Power Green Smoothie

I’m on my final couple weeks of my pregnancy and want to kick-start my Eat Healthy, Feel Good Challenge to prep for when the doctor gives me the OK to workout again in a couple of months. I can’t wait! Working out makes me feel great and gives me the energy I need to keep up with my kiddos!

Success in getting back into shape, starts with how you eat. Eating healthy rids your body of crap and makes you feel more energized, focused and just plain good. When it comes to adding in exercise, you’ll look forward to feeling even more awesome.

To help kick-start the Eat Healthy, Feel Good Challenge, here’s my Power Green Smoothie Recipe.

.Power Green Smoothie - Lulu Lively

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 1 TB Raw Almond Butter
  • 1 TB Local Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Sprig Zaatar (Lebanese Oregano)
  • 1 Sprig Lemon Basil
  • Optional: 1 Scoop of ProGreens Energy or other Green Whole-Food Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Ice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Cups Almond Milk

Instructions:

  1. Add ingredients to blender
  2. Blend
  3. Enjoy

**If you don’t have the herbs in the recipe, simply don’t add them or experiment with other herbs like cilantro. Live a little; be adventurous!

Simply add this as a snack to your day or make it breakfast by adding Toasted Ezekiel Bread spread with Raw Almond Butter and Cinnamon sprinkled on top.

During the Healthy Eating Challenge, I will post my meal plan for the week, shopping list, and recipes each week. Join me on my journey to eating right and getting back into shape! If we stick together, we will keep at it!

Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter and keep me updated on your success!

How was the smoothie? Did you feel adventurous?

Loved the smoothie? Pin it on Pinterest to enjoy again later.

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A Compliment a Day will Boost Confidence

This will be a short and sweet post. Just wanted you all to compliment yourself today to start building your confidence.

Lulu Lively's Confidence

Do this once a day, everyday and your confidence will surely grow. You will be lighting up that room in no time!

What compliment did you give yourself today? Comments welcomed or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

5 Must-Try Summer Drinks

Lulu Lively's 5 Must-Try Summer Drinks

When the heat wave hits, you’re bound to get thirsty! And water, no matter how much you drink it, just doesn’t seem to hit the spot (still aim to drink half your body weight in ounces; and, you can do this by incorporating these Fruit Infused Waters from I Heart Naptime – yay!).

If you’re anything like me, I steer clear from the processed sugary drinks (like soda which makes me feel like crap – and crap is not good on hot days).

With hot days comes BBQs, swim parties and birthday parties. With parties comes those sugary drinks that seem to stare you in the face and say, “Drink Me!” What are you to do? You’re thirsty, it’s hot and now the back of your throat is dry. Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, you can get that refreshing drink, sip away and not feel guilty! Simply bring your fruit-infused water with you or one of the drinks below.

Lulu Lively’s 5 Must-Try Summer Drinks:

  1. In a blender, blend 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks with 1 cup coconut water and you’re enjoying Lulu Lively’s Pineapple Coconut Slush (I will add a picture next time I make one. They don’t last very long in my household)!
  2. Combine frozen watermelon, frozen raspberries and a squirt of lime and you have this wonderful Watermelon Raspberry Slushie from Averie Cooks:watermelon slushies
  3. Instead of cruzin’ the Sonic Drive-Thru for a Cherry Limeade, try this Cherry Limeade Smoothie from Minimalist Baker:Cherry Limeade Smoothie
  4. This Peach and Pineapple Tropical Slushie from Simplistically Living combines my two favorite fruits and it’s so simple and delicious!peach-and-pineapple-tropical-smoothie
  5. If you add honeydew melon to any smoothie, it adds such a delicious sweetness that your taste buds dance. This simple, refreshing Cucumber Melon Smoothie from Girl Makes Food definitely will make your taste buds tango :
    Cucumber Melon Smoothie

What refreshing drinks do you enjoy during the summer? Comments welcomed or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Make a Grocery List to Lose Weight & Cut Costs

Lulu Lively's Grocery List Strategy

When I go to the grocery store without a list, I start grabbing things like cookies, ice cream and ready-made dinners; because, I simply don’t know what to get. So, I grab what my belly desires, junk!

According to a recent survey of 1300 Pittsburgh shoppers published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, grocery lists may help you make healthier food choices and lose weight. Yippee! You can read how a list can lower your BMI on SELF.

Here’s my theory:

When you have a list, you have some sort of satisfaction of checking each item off of it and stick to it because it doesn’t require much thought. You made the list, you know what you need, so you’re not going to spend more time thinking about it. You’re going to stick to the list and it’s going to take no time at all to complete.

When I go to the store without a list, I can easily spend an hour grocery shopping. Who has time for that? Not me! But with a list, my time is cut in half. Especially when the list is organized.

Lulu Lively’s Grocery List Strategy

  1. Inventory Your Kitchen Cupboards and Fridge. This is how I’ve cut my grocery bill 30-40%, simply by taking an inventory of my kitchen and seeing what I can use in a dinner meal.
  2. Make a Meal Plan for the Week. Whatever day you shop on, plan from that day to the same day next week. I usually just plan out dinners for the week. Breakfast and Lunch, I have a few recipes I rotate through each day (these get added to the grocery list). Here’s a sample Menu Plan:

    Make a Meal Plan

  3. Make a Grocery List. Separate your grocery list items by category and each section of the grocery store. Start with the produce section to fill up your cart with healthy items first, so you won’t want to grab the processed stuff later (say NO to processed – it’s junk). Here’s how I separate my list:

    Make a Grocery List

  4. Go Shopping. Stick to the list and do not deviate. You took the time to inventory your kitchen, make a meal plan, make a list to cut your bill, save time at the store, and make healthier decisions. Why would you throw that out the window? Sticking to your plan will help you lose weight for the following reason: you won’t go out to eat because there is “nothing in the fridge” or “you don’t know what to make.” You have a plan and know what’s for dinner and it’s healthy – no excuses.
  5. Stick That Meal Plan on the Fridge. If the meal plan looks you in the face every time you visit the fridge, it will be fresh in your mind what’s for dinner. It will help you pull out those blueberries and Greek yogurt to snack on or avoid that moment-of-weakness ice cream you bought last night. It will motivate you to stay true to your list. Put the list on colorful paper or make a fun Menu Board, like this one from Nifty Betty. It will make the planning more exciting and enticing.

Lulu Lively Tip:
Make certain you’re eating a healthy snack 2-3 hours after each meal to prevent your body from going into starvation mode (which ends up turning your last meal into fat). Drink plenty of water throughout the day (you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces).

How do you motivate yourself to eat healthy? Comments welcomed and/or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

***Note: Lulu Lively is not an expert in nutrition, diet, and exercise. Posts written are strictly research findings collected over time. It is recommended you research these findings yourself and consult with your physician or physical trainer if these recommendations are good for you.

Morning Energy and Metabolism Booster

Morning Energy and Metabolism Booster

As you age, your energy levels and metabolism slow down. What a bummer; because, the older we get the more responsibility we have, which leads to a long task list that seems impossible to power through.

But, we can change that! You can boost your energy level and metabolism in a natural way. Here’s how:

How to Boost Your Metabolism:

  1. Wake up at the same time every morning (even on Saturday and Sunday), no matter how late of a night you had. This will allow your body to sync with your daily schedule.
  2. Do some stretches before exiting your bedroom. This will get things moving and wake you up a bit. Here is a great morning yoga sequence to do from Sparks People:Morning Yoga Sequence
    For instructions on how to do each stretch properly, click on the picture above.
  3. Have a cup of warm lemon, salt water to boost your energy levels. This will help balance out your sodium-potassium levels, rid your body of toxins and get your guts moving – naturally increasing your energy and metabolism. Check out the benefits and recipe –> No Caffeine Energy Boost
  4. Make 1 cup of coffee for an extra kick (but, only if you must). Add almond milk and a small amount of honey for sweetener. Avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon since it can disrupt how you sleep that night. If you need a pick-me-up in the afternoon, try eating a tablespoon of coconut oil with a tablespoon of chia seeds or add them to a smoothie. Read the benefits and get a tropical smoothie recipe –> Benefits of Eating Coconut Oil with Chia Seeds
  5. Make an energy packed breakfast. Protein is important to have to keep energy levels stable and fuel you until the afternoon. Try this simple breakfast: (1) heat your pan to low-medium heat, (2) melt 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut oil in your pan, (3) dice 2 asparagus and add to pan, cook for 3-5 minutes, (4) cut up 1/2 cup of baby spinach, add to pan, cook until wilted, (5) crack 3 organic, free-range eggs into pan, (6) season with pepper and pink Himalayan salt to taste, (7) stir eggs, (8) cook until done. Pair it with a handful of blueberries. To avoid getting sick of eggs, look up some great egg recipes on Pinterest or other healthy protein-rich breakfast recipes.
  6. Do Cat-Camel Stretches 20-30 minutes after breakfast. Do the stretch at least 10 times. This works your guts promoting digestion. It will aid your body in digesting your breakfast quicker. Never heard of this stretch before? Here is a picture to help you out from Why I Exercise:
    Cat Camel Stretch
  7. Drink a big glass of water. Staying hydrated helps your body function properly. Make certain to drink water throughout the day. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces.

Lulu Lively Tip:
2-3 hours after breakfast, have a healthy snack to avoid your body going into starvation mode and turning your breakfast into fat. Here’s a yummy snack: a 1/2 cup of walnuts with a cup of fresh/dried cherries.

How do you get your morning going? Comments welcomed and/or join the conversation on Facebook.

Need more energy tips, check out Redbook’s Ultimate High Energy Day.

***Note: Lulu Lively is not an expert in nutrition, diet, and exercise. Posts written are strictly research findings collected over time. It is recommended you research these findings yourself and consult with your physician or physical trainer if these recommendations are good for you.

Benefits of Eating Coconut Oil with Chia Seeds

Benefits of Eating Coconut Oil with Chia Seeds

We all get there by 2pm: energy crash and a look at the clock (is it 5 yet?). Then, we wonder how we are going to power through the rest of our tasks, go home, have dinner, get the kids ready for bed, unwind, and fall asleep.

To avoid the 2pm horror, give yourself an afternoon pick-me-up by eating a tablespoon of coconut oil with a tablespoon of chia seeds (suggestion found in my last post No Caffeine Energy Boost).

Why Coconut Oil?

Coconut is packed full of nutrients that help the body function; and, it’s great for just about anything (I use it for moisturizer for my skin, lips and hair. I use it for cooking – it’s one of the few oils that don’t turn into a trans fat when cooking at higher temperatures. I use it for baby butt rashes. And most importantly, I use it for an energy pick me up).

Here’s why:

  • It boosts the immune system by fighting off bacteria in the body. So, when you consume it, it works to push those toxins out. Which leads to the next point:
  • It boosts your metabolism. Score, the more you poop, the better you feel!
  • It promotes heart health and prevents heart disease. A healthy heart gives you full reign to push yourself during exercise and get that blood pumping better.
  • It helps brain function. Hello! We all need a better functioning brain. A clearer head makes for better decisions, thought process, and the ability to get through your day.
  • It increases energy levels. More energy = more things get done! Yay!

To find out how else you can use coconut oil, check out Wellness Mama’s 101 Uses for Coconut Oil.

Why Chia Seeds?

  • It’s high in fiber, protein and Omega 3s. Omega 3s promote brain health (more brain health is great for me; when I skip my omega 3s I can tell the difference – I forget things). Fiber helps with metabolism (increased metabolism, means the body is ridding itself of more toxins). And protein, helps fuel you until you eat next by keeping you fuller longer.
  • It stabilizes your blood sugar. So, you don’t get those crazy dips and crave something sweet.
  • It improves digestion. So, the food you consume will be broken down quicker.
  • It keeps you energized – which is what we want to avoid the 2pm crash.

To read more benefits of Chia Seeds check out Naked Cuisine’s 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds.

Eating Coconut Oil with Chia Seeds is the no-caffeine, nutrient-packed boost you need to get through the rest of your day.

If you don’t want to eat coconut oil with chia seeds straight off a spoon (sometimes the texture creeps people out), add a tablespoon of each to a smoothie to get the benefits. I like making it tropical, try this:

Lulu Lively’s Tropical Smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 TB Coconut Oil
  • 1TB Chia Seeds
  • 1 TB Almond Butter
  • 1/2 C Spinach
  • 1/2 C to 1 C Almond Milk

Blend away and enjoy the tropical goodness!

How do you avoid the 2pm crash horror? Comments Welcomed and/or follow this conversation on Facebook.

***Note: Lulu Lively is not an expert in nutrition, diet, and exercise. Posts written are strictly research findings collected over time. It is recommended you research these findings yourself and consult with your physician or physical trainer if these recommendations are good for you.

No Caffeine Energy Boost

No Caffeine Energy Boost

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a huge cup of coffee in the morning. Realizing I have become addicted and now just need to drink it to avoid the Huge Headache-by-2pm, I know I need to cut back {hesitation – grimace}.

But, there is hope to cutting back! Yay!

I have found the following to help me re-energize my morning without the caffeine!

Here’s how to Re-Energize Your Morning:

It’s quite simple really. Right when you wake up, boil a cup of water, squeeze in a 1/4 lemon into a mug, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of Pink Himilayan Salt, pour in your warm water, stir and drink away!

Why?

Warm water absorbs in your body much faster than cold water. See, when you consume cold water, your body works to warm it up, then absorb it. So, we’re just speeding up the process and getting our bodies re-hydrated from not drinking water all night.

Lemon has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. So, it rids your body of toxins and the crap we accumulate the day before comes out in our sweat and pee. Yipee!

Pink Himalayan Salt is great to add to your water because first thing in the morning your body is fighting to reduce your potassium levels and increase your sodium levels. This gives it a boost in the process.

Combining these 3 ingredients gets your body movin’ and shakin’. It energizes you to get your busy day started and boosts your metabolism.

Lulu Lively Tip #1:
Make certain to drink plenty of water throughout the day (you need to drink your weight divided by 2 and change that number to ounces – that’s alot of water, but you need it). Sometimes your body confuses thirst for hunger. So, instead of popping a not-so-healthy snack into your mouth, try drinking water first. Wait 20-30 minutes and see if the hunger subsides. A well-hydrated body, functions much better than a dehydrated one.

Lulu Lively Tip #2:
If a mid-day energy crash is coming on, try eating a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of chia seeds mixed together. This will give you a boost of energy.

How do you like to start your morning? Comments welcomed.

***Note: Lulu Lively is not an expert in nutrition, diet, and exercise. Posts written are strictly research findings collected over time. It is recommended you research these findings yourself and consult with your physician or physical trainer if these recommendations are good for you.