Sunday, May 27, 2012

Coconut Water Taste Test

I was walking through Whole Foods a week ago and noticed the abundance of coconut water products. I have recently become addicted to this tasty drink but usually just buy whatever is on sale and I don’t pay much attention to the price or quality. That is what inspired the coconut water taste test! Let me first tell you why you should become addicted to coconut water too! There are tons of benefits, especially for fitness freaks and athletes.

Facts about Coconut Water:
Has as much potassium as a banana
Zero cholesterol, Zero fat, Zero added sugars
In the tropics coconut water has been used intravienously to hydrate and has saved many lives in 3rd world countries
Fights aging
Raises your matabolism
Promotes weight loss
Fights diabetes
Treats kidney and urethral stones
Naturally rehydrates after intense exercise
Healthier than sports drinks
It’s delicious :)
Big question when I started my investigation, was “What’s the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?” Well here goes, mystery revealed:
Coconut Water: If you were to crack open a coconut and save the liquid that is inside of its hallow center- that is coconut water, in it’s purest form. This is the same liquid I am drinking for this taste test :)
Coconut Milk: This is made by taking the meaty part of a coconut “the white stuff” and applying tons of pressure and squeezing out the liquid from the coconut. The coconut milk that is used in many Asian dishes (the canned coconut milk) is strickly this milk I am refering to. It is high in fat and calories and has a very rich, milky taste. 
-Coconut milk that is trending as a substitue for cows milk for smoothies, and to top our cereals is made by taking the milk that is from the meaty part of the coconut, applying pressure, straining it and then boiling it with water. This process is why the coconut milk found in the dairy section of your grocery store is a healthy substitute for cows milk. This process of pressure, straining and boiling reduces the fat and calories that come in “pure” coconut milk.
O.N.E Coconut Water $1.89 11.2oz (least favorite, do not recomend)  
-0 fat, cholesterol, allergens, GMOs, added sugars, preservatives, artificial
-a little sour
-I could taste the sodium in it...not the greatest taste
-Tons of potassium 670mg, 60mg sodium,

Blue Monkey $2.19 17.6oz (On a tight budget) 
-All natural, no preservatives
-No added sugars
-Better than ONE
-Smoother taste
-Sweeter and less bitter
-76 cals, 40mg sodium, 290 mg potassium, (per serving- 2 servings per can)

Zico $1.99 11.2oz (Overall winner for price and taste!) 
-All natural 
-Best of the 3
-Lightest tasting
-smooth and the perfect amount of sweetness
-690mg potassium, 60 cals, 54mg sodium,

Harmless harvest $2.45 8oz (Winner for best taste!) 
-The least sweet of them all
-Raw coconut water- meaning its never heated
-most pure taste
-51 cals, 514mg potassium, 4mg sodium

C2O Pure Coconut Water $1.99 17.5oz (Most bang for you buck!) 
-least flavorful of them all
-very watery tasting
-would recomend if you do not like the sweetness or taste of coconut
-50 cals, 75mg sodium, 300mg potassium (per serving, 2 servings per can)

Well, there you have it! I really enjoyed trying all these different brands of coconut water and I hope it helps you discover which one is just right for you! So hit the gym and then give your body exactly what it needs- some delicious, hydration in the form of coconut water! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eating is More Than Just Food!

I'm so excited about this blog post. Something I have really focused on this week is mindful eating. Especially while being on my own and cooking for one I often find myself sitting in front of the computer slamming food, piling unmonitored amounts into my mouth as I drive from one commitment to another,or eating while standing in the kitchen talking to room mates not plating my meals or observing what I'm doing. I challenge you to a week of mindful eating. I think you will really appreciate what it does to your grocery bill, hunger, and overall meal satisfaction.

"Diata" is Greek for Diet. "Diata" means: a way and manner of living. Traditional cultures display a way of living and eating that is in harmony with nature and biological function,  missing in today's modern culture. Diet shouldn't have a negative connotation. A diet should be your lifestyle of concious eating.

Food is about pleasure, and community, and family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world and about expressing our identity. Eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology throughout history. Our whole self interacts with food and eating. Nutrition is not just about the food that you put in your mouth. That is the secondary food. Primary food is about relationships, career, education, home environment and so much more.

  • 91% typically watch TV when eating meals at home
  • 62% are sometimes or often too busy to sit down and eat
  • 35% eat lunch at their desk while working
  • 26% eat when driving
I relate to almost all of these mindless eating habits on a daily basis.

Mindufulness is the act of being aware and paying attention to the current moment. It enables a person to tune in to how they feel physically and emotionally at any moment, and that information can guide their response to a given situation.

Have you heard that it takes 20 minutes for your stomache to communicate to your brain that its full? Being mindful and eating at a slower pace will allow you to stay in tune with how you feel physically while eating.

When: Small frequent meals. 3 meals 2 snacks. Approximatley every 3-4 hours. This will keep you eating slowly because when you forget to eat or don't eat regularly you end up gorging your food. Eating frequently is a form of mindful eating.

How: Relax and enjoy your food. Eat mindfully, peacefully, and with friends and family! Studies show that eating a variety of colors during meals leaves you feeling more satisfied. Also, eating with friends slows you down because your more focused on the conversation than ending meal time and getting to the next commitment.  
Chew your food slow. Don't be distracted by a to-do list. Sit down at a table and eat with food carefully portioned on a plate so you know what your consuming and how much.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is DELISH. Ok, maybe not quite as good as PF Changs, but most definitely healthier! This meal is especially good for those of you who may be trying to cut down on carbs and increase your protein. Lean ground turkey and colorful veggies wrapped in green leafy goodness, cant get much better than that, right?

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps (Serves 4)
Adapted from here

-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup instant brown rice
-2 teaspoons sesame oil
-1 lb. lean ground turkey
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped
-1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
-2 tablespoons chicken broth
-2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-2 heads boston lettuce, leaves separated
-1/2 cup chopped basil
-1 large carrot, shredded
-1/2 cucumber, diced

  • Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey, cook, crumbling with spatula, until turkey is cooked through (about 6 minutes). Stir in cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  • To serve, spoon turkey mixture into leattuce leaves, top with basil, shredded carrot, and cucumbers.
*Sesame oil and hoisin sauce can be found in the "Asian" section in the grocery store.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Friendship Like None Other

The last 3 years of my life have been spent walking side by side with my best friend, Mekenzie! Our friendship has grown, blossomed and deepened over these years and it breaks my heart to see her move to Kansas. Life is full of changes- change is good. But change is hard. In these next moments I want to take a journey through the last 3 years of our friendship and thank her for all she has done for me and for being one of the most amazing best friends I have ever been blessed to have. 

Yep, I have never found someone who's weirdness is equally matched with mine until I met Mekenzie! Our silly moments together are some of my favorites! Every time we leave our house together we are singing a rap song or making weird bird noises as we pull out of the driveway just because we think we are funny! One of the first weekends we ever knew each other was for Tour de Fat, which is a wild bike parade through Fort Collins. Without hesitation we both put on the craziest outfits we could find and biked around the town together! For Halloween one year we dressed as old ladies and stayed in full character all night! We even won best costume at the party we went to! And thats just the beginning of our crazy dress up shananagins! 
Meet Gurtrude and Ethel
Western night at Kamp
The Wizard of Oz

Not only is she one of the funniest girls in the world, she is one of the most caring, kind hearted, godly woman I know. She is the first to ask me tough, life questions and the last to speak when my heart spills. She is the best listener. Some of my favorite times spent with her are in the mornings when we wake up and make a big breakfast, the perfect cup of coffee and then sit on the couch for hours, all snuggled up in blankets talking about life and reading “Shauna’s.” (Shauna Niquest is an amazing Christian writer!) I will miss these moments most. 
She is my go to fashion guru and if I ever have a hot date or an important interview she is the girl I turn to. I remember one time specifically, when I got asked on a date and she took me shopping and accessorized me to the 9’s. I felt so confident that night- all thanks to my fashionista best friend. 
Running the Denver Rock 'n Roll Half
I have enjoyed learning how to cook along side her as we experiment with different Pinterest recipes. Over the last year we have made more protein bars then an entire army could eat! We’ve been know to dominate a entire pan in one sitting! One of our favorite things to do is go on runs together and then make the most delicious, healthy meal possible. I will miss my co-chef.
Some of the things I will miss most about her....
-She is always up for spontaneous fun!
-5 a.m. workouts! 
-Sharing a room
-Sharing her clothes
-Sharing stories
-Sharing everything! 
-Long talks and lots of laughs
-Dancing like crazy in the kitchen
-Consuming endless amounts of coffee
-Sneaking yogurt covered pretzels from Whole Foods bins ;)
-Running Races

I love you so much, Kenz! I will miss you more than you know! This next season of life is going to be such a great adventure for you and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses your gifts. You are an amazing woman and have been so blessed by your friendship! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Detoxing is something I am super passionate about. A lot of people detox to lose weight which is awesome, but its not just about losing a couple of extra pounds. Detoxing is super beneficial to your health. I have a small soap box on the topic of detoxing so if you would like to participate in a detox I have a lot of really awesome resources, recipes, food plans, medical detox kit ideas, and more to share.

Toxicity is a MAJOR problem:

Over the course of a lifetime, we will be exposed to thousands of foreign compounds that can enter our bodies through the food we eat, the air we breath, and directly through our skin. To make matters worse, many of use have substituted healthy meals with a poor diet that lacks nutritional value to fuel the body's detoxifying capacity. All of these factors can contribute to an accumulation of toxins.

Where do toxins come from?

  • More than 4 million distinct chemical compounds have been formulated over the last half decade.
  • At least one quarter million new chemical formulations are produced every year.
  • More than 400 chemicals have been found in human tissues and fluids-- many of these are known carcinogens.
  • On average, 500 different chemicals can be found in American homes.
  • More than 3,000 chemicals can be legally added to our foods.
  • Our drinking water contains more than 700 chemicals.
  • In the cosmetic and perfume industries alone, more than 800 neurotoxic compounds have been used. 
Its hard to believe we are putting chemicals and toxins in our system through things like cheap lotion. 

Detoxification of stored toxins involves 3 stages

Liver Function Phase I:
- Fat-soluable toxins are transformed into intermediate compounds which be more reactive, but bind more easily to non-toxic, water-soluable molecules in phase II.

Liver Function Phase II:
- Formation between the reactive intermediates and water-soluable molecules make the entire compound harmless and ready for excretion out of the body
-without enough supportive phase II substances, the reactive intermediates can attack healthy tissues and may cause damage

- Neutralizes toxins, now made water-soluable, are removed from the body in urine via the kidneys or bile through the intestines.

Healthy Tuna Melt

I've got a delicious recipe today! This one is for those of you who love a good tuna melt, but could stand to do without all the added mayo and fat nastiness. I found this recipe on pinterest (what else is new?) and adapted it to my liking!

frametastic picture

Healthy Tuna Melt
adapted from here

  • 2 large bell peppers (the original recipe called for tomatoes, which I would have used, if I liked tomatoes)
  • 2 6 oz. cans of Tuna in water
  • 1/4 cup. Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper (I just chopped up the tops of the peppers I used)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 slices of cheese (I used Colby Jack)
Preheat oven to 350.
Slice off the tops of your peppers, use the tops to chop into tuna mixtures.
In a bowl, mix together tuna, yogurt, basil, red onion, bell pepper, and S&P.
Place peppers in a small loaf pan or 9x13. Bake by themselves for ~5 minutes to soften.
Remove peppers from oven, stuff with tuna mixture. Use fork to pack tightly. Place cheese slices on top.
Put back in oven, bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese becomes bubbly & melty.

And there you have it! A super easy & delicious lunch or dinner meal.