Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life is Mental Favorite Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

I am a huge fan of dessert. If you are familiar with the Life is Mental training, you already know that I do not believe in everyone eat cake! (In moderation)

Since I am confessing, I need to also share that I am a horrible cook; which means that I am a connoisseur of purchased foods. This is what makes this article so interesting. I found a recipe for healthy carrot cake cupcakes that I have baked successfully several times. I served these to the cast and crew during the filming of the Thinking Thin Reality Show sizzle reel and they were a huge hit. Everyone even knew I made them and still loved them! 

Sometimes we have to decide to eat things that taste a little wonky when we opt for a healthy alternative version of our favorite foods. Not this time. These cupcakes are the bomb. In fact, I like these better than the store bought (full of butter) cupcakes.

I found this recipe on The Tone It Up Girls are personal trainers with some great videos to get you motivated to work out. I found the cupcake recipe and a bikini body toning routine that I used immediately. Tone It Up Girls...You Rock!

If you are a dessert person like me, you have to try this recipe in your kitchen!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (Tone It Up Girls recommend organic)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes, no sugar added
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (I added a little more)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I added a little more)
  • Small pinch of cloves (I used two pinches)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar (I replaced this will Truvia)
  • 2 tbs natural stevia powder...or 6 packets of stevia natural sweetener

Add one at a time to dry mix while mixing...
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I used Smart Balance Omega Oil)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain organic Greek yogurt or Vegans can add 1/2 cup applesauce (this adds moisture)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Mix well and add 2 cups grated carrots and 1/4 cup chopped pecans and walnuts mixed

Fill cups about 3/4 full since these do not rise a lot. Bake anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on whether you are using a mini or regular cupcake pan

What about the frosting? Glad you asked...this is amazing!

Whip together...
  • 1 cup light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain, low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar (I added this a little at a time to my taste and did not use a full cup)

The Tone It Up Girls suggested adding vanilla protein powder to the frosting mix also. Protein powder in the cupcakes make them a lower glycemic index.

The Tone It Up Girls do not have the calorie count on their website and I did not hear back from my inquiry to them about this before writing this article, however, you can see by the ingredients that this is a healthy version of one of my favorite desserts. Enjoy these cupcakes as a guilt free dessert or as breakfast muffins also!

Connect with me on facebook and let me know how you liked them after you test the recipe out in your kitchen.

Healthy Eating!

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight this Holiday Season While Enjoying Holiday Foods

1. Use your salad plate for your meal. This will naturally cut at least 200 calories…especially since the salad plates we use now are super-sized. You can fill your plate without guilt since it is a smaller size. Because humans are visual eaters, you will naturally feel that this 'full' plate will fill you up and satisfy you.

2. Take a brisk walk every day. Whether you take a walk alone to center your thoughts and prepare for your day or you walk with family and friends to socialize, make sure you walk everyday to get physical activity that will burn calories. Don’t think you have time for walking? Yes, you do…build it into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther from the door. Every step counts!

3. Focus on the social aspect of the holidays instead of the food. If you are more excited about seeing your family and friends than you are about eating Grandma's pumpkin pie, you will not eat as much since that is not the focus. Trust me this works.

4. Eat whatever you choose in moderation. Do not restrict yourself from your favorite holiday foods. That is a set up for a binge. Your will power to not eat these foods will only last a certain length of time and then you will switch into rationalization mode. Rationalizing food typically leads to over indulgence. So eat a small amount of whatever you want and enjoy every bite!

5. Wear fitted clothes during the holidays as a constant motivator to make good food decisions and maintain your figure. If you feel good in your little black dress, you will not be as tempted to eat everything on the dessert tray and bust the zipper!

Happy Holidays!

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC
Don't miss my weekly weight loss training in 2011 on Life is Mental Mondays on my fan page!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Restaurant eating is making us fat!

Portion sizes are making you fat. The easy solution…reduce your portion sizes! Don’t roll your eyes at me…this works. Let me explain how.

I am a horrible cook so I eat out a lot. Eating out is one of the biggest challenges for most people when controlling portion sizes. Most people seem to feel uncomfortable sharing meals or simply eating only half the food on their plate. I am totally comfortable strategically ordering food for myself and for everyone at my table.

A recent example of a restaurant experience was a week ago with two of my girlfriends. We went to a cute little restaurant to eat after a meeting together. As we perused the menu, I suggested we might share something. The conversation went from two of us sharing a meal to the three of us sharing one appetizer and one entrée. Eyes rolled at me across the table as my friends telepathically shared with each other that I was crazy and they would be left hungry if they agreed to my ‘three share a meal’ suggestion. Because they are my good friends and I am quite persuasive stating that we could share one dessert this way, they agreed. I am certain it was the dessert option that convinced them!

We ordered a great ceviche dish with fresh fish and vegetables. It was so good and there was so much of it, we talked about how the dish was very filling. Next the lightly breaded chicken parmesan on a bed of linguini with cilantro sauce, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese, and fresh tomatoes. This entrée was actually served on a platter dish. This dish was the same size platter dish that my grandmother used to serve her meatloaf during family meals. (Nanny’s meatloaf was awesome!) So the plate used to serve my extended family an entire meat loaf was now put on our table to serve one entrée to the three of us. This was the same size platter dish sitting in front of every other individual at the tables around us. No one seemed to realize the family size entrée they were eating was a bit on the large size. And most people were cleaning their plates. No one else was sharing a meal.

As my girlfriends and I divided up our entrée portions to our small salad size plates; we ate, talked, laughed and got very full! We finished off the most amazing version of chick parm I have ever eaten and felt so content that we had no room for dessert. No room for dessert…shocking right? It’s true.

So the moral of this story is:
• Recognize that restaurants use huge dishes with double and triple size portions.
• Don’t allow other people’s negative comments (stemming from poor self restraint or concern for what others in the restaurant will think) affect your decision to cut calories.
• Share your meal or ask the waiter to box up half the entrée before bringing it to the table.

To some people we might have looked like poor girls sharing one entrée. Good thing we didn’t care what anyone thought because we felt like smart girls who did not leave the table with any extra weight!

Make my experience personal. Reduce you portion sizes for a few weeks and let me know how it affects your waistline.

Post on the Life is Mental Facebook Fanpage to let me know how this is working for you. I look forward to hearing from you!

To your healthy eating,

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Convince Yourself of ANYTHING!

I love talk radio…happy talk radio. I walk my talk about being happy and monitor what I allow into my brain. Since I drive a lot during the day, I am a regular listener of the Rosie O’Donnell Show on Sirius/XM radio. Rosie's show is positive and funny most of the time; there are the occasional sad or emotional topics but never negative. Last week I was listening to Rosie and the gang talk about food, weight management and general health. (Wish I could tell you what show this was…but, hey I was driving and it was a rerun.) The conversation went back and forth at one point about eating in moderation without restriction and avoiding certain unhealthy foods. If you have read my book, taken my training or heard me speak…you know I do not believe in deprivation.

As the conversation continued about eating desserts or not eating desserts,
Janette Barber offered profound wisdom by saying, ‘is it really deprivation if you are avoiding food that is poison?’ Sugar and bad fats being the poison. This is the essence of the Life is Mental training wisdom.

Yes, you can convince yourself of ANYTHING! If you choose to believe that desserts are your birthright, then you will most likely eat desserts forever. You deserve them right? However, if you choose to believe that desserts are bad for your body and health, then you will have an easier time passing on the extra dress size coupled with diabetes dressed up like a piece of chocolate cake. No back talk…it is what it is!

So my friends, what are you convincing yourself about sugary sweets?

Convince yourself of healthy beliefs,

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC

Monday, June 14, 2010

Believing Comes Before Achieving

Self imposed limitations are established by our beliefs. These limiting beliefs hold us back. They keep us from reaching our full potential and experiencing true joy.

In the movie, Facing the Giants, there is a scene where a high school football coach is attempting to show his players that they are not playing to their full ability and believing in themselves. The team has had a poor football record for several years. The coach asks one of the respected players to stand up and death crawl (crawling on his hands and feet) down the field from one end zone while carrying another player on his back. The coach asks the player how far he can make it. This player says that he can only make it to the 35 yard line while carrying another player and maybe to the 50 with no one his back. The coach says that he believes the player can make it to the 50 yard line with a player on his back and proceeds to blindfold this defense player for the exercise. The player stammers and denies his ability but ultimately positions himself to take the challenge. As the player moves down the field the camera focuses tightly on the coach encouraging him to keep going as the player says he is tired. Soon the camera pans the players on the sidelines standing up and becoming attentive to watch the progress on the field. The coach tells the player to keep going and use up every ounce of will power he has and just keep going. Finally the player falls to his stomach red faced and out of breath apologizing for stopping. The coach takes off his blind fold to reveal that he went the entire length of the field.

This is a great example of the limitations that we set on ourselves and the limitations that others set on us that we accept as true. The blindfold kept the player going beyond his own expectations and judgments of his ability. He amazed himself and his team mates.

Please think about how you have judged yourself. Think about how you may have accepted other people’s judgments of you. Identify these limitations and release yourself from them today. Start expecting to succeed and feel happy. Just like the anticipation of your limitations held you back, your expectancy of a positive future will propel you forward.

Your limiting beliefs are a choice, not the truth about you. You can choose to change your beliefs and your thinking which will change your life. You have a choice to improve yourself no matter how small the improvements are when you get started. Just get started.

You can do it!

Release your limiting beliefs and become your best self!

Romans 12:2

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC

Thursday, May 6, 2010

GUEST BLOG from Kevin Graham of Empower Me Photo

The Power of Visualization

The power of visualization is well known yet many people do not associate it with weight loss. The reality though is that the power of visualization is an amazing tool to help improve one’s look, weight loss and overall confidence. If you want to get to a healthier weight, you should be visualizing your future self on a daily basis.

I am not talking about endless yoga sessions or a full day of chanting. Is all that it takes is a few moments a day, preferably as you are just waking up or just about to fall asleep as those are the times when our mind is most relaxed and our subconscious is open to suggestion.

Can you really visualize your future? Yes, you can. OK, I’ll admit that it is virtually impossible to be able to control your future – there are simply way too many dynamics and variables in the world right? Wrong. OK, I’ll admit that you cannot control every aspect of your future; nor can you decide as to which aspects you specifically want to control.

What I am saying is that you hold the power to dramatically impact your future and how the world opens up to.

Remember when you first got a certain type of car and you started to see those same models at every corner. Remember when you learned something new and all of a sudden you saw the same concept applying to various areas of your life – even though it was really only relative to one aspect at the time you learned it.

Those are examples of situations where you placed focus on something – allowing its possibilities into your world. And then the world opened up to you consistent with your focus.

If you think about the power that goes untapped in most of our minds – the challenge is there. Try something for me (for your benefit as well). Think about an old classmate or work colleague. Think about them several times over the next 3-4 days. Write their name on your calendar a few days from now. Continue to think about them. I bet you that something about them shows up in your life. It could be seeing them on the street or online. It could be that someone else connects with you where you have a mutual connection with your former friend. There are endless possibilities but you controlled the events because you put focus on something.

Imagine if
weight loss were that easy. You know what? It is. Grab a compelling vision of your future self – and Let The Vision Empower You!

Kevin Graham

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tips for the Busy Professional to Stay Fit

Working 60+ hours a week does not leave much time for fitness. You might feel tired, moody, and sluggish from long hours or sedentary work. If you cannot reduce your workload, try these easy techniques to boost your energy, lose weight and increase your fitness level.

Add Spontaneous Exercise into your day. Spontaneous exercise is the physical activity you experience daily like walking from your car to the office. Walk as much as you can everyday to stay fit. A mile is roughly 2000 steps. Track your steps with a pedometer and be creative to squeeze a few extra steps into each day. Park farther away from the door, take the stairs, and use your breaks as an opportunity to walk around your office. You will be walking more than a few miles each day in no time.

Cut calories without noticing by eating slowly. Eating slowly gives your brain time to realize you are full. Put your utensils down while chewing to slow your pace. Eating fast allows an average of 200+ extra calories at a meal. Slow down, cut calories, and feel full. It is that easy!

Focus on what you want to eat, not what you don’t want to eat. You will naturally eliminate or greatly reduce the junk food from your diet by focusing on what foods you want to be sure to include daily. Your attention to healthy food options will distract your attention from bad foods. When you feel full on your healthy food options, you won’t have room for the bad food.

Keep a healthy work space. Eliminate candy, snack foods and sodas from your work area. We typically eat what is easily accessible. Keep only a very small selection of healthy snack options like fresh fruit, nuts and water easily accessible from your office. If you really want a soda, make yourself work to get it. This gives you time to rethink how badly you want it and possibly make a different decision after boosting your energy with a few steps from your desk down to the soda machine.

Keep a healthy snack in your car. Busy people are typical work long hours. Keep a healthy snack in your car for those times when you are running late for lunch or dinner. The healthy snack will give you a small amount of calories and energy so that you do not overeat when you are able to enjoy your real meal.

Add these practices into your daily routine immediately to enjoy the benefits of weight loss, increased energy and improved fitness!

To your health,


Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC