Category Archives: Diet

Easy Vanilla Blueberry Protein Smoothie To Keep You Full All Day.

One of my favorite simple Protein Smoothie recipes that is low in sugar, high in protein, full of real food ingredients, and free of artificial junk. Positive fuel to keep you full all day!

Easy Protein Smoothie

Easy Protein Smoothie

Having a few quick, easy, protein smoothie recipes on hand can be life saving for busy days. That way you can quickly blend up a delicious, nutritious, protein smoothie to have the fuel to be your very best.  But you have to be careful! Not all protein smoothies are good for you, protein smoothies from local gyms and juice shops often carry more added sugar than a dozen donuts. Sorry to say, slugging those back every day won’t get you any closer to your health and fitness goals. You want to make sure your protein smoothie recipe choices are low in sugar, high in protein, full of real food ingredients, and free of artificial junk. This easy vanilla blueberry protein smoothie is one of my fast, healthy favorites. It features 30 grams of premium plant based protein, and is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and probiotics.  Getting enough protein in your diet controls your appetite, prevents overeating,  and helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels (read: stable energy levels) all day long. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and certified non-GMO (so pretty much a good choice no matter what diet you follow). Drinking this protein smoothie will help build and repair healthy muscles and deliver high quality nutritional support so that you can continue to kick butt in work, wellness, and life.

Pull out your magic bullet blender and mix up this healthy protein smoothie in less than a minute! Let me know how you like the recipe by leaving me a comment below. It always feels good to choose foods that feel good, and this thick protein smoothie will make your body and taste buds happy.

Easy Protein Smoothie

Easy Protein Smoothie

Easy Vanilla Blueberry Protein Smoothie

(serves 1)

Ingredients:

Preparation

  1. Add all the ingredients at once in your blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!

For more healthy and quick smoothie recipes, check out these posts:

Getting enough protein in your diet helps you maintain a healthy weight, manage stable energy levels, control cravings, and feel your very best.  I hope this easy vanilla blueberry smoothie recipe becomes one you can turn to when life gets busy and you need protein power. Let me know if you try this recipe by leaving me a comment below. Here’s to your health, your happiness, and feeling your very best.

Caroline

My mission is to empower feel good fitness inside and out. I am here to be of service in your wellness and help you get your mind, body, and spirit in shape so you can love your life. Lets work together and live well. Contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

For more feel good fitness inside and out : Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

Foods and Supplements To Help Heal From a Bone Fracture or Injury

Foods and Supplements to Speed Healing From a Bone Break or Injury.

What are foods and supplements you can take to help speed healing from a bone break or injury? Here are some of the foods and supplements I’ve used to help my body heal.

injury-bone-heal

As some of you know I fractured my Sesamoid bone in July 2016. When it happened, I had no idea how serious of an injury it was. I thought I’d be back in no time. I was wrong. I later learned that a Sesamoid injury can often be a lifelong struggle for many athletes and active individuals. But recovery IS possible and I am determined to be one of the success stories.

Recovery from a bone break or serious foot injury like the Sesamoid is a long, tortuous process. It is often an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs; good and bad days. Taking a proactive approach to healing has helped me stay positive and focused throughout this challenge. It helps me to know I am doing everything I can to be good to my body and promote healing. This means making sure to follow all of my physical therapy exercises, listen to my body’s needs, eat a nutrient rich diet, invest in healing supplements, rest, and work on keeping my mind in a peaceful place. The mindset piece of injury recovery really is the hardest part – staying positive, patient, and focusing on what you can do to make progress really helps.

I filmed several hurt foot workout videos for my Youtube channel throughout this recovery. These exercise videos are safe to do with a foot, ankle, or toe injury. Creating this content helped me connect to others who are experiencing the similar pain and frustration of injury. Knowing I could contribute in helping someone else through a challenging time lifted my spirits and reading the kind comments below the videos is often the fuel that keeps me moving forward. It’s a full circle – the best exercise for the heart is reaching down and lifting someone else up. I am so grateful for my community online and off who has been my support system throughout this process.

heal from bone injury with these foods

I hope to use all of the valuable experiences I’ve gained from this injury to help others through my work. I feel that the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) can help others who face a painful injury in life. 

If you are struggling with an injury right now I want you to know: you are not alone. I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you! I want to share the foods and supplements that have helped me in healing from bone break injury in hope that my story can help you in some way.  Of course, everyone’s needs are different, so always consult with a doctor / nutritionist before changing your diet or adding supplements. These recommendations are based off my own personal bone break injury recovery experience. I share them with you with the hope that the resources below help you stay positive, make progress, and recover to full health.

bone break foods

Foods and Supplements to Help Heal From Bone Break or Fracture

Following an anti-inflammatory, high quality, nutrient rich diet is a powerful way to support your body in recovering from a bone break, fracture, or injury. There are also a few specific foods and supplements that can further aid in the process. Here are the foods and supplements I have found to be most effective.

  • Vitamin D. The jury is still out on whether or not vitamin D supplementation actually leads to bone healing after a fracture, but evidence suggests that a vitamin D deficiency often plays a role in broken bones. In that way, vitamin D does play a role in bone healing, at the very least indirectly. If you have a broken bone, getting out in the sun is ideal because getting vitamin D directly from sunlight is really important for bone growth. I did this a lot with my injury in the beginning – I made an effort to go out by the pool and get sunshine! During the wintertime, investing in a Sun Therapy Lamp can help in healing (and seasonal depression).  You can also take 5,000 IUs of vitamin D twice a day for three months to help heal broken bones fast.
  • Calcium. Calcium is an essential structural component of the skeleton, which makes it vital for both health and bone healing. That’s why a calcium deficiency can contribute to broken bones — and why eating more calcium rich foods can aid bone healing naturally. You can get calcium from green leafy foods like spinach, broccoli, kale, arugula, and raw fermented dairy products. In addition to eating calcium rich foods, I like to take a calcium supplement to ensure I’m getting enough. 
  • Magnesium. In order for your body to even use calcium, you also have to have magnesium because research shows magnesium and calcium metabolism are closely related. Eat magnesium rich foods like green leafy vegetables, Flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, Grass-fed beef, Swiss chard, Almonds, Avocados, and Black beans. You can also add a magnesium supplement, I take the Source naturals magnesium daily. 
  • Vitamin C. Many studies tout the benefits of vitamin C on bone healing. Eat foods rich in vitamin C like vegetable juices, orange juice, true oranges, lemons, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli and asparagus.
  • Protein. Getting enough protein is always important, but especially when you are healing from an injury. Bone is made of living protein upon which mineral crystals are implanted. By volume, about 50% of bone is protein. When a bone fracture takes place, the body starts collecting protein building blocks to create new bone. Increasing protein consumption promotes growth factors such as insulin like growth, which has a positive effect on skeletal integrity, muscle strength, immune response, and bone renewal. Make sure you know and work to meet your daily protein requirement with high quality nutrition. I follow a healthy, clean diet and supplement extra protein in recipes with all natural, plant based Vega protein powder (its my favorite). Getting enough protein ensures that your body has what it needs to repair and restore.
  • Collagen. I was really skeptical about collagen at first, but then I purchased a bottle at Whole Foods Market, and have been hooked ever since. Collagen is the mechanical strength of bone. It helps to build bone matrix, repair connective tissues for improved elasticity, improve blood vessel circulation, and promote wound healing. I take 6 capsules of Super Collagen+C Type 1 and 3 in the morning before breakfast. I also put Nunaturals collagen in my morning bowl of oatmeal for an extra dose. It doesn’t have a taste, but makes the oatmeal super thick!
  • Turmeric. Turmeric supports a healthy inflammatory response and heart, joint & liver function. You can add turmeric spices to foods / recipes or take a supplement to promote healing. I take the Gaia herbs turmeric supreme 3 times per day with meals. I’ve also tried taking Curamin (main active ingredient in turmeric) directly. I feel both have made a difference in my healing. 
  • Bone broth. Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation. It is a rich source of chondroitin sulfate, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and has been found to also help alleviate joint pain, improve blood circulation, promote intestinal healing, help in calcium- or- magnesium-deficiency-related insomnia, irritability, fatigue and anxiety. I prefer this brand because it’s low in sodium, but there are a lot of options to purchase at your local market and healthy ways to cook up your own at home. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is considered to be a potent remedy for illnesses and overall health. You can read all about it’s diverse and incredible health benefits here. I drink an apple cider vinegar detox drink every day and swear by it’s magic powers.
  • Epsom Salt. Taking regular epsom salt baths has been powerful for me in dealing with pain and promoting recovery. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfates which help flush toxins, improve absorption of nutrients, help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins. I take a hot bath several times a week to promote circulation and healing. 
  • Arnica. Arnica functions as anti trauma aid and can be taken immediately after fracture.
  • Zheng Gu Shui. You’ve probably never heard of zheng gu shui but let me tell you: it’s a game changer. Zheng Gu Shui  translates to ‘mending bone water’ in English. Zheng Gu Shui is a liniment especially designed to relieve pain associated with fractures, bruises and other types of mild trauma. I put the ointment on my foot nightly and also found it helpful with sore muscles, aches, and pains.

A quality bone healing diet consists of lots of nutrient dense anti-inflammatory foods, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to stay away from foods that tend to be overly acidic, conventional meat and dairy products, alcohol, excess sodium, and sugar (which is the DEVIL and creates inflammation). Those will acidify your body and actually leach minerals out of your body and cause your bone healing and growth to slow down.  If you want even more insight in how to fuel your success, I highly recommend JJ Virgin’s work. This video is one of my all time favorite resources to share with clients.

Exercise can also Speed Bone Break Fracture Healing!
Exercise is an important way to accelerate fracture healing. The healing process requires good blood circulation, and a satisfactory flow of nutrient replenishing blood to the bone break fracture area. However, your exercise choices need to be SAFE and not put ANY stress on the bone break fracture. Check out my hurt foot workouts to help get ideas on exercises you can do with a hurt foot or injury. 

I know how incredibly frustrating and challenging dealing with a bone break or an injury can be. It helps to stay positive, patient, and focus on the steps you can take right now to move forward. It’s a long, slow, process but I know this for sure: you will grow stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually from the injury challenges you face. Have faith, practice patience, trust the journey, and take small steps in healing every day. Be kind to yourself and treat your body, mind, and spirit with love. If you need more tips to help keep your mind in good shape while you heal, read “How to Stay positive with an Injury”.

Your turn: Have you found these foods or supplements helpful in your own life? What have you found to be most effective in healing from injury?

I hope this post serves you in feeling your best. I want you to know that I am cheering for you.

Stay strong and stay positive my friends.

Love,

Caroline

For more support in living your best life, check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape.

If you liked this post or have a loved one who could benefit, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

Rich, Chewy, and Totally Guilt Free Balanced Body Paleo Protein Fudge Recipe

Hi Friends!

Headed to a holiday party and want to bring something nice that tastes naughty? I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

Last year I was getting ready for a christmas potluck and needed to bring a dessert dish. I started playing around in the kitchen and came up with this healthy fudge recipe using only healthy, whole food ingredients.  Once I realized how easy it was to produce a decadent dessert based on real food it was a game changer. Gone were the days of giving in to cravings and eating sweets made with heavy cream, white sugar, and butter which would leave my stomach in pain and my head pounding! My healthy fudge recipe left me feeling content and satisfied with a body that felt the same. 

I believe the holidays can be enjoyed without leaving you sick, tired, hungover, exhausted, or overdosed on sugar. Sometimes all you need is a little coaching on how you can satisfy your cravings to indulge life while still honoring your health goals.  In my book, “Balanced Body Breakthrough”, I work with you to think outside the box, personalize your approach to health, and find habits that make you feel good inside and out. That includes recipes that taste as good as they feel and I want to share this Balanced Body fudge recipe with you. This fudge encompasses everything I could want in a fudge – tons of nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, natural sweetness, protein, AND that unforgettable chocolatey, hearty, dense, and delicious fudge taste and texture.

Are you drooling yet?

Get ready to be the biggest hit at your holiday event with this rich, chewy, and totally guilt free Balanced Body protein fudge recipe. 

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Rich, Chewy, and Totally Guilt Free Balanced Body Paleo Protein Fudge Recipe.

  • Serves: 24
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Line a 6×6 pyrex with foil.
  • Melt the coconut oil (microwave for 20s) and mix base ingredients and line the bottom
  • Warm up the nut butter by microwaving for 30s. Stirring, and microwaving for another 30s
  • Blend the fudge ingredients, stopping every 10s to mix with fork. It will get very thick and will start to cool and set fast.
  • Distribute the fudge over the base. Wet your spoon with a bit of water to make this easier as the fudge will be thick and will start to set very fast.
  • Let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 5-7.
  • ENJOY!! Bonus fun: experiment with coconut flakes instead of almond, cashew butter instead of almond, vegan chocolate chips, the possibilities are endless!

Nutrition: Calories: 152, Total Fat: 14g, Total Carbohydrate: 6g, Protein: 3g

That’s it, that’s all – no flour, no refined sugars, no chemicals, no additives, no fake sh*t!

Even though this healthy fudge isn’t really “low calorie”, it’s so indulgent you’ll be satisfied from one portion size and won’t end up sidelined with a headache. Remember: not all calories are created equal 🙂

This fudge is gluten free, dairy free, paleo and wellness coach approved. Just good whole food to put you in a really happy mood! Healthy desserts CAN be made, enjoyed, and still taste amazing while feeling just as good as they look. 

What is your favorite kind of fudge? Have you made healthy fudge before? What  ingredients did you use? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Hungry for more? get your copy of Balanced Body Breakthrough here and start living your best life now. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some sweetness this holiday season. I am sending love to you.

Happy holidays sweet thing,

Caroline

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Healthy Rainbow Recipes To Celebrate Pride.

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Healthy Rainbow Recipes

To Celebrate Pride!

Hi Friends,

How’s your weekend going? I hope its been fun and fulfilling. I am still high on life after such an incredible BOOTYcamp event last week.  Big thank you to the product sponsors ZICO Coconut WaterALOHA , and Clearly Kombucha for your generosity. It’s always nice to work with companies/people who believe in what you’re doing and want to genuinely be a part of a cool experience.

So grateful to everyone who took part in making the event such a success and an uplifting, BOOTYlicious experience. My butt loves you. I hope you know how BOOTYful you are inside and out. I’ll be posting an event recap with fun photos (and even funnier stories) on the blog soon, so stay tuned. And even though I’m sore, I already want some more……. For upcoming events, healthy hour monthly meet ups, and training tips to keep your BUTT happy for life, SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter below:



Since the month of June is LGBT Pride month, I thought it would be fun to share some delicious rainbow recipes with you to celebrate. San Francisco is decked out in rainbow and it’s awesome to live in a city that supports LOVE and equality. June became LGBT pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred in late June of 1969. More recently, the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges was decided on June 26, 2015, which granted marriage equality to same-sex couples. Try out these healthy rainbow-colored detox recipes to show your support and pride for this historic month.

Rainbow Protein Smoothie

Spring Celebration Smoothie

Recipe from Vega

Serves one

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Blend 1 serving of Vega One with 1 banana, ½ cup ice, and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, until smooth
  2. Pour half of smoothie into a glass, keeping the other half in the blender
  3. Add raspberries and blend until smooth
  4. Pour half of remaining smoothie on top of 1stlayer in glass
  5. Add blueberries to remaining smoothie in blender, and blend until smooth
  6. Top off the glass with your final layer of smoothie
  7. Enjoy!

Rainbow Detox Salad

Try this healthy rainbow detox salad when you are looking for a tasty and filling lunch. Low in calories, rich in vitamins, low in carbohydrates, vegan, gluten-free, with plant based protein, and fiber to keep you going throughout the day.

Recipe from ALOHA

Makes 2-4 servings, based on portion size (you will have dressing leftover).

Ingredients

Lemon & Olive Oil Superfood Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

1 packet of ALOHA Daily Good Greens

1 teaspoon honey

Salad

2 cups chopped kale

1/8 cup chopped mint

1/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup grilled garbanzo beans

1/4 cup grilled corn

1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preparation

In a medium saucepan bring 1/4 cup water to a soft boil. Add 1/8 cup uncooked quinoa. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the water has boiled off, and then set aside.

Heat a frying pan on medium. Add the olive oil, beans, and corn. Grill them until seared. Set aside.

In a large to medium mixing bowl add the kale, mint, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Top with the grilled quinoa, corn, and garbanzo beans. Serve with the Lemon & Olive Oil Superfood Dressing and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite healthy rainbow recipe? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know how you eat the rainbow 🙂

Wishing you a happy pride weekend. Here’s to living life in color and supporting others in doing the same.

In Pride,

Caroline

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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Best All Natural Protein Bars. Here Are the Healthiest Choices.

What are the Best All Natural Protein Bars? Here are my Tips on How to Choose A Healthy Protein Bar That Isn’t Candy.

which one is actually good for you?!

They’re everywhere! Bars, bars, and more bars. They’re in the cereal aisle, in the form of breakfast bars and granola bars. They’re in the diet section as meal replacement bars, and they’re in the sports section as “power” bars. But a lot of these so-called nutrition bars can harbor stealth ingredients like hydrogenated oils, saturated fat, and sugar or sugar alcohols. Some even have more calories than a brick of chocolate.

With hundreds on the market, are bars even good for you? If so, which ones are?

I am a believer in eating a clean, whole food diet and balanced meals. But sometimes a quality protein bar can serve a purpose. When you’re on the run, faced with limited choices, traveling, or simply craving more snack variety, a quality bar can help you curb hunger and maintain energy. It is a much better choice than reaching for a quick fix or going so long without eating that you stuff your face the next chance you get (hello damaged metabolism and angry digestion!).  

Nutrition bars can be a healthy choice if you know what to look for on the label. And thanks in part to a new generation of plant-based protein bars, eating healthy—anywhere and anytime—has never been easier. Made with natural ingredients like seeds, fruit, nut butters and various vegan-friendly protein powders, these revamped bars are easy on your digestive tract and better for your body and weight loss goals than their chemical-filled ancestors. Use this cheat sheet to help yourself choose bars that live up to their promises and fuel you with health.  

How to Choose a Healthy Protein Bar:

  • Think about why you are eating it. Are you eating the bar as a meal replacement or as a snack? If you are eating it as a meal replacement, look for a product that has at least 300 calories and 10 grams of protein per bar. It’s not the most ideal complete meal but it’s better than nothing and will provide enough calories, carbohydrates, and protein to help maintain energy and blood sugar levels. If the bar is a snack, look for 200 calories or less, at least 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
  • Look at the ingredients. If it’s not REAL FOOD don’t eat it. Manufacturers often add extra fat, sugar, and other chemicals to make the bar look or taste healthy, even when it’s not. Look for products with short, recognizable ingredient lists and whole food ingredients. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fruits should be the first ingredients, rather than protein powders or sugar alcohols.
  • Look for at least 3g of fiber
  • Watch for less than 12g of sugar (the lower, the better!) from natural sources like fruit.
  • Less than 300mg of sodium
  • Aim for less than 3g of saturated fats
  • 6 – 8g of protein for a snack bar, 10 – 15g of protein for a meal bar

So which products should you reach for when you get to the store? Grab one of the suggested bars below. They all have at least 10 grams of muscle-building protein and no more than 15 grams of sugar. I update this list regularly with new favorite products as they come out. I have not been paid to review any of these products. All opinions are my own. These are bars I have tried and enjoyed. You’re welcome! 

Best All Natural Protein Bars:

Health Warrior Chia Protein Bar, Dark Chocolate Coconut Sea Salt

This bar is loaded with clean, plant-based ingredients and superfoods like chia seeds, making it a well balanced and nutritious choice (plus the sweet crunchiness totally hits the spot).

1 bar, calories: 200; Protein: 10g; Sugar: 11g

Oatmega Bar Chocolate Coconut Crisp

Made with whey protein from grass-fed cows and a little stealthy fish oil (you won’t taste) to add essential fats, this tasty non-GMO bar is power packed with nutritional benefits.

1 bar, Calories: 190; Protein: 14g; Sugar: 5g

ALOHA protein bar Vanilla Almond Crunch

Aloha, one of the newest supplement companies to take the health food world by storm, makes convenient snacks with quality ingredients. Whole food ingredients like almonds, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed protein and pea protein make up the bulk of their Vanilla Almond Crunch bar, while quinoa, sea salt, vanilla extract and monk fruit extract lend texture and flavor.

I am an ALOHA affiliate and believe in the brand’s message to fuel health with all natural ingredients. I am in love with their superfood chocolate  and use the Greens powders in my protein smoothies. They recently brought samples of their Vanilla Almond crunch protein bar to my corporate wellness workshop at Sephora and also hosted a healthy snack break at my corporate wellness workshop for Kirkland & Ellis. I was so impressed. Currently they only retail online at : https://aloha.com/home . You can use the code “carolinejordanfitness” for a discount on all of their yummy products (superfood chocolate included)

1 bar, 290 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 18 g protein

Enjoying Aloha protein bars as a healthy snack break during a recent Caroline Jordan Fitness corporate wellness workshop for Kirkland and Ellis

Enjoying Aloha protein bars as a healthy snack break during a recent Caroline Jordan Fitness corporate wellness workshop for Kirkland and Ellis LLP.

Enjoying Aloha protein bars as a healthy snack break during a recent Caroline Jordan Fitness corporate wellness workshop for Kirkland and Ellis

KIND Bars, Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein

Filled with heart-healthy fats, fiber and the natural energy of nuts and fruits, this bar makes a great mid-afternoon snack or fuels your workout without leaving you with the dreaded sugar crash.

1 bar, 200 calories, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated, 65 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 10 g protein

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Vega Sport Protein Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter

Created to “offer power to the vegan athlete,” these non-GMO bars are a little higher in sugar but the amino acids in them are considered performance and endurance-enhancing nutrients that offer benefits on their own. The chocolate coconut and chocolate mint flavors are my personal favorite. 

1 bar, Calories: 260; Protein: 15g; Sugar: 16g

Squarebar Organic Protein Bar Cocoa Coconut

This gluten-free, vegan protein bar is packed with flat-belly super foods like oats and coconut oil, a source of cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid. And with 11 grams of protein and 11 grams of healthy, satiating fat, it is sure to tide you over until you can sit down to a full meal.

1 bar, 230 calories, 11 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 30 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 11 g protein

Rise Bar Gluten-Free, High-Protein Bars, Sunflower Cinnamon

Made with just four whole food ingredients including sunflower butter, coconut nectar, pea protein, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, this sweet and salty bar is a winner. The calories are on the higher side, mainly because of the seed butter, but it’s also a larger, dense bar that takes longer to consume. Enjoy this bar along with an apple or a pear for a fast and filling on-the-go breakfast. 

1 bar, 280 calories, 15 g fat, 1.5 g saturated, 15 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugars, 15 g protein

Larabar ALT Bar, Lemon Pound Cake

Dates, almonds, and pea protein make up the bulk of this dense and delicious bar. Lemon juice and vanilla extract lend a splash of lemony sweet zing that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds.

1 bar, 210 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated, 10 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugars, 10 g protein

Simply Protein Bar, Cinnamon Pecan

This bar not only fills you up but also satisfies your craving for crunch while keeping the sugar content low and the protein high.

1 bar, 40 g, 150 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated, 180 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 15 g protein

Youbar Vegan Lemon Cookie High Protein

Made with just four clean Paleo-friendly ingredients: pea protein, cashew butter, agave and lemon oil, you can’t go wrong with this low-carb snack. And if you dont love the flavor of this bar, YouBar allows customers to make custom energy bars on their website. You can even give your snack it’s own creative name. Its a build your own bar buffet!

1 bar, 210 calories, 11 g fat, 2.5 g saturated, 160 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 7g sugars, 16 g protein
Greens Plus Energy Bar Chocolate

Packed with a green superfood and protein blend of organic peanut butter and whey protein, this energy bar racks up the protein count making it ideal for an on-the-go meal or a post-workout snack.
1 bar, Calories: 260; Protein: 15g; Sugar: 19g

ProBar Base Bar Cookie Dough

Packed with 20 grams of plant protein and an impressive 5 grams of satiating fiber, this is might be the best meal-replacement bar of the bunch. 

1 bar, 290 calories, 10g fat, 5 g saturated, 400 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 15 g sugars, 20 g protein

22 Days Nutrition Enlightened Pumpkinseed Bars

This bar is filled with pumpkin seeds which are a top source of magnesium, a mineral that strengthens bones. Sunflower seed butter and various plant proteins, ranging from rice to hemp, play a supporting role and help make this bar as filling as it is delicious. 

1 bar, 50 g, 250 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated, 15 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 9 g sugars, 11 g protein

GoMacro Macrobar Organic Cashew Caramel

I recently tried this bar after a Fitbit local workout event and was really impressed! Though this is one of the higher calorie bars on this list, it manages it keep its sugar count respectably low, which is a plus.

1 bar, 260 calories, 12 g fat, 3.5 g saturated, 10 mg sodium, 37 g carbs, 2g fiber, 10g sugars, 12 g protein

Is your mouth watering yet? Just remember: nutrition bars are meant to be a supplement to your healthy diet; they are not meant as a replacement for a healthy diet. Your body needs fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein in their most natural, healthful forms. If you are looking for a product to help you fill the nutritional gap, bars can meet that need. Keep the ingredients simple, and read the label to help you make better choices. Eating these bars in addition to a healthy diet, can help you keep going strong all day long.

If you were in the middle of a crazy busy work day, with no chance of a real sit down meal in sight, which bar would you reach for? Leave your favorite protein bar product as a comment below. I’d love to hear from you! 

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebook, twitter, or email. Everyone deserves support in fueling their lives with health.

Till next time, keep shining my friends,

Caroline

Other Things to Check Out This Week:

 

The Best Kind of Milk for Your Body. Your Inside Guide to Milk.

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I often get asked: “What kind of milk should I drink? Is soy bad for you? Does cow’s milk offer better nutrition? What type of milk do you put in your coffee? Is there protein in almond milk?” The inquires go on and on. 

If you’re curious about milk, I’ve got the A to your Q. Read below to fill your cup with milk insight and figure out which might be right for your diet.

Your Guide to Milk and Nut Milks

Cow’s Milk

Taste Profile: milk, ha! 

Benefits: Packed with nine essential nutrients – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, riboflavin and niacin – milk is a nutrient powerhouse. The 12 grams of sugar come from naturally occurring lactose, not added sugar. There’s lots of emerging research on whether the saturated fat found in whole milk is beneficial for you; however, there’s no official verdict yet. If you don’t consume a lot of saturated fat in your diet overall, perhaps there’s room for it here. However, for most people, I would still recommend nonfat or 1 percent milk. The organic versus conventional debate is still going strong – which, to me, comes down to a personal preference in farming practices. Nutritionally speaking, there is little difference.

Best with: recipes, meals, or on its own 

But how does it taste in coffee? Creamy, dissolves well, and adds sweetness from natural sugars. 

Soy Milk

Soy milk has always been a good alternative for people with a milk intolerance or allergy. Packed with heart-healthy soy, 7 to 8 grams of protein and almost no saturated fat, it can definitely be a smart choice. 

Taste Profile: smooth, creamy, slightly sweet.

Benefits: Soy milk has a nutrition profile most similar to dairy milks (higher in protein, carbohydrates, and lower in fat than most other non-dairy milks). I don’t recommend drinking soy milk multiple times a day, everyday, as the soy proteins in soy milk are concentrated more than those proteins would be found in whole foods like organic edamame, organic tempeh, or organic soy nuts. Be mindful of your soy intake overall, but there’s no need to eliminate soy as it has beneficial phytonutrients.

Best with: Any recipe you would typically use dairy milks, soy milk is the most similar to dairy milk in texture.

But how does it taste with coffee?  Soy milk tastes great in coffee, dissolves well without any clumps or grittiness. Depending on the brand, soy milk in coffee can give it an aftertaste.

Almond Milk

Rich in calcium and a good source of vitamins D, E and A, almond milk has definitely become more popular in the last couple of years. Its taste and texture make it a great alternative for milk. However, just like with soy milk, if you buy the original or sweetened varieties, the sugar is from added cane sugar. But there are several unsweetened and now “light” varieties available, with 0 grams and 3 grams of sugar, respectively. Surprisingly, almond milk has minimal protein, so if you’re hoping to use it as a protein source with your meal, you are out of luck. But the good news is there’s room to add some protein to your breakfast meal or smoothie since almond milk is low in calories.

Taste Profile: slightly sweet, nutty.

Benefits: Almonds naturally contain vitamin E, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and healthy fats (monounsatured).

Best with: I use almond milk with everything from oatmeal porridge, in smoothies, hot cocoa, and other dishes where dairy milk is typically used. It’s my go-to non-dairy milk and most versatile.

But how does it taste with coffee? A bit watery but still tasty. Almond milk tends to separate when heated, therefore the best practice may be to add room temperature almond milk to warm or hot coffee.

Cashew Milk

Another nut option, cashew milk has not picked up as much momentum as almond milk. Its creamy taste, though, lends itself to be a perfect low-calorie swap in many recipes. Rich in calcium, just like almond milk, it can be a good source for people who avoid milk products. However, if you’re looking for a good protein addition for your meal, you might want to look elsewhere.

Taste Profile: creamy, sweet, the least nutty flavor of all nut and seed milks.

Benefits: A good source of healthy fats, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

Best with: Cashew milk is great for when you need to thicken smoothies, add richness to non-dairy ice creams or savory dishes. My favorite way to enjoy cashew milk is poured in a tall glass with a side Aloha superfood chocolate (which you can use the code “carolinejordanfitness” at checkout for a discount 🙂 )  

But how does it taste with coffee?  Cashew milk is one of the three non-dairy milks I use in tea or coffee (the others being coconut milk or almond milk) due to the flavor, richness, and how it mixes with coffee.

Hemp Milk

Taste Profile: slightly sweet, nutty, watery texture.

Benefits: Hemp seed milk nutrition profile is highest in omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory and heart healthy fats), and the actual seed contains the most protein out of all the non-dairy nuts and seeds, with about 11g of protein per three tablespoons.

Best with: To drink on it’s own, enjoyed with cold cereal, incorporated into smoothies or anything that requires lighter milks (compared to skim dairy milks).

But how does it taste with coffee? Hemp milk is the thinnest of the non-dairy milks with a close second being rice milk. Hemp milk can be used in coffee, yet if you’re looking for a rich and creamy milk to add, coconut milk would be best and leave hemp milk for drinking or adding to hot tea.

Rice Milk

Original rice milk has more calories than the other milk alternatives (not including whole milk), but the high sugar amount is naturally occurring. Truthfully, I really don’t have much to say about rice milk since I rarely recommend it; it has always seemed to provide the least amount of nutrition compared to the others. However, for people with multiple food allergies, rice milk could be the only choice.

Taste Profile: slightly sweet, neutral.

Benefits: Easy on digestion, especially great for those who have nut, soy, or seed allergies of any kind. Rice milk nutrition profile is slightly higher in carbohydrates than most other non-dairy milks due to its source, which is a carbohydrate. Rice milk doesn’t contain as much protein or fat as most other non-dairy milks.

Best with: Mixed in smoothies, porridges, cold cereals, and you can drink it on its own.

But how does it taste with coffee? Rice milk, like hemp seed milk, is more watery than most other non-dairy milks.

Coconut Milk

Coconut in general is a hot trend right now, and I guess if you are Starbucks, you think that will translate into lots of beverage sales. It isn’t high in calories (compared to canned coconut cream), but it’s the highest of the milk alternatives in saturated fats. The jury is still out on whether saturated fats are beneficial for you – especially compared to unsaturated fats. But hey, if you really love the taste of coconut, go ahead and include a little in your diet – just keep in mind that, per serving, there is no protein and the drink has the least amount of calcium compared to the other milk options.

Taste Profile: sweet, subtle coconut flavor, thick, rich, and creamy.

Benefits: High in healthy saturated fats, mainly in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are a type of fat that is absorbed and utilized as energy similar to a carbohydrate rather than other fats (like almonds, olive oil, et cetera). Bullet coffee has made coconut oil and MCT oils famous in the past several years for it’s ability to transform coffee into a frothy treat by emulsifying the oils with coffee.

Best with: Savory dishes like curry, soups, stews; perfect for thickening smoothies, smoothie bowls, porridges or other hot cereals.

But how does it taste with coffee?  The cream of the crop, literally, coconut milk is the thickest and creamiest non-dairy milk and is great for coffee. A little goes a long way, but the texture is most reminiscent of heavy cream or dairy milk.

Here’s a nutrient breakdown on the most popular choices per 8-ounce serving:

Type Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Protein Sugar % Calcium % Vitamin D
Whole Milk 150 8 5 8 12 30 25
Nonfat Milk 90 0 0 8 12 30 25
Original Soy 110 4.5 0.5 8 6 45 30
Unsweetened Soy 80 4 0.5 7 1 30 30
Original Almond 60 2.5 0 1 7 45 25
Unsweetened Almond 30 2.5 0 1 0 45 25
Original Rice 120 2.5 0 1 10 30 25
Unsweetened Rice 90 2.5 0 <1 <1 30 25
Original Coconut 70 4.5 4 0 7 10 30
Unsweetened Coconut 45 4.5 4 0 0 10 30
Original Cashew 60 2.5 0 <1 7 45 25
Unsweetened Cashew 25 2 0 <1 0 45 25
 

When it comes to the best type of milk for your body, its a matter of taste preference, nutritional goals, and how your body FEELS after drinking it. If you don’t have any allergies, then all varieties of milk above can be included in a healthy diet.  When purchasing your milk at the store, keep an eye on protein, added sugar and saturated fat. And it’s always a good idea to be mindful that some might be a better choice with certain snacks or meals depending on what else you’re consuming. I hope from the information above helps give you the knowledge you need to fill up your cup with milk that does your body good inside and out. 

What is your favorite type of milk? Have you removed dairy from your diet and seen any benefits? Leave me a comment below and let me know what tastes best to you.

Cheers to you, living a life you love.

Caroline

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Why Your Diet is Making You Fat

Is your diet making you fat? Read this article and learn more about why diets make you fat and how to get real results fast.

Is your diet making you fat?

Ok we have to talk.

I’m tired of you telling me your diet didn’t work. You gained back the weight you lost and now you feel sad, frustrated, and “hangry” (hungry/angry). So now you are looking for the next quick solution to “fix” your weight and solve your food problems.

Look, I want to help you. But I’ll be honest: if you want to have a breakthrough you are going to need to let the diets GO. You’ll need to give up the cleanses, fasts, 5/10/20/30 day programs, and fixes. You’ll have to stop the extremes, the yo-yoing, the guilt tripping, and get off the trendy rollercoaster ride of eating. Are you ready to do that? Can you work for a balanced, moderate diet? It might be time to change your relationship with food and how you choose to eat…. because let’s face it: your diet is making you fat.

How Diets Make You Fat

Diets are inherently made to fail. If you don’t believe me, how do you think the weight loss industry maintains it’s multi-billion dollar status each year? If diets work, then they should go out of business because everyone who goes on a diet will lose their weight and keep it off. Instead, diets are made to NOT work so that you will continue to need books, expensive rabbit food, magical elixirs, pills and potions and other nonsense to try to reach your goals.

The problems with diets are simple. Here are a few illustrations of how things can go from bad to worse very quickly:

  • too few Calories leads to
  • being hungry, which leads to
  • food cravings, which leads to
  • bingeing, weight gain, calling it quits, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to
  • “getting serious this time”, re-committing, “building willpower”, trying a different diet, which leads to
  • the same cycle (or a different but equally damaging cycle)

Here’s another common scenario:

  • rigid food rules about what and when you eat lead to
  • feelings of deprivation, lack of freedom, rebellion, being trapped or controlled which leads to
  • breaking food rules, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to (sound familiar?)
  • the same cycle (or a different but equally damaging cycle)

And if I haven’t been convincing enough, here’s one more:

  • weight loss from restrictive eating and exercising more leads to
  • a damaged metabolism where you are maintaining your weight on 1,000 Calories a day, which leads to
  • increased physiological drive to eat (hello hunger and cravings), which leads to
  • eating more than 1,000 Calories a day, which leads to
  • rapid weight regain, which leads to
  • feelings of guilt, shame, being “out of control” and a failure, which leads to (sound familiar?)
  • the same or different cycle

All these cycles end up with you ending the diet, being upset at yourself (instead of the stupid diet), and weighing the same as when you started the diet (or more) but now also being self-critical, discouraged, angry, etc.

Its time to ignore the hype and lose the extremes. If a program offers “instant” results—AKA, 30 days or less—it is probably either complete  nonsense or extremely unhealthy. As fabulous as it would be to go from size 12 to size 6 in one month, it’s simply not feasible or sustainable. The kinds of diets that promise this kind of impossibly fast change are usually those that encourage you to starve yourself and deprive your body of essential nutrients in favor of dropping pounds or getting “lean” for your swimsuit. This is unsustainable because your body can’t function off of salads or juices for long before it starts deteriorating. You’re also pretty much guaranteed to gain back the weight afterward.

If you really want to find a healthy weight and lasting change that doesn’t mess with your mind,  avoid falling into the “quick fix” trap and instead make small healthy consistent changes. Many studies have shown those who focus on slow and steady diet changes are far better at sustaining it. Start small and make healthy diet changes that work for you. Eat a better breakfast, have one less glass of wine, eat more veggies, watch your portion sizes, drink more water, enjoy dessert 2 nights a week instead of 7, take out artificial sweeteners, eat more fiber, cut back on how many drinks you have at happy hour…. It all adds up and equals a healthier you. 

For example: one of my clients started packing healthy lunches to take to work. She’s noticed a jump in her energy levels, has lost 5 pounds, and is saving money on eating out. Another client has given up drinking alcohol on the weeknights. She sleeps better, feels less stressed, and yes, you guessed it, her weight has dropped. Another client fights stress with movement. Instead of hitting the work candy jar when she feels overwhelmed, she stands up to do a few stretches and deep breathing exercises at her desk. After a few minutes of exercise, her sugar cravings are gone, her mind feels clear, and she continues on with her work day with less stress and more energy. Small changes work. Really! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – the secret to lasting lifestyle change is to create healthy habits and keep going in a positive direction. Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.

Maybe you think that if you could just find the right diet or just lose the last 5 pounds it would solve all your problems. I hate to break it to you but it wont. You have to face those on your own. But I can guarantee you that when you have a healthy relationship to yourself you’ll find a healthy relationship to food and how you eat. It starts with you. And you can choose to have a positive relationship to your diet now.

Your body wants you to eat well. Eating healthy foods makes you feel better and have more energy, along with reducing digestion problems and mood swings. Eating for energy means eating clean, eating regularly, and eating light. Be moderate with alcohol, stay away from emotional eating, and MOVE more! Within a short period of time your days and nights will not only be filled but fulfilled.

So drop the diet. Just eat HEALTHY. There is no quick fix diet out there that will do what healthy eating does. Not to mention  if you go “on a diet” it means you’ll eventually have to go off of it. Which slows your metabolism, messes with your weight, and makes you feel bad about yourself. Want lasting, healthy, positive change that doesn’t have a yo-yo effect? Improve your relationship to food and choose to nourish yourself. Don’t just eat salads or jump on the next 30 day nothing but juice fix. Take the time to learn about nutrition and define what your body needs to eat to feel amazing. Yes it’s hard. Yes it takes time, consistency, and commitment. It’s not a quick fix and it’s not over in 30 days. It’s a lifetime of trial, error, self-discovery, development, and growth.  And you know what? It’s worth every second and ounce of effort. Because YOU are worth it. You deserve to live a life that feels good and that lasts longer than any quick fix.

Heres to you, living a life you love.

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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Healthy Lunch Ideas for Busy Work Days

Cooking up a Healthy Lunch during a corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

Cooking up a Healthy Lunch during a corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

My client walked into her evening workout drained. “They brought lunch into the office today. I had a full meal, but I don’t think it was that healthy. Even though I ate all of those calories, I’m still so hungry!”  Another client recently admitted she often skips lunch. “I get so busy during the day I honestly forget. Then its 4pm and I crash.”  And another one has gained 10 pounds from all-day grazing. “I don’t have the time to sit down to lunch so I end up munching on snacks throughout the day. I’m not sure how much I’m eating, but I never really feel full or satisfied. Not having a real meal makes me feel like I can afford to graze…but clearly the weight scale says differently.”

Many of my friends and corporate wellness clients struggle with the lunch time dilemma. Food options in the office aren’t always the healthiest and it’s hard to find the extra time to prepare nutritious options in advance. Some skip the mid-day meal only to backfire into an energy crash, unhealthy snacking, or bingeing later in the day. Having a healthy lunch on a consistent basis can feel to hard to stay motivated and organized for, especially during busy work days. But on average, eating out for lunch adds 158 calories to a person’s daily caloric intake. That equates to an additional 7,900 extra calories, or 2 1/4 pounds, each year if you dine out one day per week. Going out to lunch every work day calculates out to an extra 39,500 calories or a gain of approximately 11 pounds. Not great numbers when it comes to your health goals. 

So should you give up and settle for unheathier options and low energy levels? No! With a few quick life hacks, lunch time challenges do not need to get in the way of you and your health goals. Finding the right strategy to eat a healthy lunch can keep you focused, prevent energy slumps, boost your mood, and sustain your power till dinner. Not only that, but taking your lunch to work can save you money and keep your health goals in focus. You will have more control over accomplishing any of your wellness goals (eating more fruits and veggies, lowering calories, eating less fat, improving energy, boosting performance) by preparing your own lunch. With just a little organization and a few supplies, your lunch box options will be invitingly inspired. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you ensure brown bagging success every time. Are you ready to feel AMAZING?

1. Plan and prep ahead of time. Set aside a time each week to pre plan your meals, shop for ingredients, and prepare simple recipes. Sundays typically work best for most people. You can prep easy recipes (like the ones below) and have pre-portioned lunches ready to go.  The best way to save time during the week is to prepare some versatile ingredients, like quinoa and chicken to throw into recipes throughout the week. Many people get overwhelmed at the thought of meal planning or make it overly complicated. Don’t overthink it! Just write out when where and what you plan to eat, and schedule a time to grocery shop (or use a service) so that you have what you need. Hungry for a place to start? Try Eatingwell.com . They have free diet and meal plans, weekly menus, healthy recipes, and grocery shopping lists for every dietary preference and calorie budget. This content rich website is full of information and inspiration to fuel your healthy lifestyle. I love their weekly menus and use their clean recipes often.

2. Keep it separate. To prevent soggy food, pack items separately in zip-lock bags, tupperware, or bento boxes. Similarly, don’t dress leafy salads until you are ready to eat. Salt will draw moisture out of watery ingredients, so add items such as tomatoes and cucumbers to a grain salad at the last minute for the best results. Here are a few winning product finds to help you keep things in good shape:

  • Available in several shapes and sizes, Wean Green [1] (from $23; weangreen.com) and Kinetic Go Green GlassLock Food Storage [5] ($35 for set of 3; surlatable.com) locking tubs are super-reliable and microwave-safe.
  • Got soup? The screw tops on Ziploc Twist ‘n Loc Containers [2] ($4 for set of 2; amazon.com) make them good for packing liquids safely.
  • If you don’t like your rice touching your tomatoes, try a tiffin like this three-tier metal lunch box [3] ($9.50;pearlriver.com) or the sleek LunchBots Bento Trio [6] ($28; lunchbots.com), which has compartments.
  • And for the serious lunch aficionado, there’s no choice but the Zojirushi Classic Stainless Lunch Jar [4]($69; amazon.com), an insulated cylinder with three microwavable bowls, chopsticks, and a strap for transport.
3. Put leftovers to good use. The quickest way to prepare a healthy lunch, is to make more of your healthy dinner. When dishing out your nighttime meal, put your dinner leftovers in the lunchbox or lunch container right after dinner, before you wash up. That way you can portion out leftovers (if there are any) into lunch containers rather than putting things away and taking them out again.
4. Stay safe. Keep cold food cold (below 40°) and hot food hot (above 140°) as it travels. Use insulated lunch bags, coolers, thermoses, ice bags, and frozen gel packs to help with temperature control. If reheating items in a microwave, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends they reach 165° and are served steaming hot.

To make sure your lunch is balanced, look to include a whole grain, lean protein like beans or chicken, and fruits or vegetables. Here are a few of my personal favorite lunch choices that take less than 10 minutes to prepare: 

  • Quinoa Veggie Bowl. Toss together to combine your choice of fresh or cooked vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a dressing such as tahini, apple cider vinegar, or mashed avocado. Here are a few quinoa veggie bowl recipes that have been inspiring me lately. 
  • Nourish Bowl. There are so many different combinations you can come up with, so it’s like your own version of the Whole Foods salad bar. Hummus for days. Recipe here.
  • Roasted sweet potato + quinoa + veggies.
  • Edamame Salad Bowl. Shelled edamame (from the frozen food section, thawed according to package instructions), mixed greens, shredded carrots, green onions, and red bell pepper. Add any light salad dressing.
  • Chicken, rice, with mixed veggies. You can add almonds and fruit along with this.
  • Black beans with lime & avocado plus a banana. Just mix a few fresh things together with black beans, and take to work in tupperware along with an avocado and a banana.
  • Dirty Rice with Roasted Carrots and Steamed Broccoli
  • Party Potato. Slice a pre-baked sweet potato and fill with your choice of toppings like beans, fresh salsa, guacamole or greens.
  • Healthy Wrap. Use large leafy green lettuce leaves as a nutrient-rich alternative to a regular wrap. Simply add your favorite fillings. Try vegetables with fish/egg, curried lentils, chilli beans, or falafels.
  • Salad. Healthy salads are packed full of everything your body needs to get through the day, full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients. But if you arent careful, a salad can become a calorie bomb and hurt you more than help you. Here are my tips to making salads that are easy AND good for you. I believe a salad a day keeps you happy and healthy. I have a meal sized salad for lunch 3-4 times a week.
Ready for a rejuvenating mid-day meal at Cavalllo Point corporate wellness team building offsite in Sausalito, CA

Ready for a rejuvenating mid-day meal at Cavallo Point corporate wellness team building offsite in Sausalito, CA

Ready to get inspired? I’ve rounded up lunch lists from around the web just for you! Click on the links below for hundreds of easy work lunch ideas to keep you fueled and fabulous. 

Motivation is the first ingredient in packing a lunch. Pair that with having helpful resources like the ones above and you’ll be the most energetic lunch lover in the office. Are you ready to feel fabulously fueled all day? Make having a healthy lunch a priority. I know you can do it! You deserve to feel good. Remind yourself of why you want to make the commitment to be healthy and eat healthy. Your health is priceless and I can guarantee eating a nutritious lunch will help you feel your very best.

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Lunch is served! Team building corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

What is your #1 healthy, fast, and easy work lunch? Leave your favorite afternoon meal as a comment below, Id love to hear from you! And as always, if you liked this post, please share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Heres to you feeling good,

Caroline

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Eat the Rainbow. Clean Eating Acai berry bowls from Hawaii!

My green acai bowl from lanikaijuice in hawaii : "the mana green bowl" with kale, spinach, orange, mango, papaya, chia seeds, blueberries, and extra added protein.

My green acai bowl from lanikai juice in hawaii : “the mana green bowl” with kale, spinach, orange, mango, papaya, chia seeds, blueberries, and extra added protein.

Eat the Rainbow with this new trend in the Healthy Eating World: The Acai Bowl!

Acai berries (pronounced ah-sai-ee) are the fruits of acai palm trees, which are mostly grown in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. These small, dark-purple berries pack a nutrient punch with a whole host of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Named by the Brazilians as the “Beauty Berry,” acai berries truly do the body good from the inside out, with health benefits such as increased energy levels, a boosted immune system, improved metabolic function and better hair and skin. Not only is this superfood incredibly good for you, but it’s also delicious (it kind of tastes like dark chocolate!).

One of the most popular ways to eat the acai berry is by blending it up into an acai bowl. An acai bowl is an acai berry smoothie in a bowl. It’s a combination acai with other frozen fruit and healthy ingredients blended until thick and frosty. This acai blend is then poured into a bowl served with of fun and delicious toppings. Acai bowl blends are thick, creamy, and eaten with a spoon like healthy ice cream. The topping combinations are endless and include fresh fruit, granola, nuts, seeds and more. I dont know about you, but anything edible that includes toppings is an instant win in my book 😉

One of the most popular places where acai bowls are enjoyed outside of South America is Hawaii. I had my first acai bowl on vacation in Oahu last week and was instantly in love with its fresh flavor and refreshing taste.  I’ve taken some inspiration from the island to create a few recipes below. I also reached out to one of my favorite healthy living nutrition brands ALOHA for a few of their recipe ideas as well! The result? Four amazing acai bowls to sample! Dont blame me when you get addicted….. keep reading for my “How to Build an Acai Bowl Guide” and fun, delicious recipes to add to your healthy life.

My traditional acai berry bowl from Goofy Cafe and Dine in Oahu, Hawaii

My traditional acai berry bowl from Goofy Cafe and Dine in Oahu, Hawaii

How-to Build an Acai Bowl Guide:

First Buy Acai. Acai comes in a few forms. Frozen acai smoothie packs, acai juice, and acai powder. My favorite way to enjoy acai is via the frozen smoothie packs because you can easily blend up frosty smoothies and creamy purple acai bowls. When choosing acai you can either buy 100% acai or a “blend” product. Here are a few brands and options for frozen smoothie packs.

      • Sambazon: This sweetened acai smoothie pack contains energizing guarana. To taste, the pack is quite sweet, and almost tastes like a popsicle. The acai flavor is a bit less bold due to the added sugar that “waters down” the acai content a bit. The color is a light purple rather than deep purple. Delicious, but a bit less potent than 100% acai packs. Note: The Sambazon brand has a wide variety of delicious acai juices worth trying and testing out as well! Great company and you can find them in many stores which is even better. They also have an acai powder that is very high quality. Check out all Sambazon Products on Amazon
      • Acai Roots: This pure premium acai is 100% wild grown and organic too! Again, 100% acai, unsweetened, nothing added so you get a super deep purple color and rich caco-berry acai flavor. Start with Acai Roots Organic Acai Pure Powder, 16-Ounce Pouch
      • Amafruits. Very high quality and deep purple color. Another great option for frozen acai freezer packs. Pure Acai Berry Puree Smoothie Packs
      • Acai Powder. You can also buy acai powder. I like the wonderful Navitas Naturals brand of acai. It is super easy to add to smoothies to boost the flavor and nutritional content. Try these: Navitas Naturals Organic Acai Powder, 8-Ounce Pouches

Second Build Your Bowl:

Blend. First blend together two acai smoothie packs, a generous splash of liquid and (optionally) some frozen fruit. I like to add one fresh or frozen banana. Vanilla almond or soy milk tastes delicious as the liquid base of an acai bowl. Or you can try coconut milk for a richer, creamier tropical flavor. Blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy, but still very thick and frosty.

Texture troubleshooting:

Too thin? To prevent a too-thin texture, add the liquid in very small amounts, gradually. Just until the blend starts churning.

Too thick? If you have trouble with a “too thick” blend, simply keep adding liquid slowly until things smooth out. You could also add in vegan yogurt or even a scoop of silken tofu. Taste test the blend before serving. You can add sweetness (if needed) via agave or maple syrup, fruit like bananas or even using a more sweetened non-dairy milk base.

Chocolate spin:
Want a super chocolate-y flavor? Blend 1-3 tsp cacao powder into your acai blend. Or blend in raw cacao nibs. You could even use a chocolate protein powder if you’d like.

Pour. After your acai is thick, frosty and blended, spoon it out into a bowl. Tips: Use a chilled bowl to help keep your acai from melting too quickly! – Or add some frozen fruit to the bottom of the bowl (frozen wild blueberries or frozen organic strawberries perhaps) to prevent quick melting as you eat.

Top. Start adding toppings! Nuts, cacao nibs, a splash of coconut milk, coconut shreds, fresh berries, sliced fresh banana, chopped nuts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds or even a spoonful of almond butter. There are so many options for toppings. Choose healthy foods you have on hand and fresh fruits that are in season or have a tropical vibe.

Third ENJOY! Serve right away and eat with a spoon! Here are a few recipes to get your creative cooking juices flowing:

Hawaii 5-0 Rainbow Bowl
Serves: 1
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Using frozen fruit in the acai purée helps to achieve a thick consistency, but avoid adding ice as it can water down the flavors. For the topping, fresh fruit works best, but frozen and thawed can also work in a pinch.

INGREDIENTS:

ACAI PURÉE

  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 100-g (3.5-oz) pack frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp (TRY: Acai Berry Puree with Guarana Smoothie Packsbefore opening your acai pack, run pack under water for 5 seconds to thaw and break the frozen pulp into smaller pieces.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

TOPPINGS

  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled and sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 small banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peeled and chopped pineapple or mango
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola, optional
  • Drizzle of raw honey, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare acai purée: In a blender, add banana, acai pulp, strawberries, blueberries and a splash of milk. (TIP: Add to blender in that order as adding softer ingredients first makes it easier on your blender blades.) Blend on low until larger chunks are broken down, then gradually increase speed, adding a splash of milk at a time, and stopping to scrape down sides of blender if needed. When ingredients have mostly come together and all of milk has been added, blend on high for 15 to 20 seconds more.
  2. Add toppings: Pour acai purée into a bowl and arrange toppings in stripes of their respective color to form a rainbow: from left to right, arrange blueberries, kiwi, banana, pineapple and strawberries. Sprinkle with granola and drizzle with honey (if using).

Nutrients per serving (1 bowl): Calories: 327, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 63 g, Fiber: 11 g, Sugars: 37 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 106 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Green Tropicalada Bowl
Serves: 1
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

For an added health and color boost, try adding about 1 teaspoon of spirulina to the acai purée.

INGREDIENTS:

ACAI PURÉE

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh kale
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 100-g (3.5-oz) pack frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp (TRY: Acai Berry Puree with Guarana Smoothie Packsbefore opening your acai pack, run pack under water for 5 seconds to thaw and break the frozen pulp into smaller pieces.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (TIP: Instead of almond milk, you can substitute a mix of ¼ cup coconut milk combined with ¼ cup water.)

TOPPINGS

  • 1/2 small banana, sliced
  • 2 tbsp peeled and chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup granola, optional
  • 1 to 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Drizzle of raw honey, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare acai purée: To a blender, add spinach, kale, banana, acai pulp, mango and a splash of milk. (TIP: Add to blender in that order as adding softer ingredients first makes it easier on your blender blades.) Blend on low until larger chunks are broken down, then gradually increase speed, adding a splash of milk at a time, and stopping to scrape down sides of blender if needed. When ingredients have mostly come together and all of milk has been added, blend on high for 15 to 20 seconds more.
  2. Add toppings: Pour acai purée into a bowl, then add toppings and drizzle with honey (if using).

Nutrients per serving (1 bowl): Calories: 344, Total Fat: 13 g, Sat. Fat: 6 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 55.5 g, Fiber: 10 g, Sugars: 31 g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 153 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

And a few to try from the amazing people at ALOHA, one of my favorite healthy living nutrition partners. The ALOHA way is a source of happiness!

Fit for a Princess Pink Acai Bowl

In honor of Princess Charlotte, I am sharing an açaí bowl from The Whole Tara. This is the most refreshing and energizing breakfast choice bursting with antioxidants and nutrients.

Ingredients

1 banana frozen

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 handful spinach

1 tablespoons açaí powder

1 packet ALOHA Daily Good Berry (Im obsessed with these little pouches of antioxidants and add them to everything I can smoothies, oatmeal, and more. Use the code “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at checkout for a great discount on these superfood daily greens pouches)

Oats for topping

Preparation

Blend all the ingredients, except the toppings, on high speed until smooth and creamy. A thick frozen yogurt consistency is best.

Top with oats or any fruit, nuts, and seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Get more recipes from Tara at TheWholeTara.com. Follow @TheWholeTara Instagram.

Acai Banana Super Antioxidant Bowl

Ingredients 1 frozen unsweetened acai pack (you’ll need to run it under water for a few seconds and break it up into pieces before blending)1/2 frozen banana (Make sure you don’t freeze your bananas until they’re quite ripe – it means that your acai bowl will be naturally sweeter!)1/2 cup frozen berries

1 packet ALOHA Daily Good Berry Blend (Use the code “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at checkout for a great discount on these superfood daily greens pouches)

1/2 cup coconut almond milk blend*

1/2 sliced fresh banana

1 tbsp chopped almonds

1 tsp bee pollen

Honey or agave to taste

Preparation

1. Blend together the frozen acai pack, frozen banana, frozen berries, Daily Good, and coconut almond milk. I use a food processor, but a blender should work well too, you might just need to add a little bit more liquid

2. Top with 1/2 sliced (not frozen!) banana, 1 tbsp chopped almonds and 1 tbsp bee pollen

3. If you like it on the sweeter side, drizzle a tiny bit of honey or agave on top!

*I make my own coconut almond milk, but it can be purchased in most major health food stores

DIY Coconut Almond Milk

Ingredients

1 cup raw and organic almonds

1 cup dried, unsweetened organic coconut flakes

5 cups of filtered or best quality spring water

1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

1. Soak the almonds overnight in a few cups of water to soften and to release phytic acid (an enzyme inhibitor that can interfere with digestion)

2. Strain and rinse the nuts until water runs clear.

3. Cover the coconut with two cups very not (but not boiling) water for about 10 minutes, until coconut softens

4. Add coconut and its water to a blender with the nuts, cinnamon and two more cups of water and blend (If your blender is big enough you can add all three additional cups; mine isn’t so I add the last cup of water at the end)

5. Strain through a nut bag (squeeze HARD to get out all of the water) into a container, add one more cup of water and shake to combine. You can use the ground almonds and coconut to make almond coconut meal if you desire!

The nut milk will last about four to five days in the refrigerator. It will separate, so before use just make sure to shake it up before you use it!

Follow Julia Taylor-Brown on Instagram and Twitter

*** For all of the above, feel free to sub in different nut milks, add in a scoop of nut butter or protein powder for added protein, or sprinkle in boosters such as bee pollen and get creative with your toppings! That is the best part after all 😉

After all that reading Im seriously craving an acai bowl! Have you tried acai bowls? What is your favorite combination of toppings? Leave your thoughts as a comment below, Id love to hear from you! And as always, if you enjoyed this post SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Now off to blend up a bowl of goodness,

Caroline

Other Things to Check Out This Week:

  • I’ve been nominated for 80’s Prom Queen! (yes seriously lol). Help me support the Gaurdsmen and raise funds for at risk Bay Area youth. 100% of your donations go directly to the cause. Not only that but the nominee that raises the most dollars in donations gets to be crowned Queen of the court! Thank you for your support and totally awesomeness. Please share this link:   https://www.crowdrise.com/SF80sProm/fundraiser/carolinejordan 
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  • Have you tried ALOHA healthy superfood chocolate? Peruvian fair-trade organic cacao combined with nutritious superfood greens. Indulging in your chocolate craving has never tasted this amazing. Want to taste some for yourself? Enter the code: “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at: https://aloha.com/home for 10% off your superfood chocolate!

How Healthy is Your Salad? Build a Better Salad Guide.

When you’re trying to eat healthier, a cool crisp salad seems like the ideal meal. But not all salads are created equal. Just because your meal is green doesn’t mean it’s lean. Get to know how many calories you are consuming and learn to build a better bowl with my healthy salad guide below.

Many people commit to eating salads to lose weight or eat healthier but are disappointed with the results. Frustrated and confused, they resort back to a hamburger and fries. Sound familiar? Perhaps the problem isn’t the decision to choose a salad, but rather the ingredients you pick for it. You see, a salad can either be diet-friendly or a diet disaster.

The word “salad” usually conjures up images of vibrant greens packed with healthy nutrients. But often salads found on most restaurant menus or created from salad bars are far from healthy. In fact it is extremely possible your “healthy” salad bowl to be worse for you than eating a McDonald’s Big Mac. Yep, you read that right. A Big Mac has 550 calories and 29 grams of fat. But with the wrong ingredients, a “healthy” salad can contain three times that amount.

For example the T.G.I. Friday’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad contains 1100 calories and 71 grams of fat (16 grams are saturated), the Applebee’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad clocks in at 1280 calories with 92 grams of fat (24 of which are saturated), and the California Pizza Kitchen Roasted Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast (which sounds totally healthy!) comes in at 910 with 58 grams of fat. Even a standard Whole Foods Market salad bar salad loaded with heavy ingredients and dressing can cost you more than 1,000 calories and 80 grams of fat! For some people, that’s more than half their day’s worth of calories (and all their fat). That said, don’t toss in on salads — they can be a nutritious, delicious, filling, diet friendly choice and a great way to satisfy your daily vegetable requirements. Just follow my guidelines for making the perfect healthy salad — and you’ll never have to worry again.

Caroline’s Healthy Salad Guide

  1. Start with a strong foundation. First things first: Start by upping the nutritional ante by choosing a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein. Give up the iceberg for mesclun greens, baby spinach, or a spring mix that includes a variety of dark green lettuces. For less than 20 calories per two cups you can have a tasty, nutrient-rich base.
  2. Pile on the veggies. Take advantage of fresh vegetables and load them on top of your greens — at 25 calories or less per 1/2-cup serving you can’t go wrong. Choose a variety of colors to get the most health benefits — red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, and red onions are all great choices. Be sure to stick with raw or lightly steamed vegetables and steer clear of ones that are fried or swimming in oily marinades.
  3. Add protein for power. Your salad becomes a meal when you add the protein! If you’re opting for animal protein, select one lean source (or two if you’re extra-hungry), such as four egg whites or three ounces of skinless chicken or turkey breast, water-packed chunk light tuna, wild salmon, or lean sirloin steak. If you’re vegetarian or just want to mix it up, choose half a cup of cubed tofu or three-quarters of a cup of chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, or other legumes. Stay away from caloric or processed meats like bacon and salami, and definitely skip anything fried or drenched in heavy sauce.
  4. Choose one extra. Extras are those items that typically add another dimension and flavor to your combo of greens, vegetables, and lean protein. While some of these extras are packed with nutrients, they’re also packed with calories, so they should be added sparingly. Luckily, a little of these goodies goes a long way, so you won’t need more than one of the following (each of which is between 40 and 70 calories): 2 tablespoons cheddar, Parmesan, goat, Swiss, or feta cheese; 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds; 1 tablespoon sunflower or pumpkin seeds; 1 ounce avocado; 10 small olives (canned/jarred in water); 1/4 cup croutons; 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins.
  5. Dress it up lightly. Some people eat salad only if it’s doused with dressing. Unfortunately, dressing can take a salad from fresh and nutritious to downright unhealthy. One tablespoon of your average vinaigrette is about 80 calories and one tablespoon of creamy ranch is almost 100 calories. Ask for the dressing on the side when ordering, and if the restaurant only offers regular (full-fat) varieties, limit your usage to one and a half tablespoons for an entrée salad and one tablespoon for a side salad. Whenever possible, choose light, low-calorie, or low-fat options. You can also make your own light vinaigrette using one part oil and three parts vinegar with some mustard, lemon, 100 percent fruit jam, or spices for added flavor.
  6. Dining Out Smart. Want to order a salad while out to eat? Watch out for menu words like “fried”, “crusted”, “creamy”, and “crispy”. Also be careful with ingredients like wonton strips, noodles, heavy cheeses, and sugared nuts. When you order, ask your waiter to add extra vegetables (filling fiber!) and ask for dressing on the side so you can apply lightly. Not sure if the salad you want to order is healthy or a hidden calorie bomb that might damage your eating goals? Pull out your smart phone and quickly google, “calories in restaurant salad name here”. You can get an idea of the nutrition in your potential dish… and figure out if you’re better off ordering another entree instead.

Want to know how your salad bar selections measure up? Enter your choices in this handy salad calorie calculator from  and get the full nutritional breakdown in your salad bowl. My favorite salad combination (grilled chicken, mixed greens, veggies, pecans, and cranberries) comes in at 430 calories with 23 grams of protein and 18grams of fat. How does your favorite mix total up?

Bottom line? Don’t give up on salads, just remix your bowl and make your salads work for you.

Here to help you fuel your life with power,

Caroline

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