AUGUST SUPERFOOD: GREEK YOGURT

Check out the post I did for SCLA!

By Shelby Keys, Private Trainer and Nutritionist at Sports Club/LA, Chestnut Hill

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The summer is ripe for barbeques, poolside soirees, and of course endless platters of food! With the right education, preparation, and planning summer can be the perfect time to whip up a healthy dish to satisfy every palate. This month I am sharing with you fun recipes and ways to incorporate this nutritionally significant food.

Loaded with calcium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium, Greek yogurt makes a fantastic post-workout snack. For people with lactose intolerance, it is a great option as it contains less lactose than regular yogurt due to the way it is processed and the incorporation of live bacteria cultures.

How is Greek yogurt different from other yogurts?

Greek yogurt has had most of the liquid whey removed through straining. Removing the whey creates a yogurt that is thicker. The thick consistency is one of the reasons it works as a healthy substitute for so many recipes!

Unfortunately Greek yogurts can still be diet bombs and an unhealthy choice if chosen incorrectly. Look for brands with less than 12g sugar per container to keep you on track.

Here are some recipes to get you started. Start with plain Greek yogurt then add:

1 tbsp. chocolate pieces + Strawberries 

1 Teaspoon Honey 

1 Packet Stevia for Truvia 

1 crumbled graham cracker, cinnamon, and walnuts 

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Omega Olive oil: For the Love of Oil and Healthy Living

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We all know the benefits of olive oil: heart health and decreased inflammation. But did you know that olives date back to the beginning of history, with a majority of the world’s production coming from Mediterranean region. Two years ago when I was studying there I had the chance to taste some of the finest olive oil I have ever had. Now, I always say if you think that large canister of bright yellow olive oil you are buying in the supermarket is real, you are oh so wrong. Good olive oil has a hint of green, and contains notes that are bitter, spicy, and almost silky as it drips down the back of your throat. Extra virgin is the highest quality and usually has the best flavor profile with a peppery sensation that will be notable.

In an effort to provide minimally processed, high quality Olive oil, Omega Olive Oil was born! Far from your average olive oil, Omega Olive Oil is all about local, fresh ingredients, using the most attainable ingredients Massachusetts has to offer to provide in an effort to provide a product that not only supports our economy but is organic as well! The olives are grown and pressed from small farms in California, where the idea originated. The onwers, lived in California for some time and found that really great olive oil is on every table, in every restaurant!  When they moved back East they discovered that great olive oil was not so easy to find.  Felicia decided to then focus on California olive oil because she enjoyed the idea of providing something fairly local that would be like a piece of home from California.

While they just started a few years ago, and do not have a brick and mortar location yet, you can buy their varieties online at http://www.omegaoliveoil.com/Home_Page.php. You will stumble across flavors such as Blood Orange, Chipotle, Habanero, and Lemon olive oil to name a few.

Felicia recommends their oil for dipping, starting a sauce, or just on pasta with cheese.  And, because the company strives keep a personal touch with their customers and because they are still rather small, people will call them ask to meet them just so they can get their olive oil!

So,  be sure to join Omega Olive oil in supporting their local, sustainable business practices by coming to the Boston Local Food Festival on Sunday October 6th on the Greenway.  See you there! – See more at: http://bostonlocalfoodfestival.com/2013/07/grandy-oats-more-than-just-granola/#sthash.6TBzWEab.dpuf

Recipe for 6-pack: Studio Empower Review #Lagree Fitness

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As as personal trainer and food blogger, I thrive on the days I actually have time to workout and blog, today being one of them. I also get really excited when I am invited to try a new workout that promises to “sculpt, tone, and define.” Through one of the blogger groups that I am a part of (Blog and tweet boston), I was invited to partake in a pilates reformer class at Studio Empower, located in Newton. And boy was it reforming! When you first walk in you are greeted with this alien-like machine (that is the Mega reformer M3 that you use throughout the class- not a traditional reformer). There are all sorts of gadgets and pulleys attached to it, and they only thing I can think of is, what the heck am I going to be doing on THAT?

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For those of you who have never tried a  Megaformer class, you are in for one heck of a sweaty workout. While low impact, you hold poses on a four count for 1-2 minutes, using resistance and your own body weight to tone and sculpt. Every muscle is worked to fatigue, with an emphasis on core throughout the entire class. (I think I grew a 6-pack in 45 minutes I swear)! It was a great class to enjoy with the other bloggers as we sweated our butts off and worked to tone our physiques. The class is perfect for anyone hoping to tone, increase endurance, while also improving flexibility. It can be modified for all levels as well and honestly leaves you addicted and wanting to come back for more.

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Katelyn, one of the owners, also took the time to email me and see how I enjoyed the class! The instructor we had was upbeat, energizing, corrective, yet stern. I didn’t want him to catch me with my form off that’s for sure! But I had a blast and can’t wait to come back for more. The classes are small so you never feel lost or confused and each class is a tad different so you can be sure that you will keep your muscles guessing if you sign up for a membership.

When I was finished with the class I was sweaty, energized, and ready for some food. I always try to get some type of carbohydrate, protein, and fat into my diet post workout and what better snack to come home to than protein bars! My bf surprised me with these homemade bars as I am always complaining that I can never seem to find an all natural low sugar bar that doesn’t use sugar alcohols. Well ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to the POWER BAR 🙂

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I couldn’t help myself and took a bite 🙂Image

Phew, now time for a nap 🙂

Chocolate Therapy: Sweet Sweet Therapy

Okay- so you’re probably wondering where the heck I have been. Well between working two jobs, quitting one of them, working out, attending the Crossfit Games in cali, I have been busy busy busy, with barely any time to commit to my blog. So, once more, I apologize. However, I have some exciting news as I recently accepted a position working for SCLA in Chestnut Hill as their onsite “nutritionist”/Soon to be RD! I will be providing nutritional counseling to the members there as well as bringing exciting nutritious events to the club. 

But anyways, I have also been continually busy with my Brunchers group and not too long ago partook in a chocolate class at Chocolate Therapy in Framingham with Boston Brunchers. Sometimes you need a little break from all that Brunchin’ so this was a great way to have fun and take part in a chocolate making class! I attended a chocolate event with another group not to long ago and Cocoanuts and had a blast so when the opportunity arose you can bet I was on board! A nutrition guru and huge foodie, I obviously have a love for delicious dark chocolate…well let’s be honest..all chocolate for that matter. I truly believe food can be therapeutic, with protein being energizing, and chocolate being calming.

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Chocolate therapy offers a distinct line of artisan chocolates that are delectable, and not to mention served by some of the nicest owners you will ever meet! Pam and Rick were warm and friendly and might I say quite patient will all of us packed into their chocolate making room, taking photos for our blog posts of course, and chatting away. They also were quite generous with their chocolate, allowing us to undoubtedly produce the worst looking truffles man has ever seen. It is incredible difficult to form a solid round truffle! Which I suppose didn’t matter, because all of them ended up passing through my lips and into my stomach anyways. 🙂

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We got to get our hands dirty rolling chocolate balls, dipping them in cocoa, making chocolate bark, and sampling way too many flavors. How fun?! Chocolate Therapy not only makes great chocolate, but they host parties for kids and adults! That’s right! You (or you’re children) can have a party there. Hello 21st century! When I was a kid, a birthday party consisted of inflatable Jump and Slide’s and maybe a piñata if I was lucky. Kids these days are so spoiled and can now have a chocolate party. But they also host adult parties so I guess I can’t complain too much. #24th b-day party idea. 

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Anyways, I can’t believe I worked out in Framingham for over a month and never once heard about this place! The flavors are innovative and fresh, ranging from olive oil infused dark chocolate with sea salt, honey marshmallow (my favorite by far!), cinnamon, cayenne, and bay leaf pepper chocolate, and hazelnut ganache dipped in rich Belgium chocolate. Need I say more?

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We learned what goes into the chocolate making process, all about tasting chocolate, and how to store it (room temp, NOT refrigerated!). At the end of the evening we walked away with a baggie full of the chocolate we made and I of course bought 6 more for ride home. So, I highly recommend you check them out. Wonderful owners. Local business. Delicious Chocolate and not to mention ice cream AND coffee. They are also hoping to serve beer and wine soon because honestly what goes better with chocolate?

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As a side note, I received this class at Chocolate Therapy, free-of-charge through Boston Brunchers in exchange for a blog post about it. Opinions are my own.

Thanks Brunchers + Chocolate Therapy for the wonderful time!

Location: Framingham, MA ( Worcester RD) and they also have another location at Legacy Place in Dedham, MA.