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Pre and Post Workout Snacks and Meals

 

Pre-Workout Snacks

 

It’s important to never workout on an empty stomach. Your body needs fuel to burn like a car. If you try to exercise without eating, your performance will suffer and you will find it hard to concentrate on your workout. You’ll want to eat foods that contain carbohydrates and protein before you exercise.This will give you the maximum amount of energy to get through your workout. I am guilty of not eating enough before a workout, so I know I can’t be the only one. I thought I would share some snack and light meal ideas that are simple for you to make. Here are some of my favorite light snacks I enjoy about 45 minutes before my fitness routine.

 

1 cup of black coffee
1 cup of plain greek yogurt with fresh strawberries
2 slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas
peanut butter oatmeal bar
2 oz of dried fruits and nuts mix
egg whites with whole wheat toast
½ cup of oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts or peanut butter and honey
8 apple slices with almond butter
raspberry banana smoothie with protein powder
½ cup of brown rice

 

Post Workout Meals

 

After exercising, your body needs additional nutrients to recover the muscles. Eating foods that are high in amino acids and carbohydrates help fight fatigue and muscle soreness that you feel after your workout. These are foods I like to eat an hour after my workout because they help increase muscle mass and rebuild tired muscles. 

 

whole wheat tuna sandwich with spinach
Grilled chicken with sweet potato
salmon with veggies
veggie omelet with avocado
protein bars
hummus and crackers
1 glass of chocolate milk
whole grain bagel
peanut butter sandwich

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The Benefits of Drinking Smoothies

 

Smoothies are a great alternative for people who don’t have time to prepare all three meals of the day. Replacing a meal with a liquid can improve your digestive system as well as your overall health. You can add vitamins and minerals you don’t normally choose, thus providing proper nutrition to your body. The natural ingredients give the body fats and fuel to burn.

 

The best part is that you can add vegetables without tasting them in your smoothie. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are also high in fiber which will help you reach your weight loss goals. Smoothies are also great way to keep hydrated for people who aren’t the biggest fan of plain tasting water.

 

The consumption of smoothies before and after workouts will give your body energy for maximum performance. They are cheap and quick to make when you are on the go. Remember, juicing is a great way to consume fruits and vegetables, but smoothies don’t contain any protein to help boost your metabolism. You can add protein powder or greek yogurt for added nutrients. Here are a few of my favorite recipes I encourage you to try. Let me know what you think!


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

 

½ cup orange juice
½ cup plain greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup strawberries
2 teaspoon honey

 

Directions:

 

In a blender or a food processor, pour the orange juice and honey. Add yogurt and fruits. Blend until mixed well.

 

Triple Berry Blast Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup orange juice
½ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries
½ cup raspberries

 

Directions:

 

In a blender or food processor, pour orange juice and add fruits. Blend until mixed.

 

Banana Almond Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup almond milk
½ cup vanilla yogurt
2 large bananas
2 teaspoon honey

 

Directions:

 

In a blender or food processor, pour almond milk, yogurt and honey. Add bananas and blend until mixed well. 

 

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

 

¾ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup greek yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

 

Directions:

 

In a blender, combine pomegranate juice and greek yogurt. Add honey, lemon juice and blueberries. Blend until mixed. 

 

Veggie Blend Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

 

1 ¼ cup tomato juice
¼ cup carrot juice
¼ cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ celery stalk
¼ cup spinach
¼ cup parsley

 

Directions:

 

In a blender, pour tomato juice and carrot juice. Combine cucumber, celery, spinach and parsley. Blend until mixed well.

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  • Champ (Thursday, May 19 16 12:51 am EDT)

    No you didn't just put spinich in a smoothie...but I'm going to have to try it now. :-)

  • Heather White (Thursday, May 19 16 04:15 am EDT)

    I sure did! You won't even be able to taste the veggies. You won't be sorry! @Champ

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$5 Dinner Ideas for the Whole Week

 

From preparation to cook time, these meals only take 30 minutes or less to make. They all include protein and carbs balanced with veggies. If you are on a grocery shopping budget, you can get the most bang for your buck with these 5 dollar dinners. 

 

Sunday: Lemon Shrimp and Rice

 

Ingredients:

 

12 oz. frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 lemon
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 clove garlic, sliced
6 cups spinach
½ teaspoon italian seasoning (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

Rinse shrimp. Peel lemon and drain juice over a small bowl. Cook rice according to directions
Over medium heat, in a skillet heat olive oil. Cook garlic in oil for one minute. Add shrimp and cook for 4 minutes
Add spinach, lemon peel, lemon juice and rice. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. 

 

Monday: Beef Pot Roast

 

Ingredients:

 

2 teaspoon dried parsley 
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 boneless beef chuck roast
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions
1 ¾ cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 pound potatoes, sliced
1 pound carrots, sliced

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 350
Combine parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub seasoning all over roast.
Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add roast and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to plate
Combine onions and ¼ cup of water in a pot and cook for 8 minutes
Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Transfer roast back to pot roast for 2 hours
Add potatoes, carrots, onions and cover on low for an additional 45 minutes

 

Tuesday: Fish Tacos

 

Ingredients:

 

2 (6 oz.) packages of tilapia fillets, cut into strips
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon lime juice
½ tablespoon lemon juice
8 flour tortillas
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1 large tomato, chopped
2 onions, diced
½ cup shredded cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 425
Arrange fish on a baking sheet and line with parchment paper
In a mixing bowl, combine cumin, salt and pepper. Sprinkle on both sides of the fish strips
Bake for 9-12 minutes
Move the fish in a bowl and pour lemon and lime juice. Fill tortillas with fish, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and top with cheese, if using. 

 

Wednesday: Pasta with Herb and Tomatoes

 

Ingredients:

1 box of pasta
cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon basil
½ tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

1 Preheat oven to 400
2. Boil water and add pasta until cooked
3. Slice cherry tomatoes in half
4. Combine oil, basil, oregano and tomatoes. Pour mixture on baking sheet
5. Bake for 15-25 minutes
6. Drain pasta and serve with tomato mixture on top

 

Thursday: Honey Lemon Chicken with Rice

 

Ingredients:

 

1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ¼ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoon vegetables pol
4 chicken breasts
½ cup onions, diced
1 cup brown rice
¼ teaspoon pepper

 

Directions:

 

Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken stock and honey in a small bowl and set aside
Pour the vegetable oil in a large pot and heat
Slice the chicken breast and slice vertically and horizontally
Place chicken in a pot and brown each side for 2 ½ minutes
Remove chicken and add onions and saute
Add rice, broth mixture, pepper and chicken to pot
Cover and simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes

 

Friday: Black Bean Chili

 

Ingredients:

 

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 (15 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
¾ cup beef broth
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 cloves of garlic, minced

 

Directions:

 

In a skillet, over medium heat, brown garlic, peppers and onions
Add beans, tomatoes, broth, chili powder, cumin and paprika
Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes


Saturday: Chicken Tomato and Cucumber Salad

 

Ingredients:

 

5 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cucumber
2 tomatoes, sliced
½ cup green olives, pitted and sliced
3 oz. feta cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

 

In a skillet, add olive oil over medium heat
Cut the breast into strips and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Cook for 8-10 minutes
For the dressing, stir together the thyme and vinegar
Serve with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and cheese on top

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Healthy Late Night Snack Ideas


No matter how healthy we try to be, we still end up waking up out of our sleep to sneak in a late night snack. The key for eating before you go to bed and late nights is sticking with very low calorie foods. It’s also a good idea to drink a glass of water before you snack. Here is a list of amazing low calorie snacks you don’t have to feel guilty about eating. Let me know your go to snacks in the comments!

 

whole wheat with cream cheese spread and blackberries and raspberries
pistachios and blackberries
pretzels and almond butter
cucumber and light swiss cheese
kale chips and sea salt
cottage cheese and pepper
dried mango 
tuna sandwich crackers
hardboiled egg
celery with peanut butter
seaweed chips
applesauce (no sugar added)
carrots and hummas
frozen yogurt ice cream
popcorn with honey

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How To Use Chia Seeds

 

What Are Chia Seeds?

 

Chia seeds are considered to be one of the healthiest superfoods in the world. You have most likely heard about these amazing protein packed foods, but they have been around longer than you realize. They are produced by a plant that is part of the mint family and native to both Mexico and Guatemala.

In the mayan language, chia, means “strength”, which is the perfect word to describe these foods. In ancient times, Mayan and Incan warriors consumed these high quality seeds to sustain their energy during travel or battle.

 

Only in recent years, the tiny black seeds have become popular worldwide. Chia seeds are the highest plant based source of protein in the world. They don’t come close to the amount of protein you would get from meat, but are incredibly filling for a non-animal based source. 

 

The Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds

 

Many runners take advantage of these seeds because of their high source of protein, fats and antioxidants. This provides consumers with enough energy to finish their workout strong. Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fats, which has been proved to help reduce inflammation. Regular consumption of these seeds can prevent joint pain and arthritis, while decreasing risks of heart disease.

 

Chia seeds are a healthy and natural supplement that can be used during weight loss due to its high fiber content. Foods that are high in fiber, keep you full for a longer period of time and helps cleanse the colon. You can essentially increase nutritional value to any dish by simply adding chia seeds. You can benefit from the healthy nutrients without feeling guilty. One tablespoon of chia seeds has less than 100 calories, which is enough to fuel your energy for the entire day. All high quality and pure chia seeds are grown organically, which makes them non-GMO foods. This makes them a great alternative for people who are gluten-free and dairy-free. 


The Negative Health Effects of Chia Seeds

 

Although chia seeds have many health benefits, studies that found that some people can develop allergic reactions similar to mustard seeds. These symptoms can include skin rashes, hives, difficulty of breath and more. 

Because chia seeds are high in fiber, overeating them has been known to cause gas and bloating. It’s important to discuss the use of chia seeds with your physician before including them in your diet. 

 

For more chia seed recipes go to http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/chia-seed-recipes/


And for additional information http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/


Chia Seed Recipes

 

Breakfast Egg Muffins

 

Ingredients:

 

1 ½ cup baby spinach, cooked
4 eggs
1 tomato, diced
¼ onion, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoon chia seeds
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 350
Pour olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the onions, mushrooms and spinach
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, vegetables and remaining ingredients
Whisk the egg mixture well until blended
Pour the mixture into muffin tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool

 

Avocado Chia Toast

 

Ingredients:

 

2 slices of whole wheat toast
½ avocado, sliced
10-15 grapes, sliced
10-16 cashews
1 tablespoon chia seeds

 

Directions:

 

Place 4 avocado slices on toasted bread
Add grapes and cashews
Sprinkle chia seeds and serve

 

Blueberry Chia Pudding

 

Ingredients:

 

2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
½ cup chia seeds
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoon raw honey
½ cup almonds
1 cup blueberries

 

Directions:

 

In a mixing bowl, combine almond milk, chia seeds, and honey
Stir until mixed well
Set mixture in fridge overnight 
Stir well and top with blueberries and almonds

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Healthy Chicken Recipes For Weight Loss

 

Chicken is ideal for weight loss because it is low in fat and high in protein. If you’re not a vegetarian, you most likely include this poultry in your diet. I eat a lot of chicken when I’m trying to tone my body for the summer. Not only can you build muscle, but vitamins and minerals in chicken also help boost your immune system. Just make sure you purchase fresh and organic meat and stay away from meat that has been processed with chemicals. Keep reading for healthy chicken recipes for the whole week. These meals don’t require great culinary skill and take 30 minutes or less to prepare. If you have any awesome recipes, leave them in the comments below. 

 

Sunday: One Pan Chicken & Broccoli 

 

Ingredients:

 

½ cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound broccoli
1 yellow sweet pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups chow mein noodles 

 

Directions:

 

For sauce, in a small bowl stir together water, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, ginger, and sesame oil. Set aside.
Cut flowerets from broccoli stems and separate flowerets into small pieces. Cut broccoli stems crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut pepper into short, thin strips.
In a wok or large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir broccoli stems in hot oil for 1 minute. Add broccoli flowerets and sweet pepper; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from wok; set aside.
Add remaining oil to wok or skillet. Add chicken; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir sauce; pour into center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked vegetables to wok. Stir together to coat. Cook and stir 1 minute more or until heated through. Serve over chow mein noodles.


Monday: Balsamic Chicken

 

Ingredients:


2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 large ones cut in half)
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup chopped onions
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed (or 2 cloves raw)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chopped thyme, fresh
½ cup water
1 tablespoons fresh chopped chives (or parsley)


Directions:


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the butter and olive oil on medium high heat in a skillet. Add the chicken breasts season each side with salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to an oven-safe baking dish and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the juice run clear.
When 10 minutes of baking time remain, prepare the balsamic mushrooms. Heat the same skillet used to brown the chicken over medium high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Saute for 1 minute before adding in the roasted garlic; cook for an additional minute. Add the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and chopped thyme. Heat the balsamic vinegar through for 1 minute then add in the ½ cup of water. Continue to cook until the liquid reduces to about half. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve warm with chopped chives or parsley.


Tuesday: Cranberry Chicken Salad

 

Ingredients:


½ cup  lite mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt 
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon dried dill
3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken 
½ cup finely chopped celery or finely chopped apple
⅓ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts (see note)
salt and pepper to taste


Directions:


In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, and dill. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled on bread or lettuce.


Wednesday: Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients:


For the sauce:


6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili paste
the juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon cornstarch


For the chicken:


1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil
450 grams (1 lb) ground lean chicken
40 grams (1/4 cup) lightly salted cashews, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
16 leaves lettuce, for wrapping
Topping (optional):
1 carrot, shredded or finely sliced(I used a spiralizer)
cilantro, finely chopped
lightly salted cashews, coarsely chopped


Directions:


Prepare the sauce. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and break down any big lumps. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is browned.
Add the cashews and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then add the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the green onions, remove from heat and scoop the chicken mixture into the lettuce leaves.
Top with chopped cilantro, cashews, and shredded carrot and serve.


Thursday: Cilantro & Lime Chicken

 

Ingredients:


4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth 
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice 
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons heavy cream2
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

 

Directions:


Preheat oven to 375°F.
If the chicken breasts are uneven in thickness, pound them down so they're all even. This way all the breasts will cook through similtaneously. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning once. You want the chicken nice and browned on the outside. Set chicken on a plate and cover tightly with foil until step 5.
Remove skillet from heat and add the broth, lime juice, onion, cilantro, and red pepper. Return to heat. Cook and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to around 1/4 cup. Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the cream and butter. Stir until butter has melted.
Add chicken to the sauce and place the skillet in the preheated oven. Bake uncovered until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top.

 

Friday: Chicken and Avocado Salad

 

Ingredients:

 

10 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Directions:


Saute the garlic in the olive until golden, add the brown sugar until it is a slight paste over medium heat.  Remove from heat and spread over chicken breasts placed in a greased glass pan.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

 

Saturday: Sweet Garlic Chicken

 

Ingredients:

 

10 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Directions:


Saute the garlic in the olive until golden, add the brown sugar until it is a slight paste over medium heat.  Remove from heat and spread over chicken breasts placed in a greased glass pan.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

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