Foodscanner Application for iphone – Daily Burn

6593816If you have ever read anything about weight loss or staying on track on a diet, I am sure that you have encountered people encouraging you to write down any and everything that you eat and drink. This helps you keep track of how many calories you are consuming, what different types of food you are overdoing and what you are lacking. This seems extremely tedious, and from my personal experience it is very easy to lose motivation to write everything down. When I have tracked my eating patterns though, I have been successful in a weight/health management program.

So, unless you are OCD about taking notes and writing things your everyday activities down, chances are you won’t succeed for long. I found an application on iphone that might help you out with this. All you do is scan the barcode on the item that you are going to eat, plug in your serving size, and your calories will be recorded. Finally an end to the food journal!

1. DailyBurn’s FoodScanner is the first and only application that uses the iPhone’s camera to scan the UPC codes of foods and link them with full nutritional information (calories, macronutrients, etc.).

2. With a built-in database of more than 200,000 foods, it is the easiest way to accurately log what you eat during the day and keep an up-to-date calorie and nutrient count. All information is automatically synced with DailyBurn’s sophisticated workout and nutrition-tracking web application.

3. You don’t have to use the new 3GS with auto-focus. It works accurately on all iPhones using the most accurate scanning technology for iPhone – Occipital’s Red Laser.

4. You can also track natural foods (not processed) by searching by name or brand

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Make Your Own Granola!

There is nothing more that I enjoy than a large bowl of yogurt with berries of sorts, granola, and walnuts in the morning. Add some agave nectar and cinnamon to it, and you are sure to quickly become my favorite person! I have a recipe for you that will make this concoction EVEN better! Although it will take some more time than just buying already packaged granola, it will be much better for your body and your mind. Not only are you creating a to-die-for morning snack, but you can also relieve stress and take some time for yourself while cooking it. There is nothing better than a little time in the kitchen with delicious outcome!

Here is how to make your OWN GRANOLA!granola_step1

1. In a large bowl, stir together three cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, three tablespoons brown sugar, a quarter teaspoon kosher salt, and a half teaspoon cinnamon.

2. In another bowl, stir together one-third cup honey, a quarter cup canola oil, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Dump this over the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. Get your hands in it to mix everything well, and to coat the oats evenly with the honey mixture. Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a baking sheet and place on the center rack of the heated oven. Bake, stirring after 15 minutes, until the granola is a very light golden brown. It should take 20 to 30 minutes. If you like your granola crunchier with a toastier flavor, bake it a little longer, keeping a close eye on it—if it gets dark it will taste burnt.

4. Cool the granola completely, stirring it around so it doesn’t stick together. (It hardens as it cools.)

granola_step35. Once the granola’s cool, get creative: Now is the time to stir in all your extras like dried fruit, raw or toasted nuts and seeds, toasted coconut, etc. Store in an airtight container (this is very important—the granola goes stale easily) and eat within two weeks.

MMMMMMM… time to enjoy!!

Re-energize Your Life

energetic-woman-beach-lgYou constantly hear people complaining about how tired they are (me included). Most of us blame it on the fact that we have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. Often though, the culprits are what we are eating, how we are sleeping, and how we are coping. Here are some useful tips to that I have found to hopefully help re-energize your batteries!

Re-energize your diet

Have breakfast, even if you’re not hungry. You’ll feel perkier and ready to bring on the day both mentally and physically.

Eat every three to four hours. Having three smallish meals and two snacks throughout the day can keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day long. Note the word “smallish.” Supersized meals demand more of your energy to digest, which can leave you feeling lethargic.

Fill up on Fiber. It has a time releasing effect on carbs when they enter the bloodstream, giving your energy more staying power

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Water makes up such a large part of our body and we need to keep it hydrated at all times. I have often found that many times I will confuse my thirst for hunger or fatigue. All you need is a large glass of water!

Energize your spirit

Splash water on your face when you’re feeling burned-out. This can quickly make you more alert or take the edge off when you are feeling just a little too overwhelmed.

Suit up. It seems so much easier to throw on a pair of sweats to go to school in when you are feeling sluggish. However, put on a respectable outfit and the reflection in the mirror looking back at you may just suddenly feel empowered by the energizing image.

Listen to music. Turning on some tunes is one of the most powerful ways to change your mood, decrease tension, and increase energy. Think about when you are at the gym. It is much easier to workout on a boring machine when you have headphones to listen to. Time and calories will fly by much quicker than if you were to listen to the rattles of the machine below you.

De-clutter a corner. Clutter can make you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, especially when you are already feeling down. Pick a corner and go at it! You may end up de-cluttering an entire room of the house. This will put you more at ease. Even the smallest accomplishment will instantly re-energize you.

 

And now get some good and relaxing rest… we all know we need it!

Wanderlust Festival

picture-4Wow!! I know I just blogged about a yoga retreat, but this one has me way too excited to let it slide… I have to let you in on this! This is a new kind of “festival” bringing together two things that I love (music and yoga). Not only are some world-renowned yoga professionals attending and teaching, but some amazing bands will be performing as well. As if it already sounds too good to be true, it will be taking place in LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA! Ugh! I’ve heard that it is unbelievable there and have been wanting to go forever! Ok ok let me brush my excitement to the side and give you some details 🙂

MUSIC. YOGA. NATURE.

It will be taking place July 24- July 26 in Squaw Valley USA in Lake Tahoe, California. Some featured bands are Micheal Franti and Spearhead, Spoon, Andrew Bird, Jenny Lewis, Broken Social Scene, Gillian Welch, Girl Talk, Sharon Jones and the Dap, Kings, Rouge Wave, Amanda Palmer, and many more. The featured yogis include John Friend, Shirva Rae, Annie Carpenter, Christy Nones, Doug Swenson, Doucan Wong, and Elena Brower.

I have read so many reviews from last year that make it impossible to miss this event! New York Times even boasted about it last year! Here is the link to that article… http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/arts/music/28yoga.html?_r=2&ref=music.

Another great thing about this festival is price. Being a poor college student makes it difficult to afford these yoga retreats that often coast upwards of $400! With Wanderlust you can purchase a weekend package or just do individual day packets. The day packets range from $24.50 to $69.50. Not bad I’d say! For all three days it is only $124.50! Really? Only that much to see numerous top name bands with expert yogis!? Sounds like a great deal to me!

… Now I just need a partner, who’s with me?

More Information located at http://www.wonderlustfestival.com – Check it out!

Yoga Retreat

So now that you’re into yoga 🙂 (I’m just assuming because who wouldn’t be?) I wanted to let you know about a retreat that is coming up. I won’t be able to make it because of school, but highly consider it if you have some time to spare!

It is called the Ojai Yoga Crib

The crib is yoga pilgrimage. Built on the rich, spiritual tradition of the Ojai Valley, the yoga practices, meditations, and evening events take place in some of the most historically significant and sacred spots in the Valley.

“Ojai is a mystical place that has long been understood as a spiritual pilgrimage destination. Nestled in the arms of the South Padre National Forrest, the Ojai is derived from the Chumash word “Awahi”. The word is often thought to mean “the nest” or “the moon” and Ojai is often called “The Valley of the Moon” (www.lulubandhas.com).

Along with this spiritual retreat you get amazing food. All the food is locally and organically grown by Steve Sprinkle and John Folyten. These foods are deliciously prepared so that you will feel nourished and loved with each and every bite. Breakfast and lunch will be served at the Crib headquarters. You will find chai, fresh squeezed orange juice, organic homemade muffins, fruit, and other treats in the mornings. Delicious organic soups and salads will be served at lunch.

The yoga classes range from 20 to 60 people depending on the venue. The staff will handcraft your schedule to ensure a combination of intimate close practices along side full vibrant octane gatherings. This will alow you to truly have a one of a kind experience!

If your interested the upcoming dates are Friday, October 23 – Sunday, October 25 and the tickets are $400. There is also more information available at lulubandhas.com.

ENJOY!!! …. wish I could be there with you 😦

Ohm… yoga

yogaIf you follow me on twitter, or have read as I have expressed how hard it was to get myself to yoga while I’m overloaded with school work, you know that I’m into it. I recently turned to yoga when I was going through a “rough patch”. It gave me so many benefits beyond just body transformation. If anyone is new to yoga, possibly interested in looking into it, or just confused with the different kinds, I have compiled a short description to get things straight!

Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of Ancient India, where yoga begun, and refers to the union between mind, body, and spirit. Yoga combines the mind and the body, pushing yourself into postures that you never thought possible, and developing both strength and flexibility. Each pose has specific physical benefits and can be done quickly to heat up the body, or more slowly in order to properly align the body. Although the approach to the pose can vary depending on what style yoga you take, the pose itself remains the same.

Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga start with general well being. This is what initially drew me and helped me to find my way out of my difficult times. It takes a holistic approach that teaches people to look at the world in a different light and be present in each and every moment. Some physical benefits to note include:

  • Increased strength and flexibility, providing longer and leaner muscles
  • Relaxation and stress relief
  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Detoxification of the body

Types of Yoga

Depending on your personality and what you want to get out of yoga, there are many different choices to choose from. Here are some of my favorites…

  • Bikram (Hot Yoga)

A hot yoga practice which is practiced in front of mirrors. Bikram focuses on alignment and strength through repetition of 26 postures. The room is set between 95 – 100 degrees. This is great from people who have a competitive side to them or are high energy individuals. Also, due to the large number of repetitions this is a good practice for those who are routine lovers.

  • Lyengar

An alignment focused practice that use’s yoga props including blocks, straps, and blankets. Long holds and deep breathing are emphasized. This is great for beginners who are seeking the correct yoga postures and people who need to focus on their relaxation techniques.

  • Power

This is a fast flowing yoga practice, typically done in a hot studio. This provides a cardiovascular workout in addition to extreme stretching. This is great for those who want to add yoga to their regular fitness routine.

  • Yin

This is concentrated on stretching the bodies connective tissue through long holds. This practice causes surrender and deep relaxation throughout the practice. This is a great compliment to more active forms of yoga as well as those who are looking for complete and utter relaxation and grounding.

Mixed-Bean Minestrone…. healthy status!

Here in Boulder, Colorado it has been an early winter! Brrrr.. was NOT expecting snow on the ground in October! Really? My healthy salads and yogurts with granola just don’t seem to be appetizing when its freezing outside and I’m sitting under blankets with boots on. After endless attempts and reading reviews of soups, I found one that proves to be nutritious and delicious! And let’s face it, I’m not the best cook… so no worries there is no need to be a food magician with this!

It is an Italian vegetable soup that will keep you warm and fill you up during the cold winter months! Personally, I left a few of the vegetables cut and added them as accents on top. Add some whole wheat bread on the side and you have a super dinner. Hmmmm… deliciousoooo!

Mixed-Bean Minestrone Stew:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed dried beans (navy, kidney, garbanzo)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 carrots, pealed and sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pealed and cubed eggplant
  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatos
  • 1 large potato (Idaho or baking)
  • 6 cups purified water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh green beans or frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups alphabet pasta
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated parmasan cheese
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

Soak the beans in a large pot with six cups of water overnight. Add the bay leaf to the pot and place over medium heat, and boil the beans for 45 minutes or until tender (they should pierce easily with a fork). Meanwhile, you can prepare the vegetables.

In a seperate large pot, soak the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in the olive oil on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring about occasionally to bring out the natural vegetable flavoring. Stir in the Italian seasoning, chili flakes, rosemary, and salt, along with the eggplant, tomatos, potatoes, and any other vegetables that you’d like to use. Then pour in the water (or stock) and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add the cooked beans, green beans or peas, and pasta to the soup and cook for another 15 minutes on medium heat.

Serve in a large bowl with fresh cracked pepper and fresh parmasan cheese. You could also add pesto sauce if you’d like.minestrone

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