Healthy Snacking

Quite often people ask me what I snack on, especially when I’m on a Whole 30.  In fact, when I tell people about the Whole 30 I am usually met with “what do you eat?”.  I’m finding that people don’t realize how much nasty crap they’re eating until I really spell it out for them by explaining what I eliminate and why.

Because I’m on the go so much and, it seems, pretty much living at the gym, I’m always hungry and need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and for pre-workout fuel.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the short-list for my snacking staples:

  1. Dates – You can almost always find a bag of dates in my desk drawer at work, and somewhere in my house.  I love dates.  Dates are a great pre-workout fuel, since they’re rich in glucose (a simple carb).  Glucose travels directly to the liver for immediate energy transport – meaning the body doesn’t have to convert it to a different form of energy in order to utilize it.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little draggy during the day, I’ll pop a few dates for quick (and sweet) energy.

Dates

2. Larabars

Larabars

I LOVE me a good Larabar.  There are so many different flavors to choose from and they are made (mostly – some of them have chocolate or peanut butter) from 100% natural, clean ingredients.  And since the primary ingredient in a Larabar is dates, they’re an excellent source of energy.  You can be certain there are always a few Larabars stuffed in my gym bag.

I often make my own Larabars…especially when I’m rockin’ a Whole 30.  It’s inexpensive and I can ensure they’re compliant.

Homemade Larabars

3. Fruit – Fruit is usually my number one go-to for snacks.  I usually have apples and bananas in my fridge at home and at work.  If I have a big workout coming up, I will usually have one of the two a bit in advance.  I often will throw an apple in my gym bag as well.

Fruit

You really can’t go wrong with fruit

I also like to have tropical fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit – for occasional snacking sweetness.

4. Plantain Chips – I am addicted to plantain chips.

Plantain

I get these dudes at Walmart for $2

Okay, I may not be addicted, but I do enjoy plantains – home-cooked or store bought.  They’re low in calories and fat, and are sugar-free.  I sometimes keep these in my desk drawer (where my coworkers steal indulge in them) and in my cupboard at home.  They are so good and since they are Whole 30 compliant, I usually have them on hand for “emergency” snacking.

As you can see, my snacks are all Whole 30 compliant.  But there are also options available for people who are looking for snacks that are organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.  The company GoMacro offers products that meet all of the above.

GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-owned company that “put their heart and soul into a natural, whole-food based lifestyle”.  Their pursuit of health thus became a path of living in balance with themselves and nature.  (Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read their story – it’s truly inspiring!!  <3)

Their products are, as I mentioned, gluten-free, organic, and vegan (they’re also kosher). They are cold-pressed and nut-butter based and made from simple, clean ingredients.  These little bars are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or your back pack or your purse.

MacroBite

I can almost taste the nom nom nom

Unfortunately, GoMacro Bars are not yet available in Canada (they’re working on it), but if you’re living in or visiting the US, you can order them here or pick them up in select stores.  (GoMacro peeps – feel free to send me a sampler. 🙂 ).

Well there you have it.  What I eat.  What I want to eat.  A few healthy snack ideas that you can consider keeping on hand and getting you through your workout, especially if you’re struggling to maintain compliance in a Whole or clean or vegan diet.

Cheers, ~FB

 

 

The Cravings Almost Got Me

I’m now 36 days into my Whole 60 and have been doing so well. But this past weekend was tough: surrounded by delicious foods and decadent drinks. I was pissed off at my food.

So last night, while gearing up for snowmageddon in Nova Scotia, I made these complian nut butter cups.

butter-cup

I made only a few and they have been serving their purpose. Cocoa, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter. That’s it. Easy peasy! Completely satisfied ( except for the weather. #snowpocalypse )

 

Directions:

Measurements can be estimated.  I made a half dozen cups and used 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, a teaspoon of cocoa, and a another half teaspoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of sunflower nut butter for the center.

1. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler (you can use a microwave).  Once thoroughly melted, blend in the cocoa until completely smooth as liquid.  Pour half of this into mini muffin tins or ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

2. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler . Once thoroughly melted, blend in the nut butter of choice and stir until completely smooth.  Pour this mixture over the frozen chocolate bottoms and freeze.

3.Re-warm an pour remaining chocolate mixture onto the nut butter cups to complete the third layer.  Freeze.   ENJOY!

 

 

Why I’m Waiting to do the Whole 30

whole30header

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will note that I love the Whole 30 program.  Seriously, I am absolutely in love with it.   (If you’re not familiar with the program, go check out the website: Whole30.)

I love the food I get to eat and the way I feel when I’m doing it.  And I love how proud I am when I’ve finished it.  In fact, I love it so much that I’ve been super excited to get started on a Whole 30 in early 2017.

I’ve noticed that there are currently tons and tons of challengers out there – all who started their programs on January 1st.  And I applaud them.

Me, however, I have opted to wait a week.  Because I’ve done the program so many times over the last year and a half, I know that if I had started on New Year’s Day I would have been setting myself up for failure.  With so much “junk” in my system throughout the month of December (wine, chocolate, cookies, wine, wine, wine), I knew that I would need to ease my way out of Christmas goodness for a good week before jumping into my 30 days.  Which, by the way, I am hoping to turn into a Whole 60. *fingers crossed*

I didn’t eat terribly the entire month, but I did have way more sugar than I normally would.  I mean, everywhere I looked there was chocolate.  And I had more wine date (with and without others!) then necessary.  In fact, I have had more wine in the last month than I have had in the last 3 months.  (And that’s still not saying a lot.)

This week I have been omitting most of the holiday garbage…limiting the chocolate, omitting the other sweets, cutting out down the wine.  And by the weekend, I will have all of it out of my system.

I am really stoked to get going on this though.  And, to top it off, my boyfriend bought me the Whole 30 Cookbook for Christmas and intends on trying the program with me this time.

Whole30Cookbook.png

Another fitness wish come true.  🙂

I really encourage anyone who is planning to do the Whole 30 to read the book.  Spend the money and read it.  It’s worth it.  It may change your life!  I have truly benefited from this program and I think everyone can go clean for 30 days – even just once.

The basis of the program is to eliminate food cravings, sugar dependency, and systemic inflammation.  “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

This is not a cleanse – that’s what you have a liver for.  This is a program to help you rid yourself of all the garbage that is unnecessary in our current diets and destroy the sugar dragon.

If you’re interested in the program, definitely check out the website or the book.  And if you have any questions about my experiences with it, please send me a note.

~FB

 

 

Healthy (Compliant) Cookies

I have a little more left to go on my current Whole 30 and I have to say, this one has been easy.  Eating healthy, whole foods and eliminating sugar and processed food from my diet is like breathing these days.  I have not had any cravings this round (although, I am very much looking forward to some sushi in a few weeks).

Last night, however, I decided to make some cookies.  These cookies were amazeballs!  They are 100% healthy and 100% Whole 30 compliant so they’re even better.

And – they’re super simple to make.

  • 1 and a half mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cocoa
  • 1 handful of unsweetened coconut (shredded)
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of raisins* (optional)

After the banana is mashed, mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Then spoon onto a greased or lined baking sheet (I dabbed some coconut oil on mine) and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Cookie 1

Last night I made my them with raisins.  They were good but I don’t know if I’d add the raisins again – they made the cookies a little too sweet for me.  The next batch I’m going to eliminate the raisins or substitute them for raw cocoa nibs.  Or even try mixing some sunflower seed butter into the batter.  There are so many options for these yummy little treats.

Try them, and make them your own.

#yum

~Fit Bitch

 

Healthy Eats

Happy Sunday!  Actually, it’s mid-Sunday evening and back to the grind tomorrow, so some of you might not be so happy.  But, you know what?  It was a beautiful day, I had a great workout this morning, I visited a friend at her new digs, had a date with my nephews, completed two articles, got a bunch clothing donations ready for the Red Cross (#fortmcmurray) and I made a delicious, healthy dinner, and just threw a pan of healthy brownies in the oven!  The day has been great.

Seriously, whoever said that healthy eating is gross or boring obviously was just looking for excuses.

First up I made this gorgeous summer vegetable dish:

Veggies

I found this dish on Pinterest a long time ago and have been wanting to try it.  I finally got around to it today.  It was so good.  And cheap.  And easy.  And other than a little added cheese, it’s completely healthy.

I got the recipe here: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/08/summer-vegetable-tian/.  The only change I made was I swapped out white potato for sweet potato – simply because I could only find bags of white potatoes and I only wanted one.  I was able to buy a single sweet potato so that’s what I went with.

I added some spices too.  The next time I make it I’ll likely avoid the cheese.  I don’t normally have cheese in the house and I wanted to use up what I have because I’m starting another Whole 30 again soon and wanted to use some of it – the less I have to waste.

The reason I’m heading back to a Whole 30 again, aside from I love how I feel when I’m on it, is  that my sugar cravings have been outrageous lately.  And that’s the thing with sugar.  The more you have, the more you crave.  The purpose of the Whole 30 program is to eliminate those cravings (and rid your body of systemic inflammation).  I look forward to my 30 and I don’t miss the sugar when I’m on.  AND, I love eating whole foods: fruits and vegetables and lean meats.  My body really does thank me when I’m on the program.

But, because I’m not ready for my 30 yet (you really have to be ready) and I’m craving chocolate like it’s going out of style, I decided to make a pan of healthy black bean brownies.  Yep, you heard me, black.bean.brownies.

peanut-butter-chocolate-protein-bars_3

via Chocolate Covered Katie

I have made these brownies several times in the past and they are soooo good.

I get the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2016/01/06/homemade-protein-bars-chocolate-peanut-butter-vegan/).  Katie is a healthy food blogger I’ve been following for years.  She makes incredibly delicious and drool-worthy healthy recipes.  I’ve tried a ton of them (including her crispy avocado fries…you.must.try!).

I don’t follow Katie’s recipe 100%.  I omit the sugar.  I amped up the vanilla. And I added more coconut milk (unsweetened) to make them extra moist and gooey.  And I use dark chocolate bits and organic hazelnut almond butter.

OMG YUM!!

The brownies are currently still in the oven but I’m bunkering down to watch The Walking Dead so I’m sure I’ll have one (or two!) later.  The rest of them are going to be individually wrapped as pre-workout snacks.

Now….doesn’t all that make you want to go out and try a new recipe – something with fresh produce or a healthy alternative to your favorite treat?

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I Live My Healthy Life

Have you heard of Cotopaxi?  I hadn’t until recently.

**Cotopaxi (https://www.cotopaxi.com/) is a company founded on the principals of making a difference, moving people to do good, and inspiring new adventures.  They also make really cool backpacks and other great gear such as jackets, water bottles, and tents.  Here is a little video on Cotopaxi:  https://vimeo.com/101418328.

Cotopaxi

Click me  to make me bigger

I was inspired by Cotopaxi to write a post about a way I live a healthy lifestyle and, after giving it some thought, I couldn’t decide on just one way so here’s a little about me and how I live healthily:

FITNESS
As you know, I am a fitness queen.  I try not to have too many regrets in life, but one regret I do have it not getting into fitness sooner.  I dealt with so many body image demons when I was younger that I was eager to get the “quick fix”.  It wasn’t until I made the commitment to fitness that my body changed.  And I wish I’d stepped onto that platform a lot sooner.
HEALTHY EATING/NUTRITION
I am a big believer in clean eating and whole foods (I’m a Whole 30 nutball!).  I love eating fresh vegetables and fruits and meats.  I eat whole foods as often as possible and since last June I have completed 5 Whole 30 months and am currently in my 6th.  Eliminating sugar and processed foods from my diet gets rid of any systemic inflammation in my body and eating clean makes me feel so much healthier.  My gut health is a hundred times better than it normally is when I’m not eating clean.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some chocolate and a Starbucks on occasion, but for me, eating clean and whole (and in moderation) is the way to go.
Following this kind of nutrition lifestyle may not be for everyone so in that regard I say eat clean when you can, reduce portion sizes, eat in moderation, and, for goodness sakes, stop eating junk!
MENTAL HEALTH
I mentioned in a recent post that I have suffered in the past from depression.  And it wasn’t until I started exercising regularly that I was able to tame that beast.  Well, in addition to fitness, I also like need to do the following:
-Spend time with friends, family, loved ones, coworkers.  I NEED that interaction.  I am a very social person and isolation really just isn’t my bag.
– Take time for myself.  I know, I know – I just said I need interaction.  But I also lead a very hectic life and sometimes I need alone time.  Not necessarily isolation, but I definitely need my “me” time.   That usually means reading (I’m on my 21st John Grisham novel), cleaning, writing, or honestly, sacking out on the couch and watching some T.V.  (But usually it’s reading!)
-Laugh.  I am a comic.  I need laughter in my life.  I learned a long time ago how to laugh at myself and, believe me, I do.  I always believed I was destined for Saturday Night Live.  I am still holding out for that reality.  In the meantime, I laugh.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH
I am not a religious nut but I do have my faith and it is very important to me.  I make sure to have my prayer time each day. It’s another time of day that is just for me – no matter where I am or what I’ve been doing, I have my prayer time.  It’s my time to talk with God and I find it therapeutic.  This subject is very personal to me, as is my prayer time, and I know not everyone believes the same thing.  But I encourage you – if you do believe (in something) – take this time and see what I’m talking about.  It makes my day complete.
There you have it: the four basics of my healthy living.  It’s pretty simplistic.
Living healthy should not be complicated.  Complication just adds a big ol’ mess to our lives and we need to get.rid.of.it.  Live, love, laugh.  Eat, drink, exercise, and be merry.

**What Cotopaxi does: “We create innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.Cotopaxi funds solutions that address the most persistent needs of those living in extreme poverty. Giving is core to our model. As a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, Cotopaxi has made a commitment to creating positive social impact. We focus our efforts on global poverty alleviation & give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world.

Our grantmaking represents our belief in the power of holistic development model. We focus on three pillars which we believe are inextricably linked and crucial to creating a sustainable pathway out of poverty. Within each pillar, we have identified specific poverty indicators against which we track our outcomes and success.

~Fit Bitch

Ringing in the New Year Right

The New Year is just upon us and as we ring the old year out we should ring the New Year in with a commitment to better health and fitness.

And with that I am providing you with the following Full Body Workout for the Week.

This is a kick-start program that will rev your body into high gear.

FULL BODY WORKOUT WEEK

If  you’re new to exercising, remember there are always modifications for the more difficult exercises (like, the burpee*).  As you get more comfortable with the moves they can become more explosive.

What I really like about this week-long program is that it is a full body workout.  My classes are usually full body and I live for a good full body workout myself.

AND, this workout won’t take a lot of time to do so you can ensure that your first week of fitness in 2016 is a success.

(*to modify a burpee simply ease your way down to the floor, get into push up/high plank position, and then get right back up again, reaching high into the air.)

Also, to ensure you start the New Year off on the right foot, here are your Rules for Healthy Living.

Rules for a Healthy Life

I LOVE this!  Rules to live by!

Try these Rules for just one week (longer, please!) and I guarantee you will see a change in your body, in your mood, in your appetite, in your clarity, in your health overall.

Ditch the sugar, ditch the process, ditch the worry, ditch the negativity.  Open your mouth, let out a big sigh, and let it go.

We all want to be at our best.  Exercising and healthy eating and healthy choices and abundantly healthy living will help us to get there.

Happy (almost) New Year!!

~Fit Bitch

 

 

It’s a Brand New Day (to Train for Your First 5K)

Happy November!!

Halloween was last night and I’m sure many of you ODed on chocolate and candy (and booze) and are feeling the regrets and the grossness today.

October is a big food month around these parts.  It’s my birthday month, as well as my nephew’s, sister-in-law’s, and aunt’s.  It’s also my parents’ anniversary month, Thanksgiving (in Canada), and, of course, Halloween.  So it seems that there’s always tons of food on the go.  I did my best to behave, food-wise, but I did indulge here and there (dam you, Pumpkin Spice lattes!!), and for that reason I’m starting back on my Whole 30 food plan this month.

I know not everyone is able to commit themselves to 30 days of eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods and omitting many every day things (like dairy), but I really enjoy the program and feel so terrific while doing it.  This will be my 4th time on the program since June.

But, again, since not everyone can – or wants to – make this commitment (I still urge you to eliminate as much processed food as possible) I thought another program would catch your fancy.  It’s the Learn to Run Your First 5K.

I never did a training program when I first took up running years ago but many of my friends have joined running groups to learn to run a 5K or 10K and it really seemed to benefit their training.  And it definitely is a commitment.

This Learn to Run program is from PopSugar Fitness and it’s a 6-week training program that incorporates core, strength, and flexibility training into your running workouts.  It’s a great idea and if you’re a newbie to running – and/or to exercising –  this might just be the program for you.

I always feel like November is such a great recovery month – getting over October’s indulgences and gearing up for Christmas and the holidays.  I realize that my American friends celebrate their Thanksgiving in November, but you can still use the month as your training guide – taking your rest day(s) to celebrate with your turkeys.

This is also a 6-week training program so it will bring you right into mid-December so even when you’re doing your Christmas baking or already into the parties your body will be conditioning and burning extra calories while at rest.

So, give this program a go and as always, have fun!

Via PopSugar

Via PopSugar