Merry Christmas!

Howdy!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas season! I can’t believe Christmas is in two days. As for me, I’ve been taking it easy and enjoying Colorado. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday skiing. I’m definitely not the best skier, but we still had a great time. The weather was great  too. It was actually quite warm up on the mountain, upper 30′s. It felt like spring break skiing! All the snow really gets me in the Christmas mood.

Photos courtesy of my brother.

As for food, I’ve been relaxing a bit and just going with it. Not that I’ve thrown healthy eating out of the window; I’m still eating pretty well, just not letting my eating habits keep me from enjoying time with family.

What are your Christmas plans? During the holiday season, do you try to eat as healthfully as always or do you let loose a bit?

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

~Ann Claire

Being a Healthy Teen Today

 Another great perspective on healthy eating as a teen written by the lovely Gen from Healthy Chocoholic. I guess we should just deem this week healthy teenage week, huh?

    Not many teenagers today make the choice to live a “healthy” lifestyle. Packaged, processed food and fast foods are just too convenient. We think that we can eat whatever we want while we’re young, and adopt healthier lifestyles later on in life. What many of us don’t realize is that, even if someone don’t necessarily “look” unhealthy, if they are fueling themselves with inadequate food, they are unhealthy. Now, this in no way means that we should never, ever eat pizza or have some cake and ice cream. It is just important to view these types of foods as treats and not as daily meals.

    Healthy food is yummy, too! We need certain nutrients and vitamins to fuel us, which can be found in a wide array of foods. There are so many small modifications that we can make to our eating choices that can make such a big difference in our overall health. Swapping white bread for whole wheat is one option. Choosing soft tortillas over fried taco shells, or grilled meat over fried meat is something else that just about anyone can do. Learn to read labels and look for essential nutrients, but also to savor anything decadent or to eat the “not-so-healthy” foods every once in a while, and to truly enjoy them. I think that one problem that many teenagers face is that we get so accustomed to eating the same highly processed foods every day, that we don’t appreciate them as much. If these foods become treats, then we will enjoy them more when we do eat them, as opposed to eating them purely out of habit.

   Here is what a typical day looks like for me:

  • Breakfast: 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal topped with peanut butter, fruit, and cinnamon.
  • Morning Snack: Yogurt, cottage cheese, granola bars, or more fruit.
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and condiments like mustard or salsa with a side of wheat thins or something similar.
  • Afternoon Snack: Similar to my morning snack.
  • Dinner: If eating out, I try to look for a grilled meat with a side of some sort of vegetable and a starch. At home, I usually eat something similar to that, like chicken, roasted veggies, rice, and beans, or soup and a sweet potato topped with some butter and cinnamon.

I also have chocolate in some form practically every day. Its my absolute favorite thing, and I don’t want to deprive myself of it. I also usually drink 100% juice at least once a day, and lots of water.

    Be creative, choose to eat food that is more wholesome than Pop Tarts and burgers. You’ll find that educating yourself about nutrition and making the right choices will give you so much more energy, and you’ll feel great! Also, you’ll learn to truly enjoy a treat, instead of just eating it because its available.

Teenagers: how to do you feel about healthy eating? How do your eating habits vary from your friends?

If you’re an adult how do your eating habits differ now from when you were younger? Were you interested in being healthy when you were a teen?

Christmas Break!

Salvete! (yes, that would be Latin for hello)

3 quick items of note:

1) Mid terms are over!!! I took my last one yesterday morning and am now officially on Christmas break! Wahoo!!!

2) Check out my guest post at Fit Chocoholic

3) Anyone have any good time passing car activities? I”m going to be spending lots of time in the car tomorrow and my family is not  exactly the road trip type. Suggestions of what we can do to make the trip go by faster?

I hope everyone is having a marvelous Christmas season! 8 days until Christmas, oh my!

How do y’all fill about riding in the car for extended periods of time? Loathe it? Enjoy it?

I love traveling, but  don’t enjoy the actual transportation part of it. For anything more than a few hours I definitely prefer flying.

~Ann Claire

Healthy Eating as a Teenager

I am very excited to present to you my very first guest post (well non-family guest poster that is). I am very happy to have the lovely Alex here today! Without further ado…

Hello all! This is Alex from Spoonful of Sugar Free. Thank you so much, Ann Claire, for giving me the opportunity to write a guest post. 


Teenagers are notoriously known for their bad eating habits: burgers, french fries, pizza, soda, chips, and sugar-loaded candy galore! Schools across the country are trying to keep their teens healthy by replacing the vending machines’ sodas and chips with the seemingly “healthy” vitamin waters and baked chips. The difference between the “healthy” and not healthy is extremely slim, and it is not helping the teens as much as the schools would like. Crazy statistics like in the list below may scare some to change:
  •  One in every three teenagers are overweight or obese; 
  • One-third of U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050 (unless something drastic changes)

There is hope! 

A small percentage of teens are actually moving towards healthy eating habits. Like Ann Claire and myself,  many adolescents are starting to enjoy healthy lifestyles. There are lots of blogging teens out there who enjoy spreading the message of good, healthy food. Together, we are building a strong base for our future, and trying to prevent ourselves from developing cancer or other serious diseases. 

Now go and enjoy some healthy food (like the recipe below) and spread the word about healthy eating!


Well…Not the prettiest cookies, but definitely one of the tastiest!

 

Chocolate Chunk Monster Cookies

~This recipe can be gluten-free if using gluten-free oats. It is also vegan, dairy-free, and of course, sugar-free! Makes about 30-35 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil works, too)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4-5 ounces 100% dark chocolate bar (Found in the baking section in the grocery store. I suggest Baker’s chocolate or Ghiradelli unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 350*. Mash the bananas, and mix in the other wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until well-incorporated. Next, chop the chocolate bar into small chunks and mix into batter. Drop Tablespoons-full of dough onto a cookie-sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.

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Fudge and Finals

Hey There.

Sorry for the absence, school and sleep have been priorities recently. I absolutely cannot wait for Christmas break. Thursday at 9:45 A.M. I will be a very happy and relieved foodie. Of course before break starts, I have 5 midterms looming in front of me. At my school there’s not getting exempt until senior year, regardless of how high your grades are. Of course, to be a bit more optimistic, the stress of finals make Christmas even sweeter. I have been working on doing other things besides just typical studying in order to perform optimally on my exams. Some things I have been working on:

1) getting plenty of sleep

2) eating good healthy, filling food at all meals.

Such as this lovely salad I took for lunch yesterday, featuring plenty of leafy greens, carrots, avocado and pecans.

3) focusing on being efficient while studying and not being distracted (Which includes things such as signing off Facebook)

4) being organized

5) studying in different ways; aloud, notecards, draw pictures, whatever I can possible do to remember a lot of information

6) taking study breaks that include making yummy Christmas-y desserts :)

Such as almost vegan fudge, based on this recipe

1 cup extra dark chocolate chips*

1/3 cup plus a splash of coconut milk (full fat)

a shy 1/4 cup peanut butter (about 1/6th a cup)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue to to microwave and stir for 15-30 second intervals until everything if fully melted. Pour in a small foil lined pan. Put in the fridge to harden for about an hour. Cut into squares and enjoy!

*because of the chocolate I used my fudge was not completely dairy free, however use different chocolate and it could be totally dairy free and vegan. Also, the ingredients could easily be doubled and it would probably fit nicely into an 8×8 pan.

Rich, Chocolately, and Delectable

Any other study tips?

Enjoy your Saturday!

~Ann Claire