Looking to release (lose) some excess pounds in 2013?

Cardinal Rule number ONE—replace the word “DIET” with “Healthy Eating Lifestyle.”  

Potentially, the single most important factor in your quest to lose weight will be to change your eating program and adopt a new healthy living style.  Getting lean is about 70% dietary effort, 20% proper workout programming technique, 5% psychological (because, let’s face it, temptation is around every corner), and 5% sheer determination.

If you don’t stick with the diet you aren’t losing fat, are you? 
The one exception would be protein intake, as you should be consuming a minimum of one gram per pound of body mass in order to prevent muscle loss. Losing weight is of no use if you aren’t losing FAT weight. That’s the critical factor that will determine whether you end up looking like a smaller version of your current self at the end of the diet or a version that is leaner and appears more muscular.

Rather than giving you specific foods to eat, shoot for a calorie intake of between 10 and 12 multiplied by your body weight. This is a fairly good approximation of the calories you should be consuming for weight loss, along with one gram of protein per pound of body weight.

After that, aim for 15% of those remaining calories for fat (or higher, whatever your preference) and fill in the rest with carbs.

It should be clear, if you’ve ever tried dieting before, that certain foods will help satisfy your appetite better and keep your blood sugar levels under control (thus, preventing rebound hunger), so the more you can incorporate these types of foods the better the chances you’ll have when you try to get ripped.

Remember to take in some protein and carbohydrates around your workout period, for both muscle glycogen replenishment and to help give you the energy you need to get through the workouts in the first place.

excerpt from AskMen.com

Walk with Bizercize

Join us tomorrow night at Stargazers theatre here in COS for a 5K then some christmas cheer---we meet at 4:30 then start walking at 4:45 --dress warm though

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

3/4 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes
1/2 cup organic quinoa flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour or potato starch (not potato flour)
1 2/3 cups organic light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
2 large organic free-range eggs or Ener-G Egg Replacer
Warm water, as needed
1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.

Add in the oil, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs/egg replacer. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a sturdy wooden spoon until you get a thick, sticky batter.

If you need to, add 1 tablespoon of warm water at a time, as needed, to achieve a (cookie style) dough that sticks together when you pinch it.

Stir in the dark chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Cover and chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with an Exopat or parchment.

Roll spoonfuls of the dough between your palms and form the dough into 24 balls (slightly smaller than a golf ball). Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet and press down a bit to flatten slightly- not too much. Place the pan into the center of a pre-heated oven and bake until golden and set - about 22 to 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is almost firm. The cookies will still have a little give to them while hot; as they cool they will crisp up.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes; then carefully remove the cookies with a thin spatula and place them on a wire rack to continue cooling.

Makes 24 cookies.

8 Natural Sugar & Sweeteners for Your Healthy Body

Natural is a better choice.
Too much sugar is never good to anyone, -yes, looking around what people are putting into their shopping carts, it's hard to imagine, but if you have to use sugar, a natural, unrefined sugar would be a healthier choice.
There are many kinds of sugar that you can use as an alternative to refined white sugar. These are natural sweeteners and some of them has slow absorption rate, which is good for your blood-sugar levels.

Is sugar really bad for you? What's the truth and what can you do about it?

1. Natural Sugar cane or raw sugar
This term refers to unrefined sugars.The nutrients, flavor and color have not been removed since they undergo minimal processing during production. Raw sugars can range from yellow to brown in color. A variety of raw sugars are made by crystallizing evaporated cane juice, which is boiled down to a crystalline solid, then purifying the product slightly with minimal chemical processing. It has more complex flavors and better nutrition.

2. Agave Nectar
Agave syrup (or nectar) is produced from an agave plant. Its fleshy leaves cover the pineapple-shaped heart of the plant, which contains a sweet sticky juice. Agave syrup(or nectar) is about 90% fructose. Only recently has it come in use as a sweetener. It has a low glycemic level and can be a safe alternative to table sugar. Although it has a low glycemic value (because the glycemic are measured by the level of glucose, which is low in this syrup), according to some experts, if fructose is consumed after eating a large meal that overly raises the blood sugar, its property can turn out to affect the raising of blood sugar, too. So it is a good thing to keep in mind to eat high-fructose dessert on an empty stomach. The light syrup has a more neutral flavor. 3/4 cup of gave nectar should equal 1 cup of table sugar.

3. Rice Syrup
Made from soaked and sprouted rice (sometimes a combination of rice and barley), which is dried and cooked down to a thick syrup using enzymes to break down carbohydrates into sugar. Rice syrup contains a high level of maltose, which gives it a low glycemic index. It has a deep, earthy,malty flavor and less sweet than refined white sugar. Rice syrup is including barley malt syrup and brown rice syrup. The product is 50 % complex carbohydrates, 45% maltose and 3 % glucose, which takes time for the body to absorb into the blood stream. Rice syrup is healthy because it is made from whole food and doesn't require many processing.

4. Raw Organic Honey.
Commercial honey can be high in refined sugar and corn syrup because the manufacturer needs to control the cost of the product. Raw, Organic Honey is a much better choice if you can find one. People have been eating honey for thousands of years, and raw honey is believed to have a number of health benefits. Raw honey is one and a half times sweeter than sugar so you can use less than normal sugar. Natural honey contains vitamins or minerals, but however, it can raise your blood sugar level as much as white sugar. 1/2 cup of honey is equal to 1 cup of white sugar.

5. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is produced from the sap of the maple tree which has significantly high sugar content. It can be used in cooking, making candies and just about everything. Maple syrup is a very good source of manganese and zinc. Manganese has strong antioxidant properties and is also a natural energy booster. Zinc is also a potent antioxidant and even helps protect our hearts from damage. Furthermore, manganese and zinc help strengthens the body’s immune system. Maple Syrup 1/3 cup is equal to 1 cup white sugar.

6. Blackstrap Molasses
Simply explained, Molasses is made from sugar canes that have gone through the process of extracting and making sugar. The byproduct or 'waste' from processing sugar cane or beet is molasses. There are three grades of molasses : sulphured, unsulphured, and blackstrap. Sulphured molasses comes from unripened green sugar cane. Because it is not ripened, sulphur has to be used in order to produce sugar. Sulphure is not good for consumption. Unsulphured molasses is obviously a better choice. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling of sugar syrup. The thick dark liquid contains the most nutrients of all.

Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese. Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index which means that the body can absorb it slowly. It is not only good for sweetener but It has also been used in many remedies for holistic healing purpose. 1/2 Cup of blackstrap molasses equal 1 cup of sugar.

7. Stevia
Stevia is the world’s only all natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. Stevia has been used by Native people in Paraguay and other parts of South America for centuries. This wonder plant is many times sweeter than sugar and can be used in cooking, baking and just about anything you like. The therapeutic properties of stevia include adding into medicinal teas for treating heartburn and other ailments. Medical research has shown that stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose and even enhancing glucose tolerance. Stevia can be used in treating obesity and hypertension. This may sound too good to be true but the safety of stevia is well documented in over 200 published scientific studies. The reference link is down here. 2 Tablespoon of stevia equals 1 cup of white sugar.

8. Xylitol
Xylitol is a substance like sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is synthesized from the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It can be extracted from corn fiber, birch, raspberries, and plums. It has a low glycemic index value and low in calories. Xylitol is claimed to be safe and can be used for dental care because its property .(Non-fermentable, Xylitol is alkaline-enhancing vs. sugar's acid-forming so bacteria cannot use it for energy) Furthermore, Studies has shown that xylitol can be used as a treatment for osteoporosis, respiratory infections and candida yeast. Xylitol is meant to be eaten by small dose. Over consumption of xylitol may result in diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. The sweetness is just like sugar.
ylitol comes in powder form, & it is usually added to low-carlorie or sugar free mint, gum & many products.
You always have a choice.
Now you know that you can always add some sweetness to your life by chosing what is best for your health. Remember one golden rule : Everything has its own balance. When chosing sweeteners, a natural and healthy one is always better. However, always remember that nothing is never meant to be good if it is too much or too less. Play by quality, not quantity. Use these sweeteners considerably and always keep in mind that everything that is too much will be poisonous to your body.

Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl Brownies

Here we go, I stole this from Will and Grace's notebook--they won't mind:  With this recipe, you are replacing the white flour (YUCK) with whole wheat flour, the butter (SORRY PAULA DEEN) with applesauce and coconut oil and the white sugar (HISSSSSSS!!) with agave & Splenda Blend  --YAAAAYYYYY!  I am hoping everyone understands the short hand of what the small "c", "t", etc. mean--if not, let me know

2 c. black beans (no salt added--THIS is a secret ingredient)
1/3 c. melted coconut oil
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/4 t. salt
3 t vanilla extract
1/2 c. honey or brown rice syrup*
3 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 cups dark cacao chocolate chips --or just a good chocolate, grated, chip or otherwise--78% or better

3 oz cream cheese, room temp
4 oz goat cheese, room temp
2 t. honey
1/4 t. vanilla
1/2 c. frozen raspberries, fresh or frozen,  chop coarsely with a knife when you are ready to use

Preheat oven to 350'.  These brownies will be THICK and moist--so we choose to use an 8x8 pan--use larger if you like them thinner--grease the pan.
To make the brownie base, combine the bean,s oil, cocoa, salt, vanilla and honey/syrup into a food processor and blend till smooth.  
Transfer to large bowl and FOLD --- "Folding" is a more gentle mixing technique than "stirring" and "mixing". Stirring and mixing both denote a more vigorous action.  Folding is usually used for items where something has previously been whipped (such as egg whites or cream) or where tenderness is desired and thus less mixing is advisable (muffins & biscuits).  Folding is usually done with a rubber spatula (for liquid & dry ingredients) or with a wire whisk (often beneficial for whipped cream and egg whites so that the mixture gently incorporates as it falls through the wires).
Pour into prepared pan and spread gently with spatula.  Next , make the swiri mixture ---Place the goat cheese, cream cheese, vanilla and honey in bowl, stirring till smooth. Spoon this over the brownie mixture, and then sprinkle the rough cut raspberries on top...takle a knife and gently swirl the layers in the pan,
This is tricky to keep these babies moist, so check at intervals of 15 minutes, turning pan and checking with toothpick to make sure center is done but NOT overcooked--plan on at least 30 minutes of cooking, but time will differ a bit based on heating in oven........remove, cool on rack and cut into delectable slices

Lightly sweet, amber-colored and smooth, Brown Rice Syrup is a nutritive sweetener that is about half as sweet as sugar. Brown rice syrup is a tasty alternative for those who watch their sugar intake. Bake with it, pour it over ice cream or pancakes, or stir it into your morning coffee.

The Best Spices for the Holiday Season

So, you say you want to enjoy all the smells and tastes of the season that accompany holiday food, without all the cream, butter, fat etc? Well still continue on your healthy eating regimen, but if you do stray, don't worry.  By using some of these smart and clever spices now,  you can add a ton of flavor sans the fat using spices!
Star anise
This Chinese spice is similar to regular anise, only more pungent flavor. With a licorice taste and beautiful rust color, this spice plays a star roll in chai tea, Chinese five-spice powder and mulling mix.
Cloves are warming, sweet and decidedly fall. They are perfectly paired with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon in pumpkin bread and butternut squash soup. Or simply stud a few in a bowl of oranges for a fragrant centerpiece, oooh-la-la like Granny's house!

Spicy and full of nutrients like Vitamin B6, Ginger helps aid in digestion and complements a variety of seasonal dishes. It's delicious in Asian dishes and pairs well with both savory and sweet foods. Feeling icky? Grate some fresh ginger with some honey and cover with water, boil for about 10 minutes and enjoy seeped as tea.
Nutty and slightly sweet, nutmeg is a seasonal favorite. Seek out whole nutmeg pods and grate fresh for the best flavor. Try a dash in green beans or spinach for an extra touch of delish. Grate off a bit to finish mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese or your fave creamy pasta dish.
Cinnamon is synonymous with fall. Warming and fragrant with a nod to the holidays, a sprinkle of cinnamon may boost cognitive function and memory. Place cinnamon sticks in your apple cider, mulled vino or even hot chocolate! Add to a spice rub for a new twist.

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