A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness


Leave a comment

Product Review

So I grabbed a couple new toys this month, and I have some mixed feelings!

First off I got a really neat detox Water Bottle from Blogilates!


It’s so cute! It has many great features, such as a space to put in fruit to flavour your water. I also really enjoy the time increments printed on one side of the bottle, as they remind me to keep drinking my fluids.
Unfortunately there are more things I dislike about this bottle. 1. I SOOOO wish it was glass, but I knew it was plastic when I bought it and I still think it’s great. 2. I disagree with the time, because I feel I should be drinking about twice as much as it is labelled for. 3. The flavour diffuser is at the top only.. so once I am halfway through my water I no longer get flavour.
So I love the design and concept, but I will definitely plan for a glass bottle next time, and see if I can get a custom design on it for me!
There are so great fruit diffuser water bottles that have a nicer diffuser and are glass for much less cost.

The second item I got this month was an individual tea maker from Teavanna!
tea
Again it was a little pricey at $20, but I use it almost everyday! It is so easy to use and clean. I can make hot or iced tea! The biggest downsize is knowing how much water to use because all cups are different sizes. So I’ve started pouring the water into my cup first, and then into the tea maker. You then steep your tea, and place it over your cup and it drains into it! If you fill it completely it can make about 2 cups of tea, or one REALLY large mug.

Overall I love my two new items, but I need to be careful with splurge shopping to make sure the item is exactly what I want. Next time I think I would get glass for both items instead of plastic!

This is a recipe I found online at Tasty Kitchen, it was so good I could not pass up the opportunity to share it with you all! And it can be gluten free!

Boyfriend-Approved-Spicy-Black-Bean-Burgers-410x272
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 whole jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (GLUTEN FREE SUBSTITUTION: 1/2 C. Ground Rice Chex in place of Panko.)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup corn
1 tbsp olive oil
6 hamburger buns, any
Optional Garnishes: Avocado, Sriracha, Ketchup, Mustard

Instructions:
1. Seed and roughly chop the jalapeno. Add it and the garlic cloves to a food processor, blender or you can hand chop.

2. Add one can of beans to the mix and pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt and pulse until it looks like chunky black bean dip.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax and water. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture in the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, tomato sauce, flax mixture and corn. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining can of black beans.

4. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Form black bean mixture into patties and fry for about 4 minutes per side, until golden and crusty brown.

5. Serve burgers with avocado slices, sriracha sauce and ketchup!


Leave a comment

2 Month Progress

Not really any change from last month. Been having a hard time staying on top of everything. Having a cranky child makes it hard to focus on oneself. Also I was incredibly sick for a couple weeks, and unlike most people I EAT when I am sick, not starve. Time to increase exercise and FULLY cut out any processed sugars. This is going to be a hard one for me, I LOVE sweet snacks. Going to try eating more fruit for my sweetness. Ever as I am writing this I am dreading this change, I am thinking of chocolate chip cookies, and cakes, and madelines! Should I be keeping all my amazing bakeware? I think yes :) My goal is to get to get healthy, but there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat ONCE I can get to where I want.

Day 60 210 lbs, 50 lbs to go
No picture this month, just been too busy!
2 Month Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 35″
Arm 12″
Waist 35″
Hips 43″
Thigh 26″
Calves 14″
Stomach 43″


Leave a comment

Tea, Delicious, Delicious Tea

I love tea so much! Hot or Cold, it’s an amazing way to get my water without having to actually drink boring water.
Since ancient times tea has been revered for it’s health benefits.
Many types of teas(oolong, black, white, green) come from the same plant Camellia sinensis, it all depends on how the leaves are processed that makes them.
Many loose leaf teas have a specific type of tea leaf in them, and then many different flowers, fruits, herbs are added to enhance it and give it a different taste, otherwise they would all taste the same.

tea

Oolong, Black, White, Yellow, Pu-erh and Green
All these teas have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and are great fat burners. They all contain large amounts of antioxidants, thus giving them anticancer powers. White tea has to most anti-cancerous power as it is the least processed. They help lower heart disease because they contain catechins. Catechins are a type of antioxidant. These teas contain caffeine.

Rooibos
Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from a South African red bush.
Health benefits of red rooibos tea include its use as a cure for nagging headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, stomach cramps and premature aging. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-mutagenic. Of course it also has antioxidants, making it anti-cancerous. It is caffeine free!

Herbal
Herbal tea does not contain any leaves from the Camellia plant family, so it is sometimes referred to as a tisane. Herbals teas are not technically tea because they do not contain tea leaves. You must be careful with herbal teas as they can contain any numerous types of plants, so it is not recommended for pregnant women, as they may contain herbs they could cause miscarriage.

Mate
Mate tea is considered the coffee lover’s favorite tea. Made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. Yerba Mate is rich in antioxidants, enhances your ability to focus and your physical endurance. It aids in digestions, helps control your weight because it is a stimulant you feel fuller sooner and your stomach stays fuller longer, and supports heart health!

Blooming
These are artisanal plants that come in the form of a ball and when hot water is poured over then they bloom. The health benefits of blooming teas are dependent on the flower used. They can eliminate toxins, help the liver, help the lungs, relieve chills, soften the skin, and the list goes on. Click this link for more information.

Tea Blends
Tea blends are a mix of different types of teas.

Kombucha
Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds. It tastes like a tea flavoured soda. Kombucha is a detoxifier, helps with joint issues such as arthritis, aids in digestions and is considered immune boosting.

I can’t give you a tea recipe that I’ve made but I can tell you of a local shop that I have come to love here in Boise! It is called Snake River Tea. They have an incredible assortment of loose leaf teas. They also sell kombucha! You can get it hot or cold by the glass, or you can by dry tea to take home. My favourite tea so far is their Kalahari Rooibos, great hot and cold. There are several tea places in town, but so far this is my favourite! I will post some reviews in the future.

Want some travel teas to take to work without having to carry an entire container, or maybe you just want two different flavours throughout the day?
Cut some small squares of cheesecloth, about 3″x3″. Scoop the amount of tea leaf you need for one cup of tea. Tie together with a small string. Then take a small piece of paper and write the type of tea and brewing directions and tape or glue or staple it to the other end of the string. Want to know if your tea water is the right temperature before dropping your newly crafted bag in? Try an infrared thermometer!

What is tea without…SCONES! Under 200 calories each. Still don’t eat more than one!
Skinny Pumpkin Starbucks Scone by The Skinny Fork ONLY 154 calories!
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones by Apple of my Eye ONLY 197 calories!
Lemon Blueberry Scones by Christina’s Adventures ONLY 135 calories!
Cranberry Orange Drop Scones by All Day I Dream About Food ONLY 108 calories!


Leave a comment

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar, could it help you lose weight? Possibly!

apple

There are many claims about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV), unfortunately most are not scientifically based. I am going to write about the benefits that some friends on mine have noticed while they took ACV. I have not been able to stomach it, even extremely diluted so this is not first hand experience.

A friend of mine has stated that ACV helped with her UTI’s, much like cranberry juice would. She stated if she had symptoms of possible UTI which she was prone to she would take some ACV and her symptoms would be gone the next day. The reason this may work is because it will make your urine more acidic, preventing the bacteria from being able to grow.
ACV seems to help people with heartburn, this is because heartburn is caused by our stomachs not having enough acid, so they churn more violently forcing the acid through the weak sphincter into out esophagus. ACV put more acid back into our stomach thus calming our stomachs and reducing heartburn. Of course it also stimulates digestive juices helping to breakdown foods they may be irritating our sensitive stomachs during pregnancy as well. This also helps reduce stinky gas as our foods are being broken down more efficiently.

ACV is said to help our satiety and therefore we won’t snack as much, leading to less calories consumed. So ACV could be said to aid in weight loss. Unfortunately the taste of it makes me gag and I am doing other things to help lose weight I can’t give an accurate account of this. But there are MANY people on the internet who swear by it. There has only been one scientific test that I’ve read about and it was a 12 week program where half the people were taking ACV and half weren’t, and they all kept food journals to make sure they were eating similarly. But they only lost 1-2 pounds over that 12 weeks. Which is not very much, however combined with portion control and exercise it could lead to that couple extra pounds you want to lose and just can’t seem to.

Some studies have shown that drinking ACV daily led to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn lowered blood pressure. I have really good cholesterol, but my blood pressure was high throughout my pregnancy, for this reason alone I would consider trying ACV, I just need to find a better way to consume it. These studies have also shown that ACV MAY lower blood sugar levels when taking before a meal.

I haven’t talked about why ACV may be bad for your health, and that is because I can’t find much information about it being bad for your health. Vinegar is a cleanser. The only caution I can suggest it PLEASE dilute it! A shot of vinegar is extremely acidic and that can destroy the enamel of your teeth and wreak havoc on your esophagus. Just think about how a bulimic’s throat get destroyed from vomiting, it’s the stomach acid that does that, ACV would be the same going down if not diluted.

So where do I stand on ACV? It seems like if it is diluted with water or juice and only taken once or twice daily there aren’t really any bad side effects. Am I going to take ACV? Probably not.

Sources: Dr. Oz, Jessica Barry, WebMD


1 Comment

Why I Stopped Soda

Soda, oh so sweet, bubbly, tasty soda!
Soda pop is so terrible for you, but it’s so delicious! It’s delicious because it is a sugar, and sugar is so damn yummy! Soda seems so refreshing on a hot day, but the truth is, due to sodium content, it is actually making you more thirsty! And there is nothing hydrating about soda. Sugar + Salt = Dehydration and FAT
I’ve had two soda’s since I’ve started to get healthy.
1. Was an italian soda on my birthday, so no salt, but added cream
2. Was a Diet Soda at Sonic when I was out with my husband
DIET soda is just as bad at regular soda, possibly worse! Yes it has no calories, but there are lots of studies linking degenerative diseases to sugar substitutes.

rethink-your-drinks-sugar1sdf

Soda is made for numerous reasons
1. It makes you fat and increases bad cholesterol
2. Diet soda still increases blood glucose levels, which leads to weight gain, and possibly diabetes!
3. The artificial coloring in dark sodas is carcinogenic
4. Accelerates aging
5. Messes with your hormones
6. It causes pollution
7. Teeth decay and gum disease
8. It’s addictive
9. Heart disease risk, due to build up to fats
10. Gout
11. Dementia
12. Asthma
13. Osteoporosis
14. Reproductive Issues

Now if that doesn’t convince you to quit soda, I don’t know what will. Soda is sugar, and sugar is addictive, so I understand it is not easy to quit! But there are way that will help! If it’s the sweetness of soda you like, try juice! If it’s the bubbles you like, start with a carbonated water mixed with juice. Eventually you will need to quit the bubble because carbonation leads to osteoporosis because it leaches calcium from the bones, but it is still much better than regular or diet sodas!

References: Rodale, Wellness Mama, Authority Nutrition, Babes and Kids Review.

fruit

Flavoured Waters
A great way to kick the soda is by flavouring boring old water!
You can easily make a pitcher of these for drinking at home, or you can throw the few ingredients in a travel bottle!
You will want to use a spoon or a muddler to crush your herbs and smaller fruits to bring out the flavours a bit more.
You can mix up any combination of fruits and herbs to make your favourite flavours, but here are a few I can’t get enough of.

Strawberries and Basil
Cucumber (slices), Mint, and Ginger
Lime, Orange and Lemon (slices)
Grapefruit (slices) and Cucumber (slices)
Watermelon and Mint
Blackberry and Sage

So you can just add these items to water and let it sit overnight in the fridge, or for an even stronger flavour, you can poor hot water over the fruits like you would be making a hot tea, and then let it cool overnight in the fridge.


1 Comment

1 Month Progress

So we are a month into my simple life changes and here are the results so far.

Day 30 205 lbs, 45 lbs to go
april14fat
1 Month Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 35″
Arm 12.5″
Waist 35″
Hips 44.5″
Thigh 26.5″
Calves 16″
Stomach 43.5″
Size 18

I am still considered a size 18 overall, but I am wearing size 16 Old Navy shorts and they are a bit big, but the 14 is too small.
So I am up in some things (I think due to bad measuring the first time, I couldn’t find my measuring tape so I used a string and a ruler haha). I am the same in some things, and I am down in others, so yay! I think my boobs are up because of breast feeding, but my hips and waist are down! So maybe I will actually fit into last years summer shorts!


Leave a comment

Eating While Pregnant

I did not eat well during my pregnancy. I didn’t think that I had changed my diet very much while I was pregnant. I didn’t think I was eating much more, or eating worse things, but apparently I was, because I gained 50 lbs!

So how can my bad experience help you? Well I can tell you what you SHOULD be doing when you are pregnant and trying to stay fit.

First off, NO DIETING once you find out you are pregnant. If you are already overweight, consult your doctor about what you should be doing, you SHOULD NOT DIET, but you may be told to eat healthier. For a healthier diet the best place to start is the good old food pyramid, and portion control.
Choose MY Plate has the USDA recommended portions and categories you should be eating from.

Now, once you are pregnant, you will have to make some changes in your diet. First off you will actually need to consume more calories. I know, who wants to eat more when they are trying to lose weight! Well you have a human inside of you and s/he needs to eat too! You will need to consume an extra 300 calories per day. And no that does not mean go eat a chocolate bar. Those need to be HEALTHY calories, particularly protein. That leads us to protein, you need to consume at least 60g of protein a day. There are a ton of great protein sources, greek yogurt, chicken, beans, lentils, milk, cheese, and quinoa. The last few things you can do are mild exercise (if you don’t already exercise, and if you do (you probably aren’t reading this blog), you can continue to exercise at your regular level, with doctor consent), getting a good nights rest (do whatever you can to make your rest the best you can, get special pillows, sleep alone, whatever you need) and stay hydrated! This was the thing I was worst at, I hate water! But guess what, if you don’t drink water, then you retain water and that makes you larger, gives you stress marks, increases blood pressure, etc! So about the BEST thing you can do for yourself is to drink a butt load of water.

OF course there are special circumstances to all pregnancies and you will want to consult your doctor before making any large changes in your life, but these are all great things you can do!

Oh, I almost forgot, a prenatal multivitamin, your growing baby needs folic acid! You can absolutely get this from foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruit, beans and lentils, but a prenatal vitamin is gonna make sure you don’t miss anything your growing baby needs.

chick

Asian Style Baked Chicken Legs and Vegetable Stir Fry
This recipe gives us protein, folic acid and a ton of other vitamins from the yummy veggies!
This recipe appears to have a lot of salt and oil, but it’s just a marinade, so it won’t all stick to the chicken.

Chicken
Ingredients
8-10 drumsticks, cut slits into chicken
8 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger root
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
spices/herbs of choice, parsley, salt, pepper, chinese five spice, etc

Directions:
Blend all ingredients except chicken, marinate chicken overnight in ziploc bag with the liquid you just made.
Bake in a non-stick baking pan for 45 minutes at 375°F.

Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
Dash of Pink Salt
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 medium carrot
5 shiitake mushrooms
1 large bok choy
2 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon tahini paste
1 teaspoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
A pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like spice)

Directions:
Chop onion and garlic into slices and heat on stove with olive oil and pink salt for about 7 minutes. Chop up all veggies into small pieces. Add all veggies EXCEPT bok choy to the pan, and continue heating for another 5 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, then add bok choy and the new sauce you just created to the pan. Cook for another 8 minutes, stirring often so the sauce doesn’t burn!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.