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blueberries



Make This Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl for a Delicious Post-Workout Recovery

smoothie bowl recipe

One of the most common questions that I get asked as a personal trainer is what to eat pre- and post-workout. Fueling your workouts properly and eating a nutritious post-workout meal is just as important as exercising itself (especially if you want to reap the full benefits of your sweat session). Let me share with you what works best for me.

I keep my pre-workout fueling simple. Why? I’m usually not hungry when I wake up, and I tend to cramp up if I eat a big meal before I exercise. My go-to choices are a banana, half a bagel with peanut butter, or part of a granola bar.

 PREWORKOUT SNACKS

Post-workout is when I can get creative! After I’ve finished a long run or bike ride, I love nothing more than to kick back and enjoy a delicious and refreshing smoothie bowl. I created this recipe in order to help my body recover after a hard workout. I like to call it the Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl, and I think you’re going to love it, too!
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Little Blue Dynamos: My Love Affair with Blueberries Made a Blueberry Cucumber Salad

blueberries

It’s my favorite time of year: peak blueberry season! If you’re anything like me, you can’t get enough of these little balls of deliciousness. Farmers markets, U-Pick berry fields, or from the local produce store, I can’t gobble them up fast enough.

Peak season is anytime from late June through early September, so I’m even known to buy extra large amounts in bulk and freeze* for the rest of the year. Then I add them to smoothies, pancakes (my favorite recipe is this one), oatmeal, you name it! I even found a way to add these little guys to a savory salad. Don’t believe me? We’ll let you try the recipe for yourself!

blueberry cucumber salad

Why the love affair with blueberries? These little blue dynamos…
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The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ‘em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

ALSO TRY THIS!

Turkey Burger Sliders with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

S’More Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe is In Season!

 

Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke

 



5 Virus Fighting Foods That Make Colds Disappear

We’re incredibly close to spring, but that does not mean that cold and flu season is gone just yet. Here’s a list of delicious foods that also help strengthen the immune system and stave off germs and illness. Because you should not have to sacrifice your taste buds to stay healthy and eat well. 

sesame

Tahini
This superfood, which is made of ground sesame seeds, is most often used as a paste. Tahini can be used as a dip and it’s also added to other foods—including hummus and baba ghanoush—to enhance flavor. Yes, it is high in calories but sticking to two tablespoons a day is just fine, especially considering the high amount of magnesium and zinc which are both important for building a stronger immune system.


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Berry Bliss: 4 Ways to Boost Your Antioxidant Intake

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

My phytonutrient intake is pretty good year-round, but it skyrockets in the summer thanks to strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. That’s the time these antioxidant-packed berries are in season, and, finally, affordable!

Here’s why I love each of these berries.

berries

Blueberries. One of nature’s most potent antioxidants—anthocyanins—give these berries their purple-blue color. They’ve been shown to help fight age-related declines in memory and cognition, plus they help keep arteries clear. They’re also delicious—plain, in a crisp, or in these ultra-healthy waffles. This recipe calls for frozen berries, but now that blueberries are in season, you can sub in fresh berries, which will be sweeter and more tender.
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