Berry Protein Smoothie

Berry Protein Smoothie Ingredients

After my 11 mile run this morning I needed to replenish the 800+ calories I burned quick! To go along with the beautiful weather I decided a smoothie was the just the ticket! This smoothie, along with plenty of water, was the perfect post-workout drink!

Berry Protein Smoothie Recipe:

  1. 1 Cup frozen berries (I used the frozen berry medley from Trader Joe’s. Frozen berries keep the smoothie cold so you don’t need to add ice!)
  2. 1 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk (I used the light version, but you can substitute regular milk, rice milk or soy milk, go crazy!)
  3. 1 Vanilla Greek Yogurt cup
  4. 1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein powder
  5. A sprinkle of chia seeds (this is optional)

Blend all the ingredients together and the smoothie is ready to drink! Next time I might add a handful of spinach for some extra nutrients. If you don’t like vegetables, combining spinach or kale in a smoothie is a great way to hide the veggie taste, but still get those nutrients. I promise you won’t even taste it!

Berry Protein Smoothie Recipe

What is your favorite smoothie combination??

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About time I crossed this off my Bucket List!

About Time I Crossed this off my Bucket List

Happy Saturday! Today, I woke up to beautiful San Francisco sunny skies and 67 degree weather in the middle of February. Don’t let anyone tell you San Francisco is always foggy..it’s a lie!

Anyway, the gorgeous weather inspired me to cross something off my bucket list. Since I moved to San Francisco in August (originally from the east bay), I have been dying to go on a run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Now don’t get me wrong I have been across the bridge many times via car, even walked it, but I wanted to run to the bridge and back from my apartment. I am happy say I can now cross this off my bucket list today! In total, it was an 11 mile run and it was one of the most beautiful runs I have ever been on. I even got a tan line.. in February… whaaat! Below are some pictures from my run. If you are ever in San Francisco and looking for a run, this is the one you absolutely have to do in my opinion. You could even walk it, I promise it will be just as pretty 🙂

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco

What have you accomplished on your bucket list?! 

How to Live Healthy Abroad

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With a new year arriving we all know what everyone’s new years resolution will be. It usually is something along the lines of “I need to tone up” or “I need to lose weight”. However, the mistake that most people make when making these promises to themselves is that they set their expectations too high and end up only being able to stick to their goal for about a month or so. It is very difficult to stay true to new years resolutions when there are so many situations and temptations that can set us off track. For example, I am now living in Rome, Italy for a semester and staying fit and eating healthy here has become even more difficult then I had imagined it to be. The amazing gelato, pizza, pasta and wine are everywhere and trying to resist the temptation to indulge is harder than I thought it would be as you can see from my pictures above( especially since food and wine are essential parts of the Italian culture). The hardest part is that a lot of the food either a) does not come with nutrition facts or b) the nutrition facts are hard to understand. So, what I have managed to do in order to stay healthy  here is to use common sense. So, a few tips:

1. Always try to eat whole grains. Believe it or not Italy as well as many other countries do eat whole grains. So, if you are going to eat bread and pasta ask if they have whole grain. Don’t know how to ask for it? Look up the word online. Not only will the host country appreciate you trying to speak their language, but you will be educating yourself as well. For example, in Italian say “integrale” when asking for whole grains.

2. Use common sense. If you can’t read the package and are unable to decipher how much fat or sodium is in the food you are about to consume, play it safe and opt for an apple or orange instead of the mystery chips. We all know that no matter where you eat an apple it is always going to be healthy and good for your body.

3. If you are living abroad, cook for yourself. I have had many nights where I have been out all day and running into the nearest restaurant seems very tempting, but I also realize that eating out constantly will not keep me fit. By eating at home you will know exactly what is going into your food and you can substitute ingredients to make a healthier dish.

4. Walk, walk, walk. If you are traveling or living abroad, you are obviously going to that country for a reason: to explore. So, instead of taking a ride on the touristy buses, walk around on foot yourself. Not only will you feel more immersed into the culture, but you will be burning calories without even knowing it!

5. Always pack a snack. If you are constantly walking everywhere, you are bound to get hungry and that tasty pizzeria may start calling your name. But, if you pack a healthy snack, like dried fruit and nuts or a granola bar, you will be able to kick your hunger pangs and hold off for a healthier dinner option.

Holiday Drinks to Avoid

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When you think about the holiday season, what comes to mind? To me, holidays mean family, friends, shopping, good food, and of course Starbuck’s holiday cups. However, it is also in this season that we tend to put our health on the back burner while we indulge in various holiday drinks and desserts. Though, I encourage you all to enjoy and take part in the holiday festivities and meals, I also encourage you to become aware of what you are putting into your body during these times.

During the holiday season, various drinks such as eggnog can contain enough fat and calories to make up for an entire meal! To make your life a little easier, and to save you the trouble of looking it up for yourself, I have gathered a list of Starbucks’s holiday drinks that you should try to avoid this season.

1. Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whip: 300 calories, 11 grams of fat

2. Tall Caramel Brulee Latte: 270 calories, 5 grams of fat

3.Tall Eggnog Latte: 370 calories, 17 grams of fat

Surprised at all by any of these? I sure was. Keep in mind that these are all Talls, imagine what the Venti contains (ah!). But don’t worry, I have also come up with a list of holiday drinks that won’t give you a heart attack:

1. Tall Skinny Hazelnut Latte: 90 calories, no fat (this is one of my personal favorites!)

2. Tall Steamed Apple Juice: 170 calories, no fat

3. Iced Tall Nonfat Gingerbread Latte: 120 calories, no fat

4. Tall Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Light: 120 calories, .5 grams of fat

You can check out the rest of the Starbucks Nutrition facts on their site: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/catalog/nutrition?drink=all#drink=all&page=3

Photo Credit:

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/66208256@N00/2092989435/’>Esparta Palma</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>

How to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

 

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As the weather turns colder, the common cold (and flu) seem to spread like wildfire. Being a college student myself, it seems like more and more of my classmates become absent every day as we enter flu season.  Although there is no way to completely avoid the common cold or flu, there are ways to reduce your chances of becoming sick.

For example, before flu season begins, you should start taking vitamin C daily. Studies have shown that those who took vitamin C daily, shortened cold duration by 8% in adults and 14% in children. There are many ways to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin C. A single orange contains about 75% of average daily requirement of vitamin C for adults. Another great source of vitamin C is through Emergen-C packets. I personally swear by these guys. All you have to do is pour the packet into a glass or bottle of water and you have 1,000 mg of vitamin C as well as other beneficial antioxidants, electrolytes, and nutrients that can help boost your immunity. I encourage you to check out their website.

Another way to avoid getting sick is to make sure to wash your hands multiple times a day. Most colds and flus are spread from direct contact, so the desk you touch in school or door knobs in bathrooms are key places where these germs are often spread. An easy way to kill these germs is to carry a pocket, alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill germs on the go. Also, after you go to the bathroom, try to avoid touching the door handle if you can and use a paper towel instead.

Lastly, another easy place to pick up germs is the gym. To avoid these nasty germs, make sure to wipe down equipment both before and after use. If you are using a mat, I would suggest bringing your own towel to put down on top of the mat.

Getting sick is never fun, but if you follow these suggestions, you should be able to significantly lower your risk of getting cold or flu symptoms. Also don’t forget to sleep for at least eight hours a night. When your body is worn down or stressed,your immune system is weakened, making you more prone to cold and flu symptoms.

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/vitamin-c-for-common-cold

http://www.emergenc.com/

Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress

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When life gets tough, stress and anxiety may feel unavoidable. Whether you are overwhelmed at work or swamped with tests, it is important to know that you are not alone and that everyone feels stressed at some time in their life. However, there are both healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with life’s curve balls. Binge drinking to forget that you just bombed your final exam will not relieve your stress long term and will probably cause you to feel worse in the morning. For this post, I will share with you some of my stress-relieving techniques:

1. Sleep. I cannot stress how important those 8 hours of sleep are. You will feel well-rested in the morning and have an easier time focusing on the tasks at hand. Sleep will also allow you to skip that morning cup of caffeinated coffee that can be harmful to your overall health.

2. Go for a run. Whenever I am having a rough day, running allows me to shake the anxiety and think in peace. The happy endorphins aren’t half bad either.

3. Take a break.  When you get frustrated, trying to power through the task at hand is useless and you will not be able to perform to your potential. Taking a 10 minute break will allow your brain to rest and give it time to generate more (and hopefully better) ideas.

4. Call a friend. Sometimes bottling up your feelings can just leave you feeling even more stressed out. Talking about your issues with a friend can help lift that weight off your shoulders. He/She might even give you some great advice that you had not thought of before.

5. Organize. When you begin to feel like your life is absolute chaos, sometimes it helps to organize. Whether it be organizing research, forming to do lists, or even just cleaning your room, feeling organized will help you feel less stressed and provide at least some order in your life.

Photo Credit:

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/30549390@N06/4097009340/’>anna gutermuth</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal Of The Day

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If you want to start your day off right don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast in the morning boosts our metabolisms and provides us with the most energy to help us get through the day. Adults and children who don’t skip breakfast will not only feel more awake and energized, but will actually perform better in both school and the workplace. You may think that skipping breakfast will allow you ten more minutes of sleep in the morning, but the reality is that you will just end up feeling even more tired later because your body has no fuel to run off of.

Not only is it important to eat breakfast in the morning in general, but it is important to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast and not just a poptart as you run out the door. A meal with both fiber and protein will fill you up and keep you satisfied until lunch. An example of a balanced breakfast may be a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal with low fat milk and a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter (for some protein). You can even add fruit to your cereal to boost flavor and add natural sugars. Kashi has some great cereals full of fiber, protein and whole grains that I highly recommend, one of my favorite’s being Honey Sunshine cereal pillows which contains 6 grams of fiber, 20 grams of whole grains and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

Comment and share healthy breakfast suggestions!

Photo Credit:

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/42764227@N07/5412073662/’>Ashley Coombs</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>