Archive | December, 2016

Post-Holiday Detox… Pancakes?!

26 Dec

Yep, you read that right – detox PANCAKES!!!  But first of all,  I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday. Secondly, I hope we all didn’t indulge too much.  It can be so difficult to come back from all of the festivities and get back on track – but YOU CAN DO IT!   You might think to yourself, “I absolutely cannot do another protein smoothie or juice cleanse – and I’m just not ready to steer clear of ALL sugar all the time.”  Well, you’re in luck!  Just because you’re detoxing, doesn’t mean you need to be starving or eating food that doesn’t taste good.  Here’s a delicious way to ease yourself back into the routine and start fresh and clean this upcoming New Year!  post-christmas-detox-pancakes-title

Post-Holiday Detox Pancakes

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups, packed raw spinach
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

-Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
-In a small blender or food processor, blend oats into flour.
-Empty oat flour into a medium-sized bowl, add other dry ingredients and stir to mix.
-Combine spinach, egg whites, banana, and vanilla in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
-Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until flour is incorporated.
-Spoon batter into skillet forming 4 medium pancakes.
-Cook 4-6 minutes per side or until the edges start to brown (batter will not bubble).
-Transfer to a plate and top with yogurt, fresh fruit, and/or nuts.

Note:  If you don’t like the green color, just add a tablespoon or two of cocoa!

Here’s to jump starting your healthy lifestyle!  See you in 2017!!!

~Dayna
PX Studio

Recipe adapted from Kiss My Broccoli

 

 

Motivation Monday – Mental Health and the Holiday Blues

19 Dec

holidays-can-put-pressure-on-your-mental-health

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, you’re not alone – seasonal stress and depression affects thousands of people this time of year. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to fight back against wintertime blues. Here are a few tips for taking care of your mental health amidst the stress of the holidays:

Get some exercise.
Getting in a 30-minute workout session a few times a week will help your brain produce natural, mood-boosting endorphins to help combat depression and anxiety. Take a Pilates class and get the added calming benefit that comes with control, focus, and release.

Get cozy.
Research has shown that warmth can enhance mood!  Now you have a great excuse to curl up by the fire in your pajamas with a good book or enjoy that cup of hot cocoa – it can be instantly uplifting.

Take time to rest – GET A FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP.  This time of year often feels like a marathon of shopping, traveling, events and entertaining. Needless to say, it’s exhausting. Making sure you’re allowing your body AND mind the time needed to recover – it is crucial to get through the season.

Take the focus off of you.
Doing good by volunteering or helping a friend in need can help put things in perspective, and remind you of how valuable you are to your friends, family and community.  Pay it forward, smile at strangers and be nice!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!   Be good to people.  Be good to yourself.  

~Dayna
PX Studio

Article Sources:
Be Nice (www.beniceonline.com)
Psych Central (www.psychcentral.com)
Hopkins Medicine (www.hopkinsmedicine.org)

Happy Healthy Holidays!

12 Dec

spinach-dipThe holidays are in full swing and if your schedule is anything like mine, then the gatherings, dinners, parties and other festivities are lining up on the calendar.  Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, you don’t have to let your healthy lifestyle suffer! Exercise both your body and your self control and you’ll make it through!  

If you are hosting, you have much more say over the food offerings at your party.  Even if you aren’t hosting though, you still have the option of bringing a delicious and nutritious side dish – at least if there’s nothing else, you know you can have that and be safe! Prep one (or more than one!) of these wholesome nibbles to keep you sated without feeling like Santa.  My go-to party guilty pleasure is always chips and dips – so here are a couple of healthy versions of my crowd pleasing favorites:

CREAMY SPINACH DIP

1 small shallot, peeled
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pulse shallot and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Stir before serving.

AVOCADO HUMMUS

2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoon tahini
2 avocados
Salt
Olive Oil
Paprika

Place garlic cloves, garbanzo beans, lemon zest and juice from the lemon and tahini in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Salt to taste.

Add two avocados and blend just until smooth. Salt to taste once more. Transfer to a bowl, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on top, and sprinkle a few dashes of paprika. Serve with whatever you like, whether it be pita chips, warm slices of pita or crackers.

Remember:  Make smart choices and you’ll cruise through this dietary challenge!  See you at the Studio!

~Dayna
PX Studio

Recipes Adapted From:
Eating Well (www.eatingwell.com)
A Cozy Kitchen (www.acozykitchen.com)

 

 

How Many Meals?

5 Dec

thanyapura-mindful-training-eating-time-managementYou’ve probably heard the advice that eating small meals throughout the day is how you win the battle of the bulge. The claim is that frequent snacking, as long as it’s healthy, keeps your metabolism humming, staves off hunger, and controls blood sugar.  But in actuality, it may not work that way.  Unfortunately, in that statement is a mix of myth and science fact.  I’m here to help you work through it.  

The majority of studies show that  that switching from three daily meals to six did not boost calorie-burning or fat loss.  So, if that’s the case, why is it still touted as good?  The two key factors here are what you’re eating and hunger levels.  The longer you wait between meals, the hungrier you get, and then you’re more likely to overeat.

After about 3 hours without food, blood sugar begins to fall. And after 4 hours, your body has already digested whatever you sent down earlier.  Once you’ve crossed the 5-hour mark, your blood sugar begins to plummet, and you grab whatever you can to refuel. That’s why breakfast is so important. After 7-8 hours of sleep without food, you need energy to get moving.

People who regularly eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who skip their morning meal. They also get more nutrients like vitamins D, B12, and A. They may even be more likely to resist food cravings and make better food choices, especially when protein is part of the meal.  If you start off your day with breakfast, and then continue eating every 3 to 4 hours, you’ll provide your body and brain with a steady stream of nutrients so you don’t go overboard at mealtime.  Studies also show that people who ate more often tended to consume foods that were lower in calories and higher in nutritional value, such as vegetables and fruits.  Meanwhile, people who ate less than four meals tended to consume more calories in the evening, and to have alcohol in the evening.

Now, how about those snacks themselves.  You don’t think I’m telling you to grab a chocolate bar every 3 hours, do you?  The key words up there are lower calories, higher nutritional value.   If you’re going the mini-meals route, you have to remember to adjust your portions and intake accordingly.  You can’t just have your regular meals with snacks on top of that.

The simplest strategy is mixing portion control with protein and fiber to fill you up. Avoid “junk” foods that are easy to overeat (processed foods, refined carbs, sugary drinks) and plan nutrient-dense snacks like these:

  • Fresh fruit with low-fat cheese
  • Raw veggies with 1/4 cup hummus for dipping
  • Whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese or one tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1/4 cup trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and whole-grain cereal
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh berries

Finally, know thyself.  There is still nothing wrong with three square meals a day.  If you know you have trouble controlling portion sizes, or you don’t have time to prep healthy snacks, you may be better off with the standard three-meal-a-day plan.  The number of meals you eat doesn’t matter as much as what you eat.  Quality, calories, and portion sizes ultimately make the difference.

So get that oatmeal and fresh fruit ready for breakfast and I’ll see you at the Studio!

~Dayna
PX Studio

 

Sources:
WebMD (www.webmd.com)
Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com)
Daily Mail UK (www.dailymail.co.uk)