Remember when we had snack time at school?

Heyyy Healthy People!!!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thursday! I wanted to blog about SNACKS. Remember when it was so much fun to hang out during snack time in our grade school years? Pass the snacks, trade your mom’s cookies for someone’s mom’s other type of cookies. HA.

Well tonight I wanted to blog about VEGAN snacks since that’s what I have been eating and I think it would be great even if you don’t want to become a vegan to eat vegan option from time to time. Or maybe a way to transition into a more vegan focused lifestyle. Have you seen Forks Over Knives? You can rent it on Netflix and it’s a MUST see.

Here’s a few:

ANDDD for all of you non-vegan’s I hope your face isn’t like this:

1.) Veggies and Hummus…mhmm (I like to add fresh chopped up Garlic to my hummus)

2.) SOY Yogurt!!! Check it out: I get the vanilla and love to add frozen raspberries to it, SOOO good!

VEGAN!

3.) Handful of pretzels

4.) OREOS?? WHO knew these were Vegan?? Pretty cool/full of sugar so eat in moderation!

5.) Edamame!

6.) Vegan Trail Mix (Just look at the ingredients or buy at a specified vegan section, a lot have yogurt bits and chocolate etc…)\

7.) Rice Cakes…you can spread Natural PB on them or add garlic powder!

8.) Nuts and Sunflower Seeds

9.) Granola Bars or Protein Bars (just double check the ingredients, no eggs, dairy, butter etc etc etc)

10.) Organic Applesauce

11.) Banana Chips

12.) Any fruit Obviously!

13.) Or veggies mhmmm

14.) Smoothie!

15.) Veggies with  goddess dressing

16.) Dried fruit such as dates, mangos, raisins (beware a lot of these have added sugars)

17.) Popcorn! You can top it with nutritional yeast! (make sure it’s air popped, everything else has butter on it!)

18.) Banana or organic apple with Peanut Butter

So these are just a few options but you can get fun and creative with vegan cheeses and dressings and stuff! The whole idea is to not go hungry and have everything be tasty and satisfying!

As this week finishes I have exactly one more week of classes in my undergraduate career. Seems crazy to me how fast time has flown by! I look forward to moving back down to Florida and Working at my new job at Athletic Edge in Bradenton, FL. But I will miss JMU more than I can probably even imagine at this point. So blessed and thankful for all of these experiences and opportunities.

Have you been keeping up with this week’s fitness challenge?

Don’t forget to head over to my FITfloridian Facebook page and like it!!!

Enjoy your day tomorrow.

Happy eating and exercising!!!

XOXO,

Jess

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7am Cycle Fitness…Favorite class

GOOOOD Morning Healthy People!!!

When I teach morning spin classes… I have a 5:00 am wake up call… Something I actually volunteer for, call me nuts.

Even though I wanted to lay in bed like this…

I was ready to go and happy to give everyone a great morning workout. Here was the playlist we used:

1.) Boyfriend by Justin Bieber (don’t laugh this song is good lol)

2.) Jet Lag by Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield

3.) Where Have You Been? by Rihanna

4.) Rain Over Me by Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony

5.) Free by Graffiti6

6.) Lights (Bassnectar Remix) by Ellie Goulding

7.) Enough is Enough by Avicii

8.) Epic by Sandro Silva and Quintino

9.) Glad You Came by The Wanted

10.) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) by Benny Benassi

11.) What is Love? -Reloaded by Haddaway

12.) Show me Love (club mix) by Michael Mind

13.) Waiting for Tonight by Jennifer Lopez

14.) Drunk on You by Luke Bryan (favorite song right now, reminds me of summer)

15.) Come Away to the Water by Maroon 5 (aah the Hunger Games soundtrack….)

This playlist is great for running, cycling or working out in general!!!

Disclaimer: whatever you do please refrain from dancing like this:

It is Hump Day today so get your workout on. Remember to keep up with our no Sugar Challenge of the week and don’t forget to like my facebook page for extra motivators 🙂

Happy eating and exercising!

xoxo,

Jess

Health Challenge of the Week!

Hey Healthy People!!!

I hope you had a restful weekend and Happy Easter.  How many chocolate bunnies did you eat? haha just kidding! So I hope you got your needed sugar fix in this Easter because the fitness challenge of the week is…..

So this will be tough!!! You will have to say no to all desserts (choose fruit!!!). No cookies, sugar in coffee etc… Don’t go all Splenda on me eitherrr friends…that stuff isn’t good for you. Try Stevia!

Also if you haven’t already please go to my facebook page and “like” it/me!!! Wooo http://www.facebook.com/FITfloridian  I will be checking in this week to see how we’re all doing. And if you’re reading this blog now and it’s not Sunday night…No worries. You too can start this whole health nut thing and cleanse your body of sugar starting now. Give it a try for a week.  It will be hard at first but eventually become easier and easier as you gain control over your cravings. Don’t let sugar be the enemy!

What to do? Load up on the fruits and vegetables. Drink tons and tons of water! Remember this is basically a detox so the water will help cleanse your body! Drink herbal tea with stevia or just plain.  Have a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to help satisfy those cravings. Also…check out my sugar free “Earth” cookies, but remember portion sizes (1-2 cookies/serving) YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

Happy Eating and Exercising!

Xoxo,

Jess

Let’s Juice it up!

Hey Healthy People!!!

I haven’t blogged the past two days because we had a BLACKOUT! Seriously candles and flashlights for the majority of the night on Wednesday…perfect timing for Wednesday Wine Night of course.  Anyways that killed the Internet until today. Andddd by the way I made a Facebook page, so if you like my blog please like my page!!!

I saw a comment from a reader about juice recipes. Maybe some people don’t even know what “juicing” is…I for sure was confused about it a ways back.  You may even be scared at the thought of it. Like ew…gross..vegetables and fruit in a drink:

BUT!!! Seriously what it gives you is a phenomenal amount of micronutrients…those little bad boys located in healthy fruits and veggies.  It’s basically the best vitamin you can get.  I wrote in a previous post ( click here ) about the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that actually convinced we to start juicing.  People do it for all sorts of reasons such as cleanses, addition to their weekly diet, or weight loss.  Today I started to do it for a two day cleanse because I wasn’t feeling so hot these past couple of weeks and could use some nutrients to kick my immune system back into gear!

Here’s my grocery list: (choose Organic!!!)

1.) Kale

2.) Apples

3.) Lemon/Lime

4.) Ginger Root

5.) Carrots

6.) Celery

7.) Cucumbers

8.) Oranges

So on my Juicer there are two speeds, low and high.  Low is for items that are softer such as orange slices and kale. The high speed is for apple slices (with the skins on!), carrots, cucumbers etc…

I always begin with the prep stage of course. Make sure no matter how organic or how much they say they washed the item…WASH IT! My parents even convinced me to invest in a “veggie wash”

Then I chop up or divide my items.  For instance Kale just pulls apart, I use about 1/3 of the bushel.

I cut up one apple into wedges leaving the skin on!

Keep the skin on a lime and cut one wedge off of it. Refrigerate the rest…this is flavorful!

Carrots are good as is (I used 3 large ones).  I slice a cucumber in half perpendicularly to how it is length wise. Skin stay on for that too, the Green skin of a cucumber is a great nutrient source.

I chop a little piece off of the ginger root…it definitely looks weird and adds A LOT of flavor I realized…so be weary if you hate that taste don’t use it!

Ginger Root

Then the fun part starts. Turn on that babyyy and let’s juice! I start slow adding the kale and lime. Then speed it up and add the rest. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go. You will notice the skins and other parts are being disposed of in a separate area (compost??).

It might not look the prettiest but I stick a straw in it and slurp it up. The thing with juicing is that the micronutrients once broken down into this form dissolve very quickly so you won’t get the same effect from it if you don’t drink it right away!!!

It’s actually quite filling and surprisingly tasty.  I will be posting other juicing recipes in the future as well! I hope you have kept up with the fitness challenge of the week, night time planks before bed!! And that you have been exercising at least almost every day.  Thanks so much for reading my blog. Don’t forget to like my facebook page!!!

Happy eating and exercising!!

XOXO,

J

The Eve of Veganism

Tomorrow I become a full on vegan for a month. The 12th to the 12th. The reason I am doing this challenge is in part because of the comments by a few readers who have some experience with veganism as well as just a cleanse for myself. Sometimes it is good to change up what we eat every now and then, at least in my opinion, to give our body a sort of detox from what it is constantly consuming.  So this weekend was a tad bit dramatic but included all of the foods I was going to go without.  Erego, the last supper (s).

Two Sushi Rolls for my Goodbye Dinner

 

 

Sushi might be one of my absolute favorite foods so I will be sad to see it go but I am really looking forward to noticing any changes in my body and energy. Tonight I had a sister FROYO date with my mini me.

Sydney ❤

 

 

My friends have had a lot to say or rather “laugh” at with this whole plant based diet I believe in. From jokes about how my future kids are going to go crazy when they hit their teens and rebel by eating McDonald’s hamburgers…to how I am out of my mind, our bodies NEED meat. I am a firm believer that healthy food is what fosters a healthy soul.  And what we eat greatly effects our susceptibility to illness, fatigue, diseases etc. For the most part I am really laughing too…I mean they all have great points that I can only fight to a certain degree.  And I understand that because I haven’t had red meat since I was four years old it is much easier for me to convert to what is deemed such a radical dietary change.

 

Essentially, this process is going to be an exciting month. I run the Shamrock Half Marathon next Sunday in Virginia Beach and for the first time in any race I will not be starting it off with a Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar.  This diet will take time to be thoughtful about and experiment within the kitchen and it will encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone when eating out. I plan on buying a cookbook as soon as I’m back in Virginia. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

 

Bring it on plant based foods!

xoxo,

J

To become a vegan or to not…that is the question

At four years old I decided to stop eating red meat because I wanted to be more like my mom. I kept eating chicken for a while but soon after gave that up too as a kid. In 8th grade I gave up eggs just because the thought of them freaked me out but started eating them again in high school because I needed “protein in my diet.”  I occasionally eat fish…so you could call me a “pescatarian.”  The Mediterranean diet has been noted by a lot of researchers and doctors of the health benefits to following a diet of lean proteins, no red meats, lots of fruits and veggies and very little breads and simple sugars.

 

But in this world, not eating steak or a hamburger is sometimes like having the plague. When I admit that I don’t eat meat….that’s usually the face I get (below).

YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN??? HOW?!?!?

Then there are always those people when asked why they are a vegetarian/vegan/raw dieter etc etc… act like the following:

 

 

But I try to explain myself. I used to think that if I could not physically kill the animal that I should not be allowed to eat it. I have caught and ate fish…I could not see myself killing a cow, or a chicken etc. But that argument was debated by so many carnivores that I sort of gave up on it. I have thought about starting to incorporate meat into my diet. Even my future boss (post-graduation) is convinced red meat is necessary in one’s diet for muscle strength and rebuilding tissues/fibers. However, how does a horse become so muscular and strong? Does it eat meat? no.  There is science that suggests that humans should be plant eaters due to the nature of our jaw. No meat eating animal has the ability to move its jaw side to side. Usually it is an open close, straight up and down mechanism. Look at alligators, dogs, cats, lions…they all have the carnivore jaw.

 

But this does not mean I can tell anyone what they should eat by no means. And I respect the same in return. I often say ohhh yeah I’m weird I don’t eat meat which serves as an ice breaker and also a way to not be served meat. Especially when it sort of grosses you out at this point (no offense but me and the meat aisle at the grocery store stay far away from each other).

 

So I am now contemplating the benefits of becoming a vegan. I know it is a difficult thing to do. I would have to give up my favorite things…omelets, greek yogurt, sushi, and feta cheese. Oh and ICE CREAM. But I am curious to see the effects to my body as a runner and athlete. So I am proposing a one month vegan challenge from March 12th to April 12th. I will post in a section called the “Vegan Diaries” about the recipes I use and the challenges I have. Nonetheless it should be an interesting experience. And the goal of adding more healthy foods to my diet will be assisted by the natural vegan constraints.

Just so you know Vegans must take a supplement called B12 which is only found in animals. Sometimes Vitamin D is taken as well but if you live in a sunny place…like Florida, you don’t need to have that as a supplement.

 

Happy Vegan-ing 

xoxo,

J

 

My Mizunos…

I never knew how attached I could get to a sneaker. It is merely rubber, cotton, and elastic stitched together in a developing country somewhere and shipped to the US to be put on display at Finish Line only to ultimately catch my eye. But my baby blue and lime green Mizuno’s have become my escape from reality. Too deep for a shoe? Well for years I have been running with Asics…they ran two half marathons with me.  But I never had the connection I did with my mizunos.

Maybe it’s because they are my favorite color, or the way they hit the pavement is like I’m gliding instead of running but whenever I run in these I feel like I could run forever. Just last night I suspected I had to run around 8 miles if I was going to be be fit (running fit is totally different than regular fitness in my opinion….) enough to run in the Shamrock Half Marathon in two weeks at Virginia Beach. So just for fun, I let the Mizunos lead me in any direction welcoming the flat Floridian roads under my feet.

Back home for spring break I was definitely looking forward to a new change of scenery for outdoor workouts.  The weather was perfect. I wore a light jacket and running tights because I headed out just before sunset and the breeze added a bit of a chill to my sweaty skin. As my new running playlist buzzed in my ears I got into the groove that runner’s know…that feeling that nothing can stop you, it’s just you, the road and your music.

I found myself unaware of the miles passing by. The Nike+ app would inform me each mile had come and gone and I was keeping up a better speed than usual.  I didn’t let my ankle stop me, or the blister I could feel forming–I was unstoppable.

As the sun began to set I grinned at being lucky enough to be outside to witness it. Running makes you value the outdoors.  I found myself smiling at the birds and the gators I saw in the lakes, the turtles gathering to converse with one another, the flowers that only can exist in a place like Florida, everything just seemed too pretty. Before I knew it only after about an hour of running I hit the 8mile goal with a big congratulations from nike+…I had barely noticed I’d been running for that long and decided to take the longer way home to catch in a mile more. By the end of the run I had run 9.17 miles in an hour and 16 minutes keeping around an 8:15 mile pace. For not running in a long time I had impressed myself and felt a lot less stressed about the upcoming race.

So my advice to you…life is short, invest in a great pair of running shoes. They can make or break your run. My mizunos changed my run. We’ll see how they hold up at this years Shamrock Half Marathon =)

Me at the finish line last year!

And remember, no matter how slow you go never stop. Anyone can run, it’s what our bodies are meant to do. Never give up and you just may surprise yourself.

Have a good run!

xoxo

J

Cheers, it’s Wednesday Wine Night!

I saw this wino, he was eating grapes, and I was like, “Dude, you have to wait.” ~ Mitch Hedberg, Comedian

Below is an article I found from MSNBC.com about the nutritious aspects of wine. Personally I am a Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay girl…but knowing that red wine has significantly higher antioxidants I began to test others out and found that Cabernet Sauvignon is my favorite 🙂

So make Wednesday Wine night a weekly tradition like I do and enjoy a glass of wine or two with a nice healthy dinner. It helps bring the weekend a little bit faster too and is always something to look forward to celebrating with roommates, significant others, and friends.

 

Cheeers! xoxo

 

 

Is wine good for you?

In moderation, a glass or two can help your heart, prevent cancer and more

By Joy Bauer

TODAY.com contributor
updated 6/4/2008 5:26:48 PM E

Is wine good for you?In moderation and as part of an overall healthy diet, the short answer is yes!

Thanks to its alcohol content and non-alcoholic phytochemicals (natural occurring plant compounds), wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

However, the amount of wine you drink matters tremendously. Drink more than what’s recommended, your health benefits are lost and your health risks go up.

Here’s what’s considered safe and effective:

Men: No more than two drinks per day.

Women: No more than one drink per day.

One drink is defined as a 5-ounce glass of red or white wine, 12 ounces of regular beer (1 bottle) or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

The health benefits of wine
When it comes to wine’s health capabilities, here’s what we know:

It’s been well documented that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood. This is thought to be one of the primary cardiovascular benefits from wine (red and white), as well as hard liquor and beer.

Non-alcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as flavanoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.  Although some studies which have focused on the health benefits of resveratrol use much greater dosages than you’ll find in an average glass of wine, resveratrol has been shown to prevent blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries by altering lipid profiles and plasma viscosity.  Findings from a recent study suggest that resveratrol can produce potent anti-thrombotic agents that can potentially improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk for coronary heart disease.  In animal studies, resveratrol reduced tumor incidence by affecting one or more stages of cancer development.

Red wine provides much more resveratrol compared to white. That’s because the longer the skin is kept on the grape during the wine making process, the greater the concentration of resveratrol in the wine. In the case of white wine production, the skin is removed before fermentation, giving white wines a lower concentration in resveratrol compared to red wines. Also, wines made in cooler climates have greater amounts of resveratrol too. Thus, red wine from cool climates have the most resveratrol.

The negative side of wine
Wine, however, is not for everyone. Certain medical conditions are worsened by the consumption of wine, so it’s vital you seek the advice of your personal physician. Here’s a few things to know:

  • High Triglycerides: One downside to wine consumption is that it can elevate triglyceride levels, which is associated with health problems such as diabetes.  Those who already have high triglycerides should, therefore, avoid or dramatically limit their wine (and alcohol) consumption.
  • Breast Cancer Risk: Studies have shown alcohol can increase estrogen levels and raise tumor progression in women with (or at high risk for) estrogen positive breast cancer.
  • Migraines: Wine is often a big trigger for people who suffer with migraine headaches. Although white wine contains more sulfites than red wine (sulfites are added to white wine to preserve its light color), red wine seems to be a much bigger migraine trigger. That’s probably due to the accumulation of histamines and tannins from prolonged contact with the skin.
  • Weight Gain: People who drink alcohol also consume empty calories, calories that lack nutrients and can lead to weight gain.
  • Five ounces white or red wine = approximately 120 calories.  Drink a bottle of wine (4 glasses), and you’ll be consuming about 480 calories (that’s the equivalent of two 20-ounce Cokes!).
  • Here’s how alcohol compares to carbohydrate/protein/fat:
    1 gram carb = 4 calories
    1 gram protein = 4 calories
    1 gram fat = 9 calories
    1 gram alcohol = 7 calories

Joy Bauer is the author of “Food Cures.”  For more information on healthy eating, check out Joy’s Web site at www.joybauernutrition.com

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints