Alcohol-Free Lime Margarita Smoothie Recipe

smoothieThis fruit smoothie tastes like a lime margarita. It’s refreshing and light, perfect for a hot summer day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana, broken into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp refrigerated lime juice
  • 1/4 cup collagen protein powder (you can get vegan collagen made from herbs)
  • 1 cup Calafia Farms Toasted Coconut-Almond Milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut flakes, unsweetened

Mix all in your blender. Pour into a chilled glass and sip.

Carbs: 30 grams         Protein: 19 grams         Calories: 300

 

P.S. I have lots of delicious, dairy-free smoothie recipes in my books: The High-Five Diet and Slimming Dairy-Free Smoothies and Desserts which are available at http://www.thehighfivediet.com

3 Tips to adhere to any diet plan

 

While some diets are just dumb or awful, or both, it can still be a challenge to stop old habits. These three tips on this YouTube video will help you stay on track.

Why you want these herbs

FreshJax Spices

The right combinations of herbs and spices can transform plain meals into exquisite entrees, and we know that the fresher they are, the better they taste. So when I received these herbs and spices from FreshJax, I realized how old and stale the spices I buy from the store really are, and how fresh and flavorful they are supposed to be. For those reasons, I recommend the brand FreshJax.

To see their creative spice blends, go to https://freshjax.com/collections/shop-freshjax-products

P.S. Sometimes I put a teaspoon of their Pumpkin Pie Spice in my banana-coconut smoothie to give it pizazz (so good!). The Maple Cinnamon blend is really good on popcorn and pancakes. Some of the spices contain sugar, so make sure to read the ingredients if you have allergies or are avoiding sugar.

 

What is The High-Five Diet?

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The High-Five Diet is a book that explains nutrition and encourages a dairy-free diet, but it’s so much more than a diet book; it’s a personal story that reads like a novel. The author chronicles what life was like growing up with severe food allergies, and how she had to completely change her eating habits when she was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes after contracting the chicken pox virus as an adult.

She chronicles her struggles with food and weight-loss, and details how she discovered, first-hand, what products and treatments are effective for fat loss. She goes into detail about the many diets she tried, and what’s good and bad about each of them. Because of her food restrictions and diabetes, she couldn’t follow most diet plans.

Based on in-depth research, consultations with specialists, and what she learned after earning a certification in fitness nutrition, she came up with a flexible eating plan, with cheat snacks/meals built into the system that she could successfully follow, be content with, and be effective for sustainable weight loss, lowering high cholesterol, and stabilizing blood sugar. When the program was tested and worked, not just for her, but for many friends and family, she decided to write a book about it and include the program to help others that struggle with weight loss, allergies, and medical issues.

While avoiding dairy is not a requirement on The High-Five Diet, it’s highly recommended for maximum weight-loss and better health. She makes it easier to go dairy-free by providing substitutions for foods that typically contain dairy, and there’s over 40 dairy-free, sugar-free, calorie and carb-controlled recipes included, like lemon bars, cookies, pudding, meat loaf, tacos, chili, casseroles, and burgers.

To read a few chapters of the book, and/or order a copy through Amazon, go to https://www.amazon.com/High-Five-Diet-Easiest-Weight-Loss-ebook/dp/B01HSIM6NA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468641914&sr=1-1&keywords=the+high-five+diet

my favorite high-protein entrée: Asian-Moroccan Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

Fit Girl's Asian-Moroccan Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

This is one of my favorite dishes. It’s low-calorie, high-protein, low-fat, full of lots of vegetables, low in carbs, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and totally tasty! It’s easy to prepare too; just throw everything in the fry pan, and the leftovers taste just as good reheated in the microwave.

I typically add maple syrup, but I wanted to achieve the same balance of sweetness with whole foods, so I added chopped red onion and carrots, and a little bit of cinnamon. The coconut aminos give it additional sweetness with a Asian-Hawaiian flair. I went bold and added powdered ginger and turmeric, which turned out to be a wonderful Asian-Moroccan combination, that, somehow, works beautifully. The cilantro adds freshness and the toasted cashews give it the finishing decadent crunch.

Asian-Moroccan Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

  • 1-lb lean ground turkey breast (you can use ground turkey, but that has more fat)
  • Small green cabbage, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground fennel
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • Bunch of chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Optional toppings:

  • Roasted salted cashews, roasted salted peanuts, or sesame seeds
  • Sriracha sauce

 

Directions: Put the ground turkey in a large heated fry-pan on medium-high heat, and chop, browning the turkey (don’t add any oil). When the pan is really hot and looks like it going to smoke, add the cabbage, onions and carrots. Keep moving the ingredients with a spatula, breaking up any large pieces of turkey, and incorporating the vegetables into the meat. Cover to steam the vegetables, which brings out the moisture, and cooks all the ingredients. Alternate, stirring the vegetables and covering them every two minutes until all the meat is cooked (there should be no pink) and the vegetables are soft (but not mushy). Add the spices and coconut aminos. Stir and cook another two minutes. Take off the heat element, add sesame oil, chives and cilantro. Stir again so all the ingredients are combined.

To serve, place a few tablespoons on a plate, and top with a splash or two of coconut aminos, a little bit of sriracha sauce, and a tablespoon of roasted salted cashews.

Serves 6

For over 40 of my favorite tried-and-true dairy-free recipes found in my cookbook, go to http://www.thehighfivediet.com

It might not be belly fat. It could be inflammation. How to counter it.

milk and pastries; inflammatory foods

We may not realize we have chronic low-grade inflammation, but certainly an inability to lose bodyfat can be one sign. While everyone responds to foods differently, there’s certain foods everyone should avoid.

Avoid:

  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Wheat & gluten
  • Foods with chemicals (which is why I try to always buy certified organic items)

Other foods cause issues for some people, but not others. If you’ve eliminated all of the above items from your diet and still have weight or digestive issues (even after using probiotics), try removing some or all of the items below:

Foods to limit or avoid:

  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Pineapple
  • Fatty meats

If a food doesn’t make you feel good, no matter if it’s on this list or not, don’t eat it. I have issues with all of the foods on the “avoid” list, and some issues with foods on the “limit or avoid” list. For instance: sugar makes my joints hurt. Dairy makes me have an immediate anaphylactic response. Wheat and gluten makes me feel uncomfortably full. Non-organic compounds bothers my stomach, and makes my throat swell. Pineapple makes my throat hurt, and fatty meats make me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack.

Completely changing the way you eat is really hard, stressful, and not always the best method. Try your best to stick to eliminating the foods on the “avoid” list for a full 30-days. If you feel good after 30 days and that excess fat is starting to melt away, stay with it; but if you don’t feel 100% and/or that stubborn fat isn’t budging even after cutting back calories, you might want to avoid some or all of the items on the 2nd list.

P.S. You can buy sprouted grains, and soak beans before eliminating grains and beans to see if that helps you.

P.P.S. I’m currently trying to limit my peanut consumption, but this one is really hard for me because I LOVE peanuts.

 

 

 

NutraGen Plant protein review

Nutragen Plant protein

 

At the gym, I got a free sample of Nutragen’s Pure Plant chocolate and vanilla protein powders. What I like is that it’s certified organic, vegan, and it doesn’t have rice (since rice has naturally occurring arsenic). What I didn’t like is that it has sugar, in the form of coconut sugar (it’s still sugar), and it’s high in calories.

I blended the chocolate flavor with 1 ½ frozen bananas, and one cup of water. It tasted chalky and the sweetness from the monk fruit was overwhelming and unpleasant. I added one level teaspoon of coco powder and some raspberries to balance the sweetness, which helped, but it wasn’t a smoothie I’d ever want to drink again. It’s 130 calories, which is on the high-side, and just 3 grams of carbs which is nice and low.

The following day, I blended the vanilla flavor with 1 frozen banana and one cup of water. The final product was a very thin consistency (I should have used coconut milk instead of water), with an unpleasant synthetic vanilla flavor, and the sweetness from too much monk fruit was intolerable. I added a few large frozen strawberries, and blended it again, which improved the taste of my smoothie, but the overall flavor and texture gives this protein powder a big thumbs-down. This is one of the worst flavors of protein powders I have tried. It’s also ridiculously high in calories at a whopping 145 for 21 grams of protein. A protein powder should be around 100 calories, unless you’re trying to bulk and gain weight.

There’s better tasting vegan protein powders out there that have fewer calories. My favorite to date is the from the brand Tone it Up which I get from Target.

 Here’s the link if you want to try it, but after reading my review, I’m doubting you want to: https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Plant-Protein-Powder-Vegan/dp/B00ZB3BG0Y/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1530055492&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=nutragen+pure+plant+protein+vanilla

P.S. Take a look at my website product page and take a peek at www.thehighfivediet.com

get more protein without eating more of it

eggs.a good source of protein

Seems like everyone is trying to eat more protein to build muscle and to get lean, but more protein means more calories. And if you’re getting your protein from animal sources, that means additional saturated fat and cholesterol. For someone eating a low-calorie, vegan diet, getting enough protein can be a challenge. A probiotic, BC30, helps absorb and utilize protein; it might even reduce muscle damage and increase recovery (1).

 

  1. Source: Runestad, Todd. “The Pros of Probiotics. 6 Health Benefits of Probiotics Beyond Digestion.” Delicious Living. June 2017. Pages 37, 39. Print. 

Mediterranean Diet isn’t always healthy

 

We’ve been told the Mediterranean Diet is healthy and that we should all try to follow this diet, but it’s actually unhealthy if people aren’t eating quality olive oil, are consuming too much olive oil (regardless of quality), if the food contains pesticides, if people aren’t eating whole grains, and/or are consuming too many calories (1). This study, from the Italian Research Institute IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed, of 18,000 people from southern Italy from 3/2005 to 4/2010 also showed that those who ate more fish and drank a moderate amount of alcohol were the healthiest of the bunch (1).

P.S. The recent revelation in the news about a flawed Mediterranean study’s results being retracted, was a different study (not the one mentioned above) in Spain with only 7447 people. The results from that study revealed that a Med Diet reduces heart disease. Even though that study had quality-control issues, it is still generally recognized that a Med Diet is good for heart health (2).

Sources: (1) Scutti, Susan. “The Mediterranean Diet Doesn’t Benefit Everyone.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Aug. 2017. Web. 19 June 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/31/health/mediterranean-diet-heart-benefits-socioeconomic-study/index.html

(2) Kolata, Gina. “That Huge Mediterranean Diet Study Was Flawed, but Was It Wrong?” The New York Times [New York] 13 June 2018, Health sec.: n. pag. Print.

add’l sources:

(3) https://www.pritikin.com/mediterranean-diet-healthy

(4) https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/02/06/how-healthy-is-the-mediterranean-diet/

(5) https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/13/619619302/errors-trigger-retraction-of-study-on-mediterranean-diets-heart-benefits

 

 

Your diet is working, but this is why you need to change it.

white shirt leaning against wall.jpg

Since I have a certification in fitness nutrition, and published a diet book, and a healthy dessert cookbook, people tell me what they eat, or what their diets consist of. Just because a diet is working, i.e. they are losing weight, and maybe their cholesterol and blood sugar is down, doesn’t mean their diet is healthy. Whenever calories are reduced, weight loss and numbers typically go down, but being healthy is more than just pant size and scores.

A certified fitness trainer told me about her high protein, low-calorie, low-carb diet. She gave me the amount of calories, total number of carbs, and total grams of protein she was told to eat on her new diet to see what I thought about it; I was shocked, because the proportions were totally out of whack. For her size, the protein (all from animal sources) was much too high, and the amount of carbs was much too low. I told her that much protein will increase her cholesterol, and tax her kidneys. I suggested she lower total overall protein, and to make sure some of that protein was from non-animal sources.

The amount of carbohydrates she was told to eat was also off; it was way too low for the type and amount of exercise she did daily. Extremely low carbs, usually means low energy since food is fuel. After a few months on that high-protein, low-carb diet, she looked leaner. She lost body fat and people were complementing her, but she felt terrible. Sometimes she had so little energy, that she couldn’t exercise at all. Her weight loss stopped too. She went to the doctor and was diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol, and was told that her kidneys were not functioning as well as they could. She finally stopped eating so much animal protein, cut out red meat, and increased her carbs, but it took a doctor’s lab work before she made the changes.

A bodybuilder with bodyfat in the single digits, (that’s really low, which is why he has an 8-pack) told me that he eats ground beef, rice, ice cream, milk and chicken breast, that’s it. While he looks really fit and healthy, he admitted that he has to take energy drinks to get through his day, and fiber in order to have a bowel movement. I told him he needs to swap out the rice and dairy with fruit and vegetables instead, but he’s sticking to his diet because it’s “working.”

Your diet is NOT working if you are tired, grumpy, hungry all the time, have trouble sleeping, are breaking out with blemishes, and/or are constipated. A good weight-loss diet doesn’t require supplements, energy drinks, fat burners, or fiber pills. You shouldn’t eat the same foods every day. A diet shouldn’t be limiting, and should include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

My seemingly endless amounts of energy isn’t hereditary, neither is my clear skin (I don’t even wear foundation). I have lots of energy, and my skin is clear because I eat fruit and vegetables every day, sleep 7-8 hours each night, and am always trying new recipes with different ingredients.

Diets have a negative connotation because there are so many terrible ones out there, but you don’t need to starve yourself, or eat a restrictive diet to lose weight. Nutritional deficiencies from inadequate diets cause disease. Just because a diet is working, doesn’t mean it will keep you healthy.

P.S. For my diet plan, my favorite recipes, and everything you need to know about nutrition for healthy, sustained weight-loss, order your copy of my paperback book from www.thehighfivediet.com

Photo: me

 

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