Tagged: clean Eating

Peanut butter almond protein bars

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My oldest daughter loves helping in the kitchen. My husband is always cleaning us out of protein. I have been trying some different recipes to make a homemade protein bar. Here is what Ava and I came up with in the kitchen today. This recipe is perfect because it was non-messy, she was able to stir these, and then roll them into balls.

Peanut butter almond protein bars:

Dry ingredients first: (I used my ninja to grind these all up very fine)

1/2 cup almonds
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup Reese chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
Chocolate protein powder(2 scoops)

Grind these all up in the ninja

Wet ingredients:

1/3 cup honey
2 cups peanut butter

Fold the dry and wet ingredients together, roll in balls and throw in the fridge. Give the about an hour! They are tasty and you could get creative adding in different ingredients, great for a quick refuel after your workout.

Blessings, Michelle

Motivation Monday: Start this week off with a healthy breakfast

Where does the weekend go seriously? Well I have really learned the hard way in the past. Working out hard and putting in my hours and not seeing results. That is when I realized how much diet and fitness work together. Our diet is just if not equally important as our fitness regimen. You want to be rewarded for your hard work by seeing results. Thats when I realized that my mom was right, It has to start with a healthy breakfast. Not with somedays, everyday. Consistency here is the key. Eating a healthy breakfast is the basis of any good and healthy routine in life.

If you have kids, or a crazy work schedule, believe me I get it. It’s hard to plan out your meals and I have fallen victim to starbucks, dunkin donuts, the big breakfast (oh man it’s good), countless times because I failed to plan. I also extend out grace on certain occasions, well because come on Starbucks is a nice treat. Most days I have gotten into the routine of making breakfast that provides lean protien, fiber, and carbs out to my kids. At first it was hard, I mean MOMMY, Mom, I NEED Water, I’m hungggery, I pooped(ya, gotta love my middle child so dramatic in the morning), I just want to throw anything I can at her because I feel a bit scattered brained and then I remember, hey I have to feed my kids healthy breakfast too!

It was also overwhelming to me when I got online to find out healthy idea’s that I could make quick for my husband and kids. I get asked a lot at the gym about my diet so I thought I would share breakfast on most days and my oatmeal trick with you:0

A few Tips why breakfast is important:

1. Eating breakfast starts us off on the right foot, helping us make better choices throughout the day
2. By skipping breakfast to cut back on calories, it could cause you to over eat at other meals
3. It helps balance your fitness regimen by fueling your workout
4. Helps control your hunger and keeps you from reaching an unhealthy mid-morning snack

A few things to incorporate with your breakfast:

1. Lean protien-holds you over longer and helps you feel full until lunch (eggs have the highest quality of protien-grab an omelet instead of a bagel!)
2. Fiber- helps digestion, decreases cholesterol, controls our blood sugar, and helps with weight loss
3. Complex carbohydrates- whole grains, veggies, fruits are high in essential vitamins and minerals. They contain fiber and polysaccharides(which require more energy to digest and are released into our blood stream slower). (USDA recommends 55-60% of our total caloric intake be from this form of carbohydrates). While only 10% is coming from simple carbohydrates. These are refined sugars, table sugar, low nutrient density food, honey, corn syrup.

We usually have this variety for breakfast:

chobani yogurt w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Malt o meal w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Omelet w. butter 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid morning)
Oatmeal w. nut mixture and a pinch of brown sugar (smoothie mid morning)

Below is a picutre of how, (If I know the week is going to be hectic) I store my oatmeal. I make a big batch on Monday and then I pull it out throughout the week warm it up and add some brown sugar and nuts. The kids love all of this!

Please share your idea’s below, on our Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter. I love getting new ideas and it’s healthy and good for our bodies to change up the foods we eat. #livefitin2014

Blessings, Michelle

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Quick Guacamole Recipe

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Hey Fitness Family,

Over the years I have tried various guacamole recipes and finally crafted one that is quick and easy. My kids beg me to make the green stuff for a snack and my husband loves refueling with some fresh guacamole after what he calls a “good Pump” in the weight room.

Here are a few benefits of incorporating avocado into your diet:

Helps with Immunity- Provides vitamin C, B6, helps fight off illness, heal infection, tissue repair and wounds.

Muscles- Helps grow, develop, assist in formation of connective tissue

Helps the body digest and metabolize food turning it into energy

Helps with skin health, teeth, bones and with the cardiovascular system.

Quick Guacamole Recipe:

2 ripe Avocado’s

1 tomato

Mash with a fork or wooden spoon (I love the chunks)

2 squirts of lemon and lime juice

sprinkle of garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper

I really love making a whole wheat quesadilla and placing this on top of it!

Enjoy and Blessings! -Michelle

Burrito Night

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Hey Fitness Friends, Totally forgot to post this recipe! It’s delicious and my husbands and I’s remake of chipotle!

The original recipe is actually from a girl that I teach aerobics with at the gym. She is always making great healthy dishes. We get together regularly and let the kids play and hangout together. I get to try all types of new healthy recipes when I hangout with these ladies. They have truly been an inspiration to me on my health journey. Blessed to have these women and their children in my lives!

2cans(15oz ea)black beans, rinsed and drained
1can(11oz)mexicorn,drained
1tomatoe chopped
1 avacado,peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
Tortilla chips
In a bowl, combine the beans,corn,tomatoe,avacado,and onion. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, and hot pepper sauce;pour over bean mixture toss to coat. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

My husband and I ate it with tortilla chips and then decided to take the recipe one step further. We used the leftovers for burrito’s. We just cooked some hamburger in taco seasonings, threw it in a whole wheat tortilla and added a few scoops of this recipe. I added extra guacamole, tomatoes, and instead of using chopped onion I used onion powder. We did not have the hot pepper sauce on hand. This is also a great end of the year garden recipe to use up extra tomatoes and corn.

Fit Tip: Always rinse contents that you are using to cook with from a can it helps wash off excess sodium used to preserve!

Blessings Live fit, I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we did. What is your favorite chipotle remake recipe?

Home-canning Recipes

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Hey LIve Fit,
Here are a few of my favorite canning recipes. If you are new to canning and have questions about what process or hot bath means please comment away and I will do my best to help answer your questions. My pizza sauce recipe is also just a lot of throwing together so please if you have questions with that let me know! I always make notes on my recipes in my cook book about where and who I got them from. From one kitchen to the next lets spread the wealth of healthy eating ladies!

Tomato Soup: ( My mother-in-Law for found this delicious treasure! great for a quick lunch in the winter. It tastes out of this world with the fresh tomatoes)
14 quarts ripe tomatoes
14 ribs celery
14 stems of parsley
11 bay or basil leaves (We prefer basil Leaves)

Cook this together first until it cooks down and is tender. Put through a sieve( I always have my husband do this part) Place back in the kettle. Add these ingredients:

7 Medium Onions
2 Cups of Cream
14 T. of flour
1lb of butter
8 T. of salt (I cut this in half and do 4)
16 T. of sugar (I cut this in half and do 8)

Boil a half hour and then pour in hot jars and process jars for 15 minutes

*I usually double most of my recipes, so my yield is higher

Yellow Peppers: (My mother-in-law found this a couple years back great on sandwiches, on top of fresh pizza, or in a skillet with eggs, potatoes and rice)

1 pinch of alum
1 T salt
1 clove garlic

put in each jar, then add cut up banana peppers

pour over top of above mixture after it has boiled:
6 c vinegar
6 c water
2 c sugar

Make sure the jars are hot right out of the dishwasher along with the lids. Make sure the lids pop to ensure proper sealing. You will hear a little pop and the lid will be pushed down to indicated it sealed.

Salsa: (Got this recipe from one of my best girlfriends Melissa we can it together each year)
8 cups of tomato
2 1/2 cups onion
1 cup jalapeños or green or assorted peppers
6 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
2T canning salt
1/3 cup vinegar
15oz tomato sauce
12oz tomato paste

boil 10 mins and then squirt in lime, place into hot canning jars and process 15 mins

End of the Year Pizza Sauce: ( Use up the rest of your tomatoes and bell peppers)

cut up a pan full of assorted tomatoes, green peppers, onion, garlic,
have these spices out and ready (pepper, salt, oregano,)

Fill the bottom of the blender with tomatoes and a little bit of water, add green pepper, onion, clove of garlic and a shake of pepper, salt, oregano and blend (I Usually fill blender until almost full)

have a big pot on the stove ready and pour in the blended batch and repeat until you are done with the cut up vegetables. Bring to a boil and let it cook down. Have your jars hot and ready fill them up and process them in the hot bath for 15 minutes.

when you get out a jar of this add a can of paste and heat up to thicken on the stove. Place on pizza crust, Enjoy:)

Please post your favorite canning recipe, we are on this journey of health and fitness together!

Blessings, Michelle

The Benefits of Canning Fresh Vegetables

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Hey Fitness Friends!

Over the past two weeks I have been in full swing of harvest season. If you have a home garden you are probably reaping the benefits of all your hard labor throughout spring and summer. If you don’t have a green thumb or a passion for gardening you can also visit local farmers stands, flea markets and even super markets to buy fresh vegetables to incorporate into your meal planning.

Whatever the case nothing is better then fresh vegetables straight from the vine that supply a wealth of nutrients to our bodies. The best part is knowing where they came from, watching them grow(especially if you have children) and being rewarded for all the hard effort you put forth.

Canning and gardening is a lot of work. I often times compare it to our workout regimen. It’s a lot of effort up front but as time goes on we start to reap the benefits of canning all winter-long. Just as if we stay consistent with our exercise and eating habits we begin to develop stronger muscles, our clothes fit differently and we start to think twice about eating that bag of potato chips.

I often joke with my husband, I tell him I belong in a more primitive era! But that’s beside the point!

Here are a few benefits I have found from home canning:
1. SAVES US MONEY and TIME!
2. Clean eating straight from the garden all year long
3. Power outage, winter blizzard? No worries we can find something to eat in our canning cellar home canned goods can last up to 4 years
4. The veggies we have canned are not exposed to harmful pesticides
5. Less sugar, salt, and preservatives
6. Tomatoes offer vitamins A, C, K, folate, and potassium. The longer they are cooked the more lycopene (a cancer fighting antioxidant) is released

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some of my home canning recipes. If this is something you find that you could quickly get interested in, I suggest taking a look at this website to help you collect the materials needed to can and find recipes that will suit your family. I only can what I know we use a lot of. I have learned over the past six years how to incorporate what I am canning to make it useful in our family meal planning. More Canning Information

Here is a quick List of what I re-stock in my cellar each year:
whole tomatoes
tomato juice
salsa
homemade tomato soup
pickles
pepper mustard
banana peppers
tomato marinade
zucchini relish

A couple things I freeze:
homemade pizza sauce
green bell peppers
tomatoes
sweet corn
egg plant

I’ll never forget all the hot summer days I spent with my father a small produce farmer, picking corn, clipping beans, and watching his mother make a peach jelly that was incredibly tasty. I love watching my daughters sprint to the garden and pick tomatoes and fight over who is going to help me in the kitchen. Give one canning recipe a try this year. Slowly incorporate this into your late summer routine. It makes me feel accomplished in knowing I can provide my family with the freshest vegetables all year long. You will love grabbing a fresh jar of salsa on a cold winter night or using fresh tomato juice for your favorite soup recipe!

Blessings, Enjoy Your Holiday

-Michelle

Eating on the GO:

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This granola recipe has been a staple of mine over the last two years. It started with my birth of my second daughter. I just craved oats, peanut butter, and a little chocolate. Over the years I have experimented with all sorts of different ingredients to add into this recipe. Here is a basic recipe that you can use as a base. You can really get as creative as you want with this recipe.

It’s easy, quick, and takes around 12-15 minutes @ 350 to bake in the oven. It always curves my sugar cravings. I try to reach for a small piece of this for dessert rather then a cookie or ice cream.

Homemade Granola:
4 Cups of oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ and ground flax seed – (stabilizes metabolism)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1-2 tsp of butter
2 huge scoops of peanut butter – (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp of vanilla and oil (you could use applesauce in place of oil)

* Sometimes I add more peanut butter

optional extra ingredients:
Chocolate chips-always add these in :0
Reese chips
sunflower seeds
coconut
sliced almonds
cranberries
m&m’s
peanuts

Happy Baking, Let me know how they turn out

Blessings, Michelle