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Healthy is Happy

The thing everyone has to realize is that there will ALWAYS be someone skinnier than them, but that doesn’t define your beauty. You could be 300lbs or 100lbs and you will still be the same person. I love who I am now so why compare myself to anyone else? Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Being different sizes, having different hair colors, being different races makes us who we are and defines our beauty as a person. Being unique catches the eye.

If I were to gain weight then I’d gain weight, I know it’s possible to lose weight, I’ve proved that. There are some weeks where I gain 5lbs and lose 5lbs, who is actually noticing ? Live life by the day not by the scale. 

 I won’t change for anyone or be anybody else. I don’t let others pressure me about my image because I have control and will always have control. If I let someone tell me how to look then I would lose all creativity, your appearance is an art. I have never been one to conform. You need to love yourself for who you. Loving yourself is one of the most important things in living a healthy lifestyle. So you want to stop over eating? Then nip the culprits in the butt! YES it is difficult and won’t happen overnight but it will happen if you tell yourself everyday that it will. 

You shouldn’t avoid others because of your appearance. I love waking up out of bed no make up, glasses, messy hair, baggy pajamas and going to the grocery store, then baking, getting all messy, then going back to the grocery store because most likely I forgot something, and being so tired stopping for some coffee. If someone is judging the way I look, at least I’m being noticed right? I don’t like to look good or try to dress up all the time, even though it’s fun. Just be who you are and people will love you!! And if they don’t then what’s the point of keeping them around!? Find positivity in your life and that will lead you to happiness and healthiness.”

 

Beautiful excerpt of a quote by Undressed Skeleton .

Love yourself for who you are, be healthy and be happy. TRUE STORY.

 

Nutty for Nut Butter

If you’ve read through my Diet Diary, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of peanut butter (often paired with its best friend, jelly). But I recently found a healthier alternative in almond butter, and fell in love.

However, I was not willing to pay close to $10 per jar, so I hit Google and found plenty of advice on how to make your own homemade almond butter. Not only is it easy, but you can modify the taste by adding different things (honey, cinnamon, etc.) You can also experiment with different nuts – cashew is a popular one.

STEP 1

Arrange the almonds evenly on a foiled pan. Roast at 350°F for 10 minutes. After they’ve been in for 5 minutes, move them around to prevent burning, and leave in for the rest of the time. I warn you – when you take them out of the oven they will smell HEAVENLY so resist eating them right there!

STEP 2

You’ll be putting your blender to good use, as the almonds need to be in there on high for 10 – 15 minutes. At first they will just resemble dust and you’ll need to keep pausing to scrape it off the sides with a rubber spatula. It may seem like butter will never be created, but be patient – just when you think your blender is going to die, it will magically turn to cream! When they have reached this creamy consistency, I add 2 tablespoons of Ideal sweetener and a spoon of cinnamon.

STEP 3 

Voila, behold your fresh, healthy homemade almond butter! Keep it in an airtight container, either in a cupboard or in the fridge. Enjoy on a slice of toast, with apple slices or celery sticks, or incorporate into a wholesome cookie recipe. Just be sure to not eat it all plain – it’s that good!

Thanks to Heather Eats Almond Butter for helpin’ me out with her helpful recipe!

Not-so-Krabby Patty Salad

I’m a diehard Spongebob Squarepants fan, and those of you who aren’t … tsk tsk, you just weren’t raised right :P I watched plenty of educational television too, but this show was my favorite (and still kind of is). How can you not love sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!

Anyway, this salad features a turkey burger patty atop a bed of lettuce, accompanied with fat free cheese and ketchup. It’s pretty much a burger, but without the bun and with a lot more veggie. Are you ready for some healthy ‘burgers’, cos in the words of Spongebob, “I’m ready, I’m ready!”

 

Step 1) Grill a lean turkey patty on a George Forman grill.  I use this because it extracts all the extra fat, but you can just grill it or put it on the pan – but use PAM, no extra oil or butter!

Step 2) Shred lettuce and place in a bowl. Top with sliced patty, fat free cheese slice and ketchup.

Voila, enjoy this BBQ bonanza without the bun! *awkward annoying Spongebob laugh*

- approx. 200 cal – 

Berry Sweet Layered Loaf

This cake has a layer of sweet berry yogurt sandwiched between its two halves. The blueberry + strawberry yogurt adds a tangy flavor and a cool, creamy texture, making this loaf a great summer treat that’s also low in calories. There’s also no added sugar, and it’s very low in fat. Plus, you get a healthy serving of fruits while you indulge!

The cake portion is made using the recipe for my Low Cal Banana Muffins – same ingredients, but with added chopped strawberries, sweetener instead of the sugar/ honey, and a longer baking time (cakes require longer than muffins, FYI).

Step 1) Make the recipe for my Low Cal Banana Muffins. Switch the sugar/ honey for sweetener (Ideal/ Splenda/ etc.) for fewer calories. Mix in 4 large chopped strawberries when everything else is stirred.  I also add half a cup of milk when everything else is stirred to make the batter more liquid, because initially it is pretty lumpy and dry. 

Step 2) Pour batter into a round pan greased with PAM. Bake at 4000°F for 40 – 50 minutes.

Step 3) When cake is done baking, remove from pan and leave it on a rack to cool. While it’s cooling, make the yogurt filling. In a blender, just combine 1 cup chopped strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup non fat plain yogurt and some additional sweetener. Blend and pour in a bowl, place in freezer for 5 minutes (while you cut the cake in half.)

Step 4) To cut the cake in half,  follow these steps by eHow. Allow both sides to cool on a rack for 5 – 10 minutes.

Step 5) Spread yogurt filling on bottom half of cake, and place top half on top. The yogurt is still quite liquidy and so, to prevent it from spilling over the sides of the cake, I put on one layer first and froze the bottom half for 5 minutes. I then put the rest of the yogurt on. 

Step 6) Refrigerate whole cake for 10 – 20 minutes.

Om nom nom

- 140 cal per 1/8 of cake – 

Multi Grain Goodness Pancakes

The flax seed pancakes I made for mommy on Mother's Day :) She also prefers this type!

Who doesn’t love a hot pancake for breakfast, or even lunch or dinner for that matter? I’m a big fan, but I steer clear of the common white fluff variety. I feel as though ‘normal’ pancakes don’t have any real consistency – you just chew ‘em and they vanish! It makes me quite sad, and my waistline is not the happiest camper either when I nosh on this all-American breakfast staple.

But multi grain + flax seed = a much better version. A lot of people have an aversion to anything that contains ‘flax seed’ because it sounds disgustingly nutritious and not at all tasty. *BEEP*, wrong answer! These pan cakes are crunchy and have a nut-like flavor, are heavier and therefore more filling, and have a lot more valuable nutritional content.

How I make mine: 1/3 cup pancake mix, 1/3 cup skim milk,

The pancake mix I use, I highly recommend it!

 1/2 an egg (both white and yolk) 1 tsp olive oil. This makes one medium pancake. I cook them on the pan using PAM no-calorie spray, and eat them with sugar free grape jam (better than syrup!)

So simple to make, tasty, filling and nutritious. A perfect low calorie breakfast that’ll keep your tummy tank full till lunch!

 

Your Handiest Helpers

Hand weights! What’s not to love: they are cheap, easy to transport and versatile. They can be used to tone your arms, upper back, abs, thighs, butt – you name it. I love to use them on my arms while I’m watching TV or reading a book, because it’s a sneaky way of toning up without feeling like you’re doing a hardcore workout. Keep them close to you at all times, and you’ll find that you’re burning a lot more calories every day. And watch that flab go away!

Where I got mine from: Walmart for $5 each. They had a bunch of colors and I decided to be girly and choose purple. You can also buy hand weights from a variety of sporting stores; they’re very popular!

What weight I use: I use 5 pounders, so when I use both together it’s an easy 10 pounds.

Here are some exercise you can do with your hand weights at home: 

SHOULDERS 

 





 

BICEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRICEPS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIGHS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACK 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it, a bunch of little helpful animated men. Here are some useful tips to remember: 

*You don’t need to have a bench at home, simply use the side of your bed or a chair, or lay on the ground.

*Always use resistance when using weights – do not simply swing your body part with the weight, because this will not have much effect. Tense and do the rep.

*Start out light and work your way up to heavier weights.

Happy lifting!

Planet Fitness: Many Mixed Messages

I am a gym addict, and I currently have a membership at Planet Fitness. It’s a 5 minute walk from my house, it has an upbeat and clean environment, and it’s only $10 a month (it’s most attractive feature, of course). But while it may have it’s benefits, Planet Fitness has quite a few discrepancies in its policies and attitudes.

I dislike lunks, but a gym doesn't have the right to discriminate!

My first issue is the whole ‘Judgement Free Zone’ concept. They say that there are no ‘lunks’ allowed (lunk: noun, anyone who grunts, drops weights or judges). But isn’t that in itself judging? Planet Fitness may be a gym for those who aren’t hardcore athletes, but they are also blatantly discriminating against those who are legitimately fit. Believe me, I am NO fan of the meatbag men who wear shirts smaller than the ones I own and stand around for 90% of their workout flexing their muscles in front of the mirror, but I don’t think it’s fair that Planet Fitness, a so-called judgement free zone, judge them either.

My second issue, and probably the one I am most passionate about, is the fact that they serve extremely unhealthy food. Pizza Monday (the first Mon. of every month) and Bagel Tuesday (the second Tues. of every month) offer free food to gym members. This is a nice gesture … but pizza and bagels?! I thought this was supposed to be a place of fitness and healthy living, and I’m pretty sure that these two foods, offered in unlimited quantities, are not the best options. Why not fruit kabobs or sugar free cupcakes, celery sticks with peanut butter or granola bars? And let’s not forget the bowl of Tootsie Rolls on every Planet Fitness front desk – once again, not the smartest option for a gym.

I like my gym and it’s where I spend a good amount of my time. But I think Planet Fitness really needs to get its act together.

Is this really ‘no judgement’?

Check out what others have to say via the comments on GoHardFitness.com‘s take.

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