BYTES of Informationon Motherhood, Food, Fitness & Real Life

Welcome Baby James

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img_0743It’s now official- we have become a family of four. Right after Thanksgiving we welcomed our newest addition, James (AKA Jimmy) to our growing family. So how is life different now then it was before? Well we are definitely more tired, that’s for sure! I know everyone told me it’s a huge transition to go from one child to two. Although Jimmy isn’t even two weeks old yet, I can understand where that is true. In some ways, he fits right in. We are already used to packing the diaper bag, changing diapers, feeding on demand, and being woken up in the middle of the night. On the other hand, trying to balance a new baby’s needs while making sure our older son gets just as much attention as always can be a bit of a challenge, Luckily, he is as in love with his new baby brother as we are.

 

Before Jimmy was born, Joey was convinced he was having a sister, that we would name the baby ‘ketchup’, and I was actually having 10 babies, not just one. So on the day the baby was born, it’s fair to say he was slightly disappointed. When he came to see me at the hospital, he looked at his brother, then looked at my belly and asked where the rest of the babies were. Since coming home and seeing just how loud his new brother is, I think he’s finally OK with having just one new baby in the house. I have to say, I am so proud of how he has stepped up to his role of ‘big brother.’ He starts off every morning asking where his baby is and spends much of the day hugging him, bringing him toys, and even sharing his most beloved possession – his blankie- with him. I think they will be best buddies for life.

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I am thrilled to introduce you to our new little man and can’t wait to share this newest, crazy adventure with you all.

 

4 Ingredient Brownie Dough Dip That’s Actually Healthy!

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Did you know today is National Brownie Day? One of my favorite desserts in the world is brownie batter. I don’t care for cooked brownies as much- just the dough! Of course, it’s not healthy (or safe!) to eat regular brownie batter. That’s why I decided to create a simple 4 ingredient healthy BROWNIE DOUGH DIP to celebrate today’s food holiday! And the best part- it contains absolutely NO ADDED SUGAR!

This recipe is incredibly simple and it’s actually packed full of protein and antioxidants, so there’s no guilt in eating it up! If you make it, be sure to let me know what you think!

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Brownie Dough Dip
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oat flour
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 1 pinch stevia
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add water gradually to form the dough. Slowly add water 1 Tbs at a time until reaching the desired consistency. Top with dark chocolate chips if desired and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

NUTRITION FACTS (makes 1 serving) Calories 70 Carbs: 8gm Protein: 3gm Fat: 1gm

 

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High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

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Me & my little chef whipping up a batch of our favorite breakfast cookies!

 

The holidays are one of my favorite times of year, but I have to admit, I could live without seeing yet another Christmas cookie. Don’t get me wrong – I love them! But that’s the problem. Everywhere I turn, there’s a sugar cookie, a frosted cookie, a chocolate chip cookie …. you get the picture. And all of those cookies can be hard to resist. And my little man has been becoming quite the cookie monster as well. So what’s a mom to do? Improvise! There’s no need to say ‘no’ to all cookies, instead just make healthy ones that taste just as good. So that’s what I set out to do. After a little trial and error, I was able to create these super easy high protein banana chocolate chip cookies that contain absolutely no added sugar! Since these cookies are packed full of whole grains, fruit, and protein, they can even be eaten as a healthy addition to breakfast or any meal where you need a bit of a sweet fix.

 

High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Recipe

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High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Recipe
Servings: 18
Ingredients
  • 1 large banana mashed
  • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 each egg
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash large banana and add in Greek yogurt; mix well. Whisk egg and add to liquid ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients (everything but the chocolate chips) and mix well. Add in chocolate chips and mix until evening distributed. 

  2. Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto lined cookie sheets. 

  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are light brown. Serve warm or cooled and store leftovers in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving) 64 calories 9gm carbs 3gm protein 1.5gm fat

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How to Help Manage the Holiday Sweet Tooth

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On average, Americans consume about 20 teaspoons of added caloric sweeteners daily.1 This is two to three times the recommendation from the American Heart Association, which suggests that most women consume no more than 100 calories of added sugar (about 6 teaspoons) per day, and most men consume no more than 150 calories of added sugar (about 9 teaspoons) per day.2 Increased intake of added sugars can have a negative impact on health, including decreasing HDL-cholesterol levels and elevating triglyceride levels.3

Reducing your intake of added sugars can be a struggle, especially during the holidays if you find yourself constantly surrounded by sweet temptations. However, food cravings themselves may be brought on by the meal choices you make. One study compared brain activity following consumption of a high glycemic index meal, such as a meal rich in added sugars and refined grains, to consumption of a low glycemic index meal. Eating a high glycemic index meal resulted in lower blood glucose and increased hunger, and stimulated the regions of the brain associated with reward and cravings in the late postprandial period, which could impact food choices at the next meal.4This finding points to the possible value of reducing the glycemic load of meals in an effort to help increase satiety and reduce overall cravings. The good news is, working to lower the glycemic index through simple substitutions, such as swapping brown rice for white rice, may be a tool to help manage the spikes and dips in blood sugar that may occur from more refined, starchy carbs.

Researchers are also exploring the role of added sugars in leptin resistance.5Leptin, a hormone released by fat cells, helps signal the brain to decrease food consumption and increase energy expenditure. Leptin resistance has been referred to as the hallmark of obesity.6 A recent study found a significant correlation between plasma leptin levels and carbohydrate cravings.7 This may be especially valuable information for those with diabetes or prediabetes, as insulin resistance has been associated with leptin resistance.8

To help curb cravings this holiday season, one strategy may be to reduce the overall glycemic load of their meal choices, while simultaneously working to reduce the intake of added sugars. This combination may help fight cravings, as well as manage hunger. As mentioned earlier, certain meal swaps may help reduce the glycemic load and limit added sugars without sacrificing flavor. For instance, find whole grain alternatives to common refined grain choices such as whole grain pasta over white pasta or steal cut oats over instant oatmeal. Added sugars can also be reduced by making simple swaps, such as seltzer for soda, 100% juice for fruit juice, and unsweetened teas for sweetened varieties. 

Making a few easy swaps to meals and snacks may help boost satiety, rather than stimulate cravings. When cravings are diminished, the goals of improved blood glucose management and reduced body weight may become easier to work towards, and our overall health may be enhanced.

 


1. American Heart Association. 19 May 2014. Frequently Asked Questions About Sugar. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Sugar_UCM_306725_Article.jsp#.Vk4AKBNViko

2. Johnson R, et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. 2009.  http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/11/1011.full.pdf. Accessed November 10, 2015.

3. Welsh JA, et al. Caloric sweetener consumption and dyslipidemia among US adults. JAMA. 2010 Apr 21;303(15):1490-7. doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.449. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3045262/

4. Lennerz BS, et al. Effects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;98(3):641-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.064113. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743729/

5. Shapiro A, et al. Prevention and reversal of diet-induced leptin resistance with a sugar-free diet despite high fat content. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):390-7. doi: 10.1017/S000711451100033X.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21418711. Full text accessible at http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FBJN%2FBJN106_03%2FS000711451100033Xa.pdf&code=b39b75fcef66d9e30244640216120c97

6. Lustig RH, et al. Obesity, leptin resistance, and the effects of insulin reduction. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1344-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15314628

7. Licinio J, Negrao AB, Wong ML. Plasma leptin concentrations are highly correlated to emotional states throughout the day. Transl Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 28;4:e475. doi: 10.1038/tp.2014.115. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350520/

8. Fischer S, et al. Insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have higher serum leptin levels independently of body fat mass. Acta Diabetol. 2002 Sep;39(3):105-10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12357293

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