fbpx

Categorized as: Nutrition Tips & Recipes

Summery Pasta Salad

recipes-2

Recipe by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

Looking for a healthy side dish that is easy, high in protein, fiber and gluten free? Look no further!! This pasta dish is great for that bbq side, family night or pot luck in just a few quick steps.

Ingredients

img_2944
*Two boxes Banza garbanzo bean pasta
*1/3 cup Avocado oil mayo
*2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
*1 Whole green onion
*4 small celery stalks
*1/4 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp black pepper
*1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
*1/4 cups fresh parsley

-If you feel like adding some color to this recipe, red, green, and yellow bell peppers, carrots, purple radish, or tomatoes all make for great additions!

Directions
1. Boil pasta as directed. When done rinse in cold water.

2. Chop celery, green onion and parsley. Mix spices,  seasonings and all other ingredients together with pasta and viola.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Life in Plastic Ain’t So Fantastic

   pasted-image-0

Blog by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

A topic and question that comes up frequently in our household is “How do we reduce our plastic consumption”? It seems that everywhere we go, our environment invites the opportunity to be enveloped in plastic!

From the cars we drive, cell phones, computers, shoes and clothes we wear to the foods and products we purchase, it’s inescapable. The long standing argument is how do we make a difference that will impact our planet and our health? It feels next to impossible and can become overwhelming to say the least.

Evidence is mounting that the chemical building blocks that make plastics so versatile are the same components that might harm people and the environment. And its production and disposal contribute to an array of environmental problems, too. For example:

  • Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

  • Plastic debris, laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals, can injure or poison wildlife.

  • Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.

  • Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.

  • Around 4 percent of world oil production is used as a feedstock to make plastics, and a similar amount is consumed as energy in the process.

Plastic is so resilient that even burying it deep within the earth doesn’t keep it from impacting the environment. Currently it accounts for approximately 10 percent of generated waste, most of which is landfilled. But, placing plastics in a landfill may simply be storing a problem for the future, as plastic’s chemicals often sink into nearby land, contaminating groundwater.

Plastic’s problems extend way beyond the human body. More than one-third of all plastic is disposable packaging like bottles and bags, many of which end up littering the environment.

Although most of us have been exposed to images of plastic necklaces around land and sea animals which is by now burned into the public eyes, ingestion of plastic fragments is much more common. Once inside, plastic can pack a one-two punch by both clogging an animal’s stomach and poisoning it with chemicals that have concentrated in the plastic. Chemicals are then transferred to the food web when other animals (i.e. humans) consume them.

More than 180 species of animals have been documented to ingest plastic debris, including birds, fish, turtles and marine mammals, according to the report.

Unfortunately, the impacts on wildlife suffers the same pitfalls as human health and there is already evidence that chemicals associated with plastics harm wildlife.

So, back to our original question-“How do we reduce our plastic consumption?” The answer is “one piece at a time.” It takes great effort and consciousness to suss out each item we purchase but we can each make a significant impact by at least trying to use less and less products involving plastic. The future of our health, our children’s health and planet are worth it!

photo from-World Wildlife Foundation

Beat the Heat-HYDRATE!

 

Female drinking a fresh water from bottle.

Nutrition Tip by-MELISSA JUDNICH

You know it’s hot outside when you get out of the shower and you’re already sweating! Or when you hear the saying “It’s so hot you could crack an egg on the sidewalk and it would cook.” Are you prepared for the heat?

Due to the intensity of our work outs combined with this summer heat, it is so important that we are making sure we are hydrated and nourished properly! Here are some Shifted recommendations:

1. Drink 3L of water each day! That’s about 101 ounces. MINIMUM.
2. Add in a hydration supplement once a day such as Catalyte! Catalyte is our electrolyte supplement of choice because it doesn’t have any bad sugars, you know what’s in it, and it is a good quality product!

2-copy
3. Avoid sugary drinks such as Gatorade, Poweraid, Vitamin Water. DID YOU KNOW-in 16oz of Gatorade there is 30g of sugar?! Holy cow.
4. Make sure you are eating enough quality foods before and after class! Meat, fruits, vegetables, and some starch.
5. Know the symptoms of dehydration!

Not All Sugar is Created Equal

img_1078

Blog by-VICTORIA VEST

The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

According to recent studies (www-m.cnn.com), 40% of adult Americans consume no calorie sweeteners every single day. Through blood and urine testing, most adults who claim to not consume any artificial sweeteners do so unknowingly! So what exactly is the harm in these no cal sugar substitutes? The way the human brain and body react to these products is much more complex than you would think!

.

One major concern of health advisors is that some consumers may assume that it’s okay to replace these “lost calories” with other sugary substances. The “Because I had a Diet Coke, it’s okay to have some ice cream too!” mentality is a big pitfall of these substitutes. Research has also found that faux sweeteners may alter your tastebuds. Since artificial sweeteners are SO much sweeter than natural sugar, they can actually overstimulate your palate making nutritious food such as fruit and vegetables taste less desirable, resulting in you eating less of the good stuff.

.

Studies from Harvard University have recently found that chemicals like aspartame may actually trick your brain into associating sugar with caloric intake, therefor causing us to eat more and possibly even choose sugar dense food over nutritionally dense food! Worst of all, these studies also led to the findings that these substitutes can be highly addictive, making it that much harder to curb your use of them.
.

Before beating yourself up about your most recent indulgence in Diet Coke, realize it is never to late to say “no” to Equal from here on out. Every time you go to reach for a diet soda, try drinking a glass of water first and have a small piece of fruit to get quench your thirst and sugar craving! It’ll help you and your body in the long run.

Homemade Nut Bars

img_2862

Recipe by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

Ingredients:
(Select any type of nuts you’d like, but this recipe includes raw organic cashews, almonds, pecans and pistachios.)
*1 cup cashew nuts
*1 cup almonds
*1 cup pecans
*1 cup pistachios
*1 cup hemp seeds for added protein  (you can add any mixture of small seed you’d like ex: sesame seeds or hemp)
*1/2 cup organic/raw honey
*1/3 cup maple syrup
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 tsp vanilla
.
.
img_2851
.
.
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375, spread nuts out on a cookie sheet that is dusted lightly with oil of preference. Bake for 5-7 minutes then transfer in to a medium to large bowl with any seeds.
img_2858
.
.
2. Now here’s the tricky part and might shy you away from trying this recipe, but it’s worth it! Using a baking thermometer (or one that reaches 260 degrees) is important. This process is what dictates the firmness of your bars an keeps them held together. Bring the liquids to a boil on medium heat and be sure it reaches 260 degrees.
img_2855
.
.
3. Once the two steps above have been completed you’ll pour your liquid mixture into the bowl with the nuts and seeds stirring until everything is coated nice and evenly.
.
.
4. After mixture is complete spread back out on your cookie sheet (you can oil it a little again) and flatten it out with your spatula. Lightly coat the spatula with coconut oil  to keep the mixture from sticking.
 img_2859
.
.
5. Allow to cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes then enjoy!

Labels Matter

untitled-design

Nutrition Tip by-MELISSA JUDNICH

Nutrition labels are on products so we know what we’re putting into our bodies, but does everyone really know how to read them? Here are some things to consider when looking at nutrition labels.

.

1. CHECK THE SERVING SIZE- How many servings does it have? How much is in 1 serving? Often times they will try to trick you by making the servings smaller than you normally would use to make it more appealing.

.
2. CHECK THE INGREDIENTS- What is in it? Can you pronounce it? If not, you probably shouldn’t eat it. It’s also probably in your cleaning products! (gross!)

.
3. CHECK THE PROTEIN CONTENT- Higher amounts of protein are usually better! Obviously, this won’t work for salad dressings and sauces but for snacks and bars we want more protein than fat, and a similar amount to the carbs!

.
4. CHECK THE CARB CONTENT- Is it more than your daily allowance of carbs? Are you counting those carbs to your macros for the day? Some sauces and dressings can be super sneaky with this. There are some BBQ sauces with 10g+ of carbs just in 1 TBSP. BE CAREFUL! They will add up.

.

5. CHECK THE FAT CONTENT- Is it high? What type of fat is it? Most meals should have less than 15g of fat in them. Do you want 6g of your fat to come from that dressing? Make sure to add this in to total fat content.

.
6. ARE THERE ANY NUTRIENTS? – Does it have any vitamins, minerals, or fiber? If not, it’s probably not a healthy option.
Are calories important? Yes, but they should not be the only thing you consider when looking at a food label. You can find a TON of things low in calories, but are any of them healthy? The answer is usually no!

Know Your Salmon

salmon

Blog by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

Healthy fats are essential fuel for our bodies and minds, but not all fats are equal. Both farmed and wild salmon are excellent sources of disease-preventing omega-3s (good fats). Farmed salmon is higher than wild salmon in overall fat and calories, it’s also higher in inflammatory omega-6 fats (bad fats). While wild fish have a far better fatty acid ratio of omega-3 fats (anti-inflammatory fats) to omega-6 fats (pro-inflammatory fats) that ratio is skewed in farmed salmon due to their size and diet, here are the dirty facts.

Research shows that wild salmon has a more robust content of vitamins and minerals per calorie compared to farmed fish. The difference in the nutrition breakdown, wild salmon eat other organisms found in its natural environment, where farmed fish are fed a higher-fat processed diet to produce larger fish. Wild salmon tends to pack more calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium than farmed salmon.

Research also showed that wild salmon contains the antioxidant astaxanthin (what makes salmon meat appear dark pink). This anti-inflammatory molecule has benefits that include possibly improving muscle endurance. Wild salmon get their fill of the antioxidant by chowing down on astaxanthin-rich plankton, while farmed salmon only get a man made version that’s created from petrochemicals like coal.

So as they say, “You are what you eat” in reality “You are what your food eats”!

Spice Up Your Rice

jasmine-rice-square-1

Nutrition Tip by-VICTORIA VEST

Love rice as much as we do but get stuck making it the same way over and over again? We suggest adding a base other than water when cooking rice to spice up your daily recipes! .
Coconut milk, chicken or veggie stock, and even salsa to give plain white or brown rice a kick that any rice lover will appreciate.

Get Saucy

img_0962

Nutrition Tip by-VICTORIA VEST

Meal Prep Hack:

“One thing that many people struggle with when it comes to prepping meals is that they get bored of eating the same foods! Quick and easy solution – sauces!!! I find that if I make some clean and simple protein like grilled chicken breast for example, I can just change out the sauces to make it a completely different meal. This gives my meals variety and FLAVOR!”-Shifted’s Coach Tori

When shopping for sauces make sure to read labels and avoid sauces that are high in sugar or labels with a ton of ingredients that are hard to pronounce! The cleaner the sauce the better. Here are a few of my favorite paleo sauces that can be found at the local Whole Foods.

Organic Four Bean Salad with Grilled Chicken

blog

Recipe by-AMBER MEDINA VASQUEZ

Looking for a great simple summer meal that requires less use of your stove and more bbq-ing and cool salads that are delicious? Well, look no further! Try these two tasty summer inspired recipes.
Organic 4 Bean Salad:
*1 can Black beans
*1 can Kidney beans
*1 can Garbanzo beans
*1 can Pinto beans
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp chili powder
*1/2 tsp Cumin
*1/2 cup Avocado oil
*1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
*2 colored peppers
*2 garlic cloves
*1 lime
*1/2 bushel of cilantro
*1/2 red onion
*Dash of Cholula hot sauce

Rub for grilled chicken:
*1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
*1 tbsp Crushed red chili pepper
*1 tbsp salt
*1 tbsp pepper
*1 tbsp Garlic salt