Pina Colada smoothie

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What’s more refreshing in the summer heat than a pina colada?  It’s pretty dang hot here in Las Vegas in the summer which leads me to crave refreshing tropical drinks like pineapple-coconut goodness!

Here’s a recipe for a pina colada (virgin) that is refreshing and healthy! Win!

 

 

1 cup frozen pineapple

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

½ tsp. coconut extract

Blend up and enjoy!

 

Sweet potato rounds

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Oh sweet potatoes.  For a long time, I  never ate them.  Then I re-discovered them and they are back in my life.  I have been experimenting with ways to prepare them and this is one of my favorites right now!  These rounds are so versatile and you can top in so many different ways.

When you are choosing your sweet potato for this recipe, the fatter the better!  The wider the potato is, the more you will be able to fit on each round.  You can definitely use a skinnier one, they will just be smaller rounds.

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Wash and scrub your sweet potato

Cut your potato into ½ in rounds.  You will get smaller sized ones from the front and back that are great for dipping, or mini rounds for kids.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

You can put some olive oil or melted coconut oil on each if you want… then sprinkle with a bit of salt.

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Bake at 415 degrees for 25 – 35 min until browned flipping each round half way through.

 

So now for toppings.  You can get creative with what you like for toppings.  Just stick with something “sticky” first and then you can top with something not sticky.   Here are some examples:

–        Guacamole

–        Mashed banana and cinnamon or almonds

–        Mashed avocado and chicken, beef, ground turkey, or quinoa

This is one of my favorites right now.  Mashed avocado mixed with garlic salt spread on each round and topped with cooked ground turkey and onion seasoned with italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper.

Comment if you try this and what toppings you like!

Chicken broth in the crock pot

Do you ever get the grocery store rotisserie chicken?  When you are running all day and haven’t even thought about dinner, or you have spent all day cleaning and want to cry with the thought of dirtying your kitchen to make dinner, those things are kind of a lifesaver.

When all the meat is gone.. what do you do with the carcass??  Do you just throw it away?  That is what I used to do…. But now I use it to make chicken broth… and you should too!

Yes… I said make chicken broth…

I used to roll my eyes, or think yah right, or just blow off the idea of making chicken broth, but just hear me out.  You already have the ingredients and it’s almost no work.  Why not!?  You will save a bit of money and it’s kind of cool knowing you made your own chicken broth and being oober resourceful!

 

Pull off any skin or meat from the carcass.

Throw that whole carcass into the crock pot just the way it is.

Seriously!

Look in your fridge to see if you have any of the following:

 

Ideal:

2 chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, 1 chopped cabbage, 1 minced garlic clove

Other things you can add if you have it:

2 bay leafs,small handful fresh thyme, small handful fresh parsley, 1/2 tsp. peppercorn

 

Use whatever you have **whisper: if you don’t have any of it, still make your broth!  Or if you just neeeeed to have something specific in there, put the carcass in a baggie and place in fridge until you have all of the ingredients your heart desires to make your broth**

Chop up what you have, and pop in the crock pot with the carcass

Fill crock pot with water to cover everything about an inch (some stuff will float like pictured below)

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Put lid on and turn onto low.

 

Now go live your life…

 

12-18 hours later, strain broth into bowl using cheesecloth or a flour towel to get all those tiny particles out.  I have purchased cheesecloth from health food stores, the dollar store, and even Home Depot (in the paint isle).  You could also use a flour towel as long as the towel is porous enough that it will act as a strainer and liquid will be able to sift out

Taste and you can add some salt to taste now if you’d like…

Put in airtight container

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You can also portion into 1 cup worth baggies or containers and freeze for easy measuring when you are ready to use.  Make sure to label and date.

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You can refrigerate and use within 5 days.

You can freeze and use within 6 months.

Now look at you thinking about being all resourceful, saving money, and making chicken broth! 😉

 

Healthy snack options

It’s 3pm… and you’re hungry.  You’re hungry and you look in the cabinet, or your snack drawer, or your purse, or the vending machine, and you find Oreos, potato chips, or a candy bar.  You consider an alternative… but these options are just so… available and good!

 

First of all, consider that the candy bar or cookies are not really going to hold you over very well… they are just going to make you feel like your day is blown and make you eat a junky dinner and then a realllly big bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream… just sayin…

 

I am all about easy availability and good things…. And I’m ALL about snacks!   Here are some options for the next time you go to grab those potato chips:

 

Popcorn

Popcorn is a good option because you can eat a lot… but it’s not too many calories.  WIN!  It has some fiber which is great and it will satisfy a salty craving.  Popcorn that you have popped yourself is the best way to go because you know there are no chemicals, extra calories, or extra anything snuck in there that you don’t want (and it’s cheap)… You can pre-pop a bunch if popcorn at home and divide up for when you’re ready to eat.  Or find a good pre-popped popcorn that you like.  Look at the ingredients and make sure it is as simple as possible.  My favorite??  Skinny Pop.  Made with Popcorn, Sunflower oil, and Salt.  Look for something like this.  There are actually a lot of good popcorn options available at the stores now.

skinny pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microwavable Edamame

You can get these in single serving sizes at most grocery stores.  You pop in microwave about 3 minutes, sprinkle a little salt, and BAM!  Super tasty and filling snack that’s high in fiber and protein.  From experience, you can put these in your lunch bag, place in fridge while at work, and then pop in microwave at lunch time and they turn out.  This will satisfy a salt craving and will hold you over until dinner.

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Apple and Nut Butter

Sweet and salty.  Need I say anything about how an apple is good for you… and the nut butter has protein and healthy fats to keep you full for the next little bit.  Peanut butter is great, almond butter, cashew butter, whatever you like.

Discover these little packets of “Justin’s” nut butters.  They are single serving size and are so so convenient.  You can easily stash an apple and one of these packets in your car, in your purse, even in your pocket for when you need a snack.  You can do a banana with one of these packets too (yum!)

You can get at most grocery stores with the peanut butters.

justins nut butters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothie

A smoothie can be an awesome snack full of fruits, vegetables, and lots of vitamins and minerals!  Find some good smoothie recipes you like and use those!  Experiment and find what you like.  Make sure they have plenty of fruits and vegetables (maybe tofu, spinach, or protein powder) to make it a nutritious snack.  Here are some of the smoothies I like: Smoothies

rainbow-smoothies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trail mix

Find a good trail mix that you enjoy.  This is so easy to keep in your car or your purse for when you need a quick snack!

Keep the extra sweets (like the M&Ms and chocolate chips) to a minimum.  There are all kinds of “trail mix” options available at the stores that are just “candy mixes” with a few nuts in there.  Make sure you are getting plenty of nuts and good for you foods along with the M&Ms.

You can even make the trail mix you like by buying the stuff you like and throwing it all together.  I like to do this because you can put exactly what you want in there.

Trail mix is higher calorie so portion out single servings in little baggies to ensure that you’re not going too crazy with calories here.

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Happy snacking my healthy friends!  Do you have a great favorite healthy snack?

Fried banana with melted dark chocolate

fried banana with chocolate

 

 

 

Sometimes…

 

I crave chocolate…

 

And sometimes one of these is enough…

ghirardelli-intense-twilight-delight1And sometimes those single serving sizes are just not going to cut it!   I am a chocolate LOVER!  I probably eat it everyday.  I believe in moderation in all things so chocolate is most definitely in my life.

This was developed as an alternative to eating the whole bag of these single serving goodies (since dark chocolate is good for you right!)  and still feeling satisfied!!

I know that feeling when you need chocolate… and you need it now.  This option is fast, easy, filling, and much better than devouring a whole bag of those single serving size chocolates 🙂

 

Fried banana with melted dark chocolate!!

fried banana with chocolate

 

Put a about a teaspoon coconut oil in a medium heat pan until melted

Slice up a whole banana.

Put the slices of banana in the pan flat side down over medium heat for about 1 minute.   Then flip each banana slice to the other side to cook other side for 1 minute.

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Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt (optional, but gives it a little extra something).  Then place on a plate.

 

Now take some dark chocolate and chop in tiny pieces (I use the single serving size of Gharirdelli 72% cocoa dark chocolate pictured above that is ALWAYS in my house).

 

Sprinkle chopped pieces on warm bananas.

 

Wait a minute or so (if you can).  The warmth from the bananas melts the chocolate and it’s heavenly.

 

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Fried banana with melted dark chocolate

Recipe by: Making Health Tangible

 

Ingredients needed:

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 banana

1 single serving size of dark chocolate

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

Slice banana into about 10-15 slices

Melt coconut oil in pan with medium heat.

Place each slice of banana face down onto pan and cook for 1 minute.  Flip each slice over and cook for about 1 minute until slices are softened

Remove slices from pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt

Chop up a single serving size of dark chocolate into pieces and sprinkle over warm bananas

Wait 1 minute until bananas have melted chocolate

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

Fifteen reasons why working out is the bomb!!!

You know that feeling after you have completed a work out??  That feeling like “why the heck don’t I do this more often!”  We all need reminders why we should get up at the crack of dawn, or head to the gym after work instead of to our couch, or use that golden nap time to squeeze in our exercise.  Here are some reasons why working out is the bomb!

  1. You prove your ability to yourself
  2. You can set goals and experience achievement
  3. You release stress relieving endorphins
  4. There is no feeling like the feeling of a completed work out!
  5. You get stronger
  6. You crave healthier foods
  7. You sleep better
  8. Your heart is healthier
  9. You have energy
  10. You will never wish that you didn’t work out
  11. You burn calories!
  12. You get sunlight (yes to vitamin d!)
  13. You are happier
  14. You are proud of yourself
  15. You inspire others

 

What makes YOU put on those running shoes??

 

Zucchini Pasta

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Zucchini pasta is a really good alternative to a bowl of pasta.  Sometimes a pasta alternative is a good thing especially when it’s a vegetable and tastes delicious!

 

There are all kinds of options for a kitchen tool that will turn your veggies into noodles.

I have a really cool vegetable spiralizer that is really convenient for this and I do recommend it.  You can use it to spiral up any fruit or vegetable.  Also cuts perfect apple chips, sweet potato fries, cucumber for cucumber salad, and much much more.  I got mine on amazon Click here to see what I use

Spiralizer

I have also seen other tools to make your veggies into noodles that may be good too.  This option is a bit cheaper and takes up less space in your kitchen cabinet: Click here for another option

Veggetti

Just find what works for you.

 

 

Wash your zucchini (keep peel on) and spiral those babies up!  It’s really fun to spiral veggies!  The kids love this type of thing so it’s a great way to get them in the kitchen and excited about veggies!

spiral zucchini

I use 3 zucchini for my family of 4 and it’s the perfect amount

Boil some water just like you would for pasta and toss the zucchini strands in the boiling water.

Boil 1-2 minutes.  It’s fast.  Not too long because they will get mushy.

Strain out the water.

 

The spiralizer I use makes the noodles really really long… like the whole zucchini worth,  So use some kitchen shears and make a few cuts in the pile of noodles to make them a bit shorter.

Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper to taste on the zucchini noodles and mix seasonings throughout.

Top with tomato sauce, chicken, mozzarella, parmesan, etc just as you would to any pasta dish.

Boom!

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