It feels like forever since I’ve posted something new and that’s because it has been! But, that’s just because I have had so much else going on this year, and I really didn’t want to post anything that wasn’t authentic or felt forced. I can’t just sit down and type something up that I think would sound good and then toss it up here on the blog for everyone when I don’t really care about what I’m saying. That would be wasting my time and yours. And after the first few months to the year that I have had, I realized I need to spend my time the way that will be most beneficial to me.
There’s a ton of information out there! And while yes, some of it is conflicting, and sometimes confusing. It can also be very motivating to keep the message in front of ourselves. I know I like to see what other people are doing, what’s working for them and what’s not working for them. Honest reviews of products. New exercise routines. Recipes. Trends, fads, transformations, myths debunked.
I love that kind of stuff!
So what kind of resources am I talking about?
Well, first I love listening to weight loss podcasts. My favorite is The Cut the Fat Podcast. I’ve been listening to this for quite some time. Both Blythe and Jonathan are extremely knowledgeable and they have so much experience working with clients and helping them lose weight. They are so motivating. When I listen to them while I’m working out, I feel like my workouts only last a few minutes! You can download a podcast app on your phone even if you don’t have iTunes. I use one called Podcast Addict. It’s completely free. Also check out Jonathan Bailor and his Podcast, the SANE show.
I also subscribe to a few fitness magazines. Not bodybuilder magazines, just exercise and health magazines. Shape and Women’s Health are the two I usually renew. It’s only about $10-$15 per year. I read them in my downtime, and I always learn something when I do. If you don’t want to subscribe, check out their online articles.
I have a few blogs I follow. Break Out the Skinny Girl is great. Super motivating. She is on a weight loss journey that has ups and downs just like the rest of us, and she is able to verbalize it in a way that most people can’t. If you are looking for some more blogs to follow, check out Bloglovin‘ and search the genre you want. Just about every blogger uploads their posts to Bloglovin‘ and you can follow as many as you like.
I belong to a fitness group on Facebook. The girls are always posting their meals and their workouts, and usually I’m the slacker who does not. Everyone is always encouraging when someone is having a rough day, and it’s the one place on Facebook where we know there won’t be a fight about anything ever. Seriously, why do people fight so much on Facebook? Enough with this already!
I read the daily blog posts on My Fitness Pal, which are usually written by trainers or nutritionists. I really love these! They are short, and easy to read. They often have a few new exercise moves to try, or they’ll be about exercises that maybe aren’t as helpful as you think they are. Whatever it is, I always find it interesting. And My Fitness Pal is still free, and I still love it! I’m on my 655th day, I think.
And I also check out what’s trending on Pinterest, although I don’t believe everything I read there. Sometimes I have to take it with a grain of salt. Today I read if I drink one lemon and one cup of water on one day and two on the second day and three on the third and so on. Until I guess I’m drinking like a dozen lemons and a dozen cups of water, I can lose 20 pounds. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to eat only oatmeal for breakfast, then veggies, and meat for lunch and dinner. Wow, nothing could go wrong with that plan, now could it?
But, there are plenty of awesome things to be found on Pinterest. Especially if that’s where you came across this post. I hope you found it helpful!
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Losing weight can be tough! Part of the struggle is knowing what to eat, and the other part is actually eating what you tell yourself to eat. There have been plenty of times when I have had my plan in place and I still didn’t stick to it.
But, the better I have myself set up in advance, the more likely I am to succeed. So, how do I set myself up? I have a lot of go-to meals that I enjoy eating. Also, I make sure each weekend I plan for the coming week, by shopping and prepping my meals ahead of time, so there are no surprises. I also leave myself a few options to choose from, so if I really don’t feel like a smoothie one morning, or I’m craving oatmeal, I can be flexible.
It also works well to have some quick, grab and go, eat in the car options for when I’m running late.
Breakfast is usually a really rushed affair in my household, and I like to make sure that my options are as quick and easy as possible.
Here are 5 of my favorite easy breakfasts.
Raw Granola with Greek Yogurt and Berries
I love granola and yogurt in the mornings, but when I’m trying to eat less refined carbs like oats and sweeteners, I opt for this raw version that I created. I don’t know what makes granola technically a granola, so I can call this a granola if I want to. I mix up a batch on the weekend and then measure out about a 1/4 cup serving. Any raw unsalted nuts and seeds would work for this, but I prefer to use a combination of almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raw unsweetened coconut. Chopped cashews, macadamia nuts, chia seeds and pistachios would be other fun choices to add in. Try the bulk bins at a natural supermarket to get some inspiration.
As for the yogurt, I use Oikos Triple Zero vanilla yogurt. It’s my favorite Greek yogurt, and from having read most of the labels, it passes my inspections.
Finally, I add whatever kind of fruit I feel inspired by, usually berries, or cherries, but peach slices or banana slices, or just about anything else would work.
2. Kale Berry Smoothie
This is one of my favorite smoothies. It’s so easy to throw together in the mornings, and I often drink it in the car. The kale flavor isn’t even noticeable, but you could certainly use baby spinach, or any other green you wanted.
I usually make frozen berry packets from fresh berries, but buying frozen berries is an affordable option as well. Especially in the winter, when berries aren’t in season. You could use water, or any type of non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder. I like to use whey.
I’m not a fan of smoothie recipes with 20 ingredients, especially because they don’t seem to taste that different than smoothies with just a few, and who has time for all that in the morning?
Here is the link to the original post with this smoothie. It was part of a five day reset and refocus plan. Still a great plan, it also has some nice meal ideas and an easy soup recipe.
3. Egg and Veggie Scramble with Avocado
Scrambled eggs are a high protein, quick, easy choice in the morning. I try to add as many veggies as I can. Two eggs, a big handful of baby spinach, some cherry tomato halves and about half of an avocado make a really healthy well-rounded breakfast!
Of course you could add in any veggies you wanted, and if you wanted to make eggs ahead of time so all you have to do is warm them up in the morning, try this healthy breakfast casserole recipe.
4. Chocolate Cherry Almond Oatmeal
Oatmeal can sometimes be a nice option in the morning. Especially if I’m not on a lower carb day. The good thing about this one is that it has raw cacao in it, which is a super food. I also added some whey protein powder for an extra protein boost.
You can check out the recipe in the original post. These are pre-made packets that just need to be mixed with water and microwaved when you’re ready to eat them. They are really versatile too, and can be made with all sorts of combos.
5. Protein Bars
I know these aren’t always the best option, but they really do work in a pinch. The best I’ve found are some of the options above. The Lärabar’s don’t have a lot of protein, so I pair these with a smoothie or a few hard boiled eggs. They taste great though, and they are made with natural ingredients. The Combat Crunch bars are the priciest of the options, but they have a lot of protein and an amazing taste. The Pure Protein bars are very reasonably priced and taste pretty good as well.
There you are! 5 Healthy and Easy Breakfasts!
What is Fuxion? Check it out here.
It discusses habits.
Specifically how to break habits, not by slowly cutting down on something until you’ve eliminated it, but by cutting yourself off and cutting it out and stating that you just don’t do that, eat that, use that, or whatever that is. If you state “I don’t” instead of “I can’t,” you’ll take out the choice, and eliminate the decision making. If you tell yourself you are temporarily eliminating something, like candy, for a few months until you hit your goal weight, then you’ll inevitably revert back to the behavior after a while.
When I decided about a year ago, that I was going to stop eating pork, I had a few reasons for doing so. But it was certainly a choice that I was making for life, not one that I intended to be temporary. So it was a no-brainer for me. I don’t miss it. I don’t say, “I can’t eat that because it has pork in it,” I just say, “I don’t eat pork.” Period.
So, when trying to think of some things in your life that you could cut out with this method, the author warns that they have to be small and you have to go slow. I can’t say JUNK FOOD as a blanket, like “I don’t eat ANY JUNK FOOD.” I will never believe that one. It’s too extreme. I know I would never stick with it forever.
The author says to start with things you won’t really miss.
Candy that’s not your favorite, for example. Malted milk balls could go first for me. I wouldn’t eat one of those if you paid me. They make me truly nauseous, so they will be first on the list.
Write it down and the date you gave it up, he says.
Then once you are used to it, move on to something else. Eventually, though, you’ll have to move up to something that you do enjoy. Or else what is the point, right? Maybe once I get to that point, I’ll start will chips. As most of the time I don’t eat chips, but boy, when I do eat chips, look out. It’s like there’s a prize at the bottom of the bag or something.
Once I have it well established that I don’t eat chips, I can move on to something else. Something I eat on equally rare occasions but that I find to be dangerous when I do. Gummy candy maybe? I could start by saying I don’t eat the green ones. Because I can really do without the green ones…
There’s no need to limit this idea to weight loss or healthy eating. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways this can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
What about you? Need any help breaking bad habits? Think this will work? I don’t see how it could hurt!
Here’s the link to the article again. Give it a read!
Let me know what you think.
Tired of snacking on carrot sticks and hummus? Here are some snack ideas with real health benefits! If you are a subscriber reading this in an email, click over to my website (www.summermurlin.com) so you can view the Amazon link photos. I am unable to send them by email. This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure.
The thing I love about pistachios is how long it takes to shell and eat them. This keeps me from overeating like I sometimes (all the time) do with other nuts, and I still feel full afterward. Studies show this is true, by the way. It’s not just me. Pistachios have less calories than other nuts, meaning you can eat more per serving. There are 49 nuts in a 160 calorie serving! Also, the fiber in them can keep us feeling full longer than other snacks, which is great for those of us trying to lose or maintain weight. Sounds like quite a snack to me!
They have more potassium and vitamin K than any other nut. They are full of vitamin B-6 and vitamin E. So they’re good for all kinds of things including your skin and hair! They also may help lower your cholesterol. Need any more reasons? I don’t.
2. Almond Butter
With an average serving size of under 200 calories per serving, with 7 grams of protein, and 18 grams of heart healthy fat, almond butter is a filling choice. I’m not trying to sound like a commercial here, really. The reason I like it? I can buy it in these awesome little grab and go individual packs. I love to have them with me so I don’t have to worry if I start to feel grouchy because it’s been too long since my last meal.
The difference between almond butter and peanut butter? Peanuts are technically not a nut, they are a legume, so if you are trying to follow a Paleo lifestyle, they are taboo. Also, almonds have more vitamin E and iron.
Really, though, I like them both. Almond butter just has a different flavor and slightly different texture. Almond butter is great by itself, or on a piece of fruit, a Wasa crisp, some celery, or in a smoothie.
The Justin’s Almond Butter packets are twice as big as the Barney Butter, so they cost about twice as much per packet. They have about 200 calories while the Barney Butter has 90. The Barney Butter has sugar added too, so Justin’s is probably the better choice. They both have fruit palm oil. The Artisana is just almonds, but that one I have not tried!
Olives have always been one of my favorite foods. I’ve literally never met an olive I didn’t like. So, back in the 90’s, I was absolutely devastated when I wasn’t allowed to eat them on all the low-fat/fat-free diets I was always on. Can you imagine? So now, I’m making up for lost time. Olives have officially made a comeback. All of that heart healthy fat in olive oil? Yeah, we know where it comes from. Why not go right to the source?
Olives make a great snack. Their rich flavor makes them difficult to overeat. I don’t even know if they’re a vegetable or not, but they sure seem like a vegetable to me, anyway. Snack away! They are relatively low in calories, and the fat is good fat!
Olives help prevent colon cancer and heart disease. They contain manganese which helps to regulate muscle tone. Olives have a high content of vitamins C and E. The monounsaturated fats in olives helps decrease the amount of fat around the stomach area.
4. Freeze Dried Fruit
The difference between freeze dried fruit and regular dried fruit is freeze dried fruit doesn’t (usually) have added sugar. I still check the label before buying, though. It also has a more satisfying crunch, which dried fruit doesn’t have. Packs like the one below definitely help me control portion sizes. I know fresh fruit is best. But if I’m traveling, or need something that will keep for a while, or just want a nice change up, this is a great, fun option. Try it in a variety pack so you can give all the different options a whirl. Apples, berries, etc.
5. Raw Coconut
We hear so much about coconut oil, let’s not forget where it comes from. The coconut meat is super healthy as well. And it makes a great snack. Containing antioxidants, vitamins potassium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and lauric acid, the meat also has fiber which the oil does not have. It can help with insulin production and with those of us who have low thyroid issues.
I have no desire to crack open a coconut with a hammer and chisel or whatever else one might use for that purpose, but some nice coconut chips or flakes, either by themselves, or tossed with some mixed nuts, make a great snack. It’s really chewy, rich, and satisfying. Make sure you buy unsweetened!
So these are some of my favorite super healthy snacks lately. And as a bonus, here are a few more with which you can make some really great and super healthy beverages!
Raw Cacao Powder
I eat blueberries because they are a super food and full of antioxidants, but I recently found out that cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. It also has the highest plant based source of iron and is a natural anti-depressant. Which we already knew about chocolate, right? It’s always a craving when I’m feeling depressed.
Here is the recipe for my Peppermint Hot Cocoa. Make sure to use almond milk, or another plant based milk, because dairy can block the absorption of iron. By the way, cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk anyway.
Matcha Green Tea
We all know that green tea is good for us, right? Well if green tea is good, Matcha is better. Why? Matcha is the green tea leaves ground into a powder. And since we consume the whole leaf when drinking Matcha, we are consuming all of the health benefits, rather than just whatever steeped into the water during the brewing process. I love the flavor. I love the idea of it. Ever since I watched the Karate Kid II as a kid and Daniel went to Okinawa and had the tea ceremony. Best movie of the 80’s. And yes, that was Matcha.
But it’s not just for Japanese tea ceremonies anymore. Now we know that it’s part of what’s been keeping everyone so healthy over there for so long. Matcha has 10 times the antioxidants of regular tea, and 60 times that of spinach, it has over 100 times the anticancer properties of regular tea. It can lower cholesterol, it contains fiber, it reduces stress, gives us energy, and boosts metabolism.
Matcha can be made into tea, or it can be added to smoothies, yogurt or any other type of food!
What are your favorite healthy snacks or snack recipes? Let me know!
What is Fuxion? Check it out here.