Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Low FODMAP Acai Bowl

One thing that I absolutely love to eat is an acai bowl. We can find them in about 10 different locations in our neighborhood alone, but I also love making my own at home. 

During my first week on the low FODMAP diet, I quickly learned that I cannot have a lot of my normal go-to foods. I was super worried that I would have to miss one of my favorite break fast meals on regular macro days.


After doing some research with the Monash University FODMAP diet app and looking over my FASTer Way recipe, I came up with an acceptable solution and created my first low FODMAP acai bowl.

Base - blend together

Sambazon Acai packet

Strawberries 145g

Banana 35g

Chia Seeds 1 tsp

Almond milk 1/4 cup

Spinach 1/2 cup

My toppings:

Almonds (shaved) .03 oz

Raspberries 1.5 oz

Blueberries 1.4 oz

Oats 2 tbsp - too plain but I found a recipe to make low FODMAP granola!!

I have to admit, it was not as good as my regular bowl but it did the trick for now. I really missed my blackberries and honey which are off limits because they are too high in FODMAPs. 


What are your favorite toppings on an acai or smoothie bowl?







Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunrise and some beach fitness!

 The other day, mrC wanted to get up early and watch the sunrise at the beach. Umm, yes! 

Since the beaches just re-opened here on Oahu (well, technically for solo activities), I was in full LET'S TAKE ADVANTAGE mode. I downloaded my FASTer Way workout to my iPad, put on my bathing suit and favorite sunscreen and packed the beach bag with towels. 

We sat for awhile listening to the waves, drinking our coffees and watching the the morning walkers. There is a very large number of people who walk their dogs on the beach, so it can be quite entertaining. 

The beach might seem like a crazy place to do a workout, but I love doing mine outside. Plus the scenery was A LOT better than my normal view on our lanai. FASTer Way workouts are available through the app and can be downloaded so you can easily take your workouts anywhere. I chose a HIIT Boxing workout from the workout studio because it is ALL BODY WEIGHT ---> perfect for doing it at the beach.

After a quick dip in the water, mrC and I decided to walk the entire length of the beach. I don't know why this appealed to me on this day except that it was so beautiful out and I wasn't ready to go home!

Even though it is one long stretch of sand, the beach has a different name depending on the location: Kailua, Kalama, Dunes, Oneawa, Castle's. At the dead end, the beach becomes blocked by lava rock which is the foundation of the beach front homes that continue. It's pretty private, but there was too much seaweed.

Hawaii (at the time) had a social distancing mandate that stated, "Individuals may engage in any lawful activity (e.g., walking, running, sitting, fishing, etc.) on the beach, but only by oneself. No group use or group activities are allowed." Believe it or not, this meant that even family members couldn't be together!! 

We knew that the Kailua Police would be patrolling the beach on their 4-wheelers, so when we heard them coming, we made sure that we were by ourselves! 



We haven't had that many beach days this year, because COVID restrictions closed them for months except to access the water for exercise.

I am planning to make up for it, big time!


What has been closed in your area that was frustrating?








Sunday, September 13, 2020

Three Reasons Everyone Should Be Doing Burpees

Most people have a love/hate relationship with burpees. We hate them because they challenge us and they are sooo hard, right? We love them because they're done! Haha.


Burpees are an incredible exercise that combines strength, endurance and functionality. 

1. Strength: It targets every single muscle group, over and over, and over. Your legs, arms, chest, back and core. Everything is getting worked. Even when modified, there is no group of muscles getting out of the work on this move.

2. Endurance: The repetition of moving down and up, down and up helps build endurance. It doesn't take long at all to feel the heart rate increase and the body to warm up. Just one minute of burpees will have you breaking a sweat.

3. Functionality: The burpee can be broken down into three parts: the squat, the plank, the rise. Each part benefits the way we move in every day life. 



Squats help us to tie our shoes, pick up our children or pets, get up off the toilet, fill up your tires, pick up your suitcase...

Planks make it easier to look under the bed for something, put your carry-on in the overhead bin, stand up and sit up straight, prevent back pain, hold laundry baskets...

The rise increases our ability to get up off the ground after playing with the kids or having fallen, be ready to move quickly out of the way if needed...

I love how practical this exercise is, even though it is really hard to get excited when I see it on the workout plan. 


How do you feel about burpees?




Thursday, September 10, 2020

Low FODMAP Raspberry Chia Jam

I made my own chia jam and it was super easy!


I’m working on an imbalance of gut bacteria and just starting the low FODMAP diet which basically means I’m eating, and not eating, certain foods to starve the bacteria that have overgrown in my gut.

If it seems crazy that you can have a gut health issue while eating healthy (and working as a FASTer Way coach), I think so too!

The (insert sarcasm) "fun" part is that even healthy foods, or just too much of some, feed the overgrowth bacteria! That means, foods such as garlic, onion, agave and honey make a lot of my go-to convenient items off limits for awhile.

I love pairing my breakFAST smoothie with my version of the PB&J: plain rice cakes with almond butter and chia jam. My store bought chia jam has agave as an ingredient making it a no-go.

No worries, I just Googled recipes (there are a ton by the way). I combined two recipes and used the FODMAP app from Monash University to make sure I wasn't using too much of any ingredient.

My recipe:

2 oz raspberries
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup water

Blend all ingredients together in blender for 1 minute. Pour mixture into sauce pan and heat for about 10 minutes on medium. Place in airtight jar and let cool in fridge.


It was soooo good!

If you’ve done a low FODMAP diet and have recipes you love, please share them with me!!



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Cobb Tuna Salad

Last month during the Epic Salad Challenge in the FASTer Way community, I modified the Cobb salad recipe to make it my own and I am in LOVE!


I love that the Cobb Salad was started by a man throwing a bunch of leftovers in a bowl. According to the internet, traditionally a Cobb salad comes loaded with high fat ingredients. If you are eating a low carb diet, like I do two times a week, then a Cobb salad is a great option.

Here's how I built my Cobb Tuna Salad:

1 1/2 cups leafy green lettuce

1 can tuna

2 scrambled eggs

2 slices bacon

1/4 avocado

4 cherry tomatoes

About 1 oz raspberries or strawberries

1/2 tbsp hemp seeds

**My ingredients are low FODMAP approved!


Super easy to build and super filling, this is one of my favorite meals on low carb day now.

Are you a fan of Cobb salads?

What are you favorite toppings?





Friday, September 4, 2020

Cape Cod Trip 2020

Last month we met up with all three of the kids for our annual family vacay at the Cape House! 

(FYI - long post with lots of pics!!)

Despite gallbladder surgery (missG) and COVID restrictions, we all made it to North Falmouth for the whole week and then some. If you have kids, you know how hard it is to get all of them together once they are all grown up. Plus,  COVID has been wreaking havoc on everyone's travel plans. We were thrilled to have all three, plus one fiancĂ© and one boyfriend! 

We spend a lot of time hanging out at the house and on the beach together, but each year we make a point to do some new things. This year we weren't sure what that was going to look like, but in the end we had just a great of a time as usual.

We took a day trip up to Provincetown. It seemed like a good idea since tourism is down and the traffic would be lighter than ever. We were right. On the other hand, Provincetown was hopping with many more people than we expected. The Monument was closed and there was a mandatory mask zone, but we still enjoyed walking around. We explored MacMillan Pier and missD decided to join the locals and jumped off when we weren't looking! We had a drink at Ross's Grill at Whaler's Wharf - great views and nice seating indoors or outdoors. Then grabbed some food at The Canteen - basically takeaway food that you eat at picnic tables behind the shop.

Another day we went for a bike ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway to Woods Hole and back. This has become a yearly tradition and I love it. It's about a 20 mile round trip ride. In Wood's Hole, we stopped for food at Wood's Hole Market. There was something for everyone, from smoothies to sandwiches to pizza to chips and salsa! The best part was the super secret deck seating with a view upstairs. We're practically locals, haha!


When we were down to just the five of us, we decided to go play mini-golf. Cataumet Light Mini Golf was open with social distancing - easy enough on a hot and sunny day. The kids are super competitive, but we had a lot of fun. missD got the lowest score but mrC got three hole-in-ones!! We celebrated with acai bowls from Absolutely Juiced in Mashpee. 


Of course the acai bowl gets its own pic

We make a point to walk to the beach for as many sunsets as possible, although at the request of one, we limit group pictures to one night. It was sooooo windy the night we chose, but someone in the parking lot was nice enough to leave their headlights on so we could get the sky behind us without being dark figures. 




Just like last year, when we left the Cape we headed to our second favorite place ---> Newport, Rhode Island. This year, everyone was able to come for at least one day.

Our first adventure in Newport was taking a harbor tour on the Rum Runner II. Full disclosure, we were expecting a sailboat, but booked the wrong thing. However, we were not disappointed in the least with the East Passage Express tour. Great views, great information, great guides. I highly recommend looking them up at Bannister's Wharf. We had lunch at The Lobster Bar (a favorite) and dinner for the first time at Bar and Board Bistro. Our table for dinner was outside on what was formerly a parking lot because we were a large party (COVID rules), but it was nice.



We squeezed in one more group activity before half the group had to head home for that thing called work! But first, we had a big break-FAST at Belle's Cafe at the Newport Shipyard. After years of saying we were going to do it, we finally went to Norman Bird Sanctuary for a hike. There are quite a few trails so you can mix and match to do long or short hikes. My friend Nancy had just posted about doing the Hanging Rock Trail and it looked fun, so that's what we choose.



It was time to visit family in Springfield. We stopped in Hopkinton on the way in and out of town to see mrC's aunt who was in hospice (so glad we did that). In Springfield we spent most of our visits chatting with mrC's dad through the house windows, but when we started taking sibling pics on the last day, he wanted to come out. I am so glad that he did! I'm also really glad that my sister-in-law made her famous gluten-free blueberry muffins and brought some to share.



Our next stop was Portsmouth, New Hampshire to see missD and S's new condo and meet the future in-laws! The condo was beautiful and totally suits their personalities. I loved their neighborhood and that it is walking distance into downtown and the waterfront. 

While the kids were working from home, mrC and I walked. First we had acai bowls with missD at Fresh Press and then walked to Prescott Park, Pierce Island and Four Tree Island. We walked A LOT, haha! That evening, we crossed over the state line into Kittery, Maine to see the wedding venue at Pepperrell Cove (gorgeous) and meet S's parents for dinner at Frisbee's Wharf. Can you tell we like outdoor dining with a view?



What we ate. Over the two weeks, we had a nice mix of meals. At the Cape House, we have a fully stocked kitchen. This year, we rotated cooking duty among all of us for dinners and it was GREAT. The menus included baked salmon with asparagus, coconut cod tacos, GF spaghetti, BBQ chicken and squash, beef burgers, taco salad and GF pizza. 


Even though we were walking quite a bit, I couldn't go two weeks without doing some structured workouts. The FASTer Way program makes it so easy with options in the app like banded workouts, travel workouts, or I could just do the regular at home workout for the day. Working out at the Cape House was super easy because I had so many space options inside and outside and my strength bands work so well in place of weights. 


It is always hard to say good-bye after such an incredible visit, but we always look forward to the next time we will get together. 

Extra big thanks to missD for picking us up and dropping us off at the airport and chauffeuring us around for almost two weeks. The view from the backseat of the Jeep is pretty fun!
 

Already looking forward to next year!


Does your family vacation together or make an annual trip together?








Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Southwest Chopped Salad (with turkey breast)

Want to know how FASTer Way has changed me (besides losing over 13 inches)?

Take a look at this Southwest Chopped Salad!

The old me considered a salad a bowl full of romaine lettuce, some sharp cheddar cheese and Ranch dressing. Not only do I know how to fuel myself properly with all the macros, but now my body craves the micronutrient rainbow!!

I was inspired to make this salad by the Epic Salad Challenge we did in the FASTer Way VIP membership community in August. Like everyone else, I still don't eat EVERYTHING, so I tweaked the recipe we were given to make it my own.

Ingredients:

2 cups romaine and leafy green lettuce

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 cup sweet corn

1/4 cup yellow pepper

1/2 avocado (I like mine mashed)

4 oz taco seasoned shredded turkey breast

2 tbsp salsa as dressing




If you follow the FASTer Way, this recipe is best on regular macro days. See my macros below.

Carbs 48.8g
Fat 21.5g
Protein 37.2

PS - I get asked frequently how I prepare my turkey breast. I buy a small Butterball turkey (I get mine at Safeway) and cook it in the crockpot. When it's done, I cut part into slices and shred the rest. For this recipe, I combine the shredded turkey breast in a skillet with taco seasoning and some water. Easy peasy!



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