Sunday, August 18, 2013

Better-than-a-Man Protein Bar

Shopping for protein bars is like meeting guys out in LA—while often pretty and enticing on the outside, the interior never quite meets my standards.  Just as there are four primary genres of bars, there are four main types of dudes.  Let’s compare:

First, you got your classic granola bar.  Or, in the case of guys, your average LA hippy.  Both the bar and guy claim to be all natural and healthy but with one quick look at what’s inside, you quickly learn it’s all s@#!…sugar.  Granola is touted as a health food, but is really fattening and sugary and does not contain enough nutrients to compensate for its caloric and sugar load—interfering with your ultimate hot-bod-plan.  Yes, I’m into your dreads, although I can’t explain why, and yes, I drive an environmentally-friendly Prius, but your lack of knowledge of politics and current events (because you don’t own a TV?!?) is going to make your whole, “I want to change the way our country is run” shtick real difficult there, buddy.

I think I’ll pass.

Onto the next…the tastes-good-but-has-no-substance bar.  Or, in my male analogy, the fluffy teddy bear.  He’s cute (quite distinct from “hot”), likes pizza and beer, will secretly watch The Notebook with you, and within 30 seconds of meeting, promises he’ll cook the most amazing dinner for you.  But, just like the sweet taste of a Luna bar, you know that when it’s time for action, this bro and bar will only fall short.  These bars may taste good and lure you in with flavors like “S’mores” or “Peanut Honey Pretzel,” but with loads of unnatural sugars and carbs, this snack is not taking you to the finish line.   

Moving on…

To…the macro/greens/vegan bar.  Or in male terminology, “the actor.”  This bar promises a healthy substitute to all of the gunk in other bars, but just like the “actor,” it is all a ruse.  There is still a ton of fat and sugar in these bars, with little to no protein to compensate.  Just because you go on auditions and call yourself an “actor,” doesn’t make your job at Starbucks any more glamorous.  In fact, informing me that you have an acting career is probably the most acting you’ve done in months.

Next! (I wish my life was like an MTV dating show…)

Finally, the big hunkin’ PROTEIN bar.  This bar means serious business: tons of protein coupled with tons of sugars and fats.  The latter two are insignificant because this bar is for the ultimate body builder, who spends up to 6 hours grunting and lifting your weight in dumbbells, and is often combined with a massive protein shake and probably half-a-cow’s worth of steak.  Likewise, this guy is clearly not from LA and seems to have missed the memo that they are indeed NOT filming the next episode of the Jersey Shore at Bungalow.  He thinks he is hot s*** and you are one lucky lady to be talking to him and in the presence of his bulging muscles.  And while most of my friends know I’m a total sucker for a great 6-pack, your lack of institutionalized education (or in the bar’s case, lack of non-modified ingredients) is not going to work with my lifestyle.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Finding my dream man and protein bar seems nearly impossible in this city of so-called angels.  And while, much to my dismay, I cannot create the perfect man, I can create the perfect bar.  So I have.

The HHH Better-than-a-Man Protein Bar

190 calories

            (Perfect for a snack between meals or right after a workout)

Over 10g protein—18% DV

(Protein is essential to refuel your body, rev up your metabolism, and keep you from becoming a low-blood sugar bitch)

5.5g fat—8% DV

            (Don’t worry, this is the good kind of fat)

1g sugar
            (Beat that!)

Also, high in fiber, iron, and magnesium.

1 tbsp Low Sodium Better’n Peanut Butter; available at Whole Food or online (you can use regular peanut or almond butter but be conscious of the added calories and fat content)

2 tbsp Raw Hemp Seeds

1 tsp Cacao Powder

Simple.  Healthy.  Efficient.

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Using plastic food wrap or wax paper, mold the mixed ingredients into a ball and use the wrap or paper to further facilitate the melding of ingredients.  Place the ball onto a piece of tinfoil and shape into a rectangle (or whatever protein bar shape you may desire…feel free to get creative).  Place the bar, still on the tinfoil, in toaster oven for 2 minutes and then immediately transfer to fridge.  Leave in fridge until the bar is cool and hardened.  Enjoy!

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @happyhealthyhannah 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Panem Plyometrics

August is like the third book of the Hunger Games.  You sped through books one and two (June and July) without even taking a second to breathe.  And while you have been readily anticipating the final installment of the trilogy throughout it all, you know it will inevitably be over too soon.

So in this final installment of your summer trilogy, it’s time to slow down, smell the roses (or rosé, if you’re having that kind of summer), and make one final push to achieve your health and fitness goals.  After all, both summer and the Hunger Games have a similar objective—to get yourself your own Gale or Peeta, whichever you’re into, and take some prisoners with dat fine-a** body of yours that you’ve trained so hard for.

In an effort to help you attain your end-of-summer, Katniss-esque, bod of your dreams, I have developed a high-intensity plyometric workout—as promised in my “The HHH Bible” post.  Plyometrics are a great way to blast stubborn fat quickly and efficiently, plus, they increase performance for your other athletic activities…helping you run faster, jump higher, and dance that much longer up in the club.  This workout is intense, straight to the point, and gets the job done—just as I hope your experiences with your own Gale or Peeta have been.

Do as many reps as you can in the time allotted, making sure each movement is energetic and explosive.  During “rest” periods, make sure you don’t stop moving.  Do all of the exercises and repeat the entire routine once more for a total of two sets.  This is the best way to decrease your body fat percentage and get yourself in tip-top shape.  You’ll be looking and feeling great for whatever adventure that may come your way after this trilogy of hard work and dedication to your health.

Warm-up with a 30 second jog in place

1 min of jumping jacks (make sure your hands touch overhead every time)

15 seconds of steps side-to-side

1 min of lunge jumps (start in lunge position with your right foot forward, jump into the air and switch your left foot forward, landing softly into lunge position with your left foot forward)

15 seconds of knees-to-chest marching (make sure to use your core to pull your knees up)

1 min of frog jumps (4 forward, 4 back)

15 seconds of grapevine

1 min of skaters (start in a curtsy position with your left foot behind your right, as shown, and then hop your left foot to the side and bring your right foot behind your left in a curtsy position)

15 seconds of easy punches

1 min of squat jacks (start in a squat position, hop your legs out, staying low and bring your hands overheard to touch, hop back to squat position)

15 seconds of grapevine

1 min of shoulder-tap plank (start in plank position and bring your right hand to your left shoulder, keeping your hips level; return to plank position and repeat on the left side)

15 seconds of easy uppercuts

1 min of barrier jumps (place a small towel on the ground and be sure to keep your feet together as you jump over it, side-to-side)

15 seconds of steps side-to-side

1 min of squats with alternating leg lift (start in a squat position and come to standing, using your core to bring your right leg to hip level; return to squat position and repeat on the left side)

30 second cool-down with hands overhead 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Last month I wrote a post about becoming the coveted trifecta: trendsetter, go-getter, jetsetter.  This month, I packed my bags, put on my Hardtails (perfect for any mode of transportation) and jetsetted my way to…Tanzania!!

I apologize for the brief HHH hiatus, but for some inane reason, the people of Tanzania have yet to install Wi-Fi hotspots on the back of lions.  One of these days…

Nevertheless, I am back and ready to continue my Happy and Healthy mission.

Coming up in August:
-New workouts
-Healthy HHH recipes
-Fashionable fitness gear
-…And more!

 Insanity in the Serengeti

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Start a Revolution

Eyeshades off.  Covers down.  Step on the scale.  Celebrate or freak out.

My morning routine is like that of many other girls.  Between brushing my teeth and getting dressed, a three-digit number determines my mood and actions for the rest of the day.  How is it that a mundane function of habit can dictate my self-worth for the next 24 hours?

We all do it.  We obsess over a number that society deems as too high or too low, or if we’re lucky, just right.  But the numbers don’t stop at the scale.  We obsess over the size of our jeans and the numbers on the tags of our tops and dresses.  Every single day, we have three different numerical codes telling us if popular culture thinks we’re skinny or fat.  And every single day, we torture ourselves to prevent falling into the latter category.

We limit our carb intake.  We become vegans or adopt a Paleo diet.  We starve ourselves before vacations.  We spend hours upon hours at the gym.  We say no to dessert.  Because God forbid, when I wake up the next morning, that three-digit number is one digit higher than the day before.

Somewhere along the way, skinny has become the new happy.  We are brainwashed into believing that in order to be beautiful, we must fit into a size 0, or die trying.  Even as smart and powerful women, we confuse wanting to love our bodies with wanting to be thin.  Society dissuades us from expressing any sort of contentment with our figures.  When given a compliment, we must subscribe to girl protocol and immediately follow it with self-deprecation.  We are deemed conceited if we dare to admit we like a self attribute.

It’s time to put an end to this indoctrination.  It’s time to start loving our bodies. Despite our size, we never feel like we are good enough.  I am petite but I am never going to be stick thin.  I am never going to be a super model.  And I will not be mistaken for Barbie or even her BFF Theresa in the near future.  And you know what I say to that?  F@#$ it.  Who the f is popular culture to tell me I’m not beautiful just the way I am?

Maybe I have what society deems as “thunder thighs,” but guess what?  Thunder invokes notions of a force of nature and power, and that’s exactly what they are.  Today, I ran 10 miles with my “thunder thighs” and I’d rather be able to say that than that I strutted a catwalk.

Think about it, we aim to be size zero’s…the definition of zero is literally nothing.  Why would I want to be nothing?  I want to be a whole lot of something.  I want to be a strong and empowered woman, not one that allows a yo-yoing number to determine her self-confidence.  I want to be happy with my body and revel in its strength and power.  Strong, both mentally and physically, is what is beautiful, and strong is what I aim to be. 

My body is perfect.  It’s perfect because I work for it.   

Stop letting a number determine your self-worth.  Stop confusing wanting to love your body with wanting to be skinny.  Take a compliment.  Give a compliment.  And make telling yourself that you are beautiful, a part of your morning routine every single day. 

As women, the revolution starts with us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

HHH Cookie Dough

Most things are better baked.  Like…


Tan mom.

Snoop Dogg.

Most things…except for cookies.  Don’t get me wrong—I love a nice hot chocolate chip cookie, served right off the pan, dipped in milk, all crumbly and gooey in my mouth.  I really do.  But as good as cookies are, cookie dough is where it’s at.

Sunday, after a tough workout (my Dumbbell Blonde Routine, naturally) and day in the sun, I was ready to sit back and watch the Kardashian family drama unfold as Kendall and Kylie Jenner suffered through the rare and exclusively-celebrity condition of sibling rivalry.  As I watched Kylie totally dis Kendall by ditching her for sushi (so not cool), I wanted nothing more than to grab a spoon and go to work on a giant tub of Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie dough.  Two things stopped me from going cookie-monster-ape-shiz on that tub: 1) the thought of putting all that sugar and fat into my temple—my body and 2) the super cute American flag crop top I plan on wearing on the 4th.  With that, I set out to create my own Happy Healthy Hannah cookie dough to satisfy my craving and keep me on track as I watched a very prego Kim K. jump up and down on a trampoline (wait, what?).   

My HHH Cookie Dough is low-cal, high-protein, and totally delish.  I took a spoonful of the Tollhouse to compare against and dare I say… I liked mine better.  I know what you’re thinking, “Oh no she di’int” and to that I say, “Oh. Yes. I. Did.”  But try it yourself and you be the judge—your diet and your Kardashian-esque booty will thank you.

HHH Cookie Dough:

½ cup quick oats
¼ cup pecans
½ banana
1 tsp honey
2 packets of Stevia/Truvia
2 tsp almond milk
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup vegan carob chips

Put all ingredients (except carob chips) into food processor and grate until the consistency is fine.  Mix in carob chips and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Grab your spoon and treat yourself like a Lord, Lord Disick that is.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The HHH Bible

Before my bat-mitzvah, I attended 4 years of rigorous religious school where I was taught not only the Hebrew letters I would need to recite at my coming-of-age ceremony, but also the allegories of the old testament.  Although Noah and the flood will always be my favorite tale (seriously, two of every animal on one boat…could it get much better?), the creation story has always intrigued me. 

While I'm not totally sold that we went from the creation of water to the creation of living creatures in 72 hours, I find the story rather applicable to my every day life—each and every day I work towards creating the body of my dreams.  Similar to the creation of our Earth, each day must add something different to produce what I like to call the Frankenstein’s monster of perfect bodies (see “Dumbbell Blonde” post).  I’m not sure if our creator had Jennifer Aniston’s flawlessly toned body in mind when she (yes, I said “she”…I went to an all girls’ school) gave Eve a rib from Adam, but the lack of bones would explain how Jen stays so thin.

Regardless, mixing up your routine is crucial for the creation of your perfect body.  If you do the same thing everyday, your body plateaus and you stop seeing results.  Imagine if God just created light every single one of the seven days—Earth would look like NeNe Leaks’ hyper-whitened smile on steroids.  No thank you.  In order to fully illustrate how to create the bod of your dreams, I have decided to write my own testament: The HHH Bible. 

I haven’t fully hashed out all the details, or if it will read right to left (like the Torah) or left to right, but the intro starts off with the Creation story—that is, of a hot body.

On the first day, the fitness gods declared, “Let there be running”.  There is really no better way to start your week off than with a run, getting the benefits of all-over toning and great cardio.

On the second day, the fitness gods created strength training (Dumbbell Blonde routine anyone?).  Read my post “Dumbbell Blonde” to understand the importance of weights in the creation story.

On the third day, the fitness gods exclaimed, “Let there be high-intensity training with plyometrics i.e. ‘Insanity,’ Cardio Kickboxing, Tabata, etc!” 
            “P.S.,” they also said, “Happy Healthy Hannah will be posting a routine shortly!”

On the fourth day, the fitness gods were like “Hey, that Dumbbell Blonde routine was pretty sick, do that shiz again.”

On the fifth day, the fitness gods created spin.  Motivational spin instructors and peer support is the perfect combo for a calorie-torching heaven.

On the sixth day, the fitness gods were like, “No seriously, do that Dumbbell Blonde routine again, your muscles are looking fierce gurl.”

And finally, on the seventh day, the fitness gods created rest.  Rest is arguably the most important part of every workout regimen.  Your body needs time to heal and rebuild so that you can mix it up each day and work towards creating your foine body all over again tomorrow.

So change up your routine, see results, and you eat dat apple gurl…it’s high in fiber and plus, a life without sin would be pretty frickin’ boring.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's a Bey kinda day

In honor of his album’s debut this week, I would like to quote Mr. Kanye West himself:

“We’re gonna skate to one song and one song only.”

Now although she was not named after an ordinal direction (North West?  Really Kim-ye?), Beyonce will always be a staple on my workout playlists.

So this week, I’m listening to one song and one song only:
Countdown- Beyonce

So all I have to say is: Yo North West, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best workout songs of all time.