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

 

 

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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)

 

Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Detox Smoothie

28 Nov

detox21Happy Post-Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family!  If you’re like most of us, you may have “slightly” overindulged for a day, a few days… okay fine, the whole week.  Well, today is the start of a new week and time to push the reset button on your body!  If your system is sluggish from a few days of excess, this green detox smoothie will kick start the tune up and clear out the stored toxins overwhelming your system.

“Detoxing is not rocket science. It’s not about complicated diets, food restrictions, deprivations or strict schedules. Your body has its own ways to heal and detox, and it does so every single day through perspiration, respiration, bowel elimination and urination – it only needs the right foods to help clear out the stored toxins. And the good news is that most of them are perfect smoothie ingredients.”

These ingredients are total super stars when it comes to detoxing and the best thing of all is that they all go perfectly into one easy smoothie that you can drink at home or on-the-go!

  • Lemons – stimulate digestion and the release of enzymes that neutralize toxins, converting them in a water-soluble form
  • Apples – contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber that retains the toxins in the colon and flushes them out;
  • Green Veggies  and Sea Algae – the magic word is chlorophyll, the powerful nutrient that starts the detox process, cleaning your body of heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins; the most powerful green veggies are: cucumber, broccoli and dandelions, as for the sea algae consider chlorella and spirulina;
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – are high in fibers, potassium and antioxidants, the main ingredients for a healthy liver and digestive system; make sure you eat plenty of kale, spinach, celery, chard, turnips, romaine, mangold;
  • Green Tea – contains nutrients called polyphenols, with a strong antioxidant effect, helping your body to fight against free-radicals
  • Bee Pollen – is packed with nutrients that nourish the liver and reinstate your body’s natural equilibrium, helping it to naturally detox

Now how about that smoothie recipe:

GREEN MEANIE DETOX SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS
1 ripe banana (you can substitute mango or avocado if bananas aren’t your thing)
1 tablespoon bee pollen
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 green apple, cut in cubes
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cucumber, cut in cubes
½ cup almond milk (or soy, depending on your tastes)

INSTRUCTIONS
-Add all ingredients in the blender and process until creamy.
-Drink right away! (Serves 2)

Enjoy and let’s get your system back in fighting condition!  See you at the Studio (after you drink your smoothie, of course)!

~Dayna
PX Studio 

Sources:
Hello Glow (www.helloglow.co)

Cultivating Thankfulness

21 Nov

133436-there-is-always-always-always-something-to-be-thankful-for

Thankfulness.  Gratitude.  We throw words around like that all the time, but what do they truly mean?  How do we express them?  How do we SHOW them?  These terms can mean many things to many people and everyone may show them in a different way.   One thing is for certain though – no matter how difficult the challenges we face and struggles we manage, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

Thankfulness can be thought of in two different ways:  short term (being thankful in the moment) and long term (being thankful for the foreseeable future and beyond).   If you find it difficult (as a lot of us do) to consistently look at life in this perspective, there are quite a few ways in which you can cultivate your thankfulness and create a lifestyle of gratitude.

PART ONE – Long Term

  1. Keep A Journal:  Reminding yourself what you have to be grateful for and recording your gratefulness each day helps to cement how thankful you are. It doesn’t matter how difficult your life is at the moment, there is always something to be thankful for.
  2. Flip Your Thinking:  People who are thankful for the things in their lives aren’t living an easier life than you. In fact, many of the people who practicing the most gratitude are the people who have had incredibly difficult things happen to them because they understand that it isn’t the situation that’s the problem, it’s how you think about the situation that makes it easier or more difficult.
  3. Enjoy A Healthy Lifestyle:  Give thankfulness a boost by cultivating a healthy lifestyle for yourself by getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating in a way that fosters your well-being, and exercising (which helps to regulate your moods and make you feel better).
  4. Smile More: Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face (as well as seeing another person smile) can lead you to feel actual happiness, joy, or amusement. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry.

PART TWO – In The Moment

  1. Take A Break:  Sometimes a good way to get you back on track and feeling better is to take a break. You’ll need to create things to be grateful for, sometimes, and a break can be a good one.  Go outside and take a walk.  Go on a vacation and recharge.
  2. Tell Someone You Appreciate Them:  So often life gets busy and you forget to tell people that they matter, that you’ve noticed what they do, and it means a lot to you. People will remember you more fondly if you thank them. It will cultivate an atmosphere of thankfulness that can spread out gradually.
  3. Say Thank You:  Speaking the words aloud can help cement the feeling of gratitude in your life. Not only that, but it helps others to know that you are thankful for the things that they have done for you. It can also help get you back on track when you’re starting to feel anxious or stressed by the things going on around you and in the world.
  4. Give Back:   Being thankful isn’t just about telling people you are thankful, it’s also about giving back to your community and to your friends.  Do something for the people in your life who have helped you. You don’t have to tell them that you’re doings something for them because they’ve done something for you.  Do something for people you don’t know. Sometimes people do things for you that you can’t easily repay, but you can pay the kindness forward.

It isn’t just around the holidays that we need to perpetuate the feelings and acts of thankfulness and gratitude.  The upcoming festivities are a great reminder – but it’s what you do/say/show the REST of the days that truly matters.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  🙂

~Dayna
PX Studio


Sources:

Huffington Post
WikiHow
PBS

 

Be Thankful for Health!

14 Nov

healthythanksgiving

Can you believe it?  It’s already the middle of November and you know what that means! In just a couple of short weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us!   Thanksgiving has always been one of my most favorite holidays – the time with family and friends, the celebrating, and of course, the food.  With all of the festivities, it’s easy to go overboard with calories and over-consumption.  The delicious temptations on the plate and in your glass make it seem impossible to be disciplined – but you CAN win that battle!  Follow these quick tips and you (and your healthy lifestyle) won’t suffer a bit:

  1. Start your morning with a healthy walk!  Get moving and start burning those calories first thing!   You’ll be all the more thankful that you did later on.
  2. Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast!  This will keep you from over-indulging on snacks and dinner!
  3. Set your goals!  Remind yourself of your ultimate vision – a leaner you, a healthier you, a happier you. Julia Child (of all people) said it best: “Life is the proper binge.”
  4. Drink lots of water!  Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll lower the risk of overeating.
  5. Divide your plate well!  Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes.
  6. Savor each and every bite!  Eat slowly and really savor each mouthful. It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy your holiday meal without going overboard on calories.
  7. About that dessert… It’s a holiday, so indulge a bit if your diet allows it. But if you’re going to eat dessert, make sure you allot for the calories elsewhere – don’t go back for that second helping of marshmallow sweet potatoes.  If you’re going for the pie, pick fruit or pumpkin pies because they tend to have fewer calories than chocolate or pecan pies.
  8. Finally – end your day like you started – go for a walk!  After dinner, suggest everyone go out (if the weather permits) for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together.

Remember, it’s a holiday!  No, you probably won’t eat perfectly (and that’s okay).  Don’t worry too much about it – enjoy the day,  but don’t lose yourself in the over-indulging cycle!  How you eat on Thanksgiving Day does not determine your health; how you eat the other 364 days of the year does. 

And when all is said and done – I’ll see you right back at the Studio, working on your fitness.   🙂

~Dayna
PX Studio

Sources:
LiveScience (www.livescience.com)
WebMD (www.webmd.com)