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.

Fashion Picks: Summer Handbag

Hey, hey, hey!

It may sound absolutely “Geeky” to say, but the truth of the matter is that I get most of my “High Fashion Advice” from my MOM! When you start seeing her fashion picks you will understand why….but in all honesty, my mom is a real Fashionista! I believe she could have easily been a stylist to the stars or something because she really has impeccable taste!

My mom lives in Venezuela whereas I live in Greece, so every so often she will send me cute “care packages” with cute outfits for the coming season!

This week I got my “Summer Care Package” and here’s my mom’s pick for a Cute and Classy Summer Handbag:

IMG_8752

 

I feel Hot Pink is really “in” this season…though Pink has always been one of my favorite colors, so it may just be my impression! lol

I think this bag is absolutely gorgeous!! What do you think??

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!

Food Tip: About Spinach!!

spinachHey, hey, hey!!

Since I came to Greece, one of the vegetables I’ve been eating really often is Spinach!! I didn’t really eat spinach all that often back in Venezuela because I found the taste to be so bitter…but over here, the taste is completely different!!! It is definitely a lot nicer!!

At first I started introducing Spinach into my diet by only eating it in the Spinach Pies Yaya (my bf’s grandma) makes; then, baby spinach in salads, which is common to do here when you go to restaurants; then I heard about the Kale Juice/Smoothie trend a couple of years ago, but since I didn’t know what Kale was or where to find it, I made the Kale Juice into a Spinach Juice! I’ve been making different variations of it since, and drinking it as a morning snack, not every day, but maybe 4 -5 times a week.

Over time I’ve been finding different articles supporting the benefits of Spinach!! Check out some of these amazing benefits of including spinach in your everyday diet!!!

  • According to an article in lifespan.com spinach is loaded of benefits that make us look “beautiful”!!!

spinach is loaded with zeaxanthin and carotenoids lutein, which are essential substances that can make your eyes look more youthful and brighter. After all, you can’t be beautiful with tired and red eyes, since that’s the first thing people see when they look at you. What’s more, spinach is rich in iron, an important mineral that can give you a healthier-looking complexion. So, make it a point to eat spinach everyday to achieve all these promising skin health benefits.”

  • I also found another article that at examiner.com that said that consuming Spinach Before or After your workouts is highly beneficial!!

If consumed Pre-Workouts Spinachboost strength with phytoecdysteroids (a natural plant steroid) ; If consumed Post-Workouts it may “increase muscle growth by a whopping 20%

  • According to shape.com (shape magazine), raw spinach is one of the top 30 Hydrating Foods:

“spinach is undeniably a great food to fill up on when you want to lose weight. One cup provides more then 50 percent of your daily vitamin A needs, as well as being high in protein and vitamin C”

I am so glad I started juicing and introducing different Fruits & Veggies in my morning drinks!! If you want to start introducing Spinach into your diet, try my First Fruits & Veggies Juice Recipe!!

Did you already know how wonderful Spinach is???

Eat REAL FOODS!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

Pet Tips: Healthy Dog Treats


snack
Hey, Hey, Hey!!

So, today I had this mid-day snack: Green Apple slices with 1 tbs of sugar-free homemade Peanut Butter! and I generally follow the mentality of “Sharing is Caring”…specially when it comes to food!!! For me, I find it to be an excellent way to downsize my meals without even realizing of it myself!!! And of course, Sheldon is my perfect companion to share some meals….

Do not worry, I do care about my dog’s health, so I don’t always share human food with him, but I will occasionally, and I will generally try to give him human food that is also beneficial for dogs to eat!  A friend of mine, who is studying to become an odontologist, told me that the process of eating apples can actually help in keeping dogs’ teeth healthy, as well as keeping their breath fresh!! 

my snackfor shellySo, When I have a healthy green apple with peanut butter snack, I always make sure to share some of my apple with Sheldon, making sure, of course, that I do not feed him any of the seeds, I cut it into slices he can handle and that he doesn’t eat too much of it at once…

After having done a bit more of reading upon the subject, I found out that what my friend told me was in fact accurate and that apples are considered to be a healthy snack for dogs, since it provides them with different vitamins and healthy fibers! Just do not over do it, I give my dog only a couple pieces every few days or so…

So, there you have it, in case you didn’t already know about this wonderful healthy snack that you can share with your pet!! It is healthy for both!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

Healthy Living Tip: When Opposites Attract

Hey, hey, hey!

My Healthy Pancakes vs His Traditional Pancakes My Healthy Peanut butter, dark choco Banana Snack vs his Nutella & Biscuits Banana Snack

My Healthy Pancakes vs His Traditional Pancakes
My Healthy Peanut butter, dark choco Banana Snack vs His Nutella & Biscuits Banana Snack

Today I wanted to share what I consider a Healthy Living Tip.

From talking to my girlfriends, I have realized that something that a lot of us have dealt within our relationships with our significant others is that, when it comes to FOOD, we are in “opposites-attract” type of relationships. What I mean is, that I would describe my relationship with my bf as  opposites as far as food preferences go, and to be honest, at first I didn’t really how to balance this, which caused me to gain weight. But with time I found my way of healthy living and found a happy balance to the situation.

As you may have noticed, I enjoy eating healthy and colorful foods and I try to eat as clean as possible as much as possible; when I feel like having something decadent I do and don’t worry about it because I feel like the decadent treat will balance itself out with all the clean, healthy meals I generally have. I consider me a 70-30 person, I eat clean probably 70% of the time and the rest…I indulge, I do have the biggest sweet tooth ever after all!

My bf on the other hand, he couldn’t be more opposite in that sense! He doesn’t really eat fruits or veggies, but then again he doesn’t really eat sweets either; there are very few desserts he will actually eat…probably less than 10 overall! When we met, I remember I was quite surprised by his eating habits: he would have the European breakfast (cigarets and coffee); the nearest fast-food chain for lunch; and the nearest kebab place for dinner. Even though it’s not the healthiest way of eating, he DOES eat in a very “naturally thin” way…so he doesn’t have a weight or health issue at all!

Now, it wasn’t the easiest thing to find a happy compromise when it came to food with us, it took some time…since we like such different things. This may sound cheese, but I believe that it is true when they say “we are all in our own fitness journey”, so I don’t push the healthy foods on anyone who doesn’t want to try it! I let my bf eat whatever he wants to eat, but do try to “clean up” the recipe/meal a bit and he gives it a try; if he doesn’t like it then I step back the “healthiness”. Sometimes he actually likes some of the super healthy meals I make and other times he wants his food as greasy and as junky as possible.

So our happy compromise is that I make for me a clean version and the regular version for him. For the most part, this doesn’t way of cooking doesn’t really require any extra effort from me, for example, if we are having pasta, I will make whole-wheat pasta for both of us, neither can really taste the difference in between lets say normal spaghetti vs the whole wheat one! I’ll make a healthy tomato sauce with veggies for me, I’ll try and sneak some veggies in my bf plate, and done, both are happy with our dinner.

If we are having chicken on the Grill, which is a healthy, clean protein and that my bf likes eating as well (I mean, who doesn’t like grilled chicken, right???), all I’ll do is make two different side dishes. My bf loves french fries, so I will make him french fries in the oven (I still need to keep it healthy somehow, right??) or mashed potatoes, and for me I will make some quinoa and a salad or steamed veggies, etc.

And Other times like on “Pancake Sunday”, I will make two different recipes. We both love pancakes but I prefer my clean version made with Oat Flour and he loves the full-fat version (although I have made it with whole-wheat flour a couple of times and he has liked it too)!

In the next posts I will share some of the pancake recipes I love to make! I LOVE pancakes so there are a few of them…I try to switch it up so we don’t get bored with our food…..PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Lol!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Food Tip: About Oatmeal Drinks!!

Hey, hey, hey!!oatmeal smoothies

So This tip goes hand in hand with my previous post, Tip: About Oats and Oatmeal, as well as the recipes from the Oats Series!!!

Based on an article I found in the Livestrong website, among the many benefits of including oatmeal into your diet, we can also find that it may  Aid in Digestion!

As you know, I love drinking the rainbow, which is why I started including a breakfast smoothie in my everyday diet with some oatmeal in it! Check out my first oatmeal smoothie, the Oatmeal Mango Smoothie!

While reading this article I also learned that the way of making My Mom’s Oatmeal, is apparently very commonly known in South America, and it is accurately translated in english as “Avena Drink.”..makes sense, since it IS called Avena in spanish, but I honestly believed until this very moment that the correct translation for avena was oatmeal!! MY BAD!!

Anyways, this article mentioned that the Avena Drink, or as I know it, My Mom’s Oatmeal, is excellent for making Oatmeal Smoothies!!! The article also said, and I quote: “Smoothies are great options for breakfast, lunch, or quick mid-meal snacks […] The simple treat is packed with protein, fiber and nutrients from its healthy components”

I knew oatmeal was delicious, but I had no idea it was so Good for the body!!! So…stay tuned for more Oatmeal Smoothies to come in the Oats Recipes Series!!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B. 

* Here’s the link to full article I mentioned above: http://www.livestrong.com/article/485632-are-oatmeal-drinks-good-for-your-digestive-system/