Friday, 9 May 2014

Kitchen Beauty Treatments!

Banana Shave Cream - mash up a banana, add a splash of water, and mix together (high natural oil content along w. the vitamins and minerals present)

Sugar Exfoliant - mix some brown or white sugar with a splash of olive oil, and rub this mixture on your skin

Avocado Face Mask - mix a mashed avocado with a spoonful of yogurt and honey (relieves redness and irritation)

Potato Skin Brightener - mix grated raw potato with loose leaf tea in a 1:1 ratio, add in a spoonful or two of olive oil and massage onto your face or body (moisturizer and exfoliator to leave you w. a natural brightness)

Coconut Oil - massage a few small handfuls of the oil into your hair from the roots to the ends, leave for a few minutes to dry, and either braid your hair or put it up for the night, followed by a normal wash and condition the next morning (the oil won't stain your pillow, and will act as a hair growth treatment/shine inducer)

Strawberry Teeth Whitener - mix a crushed strawberry with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, apply to your teeth with a toothbrush, let rest for 5 minutes, and then brush your teeth (repeat once per week)

Milk Foot Bath - soak aching or cracked feet in a cold bucket of milk (add ice when the milk starts to warm)


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Pizza Zucchini Halves

4 Zucchini
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Drained)
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella (Light/Low-Fat)
3/4 Pound Ground Meat (Turkey/Beef/Pork)
2 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

- Preheat your oven to 350 F.

- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the flesh (dice this removed flesh and mix it in with the ground meat).

- Cook the ground meat and diced zucchini flesh for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat (until browned). Stir in the minced garlic for a minute, and then remove the pan from the burner. Drain the excess liquid from this mixture and set aside in a bowl.

- Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella to the cooked meat/squash flesh mixture and mix well.

- Fill the squash halves with this mixture and place on a lined baking sheet.

- Bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella over top w. a sprinkle of basil as well.

- Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese topping.

*This recipe is super easy to alternate according to your dietary preferences: the meat can be removed, or you can add pepperoni pieces instead of the ground meat!
*You can add any of your favourite pizza toppings on top when you add the last bit of mozzarella: olives, broccoli florets, etc.


Monday, 5 May 2014

Monday Motivation?

Some common motivational techniques that people suggest are: keep a food diary, have pictures around you of what you want your body to look like, and look at pictures of healthy food throughout the day. While I think the last option might work in terms of maybe assisting you in altering your cravings...I really don't believe in the first two.

Keeping a food diary...
...if it works for you then I have nothing against that! Just in terms of getting you started on the right track at the beginning of the healthy living journey, I don't believe this is that strong of a motivational tool. If you do happen to slip up and consume too many unhealthy foods in a day, it forces you to take note of those slip ups, which in a lot of cases makes one feel guilty. It's important to eat what your body is craving, just in moderation and always thinking of the healthy alternatives!

Have pictures of what you want your body to look like...
...I believe this is way too much pressure to place on yourself, and can lead to negative thoughts if you aren't seeing the fitness/health gains you'd like to see take place. It's important to weigh yourself occasionally and to take note of your weight (if you are on a weight loss journey), however no more than once every 1 to 2 weeks! That way you can keep track of your long term weight loss, and can see the results in numbers, without pressuring yourself based on whole body images you surround yourself with.

Look at pictures of healthy food...
...I think it's important to eat what your body craves but to make healthy decisions, and to eat unhealthy foods that you crave in moderation. If you post pictures of healthy foods on your fridge it may help to alter your cravings so that if you see a picture of an apple when you're reaching for chocolate cake, it may help to change your mind. But I also think that it can lead you to feel guilty if you see the apple and still decide to eat the chocolate cake your body is naturally craving.

My suggestion...
...Keep a list of healthy alternatives to your favourite unhealthy foods on your fridge. It'll remind you that if you're craving chocolate chips to maybe try cacao nibs next time instead!
...If you have trouble eating in moderation and making healthy decisions then maybe decide to only buy healthy alternatives to your favourite foods next time you go food shopping, and ditch the unhealthy foods in your house. This helps to reduce cravings and improve your self control.
...Once you start to crave healthier foods, you can reintroduce some of your favourite guilty pleasures into your diet by buying one bag of baked chips for example, and start to work on your self control and ability to snack in moderation!


The Sauce Guide...

It's easy to go overboard on the amount of sauce you use on things like sandwiches and meat. Not very many people are aware of how calorie-rich certain sauces and spreads are! You can easily eat whatever lunch or dinner main course you want, and simply cut back on, or switch sauces to cut a couple hundred calories from your daily intake!

Watch These...

Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp = 100 Calories
Mayonnaise - 1 Tbsp = 80 Calories (depends on the fat content/brand)
Sour Cream - 1 Tbsp = 25 Calories (rich in unhealthy fats)
Guacamole - 1 Tbsp = 25 Calories (rich in - good - fats)
Ketchup - 1 Tbsp = 14 Calories (high in sugar)

*Note: often in sauces that require sour cream, low-fat yogurt works as a perfect supplement, and when using sour cream as a dip for things like perogies apple sauce is a healthy alternative!

Eat These...

Salsa - 1 Tbsp = 4 Calories
Mustard - 1 Tbsp = 5 Calories
Worcestershire - 1 Tbsp = 13 Calories
Soy Sauce - 1 Tbsp = 9 Calories
Hot Sauce - 1 Tsp = 0 Calories


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Liebster Award!

I am so excited to announce that "Fit & Well" has been nominated for the Liebster Award. It's an award specifically given to smaller blogs in recognition for the content of the blog!

I would like to thank Olivia @ Me and Baby E for nominating me, and encourage you all to check out her own amazing blog!

And now on to answering her questions for me...

1. What inspired you to start a blog...
...I decided to take some time off of school to focus on myself for once (I've always been very education oriented). During that time I was working out constantly, and only eating natural foods, which yes is great, but I realized I was only doing it all in order to look physically fit. This inspired me to start my blog "Fit & Well"...I really wanted to learn for myself, and share with others as I learned, how to lead a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the process.

2. Are you a cold weather or warm weather fan...
...Warm weather all the way!

3. What is your favourite feature and why...
...Eyes. They express so much emotion, and you can really tell what someone is feeling or thinking just by looking into them.

4. Favourite dish...
...Anything with quinoa or balsamic vinegar.

5. It's an open bar, what's your poison...
...Water for me!

6. For clothing and accessories, on-trend, or comfortable on? Which takes precedence...
...Oh for sure comfort. I'm a sweatpants girl all the way.

7. If you could up and go to any place in the world, where would you choose...

8. What has been your favourite post on your blog so far and why...
...I'd have to say "I Hate My Body". I think it's important that we all pay more attention to the things we say without really thinking. It's important to think about their real meanings and their effect on the other people around us.

9. What inspires your content...
...Just wanting to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle for the sake of feeling healthy, and not necessarily just wanting to look it.

10. Early bird or night owl...

11. Frosting, cake, or both...

My nominations for the Liebster award are...
...The Rehead Sez Blog
...Tea Bag
...Texas Crafty Kitchen
...MB Things I Know

And the rules for the nominees are...
...thank and link back the blogger that nominated you
...answer the 11 questions listed above
...pick 4-10 blogs with less than a couple thousand followers
...tag your nominees and comment on a post of theirs to let them know!

Thank You!

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

exercise every day...
...often when people take this to heart they feel like they have to workout daily, but getting some simple exercise in every day does not mean you have to go to the gym daily to be healthy
...there are so many different ways in which you can get in some simple exercise every day, like walking your dog, running a few days a week, and maybe a day of yoga here and there
...make sure to change it up constantly to keep your mind motivated and your body interested's all about what makes you happy if you're not working towards an intense fitness goal, so don't feel like you have to force yourself to run every day because it'll train your mind to think that working out is a pain

eat clean... as natural as possible, without over analyzing and counting calories
...avoid processed foods as much as you can, and stick to whole grains, vegetables, and legumes/beans as the main components of your diet sure to treat yourself now and then because naturally your body will crave a treat day, and it's not only important to treat yourself, but it's just as important to be able to do it guilt free

be happy & love your body...'s important to do the things that make you happy
...stop comparing your self to others, and this includes not only your body but your general lifestyle
...everyone is made to be different, and your body allows you to do the things that make you happy, so make sure you respect it
...a key component that people ignore is stress because we can't always directly control it, however it is a major factor in disrespecting your body
...some stressors are good, like exciting events coming up, but make sure to reduce stress caused by work or school (your body will appreciate it)


Homemade Latte w. Oat Muffins

Almond Milk Latte
2 Cups Almond Milk (Original/Plain/Cocoa)
2 Mugs of Strong Coffee (1/2 Full)
Pinch of Cinnamon/Cocoa

- Warm the almond milk in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.

- Use a blender or a handheld milk frother to foam the milk.

- Prepare the coffee, and then pour the almond milk over the coffee (using a spoon to hold the foam in the cup).

- After you've poured your desired amount of milk into the coffee, scoop the foam on top of the latte's with the spoon.

- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa on top of the foam.

Oat Muffins
1 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
1/2 Cup Low Fat Yogurt
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Apple Sauce (Oil Substitute)
2-3 Mashed Bananas
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs (Chocolate Chip Substitute)

- Preheat the oven to 350 F.

- Stir together the oats, yogurt, and milk and leave this to rest for 10 minutes (use a large bowl).

- Stir together the bananas, egg, sugar, vanilla, and applesauce.

- Mix together the oat flour, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.

- Add the banana mixture into the oats, yogurt, and milk mixture in the large bowl.

- Add the oat flour mixture into the large bowl as well and stir well. Once completely mixed add in the cacao nibs.

- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough easily into a lined muffin tin, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.