Zeroing in on Our April Goal

For our goal this month, Alycia and I decided that we will refocus on health. First, I would like to share a lovely smoothie recipe from Linda Wagner. Linda is participating in a 10 day raw food cleanse, and this yummy treat was the kickoff recipe. Alycia and I are planning to try a similar raw food cleanse at some point this month. (OK, maybe we’re going to actually mirror Linda’s…we’ll see!). Here is the smoothie:
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 10 ounce bag of frozen strawberries
  • 1 10 ounce bag of frozen mangoes
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1.5 cups Almond Milk Kefir – love this stuff and what it’s done for my body and well being!! I can’t make a green smoothie without it!
  • 2 droppers full of Vanilla Stevia
Blend in a high speed blender until smooth. This recipe makes about 64 ounces so should be enough for two large servings. If you don’t want that much, simply cut the recipe in half.
 
Image courtesy of LindaWagner.net
Now I would like to share what triggered my need to refocus on health this month. This post is a little dense, but completely necessary to create a baseline for my goal.  I personally was disappointed with myself in March, and in dire need of motivation. At the end of March (almost 3 weeks ago) I attended a medical conference in Chicago, and got the push that I needed. The conference had those machines that calculate your weight, blood pressure, BMI, body fat percentage, etc. Let me tell you – the numbers that I saw did not make me happy. My weight was actually the EXACT number that I’ve deemed my tipping point. This is the weight where I stop allowing myself to make excuses, and I get serious about what I eat and how much I exercise.
 
Since that dreadful day I have lost five pounds and my body fat content has gone down a decent amount, mostly due to diet. In the last few weeks I’ve made a point of bringing lunch to work instead of buying, and I’ve started cooking healthier dinners and making my own juices again. I usually only make it to the gym about two times per week, and that didn’t change much in the past few weeks, but I’ve added more weights and more running to my workouts.
 
I would like to lose a total of 15-20 pounds from the number at my ‘bad’ weigh-in. To accomplish this I’ve finally ponied up the money to hire a personal trainer. I know that I don’t self-motivate well, and I’ve worked with great trainers in the past that have gotten me in tip top shape for bikini season. I had my first session today and I am so incredibly pumped. I aim to train twice per week, and go to the gym twice on my  own, which will double my days in the gym.
 
I’ll be sure to check in every couple of weeks and share my progress, along with some healthy, yummy recipes that Alycia and I discover when we try our raw food cleanse. 
 
Do you have any healthy goals this month? 

Product Review: Stash Herbal Iced Tea and Truvia Natural Sweetner

I am having the most wonderfully lazy Saturday. I am not ashamed to admit that it is 3 p.m. and I am still cozy in my pajamas (I also swear that I am showering and getting myself together right after this blog post)!

For a lazy day, I have done a lot. I cooked an amazing breakfast for the boyfriend, cleaned up the kitchen, created a Feel Good Foodies Facebook page, and made two liters of delicious herbal iced tea. I’m a member of Influenster, an online community where trendsetters can provide feedback on products. They essentially send me products that I can review and share with you readers! This week they sent me a box that included Stash Premium Tea and Truvia natural sweetener – the perfect start to a whole lotta iced-tea-goodness.
Since my juicer has been broken, I haven’t been getting nearly as much fluid or nutrients compared to what my body is used to. Herbal tea is a great way to stay hydrated. I made two different iced teas: Wild Raspberry Hibiscus, and Mango Passionfruit. I learned in my three years as a Starbucks barista to double brew iced beverages – this basically means that since you will add ice, which will melt to water, you should brew your beverages with twice as much coffee or tea, and no additional water. This method prevents your drink from getting a watered down taste. 
So for each tea I used:
  • Two herbal tea bags (this will work with any flavor you prefer)
  • One packet of Truvia (I like my iced tea sweet, but not too sweet)
  • A few slices of lemon (I used 3 per liter, and squeezed a little extra lemon juice in at the end

Put teabags and sweetener in a glass/jar/whatever you want to brew your tea in. Heat water in a teapot, and once boiling fill jars (or whatever you’re brewing in) with water, about halfway so that the teabags are just submerged in the water. Add your lemons and let sit for 4-6 minutes, then fill the rest of the jar with room temperature or cold water.  If you desire more lemon juice, go ahead and squeeze it into the jars, and then refrigerate and enjoy! I like my tea strong, so I left the teabags in for about 10 more minutes while cooling in the fridge, but the 4-6 minutes should do the trick. 

I usually use TAZO teas, and the Stash tea was just as good, and definitely less expensive! I can’t wait to try the other flavors from the sampler box. I was already a big Truvia fan prior to receiving the samples. Truvia boasts that unlike most stevia-based sweeteners, which are typically a mixture of many components from the stevia leaf, Truvia natural sweetener is made from Truvia stevia leaf extract, the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. I’ve tried other stevia sweeteners, and I really do like Truvia’s taste the best. 

Green Lemonade

Alycia has me on a juicing frenzy! I don’t think I’m quite ready for a BluePrint cleanse or anything like that, but I am definitely utilizing my juicer to its full extent. I’ve been looking up a lot of good recipe ideas, and especially love Green Lemonade, courtesy of Linda Wagner.
 
 
Here’s the recipe from Linda’s blog:

Green Lemonade

  •  2 cucumbers
  • 4 med size apples – I used fuji
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  •  2 small lemons
Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy! (Makes 32oz)
This is by far my favorite juice that I’ve tried! I’ve been enjoying Alycia’s Glowing Green recipe after the gym all week, but the Green Lemonade is my weekend guilt-free treat. What’s your favorite juice recipe?
Christina