Monday, November 19, 2012

Circuit Workout

Killer Workout!

Okay So I am really getting into circuit workouts right now. I run every other day and then do a circuit workout on the days between. I like full body workouts because I feel accomplished and the shaky legs and arms feeling as I walk home from the gym haha. I figured I would share todays workout because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was pretty difficult.

5 minute warm-up run on the treadmill - speed 6

1. 30 dead lifts with barbell
     20 tricep dips - with plate on lap
    20 pushups
    20 plank jacks
    2 minute treadmill sprint - speed 9
REPEAT 3X

2. 25 squats with weight
    30 squat jumps
    60 second plank
    30 mountain climbers
    2 minute treadmill sprint - speed 8.5
REPEAT 3X

3. 20 walking lunges - holding plate or dumbbells
    20 barbell bicep curls
    50 jumping jacks
    50 crunches
    2 minute treadmill sprint - speed 7.5-8
REPEAT 3X

6 minute cool down run on the treadmill - speed 5.5

If you do this, leave a comment and tell me how you liked it! (and how your legs feel afterwards :) )

Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Soup!

Sweet Potato Soup!

okay... so not a treat, but it was definitely a treat to make and eat! Super easy, super yummy and super healthy!

Ingredients:

1/2 red onion - chopped
2 stalks of celery - chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 Large carrots peeled and chopped
4 Cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste










YUM!!!!!

In a large soup pot add 1 TB olive oil, an 1/2 red onion chopped small.
Saute until onion is soft.
Add chopped celery, chopped sweet potato and chopped carrot.
Saute for 5 minutes.
Mix 4 cups of vegetable broth in with softened vegetables.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with pot lid and let boil on low heat for 15-20 minutes (until vegetables are cooked all the way through)
Pour all the contents of the soup pot into a blender (vitamix or blendtec) and puree on high until smooth.
Serve hot! 
can be topped with chopped nuts, or cinnamon/nutmeg - i like it plain :)


Enjoy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin (pineapple sauce) Drops

So... these are cookies, but as most health food bakers have discovered, most healthy cookies are dense (because they usually contain rolled oats) and don't raise or spread like regular cookies do. So they are more like... drops haha! Anyway, I started making the recipe and then realized that I didnt have any applesauce or any apples handy to make applesauce, but I did have a large bag of fresh cut pineapple in my fridge so I decided to make pineapple sauce! These cookies turned out really yummy. They are vegan, sugar free, gluten free, and even sugar substitute free. It is amazing how nature can sweeten things on its own if we let it. Our taste buds have become so accustomed to the refined sugars and the high fructose corn syrups, that at first, the sugar free stuff might seem bland, and thats why its okay to ween yourself off sugar by using xylitol or stevia or something like that, but soon you will appreciate the sweetness of pineapple or a peach, just by itself! I LOVE being vegan and experiencing whole food for what it really is, a healing agent! 

Oatmeal Raisin (pineapple) oat drops!

2 mashed bananas
1/4 cup pineapple sauce (I blended 3/4 cup fresh pineapple with a little bit of the juice from the bag)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins
2 cups GF Oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Combine the ingredients in the order they appear above. Mix until well combined. (If you don't have fresh pineapple and you have applesauce, then go ahead and do that! I just can't vouch for the taste. Also you could try canned... but I cant vouch for that turn out either!) Drop cookies onto baking sheet and press down slightly with fingers, if desired. (Cookies will not spread). Bake for 15 minutes.


p.s. I got the original recipe (non pineapple) idea from The Kids are Vegan Too blog. Check her out!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Okay... I'm done ranting...BROWNIES!

Alright, so I am sure you saw my last post about the corruption of the food industry and how people are eating themselves to death. Well I am committed to helping others be more aware and have options. So here is a new recipe for today

Vegan, Gluten Free, Zucchini Brownies!

I know... they name might not sound appealing, but they are really good! I licked the bowl clean that had the batter in it. Another wonderful plus about these brownies, aside from the fact that they are vegan and gluten free, is that they are LOW calorie.. only 60 per brownie. Compare that to a box brownie from betty crocker which ranks in at about 200 calories, plus its refined sugar, flour, dairy, eggs, and oils... looks like you've got yourself quite the deal with this recipe I am about to post.

Whole plant foods are important, and will keep you healthy if they make up the bulk of your diet. I hope you enjoy these, and I hope you are enjoying your road to a healthier you :)


You really can’t taste the zucchini in these, I just added it for a nutritional boost!
1 c GF oat flour (grind oats in a blender)
4 T carob powder
3/4 c packed shredded zucchini (squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini)
3/4 c natural sugar substitute (xylitol, stevia baking blend, erythritol or can use coconut sugar) I used Z Sweet, which is a mainly erythritol baking blend
1 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1 t maple extract (optional)
1/2 c mashed banana
10 almonds chopped for decorating (optional)
Mix your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients in seperate bowls. Mix together and poor into a parchment lined baking dish. If you want to use a regular 9×9 baking dish, double the recipe. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Let cool and slice!

Committed

In the last 24 hours I have watched 3 documentaries about the food industry, and researched for awhile on the studies talked about. My mind is absolutely blown away. I have been living a not very strict vegan diet (I eat fish every once in awhile) but now... I am more committed to living a healthier life. I know being a vegan is really frowned upon, and most people think it's something trendy for hippie weirdo's to do, but if you only understood the health benefits, I think you would choose a plant based diet as well. 

The average American carries an extra 23 lbs of fat on them. No doubt this is troubling for the joints and for the internal organs that are being suffocated by fatty deposits. 

Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of 460,000 American WOMEN a year! That is just women, and that is a large number! Men and known to eat much more red meats and saturated fats than women, and their number is much higher!

There are 215,000 NEW cases of prostate cancer in men each year! 

40% of Americans today are Obese... 40%? The population of America is 311,591,917... so 40% of that is roughly......124,636,727. Wow. An even more astounding statistic is that one in five American Four-year olds are considered to be obese. Four year olds? Those children now have a head start on developing the most expensive diseases and health problems that will cost them fortunes, and eventually cost them their lives. 

Obesity is a deadly killer, and it all starts in the foods that we eat. Since the days when supermarkets began to become popular, the food industry has changed dramatically. High fructose corn syrup is found in almost every product on the shelf, replacing sugar for a longer shelf life. Everything has preservatives in it, and is artificial. The amount of sugar consumption per person per year has doubled, as well as the milk and the meat consumption. The easily accessible nature of fatty fast foods is not the only thing that has skyrocketed... The diabetes, heart disease, and obesity rates have risen to never before seen levels. 

I cannot convey all of the astounding information that was presented in these documentaries that I watched, and I am planning on doing so much more research. PLEASE watch Forks over Knives, Food Inc., and Food Matters. Educate yourself! What are you putting in your bodies? Do you realize that you are eating yourself to death? What you eat strongly affects the health of your body. Please watch these films. You will not regret it. 

By an eating a plant based diet, several people have cut their cholesterol in half, reduced their blood pressure to below 120/80, have lost significant amounts of weight, and look and feel more vibrant. These films document that and will inspire you to do the same. 

Health is important. Life is important. Let's do something about it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy substitutions!

Hey readers!


On today's blog post, instead of posting a recipe with pictures and such, I thought it might be a good idea to actually teach about some of the easy substitutions you can make to turn some of your favorite recipes into healthy "skinny treats"! 


The best part about knowing these tricks is that once you understand the bases of recipes, and the easy substitutions for them, you can create your own recipes! 


Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, fat-free, sugar-free, or gluten free... I have the substitutions for you!!



Let's start with the basics of most dessert recipes: 


Milk: Milk is an easy one. It can be substituted cup for cup for any type of nut or non dairy milk. My personal favorite is Vanilla almond milk, though many people like coconut milk (somewhat creamier), soy milk, or rice milk.


Eggsgood substitutions for eggs include applesauce, pureed soft tofu, Ener-G egg replacer, a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons water or other liquid, blended), pumpkin (my favorite) or mashed bananas. You’ll have to experiment with your recipe to see what works best for you.
Butter: butter is an EASY one. Although most health food stores carry a vegan butter, you can easily replace it with a good healthy oil such as olive, canola or coconut, or even a nice avocado puree.
Or if you want to replace butters or oils, applesauce or bananas works well too!
Sugar: there are several different types of sugar, so it really depends on what kind of sugar free diet you are on. Most people stop eating white refined sugar, and can easily replace it with honey or agave nectar, in which case you would cut the called for amount in half or third depending on how sweet you really want it. 
Some people decide to go the artificial sweetener route which would include splenda, sweet and low etc, which substitutes cup for cup.
There are some sweeteners which are natural from plants such as Stevia or Truvia. I like to use these.
Another easy sweetener that is best used in bars, balls, or shakes is Dates. Dates are naturally very sweet and add a low calorie sweetness to your recipe
White Flour: that's easy...wheat flour. Just be careful in using wheat flour in recipes that are generally light and fluffy when they raise. Wheat flour has the gluten that the white flour is lacking, and so it is much more dense and your recipe will not have the same product. It will not raise as well. I would suggest either using half and half, or increasing the baking soda or powder amount in your recipes - play around with it. Find out with works for you.
there substitutions that I like to use in cookies bars and such is oat flour, spelt flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, millet flour o almond flour... or a mixture of several. its usually just 1:1 when you combine them. You can easily grind these grains into flour with a cheap grain grinder that I'm sure you can find at walmart or bed bath and beyond. Of the above mentioned - quinoa, millet, almond flour, brown rice, and sometimes oat flour are great gluten free options!
Well there you have it! If you can think of any substitutions that you would like to know, feel free to comment or email me and I would be happy to help you on your recipe conversions!

...and yes I most likely will be posting a recipe today :) what can I say, Im in the cooking mood, and today is my friends birthday, so he deserves a meg's skinny treat :)

Happy baking!

Love - Meg


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

20 Calorie Peanut Butter Cookies!

If you know me, then you know that I love peanut butter. When I was living on my own in Virginia, I went through a container a week! ...I know, I know... its embarrassing haha. 
Today After I got off work, I was craving some peanut butter. I didn't just want to spoon it straight from the container, even though I love doing that, so I decided to make some ultra low calorie peanut butter cookies.


This recipe makes a TINY batch... so I would double it or even triple it if you are planning on sharing.. if not, then eat the whole batch yourself! (they are low calorie enough that you can!)



Ingredients
2 tablespoon of peanut butter 
6 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice, divided
4 tablespoons of coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 packets of Stevia or 2 T splenda

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add peanut butter and 2 tablespoons almond milk into a small bowl or cup, and nuke/mix for about 30 seconds, or until peanut butter is melted. Give the mixture a stir, and add in coconut flour. Stir in salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sweetener to taste. Add remaining almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, adding more or less as needed to create the perfect “doughy” consistency.
On an oiled baking sheet, roll the dough into balls and with a fork, make a criss cross pattern. Bake in the oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before eating. The cookies tend to fall apart if not properly cooled.