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3 Ways to Incorporate Collagen into Your Diet Today

Collagen Chaos

***This is a sponsored conversation that has been brought to you by Vital Proteins


How to Use Vital Proteins Collagen

I have been posting quite a bit about Collagen lately and using it in everything from soups to smoothies to baking and coffee. As we head into the late fall and the winter months our immune systems tend to run low and sicknesses become hard to ward off. A well balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies and lean protein are vital to giving your body proper nutrition to thrive! Unfortunately, as processed foods become more prevalent our bodies become void of important nutrients like collagen that were once part of an average american diet. Thankfully many nutrients can be supplemented and can work wonders on your health and well being.

I have three different types of Vital Proteins Collagen in my cabinets right now and I wanted to share a little bit of how I use each one. Sometimes I feel like we as Americans buy things we see on shelves at Whole Foods, on TV, or as we scroll Instagram, but after receiving them we try them once or twice thinking they will offer you the miracle you have been searching for. More often than not, they end up sitting in our cabinets, on our shelves and never get used. I have to  admit that I let my Beauty Greens hang out for a while before I used them as I am pretty much addicted to my plain collagen peptides that I use every day, multiple times per day. More on that below.

Here is how I use my favorite Vital Proteins Collagen Products: 

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Collagen Peptides: As you may have learned in this and this post Collagen Peptides are tasteless and will dissolve in anything hot or cold. They can easily be added to your favorite egg dish, smoothies or baked goods, but my favorite way to use them is to upgrade my coffee. With a simple mix of collagen peptides, MCT oil and grass fed butter. They froth up into a sumptuous smoothie.

If you are a guy or gal that is always on-the-go they have individual packets and now have collagen creamers in coconut, vanilla and gingerbread! They are getting rave reviews and are made from organic coconut milk, collagen peptides, vanilla bean and organic spices like nutmeg, ginger and clove. You can keep them on your desk or bring them in your suitcase for an added health boost in your morning java! You can learn more about collagen creamers here.

Vital Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

 Bone Broth Collagen

Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The Bone Broth Collagen from Vital Proteins can help heal your gut lining and battle inflammation. When “bad bacteria” in your body gets overgrown your body will become unable to absorb the nutrients necessary for your body to work in tip-top condition.

I love adding Bone Broth Collagen to soups and casseroles like my chicken soup or butternut squash mac and cheese. If you keep the dishes savory the Bone Broth Collagen will remain flavorless and completely dissolve, but you will gain all of the gut healing benefits. You can even make a simple bone broth with vegetables, bones, herbs and Collagen Bone Broth and sip on it during the winter months. Just like you would a cup of tea.

Collagen Beauty Greens With Vital Proteins

Collagen Beauty Greens:

I am not going to lie. I let these Collagen Beauty Greens sit out on my counter for over a month before using them. I have added them to lemon water as a quick post-workout, but my favorite way to use these powdered greens is in a smoothie. The Collagen Beauty Greens are made of a blend of high quality Marine Collagen, combined with organic trees that offer a daily serving of vitamin A, hyaluronic acid and a punch of probiotics for gut health. Which BTW has been a total digestive game changer when added to a high fiber smoothie. If you want clearer and more strong hair skin and nails and increased gut health then I would definitely try these Collagen Beauty Greens.

Green Goddess Smoothie

2 Servings of greens like kale or spinach

1/2 Banana

1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 Carrot

1 Inch of fresh
ginger or turmeric root (If using turmeric add a dash of black pepper for absorption)

1 C of cashew milk

1 Scoop of Collagen Beauty Greens

1 Serving of whey or plant protein

Collagen is making waves in the health and fitness world for good reason! Over time you should begin to notice clearer skin, strong hair and nails and less joint pain. I love that collagen is chock full of protein and can satisfy you between meals or used as a great pre or post workout.

 

 

 

10 Tips for Portion Control and Your Favorite Foods

10 Tips on Portion Control

Portion control is something that every American most likely struggles with. Why? Because every restaurant you have ever walked into since you were a kid has probably served you extremely oversized portions. Overeating has become a normal part of the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet; however, even  the healthiest people run the risk of over eating. Maybe not on kale and spinach, buton healthy foods like nuts, nut butter, avocado and protein.

A couple of months ago Cory and I were in L.A. and we wandered down to a very un-chic yet deliciously indulgent establishment. This restaurant had a bull you could ride for fun and live music so we took a seat outside and let the good times roll. I ordered a summer chopped kale salad with grilled chicken and a side of truffle mac and cheese; obviously the angel/devil debate was a total wash! Cory ordered pasta for his main course and when it arrived I literally almost fell off my chair. A normal size portion is 1/2 of a cup of pasta. Which is the size of your fist and almost always a european portion, and enough to fit a small bowl. Cory literally had a PLATTER of ziti the size of 2 1/2 dinner plates with sausage and cheese sauce in front of him. I could not believe my eyes! It was literally enough pasta to feed a small army, and NO, he was not running a marathon the next day.

 I wanted to share a few measurements today to help you on your portion control journey and offer a few tips from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida.

 Natalie Castro, R.D., (pictured), chief Wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida offers her tips for portion control:

1. Use small plates: When serving yourself a meal or a snack, try using smaller plates.
2. Pick veggies: Load up on vegetables first. Reach for 1 cup or a large handful.
3. Measure protein: After the veggies, put protein on your plate. The amount of protein on your plate should equal the size of a deck of cards.

For more from Natalie, check out THIS POST !

Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian, (pictured) with Community Heath at Baptist Health South Florida:

1. Downsize creamy dishes: Reduce your portions of high-calorie foods like creamy dishes, pastas, thick salad dressings, pizza, cheesy items, fried foods and desserts. Research shows that consumers eat less high-calorie foods when served a smaller portion.
2. Ask for to-go boxes: If eating out, share a meal or ask for a to-go box at the time you get your entrée. Before eating, pack your to-go box. Remember:  Even half a restaurant entrée can still be too much for one meal.
3. Use kiddie plates: If eating at home, stock your cabinets with smaller dishware to encourage smaller portions.  When serving food, consider using children’s tableware or a salad plate instead of the entrée plate.

For more from Lucette, check out THIS POST !

Tips for Portion Control

Over the next couple of weeks I challenge you to focus on your portions and measure them at every meal. You will most likely be surprised at what an actual portion of your favorite foods look like.

Lean Protein: 4-6 Ounces for a meal. 2-3 For a snack.

Oatmeal: 1/2 Cup

Starchy Vegetables (Squash): 1/2 Cup

Grains: 1/2 Cup

Popcorn: 3 Cups

Bream: 1 Slice

Hummus: 2 Tbsp

Beans: 1/2 Cup

Non-Dairy Milk: 1 Cup

Dairy Milk: 3/4 Cup

Cottage Cheese: 1/2 Cup

Yogurt: 3/4 Cup

Whole Eggs: 2

Egg Whites: 4

Berries 1 C

Banana 1 Small

Cheese 1 ounce

Oil and Dressing 2 tsp

Avocado 1/4

For more tips on portion control make sure to head on over to Baptist Health South Florida.


***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet


I have a love/hate relationship with food and protein bars.  On the upside, protein bars are a convenient way to have an on-the-go snack that is packed with a satisfying amount of protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you full between meals. You can even find certain food protein bars that act as meal replacements; however, you need to be careful as many food bars moonlight as nutritious when in actuality the amount of added sugar and preservatives is comparable to a candy bar.

The ingredient list on any packaged food is actually more important than the actual nutrition label itself. You see, when consuming packaged items the ingredients are listed from highest quantities to lowest. For example, most granola bars that we find in the grocery store like: Nature’s Valley, Power Bars and even the beloved Quest Bars all have high amounts of sugar and preservatives. For example, a typical granola bar should have granola or oats listed first. If you are buying granola bars with high-fructose corn syrup in the first, second or third spot or there are tons of ingredients you cannot even pronounce JUST WALK AWAY. I repeat JUST WALK AWAY. There are tons of health bar options that I love and I am here to share my favorites. Most of these bars cost more than your average bar, but the quality ingredients are well worth it!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Primal Kitchen

Primal PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Chocolate Almond

Like all PRIMAL KITCHEN™ products, there are no artificial ingredients in these Dark Chocolate Almond Bars. Just: Almonds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Grass-Fed Collagen, Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Cassava Root), Water, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Bitter Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Strong and Kind

STRONG & KIND

Sweet KIND bars are yummy, but can be high in added sugar and preservatives. The newish Strong & Kind line pack a whopping 10g of protein and only 5g of sugar. These bars are chock full of healthy spices and are a yummy alternative to their sweeter counterparts. They get their protein from nuts and pea protein and are a good pre or post workout snack.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet SHANTI Bar

SHANTI BAR

Organic Energy Bars are 100% USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Paleo Certified, Paleo Vegan Certified, Kosher Certified, Gluten Free, RAW, Vegan and are made with only real ingredients like celtic sea salt, coconut, maca, goji berries, hemp, spirulina and more! Each bar houses at least 7g of plant-based protein and what you see is what you get.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet RX Bar

RxBar

The “Real Food Protein Bar”. RxBar is list the ingredients on the front of every bar. The last ingredients being: No B.S. Just the way I like it! These bars are quit chewy, but are great for a pre-workout and come in a variety of flavors! The blueberry is my fav!

Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

I love all of the Health Warrior Bars, but the ingredient list in the Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars are short, sweet and to the point!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet GO MACRO

GOMacro Bars

Are certified organic, NON GMO, Certified RAW, Vegan and gluten free. I believe GoMacro bars are great for pre-workout purposes because they do use brown rice syrup which is sugar substitute derived from brown rice. It will elevate blood sugar levels so eating one about 45 minute to one hour before your workout will give you the resources needed to fuel your next workout.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet LARA BARS

LÄRABar

LÄRABar is known as the the original fruit and nut bar. I absolutely love the apple and cherry pie flavors. They are great for curbing a sweet tooth and are made simply of dates, fruit and nuts.

 

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Perfect Bars

Perfect Bar

Perfect Bar is has the best name because in my opinion this bar is literally PERFECT! I am addicted to the Peanut Butter and limited release Pumpkin Pie bars. They have a blend of 20 expertly hidden superfoods and complex carbohydrates that will fuel even the most intense workouts. Peanut Butter Perfect Bars pack a whopping 17g of protein are are a great way to recover and restore glycogen burned during a grueling workout. You can find a variety pack of 12 bars at Costco for $19.99.

If there is a bar you love, but is not listed here send me note in the comments below!

 

Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

You may have been hearing all about collagen lately from TV to magazines to your favorite blogs. I started using collagen protein peptides about a year ago when to “upgrade” my coffee with coconut oil, butter and collagen. I have kicked the butter to the curb a little while ago as I do not follow a strict Ketosis diet; however; Vital Proteins collagen peptides and powders are  here to stay. In my coffee I combine collagen peptides, coconut milk creamer, MCT oil and cinnamon into my Nutribullet to whip  up into a protein packed, gut-healing energy drink to start every day.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. Vital proteins collagen peptides are flavorless, odorless, can be used in cooking, baking and can be dissolved in cold or hot temperatures. Throughout the next few months I will show you you how I incorporate the peptides into everything from soups to donuts (Yes, donuts!) and like I said before…C-O-F-F-E-E!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

So what are the benefits?

 1-Collagen Peptides improve hair, skin, nails, joints, tendons and ligaments. If you are above the age of thirty the odds of you experiencing tendon, ligament or joint related pain is very high. I struggle with tendonitis and after using collagen peptides consistently my flair ups have been reduced dramatically.

2-It is bioavailable, which means it, is available for absorption into the body immediately.

3-As stated above Vital Protein collagen peptides actually dissolve in hot or cold liquids for use in almost any of your kitchen creations. Vital Proteins also offers collagen “beauty water”, bone brothwhey protein, beauty greens , marine collagen and on-the-go packs to make consistency convenient.

 Vital Proteins collagen peptides yield only 70 calories per serving and offer a whopping 18 grams of protein. Which is what I have been adding to my for a quick and easily post-workout pick-me-up.Over the next few months I will be sharing my favorite recipes using the collagen peptides, bone broth and marine collagen.

Flexible Meal Planning: My Week in Food

Strict meal plans work for some people and others like flexibility! I LOVE flexibility and a flexible meal planning is the only way find balance in my hectic life. I love to cook. I know what works for my body and I love offering my clients new recipes and ways to “un-diet”.  My goal through this blog and my health coaching is to help men and women create lifestyles that are abundant in nutrient dense foods like complex carbohydrates, whole grains, healthy fats and more greens than you could ever ask for! And YES, complex carbs and healthy fats have been clinically proven to aid in weight loss and a healthy well rounded diet. Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy; however, processed carbohydrates are.

 My style of coaching is a guided discovery approach to weight loss which is why I feel a flexible meal planning is a great way to stay on track while feeling completely in control of what you consume. The number on the scale should not be a major focus, but with a lifestyle overhaul and a focus on healthy eating, weight loss will simply be a bi-product of a healthier lifestyle! [HOW BOUT DAT?!]  When you feel good on the inside I guarantee you will glow on the outside.

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6 Ways to Get Your Man to Eat Healthy Without Him Knowing

My husband is an Ohio guy through and through. He loves meat and potatoes and has little to no concept of portion control. If you would have told me four years ago  last year that he would be eating quinoa, kale and black bean burgers I would have thought you were N-U-T-S. These days, he still likes to indulge, but he is  more dedicated to his health and wellness than ever before and I could not be more proud!

Today, I have six tips to help get your man living a healthier lifestyle…Without him really knowing it.

Pre-Make a Healthy Breakfast or Keep a Fruit Bowl Front and Center: I love making overnight oats or breakfast burritos that Cory can warm up or eat on-the-go. If he has healthy options available to him first thing in the morning he is more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Lighten Up his Favorites: Does he like fried buffalo wings? Yea mine too! Opt for lighter options that still have the same flair. For example: Grill a chicken breast, slather it in buffalo sauce and top it with diced celery, red onion and a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles.

Just Add Bacon: Think salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy and savory when you create a dish and your man will never be dissappointed!  If I am making a kale salad with avocado, mango, red, onion, quinoa and pumpkin seeds; a sprinkle of bacon takes this salad from good to great with the added salty crunch! If you tell your man it has bacon in it. I guarantee they will go back for more.

Send Him Articles Here and There: I could not get Cory to even think of quitting soda for the longest time. I would explain how bad it was for him and how diet soda was even worse for his body. He was addicted and I had to give up! That was until he read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the health hazards of soda. he quit cold turkey that day! Let’s face it. Some of the stuff we say is fluff, but if there is hard evidence from a publication he knows and loves. There is no more denying it!

Take Him to Your Favorite Local Healthy Spot: Miami Squeeze is a local dive juice and health food spot here in North Miami. I love going there during the week for a veggie wrap, grain bowl or a ginger shot. Cory used to come with me reluctantly and order the only unhealthy thing on the menu….a chicken or tuna melt. Now, he gets a large ginger shot and a vegetarian platter or Wrap Me Wrap (a mediterranean wrap). The waiter even knew his order yesterday before he said it! He now goes there right after the gym and is making healthier choices every day! (I am one proud wifey)

Positive Reinforcement: It may sound silly, but telling your man you appreciate them making an effort or that they look  “hot” when they drop a few lbs. really helps makes all the difference!  We feel good when they tell us we are beautiful; so why not place the shoe on the other foot?!

If you have any more tips to add make sure to write them below!