Coffee, our great morning saver! There are so many ways to have your coffee: latte, americano, black, espresso, etc., etc. There are also so many myths about coffee. Does it stunt your growth? Is it addicting? Does it lessen your appetite? Should you have it every day?

Here are some facts: Potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer and promoting a healthy heart.

Of course, coffee also helps people feel less tired and increase energy levels because of the stimulant caffeine. The caffeine is absorbed into the blood stream and travels to the brain, where it blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which increases the amount of dopamine. Coffee improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.

Caffeine also burns fat by boosting your metabolic rate. It also stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel, which improves the physical performance!

It also has a bunch of nutrients! Vitamin B2, B5, Manganese and Potassuim; Magnesium and Niacin. All super good for you.

Coffee also has protective effects on the liver. If you are a heavy drinker, coffee helps protect against cirrhosis. People who drink four or more cups a day have up to an eighty percent lower risk.

She also fights depression and helps people be happy, which is wonderful. It also has antioxidants!

My latte my mom made me!

a workout

My coach threw this one together. It was the first thing we did in practice, and it was pretty killer. I was sweating like crazy at the end, and it was perfect to get into basketball shape. I just have to deal with the sore muscles after…

A circuit. Do it as many times as you can for fifteen minutes.

  1. 60 jump ropes, or 20 double-unders
  2. 20 jump squats
  3. 10 push ups
  4. 20 jump lunges, or regular lunges. Pay attention to form, and not letting your knee go over your toe.
  5. 10 burpees
  6. 1, at any time in the circuit, 500 meter row. This one depends on where you are, so do what you can.

When doing intense training like this, it is important to PAY ATTENTION TO FORM. I cannot stress that enough. Going hard the whole time means nothing if you injure yourself, and hard injuries will put you out for a long time.

If you are not ready for push ups, modify and go down to your knees.

If you are not ready for full burpees, just hold a plank instead of a push up.

Make sure in jump squats you jump all the way up, and land well, not having your knees go over your toes. If there is too much jumping in this circuit, and that hurts your knees or joints, then don’t jump and stay stationary. Trust me, it is just as effective, you soon enough, you will be doing that whole burpee, and you might hate yourself more…but it is a good pain!

Have fun!!

Spirulina Questions? Here are some answers…

Spirulina. I’m not sure what I am supposed to expect from that word, but it certainly isn’t nutritious algae. Even spell check wants to correct it to “spiritual”…

Spirulina, the cousin of chlorella, is one of today’s most talked about superfood. It is grown all over the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, and its deep, green pigment is just the beginning of its deep qualities.

  1. It detoxes your system of heavy metals, including arsenic. If you have seen Chicago you know that isn’t something you want (“Some guys just can’t hold their arsenic!”).
  2. It lowers your blood pressure. Phycocyanin is a pigment that scientists have discovered possesses anti-hypertensive effects.
  3. It reduces your levels of cholesterol.  That’s good.
  4. It boots your energy!
  5. It is the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It is considered a complete source of high-quality protein. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, the vitamin necessary for digestion of fats and proteins, is also abundant in spirulina. It is often taken for increased energy, eye health, brain function, and for improving nerve functioning. High source of Iron, too.
  6. Full of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage. Blueberries are a good way to get them in, but why not also eat some algae with that fruit to double your intake?

Try it if you want. They also make your smoothies, or whatever you put it in a very deep blue, green color, which adds to the fun in my opinion.

Stay healthy, be aware, and keep moving forward everybody.

Healthy Fats

Fats are good for you! Your body needs fats!

Positives: It is a major source of energy, helps you absorb vitamins and minerals, it builds cell membranes, and it protects your organs. Fat is also essential for blood clotting, muscle movement and inflammation. Having a healthy amount of fat keeps your skin and hair healthy, too.

You want to focus more on the good fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats, if you have an abundance, can lead to a rise in cholesterol, which leads to heart disease. However, five to six percent of saturated fats need to be in your diet to stay healthy.

The main reason I think we are so afraid of fat is because they can pack on the calories quick. One gram of fat equals nine calories, the highest ratio of your macros, where protein and carbohydrates are each four calories per gram. Avoiding fats does keep the calorie count down, but your body won’t be functioning to its full potential.

So what to eat when you need to have some fat in your diet:

Nuts. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3’s, which are great for the brain and hair; almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and hazelnuts also make the cut.

Seeds. Seeds are full of the good stuff like nuts. Chia, flax, hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin!

Oils. Great ones for cooking or to add to smoothies or salad dressings to add creaminess and taste. Sesame seed, avocado, coconut, macadamia nut, grape seed, and extra virgin olive oil.

Also fish! Salmon is awesome, as well as packed with protein.

So don’t fear fat, learn to love it!

almond butterr


Smoothie Bowls

Avoiding sugars is the main goal for most of us trying to live a “healthier life”. Artificial sugars are what you really want to stay away from, and focus on the sugars of fruit. Fruits are full of antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for staying healthy. They keep your skin and hair healthy, boost your immune system, and benefit a bunch of other things in your body.

A great way to get your serving of fruits is through smoothies! Smoothies, but today I am focusing on smoothie bowls. Usually thicker in consistency, and you can top them with cool stuff that better the texture and taste, and nutritional content.

The one I made today is super creamy and green. Here are the ingredients:

For one serving:

-2 ounces frozen blueberries

-2 ounces frozen strawberries

-70 grams frozen banana

-spinach. I just put two giant handfuls, because I like to get my iron in.

protein powder of choice

-teaspoon of Spirulina

Blend it up with a high-powered blender. I like to use coconut water to help it blend easier, or sometimes water. Not too much liquid, though, or else it will not have that ice cream consistency.

Toppings! It is up to you!

I like put chia seeds, coconut shreds, cacao nibs and a drizzle of almond butter. It is also fun to make the bowl pretty and Instagram worthy.

Smoothie bowls are a delicious way to get in your nutrients, but also make sure you know what you are putting in the blender. The calories could add up to being equivalent to a large Blizzard, minus the vitamins.

Have fun!

Smoothie bowl for blog

Staying Active

It may be hard to really get those steps in when we are at school or at work. Sitting is a big part of the day for most of us, and walking around between classes is probably the most we move. However, doing those little things really benefits your body and overall health. We all know how important it is to get the heart rate up and blood flowing, but time is of the essence. Keeping up the social life and slaving away on the grades really takes up the minutes.

But still. Move around! Here are some easy ways to stay active:

-Going for a hike. There are so many trails and hikes around us that it is almost impossible to not find one that suits you.

-Having a dance party. Just play some music and let the rhythm move you! I recommend ABBA. Also, doing this relieves your stress.

-Finding a type of exercise you enjoy. If the gym is too much, find a class to take where they teach you. You can work out and talk with friends.

-Playing a sport. I really like playing basketball, so getting into a pick up game isn’t hard, and it’s an easy way to forget that you are working out because you are so into the game.

-Taking a walk. With your pet or with your friend, or perhaps just alone, it just helps clear your head. A stroll in the city or in the woods, each one let’s you get in touch with yourself.

Just move you body, stimulate your mind and have a good time.

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The school wide 5k is tomorrow and it is a tad nerve wracking yet also exciting! All students in psychical education classes will be running the course with timer chips on to track their 5k times. Each student has been timing their mile long runs and 1.7k run times to set a goal time for this run. Teachers or any other students wanting to sign up to run may print a waiver off of the IHS website and participate as well. Personally my goal time is 24 minutes set for me by Mr.Bland and a lot of running has taken place to prepare. I love to run so it should be an okay time! If you love to run too I will be sharing some exciting 5k runs open to the public from Seattle Runs organization.

– Mud Factor! This 5k will be taking place August 10th 2014 in Seattle. Registration is $30 if you sign up before fathers day and includes a bandana, tattoo (temporary), medal, and bib with a name tag. The course goes through the mud and includes a cargo climb, halfway house, slip n slide, wall climb, a wire crawl and many other things!

-Run or Dye Seattle. The race is $23.50 to enter and takes place on Saturday, June 28 at 9 a.m. Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5k is separated into four courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color––which also is the color of the dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they’ll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone—a poly chromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, or anyone walking by. The dye is Eco friendly and safe as well as washable.


Luckily I got the chance to take cooking this year at school and its been such a unique class. Not only have we learned to cook but we have learned a lot about cookware, bake ware, technique, and a lot more! Many more things are involved in the process than I even knew. But, today we had a free cooking day which was so exciting for me because usually we are assigned things and they are not in my clean eating perimeter so I have to pass up my food after I make it. SO, we got to make a tofu vegetable stir fry! It was so good I would like to share with everyone 🙂

Vegetable Stir Fry:
-1 yellow bell pepper
-1 green bell pepper
-1 clove of garlic
-1 package of 8 oz. tofu
-1/2 cup teryiaki sauce
-1 red onion
-2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil

My dad found pre-cubed organic 8 oz. tofu packages at Safeway which worked perfectly for this AND having the tofu already cut in to cubes is very helpful. Cut everything else in to cubes as well and mash the garlic or chop it in to pieces as small as possible. One thing about cooking tofu is its extensive cooking time. Usually it is deep fried so when you cook it yourself on just a stove top it does not seem to be cooking very much. I would recommend putting the tofu on the stove first and longer than anything else. Then after about 10 minutes of letting it cook, add all the other stir fry ingredients in the pan. Pour the teriyaki sauce over it and stir it all around on the burner for 10-15 minutes on medium heat!

may 30

Sitting Is Bad for You!

Reviewing the Washington Posts Health & Science department article, here are some silly yet serious health risks associated with sitting for up to 8 hours per day. Just about anything can be bad for you, even something as minuscule as sitting, but it is pretty obvious if you are sitting down for long every day you do not have much physical activity incorporated into your day in the first place.

Greater risk to heart disease. Blood flow will be slower and fat burning by the muscles will also take place very slowly, allowing fat to clog the heart arteries easier. This can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure which leaves you at the higher risk for heart disease.

Brain functioning slower. Your brain is not getting that fast pumping oxygen from your muscles due to their sluggish motivation when you are stationary for that long.

Back problems. Many problems can form due to inactivity. The disks in our spine soak up nutrients and blood to keep everything circulating when we are active, but when we sit for long periods at a time, the disks are inactive and are stacked on top of each other unevenly The collagen around tendons and ligaments in the spine can even start to harden.

Tight Hips. Your hip flexors become shorter and tighter. This can actually cause shorter strides in walking patterns and is a major contributor to elderly people falling often.

Studies show that people who watch 1-2 hours of TV per day have a 4% mortality rate compared to those who watch TV for 7 or more hours a day, with a mortality rate of 61%

Get out and get moving!

Carrot Soup!?

I know I may be taking the clean eating thing a slight bit too seriously when I start making soup out of CARROTS. Strange…yet so good and good for you! Off of All Recipes, here is the recipe for vegan carrot curry soup:

-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
-4 large chopped carrots
-1 white onion, chopped
-1 can vegetable broth
-1 tablespoon curry powder
-3 minced cloves of garlic
-salt and pepper to taste

On a stove top in a medium pot, simmer oil and onions until transparent. Stir in carrots and garlic and simmer on medium heat to let the carrots sweat out their juices. Add in broth and curry powder and stir and cook for about 5 more minutes. Puree all of mixture in a blender and serve! It is a crazy different idea but trust me it is actually so tasty.

Chicken, Avocado, & Mango Salad:
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/4 cup of water
-4 cups shredded cooked chicken
-1/3 cup lime juice
-1/2 cup chilli garlic sauce
-2 diced avocados
-2 medium diced mangoes
-1 10 ounce spring lettuce package

Stir brown sugar and water together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring t a boil, then set aside in a medium bowl with the garlic, lime juice, and chilli sauce. This will be the dressing for the salad.

In a separate large bowl, toss the chicken, mangoes, and avocado. Dish out spring lettuce on to the plates first, then top with the chicken mixture. Pour over dressing and serve!

Avocado is your healthy fat in this recipe, and the sugar is in a small amount. Sugar is bad if not worked off and stored, so do not feel too bad about the dressing. Over all these are two very health beneficial and delicious recipes.

may 23

Stronger Immune System?

Regular exercise can actually reduce the amount of times you may get a cold per year. Working out can literally improve your immune systems strength simultaneously as you build your own! Your heart is able to pump more blood throughout your body and at a quicker rate. Your lungs are quicker and more equipped at exchanging oxygen through your entire body. Working your organs, muscles, and even cells! Your cells that are meant to attack bacteria causing illness and even disease become stronger. The boost is said to last for hours after a workout. Your cells are working harder, during a larger interval of your day than if you were to not exercise, and acquire no cell boost at all.

Taking Sunday off when completing a regular workout routine through the rest of the week is not just a mental rest day, it is important to your body as well. If you work your body that often the rest of the week and give it no rest day, all the boosts on your bacteria attacking cells can actually cause the immune system to weaken. When you train for an event in a short given time or try to immediately get in to a health kick, you can over work yourself and start to feel weak and fatigued, instead of the extra energy and glow you should be attaining. Make sure you are giving your body enough rest! So you can attain your immune system boost the right way 🙂 Surveys have also shown that those who workout regularly only take off half of the sick days that people take when they are not. So get that heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day a few times a week 😛

Don’t Count Calories, Just Eat Better!

I see far too many people counting calories or basing their food intake off a certain amount of calories per day. All calories are, is a heat measurement from when the food is being made. So, are ‘healthy’ calories say from an apple, better for you than ‘unhealthy’ calories say from a doughnut? Actually, yes..

A calorie is a measurement and does not change or vary in an apple as to a calorie in a doughnut. But, the catch is that it is processed differently in our bodies so the ‘healthy’ calories actually are good for us. Like I mentioned last week, fruit contains natural sugar, but it also contains fibre and vitamins. The fibre helps the body to absorb the natural sugars slower and instead release energy at a regulated flow so that you feel satisfied for longer and you do not get those spikes of energy and crashes like when you eat food that is not as nutritionally beneficial. Eating junk food will give you spikes of energy and crashes versus a normal regulated energy level. This is also part of in taking fewer calories because you do not feel tempted to snack.

In contrast, not only does the doughnut not have the fibre and vitamins, but it has a lot of added sugar and fat and carbohydrates from the flour and sugar. The carbs and sugar are absorbed quickly in to ones blood sugar so you get the energy rush, but then the following energy crash and ZERO nutritional value. This also leaves you hungry and needing MORE energy and more food..AKA more calories.

The doughnut and the apple have the same amount of calories..and if your only counting calories, that is what your basing your diet off of, not even looking in to the substance your calories are coming from. So, look at substance as opposed to calories! It will surprise you 🙂

may 16

Helping with Progress Tracking

The great new app I have been obsessing over is, My Diet Coach, it has a screen that gives options such as “food craving”, “exercise laziness”, “eating out”. The app allows you to enter your starting weight and goal and track your weight loss on a graphic visual on a timeline. It allows you to store motivational photos and gives you the option to review them when you push the “PANIC” button on the home screen. Preset reminders to drink water, view your daily goals, and prepare veggies. Every time you crave a food, the app insists cravings only last up to 20 minutes, and starts a timer counting down from 20 minutes. A lot of motivation and logging just for fun to make you feel obligated to post about your progress. Recent studies have even showed links of posting about your progress on social media, and feeling the duty to yourself and your witnesses that you stay motivated.

Next, the fitbit from Nike. The plastic watch looking contraption sits around your wrist, or the sim card can pop in to the sides of the fitbit nikes, there is also arm straps for the fit bit, so many convenient places for people working out. They can track your number of steps, distance walked/ran, number of calories burned, floors of stairs climbed, and remaining wight to loose until you’ve reached your goal. With an LED screen and Bluetooth connectivity, all you have to do is press a small button on the side of the bit and flip through the display screens of the provided information.

New fitness technology that made me excited 🙂

Is natural sugar in fruit bad?

The fruit in sugar is named fructose, and unlike normal “table sugar” named sucrose, it does not interfere with the regulation of your blood sugar. Doctors even recommend diabetics have fructose as an energy source versus sucrose because it may aid hypoglycemic control.

A normal orange has around 12 grams of natural sugar, and a cup of strawberries contains around 7 grams of natural sugar. Sweeter fruits like cherries and peaches contain a higher amount than that of avocados and tomatoes which you can taste are obviously not as sweet. With the orange and cup of strawberries you receive so many health benefits. With only 50 – 60 calories you are getting 3 grams of fiber, all of your vitamin C daily intake, folic acid, potassium, and other minerals as well. In a 20 ounce can of soda, you receive zero nutrients or minerals, 225 calories, and around 60 grams of sugar that is sucrose or in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Fresh or frozen fruit is ideal for low sugar content. A cup of cranberries that is fresh contains only 4 grams of sugar. Dried fruit on the other hand can almost QUADRUPLE the amount of sugar a fruit had to begin with. A 118 gram banana contains 14 grams of sugar but through the dehydrating process to make banana chips, the fruit is usually rolled in a lot of granulated sugar. 118 grams of banana chips, has 42 grams of much more. When getting canned fruit, small fixes for less added sugar could be to look for fruit packaged in juices rather than syrups.

So, NO natural sugar in fruit can hardly ever harm you with such low content 🙂