If it looks like pudding and it tastes like pudding, then it must be pudding, right? Not always as we recently proved when testing out a new recipe for you all! We stumbled upon a delicious peanut butter and chocolate pudding using three ingredients: tofu, peanut butter, and cocoa powder.
Baked Sweet Potato Coconut Fritters
Sweet potatoes and yams are starchy and delightful -- full of fiber and vitamin A too. These little delights are for the sweet at heart and 100% vegetarian, but everybody will want one. Makes 24.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
Rich Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes
Pancakes for breakfast? Talk about our kind of morning! And yes, sometimes we put maple syrup and butter on our pancakes! And that's okay. We call this a Sunday morning breakfast after a long week or working out and being busy. Because we all know that we are busy, and that we deserve a little sweetness added to our lives.
Our pancakes combine rich nondairy yogurt, juicy blueberries and the warmth of nutmeg. The result? Pancakes that are light fluffy and protein-rich.
Most men and women workout and then eat all of those calories back afterwards. Why? Well, many of us overestimate how many calories our bodies burn off and underestimate how much food we actually consume.
Nobody needs an after-workout snack, and we advocate for a three meal per day lifestyle. If you just have to have something to eat, then try one of these nutritious nibbles to make you feel better. Remember, you really shouldn't snack, so perhaps you should schedule your workouts before one of your main meals instead. Then use one of these "snacks" as the starting point for your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Delicious Plant-Based Protein Sources
Not everybody eats meat and it's important to understand that there are plenty of plant-based protein sources out there for those of you who do not LOVE tofu. Plant-based proteins are important in every diet, including the carnivorous meateaters diet.
Simply the Best Breakfast Tofu Tacos
Build a better day with a protein-packed breakfast that isn't loaded with eggs. After all, eggs, if you consume them, can get mundane. To add diversity to your mornings, swap in this healthy, customizable tofu taco breakfast. These tacos are under 250 calories.
Berry Nut Spiced Chia Porridge
It's 5AM. Okay, it's 5:30 AM and I am starving. I just woke up and I need something to hold me over for a few hours while I work, but I don't want use the blender because everybody else is still sleeping. I walk into the kitchen, open the fridge, and thank myself for being proactive because there is a delicious jar of cold berry chia oatmeal at the front of the fridge.
Oh Thank God.
Since my schedule is so hectic, I have to have portable, quiet breakfasts that don't make me cringe. I don't eat eggs. I don't eat bacon. I'm not into premade smoothies (have you seen what a banana looks like a few minutes after you've opened it? Yuck.).
Cold oatmeal works for me. It has a nice texture, a crunch, and sweetness. I like to make cold oatmeal with chia seeds (or pumpkin seeds), nuts, berries, and every now and again, a whopping scoop of peanut butter. Check it out.
Chia Chocolate Pudding
We love dessert. What really love though, is dessert for breakfast. You heard us right. This overnight chia chocolate pudding is made the night before it's ready and because it is so gosh darn delicious (and healthy!), we eat it for breakfast.
This recipe serves for small portions, but we won't tell anybody if you split it between two glasses instead.
Eight Healthy and Quick Dinners!
Don't have enough time to even think about cooking? Well, don't pull out your credit card and head out just yet! You can make quick dinners with the following ingredient pairings:
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Every Sunday, my mother roasts a small hen. She pulls the skin away, take the bones and throw them in a pot for stock (Paleo folks would like to call this "bone broth"), and shred the meat.
With the meat, she whips in enough barbecue sauce to make it saucy, but not toooo saucy. That goes into the fridge and now the family has saucy BBQ chicken for impromptu dinners and lunches for the week. And her effort does not go unnoticed. The rest of the family digs into that chicken.
For you, I have re-created my mom's simple recipe to help guide you in your BBQ chicken sandwich making adventures. The nutrition information is for a standard hamburger bun at 120 calories.
For a no-bun meal, heat up the chicken (or don't) and serve it over chopped romaine, shredded carrots, and other salad goodies. Perfect for the no-wheat or Paleo folks. I've also been known to eat this straight from the bowl, or add super sour pickles to my sandwich. The tartness brightens the entire meal.
Pineapple Spinach Smoothie
Refresh after a workout or first thing in the morning with the deliciously tangy, deliciously healthy pineapple spinach (and kale) smoothie. The smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats and a whopping serving (or two or three) of your greens.
And if you are anything like us, you prefer to down your greens in liquid form, rather than munch it for thirty minutes. And if you aren't like us, please teach us how!
Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Everybody knows that eating in is a healthier and more affordable choice, but we don't always make good on that plan, do we? Five o'clock rolls around and we've just picked up the kids from soccer or dance or preschool, and we still have to read for that continuing education class and...and...and...the list piles up.
Cooking a homemade meal begins to sound hard and time-consuming. We could be using that time to get "things" done or play with our kids. And before we know it, we are grabbing a burger at In'n'Out or slurping on pho at the little place down the street. Meanwhile, the food in our refrigerator is wilting, wishing we'd just come home and steam it. After all, it doesn't want to become a member of the "40% of groceries purchased goes in the garbage" club.
But it's more than just waste. Not cooking at home has major consequences on our society's health (and yours!). Here are the problems with eating out, and solutions to help us all become healthier.
Raspberry Nectarine Smoothie
Rev up your morning with this vitamin-packed raspberry nectarine smoothie! Ringing it at under 300 calories, it boasts 16 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein and nearly a day's worth of vitamin C. Add a scoop of protein powder to give it an extra punch.
More Amazing Benefits:
Because this smoothie is incredibly effective in controlling blood sugar, we recommend it in the morning or right after a heavy workout when you are feeling a snack attack on the prowl.
The Healthy Eating Plate
What the Heck is Carb-Cycling?
Carb cycling is a dietary choice where you alternate the amount of carbohydrates you have on each day. The idea is to have higher carbs on heavy lifting or cardio days and lower carbs on low energy days.
But that's nice. What does that really mean for you? The idea behind adding carb cycling into your life is that it trains your body to burn fat on low-carb days. Since you aren't giving your body a rich stream of carbs throughout the day, your metabolism is forced to turn to fat for energy.
Now, the reason carb cycling may be more beneficial than a strict all-low-carb-every-single-fucking-day diet is because the high-carb diets remind your body to replenish important hormones like leptin and human growth hormone...among others. When you dive into a low carb diet, you do get better insulin sensitivity, but your body also turns down certain hormones that are activated by carbohydrates in the blood stream. Ultimately, the high-carb/low-carb strategy burns fat without decreasing your metabolism. It also keeps you from turning into a raging a-hole because you didn't get your pancakes with whipped cream and syrup. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration...or is it? I'm pretty much an a-hole when I don't get my Sunday pancakes.
If you want to try carb cycling and see if it helps you lose weight or get you over a rough spot in your progression...or hell, if you just want to change up your diet, follow our 2-week carb cycling program, featured below.
The Food Pyramid That Doesn't Suck
Let's get something straight, the food pyramids created by the USDA for Americans, whether meat-eating or vegetarians (or vegans) suck. They are funded by big agriculture and recommend that you eat large amounts of the food that they want to sell. Plain and simple.
I know this because I worked for the USDA for a brief time (but left because I couldn't handle the fact that they allowed their pockets and politics to influence the information they provided to us). I watched as the dairy or beef or wheat guys would totally influence how the pyramid was designed. That consumers were told to eat more grains or dairy because it was important to them to boost those economies...it had nothing to do with your health.
This is something that has been sitting on me for a long time and part of my mission to get you from skinny to strong is to make you the most informed on nutrition as possible. I aim to provide honest, no-agenda nutrition information that doesn't appeal to fads or policy. It just appeals to the human body and your physical (and sometimes emotional) needs.
To start, I have created a food pyramid that is the center of our nutrition program. And because many of you are meat eaters or are vegan, I made sure to create this pyramid to accommodate your dietary choices. Of course, you will not find dairy on this pyramid because it is not a legitimate food group for humans. We are not going to talk about this here, but let's just remember that another animal's milk isn't created for other species...we don't see baby cows being fed human milk, do we? No, it doesn't make any sense and it is purely a commercial product.
Protein: 3-4 servings per day
Fats: 1-3 servings per day
Fruits: 1-3 servings a day
Vegetables: 5+ servings per day
Grains: 0-3 servings per day
Baked beans are sweet and delicious. Truly a treat for the fitness-minded individual. We highly suggest that you soak 16 ounces of dried beans and avoid canned beans. We cannot guarantee that your dish will turn out deliciously if you use canned beans.
Soak your beans the night before and use them in the morning. In the morning, you can choose to make your beans in a traditional stockpot or add everything into a crockpot and let it cook all day.
Diet Pills Are Going to Kill You
America is a nation dedicated to looking physically good all while not having to do anything to gain that fitness. In fact, I have friends that would starve to look "hot" rather than eat well-balanced meals and do some physical activity. Why? The ADA says that we are spending $33 billion on weight loss aids, yet we are facing an obesity "epidemic." Ironic? Maybe, maybe not, I like to call it the effect of the "Obesity Cycle."
Bagels. The ultimate carbohydrate-loaded treat. But what do you with a bagel when you've gone vegan? Cream cheese, the all-time most popular topping of all time is out of the question.
Here are some delectable vegan bagel topping ideas:
Want some more ideas? Check out this article.
Three Ways to Make Popcorn a Smart Snack
One of the best (and most expensive!) things to do at a movie theater is the popcorn. That yummy buttery, salty taste of freshly popped corn is enough to make me wear sweatpants every I see a movie. But woe is me -- I've learned to bring a bag of trail mix with me to the theater. Or better, yet, a bag of my own homemade popcorn. Because my homemade popcorn is delicious and not smothered in factory butter...which means that I can make it a part of my eating arsenal.
Spend More Money on Food to be Healthier
News Update: According to a study by the IMIM, increasing the money spent on food is linked to a healthier weight and decreased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
After they followed over 2,000 people for nearly a decade, evidence showed that an increase in money spent correlated to an increase in spending on the right kinds of food.
So go ahead, don't feel bad about spending five bucks on spinach! You will see the results if you stick to it.
It's breakfast time and maybe you're tired of oatmeal and smoothies. We get it. A little variety can make living a healthy lifestyle easier. This week, why don't you add in a spinach and egg white omelet?
Forget your bento box? And now you have to pick up your kids and whisk them to whatever sport/art/science thing they're into right now. While we'd love to say this has never happened to any of us, we can't.
There comes a time in every one of our lives that forces us to eat out. And we don't mean at our favorite local restaurant where we know the chef makes a killer lentil burger with hand-cut potato wedges. Sometimes. we have to eat fast. If you're lucky, you have time to run into a grocery store to grab an apple, veggies sticks, and hummus. But what if you can't do that? What if the only place between where you are and where you have to be in twenty minutes is FAST FOOD.
Fast food (better known as food stuff of which the origin is entirely unknown and most likely of poorer quality than your dog's food) is dangerous. It's not only poor nutrition, it has dire consequences on the body (mood issues, high cholesterol, guilt).
But just because you have to eat and run doesn't mean you have to choose the worst thing possible. Plenty of healthy, low-sodium, low saturated fat options are on the market. You just have to be smart and diligent with your orders. Here are the best fast food options for when you can't get home: