Category Archives: Food

Delicious Smoothie Recipes You Should Try Right Now

Filed under: Food, Fun Ideas, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger BiographySome smoothies are a tasty and healthy way to start your morning, lost some weight, or enjoy after a good workout, but not all smoothies are blended equally. Chances are you are better off making your own at home with fresh ingredients, rather than going out to buy one. Commercial smoothies may have extra sweeteners or be too large of a serving size (which means drinking one might mean you are consuming way too much sugar, way too quickly). Making your own smoothies will likely reap the benefits intended of a smoothie.

Here are a few recipes for you to try. Just gather the ingredients and mix them in a blender.

1. Mango Pina Colada

Do you like drinking Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain? Then, this may be the smoothie for you. This is a non-alcoholic paradise-sipping smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 mango (peeled, seeded, cubed)
  • 1 ¼ cups ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of coconut milk

Find the full recipe here.

2. Orange Dream Creamsicle

This one is great for a sunny day at the beach or cooling down after a workout. This low calorie smoothie explodes with citrus flavor with a sweet touch of vanilla.

Ingredients:

  • 1 navel orange (peeled)
  • ¼ fat-free Half-and-Half or fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes

Full recipe available here.

3. Peanut Butter-Apple

There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown in the world that you can choose from! And even though peanut butter will never go with apples as deliciously as it does with jelly, this combination is a strong second.

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple (peeled, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 1 ½ cups of soy milk
  • 1 ½ cups ice
  • 1 ½ cups honey

Read the full recipe here.

Blend well and enjoy! Share your favorite smoothies in a comment below!

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5 Easy To Make Valentine’s Day Desserts

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Food, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Amidst the romance, celebratory pink and purple hearts, and love stuff – the best part of Valentine’s Day is probably the desserts. Rich chocolate cakes drizzled with yummy sauces, crunchy cookies with colorful frosting, and lots and lots of sprinkles! If you’re planning on a sweet (literally) Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of super easy desserts that can be quickly pulled together if you’re short on time this coming Love Day.

Check out these mouth-watering treats for some baking inspiration:

1. Rice Krispies Hearts

The age-old favorite hasn’t lost its appeal! Combine butter, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies together to make the typical Rice Krispies Treat. For different colored treats, have a separate bowl for each color to mix ingredients in. You can then use your favorite cookie cutters (I suggest hearts or letters to spell out a sweet message) to add some flair. Give them to your special someone, your best friends, or enjoy them yourself!

2. Muddy Buddies

Who doesn’t love this guilty pleasure?! It might be directed more towards the kids, but who are we kidding: this treat knows no age limit. Combine Chex rice cereal, confectioner sugar, shortening, sprinkles, and pink candies to make yet another tasty treat made of cereal.

3. Classic Cherry Bread

If you like Maraschino cherries as much as I do, you’ll love this recipe for cherry bread. Combine things you probably already have in your kitchen (sugar, flour, salt, eggs, etc.) along with one 10-oz. jar of maraschino cherries. Bake and then drizzle it with a cream cheese icing. I think I know what I’ll be making for Valentine’s Day!

4. White Chocolate Popcorn

If you “heart” popcorn more than any other snack, this recipe is for you. Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave) and then drizzle it over your popped popcorn. Use a spoon to toss it and then spread it out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, your favorite sprinkles (hopefully pink and red), and feel free to add some conversation hearts for cuteness! Once it’s all cooled, start snacking!

5. Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies

We all remember Fruit Roll-Ups as the most coveted snack at the lunch table when we were kids. Some of our parents were nice and stuck one in there for our mid-day treat, while others had to beg and plead with their parents to buy them. Turns out, they’re perfect material for making fortune cookies. Buy a box of fruit roll-ups (one roll-up equals one cookie), use a circle cookie cutter, and fold! Don’t forget to tuck in sweet “fortune” messages! Super easy, and super sweet!

Whatever you make, you can’t go overboard with red and pink colors, a smooth frosting, or anything classic. Other hits include chocolate-covered strawberries, pink and white M&M cookies, or the infamous heart cake topped with your favorite frosting.

Do you have a favorite dessert you’ll be making for Valentine’s Day? Share it with us in the comments below!

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Fit-Feasting On Thanksgiving

Filed under: Food, Health & Fitness, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the year is known as the time that ruins your diet. With the holidays, great meals, and colder weather – everyone seems to gain weight. Usually we don’t worry about gaining the weight until bikini body season. For the past couple of years, I’ve learned some tricks to staying as healthy as I can during Thanksgiving and this time of year so that afterwards I don’t feel sluggish and gross.

Here are some suggestions to how to stay healthy during Thanksgiving:

1. Family Fitness Activity

If you’re spending the holiday with family, like most of us do, the easiest way to get a “workout” in is to involve the whole family. For two years, my family and I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5K races the morning of Thanksgiving. If your town doesn’t offer something like that, then do a flag football or volleyball competition. Incorporate some sort of competition or game that gets the family going so you can burn some extra calories and make some holiday memories while doing it!

2. Cook Some Of The Meal

Talk to whoever is “in charge” of Thanksgiving and see what you can make yourself for the meal. I’ve already talked to my grandma about making a pie, and some side dishes this year. This puts you in control of the recipe, so you can use healthier options when cooking!

3. Smaller Plate Trick

So you don’t offend the cook, talk to them beforehand, but instead of using a big plate like everyone else, use a smaller plate. That way you will have a full plate, and smaller portions, so you trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a lot. This will help you to prevent all of that gluttonous overeating.

4. Commercial Break

My family watches football on Thanksgiving as a tradition. When there is a commercial break, I use it as an opportunity to get away from the TV and walk around. If you’re in a comfortable family setting, do jumping jacks or push-ups between commercials to get your blood flowing!

5. Don’t Discourage Yourself

Don’t be upset because you ate mash potatoes, or if you ate one too many cookies. IT HAPPENS! If you eat too many cookies, walk around the house and burn some extra calories. Don’t let this celebration with your family turn into you freaking out about calories all day.

Remember to enjoy yourself, and your family’s company. Don’t stress about calories all day, but be try to do some fit-feasting this Thanksgiving to help!

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Healthy Dorm Room Snacks

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography
Nobody wants to fall victim to the freshman fifteen, or whatever they call it when you still gain weight as a senior… Ugh. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already learned, the older you get, the harder it is to keep a fit figure. Luckily, there are a few snacks that are not only tasty, but have a much better nutritional value than the chips in the vending machine down the hall.

Here are a few healthy dorm room snack ideas to satisfy the cravings and keep fit:

1. Meat & Cheeses

I’ve been keeping turkey jerky and light cheeses around to eat for a snack. The turkey gives me protein and keeps me full, and the cheese gives me a dose of calcium. Try beef sticks or regular jerky if you aren’t a turkey fan.

2. Popcorn

This is probably my favorite snack, which is evident when you open my pantry. I buy almost all of the flavors of Smart Pop, and I always have a box of microwave popcorn on hand. Popcorn has a great amount of fiber for you, and it’s very low in calories and fat. As long as you don’t eat movie theater butter popcorn, it is a very healthy and tasty alternative to chips.

3. Yogurt

I used to say I didn’t like yogurt, but that’s before I even tried it. Seriously, how can you know if you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it before? Now, I treat yogurt like it is dessert. I always get the pie flavors because it satisfies my sweet tooth without taking a big hit to my daily caloric intake. There are several types of yogurt, and many flavors.Test them all out until you find something that will alleviate your sweet tooth!

4. Fruit

This is one of the more obvious options, but it’s so important to learn early on how vital fruit is in our diet. A lot of weight loss systems, such as weight watchers, don’t even require you to log when you eat fruit because of all of the benefits you receive. When you shop right, fruit can be a lot cheaper than buying bags of chips, or candy. I make small to-go containers everyday that have just a small portion of my favorite fruits to take with me because it’s easy to pull out and snack on in class.

There are so many foods andsnacks out there that are delicious, but you have to find the balance between tasty and good for you. It’s so easy to snack when you’re in the dorm and just hanging out, but try to think of healthier options. This will prepare you for when you need to start being completely in control of your own meals (if you’re not already). Start creating these good habits!

Share your favorite healthy dorm room snacks with us in a comment below!

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6 Foods To Avoid At The Dining Hall

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you have a college student meal plan, then you know the struggle of dining hall food. Sure, not having to cook the food or clean dishes is great, but you have to choose what to eat from what is offered. At first it may seem like there are endless options, but after a while you will realize that they often provide the same kinds of food over and over again, easily allowing you to get into a habitual eating pattern that may not be the healthiest option. The Freshman 15 is not a myth.

Try to become more aware of what you are eating at your next dining hall visit. Here are six foods that I recommend you avoid for the following reasons:

1. Fried Food

Although fried food can taste good, and it may be in abundance at the dining hall, it doesn’t have any nutritional value so try avoiding it if you can. Did you know a grilled chicken sandwich has about 420 calories and 10 grams of fat compared to a fried chicken sandwich that has about 530 calories and 20 grams of fat? That extra breaded layer really does add up. Typically anything breaded or crispy is fried and should be eaten in moderation.

2. Sauces

Some sauces can have up to 40% of your daily recommended sodium intake in just one serving (and by the way, one serving is often the size of one scoop from a spoon). And how many of us can honestly say we measure out the serving size before dumping BBQ sauce on a steak and cheese or the teriyaki sauce before drizzling it over some rice? Sauces may make something taste better, but they are a source of hidden calories and often can take away the health benefits of food without it.

3. Salad Toppings

Salad is great. It has lots of vegetables and a minimal amount of fat, but the taste can be so bland for most people. If you’re just starting to eat salads or want to trim down the fat in yours, consider avoiding toppings like bacon bits, excessive cheese, croutons, and creamy dressing. Using an oil-based dressing will spread more easily and cover up more leafy greens, tricking you into using less.

4. Processed Foods

Most processed foods like chips, pre-made desserts, and even some breads/wraps can have high fat content and may even contain trans fats, which are much worse than saturated fats and is something you never want to consume. Essentially, trans fats can slow down brain function by disrupting communication between brain cells. They also contribute to cardiovascular disease. If you have access to nutritional labels (which is not always the case in a dining hall where the food is prepared for you), look for words like “partially hydrogenated oils” and stay away from them. It is the one “food” that experts say is not okay at all even in moderation with one source saying it’s more like plastic than food.

5. Soft Drinks

If you haven’t seen the graphic of how your body reacts to a can of coke within one hour, I highly suggest you check it out. Soft drinks contain extremely high amounts of sugar, which your liver will be straining to keep up with and turning it all into fat. Any nutritional value that could possibly come from a soda is flushed out of your system by the caffeine’s diuretic properties.

6. The Same Thing All The Time

Once you have been in school for a couple months, you may notice that dining halls operate on a set schedule. They often offer up some types of food on one day and others on different days, but the schedule does not vary wildly. Though this makes it easier to serve a large student body consistently, it also makes it easy for the student to fall into a habit of eating the same foods every time. For example, there were many meals in any given week when they were serving food I didn’t like or didn’t think I’d like. My initial response was always to just go get a couple slices of pizza. It’s important to balance your meals, and just eating pizza all the time is not that; despite whatever toppings are on there.  Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things at the dining hall. You may find that you actually really enjoy healthier options that you wouldn’t normally consider.

This is not meant to be a strict nutritional guide, but to make you aware of your eating habits. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the employees at the dining hall for nutrition information on any and all food being served in order to better plan out your meals. You have to remember that you’re in control of what you put into your body.

It may be hard to avoid the “yummier” foods, but it will benefit in the long run if you substitute that cookie for a side of broccoli.

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