Foodie Friday: Healthy Recipe Round Up June 2015 Edition

Foodie Friday_mini

Happy Friday! Today I want to share a bunch of really great recipes I have been swooning over.

From The Domestic Man: Bam Bam Shrimp

You may or may not know about my love of Russs Crandall’s recipes, but believe me when I tell you this guy is onto something good. Whether you eat paleo or not, Crandall’s recipes use wholesome, whole ingredients to make healthy dishes that taste amazing. Crandall’s latest cookbook, Paleo Takeout, was recently released and features 200+ recipes including this Bam Bam Shrimp.  If you’re not familiar with Russ Crandall, I highly suggest you check him out.

From Nick Kindelsperger at Serious Eats: Gallo Pinto

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica then you’re probably familiar with one of their most popular dishes, gallo pinto.  What is it you ask?  Simply, it’s black beans and rice, but really it’s so much more tasty than just those two things.  Like any popular recipe there are tons and tons of versions and everyone will judge the authenticity based on their own experiences.  For me this gallo pinto recipe really nailed it.  Kindelsperger admits that he is not familiar with Lizano and uses Worcestershire sauce as a stand-in.  I have tried this recipe both with Lizano and Worcestershire and both are great; the Lizano version just tastes a little more authentic to me.  If you aren’t acquainted with this condiment get yourself over to Amazon and see if you can find some.  While the flavors do resemble that of Worcestershire sauce, it’s thicker, a little more sweet and has even more depth.  You can put it on just about anything and believe me when I tell you it’s good enough to have hauled half gallon jugs back in stuffed suitcases on more than one occasion.

Artichokes
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From Smitten KitchenCrispy Frizzled Artichokes

I had my first artichoke when I was 12 and have been nuts about them ever since.  When I saw this recipe for crispy frizzled artichokes I immediately realized that I had been making a gross error by not trying out those cute little baby artichokes in the clam shells I always see at Trader Joe’s.  Once I saw that you could eat nearly the whole little choke I was hooked.  The recipe calls for a sprinkle of lemon juice to finish, but if you’re feeling more decadent I suggest dipping these crispy beauties in homemade mayo with a dash of curry powder.

From A Girl Worth SavingPaleo Chicken and Dumplings

The season is probably not quite right for this recipe for some, but I’ve never minded a hot dish in the summer.  When I recently discovered that I was looking at making some major dietary changes I started looking for updated versions of food that I thought I might never get to enjoy again.  Enter this chicken and dumpling recipe.  It has all the goodness of home cooking without some of the ingredients that are bothersome to those with food restrictions.

I am a recipe collector of sorts and my bookmarks are brimming with both good for you and less than healthy recipes that I am anxious to try. I hope you enjoy the recipe round-up for today and if you have an excellent, healthier recipe posted on your site please feel free to leave a comment below!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Picking Yourself up When You’ve Been Down

Work OutDespite my knowledge, background and skills, I am not immune to falling off the wagon.  I am not infallible when it comes to diet and fitness.  I am not perfect.  Sometimes I’m not even good at it.  I am human.  I accept this and because of that I can get over it and move on.

Sometimes things in life come up and disrupt your good intentions.  This has been my issue for the past couple of months.  After not feeling well for quite a while I let my diet wander (which is a nice way to say I totally ate whatever, whenever) and I abandoned any consistent exercise program.  I just couldn’t muster the energy or desire to do it.

After deciding my jeans were getting a bit too snug I’ve opted to work on improving my situation. Here’s how I’m doing it:

Making a plan

To get back to the place I think I would feel better at I’m making a plan.  My plan includes a checklist of exercises with sets and reps so I can check them off as I do them.  My plan also includes a little more discretion about when I eat.  I am not really limiting myself from any particular food, I’m just setting clear meal times with no snacking in between.   A big source of calories for me came from grazing and it’s just not necessary.  I need to refocus my eating so that I don’t constantly expect food.

Easing back into things

Jumping back into a full exercise program right away wouldn’t be healthy or feasible.  More likely than not, I would probably just give up.  Instead I am easing back into things by picking a few basic exercises and doing them consistently for the first couple of weeks.  Once I am used to doing a set program again I can add on or re-tailor my routine to fit my new goals.

Not beating myself up

What’s done is done and since I don’t have a time machine to undo the damage, it doesn’t make sense to beat myself up over what happened.  I’m only looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Not taking drastic measures

Drastic measures aren’t going to cut it.  Starving myself or working out extra hard might (or might not!) get me back to where I want to be quickly, but at what cost?  Instead I am taking the educated, calculated approach of doing things step by step in a reasonable and safe manner.

Are changes going to happen overnight?  Nope.  But at least I know that I’ve overcome this obstacle once or twice in the past.  Getting off track isn’t the end of the world and all it takes is some planning and refocusing to get back where I want to be.

Have you ever gotten off track?  What did you find most helpful in getting back to where you wanted to be?
About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Product Review: Yuve Protein Powder

Yuve Protein Powder

When I was contacted by the people at Yuve to try a free sample of their “innovative nutritional shake” I enthusiastically agreed.  I’m always on the look out for new and exciting protein powder and shake options.   I’ve grown a little weary of the shakes that contain lots of natural add-ins because they’ve all tasted a bit too green for me so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Yuve, but was willing to be open minded.

Product Specs:  Yuve comes in just one flavor: raw chia seeds and cocoa.  When I flipped the package over to read the nutritional stats I was immediately impressed.  For a mere 155 calories you’d be getting 16g of protein, 4g of fiber, only 18g carbs and 2g of fat.  Along with all of that the mix contains enzymes, resveratrol and a host of vitamins and minerals.

Taste/Experience:  The smell of the powder prior to mixing was sweet, slightly vegetal and definitely chocolate-y. The powder was medium brown, fairly smooth and uniform with just a few traces of what appeared to be chia seeds.

I mixed my sample with 8 oz. of cold water per the packet directions.  You could use milk or coconut water too or even add it to your oatmeal per the company’s suggestions, but I wanted to taste the product on it’s own.  I used my trusty Blender Bottle to shake it up.

The shake immediately became fairly thick which I attribute to the chia.   The flavor was lightly chocolate and sweet.  The cocoa flavor was not at all artificial and the sweetness was at a good level, though I did get just the slightest hint of an artificial aftertaste (there are no artificial ingredients or sweeteners in the mix, but I think the combo or various flavors and natural compounds can still lead to that aftertaste).  There was also the slightest note of a green taste, potentially from the kale, spirulina or other greens included.

Overall:
The Good
The flavor of the Yuve shake was surprisingly tasty.  For no added artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, dairy or soy they’ve managed to make an enjoyable drink.

The nutritional stats for Yuve are pretty darn good, especially for not including dairy or soy.  They’ve packed 16g of protein into each serving by using peas and brown rice which makes this a safe bet for vegetarians/vegans.

The Bad
The texture of the shake became a bit thick while I was drinking it.  This was slightly off-putting, but could probably be remedied by using a touch more liquid to begin with.  This would also not be an issue if you used it in a smoothie or mixed into oatmeal.

Overall, I can definitely see myself reaching for Yuve again.  It was tasty and had all the nutritional stats I would look for while keeping the calories surprisingly low.  I think it could definitely be used as a meal on the go or a snack.

Yuve Protein ShakeFull disclosure: I was provided with a free sample of Yuve to try and review. The opinions and reviews presented here are solely my own. I have received no payment or compensation for this review other than the product sample.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Six Tips for a Fit Summer

Tips for a Fit Summer

Summer is finally upon us and so is the pressure a lot of people feel when it comes to how you should look during this season.  Here you’ll find some advice on having a fit and happy summer.

1.  Don’t worry about what you could look like.

Maybe you didn’t meet your fitness goals.  Maybe your intentions for making body improvements got pushed to the side.  Whatever the situation, you are what you are and that is good enough!  Embrace and be proud of the body you have now, it’s does amazing things every day.   No two bodies look the same and you should not worry that yours is not good enough.  If you aren’t happy you can always make improvements, but don’t take for granted what you already have.

2.  Get a suit that fits your body.

Summer is swim suit season and that creates high anxiety for lots of people.  The greatest thing you can do when it comes to find a suit is to get one that fits well.  Getting a good fit means no lumps or bumps or things protruding where they shouldn’t.  No constant pulling and tugging to make sure things and covered and the suit stays put.  Don’t feel pressured to get a two-piece when you know a one-piece would be more comfortable.  There are so many attractive styles in both one and two-piece suits that you’re sure to find something that both fits and flatters you.

3.  Don’t undertake an extreme diet or fitness routine.

Summer finally gets here and suddenly you realize your intentions to improve your fitness or diet were neglected.  It can be tempting to think if you jump full steam into an extreme diet/exercise program that you’ll see immediate changes, but don’t do it.  Safe and effective diet and fitness programs take time to show results.  You may be setting yourself up for dangerous consequences or injury if you undertake a radical approach in an attempt to see immediate results.  If you want to embark on a new fitness or diet routine make sure that it is appropriate for your needs and goals and stick with it, without trying to rush things along.

4.  Don’t neglect eating well and exercising.

Summer is the time for vacations, relaxing, hanging out and having fun.  With all of that going on it can be easy to forget that you still need to eat well and exercise to stay on track.  Luckily, the long days and warm temps are perfect for getting outside and walking, running, biking, hiking, swimming or engaging in any other physical activity.  Summer is also the time a lot of people have been working towards to show off a new physique.  If this is the case remember that fitness is a journey and not a destination.  Just because you reached a goal does not mean that you can stop working.  As soon as you stop your hard work will begin to fade.

5.  Enjoy the bounty of summer fruits and veggies.

From farmers markets to backyard gardens to roadside stands, it’s hard to ignore the amazing bounty of fruits and veggies the summer has to offer.  Enjoying these summer treats is a perfect way to stay on track with your dietary needs.  Challenge yourself to try a new vegetable once a week.  Veggies like chard, summer squash varieties, bean or heirloom tomatoes are perfect choices.  Summer fruits like peaches, cherries and all varieties of berries are not only at their peak, but are perfect for when you crave something sweet.

6.  If you exercise outdoors be sure to protect your skin.

Warm days are the perfect excuse to move your workout outside, but be sure to protect your skin.  You might not think you need sunscreen or other protection for a quick jog or workout outside, but any time spent in the sun should be under cover.  Sunscreen, hats, long sleeves, pants or even UPF rated clothing can all help protect you against the short term and cumulative damage of the sun.

With these tips in mind I hope that you have a fit and healthy summer!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.