Tag Archives: Happy Hour Healthy

Lean, Mean & Green

Lean, Mean & Green

Finding Balance

St. Patrick’s Day will soon be upon us, and if you live in Pittsburgh like us, the annual parade (their website is taking be back to the early days of the internet) is tomorrow, March 11th. If you plan on celebrating your Irish heritage but want to dial back on the debauchery, try to find balance between your healthy habits and having a good time. We’ve compiled some tips that have been helpful for us, and recipes & drinks that we like to indulge in from time to time.

First thing’s first, get a morning workout in. Union Fitness opens at 8am on the weekends. Shower in our facilities, and we’re only a 10-minute walk from downtown. Get those extra steps in, you’ll feel much better about those beers you’re going to consume later! If you can’t make it to the gym tomorrow, come to our happy hour yoga class tonight, it happens every Friday!

Don’t go hungry. If there’s a plate of corned beef hash with your name on it, fill up on the cabbage first. Cabbage is low in calories and will help you feel fuller, longer. Cabbage is a member of the brassica family of veggies that includes broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflowers. Indulge in the classics but keep portion sizes in the back of your mind. Eat slowly and savor each bite.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more. Follow the tried and true rule of alternating alcoholic beverages with a glass of water.

Now what to guzzle down all day? Believe it or not, Guinness is not nearly as bad as people think, it’s dark color and heavy body do not mean it’s higher in calories. Twelve ounces of Guinness has 125, which is comparable to many light beers.

If you’re hosting your own party, try out some of these cocktails:

Jameson Jell-o Shots (35 calories per shot)

Jello Shots

Ingredients:
3 small (.30 oz) packages Jell-o Sugar Free Gelatin
24 ounces Water (Boiling)
9 ounces Water (Cold)
15 ounces Jameson (Cold)
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice from a fresh lime
Green Food Coloring or Dye

Place fresh mint leaves in a small dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Using a muddle stick or a wooden spoon, press down on the leaves and twist. Repeat the action several times until the mint leaves release oil and smell minty. Set aside.

Mix the Jell-o mix and muddled mint leaves, with the boiling water until the powder is fully dissolved. Strain mint leaves.

Add the Cold water, 20 drops of green dye, or until you get the color you desire, and Jameson. Pour the cooling mixture into 28 plastic shot glasses. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until fully set.

Skinny Margarita (145calories)

Margarita

Ingredients:
To rim the glass: kosher salt, lime wedge
1 1/2 oz silver tequila (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon light agave nectar (add 2 if you prefer a sweeter margarita)
Ice

Rim the glass: Pour a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the top edge of your glass, then dip the glass into the salt, and twist. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
Fill a small cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, and agave. Close and shake energetically until you feel the shaker start to get cold and frost over. Strain into the rimmed glass over the ice.

Spicy BLT Green Bloody Marys

Bloody Mary

We can take credit for this delish take on a Bloody Mary, but we insist on giving it a try if you’re hosting a breakfast or brunch. This particular cocktail requires a little extra work and motivation, but it’s worth it! Plus, bacon is added to the mix – a little protein never hurt anyone.

Remember that moderation is key. Drink smarter, stay hydrated, watch your portions and be safe out there!

Dolce Diet

Dolce Diet

 

Week 1:

 

Change is hard.  Adjusting to something new, whether it’s a new schedule, new workout routine or a new nutrition plan, has many unique challenges. Today I’m about halfway through my first week of the Dolce Diet and if I’m being completely honest, it’s haaaard.  To put it simply, I’m riding the struggle bus—I’m tired, irritable and outright haaaaangry! Just ask my coworkers, they’ll tell you. (Sorry Linds & Casey!!)

As a weightlifter, I’m used to eating CARBS.  I’m talking white rice, whole grain breads, tons of veggies, and yeah, the occasional Rice Krispie treat or ten. I’ve also been known to take down a whole pizza in one sitting, like every Friday night to be exact. In the Dolce Diet, aside from the morning oatmeal, there are minimal carbs. Definitely not as many as I’m used to— so cue the Carb Cravings and the Carb Crash.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Carb Cravings (lucky you!), I’ll try to explain it to you.  Imagine your favorite carb, be it pizza or Rice Krispie treats.  Then imagine that every single person you see morphs into that favorite carb.  Literally just slices of pizza walking around everywhere! You can smell the gooey dough. You can almost taste that salty first bite of cheese. Everything is so real and your brain is telling you to “EAT PIZZA NOW.” That drool inducing phenomenon is what I call the dreaded Carb Cravings. The Carb Crash on the other hand is when you’re knocked back into reality and realize, “Nooooo, they are just people. You can’t eat them. That’d be weird and most definitely highly frowned upon.” The crash is harsh.

So how do I deal? Deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.  Savor the food I do eat. Focus on the good, nourishing aspects of my food. Focus on the change. Focus on the end goal but enjoy the process. Focus on my health.

I’ve also realized that I need to heed my own advice.  I often tell my clients to find a balance between the edge of old habits and the challenges of the new, slowly making progress step by step.  I tell them to learn to be comfortably uncomfortable because that’s where we see the greatest changes. I’ve never told anyone it was easy though. Change is hard but I’m not giving up.

My Meals:

 

  • Breakfast for the week: Steel cut oatmeal with chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, almond butter and frozen blueberries.
  • Lunches for the week: Egg scramble with turkey bacon, spinach, peppers and tomatoes cooked in avocado oil.
  • Dinners for the week: Wild Salmon with spinach, kale, peppers, and asparagus cooked in coconut oil.