Coffee Scrub

This is a slight deviation from cooking, but it uses the same ingredients as most of my recipes! I tired this last night and it smelled like coffee brownie mix I love it! My skin looks awesome after using this scrub!  Make sure you use finely ground coffee or it may be too rough. I LOVE coconut oil, Its great for dry skin and dry hair, put some in your hair and leave it in for an hour, I started doing this once a week and my hair has never been healthier!

Most pricey cellulite treatments use caffeine to promote circulation, deep-cleanse pores and act as a diuretic by removing excess water from your dermis. This version uses the same simulators — but with ingredients usually reserved for your morning cup of coffee! Like the store-bought potions, this isn’t a scientifically vetted treatment. But the stimulating massage does help soften skin and could help smooth out fatty areas.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup finely ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs olive oil

Directions:

  1.  Mix all the ingredients. Massage into thighs, butt and other fatty areas for five minutes in a circular motion.
  2. Rinse when finished.
  3. Repeat three to five times per week.

 

Here are a few more at home beauty recipes!

http://www.expressnightout.com/2010/04/diy-natural-skin-care/

Chia Seeds

Chia-Seeds

If you haven’t gotten on the chia-seed train yet, then it’s not too late! The little black gems that look like poppy seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s. They have a crunchy texture when eaten dry but become gelatinous when soaked. I mix chia-seeds in with oatmeal, cereal or smoothies. They gel in soy and almond milk and make the smoothies extra thick, they don’t add too much texture or flavor, just lots of healthy benefits!

from FitSugar.com

My Detox Plan

Its the last couple days of the “Game On Diet” and I’m having a really hard time reaching my goal weight. Last week I tried a one day juice cleanse to drop a pound, which didn’t work.. So for the last four days I’ve been much more strict on my diet. I am still following the basic rules of the diet with 5 small meals, and I’m keeping the portions the same, except for slightly reduced protein and fat and slightly more green, raw veggies. The other rules of my diet include no more soy, dairy, eggs, gluten and the only meat I am eating is fish. Its hard, but not as bad as a lot of detox plans can be. So far the plan is definitely working! I was up 3 pounds from the cheat day and now I’m down 3 again, I just have 1 lb. to be on track for the week!

 

Here is an over view of detox foods and basically what I’ve been eating:

Fruits

  • fresh or frozen fruits

Vegetables

  • Vegetables thought to be particularly good detox foods include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets, and dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and swiss chard
  • sea vegetables, including kelp, nori sheets, wakame
  • avoid corn – it is acid-forming
  • note: some people are sensitive to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, and may wish to avoid them

Grains and Starches

  • quinoa
  • oats

Beans and Legumes

  • split yellow and green peas
  • lentils
  • adzuki beans

Nuts and Seeds

  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds

 

Oils

  • cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
  • almond oil

Beverages

  • almond milk
  • water
  • herbal teas
  • green tea
  • mineral or seltzer water – in limited amounts

Sweeteners

  • real maple syrup
  • raw honey

Condiments

  • basalmic vinegar
  • lemons and limes
  • fresh and dried herbs and spices

Animal Protein

  • wild, cold-water fish, such as Alaskan salmon

Daily Detox Do’s

  • Drink a minimum of 3 liters of water per day
  • Chew food well.

Foods to avoid during your detox

  • Red meat, chicken, turkey and any meat products like sausages, burgers, and pate
  • Milk, cheese, eggs, cream
  • Butter and margarine
  • Any food that contains wheat including bread, croissants, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pies, pastry, quiche, battered or breadcrumbed foods, etc
  • Crisps and savoury snacks including salted nuts
  • Chocolate, sweets, jam and sugar
  • Processed foods, ready meals, ready-made sauces and takeaways
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and tea
  • Sauces, pickles, shop bought salad dressing, mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Fizzy drinks and squashes, including diet versions
  • Meat except for fish

Juice

I am pretty far off from reaching my diet goal for this week, so I’m missing out on some meal points and having all veggie juices for the rest of the day! I’m also planning on a jog and maybe some yoga if I have the energy.. I’m pretty sore from working out hard all week and doing yoga almost every day for the past 10 days (I signed up for a 10 day trial at Club Stretch for Bikram Yoga)

Image

I NEEEED a juicer! Everyone my bridal shower is coming up end of March… the one Kyle and I registered for is only $400 from Bed Bath and Beyond…… I wouldn’t be able to use a juicer here in Dubai, luckily I have Cafe Baroque down the street they have affordable, organic veggie juices and they deliver fast and for free!

Even though I don’t have a juicer yet I want to try out Wheatgrass Powder and Spirulina powder, the powder seems much easier then the fresh ingredients to mix in to a juice from Cafe Baroque!

  • Wheatgrass powder – detoxifies blood, improves reproductive health, aids weight loss, improves skin & muscle tone, lowers cholesterol, etc.
  • Spirulina powder – anti ageing, great for eyes/vision, seriously great for immune systems, detoxifies blood, etc.

Tapping

I’ve been following Kris Carr’s blog for the past few months, she is a New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer thriver. Her blog and recipes keep me inspired to eat clean, healthy, organic meals and to drink green juice!

Kris Carr posted about stress reduction and physical healing techniques — Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or just Tapping) the other day on her blog and I thought I would give it a try. It looks so silly but saying affirming things to my self and relaxing a little bit can’t hurt!

My goal in the tapping exercise is to get a hold of my food cravings and eating problems. I would never do this in public but when I’m home alone and trying as hard as I can to not eat another spoon of peanut butter or that chocolate bar I hid away I think this might be a good way for me to slow down and think about what I’m doing to my body by over eating, mindless snacking, junk food etc. So instead of saying “this anxiety” like they do in the video, I repeat “this sugar craving” or “this eating problem” and I focus on the craving and how it makes me feel then try to let it go.

“Why is it called “Tapping”? Because with EFT you literally tap on acupressure points (your body’s meridian points) while saying simple affirmations and focusing on a particular negative emotion, trauma, addiction or event (the list of possibilities goes on and on). This powerful combination of ancient Chinese medicine, modern psychology and positive reprogramming is changing lives every day by helping people resolve and finally move past their greatest mental and physical blocks.” – Kris Carr

Check out the video, and remember it looks weird and feels pretty silly to be sitting in my living room tapping my face, but it might help!

Spicy Chili

chili

 

This quick and easy Spicy Chili recipe is the perfect winter time comfort food. Its super healthy and with a slice of avocado as garnish it makes a complete “Game On Diet” meal. Its packed with veggies, crabs (beans and tomato), protein(beef or chicken and soy beans) and fats (olive oil and avocado garnish)! It freezes well too, so make up a BIG batch and add in some extra veggies or beans if you have them lying around . The leftovers go great over half a baked sweet potato with some sour cream and cheese. 1 cup of this chili is around 200 calories so eat up and no need to feel guilty if you have a second, or third serving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 red chili peppers, diced, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast  OR  Lean beef
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cups of frozen sweet corn
  • 1 cup soy beans
  • 1 can (15oz) of chick peas, rinsed
  • 1 can (150z) of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (24oz) of tomato puree
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, cut small
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2-3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • I also added some left over taco seasoning which tasted great!!
  • garnish optional —chives, low fat cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream, cilantro, brown rice and a slice of avocado
  1. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic,  and red chili peppers in olive oil on medium heat until softened, 5-6 minutes
  2. Add chicken or beef and brown, until cooked through
  3. If you are using chicken remove and dice or shred and return to pot
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, vegies, tomato pure, broth, and spice
  5. Cover and simmer on med-low heat for 15-20 minutes until reduced
  6. Serve hot and garnish with as many toppings as you like — chives, low fat cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream, cilantro, brown rice or a slice of avocado

 

Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

ice cream sandwich I saw a recipe for Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches on Self.com under diet friendly treats. I didn’t have eggs, cookies or ice cream in my kitchen so I made up my own cookie recipe for a small batch of these yummy treats and I replaced the ice cream with Greek yogurt and protein powder. These cookies are packed with proteins, healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants from the dark chocolate! I’m not sure if I have the exact measurements for the ingredients but here is my estimate:

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop of all natural whey protein powder Mix these together and place in the freezer while you make the cookies.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup (or one BIG spoon full) of softened crunch, no sugar added peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flower
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 large table spoon of chia seeds
  • 2 table spoons of flax seed (to replace the egg)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of agave or maple syrup
  • 1 packet of stevia extract
  1. Heat up the peanut butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds, until its soft and easy to mix.
  2. Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Make in to 8-10 small balls and place on parchment paper, flatten them out so they are 1/2 – 1/4 inch in thickness.
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes, you want them to be firm!
  4. Once the cookies have cooled and the yogurt is firm but not frozen put a scoop on half the cookies, and top with a second cookie.
  5. Roll the edge of each cookie in finely chopped 85% dark chocolate.
  6. Freeze the ice cream sandwiches for an hour or two and enjoy!

 

Here is the original recipe from Self.com. It’s much easier if you have all the right stuff in your kitchen! Same directions starting with step number 4!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup light vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt), softened at room temperature
  • 24 vanilla wafer cookies (1 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 1 oz dark (or bittersweet) chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin

These Pumpkin Raisin Flax Muffins are packed with fiber and protein! The are a great on the go meal for the “Game On Diet”, two small muffins, half a piece of fruit and a few veggie sticks make up a complete “Game On” meal on the go!

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (add a little more if the mixture seems too wet)
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed *
  • 1 ½ tsp.  baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin pureé *
  • 1 large egg + 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts

Prep:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then slowly mix in the wet ingredients, don’t over stir. Add the raisins and walnuts last. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Cucumber and Feta Greek Yogurt Dip

Here’s a party dip I made for a girls night this week, it was a huge hit and is perfect for the diet!

dip

Cucumber and Feta Greek Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled low fat feta (but it tastes much better with full fat!)
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon or more of green onion seasoning
  • pinch of pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and blend (I use my Ninja which I am in love with!).
  2. Let chill for an hour or more before serving with lots of veggie sticks and wholewheat pita chips!

The First Step to Healthy Eating…

The first step to starting any healthy goals or diet is getting rid of everything that will distract you from healthy eating. I had to throw out the ice cream in the fridge, the chocolate bars I hid out of reach, all the white pasta and the snacks that were not part of  “Game On”. We are working so hard at being healthy this month, here is a view in the start of our healthy cooking and eating… our fridge! Packed with chopped veggies, organic, free range eggs and meat, whole wheat everything and so much water!

fridge