Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coffee??? Where???

For those of you that know me, you know that coffee is like a lifeline in my life.  Seriously, do not even think about talking to me in the morning before that nectar of the gods hits my lips because it will not be pretty.  Now, I like all kinds of coffee...sweet  coffee, dark coffee, strong coffee, fancy coffee...as long as it is coffee it is ok in my book.

Some of the delicious coffees that I really like to drink are extremely high in sugar and calories...one cup could almost make me reach my caloric limit for the day (hello venti white chocolate mocha!).  So I have set out on a mission to find some healthier substitutes for my yummy coffee...here is what I have found!

Mocha Chiller (starring non other than our favorite...SHAKEOLOGY!)

  • 1 serving of Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 cup cold coffee
Almond Mocha Chiller

  •  1 serving of Chocolate Shakeology 
  • 1 tsp. almond extract 
  • 1 cup cold coffee 
Skinny Peppermint Mocha

Slash calories by replacing sugary syrup with peppermint extract and skipping the whipped cream on top. The boost of intense minty flavor in this mocha is balanced out by dark chocolate syrup and nonfat milk.

  • 1/2 c. coffee
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 1/3 c. nonfat milk
  • 2 tbsp. dark chocolate syrup


Brew coffee of your choice (or use one package of instant coffee) and pour into a mug. Stir peppermint extract and chocolate syrup into the coffee. Taste and adjust to your liking. Stir in nonfat milk.

Makes one serving.

I am still on the hunt for more...and I will post them as soon as I can find them...But for now, enjoy :)

Do you have any at home healthy coffee recipes???  Post them in the comments below or send me an email with the recipe!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cheese Please!!

I love cheese...If I could eat anything in the world for the rest of my life and not gain weight, I am sure that I would live off of cheese and potatoes.  I have had to cut some of the cheese that I had been used to eating out of my diet because it just wasn't going to fit into my meal plan. 

I was reading Yahoo! this morning and found this article about guess what.....CHEESE!  Read and enjoy :)


5 Healthiest Cheeses

Cheese gets a lot of bad press for clogging arteries and packing on the pounds. But just because you shouldn't eat an entire platter of Paula Deen's cheese balls doesn't mean you have to avoid cheese altogether.

Cheese can be both delicious and a great source of lean protein, calcium, phosphorus, and other health benefits -- if you choose the right varieties. Here are five cheeses that belong on any shopping list.

1. Feta

A key component of Greek cuisine, feta is lower in fat and calories than most cheeses, says Natalie Caine-Bish, an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Kent State University. A one-ounce serving -- enough to make a Greek salad lover happy -- has 4 grams of protein and only 74 calories.

Caine-Bish says feta's characteristic strong flavor means you can get away with using less cheese without feeling cheated. Feta's salty flavor makes it a good choice to crumble on salads and soups. It also pairs well with sweeter produce, like watermelon or sweet potatoes.

Tip: Although domestic feta is often made with cow's milk, Greek feta is made from sheep or goat's milk, which makes it a good choice for someone with problems digesting bovine dairy products. Keep in mind, though, that unpasteurized feta and other soft cheeses have a higher risk of containing the Listeria bacteria than other cheeses -- so be sure to buy pasteurized feta if you'll be serving it to a pregnant woman or someone with a compromised immune system.

2. String cheese

Seriously. String cheese, that favorite kid snack, is a great choice for adults too.

For starters, if you choose string cheese made of part-skim mozzarella, it's low in calories and high in protein (a one-ounce serving has 71 calories and 7 grams of protein).

What's more, string cheese isn't actually a processed cheese -- mozzarella naturally behaves in that stringy way, so it counts as a whole food. (Just make sure to buy string cheese that's 100 percent mozzarella.)

Tip: String cheese is "quick and easy -- grab and go, and already portioned out for you," says Silvia Veri, the nutrition supervisor at Beaumont Health System's Weight Control Center in Royal Oak, Michigan. The fact that it's prepackaged makes it handy for healthy snacks at work, between errands, or at home.

3. Parmesan

Like feta, Parmesan is a great choice because just a little packs a potent, nutty punch.

Parmigiano-Reggiano comes from the Parma area of Italy, and its strong flavor has inspired a lot of buzz throughout history: Samuel Pepys famously buried his Parmesan cheese to keep it safe during the Great Fire of London, and Boccacio, in The Decameron, imagines a mountain of Parmesan inhabited by macaroni and ravioli makers.

Parmesan is relatively low in calories (110 in a one-ounce serving), but it's high in sodium (449 milligrams for the same serving size), so be sure to use it in moderation.

Tip: Try shaving pieces onto a salad or eating small slices with ripe apples or pears, in addition to grating it over pasta and pizza.

4. Swiss

Swiss is another strong cheese that's good for you. What we call Swiss cheese is often Swiss Emmentaler (or Emmental), though other cheeses with a similar taste and hole-studded texture are sometimes lumped in as well.

Swiss is a popular cheese, and Caine-Bish likes it specifically for that reason. Since it comes in a number of varieties, including low-sodium or low-fat, it's easy to find a version that fits your dietary needs.

As a hard cheese, Swiss is also richer in phosphorus than nearly all soft cheeses. According to Caine-Bish, "Calcium and phosphorus are key to bone formation and to maintaining bone density" -- important for women of any age.

Tip: Try adding a slice to your sandwich or grating a few ounces into scrambled or baked eggs. Small slices or cubes make a great snack, especially with fruit instead of crackers.

5. Cottage cheese

There's a reason dieters love cottage cheese: It's high in protein, low in fat (if you buy a low-fat variety), and versatile enough to add to most any meal or snack.

"You can eat it with almost anything," says Veri. "You can eat it with veggies and make it savory, or add fruit and cinnamon and make it sweet."

A one-ounce serving of low-fat cottage cheese has 3 grams of protein and only 20 calories. Like all cheeses, it's also high in calcium.

Indian paneer, Mexican queso fresco, and other types of farmer's cheese are simply pressed versions of cottage cheese. If you're the DIY-type, this cheese and its firmer derivatives are some of the easiest cheeses to make at home.

Tip: Cottage cheese can have a lot of sodium, especially when it's low-fat or nonfat. Be sure to check the nutrition label on the container before buying it. Some companies, such as Lucerne and Friendship Dairy, make no-salt-added versions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I Am Giving Up For Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means it is time for Lent!

Now, I was raised Catholic and I went to church every Sunday with my Mom until I made my Confirmation...then she gave me the choice to go or stay home.  Which to me meant wake up early on Sunday or sleep in...I chose to sleep in.

Anywho, I still celebrate Lent and whatnot...I just choose to not go to church, so it is time to give something up!  Here is what I have decided to give up for Lent:

  • Red Meat - I don't eat it everyday, but I do love me a medium rare steak...But not during Lent!
  • Stepping on the Scale EVERYDAY! - I am guilty of this...I weigh myself everyday and focus way too much on the numbers.  NOT ANYMORE.  I am currently running a Biggest loser Challenge here at work so I will ONLY step on the scale ONCE a week...and that is for our weigh in on Monday mornings.
  • Buying Lunch at Work - I spend entirely too much money buying lunches while at work...time to start packing!!
What are you giving up?  I know you can think of something :)

7 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

So, I don't know about all of you, but I have a lazy metabolism.  I got sick in high school and as a result my immune system and my metabolism are lazy.  If I do not watch what I eat, I will pack on the pounds super fast and I do NOT want that to happen!

I was surfing around the internet this morning and stumbled upon this article...Forgive me for not giving credit where it is due, but my browser kicked me out before I could copy down the web address...but I wanted to share the article (I was able to copy it before my browser went ka-put)!

So here is my disclaimer  **I did NOT write this article...I just found it informative**


7 Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism

Your body may not be burning calories quickly because of poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, you can take control of speeding up your metabolism. From getting more sleep to eating all day, use these 7 secrets to rev up your inner engine.

If your body’s engine is running at full-speed, there’s little you can do to boost your fat-burning potential – you’re already performing at peak.

But if your tank is teetering on half-empty, there's room for improvement. Use these 7 secrets to shift your metabolism into high gear.

Ladies, start your engines!

Secret #1: Get more sleep

The number of zzz’s you catch can have a big effect on your waistline. Research shows that sleep deprivation can send your hunger and appetite hormones out of whack. A four-year joint study by the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University found that adults who regularly slept for only five hours a night increased their levels of hunger-inducing ghrelin by 14.9% and lowered their levels of appetite-suppressing leptin by 15.5%. This means double trouble for your fat cells: You end up eating more than you need, leaving you with extra pounds to show for it.

How much sleep do you need to avoid this? Some people swear by a few hours, but experts recommend 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Secret #2: Wake up earlier

Does your morning ritual consist only of showering, brushing your teeth and getting dressed? Then you’re neglecting two important activities that could boost your metabolism.

The first: Eat breakfast – and coffee doesn’t count. Skipping that bowl of oatmeal might sound harmless, but you’re missing the first opportunity of the day to jumpstart your metabolism. Think of it in literal terms: Breakfast is “breaking” the overnight “fast” your body was in to conserve calories. Eating – especially a balanced breakfast every day – stimulates your metabolism.

Secondly, you should exercise. Sure, you might struggle to throw off those cozy sheets – who doesn’t? – but it’s a battle worth winning. Why? It boosts your metabolism. You’ll burn more calories throughout the day simply doing the same stuff you always do. Even a 20-minute walk or jog will make a difference. So skip that second cup o’ joe and strap on your walking shoes instead.

Secret #3: Get active

Sounds impossible, but you can - and should - work out every day. Cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, aerobics, walking) stimulates your metabolism, helps you burn calories and can even temporarily suppress your appetite post-workout. But don’t let cardio get all the metabolic-boosting glory.

Weight training is important too, because it tones your muscles and boosts lean tissue mass, which burns more calories per pound than fat. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn daily.

Also, don’t be afraid to exercise more than once a day. Breaking up a 60-minute workout into two 30-minute (or three 20-minute) sessions is not only convenient, but also it may help you burn more fat, according to recent research.

Secret #4: Eat all day

Forget about three large square meals a day. Graze on healthy snacks or nosh on smaller meals instead. Eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day keeps a steady stream of energy available to your body. This boosts your metabolism and your brain power. Keep healthy snacks (fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt) with you throughout the day.

Just be sure your main meals are smaller to accommodate all this snacking, or you’ll load up on extra calories you don’t need. And don't skip meals. Dieters often try to get that extra weight-loss edge by cutting entire meals instead of just cutting calories throughout the day. But this is counterproductive: Skipping meals forces your metabolism to slow down and conserve calories to compensate for the lack of food. So when you finally do eat, your body remembers that it went for a long time without food and will store more calories to prepare for the next time you'll starve it. Stay off this roller-coaster by eating at regular intervals throughout the entire day.

Secret #5: Raise a glass

The number on the scale may look good when you haven’t had enough water, but you’re risking major weight gain by not drinking enough. Dehydration can trick your brain into thinking you’re hungry, so instead of reaching for a cold one – water, that is – you reach for whatever snack is nearby. A simple exercise in math may illustrate the importance of hydration:

8 ounces of water = 0 calories

1 candy bar from the office vending machine = 270 calories.

Swapping that candy bar for a glass of water, then waiting 20 minutes to see if you were really hungry in the first place = priceless.

Some experts say that your body burns extra calories as it works to raise the temperature of icy water to your internal body temperature, although others disagree. Still, water is refreshing and hydrating - and you’ll burn calories on your walk over to the fridge or fountain.

Secret #6: Eat spicy foods

Turning up the heat on your meals may do more than just add fun flavor. “Hot” foods, such as jalapeƱos, chili peppers and spices (like curry and cayenne), may increase body temperature. Body temperature and metabolism are related: As you burn energy, heat is released. By increasing your internal body temperature, spicy foods may temporarily raise your metabolism and stimulate the use of stored fat as energy.

Experts agree that eating spicy foods can increase feelings of satiety. And the sooner you’re satisfied at a meal, the faster you’ll stop eating. You can easily save yourself 100 calories at a meal by taking fewer bites, so pile on the hot sauce.

Secret #7: Count on calcium

Research shows that calcium, an essential mineral, can boost your basal metabolic rate, which boosts weight loss. In a National Dairy Council-funded study, researchers found that a high-calcium, low-calorie diet boosted fat loss by 42%, compared to only 8% for just a low-calorie diet.

Studies also show that dairy lovers are less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, whose symptoms include high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, poor blood sugar control and increased abdominal obesity – all factors that increase risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Now think...do you think that you have a lazy metabolism?  If so, what changes can you make during the day to help jumpstart it??  Post in the comments below what YOU will do differently to speed up your metabolism today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Fat Tuesday!!!

Today is Fat Tuesday!!!

So what is fat Tuesday??  Here is a definition that I found:

                      Fat Tuesday is the traditional name for the day before Ash Wednesday,
                      the first day of Lent. It is more commonly known as Mardi Gras, which
                      is simply Fat Tuesday in French. It gets its name from the custom, in
                      many Catholic countries, of marking the day with feasting before the
                      fasting season of Lent begins.

Now NORMALLY...I would completely stuff myself SILLY on Fat Tuesday...I used it as an excuse to totally pig out and eat more than my weight in u nhealthy, fried, fatty, salty foods.  Not this year :)

This year I am doing the opposite!  I am starting my Shakeology Cleanse instead!!  I am using Chocolate Shakeology for this cleanse...but I cannot WAIT until my New Tropical Strawberry comes next month!  It is the VEGAN Shakeology that I KNOW you have all been waiting for :)  Check out the details!!!

I will be getting mine in March...I had just gotten my supply of Chocolate when the new Tropical was released.  :)  Shakeology has been my saving grace...Stay tuned and I am going to share how Shakeology and Beachbody have totally save my life (literally!!).

Do you want to try Shakeology?  Send me a message or post in the comments below!  I can get a sample to you :)

On another note...all of you Catholics out there....What are you giving up for Lent?????

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Give a little heart and soul....

Ok, so I am having a dance party in my cube today...I can hardly contain my excitement because tonight is THE night that I have been waiting for! 


This concert was cancelled back in October because the boys were sick, and I was SO disappointed!  I always see them right around my birthday, but not last year :(  Tonight is the RESCHEDULED show and it could not come at a better time!  2012 has started out being a rockin' year for me and I am totally ready to ROCK OUT with Hanson :)

Now I wake up SUPER early for work, and by teh end of the day I am exhausted!  So what am I going to do today to make SURE that I have enough energy to dance the night away with the best fans ever and the best BAND ever???  I am going to drink my HEAVENLY chocolate Shakeology...it will FUEL my body and make SURE that I do not want to fall over from exhaustion tonight. 

Speaking of SHAKEOLOGY...the new Tropical Strawberry flavor was released YESTERDAY!  I called and should be receiving my FIRST shipment of Tropical with my next month's shipment!  SO excited to try it out!!!

Well, I will leave you with a little dance party video....cut loose....have some FUN today...dance around liek a fool and BURN SOME CALORIES!!!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You Can Do It!!!

Every now and then, everyone needs some motivation...