If you are looking for ways to detox after the holidays and eating healthy for the new year is one of your goals, then start now by using these three simple steps including making this yummy fiber-rich dish! These are very basic steps, but they are of great importance to me because without these three being in the fore front of my daily routine, my days are just not the same.
Step One: Get More Sleep
Getting quality sleep at night is better for your overall physical and mental well-being. A good nights rest can help you to be more productive during the day, gives you that added energy when trying to keep up with your kiddos, and having enough energy to exercise, which in turn helps you to lose weight, and you will eat better too!
Step Two: Drink Water
Drink more water. So simple, and so easy to overlook. I suggest getting a 24 oz tumbler or larger and make a goal to refill it at least once a day and finish the bottle by the end of each day. I normally drink plenty of water in the summer, but the winter, not so much. The winter months, especially here in North Georgia, are always interesting (not too much snow...just ice), and the cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air that steals away moisture from our body. Drinking more water is going to help you feel full, and satiated throughout the day and it also helps increase your metabolism. So simple!
Step Three: Eat Healthy
I love to cook! It is my own personal therapy and my favorite way of showing my family how much I love them. A few years ago during our famous "Georgia Snowmageddon", I cooked one of my favorite southern meals: Black Eyed Pea and Collard Soup. It just so happens to be my own personal prize winner (at least to my family it is). It is the perfect dish to warm you up in cold weather, and considering how many meals we can get out of this recipe, makes it super convenient and econcomical too! I know that not everyone has the southern cravings that I have, but if you like a spicy, wholesome nutritious meal that will feed an army then keep reading.
First, the pictures below do NOT give it justice. I have made this dish numerous times throughout the years and it keeps getting better, I just forget to take pictures. I make this dish in a crockpot, however using a dutch oven or Instapot would work just as well.
Here are some quick healthy facts about what is included in this recipe:
2 packages of black-eyed peas, (I use the dried peas...then soak and cook them myself)
1-2 27oz cans of Glory Southern Style Collard Greens
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large organic celery ribs, finely minced
6 large organic carrots, peeled and cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 organic leek sliced
2-3 cups homemade organic chicken broth (homemade is healthier)
1 smoked ham hock
2 tbs Italian dressing (odd I know)
1 tbs hot sauce
(optional) 1/2 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Let it cook for 6-8 hours. Prepare for the goodness!
Accompaniment and Substitutes
Tabasco or hot sauce
Buttermilk Corn Bread/Muffins
Use a packet of Goya pork flavorings instead of hamhock.
All these fad diets come and go, but which tried and true habit remains constant? Simply creating healthy sleep habits, eating fresh whole foods, staying hydrated help you get create better daily habits and you become more active too! Pretty simple! Happy New Year's y'all!
© aquaBelly Lake Lanier 2014-2018
What does protein packed Greek yogurt, fresh bananas and avocados make perfectly together? A fantastic way to add healthy protein, fruit and good fat to your breakfast. The last thing I want to eat is cereal, it just does not make me feel ready to tackle my day, plus I am typically hungry soon after finishing which means I am not getting enough protein. For a protein packed breakfast I turn to Greek yogurt. To say I love yogurt is an understatement. I could eat this particular blend all day, every meal. Luckily, my husband and daughter are the same way so it is a win win for that sleepy morning question "What would y'all like for breakfast?". I have eaten this breakfast for practically five months straight. Along with my aquaBelly routines that I do weekly, and watching my overall calorie intake, I have been able to drop over 17 pounds as of September 1st! You just can not beat the healthy, monounsaturated fats in the fruit contributing to healthy blood flow, which makes for a healthy brain...and with the lack of sleep I have had this is a big WIN for me!
I would be lying to say that it has been easy. The workouts are amazing, eating low calories meals is not tough either, it is all the other responsibilities that sometimes make it super tough to get that tiny little workout in either at the beginning or end of my day. Being a mommy to a little growing six month old has been a dream, but this little guy bless his heart has been teething since he was seven weeks old. Mama is exhausted so much so at times that I just want to get one tiny little nap in when they nap...which is so much harder than it sounds. Luckily, as of yesterday, he FINALLY has his two bottom front teeth coming in so hopefully he can start sleeping a little better at night (fingers crossed) and I can get on my regular workout routine again!
Here is one thing that remains constant and that is my diet, more specifically my breakfast and go to protein-packed snack! I originally created this recipe when my daughter was about eight months old (made without honey) and she loved it either cold or warmed up. I started making it again this past spring and I have been making it every morning since. It is super easy and can be made using a hand emulsifier or a blender. I make a lot so that we can have leftovers, but I typically try to have those eaten within about 24 hours.
Greek Yogurt Avocado Banana Breakfast Ingredients:
½ Medium Avocado, peeled
2 Cups Greek yogurt
1 medium Organic Banana
3 Tbs Organic Honey* (For babies 12 months or older)
The doctors cleared me at 4 weeks postpartum to begin exercising and I was so excited. I had gained 44 pounds during pregnancy (when I was already 10 pounds over my "comfortable" weight to begin with) and I was hurting. Hurting from ligaments being stretched, my knees hurt from the weight, and my back was struggling. Oh, how I ached everywhere. I was consuming too much and not enough of what I should have been focusing on. More importantly, I was not working out like I should my last trimester, but I was in pain and having to run after a toddler. My heart hurt the most because I didn't like what I was seeing in the mirror, it just didn't look like "me". This was the toughest for me because I respect my body so for what it has had to go through to get pregnant, carry a baby and give birth.
What I needed was to get back in the pool, but lugging a newborn and a toddler to the pool just was not going to work. So I joined a local fitness program that in the end I know I would've loved to continue but I don't like shuffling my kids around and to be quite honest I didn't have the strength yet to do it. My last day with the program I was exactly 6 weeks postpartum and I felt great. I was excited about attending my third fitness class, things were slowly getting back to normal...a new normal! It was halfway through the workout when running up and down a hill doing jumping jacks that I knew something wasn't right. It didn't physically "feel" right. Let's just say I thought my uterus was going to fall out. So I backed off. Then on to burpees, I felt fine and I didn't push myself too much. I left feeling great, unfortunately, I didn't feel great later that day. I had strained muscles and all of a sudden my chest was cramping and I couldn't catch my breath. It physically hurt to breath. Fortunately, I was not having a heart attack. It was a muscle spasm in my chest but it felt like I couldn't catch my breath...I thought I was dying. Seriously it was that bad. So for three long weeks, I waited for my muscles to heal and finally, I felt like I was ready to exercise again.
I decided to take it slow and take my kids to my pool with me. PK is 2.5 and she is an ISR baby so I knew having her right there with me she could swim and play, as well as join in some of my aquaBaby workouts. CL is only 3 months and he could sit in his bouncer and watch! First full workout...amazing! I was in tears because I felt great, it was what I needed all along and I felt at peace. This was the beginning of my fitness journey! It's been almost two months now and I've lost over 10 pounds. I realize now that slowly increasing exercise over time is more important than starting right away after childbirth. aquaBelly respects that time period and the in water workouts feels as if you are being fully embraced and protected. Pounding the pavement that soon was unkind to my body and that's never happening again!
Postpartum fitness is so much more than losing the baby weight. Our aquaBelly classes helped me to feel refreshed and confident in my post-birth body. I can safely focus on pelvic floor health and bring my muscles back to where they belong. My time doing aquaBelly is between me and the water, nothing else. The moment the water encloses me, and I begin my warm up I am, grateful and truly blessed.
This is one of my easiest and favorite summer veggie recipes known as Organic Homegrown Sauteed Summer Squash, Zucchini, Green Bell Pepper with Onion. All summer long we always have a bounty of summer vegetables! From yellow squash, zucchini to green bell pepper we are always overflowing with fresh grown veggies. What makes it even more exciting is that we grow organic vegetables using a locally made organic vegetable compost and potting soil from Foothills Organics. It is called Foothills Organics Compost and and Foothills Organics Potting Soil. You can find both Foothills Organics Compost and Potting Soil in many area retailers as well as Whole Foods within the Southeast Region of the United States. The Foothills Organics Compost bag is a 50 lb bag, and what you will find is a very sturdy bag that will not break, which I love because I sometimes have to drag my bags of compost or wheel barrel this big dude to my little garden! You can even use the empty bag as a way to collect other garden vegetables or collect leaves in it during the fall. My veggies absolutely thrive in this nutrient rich soil and our garden is always green and lush!
This recipe makes the perfect summer side dish. For a quick weeknight dinner, grill up some organic chicken, or any grilled organic meat; it is a great way to use up those homegrown organic garden veggies. You can also find links to the Foothills Organics website below, to learn more about their products! I hope you enjoy!
1 medium squash
1 medium zuchinni
1 medium onion
1 medium green bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Organic Grilled Chicken
Costco's Cilantro Lime Shrimp (excellent souce of protein)
1. Cut yellow squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
2. Chop onion.
3. Sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon organic EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add 1 minced garlic clove, and sauté 1 minute.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Website: Foothills Organics Compost and Potting Soil
Location: Gainesville, Georgia
I know it is human nature to buy into a quick fix only because you desire rapid results. When we start making changes to our exercise routine and what we are eating we want to be rewarded with visible change...immediately! At some point, common sense is going to kick in here people, you will see that transforming your body and routine isn’t an over night process. It will take patience, hard work, dedication, and the ultimate key: consistency!
You have probably tried weight loss plans, weird diet fads, questionable "supplements", the list goes on. These are simply a quick fix and will never lead to long-lasting weight loss, unless you change your diet and start exercising. So, NO, there is not a quick fix. If there were, we'd all be doing it! In the mean time, I'm going to continue my journey of eating a clean diet and enjoying my daily workout routine. Ladies, if you want to feel good, refreshed and get elegant toned muscle...join me in the pool! Why not at least try it out?
I thoroughly enjoy the parts of our aquaBelly workouts that incorporate ballet and pool barre. At the pool barre, we utilize ballet steps such as demi-plié, grand plié, and dégagé. At our pool barre, we utilize squats and grand Pliés, which are more natural in terms of standing tall and keeping our backs straight.
In addition to our barre exercises, we also mix yoga, pilates, hip hop dance, weight training and aerobic exercise to give you a well-balanced, full body fitness class each time you come. Our classes are conducted in the water and are based upon the ACOG guidelines for safe exercise during pregnancy and beyond.
Homemade organic summer squash soup is a perfect recipe for busy parents! Not only does this soup serve as a nutritious meal for your baby, it also makes a super complement to mom and dad’s meal too! See recipe for Pregnancy Food: Summer Squash Soup. Plan ahead by making this soup for your baby and freezing it for future use (directions below).
This recipe was developed for babies ages 8 months and up! It makes around 6 cups.
2 pounds of roughly chopped fresh organic squash
1 cup organic milk
1 cup organic applesauce
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter
Dash of nutmeg
Using your saucepan and steamer basket, add enough water so that the water level is just below the bottom of the steamer basket.
Bring water to a boil.
Add the roughly chopped squash to your steamer basket.
Cover and steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Next, place cooked squash and remaining ingredients into a food processor (can also use a blender or hand held emulsifier) and pulse until it’s the consistency of finely ground pulp. *Add more organic milk to make the soup thinner.
Place meal-ready portion sized amounts into temporary containers and freeze. Once frozen, slip the frozen blocks of food out and repackage in Food Saver Vacuum Sealer Bags (cut to size if needed). When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator and then pour into a pot. Reheat on medium-low.
Squeeze Pouches: (example: Infantino Squeeze Pouches)
Using the Infantino Squeeze Pouch system, label each pouch before adding food. Pour desired amount into each pouch (usually about 3.4-4 oz). Place in refrigerator for 1-2 days or freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in warm water...never microwave!
This Easy Organic Gorgonzola Chicken Salad is so simple and taste delicious even with so few ingredients.
Start with the organic green leaf lettuce, chop or tear the sliced turkey breast. Sprinkle the organic Gorgonzola cheese. Add one ore two dollops of organic cottage cheese. Add a splash of organic apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Yes, simple...light and tasty!
My mouth is still watering from how awesome this grilled steak salad tasted! This salad was thrown together after an amazing aquaBooty workout, followed by teaching ISR swim lessons to some incredible little's'! My appetite was huge, but I wanted to eat lite. This recipe calls for a grilled steak and I cannot take credit for the juicy steak I used in the one pictured. We ordered takeout from Luna's Restaurant in Gainesville, Georgia, for my birthday the night before, and it was huge! I new we would leftovers and this was a perfect way to finish the steak.
The steak is a ribeye and was grilled, although I'm not quite sure what marinade was used. I sliced up an onion and sauteed it using just EVOO and a little sea salt. The rest were toppings from the fridge. I decided to go extra light on the dressing too by using simple but healthy organic apple cider vinegar. This steak was amazing and I am looking forward to cooking this dish up again soon!
Ingredients (Serves 1-2):
1 leftover steak (whatever is your favorite steak); fat trimmed
Organic Red Leaf Lettuce (I prefer red leaf or romaine for this recipe...leaves are stronger)
Organic Onion, sliced and sautéed
Organic Grape Tomatoes
1 pinch of sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper
4 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
Prepare the sauteed onions by heating your pan with EVOO. Slice your onions not too thin. Sauté until caramelized then add just a pinch of sea salt.
Slice a few strips of steak fairly thin and set aside.
I make the salads individually instead of combining in a large bowl. Spread the lettuce over the plate. Add the sauteed onions, Gorgonzola cheese, spread the steak slices around and top with the grape tomatoes. Don't forget the freshly cracked pepper and drizzle the dressing over the top just before serving. Enjoy!
Did you know? aquaBelly™, founded in 2010, is a national fitness and healthy living brand that focuses on Moms, Moms-To-Be and Active Adult Women. What are you waiting for sign up today! Winter classes are held indoors at a private pool in Gainesville.
Classes are scheduling now! Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Space is limited in our Aquatic Therapy Heated Pool so don't delay contact us today!
aquaBelly® Fitness Blog
From workouts and healthy meals, fitness tips and fashion, to baby love—I'm excited about keeping my clients informed about their health, fitness and life on Lake Lanier! I am a certified pre and post natal fitness specialist, entrepreneur, wife and mother!