The Essential Tight Skin Diet Smoothie

Good Monday Morning!

So, you know that I am a big fan of the kitchen right? I love to play around and come up with clean recipes and tasty treats, but these won’t do me a lot of good unless they fuel my body and help propel me towards my goals. So, I wanted to share with you a Tight Skin Diet staple for my mornings. Yep, I blend this beauty up and drink it every single morning. It’s great for those of you who are dealing with weight loss plateaus as well as skin issues. The nutrition in this smoothies gives you 5-7 servings of your fruits and veggies for the day! You read that right. And it’s great for all you veggie haters out there (you know who you are!). The fruit is what you taste and I’ll even give you some tips to make it more palatable if need be. I drink an ENTIRE blenderful every day and it has even replaced my daily multi-vitamin. This shake is great if you’re just starting out on whole foods or trying to incorporate some more veggies into your diet. It helps increase fat burning, decrease free radicals and amp up that healthy skin glow. Think of it as your beauty shake, from the inside out. :)

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Ingredients:

8 oz pure, clean water

1/4 cup low-fat yogurt, plain

1 handful spinach

3 romaine lettuce leaves

2 celery stalks

1 small green apple

1 small green pear

1 banana

1/4-1/2 small avocado

2 carrots (I suggest these ONLY if you have a Vitamix or high-powered blender)

small handful of berries (I usually use blueberries as they are a TSD staple)

Ice to desired consistency

Stevia or raw honey to taste if necessary

If you are the happy owner of a Vitamix, throw it all in and blend on high. If you another blender, start with the water and cruciferous veggies (spinach, lettuce, celery) then add the fruits with the avocado and banana being last. Make sure all fruits and veggies are washed!

Like I said before, this is a big blender full and I personally drink the whole thing every morning :)

If you aren’t in the mood, I suggest placing the rest in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and place in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 48 hours after making it. You can feel free to drink some in the morning as well as the afternoon if you like and play around with your fruits and veggies! Be playful in the kitchen. Some fruits/veggies to try:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Mint leaves (a little goes a LONG way)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi

There really isn’t an end. Pineapple has a stronger flavor and can mask veggie taste if you desire that, although growing up and getting over it is another option for you ;)

Be adventurous in your own kitchen! Don’t have time to whip this up every morning? Do it at night and have your jar ready to go as you walk out the door.

It takes me less than 4 minutes from fridge to cup for this bad boy and I reap the benefits of going green daily.

Let me know what you come up with!

 

Michelle

 

Be a Calendar Girl!

One of the biggest issues we face in the kitchen begins at the grocery store. Do you know your seasons?

The majority of your time (and basket space) should be taken up in the produce section, but it can be difficult to know what is “in” and what’s out. Nowadays you can eat just about anything in any season you want right? I know here in South East Texas we usually have Summer, about a week of possible winter and several weeks at any given time of the year that may feel like Fall or Spring :) So what’s a fit gal or guy to do? I have that covered with this handy list of in-season produce to get you through your warmer months.

Spring:

  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Chives
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Honeydew Melon

Summer:

  • Tomatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Garlic
  • Strawberries
  • Bell Peppers
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Green Beans
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Zucchini
  • Endive

These are just a few of the staples for the warmer seasons. A good rule of thumb when shopping the local grocer is to shop on the cheap. No really, look for bargains in produce! If it’s in-season then it is producing like crazy. The more of these types of produce, the fresher they are and the cheaper the cost. Why? Well, since it’s in-season the store gets more of it. Think about trying to grill asparagus in the dead of winter….it can be super expensive for one little bunch! But come May you can grab asparagus on the cheap AND enjoy more health benefits since it’s actually in its season and didn’t need any intervention to grow. Right now, strawberries are going down slightly in price, but they are still a bit tart in taste. Their season will come in the Summer and prices will cheaper while the fruit is sweeter! It really is a win/win situation when it comes to buying in-season.

Apples are a staple in my home, but did you know that they truly don’t come in season until Fall? So, what if you subscribe to the “apple a day” adage? Choose the ones on sale at the grocer. These are usually a different variety of apple (shipped from up North to here usually) and can come into season just a bit early.

The most annoying thing about produce is dropping your hard-earned cash and then it goes bad right? That’s another reason to know your seasons. Unless you live in the tropics (lucky you!) bananas are shipped in and can ripen and rot SUPER quick in the Summer. You don’t have to stop eating them, just buy smaller bunches. If you notice they’re ripening before you’re ready, peel them and pack them for the freezer. Frozen bananas make great smoothies and really awesome ice cream for finicky taste buds. Frozen fruits and vegetables work well when you can’t find what you need in season. They are usually cheaper and last longer. I encourage everybody to keep them on hand, just don’t replace all your fresh food with them!

Eating Clean doesn’t have to be super expensive and it certainly isn’t boring. When you eat in-season, your menu is constantly changing. Go with the flow and celebrate nourishing your body. Your body will then thank you later :)

Stay healthy,

 

Michelle

 

Happy Holidays: Thirsty Thursday Edition

WOW! November is almost over and the Christmas season is in full swing. It can get crazy during this time of year and I’m sure you  have your own stresses to deal with. Why not take a few moments and chill out with a good stretch, a nice fire, and maybe a few kitchen concoctions to lighten the mood :)

Belly De-Bloater

IN large container mix:

1 large cucumber, washed and thinly sliced

1 large Meyer lemon, washed and thinly sliced

1 handful of mint leaves, washed

Pure drinking water to fill

Stir ingredients together and chill, then drink throughout the day to minimize tummy bloat :)

ACV Miracle Worker

If you suffer from a sluggish digestive system, consider adding this warming and stimulating drink to your daily intake. I drink a large mug 2-3 times per day.

Juice of 1/4 large lemon

2 tablespoons all natural apple cider vinegar

Fill mug with hot water and sip away.

Clean Hot Cocoa

In small sauce pan heat over medium heat:

1 cup skim milk

Then whisk in

2 tablespoons no sugar added dark cocoa

Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

Splash of all natural vanilla

Agave or stevia to taste (remember to allow the chocolate to shine through).

Here’s to healthy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

 

Nutrition Essentials

When it comes to feeding your family, there are some essentials to keep on hand and in mind so that everybody stays healthy:)

  • Wash and chop vegetables beforehand so they are readily available. Most grocers offer already prepped veggies too. Place them in baggies or reusable containers at eye level in the fridge. That way, when a snack attack hits, you’re ready.
  • Wash fruits and place them beside the sink. I have a fruit bowl beside my sink and keep it stocked with oranges, bananas and apples. Berries get washed and placed in the fridge. Watermelon and other melons are portioned out into containers and placed in a prominent place. That way when we get hot from playing we can easily get some healthy fuel.
  • Add some flavor. Both of my kids take veggies and a fruit to school every day. The veg is in a baggie and I always put a lemon and lime slice with them. The kids LOVE this as they can squeeze the slices over the veg to give it a better, more refreshing flavor.
  • Make your lean proteins in advance. I grill/broil chicken breasts, slice them, then place them in containers. This way I have them on hand for quick grab-n-go lunches and also ready to go dinners.
  • Keep plenty of frozen veggies on hand as well. This way you’re 5 minutes away from adding vegetables to your dinner. Nix the butter laden ones and go for fresh. Place them in a small pot with some chicken stock and play around with fresh herbs to season them. We really love fresh rosemary and parsley with our mixed veg.
  • Keep high fiber, whole grain crackers and breads on hand in the pantry. These help to fill you up and give you energy too.

Should you choose to keep treats in the house, go for some that have at least SOME nutritional value: dark chocolate, dark chocolate covered almonds, dried fruits, granola bars, protein bars, etc. keep these in a container in the pantry. i use a large white bin and keep it above eye level. That way these treats are there when we really want them, but we are less likely to eat them first.

Keep in mind that staying healthy is not as difficult as most think it is. With a small amount of planning and some dedication it is the easiest part of your day!

Stay healthy!

Michelle

 

FOOD PREP

One of the MOST important tools in your nutrition tool box is food prep. It’s taking a little time to accomplish a lot for your health and fitness goals. So, I took some pics during my food prep the other day and thought I’d give you a quick rundown on what goes down :) in my kitchen.

After grocery trips, I usually try to lay the produce on the counter. If I can’t get to it that day, then I make sure I have time within 24 hours. The deal is, we used to waste money on produce that would go bad. After I started setting aside time to prep my food, viola’! Money saved. Simple steps for your produce:

  • Wash everything (except strawberries). I wash fruits and veg separate, but I dump them ALL in and give them a good wash.
  • Portion what needs be portioned. Grapes should be 1/2 cup and fit well into snack bags. I chop my veggies (you can have 2 cups at a time of those) and place them in plastic containers.

 

 

 

During the veg prep, I cook whatever meals I can cook. Be a little careful with this step as I have been known to cook way too many meals at once and then we can’t eat them all! General rule of thumb: a family of 4 can go through 3 meals per week, plus snacks and lunches.

 

 

Portion out what needs to be portioned, especially if you’re taking it on the go. There is nothing that will kill your nutritional endeavors faster than unpreparedness! Baggies and small, reusable containers are your best friends when it comes to grab and go nutrition. Buy things in bulk, such as nuts and rice cakes, whole grain crackers, etc. and make sure you portion them out once you get home. Eating directly from the bag is always a bad idea.

Keep in mind that you will have to give up some time as you first start food prep. It’s like any skill though, it can be learned. Get the whole family involved! Mom, that means you’ll have to give up your pursuit of perfectly chopped and sliced veggies and let the kids help. It’s better for all of you in the end :) Once I got the hang of food prep, it takes me less than 1 hour to get things ready for the ENTIRE WEEK! Hello? That’s the excuse everybody gives, so I’m calling you out. The easiest way to start is to plan a minimum of 3 days worth of meals and snacks. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can bump it up to 5, then all the way to 6 or 7 without any fuss at all. You’ll find that this will help you stay on track and promote overall better eating habits in your family. Be prepared, and there’s no way you can fail :)

Here’s to living the FIT life!

Michelle