Skinny Ms. http://skinnyms.com Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:16:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 15 Quick Weight Loss Tips http://skinnyms.com/15-quick-weight-loss-tips/ http://skinnyms.com/15-quick-weight-loss-tips/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:00:47 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=423534 Jumpstart health with these quick tips.

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by Skinny Ms.

Effective Methods for Weight Loss

Don’t waste one more moment of your life living off fad diets that won’t set you up for weight loss success. Instead, try these 15 quick weight loss tips, so that you can start taking positive steps in the right direction.

The key to maintaining long-term weight loss and staying at your ideal weight is making these tips part of your regular routine. If you want to look like your best, most fabulous self, it’s not about dieting; it’s about making consistent, healthy lifestyle choices that nourish the body.

Ease your body and mind into a new healthier lifestyle by incorporating one or two of these quick weight loss tips at a time. As you become comfortable with the new changes, add a few more tips to your routine.

Learn the quick weight loss tips below, and, then, if you’d like to add even more firepower to your get-healthier strategy, check out our fresh new ebook, Skinny Ms. Clean Overhaul 30-Day Weight Loss Program. You’ll also find more can-do resources, such as healthy recipes, meal planning ideas, and exercise routines, by following Skinny Ms. on Pinterest.

1. Drink water.
Good ol’ H2O will fill your tummy so you’re less likely to snack, plus it’s a healthier alternative to beverages with added refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try Strawberry-Basil Water for a flavor boost.

2. Love the 4-minute workout.
Tabata-style workouts raise the heart rate quickly and jumpstart the metabolism so you burn fat and build lean muscle. Check out 6 Fat-Burning, 4-Minute Workouts.

3. Cut back on takeout.
If you’ve fallen into a takeout rut, now’s the time to make better choices for yourself. Instead prepare healthy homemade recipes like Philly Cheese & Chicken Sandwich or Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken.

4. Eat a nutritious breakfast every day.
Satisfy hunger and energize yourself with one of these Healthy Breakfast Recipes.

5. Move during commercial breaks.
Whether you’re binge watching The Walking Dead or catching up on Empire, get up and move during commercials. Stretch in front of the tube or walk a few laps around the house.

6. Rock out to ramp up.
Motivate movement by listening to heart-pumping tunes. Get your groove on with the Ultimate Workout Playlist.

7. Eat more veggies every day.
Make vegetables part of most meals with a veggie side dish or salad, or add one of these Vegetarian Recipes to your menu.

8. Try a new workout.
Re-motivate yourself and challenge muscles to work harder by switching up the workout routine. Give our Ditch the Workout- Let’s Zumba a go.

9. Take a walk.
Don’t let a busy day prevent you from moving. Grab a quick walk during lunch, or invite a pal for a stroll around the neighborhood park. Discover more ideas for quick weight loss tips with How to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day- 5 Can-Do Tips.

10. Walk to a coworker’s desk instead of texting or emailing.
Simple swaps, like trading electronic messages for face-to-face time, add up when it comes to sneaking in physical activity.

11. Keep a food journal.
Know what’s going into your body by keeping tabs on what you eat and how much you’re eating. Learn the Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal.

12. Freeze pureed veggies to add to soups and pasta sauces.
Puree fresh vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, or sweet potatoes, and then freeze. When you’re making a sauce or soup, thaw the puree and add it to the recipe for an extra dose of filling nutrients. Bonus: This is an excellent way to get kids an extra dose of veggies on the sly.

13. Trade fruit juice for whole fruit.
Processed juices often contain added sugar or sweeteners, so swap them out for the real deal, like fresh apples or oranges.

14. Get your smoothie on.
Healthy homemade smoothies hydrate, nourish, and satisfy without the processed junk found in many store-bought products. Check out Smoothie Central on Skinny Ms.

15. Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals increases hunger and makes it more likely you’ll snack on unhealthy foods or overeat at your next meal.

 

Find delicious Skinny Ms. weight loss recipes by checking out 52 Tasty Recipes for Weight Loss.

On Twitter? Follow @SkinnyMsMag for on-the-go access to healthy recipes and quick weight loss tips.  

 

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Squash Risotto http://skinnyms.com/risotto-alla-zucca-squash-risotto-recipe/ http://skinnyms.com/risotto-alla-zucca-squash-risotto-recipe/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=422823 Indulge in a healthy risotto!

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By Skinny Ms.

Quick & Healthy Dinners

 

Risotto is a traditional northern Italian dish that makes use of the staples of that region’s cooking. Because many of the foods we enjoy at our favorite Italian restaurants hail from Southern Italy, such as pastas with red sauce and seafood dishes, we tend to forget that in northern Italy, home chefs cook with very different ingredients. A starchy variety of rice is used in risotto, and is just as popular in the north as spaghetti is in the south. We use Vialone Nano in our risotto, but you can substitute Arborio rice or Carnaroli rice if those are more easier found at your local grocery.

Another popular ingredient in northern Italian cooking is, surprisingly, butter! Instead of using the traditional butter in our risotto, we take a hint from the heart healthy chefs of southern Italy, and use mainly extra virgin olive oil in our healthy risotto, with only a dab of butter. We make a variety of healthy substitutions in this recipe, including low sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and entirely Parmesan cheese, which has a high protein content, and lacks the heavy fats of some cheeses popularly used in risotto.

The star of this healthy risotto recipe is butternut squash. Its mild flavor pairs perfectly with white wine, Parmesan, and onion, and makes for a healthy dish that’s brimming with carotenoids and vitamin A, as well as dietary fiber. Choose this risotto for your next weeknight dinner or family get-together, and enjoy the rich flavors of northern Italy.

Squash Risotto

Yields: 8 servings | Serving Size: 1-1/4 cup risotto | Calories: 289 | Previous Points: 6 | Points Plus: 7 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 10 mg | Sodium: 175 mg | Carbohydrates: 44 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 8 g |

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups Vialone Nano rice (or any type of rice that's good for risotto like Arborio)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups small-diced butternut squash or acorn squash ( find out how to peel and seed squash here)
  • 4 cups hot vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional) organic, grass-fed preferred
  • 1/2 cup (more or less, depending on your taste) grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Over medium heat, in a thick-bottomed saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the onions. When the onions start to color, add the rice. Toast for 3 minutes, moving frequently to avoid burning.

Pour the wine and let the alcohol evaporate for about 3 minutes.

Add the squash and half of the broth.

Over low - medium heat, keep on adding the broth gradually, making sure that the risotto doesn't dry up. It should cook in about 17 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

When the risotto is cooked, with a creamy consistency, turn off the fire.

Add the butter, Parmigiano Reggiano (adjust the amount according to how you like it) and parsley.

Serve immediately.

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Herbed Wild Rice Stuffed Potatoes Recipe http://skinnyms.com/herbed-wild-rice-stuffed-potatoes-recipe/ http://skinnyms.com/herbed-wild-rice-stuffed-potatoes-recipe/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=421651 Not your typical stuffed potatoes.

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By Skinny Ms.

Herbed Wild Rice Stuffed Potatoes Recipe-2

For a healthy vegetarian dinner, these wild rice stuffed potatoes are sure to be a hit. When coated in olive oil, the potatoes turn crisp and delicious, and when filled with a herbed rice and spinach mixture, they become a satisfying meal. The next time you’re looking for delicious stuffed potato recipes, try this one; you are guaranteed to love it!

This recipe is just as satisfying as your typical stuffed baked potato recipes that you’ll find at any local diner. But it lacks the saturated fat, high cholesterol, and whopping calorie count of those dishes. Baked with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, these potatoes come out crispy without containing the unhealthy fat and calories of butter. And the stuffing is chock full of healthy ingredients. Instead of ratcheting up the fat and calories of these potatoes, these stuffing ingredients enhance the nutritional value of the recipe. Wild rice is a complex carbohydrate, containing fiber for good heart health. Spinach is a superfood that’s loaded with antioxidants, and each of the herbs lends a terrific flavor and nutrients to boot.

Plus, these potatoes are a cinch to prepare. How many times have you baked a potato for dinner simply out of convenience? This recipe is just as simple as your usual baked potato, with the additional step of combining and sauteing your stuffing and loading it on. Enjoy these as a weeknight entree, or serve them up to guests for a fun, gourmet twist on typical stuffed potatoes.

 
Herbed Wild Rice Stuffed Potatoes Recipe

Herbed Wild Rice Stuffed Potatoes Recipe

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 potato with 1/2 cup filling|Calories: 360| Previous Points: 7| Points Plus: 10 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 281 mg | Carbohydrates: 65 g | Dietary Fiber: 8 g | Sugars: 4 g | Protein: 11 g |

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the potatoes in 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and rub with half the salt. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 1/2 hour. Remove from the oven and prick with a fork, and put back in the oven. Continue baking until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes more.

While the potatoes are baking, make the filling. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Stir in the cooked rice and turn off the heat. Stir in the herbs, lemon juice, remaining salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are done, split each down the middle. Stuff each with about a half cup of the rice mixture and serve.

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7-Day Willpower Training Challenge http://skinnyms.com/7-day-willpower-training-challenge/ http://skinnyms.com/7-day-willpower-training-challenge/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:00:38 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=422150 Lead a healthier, more productive life by boosting your willpower.

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By Skinny Ms.

7-Day-Willpower-Training-Challenge

What comes to mind when you think of willpower? Resisting temptation? Avoiding that second piece of cake, eating an apple when you really want chips, even getting out of bed when you would rather just sleep in all day. At times, we may falter and give in to these desires, but at other times, we persevere. That’s willpower.

Psychologists define willpower as “the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” When it comes to fitness and health, this is very important. Many of us may not be satisfied with our current physical condition, so we work toward a long term goal. Having willpower makes all the difference between seeing the results you want and doing the bare minimum.

Just as you do when you begin a new workout regimen, take the time for the thorough development and practice that can build willpower. Think of willpower as a muscle that requires training and conditioning to achieve the desired results. We’ve created this 7-day willpower challenge to help you train your willpower and conquer everyday temptations. Once the week is over, continue to work on developing your willpower.

Day 1: Sleep – Do you think that extra 5 minutes will make all the difference in the world? Honestly, it won’t. We train our minds to think it will, and we begin to believe it. It’s time to train your body to get up as soon as you wake up using these tips.

1. Set your bedtime to 8 hours and 30 minutes from when you need to wake up. This allows you time to transition into sleep.

2. Turn off all electronics except your alarm, if needed. After getting over eight hours os sleep, you’ll begin to wake up before your alarm, and this will give you more time in the day. If you use an alarm, place it on the far side of your room, so that you can’t cheat and hit the snooze button.

3. If you can, open your blinds to let light in to welcome you when you wake up.

4. Once you wake up, get up. Fight that urge to throw the sheets back over you. Your nightly setup should have you well rested and out of bed. If your body is up and the sun is out, it’s time to start your day, even if it’s the weekend. The more you train your body to get up, the better rested you’ll feel, and the easier it will be to have an early start to your day.

Day 2: Food and Beverages – Food can be a huge weakness for many people. Unhealthy sweets and processed foods are easy to enjoy, since they are inexpensive and convenient. Starting today, plan out your meals for the week. Include 3-4 meals and 3-4 snacks depending on how busy your day is and how long you will be out the house. Urges come at all random times, but having a healthy alternative ready will help tackle all cravings. Our most common desires are sweet and salty, so preparing one snack of each will tackle those cravings and train you to stay away from impulse snack buying. Our 50 Clean Eating Snacks has a large variety of options to get you started, while our 21 Easy and Quick Clean Eating Recipes will give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Day 3: Meditate – Meditation is more than being in deep thought. It teaches us patience and concentration. Starting today, dedicate 15 minutes to meditating. As you start off, it will seem challenging, and at times, frustrating, but the key to meditating is perseverance and creating your own unique experience. As it becomes less challenging, add more minutes to your meditation session. The longer you meditate, the greater your ability to be patient. Once you strengthen your patience, you can more easily resist in-the-moment urges.

Day 4: Television – TV is a daily distraction from productivity. We’re always itching to see what’s the latest on our favorite show, whether it’s learning who is going home on a certain reality show or whether someone will finally confess their love to a close friend on a drama. You don’t need it. As relaxing as we assume TV can be, there is a whole world of our own that we can create for ourselves. Use the time you usually spend watching television to head outdoors and explore a new part of your town. Bad weather? Grab a story, atlas, or art book and immerse your mind in another world that helps to develop your imagination. The more you stay away from television and experience new adventures directly or vicariously, the more you’ll appreciate your world and its possibilities.

Day 5: Train Your Brain – Our brains work similarly to our muscles. The more we train them, the stronger they become. On day 5, focus on honing your brain with a new skill. Whether you work on learning an instrument, new language, or brain training games like sudoku and even chess, take the time out of your day to be patient and work your brain. Try to stay away from braining training apps since being on your phone comes with typical distractions. The more you train your brain, the more you can take control of how you think and react.

Day 6: Handheld Electronics – Our handhelds consume our lives. Centerpieces that keep us connected to the world, our cellphones and tablets are important in our lives, but also end up controlling them. Today’s challenge is about transitioning ourselves to only use our handhelds when it’s important to do so. Imagine how many personal and productive things you could do if you weren’t on social media or constantly distracted by unnecessary apps? Focus on using your handhelds only for phone calls, emails, important text messages, and the news. All social media apps can be used online in the same capacity. Uninstall all of the apps from your phone and allocate 10 minutes of your day to going online and playing a quick “catch up”. Eventually, you’ll realize you aren’t missing out on anything and can channel that extra time into more productivity at work and in your personal life.

Day 7: Exercise – On the last day of the challenge, focus on a challenging workout. Always use 10 lbs weights? Go for the 12 lbs. Usually commit to burpees for 30 seconds? Do them for 45 seconds! Push your body and mind and take away the standards you previously set for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how strong you’ve been this whole time. Push through every second and rep.

Sources: APA

Looking for more ways to boost your brain power? Check out some of these article:
4 Ways to Train Your Brain for Weight Loss
Nurture That Noggin: 9 Brain Foods to Keep You Young
Boost Your Brain Power! Weight Loss and Mental Performance!

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Three Bean Rice Bowl Recipe http://skinnyms.com/three-bean-rice-bowl-recipe/ http://skinnyms.com/three-bean-rice-bowl-recipe/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:00:30 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=421653 Veggie rice bowls can be easy and delicious!

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By Skinny Ms.

Three Bean Rice Bowl Recipe-2

Beans and rice is a staple dish that is filling, but can get kind of boring after a while. This three bean rice bowl recipe changes that by combining three types of beans with a black pepper and Parmesan brown rice.  The result is a rice bowl recipe that is sure to become a favorite. The next time you’re looking for a delicious vegetarian meal, try this rice bowl; you won’t be disappointed!

Combining beans and rice is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. The combo provides a complete protein, allowing you to derive energy from the complex carbohydrates in the rice, and to sustain that energy for long periods of time due to the protein in the beans. We’ve used brown rice, which is unrefined and full of fiber, filling you up and keeping your energy levels stable. Kidney beans and chickpeas are both nutritional powerhouses, and extra virgin olive oil lends heart healthy fat to this delicious dish. And Parmesan cheese is one of our favorite additions to many healthy meals. It lends massive flavor with just a very small amount, keeping your fat and calorie count low while maximizing taste.

Plus, this dish is the perfect weeknight dinner and even a great lunch to pack into Tupperwares and take on the go! It’s as easy to whip up as cooking rice and adding the rest of your ingredients. It’s the perfect no-fuss vegetarian meal.

Three Bean Rice Bowl Recipe

Three Bean Rice Bowl Recipe

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size:1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup beans |Calories: 388 | Previous Points: 10| Points Plus: 7 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 131 mg | Carbohydrates: 69 g | Dietary Fiber: 11 g | Sugars: 4 g | Protein: 15 g |

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan and add the rice. Stir and coat the rice with the oil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the black pepper and the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook the rice for 50 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 10 minutes and stir in the cheese.

When the rice is almost done cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and add the green beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Season with the salt and heat over medium heat until heated through. Serve the beans alongside the rice.

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9 Low-Carb, High-Protein Crock Pot Recipes http://skinnyms.com/9-low-carb-high-protein-crock-pot-recipes/ http://skinnyms.com/9-low-carb-high-protein-crock-pot-recipes/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:00:11 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=421990 Enjoy healthy meals the easy way with slow cooker dishes.

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by Skinny Ms.

9-Low-Carb,-High-Protein-Crock-Pot-Recipes

The low-carb lifestyle is not just about eliminating bad carbohydrates and eating fewer carbs overall—it’s also about eating protein that fuels the body, including lean muscle, so you look fit and feel fabulous. We’re sharing 9 low-carb, high-protein crock pot recipes to add to your meal plan.

Living the low-carb lifestyle is about choosing to eat fewer carbohydrates and, when you do eat carbs, choosing to eat healthy ones. Good carbohydrates include many clean-eating foods, particularly non- or minimally-processed fruits and vegetables, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. For additional ideas for low-carb recipes, check out 10 Clean & Lean Low-Carb Lunches and 7-Day Low-Carb Menu Plan.

But when you’re losing weight or making the choice to live healthier, it’s not enough to simply get rid of processed carbs and choose nutritious low-carb recipes; you also need to add foods that nourish the body, provide energy, and nurture lean muscle.

That’s why high-protein dishes are a smart choice when you’re making changes to your lifestyle. Protein, one of the building blocks of a healthy cell, is a critical nutrient to consume because the body doesn’t store it. While individual needs may vary, in general, adult women who aren’t pregnant or nursing should consume about 46 grams per day.

1. Slow Cooker Lower-Carb Cabbage Roll Stew
With 14 grams of carbs and 17 grams of protein, this comfort food-inspired recipe is a smart choice when you’re losing weight or taking charge of your health.

2. Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
This recipe is a Skinny Ms. fan favorite–and it’s no surprise. It offers 26 grams of lean muscle-nourishing protein and just 5 grams of carbohydrates. Oh, and did we mention how embarrassingly simple it is to prepare?!

3. Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage
Simple, tasty, and kid-approved, this is one of those low-carb recipes that the family may not even realize is “healthy.” It provides 24 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates.

4. Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Indulge in that southern flavor you love with high-protein dishes like this one, which delivers 28 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbs per serving.

5. Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Chicken
Crock pot recipes like this one make eating healthy foods a dinner option any day of the week.

6. Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef
Italian flavor makes this a low-carb recipes winner–just 9 grams of carbohydrates plus 26 grams of protein.

7. Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Turkey Stew
With just the right combo of sweet and tangy, crock pot recipes like this one will make it hard to believe you’re eating the healthy way. This slow cooker dish has 33 grams of protein and only 14 grams of carbs per serving.

8. Slow Cooker Beef Curry
Simply toss in the ingredients, and in about 7 to 8 hours you’ll enjoy a flavorful meal that offers 28 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

9. Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros
Say “goodbye” to the grease that comes with traditional Greek takeout and treat yourself to high-protein dishes like this one, which delivers 23 grams of protein and just 10 grams of carbs in each serving.

Is it time for you to tone and tighten for that warm weather vacation? Visit Skinny Ms. Fitness for the workout resources and tips you need to feel fab on the sand or in the pool.

Discover many more delicious, convenient clean-eating recipes by following our Pinterest boards, like Weight Watchers Meals and Foods and Healthy Snacks for Adults.

 

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15 Weight Watchers Snack Recipes http://skinnyms.com/15-weight-watchers-snack-recipes/ http://skinnyms.com/15-weight-watchers-snack-recipes/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:00:11 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=419897 Don't miss out on snacks just because your watching your weight!

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By Skinny Ms.

Weight Watchers isn’t all about breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are plenty of yummy Weight Watchers snacks to keep you feeling full between meals and help you avoid the temptation of easy-to-grab junk foods. Try these 15 Weight Watchers recipes for on-the-go snacks that will satisfy your urge to munch while keeping you on track.

1.) Snack Pretzel Stack Previous Points: 3 | Points Plus: 3
This easy snack is as fun to make as it is flavorful. The recipe combines peanut butter, chocolate and banana for a snack that’s great for the kids to take along to school–and for you to sneak at your desk!

2.) Oven Baked Zucchini Chips Previous Points: 2 | Point Plus: 2
There’s no need to hit the vending machine when you have these crunchy, healthy chips on hand. They’ll satisfy your afternoon craving for something salty while weighing in at just 99 calories per serving.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Honey Nuts Recipe

3.) Slow Cooker Cinnamon and Honey Nuts Points: 5 | Points Plus: 7
Whip up a big batch of these sweet treats and separate them into individual servings to take along to work all week long. This delicious nut snack is reminiscent of the honey-roasted peanuts from the county fair—without all the added calories and sugar.

4.) Slow Cooker Bananas Foster Points: 2 | Points Plus: 4
Our twist on this New Orleans favorite even looks sinful—but we promise it’s Weight Watchers friendly! We cut the sugar and butter but held onto the rich banana and rum flavors for a snack or dessert that won’t leave you with a single ounce of guilt.

5.) Spicy Pumpkin Hummus Points: 1 | Points Plus: 1
Two unique flavors, pumpkin and tahini, come together in this delicious hummus that’ll only cost you ONE Weight Watchers point. Serve it with whole wheat pita chips or sliced veggies at your next get-together for a guaranteed home run.

6.) Clean Eating Raspberry Oat Bars Points: 5 | Points Plus: 5
Whole wheat flour, coconut oil and low-sugar jam are married to form the ideal snack to satisfy your midday sweet tooth or your after-dinner dessert craving. This clean-eating recipe leaves behind all the excess sugar and carbs that come in most store-bought snack bars.

Southwestern Kale Chips

7.) Southwestern Kale Chips Points: 3 | Points Plus: 4
Kale is pretty much the definition of a superfood, and this spice-filled recipe is as easy as they come. Store a few servings in airtight bags to grab and go on your way out the door.

8.) Bell Pepper Candy Points: 0 | Points Plus: 0
Who knew vegetables and candy could mix so nicely? These super-simple, tasty snacks are worth ZERO points, so skip the bag of guilt-inducing M&Ms and reach for these instead.

9.) Whole Grain Cinnamon Pita Chips Points: 3 | Points Plus: 5
Ditch unhealthy, refined sugars and opt for these treats, made with the good kind of sweet ingredients like natural honey and cinnamon. Bonus: there are just three ingredients, making these a breeze to whip up.

10.) Chili Lime Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Points: 4 | Points Plus: 5
Crunchy and zesty, these roasted pumpkin seeds are the perfect snack for those who like some heat! You can easily swap out the spices to make your own variations on this popular recipe.

11.) Pan Roasted Candied Pecans Points: 5 | Points Plus: 6
Pecans on their own are a heart-healthy snack packed with Vitamin E. This recipe adds honey and sea salt to the mix for a sweet-and-salty munchie that’s great on its own or as a topping for salads and yogurt.

12.) Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Crostini Points: 2 | Points Plus: 3
The saltiness of smoked salmon combines with the zestiness of lemon in this tasty summer snack. If you make this dish for guests, beware—it’ll be gone quickly!

Quinoa Crisp and Berry Parfait

13.) Quinoa Crisp and Berry Parfait Points: 4 | Points Plus: 6
Quinoa isn’t just a side dish. It’s the main event in this crunchy berry parfait, which is an excellent substitute for your morning cereal or granola.

14.) Spicy Tailgate Meatballs Points: 3 | Points Plus: 3
Tailgating is a favorite family activity, but it often goes hand-in-hand with greasy, fattening foods. Bring these spicy meatballs along to your team’s next home game and you’ll score big with everyone on the guest list.

15.) Baked Zucchini Fritters Points: 1 | Points Plus: 2
Traditional zucchini fritters are fried in unhealthy oil, but this dish is baked to bring you all the flavor without all the fat. These fritters work great on their own or as a side dish.

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We’d love to hear what you think of this post, or what you’d like to see on our site. Leave us a comment in the comments section below.

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DIY Eye Mask to Reduce Puffiness http://skinnyms.com/diy-eye-mask-reduce-puffiness/ http://skinnyms.com/diy-eye-mask-reduce-puffiness/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:00:08 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=423845 Banish puffy eyes and dark circles!

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By Skinny Ms.

Healthy Facial Masks

Between chronic stress, early wake-up calls, and those pesky nights spent up late working, sometimes a good night’s sleep is hard to get. What makes it worse is when everyone can see it in your eyes the following day. Take some time out of your morning and try this DIY eye mask. Reduce puffiness and help fight off color changes in the delicate skin beneath your eyes.

Ingredients and Why They Work:

Parsley Parsley has amazing benefits for the body, both internally and externally. In this mask, this leafy green vegetable helps with the reduction of puffiness and the lightening of discolored skin under the eyes.

Yogurt – Yogurt helps reduce puffiness and dark spots, while also hydrating skin.

What do Do:

1. Combine a handful of parsley and 2 tablespoons of yogurt into a food processor and blend until mixed completely. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the parsley into fine pieces and stir into the yogurt.

2. Apply the mixture underneath both eyes and leave on for 15 minutes.

3. Rinse the mix off with warm water.

4. You can do this daily to help combat skin discoloration and puffiness, especially when due to lack of sleep.

Source: NaturalFacialCares

Looking for more natural ways to treat your skin from home? Try some of these DIY’s:
DIY Shea-Coconut Oil Body Butter
DIY for Loose Skin Tightening 
DIY Coffee Scrub for Fading Stretch Marks

Make sure that you subscribe to our newsletter, so that you don’t miss out on anything Skinny Ms.

For more tasty recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, and whole body workouts, check out our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest.

We’d love to hear what you think of this post, or what you’d like to see on our site. Leave us a comment in the comments section below.

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3 Foods to Absolutely Never Eat Again http://skinnyms.com/3-foods-absolutely-never-eat/ http://skinnyms.com/3-foods-absolutely-never-eat/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:00:41 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=422513 Learn what not to eat.

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by Skinny Ms.

Foods to Stay Away From

What’s lurking in your pantry or refrigerator? Perhaps no more than a few crumbs or some dripped milk. If you’re making the effort to change your lifestyle by eating nutritious foods to lose weight and stay healthy, then you’ll want to read this list of 3 foods to absolutely never eat again.

1. Refined Sugar

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends that Americans get a maximum of 10% of their calories from added sugar, yet most folks take in more than 16% of their calories from sugar.

Added sugar has been implicated in obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Excess sugar consumption also significantly increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. One study found that people who took in 17-21% of their calories from sugar had an astounding 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who consumed 8% of their calories from added sugar.

Another reason to add refined sugar to your list of foods not to eat is that it has no nutritive value—empty calories. Each time you consume refined sugar, you ingest a large quantity of calories and no vitamins, nutrients, or antioxidants.

Seven common names for refined sugar include:

1. Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup
2. Glucose
3. Fruit Juice Concentrates
4. Sucrose
5. Corn Syrup
6. Corn Sweetener
7. Maltose Dextrose

Alternatives to Refined Sugar
Choose foods with no added sugar or those with small amounts of natural sweeteners, like honey. In addition to picking the right products, take refined sugar out of your own pantry by switching to one or more of these 10 Alternatives to Refined Sugar.

2. Diet Foods

Foods marketed as “diet” often contain artificial sweeteners. Add these to your list of foods not to eat. The manufacturers add the sweeteners to make the foods tastier, but research suggests artificial sweeteners negatively alter the metabolism as well as prime the body to eat more than it needs. Learn more in Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain. What’s more, since diet foods are processed, many contain added sodium, artificial flavors, and chemical additives.

Alternatives to Diet Foods
Prepare nutritious recipes that nourish the body without sacrificing taste. Learn more about living a clean-eating lifestyle in 7 Simple Steps to Clean Eating, or try any of these 21 Easy and Quick Clean-Eating Recipes.

3. Frozen Food Dinners

While store-bought frozen meals might seem super-convenient, there are trade-offs where health is concerned.  For example, one surprising reason to add frozen processed meals to your list of foods not to eat is that they may contain too few calories to satisfy hunger, especially if you’re leading an active lifestyle. It sounds counterintuitive to say a meal has too few calories if you’re trying to lose weight, but when you eat too little hunger takes over, leading to overeating at the next meal or choosing unhealthy snack foods.

In addition, many frozen meal packages tout the product includes vegetables, but they often contain small portions that do little to add a healthy serving of veggies to your diet. Processed frozen dinners can be high in sodium, too, which contributes to high blood pressure, and they can contain artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives.

Alternatives to Frozen Dinners
Prepare your own healthy frozen meal by freezing single-serve portions of your favorite healthy recipes. Discover 6 Tips to Turn Any Recipe Into a Freezer Recipe. Freezing’s not the only option either. You can easily refrigerate dinner leftovers for a low-fuss lunch—try 17 Meals to Make with Leftovers.

Plan menus that incorporate yummy, good-for-you ingredients. Check out the Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection: 101 Fan Favorites ebook.

Want to discover more delicious, convenient clean-eating recipes? Follow our Pinterest boards Skinny Slow Cooker and No-Sugar-Added Recipes.

 

Sources

American Heart Association

WebMD

 

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Slow Cooker Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Breast http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-balsamic-glazed-chicken-breast/ http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-balsamic-glazed-chicken-breast/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:00:35 +0000 http://skinnyms.com/?p=419230 This zesty, earthy chicken falls off the fork!

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By Skinny Ms.

Slow Cooker Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Breast

When you place the lid on top of your slow cooker, you leave your dinner in the hands of a machine, crossing your fingers that, hours later, a delicious meal will be waiting for you. As tired as you often are after the workday, you don’t need any surprises! And if you have a family to feed, you want that satisfaction that comes with serving a delicious meal and hearing your loved ones say, “Wow! That’s good!”

This simple dish is a no-brainer, finishing after 6 hours of cooking with an amazing tasty and tender chicken dinner every time. And although it may taste as if it were being served at a restaurant, it contains only low-fat, low-calorie ingredients that are high in quality. Lean chicken delivers a whopping dose of protein without the excess fat. Light soy sauce reduces the sodium content, and coconut sugar is a healthy substitute for refined white cane sugar, and does a great job of amping up this dish’s flavor profile without adding processed ingredients.

Try this delightful, zesty balsamic chicken with a whole grain side such as quinoa, farro, or brown rice. A helping of leafy greens complements this recipe perfectly, and rounds out your meal with nutrients and fiber. This chicken is versatile enough to pair with a number of healthy sides, so take your pick, and wow your family and friends.

Slow Cooker Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Breast

Slow Cooker Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Breast

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe | Calories: 259 | Previous Points: 6 | Points Plus: 6 | Total Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 73 mg | Sodium: 223 mg | Carbohydrates: 6 g | Dietary Fiber: 1 g | Sugars: 4 g | Protein: 25 g |

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped, for garnishing (optional)

Directions

Pour the olive oil in the slow cooker then distribute it on the bottom of the pot. You can also use a cooking spray.

Place the chicken on the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, water, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon potato starch, salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture on the chicken.

Set the slow cooker on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, separate the sauce from the chicken then pour the sauce in a small saucepan.

Over low heat, whisk the sauce with the remaining potato starch until it reaches a slightly thick consistency.

Slice the chicken then place them on the serving plate.

Pour the sauce on top and serve the rest in a container on the side.

Garnish with the chives and tomatoes if using.

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Here are more amazing Slow Cooker chicken recipe ideas:

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Stew

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken and Rice

Slow Cooker Herb Chicken and Vegetables

Make sure that you subscribe to our newsletter, so that you don’t miss out on all things Skinny Ms.

For more tasty recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, and whole body workouts, check out our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest.

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