Healthy Green Veggies Cream Soup!

green veggies cream soup 3Ingredients

  • 2 Large Zucchini
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 1 head of Broccoli (about 1 1/2 cups of  Broccoli Florets)
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups of Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tablespoon of Pine Nuts
  • Salt, Pepper and Spices to Taste.

 

I’ve been trying to eat more veggies in my daily intake lately and I am also feeling a bit “flu-ish” this week, so making this Cream Soup was liking killing two birds with one stone for me!

This is a SUPER healthy Lunch or Side-Dish idea! It’s filled with green veggies, thus nutrients and healthy fibers! And Don’t let the name fool you; I call it a “Cream” because the final texture is just like that of vegetable creams, but the preparation is that of a clean, low fat soup! The best of two worlds, in my opinion! All the taste and texture of a fat-filled cream but with none of the calories, since this cream soup is not made with any dairy, only healthy ingredients!

Here’s how I made it:

  • Clean and Cut the vegetables: slice the celery, dice the zucchini and cut off the florets from the broccoli bunch, mine was a relatively small one so it yielded to about a cup and a half of Broccoli Florets.
  • In a large pot and over medium to high heat add 1 tablespoon of Olive oil and sautee the vegetables. Feel free to add onions or garlic at in this stage of the process if you’d like, I have a food intolerance to them so I choose not to add them in my food.
  •  Add the Chicken or Vegetable Stock. If you have the time to make it at home, that’s awesome! I didn’t have any so I used Low-Fat Maggi Chicken Stock bought from the store; the nutritional info said it only had about 15 calories and a couple grams of fat, so I consider this healthy enough and I use it. Makes my life a lot easier than having to make my own stock!
  • Bring the stock and veggies to a boil, then cover and lower temperature to medium-low so that the soup is just simmering and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender.
  • Allow for the soup to cool a bit.
  • Add the soup to a blender, add salt and pepper as well as any other spices you might want to taste (I added a half a tea spoon of cumin for example), add 1 tbs of Pine Nuts, and Blend for 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. My blender is not big enough to fit all the soup at once, so I blended it in two badges.
  • Place the cream back in the pot and place over medium-low heat to simmer for another 15 mins. Decorate with Pine Nuts when serving!

Green Veggies Cream SoupThis delicious cream soup recipe serves 2 and it only has about 150 calories per serving!

Creams and soups like this one, low fat and totally healthy, are excellent for weight loss! They act as “fillers”: high volume, so you fill fuller, but low calories and with great nutritional value! I try to make cream soups as often as I can and the great thing is that I can freeze them and have them ready for any occasion!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

Do It Yourself: Picture Frame Collage

annie frames 9Hey Everyone!

I’m back and once again, I wanted to share  my latest DIY project  with you!

So this happened one weekend while I was at home with nothing much to do, and I started thinking that there are literally so many ways to add life, color and personality to empty wall spaces!! So I figured, why not reinvent the empty spaces in my walls with this project!

I found it really fun and easy to make these DIY Picture Frames; I managed to collect all the pieces in about a month, some of the frames were given to me as gifts by some friends and some are old frames I had lying around.

This “collecting process” may be a bit time consuming, but now that is done it’s time to have fun! And here is a sneak peak look of our new living room decoration, I like this more dramatic look!

Alright, so here’s the Materials we’ll need:

  • Spray paint

annie frames 1

 

  • Old News paper /magazines

annie frames 2

  • Picture frames (Variety of shapes and designs)

annie frames 3

  • Hammer and Nails

 

Here’s how easy it is to do:

  • Lay out a large piece of news paper to lay the frames on top of.

annie frames 4

 

  • Using your spray paint, spray all the frames in the front and in the sides. I used a dark green spray paint color, feel free to choose whichever color will decorate best your wall space!
  • Allow for the frames to fully dry before using

annie frames 5

  •  Once the painting process is completed, collect all your frames lay them down in a flat surface so that you can play with how to arrange them! Try different combinations until you get the look and feel you want and snap a photo to reference back to when you begin hanging them on your wall! It’s important to have a clear view of how you want to hang the frames, you don’t want to make unnecessary holes in your walls!!!

annie frames 6

  • Measure your wall space to figure out the placing you want for each frame; make a small mark where the nail is supposed to be, if you need to.
  • Fix the Nail to the chosen spot in the wall and start hanging your frames!

How do you think they turned out?

annie frames 7

 

Personally, I’m really amazed with the outcome and so proud of how it looks and that I did it myself and for a very low cost!!

Hope you enjoy Do It Yourself projects as much as I do, and you have fun making this one!

See you next time!

Annie B.

 

 

My Strawberry Tropical Smoothie

strawberry tropicalIngredients

  • 10 small Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 small Banana 
  • 1/4 cup of Chopped Pineapple
  • 1 Cucumber (Juiced)
  • 1 handful of Lettuce (Optional)
  • 1 tbs of Chia Seeds (Optional)
  • 1 tbs of Goji Berries (Optional)

 

Yes, you read correctly, a handful of lettuce! It sounds a little strange, I know, but now that my body got used to juicing greens like spinach and kale, I’ve decided to spice it up and try some new mixes; plus I read a few weeks ago that introducing lettuce to the usual “Green Juice” has diuretic benefits and thus helping with weight-loss. Since I had a couple carb-filled days this past week (Sunday and Monday), introducing what I call “diuretic fruits & veggies” to my morning juices is my way to help my body flush out the excess water I may have been retaining.

Lettuce doesn’t really have a strong taste, so in this smoothie the taste of fruits completely takes over and I couldn’t even tell it had lettuce in it.

So, Here’s what I did:

  • The night before I chopped and froze the banana and pineapple, you can do this with the strawberries if you want too; I did this to give the “smoothie” consistency I wanted today.
  • In a blender I put in the lettuce, frozen fruits, cucumber juice, goji berries and chia seeds (if using) and blended until smooth.
  • Because the mix was quite thick, I added about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and Served it with ice .
  • Enjoy!!

It’s quite a refreshing drink and if you don’t feel like adding lettuce, try spinach, kale or just don’t add any veggies at all and just make a fruit smoothie! Either way, just Drink the Rainbow everyday!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Balanced Eating Tip: Staying Fit During Vacations

roadtrip1Hey, hey, hey!!

As I mentioned in my last post, last weekend was Easter and I went on a little Road Trip vacation to a town situated at the foot of Mount Olympus! Before I read the book Naturally Thin and learned how to balance my meals, I used to always gain weight and loose control during vacations and trips. Now, I know how to balance almost any situation (food-wise at least), having as a result never having to “stray” from my fitness goals; for me personally, it also means that I don’t stress about food during my holidays anymore, and I can completely enjoy my vacations!

So today I’m going to share how my weekend went and how I balanced it out…and hopefully, if you don’t already balance your meals, you will see how simple and convenient it is!

snack1My weekend started out with the Road Trip! I knew it would be about 4-5 hours driving since we have done this trip a couple other times before, so the night before I went out to this awesome new cafe which sells a variety of nuts and dried fruits that aside from being beautifully decorated, they have dried fruits without any added sugars!! So I bought enough nuts and sugar-free dried fruits to snack on during the entire weekend! I find this to be the best, always be prepared! If I have my snacks ready, I don’t have to worry about where and what I will eat if I get too hungry, because I can always control my hunger by having these healthy treats.

That was how the snacking situation was taken care of, for the rest of my meals once in our destination, what I did was:

  • breakfastFor breakfast, I knew it would be included in the hotel and so I was sure I could find healthy options, protein options, to start my day with. To be honest, I am never really hungry in the morning..so despite that people say not to skip breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day, I am a big believer in eating if I’m hungry, so I don’t usually eat breakfast because I’m not hungry at that time. This weekend, however, since I knew it might be hard to find healthy options for lunch I tried to eat at least a boiled egg white and some plain greek yogurt with honey for breakfast.

 

 

 

  • lunchSome days I managed to eat more for breakfast, which meant that then I wasn’t hungry for lunch and so I would just snack on nuts, fruits and dried fruits until dinner; other days I didn’t really manage to eat much breakfast so I would eat a nice healthy salad for lunch wherever I was.

 

 

 

 

 

dinner1

 

  • For Dinner time it was a little more difficult to go healthy because not too many restaurants would allow pets indoors, and it was pretty cold outside, so we kind of had to settle for whichever place would allow us to have our bulldog with us. One night it was a pizzeria so I had salad and 2 slices of pizza; it may not be the healthiest dinner, but it was balanced, plenty of veggies to balance out the carbs and fats in the pizza. Another night we stayed in the hotel and so I had some healthy grilled chicken and veggies.

dinner

 

 

 

dinner2

 

We only stayed 3 days, so that was pretty much it; Simple, no?? The things I ate were the foods I really wanted to eat at the moment, specially for dinner time.

TZOUREKIOn Easter Sunday I also ate the traditional Greek “Tzoureki”, pretty much the Greek Brioche…exactly what I was craving that day!! And it was lucky that we had it with us too! We decided to start our Road Trip back to Athens early on Easter Sunday, not realizing that EVERYTHING would be closed and we wouldn’t find anything else to eat that day except for the Easter Tzoureki. This day was obviously not balanced or the next since again, things were closed due to the holidays, so I balanced them out by having mainly protein meals the following days (basically eating very clean this week).

As for working out, I did workout on two occasions. To be honest, I cannot sleep all that much. I get in a solid 8 hours-sleep most nights but by 8 or 9 am the latest I’m up. On vacations my bf likes to sleep in, like every normal human being on the planet Earth, so what I do when I wake up early is I go workout for an hour or so and by the time I’m done, everyone is ready to start the day!

progress1Win-win situation for me and it helps keep me in shape a LOT!

And check it out! I took this pic while in the hotel this weekend and I was proud to see the improvement from 2 years ago when wearing the same swimming suit!

This change is all due to having included this “healthy and balance eating” in my way of living, and now I find it so simple to just live this way!!

How do you balance yourself on vacations??

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Balanced Fitness TIP: ABS are made in the Gym but Shown in the Kitchen

tips2Hey, hey, hey!!!

Today is also a great day for me, because THIS HAPPENED!!! I hope you can tell from the picture that my abs are finally beginning to show! Now this is huge for me because I don’t personally know anyone who is fit and healthy with abs and who doesn’t take supplements, shakes, pills and what nots to have their physique. I have never (and hope that I will never) taken chemicals, powders, shakes, pills, etc, in order to enhance my workouts and/or speed up the results. So I am so happy that CLEAN EATING and Religious Workouts are paying off! I mean, I guess it’s true, “Abs are made in the Gym, but Shown in the Kitchen”! This means is tips10that If you we want our nice muscles to show, the “trick” is: do you Cardio a few times a week and Eat Clean.

So for me, Eating Clean doesn’t mean that I will stop eating all sweets and all decadent things I love, it just means that I will eat in a Balanced way! I usually think of my meals as either a protein meal, a protein-carb meal, a carb meal or a snack, but generally speaking I try to make most of my meals and snacks Protein based and healthy. Let me give an example, this is what I ate yesterday:

  • Woke up and had a black coffee, worked out and had errands to run so at some point mid-morning I had a Capuccino and a couple of hours later one of my Green Fruits & Veggies Juices.
  • A couple of hours later I had a fruit and some nuts, by this time it was already past noon, probably early afternoon and so far I had been snacking all day, I do generally snack in the mornings rather than sit down and have breakfast because I’m not really hungry when I wake up;
  • tips5Around 4 or 5 pm that’s when I was hungry for “reals”, so I made myself a small mixed lettuce salad with some boiled chicken, boiled eggs, a prosciutto slice, pine nuts and just a pinch of balsamic vinegar for dressing; basically, this was a Protein Lunch, highly fulfilling but totally CLEAN! Notice how so far in the day I haven’t really had carbs yet, I’ve had proteins and healthy fats. My lunch carried me over for quite some time, veggies are wonderful fillers, so I wasn’t hungry for dinner until 9 or so;
  • At dinner time we were at a friend’s house hanging out when one of my girlfriend’s called me to arrange to go for drinks. Since it was last minute, I didn’t really have time to wait and order something to eat because I had to leave soon, so I just checked my friend’s fridge and saw he had some boiled eggs (because of Easter) and he had some left over schnitzel from his dinner the night before, so I basically put together a sort of salad with whatever I could find in the fridge and ended up having a protein-carb dinner.
  • tips8I then went out for one drink with my girlfriend, literally, one drink (this is like a sweet/sugary snack for me), and I was back at around 12- 1 am…
  • And yes I was hungry again. Luckily, I was back at my friend’s house (where my BF was waiting for me) and I found a box of TAMARIND that his Filipino friend had brought! I hadn’t eaten Tamarind in like 10 years!!! It grows on trees pretty much everywhere in my hometown in Venezuela, so I ate it a lot as a kid! I used to have literally fresh from the tree, the one I had last night was more like eating dried Figues or dates, and since the box said it had “no added sugars”, I went for it and this was my final snack of the day.

As you can see I don’t miss out on hanging out and being with friends, having a drink…I honestly believe that being healthy and fit is not about Looking Perfect, is about improving yourself and your body, it’s about progress!

For the past 2 weeks I challenged myself to eat more Greens, and I learned that: the more I increase my “green intake” (veggies and salads) the more I see myself loosing weight and maybe even fat!

tips9Here’s what I’ve been doing: one serving of veggies in my fruits & veggies juice, one salad with lunch and if I wanted some veggies as a side for dinner. And when I woke up this morning, before I started my workout I saw that my abs are starting to show!! I cannot describe how happy I am about it! Seeing my progress was totally the “pad on the back” I needed to continue eating clean!! Since the long weekend is coming up in Greece, me, my Bf and Sheldon decided to spend it Roadtripping!! I cannot wait!! I will make a post about what foods and choices I make to stay true to my fitness goals during vacation time, but If you want real time update just follow my Instagram or Facebook page where I will be posting pics and updates in the next few days!!

I hope my “Balancing Act”, as I call it, can help show that being healthy is a way of living that doesn’t require sacrifices, just consciously balance what we eat!

Have a Great Easter Weekend everyone!!!!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B. 

 

Healthy & Balanced Eating Tip: Getting Ready for Easter Weekend

easter 1Hey, hey, hey!!!

“The Big Week”, as they call it here in Greece, is upon us, which means Easter Sunday is just around the corner, or should I say….Easter Sunday BRUNCH is just around the corner!!!

For those of us who live in countries that celebrate Easter, we know that generally speaking most of these countries celebrate by having a huge food-fest on Easter Sunday. Greece is no exception, as far as I know, the Easter meal revolves around lamb! The dishes I have tried during Easter easter 6here are just exceptionally delicious and I am NOT planning to miss out on the celebration this Sunday!!! So here are a few tips on how I balance Easter Brunch…in a way I can enjoy the food, the fun, the celebration and not derail from my fitness goals!!

To be honest, in the past, before I learned how to eat in a Balanced way, I used to hate going to parties and events because I felt that I would arrive to the party looking amazing in a dress that would flatter my figure, but I would be starving…and I would try not to eat or make all the wrong choices of foods and just loose control and my body would feel terrible afterwards. TODAY, I wish I could just eat out all the time!! I find it easier to balance and control my portions when I’m out for dinner or at a party! It sounds weird, but at dinner parties there are so many more options to choose from than whatever I can make at home! Let me give you an example of what I mean:

easter 4A couple nights ago we did early Easter at my friend’s house because one our friends would not be in Greece for the Real Easter…so we did a little test run, lol!! Now, I have a huge sweet tooth…and I know I love the typical Greek Easter Desserts, so I knew before I even arrived to dinner that I wanted to eat dessert, thus I would have to balance my dinner plate in a way that I could eat my desserts without feeling like my belly was going to pop out. How exactly? Sweets = refined carbs and sugars; knowing this, I tried to avoid carbs in my other courses.

This didn’t mean I had to miss out on anything at all during dinner! I had for my main course a nice, big chunk of lamb without eating the fat, a lot of mixed greens salad, a big scoop of traditional greek salad, some boiled green vegetables (this is what I mean about having more options!), a small piece of Feta Cheese, and I served me a piece of bread but only had a few bites and a few bites of the potatoes the lamb came with. If you see my plate, it looks pretty full and it was very fulfilling! Veggies and salads are great investments because they are satisfying but extremely healthy and low calories, which is why I generally try to make sure to eat vegetables or a salad and then move on to proteins and whatever else.

easter 2Anyways, since I had basically salad and protein for dinner, I felt light and ready to eat dessert (Full Protein Dinner vs Full Carb Dessert). For Dessert I shared a piece of cake with my BF and I ate one small “tsoureki” stuffed with chocolate. Overall that night I also had one small glass of wine, I tried to enjoy a little bit of everything.

At the end of the meal everyone kept complaining of how much their bellies hurt and how much they had eaten and had a “food baby” belly, etc, etc, etc…..I honestly did not feel so bad, I was full but not painfully full; And I felt “light as a feather” when I woke up the next day, which to me, is my body telling me: “you did well Yoggi”…

Easter brunch doesn’t have to be stressful or wreck you and throw you off from your fitness goals, it’s all about BALANCE: “Choose your evil” – type of situation. I love desserts so I don’t mind skipping the carbs in my meal when I want to have some sweets!; If I were someone who went crazy for French fries and didn’t care about desserts, then I would go ahead and enjoy my fries with dinner and only have a few bites of dessert or skip it all together (this is pretty much how my BF is); if I loved both, then I would try to eat both but in moderation, a couple fries with dinner and a couple of bites of dessert; and if by any change there were way too many foods I would want to eat and didn’t manage to balance it, there are other meals and I could still balance the day out!

easter 3There you have it, that’s all I do when I go out to eat and at parties, balance my meal choices as best as I can: balance proteins with carbs, veggies with sweets and try not to have too many drinks. (FYI, I first read about it in the book “Naturally Thin” and have been practicing ever since….I think it works wonderfully!!)

This is how I dealt with pre-Easter and plan to deal the real Easter Sunday…How do you do Easter??

xoxo,

Yoggi B. 

easter 7

P.S: I took the picture below the morning after this dinner…what I want to hopefully show is that when even though I ate the things I liked and the things I was craving, because I ate in moderation and listened to my body when I woke up the next day I wasn’t bloated and my body still looked fine! Because I eat healthy and balanced almost all the time, I don’t have to deprive myself of eating any foods any time and still stay true to my Fitness Goals!

Annie’s DIY Leafy Lampshade

Annie's Lamp3Hey Guys!

Today I wanted to share with you another DIY Project! I love Decorating and making empty spaces look more lively, so I’m always trying to do cool decorations and stuff!!

Today’s DIY Idea is on how to make your house corner look less dull and way more interesting. with the light ideas.

So I’ve had this lamp forever, and lately every time I saw my old lampshade I thought it was just so plane, so I thought, what if I put little artwork on it and just to give it a whole new transformation!!

annie's lamp2

All you will need are some stencils, acrylic paint and brushes, and What we do is pretty straight forward:

  • Take the old, plain lamp shade and set it on top of a clean surface.
  • Take whatever stencil and color paint you prefer and place it in the desired area of the lampshade, as you know I love nature, so I went for a leaves!
  • Apply the paint and let it dry fully before placing it back! So easy, right??

annie's lamp1And we’re done with another project!

Hope you like it!

 xoxo,

Annie B.