Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down
Jan24

Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down

Last night I ate… a jar of asparagus, a package of seaweed, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bag of popcorn.   I felt like the very hungry caterpillar. Oh yeah… and a cup of Swiss Miss Light Hot Cocoa (but that doesn’t count, right?)  But… it could’ve been worse (remember, it can ALWAYS be worse!) But seriously, you know those nights when all you want to do is EAT? And when you’re trying to make good choices, gosh-darn you better have something more exciting in the house than carrot sticks.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t eat nighttime snacks out of hunger—it’s more out of habit or to feed some kind of emotional need. (BTW, emotional doesn’t mean that your boyfriend broke up with you and you feel sad or depressed or lonely. Emotional eating simply means that you are eating for reasons other than being physically hungry. You could be exhausted, anxious, bored, or simply happy and relieved that the kids are in bed and you now have some “me” time!) I’m not one who believes that you should eat dinner at 6 and not eat anything again until bedtime (though there are some). Does that bring you joy? Do you think you could sustain that forever? Or does it feel like you’re miserable and hungry and on a diet (If you feel that way you will NEVER be able to do this FOREVER) I think a better way to approach it is to find snacks that satisfy you and don’t trigger the eater in you. So if you find yourself going back for spoon-after-spoon of peanut butter or cup-after-cup of cereal or “just-one-more” mini ice-cream bar, those are not safe snacks for you (at this time).  It’s really just about substitutions and getting more bang for your buck. I’ll give you some of my go-to nighttime snacks—pretty please share them on FB, pin them, forward them to a friend. And I’d love to hear from you! Are evenings difficult for you? What are y’all snacking on after dinner? Please add your comments below. xoxo   Sip on tea It’s incredibly soothing and gives your hands—and lips—something to do! Rooibos (“Red Bush”) Tea—comes from South Africa (where I’m from—but you already knew that, right?) and you can now find it all over the US.  It has all the good properties of green tea but without caffeine. And the best part is it counts toward your water intake.  My faves are Trader Joe’s Rooibos & Honeybush tea and Republic of Tea Vanilla Rooibos >> Read the amazing health benefits here >> Did you know… You don’t have to...

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Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)
Jan18

Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)

My girlfriend asked me for healthy snack ideas, so I quickly threw together this list… and I thought you all might find it helpful too! (Well… do you? Please pin it, share it, and leave a comment below!) Remember the old diet myth that you should have three meals a day and no snacks in-between? Well, that is total and absolute nonsense! You should make sure to eat something every two to three hours and NEVER let yourself get to that point of being so hungry that the best goals and intentions fly out the window.  The key is to learn the difference between a snack and a “treat”. A snack tides you over to the next meal and is healthy and balanced. A treat is… well, you know… a “treat”. When you have a choice, always choose fresh, natural, unprocessed snacks (and food)… but I’m including other options for when you can’t get to fresh. And always try to include some protein which will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Check labels for sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t read or understand. If you’re following Weight Watchers, use the (new and improved) handy-dandy app to calculate the points. FYI: SmartPoints are now calculated by calories, SUGAR, protein, and saturated fat. (They used to be calculated by fat, fiber and protein) So some bars that were a good choice before aren’t the best choice now.  Here are some of my go-to snacks—hope you find them helpful. And please tell me yours! Just add them to the comments section below, or on my OrnaBakes Facebook post  >> (you ARE already following me on FB, right?) Remember—don’t leave your house without arming yourself with some healthy snacks! Many of these items are available on Amazon Prime—I’ve linked to them when possible. (I LOVE Amazon Prime!!!) Click here for info on 30-day FREE trial for Amazon Prime >>  Look out for part two COMING SOON: Favorite Night Time Snacks xoxo     Yogurt I always have tons of different yogurts in my fridge. The best choice is a plain, fat free or low fat Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit, but when I don’t have time for that… I love Dannon Light & Fit (My fav flavor is Coconut) I heart Eli Quark (which, believe-it-or-not, actually isn’t yogurt – it’s German-style cheese!) (WW Simply Filling) Add some sliced bananas to the Caramel one for a delicious treat. Or bulk up the Strawberry (my fav) with fresh strawberries. You get the idea. Lovin’ thick and creamy Icelandic yogurt which seems to be popping up everywhere. My favs are Siggi’s Acai and Mixed Berries –...

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Oatmeal Squares Giveaway & TWO Coaching Spots left!
Jul21

Oatmeal Squares Giveaway & TWO Coaching Spots left!

Peeps of all ages are telling me how much they looove Corazonas Mini Oatmeal Squares—which were right at the top of my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post a few weeks ago.   My #1 Travel Snack because they: taste like home-baked healthy goodness remind me of my Traditional South African Oatmeal Crunchies (my most searched and shared recipe, and most requested by friends and family) are kid friendly don’t melt in the car are just the right size to tide you over to the next feeding (and fit in your purse) are only 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus each are waaay more “worthy” than spending 10 points on baked goods (You probably saw them on my Starbucks & La Boulange Picks and Points post) are heart-healthy Today I’m kicking off a GIVEAWAY of a box of delicious Corazonas Oatmeal Minis. The lucky winner will soon have 11 Peanut Butter (my fav) and 11 Chocolate Chip squares show up at their doorstep. (Now that’s a fun package!) See below for details.   Summer Coaching Special I had a fantastic response to my Summer Coaching Special and have loved connecting with each and every new person. I only have TWO spots left, so if you’re interested make sure to contact me ASAP. I’m afraid I cannot take on more than ten new clients, so once the last two  spots are taken that’s it for the summer intake.   Here’s how to enter the Corazonas Giveaway (SO EASY): Subscribe to my OrnaBakes newsletters (if you haven’t already) Simply scroll to the top of the page and enter your email address (which I will NEVER share or abuse!) Visit my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post and leave a comment with your favorite travel snacks, and let me know that you’re entering to win the Corazonas Giveaway and tell me where you shared the post. (see next) Share the Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest (only one is necessary, but the more the merrier!) The winner will be randomly selected on Thursday July 31st in a subsequent post. The winner will then have 24 hours to get in touch with me, or a new winner will be randomly selected. US-only So… what are you waiting for? Celebrate healthy travel snacks with me today… Go to the post and enter the...

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Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal
Jul11

Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal

In two weeks (yikes!) we’re off for a three night mini-vacay with five other couples and our littles. It’s interesting what fear and panic three little days has instilled in me. The fact that Palm Springs will be like an oven, and we’ll basically be parking in the pool, isn’t helping. Plus, said friends are all a) gorgeous and b) much younger than me. After wasting hours and energy discussing this (with sister, trainer, friends, and—I know I’m not supposed to, but yes—hubby too), I’ve come to the conclusion that: Everyone feels self-conscious in a bathing suit. (Or “costume”—as we called it in South Africa. Took me a while to stop saying that one!) I mean, obviously I’m not referring to the godly workout freaks who count the days (with joy) until they get to bare their bods to the rest of us mere mortals. But even the skinny minnies beat up on themselves and feel scrutinized. (Why, oh why is that?!)   Do you feel self-conscious in a bathing suit? Has it stopped you from having the summer fun you deserve?   I decided that the first step to feeling better about the trip was to get a brand new bikini, because: a) I’m sick of squeezing the water out of the Vic Sec “Bombshell” bikini tops I already own—not to mention the extreme neck ache (and occasional bruising) from all that padding—especially once they’re saturated with water. (Though I’m pretty good at discreetly squeezing them out with my inner arms.) b) You know how they say getting brand new, cute workout outfit will inspire you to work out? Well, it’s the same with a bathing suit. If you have one that you love—that’s comfortable and flattering—you’ll feel better, hold yourself proudly, and look less self-conscious. And people will be attracted to your positive aura instead of staring at your body parts.   Bikini Buying I must say that Diane’s Beachwear at the Calabasas Commons made it far more bearable. (They have 21 branches nationwide) I’m thinking they probably (no definitely) have some special lighting that hides the lumps, bumps, and bulges. With the encouragement of sweet and sassy Mara, I didn’t even try on one black thing. And a one-piece? Not for me. Here I am attempting to take a selfie of a flirty, fun two-piece to send to hubby.  Unfortunately, when I pulled the cover-up over my head, I revealed more of myself than planned, so went with the safer orange bandeau—way less chance of a wardrobe malfunction when I pick up my four-year-old. Plus it reminds me of the “boob-tube” orange bikini that I had when I was a little girl. (And brings me the same joy.)...

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How I Gained 4 Pounds in 4 Days (NY Confessions)
Jun26

How I Gained 4 Pounds in 4 Days (NY Confessions)

We’re back from 7 nights in New York and Boston, and after a fantastic trip I’m happy to say there’s no place like home! I’m definitely a West Coast girl. Staying smack dab in the middle of Times Square did not a relaxing vacation make. But we didn’t go there to relax! And what a trip to be staying “On Broadway!” (Those of you who knew me in my musical theater days will appreciate that.)     I was sooo happy that I packed my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks when we were delayed for NINE hours. (You might have seen my #IHateDelta tweets) Who needs stale pretzels when you have Cosomi Cookie-Crackers? Anthony Bordain’s Kitchen Confidential on my iPad Mini kept me from losing it completely! (Though I’m not sure I wanted to hear what really goes on in the kitchens of NYC just before dining in some of them. Scaaaary.) We checked into The W Hotel at 3:45am (!), and were ecstatic that Hazel had attempted to erase our nightmare travel day with a gorgeous corner suite on the 55th floor. After numerous warnings about teeny-tiny NYC hotel rooms, we were stoked. (Can you say upgrade?!) And so ensued a Four Day Eating Fiasco You must know by now that I’m a bonafide foodie, and despite having a (mostly) healthy food blog, I’m obviously into baked goods, hence the name “OrnaBakes.” So I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity for trying good eats across NYC. It’s a good thing we walked for MILES each day. (Would you believe I forgot to take my FitBit Flex!!!)   Everyone asks me the same thing: What was your favorite food? So here it is!   Eataly (sigh) Wow. What an experience. I mean—there’s an entire Nutella Room! (Check out my Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Nutella Sauce for the BEST dessert EVER!)       Seriously the best pizza ever to pass my lips—with fresh buffalo mozzarella that tasted like Italy.   And who knew that simple spaghetti in butter, olive oil, parmesan and pepper could taste so unbelievable!   And then of course I couldn’t miss fresh Hazelnut Gelatto. (My top 5 foods on earth)   Fun to watching these friendly bakers effortlessly make foccaccia. (Not sure why there were three of them on this task. But it looks interesting!)   Sam was ecstatic to find his beloved GUS (Grown Up Soda) which is increasingly hard to find in LA. (Gelsons still carries it)   I was so overwhelmed by the shelves and shelves of magnificent Italian confections, that I didn’t even come away with a single one! (Plus I knew if I bought a...

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