tips for healthy during summer BBQ season

The 4th of July is just a few days away and for many, the holiday weekend is filled with fun times, family and food…lots of food! Being surrounded by an abundance of delicious and tempting food at summer BBQs can be quite daunting when you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, parties and BBQs should be a time to relax and enjoy yourself – not stress over food! So I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tips for staying healthy during BBQs and parties.

Everything in moderation – if you want to indulge in some of your favorite foods, which are perhaps less healthy, that’s absolutely fine! Just be mindful of your portion sizes and smaller amounts of calorie-dense foods. If you want chips, have a small handful. If you want cake, have a small slice.

Pick and choose your battles – have potato salad or coleslaw, ice cream or cake, potato chips or french fries. If you really want both, then have a tiny bit of each (remember, everything in moderation).

Balance – it’s important to make sure your meals have a nice balance of proteins, good carbs and healthy fats. Try to keep that in mind when you’re at a BBQ as well! For example: a burger (preferably grass-fed or a lean turkey burger) with a whole wheat bun and slice of cheese plus a side salad with a drizzle of dressing would make for a well-balanced meal at a BBQ.

Fill up first – before you chow down on hot dogs and burgers, try to fill up on your healthier options first. Have some salad and veggies, which are packed with nutrients and fiber, that then move on to the other stuff. By filling up on your healthier options first, you’ll have less room for the more indulgent foods, saving you lots of calories!

Come prepared – I have been to many BBQ’s where I was stuck munching on lettuce all night because there were hardly any healthy/vegetarian options for me to eat. Not only did I feel deprived, but I also felt disconnected from everyone else who was enjoying their meals. So now, I come prepared by bring some healthy side dishes and appetizers that not only I can have, but I know others will enjoy as well. Plus, the host of the party will be grateful that you are contributing to the spread. It’s a double win!

Here are some suggestions:
-veggie sticks and low fat dip (try making a dip using low fat greek yogurt, whip up some homemade guacamole or bring some fresh salsa)
-salad – add a colorful variety of veggies, some fresh fruit and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple, fresh and perfect for summer.
-veggies for roasting – ask your host to throw some veggies on the grill while they are cooking the burgers.
-whole wheat buns, crackers and tortilla chips
-fresh fruit platter for dessert

Stay hydrated – be sure to drink plenty of water, and for extra flavor, add a squeeze of lemon or some fresh fruit!

Enjoy – food is definitely a big part of the holidays, but what’s more important is that you have fun with your friends and family! Food feeds your belly, but spending time with loved ones feeds your soul.

What are your plans for the 4th and how do you plan to stay healthy during the holiday weekend? I wish everyone a happy & healthy 4th of July!

Be well,
Tina

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5 tips to get the most out of your morning

The way you spend your morning sets the tone for rest of your day. If you are frantically rushing around in the morning or dreading the tasks ahead of you, that energy will stay with you throughout your day. So before you leap out of bed, read these 5 tips to get the most out of your morning and start your day on the right foot!

1. Wake up to your favorite tunes. Instead of waking up to the jarring-sounds of a typical alarm, make one of your favorite up-beat songs your alarm. It will be a much more pleasant way to wake up and even curse your alarm a little less.

2. Express gratitude. Once you’ve hit the snooze button enough times and are ready to jump (or crawl) out of bed, take a moment here to express gratitude for a new day and all the wonderful things this day will bring and set your intention for the day.

You cannot be grateful and unhappy
at the same time.

3. Chug water! Your body has been resting for several hours and will need to hydrate, so have a glass of water upon waking. For an extra boost, have warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The warm water gently wakes up your system and the fresh lemon juice is alkalizing to your body and gets your liver going. Warm water + fresh lemon juice is my go-to morning cocktail. 😉

4. Get moving! I get it; we aren’t all morning-people, but try to do a little something to get your blood flowing first thing in the morning. Whether it be a strength training session, going for a run, doing yoga or some simple stretching, movement = energy.

5. Meditate. If your day is anything like mine, it will be pretty non-stop until it’s time for bed. Work, errands, tasks, to-do lists – there is always something that needs to get done. It is very easy to get consumed in the day-to-day tasks of life and to allow yourself and your needs to fall to the bottom of the list. Morning is the perfect opportunity to make some time for YOU before the day begins. Even if it is just for 5-10 minutes, find somewhere quiet to sit, listen to calming music or a guided meditation and “zen out.” You will feel a sense a calm that you can carry with you the rest of the day.

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What is your morning routine like?

Be well,
Tina

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the big diet debate



Paleo or vegan? Gluten or no gluten? What about dairy? And fats? How bad is sugar, really?

There are a lot of mixed messages when it comes to what we should be eating. Some swear by a paleo lifestyle, while others thrive on a vegan lifestyle.

MBG

Mind Body Green sat down with three respected physicians, Frank Lipman, Mark Hyman, and Joel Kahn as they discussed several popular dietary theories and debated over the best ways to eat for optimal health.

You can watch the video here.

Here are my favorite takeaways from the discussion:
» Don’t be scared of fats! The best options are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and for non-vegans, grass-fed butter. If your family has a history of heart disease, be mindful of your consumption.
» Wheat: those who have celiac’s must remove/avoid gluten, but if gluten doesn’t seem to be an issue for you, then the consumption of whole grains does provide nutritional benefits.
» Treat sugar like a recreational drug, as it is incredibly addictive.
» Dairy has been shown to be just as addictive as sugar.
» While there is some gray area, keep the focus on the fundamentals – eat high-quality, low-glycemic, whole foods.

Don’t worry so much about the type of ‘diet’ – just eat real food. Eat as close to nature as possible. Eat what makes YOU feel good.

Each person is unique with highly individualized nutritional requirements. As a Health Coach who focuses on bio-individuality, I believe that there is no one-size-fits-all diet. We each have different anatomies, metabolisms and genetic backgrounds that influence our overall health and the foods that make us feel our best. That’s why no single way of eating works for everyone – the foods that my body thrives on, may not work for you and your body. One person’s food may be another person’s poison. That is why jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad diet may cause harm to your body in the long run.

To look and feel your best, you need to discover what foods nourish you and what foods don’t. We are all so different, and getting to know your own body and tuning into its signals is an essential step in getting and staying healthy. As a Health Coach, I have studied all the major dietary theories and I guide and support my clients to discover what approach will best nourish their bodies and help them reach optimal health. If you’re interested in enlisting a health coach to help you achieve your health and wellness goals, send me a message: tina@nourishedwellness.com.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the video! What style(s) of eating have you experimented with? What makes you feel your best?

Be well Xo

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homemade acai bowl recipe, three ways

Oh, acai bowl, how I adore thee.

Smoothie bowls have been a breakfast/brunch staple of mine for a while now. I love how refreshing, customizable and delicious they are!

Acai bowls seem to be all the rage these days. Juice and smoothie bars everywhere have been adding them to their menus. I do prefer to make them at home so I can make them exactly how I like. Plus, a lot of places will add sweetener to them, which I feel is unnecessary considering the acai packs are usually presweetened and the fruits and toppings usually make them plenty sweet as is.

Here are three of my favorite versions of this bowl of heaven. Vegan and gluten free friends can omit the granola topping or choose a brand you like.

acai bowl, three ways
servings: 1 bowl

acai bowl

classic acai bowl:
-2 frozen acai smoothie packs
-1/2 large, ripe banana
-almond milk, coconut milk or any milk you’d like. You’ll need just enough to get things moving in the blender.
-toppings of choice! My favorites are: cacao nibs, shredded coconut, sliced banana, fresh berries, drizzled peanut butter and granola

peanut butter acai bowl
-2 frozen acai smoothie packs
-1/2 large, ripe banana
-1 heaping tablespoon organic peanut butter
-liquid of choice
-toppings: my favorites for this recipe are cacao nibs, sliced banana, drizzled peanut butter and granola

tropical mango acai bowl:
-1 frozen acai smoothie pack
-1 cup frozen mango chunks
-liquid of choice – coconut milk tastes great in this recipe
-toppings: I suggest shredded coconut, sliced bananas, pieces of fresh mango and granola

instructions
-In a high-speed blender, blend together the acai smoothie packs and fruit with just enough liquid to get things moving. Add the liquid slowly because you want your mixture to be very thick and frosty.
-Once blended, spoon the mixture into a bowl
-Add your toppings of choice and enjoy right away.

Grab a spoon and dig in!

Have you tried an acai bowl? What are your favorite toppings?

Be well Xo

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