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

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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

LOVE yourself Healthy

Many people eat the way I used to eat.  They’re compulsive bingers, not because they’re hungry.. its because they’re emotionally hungry.  Some suffer from being overweight and have spent so much time to try to “fix” their eating routines.  But it’s hard, I know.  I know some feel their lives are complete chaos, due to food.

Do you love yourself enough to learn to make better choices?  Do you truly feel worth it to do so?  I have decided to write this blog to help you learn to love yourself and live the happy life you deserve.

Silly question, but what does it mean to love yourself?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to find that exact answer.  But I think sometimes it means to have self-respect, self-confidence, keeping your body healthy, and believing in yourself.  KNOWING you can do whatever you put your mind too.  If you don’t love yourself, I believe that life will always be hard to live, agree?

What do I think self love is?  I believe that self love keeps us from getting sick.  As a working definition, self love is any action we take for our physical, mental, and spiritual enhancement.

I’ve been reading a book, “Just 10lbs” and this is where I got the idea for this blog entry.  In this book, the author – Brad Lamm – stated different examples of some self love.  So I will pass on some examples of self love to you, my readers.  Can you relate to any of these?

  • I eat body honouring foods.
  • I take care of my body and my health by healthy choices and fitness.
  • I don’t ignore my needs at the expense of others.
  • I’ve shed the need for approval or recognition.  I am not who others think I should be.
  • I focus on body’s assets, rather than it’s liabilities.
  • I avoid self-criticism.
  • I concentrate on where I am now and where I want to go.
  • I reward and praise myself after any and all achievements.
  • I focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses.
  • I love my body and everything it does for me.
  • I value the spiritual side of life.
  • I don’t procrastinate, I know that accomplishment is the result of activity.
  • I believe I deserve to have what I want.
  • I view myself as a winner who sees every circumstance, good or bad, as an opportunity.
  • I experience joyful days.

Now, if you’re like me and read through these statements you may have felt a bit overwhelmed.  There are some of these that I know I need to work on, in fact, many of them.  The way I look at it, if you’re enacting even a couple of these points, you’re doing great.  The more you can add over time.. the better, right?

I can tell you this, this journey on the way to self love definitely follows a crazed, twisted, bumpy road.  Please don’t sit there and be thinking that you can’t do this, or you don’t have enough time to take care of yourself.  I promise you, it will not take long.  That’s the beauty of it, it’s simple.  Once you apply positivity, you’ll gain insight into yourself and you’ll suddenly understand why you’ve been acting and reacting the way you have.  

I believe that no matter how crappy you feel currently about yourself, please..start acting like you love yourself.  Sometimes you have to fake it before it actually becomes the real deal.  Sounds silly I know.. but it works.  What do I mean by faking it and acting?  Well you will be taking on the mind set of what you wish to become and allow and encourage your behaviours to follow.  If you practice long enough, your acting is no longer acting, it’s true love.

Now what’s the next step?  Well.  I suggest practice loving yourself with simple actions.  Pamper yourself with little things every day. For example: snuggle up with a cup of tea and curl up with a favourite book.  Dance around to your favourite music, have a nice hot bubble bath.  Pick up a flower at the local florist, one that you love.  This way, every time you look at it, it makes you smile.  

Before you can actually succeed with this, you need to decide for yourself that you ARE INDEED worth loving.  Pretty much, this is a “just do it” kind of thing really.  This isn’t something you can do merely just to please your parents, your spouse, your boyfriend, your best friend or ANY ONE other than YOURSELF!!  If it’s not for you, it won’t happen.

Do it with me, right now, declare today “From now on, no matter how tough life may be or how imperfect I may feel, I am going to honestly love myself.”  Did you do it?  I did.  So from now on, we’re working on loving ourselves.

We need to start practicing listening to our inner voices to ensure we discover the ways and means of achieving self love.  All too often we are our own harshest critics and truthfully we are more judgemental towards ourselves than anyone in our lives.  These thoughts will definitely stand in the way of achieving what we want the most in our lives.  This includes a healthy body and healthy mind.  Negative thoughts are unproductive and hinders success.  It can make us feel hopeless.  However, if you’re continually thinking positively, it produces the opposite: HOPEFULness.  Change starts within, and what better place to address negativity than in our head and hearts?

We need to start asking ourselves loving questions such as “Why not me?  What’s good about this situation that I’m probably overlooking?  What actions can I take right now to improve my weight?  Even though I’ve got some weight to lose, what am I thankful for in my life right now?”  We do not want to focus on the unloving questions.  A couple of these are “Why can’t I ever lose weight?  How did I screw up so badly?  What can’t I stop this terrible habit?”

Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave and relate.  Everything we think and do is generated by questions.  Questions can push us into new territories, help us reach greater goals, and trigger positive life change.  Questions are truly magical, but we must know how to ask the right questions.

So lets start thinking positively about ourselves instead of negatively okay?  I can go on and on about this topic, but I don’t want to bore you.  Lets just think about this entry as a first step to self love..a first step to Loving yourself healthy.

Until next time, thank you 🙂 

15 of the WORST “Diet Tips”

Came across this article on the MSN website.  Found it pretty interesting, thought I’d share.

Here are 15 of the worst diet tips you can believe:

1. Fat makes you fat!!: Fats in chips, cookies, and greasy foods can increase cholesterol and your risk for certain diseases. But good fats, like nuts, avocados, and salmon, protect your heart and support your overall health

2. Stop snacking to lose weight. Eating in small, frequent amounts is a great way to curb hunger, control portion sizes, and make better nutritional choices, says Mike Clancy, CDN, a personal trainer at David Barton’s Gym in New York City. ‘Smarter snacks like nuts, fruits, and yogurt will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.’

3. A calorie is a calorie—and you should count them. ‘Not all calories are the same,’ says Clancy. ‘The type of calories, the timing of the calories, and the quality of the calories can significantly alter the effect of the calories on the body,’ he says. ‘Food creates reactions within our bodies and the type of food you eat is an important component in diets.’

For example, 50 calories of an apple will cause a different internal reaction than 50 calories of cheesecake, says Clancy. ‘The quality of the calories is also important because the chemicals, hormones, and general byproducts that are found within processed food effects the absorption of real nutrients.’ Quality calories are nutrient dense, like spinach. Calories that don’t contain any nutrients—also known as ’empty’ calories—are like the ones found in French fries.

Bottom line: Calories are important for understanding portion control, but they’re not the only factor in good nutrition, says Clancy.

4. Load up on protein.

Why that’s BS: Sorry, caveman lovers: eating lots of protein is not the key to healthy weight loss. Why? The body needs three macronutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat, says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and author of the forthcoming The One One One Diet (published by Rodale, which also publishes Prevention), and focusing exclusively on protein for weight loss makes no sense. ‘You not only deprive your body of fibre and other antioxidants found in healthy carbohydrates—whole grains, fruits, and veggies—but you also run the risk of eating too much fat in your diet which can lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides.”

5. You burn more calories working out on an empty stomach.

Why that’s BS: Working out with or without food in your stomach doesn’t affect calorie burn—but skipping meals before sweat sessions may result in muscle loss, finds a study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. And before you settle for a sports drink, know this: While a quick sip of sugar energizes your muscles, the drink’s other artificial additives can be harmful to your health, says Sanda Moldovan, DDS, MS, CNS, a diplomat of the American Academy of Periodontology.

Instead, go for naturally sweet fruit, like bananas, peaches, and mangos before your sweat session. Or try an ounce of dark chocolate for the same caffeine fix you get from a half cup of coffee. ‘Chocolate also contains feel-good substances, called neurotransmitters, which are the same release during a ‘runner’s high,’ ‘ says Moldova

6. Eat every 2 hours to rev your metabolism.

Why that’s BS: Going four or five (or even eight!) hours between normally-sized meals will not make your metabolism slow down, says Monica Reinagel, MS, a nutritionist based in Baltimore. ‘Eating more frequently may help stave off hunger, which can help you fight temptation. But if you want to do this, you have to be careful to keep your meals and snacks really small,’ she says. ‘Otherwise, eating every 2 hours can simply lead to taking in too many calories over the course of the day.’

7. Swear off forbidden foods.

Why that’s BS: ‘We tend to be in ‘all or nothing’ mode when we diet and never seem to find a middle ground,’ says Batayneh. ‘You have to realize that you can’t have pizza, French fries, and chocolate cake all in the same day, but—with careful planning—you can enjoy these foods when they are presented to you. Just don’t go for seconds and share if you can.’ In fact, research shows that moderately indulging in ‘forbidden foods’ is what keeps people from bingeing on the stuff.

8. Drink your fruits and veggies.

Why that’s BS: While shoving five servings of fruits and vegetables into a juicer seems like a simple and efficient way to get the daily recommended amounts, it comes at a cost, says Batayneh. ‘Unfortunately, juicing fruits and vegetables removes one of their most valuable components: fibre. Found in the pulp, skin and seeds, fibre’s list of benefits ranges from filling you up to maintaining stable blood sugar levels.’ If you’re juicing more sweet stuff (fruit and carrots) than green stuff you’re also going to seriously spike your sugar. (Some juicers allow you to keep in the pulp, so that’s another option.)

9. Eat as few calories as possible.

Why that’s BS: ‘Ugh, awful tip,’ says Chrissy Carroll, MPH, RD, founder of Inspired Wellness Solutions, LLC. ‘When you cut your calories too low, your body acts as if it’s going into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down.’ But a reasonable goal, adds Carroll, is to cut approximately 500 calories each day through diet and exercise, which will lead to a healthy rate of weight loss of one pound per week

10. Say no to nuts.

Why that’s BS: Yes, nuts are calorie dense, but that doesn’t mean they can’t—or shouldn’t—easily be incorporated into a healthy diet when eaten in proper portions, says Carroll. A 2011 study in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition backs this up, with researchers finding that nut consumers, especially tree-nut consumers (think almonds, pecans and pistachios) had a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference compared to non-consumers.

Your move: remove a less nutrient-dense food from your meal plan and incorporate heart-healthy nuts instead.

11. Schedule regular detoxes.

Why that’s BS: ‘Your digestive system, kidneys, and liver are all actually fairly amazing at ‘detoxing’ your body on a regular basis,’ says Carroll. ‘There’s no need for special cleanses or juices.”

12. Eschew fatty egg yolks.

Why that’s BS: Let’s crack this case for good: A study from the University of Connecticut found that eating dietary cholesterol through egg yolks can actually boost a person’s HDL, or ‘good,’ cholesterol. ‘Compared to egg whites, which offer nothing more than protein, the egg yolk contains 100% of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K,’ says Batayneh. ‘They also contain choline, which boosts brain and liver health, as well as reduces inflammation.’

In a way, eggs are the perfect food, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, manager of wellness nutrition services for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. ‘Enjoying them in moderation—less than 4 to 6 per week—is a perfectly healthy option.’

13. Your burn more calories eating your food raw.

Why that’s BS: ‘Many studies show that cooking method—heating, grilling, and microwaving, etc—makes a nutritional difference,’ says Kirkpatrick. ‘So while some food may be best eaten raw, that’s not the case for all foods.’

Oh, and if the whole myth about ‘negative calories’ (you know, the dubious idea that just the act of eating certain foods burns more calories then you actually take in from those foods) draws you to raw foods, think again. ‘Some foods do require more energy to digest than others, but to live on these so called ‘negative calorie foods’ results in unsustainable weight loss and can also slow your metabolism down, as well as break down muscle,’ says Batayneh

14. Too much sugary fruit makes you fat.

Why that’s BS: The sugar in fruit is not what makes you fat, since it’s unprocessed sugar found in its most natural state, says Psota. ‘Also, cutting fruit out of your diet is a poor choice because of all the fibre that you would be missing. Fibre keeps you full and the nutrients in the fruit nourish your body, which far outweighs the concern of natural sugar that you are consuming when eating, say, an apple.’

15. Chew mint gum to eat less.

Why that’s BS: Not to burst your bubble, but the lingering taste of mint can actually reduce the palatability of healthy food, finds researchers from the University of Buffalo. That means that when you spit the gum out and go for a snack, that candy bar’s likely to look—and taste—a lot more appealing than a carrot.