Hauntingly Healthy Recipes for Halloween

Candy, candy, candy!  Tis the season!  Don’t let Halloween kickoff the holiday season by adding inches to your waistline.  Below are some healthy recipes that will help you feel as though you are cheating but will continue to help you focus on bettering your fitness and health!

Candy Corn Popsicles

candy corn popsicles Atlanta Personal Trainers

 

Turn yogurt and juice into a seasonal treat. Serve these on Halloween morning for a fun & healthy breakfast treat OR eat after your halloween workout!

Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla whey protein mixed with 6 oz water or unsweetened almond milk
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
Popsicle molds

To make these dairy-free, use coconut milk and veggie based protein powder.
If you don’t have popsicle molds, use paper cups and craft sticks.

Carefully pour two tablespoons of protein mix into the bottom of your molds. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Pour the orange juice evenly into all the molds. Freeze for another 20 minutes.
Pour the pineapple juice on top of the orange juice.
Freeze until set.

Serving Size: Makes 6 popsicles
Pumpkin Shaped Vegetable Tray

Atlanta Personal Training

If you’ll be going to a Halloween (or any holiday) gathering, make sure to bring an appetizer or food option that will help encourage you (and others) to fuel up with the healthiest alternatives to typically snacking foods.

 

Ingredients:
large shallow bowl
2 small ramekins
1 cup low-fat ranch dip or dressing (or another variety)
3-4 (1-pound) bags baby carrots
1/2 cup sliced cucumber, each slice cut into triangles
Dip:
16 oz Greek Yogurt
Ranch dressing mix

For garnish:
Pepper strips, olives, nasturtium leaves, etc.

Directions:
Pour the carrots into the dish.
Pour the dressing/dip into the ramekins and nestle them into the carrots where the jack-o-lantern’s “eyes” should go.
Arrange the cucumbers on top of the carrots as “teeth,” and place two pepper strips above the “eyes.”
Add the nasturtium (a type of edible flower) leaves as the pumpkin stem, or use a wedge of cucumber, cut side down.
Just before serving, place half an olive on top of each ramekin of dip.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon dip, about 1/2 cup carrots

Number of Servings: 20
Banana Yogurt Ghosts

Atlanta Personal Training

These fun frozen bananas are as simple as they are healthy. You’ll need just three ingredients.

Ingredients
1 banana, sliced in half
2 popsicle sticks or wooden skewers
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein OR 1/2 pouch sugar free vanilla pudding mix
4 mini chocolate chips

Tips
Greek yogurt sticks to the bananas better than regular yogurt.

Directions
Carefully poke the banana onto the skewer.
Mix the yogurt and whey protein or vanilla pudding together.
Spread the yogurt mixture over the bananas.
Gently place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Adorn with two mini chocolate chips as eyes.
Freeze until firm and serve.

Serving Size: 2 banana “ghosts”
Pumpkin Protein Cake Balls

Atlanta Personal Trainers healthy-cake-batter-paleo-dough-balls

Satisfy that chocolate craving with a high-protein, low carb healthy treat.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup protein powder (vanilla)
1/8 cup agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup pure pumpkin
1/8 cup almond butter
2 tbsp sugar free vanilla pudding mix
Lily’s chocolate chips sweetened with stevia (or sugar free chocolate)

Mix all ingredients together. Add little bits of water if needed. Dough should be thick like cookie dough. Form 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper. Freeze. Once frozen, melt chocolate chips and coat balls with a thin layer of chocolate. Freeze again and serve frozen or at room temperature. They stay fresh in the fridge for 5 days and in the freezer for 5 months.

Tip:  For an even healthier option, roll the cake balls in cocoa powder or cinnamon in lieu of the chocolate coating.

Makes approximately 6-8 balls.

 

Recipes adapted from Spark People

Atlanta Personal Trainer | Why the scale lies…

Weight-Loss-Scale Atlanta Personal Trainer

One of our personal training clients, Kat Carney, runs a very successful blog that shares successful weight loss stories from around the world. Kat was inspired by other weight loss stories she read and lost 90 lbs. Now she helps bring these inspirational stories of weight loss to others on her blog, The Weigh We Were.

Last week she featured an article about the truth the scale forgets to display. Daily, as personal trainers we have to explain the importance of having various modes of measuring progress to clients. I found Kat’s article very helpful in explaining the importance of not using only the scale to dictate your success. Below is the article she featured on her blog.

The Scale Lies! Find out exactly why it changes day-to-day…

We’ve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the many reasons it fluctuates day-to-day…

A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content.

That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored.Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose “weight,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate.Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of “Body Fueling,” compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current. If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale.

Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.

For more article like this and to connect with others on the same weight loss journey, visit Kat’s website at The Weigh We Were.

Source: Health Discovery

Atlanta Personal Trainer | Rainy Day Workout

rainy-day-workout

Don’t let the rain ruin your good intentions to workout! When the weather has left you feeling less than motivated to get to the gym, try this workout in the comforts of your living room.

Length: 10-30 minutes

Equipment: chair, mat (optional)

Type of Workout: Full Body Circuit, Muscle Cardio

Muscles Worked: legs, chest, biceps, triceps, core, back

Fitness Level: Beginner to Advanced

Full Body Meltdown:

Do each exercise back to back with as little rest time as possible between each exercise. After completing the circuit one time, rest 1-2 minutes and go through the circuit again. Complete the circuit up to 3-5 times for a 20-30 minute workout.

40 jumping jacks

15 squats

20 alternating reverse lunges

10 mountain climbers

5 burpees

25 bicycles

10 supermans

10 push-ups

40 high knees/run in place

20 vertical leg crunches

:30 second plank

10 tricep chair dips

rest 1-2 minutes and repeat 2-4 more times

-Mandy