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Barbecue Chicken Baked Sweet Potatoes

When there’s nothing to eat and you don’t want to spend a lot of time or energy cooking, a stuffed baked potato is an easy, filling, and affordable option that will please the whole family. Just bake (or microwave) a potato and fill it with your favorite healthy toppings (like steamed veggies, salsa, and plain Greek yogurt). The flavor options are endless!

The five ingredients in this recipe pack a bold punch: baked sweet potatoes are stuffed with shredded chicken that’s drenched in smoky barbecue sauce then topped with piquant pickled onions (or chopped red onions) and fresh parsley or cilantro. It’s comfort food at its best.

If you already have baked sweet potatoes and leftover chicken ready, you can put this dinner together in less than 10 minutes. For a complete meal, serve each baked sweet potato with a green salad or vegetables like broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts that can be roasted on the same baking sheet as the potatoes or steamed in a separate pot.

Servings:   2 servings 1 sweet potato and ¾ cup chicken each
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:

  •  2 sweet potatoes, washed, pierced several times with a fork
  •  1.5 cups shredded cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless, warm
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, reduced-sugar, warm
  • 1/4 cup Quick Pickled Red Onions (or 2 Tbsp. chopped red onions) (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro) (for garnish; optional)
  • Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise.
  • Top sweet potatoes evenly Quick Pickled Red Onions and chicken mixture. Sprinkle evenly with parsley; serve immediately.

Here are your instructions:

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Pierce each sweet potato 3 to 4 times with a fork.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender.
  • While sweet potato is baking, combine chicken and barbecue sauce in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.

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Tips:

Look for barbecue sauce that has an ingredient list that does not contain artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. There are many brands on the market that are sweetened with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
Use Healthy Barbecue Sauce as a homemade alternative to store-bought barbecue sauce.

For more delicious recipes click here

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Why You Need More Than Cardio

Whether we have recently began trying to trim our bodies down or have been on the journey for some time now, the question continues to arise. Do you burn more calories through cardio exercise or weight training exercise and which one will help us lose the most weight? While the easy, non-committal answer is it just depends on your own particular body type and your specific fitness goals, it is important to understand the benefits of each type of exercise so that you may maximize your success. Below is some very pertinent information about both weight training and cardio based exercise.

Burn Calories NOW!

Exercise sessions that focus solely around cardio activities can be very valuable. This type of exercise regimen can burn through calories in large chunks and do so fast. Cardio exercise burns more calories than weight training during the period you are exercising. So, the key to losing weight is burning more calories during your cardio than you are consuming throughout the day. One thing to keep in mind, cardio can be hard and draining on the body.  Not only that, studies show that some cardio workouts such as excessive running, treadmill, power walking, and biking can age you faster than other exercise routines.  Because cardio only burns during your session you will need to take in large amounts of good calories to be able to keep exercise levels intense.

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Want to Burn Calories LONGER?

Workout routines that center around weight training can be valuable even for those of us not wishing to bulk up. Weight training can begin with you using your body weight.  Just because you are lifting weights does not mean you aren’t going to lose weight.

The benefit of weight training exercise is that it has been shown to burn calories much longer after the exercise is over compared to cardio training. So, even after you finish that last rep and hit the showers your body is still burning through calories.

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Use Beachbody, Achieve Both!

Beachbody programs such as P90x, Insanity, The Master’s Hammer and Chisel and many more are designed specifically to give you the best of both worlds. They incorporate both, simple cardio exercises to get our heart rate elevated while also providing exercise sets including weight training.

Whether it be through body weight lifting techniques or low-weight high-rep exercises, your muscles will be worked hard and calories will be burned like no other exercise. Using Beachbody programs to trim your body into shape can provide you with both the benefits of quick calorie burn through cardio and also the extended burn of weight training exercise.

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Get Started today for free.  I’ll coach you along the way so we can transform the inside along with the outside.  True health and wellness includes both.

Until Next Time,

Nicole

Remember sharing is caring.  Spread the word.😉

 

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6 Ways To Kick The Halloween Sugar Binge

Okay Halloween has passed so let’s get over the sugar binge and on to your goals of eating healthy and implementing some form of exercise.  Not just any movement, exercise that will get you results.

This is for you if you’ve been kicking butt with your exercise but the candy got your nutrition off track.  This is the beginning of the holiday season where a lot of temptation will be coming your way.  I have a few tips for you to keep you on track and away from the old plateau.

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1. Be Sure to Drink Water

Drinking water is an easy way to flush fat and toxins.  A lot of people recommend drinking half your weight in water, but for some that may not be possible.  I say drink at least 8 glasses.  If you don’t like the taste of plain water or lemon water infuse your water with fruit flavors that you enjoy.  Too much water can actually flush out some of the minerals your body needs.  Monitor the color of your urine.

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2. Not Watching Your Portions

 Although foods are considered healthy, you don’t want to go overboard.  Eating clean doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat as much as you want when you want.  Pay attention to how much you are eating using our easy portion-control containers .  This will help you to stay on track and to make sure you don’t eat too much!

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3. Watch Out For Hidden Sugar

Sugar is almost everywhere. It’s not only in our pastries and desserts, but it’s also in our coffee, in our soup, even in salad dressings! The average American consumes over 100 pounds of sugar each year, according to the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and our love affair with sweetness has major health implications. If you’re struggling to kick the habit, rest assured you’re not alone. Princeton researchers found that sugar addiction ignites the same neural pathways as heroin, with lab rats working desperately to satisfy their cravings. Sugar is a generic term used to describe carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates (e.g., brown rice and whole wheat bread) function differently than simple carbs, such as processed sugar and corn syrup. Consuming simple sugars may contribute to irritability, depression, and intense hunger cravings. Sugar robs the body of nutrition.

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The American Heart Association advises no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day for women and no more than nine for men.

Sugar also has many names.  Look for words that end in -ose and ingredients like cane juice, turbinado, dextrin, and malt syrup.

Now we are not saying you can never have sugar.  Enjoying an occasional treat is okay.  There are times when a little added sugar may benefit you, particularly in a well-designed supplement, such as the way it replenishes glycogen in various Beachbody Performance products.

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4. Enjoy a Smoothie or Natural Green Juice Daily

Juicing is an easy way to get your daily fruits and vegetables, but that green juice may not be as healthy as you think it is. Most juicers remove the pulp (or fiber) from the fruit. But the fiber in fruits and vegetables is just as important as the vitamins and minerals in the juice: Fiber helps you feel more full and slows down the digestion of the fruit and vegetable sugars, so you don’t get that blood sugar spike.

Juices also lack fat, and fat can help your body absorb key vitamins like A, D, E, and Kmore easily. A smoothie with protein, fiber, and fat is a more balanced option.

4 Common Food Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

5. Eat More Salads

 Unfortunately all salads are not healthy.  Just because you are eating a salad doesn’t mean its conducive to your healthy lifestyle goals.  When dining out, a chicken avocado salad at a popular restaurant chain weighs in at a whopping 1,870 calories. And McDonald’s kale salad is loaded with more calories and sodium than a Double Big Mac.

Why?  It’s usually the salad dressing which can be high in calories.  Most salads also come with additional toppings like cheese, nuts, and candied fruit.

When dining out, ask for the extras on the side.  Be sure to read the fine print before your order, or check the menu online before you go and decide what you want before you get there.

Eating better doesn’t have to be hard — the key is to be mindful of what and how much you’re eating and you’ll be well on your way to crushing that “eat healthy” goal.

6. Do A Reset 

What is a reset?  A reset is a form of cleansing that helps you to break bad habits in a short period of time.  Unlike other cleanses you will not be in the restroom all day.  Unlike juice fasts or liquid cleanses that are high in sugar and low in protein (which can leave you feeling weak and sluggish), the 3-Day Refresh is scientifically designed to help support your metabolism while nourishing your vital organs.* Plus, you actually get to eat delicious, real food during this program.

If you want to crush the cravings, try a 3 Day Refresh which is an all natural cleanse that wont leave you pooping all day.  This reset will help you get back on track with your nutrition goals.

Thanks for stopping by and remember, It’s Your Body, O.W.N. it!

some information taken from my Beachbody website blog.

3 Reasons to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils  have been used in medicine practices for centuries and have been said to have multiple uses when it comes to the healing process within the body. For us, we typically just think of them as something that smells pretty good. But these powerful plant extracts can aid in our journey to become more fit and help us to stay in shape. Many essential oils can now be found at your local supermarket. They are also easily made at home with a few ingredients if you would like a new DIY project to try. Creating your own essential oils and aromas can be a fun project and are a great holiday gift for friends, co-workers, and family. Please remember these oils can be very potent when not diluted so make sure you follow all directions on labels or consult a physician before placing directly on your skin. Some of the benefits of using essential oils call for it to be massaged into sore areas, but in some cases where it is not used correctly can cause a skin irritation.

The main essential oils to be on the lookout for are:

  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lavender

Peppermint is a wonderful essential oil that can help curb our appetite when used properly. While it is a strong smell and maybe not for everyone, smelling a small amount of peppermint oil throughout the day and before meals can help the body feel fuller, thus helping us from overeating. This can be extremely beneficial at the beginning of a lifestyle change. Most who have started 21 Day Fix feel the amount of food consumed is still close to what they were eating before just in smaller portions and more frequently throughout the day. Smelling peppermint before your meal will help in the adjustment and allow your body to get acquainted to a new eating routine.

PeppermintWorkouts can be tough! They are constructed to be easily repeated and help get you into a routine of doing them on a daily basis. Compared to most exercise routines with free weights and hard joint pounding when running on pavement, Beachbody programs are effective and easier on the body. That doesn’t mean muscles will not be sore and tired after your workout.

Tea tree oils (or melaluca) are used to relieve aches and pains in muscles post workout. Remember as stated before, it is smart to make sure you have no allergies and to follow all directions before starting to add this into your daily routine. Tea tree oil can be massaged into painful sore spots such as feet, knees, shoulders, and hands. Your pains may not even be from your exercise routine. Maybe you have arthritis in your hands from work that is preventing you from even starting an exercise program. Tea tree could help get you on the right track.

tea treeWe have all been told many times that sleep is one of the biggest ingredients in the process of leading a healthier lifestyle. Well I am here to tell you again! With the daily regimen of working a job, stresses and responsibilities of everyday life, and starting/sticking with an exercise routine….the body needs to shut down and refuel properly. Lavender oils can be calming helping us fall asleep faster and remain in a deep sleep longer. Low energy levels are one of the largest components of someone getting off track and skipping a day in their fitness routine. After a poor night of sleep and then a long day of work, it is easy to come up with excuses as to why you are too tired to work out. By ensuring that your body is properly recharged, you wake up feeling refreshed and energized allowing yourself to do all the things you need to accomplish. And that includes exercise!

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Incorporate essential oils into your life today.  Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit

 

5 Tips to Overcome Adrenal Fatigue

Did you know 80 percent of people in the world will be affected by adrenal fatigue; according to author, James Wilson who wrote,  “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome".  Adrenal fatigue, can be a major contributor of excess fat storage and low energy levels.

What are Adrenal Glands

The adrenals are two little triangle shaped glands that sit above your kidneys and they are responsible for fight or flight response. They release hormones in response to stress.  These hormones are: cortisol, epinephrine (adrenalin), and norepinephrine, and all of theses are essential to our survival. However, sometimes, they get turned on and we “forget” to turn them off.

How Does Our Adrenals Go Into Overdrive

  • Poor Diet
  • Stressing
  • Environmental toxins
  • Medication
  • Lack of sleep
  • Over exercising

Ways to Recover From Adrenal Fatigue

If we are consistently following our exercise routine, our body may start to develop some level of fatigue. This is normal. But if our body is not recovering after a good night’s sleep and normal fatigue turns into daily fatigue, then we may have a problem. Fatigue can keep us from exercising on a regular basis and can even begin to take a toll on our work, social, and home life. Here are a few tips to help fight fatigue and keep your body functioning at its best.

Decrease Stress

It’s easy to assume that most people have at least a small amount of stress in their lives. Finding ways to minimize and decrease any stress that you may have will allow your body to fight fatigue and remain energized. Calming your mind and body at night so that you may have uninterrupted rest will allow your body to recover and prepare for the day ahead. If you are in the middle of a period of increased fatigue, try finding an exercise program such as 3 Week Yoga Retreat that can utilize the calming benefits of yoga to help reduce stress.
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Healthy Food Choices

So much of how you feel depends on what you put into your body.   If you are eating unhealthy, processed foods, you are much more likely to feel lethargic and unmotivated to exercise.

Hydrate.  Fatigue will also set in much faster if you are not hydrating your body properly. Especially during intense exercise sessions, is it vital to focus on your water intake so that you can replace what your body is releasing through sweat.

  • Eat more home cooked meals.
  • Foods that are rich in omega 3 such as salmon, walnuts
  • Coconut
  • Olives, Avocado
  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Nuts, such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds
  • chia and flaxseed (great addition to a smoothie)
  • Kelp and seaweed

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Foods to Avoid

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Processed and Microwaved Foods
  • Hydrogenated oils – Vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation

Proper Exercise

As mentioned before, it is important to differentiate between chronic and debilitating fatigue compared to normal post workout fatigue. Our fitness goals will require us to push our bodies but if we are at a point that we are so worn out that our normal responsibilities are tough to complete, we must listen to what our body is telling us.

When you are experiencing fatigue choose a light to moderate form of exercise.  Beachbody exercise programs are designed perfectly to get the most out of our bodies without putting too much stress on joints and muscles causing the wrong type of fatigue to occur.  Tai Chi, Yoga are some of my favorite fatigue busting fitness routines.  Finding an exercise routine that fits your fitness plan will help improve total fitness while also keeping your body feeling fresh and healthy.

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These steps will help but remember to overcome fatigue you must take care of yourself and rest.

Avoid negative conversations and people.  Find happiness in small things.  Laugh often. Take naps.  Try to go to bed on a schedule so you can get as much sleep as possible.  Turn off electronic devices or put on do not disturb function at least an hour or 2 before bed.  Adjust the temperature in your room that allows you to sleep comfortably.  Make your room your place of peace, free of disturbance.

Remember, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.  Make time for yourself.  Begin a daily routine that includes only you.  No feeling guilty allowed.  If you have to start by locking yourself in the bathroom or your closet for 20 minutes then that’s what you do.  Eventually everyone will get used to it and you can ease into the bedroom or your own little comfortable space that you can create.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest so let’s enjoy ourselves.

Until Next Time,

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle partner/change agent

5 Reasons To Give Yoga A Try

Multiple Beachbody programs incorporate yoga into their routines and allow you to get just a taste of the benefits yoga can provide to your body.  Beachbody now has an entire program centered around the wonderful way to trim, tone, and get your body in shape fast with Yoga!  Here are a few of the reasons 3 Week Yoga Retreat could be the fitness program you are looking for!

YOGA IS GREAT FOR ALL AGES

Yoga can be a lifesaver for those who may suffer from debilitating injuries that may keep them from exercising the way they wish. Whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 80’s yoga can provide benefits to your body. Yoga releases pressure on joints and muscles, and can help aid in injuries anywhere from knee, shoulder, back, neck, and ankle injuries. After physical exercises or just the grind of a normal workday, using a yoga based exercise program like 3 Week Yoga Retreat will help keep you flexible, functional and most importantly injury free!

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FLEXIBILITY

Increasing one’s flexibility can be pivotal when trying to improve overall fitness. As you build muscle mass, it is easy to forget how important flexibility can be. You need to remain functional with your new body and take stress off your joints and muscles. It is easy to become focused on your new found love of weight training but increasing your flexibility helps you continue to perform everyday tasks easily.

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METABOLISM

Stretching and strengthening your core has a massive benefit to your body’s functions and how it works. Yoga can improve how your digestive system and liver, both of which have a large impact on your metabolism perform. In this beginner’s yoga program, you will develop a strong base of poses that will not only benefit your body on the outside but on the inside as well.

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INCREASED ENERGY & FOCUS

A main component of what yoga is centered around is relaxation of the body and mind. By relaxing your body and muscles, stress and pressure can begin to release and you will feel re-energized. Using 3 Week Yoga Retreat can help you feel refreshed and allow you to maintain higher energy levels throughout your day.

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GET STRONGER

Although yoga is typically done with your own body weight, it can still be used to increase your muscle strength. Holding poses for extended periods of time involve isometric contractions in your muscle groups. Yoga poses also ask you to hold the weight of your body in various positions that will strengthen the muscles and help get you stronger.

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If you are injured, recovering from an injury ,or dealing with chronic pain you DO NOT want to ignore it. Of course injuries should be evaluated by your healthcare practitioner so start there first. Most injuries can be handled appropriately through modification, adaptation, or alternative forms of exercise such as yoga.

Sometimes movement is the best medicine.If you are dealing with chronic pain you may also want to consider the very real possibility that you inactive lifestyle is causing the chronic pain.  Download this free yoga pose for back pain picture:

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