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Smooth It Out

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it. As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time, because when you give your time you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” ~unknown

TRUTH OR DARE
Each post we will present you with a truth or dare. All you have to do is tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need.

DareGive it all you’ve got
Although it’s not officially holiday season, the season of giving is fast approaching. But why wait? We all know how it feels to receive – but giving is so good for the giver…dare we say even better than getting? It has the most miraculous way of making you feel centered, calm, happy, fulfilled and inspired.

Giving can be as simple as picking up the keys someone dropped, sending a text to someone that pops into your head letting them know your’re thinking of them, sending an unexpected little trinket in the mail, opening the door for someone, buying the person next to you a cup of coffee, volunteering for a neighborhood program or just writing a note (yes, hand-written).

It all counts.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts:

What the Fascia?!
We have heard a lot about something called fascia lately – but what is it exactly? We are here to clear up the confusion. Well, Beth is. Beth Geller, the founder of Just Be Smooth Endermologie Studio, is an expert on fascia and sub-dermal treatments.

So here’s how Beth explains it – Fascia is a band of fibrous, connective tissue beneath the skin, primarily collagen, that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.  They run throughout the body in 12 meridian lines (similar but not the same as acupuncture or Chinese Medicine meridians) that connect all parts of the body.  It acts like a glove that supports and connects the whole body.

It is important to keep fascia nice and loose to avoid stiffness and pain.  Especially if you train hard with running, jump roping, cross training or HIIT –  you want your fascia light, springy and flexible to avoid injuries. Loose fascia also helps muscles work more efficiently by being less constricted, which creates better blood flow.

Fascia is a direct correlation to cellulite. Cellulite, most often in women, is due to tight fascia, which creates dimples. Cellulite may form when there is excess water retention, poor blood circulation, enlarged fat cells or a hormone imbalance. But have no fear! There are cures! Fascia can be kept nice and flexible and in optimal condition by drinking enough water, regularly exercising (including yoga/pilates/barre/HIIT), foam rolling, stretching and endermologie treatments.

Basically, keeping your fascia loose and springy will help you with everything that you do; you will feel and look younger, healthier and more agile. One endermologie treatment can increase blood flow 400%, lymphatic drainage 300% and collagen production 27-100%. And because Beth is a friend of HtoL, she is passing on the discounted rate of $45 for your first time (psst…you just lie there and get massaged by the machine). Thanks, Beth. Beth@justbesmooth.com/ www.justbesmooth.com 

WHAT’S TRENDING
Cassava. We are not speaking Spanish (although it is Brazilian). Cassava has been getting more visibility lately as another gluten-free option, especially considering it has a low glycemic index (meaning glucose is released into the blood stream slower). Cassava, also known as manioc and yuca (not yucca), is a tropical root plant used in Asia, Africa and South America because it’s plentiful and inexpensive.  It is high in B-complex vitamins (B6, B5, B2), folate, thiamin and contains high performing minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium…whew.

Cassava is considered a resistant starch – which are said to be the healthiest kind of starch for your gut. Resistant starch feeds beneficial gut bacteria, can reduce inflammation and harmful bacteria. Bonus.

Here’s a cassava flour we like. And cassava chips, which we’ve bragged about before, we LOVE.

WHAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Flip It and Reverse It
Winter = dry. Dry hair, dry nails, dry feet. It’s already starting and it’s maddening. We are always searching for THAT hair product that can take the straw look away and add some life and shine. We are happy to say we found one. NYR Organic is fair trade, fair wild, fair for life…just plain fair. And we like that. Their hair treatment is as pure as it gets and super affordable – and the results are amazing. You can leave it in anywhere from 30 min to overnight (we prefer the overnight). A little goes a looonnngggg way. If you want it even cheaper, simply email organic4framak@gmail.com for free shipping or 20% off (whichever is the better deal).

Put Up Your Dukes
As you know, at HtoL, we’re all homeopathic and stuff. And we have written blogs on natural cold remedies here, here and here. Well, there’s a newbie on the market that we swear by. This one little product has all the homeopathic remedies blended down into one powerful pill. It is a 5-day regimen that legit kicks a cold’s ass. Try to do the whole regimen (the entire jar). You will be amazed at it’s power.

Rest Assured
Sleep deprivation is said to equate to being intoxicated. Lack of sleep, and the need for more of it, is one of the most common denominators among us. In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 4,023 US adults, 27% said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and a whopping 68% struggled with sleep at least one a week. We think it’s their bedding. This new-er company has made it their mission to help people sleep better with 100% organic, sustainably sourced, softer-than-soft bedding. We’re talking from sheets to duvets to now even mattresses. They have certainly done it right. And because they are friends (you could say family) of HtoL, they are offering our readers $50 off a $200 purchase (holidays, people!). Simply use code: BOLLH2L (ps. it expires on Nov 2nd!).

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

‘Tis the season…

Pumpkin Spiced Granola*
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:
– Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
– Place the walnuts, pecans and whole almonds (not flaked) in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the nuts have broken into small pieces (don’t over pulse them into a powder).
– Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and add in the pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, coconut flakes and raisins.
– In a small bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, melted coconut oil, honey and all of the spices and salt. Once well mixed, pour the liquid over the nut mixture and stir so that everything is  well coated.
– Spread the mixture evenly out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure it evenly browns (don’t let it burn!).

Once everything is golden in colour, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. The granola should become crunchy as it cools. Transfer to an airtight container.

Thank you for the recipe, EveryLastBite!

SHARE THE LOVE
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PS. We love you too.

WANT TO SHINE?
Have a product you’d like us to try and review for potential inclusion in our newsletter? Simply contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

WANT MORE?
Let the fun continue…Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to get daily doses of inspiration, knowledge & recipes.

Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.
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Granola Bars: Homemade and Amazing

I have referred to my daughter’s cooking in past blogs and I can’t resist sharing her latest treat with everyone.  These granola bars with blueberries (or any berry of your choice) and yogurt drizzle are not only healthy, but incredibly delicious.  They are a good source of protein, omega-3, biotin, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.  I never considered making my own granola bars until I tasted these and I have a feeling you will agree.

There is only one caveat – resist the urge to eat the entire batch at once.  We wrap them individually and keep them in the refrigerator so we don’t finish them off as fast as we make them.

Note – the yogurt drizzle contains sugar (the only non-healthy item in the entire recipe) so you can choose to skip it altogether as we sometimes do, or just lightly drizzle the bars with it.  As an additional note, the directions below will make much more yogurt coating than we have ever needed or used.

images-1

Ingredients for the bars:

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice krispies
1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I typically use peanut butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries

Ingredients for the yogurt drizzle:

1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions for bars:
  • Skip this step if using dried blueberries.  Roast fresh blueberries in 350 degree over for 30 minutes or until they pop and shrink.  Best to coat baking sheet with parchment paper – then blueberries won’t stick
  • In a large bowl combine the oats, rice krispies, almonds, chia seeds and salt.
  • Combine almond or peanut butter with honey and microwave for about 40 seconds or until mixture is pourable
  • Add vanilla to warm honey mixture
  • Add honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and combine – it will be thick!
  • Add dried blueberries
  • Coat a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper and pour mixture into pan and press down evenly and until tightly packed
  • Place in freezer for one hour, then cut into bars
  • Bars should be stored in refrigerator to keep fresh and hold their shape better.

Directions for yogurt drizzle:

  • Combine water, vanilla and then whisk gelatin in and let thicken for about 5 minutes
  • In another bowl, combine yogurt, honey and salt
  • Microwave yogurt mixture for 15 seconds, mix and repeat till warm, but do not let it boil
  • Add gelatin mixture to yogurt mixture and whisk together
  • Add in powdered sugar and whisk until thick, but pourable
  • Drizzle bars with the yogurt
  • The bars will be sticky now – we usually just wrap them (one or two together) with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for later eating. The yogurt will harden in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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Did You Know?

Below are facts on some common things we eat every day that you might not have known. Let’s classify them into the The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

Skim Latte– Packed with protein, and half your calcium need for the day; it’s a “liquid meal in a cup”. Caffeine or what I usually like to choose…half caf…helps give you sbaboost of energy and fires up your metabolism. If you do want to add a little flavor – ask for one pump (vs. the typical 4 pumps). You will save 60 calories and 15 grams of sugar. Be wary of the “skinny” latte– which is made with artificial sweeteners.

Organic Whole Grain Cereals – A cereal such as Uncle Sam’s has only 4 organic ingredients: Whole Wheat Kernels, Whole Flaxseed, Salt and Barley Malt. Weighing in at 190 calories, 5 grams of good fat, 38 carbohydrates (of which, 10 grams are fiber!), less than 1 gram of sugar and 7 grams of protein. What a perfect meal!

Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – One cup of Fage Total 0% Fat Greek yogurt is only 100 calories and 7 grams of sugar (vs. most flavored yogurts with over 22 grams of sugar), 18 grams of protein!, and 20% of your daily calcium requirements.

Pure Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is chock-full of protein, with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Benefits of one serving of peanut butter:

  • 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E
  • 49 mg of bone-building magnesium
  • 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium
  •  0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6
  • Can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions

Choose one with no additives…peanuts only and maybe a little sea salt. Best to eliminate anything that ends in “y”…Skippy, Jiffy, Teddie, Freddy…and be cautious of the term “natural” on a label – it’s a marketing term and doesn’t mean anything. Organic is ideal. If you are allergic, try soy nut butter. Same great protein benefits.

Eggs – Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients.  A large egg contains:

  • only 77 calories
  • only 5 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • all 9 essential amino acids
  • rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others)
  • 113 mg of Choline – a very important nutrient for the brain, among other things. A study revealed that 90% of Americans may not get enough choline in their diet.

The yolks contain most of the nutrients! Omega-3 enriched or pastured (raised on a pasture and grass fed) eggs are much more nutritious than factory-raised chickens. 

Whey Protein – Whey protein is considered a complete protein, contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content. Additional benefits include:

  • weight loss
  • increased muscle mass (vs. fat)
  • increase in glutathione levels (your body’s main water-based anti-oxidant)
  • decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol while increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
  • increase in immune system function and power in sports and decreased recovery time and symptoms of over-training

Quinoa – also known as the “SuperGrain”. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids and it contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. It contains:

  • iron
  • lysine (mainly essential for tissue growth and repair)
  • is rich in magnesium
  • high in Riboflavin (B2) (improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells)
  • has a high content of manganese (an antioxidant)

The Bad

Smoothies – depending on the ingredients, can have up to 1,500 calories, 60 grams of fat and 60 grams of sugar. Best to lean toward the natural ingredients – fresh fruit, milk, water, whey protein. 

Granola – has long been viewed since back-in-the-day as a “health food”. There are wonderful properties to granola and trail mix, however, they are often made with butter and oil and have up to 400 calories per cup. Shop for the lighter variations, or make it yourself.

Salad Dressing – Newman’s Own Ceasar Dressing has 150 calories per 2 tbsps. , of which, 144 calories are from fat, and 420 mg of sodium (Ranch is 140 calories, 135 from fat). Even if you choose the “light version”, you start to sacrifice nutrition for artificial ingredients. Try a balsamic glaze with natural spices (garlic, salt, pepper, mint).

Fat-Free Foods – you are better off just eating the real thing, or reduced fat…most fat free foods have a ton of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup – added empty calories which cause you to eat more. Healthy fats are essential to our diet – it’s just important to eat them in moderation.

100 Calorie Packs – convenient packs do not change the nutritional content. Your snack may still be too high in sugar, fat, carbohydrates or sodium, even if you’re eating only 100 calories. And they generally leave you unsatistifed and craving more.

Bagels – most bagels are a dense, bleached, processed flour carbohydrate that usually contain about 500 calories, equivalent to 5 slices of bread. All of those carbs will give you a quick boost than a hard crash. They are typically made with white flour, are very difficult for your body to ingest and have several inflammatory properties. If you choose to eat a bagel, opt for whole wheat or oat bran.

Gatorade –

  • A single serving of Gatorade contains 14 grams of sugar – a mix of heavily refined sucrose syrups and glucose-fructose (most 20oz bottles are 2.5 servings or 34 grams of sugar)
  • Contains a ton of sodium – an unlikely candidate for any beneficial electrolyte restoration (when the body experiences short periods of exhaustion and fatigue, it does not need mass amounts of sodium)
  • It uses brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to increase fluidity and uniformity (like other sugary drinks). BVO is also used to create lead dissolving additives for gasoline, photographic paper films, fire-extinguishing materials, and agricultural fumigants. More than 100 countries have outlawed the substance altogether.
  • Because of the amount of carbohydrates in Gatorade, over consumption can cause obesity.
  • Ingredients include:  water, sugar, table salt, carbohydrates, electrolytes (110 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium, 93 mg chloride), high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, glucose and fructose.

Sugar Cereal- It is common for nutrition-minded shoppers to pick “healthy choices” such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Raisin Bran and Cascade Granola. Honey Nut Cheerios actually has the equivalent amount of sugar to Fruity Pebbles. And most other cereals have significantly more. In fact, many of these cereals surpass the half-way mark for how much sugar many experts believe we should consume in a day.

The Ugly

Donuts – Sorry to say, a donut is not food. Nutritional info for a Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut: 370 calories, 24 g of fat (11 grams of saturated fat), 390 grams of sodium, 35 carbs, 17 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein. And this is a common breakfast. Ingredients include:

Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts, Beta Carotene)

Frappuccino – A Grande Java Chip Frappuccino have 460 calories, 18g of fat (12 grams of saturated fat), 50 mg of cholesterol (17% of daily value!), 72 grams of carbohydrates, 66 grams of sugar! (no, that is not a typo) and 6 grams of protein. Ingredients in a frappaccino (not including the chips) include:

  • Coffee Frappuccino Syrup: Sugar, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum (E415), Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202), Citric Acid (E330), Caramel Color (E150)

With the light Frappuccino, it may be fewer calories however; you are ingesting even more chemicals:

  • Light Coffee Frappuccino: Water, sugar, Erythritol (E968), Natural Flavors, Salt, Carageenan (E407), Xanthan Gum (E415), Maltodextrin, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202), Citric Acid (E330), Reb A, Color: Caramel (E150d, E150b)

Processed Deli Meats  – most are prepared from chunks or pieces of meat and bonded together with non-meat additives and meat emulsions cooked to coagulate and bind the chunks of meat into a “shaped form” of meat. Often include nitrates, up to 460 mg sodium per serving, carrageenan, meat by-products (read – bones), corn syrup, gelatin and emulsifiers. Your best bet is the real thing – roasted turkey. Make it and slice it for the week. Or visit Batavia. Best turkey sandwich in town.

Soda / Sugar Drinks – 1 can of Classic Coke contains 140 calories, 39 grams of sugar and includes high fructose corn sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, “natural flavors” and caffeine. Snapple is not any better, against popular belief: 1 bottle = 150 calories, 36 grams of sugar.

Chicken Nuggets – There are truly no “healthy” chicken nuggets unless made from scratch – if any, possibly Bell & Evans with simple ingredients of white breast chicken & whole wheat breading. Typical ingredient list for chicken nuggets includes:

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Potassium Lactate, Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Flavorings, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Diacetate, Carrageenan. Dextrose, Calcium Propionate (to Protect Freshness), Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate (to Protect Freshness)

English Muffins – Perfect example of a processed food. Ingredients in Thomas’ include:

mono and diglycerides, datem, sodium stearolyl lactylate, ethoxylated mono-and diglycerides, dextrose, wheat sour, guar gum, lactic acid, molasses, fumaric acid, azodicarbonamide, , caramel color, acetic acid, sucralose, nonfat milk

Try a brand that is organic or whole wheat with 5 or less ingredients.

Fruit Snacks/Gummies: a recent fruit snack was given to my son in a party bag…it is produced by “Healthy Food Brands” and the ingredient list is as follows:

grape juice concentrate, corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch, apple puree, gelatin, citric acid, sodium citrate, ascorbic acid, natural and artificial flavors, FD&C Red, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Red 3, carnauba wax.

One guess if I let him eat it?

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