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A health blog as unique as you are

  • Red Velvet Protein Brownies

    When it comes to getting the body you want, giving up certain food is more than likely a must. But, that doesn't mean you have to give up everything you love - including brownies. YES - brownies! See, the key to losing weight and maintaining the results is to replace the bad ingredients with good ones. You might be thinking, "Great. Here comes another fitness treat that tastes like cardboard". Our response? Shhh, child.
    We are convinced that you will change your mind about healthy sweets after trying this TDF (to die for) recipe. So sit back and read these simple instructions. Then get to the kitchen and try it for yourself!
    For the best value, click the links below to purchase items directly from HealthDesigns.com. We will ship them directly to your door. Click here for a $5 off coupon. 

    Red Velvet Protein Brownies by HealthDesigns.com Red Velvet Protein Brownies by HealthDesigns.com

    Ingredients
    (Buy Measuring Cups Here)

    2 scoops Red Velvet Protein Powder
    1 ½ cups Almond Flour
    ½ cup Cocoa Powder
    1 tsp Baking Powder
    1 cup Milk
    ½ cup Organic Honey
    ¼ cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted
    2 Egg Whites

    Instructions

    We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. Share your cooking + baking recipes with us and you could be featured in our next blog post! Please email all recipes to social@healthdesigns.com

  • #MeatlessMonday - Shakshuka!

    Shakshuka is a popular dish in Israel that has made it's way into the homes of people all over the world. If you're like most bodybuilders you probably LOVE eggs... and you are in luck! Eggs are the star of this healthy and filling dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All you need is one pan - making the clean up sooooo easy. Enjoy!

    CLICK HERE for $5 OFF healthy foods, cooking oils, snacks, food prep items and more from HealthDesigns.com.
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    Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
    • 4 cups of ripe diced tomatoes (or 2 cans)
    • 2 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper (add more to taste)
    • Pinch of sugar (add more to taste)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley


    PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
    TOTAL TIME: 30 TO 40 MINUTES

    Instructions

    Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil. Add chopped onion and sauté until it begins to soften. Add garlic and sauté until mixed.
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    Add the bell pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes on medium.
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    Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir until blended. Add spices and sugar. Allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more sugar for sweetness. Add more cayenne paper for spiciness.
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    Crack the eggs one at a time. Space them evenly over the sauce. Tip: place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 egg in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.
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    Cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until eggs are cooked and the sauce is slightly reduced.
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    Garnish with chopped parsley. Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve with warm crusty bread or pita and a side salad.
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    I hope you enjoy this #MeatlessMonday meal! If you decide to make this I would love to see your finished results. Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your #MeatlessMonday meals to us. Have a recipe you'd like to share? Send it to aschneider@healthdesigns.com and we might feature your recipe in our next blog post.

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  • 10 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

    Who doesn't remember the Chia Pet? Those things were so much fun! Sprinkle some chia seeds onto your animal of choice and within a week they've grown hair! Amazing! But who would have thought that those very seeds are packed full of super healthy vitamins and minerals!

    chia-seeds

    Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which is grown in Mexico. The seeds date back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures which it's said these seeds were used for supernatural powers.

    Now you will probably not gain any supernatural ability, but what you will gain is some powerful nutrients! Here are the top 10 reason why everyone needs to add chia seeds to their diet!

    1. Packed full of omega 3 fats- The chia plant is one of the richest plant-based sources for Omega-3 fatty acids. They actually contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
    2. Great Source of Fiber- With 10 grams of fiber in only 2 tablespoons, chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber!
    3. Weightloss- Chia seeds absorb lots of water and expands in the stomach, which as a result increases fullness and causes you to eat less.
    4. Great for Hydration- Chia seeds are popular with athletes because when chia seeds absorb water they turn into a gel-like substance keeping us hydrated for longer periods of time.
    5. High in Antioxidant- Chia seeds contain high amounts of antioxidants that contribute to fighting off diseases like cancer.
    6. High Quality of Protein- One of the highest quality of protein, chia seeds beat out the rest of the plant family with a 14% protein content. This can also help in reducing food cravings.
    7. Lower the Risk of Diabetes- Chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, which can help with controlling blood sugar levels.
    8. Add to Any Dish- You can easily add chia seeds to any meal to always get the extra nutrients, whether it's mixed in with your yogurt, salad, cereal, sauces, rices, the combinations are endless!
    9. Calcium- Among all the other great nutrients, chia seeds also have a high calcium content with an amazing 18% of the RDA in a single ounce!
    10. Improve Exercise Performance- A recent study showed that chia seeds can be partly replaced with Gatorade or other sports drinks as a way of carb loading for athletes.

    So chia seeds are definitely worthy of being called a "superfood". So give them a try, you won't regret it!

     

    Shop Chia Seeds→ http://goo.gl/W1FPXW

     

     

  • 10 Benefits to Breastfeeding

    August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! The breastfeeding campaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding by highlighting new research showing that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, and may be less likely to develop childhood obesity.

    breastfeeding

    I have been breastfeeding exclusively for about 3 months now, and I am so happy I stuck with it and didn't give up. It's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. So in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I made a list of benefits on why you should breastfeed (for at least 6 months), the list is much longer but these are just some of my favorites! So if you're deciding whether or not to breastfeed your baby, here are some deciding factors for you!

    1. Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness:The physical contact during breastfeeding provides an awesome bonding experience with you and your baby, plus the warmth of your body gives baby a comfort like no other!
    2. Faster recovery time after delivery:Whether you have a c-section or natural delivery, breastfeeding releases a hormone in the mother called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to return to its normal size more quickly.
    3. Helps with losing the baby weight:Mothers burn many calories during lactation as their bodies work hard to produce more milk!
    4. Protects your baby from many illnesses:Numerous studies from around the world have shown that stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen.
    5. Keeps mom healthy:Breastfeeding has been proven to decrease the chances of getting various cancers such as breast cancer or developing osteoporosis in the future. It also helps with postpartum depression, and may lower your cholesterol!
    6. It's customized just for your baby:The amazing thing about breast milk is it's designed just for your baby, something formula can't do. Babies receive the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies. I like to call it, "liquid gold".
    7. It's convenient and endless:Where ever you go, your milk goes. You will never forget it or have to go to the store to buy more. The beauty of breastfeeding is the fact that whatever happens, whether you get stranded on an island, you will always have food for your baby! It also makes those late night feedings much more easier. Plus you can lay down and take a snooze while you feed them (just make sure they are secure and safe)!
    8. It's sterile and the perfect temperature:You don't have to worry about your baby getting a hold of bacteria and it's always just the right temperature!
    9. Smarter babies:Breastfed infants develop higher IQ's, and have improved brain and nervous system development.
    10. It's FREE!This is my favorite one! As we all may know, formula is NOT cheap. On average, you will spend about $1,700 a year on formula! That's not even including the price for bottles and water for formula.

    These are only a few reasons as to why I love to breastfeed, but there are MANY more health benefits that would make this blog tremendously long.

    I know breastfeeding isn't easy at first, TRUST ME, It took me about 4 weeks to finally get a hang of things (my baby was having terrible latching issues which meant lots of pain!) But once you and your baby get comfortable enough with it, it really is the best feeling in the world! For those who have issues with milk production or even latching problems, I strongly urge you to reach out to a lactation consultant near you, they were the main reason why I didn't give up and what helped my baby latch correctly.

    Hope this helps! Questions? Ask them in the comment section! :) Or tell me what your favorite thing about breastfeeding is.

    -Abby

     

     

     

  • Tips to Staying Sane with a Newborn

    I have learned first hand that becoming a mother for the first time is no easy task. I knew having a baby wouldn't be easy from the beginning, but you can't quite grasp the feeling until you have fully experienced it. While I was on maternity leave, I felt like I was going to lose my mind. Only sleeping about 2 hours at a time, trying to calm a crying baby when you have no idea what's wrong, trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and going through all that pain, and even just trying to find time to eat myself was a challenge. The list goes on and on, and if you're a new mom, you know what I'm talking about!

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    I've listed some of my top favorite tips in order to keep your sanity with your newborn. I hope this can help other new moms out there that suffered with the same issues I did!

    • Don't be afraid to seek help: This tip was my savior. Even if you're a breastfeeding mom, that doesn't mean you have to do it all!  Have your spouse do the diaper changes, or clean the house and do the dishes/laundry. I'm lucky to have a guy who will happily do all of that for me, but even if it's one of your family members or even a friend. A little bit of help goes a long way and will certainly keep you from breaking down or going crazy!
    • Relax! As crazy as it seems, your baby will usually know how you're feeling (especially if you're breastfeeding). Stressing out can make your baby cry uncontrollably, and when you don't know why they're crying, this can make you even more stressed! So try and relax (when you relax, baby relaxes) and enjoy this time you have with your new baby.
    • Make time for yourself: I cannot stress this enough! Once you have a baby you feel like you'll never have a life again! I felt like I'd never leave the house. Even if it's just going outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air, or taking a relaxing bath. A little bit can definitely help to keep your sanity!
    • Make time for you and your spouse: Along with making time for yourself, your relationship is just as important. You'll find yourself so hung up on your adorable new baby that sometimes you'll find your relationship has been set aside. Have a family or friend watch the baby for a night so you two can have a romantic date night.
    • Accept that the first few weeks are the worst: There's no sugar coating this one folks. Usually the first 2-4 weeks are the worst, recovering from labor, trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, not ever sleeping, problems facing your baby, postpartum hormones, and even mixed emotions upon becoming a mother. Understand that EVERY new mom goes through this, and that there's light at the end of the tunnel! Know that no matter what, you have a bundle of joy that puts all their trust in you and loves you no matter what. :) Just enjoy your new beautiful life with your new baby!

    Hope these tips help! :) Enjoy $5 off on your first order when you use code: SOCIAL at the checkout!

     

    -Abby :)

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