Monday, August 30, 2010

It's a Protein Party!!

You are cordially invited to A PROTEIN PARTY!!
When: Now
Where: Right here!
Why: Because I want to fill you in on my discovery of my favorite protein powders, for now, until I discover more of course.

So the last time I talked about protein was way back in May when this whole blog was just getting started, and I talked about The Protein Myth.  (Warning: That blog post was before I learned how to make blog posts pretty, and I have to admit it's a little boring, but informative!)  I promise to spice this post up a bit for you!

So I have been really into protein smoothies lately, specifically for breakfast.  It's a great energy booster for the day.  Sam and I are working on getting to the gym around 5am (yikes I know!) because that is what time I will have to be there to get a good workout in before work, which starts October 6th... ahh!  We have yet to be at the gym at 5am, but we are gradually working towards it!  Anyway, I wake up and go, and I might eat a handful of almonds on my way.  But after the morning workout, I'm hungry, and I need some good fuel for the day.  So the protein smoothie is the perfect thing!

I have tried so many protein powders, and I'm really picky about the taste, texture, solubility, etc.  BUT I have finally found the winners of my search for delicious and effective protein powders!  So I must share them with you! Here we go...

1.  Boku Super Protein Boku Super Food 

Tone It Up introduced me to Boku, and I'm so glad they did!  Boku is a great company that uses very high-quality organic ingredients in their products.  The Boku Super Protein is a raw sprouted brown rice protein.  "Raw" and "sprouted" are both really good things because that means that the product hasn't been cooked enough to destroy many of the nutritional enzymes, and sprouting actually enhances the nutritional power of the grain and benefits the digestive tract. So to put it simply, "raw" and "sprouted" means more nutrition for you!  Side note: This is a big reason why I love Ezekiel products!  

Now, let's talk about the Boku Super Food.  So what exactly is a super food?

Fancy Definition of Superfood: "a natural food regarded as especially beneficial because of its nutrient profile or its health-protecting qualities"  (According to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English) [source]

Not-So-Fancy Definition of Superfood: "Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply."  (WebMD) [source]

Basically, superfoods are really good for you, and by putting a scoop of Boku Super Food in your smoothie (or just shaking it with milk, juice, or water), you easily get your daily dose of superfood!  Now, that's a lot easier than going out and separately buying all of the superfoods and trying to consume them in a day.

Okay finally... So what's in my smoothie??

1 scoop Boku Super Protein
1 heaping scoop Boku Super Food
1/2 banana
1/4 cup blueberries
Handful of ice cubes
Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened Almond Milk - I just eyeball this, but it's usually enough milk until it covers most of the ingredients in the blender.

If I'm really hungry, I throw in 1 Tbsp peanut butter, which makes this smoothie more like a meal.  Without the peanut butter, this smoothie is around 290 calories.  With the peanut butter around 390 calories.

If I opted for another breakfast option like oatmeal or granola and missed out on my smoothie in the morning, then I will either have this smoothie for lunch with the peanut butter, or as a snack without the peanut butter.  But, you can also just shake a scoop of protein powder and super food in water or juice as a perfect snack, and that way you are still getting your superfood and healthy protein for the day, but it's not as filling as the entire smoothie.  Plus, at work you don't usually have the ability to whip up a smoothie in a blender for your afternoon snack.  So this way, you can just take a bottle and shake up your snack!

You can also make Tone It Up Protein Pancakes with the Boku Super Protein... they are so good and good for you!  You can enjoy these pancakes on the Tone It Up Fat Burning System too!

You can order Boku products online and join the Boku Bucks Program so that you can earn rewards as you buy more protein.

So there is protein powder option number one!  Next up...

2.  TRUEProtein Vanilla & Chocolate Pea Protein 

I know I know, right now you might be saying to yourself... PEA protein??? As in the peas that roll around all over your plate and are impossible to eat with a fork??  Yes! Well, kind of... It is made from the vegetable that you are thinking of, the pea, but there are many different types of peas.  It's called Pea Protein Isolate because they isolate the protein.  Here is their web site's description...

"Gemma Protein Isolate Powder is extremely high in Leucine, Arginine, and Glutamine, along with a balanced amino profile. It is clean tasting for a Pea Protein, and mixes extremely smoothly with a lighter texture than Whey powders.  Gemma Protein Isolate is derived and isolated from peas and its natural protein fraction, which possesses a low level of denaturing and is very soluable (mixes very well).  Gemma is NON-GMO, low allergenic and gluten free.  As dairy prices continue to rise, vegetable-based products like the new Gemma Protein will begin to change the protein industry."

Although this product's ingredients isn't as "red carpet worthy" as Boku's, it still provides the protein benefits.  Since I am vegan about 98% of the time and I exercise 6 days a week, I need to make sure I am getting enough protein, and good sources of protein.  I really like the Boku Super Protein because of its quality ingredients, but it is a little pricey for now ($35 for 30oz, 20 servings).  Since Sam and I are both into the protein smoothies and protein pancakes, then that would be like $70+ a month for the both of us if we just used the Boku Super Protein.  With Sam in law school and me about to start work... we had find another protein alternative to add to our protein repertoire.
I really like the taste of True Protein's Pea Protein.  It blends really well in a smoothie and just shaken in water or milk.  It's really creamy.  I order the "NATURAL Premium" Chocolate and Vanilla Flavors.  The Premium Flavors are pre-sweetened with Stevia (a natural low-calorie sweetener derived from the stevia plant).  

And you will NOT believe how much it costs! TRUEProtein doesn't advertise and relies on word of mouth.  Also, TRUEProtein doesn't use any fancy packaging, labels, etc.  Ultimately, this keeps their costs WAY down.  If you order 1 lb. of a flavor I just mentioned in the free food grade bag it costs a whopping total of $6.09.  Or you can go crazy and order the protein in the plastic jug with a scoop for an extra 75 cents! Even at this affordable price, it's still great quality!  It's gluten free and non-genetically modified.  I just trade off between the two proteins.  Monday I will have Boku and Tuesday TrueProtein, and so on. 

This is my favorite smoothie to make with this protein, it tastes like a creamy banana peanut butter shake!
1 scoop of Chocolate or Vanilla Protein
1 scoop of superfood
1/2 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
Handful Ice cubes
Enough Almond Milk to cover.

This smoothie is around 360 calories.  Also, this vanilla powder shaken with orange juice and some ice cubes is really good too!  And quick!

Okay, and last but definitely not least... 
3.  Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion

You can buy this in the jug or in individual, single serving packets.  I have found it at Central Market and Whole Foods.  I really love the chocolate flavor of this, it's a delicious silky flavor and texture.  It has BOTH protein and superfood all in one!  It has a little less than half of the protein than the previous products, 10 grams per serving. I haven't tried this just shaken in water, but it says that you can do that.  Here is my Amazing Meal smoothie...

1 packet (or scoop) of Amazing Meal
1/2 banana
1/4 cup berries (I like blueberries)  
Almond Milk 

Yum!! You can also get creative with this and add it to Overnight Oats or regular oatmeal to give your oats even more of a nutritional punch.  Check out this yummy recipe...

Chocolate Protein Vegan Overnight Oats (VOO)
from Oh She Glows  

1/3 cup oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seed
2 Tbsp Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder
1 cup almond milk
1 chopped banana
Optional Toppings: Unsweetened Coconut or 1 tbsp nut butter

Directions:  Mix the oats chia (or flax) seeds, and chocolate powder in a small bowl with a whisk.  Pour in milk and whisk until clumps are gone.  Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.  Add chopped banana.

*** For all of the smoothie recipes, you can substitute water for milk if you want a lighter smoothie, and you will probably need a little less water than milk.  That will reduce the calorie count by around 60-70 calories if that is something you are watching.  

So there you have it! My grand list of protein powders!  I am sure I will eventually discover more that I like, and if I do, then I will keep you up to date... but for now, I'm enjoying all of these!  

I hope you had a great weekend!  This weekend I tried a new restaurant and split a PB&Monte Cristo for dessert... oh my gosh there are no words to describe the tastiness of this dessert.  It was fat free of course (just kidding!), but sometimes you just have to treat yourself, or else you will go crazy! 

I am headed out of town for the weekend for Sam's Sister's wedding (Congrats Sarah!), so you probably won't hear from me again until next week.  In the meantime, have a super week... summer will be gone before you know it, so get outside, move around, and just enjoy life!  Happy Monday! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Question of the Day: Do you have any protein powders, meal supplements, bars, etc. that you enjoy?? If so, I would love to hear about it so leave a comment! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tone It Up Fat Burning System (A MUST HAVE!)

A couple weeks ago I submitted my blog, mission, vision, and passion for healthy living to Tone It Up to be considered for their Tone It Up Affiliate Program.  They liked my blog and my story, and now I am a Tone It Up Affiliate! Yay!! I am SO excited about this opportunity to work with Tone It Up to help others live a healthy lifestyle (Thanks Tone It Up!). Okay, so what does being a Tone It Up Affiliate actually mean? First, let me give you a quick introduction to Tone It Up.

I have talked about Tone It Up several times in the past, specifically their amazing ab circuit and most recently the Shake Dance Contest.  But Tone It Up isn't just about two girls filming entertaining and informative fitness and nutrition videos on YouTube.  Tone It Up is a successful brand built by two friends (now best friends) who met at a gym, Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson.

  Check out their super cute lululemon outfits! 

Karena and Katrina are both Fitness & Lifestyle Coaches, Personal Trainers, and Sports Models for popular magazines such as Women's Health, Shape and more.  You have probably seen many of their pictures in magazines and didn't even know it!  Here is my September issue of Women's Health magazine with Katrina modeling for Oakley.

So needless to say, these girls know what they are talking about when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.  Like Tone It Up, helping others live a healthy life is something that I am very passionate about, and as a Tone It Up Affiliate, I can work with Tone It Up and share in their passion by promoting the Tone It Up Fat Burning System.

This plan isn't just about trying to lose weight, it's about living an overall healthy lifestyle.  This is the plan that Karena and Katrina developed for themselves, which allowed them to look and feel the way they do today.  Katrina lost 23 pounds and Karena toned up by 7 pounds on the plan.  It was so successful for them, that they decided to create this plan to allow others to achieve and maintain that same healthy lifestyle.  Check out their motivating/ inspiring video below to see before and after pictures of Katrina and Karena and to learn more about how the plan all began...  

"We have our ToneItUp Fat burning System that we personally developed to help ourselves get heathy and to lose the unwanted layer of fat.  Our diet plan has been so successful with over 600 people so far...We only promote health and wellness, no gimmicks and no diet pills.. just a way of life that worked for us and now our customers!" ~ Karena and Katrina

Even if you don't need to lose weight this plan gives you everything you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  For the cost of a training session you receive all of this...

Personally, my goal is not to loose weight.  My goal is to have more of a toned, athletic look, and I am so excited to incorporate this plan into my lifestyle as it focuses on preserving muscle tissue and burning fat.  Muscle can be covered by a fatty layer, and by following this plan the body will be able to burn that fatty layer allowing muscle tone to show to its full potential.  

One of the really exciting things is that you will NOT be focusing on counting calories!!!  And you will be eating REAL FOOD 5 times a day!  It is so easy for me to promote this system because it is something I truly believe in... We do not need to be stressing out about counting calories or carbs, or only eating salad or 2 meals a day.  Our bodies will naturally be healthier if we eat REAL FOOD (no chemicals).  This plan gives you a guide to what foods to eat, in what combinations, and what times of day, ultimately allowing you to become a "fat burning machine" as they say.  Not only do you get the nutrition advice, but also all of the other tools mentioned above! The grocery list and sample meal plans are SOO helpful!  The recipes in the meal plan look delicious!  And the Body Blast Fitness Program and Core Program come with easy instructions and pictures! It's all there.  Oh, and don't forget about their other helpful resources... ToneItUpTV and the Tone It Up Blog where they show you a new work out (Tone It Up Tuesdays) and recipe (We LOVE Food Fridays) every week!  

One thing I love about Tone It Up and this plan is that they are with you every step of the way.  You need support?  You have a community of Tone It Up Team Members who are also following the system to talk to.  You have a question about anything?  You can Facebook or Twitter Tone It Up, and you get an answer from them!  This isn't one of those things where you buy the diet book, fitness guide, or whatever at the store, go home and read it, and the rest is up to you.  It's the complete opposite.  You have instant access to the creators of the system and to others who have already purchased the system, which allows you to get the most out of the The Fat Burning System.  Their system is unlike anything I have ever read, and I have a read a lot of things.  It breaks everything down for you.  Also, I have to mention... the system is available in Vegetarian and Vegan Plans too! See...they have thought of everything!   

Protein Pancakes that you get to enjoy 
on the Fat Burning System ~ SO GOOD! 

I know you are all asking... What's in this for you? Why are you working to promote their brand? And to answer your question... yes, I get a commission if you purchase the plan, but it is NOT just about that for me AT ALL.  I'm studying for the CPA exams right now.  It's stressful, and I have little spare time to blog and promote the plan, BUT I make time to blog and write to you about health and happiness because I LOVE IT and I love hearing from you!  It is 100% about fulfilling my passion, which is helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle.  The paycheck doesn't matter to me as much as it matters that I have helped someone become healthier... and we all know what comes from that... HAPPINESS!  I want to help you be healthy AND happy! 

If you decide to purchase the plan not only will Tone It Up be with you every step of the way, but I will too.  If you are on the fence about purchasing the plan, then feel free to ask me ANY questions!  I wouldn't be promoting something that I didn't truly believe in.  So with all of that said, here's to you being healthy and happy!     

With Love, Health, and Happiness, 

To learn more about the Fat Burning System, read testimonials, and to purchase the plan Click Here!.

To learn more about Tone It Up and how it began visit

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ordering Takeout the Healthy Way! PART II

Time for some more healthy on-the-go ideas! BUT before I get to that, I have to tell you... our Tone It Up Texas Shake Dance received 6th place in the contest, out of 70 entries! Woohoo!  Thanks so much for all of you who voted for us!! It was so much fun!  Go to ToneItUpTV to check out the video announcing the top 10 winners.

Now to the food!!

The cafe/salad bars at Whole Foods and Central Market have several healthy and quick options.  I'm kind of partial to Whole Foods, but we don't have one in Fort Worth yet (it's coming in 2012!!).  The only thing is that the trip might not be as quick as you plan because you will probably want to take a few laps to check out all the options, and then maybe another lap to narrow down your top 3 choices, and then probably a final lap before you land on the winner.  You can always count on the food being fresh, which is what I really like.  AND if you need to pick up something at the grocery store, then you are already there, bonus!

Mediterranean/ Greek Restaurants

Don't let the menu scare you... it might have some unusual things that you are unfamiliar with or can't pronounce, but that's the fun of it!  Try something new!  We have a fairly new restaurant in town called Terra Mediterranean Grill.  It's so good and really reasonably priced... we are regulars now.  Any greek or mediterranean restaurant will have very similar options.  Here are some things I like to order...

Appetizer Options
1. Hummus.  Good way to get some protein and fiber in your meal.
2. Baba Ganoush. It's an eggplant dip, don't let the name freak you out.
3. Grape Leaves. Sometimes these are called "Dolmas." It's a grape leaf usually stuffed with a combination of rice and pine nuts.  Here is a pic of them...

4. Lentil Soup.  Ahh, lentils, what a great legume.  It's packed with health benefits and fiber and protein!
5. Tabouli. This is a fresh, cold salad made with bulgur (a grain), parsley, tomatoes, and onions.

Main Course Options
1.  Most of the time I just have the Lentil Soup and Tabouli as my main course.
2. Falafel.  This is made from chickpeas/ garbanzo beans.  What exactly is Falafel?
3.  Vegetable Moussaka.  This is a dish at Terra, so I'm not sure if they have it at other places, but this is absolutely delicious! It's like a veggie casserole made with eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and chickpeas, but with no cheese. Score!
4.  Vegetable Skewers or Vegetable Platter with rice on the side or pita bread.

Ghengis Grill (Mongolian Grills) 

What I love about these kinds of places is that you have 100% control of what goes into your meal. You pick everything and put it into your bowl and they just stir-fry it up for you.  I usually build my own bowl instead of choosing one of their bowl options.  So let's do it...  Go here with me and let's build our bowl together.

1. Pick your protein.  I usually go with tofu.  I might throw in a little shrimp or scallops sometimes.
2.  Season your protein. Let's go with black pepper and a citrus garlic herb today.
3. Pick your veggies!! My favorite part :-) This is where I go crazy.  Remember, veggies shrink down when they cook, so fill your bowl!  Carrots, baby corn, bamboo shoots (loaded w/ fiber), bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts (love em!), green onions, snap peas, squash, zucchini, spinach, water chestnuts, tomatoes.  I think that will do it.
4. Select a sauce.  Island Teriyaki Sauce for today. Just a little, the veggies provide their own flavoring, and the sauce is where you will add on the extra hidden calories if you aren't careful.
5.  Call your starch. Brown rice always!  Maybe a little udon noodles to change it up.

And Viola!  Your mongolian stir-fry bowl is served!

Thai Restaurants

I am not as familiar with the Thai menus, but I do know that I never go into a Thai restaurant without finding a healthy option.  I'm a fan of curry and pad thai, and you can easily customize any entree. Thai restaurants usually have tofu too, which is nice to add some healthy protein to the meal.  Fish is another available option.  In general, Thai cuisine is commonly known for its lightly-prepared dishes, which usually means that the dishes aren't loaded with heavy fats.

Mexican Restaurants

Like Asian restaurants, you can always count on Mexican restaurants to have some healthy options.  But, the thing about mexican restaurants is that evil basket of chips and yummy salsa that greets you at the table the minute you sit down.  You are starving, you just want to eat, and you have chips and salsa starring you in the face... so you devour them until your food comes out.  Then you are frustrated that you ate a zillion chips because now you aren't as hungry for your meal.  As you can tell, I am very familiar with that story.  Now, the salsa isn't the bad thing, it's those fried chips that have very little, if any, nutritional value.  Salsa is a perfect condiment... it's just veggies blended up!  The only thing you have to watch out for is the sodium content in the store bought salsas.  There is a reason they are able to stay on the shelf for several months... they are packed with a ton of salt acting as a preservative.

Also, I recommend trying to resist ordering queso to go with the chips or fajitas.  I know I know, it was one of my favorite things... a big bowl of melted cheese, who can resist?!  But, I promise you will thank me later when you are working out at the gym and having to think about how you want to burn off that queso you ate the other night.  I hate going to the gym having to think about how I want to burn off whatever dessert I allowed myself to enjoy the other night.  Instead, I like going to the gym and NOT thinking about what I have to burn off, but thinking about how much I enjoy having the time to myself to work out any stress that I have or to simply push myself to the limits, thanking my body for my health by moving it.  It's my "me time," not time to stress about the fact that I enjoyed dessert.

Okay, that was quite the introduction to the list of healthy Mexican food options, so let's get to it!

1. Veggie Fajitas w/ corn tortillas.  Corn tortillas have significantly less calories, fat, and sodium.  Fill your fajita with beans, a little rice, guacamole, and pico de gallo, and salsa.  Try to refrain from the tempting globs of sour cream and cheese.
2.  Salad.  I can usually find a good salad at a Mexican restaurant.  I just order it without the cheese and dressing on the side.
3.  Spinach quesadillas.  Again, no cheese because they flood that tortilla with cheese.  They shouldn't call them enchiladas, it should be something like "cheesiladas."
4.  Taco Cabana: Black bean tacos ($1.09 each).  They already come without cheese.  This isn't the healthiest option in the world because it's wrapped in a flour tortilla and technically it's fast food, but if we are on-the-go and need something fast, then this is an option.  We get the black bean tacos, salsa, and guacamole.

So there you have it!  My list of meal ideas to order when you are on-the-go!  I know I could think of many more restaurants, but that would make this list never-ending.  So, if you unsure how to "work the menu" at a specific restaurant, then just leave a comment about it, and we can chat!

On another note, I'm looking forward to my next post because I have some exciting news to share with you!  Just to fill you in a little bit... You know how we all love Tone It Up right?!? Well, it has something to do with that!  You will be seeing some changes to the face of the blog, and I will fill you in on the details in my next post! So get excited because I am!

In the meantime, have a super weekend!  I am attending the Yoga @ Cowboys Stadium event today with Sam and my Mom and hundreds of other people, and I'm so excited!  Like they say... everything is bigger in Texas... even YOGA class!

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ordering Takeout the Healthy Way! PART I

Is that even possible!?! YES!!

You don't have the time or you simply don't want to cook or do the dishes, but you still want to eat healthy... so what do you do?!?  Ordering takeout might not be as healthy as cooking at home, but it doesn't have to be unhealthy either.  There are some great options out there, you just have to know how to "work the menu."

Things have been really busy for Sam and I, and we have had to resort to getting lunch/dinner to-go several times in the past few weeks.  So I wanted to share with you some of these on-the-go lunch/dinner ideas.  Where I live, there isn't an abundance of those awesome, local healthy places like in Austin, TX or California, so I'm going to touch on some more of the popular restaurants out there.  If there is a specific restaurant that are wondering about, then ask away!! 

First, I have mentioned Spiral Diner before (a local vegan restaurant), and that is probably one of our favorite places to order brunch/lunch/dinner... Chopped "BBQ" Salad and Chicken-less Salad Sandwich are SOO good! You know it's good if my Dad even likes the Chopped "BBQ" Sandwich made with seitan (a meat substitute), and had no idea that it wasn't even real meat, he loved it.  Oh, and did I mention that they serve biscuits & gravy for brunch... ahh, my childhood favorite!

Okay, so let's get to the list!

One reason I love Chipotle is that they support local farmers and try to use local, organic produce whenever possible.  They call it... Food With Integrity.  Here are the options...

1.  Salad Bowl with mixed veggies, a little rice, black beans, salsa, guacamole.
2.  Tacos with corn tortillas, mixed veggies, black beans, salsa, guacamole.  I sometimes ask for a little rice in one of the tacos.
3.  Burrito with mixed veggies, black beans, salsa, guacamole, a little rice.  I don't usually get the burrito because that's just too much food for me, but Sam gets it.

Pizza/ Italian Restaurants
We have a billion Joe's Pasta & Pizza in TX.

1.  Veggie Pizza with NO CHEESE.  You can do a marinara sauce or pesto sauce if they have it, and just ask for all of their veggies. Here are some of my favorite topping ideas: spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, pine nuts, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and onions.  

You would be surprised at how flavorful a pizza tastes even without cheese, and eventually you may find that you don't even need cheese on your pizza (my parents did! way to go Mom & Dad!).  I have found that many places don't mind at all when you ask for no cheese.  Most places put A TON of cheese on the pizza to where you can't even taste the toppings, so a good general rule is... if you can't control the ingredients like you can at home, then just ask to have your meal without it or on the side. In this case, it's without the cheese, but sometimes it pays off to ask for your salad dressing on the side; otherwise, you end up with a soggy salad soaked in salad dressing. 

2.  Pasta with any veggies and garlic and olive oil or marinara as the sauce, instead of the creamy or buttery sauces.  I find that "Pasta Primavera" is an option that is on most menus, and I just ask for an olive oil sauce and no cheese.  It's as simply as that! 

Sushi/ Asian Restaurants
You can always count on an Asian Restaurant to have many healthy options!

1. Seaweed Salad.  This sounds gross but so good and good for you! The Health Benefits of Seaweed 
2. Miso Soup.  The Health Benefits of Miso... such as "Miso's Minerals Support Immune Function, Energy Production, Bones and Blood Vessels." I LOVE miso soup!
3. Edamame What Exactly is Edamame & it's Health Benefits?
4. Veggie Stir Fry with brown rice if they have it.  You can ask for some tofu if you want the extra protein.
5.  Vegetable Roll. Usually they have some sort of veggie roll, or you can just ask them to make one up for you.  They are usually very accommodating.
6.  Sushi Salmon (rice underneath the raw piece of salmon) or Nori Salmon (no rice, just a slice of raw salmon).

I know right now you're saying... WAIT! Salmon?? I thought you ate a vegan diet!?? Well, I do about 99% of the time.  I love sushi salmon, but I just eat like 2-3 pieces, and I'm good.  Or like this weekend, I just had to have a few bites of wedding cake.  I don't deprive myself of tasting or experiencing something... that's just too restricting.  If someone told me, "You have to try this it's the best burger IN THE WORLD"... then I would take a bite or two or three.  You gotta live life. :-)

Quiznos/ Subway/ Potbellys/ Any Deli 

1.  "Salad" Sub.  Wheat Bread (If you are watching the carbs, ask them to hollow out the inside of the bread.) all the veggies like lettuce, tomato, avocado (adds the creaminess so no need for cheese or mayo), pickles, cucumbers, bell peppers, black olives, alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, jalapenos, and, if they have them, sunflower seeds!  Condiment Options: any kind of mustard or olive oil and vinegar.
2.  A wrap with the above ingredients.
3.  Just a plain ole salad with all the veggies, nuts, and any of the dressings just mentioned ON THE SIDE so you can control the quantity.
4.  At Jimmy Johns, you can get any sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of on bread.  It's called the Unwich.  I usually get the #13 Gourmet Veggie Club with no cheese and no mayo, instead I get dijon mustard on 7 whole grain wheat bread or as an unwhich.

So there you have it! Some HEALTHY options for a quick lunch or dinner!  Hopefully, this list will hold you over until my next post (Part II), which will have many more ideas for you!

I hope you had a great weekend!  I had a busy weekend.  We had a wedding and there was lots of studying for my 3rd CPA Exam, which I took yesterday.  3 Down, 1 more to go!  I'm looking forward to rewarding myself with this week of NO studying... just some fun work outs, relaxation, closet and apartment organizing (meh), cooking, going out with friends, blogging, tweeting, etc.

Well, I will chat with you soon for Part II!  Have a terrific Tuesday!

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Question of the Day: What do you usually do when you need a quick lunch or dinner? Or when you go out to eat with your co-workers for lunch and want to keep it healthy? 

Weekend Wedding Pics
Congrats Cassie & Ryan!!

Steph, Cassie, Me

Me & Sam

Sara & Me

Fun night! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We need YOUR HELP!! Please :-)

Happy Thursday!

So I know you are anxiously waiting to hear the results of who won the Tone It Up Shake Dance Contest. Well, I am too!!  ToneItUp got about 70 video entries for the contest (wow!), and they have decided to postpone announcing the winner until NEXT WEDNESDAY... that way they have time to watch all of the videos and make a well-informed decision.  Also, they want YOU to help them decide and tell them what video you like best.  SO THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!

There are going to be 10 winners, and if you think our Tone It Up TEXAS Shake Dance video deserves to win, then we would LOOOOVE for you to vote for us!  (Hopefully, now the picture at the beginning of this blog makes sense, haha!)  Just in case you need to check out the video again, then here it is!

If you would like to vote for us (yay!), then here is how you can do it.  There are several ways actually.

1. You can go to ToneItUp's Facebook page, and post a comment replying to one of their most recent wall posts that says "Okay...we need help?!? Who has the best shake dance??"  You can just say "Tone It Up TEXAS Shake Dance!" or anything else you would like to add.  (Big thanks to Kelly for being way ahead of the game and already commenting her vote for us!  Thank you!!)

2.  OR, you can go to this link, and scroll alll the way to the bottom past all of the video entries, and leave a reply.  

3. OR, you could Twitter them your vote!

Oh ya, and speaking of Twitter.  I have moved up in the world... you will be proud of me...I have a Twitter account now (woohoo!), so follow me if you want to know what I'm doing for my workout, what am I having for dinner, or just any other random thoughts from me.  You can also see my Twitter updates on the right side of this blog right after the picture of Major.  Here is My Twitter Page

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!  You all are the best, and I will definitely be chatting with you about some fun, healthy, and happy things before next Wednesday.  Have a great day! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Little Bit of Entertainment FOR YOU!

Hi friends!!  

How was your weekend?? I was busy studying (of course), BUT that wasn't the only thing I did this weekend...

I'm excited to share with you a little somethin' somethin' that I have been working on with my friend, Steph.  Last week, ToneItUp announced a contest that we just couldn't pass up!  It's a SHAKE DANCE CONTEST! To become more familiar with what exactly a shake dance is... watch their video!

So now that you know what the contest is all about, it's time to show you our...

And there it is!  So what do you think?!?!  Even if we don't win, it's okay, because we had a blast making the video!  (But, really, it would be SO COOL if we won.)  We got a serious ab workout while making the video from all of the laughing, if you couldn't tell!

So there is a yummy shake recipe for you and some entertainment! If anything, I hope this video provides you with a good laugh today to go with the shake recipe, because as we all know, laughter is the best medicine!

Feel free to let me know what you think of the video!  The winner will be announced tomorrow, so we will see!!!  I will definitely let you know how it ends up.  :-)  

In the meantime, have a great evening!  I feel like I should end this post a little differently today...

With Love, Health, Happiness, and A Good Laugh

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some Inspiration & A Recipe

Inspiration and a recipe... great combo right!!  A happy mind and a happy belly.

Okay, just in case you were needing some last minute inspiration about the exciting events coming up, particularly for tomorrow's event, I found this great video!  Makes me wanna go work out with friends right now!  (I'm being good though... studying away... my workout is my reward after studying.)

For all of the details on tomorrow's event go to the lululemon Fort Worth Facebook Page.  It's BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat).  If you need an extra mat, I have one, so let me know!

Here it is... the inspiration you were looking for.  Even if you can't go to the event, I still think this video is inspirational just in general. I think it's the song... I love it.  Enjoy! 

On another note, if you plan on cooking this weekend, specifically if you want to make a delicious salad,  you must try this Caesar Dressing recipe on romaine lettuce!  I had it recently with my quinoa and pasta sauce mixture.  Yumm! A healthy Caesar Dressing... who would have thought.  One of the ingredients is tahini, which is a roasted sesame seed butter.  You can usually find it near the peanut butter.  Check out the recipe here

I want to leave you with this quote as you begin your weekend that someone recently shared with me (Thanks Angela!).  It's short, but it says a lot. 

The strongest principal of growth lies in human choice.
-George Eliot 

So true, our health and happiness is all about our human choice.  We have 100% control of our lives (most of the time), what a great thing! With that in mind, have a great weekend friends!  Do something fun... you deserve it. :-) 

With Love, Health, and Happiness, 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mark Your Calendar!!

I told you to be on the look out for my next post telling you about an exciting event coming up, and HERE IT IS (well, it's actually 2 events)!  So mark your calendar for...

This Saturday @ 9am!

Calling all Fort Worthians, F-Dubbers, whatever you like to call yourself... Sam and I are attending this event, and I want YOU to join us!  It will be right by the Starbucks on Houston Street Downtown. This is a lululemon event, and here is what they have to say about it... 

"On Saturday, August 7th, lululemon athletica stores across North America are hosting a complimentary outdoor all-levels yoga class in celebration of our wonderful community. We are so honored to have our amazing ambassador, Rebecca Bulter teaching this class [check out her blog]. We love our community and yoga! Join us for this special event!"

How cool is that!  On this day only, all lululemon stores are hosting a complimentary outdoor yoga class, so even if you are not in Fort Worth, you can attend!  Just check to see if there is a lululemon in your area, and if so, then go! 

Raw beginner or expert yogi... it doesn't matter, just come!  If anything you get a free workout out of it and some good camaraderie.  Let me know if you plan on attending, and we can meet at the Starbucks before or something like that so I can say hi! 

Also, I want to give you a heads up about another awesome event coming up soon, so mark your calendar again for... 
Saturday, August 21st

WOW!!  It can't get any better than that... A concert by Alanis Morisette's brother, a tour of the Cowboys and Cheerleaders Locker Rooms, and YOGA all for $35 per person!  I haven't been to the Cowboys Stadium yet, and what better reason to go check it out!  I mean, I won't be having to deal with a crazy crowd of football fans (I think a crowd of yogis would be much more peaceful), and I won't be tempted by concession stand french fries, nachos, hot dogs, ice cream, etc.  AND how can your hubbie, boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend say no to this opportunity... they just can't.  I don't know 100% yet if I will be able to attend, but I am REALLY HOPING that I can. 

I really hope you can attend at least one of these events!  Okay, we are all aware of Major's LOVE for yoga (if you aren't yet, check out this post), and he would definitely go in your spot if you can't go.  If you are on the fence about going... here's some yoga encouragement for you from Major himself. 

"Hey fellow yogis!  These events look life fun, 
I wish I could go..."

"I'm sad I can't go.
I'm just going to pout in child's pose for a little bit."

Okay, I'm over it... you go and have fun! 
I'll be here... chillin in Savasana!" 

Okay, seriously... I need to go to Omaha to take Major to this class... yoga with your dog!  What?!?  They call it... Doga!  You HAVE to check this out... it was on CBSNews.

If that's not encouragement, I don't know what it is! Anyway, I hope to see you there! Let me know if you decide to join either of the events.  In the meantime, have a great rest of the week!  

With Love, Health, and Happiness,