This post has been brought to you by Fifty50 Foods. All opinions are my own.
And that’s a wrap! The holidays are over, the New Year is here, and it’s time to start shifting our focus from asking ourselves ‘what gifts do I need to buy’ to ‘how can I better improve my health’? This holiday season has been nothing short of chaotic for my family. From welcoming our new baby to this world just four days after Thanksgiving, to my older son’s birthday on Christmas Eve, in addition to three other family birthdays coupled with the birth of my new niece, let’s just say there has been a whole lot of celebrating going on.
At a certain point there are only so many slices of pie and cake I can eat! If your holidays were crazy like mine, I am sure your eating habits have been less than ideal. You may have even set a resolution to clean up your eating habits or to lose weight. There’s nothing wrong with goal setting, however you have to be careful that you focus on lifestyle changes over quick fixes or crash diets. Giving up all sugar or never touching a French fry again = UNREALISTIC! Get this— you really can eat what you love and improve health at the same time. One simple way to do this is to follow a Low Glycemic Index (GI) meal plan.
Simple Steps to Eating Low GI Foods
The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks foods based on how fast the carbohydrate of a particular food is converted to glucose and enters the bloodstream. The lower the GI, the less impact the food will have on blood glucose levels.
Following a low GI meal plan can help you to better control blood sugar levels, manage cravings, reduce hunger, and promote weight loss. Sounds appealing, right? Absolutely! And the good news is it isn’t even hard to do. Whole foods such as vegetables, nuts, yogurt and lean proteins like fish are all low GI choices. You can even enjoy pre-made and packaged foods while still eating low GI. Fifty50 Foods, for instance, is an amazing brand that provides a complete line of food that have all been certified to be Low GI. They make all of their foods with complex carbs that are digested slowly, helping to reduce spikes in glucose levels.
I was thrilled to learn about this company and their line of food for more than one reason. Not only do they offer a delicious Low GI product line with everything from peanut butter to chocolate to cookies (and pie crusts! Yes you can really make Low GI pie!), but they also support the diabetes community in an amazing way. The company donates 50% of all of their profits to support diabetes research. How amazing is that?! To top it off, they are kicking off the New Year by giving back to you as well. Simply spend $10 on Fifty50 Low Glycemic Foods before February 10th, and they’ll send you a full-size Fifty50 product to try for FREE!
If you are serious about improving your health in 2017, I strongly recommend you give Low GI meal planning a try. To help you get started, download this free resource ‘The Low Glycemic Guide for Better Blood Glucose Control’
As you get started, I wanted to provide you with a little inspiration on just how delicious a Low GI meal plan can be. For instance, if you are still craving cake from all of those holiday celebrations, why not try creating this delicious Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Or whip up this Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie for a quick meal or snack on the go
Following a low GI meal plan can offer some great benefits. You may notice your blood glucose levels become easier to manage, your appetite and cravings are easier to control, weight is reduced, and energy levels increase. These health benefits are all great, but what is most important is that eating Low GI is a lifestyle, not a fad diet. It’s a well-balanced lifestyle approach to healthy eating that you can stick with because you won’t feel deprived.
Thank you to Fifty50 Foods for sponsoring this post. Although compensation was provided, all opinions are my own.
In honor of National Oatmeal Month, I thought I would make breakfast a real treat… and what I mean by treat; I mean one that tastes just like dessert! Since breakfast is the fuel at the start of our day, I wanted to make a breakfast packed full of protein, fiber and flavor—and that could be made in just a few minutes. For those who love meal prep, these overnight oats will become your new go-to breakfast because it takes little to no prep and tastes amazing!
This recipe is one of a kind because I secretly added a more nutritious ingredient– an avocado! Packed full of healthy fats and adds thickness to this batch of overnight oats.
Just add all ingredients into a container and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
- 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 medium avocado pitted
In a small container or Mason jar, combine rolled oats and chia seeds. Set aside.
In a blender, add chocolate milk, peanut butter and avocado. Blend until smooth.
Add liquid to oats and combine well in container. Refrigerate overnight. Top with a banana in the morning and enjoy on the go!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 366 calories, 36 g CHO, 22 g FAT, 12 g PRO, 144 mg sodium, 15 g sugar
Well I did it- I have officially kept two tiny humans alive for over a month. Yes I know I am far from the first person to accomplish this feat, but I am still giving myself a pat on the back (and a much needed glass of wine) to celebrate my small victory! Adjusting to life with two little ones has been a challenge at times, but it has also been a lot of fun (other than the potty training boot camp I am currently implementing for my older one- I swear I’d take childbirth over potty training any day!). One of the biggest adjustments to life as a family of four is just the lack of time to accomplish simple tasks. For instance, I used to prep dinner while Joey napped. But now when Joey naps, Jimmy is wide-awake and crying. Luckily he loves to be worn as much as his older brother did, which frees up my hands for some things, but I am just not comfortable baby wearing while cooking over an open flame.
Prior to Jimmy’s arrival, I had stocked up on healthy meals so we would be in good shape for the first few weeks. But now, those meals have run out and I have been finding myself just throwing random foods together at times out of desperation. Even though it’s a little chaotic right now and sleep deprivation is hitting us hard, I still want to make sure my family has nutritious meals to enjoy daily. And I want to make sure we aren’t eating the same meal day after day (which was a rut I was falling into as well). So what’s the best solution for a healthy meal when you are short on time? The crock-pot of course! I swear my slow cooker is my lifesaver. Any time you can just set a meal and forget it- I am all for it!
This Crockpot Cranberry Barbeque Meatball is a big hit with my family. What I love about it is how easily it pairs with any vegetable you enjoy. You can also make a large batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal (or snack!) anytime. And it makes a simple, yet delicious, option for when company stops by.
- 1 lb. 95% lean ground turkey
- 1 each egg whisked
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 each onion diced
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup whole cranberry sauce
- 1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg, rolled oats, garlic, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Once well combined, roll meat into 1-inch balls. Repeat until all meat is rolled.
In a saucepan with olive oil, lightly grill meatballs, until sides are browned and meatballs are firm, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.
In a crock-pot on low-heat, add grilled meatballs, cranberry sauce, and BBQ sauce. Let cook for 1-2 hours or until meatballs are cooked throughout. Serve with vegetables or on top of brown rice and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 280 calories, 27 g CHO, 13 g Fat, 13 g PRO, 3 g Fiber, 17 g sugar
I can’t believe in less than 48 hours it will be 2017! Where did the year go?! The holidays seemed to fly by. What a wonderful and crazy year 2016 has been. We expanded from a family of 3 to 4 and could not be any happier! I hope your 2016 was fantastic as well!
One of my favorite things to do on New Year’s Eve is to get together with friends and family to talk, play games, and of course- eat! What’s a New Year’s Eve without those amazing tiny hot dogs wrapped in pastry puffs, right?! Since most of the New Year’s foods aren’t the healthiest, I wanted to put together a few options I know my friends and family would love that are at least better for us than those deliciously tempting fatty little hot dogs.
I guess I have a bit of a sugar tooth lately because the appetizer/snack options I created are more sweet than savory. But if you are looking for savory, I recommend giving my Parmesan Tomato Bites and Breadless Quiche a try.
My first New Year’s Eve must have this year is my Guiltless Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bark. This dessert is so easy to make – it’s simply just two ingredients! You can’t mess it up. And it tastes so good you won’t even realize it’s packed full of antioxidants.
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips 70% cacao or higher
- 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
Melt dark chocolate and spread evenly onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. **My easy tip for melting chocolate: Add the chocolate into a plastic zip-lock bag and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Rotate and heat for another 30 seconds. Repeat until all of the chocolate is melted. Then, cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and squeeze the chocolate out onto the parchment paper.
Next, sprinkle the freeze dried raspberries evenly over top. Allow tray to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until dark hardens. Break into pieces and serve. This treat is best enjoyed within 1-2 days as humidity can cause the freeze dried fruit to soften over time (it still tastes great, but the texture will be less crispy)
Nutrition Facts (per serving) 52 Calories, 7 grams Carbs, 0 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat
My next must have for tomorrow evening is my sweet take on nachos with my Nutty Chocolate Apple Nachos! This dessert nacho makes the perfect appetizer or sweet treat for your New Year’s party. And the best part, it’s only 91 calories per serving!
- 2 cups freeze dried apple chips
- 2 tbsp natural nut butter
- 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
Arrange apple chips on a large platter. Heat nut butter and chocolate in the microwave (or on the stove) until the consistency thins enough to drizzle over the apples. Drizzle the nut butter and chocolate evenly over the apples and top with chopped walnuts. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate and nut butter to harden slightly, then serve. This dish is best served within 10-20 minutes of assembly as freeze dried fruit becomes less crisp the longer it is exposed to air. (If the fruit is left out longer, it still tastes great, it just becomes less crisp)
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 91 Calories, 9 grams Carbs, 2 gm Fiber, 1 gram Protein, 5 grams Fat
What will you be eating this New Year’s Eve?