ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN

Fitness is only one part of good health! From recipes to quick snacks, we have plenty of nutrition tips to keep you energized for not just your workout, but your entire day.

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Watermelon Feta Avocado Salad

08/03/2017

SERVES 2

 

INGREDIENTS

3-4 cups mixed greens
2 cups watermelon, cut into triangles
½ cup crumbled feta

1 avocado, sliced

¼ cup fresh basil

Dressing of choice (we recommend balsamic)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Divide ingredients between two plates and top with your favorite dressing. Serve immediately.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers

07/25/2017

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken sliced into 1” cubes

Wood or metal skewers for grilling

For the Thai peanut sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Thai chili paste
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix first seven ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Toss chicken in marinade and pour into a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  2. Make the sauce by whisking together ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  1. Preheat grill to high heat*. Thread chicken onto skewers and grease the grill. Place skewers on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Serve chicken with the Thai peanut sauce.

*If desired, you can also grill veggies to serve along with your appetizers or meal. We used zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, but onions and eggplant are great options too. Simply chop veggies up, coat them lightly with oil and place on skewers to grill while the chicken is cooking.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

Striving For Balance

07/22/2017

Maintaining a healthy balance in life is so important. But so is everything on your to-do list, or so it seems. Meetings, emails, errands, relationships, children, cooking, cleaning, and on and on. Something has to give. Just make sure that something isn’t your health.

Let us help. There are ways to make time in your life for the important things, with the most important being you. Try these strategies and see how you feel. We’re betting it will make the balancing act a bit more bearable.

                                                               

  • Put Down the Devices. Disconnect for periods of time. It’s hard, we know. We’re all hooked on constant information. But try it, for even just a few hours a night. Put the phone down. Give your work brain a rest. 
  • Start Saying No. If you’re a pleaser, it’s not easy to do. But trust us on this, co-workers will survive if you can’t make Thursday’s happy hour. So will everyone else. Decline invitations that are not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life.
  • Avoid Toxic People. Minimize the negative influences around you. If you can’t completely avoid them, minimize contact. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people. You’ll feel better.
  • Try Something New. Try something that feels good to you but you weren’t sure you had time to do. You do have time. You could try meditating a few minutes a day. Or writing in a journal. Maybe hitting the mat for some yoga stretches. This is your time to give to yourself. Check in with a Snap trainer about some ideas that might work for you. You deserve it.
  • Nurture Relationships. This is the opposite of avoiding toxic people. Give more to the relationships that feed your soul. Connect deeply with the people you care about and see where that takes you.
  • Practice Self-Awareness. There’s no universal blueprint for achieving balance as we’re all different. The best first step is acknowledging that you’re seeking it. Everything will fall into place after that.  
  • Ditch the Multitasking. Multitasking is scientifically proven to inhibit productivity and heighten stress. Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Let Go of Control. We all want to feel in control of our lives. At the same time, putting the pressure on ourselves to try and control all aspects of our life is a recipe for imbalance and stress. Maintaining an outlook of flexibility is key to a balanced life.

6 Traits of a Delicious and Healthy Protein Bar

07/12/2017

Remember when protein bars were few and far between? It wasn’t that long ago when they seemed like a novelty in the grocery aisle. But those days are long gone. Today there are entire aisles of protein bars. So how do you choose? Let us help. Keep these six things in mind and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect protein bar for you.

  1. High-Quality Protein. When selecting the best protein bars, the more protein, the better, but only if that protein is good quality. Look for a minimum of five grams per bar. The best proteins to look for are milk and whey.
  2. Low Sugar. Make sure your bar has no more than eight grams of sugar per serving. Bars with low sugar will prevent your blood sugar from increasing, which will prevent your body from producing too much insulin, which can lead to unwanted fat storage. Eating as little sugar as possible is the best way to prevent this.
  3. Limit Carbs. Excess carbs are quickly converted to fat and can cause cravings so make sure to pick a low-carb bar.
  4. Calorie Control. For women, the bar should contain between 140 and 200 calories; for men, between 170 and 300 calories. For some of the bigger protein bars, this may mean cutting it in half to avoid too many calories. Caveat: calories aren’t all bad. There is no need to fear them, especially after exercise when they can speed up your recovery. But they key is not to overeat and consume just what you need.
  5. Be Wary of Artificial Sweeteners. To get a delicious tasting bar without sugar, many bar manufacturers use artificial sweeteners. Many artificial sweeteners, despite being calorie free, are unhealthy. They can cause cravings and an unhelpful insulin response. Many artificial sweeteners also cause headaches, joint pain, and problems with concentration. Best to avoid artificial sweeteners.
  6. Look for Healthy Fats. A low-fat diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. In fact, some dietary fat is good. Omega three and omega six polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are important. However, high amounts of saturated fats contain a lot of unwanted calories, which is the last thing you want in a protein bar. Look for bars that contain healthy fats but are low in saturated fat. Aim for a bar with less than three grams. While saturated fats are OK in small amounts, trans fats are not. Make sure your bar has no trans fats. Pro tip: hydrogenated vegetable oils are a common source of trans fats. 

Gluten Free Patriotic Fruit Pizza

07/02/2017

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract  

1 3/4 cups 1:1 gluten-free flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


For the topping:
¾ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup blueberries

2 sliced strawberries

1/3 cup blackberries

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease a 10-inch round pan. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Scrap the sides of the bowl and then stir again briefly.
  3. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Press dough into round pan* and use a spatula to separate dough from the edge of the pan, which makes removal easier.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden.
  6. Let crust cool and remove it from the pan.
  7. Use a spatula to spread Greek yogurt evenly across the top of the crust.
  8. Decorate fruit pizza with berries.
  9. Optional: garnish with lemon zest and honey.
  10. Place in fridge and let set for 20 minutes before enjoying.


*For a thinner cookie crust, only use ¾ of the dough and save the rest for making cookies.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

Buffalo Chicken Avocado Panini With Roasted Red Pepper Spread

06/06/2017

For a satisfying lunch or a quick family dinner, nothing beats the crunch and melt that you get with a panini. Panini’s consist of meat, cheese, and vegetable’s, cooked in a sandwich press. They’re delicious! Once you have your ingredients and maker, apply a light coating of olive oil or butter to the sandwich and make sure the grill plates reach full temperature so you get crisp, brown toasted bread with grill marks. Then enjoy! 

Below is a recipe that we love and that we think you will enjoy. It is not only delicious but filled with healthy ingredients. 

 

RECIPE - MAKES 2 SANDWICHES

 

INGREDIENTS
4 slices whole grain bread

½ pound buffalo chicken deli meat
1 avocado

For the roasted red pepper spread:
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded

2 small tomatoes, halved
½ garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Place red peppers and tomatoes skin side up on a cookie sheet and roast until tomatoes and peppers are blistered.
  2. Place peppers and tomatoes in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Peel the skin off the peppers and tomatoes and place in a food processor or blender, along with garlic, sugar and salt. Process until smooth.
  3. To prepare the paninis, spread two of the bread slices with the roasted red pepper mixture. Mash the avocado into the other two slices of bread. Divide chicken between two sandwiches and make sure each sandwich has one avocado bread slice and one roasted red pepper bread slice.
  4. Grill the panini until bread is toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Store leftover roasted red pepper spread in refrigerator. 

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

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