Saturday Snack Spotlight – Clean Trail Mix

So snacks… that can withstand Florida heat but still nourish me and keep me stable. I opted to make my own trail mix and bring it, so I don’t have to worry about what’s in it, and it’s a good balance of things!

Here’s whats in it (this is portioned out into several bags)

  1. 1 cup sliced almonds.
  2. 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds.
  3. 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I buy them in chunks and slice them)
  4. 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces.
  5. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds.
  6. 1/2 cup raisins.
  7. 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
  8. Peanuts
  9. Cashews
 Do you make your own trail mix? What do you put in it?

Transformation Tuesday – My Dog Roxy

This Transformation Tuesday is a wee bit different than others but it is one of the nearest and dearest to my heart – my dog Roxy!

When she arrived at the shelter from Arkansas with her Mom (Mom was BARELY not a puppy – super young), this is what she looked like…. her ribs and tailbone were super visible to the eye, and evident to the touch. Despite being a black lab, she had basically no fur – just little spots here and there.

When my friends fostered her a few months after her arrival, she was much healthier but still needed to put on some pounds, and her fur was much better, but still a work in progress. You could still feel her tailbone, but much better.

When we first met her, we fell in love with her. We adopted her soon after, and we have worked so hard to give her a stable, loving, safe home with regular feedings and bathroom breaks, tons of toys to play with, as many cuddles and snuggles as she would like, and baths to keep her clean.

Her eyes are now so bright. Her coat is thick and shiny, and you can only barely feel her tailbone. The vet said she’s at a perfect weight, and is a healthy, happy young lady (10 months on the 25th), and we couldn’t be happier or love her more.

She’s changed so much, despite her rough start to life, she has so much love and vibrancy to her. She loves people, loves kids, loves other dogs, loves to play… she is so full of life and happy in her furever home.

I am sharing this because I know there are still tons of animals that need furever homes, and I would caution people not to judge a book by it’s cover, or a dog by it’s appearance – she looks so rough in her before pic, which is why it’s even more important that she found a furever home with owners who can give her everything she needs and deserves. The other animals deserve the same! I don’t know if anyone passed her by based on her appearance, but if they did, their loss is for sure the gain of my husband and I, and I could NOT be more grateful for that.

She is such a love bug, she can’t speak but she shows her gratitude and her appreciation every single day. She’s one of the best things thats ever happened to my husband and I, and we honestly could not love her more.

So here is to you, sweet Roxy, for your amazing transformation and for all the people who had a hand in helping you get to a healthy, happy existence.

Go forth and prosper ❤

roxy-before-after

Thirsty Thursday – Green Tea

Do you like green tea? I love it. Especially iced! I was happy to learn its considered “safe” for Diabetics. Though I mostly only drink water, coffee (just in the morning) and my Shakeology, I will be honest and say every once in a while I want a beverage outside of those 3. I know there are more unsafe choices than there are safe, so I try to make them count!

Green Tea has been shown to inhibit the enzyme amylase produced and secreted by the salivary glands and pancreas for the digestion of starches, which slows the rate at which the sugar contained in starches is metabolized and released into the bloodstream.  Less insulin is required to shuttle glucose because there is less glucose in the blood, thus insulin resistance is curbed.  Drinking liquids also creates a feeling of satiety.  Green Tea adds to this by relaxing the muscles of the stomach and intestines thus slowing down the physical movement of food.  In this way calorie restriction or fasting is mimicked.
Drinking Green Tea has also demonstrated the ability to prevent metabolism and absorption of triglycerides through the digestive tract.  These are the fatty substances that accumulate as adipose tissue (unsightly fat), clog up arteries, and like cholesterol can react adversely with oxygen in the bloodstream.  Components of Green Tea act like fat grabbers, passing the undesirable fats through the digestive tract and out the colon.
Additionally, antioxidants found in Green Tea scavenge the free radicals created from metabolic function as well as respiration.  These free radicals react with oxygen and other air traveling molecules and toxins causing cell damage and permutations of the DNA structure that lead to cancer, heart disease, and organ failure.  These same antioxidants inhibit the free radicals that are released when existing body fat is utilized for energy.
Because of Green Tea’s ability to stimulate metabolism, improve circulation (intercellular exchange), and boost the immune system it leaves more energy and blood for use by the brain.  Tea has been noted for centuries for its stimulating but paradoxically relaxing effects on the mind and body.  Lowered levels of stress, be they internal or external, are highly important for the Diabetic to maintain as their physiological system is already under enough strain.  Stress triggers the release of adrenaline which raises blood sugar. Green Tea also protects brain cells and neurons from damage caused by lipid peroxidation in the nervous system and oxidation of glucose.