healthy

❤️ Happy Healthy Valentine’s Day Inspiration and Recipes!

Sweet friends,

Happy early Valentine’s Day! We hope you have exciting plans to celebrate with your loved ones! As we all know, tomorrow is Valentine's Day and that typically that means lots of candy and sweets everywhere. Valentine's Day is such a perfect holiday to take extra time to show others how you love them! Take a moment to call an old friend and tell them hello. Along with loving others well this week, also take some extra time to love your body, mind and spirit this Valentine's Day! Breathe in God’s love for you. Below is truth about how much you are beloved.

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Take some time to dwell on this verse. These are the Lord's thoughts about you! He has created you exactly as you are for a purpose. You are so beautiful and perfectly made in His sight! Take some time today to write down things you love about the way God made you. Now, go share this verse with a friend! Encourage your sweet friends today in their own beauty, inside and out. Valentine’s Day is the day of love! Let's be intentional about spreading love and blessings.

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We know many of you will be spending Valentine's Day with your families, so we wanted to share a few of our favorite healthy Valentine's Day recipes with you all! We guarantee these will satisfy your sweet tooth just as well as that box of Russell Stover — but without compromising your nutrition goals! These are treats you can feel good about, because  they will not only make your taste buds happy but make your body happy as well. 

If you DO have precious kiddos that are going to be receiving Valentine's bags from school, taking cards and expecting a small treat from Mom and Dad, this is the perfect opportunity to practice non-food rewards for your kids! Instead of loading them up with bags of candy, make Valentine's Day fun in other ways!

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5 Ways to Have a Healthy Valentine’s Day

1. Make a Valentine's celebration breakfast! Make some fun Strawberry Love Parfaits to start your day with a sweet, healthy breakfast that tastes like a treat! Take some time to say 5 reasons why you love each other as you eat your breakfast. 

2. Celebrate with non-food items! If you're sending your kids to school with Valentines, try sending cards along with temporary tattoos, stickers, pencils or other fun little toys instead of candy. Be sure to emphasize that these are things they can enjoy over and over, instead of just once! If you're a college student, get together with some friends and make Valentines together! Get crafty and make fun, homemade cards with markers, watercolors, etc.

3. Spread out the sweets! Naturally, we're all going to eat some sweet treats on Valentine's Day. However, all of these treats don't have to be eaten on this one day! Pick 1-2 of your top choices for today, and then put the rest away to enjoy in moderation for days to come. The longer you spread it out, the more times you get to enjoy the treats! 

4. Try a new, healthy recipe! Below you will find several of our most favorite healthy and easy sweet treats! Try making these for you and your family, friends or significant other! 

5. Celebrate with red foods! See how many delicious and nutritious red foods you can put into your diet that day! Maybe try strawberries on a spinach salad for lunch, our beet and red onion side dish for a romantic dinner (recipe below), Tomato Tulips as an appetizer (just cut a plus sign on the top of a cherry tomato, fill with cottage cheese, then use chives as the stems) or Share the Love rice krispie treats (recipe below)


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Dark Chocolate Granola Bark

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

  • 1 cup Kroger Ancient Grain granola (or granola of your choice)

  • 2 tsp. orange zest

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

 Instructions:

  • Line baking sheet with wax paper

  • Melt chocolate

  • Stir in granola, zest and cinnamon

  • Spread out onto baking sheet and top with cherries and salt.

  • Chill for 30 mins or until firm. Enjoy!  

Strawberry Love Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 large container of greek yogurt

  • 1 container strawberries

  • Granola cereal (lower sugar)

  • Stevia drops or honey to taste

Instructions:

  • Take 1 cup of strawberries and blend in blender until smooth.

  • Hull the rest of the strawberries and cut them into slices.

  • Mix the yogurt with the blended berries.

  • Begin layering the Mini Trifles. Start with a layer of greek yogurt. Add a layer of strawberries. Next sprinkle granola on top of the strawberry layer. Repeat layers until the mini trifles are full. 

  • Garnish with strawberries and/or granola.

Roasted Carrots, Beets, and Red Onion Wedges

Serves 4; 1/2 cup per serving

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 medium beets (about 5 ounces each), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, and patted dry with paper towels

  • 3 small carrots (about 2 ounces each), cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces (not baby carrots)

  • 1 medium red onion (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch wedges

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil to keep it from getting stained. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

  • Put the beets, carrots, and onion wedges on the foil. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the oregano and salt over the vegetables, stirring gently to coat. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer so they don’t touch.

  • Roast for 15 minutes. Stir. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork.

Cook’s Tip: Avoid getting beet stains on your hands by peeling the beets under cold running water.

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Share the Love Healthier Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons butter

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

  • 6 cups Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispie Cereal (I actually found this at Target and the kids had no clue!)

  • 1 Cup Fresh sliced strawberries (blend or chop finely)

Instructions:

  • In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add in marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

  • Add Brown Rice Krispie Cereal and stir until fully coated.

  • Flatten the mixture on wax paper and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts or use your hands to shape the mixture into hearts.

  • Top the hearts with fresh sliced strawberries and gently press down to seal them. (You could also mix the strawberries in with the marshmallows).

  • Cool before serving.

Don’t forget to sign up for this month’s lunch and learn! It is on February 22nd from 12-1 pm and we’ll be doing a self defense class taught by Borders! Spots in this event are limited so click the button below to sign up on our app before they run out! Cost is $15 to cover lunch from The Pine.

Let us know how we can serve you! Email us at transfitathens@gmail.com if you have any questions or want to schedule a on-on-one!

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

It's Taco Tuesday! 🌮 Healthy Taco Recipes You Will LOVE!

Happy Taco Tuesday! 

Can you believe May is almost over?! We are so glad that we have been able to celebrate this month with YOU! Our May Transformation Challenges are coming to an end, but YOUR transformation progress for this summer is just beginning! 

Today, we wanted to share one of our favorite summer TACO TUESDAY recipes! You will love it and so will your kids! Some kiddos aren't big fish eaters, but my kids LOVED these tacos! They have a perfect texture, and flavor! Enjoy! 

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Blackened Salmon Tacos

Total time: 20 minutes, Serves 8 Tacos

Ingredients

For the blackened salmon:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 (6 oz.) pieces salmon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil                               

For the tacos:

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas or Bibb Lettuce for wraps
  • 2 cups green lettuce, chopped fine
  • 1 can organic black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cups of cauliflower rice or white rice for kids
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt as a sub for sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into small wedges
  • 1 avocado

Instructions

To make salmon: In a small bowl combine the spices. Put the mixture on a plate and coat the portions of salmon. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Add the salmon flesh side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until skin is crispy. Once the salmon has slightly cooled, peel the skin away with a fork and cut salmon into large chunks.  You can also broil the salmon on 500 for 8-11 minutes on foil.

Fill each tortilla or lettuce wrap with lettuce, tomato, onion, black beans, rice of choice, and about ½ of each salmon fillet, a sprinkle of cilantro, a drizzle of fresh lime and a drizzle of Greek yogurt or salsa.

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You can find FREE meal plans and recipes on our website under the HEALTHY LIVING TAB! Check out these meal plans and recipes for fun, healthy recipes! If you would like to meet with one of our nutrition consultants or registered dietitian, you can purchase 1-1 appointments on our FREE app or on the TransFit website!

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We hope that you have been keeping up with your May Transformation Challenge! Fill out your calendar and commit to maintaining or losing weight if you participated in our May Total Transformation Challenge! Reminder, Wednesday, May 30 and Thursday, May 31 are the final days for the weigh-in for the May Transformation Challenge! We are so excited to see each of your results! Thank you for committing to make exercise your medicine this month! We are so proud of each of you! 

If you have any questions, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com.

Please continue filling out the TransFit Survey! Please fill out this survey, so that we can better serve YOU! Completing this survey will give you $5 OFF your next purchase! Use the code TRANSFORM5! 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

5 Tips You Need to Spring Clean Your Week!

Sweet friends, 

We were thinking about all the people who have been inquiring the past few months about wanting to make a change in their life--a new refreshing change toward a healthy lifestyle! Like all of you who were spring cleaning your closets this past week; now is the time to spring clean your lifestyle!! Just making a few small changes can help you feel more organized, refreshed, and focused on your health. We have 5 tips that you can do this week to reset your body, mind, and spirit!

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5 tips that help you revive your healthy lifestyle!

Tip 1: Start on Sundays or Mondays

Sit down with your newspaper, see what is in season and fresh and plan your weekly menu. Get the kids involved ask each family member what they would like to eat (within reason) and plan accordingly. We use a dry erase board and write out breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. The children love helping decide what is for dinner and it helps them to learn about food groups and what you need to make a balanced meal. Meal prep is essential! Here is a FREE meal plan! Click HERE

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Tip 2: Pre-cook Protein for the week on the day purchased

Buy chicken, pork, and other meets and try cooking them all the day purchased. Bake or Grill 4-8 chicken breasts with little seasonings then throughout the week you can chop and put in a salad, a tortilla, or make chicken salad. The easy step of pre-cooking protein will help you to eat more at home for meals and not feel so rushed in the evenings.

Tip 3: Wash & Cut veggies and fruit for half of the week and store in grab-n-go containers or plastic bags for easy access.  Make a veggie tray for the week and try to keep in the fridge and bring out for the family as afternoon snack or appetizer before dinner.

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Tip 4: Make snack baskets for your children and for you!

The premise of the snack basket is that everyone is not rummaging through the pantry multiple times a day.  Pre-make snacks a the beginning of the week in portion controlled bags and the snacks will be ready for active families! Snack baskets for adults are also ideal as a post-workout snack or afternoon pick-me-up!

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Step 5: Make an appointment for exercise

Your doctor, hair, and other appointments are important and your health should be top on your list. Make an appointment with yourself, a friend, or a trainer to exercise 5 times a week. YOU are worth it! Put it on the calendar and stick with that time consistently! Don't forget our new HIIT class is tomorrow and Thursday at 9:30 AM! This is a great way to revive your cardio workout! 

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We are so proud of you and your goals to get healthy! You will start to see that when you make these healthy decisions, your family and friends will, too! You are an inspiration. If you would like to meet with our Registered Dietitian or Nutrition Consultants, you can purchase a session on our website HERE or app HERE! If you have any questions, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com. Let us know how we can help you live transformed! 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

10 Ways To Get Your Family Healthy This Spring!

Happy Spring, sweet friends! 

Can you believe we are halfway through March?! Remember to keep up with your March Calendar Challenge of being ABSolutely motivated daily! Amazing client Molly Efland won our February Challenge and gained one month of free sessions by completing her February calendar! Get your family into the challenge too- even if you start today by committing to finishing March strong!

Today, we want to encourage you and help your family make better decisions to live a healthier lifestyle one day at a time! Yes, we know it is challenging to find a meal that pleases everyone and so hard to get the kids moving some days but here are

10 ways we hope to inspire you!

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10 ways to get your family healthy! 

 

1. Set an example!

Your kids and other family members are watching you — when you take time out of your day to exercise when you choose an apple over a bag of potato chips when you refill your water bottle when you choose steamed veggies over french fries. They’re watching! And though we aren’t always perfect in our choices, we can make a big impact on our family with all the small choices we make day in and day out!

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2. Feed your family what you’re eating!

Instead of fixing your family a separate meal, serve them the same foods you’re eating but add in one food on their plate that they will eat and like. If you’ve baked fish with steamed veggies and rice for yourself, don’t hesitate to put the same foods on their plates. Add in some fruit on the side that they can nibble on! They might not be as excited as you are about your healthy meal, but don’t let that discourage you. And don’t give up! Even if they aren’t thrilled about this meal the first time you offer it to them, offer it to them again…and again! 

3. Offer incentives.

Kids love sticker charts, $5 gift cards,  and earning rewards! Use an incentive that motivates your kids. We have tried earning “stars” for every new food our kids try. Once they earn 10 stars, they get a $5 gift card to Target! It works, and they get very excited! Rewards don’t always have to come in the form of sugar!

4. Take them grocery shopping.

It may not be your idea of fun, but we encourage you to get the whole family involved in grocery shopping! Let the kids pick out the produce! Or let them try using the scales to weigh the vegetables you’re purchasing — any way to get them excited about new fruits and vegetables! Helping you at the store might be another way for them to likely try the foods they (not you!) put in the cart.

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5. Let them help you in the kitchen!

If everyone has a helping hand in dinner, it might encourage them to eat what they’ve worked so hard to prepare! Even if it’s washing fruit and vegetables (or if you’re comfortable, they can chop, too), give them a specific task!

Put them in charge of re-filling snack baskets. If you have the snack-sized Ziplock bags, they can pre-portion out their snacks for school, too!

6. Use meal planning charts!

Instead of you sitting down to plan out your families’ meals alone each week, enlist your help from your family! This would be a great opportunity to talk about the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season and let them pick which ones they’d like along with the main dish. And once it’s on the chart, there’s no fuss about breakfast, lunch or dinner — it’s already been discussed and planned! Another bonus: you’re organized for the whole week! This will simplify grocery shopping as well!

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7. Let your kids help prepare their own lunch boxes.

Make it fun — use shapes and a variety of colors. Cut their sandwiches, cheese, and fruit into different shapes. Mix it up with color, like green cucumbers, red strawberries, orange carrots or yellow bell peppers. And send healthy dips to go along! Try finding a yogurt-based Ranch for dipping, hummus or peanut butter. Use muffin cups to separate foods and add color. You could also roll up sliced turkey with cheese and add a toothpick!

8. Make exercising fun!

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Get a stopwatch and have a relay race or see how many jumping jacks they can do in 1 minute! Get out the jump ropes and hula-hoops. Turn on some fun music and have a dance contest! If the weather is nice, ask them to join you for a jog! Sign up for family races or 5k events that have a Family Fun Run. Let them see you honoring your body through exercise! Most likely, if your kids see you on the floor doing push-ups, they’re going to want to join in! And if not, ask them — that might be all it takes is an invitation from you!

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9. Have patience.

Just like in your journey to a whole body transformation, it takes time for their bodies and minds to adjust to new habits. Changes don't happen overnight. Extend extra compassion, love, and patience to them. Eventually, they will enjoy time in the kitchen, trips to the grocery store and exercising with you.

10. Praise!

We all need affirmation and encouragement in our lives. They need to hear from us, “Great job!” or “I am so proud of you!” So any chance you get, take it! Tell them, show them, affirm them every single day!

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We encourage you to help motivate your family to have a healthier lifestyle! We believe in you and know you can do it!

Another place to find tips and healthy recipes are in our, Healthy Families Handbook eBook. You can purchase it HERE! This is a great resource to use when it comes to better whole-body health for your family!

If you plan a meal with your family or get in a family workout, please send us a picture! We would love to see what you and your family do! If you have any questions, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com. 

Please join us this coming Thursday night 6 PM for a fun, free, community workout event benefiting HOPE 139! Sign up on the app to reserve your spot (limited number available).

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

Try a New Healthy Dinner Recipe from our NEW Registered Dietitian: Kaeti Shurling

Happy Monday, sweet friends! A new week and a fresh start! Get excited about the energy in the air with the AthHalf marathon here this weekend and our lululemon POP Up Shop! Our TransFit staff will energize youwith strong body mind and spirit workouts in the studio all week! 

We are thrilled to introduce you to our new registered dietitian Kaeti Shurling!

Kaeti will be sharing new healthy recipes for you and will be taking new nutrition clients Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the TransFit Studio. 

Kaeti Shurling MS, RD, LD is the registered dietitian behind KaetiRD, a nutrition counseling practice and Perfect Portions LLC, a healthy, prepared meal service.  Kaeti graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013 with a degree in Dietetics and went on to obtain her Masters of Nutrition Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2015.  While working in the clinical nutrition field for almost 3 years, her entrepreneurial nature and enthusiasm for proper nutrition education did not fade.  After moving back to Athens in March of 2017 she decided she was ready to help a new population meet their nutrition goals.  Kaeti's nutrition counseling techniques and Perfect Portions work hand-in-hand to help her clients comprehend the reality of good nutrition, but also to act on it by fueling themselves and their families with healthy meals.  Kaeti is fully devoted to helping clientsreach health & nutrition goals through small changes and accountability.  

We are so excited to welcome Kaeti to the TransFit Team!

Kaeti Shurling

Kaeti Shurling


Here is an amazing recipe from Kaeti that we wanted to share with you-

Grilled Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs

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Ingredients

FOR THE TURKEY MEATBALLS

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat , 95% lean
  • 1/3 cup plain panko crumbs or plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled fat free feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped STAR Reduced Sodium Pimiento Stuffed Olives
  • 2 green onions , cut into thin slices (trim the tops and ends and discard)
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

FOR THE SKEWERS

  • 8 to 10 bamboo skewers
  • green , red, and orange pepper, cut into 1-inch squares (I use the mini bell peppers)

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine turkey meat, bread crumbs, feta, olives, green onions, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and egg; mix well to combine.

  3. With moistened hands, shape mixture into 16 meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter.

  4. Thread the meatballs and peppers alternately onto skewers.

  5. Lightly oil the grates of the grill.

  6. Place the meatball skewers on the grill and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating about every 3 minutes to cook evenly. Meatballs should be just cooked through, but not overcooked.

  7. Serve warm with Garlic Yogurt Sauce 


We can't wait for you to meet Kaeti! You can book sessions with Kaeti for nutrition consultations on our app HERE! If you have any questions, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com. 

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Come join us today and tomorrow at the studio for awesome sessions and to check out the pop-up shop with Lululemon featuring their new fall line! Lululemon will be in the studio from 8-11 AM! 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

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Total Body Transformation Home Workout!

Hello friends! We are so excited to share this awesome workout you can do at home or on vacation using only one resistance band to tone and strengthen your entire body!! 

We realize that changing your daily habits to incorporate regular exercise can be challenging --the key is to set small daily goals this will make your health a priority! One daily goal for March can be to do some type of exercise each day! 


To get you started, here’s a workout you can do anywhere, any time! With spring break trips coming up and weekend travel as the weather warms, it’s good to plan ahead for your workouts as you would plan ahead what clothes to pack. Keep up your healthy lifestyle on your vacation to feel great and energized on your trip, then slip right back into your regular exercise routine when you return home! Toss a resistance band into your bag and you can do this workout on the go! Always be sure to warm up for at least 5 minutes before your workout, adding a cool down and stretch afterwards.

Set an interval timer for rounds of 1 minute of work with a 30 second cardio interval in between (jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees). You will get cardio and strength training in this workout by alternating through each!  Challenge yourself here!  Check out the video for demonstrations of the exercises!

Cool down and stretch, or repeat workout! Let us know how you do! Tag us on Instagram @transfitathens #transfittravels #exerciseisworship! A video of this workout can be found in the Transform section of our website as well as here on YouTube!

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Give this workout a try this weekend! We look forward to seeing you in the studio next week for more amazing strength training and fat burning workouts. Book your sessions in advance, and commit to giving your best and honoring your body through exercise! If you have any questions, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com.  

 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

Healthy Halloween Tricks & Treats!

It's almost that time of the year again- Halloween! The fun holiday allows our kiddos to run around in their precious costumes, buzz with the excitement of all the creative outfits & play makeup  and eat a little too much candy they will be getting later in the evening. With all that sugar coming in the door, it can be easy to allow ourselves to slip and fall into consuming much more than we intended! But, let's shift our mindsets to the positive: Halloween does not have to be so bad after all! 

Allow the kids to have a few pieces of their FAVORITE candy in the pile. This could be a good activity to do with them- have them lay out all of their candy and organize it into their favorites, counting, sorting,  and even make a game of letting them trade each other for their favorites. Then, allow them to pick a few of favorites to eat then. Donate your candy to the local food bank, or bring to TransFit and we will share with our friends at the Mercy Health Center. Reminding our families and ourselves that we should do all things in moderation. Moderation and portion control is an important lesson to learn as a child and even as an adult. All things should be done in moderation. 

Here are some fun Halloween Healthy recipes to try this week and weekend with your family! 


Lyla enjoyed making the jack-o-lantern face while I blended the smoothie! Crafts and healthy afternoon snack! Check!

Jack-O-Lantern Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • Handful of carrots
  • 1 serving vanilla protein power or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 1tbs flax seed
  • Crushed ice
  • Honey to taste 

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Ingredients (makes about a dozen) 

  • 1 cup whole white wheat flour
  • ½ cup  or 2 scoops of protein powder (unflavored or vanilla) 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  •  ⅓ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites
  •  1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice (ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon mixed together) 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  2 tablespoons rolled oats

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F , and place a rack in the center. Put liners in muffin cups. Combine flour, protein powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and salt until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir together cinnamon and rolled oats in a small cup. Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full).

Then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-oats mixture.

Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.


Monster Mouths

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Lemon Juice
  • Peanut butter
  • Almonds, peeled

Directions:

  1. Slice the apples into pieces that look like lips (just a standard slice will work).
  2. Place the sliced apples in a bowl or lemon water for about 10-15 minutes so they don't brown.
  3. Heavily spread peanut butter on the tops of each apple slice.
  4. Stick the "teeth" into the peanut butter of one apple slice.
  5. Place an apple slice without teeth on top

Frightening Fruits

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Chocolate chips
  • Clementines
  • Celery

Directions:

For the ghosts, take each banana and slice in half. Add a chocolate chip for the mouth. If you have mini chocolate chips use these for the eyes, and if not slice a regular sized chocolate chip in half. For the pumpkins, peel each clementine, making sure to keep the segments together. Cut small pieces of celery and use these as stems.


As Halloween approaches and October comes to a quick end, let's keep in mind our October goals. We hope that you have joined us for the October challenge. Bring in your calendars next week or send us a picture if you have completed the daily challenge. We will enter each of your names in a drawing and announce the winner next week! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication this month! We are so proud of each of you! Hope to see you in the studio soon! 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit 

Incredible Client Spotlight: Lisa Shirreffs

Happy Thursday! September is flying by and each of you are working so hard to achieve your goals you set at the beginning of the month. Continue to give your best this month! We know you can do it. Today, we are excited to introduce you to our client spotlight, Lisa Shirreffs! Lisa is an inspirational mother, wife, and friend! We love how each time Lisa comes into TransFit she has this enthusiasm and spark in her eye! She always gives 100% and has seen such a transformation in loss of body fat over her time at TransFit! Lisa has been consistent with weight training weekly and is adding in exercise one travel vacations!  Keep giving your best Lisa and inspiring so many women that no matter your age - you can live transformed! 


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                                                                       LISA & HER FAMILY

 

"In February, I began my workouts with Caroline after trying numerous other "work out" plans in town.  I've always been an active person but a life-long and regular work out warrior, not so much.  I did not do an organized "aerobics" class until well after college. I was in and out of work out programs while in Atlanta, DC and after I married and moved to Delaware.  I (and my husband) realized quickly that working out was a great physical release but also a HUGE mental equalizer. I have always struggled to make my workout a priority. I need an appointment time and personal accountability. Caroline's motivation and energy have helped me continue to stay on task. I love that I make an "appointment" and have it on my calendar. No excuses and I block out an hour for my personal physical and mental health.

I've reached a point in my life where my fitness is a priority. I work out at Transfit at least a couple of times a week and get regular cardio and stretching a few times a week. I'm on the road a lot in the fall to see my boys in college and try to get in workouts on the road. Walks, tennis, TransFit sessions and the past couple of weeks - great hikes have helped me keep on track. 

My diet is probably my biggest challenge. I love healthy food.... but there isn't much that I don't like. I've been lucky to be able eat pretty freely but as I get older and want to stay healthier, I recognize I have to be more cognizant of what I put in my body. As I began to work with Caroline and TransFit, I logged my food... for the first time ever.  I became much more aware of the nutrients that I need and the "other stuff" that I don't. Though I don't always eat what I should, I do have a much better understanding of what I am consuming and it's effect on my body, energy and well-being. 

After being diagnosed with osteopenia a couple of years ago and given the fact that my Mom and sister both have had osteoporosis, I am considered high risk and need to increase my bone and muscle mass. I also have had back issues for the past few years and Caroline is very careful to adjust exercises for my individual needs and check in with me to see how my back is feeling. 

I married into an extremely athletic family and have two sons (now 19 and 21) who I had to learn and continue to try to keep up with. I was really humbled this spring when they came home from college and noticed a difference in me. They were so excited that I had muscle definition, seemed to be in better shape and healthier that I had before. Thanks to Transfit, I'm probably in the best shape ever."


Way yo go Lisa! You are incredible! Let's all strive to make progress on day at a time! In order to finish September strong, we are encouraging you to join us for our TransFIVE challenge starting next Monday. The challenge is 5 days of completely restoring your body, and will revamp your health in a new way. This challenge can help you focus on removing sugar and toxins from your body. 

Let us know if you have any questions!

Blessings, 

Team TransFit

How to Live Transformed on Vacation

Friends, it’s sweet summertime! The kids are out of school and that much anticipated summer vacation has finally arrived! Each of you have worked so hard in the studio toward your summer fitness goals. Thank you for giving your best! 

Just because you’re traveling and away from your normal daily routine, doesn’t mean you must compromise good nutrition and exercise! You’ve put in too many hours of strength training and cardio sessions to throw it all away! Right?!

You want to feel your best before, during and after your vacation! We want to help you enjoy your vacation and come home feeling relaxed and refreshed — instead of feeling guilty or like you’ve blown your transformation goals!

Just like with everyday life, preparation is key! Planning ahead can help you avoid any slip-ups with your goals and your whole body transformation! So let us help you with 5 simple strategies for Living Transformed when you’re on vacation!


1. Pack smart!

First things first, grab your workout gear! Throw your tennis shoes and exercise clothes into your suitcase. Take your tennis racket if courts will be available.

Pack your favorite healthy snacks. Lots of fruit, nuts and protein bars. Apples and oranges are easy to throw into your carry-on luggage or purse. Pick up a box of the 100-calorie packs of raw nuts. On-the-go packs of roasted edamame can also be found at your local grocery store. And protein bars are an easy snack to pack — just remember to check the nutrition labels and pick bars with 5 grams or less of sugar!

Also, consider packing a shaker bottle and a few servings of protein powder. You can portion out individual servings in snack-sized Ziplock bags. Or Blender Bottle has a shaker bottle that comes with separate containers for storing protein powder.

2. Research ahead of time!

Get online and see what’s close to your hotel or rental. Is there a grocery store nearby? What healthy, local restaurants are close?

Also, if you’re staying in a hotel, find out if there’s a kitchenette or mini-fridge available in your room. Does the facility have a fitness center available?

3. Hydrate!

So many of us neglect hydrating our bodies while traveling even though dehydration is very common during trips. Pack extra water bottles (in a cooler if there’s space) or take your favorite water bottle to refill along the way. Drink water as soon as you get up in the morning, and when you sit down at each meal, drink a large glass of water first!

4. Make smart choices when dining out!

Most importantly, choose restaurants that offer healthy options that support your lifestyle! So many restaurants post their menus online now so you can look it up before you dine. Then you’re prepared to order when you arrive and aren’t tempted with less healthy options.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a healthier option or to customize your meal. Most restaurants are used to this now and don’t mind accommodating your needs!

Choose seafood, chicken or another lean meat option and order them steamed, broiled, grilled or roasted. If fried is your only option on the menu, remember don’t be afraid to ask for another option!

Order your potato baked, boiled or roasted instead of fried! And ask to leave off the butter and sour cream! Consider ordering a sweet potato instead of white potato!

To avoid over-eating, eat small meals throughout the day so you’re not starving at dinner. Take your time eating your meal, enjoy every bite as well as your company at the table!

Of course it’s vacation, so relax and enjoy a cocktail! Just don’t overdo it! And make sure that you’ve hydrated throughout the day.

5. Sweat!

You know the feeling you have after you’ve worked out, so why sacrifice a good sweat session when you’re on the road? That’s why you packed your workout gear — so use it!

Lace up your tennis shoes and hit the pavement (or sand!) This is a great way to explore the city you’re in, too. And since you researched ahead of time, you already know the parks or running trails nearby! We promise that you will not regret a workout!

If you want a good strength workout during your trip, here are a couple options you can do anywhere without any weights:

Five, very simple things you can do to take your transformed lifestyle with you on the road! We are so proud of you and all your hard work you put in through the winter and spring months! You look amazing and deserve a vacation! Enjoy this quality time with your family!

If you would like to meet with our Nutrition Consultant, Katie Woodall, to discuss nutrition and assist you in meal planning, please contact her at katie@transfitathens.com. Additionally, you can purchase our eBook- Healthy Families Handbook. This eBook has a full week of meal plans, "family tested" recipes, family devotions, a kids couch to 5K program, and workouts for the whole family!  

Awesome new classes are being added in June — check them out on MindBody! TransFit is offering Kickboxing, Kettlebell, Flexibility and running sessions. Sign up for something new this month! If you have any questions about MindBody or our summer schedule, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you in the studio and hearing about your summer travels and your new summer goals!

How to have a healthy, joy-filled Easter!

As a child, I always loved Easter. I loved the egg hunts and the Easter baskets, but most of all I loved being able to do these things with my family. As I grew up, I noticed that in stores Easter started seeming less about our risen Savior and more about gifts, prizes, and candy. I could walk down the grocery aisles and see shelf after shelf of sweet tarts and chocolate bunnies. These bunnies always seem so promising on the outside but are hollow inside, much like Easter is becoming to many families. This Easter I challenge you to step away from the candy and overconsumption, and instead focus on the real reason for the holiday Jesus' resurrection, and the blessings He has given you! Praise!

"It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory" Proverbs 25:27

There are so many ways to make Easter a healthy, fun day for your family!

  1. Having an Easter egg hunt? Fill the eggs with small toys like army men or bouncy balls, sea shells, stickers, temporary tattoos, secret notes, or any coins you may have lying around the house.
  2. Can't decide what to put in an Easter basket? Make a fun theme for each of your kids and fill the basket with items accordingly. If your child's spring break is after Easter, try a beach basket filled with toys for the sand and a towel. If your child loves making art, like my Lyla does, fill their basket with coloring books, markers, stickers, etc. If your child likes getting their hands dirty, include some flower pots and seeds in their basket. If you've got a sports fan on your hands, toss in a football and then get some practice in the backyard later.
  3. Need some cute snack ideas? Try the following recipes!

    Photo by: The Today Show

    Add baby carrots to a small flowerpot full of hummus for a fresh snack. Serve with additional veggies or crackers.

    Add sesame seed and carrot faces to hard boiled eggs for a cute, protein filled snack.

    Add sesame seed eyes and a carrot nose to hard-boiled eggs for a protein filled snack.

    Slice sweet potatoes length wise, then use a bunny cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 15 minutes in a 415 degree oven.

Slice sweet potatoes length wise, then use a bunny cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Toss in olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 15 minutes in a 415 degree oven.

Healthy & Fun Easter Basket

Above all remember to give thanks to God for a wonderful day spent with family, friends, food, and love.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" Corinthians 10:31

Blessings,

Caroline

How can I get my kids to eat more healthy?

When we think of teaching our children, we often focus on lessons we can tell them and show them. For instance, being on time, completing homework, and helping out with chores around the house. These are all valuable lessons, but what we can fail to consider are the lessons our children are absorbing from our behaviors. My 3 spirited kiddos each have their own struggles, of course, but Kelly & I try our best to lead more by example not so much by words alone.  I believe the best way to get your kids to eat healthy is to focus on "everything in moderation" and leading by example! Below are some great tips to help you and your family on your quest for a healthy lifestyle! 

Family Dinner at the Ward House!

"In everything set them an example by doing what is good" Titus 2:7

  1. Model healthy habits. Children who see their parents buying and eating healthy food, as well as exercising on a regular basis, are more likely to adopt these habits themselves. 
  2. Start good habits at an early age. Help your children establish good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits at a young age so you won't have to break them of bad habits later. Try exposing your children to a variety of different flavors by mixing healthy ingredients into foods they already know and enjoy. In addition, make sure to model good behaviors like playing outside instead of watching TV so your children will adopt these habits too!
  3. Keep healthy foods at home. By keeping the pantry and fridge stocked with healthy foods, you will be more likely to cook and eat healthy foods, which in turn will make your children more likely to do the same. This doesn't mean you have to swear off all sweet foods--try frozen yogurt or frozen berries instead of ice cream for dessert and top with fresh fruit instead of sprinkles.
  4. Make eating healthy easy. Oftentimes when hungry we reach for whatever is the most convenient. Make eating healthy easy for you and your family by planning nutritious snacks in advance and having them available. Cut up veggies such as celery and carrots and keep snack sized portions in individual bags for quick snacks.
  5. Have meals as a family. Research has shown that in families who shared at least three meals a week, children were 24 percent more likely to be eating healthy foods than those in families who ate few or no meals together. The children were also 12 percent less likely to be overweight, 20 percent less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 35 percent less likely to engage in dangerous weight-loss efforts like taking diet pills and laxatives, or vomiting. As a bonus, you'll be able to connect over meaningful dinnertime conversations and save money as compared to eating out.

Here is a great recipe you can make with your family- that everyone will enjoy! My sweet friend, Gena Knox shared one of her families favorites!  You can bake in a loaf pan or mini muffin pans and add flax or chia seeds if desired.

Whole Grain Banana Bread 

By Gena Knox

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cook Time:  50 minutes

Yields:  16 slices

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup plain flour

¼ cup ground flaxseed or chia seeds (optional)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1½ cups mashed, ripe banana (about 2 medium)

1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

5 tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 large eggs

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup plain sugar

FIRST  Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a medium bowl, combine flours, flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and allspice and set aside.NEXT  Using a food processor or mixer, combine bananas, yogurt and eggs.  Gradually add sugars and beat until combined.  ¼ cup at a time add flour mixture to banana mixture until combined. LAST  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and let cool on wire rack.  Slice and serve with fresh fruit.

Georgia Mae Knox enjoying Banana Bread!

In order to help some of my friends who wanted to start making healthy choices and modeling healthy decisions for their families, this past month I offered a January Jump Start program. It was so successful, that I have created a new program called Faithfully Fit February for the upcoming month. The Faithfully Fit February Program will include 4 workouts you can do at home, 4 weekly meal plans and recipes, weekly bible verses and inspirations, a February workout calendar, and recipes for healthy Valentine's Day snacks for only $75. If this interests you, please email me at transfitathens@gmail.com or click the PayPal link below to sign up.

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Blessings,

Caroline

Healthy Lunch Options On-the-Go

On a long drive with your family? Or maybe the morning was so hectic that you forgot to pack a lunch? Now you're standing outside of a fast food restaurant trying to figure out what you can eat, while keeping your health and nutrition in focus.

We've all been there before, but don't worry! Restaurants today are expanding their menus to meet the health demands of consumers, without sacrificing flavor. When looking for a meal, it's important to not only consider the overall calories, but also focus on getting a balance of carbohydrates and protein to keep you feeling full for longer.

My Top Picks for Fast Food Lunches:

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

  1. Burrito Bowl from Chipotle  Chicken, Brown Rice, Black beans, Fajita veggies, Salsa, lettuce

    Calories- 545 
    Protein- 44.5g
  2. Calories- 420 
    Protein- 41g
    Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with a Fruit Cup
    Calories- 355 
    Sugar- 29g 
    Grilled Market Salad with Roasted Nut/Fruit Blend
    Calories- 260 
    Protein- 27g

     

    hummus box

  3. Calories- 270 
    Protein- 20g
  4. Calories- 210 
    Protein- 13g 
    Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Plain Bagel
    Calories- 460

    Protein- 23g

    Quinoa Salad from Zoe's Kitchen

  5. Calories- 500 
    Protein- 18g
    Greek Chicken Pita and Fresh Fruit Side 
    Calories- 540 
    Protein- 43g 

Other Healthier Options:

McDonald's Southwest Salad

  1. Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken from McDonald's 
    Calories- 390 
    Protein- 28g 
  2. Grilled Chicken, Apple, and Cranberry Garden Salad Wrap from Burger King
    Calories- 270 
    Protein- 20g 
  3. Grilled Chicken Salad from Dairy Queen 
    Calories- 424 
    Protein- 38g 
  4. Berry Almond Chicken Salad from Wendy's (half-sized) 
    Calories- 270 
    Protein- 21g
    Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (half-sized) 
    Calories- 340 
    Protein- 19g 

There are lots of other restaurants out there with healthy options too! Try a meal at Panera, Jason's Deli, Taziki's, or build your own meal at Earth Fare or Whole Foods. Just remember to include vegetables and protein in whatever meal you pick, and to watch the sodium content in your meal. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1500mg as a daily adequate intake level, and recommends not consuming over 2300mg per day. Consuming too much sodium can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and many other issues.

Oftentimes restaurants add salt to meals to enhance the flavor, which is why it's a good idea to try to limit how frequently you eat out during the week. Make it a goal to pack your lunch and pack up healthy snacks so you're not tempted to overindulge. If you are eating out, make it a goal to drink water with your meal instead of soda, and ask for dressings or toppings on the side so you can better control your caloric intake.

Please let me know how I can help! TransFit offers healthy meal planning to help you simplify your lifestyle! Please email me at transfitathens@gmail.com with questions! 

Blessings,

Caroline

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips

818_ff web recipes / recipes + portraits

With Thanksgiving only a few days away and the Holiday Extravaganza weigh-ins going on, a lot of excitement and energy is in the air. To ensure that you have the best, and healthiest, holiday possible, I wanted to share a few tips and recipes that I use to stick to my goals and hold myself accountable.

Top Three Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

  1. Load up on veggies! Turkey is an ideal dish to compliment with delicious vegetables. Fill your plate with kale, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, asparagus, cabbage, onions, brussel sprouts, green beans, and mushrooms for some guilt-free goodness. Try to steam as many of the vegetables as possible to ensure their nutritional value is maintained, or roast them with high quality oil. 
  2. Limit your alcohol intake choose water instead! With alcohol dehydrating the body, zapping energy, and providing excess calories, keeping tabs on the amount you consume is a good idea. Try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to reduce cravings for other beverages, and consider bringing your own beverages to a party so you won't be tempted to drink a sugary concoction. 
  3. Steer clear of refined sugar. One of the main sources of calories over the holidays is refined sugar. It can damage the immune system, cause mood swings, and contribute to ailments such as tooth decay or heart disease. Stay away from processed, packaged foods over the holidays and stick to consuming lots of fruits and veggies!

Three Thanksgiving Recipes for a Well Balanced Meal

Finding recipes that are kid-approved and healthy can be a bit of a challenge, especially since I like to shoot for a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, as well as lots of veggies. Luckily these three recipes fit the bill perfectly. Brined Turkey provides lots of protein, Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes provide some delicious carbohydrates, and then Green Beans with Pomegranate and Toasted Walnuts provides necessary fiber and nutrients.

www.FireandFlavor.com

Brined Turkey

Fire & Flavor’s Apple Sage Brine infuses your bird with delicious holiday flavors like dried apples, cranberries, sage and other holiday herbs. Apple Sage Brine and Herb Brine are my favorites, and I have used them the past four years! This ready-made brine mix is for those busy cooks that don’t have time to mix their own and is so juicy and flavorful!

I place my turkey in a brining bag (large, leak-proof zipper-top bag), which you can purchase at stores like Whole Foods Market, Bed Bath & Beyond or turkeyperfect.com.

Serve a brined turkey at your holiday table this year, and I can assure you that your guests will keep coming back for more!

Photo by: The Food Network

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (or 2 large), peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup  maple syrup, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl add the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix to evenly coat the potatoes and arrange on a sheet tray. Roast until caramelized, golden brown and soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to check them after 15 minutes and stir, if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sliced shallots and saute until they start to caramelize, about 5 minutes Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lower heat to medium and cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the pan becomes dry.
  4. Add the roasted sweet potato cubes to the caramelized shallots and transfer to a warm serving dish.

Green Beans with Pomegranate and Toasted Walnuts

beans

 

  1. Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
    • 1 1/2 pound green beans (haricots verts or traditional green beans). Fresh is preferred, but frozen green beans work great too.

    Vinaigrette Dressing

    • 2 tablespoons flax oil, or olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped or 1-2 teaspoons onion
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Directions

    1. To toast walnuts, heat a saute pan over medium heat and add walnuts. Set timer for three minutes. After three minutes, stir and watch until crisp and fragrant. This takes about seven minutes total. Transfer to a bowl so they do not continue to cook.
    2. Seed pomegranate or buy pomegranate seeds.
    3. Rinse green beans. Take a small handful and align the ends by tapping them on the cutting board. Cut the tips off all at once and repeat to the opposite end. Do this until all beans are completed. Do not cut beans into pieces; this will make them mushy once cooked.
    4. Pour 2-3 inches of water into a pot with steamer. Once the water is at a rapid boil, turn the heat to medium, add beans and cover. Steam 5-6 minutes until bright green and tender-crisp. Don’t overcook.
    5. In a two-cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk until oil is incorporated well. Toss the beans with vinaigrette. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle the salad with pomegranate seeds and toasted walnuts.

Blessings,

Caroline

Finishing the Food Journal Challenge Strong!

transfit journal template

The end of September is almost here, and that means the Food Journal Challenge will soon be over. I've been so energized by the responses I've received thus far, and I can't wait to see what the rest of September will have in store for us! To all those who have submitted their log to me every week -keep up the good work! To those who missed a week or decided to start the challenge late -remember that it's never too late to start changing your life for the better!

"Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, think on such things." Philippians 4:8

Let's fill our mind with positive thoughts and inspiring goals for the remainder of September! You can download my food journal template below to help keep track of all the amazing work you are doing. I am so proud to have so many hardworking clients and friends!

transfit journal template

If you need any help planning meals, remember that I just started offering a weekly meal planning service. For just $10 per week, I will send you a  pdf meal plan for the week including every meal and snack recipe you need for a well-balanced diet! I can also customize these plans based on vegetarian needs or other dietary restrictions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at transfitathens@gmail.com and if you'd like to purchase this service you can do so by clicking the PayPal button below.

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And just in time for football season, here is a quick and easy recipe I love to bring to tailgate. Serve it with carrot chips for an extra serving of veggies or serve it with homemade pita chips or tortilla chips. Yum! 

Cowboy Caviar

Photo by: Norman Plate

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 firm-ripe avocado
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas or black beans
  • 1 can (11 oz.) corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Peel, pit, and cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.

2. Drain and rinse peas and corn. Add peas, corn, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes to avocado; mix gently to coat. Add salt to taste.

Blessings,

Caroline

Healthy Superbowl Snacks

Hot Caprese Dip

I am so excited for the Super Bowl this Sunday that naturally I've been spending this week testing out appetizer recipes. Whoever said that you have to sacrifice taste to eat healthy has clearly never tried these snacks before!  Here are three of my favorites! 

Zucchini Fries

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Two Peas & Their Pod

  • 3 Medium Zucchinis, sliced into sticks
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with a fork until frothy. Put the breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, garlic powder and cheese on a plate-I used a pie tin. Mix well. Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and then into the bread crumb mixture, make sure all sides get coated well. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet. I did the sticks one by one. Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a little crispy, turning the fries half way through. Serve warm. We like to dip ours in marinara sauce.

Edamame and Avocado Spread

From Southern My Way Food & Family

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Gena Knox

  • 1 (12 oz) package frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

In a food processor, combine edamame, avocado, shallot, lemon zest and juice, cumin, coriander and salt. Pulse until almost smooth. Scrape down sides using a rubber spatula. Add oil, water and parsley; process until smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Serve with crudité, flatbread, or crackers, or as a sandwich spread.

Hot Caprese Dip

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of How Sweet It Is

  • 10 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped into cubes
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil (or about 1 tablespoon dried) + more for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Make sure tomatoes have as much juiced squeezed out of them as possible – this will prevent the dip from becoming soupy. In a small baking dish, combine chopped cheese, tomatoes and basil and mix. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes so cheese becomes bubbly and golden. Serve immediately with crackers or melba toasts.

Note: dip may appear “watery” which is why it is VERY important to get as much moisture out of the tomatoes as possible. Also make sure dip is consumed immediately, as the longer it sits, the more juice that develops. Don’t worry if there is a little bit of juice – it is still delicious!

I'm always looking for new recipes to try so let me know what your favorite healthy Super Bowl appetizers are, and check out the post from last year if you need any other appetizer inspirations! The healthy spinach  & artichoke dip with homemade pita chips is one of my ol' favorites! 

Blessings,

Caroline

Start Your Day Off Right!

Deep breaths... It's time for another crazy day! Can’t morning time be so hectic most days? Why not minimize the chaos with an organized morning routine! Here are some of my favorite morning rituals:

  • Water. After fasting for 8-12 hours, your body needs hydration. Start your morning with a tall glass of water (preferably with lemon).
  • Quiet time.  Give yourself time to sit down collect your thoughts, read, and pray. You will be prepared for whatever the world may throw at you that day. Two of my favorite verses to start your day:

 Psalm 118:24 -

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice & be glad in it.

Psalm 37:4 -

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

  • Exercise. Getting your exercise in for the day in the morning is a great stress reliver and a perfect jump start to the day!
  • Breakfast. A healthy breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health. The basics of a healthy breakfast are listed below.

The Basics of a Healthy Breakfast

Here's what forms the core of a healthy breakfast:

  • Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, or Melba toast.
  • Low-fat protein. Examples include peanut butter, lean meat, poultry or fish, or hard-boiled eggs.
  • Low-fat dairy. Examples include skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage and natural cheeses.
  • Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100 percent juice beverages without added sugar, or fruit and vegetable smoothies. Choose low-sodium versions of beverages, though.
  • Remember to top off your bowl of cereal with some sliced fruit and low-fat or skim milk. Or if you're on the go, take along a piece of fruit, a container of milk or some yogurt.

Cereal

Cereal may frequently be your go-to item for breakfast, whether you grab a handful to eat dry while on the run, or you have time to sit down with a bowl with milk and fruit. But not all cereals are created equal. The key items to look for when choosing cereal are:

  • Fiber. Choose cereals with at least 3 grams (g) of fiber per serving, but if possible, aim for 5 grams per serving or more.
  • Sugar. Having sugar doesn't automatically make a cereal unhealthy. But the healthiest choices have 5 or less grams of sugar per serving. Check the Nutrition Facts label. This lists total grams of sugar per serving, which includes both naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Some cereals contain dried fruit, which has natural sugar and adds to the total amount of sugar. But these cereals may still be healthy choices if eaten in moderation. Avoid cereals that list sugar at or near the top of the ingredient list, or that list multiple types of added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar and dextrose.
  • Calories. If you're counting calories, choose cereals lower in calories, ideally less than 120 calories per serving. Some cereals have more calories per serving but can still be healthy choices.
Examples of good options for dry breakfast cereals
Cereal and serving size Fiber in grams Sugar in grams Calories
General Mills Cheerios, 1 cup 3 1 103
General Mills Fiber One, 1/2 cup 14 0 60
Kashi Go Lean, 1 cup 10 6 148
Kellogg's All-Bran Bran Buds, 1/3 cup 13 8 75
Kellogg's All-Bran Original, 1/2 cup 9 5 81
Post Raisin Bran, 1 cup 7 17 187
Post Shredded Wheat Original Spoon Size, 1 cup 6 0.5 167
Quaker Life Cereal, plain, 3/4 cup 2 6 119

Quick and Flexible Breakfast Options

You have plenty of ways to get in a healthy breakfast each day, and it doesn't always have to be a traditional breakfast menu.

Here are some specific examples of healthy breakfast options:

  • Cooked oatmeal topped with almonds or dried cranberries
  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • A tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese
  • A smoothie blended with fruits, some low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ or flax seed
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • A microwaved sweet potato topped with cinnamon
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese and as much lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and sweet peppers as you like
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter
  • Egg omelet with vegetables (use more egg whites than yolk)
  • Greek Yogurt with berries and granola

My Favorites

Easy Scrambled Eggs Muffins

These aren't your ordinary muffins--they're made with plenty of eggs, a little milk, cheese, spinach, tomato, basil, and only a little flour, spooned into muffin cups.

  • Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup 2% grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix it all together. Add spoonfuls of the mixture to a nonstick muffin tin or a tin sprayed with nonstick coating. I used a 1/4 C measuring cup to transfer the mixture. Pop them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done.

Yummy Greek Yogurt - MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!

  • 1 cup Greek 0% yogurt
  • 1 cup berries (I love frozen blueberries)
  • ½ cup granola
  • Sprinkle of ground flax seed

HAVE A WONDERFUL MORNING!

Healthy Learning

This past week, my intern was assigned a research paper in which she had to observe customers in a local McDonald’s and their reactions to the newly posted calorie count on their menus. After telling me that she saw absolutely zero change in their reactions to the astronomical calories posted beneath each combo meal the customers ordered, I began to wonder why people seemed to have no problem consuming such unhealthy food. I don’t think the problem necessarily lies with McDonald’s but with its customers and their eating habits. Why do people choose to pay for this unhealthy food to eat? Many researchers studying this topic believe it is due to the lack of knowledge and education about proper nutrition as well as our culture. People do care about what they’re eating, but they may not understand what eating healthy really means.

An old Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” While it is nearly impossible for one person to change our entire society and our knowledge and habits regarding proper nutrition, we can definitely change our own and our family’s. We all probably get on the Internet at least once a day. During this time, why not read an article or two about eating healthy or looking up a healthy recipe? (I know I’m preaching to the choir right now, because you’re obviously already doing that!)

The most important thing is to know what you are putting into your body. One of my favorite Bible verses is “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” Jeremiah 1:5. I believe that God took a lot of time planning and working on each and every one of us, right down to the shape of our belly button. I don’t know exactly how long God spent on each of us, but I’m guessing it was more than the time we have each taken to work on a craft or home improvement project. And I do know that He gets very upset when we do not treasure His masterpieces, in this case, our bodies. Eating healthy is about taking care of one of the most beautiful and powerful things that the Lord has given you. Art curators spend years educating themselves about how to properly take care of and display famous pieces of art, and, like them, we must take the time to educate ourselves about taking care of our own masterpieces that God Himself created.

Healthy Makeover: Pumpkin Bread

Try a delicious treat that the whole family will enjoy - Healthy Pumpkin Bread! This fall favorite is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack and is packed with Vitamin A. I can't wait to hear how yours turns out!

From Good Housekeeping

Treat family and friends to our slimmed-down quick bread. Gone are the traditional version's 3 grams of saturated fat and all the cholesterol (thanks to egg whites and a blend of low-fat yogurt and canola oil). No one will suspect you've tinkered — a slice is that good!

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories

140

Total Fat

4g

Saturated Fat

0

Cholesterol

0

Sodium

165mg

Total Carbohydrate

25g

Dietary Fiber

1g

Sugars

1g

Protein

2g

Calcium

--

Serves: 16

Yields: 1 loaf

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min

Prep Time: 20 min

Oven Temp: 350

Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup(s) pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • .25 cup(s) canola oil (I substituted coconut oil)
  • .333 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt (I used 2% organic greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • .75 cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • .5 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • .5 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • .5 teaspoon(s) salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine brown sugar and egg whites. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.
  3. In medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert pumpkin bread onto wire rack; cool completely.