About: Almond Milk!

almond milk 1One question I get asked all the time is “if I drink almond milk?” The answer is YES! Most of the time I prefer drinking almond milk just because of it’s overall nutritional value! It’s something I consider to be a really Healthy Switch. Almond Milk is high in a number of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, among others, while at the same time being low on calories! A cup of almond milk contains about 40 calories, only 3 grams of (healthy) fats (vs 8 grams in regular milk), and about 3 grams of carbs. Until Recently, I had NOT found almond milk at the supermarkets. I had found Almond DRINKS, which when looking at the nutritional value, you could almond milk 4easily see that each cup, though it was only about 50 calories, it had almost 10 grams of carbs/sugars! This is NOT a healthier option than regular milk….You want the nutritional info to look like that in the picture! So if, you are in Greece, look out for this brand of Almond Milk. When you check the Nutritional Info in the back you will see that it is low calorie, low carb and low fat…in other words, Almond Milk! If you prefer to make your own at some, it is super easy! Just Click here!

xoxo, Yoggi B.

Full Fat vs Full Fit: Mashed Potatoes

Hey, hey, hey!!

Full Fat vs Full Fit

Mashed Potatoes 1

Cauliflower Puree 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In today’s post I want to share what a regular weeknight dinner looks like in my house! If you have been reading my posts, you know that for most days, I try to eat as healthy as I can…but the same cannot be said for my Boyfriend. So what I do is I make the “base dinner” or proteins the same for the both of us, but different side dishes to go with it for each!

nuggets

For Tonight’s dinner I made Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with Mashed Potatoes. Since the nuggets are oven fried, I consider them pretty healthy, the label said that per 100g of product it contained 12 carbs and 8 fats, which I consider acceptable since throughout the day I eat minimal amounts of fats and carbs, so it balances out for me, and it’s nuggets….my bf loves them!; to go with these nuggets I made Traditional Mashed Potatoes for my Boyfriend, and Healthy Low-Carb, Low-Fat Cauliflower Puree or Low Carb Mashed Potatoes!

Let’s do a quick Overview:

Cauliflower Puree 2Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

Full Fat: Traditional Mashed Potatoes vs Full Fit: CauliFlower Mashed Potatoes

700 grams of Potatoes (120g Carbs) vs 700 grams of Cauliflower (35g Carbs)

50 grams of Butter (40g Fat) vs 2 tbs of Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese (4g Fat)

4 tbs of Heavy Cream (22g Fat) vs 2 tbs Mozzarella Cheese (5g Fat)

+ 2 tbs of Parmesan Cheese (3g Fat)

Both recipes yield two servings, for the Full Fat Traditional Mashed Potatoes we have aprox. 60g of Carbs and 31g of Fat per serving; and for the Full Fit Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” aprox. 17g of Carbs and 6g of Fats per serving.

The benefits of doing this, for me are obvious: On the one hand I cut down on fats and calories by not frying the nuggets, but I am aware that they do contain carbs…so I balance these carbs out in my dinner by having “mashed potatoes” made of veggies, Cauliflower.

nuggets 2mashed potatoes 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other words, For me, I make this “Clean Version of Nuggets & Mashed Potatoes”, a well balanced Protein-Carb dinner that is tasty, satisfying and easy to make; And for my Boyfriend a less healthy, full carb, slight variation of what I eat. For us, this is a healthy and happy compromise!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Full Fat vs Full Fit Blueberry Bundt Cake

Hey, hey, hey!!

Full Fat Vs Full Fit

Blueberry Bundt Cake 1

Healthy Blueberry cake 2

 

The series of “Versus Posts”, that start with today’s Full Fat vs Full Fit Blueberry Bundt Cake, is with the intent of showing that when you live a healthy diet you can “make your cake and eat it too”. Eating healthy, to me, means making healthy food choices for most of my meals, but allowing myself a splurge of something decadent when I truly crave it. These recipes are a great example of that: I love bundt cake and so does my Boyfriend. I made this cake one weekend and both of us enjoyed it. I ate a couple of pieces of eat, spread within a couple of days, and then it was over. I still had blueberries left, so I decided to make a healthy version of the Bundt Cake, one that would have less carbs and fats, and that I could eat a piece or two every day, not feel guilty but still be satisfied with the taste. This healthy version turned out more delicious than I even expected!! It was great as breakfast, a snack or dessert after dinner! And a better investment that eating a chocolate or something else decadent for most of the time!

Here’s a little overview of the “Full Fat Version vs the Full Fit Version”

Ingredients

Blueberry Bundt Cake vs Healthy, Low-Carb Blueberry Bundt Cake

1 Cup of Sugar (200g carb) vs 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar (50g carb) 

1/2 stick of Butter (50g fat) vs 1 Cup of Greek Yogurt (6g carb – 4g fat)

1 1/2 Cups of Flour (200g carb) vs 2/3 Cup Oat Flour (37g carb)

                                                       and 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (19g carb)      

3 Eggs vs 3 Eggs

1/2 Cup of Milk vs 1/4 Cup of Milk

Vanilla vs Vanilla           

Blueberry Bundt Cake 2Healthy Blueberry cake 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You get the gist of it…the important thing is to replace the unhealthy sugar, fats and carbs for healthy ones! The result being that The Blueberry Bundt Cake, full fat version, yields approximately 12 pieces each containing 35 g carbs and 4 g of Fat (for those of you who count their Macros) whereas the Full Fit, Low-carb Blueberry Bundt Cake yields 10 pieces, 10g of Carbs and almost no fat per piece! I find this to be an acceptable trade, so I choose to make the healthy version way more often than the regular version! But I am not going to lie, the full fat Blueberry Bundt Cake is to DIE FOR…so whenever I am really, truly craving it I make it and I have some of it too!! (Portion control is the key here!)

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Healthy Tip: On The Go Snack – Chacha’s Power Mix

Ingredients

chachas mix 5All the nuts and dried fruits you like!! For Example:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnut
  • Brazil Nut
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Goji Berries

chachas mix1

My very dear friend Chacha shared with me a few weeks ago her amazing Morning Power Mix idea! She told me that her usual breakfast is:

  • 1 handful of the nuts and dried fruits mix made with the above mentioned ingredients
  • 1 Fresh Fruit 
  • A splash of Milk of your preference!

This power mix idea, as my friend said herself, “is extremely delish and gives energy for the rest of the day! And in Summer weather, combined with some Homemade Mango Sorbet, this breakfast is to Die For!!”

I believed her, but since I am not a Breakfast person I twitched her idea a bit and made it into an On the Go Power Mix for snacking! This has been saving my life the past weeks! I simply carry a jar with me everywhere I go and when Hunger strikes I am ready!! Guys this is how you keep yourself from eating something unhealthy and greasy, always, always, always be prepared!!!

Chachas mix 2What Exactly did I do for this On The Go Power Mix?? I went to this store in Athens called CARPO (they also have one in London) where they sell Sundried Fruits with NO ADDED Sugars!! Super healthy, I think. So I got this time:

  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Banana
  • Nectarine
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

chachas mix 4Then I went to the farmers Market and got some nice, big variety of nuts:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pistachios 
  • Cashews

Now just get creative and mix in the colors you like best! I made several of these little Jars with the Power Mix, closed them up and just take one every time I need to go out for errands. Because they are closed very well, they have lasted me about 10 days or so….

chachas mix 3

A big thanks to Chacha for suggesting this great idea!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B. 

 

Tip: Benefits of The All-Greens Breakfast Smoothie!!

All-Green SmoothieIngredients

  • 1 handful of Spinach
  • 1 handful of Kale
  • 2 stalks of Celery
  • 1 Pear
  • 1 Green Apple
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 cup of Green Tea
  • 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds

So as you all know…I am not a breakfast person, so these Fruits & Veggies Smoothies I make are what I consider breakfast. I love this concept because the smoothies are loaded with nutrients and vitamins but they are so easily digested that I can have them either before or after my workouts. Today I also want to use my All-Greens Smoothie as an example to mention some of the benefits we I get from Breakfast Smoothies.

Spinach: I have mentioned some of the wonderful benefits of eating Spinach in my all About Spinach post, but basically if consumed pre-workout, helps boost energy; if consumed post-workout it can help build muscle; spinach also has a number of benefits for younger looking skin!

Kale: Excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium. According to bestforjuicing.com, a cup of kale contains 133% of the daily value of Vitamin A!!

Celery: Aside from being an excellent source of healthy fibers as well as vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, B1,B6 among others…according to juicing-for-health.com, if consumed post-workout, it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body!

Pears: Drinking pear juice is considered to be a Natural Source of Energy, to helps boost the immune system and to have anti-inflammatory properties!

Apples (Green): Did you know that the majority of the vitamins and nutrients in apples are actually found in the skin??? Well, they are!! And according to juicing-for-health.com, the skins of apples are loaded with anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties! They also mention that if consumed post-workout, fresh apple juice can help reverse muscle tiredness and stiffness! Thank goodness, because I am super sore lately!!!

Banana: It is widely known that bananas are packed with nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin c and b, potassium and magnesium, among others. Eating one banana before working out can boost up to 2 hours of intense training!

Green Tea: So I started adding green tea to my smoothies after reading an article* on medicalnewstoday.com. Basically it mentions that drinking Green Tea on a daily basis can “potentially have positive effects on EVERYTHING from Weight Loss to Liver Disorders to Type 2 Diabetes” !!! This totally impressed me since my family has a long history of Diabetes…so I want to take care of myself in this aspect from NOW! I have become very interested in green tea now, I want to try and learn more about it and share it with you guys in another post.

Finally,

Chia Seeds: It has been advertised for aiding weight loss a lot, but more and more researches are coming out implying that including Chia Seeds into your diet may have many other benefits…but weight loss has not been proven to be one of them. Nevertheless, this is a highly nutritional seed!! According to webmd.com, 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds contain 11 grams of healthy Fiber PLUS vitamins and nutrients. They are original from Mexico, where “Chia” literally means strength…thus Chia Seeds are definitely an energy booster! This is another “superfood” I want to learn more about and make a full post later on for you guys!

What is the conclusion of all this information????

Adding any of the above ingredients into your diet will bring plenty of healthy benefits; mixing them all together into a Green juice, is a total Energetic Health BOMB!!

If you are only getting started with making Fruits & Veggies Juices/Smoothies, try my First Fruits & Veggies Juice, the one I started out with or just make your own combo using 70% Fruits and only 30% veggies!

All-Green Smoothie 2xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

P.D: Feel free to check out these links to find out more about the benefits of juicing!

http://bestforjuicing.com

http://juicing-for-health.com

*http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-chia

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.