Jul 25, 2011

Nutrition For Your Face

A healthy diet helps your skin look and feel great. When I became interested in nutrition as a teenager, I remember making the conscious decision to start eating healthier. Specifically, I tried to eat more fruits and veggies, leaner cuts of meat and more whole grains. Like most teenagers, lets just say my skin wasn't perfect! VERY far from it. However, after I started eating healthier foods, I noticed a significant improvement in my skin, which of course motivated me to continue the habit.

While healthy foods are certainly good for your body on the inside, they're also good for the outside too! Recently, I've been testing some new face and body scrubs recipes and I thought it would be fun to share one. Homemade scrubs are so easy to make and the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. The best part is that it's totally affordable and made from natural ingredients. No bizzare chemicals, just healthy, good-for-you things! Here is a super easy recipe that you can totally make tonight...

Honey Face Scrub
Adapted from Facial Scrubs

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp olive oil
Optional: 1/2 tsp essential oil (I like lavender)

Jul 20, 2011

What To Eat When You Workout

This month has been a busy one. We're making plans to move, change jobs and accomplish all the business that goes along with that. Even though our schedule has been hectic, I try to make time to exercise at least 5 days each week because it helps clear my head. I also feel like it helps me deal with stress better, which is beneficial for me AND my family!

To workout well, it's important to eat well. I like to have a light snack before and after exercise to keep my energy levels up and help muscles recover. If you're the type of person who likes to workout early in the morning (and I am not), try to eat before exercising even though you may not feel like eating.
Since our body primarily uses carbohydrates to fuel exercise, aim to eat a snack that is high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat.

This month, I did a 10k with a few friends and - much to my surprise - ran my best time yet. I credit training and a good pre-run snack of 1 banana, 1 cup of low-fat milk (which came in my tall latte) and a little caffeine about an hour before the run. It was a healthy, high-carb snack that didn't fill me up too much but gave me enough energy to cross the finish line strong.......and manage to win a nice prize! In fact, all of us did. See our happy faces?

Here are a few of my favorite go-to snacks that are perfect before a work out: 
  1. Banana and 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
  2. 1 cup of low-fat yogurt with 1/4 cup granola
  3. 1 slice 100% whole wheat toast and 1 tsp peanut butter
  4. 1 medium apple and 1 oz reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
After a workout - and especially after resistance training - it's helpful to include a bit more protein to help muscles recover. Here are some some examples:
  1. 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup diced pineapple on top
  2. 1 cup chocolate milk and a handful of pretzels
  3. 1 hard boiled egg and a handful of crackers
For more information about what to eat to fuel exercise, click here.

Jul 11, 2011

Cupcake Bliss


So, this weekend I had a birthday. To celebrate nearing the end of my twenties, I decided to go out with a bang. A cupcake bang.

These cupcakes were so absolutely delicious, I had to tell you about them. The bakery - Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar - is no ordinary one. They actually won an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Translation: Amazing. Cupcakes. So off we went, my husband and I to find these delicious treats. As we enter the store, this is what we see:

Cupcake Land!

While cupcakes definitely fit into the "rarely" food category in my diet, I still include them because....well, they're delicious. Here were our selections:

If you're ever in Santa Rosa, CA, definitely stop by this place. The service was great, the cupcakes were amazing and it was an awesome way to end my birthday!

Jul 6, 2011

How To Choose The Best Breakfast Cereal

Hope you all had a fabulous holiday weekend! We have been very busy lately and consequently, a quick breakfast has become the norm around our house. Enter cereal. I don't mind this one bit because I love cereal. Who doesn't, really? It's probably one of my favorite things to eat. 

Simple. Easy. Healthy.

Thankfully, a healthy cereal with low-fat milk and a small piece of fruit is one of the best and easiest breakfasts around. But cereal has become a bit complicated these days. In a typical grocery store, an ENTIRE aisles may be devoted to breakfast cereal. This is confusing and can make choosing a cereal difficult. As if this wasn't enough, so many cereals contain massive amounts of sugar and other strange ingredients. So here are some tips for selecting the healthiest cereals for your family:

Look for:
  • 6 grams of sugar or less per serving
  • At least 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • Whole grain as the first ingredient
Avoid cereals with: 
  • Partially hydrogenated oils
  • High fructose corn syrup 
  • Artificial colors
Sometimes the health messages on food products can be deceiving. For example, just because a cereal box says “less sugar” doesn’t mean it is low sugar. Make sure to read the nutrition label to check if the cereal truly is low in sugar. Also, serving sizes vary depending on the brand. This information also can be found on the nutrition label. 

Happy breakfast eating!