Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Well, it’s that time of year again! With all the food, traveling, parties, and everything fun that comes with the holidays, it can be difficult to keep up with eating healthy and exercising.  Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy during the holiday season!

  1. Make time for physical activity. Whether it’s taking a family walk around the park or fitting in a half hour workout in the morning before preparing for that Thanksgiving dinner, it’s always good to get some physical activity in! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you don’t have to hit the gym to get in a workout. The important thing is to make exercise a priority, regardless of what it is, or you may forget it altogether.
  2. HYDRATE. Drinking water is so important. Your body needs water! It can be really difficult to drink water when there are other drinks available, such as alcohol, soda, juice, etc. It’s also hard when you’re traveling, as you may have less access to water when you’re on the road. Travel with a water bottle! Remember to empty the water  before going through TSA. You can always refill your water bottle at a water fountain after passing through TSA.
  3. Have good hygiene! This is something that is sometimes overlooked but nothing ruins the holidays than getting sick. It makes the holidays much less enjoyable, especially if you miss out on a party just because you weren’t feeling well. Wash your hands, have hand sanitizer with you, bundle up appropriately, etc.
  4. Indulge but don’t indulge too much. This means watch your portions of the delicious food you’re eating. Enjoy the food. There’s always a lot of food during the holidays. People bring in cookies, candy, etc to the office and there’s plenty of food at parties. However, it’s not a free-for-all to eat huge portions of everything. If anything, choose specific foods you want to indulge in, such as your grandma’s favorite pecan pie or that delicious pot roast that your aunt makes for Christmas every year. You don’t eat this stuff normally and it’s okay to indulge and enjoy the occasion! Everything in moderation is the key.
  5. Eat slower and enjoy your food! This will make sure you don’t choke on your food. Choking hazard joke aside, savor your food and enjoy it. It takes a while for your stomach to register that you’re eating and starting to get full. Giving this more time to set in can prevent you from eating more than you intend to.  Plus, you really get to enjoy the flavors of the meal you have and you get to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while since you’re eating slowly and enjoying time with them.

At the end, just enjoy the holidays and try not to stress about eating. After all, the most important thing is that you are spending time with your family and friends. Go ahead and indulge!

How do you stay healthy during the holidays? 

What’s your favorite holiday treat? 

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Living the “Healthy” Life

There is something I have to admit. I’m not living a healthy of a lifestyle as I used to. To be perfectly honest, I am okay with that. I really don’t know if the way I used to do things was even considered healthy. So, I can’t really complain about how I am living my life right now. Let me tell you guys how I used to be before and how I am right now.

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Before

I used to not eat enough. That’s the truth. I counted calories. I made sure I ate 1600 calories or under everyday. On top of that, my meals weren’t as balanced as they have should been. I restricted my calories so much that I limited what food groups I ate. My breakfast and lunches were usually a peanut butter sandwich, cereal, or a Clif bar. Every once in a while, I’d make a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch, veggie burger, or hummus and pita chips. On the rare occasion I decided to buy food, I’d buy food from Panda Express or a salad from an eatery at school. As you can see, my diet wasn’t varied and I restricted my calories. My dinners were balanced, however.

On top of my eating, my workout habits weren’t that healthy. They were obsessive compulsive, if anything. I worked out twice a day. I  worked out 2 hours, 5-6 days a week. That’s a lot of energy spent. I also walk to campus from the lightrail and walk around school. I didn’t get much sleep either, wanting to workout in the early morning. Now you know why I say I wasn’t consuming enough calories and how my habits weren’t healthy.

It was easy because I seemed to have a lot of time. My classes weren’t hard and I wasn’t working. I had the body I really liked though. I weighed a lean 110 bs.

Now

Let’s start with my eating. I am eating 2000 calories +. I am seriously not counting calories anymore. I eat 3 meals a day, plus 2-3 snacks. My meals are more balanced now. I eat more of a variety. It’s crazy how my view of “healthy eating” has changed. I’m not so strict on always eating whole grains and going out to eat. I don’t eat certain foods just because they’re low in calories. I’m more relaxed on my eating. I eat “healthy” 75-80% of the time, which is good enough for me. It is hard to always eat “healthy” when in a relationship sometimes because eating out is what happens most of the time. Mi novio and I eat out a lot when we go on our dates. And let’s just say, I don’t always choose the healthiest options.

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As for my workouts, I’m not working out as much. I just don’t have the time anymore. I have 8 am classes, 5 days a week and I take public transit to school. That means that even though I already wake up early, I don’t have the time to workout. I don’t want to lose sleep either by waking up even early. I’ve been really busy. I spend time with mi novio. I have my classes to worry about (full time student). I have work. I’m tired half the time (or should I say most of the time). I workout maybe an hour, 5-6 days a week.

I still think that I’m doing pretty well. It’s hard to balance school, work, exercise/eating healthy, and having a relationship.  I am still working out, eating as healthy as I can, getting my education, and gaining work experience. I may not weigh as low as 110 lbs but I still think I am at a pretty healthy weight. I weigh 124 lbs. I know a lot of women don’t like sharing their weight but it’s just a number. It doesn’t reflect the type of person you are or how you look.

What is your view of “healthy” eating? 

How do you balance your life?

Easy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have baked a ton of “healthy” chocolate chip cookies. This one is actually my family’s favorite. The other favorite are the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.

However, these cookies are so easy to make and require a few ingredients.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dark chocolate chips (as much as you want)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, “cream” together the sugar and oil. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop 2 tablespoon size balls onto a baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Once they are done, let them cool and enjoy!

I don’t use butter or margarine in my cookies. My stomach doesn’t respond to well to butter.

I hope you guys enjoy these cookies!

In other news, I think I will be taking the next few day off from working out. My body needs a few days of rest before I start training for my half marathon. I’ll still walk and do some yoga but that’s it until Sunday. In other news, I ran a 5k in 26:53. It’s a PR. I’m so happy. =)

Black Bean Brownies

Hey hey everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing great, thank you very much. I have been so busy lately and I have been neglecting my blog. I will have things updated. Don’t worry!

Anyway, I decided to make black bean brownies the other day (as in, a couple weeks ago). I tried black bean brownies once because a friend of mine made some. So, I decided to make my own. Here’s how it turned out.

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Not bad, right? It tasted pretty good too. Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, except for the chocolate chips if you are using them.
  3. Pulse until smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips, walnuts, or whatever you want on the brownie batter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Take them out, let them cool, and enjoy!

Now, you have a delicious dessert that is high in fiber and protein!

Do you like brownies?

Have you ever used beans in desserts? – I love chickpea cookies! 

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

Happy Tuesday everyone.  How are you guys doing today?

I have this awesome recipe for you. It is Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies. I adapted the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies.  You won’t believe that it has chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in them. The only thing I did different was make these into cookies instead of bars. They are so good! My little brother even likes them.

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Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • chocolate chips (add as much as you want)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor, add in the chickpeas. Process for about 1 minute. Then, add in the rest of the ingredient (except the chocolate chips) and process until smooth.
  3. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Drop the dough/batter onto a greased cookie pan. It should make about 11-12 cookies.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Take it out, let it cool, and enjoy!

That’s it for now. I’m on Spring Break and I’m definitely staying home and relaxing. I do have volunteering but other than that, I’ll be at home, relaxing, and doing homework! Professors don’t seem to get the idea of Spring Break.

By the way, did you guys watch yesterday’s Switched At Birth episode? All I can say is “WOW.”

Have you tried making desserts from beans?

– I love red bean paste and these chickpea cookies.