Delish! 10 Warm Drink Recipes to Sooth the Soul

Howdy there!

10 Warm Drinks that Won't Pack on Pounds - the first one is a skinny peppermint mocha. ; )

So let me see, it’s been about 3 months since I’ve blogged, give or take? Let’s just say that the latter half of my college experience has definitely taken a toll on me. I have barely had any time to work on Chic en Chocoat But never fear my lovelies…I will get to it.

To start, I’m gonna brief you on this amazing group of drink recipes that I found from Shape Magazine. They have made a list of recipes of 10 different drinks that won’t have you worrying about packing on the pounds. I went running outside today and GOODNESS ME IT WAS FREEZING! My fingers and face were bright pink and by the end of it I was panting because I thought my body was going to freeze into a popsicle! These are some nice drinks to have maybe a few times a week…a healthier option to some of those massive mochacchinos from Starbucks…now THOSE are dangerous.

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

Slash calories by replacing sugary syrup with peppermint extract and skipping the whipped cream on top. The boost of intense minty flavor in this mocha is balanced out by dark chocolatesyrup and nonfat milk.
Ingredients:
1/2 c. coffee
2 drops peppermint extract
1/3 c. nonfat milk
2 tbsp. dark chocolate syrup

Directions:
Brew coffee of your choice (or use one package of instant coffee) and pour into a mug. Stir peppermint extract and chocolate syrup into the coffee. Taste and adjust to your liking. Stir in nonfat milk.

Makes one serving.

Voli Hot Cocoa

On a chilly day, cozy up to this vodka-spiked hot cocoa that’ll only cost you about 161 calories. This vanilla-infused vodka offers a smart alternative to richly flavored—but calorie-heavy—alcoholic mixers. Cheers to that!
Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz. Voli Espresso Vanilla Vodka
1 packet dark hot cocoa mix
8 oz. hot waterDirections:
Pour all ingredients over Voli Espresso Vanilla and stir. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

Makes one serving.

Hot Cinnamon Coffee

When plain black coffee just doesn’t cut it, enhance your java with a generous infusion of ground cinnamon. The aromatic spice is high in fiber, calcium, and iron. Plus, it adds so much flavor that it can be used as a replacement for sugar.
Ingredients:
1 c. coffee
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. nonfat milk
1 tsp. brown sugar, if desired

Directions:
Brew coffee of your choice. Mix in cinnamon and milk. Adjust to your liking. Add brown sugar if desired. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Makes one serving.

Matcha Milk

Matcha, a green tea popular in Japan, is the base of this warm, creamy drink. The nourishing tea is said to provide a plethora of health benefits, including increasing metabolism and reducing cholesterol levels, all while tasting perfectly delicious.
Ingredients:
1 tbsp. matcha powder
1 c. hot almond milk
1 tsp. agave syrup (or other sweetener)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon or nutmeg, if desiredDirections:
Blend matcha powder with milk. Stir in agave syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.

Makes one serving.

Spiced Cider Punch

Allow this cider to simmer on the stove on a cold day, and you’ll be rewarded with a richly flavored, naturally sweet drink. It’s steeped in spices like cinnamon and cloves, which are nutrient-dense sources of fiber and vitamins.
Ingredients:
1 c. unsweetened apple juice
1 c. water
1/2 c. orange juice concentrate
1/2 c. lemonade concentrate
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticksDirections:
Combine the first seven ingredients together in a slow cooker. Tie cloves and cinnamon sticks in a cheesecloth bag and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until fully heated. Remove spice bag. Garnish with additional cinnamon sticks if desired.

Makes about two servings.

Spicy Pumpkin Latte

Pumpkin lattes are a seasonal favorite at most coffee shops, but you can concoct your own low-fat version at home with this easy-as-pie recipe. Agave syrup and soy milk promise lots of full-bodied flavor without breaking the calorie bank.
Ingredients:
1 c. coffee
1/3 c. soy milk
2 tbsp. agave syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spiceDirections:
Brew coffee and pour into a mug. Add soy milk. Stir in agave syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Garnish the top with pumpkin pie spice if desired.

Makes one serving.

Wee One’s Hot Chocolate

Indulge in a mug of hot cocoa with Catherine McCord’s healthy twist on the cold-weather classic. The mom and model, who launched Weelicious in 2007, substitutes agave for sugar in this chocolate drink, so it’s not loaded with empty calories.
Ingredients:
1 c. skim, low-fat, whole, soy, almond or rice milk
2 tsp. agave
1 tbsp. chocolate cocoaDirections:
Bring the milk to a near boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Whisk in the agave and cocoa until thoroughly combined. Serve.

Makes one serving.

Kewl Masala Chai Tea Latte

Masala chai is full of antioxidant-rich spices such as fennel seeds and cardamom pods, so quench your thirst with this creamy tea latte, the creation of iCarlyactor and KewlBites founder Reed Alexander.
Ingredients:
3 c. water
1 tbsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. fresh gingerroot, finely grated
15 whole cloves
14 whole allspice
9 whole green cardamom pods
2 pink peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks
2 bags unflavored, decaffeinated white tea
1/2 c. nonfat skim milk
Honey or other sweetener, to taste, if desired
Foamed nonfat skim milk, for garnish, if desiredDirections:
Pour water into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop. Place the fennel seed, cloves, allspice, cardamom and peppercorns into a mortar and lightly crush with a pestle. Add the crushed spice into the simmering water. Add the cinnamon sticks and gingerroot. Stir. Recover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the white tea leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer 4-5 minutes. Stir in the milk. Remove pot from heat and pour tea through a fine strainer to capture and discard cooked spices and direct liquid into a large teapot or heatproof pitcher, or evenly divided into two serving mugs. Add honey or other sweetener, if desired, and garnish with foamed milk. Serve.

Makes two servings.

Healthy Eggnog

Made with whole eggs and heavy condensed milk, most eggnogs sneak hundreds of extra calories into your diet. Give this festive brew a nutritious makeover—without sacrificing its signature velvety texture—by incorporating skim milk and stevia.
Ingredients:
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 c. skim milk
1 tsp. stevia
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Ground nutmeg to taste
1/8 c. light whipping creamDirections:
Beat the egg yolk, skim milk and stevia in a bowl. Pour in a pot and cook over medium heat. Stir in vanilla and ground nutmeg. Right before serving, beat light whipping cream into the mixture until soft peaks form. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg.

Makes one serving.

Hot Lemon Tea

Dress up a steaming mug of green tea with a splash of lemon juice and vanilla extract. The sweet and tangy combo is refreshing, plus freshly squeezed lemon means your bevvie is bursting with vitamin C.
Ingredients:
1 green tea bag
1 c. hot water
3 tbsp. lemon, juiced
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. agave syrup (or other sweetener) Cinnamon stick, if desiredDirections:
Steep tea bag in boiling hot water for 4-5 minutes. Discard tea bag. Stir in lemonade concentrate and vanilla extract. Slowly stir in agave syrup, adjusting to your liking. Garnish with cinnamon stick if desired.

Makes one serving.

I don’t know about you…but I am sure ready to whip out my Spongebob mug (no shame!) and stir up some yummy warm goodness!

As always, have a lovely day!

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Hey y’all! It’s been a while. School has definitely been taking a toll on me. And it has most definitely inhibited me from having time to blog. Which is quite sad…but I assure you that once October gets started, I will be back to a somewhat, regular weekly schedule instead of a daily one. But…without further adieu…

Here is an awesome little graphic I found on my FAVORITE site. Pinterest. Seriously…if you haven’t heard of it, check it out. In my opinion, it’s like the girlie-version of Reddit. 🙂

run, Run, RUN!

Hello all!

Although it is Wednesday, it totally feels like it is a Thursday for me. For the past few weeks, we haven’t had our Monday classes due to holidays, wacky schedules, etc. So my entire brain is now one day ahead. Darn…still have to get over hump day.

This year at college I am paying special attention to my overall health by focusing on my exercise. I know that I post all sorts of articles on health and nutrition and fitness, but I never really tell you exactly what I do in terms of my workouts lately. About a month ago, I decided to sit down and write a precise schedule of what I would be doing for exercise while I was away (and hopefully for a LONG time after that!)

I stick to a schedule of working out at LEAST 5 days a week. Since I have so much going on in my day due to classes, extracurriculars, etc, I workout as soon as I wake up. I know that sounds like torture for most college-aged people because we tend to oversleep till noon or even later. But seriously, if you just get yourself awake early enough and use your willpower to get yourself out of bed, you WILL get yourself out that door and you WILL find success.

A nice little tip is to put your workout clothes and sneakers out in a lovely pile the night before. No excuses now!

For those 5 days a week that I work out, I do about 30 minutes of cardio. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? Well, here’s an important fact: People are more likely to stick to a workout regimen if they set goals that are MAINTAINABLE for long periods of time. That way, you will achieve long-term success. If you tell yourself you are going to run on a treadmill for an hour a day and then do a total body circuit, you will burn out eventually…no question. It is more reasonable to set smaller daily goals that you can stick to and you can maintain for long periods of time so that you don’t find yourself yo-yo-ing. (A dangerous pattern that I have found myself in many a’times in my past.

My half hour cardio alternates every single day. I am a big fan on running, whether it is outside, on the treadmill, interval training, whatever. I call that my main workout. Meaning, I do this the majority of my 5 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). However, if you are doing high-intensity, high-impact cardio like running, you should space it out by cross training. Basically, cross training is when you workout on any other machine other than your main workout. For me, I use the elliptical because it doesn’t have as harsh of an impact on my joints. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I stick to cross training.

Then comes my resistance training. I typically like to do one of 2 different routines that I also alternate in order to get the best results. On my running days, I stick to an ab circuit and on my cross-training days, I do a leg circuit. I normally do not use weights when doing these, because I am a fan of using your own body weight as your resistance for your workouts. The moves I use for both routines are from a program I did starting the summer after my freshman year called P90X. I don’t want to go into too much detail about P90X, but if you are interested in seeing the moves I do, you can see theab workout here and the leg workout here.

https://i1.wp.com/www.beachbody.com/images/beachbody/en_us/products/programs/p90x/base-2.jpg

It is crucial that you create a good balance between resistance training and cardio. You cannot just do one and expect good results. It’s like working out and eating, right? You cannot workout like a fiend and slack in your nutrition and expect quality results.

My 5 days a week, as you have probably noticed, pertains to Monday-Friday. However, I am a huge fan of adding additional activity to the weekend if you want to. Just don’t do anything too strenuous. For example, at school a group of friends and I have created a running club where we run routes around the campus on Sunday mornings. Also, I participate in Club Tennis at my college on Wednesday and Sunday nights. So that is DOUBLE the cardio in one day. And since tennis is too strenuous a workout, it makes the activity more fun.

Well, that’s pretty much the gist of it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading up on my routines and get inspired to create your own workout plan you can commit to. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 😉

As always, have a lovely day!

Men’s Perspective…On Women’s Bodies

Here are some fun facts about men and their perspective on women’s bodies. Enjoy!

78% of men would rather date a confident plus-sized woman than an insecure supermodel

“My favorite part of a woman’s body is…”

Her butt: 22%
Her chest: 17%
Her legs: 7%
Her face/eyes: 15%
Other: 10%
The whole package: 29%

Your girlfriend/wife calls herself fat. React.

“What the heck? She’s gorgeous. I’m with her, after all”   28%

“We all have insecurities. I’d try to help her feel better”   61%

“If that inspires her to improve herself, I’m all for it”   11%

You generally find that women…

Have an accurate opinion of what they look like: 18%

Are overconfident about their looks: 10%

Should have more confidence in their bodies: 72%

My ideal female body type is…

Athletic and ripped, like Cameron Diaz: 8%

Super skinny, like Zoe Saldana: 2%

Fit, but womanly, like Jennifer Lawrence: 34%

Very curvy, like Christina Hendricks: 18%

A fuller figure, like Melissa McCarthy: 3%

Cute and compact, like Rachel Bilson: 17%

ALL OF ‘EM! 18%

…and have you ever dated a woman who didn’t have that body type?

Yes: 84%

No: 16%

Do you compare women’s bodies to the ones you see in magazines?

Yes, I can’t help it: 14%

Probably subconsciously. But I try to remember that real women don’t have the benefit of good lighting and retouching: 51%

No. That’s just fantasy: 35%

Would you ever date a woman who is taller than you?

Yes: 70%

No: 30%

What gets your attention more?

How sexy a woman’s body is: 41%

How much confidence she carries with it: 59%

Neat statistics, right? Hope you enjoyed them! And as always, have a lovely day!

The Best Times to Eat!

While maintaining a healthy diet by eating the proper foods in proper portion sizes is crucial to your success, another factor that plays an important role is the TIME that you eat those healthy foods. Eating the appropriate foods and the right times will keep your metabolic rate at its maximum burning rate, allowing you to burn more fat from your body.

Here’s my first tip: Try to eat every 3-4 hours. I know this is somewhat difficult for most people because we are constantly on the go and barely have the time in our schedules for a full meal. However, eating smaller meals at this rate is crucial to your metabolic health because it will keep your inner engine running properly and will release hormones in your body that allows you to control your appetite.

You guys know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? RIGHT? I cannot tell you how many friends I have who simply do not eat breakfast because they say they are either not hungry or just don’t have the time. But seriously, eating breakfast within an hour of waking up is SO IMPORTANT. When you skip breakfast, you lose its stimulating benefits on your metabolic rate. You also become more likely to eat unbalanced meals, more calories, and larger amounts of saturated fat throughout the day. Plenty of research shows that those of us who skip breakfast are actually heavier.

You should start your day with more protein-based foods than anything else. They will help to stabilize your blood sugar and to keep you feeling satisfied all day.

Another important tip is to not eat 3 hours before you go to sleep. Why? Eating too close to bedtime raises your body temperature, increases blood sugar and insulin, prevents the release of melatonin, and cuts down on growth hormone release. All these factors interfere with the quality of your sleep and the natural fat-burning benefits of a good night’s rest.

Eating after working out is also a very important habit to have. After you are done working out, your body is begging for nutrients and calories to refuel. When you are moving your body on a machine or lifting weights, you are basically ripping your muscles (only slightly, no worries guys) and as soon as you are done working out, your muscles begin the restoration process. And the absolute best food to give your body after a workout is anything with PROTEIN! Protein is essential to muscle growth and overall well-being in your body.

I hope these tips will help you gain more control in your eating habits and allow you to feel more satisfied more often with the meals you are eating. As always, have a lovely day!

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The Easy-Peasy Guide to Cardio!

Hello my lovelies! Just wanted to show you another infographic that I found detailing how to use either a treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, etc to achieve the results you want in your body whether it is to slim down or to get more muscle. I will admit that the ‘Bulk Up’ category of this is a bit over-exaggerated…but it’s all in good humor. You get what the creator is trying to say. Enjoy! 🙂

No-Frills Guide to Cardio!

The Mysterious Grapefruit…Does It Really Make You Slim?

Remember that fad diet that celebs used to (or maybe still) swear to in order to drop the unwanted flab? The one that promised eating grapefruit for all main meals of the day would ultimately give you your dream body? Well…I am certainly not giving that method my blessing. In fact, I am an avid hater of fad diets for one main reason. THEY DO NOT WORK. I mean, sure…they will work in the short term, but as has been said by many of bloggers before me, you will gain all that weight right back. No way around it.

But that doesn’t mean that the grapefruit doesn’t offer some significant health benefits when incorporated properly into one’s diet. According to a collection of data from 2003 to 2008, on average, women who consumed any amount of grapefruit or grapefruit juice weighed nearly 10 pounds less and had a 6 percent lower body mass index (BMI) than those who didn’t. Pretty cool, right?

One major reason for this is that grapefruit (similarly to many other fruits and veggies) contain high levels of water, making you feel fuller and more satisfied on less calories.

Not a huge grapefruit fan? Try to incorporate more foods like cucumber or watermelon that have high water content. Foods packed with H20 could have a similar effect as grapefruit on your diet.

As always, have a lovely day!

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