My Transformation (Body, Weight and All)… Let Me Help You


So it has officially been a year since I gave birth to my second son.

I have returned to the gym as soon as my six week postpartum was cleared. Yet, due to personal procrastination and the use of breastfeeding as alibi, I did not couple my workouts with good nutrition. I was a vacuum cleaner bound to have a spotless surrounding and a full belly 🙂

As soon as the end of 2015 came close I took it upon myself to set a healthy eating goal for 2016 and stick to it.

In the meantime life also presented me with an online free coach who added me to a group of women on Facebook who cheer each other on and keep themselves and each other accountable through their journey of weight loss and clean eating.

January 1, 2016 arrived and so I woke up in the morning determined to make my first day of the year a success. I juiced one lemon and had it with warm water.

I continued with my usual workout routine at the gym but this time I coupled it with the 21 day fix eating plan. This meant I ate 5 meals a day, using the containers provided to help me with portion control.

I also removed all diary from my diet as it always upsets me. I added Shakeology smoothies that were oh so delicious… I used to have a daily chocolate shakeology smoothie with half a frozen banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter and lots of ice and water… It was divine … It was the greatest part of my day and was so delicious and filling… I was full ALLL day long. I had so much energy.

Then something happened…

12695028_528203447359265_3430771436899252623_oMy scale started to register fewer pounds. I started to feel lighter. My clothes fit better. Could it be?

Could it be that what people used to say was true… :”Abs are made in the kitchen…” “You need to eat clean and couple your workouts with healthy eating or else you will never see results…”

Now I am a month and a half in my new clean lifestyle. I do not feel deprived. I do have my cheat meals here and there. I always start my day with warm lemon water. I still see the pounds melting. I am already down 13 pounds (6kg).

I am so convinced with the BeachBody programs that I signed up as a coach. I get to help others now. I get to help people cheer each other into getting to their goal… and also make money…

We all know the formula to loosing weight but we never get to do it because we need incentives. We need accountability. We need support. Here I am to support you in your journey to a better you.

Who wants to join?

Please contact me …. Let me help you … Let us do this 🙂

Learn more about the challenges: http://beachbodycoach.com/RASHANK

Facebook: Healthy Living N Loving 

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Refreshing Mint Lemonade Recipe


In summer days and winter dryness nothing quenches the thirst and replenishes your system but a nice big glass of Mint Lemonade.

Rather than purchasing a sugar loaded lemonade drink I opted to try to recreate a healthier version of it at home. My recipe is very simple and easy to make. It is not only delicious to your taste buds but mint lemonade is full of nutrition as well. Mint aids digestion, reduces halitosis, helps in female sterility and its oil is full of good antiseptics for the face and even the nipples of breastfeeding moms. Its smell alone is a treat for the senses. Lemon juice also aids indigestion, is a useful treatment for kidney stones and helps break fever among many other benefits.

Here is my recipe below. Try it out and Enjoy ☺

Ingredients:

Juice of 2 lemons

10 Liquid Stevia Drops

Ice and Water

Directions:

In a blender, put all the ingredients. Blend, pour into a cup and enjoy. It’s that simple.  

lemonmint

Here is also a longer list of benefits associated with Mint and lemon Juice.

Mint

  • Aids in digestion
  • Remedy for nausea and headache
  • Mint aroma also effective in clearing up congestion and aids respiratory issues and coughs
  • Mint oil aids in decreasing nipple cracks and pain for breastfeeding moms
  • Mint essential oil helps relax the muscles and ease a fatigued body
  • Mint juice is a natural skin cleanser
  • Mint aids in weight loss because it stimulates digestive enzymes to uses up more fat which in turn makes you slimmer
  • Eating a few mint leaves is a natural mouth freshner

Lemon

  • Lemon juice helps in digestion and constipation
  • Lemon juice can treat a cold, flu or fever
  • Lemon juice can rid you of dental pain
  • Lemon juice applied on the head can rid you from dandruff and hair loss
  • Lemon juice is also a natural cleanser
  • Lemon juice applied on old burn scars will reduce their appearance
  • Lemon juice can stop internal bleeding
  • Lemon juice, warm water and honey is a simple recipe for weigh reduction
  • Lemon juice helps flush out bacteria from the body and aids in relieving arthritis and foot aches
  • Lemon juice eases pain of sunburn and bee stings

 

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Resources

Health Benefits of Mint (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html)

Health Benefits of Lemon (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-lemon.html)

 

Fastest Way to Peel an Orange


This is my brother-in-law peeling an orange in a quick, easy and mess free way. The peel will always fall off and you will end up with a deliciously well peeled piece of citrusy fruit 🙂

Enjoy and share

Working Out During Pregnancy: Keeping Your Routine Safe and Effective Throughout Each Trimester


Here is another great and informative article from Healthline. Please read, share and enjoy 🙂


Working Out During Pregnancy: Keeping Your Routine Safe and Effective Throughout Each Trimester

by Kristeen Cherney

Pregnancy marks a time when you need to make tweaks to your lifestyle for the sake of your baby. This includes getting rid of alcohol and junk food, as well as smoking if you have not done so already. However, exercise is definitely not something you should neglect at this time of your life. It’s not safe to play contact sports or do balancing workouts, such as bike riding, but you should not stop exercising altogether. Aside from the benefits of working out, safe exercise alone does not cause miscarriage. The key is to learn the safest and most effective workouts during each stage of your pregnancy and to modify your routine accordingly.

First Trimester: Keep Up Your Current Routine

Ideally, you should have established a workout routine before pregnancy. If this is the case, then your doctor will likely give you the go-ahead to keep up normal activities throughout the first trimester. Runners can still run, and gym-goers can still lift weights and use most machines. The key difference during this transition has to do with the method you lift weights: ideally, you should not lift them above your head so you don’t strain your neck or abdomen. As long as your doctor gives the OK, you may still perform exercises laying down, including sit-ups. Many women take advantage of this small window of time during the first trimester to strengthen their abdominal muscles while they can. You certainly can—and you should—do weight-training for your abs for toning and strength.

If you failed to exercise before pregnancy, this doesn’t mean you need to wait 9+ months to start routine. Begin by walking as much as you can, working up to at least 30 minutes per day. Walking and swimming are both ideal if you’re battling morning sickness. Add some strength-training to the mix to help build muscles you’ll need during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.

Second Trimester: Start Making Modifications

As you progress away from the days of morning sickness, you’re likely entering your second trimester. You can still exercise to stay in shape at this point, but this is also the time to start modifying your routine. Any workout that includes jumping or lying on your back is off-limits because such movements strain your abdomen and increase the risk for miscarriage. Raul Artal, OB-GYN, explains to Baby Center that between 6 and 10 percent of women rapidly lose blood pressure when lying down, which can harm a developing fetus. Walking and swimming are still preferred because they are safe while still providing resistance and cardiovascular benefits. However, you can also try prenatal yoga and workouts on the treadmill, elliptical machine, and stationary bike. To maintain and strengthen ab muscles, make sure you sit up straight with your chest forward.

Third Trimester: Walking is Your Best Bet

The third trimester may be the most unappealing stage to work out due to an aching back, swelling legs, and fatigue. You should not give up at this point: not only does exercise benefit both you and the baby throughout the latter stages of pregnancy, but exercising can also ward off excess weight gain during this home-stretch. In fact, most of the weight gained during pregnancy occurs in the last trimester because the baby is growing at a more rapid weight and you’re building more fluids in preparation for delivery.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

For the sake of you and your baby, it’s important to maintain a safe and consistent exercise routine throughout pregnancy. Still, there are times when it’s definitely acceptable to stop working out. You should not keep exercising if you:

  • feel faint
  • become breathless
  • experience vaginal discharge
  • feel feverish
  • experience any pain
  • start feeling contractions

You should see a doctor ASAP if you experience any of these symptoms. Also, talk to him or her if you’re new to exercise or are unsure about how to modify your current routine. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll likely need to take extra precautions during exercise as outlined by your physician.

Resources

Kristeen CherneyAuthor Bio: Kristeen Cherney is a freelance health and lifestyle writer who also has a certificate in nutrition. Her work has been published on numerous health-related websites since 2009. Previously, she worked as a communications and marketing professional and officially changed careers after the birth of her son. Kristeen holds a BA in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is currently pursuing an MA in English with a concentration in rhetoric and cultural studies. When she’s not writing or studying, she enjoys walking, kick-boxing, yoga, and traveling.

Guest Blog: Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy


I have been contacted by a sweet lady from Healthline. Healthline is a very informative and user friendly website where you can learn more about medical information and trusted health advice. Here is a very informative and fun article to read written by Leslie Vandever related to the topic of Pregnancy, specifically Cravinggssss 🙂 Enjoy


Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy

By Leslie Vandever

If you’re pregnant and crave certain foods—the famous pickles and ice cream, for instance, or salty corn chips dipped in cottage cheese, or frequent chocolate fixes, or even tasty helpings of steak fat—don’t feel alone. Food cravings during pregnancy are well-known and go with that rapidly rounding belly like cookies go with milk.

Scientists can’t tell us why, exactly. But at least some cravings may originate in the body’s need for specific nutrients. Pica—a craving to eat things that aren’t food, like clay, or coal—seems to come from a need for more iron in the diet. Women who crave ice cream or cottage cheese may just need more calcium. Chocolate is high in magnesium, so a woman whose body is lacking enough of that mineral may make a beeline for the candy machine. Or maybe her blood sugar level is low, so sweets sound good to her.

Or maybe she just loves chocolate.

Because a pregnant woman’s hormone levels fluctuate hugely, there may be an emotional side to cravings, as well. That urgent need for peaches and corn flakes may really be a subconscious need for emotional support, like a warm hug or a listening, empathetic ear.

The thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with craving specific foods during pregnancy. It’s an entirely normal phenomenon. Cravings have been noted—and commented upon with everything from humor to earnest seriousness—for hundreds of years. They occur in all cultures all over the world (though the foods that are the subjects of the cravings may differ).

The best way to deal with cravings is to eat a healthy, balanced, varied, and nutritious diet. By paying close attention to what and how you eat, you’ll be able to supply your body with everything it needs to keep both you and your growing infant healthy and strong. You may not have cravings as often.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person.”

By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, and legumes, and lean proteins like chicken and, in limited quantities, fish, you’ll give your new baby her best possible start in life. At the same time, you’ll be healthier than ever, gaining only as much weight as necessary.

Your body goes through ginormous change during pregnancy. You gain weight so your body can nurture and grow your baby; your breasts swell and fill with life-giving milk; your uterus stretches to accommodate an infant that will, by the time she’s born, weigh between six and 10 pounds (on average). Your blood volume will also have increased by as much as 60 percent.

For all this necessary and positive change to take place—and to keep you and the baby healthy in the process—you must get the right nutrients in the right quantities. During the second and third trimesters you need to eat an extra 300 healthy calories a day. In addition, some doctors and midwives prescribe or suggest extra vitamins and iron supplements, or recommend that you eat certain foods, like spinach, liver, and citrus fruits.

Keep your food cravings in context and under control. Feeding an occasional yen for butter brickle ice cream won’t hurt you or your baby, but eating a bowl of it every day will cause problems. If nothing else, you’ll gain more weight than you really should, which can be hard to lose after the baby is born.

And, you could try replacing that sugary, fattening ice cream with yogurt topped with fruit and granola, or something else along those lines that’s much more nutritious. Swap carrots for potato chips, or dried apricots for toaster pastries. You get the idea.

You can also curb cravings by getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and by drinking 8 measuring cups of water each day. Distract yourself with a phone conversation, a good TV show, or a good book instead of indulging the craving. Talk with your doctor. Be wise. Cravings are just that: cravings. You don’t have to satisfy them.

 

NewWren

 

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She craved cottage cheese and corn chips when she was pregnant with her daughter 32 years ago, so she knows that of which she writes. Vandever lives in the foothills of Northern California.

 

 
References:

 

Protein Rich Juice Recipes


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Above are a few recipes full of nutrition. High in protein and many other vitamins and minerals, these juice recipes are bound to quench your thirst and give you an energy boost to complete your workout.

Enjoy.

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

Protein Rich Vegetables

– Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

– Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

 

Protein Rich Vegetables


Protein does not only come from meat and dairy. Vegetables also do have protein. Here is a list of a few protein rich vegetables that you can incorporate in your diet. Fotor0306104146

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

– Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

– Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes


Exercising is essential for a healthy body and sound mind.

Providing your body with essential nutrient before and after a specific workout is vital for optimal performance and recovery.

Before exercising you can fill your body and cells with nutrients required that would add strength and energy to your workout routine.

Pre-Workout Juice Recipes

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Beets are high in natural nitrates that allow our muscles to use oxygen more efficiently which increases endurance. Carrots add in some much-needed antioxidant power (via the beta carotene and other phyto-nutrients) helping to protect us from exercise induced free radicals, and the optional addition of cayenne pepper enhances metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat. In addition, the natural sugars from both the carrots and beets provide a nice energy boost. (source: Myfitstation)  This recipe will make about four 2oz shots or enough for two workouts. Take two 2 oz shots an hour before your workout. Store the other half for 24 hours max.

**(warning about beets: If you are not used to drinking beets you will experience loose stool after drinking it due to its detoxifying and cleansing nature.This is just normal. Just wanted you, the reader, to take that into consideration.  You might also have reddish urine, which is also just normal.)

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Spinach, Asparagus, Parsley and Kale are high in protein. Juice them all together for an ultimate high protein power juice.

Post-Workout Juice Recipes

Hydration is essential after any workout.

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The water content and nutrient in this juice recipe will flood your cells with needed enzymes and help you recover.

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Try these juice recipes and let me know if you like them.

Rasha Nasser Khalil 

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

Six Great Ideas For Quick and Easy Weeknight Salmon Dinners


2Fish is one of the most versatile and easiest foods that can be prepared and cooked. While it may take a while to learn how to cook salmon if it is not boneless, other fish species, including de-boned salmon, are relatively hassle-free to whip up. Besides being the more heart health-conscious alternative to red meat, cold-water fish species have high content of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, those compounds necessary to keep cholesterol levels down and inflammation at bay.

Two servings of 150 grams each of fish per week are sufficient to maintain cardiovascular health, as well as obtain the other nutritive values of fish. Below are some great ideas on quick and easy-to-prepare fish recipes for weeknight dinners. Whether cooking for a family, for two or one’s self, these “fishy” ideas can turn into delicious and highly nutritious meals.

Salmon: King of Fishdom

Turmeric, sweet green and red bell peppers, grated ginger and honey-mustard sink deep into salmon fillets as a marinade that turns them tender, moist, and fragrantly caramelised when broiled. Try this simple, appetising Spicy Salmon in Mustard Sauce with kale in hoisin sauce, spinach made with red onions and sliced cabbage in vinaigrette or sautéed chard in garlic with fresh ground pepper and a dash of lemon juice.

If you would rather have salmon pan-seared, rub the fillets first with a cayenne pepper, sea salt and brown sugar rub. Pan-searing salmon fillets on high temperature will brown them like Cajun-style “blackening.” Serve them with jalapeño-pineapple-mint relish with a dash of lime juice and a teaspoon of chopped cilantro. This relish can even be an accompaniment to tortilla or sweet potato chips.

Dependable Tuna

Sandwiches are not the only result from tuna. There are also tuna steaks. A dash of low-sodium soy sauce, freshly ground pepper, and some sesame oil give grilled Sesame Tuna and Spicy Coleslaw a strong Asian flavour that’s surprisingly delectable. Remember that fresh tuna should be cooked medium-rare to bring out its sweet, natural flavour. As for the coleslaw, make it Asian as well by combining shredded cabbage with pungent Thai fish sauce, a dash of fiery sriracha and apple cider vinegar. This is one fish dinner that’s high in protein but low in fat and calories.

While you’re on Asian cuisine mode, go Japanese with Tuna Steak Glazed with Ginger and Wasabi. A 5-minute marinade of grated ginger, a pinch of wasabi, some brown sugar, a dash of low-sodium soy sauce, and minced garlic and another 5 minutes to pan-sear the tuna steaks and you have fish with an unbelievable texture that can only be described as “melt-in-your-mouth.” Serve this with soba noodles, some sake, and those finger-licking good mochi balls for dessert.

There’s Something Special About Swordfish

Fish also has “special occasion” moments when species such as swordfish is served. Somehow, it manages to impress guests and family alike. Swordfish ala Siciliana is reminiscent of the traditional home cooking of Sicilian homemakers with its wonderful blend of sweet and savoury sauce made from stewed tomatoes, black and green olives, chopped almonds, raisins, and fresh orange juice. You simply grill swordfish steaks and serve them with the sauce, which could also be delicious served with porkchops, grilled steaks or roast chicken.

Swordfish is an excellent choice for the grill because of its firm flesh. Marinate chopped swordfish pieces in low-sodium soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and minced onions for 30 minutes and then grill them on skewers alternately with sweet green bell peppers, pearl onions, and cherry tomatoes. All you need for this weeknight dinner are a bottle of Chardonnay and some fruit compote as a reward for a hard day’s work.

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My name is Katy Cavallero from Toronto, ON Canada and a part time photographer. Being a good photographer is definitely not easy. I also joined the staff of a business magazine which was based in London and became a corporate photographer. During free time, I create blogs and post contents related to foods. It is my pleasure to share valuable information, knowledge and tips to this blog community.

Guest Blog: How to Plan a Proper Christmas with Healthy Meals


1Plan your Christmas party and menu three or four weeks in advance to cut stress, create delicious healthy meals, and make the holidays enjoyable and relaxing. You can spread the chores over the weeks leading to Christmas and tick off your to-do lists day by day and one by one. One thing you want to get out of the way is the menu plan for the special day. In addition to Christmas dinner, you may also need to prepare special healthy recipes for Christmas day and the following days leading up to the New Year. Determine how many people you will be serving for which meals and find out if anyone has special dietary needs and particular dislikes.

To keep a tight budget, plan to have leftovers that can be used for the next day or the following days as a basis for a new meal. You can turn most dishes into healthy food like sandwiches, salads, soups, or casseroles, for example. You can also plan dishes that you can prepare days in advance and freeze without losing quality and flavor. This way, the less you will need to do on the big day itself.

Decide on a theme for the party, whether it is a type of cuisine, whether you are leaning towards traditional or contemporary, and what kind of colors, motif, and ambiance you are aiming towards. Plan the table settings and decorations ahead and list down all that you need for the occasion including silverware, glassware, china, tablecloth, napkins, serving plates, salad bowls, candelabra, candles, flower vase, flowers, centerpieces, and so on.

Write a timeline and to-do list of all the tasks you need to do such as shopping, organizing, gift- wrapping, and cooking. Divide the tasks into those that can be done in advance and those that need to be done on the day itself. Spread the shopping over the few weeks to stay on budget and beat the rush.

Choose healthy food like salmon, glazed ham on the bone, prawns, fish, turkey, fillet of beef, lamb, berries, apricots, prunes, currants, nuts, figs, melons, pears, mangoes, avocados, asparagus, green beans, chestnuts, mushrooms, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and potatoes.

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My name is Katy Cavallero from Toronto, ON Canada and a part time photographer. Being a good photographer is definitely not easy. I also joined the staff of a business magazine which was based in London and became a corporate photographer. During free time, I create blogs and post contents related to foods. It is my pleasure to share valuable information, knowledge and tips to this blog community.