My Daily Grub Diary #1

My Daily Grub Diary #1

I am only one person in a sea of people on a quest to live a healthy lifestyle.  If you would have told me ten years ago that I would own my own nutritional coaching business I would have thought you were CRAZY!  But somehow all the planets aligned and have led me to this place.   It is an awesome place to be to have the opportunity to sincerely change lives.  Not by just helping people lose weight or to set a personal record in the gym.  To be able to shift a person’s food mindset into a healthy place is the greatest gratification.

A frequent question I get from clients is “What do you eat each day?” I am an open book when it comes to what I eat although I do have hesitations about sharing because I don’t want someone to judge their current place in their own nutritional journey against the one I’ve been leading for years.  The piece that I really do think is valuable is the logic, the timing and the meal combinations that go into a day’s worth of meals.  I am simple, nothing overly gourmet, just mostly plain, simple, real food.

So these requests inspired me to share “My Daily Grub Diary” to help people better understand that planning, preparing and being what I call “food aware” is completely doable.  Whether you officially track your macros or are just looking for ideas on how to eat more “clean” these blog posts are for you.

I also think it is important to know where I am in my nutritional journey.  I am currently really eating for strength.  I am slowly increasing my intake in a controlled fashion to build muscle, strength and scale weight.  My training consists of 4 strength sessions and 2 conditioning sessions per week (in a perfect #momlife world).  I am just a mom–trying to achieve my nutritional goals and keep my sanity:)

What I ate in a day on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

(P.S. I chose a Wednesday to show you that in my most crazy day of the week…I nailed my nutrition goals)

4.30 am Wake up

Yes-I get up at 4.30 or 5 am every.single.day (except Sunday..I sometimes sleep until 6.30 then). I work a part time job from home, run my own small business and love writing for my blog…I have a large to-do list.   Early morning is my quiet time to put in a few hours of work or reading before my kiddos rise and Mommy duty calls.  When I wake up, I try my best to down a full glass of water to start my day with a little hydration.

Coffeeandfrother-tiny

Next–coffee time!  I really didn’t even start liking coffee until after I had kids.  It had to be survival mode inspired.  It is a treat in my day and I’d chose my coffee version any day over Starbucks.  I usually prepare my own “latte” with coffee, milk, butter and a bit of maple syrup.

 

Breakfast 7:30

my-daily-grub-diary-1-pinterest

My breakfast often doubles as my pre-workout meal.  I typically try and eat breakfast with my kiddos and then head to the gym after I drop them off.  I cooked up 1 egg and 1 additional egg white, over medium, to go on top of hash browns.  There are few things better for breakfast in my opinion than a runny yolk over potatoes! I also had a few strawberries on the side.

While I made breakfast for us, I also threw 3 pounds of chicken breast with some simple chicken broth, salt, pepper and fresh garlic into the Crockpot to cook on low all day.  Wednesday is gymnastics and football practice so I make sure my meals are simple and easy for our quick turnaround between activities.

 

Pre Workout Snack 8:30

After looking at my total macros for the day–I knew I could squeeze in a pre-workout snack too with some good fat and carbs.  One of my favs is an apple cinnamon Larabar.  I was hungry already and knew I’d starve during training if I didn’t have some good fats on board.  Since I am in a strength gaining phase, I will take fat before a workout.  If I am in more of a weight loss or maintenance mode then I typically avoid fat around workouts all together.

 

Post Workout

This is a place I usually prefer to take something in a liquid form.  It gets back into the bloodstream a bit faster and in that “magic” window.  I usually have ½ serving of my whey protein, 14 grams, shake mixed with 6 oz or so of water.  I also try and have some type of fast acting carbohydrates.  Today I had planned for a banana and then totally left it sitting on my counter.  Luckily I dug through my gym bag and found a fruit leather that I keep on hand for my kids!  BOOM!  It was my lucky day.

 

Lunch

After I workout, I typically have my next meal an hour or so after my workout.  Today, I was craving a turkey burger.  Because I have been tracking my macros for so long–I plan most of my day out except lunch and allow some space for a few options.  I browned my turkey burger in a skillet with a light spray of olive oil and ate it on top of fresh greens.  On the side I made ¼ cup of white rice.

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afternoon-pick-me-upAfternoon Snack

Today is a crazy transition from school to gymnastics to football.  I planned for my Afternoon Pick Me Up Shake to have on the road.  It is the perfect combination of macros and a little afternoon “sweet” treat pick me up.

 

 

 

Dinner img_5684

Tonight my Crockpot chicken turned into buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes. It had to be something fast before football practice.  I microwaved 2 large sweet potatoes for us to share.  Once soft and cooked throughout, I piled on my shredded chicken and topped with buffalo sauce and a bit of Greek Yogurt and a side of greens.

 

Bedtime Snack:

When my kiddos go to bed, my hubby and I settle in for a little Netflix and chill or I use the time to work again.  I look forward to a snack at this time of night. Tonight it was a brown rice cake, 1 tablespoon organic peanut butter and my current obsession…pumpkin butter!

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This gives you an idea of one day, in the scope of many, of how I balance my intake at mealtimes, around workouts, for snacks and amidst the crazy schedule we keep!  It takes effort in planning but comes with great reward.

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Why Confidence Trumps Composition

Why Confidence Trumps Composition

Our emphasis on fitness and nutrition results focuses primarily on aesthetics.  The flawless six pack, sculpted legs and well defined delts remain the biggest indicators of perceived health success.   Love it or hate, that is just how it is.  We are a social species that care about what others think of us, at many times, too much.  Humans rely on aesthetics for so much of what we love about our lives.  We use visual attraction to judge our potential mate, how we choose a meal and the type of products we buy. It’s human nature.  In fact, it is nature in general.

 

I taught biology and anatomy to hormone ridden teenagers for 10 years and so many of my lessons still remain fresh in my mind. A great interest always erupted in class when we began to discuss the behavior of animals and the crazy, and not so crazy things, they go through to impress their potential mates. The male peacock and its beautiful display of feathers to attract a mate, the funky mating dance of many species of birds to gain the attention of female birds and the size of a bull elk’s antlers that impress a female are just a few.

My point here is appearance matters because it is a part of our DNA, literally.   It’s my own opinion that every human being has some degree of concern about their appearance whether they admit it or not.

 

The Downward Spiral

I would be lying through my teeth if I didn’t agree that looking fit wasn’t a priority to me too.  I am in my mid thirties (I think that is the first time I’ve admitted that publicly) and I’ve come to realize it is a time of lots of reflection and continual learning about myself.

 

We were lucky enough to get pregnant quickly when we began trying in our twenties.  Literally the first month.  We were excited beyond measure but held our secret from our families until after our first ultrasound.  The sight of the first heartbeat was an experience that you can never really put into words.  It made me feel that I was put on earth to be a mom.

 

Things were amazing, I felt great, was gaining weight well and had mentally started planning for the future.  We went in for another ultrasound at thirteen weeks only to be hit by a MAC truck with the most devastating news of our lives up to that point.  There was no longer a heartbeat…and for me, there was no longer purpose.  My body had begun to change, my heart began to feel a love I hadn’t ever imagined and I had already embraced pregnancy fully.  Now, it felt like it was for nothing.

 

I let myself go, barely moving off the couch and I just couldn’t get past the thought that I may never be a mom.  Again we tried, and lost. And finally our third time, were given the gift of our daughter.   I don’t share this for pity because I know many women suffer more loss than I did.  I share this because I know that so many women have shared this same experience, or similar ones.  That so many women have given up their bodies in the name of becoming a mother.  Some forever and some for only a short time.  The sacrifices both physically and emotionally have been worth every  moment of grief I had experienced once I held them in my arms. And just like this experience, there are many more just like it, where people find themselves lost, hurting and in a place they never expected.  They let themselves go and with it, all their confidence goes too.

 

The Reality

All the mushy stuff aside, after being pregnant several times, having 2 children, nursing 2 children and gaining too much weight during those pregnancies, self confidence was not my friend.  I looked in the mirror and felt embarrassed.  Embarrassed of how I had let myself go, how I had allowed food to control my emotions and embarrassed that I lacked confidence to stand in front of the man I loved naked and vulnerable. I bought baggier clothes, I hid from myself in the mirror and most of all, I hid from confident intimacy with my husband. I no longer felt visually attractive and I was not confident.

 

Getting Your Mind Right 

It took me time, a few years of time to gain back my confidence.  I found CrossFit, found food balance and changed my mindset. Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”  It is word I have seen personally break someone down so much that they could barely find air to breathe.  It is a word that I want to model to my own kids so strongly because for their entire lives they will face people who try and tear theirs down.  It is a feeling that only you know if you possess.

 

A Turning Point

When I changed my style of eating and my perception of food my body began to change in ways I had never imagined. I’d worked my tail off at the gym for years and nothing…not even 1 little ab poked through.  Now at 34, my body composition reveals that I work hard in the kitchen and at the gym.  I don’t want to look fit for anyone else.  I want to look fit for myself.  The change in my confidence as a woman has been empowering.   The feeling of putting on a bikini and owning it, the feeling of standing in front of my hubby butt-naked and feeling HAWT (sorry mom and dad) and the feeling of crushing a workout at the gym have all helped to build my confidence.

And know what?

It makes me so badly want that for other women and men too.

 

I want people to be completely confident in their own skin.  To not feel judged by what others think they should look like, but be guided by the confidence they have of their own self awareness.  Some may read this and completely disagree.  My answer–I am just being honest.  Getting to a place in life where you begin to not care about what others think is liberating.  I am talking about that place where your confidence in who you are surpasses the need to think twice about what others do.  That place is starting to feel real good.

 

Why Confidence Trumps Composition

As I left my son’s football practice last week a woman, a stranger, stopped me.  She said, “beautiful arms mama–you look strong.”  She honestly left me speechless, I didn’t know what to say.

My reaction was completely anti-climatic, a quiet “Thank You.”

When inside it was so much more.  It was gratitude in her confidence to tell me what she had, gratitude for reassuring my confidence in who I am and gratitude for sharing that special moment in front of my children.

By pursuing goals to change body composition I’ve learned it isn’t really about composition at all.  It is about gaining control of what you want, who you are and confidence in your ability to do so.  That confidence pours into all areas of your life when you have it and creates an unstoppable cycle of awesomeness…in fitness, in nutrition, in parenting, in love and in friendships.

In my opinion confidence trumps composition any day.

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

 

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Macro Friendly Camping Tips

Camping, Tracking and Planning…Oh My!

I grew up camping.  I have vivid memories of waking up early in a chilly tent, my dad waiting for me to wake with his coffee in hand.  We spent our days discovering the woods, my parents sharing stories of their childhood.  Our evenings were spent around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and snuggling each other tight as we fell asleep under the stars.  I want those same experiences for my kids too.  We attempted our first camping trip about a year and half ago.  I woke up in the middle of our first night with….food poisoning from a very atypical fast food stop.  Literally the worst night of my life spent puking and um…pooping my brains out…in a tent…in a forest.  Needless to say, it took me awhile to rally back from the experience for round two.

 

Camping Revenge

I recently took revenge on that camping trip. This time around, I was determined to make sure my food was under my own control while still getting the traditional camping experience.  Like any travel, keeping your macros in check can easily be done with proper planning and 100% commitment.  Nothing is worse than working overtime to prepare your nutrition for a trip and then giving up 100% mentally.  When I travel, I do my absolute best to track because I feel better, rest better, and have zero post vacation regret.

 

Tips to Camping Tracking Success

 

1. Map out your weekend.

Just like a normal week at home, map at your weekend.  Decide what you will be eating for all meals and what snacks you plan to have available.  Pack those foods ahead of time and use Ziploc bags and containers to pre-pack meals and snacks

 

2. Pick meals that fully utilize the campfire.

Seriously–all food tastes better on a campfire. Period.  And you don’t have to let it soak in grease or other unwanted fat sources. Making meals on the fire gives it a taste spin you won’t get at home so use it fully.

 

3. Pack only what you want to eat.

Seems simple right?  If you pack an unhealthy option that doesn’t meet your goals, the whispering pines will whisper in your ear…EAT IT.  So don’t pack any last minute snacks that just won’t fit your macro budget.

 

4. Plan for 1 camping treat.

Yes–allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy.  It keeps the rest of your day on point and honestly, you enjoy that treat so much more.  The goal is balance not restriction.

 

5. Don’t overindulge in alcohol.

The more you drink, the less likely you are to stay on track with your plan you so diligently worked hard to prepare.  Plan for a few drinks, drink them slowly and with plenty of water in between.

 

6. Pack Your Snacks

Snacking and camping go hand-in-hand.  When you are relaxing in the great outdoors, reading a book or playing cards, snacks are usually nearby. So make them yummy and goal oriented.

Here is a list of some possible snacks that will keep you right on track:

Jerky

Dried Fruit

Fresh Fruit

Pop Chips

Deli Lunch Meat Rolls

Homemade Trail Mix (with your favorite options)

Simple Snack Idea Recipes:

Fresh cut veggies and homemade Greek yogurt dips: This is SO easy to do! Cut up lots of fresh veggies before you leave for the big trip.  Bring several small containers of plain Greek yogurt and pre-made seasonings.  You can mix in the seasoning of choice and enjoy some fresh veggies along with them to satisfy the snack sensation while filling up on micro nutrient rich volume food.

Popcorn (over the campfire is the best): Put kernels in a loose foil packet with a small bit of olive or avocado oil (try coconut for a sweeter taste). Hold foil packet over campfire with tongs or skewer and allow to cook until popping stops.  Once done you can salt, drizzle melted chocolate over or whatever sounds good to your camping mood.

Homemade corn tortilla chips: This is another one that is easy to prep ahead of time.  Cut corn tortillas into as many wedges as you like.  Place over camp fire on top of a griddle, on layers of foil or on a foil tray and allow them to cook until crisp to your liking.  You can lightly salt the wedges or add cinnamon and some coconut sugar for a sweet treat.

 

Three Easy Campfire Meal Ideas

Here are my favorite camping meal ideas that are simple, fun and macro friendly:

Kebabs: Pre-cut your favorite lean meat such chicken breast or flank stead, into 1-2 inch chunks and marinate in Ziploc bags.  Bring along metal or wooden skewers to roast meat over open camp fire.  You can also pre-cut potatoes, peppers and onions to add onto the skewers as well for a great balanced meal option.

 

Fajitas: Pre-cut beef or chicken into portions that work for you and lightly spray with olive or avocado oil and store in a Ziploc bag.  Do the same with bell peppers and onions.  When you are ready to cook, place on the griddle or into a disposable tin pan to cook over the fire.  Serve with tortillas warmed over the campfire and your favorite fixings.

 

Foil Packet Meals: The sky is the limit here!  You can make foil packets in so many variations.  Use a large piece of aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.  Place a lean chicken sausage, with onions, peppers and cubed potatoes in side.  Again, lightly coat the contents and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings.  Fold to close packet and place on open campfire until contents are cooked throughout.  You can place any kind of meat and potato option in foil packets and the kids will have a blast!

 

Enjoy the great outdoors and a campfire along with some healthy food options that will keep you right on track!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Veggies and Dips You Can’t Live Without

If you know me, you know I love any excuse to turn simple fruits and vegetables into some delicious concoctions. And one of my favorite ways to dress up veggies is to have veggies and dips!

Veggies-Shmeggies

I am not sure what happens at 5:00 pm but all kids must communicate to make that hour of the day the whiniest. I’d like to think that I have awesome kids, but the moments leading up to dinner seem to be their toughest.

Not only are they ravenous, like I haven’t fed them for hours, but they just seem to be hangry. And that’s not fun for anyone. I always try to include them in dinner preparation thinking it will pass the time more. Some days it works, while other days I swear it makes their hunger unbearable. I know many of you can relate.

I recently read a Mom Blog “From Stork to Fork” that gave an amazing suggestion. In an effort to increase vegetable consumption for her children, this mom started putting out a veggie platter right before dinner. She filled it with fresh, raw veggies and didn’t mention a word to her kids.

The moment they saw food out and available, they welcomed it with open arms. She provided a simple dip on the side and they ate those veggies in a hot second. What parents don’t want their kids to eat more veggies even if it does spoil dinner? It was a WIN all around.

What’s more interesting is a recent study completed by Texas A&M University identified the one factor that determined whether or not kids ate their veggies.  That one factor was what those veggies were paired with. The article’s conclusion was that “Kids, in short, are much more likely to eat their vegetable portion when it’s paired with a food that isn’t so delicious, so it gets all the attention.” So, offer those veggies alone or with a more nutrient dense but less kid-desired option and BOOM! They become veggie connoisseurs.

Leading By Example

This study supports the prime reason we as parents are lifestyle role models to our children. Kids let taste lead them. They aren’t mature enough to choose something less tasty because it’s more nutrient dense. We as parents must guide them and be sure to encourage better eating habits.

I work hard with my kids to model and discuss the importance of vegetable consumption at every meal. I’ve tried to teach them that there are foods we eat every day, foods we eat sometimes, and foods we eat on special occasions.

It isn’t always perfect and some meals are better than others.  My heart is always happy when I hear them tell people no thank you to things because they know they’ve already had their “sweet treat” for the day.

My Early Parenting Days

I was a total earthy pregnant mom and newborn mom. I was particular about everything that went into my body and on my body. I came up with a Zen birthing plan (which never remotely happened), I breastfed both my kids for 18 months and I made every single ounce of their baby food myself. I am darn proud of that!  My kids are awesome eaters and I think my investment in their food early on has paid dividends.

I went off the deep end at first. I once told a friend that our kids would never eat at McDonald’s. My friends who had kids older than mine told me I was unrealistic but I told them “No way.”  I’ve loosened up over the years. My kids have had a Happy Meal. But at the heart of it all, they know and understand that is a rare experience and should and never will be the norm.

Deprivation is Not Sustainable

I’ve come to believe that if I deprive my kids of anything mainstream food or otherwise that it only cultivates their desire for it more.  I know some of you are shaking your head at me right now. But listen— it is like when your mom tells you not to hang out with the “bad boy” so naturally you are drawn to him. In my almost 7 years of parenting, I’ve learned that being the example for my children’s healthy lifestyle is less about what they shouldn’t have and more about what they should have.

Are Adults Any Different?

This research got me thinking if adults were any different. And, personally, I don’t think we are. I am pretty sure my hubby wouldn’t eat his veggies if I wasn’t regularly preparing them for him at home. If what that veggie is paired with makes a difference, then adults need good options too.

(Want to focus on your health and make it a priority? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Options that are rich in nutritional value and even richer in taste. It should be easy and convenient. I used to commonly buy a big tub-o-sour-cream and dump in a “seasoning packet” to serve alongside veggies. But now I have some great options to replace those packets and that tub.

Veggies & Dip DIY

Seasoning packets are filled with all types of fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives.  If you look closely to identify the real food ingredient list, you will notice that you have those things sitting in your pantry.  So why not take them and make your own seasoning, without all the junk?  I mix together the options below and have them on hand for dips, for marinades, rubs, and any other mealtime options.

Ranch Dip

¼ Cup Parsley Flakes

⅛  Cup Dried, Minced Onions

4 Teaspoons Salt

1 Tablespoon Dill Leaf

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

Onion Dip

1/3 Cup dried, minced onion

2 Teaspoons Parsley Flakes

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Celery Salt

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

½ Teaspoon Black Pepper

Fiesta Seasoning

1/3 Cup Chili Powder

¼ Cup Onion Powder

⅛ Cup Ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

I mixed all of my spices into small glass jars to keep them fresh. Once these seasonings are prepared, you can mix 2-3 tablespoons with 4-5 oz of greek yogurt for amazing veggies and dips combos, or you can even serve these dips with healthy and nutritious chips!  They are perfect for a mealtime side or for some tailgating munchies.

(Tired of feeling like healthy eating is impossible? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Eat those veggies friends. Find ways to incorporate them into your life to improve your health and be an example to the little people surround you.

What are your favorite veggies and dips combos?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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Carb Up on Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is too easy to pass up!  Watch this quick tip video to see how easy it is to prepare with your dinner tonight!

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How to Get Sweet Potatoes Into Your Life

I love Sweet Potatoes..on so many levels!  Watch this awesome video on 5 quick ways to work them into your routine and then check out my Sweet Potato Slider recipe I mention on the video.

Easy Dinner Veggie

I am Zoodle Obsessed

I am currently obsessed with zucchini.  After having an amazing raw zucchini noodle (affectionately referred to as Zoodles) salad at a summer BBQ, I can’t seem to get enough of them.  In fact it motivated me to come back to this bog post one year later and give it a face lift.

I used to lightly saute the zoodles before eating them up.  After I had them raw, there is no way I will ever look back.  They have an extremely fresh, crisp taste and feel much more similar to a real noodle option when raw.

 

I’ve been making Zoodles for years since becoming gluten free.  It began with a hand held spiralizer and then evolved into making them on my KitchenAid Spilaizer attachment because of the volume and frequency I make them in.  Both are amazing options, but the KiichenAid is a worth while investment if you plan to put their production in high gear.  The bonus is that the attachment is strong enough to Spiralize potatoes of all kinds, including my favorite sweet potatoes.

 

And If You Are Lazy

Finally a company jumped on the veggie noodle train and made a quality option that you an buy fresh in store.  Veggie Noodle Co offers those of you with less time and culinary desire to still have a healthy noodle option on hand.  They offer spiral versions of lots of veggies including zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash and beets.  You can find them in Whole Foods, Spouts Farmers Market and at Target.

 

The honest truth though is that it is much more cost effective to spiralize your own veggies.  I like to do a whole bunch at once and us them throughout the week for various recipes.  It gives us no excuse not to add a veggie into our meals.

 

 

Check out my video of the KitchenAid Spiralizer in action. This was literally the first Facebook Live video I ever did.  I was entirely nervous but excited.

Spiralized Noodle Recipe Ideas:

Here are a few spiral noodle recipes to get you started!

Zucchini Salad with Grilled Veggies (add chicken for a protein boost)

Shrimp Scampi: Zoodle Edition

Baked Sweet Potato Curly Fries

Skinny Pho

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

The Skinny on Fats: 13 Tips to Control Your Fat Intake Each Day

Fat! We love it, we hate it and we can’t live without it…literally.  Fat is a macronutrient that acts as a secondary source of energy for our body.  Fats assist in absorption of certain micronutrients in the body, aides in the boundary of cells, cushions cells and in turn the body.  Fat plays a crucial role in hormone regulation and brain function (1). You need it–there is no denying it.

Poor, Misunderstood Fat
We don’t gain weight from fat, we gain weight from excess fat that puts our metabolism out of balance.  Each person’s body chemistry is unique, requiring its own quantity of fat that pushes their metabolic capacity and allows them to hit their goals. Adjusting fat ratios is key to fat loss, athletic performance and day to day health.

Fat and Tracking Macronutrient Intake

The important thing to understand about fat is its caloric value.  When the body metabolizes 1 gram of fat, it acquires 9 calories of useable energy as a fuel source.  This is in comparison to protein and carbohydrates which yield only 4 calories of energy. It is also the reason that being accurate when tracking fat intake is key, as it has more caloric consequence if over consumed.

In the name of FAT

In the name of  fat, I put together a quick reference of ways to decrease fat daily but also quick ways to increase fat daily.  At some point in your nutritional tracking journey, you’ll need to do both to satisfy your nutrition goals.

Easy ways to reduce Fat:13-tips-to-control-fat-intake-pinterest

  1. Reduce the number of yolks you consume with eggs, opt for egg whites or a combo.
  2. Choose 93/7% Ground beef over 80/20%.
  3. Replace your mayo, sour cream, spread with plain 0% fat greek yogurt.  It really does taste the same.
  4. Try almond milk or ultra filtered milk in your coffee over half and half or creamer.
  5. Chose a grilled chicken breast over a drumstick or thigh.
  6. Chose almond cheese over cow’s milk cheese.  Say what? No seriously it is delicious!
  7. Fill up on Veggies—their caloric value is little to none! You can load up on them to help you feel full with little macronutrient value but a heck of a lot micronutrient value.

Easy Ways to Increase Fat:

  1. Take a fish oil supplement. Try using this in the evening when you need to fill small quantities to hit those counts.  A gel capsule can keep the fat content in a smaller amount or a liquid version to increase the fat content.
  2. Add a bit of oil based dressing, like olive or avocado, to a salad.
  3. Enjoy some nuts or nut butter (this is my go-to to increase fat) on your favorite piece of fruit or in your morning oats.
  4. Add an egg yolk.  Try another yolk in your morning eggs or prep some hard boiled eggs for a mid afternoon snack.
  5. Add some slices of avocado to your eggs, lean meat or dinner meal.  Mash it up as a condiment to make a healthy fat version of chicken salad.
  6. Throw a small bit of Kerrygold butter on your baked potato.

Keeping your dietary fat intake on track is the key to so many functions of the body–not to mention they can taste so.darn.good.  Use them in the right places in your daily routine to maximize their benefits.

Work Hard Be Kind,

Amanda

 

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6298507

 

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Kickin’ It Old School during Snack time

healthy nostalgic snacks

I’m sure you remember quite a bit of your childhood. When it comes to food, nostalgia is REAL. The thought of healthy nostalgic snacks take me right back to after school TV and riding bikes with teh neighborhood kids.

There are some snacks that have withstood the test of time and others that have gone to snack heaven. There are snacks I think about that make me nostalgic and others that make me want to puke.

I am a child of the 80’s and grew up on snacks like Planter’s Cheese Balls (remember those in the blue can), on Keebler’s Magic in the middle cookies, on “Squeeze It’s”, and of course, fruit by the foot. But, the healthy nostalgic snacks that I think of really bring back fond memories and have stuck with me to this day.

Afternoon Snacking

The afternoon is a snack time for me and my kids. We tend to eat dinner later to accommodate my husband’s work schedule and I love a balanced snack to hold me over until then. These snacks are typically snacks that I love and that my kids love too. Thankfully, my kids will escape a pantry full of 80’s snacks because it’s my goal to provide an afternoon snack that is fun, healthy, delicious and that they will remember and love!

Why do people snack?

Statista.com reports that in 2014, North American’s spent over 124 billion dollars in snacks in grocery stores. According to research conducted by the Mintel Group, “62 percent of U.S. consumers snack mainly to satisfy a craving. One-quarter of Americans snack because they are bored, while 16 percent do so because they are stressed.

Say what!?!

This data is clear evidence that snacking is tied to emotion and your mood. Thus, further supporting the need to have healthy snack options at home to avoid that oh-so-tempting 80’s style snack binge.

No need to be FANCY

Some of the best snacks and for that matter, meals, are the simple ones. Ones that don’t take the entire kitchen to prepare, that are pretty to look at, and that have great tasting ingredients. I’ve put together for you three simple, old-school style, healthy nostalgic snacks for your snack attack that you can make now…like right now!

Plus, you may already have many of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry, which is a double win.

Ants on a Log

For this quick and easy recipe, you’ll need:

1 tablespoon of Peanut/Almond/Sunbutter (sub with 1 serving PB2/Fit to reduce fat)
.5 ounce of Raisins
1 celery stalk

All you have to do is spread your nut butter of choice on that celery stalk, sprinkle those “ants” right on top, and enjoy the salty and sweet taste.

My kiddos love it…especially if I sing “The Ants Go Marching One-by-One!” (which I highly recommend doing, it’s so much fun).

Snack Macros: 8g of Fat, 15 g carbs, 4g of protein
(Macros based on 1 tablespoon Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter)

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt

This is one of the simplest healthy nostalgic snacks. You only need a few ingredients.

4 ounces Plain Greek Yogurt 0% fat
2 ounces All Natural Applesauce
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
(You could also add 1 serving PB2 for a thicker, peanut butter taste)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Then, dip in your spoon and enjoy! Sweet with a little kick of cinnamon. This recipe is a winner!

Snack Macros: 0g of fat, 12g of carbs, 12g of protein

Rice Pudding-ish

¼ cup cooked white rice
2-4 ounces Greek yogurt 0% fat
1 tablespoon honey
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Another simple and easy snack. Just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! Just as a note, you can alter these quantities to suit your palate texture requirements as well.

A great idea is to prepare a “rice reserve” for the week. This reserve is easy to pull from for meals and snacks and can be spiced in lots of ways as you need it. Plus, extra rice on hand never hurt anyone, and it can last a while in the fridge!

Snack Macros: 1g of fat, 31 g of carbs, 9g of protein (based on 3 ounces of 0% fat yogurt)

The beauty of all of these recipes above is that you can tweak each to meet your needs and taste. Snacks are optional, but good health and good taste don’t have to be.

Although those 80’s snacks like Gushers and Bugles (you remember them…I know you do!) bring back love in your heart, don’t let them bring any love to your belly. Enjoy that afternoon snack with all health benefits included. So — get in that kitchen and get your snack on, and enjoy those healthy nostalgic snacks!

What were some of your favorite healthy nostalgic snacks?

Work Hard Be Kind,
AWalk

* All calories calculated using CalorieKing.com