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12 insanely positive quotes about healthy eating

12 insanely positive quotes about healthy eating

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Forget about golden fleeces and silver spoons. Health is your greatest wealth. Lay off the negative self-talk and view your health in a positive light. Rather than discouraging yourself for every bad choice you make, encourage all of the healthy choices that you do make. Slowly turn your wishes into habits. Here are some positive quotes about healthy eating to help you view your lifestyle change as anything but a burden.

You're the driver of your own life. Don't let anyone else steal your seat. Positive quotes about healthy eating - You're the driver of your own life. Don't let anyone else steal your seat.  // The PumpUp Blog

Let your choices be guided by the direction that you want to go for yourself - Photo courtesy of PumpUp member mad_line.

Good food choices are good investments.

Good food choices are good investments. - Positive Quotes about Healthy Eating // The PumpUp Blog

 

Make an investment in your health. - Photo courtesy of PumpUp member _lis.

A healthy attitude is contagious. Don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

A healthy attitude is contagious. Don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier -  Positive Quotes about Healthy Eating // The PumpUp Blog

 

Make healthy decisions for yourself and inspire others to follow suit. - Photo courtesy of PumpUp member sydonat.

It's not about being good at something. It's about being good to yourself.

It's not about being good at something. it's about being good to yourself - Positive Quotes about Healthy Eating // The PumpUp Blog

 

Be good to yourself. Strive for progress, not perfection. - Photo courtesy of PumpUp member tempted.

I will not feel deprived when I bypass junk food. I will feel empowered because I made the right choice.

I will not feel deprived when I bypass junk food. I will feel empowered. - Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Reward yourself for healthy choices. Don't punish yourself for 'bad' decisions. Photo courtesy of Musilmah

Buy food with thought, cook it with care.

Don't waste food - Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Don't waste food. Let it nourish you. Photo via HavensKitchen

Your food choices are powerful and life affirming.

Food choices are powerful - Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Food choices are so powerful. Photo courtesy of Herbal Academy of NE.

Create healthy habits, not restrictions.

Create healthy habits, not restrictions - Positive quotes about healthy eating via the PumpUp Blog

Habit is what keeps you going. Photo via Nutrifitblr

I'm saving my life.

I'm not training for a 5K. I'm not preparing for a competition. I'm not trying to set a new record. I'm trying to save my life. Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

You don't need a triathlete to save your life. Photo via Total Beauty.

A healthy outside starts from the inside.

 

A healthy outside starts from the inside- Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Eat well, be healthy. Photo via The Berry.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants - Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Fill most of your plate with veggies. - Photo via Etsy

Skip the diet, just eat healthy - Positive quotes about healthy eating from the PumpUp Blog

Make your eating habits a lifestyle change. Diets are temporary. - Photo via Etsy

Loved these positive quotes about healthy eating? Let us know which ones spoke to you the most in the comments below! Which mantras help you to make positive choices?

Paradise-perfect tropical smoothie bowl

Paradise-perfect tropical smoothie bowl

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Dream of paradise, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain with this picture-perfect tropical smoothie bowl by PumpUp member alyssarhoades. It's vegan and requires no milk (not even milk substitutes)! Frozen bananas lend a creamy and thick texture, while mangoes and papaya add a distinctly sweet flavour reminiscent of sunnier times. Escape like Houdini to a different world and enjoy this vegan tropical smoothie bowl that is perfect for you to prepare for your fabulous mother and for yourself on Monther's Day

Tropical Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 papaya
  • 1 whole mango
  • a few chunks organic pineapple

Toppings

  • Coconut flakes
  • Passion fruit
  • Banana slices
  • Raspberries
  • Chia Seeds

Blend 4 fruits together and magic happens. This paradise-perfect tropical smoothie bowl recipe from the PumpUp blog is as creamy as it is delicious. Frozen bananas add a nice velvety texture while mango, papaya, and pineapple chunks add distinctly sweet notes reminiscent of beach boardwalks and rolling waves. Make this healthy smoothie recipe for your next breakfast!

Find this tropical smoothie bowl recipe on the PumpUp community using the hashtag #smoothie and check out our other tasty and refreshing smoothie recipes. Have a slurp-worthy smoothie bowl recipe to share with the PumpUp Community? Share your photos on the app or tag your best recipes with #TeamPumpUp on Instagram.

Beat your cravings : it's simpler than you think

Beat your cravings : it's simpler than you think

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Beat your cravings with proper food

A craving is a thought or a feeling that you think you want to eat or drink something specific. You can eat a piece of cake without craving it, and you can crave a piece of cake without eating it. It’s all in perspective- one does not necessitate the other.

When you make a change in your diet, whether it’s becoming raw vegan or simply adopting a healthier lifestyle, you have to envision the outcome you are hoping for. Something that helped me when I started eating raw was to think about how I felt after I ate certain processed or cooked foods. For myself and the general population, these foods give us instant gratification when we eat them but the feeling that comes soon after can often leave us with stomach aches and lethargy. When your body is satisfied with the proper carbohydrates that it needs (lots of fruit!) you will not crave anything else- I’m telling you! It is proven that a craving typically lasts three minutes on average and it takes only 21 days to develop a new habit.

When you eat enough fruits, filled with simple sugars, your body will be fuelled and happy—fighting off any cravings of unhealthy processed or cooked foods.

Beat your cravings by changing your habits

Exercise is another wonderful way to beat your cravings—it gives you something positive to do for your mind and your body that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Even if you are just opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator every day, your body will thank you for it. Small changes can make a big difference in the long run! One of the best tips I can give you is to surround yourself with healthy options at all times—fill your home or your dorm room with an abundance of fresh raw fruits and veggies. You are what you surround yourself with! If there is nothing bad to choose from, your chances of ‘slipping up’ will decrease greatly! Most cravings are short-lived and you can let them pass. The more healthy foods that you eat, the more you body will crave healthy foods!

Did this post help you to beat your cravings? Learn more about the author, Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege). She is a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

4 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy on a Crazy Schedule | Healthy living 101

4 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy on a Crazy Schedule | Healthy living 101

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1) Plan your meals Plan your meals and make sure that your fridge is stocked with healthy options

Bulk shop, cook and prep on the weekend so that at least your breakfast and lunches for the week are ready to go. Having the fridge stocked with healthy options that are available for you to just grab and hurtle out the door will ensure that you stay on track! Put aside 1-2 hours on the weekend to get this together and you will be so happy you did!

2) Pack your lunches

Plan your meals in advance if you know that you're going to have a busy week.

Not only does this save time and money but it's also hands-down the healthiest way to eat! You cooked it, so you know exactly what is in it. While this is a bit more work up-front, after the first week of adjusting to this new routine it will become second nature!

Don’t forget to pack snacks too, you never know when the munchies will hit. Apples, bananas, cut up veggies or trail mix are the perfect portable snacks!

3) Break out the Crock Pot

Crock pots help you save time and eat healthy when you're on a time constraint

Image c/o Juan Calderon

Whether you are single or feeding an army of children, the slow cooker is a lifesaver! You can prep all of the ingredients the night before, pop them in on your way out the door in the morning and viola! You come home to a perfectly cooked meal. It’s so easy, I like to start with onions and root veggies on the bottom, then a nice piece of grass-fed meat, or some beans, some broth or diced tomatoes! The best part is that you'll have lots of leftovers.

4) Lean on Liquid Meals

Green juice is the way to go if you're pressed on time. Juice from the Village Juicery works like a charm.

Not so keen on green juice? Experiment with it first. Try either a warm blended soup or a smoothie to start your day off, and see how you feel. Many of us aren’t hungry when we wake up and that's because it takes awhile for your digestive system to warm up. Starting off with a liquid meal is a great way to ease into the day. You can pre-make soups and stockpile them in your freezer or blend up a smoothie with some protein powder, berries and greens for a nutrient-dense breakfast that’s easy to digest. Liquid meals require less prep and cleanup but are just as satisfying and healthy as your traditional breakfast options.

I hope these tips and tricks help you to stay healthy when time is tight!

I am launching my online video course next month!! Its called ‘Healthy Living 101’, and you can see a sneak peek HERE. Subscribe to be the first to know and get a FREE Snack-Sized Cookbook.

Meal Prep Tips for busy schedules

If you want more inspiration and healthy recipes, follow me on social media and check out my blog. I post daily goodies on InstagramTwitter and Facebook!

This is a post by Gillian B. Follow her on PumpUp @gillianb and connect with her on Facebook for more tips about health, wellness, and holistic living.

Transformation Tuesday | Why you shouldn't be afraid of setting new goals

Transformation Tuesday | Why you shouldn't be afraid of setting new goals

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"I used to hate looking at my body," explained PumpUp member @priscillanavia91, who has lost over 40 pounds over the course of her weight loss journey. "Now I look at it every morning to keep me motivated." Priscilla is no stranger to setting new goals. She uses different benchmarks to keep herself motivated. It's working: Priscilla has reached her weight loss goal twice. "I wanted so badly to be at least 145 lbs when I was still at 180 lbs," she recounted. "Then, I wanted to be 135 lbs. I've set a new goal for myself: 125 lbs. 11 more pounds and I'm there." Her year-long transformation is a manifestation of two things: a consistent exercise schedule and balanced, but nutritious meals. Priscilla swears by cardio and especially weightlifting. She also stopped eating fast food and overcame her persistent cravings for sugar. "Don't be too strict with your diet," she counselled. "You'll go crazy. I tried counting calories and eating 5-6 times a day, but with my busy schedule, I couldn't keep up with that. I don't consider how I eat as a 'diet' anymore. I just eat really clean." Her perspective on food is one that many people can relate to and her progress is absolutely admirable.

Keep @priscillanavia91 pumped on the PumpUp app! We want to learn how you're reaching your goals on #TransformationTuesday. Share a picture with our new PumpUp photo editor to get started.

4 green spirulina recipes that will blow your mind - Get healthy with Valentina!

4 green spirulina recipes that will blow your mind - Get healthy with Valentina!

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It's spring! Finally, the sunshine gleams so beautifully bright and it warms my hearts. Blossoming flowers, to me, signify that it's a time for new beginnings. It's time to spring into action.  As the wind blows the winter away, we too can blow all of our regrets away and prepare ourselves to really reach our goals before summer. In light of new beginnings, I thought it would be nice to try new healthy ingredients in my recipes. I was so inspired by all the green trees and plants surrounding me that I thought it would be nice to eat green food for a change. The special ingredient in these four recipes is Spirulina. Over the past few weeks, I read that Spirulina is used to treat a range of metabolism and heart health issues, including weight loss, diabetes and high cholesterol. Enjoy these spirulina recipes and let me know how you get creative with your food!

After-Eight Nice Cream - A healthy ice cream recipe that tastes just like after eight chocolate. Made with bananas, spirulina powder, and more. Find the recipe on the Pump Blog!

After-eight 'nice' cream | Healthy ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe, frozen bananas
  • 1/2 tsp Organic Burst Chlorella Powder
  • 1 tsp Spirulina powder
  • 2-3 drops peppermint extract
  • Raw dark chocolate or cacao nibs for garnish

Directions

At least 5 hours prior to making the ice cream (preferably overnight), peel and chop your bananas into small pieces, place them in a zip lock bag and store in your freezer until you’re ready to make the ice cream. Remove the bananas from the freezer, place them in your food processor and blend.

Scrape down the sides a few times until everything is incorporated. Be patient with this, as it takes a while for the bananas to become a smooth, ice cream-like consistency. Feel free to add milk if you need. Once the bananas have smoothed out slightly, add the chlorella powder, spirulina powder and peppermint extract, then process again until the ice cream has become green. Scoop into a bowl and top with raw dark chocolate or cacao nibs, and enjoy!

Creamy green hummus recipe made with spirulina powder . Use a blender for best results. Find the recipe on the PumpUp Blog courtesy of Valentina M.

Green hummus

Ingredients

  •  3 garlic cloves, minced, more if you like
  • 1⁄4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder

Directions Combine everything (except the spirulina powder) in blender or food processor and process until smooth. The blender gave me the best result for this.  Add a bit more yogurt if you prefer a less viscous consistency. Chill and then sprinkle with the spirulina on the top and enjoy!

Make a different kind of pesto: spirulina pesto. Find the recipe on the PumpUp Blog!

Spriulina-Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 c fresh basil
  • ¾ c whole raw almonds
  • 1 Tbsp spirulina powder
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions Pulse basil, almonds, spirulina, garlic, and ½ tsp sea salt in food processor to combine. Add oil gradually, processing until mixture is finely chopped, about 1 minute. Pulse in lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!

A popcorn packed with green superfood: it's possible. Find this green superfood popcorn recipe on the PumpUp Blog

Super green popcorn

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • Dash cayenne
  • Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup organic corn kernels
  • Coconut oil

Directions In a bowl, combine the olive, nutritional yeast, spirulina, garlic powder, turmeric, onion powder, curry powder, basil, cayenne, and some salt. Mix well and set aside. Pour coconut oil into a large, deep pot. The oil should cover the bottom of the pot. Drop 3 kernels into the pot, cover, and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the kernels have popped, add the rest of the kernels and remove from heat to shake and coat all kernels in the coconut oil.Return the pot to the stove, over medium-high heat. Once the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously with the lid ajar until the pops start to slow (a couple of minutes). Turn off the heat and pour the spirulina mixture over the popcorn. Mix well until the popcorn is evenly coated. Taste and add more salt as needed. And Enjoy!

With Love, Valentina

4 healthy recipes using spirulina powder : After eight nice cream (healthy banana ice cream), green hummus, spirulina pesto, and green superfood popcorn. Find all of these green recipes on the PumpUp Blog

These green spirulina recipes are part of a series of monthly posts by Valentina M. Follow her on Instagram@thehealthymexican9 and on PumpUp @thehealthymexican.

Savour this un-'beet'able gluten free apple and beet salad

Savour this un-'beet'able gluten free apple and beet salad

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I can’t believe spring is finally here, and here to stay! I’ve been waiting a long time for this, mostly because it means that my birthday is just around the corner (I'm smirking right now). Anyways! This month’s recipe is a pretty colorful one, which is bound to get you excited about everything! Not only is it flashy, but it adds a punch to your lunches or dinners! You can say it’s a pretty ‘upbeet’ recipe! Haha! Did you get that pun?! Yes, well if you did, you’ve guessed it, I’m using beets (beetroot) as a main vegetable in this recipe! Yeah, you know that gnarly thing that you’re not sure what to do with it, other than dye everything you own, accidentally of course, hot fuchsia. Other than making your obvious borscht (Ukrainian soup that is beet based), I thought of giving you a recipe that showcases this amazingly delicious and somewhat versatile root veg!

Up beet gemma correll cartoon

Sorry, now that I have this out of my system (AREN'T THEY CUTE), I can actually start the recipe!

Ingredients | Gluten Free Apple Beet Salad

  • 2 cups of diced boiled beets (traditional red ones are excellent, but feel free to gran the heirloom ones, they come in yellow!)
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, finely minced
  • green apple, finely chopped (you can take the peel off, but I like keeping it for a punch of colour)
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 3 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar (regular, or white)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2-3 green onions, finely sliced
  • crumbled feta or goat’s cheese

Beet apple gluten free salad

Before you do anything else, other than turn some music on to dance to while you’re making this, you’re going to want to prep your beets. Usually, beets are sold in bags, much like potatoes, and they need some scrubbing before you use them as well. With a vegetable brush, or a clean (unused) toothbrush that you can use for other vegetables, gently scrub the beets in water. This will dislodge any dirt or unwanted things off the beets before you boil them.

Next, place your beets in a large pot of water (enough water to cover them), and boil them until a fork goes through easily. You will possibly need to add water to the pot while they are boiling, and if the smell bothers you, you can always change up the water throughout. It took me about 1h to boil 6 medium beets.

Now, once they are ready, you want to plunge them in/rinse them in very cold water. This will stop them from cooking more (basically, blanch them). Be careful not to damage the skin. Once they are cool enough to handle, grab a paper towel, or clean dishcloth, and gently rub them. The skin will pretty much slide off on it’s own! No need for peeling.

Gluten free apple beet salad by Zoe Desborough for the PumpUp Blog

There you go, fool-proof way of boiling beets for any other of your needs. You can always bake them  (wrap them in foil and plop them in the oven), but that will alter their taste slightly.

Now chop them up in bite size pieces.

To make the salad, in a big serving dish, mix in your 2 cups of chopped beets, 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package for cooking instructions, but I usually go with a 1 cup quinoa and 1 ¾ cup water ratio… same for my brown rice). Add in your chopped celery, apples, and feta/goat cheese. Follow with your green onions and vinaigrette ingredients (balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice). Season with some salt and pepper to taste and there you have it!

This vegan apple beet salad is excellent as a side, or as a main itself, and will definitely make your taste buds dance with joy.

I will be attempting to make a purple hummus (beet based of course) in the next few weeks on my personal blog, so keep an eye out!

This vegan apple beet salad recipe is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp ( @zoedesborough) and on her blog

Whole Grain Protein Banana Bread

Whole Grain Protein Banana Bread

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You dream of whole grain protein banana bread. You're looking for a way to sneak more vegetables into your diet. You don't want any sugar or flour in  your bread either. Is this possible? Can this dream be made into a reality? Luckily for you, the answer is a resounding yes. This flavourful protein banana bread is moistened with unsweetened apple sauce and is packed with good-for-you vegetables like carrot and zucchini. Peanuts and walnuts boost every slice with a protein-packed punch and tons of rich flavour. This protein banana bread is basically the stuff of dreams. Once you make it, you'll never go back.

  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1-2 medium ripe bananas (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oatmeal cereal
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup finely shredded carrot or zucchini
  • ¼ cup walnut
  • ¼ cup peanut
  • ½-1 cup assorted fruits
  1. Add the apple sauce, banana(s) and eggs to the food processor and blend until you get a creamy mixture.
  2. Then add the oatmeal cereal and wheat germ.  Blend for about one minute.
  3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil, shredded carrot or zucchini, walnut and peanuts to the food processor.  Pulse for a few times.
  4. Pour the batter into a baking dish.
  5. After boiling, steam on medium high heat for 45 minutes (steaming the bread gives it a nice extra moisture).
  6. Let it cool for 15 to 30 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fruits and enjoy!

This is a post written by PumpUp member countrygirl4ever. Follow her on PumpUp to let her know your thoughts about this recipe! Have a great recipe for protein banana bread as well? We want to hear from you!  Write down your suggestions in the comments below.

3 Ingredient Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits

3 Ingredient Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits

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A few weeks ago I was really craving something sweet. I knew that I could quell my craving with some fruit. Though I managed to transcend my craving that night, I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be tempted to reach for something sweet in the morning. I was inspired to bake 3 Ingredient Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits: a simple and quick recipe so that I could wake up and satisfy my cravings with a healthy breakfast made of wholesome ingredients. Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits

  • 2 cups of self rising flour (I used whole grain self rising flour)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (solid)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk or milk of your choice. Coconut milk from the can works as well.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  2. Add self-rising flour in a mixing bowl then add the coconut oil. With a fork, mix everything together until it resembles crumbs. Add the coconut milk and mix until it is fully combined as a dough.
  3. Put the dough on a cutting board sprinkled with flour. Roll it out flat till it's 1/2 inch thick, then use a tall glass or a biscuit cut the dough into circles
  4. Place biscuits on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 10 mins or until golden on top.

You can eat them right away or save them for breakfast and serve them with  peanut butter and fruits. They are not too sweet: you can eat them with coffee or you drizzle some honey and nuts on top of them.

Hope you like it!

These gluten free breakfast biscuits were created by Anna M (eatforyourpeace). Follow her on PumpUp @annaaa_, on Instagram @annaaamsl, and check out her blog. Let us know what you think of Anna’s 3 ingredient gluten free breakfast biscuits in the comments below!

3- ingredient gluten free breakfast biscuits made with 2 cups of a gluten free self-rising flour mix, 1/4 cup solid coconut oil, and 3/4 of the milk of your choice

4 Ingredient Salted Caramel Tahini Cubes

4 Ingredient Salted Caramel Tahini Cubes

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I'm a firm believer that you can healthi-fy ANY kind of food, you just gotta get creative to come up with a "fake" but WAY better version of it. So this time it's salted caramel candy's turn. I transformed it  into something our bodies would actually be grateful for! They used to be a childhood favorite of mine, and let me tell you: this healthy version is even better than the real thing! They're sweet, salty, fudgy, they melt in your mouth and all you need are four ingredients and a food processor/blender! Literally glory in a cube!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt (to sprinkle at the end)
Directions: You simply mix everything together with a food processor until smooth. Then pour the mixture on a pan, and place in freezer for an hour or until hardened. Once they're done, get them out and with a sharp knife cut into cubes: you gotta be quick because they will melt if you wait too long. That's it, they're ready to be enjoyed!

4 ingredient salted caramel tahini cubes from the PumpUp Blog

This 4 ingredient salted caramel tahini cube recipe is by PumpUp member mariajumps. Keep her pumped on the PumpUp app here!

Why willpower is overrated

Why willpower is overrated

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It's impractical to say that you'll never eat another cookie, much like it is highly improbable that you won't eat another French Fry in your life. In reality, it is unrealistic to think that you'll absolutely eliminate "cheat" foods from your diet, cold turkey. The thing is, it isn't a question of self-control. Others will probably remark upon how strong your willpower is when you maintain a healthy lifestyle. My response has always been that I don't have strong willpower. I'm making a lifestyle change. I can tell from experience that willpower is not a sustainable way to live a healthy life. Though it does come into play when you are living and eating healthy, you can't completely rely on it.

My Experience Relying on Willpower and Willpower Alone

I followed my first diet plan in high school. It started off great: no carbs, all veggies and protein and no sugar.  It worked wonderfully, until I started to feel dizzy and cranky. On the fifth day of my 'diet', I start to sneak in foods that weren’t allowed. I started this diet plan at least 5 times and never finished it once. Why? There was always an excuse. My willpower to say no to so many foods simply ran out.

I then began to keep a food diary. I would write down whatever I put into my body every day. This also worked until I inevitably slipped up. Feelings of disappointment and sadness overwhelmed me to the point that I would neglect to write down 'failures' in my food journal.  I would be so disgusted with myself and ashamed for eating that one cookie that I couldn’t bear to write it down.

Food preoccupied all of my thoughts when I was in high school. My internal monologue wrestled between questions such as, "How many calories were in my lunch? How many calories would I be eating for dinner? How far would I have to run to burn off those crackers?". This type of cyclical thinking overwhelmed me on a daily basis.

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The Demise of Willpower

Junk food and the prospect of unhealthy meals made me anxious. I'd justify eating as many cookies, brownies, and any sort of junk food as I could because I said to myself that I'd never eat them again. In doing so, I would overindulge and sabotage myself. This is how I realized that I was using willpower to get me through the day by saying no to everything that was remotely unhealthy. By nightfall, my willpower was exhausted and I'd binge.

Realizations

If you want the cookie - eat the cookie.

Choosing to eat something or not is totally YOUR choice and you have to be okay with that. It is your choice if you want to eat 10 cookies and feel guilty or eat a nice clean healthy meal and feel strong and satisfied afterwards.

I realized that I needed to stop obsessing and constantly exerting my willpower to make every food decision in my life. All that needed to change was my thought process. I began to listen more closely to what my body needed instead.  Eat something the next time you are hungry, but that something doesn't have to be a bag of chips. Fuel your body with the right food to give you energy and satisfy your hunger with fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and protein.

I used to reward myself with junk food after a whole day of  healthy eating, but this became a form of self-sabotage.  Don't beat yourself up for your lack of willpower. Instead, make healthy eating a part of your life and turn it into something you do consistently rather than you do sporadically.

Fall in love with giving your body healthy, energizing food. Stop dieting and make a lifestyle change, because eventually your willpower is going to run out and you will have to start all over again.

This is a post by PumpUp member Danica B (@danica23), author of a blog called the Happiness Hut. Check out her tips about healthy and happy living here.  

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

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We love a good cookie. If they're made healthier, that's even better. But sometimes we need to learn to put the cookie down (it isn't easy, trust).  If anybody ever told you that cookie cutters should only be used for cookies, they haven't tried it on their fruits. Not only are creatively-cut melons and apples a much more nutritious option to sweeten up your spring meals, they even look presentable enough to bring to a potluck. This idea from PumpUp member latinmarge is absolutely brilliant. Vibrant fruits and colourful shapes come into play as a festive and edible way to celebrate the advent of spring.

6 Pinterest-worthy cookie cutter fruit ideas

Fruit pops

cookie cutter fruit pops

These fruit pops from Bakers Royale will help keep you cool, whatever the weather.

Shamrock smoothie toppers

cookie cutter fruit kiwi

Recipe.com had the brilliant idea of using cookie-cutter fruit to top it's refreshing green smoothie recipe, and it literally made our lives. We would consider ourselves lucky to have a sip.

Fruit kabobs

Meat and vegetables aren't the only types of food that shine in the kabob spotlight. Let Mint in the Middle's cookie cutter fruit gleam brightly in the skewer spotlight by serving them as delightful kabobs.

Fruit infused water

cookie cutter fruit infused water

Make your water sparkle with a little flavour and a lot of wonderful shapes. Fruit infused water is perfect for a healthy and refreshing fourth of July celebration.

Fruit bouquets

Nothing says spring like a great bouquet! If you or your significant other is prone to allergies, try making a cookie cutter fruit bouquet instead. Bonus? It's edible. 

Fruit cookies

cookie cutter fruit cookies

 

If you're gonna go through the trouble of purchasing great cookie cutters, might as well serve the fruits themselves as cookies.

Best fruit for cookie cutters

Look for denser varieties and avoid citrus, as pulp makes it very difficult for cookie cutter blades incise most citrus fruits in a precise shape.

  • Watermelons, and other melons - Cut the watermelon into large, flat, round slices. Remove peel, lay slice flat on a cutting board, and gently trim into desired shape
  • Kiwi - Peel kiwi and slice into discs of equal circumference. Use smaller cookie cutters with kiwis (because when in your life will you ever encounter a kiwi as big as a watermelon? Didn't think so).
  • Apples - Peel and slice apple into flat pieces. Rub each slice with lemon to avoid browning. Cut with smaller, star shaped cookie cutters

What are your favourite ideas for getting creative with your cookie cutters? Let us know by sharing about it with the PumpUp community!

 

Creatively Eating Healthy: Online and Offline Alternatives to Recipe Sites

Creatively Eating Healthy: Online and Offline Alternatives to Recipe Sites

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No matter how keen we are on eating healthy, sometimes we are just out of ideas on what to eat today. Googling recipes don't always help. All we get are dry instructions with the impossibility of predicting whether it will be tasty, before we actually make it first. This usually ends up being a hit and miss… Here’s how to spice up your healthy menu:

Stay up to date with Reddit for innovative ideas

There are some awesome subreddits out there, I recommend especially: r/Cooking, r/Baking, r/Recipes and r/Healthyfood. The Reddit crowd picks up food trends and promotes innovative solutions. If you’re up for some experimentation in the kitchen, it’s the place for you. For instance, check what Reddit bakers have to say on unusual baking ingredients.

Join baking and cooking forums

Some of the most popular ones are Chef Talk and Discuss Cooking. Meet the people who are also passionate about food. Swap tips, inspire each other, get some advice, and get cooking. What’s cool about the forums is the instant feedback and comments on the recipes. That way you know a recipe is good without trying it out first!

Follow someone who inspires you

I’m sure you already have found someone who inspires you to start eating healthy and stay fit. Follow them on social networks and see what recipes they have checked out and what they’re recommending. That way you’re more likely to find a recipe that’s spot on, full of flavour and gets your taste buds going!

That’s Pinterest-ing!

If photos are more inspiring for you than a dry list of ingredients with a set of cooking instructions, pinterest is the place for you. You can either follow message boards created by popular healthy eating experts or just type a word that comes to your mind: smoothie, bran muffins, you name it! You will find it all. What’s more, you can pin all these interesting things to your own board to try out later.

Swap meals with a friend

If you have a fellow healthy food enthusiast, but you both complain from lack of ideas - swap your favourite meals! What’s an everyday food for you might be completely unusual for your friend. Prepare the dish, meet up and...swap! You might just discover a new favourite! If you want to cook it for yourself, ask your friend to teach you how, step by step.

Feeling inspired?

Boredom in the kitchen is a first step to a slippery slope into unhealthy comfort foods. Prevent it by seeking inspiring ideas for your day to day diet. If google search fails - reach out to the more unconventional resources. Healthy food equals healthier YOU!

creatively eating healthy

About the Author

Charlotte Wright is the founder of the Muffin Paradise blog: baking paleo, gluten-free and traditional muffins. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Triple-Layered Vegan and Gluten free Berry Banana Bread

Triple-Layered Vegan and Gluten free Berry Banana Bread

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A couple days ago I got the chance to go to the “Strawberry Festival” that’s held here in Costa Rica each year to help our local berry growers and farmers from a zone that was damaged by an earthquake back in 2009. Now, strawberries are my favorite fruit so you can guess I came back home with around 3kg of strawberries, and not only that, but also 1kg of blackberries. Naturally I had to find a way to use up all of that fruit, so I came up with a fantastic layered banana bread recipe for you guys! I’m bringing all of my favorites for this: oats, bananas and berries. And of course: it can be modified to fit everyone’s dietary needs; I got you on that one!

How to make triple-layered gluten free berry banana bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (oat or almond)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups applesauce (or two eggs)
  • 4-5 big strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries (or blueberries)

vegan gluten free triple layered banana bread

Mix all ingredients together except for the strawberries and blackberries until well combined. You can use a food processor or do it by hand. Separate the mixture into three equal parts; these will be the base for your layers.

First layer: It’s done! You don’t have to add anything else, so go ahead and pour it into your loaf pan.

Second layer: Mash your strawberries until a purée is formed and mix in with the banana bread base. You can use your food processor for all of this to make it WAY easier. Once the mixture gets pink, pour it into your loaf pan. Your middle layer’s all done!

Third layer: Again, mash your blackberries or blueberries until puréed and mix in with the base until it gets purple, pour into your loaf pan. Done!

Now you can decorate with more berries, or simply place it in the oven (at 370°F) for around 40-50 minutes, keep checking on it. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean. Once you get it out of the oven, hide it from your friends and family because we all know you don’t want to share this beauty, do you? (Just kidding, sharing is caring). Enjoy!

This triple-layered berry gluten free berry banana bread is a recipe by PumpUp member mariajumps. Keep her pumped on the PumpUp app here!

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4 Tips For Eating Clean On The Go!

You work hard to live an active lifestyle, but let’s face it – sometimes it’s difficult to follow a squeaky clean eating plan. We don’t always have the luxury of preparing every meal in our own kitchen, and even if we did, chances are we wouldn’t always have the motivation or energy to do so. In fact, one of the most popular comments that I get from my clients and readers is that they know what they should eat, but when hunger, stress, or lack of time enters the picture, all willpower and desire to stay on track falls by the wayside. 

Does this sound like you?  If so, try these 4 tips to keep your good nutrition habits going strong. 

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1. Look for naturally-portable whole foods. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy! Admittedly, the foods that are best for us can take a bit of time to prepare – leafy greens need washing and chopping, whole grains need cooking, and it’s easy to swap this preparation time for something quick that comes out of a drive through window. But don’t worry, because there are lots of healthy, whole foods that are easy to carry with you on the go. These foods also don’t contain the artificial ingredients, chemicals, and additives that many processed convenience foods do. Stock your kitchen with the following and make these foods your go-to’s when you need some grab-and-go nourishment:

  • Whole fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, plums and pears
  • Baby carrots, pre-cut celery sticks, and sliced cucumbers
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and brazil nuts are all great choices)
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain granola bars (ideally ones with sugar grams in the single digits)
  • Dry whole grain cereal
  • Tuna pouches
  • Hummus
  • Natural nut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Shelled defrosted edamame pods

2. Don’t forget the grocery store when evaluating quick lunch options. Not a fan of bringing your own lunch to work? Next time you’re evaluating the nearby restaurants, consider the grocery store. Many have prepared meals that are much healthier (and cheaper) than what you’ll find on restaurant menus. Look for salads topped with lean protein, chopped fruit and veggies, whole grain-based dishes, sandwiches on whole grain bread, and prepared sushi.

3. Become a fan of leftovers. Consider doubling or even tripling the quantities for dishes you prepare at dinner, and packaging those meals up as leftovers to be eaten throughout the week. Grain-based salads, soups, and chili are particularly well-suited for this as they tend to keep well in the fridge. If you’re firing up the BBQ, toss on a few extra pieces of lean beef, chicken, fish, or tofu, and grill them up so they’re ready to add to weekday meals.

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4. Try getting your nourishment in liquid form. One of the easiest ways to get the nutrition your body needs (especially after a workout) is in the form of a smoothie. I’m not just talking about some fruit blended up with a scoop of protein powder. Make it a supercharged smoothie by adding a few handfuls of dark leafy greens, a source of healthy fat such as nut butter or chia seeds, and coconut water which helps to re-balance electrolytes. If you need some ideas, feel free to check out my favourite post-workout recovery smoothie, or find inspiration in some of these blended creations. Invest in a big shaker cup with a lid and you’ve got a perfectly portable meal!

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Now tell me, what are some of your strategies for maintaining your healthy eating habits when you’re on the go? Share in the comments below!

About the Author: Outside of her full-time job, Angela is a fitness instructor, personal health coach, and blogger. When she’s not creating recipes and writing blog posts, she can be found running half marathons, traveling, and eyeing up her next purchase at Lululemon. To learn more about Angela, check out her blog, Eat-Spin-Run-Repeat.com. You can also get your hands on her free e-book, Creating a Whole Foods Lifestyle (complete with 10 healthy, delicious recipes) by subscribing to email updates.

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P.S. Don’t forget to download PumpUp to start living a more active and healthy life today!