Orange Creamsicle Protein Shake

I love this Orange Creamsicle Protein Shake recipe. It reminds me of my youth. Occasionally when my Dad came back from the store he’d have a box of Mayfield Orange Creamsicles. Those things are so awesome however, they are not very healthy.

This recipe is a low-calorie protein shake that can be used as a meal replacement or as a snack. Either way, it packs the protein that you need to keep your metabolism going and it also satisfies that sweet tooth that we all get from time to time. Rest assured you can enjoy this tasty treat and you won’t have to feel guilty about it when you’re finished. You can use any brand of orange soda just as long as it’s calorie free. We will be using ice cubes to achieve the slushy part. You can even fill an ice tray with the diet orange drink and use it instead of regular ice cubes. You get a better result that way but either one will work.

There are many different protein powders out there and any of them will work. If you haven’t experimented with them before here are a few suggestions. Isopure Zero Carb is a good choice if you’re watching your carb intake like I am. It provides 25 grams of protein per scoop with only 105 calories and as the name indicates, it has zero carbs. It is lactose-free and comes in various size and flavor combinations from Amazon. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is also available on Amazon. It provides 24 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 120 calories per serving. If you’re looking to go organic, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder seems to be a popular choice. It’s 150 calories, 21 grams of protein, and 10 net carbs per serving. There are no wrong choices with protein powder. We all have our favorites.

Orange Creamsicle Protein Shake

1 Serving

  • 12 oz. Orange Diet Soda
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 4-6 Ice Cubes

Pour diet soda into a blender then add the protein powder. Blend well. Add ice cubes and blend until you reach the desired consistency.

Variations:

  • Add 1/2-1 whole peeled orange or clementine
  • Add 2-3 oz. plain greek yogurt for a thicker shake

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Low Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Low-Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. The weather was beautiful here in Georgia. The pollen is finally dying down and it’s a perfect time to get out and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Since the weather is warming up soon swimming pools will be open and we will be pulling out our shorts and swimsuits. We all want to look our best and it’s not too late to shed some of that extra weight that we have put on over the winter. Here we will discuss an easy way to come up with a low-calorie meal plan for weight loss. Let’s get started!

So let’s dive right in. There are many different options when it comes to designing a menu but I want to start out with something very basic and easy to plan and manage. Most of us want to lose weight however, it becomes overwhelming to try to figure out what to eat and when to eat it. You hear so many different stories on the “best” way to go about eating to lose weight. I want to make it simple and easy. There will be no calorie counting. That’s exhausting and will drive you crazy if you let it. We don’t want that.

As I mentioned earlier, I worked in endocrinology for six years and was fortunate to get to work one-on-one with many people to help them reach their weight loss goals. Most of our patients said the same thing. They didn’t want to think about what to eat. They wanted us to tell them what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it. That’s what I want to focus on today. I’m going to give you the structure of the meal plan and also give you a list of food items to chose from so that you can essentially build your own plan.

Get Ready To Plan A Menu

We will start out with the blank menu template. You can print this one out or make up your own. You will need slots for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Another key point I want to make is to never let yourself get hungry. If you allow yourself to get to the point of hunger and your stomach starts growling then your metabolism has already slowed down. We don’t want that to happen.

We want to keep consistent energy levels and blood sugar levels and to do that we have to eat at regular intervals. Have breakfast within one hour of waking. You need to try to eat a little something every three to four hours while you’re awake. While I know that this seems like a lot it’s really not because you will be eating low-calorie, nutrient and protein dense foods that will actually help you lose weight. Trust me on this.

Drink Water

Okay, now you have the template ready. Next, I’d like for you to find a container or pitcher that you can fill with water for the day. You will need to drink a minimum of two quarts of water daily. Some people require more than this in order to stay hydrated.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration are headache, fatigue, dizziness and rapid heart rate to name a few. These are the common symptoms that you will likely notice. If you at any time notice any of these you will need to increase your water. And when I say water, I mean water only. If you want to drink additional zero calorie drinks in addition to the two quarts of water, that’s fine. Try to steer clear of caffeine if possible. I recommend no more that two cups of caffeinated beverages daily. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and we don’t want for you to become dehydrated.

Alright, we have the template printed and the water pitcher filled. You can refrigerate the water if you prefer it cold or leave it at room temperature. Having the water premeasured really helps out with making sure that you do drink enough. So keep in mind you should try to drink the majority of the water earlier in the day prior to dinner so that you’re not up all night going to the bathroom. Now you’re ready to start filling out your menu template.

Plan Your Menu

I have listed some items below for you to pick from for each meal.  The goal is to have at least two low-calorie entrees daily and at least five full cups of fruits and vegetables daily. Also, I recommend finding yourself a good protein shake powder. I like Muscle Milk but you can use any that you prefer. Muscle Milk even has a 100 calorie per serving option. I like to use shakes in between meals for snacks and also for breakfast. They can be used as a meal replacement any time of the day and they are very versatile. You can add fruit and flavorings to them to really mix them up so they never get boring.

Breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating soon after waking amps up your metabolism and gives you the energy to get your day started. You want to have protein and complex carbs with each meal and breakfast is no different. Protein shakes are the best and easiest option for breakfast in my opinion. You can add frozen or fresh fruit. You can use calorie free sodas or even coffee as the liquid. Other add-ins that you might try are sugar-free pudding or jello (1 tbs. per shake), or sugar-free syrups like DaVinci or Torani.

Another breakfast option is greek yogurt with either fruit or veggies. Greek yogurt is good because it is high in protein and not too bad on calories, depending on what brand and flavor you get. I prefer Oikos or Chobani personally. They both offer 100 calorie options with just as much protein as the higher calorie ones.

Lunch And Dinner

Lunch and dinner will be about the same as far as planning on what to have. I recommend picking an entree and pairing that with veggies. The more the merrier with the veggies. They really are packed with vitamins and nutrients and are low calorie. Of course you can have any veggies, however, try to steer clear of a lot of starchy ones like corn and potatoes. Those are both good options just try to spread them out and not have a lot on the same day. It will slow your weight loss somewhat.

Another important thing to remember is seasoning. We don’t want to put a lot of fat like butter or margarine on our vegetables. Try to find other ways to season them. Lemon juice is a good option. I really like lemon on green beans, broccoli, and asparagus. Also, you can use spices or herbs just be careful with the ones that have a lot of sodium in them.

You can always add your veggies to your entree and use the sauce from it to season them. Steaming is probably the best way to prepare vegetables. More nutrients are retained with this preparation. Boiling and roasting are other options. As far as entrees go, you should try to stay under 300 calories per entree. Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice are my go to brands for entrees. Some of them like the pizza ones are over 300 calories each. It’s okay to have these sometimes just add lower calorie vegetables when you have them.

Snacks

There are many options with snacks and this is where some folks really blow it. Try to keep snacks to about 100-150 calories. This sounds like a hard thing to do but it’s really not. You just have to choose the correct foods. The ones that will satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling satiated until your next meal.

Below are the food lists. These are just recommendations. In addition, there are a few other points to keep in mind while planning your menus.

  • Breakfast should include at least 1 cup of fruits/veggies
  • Lunch should include 1 entree and at least 2 cups fruits/veggies
  • Dinner should include 1 entree and at least 2 cups fruits/veggies
  • Snacks should stay around 100-150 calories
  • Drink plenty of water (at least 2 quarts) your body will not burn calories efficiently if you are dehydrated
  • Have extra veggies for snacks
  • Don’t let yourself get hungry

 

Breakfast

  • Protein Shake-Mixed per shake instructions using either water or calorie-free soda or coffee.
    • Add-Ins
    • 1 cup frozen or fresh fruit (strawberries, banana, blueberries, mango, pineapple)
    • Ice
    • 1 Tbs. Sugar-free jello or pudding mix
  • Greek yogurt
    • 1 cup fresh fruit or vegetables

Lunch and Dinner

  • 1 Entree plus 2 cups of fruits/veggies (any low-calorie entree)
    • Entrees (Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones)
    • Mushroom Mezzaluna-LC
    • Roasted Turkey Breast-LC
    • Roasted Chicken and Garden Vegetables-LC
    • Fiesta Grilled Chicken-LC
    • Butternut Squash Ravioli-LC
    • Tortilla Crusted Fish-LC
    • Thai-Style Ginger Beef-LC
    • Chicken Parmesan-SO
    • Chipolte Lime Chicken-SO
    • Meatloaf-SO
    • Roasted Chicken with Herb Gravy-SO
    • Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables-SO
    • Angel Hair Marinara-SO
    • Santa Fe Rice and Beans-So
    • Vegetables
      • Carrots
      • Green Beans
      • Chopped or Sliced Tomato
      • Corn
      • Asparagus
      • Brocolli
      • Cabbage
      • Cucumber
      • Red Potatoes
      • Sweet Potatoe
      • Bell Peppers
      • Onions
      • Mushrooms
      • Spinach
    • Fruits
      • Apple
      • Banana
      • Blueberries
      • Grapes
      • Mango
      • Pineapple
      • Cantaloupe
      • Watermelon
      • Strawberries
      • Oranges
      • Clementines
      • Pears

Snacks

  • Almonds (100 calorie pack)
  • 1 Small Apple & 1 Low Fat String Cheese
  • 100 Calorie Yogurt
  • Celery Sticks & 3 Tbs. Hummus
  • 1 boiled egg & 1/2 Apple
  • 1 cup Chopped Cantaloupe

 

Remember, plan the week. Make your grocery list before you go to the store. Stick to only buying what’s on the list. Fill your cart with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll need some frozen and canned ones too. Canned ones are higher in sodium so go for the low sodium varieties. I know that you’ll do great with this. You are going to get healthy and you’re going to feel so much better too. Let me know how it goes! Good luck!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Hummus

Classic hummus is a great healthy snack paired with pita bread or veggies. There are some tasty store bought brands but none better than homemade in my opinion. I used to be intimidated by the thought of making my own at home…until I got up the nerve to try it. I make it often now. It’s sooo good! This is my favorite recipe so far. If you aren’t into making a batch yourself and want to try a store bought brand, I’d recommend Publix brand. It is my favorite store premade brand. Also, Sabra is a good choice. At any rate, you should give hummus a try!

Some people think that the chickpeas should be peeled first in order to achieve a perfectly smooth hummus. It does make the finished product super smooth like the store bought versions but, personally I never peel them. It takes too long in my opinion and the hummus still turns out plenty smooth for me. To peel them you can hold each chickpea between two fingers and pinch them. The skin will pop right off. Again, this takes some time.

Another method is to drain and pat dry the chickpeas, then stir in 1½ teaspoons for every 2 cups of chickpeas. Then warm them in the microwave or on the stove in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then rinse them with water in a large bowl three times. With each rinse, rub the chickpeas between your hands, and the skins will fall off and you can rinse them away.

Classic Hummus

  • 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup Tahini Paste
  • Juice from 12 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 or 4 tbs. reserved chickpea liquid
  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Peel the chickpeas if you wish. Then place all ingredients except for the chickpea liquid into the food processor. Process until very smooth for at least 1 minute. Then add the reserved liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Give it a taste and add any addition salt or cumin.
  3. Transfer the Hummus to a bowl and drizzle some additional olive oil on top for garnish. You can also add a few sprinkles of paprika (I like smoked paprika) and parsley if you so desire.
  4. Enjoy! Hummus should be kept refrigerated.

 

Eating For Weight Loss

Eating for Weight Loss

Hello again! Today I want to talk about food and eating for weight loss. Eating at regular intervals, eating the proper amounts, and eating the correct foods are key for weight loss or weight management for that matter. It is important to eat three meals and at least two snacks daily. Your body needs fuel to function properly just like an automobile needs gas. If you put junk in your body, your probably going to feel like…well junk. So we’re not going to do that.

Planning

The first step is planning. You need to plan your week in advance. You need to have everything lined up and ready to go so that you don’t have to think about it or come up with something last minute. If that seems like too much for you at first, then start with a day at at time. The important thing is to plan. Don’t get hung up on the details.  Here is a link for a printable meal planner. You will want to eat every three to four hours if at all possible. Have your first meal soon after waking up in the morning. This will get your metabolism going and give you the energy to start your day. So, plan the times for your three main meals and then plan to have a snack in between. I will get into more specifics about the actual food a little later. Just remember, a great result always starts with a good plan!

Portion Size

Portion sizes are a big problem for a lot of us. We are used to going out to dinner and being brought huge portions. We don’t feel like we have got our money’s worth otherwise because that’s what we have become used to. One good idea is to use a smaller plate to eat from. Always check food labels to determine what a serving size is and how many calories are in each serving. Click here for a look at portion control. It is a printable guide from Harvard Medical School.

Food Choice

Choose the correct foods that will give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Whole foods, meaning foods that have not been processed or changed from their original form, are the best option. Each meal should include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Don’t forget your water. You need at least two quarts daily, some people require more than that to stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated, your body will not burn calories efficiently so, drink up. If you stick to these tactics, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals.

Up next, sample food plans. Stay tuned.

Iced Coffee Protein Shake

Here is a recipe for an iced coffee protein shake. This is a good option to combine breakfast with your morning cup of Joe. This is roughly 257 calories. If you want a lower calorie version, you could omit the banana. I also like to freeze leftover coffee so that I can use the cubes in smoothies or iced coffee. It just gives it more flavor that using ice alone.

Iced Coffee Protein Shake

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3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 scoop protein powder-vanilla or chocolate

1 c. cold brewed coffee

2 c. ice or frozen coffee cubes

Mix all ingredients in the blender. I find that it blends better to add the liquid first, then the protein powder and the frozen components last.

 

 

Tips on Losing Weight or Maintaining Your Current Weight

Losing weight or even just maintaining your current weight can be a big challenge. Most of us live a hectic life and are always on the go either working or taking care of our jobs and responsibilities at home. Let’s face it, taking care of ourselves usually fall to the bottom of the priority list. In this article Tips on Losing Weight or Maintaining Your Current Weight, I have put together some tips and ideas on how to make sticking to a plan of healthy, low calorie eating a little easier.

There are many diet plans out there but most of them are expensive. They try to sell you their prepackaged meals and shakes and try to convince you that you need to buy their supplements in order to be successful and lose the weight for good. While those diets do sometimes work, usually as soon as you are at your goal weight and return to trying to maintain on your own your weight begins to creep right back up. There are multiple reasons why this happens but the bottom line is this; you truly must change your lifestyle and your relationship with food.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an LPN and I worked in endocrinology for several years and we had so many patients that came to us for weight loss. Most of them thought that something had to be wrong with them physically. They couldn’t believe that their weight was due to their diet. I heard so many people say, “I really don’t eat that much”. This is why I recommend that you start right now, today and keep a food journal. This is an easy thing to do and let me tell you, it is a real eye-opener for people. Lots of times we don’t remember everything that we eat during the day. I’m guilty of it myself. We get busy, we get hungry and we grab the first thing that we see and let’s face it. It usually isn’t something healthy. That leads me to my next tip.

Get all the junk food and processed food out of the house. Go ahead and do it now. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking; I can’t throw food away. You don’t have to throw it away. You can donate the food to someone in need. Your local food shelter or donation center would love to take it off your hands. Next, starting today I want for you to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. This is two quarts and it’s really not that hard to do. I always recommend measuring it out in advance. That way you know what you have left and you don’t have to guess how much you’ve drunk. I also recommend that you stick to water only. There is a lot of controversy regarding artificial sweeteners but I won’t go into that now.

Okay, so far we have talked about starting a food journal, getting the junk and processed foods out of your house, and drinking two quarts of water daily.  For the food journal, you can use anything you currently have at home. No need to get fancy unless you want to.  If you have an old notebook lying around use that. Some of you might want to use an actual hardcover journal. You can even use printer paper and keep it in a folder.Whatever works for you. This journal is for your eyes only. No one else even needs to know about it.

At the end of your first full day of keeping your food journal, I want for you to sit down and look back over the day. You’ll need to look up the actual calorie content of the foods that you have eaten. This will only take a few minutes of your time and trust me, you’ll be glad you did it. For those of you who have smartphones, I think that’s pretty much everyone these days, you can download one of the calorie tracking apps. My favorite is My Fitness Pal. You can enter the food that you had and it tracks the calories for you. This will give you the starting point to make the changes that I know you so want to make.

Don’t forget to throw that junk and processed food out of your pantry. It’s no good for you so you don’t need it around. Also, start to drink two quarts of water daily. This is easy and inexpensive. Use a container and measure it out so that you know where you stand. If you start early in the day, it’s no problem at all. Drink a glass as soon as you get up. Water keeps you hydrated and helps you to burn calories efficiently. Without it, weight loss is slowed.

This gives you a starting point to reach your goals. In future posts, I will give you some ideas on eating and exercise plans that will really kick your weight loss into high gear and you can get it all at your local grocery store. No need to do any of the fad diets or spend hundreds of dollars for weight loss plans. You can do this on your own and I’m more than happy to help 🙂

When you’re ready for the next step, read this article Eating For Weight Loss.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency

You’ve probably heard some of the buzz about Vitamin D deficiency recently.  It’s not a new problem, however, I have found that many people are still not aware of the signs and symptoms of low levels. Fortunately, more and more doctors are now regularly testing their patients for this. Vitamin D is important for many reasons. Also, it is even linked to immunity to diseases.

In my experience as a nurse, I commonly hear complaints of fatigue, or low energy levels, foot pain, hair thinning and weak, brittle fingernails. So if you notice any of these symptoms you should talk to your doctor and have your Vitamin D levels checked.

If it is found that your levels are low, it is likely that you will always need to take an OTC vitamin D supplement. There is a prescription strength “loading dose” that your doctor can prescribe. Usually, this is only given for about eight weeks in a once a week dose. However, it is not uncommon that patients remain on the loading dose for much longer than eight weeks due to severe vitamin D deficiency or other causes. Your doctor will decide what is best for your specific situation.

After the prescription course is complete, an OTC supplement is required on a daily basis in order for your levels to stay in the normal range. I find that patients will take the prescription and possibly the OTC for a short time and then stop taking it.  I would say that about 80% of those folks usually fall back into the deficient range.

Vitamin D is inexpensive, they are small and easy to swallow. Additionally, it is important to your energy levels, your immunity and your overall health. It’s easily found at any pharmacy over the counter. So…Take your Vitamin D! You’ll be glad you did!

My Work From Home Adventure

I recently left my job as a nurse to pursue other options and I must admit it’s a little terrifying. I have work on a public job for so long that it seems strange being at home all day. But I’m getting used to it 🙂 I have been online for a few months now researching ways that I can make money from home while I’m searching for my dream job. I have found lots of good information, however, the majority of it is not for me. I’m not a big phone person. I love people but I don’t really like talking on the telephone. That limits my options somewhat.

What I have realized is that there is no fast track to success. It is a work in progress however, I am dedicated to putting forth the effort to make my dreams reality. Life is too short to spend it doing things that you don’t want to do for people who don’t respect or appreciate you. You have to take risks to get the rewards. You never know until you try!

That being said, I have started to do some transcription and caption work which I enjoy, especially the captioning part. It’s very interesting but the pay is not great. I am just starting out and I’m sure it will get better as my speed increases. Patience and hard work always pay off. I’m looking forward to my new adventure.

You can find some great information from some of these pros: TheWorkAtHomeWifeBusyBudgeterWorkFromHomeHappiness just to name a few. Thanks ladies for all the great information and motivation that you have provided me and so many others. I aspire to follow in your footsteps!

Hello world!

Hello World! My name is Misty and I’m a newbie blogger. Let me introduce myself. I’m 43 and a mother of two (now adult) children. My husband and I have been married for almost two years now and we have a great life together. We have a Chug (Chihuahua and Pug) named Brendy. I enjoy doing many different things. I’m sort of a Jane of all Trades, if you will.

While I’m not an expert at anything, I do have a fair amount of knowledge about a lot of different things. I’m a nurse by trade but I have dabbled in many different areas. I’m pretty good at floral design. I also love to cook and will be sharing some of my favorite recipes. I like to sew, crochet, make jewelry, just about any craft actually. I also LOVE to do home improvement projects! I have been known to change out a kitchen sink and faucet and lay a few rooms of laminate too.

Health and fitness are very important to me as well, especially now that I’m getting older. We can keep each other motivated to stay fit, fabulous and happy! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and sharing some of my experiences with you all. Stay tuned!