Asking for Advocare

My life with Advocare

Reeses Cup Smoothie

Chocolate, almost all of us love it, and crave it. In the recent years chocolate nutritionalist have associated limited amounts of chocolate with a healthy lifestyle. Dark chocolate having the highest nutritional benefits and white chocolate (it’s not even chocolate) having the lowest. Recently, I have fallen in love with a healthier chocolate alternative which is featured in the Reeses Cup smoothie.

Image  Carob, I like to call it a chocolate substitute, but I think that would be an insult to carob. Carob stands on it’s own. Carob is slightly sweeter than chocolate, and contains more calcium and fiber than normal chocolate. However, it doesn’t have the antioxidant value of chocolate. It does have more sugar than chocolate, but it’s natural sugar. And the best part, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine is…it’s caffeine free!! Also, if you’re into making your own dog treats, carob is safe for doggie consumption :). For more information on carob vs. chocolate I recommend this website: http://www.natural-health-restored.com/carob-vs-chocolate.html

In this recipe you can substitute the carob for cocoa powder if you like, but the carob adds something to the recipe that I can’t quite explain yet.

Reeses Cup Smoothie

  1. 2 scoops of protein powder
  2. 8oz of almond/soy/whole milk (your choice)
  3. 1T of peanut butter (I used organic, which cuts down on the sugar, but if you are going to use plain peanut butter, then you need to only use 1/2T of carob powder).
  4. 1/2T to 1T of carob powder of cocoa powder.
  5. 4 or 5 ice cubes
  • Combine and blend all the ingredients. It helps if you add powder and then liquid for an easier blend.
Image

Reeses Cup Smoothie

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

I’m a big snacker, and am always looking for new snacks. One of my favorites is the Cascadian Farm organic chocolate chip granola bars.

However, it’s a bit pricey to become a staple snack, at least it is to me. So, luckily the magical world of Pinterest granted me this sweet little granola bar recipe. It tastes close to the Cascadian Farm granola bars, but much better.

Recipe (from:http://nancycreative.com/2012/10/02/dark-chocolate-granola-bars/

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats (regular oats don’t hold together as well in this)
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice or crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons  ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or substitute canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix oats, rice cereal, flaxseed or wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt, blending so ingredients are evenly distributed. Add in the oil, honey, and vanilla, and slowly blend ingredients well, taking your time, so the wet ingredients can “soak” into the dry ingredients and hold together better (you can use a big spoon or even your hands to mix the ingredients). Then stir in the coarsely chopped bar of chocolate, blending so chocolate is evenly distributed. Firmly press mixture into your parchment-lined 8×8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top is golden (I baked mine 22 minutes).

Let granola cool completely and set overnight in pan (if you don’t let it set long enough, the granola will fall apart when cutting).

photo-11

I did not change anything in this recipe. I did add 1/2 cups and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, and 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon of honey. I actually want to try this with some dried fruit instead of chocolate next time. These are the uncut versions, but I can already tell it will be tasty!

 

Leave a comment »

Spaghetti Squash Skillet

       I love finding new recipes to make healthy dinners, and every time I find one I want to share it with everyone. Cooking is my chemistry, and the kitchen is my lab. So, I love to experiment with other people’s recipes and make them my own. This recipe incorporates my new obsession of spaghetti squash. It looks like pasta, feels like pasta, but is much better for you than pasta. 

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Skillet

Image

I promise I’ll get better at taking pictures.

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 2T of olive oil
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth divided
  • 1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup of assorted frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (more to top with)
  1. Roast squash in oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes until easily punctured. 
  2. Sauté garlic for at least a minute. Then sauté your chosen vegetables, and sun-dried tomatoes in 1/4 a cup of vegetable broth.  
  3. Add cooked spaghetti squash, the rest of the broth, and parmesan cheese until broth evaporates.

       Here’s the main reason why I love this recipe: you can play with the recipe. I adapted this recipe from a recipe on Tastykitchen.com. The original used broccoli,  grilled chicken breast, peas, and chicken broth. I just altered everything to fit what I had on hand. So this is a great base recipe for you to spice up for yourself and your family. It’s delicious! I couldn’t even tell I wasn’t eating real pasta. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Getting Back on the Wagon

So, I went home this weekend, and really overindulged. If my mom read this she’ll probably jump up and down, and yell “I knew it.” Good seafood is my weakness, and my dad and I found good seafood in an Athens, AL restaurant called the Big Easy. It’s probably one of the only restaurants that makes boudin (sausage mixed with rice and herbs) in Alabama.

Big Easy Specials

Big Easy Specials

Pictured to your left is the boudin, and to your right is the red beans and rice with French bread shipped from New Orleans. I was bad I ate the bread, which it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but I ate here twice within two days. And then, ate an Upside Down Banana Split from Kreme Delight…I was very bad. By Sunday, my the way I was eating caught up with me. I ate at a popular Chinese place in my hometown, and afterward had an atrocious headache that lasted for three days. How did my headache relate to what I ate? Well, before I went home I avoided almost all preservatives, and ate clean; therefore, my body was not use to eating how I did. Lesson learned, indulging is okay, but over-indulging makes a grumpy Lindsey. Today was a brand new day. The first day headache free, back on my Advocare vitamins, and starting the day off with a healthy breakfast.

Chunky Monkey without the Chunky

Chunky Monkey without the Chunky

I got back to my smoothie addiction and whipped up what I like to call my own Chunky Monkey without the Chunky. Recipe:

  • 2 Scoops of Protein Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • 8oz of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • A dash of cinnamon

1. Combine all of the above in a blender until well-blended and enjoy! This nice little shake along with my Grape Spark from Advocare allowed me to have enough energy to clean the apartment, put together my new elliptical, and in between baked a nice batch of flour-less strawberry muffins with fresh strawberries from Reeves Farms in Hartselle, AL. (The recipe is from diningdash.com, and  is also on my pinterest. However, I altered it, but out of respect for the original author I did not post it on here. If you want the recipe just shoot me a post and I’ll happily give it to you.)

On the way to the patch. I stole my dad's hat :)

On the way to the patch. I stole my dad’s hat 🙂

My big bucket of Strawberries.

My big bucket of Strawberries.

Fresh picked Strawberries

All cut up and ready to eat!

I decided to spend the last day at home doing something semi-adventurous aka going to the strawberry patch to pick strawberries. I ended up picking about a gallon of strawberries. Let me tell you, it tastes better when you pick your own fruit! I got these babies home, and went to work cleaning and cutting them for easy access. I ate most of them raw, and put the rest into my muffins. If you haven’t explored Reeves Farm in Hartselle, AL, and you live in the area I encourage you to do so! Picking strawberries with my Aunt, my Mom, and her friend was a great bonding experience, and was actually really fun! Plus it’s all you can pick for $13.00, and if you’re my Aunt you can run off with about a gallon and a half!

Leave a comment »

What’s for dessert?

First off happy Mother’s day to all the mom’s out there. In my view we are all moms in our own way. So, What’s Mother’s day without a BBQ? In my family we love our red meat. The menu consisted of ribs, Boston pork butt, potato chips, pig shots (really good), and baked beans. Not exactly the healthiest meal right? Well, what’s Mother’s day without dessert? Trust me, I wanted nothing more than a big piece of chocolate cake. Alas, we already had enough unhealthy food. Luckily I found a recipe for a fruit salad on Pinterest that tasted like a fattening dessert.

Image

Courtesy of ohyoucook.blogspot.com

Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

1 pint of strawberries

1 pint of blueberries

A bunch of grapes

A container of Pomegranate seeds

1/4 a cup of honey (preferably local)

3 Tablespoons of lime juice (or one lime)

  1. Wash all the fruit and slice to your preference.
  2. Combine fruit into a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and lime juice.
  4. Top the fruit with the honey and lime combination.
  5. Enjoy!

I love this recipe. The honey and lime combination sweetens the fruit without overpowering the it. I’m sure lemon juice would work just as well. As for the honey, I prefer local mainly to support the local farmers. If you live in Birmingham, AL, and haven’t been to Pepper Place market, then you are missing out!  I hope everyone enjoys this fruit salad as much as my family and I did. I also hope everyone had as happy as a Mother’s day as we did!

Leave a comment »

Advocare Smoothie

ImageAre you on Advocare, but for some reason do not like the taste of the chocolate shake? I have a solution in the form of (dramatic drumroll) a smoothie. In my previous blog I mentioned my new addiction for smoothies as a breakfast staple, and this is one of my many smoothie recipes. Advocare has four shake options of vanilla, chocolate, chocolate mocha, and berry. I have only tried the chocolate and the chocolate mocha. So far my favorite is the chocolate. This smoothie is packed full of protein, and a serving of fruit.

Chocolate Banana Shake

1 packet of the chocolate Advocare Meal Replacement Shake

8oz of almond/soy/whole milk (I prefer almond or soy)

1 banana

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

4 cubes of ice

  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender or blender bottle until well blended.
  2. Enjoy!
Leave a comment »

Q-what?

Quinoa (Qin-wah) is the best old new superfood. I say old because it’s been around for centuries, yet most people act like it’s a new grain invented recently. You can eat quinoa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast quinoa can be eaten like oatmeal. For lunch quinoa can be made into a salad, much like pasta salad, and for dinner just replace quinoa for any rice or pasta. So far I have made two recipes containing quinoa, and I don’t think I ever go back to rice.

Image

Quinoa pizza bites, courtesy of the blog Fit For Success

First up, quinoa pizza bites. I recently made these myself but added quartered grape tomatoes to the mix. As a college student, and former avid pizza eater this is a delicious alternative. It’s also low in calories.

Recipe:

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

1/2 tablespoon of basil

 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon of onion powder

1/2 tablespoon of oregano

2 egg whites

1/2 cup of low fat mozzarella

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray
  3. Mix ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ingredients into the pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Depending on how crispy you want them).
  6. Dip the bites into pizza sauce (I recommend Classico Pizza Sauce), and enjoy!
Image

Courtesy of Spark People Recipes

Next up, Quinoa-Black Bean Casserole. Let me say I love this recipe! I felt like I turned my kitchen into a Mexican restaurant. It was filling and mucho tasty. I did change the original recipe by omitting sweet potatoes, purely because I didn’t want to spend time grating a sweet potato.

Recipe:

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 cans of low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of low fat cheddar cheese (1/2 to mix and half to top the casserole)

1 tablespoon of ground cumin

Pinches of salt and pepper

Dashes of onion and garlic powder

2 eggs (or if you want to be extra healthy 4 egg whites)

1 cup of salsa

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 8×8 casserole dish.
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, except for a 1/2 a cup of cheese, eggs, and salsa.
  3. Combine eggs, and salsa together, then pour into mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  4. Pour into greased casserole dish, then top with the 1/2 a cup of cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

You can top it off with Greek yogurt and some cilantro. (Side Note: I say Greek yogurt rather than sour cream because Greek yogurt is better for you and tastes the same. Promise). I loved it, and I’m sure the kids will too.

Leave a comment »

New Addiction

Image I have a semi-new addiction to smoothies for breakfast. It’s just pure genius. Why? Because you can load nutrients into a portable drink. Think about it. What is easier, to blend a smoothie the night before, and have it in the fridge ready to go for breakfast before work, or to stop through a drive thru on the way to work? Trust me, it’s much easier to prepare a smoothie the day before to grab and go rather than go through a drive thru. But Lindsey, smoothies have sugar. Yes, it does, but the sugar in the smoothies should come from the fruits in the smoothies. In fact, MOST, if not all of your sugar intake should come from fruit.

Parents, how hard is it to make your child a well-balanced meal in the morning? Hard. There’s so much craziness going on getting the kids ready for school, much less having time to make a healthy breakfast that your children will eat. When I was a kid I would go to school hungry, not because we were poor, but because I either did not want to eat breakfast, or because we were running late. Eventually my mom came up with the idea of making me drink those Carnation Breakfast Starts. Hated it. It needed something more. So parents if you do use the Carnation Breakfast Starts, may I suggest adding a banana into the mix or peanut butter.

Now that I am a busy Graduate student I have little time to make myself breakfast. Thankfully I have an awesome little blender bottle to make one serving smoothies to take on the go with me.

Image

This is an Oster MyBlend Blender bottle. It is awesome. It is easier to store, and has a lid you can slap on it to take your smoothie with you. However, if you just want to buy a smoothie for breakfast then Birmingham has a cute little restaurant/organic grocery store for you.

Image

Tada! Seriously, I love this place. It’s a smaller locally owned version of Whole Foods, I love them too, called Organic Harvest. Organic Harvest is located in Hoover, AL and right off the Hoover exit. Organic Harvest has a cafe, a smoothie bar, and a juice bar. Their smoothies are the best, and I have no doubt that their sandwiches and salads are just as delicious. My favorite smoothie so far is the Arnold. The Arnold contains organic peanut or almond butter, bananas, cinnamon, whey protein powder, honey or agave nectar, and your choice of rice/almond/whole milk. I would have a picture…but I drank it all before I thought about it. However, thanks to my fitness pal, I calculated that the caloric intake of this smoothie is around 362 calories. It keeps me full for a while. They have other smoothies available with different fruit combinations. You cannot go wrong with taste at Organic Harvest. I’m sure you’ll see me write about them again, because I’m slightly addicted with them.

Image

Leave a comment »

Journey to Health

I have always been overweight, and have tried multiple diets. I tried Weight Watchers, which can be excellent, if you have self-control, which I did not. I loved the idea that I could eat as many fruits and vegetables as I wanted, but I would find myself overeating. So then I tried Amerithin. It’s a low carb diet in which you ingest 20 carbs a day, and have weekly B12 shots. Regardless of the shots, I was irritable towards everyone I can into contact with, ultimately I decided I would quit Amerithin. Once I did I went into an eating tailspin. It was carbs, carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

Then at the urging of my mom I tried Advocare. It has been my favorite so far. Advocare provides you with a breakdown of what you can eat for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and snacks. Yes, snacks! They give you vitamin supplements to help suppress your appetite and boost your immunity. They even give you an awesome energy drink full of vitamins, that replaces your sodas. No, you can’t have sodas, even diet sodas, teas or juices. After a few days you get use to the diet, by day three I had a routine going to remind me that this was for my health, and not to lose weight. Although losing weight is a big bonus.

Mainly I am writing this to provide those who feel like they cannot diet with some hope. Because trust me, if I can do this then you can too.

Image

Leave a comment »