• Breakfast Smoothie Bowls

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

    Weekends are perfect for relaxing and treating yourself, but on occasions, over indulgences can occur. When my cheat meal becomes a cheat weekend, I usually reset with a healthy and filling breakfast to get myself back on track!

    Smoothie bowls are a perfect way to start your day (if not week)! They’re beautiful to look at and super yummy to eat! The most important part of a smoothie bowl is to use a frozen base so your end mixture will hold up to whatever topping you add. I like to use frozen Açai, a super fruit that can be found in most grocery stores. I accessorized with tropical fruits, but you can finish your bowl whatever you like—even greens! Best of all, this recipe can be made the night before to give you extra snooze time in the morning.

    Hope this helps you conquer your week!

    Acai Smoothie Bowl

    • Prep Time: 10m
    • Serves: 1

    Ingredients

    • 1 Frozen Pack Acai
    • 1 Frozen Banana (Keep half Fresh, Half Frozen)
    • 1/4 Almond Milk
    • 1/4 cup Blueberries
    • 4 Raspberries
    • 1/2 Kiwi
    • 2 Strawberries
    • 2 tablespoons Granola
    • 2 tablespoons Chia seeds
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut (shredded or flakes)

    Instructions

    1. Run Acai Pack under warm water for 5-10 seconds to slightly defrost, you want to make sure it is still frozen enough to keep the smoothie bowl thick.
    2. In a blender combine the frozen banana, acai pack, and almond milk.
    3. Blend until smooth, if the mixture seems too thin add more ice or berries to thicken.
    4. In a deep soup bowl pour the blended mixture.
    5. In vertical lines, top your smoothie bowl with sliced bananas, coconut, chai seeds, granola, berries, and kiwi. Enjoy!
  • How to Make Sweet Potato Toast

    Toast is an easy, fail proof, and delicious way to enjoy breakfast or brunch and can be made savory, sweet, or with avocado! Unfortunately, not everyone can eat toast as frequently as they would like to. Some people prefer to eat whole, unprocessed foods, while others are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, or too nutrient dense to indulge in toast.

    Enter: the sweet potato.

    Sweet potatoes are a great alternatives to toast. High in beta-carotene, they can help keep your hair, eyes, and nails healthy—just like carrots! They, of course, are also super delicious and much better for you than the standard bread.

    This sweet potato toast trend went viral a while back and still makes an appearance on Instagram and Pinterest so today I’ll teach you how to make your own with 4 vegan topping suggestions!

    TOPPING SUGGESTIONS

    • almond butter + banana + cinnamon
    • tahini + fig + agave
    • avocado + chili flakes + lime
    • crunchy almond butter + frozen mixed berries + hemp seeds
    • hummus + cucumber slices + paprika

    Sweet Potato Toast


    • Prep Time:
      5m
    • Cook Time:
      10m

    Ingredients

    • 1 Large Sweet Potato
    • Toppings of Your Choice!

    Instructions

    1. Wash and dry your sweet potato, and peel the skin if you prefer.
    2. Make lengthwise slices about 1/8 to 1/4th of an inch thick. If you have a mandolin, using one will make this much easier! If not, slice as thinly as you can (the thicker the slice, the longer you will need to toast it for).
    3. Toast the slices in a standard toaster, or a small toaster oven, for about 5-8 minutes. If your slices are on the thicker side, you may want to flip them and cook for another 5-8 minutes. You can also use a toaster and just keep pressing down to re-toast until you reach your desired texture. You can enjoy these a bit crunchier, or toast repeatedly until they are more on the soft side.
    4. Enjoy with your favorite toppings and get creative!

  • The Four Fitness Apps I Live By

    Hey, hey, smart phone addicts!

    Always an arm’s reach away from your prized posession? I feel you. With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all the more popular these days, it’s hard not to be “connected.” At least your fingers are getting their workouts, right?

    Well, you’re not entirely wrong. Double tapping DOES burn calories… just not as much as we’d like to think!

    Why not try a full body workout or health regimen instead? Here are four of my favorite apps I use to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I find that they hold me accountable for my actions and motivate me to push harder around the clock. Who knows, you might just get more out of them than carpal tunnel 😉

    My Fitness Pal

    Whether you’re looking to maintain your weight, lose some, or gain some, this app makes keeping a food and excercise journal super easy. Not only do I use it everyday, but I also use it with a majority of my clients. My Fitness Pal is an amazing tool for those who need a little help holding themselves accountable. You can share what you’re eating with your friends and they can do the same. Best of all, they have the world’s largest nutrition and calorie database (of over 5 million foods) so it makes logging your macros a breeze!

    Spotify Running

    Music is one of my main motivators when I am running. Just in case you didn’t know, Spotify has a channel for dedicated runners. It helps you find your running tempo before turning that tempo into beats per minute all while building out playlists based on your listening preferences. Seriously, go check it out!

    Pact

    Pact makes it easy to get hella competitive with yourself! It creates powerful incentives for healthy living. You basically:

    1. Commit or make a weekly Pact to exercise more or eat healthier and set what you’ll pay other pact members if you don’t reach your goal.
    2. Meet your goals or use the Pact app to track your progress.
    3. Reap the rewards or earn real cash for living healthily from the members who don’t.

    I have played around on this app, and think it can be a great asset for people who love competition and people who are trying to lose weight. A few of my clients have used it and said they love it because it forces them to stick with the healthy lifestyle when their money is on the line!

    HealthyOut

    Going out to dinner, but still want to stay healthy? This app allows you to do both! HealthyOut finds dishes at local restaurants that match your diet and nutrition preferences. It makes dinning out a healthy activity! I tell all of my clients to plan ahead when they’re going to restaurants so their mind stick with healthier options instead of the more calorie-heavy alternatives. This app does all the work for you!

    App it out and stay motivated!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt
    @thehealthyhustle

  • Why Eating Breakfast Should Be YOUR “Thing”!

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

    There’s nothing quite like the start of the week to ponder life’s greatest mysteries.

    Should you or shouldn’t you eat breakfast? Now, THAT’S a question!

    Instead of writing a million reasons why I think you should be chomping away on that first meal, I’ve asked eight other people, people like me and you, to tell me why they think breaking fast is important. Oh, and what they like to eat when breaking said fast of course!

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    A MOTHER:

    “It’s all about the metabolism boost. When we sleep, our metabolism slows down. The only way to jumpstart it [again] is with healthy breakfast. [Eating breakfast] will help you burn calories from the beginning of the day.”

    Favorite breakfast: smoothie with chocolate coconut milk spinach.

    CREATOR OF SWEATSCALE:

    “It’s the most important and most delicious meal of the day. Helloooo!”

    Favorite breakfast: breakfast burrioto from Dimes in Chinatown with extra hot sauce.

    AN ADORABLE 2 YEAR OLD:

    “To get BIG!”

    Favorite breakfast: “I want breakfast with ranch on it!”

    A “TECHIE”

    “[Eating breakfast] is the official start of my day. Waking up, checking Instagram, showering may happen before, but breakfast is when productivity starts.”

    Favorite breakfast: plain greek yogurt with granola and fresh pineapple.

    A SISTER

    “I think you should eat a healthy breakfast because it sets the tone for your day. [Eating Breakfast] makes you feel less weak throughout the morning, and you also make better choices throughout the day.”

    Favorite breakfast: eggs, whole wheat toast, and coffee.

    A FELLOW FLYWHEEL INSTRUCTOR

    “I eat breakfast to fuel my body for an active day and to keep my metabolism regular.”

    Favorite breakfast: two eggs and an arepa—Columbian breakfast all the way!

    AN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE IN DIGITAL SALES

    “I think you should eat breakfast to boost your metabolism for the day ahead and to fuel your body throughout the night.”

    Favorite breakfast: whole wheat avocado toast.

    A M.S. STUDENT OF NUTRITION AND CURRENT DIETETIC INTERN

    “At night, while you’re sleeping, you’re technically fasting. Your body uses up stored energy to start your day. Brain fuction relies on glucose (carbs), which is the first macronutrient used as energy fuel, so breakfast provides a new influx of macronutrients to propel your brain, vital functions, and physical activity throughout the day! If you don’t have that glucose on hand, your body has to use other sources like fats or proteins as fuel, and the conversion time of fats/proteins to energy is much slower than glucose so your body lags.”

    Favorite breakfast: Whole grains or high protein and low fat. Both are satisfying to get through to lunch. I prefer 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal with a mashed banana, the banana adds volume and a fruit serving for the day. Yogurts or eggs are the best morning protein.

    ME

    “I believe that eating a healthy meal to start your morning will fuel your body for a strong, productive day. You are breaking-the-fast from dinner. I find that eating breakfast also helps me eat less calories throughout the day. The days I skip breakfast are the days my sweet tooth kicks in (low levels of blood sugar) and I crave unhealthy treats.

    Favorite breakfast: sweet potato with almond butter

     

    Everyone agrees that eating breakfast is important, and I hope this helps motivate you to start your day with the right fuel.

    Peace, Love & Eat Breakfast!

    Emily Burkhardt

  • 5 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

    Happy Holidays, Everyone!

    The end of the year is always a great excuse to eat, drink, and be merry with your family and friends. Unfortunately, however, if you don’t watch your intake, those extra drinks and treats can stick with you for months after the holidays.

    While you should definitely celebrate and enjoy yourself, here are five big tips to keep in mind when managing the extra calories!

    popcorn_soda

    1. Don’t drink your calories!

    Stay CLEAR of all the sugar-loaded “holiday” cocktails and opt, instead, for a wine spritzer or light beer. This will allow you to drink more without overloading on the calories. Yup, you heard that right! Drink more!

    2. Bring a healthy dish to share.

    Holiday parties are usually chock-full of unhealthy dishes. Anytime you get an invite, offer to bring a fun fruit or veggie tray. Even if you are the only one that eats from your dish, you’ll still have one healthy option to load up on!chicken_potato

    3. Stay Hydrated!

    Regardless the occasion, you should already be drinking  8oz of water every hour. Because people tend to stuff their faces with sodium-rich foods during the holidays (guilty as charged!), a majority often feel sluggish or hungry when they actually may just be thirsty or dehydrated.

    4. Eating rule: Veggies > Holiday Treats > Fruit

    Pack half of your plate with fresh vegetables and fruit—and no, green bean casserole does not count. Begin by filling your tummy with the greens and interspersing them with small portions of your favorite holiday eats. Then, finish everything off with a piece of fruit to trick your sweet tooth!
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    5. Wear your skinny pants!

    I didn’t think of this one until one of my clients texted me Thanksgiving morning saying she was wearing her “tight pants” to avoid overeating. While we all want to wear our strechy jeans and yoga pants during the holidays, wearing something tighter can help you feel full faster.

     

    I would love to hear your tips for staying healthy during the holiday season! What helps you might inspire others!

    Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt

    @thehealthyhustle

     

    Cut Food Photography via Beth Galton

  • The Only Grocery List You’ll Ever Need

    Hey, hey!

    As New Yorkers, we are always hustling from place to place, fitting in as much work as we can into every day. Oftentimes, because other activities take precedent, grocery shopping becomes a dreaded chore, if not a burdensome task, better forgotten altogether.

    I get it. Why hold yourself to a taxing healthy standard when there are plenty of other “tastier” and time-efficient options out there?

    Well, we’re all in this together, and I want to help you, my client, commit to a healthy lifestyle.

    Without further ado, here’s a “Healthy Hustle”-approved grocery list you can pull up when you’re shopping for your week’s worth of nomz OR when you’re out at dinner trying to choose the healthiest option on the menu.

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    FRUIT

    • Apples
    • Avocados
    • Bananas
    • Blackberries
    • Blueberries
    • Grapes
    • Mangos
    • Pineapples
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Tomatoes
    VEGETABLE
    • Asparagus
    • Beets
    • Bell Peppers
    • Bok Choy
    • Broccoli
    • Brussel Sprouts
    • Carrots
    • Kale
    • Onions
    • Spinach
    • Squash
    • Zucchini

    PRO TIP: Load up on your veggies!

    HEALTHY FATS

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Pecans
    • Walnuts
    • All natural almond butter
    • Chia or flax seeds
    DAIRY

    • Eggs
    • Greek yogurt
    • Goat cheeses
    • Hard cheese

    PRO TIP: Use cheese sparingly!

    PROTEIN

    • Extra lean chicken breast
    • Extra lean ground turkey
    • Extra lean beef
    • Salmon
    • Cod
    • Shrimp
    • Tilapia
    • Edamame
    • Black beans
    • Chickpeas
    GRAINS (GOOD CARBS)

    • Quinoa 
    • Brown Rice
    • Brown Rice Pasta
    • Raw Oats
    • Sweet Potatoes 
    Cooking Tips
    1. Eat your food raw, steamed, grilled, or baked
    2. Fill most of your plate up with fruits and vegetables
    3. Drink at least 8oz of water every hour
    4. Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time
    5. Keep a smile on your face and make at least one person smile before you go to bed!

    Now that you have the ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! I will be posting one “Healthy Hustle”-approved meal every week on my social media channels. Please feel free to share any recipes that you love that celebrate these ingredients. Let’s help others by sharing the things that make us feel healthier and happier!

    Happy (and healthy) Eating!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt

    @thehealthyhustle

     

    Cover photo: “Apple And Pear” by Benjamin Flouw

  • I Just Made This Chicken and White Bean Stew in 15 Minutes & It’s Delicious

    Really…15 Minutes

    So we’re welcoming wellness into our lives over here at TheLoDown (in fact, the entire focus of the site is changing to focus on health) and with that comes a delicious, easy, and quick weekday lunch recipe that I literally made in 15 minutes.

    I’m a huge fan of a tomato stew, especially with white beans, and some kind of protein.  Typically I like to roast a dish like this (imagine a whole chicken cut in half, browning nicely with delicious tomatoes and things all around slowly soaking up flavor) but I wanted to see just how quickly I could mimic one of my faves with the ingredients I had on hand.

    Here’s what you need: a protein (I chose thin chicken breasts for speedy cooking), crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and thyme, a bit of onion or shallot, and some beans.  Oh, and a little S&P (salt and PEPPA), obvs.

    Brown up your shallots, brown up your chicken quickly, add the rest of the stuff and simmer for 15 minutes.  That’s it.  Delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free, and QUICK.

    Here’s the full recipe:


    15 Minute Chicken, Tomato, and White Bean Stew

    1. 1 Shallot, sliced in thin rounds

    2. 1 tablespoon ghee

    3. 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts

    4. Salt and Pepper to season

    5. 1 can crushed tomatoes

    6. 1/2 can white beans

    7. 10-12 fresh basil leaves

    8. 10 sprigs of thyme leaves

    9. 4-5 cherry tomatoes

    1. In a medium sauce pan heat ghee and quickly brown shallots.

    2. In the same pan add your seasoned chicken breasts and brown on both sides quickly at a high heat.

    3. Lower heat and add crushed tomatoes, white beans, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

    4. Let simmer (don’t boil) for 15 minutes. Then enjoy!

  • Healthy Breakfast – Chia Seed Pudding

    Looking for a new take on a healthy breakfast or snack?  Try my chia seed pudding, which takes only 15 minutes to make and requires absolutely no cooking.  The best bit about chia seed pudding?  Chia seeds are a super food, even better for you than blueberries.  It’s truly a complete meal that’s perfect to get your internal engine going.

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  • Light Cream Cheese Frosting

    Absolutely everyone loves cream cheese frosting, but not the fatty-fatty-two-by-four-can’t-fit-through-the-kitchen-door waistline that comes with it.  At least I don’t.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my recipe for a much lighter version of cream cheese frosting that is super tasty and light!  It features plain greek yogurt (this shiz is popping up everywhere these days) as a substitute for some of the 174623 pounds of cream cheese traditionally used.  If you want to get super health-conscious, substitute Earth Balance (it’s tasty) for butter.

    I frequently use this lighter version when I make Flag Cake on the 4th of July (the pic below is my Flag Cake of ’12).  I also don’t take measurements too seriously and once you get comfy in the kitchen you won’t either.  Cook and add until it tastes good!

     

    …and here is the recipe.  Nom, nom, nom.

    1. 2-3 cups of powdered sugar (I say 2-3 because I play with it to get the right consistency)

    2. 8 oz. of cream cheese (that’s one brick)

    3. 8 oz. of non-fat, plain Greek Yogie (I prefer Chobani)

    4. 1/2 cup of butter (or Earth Balance – it’s vegan in addition to being yum) softened to room temp

    5. Couple drops of vanilla extract

    6. One big squeeze of lemon juice from half a lemon

    1. In a mixer, whip up the butter, cream cheese and yogurt.

    2. Add the powdered sugar until the consistency and sweetness is where you want it.

    3. Add the vanilla extract and lemon to taste.

    4.  Stick this in the fridge or frost your treats right away.

    Serving Size: Enough for one large cake

    You can stick this in the fridge overnight if you wish, and bring it back to life by sticking it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then giving in another whirl in the mixer + some more lemon juice.

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