Monday, March 12, 2012

LOVIN' IT :: Almond Milk

Milk is really not all that bad for you to be completely honest, but I was looking for a healthier alternative because i actually really love WHOLE or 2% Milk and that has more fat than Skim Milk -- which i honestly HATE. LOL I love Soy Milk because it's much sweeter and just tastes better with a lot of the "healthier" cereal on the market these days. Soy Milk can unfortunately pack some unwanted calories, but it's still great for you. The flavored ones are the ones with more calories and unfortunately i happen to love both Vanilla and Chocolate flavored Soy Milk. I'm at a loss at this point if you can't tell, LOL.

If you flip back to my last grocery shopping trip, i picked up some Light Silk Vanilla Soy Milk. Which was GREAT, i really loved it, it was 90cal per serving and it was more versatile than i expected. Then i considered trying some Vegan things in my diet, just to get my feet wet. A friend of mine recommended Almond Milk. I always heard about it, but i guess i was perfectly happy with my Vanilla Soy Milk, even if it was LIGHT and not the regular one.

I decided to give it a go -- i had a coupon for it so it was cheaper than usual and i find it the cheapest at Target. If you know anything about me, you know that Target is like, one of my most favorite stores EVER. ;) lol.

I couldn't venture out completely, haha. I chose Silk and Vanilla flavor since that's what i'm used to, LOL! I suppose it's not a huge change, but still! ;) Almond anything is good for you -- it's heart healthy, lowers cholesterol (which is more for my Mom, not me, so that's another reason i bought it). Comparing it to my Light Silk Vanilla Soy Milk, it's much thicker and sweeter. I love them both, i can't pick which one i like more! They taste amazing with my Chai Tea though. Flavor-wise, i'd choose the Almond Milk, but they're both really great and are the same calorie count per serving, so you're really just basing your decision on which one you think tastes better? lol. I suppose it depends what you're using it for. I like the Soy Milk for cereal, but i like this Almond Milk business simply just to drink it, whether it be in Tea, Coffee or by itself.

I'd give it a go.. you may like it. :)

Stay Thick!
xoxo, Thick Chick

Friday, March 9, 2012

Give your pantry a HEALTHY MAKEOVER!

I found this article in AllYou and thought i'd share because I'm all about trading guilty pleasures for healthier alternatives. Some people take advantage of the "easy" foods out there because they're faster and easier, but what they're forgetting is that it's just all part of the lazy conspiracy America has going on with its consumers, LOL. Hopefully you guys find this info as helpful as I did. :)

"Give your pantry a HEALTHY MAKEOVER!"
AllYou Magazine
(not the complete article, just the important parts and vital info!)

LOSE THE ... Canned Albacore Tuna -- Instead, STOCK ... Canned Chunk Light Tuna

Both types of tuna are good sources of lean protein and work great in salads, sandwiches and casseroles. Chunk Light comes from smaller fish, giving it about a third of the amount of mercury. It's also cheaper!

LOSE THE ... Flavored Instant Oatmeal -- Instead, STOCK ... Quick-cooking Oats

Oatmeal packets, although convenient and fast, are more expensive and less versatile. You can use the oats for muffins, cookies, fruit crisps, even meatloaf. You can also flavor them yourself with fresh fruits and honey.

LOSE THE ... Pre-packaged onion dip -- Instead, STOCK ... Jarred Salsa

They cost the same, but salsa has less calories per serving. We're talking 20 calories vs. 120 calories. There are also additives in packaged onion dip, whereas Salsa is much more fresh.

LOSE THE ... Bottled Salad Dressing -- Instead, STOCK ... Olive, Vinegar, Spices

It's quicker and more inexpensive to make your own vinaigrette and you have the option to flavor it as you wish with different spices. Bottled dressings often have preservatives and other "undesirable" ingredients.

LOSE THE ... Reduced-fat Peanut Butter -- Instead, STOCK ... Natural Peanut Butter

Reduced fat doesn't mean it's healthier. Taking fat out means the manufacturers replace it with additives, which usually means they're adding sugar. A serving of natural peanut butter has more fat, but it's heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, aka GOOD FAT! ;) Additives are basically empty calories, so they're useless. Plus, reduced-fat costs the same as natural. :)

LOSE THE ... Boxed-rice Side Dishes -- Instead, STOCK ... Brown Rice, Spices

Packaged rice makes one dish and are more expensive per box. Since Brown Rice can be bland and not flavorful for some people, it's super easy to flavor. Just throwing in some spices, fresh herbs and some fresh veggies can turn it into something packed with flavor, but still healthy for you. :)

LOSE THE ... Microwaved Popcorn -- Instead, STOCK ... Unpopped Popcorn Kernels

Microwave popcorn varies in calories and fat depending on the brand, but even the good ones contain palm oil, which is high in saturated fat. It's also more pricey.

LOSE THE ... Artificial Sweeteners -- Instead, STOCK .. Honey

Both are cheap, but honey has minerals, amino acids, vitamins and is free of any of the chemicals that are used to make artificial sweeteners. Honey is so strong that a little goes a long way, so it will probably last you longer also. It will also lower your cholesterol and improve your memory. ;) Hayyyy!

Stay Thick!
xoxo, Thick Chick

Thursday, March 1, 2012

T is for Training :)

Found this on my girl's tumblr and thought i'd share :)

"Tips for Training" :) via T-is-for-Training (via tumblr)

1. Catch the running bug. You’ll continue to burn fat after your jog: People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they’re not running, a Yale University School of Medicine study reports.

2. Crank it up early. Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite, according to a study from The College of New Jersey.

3 & 4. Go hard — and make it quick. Staying at 80 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes can amp your metabolism for 19 hours afterward, research published in Obesity notes. And doing a shorter workout at 75 percent of your max aerobic capacity will give you a greater metabolic boost than sweating longer at 50 percent, a Colorado State University reveals.

5 to 7. Lift dumbbells … slowly. More muscle equals mega metabolism boost. Strength training can help you trim major fat, research reveals — and doing super-slow (versus normal speed) reps increases strength by 50 percent.

Plus, using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines, explains Gregory Haff, Ph.D., an associate professor in the exercise physiology department at West Virginia University.

8. Speed up, slow down. Alternating bouts of high-intensity and low-intensity cardio has been shown to torch pounds.

9. Put on weight (literally). Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.

10. Download Rihanna, not Brahms. Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music, British scientists say.

11. Let kettlebells ring. Not only does working out with kettlebells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time.

12. Keep it up. As few as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or weight training helps keep you from regaining belly fat after losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

13. Add poles. Use Nordic poles while you walk, and you’ll burn 20 percent more calories, says research from The Cooper Institute in Dallas.

14 & 15. Lift first, nix the rest. Doing strength training before cardio can torch more fat than cardio alone. And if you do one move after another without pausing, “you’ll see more gains in strength and muscle mass,” says Dr. Pierre Manfroy, M.D., consultant for the book “100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism.”

16. Add pounds. Lift heavier weights for fewer reps to make your workout more intense — and burn more fat — Manfroy says.

17. Try aromatherapy. Exercisers who inhaled strawberry and buttered-popcorn scents torched more calories than those who sniffed neutral odors, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.

18. Box yourself in. Wii boxing knocks out nearly twice as many calories as some other games, like Wii golf.

19. Kick it. Playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring, Danish research reveals.

20. Stay in shape. Fit people have more fat-burning metabolites in their blood than couch potatoes do, scientists say.


22. Get more protein. Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.

23 & 24. Guzzle green tea — or coffee. Downing five 5-ounce cups of green tea a day boosts metabolism, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., author of “Fire Up Your Metabolism.” Two cups of coffee will also do the trick, one study shows.

25. Have an omelet. Eating two eggs for breakfast while dieting will help you trim more weight and body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories noshing on a bagel, scientists say.

26. Stay above 1,200 calories… ”The average person’s body goes into starvation mode if she eats fewer than 1,200 calories a day,” says Eric Berg, author of “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning.” “That’s stress, and stress creates more belly fat.”

27. … and cut calories gradually. If you diet, don’t trim more than 250 calories a day. Cutting calories too quickly slows your metabolism down, Dr. Manfroy says.

28 to 33. Munch on these. Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat.

34. Fuel up right. Eating a low-glycemic-index breakfast (such as muesli and peaches) will help you burn more fat during a subsequent workout than eating a high-glycemic-index meal (like waffles), researchers from the University of Nottingham reveal.

35. Think before you drink. Sipping as few as 90 calories’ worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73 percent, one study shows.

36. Graze. Women who go without eating for long periods are more likely to have higher body-fat percentages than women who nosh more regularly, one study notes.

37. Dine like a Greek. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat (think olive oil, avocados) can help trim both weight and fat, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows.

38. Stop gorging. Your body can only handle so much food at a time, so stick to 600 calories or less per meal to maximize fat-burning, says Leslie Cooper, co-author of “Flip the Switch: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day.”

39. Skip juice. Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it’ll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism, Dr. Manfroy explains.


41 & 42. Get C and D. Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.

43 & 44. Walk more (in denim). Researchers found that fitness-friendly offices (think treadmill desks, mobile headsets) helped people trim pounds and fat, as did wearing jeans to work, since dressing casual encourages you to move more. Wear comfy clothes when you can, pace while on the phone, and stand while chatting with co-workers.

45. Add fish oil (And work out). Taking 6 grams of fish oil per day and hitting the gym three times a week can help nix body fat, an Australian study reveals.

46. Work the day shift. Keeping nontraditional hours lowers levels of hormones that trigger satiety, increases blood glucose and insulin levels, and raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can drive you to eat more), scientists say.

47. Nix the boob tube. Cut your TV time in half, and you’ll burn more calories each day, research from the University of Vermont suggests.

48. Go mental. People who visualized themselves training a specific muscle boosted the strength in that muscle group, researchers found.

49. Eat a smaller dinner. Your body may not digest food — and burn fat — as efficiently if you down a huge meal right before bedtime, especially because your metabolism is slower while you sleep, Dr. Manfroy says.

50. Jump-start your morning. Wake up your metabolism — and get fat-burning started — by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake, Cooper suggests.

51. Get your snooze on. Sleep for a solid 81D 2 hours instead of 51D 2, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and you’ll lose more fat. Sweet dreams!

Stay Thick!
xoxo, Thick Chick

Update! :)

Damn, it's been a minute!

Things have been hectic, but I promise i'm back up and running! Last post was over a month ago -- been SO caught up doing anything and everything lately! I haven't fallen off the grid just yet, i promise there's so much coming up!

I'm still hittin the gym at least 3x a week at minimum and when i can't make it, i make a grand effort to at least work out at home, even if it's 20 minutes with Jillian Michaels. The weather hasn't been the greatest in my area, so sometimes driving 15-20min to the gym is like a journey in the worst weather ever. Thank god for Home Workout DVDs. :)

Couple things coming up:
- 2 month progression w/ the weight loss and "diet"
- Jillian Michaels 30-day-shred REVIEW
- "T is for Training" :)
- Current workout(s) and/or eating habits

Serious question: I already have a YouTube beauty channel .. would you like me to merge it with some workout/fitness videos as well or would you prefer a whole separate channel for it? Let me know your thoughts. :)

 Stay Thick!
xoxo, Thick Chick