Tag Archives: Green Monster

My Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthier Everyday

I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite awhile now, not only to share with you, but as a reminder to myself of how I’ve changed my daily eating and health habits in order to live a better lifestyle.

#1  Sprinkle Chia Seeds on Anything You Can!  Make overnight oats, sprinkle on almond butter on a whole wheat bagel, sprinkle onto yogurt, mix 1 tbsp in any and all smoothies and shakes, or add a sprinkle to your oatmeal.

Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many
other grains such as wheat and rice.  Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium,
zinc and phosphorus.

1 tablespoons of Chia = 3.5  grams of fiber, 1 gram
of protein, 102 milligrams of calcium, 2.5 grams omega-3

#2  Eat Local and Organic Fruits and Veggies!  Find your town’s local farmer’s market!  The city of Charlotte has multiple farmer’s market, you just have to find them!(Atherton Mills, King’s Market, Yorkmont Farmer’s Market)   If you do not have a farmer’s market, just be aware of where you are buying your fruits and veggies.  When it is the off season for markets, I just focus on buying the organic fruit and veggies that have ‘skin’ that you consume (i.e. strawberries, tomatoes).  It is not as a neccessity to buy bananas and oranges organic, because you throw the peels away.

I used to not go to the farmer’s market to get my fruits and veggies.  I used to buy from the grocery store because that’s what I was brought up on.  Then I learned how such a high percentage of fruits and veggies you buy from the grocery store are genetically modified so that you can buy tomatoes as large as your head.   Should we be eating fruits and veggies on steroids?  Is that what YOU want to put into your body?  I certainly don’t.

#3  Focus on buying Whole Wheat Pasta, Breads and Grains.   Whole grains offer vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients. Studies have shown that eating more whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. New studies show that whole grains may lower triglycerides, improve insulin control, help in weight
management, and slow the build-up of arterial plaque (WheatFoodsCouncil).

I remember a time that I used to not pay as much attention to what was WHOLE wheat vs. just regular wheat bread.  I thought wheat bread was healthy, so that’s what I bought.  Make sure you are buying whole wheat breads and grains, and not being fooled as I once was.  Whole wheat foods are full of fiber because they’re made from the entire wheat kernel: germ, bran, and endosperm.  Fiber takes up room in your stomach, which then sends your brain the signal that you’re full.  Take advantage of the added nutrients whole grains offer, it will be worth the extra 50cents or so to help maintain your health.

#4 Eat Healthy Snacks to Speed Up Your Metabolism!   Whenever I can at my job, I snack on something healthy.  I often bring some type of ‘bar’ or almonds or a ziplock of fresh fruit to speed up my metabolism as I work and keep my blood sugar regular.   Nut tip–always go for RAW nuts!  You don’t want the added sodium in salted or honey roasted nuts, eventhough they may be tastier. 

I like to think of it this way, make healthy snacks your ONLY option!  While I’m running errands, I tend to bring a banana or pack of raw almonds with me as my only option if I need a snack.  Don’t fall for fast food cravings, etc.–I mean do I really have to say that?  Hopefully not.  I’m going to make my own Larabars soon, and I will post the recipe on here as well. 

#5 Buy Bulk!    I wish I have buying bulk items FOREVER, but at least I can start buying them now.  Sometimes I feel like a kid in the candy store when I visit the bulk foods section of a grocery store.  No I don’t mean the bulk CANDY department either!! All your whole grains, flours and nuts can be found in bulk in some grocery stores–(i.e. EarthFare, Healthy Home Market) just to name a few in Charlotte. 

I love going home and storing my bulk items in Mason jars tightly sealed as well.  It makes for great kitchen organization and you’re more apt to use your whole grains and other bulk foods, if they are out in plain vision on a shelf in your kitchen, rather than shoved in cabinets up high.

#6 Cashews Create A Great Lowfat Cream Sauce!  So Brandon and I enjoy making pasta often at our house, and we’ve even started to buy vodka sauce lately, which is made with heavy cream.  Instead of using this sauce, we have most recently been making our own sauce using RAW CASHEWS!  Genius, right?  Here is the recipe for this Tomato Basil Cream Pasta made with cashews, of all things.

#7 Drink Non-Dairy Milk!! So tell me again, why are you drinking milk from a cow?  Eww…gross.  It’s ok, I used to drink milk from a cow too, then I realized that’s kinda crazy that humans are the only mammal that consume milk from another mammal.  So now we only buy non-dairy milk, this includes but is not limited to…almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.

Almond Milk vs. Cow Milk Benefits

“Naturally, almond is a type of nut which provides people with high content of vitamin E, omega (6 and 9), fiber and also protein. Besides, almond is rich in magnesium, selenium and flavonoids. If you wish to get more calcium, then cow milk is much better to take. However, nothing is better in providing good level of calcium except cow milk.”

“When it comes to talk about the milk production of almond milk vs cow milk, almond milk offers the healthier and safer process. If you look at the steps to make both milks, you will soon find the fact that getting the milk from a cow is a process which is prone to contamination. In fact, many cows are mostly injected with some different antibiotics and hormones which can possibly affecting people health.”

#8 Whey Protein Absorbs Faster Than Casein Protein after a Workout.   So after a workout I used to think eating cottage cheese was a good snack because it contained protein.  WRONG!  I recently learned that cottage cheese contains casein protein, a slow-digesting protein.  After a workout, the best thing to have is a whey protein shake.  Whey protein absorbs quickly in the body and helps with rebuilding muscle after a workout.  Sometimes I just mix 1 scoop of protein powder with water and drink it after a workout.  We currently have chocolate protein powder, so it basically tastes like chocolate milk.  Stay tuned for a simple post-workout protein shake update.

#9   Try NEW-to-you Foods!

Since I’ve been reading blogs more often and trying out new recipes, I come across new ingredients all the time I’ve never tried much less bought.  I have to sometimes research or ask a friend how to prepare, where to find or buy certain ingredients because I’ve never bought them before.  There are tons and tons of great foods out there–from tofu to tempeh to beet burgers to overnight oats.  You just need to explore your options and try them!  I’ve been eating sushi for close to 10 years now, so sushi is not so new to me, although I’m sure there are still some out there that have never tried it or have no desire to, that’s why I picked this picture to include.  Get out of the meatloaf, spaghetti, grilled chicken, fish, steak dinner rotation!  Bottom line—try new foods when given the opportunity, you may have a new favorite!

#10  Bring Reusable Bags with You to ALL Stores–not just the grocery store!  

I thought this was a great paragraph I just read on (www.wholeliving.com) so I’d thought I’d share this one!  “For one week, count how many disposable bags you get. Make a couple of trips to  the grocery store, grab lunch from your favorite sandwich shop, pick up a  prescription at the pharmacy — it seriously adds up. In the United States  alone, we go through 100 billion plastic bags per year, less than 1 percent of  which get recycled. Bringing a sturdy tote wherever you go is one of the easiest  Earth-friendly changes you can make.”  Yessir!! It’s true!!

This is my trunk already ready to go grocery shopping, or to Target or wherever!

Overall these are MY Top 10 ways I’ve been eating healthier every day and I hope this post has inspired you to do the same. 🙂

Lots of happy puppies and love,

Lisa

My Green Monster, Much ‘needed’ new items, and Brandon’s Tennis Match

My Green Monster

First of all, let me introduce you to the leader of the Green Monster Movement, the author of OhSheGlows.com, Angela Liddon.  Her blog has inspired me in many ways to create healthy meals for myself and my boyfriend and live a healthy lifestyle.  She has also inspired me to make Green Monsters which are essentially, green smoothies full of fresh fruit, veggies and other add-ins which improve skin, hair, nails and enrich our bodies full of nutrients. UPDATE—I just got my Green Monster recipe posted on the GreenMonsterMovement.com!! Check it out HERE!

Deuce's Green Monster

Ingredients

*1 handful of ice

*1 handful of frozen fruit

(I used strawberries, mango, pineapple, bananas, and papaya)

*1 c. almond milk

*2 handfuls of spinach

*1/2 c. to 3/4 c. of vanilla or plain yogurt

*1 tbsp. of chia or flax seeds

*1 tbsp. of honey

(omit yogurt and honey, if needed)

Place all ingredients in the blender and VOILA!  An easy and healthful smoothie!

I loved seeing how green my smoothie came out, by adding lots of spinach.  Just recently I have been making sure I always have frozen fruit on hand, in order to make last minute banana soft serve or smoothies.

Some other tasty add-ins would be…coconut flakes, granola, almonds or almond butter, sugar-free vanilla syrump, carob or chocolate chips…and the list goes on.

I brought my smoothie to drink at work as a meal replacement.  Everyone asked me how to make it and said it looked like a Smoothie King creation.  Smoothie King drink your heart out!

Here are a few more websites that have great smoothie recipes!!!

Sometimes I “Veg”

Pictures Pups and Pies

Oh She Glows

Much ‘needed’ NEW items 

While I was out running errands today, I got real excited about some much wanted needed Target finds…although some I needed more than others.  Here is a before picture of the measuring cups and spoons I was currently using.  Let’s just say my dishwasher had melted them, and I had been using them still for a few years now with holes in them….seriously.

Ruined measuring cups

New Item #1

Measuring cups and spoons and small colander for draining canned goods.

New Items #2 and #3

Next I treated myself to a new convenient roll-up picnic blanket to bring to Pops in the Park, if we don’t get rained out again this week.

Roll-Up picnic blanket and MUCH NEEDED Mimosa/Sangria Carafe

and…if you give a mouse a cookie girl a picnic blanket, she more than likely needs a carafe for mimosas or sangria!!!

New Item #4

Bird Feeder and NOT NEW PURCHASE Hummingbird Feeder

So…let me explain this next purchase…a bird feeder to feed hungry birds BECAUSE THIRSTY HUMMINGBIRDS ARE NOT COMING TO MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER!  My friend, Mariah, was having such good luck getting cute hummingbirds to come to her feeder in her backyard that I bought a nearly identical bright red(because that’s supposedly what they like best) hummingbird feeder and I haven’t seen 1 hummingbird yet!  Does anyone know what’s wrong with my feeder?  or the location?  or my fresh nectar (made with 1 part sugar and 4 parts water)?  Well anyways, while my hummingbird feeder stays empty, check out my friend’s cool hummingbird pics…and one day maybe I’ll have a good hummingbird update.

 Brandon’s Tennis Match

So…if you have been reading my blog, my last post was about how Brandon and I were practicing playing tennis more so, so I could learn how to play the game.  Well to help cheer him on, Lacey and I attended one of his mixed doubles matches this past week.  Here are some pics from our adventure!

And..Brandon and his partner wore matching outfits…I’ve forgotten to ask if he sent out a memo on wearing blue shirts and black shorts or not.

The park that Brandon played his match at also had tons of beach volleyball games consecutively going on.

Lacey had a good time checking out other people and dogs.

 And then she saw Brandon tying his shoes and remembered how much she missed her Daddy.

Until she found a stick….

and was preoccupied for a bit.

What a happy puppy!!

If you were wondering about the outcome of Brandon’s tennis match…no they didn’t win this time, but he’s still a winner in my heart!…aww