Today Amber is hijacking the blog to tackle the Nourish pillar of the BBP Holiday Hustle. She’s going to break down her struggle with nutrition, dieting and why she eats what she wants.
Eat pizza, drink what you want, oh yeah, and that midnight snack?…GO FOR IT. Doesn’t that sound nice? Honestly, that’s all I ever want to hear.
Diets. Ugh. I even hate the word. The word itself just sounds like it’s setting me up for failure. Even as a fitness professional, I still want and need to make changes to be healthier and to get stronger. How do I do it? I usually start by making a plan with a task list….
Create a consistent workout plan
Plan healthy recipes for the week
Make a calendar of what to eat and when
Cook it and put it into containers to carry for the week
And the hardest task of all…
Rid my cabinets of the cakes, cookies, chips and all of the “bad” food
I don’t know about you but every time I feel inspired to make a change in my health and nutritional lifestyle, it very rarely stays a consistent thing. I start out strong, abiding by my list of tasks, but somewhere along the way I majorly mess it up and completely throw the whole plan down the toilet. Usually, as I trudge through these tasks, I start to get angry at the system. “So, you’re telling me, my mom just sent me her delicious chocolate chip cookies and you want me to ignore the cookie and eat a piece of 70% dark chocolate instead? I say pish-posh to that. Challenge NOT accepted. In fact, I’ll eat 4 cookies at once just to spite the suggestion.” NOW ITS OVER. IM DONE. I’ve already called Dominos, put on my baggy clothes, and tell myself, “I deserve better than this life.”
What usually causes this failure? I’m not trying to play Regina George and bully kale. Kale is good for you and I actually like it on occasion. I was thinking through this the other day and honestly frustrated that my love for pizza has been a constant and daily fight to try and make it my food enemy. This is a huge reason why I suck at keeping this routine. Then it hit me. Why am I suddenly up leveling my entire relationship to food and health? And for that matter, I’m doing it all overnight. For instance, if I wanted to make a change to take more time for myself, I wouldn’t suddenly call off of work, tell my family I can’t talk to them or come home for Christmas, and stop functioning altogether. No, I’d make small gradual changes in my day so I could find that time. I’d set my alarm a little earlier or spend my lunch break reading a book.
We need to stop beating ourselves up for eating what we want and love. Do we need to be healthy? Yes, but we don’t need to completely lay ourselves over the railroad tracks and sacrifice all that’s good in the world. We have to slow down. We aren’t going to keep a healthy lifestyle if we immediately rid ourselves of all the joys we have in eating. We will never change completely overnight. So what do we do? Pick one, JUST ONE thing you want to change about your lifestyle and change just that and only that. Then after a few weeks, a month, change another thing. You don’t have to exhaust yourself and uproot your whole way of living. Now, I’m not saying this is easy. I get it, when I want to make a change I want it to happen now. But sometimes, we have to understand slow and steady wins the race.
So now, here is the task list…
Step One: Make small gradual changes in your routine.
Start a workout regime.
Start to implement small changes in your nutrition to help benefit you.
Allow yourself to eat and enjoy the things you want within your healthy lifestyle.
Step Two: DO NOT RID YOURSELF COMPLETELY OF THE THINGS YOU LOVE.
So, there ya have it. I say cheers to pizza. I say hello to happy hour! Let’s tackle this whole “diet” thing without the dieting. Lets change our lives, improve our lives and ENJOY it too.
Happy Wednesday fam! We’re right in the middle of the BBP Holiday Hustle and we know a lot of you are busy sweating with us for the #BBP21DaysOfSweat challenge! We love seeing your posts on Instagram, keep up the good work!
We’re always on the search for snacks to keep us fueled while we’re on the go and we have 3 requirements those snacks need to fill: be delicious (obviously), be made of things we can actually pronounce, and be easy to travel with.
These babies offer no BS by putting their ingredients right on the front of the label (we LOVE), they’re filled with ingredients you can not only pronounce but some you probably have in your kitchen, and of course (most importantly) they’re DELISH.
Grocery shopping can be tricky. Often times you set off to go grocery shopping with all good intentions of buying foods that fit into your healthy lifestyle. But by the time you’re checking out, you’ve added sugary cereals, blocks of cheese and frozen meals loaded with saturated fat (and you probably don’t even know it!)
We’re all about simplicity in the BBP kitchen. We believe in bright, vibrant whole foods that act as fuel for your body. (We also count pizza as fuel sometimes because #YOLO) We’ve streamlined our shopping experience and honed in on the foods we love to eat to keep us lean, mean brave body machines!
1. Bright + Vibrant Veggies
While we don’t pass on anything green and crunchy our favorite vegetables are: Cucumbers, spinach, orange and yellow peppers, acorn squash, zucchini, broccoli, and asparagus. We prep all our veggies when we get home from the grocery store so we’re ready to cook, snack, or pack when we’re hungry. (P.S. please note how overjoyed Amber is… the girl takes her vegetables pretty seriously.)
Avocados are the main event on most of our dishes in the BBP Kitchen. It just doesn’t feel right if don’t have our morning breakfast staple: Avocado Toast. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat (the good kind) that helps lower bad cholesterol. They’re loaded with potassium and they’re one of the few high-protein fruits on the market (one avocado has 4 grams of protein!) Besides all that, avocados make your hair, skin and nails look shiny and new. Thanks, Avocados!
We aren’t functioning humans until we’ve had our morning pot of coffee. Besides being our favorite morning/mid-day pick me up, coffee has a ton of health benefits. It helps prevent against disease, boosts your brain power, speeds up your metabolism, helps fight against type 2 diabetes, and it improves your workout performance. Amber loves a good old fashioned hot cup of coffee with a little half and half while Lindsey keeps it cool with a triple espresso over ice with a little cinnamon.
4. Eggs + 5. Ezekiel Bread
We love eggs (from our head down to our legs) and we can’t get enough of them. Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. Some days we go for egg whites but if we’re filming workouts we go for the yolk too. We stick to large brown organic cage free eggs and we usually eat them for breakfast AND dinner!
Ezekiel bread is the only bread that comes into our kitchen. It’s made from organic sprouted whole grains and legumes and has zero sugar. It’s delicious, nutritious and it’s the only way we make avocado toast!
Who doesn’t love hummus? This delicious concoction of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, provides a good amount of protein, healthy fats and a ton of essential vitamin and minerals. Hummus is a great substitute sandwich spread (bye bye mayonnaise!) and we love hummus and turkey slices as a mid-day snack!
7. Non-GMO Organic Chicken and Turkey
We’re big on protein and we don’t want genetically modified ANYTHING going into our bodies. Organic non-GMO chicken and turkey are staples at our dinner table. We keep our dinners simple and season our meat with salt, pepper, EVOO and low sodium fajita seasoning!
8. Cottage Cheese
We don’t eat very much dairy, but we LOVE 2% Milkfat Cottage Cheese as a snack. Since cottage cheese is rich in protein it can help you maintain, build and repair lean muscle mass. Extra points for ingesting that calcium! We all need strong bones and teeth!
Fun fact: Lindsey was allergic to almonds until this year (WHAT?!) We LOVE almonds as a mid-day or pre-workout snack. They help promote heart health, prevent weight gain and are a significant source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
10. Dark Chocolate
This is not the first time we’ve expressed our love for dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, it’s high in vitamins and minerals, it’s been known to increase serotonin levels in the brain (hello happy!) and it’s delicious.
There you have it friends! Our top 10 staples in the BBP kitchen. What do you keep in the fridge to keep your body lean, mean and brave? Comment below and tell us!
Keep up with those #braveEATS and we’ll see you next week!
This month on the BBP blog we’re excited to feature 4 women who are truly making a positive impact in their industries and represent the 4 tiers of our site: braveBODY, braveEATS, braveLOOKS and braveWORDS.
Last week, we kicked off our #WCW series with celeb trainer, Rebecca Kennedy.This week, we’re over the moon to introduce you to a woman who is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone say hi to Kara Griffin.
Kara is kind of incredible because, like Mary Poppins, she’s practically perfect in every way (although her hair isn’t practically perfect… it’s actually perfect. So are her arms. And she’s a genius. We could go on all day but we’ll let her talk instead.)
Kara Griffin is a certified holistic nutritionist, health counselor, personal trainer and group fitness instructor who uses western science and the tenets of eastern medicine for a complete, mindful approach to food, fitness and overall health.
A National Academy of Sports Medicine personal trainer, Kara’s passion for health stemmed from a love for dance and movement. While getting her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography at Elon University she studied Somatic Theories, yoga and pre-med human anatomy and became certified in Pilates.
Later when she moved to New York and began to dance professionally, went on to run Plank Pilates studio co-creating the Plank’s Progressive Pilates Certification Program.
She further served as head trainer, method director and head of training at leading New York boutique studio Bari. She is also certified in and teaches, TRX, HIIT training, circuit training, Lagree method, and Bartinieff Fundamentals to name a few diverse elements.
Kara’s work in nutrition has been another passion-turned-career experience, and she received her holistic nutrition certificate from the Academy of Healing Nutrition in New York. Her specialties in this realm involve constitutional-based nutrition, recipe creation, and mindfulness coaching. She believes that no two bodies are the same, and because of that, she strives to not only find the foods that will heal the body, positively affect digestion and energize daily life but also educate clients on how to take ownership of this part of life. She guides clients to their goals an accountable and sustainable way.
She believes we should eat, move and live for how we want to feel. If we can focus on the actions that make us feel good, like we’re fully alive, everything else will fall into place. Ya feel me?
BBP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
KG: I’m a mover, an eater, a reader, a writer, a researcher, a traveler, a learner, a connecter, a creator.
My love for dance, music and movement turned into a fitness career. Similarly, my love of food (which came from a place of limitations with a fatal milk allergy) turned into adding holistic nutritionist to the resume. It was while I was studying nutrition and Traditional Chinese food philosophy that I became fascinated with whole body health and wondered why so few people integrated these parts of health that should really never be separate in the first place. When I was in a time of overtraining, stressing and spreading myself too thin, I very rarely focused on my whole health, and it was only until I did so that I was able to find my place of balance and greater grounding in who I am. I also believe that if we get too obsessed with our health we’ll only make ourselves unhealthy, so I love being able to help people find the foods that work for them so that they can still experience life fully, live positively and allow themselves to stray from balance. (You can certainly be healthy and have fun too…I promise.)
You can also read this little ditty, since it’s what I strive for every day with myself and my clients.
BBP: What does living a brave life mean to you?
KG: To me it means having the courage to figure out who you are in all of your quirks, flaws and shortcomings and know that those are the things that make you unique and beautiful. It’s knowing that you are different, but being thankful that you are.
Once we figure out who we are and what we want, there’s no need to apologize for taking care of our health in a way that works for you, fostering relationships that lift you up and reaching for goals that will end up being our life’s work. It’s a journey, with a lot of detective work and ups and downs (because…life, amiright?), but when it’s boldly for your betterment then all of that stuff just becomes part of living. It’s not so insurmountable anymore.
BBP: What was one moment courage over fear in your career?
KG: When I created Feel This, my own business. I realized I was doing in my career what people so often do in their health–I was breaking my life into isolated parts (work and play) instead of allowing for all parts of my life, my work, my health to integrate synergistically. It was always a battle of the “have to’s” vs “want to’s” and obligation vs fun. It was almost like I was leading a double life.
Going at it on my own now means that I can not only push myself to be an expert in my field, but I can also design how I want my days, my life to feel. My schedule and what I take on becomes my choice. I then learn from those choices and can better hone what I want my life to look like. I try to fill my days with what energizes me, serves me, and connects me to others. I feel liberated by the power of my own choice instead of grinding through a life that I know doesn’t work for me just because it is more typical.
BBP: Tell our readers your favorite recipe post sweat sesh.
KG: This will be different for every person since every body’s different, but one of my favorites is an veggie egg scramble. I put veggies, eggs and spices into an easy meal that’s really satisfying and aids in recovery (without having to drink yet another smoothie.)
It looks a little something like this–
Heat 1/2-1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan
Add in any veggies you have in the fridge. Today I’m using onion, mushrooms and zucchini. Crack some pepper.
Once the veggies are soft and slightly browned on the edges, crack two eggs in the pan.
Sprinkle some turmeric (known for reducing inflammation and aiding in muscle recovery) and some seaweed gomasio (great for unexpected flavor in your eggs while also giving a little seaweed for an extra detoxifying edge)
Once the eggs are done, plate on a bed of spinach.
Top with a few slices of avocado.
(If you’re someone who absolutely needs ketchup with your eggs, try the PaleoChef brand–no added sugar and way better flavor than regular old Heinz. )
Inblog braveBODY braveEATS braveWORDS by BBPon16 December
The holidays can be stressful, right? Traveling is a pain in the butt and it’s easy to throw your healthy eating and workout habits to the wayside, especially when you have to spend an entire day on a plane/train/car/horse and buggy… Ok… maybe not that last one.
Having spent many a holiday on said plane/train/automobile, we’re very seasoned in the do’s and don’t of proper healthy holiday travel and we want to help YOU. Using the 3 pillars of the #BBPHolidayHustle: Nourish, Energize and Strengthen we present to you our best tips and tricks for a bloat-free, happy, healthy travel day.
Stay hydrated. If you’re traveling, especially by plane there’s a pretty good chance you’ll end up feeling dehydrated. Be sure to chug that H2O on your travel day. Want to up the anty? Sip on coconut water. We LOVE coconut water. Coconut water is ideal for hydration because it contains natural electrolytes and potassium. Plus it tastes delicious. Double win.
Be prepared. Airports are full of sneaky food options that are loaded with extra calories, trans fat, and sodium. Be smart and stop at the grocery store before you go. Filling your carry on with snacks like almonds, hummus and veggies, hard boiled eggs or Quest bars will curb your cravings, satisfy your appetite and won’t leave you stuck eating at a gross fast food chain.
Tune in. Flights, train and car rides are an excellent time to recenter yourself and excite your mind. Instead of music, we love listening to Podcasts. Our favorite podcasts are Ted Talk Audio and Todd Henry’s The Accidental Creative. They’re quick, smart and thought-provoking. Listen up!
If you’re a bookworm, this is the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and be inspired. We recommend Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brené Brown and Thrive by Ariana Huffington. They’re great reads all great reads that will help you focus on something other than how long your layover is in between flights.
It can be tricky to fit your workouts in while you’re traveling but if you plan ahead and plan smartly, you can dodge all the fitness roadblocks that may pop up. Pack easy light-weight workout equipment like a jump rope or a resistance band. They take up virtually no space, they weigh nothing and you can get a full body workout using them! Another favorite workout tool? Furniture sliders! They’re under 5 dollars, you can get them at any supply/home store and you have a full body workout right there in your hands! Use them for sliding lunges, pikes and tricep reaches!
Have all the equipment but you’re not sure what to do? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Click here for a bunch of FREE workouts that involve little to no equipment! We post our braveBODY weekly beatdowns to help you get your workout in, even if you’re strapped for time and cash.
Looking to up the ante? Check out the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership! The BBP Online Membership brings 6 new workouts to your virtual door each month! Each workout is only 30-minutes long, uses minimal equipment and can be done anywhere. The best part is you get access and support from us through the whole process. It’s personal training whenever, wherever you want it!
We hope these tips make your holiday (or any day!) travel just a little bit easier! Have a favorite travel tip you want to share? Comment below and tell us about it.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season Brave family!
Inblog braveBODY braveEATS braveLOOKS braveWORDS by BBPon9 December
Today as part of the #BBPHolidayHustle Pillar: Nourish we’re taking it to the camera and giving you a BBP Wake Up Call about BODY IMAGE. We’ve all struggled with body image issues on some level. It’s normal to find faults in our bodies, compare ourselves to others and focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do. There are a lot of ways we can help flip the script on negative body image. Here are our top tips for kicking that negativity to the curb:
F$*k Social Media.Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TV, magazines, commercials. They’re thrown in our face all day and whether we know it or not they have a big effect on the way we see ourselves and other people. Social media images can often make us feel “less than.” We think: “How do I get that body? Why isn’t my stomach as flat as hers? I wish my arms looked like that.” Most images on social media are highly photoshopped and unrealistic. Even women who truly do have amazing abs don’t flaunt the same exact 6-pack every day. Bottom line: Use social media to inspire you, not drag you down.
Stop being such a mean girl.Would you ever walk up to your best friend and say: “You look so fat it’s disgusting. Stop eating and go to the gym.” No, we hope not. So why do we talk to ourselves that way? The language we use about our own bodies can be very hurtful. If you wouldn’t say it to a close friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Throw your body a party.Stop focusing on what you DON’T have and start focusing on what you DO. Right now think about 1 thing you LOVE about your body. Focus on the positive, throw away the negative.
Do you have any tips for maintaining a positive body image? Comment below and tell us! Remember, you are PERFECT right now in this moment. Celebrate yourself!
We love a reason to celebrate. In fact, we usually make up a reason, even if it’s 4pm on a Tuesday with no holiday in sight. You get the point. So with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all happening within a 2 block radius of each other, some serious holiday spirit is happening in the house of BBP.
Between the office parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and cookie platters set out for Santa, it’s easy to lose sight of your health and fitness goals. We want you to have a fun and enjoyable holiday season (seriously, TREAT YO’ SELF) but we also want you to avoid the post-Thanksgiving food comas and pass on the cheesecake martinis (is that seriously a thing?!) if possible.
We’re on week #3 of the #BBPHolidayHustle and today we’re focusing on Nourishing our bodies. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you BBP’s top tips for avoiding…
THE FESTIVE 15!
Eat before you go. It seems logical to skip on breakfast and lunch in anticipation of the Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Dough-Covered-Smores-Cupcakes you’re planning on eating at your upcoming holiday fiesta, right? Saving your calories until nighttime will have you drinking on an empty stomach and lead to binge eating. Avoid scarfing down by making smart choices leading up to your event.
Be the MVP of party guests. Don’t let other people’s party platters ruin your waistline. To guarantee you’ll have healthy options to snack on, bring your own dish that you know fits in with your fitness goals. Crudite, hummus, guacamole, shrimp, grilled chicken kabobs and homemade baked sweet potato fries are just some quick healthy options you can whip up to ensure you don’t overdo it on the cheese plate.
Skip on Sipping the Sugar. The Signature Candy Cane Martini your Aunt Nancy whipped up for your everyone at the Christmas party may look inviting, but it’s probably completely unnecessary to drink. Stay away from dark liquors, fruit juice or cream filled cocktails. Stick to lighter liquors, a couple glasses of champagne a spritzer, or a nice glass of red wine. Remember to sip on water throughout the night to avoid the dreaded holiday hangover and don’t over do it Check out our VLOG for more tips on Sipping Your Cocktail Smarter here.
Do You See What I See? Check out your plate. Is it filled with protein-packed foods like turkey, chicken, and shrimp? Are there bright, vibrant greens and vegetables? Or is it being weighed down by mashed potatoes, cheese, and holiday stuffing. Pack your plate with protein and veggies first, then treat yourself with some holiday extras. Also, have a zero tolerance policy for second helpings. Fill your plate once and be done with it.
Slow down and savor. The party, that is! Holiday parties aren’t just about the food. This is the time to sit back, have a drink and relax with friends and family. The more knowledgeable you are about making good choices ahead of time, the less likely you are to panic when it comes to fill up your plate. Enjoy the company of the people you love and stop freaking out about food.
Set a holiday fitness challenge for yourself… or join us!Set a challenge for yourself to keep your fitness goals in check and announce it on your social media. Sign up for your local Turkey Trot or Holiday 5k. Once you commit to something and put it out there for the world to see, you’ll feel accountable and be more likely to stick to your plan. Or workout with us! Get your FREE Full Body Beatdown every week or sign up for our amazing online fitness membership and workout with us every day!
What are your tips to stay fit and have a fun holiday season? We want to know. Share your ideas with us in the comments below or tag us with your healthy holiday ideas on Instagram @bravebodyproject using the hashtag #BBPHolidayHustle.
Have a fun, fit and fabulous holiday #brave family!
The holidays are full of temptation. We’re feeling all warm and fuzzy and we want to enjoy food and drinks that match our current state of cheer. Between candy canes, reindeer shaped marshmallows and family traditions of fireside hot chocolate, it’s easy to throw your fitness and nutrition goals out the window in the name of a little holiday cheer. We’ve been there. Example:
Every Christmas, my step mom bakes me the most delicious chocolate cake and sends me back to New York with a large portion of it. It’s big, it’s dark, it’s rich and it’s delicious. I want this cake to be my boyfriend. But the longer that cake sits in my fridge post-Christmas celebration, the less attracted I am to it. Day 1, it’s all cute, it has my attention and I’m totally in love with it. Day 2, every time I open the fridge it’s just staring at me expecting attention and it gets jealous when I choose a banana instead. By the night of Day 2, it’s calling me and texting me “Why don’t you love me anymore?” and I just can’t take it anymore. I have to break up with the cake. The cake has to go. I never should have let the cake move in with me.
This brings us to BBP Commandment #10. Chocolate can be your best friend, just don’t make it your boyfriend.
We love dark chocolate and there’s no short supply of it over here in the BBP kitchen. Instead of packing our fridge with ice cream and Snickers bars, we stick to dark chocolate squares. There’s a couple reasons for this. #1: If we kept ice cream/cookies/Snickers in our fridge…we’d eat it all, plain and simple. It’s just too delicious and we know we can’t resist it so we keep it out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind! #2: After we eat dinner, we love to have something sweet. Usually, just a bite of something sweet and savory is enough to satiate our appetite. That’s why dark chocolate squares are our champion.
Besides being delicious, we love dark chocolate for a few other awesome, healthy reasons. Read on, readers:
It’s full of antioxidants. Antioxidant foods (like dark chocolate) have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and slow signs of aging.
It’s high in vitamins and minerals. The copper and potassium found in dark chocolate prevent against strokes and the magnesium fights against type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
It makes you happy. Dark chocolate has been known to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
It’s delicious. We don’t need science to back that up.
Our favorite holiday tip? Instead of baking something, bring something simple like individually wrapped Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares. This way, you know you’re bringing a sweet treat that you won’t overindulge on (plus you’re being an awesome party guest for anyone else going through the same struggle!)
What are you waiting for? Ditch the regular chocolate and opt for our heart healthy, delicious champion: dark chocolate. We promise it will make the holidays that much sweeter.
Keep up with the braveEATS friends! See you next time! xx,
Picture this. You just finished your BBP workout. You’re sweaty, you’re exhausted, you just kicked a bunch of brave booty. You put your equipment away and behold, in front of you are two doors. The door to the bathroom and the door to the kitchen. Which door do you choose?
Let us answer this for you. You choose the kitchen! Go, run… get in there! Why? Take advantage of the magical 30-minute post workout fuel up window (say that 3 times fast!).
Eating after a grueling sweat session plays a crucial role in your body’s ability to optimize and replenish its energy stores. Properly fueling yourself post-workout can help your body recover faster from the stress and muscle breakdown that occurred during your workout!
Phew! Glad we got that sorted out. Ok, now that we have you in the kitchen and you’re ready to eat, let’s talk about WHAT you need to be eating.
To help your body replenish and recover, you need a combination of carbohydrates and protein in the ratio of 4:1 or 3:1 (carbohydrates:protein). Too much protein and will inhibit your body’s absorption of the carbs while just the right amount will help produce muscle building amino acids and hormones (yay!)
Here are some of our favorite post-BBP Beat Down Food Options:
Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato
Protein Shake with half a banana and almond milk
1 Piece Ezekiel bread w/hummus
½ cup Oatmeal with 1 scoop Protein Powder
1 fried egg with half an Ezekiel English muffin
Remember, after the sweat has hit the floor and you’ve finished your post-workout stretch the best room to run to is the kitchen! Get those nutrients in, fuel your body so it’s stronger (and less sore) the next day and you’re on your way to your best body yet.
Feeling like getting a little festive with your post-sweat protein shake? Us too. Since we’re in the first week of our BBP HOLIDAY HUSTLE we’re sharing the recipe for our favorite Pumpkin Spiced Protein Shake. It’s simple to make, more delicious than ice cream and trust us, it’s way better than that sugar-filled PSL you were going to grab from Starbucks!
The BBP Pumpkin Spiced Protein Shake
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
3/4 cup Almond Milk
1 Scoop natural nut butter (almond or peanut butter work great!)
1/4 pumpkin (raw, not the pumpkin pie filling…loaded with sugar!)
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Blend until creamy and enjoy! Want a jolt of caffeine? Cut the almond milk in half and add some coffee… delicious!
Ok… now that we’re full and happy it’s time for a shower! Until next time, keep up with those braveEATS friends!
Today we’re breaking down BBP Commandment #8: Sip Your Cocktail Smarter.
Your BBP co-founders fancy themselves to be whiskey and vodka connoisseurs. We love our hooch, but you’d better believe we’re drinking it with soda water or on the rocks. Check yourself before you wreck yourself when sipping on that $5 margarita special at your local watering hole. You’ll send yourself into a sugar coma and end up with a killer headache.
Since we could talk all day about how much we love our cocktails we’ve decided to do just that….talk! Check out our braveEATS VLOG and hop on our happy, healthy cocktail train!
Show a classroom of 4th graders two photos. One is a picture of 100 calories of brussels sprouts. The other is a picture of 100 calories of Twizzlers. Ask them: “Do these two foods have the same effect on our bodies?” and you’ll probably get a resounding “NO!” along with a lot of giggles. We all know that 100 calories of brussels sprouts and 100 calories of Twizzlers are not going to have the same effect on our body. But for some reason, a lot of us are walking around believing that all calories are created equally.
Now, there’s one thing that we can’t argue about. Scientifically speaking, a calorie IS a calorie IS a calorie. If you take these two “foods” to a laboratory and burn them to reveal their energy, it is true that both the brussels sprouts and the Twizzlers would release 100 units of energy.
But, our digestive systems are not laboratories, are they? Our bodies process the types of food we put into it in a very different way. This brings us to BBP Food Commandment #7: All calories are NOT created equally.
We here at BBP do NOT believe in calorie counting. It’s too much math, it doesn’t always make sense and it’s not the way to build your best body. We want you to focus on eating colorful, whole foods that don’t contain a lot of ingredients. Here are our tips for consuming the RIGHT kind of calories (and skipping the math…and the hunger):
Find the Fiber. Fibrous foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are packed with fiber which take longer to digest and keep your hunger at bay for a lot longer than a candy bar ever could.
Don’t Fear the Fat. With so many “low-fat” products on the grocery store shelves these days, it’s easy to target fat as the enemy. And while we want you to stay away from saturated and trans fat, we’re all about welcoming the “good” fats into our diet. Have you read our post on our favorite fruit, the avocado? Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil satiate your appetite and keep you full (and happy) for longer.
Skip the Sugar. Sugar is like the popular mean girl at school. She’s pretty, she’s always dressed cute, she’s sweet, and she seems like so much fun. But then you get to know her. After a while she makes you feel exhausted from hanging out with her and she makes you feel like crap. She’s such a bitch, right? We’ll keep this one short and (semi) sweet. Sugar is NOT and will never be your friend. Stay away from seemingly “healthy” drinks (like Jamba Juice and soda) and the pastry tank of death at the Starbucks counter. Get your natural sugar in the form of apples, bananas, and coconut water. Your body will thank you.
Keep it Colorful. Fruits and vegetables in vivid colors have huge health benefits. The more colorful your plate, the more vitamins and minerals you’re putting into your bod. Vegetables are filled with fiber and water and will keep you full, happy and healthy. So, taste the rainbow… of vegetables, not Skittles, mmmkay?
Have a favorite tip you want to share? Comment in the space below! Until next time, keep up with those braveEATS friends!
When we think of pancakes, we’re instantly brought back to our childhood days of sleepy faces, Saturday morning cartoons and pajamas (with the feet attached, of course). Well, the times have changed and our Saturdays look a little different now. We’ve gotten older, the Saturday morning cartoons have been replaced with Saturday afternoon brunch dates and the footed PJ’s have been traded in for running sneakers. But every once in awhile, (like this morning for example) we just can’t resist the urge for that delicious breakfast staple that is the pancake.
At BBP, we’re all about enjoying our food without sacrificing our skinny jeans. So we figured out a way to make our dreams of fluffy, sweet, carb heaven come to life sans the post-carb guilt. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the grown up, healthy version of the childhood favorite. It’s Commandment #6 of the BBP 10 Commandments of Food: Eat (Healthy) Pancakes for Breakfast.
We’re going to teach you how to make these healthy pancakes your new bae. Here’s a couple of our favorite recipes. Let’s do it.
1) The Basic
¼ cup raw oats
¼ cup cottage cheese
½ scoop vanilla protein powder
½ cup egg whites
Blend ingredients until a batter forms. Spray pan with and pour mixture onto pan. Flip when you see the edges start to brown. Top with ¼ cup warmed up sugar free syrup.
2) The Elvis
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp. Just Great Stuff Powdered PB
Mash up the banana and blend the eggs and powdered PB in a bowl. Pour mixture onto hot pan. Flip after about 30 seconds or when it browns. Top with a dollop of natural nut butter or melt a small piece of dark chocolate over the top.
3) The Brave Body Supercharged PB & J
½ cup plain oatmeal
3 egg whites
cinnamon to taste
1 tsp flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
¼ cup blueberries
Blend ingredients until a batter forms. Spray pan. Pour mixture onto pan. Flip when you see the edges start to brown. Warm up ¼ c blueberries in the microwave or over the stove. Mash into a syrup and pour over pancake. Top with a dollop of all natural peanut butter.
4) Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie Protein Pancakes
1 Scoop Cinnamon Swirl Whey Protein Powder
¼ c rolled oats
¼ c pumpkin (unsweetened from can)
½ c egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients until a batter forms. Spray pan. Pour mixture onto pan. Flip when you see the edges start to brown. Top with a ¼ cup warmed up sugar free syrup.
Give these healthy pancake options a try this week! Have a favorite protein pancake recipe to share? Send it our way or snap a photo on Instagram and tag us @bravebodyproject and hashtag #bravebodyproject . Happy flipping!
This week we’re breaking down the Brave Body Project Food Commandment #5 with Amber’s golden rule: If you can’t taste the cheese, don’t eat it.
This was a hard pill for me to swallow. Full disclosure, I used to believe cheese was its own food group. I love cheese. I. LOVE. IT. When I started cleaning up my eating habits a few years ago I felt like I was depriving myself if I cut out dairy or carbs. Turns out, I just hadn’t found the right substitutes to satiate my appetite.
ENTER THE AVOCADO (you sexy little bitch.) This fruit (yes, she’s a fruit!) has rapidly become the queen bee of the produce section. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat (the good kind) that helps lower bad cholesterol. They’re loaded with potassium and they’re one of the few high-protein fruits on the market (one avocado has 4 grams of protein!) Besides all that, avocados make your hair, skin and nails look shiny and new. Can I get three cheers for the avocado?!
So let’s talk about how to use her. We certainly aren’t shy about our avocado obsession on social media. We’re in love, we’re in love and we don’t care who knows it!
Our favorite ways to use this little baby are as follows:
1. Avocado Toast – (P.S. are you following us on Instagram? If you’re not, please pause and get that done… we’ll wait!)
2. Eggs and Avocado (Pre/Post Workout) –
I just finished my morning workout and I’m currently eating this as I type this blog post! While we love a post workout protein shake, we love real food more. If you live in a big city, find a deli that does eggs all day. It’s a simple, easy way to get the nutrients you need and it’s delicious. Boom, done.
3. Turkey Burgers or Lettuce Wraps w/Avocado –
This has become one of star dinner options in the Brave Body Project Kitchen! We choose to eat a lighter dinner (refer to Commandment #2 for more info on that) and turkey burgers or lettuce wraps have become our favorites. Again, we’re all about simplicity and it takes minimal time to cook up some turkey, cut up some avocado and place said turkey and avocado over a bed of greens with a little salsa. Wala!
Bottom line: We’re not saying we don’t have the occasional wine and cheese party… because come on, what’s more fun than that? But let’s save the cheese (and even the mayo and unnecessary condiments) for the special occasions and spend more time cuddling up to our favorite bae on the block, the Avocado.
COMMANDMENT #4: SNEAK YOUR VEGGIES IN. We’re basically like a 3-year-olds and hate most vegetables unless they’re put in our food in a sneaky way. If you’d rather die than chomp on broccoli or kale, use a food processor or fine chop your veggies and throw them into your turkey meat or smoothie.
Ok, saying we’d rather DIE than chomp on kale or broccoli is a bit of an exaggeration. Here at BBP our go-to foods consist of eggs, avocado, turkey, chicken and hummus but that doesn’t mean we throw our veggies by the wayside. We’re just pretty meticulous about how we get our daily serving of fruits and veggies.
Let’s talk about our top 3 ways to get your daily dose of greens, BBP style.
1. Drink your greens. We love to start our morning off with a healthy bang. What better way to do that than to detoxify and nourish your body with a generous mix of greens?! We promise it doesn’t have to taste like grass. Got a blender? Start with a water base. Mix up your favorite veggies (think kale, avocado, spinach) and add in some sweetness (blueberries, strawberries, pineapple). Want more bang for your buck? Throw in some chia or flax seeds. Don’t think, just drink. You’re filling your body with an incredible amount of essential vitamins and minerals and you’re out the door before most people have time to check their facebook. Don’t have time to blend? Easy. Companies like Lulitonix are available online and will deliver these beautiful concoctions to your door for you. Check out juice/blend companies in your area! Our word to the wise: Watch the amount of sugar going into your morning juice. Try to stay low (under 6 grams) of sugar from fruit in your morning mix.
2. Keep it cheap, quick and easy. (Don’t get the wrong idea here.) WE LOVE EGGS… from our heads down to our legs…. ok, we’ll stop singing. Eggs are NOT just for breakfast! Omelets and scrambles are delicious at any hour, especially when you throw the kitchen sink of vegetables into the mix! Eggs are a perfect base for vegetables. Grill up literally ANY vegetable (from eggplant to asparagus, broccoli to zucchini, peppers to brussels sprouts!!) and pour or scramble eggs over the pan! You’re getting a perfect serving of protein and vegetables to fuel you throughout the rest of your day. Add avocado on top and presto! The perfect meal.
3. Use a food processor. Still hate the idea of eating vegetables in their natural form? Use a food processor! Our favorite time to cook with a food processor is when we make turkey burgers. Take garlic, onion, peppers, broccoli (anything your heart desires really!) and toss it into a food processor. Mix your processed veggies into lean turkey, bison or lamb meat. Form this delicious mixture into patties, season, and grill. Put your sneaky veggie/meat patty over a bed of spinach and add a little hummus or avocado on the side.
4. Brunch. If all else fails drink a Bloody Mary with your Sunday brunch. (Ok… we’re kind of joking about this one… but just kind of.)
Adopt this slogan: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a peasant. A bigger breakfast will supply you with the energy you need to tackle the day. Unless you’re about to run a marathon at 7pm you could probably learn to live without a heaping serving of pasta.
Let’s pretend your body is a car. A car needs to be washed, the tires need to rotated, the oil needs to be changed. It needs gasoline to provide enough power for it to move from place to place. Skimping on any of these factors will reduce the quality of your car and you’ll probably have to pay more money in the long run for not taking care of it properly.
So just like that car, you body needs equal maintenance and care. We all know the basic principles for staying healthy: eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, exercise. But there are so many layers to each of those principles. It’s not as black and white as we think.
We here at BBP Headquarters LIVE for eating breakfast and we’d never dream of skimping on it. Not only is it our favorite meal of the day, but it’s also the most important to us. Consuming a higher calorie breakfast with a generous amount of protein and carbohydrates provides us with the fuel we need to tackle the day ahead of us.
Here are our top 3 easy breakfast options:
BBP Avocado Toast: 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread toasted with ½ an avocado, chili pepper flakes and 2 poached eggs
BBP PB&J Oatmeal: ½ cup plain oatmeal, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1 scoop natural nut butter, ¼ cup blueberries
Kitchen Sink Scramble: Take any veggies you have lying around in your fridge, saute them in a pan, pour 4 egg whites over the veggies and top with a couple slices of avocado! Add a side of Ezekiel bread or take the whole scramble and put it on a low carb wrap.
Skipping breakfast is equivalent to trying to drive a car with no gas. Use your breakfast to energize your body and fuel your morning workout. With a larger healthy breakfast, you’ll feel more satisfied and be less likely to over-consume later in the day.
Now let’s move onto Commandment #3:
Use your carbs for fuel, not fun. Carbs are your best friend for energy during your workout. Carbs are not your best friend when you eat dinner and immediately go to sleep. On the other hand, carbs can be your best friend on that occasional night you’re sad and need to throw yourself a sad pizza party. We’ve been there.
Carbs have got a bad rap over the last decade and with all the refined and processed foods taking over the supermarket aisles it’s no wonder why. Simple carbs like cookies, cupcakes, pizza, pasta and white bread are the enemy of our waistlines. But there are plenty of amazing carbohydrate options that will actually HELP you fit into your jeans and fuel you for your day!
Complex carbohydrates (like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, yams, broccoli ) are low on the glycemic index. When you consume complex carbs you’ll get lower amounts of sugar released at a more consistent rate which will keep you feeling energized and satisfied for a longer period of time.
Start incorporating complex carbs into your breakfast, lunch and early afternoon snack. By the time you get to dinner, you’ll be less inclined to order a carb-heavy dinner and more likely to order something on the lighter side.
Here are our top 3 easy low carb dinner options:
Mexican lettuce wraps: Cook up some lean ground turkey and saute a yellow pepper and ½ and onion. Spoon into a lettuce cup and top with avocado. Boom delicious.
Spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs: Cut a spaghetti squash in half, scrape out the seeds and cook at 425 degrees in the oven for 45 minutes. Scrape out the center into a bowl and add marinara sauce and lean ground turkey meat. We swear this tastes so delicious you won’t even miss the pasta.
Stuffed peppers: Cut the tops off and hollow out 4 red peppers. Sautee lean ground chicken, turkey or beef in a pan with a little EVOO and onion. Spoon mixture into peppers and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Bon appetite!
So, there you have it. Start incorporating complex carbs like oatmeal, quinoa, Ezekiel bread and sweet potatoes to your breakfast and lunch and you’ll be satisfied with a lighter, lower carb option by dinner time.
Have any tips or tricks you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!
Just like the Girl Scouts of America say: Be prepared. If you prep your food the night before you rush out the door for work you won’t be stuck making hasty food choices on the fly.
Full disclosure here, I hate cooking. My friends make fun of me because I don’t own the most basic of cooking utensils. I’m much more a “grab something on the way to the gym/work/apartment” kind of girl. But over the years I started to realize my lack of planning my meals ahead of time was taking a big toll on my wallet and my waistline. I’d be in the middle of my work day and suddenly realize I was starving. I don’t know about you, but when i’m starving I get tunnel vision, I can’t focus and I’ll push you over the yellow line on the subway platform if you look at me the wrong way. This is no way to live life.
Here are BBP’s best tips for avoiding the dreaded “Hangry” episode:
Channel your inner Julia Child. Take one day or night a week and do some simple food prep. If I know I have a long week with not a lot of downtime I’ll do a few quick things on Sunday night to make my chow down time easier. I buy 3 or 4 sweet potatoes, dice them up and roast them in the oven with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. I do the same thing with asparagus, squash, zucchini or whatever vegetable i’m feeling that week. While my veggies and sweet potatoes are roasting in the oven I grill up 5 or 6 chicken breasts and hard boil a dozen eggs. Boom. Food prep.
Crash your mom’s tupperware party. Once your food prep is underway, set up some tupperware conveyer belt style in your kitchen. As soon as it’s cooked, portion out your meals right then and there. Pre portioning your meals only takes a couple minutes and it’s a lifesaver when you’re late and running out the door in the morning.
Be a protein packing ninja. While a protein bar isn’t my first choice to keep hunger at bay, it’s definitely pulled through for me when I can’t sit down for a real lunch or snack. Enter the Quest Bar. I could write an entire post on Quest bars because I love them that hard. They’re under 200 calories, have a ridiculous amount of protein, they’re low in carbs and there’s virtually no sugar. Also they’re the most delicious things on the planet. (Side note: if you want to have a euphoric experience put a Quest Bar in the microwave for 10 seconds. You brain will explode. It’s that good.)
Look into a food delivery service. When Amber and I are leaning out for a photo shoot we turn to the professionals for help. Companies like Fuel Food and Fuel Fit Prep provide perfectly portioned, healthy and affordable meals that are delivered right to your doorstep. If you hate cooking or you’re just really tight on time this is a great option.
Get your juice on. Juices and blends are a quick and easy way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs when you’re on the go. We here at BBP don’t believe in juice cleanses (that will mess up your metabolism girl!) but we do believe it getting your daily requirement of fruits and veggies and we love when we can get it in the form of a delicious juice! Our favorites juice/blend picks? Lulitonix takes the lead because their juice blends are delicious, easily digestable and all the fiber stays intact in the blending. We also love Juice Press because they’re cold pressed, all raw, and they use usda organic produce. Another great feature about these two companies? They also deliver right to your doorstep! (Woo!)
So there you have it! The BBP top tips for being prepared and keeping your relationship with food a more healthy, manageable one. Have a favorite food prep tip? Share it with us in the comments below!
Some 10 billion years ago this dude named Moses got these 10 commandments from this other guy named God. We weren’t there to read it with Moses, but we hear it was a pretty extensive list of things you should avoid doing in order to be an awesome human.
We here at BBP have our own list of commandments, but ours deal more with prohibitions (or lack there of) of the occasional pizza binge, the debate of cashew butter vs. peanut butter vs. almond butter and the importance of mastering and crafting the best skinny cocktail.
Without further adieu, we’re excited to present to you:
THE BRAVE BODY PROJECT 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FOOD
1 Just like the Girl Scouts of America say: Be prepared. If you prep your food the night before you rush out the door for work you won’t be stuck making hasty food choices on the fly.
2 Adopt this slogan: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a peasant. A bigger breakfast will supply you with the energy you need to tackle the day. Unless you’re about to run a marathon at 7 pm you could probably learn to live without a heaping serving of pasta. Which leads me to…
3Use your carbs for fuel, not fun. Carbs are your best friend for energy during your workout. Carbs are not your best friend when you eat dinner and immediately go to sleep. On the other hand, carbs can be your best friend on that occasional night you’re sad and need to throw yourself a sad pizza party. We’ve been there.
4Sneak your veggies in. I’m basically like a 3-year-old and hate most vegetables unless they’re put in my food in a sneaky way. If you’d rather die than chomp on broccoli or kale, use a food processor or fine chop your veggies and throw them into your turkey meat or smoothie.
5Amber’s golden rule: if you can’t taste the cheese, don’t eat it. This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I love cheese. Cheese is it’s own food group in my book. But how many times have you ordered a wrap and barely noticed you had cheese in it?! Cut down the cheddar and add some flavor (and healthy fats) with avocado instead.
6Eat pancakes for breakfast. No seriously. Use Lindsey’s favorite recipe:
– ½ a cup plain oatmeal;
– 3 egg whites;
-cinnamon to taste;
– 1 tsp chia seeds;
– 1 tsp flax seeds;
– Sugar-free maple syrup (warmed up);
Mix ingredients together and throw that good looking goop into a pan with some no calorie cooking spray. Flip it, serve it and add some maple syrup, sugar-free jelly or natural nut butter. This shiz tastes so good and it gives your normal morning oatmeal routine a kick in the pants. Play around with different types of fruit to incorporate!
7All calories are not created equally. Yes, there may be 100 calories in a handful of M&M’s and the very same 100 calories in a few servings of asparagus. But they have an extremely different effects on our stomachs, our brains, and our long-term health.
8Sip your cocktail smarter. Your BBP co-founders fancy themselves to be whiskey connoisseurs. We love our whiskey, but you’d better believe we’re drinking it with soda water or on the rocks. Check yourself before you wreck yourself when sipping on that $5 margarita special at your local watering hole. You’ll send yourself into a sugar coma and end up with a killer headache.
9 Get that post-workout protein/carb combo in gurl. Take advantage of the magical 30-minute window after you finish your workout. (Pause for some quick and slightly boring scientific stuff: Research has found that in the approximately 30 minutes after intense exercise, the body optimizes its ability to replenish energy stores–particularly muscle and liver glycogen. This is a critical time because the body instigates muscle protein synthesis for muscle tissue recovery and repair, replenishes fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, and adapts to the stresses encountered in the workout.) That was a fancy way of saying give your body a good combination of protein and carbs post workout. You can get this in the form of a protein shake for a quick fix, or get busy with that chicken and sweet potato combo. Boom shaka laka.
10Chocolate can be your best friend, just don’t make it your boyfriend. There’s no shortage of chocolate love over here at BBP headquarters. We just prefer not to end up in an abusive relationship with it. If you’re jonesing for some chocolate flavored loving don’t adopt the Twix motto of “Two for me, none for you.” Split that candy bar with your buddy.
So there you have it. Your Brave Body Project 10 food commandments to live by. Over the next 10 weeks on braveEATS we’ll take each individual commandment and break it down further to wipe out any lingering questions you may have. Print this out and tape it to your fridge, tack it on the corkboard at your desk or keep it in your food journal.