Healthy(ish) Boozing Tips + Recipes

blue agave spicy guavarita | sunshine & the bear Getting ready for a big (or small) New Year’s Eve always gives me a little bit of anxiety. Going out with friends is amazing and one of my favorite things to do, but there’s only so many places you can go that don’t push you to spend tons of money and calories on drinks!

It’s so interesting how the tides have turned and I’ve grown past my college ‘just going out to the bar’ days. I have nothing against drinking, and you can definitely do it in a healthy way, but I’ve changed how and how much I intake now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle. :)

Again, you CAN have a few cocktails and not ruin your healthy lifestyle…Some research has indicated that drinking in moderation can be heart healthy by lowering blood pressure, helping circulatory blood flow and increasing the HDL (aka “good” cholesterol). Keep in mind “moderation” is the key word here. And it means 1 drink per day for women, 2 per day for men. 

My Tone It Up trainers and the talented people at Greatist have some good tips to help keep us on track for healthier boozing:

  • Always drink water between each cocktail, sticking to a 1:1 ratio.
  • Avoid pre-made mixes and always use fresh squeezed juices – this helps reduce added sugars!
  • Limit to no more than 2-3 cocktails a night, only a couple times a week.
  • Watch your drink size and keep it to 8oz or less. Watch out for those fishbowl-sized cocktails!
  • Avoid simple syrup (it’s basically just a code name for sugar).
  • Be sure to eat a healthy dinner before you enjoy your favorite cocktails.

Recently, Popsugar shared a post about what it takes to burn off your cocktails and it was definitely enlightening! Did you know it takes almost an hour and a half to burn off those three margaritas that were so easy to drink?

So what can you drink!? I’ve put together a short list of five easy drinks to purchase or make at home that you won’t feel guilty about! Keep this short list in the back of your mind when you know you’ll be heading to a bar or hosting a party and you’ll be all set!

Five healthy(ish) drinks to enjoy!

  • cucumber gimlet | BMOREtoned Spiced Cider: With only about 150 calories, this warm drink is perfect for the cold days and nights we’re seeing this time of year! Add some orange and cloves to give it a winter twist.
  • White sangria: This is an easy way to jazz up your drink if you don’t just feel like having a glass of wine. I’ve included an easy recipe below!
  • Yuengling Light Lager: Looking for a non-watered down beer that’s still light on calories? Yuengling managed to combine the health benefits of a lager with a lower carb count. At only 99 calories, this is a solid selection for a healthier classic brew.
  • Berries Bubbles: Enjoy your champagne treat for less than 100 calories! Add strawberries, blackberries or raspberries to an OJ/champagne mix for a Berry Mimosa. Add pomegranate juice and some seeds for a delightful Pomegranate Punch!
  • Cucumber Gimlet: Add some refreshing cucumber and use agave to get this drink to about 150 calories. Find the full recipe here. In the winter, we also recommend spicing it up with basil leaves!

Originally post on BMOREtoned :) 

Svelte protein shake recipes!

excited oprah You get some Svelte! You get some Svelte! You all get some Svelte! HAHA I feel like Oprah right now…

I’m so excited to be the winner of one of Svelte‘s #FitnessFriday contests. The company was so generous and they recently sent me five cases of my favorite flavors! (Tom is also excited haha)

They let me choose my flavors, so I picked a few old favorites (vanilla and cappuccino), one for Tom (chocolate) and an exciting new flavor (banana creme)! I’m so pumped to have these because they’re gluten free, dairy free, organic and, let’s not forget, tasty ways to get protein when I might not otherwise get it. PLUS they have a reclosable cap (which means a lot more than you think!). I’m always on the go with work at the Aquarium, work at the gym, workouts, meetups with my BMOREtoned crew and just…life. These easy shakes are there for me when I don’t have time to throw something together.

svelte cases | sunshine & the bear

I love these, but there is SO much! haha I’m not sure I can actually drink them all (I absolutely can). Don’t get me wrong…like I said, Svelte shakes taste great and are good for a quick meal on-the-go BUT they also work perfect for smoothies as a tasty nutritious boost!

One of my favorite smoothies uses the vanilla Svelte (my Pina Colada Smoothie) but I wanted to expand my horizons…I found an awesome new tropical smoothie from the Svelte Pinterest Page to warm up my insides while it’s freezing out – check out the easy recipe below!

svelte kiwi pineapple smoothie | sunshine & the bear Kiwi Pineapple Smoothie
Ingredients:

  • 1 banana Svelte protein shake
  • 2 C fresh spinach
  • 1 C fresh kiwi
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 C pineapple

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Imagine you’re in a tropical place…
  3. And enjoy!

So tasty! I have a lot of smoothies to make… I’m also looking for/trying to create some new recipes with the use of these shakes. They are creamy and flavored and I think they could be really great for some sauces, dips, baked goods, etc. Let the experimenting begin…haha (insert mad scientist laugh)

Cappuccino Chia Pudding Snack
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 C cappuccino Svelte protein shake
  • ¼ C chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Whisk chia seeds into Svelte and set aside for 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk mixture again.
  3. Refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight.
  4. Enjoy!

My next move is to try using Svelte to make some flavored ice cream…we’ll see how that goes! :)

Have an idea on how I can use these shakes? Let me know in the comments!  

[Recipe] Easy Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream

banana almond butter ice cream | sunshine & the bear Sometimes you just need something sweet. Sometimes that something sweet needs to be ice cream. Just don’t question it…it’s science.

Recently I discovered an incredibly easy recipe for making ice cream right at home! No churn needed. No random ingredients needed. Truthfully, you only need one thing…BANANAS.

Yes. All you need is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Although this is new to me, many people in the health food world know this magical secret. I found out from a great post by The Kitchn and I’m all for passing on knowledge, so I want to share it with you! DIG IN…

Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe banana (or however many you want to make)
  • 1 t almond butter
Instructions
  1. Peel the banana(s) and cut them into coin-sized pieces.
  2. Put the bananas in an airtight container and freeze the bananas for at least 2 hours (but ideally overnight).
  3. Remove the frozen banana(s) and blend them in a small food processor, pulsing the frozen pieces.
  4. Keep blending — the banana will look crumbly. Scrape down the food processor.
  5. Keep blending — the banana will look gooey. Scrape down the food processor.
  6. Keep blending — the banana will look like oatmeal. Scrape down the food processor.
  7. Watch the magic happen! Suddenly, as the last bits of banana smooth out, you'll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture!
  8. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream.
  9. Add in your almond butter (or any other mix-in ingredients you decide to include).
  10. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid.
  11. Top with whatever you want (I chose fresh strawberries!) and enjoy!

katekatebear homemade ice cream | sunshine & the bear

Have you tried it yet? No? Go do it right now. Yep, I’ll wait right here. :) 

[Recipe] Brussel Sprouts with Rosemary & Pistachios

Sigh, it’s fall. Like actually fall. The perfect 75 degree days have faded…But it’s not all downhill!

Besides being excited to wear my new puffy vest, fall brings around some of my favorite seasonal foods and flavors! One of which being Brussel sprouts! While you see them a lot all year (at least on my table), they’re often regulars on fall and winter menus.

And let’s not forget about how versatile they are – I love this list of 50 Ways to Eat Brussel Sprouts All Day, Every Day from Huff Post! I often use them raw in salads or roasted as a tasty side or chopped up in a light pasta!

We had a team potluck lunch at work today and I wanted to find a healthy side dish. I found this recipe that used brussel sprouts with pistachios and it seemed perfect for the fall weather! The original recipe came from Refinery 29, but I really love to roast them so I changed it up a bit! :)

roasted brussel sprout ingredients Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Pistachios
Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts (bottoms removed, halved)
  • 3/4 C pistachios (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 t sugar
  • 2 1/2 t sherry vinegar
  • 6 t olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • S+P

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place your pistachios in a baking pan and put in the over for approximately 10 minutes. Remove to cool, chop coarsely and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and 1 tablespoon water over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar caramelizes to a mahogany brown color. Remove from heat and immediately add the vinegar, standing back to avoid splatters (it will splatter!). Whisk briefly, pour into a small heatproof container and set aside.
  4. In your baking pan, add your chopped sprouts, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Roast in your oven for 30 minutes (or until your desired brown).
  6. Add pistachios, mix and put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the sugar-vinegar gastrique to your mix and toss to coat and serve.
  8. Enjoy!

roasted brussel sprouts

 

[Recipe] Chia seed pudding

Let me preface this post by confirming that I was NOT into chia seeds when the craze first started. I mean, they are the same chia seeds you got with a chia pet, right?! Awkward… haha

BUT I’ll try anything. When I was challenged to add them to my weekly menu, I bought them…and now I’ve totally bought in. They are delicious and unbelievably nutritious!

My Tone It Up trainers had all the facts on why chia is so awesome:

  • A rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, chia seeds give you the necessary nutrients for gorgeous hair, healthy nails, and smooth, glowing skin! Beauty starts on the inside ;)
  • With 5 grams of protein per ounce, chia seeds are an amazing source of plant-based protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient needed for almost every function in your body. It even aids in weight control, and is a must for building lean muscle.
  • They’re a great source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, controlling hunger and balancing your appetite. It also means less sneaky snack attacks. Fiber helps regulate your system, which will contribute to detoxing!
  • High in magnesium, potassium and calcium! These essential nutrients keep your body healthy and energized!
  • They have the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, creating a unique gel that is incredibly hydrating and satisfying! Use chia seeds to make a vegan pudding or add some thickness to your smoothies…

Perfect segue…

chia seed pudding Simple Chia Seed Pudding ♥ 

  • 1 C coconut milk (get the can – for some reason it just tastes better!)
  • 1/4 C chia seeds
  • 1-2 T maple syrup
  • Toppings of your choice! 

Directions:

  1. In a glass container, add chia seeds and maple syrup to coconut milk.
  2. Whisk whisk whisk (Make sure you get all the little seeds in the corner of the bowl – if you don’t, those seeds might not absorb the liquid and will form a hard section in the corner!)
  3. Let the mixture sit for approximately 3 minutes then whisk again.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour (it’s best to do it overnight or in the morning to prep for an afternoon treat!)
  5. Eat alone or add healthy toppings like unsweetened coconut or raisins or fresh fruit!
  6. Enjoy!

There are so many possibilities – what would you put on your chia pudding?