Thursday, December 29, 2011

Healthy Food Items You Need to Try in 2012

A few weeks ago, I’d posted about how a some friends and I started a weight loss challenge and instead of resolving to lose a certain amount of weight, I would resolve to consistently try to eat better. While I’m not down a huge amount (the holidays really took a toll…I’m weak when it comes to sweets! I’m sorry!!!), I have been trying some new things in our kitchen inspired by some of my favorite bloggers and healthy lifestyle experts that I just had to share with you all.

Tosca Reno's Carrot Muffins
For Christmas, we had a cookie exchange at the office where we each had to bring in either cookies or a something sweet. Everyone was to bring 24 of each item whether it was brownies, cookies, chocolates, you name it. I figured I would bring something healthy. I relied on someone I knew could help in this situation, the lovely Tosca Reno. Shelved behind some of my Nicholas Sparks books, there she was. For those unfamiliar with Tosca Reno, she is all about clean eating which in a nutshell, is eating foods that are not processed—sticking to the basics—fruits, veggies, whole grains, pretty much anything natural. There are a lot of health benefits to this and have always wanted to try eating this way but it does get difficult sometimes. Going back the cookie exchange, I’d found something in Tosca’s book that I knew would be a hit…her zucchini muffin recipe! I modified the recipe and used carrot instead but boy did they come out good! A perfect solution for your sweet cravings!

Tap'nApple Butter Spread
While out grocery shopping for some more healthy alternatives, the boyfriend and I stumbled upon this FANTASTIC spread for our toast called Tap'nApple. I can’t tell you how much time we spend in the peanut butter and jelly aisle looking for the healthiest options. I swear if we could live off of PB&J sandwiches, we would. The problem I have with most jellies is that they’re way too high in sugar and if they don’t have sugar, they’re sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as Splenda. I love Splenda but I really want to wean away from processed sweeteners…alas the all-natural apple butter spread. A MUST try!

Food Blogs (Homemade Salad Dressing & Chiobani Greek Yogurt)
Since getting into the blogging world, I’ve come across some great blogs that I absolutely love. A couple of my favorite ones are The Athlete’s Plate and The Athletarian....ironically both have the word “athlete” in them but my intention for following actually has nothing to do with their athleticism but more so the great advice and recipes they offer. My new favorite recipe is for a butternut squash salad courtesy of The Athlete's Plate. I’m so hooked to the salad dressing! Again, salad dressing is another condiment I spend much of my time contemplating when at the grocery store. I needn’t search any further. Most salad dressings are either too high in fat content, sugar or made with things I can’t even pronounce. This one only requires four and a dash of salt and pepper. Try it out!
In addition to this recipe, I was also convinced via The Athletarian to give Chiobani Greek Yogurt a try. I'd always been concerned about the sugar content (again) but there is a huge difference between natural sugars found in fruit and processed sugars. I'm horrible at remembering this because the word sugar often scares me. The one pictured is blueberry but I highly recommend pineapple...mmmm, mmmm, mmm!

And lastly, I know I promised no New Year’s Resolutions BUT I couldn’t help but push myself toward a SMALL goal…run 500 miles in 2012. It’s an average of almost 10 miles a week. It’s not much but I do have my weeks that I tend to slack off and think this would be a good little incentive for me to get out there. Wishing you all and safe and wonderful New Year…make it your best year ever!

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