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Health Warrior: Chia Bars


Health Warrior: Chia Bars


We are always on the hunt for great snacks that are #1....healthy but also easy, yummy, good to grab on the go AND if you have kids...ones that the kidlets will eat!  Well we are here to say that Health Warrior's Chia Bars fit the bill!  First off, we are HUGE fans of Chia seeds.  Chia seeds have tons of health benefits:

Help Fight Diabetes
Fiber Boost 
Packed with Omega-3s
Stronger Teeth And Bones 
Packed with Minerals 
Gluten-Free
Protein Power
Blood Sugar Regulation
Help You Get Full 
Improve Heart Health



There are a lot of things we love about these bars.  At just 100-110 calories, each flavor satisfies in both taste and nutrition.  They are offered in 8 amazing flavors: Cinnamon Apple, Coconut, Banana Nut, Mango, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coffee, Acai Berry and Dark Chocolate Cherry.  They have a texture that is both chewy and crunchy and provide a blend of good fat, fiber and a bit of protein, so they are perfect for that afternoon snack between meals.  

All Health Warrior Chia Bars are all-natural, vegan, dairy-free and soy-free.  Chia seeds are the #1 ingredient and each bar has 1000 mg Omega 3s, 16% DV of fiber and low in sugar with only 5 grams.  

They make a great pool side snack and if you store in the car- it doesn't melt like other bars/ snacks.  All the flavors are great but our family favorite is the Acai Berry! 

Health Warrior Chia Bars are available at major online retailers such as Amazon as well as natural food stores such as Earth Fare and Whole Foods.



Top 5 Healthy 4th of July Recipes



Independence Day is a great celebration to spend some quality time with family and friends AND and even an better time to pull out those favorite summer time recipes for your cookout.  We've put together 5 of our favorites to share.  These recipes are sure to impress any crowd!

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad (via My Recipes)


2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)
2 cups small red potatoes, quartered
2 cups small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives 
3 hard-cooked eggs (white if you prefer) chopped 
¼ cup red wine vinegar 
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
¼ teaspoons salt 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
1 garlic clove, minced 

Place white and red potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 mins until tender. Drain, cool. Place potatoes in large bowl. 

Place blue potatoes in a separate saucepan and cook as above until tender. 

Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives and eggs to bowl and toss gently. 

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. 

Note: Blue potatoes are starchier than the others and tend to bleed so cook them separately. 

EXCHANGES: 1 cup, ~ 250 calories, = 2 starch and 1/2 meat - and 1/2 fat

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Sweet'n Spicy Roasted Corn (via Taste of Home)
Serves 6



6 large ears sweet corn in husks
2 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Carefully peel back corn husks to within 1 in. of bottom; remove
silk. Rewrap corn in husks and secure with kitchen string. Soak corn
in cold water for 1 hour.

Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and
lightly coat the grill rack. Grill corn, covered, over medium heat
for 25-30 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Remove
string before serving.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Add the garlic, brown
sugar, red pepper flakes and chili powder. Serve with grilled corn.
Yield: 6 servings.

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Stuffed Fiesta Burgers
4 Servings

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef 
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix 
1/4 cup reduced fat (1/3 fat) Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread 
1/3 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese 

4 wheat hamburger buns, split, lightly toasted 
1/2 cup salsa (or mild per taste preference) 

PREHEAT Grill to medium heat. Mix meat and seasoning mix. Shape into eight thin patties. Mix cream cheese spread and shredded cheese. Spoon about 2 Tbsp. of the cheese mixture onto center of each of four of the patties; top with second patty. Pinch edges of patties together to seal. 

GRILL 7 to 9 min. on each side or until cooked through (160°F.) 

COVER bottom halves of buns with burgers. Top with salsa and top halves of buns. 

EXCHANGES: 1 burger with bun, ~350 calories, = 3 meat, 2 starch, 1½ fat, ½ vegetable


________________________________________________________________________


Frozen Raspberry Pie
8 Servings

1 dash cooking spray
33 pieces wafer chocolate cookies 
¼ cup powdered sugar 
2 Tablespoon oil, canola 
2 Tablespoon fat free milk 
1 Tablespoon butter 

3 Cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed) 
2 Tablespoon lemon juice 
¼ teaspoon salt 
2 large egg whites at room temperature 
½ cup sugar granulated 
½ teaspoon cream of tartar 


Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Coat a 90inch pie pan with cooking spray 

To prepare crust:
Process 32 wafers, confectioner’s sugar, oil, milk and butter in a food processor until finely ground. 

Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan, creating and even, dense crust. Bake for 12 mins 

Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, puree raspberries, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract the juice, discard seeds. 

Bring 1 inch of water to a slow simmer in a large sauce pan. Combine egg whites, granulated sugar and cream of tartar in a 3-quart stainless-steel bowl. Beat with an electric miser on medium speed until foamy. 

Set bowl over the simmering water and continue to beat on med speed, moving mixer around until the mixture is glossy and thick about 3-1/2 mins. Increase speed to high, continue beating over the simmering water until very stiff and glossy – 3-1/2 mins more. (eggs will be at safe temperature at 160F at this point) 

Remove from the heat and continue beating on medium speed until room temp 3-5 mins. 

Fold raspberry puree into meringue until combined. Pour into pie crust, crumble remaining chocolate wafer over the top. Place the pie on a level surface in your freezer and freeze until solid – at least 6 hours. To serve, let the pie stand at room temperature until softened slightly, about 10 minutes before slicing. 

EXCHANGES: 1/8 pie, ~220 calories, = 2.5 carbohydrates , 1 fat

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Mint, Lime and Cucumber Aqua Fresca

By Brianna Steinhilber


Ingredients:
2 large cucumbers washed and roughly chopped
8 juicy limes squeezed
1 packed cup fresh mint leaves, washed
¼ cup to ½ cup honey
1 cup of water
optional: Tequila

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well. Strain over a pitcher. Serve with ice and fresh mint springs.






Guns, Buns & Abs 30 Day Challenge


Looking for a new challenge this month?  Try our Guns, Buns and Abs 30 Day Challenge!  Make sure you complete ALL the moves even if you  have to break them up into sets!  Have fun...and keep us posted on your progress!!





Here is a great video demonstrating the leg lifts...a.k.a - leg raises.





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Cat Drinks Water in Most Hilarious Way



We all know the importance of drinking water.  But if you struggle drinking throughout the day... give a spray bottle a try!  It's Joey's FAVORITE water to drink!





Click here to learn about unexpected benefits of drinking water.




If drinking water from a spray bottle isn't striking your fancy...try one of our TNT Infuser Water Bottles!  It's a great way to infuse healthy fruit and a HINT of natural sweetness to your water!





Click here to learn more.

8 Portion Control Tips That Really Work




It’s easy to see that portion sizes have gotten larger over the last few decades and even more so in the last few years – if you look, that is. The problem is that, many of us don’t notice the change because we are all just USED to the amounts we are served being “normal” portions. You can also spot this trend at the grocery store and even vending machines – an “individual” bag of chips or pretzels often contains 2 or more servings in that “made for one” bag.


Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when given larger portions to start with which means that we are getting a significant amount of excess calories and often these are higher-calorie foods prepared in restaurants.


Here are some tips to help you avoid some common portion pitfalls….


Portion control when eating out
1. Split a meal.  Many restaurants serve more food than one person needs at one meal. Take control of the amount of food that ends up on your plate by splitting an entrĂ©e with a friend. 
2. Get a To-Go box.  Ask the wait person for a “to-go” box and wrap up half your meal as soon as it’s brought to the table.

Portion control when eating in
3. Use small plates. To minimize the temptation of second and third helpings when eating at home, serve the food on individual plates, instead of putting the serving dishes on the table. Keeping the excess food out of reach may discourage overeating. AND switch to smaller plates and bowls so that your plate looks “full” with less food. There is also a wonderful product called Portion Mate rings that we make available for purchase.  This easy to use color-coded meal and snack-measuring tool makes measuring out the proper portion sizes a breeze.  The rings also nest inside one another for easy transport. 
4. Out of sight, out of mind. People tend to consume more when they have easy access to food. Make your home a “portion friendly zone.”
5. Fruit
.  Replace the candy dish with a fruit bowl.
6. Put it up!
 Store especially tempting foods, like cookies, chips, or ice cream, out of immediate eyesight, like on a high shelf or at the back of the freezer. Move the healthier food to the front at eye level.
7. Make it hard to get to.
 When buying in bulk, store the excess in a place that’s not convenient to get to, such as a high cabinet or at the back of the pantry.
8. Be aware of large packages.
For some reason, the larger the package, the more people consume from it without realizing it. To minimize this effect:
Divide up the contents of one large package into several smaller containers as soon as you bring it home to help avoid over-consumption.

Don’t eat straight from the package. Instead, serve the food in a small bowl or container and don’t eat in front of the TV or standing around the kitchen so that you can be more aware of your food and enjoy it so that you will be satisfied with the smaller portion.  

How do you keep your portion size in check?



To learn more about how a measuring tool like Portion Mates can help you stay on track simply visit us here for more information.

Portion Mate

 

Trail Mix Bars





Makes 8 Bars 

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp honey or golden syrup
7 Tbsp quick-cooking oats
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup Cheerios
3 Tbsp raisins
3 Tbsp peanuts or pumpkin seeds
4 Tbsp dried cranberries or chocolate chips
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
¼ tsp salt



1) Preheat oven to 325F and line an 8 X 8 pan with parchment paper and grease lightly. Set aside

2) Put butter and honey in a small pan over low heat and stir occasionally until the butter melts. Set aside to cool.

3) Place remaining ingredients in large bowl and stir. Add the cooled butter mixture and stir very well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down firmly. Back for 25-30 minutes until the center is slightly firm to the touch. 

4) Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Cut into bars with a sharp knife and allow bars to completely cool before lifting them from the pan. Store in an airtight container.



Exchanges: 2 fats; 3½ fruits; 1¼ starch


What's Your Cocktail IQ?


http://quiz.fitnessmagazine.com/game/60

Summer is in full swing.  Friends and family are gathering.  You have picnics, parties and the pool.  And with that may come a few adult summer beverages!  But do you know how that little cocktail is really affecting your waistline?  Test your cocktail calorie IQ to maintain a healthy weight with this Fitness Magazines quiz.  And as Fitness Magazine says...Be warned: A few of your favorites might just pop up on the Most Wanted list for sky-high calorie counts.



12 Unexpected Benefits of Drinking More Water




The benefits of drinking water isn't a new topic of discussion.  We all know that water helps keep us hydrated but what are some other less well known benefits of drinking water.  Greatist.com has put together a great list of 12 unexpected benefits of drinking more water and we just had to share.


Enter for chance to win our Infuser Water Bottle:

1. Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more. 



2. Calorie control. Forget other diet tricks — drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds [4] [5]. The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. 

3. Muscle fuel. Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired [6]. So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats

4. Clearer skin. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne [7]. While science saying water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples. 

5. Kidney function. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let's drink to that! 

6. Productivity boost. In order to really focus, a glass of water could help people concentrate and stay refreshed and alert

7. Fatigue buster. Move over coffee — water can help fight those tired eyes too [8]. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.) 

8. Hangover help. If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache. 

9. Pain prevention. A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated [9]

10. Keep things flowing. Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Luckily, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly. 

11. Sickness fighter. Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather. Just beware — drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beat colds in one swoop, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies

12. Brain boost. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!


If you struggle to drink your water throughout the day try infusing it with some lemon or even other fruit combinations.  Try TNT's Infuser WaterBottle available online here.

http://total-nutrition-technology.hostedbywebstore.com/TNT-Infuser-Water-Bottle/dp/B00JLZMAS0?field_availability=-1&field_browse=7414482011&id=TNT+Infuser+Water+Bottle&ie=UTF8&refinementHistory=brandtextbin%2Csubjectbin%2Ccolor_map%2Cprice%2Csize_name&searchNodeID=7414482011&searchPage=1&searchRank=salesrank&searchSize=12


 
And if you are looking for some ideas to flavor your water...try these great combos:

lemon + cucumber + mint
ginger + lemon
apple + cinnamon stick
blueberry + pomegranate
blackberry + lime
blueberry + strawberry
kiwi + mint + lime
What's your favorite water combination?




Source: For the complete article visit Greatist.com

8 Calorie Blasting Water Exercises To Do At The Pool This Weekend

Prevention via Fitbie



Headed to the pool this weekend?  Well next time you jump in the water to cool off try this 8 exercise calories-blasting water workout.  Exercising in the water is both fun and effective.  Water exercise has several benefits: increases circulation, regulates body temperature, reduced chance of injury, increases relaxation and provides a workout variety.  This water workout from Prevention will burn more than 300 calories in less than 30 minutes...not bad for a fun day in the sun!  

YOUR HYDRO BELLY-BLASTER WORKOUT


What you’ll need:
·    A pool where you can stand in chest-deep water
·    A resistance band; our testers used a SPRI red Xertube ($10; spri.com)
·    A waterproof watch, timer, or heart-rate monitor to time sets

How to do it:
·    Start with a 2-minute warm-up of treading water or easy swimming.
·    Do each Hydro Belly Blaster strength circuit twice.
·    Between each Hydro Belly-Blaster circuit, do 1 minute each of your Fat-Zapping Cardio Moves.
·    Cool down with 2 minutes of full-body stretching.

Total workout time: 28 minutes


CIRCUIT 1: HYDRO BELLY BLASTER
Stand on band with both feet, right handle in left hand and left handle in right hand. Lift right leg out to side, pulling handles toward shoulders. Return to start, and repeat with opposite leg. Continue alternating legs for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

Targets: Legs, shoulders, upper back, abs

Stand on band with both feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, holding one handle in each hand. Squat as though sitting down in an imaginary chair, keeping knees behind toes. Pause; stand up, pressing hands overhead. Repeat for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

Targets: Legs, butt, shoulders, abs


CIRCUIT 2: HYDRO BELLY BLASTER
Stand with right foot 2 to 3 feet in front of left foot, left foot on top of band, holding handles at chest level with elbows bent. Press handles forward, extending arms in front of chest. Return to start, and continue for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

Targets: Chest, shoulders, abs

Start with arms extended overhead, shoulder-width apart, one handle in each hand and band wrapped around hands to reach desired resistance. Lift left knee. Lower hands toward water while pulling band out to sides, squeezing shoulder blades together. Simultaneously switch legs, lifting right knee. Repeat for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

Targets: Arms, shoulders, back, abs, legs


CIRCUIT 3: HYDRO BELLY BLASTER
Stand 2 feet away from side of pool, feet hip-width apart and hands resting on wall. Draw left knee into chest, rounding back and contracting abs. Extend leg behind you, squeezing through glutes. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch legs, and repeat for 30 seconds to complete 1 set.

Targets: Abs, butt

Stand with left hand on pool edge, right hand extended overhead. Sweep right leg forward to belly height, then sweep it behind you, squeezing glutes. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch legs, and repeat for 30 seconds to complete 1 set.

Targets: Legs, butt, abs


FAT-ZAPPING CARDIO MOVES
Keeping abdominals tight, run from one side of pool to the other. Swing arms powerfully through water and lift knees high toward chest. Continue for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat, keeping knees behind toes. Then jump, raising arms overhead and lifting feet off pool floor. Land softly in squat position, knees bent. Continue for 1 minute to complete 1 set.

3 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BURN
1. Contract your core
Before beginning each move, tighten your abs to keep your balance in the water. Maintain this contraction throughout the exercise, but breathe normally.

2. Watch your form
Move quickly to amp up heart rate-the more reps you do in each set, the more calories you'll burn--but don't go so fast that you lose control of the movement.

3. Trim with tunes
Blasting fast-paced pool grooves from your iPod will motivate you to push harder. Keep your iPod safe with water-proof speakers, such as the Eco Extreme Rugged All Terrain Speaker Case ($50; gracedigitalaudio.com).
What are you doing this weekend to get in a little fit time?


Full article: Prevention via Fitbie - http://www.fitbie.com/make-splash-calorie-blasting-water-workout

photo credit: Ruben Moreno Montoliu via photopin cc

Sexy Leg Weekend Workout




http://imgur.com/gallery/6szz3

Key Lime Tarts (Dairy & Gluten Free) with Exchanges




This yummy frozen treat comes from Nutritionist in the Kitch.  The coconut, avocado and walnuts are GREAT for lowering one's cholesterol.  This is the perfect healthy treat on a hot summer day!

Store in the fridge or freezer.
Serves: 12
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 fat per tart
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)
  • Filling:
  • 2½ firm avocados
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons lime zest
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 4 packets stevia (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grease a 12-muffin tin, set aside.
  2. Place the coconut and walnuts in a food processor. Blend until coarsely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Press about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of each cup, about ¼ full.
  3. Process all filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling into each muffin cup. Smooth the top.
  4. Garnish with a fresh slice of kiwi or a very thin slice of lime.
  5. Freeze for 30-60 minutes to set.
  6. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1 tart Calories: 192 kcal Saturated fat: 3.3g Unsaturated fat: 9.9gCarbohydrates: 17.3g Sugar: 11.4g Fiber: 4.6g Protein: 2.4g

10 Healthy Kitchen Shortcuts





Having some tips that make kitchen time a little easier and faster can make all the difference when you are trying to get a meal on the table for your family.  So we have compiled some of our favorite healthy kitchen shortcuts that will help make you more efficient, and help you spend less time in the kitchen.

1. Slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes at once.  When you have to slice a lot of something little, it can be kind of tedious.  This method of cutting cherry tomatoes takes minimal time and effort and I bet you already have what you need in your kitchen.  Thanks The Kitchn for sharing this time saver!  


2. Freeze chicken stock.  Did you know that the standard muffin tin measures about 1/2 cup?  It's the perfect vessel to use to freeze liquid.  So next time you make some homemade chicken stock or have left over drippings from the Thanksgiving turkey pour that stock in a muffin tin and pop it in the freezer for future use! Thanks Martha Stewart for the kitchen time-saver!



3. Peel garlic fast and easy.  Peeling a ton of garlic for a recipe can be a tedious job.  So next time try this fast and easy trick from Real Simple.  All you need is 2 stainless steel bowls and a little muscle.  We even included a great video to show you how easy this is!



4. Soften butter quickly.  If your anything like me you'll be in the middle of a recipe and realize you forgot to take out the butter to soften.  Well next time try this handy tip from Lil Luna.  Simply cut your butter into small chucks and spread out on a plate.  It will soften in no time and you'll be right back to baking or cooking!



5. Use a melon baller to de-seed.  The handy melon baller isn't just for making pretty fruit salads.  It's a great tool to use to scrape seeds out of fruits and veggies.  It works great on peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, pears, zucchini and so much more!  Thanks Marin Mamma Cooks for sharing this great tip.


6. Use homemade mixes.  Making a large batch of homemade pancake mix can be a huge time saver in the mornings.  We love this recipe from Homemaker's Challenge.  Check out her addition of ground flax seed.  And don't be afraid to mix up the flours a bit and substitute with some or all whole wheat flour.  Homemade mixes are a great way to still put a hot breakfast on the table on busy mornings.



7. Freeze soft cheese for easier grating.  Sometimes grating a soft cheese like fresh mozzarella can leave you with nothing but frustration and small chucks of cheese!  Next time, place the soft cheese in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to harden and grating will be a breeze.




8. DIY Frozen Smoothie Packets.  Starting off the day with a healthy breakfast is so important.  Making frozen smoothie packets ahead of time is a great time saver...just pour, blend and drink!  We love these recipe combos from All Things Katie Marie.  



9. Cut and peel kiwi the easy way.  Did you know that a kiwi contains a large amount of vitamin C, even more than an orange! That's just one of the reasons we love them!  Here is a nifty tip from Steamy Kitchen on the easiest way to cut and eat your next kiwi.



10. The easiest way to freeze ground meat.  Here is a great healthy kitchen shortcut from Real Simple.  This works great for all ground meats: lean beef, turkey, chicken and pork.  Simply fill a zip lock back with ground meat, flatten and using a wooden skewer or chop stick section into a tic-tac-toe grid.  Then next time you need some ground meat break a piece off.  This method also helps meat thaw faster AND is a great way to proportion burgers for your next cookout!

What is your favorite healthy kitchen shortcut?






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