My take on AHA’s recommended “healthy” fats…

Recently the American Heart Association released it’s updated recommendations for keeping your heart healthy.  Part of the new release reviewed eating habits and more specifically recommended oils to use in a daily diet to prevent cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.  I had to chime in when I reviewed their findings.  As a nutrition guru, several red flags popped up:

  1. Heart disease is a complicated illness.  Inflammation in the body causes increases in cholesterol and other complications leading to the disease.  Genetics play a role as well.  Diet can help reduce inflammation, but it is not the overall solution or culprit.  Read more about it here.
  2. Saturated Fats are not all equal.  The new recommendations vilify Coconut Oil but fail to tout the benefits of this saturated fat in comparison with other saturated fats.  Let’s dive deeper.  Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid.  It is also a saturated fat.  What does that mean, in a nut shell, your body processes it differently.  Coconut oil has proven to raise both HDL and LDL levels in the body.  Thus keeping the ratio of good to poor cholesterol the same.  Lab studies also prove it is less likely to be stored as fatty acids in the body, thus aiding in weight reduction.  Coconut oil contains high amounts of lauric acid, boosting antibacterial properties to aid your immune system.  It helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps your body build strong teeth and bones.
  3. The list of approved oils the AHA are questionable.  They recommend Canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil and others.  I agree with the Olive Oil, it is a wonderful oil to use in dressings and low heat cooking.  The others use sparingly because they are cheap and used widely in commercially processed foods, restaurant foods, and are most likely from sources of GMO foods.  In other words, we get too much of them already in our diets, so be aware.  It does make you wonder what big industries have an financial influence on the American Heart Association.

When it comes down to it, our bodies are all different.  We have to be our own advocates for our individual health because of these differences.  Do some research into the saturated fats, look deeper than Google and decide for yourself.  I am here to help at eatlivefit.net.

100+ oz. a day!!!

what-color-is-your-pee
 

Thought this little diagram would bring this message home.  Why in the world should you drink 100+ oz. of water a day?  So many reasons, so go grab a glass of water and read on….

1. It keeps your body functioning the way it should. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water – over HALF of your body weight. Essential bodily functions such as digestion, circulation, absorption of nutrients, and the maintenance of body temperature are all affected by your hydration level. Without the proper intake, your body has to determine which function to perform poorly. Don’t make your body choose.

2. Water keeps your muscles from fatiguing too quickly. Your muscles are made up of millions of cells, which when deprived, can result in performance loss and electrolyte imbalance. We eat for the training we do so why not hydrate for it as well? Hydrating while working up a sweat will keep you in the game for longer and with more strength.

3. Water improves elasticity EVERYWHERE. That’s right! In case you didn’t catch that, improved elasticity all over your body. If you want your skin to look supple and bright, drink more water. Dehydration causes your skin to look dry and wrinkled – WHO WANTS THAT?! Not us. Drink up and you will start to look fresh.

4. Water keeps things…..moving down there. It keeps your kidneys and gastrointestinal tract functioning as they should. These organs are critical to our health and when they aren’t given the proper amounts of fiber and hydration, they start to shut down. You’ve heard of kidney stones and constipation. Yeah. Although nothing will trump your genetics (some people are just prone to digestion issues, no matter their H2O intake), drinking enough water will definitely lower your risk for both.

5. The BEST reason to drink water?! It aids in fat loss. It’s not new news that drinking enough water keeps us full and satisfied between meals. When you THINK you’re hungry, you might actually be dehydrated. Drink a glass of water to find out. If you are still hungry after those 8oz of clear goodness, then go for the snack. I find I’m almost ALWAYS thirsty when my belly says time for something sweet. Your body knows best but our brains trick us into thinking we should eat more.

Cheers to peeing clear all day!

content supported by fatlossfoodies, modified by eatlivefit.net

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Brought these to class last week to share after our workout.  Many of you asked for the recipe.  Easy snack that tastes like banana bread.  Gluten and dairy free.

 

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Ingredients:

3 large dates, pitted

3/4 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp. nut butter of your choice (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc.)

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder or extract

1 VERY ripe banana

Optional – cacao or cocoa powder or dried unsweetened coconut flakes (to roll at end)

 

Directions:

Pop all ingredients in a food processor and combine until a dough forms.  If too sticky, add a tsp of water or almond milk to soften into dough.  The mixture should not be so dry that it crumbles when you try to roll into small ball sizes.  However, not so wet that if is too sticky to form into ball shape, if so, add a tsp more flour.

Use a tsp to measure out small balls of dough. Using hands, roll each into a small ball shape.  Optional and recommended, roll each ball in coconut flakes or powder to add flavor and keep them from sticking to each other.

Place in freezer in small container to harden up completely, aprox. 30 minutes.  Store in air tight container in refrigerator until ready to eat.  Will stay fresh up to 2 weeks.

These are great for bike ride snacks.  If planning to take them along, keep them in the freezer rather than moving to fridge.  Pack them in plastic bag and they will be cool when ready to eat.

Serving size: 2 balls

recipe by: that sugar film modified by eatlivefit.net

 

30 Minute Taco Soup

With all the warm weather lately, I have been more inclined to grille our dinners than make something indoors.  For a change of pace on a cooler night, I tried this recipe out on the “fam.”  It went over well with everyone.  Try it out. Quick and tasty.  For those crockpot lovers out there, I do think you could add it all at once and simmer on low heat all day (8+ hrs.)  I would just add 3/4 cup water or stock to keep the liquid content balanced.

30 minute Taco Soup

 

Recipe by: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen modified by eatlivefit.net

 

Ingredients:

 

1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced

1 can black beans

Taco Seasoning:

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp garlic granules or powder

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp fine Himalayan Sea Salt

1 tsp black pepper, fresh ground

 

Toppings: (optional)

 

Shredded Cheese
Avocado
Scallions
White Onion
Diced Tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Jalapeno

 

Instructions:

 

 

 

·         In Dutch oven, heat oil and sauté garlic 

 

·         Add in Diced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often

 

·         Add in zucchini and green pepper.  Let cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring often

 

·         Add in ground beef and cook until brown

 

·         In a bowl, combine taco seasoning spices.  Add to soup mixture and simmer until combined.  May need more liquid, so add 1/2 cup water or stock to soup.

 

Spicy Motivation…

As we kick off the second week of January, here’s a thought for the week:

“Don’t worry about what you are giving up today, worry about what you RISK giving up if you don’t press on each day.”  – Pfitblog.com

Keep your focus on the big picture.  The day to day grind can get to all of us!  Keep your eye on the prize which is better health, feeling your best, taking care of your body, and being your best you.  It is so easy to get down on yourself when everyone else around you is indulging and you are not.  They are not walking your journey, living your life, making your choices!!! Take pride in the choices you are making and realize the results will pay off.

Here’s a little spice advice to help you add a new spice or flavor to your week.  Each spice is described in simple detail to help you decided when and where to add it to make your food more interesting and flavorful.  Enjoy and think outside the box.

Following on from my last post about where to begin cooking with spices, using the same collection of spices from the masala dubba (spice tin) from Spice Kitchen UK that I based that post on, this time I’ll refer to the ‘whole spices’ in the collection.. If you are just venturing into the world of […]

via Spices: where to begin…with whole spices… — foodbod

New Year, New Side Dish

My neighbor served these at a party this month and I learned she obtained the recipe from a chef in Steamboat Springs.  So easy and they were a hit with our family.  From my table to yours….

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, rinsed & patted dry (really important)
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp rosemary
Heat olive oil in saucepan and add chickpeas.  Saute over medium heat for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Add spices & salt and heat another 3 – 4 minutes until  heated through.
Enjoy!

Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!

Turkey, Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata

If you still have a little turkey lingering in your fridge, here is an easy refreshing way to make a last meal of the leftovers.  The great thing is it will double as a great breakfast the next morning.  “BAM” as Emeril would say!

Turkey, Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata

Preparation Time: 20 minutes   Cooking Time: 30 minutes

recipe by What’s Cooking/Mymagazine, modified by eatlivefit.net

Ingredients:

6 large eggs

1 tsp. + 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (I used 2 oz as a sprinkle)

Directions:

Preheat broiler, in small bowl whisk together the eggs, 1 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper.  In ovenproof skillet (i.e. a medium cast iron skillet) heat 1 Tbsp Olive Oil over medium heat on burner.  Add the bell pepper and cook until tender, 5-8 min approx.  Toss in cooked turkey and rewarm for 1 minute or so.  Turn burner down to low-medium heat; add egg mixture to skillet and cook until eggs are set on the bottom (approx. 5 minutes).  Using spatula, lift the cooked egg so that some of the liquid in the center runs to the edges of the pan.  Work one section of the pan at a time.  Cover completely and cook until frittata is not quite set, about 5 minutes.

Uncover the skillet, sprinkle on goat cheese.  Transfer to oven; broil until the frittata is golden brown and puffed on top; 3-5 minutes (internal temp 160 degrees).  Serve and enjoy.