Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Hi all,

Good afternoon, I hope you all are having a wonderful week. Today I want to share a recipe of mine that is super simple, super delicious and super healthy! This is a recipe that I LOVE to make pretty much any day, any season, any time. Unfortunately, most of the time it is difficult to find organic Brussel sprouts so when I do find the organic kind I go crazy! Like 4-5 bags crazy ha ha!

In this recipe I use flavored balsamic vinegar. A few years ago a shopping center near my home had an olive oil company open in one of their small shops. The first time I saw it I didn’t think much of it because I personally don’t use a ton of olive oil. One day I stumbled in and checked the place out to find they had EVERY flavored balsamic vinegar under the sun! I went a little crazy sampling balsamic vinegar because I LOVE balsamic and use it on everything! This was the start of a new and BEAUTIFUL relationship!

Today I stop in every few months and grab some of my favorite flavors as well as try out all the new flavors they add. One of my all-time favorite is a lavender flavored balsamic and on the lighter side a champagne white balsamic that has a bit of a fizz sensation to it! So unique and delicious!

If you have a local olive oil company I strongly urge you to check it out! You seriously won’t believe how many amazing flavors there are! If you are ever in Albuquerque take a stop into ABQ Olive Oil Company they truly are the best.

Here we go for the recipe. Once you find those, round, green beauties at the grocery store give this Brussel recipe a go.

17634512_279997879120472_3723787925440137221_n
Brussel Beauties I had the other day with a Foodies Griller Burger. YUM
Ingredients:

As many Brussel sprouts as you desire

1 tbs agave (or honey)

3 tbs flavored balsamic vinegar

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425. Wash sprouts and cut them all in half and throw them into a large bowl. Mix the agave and vinegar and pour over sprouts. Mix ingredients until the Brussel sprouts are fully coated. If you desire more sauce mix it up 1:3. In a glass baking sheet spread the sprouts out and pop them in the oven for 25 min. Peak in a add time if needed until they are slightly toasted and tender. These are AMAZING on the grill too! Enjoy!

Having Your Carbs And Eating Them TOO!

Good Morning! And Happy Hump Day!

Alright, so last week I did a post titled The Low Carb Lie and in it I discussed the data showing how a low carb diet can be dangerous and unhealthy. This week I will talk about how you can begin to walk away from the low-carb mindset, begin loving carbs again, and still lose weight and accomplish your fitness goals.

I’m going to make this post easy to digest and remember by using the mnemonic C-A-R-B. We will discuss the chemicals we put in our body that are causing weight retention, the benefits of eating carbs, and ways to replace your guilty pleasures with healthier options! Here we go!

C-Chemicals

First and foremost the most important thing you can do for your health and body today is begin to eliminate chemicals in your diet.

When I was in middle school I remember I had a drama instructor who wouldn’t allow any snacks in class unless they had less than 10 ingredients. At the time, I did not understand why she did this; I was just annoyed I could not eat my Hot Cheetos in class. As an adult I know exactly why she implemented this rule, because she cared. You should too, here’s why.

Now when you think of carbs you may draw to mind things such as breads, desserts, croissants, etc. Yes, these are carbs but these are also crap. Next time you are in the grocery store and are choosing which bread to take home for sandwiches, flip that loaf over and read the ingredients. Chances are you won’t even know what half the ingredients are! Whether you are a chemist or not doesn’t matter, but it does matter what this junk is doing to your body. The simple truth about these chemicals is (just like you) your body has NO CLUE what they are! Your body does not use them for energy or break them down like they would other foods. Processed food cannot be processed by your body. Instead you either hold on to the chemicals and start building up toxic sludge in your intestines, you poop them out (if you’re lucky), or they get stored in fat and put away for a time when your body can deal with the toxicity of this junk.

One of the biggest things I emphasize to my clients in their journey to a plant-based diet is a WHOLE FOODS plant-based diet. The best thing you can do for your body is to get foods as close to their pure form as possible; as close to the form in which they come from the earth. This also includes eliminating conventionally grown foods because they are sprayed with weed and bug killer (Chemicals), irradiated, and often sprayed with other chemicals to increase their shelf life (more chemicals). I understand buying local and organic can be expensive! Start small then slowly grow the amount of organic food you buy. We have a rule in my house what we put in our bodies takes priority over other things such as what we put on our bodies or the luxuries we enjoy like picking up coffee or going out to eat. Your health, your family, your happiness are worth a few extra bucks at the grocery store! And when times are tough and the budget is tight there is always beans and rice!

I promise you, when you begin to eliminate the chemicals you put in your body you will begin to shed unwanted weight that your body NEEDED to hold on to, to literally save your life. If it’s in a carton or box chances are it has chemicals so you may have to spend a couple trips to the store really reading those labels. I suggest definitely checking out your local health food store. Eventually you will start to find the best substitutes and it will just become second nature. If you just can’t find any good substitutes keep reading, I got your back.

A-All. As in all the carbs!

When you start to eat foods without chemicals the sky is the limit. Really, all carbs are great to be included in your diet. Organic Basmati? Go for it! But it’s white? But it’s pure! Avocados? Yes. Yes. YES! But, the fat? But, it’s good healthy, naturally occurring fat not something that was produced and refined in a factory. Fruit? Of course! Eat as much as you would like. But… No buts! The sugar that occurs naturally in fruit is NOTHING like the high fructose corn syrup in that soda or the refined cane sugar in sweets! Yes, you may have seen that bullshit image of the sugar packets lying next to a piece of fruit representing the sugar in each fruit. I cannot tell you how this image infuriates me! The sugars you find in a packet at a restaurant are not the same as the sugars in fruit. Your body processes each very differently. Wheat? Although it is my personal choice to refrain from wheat (it just kills my stomach and leaves me super bloated) there is nothing wrong with wheat either. Just ensure you are buying organic because wheat crops are highly processed and by the time most wheat makes it to us its almost unrecognizable to our bodies.

Of course don’t solely eat rice, bread and potatoes all day but don’t label these things as ‘bad’. Choose lots of fruit and vegetables then add in the rest!

R-Reap. Reap the benefits of a high-carb diet

When switching to a high carb diet you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Satiation: you will find that you feel full after meals and can sustain for longer periods of time without feeling starved. Thank you fiber!
  • Energy: You will find that you actually feel energized after eating and you will have the carbs needed to fuel your active body.
  • Performance: Since switching to a high carb diet a few years ago I noticed a drastic difference in my workouts! I felt strong and energized and could therefore work harder during my workout instead of feeling as though my body was heavier than a bag of bricks. If I am feeling tired I will often have a small snack before working out which is usually enough to get me going.
  • Less Bloating: One of the biggest things I come across in the fitness world is the thought that veggies make you bloated. Yes, if you chase your steak with veggies chances are you may get bloated due to the fact that the meat you ate takes FOREVER to digest leaving everything to sit and ferment. But, honestly the purer my diet is (meaning least amount of processed foods) the less likely I am to feel bloated.

 

But, you don’t have to take this from me try experiencing it all for yourself!

B-Build

Ok, this last point is targeted at those guilty pleasures we talked about before. Sometimes you go to the store and you find that no matter how hard you try to find a pizza, chocolate cake, or potato chips with limited chemicals you simply cannot find anything! It happens. For me, my guilty pleasures are pizza, ice cream, and potato chips. Sometimes I give in to the junk but if I’m having a really fit savvy week, I plan ahead. I search out recipes or alternatives to make at home that will satisfy my craving without ruining my week. Some of my fit hacks include cauliflower pizza crust, banana nice cream (recipe on blog), sweet potato or zucchini chips in the dehydrator, or OMG… gluten-free, vegan protein pancakes! My mouth just watered. I have even found recipes for black bean brownies! Whaat!?

So get creative! You can have a little treat that is also healthy and guess what?! You end your day feeling proud of yourself for rocking your diet and fitness!

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. I really hope this was helpful and you found encouragement to maybe start entertaining the idea of loving carbs again.

If there are any guilty pleasures you would like to see healthy recipes for in future posts comment below! I love getting creative in the kitchen!

Have a beautiful week! Keep up the great work!

Lots of love (and carbs),

Andrea B Fit

Vegan Nice Cream Recipe

Recipe Time! Since transitioning to a plant-based diet over 6 years ago I quickly learned that you have to be creative when it comes to cooking meals! All the time, every day, constantly trying new things. Which is great because you learn how to season and cook so many different, delicious and healthy foods that you can add to your vegan repertoire. If you’re not being creative you find you are eating a lot of the same boring beans, salads, soups etc. and nobody wants that.

If you’re anything like me the simpler the better! Sometimes we just don’t have the time to cook an amazing complicated meal but we still want the AMAZING! Don’t get me wrong I like to get a little crazy in the kitchen every now and then but on the daily, healthy, simple and delicious are just want I need.

For those of you out there with a sweet tooth this is the PERFECT simple, healthy, and delicious recipe! Vegan Nice Cream. Just like regular ice cream but a nicer plant-based version ;). The best part is it’s made from frozen bananas! It really doesn’t get any healthier than that!

I know what you’re thinking…” frozen banana ice cream? Come on, when I want ice cream I’m craving junk! This can’t possibly satisfy that craving.” Oh, but it can! And it will. I cannot tell you how many skeptical, dairy-loving, people I have made this for who later became Nice Cream believers! So, what have you got to lose? You might just gain a healthy ice cream alternative you can enjoy totally guilt-free!!!

fullsizerender4

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 Frozen Bananas (freeze without the peel!)

1 Cup Almond Milk (can use hemp, soy, coconut etc.)

Add-ins of your choice!

Today I chose to add a half scoop of Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein in Chocolate and some cacao nibs

Other options: frozen or fresh berries, peanut butter, graham crackers, nuts, mint extract and chocolate chips, coconut flakes, espresso, the possibilities are endless!!

img_1748

Method:

Place bananas, nut milk, and add-ins you intend to puree into the nice cream into a blender. Blend until smooth. You may need to stop the blender periodically and mix with a spatula to ensure all banana chunks get blended. Pour into a bowl, top with additional goodies, and enjoy!

Those interested in the macros of 1/2 this recipe: Calories: 250 Carbs: 50 Protein: 9 Fat: 3.5 perfect fit into the high-carb, plant-based diet!

This seriously takes 5 minutes if you freeze the bananas ahead of time. When my bananas start to turn from perfect to kind of squishy that’s about the time I place them into the “To Be Nice Cream” freezer bin and they are ready for the next time I’m craving sweets!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Try it out and let me know how it goes! If you have some awesome Nice Cream recipes I’d love to hear about them!

Have a beautiful day!

 

Andrea B Fit