Why We Gain Winter Weight

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 24! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 22 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-23

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6 Blogmas Day 7 Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10 Blogmas Day 11 Blogmas Day 12 Blogmas Day 13 Blogmas Day 14  Blogmas Day 15  Blogmas Day 16 Blogmas Day 17 Blogmas Day 18  Blogmas Day 19 Blogmas Day 20 Blogmas Day 21 Blogmas Day 22 Blogmas Day 23


Seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, but certain phenomena during the holiday season tend to tip the scales in a less desirable direction for most. Surveys show people tend to gain five to seven pounds on average during the winter months.

Don’t let worrying about winter weight dampen your holiday fun, though. By being aware of the factors that may put you at risk, you can improve your chances of coming out of the holidays with less guilt and frustration than usual. Here’s why we usually gain more weight in the winter—and what you can do about it.

Too Much Sleep

sleeping couple

When the sun is shining and the air is warm in the summer, it’s much easier to hop out of bed and be productive. However, when the cold takes over and the sun starts setting at 4 p.m., all you want to do sometimes is stay in bed. Consider buying proper clothing for the winter that’s comfortable to wear outside so you can get up with the sun and get moving.


Colder Weather

running outside winter

Baby, it’s cold outside! And if you’re like many of us, you’d rather stay in and curl up by the fire. The cooler weather deters a lot of people from continuing with their active routines. I find that people struggle mostly because they’re not outside as much and access to the outdoors is not as easy. They lose their summer running or tennis routine or discontinue walking with their buddy every few days routine. If you need to call on your friend to stay accountable, then do it. It’s not easy to stay active when it’s freezing, but it’s not as difficult when you have a partner in crime waiting for you.


Seasonal Affective Disorder

depressed sad man

It’s rather depressing to leave work and it already is totally dark outside. But it’s not all in your head; the lack of sunlight in the winter can actually have a significant effect on your mood and health. A handful of people develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter, which is a type of clinical depression. Try making a concerted effort to wake up in the morning and take advantage of the sunlight in the morning to counteract the lack of exposure in the evening.


Holiday Meals

holiday table food

The holiday season brings with it an influx of parties and gatherings that are fueled by tons of drinking and eating. It sounds fun at the get-go—but by New Year’s, you’ve probably gotten a little too used to that sluggish feeling that sets in post-holiday binge eating. And that holiday eating leaves a mark. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people gain an average of a pound during the holiday season. When it comes to holiday events,  preparation is key. Don’t arrive hungry and don’t pretend like you can’t eat the whole day before you go to one of these parties.


Comfort Foods

mac n’ cheese

When the temperature plummets, we’re not just reaching for scarves and mittens, but also for heavier, more warming foods. In fact, eating can help raise body temperature, which could be the reasoning behind our increased desire to seek out hearty stews and comforting bowls of pasta.


Holiday Drinking

christmas eggnog

Eggnog and hot toddies are a staple during the holiday season, but overindulging is all too easy and comes at a weighty price. Smith recommends drinking plenty of water before and during your festive get-togethers to avoiding drinking too many cocktails. It also helps to go into the happy hour or party with a set number of drinks in mind so that you pace yourself and don’t go overboard.


Holiday Office Treats

christmas cupcake

Beyond the parties outside of work, your co-workers may start flooding the office with baked goods and candy that will now live at the end of your desk row for three weeks. Cue: Willpower. What’s more? According to The New England Journal of Medicine study mentioned before, the majority of people don’t actually lose most of the weight they put on during the holidays—which can mean packing on the pounds after a few years have ticked by. Rather than fight off your cravings, keep healthy snacks stocked in your desk drawer and allow yourself to have a treat every now and then.


Specialty Coffee Drinks

pumpkin latte

Before the first fall leaf changed color, pumpkin spice lattes had already made their return. And with each transition from fall to winter comes more sugar-filled, specialty coffee drinks. It’s hard to ignore the tasty craze, but if you can resist the fancy lattes, you’ll avoid tacking on unnecessary calories to your day. If you must indulge once in awhile, go for the smallest size and ask the barista to halve the amount of sugar in the drink!


Fido Gets Less Fresh Air

couple walking dog

The cold weather not only inhibits your normal outdoor activities, but it may also drive you to cut back on your dog’s regular walks. But when he’s not getting his exercise, neither are you. Every little bit adds up! All it takes is one look at that sad puppy face to remind you that it’s not just about you and you’ve got to give the little guy his time outside.


Sugar Is Everywhere

razzleberry pie

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah—you name it, most holidays revolve around food and the majority of them give special attention to dessert. The key here is to analyze your options and settle on one that you really can’t live without. Choose what you really want to indulge in and stick to that. Try your hardest to think about it ahead of time and plan where you truly want to spend your calories.


You’re Already Overweight

woman overweight yellow tape

This may be a tough pill to swallow, but if you’re already overweight or struggling with your weight, you may be more prone to gaining more weight over the span of the holidays than your leaner counterparts. According to a study published by Tufts University, overweight individuals gain five more pounds during the holidays, while the average person tends to pack on one pound. The best thing you can do is be diligent about your portion sizes and try your best to stay on track with your regular eating and exercise schedule.


You’re Extra Groggy

man sleeping at desk tired

The lack of sunlight in the winter can have a profound effect on our hormones—particular our hormones that regulate sleep. During the winter months, we produce more of the sleep hormone and feeling sleepy can hinder motivation to go to the gym or move around. Try working out in the morning when the sun is out and you haven’t felt the obvious effects of the shorter days set in yet.


Metabolism Increases

lose weight dont eat in bed

Although this may seem like a positive thing, a jump in our metabolism may actually lead to weight gain instead of fat burn, if you’re not careful. According to research from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, our metabolism increases in an effort to burn more energy to help us stay warm. Translation: we need more food to meet our body’s increased energy demands. So, while you may feel hungrier, keep in mind that your metabolism isn’t revved up enough to completely counteract that second helping of mashed potatoes.


Frozen Produce

woman checking produce

In the warmer months, a greater amount of produce is in season and easily accessed. When the seasons change and the air cools, you might find yourself reaching for more comfort foods simply because the fresher items aren’t around for you to pick from in the grocery store and farmers’ markets aren’t around every other corner. There is a simple solution here: Opt for frozen fruits and veggies! Often times, frozen produce is actually more nutritious because they are frozen at peak freshness.


You’re Bundled Up

couple in winter selfie

Who doesn’t love sweater weather? It’s so nice and cozy, we’ll admit it! But when you’re hiding your body on a regular basis, you lose the visual cues of weight maintenance and management. Take a moment every now and then to check in with how your clothes are fitting and make a continued effort to stay on top of your regular workouts.


Dinner Dates

couple on dinner date

It’s not news that we tend to consume far more calories when we dine out than when we cook at home. The cold weather tends to move date night to restaurants for a number of months when your more active ideas are limited. As a result, more nights spent trying new restaurants put you and your honey in a position to overeat more frequently. Try splitting your entrees or going without snacks at the movie theater to avoid excess calorie intake.


Holiday Spiced and Flavored Foods

holiday food gingerbread latte

The holidays tend to send people into a pumpkin spice and apple cider-fuelled tizzy. Recipes for muffins, breads, cakes, donuts, and drinks start cluttering your news feeds and inspiring new creative baking endeavors. However, this seasonal hobby may contribute to seasonal weight gain if you don’t control portions carefully. Rather than trying a new recipe every week, pick one and invite friends and family over to enjoy it with you. This way, you won’t have all of those delicious leftovers staring you in the face.


Increased Salt Intake

salt shaker

Those comfort foods that settle in for the winter might feel good going down, but heavier foods usually have higher sodium content. This means more bloating and immediate feelings of weight gain and discomfort. Be diligent about drinking plenty of water to try to minimize the bloating effects and keep portion sizes of heavier foods at a minimum.


Missed Meals

thanksgiving dinner

One of the great joys of the holiday season is getting to indulge in all of the delicious foods. What’s Thanksgiving, really, if you’re not continuously eating for three hours straight? In an effort to keep diets in check, many people tend to skip meals in anticipation of bingeing later. However, this is not advised. Pretend like the overeating is not even going to happen and you’ll be able to control it better. I think you need to stick to your schedule as much as possible so that effectively you’re eating just another meal and not making it into any super special event. The less special you make it in your head, the less of an effect it is likely to have on your body.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Holiday Kombucha

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 12! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 11 days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-11

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6  Blogmas Day 7  Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10  Blogmas Day 11


There’s a lot to look forward to around the holiday season, like celebrating with loved ones, reveling in cozy sweater weather, and indulging in pumpkin- and peppermint-flavored everything. But why is it that I never associate celebration or indulgence with our health? Yes, you can still be festive and make smart decisions for your health over the holidays. The most fun way to get into the holiday spirit? Sipping on Health-Ade’s new Holiday Cheers Kombucha.

I totally get that it’s the time of year for Holiday Cookies, indulgent treats, hearty meals, and more holiday parties than you can count. After all, the most wonderful time of the year only comes around, well, once a year. However, being mindful of the treats we’re feeding our bodies should be something we practice year-round, not something we push off until January, so why not start at the holiday table?


First Off, What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is definitely one of those buzzwords you’ve heard floating around recently, or you’ve probably seen it all over Instagram on foodie, wellness, health, and accounts. To the naked eye, the fizzy drink looks a lot like some sort of soda/alcohol hybrid, but kombucha is neither soda nor a cocktail. It is, however, a carbonated beverage, and it does contain a small percentage of alcohol (most brands have less than 0.5% ABV so they can still be sold on shelves as non-alcoholic drinks). Basically, ‘booch is just as tasty as the other beverages you love, but with an added bonus: One serving is incredibly beneficial to your gut.


What Are The Health Benefits Of Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea made with SCOBY, aka symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast, the beverage is swarming with healthy probiotics, plus antioxidants and polyphenols. (Probiotics) help you control harmful bacteria while increasing the production of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, B12, B5, and biotin. As a result, probiotics can improve digestive health, decrease inflammation, boost immunity, and in some cases, may even aid in weight loss.


The Newest Health-Ade Kombucha Flavor Is Perfect For The Holidays

There’s an array of brands and flavors of ‘booch to choose from, but if you’re looking to add a healthier twist to your celebratory sips, you’ll want to try Health-Ade’s Holiday Cheers limited-edition kombucha. It literally encompasses everything merry and bright. Not only is the seasonal brew good for you, but the brand has harmonized notes of ginger, cloves, allspice, and chocolate into their original base formula. The end result? A bottle that combines holiday flavors with your new year, healthier you resolutions. All the more reason to start early, right?

The Health-Ade Holiday Cheers Kombucha is available now nationally for a limited time through the holiday season. Bottles and cases are available at the Health-Ade site, and you can also search the site for a store that carries the brand near you.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Probiotic That’s Not Yogurt

I know that I said yesterday that I decided to start #blogmas early. As I was figuring out what to write today I came across this post that I had saved. I hope you enjoy today’s post and all links will be provided at the end of every post.

If you missed yesterday’s post about some Amazing Holiday Treats you can Click Here


You’ve probably heard a great deal about the importance of probiotics lately, and how they are key to maintaining good overall health.  explains that a healthy gut leads to improved digestion, better weight management, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.

These days, probiotics are so popular they’re already available in cookies, teas, and yogurts—and now food giant Kellogg’s is getting into the game with another easy way to rev up your good bacteria intake: cold cereal. To that end, they’ve launched a new wellness brand, HI! Happy Inside, which aims to bring the power of probiotics to your daily breakfast in three different flavors (coconut crunch, blueberry, and strawberry).

The selling point here is that the cereal improves the benefits of probiotics by combining them with two other big digestion players, prebiotics and fiber. Each of the three flavors offers one billion CFU probiotics, 2.5 grams of prebiotics, and nine grams of fiber.


Prebiotics vs. Probiotics What’s the Difference?

If you are wondering what the difference is between probiotics and prebiotics, you’re not the only one. Probiotics are live bacteria we eat to promote a healthy gut microbiome, whereas prebiotics is a type of fiber that feeds the bacteria living in our gut.


Be Mindful of The Prebiotic and Probiotic Sources

It’s worth noting that not all probiotics are created equal. It is important to consider the type of strain added to a product because different strains promote different health outcomes. It is ideal to have at least 1 billion CFU per serving, which is usually why companies use a mix of strains.

And just like with probiotics, it’s important to be aware of the prebiotics used in the products you consume as well. The prebiotic used in Hi! Happy Inside cereal is inulin, which comes from chicory root. This is a very common source of prebiotics and can promote gut health. However, some people do experience stomach upset, loose stools, and cramping when they take too much inulin.


A Good Source of Fiber

Fiber is also a good component of gut health,  four grams of fiber per serving is usually recommended. Given that this cereal is made mostly with whole grains and contains nine grams of fiber per serving, it can be helpful in reaching your daily fiber goals, as women need approximately 25 grams per day and men need 37.


What About Sugar?

But even though this cereal can boost your prebiotic, probiotic, and fiber intake, Davidson says it’s important to keep in mind that each serving contains 9 grams of sugar. That comes from a mix of natural sources (milk, yogurt, and berries) and added sugar in the form of cane syrup, cane sugar, and regular table sugar. The fiber in this cereal will help to slow down the absorption of sugar, meaning it won’t have as big of an effect on your blood sugar levels overall.

SHOP HI! HAPPY INSIDE CEREALS NOW ON AMAZON


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

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Breakfast Hummus

Humus for breakfast? Read on for all the delicious deets!

Lantana’s fruity hummuses are made with a white bean base (instead of the classic chickpea puree), and each offers a uniquely flavorful twist. The best part about this lineup is that it’s wildly versatile, so there’s a healthy flavor for every palette, and you can switch it up constantly.

Wondering how to incorporate this sweet and tangy spread into your morning meal? The fruity hummus is finding its way into all sorts of iconic pairs with consumers swapping out cream cheese on bagels for the new condiment. The line even successfully broke up peanut butter and jelly: “We’ve had feedback that people are replacing jelly in a peanut butter and hummus sandwich—sort of a protein bomb there,” Matt Gase, CEO of Lantana Foods, told Gourmet News.

In fact, just two tablespoons of the strawberry-infused spread packs in 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 80 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar), and 2 grams of protein. Now that’s a snack I can get behind!

Next time you whip up a batch of pancakes on Sunday morning, try swapping sugary maple syrup with a smear of Lantana’s Cherry hummus. Or try stirring the mango hummus into a crunchy bowl of granola or dolloping it into overnight oats for extra creaminess. When snack time rolls around, opt for dipping crudités into Lantana’s savory hummuses such as the Sriracha Carrot, Edamame, Cauliflower, and Hatch Chile. I can’t think of a better way to make breakfast and snack time healthy and exciting

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can ALWAYS find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can contact me my from all of my links the I left below.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 

Paleo Desserts Worth Making

The Paleo “diet” has become more and more popular over the years, mimicking our ancient ancestors’ most basic “diet” of vegetables, meats, fruits, and nuts. The Paleo approach is to stay low in the mainstream processed foods that have filled our grocery store shelves and stick to natural food that’s free of additives. The hardest time to avoid these? Dessert! With these Paleo desserts, you get to avoid the added sugars, get full faster, and typically take in fewer carbohydrates.

A little Fact: The Paleo “diet” cuts out all grains, legumes, dairy and added sugar with the intent to get your body feeling good and your gut healthy. While a dessert that’s Paleo doesn’t justify indulging in a sweet treat every day, it does cut out any processed refined ingredients that are killing your waistline. Using natural ingredients like coconut sugar, coconut oil, and maple syrup (instead of white sugar) can have a major impact on your blood sugar spikes and reduce those continuous cravings that come along with them. Instead of going for those mysterious desserts, go back to a human “diet and get your nutrition on with real food!

I’ve put together a list of Paleo desserts that are simple and easy to make that won’t have you worrying about your beach body or any health and nutrition path that you are on and you’ll stay in track during the holidays.


FUDGY BROWNIES

Serves: 9
Nutrition: 275 calories, 18 g fat, 14 saturated fat, 153 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 24 g sugars, 4 g protein

What better way to satisfy that sweet tooth than with a super fudgy brownie that doesn’t have any of those artificial ingredients you might see in a store bought version? Dark chocolate can even help you lose weight, reduce inflammation, and decrease body fat.

Get the recipe from Jays Baking Me Crazy.

HOMEMADE TWIX BARS

Serves: 16
Nutrition: 214 calories, 18 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 256 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugars, 2 g protein

Skip the temptation of the candy aisle and go for a Twix remix with these homemade healthified candy bars. Instead of using any refined sugars, this recipe sticks strictly to maple syrup, a natural sweetener with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Get the recipe from Bakerita.

COOKIE DOUGH FUDGE

Serves: 15
Nutrition: 247 calories, 18 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 84 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugars, 3 g protein

If you’re one to dive into a container of cookie dough that never makes it to the oven, this recipe is for you! Cookie dough and fudge come together to make this guilt-free, undeniable dessert. You can forget all those processed ingredients from the store-bought brands because these are made with a base of heart-healthy cashews!

Get the recipe from Bravo for Paleo.

CHERRY GARCIA MILKSHAKE

Serves: 1
Nutrition: 320 calories, 13 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 204 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 30 g sugars, 5 g protein (including toppings)

Slurp down this non-dairy milkshake that’s loaded with omega-3s from chia seeds and cherries, one of summer’s healthiest foods! Cherries are filled with cancer-fighting flavonoids, as well as fiber that can help digestion and keep you full.

Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds.

MAPLE CINNAMON MERINGUES

Serves: 12
Nutrition: 110 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 107 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 16 g sugars, 5 g protein

This basic recipe is far from basic in flavor! Primarily made of egg whites, this is low in calorie and high in protein. The maple, cinnamon, and almond combine it to make a meringue you won’t want to miss!

Get the recipe from Gourmet in the Kitchen.

THE ULTIMATE UNBAKED BROWNIES

Serves: 16
Nutrition: 205 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 39 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 23 g sugars, 3 g protein

No baking required for this amazingly gooey brownie that skips all the unnecessary stuff! This raw treat takes only five minutes to make and can definitely get you over those chocolate cravings without having to feel bad about it.

Get the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.

APPLE FRITTERS

Serves: 7
Nutrition: 198 calories, 18 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 106 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 3 g protein (calculated with coconut sugar and ½ cup of apple)

Skip the desserts behind the counter and make your own version at home with these apple fritters. This recipe calls for apple, but you can use pretty much any fruit to fill these fritters.

Get the recipe from Forest and Fauna.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

Serves: 12
Nutrition: 179 calories, 13.9 g fat, n/a saturated fat, n/a sodium, 13.7 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 7.7 g sugars, 3.3 g protein

You had us at “chocolate chunk.” Pair these healthified cookies with a glass of almond milk for a night cap that you won’t be regretting the next morning!

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

PECAN PIE BARS

Serves: 14
Nutrition: 187 calories, 14 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 64 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 13 g sugars, 2 g protein

This is the perfect post-dinner treat to satisfy all those cravings without having to feel any late night guilt. Make a whole batch of them and keep them in the fridge for when you get the hankering, it’s an easy way to avoid the artificial additives and keep your belly in check.

Get the recipe from Food Faith Fitness.

CINNAMON SUGAR PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES

These donut holes do not add to your waistline, so they’re are a definite win in our books! Make sure you stick to the coconut sugar in this recipe to keep it completely Paleo-friendly. Coconut sugar is derived naturally from the sap of a coconut palm tree. Unlike a white table sugar that has a glycemic index of 65, coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index of 35.

Serves: 15
Nutrition: 180 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 172 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugars. 4 g protein (calculated with coconut oil and coconut sugar)

Get the recipe from Texanerin.

PEANUT-FREE PB CUPS

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 276 calories, 18 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 26 g sugars, 4 g protein

It only takes two ingredients to make these famous candy copycats, almond butter and chocolate. This duo is one heavenly combo you just can’t pass up. Use a dark chocolate that only has a few ingredients, or make sure you stick to one that is 70% cacao or more!

Get the recipe from Healing and Eating.

NO BAKE KEY LIME CHEESECAKE

Serves: 10
Nutrition: 340 calories, 20 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 71 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 28 g sugars, 5 g protein

Give your Paleo desserts lineup a refreshing and tangy touch! Instead of using dairy, it’s made with a base of cashews and coconut milk with an almond-date crust. The calories may seem a little high, but it’s strictly from natural fats that actually help you lose weight rather than put it on!

Get the recipe from Paleo Grubs.

HONEY VANILLA BIRTHDAY CAKE

Serves: 10
Nutrition: 193 calories, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 156 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 6 g protein

Forget those boxed vanilla cakes and go for one that is free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugars! Honey and vanilla are a combo you can’t compete with, perfect for any birthday, anniversary or just an after dinner treat.

Get the recipe from Honestly Nourished.

CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY PIE

Serves: 12
Nutrition: 333 calories, 27 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 332 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 6 g protein

Blueberry pie is a sneaky culprit that sounds healthful but is often filled with way too much white sugar and not enough nutrients. Instead, skip the blood spike and indulge in this rich and tart treat that’ll whittle your waistline!

Get the recipe from Wicked Spatula.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can ALWAYS find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can contact me my from all of my links the I left below.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

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Microwaveable Thanksgiving Sides

If you’re new to my blog hello how are you and welcome back if you’ve been with me for a while. I’ve done a series called the best and worst of something or sometimes I use the word horrible. When I do those type of posts I always link them at the end of those type posts. I realize not everyone may read that far down. So what I am going to do Is I will be posting just the bad and worst of something so that way If you are curious about something you can use that posts as a reference and as I continue the series I will continue to add the new best and worst of posts to that specific post I will keep you all updated as I update It I hope all of this makes sense?


The typical American spends nearly quadruple more time sweating in the kitchen on Thanksgiving compared to a typical weekend day, according to the USDA. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, I get it: the roasted centerpiece takes long enough. So save time ( I know that you know that I know that you do)—and oven space—by hitting the “easy button” with these showy side dishes that can be cooked completely in your microwave.

I will cover everything from soups and salads to bread and dips, these microwave recipes will make your holidays far less stressful.


Paleo Pumpkin English Muffins

Paleo pumpkin muffinsSteering clear of wheat or maybe you or someone you know Is gluten-free? Bake a batch of these quick pumpkin English muffins. Made with coconut flour and cashew flour instead of all-purpose wheat flour, these muffins are gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. And the pumpkin puree and pie spice make them tender and tasty, too. Running to the Kitchen’s base recipe is for one, so simply multiply by the number of people sharing your table and cook each in a separate ramekin.

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.


Microwave Cheddar and Herb Biscuit in a Mug

Microwave cheddar muffin

If you have 60 seconds, then you have all the time you need to “bake” Bigger Bolder Baking’s savory muffins in your microwave. A pat of butter and a couple spoonfuls of cheddar cheese lend a crumbly, rich texture worthy of your holiday menu. Present them in an eclectic array of microwave-safe mugs to fit the party vibe.

Get the recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.


Low-Carb Keto Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Mashed cauliflowerCourtesy of Wholesome Yum

Instead of serving your go-to mashed potatoes, why not swap the carby side for mashed cauliflower? Wholesome Yum recommends using the veggie’s florets, microwaving them until fully cooked, and squeezing out all of the water after microwaving. These three secrets to success will leave you with a creamy, keto-friendly spud swap that’s perfect for pairing with any entrée.

Get the recipe from Wholesome Yum


2-Ingredient Queso Dip

Queso dipCourtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Cheese, please! Gimme Some Oven’s queso is ideal for casual holiday parties. Cream cheese and salsa verde make snack magic once warmed together in the microwave. Serve this dunkable side dish with a platter of crudites and multicolored whole grain tortilla chips.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven


Grape and Bacon Goat Cheese Pops

Grape bacon cheese popsCourtesy of That’s So Michelle

Savory, sweet, salty, and tart all at once, a platter of these bite-sized snacks will disappear quicker than the last glass of eggnog. The only cooking required is crisping up the bacon in the microwave for the crumbly coating that surrounds the goat cheese-wrapped grapes. We’re not forgetting about the entrée!

Get the recipe from That’s So Michelle.


Healthy Russian Olivier Salad

Russian saladCourtesy of Wholesome Yum

Wholesome Yum’s twist in the classic Russian Olivier salad is a mainstay at holiday gatherings. And after skimming the easy instructions, we can understand why. The cauliflower and carrots are the only micro-cooked components, which get tossed with pickles, eggs (pro tip: buy them hard-boiled), peas, and a mayo-based dressing. The result is an upgrade on the picnic favorite potato salad in a dinner party-worthy package.

Get the recipe from Wholesome Yum


Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Kale Salad

Strawberry kale saladCourtesy of One Ingredient Chef

Come holiday season, it’s fitting to serve a salad inspired by dessert! Sure, you could just sprinkle a handful of candied pecans over romaine but we know you’d rather plate this red and green recipe from One Ingredient Chef. The kale, strawberries, and mint are refreshing and raw—and serve as a nice complement to the cocoa-powder-infused balsamic dressing. Microwave the vinegar, maple syrup, and cocoa for a few seconds to help them incorporate easily.

Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.


Microwave Pizza Dip

Microwave pizza dipCourtesy of The Seasoned Mom

Since three kinds of cheese are better than one, this kid-friendly side dish dreamed up by The Seasoned Mom features cream cheese on the bottom as well as mozzarella and Parmesan on top. In between the two, layer marinara sauce, turkey pepperoni, and your go-to veggie toppings. Then, microwave it for two minutes and pair with a “crust” of toasted baguette slices or warm breadsticks.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.


Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Soup

Squash carrot soupCourtesy of Blender Happy

Blender Happy proves that you can use your blender for more than just smoothies with this winter squash and carrot soup. Start with leftover roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner and blend with broth and garlic for a bisque-like bowl. For those who own a blender without a built-in cooking function, microwave each bowl before serving for one minute or until warm.

Get the recipe from Blender Happy.


Edamame Avocado Hummus

Edamame avocado hummusCourtesy of Well Plated

Get your greens with Well Plated’s guacamole-inspired hummus. First, microwave thawed edamame (which adds protein and thickens the texture), then blend with avocado, cilantro, and other healthy holiday ingredients. The result is packed with healthy, satisfying fats that will keep you from reaching for a second slice of pie.

Get the recipe from Well Plated.


One-Minute Brown Rice Risotto

Brown rice risottoCourtesy of Dinner Then Dessert

Normally, risotto requires many minutes of repetitive stirring and sweating over the stove—but this 60-second side requires just the opposite. Ready-to-serve brown rice, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese help it taste like you spent hours in the kitchen. You’re the only one who needs to know it was done quicker than a Christmas carol.

Get the recipe from Dinner Then Dessert.


Crunchy Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Cous cous saladCourtesy of Laughing Spatula

After microwaving the grains for Laughing Spatula’s veggie-centric couscous and chickpea salad, fold them together with the fiber-rich legume, plus broccoli, cucumber, tomato, and red bell pepper. Add a handful of feta for a salty kick and a splash of lemon vinaigrette for salad guests will reach to for seconds.

Get the recipe from Laughing Spatula.


Holiday Crab Dip

Crab dipCourtesy of Flour on My Face

 Okay, seafood, with Flour on My Face’s Old-Bay-seasoned crab dip. Cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo join forces in the decadent base while canned crab makes it a cinch to stir together in a flash. Warm your bones by serving this creamy side dish straight from the microwave and pair it with a basket of crackers or old bay-dusted buttery biscuits. Because cheat meals don’t count during the holidays, right?

Get the recipe from Flour on My Face.


Broccoli Salad

Broccoli saladCourtesy of Mama Loves Food

Since everything is better with bacon, add Mama Loves Food’s festively-hued salad to your holiday spread. Hot-from-the-microwave bacon lends savory, salty goodness into each and every bite. Sunflower seeds, carrots, dried cranberries, and a mayo-based dressing help this taste just like the broccoli salad of your childhood potluck memories.

Get the recipe from Mama Loves Food.


BBQ Bacon Ranch Football Cheese Ball

Football bacon cheese dipCourtesy of Julie’s Eats and Treats

This cheesy side is a surefire trophy-winner if you’re hosting a squad of sports fans to watch the on-field action during your holiday gathering. Inspired by the winning combination of bacon (the only microwaved ingredient) and ranch, this cheese ball recipe combines a barbecue-flavored cream cheese, a pecan-studded coating, and string cheese “laces” for extra points.

Get the recipe from Julie’s Eats and Treats.


Microwave Hot Cross Bun

Hot cross buns

Yes, hot cross buns exist beyond the song you learned on the piano in music class! Big Man’s World’s hot cross buns are remarkably versatile with Paleo, gluten-free, and vegan variations. They’re also appropriate parallel to dinner or even as a sweet dessert. Microwave the dried-fruit-flecked buns in mugs or bowls and finish with a cross of protein-packed frosting.

Get the recipe from Big Man’s World.


Final  Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can always contact me from the mentioned links in the above section. If you just have some general questions you can always comment on the said post or you can contact me whichever you feel comfortable.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Why You Should Eat Spaghetti Squash And How To Cook It

We’ve all been there: You see the giant yellow squash in the store and are instantly reminded of all the low-carb meals you came across on Pinterest, but you’ve never actually mustered the courage to tackle the sought-after veggie. To help you finally sub your go-to box of noodles with this low-calorie alternative. Not only is it a delicious low-carb alternative to your favorite pastas, but it’s also jam-packed with skin-healing vitamin A, energizing B vitamins, flu-fighting vitamin C, and bone-protecting calcium.


How to cook spaghetti squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all seeds, being careful not to remove the flesh.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place cut side down on baking sheet and into the oven for one hour.
  5. With a fork, gently remove the flesh of the squash, almost fluffing it. Try not to go at it too hard—you want to keep all the strands intact to give it that spaghetti look.

 Tip: If you leave the skin intact, you can put squash back in and use that skin to hold it as a vessel, and it also makes for nice plating.

Now that the squash strands are removed from the skin, you can use them in any way that you would use spaghetti! The options are truly endless. Seeking a keto-friendly spaghetti squash dinner? Just mix the “noodles” or also called “zoodles” with marinated Cabecou cheese and a spicy pesto—you can even add an extra protein punch to the dish by tossing it with sliced grilled chicken or roasted salmon.


Should you replace wheat pasta with spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squashBesides for the plethora of vitamins and nutrients that the winter veggie provides, swapping a two-ounce serving of conventional wheat-based spaghetti for the same size serving of spaghetti squash will save you over 180 calories. That means you’ll have more room to pile the spaghetti squash high (it’s less calorie-dense than traditional pasta) and make more room for fun sauces and toppings. If you’re not too keen on giving up your tried-and-true carb altogether, opt for experimenting with mixing a half serving of regular noodles with a few handfuls of spaghetti squash—you’ll get the best of both worlds!


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. You can always email me you can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you know is looking for one on one coaching you can reach me at all the links that I mentioned above.


 Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Earl Gray Tea For Health

What if I told you that you can slow down the aging process just by stepping into your local cafe? One of the most popular brews, Earl Grey tea, is made with a black tea base and oil of bergamot—an essential oil extracted from the Bergamot orange rind that’s praised for its countless health benefits and anti-aging properties.

According to a PloS One Journal study, bergamot oil increases autophagy—the process in which your body rids itself of damaged cells, keeping you young and preventing ailments such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune diseases, and infections. What’s more, a study in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity journal found that supplementing with bergamot juice resulted in anti-aging and antioxidant responses.


Wondering how to get more bergamot oil into your life?

An easy way to incorporate it into your life is to simply drink Earl Grey tea, Earl Grey provides a lot of health benefits: Black tea contains many flavonoids (antioxidants) that help fight disease and illness. Black teas also contain fluoride, which can help to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Studies also show that drinking three cups of black tea daily can help to decrease LDL cholesterol and therefore decrease overall chances of heart disease. And the benefits don’t end there.

Bergamot oil is great for the skin, more specifically for scarring such as stretch marks, chicken pox, acne scars, and cold sores. It also helps to even out skin tone and is a popular ingredient in skin care items and makeup because of this. Besides clearing your skin and helping you look years younger, this magical ingredient in Earl Grey tea can also help flatten your tummy. It is a great natural diuretic so it can decrease bloating. Whether you drink Earl Grey or apply skincare products infused with the oil, there are many ways you can get more bergamot oil into your everyday routine.

Next time you step into your local Starbucks or coffee shop, skip the vanilla latte and go for the Earl Grey tea. If you’re not in the mood for a piping hot sip, try steeping a tea bag, pouring over ice, and then tossing it into a homemade smoothie for extra antioxidant powers and a refreshing flavor!

Plus, you can always buy a pack of Earl Grey tea to enjoy at home (this one’s an Amazon Choice pick). Whether you’re a tea lover or just starting out experimenting with different blends, the mild taste of Earl Grey is a welcome addition to your pantry. Consider this your new go-to beverage for better skin and a whole host of health benefits!

If you are looking for a tea that benefits your overall health and well being you can Click Here to learn how to make a delicious Turmeric Latte and if you don’t know the full benefits of Turmeric then you can Click Here to fully learn all the health benefits turmeric has for our bodies and your doggos overall health as well.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can always find my email in the “Thank You” section and if email isn’t your thing you can always reach out to me on social media all of my social media links are always linked in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you are someone you know is looking for a coach to start a healthy lifestyle you can always reach out or you can send them to any of my links that are linked in the sections mentioned above.


 

Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

How To Shop At Whole Foods

After years of food shopping, you likely already have a handful of go-to grocery stores for everything from healthy daily staples to once-in-a-blue-moon treats, and we bet Whole Foods Market is definitely on your list. The popular grocer is known for selling a wide array of organic, quality products—vetting and shunning picks with hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners—and sourcing only sustainably-farmed produce and humanely-raised meats. So when it comes to checking off your grocery list, you’re probably wondering about the best things to buy at Whole Foods.

That’s why I’ve gathered a list of healthy food and drink Items everything from wholesome snacks to meal prep staples. Next time you run to your local Whole Foods, jot these winning picks onto your list or you can open this post for reference. They’re actually worth it!

Enjoy Life Cookies

Enjoy life crunch chocolate chip cookies

A cookie is always a nice treat, but for those that need to eat gluten-free, that isn’t always the case. Gluten-free cookies can be a huge miss, but not with Enjoy Life’s crunchy chocolate chip cookies. If you’re one of the people that like soft cookies, they have those, too.


Tessamae Salad Dressings

tessemaes everything bagel ranch

Available in a variety of different flavors ranging from Everything Bagel to Green Goddess, I love using Tessamae dressings to add a flavorful kick to my salads. And not only are these dressings absolutely delicious, but they’re also keto-friendly, Whole30-approved, and free of dairy, sugar, and gluten!


Frozen Berries

frozen berriesFrozen berries are a must because they not only help us with detox, but they are a great fruit that is also low glycemic, meaning you don’t get that spike in blood sugar. Take your nutrition up a notch and grab a bag of wild blueberries because they have twice the amount of antioxidants as a regular blueberry.


GT’s Synergy Kombucha

synergy organic kombucha divine grape

I love GT’s Divine Grape Kombucha. It is rich in probiotics, great for the endocrine system supplying healthy nails, skin, and hair, and is great for building up the immune system and combating diseases.


Against The Grain Pizza Crust

against the grain pizza shell

Everyone needs a cheat day once in a while, and mine is pizza. Against The Grain’s crust is gluten-free and non-GMO, and since it’s made with hormone-free milk and eggs as well as tapioca starch, it doesn’t cause bloating like regular pizzas made with flours do.


Sprouted Nuts in Bulk

AlmondsI always look to the bulk section for my nuts and seeds, as buying in bulk is a game-changer (when you’re) trying to eat healthily and watch your budget. Sprouted nuts specifically can be very pricey, as sprouting makes food easier to digest and boosts its nutritional value by destroying anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and lectins. If you’re not feeling up to sprouting your own nuts, Whole Foods has got you covered!


Seafood

seafood assortmentWhole Foods is committed to sourcing their seafood from responsibly-managed fish farms and abundant, well-managed, wild-caught fisheries—meaning they source from fisheries that are committed to preventing overfishing. I like the fact that I know I am getting quality seafood each and every time I shop at Whole Foods. You cannot say that about other grocery stores.


Supplements & Vitamins

SupplementsIt’s important to purchase supplements from a trusted source because the supplement industry is not regulated [by the FDA], meaning you may not always get what the label promises. Whole Foods does the homework for you by only stocking their shelves with reputable products. Whole Foods thoroughly trains and educates their staff to scrutinize every product’s ingredients. The products on their shelves will never contain any fillers, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, or preservatives. With so many supplement companies out there, it can seem overwhelming when deciding on a brand. When supplements are necessary, I always direct my clients to Whole Foods, as it is almost guaranteed they will at least be able to purchase a product where the ingredients on the label match what is actually inside the bottle.


KIND Fruit & Nut Bars

KIND fruit and nut bar

Whole Foods has one of the best selections of KIND bars. I especially love tossing a fruit-and-nut bar (the Almond & Apricot bar is a personal favorite) in my purse to have a healthy snack on hand at all times. The bar supplies protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help keep you fuller for longer!


Pre-Made Salad

salad barWhether I’m running errands or traveling, I always get excited to see a Whole Foods at meal time. I love to put together a salad bar lunch. As a vegetarian, there are so many options for me: there are usually a few tofu dishes and so many vegetable dishes to choose from!


Wonderful Pistachios, No Shells Roasted & Salted

wonderful pistachios, no shells roasted & salted

I can always count on Whole Foods to supply me with a full array of pretty much any nut my heart desires! I often reach for Wonderful Pistachios because they offer a satiating trio of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Pistachios are one of the nuts highest in protein, and they make such great additions to so many dishes, from a nutritious topper for a nice cream to a crunchy topping for a salad. You can even crush them and use them as a breading for tofu or salmon.


Olives

Olive varietyWhole Foods has such a wonderful olive bar, and you can find a terrific variety. I like to put together a mix of all my favorite types. Olives are such a low-calorie snack and are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids!


Steel-Cut Oats

Steel cut oatsOats are whole grain and high in fiber, which can be helpful in optimizing cholesterol markers, managing blood sugar levels, and improving digestion. Oats also contain some protein, which in addition to fiber can help you feel full until your next meal and may help you reduce snacking.


Pur Gum & Pur Mints

 

I always stock up on Pur Gum and Pur Mints when I am at Whole Foods. I love how they don’t contain aspartame (they are sweetened with Xylitol), are vegan, and contain no added sugar! They taste great and don’t taste fake like the other [similar brands]. Tangerine tango mints are my favorite!


365 Everyday Value Coconut Water

365 everyday value coconut water

I use sports drinks for hydration during long training runs. I’m not a huge fan of the pre-made sports drinks, so I make my own variety with coconut water as the base. I’ve found that the 365 brand of coconut water is quite affordable, tasty, and contains no additives. That’s why I pick up a liter every time I’m at Whole Foods.


Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast

bob’s red mill nutritional yeast

As a vegetarian, I’m always cognizant of eating enough foods that have vitamin B12 (since this vitamin is mostly found in meat products). Since nutritional yeast is rich in vitamin B12, has 8 grams of protein in a ¼-cup serving, and offers a cheese flavor, I use it in a ton of my dishes, like scrambled eggs and sprinkled onto roasted veggies or popcorn. I have a hard time finding it in my local supermarket, so I make sure I grab a bag of the Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast when I’m at Whole Foods.



Hot Foods Bar

hot foods barI shop their hot foods bar for quick takeout meals when I am traveling. I like that Whole Foods provides foods that are closer to what I would make at home as compared to typical fast food options.


Collard Greens

Collard greensWhere I live Whole Foods sells the freshest leafy greens, my favorite being collard greens. Collard greens are an incredibly nutritious food, packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. I love sautéing this in a little  oil and minced garlic!”


LesserEvil Popcorn

LesserEvil buddha popcorn

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, and I can only find LesserEvil Buddha Bowl Popcorn at Whole Foods! They have several different flavors, but I stick with the original Himalayan Pink Salt.


Wine

wine bottlesWine (in moderation) can bring joy and happiness, and any stress relief is good for our health, as stress has widely known negative physiological health effects. Wine also provides antioxidants and resveratrol, which has been associated with microbiome and cardiovascular health. I enjoy a glass of wine while shopping, but because that’s not always the case, I appreciate Whole Foods’ selection of wine based on region and grape. It makes for easy shopping and an unintimidating way to try new wines.

I did a post a couple of months ago how to drink and when to drink wine for weight loss you can Click Here to learn all the sweet deets.


Natural Calm by Natural Vitality Magnesium Citrate Powder

natural calm by natural vitality magnesium citrate powder

This is a highly absorbable form of magnesium that can be mixed with water and sipped throughout the day. The reason I shop this is because magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, which helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, lowering the likelihood of osteoporosis. Magnesium is also an anti-stress mineral. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. Magnesium also regulates melatonin production for better, more rejuvenating sleep. This enhances well-being and helps with day-to-day happiness levels. A best-selling magnesium that I have successfully used is Natural Calm by Natural Vitality, which is available at Whole Foods Markets.



Lily’s Dark Chocolate

lilly's dark chocolate

Lily’s Dark Chocolate is a newer product, and it is delicious chocolate for those seeking a lower sugar option (it is sweetened with Stevia). Whole Foods usually has an awesome selection! The chocolate chips are great for baking, and I love the dark chocolate coconut bar—a few squares makes for a delicious sweet treat after dinner!


Waterloo Sparkling Water

Waterloo lime

This Austin-based sparkling water company has so many delicious fruity flavors, and I love the crisp, clean flavor profile, compared to some other sparkling waters out there (because let’s face it, there’s a ton of options out there!). Whole Foods always has a great selection and is one of the few places that sells Waterloo right now!


So Delicious No Sugar Added Fudge Bars

so delicious no sugar added fudge bars

These creamy chocolaty fudge pops only have 60 calories and 2 grams of net carbs and are a delicious treat to keep on hand for those watching sugar, carb, or calorie intake! They are also vegan. Whole Foods has a great selection of So Delicious items.


Perfect Bars

perfect bar coconut peanut butter

Look for them in the refrigerated cases or in the mini fridges at the checkout endcaps. I like all of their flavors, but lately am really digging their Peanut Butter Coconut.


Kite Hill Unsweetened Plain Yogurt

Kite Hill dairy free almond yogurt

Kite Hill’s unsweetened plain almond milk yogurt is often only at Whole Foods. It’s great because it has only 5 ingredients [in addition to probiotics.


Bean-Based Pasta

Tolerant simply legumes pasta

Bean-based pasta, such as Tolerant brand, offer single-ingredient options like Black Bean, Red Lentil, and Green Lentil, which are exceptional minimally-processed options that will help to maintain our appetite and control blood sugar throughout the afternoon. Specifically, these plant-based pastas offer significantly more nutrition per bite as they are high in naturally-occurring fiber and protein. Highly processed options that contain processed fibers and protein isolates remain limited as to the research supporting their health benefits and usually come packed in foods high in added sugars and sodium. Despite other grocers having other bean-based pasta brands, I choose Whole Foods as a steady source for Tolerant, which to me is the highest quality of these pastas.


Avocado Oil

Primal Kitchen Greek avocado oil

Avocado oils and avocado-based dressings and marinades offer incredible benefits, mainly in the lines of healthy fats to support heart health. Avocado oil specifically has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking methods like baking and stir-frying. Brands include Primal Kitchen and Chosen Foods.


Beanitos

beanitos original chips

Beanitos bean-based chips offer a great snacking alternative. Similar to the pastas mentioned above, these chips are high in naturally-occurring fiber and protein.


Spiralized Zucchini Pasta

Spiralized zucchini noodles carrots zoodlesI find this by the vegetables in the refrigerated section, and I like it because it’s fresh and ready to make.


Enjoy Life Foods Baking Chocolate

enjoy life baking chocolate

Enjoy Life is the #1 allergy-friendly baking chocolate in America. It’s a rich, smooth, and premium chocolate that is dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, making it perfect for cookies, truffles, fudge, and more.


ProBar Live Bars

pro bar live bar

Exclusively available at Whole Foods (in the refrigerator section), Live Bars come in four delicious varieties, including Coconut Cashew, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter. These bars feature clean organic ingredients and are packed with real nuts, seeds, and dates for natural sweetness. With 10 grams of plant-based protein and one billion CFUs (colony forming units) of probiotics with zero added sugar, these bars are sure to keep you full and focused.


Wedderspoon Manuka Honey

wedderspoon raw manuka honey

Unpasteurized and raw, Wedderspoon’s Kfactor-16 is a shopping cart must-have! This superfood is sourced from New Zealand and contains beneficial antibacterial properties, making it the perfect addition to smoothies, home remedies, coffee sweetener, and more.


Chia Seeds

Chia is underrated. This little seed packs a punch nutrition-wise and is probably one of the easiest ways to add fiber to your life without resorting to some powdery mix-in. Add chia to drinks, smoothies, or even use as an egg substitute when baking.

 


Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein

multi collagen protein powder

Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in the body and is found in the bones, muscles, hair, skin, and nails. This key protein can impact nearly every aspect of health, and some promising research even suggests that collagen and its components support skin health, joint health, and gut health. The Multi Collagen Protein Powder is great because it’s made from five different types of collagen and has no fillers and additives. It’s also made using hydrolyzed collagen, which means that it’s typically more easily digested and absorbed by the body.


Almond Butter

Almond ButterWhole Foods has every type of nut butter you could ever want: raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, and unsweetened. I love adding almond butter to my soups and stews to make it extra creamy, for a nutty flavor, and it adds nutrients like plant protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and calcium.


Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour

bob's red mill paleo baking flour

I love baking with a mix of almond flour and coconut flour, and this baking mix makes that easier. It also includes arrowroot and tapioca, so my muffins and pancakes turn out extra fluffy. Whole Foods has a way more extensive baking section, whether you’re looking for Paleo options or gluten-free or low-carb baking ingredients.


Maple Syrup

maple syrupScientists have identified more than 67 different beneficial plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup. I always look for 100% pure maple syrup. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is derived directly from the maple tree’s sap that, when consumed in moderation, can be part of a healthy diet. It contains vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, and riboflavin—at approximately 110 calories per serving (2 tablespoons).


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post or the items I mentioned in today’s post please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any question, comments or concerns you may have. If you have general questions you can always comment on today’s post or any past post that you may have a question too. If commenting isn’t your thing you can always find my email in the “Thank You” section and If you email isn’t your speed and social media is you can always find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching please feel free to email me or contact me through my social media link and I will be more than happy to help you achieve the best version of you.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

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https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Reasons Why You Should Drink Smoothies

Confession: I used to hate smoothies (still do sometimes). Too much prep (sometimes your girl can be lazy). Too much to clean up (Who else hates cleaning the kitchen after smoothie making?) And I like to chew my food, not sip it. But then my sister bought a Vitamix when my old blender bit the dust, and it changed everything. I wanted to get my money’s worth.

It was an interesting experiment. For one, the smoothies replaced those sugary cereals I was eating. No, they weren’t as sweet as Honey Bunches of Oats, but they were rich and filling. I wasn’t hungry at 10:30 in the morning like most people I honestly don’t wake up until afternoon time I’m a night owl at it’s finest where my night owls at? The smoothie recipes were fun to make.

I started making protein shakes with chocolate-flavored pea protein powder for an afternoon snack.  It’s not a Yoo-hoo by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still delicious and gives you the chocolate taste you crave. You get used to the taste of plant-based protein and quickly learn how to sweeten it up a bit with a frozen banana or vanilla almond milk. With a protein smoothie in the afternoon, I didn’t need a Philly-style pretzel from Wawa or a Cliff Bar to chase the hunger away.

And if you want to lose pounds, drinking smoothies as meal replacements can be a convenient and delicious way to significantly slash processed carbohydrates and the calories that come with them. A study in Current Nutrition & Food Science found that people who replaced breakfast and dinner with a high-protein smoothie lost over 18 pounds in 12 weeks.

Made right, smoothies are full of water, fiber, and protein, all of which promote “satiety,” or feeling full, and can help us avoid overeating and cut calories, according to Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Program.

But smoothies boast a tumbler full of other health benefits beyond weight loss, depending on the ingredients you toss in the blender before the blades start spinning. Try the smoothie recipes below, and see 10 surprising reasons to drink smoothies. Get ready to whip up a delicious shake that’ll do your body good.

Boost Metabolism

Woman with water bottleStudies have shown that adding spicy ingredients like ginger and cayenne pepper to a shake can rev up your calorie-burning metabolism. In one study at Purdue University, people who consumed about a half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in their food burned about 10 more calories in the hours afterward, compared to people who ate the same meal but without the spice. Researchers call capsaicin, the compound in peppers that makes them hot, a thermogenic chemical that not only heats the body but decreases hunger signals in the brain.

Recipe: Tropical Spice Smoothie
½ cup coconut water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ ripe avocado
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2” knob of fresh ginger
1 cup frozen mango.

Makes 2 servings.


Ease Arthritis Pain

Woman with arthritis

Aching from osteoarthritis-related knee pain? Muscles sore after a strength-training workout? Try a smoothie made with tart cherry juice, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and joint pain.

Recipe: Almond Cherry Bomb Smoothie
½ cup frozen bing cherries
½ cup tart cherry juice
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond butter

Makes 2 servings.


Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

woman working during daySeveral studies have suggested a possible link between eating blueberries and improved memory and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe the anthocyanin antioxidants in blueberries may protect neurons, improve brain cell communication, and enhance blood circulation to the brain. This smoothie recipe contains other ingredients (spinach and turmeric) known to support cognitive function, making it a smart choice for boosting brainpower.

Recipe: The Einstein Smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup water
½ cup spinach
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon matcha powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup coconut milk
ice as needed

Makes 2 servings.


Rebuild Your Gut After Taking Antibiotics

Flat absAntibiotics create a lot of collateral damage at the same time they’re eradicating the bacterium they are prescribed to kill. They destroy much of our helpful gut microbiota, which in turn causes mild diarrhea. But sometimes the widespread reduction in microbiota by antibiotics allows a more harmful bug–Clostridium difficile—to take over. C-diff can cause severe diarrhea and even a life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It’s especially dangerous in the elderly. There’s clinical evidence that repopulating the gut with “good bugs” by taking probiotics could help prevent C-diff in people taking antibiotics. Kefir, used in the good-gut-bug-building smoothie below, is one of the best probiotics (yogurt is another) and perfect for smoothie blends.

Recipe: Gut Punch Smoothie
½ cup plain full-fat kefir
1 cup frozen raspberries, peaches, strawberries
½ tablespoon flaxseeds

Makes 1 serving.


Crush Cravings

Pastry shop

Apple cider vinegar and cinnamon have been shown to stabilize blood sugar and keep cravings for carbs at bay.

Recipe: Cinnamon ‘n’ Cider Smoothie
1/3 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ apple, chopped
four ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.


Lower Blood Pressure

Woman checking her blood pressureEating foods rich in potassium is a natural way to lower blood pressure because the mineral tempers the effects of sodium on the body and also eases tension on blood vessel walls. Among the best high-potassium ingredients for smoothies are bananas. One study found that eating two bananas a day can drop blood pressure by 10 percent. But before you go ape with bananas, check with your doctor. Potassium can be harmful to people with kidney problems, and it may interact with certain medications. Then try this blood pressure-lowering smoothie, which also contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and relaxes the walls of your blood vessels.

Recipe: Berries and Banana Smoothie
½ cup almond milk

½ cup strawberries, sliced

½ medium frozen banana

1 kiwi, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds

Makes 2 servings.


Beat Diabetes

DiabetesIf you are worried about prediabetes, this is an ideal breakfast smoothie to replace a bowl of sugary cereal or sweetened yogurt. It tastes like an apple pie, but it keeps blood sugar levels stable with cinnamon, eight grams of fiber, and muscle-building protein. What’s more, it contains EGCG, a catechin from matcha powder that stimulates cells to release fat.

Recipe: Apple Cobbler Smoothie
1 apple, cored and chopped

1 cup kale, deveined

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 scoop plain plant-based protein powder

cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Makes 1 serving.


Look Younger

Woman looking in mirrorThis smoothie is a dermatologists’ favorite because it’s loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin protects the skin from UV ray damage, potentially keeping skin supple and youthful-looking. The beta-carotene in The Young Bunny smoothie comes from two ingredients, carrots and apricot. We’ve added honey and cinnamon, which have also been shown to help with skin repair.

Recipe: The Young Bunny Smoothie
½ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup grated carrot
1 dried apricot half, diced
1 fresh apricot, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon local honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Makes 2 servings.


Stay Awake


A smoothie made with chilled coffee or cold-brew coffee, banana, and protein powder will not only give you an energy boost at 10 a.m., but it’ll also keep your belly satisfied until lunchtime.

Recipe: The Cold Snap Smoothie
½ cup coffee, cooled or cold brew coffee
½ cup 2% milk
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 medium frozen banana
1 scoop whey protein powder
4 ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.


Go to Sleep

Sleeping woman

Cherries and tart cherry juice are concentrated sources of melatonin, a popular natural sleep aid. Try this simple concoction as a late evening snack, and you’ll drift off easily.

Recipe: The Snoozie Smoothie
¾ cup tart cherry juice
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
4 ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have general questions you can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you know is looking for one on one coaching please feel free in reaching out you can always comment on this post or you can email me if neither is your thing you can always reach me on all of my social media which is linked down below.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂