I’m Back-with product reviews!

27 Oct

Hello!

Wow, I can’t believe how long its been since I have been able to blog. I have put a lot of work into this website over the years. I started this site in high school and now I’m finishing up my last year of college! Crazy! I am still in the dietetics program, slowly but surely making my way towards becoming a registered dietitian. 

It has been several months since my last update but I REALLY hope that I can now get back into a more regular blogging schedule. It will be a loose “schedule” but I’ll make sure not to just fall off the face of the planet again. :) 

School and work have been keeping me constantly busy but I realized that I find it important to keep this website going and stay connected with all my web friends and anyone else who wants to come along for the ride! So I will be popping in from time to time with product reviews, recipes, my fitness plans, life updates, and more. 

So, to start things off I do have a few products that I have gotten the special opportunity to try recently. 

The first is-Pines Wheat Grass—>

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From the website: 

“Just one teaspoonful of PINES Wheat Grass powder, dissolved in water or juice, provides the same amount of nutrition as a serving of deep-green, leafy vegetables. Seven wheat grass tablets will do the same. 

Pound for pound, PINES Wheat Grass is many times richer in chlorophyll and iron than spinach. Its protein level averages 25 percent and it contains virtually every vitamin known, along with 20 amino acids, including the eight that are considered essential for human health.”

Why I like wheatgrass:

Wheatgrass is one of Earth’s best sources of chlorophyll which has dozens of health benefits including naturally antibacterial, purifies the liver, neutralizes toxins in the body, improves blood sugar problems, improved tooth decay, improves digestions and encourages regular bowel movements, and removes heavy metals from the body….just to name a few! 

How I use wheatgrass:

I like to toss a teaspoon of wheatgrass into smoothies/protein shakes for an added nutritional boost. I also like to make the following concoction to start my day off right: 

Morning Wheatgrass Cocktail

  • 1 heaping tsp wheatgrass
  • juice from 1/2 squeezed lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 cup warm water
Using a shaker bottle, mix everything together and shake it all up. Gulp it down and enjoy a nice boost of energy! This mix is also great for digestion. 

 

The second product is Green Virgin Products Moringa Powder—>

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From the website: 

“Moringa is the most nutrient dense plant ever tested. It has more vitamins, minerals, proteins, anti-oxidants and amino-acids than any other food. If you like drinking the moringa powder in juice or water, then get the Moringa Ultimate or Micro Fine as it dissolves more easily than the regular moringa powder. Our Moringa Ultimate and Micro Fine powder also have a higher bio-availability. For very picky eaters, the capsules are a great way to take moringa. If you like tea, you will love our moringa tea. We like to use honey to sweeten it.

Just as an apple turns brown when cut and exposed to the air, Moringa is very susceptible to oxidation. If it is not packaged properly most of the nutritional value will be destroyed before you even open the package. So it is imperative that moringa must be packaged in oxygen free (not just air tight) packaging that also blocks 100% of light.

Our competitors sell moringa capsules in white translucent pill bottles. Light can penetrate those destroying the nutritional value. That’s the reason why all our moringa is packed in an expensive 3 layer, resealable pouch. Then we put an oxygen absorber inside the package and double seal it. The pouch shuts out 100% of the light, and the oxygen absorber sucks up all the oxygen inside the pouch. All our moringa products are packaged this way, and we are the only manufacturer to take the time and effort to do so. That is why our moringa is more potent than any other brand.”

Why I like Moringa:

I had never heard of Moringa before getting this chance to review the Green Virgins Moringa powder. It, like wheatgrass, is chock full of good nutrition. It has 10x the vitamin A of carrots, 17x the calcium of milk, 15x the potassium of bananas, and 25x the iron of spinach. But moringa is especially awesome because it has adaptogenic properties which means it helps your body deal with stress…making it a great product for just about everybody! We all deal with stress one way or another on a daily basis and one of my secret weapons to combat this is using adaptogens. I was already using tulsi tea and maca powder for adaptogens in my diet, but now I have another favorite…Moringa! Moringa is commonly used in Ayurvedic  medicine to treat a variety of ailments as well. With using moringa powder, I have noticed increased energy and mental clarity, all without any caffeine! This is perfect for me, being sensitive to caffeine.

How I use Moringa:

I have been adding this powder to my drinks and especially my shakes. Here is my delicious treat I have been making almost daily:

Moringa Ice Cream Shake

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen fruit (I like strawberries or mixed berries)
  • 1 cup coconut milk*
  • 1 tsp moringa powder
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I’ve been using MRM veggie elite protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder) 
  • pinch of salt and vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ice cubes
You can add more/less milk to get your desired consistency Blend together and enjoy an awesome creamy shake! 

Special thanks to Cherie for sending me these products to review!


Kristi

Gluten Free Scottish Oatcakes

19 May

A healthy way to stay full

Most people struggle with making the switch to healthy food because their bodies have become so used to eating so much of the bad things, they start to experience things like headaches, light-headedness, and fatigue when they finally start eating healthy. This is all natural, because the body has to get used to processing different kinds of food to what it had gotten used to in the past, and to processing less food than it used to. But let’s face it: making the switch is tough, and even though you understand why you’re feeling so hungry after switching to a paleo or gluten-free diet, you still can’t help but wish you could fill up on food and snacks that could actually fill you up. But what can you eat that will keep you satiated, without causing harm to your gut? It turns out, the answer might be fiber. Dr. Alexandra Johnstone from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health in Aberdeen University says that, “We believe these fibres, when broken down in the colon, are used by the colon’s bacteria as an energy source which in turn produce short chain fatty acids which influence our appetite by making us feel fuller.”

The Rowett Institute, already having helped develop healthy gluten-free food and desserts for M&S, is now seeking to determine if fiber is the key to eating less, and still feeling full. Preliminary studies are showing great results. Gary Frost of the Imperial College London and his team are also looking into the possible effects of fiber on the body. “In stone-age times we ate about 100 grams per day (of fiber) but now we favor low-fiber ready-made meals over vegetables, pulses (beans) and other sources of fiber. Unfortunately our digestive system has not yet evolved to deal with this modern diet and this mismatch contributes to the current obesity epidemic,” Frost said.

Of course, fiber is essential to any diet, but it’s not always easy to find great sources of fiber. This recipe for Scottish oatcakes, however, should prove to be a great go-to fiber-rich snack.

Gluten- and Wheat-Free Scottish Oatcakes

oatcakes Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of quick cooking oats
  •  ½ cup of milled flaxseed
  •  ½ cup of hot water
  •  3 tbsp of melted butter or oil
  •  A pinch of salt
  •  ¼ tsp of baking soda
Buzz the dry ingredients in a food processor, and then add in the melted butter. Add in a drizzle of the hot water gently until the paste becomes doughy. Roll out the dough to 1/2cm thick, and use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. Put these circles on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and get snacking!
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*Disclaimer: this is a guest post. Stay tuned for more Sweetly Fit posts soon!
-Kristi 

Whole30 Challenge

2 Feb

Yesterday marked February 1st and I have an announcement for the month! Recently Swanson Vitamins has been rounding up individuals to do different health challenges. Previously, it was the 21 Day Sugar Detox (which I personally want to do at some point). This month however, Swanson is holding a Whole30 Challenge….and I was picked to take part! I knew that whole 30 was right up my alley and had heard great things about it. So right then and there, I agreed to do my very first Whole 30 challenge during the month of February!

Thankfully I won’t be all alone in my adventure. I’ve got Jenna from Swansons and Morganne right by my side..even my wonderful friend Meg decided to join us! Check out our stories and progress on the Swanson blog, HERE. It will be updated frequently.

 

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Whole30 Is based off the bestseller book, It Starts with Food. Thanks to Swanson Vitamins, I have my copy and am happily making a dent in it. It’s a great read; one whose concepts I completely agree with. I keep talking about REAL FOOD, the importance of where your food comes from, eating as close to nature as possible, etc. That is what Whole30 is all about. As most of you know, I have been paleo for nearly a year now, so this isn’t too big of change from what I normally do. But I want to do this challenge to keep myself accountable and continue my healing journey.

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If you read my blog or follow my instagram, you know I like to do paleo treats. Brownies, banana bread, pancakes…yep, I had all of those last week. :) I think these things can be great to a point, but there also comes a point when you can rely a bit too much on those sweets. I am hoping that by the end of the 30 days, I won’t be so reliant on those fun foods. Sugar is a real addiction folks. So I’m curious to see if I can break a habbit. I’m also even curious to see how my digestion will improve during this process. Digestion and gut health is the possibly the most important aspect of health so I’m all for taking on a challenge to amp up my own personal healing.

Again, check out our progress HERE on the Swansons blog! We will be doing a weekly check-in and I will of course be posting daily to my Instagram. :D

Happy February!!!

Kristi

 

Healing ‘Raw’ Cookie Dough Treat

15 Jan

I recently shared my recipe for Healing Brownie Batter, which is made with ingredients that promote healing of the digestive tract, and are just all-around nourishing foods in general. I have been playing with a few different variations of this recipe lately and struck gold when I decided to go for a cookie dough version! The taste of these little single-serve treats is spot-on and I love that they are providing the nourishment that my body needs to thrive and heal, while at the same time satisfying my cravings for a naughty desert! It is a beautiful thing when you don’t have to sacrifice good health for good food.

Full of healthy fats from coconut oil…protein, amino acids, and minerals from gelatin…enzymes and easy to digest carbs from raw honey. It’s just a win. Try it; you won’t be sorry!

Healing ‘Raw’ Cookie Dough

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Ingredients

  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp gelatin (green can)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour, room temp
  • 1 tbsp raw local honey
  • 1/2 tbsp l-glutamine powder (further aids in healing digestive tract, could also just use more gelatin or coconut flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla
  • chocolate chips, as desired

Directions

Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl or mug and mash together well. It may seem like there is not enough liquid but keep smashing and it will come together after a minute or so. Eat ‘raw’ with a spoon! Or just use your fingers…I won’t judge.

*this recipe serving size can easily be adjusted to make a larger portion if desired. I will sometimes double up on the ingredients depending on how hungry I am!

Kristi

My Favorite Grain Free Banana Bread

10 Jan
I have been working on perfecting banana bread for a long time. I’ve made some decent ones before, but they weren’t quite like the real deal. You know, the kind you had when you were a kid. Rich, buttery, full-on banana flavor. Then I went Paleo on doctor’s orders and I thought for sure I would be kissing goodbye my chances of ever making that perfect banana bread, or any kind of bread for that matter. Turns out I was wrong, wrong, wrong. THANK GOODNESS!
Definitely the biggest misconception about eating Paleo or Primal is that it is restrictive; it actually means delicious nourishing food, all day every day. Sign me up! It just takes some time to get familiar with a new way of eating, that’s all. In my experience, eating this way has opened up a whole new door of delicious foods that I wasn’t eating before! And along with that…better health.
So go ahead and try out this recipe, my favorite banana bread yet, and feel good about eating it! In my case, I should feel really, really good seeing as I ate the entire loaf myself. :)
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My Favorite Grain Free Banana Bread
 
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A perfect side to eggs
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas, spotted
  • 1 cup sifted coconut flour*
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter (or coconut oil), melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

*I buy my coconut flour from Wilderness Family Naturals and theirs seems to be already sifted; light and fluffy. If you use a different brand, you will want to sift it well, otherwise your bread will come out more dense.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Grease a loaf pan with butter or coconut oil and set aside
  3. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl and add in the rest of the wet ingredients
  4. Combine dry ingredients in another
  5. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Make sure the coconut flour is mixed in well; I use an immersion blender with the whisk attachment on low speed for this
  6. Pour into greased loaf pan and set in oven
  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until top is a nice golden brown color
  8. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
  9. Slice and spread with butter for ultimate deliciousness :)

-Kristi

Lamb Meatballs with a Cheezy Tomato Pasta

7 Jan
Since going mostly paleo, my variety of meat has greatly increased. For example, I have found that ground lamb is absolutely delicious and a nice change from ground beef. It is a a quite fatty meat, which yields a very smooth and flavorful product. Also on the fat note, I used to buy only lean meats, as lean I could get. Nowadays, I have the complete opposite mindset and love, love, love my full-fat meats. As long as you are buying quality meats (grass-fed, organic, and preferably from a local source), you can really benefit from eating more meat! Unfortunately conventional meat isn’t the same story, as those animals were most likely raised in a poor living environment on a low-quality diet and have been pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs because of it. When it comes to meat, quality matters! Back to fat, the FAT is where the NUTRIENTS are at! You know those important fat-soluble vitamins that are essential to good health, A, D, E, and K? A regular intake of high quality, full-fat meat will help you attain those. Don’t miss out!
This recipe is simple to make, thanks to my trusty ole crock pot. Just whip up the meatballs in the morning and then throw together the pasta right before you’re ready to eat. The cheezy-ness in this recipe comes from Brewers Yeast. Similar to nutritional yeast, brewers yeast is full of valuable vitamins and minerals, including chromium, B vitamins, potassium, and more. It also packs 8 grams of protein per heaping tablespoon. The ‘pasta’ is from broccoli slaw and kelp noodles, two of my favorite subs for grain-based pasta. I thought, why not combine the two? It turned out really well to me, and hopefully it shows that grain-free does not have to be boring or plain. Even as a paleo eater, there is a way to make anything you want, if you’re willing to get a little creative.
Lamb Meatballs with Cheezy Tomato Pasta
 
For The Meatballs:
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  • 1 pound ground lamb (or ground meat of choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1 small package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of cilantro, chopped
  • several green onions, chopped
  • 1 heaping tsp salt
  • several cracks of black pepper

After veggies have been chopped, combine all ingredients and form your meatballs. Place in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours.

For the Cheezy Pasta:

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  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1 package kelp noodles, rinsed and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 package broccoli slaw
  • 1 small package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (15 oz) can organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brewers yeast (for the cheezy flavor; can sub nutritional yeast, but brewers yeast makes it thicker/creamier)
  • 1 tbsp capers, optional but adds a nice salty flavor
  • hefty pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil or butter in a large skillet and saute kelp noodles, broccoli slaw, and mushrooms, until veggies are softened. Add tomato sauce, brewers yeast, capers, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and let simmer for a few minutes before serving up.

-Kristi

Exercise Smarter, Not Longer

31 Dec

As we head into the new year, many will be making resolutions in regards to fitness and exercise. This is great to see, but I also wanted to point out that just like one can be too lazy, one can be too active as well. The truth is, spending tons of time on a cardio machine is going to do nothing but put unwanted stress on your body. Furthermore, it actually isn’t that hard to make positive changes in your body by doing very little! You just have to know what you’re doing.  If it were up to me, one’s fitness regimen would include three main components:

1) strength training with challenging weights

2) high intensity interval training (HIIT)

3) REST!

If you like another type of fitness, it can have it’s place, too. I like to do other things to stay active, like an occasional kickboxing or dance class, but I try to put my focus on these things the most. I really hate to see people spending too much time workout out. My “cardio days” are HIIT and last around 10-20 minutes max. My strength days may or may not take a little longer, but they include plenty of rest between sets, and still I’m usually done in 45 minutes or less. The point is to maximize the time you have and then be done. Don’t let it take up your whole day, because 1) ain’t nobody got time for that! and 2) all you’re really doing is putting your body in a state of stress. You are hurting your adrenals…[pause for a little anatomy and physiology lesson]

Adrenal glands produce hormones in the body that regulate blood sugar and provide us with energy. But being constantly under stress (i.e. through too much exercise for example) can take a toll on your adrenal glands and they will stop producing the necessary hormones that keep your body running with optimal energy.

“When the adrenal glands are not functionining optimally, you can have a condition that is known as adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue often develops after periods of intense or lengthy physical or emotional stress, when overstimulation of the glands leave them unable to meet your body’s needs.” (source)

symptoms that your body is under too much stress and your adrenal glands are suffering include:

  • excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • feeling rundown or overwhelmed
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feeling of not being restored after a full night’s sleep
  • food allergies/struggle with digestion
  • extreme sensitivity to cold

If you think your body needs some rest, then by all means GIVE IT REST! The other day I read a status saying something along the lines of, “My first rest day in two weeks!”  Sorry, but I’m just not envious of that, nor do I think it is healthy. I’ll stick with my short-but-intense workouts a few times a week and feel refreshed, energized, and happy because I’m taking care of my body and not adding unnecessary stress in an already stressful world; I’ve got plenty of that coming from other things, am I right?!

To those looking to say, gain or lose weight, I believe the most success will come to those who focus firstly on the diet and nutrition aspects of things. After all, how you look (and feel!) is determined by 80% nutrition, 10% fitness and 10% genetics. Ever heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” ? Someone had it right! This doesn’t mean restrict calories as low as possible, but instead to make healthful choices and put real, whole foods into your body.

My goal is not to scare people away from exercising, but rather to provide a bit of a warning to make sure you are doing it in a healthy way that will BENEFIT you instead of HARM you.

In case anyone wants to start their New Years off with one of my favorite forms of interval training, Tabatas, then here is a tabata workout filmed by my beautiful friend Gina, better known as The Fitnessista! This was my workout yesterday! Tabatas only take 4 (intense) minutes to complete and I did the routine twice, making my total workout time 8 minutes for the day. Perfect!

Fitnessista’s 4 Minute Tabata Video:

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

P.S. follow my daily happenings over on Instagram!

Kristi

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