Fit & Chic Over Summer Heats

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Everybody – especially ladies – do their best to transform their bodies and looks before summer into something that’s perfect for them so that they can show off their nice appearance, while the weather dictates more revealing clothes and spending time at the beach. Still, many people pay attention to their health and fitness few months before the summer season while they completely forget about balanced diet, proper skin care and fitness routine when the summer is finally there. This often results in poor skin and hair condition, and your figure starts changing (and not for the good) as the summer is near its end. If you want to keep your good looks and make sure that your previous hard work will be visible for many months and seasons to come, you can beat the summer heat and adjust your healthy habits to the weather.

Drink plenty of water

Let’s get the most annoying advice out of the way first. You’re probably tired of reading about benefits of water in every possible beauty article, but ask yourself the most important question – why is it always there? Proper intake of water during summer is essential if you want to keep your body energized and hydrated. There’s no skincare product that can transform your skin into smooth and moisturized canvas if you don’t hydrate it from the inside first. With lack of water, your skin can become dry and patchy. So, make sure you drink a lot of water while at home, and bring a bottle with you when you go out.

Stay fit with continuous exercise

If you think that having to work out constantly in order to stay fit is bad news, wait till you hear the good news. Once you put a lot of effort into reaching your desired fitness skill and body shape, you don’t have to keep exercising like crazy in order to stay fit. Fifteen minutes per day is more than enough if you want to keep things the way they are, as long as you do it regularly. Since summer heat can pose a lot of problems when running, or even going to the gym, you can exercise at home instead. There are many tutorials that can help you. Also, you can make great use of summer fun and engage in some water sports that will keep you fit and healthy.

Lead a balanced diet

We all know how fun it is to drink one or two cocktails at beach parties and grab a bite at fast food restaurants after long summer nights. Therefore, make sure to keep your diet balanced. For example, smoothies are a great way to start your day and get enough nutrients and energy. You can also make them for dinner. Getting your fill of vitamins is especially important if you are exercising, or if you have to spend a lot of time in the sun. Therefore, be smart with your smoothie ingredients and add some organic pea protein powder in order to get the most benefits out of this tasty meal.

Keep protecting your skin and hair with products

If you think it’s enough to use sunscreen when you go out and completely neglect any other skin and hair care routine, you’ll face a lot of problems. While sunscreen is absolutely necessary, you still have to make time to clean your face in the morning and before bed, use restoring and moisturizing creams and give your hair some special rich treatments from time to time. Also, don’t forget your skin. Because of the heat, it’s more prone to dryness, so applying some body lotion after a shower will keep it healthy and moisturized. If summer weather makes it unbearable for you to have any product on your body, use in-shower lotions.

Staying fit and chic during summer heat is more than possible if you start looking at the whole process as a new lifestyle, instead of a troublesome effort for a short-term effect. Embrace the habit of looking and feeling great!

 

Buffalo Chicken Tortillas

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Love buffalo chicken, but need a little break from the buffalo chicken dip you have at parties? I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for something simple and easy to prepare for lunch this week since I will be back and forth between two houses before we move. I was not only surprised at how almost effortless these tortilla rollups were, but how good they were! You really can’t go wrong with buffalo anything and while this is very similar in ingredients to the buffalo chicken dip; it still has it’s own unique taste. 

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Because we do tacos once a week, I often have an abundant amount of flour tortillas in the pantry and hate to see them go to waste. I try to come up with new and different ways to use them rather it’s just an easy microwaveable cheese rollup, or homemade cinnamon tortilla “chips” to enjoy with a side of fresh fruit. Your tortilla options are endless! This called for 4 tortillas, but let’s say you were to prepare this recipe for a game-day; you’d only need a few to make a plateful of little tortilla rolls. Best part is the prep time is 5-10 minutes max if you’re using rotisserie chicken!

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Buffalo Chicken Tortillas
Yields 15
Simple buffalo chicken tortilla rollups using a few key ingredients and a quick assemble. Great as a game day appetizer!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
  2. 4-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  3. ¼ cup frank's buffalo sauce
  4. 1/8 cup blue cheese crumbles
  5. ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  6. 1 tablespoon sour cream
  7. 2 6-inch flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Using a medium size bowl, combine cream cheese, blue cheese crumbles and sour cream. Stir so that all are mixed together well.
  2. In a separate medium size bowl, add rotisserie chicken and buffalo sauce. Combine so that chicken is evenly coated with sauce.
  3. Using parchment paper on a solid surface, lay tortillas flat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cheese mixture to tortilla, spreading evenly to all edges. Next add 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture, spreading evenly on-top of cheese mixture. Roll tortilla, tightly, and remove from parchment to a plate. When all tortillas are rolled and plated, place plate in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow tortillas to "cool." This makes it easier for cutting.
  4. When time is up, remove tortillas from fridge and place onto a cutting board. Using a large knife, slice into each tortilla to make small rollups that are not too large, but not too thin so that they fall apart.
  5. Serve chilled with green onions for garnishing, if desired.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Creamy Tuna Noodle

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I always purposely plan meals that I know my husband or children will not eat on days when they aren’t home so that I may enjoy them for myself. It’s totally worth it, even if cooking what could be considered a big meal for just one individual sometimes doesn’t seem like it. 

No one in this house likes tuna fish but me. Actually, I don’t think I’ve met a kid who likes tuna yet. But this is a meal that I can remember my mom making every once in awhile. Definitely not the same recipe, but the same concept is there. 

Aside from waiting for your egg noodles to cook, this entree really doesn’t take long to make. And I love the fact that instead of traditional tuna noodle recipes that use cheddar cheese, you’ll be using parmesan. It gives the meal a lighter taste to it so you aren’t left feeling heavy and full when finished. That’s always a good thing 🙂

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Creamy Tuna Noodle
Serves 4
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 6-ounces wide egg noodles
  2. 1 cup cooked sweet peas
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1 medium onion, diced
  5. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  7. 1¼ cups whole milk
  8. 5-ounce can solid white tuna
  9. ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan full of water to a rapid boil and then cook egg noodles accordingly.
  2. In a medium saucepan over med-high heat, add butter and stir until it has melted. Add onion, garlic and black pepper; stirring frequently until combined well. Next add milk. Continue stirring frequently and allow to cook until sauce has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from heat, adding both tuna (drained), cooked peas and parmesan cheese. Stir well.
  3. Add tuna sauce to your large bowl of drained egg noodles. Combine well until all noodles appear to be lightly covered with tuna sauce. Serve warm.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Arugula Power Salad with Blueberries and Honey-Lemon Dressing

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This may be the easiest salad I have ever prepped before! Aside from washing blueberries, the only thing you really have to put together is the dressing and that’s easy when you have a salad mixer. This one from Crate and Barrel is fantastic; I love how well it combines the ingredients together. 

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Arugula Power Salad with Blueberries and Honey-Lemon Dressing
Serves 4
A delicious salad made of power greens, blueberries, sliced almonds, feta cheese and a honey-lemon dressing drizzled overtop.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 5-ounces arugula, kale, butter and spinach lettuce
  2. 1½ cup fresh blueberries
  3. 2-ounces feta cheese
  4. ½ cup sliced almonds
Dressing
  1. 2 tablespoons pure honey
  2. 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  3. ¼ cup olive oil
  4. ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  5. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  6. pinch of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all salad ingredients into a large bowl prior to making dressing.
  2. In a smaller bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk well. Drizzle over salad. Toss to cover evenly and serve.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread

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I could go on and on about how blueberries seem to make everything tastes so much better, even delicious banana bread. But instead of wasting your time and trying to convince you just why; I’m going to assume you already like blueberries because you clicked on a link somewhere just for this recipe. So just right below the pictures, you’ll find a list of ingredients and instructions. Get to it!

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Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread
A delicious bread baked with fresh bananas and blueberries, healthy enough that you won't feel guilty while enjoying a slice.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ½ cup brown sugar
  7. ¼ cup coconut oil
  8. ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  12. 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together.
  3. Next, in a large size bowl add brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. When all ingredients have been whisked well, add mashed bananas. Whisk well again. Next, gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Add dry ingredients into large bowl with banana mixture. Combine well and pour into loaf pan. Check at 55 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If toothpick comes out clean, bread is ready. If not, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool down for 10 minutes before transferring to a baker's rack. Serve warm.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Meatless Monday: Margarita Pasta

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Holy smokes! I can’t believe it’s already Monday again. I know that the previous week was short because of the holidays but I’m still trying to gather myself together enough to start this week. I intentionally posted this meal today because it is Meatless Monday and my version of this pasta does not have any meat. Who needs it?! There’s enough flavor in the “sauce” as is. If you feel you must have some sort of protein, feel free to add chicken.

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Anytime I know a meal is a skillet-cook, I get excited. My husband bought us this fancy s’mancy gas range for the new place and I am dying to cook on it. I absolutely love the taste of anything gas cooked. Some don’t think there is a difference; oh there is, and I compare it from cooking on an indoor grill to cooking on an outdoor grill. You know the difference once you take that first bite.

I imagine a gas grill also makes a skillet picture just a little more fancy s’mancy looking too.

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My favorite part about this meal is that you’re using all fresh produce. The only thing really considered processed is the noodles and you can make those yourself if you want to be COMPLETELY clean and have a lot of spare time on your hands! I have a pasta maker. I’m not quite a pro at using it yet so I will save myself the embarrassment and just use store bought penne pasta until I have correctly learned how to use it to create presentable noodles.

Enjoy!

Margarita Pasta
Serves 4
A delicious serving of pasta that is sauteed with homemade clean sauce over a hot stove.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 2½ teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  5. 5 roma or 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
  6. ¼ cup tomatoes, chopped and slightly pureed (optional)
  7. ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
  8. ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta accordingly.
  2. In the meantime, using a large skillet combine olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Allow to cook, stirring frequently 1-2 minutes or until it begins to sizzle. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, followed by tomatoes and basil. Allow to cook for 2 minutes so that juices combine well.
  3. When pasta is finished cooking and has been drained, add to skillet and stir well to mix. Add parmesan cheese and stir again. Serve immediately.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Skinny Lasagna Roll-ups

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While making up my weekly menu this past Sunday, I realized that I use a lot of ground turkey and chicken breasts and not enough pasta. I’m sure it doesn’t seem that way from the recipes I have posted so far in this little corner of mine, but because most pasta revolves around cheese and cheese makes some of us in this household sick; I really try to avoid it as much as I really can. It’s crazy how many recipes involve a lot of cheese, especially some of my favorites. I just cross my fingers that it’ll be a side dish at a family party…

(Hashbrown Casserole)

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My husband is in the middle of a juice cleanse, so I snuck these Skinny Lasagna Roll-ups into this week’s dinners since it’s just the kids and I eating whole foods. They’re an easy prep and they’re cute. Plus they reheat well the next day if you want to take one along with you to work.

And you never know…you may never want to go back to the traditional lasagna cooking way again.

Skinny Lasagna Rollups
Serves 4
Lasagna on the go? It could be. Individual lasagna roll ups are not only cute, but they make your favorite pasta dinner a little less messy.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 16-ounces lasagna noodles
  2. 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  3. 15-ounce skim milk ricotta cheese
  4. ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  5. ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  6. 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add lasagna noodles to a large boiling pot of water. Cook according to package and drain in a strainer while rinsing with cold water when noodles are throughly cooked.
  2. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan so that it is just slightly covered. Set aside.
  3. Using a medium size mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Whisk well until combined.
  4. To fill lasagna noodles, place each individually across a large plate. Use a spoonful of cheese mix and thinly spread across entire noodle. Gently roll up until you've reached the end of the noodle. Add seam-side down to 9x13 casserole pan. Repeat with each lasagna noodle until you've run out of pan room or noodles.
  5. Cover casserole pan with foil overtop and add to oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and return to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve 2-3 rollups per plate.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Muffins

Lately I’ve been trying to swear off bread for the most part, but I’ve been constantly running into some really yummy sounding muffin recipes on Pinterest and it made it hard to resist baking some. Breakfast has always needed to be some sort of variety for me. I could never stick to a routine bowl-of-cereal breakfast day after day, week after week. And so I am unendingly searching and testing for new recipes for breakfast. Afterall, we do dedicate our Sunday night dinner to it as well! 

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I was pretty much sold on this recipe when I saw “chocolate chips” in the title. You can pass off just about any healthy ingredient when you’re adding chocolate chips as well. So if you have some picky eaters in your home, chances are they will still enjoy these muffins. I just leave the “banana” part out at first. You never know, they may not even figure out there’s bananas in there too.

Know what else is great? Each muffin is 170 calories, easily leaving room for that much needed cup of coffee in the morning. That made going off the bread edge for just this week even more worth it!

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Not to mention how much I wish I could put into words just how delicious these muffins are. I guess the best way for you to understand would be to just bake a batch yourself. If you decide to, come back and let me know how they turned out!

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Muffins
Serves 12
A healthy take on banana and chocolate muffins that are easily assembled and take as short as 20 minutes to bake. Plus kids love them!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. ¼ teaspoon salt
  4. 3 ripe bananas
  5. ¼ cup raw honey
  6. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  8. 1 large egg
  9. ½ cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  10. 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  11. ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, grease muffin tin well.
  2. Add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt to a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk well.
  3. Using a blender, add banana, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, yogurt, and milk. Blend on high speed for 60 seconds. Add blender mix to medium bowl with dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, combine well. Next gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Add batter to muffin tin evenly and filling until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on your oven. Check using a toothpick to see if they are throughly cooked through. If the toothpick comes out clean after you stick in the middle of muffin; they are ready to take out of the oven.
  5. Allow muffins to cool down momentarily before moving to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. Muffins freeze for up to 3 months if needed. Just add them into a ziplock baggie and heat for 30 seconds in a microwave to thaw out when ready to eat.
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

White Bean Tuna Salad

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Quick lunch alert! It’s pool season and if you’re like me; you are attempting to not only eat healthy at all times, but also avoid the ridiculously overpriced pool food. I love pizza as much as the next person, so I have to remind myself how long it would take to burn those pizza calories off on the elliptical (it’s 60 minutes) each time I see a child walk by with a slice on their plate.

White Bean Tuna Salad is packed with protein and inexpensive to make. While all beans are low-calorie and cholesterol free; I used a can of Northern Beans because I know that in just a single cup there’s nearly 4 of iron. And that’s not the only benefit – they’re also a great source of dietary fiber, protein and potassium. Which makes the “did you get your beans in today?” phrase make sense.

White Bean Tuna Salad
Serves 3
A light take on a tuna and bean salad. This tastes great on it's on, on top of a slice of grain bread or crackers.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 15-ounce can Northern Beans
  2. 5-ounce can chunk light tuna in water
  3. 2 green onions, sliced
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon lite mayonnaise
  7. salt and pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain beans using a colander. Set aside.
  2. Add can of tuna to a small bowl after draining excess juice in sink. Pat dry with a paper towel. Next, add beans to tuna followed by green onion slices, lemon juice, olive oil and mayonnaise. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over-top and mix well.
  3. Chill in refrigerator momentarily before serving.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

Balsamic Chicken and Fruit Spinach Salad

It should be mandatory for all salads to include at least one fruit topping. I happen to love fruit so the more, the better in my case. So with that being said, I present to you the holy grail of fruit in a salad:

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Paired with chicken, slivered almonds and feta cheese. 

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Balsamic Chicken and Fruit Spinach Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups baby spinach
  2. ½ cup fresh blueberries
  3. ½ cup fresh strawberries
  4. ½ cup mandarine oranges
  5. 3 tablespoons feta cheese
  6. 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  7. 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
Dressing
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  3. ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  4. ½ teaspoon honey
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add all salad ingredients into one large bowl. Drizzle dressing over-top and divide between two large bowls.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/