PureWow

I have been meaning to write this blog post for a long while now, and I’m just now getting around to it. I am an avid blog reader, and somehow I must have clicked on something one day that brought me to a website called PureWow. I wanted to read or see something on their site and somehow I must have given them my e-mail because now I get updates via e-mail from them based on my interests.

 

Can I just reiterate to you my love for this amazing website that has made my life…well.. better?

 

PureWow is a digital publication that actually finds way to make life more interesting, beautiful, or manageable. (It actually says this on their website). Their motto is “Elevate the Everyday”. They are doing a fantastic job of this because their e-mails have enriched my life in ways that I never thought possible. So simple, it’s stupid. I’m stupid for not signing up for the e-mails sooner!

 

It’s like that one friend you have that always has fantastic advice on what book to read next, how to handle your money, how to curl your hair or how to boil an egg!

My favorite feature is the tips and tricks videos. They are simple as heck and I feel like every time I watch one a light bulb goes off over my head like in a cartoon. My favorites? How to eat a cupcake, How to cut a big cake perfectly, How to pose when you are having your picture taken, the list goes on and on. They are 40 seconds of PureGenius <-(see what I did there?)

 

I actually made the PureWow version of a pumpkin pie this year for Thanksgiving with a cinnamon swirl crust!! I impressed everyone I know with my amazing culinary prowess.

 

Cinnamon-Roll Pie Crust

It’s pretty impressive looking, isn’t it?

 

Just today I received an e-mail with a video on how to make your bed while you are still in it, and I saw just now while researching the blog, that yes, in fact, there is a very lady like way to drink directly out of a champagne bottle.

 

Before you start thinking how in the world does this blog have anything to do with health and fitness, yes, there is a section of PureWow dedicated to just this. Check out this article about 11 pairs of leggings that make working out more fun, or 6 tricks to keep your gym bag fresh.

 

This is my happy little place on the internet. Hope you like it!

 

Do you have any favorite websites?

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Last Minute Banana Muffins

 

I woke up a couple days ago to an over abundance of bananas that were on the verge of death. With the kids being out of school all last week, there were no bananas packed in lunches, and boy were they looking sad.

Enter a quick search for banana recipes on Pinterest. (How did life actually function without Pinterest?) and Voila! Perfectly healthy banana muffins with chocolate chips entered my life. With it being lent and all, I have vowed that I will stop snacking on crappy, sugary foods. This is a great solution for breakfast, a snack, or a healthy sweet treat.

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What you’ll need:

3 ripe bananas

1 cup touch of honey almond milk

2 eggs

1 tbsp baking pwder

3 cups old fashioned or rolled Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill.. gotta love Bob!)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate, and minis would work well, but I only had regular)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips (see the first picture), and prepare the muffin pan. I used paper liners and I sprayed them with cooking spray. I just didn’t want to struggle getting them out of the pan. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter between all the cups. They should be about full.

Bake 25 minutes, you’ll see the edges turning brown, and they are firm when you touch them.

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Stay safe and warm out there!

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You Are the Apple of My Eye

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Last week I posted a list of red fruits and veggies that you could try. Did you try any of them? If not, that is okay! Later in this blog, I will provide you with a recipe so you can try a few out! When thinking about your health, it is important to consume red fruits and veggies. By now you might be asking, why is this lady still talking about these? Here is the scoop, they contain phytochemicals, such as lycopene and anthocyanin’s. These help to promote heart, memory, and urinary health and may lower your risk for certain cancers. Not too shabby if you ask me!

Along with the red foods, I wanted to talk about almonds and fish. Almonds are tasty little delights that are good for your heart! They are high in monounsaturated fat, “good fat”, they have no cholesterol or sodium, and they are a great source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. All of these factors will help keep your heart beating just right for your sweetie pie. Next on the list… fish! If you want your love to o“fish”ally swim through the deepest oceans for you, you must provide him or her with a food that keeps the heart in tip top shape. Fish and shellfish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and shrimp contain omega 3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These help to decrease inflammation, blood pressure and triglycerides. They also help to prevent hardening of the arteries. Pretty cool, huh? Now do not get me wrong, fish is not the only source of omega 3 fatty acids. You can also find these in seaweed, fortified milk, bread and yogurt.

Last week my fiancé and I were discussing what we wanted to do on this day of love. After a long deliberation, a whole 2 minutes, we decided to stay home and cook for each other. This decision was easy for us because we can still create an intimate setting, bond over cooking together and save money! So, if you are cooking dinner for your loved one, with your friends or heck, even for yourself, I wanted to share with you one of our, heart healthy, menu items.

Fruit Nachos

1 red apple

3-4 strawberries

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate

¼ cup caramel

¼ cup shaved or shredded coconut flakes

¼ cup crushed almonds or walnuts

Here how to make them:

Slice your apples into thin slices and line them on a plate. Slice your strawberries into small pieces and sprinkle over the apples. Melt your caramel and chocolate in two different bowls, microwave in increments of 30 seconds until melted; stir after each 30 seconds. When melted drizzle over your plated fruit. Then top off by sprinkling coconut and almonds/walnuts.

With this recipe you can add virtually any fruit you like and you can leave out the nuts, chocolate and/or caramel. It truly depends on what you like!

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Do not forget that part of keeping your heart healthy is through exercise. Come see us at the Rec Center. For more information on nutrition education and fitness plans, call us at 304-696-4REC(4732).

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Some Darn Good Tea

I’m a coffee drinker. I freakin’ LOVE coffee. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning, and some nights the last thing I think of before I go to bed. So when my Birchbox came for January, and there were 2 bags of tea included, I didn’t think much of it. I like tea just fine, but eh….I can do without it.

It just so happens that these bags of tea came at the perfect time. When I got back from Florida after running the Disney Marathon, my body hated me so much that I was thrown into this violent cold that went on for days and days.

Enter these random tea bags that came in the mail. I thought I’d give it a whirl.

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I guess you can tell by my photo that I purchased full size boxes after trying these two flavors. The first one I tried was the liquorice and peppermint. Good thing I read the teabag before I made it, because WOW. No sugar needed, this tea is sweet, with a slight minty taste. Not overwhelming, and to be honest, perfect in every way. Later that sick-filled day, as I laid on the couch and watched copious amounts of Californication on NetFlix, my throat started acting up again, and I drank the cup of chamomile, and fell fast asleep. I had had chamomile tea on occasion, (my Mom is a huge tea drinker) and I always thought it tasted like old flowers, but this was perfection in a cup yet again. 

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Teapigs did not disappoint. Their website is adorable, and although the tea was a little pricey (a box of 15 bags goes for $9.99) they send you coupons with your shipment for next time and now I’m getting some good deals in my inbox. So my advice to you- try some tea next time your aren’t feeling well or the weather outside has got you down. You won’t regret it!

What kind of tea is your favorite?

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Get Smart with your Heart!

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February is all about hearts and love. We have Valentine’s Day right around the corner and the whole month is American Heart Month. When it comes to your heart, one of the most vital organs in our body, it is important to be smart! How can you be smart about your heart? You can know your risk for heart disease or stroke and then take action. Do you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an unhealthy diet or are you inactive? Do you use tobacco or battle with obesity or diabetes? These are things that can put you at higher risk for heart complications.

It is good to know what your risks are and consult with a physician if you have a medical condition or a history of medical issues when wanting to make changes. But for today we will just talk about changes you can make in your diet to help keep your heart healthy!

· Vary your veggies. I have found that if you purchase veggies that are in season, they are less expensive and also helps me to eat a variety, so to I am not eating the same veggies all year round. Try mixing up your veggies, if you eat red veggies one day, try orange, yellow, or green the next.

· Focus on fruits. One thing I do to help me eat more fruit is to leave it out to where I can see it. I like to hang my bananas on a holder and place my apples, oranges, mangos, etc in a bowl on the kitchen table. Again this goes along with the veggies, buying fruit that is in season is better on the wallet and you get fruit that taste better. If you don’t like to buy fresh fruit because maybe it goes bad before you eat it all, try frozen or canned fruit. If you purchase canned fruit make sure it is in water and not syrup. The syrup adds unwanted added sugars.

· Choose more whole grains. Substitute your refined (white) grains with whole grains. If you are not much on whole grains or haven’t tried them much. Start small. Maybe switch your white bread for wheat bread. Give it some time and then try brown rice, whole grain pasta, or whole wheat flour. Tip when purchasing whole grains, look at the ingredients on the food label and the first ingredient should be whole grain flour, or whole grain….some companies will claim that the product is whole grain when in fact, it is not.

· Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy. If you like whole milk, the same as the whole grains, start small when making changes. Slowly change whole milk to 2%, then after a while try changing from 2% to 1%, etc. Another change I personally found easy to make and it didn’t alter the taste of my food, was eating low-fat cheese. If you like to top off soups, casseroles, baked potatoes, etc. Try doing so with a low-fat cheese.

· Go lean with protein. Choose leaner pieces of meat. You can purchase lean cuts of steaks, roast, and sirloin. If you don’t like beef, try skinless chicken breasts, or turkey. Another way to make your meat leaner is by trimming away the fat that you can see. Also by the way you cook it, instead of frying in grease or oils, try grilling, broiling, or roasting. Also don’t forget seafood and beans count as protein as well! Try adding these to your diet once or twice a week.

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As part of American Heart Month, today is Wear National Red Day. I thought it would be neat to put a spin on this. The whole saying, you are what you eat applies here. Instead of physically wearing red, I thought it would be neat to make a list of red foods that you can eat today!

· Tomatoes

· Red Peppers

· Strawberries

· Apples

· Red Kidney Beans

· Beets

· Pomegranates

· Cranberries

· Raspberries

· Cherries

If you need help getting smart with your heart, come visit us at the Rec Center. For more tips and information on heart health, please visit www.heart.org.

How do you stay heart healthy?

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Sunday FUNDAY!

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That is right my friends… this Sunday at 6:30 P.M. the New England Patriots will battle it out with the Seattle Seahawks to be the NFL Super Bowl XLIX champions. Now I know if you are anything like me you will be attending some form of party with friends and family. Even if you are not a big football fan, who can resist a good half time show, the crazy commercials and the delicious food?

This leads me to two things, commercials and food. Over the weekend I watched a preview with a girl that was promoting not so nutritious foods in a sultry manner. So, I am curious as to how many food commercials we will watch this Sunday that will promote high fat, high sugar, and high salt food items. Do you have any guesses as to what that number may be? Enough with me pointing out that certain marketing companies capitalize on Americans during these events…. target market…MEN!

Check out this commercial

 

I found nutrition information on the burger in the commercial from Brand Eating.

1 burger (315g)

Calories – 760 (Calories from Fat – 400)

Fat – 44g (Saturated Fat – 13g)

Sodium – 1040mg

Carbs – 61g (Sugar – 19g)

Protein – 31g

(This burger is vicious! That is a lot of fat, saturated fat, sodium, carbs and protein to be one serving.)

Moving on to something a little more nutritious! This Sunday celebrate the Super Bowl with super foods. Salsa, dip, pizza, salads and healthful foods were among the “must have” list for game day, according to the National Restaurant Association. These food items are super foods among many others. Here are a few tips on how you could serve them, plus a couple of other choices you can add.

 

Salsa- Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips or add red, yellow or green peppers to the mix!

Guacamole- Again this can be served with whole-grain tortilla chips or you can dip carrots, celery, peppers, etc. This dip can be added to a variety of foods.

Nuts- Have a bowl of nuts out for guest to snack on. Nuts are a low in fat and cholesterol!

Pizza- If you can make your own, use a whole-grain crust or even cauliflower crust is great! Add lots of veggies and even if you order out, add lots of veggies.

Chili- This is a great super meal! You can load your chili with lean meat, beans, and tons of veggies! This would be an awesome choice, especially with all of the cold weather here recently.

Salad- Skip the iceberg lettuce and add spinach, kale, or any other dark leafy green. Then top it off with strawberries, or onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc. for a nutrient rich appetizer.

 

These are just a few items to choose from for game day treats! On game day don’t foul with poor food choices; treat your tummy growl with foods that win! For more ideas you can follow the MyPlate: Game Day Pinterest board.

What is your favorite Super Bowl food?

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The 10 Best Restaurants in Huntington

Stumbled across this article today and thought I’d share it on the blog. I have eaten at every one of these establishments, and I know my favorite is 21 at the Frederick for a great sit down dinner with friends or a date night. Since Valentine’s day is coming up, this could be a great list for you folks new to the area who want to make a reservation for yourself and that special someone. Enjoy!

 

The No. 9 Trolley | © Wvfunnyman/WikiCommons

 

http://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/west-virginia/articles/top-10-restaurants-in-huntington-wv-the-best-of-local-food/

 

Which restaurant from the list is your favorite?

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