Omega 3

Step Up Your Game

BEC Green Smoothie

 

Isn’t the BEC Green Smoothie THE BEST SMOOTHIE EVER? Guys, it really is. But, believe it or not, I have a few ways to make it pack even more punch without realllllllly changing the taste (too much).

1. Mix in a little water.  I like my smoothie with a looser texture so I used to add extra coconut milk (my current non dairy milk of choice). Recently I starting using half coconut milk, half cold water and you cannot taste a difference.  Love the texture, love using less milk, and obviously it contains less calories!

2. Throw in some seeds.  I used to swallow a spoonful of chia seeds every morning then it got to the point where I would rather stay in bed all day then walk down the stairs and choke down chia seeds. Now I drop a tablespoon of the white or black variety into my smoothie (we love the seeds by Health Warrior). Chia can makes things “gelatinous” but this small amount doesn’t change the consistency and adds Omega-3s, protein and fiber.  Flax seeds are also always in my smoothie; they’re cancer and disease fighting so why not?

3. Camu Camu Powder. I love throwing some of this fine powder in my green smoothie every day. It is full of immune boosting antioxidants and Vitamin C.

4. Cinnamon has so many benefits we should all be sprinkling it onto everything all the time. To name a few it’s anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants and multiple nutrients, and can even boost your mood!

5. Change up your greens game. We know the usual green smoothie suspects…kale and spinach. But try mixing it up. Today I used a bag of romaine in mine and as usual, delicious. Try micro greens, beet greens, collards or dandelion greens (these last two can be bitter so maybe use a little less for your first attempts). Different greens give us different things, y’all!

6. Throw in a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Just a bit won’t alter the taste but you get loads of benefits such as lowering blood sugar, aiding in weight loss, and fighting bacteria!

Do you have any smoothie tips that you love?  Let me know!

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Heading to College this Month? Read This First!

Well, we all know those days are long behind me but I vividly remember the excitement, the nerves, and the weight I gained my freshmen year at VCU. More importantly, I remember feeling super unhealthy because of a sedentary lifestyle, eating everything from a can or a buffet, drinking beer and jungle juice and whatever else we could get our hands on, and not even thinking about working out much less walking to the gym.

Recently I stumbled upon the Instagram healthycampuslifestyle and was amazed that the pics and food choices came from a college “kid”!  I had to know more.

Turns out, Katelyn Barker is a freshmen at Virginia Tech and a Lynchburg, Virginia native (small world, once again I am reminded!).  She is majoring in human nutrition, food, and exercise with the goal of becoming a registered dietician. So she knows her stuff!

 

As a vegan and a dorm dweller, I was curious how Katelyn managed to eat, cook, exercise, etc. Thanks Katelyn for sharing your tips with BEC!

Tell us about eating on campus at Virginia Tech.

I live on campus and although there is one kitchen in my building, I never use it just because it’s a hassle. But there are definitely a lot of healthy options on campus, as well as a nutrition app for all of the dining halls and ways to make things like oatmeal and sweet potatoes in the microwave. I always have oatmeal, it is definitely my go to breakfast food with bananas; rice cakes and peanut butter is another and then I always have a bag of almonds or some other type of nuts. I don’t keep too much in my fridge, but there’s apples, maybe some carrots and hummus, and cashew milk.

You’re vegan, right?  What’s up with that and how do you get enough protein?

Even though I was eating fairly healthy before, veganism definitely ensures that I keep a clean diet which can be really hard on a college campus with all of the temptations. Now I can honestly say I don’t even think about eating any of those foods after being vegan for about three months. To get my protein without meat I try to eat a lot of beans, one of my favorite things to get on campus is a burrito bowl with pinto beans and black beans. Another thing I’ll do is make my own salad at the salad bar with spinach, which surprisingly has a substantial amount of protein, and add chick peas, kidney beans, green peas, and tofu. One thing people aren’t aware of is how much protein is in plant foods, getting protein definitely isn’t something I focus on because I know I’ll get enough as long as I eat enough natural plant foods in a day. Since I do lift I usually drink a vegan protein shake after just to get that extra boost but that’s definitely not necessary to get all the protein you need.

What do you recommend college students do for exercise?

Use the gym! It may be only time in your life you won’t have to pay for a gym membership so take advantage of it! If you don’t like going to the gym find something fun like an intramural sport, you won’t even feel like you’re exercising (you also don’t have to have ever played the sport before). If your school has an app to tell you the nutrition information of certain foods they’re serving definitely take advantage of it. By looking at VT’s app I’ve learned that a lot of the foods are very calorie dense and have a lot of sodium in them… like unnecessarily a lot, so I try to stay away from those foods. Don’t buy unhealthy food to keep in your room, if it’s there you’ll be tempted to eat it! And if you’re really trying to not put on weight, don’t drink too much alcohol. It’s definitely a big thing in college and it’s a fun way to celebrate after a hard week, but it can get the best of people and needs to be moderated. 

 What do you like to do specifically to stay in shape?

Senior year of high school I started lifting weights and found that I really liked it. So now I have a three day plan that I try to follow. I do chest and tris, back and bi, and legs and shoulders. I also am part of the Dance Company here which is a super fun way to do cardio because let’s be honest, most of us don’t like running on the treadmill for hours. I find lifting to be challenging to the mind and body and I’ve seen progress in my body so fast. It might be intimidating to start lifting when you’ve never done it before, especially in college when the weight room is filled with a bunch of buff guys, but I promise they’re all focused on themselves and if you need help with anything most people are more than happy to help you. 

We love your instagram!

I started my Insta mostly to motivate myself to eat healthy on campus and when I went vegan I used it as a tool to keep myself liable. I definitely slipped up a few times while transitioning to veganism, but that’s okay because everyone is different when it comes to switching their diet and it takes time to make that transition official. These slip ups didn’t hold me back, they just made me work harder to change my diet to a vegan one because sometimes your body craves things and its okay to give into those cravings as long as you get right back on track afterwards. Strive to be healthy for yourself and be the best you can be and you’ll be more motivated to stay on track than if you’re trying to look different for someone else. 

Thanks Katelyn for the awesome tips and beautiful pictures of your healthy food!  Follow her here at @healthycampuslifestyle.

Share this post with anyone heading off to college in a few months!

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What’s Up with Krill Oil?

A friend recently asked for my thoughts on krill oil and my mind wandered over to the words healthy, omega 3s, fish oil…I haven’t taken those in a while…

But then she proceeded to tell me there was a bit of controversy related to these little krill capsules so I immediately went into researcher mode.

If you don’t take a fish oil supplement, don’t want to, and don’t care about krill, this post isn’t for you. But I was even more intrigued about the controversy when I read that Whole Foods stopped carrying the product in 2010. Whaaaaaat? Where have I been?

There is a question of sustainability in using krill for human consumable supplements. Specifically according to Whole Foods:

“Krill are an important source of food for marine animals including penguins, seals, and whales in the Antarctic. Declines of some predator populations in the areas where the krill fishery operates suggest that fishery management needs to better understand how to evaluate the prey requirements of other marine species in order to set sustainable catch levels for krill. Consequently, at present we are choosing to discontinue the sale of krill supplements as we continue to evaluate this emerging research. Please consider alternatives to krill oil supplements such as fish oil or astaxanthin supplements.”

Wow! I was shocked I had missed all this. I don’t currently take a fish oil but I do eat a lot of fish heavy in Omega 3s and take a shot of chlorella at least once a day. Evidently we can get the same benefits of krill oil from regular old fish oil, flax seed oil, and algae based supplements (hellllllloooooo chlorella) AND save money.

After reading this super eye opening article, I don’t think I want to take any FISH oil supplements (most are rancid…ugh!). It has nothing positive to say about krill oil and honestly states there isn’t much research to support it has major health benefits. I think I am going to PASS!

So, as always, do your own research and remember where and how you spend your money is a decision that affects a LOT of people, places, things. I just like to get your mind moving and asking questions. I am certainly thankful for friends of mine who inspire the same in me.

xx,

rachel signature

 

 

 

sources:
xtend life
nutraingredients-usa
omega3innovations

Protein Bars, Granola Bars. Which one to pick?

BEC approved

 

The grocery store aisle with ALL the bars gives most of my clients a panic attack! “Which one is healthy? Which one will keep me full? Does it have enough protein? How many calories? And definitely, which one actually tastes good????” I am usually lucky enough to take my clients on a tour of the grocery store and we literally spend two hours figuring out how to read labels, what ingredients to avoid, and how to pick items that will promote health and not disease. Today, we are talking bars….this section alone takes about 10 minutes. I will give you a list of a few of the bars that actually contain real food and ingredients that you will recognize. These are ingredients that you can find stocked in your pantry.(mostly) Ingredients that will keep you energized. Ingredients that will keep you full and NOT have you craving processed sugar all day long!

Lara Bar 2

 

1) The Lara Bar. My favorite is the peanut butter and the bar has only 3 ingredients. Peanuts, dates, and salt. This bar is soft and chewy and has nothing bad in it!

 

 

Kind-Bars-2

 

2) The Kind Bar. Some have a little added sugar, but are made most from nuts and fruit. Many of my clients get off junk food or highly processed granola bars with this bar because it tastes like a candy bar….well, sort of.

 

 

Chia bar

 

3) The Chia Bar.  Packed with plant based omega 3’s which are great for brain health and fiber so you stay full for a while. My favorite flavor is the coffee and chocolate peanut butter.  These bars only have a 100 calories so I sometimes grab two. Another great thing to do is buy a bag of organic chia seeds and put them on salads, yogurt, or smoothies. Be aware, chia seeds expand and fill up with liquid so if you put some IN a smoothie rather than on top you must drink immediately or they will become gelatinous. New flavor is the dark chocolate coconut sea salt. Dying to try.

 

Raw Revolution Almond Butter Cup Bar

 

4) Raw Revolution Bar. These taste like treat bars, the only downside is they put a little agave in for a  sweetener which I’m not crazy about because of the fructose content and agave is usually highly processed. But these bars taste amazing. Overall, pretty clean.

 

PERFECT BAR

 

5) Perfect Bar. I LOVE THIS BAR! It is like a treat to me. Without a doubt I choose the Almond Butter. If I’m in a mad rush and don’t have time to eat, I like this bar because it is made of pretty much real food, has 300 calories so I can use it as a small meal replacement and has a bunch of protein.

 

All these bars are non GMO which is important to me. I know there are many other brands on the market that I approve….but sometimes a smaller list is best. Now take the time you just saved in the “bar” aisle in the grocery store and use it to go on a walk, take a bath, do some yoga, or just chill.

xoxoxo,

tiffany tatom

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