Sunday, February 5, 2012

Healthy Snack Ideas!

We've all had those days. Whether you're a busy mom, college student, working two jobs (etc), we've all encountered the moment where we are attacked by that familiar little feeling. I like to call it hunger. And what is the only thing nearby? A vending machine. Or maybe, if you get lucky you'll be in your car passing a Mcdonald's. Or KFC. Because I  love some Kentucky Fried Chicken.

But have no fear.

This post is designed to help you plan ahead for those times! Healthy snacks to prepare at home, or on the go. Your problems will be solved! Well, at least any problems relating to hunger anyways.

(*disclaimer* I am not in any means saying those fast food chains/vending machines are bad to have. There are definitely some healthier choices on the menu, and I am a strong believer in moderation. This post is just to help out those that would love to plan ahead with a healthier snack on hand :)

1. & 2. Apples and Bananas: Both are super portable fruits. SO easy to just slide in your purse or lunch bag. Both are in that 80-100 calorie range, and if you'd love a little more flavor I know they have reduced fat peanut butter "cups" to go! Both also have around 3-5g of fiber each.
3. Applesauce: A non-perishable way to get your daily dose of fruit. For the healthy option, go for the unsweetened or no sugar added kind.
4. Kale Chips: Easily one of the healthiest snacks out there! If you are always in a time crunch and don't want to make your own, Kaia foods has incredible all-natural packaged options.
5. Rice cakes with almond butter: Try brown rice cakes, they have 2g of fiber and 60 calories per cake. With 1 tbsp of almond butter that is a perfect 160 calorie snack!
6. Greek Yogurt, topped with honey, oats, or cereal: My favorite nonfat greek yogurt hands down would have to be Chobani. SO delicious. Take their plain yogurt (100 cal for a 6 oz tub) and drizzle 1 tbsp honey, as well as any nuts, oats, or cereal you want. You're looking at about a 200-250 protein packed snack! so healthy, and so delicious. (I also recommend all flavors)
7. Nuts: 1/4 cup nuts has around 160 calories, and is one of my favorite on the go snacks. Almonds, cashews, and pecans are at the top of my personal list :) excellent source of fiber as well as protein.
8: Strawberries & popcorn:  popcorn is such a healthy snack. 1 cup for a lot of different snack foods can lead you well into 200+ calories. While that is still a healthy amount for a snack, popcorn on the other hand, only has 15 for 1 cup!! so that leaves room for extra food or maybe even another cup:) I like pairing 1 & 1/2 cups of popcorn with 4-5 large juicy red strawberries. (around 16-20 cal) So since its not very calorie dense, I eat this if I'm craving food later at night.

Well there are some healthy & helpful snack ideas that I hope help you get started! Let me know if you like me doing these posts, and I will definitely make more. Im thinking of starting a series where every now and then I will post healthy meal options when dining out. Thoughts? Leave those below! Its not a diet ladies and gentlemen, it is a healthy way of living. Hope you liked my snack suggestions :)
Have a blessed week!
(p.s. since today is Super Bowl sunday, break some of those snacks out for when you are tempted with the wings, pizza, cookies, and chips & dip etc)
more to come....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Scones!

I know what you might be thinking readers. 
Or maybe, just maybe, I know what your doing too. Drooling? Did I get it right? Because I know I am. I present to you bloggers, the healthy chocolate chip scone. Yes, you heard me.

Impossible! you may be thinking. (wow I am getting really good at reading your mind) But have no fear, I was once in your shoes. But alas, it is true, these scones are so healthy you could eat them for breakfast. which in my case, I can cross that one off my bucket list.
*disclaimer* as you see by the photo this recipe was not created by me, but by a lovely woman who blogs on (so go check her out!!!) it changes you, guaranteed.

prepare to have a scone that seems so sinful, but it isn't at all! Get ready, you're world is about to be rocked.

     -3/4 cup cold buttermilk
     -1/4 cup sugar
     -2 tsp vanilla extract
     -1 large egg
     -1 cup all purpose flour ( She recommended Bob's Red Mill)
     -1 cup white whole wheat flour 
     -1 tbsp baking powder
     -1/2 tsp salt
     -3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut up into small pieces
     -3/4 cup chocolate chips
     -1 large egg white, lightly beaten
     -1 1/2 tbsp sugar

- preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Then spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
- combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Then you add the milk mixture, stirring up until it is moist.
-place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form the dough into an 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, you then cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.

Nutritional info!
servings: 12
serving size: 1 scone
calories: 199.6
fat: 8
protein: 4
carb: 30
fiber: 2.3
sugar: 12.8
sodium: 257.4
old points: 4 pts
points plus: 5 pts

I don't understand why some of you are still sitting down. If you are at home, there I just gave you the recipe. now go make it!! And your future breakfast/dessert/snacks will never be viewed the same way. Healthy desserts, who woulda thought.
Have an incredible week this week ya'll, thanks for reading!
more to come,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Low-fat Banana Nut Pancakes!

My dear readers, it has been far too long. 
So I am going to start out with a sincere apology about dropping off the face of the earth for awhile. Holidays were hectic, school resumed its course, and softball tryouts have dominated my week! So there are my excuses. But I will always find time to return to my trusty blog, and will try with everything I have to not leave about a months gap in between posts :) So what better to post than a healthy version of a delicious recipe? I love banana bread. And now I can mix it healthily in with a breakfast food?! Gasp, be still my beating heart. So yes ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a low fat banana nut pancake. Ingredients & Directions are below....and lets just say you can thank me later. (nutritional info will also be added at the very bottom!)

-1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 large banana, ripe & mashed
- 1 cup 1% milk (I used nonfat)
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
- Don't forget Pam cooking spray for the pan/skillet!

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then combine milk, egg white, oil, vanilla, and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix until smooth. Combine wet ingredients with the dry, and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Careful not to over mix!
-Heat a large skillet (or whatever you like to use) on medium heat. Spray pam lightly to coat the skillet and then pour 1/4 cup pancake batter. When they start to bubble and edges set, thats your sign to flip those babies! Repeat with the remaining batter.

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 6
Serving size: 2 pancakes
Old points: 3 pts
Points +: 4 pts
Calories: 145.7
Fat: 4.0g
Protein: 7
Carbs: 22
Fiber: 3.1

Nutritional Info without nuts:
Servings: 6
Serving size: 2 pancakes
Old points: 2 pts
Points +: 3 pts
Calories: 129
Fat: 2.4
Protein: 6.3
Carb: 22
Fiber: 3

Hope you all had a fabulous week, and enjoy this weekend! More to come...thankful for all of you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cake!

I am SO sorry I haven't written a new post in a few days. Holidays mean crazy busy and my mom has been baking up a storm. (and of course I wanted to help!) But can you believe its Christmas Eve 2011 already? Wow how time flies. I can still vividly remember December 26th last year, which in my opinion is the saddest day of the year, and thinking "364 days is SO long..." But now its practically here! And I still have a lot left to do. But I had time this morning and wanted to share with you all a recipe that I will be specially making for Christmas dinner tomorrow night :) Lately I've been on a huge cinnamon kick, and truly been appreciating how delicious it is. And what better than to put it with cake :) so here you go!
-2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (for an even sweeter taste? add more hehe)
- 1 1/4 cups milk. (for little to nonfat for the overall outcome I used nonfat milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla (or almond extract)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- chopped walnuts or pecans are optional
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a greased 13x9 baking dish.
-In a bowl, mix flour, white sugar, milk, vanilla (or almond extract), baking powder, pinch of salt, and the egg until just combined. (Don't over mix it!)
-pour into the prepared baking pan
- generously spread brown sugar & cinnamon on the top
- if desired, sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans over the top also
- drizzle the melted butter
- & bake for about 30 minutes!
serving size: 1 (116g)
servings per recipe: 10
calories: 291
total fat: 5g
sodium: 183
carb: 46g
protein: 4g
There you go readers, I hope me posting this today gives you some time if you want to make it for a family dinner! Compared to most "sinful" cinnamon rolls/cakes/cupcakes out there, this one isn't so bad for you. So I like to call it my sinless or guilt-free cinnamon roll :) Hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season so far, and I hope today and tomorrow is filled with laughter, love and pure family! I'll be posting again soon!
Rachel       Have a Merry Merry Christmas, and enjoy the last bit of 2011!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Benefits of Exercise & Water!

Hi readers! Finally Sunday, a good 'ole day of rest. But since it is the start of the new week, and holiday season is thriving, I wanted to post these encouragements sharing the benefits of exercise and water. (Those two tend to go hand in hand I suppose)
 Look at all those healthy benefits:) It doesn't mean you have to go 3 hours at the YMCA, or kill yourself with cardio, how about a nice walk? With a family member or man's best friend? Enjoy the break and go get some fresh air. I love going in the evenings, because I get to explore the Christmas lights around my neighborhood. (One of my Christmas traditions!) Exercise doesn't have to be a chore, be creative, and incorporate it into your daily life. Your body & health will thank you!
How adorable is this little photo above? Now I've always struggled with getting all my water that I need for one day. As some of you know, I'd much rather have my hazelnut cream coffee in the morning, and a diet coke with dinner. But this little chart is helping me realize why I'm always so tired by the time 5:00 in the evening rolls around. Not enough water Rachel, duh go figure. So my new thing that I have discovered is Crystal light packets, or Propel flavored packets. Only like 5 calories each, and I end up drinking aroun 16.9 ounces with one packet. So, not like 5 calories are anything to worry about anyways! So go for it, for the energy, health, and that little black dress :)
Look out for another recipe later!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reindeer Cupcakes!

Okay readers, the time has officially come....
For me to share all my Christmas recipes! I love this time of year, because recipes are everywhere, and there is always an excuse to whip up some sweets :) I thought I'd start out with these adorable reindeer cupcakes. Once I made them, I was in deep turmoil because I didn't want to ruin their pretty faces. But I divulged into Rudolph's nose before I could stop myself. So this recipe is SO easy. You can pretty much do it yourself just by looking at the photo! But let me share with all you what I did:
1. Go ahead and bake cupcakes of your choosing. It could be from a Betty Crocker box, or homemade. I just made simple homemade chocolate cupcakes, and made one vanilla for my little brother. 
2. Once those are done, frost with chocolate icing. 
3. Add pretzels for antlers, a Nilla Wafer for the face, white m&m's for the eyes. (or any type of white candy) And I added black icing for the pupils. For the nose I used a brown m&m, and for rudolph, I just put a red sour skittle:)
These are so adorably festive, and your family/kids will love them! I got invited to yet another gift exchange, so I'm thinking about bringing these as a hostess gift. Hope you enjoy! 

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Sweet Potato Biscuits!

Good morning everyone!
Last night I saw the recent movie New Years Eve with some friends. And I can honestly say it was one of the best movies i've seen in a long time! I loved it, and didn't mind seeing Josh Duhamel in a tux the whole time :) But anyways, back to the biscuits. I wanted to post a recipe that wasn't necessarily a dessert. (But obviously I still chose something with the word 'sweet' in it) I love sweet potatoes, and when I discovered the recipe from the Paula Deen herself, I knew I had to try it out. They are fluffy and delicious, and I passed the recipe off to my mom, who will be making these with Christmas dinner! So here you go:

- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter softened
- 2-4 tbsp milk (amount depends on how moist the potatoes are already)
1.To cook sweet potatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (20-25 minutes) Drain & mash. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, and butter. Add flour mix to the butter mix, and combine to make soft dough. And milk in, a tbsp at a time to the mixture, and continue to cut in. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead very gently until dough comes together. (about 5-6 times) Shape into a disk, and pat to an even 1 inch thickness. With a floured 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits & place on the prepared sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter. (optional)
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden! 
Hope you love this recipe guys, super delish! Let me know what you think in the comments below :) Look out for another post today! And subscribe by email or follow me for updated posts.
Christmas countdown...8 days!!!
Thankful for all you readers~

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