What’s Up With Collagen Peptides?

Earlier this month I decided to jump on the Collagen Peptide trend I kept seeing on Instagram, and my friends at BeLive were kind enough to send me some product to try. I’ve been compensated for my time, but my opinions are (as always) my own.

I started seeing Collagen Peptides on social media after the Fab.Fit.Fun. boxes featured samples in their Summer Box. Everyone who tried them was remarking on how the usually colorless, flavorless supplement would keep them satiated, or fuller, longer. Since it has no caloric value – this sounded like a great deal to me!

And, once I started researching I discovered all of the positive side effective taking collagen peptides can have on the body. Collagen is a building block of hair, skin, nails, tendons, bones, and cartilages. As we get older, the production of collagen slows down, and our body loses the cell strength in those body parts.

Skin elasticity and the emergence of wrinkles are definitely on my mind these days. Gaining and then losing over -100lbs has definitely exposed some wrinkles I didn’t have before, and (if I’m being candid) I have some sagging skin that no amount of toning and working out is going to fix.

So taking collagen peptides in conjunction with toning exercises sounded like a really great way to work on firming my skin, while also getting the benefit of that satiation.

BeLive offers their products via Amazon, and even more importantly – via Amazon Prime. With my commuting schedule, I don’t have a lot of time to errands, so having it delivered to my door is an added bonus! And, if I’m being honest, the price is right. Losing weight is expensive and all of the healthy foods and supplements can really add up. I’ve seen collagen peptides cost anywhere from $40-75 per container, so $18.99 per container is an awesome value.

After three weeks of adding a scoop of collagen peptides to my menus, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. You can’t dissolve collagen peptides in just any liquid. You need hot liquids to dissolve the powder or trust me, you’ll know it. I know people say they put them into smoothies with no issue but that was NOT my experience. I definitely tasted them in nonfat fruit smoothies, but when I added them to lemon zinger tea or hot coffee, I didn’t notice them at all.

2. The anecdotes about satiation are real. I put a scoop of collagen peptides into my morning coffee, and that beverage, a hard boiled egg and a banana kept me full all morning long. My metabolism is pretty high, so that says a lot about their efficacy.

3. After three weeks, I definitely noticed improved nail growth, and I think my toe nails (long brittle and weak from the gel polish) feel stronger. I’m eager to see what my hairdresser says about my hair when I see her in a few weeks!

Have you ever tried collagen peptides? Have you had positive impacts on your body? Tell me about it in the comments!

BeLive is offering Trading Cardio for Cosmos readers 15% off with the code “COSMOS15” at checkout on Amazon! Best of all – the collagen peptides are also eligible for Amazon Prime shipping!

Check it out HERE!

Creating a Healthy Thanksgiving – It IS Possible!

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday all about gathering together with friends and family, and all I remember from being a kid was how FUN it was to be with a big group of people I love, all in one place.

These days we do two Thanksgivings – one with Mr. Big’s family and then one at my grandparents’ home in my hometown. Mr. Big’s family does a big Italian-influenced Thanksgiving with soup, antipasto and then turkey. They used to do a lasagna course too, but now they do it the next day.  At my grandparents’ house there is a serious cocktail hour-and-a-half and then a full dinner with a wild turkey someone harvested, and then the regular domestic variety from the store.

So what I’m saying is, there’s a LOT of food that day, and I do everything I can to keep myself on track!

I’ve put together some delicious recipes to help you cut calories or SmartPoints, without giving up your Thanksgiving favorites! Check them out:

Appetizers

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Creamy Spanakopita Tarts

Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus

Sausage, Garlic & Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

The Main Event

How to Roast a Turkey

Skinny Rosemary Gravy

Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole

Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Skinny Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Chives

Cranberry Pear Sauce

Cocktails

Sparkling Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

Cranberry Champagne Cocktails

Pumpkin Martini

Autumn Sangria

Dessert

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake Cups

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Ginger Molasses Quinoa Cookies

Pecan Pie Bites

Mini Sweet Potato Meringue Pies

Apple Cranberry Crisp

 

What are your favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes? Share them in the comments below!

Staying On Track While Traveling

It’s HARD to stay on track while traveling!

I have an active travel schedule that’s a pretty good blend of work hard and play hard, and it often takes me away from the routines I’ve developed throughout my weight loss journey.

This week I was in San Francisco for work and now I’m off to Curacao for a wedding, and I am determined not to let four airplanes, two hotel rooms and nine days away from home totally derail me from my weight loss goals. So I researched, I strategized and I made a plan for success.

Here are my 7 tips for Staying on Track While Traveling:

Make a plan for getting hydrated. I always carry my reusable Weight Watchers water bottle and fill it up in the filling stations in the train station or airport. In a pinch, I’ve also asked the restaurants or cafes to fill it up once I pass airport security!

I request a fridge in my room to give myself access to healthy options.  I tell the hotel I have items that must be refrigerated and they usually accommodate. Once I have one, I hit up the local grocery story or bodega for fresh fruit, bottled water or seltzer and some hard boiled eggs or cheese. It saves me money because I’m not eating every meal out and it ensures I have all the things I need to be successful.

 

I make a plan for exercise. It’s not enough to bring the gym clothes – I make a plan for how I’m going to use them. In random cities I like to find exercise I couldn’t or haven’t done yet at home. I first tried SoulCycle in Chicago, Indoor Surfing in New Orleans and Beachfront Yoga in Sarasota. It’s so fun to have these adventures while traveling!

Find shelf-stable snacks to bring with you when you’re tempted to eat junk! I usually bring a variety of healthy shelf-stable snacks like olives, individual pretzels, turkey or chicken jerky, RXBars or other protein bars. Sometimes I use them as meal replacements, and sometimes I just supplement a piece of fresh fruit with one of the snacks to make a more satisfying snack or meal to tide me over until I arrive at my final destination.

I make it a no-elevator, no-escalator trip. When Momma Shelley and I were on the Weight Watchers cruise we took the stairs for the whole trip! More than 330 flights of stairs over the seven days – our legs and our booties were on fire by the end, but it was totally worth it!

I sample the cuisine of the region. I love to find healthy options in whatever city I’m in. Cioppino in San Francisco, venison in upstate New York, delicious fish tacos in Santa Barbara, turkey brisket in St. Louis, red fish in New Orleans – I want to try whatever’s local because it’s fresh and delicious and usually way better than the reheated, microwaved chain food you find while traveling for work.

I practice my healthy habits. Life is pretty hectic, but work travel often gives us a little time away from our home life and home obligations, so I use it as an opportunity for “me time.” I meditate, I do yoga in my hotel room, I make sure I get eight hours of sleep, I take baths – whatever I can to practice a little self-care.

What do you think? What do you do to stay on track while traveling?

 

Breaking Up With Sodium

As part of our Trading Cardio for Cosmos community, I teach monthly online classes and this week, one of my #GoalDiggers sent me an email and asked me about a low sodium diet.

I’m not a medical expert, but I found a lot of great resources, and wanted to also share them with you!

First of all – there’s sodium in EVERYTHING. I was amazed when I started researching just how much sodium is added to the foods we eat:


RESOURCES

THIS is a great resource for how to pick groceries and foods that are lower in sodium.

THIS is a great resource for how to eat low-sodium at popular US chain restaurants.

THIS is a great resource for low sodium food swaps.

THIS is a great resource for how to add flavor without adding salt.

RECIPES & LOW SODIUM SPICES

Low Sodium Cookbook (available on Amazon)

24 Low Sodium Recipes

Sodium-Free Spices

What about you? What are your favorite low sodium resource?