Are Smoothies Good For You?

Yes, smoothies can be very good for you if f you make it yourself or go to a smoothie bar where you know exactly what is in it. Many stores will add ingredients with a ton of sugar, such as ice cream or syrups. If made correctly, smoothies can be a fantastic meal replacement or snack. I try to have a smoothie once a day and, typically, for breakfast. Why? Well here are a few reasons why smoothies are so good for you:

1. Fruits and Veggies

Its amazing how many people do not get the recommended fruits and vegetables in. Smoothies are a great way to get some healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet. I always add one serving of fruit and at least one serving of vegetables in my smoothie. Make sure not to overdue it on the fruit since fruit does contain sugar, natural but still sugar. 

2. Healthy Fat

People seem to be afraid of the word "fat" nowadays but the truth is that your body needs healthy fat to function. Incorporating healthy fats into your smoothie is a great way to start off your morning. Your body will love you for it. I add 1/4 of an avocado to my daily smoothies and sometimes a scoop of almond butter (no added sugar).

3. Simple & Quick

For those that are constantly on the run and don't ever have time for breakfast, smoothies are an easy and quick meal to make for on the go. You can prep the night before and than throw it on the blender in the morning. I can't tell you how many people I talk to that just don't eat breakfast in the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body has been resting all night without food so it would only make sense that it needs food in the morning in order to function at it's highest capability. Make sure to eat breakfast. Smoothies are fantastic, on the go, healthy meals.

4. Digestion

Adding ingredients into your smoothie that can aid in digestion are fantastic. Some examples of this are kefir, apple cider vinegar, avocados, cucumbers, peppermint, ginger, lemon, and fennel.

5. Energy

By fueling your body with healthy food and nutrients, you will have a ton of energy to go about your busy day.

 

Here are a couple of my smoothie recipes that I use quite often.

 

Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Cup Blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1/4 -1/2 Avocado 

Spinach

1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use frozen blueberries, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

The Green Monster Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Banana (frozen or fresh)

1 - 2 Tbsp Almond Butter (or any nut butter)

Spinach

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use a frozen banana, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

 

Have a great weekend! Stay healthy:)

 

XOXO 

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

Coconut Oil vs Cream & Sugar

Who here loves coffee?? 

If you are like me and you said OF COURSE I LOVE COFFEE, than read on. 

If you said no, keep reading because you may find that you will enjoy coffee after you try this recipe. 

If you drink your coffee black, good for you. However, the majority of people I know like their cream and sugar with a splash of coffee. Who wouldn't?? Everyone likes stuff with sugar in it. It's addicting. It is the worlds worst drug  (my own opinion). That is why I am ridding it from my diet once and for all. 

But sugar is a WHOLE different topic for another time. The real topic today is coconut oil. Yes..coconut oil. I have always loved coconut oil for cooking but I recently found a new love in adding coconut oil to my coffee. I am sure many of you have heard of the Bulletproof coffee and maybe even heard of just adding coconut oil in your coffee but I am here to tell you that it is delicious! It is a healthy alternative to the cream and sugar that you may add every day. Coconut oil is PACKED with health benefits! But you may be wondering why should I add it to my coffee. Here are just a few reasons why: 

  1. It is delicious! Coconut oil gives your coffee the same creaminess and sweetness as adding milk and sugar do (I think its event tastier).
  2. It's like drinking a double expresso. You will get the energy from the caffeine in the coffee, but did you know that coconut oil gives you energy too?? Coconut oil is made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCTs are absorbed and metabolized by the body quickly meaning you will get energy quickly, giving you a little more of a morning boost.
  3. It's Good For Your Brain. Your brain needs dietary fat. At least 60% of your brain is composed of fat! 
  4. Improves Your Metabolism & Aids in Weight Loss. Many studies have proven that the MCTs in coconut oil metabolize differently than long chain fats. In one study, rats were overfed with either long chain or medium chain fats. The rats fed the medium chain fats gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat (source).
  5. A healthier and happier you. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which contains antiviral and antibacterial super powers (non-coincidentally, lauric acid is, also, found in breast milk).
  6. It is an easy way to add some healthy fat into your daily diet.

So without further ado, here is my coconut oil coffee concoction.

1. Make a pot of organic coffee

2. pour into a blender and add 1-2 tsp of coconut oil

3. Blend, Pour & ENJOY! (You can add a few drops of vanilla or stevia)

 

XOXO 

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

Delicious Spaghetti Alternative

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti Recipe

MY FAVORITE!! If you have never tried spaghetti squash, you are in for a treat. I recommend spaghetti squash to anyone that is trying to limit their carbohydrate intake or even if they just want to try something new and healthy! Try this recipe out. I am sure you will love it and your family will too!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1 spaghetti squash (3 pounds)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (minced) OR 1 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (diced) OR 8 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried, salt-free herbs, Italian blend
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz. canned, no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, or, torn basil OR 1 tsp. dried basil

 

Tip: Scraping the spaghetti squash to make “noodles” and tossing all the ingredients together are safe and fun steps to involve kids in this recipe.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scrape out seeds. On a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, place halves of squash face down and bake for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, pepper, herbs and red pepper flakes. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Let squash sit at room temperature until just cool enough to handle. Take a fork and scrap flesh from outside working in, creating “spaghetti noodles”.
  5. Add squash "noodles" to sauce and remove from heat. Toss with fresh basil and serve.
  6. You can add anything else you would like to your pasta. Maybe try some mushrooms or olives. Maybe some chicken or homemade meatballs. Get creative :) 

 

Recipe copyright © 2016 American Heart Association. 

Chicken Vegetable Crockpot Soup Recipe

Today was the first snowfall of the season. It was beautiful but, MAN, was it cold!! If anyone knows me, they know that I DO NOT do well in the cold.  So if you could see me right now, you would see me bundled up in my robe, fuzzy socks and slippers, and drinking hot tea at my desk.

We are having my best friend (and maid of honor) and her boyfriend over dinner tomorrow night and I was thinking about what to make and what I should get at the grocery store. So obviously, with it being so cold outside, my first thought was...SOUP!  

I found this recipe online on Multiply Delicious' website and it sounded AMAZING. I cannot wait to make it tomorrow and tell you all about it! But I figured I would share the recipe with you all first and maybe you can make it tomorrow too :) 

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Chicken Vegetable Crockpot Soup!

 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 pounds)

1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups frozen vegetables (red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, carrots)

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes (or sweet potato)

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

6 tablespoons tomato paste

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

 

Instructions 

Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of chicken breasts, dividing evenly.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add chicken breasts to skillet and cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side until chicken is browned and cooked through.  Allow the chicken to cool and shred the chicken.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker.

To slow cooker, add onion, frozen vegetables, butternut squash, tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and nestle rosemary and thyme on the surface.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove and discard rosemary and thyme from soup.  Stir basil into soup, saving some for garnishing (if desired).

Serve immediately or transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate.  Reheat before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings