3pm slump

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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DIRTYLEMON. Part One. detox.

I recently came across Dirty Lemon on Facebook of all places.  I did some research and just had to get my hands on their drinks ASAP.

Why?

I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about this company lately.  From blogs like this one and this one.  Oh, and this one.  And namely I was just curious.  Curiosity can be costly, however.  At $65 a case (six bottles) this stuff isn’t cheap. But I am all about trying the latest and greatest if it’s going to encourage my already pretty healthy lifestyle.

What?

There are several options of drinks depending on your needs.  I liked the idea of detox first as I was coming off of a Vegas trip and thought, you need this.

Photo: Dirty Lemon

 

The ingredients are listed as filtered water, cold pressed lemon juice, dandelion root, ginger root, and activated charcoal (from coconuts).  All great things right?  Can’t hurt.  And the nutrition info looked pretty good too.

 

Photo:Dirty Lemon

 

Plus you’re instructed to drink it after a big meal (no problem there) so I chose to drink it each night before bed.  One night I even had wine with dinner (gasp!) and then had my detox.

The taste to me is fantastic, sort of earthy and lemony.  BUT be aware that I will drink anything if it has some health benefits. I have been known to chug algae if I am in the mood and algae tastes like…well, algae and most people steer very, very far away. “But think of the benefits, babe…”, I say to my husband as he looks at me like I have just licked a dirty diaper.

Anyway. That’s neither here nor there.

I did this for five nights and honestly can say I felt very “flushed” out in a good way.  I felt more energized, more focused, more able to take on the day (and an 8 month old!).  I did not wake up looking like J Law unfortunately but I still have Skin + Hair to try next week, so, there’s hope (keep your fingers crossed for me). Oddly, I also felt like my teeth looked whiter (could be the result of the charcoal).

The only negative I could see is I take a prescribed medication at night and charcoal can bind to meds rendering them ineffective so be weary of that before you guzzle your juice…you may have to adjust your med sched.  NBD in my case.

I will plan to order this again, probably quarterly (hey, at least the shipping is free!).  Some of the benefits of detox mentioned on the website: it calms the stomach, supports liver/kidney function, and traps impurities before they can be distributed through the body.  I’ll take it!  Stay tuned for my remarks on Skin + Hair next week.

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The Healthiest Foods on the Planet

 

My husband and I used to have “Superfood Monday“.  When I say we used to, I think we did it like once. Maybe twice.  But it was a great idea! For dinner on Mondays our whole meal consisted of superfoods. So we are bringing it back.  This inspired me to google what are the healthiest foods on the planet.  You will find a lot of differing opinions in the search results but I liked this list from Fitness Magazine. There’s nothing crazy, everything is accessible to everyone, and the items all seem to be pretty tasty and satisfying.

So..stock your fridge and pantry and have these items around you all the time.  It’s sort of a no brainer.

Lemons– according to Fitness Magazine just one lemon has 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. Squeeze some in your smoothie, enjoy with warm water first thing in the morning, and add to your homemade salad dressing at dinner.

 

 

Broccoli– There is a massive amount of Vitamin K up in those stalks!  Enjoy it steamed, make a broccoli salad, or roast them with EVOO and salt and pepper.

 

Dark Chocolate– You’re welcome.  Great for reducing blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants. I have a piece after dinner, add some to my smoothie bowls, and put bits of dark chocolate in my oatmeal in the mornings.

 

Avocados– I eat an avocado almost every day. Loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and folate…it’s a superfood powerhouse.  Make guacamole (duh), avocado toast, or just add a little pink salt and eat the delicious meat straight from it’s own jacket.

 

 

Salmon– Right, we all know salmon is soooo good for us.  So eat more of it.  Wild caught is best and loaded with Omega 3s which we want and need.  Grill it, steam it, eat it raw at a great sushi place, whatever.  Up your intake of salmon ASAP.

 

 

For the complete list of the ten healthiest foods on the planet, click here and follow Fitness Magazine on instagram for more inspiration!

xo,

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