Apple Nachos

Autumn is upon us and it’s my FAVOURITE time of the year.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE apple picking with my family.
I was browsing the internet to find some delicious snack recipes for my clients, and I found this one that I thought maybe you all would enjoy.

It’s a healthy spin on Nachos.  It’s perfect as well if you’re following a Paleo lifestyle.
Check it out below!
I’m definitely going to try it out.  I found this on the Paleo Grubs website.

nachos

Ingredients

• Apples
• Fresh lemon juice
• Almond butter
• Chocolate chips
• Unsweetened shredded coconut
• Sliced almonds

Instructions

1. Slice apples and toss with the lemon juice in a large bowl
2. Arrange the apples in a plate and drizzle with almond butter. You can use a pastry/piping bag or a ziploc bag to drizzle the almond butter.
3. Sprinkle with shredded coconut, chocolate chips and sliced almonds

Enjoy!! I know I will!

Danielle

10 Foods that aid in Weight Loss

Cucumbers
Although cucumbers offer only modest nutritional benefits (a bit of vitamin C, A, and some fibre), this vegetable goes a long way in bulking up a salad, and it easily makes you feel full by ingesting little calories. Cucumbers are also great for if you have a craving for a crunchy snack.  Just slice them up with the skin on instead of reaching for those chips!

Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a delicious and nutritious snack, breakfast side or salad topping. But researchers have also discovered that eating a grapefruit daily can help you lose weight.

Lentils
Lentils are packed with fibre, folate and magnesium AND they are fat free.  They can be a great part to your healthy eating routine.  You can prepare them many ways and feel satisfied minus all the calories and saturated fat that comes with eating meat.

Oats
Oats and oatmeal are high in fibre, which helps you feel full – and satisfied – longer. Plus consumption of whole grains has been shown to aid in weight loss. For the best benefits, fill up on oatmeal for breakfast – try steel-cut oats if you’ve got the time, or instant oatmeal if you prefer to eat at work (just try to pick the sugar-free kinds and add your own sweeteners).

Foods with shells
If you LOVE to snack on salty foods, foods with their natural shells on can help you slow down and savour what you’re eating while curbing the craving. For instance, unsalted pistachio nuts, walnuts in the shell, peanuts, and edamame in the pod can help you curb your cravings for saltier, unhealthier junk food. Plus, you’re not as likely to overeat if you have to work for your reward.

Apples
Apples can help you satisfy sugar cravings for less calories. Whether eaten fresh as a mid-afternoon snack in the office or baked for dessert, these nutritional powerhouses will help fill you up and keep you slim.  Try slicing up your apple and sprinkling cinnamon on top – it’s delicious!  Seriously, now I’m here at work craving it.

Eggs
What can I say about eggs?  They are very nutritious and they only have – on average – 70ish calories, 6-7grams of protein and they contain almost every single essential vitamin you need in a day.  They are affordable and part of a healthy weight loss plan.  I recommend boiling up eggs so you have hard-boiled eggs ready to go for a snack or as post workout fuel.

Almonds
All nuts are healthy and loaded with good fats and other nutrients, but almonds are the one to go for when you’re trying to lose weight. They’re lower in calories and the protein and fat content will help keep cravings at ease.

Dark chocolate
Ok, hold on…. now when I see that chocolate is healthy for me I get excited.  But, then I remember… DARK CHOCOLATE. LOL.  Now, they are not low in calories OR low in fat.. however, dark chocolate still has to major things going for it. First, believe it or not – it’s very hard to eat large quantities of real, high-quality dark chocolate as compared to its milky sibling….mmmmmmm milk chocolate; and second, it’s very high in health-promoting antioxidants. It’s no diet food, but eating a few small squares to fight off a craving of a potentially much larger scarfing of, say, a piece of chocolate cake with icing, is well worth the modest calorie intake.

Vegetable soups
One of the biggest trends in weight loss research is the concept of calorie density – the idea is that your body pays more attention to the amount of space your food takes up in your stomach than it does to the amount of calories you’re consuming. So by eating lots of foods with a low calorie density, you’ll be satisfying your hunger for less. Vegetable soups (and we’re not talking cream of broccoli) are one great option – serve them as a starter or a light meal and just watch how quickly you feel full.  However WATCH YOUR SODIUM INTAKE.  If you’re going to eat soups – drink PLENTY of lemon water.. from REAL lemons.. not the concentrated lemon juice you find in the fancy lemon containers.

Source: http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/10_foods_that_will_help_you_lose_weight.php

Hope you all enjoyed this!

Please feel free to share!

~Danielle

Apple Oatmeal Recipe

In this healthy oatmeal recipe, cook apples into your morning oatmeal and you’ll start the day right with whole grains and a serving of fruit.

Apple Oatmeal Recipe

Makes: 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 crisp apples, divided
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

PREPARATION

  1. Shred 2 apples using the large holes of a box grater, leaving the core behind.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oats and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add water and the shredded apples; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the remaining 2 apples.
  4. After the oats have cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the chopped apples, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the oatmeal is quite thick, 15 to 20 minutes more. Divide the oatmeal among 4 bowls. Top each portion with 2 tablespoons yogurt and 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Shopping Tip: Choose unbruised, firm apples with smooth skin. Store for up to 4 months in the refrigerator.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 207 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 10 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 166 mg sodium; 234 mg potassium.

10 Questions You’ve Always Had about Water

You’ve heard it over and over; water is key to a variety of health benefits, including beautiful skin, proper muscle and joint function, and improved mood.  How many of the statements you’ve heard are actually true though? Here are 10 common questions surrounding water, and whether they’re popular answers are fact or fiction. See how many you thought you knew!

1- Does everyone need 8 cups of water a day?

Drinking 8 glasses a day is not a rule set in stone. The truth is that fluid needs vary from person to person. Factors like weight, exercise levels, climate, and the quantity of water-rich foods you eat (usually food provides about 20% of your hydration needs) all play a role. Divide your body weight in pounds by two for a general estimate of the amount of ounces you should drink per day. For cups, divide that number by 8. 

2- Is plain water the perfect source of hydration?

While plain water is a smart choice for hydration, it is not the only option you have. Most fluids like flavoured water, tea, green tea, coffee, fruit and vegetable juices, sports drinks and hydrating foods like cucumbers and melons count too! Note that not all fluids hydrate. Alcohol, for example, dehydrates you (dehydration is one of the symptoms of a hangover) and is calorie-dense and usually nutrient-empty, as are most pops and sugary beverages.

While water is calorie-free and and has no additives, depending on your needs the other options provide benefits as well. Sports drinks, for example, are helpful to athletes exercising for prolonged periods of time. Tea and coffee may provide the caffeine jolt you need to curb a headache. Flavoured water is a simple way to add antioxidants from fruit to otherwise plain water. Choose the best option for you.

3- Will drinking water help me lose weight?

This statement is true, but probably not for the reasons you think. Water itself does not cause weight loss, but replacing calorie-rich fluids like pop and juices with water decreases calorie intake, which does cause weight loss. Sipping on water instead of snacking helps save calories as well.

4- Should I drink before or after a meal?

As a child, I was constantly told not to drink with my meals because then I wouldn’t be hungry. Some also believe that water dissolves the stomach’s digestive juices, resulting in poorly digested food. In reality, water actually aids in digestion, and while it is true that it fills you up, this is beneficial for those of us trying to eat less. Moderation is key, of course. Instead of guzzling down glass after glass throughout a meal, take small sips to slow down your eating pace, help avoid overeating, break down food, and aid in digestion. Water consumption is particularly important when consuming a fiber-rich meal too, as it will help avoid constipation!

5- Will water make me gain weight?

On the opposite side of the spectrum, most of us experience weight gain with increased water intake. Luckily, weight fluctuations due to water (and food!) are natural and the water weight (not fat!) gained will eventually be lost. Water also reduces bloating, which can reflect a drop on the scale too.  Avoid scale induced frustration by weighing yourself on the same scale at the same time each week.

6- Does lemon water help burn more calories?

Speeding up your metabolism is one way to burn more calories, but a glass of water with squeezed lemon won’t do the trick. While the vitamin C content may benefit your immune system, your metabolism won’t be directly affected as it is by thermogenic foods. Enjoy lemon water as a flavorful alternative to plain water, but don’t count on it  as a primary way to shed pounds!

7- Can I drink too much water?

Believe it or not, you can, although this occurrence is very rare. It is known as water intoxication and characterized by excess fluid in the body’s cells. The excess causes sodium to be diluted and your homeostatic concentration gradient to be thrown off. The average person should not worry about water intoxication as long as they don’t consume large volumes all at once. At risk are infants who drink too much for their kidneys to process, athletes who drink too much water after sweating out electrolytes, and people with health conditions like high blood pressure, edema, and kidney problems.

8- Is bottled water the safest to drink

A bottled water craze has taken storm in developing and first-world countries alike due to concern for contaminants. The concern is justified when you’re using the water for everything from washing your hands to cooking a meal. The safety of tap water does depend on where you live though. Canadian drinking water is among the safest in the world, and any contaminants (like lead) are quickly detected through close monitoring of supplies. If you’re still concerned, a simple water filter may help (and save you money!).

9- Will I know when I’m dehydrated?

Yes. Thirst is an early sign of possible dehydration, but it does not mean that you are already dehydrated. You feel thirst (and can sometimes mistake it for hunger) when your water balance is anywhere from 1 to 5 percent off homeostasis levels. Consciously sipping on fluids throughout the day should be enough to avoid this and other progressive signs of dehydration like feeling cranky, tired, or having a headache. This is especially important for older adults, as their sense of thirst may be dulled.

10- Does water cleanse and hydrate my body from the inside?

Vibrant skin and inner cleansing are two perceived benefits surrounding water intake that are not completely unfounded. Sufficient water does aid the kidneys in their function of cleansing toxins and expelling them through urine. The more often you drink, the more often toxins will be expelled. This cleansing effect may also contribute to youthful skin, but outside factors like climate, quantity of oil glands, and moisturizing play a bigger role.

 

9 Appetite Suppressants

Here are nine that can either help curb your appetite or delay the return of hunger—and they won’t make you miserable:

Eat more fat
It may seem counterintuitive, but eating more fat is a smart weight-loss strategy—as long as it’s the right kind.  Oleic acid, a “good” fat, helps trigger the small intestine to produce oleoylethanolamide, a compound that finds its way to nerve endings and transmits a hunger-curbing message to the brain. Great sources include nuts, avocado and extra virgin olive oil. Bonus: fat also delays stomach emptying, which keeps you fuller longer.

Cut your food into smaller pieces
By cutting food into smaller pieces boosts satiety more than eating one larger piece of food with the same number of calories. College students given a whole bagel ate more of it and downed more calories at a subsequent meal than those who were served the same bagel sliced into four pieces. Test this trick on yourself, or reach for “loose” foods, that naturally provide more, smaller pieces per serving, like grape tomatoes, berries, grapes, popcorn, nuts and seeds.

Get an endorphin rush
In addition to burning calories and revving up metabolism, exercise can restore the sensitivity of neurons involved in satiety, which in turn, naturally curbs food consumption. Even a walk will do. Taking a 15 minute walk, rather than a 15 minute break, cut snacking at work by 50%.

Use your senses
Incorporating fragrant seasonings into each meal, like fresh grated ginger, fresh mint, cinnamon, rosemary and basil is a grey way to make food more enjoyable. In addition to adding flavor and antioxidants, aromatic foods may also help you eat less. In one study, when subjects had the ability to control their own dessert portions, they ate 5-10% less of stronger smelling selections.

Reach for rye
Whole grains are hot, but whole rye foods may cause you to nibble less than their whole wheat counterparts. Research shows that rye triggers a lower insulin response, boosts post-meal fullness, and results in naturally eating less at the following meal. The easiest way to enjoy rye is in the form of crackers, but it’s also being incorporated into more foods, like rye pasta, and rye flakes, an oatmeal alternative.

Rely on your memory
Scientists from the University of Birmingham looked at how remembering the same day’s lunch influenced the amount of salty or sweet snacks eaten later in the day. Volunteers who were asked to recall their lunch, versus their commute, ate less of the treats they were allowed to nosh on in unlimited amounts.

Start the day right
You’ve been hearing it since you were in grade school, but breaking the fast, the origin of the word breakfast, is a rule to live by. In addition to jump-starting your metabolism, a morning meal has a ripple effect on your intake. Breakfast skippers eat 40% more sweets, 55% more pop, 45% fewer vegetables and 30% less fruit than those who eat breakfast. In addition, breakfast skippers are 4.5 times more likely to be overweight. For the best balance, aim for a combo of fruit, whole grain, lean protein, and healthy fat.

Slow down
If you tend to eat on-the-go and gobble down your food, work on s-l-o-w-i-n-g it down. Eating too quickly curtails the release of hormones that induce feelings of fullness, which can trigger mindless overeating. Slow eaters take in about four times fewer calories per minute, and experience a higher level of satiety, despite eating less food. To get on board, put your utensil or food down between every bite, take a deep breath, and stop eating when you feel you’ve had just enough, even if you haven’t cleaned your plate.

Set the mood
Soft lighting and music aren’t just for romance – they also help rein in eating. Under these conditions, restaurant diners rated their meals as more enjoyable and consumed 18% less, enough to result in losing between 10 and 20 pounds over a year’s time.

There you go – now go try some of these!
Have a great Tuesday.

Read the Fine Print on the Labels

Ever been told to “read the fine print” before signing a contract? It’s a warning to check for loop holes and problematic terms before committing to something, right?

Well, it’s a crummy fact of life but many things don’t come as advertised. Packaged foods are no exception. Many items that are billed as healthy on the front label, reveal another story when you check out the ingredients on the back.

Don’t be fooled by advertising. Avoid bad choices and be on the alert for these common food label traps:

  • Fat Free: Fat-free foods can be higher in carbs than their regular counterparts and may have almost as many calories. Fat-free cookies are a perfect example. Fat-free is not necessarily a better choice. Read your labels carefully.
  • Serving Size: If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. You cannot use half a bottle of butter spray and still think you’re getting zero calories and zero grams of fat! It’s true that per serving it’s just that, but spray your entire bowl of popcorn and you’ve got way more calories and fat than you intended.
  • Trans fats: While you’re being smart looking at the packaging that says “trans fat-free,” check the ingredient list to see if it contains partially hydrogenated oil. You may think your meal is in the clear because of the outside packaging, and while it’s technically true if you only eat one serving, you’d be eating the nasty trans fat too if you’re going for more than one serving — something you’re supposed to avoid at all costs!

Be cautious and keep yourself informed!  You will spend a lot of time reading labels at first. It will get easier though — trust me. Once you’re familiar with a particular product’s label you’ll know if it’s a good choice in the future. Then you’ll be down to reading the labels on new products. Having said that, don’t assume that the products you buy every week will always be a good choice. Companies do change their product formulas, serving sizes, etc. So if a favourite product suddenly has a new look, read the back carefully.

How to get started!

How do you get started? It looks like you already have. The simple fact is that you can change your life by changing your mind. Nothing is impossible for the willing mind! We all have the power to gain control of our lives, reach our goals, and live our dreams. The challenge is locating, nurturing, and believing in your ability to do so.

You’ve worked out before, and you have some experience with eating right. But now you’re ready to take things up a notch and get the body you’ve always wanted. Here’s what you should do:

1. Clean the crap out of your cupboards.So you think you know how to eat healthfully? Let’s see…how many boxes of crackers and bags of chips do you have lying around? How often do you cook white rice or refined pasta? Processed foods contain more endocrine disruptors (Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans) than you can shake a stick at, and youwant them out of your life.

2. Replace it with whole foods. Fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains should be the focus of your diet.

3. Get on board with strength training. Let me guess: Whenever you’ve tried to lose weight in the past, you’ve done cardio…and more cardio, and more cardio. Cardio is great (in fact, I encourage it as “extra credit” toward weight loss), but it doesn’t help you maintain metabolism-boosting muscle and it doesn’t burn as many calories as circuit-training.

4. Know your target heart rate. To get the maximum calorie burn in the shortest possible time, I recommend exercising at a high intensity — 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.  To find out your target heart rate just visit this site:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/healthtool-target-heart-rate-calculator

5. Keep track of what you eat. The formula for weight loss is simple: You need to burn more calories than you eat. That means you need to be aware of how many calories you put into your body so you can stay on track. I personally keep a food diary.  I record everything that goes in my mouth.  Pretty much if you eat it, record it.  I like the old fashion way, just writing it in a food journal, but I know many people who use Apps on their smart phones.  Apps such as “My Fitness Pal” and “Lose It”  Both these apps have thousands of foods that have already been added with their nutrition information.

6. Evaluate your habits. If you’ve tried to lose weight before but weren’t successful, ask yourself what was standing in your way. Are you an emotional eater? Do you take an all-or-nothing approach that sets you up for failure?  What I’ve done in the past is keep record of when you eat when NOT hungry.  I mean, if you get stressed out and find that you’re turning to food, write it down.  Write down the date/time and how you’re currently feeling.  This will help you realize how you’re feeling when you turn to food.  It’ll help evaluate if you’re actually hungry or if you’re hunger is triggered by something else.

The first thing you need to understand is how your emotions and your behaviors affect your weight. You need to commit all your mental resources toward change. Learn how to take control of negative self-image and poor self-esteem through journaling, positive affirmations, visualization, and behavior-modification techniques. It’s also important to build a support system and communicate with your family and friends so they know what you need and how best to support you. Identify temptations and “trigger foods” (foods that you have a hard time controlling) in your life so you can modify your daily routine and behavior. Next, you must learn how and what to eat. Learn how to make healthier choices and find out what the right types of foods are for your individual metabolism. Then educate yourself about calories. How many is your body burning daily? How many are in the foods you are eating? How many do you burn when you exercise? Starting to get the picture? Weight loss is simple math. A pound is 3,500 calories — so to lose a pound you will need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. It’s “calories in” versus “calories out.”

This is where the exercise comes in. Exercise is the best way to get those “calories out” and burn fat. Get yourself acquainted with exercise. Find out the most effective ways to work out in order to burn the most calories. It’s also important to learn where your heart rate should be when doing resistance training and cardio, the proper form and purpose for each exercise you perform, and how to modify and progress your fitness routine to prevent plateau.