombs

Monster Pie
Kids will love this Monsters, Inc. tart because it’s so darn cute, and well, because it’s dessert! Visit Creative and Healthy Fun Food to get this recipe that’s got a filling made from avocado, banana, and almond milk!
Monster Pie Halloween Snack
Photo by Creative and Healthy Fun Food

Spooky Spider Eggs
Deviled eggs (like these) get extra creepy-crawly when they’re topped with spiders. To make eight scary spider eggs, cut 12 black olives in half vertically. Place one half in the center of each egg to form the body, then slice each remaining olive half into four sections to create legs. Shiver.

Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Ghoulish Hard-Boiled Eggs
Let your kids in on the decorating fun! Use black foodsafe ink pens to draw ghostly faces on white hard-boiled eggs. This example from Wit & Whistle shows how simple – and cute! – each drawing can be.
Ghoulish Hard Boiled Eggs Halloween Snack
Photo by Wit & Whistle

Frankenstein’s Monster
Is this a trick or a treat? This veggie tray made to look like Frankenstein’s monster is a little bit of both. Let your kids play with their food to help create this healthy platter and they might just be tricked into eating their veggies.
Frankenstein Veggies Halloween Snack
Photo by Blue Skies Ahead

Eyeball Pasta
Start off a night of trick-or-treating with this clever eyeball pasta! Visit Spend with Pennies to see how she used string cheese, black olives, and a straw to create eyeballs of different sizes that stare out of ghoulishly green spinach pasta.
Eyeball Pasta Halloween Snack
Photo by Spend with Pennies

Jack-o’-Lantern Clementines
Pick up a foodsafe pen and the whole family can have fun decorating the skin of clementines, tangerines, or oranges with spooky or smiling faces. Pop these into lunch boxes the week leading up to Halloween.
Jack O' Lanterns drawn on clementines Halloween Snack
Photo by Princess and the Frog Blog

Pumpkin Veggie Tray
This veggie platter is a Halloween party essential! Mom Endeavors shares some tips for constructing this spooky pumpkin from baby carrots and black olives. The stem can be made from broccoli, the end of cucumber, or a celery stick. Serve with Slithering Snake Dip!
Carrot Jack O' Lantern Veggie Tray Halloween Snack
Photo by Mom Endeavors

Banana Ghosts and Orange Pumpkins
Boo! Turn bananas into spooky ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths made from chocolate covered raisins. Make a pumpkin patch out of peeled clementines or tangerines. Just use a sprig of celery in the center for the stem!
Banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins Halloween Snack

Here are 8 more fun ideas for healthy Halloween treats to make for home or for you child’s school party!

And here are 13 alternatives to handing out candy on Halloween night

 

Tasty Tuesday: Caramel Sauce

caramel-sauce

There’s just something about autumn that demands we eat apples with caramel. It’s a fun treat to share with family, friends, and neighbors, and caramel can be used in so many ways! Use it to drizzle over fruit, pancakes, other desserts, or mix it with your protein or shakeology shake!

I found two caramel sauce recipes and I just couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I’m sharing both with you! Each recipe is dairy, sugar, and gluten free. It’s a clean eating recipe that still gives you the traditional caramel flavor!

Coconut Caramel Sauce:

Ingredients

Directions

1. Place coconut sugar, coconut cream and salt in a small sauce  pan. Heat slowly while stirring to dissolve the coconut sugar.

2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Caramel Sauce Ice Cream Topping
3. To test, take the saucepan off the heat. Spread a little sauce on a saucer (or similar) and place in the freezer for a few minutes. If the caramel doesn’t thicken (enough), simmer the sauce for a little longer.

4. Stir vanilla extract into finished caramel sauce.

Notes
I used the soft, paste-like kind of palm sugar, that you’ll find in Asia. Granulated coconut sugar works as well, but will produce a darker caramel sauce.
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (you can use either reduced fat or full fat – if you’re in the US you’ll want to use “premium” coconut milk that has as little ingredients as possible – ours just had coconut and water)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Place all of your ingredients into a medium to large non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Stir to combine all ingredients and bring caramel to the boil.
  3. Keep cooking your caramel until it thickens and darkens, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once your caramel has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving or storing in a clean container or jar.
  5. The caramel will stay fresh in the fridge for around a week, but it will harden once cooled. To warm your caramel for serving, simply put a couple of spoonfuls of the caramel into a small microwave safe dish and heat for ~10 seconds or heat on the stove.

Don’t forget to check out the recipe index on  my page to find more of my favorite clean eating foods!

Fall Into Fitness

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Don’t let the changing weather make you give up on your health and fitness goals. And if you’re just starting your health and fitness journey, Fall is a great time to begin!

“Fall … is a great time to start a fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months,” says Justin Price, owner of Biomechanics, a personal training and wellness coaching facility in San Diego, Calif.

Here four tips to help you maintain your healthy habits through the changing seasons:

1. Get Outside:  Without cooling temperatures, taking your fitness outside has never been better! Go for a hike and explore the beautiful fall scenery. Take a family bike ride, a jog, or walk in the park with a friend. Or just take some of your regular exercise moves and do them outside. You’ll be so glad you did this once the winter weather hits!

2. Make a Schedule: With kids back in school and on a regular schedule, make fitness and meal planning part of your routine. Set aside specific time to get your fitness in and prep your healthy meals. Fall is also a great time to explore different workout options and try something new!

3. Chores Can Be a Workout Too: Raking leaves or gardening burns about 150 calories every 30 minutes, so if you find that you don’t have time for exercise, grab a rake or a hoe, and turn seasonal tasks into a fat-burning workout.

4. Drink Your Water: It may not be as hot outside, but drinking your water is always important! Stay hydrated, help your body soak in those nutrients and flush toxins, and always drink before you snack (sometimes feeling hungry is a sign you’re actually thirsty).

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Punch & Baked Doughnuts

pumpkin-punch

It’s getting closer to Halloween and the treats seem to be everywhere! Show your family how yummy healthier versions of store bought treats can be. Involve your kids to help mix up the pumpkin punch, and they’ll LOVE the magic of making their very own doughnuts at home. These treats aren’t 100% clean, but they’re what I like to call “cheating clean”–a healthier alternative to a cheat meal that’s full of sugar and calories. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Punch

  • 1-2 scoops of mango sorbet (found in the ice cream aisle)
  • half V8 fruit fusion peach mango flavor
  • half FIZZE sparkling clementine beverage (found in the aisle with other glass bottle sodas, although this is NOT a soda)

For some extra fun, have kids decorate their clear plastic cups to look like pumpkins with permanent markers–like a Sharpie (washable ones will smudge all over their hands). Do this BEFORE you mix the punch to avoid spills.

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, milk, egg, oil and vanilla.
  4. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Using a spoon mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the doughnuts will be tough. Use a pastry bag or large plastic bag to pipe the mixture into the donut pan. (You can purchase donut pans online at stories like amazon, or at stored like Bed, Bath & Beyond) Alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the molds, but the finished doughnuts may not appear as even.
  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently around the edges. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the doughnuts cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the molds to release the doughnuts. Invert the donuts on the rack and cool completely, or enjoy warm.

Variation: Substitute applesauce for pumpkin for healthy baked applesauce doughnuts

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Tasty Tuesday: Spicy Honey Chicken

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This recipe for Spicy Honey Chicken is one of those that is easy to prep and I usually already have all of the ingredients on hand. And don’t let the word “Spicy” in the title fool you…it’s still kid friendly with the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.

Adapted from the original recipe from OBB

You’ll need 4-6 chicken breasts, thawed

For the Rub:

  • 2 t olive oil
  • 2 t granulated garlic (if you have a jar of minced garlic, that works too)
  • 2 t chili powder
    1/2 t onion powder
    1/2 t coriander
    1 t cumin
    1/2 t chipotle chili powder (I usually use Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Seasoning Blend for this)

Glaze
1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

img_7507Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken  pieces.Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there!

 

 

Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.img_7508

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.

Serve with a side of veggies or create a spicy honey chicken salad! Cut cooked chicken into strips or diced pieces. Serve over Romain or red leaf lettuce. Add in any extras like tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, avocados, and even mangoes!

Try it topped with with creamy avocado salad dressing!

avocadodressing