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Let’s take a minute and talk about Halloween candy shall we?

That sh*t is AWFUL for you!

Just how awful…check out these nutrition facts on some of the most popular Halloween candies:

  • Rolo Caramels in Milk Chocolate: 1 Rolo (6g): 27 calories, 0.9 g sat fat, 3.7 grams sugar
  • Wonka Mini Laffy Taffy: 1 mini taffy (8.6g): 30 calories, 0.3g sat fat, 4.2g sugar
  • Hershey’s Assorted Miniatures: 1 miniature (8.6g): 42 calories, 1.4 g sat fat, 4.4g sugar
  • Starburst Fun Size: 2 Starburst candies: 40 calories, 0.8g sat fat, 6g sugar
  • Smarties: 1 roll (7g): 25 calories, 0g fat, 6g sugar
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fun Size: 1 bar (0.49 oz): 77 calories, 2.7g sat fat, 7g sugar
  • Kit Kat Wafer Bar, Snack Size: 1 bar (0.49 oz/14g): 70 calories, 2.3g sat fat, 7g sugar
  • Reese’s Pieces Snack Size: 1 bag (13g): 67 calories, 2.7g sat fat, 7.3g sugar

  • Twix Fun Size: 1 bar (16g): 80 calories, 3g sat fat, 8g sugar
  • Butterfinger Fun Size: 1 bar (0.65 oz/18.5g): 85 calories, 1.8g sat fat, 8.5g sugar

source and full list of 40 different candies HERE

Now, I understand 4 grams of sugar may seem like nothing but what really is 4 grams of sugar? The food industry is so sneaky putting things like “grams” onto nutrition labels because guess what…NOBODY knows what a gram looks like.

So let’s put it into perspective…

4 grams of sugar = roughly 1 teaspoon

12 teaspoons = 1/4 cup

Basically, if you consume 5-6 candies on Halloween night, the night after and after and after til all that candy is gone you’re EASILY consuming 1/4 cup of sugar (if not more) on a nightly basis. AHHH!

I’m not saying don’t eat candy on Halloween because let’s be honest I’m sitting here writing this blog post eating candy corn leftover from shooting pictures this morning but I think we all need to be more conscious about how much sugar we’re putting into our bodies…especially at the beginning of the holiday season.

Still want to be festive this time of year and skip the sugar? I’ve got you covered! That’s where healthy snack/appetizer options come in like this Candy Corn Veggie Tray, these 3 healthy Halloween snacks or my healthy-ish (not really but hey they have some protein) crescent mummy dogs.

Candy Corn Veggie Tray

Here’s how to make this fun, festive, healthy veggie tray…

ingredients:

  • 1-2 yellow bell peppers (washed and cut into strips)
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (washed and cut into small florets)
  • dip of your choice (I like hummus or Bitchin’ Sauce)

directions:

  • prep all your veggies
  • arrange veggies to resemble a candy corn on a triangle shaped plate/platter or be super ghetto like me and cut a piece of cardboard into a triangle and cover it with foil to create your own perfect candy corn shaped serving tray LOL!

THAT’S IT!

So seriously you guys, this year be very conscious of all the sugar you’re consuming and balance it out with some healthy food. Your body will thank you!

 

How to create a candy corn veggie tray #HealthyHalloween
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Your Turn,

Do you love candy??

What do you do with all your candy if you or your kids go trick-or-treating?

What’s your favorite healthy Halloween treat/appetizer?

The post Candy Corn Veggie Tray appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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On this blog I like to talk about the big trends going on in the health, fitness and nutrition world. 

So far, we’ve discussed the Keto Diet, fats, Bulletproof Coffee, going gluten free, the 21-day sugar detox, collagen, kombucha, vitamins & supplements, how to read a nutrition label and so much more.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on today’s topic, intermittent fasting, for months but simply haven’t had the time to sit down and do the proper research to give you all a well written, informative post.

I’ll be honest the whole concept of intermittent fasting is very foreign to me.

My entire life I was taught to never skip breakfast, specifically to “break the fast” your body goes into while sleeping. I truly thought (and still do think) eating breakfast is one of the most beneficial things you can do to boost your metabolism and set yourself up for a healthy, productive day. However, research is emerging showing that intermittent fasting may actually help speed up your metabolism, prevent against disease, help with fat/weight loss, improve cognitive function and so much more.

So yes, intermittent fasting is a very controversial subject…Team breakfast v. Team fasting.

Let’s get right into it…

What is intermittent fasting?

By definition, intermittent fasting is a term to describe an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. The foods you eat don’t matter, it’s more when you eat them.

Since the types of foods that should be consumed are not specified instead of being called a “diet” intermittent fasting is more accurately described as an “eating pattern”.

I think it’s important to address this right away…don’t think for a second that you will lose weight or better your health if you plan on fasting then eating pasta, cake, pizza, fried chicken and doughnuts during your eating periods. Specific foods are not outlined for intermittent fasting but obviously eating a healthy, whole food diet will give you the best results. 

How to do intermittent fasting:

The two most common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts where you are given an 8 hour window of time to eat or fasting for 24 hours a couple times a week.

Let’s think about what a daily 16 hour fast would look like: Eat dinner at 6:00 pm (I wish), head to bed by 10:00 pm then wake up around 7:00 am at this point you’re already 13 hours into your fast. You’d then simply wait until around 10:00 am to consume your first meal and then would stop eating for the day at 6:00 pm again.

I know it sounds crazy to not eat for 16 hours but realistically I think a lot of people do this without even realizing it. 

Don’t think you could ever skip breakfast or not have your late night snack…I feel you. Know that while you sleep your body technically goes into a fasted state so even if you can’t commit to 16 hours without food maybe try waiting an hour or two before eating breakfast or skipping your late night snack a couple times per week and see how it goes before jumping all in for a 16 or 24 hour fast.

I only highlighted 2 of the different types of intermittent fasting. There are many other types of intermittent fasting that you can read about herehere

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Most people choose to do intermittent fasting for weight loss/fat burning purposes. If done right it can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently, and your body can learn to burn fat as fuel when you deprive it of new calories to constantly pull from (if you eat all day long) BUT there are also many other potential health benefits associated with intermittent fasting:

  • Weight loss: Simply eating fewer meals will decrease your calorie intake making it easier to lose weight but fasting may also change your hormone levels to make weight loss and fat reduction easier. Studies have shown that fasting can help lower insulin levels (making body fat more accessible to burn), increase growth hormone levels (helps with fat loss and muscle building) and increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. This turns your body into a fat burning machine and since you are not constantly giving your body food for fuel it uses stored body fat instead.
    • Working out- Studies suggest that working out in a fasted state may also help increase fat burn. Again, since you don’t have food in your system for your body to rely on it instantly taps into your fat stores for energy.
  • Insulin resistance: Studies have shown intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels which helps protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Inflammation: Intermittent fasting may reduce inflammation in the body which helps fight against aging and the development of numerous diseases.
  • Digestion: fasting acts as a sort of “digestive reset” allowing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract relax for a bit. In practice, this produces both reduced intestinal inflammation and improved motility (the contraction of GI muscles in digestion). Both lead to improved nutrient absorption and better bowel movement quality.
  • Heart health: Though more research is still needed, intermittent fasting may improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
  • Autoimmine disease: More research is needed on this as well but according to a study done at USC during intermittent fasting cortisone is produced and that initiates a killing of autoimmune cells and also leads to the production of new healthy cells. This in theory could mean that fasting could help rid the body of disease or at least slow progression.
  • Brain health: Intermittent fasting may increase growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage optimizing brain health.

source, sourcesource 

My thoughts on intermittent fasting:

This may sound terrible but I simply don’t think the majority of the population is educated enough about food and nutrition to do intermittent fasting correctly. 

People are always looking for an easy fix to lose weight and what’s easier than the idea of simply skipping breakfast then eating whatever you want during a specific time window. Are you kidding me? Skip breakfast then have pizza for lunch, cookies for a snack then a giant bowl of pasta for dinner and lose weight…sign me up…NOT.

I think above anything people should be trying to fit in more lean proteins, veggies, nuts, grains, healthy fats…etc into their diets. Once they’ve mastered the whole REAL FOOD thing then maybe try intermittent fasting but starting with the basics is a must.

For me personally, fasting isn’t my thing. I run 4-5x/ week, do yoga 4x/ week and live a very active lifestyle. It works for me to eat a big breakfast, eat a big lunch, maybe a small snack before working out in the afternoon then a big dinner. I’ve found by eating like this I don’t worry about food between meals, feel energized, sleep great and don’t currently see a need to change anything.

BUT, I will say I think intermittent fasting can be incredible for some people. Bryce’s brother recently was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and in addition to taking prescription medication he fasts for several days at a time and during his eating periods focuses on eating a healthy diet. According to his most recent tests since being diagnosed roughly a year ago the MS has not progressed. So hey who knows if it’s the drugs, the diet or the combination of both but I’m seeing first hand how impactful fasting may be for those with autoimmune disease. Currently, studies are being done at USC showing very promising results that intermittent fasting may truly help improve the quality of life for those with MS. Pretty cool stuff.

What’s The Deal With Intermittent Fasting? Everything you need to know!
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Take home message:

At the end of the day please remember everybody is unique and different. What may work for me may not work for you.

If you’re intrigued by intermittent fasting and want to learn more I highly recommend consulting with a medical professional before giving it a try. I am not a doctor. In fact, I don’t honestly know anything about intermittent fasting other than basic researching on Google.

The point of this post is simply to inform you about a trend going on in the health/fitness/nutrition space- do your own research, talk to your doctor and always be cautious before altering your diet/eating patterns.

The post What’s The Deal With Intermittent Fasting? appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Happy 1st day of October!

There’s always something about a new month that makes me want to sit down, plan and get my life in order anddd that’s exactly what I did today.

Looking at the next few months I’m SO BUSY with travel for work, friends coming into town, football games…etc OH and the holidays.

It’s so easy to use being “busy” as an excuse to not workout. We’re all busy and yet people still find ways to train for half marathons, lift weights or fit in a yoga class. It simply comes down to if it’s important to you or not.

So, to help keep me focused on my health and fitness during these very busy and challenging holiday months I’ve decided to use Kara Goucher’s Half Marathon training plan (again) to train for the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon on December 16th.

Call me crazy trying to balance a pretty rigorous training schedule with work, life, the holidays…etc but I’m up for the challenge and know I’ll thank myself when come December I haven’t lost my motivation to workout/ eat healthy.

Sunday runday spent at Torrey Pines beach!

My Training Plan

I attempted to do Kara Goucher’s Half Marathon training plan earlier this year to chase down a PR at Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego. However, after running the La Jolla Half Marathon and injuring my calf I had to completely stop running for a few months.

After letting my body heal I crash trained for the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half and shockingly did great buttt after that let my busy schedule get the best of me and until this past week really hadn’t done much running at all.

Long story short…I’m pretty much starting this training cycle in okay shape but nowhere near where I want to be for the Holiday Half.

Kara’s plan is broken down into 2 categories: Plan A (20-30 miles per week) and Plan B (30-50 miles per week). Being realistic I’m going to follow plan A and really keep things low key through this training cycle. I want to focus on doing the workouts as designed and not letting my competitive nature get the best of me.

Here’s a look at the full 10 week program:

Hard to read? Check out the plan HERE

Weekly Workouts

Heading into this first week of training I actually have a pretty mellow work week but then have a good friend coming into town over the weekend.

Since I know I’ll be doing some partying over the weekend I’m going to flex my usual Sunday long run to Saturday and avoid all possibilities of being too hungover to run.

Yep, real life problems over here haha.

  • Monday: stretch + Kara’s core routine
  • Tuesday: 3 easy miles + yoga
  • Wednesday: 3 easy miles + yoga sculpt
  • Thursday: stretch + the “dirty dozen” routine
  • Friday: fartlek run (4-5 miles)
  • Saturday: 6 miles 
  • Sunday: rest

=17 total miles

Yes, I know 17 total miles for the week is super low but it’s so important to me to ease back into training to avoid injuring myself again. Once I’m confident in my ability to handle a higher mileage I’ll push it up more towards 25-30 weekly miles.

Your Turn,

How do you keep yourself motivated to workout during the busy holiday months?

Are you training for any half marathons during the holidays?

Have you ever done Kara Goucher’s half marathon plan?

The post Holiday Half Marathon Training: Week 1 + Weekly Workouts appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Hi guys, long time no talk.

I want to apologize for my lack of posts this past month. Out of nowhere work got CRAZY! Yes, I know everyone has a crazy busy schedule but I’m really struggling to find time to sit down and blog after working 10+ hours per day, sneaking in a yoga class then having an hour to kiss my boyfriend hello and throw something together for dinner. 

I love blogging but for the next month or two I may only be able to give you guys 1 post per week since unfortunately my full time job has to but put first and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, I just found out yesterday that I’ll be flying out to Austin, Texas NEXT WEDNESDAY to activate Perfect Bar in the area.

It’s all very exciting and the experience of working for a start up company is something I’ll cherish forever but WOAH this stress and workload I have right now is just a little bit overwhelming.

Rant over.

Aright let’s talk about something a little bit more fun shall we?

SWEET POTATO FRIES + FOOTBALL!

Yes, I’m a HUGE football fan. We’re talking the girl who in a perfect world would sit on my couch all day Saturday and watch college football then sit there on Sunday watching NFL RedZone until my eyes bleed.

After last Sunday I wanted to pick up some snacks to bring home so Bryce and I could munch during the night game so I went over to Sprouts to do some shopping.

Immediately I was drawn to the bags of frozen sweet potato fries. I thought to myself how perfect that these are already ready to bake with 0 effort from me. Being the psycho that I am I grabbed a couple of the bags to read the ingredients and you guys SO FREAKIN DISAPPOINTED.

I won’t call out the brand but this specific brand has gorgeous packaging and called out all the healthy lingo “non-gmo”, “kosher”, “all natural”…etc yet here’s the ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil and/or Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Natural Cane Sugar, Cornstarch, Tapioca Dextrin, Sea Salt, Chili Pepper Powder, Salad Mustard (Distilled Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric, Paprika), Xanthan Gum, Gluconic Acid.

SAY WHAT??? NO THANKS!

Immediately I said F that and grabbed a couple real sweet potatoes and headed home to make my own fries that weren’t filled with crap and yet that’s how this post came to be haha.

Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries

I want to stress to you all again to ALWAYS read the ingredients on products at the store. It’s so easy to get into the mindset of “oh it’s sold at Sprouts/Whole Foods so it’s probably healthy”. Uhhh wrong!

Food companies sneak so much junk into products and it’s so easy to recreate a healthy version at home. Yes, it takes an extra 5-10 minutes but I promise your body will thank you when it’s not getting extra “natural cane sugar”, “tapioca starch” or “xanthan gum”.

So grab a knife and let’s cook up some Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries that are so naturally delicious and only require a couple ingredients.

ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes or yams
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice ( I like avocado or coconut oil)
  • sprinkle of seasoning of choice (I like using pepper, Trader Joe’s seasoning salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder but you can use whatever you want to flavor them)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Wash and peel (optional) the sweet potatoes then cut them into 1/4 inch thick sticks/wedges. Check out THIS video if you’re a little bit confused
  3. Throw your potatoes, oil and seasoning of choice into a bowl and toss together until the potatoes are evenly coated
  4. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (without is fine) and bake for about 30 minutes flipping them once with a spatula half way through- do not use foil to line your baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle some extra seasoning on top if you wish and enjoy!

I’m currently OBSESSED with this seasoning salt on everything…especially sweet potato fries!

Roasted to perfection…crispy on the outside and soft on the inside

Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 2 tbsp oil of choice ( I like avocado or coconut oil)
  3. sprinkle of seasoning of choice (I like using pepper, Trader Joe's seasoning salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder but you can use whatever you want to flavor them)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Wash and peel (optional) the sweet potatoes then cut them into 1/4 inch thick sticks/wedges. Check out THIS video if you're a little bit confused
  3. Throw your potatoes, oil and seasoning of choice into a bowl and toss together until the potatoes are evenly coated
  4. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (without is fine) and bake for about 30 minutes flipping them once with a spatula half way through- do not use foil to line your baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle some extra seasoning on top if you wish and enjoy!
Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog http://liveleaneatgreen.com/

Super simple sweet potato fries perfect for game day!
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Your Turn,

Are you a football fan?

Who is your favorite football team?

What’s your favorite thing to snack on while watching a football game?

The post Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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