healthy foods

🔥 7 Foods that Balance Hormones and Help You Lose!

Hey friends,

What an awesome week it’s been at the studio! We are so proud of you all for showing up and starting January strong. If you haven’t read about Paige Colquitt’s Holiday Extravaganza transformation, check that out on our blog HERE.

Have you ever felt like you’re exercising and eating a better-balanced diet, but still seeing no progress? Still feeling sluggish? Often, unbalanced hormones can sabotage your goal of feeling your best. Your body’s hormones help control everything from your metabolism to your body’s fat storage. Today we want to introduce you to 7 superfoods you can add into your daily nutrition plan to revive your body to help you feel your best!

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Avocados

Avocados contain a substance known as beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol has been shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels, balance cortisol levels, and decrease inflammation in the body. And, you can add them to literally anything! Who doesn’t love another reason to eat avocados?

Nuts

Almonds contain protein and fiber, and are known to slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. Studies have found that walnuts are also a good source of the hormone melatonin, which helps promote more restful sleep.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has the ability to speed up the metabolism and stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help with weight loss. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help keep your body healthy. In fact, it’s the cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon that naturally helps balance the body’s hormones. Add some cinnamon to your oatmeal or sprinkle some on an apple and enjoy a healthy snack!

Green Tea

Studies have shown that green tea extract increases metabolism and helps the body burn fat. It provides a boost of energy while blocking the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which helps gut the accumulation of belly fat! It also helps you warm up on these cold winter days! Purchase our team’s favorite green tea on Amazon HERE.

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates have amazing anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that help keep the body healthy and fight off disease. They also provide the same estrogens that the female ovaries produce – estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Adding pomegranates to your diet can help reduce mood swings while helping your body combat breast cancer and heart disease.

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Turmeric

Adding turmeric to your meals will do more than just spice things up. Turmeric naturally reduces inflammation, pain, and swelling in the body. It also helps to balance your hormones and keep your immune system functioning properly! Sprinkle it on your food or make Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk for a warm drink. Get our team’s favorite Turmeric from Amazon HERE.

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Broccoli

Broccoli contains high amounts of photochemical called indoles, which play a large role in estrogen metabolism. Indoles work to convert estrogen into a safer form for the body to metabolize, which reduces the risk of estrogen-linked cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. 

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Try introducing some of these super foods and drinks into your daily nutrition plan and see how much better you feel! Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrients will revive your body and help you live transformed.

We’ve included a tasty recipe below that incorporates a few of these foods! Try it out and let us know what you think— we love when you tag us in your social media posts!

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Superfood Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of leafy greens 

  • 1/2 c chopped broccoli  

  • 1/2 c chopped red apple

  • 1 avocado sliced 

  • 1 pomegranate seeds removed

  • 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup avocado ripe

  • 1 tsp seeded mustard

  • 2 tbs lemon juice

  • 6 tbs olive oil

  • 1 splash apple cider vinegar

  • 1 pinch sea salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper


    Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.

  • Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process for 20-30 seconds or until you reach a smooth consistency!

  • Enjoy! Top with grilled chicken or salmon for more protein.

Remember you can always find recipes, workouts, and inspiration on our FREE app!

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Don’t forget to sign up for sessions in advance on the app!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a one-on-one or nutrition counseling session, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com.

Blessings,

Team TransFit

Total Transformation Workout

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We've finished week three of the Food Journal Challenge and I hope everyone is still going strong! Keep writing, & keep up the hard work! Last week I reminded you to make sure you were getting your daily dose of vegetables, and this week I want you to remember your protein! We should be trying to consume half our body weight in grams of protein each day. For those who exercise regularly, adding 15-20 grams extra to your total is a great idea. Below you will find an easy, delicious homemade protein bar recipe! The protein bars are so great to have on hand, especially right after a tough workout!

And speaking of tough workouts, give the Total Transformation Workout a try this week! 5 exercises using all muscle groups-- your whole body will thank you when you are finished!

Also, due to recent interest from several people, TransFit  is now offering Personalized Online Training!  I would love to hear feedback from anyone that may be interested in this new service! Please feel free to email me if you are interested! carolineward@bellsouth.net

GIVE THE WORKOUT A TRY- THIS WEEK- IT WILL TRANSFORM YOU!!!

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Homemade Protein Bar Approximately 180-220 calories; 15-20g protein

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Ingredients: 2 & 1/2 cups whole grain oats 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter 4 scoops vanilla protein powder 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions: 1. Line a 8x8 dish with wax paper 2. Mix all ingredients by hand 3. Press mixture down into dish, using a spatula to flatten 4. Freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into six or eight bars. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

-- Whatever you do, do enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord... Colossians 3:23 

Blessings, Caroline

Healthy Maple Glazed Pecans

So many sweet friends have brought over the most delicious Georgia pecans this week! I was inspired to try a few new pecan recipes. I found this amazing healthier recipe for maple glazed pecans! It is a MUST try!!! Pecans are packed with protein and a healthy fat if eaten in small portions! Maple Syrup is not something you should be guzzling down, but it is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc (which are both important for a strong immune system!).

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These holiday nuts are ridiculously easy to make but taste unbelievable! I have packaged them as teacher gifts and chopped them on a spinach salad with pear and blue cheese! Enjoy!

Maple Glazed Pecans makes 6 1/3 cup servings

2 ½ cups of pecans

1/3 cup maple syrup 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine syrup, cinnamon and sea salt and stir until well mixed. Preheat a dry skillet to medium-high. Add pecans and syrup mixture and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized. You’ll know they’re done when they start sticking to the spoon! Spread them on a greased tray to cool.

 Go the extra mile this holiday season! The health of your body, mind, & spirit will be thankful you did! Blessings, Caroline

Quinoa - The Super Grain!

One of my favorite grains that I get a lot of questions about: QUINOA! Here are some of my favorite recipes and amazing facts about this super grain... 

Photo courtesy of www.thekitchn.com

History

Over 5000 years ago, the Incas cultivated the grain-like seed quinoa as one of their staple crops. Since then, science has shown that this humble "grain" is actually a super food! Quinoa is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and can even help balance your blood sugar. As a result, people everywhere are discovering the benefits of quinoa - a delicious whole "grain" that is easy to digest, full of high quality protein and fiber, and can form the basis for delicious Body Ecology meals.

Health

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a grain; it is actually a seed and related to the spinach family. When cooked, quinoa is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy, and subtly flavored. It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest.

However, its flavor is only part of why quinoa is such an amazing "super grain." Some of the nutrients in quinoa include:

  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium. This helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. Studies have shown that quinoa has documented health benefits too!

Quinoa, in its whole grain form, may be effective in preventing and treating these conditions:

  • Artherosclerosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance

Researchers attribute the health benefits of quinoa to its complete nutritional makeup. Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

 Helpings

1. Breakfast Quinoa (from The Feed Zone Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or almond milk), plus more for serving
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar (or honey), plus more for serving
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) fresh blueberries, plus more for serving

Directions

  • Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until three-quarters of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered, until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in blueberries, and cook for 30 seconds. Serve with additional milk, sugar, cinnamon, and blueberries

2. "Dinner Bells" Recipe (from Family Fun Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 5 medium red or orange bell peppers
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 jar (25 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  • Cut off tops of peppers. Clean out completely and discard seeds. Place peppers upright in a 4-6 quart crock pot.
  • Combine turkey, onion, Italian seasoning, garlic and salt. Stir in rice (or Quinoa). Spoon into peppers.
  • Pour most of the marinara sauce over peppers. Add water to remaining sauce in jar. Cover jar and shake. Pour over peppers.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 hours.
  • Transfer peppers to serving plates. Spoon sauce over top. Let stand for 5 minutes

 

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 32-ounce box chicken stock(organic)
  • 3 cans white beans, left undrained  (use all different types to add variety)
  • 5 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or boiled)
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa(use fresh salsa-- this the key)
  • 1 8-ounce block pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black or white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips (optional, if you like your chili thicker)
  • Sour cream, for garnish

Yields: 6 servings

Preparation

Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted.

Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted.

When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve.

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies with Carob/Chocolate Chips

 

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings 16 Difficulty Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Ripe Bananas, Mashed Until Creamy
  • ⅓ cups Peanut Butter, Creamy Or Chunky
  • ⅔ cups Unsweetened Applesauce
  • ¼ cups Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Butter Extract, Optional
  • 1-½ cup Quick Oatmeal, Uncooked
  • ¼ cups Chopped Peanuts
  • ¼ cups Carob Chips Or Chocolate Chips, Optional

Preparation Instructions

Preheat heat oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined. Then add in the applesauce, vanilla protein powder and vanilla and butter extracts. Mix again until completely combined.

Add in the oatmeal and nuts to the banana mixture and combine. (Add the optional carob/chocolate chips at this time if you want them mixed throughout.)

Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into circles, about a 1/3″ thick. (If you want the optional carob/chocolate chips on the top of the cookies, push them into the cookies now.)

Bake cookies approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and done. Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack. (If you want the traditional fork tine marks on the cookies, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the tops of the cookies while they’re still warm.)

When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container. Enjoy!

Find this recipe as well as many other yummy ones here!

Farro with Feta Cucumbers & Sundried Tomatoes

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This salad combines farro with Mediterranean ingredients such as cucumbers, lemon juice, feta and mint for a delicious salad you can enjoy as a side dish, or even for lunch! This would be perfect to bring to a potluck or BBQ this Memorial Day weekend!

I'm in love with farro these days and I have been having so much fun cooking with it lately. Farro is an ancient Italian grain that has been rediscovered and is becoming quite popular in the US and throughout Europe. It's a great source of fiber, protein and iron, with a nutty flavor and chewy texture. It's wonderful in salads, side dishes and even soups. The pearled variety is as easy to cook as boiling pasta, takes only about 15-20 minutes.

Here in New York I can easily find farro in any natural foods market but I realize some of you may not be as lucky, so if you can't find farro where you live you could use barley, quinoa, whole wheat couscous or even whole grain elbow macaroni in it's place. If farro is available near you, I highly encourage you to try it!!

Farro with Feta, Cucumbers and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Skinnytaste.com


Servings:
4 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories:
241 • Fat: 6.5 g • Protein: 9.1 g • Carb: 39.1 g • Fiber: 5.8 g • Sugar: 1.9 g
Sodium:
177.3 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked pearled farro
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated feta
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint or parsley
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    Directions:

    Cook farro in salted water according to package directions until al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Find this recipe and many delicious others at Gina's Skinny Recipes!

Some of My Favorite Smoothies!

 Blueberry almond smoothie – HIGH IN PROTIEN

This is great for breakfast or mini-meal, especially on the run!

1 C blueberries 2/3 C plain nonfat yogurt (OR GREEK) 1/2 serving protein powder (I like SF whey) 1/4 cup nonfat milk 1 T slivered almonds 2 t ground flax seeds 1 t almond (OR VANILLA) extract

Green Machine.  Here’s the recipe, which yields about 12 ounces:

  • 1 granny smith apple (preferably organic), cut into big pieces or one pear
  • 2 cups of kale (pull leaves from two stalks to make two cups) or 2 cups spinach
  • 1 lime (juiced or remove the seeds and add the flesh, too) or one lemon
  • 1 small handful of cilantro (pull the leaves from the stalks)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (mine came from a jar but you can grate fresh ginger instead)
  • ½ cup yogurt

The citrus, cilantro and ginger give the smoothie a refreshing zing. I’ve been using my food processor to blend the ingredients, but I’m going to give my blender another shot. I want to blend in some ice and maybe a frozen banana.

Based on rough calculations, the smoothie comes in at about 200 calories, with 11 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, over 700% of the Vitamin A and 260% of the Vitamin C you need for a day, and a long list of other vitamins.

All Around Good Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered protein supplement
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Favorite Smoothie for 2012

Super Green Smoothie:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup strawberries or blueberries

1 cup spinach (surprise!! it blend beautifully)

1 frozen banana

1 tsp ground flax seed

1 scoop protein powder

*(may need a dash of honey)- your preference

 ***Always add crushed ice (about 1 cup) to all your smoothies!!!!