What’s For Breakfast: PerfectFood Raw Real Apple

If you follow me on Instagram you may notice I tend to eat the same foods over and over again. I do this simply because I enjoy those few foods and don’t have an overly adventerous palate. Garden of Life’s RawFit has been part of my breakfast routine for months now and I truly enjoy it and look forward to my shake every morning. When a HUGE box of goodies arrived last week from Garden of Life it was like Christmas morning – plus they sent some for me to GIVEAWAY!! Also in the box was some of the new Perfect Food® RAW Real Apple. At first I was hesitant to try it on its own – see the above point about a limited palate. However, for the sake of conducting a fair and honest review I took one for the team and mixed it as per the directions. I’m happy to report it’s absolutely delicious – you can see the video here.

Perfect Food Raw

Perfect Food Raw

Usually my breakfast consists of a shake with RawFit, blueberries, spinach and strawberries with hemp seeds or nut butter. Then I made my PerfectFood Raw Apple as a side. By the time I finish breakfast I’ve had almost half my water for the day. This morning I switched it up and tossed some PerfectFood Raw Apple & RawFit in the blender with some water, it blended well, smelled amazing and tasted great! If you’re looking for a way to get some extra greens into your diet this is a tasty way to do it. Here’s a few facts from their website:

What Goes Into Perfect Food RAW?

Young cereal grass juices such as Barley, Alfalfa, Oat, Wheat, and Kamut are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The green juices in Perfect Food RAW are grown organically, harvested at their nutritional peak, immediately juiced and dried at low temperatures. The RAW, organic cereal grass juice powders contained in Perfect Food RAW are loaded with chlorophyll and trace minerals for energy and support of already healthy blood sugar levels.†1

Each serving of Perfect Food RAW contains over 17 nutrient-dense veggie juices that are freeze-dried using a gentle process that maintains nutrient potency and freshness.

Perfect food RAW also contains over a dozen organic raw sprouts. Sprouting is a term that refers to the process where you unlock the nutrient potential within a seed and is a great way to increase the digestibility of seeds, nuts and legumes while maintaining their raw nutrient density.

Finally, Perfect Food RAW contains a host of live probiotics and enzymes. Enzymes are present in all raw foods and enhance the body’s ability to digest and assimilate the nutrients our food contains while probiotics are key to the optimal function of our digestive system.

These have quickly become my go-to supplements for so many reasons – the quality ingredients & great taste are just a few reasons. I don’t get any compensation for sharing my thoughts with you so you can know this is a 100% honest review. They are super awesome and keep me stocked up – simply becasue I can’t find it around here. However, I have bought it with my own money in the past and if/when I find it on a store shelf you can be sure I’ll buy some!

How To Eat Healthy & On Budget At A Conference

Eating healthy at a conference can be done with a little bit of planning and creativity. Traditionally your meals will be included with your ticket (breakfast/lunch), however since these events are held at conference centres the menu options can often be less than stellar. Last year I remember coming down to breakfast to see a sea of (bad) carbs. We’re taking bread, muffins, bagels, and pastries, nothing that makes a quality breakfast. There was a little bit of fruit left on the “gluten-free” table, but alas that was about the healthiest thing to be found.

If you live within driving distance or are flying within the county you pack a cooler – I love using my PackIt for traveling – with some hard boiled eggs. I consider eggs to be pretty much the perfect food. They have a great mix of protein and healthy fats and can be eaten hot or cold. Most hotel rooms have fridges, if they do not, you can use ice to keep things cool – fill the ice bucket and place your eggs in there. Each morning have 2-3 eggs and a piece of fruit for breakfast. You’re likely staying at a hotel and most hotels have some form of continental breakfast, which normally includes apples/bananas. This option hits the protein/fat/carb groups and will keep you full for a while. If you can’t bring eggs with you or don’t like eggs you could always make some protein breakfast bars with nuts, seeds and dried fruit and pack those. Enjoy a cup of black tea or coffee from your hotel room or from the conference buffet and you have breakfast taken care of without paying extra! Remember to drink plenty of water, you’ll be walking a lot during the day and staying hydrated will keep you feeling great.

Lunch can be a little tricky depending on your dietary preferences. If you’re gluten free you need to be sure there is no cross contamination, which can be hard to ensure. If this is a serious concern for you perhaps consider packing your BlenderBottle or a mason jar and some protein powder. Head then you’ll just need to find a fountain or grab a bottle of water from a vendor in the expo hall. That’s a quick, easy and virtually free lunch option. The last conference I attended had a gluten-free food exhibitor in the expo hall so I made friends with them and found out that they were making grilled cheese for lunch – a perfect FREE option! You can also make a trail mix with things like almonds, dried apples, cashews, and coconut to munch on. Remember, lunch doesn’t have to be a sandwich, salad, or something traditional – try and think outside the box. All you need to do is ensure your getting, protein/fat/carbs (the good ones) with each meal – that’s all that matters! You’ll need to pack the trail mix ahead of time if you want to ensure the ingredients are the quality you’re looking for. However, if you run out of time this type of snack is easy to find at hotel shops, Starbucks, etc. Just plan for the added expense. Speaking of Starbucks, most locations have a protein box you can order, this would also be a great last minute option!

Dinner is where things can be expensive if you’re not careful. Remember, steer clear of alcohol and you’ll save money, calories and a hangover. This is where you’re often left on your own to find something outside the conference. Again, a protein shake can be an awesome option to have before you head out for an evening of events and social activities. These events often have food and drinks (free of charge) so if you have a protein shake before you go you can top it up with a FEW appetizers at your events. Be sure to choose these carefully – calories in these can be sneaky and hidden where you least expect it. If you like eggs enough you can eat them for dinner and avoid party food all together. You may go out for dinner with colleagues and that’s great – a little research can save you thousands of calories and some money. Sites like restaurant.com is a great way to look up local diner options and save you money at the same time. For my trip to Chicago I found an awesome little farm to table deli this way . It’s a win-win, try new food & save money.

At this point, we’ve got thru the day spending minimal money on food with a little bit of pre-planning. I don’t to a conference for the food, so I just do what I need to do to get my calories in and keep things as clean as I can. By doing this, I leave room for an un-planned dinner out or a treat in the expo hall or at a party. Remember, keep it balanced and you’ll be fine. I find I’ve had “conference hangovers” in past years when I don’t keep my eating in check. You’ll feel better and get back to “normal life” much easier if you plan ahead. I’ve scouted out the closest Trader Joe’s in Chicago and once we check into the hotel I’m heading there to grab my food for the next few days.

What are your favourite ways to keep eating clean and on a budget on the road?

The Best Food In Nashville

One of the perks to having fit/foodie friends is that they know all the best local places to eat! Yesterday’s lunch spot was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives, yet its was one of the healthiest sandwiches you could make! We had big workout before each meal yesterday – the boys played hockey for 2 hours and we did some weights and cardio in the hotel gym (which is very well stocked for a hotel gym!), and then we went to Zach’s boot camp class before dinner.

We ate breakfast at the hotel yesterday and it was amazing – I wanted to keep going back for more, but I restrained myself! They have an omelet station where they make a fresh omelet to order for you and the buffet had tons of fresh fruit options, bacon, sausage, eggs and more. Best breakfast in a long time!

DoubleTree Downtown Nashville

Breakfast at The DoubleTree Downtown Nashville

After the first workout of the day (and cowboy boot shopping) we were all starving and Zach took us to this local place that has the best sandwiches. It was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives as I mentioned before. Hubs and I ordered the Turkey Avocado sandwiches. It’s made on homemade bread for a local company, however, out of habit I took the top slice off. They also had these amazing brownies for dessert so we split one – it was so delicious! If you’re in the East Nashville area this is a must do. They use local meats and bread to make the best food!!

mitchells_delicatessen_east_nashville

Mitchells Delicatessen East Nashville

After a little more sightseeing and such it was time to head to Zach’s weekly boot camp (I made my teaching debut!) so we could work up an appetite for dinner! Y’all know I love Chipotle, but alas we don’t have one where I live so when ever I travel I eat there as much as I can. We went to a place called Baja Burrito in East Nashville – a similar concept but not a chain. This place was cute and had a great local vibe! I had the Barbcoa (beef) which is always grass-fed local beef on my burrito bowl. I don’t like sour cream so I load my plate up with Pico DeGallo and added some guacamole of course!

Baja Burrito Nashville

Baja Burrito Nashville

It was a huge portion and for Hubs and I the total bill was only $13 – that’s a deal! I love that we get to experience these awesome local food options and not feel guilty about it – they are all healthy, clean food options, that’s a big plus! After dinner we went for coffee at a cute little hipster coffee shop called Frothy Monkey. Kat and I opted for some of their locally made tea and Zach enjoyed a latte, complete with latte art in the foam.

Local Tea from Frothy Monkey

Local Tea from Frothy Monkey

Today we’re checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame and then doing some more sightseeing – lots of walking today – vacations with fit friends are awesome! Then we have a reservation at a local Steak House that serves, you guessed it, local grass-fed beef and other local food options – can’t wait! Hope you enjoyed my food tour of Nashville! You can workout all you want on vacation, however, if you don’t fuel properly than you’re not doing yourself any favors. Seek out awesome local places before you go and you will find ways to eat healthy and clean while on the road!

 

 

Peanut Butter Toffee Protein Ice Cream

I swear I eat vegetables – I promise – I also happen to have an incredible sweet tooth and if I can make sweet things healthy I’m all about it! This ice cream is my new favorite thing & it’s seriously delish! I usually have these ingredients as a protein shake in the afternoon anyway so I’m not adding any more calories to my daily total!

PB2 Protein Ice Cream

This little treat is so simple to make you’ll find running to the kitchen to whip some up! In the above photo I crumbled a mini gluten free brownie on top just for some extra amazingness!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp PB2
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Tbsp of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Ingredients PB2 Ice Cream

First step is to measure out the protein powder and PB2 and mix in a bowl.  Then SLOWLY add a little bit of water, maybe 2-4Tbsp depending on how you like it.

Mix protein powder & PB2, then add water

Mix protein powder & PB2, then add water

Once you mix it well add in the chocolate chips and place it in the freezer for a couple hours.

Mix well and add chocolate chips

Mix well and add chocolate chips

Once you remove from the freezer mix it up a little and then enjoy! If you feel like sharing you could get fancy and scoop into some nice cones if you’re fancy! I just dig in and enjoy straight from the bowl. Try not to eat it too quick as it takes a few hours to make another batch! Let me know how you like it!

 

What Are Lentils?

I was at the grocery store the other day and picked up some organic lentils. To be honest I really didn’t even give thought to what a lentil actually was – I just knew they were known to be healthy and there’s lots of talk about “Sprouted Lentils” in the health food world. I figured I’d give them a shot. While checking out the kid that was bagging my groceries said “So is a lentil just a small bean?”, that’s when I realized I actually didn’t know the answer!

What Is A Lentil?

Naturally I set out to google to answer this question! So upon my first attempt this is the definiation that came up;

len·til

/ˈlent(ə)l/
Noun
  1. A high-protein pulse that is dried and then soaked and cooked before eating.
  2. The plant (Lens culinaris) that yields this pulse, native to the Mediterranean and Africa.

I was left scratching my head wondering if a Lentil truly was a bean or something else completely. Thus my search continued.

Lentils are a small, round, lens shaped legume that come in many colors and sizes. Colors range from yellow and red to green, brown, and even black. Lentils are inexpensive, highly nutritious, and can be stored for a long time without refrigeration. These features have made lentils a staple food in many cultures across the globe. {Source}

I’ve got a pantry full of dry beans waiting to be used but I have yet to because they require rinsing and soaking etc, etc. I learned that lentils are ready to eat in just 3 easy steps; rinse, boil, and season! NO SOAKING = Brilliant! Another fun fact I found – SO MUCH PROTEIN – more than yogurt (serving for serving). Since we all know fiber is an important part of any diet, it’s good to know that Green Lentils (100g uncooked) have an ENTIRE DAY’s  worth of fiber. Sounds like a super food to me! I can’t wait to get creative with these little superstars!

Do you enjoy Lentils? Please share your favorite recipe below!!

How To Eat Healthy At a Restaurant: Turtle Jacks Edition

Last night after my workout I had a networking meeting at a local Turtle Jacks. If I hadn’t been at the gym before I would have eaten at home, however, we need to learn to make the best choices we can when out and about. Most restaurants are more than willing to sell you an “open food” item – meaning things like a plain chicken breast and steemed veggies if it’s not on the menu. If you have time a good strategy is to look up the menu online and plan from there – but we’re talking unexpected trips today!

I looked over the menu for something “fresh” a.k.a. made in the restaurant and not from a package then put on a plate!

Turtle Jacks

My Custom Order

My Custom Order

I ordered the “Chips & Guac” from the menu and made the following modifications:

  • add 1 chicken breast (came on a side plate – then I cut up)
  • NO chips (assuming these are non-organic corn & fried they are full of empty calories)

It was a simple meal and  a nice balance of protein and healthy fats. Under my pile of guac up there is some fresh chunky pico de gallo. According to the server I had last time I ordered this the guac is made fresh in house daily and is simply avocado and veggies.

What’s your favorite way to healthify a restaurant meal?