You don’t have to deprive yourself when eating healthy


healthy brownies

Eating healthy does not mean you have to feel deprived when it comes to sweets.  I often make healthier versions of sweets for my family and “disguise” the “good stuff.”  I made these Fudgy Avocado Brownies this weekend and they fooled everyone! My 8 year old was eating the batter right out of the bowl before I could get them in the oven and the rest of the family loved them. These brownies were fudgy and also gluten free for my husband. I will definitely be making these more often! Give them a try!

Fudgy Avocado Brownies
Total time: 51 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 36 minutes
Yield: 16 servings, 1 brownie each
Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. Sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly coat with spray and set aside.
3. Combine avocado, oil, egg, maple syrup, and extract in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine cocoa powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl and mix well.
5. Add cocoa powder mixture to avocado mixture; mix well.
6. Add chocolate chips; mix until blended.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread to make even.
8. Bake for 33 to 36 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
9. Cool for 1 hour before removing from pan. Cut into 26 squares.
Nutrition information:
1/2 yellow with 21 Day Fix
Calories 116
Total fat 7 g
Saturated fat 4 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 77 mg
Total carbohydrate 13 g
Dietary fiber 2g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 2g
Recipe courtesy of Team Beachbody

For more healthy recipes check out Healthy Recipes or email me at debgressfitness@hotmail.com


The Amazing Avocado


Amazing AvocadoAvocados are great food to incorporate into your diet, especially if you want to lose weight and eat healthier.  They are delicious, nutritious and so easy to add into any meal or snack.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Avocados have a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with few calories. One fifth an avocado (1 oz. serving) has 20 vitamins and minerals, less than 1 gram of sugar,  at only 50 calories.  Over 75% of the fat in avocado is unsaturated (the healthy kind) that will help fill you up.

Avocados make a great baby food due to it’s health benefits and the smooth, creamy texture.  The unsaturated fat used in the development of the Central Nervous System and brain is very important for babies.

HOW DO I INCORPORTATE AVOCADOS INTO MY DIET?

I love them on my sandwiches and wraps. I use avocado in place of mayo.  They are a healthy alternative to the empty calories and fat in lots of sandwich spreads.  I also like to slice them and eat them along side my scrambled eggs in the morning.  One of my favorite snacks is a homemade guacamole.  I smash the avocado into salsa.  There are so many versatile ways you can eat them and tons of great recipes.
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27WHEN IS MY AVOCADO RIPE?

When you buy avocados you can buy them at different stages.  The green ones will be firm and will be ready in approximately 3-4 days.  If you purchase an avocado with some spots it is a little further along and will be ready in 2-3 days.  The black ones that are a little less firm but not mushy, are ready to eat now.  I like to buy some at different stages so I have some for the next week or so.  If you want to speed up the ripening of an avocado leave it out on the counter.  You can also put in in a paper sack to speed up the ripening. Avocados that are ready to eat should be kept refrigerated.

PREPARATION

Cut the avocado down the middle.  Remove the seed and scoop out the middle or peel the skin away to slice up nicely for salads.  If you are only using part of the avocado keep the seed in the half that you are going to use later and wrap tightly in saran wrap to avoid oxidation.

Check out these healthy recipes that include avocados.

http://debgress.com/june-healthy-recipes-1/

avocado-green-goddess-dip-or-dressing

chicken-waldorf-salad-with-avocado

gluten-free-cheese-steak-taquitos-with-avocado-cream

Visit www.DebGress.com/recipes/ for more healthy recipes!

 

 

 


June Healthy Recipes 2


Cooked Carrot RecipeThis week I am sharing three recipes that my kids love.  Start your kids eating healthy early and they will develop good eating habits for life. If you think it is too late and your kids will never like their veggies be sure to reintroduce veggies over and over again. I ask my boys to take a couple bites of all the vegetables I make at every meal. They have learned to like some veggies.

The next two recipes have become a favorite in our house.  I heard so much about spaghetti squash and how people are replacing it with pasta so I decided to give it a try.  When you compare one cup of spaghetti squash to a cup of white enriched spaghetti noodles the spaghetti noodles contain 220 calories, 42 grams of carbohydrates, and few nutrients.  A cup of spaghetti squash contains 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, vitamin A, potassium,  and 2 grams of fiber to make you feel full.  Spaghetti squash provides more nutrition with less calories and carbohydrates.  I tried out the spaghetti squash on my husband and three boys the other night and they loved it.  It will be a new staple at our house.  We love the Skinny Alfredo Recipe with our squash but marinara sauce is good too.

Spaghetti Squash

The picture to the left is spaghetti squash with a Skinny Alfredo Sauce.  Alfredo sauce is not without calories but I have run across a recipe that does not contain any cream.  Try this recipe when you are craving alfredo sauce but do not want all the calories. I like to put grilled chicken, fresh garlic, and broccoli in my sauce to liven it up.

Skinny Alfredo Sauce

I would love to hear from you. What are some of your family’s favorite healthy recipes?  You can find more healthy recipes at http://DebGress.com/recipes/

 

 

 


June Healthy Recipes #1


Broccoli Grape SaladJune is here. It is a crazy busy time of year.  Families are rushing here and there for baseball, softball, swimming, camps, and all other kinds of activities. I think summertime is crazier at my house than any other time of the year.

This week’s healthy recipes are simple and quick.  The first recipe is for a Broccoli Salad. You have to be careful when eating salads. Many times they are packed with empty calories due to mayonnaise or dressings.  I replace half the mayonnaise with yogurt in this recipe to cut down on the calories.  The bacon is also optional. This recipe is delicious and perfect for a picnic. It is also a recipe that your kids will eat.  This is a good way to get some broccoli into their diet.

 

 

Grilled almond chicken craisin salad

The Grilled Chicken, Craisin, & Almond Salad is a quick refreshing lunch for summertime. I also cut the mayonnaise in half and replace it with yogurt to cut down on the calories.  My husband eats his Grilled Chicken Craisin, & Almond Salad on a Romaine lettuce leaf due to gluten intolerance.

 

 

 

 

The third healthy recipe this week is a delicious, refreshing Shakeology.  Try the Strawberry Avocado Dream made with Strawberry Shakeology. It is a delicious meal when you are on the go and out in the heat.

Please feel free to comment on the recipes below and share your favorites with me. I am always looking for new healthy recipes to try on my family.   To learn more about Shakeology go to http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2

Strawberry Avocado Dream Shake recipe jpg


Shakeology Scam


Shakeology is available in Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Vegan Tropical Strawberry, and Vegan Chocolate

Shakeology is available in a variety of flavors.

If you are trying to change your life……lose weight, get fit, eat healthy, feel better, is Shakeology for you? Is it really as good as some say?  Is it the “world’s greatest value in nutrition”?  Does it deserve the term “Superfood?” I did my own research to find out.

I was the biggest skeptic of all protein shakes and other nutritional products, including Shakeology, until two years ago.  At the University of Iowa, I studied Health Promotion and Exercise Science.  I am qualified to design fitness and wellness programs and have worked as an Athletic Trainer for the last fourteen years, caring for the health of high school, collegiate, and recreational athletes.  There are NO MAGIC DIET PILLS!  Many people say fitness and weight loss come from moving more and eating less.  I say “MOVE MORE and EAT SMART.” Shakeology is smart.  Not all calories and protein shakes are created equal.

Biking

You must fuel your body properly in order to perform.

 

People underestimate the importance of quality nutrition.  In sports medicine we find that there is a direct correlation to athletic performance and good nutrition.  Athletes that take care of their bodies, not only physically, but nutritionally, have an edge on their competition. Many collegiate programs have nutritionists on staff who work closely with the athletes and coaching staff to assure the student-athletes are getting the best, most appropriate quality nutrition for their bodies and physical demands of their sports.  Our bodies are not all that different from one another, we need and crave good nutrition.  Your body will function better with a healthy diet.  My husband and I even see the difference in the players on my son’s 5th grade basketball team.  The ones with better nutrition seem to have more endurance.

There is a good reason why Shakeology is the “Healthiest Meal of the Day.” No other single meal can give you the balance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, protein, fiber, and amino acids that are essential to the maintenance of your mind and body.

Shakeology was a big part of My Transformation and helps me stay lean today!

Shakeology was a big part of My Transformation and helps me stay lean today!

 

When I started drinking Shakeology I was amazed at how much better I felt.  Shakeology has had a positive impact on my family and myself personally.  Nine months after my third son was born, my husband Aaron and I decided to start our Insanity exercise program.  A couple weeks into the program, we replaced one meal a day with Shakeology.  I was amazed at the results.  I had more energy, felt better, and became regular for the first time in my life.  I also found that Shakeology curbed my cravings for sweets.  I lost thirteen pounds and have kept it off the last two years by drinking Shakeology  and exercising.  Aaron also has had great health benefits.  His borderline high blood pressure now is low and he has lost 20 pounds and kept it off.  We feel great and are able to keep up with our three active boys.  We haven’t been this full of energy and fit since high school.  Shakeology is an intergral part of this.

 

 

Pre-Shakeology Aaron also had trouble with minor hypoglycemia, with symptoms such as shaking and feeling faint when his blood sugar got low.  These issues were generally in the mornings, and by drinking Shakeology for breakfast he has evened out his blood sugar levels and avoided these lows and spikes.  Being gluten intolerant (wheat, barley, and rye allergy) is also another issue Aaron has and Shakeology is a great gluten free option to add to his restricted diet.

When you decide to eat healthy, ingredient lists become important and Shakeology is no different. Although lots of shakes on the market may contain natural ingredients that are beneficial and increase your metabolism, they do not come close to the balanced nutrition that you find in one Shakeology, and alarmingly some of these products increase blood pressure and heart rate causing tachycardia (higher than normal heart rate) and heart palpitations in some cases.  Quite the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish in our health and fitness goals.

I challenge anyone to commit to Shakeology for two months, then go back to your old eating pattern for three days and see how you feel. When drinking Shakeology, you will feel better and crave healthy food instead of junk.  This will help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals.   You will be shocked at how much better you feel when you are getting the good quality nutrition your body needs to function.

YOU HAVE ONE LIFE AND ONE BODY-TURN IT INTO WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO BE!

To find out more about how Shakeology can help you please visit http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2

This blog is not meant to help in the diagnosis, treatment, or curing of disease. Please seek the advice of your physician.

I would love to hear any questions or comments from you! Please share your experiences below.


May Recipes #1


Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes. These three are so easy.

Oatmeal recipe     Oats are known to flush cholesterol out of the system and can have healing effects on the nervous, reproductive, and digestive systems.   I use Steel Cut oats which are least processed and can be found gluten free!

Cinnamon is known for balancing blood sugar and relieving cold and flu symptoms.

Almonds and walnuts are high in healthy fatty acids.  They are alkalinizing, helping to heal imbalances caused by acidic foods which are responsible for the inflammation in our bodies.

Grade “B” Maple Syrup is a naturally processed sweetener that comes from trees.

 

 

Pin Healthy sweet potato recipeThe Sweet Potato Fries are so delicious, I could eat the whole pan.

Sweet Potatoes contain lots of great nutrition.  They are full of antioxidants, and vitamins.  They contain up to 213% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and 52% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, along with beta carotene, fiber, and other B Vitamins.  At only about 180 calories a potato, they are sweet, delicious, and excellent for regulating blood sugar.

 

 

PIn Healthy Shake recipeo                  Peanut Butter Cup Shakeology

This is one of my favorites. With the Chocolate and Peanut Butter it tastes just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup without all the empty calories and sugar.  This delicious meal or snack can be mixed up in a blender in minutes.  If you are on the go or live a crazy, busy life, it is an excellent healthy choice.

To learn more about Shakeology, the Healthiest meal of the day visit

http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2

 

If you are looking to give your body an inner tune up, lose weight, rid your body of toxins, and develop healthier eating habits, The Ultimate Reset is for you.  You can find information on this program at http://www.myultimatereset.com/debgress

Stay tuned for more healthy recipes every week.  You can find the recipe index under “Eat Smart, ” “Recipes.”  Please comment below or offer suggestions on what you would like to see next time.