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

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.

How healthy is your salad?

Salads are healthy right? Of course!

However, what you put in and on top of your salad predicts the out come of if it’s healthy or not.  This morning I read an article about the 7 worst salad offenders out there and thought you – my readers – would enjoy hearing about it.  So I summed up the article for you! 

Check out the worst 7 salad toppings out there:

1) Creamy Dressings
These are probably the worst dressings you can choose. Take ranch dressing, for example, one serving of two tablespoons has 140 calories — and 130 of those calories are coming from FAT. Other dressings like blue cheese, Caesar, parmesan, or chipotle all fall under this category of dressings to avoid. Not only are they loaded with fat, but they also have high levels of sodium and very little nutritional value.

Healthy Alternative: Stick to vinaigrettes — however, you need to be careful because these can also be high in salt content too.  I would recommend using a little olive oil with balsamic vinaigrette for your salads.  Now, are you still wanting, needing, can’t stop thinking about the yummy salad dressing you’re used too?  Have it – but not a lot.  Put some on the side and dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before you put it in the salad. 

2) Glazed Nuts
Nuts are a great addition to your salads – they are a perfect source of healthy fats.  But stay clear of nuts that have been kettle-cooked and glazed with sugar.  So many companies sell glazed walnuts and pecans and so many of you think they’re still okay to eat.  Stores and restaurants prepare salads to go and they include glazed walnuts and pecans sprinkled on top. that is, until they’re kettle-cooked and glazed with sugar. 

Healthy Alternative: Stick to dry-roasted nuts to save on calories. I like to add sliced almonds to my salads, but chopped pistachios, pecans, and walnuts are a good addition too. Remember to not go overboard.  An ounce will do.

3) Crunchy Tortilla Chips or Shells
Wherever Mexican food is sold, people always order something like a “Southwestern Salad” thinking that they’re making the healthier choice by not ordering tacos or other Mexican dishes. They couldn’t be more wrong! These salads are loaded with cheese, creamy dressings, and high-calorie tortilla chips — or worse — served in a tortilla bowl!! So please, just stay far away from these kinds of salads, and especially tortilla chips or shells, from now on.

Healthy Alternative: You can still order a Mexican-inspired salad, just make some modifications. Request balsamic dressing on the side instead of ranch and hold the tortilla chips and cheese, but keep the rest of the healthy goodies like black beans, corn, and tomatoes.

4) Fried Chicken or Shrimp
I always enjoy a serving of protein in my salads, and encourage you to do the same, but steer clear of anything fried. Adding anything fried to your salad just adds unnecessary calories and tons of sodium. It’s not just fried chicken I’m referring to here — this covers fried onions and fried seafood too… well really, anything fried!!  Adding these will turn your salad into one salad that would have the same amount of calories that you should consume in a day – I’m serious. Wouldn’t you rather save your calories for say… dessert? Oh please don’t make me go into healthy desserts! Haha!

Healthy Alternative: If you’re going to add some protein to your salad, choose grilled items only. Consider healthier protein options like shrimp, tuna, eggs, or a veggie burger.

5) Cheese
First let me clarify, cheese isn’t ALL bad. Daily servings of dairy products can boost your body’s fat-burning potential. Studies have shown that dairy-rich diets may help weight loss and the body’s ability to burn fat. Yet when some people add cheese to a salad, they really pile it on — and that’s why it’s on this list. But some cheeses are more nutritional than others, and there are HEALTHY ways to add them to your salad.

Healthy Alternative: Feta is a great choice for salads because it is lower in fat and calories than most cheeses.  If you really need cheese on a salad, buy the “Laughing Cow” cheese triangles and have one.  This helps with portion control.  However, in my opinion, you just don’t need the cheese!!

6) “Craisins”
Craisins, or dried cranberries, are a fruit, so that means they’re good for you, right? Well, not exactly. I know these are a popular item to add onto a salad, and many pre-prepared salads in stores like Walmart and Metro have these ingredients as a topping. But really, they have more sugar than you may realize. Craisins and raisins, are called “nature’s candy” for a reason! Though they are fat-free and relatively low calorie at 130 for a ¼ cup — they’re full of sugar — 29 grams to be exact.

Healthy Alternative: If you can’t give ’em up, I suggest counting them out and only adding 10 or so to your salad. Otherwise, why not add other seasonal fruits to sweeten up your salads? My favourite is adding a mix of diced apple with almonds!! It’s tasty – try it!

7) Croutons
Croutons are an easy way to ruin your salad by adding refined carbohydrates. Croutons from a popular brand are about 30 calories for just six pieces. Do most people put only six croutons on their salad? Not likely. These toppings can also have high sodium levels depending on how they’re prepared.

Healthy Alternative: There is no alternative – you do not need bread put on a salad, simple as that.

Hope you benefited from reading this and I hope you are enjoying your long weekend!!

Danielle

Should you eat before a workout?

MYTH: Never Eat Before a Workout

The Truth: You should always eat something before exercising so your body has enough fuel to power through your workout.

The rationale behind this widely accepted myth is that forgoing food before exercise will force your body to burn more fat during your workout. This is a big, fat lie: Starving yourself before exercising can actually be detrimental to your body. Let’s get to the bottom of this fitness myth once and for all.

You need sugar to exert energy. Your body needs a certain amount of sugar for fuel when training. When that blood sugar is not there, your body will convert your own muscle tissue into energy. A recent study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal looked at cyclists who ate before they trained versus those who fasted before they trained. The amount of fat burn was the same for both groups, but those who had trained without eating first had 10 percent of their calorie burn come from protein — including their own muscle mass. You’re trying to buildmuscle, not eat away at it!

Your body needs energy to perform at a high intensity.You know I’m always saying that I want you to work out as hard as you can for as long as you can. How can you do that if you haven’t properly fueled your body? Think about it this way: Would you drive a car without gas? Use your iPhone without charging it? Nope and nope. If you haven’t eaten anything, your workout won’t be as intense as if you’d fueled up beforehand, not to mention that you’ll likely suffer from low blood sugar, which will make you dizzy and sluggish.

You don’t need to gorge yourself; a healthy snack will do the trick. I suggest you eat something 45 minutes to an hour before training — you’ll have more energy and endurance to work harder, burn more calories, and improve your muscle tone. Aim for something with carbohydrates and protein. Here are a few quick, healthy ideas: a whey shake, low-fat yogurt with berries, or a banana or apple slices with natural almond butter.

The Bottom Line:

You should always eat something before a workout. I’m not suggesting you pig out. A small, healthy snack consisting of carbohydrates and protein will properly fuel your body for a killer workout.

What exactly are processed foods?

Processed foods are a major contributor to weight gain, and they can harm your health in many ways, which is why it is imperative that you know how to spot them and avoid them.

Processed food is anything that has been altered from its natural state. It can be fruit that has been canned and blasted with chemical preservatives to make it last longer; it can be dehydrated fruits or vegetables, canned soda, or oils that have been chemically altered (hydrogenated) to increase their shelf life and enhance their flavor. It’s also those pesky refined grains. Regardless of how they are used, most of the time these processed foods have been stripped of a large part of their true nutritional content. Some processed foods, however — like frozen or prechopped veggies — can be a godsend, saving us time when cooking. They may not be as ideal as food bought in season from a local farmers’ market, but I’m a realist, and whole processed foods help us walk the right path to healthier lives.

The bad processed foods are those that are made with refined grains, vegetable oils, and added sugar. The thing about processed foods is that they can be harmful in many different ways. For example, you might think you’re eating healthy by having a salad with bottled fat-free ranch dressing, and you’d never even think about the fact that the dressing contains chemical flavor enhancers, such as MSG. Nonorganic processed meats often contain sodium nitrate and nitrite, which may contribute to colon cancer and metabolic syndrome. But you probably don’t think about that as you patiently wait for your number to be called at the deli counter. Are you starting to see the big picture?

The reality is, it’s a lot easier to talk about avoiding processed foods than to actually avoid them! Look at it positively: Eating more whole foods means eating the things we were meant to eat in the first place — things that have a real life and have a “mother.” We should be eating fresh fruits, vegetables, organic lean meats, organic dairy, and whole grains. All that other stuff is full of empty calories that will do nothing but hinder our ability to reach a state of maximum health and wellness.

If you shop at an all-organic market or food co-op, you’re already taking a step in the right direction; however, you still need to look out for processed foods. Check the labels on all the foods you buy. If you see any ingredients that look questionable, don’t buy the food! If you see an unpronounceable list of ingredients that look like gibberish, put the item back on the shelf! Go with foods that are truly natural and contain minimal ingredients. More specifically, don’t buy anything containing:

  • Anything not 100 percent whole wheat
  • Trans fats or hydrogenated oils
  • Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup
  • A chemical
  • MSG
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Sodium nitrate or nitrite
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium benzoate

MONDAY MYTH BUSTER

MYTH: Never Eat Before Bed

The Truth: It doesn’t matter what time you eat — the only thing that matters is the amount of calories you’re consuming.

We all have crazy schedules these days, so rules of how to dictate what time you eat can be pretty hard to follow. Is it really necessary to restrict your meals to certain times to lose weight? Keep reading to watch me bust this myth once and for all.

Calories don’t tell time. This myth stems from the long-rumored belief that you should stop eating two hours before you go to sleep. Has any reputable expert ever stated that this myth is fact? No, simply because it’s a bunch of B.S. You don’t gain more fat from the calories you consume if you eat them at 9 p.m. versus 7 p.m. Like I stated above, calories don’t tell time! You will consume the same amount of calories whether you eat them earlier or later, and your body will digest those calories the exactsame way.

Late-night meals can lead to overeating. The one caveat of this myth is that when people eat later at night, they tend to consume more calories. Late-night eating is associated with obesity because if you’re waiting to eat until very late, you may wind up overeating. It may be that you’re a late-night snacker and your snack choices and quantities get out of control, or you eat a really late dinner and wind up splurging on a gluttonous dessert. Yet remember, it’s the food that is making you fat in this case, not the fact that you’re eating before bed. If you must eat later at night, plan your meals out ahead of time and don’t eat more than you intended.

Eating late at night may cause you to skip breakfast.  Another thing that happens when you eat late at night is that you might still feel full the following morning. This could result in you skipping breakfast. As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and study after study has supported that fact. A healthy breakfast helps you reduce your hunger throughout the day and gives you energy. If you skip breakfast, you’ll end up ravenous at lunchtime and eat way more calories than intended. So even if you eat late at night and wake up still feeling relatively full, have a light breakfast like a piece of fruit with nuts or a low-fat Greek yogurt — it will help to control your hunger throughout the rest of the day!

The Bottom Line:

You’ll consume the same amount of calories whenever you decide to eat — yet when some people eat late at night, they’re more likely to over eat and skip breakfast the next day. Keep that in mind and plan your meals out ahead of time, and avoid overeating by stopping eating when you are full!