Super Addictive Apple Chips!

 

I am always looking for whole food healthy snacks, so here is my latest obsession that completely satisfies the need for something sweet and crunchy!  Hold your applause for later.

All you need is an apple, sharp knife, and an oven.  Unlike the sweet potato chips that can be done fast in the microwave, (see post below) these have to be done in the oven.  Start out by heating the oven to 220 degrees, slice the apple into very thin slices with a sharp knife.  Place the apple slices on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the slices with cinnamon.  Cook or dehydrate in the oven for one hour.  Turn over the slices and place back in the oven for another hour.  Turn oven off and keep apple slices in the oven for another hour or until they are crisp.  Well worth the effort if you are home.

I get up early, very early, so I just sliced up an apple while I am waiting for the coffee, place in oven, turn once a hour later and then turn the oven off and leave them there until I get home.  Perfect to munch on while I make dinner.

photo- apple chips

Give um a try and let me know what you think!  I’m sure you are going to love these too!!

 

 

Fast Sweet Potato Chips!

If you’re like me and crave crunchy snacks, these sweet potato chips are your answer and they take less than 10 minutes to prepare.  I’ve tried making chips in the oven, but it takes 20 + minutes and you really have to keep your eye on them.  This microwave version works surprising well and is much faster-only 5 minutes.

A few fun facts about the nutritious benefits of this powerful root vegetable.  It’s high in potassium, calcium, B-6, iron, magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin A,C & D, not to mention a medium size potato has only 60 calories. (not including olive oil)

Slice your sweet potato with a mandolin or a shape knife in 1/8″ slices.

Place in a bowl and coat with olive oil and sea salt.

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Put the slices on a paper towel in the microwave for 5 minutes.

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Let cool completely and enjoy!

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Serve these along side a burger or sandwich or for a healthy snack!

 

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Power Aging – Meet Barbara!

Happy New Year everyone!  I thought I would spotlight one of my clients that I know will inspire you all!  I have been working with Barbara for almost two years now and she is an inspiration!  This gal knows how to enjoy an active lifestyle and she proves just how important moving is to aging.  When I first met Barbara she was training for a hike along the Camino de Santiago in Spain where she trained by hiking 14 miles a day for two weeks.  For more info. about The Camino de Santiago – www.santiago-compostela.net

Barbara’s training regime had her walking between 6-12 miles a day even in the coldest Michigan months with a backpack and yaktracks on if necessary. When she’s not training for the camino, she walks 4 miles a day.  She refers to that distance as her “maintenance work”.  Every week when we meet for a strength training session, Barbara is eager to try any challenges I can think up for her to try.  Her enthusiasm and discipline are motivating.  Here is Barbara holding a 2 minute plank on suspension straps.  This is very challenging and impressive!

Barbara plank

Sample of Barbara training on the Bosu-

Besides her walking, pilates and strength training practices, this gal is an avid downhill skier too!    Check her out here skiing down a mountain, and did I mention she is 77 years young!!

barbara skiing

Go Barbara and thanks for being such a great example to us all on how to actively age!!

 

Motivate others by SHARING this post!

 

Healthy Apple-Pear Crisp

apple pear crisp 2I made this healthy delicious crisp for a get together recently and it was a huge success.   This would look pretty with cranberries or pomegranate seeds to add some festive holiday color.  Serve it with a dollop of ice cream or Greek yogurt!

Filling-

8-10 apples and pears peeled and sliced

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Zest of one orange

1/2 cup of apple cider

1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder

Put the peeled fruit in a casserole dish.  Combine all other ingredients and whisk in arrowroot until dissolved.  Pour over the fruit and set aside.

Topping

2 cups of rolled oats

1 cup of oat or almond flour

1 cup of toasted sliced almonds

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 cup of maple syrup or coconut sugar

1/3 cup of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of almond extract

In two separate bowls combine dry ingredients, and wet ingredients.  Add the wet to the dry and combine.  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit evenly.  Place in 350 degree oven  for 35 minutes covered with foil.  Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes so topping gets crisp and golden.  Rest for 10  minutes and serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Granola- because it’s so much more delicious and easy to make!

granola jarDo you like to make delicious treat from your kitchen to give as gifts during the holidays?  If you do and you are looking for some healthy options, check out this super easy granola recipe.  I love snacking on this stuff or adding it to my yogurt or paring it with fruit.  It’s fast to make and makes your house smell just as good as Christmas cookies!

Here’s the recipe-

2 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup of uncooked and washed quinoa

1 cup of slivered or chopped almonds

1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup of dried cherries or cranberries

3 tsp. coconut oil

3 tbsp. pure maple syrup (or a touch more if you want it sweeter)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.  Add wet to dry and combine until well coated.  Spread evenly over cookie sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, mix again and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Allow granola to cool and then store in an airtight container. I like to package it in a mason jar with a ribbon.

homemade granola

If you try this, please let me know how it turns out, and if you have a healthy recipe you like to gift at the holidays, please share!

Best Strategies For A Leaner Holiday Season.

The Holidays are here, and with them come calories. Temptations lurk around every corner with office goodies, parties, more desserts, food and drink. A little strategic planning and perseverance can pay off and leave you feeling confident and energized. Include these tips for a season of fitness and fun.

Eat breakfast- eating an hour after you awake with a well rounded breakfast, including, protein, whole grains, fruit and some healthy fats will keep you satisfied all morning and has shown to keep people from overeating the rest of the day. Example: 1-2 whole organic eggs, a piece of whole grain toast, fruit, and some nuts.
Don’t skip meals- Skipping meals sets up the danger of overeating and sabotaging
your efforts. Make sure to eat balanced meals throughout the day. Always include a protein, whole grain, fruit or vegetable and healthy fat. Eat every 3-5 hours so your blood sugar doesn’t drop and slow your metabolism down.

Stay hydrated- Drink 8 glasses of water throughout the day. Add some fruit or a splash of juice to the water for flavor if you want. This helps with energy, metabolism and flushes out toxins.

Don’t go to parties hungry- Eat some protein like a small handful of almonds and an apple to keep hunger at bay. This way you are not as likely to head to the food table and overeat. Plate your food with good choices, eat slowly and move away from the food.

Limit your drinks to two and then switch to water or club soda.

Schedule exercise in your day- Take a brisk walk several times a day or whenever you can fit one in. Drop into a fitness class or try this 10 min. workout you can do anywhere. We now know that short intense workouts are more effective at raising the metabolism than long duration. Use this to your advantage.

Warm up with a quick brisk walk. Do each exercise for 30.sec for two sets. If you have more time do for 3 sets.

Jump rope (pretend to hold a jump rope)
Push Ups – beginners us a wall or counter.
Squats – beginners hold onto the back of a chair.
Front Kicks – hold hands over head and kick left leg up waist high and bring arms down to meet half way. Alternate right and left.
Abs- Bicycle legs and elbows right, left. Begin by lying down on a mat; bend your knees over hips, feet off floor. Support head with hands and cross your right elbow to left knee, switch left elbow to right knee and continue for 30 sec.
Stretch out legs, arms, chest and back.

Drop off food gifts from the office like chocolates and cookies at a local food shelter. Just because you received it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Pass it on for others to enjoy.

Veg Out – both literally and figuratively. Keep extra veggies in the fridge already for snacking for some extra nutrients and fiber. Breathe deeply which automatically lowers your blood pressure and sends oxygen to your brain. You’ll feel better and rock out that holiday dress. Cheers!

If you found this helpful please share on FB. Thanks!

A Story Of A Lifestyle Makeover

I think most of us can relate to being overworked, stressed and how that can play a destructive role in our health.  Here is a story of someone who got the message and changed her habits around to get her health and life back on track.  In Kati’s story, she explains how she lost 50 lbs. and kept it off.

By:Kati Bauer

I wish I could say that one day I woke up and decided to change my life for the better.  I can’t.  Instead, I woke up one day feeling ill and, to make a long story short, it turned out I was having a heart attack.  A combination of bad genes, stress, poor eating habits, and a lack of exercise slapped me upside the head just like the V8 commercials that you regularly see on TV.

I was lucky.  I had a fairly urgent (but not life-threatening) wake up call.  A stent was inserted and I began a 12-week cardiac rehab program.  During that program, the therapists taught me better nutrition, how to de-stress, and how to (and how often to) exercise.  They didn’t focus on my weight, but rather on how to change my lifestyle…forever.  I found that once you get with the plan, the weight takes care of itself.

Following a low-fat, low sodium diet isn’t easy.  Drinking 8 full glasses of water each day isn’t thrilling. Giving up caffeine was a headache (literally). Finding the time to exercise an hour a day, six days a week was (and continues to be) a challenge.  However, being a caretaker of others means that I need to be healthy enough to be around to help them.  Being out of shape, overweight, stressed, and eating everything in sight doesn’t help anyone. Whenever my motivation waivers, I think about my husband, my children, and my grandchildren.  I want to be around to see them grow up happy and healthy – so I do what I need to do to make that happen.

After rehab ended, I looked for a variety of exercise activities so that I wouldn’t get bored.  At one of my MHealthy (a healthy lifestyle program for employees at the University of Michigan) circuit classes a couple of years ago, we had a substitute leader, Molly Stamos.  I liked her style and enthusiasm so much that I asked if she ever took on personal clients.  When she said yes, I immediately hired her to help me do more physical workouts once a week.  Those workouts increase my body’s metabolism and cause me to burn calories at a higher rate for days after each session. Plus, I know that Molly makes me work harder than I would by myself.

Additionally, there is a wealth of information available to help.  I have found that the eMeals low-fat menu plan is great (see: http://emeals.com/). And, there are tons of exercise programs, gyms, and consultants around. I personally walk 3-4 days a week on my lunch break or to/from meetings around campus.  I embrace various fitness classes sponsored by MHealthy, I take a water aerobics class once a week, I workout with Molly weekly, and I do my best to stick to a healthy eating pattern using the menus I receive from eMeals.

I love the free app “Charity Miles” (see: http://www.charitymiles.org/). While walking, running, or biking, I “earn” donations for a variety of charities.  So not only am I helping myself, I am helping others by exercising.  I also find the free app “MyFitnessPal” (see: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) helpful for tracking calorie intake and logging my exercise.

I have to admit that I did not think exercise would ever become a habit for me.  But after about 6 months of making myself do it, every day, I actually enjoy exercising now.  I miss it when I can’t get out and MOVE.  I’m not saying it is easy.  But, it is NECESSARY for my own personal well-being.

Now, two and a half years after my “near-miss”, I am down 50 pounds (4 sizes), am able to exercise without panting excessively, I have more energy to play with the grandkids, and I naturally eat a more healthy diet.  In fact, I’ve even caught myself taking fruit instead of cookies from a buffet. Go figure!

 

 

 

 

Squash- It’s what’s for dinner!

It’s that time of year again for squash varieties.  My personal favorite is butternut for soups and stews and of course spaghetti squash for my favorite mariana sauces.

Did you know that even though squash is considered a starchy vegetable it helps to regulate insulin and has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties?

A few more fun facts and fit tips on winter squash varieties are they are packed with more nutrient dense vitamins such as beta carotene and B vitamins than summer squash and contains omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are new to eating squash, check out the link below which has some delicious recipes such as –

THAI SQUASH CURRY

GRILLED WINTER SQUASH TACOS

BAKED SQUASH AND APPLES WITH GINGER AND PECANS

My mouth is watering already just thinking about these dishes!

Here is the link :

https://experiencelife.com/article/winter-squash-recipes-techniques-and-more/

What are your favorite ways to prepare winter squash?  Share below or on FB!

SUPER FOOD – MACA Powder

macaHere is another Super food to add to your shopping list – MACA Powder.  It comes from the radish family and grows at high elevations up in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It’s safe to take in 1-2 tsp. in your smoothies.

There are a plethora of reasons to add this to your daily diet.  For starters, Maca is full of minerals and vitamins which include calcium, zink, magnesium and iron in addition to vitamin C B1, B2, B6 and B12.

More benefits-

Balances hormones 

Increases endurance and stamina

Great for menstrual and menopause issues, such as mood swings, hot flashes and depression.  woot woot!

Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.

Helps with acne and blemishes

Maca taste like malt so it goes great in smoothies, juices or use it in baking.  Here is a recipe using Maca in a smoothie.  For more recipes with maca check out navitasnaturals.com

http://navitasnaturals.com/recipes/9924/Chocolate-Dream-Smoothie.html

If you have tried Maca, share your thoughts below and on FB!

 

 

TGIF- Now don’t let the weekend sabotage your efforts.

It’s finally Friday!   You’ve been rockin’ your nutrition, exercise, hydration and sleep (hopefully) all week long.  So what’s your plan for keeping your healthy lifestyle going all weekend long?  Don’t let you guard down just because it’s the weekend.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t relax and slow down a bit.  After all, you put in a hard week and you deserve to chill.  So many people including myself have no problems staying on course during the busy week, just to let things unravel over the weekend, leaving you frustrated and undoing all the progress you made Monday through Friday.  Sound familiar?

If you’re at all like me, planning your meals during a busy week is a huge reason your weeks go so smoothly.  Here a little secret, you have to approach the weekend the same way – with a plan.  Keep it simple!  We’re still chillin’.   Maybe your weekend starts with meeting friends for a glass of wine/beer after work.  Go head and have it, just sip with a glass of water and some healthy snacks or dinner.  Too much spirits = overeating and it’s only the first day of the weekend.  If Saturday has lots of activities planned such as soccer, gardening, shopping etc.  Make sure you plan what you’re going to eat that day and when.  Pack a sack and take it with you so you’re not famished in some mall or field just to be forces to eat crap.  It’s easy to pack apples, cheese, nuts or even a sandwich.  Keep a tall water bottle in your car so you can keep hydrated.  If you are heading out to a dinner or an evenings out with friends and you know there’s going to be drinks, salty and sweet foods that are going to leave you feeling defeated, plan ahead.  Bring a bottle of sparkling water and a lemon or lime to drink or split with your wine.  Make sure you don’t show up hungry so you can control and enjoy your food along with the evening and stay in control.  Bring a healthy dish to share.  It’s all in the planning just like during the week.

As far as exercise goes, Saturday and Sunday are perfect for taking time to do activities you otherwise wouldn’t have time for, such as biking, hiking in the woods, going for a long walk or run, or maybe a 90 minute yoga class.  Mix it up and do something you can’t fit in during the week.

I’m leaving you with a yummy redo of an old favorite tailgate dish, but with 1/2 the calories or less.  Real food, great nutrition with great flavor.  Perfect to share with friends this weekend!  For more inspiration go checkout the delicious recipes at Skinnytaste and have some fun!  You can enjoy your food and keep it healthy with just a bit of effort.  After awhile, it become your new normal!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/09/hot-spinach-and-artichoke-dip.html

What do you do to stay on track during the weekend?  If you can relate to this please LIKE and SHARE!