Category Archives: Weight Loss

Best 5 Morning Exercises To Do Before Work. Jump Start Your Day With This Quick Fitness Routine.

Set yourself up for success by taking a few minutes in the morning to move your body before your work day. Here are the best 5 Morning Exercises to do before work and a quick video routine that will help you start your day in strength.

Best 5 Morning Exercises

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Do you hit snooze more than once? Are you a “too rushed in the morning to eat breakfast” kind of person? Is your phone the first thing you look at when you get out of bed? Do you feel frazzled, scrambled, or all over the place when you wake up? Is it hard for you to focus on anything other than: get out the door and get your butt to work?

How you start your day is how you live your day. Start your day in a stressful way and it will most likely continue to be that way.

And lets be real here: you ultimately become what you repeatedly do.  If your morning habits aren’t helping you, they’re hurting you. 

How do you want to begin your day? Here’s a quick habit that will help you jumpstart your day with energy, focus, power and strength:

Exercise.

Before you tuck your head under the covers, hear me out: you don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn, run a marathon, or spend a super sweaty hour in the gym. Just a few minutes of Morning Exercises can make a huge difference in your posture, performance, energy, and mental state. A little bit goes a long way and can completely change how you live your day.

I often call exercise “physical coffee”, because getting a little dose of movement can put an extra pep in your step. The goal for getting a quick shot of Morning Exercises in when you wake-up is to ‘jumpstart’ your body for the day. You want to get your heart rate up, increase blood flow throughout your body, loosen up your muscles, and straighten out your posture. A little cup of exercise can help you walk taller, feel stronger, boost your confidence, and set you up for a day of success.

Here are 5 of the most effective Morning exercises you can do before work to start your day on a strong note. These exercises help you stretch out tight muscles, wake up your core, and lengthen your posture. Don’t have time for all 5? Do one! Or mix in a few of these Morning Exercises throughout your day for improved mobility, energy, and strength.

Ready to get started? Skip the snooze button and join me for the best 5 Morning Exercises to do before work and this quick morning fitness video routine that will jumpstart your day in strength.

Best 5 Morning Exercises To Do Before Work.

Morning Exercise One: Hip Bridge

Why? Stretches out tight quads and hip flexors. Engages butt, hamstrings, and core muscles

How: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Slowly bring the hips back down, then lift back up. Try to do 10-20 reps or try 10 reps of single leg hip bridge with one leg in the air. 

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercise Two: Butterfly sit-up

Why: Stretches shoulders, arms, hips and groin muscles. Works the core muscles and gets the heart rate up.

How: Lie faceup on the floor with the soles of your feet together knees open to the sides (in a butterfly position). Reach your arms overhead on the floor stretching the shoulders. Brace your core to sit up, reaching your fingers toward or past your toes. Slowly return to start. Perform 10-20 reps. 

Morning Exercise three: Cat Cow

Why: Stretches the neck, shoulders, upper back, and core. Increases mobility and health of the spine.

How: Come to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your fingers should be pointing forward. Engage your core and abdominal muscles to start in a neutral spine position. Move into upward (cat) position by tucking your tail under and using your abdominal muscles to push your spine upwards towards the ceiling, making the shape of an angry cat. Then move into downward (cow) position by tipping your tail toward the ceiling, increasing the arch in your mid and low back and allowing the abdomen to stretch toward the floor. Pull your shoulder blades down your back.  Work with your breath and alternate between cat (arching the back) and cow (belly towards the floor) for 5-10 repetitions. 

Morning Exercise four: Air Squat

Why: Works the entire body (especially the butt and core muscles!), elevates the heart rate, and boosts the metabolism.

How: Stand with your feet hip distance apart and toes facing straight forward. Extend your arms out in front of you for balance. Sit your hips back and down, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure your heels stay on the floor, your core is tight, and chest is lifted. Keep your knees behind the toes. Use your hips, butt, and abs to stand, pressing through your heels to return to a standing position.

Morning Exercise five: Push-up to Back Extension

Why: Works the entire body with a focus on the posture muscles: abs, butt, shoulders, upper back, and lower back.

How: Combine a pushup and back extension to get the best bang for your buck! Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders. Ground your toes into the floor to stabilize your lower half. Brace your core, engage glutes and hamstrings, and flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight. Lower your body down—keeping your back flat and eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck—until your chest grazes the floor. From the floor, perform a back extension, lifting the shoulders off the mat squeezing the shoulder blades together and engaging the upper back, lower back, hamstrings, and butt. Lower back down to the floor with your hands by your chest. Then push back up, keeping your core engaged, as you return to the starting position.  To modify, drop knees to the floor. Repeat for 10 to 20 reps or as many as can be performed with good form.

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercises

Best 5 Morning Exercises Demonstration. Quick Fitness Video Routine To Jump Start Your Day.

I believe exercise is one of the key ingredients in having energy and living a powerful life. How will you start your day? I hope these Morning Exercises serve you in feeling your very best. Leave me a comment below if you try these Morning Exercises before your work day and let me know how you feel! And as always, if you liked this post, PLEASE HIT LIKE, SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and share this video with your friends! Thank you for your support in my work. I am here to help you feel your best inside and out.

Here’s to you starting and living every day in strength,

Caroline

My mission is to help you develop a positive relationship to self and exercise that adds to the quality of your life. Check out my list of services, stay connected about upcoming events by subscribing to my email newsletter, or contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together and live well.

I put my heart and soul into my corporate wellness programs and customize my services to benefit the unique needs of the company and the individuals within it.  If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

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BOOTY lifting moves for a BOOTYlicious Butt.

butt-lift-exercises

Do you have a depressed butt? Has it been slow, sleepy, and not as perky as you’d like?

Maybe it’s time to give it a little lift.

Having a happy and active butt muscle does so much more than help you look good in your jeans. It can actually reduce fatigue and back pain, protect the knee joints, and create overall strength. The glutes are our largest muscle group, and virtually every movement carried out by the lower body requires their activation.

Here are a few great reasons to work your rear and a few of my favorite bodyweight butt exercises to get you started now:

Benefits of a Strong and Happy butt muscle:

  • Powers Your Body. Strong glutes increase your force and power during everything from sprinting, jumping, and squatting to climbing, swinging, and cutting from side to side. A more powerful butt will allow you to run faster, cycle stronger, and power walk up the fifth flight of stairs without losing your breath.
  • Protects Joints. A stronger butt can mean healthier knees, as well as a pain-free lower back and hips.
  • Banishes Back Pain. Butt strength and endurance are correlated with a lessened risk of lower-back pain, says Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., director of the human performance lab at Lehman College. “Increasing glute strength with resistance training in a variety of rep ranges is the best way to prevent pain.”
  • Reduces Fatigue. Your butt muscles are stabilizers and supporters of the rest of your body during your daily activities, as well as your athletic performance. A strong butt will give you more stamina and help reduce fatigue throughout your day as you walk, climb stairs, ride your bike and do whatever else you do physically. At the end of the day, you should feel less tired and have more energy when you have a powerful butt.

Ok, ok. You get it. Having a strong butt is the secret to a strong life.

So now what?

I got your back (or should I say butt? 😉

I’m going to let you in on a few shapely secrets with this little sneak preview of some moves from my upcoming July 20th BOOTYcamp class in SF. Here are four booty-burning bodyweight exercises you can do right at home for a stronger, happier butt. Try these four moves, and notice how your body feels when you give it a little bit of movement, strength, energy, and BOOTY boost. Photo credit Mark Kuroda.

Squat

Stand with the feet hip distance apart toes facing straight forward. Extend the arms out in front of you for balance. Sit the butt back and down, bringing the thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels stay on the floor and chest is lifted. Keep the knees behind the toes as shown in picture. Press through the heels to return to a standing position.

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Single leg Squat

Stand with feet hip distance apart and raise the right leg, flexing the right ankle and pushing the hips back. Lower the body while keeping the right leg raised (a squat with one leg). Hold and then return to standing. You can use a bench to squat/sit on to work your way towards doing the single leg squat if needed. Keep the knees behind the toes and the heels firmly on the floor.

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Hip Bridge

Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Slowly bring the hips back down, then lift back up. Try to do 10-20 reps or try 10 reps of single leg hip bridge with one leg in the air.

103 104

 
   

Single Leg Deadlift

Start in a standing position with the feet together. Standing on the left leg, lift the right leg off the floor and bring the knee up towards the chest. Lean your upper body forward and reach your right leg out behind you. Bring the knee back up towards the chest and repeat. Perform 10-15 reps on one leg and then switch legs. Add variety by moving the arms in a running motion or bringing the arms close to the floor deepening the lunge.

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Try out the exercises above and make it a goal to perform activation + strength exercises for your glutes, hips, and thighs at least 2-3 times a week for best butt results. Take my word for it: these moves look simple, but they are going to transform your backside and keep your butt happy for life.

Bottom line? (pun intended)

A happy butt = A happy life.

And thats worth all the work.

Want more? Check out this post from Positive Health and Wellness: “8 Butt Exercises to do in 30 Minutes That Burns Fat”

Keep your squats low and your standards high my friends 🙂

Some BOOTY loves you,

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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Will Eating Before Sleep Make You Gain Weight?

Will Eating Before Sleep Make You Gain Weight? Pre-Bedtime Snacks that Won’t Make You Fat . 

Will Eating Before Bed Make You Gain Weight? With Mini Wheats and Lays Chips It Might! Read this before you have a Pre-Bedtime Snack! Eat Well and you will Sleep Well.

Will Eating Before Bed Make You Gain Weight? With Mini Wheats and Lays Chips It Might! Read this before you have a Pre-Bedtime Snack! Eat Well and you will Sleep Well in your Life.

It’s 10pm and you are winding down for bed. You feel that familiar pang in your stomach. Shoot, you’re hungry. And breakfast is a long night away. 

You don’t want to go to bed hungry, but you’ve heard that eating before sleep causes weight gain. What do you do? Toss and turn or get up and have a snack?

There has been a lot of research on eating before sleep. For the most part, studies have concluded that meal frequency or timing doesn’t really matter. Calories can’t tell time. 

What DOES matter is the types of foods and quantities that you are consuming. If you eat 2,000 calories in a day and burn 2,000 calories, you’ll maintain your weight. If you eat more calories than you burn you’ll gain weight. If you eat less calories than you burn (safely through diet and exercise) you’ll lose weight. It’s a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. So no, if you eat a healthy diet and balance calories in vs. calories out, eating before bed won’t pack on the pounds. 

The reason eating before sleep is tied to weight gain is because if you wait to eat until late at night, it can lead to overeating. Yet remember, it’s the food that is making you fat in this case, not the fact that you’re eating before bed. If you must eat later at night, plan your meals out ahead of time and don’t eat more than you intended. 

Also remember, there’s a big difference between a bag of Lays and a nutrient dense snack. And there’s also a big difference between mindful eating (eating when you are hungry) and mindless eating (eating when you are bored, stressed, anxious, sad, etc). Listen to your body! 

If you are physically hungry before bed, then your body is asking you for nutrition. It’s important you give it something wholesome, a choice that will help you sleep well and recover. Remember, food is fuel. As long as you eat the right things, it’s absolutely fine to eat at night—and unless you’re really off on your portion sizes, your body will actually be stronger and fitter because of it.  

Personally, I eat a pre-bedtime snack almost every day. My life in San francisco moves fast and I find myself needing more fuel to support my lifestyle. When I listen to my body and honor it’s hunger cues, I get the nutrition I need to move at top speed and sleep like a baby. And even with a pre-bedtime snack, I still wake up still hungry for my favorite meal: breakfast My metabolism moves fast thanks to regular, healthy meals and exercise. 

Here are some of my favorite pre-bedtime foods that help me sleep soundly and feel strong the next morning.

Bedtime Snacks That Won’t Make You Gain Weight

Vega® Clean Protein Chocolate Milkshake. 

This sweet treat is filled with a good for you plant-based protein blend made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin. With 130 calories a serving and 25 grams of complete, premium protein, this shake is sure to fill you up and help you recover while you sleep. 

Ingredients:

Directions: Put in blender. Blend. Simple and fast bedtime snack!

Late night omelette.

Another great option full of protein and fat to keep you full. If you like savory, eggs are a good pre-bedtime snack for you. 

Berry Chocolate Protein Pudding:

Here’s a recipe for sweet dreams with chocolate protein pudding. Fill your tummy with fuel and satisfy your sweet tooth too. 

Ingredients:

Directions: Prepare in the morning and blend all ingredients until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Growing Oatmeal recipe. 

Instead of eating oatmeal at breakfast, you may want to consider consuming it as a pre-bedtime snack. Oats contain melatonin, which will aid your body in relaxing and falling asleep. It’s my favorite pre-bedtime choice. 

Apple + 1-2 Tbsp nut butter

I love this as a late night snack especially with a good, chilled, crunchy apple. You can use almond butter or any other nut butter.

Bottom line: Listen to your body and honor it. Focus your efforts on the quality and quantity of what you eat more then when you eat it. Do this and you’ll always be fueled for success!

Do you eat before bed? What is your favorite pre-bedtime snack? Let me know in the comments below. 

Sweet Dreams my friends,

Caroline

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve your health and happiness, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

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.

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Easy Ways To Burn More Calories

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda 

It’s an inevitable part of life: You get older and whelp, your metabolism gets slower. While you don’t have much control over the overall speed of your metabolism, you absolutely can control how many calories you burn through the frequency and intensity of your physical activity and making more intentional lifestyle choices.

Here are some of the best ways to boost your calorie burn and stay in good shape throughout your adult life:

Easy Ways to Burn More Calories:

  1. Regular Aerobic Exercise

Walking, hiking, bicycling, and swimming are some of the best ways to burn calories. As a general rule of thumb, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you can’t set aside time for a long workout, try 10-minute chunks of high-intensity activity throughout your day. Mini workouts and bouts of exercise mixed into your day will keep your metabolism running and give your body (and brain!) an energy boost.

  1. Lifestyle Activities

Look for ways to walk and move around a few minutes more each day than the day before. Taking the stairs more often and parking your car farther away from the store are simple tricks to burn more calories. Even activities such as walking your dog, gardening, washing your car, and intense housework add up and can contribute to weight loss, energy, and overall fitness. A wearable device like a pedomoter can help you keep track of how much you move. I love my Fitbit because it motivates me to take more steps and tells me how many hours throughout my day I’ve been active.

  1. Strength Training/Weight-Bearing Exercise

Did you know that your body constantly burns calories, even when you’re doing nothing? However, resting metabolic rate is significantly higher in people with more lean muscle mass. That’s because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) controls how many calories your body burns while you rest. As you gain more muscle, you increase your BMR, along with how much you can eat and still stay lean. The more lean muscle on your body, the less body fat you will store, the more calories you will burn 24-7, and the harder it will be to gain weight.  This “afterburn” effect is the metabolism boost needed to maintain a healthy weight over time and maximize your calorie burn. Read more about why you want to start strength training for your weight and fitness goals here.

  1. Drinking Water

Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism can slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened, natural beverage (like organic tea) before every meal and snack.

Also, snack on organic, raw fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than salty, dry, or dehydrated snacks that rob moisture from your digestive tract during processing.

  1. Natural Energy Boosters

Green tea or oolong tea offer the combined benefits of natural caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up your metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17 percent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.

Also, superfoods such as maca powder, tribulus terrestris, and chia seeds have an innate capacity to increase energy and testosterone levels, thereby helping you work out and build muscle mass with more intensity and stamina.

  1. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. The effect is somewhat temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits can add up quickly. For a quick boost, spice up your pasta dishes, rice bowls, chili, and soups with crushed red pepper flakes, chipotle, or cayenne!

  1. Smaller Portions

The simple skill of knowing how much to eat is an important key to weight loss and weight maintenance. Studies have shown that eating light, smaller meals throughout the day has a positive effect on metabolism. Eating large portions of food per sitting can overtax your digestive system, thereby creating less efficiency for elimination and also depleting your energy stores.

Conversely, eating smaller portions more often can support consistent weight loss. Try having a healthy snack every three to four hours to keep your metabolism cranking. Click here to read my “Smart Size Portion Guide” for more suggestions on how to make your portions work for your weight goals.

  1. Protein-Rich Foods

Your body burns many more calories as it digests protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some of your carbohydrate intake with protein-rich foods can actually boost your metabolism at mealtime. The key is to select alkaline, plant-based proteins that are highly assimilable, which are much healthier for your body. When you consume highly acidic, animal-based proteins, they come complete with high levels of cholesterol, artery-clogging fats, and, over time, result in a net loss of alkaline minerals in your body, most notably calcium.

The reality is losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight takes constant awareness and effort. The most solid and reliable foundation for weight maintainance continues to be anchored in consistent physical activity, a positive, unstoppable mind-set, and a shift toward a healthy, clean, plant-based diet. You don’t have to be a slave to burning calories – you can choose to make staying in shape an intentional choice that  brings energy, power, and longevity to your life. 

Our knowledge is continually expanding about all of the mechanisms that impact human appetite, food selection, and how your body processes and burns food. The best way to find out what works for you is to engage in conscious experimentation with different foods, exercises, natural supplements, and mindfulness techniques until you crack the code on what works best for you.

And remember—what works for your individual body type, metabolism, and genetic structure is unique to you. It’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else or their progress. It’s about setting structured, achievable goals for yourself, experimenting with what works, asking for support from people you trust, and making a daily choice to be positively relentless in creating your ideal body and level of lifelong well-being.

This process is a marathon, not a sprint. Persistence and determination will get you results. Choose to focus on your daily progress, not perfection, and you’ll be on track for long-term success!

Simple and powerful, follow these basic tips and your weight will balance at a happy, healthy place for your body and your life. What is your #1 tip for boosting your calorie burn and maintaining a healthy weight? Leave your weight words of wisdom as a comment below, excited to hear how you stay balanced and well.

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

Till next time, keep moving my friends,

Caroline

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

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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:

 

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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Be Unstoppable from the Inside Out. Fuel for your Active Lifestyle.

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Be Unstoppable from the Inside Out. Fuel for your Active Lifestyle.

You are powerful when you believe in yourself – when you know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.  You are beautiful when your strength and determination shines as you follow your own path – when you aren’t disheveled by the obstacles along the way.  You are unstoppable when you let your mistakes educate you, as your confidence builds from experiences – when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward.

Your power comes from the inside out. A healthy diet is part of that.

It’s no secret that nutrition is just as important as fitness for your health. Whether you’re a workout fanatic, just starting an exercise routine, or getting back on the bandwagon, it‘s important to make sure you’re fueling up with the nutrients that your body needs to stay energized and properly nourished.

I believe eating well is a constant process of self-development. To me, it means being open to learn, grow, and challenge yourself. It means learning to listen to your body and honor what it needs and how it feels. When there are so many choices, trends, and opinions it can be hard to define what is right for you. It’s a process of trial and error. Of testing, re-testing, and listening. When it comes to living with power there is one thing I know for sure: choose to fuel your life with functional fuel and you’ll be unstoppable. When it comes to performing my best both in and out of workouts, here are a few things I’ve learned that help me fuel with power from the inside out:  

  1. Start the day with a large glass of water. Too busy to remember or living a fast life on the go?  Take it with you in an unbreakable water bottle made with BPA-free Eastman Tritan plastic. My first choice on the go bottle is here. While it looks like glass, it’s not as heavy, so there is easier handling and less likelihood for dropping it.
  2. Coffee can help get you going, but too much will make you crash and burn. One cup does the trick. After that, I’m better off getting natural energy from movement, fresh air, and sunlight.
  3. A daily dose of apple cider vinegar will boost your energy and balance your stomach. Click here for my daily detox drink.
  4. Breakfast is essential. Taking the time for a solid sit down breakfast will help you have the power to fuel your entire day, avoid cravings, and limit late night eating. Here are a few of my favorite fast and easy breakfast ideas to fuel your busy life.
  5. EAT REAL FOOD. Not too much. Mostly plants. (thanks Michael Pollan).
  6. Figure out your daily intake goals (protein, carbohydrate, fat, calories). Aim to get it daily. I use Livestrong.com “My Plate” to record an online food diary when I want to make sure Im getting the nutrients I need to succeed. Its completely free, has a large database, and is an excellent resource.  Ill keep a record for a few days on a regular basis to check in with myself and keep my healthy diet on track.
  7. Get those electrolytes! Sweating can cause a lot of fluid loss, which can throw off the body’s electrolyte balance. If you’ll be working up a considerable sweat, or exercising outdoors in the heat, mix an electrolyte supplement such as Vega electrolyte hydrator. This zero calorie electrolyte blend will keep your metabolism and energy up while giving you the all-day hydration you need to keep going fast. Pop it in your favorite water bottle and you are good to go.
  8. Protein. Protein is considered one of the building blocks of life and provides your body with the amino acids it needs to build and repair muscle. Your diet should include a healthy amount of protein from real foods like lean meats, beans, and nuts. You can also supplement with protein powders. I personally prefer protein shakes because they’re easy to make and ensure I am getting the precise amount of protein I need. My favorite is Vega Sport Performance Protein Powder. With 30 grams of complete, alkaline-forming protein per 150 calorie serving,  you’ll improve strength and exercise performance and reduce recovery time between intense workouts (or long work days!). Take 45-90 minutes after a hard workout, bring with you to use for extra power for a long work day, or use while traveling to keep your nutrition on track. 

  9. Eat every 2-3 hours helps keep blood glucose stable and to stay energized for whatever the day throws at you. I put together an entire list of my favorite all natural snacks for energy and health here. And a few of my top choices for pre and post workout eats here. 

  10. Allow yourself the treats you love in moderation. Life is for living not deprivation. (I call it the 80/20 rule of healthy eating!

    Aloha Superfood Chocolate. 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!

    Aloha Superfood Chocolate. 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!

  11. Hydrate responsibly all day! It is essential to stay properly hydrated before, during and after workouts and in between. If drinking plain water is difficult for you, try adding a slice of fresh fruit to your water bottle. I keep my Eastman Water bottle on hand all day to remind me to hydrate. Made with Tritan tough plastic, the bottle doesn’t scratch, break, or retain odors or stains…. no matter how hard you live or train. I try to refill the bottle at least 6 times a day.
  12. Vitamins. While a solid, over-the-counter multi-vitamin can help fill in nutritional gaps in your diet, I highly recommend seeing an internist and having a blood test done to check all of your vitamin levels to make sure you’re tailoring your vitamin regimen to your individual needs.

You are here to share special gifts that no one else has.  You have the power and strength within you to live your best life.  To do that, you must believe in yourself and be powerful from the inside out. And to really maximize your power and strength, choose to fuel right. Your power comes from the inside out. Believe it and BE IT. Be your incredible, unstoppable, self.

In health,

Caroline

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

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This post was sponsored by Eastman Tritan. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Balanced Body Healthy Holiday Drink Recipes + A Giveaway

CJordan_9999_215-1Photo Credit Toni Alejandria 

I am a wellness coach and an advocate for BALANCE. I believe in living fully and savoring all the joys life brings. I don’t believe in deprivation diets, quick fixes, extremes, or “surviving” through life with strict regulations. Depriving yourself to an extreme isn’t sustainable long-term and neither is indulging 24-7. When you don’t let yourself enjoy the things you love, you end up craving them more. You want to find a healthy diet that keeps your body nourished and your spirit satisfied. A way of eating that doesn’t just allow you to achieve a one time goal, but keeps you fueled with energy for a long and vibrant life. This is where learning the practice of moderation comes in. Moderation allows you to enjoy some of the sweeter (or more savory) things in life without overdoing it so you don’t sabotage your efforts to maintain healthy habits. By indulging wisely and treating yourself once in a while, it actually makes it easier to stay on track and maintain balance.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and personalizing ways of enjoying your life in health will allow you to thrive. Sometimes all you need is a little coaching on different ways you can remix your health habits to have them help you. In my coaching book, “Balanced Body Breakthrough”, I work with you to customize your approach to living well and adopt healthy habits that help you stay on track, find moderation + balance, and maintain a feel-good life. 

Are you an “all or nothing” type of eater? Have you tried every diet out there only to find yourself right back where you started (or worse, 5 pounds heavier)? Do you feel frustrated, confused, or defeated? Are you exhausted from the fight of trying to eat well and exercise “right”? It doesn’t need to be a struggle, you can find a healthy balance that works for you. In my book I give you strategies for success and help you customize your wellness to work with you to enable you to reach your full potential.

The “Body” section of my book, provides you with many of my favorite feel good recipes that will satisfy cravings and give energy for your life. I want to share a few of the book beverage recipes with you, so you can decide if you are hungry for more. These recipes are the perfect healthy indulgences for the upcoming holiday season. Whip up a few of these balanced body beverages in your kitchen and let me know what you think. Notice what happens in your life when you make the choice to feel good.

Sample Balanced Body Breakthrough Beverage Recipes

Vega Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Enjoy pumpkin pie flavors all year round with this pumpkin pie smoothie recipe. Beautifully smooth and creamy rich, this is a healthy smoothie recipe to keep in your arsenal every day of the year! Who said that dessert can’t be part of a healthy diet?

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth and enjoy! Tip: Freeze extra pumpkin puree in mounds on wax paper ahead of time, then place in bags and store in the freezer for pumpkin pie smoothies all year long.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 341.9 Fat: 8.1g Saturated fat: .1g Unsaturated fat: 2.6g Carbohydrates: 51.1g Sugar: 18.6g Sodium: 363.4mg Fiber: 16.6g Protein: 20g
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Healthy Hot Chocolate and Healthy Chocolate Milk (Serves 1)
A sugar free way to curb your sweet tooth in a healthy way
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Stevia to taste (I use 10 drops of NuNaturals liquid stevia)
Hot Chocolate Directions:

Heat milk in the microwave in a microwave safe mug for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes (depending on your preference) or place in a small pot on the stove on medium and heat slowly until it starts to bubble. In the mug of milk, add cocoa powder and stevia. Use a spoon to stir quickly until cocoa has dissolved. Add more stevia if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Chocolate Milk Directions:

Place milk, cocoa powder, and stevia in a blender. Blend on high for 15 seconds. If you like a lot of froth, blend for as much as 30 seconds (no longer or milk will get warm). Pour into a glass and add more stevia if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Information:
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 52  Fat: 4.2 Saturated fat: 0.7 Carbohydrates: 4.9  Sodium: 181 mg Fiber: 2.8  Protein: 2.1

To help you stay healthy during the holidays, I am hosting a Balanced Body Breakthrough GIVEAWAY! Entering the giveaway will allow you to cook up the recipes above and try the NuNaturals high quality ALL NATURAL stevia sweetener for FREE. The Vanilla flavored stevia makes GREAT smoothies and baked goods, and the hot cocoa is the perfect treat for the holidays that wont pack on extra pounds. The to-go packets are perfect to throw in your purse for on the go use for if you find yourself out at work, or coffee with a friend and don’t have a healthy sweetener choice. Just pop out a packet and you’re good to go.

As a healthy holiday gift to you and to support the “Balanced Body Breakthrough” kickstart campaign, NuNaturals has generously offered a sweet giveaway package for Caroline Jordan Fitness readers. I’m able to award FOUR winners who will each receive the following:

You can read more about NuNaturals in this post. Ive done my research – this sweet treat IS actually good for you! I want to help you savor the sweetness of the holidays. Heres how you can enter:

How To Enter the Super Sweet Holiday Giveaway:

  1. Visit and LIKE the NuNaturals Facebook page and the Caroline Jordan Fitness Facebook page.
  2. Support my “Balanced Body Breakthrough” book kickstart campaign by visiting my InkShares page and pre-ordering your copy for $9.99 : https://www.inkshares.com/projects/balanced-body-breakthrough
  3. I need to reach the goal of 750 pre-order copies to have my book published! Im almost to 200…. I SO appreciate your support! 
  4. Share your “Balanced Body Breakthrough” book purchase on twitter or facebook with a tag to @Caroline Jordan FitnessIn your post or tweet tell me one way you practice BALANCE in your life and why you want to win “Caroline Jordan Fitness’s Super Sweet Holiday giveaway”!

THATS IT! Spend $9.99 and get $54.00 worth of goodies in return. Super Sweet Giveaway! So what are you waiting for? Get those entries in! FOUR of you will win!

Giveaway Rules:
* Contest is entry to contestants WORLDWIDE. Be aware no PO boxes are acceptable for shipping, so if you enter, please have a physical location where it can be shipped if you win. All ages welcome. Contest ends Sunday November 15th, 2015  at 11:59 p.m. PST. Four winners will be randomly chosen and announced Monday, November 16th, 2015 by 9 a.m. PST. Winners will also be notified via email by Monday, November 16th, 2015 by 9 a.m. PST*

Your body wants you to eat well. My “Balanced Body Breakthrough” book will give you the tools (and recipes!) to personalize your diet and have it HELP you instead of frustrate you.  Eating healthy foods makes you feel better and have more energy, along with reducing digestion problems and mood swings. Healthy eating doesn’t mean deprivation, tasteless, or time consuming. It can be delicious, nourishing, and balanced with foods you love. 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. Take action now: whip up one of the recipes above. Satisfy your holiday beverage sweet tooth with a nutritious and delicious choice.

Cheers to your health,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

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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