A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness


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Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar

Finished up Lumosity this week!
Day 20 1286
Day 21 1306
It was pretty fun! I would definitely continue is someone else paid my membership fees! It was very cool to see myself getting better at the games. As well as the game I thought I was doing worst at, Lumosity said was my best game! It said my brain functioned like brains of Artists.

Happy Canada Day!

I am just finishing up the Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar 2.0! I can’t believe I have managed to do this! I started out pretty terrible, but I never gave up. I took a couple extra days off mostly because of scheduling issues with work, but I did it! Now it’s July and I am starting the July Calendar! You have to sign up to her newsletters to get the secret password, but it’s super easy!
July 1-7 I am finally doing a sugar detox! 100% sugar free.. sounds horrible! But with the support of my husband who is going to do it with me (might be harder for him because it means no BEER!) we are gonna rock this week. I will post my menu next week! I unfortunately cannot post all recipes due to the fact they are not mine, but I will show you where to get access to them! What is nice about a sugar detox is that there is no limit on how much food we eat, just what we eat. It means we are going to be eating a lot of meat this week. I chose 7 days instead of 21 to get into the swing of things and not put too much pressure on myself that I fail. If it goes well we might extend the sugar cleanse.
July 8-14 We are doing our GreenThickie 7 day detox, which means a TON of fruits and veggies and very limited everything else. This will be a harder week as we have a specific diet to follow, meaning no extras!
Finally July 15 to September 8, I will be doing an 8 week Vegan Hot Body diet from Blogilates! I do not know if my husband is doing this with me yet! He will probably eat what I make, but add meat. In September I will see where I am at regarding my goals of weight loss and getting fit, and determine my next move. Can I just maintain, or will I still have more to lose?

On days when my shake hasn’t been cutting it, especially since I have been exercising I have been LOVING the Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin in a Mug from Blogilates! So simple, yummy and crazy fast for when you just need to run out the door!


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310 Nutrition vs IsaGenix vs Arbonne

Lumosity – I have noticed if I do exercises each day I get better, if I skip a day, I seem to have a harder time with the exercises!
Day 10 1214
Day 11 1218 Not a big improvement, had to do lots of math today 😦
Day 12 1236
Day 13 1230
Day 14 1258

310 Shake
310

Calories 90
Cost: $2.29/serving
Protein Shake Review #6
No soy, no msg, no hormones, no crazy sugars or artificial sugars
Membership: There is no membership but if you get setup with an auto renew (meaning they send you a new bag each month automaticcaly) you get a $4 discount and free shipping! And as a bonus you can cancel anytime, by phone, email or live chat. Also I received a eBook which my purchase which discusses how to use 310 Shake in your daily life with meals!
Samples: $3.99 each. This is great because you can try the flavours to see if you like them, as well as the texture of the shake!
Nutrition Facts:
Mocha
Vanilla
Chocolate
Strawberry
How long was I satisfied: 2 1/2 hours
Thinner than IsaLean (due to less calories and less powder used overall). I prefer this thinness. 310 Shake is a more chalky tasting than IsaLean, but when mixed with fruits it is not very noticeable. There are some great recipes on 310 Nutrition’s website, but any combination of fruits/veggies and a milk of your choice work great! I love Cherry Choc Pop!
Comes in four flavours, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and now mocha! My favourite flavour is chocolate. Though the vanilla is great if you just want to sweeten up whichever fruit you choose to use!
What else can you buy: 7 Day Cleanse, Appetite Fighter, Daily Superfood & Cleanse Juice, Fat Burning and Metabolism Booster, Probiotics, a blender, a shaker cup, and samples! And you get a free eBook! You can also get a sample and shaker cup at Try 310 Shake, just pay shipping! I didn’t do this because I could not find the page for some reason. So paid for my shaker cup and my samples, dang!
I’ve had some shipping issues mostly just LONG waits, the people at 310 Nutrition are super great as responding fast, but it is still a pain to wait.

IsaLean

Calories 240
Cost: $4.72/serving
Protein Shake Review #3
Low Glycemic, Gluten Free, Soy Free
Membership: $4.00/serving (this could be a bit less if you order more than one canister at a time because I am including the shipping in the breakdown). Membership has a signup fee, but if you choose to sell the product you can get a lot of free stuff, especially if you can get others to join you and sell as well. Another MLM business.
Samples: IsaGenix does not technically have samples, but most good sales people will have purchased the individual sized packets and should be able to give you or sell you one.
Nutrition Facts:
Vanilla
Chocolate
Strawberry
How long I was satisfied: 4 hours
IsaLean is a thicker shake than 310. For me this made is harder to swallow. Although it tasted great, as soon as it warmed up it was like drinking warm whole milk, just blech! I tried both Vanilla and Chocolate in this, and I was not a fan of the chocolate it was WAY to thick.
What else can you buy? Cleanse, Soups, Energy and Performance products, Healthy Aging products, Snacks, Fiber, Greens, Skin Care products. I got to try a couple other samples, my favourite was the Chocolate Peanutbutter IsaLean bar. Like 100% this could take the place of my chocolate bar cravings, but they are a meal replacement and are about $3.50 a pop. So Im definitely thinking about buying some of these in the near future if I cant curb my chocolate addiction.
Interested in purchasing? Buy here!

Gonna try some DIY Meal Replacement Shakes over the next week see how they compare in price and taste.
I’m going to try a Green Thickie.. which sounds disgusting, so we’ll see. These seem to have WAY more calories than the premade shakes, but I can also pronounce and know what every ingredient is. I’ll give them a try and see if I can stomach them and let you know! You should try it too as it is the recipe of the week and tell me what you thought!

FYI- I just got the Arbonne shake last minute, so I will add it next week as well!


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Lumosity, or healthy brains!

Besides a healthy body we need a healthy mind.
I’ve decided to try Lumosity for a month and see if I have any improvement! It’s going to cost me $12, but if it works, it’s only $4.00 a month or less if you sign up for the year!
lumowork

Here are my starting numbers
goals
My overall LPI is 457 to start. The LPI is calculated from all my 5 brain areas! I am going to do this 5 times a week for a month and then let you know where I am at!

“LPI (Lumosity Performance Index) gives you one simple number for tracking your performance on Lumosity.
Overall LPI is an average of your Game LPIs, which are calculated from your game score histories. Your Brain Area LPIs for Memory, Attention, Speed, Flexibility, and Problem Solving are calculated from games in each of those areas.
LPI also helps you compare your strengths and weaknesses across games that challenge different cognitive abilities. You can improve your LPIs in your weaker areas by playing and improving at games in each of those areas.”

I’ve done Lumosity 5 times this week, and already improved to 1021 LPI. What’s cool is in some of the games I am actually seeing an improvement which is awesome! Some games it’s hard to tell, I mean it shows my score being better but I don’t necessarily feel smarter.

Day 1 457
Day 2 667
Day 3 897
Day 4 970
Day 5 1021

Since we are talking about Brains, how about a recipe to boost our brain function?
Blueberries!!
“”Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these tasty fruits. Pratt, who is also on staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., says that in animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.” (Side note, I in NO WAY condone animal testing, SO against it!)

Little Miss Muffin Tops
from one of my favourite cook books, Eat, Shrink and Be Merry!
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Ingredients:
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (original recipe called for 1 cup of the previous, but trying to ger my whole grains in!)
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray or line a muffin pan.
Combine first 9 ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients except blueberries.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix, then fold in blueberries.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


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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!


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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!


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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.


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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!