Heading out on a summer vacation is my favorite time of the year, adventures abound, the weather is warm and the worries are few. The only worry that might be creeping into your conscious is falling off your normal diet and exercise regimen and returning home with a few extra pounds or diminished exercise performance. Nobody wants to call these souvenirs! However, with a little mindfulness, you can enjoy the extra little indulgences that a well-earned getaway offers, sleeping in late or a slice of the best local pastries “ever,” and still come home looking and feeling great.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Now Foods. I received product and compensation for my time to create this recipe and share my honest opinion.
What if I told you to eat the whole cake? Would you do it, could you do it? I think so! My Personal-sized Paleo Chocolate Angel Food Cakes are a light, low-cal cake treat that will satisfy your cravings and jive with your food tribe – be that Paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, or diary-free.
Each substantial-sized “mini” cake (made in jumbo muffin tins) has just 162 calories, 45g total carbs with 13 of those being dietary fiber (but no added sugar), 8g protein and less than ½ g fat. Honestly, they are so big for being little, I’m often happy with just half! Read on to get the recipe and find out about the green banana flour I used in the batter. Continue reading
Today, I’m sharing some of the things that are gearing me up and fueling me through the fun! Continue reading
Just a quick post to share a couple things! First, I’m taking over the @EatNuttzo Instagram account today — head over there sometime on this awesome Monday to check out how I use these delicious, nutritious nut butters to fuel my crazy, active life!
Read on to find out some other cool stuff that is going on! Continue reading
Cheesecake for breakfast, why yes! My Blackberry Dragon Fruit Protein Cheesecake actually amazingly nutritious food in disguise and makes a perfect morning meal, snack or healthy dessert. Plus, with 25 grams of protein, you’ll be fueled up to slay the day.
And, don’t bother with the oven, this is a no-bake, no-cook recipe that only needs a little time to set up in the fridge. Meal prep on the weekend and you’ll have several of these gorgeous, gluten-free treats ready to go. Read on for more details and the recipe. Continue reading
The advice to not snack before bed is much more fiction than fact! The real story on noshing at night has a happy ending for those of us who are always hungry. Turns out it’s perfectly okay, if not a “good thing,” to eat a little something before bed, especially if you are trying to build or maintain muscle. However, before you start feeding your midnight munchies, there are exceptions and caveats – aren’t there always?!
Guzzle before Goodies: Drink a big glass of water and, if the meal or party is going to start after a scheduled meal time, eat a protein bar or other small protein-rich snack (around 200 cal) to tide you over. Time after time, I’ve read “eat a meal before heading out” as this will fill you up so that will not be tempted to overindulge on drinks and goodies at a holiday party. Um, unless you have willpower of steel, this doesn’t work – at least not for me. I always end up giving in with the “what the heck, it’s only once a year mindset” and, while it’s okay to splurge every now and then, but having consumed a full dinner (even if deemed “healthy”) just means you’ve gotten a head start on over-eating.
The Gift of Protein: Make sure you are not just using your entire calorie budget on all the wonderful baked treats of the season at the expense of eating enough protein. While pancakes, homemade breads, cookies, pies and more deserve a little attention this time of year, you can’t fuel a healthy lifestyle without adequate protein. Aim to get at 25 to 30 grams at EVERY meal, starting with breakfast, and also a couple 10 gram-ish protein snacks if you’ve been active during the day. Research has shown that consuming adequately timed and spaced protein not only helps with muscle management, but can moderate hunger and help you avoid over-snacking later in the day or evening.
By the way, you have to check out my new Sheet Pan Maple Beef Sausage recipe — it’s a less mess, less stress way to make a batch of protein for a holiday crowd. It tastes yummy and sure beats slinging bacon or links all morning.
Moderate your Mixology: Drink in moderation or, even better, don’t drink alcoholic beverages, heavy eggnogs or sugary punches at all. Wine, beer and other adult beverages are very high in carbs and calories, partying all night will take its toll in so many ways . . . I won’t preach. If and when I decide to have a drink, I limit myself to one and then turn to sparkling waters with a splash of juice or infused with fruit. I have also turned ONE drink, into two by halving the liquor or wine portion and topping off with a low-cal liquid.
Exercise Anywhere: Regardless whether stuck in a car travelling or in your mother-in-law’s lair, find a way to move about and sneak in a little exercise – even if just in 5 minute increments. We always pull over every hour on the road (for potty stops) and to bust out some roadside jumping jacks and burpees – I’m not kidding. When visiting relatives and out of your normal fitness routine, suggest that the group head out for a walk to see holiday lights or start up a friendly game of flag football. There are also lots of home workouts that need little or no equipment when snowed it. Also, check out my 40 Fitness Hacks for the Holidays or my Wrapping Paper Tube Workout – a graphic below, but also a video (seriously)!
Let Go of the Guilt: Despite the tips, the biggest tip is to enjoy the season and the quality time with family and friends. Many of us striving to live in the healthiest way we know how, often forever deny some of our past pleasures. If you want a slice of chocolate cake, have it! If you want a steaming mug of strawberry honey white hot chocolate, have it! If you’ve missed a few days or even a week of your normal workouts, fuggetabout it! We all deserve a break and time to recharge – a short time of splurging and relaxing over the holiday season isn’t going to set you significantly back (if at all).
What are your holiday plans?! What are you doing to stay active? What is your favorite splurge (mine is banana bread with absolutely no healthy modifications 😉 Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer
White bread ain’t got nothing, not one single thing on my Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread. That is, unless you actually like gummy simple carbs and are willing to put your bod through the resulting blood sugar surge/crash and gathering of gluten all from eating one puny slice.
This kinda weird, but decidedly delicious flatbread has none of that nonsense. Featuring Stokes Purple®, a special type of California-grown, non-GMO sweet potato with purple skin and vibrant purple flesh that get even brighter when cooked, this bread alternative is nothing to “loaf” about – flat is where it’s at! #PurplePowerToThePeople
The texture of a Stokes Purple® is a little drier and denser than a traditional sweet potato, rendering it perfect for a substitute flour filler in my grain-free, gluten-free flatbread recipe. Purple sweet potatoes offer similar nutritional benefits of regular orange sweet potatoes in the fact that they are both healthy source of complex carbs with a low GI impact, are full of dietary fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. The Stokes Purple® also has anthocyanins, a plant flavonoid that not only gives the potatoes their distinctive purple hue, but also have been linked to a host of health benefits including reductions in certain cancers, lowering of bad cholesterol, improvements in vision, liver and heart health, and have also been linked to boosts in cognition.
So back to the sweet potato flatbread details, the recipe also features almond meal, and coarsely chopped pumpkin and sunflower seeds. There are a couple eggs in the recipe, but otherwise it’s dairy-free and suitable for a vegetarian or gluten-free diet. If you have an allergy to nuts, sub out the almond meal for an equivalent amount of oat-flour to keep it nut-free.
Eat this gluten-free flatbread warm out of the oven, spread with a little honey butter – it’s like eating a sweet potato in portable, easy-to-pick-up format. But, a little more interesting and flavorful than that “sweet potato toast” trend on Pinterest. You can also use two slices to bookend your favorite sandwich fillings – since I made these right after the holidays, my gluten-free sandwich is layered with leftovers including turkey, cranberry relish and spinach!
Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes available in select markets and by mail.
Have you ever had a purple sweet potato? What are your favorite potato toppings or sammie stuffings? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer