January 29, 2014

Chocolate Birthday Cake Protein Shake

Hi everyone,

I'm going to try to be better about posting! Now that I am back in school, I should have more time to develop my blog.

My friend inspired me to keep at it because I gave her an eating plan with some guidance that worked for me. She has lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks, which I am so happy about!! It's really more of a lifestyle eating plan, rather than that horrible word "diet." I detest "diets" as they don't work long term. You should aim for your health to be long term, not just a few months! Think about it... as soon as you go back to eating like your old ways, isn't your body going to go back to its old shape and health level?

On to the recipe. I have a major sweet tooth and that's one of my most challenging issues. I can ALWAYS eat sweets, no matter how full or satisfied I am. So to combat my sweet tooth in a healthy way, I try to incorporate "sweets" that don't ruin my healthy days. That's not to say I never eat dessert or a piece of cake on my birthday. But for the most part, I avoid those empty calories. A great way to get your fill and to pack a major protein punch is a protein shake. I found a great protein brand called About Time by SDC Nutrition. I got it on Amazon, which is MUCH cheaper than any health food or nutrition store.

Behold: the Chocolate Birthday Cake Protein Shake


Chocolate Birthday Cake Protein Shake

Ingredients:
1 banana
1 scoop About Time Birthday Cake flavored protein powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
Sprinkles*

Directions:

Blend all together with a few ice cubes
*Sprinkles added on top for looks and added pizzazz :-) (you can leave these off if you want)

Jessica

January 2, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding

I will fully admit I have a giant sweet tooth. It's bad, but it's reality! So I try to satisfy my craving by still being healthy. This doesn't mean I don't occasionally indulge in something like, oh... a triple chocolate cake I baked last weekend... But overall, I try to be very clean with the types of sugar I consume as well as the amount. That way I'm able to indulge sometimes without feeling guilty.

I'm sure you have heard or seen all the hype on chia seeds lately. Normally I'm not one for trending food fads, but I finally decided to look into the health benefits, and it seems that chia seeds are pretty great. I'm always looking to add more fiber to my diet. Fiber is what helps speed up digestion and get rid of toxins, leaving you with a flat tummy and no bloated feeling.



You can read more in depth about chia seeds' benefits here.

On Pinterest, I kept seeing pins popping up of chia seed pudding. I LOVE pudding and am a big fan of Chocolate Avocado Pudding (which I'll post soon). It turns out Chia Seed Pudding is such an easy recipe (i.e. no cooking!) and very good for you!

I tweeked the few recipes I looked into and came up with my own version.



Chia Seed Pudding

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or whatever milk you choose)
3 tbsp of chia seeds (I bought mine at Trader Joe's)
1-2 tbsp of honey (or whatever sweetener you like. I'm not a fan of Splenda or Stevia, but those options will lower the calories)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl or mug. Try to ensure the chia seeds aren't clumping together. Allow chia seed mix to set in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes or so to alleviate clumps. As the chia absorbs water, they form a gelatinous little shell, similar to tapioca. This creates a pudding-like texture that I find delish! It will have the crunchy seeds still, so it isn't exactly like plain old pudding. But I don't mind! It gets the job done by satisfying my sweet tooth AND providing multiple healthy benefits I can be happy about.

Jessica

January 1, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad

Hi!

I've been seeing several avocado chicken recipes floating around Pinterest lately, and I finally decided to investigate! A huge fan of chicken salad, I always deprive myself because of the high mayo content. Just one tablespoon of mayo = over 100 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. Eek!

So imagine my delight at finding a recipe for chicken salad with NO MAYO and with something even better as a replacement ingredient! Avocados! So creamy and delicious. I looked at several different recipes for the basic idea, but then I crafted my own. You can find it down below. And of course, experiment all you want! If you're Southern, you might add grapes and nuts. You could make it a curry flavored version or a tarragon infused version... And I have to say, I was pretty satisfied with my own! ;-)


Avocado Chicken Salad
2 medium ripe avocados
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 rotisserie chicken (or enough for about 3 cups if you cook your own chicken; I used only the white meat from the breast)
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
2 chopped celery stalks
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Chop and scoop out the 2 avocados into a small bowl. Toss with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent browning.

Next, get all the breast meat off of the rotisserie chicken and shred with two forks. Or, shred chicken breasts in that you cook yourself.

In a mixing sized bowl, throw in the chicken, onion, walnuts, celery, and salt and pepper. Toss around so that it's mixed evenly. Then, mash up the avocados so that there are not large chunks. I left some chunks because I love avos! Finally, put the mashed avocado in with the chicken mixture and stir it around until the green and chicken are all combined.

Enjoy as is, on toast, on top of a salad, or stuffed in a tomato. Mm-mmm!

Jessica
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