Salsa, Reinvented

A twist on a favorite…. When you’re training, it’s wise to change things up to keep your muscles challenged. If you always do standard bicep curls, with the same weight, for the same number of sets and reps, your biceps will get used to it and eventually those bicep curls won’t be as effective. All you need to do is tweak the move just a bit – turn the dumbbells upright for hammer curls, turn the arms outward and curl, do half-curls, do pulses, change the resistance – to break or prevent a plateau. Just like with training, you can tweak any recipe to keep things interesting! A common worry is that eating healthy isn’t interesting. That healthy foods are lacking in variety and flavor. But with a bit of creativity, we can find all kinds of ways to “spice up” some of our usual foods. Here’s an example of a new twist on a common snack. Salsa made from scratch is chock full of nutrients, but odds are you’ve been eating or making the same salsa over and over. Tweaking the ingredients means you’ll not only add a different nutrient profile to your diet, you’ll turn something normal and uninteresting into a new and exciting dish! This fruity salsa variation is tasty and full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. I’ve served this many times and it’s always a hit! Don’t knock it ’til you try it. Bitches, this salsa is YUMMY – and gorgeous, too! Blueberry Salsa 2 oranges (or 1 grapefruit), sectioned and chopped 1.5 pints blueberries – lightly smash some, keep some whole 2 TBS red...

Elevate Your Salads to Awesome! Salad Making 101

I’m a shameless food Instagrammer.  That’s right. I take photos of my food, layer them with shitty color-warping filters, and litter my Instagram and Facebook feed with them. (I’ll wait while you google, “How to block people on FB.”) But it’s not one-sided. I get all kinds of great recipe ideas from other people. I follow many fitness pages on Facebook. I need motivation just like the rest of y’all, and I am always on the prowl for healthy food ideas!  And unless your food looks like something your dog just yarped up (walk away from the Velveeta cheese, people), I’ll be the one commenting, “WANT. Recipe please!” But it always makes me laugh when I see a photo of something as simple as sliced fruit, and someone says, “Can you send me the recipe for this?  Thanks!!!!!” without taking care to notice that it’s, um, SLICES OF FRUIT. And always with wayyyy too many exclamation points!!!!! !!!! !!! !! (Huh. That was rather satisfying.) And then there are the requests for salad “recipes.” Guys.  GUYS.  It’s a SALAD. Lay a bed of greens, put shit on it, and eat it. It’s not rocket science. But since I’m co-dependent and want to be all things to all people, here is my go-to salad “recipe.” I’m here for you. I’ll give you what you need. Read on, learn, and eat good salad, shall we? WE SHALL. I now present to you…. the fundamentals of a creating a fabulous salad. LAY DOWN A BED OF GREENS No, iceberg does not count, and no, not even if it’s sliced in a giant-ass wedge....

Vegetarian Bean and Mushroom Chili (Gluten Free)

by Lanna Potter Now that it’s getting cold outside, I am seriously craving some hearty, starchy foods and even junk foods. But I am not going to give in to the mad cravings, and regret it later. There are some simple tricks I do in the winter to stay consistent with my healthy diet. One of them is homemade beans and mushroom chili, loaded with complex carbs and veggies and cooked in very little oil.  It is packed with major flavors. Even my husband raves about it to all his friends! This has always been a hit at potlucks as well. Best of all, it’s easy and figure-friendly.  I have a video to show you just how easy it is!  Instead of using jalapeno peppers, I use a bit of chipotle chili powder to add a nice smoky flavor to the dish.  It tastes even better the next day. So make a big batch on a weekend, freeze the leftovers, and you have a quick and healthy meal on the table in 5 minutes the next few days. Quicker than you can drive to a fast food restaurant. Enjoy! Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Yield: 6-8 Ingredients 1 TBS canola oil 1-1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion 1 small red bell pepper, diced 1 small green bell pepper, diced 1 cup fresh baby portobello mushrooms, quartered 2 TBS minced garlic 1 medium zucchini, diced 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels 2 TBS chili powder 1 TBS ground cumin 1/2 TBS chipotle chili powder 1-1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne 1 (15 oz) can of organic diced tomatoes, drained 2 (15...

More on Protein!

Let’s Talk About Protein By Briana Ururen The word protein means “of high importance.”  Isn’t that the truth!  BUT, if not used correctly, you may not receive the full benefits of the protein you consume. So I’m here to share more information so you can make wise protein choices. Proteins contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, just as carbohydrates and fats do. What sets them apart is that proteins also contain nitrogen atoms. Not surpringly, nitrogen is an element that is essential to growth and reproduction. Proteins are vitally important because they form integral parts of most of our body’s structures including the muscles, skin, and bones, as well as participating in vision and blood clotting.  In fact, almost every cell in the body contains some protein! But, proteins in foods do not directly become body proteins like muscles. Instead, the proteins we eat supply the body with amino acids so that the body can make its own proteins.   That means amino acid composition is important. A cell must have all the needed amino acids available at the same time to make proteins. That means that in order to prevent protein breakdowns in the body, dietary protein must contain at least the nine essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine). These amino acids are considered “essential” because the body cannot make them or cannot make enough of them; therefore it is essential that they be supplied by your diet. High quality proteins are ones that contain all the essential amino acids and these are usually foods derived from animal products s such...

Fat-Burning Foods – Really?

By Briana Eruren We have all seen those attention-grabbing headlines on magazine covers and those pesky side ads that distract you from your dot-com searches or Facebook creeping. (Don’t even pretend you don’t.) I’m talking about the ones you just can’t get out of your head because they sound too good to be true. “Melt Fat Away Over the Weekend on the Ben and Jerry’s Diet!” or maybe something like, “Top 5 Belly Bulge-Blasting Foods!” They’re often accompanied by graphics like this and they get forwarded 8 bazillion times on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. How could claims like these not catch our attention? Just eat these foods and lose my extra inches? I’M IN! I’m sure by now you’ve caught on to the fact that I love sweets, and if the Ben and Jerry’s diet were in fact legitimate, my life would be forever changed for the better (or worse….which ever way you want to look at it). However, I prefer to deal in reality, so I’m here to offer a realistic perspective on fat-burning foods so that you can proceed with your dot-com searches or refining your creeping skills.     In order to fully understand the fat burning food concept it’s critical to know the basic science behind it. In simple terms, a fat burning food is one that uses more calories to be digested than the calorie content of the food itself. A good example of this could be celery because the body will use more calories while chewing and digesting than the piece of celery actually contains. These foods will cause the body to work...

Food Labels Decoded

Have you ever found yourself walking down the grocery store aisles wondering what exactly IS the difference between a “low calorie” food and a “reduced calorie” food? If they are the same thing then why do they have two different names? And if they aren’t the same, then what is the difference?! I’m sure everyone has seen those and similarly confusing terms on food labels but do you really know their true meaning? Here is a breakdown of almost all the terms you will see in a typical grocery store and what they mean. I’ll start us off with some general terms because most of the others build off these.   FREE The word “Free” on a label means the product is not likely to have any physiological consequences. A food that doesn’t naturally contain any nutrients may make this claim, but only as it applies to all foods that are similar. (An example could be, “applesauce, a fat-free food”). It is sometimes seen as no, zero, or without, and is often considered “nutritionally trivial”. GOOD SOURCE OF “Good source of” means the product provides between 10 and 19 percent of the Daily Value* for a given nutrient per serving. (*Reference values developed by the FDA specifically for use on food labels.) HIGH “High” may also be seen as rich in or excellent source of and means that the product contains 20 percent or more of the Daily Value for a given nutrient per serving. LESS “Less” could also be seen as fewer or reduced and means that the product contains at least 25 percent less of a given...