Vegan Girl Margarita

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I know we are all thinking the same thing this time of year: where are the margaritas at? Because we all know how many calories are in regular margaritas, which can be a total buzz kill for enjoying the festivities, we’ve dedicated this article to all you lovelies who are trying to keep your summer beach body! We know you don’t want to compromise all the hard work you’ve put in, and guess what, you don’t have to! The recipes listed below are perfect for enjoying the Cinco de Mayo festivities while still being healthy and keeping your figure! Yes, you can have the best of both worlds, why not?

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Vegan Skinny Girl Frozen Margarita

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo and drinking frosty cold margaritas come hand in hand! This vegan margarita features agave nectar, fruit, tequila, and sea salt on the rim! This recipe serves 4 people. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • 6 ounces of tequila
  • 2 ounces of triple sec
  • 2 ounces of agave nectar
  • 1 cup of fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, mango, melon, etc.)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups of crushed ice

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle salt in a small plate.
  2. Dip margarita glasses in water then place rims in the salt to coat.
  3. Place remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.
  4. Pour into glasses and serve. 

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Vegan Pink Lemonade Margarita

This frozen margarita is also vegan and features a lovely little twist of pink lemonade for an ultra refreshing taste while still being a healthy Cinco de Mayo option!

Ingredients:

  • 1-cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Lime zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2-cup fresh pink lemonade
  • 1-cup tequila (more or less depending on how strong you want it)
  • 2 Tbsp. triple sec
  • Tons of ice

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. Pour into four glasses, you can rim the glass with sea salt or opt not to!
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and drink up!

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Vegan Kidney Bean Dip

Here’s a great bean dip recipe for any Cinco de Mayo festivity that is both delicious and healthy! Giving the normal bean dip a vegan twist, substitute pinto beans for the powerful red kidney bean, which is very high in Iron. This recipe serves 6 people total.

Ingredients

  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/4-cup salsa (diced tomato, onion, cilantro)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1-2 avocados

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse until combined and somewhat smooth
  2. Scoop onto a serving dish and serve with vegetable sticks or tortilla chips
  3. Top with diced avocado

Try these healthy versions of Cinco de Mayo festive food and enjoy the party while still keeping your figure! Also, for all your other Cinco de Mayo recipes try substituting regular ingredients for vegan ones and you’re bound to save some calories! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

Reduce Stress by Eating Your Best

Stressed out

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Do you ever find yourself feeling so stressed out that you reach for the most convenient snack? I think we can all admit that we’ve done that before! The good news is that there are many healthy foods to turn to, that can help reduce stress. Before you reach for fast food or a bag of chips, consider these nutritious alternatives to reduce stress levels.

Almonds

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Nuts – According to WebMD, almonds have Vitamin E to help keep your immune system working great and B vitamins to fight stress. If you are feeling stressed out, pack a small bag of almonds to snack on during the day. Another nut that can reduce stress is the pistachio. Pistachios are filled with healthy fats and can fight off stress symptoms.

oranges

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Oranges – Oranges are high in Vitamin C, which can restrain stress hormones. In addition, oranges also strengthen your immune system. Before a stressful day, peel an orange for breakfast or make an orange smoothie to set a positive tone. Oranges can also give you an energy boost, so eat one for an afternoon snack.

Black Tea

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Black tea – According to WebMD, one study shows that tea drinkers feel calmer and have lower levels of stress after a stressful situation. Drink a cup of black tea in the morning, and after a few weeks you, will feel more calm and relaxed. It’s also a much healthier alternative to morning coffee.

spinach

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Spinach – Although spinach is not always the tastiest vegetable, a handful of it added to your salad can reduce stress. When our bodies do not have enough magnesium, we become fatigued and are prone to headaches, which can make us feel even more stressed out. Spinach contains high levels of magnesium to help combat stress.

dark chocolate

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A little dark chocolate – Do you have a sweet tooth with chocolate cravings? The sugar in dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones by releasing serotonin, which can boost your mood. Just make sure to watch how much chocolate you are eating. Try choosing a single serving of dark chocolate. Break off a small square of Hershey’s dark chocolate to indulge in after dinner – it serve as a stress reliever and satiate your sweet tooth.

The next time you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, try choosing healthier foods. Not only will these selections help reduce your stress levels but they can also be tasty. Your body will thank you!

Note that in addition to eating healthy, it is important to remain active. Even if you have a busy schedule, take some time out of your day to take a walk and get some fresh air. Spending some time outdoors will help you breathe easier and relax, as you take on the rest of your day. After combining healthier foods and a little exercise, you will feel a lot better and your stress levels will decrease.

Written by: Marie Cash as a current journalism student at the University of Northern Colorado, Marie enjoys reading and writing. She loves to spend her time cooking and baking new recipes for her food blog, and she is an entertainment fanatic, in which she watches various television shows and loves to discover new music. Marie has a Spanish minor and enjoys learning about Spanish culture. She has a twin sister and wants to own a corgi someday.

Mood Foods

How-Food-Affects-Your-Mood

According to The Journal of Neuroscience serotonin, a naturally occurring chemical messenger located in the brain, has a remarkable effect over many different brain functions including the control of mood, perception, cognition, sleep, appetite and pain. This chemical messenger interacts with receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems located throughout our body, fluctuating and altering the individual’s brain functions, such as focus, happiness, memory and almost all other brain functions either directly or indirectly. When deficient in serotonin due to disruptions in the synthesis, absorption or response of this neurotransmitter, there is a direct effect on the brain functions. Although there is no direct way to directly increase supply of serotonin in the body, there is a way to eat certain foods and nutrients that increase the body’s levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that is necessary in the production of serotonin.

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According to Dr. John Grohol, “Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal will have your body trigger a release of insulin. This in turn causes any amino acids in the blood to be absorbed into the body except for tryptophan. It remains in the bloodstream at high levels following a carbohydrate meal, which means it can freely enter the brain and cause serotonin levels to rise…also getting an adequate supply of vitamin B-6, which can influence the rate at which tryptophan is converted to serotonin (Dr. John Grohol). Altering your diet to indirectly influence your serotonin levels is a natural and healthy alternative to medications. Here are some examples of foods that are high in tryptophan to help improve your mood and make you all around happier!

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Turkey

There are many pros to eating turkey including its high protein content, low fat content, source of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus and help to lower cholesterol levels. Also, turkey is a source of vitamin B6 and niacin, essential for energy production in the body.

Most importantly you should eat turkey because it’s notorious for containing high levels of tryptophan. Turkey is a great go to source when you want to make sure you are ingesting enough tryptophan and thus are receiving the essential amino acid that is necessary for the production of serotonin.

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Soybeans

According to an article titled, The Health Benefits of Soybeans ‘Soyabean’ is the richest plant source of protein, containing 43 percent protein as opposed to other legumes containing 20 to 25 percent protein. Furthermore, soybeans are the only vegetable that comprises all eight essential amino acids. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, provides approximately eight grams, and a good source of calcium and Vitamin B12 as well as other B-vitamins, particularly niacin, pyridoxine and folacin. Apart from its many health benefits, eat soybeans to ensure you’re getting your dose of tryptophan and thus are receiving the essential amino acid that is necessary for the production of serotonin. Control your mood with this mood food!

Salmon Fillets CREDIT AquaBounty

Salmon

Salmon is notorious for its many health benefits such as its high protein content, contents of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, sustaining skin and hair health, cancer prevention, etc. What makes salmon truly special is its ability to alleviate a bad mood due to its high content of tryptophan, almost an entire day’s worth from a single filet if you weight 150 lbs.

For more options on what  ‘mood’ foods to eat, remember that as a rule of thumb, usually foods that are naturally high in either plants or animal protein, usually contain the highest levels of tryptophan per serving.

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High Tryptophan Meals

  • Whole wheat chicken salad sandwich
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich
  • Chocolate soy milk
  • Mango yogurt smoothie
  • Shrimp fried rice,
  • Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread
  • Pita bread and humus

Please take note that you should intake 4 milligrams of tryptophan per kilogram of body weight each day, according to the World Health Organization. For optimum results one should eat high-tryptophan foods with carbohydrates in order to help the body better absorb the tryptophan. And although you need tryptophan to live, research indicates eating too much too much of it may be bad for your health. Lastly, you don’t need to worry about counting and tracking your levels of tryptophan, just monitor your protein consumption to know you are getting the levels of tryptophan you need to produce serotonin you need to make you happy!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

15 Minute Tone Up

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Let’s face it lovelies we are busy and sometimes fitness takes a back seat! If you’re like me finding ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle is important. A simple way to do so is to dedicate 15-20 minutes in the morning, right when you wake up, and at night before bed. Here are a few exercises that focus on parts body that most lovelies want to tone up.

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Abs

25 Sit-ups: We all know how to do these.

25 Cross Sit-ups. Pull your body up as if you are doing a regular sit up but once you are almost at your knee cross your body over to one side of your knee and then the other. Come back down and that’s one sit up.

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Arms

25 jumping jacks: Based on counts of three, so One, two, three, ONE, one, two, three, TWO, one, two, three THREE. You get the point.

25 Push Ups: You can do standard push ups or the ones on your knees as long as your form is right, hands spread apart, you are dropping low enough to the ground and pulling your body back up. Bottoms down lovelies!

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Lower Body

25 squats: Keep your back straight as you drop your body down and then back up, that’s one.

25 star squats: Stand up straight, touch the ground with you hands (back should be straight up), and jump up with your hands in the sky. That’s One. Continue until you have completed 25.

You can vary the number, but try not to do less than 10 of any one exercise. And Remember, tighten your stomach while you are doing each activity, it helps to build Ab muscles. This is a quick regime before bed and after waking up. It doesn’t take too much time out of your day but helps to tone up key areas of your body. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference.

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