7 Sneaky Snack Swaps!

7 Sneaky Snack Swaps

Every health and fitness platform, whether it be a magazine, podcast or Instagram account, claims to have the best new “food swaps” to help you cut calories while upholding your health. Let me tell you… it’s a bit disappointing when you come to find out that they want you eating “noodles” made of zucchini and brownies made of black beans and applesauce. I’m dishing out 7 ‘direct’ ingredient alternatives to keep your cravings content while still whittling your waistline!

  1. Ditch: store-bought salad dressing. Devour: homemade dressing! Salad toppers like ranch and Caesar can turn a should-be healthy salad into an undercover fat bomb. Some restaurant salads have more calories and saturated fat than a Big Mac! Try topping your favorite greens with lemon juice, olive oil or vinegar! Feeling fancy? Add some Dijon mustard or mashed avocado to the mix.

  2. Ditch: regular yogurt. Devour: Greek yogurt! Your favorite flavored yogurt may have fruit at the bottom but it also has loads of sugar throughout. Treating this snack or breakfast like anything other than… a treat isn’t doing you any favors. Try out some plain Greek yogurt instead! Can’t get used to the flavor? Add in your favorite fruit of choice, nut butter or cinnamon to spice it up.

  3. Ditch: peanut butter. Devour:...peanut butter? Peanut butter should have exactly one ingredient: peanuts. Swap out any variety with added sugar, salt or oil for peanuts, au naturel. You’ll still get the protein punch without the pesky additives.

  4. Ditch: wheat pasta. Devour: bean pasta! Up your protein and fiber intake during a carb-heavy meal by switching out your noodles. With options like red lentil, chickpea, black bean, and edamame, you’re bound to find a variety that you like. The texture is pretty spot on and they’ll take on the flavor of any sauce you choose!

  5. Ditch: sour cream. Devour: more Greek yogurt! A repeat savior?! Sour cream has little to no health benefits, although it’s pretty darn tasty. Satisfy your need for the creamy, tangy dip by switching it out for plain Greek yogurt. I promise, you won’t know the difference.

  6. Ditch: store-bought potato chips or fries. Devour: homemade versions! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain why you should be eating less fried potatoes, but I’ll cite sodium and saturated fat just in case. Try thinly slicing your favorite variety of potato into slices or wedges. Spray them with coconut or avocado oil, sprinkle with your seasonings of choice and pop ‘em in the oven for a much healthier alternative to a classic guilty pleasure.

  7. Ditch: soy sauce. Devour: coconut aminos. I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to go out for sushi every so often, because it’s literally the reason I stopped being vegan. However, when it comes to cooking with soy sauce at home, I have a phenomenal alternative. Coconut aminos is a sauce made from coconut sap that is soy and gluten free, yet resembles the saltiness and flavor of standard soy sauce. Use it in stir-fries and salad dressings to cut out a whopping 60% of the sodium!

 

PS. This isn’t to say it’s not okay to treat yourself every once in a while! There’s nothing like a good ol’ scoop of Ben & Jerry’s sometimes, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

10 New Years Resolutions That Aren’t Just “Lose Weight”

Year after year, so many men and women make “losing weight” their number one New Years Resolution. We’re kicking that to the curb in 2019 and implementing strategies that will help achieve our health and fitness goals, both inside and out, without focusing on the scale.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started, and if you’re feeling bold, try them all!

  1. Be Your Own Hype Man. Longing for validation from the outside world can be a toxic waiting game. Positivity has to come from within before you can ultimately attract it from someone else. Try to begin everyday with encouraging affirmations. “I am strong”, “I am capable” and “I am worthy” are all great places to start. You may feel a bit silly at first but you have to trust the process. By starting your day with these supportive words you’re setting yourself up to approach every task you’re faced with with confidence, which will ultimately lead to success.

  2. Unplug. Most of us don’t even remember what life was like before a smartphone and that’s a very scary thing. We often find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through apps at our first inkling of possible boredom. Make an effort to re-center and get to know your phone-free self again. Take a break from negativity in the news. Write in a journal instead of on Twitter. Walk through the snow without taking a Boomerang. If going phone-free out in the world seems too daunting, at least try spending your first 15 minutes of the day without it.

  3. Twist Your Words. Many people have a tendency to speak negatively about themselves when it’s absolutely unnecessary. Try shifting your narrative to include more positive, or even neutral, statements. For example, when you’re in the dressing room and something doesn’t fit? Change “I look bad in this” or “This makes me look fat” to “I think something else would look better on me” or “I wish it showed off my *insert body part you love* more”. Not only is negative self talk detrimental to your own mental health, but it can actually affect those around you as well!

  4. Put A Filter On It. Well, probably not the kind of filter you’re thinking of. Social media can be a fun, creative outlet for so many people but it can also be a dangerous black hole of comparison and negativity. Try only following accounts that bring you joy! If scrolling past a model in a bikini or a coworker on a private jet makes you question your worth, hit mute or unfollow! Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes.

  5. Self Care. Take some time every day to do something that makes you happy. Read a book, meditate, take a bath, do a face mask, light a candle. These are just a few ideas of ways to reward yourself for just being you. Whether you had a particularly productive day or not, you survived it, and that deserves a little recognition.

  6. Stop Comparing Yourself… To Yourself. We all have that dress in our closet that we hope will fit again one day. We all have old photos we look back on and think “I was prettier then”. We all critique ourselves more harshly with bare faces and natural hair than when we’re dolled up. Learn to love yourself in all of your forms: raw and curated, old and new. Try your best to stay in the present and focus on the amazing person you are now, and not the ideal you you’ve created in your mind. You’re pretty darn perfect.

  7. Learn A New Skill. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, perfect the piano or master a macaron recipe, now is the time! Acquiring a new skill, whether it be self-taught or in a class, will be a huge self-confidence booster. You’ll start to see tangible results that you can track and look back on that aren’t solely appearance based. Having fitness goals such as learning a martial art or getting yoga certification are wonderful too, but try to focus on your discipline and new capability rather than your physical results.

  8. Listen To Your Body. Fuel your body with nutritious foods and you’ll start to love how you feel. Teach yourself how to make healthy food choices without restricting or overindulging (although a few glasses of wine never hurt anybody). An easy place to start is to begin eating intuitively. This means not eating based on a pre-planned menu or schedule. If your body is craving candy but you force it to have a salad, you’ll find yourself unsatisfied and probably reaching for sweets later. Whip up a fruit smoothie instead! You’ll get the satisfaction you were looking for in a healthier way and ultimately your cravings will start to shift. Not quite hungry for a full meal at dinner time? Choose smart snacks to keep your metabolism going without overworking your digestion. Get your body accustomed to nutrient-dense foods it responds well to and it’ll thank you.

  9. Aim For Activity. Living an active lifestyle doesn’t always mean working out everyday. Making the effort to move your body can flow into every aspect of your life. Take the stairs at work. Choose the furthest parking spot from the Target entrance. Suggest a midweek spin class with friends instead of happy hour. These little changes will lead to big results and will keep you out of a sedentary slump.

  10. Focus On Fun. Less than 10% of people stick to their fitness resolutions for an extended period of time. Far too often people force themselves into activities that they think will get them fast results while neglecting to take enjoyment into consideration. Choose workouts you love. Focus on the deep stretch of yoga or the upbeat music in spin rather than which will burn the most calories. You’ll find yourself excited to attend class everyday and it will be an integral part of your routine before you know it.

What are some of your New Years Resolutions? Comment down below!

Ayla Erdos Steinberg, Social Media Manager

JANUARY VIP RIDERS!

MEET THIS MONTHS DANVERS VIP RIDER - JILLEEN D!

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How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT?

I had heard about SWEAT Wakefield before but had never been. Then through word of mouth & Instagram, I saw that you guys were opening up a studio in Danvers that happens to only be 5 mins from where I live!

I have been doing at home workouts & running outside (weather permitting) for a long time now. I’m Type 1 Diabetic and I just liked the convenience and safety of working out from home and being by myself. I was scared of being judged. However, I needed a change. I needed something that I had to commit to and wouldn’t flake out on or make excuses for. I found that with SWEAT.

First impression of us?

My first class was a sweat&press with Kim. Enough said? Hahaha. I had done spin class in previous years but NOTHING comparable to this workout and I was instantly hooked (even tho it took me like 6 classes to be able to clip my shoes in by myself)

I’ve taken classes primarily with Kim, Krista, and Francesca and I’ve loved every single one of them. I love how different each instructor is and how different each individual class is. The music, the atmosphere, the positive and inspiring attitude is everything I didn’t know I needed. 

I want to also take the time to write about when I first let some of the staff know about me being Type 1 Diabetic - having a phone in class, carrying a juice box, possibly needing to excuse myself, etc. - Nick, Kim, and Francesca were absolutely amazing and truly caring. So thank you for that. It’s not often you get to chat with someone who truly takes an interest in how exercise effects my condition & what measures I need to take, Nick did that. It just made me feel super comfortable.

What was one of the most challenging SWEAT classes you’ve taken?

Honestly, I find every single SWEAT class to be challenging. However I believe it was Krista’s either right before thanksgiving or on thanksgiving where I found myself swearing out loud and thinking ok .... what is she doing to me right now (obviously in a good way) those sprints out of the saddle are my biggest challenge!!!!

Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you?

I honestly was hooked after the first class of SWEAT. All of the instructors that I have taken class with are so so so motivational/inspiring during the class with what they say, it’s all so relatable and makes me work that much harder. It has changed me completely because never in a million years did I ever think I’d take part in a group setting style of exercise, and NEVER would you catch me waking up at 5AM to workout. I’m serious, never. I’ve incorporated some 5:45AM classes into my schedule because I am so addicted and hate having to miss out on a day. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and I’m SO GLAD that I did. I love being part of SWEAT and I look forward to seeing any & all type of progress I can make going forward!


MEET THIS MONTHS WAKEFIELD VIP RIDER - TORI L!

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How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT?

I first found SWEAT when I started following on Instagram.

First impression of us?

My first impression was that the studio looked like a lot of fun with really great people. Everyone was so nice and I was immediately hooked! 

What was one of the most challenging SWEAT classes you’ve taken?

One of the most challenging classes I’ve taken was the hot pop up ride with Ashley D. It was such a good workout and I loved the heat. I have never sweat that much in my life! 

Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you?

Before SWEAT, I was never really excited about going to the gym. With SWEAT, I am so excited about working out. The energy that the community brings to every ride is amazing! I always feel so good and refreshed after a spin class. Being a full time student, I need a way to relax/de-stress and SWEAT is the perfect place. My SWEAT journey has been life changing. I don’t view working out and eating healthy as a chore anymore, I view it as a lifestyle that I love. All the instructors are amazing and so motivational. Thank you SWEAT !

Vegan Holiday Smoothies!

Vegan Holiday Smoothies!

Healthy eating habits are hard enough to uphold as it is, and with the many temptations around the holidays it can sometimes seem nearly impossible. I can’t remember the last time I walked into an office or a party without seeing a cookie platter or a bowl of candy. If you’re looking to treat yourself this celebratory season without sending a major sugar shockwave to your system, try one of these vegan holiday smoothies. While I can’t guarantee that they’re “healthy”, they definitely been their dairy and sweetener-filled alternatives!

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Not Your Grandma’s Gingerbread

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
½ cup rolled oats (do not use steel cut oats)
2 tsps black strap molasses
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fresh ground ginger or ¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

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Frozen Hot Cocoa

2 Tbsp vegan cocoa mix
2 cups dairy free vanilla ice cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup ice cubes
1 frozen banana (optional)

Apple Pie A La Mode

1 apple, peeled and cored
1/4 cup raw oats
1/2 cup dairy free vanilla yogurt
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For all recipes, blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender and enjoy! Feel free to substitute any milk, yogurt or ice cream with the dairy version, but this is just how I prefer to make them. Your junk food-fiending friends won’t even know the difference!

Let me know if you tried any of the recipes by commenting below!

Ayla Erdos-Steinberg, Social Media Strategist

Post-Workout Beauty Tips

Put-Together in a Pinch: Post-Workout Beauty Tips for Women on the Go

Many of us have incredibly busy schedules, especially around the holidays, and have to fit in a workout between meetings, errands and the rest of our day. When there’s no time for your full routine between the spin studio and stepping out into the rest of the world, you need to be prepared. I’m here to help you pack a simple, fool-proof survival kit to provide proper pampering post-gym!

SKIN

Makeup Wipes - Although you probably don't have any makeup on at this point (or at least you shouldn’t), it's nice to get rid of the grease and grime you just accumulated while you exercised. A ‘no water necessary’ cleansing cloth takes away the trouble of toweling off after washing your face.

Face Mist - Normally formulated with ingredients such as rosewater and aloe, facial spray is the perfect pick-me-up post sweatfest. Harsh chemicals found in many face products will be irritating to skin right after a workout. Instead, the gentle ingredients in most mists calm redness and soothe any irritation, perfectly prepping your face for your next step.

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FACE

Mattifying Powder - After sweating out all of your toxins, your skin is bound to get greasy in the few hours after you leave the gym. Blot oil-absorbing powder on any shiny areas with either a clean makeup brush, a tissue or your fingers. The super light formula won't clog your pores or provoke pimples.

Lip, Cheek & Eye Color - Enhance your natural rosy glow with a multi-use, cream-based product. Muted pink tones are universally flattering and will compliment your leftover workout flush. Tap the product on the apples of your cheeks, your lips and your lids for a look that’s natural, yet eye-catching. Plus, you can apply it with your fingers for maximum convenience.

HAIR

Brow Gel - A double-duty brow tamer works wonders when you’re in a pinch. Clear gel can help keep hairs in place, while its tinted counterpart can be used to fill in any sparse areas. Tidy brows instantly make you look more put together so this simple step is an absolute must. Plus, the dark side can double up as mascara if you feel like getting fancy!

Dry Shampoo - Tamed tresses will give the illusion that you’ve gotten a chance to suds up after spinning. Even when your hair is back during your workout, it can still become greasy and frizzy. Toss a mini dry shampoo in your bag for a convenient way to soak up sweat. Throw your hair in a top knot or sleek chignon after spraying to get it out of your newly freshened face.

Deodorant is also a must, but you all knew that. Comment down below if you tried any of the tips above or if you have any go-to's that aren't listed!

Ayla Erdos-Steinberg, Social Media Strategist

DANVERS DECEMBER VIP RIDER

MEET THIS MONTHS DANVERS VIP RIDER - NICOLE Q!

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NICOLE'S SWEAT JOURNEY!

How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT?  
I saw ads on Instagram before SWEAT opened and I had never been to a spin studio before so I figured I would try it!

First impression of us?  
Everyone at SWEAT is so nice. I instantly felt like I was part of the family.  Due to that feeling, I brought my sister with me and now she’s hooked too!

What was one of the most challenging SWEAT classes you’ve taken?  
Every Saturday with Krista I feel like I may die (in a good way of course)!  But I would say the most challenging class I have taken so far was the first DRENCHED ride in Danvers.

Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you?  
My first class was with Ashley during opening week. When the class was over I was just in awe of how great I felt, mentally and physically.  I was trying to get back in the workout groove while I was on maternity leave so I did some 9am classes during the first couple of weeks.  Since being back at work I go to the 5:45AM classes and there is no better way to start my days than with Casey, Fran, and Meghan bright and early!

Winter Skin Tips!

Say Bye to Dry: Tips and Tricks for Healthy Winter Skin

Plummeting temperatures and blustering winds can take a toll on your skin and may not leave you looking or feeling your best. Taking the extra time to pamper yourself beyond just your every day moisturizing can really pay off. Here are my top tips for how to keep your skin fresh and glowing this winter:

Nourish from the inside. Combat a dull complexion by not only changing what you put on your body, but what you put in it.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day and make sure to increase this if you’re hitting up your favorite spin studio for a sweat sesh.

Add Omega 3's to your diet. Foods with healthy fats like salmon, walnuts and avocado help to revitalize hair and skin.

Revise your routine. Your skin behaves differently in the colder months and your product regimen should reflect that.

Avoid alcohol-based products, as well as other harsh irritants that can strip the skin of natural moisture. Instead, reach for cream-based cleansers and emollient facial lotions.

Use a hydrating serum a few times a week to give your face the extra care it needs. Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid or rosehip oil, which help to balance the skin and lock in moisture.

Get some beauty rest. Treat damaged skin overnight to wake up looking healthy and hydrated.

Invest in a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air can not only help to kick a cough, but it can also soothe scaly skin. Want to kick it up a notch? Add a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil to soothe any irritation or dryness.

Explore the world of sleep masks. Before bed, and preferably after lightly exfoliating in the shower, apply an overnight face mask aimed at dry skin. DIY lover? Break up a capsule of Vitamin E in some aloe vera gel for a homemade helper.

Switch up your sudsing. Showers are a time to refresh and relax, but they can take a toll on your body if you're not careful.

Take warm showers, not hot. Although the cold weather may tempt you, scalding water instantly dries you out.

Try a milk bath. Adding this refrigerator staple to a warm tub can do wonders for parched skin by surrounding it with lactic acid, a natural exfoliant and hydrator.

Watch your mouth. Your everyday lip balm just doesn't cut it sometimes. Try another approach to keeping your pucker quenched.

Don't lick your lips. While some believe this can help combat chap, in reality, it just makes it worse! Kick the habit, everyone!

Before bed, gently rub a clean toothbrush in circular motion on lips to slough off the dry outer layer. Smear on a healthy dose of your favorite lip balm to ensure that your lips stay supple.

Have winter skin tips of your own? Comment down below!

Ayla Erdos-Steinberg, Social Media Strategist

APRIL RIDERS OF THE MONTH

It's that time again, but we decided to do things a bit different for April. This month we are bringing you not ONE, not TWO but THREE riders of the month.  On behalf of everyone at SWEAT, it is our HONOR to feature Adriana, Briana, and Christine as our three April Riders Of The Month.

The commitment, dedication, and determination you guys have shown is admirable and we are so happy to have you all as our newest Riders Of The Month.

Some of these girls ride more than 30 times in 30 days! 

Adriana

Adriana

How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT?
Briana: My friend Olivia and boss Christine raved about SWEAT. They had said it is the best full body workout they have ever partaken in. I had to try it and since I’ve tried it, I’ve been hooked.
Christine: I heard about Sweat from Emily Batchelder. She signed me up for a class while we were out at brunch.
Adriana: Some of the managers at my job go and I wanted to try it so I signed up!

When was your first ride? 
Briana: My first ride was in September of 2017
Christine: Over a year ago
Adriana: February 2018

First impression of us? 
Briana: From the second I walked through the doors of SWEAT I was acknowledged, the atmosphere was clean and welcoming, and the staff was extremely amiable. 
Christine: I loved the class and the studio.
Adriana: I loved how I felt after class, the music, and how nice everyone was to me!

Briana

Briana

Favorite ride/instructors? 
Briana: SWEAT has an amazing team of instructors who care and motivate each individual that comes into their class. It is hard to choose which instructor is my favorite because I genuinely love them all. I would have to say it’s a tie between Ashley D and Ashley F, they both have unique classes and always leave me drenched in sweat!
Christine: I enjoy taking classes with Kim, Ashley D., Aly, and Krista.
Adriana: Ashley F. & Krista.

Favorite artist/song to spin to? 
Briana: I love to spin to anything old or new. Currently, my favorite song to spin to is God’s Plan by Drake.
Christine: I love spinning to music that makes you want to move that is fast and upbeat. I also like spinning to throwbacks.
Adriana: Gods plan by Drake

Christine

Christine

Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you?
Briana: Sweat has changed my life for the better. I was feeling extremely run down being a full-time student and working part-time. I was tired and had little to no energy. It was time for a change, I needed to do something for me. This is where SWEAT came in. I started gradually going and now it has become part of my daily routine. I have more energy, my stress level is at a low, and my overall health is great. I feel my best coming out of SWEAT. I’ve accomplished something, for myself, every time I step out of that spin room. They say health is wealth, I say SWEAT is wealth.
Christine: Coming to spin on a weekly basis has helped me feel less stressed. It has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin. I have focused more on ensuring that I'm eating better and that I'm working out weekly.
Adriana: SWEAT has helped me be more focused on working out and eating healthier. 

HEALTHY SHAMROCK SHAKE!

While I’ve always believed in indulging in unhealthy treats every once in a while (especially on holidays), I also love finding recipes that feel like an indulgence, but are actually healthy!  (Especially for kids when you are trying to avoid that sugar overload!) 

If you are thinking of heading to McDonald’s to get one of their Seasonal Shamrock Shakes, just know you can save yourself 460 calories and 63 grams of sugar by making it yourself!  Keep in mind that 63 grams of sugar is the equivalent of eating ~ 16 teaspoons of sugar!  YUK! 

This recipe uses natural ingredients to get its green hue (instead of dangerous food dyes), and has NO refined sugar!   

Note- If you can’t get on board with spinach in a smoothie, you can opt for a small amount of green food coloring, or just drink a white peppermint shake (which is just as delicious!) 

Ingredients

  • 1 overripe large frozen banana
  • cacao nibs or chocolate chips, as desired
  • 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract 
  • 1-1/2 cup milk of choice (see below for suggestions) 
  • optional, 1/4 cup frozen spinach
  • optional , add ~1/8 tsp salt to bring out the flavor
  • 2 Tbsp Whipped Topping of choice (if desired) 

Instructions

Milk options- Feel free to use your favorite milk of choice.  Canned coconut milk will give it a rich milkshake like taste, and almond or cashew milk will provide a lighter shake.    

To make the shake: Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Make sure the banana you use is at least somewhat brown, so you don’t get that unripe banana flavor!  You can add the chocolate chips either before or after blending. Be sure to use pure peppermint extract, not imitation. 

Top with whipped topping as desired can add more chips on top!  Enjoy! 

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

SWEAT FAVORITES - FEBRUARY

Hey SWEAT fam, we are so excited to announce a new segment on our blog, SWEAT Favorites! Every month we will bring you a few of the SWEAT fams favorite products that they're using and loving! The products are SWEAT tested and SWEATY approved! Check out our first batch of favorites below!

This weeks theme is skin care!


Lauren: If I ever have a breakout my essential product is tea tree oil, just one spot on the trouble area and BOOM it'll dry that sucker right up!!! 

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Emily: I'm obsessed with Boscia's Thermal Black Cleanser. Great detox for skin, nice light fragrance to wake you up, and it warms when you lather so it feels like a mini facial!

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Nick: Every morning and night I wash my face with Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream. It clears out every bit of dirt and grime without over-drying. It has a cool, tingling effect which leads me to believe it’s really doing its job… but who knows, I just think it feels awesome. And it’s cheap!

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Have a favorite product that you use? Comment it below to be featured in the next segment of SWEAT Favorites!

2 VALENTINE'S DAY TREATS

Just when you start to recover from the holiday sugar binge, Valentine’s Day hits with yet another reason to bake and buy sugary treats.  It is always fun to celebrate this holiday by baking and splurging on something sweet, but there are always healthy options out there!  
 
These recipes are fun for kids (and adults) and will deliver a sweet taste, without all the artificial ingredients and refined sugar.  Perfect for any Valentine! 

HOMEMADE HEART SHAPED GRAHAM CRACKERS

I was so excited to find these as my daughter LOVES graham crackers, perfect for a kid treat in place of a sugary cookie.  Try topping with something like healthy nut butter, cinnamon, raspberry jam, or a Tru-Whip frosting!  

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Ingredients
1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat, or oat flour (can use white flour if desired)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
2 to 3 Tbsp sucanat (natural cane sugar) or regular sugar
1/8 tsp uncut stevia OR 2 more Tbsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
1/4 cup oil (recommend unrefined coconut oil for a healthier version, but vegetable oil works fine.)
2 Tbsp water

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet in a separate bowl, then mix together. Form a ball with your hands (or, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, put the mixture in a plastic bag and squish into a ball). Place the ball on a piece of wax paper, then place another sheet on top and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into very thin (graham-cracker) width. Use cookie-cutter for heart shapes (or cut into squares), and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, depending on whether you like your graham crackers super-soft or crispy.  Add topping of choice! 

FRO-YO BERRY BITES

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Ingredients
1 ½ cups fresh chopped strawberries and/or raspberries  
¼ cup crushed almonds or almond meal
2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or more depending on desired sweetness)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey 

Line a 6 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners, or spray muffin tin with nonstick spray

In a small bowl, stir together crushed almonds, coconut sugar, and coconut oil.  Spoon a small amount into the bottom of each muffin tin.  In a medium bowl, mix together honey and yogurt.  Spoon 2 Tbsp into each muffin cup, covering the crust.  Top with fresh berries, freeze until firm (~ 6 hours) To serve, allow to set at room temperature a few minutes, and enjoy! 

HEALTHY CHICKEN FINGERS N' FRIES!

Baked Chicken Fingers with Sweet Potato Fries

Still craving comfort food but trying to keep it healthy?   Here is a great recipe that packs in the nutrition without lacking in flavor.  Great for kids too! 

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients
3 medium sweet potatoes cut into strips  
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Chilli powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

Preheat over to 425F.  In a mixing bowl combine sweet potatoes, oil, spices and salt, and mix together until fries are evenly coated.  Spread fries out in a single layer on a backing sheet, bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crispy on one side.   Turn fries using tongs or spatula and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  

Baked Chicken Fingers

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Ingredients:
Olive oil cooking spray
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~1 ½ lbs)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk or skim milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup almonds, sliced
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  Trim any fat from the chicken and cut into strips (about 6 to 8 per breast).  Stir milk and mustard together in a bowl.  In a separate container, mix together almonds, oats, bread crumbs, parsley and pepper.  One at a time, dip chicken in the milk mixture, then the oatmeal mixture until each piece is coated evenly.

Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is cooked through and coating is golden brown. Try Ketchup or Honey Mustard for dipping!  YUM! 

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

JANUARY RIDER OF THE MONTH: FELICIA F

New year, new Rider of The Month -- Felicia F! Felicia has been SWEAT'in it out with us since 2016!! Felicia came looking for ZUMBA and found SPIN instead, "When I moved to Wakefield I was looking for a way to start getting active to lose weight so I looked up Zumba. I remember walking up to SWEAT’s doors and saying, “the doors locked but I hear the music they must already be dancing…” (lol) until I realized it was a spin studio.". We are honored to have Felicia as January's Rider of the Month! Check out Felicia's SWEAT story below!

How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT?

When I moved to Wakefield I was looking for a way to start getting active to lose weight so I looked up Zumba. I remember walking up to SWEAT’s doors and saying, “the doors locked but I hear the music they must already be dancing…” (lol)  until I realized it was a spin studio. I’ve done spin in the past but didn’t enjoy the class but figured I’d look into it. 

When was your first ride?

My first ride was with Ashley D in July of 2016!

First impression of us?

I thought everyone was so friendly, welcoming, & helpful…that definitely made it easy to return. 

Favorite ride/instructors?

All the instructors are AMAZING and add a touch of their own uniqueness to each of their classes/styles….but, everyone knows I was speeding down Rt 1 to make it into Ashley Dimino’s class if and whenever possible. 

Favorite artist/song to spin to?

I would have to say any on top of the beat song but I do love Dance w/ Somebody.        

Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you?

I HATED CARDIO… that’s until I had my first class at SWEAT. The best way I can describe SWEAT to someone is to tell them it’s like going out for a night in Boston minus the drinking and heels. I walked into SWEAT looking for a different way to try lose weight and I thought to myself after the first class, “Omg this was so hard” (I was also really out of shape.) But, I did tell myself after that first class that I would never let myself put the weights down. After getting into routine aka going to a spin class at least 5-6 days a week, I became obsessed. I actually enjoy working out and it is something I now consider a hobby. Being part of the SWEAT family has helped me not only lose weight, but helped me keep off 60lbs+. SWEAT has helped me SO much!! It’s made me leave my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I’ve made new friends, learned that I can do anything for 15 seconds, and gained so much support/love for spin. I am SO thankful that I stumbled upon this, “zumba class.” I hope that Krista knows that something that was a goal/dream for her became life changing for not only me but other riders as well. 

HEALTHY NEW YEAR TIPS & TRICKS

It is no surprise that my busiest month for weight loss clients is January.  People come flooding in with great intentions to get on a healthy eating plan, but unfortunately well over half of people do not succeed in maintaining their healthy changes. (Maintaining being the key word here!) 

In those who have long-term success, they share one thing in common…they adopt new habits and ways of thinking about food and lifestyle, instead of just following a “diet”.  Their focus becomes long-term health, instead of short-term weight loss.  

Here are some success strategies to help you follow through on your resolution to better health!     

Don’t rely solely on which healthy eating program you choose to follow, focus more on how you can change your thinking about health, food, and nutrition.  Most people do not put enough effort into making the shift from “diet” to “lifestyle”.   Do some research to make sure the eating program you follow has a solid nutrition foundation (it is always best to have a Registered Dietitian back it up ☺), but changing your mindset is just as important as changing your diet. Keep in mind that not one single nutrition program works for everyone.  If you are eating healthy and exercising, you will have success if you are consistent.  

Take the time to learn about healthy nutrition (what to eat, portions etc.)  Some of my clients want me to just hand them a meal plan to follow without learning anything about nutrition.  It is just as important to learn how to plan meals on your own.  This helps to add variety and give you the flexibility to enjoy your food.  After all, we have to eat for the rest of our lives!  Knowledge is power! 

Do not obsess over numbers on the scale.   Weight fluctuates day to day, and it will drive you crazy if it becomes your main focus.  When you get your mind off the numbers, you will find success in so many other ways… more energy, better mood, better digestion, better sleep, better skin…the list goes on and on. Give yourself the freedom to measure success by the other victories that come with good health.     

Be realistic about your goals.  A lot of people have unrealistic goals when it comes to changing their body.  There are 7.6 billion people on our planet, and we all have different metabolic and physiological characteristics which influence our body shape, and how easily we can build muscle and lose body fat.   Don’t set an unrealistic goal- remember that health comes in all shapes and sizes.   

Have a plan/create structure.  Find a way to hold yourself accountable. Schedule workouts and meal planning into your days- being prepared is one of the biggest tools for success.  Eating healthy takes consistent effort, but you are worth it. 

STAY consistent.  This is the key to seeing permanent changes and positive results.   As your body starts to change and you start to experience great health, it gets easier and easier to stay on track. 

Cook in bulk.  This is a time-saving strategy and also allows you to use portion control because you can separate your food into appropriate portions ahead of time, store in the fridge for the week, or freeze for longer. 

Listen to your body’s hunger cues.  Wait for your body to feel hungry to eat.   Try not to eat just because the clock says it’s time, or because there is food in front of you.  If you are eating proper servings of good nutrition when you get hungry, your body will fall into the pattern of eating every 3-4 hours, which is the best way to fuel your body and maintain a fast metabolism. 

For more on intuitive eating, visit my page: http://www.janaellehumberdnutrition.com/intuitive-eating

Assume 100% responsibility for your results!  Even though heredity plays a role in our body shape and make-up, the factors that affect health are under your control.  Like it or not, success lies primarily in behavior and attitudes towards health.  No matter what your body type is, embrace it!  You can always get healthy by taking consistent action in the areas you can control. 

The factors you CAN control:
How much you eat
What you eat
When you eat
How frequently you exercise
Your overall lifestyle
Your mental attitude about your health and individual situation 

Be realistic about your body and accept the role it plays in providing you a healthy place to live.  You only have one body, make health a priority in 2018!  

Visit my webpage for more info on basic tips for healthy eating and weight loss www.janaellehumberdnutrition.com

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

HOMEMADE HEALTHY HOT CHOCOLATE! 

As the temperature drops this winter, nothing hits the spot like a good cup of hot cocoa.  While most hot chocolate is overly processed and full of empty calories and sugar, this recipe uses all natural clean ingredients.  Now you can make your own HEALTHY cup of cocoa, for a nutritious and delectable winter treat!    

~This recipe can be sugar-free and/or dairy free depending on which sweetener and milk you use.  It is easily customizable and is only ~100-200 calories per cup! ~

Select the right milk: This depends on your dairy preferences and what you’re looking for in your hot cocoa.  For a dairy-free alternative- try almond, soy or coconut milk (unsweetened almond will provide the lowest calories, and coconut will give you the creamiest consistency). If you use regular or low-fat cow’s milk, go for the organic to avoid all those added hormones.  

Add cocoa (the unsweetened kind): Unsweetened pure cocoa powder has a number of health benefits.  It is chalk full of antioxidants, which promotes blood flow — a benefit that helps with memory and heart health.  Cocoa actually contains more antioxidants per cup than a serving of red wine or tea!  

Cocoa is nutritious and low in calories- A 2 tbsp. serving of unsweetened cocoa powder contains ~ 25 calories,  1.5 grams of fat, and <1 gram of sugar.  It also provides you with 3.6 g of fiber, which is 14 percent of the daily value.  

Add a sweetener (lightly): Cocoa can be bitter so a small amount of sweetener is key. Try an all-natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup, or a pinch of stevia for a sugar-free treat.  A drop of vanilla extract also adds a sweet flavor without sugar.

Spice it up: Cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and ginger all pair well with cocoa and deliver a host of antioxidants, as well as flavor.

DELICIOUS CUP OF HEALTHY COCOA

  • ~1-1/2 cup almond milk or milk of choice 
  • ~1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (can adjust amount depending on how rich you want it) 
  • ~1 Tsp. sweetener of choice (or to taste depending on sweet preference).  
    Sweet options: honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia etc.
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: Add a pinch of spice of choice to boost flavor! 

Instructions:
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over high heat, using a whisk to break up any clumps. Keep stirring until smooth and piping hot, then pour into a mug and serve warm.  Add a whipped topping and shaved chocolate, if desired. Enjoy

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

Stay Healthy this Holiday Season!

We made it through Thanksgiving, but with the holiday season in full swing, health can take a back seat for most people.   Between the endless gatherings, a busy to do list, and the appeal of warm comfort food, it becomes too easy to say “I’ll get back on track next year!”  
Besides that dreaded winter weight gain, here is another reason to stay on track with healthy eating.... the majority of your immune system lies within your digestive tract, ~80% of it!  Your health and immunity will suffer when your nutrition is poor.  And sadly, sugar and processed foods are your biggest culprit. 

Here are some more tips on how to stay healthy this holiday season…

Try Juice Plus!  Let’s face it, eating healthy can be a daily challenge. But Juice Plus has made it a little easier to get great nutrition on a daily basis.  Instead of vitamins, try Juice Plus, which is a capsule full of all the real nutrients extracted from non-GMO, organic produce, containing all the disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals that you CANNOT get from vitamins. There is a big difference between eating an orange and taking a Vitamin C supplement.  You will have much stronger immunity with the nutrients from the food itself.  It is nutritionally comparable to juicing anywhere from 20-30 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but without all the hard work, loads of drinking, or extra sugar! ☺  The health benefits are endless! 
Visit my website for more info: www.janaellehumberd.juiceplus.com, or contact me at Janaelle@hotmail.com   

Try a probiotic.  Sweet treats (especially the processed kind) can do a number on your GI tract: Preservatives prevent bacteria from breaking down food in your gut, and too much sugar will cause an overgrowth of an ugly bacteria called candida.  The result is digestion and metabolism disruptions such as decreased energy, gas & bloating, disruption of hormones leading to increased food cravings, slower metabolism, and feeling “sick and tired”.   YUK! ☹ 
A healthy clean diet with a lot of plant-based nutrition is the first line of defense, but taking a probiotic every day also helps to support healthy digestion.  Here is a great one to try: https://www.advocare.com/150617703/store/product/W3812-probiotic-restore-ultra
 
Satisfy a sweet craving with all natural sweet ingredients instead of refined sugar.   Truth…the more refined sugar you eat, the more you will crave.  A chemical reaction is actually occurring in your brain when you ingest sugar, causing you to crave even more of it (no, it is not because you lack willpower!)   Instead, try satisfying a sweet craving with something made from all natural clean ingredients.  You can make your own desserts with ingredients like oats, honey, cocoa, all-natural nut butters, and fruit.  You can still get that sweet taste, but with better nutrition!  Find clean recipes for Sweet Treats on my website: www.janaellehumberdnutrition.com
 
Try the 80/20 rule.  Everyone should be able to enjoy their favorite holiday treat.  The real issue is how often the “treat” occurs.  An occasional indulgence will not sabotage your waistline or health, but consistent repetitive overeating will.  Try and get great nutrition at least 80% of the time to keep your body healthy and strong.   

Get some rest!   Sleep deprivation alters hormones that relate to hunger. Fatigue suppresses a hormone called “Leptin” which helps to regulate your appetite.  Basically, when your Leptin is low (lack of sleep), your appetite and cravings will increase!  Aim for 6-8 hours a night to avoid this disruption. 
  
Make time for exercise!   The people who are consistent exercisers through the cold winter months “make” the time; they don’t necessarily “have” the time!  Schedule exercise like any other appointment.  Besides relieving stress, exercise also stimulates a hormone called Growth Hormone which increases muscle mass and metabolism.  Another reason to sign up at SWEAT this month

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

8 TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!  It only comes once a year, so why not enjoy your traditional holiday favorites.  Splurging on Thanksgiving Day will not sabotage your healthy efforts, but turning it into an entire season of bad eating habits will. Here are a few tips to help you stay in a healthy mindset…so that you don’t feel as stuffed as that turkey you just ate! 

1. Get Active.  Get in a good morning workout to have some more room in the calorie “bank” for your favorite foods.  Stay active all week to burn off those extra calories.   

2. Eat Breakfast.  While you might think it makes sense to save up all of your calories for the day, eating a sensible breakfast will help control your hunger so you don’t eat everything in sight before the turkey even comes out.  Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast – your best option is something high in protein and fiber which will provide the best appetite control until the big feast. 

Example: a serving of oatmeal for breakfast can have less than 200 calories and will keep you full for hours… but show up hungry and attack the spinach artichoke dip?  Depending on how much you eat, this could set you back anywhere from 500- 1000 calories!  (Yes…a bowl of traditional spinach artichoke dip has about 1,600 calories, 100 grams of fat!)  

3. Watch your portions, but make it worth it!   My motto is don't waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long.  Try and fill your plate with smaller portions of those delectable dishes that you only see once a year.  When you have something tasty and desirable, you will feel more satisfied. 

4. Lighten Up.  Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, try one recipe with less fat, sugar, and calories.  You don’t even have to tell anyone!  Most people won’t even notice that you used healthy ingredients if you find the right substitution.   

Some examples are:  fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey or make gravy;  sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods; plain or Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles. 

5. Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet. With so many options to choose from, it’s nice to balance your plate with a few lighter dishes alongside the ones higher in fat and calories.  It can’t hurt to know which foods are the “healthier” choices.  

Your best bests are (lower in fat and calories): Shrimp for an appetizer, white turkey meat, vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.   

6. Savor your food. Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food.  

7. Focus on Family and Friends.  Thanksgiving isn’t JUST about the food and drink!  Celebrate this time with family and friends.

8. Skip the Seconds.  Try to resist the temptation to go back for extra helpings.  Leftovers are much better the next day when you aren’t as full, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you have more room for a delectable dessert!   GOBBLE-GOBBLE!  

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

CLEAN CROCKPOT TURKEY CHILI

Another reason why we love fall...the crockpot!  There are so many amazing crockpot recipes out there, but my favorite “go to” is a great turkey chili.  This recipe tops my list of flavor and great nutrition.  It packs in fiber and lean protein, with all clean ingredients. Who doesn’t love easy, tasty, and healthy!  

Ingredients

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  • 1.25 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar of salsa (16oz)
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5oz can pinto beans
  • 1 15.5oz can red kidney beans
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Place meat and chopped onion into a large pan. Cook until turkey is no longer pink and onion is translucent.
  2. Place meat and onion mixture into a crockpot along with the other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Tips: Top with low-fat shredded cheese, avocado, and/or plain fat-free Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream!

Suggestions for “clean” tortilla chips for scooping:  Way Better Snacks Tortilla Chips, Food Should Taste Good Multigrain

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

RIDER OF THE MONTH: CATY W

November's Rider Of The Month: Caty W

Hey SWEAT, we're excited to announce this month's VIP Rider -- Caty W! Caty has been SWEATing it out with us since 2015 and is a valuable member of our SWEAT Fam! Her energy, drive and passion represents SWEAT as a whole and we are honored to have Caty as November's Rider of the Month! Check out Caty's SWEAT story below!

1. How did you find us / what brought you to SWEAT? 
I saw a few social media posts I think on Instagram under things you may watch or like. I definitely wanted to try something new, the gym just wasn't cutting it anymore. I had always been a gym person since high school and would go a few times a week to get active and stay moving especially through college. I always need to fill my time and be on the go, I can't sit on the couch all day. I wasn't seeing any results from the gym anymore. I sit behind a desk all day, 5 days a week and I wanted something other than work, gym and home, I wanted to be a part of something I guess, so I said 'hey I’ll give it a try'. 

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2. When was your first ride? 
My first ride was with Ashley on June 13 2015, never took more than 2 weeks off since. I’m addicted ;) 

3. First impression of us? 
AMAZING! I loved the energy, the music and how different the class was. For someone who doesn't want to sit still this pretty much fulfilled that need ;). I immediately got hooked, I think I bought a month unlimited before I even tried the first class, I just knew the minute I walked in. 

4. Favorite ride/instructors? 
Any drenched ride! Instructor wise it’s honestly a tie with Krista and Ashley (not just saying it because they are CC’d here;) ) they are different in the music and speed of the class, but I do like to change that up and jump between the two of them a week to week.

5. Favorite artist/song to spin to? 
Country music makes any on top of the beat so much better! Love when Ashley sneaks a remix country song in. I do love the “old school” songs from the 90s or early 2000s like the ones you can sing along to in your head and you don’t hear on the radio anymore.

6. Take us through your SWEAT journey how has it changed you? 
SWEAT is literally my therapy. I walk in after work and my stress literally goes away, I sweat the day’s stress right off. I see Krista, Ashley, Ava or Belsh at the front desk, my friends who I brought to spin sitting in the entrance, the music blasting from the spin room and it's an instant mood lifter. I could be exhausted or sore but I still get on that saddle and do my best because I know at the end of the 45 minutes it'll all be worth it. I’ve lost around 30 pounds (give or take over the 2 years) since I started spin, I was never a runner or cardio person at the gym I had always stuck to weights but there’s something about SWEAT that makes cardio more enjoyable. It’s not how fast I can run or how short of a time it takes me to go from one point to another; you listen to the instructors, you push yourself, you get lost in the music and you’re forced to focus on one single action for 45 minutes. Everyone is in the same boat, we are all starting and finishing at the same time and your only competition is yourself. There are some days I want to sit in the back and barely sprint but those are the days I need spin the most. Those are the days where I need to push myself and get my ass out of the saddle and go harder than I did the day before. That’s what I love about spin. The support, the motivation and the friends I’ve made is something you can’t find everywhere you go, but I was lucky enough to do that. I’ve been to other spin studios whether it’s home in CT or on the south shore but they don’t compare to SWEAT. The way Krista has formed this community of SWEAT spinners is amazing.  

BANANA GHOST POPS

BANANA GHOST POPS
A fun twist on Halloween treats!  

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially for kids.  But with all the parties and trick or treating…there is A LOT of candy and sugary treats around.  I think it is perfectly ok to allow your kids to have candy for Halloween, but you can also try some healthy Halloween snacks to balance it out.  These treats are fun to make and eat!  Snacks can be sweet AND healthy! 

4 Ingredients:
- bananas
- yogurt
- shredded coconut
- chocolate chips

Substitution options- try crushed cereal or graham crackers if your kids do not like coconut! The coconut is yummy and healthy, but also gives it a fun texture! Can use raisins instead of chocolate chips.

STEP 1:
Freeze your bananas.  Peel and then lay them flat on a small cookie sheet.  (It usually takes a couple hours for them to freeze).  Once they are frozen, cut each banana into thirds.   

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STEP 2:
Place a toothpick or popsicle stick in one end of each banana.  Dip it in the yogurt and cover it all the way around.  

STEP 3:
Next, roll it in coconut on all sides.

STEP 4:
Once it is covered in coconut, put 2 chocolate chips on for eyes (push them in good so they will stay).  You can also use raisins.  If you aren’t going to eat them right away, place them on a cookie sheet and put them back in the freezer.  

ENJOY your healthy Halloween treat!

Janaelle Humberd, Registered Dietitian, LDN  
Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant / Health Coach

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