2015 New Year’s Resolutions

A couple months from now you may find yourself abandoning your resolutions, reaching for McDonalds or Wendy’s, assuming all hope in the weightloss game is gone so why not just give in? Well, hopefully the next 19 images helps to keep you on track with your goals:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5244.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5241.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5242.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5243.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5240.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5238.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5237.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5239.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5236.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5235.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5234.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5231.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5232.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5230.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5233.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5229.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5228.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5226.png

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fd4/56261913/files/2014/12/img_5227.png

IIFYM: Part 2 Are you doing it right?

images4MRCJONZWe have all heard the phrase “IIFYM brah!” and have seen the endless number of Poptart pictures on Instagram. IIFYM has been huge in the diet and workout industry as of lately. Even my first post on IIFYM has seen the most hits out of all the ones here on my blog. I personally shift back and forth from eating things I WANT to eat and eating things I SHOULD eat when it comes to macro tracking. First let’s start with the three macros one tracks when dieting or bulking: Fat, Protein and Carbs. There are a ton of sites and ways to calculate your macros and calories. From IIFYM.com to the plethora of google results you can get just by typing it in, it might be hard to choose the right formula.

Fret no more! Direct your attention to this article written by a good friend of mine: Scott Herman Fitness Now this isn’t a shameless plug or a bit of spam. I’ve known him since we were in high school and his fitness success has exploded on the internet. You can find him on Youtube as well and follow all his free workout videos.

By calculating the correct number of calories and macro percentages based on your goals, you will find that losing weight or gaining weight can be very easy.

One of the biggest takeaways from IIFYM however is what you put into your body. Many of these IGers will swear by IIFYM and because they are lean and “make gainz” IIFYM and eating poptarts and pizza must be right. Here is where I disagree. There are so many chemical in today’s foods that by eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros, can set your body up for self destruction later on. Why do I say this? Another good friend of mine recently beat cancer by changing his diet and incorporating raw greens juicing and healthy organic foods into his diet. He is a professional bodybuilder and admits to eating fast food at least once a week as his cheat meal before his cancer diagnosis. After cancer, he realized that more should go into what you put into your body. Forget about all the conspiracy theories and people who go for media drama and hype, there are a number of chemicals that are banned in other countries but not here in the US (for those readers who are outside of the US, check online to see if any other chemicals your nation might use are considered harmful).

By raw juicing and eating organic, grass fed beef and chicken, you can rid your body of the harmful chemicals that are snuck into your foods. While it’s great to look lean and cut, what good is that going to do you if you decrease your future quality of life? Be smart about this folks!!

Now I don’t claim to have vast amounts of knowledge in dieting and nutrition. However I’m sure this photo will prove that I have made great progress in trying to understand health and fitness:

 

transformation

While it might be fun to eat poptarts and pizza, please consider the damage you may be causing to your body. Instead, focus on clean foods that will round out your macros while allowing yourself to cheat once and a while so you don’t binge on snack foods. If you have any questions on counting calories or macros, comment below and we will get back to you right away!

As always, following along on Instagram and come on over to our Facebook page Fitness by Claire

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many people question the validity of Apple Cider Vinegar having as many health benefits as scientists say it does. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some information I came across on apple cider vinegar and why you should incorporate this into your diet daily!

apple_cider_vinegar-2

Apple cider vinegar is purported to treat numerous diseases, health   conditions, and annoyances. To name a few, it kills  head lice, reverses aging, eases digestion, prevents flu, prevents acne, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, kills fungus, regulate pH balance, dissolves kidney stones and helps relieve allergies, migraines, asthma, nausea,  heart burn and wash toxins from the body.      Can it really do all these things? You bet it can and more! But what does science say?

  • Diabetes. The effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels is   perhaps the best researched and the most promising of APV’s  health benefits. Several studies have found that   vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, a study (White, A. Diabetes Care, November 2007)  of 11   people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple   cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. In another study from Arizona State University, subjects took a drink of 20 grams of apple cider vinegar and   40 grams of water. Those with insulin   resistance who drank the vinegar had 34% lower postprandial (after-meal)   glucose compared to controls. Vinegar may be the most cost-effective medicine in history, but most people with diabetes still aren’t taking it.
  • High Cholesterol. A 2006 study reported in Medscape General Medicine, showed evidence that ACV could lower cholesterol.  In a study published in a foreign medical journal, scientists found an   apple cider vinegar-enhanced diet may increase in HDL (good   cholesterol), and reduce levels of triglycerides. Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help  control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011).
  • Blood Pressure and Heart Health. Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood   pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil   and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates   of heart disease than people who didn’t. Researchers   have suggested that ‘this reduction in blood pressure may be caused by the   significant reduction in renin activity and the subsequent decrease in   angiotensin II’. Potassium in   the vinegar ‘balances sodium levels in the body, which aids in   maintaining blood pressure within healthy limits’ and ‘apple cider   vinegar also contains magnesium, a mineral that works to relax   blood vessel walls and thus lower high blood pressure’.
  • CancerA few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be   able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. One study found that eating vinegar was   associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another   associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.   In recent trials, pectin, which can be found in ACV, has shown promise   in helping to slow the growth of cancerous cells within the prostate (http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100702/Modified-Citrus-Pectin-holds-promise-against-prostate-cancer.aspx).   In addition, apple cider vinegar’s acidity aids in detoxifying and   cleansing the digestive tract and cleaning out the colon, which supports   the health of the prostate as well.
  • Weight LossFor thousands of years, vinegar has been used for   weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people   feel full. A  study (Ostman, E. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005) of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of   bread along with small amounts of  vinegar felt fuller and more   satisfied than those who just ate the bread. A 2009 study on mice showed that consuming acetic acid (the active component in ACV), upregulates the expression of genes for   fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver causing a suppression in body   fat accumulation. In a double-blind experiment, obese Japanese were assigned to three different groups based on similar body weights, body mass indexes (BMI), and waist circumference. Each group drank a 500 ml drink   containing either 30ml, 15ml, or 0ml of vinegar daily for 12 weeks.   Those in the 30ml and 15ml groups had lower BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, serum triglyceride,   and body weight to the control group of 0ml. The 12-week weight losses   were modest: 1.2kg in the 15ml group and 1.7kg in the 30ml group.   These two groups consumed a similar number of calories to the control   group and also performed a similar amount of exercise, so the effect is   not likely to have been due to an impact on appetite or other lifestyle   changes. It was concluded that consumption of vinegar might reduce   obesity.
  • Alkaline Acid Balance: Some alternative practitioners recommend using apple cider vinegar to   restore alkaline acid balance. The theory behind the alkaline diet is   that our blood is slightly alkaline (with a normal pH level of between   7.35 and 7.45) and that our diet should reflect this pH level.   Proponents of the alkaline-acid theory believe that a diet high in   acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous   production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat,   nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and increased risk of   conditions such as arthritis and gout

Read the full article here: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/071113_Is-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-That-Powerful-of-a-Health-Tonic-Science-Says-Yes.shtml

Citation:

Summerly, J. (2013, July 11). Is Apple Cider Vinegar That Powerful of a Health Tonic? Science Says Yes. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://preventdisease.com/news/13/071113_Is-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-That-Powerful-of-a-Health-Tonic-Science-Says-Yes.shtml

 

Juice of the week

Recently I got into the world of juicing and have enjoyed the process so far. Most of the foods are bought organic at whole foods and the rest at costco. Here is a standard green, alkaline juice recipe we currently use. Later this week I’ll go into more detail about maintains an alkaline diet and why it’s beneficial to you!

Recipe for 2 people
6-8 carrots
2 oranges
Handful of dandelion greens
2 lemons
1″ of ginger
1 medium beet

Juice together and enjoy! We add a tsp of spirulina and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to our drinks!

20140305-140038.jpg

Favorite Paleo Pins of the Week!

I’ve considered doing a weekly post with some of my favorite food pins from Pinterest. Coming soon will also be Juice recipes for those of you who have picked up juicing like we just did. We have been doing it with a specific idea in mind: fight cancer. I don’t know how well it works, but we will find out in the coming months. For now, enjoy these Paleo Recipes!

Wheat Free Pancakes

Wheat Free Pancakes

 

Zucchini Spice Muffins

Zucchini Spice Muffins

Banana, Bacon, Almond Butter Snack

Banana, Bacon, Almond Butter Snack

Almond Flour Breakfast BiscuitsIf you are not on pinterest you need to be on it! If you are then please click on this link and follow my boards! http://www.pinterest.com/levyii/boards

Mango Strawberry Salsa

Even though the Polar Vortex has made it’s way down here to sunny South Florida, that’s no reason to not enjoy some flavors of summer with your dinner! I recently made my Broiled Tilapia and decided that instead of the bread crumb topping I usually put on it, I would do a Strawberry Mango salsa instead. Ingredients are simple and the instructions are even easier!!

Ingredients

3/4 Cup Strawberries, finely diced
3/4 Cup Mangos, finely diced
1/4 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
6 Basil Leaves, finely chopped
1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Combine all the ingredients together and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill. Use this as a topping for your favorite fish, chicken or even steak, it’s great on everything!!

photo 2 (3)

Follow along on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

Chicken Salad without Mayo

Chicken salad is always a great go to for quick sandwiches for both kids and adults. Many recipes though call for the use of mayo in chicken salad. Well the other day I combined my cool avocado cream sauce (link to recipe down below) with the rest of the ingredients for chicken salad and it was amazing!! Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts or tenderloins, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews or pecans
  • 1/2 dried cranberries or chopped grapes (or both)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cool Avocado Cream Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Boil chicken in a pot of water until cooked. Once cooked through, strain and shred with fork or hand mixer, or chop into cubes
  2. Mix chicken in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the Cool Avocado Cream sauce, and rest of ingredients.
  3. Chill in refrigerator and enjoy on it’s own or in sandwiches!

>photo 1 (3)!

This makes a great quick sandwich especially on some whole wheat bread or a whole wheat pita. I don’t have the nutritional value of a serving of this chicken salad but if enough request it I will figure it out and add it to the post. Thanks so much! As always follow along on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram

Cool Avocado Cream Sauce

untitled4

The other day I was looking for ways to incorporate avocado into my recipes. I don’t normally like avocado, I think it’s more of a texture than a taste issue for me. My husband however, loves it. So I decided to browse Pinterest for ways to include avocado and came across some Avocado Cream Sauce. It was perfect. The consistency came out a little thicker than I thought it would but I think it’s because I used some genetically enhanced avocado because it was HUGE!

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of no fat greek yogurt
  • juice of one lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. chop up avocado and put into food processor or blender.
  2. add yogurt and lime juice and blend until smooth.
  3. add cilantro and salt to taste

Here is a photo of mine, but please excuse the pathetic look to it, the bowl was full and in two days it looked like this:

photo 2 (2)

We used the last bit of this to make a chicken salad last night that has cranberries, pecans and cashews. Stay tuned and happy Monday!

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy new year everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts and vow to make more this year. I took the last two weeks to relax with my husband as he had lots of time off which was wonderful! Because we spent the holidays lounging around, we found ourselves with a craving for sweet treats. I don’t usually buy treats when grocery shopping as we are trying to monitor calories and macros (this will be a post coming soon so stay tuned). I searched the internet and found a recipe for peanut butter cookies that did not include flour! Below are the ingredients and instructions for these cookies that only lasted 2 days:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter. I used Crazy Richards chunky which was good but I think just natural Skippy or Jiff would be better.
  • 1 cup sugar. Some of you may not like sugar since it’s not as healthy and Stevia for baking is a great alternative. I used Dominos brown sugar here.
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (so your cookies aren’t flat)
  • 2 teaspoons of flax meal (optional but a great source of omega-3 and highly recommended).

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. spoon 1 tbsp of mixture onto cookie sheet.
  4. Push a fork into the dough to get the classic peanut butter cookie look.
  5. cook in oven between 10-15 min until golden brown.
  6. take out of oven and transfer to cooling rack *warning: since there is no flour I found the cookies broke apart a bit when transferring them so either be gentle or wait until they cool before transferring.

20140103-205310.jpg

20140103-205357.jpg

I hope you all enjoy them and as always come follow us on twitter and Instagram

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

photo (2)

I’m always looking for new and exciting recipes to try and I happened to stumble across this gem. I made it right away today and as you can see, I already dipped into it, for the sole reason of reporting how good it is of course! This recipe calls for basic ingredients, most of them should be in your pantry already. I put all my ingredients into MyFitnessPal recipes and it came out to 147 calories for 1/2 cup serving with 19g of carbs and only 6 grams of fat. The ingredients you will need are:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking kind)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup. Now I use Walden Farms calorie free, gluten free, carb free, sugar free syrup

photo (1)

  • 1 cup of milk (I used Pure Silk Coconut milk, made it taste awesome)
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-3 bananas (depending on the size of your baking dish)
  • 1 cup blueberries frozen or thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Lightly grease your 2 qt baking dish, I just used a stick of butter and rubbed the bottom. In a bowl, mix the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to mix it all up. In a separate bowl, mix syrup, milk, egg, butter and vanilla
  3. Cut up the bananas and place the slices across the bottom of your baking dish. In my glass 2 qt dish I used 1 1/2 bananas to do this. Cover the bottom with the bananas. Put half the blueberries on top of the bananas. Sprinkle the dry mix on top of the blueberries making sure to get an even layer out of it. Pour the liquid mix on top of the dry mix, don’t stir it up, just leave it on top.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the blueberries on top of the liquid mix and bake in the oven for 35-40 min or until the top is browned and the oats have set.

Enjoy!

Follow along on twitter or instagram and on pinterest