Friday Links + Giveaway Fun
Before we get down to the Friday Links, I want to remind everyone to submit an entry for the Spring 2012 MCLV Giveaway! It’s easy to enter, just pick one of the four ways to enter listed in the Giveaway post, and you could win a $50 gift certificate to Bloomingdale’s. Just tell me what you’re looking forward to for Spring…
Do you like to have a cup of coffee before your morning workout? Read Christopher Williams’s article on the Robb Wolf blog Caffeine & Performance about the relationship between physical performance and your daily caffeine consumption.
Need some new ideas for healthy breakfasts? OhSheGlows has the goods, from desserty goodness like Chocolate Cake Batter Overnight Oats (OH YUM) to fresh Spring produce filled Blueberry Vanilla Banana Soft Serve Overnight Oats.
Have you tried nutritional yeast yet? Personally I like to use it instead of cheese as a topping when I cook and love it in vegan cheese sauces, but it has even more uses. Interested in learning more? Check out One Green Planet’s Nutritional Yeast: Health Benefits, Tips & Recipes.
With the new Reebok backing, CrossFit is becoming even more mainstream. Are you interested in learning how CrossFit style workouts can potentially improve your health and tone your body? (You can even see my experiences here: Do you… CrossFit? My Personal CrossFit & How To Survive A CrossFit Meet)
- Carrots ‘n’ Cake – How 3 Months of CrossFit Changed My Body
- Holly Would If She Could – Discomfort & the Oboe Principle
- FitSugar’s Everything You Need To Know About CrossFit
Don’t have time for a full HIIT or Tabata cardio workout? Still hit the gym, jumping rope is a phenomenal workout and only takes minutes! Check out Jackie Warner’s 5 Favorite Jump Rope Moves from FitSugar.
Not sure what bag to invest in for Spring? FabSugar and Refinery 29 both have a gorgeous list of options for you – from Phillip Lim and Diane Von Furstenberg to Club Monaco and Zara.
Brave enough to try printed pants for Spring? Mama’s A Rolling Stone has done the leg work for you – Top Buys: Printed Jeans. Need some more convincing? See how Olivia Palermo and Jessica Alba make this trend work oh-so-well for them.
I found Refinery 29’s 29 of Fashion’s Biggest Mysteries, Solved! pretty interesting to read. From reality show myths debunked to background on prints, fashion insiders and brands.
In the mood for some more DIY? Check out this super easy & stylish decoupage tray from Refinery 29.
While I’ve never seen The Rachel Zoe Project, I do have to say that I love Rachel’s styling for clients as well as her personal style. Check out FabSugar’s segment: In Dress Distress? Rachel Zoe Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Styling Questions.
Can’t Quit You Baby
No matter how healthy our daily food choices are, there will always be things that we can’t bring ourselves to say “no” to. For many people I know the treats they can’t deny themselves revolve around sugar, they crave chocolate, candy or sweets. For me its salty all the way, if you put potato chips or French fries in front of me you better watch your fingers!
One of the biggest issues with giving in to your cravings is the landslide effect. After one piece or one handful you think “why not have a little more?” and before you know it you’ve consumed 5 servings. From there it’s incredibly easy to just write the day off and indulge all of your cravings.
We’ve all done this. Some of us more than others (read: me).
When I read magazine articles or surf online on the topics of eating and snacking, experts always tout the moderation method. Buying 100 calorie snack packs or having “just one” piece of dark chocolate etc. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been satisfied by small processed snacks masquerading as healthy food and I’ve certainly never consumed just one piece of anything.
I want my snacks to be satisfying and filling, and I want them to provide my body with real nutrients. My solution? Fake it! I’ve come up with alternatives to my favorite crave-worthy snacks. Some are portable and easy to keep at the office or in your bag/car, while others I save for weekends or when I have a full kitchen at my mercy.
Tote-able salty/savory snacks: Mixed nuts, trail mix, Raw Revolution bars (Spirulina & cashew), veggies or crackers w/ mini Sabra hummus tubs
Quick, but cooked salty/savory snacks
- Mini Pizzas: Buy pre-made polenta logs (or make your own if you’re feeling like a rock star), slice into thin pieces, bake for 10 minutes at 350 on each side, add some cheese and a tomato slice or salsa & broil for 3 minutes. Voila! Delicious mini pizzas with a fraction of the fat and calories of a slice of pizza. And depending on the brand of polenta that you use these can easily be made vegan and gluten-free, just use soy cheese or daiya.
- Wraps: Tortilla + spread + toppings. Easy peasy. (These are a great alternative to sandwiches and can be easily made gluten-free with the use of brown rice tortillas.) First start with your favorite tortilla, good options to try are whole wheat, spinach or sprouted brands, or lettuce, collard greens or kale. Second, add a spread of some sort, I prefer hummus or “cheese” sauce, but you could easily use marinara, curry, creamy salad dressing, nut cheese etc. Finally, add whatever toppings you’re in the mood for. I like a little crunch so raw veggies are my go-to, but you could add cheese, roasted or sautéed veggies, quinoa, rice… The list goes on! If you’re interested in trying a delicious raw wrap, here’s an excellent recipe from Gena at Choosing Raw – Zucchini Wraps.
- Quesadilla: Tortilla + toppings. Couldn’t be easier! Pile on anything that sounds yummy, from the traditional to the inventive: cheese, rice, beans, meat or sliced seitan/tofu, crumbled tempeh, sautéed veggies, cubed roasted veggies… So many choices, so few tortillas!
Tote-able sweet snacks: Homemade trail mix with carob/chocolate chips or granola, dried fruit, Larabars (coconut!), apples w/ nut butter
Quick, but “cooked” sweet snacks:
- Chia Seed Pudding: The consistency is similar to tapioca, but this pudding will really stay with you. For hours. Great for a mid-morning snack or a pre-workout pick-me-up. Mix 3/4 cup of raw chia seeds with 2 cups of liquid (almond milk, coconut water, water…) and allow to sit for roughly 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The natural flavor of chia seeds isn’t potent so you can add any flavors you’re craving. My favorite recipes are: (1) Mix in nut butter (I’m loving sunflower seed butter right now) and cinnamon to taste and top with a sliced banana. So. Good. (2) Add Stevia or agave nectar and lemon juice to taste. This is tangy and refreshing, and quite similar to the way the Tarahumara consumed their chia seeds.
- Smoothies: See Smoothie Love for some ideas of smoothies you can make.
- Soft Serve: A lot of vegan/raw recipes for soft serve and pudding treats rely on avocados for their creamy texture. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of avocados, so when I’m looking to up the creaminess of a dessert, I reach for bananas. 2 frozen bananas + blender. Done. This is seriously quick and seriously delicious, you can even top with chocolate sauce! However, if you’d like to try an avocado-based pudding, please take a look at this recipe to give you a starting point.
So tell me, what is the snack that you just cannot say no to? Take my lead and try to make a healthy, whole food version to satisfy those cravings and let me know what you come up with!