Heat almond milk to a boil. Stir in oats and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Mix in PB2 and add honey to taste (I like just a drizzle).
Nutritional info (with 1/2 tbsp honey):
257 calories. 6.5g fat. 41g carbohydrates. 17g protein.
Cold weather always makes me crave comfort foods, and for me oatmeal is a HUGE comfort food! Try this peanut butter protein oatmeal for a warm treat on a cold day! It's packed with nutrition and 17 grams of protein!
What's your favorite cold-weather comfort food?
A while ago, a friend of mine introduced me to chia seeds. Check out all of the health benefits of chia seeds! I loved the texture when you would let them sit overnight in something like iced tea or yogurt, but after the first time, the novelty wore off. I came across the chia seeds in my pantry the other day, and decided to try something new. I threw together just three ingredients to make a chia seed pudding that was delicious!
Chia seed pudding
What's your favorite way to eat chia seeds?
More amazing things to do with cauliflower:
Green Saffron Cauliflower “Risotto” with Roasted Vegetables
An alternate sauce thickener:
How to make cream sauce without cream
What's your favorite food hack?
Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? Who knew that was even a thing? In honor of this fabulous month, I'm sharing with you a Beachbody recipe for Vanilla Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream. Who knew eating healthy could taste THIS GOOD?!
1. Place milk, Shakeology, bananas, and peanut butter in high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix); cover.
2. Blend on low for 5 seconds; increase power to high and continue blending for 30 seconds until smooth.
3. Pour mixture in a large glass bowl; cover.
4. Freeze for 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, before serving.
The Long Answer
The most likely reason your scale crept up is inflammation and water retention. When you work out (especially when you're starting a new program and working muscles that you haven't worked in a while or at all), it causes little tears in your muscle fibers. This microtrauma is why you feel sore after a workout. Your body naturally heals these little tears, making the fibers tougher than they originally were - and that's how you get stronger and fitter!
To make these repairs, your body initiates its standard healing process, including the inflammation phase. This is why I usually discourage anti-inflammatory medication like Advil to help sore muscle from exercise, because you WANT your body to go through this process. This involves recruitment of white blood cells and opening up blood vessels to flush out debris and toxins. There’s so much going on that the area swells up and retains water. The fluid required for inflammatory response obviously weighs something—and that might be reflected in the number on the scale. But don't worry - this type of inflammation is healthy and temporary!
Furthermore, even if you are eating the right amount of calories, poor food choices can cause all kinds of issues, causing your body to hold onto fat. Check out these tips for making the most of your calories in FitYaf's "healthy eating" commandments.
Remember, it took time for you to put on the weight, so it's going to take time to lose it too. Making sure you're getting enough sleep too! Don’t give up! Give your unexpected added pounds a couple of weeks to work themselves out. If they don’t, step back and see if there’s any other aspect of your life that needs fine-tuning.
In my challenge groups, the #1 reason for abandoning a health/fitness plan is time. If you get home late from work and you're hungry, you're probably tempted to order take-out. Meal prepping is best, but if you stock your pantry with healthy staples to back up fresh fruits, veggies, and protein, you'll be able to make healthy meals and snacks in a short amount of time! Check out these ingredients you can keep on hand, and try out some of the suggested uses.
Canned beans. Kidney, black, garbanzo, navy—canned beans are a quick way to sneak more fiber and protein into any meal. Look for BPA-free cans and choose no- or low-sodium brands when possible. (Or at least rinse well before eating.)
Raw almonds. Packed with healthy fats - these nuts contain 129 calories per ounce. They make perfect on-the-go snacks you can keep in your purse, work bag, gym bag, car, etc (AND your pantry).
Dried fruit. Toss dried plums, apricots, and raisins into oatmeal, rice pilafs, and on salads for a dose of filling fiber and antioxidants. Be careful - dried fruit takes up less space than fresh fruit, so pay attention to the serving size. Also, make sure to avoid dried fruits with added sugar.
Easy-to-cook grains. Precooked brown rice needs only a minute in the microwave and quinoa cooks in 15 minutes. Swapping traditional refined grains for these whole grains can help you lead a healthier life!
Nut butter. For the most wholesome option, look for almond, cashew or peanut butter made with only nuts and maybe salt (added sugar and oil isn't necessary for taste or texture). Blend into smoothies, oatmeal, and sauces.
Spaghetti sauce. Bursting with nutrients, use tomato sauce in a pinch to simmer with chicken and mix with whole grains. Be sure to look for no-sugar-added varieties.
Salsa. Spooned over fish, chicken, eggs or steamed veggies, salsa is a less processed alternative to jarred pasta sauce that supplies a ton of flavor for few calories.
Reduced-sodium broth. Whether chicken, vegetable or beef, broth adds loads of flavor for few calories. One tip: cut nearly 120 calories by sautéing veggies in two tablespoons of broth versus one tablespoon of oil.
Spices. Flavor your food for zero calories! Among others, black pepper, turmeric and cinnamon all have fat-blocking potential.
Lentils. With fiber and protein, legumes digest slowly—so you'll stay fuller, longer and won't fall victim to blood sugar spikes and dips that drive hunger. Buy precooked lentils to toss with salads, rice pilafs and soups.
Hot sauce. A low-calorie way to add a hit of spice to dishes. Hot peppers can also temporarily raise your metabolism so you can burn a few extra calories at dinner.
Sea salt. With minimal processing, sea salt packs trace minerals and a crunchier texture. Though both sea salt and table salt contain about the same amount of sodium, when used in moderation (a sprinkle is all you really need) sea salt can punch up the flavor of foods.
What is your go-to quick meal when you're pressed for time?
The benefits of staying hydrated - 10 reasons to DRINK MORE WATER!
I like to carry a water bottle around with me, so I always have water on hand - that's why I was so excited when Nalgene reached out to me to try their products.
Nalgene has come a long way since their original shatter proof water bottle. They are now ALL BPA-free and leak proof (and still SUPER durable)! They are dishwasher safe and some are even graduated (so you wouldn't even need to mark your bottle as pictured above - it's already marked for you! They come in a variety of sizes as well as cap shapes, so great for sippers and chuggers! There are even sizes specifically to fit in cup holders and bike cages, so it really doesn't get much more convenient than that! They also have food storage containers (pictured on the far left). They've really thought of it all!
My personal preference is the "on-the-fly" style (pink bottle pictured above) because of it's easy flip-open design. It's great for carrying around and doesn't spill in my gym bag. Take a look a the variety of bottles they have and try one out for yourself! You'll love all the water you're drinking and how you'll feel afterwards!
What's your favorite water bottle?
How long is the fitness challenge?
The fitness challenge will last for 21 days, as it takes about this amount of time to form a new habit.
What will participating mean for me?
The challenge will take place in a private Facebook group, where you'll check in daily and post updates about your goals. You can participate by following one of Shaun T's exercise programs or incorporating some of his workouts into your own workout routine.
What will the workouts be like?
The workouts will be at your own pace - even if you're a beginner doing Insanity, you will approach each workout from you own fitness level. I will help anyone come up with modifications, such as low-impact options if necessary.
What sort of nutrition program will I be following?
This group will focus on cleaner eating - we will share recipes and tips for helping you meat your health and fitness goals. You will also have the chance to buy discounted Shakeology for the 21 days (purchase of Shakeology NOT necessary to participate).
One of the biggest life-savers when it comes to sticking with my eating plan is keeping healthy snacks with me at all times. I am often found with pistachios in my purse or cashews in my desk drawer at work. If you always have something with you, you never have to worry about what happens when you get stuck in traffic, get stuck late at work, etc.
Today, I'm sharing with you a recipe for Gooey Shakeology Oatmeal Bars that you can make with Shakeology or whatever protein powder you have in your pantry! These are great to keep for those "on-the-go" moments!
Combine Shakeology, oats, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a large bowl, and mix well. Add milk, peanut butter and vanilla extract, and mix well with a spatula or by hand. Place in an 8x8 inch pan that is coated with spray. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten in pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
Try to switch it up by using different flavors of protein powder and adding dried fruit, nuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.
One of the reasons I love my TeamBeachbody account is the great recipes they provide. This one sounds so delicious, I just HAD to share it here. ENJOY!
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 329 mg
Carbohydrate: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 23 g
To my readers, please note this website and blog is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, dietary restrictions, and/or medical diagnosis, and before beginning any diet and/or exercise program, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional.