Metabolism-Boosting Morning Smoothie

smoothie

If you ask me what the most important meal of the day is – I’m going to tell you breakfast. No matter how much you hate eating in the mornings, waking up early, or breakfast food in general, you still need to eat! So many people don’t realize that skipping breakfast actually makes you gain weight instead of losing it. Feed yourself something that will boost your metabolism & energize you all day long! With this goal in mind, I came up with this tasty smoothie that will kick your morning metabolism into gear! Plus, since all you need is a blender, even the sleepiest of morning zombies can’t mess this recipe up 😉

Photo (28)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 grapefruit, skin removed
  • 1 banana (preferably ripened & frozen)
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet perfect fit protein (optional)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • stevia or honey to taste

MAKES 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones

Click to view nutrition facts (protein powder & sweeteners not included)

Blend together all the ingredients & you’re done! I sprinkle the cinnamon on top, but you can also blend it along with everything else. If you’re not adding protein powder, I would recommend adding stevia or honey to sweeten it up.

Here’s why this smoothie is a lean, clean, metabolism-burning machine:

perfect fit

I’ve never really been into the idea of protein powder because I always associated it with lots of unnatural chemicals that were being used to bulk up the body. However, perfect fit is made with USDA organic brown rice protein & stevia. There’s nothing unnatural about it and it tastes pretty darn good as far as protein powders go. Protein is so important because it doesn’t just aid in muscle repair, but lean protein has been shown to help with weight loss – so don’t shy away from it!

Try out this metabolism booster for yourself & let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting & be sure to subscribe for more healthy lifestyle tips if you haven’t already!

-SkinnyGirl

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Be a Little Ball of Energy!

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a while, and I finally got around to making it!  It’s my Chocolate Energy Balls! These are a great post-workout snack or a snack for when you’re in dire need of something sweet. I honestly crave these more than cookies sometimes.

Energy Balls

Energy Balls…ZING!

These are so simple to make and are actually good for you! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 TBSP peanut butter (I like the Central Market brand)
  • 1/3 c. old fashioned oats (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 30 dark chocolate chips (about a handful)
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1/8 c. golden raisins
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

MAKES about 9 energy balls (about 3 servings)

Start by throwing all the ingredients in the bowl – at the same time. Couldn’t be easier.

Energy Ball Ingredients

Mix Em’ Up

Stir it all up and then shape into balls. That’s seriously it, you’re already done. You can pop them in the fridge or eat them right now.

Shape Into Balls

Shape Into Balls

I know these aren’t exactly the most photogenic snack…but trust me, if you love chocolate and if you love peanut butter, these will rock your world. Although this recipe isn’t fat free by any means, your body does need some fat & that’s why these are perfect after a workout or long day. They have fiber and protein and not a single ingredient in them is bad for you. Each ball has about 70 calories, so you can eat a few without feeling bad!

Click here for nutrition facts

If you’re feeling adventurous you could add in cranberries instead of raisins, add chia seeds, or put some instant coffee powder in there to really get your energy going. This recipe is so fun to make because you can put your own spin on it & it will always taste great! Enjoy!

-SkinnyGirl

Chicken Soup for the Sick Person’s Soul

All of us have those days where all you feel like doing is laying in bed…all day. Unfortunately today was one of those days for me. I’m not sure if it was because I stayed up (basically all night) a few days ago or because I just have a virus of some sort, but either way I was definitely lacking in energy and well…the ability to function. In these times of trouble I find one solution…Chicken Noodle soup.

The more I’ve read and learned about diet, the more I’ve realized what an effect it has on how we feel. It happened to be my mother’s birthday this weekend so we went out to an italian restaurant for lunch today – even though the food was DELICIOUS I really have no intention of returning. The portions were enormous – only four of us were eating and they brought us about sixteen pieces of bread. The problem with this is that their garlic bread is extremely tasty and hard to resist…so I had about 3 and half slices. Not only is this bad calorically speaking (which I really wasn’t THAT concerned about) but I’ve noticed that after eating a lot of bread I just feel tired and weighed down. After this they brought us salad, thickly coated in dressing, and then my entree which was once again fantastic, but just too rich. It was chicken covered in a thick white wine cream sauce – I ordered it because it had vegetables: sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms but it was just too much. I only ate half of my meal and I was about to burst. After this enormous lunch I proceeded to taking a 2 hour nap after which I woke up feeling very sick and exhausted. I’ve learned that if I want to feel good I need to understand portion control and pick foods that are less rich and more nutritional.

That said, for dinner I wanted something light and healthy that wasn’t very complicated to make. So I created my own version of “Chicken Noodle Soup”, to make it you’ll need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 organic white quinoa
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrot
  • 4 oz. chicken (baked, sauteed, broiled, grilled – however you prefer)
  • 3 oz. 2% milk cheddar cheese
  • 24 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

MAKES 2 servings

I started by cooking the quinoa. To give it extra flavor I cooked it in chicken broth instead of just plain water.

Trader Joe's White Quinoa

Trader Joe’s Organic White Quinoa

I LOVE the Pacific foods organic free range chicken broth, I think it tastes great and it’s usually not very expensive at the grocery store.

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

I chose to use quinoa as opposed to a whole grain noodle in this soup because I wanted it to be lighter and grain-free since I had ODed earlier on bread. After the quinoa was done (around 10 minutes) I put it in a separate bowl & added the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

I like to keep chopped onion in a airtight container in the fridge so that I can add it easily without having to chop it up all the time. The great thing about onion and garlic is that both are extremely healthy for you and are filled with antioxidants. Next I shredded the chicken which had been sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper and was kept in the fridge (another great thing to have on hand). You could simply boil your chicken or grill it if you’re watching calories. Then, I poured enough chicken broth to cover the ingredients and added the carrots.

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Next comes the spices: I added tumeric for flavor and that nice, yellow chicken-soup color. I love cayenne so I added it for spice and because its a wonderful metabolism booster – plus spicy food always opens up your sinuses when you’re feeling sick. The cinnamon was also for the same purpose – although it sounds odd to put cinnamon in a soup, you barely notice it but you still get its benefits. After adding the spices and cooking the ingredients for about 2 minutes I added the rest of the chicken broth. After everything was heated up, I added the quinoa, stirred the soup and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese! Delicious, easy and healthy – you can’t get better than that.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

After a hearty bowl, I’m already feeling better 😉 Especially since one bowl will only cost you 342 calories

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Enjoy & check back later for more recipes, promise I’ll update more often!

-SkinnyGirl