AMRAP Workout

HIIT workouts continued!

This week let’s talk about AMRAP, which stands for “as many rounds as possible.”

Like HIIT, AMRAP workouts are done at a high intensity. The difference being HIIT workouts have a fixed number of reps and sets, AMRAP workouts have a fixed time frame.

AMRAP workouts have many benefits, one of my favorite (similar to HIIT) is they are for a fixed time, so you know exactly how long your workout is going to last, thus how long you need to push yourself!

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Here are other benefits of AMRAP workouts:

  • They accommodate all levels of fitness. You workout at YOUR max intensity or effort.
  • Fixed time (had to mention this one again because it is so great!) is great motivation for working hard during the time frame.
  • Focus is on form, rather than reps, allowing you to improve your technique under pressure and fatigue.
  • Great for fat loss
  • Builds your confidence and metal toughness
  • Easy to track your progress. You know how many rounds you can do so when you do the workout again you can try to match or beat your initial number.

For a great 15 minute AMRAP workout, checkout our Instagram @growingweisser.

Let us know how many rounds you did!

Rach Signature48

Spiritually Fit

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What does it mean to be healthy? What kinds of things do you do to be healthy? We pour so much time and effort into healthy living, healthy eating, healthy habits, and healthy thinking. It takes intentional effort. It takes planned out thought. It takes discipline. It takes saying yes to certain things and no to others. In the moment you may be what you think might be sacrificing, but you are trying to make certain choices, change, and change your lifestyle because of the lasting benefit.

Some people call it dieting, others call it healthy living. But it is all the same thing. It all comes down to changing your actions to change the effect. What should really be focusing on is creating a healthy lifestyle.  Because then it isn’t just a fad, the newest trend, or a temporary phase. A changed lifestyle lasts. When you first start a diet you usually cut things out or add things in.  Have less dessert throughout the week, make healthier choices at meals, and control your portions.  The more established those habits become, the more routine it becomes.  It becomes second nature to make healthy choices. It becomes a part of who you are.  Usually over time you prefer the good things rather than the instant pleasure of the not so healthy things. Your appetite changes. Your cravings change. And you change.

Often times faith and a spiritual life is seen as something that is regimented and monitored.  You have to “do” all these things to feel close to God.  There is a continual push to read your Bible, pray, and be surrounded by good people. And we say it is because you feel closer to the Lord through these things, you feel centered on the truth of God, you experience his peace.  But sometimes we get so stuck on the fact that there are these things we “have” to do.  Some people see this as very restrictive or controlled. But in all reality, we don’t “have” to do anything.  We can choose to spend our time however we want.  But we aren’t always looking at the benefit or consequence of those circumstances.  Monitoring and controlling what we do in our spiritual life is an effort to create good positive beneficial and lasting habits. So yes, it seems regimented, but do we want a healthy spiritual life?  What we put into our hearts, souls, and minds is going to be what comes out.  Just like the food we eat affects our health, the actions we do or don’t do to invest in our spiritual life affects our souls. Do you want a soul that is constantly in a battle of prioritizing time, struggling with choices, and living in doubt? Or do you want to be so devoted to a lifestyle change that living with Jesus becomes entrenched in who you are?

Lasting change takes time, effort, discipline, and strength to create habits that will eventually become so ingrained in you that it is who you are. Just like a diet, we have to work at it. But you don’t want something that is temporary. You want a lifestyle that is spent with Jesus. So make the effort. Make changes that will end in transformation. You won’t regret it. A life filled with Jesus is full, abundant, and irreplaceable. When living for Jesus and loving with Jesus becomes a natural overflow of the heart, you experience things greater than you could ever imagine.  It is natural, it is rich, and it will change your life.

In the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan he talks about reading catchy food advertisements versus reading the real nutrition labels. The book reads “Recently I saw a bag of potato chips with a bold declaration splashed across the front: “Zero grams of trans fat.” I was glad to know that I wouldn’t be consuming any trans fat, which research has shown is detrimental to my health. But then I flipped the bag over and read the ingredients list, which included things like “yellow #6” and other artificial colors, and partially hydrogenated oil (which is trans fat, just a small enough amount that they can legally call it “0 grams”). I thought it was incredibly ironic that these chips were being advertised in a way that makes me think they are not harmful yet were really full of empty calories, weird chemicals, and, ironically, trans fat.

It struck me that many Christians flash around their “no trans fat” label, trying to convince everyone they are healthy and good. Yet they have no substantive or healthful elements to their faith. It’s like the Laodiceans, who thought they had everything until Christ told them they were poor and wretched. They were all about declaring, “Look, we have no trans fat. We are wealthy, or we have good families, or we go to church every week.” Obviously, it’s not what you advertise that counts; it’s what you are really made of.”

What are you really made of?

So take this challenge to be spiritual healthy.  Add one thing to your day or week that will move you towards greater spiritual health. Not because you “have” to, but because you are choosing to for a transformed lifestyle filled with Jesus. 

Bethany Signature60

Healthy Snacks for Kids – Part 2

Sophie has been eating SO much the last few weeks! She must be going through a growth spurt because it has been so much that I have been running out of ideas of what to give to her. So, I went to my best idea resource (Rachel!) who tapped in to her best team of resources (Mom Squad!) to help me out! They gave such great options that I wanted to share the list with you!

The Mom’s List of Favorite Healthy Snacks for Kids:

  • Yogurt Drops – place yogurt in ziplock bag, snip off the corner and drop onto wax paper on a tray. Place in freezer to make a fun chip-like self-feeding snack!
  • Peanut Butter or Butter on Healthy Bread
  • Goldfish or Annie’s Cheese Bunnies 
  • Pirates Booty
  • Pouches (with that fantastic anti leak top) or DIY pouches (disposable or reusable)  
  • Cheerios 
  • Oatmeal Squares 
  • Bars: Larabars, Granola Veggie Bars, Ella’s Kitchen Snack Bars, or Kind Bars (esp the fruit and green ones)
  •  Muffins with hidden fruits and veggies and mostly all no or low sugar (check Pinterest) or Mini Muffins with any muffin recipe
  • Baked Pea Snacks (Inner Peas at TJs or Harvest Snaps from Costco) -Very low salt and high fiber and protein for a snack
  • Steamed Veggies – store in snack bags for on-the-go
  • Chia Crunch
  • Lundberg Farms Brown Rice Cakes 
  • Seaweed
  • Kale Chips
  • Champagne Grapes from TJs – really small and sweet
  • Avocado
  • Fig Bars (Nature’s Bakery)
  • Graham Crackers
  • Favorite brands for Freeze Dried Fruits: Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Little Duck, Fruit Crisps

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Let’s keep this list going! What are your Favorite Snacks to give to your kids?
Bekah Signature48

Anti-Inflammatory Foods and a Guide to Help YOU Get Started

Many of the foods on the anti-inflammation list are vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and non-animal based foods.  Anti-inflammatory foods reduce the levels of inflammation in the body. When you eat anti-inflammatory foods at each meal, you can help protect your body one meal at a time.

“All disease is rooted in chronic inflammation in the body. Diabetes and obesity are now linked with chronic inflammation. Researchers have long known heart disease and inflammation were intrinsically tied and even cancers are perpetuated by chronic inflammation. Eliminate inflammation in the body, and disease begins to improve.” says Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.

Here is my list: (the anti-inflammatory nutrient is listed when available)

VEGETABLES
Kale (Omega 3)
Spinach (magnesium, calcium, folate, Vit A,B2,B6,C,K, iron)
Broccoli (sulforaphane)
Cauliflower (sulforaphane)
Brussel sprouts (sulforaphane)
Sweet potato (beta carotene, managanese, Vit B6,C)
Shitake mushrooms
Purple cabbage
Squash (carotenoids)
Tomatoes

FRUITS
Blueberries (phytonutrients)
Strawberries (phytonutrients)
Cranberries (phytonutrients)
Blackberries (phytonutrients)
Grapes
Papaya (papain)
Pineapple (bromelain)

SPICES/SEEDS/NUTS
Tumeric (cucurumin)
Ginger
Garlic
Flax seed
Chia seed (omega 3, protein and fiber)
Sesame seeds (plant sterols, Vit B1,B3,E calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese)
Hemp seeds (plant sterols, Vit B1,B3,E, calcium, Omega 3 and 6, iron, magnesium, manganese)
Walnuts
Sprouted sunflower seeds (omega 6, potassium, magnesium, iron)

OTHERS
Wild Salmon (EPA, DHA, Omega 3)
Olive oil
Avocado oil (polyphenols)
Green Tea (flavinoids)
Kelp (fucoidan)
Dark Chocolate (antioxidants, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron)IMG_5694IMG_5721IMG_4972

A few of the things I am going to make a commitment to cutting down on or removing totally from my diet are as follows:
Refined sugar
Transfat
Polyunsturated fats
Hydrogenated fats (including vegetable shortening)
Feed lot meat
Processed meat
Refined grains
Food additives

Here is a guide to help you with transforming your eating habits. Take one step at a time. Change what is logical for your lifestyle. This information is key to helping establish a diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods but it has to work for YOU in order for you to make the lifestyle changes that will become part of your routine on a regular basis.

HEALTHY HERBS & SPICES: Unlimited amounts
Healthy choices: Turmeric, curry powder, ginger and garlic (dried and fresh), chili peppers, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and many more…
VEGETABLES: 4-5 servings per day minimum
Healthy Choices: Lightly cooked dark leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and cauliflower), carrots, beets, onions, peas, squashes, sea vegetables and washed raw salad greens
Why: Vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Go for a wide range of colors, eat them both raw and cooked, and choose organic when possible.
FRUITS: 3-4 servings per day
Healthy choices: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears – all lower in glycemic load than most tropical fruits
Why: Fruits are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Go for a wide range of colors, choose fruit that is fresh in season or frozen, and buy organic when possible.
WHOLE SOY FOODS: 1-2 servings per day
Healthy choices: Tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soymilk
Why: Soy foods contain isoflavones that have antioxidant activity and are protective against cancer. Choose whole soy foods over fractionated foods like isolated soy protein powders and imitation meats made with soy isolate.
FISH & SEAFOOD: 2-6 servings per week
Healthy choices: Wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines, and black cod (sablefish)
Why: These fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which are strongly anti-inflammatory. If you choose not to eat fish, take a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement, 2-3 grams per day.
Other Sources of PROTEIN: 1-2 servings a week
Healthy choices: Natural cheeses, organic, high-quality dairy, omega-3 enriched eggs, skinless poultry, lean meats
Why: In general, try to reduce consumption of animal foods. If you eat chicken, choose organic, cage-free chicken and remove the skin and associated fat. Use organic, high-quality dairy products moderately, especially yogurt and natural cheeses such as Emmental (Swiss), Jarlsberg and true Parmesan. If you eat eggs, choose omega-3 enriched eggs (made by feeding hens a flax-meal-enriched diet), or eggs from free-range chickens.
HEALTHY FATS: 5-7 servings per day
Healthy choices: For cooking, use extra virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed organic canola oil. Other sources of healthy fats include nuts (especially walnuts), avocados, and seeds – including hemp seeds and freshly ground flaxseed. Omega-3 fats are also found in cold water fish, omega-3 enriched eggs, and whole soy foods. High-oleic sunflower or safflower oils may also be used, as well as walnut and hazelnut oils in salads and dark roasted sesame oil as a flavoring for soups and stir-fries
Why: Healthy fats are those rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fats. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant activity and canola oil contains a small fraction of omega-3 fatty acids.
WHOLE & CRACKED GRAINS: 3-5 servings a day
Healthy choices: Brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, groats, barley, quinoa, steel-cut oats
Why: Whole grains digest slowly, reducing frequency of spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation. “Whole grains” means grains that are intact or in a few large pieces, not whole wheat bread or other products made from flour.
PASTA (al dente): 2-3 servings per week
Healthy choices: Organic pasta, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, and part whole wheat and buckwheat noodles like Japanese udon and soba
Why: Pasta cooked al dente (when it has “tooth” to it) has a lower glycemic index than fully-cooked pasta. Low-glycemic-load carbohydrates should be the bulk of your carbohydrate intake to help minimize spikes in blood glucose levels.
BEANS & LEGUMES: 1-2 servings per day
Healthy choices: Beans like Anasazi, adzuki and black, as well as chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils
Why: Beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber. They are a low-glycemic-load food. Eat them well-cooked either whole or pureed into spreads like hummus.
SUPPLEMENTS: Daily
Healthy choices: High qualitymultivitamin/multimineral that includes key antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, mixed carotenoids, and selenium); co-enzyme Q10; 2-3 grams of a molecularly distilled fish oil; 2,000 IU of vitamin D3
WATER: Throughout the day
Healthy choices: Use purified water or beverages made with purified water, such as unsweetened tea, sparkling water, or water with a small amount of fruit juice for flavor
Why: Water is vital for overall functioning of the body.
HEALTHY SWEETS: Sparingly
Healthy choices: Unsweetened dried fruit, dark chocolate, fruit sorbet
Why: Dark chocolate provides polyphenols with antioxidant activity. Choose dark chocolate with at least 70 percent pure cocoa and have an ounce a few times a week.
TEA: 2-4 cups per day
Healthy choices: White, green, oolong teas
Why: Tea is rich in catechins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation. Purchase high-quality tea and learn how to correctly brew it for maximum taste and health benefits.

What is one thing you can do in your life to improve your physical health?Kerry Signature48

Benefits of HIIT workouts

I’ve recently fallen in love with HIIT workouts. As a busy mom, these short, but effective workouts have been a lifesaver to help me maximize my time and effort for fitness.

High intensity interval training a.k.a. HIIT, is used to describe any workout that combines high intensity burst of activity with slow periods of rest and recovery.

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What are the benefits of HIIT workouts?

  • Builds endurance
  • Burns calories and fat in less time
  • Effective use of your body’s energy system
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Promotes calorie and fat burn up to 24 hrs after
  • Little to no equipment needed
  • Can be done anywhere
  • Targets fat loss, not muscle loss
  • Great for heart health
  • Challenging

I like to find HIIT routines on Pinterest, use workouts I find and add or change exercises, or come up with my own! I also really enjoy the workout routines by Kayla Itsines and Sugary Six Pack. I follow them on Instagram and bought and completed both of their programs. I currently do HIIT cardio and or strength once or twice a week along with my strength training at home and Fit4Mom classes of course!

Check out my latest HIIT routine on our Instagram @growingweisser!

Rach Signature48

Sophie’s Snacks — Healthy Snacks for Kids

As we continue through National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share with you some of Sophie’s favorite snack foods that she eats throughout the day! The last few days, we were at a camp/retreat center for my hubby’s work retreat. It was a lot of fun, but the food was not great – even Sophie didn’t like most of it :p

IMG_2757When we are home, some of her staples for each meal are Bananas, Cheese (Colby Jack and Monterey Jack), Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Peanut Butter Toast, Veggies, Meat, Veggie Burgers, Noodles, and Hummus.

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But, because we were away from home for a couple days and I couldn’t make her anything, her snack bag that I packed as a “just in case” became a lifesaver! Here are Sophie’s favorite snacks that she will either have paired with a meal or just as a snack…

Freeze-dried Fruits

  • Her favorites are Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Apples, Mango
  • I buy them from Trader Joe’s and Sprouts
  • There is no added sugar, either!

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HappyBaby Organic Creamies

  • Her favorites are Apple, Spinach, Pea, and Kiwi and Strawberry, Banana, and Carrot
  • Dairy-free (made with coconut milk)
  • No added sugar
  • Melt-in-your-mouth so they were a great “first snack” when she was starting to eat and helps her to practice picking food up and feeding herself
  • A snack without rice flour (Studies have shown that rice contains arsenic so we have tried to limit how much rice we give to Sophie. Unfortunately, 90% of baby snacks contain rice flour. But, this was an exception!)

THUMB_CREAMIES

Trader Joe’s Golden Rounds

  • Sophie loves these crackers
  • Healthy alternative to Ritz
  • Soft, break easily, and melt in your mouth
  • They are messy but pretty cute to see how she eats it
  • Because she only eats a few a day, they stay fresh really nicely!

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Trader Joe’s O’s

  • Is a great tool for self feeding, hand coordination, pincher grasp
  • I can put them in your Snack Catcher when we are on a walk or errands

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What are your kids’ favorite snacks – On the go or at home?

Bekah Signature48

 

11 Spices to Boost your Health and a Secret Recipe for a Spicy Salad Dressing

Spices are a common part of all cultural culinary preparation. While spices are often added to each dish in small amounts in comparison to many other ingredients, they are one of the most power-packed ingredients in a meal. Spices are loaded with powerful antioxidants that serve to protect your body from environmental compounds so that you can stay healthy and energized. Listed below are 11 of the most common spices that can enhance your health.

FullSizeRender-2Nutmeg
Throughout ancient times, Roman and Greek civilizations utilized nutmeg like a brain tonic. Nutmeg contains the essential oils myristicin and macelignan. These compounds have been shown to improve cognitive function and decrease the degredation of neural pathways. Known for its ability to detoxify the body, nutmeg can help cleanse the liver and kidney. The ancient Chinese utilized nutmeg oil as a balm for muscle pain, joint pain and other inflammatory processes that produce pain in the body. Nutmeg has anti-bacterial qualities so can help with gum problems and toothaches and is found as an ingredient in many toothpastes. Nutmeg can be used as a digestive aid if you suffer from stomachaches, bloating, and gas. Nutmeg is a spice that you can add to any cleanse, power drink, coffee and even your tea. Sipping on some nutmeg tea before bed can help increase your body’s ability to calm down for a good night sleep, due to high concentration of magnesium.

Cayenne Pepper
The primary ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin, which is a compound that has been known to fight fat storage in the body to help you lose weight. The main mechanism of action for the fat burning properties of capsaicin is an increased thermic effect A positive thermic effect can burn calories, shred fat, and help you to lose weight. Consider adding a dash of cayenne pepper to a refreshing smoothie or cleanse beverage as well as adding to your favorite BBQ sauce, stir fry, chili recipe or anything you want to jazz up a bit. Beware…a little goes a long way.

Ginseng
Both American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) and Asian Ginseng (P. Ginseng) are believed to provide an energy boost, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and treat sexual dysfunction in men. Ginseng is a common ingredient, or spice, that is added to many healthy beverages and energy drinks. Ginseng is considered an adaptogen that can help aid with energy. In addition, ginseng is commonly found in green teas, which can be widely credited with the energy boosting properties you get from a fresh cup of green tea. If you are looking to boost your energy levels and burn more energy throughout the day, consider adding ginseng to your daily consumption, with green tea being the best source that you can select.

Cinnamon
Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. The potential health benefits of cinnamon could be stated as nothing short of astonishing. While it’s true that there’s no cure for Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon can be an effective tool in managing the disease. Add to this the fact that cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste that is devoid of sugar it as a staple for the pantries of those with Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods, thus preventing spoilage. It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavored with cinnamon. Cinnamon has been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory features and can help treat certain types of pain and headaches, as well as arthritis pain. It plays a double role in this particular type of pain because cinnamon can also boost circulation

Ginger
Considered more of a root vegetable, ginger makes a fine addition to any meal, thus making this an important spice. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is ginger. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In addition the amazing taste of ginger, it has numerous health benefits including motion sickness, stomach upset, sore throats, and bloating. Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication. Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness. Consider grating some fresh ginger on some of your main dishes or cut up some ginger into cubes and add it to boiling water for refreshing tea. If you are prone to upset stomach following a meal, consider adding more ginger in your meals to help ease your stomach.

Anise Seed
This is a spice that has a taste that is similar to black licorice. The seeds are an excellent source of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium and copper. These minerals are essential to cardiac, bone and blood health and are needed by the body to turn food into energy. The B-complex vitamins found in aniseed are essential to overall health. Loaded with riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and thiamin, the seeds can contribute to healthy levels of neuro-chemicals in the brain. Anise seeds help to ease your upset stomach symptoms, and can help relieve your cough and dripping nose as well. For the women, anise seeds can help to improve milk supply during breastfeeding.

Oregano
Oregano is a common spice in many Italian dishes and it has been associated with many health benefits. Oregano contains high amounts of Omega-3s, Iron, Manganese, and antioxidants. Oregano has one of the highest levels of antioxidants found in any spice or food. Ounce-for-ounce, oregano has shown 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries. Oregano Essential Oil is well known in natural health communities for its antibacterial properties. Oregano oil is good for relieving any type of inflammation, internal or external, and can offer relief from allergies. Oregano oil promotes digestion and relieves congestion and pain, without side effects.

Sage
If you are looking for a spice that can help with your memory, pain relief, and sore throat issues, then sage is your spice. Sage can be effective in alleviating sore throat symptoms that you may get due to a cold virus. Sage improves and boosts the memory of an individual and proves to be an excellent herb for children. The herb is rich in vitamin A and calcium, which are extremely important for the growth of teeth, bones and skin. The anti- microbial properties present in sage help in the treatment of fungal and microbial infections. The herb is extensively used in the healing process of surgical incisions, wounds and sores, as an antiseptic. The oil extracted from sage contains camphor and camphen, which prevent and cure fungal infections such as dermatitis, athlete’s foot and other skin diseases and infections. Sage helps with allergies and mosquito bites. It packs many powerful antioxidants within itself, which protects cells from forming cancerous cells or getting damaged by oxidation. The cicatrisant present in sage is used in skin care creams and anti-marks cosmetics; a fortunate thing for cosmetic industry. The herb helps in the digestion of fatty foods that are difficult to digest and protein rich.

Parsley
The health benefits of parsley include controlling cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, along with helping prevent osteoporosis. Furthermore, it acts as a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties. It also provides relief from gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea, while helping to strengthen the immune system. This is one of the most versatile spices available. You can keep a supply of dried parsley in your spice cabinet or buy is fresh at the store or grow it in your herb garden. Known for having a wonderful taste, parsley is great for healing and protecting the body. A one-half cup of parsley offers five times your daily requirements for vitamin k, which is a vitamin needed for proper blood clotting. Parsley also offers a good supply of vitamin C and vitamin A, both are potent antioxidants needed for skin and eye health. Parsley has been associated with a reduction of cancer and the prevention of tumor growth as well.

Mustard Seeds
The easiest way to incorporate mustard seeds into your diet is in a mustard spread or in the dry powder form, the popular yellow condiment used on hamburgers, hot dogs, deli sandwiches and found in salad dressings and sauces. Mustard comes in many varieties and in addition to tasting delicious, mustard offers anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with certain forms of arthritis and other inflammatory process based diseases. Mustard is high in selenium, manganese, and even omega-3 fatty acids. All of these nutrients contribute anti-inflammatory benefits in the body.

Tumeric
Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years in India. The health benefits of turmeric have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Over the years, researchers have been learning more and more about the health benefits of turmeric and its active component, curcumin. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that it can be helpful in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Tumeric also helps fight against obesity and its related symptoms. Curcumin reduces leptin resistance, lowers insulin resistance, reverses hyperglycemia, reduces inflammation, and activates fat burning gene signals. Tumeric has also been shown to help with stomach problems, sleep problems and may help in the treatment of depression.

Here is a power packed anti-inflammatory dressing for your favorite Chinese Chicken Salad recipe. This is full of unusual spices that will boost your health and wellness.

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Anti-inflammatory Dressing for Chinese Chicken Salad
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil or sesame oil
1 inch fresh ginger grated
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you prefer)
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon tumeric
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh clove garlic
½ teaspoon honey

Stir all together or shake in a dressing bottle. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Pour onto a big bowl of mixed together-shredded carrots, cabbage, broccoli slaw, celery sliced thin, Persian cucumbers sliced thin and sliced water chesnuts. Add your favorite protein-shredded chicken, steamed or quickly fried tofu. Toss with dressing and add a handful of raw sunflower seeds. Enjoy!!!

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Anti-inflammatory Dressing for Chinese Chicken Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Here is a power packed anti-inflammatory dressing for your favorite Chinese Chicken Salad recipe. This is full of unusual spices that will boost your health and wellness.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you prefer)
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon honey
Instructions
  1. Stir all together or shake in a dressing bottle.
  2. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
  3. Pour onto a big bowl of mixed together-shredded carrots, cabbage, broccoli slaw, celery sliced thin, Persian cucumbers sliced thin and sliced water chestnuts.
  4. Add your favorite protein-shredded chicken, steamed or quickly fried tofu.
  5. Toss with dressing and add a handful of raw sunflower seeds. Enjoy!!!

 

What is your favorite way to incorporate healthy spices into your family’s diet?

Kerry Signature48

Meal Prep Omelette Bags

March is National Nutrition Month, so I am VERY excited to share my latest meal prep obsession: Omelette Bags!

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Lunch is a hard meal for me to eat well because I’m super hungry and want to eat “yesterday” after our busy mornings. Meal prepping my lunch helps immensely! It keeps me on track and fueled, which means I’m feeling better throughout the day and making healthier choices more consistently.

My new favorite meal prep is these very simple omelette bags. Basically, you put anything and everything you could want in an omelette in a zip lock bag and throw it in the fridge. When it is time to eat, dump the bag in a pan with a little healthy oil and sauté to your liking. Cook the eggs on top, or transfer the veggies to a bowl or plate and cook the eggs separate. TADA! A delicious and healthy lunch.

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What’s in my bag?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (see below!)

Cubed and cooked sweet potato (see below)

Spinach

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Colorful carrots

Sweet onion

Zucchini

I choose to chop up my veggies and leave them raw (with the exception of the Brussels and Sweet Potatoes, which I pre-cooked.)

Sweet Potato: I skin, cube and boil for 12ish minutes until soft.

Brussels Sprouts: I stem and half then coat in a little avocado oil, salt and pepper. Roast 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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The finished prep:

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I love this meal. Every time it is so delicious. I even pre-cook it and take it with me to Disneyland!

Do you meal prep? Let me know if you try the omelette bags!

Rach Signature48

Living Healthy

Do you find yourself trying to eat healthy and trying to cook for a family at the same time? Does your husband need more food? Are your kids picky? Well here are some healthy alternatives to go with some traditional meals. You can cook the traditional for the family and make yourself some extra veggies/salad/etc. on the side.

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  • Spaghetti/Pasta/Italian
    • Spaghetti Squash or Zoodles (Zuchinni Noodles)
    • Meat: Chicken Sausage or Ground Turkey Meatballs
    • Chicken Cacciatore in Crockpot
    • Eggplant or Zucchini Lasagna
    • Use tomato sauce rather than cream sauce
  • BBQ
    • BBQ Chicken sandwiches for the family, BBQ chicken salad for yourself
    • Cut the cornbread and heavy sides and do salad on the side
    • BBQ chicken in crockpot
    • Lettuce wrap the meat
    • Use flat bread buns
  • Mexican
    • Lettuce Wrap Tacos
    • Cook fajitas with lots of veggies
    • Light on sour cream, cheese
  • Asian
    • Cook a big stir fry vegetable dish
    • Cook teriyaki chicken in the crock pot
    • Do lettuce wraps for yourself rice for the family
    • Quinoa is always a great healthy alternative
    • Use stir fried meats rather than fried
  • Pizza
    • Crust made out of cauliflower, zucchini, whole wheat
    • Eat a big salad with your pizza to cut down on slices
    • Do build your own pizzas and let family members put their own toppings of their choosing
    • Use thin pizza crust
  • Soups
    • Make soups heavy broth soups instead of creamy
    • Let people add their own sour cream, cheese, toppings, etc.
    • Blend cooked vegetables to make broth thicker
  • Salads
    • Let people dress their own salads, Use vinaigrettes for yourself
    • Use nuts/fruit instead of croutons/sesame sticks/chips
  • Breakfast
    • Use partial egg whites with eggs
    • Add vegetables to eggs
    • Oatmeal with cinnamon instead of sugar
    • Muffin cups with separate toppings
    • Healthy whole grain cereals
    • Yogurt and light granola
    • Eat fruit with protein
    • Whole grain toast

And just for fun here’s some extras!

  •  Snacks
    • Popcorn
    • Fruit and peanut butter/cheese
    • Yogurt and nuts
    • Veggies and Hummus
    • Nuts
    • Protein Bars
  •  Drinks
    • Unsweetened Tea
    • Sparkling Water
    • Black Coffee

Cooking Hacks

  • Use coconut oil
  • Use mustard
  • Use lots of seasonings
  • Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Applesauce instead of oil

How do you cook healthy for your family?

Bethany Signature48

Healthy Snacks for On-the-Go

I am one who always has a snack in my purse. I try to avoid getting myself stuck in situations where I am hungry and do not have a snack or have to buy something out of desperation that may not have been the healthiest option. I want my snacking to match my health goals and not be something that gets me off track. As a result, I have some go-to snacks that I always take with me when I’m on the go!

IsaLean Bar

Bethany and Kerry both shared about their favorite IsaLean bar last week. My favorite IsaLean bar is a different flavor – Chocolate Decadence! Mmm…This bar is a healthy version of a chocolate covered rice krispie treat (without the marshmallow flavor)! It is DELICIOUS and it’s packed with protein (18 grams!!). This bar is the snack that I look most forward to every day!

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LaraBar

LaraBars are fruit and nut bars. My favorite is Peanut Butter Cookie, made with three ingredients – Dates, Peanuts, and Sea Salt. It literally tastes like a peanut butter cookies!! I especially like this as a snack option in the warm weather months because I don’t have to worry about it melting. Each bar is Kosher, Vegan, non-GMO, Soy Free, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free

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Fruit Leather

Fruit leathers are a great pick-me up when you are out and about. As long as there is no added sugar, this is a great way to get in some fruit and veggie servings! My favorites are from Trader Joe’s and Costco and always include strawberry as one of the main flavors!

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Almonds/Trail Mix

Almonds/Trail Mix is the perfect snack to always have on hand when on-the-go. Healthy, hardy, and “hands-y” (you can eat it with your hands 😀 ) – just make sure there’s not TOO much chocolate in your trail mix so that it stays a healthy snack 😉

What are your favorite Healthy Go-To Snacks?

Bekah Signature48