Chocolate Superfood Coffee 

Yes, you read that right. Chocolate coffee! One of my trainers was always talking about his “magic” coffee and a couple days into 2017 I was already feeling like a regular cup of joe wasn’t doing it for me! So I decided to experiment! Navitas Naturals is my go-to Superfood source because of their quality, availability, and the price point is always pretty spot on! 

The following recipe is for 1 serving which I prepared 5 into individual ziplock bags an froze at the beginning of my week! 

Ingredients: 

3/4 c cold brew (add when blending smoothie, not to bag)

1/2 tsp Navitas Naturals caco powder 

1 tsp coconut oil or Navitas Naturals cacao butter 

1/2 organic banana 

12 Almonds raw

1 tbs Navitas Naturals green coffee powder 

Vanilla bean to taste 

Pinch Of Pink Himalayan salt 

Directions

1. Add the banana first to the bag, then the coconut oil (room temp)z

2. Then sprinkle the powders, pinch of salt, and almonds into bag.

3. This was my first time working with a vanilla bean so I had to ask my fiancé to show me! It’s a good idea to watch a video of you need insuctions. Click here to see a tutorial on how. The outer shell is not the part you want to eat! I got a good sized bean at Sprouts for 3$. I just used the edge of a spoon to add a dot of the bean to the ziplock bag contents.

4. Freeze overnight.

5. Empty bag contents into a Nutri Bullet or blender and add the cold brew coffee, blend until smooth! Enjoy!

TEA TIME: TEAMI TEAS Regimen 

Buy one get one free Detox promocode: FITBOGO 

20% off Purchase: THYROID20


What I am currently is using:

30day Detox: If you are looking for an detox that you can incorporate into your daily routine, this is the one for you! The Teami 30 Day Detox Tea will help you feel better from the inside out! Getting rid of the toxins that your body is holding on to will allow it to function properly, burn the correct amount of calories and have natural energy levels every day! Plus if this is your first time using a detox, I love that it comes with a easy to use daily checklist to make sure you stay on schedule! 

http://www.teamiblends.com/30~7_Best_Detox_Plan

Teami Alive: Helps give your body the boost in nutrients and vitamins that it needs to heal itself, therefore ridding you of the “sluggish, dead feeling” that seems to consume your days  

http://www.teamiblends.com/Teami_Alive

#BarDiscovery : The Perfect Bar

I have been working on checking out a variety of different protein bars in search of some “clean” options. Now everyone has different goals when it comes to choosing a protein bar whether its low sugar, low carbs, no additives, or low in fat. When you go toward the “natural” bars, they seem to be higher in fat in sugar because they use a different ingredients. An example of this when you sweeten with dates compared to stevia, you of course are going to see the sugar go up but it all depends on what your priorities are in your choice.

My first review on my #bardiscovery quest is The Perfectbar. The founder was a San Diego Local DR. BUD KEITH  who knew that what we eat has a direct effect on how we feed and had that food is nourishment mentality. He passed this concept downperceft-bar within his family and now brothers and sisters run the company with the mentality that “food has to be real”

The bars are found in the refrigeration section, always. Their line consists of the following categories: peanut, almond, lite, and mini.

I got to try carob chip, cranberry crunch, fruit and nut, almond butter, cranberry crunch, almond coconut, and almond acai. I also had a couple of the minis which were perfect snack size!

So one of the questions on your mind is probably if they must be refrigerated at all times and the answer is no! They advised that they’ll last 2 weeks unrefrigerated at room temperature. However, if exposed to heat or kept unrefrigerated for longer than recommended the natural fruit, seed and nut oils may begin to separate, and the bars can become oily. I took them out with me when I ran the stairs at 1,000 steps beach in Laguna and they were a delicious and fresh pick-me-up post workout. The Coconut bar was so fitting for the California Beach vibes!

perfect-bar-beachThe Bar:

The bars all have a pretty hearty texture, which I loved! They are still soft but do not crumble while you eat them! The fruit pieces add just the perfect touch of sweetness, which by the way I am not usually a fan of but loved in this bar! They are a pretty good sized bar, most of their bars average at about ~2.5oz so would even say more on the larger side in comparison of other bars I’ve tried! The retail for about $3.35 each depending on where you go or how many you buy.

Whats inside:

The protein content ranges from about 8g-13g and the sugar ranges from about 14-19g with most being around 18g. The bars contain Over 20 nutrient-dense organic whole foods provide a good source of vitamins and minerals. Plus ingredients such as kale, spinach, alfalfa and celery (although you don’t even taste it at all!). I love that they are sweetened with organic honey. I learned that honey is actually a complex carbohydrate that will ensure your energy levels last. Their vegan flavor uses low glycemicperfect-bar-close-up organic dates as the sweetener.

The bars are gluten-free,  with vegan and soy free options! Since there are so many definitions of vegetarian they will let you decide for yourself if its right for you. Every Perfect Bar recipe except their vegan Almond Coconut flavor contains Grade A nonfat milk powder and dried whole egg powder, both animal products. I was a lacto ovo vegetarian for most of my life (which mean I eat vegetables, eggs, and dairy products but who do not eat meat) so I understand how that get complicated and appreciate how they advise.

The Final Verdict:

I really loved the variety of flavor options and they are definitely so much more fresh tasting than your average over processed protein bars which is super nice to get a break from! For the size, taste, and quality for me, its definitely a win!

How I lost 40lbs in 12 weeks

A little bit of background:


For those of you who may not know, I am a thyroid cancer survivor. On 10.17.13 at 22 years old I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. On 11.4.13 at the City of Hope in

California I had a full #thyroidectomy , 10 lymph nodes and a parathyroid removed. I then had my first dose of Radioactive iodine on 1.18.14. I’ve had two full body scans since and so far cancer has learned that it messed with the wrong chic and as of right now for my current treatment plan I just need a neck ultrasounds once a year and labs every 3 months until I get my TSH levels where my endocrinologist wants it!
screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-09-04-pmWeight loss and fitness is an ongoing journey and anyone on this path knows that it takes hard work and dedication. When you have your thyroid removed, hormone imbalance, or any other adversity, this path to fitness and mental and physical health gets to be very challenging. After I lost my thyroid to cancer I fell into a depression and had a hard time balancing out my hormones and coming out on top. I gained around 60 pounds, ended and I was so miserable and felt at my lowest point in life. I was also trying to finish college at the time and ended a very unhealthy relationship all during my senior year (PS I graduated this no delays!!) A couple years went by and I struggled to adjust to the hormone replacement therapy. It wasn’t until around February this year (2016) I was able to make a huge change in my life and I am now happier than I’ve ever been! I attribute my transformation to The Camp Transformation Center Program, they really changed my life.

Its a lifestyle change:


 

If youscreen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-11-08-pm are struggling to lose weight or are looking to improve your health there is one key

thing you need to understand: this is a mental battle as much as it is physical. You need to me 110% mentally, physically, and emotionally committed to make changes in your life. What I did wasn’t a diet, I changed my habits and gained a new perspective.

 

 

How to get started:


  1. What are your goals?You need to ask yourself  ” what do I want out of this change that I am going to be making?”. Whether its loosing 25lbs, being able to run in a race, or fitting into your “skinny clothes”, or feeling good about yourself… you need to understand what is triggering the need for change.
  2. Write down those goalsIf it’s in writing you will hold yourself accountable and have a better self commitment to achieving those goals. Also sharing these goals with family/friends or posting on Social media is an even better way to help with accountability
  3. Understand why you haven’t had success in the past/ any adversities you need to overcomeWhether its because you haven’t fully committed yourself in the past or something like being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, understanding why you haven’t had progress in the past is important part of learning.

 

For my fellow THYCA (thyroid cancer) warriors


 

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-09-23-pmI am going to be 110% real, this isn’t going to be easy, but I PROMISE you it will be work it! I can whole heartedly tell you I was miserable
and exhausted when I had my thyroidectomy. I was depressed, emotional, and I felt like a overinflated water-balloon. I lost my confidence and felt like I was just “existing” and lost who I was. I slept and cried more the 2 years after my surgery than a newborn baby because of my hormone balance! But one day I realized if I am going to feel exh
no matter what, I might as well be exhausted from the gym as well.

 

The “diet” part


This is the most common topic I get messages on email, IG, and Facebook about. The way I see it is in two phases.

Part 1: Changes to hit your Goal – This is my guidelines I follow until I hit my goalscreen-shot-2016-09-16-at-3-35-23-pm

  • Portion control– I found out i was eating way to much carbs and not enough protein in my diet. I used a scale and prepped my meals ahead of time until I had a better understaning of how my potions should look:
    • Carbs: Women 2 0z/ Men 3 oz
    • Protein: Women 4 0z/ Men 6oz
  • Eat to  fuel –What if the best and most nutritious foods to assist you in your goals? for example: Yes I know cumber didn’t make me fat but could I eat other veggies that would benefit me more?
    1. Veggies
      1. Broccoli
      2. Kale
      3. Celery
      4. Spinach
      5. Asparagus
      6. Brussel Sprouts
    2. Carbs – no instant or precooked!
      1. Sweet potato
      2. Rolled or steel cut oats
      3. Brownrice
      4. Quinoa
      5. Yams
    3. Protein
      1. Tuna
      2. Chicken breasts
      3. 99% lean ground turkey
      4. Tilapia
      5. Eggwhites

Rules:

  1. NO alchohol
  2. NO Dairy
  3. NO Sugar
  4. NO Fruit
  5. NO Processed foods, candy, chocolate…
  6. Veggies not on the list can be used in moderation as toppings

Because you are not eating healthy fats during this time I would recommend you take EFA’s (essential fatty acids) and Multivitamins.

I prep my meals every Sunday for the following week M-F total of 10 meals. More about meal prep here

Part 2: Maintain

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-10-38-pm

After you hit you goal, now what? Eating in part one isn’t sustainable long term. I was strict for 13 weeks straight with no cheating off the plan.

  1. Slowly incorporate some other foods back in such as black berries, non fat plain greek yogurt, avocado etc.
  2. Decide if you really need alcohol in your life – I have it on occasion but I waited a couple weeks to decide the “relationship” I wanted with it first.
  3. Everything in moderation
  4. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible -breads, pasta, and other foods that you don’t “need”
  5. Sugar, desserts, and other sweets in general indulge on occasion not on a regular basis.
  6. Eat like part 1 80% of the time, clean 15 %, and enjoy other items 5% of your diet.

Gym:


The Camp program had me going 0-100 real quick with the workout routine, and by that I mean I went from casually working out to full force hour long workouts 5 times a week so you can imagine I was exhausted!

  1. Be consistent

We all have those weeks that we workout super hard and then drop off the bandwagon. Set realistic and obtainable workout times. Set a goal for the time you are going to spend and the number of days per week and gradually increase. Once these days are set do not deviate away from the plan and be sure to hold yourself accountable.

2.  Plan your workouts

Don’t just show up at the gym and hope that you figure out what to do there. Its not a good use of your time and its not effective. Search Pinterst or follow Instagram accounts that post workout videos to help educate yourself and come up with workout ideas. YouTube is a great tool for learning workouts too!

Favorite websites for workouts:

3. Mix it up

Most people love the machines because they have little pictures on how to do them and we are comfortable with them. There is so much more that you can do and for the best results its important to keep your body guessing on whats next!

  • Strength
    • body weight (burpees, planks, pushups, squats ect.)
    • free weight lifting
    • resistant band training
  • Endurance
    • HIIT – High intensity Interval Training
    • Cardio (treadmill interval training, stair master, swimming, bike, elliptical, etc.)

Final Thoughts:


screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-11-36-pmYou have to want this. It will NEVER feel like a good time to start. For me weeks turned into months and then years past and I was just tired of being tired and unhappy. If you want results you need to understand that this is a lifestyle change which isn’t a quick fix, its a long term solution to a happier and healthier you. Everyone can always eat a little bit healthier and increase activity. Like I said in the beginning, this is a mental battle! Surround your self with positive people. Thats one of the biggest issues I had years ago. But now have have my fiancé, friends, swolemate, and family who I have involved from the beginning who help keep me accountable and cheer me on!

I wish you the best of luck and success on your path to heath and fitness!

-Xxo

 

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, registered dietitian, or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness, and life—not to dole out advice. When it comes to your health and fitness, do your research and talk to your doctor.

#BarDiscovery 

I have been working behind-the-scenes on a upcoming project focused around clean protein/snack bars. We all know that there are ALOT of options when it comes to grabbing a snack bar on the go but do we take the time to see what we are eating?

Each of us has a list of things they look for when it comes to what they eat! Whether it’s being gluten-free, low in fat/sugar, soy free, or no chemicals it takes time to find something that’s a happy balance! I am on a quest for a “clean bar” and I have had the privilege to work with some awesome companies so far and they have given me a better understanding of what brought them into the industry. I have been learning more about the ingredients and the people behind the company. It has been so insightful and an awesome experience! I will be sharing with you reviews on some great choices AND I am excited to announce various giveaways so you can try them for yourself! Keep an eye out I am so excited for this! 

Protein Crazy: I want it clean!

When was the last time you investigated the ingredients in your protein powder? My meal schedule includes alternating between a meal and a protein every 2.5-3 hours so its safe to say I eat a good amount of protein every day! So I have been on the hunt for a “clean” protein powder that also tastes good!

My wish list included:

  1. non-soy
  2. low in sugar
  3. dairy free
  4. no harsh chemicals
  5. no sugar substitutes

I connected with Maggie Yount who is a leader of the My Whole Healthy Revolution, a Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach.

13736994_1624890177839707_1628720333_a

 

Website: https://linkinprofile.com/mywholehealthy
IG: https://www.instagram.com/mywholehealthy/

 

Maggie and I connected on Instagram after another Thyroid Cancer Survivor I follow on Instagram posted  a picture of Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant based protein powder. We were talking about my concerns and she was extremely helpful and responded quickly! I decided to try the powder and oh my goodness was it delicious!

image-1

Since yesterday was National Icecream day and I did not partake I was craving a post workout milkshake! I decided to mix the protein powder, a 1/4 c of frozen bananas, and unsweetened almond milk in my Nutri Bullet. It was so creamy I felt like I was cheating! I added some cacao nibs from Navita’s Naturals to the brim! This was so delicious that I had to break out a spoon to scoop out every last bit in my cup!

I think this protein would be the perfect powder to use in baking because it didn’t have a after taste that you find in a lot of protein powders on the market and it mixed very smooth! I use protein powder in my waffles, oatmeal, pancakes, breakfast muffins, and so much more! A lot of times adding a protien powder leaves a distinct taste which makes it a bit unappetizing!

Ingredients:

PlantProtien-Supp-Info

My sister, who just recently graduated nursing school, is my non-official ingredient investigator. She gave this two thumbs up and wants to try it herself! “Rebaudioside A” was the only thing I personally was not familiar with but my sister quickly informed me that is Stevia (Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Steviarebaudiana (1)) -more info bellow in FAQS

Other info:image

  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Grain free
  • No Added Sugar
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Artificial Preservatives
  • No Artificial Colors

Why no soy? I believe (and so does Life’s Abundance) that soy can disrupt thyroid function which may lead to hypothyroidism and thyroid problems. I have been avoiding soy since my thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2013.

I would definitely recommend trying this protein powder! Reach out to Maggie: maggie@mywholehealthy.com

FAQ

I also wanted to the FAQ PAGE from Life’s Abundance that I found was extremely helpful:

Why should I choose foods that are non-GMO?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Genetic modification is a technique that alters living cells to produce new chemicals and functions in plants and animals. Many food scientists question the safety of genetically modified foods because they do not know if eating GMO foods over a lifetime can damage our health.

What is vegan?

A vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products.

What does gluten free mean and why is it important?

Gluten is the sticky protein found in certain grains including wheat, barley and rye.

To people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is very important because it is the only known treatment for celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disease. People with celiac cannot digest gluten, which causes inflammation in the digestive system and affects the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and anemia.

People with gluten sensitivity have similar symptoms to those with celiac disease but test negative for it as well as wheat allergies. These people may feel fatigued, depressed, bloated and have abdominal pain.

Gluten-free grains include rice, corn, quinoa and buckwheat.

I have noticed “soy free” foods lately and I want to know if soy products are unhealthy?

Soy is one of the top food allergies, especially among babies and children. Symptoms of soy allergy are typically mild, although anaphylaxis is possible. People avoiding GMOs may avoid soy since more than 90% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.

Soy can disrupt thyroid function which may lead to hypothyroidism and thyroid problems.

Soy contains phytoestrogens, compounds that mimic human estrogen.

Is eating dairy free healthy?

People may go dairy free if they are lactose-intolerant, have a milk allergy or are vegan.

People with lactose intolerance do not have the enzyme lactase which helps to digest milk and they can experience diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramps when eating dairy products.

Milk allergies, which are one of the top 8 food allergies, occur either minutes or hours after having milk or milk products and can cause hives, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

People may also avoid dairy for ethical reasons or believe it helps keep their skin clear.

Sugar is a natural ingredient so why do I care if there’s no sugar added?

Eating too much sugar has been linked to inflammation throughout the body and increased health risks. It is important to check labels since manufacturers frequently add sugar to many products that you would not think of as sweet, such as pasta sauces, chicken nuggets, cured meats, and ketchup. Also, sugar comes in many forms such as cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup and crystalline fructose.

What is rebaudioside A?

Rebaudioside A is an ingredient that is extracted from stevia leaves. It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, so very little is needed to sweeten foods and/or beverages.

What is monk fruit extract?

This fruit grown in Southeast Asia is one to one-and-one-half times sweeter than sugar so very little is needed to sweeten foods and/or beverages.

Are natural flavors healthier than artificial flavors?

In general, artificial flavors tend to be in foods that are overly processed. If a food product contains artificial flavors, check to make sure that it doesn’t also contain other less desirable additives like artificial colors and preservatives.

What’s wrong with artificial colors?

Artificial colors may cause hyperactivity and behavioral changes in children. Some artificial colors have been linked to increased health risks.

What’s wrong with artificial preservatives?

Some artificial preservatives have been linked to increased health risks.

What are the manufacturer’s credentials?

This dietary supplement is manufactured by a company that is GMP certified and FDA regulated in the USA.

 

DISCLAIMER: all statements made are cited and my own personal options are not medical advise as I am not a doctor! Any health concerns should be directed to your doctor!

 

Summer Salad: Creamy Mango Vinaigrette

There was this local market I used to go to all last summer that was next to my old work called Elements Natural Foods out in Covina. They have the best Acai bowls and smoothie bowls hands down. They also served loaded salads and my favorite was the Mayan salad which was topped with ingredients such as quinoa, avocado, and a creamy mango vinaigrette. That dressing is so delicious and recently I have been craving it!

I decided to make my own superfood version and it was delicious! It also gave me the chance to test out my “avocado rose” skills which has been a trend on Instagram lately. Lets just say I still need some practice!

 

I know that the original dressing had to contain fresh mangos and lime juice so I looked on google to see what else I might want to add. After experimenting this is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

2 tbs. olive oil (I ran out so I used coconut oil)

  • 1/2 cup chopped mango (about 1 mango’s worth_
  • 1 tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt (any salt will do)
  • 1/2 lime juice

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. In your NutriBullet or blender combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth
  2. Transfer into a container and chill until ready to serve the salad. You can store up to 3 days in the fridge.

Salad mix:

  • I mixed  1 parts chopped Kale 1 parts cabbage kale slaw bag, strawberries, mango, avocado, onion, and quinoa.

Ingredient Ideas for Salads:

  • Fruit
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blueberries
    • mango
    • pineapple
    • cherries
    • dried coconut
    • oranges
    • Pomegranate seeds
    • apple
    • pear
  • Protein
    • Chicken
    • Tofu
    • salmon
    • ahi tuna
    • black beans
    • soy beans
    • Black Eyed Peas
    • hard boiled eggs
  • Greens
    • sprouts
    • broccoli
    • tomatoes
    • cucumber
    • bell peppers
  • Nuts
    • sunflower seeds
    • walnuts
    • pecans
    • pistachios
  • Other
    • Garbanzo beans
    • sweet potatoes

Power Breakfast: Eggs and Hash 

As I’ve mentioned several times on my blog I am a huge breakfast fan! I can eat breakfast at anytime of the day. Making breakfast taste good without getting boring can be difficult! I recently made some zucchini hash and eggs and it was so delicious!

I was scrolling through my Instagram one day and I saw someone had added nutritional yeast to their zoodles (zucchini noodles) so I thought why not do the same to in a breakfast hash!

A perfect addition to any meal — providing nutrition while saving calories — nutritional yeast is one source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc, making it a great superfood! – Dr.AXE.com



Ingredients for 1 serving:

– 1 Zucchini

-1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

– Meats2u House Blend Seasoning

If you don’t have their seasonings, you can use your favorite spices! Some ideas are garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes

  1. Using a course cheese grader, grade your zucchini into a small bowl
  2. Add your seasoning and toss with a fork to incoperate
  3. Add to a warmed electric skillet ( I have a Oster Skillet and it’s my favorite appliance in my kitchen, other then their Waffle maker! You don’t need ANY oil!)
  4. Let it cook for 3-4 min and then turn into the other side for an additional few minutes!
  5. Serve with a side of scrambled egg whites and enjoy!