A younger, more youthful, YOU!

collagen peptides

So two weeks ago, it was my birthday!  Its crazy to think (at least in my head) that I am in my LATE twenties now.  I feel like it was my 21st birthday yesterday, so feeling like 6 years of my life went by with the snap of a finger seems unbelievable to me!  At the same time, when I look back to where I was then, and where I am now, I cannot help but love where I am now.  Of course, there are many factors that have changed but when talking about my own personal health & fitness, so much has changed for the better as well. 

For most of those who have known me for a long time, they know that since the age of like 18, I ran 7 miles, 6 days a week for the most part.   Running became like a ‘baby’ to me and a passion.  I plan to write a post on this in the future but to explain a long story short, I quit long distance running early in 2015.  Besides the crazy amounts of stress on my body, I also was hungry 24/7 and struggled with anemia due to loss of iron when sweating for such a prolonged period of time.

Thinking about how much has changed over this period of time allowed me to realize how much has also changed in regards to my nutrition!  I always tell people about how making small changes is how to see results and over my lifetime thus far, although I never made many drastic changes, I made tons of small ones that when I look back I think WOW to where I was years ago! 

All of this to say, when I was thinking of aging, a lot of my focus recently has been on hormonal fat loss and longevity.  Of course, we all hope to live long, healthy lives but thinking of ways we can aid in the longevity of this process is always something I strive to do and love researching.  While I firmly believe that eating whole foods and reducing sugar intake is a huge part in looking & feeling young, I also enjoy a little help from different dietary supplements.

Today, I am sharing one of my favorite products I have found that really helps me… which is.. Collagen Peptides!!! Collagen supplies essential proteins that our bodies use to build and repair bones, joints and much more.  Collagen production typically slows at a rate of 1.5% per year after the age of 25!  One of the effects of aging is that the collagen fibers break down and become brittle thus making you look and feel older. In taking this powder supplement over the last 2 years, I have found not only is my hair and skin better, but I love that it is also good for your joints/bones along with being a tool for building lean muscle mass.

After my many years of running and also with the lifting I do now, I used to feel some soreness which is why I started researching a few years ago.  Two years later, I can say I no longer feel the soreness but I also have found my skin to be so much firmer!  In a lot of the research I have done, many people have found that this collagen powder is said to have reduced fine lines and made skin more plump.  I also purchased it for my mom about a year ago and she has found it has helped her joints remarkably and her skin looks much more youthful (not that it didn’t already, Mom ;)! )

What is it?  Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints.  These proteins are needed by the body to build connective tissue and regulate the functions of the cells.

How do I use this?  I love to put this in my nutri-bullet along with almond milk and protein powder post-workout in the morning.  A few other people that I have recommended this product to blend almond milk, PB2 and a natural sweetener.

vital proteins collagen peptides

vital proteins collagen powder

Here are some of the benefits of collagen but more can also be found here!

Collagen Peptides Benefits:

  • Promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails
  • Helps keep bones healthy and strong
  • Supports joint health
  • Contributes to a balanced diet and helps maintain weight
  • Supports healthy inflammation response due to overexercise
  • Natural glycine improves sleep quality.
  • Bone and Mineral Density
  • Joint Health
  • Inflammatory response due to joint overuse or exercise
  • Restore Muscle
  • Maintain a lean body
  • Stabilize Appetite
  • Lose & Maintain Weight
  • Increase Athletic Performance

Give it a try and let me know what you think!! πŸ™‚

Alyssa’s Comprehensive Gluten-free Food List – Gluten Free Part 2

Trader Joe's gluten-free bread

You have just been told that you have Celiac or gluten sensitivity and you are unsure what to do. I felt this way when I started but with the knowledge in this post, you can take the first steps in changing your diet to become a better and healthier YOU! I tend to call the new lifestyle you will begin “gluten-free living” because the whole idea of the word “diet” makes me think of restriction, restriction, restriction! I don’t want this to become a “diet” for you, I want this to be a “lifestyle” that is easy to maintain! 

Cutting out gluten does not mean an end to delicious and exciting meals. It is only the beginning to a lifestyle of feeling good AND enjoying what you eat! One of the reasons that I have grown to love going gluten-free is that not being able to have the wheat I used to has opened my eyes to enjoying REAL foods even more than I ever did before. Please note that it is not that hard and can make an amazinggggg difference in the way you feel. If you are not feeling well and it is unexplained, I urge you to try cutting out gluten because there are so many ailments out there that are linked to gluten sensitivity. Someone might say their stomach hurts and the next person might say they have migraines but both can be symptoms of gluten sensitivity. 
 
Below I have compiled a list of naturally gluten-free items and also some of my favorite gluten-free brands and different products they have to offer! πŸ™‚
Alyssa's Comprehensive Gluten-free Food List
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Gluten-free Starch/flours
  1. Almond flour
  2. Amaranth
  3. Arrowroot flour
  4. Beans
  5. Cassava flour
  6. Cashew meal
  7. Chickpea flour
  8. Coconut flour
  9. Corn flour
  10. Corn grits
  11. Cornmeal
  12. Cornstarch
  13. Flax (seeds or meal)
  14. Legumes
  15. Millet
  16. Nuts
  17. Oats and oat flour (only when specified gluten-free)
  18. Popcorn
  19. Potatos
  20. Quinoa
  21. Rice
  22. Rice flour
  23. Sourghum
  24. Soy (NOT soy sauce)
  25. Tapioca
  26. Yam
  27. Yucca
  28. *Bob's Red Mill has such an awesome display of gluten-free flours, pizza crusts, and more. It is one of my favorite brands.
Naturally gluten-free foods
Dairy
  1. Cheese (unprocessed)
  2. Ice Cream (not cookie dough, cookies n cream, or anything that has cookie/brownie in it)
  3. Milk - coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk
  4. Half & Half
  5. Whipping cream
  6. Yogurt (read labels of yogurt with fruit or additives)
  7. Butter/ghee -add Kerrygold to your list -delicious grass-fed butter!
  8. Margerine
  9. Cottage cheese
  10. Cream cheese
  11. Sour cream
  12. Eggs
Produce
  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Herbs
  4. (all of these fresh or frozen are naturally gluten-free)
Beverages
  1. Alcohol - champagne, wine and other distilled alcohol is gluten-free
  2. Beer (gluten-free only)
  3. Gatorade
  4. Coffee (check label on flavored coffee as some is flavored with malt which contains gluten)
  5. Tea
  6. Juice
  7. Soda
Protein
  1. Unprocessed meats, poultry & fish
  2. Hummus
  3. Legumes
  4. Tofu
  5. Seeds
  6. Nut butters
  7. Quinoa
  8. Canned meat - Most all meats, fruit, olives and vegetable are safe but if they are in any sauce, check the label to make sure it is ok!
  9. Soup - you must check the label on this one!
Condiments
  1. Jams/Jellies/Marmalade
  2. Nuts
  3. Ketchup
  4. Coconut aminos
  5. Tamari Sauce - this is GF soy sauce
  6. Mayonnaise
  7. Marinara Sauce (I have never seen an issue with this one but to be sure make sure to read the label!)
  8. Vinegar
  9. Vegetable broth - check chicken broth's as many are not GF
  10. Spices (McCormick makes a gluten-free taco seasoning. MOST other are not gluten-free! I usually make my own here :))
Baking Items
  1. Baking soda - I use Bob's Red Mill GF
  2. Baking powder - I use Bob's Red Mill GF
  3. raw cocoa powder
Sweeteners
  1. Honey
  2. Maple syrup
  3. Coconut sugar
Oils
  1. Vegetable
  2. Canola
  3. Sesame
  4. Flax seed
  5. Coconut
  6. Olive oil
  7. Cooking Spray (Trader Joe's and PAM are GF - check label otherwise)
Cereals
  1. Oatmeal - Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Oats are my go-to
  2. Cheerios - check for the GF label!
  3. Arrowhead Mills - makes a lot of gluten-free options
  4. Chex Mix
  5. Kellogg's Gluten-free Special K
  6. Van's - makes a lot of gluten-free cereals
  7. Natures Path Organic – now makes gluten-free cereal options
Here are some of my favorites!
  1. Bread - Trader Joe's gluten-free bread - you can find GF bread at any supermarket although this is my favorite.
  2. Garden of Eatin' - their tortilla chips and taco shells are the absolute best!
  3. Mission corn tortillas
  4. Udi's granola - my go-to when I am search for a gluten-free granola
  5. Conte's Ravioli - my favorite treat on our Italian holidays!
  6. Amy's frozen meals and soups (only those labeled gluten-free)
  7. Dr. Praeger's Burgers
  8. Pizza - Trader Joe's gluten-free pizza or Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust are my favorites!
  9. Bell & Evans gluten-free chicken cutlets / chicken nuggets
Alyssa Grieco http://alyssagrieco.com/
  
Some points to remember when you are out grocery shopping:
1. Read all labels.
2. Wheat-free does not mean gluten-free.
3. Salad bars and other items in bulk bins cannot be guaranteed gluten-free due to possible cross-contamination issues.
4.  If it does not say gluten-free and you are questionable about it, skip it!! πŸ™‚
 
 I find that when I walk through the aisles of my local stores, I see gluten-free labeled items everywhere! The thing we must be careful of is additives in things you would think are gluten-free.  These days, SOOO many brands have come out with gluten-free items so while I try to make my own gluten-free foods, if I want something in particular, there ARE tons of options out there making it very easy! 
 
I just wanted to mention to sign up for my email list in the right hand column of my page to get on my mailing list for emails on nutrition & fitness!! Anyway, that’s all I have for today!  Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Protein Waffles + My YOUTUBE Channel!

Happy Friday!!! Hope you all had a fabulous week!  So much has been going on lately, its been quite chaotic but one thing I’ve been working on that I wanted to share was the launch of my Youtube channel!!  If you are reading this, thank you!! πŸ™‚ I spend a lot of time writing the content of the blog and currently studying but I wanted to put this video together on one of my favorite, simple, gluten-free recipes that I absolutely LOVE…Protein Waffles!!  We literally eat them ALL the time.  If you have the chance, make these! You will not be disappointed! πŸ™‚

Anyway, here’s to my first video!!

Thanks for watching!

xoxoox