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

Drink coffee?

 

Do you love caffeine as much as I do?  I must admit, I not only love coffee…I Love Energy drinks.  I KNOW!!! They are horrible for you.  I try to cover my tracks and ensure I drink the sugar free kind.  However, I know that no energy drinks are good for you.  ANYWHOO… I’m not talking about me..

So.. lets start off with the good things about caffeine.  I’ll give all of you coffee drinkers good news!!!  Caffeine in moderation IS a good thing.  Caffeine improves cognitive functions (What do I mean by that? Cognition is a group of mental processes that includes attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making.) Anywhoo… Caffeine also inhibits insulin resistance AND….some wonderful news.. it also speeds up your metabolism!! WAHOOO!!

However, you have to make sure you do not drink too much!! Too much caffeine can actually make us gain weight by burning out our adrenal glands and releasing stress hormones. For this reason, 400 milligrams (mg) a day should be the limit. (That’s the equivalent of one to two large cups of coffee, depending on how strongly it’s brewed.)  SO if you’re looking to watch your weight.. I would recommend not over doing it with the coffee.

Some sources of caffeine are better than others. Organic, filtered coffee (not doctored up with sugar, artificial sweeteners, or cream) is okay. Green tea is a better choice because it promotes fat oxidation and is believed to improve insulin sensitivity. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages to one or two a day — and because caffeine is a diuretic, you should drink one glass of water for every caffeinated drink. Also, you should have your last caffeinated drink before noon so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

So, are you drinking coffee just for the benefit of it’s fat-burning benefits?  I would highly recommend looking into Guarana.  What is that?  Well because of my experience with a certain weight loss company.. I know different products that assist with weight loss.  I always have friends and family asking me different things they can do/take to help with their weight loss journeys.  So what I do is research online about difference OTC products that they can purchase…

So…lets take a little look into Guarana.  First of all, you can ingest this product in pill form OR in a drink.. Guarana is a tropical plant native to the Amazon jungle. It contains caffeine, but instead of producing a sudden energy surge and quick drop-off, guarana is absorbed slowly and therefore produces a more moderate energy boost that escalates gradually. Try 5 mg of guarana per pound of body weight, and take it about 40 minutes before your workout.

So today, before you hit a Starbucks or Tim Hortons… remember don’t over-do it… It may just make you gain back the weight you’ve lost.

Have a wonderful Sunday. 🙂

-Danielle

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.

 

Green Tea & Lemon Powerade Recipe!

Green Tea & Lemon Powerade

Green Tea is loaded with benefits for health and weight loss or weight maintenance, but to many, the taste of Green Tea is just plain terrible. So here is a recipe that will have you thinking you are drinking lemonade, yet it will provide all the extra health benefits.
Green Tea’s health benefits are largely due to the high content of flavonoids or antioxidants it contains, and it is the best food source of a group called catechins. Catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and even have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found that consuming green tea provides a reduced risk of many cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

If you consume Green Or Black Tea regularly, you will also benefit from a reduced risk of heart disease, because the antioxidants (in green, black, and oolong teas) help block the oxidation of LDL (Bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (Good) cholesterol while improving artery function. Researchers have also found that green tea antioxidants help increase metabolism. Drinking a cup of tea a few times a day helps our bodies to absorb antioxidants and the other healthful plant compounds, the usual amount is three cups per day. Allow tea to steep for three to five minutes because this bring out the catechins. Freshly brewed Tea is the BEST way best way to get the catechins and other flavonoids. Decaffeinated, bottled ready-to-drink tea, and instant teas have less of these compounds. Tea can prevent the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables, so if you add lemon or drink tea between meals you can counteract this problem.

The health benefits of lemon are due to many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B, phosphorous, and antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation and high blood pressure while it benefits skin care, hair care, dental care, indigestion, and is a fever reducer, along with many other health problems. Studies have even shown the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can cure kidney stones by preventing formation of crystals.

(Makes 3, 32oz Bottles)
Ingredients:
12 Organic Green Tea Bags
12 Cups Filtered Water
3/4 Cup Organic Lemon Juice
6 Tbsp. Stevia In The Raw

Directions:

Pour the filtered water into a large pot on the stove.
Tie the tea bags to the handles on the pot and bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
Once the tea is brewed, allow to cool.
Take 3 recycled 32oz Powerade bottles (or other 32oz sports bottles that have been cleaned, and place a funnel in one of them.
Pour 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice, 2 Tbsp Stevia In The Raw, and 3 3/4 Cup Brewed Green Tea into the funnel to fill the 32oz bottle.
Place the cap on the bottle and shake to mix. Repeat with the other two bottles and refrigerate to chill.
When needed, grab a bottle and go! You will be hydrated, energized and lavished with antioxidants.

Nutritional Facts: (Makes 3, 32oz Powerade Bottles)
13 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
0g Protein

Should you weigh yourself everyday ?

MYTH: Weighing Yourself Daily Will Help You Stay on Track

The Truth: I recommend that people weigh themselves once a week, at the same time every week. Weighing yourself every day can have a negative impact on you.

 For so many of us the scale is a source of stress and self-loathing, but it really shouldn’t be. Don’t think of  the scale as anything other than a compass — something we use when losing weight to keep us going in the right direction. It tells us what’s going on with our bodies so we can effectively modify our regimen to ensure continued weight loss. It’s just a tool — no more and no less. So how frequently should you consult it? Here’s my opinion on the topic:

Your weight varies throughout the day. Not only does your weight change every day, it also changes at different times through a single day, so there is no point to weighing yourself every day — and definitely not multiple times a day.This is because of body fluid fluctuations — you might be retaining water from too much sodium consumption, or you may not have gone to the bathroom yet (gross, but true). All of these things affect your weight. The issue with checking the scale DAILY, is that minor fluctuations can freak people out — or discourage them from their weight-loss efforts. Instead, take photos, body measurements, and judge yourself by your fitness endurance and how your clothes are fitting you.

To use the scale effectively, you should weigh yourself once a week. I want you to weigh yourself once a week at the same time, on the same day of the week, wearing similar clothing, and most importantly, ON THE SAME SCALE.  Weighing yourself just once a week will give you a more accurate read — you’ll allow time for the scale to actually show weight loss. The number on the scale will help you figure out if you need to make adjustments to what you’re eating or how you’re exercising. Keep in mind that half a pound to two pounds is a realistic weight loss so don’t expect drastic results.

NEVER weighing yourself is a bad idea. Are you one of those people who doesn’t weigh themselves all year, and then finally steps on the scale at their annual physical? This isn’t the right way to go either! Never weighing yourself and, instead, determining how “healthy” you are by how you feel, isn’t the best method. To know how healthy you are is to know that number on the scale. If you’re in maintenance mode (and not trying to lose weight), I’d still suggest you weigh yourself once a week, or at least twice a week. Your weight is a total picture of your overall health, and it’s good to keep tabs on yourself 

The Bottom Line

Confront the scale and find the right day for your weekly weigh in’s and stick with it so it turns into a habit

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.

Merry Christmas! Try this healthy dish!

A New Twist on a Hearty Winter Dish

With the mercury dropping outside (and, in some cases, the snow piling up), a hearty meal might just be in store. This hearty dish combines lean protein with sweet (and a little tart) Granny Smith apple to make your taste buds happy without messing with your hunger-hormone ghrelin. Add some simple puréed winter squash on the side to round out this delicious dish!

 

 

Pork Chops With Apples and Thyme

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 16 ounces boneless pork loin chops, (4 4-ounce chops), 1/2 inch thick, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (or any tart apple), peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup organic apple cider, or organic apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Preparation

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons broth and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chops and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high and add onion to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until it starts to soften and brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add apple and cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining broth, cider (or juice), mustard, thyme and the cornstarch mixture.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened and glossy, about 1 minute. Return the chops to the pan and heat through. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.