Can you boost your metabolism?

Tips To Speed Rev Up Your MeatabolismHi Everyone!  Recently I was having a conversation with my dad regarding losing weight and working out.  After talking with his doctor, he has recently decided to lose some weight and start a new healthier lifestyle.  I am so excited to help him out with this process.  One of the questions he had for me was about metabolism.  He asked me how to boost his metabolism especially since he is getting older (mid 50’s) this is an area he is struggling with.  This was such a great question.  So I set out to do a little research and help him and all of my readers too. A lot of this information I learned in my fitness certification courses and some of my continuing education courses as well.  

Tips To Boost Your Metabolism

  1. Get Enough Sleep
  2. Eat A Good Breakfast (carbs, protein and fats)
  3. Strength Train
  4. Reduce Stress
  5. Eat Clean Unprocessed Organic Foods
  6. Increase your protein intake
  7. Add interval training into your workouts
  8. Drink a lot of water
  9. Drink Green Tea

Causes For Slow Metabolism

  1. Eating Processed Foods
  2. Too Much Alcohol
  3. Skipping Meals (especially breakfast) or Not Eating Enough
  4. Not getting enough sleep
  5. Dehydration
  6. Skipping Workouts

*Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician.  These are just my tips and suggestions.  I always suggest working with your doctor or Naturopath prior to starting anything new in your diet or a new workout program.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 

 

 

 

 

Low Impact HIIT Workout

Happy Hump Day!  I got the chance to sub for another instructor at the gym yesterday and I love her class.  They are so much fun!  However, her class is a lot different than my insane boot campers!  It is a low impact strength and conditioning class.  Just because a class is low impact doesn’t mean it isn’t a good workout!  This is a great low impact workout that is still tough but will be easier on your joints and require less jumping or plyometric moves.  I got a great workout  and it is always nice to try something a little different.  This workout combines strength training and cardio burst intervals.  Give it a try.   

Warm Up (5 Minutes)

For the warm up you can warm up with a brisk walk or easy jog on the treadmill, elliptical or bike.  Or you can do a combination of dynamic warm up moves.  I like to do a combination of dynamic exercises for 30 seconds each.  Here are a few suggestions:  bodyweight squats, lunges, jacks, jog or march in place, butt kickers, high knees, toe touches, walk outs, or push ups.  These will get your body warmed up and your muscles loose so that you will be ready for  the workout.

After the warm up you will complete each exercise in the circuit at maximum intensity for 30 seconds rest for 10 seconds if needed. Complete 2-3 rounds. 

Low Impact

Always be sure to cool down and stretch following any workout.  Right now I am trying to incorporate more stretching into my workouts and it is feeling really good!  

After my workout  I had a great smoothie  bowl.  I don’t know about you guys but I like to eat my smoothies rather than drink them really fast.  I have been addicted to smoothie bowls lately.  Here is what I had today it was yummy.  Feel free to adjust to your taste.  

Blueberry Almond Smoothie Bowl

  • ½ of a frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop green vibrance or a handful of greens like spinach or kale

Add all the ingredients to your blender. To get a thick smoothie you will need to use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Once it is blended and has a thick consistency (like soft serve ice cream) scoop it out into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, chia seeds, chopped almonds, unsweetened coconut, or granola.  I topped mine with this yummy granola that tastes like a peanut butter cookie.  I seriously love all of her recipes!!!!

http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/06/14/peanut-butter-granola/

Just remember to go easy on the toppings they can add up in calories.  I prefer to measure mine out for portion control.  

On another note, I really need to start taking more pictures of my food!  Next time I promise!

Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!

All  of my teacher friends know how valuable summer break is.  We all look forward to it and we are always very refreshed when we head back to school in the fall.  Today was my first day of summer break and it was great!  It started off with a quiet run with my dog.  The weather was beautiful and the sun was rising. After that I got to take my daughters to school since they still had one more day.  I always enjoy taking them to school since I don’t get to do it very often.  I cannot believe a year has flown by since I was dropping them off on the first day of school. 

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After that the hubby and I went down to our favorite winery the Teleya Winery in Boise to sit on the beautiful patio and enjoy some wine tastings while listening to the rushing Boise River.  We love the wine and the atmosphere.  Continue reading “Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!”

Banana Oat Protein Pancakes Recipe

Hi guys, I hope you are having a great week.  I am totally looking forward to the weekend.  I made the best pancakes today in my Vitamix blender.  I basically just threw in a bunch of ingredients hoping it would turn out ok and it was delicious!  These were very filling too.  I would say it makes about 2 servings but today I was extra hungry after my workout so I gobbled all of these up with some peanut butter on top.  I was not hungry at all until lunch.  Now, it does make about 4 pancakes, so you do not have to eat them all like I did!  Unfortunately I didn’t have time this morning to take a pic of them but I am planning to make more this weekend and keep them in the fridge for the week. 

 

Banana Oat Protein Pancakes
Serves 1
Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Ripe Banana
  2. 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
  3. 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  4. 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oatmeal
  5. 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour onto a griddle or pan and cook until golden brown over medium to low heat. These can burn easy so be sure to watch them closely.
Notes
  1. Top with Greek yogurt and berries or your favorite nut butter and a drizzle of honey (optional).
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

Quick, Healthy and Easy Breakfast Ideas

breakfast ideasHappy Friday everyone.  I am definitely looking forward to the weekend and of course Mother’s Day.  One of my favorite meals of the day is breakfast!  Most of the time I work out super early in the morning so I am starving by breakfast time.  If you need some inspiration or want to change  your typical breakfast I thought I would share some of my favorite breakfast meals and recipes with you.  I am in no way a chef!  I like to watch cooking shows, but I don’t consider myself a gourmet cook.  These are some of my favorite breakfast recipes that I make and from around the web that are not only healthy but quick and delicious as well.  Check them out!  Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!!!!!

3 Ingredient Pancakes

There are a lot of recipes for these out there.  I personally like to mix 1 ripe banana, 2 eggs or egg whites, 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and cinnamon.  I cook them long and slow in some coconut oil spray.  The seem to do better for me on a lower heat for a longer amount of time.  Top them off with some nut butter, Greek yogurt, or fresh fruit and you have a yummy breakfast.  You can easily make a double batch of these and keep them in the fridge for the week.

Overnight Oats:  This is one of my favorite recipes.  I love a lot of the recipes on her blog!  Overnight Oatshttp://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2013/09/02/peanut-butter-cookie-dough-overnight-oats-dairy-free/

 

 

Kodiak Cakes:  This is a pre-mixed box pancake mix.  While I usually try to make my own pancake mix this is a convenient option.  This is a pretty clean mix.  100% whole grain wheat and oat flour and they have 7 grams of protein per serving.  I just saw that they have new flavors coming out:  Chocolate, Crunchy Peanut Butter and a Gluten Free Option.  I can’t wait to try the peanut butter!  I buy a giant box of this at Costco! http://www.kodiakcakes.com/mixes/

Eggs and Avocado Toast:  Super simple and quick.  Eggs cooked however you like with some toast topped with a dollop of mashed avocado, sea salt, and cracked pepper.  If you like spice, you can sprinkle a bit of hot sauce on top too.  My fave!

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls:  You can’t go wrong with a smoothie. Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Maca Superfood Powder

 

Breakfast Burrito:  My hubby makes these for our daughters and they are easy to store in the refrigerator for a quick healthy breakfast.  He likes to make them using egg whites or whole eggs, turkey sausage, cheese and veggies.  You can customize these any way you like and they will be delicious.

Baked Oatmeal:  I love oatmeal in general but to make it easier and quicker I whip up a batch of baked oatmeal and eat it throughout the week.  This is my favorite recipe.  Sorry I don’t have a picture I ate it too fast before taking a photo!

Apple Blueberry Baked Protein Oatmeal

⅓ cup        Egg whites

½ cup       Unsweetened applesauce

2 ¼ cup    Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop     Protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)

1 tsp         Vanilla extract

4 cups      Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup        Blueberries

Liquid Stevia to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the egg whites, applesauce, almond milk, protein powder and vanilla extract until combined.  If you choose to use stevia whisk that in as well.  Stir in oats until well combined.  Fold in blueberries gently.  Spread mixture into baking dish and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until set.  Store in the refrigerator or freeze individual portions for a quick and easy breakfast.

201 Calories    3.6 grams fat    33.5 grams of carbs  9.1 grams of protein *these numbers are approximate, I entered them in to myfitness pal.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  If you have a breakfast you love please feel free to comment and share.  I am always looking for new yummy ideas.

 

How to sleep better: My tips and tricks

happy birthday to you

Can we talk about sleep for a minute?  I have been really struggling for the past month or so with my sleep.  March was a rough month.  There were nights when I was barely getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night.  This is not healthy for anyone especially if you have a past history of seizures.  I tried taking some natural treatment like calms forte and melatonin, but these did not work for me.  So I had to resort to a sleeping aid to get my body back on track (doctor’s orders).  I do not like taking any type of medication, so this was a struggle for me.  Now that I am back on track with my sleep I am going to work on better sleep hygiene.  It’s just like working out, it’s something we need to do for our bodies and minds. Here are some tips and suggestions if you have trouble sleeping or bouts of insomnia.

First off relax!  If you are like me and you have a few nights of no sleep you can easily get anxious or stressed out.  Just relax.  If you always associate negative feelings with going to sleep and worry that you may not be able to sleep it will keep you awake.  Try writing in your journal before bed, listening to mediation guides (I love sleep ezy tonight on youtube), or pray.

I take some supplements to help me sleep as well.  Magnesium supplements can help the calm your nerves and lessen anxiety.  I take my supplement Magnesium Glycinate about 1 hour prior to going to bed.  It can also help with muscle soreness.  If you prefer you can take an Epsom salt bath with some lavendar essential oils to increase your magnesium.

Limit caffeine.  This is a big one for me.  I cannot even have decaf coffee after a certain point in the day.  I make sure I drink my coffee before 10 am.  I am very strict about this.   I only drink two cups per day.

Eat!  Don’t go to bed hungry. However, don’t eat a large meal too close to bedtime.   If you are hungry eat something small before bed that contains tryptophan.  Like turkey slices, eggs, or sip warm milk.  I like to steam a cup of almond milk with some cinnamon and turmeric and sip on that before bed if I am still hungry.

Exercise.  Be sure you are getting enough exercise.  Include a variety of daily exercise including interval training, strength training, yoga and walking.

Make your room a comfortable sleep environment.  If I get too hot I cannot sleep, so I keep my room cool.  The ideal temperature is between 60-67 degrees.  I prefer 64 degrees.  Use blackout curtains if your room is too light and make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillows.

Get some down time.  For me I have to have at least an hour before bed for some down time to just relax and so something to calm your mind and body.  Maybe you watch HGTV like I do or maybe you read a book.  Do what you need to do to wind down before bed.

One last note about technology.  Try to avoid using technology too close to bed.  Stay off your computer and your phone if you can.

One last thing (I really need to work on this one)!  If you can’t sleep get up and go to another room and try to relax.  Maybe read a book, meditate, or make a list of what is on your mind.  If you lay in bed and stare at the clock you will just become anxious and stressed and then you really will have trouble falling asleep.

I am still working on a lot of these areas in my own life.  I hope that these tips will help you get a good night’s sleep!

Of course I am not a doctor and these are merely tips and suggestions that work for me.  Always seek your doctor’s advice before starting any type of supplements or sleep aids.

Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe (Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)

Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day!  My youngest daughter’s Birthday is today!  You may recall that my older daughter had a Birthday last week too.  So it’s been a bit crazy around here and we have had a lot of sweets showing up in the form of cupcakes and cake.  So I whipped up a batch of my healthy brownie bites today to curb that sweet tooth and avoid devouring too many cupcakes later at her party!

I have been experimenting with a lot of healthy brownie alternatives lately. Can you tell I have been craving brownies? I am a big fan of Larabars for my pre-workout energy, but they can be pretty spendy depending on where you buy them. So I started making my own which is much more budget friendly. They are super easy and quick to make and you can keep them in your fridge for a quick pick me up before your workout. My friend Wendy gave me a recipe for a brownie bite, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this recipe. Give these a try and let me know what you think!Brownie Energy BItes

Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe

(Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)  Makes 16 Balls (1 tbs size)

1 1/2 Cups Walnuts or Almonds (I used raw almonds)

Pinch of salt

1 cup pitted dates

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Scoops Protein Powder (optional)

*Other optional add-ins: Maca Powder, Chia Seeds, Ground Flax or Coconut

In a food processor pulse the nuts and the salt until finely ground. Add the dates, vanilla, cocoa powder and protein powder and blend or pulse. The mixture may be a bit dry at this point so you may have to add water slowly until the mixture becomes sticky. I added almost a ¼ cup of water, but I also added the protein powder. Scoop the mixture into about a tablespoon size ball (I like a to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (they don’t last that long at my house). You now have a quick easy pre-workout snack or a little after dinner dessert treat!

Healthy Brownie Bites Vegan and Gluten Free

Happy Monday!  It’s been a Birthday frenzy at my house.  Both my daughters have Birthday’s in April and while I love cake, especially frosting, I cannot eat cake for every party we have.  I did indulge a bit in this beautiful cake my mom made for my daughter Chloe, but I paid the price later.  I am pretty sensitive to dairy and this cake had a whipped cream frosting, which was very yummy!  I cannot eat a lot of dairy or I pay the price.  So I searched the internet and found a few recipes and made a few tweeks and came up with a super yummy brownie bite recipe.  These brownie bites feature 4 simple ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare.  I will say that if you are used to eating the “real deal” brownie bites, this is not going to taste the same.  Depending on the protein powder you use it will change the taste and texture.  One of my daughters ate 3 of them, the other did not like them at all.  I really enjoyed them, but I don’t usually eat a lot of super sweet foods.  My hubby plans to top them with a bit of peanut butter or real whipped cream!  So next time you have a party or an event and need to bring a dessert give these brownies a try. Or just make a batch when you have a major chocolate craving!

Healthy Brownie Bite Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Makes 15 Brownie Bites (I used a mini muffin tin)

3 Ripe Bananas

½ Cup Nut Butter (I used almond butter)

4 Scoops Orgain Protein Powder (2 Servings)

4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Optional:  Stevia to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin or 9×13 pan with non-stick coconut oil spray.  In a food processor or mixer blend bananas, nut butter, protein powder and cocoa powder until smooth and fully incorporated.  Scoop the mixture into your pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

Maca Superfood Powder

If you are not familiar with Maca it is a root that is an adaptogen and is getting a lot of buzz lately. I learned about it from my naturopathic doctor and started incorporating it into my diet.   Maca has a lot of benefits.  I am not a nutritionist, but here are a few things that I have noticed while incorporating it into my diet.

Benefits of Maca

  • Can help with PMS symptoms
  • Hormones and Sexual Health
  • Energy, Mood and Memory
  • Antioxidant

Now you are probably curious about how to incorporate it into your diet.  There are many ways to use it.  You can even make a drink out of it (I have not tried that).  My favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, topped on yogurt or smoothie bowls with a bit of granola, and I also mix some into my energy balls recipe I make (recipe link below).

Here is a link to my energy ball recipe:  https://livingthewrightway.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/pre-workout-eats/

Chocolate Banana Nut Butter Smoothie (1 serving)

1 Cup of Milk of Your Choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

½ Small Frozen Banana

2 Tablespoons Nut Butter (I like peanut butter or almond butter)

1 Handful of Spinach

1 tsp maca powder (I use healthworks maca powder on Amazon)

1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

Ice (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Chocolate PB Chia Pudding

A few weeks ago I started a new meal plan with Gauge Girl Training.  I have been in a slump and I wanted to change things up a bit with my eating.  I was always feeling hungry and my body fat was creeping up.  It may have had something to do with the fact that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter.   So I heard about the custom meal plans with Gauge Girl Training, so I thought I would give it a try.  I got my meal plan and I noticed there were a lot of protein shakes on it.  I do get a bit tired of the plain old protein shake, so I tried a new twist on my protein shakes.  I made it into a protein chia pudding and now I am addicted.  So I wanted to share my recipe with you.  I eat it as post workout breakfast or in the evening for a little dessert treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding (serves 1)

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any milk here)

2 Tablespoons PB2 or other powdered peanut butter

1 scoop or 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (I use the chocolate flavored Orgain)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  I like to leave mine in longer.  Enjoy!

Here is the nutrition breakdown based on my recipe:

Calories 270, Fat 9.2 grams, Carbs 24.5

*Note:  I have tried this with a whey isolate protein powder as well and it was a bit runny, so you may need to adjust your milk ratio a bit and use less if you have a different type of protein powder.  It still tasted great!  FullSizeRender