3 Summer Salad Recipes that will help you keep the weight off

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With swimsuit season quickly approaching, you need to maintain your goal weight throughout the warmer months. That means no cakes, cookies, or fried foods. What is a hungry girl to do? Fear not, these 3 delicious summer salad recipes will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth all at the same time, without damaging your waistline. Pair with a tall glass of iced lemon water and you’ve got a healthy meal that won’t drag you down.

Note: Salads are single serving. For more servings, increase portion sizes of each ingredient depending on how many people are being served.

1.  Strawberry Spinach Honey-Walnut Salad

  • 1 ½ cup washed baby spinach leaves
  • 3 large strawberries, sliced
  • Small handful walnuts
  • ¼ medium red onion, sliced
  • Small handful cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all vegetables together in a bowl. In a small skillet or sauce pan, warm the honey, vinegar and celery seed. Mix well and add walnuts, heating until just simmering. Pour warm dressing over salad and allow spinach to wilt a little. Enjoy!

2. Basil-Lime Shrimp Salad

  • 6 large or jumbo pre-cooked and chilled cocktail shrimp
  •  ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ½ yellow or orange sweet bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Small handful fresh basil, divided 
  • 1 ½ cups Spring Mix salad greens
  • 1 large lime, wedged
  • 4 tablespoons light olive or grape seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss salad greens, onion and peppers in a bowl. Top with chilled shrimp. In a small sauce pan, pour 1 tablespoon oil and ½ of the basil. Sweat over medium heat until basil is wilted. Place in another small bowl and whisk in remaining oil, sugar, and lime juice from ¾ of the lime. Chill 15 minutes. Pour over salad and salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining fresh basil and serve with 1-2 remaining lime wedges.

3. Cantaloupe Mint-Prosciutto Salad

  • ½ small to medium cantaloupe
  • 4 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 ½ cups Spring Mix salad greens
  • Small handful mint, divided
  • 4 tablespoons light olive or grape seed oil
  • 3 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Toss cantaloupe, red onion, and salad greens together in a bowl. In a small skillet or sauce pan, combine 1 tablespoon oil and chopped prosciutto. Sautee prosciutto until browned, add mint and sweat briefly until wilted. Whisk in remaining oil, sugar, and vinegar. Pour over salad and serve immediately.

Try any one of these delicious salad recipes this summer and you’ll never feel like you’re depriving yourself while managing your waistline!

Committed to your success,

Stacy Papakostas

NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women
www.NYCAdventureBootCamp.com

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The Top 6 Healthy Foods to Have Everyday

Many people believe that eating healthy foods is tied to weight loss or special conditions like pregnancy and illness. However, there are many foods that can and should be consumed daily for optimal health and wellness. They are nutrient-dense, pretty affordable, and can be easily incorporated into many recipes. The six of these healthy foods are listed below.

1. Apples

How many times have you heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?  This fruit has been known to lower high blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body. Apples also contain antioxidants and immune system-boosting vitamin C. The fiber found in apples is an excellent source for regularity of the digestive tract and the pectin in apples breaks down gall stones allowing them to be passed with minimal discomfort. One of the top varieties is the Red Delicious and is best when eaten fresh. To avoid ingesting the heavy pesticides, buy organic whenever possible.

2. Bananas

In addition to being an excellent source of potassium, bananas have a wide variety of health benefits that include: balancing blood pressure, improving heart health, soothing ulcers, improving waste elimination, protecting eyesight, building stronger bones and improving kidney health. Bananas tend filling and satisfying. As an ice cream substitute, peel, slice, and freeze 2 medium bananas. Remove from the freezer and either blend or run through a food processor until smooth.

3. Lemons

Widely known for its vitamin C content, lemons neutralize free radicals which can cause tissue inflammation and cancer. They are wonderful examples of healthy foods that can be consumed daily. Upon rising each morning, squeeze the juice of one lemon into 8-16 ounces of water and drink. In addition to boosting the immune system, the citric acid rids the intestinal tract of harmful parasites.

4. Carrots

Carrots are healthy foods that contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K and other minerals such as potassium, folate, and manganese. Health benefits from eating carrots include improved eyesight, reduced acne breakouts, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. (Hester, 2007). Carrot ginger soup is one great way to enjoy all of these benefits. Peel and slice 4 large carrots, add 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger,  ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Boil until just tender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

5. Spinach

Spinach contains vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, folate, potassium, phosphate, selenium, and iron. Spinach is high in antioxidants, has powerful cancer-fighting agents, has anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for bone health. Eat it fresh in salads, lightly sauteed, or even juice it along with carrots, apples, lemon, and ginger to cleanse your system and boost your energy levels.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain that contains fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats than any other grains and meats. It is gluten-free and has high concentrations of iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Quinoa is high in antioxidants and heart-healthy. Use quinoa as a side dish or as a base for meatless dishes like bean burgers.

These six foods can be used in a variety of recipes and can also be enjoyed as side dishes or snacks. By consuming a variety of these nutrient-dense, healthy foods, the body will be able to heal itself and move quickly along the path to vibrant health.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Why Drinking Water Is Important

You hear it all the time and yet so few of us actually practice it on a daily basis. Drinking water is fundamentally important to your body and to your health. Though we may recognize this in theory for some reason many of us don’t practice it. Sure you need to get used to drinking a great deal of water in a day, but it truly does a body good.

Drinking water is fundamentally important but becomes even more critical during the hot summer months and around the time of day that you workout. You have a lot taken out of the body and so you must replace it, and truthfully water is the very best way to do so. If you aren’t in the habit of drinking water throughout the day then it’s time to get focused. This may be one of the best things that you do for your health and therefore is a lifesaver in many different ways.

It Helps You to Avoid Dehydration

The single most important reason to drink water is to avoid dehydration. Most of us don’t realize just how devastating dehydration can be to a body and therefore we perhaps underestimate this problem overall. Water can help to keep the organs functioning properly and ensure that dehydration never happens to you. This becomes even more important when it’s hot outside as the heat can take away from your body and its ability to function normally.

When you drink water you can very easily replace what you may lose due to sweating in the hot summer months. This is also key during the times of a workout when you are sweating and losing a lot during the times when you challenge your body. When you get dehydrated it can be mild at first but left untreated may land you in the hospital. Therefore the more water you drink the less likely you are to get dehydrated.

It Keeps You Replenished and Ensures The Body Doesn’t React Unfavorably

In cases of extreme dehydration you may find that the organs shut down. The body can’t operate properly if it is not kept hydrated and healthy. Therefore you need to turn to water to ensure that this is not a healthy problem that can have more dire long term consequences. Though these may be extreme cases dehydration in any form is not something that you want to experience.

The body can overcompensate if you don’t drink enough water. This shows up when you get bloated and swollen from the heat. If you are drinking enough water then this will not likely happen. If however you are not giving your body the amount of water that it needs it will respond unfavorably and swelling is only the start of the real problem. If you want to ensure that your body continues to operate properly and that you don’t have any unsavory consequences then water is your best friend.

It Cleanses and Contributes to Energy and Weight Loss

What many people don’t realize about water is that it helps the body to get rid of the toxins and other substances that it doesn’t need. It helps to transport out the items that are bad for your body and therefore helps to contribute to a great natural cleanse. This may not be felt readily but over time you can see some very positive results when you turn to water for natural cleansing.

You will also find that drinking water before and after meals helps you to feel full faster. This in turn lends way to more effective and longer term weight loss. It also helps to give you more energy as water is helping you to avoid dehydration. You can power through a day and just have more clarity as you move about your daily activities. So while you may not be prepared for how powerful water can be in your life, it’s time to get focused and start making this a regular fixture in your day.

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach for summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Working Out With An Injury

You may think that getting an injury immediately puts you out for the count. Though there are some injuries that can be debilitating and cause you to warm the bench. The reality is that some injuries are serious and others work conveniently as excuses for people not to work out. When you get injured, no matter what the circumstance, the most important thing to ask is what you can do in terms of physical activity.

Yes you do want to seek out medical attention and ask the right questions. Beyond that though there is almost always a sufficient alternative for the type of exercise that you were doing before. Where there’s a will there’s a way and you must find the inner strength to push on and find something that keeps you strong. There’s always a way to revise your workout regimen and to focus on what sorts of activities you can partake in to keep up your fitness. Let’s take a look at what you can do to work out even with an injury.

Always Seek Medical Attention First

No matter what the nature of the injury, how you got it, or how extensive it may or may not be, it’s always smart to seek out medical attention first and foremost. You want to be absolutely certain that the damage is nothing further and that you have no set limitations put on you. Though you may not always like what they have to say, you do want to talk to a doctor first.

Get an x-ray if necessary or at the very least get it examined. Be sure that you tell the doctor what happened and explain what your current workout regimen is. They need to know what level of activity that you were working at and therefore help you to decide what is best for you moving forward. There is almost always some sort of activity that you can take on with an injury, but you just need to get cleared for it and get a bit of consultation first.

Find a Good Alternative to Stay Active

If you have a lower body injury then you may find stretching exercises that work well. If you hurt your shoulder then you may want to concentrate on exercises for the lower body. No matter what type of injury that you sustained, there is sure to be some sort of alternative. You may need to get creative and you may need to push yourself a bit, but that’s what dedication is all about.

You want to try to participate in some sort of activity that continues to challenge you. It’s quite common to gain weight and lose muscle when you suffer from an injury. Though you do have to be careful, you don’t have to give up altogether! It’s crucial to find the right type of exercise but to focus on staying safe to not further your injury. This is when you have to really keep yourself motivated and ensure that you stay on track.

At NYC Adventure Boot Camp we encourage that you focus on stretching as the major way of staying physical. This is not the time to try to run a marathon, though we do want you to stay active we do not want you to push yourself to the point of sustaining another injury or making the current one worse.

Use Common Sense But Don’t Give Up

You don’t want to risk reinjuring yourself or even injuring something else in the process. Yes you do need to use common sense and avoid putting too much pressure on the problem area. However there is a big difference between using common sense and giving up on your fitness regimen altogether. Don’t let this be an excuse or a crutch for you!

If you are dedicated and want to continue to see results then you just need to shift your focus in the short term. This isn’t always easy but it can ensure that you stay with the program and don’t skip a beat. This is easier said than done but nearly every athlete or dedicated fitness individual has had to work through an injury. Be smart, use common sense, but never let the injury rule you or force you to lose your momentum. This too shall pass and your workout regimen can therefore stay intact!

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or fitness boxing classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Stacy will also customize a meal plan for you to get you at your healthiest. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Easy & Smart Ways To Lose Weight This Summer!

Eat more, weigh less
Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food.  To be able to cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry, you need to replace some higher calorie foods with foods that are lower in calories and fill you up.  These type of food contain a lot of water and are high in fiber.

Choose the Right Beverages
Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on the food they eat, but another way to cut calories is to change what you drink.  You may find that you are consuming quite a lot of calories just in the beverages you have each day (sweet tea, energy drinks, soda and juice)

Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls
You may find that your portion sizes are leading you to eat more calories than you really need.  Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when faced with larger portions.  This can mean excessive calorie intake, especially when eating high-calorie foods.  Take note of the serving size on product levels and be sure to weigh and measure your food.  In general, if the portion you put on your plate is larger than your fist, it’s too much. Don’t forget that your stomach is actually quite small and sensitive!

Using Fruits and Vegetables to help manage your weight
Use low calorie fruits and vegetables to substitute for high-calorie snacks. If your favorite fruit is out of season, try frozen fruits instead. Whatever you do, avoid canned fruits as they are usually full of excess sugar and syrup.  Also, be wary of dried fruits, since those too may be high in calories and mixed with yogurt bites, raisins and candy.  Always read the labels to determine the number of calories and carbs.

Try something new, like grilled or steamed vegetables with a herb that you haven’t tried before like rosemary or thyme or basil.  You can sauté vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray.  Or try frozen or canned vegetable for a quick side dish.  Try to avoid canned or frozen vegetables with a lot of salt or cream sauces.  Maybe try a new vegetable dish each week for variety.

Meats
If your favorite dish uses fried or breaded fish or chicken, change it to a healthier variation using by baking or grilling the meat.  Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats.  Look around for recipes with fewer calories—there are tons of them online!

Tips for comfort foods
Consume them less often.  If you normally eat heavy foods every day, cut back to once a week or once a month.  You will be cutting your calories because you are not having the high-calorie dishes as often.

Eat smaller amounts.  If your favorite higher calorie food is an afternoon chocolate bar, buy a smaller bar or eat only half it.  Be careful!!  This technique works well for some people, but others may find it is too tempting to have their favorite food available, even in smaller amounts.

Try a lower-calorie version.  Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare it differently.  For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter and full-fat cheese, try preparing it it with non-fat milk, less butter (or use margarine), light cream cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes.  Just remember not to increase your portion size!

 

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all women boot camp or fitness boxing classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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