Have a Mindful Thanksgiving.

If there is one thing that can bring my holiday cheer down to low boil, it’s the trip to crowded grocery store. 

You can’t buy too early because of spoilage, but if you wait until the last minute, you will be left with the “nobody wants me” section of sadness.

and who wants that?

This year, my Thanksgiving contributions will include roasted asparagus and brussels sprouts with cherry tomatoes, roasted/mashed butternut squash, and a giant organic salad to add a real pop of color to the table.

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Vegetables, me? Are you surprised? :)

I will also be baking some Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies for dessert, even though they will most likely be overshadowed by the many pies, cakes and pastry options covering the table.

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So I have been a fitness instructor since 2009, and there is never a year that goes by without the predictable Thanksgiving PANIC.

Classes fill up weeks in advance with hopes that burning thousands of calories will leave room for the giant feast ahead. And while yes, adding in some extra movement throughout the week will help, is it really worth that much stress? 

This mentality has become the new norm for this time of year, and it is hard to ignore the energy that overcomes fitness studios and gyms everywhere over a binge that has not even happened yet.

Kill my workouts -> Stuff myself -> Feel Guilty and Lost -> Kill my Workouts

It’s a cycle, an exhausting cycle. 

What saddens me most is the regretful and defeated faces that show up to class the following day/week

So…What do I have to say about this? 

Relax.

-> Be Mindful, not Mindless <-

Thanksgiving comes once a year. We all have our favorite dishes, and we are all entitled to have a taste of each without calculating our next move or repeatedly saying;

I have to work out so hard tomorrow to burn this off”

When we mindlessly eat, we lose ourselves. We lose our natural ability to know when we are full. This is where the problem lies and what leads us to over eat.

Be mindful. 

Who cares how many calories are in a slice of pie or a scoop of stuffing. You know what the correct serving is supposed to look like. If you are given a large portion, be mindful. You do not have to eat the whole thing. Share, eat half, decline a giant serving, or wrap it up and take it home.

Be mindful.

Show up to your regular morning workout. Eat your usual healthy breakfast. Leave the table when you are full. Drink water between cocktails. Get up and walk around once in a while to help with digestion. 

Be mindful. 

Be thankful that you are able to enjoy this food, and that your body is able to talk you places once you have finished. Your life will go on, and that is incredible.

It really is that simple.

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Almond Butter Balls.

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (ground up oats in a blender) measure before blending.
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used raw almond butter)
  • 6 tbsp. organic Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • dash of ground cinnamon (measure to your liking)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. In a small sauce pan over med-high heat, add your almond butter, agave and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth and combined. Allow the mixture to come to a boil before removing from heat.
  2. Add in your oat flour, coconut flour, and sea salt, continuing to mix well.
  3. Add in your almond milk 1 tbsp. at a time, mixing between each.
  4. Fold in your chocolate chips and dash your cinnamon. mix.
  5. Scooping out a heaping tablespoon, roll your mixture into ping pong sized balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or a glass plate, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.

Ripe Fruit Facts.

Have you ever bitten into an unripe banana?

It’s hard, has no taste, and leaves us bloated, constipated, and hunched over from stomach cramps due to it’s inability to be digested properly. 

When we eat fruit that is not at it’s peak of perfection, we are not experiencing the unique taste and energizing results that makes each one so special.

Here are some tips that can help you choose the best fruit for your dollar.

Is This Ripe? How to Pick the Best Produce

Apples: Vibrant color and firm to the touch

Avocados: I always suggest purchasing an unripe avocado, and allowing it ripen in your home at room temperature. This allows it to ripen properly, without people at the grocery store bruising it by squeeze testing. Once ripe, it will give to gentle pressure.

Banana: Yellow and speckled is the way to go! You can also purchase green bananas, as seen above, and allow for at home ripening.

Citrus Fruits: Firm and heavy with vibrant, even skin. Some may have a slight green tone, which is ok!

Cherries and Berries Firm, vibrant, plump and clean. Also check the container for any leakage.

Grapes: Firm, smooth, plump, and attached to the stem.

Kiwi: Gives to slight pressure. Do not buy hard or too mushy

Mango: Slightly soft to touch, plump skin, and the stem should smell fruity!

 Pears and Stone fruits: Buy slightly firm without dark spots, and allow them to ripen for a few days at home at room temperature. They will give to gentle pressure.

Pineapples: Heavy and sweet smelling with a yellow hue. The stem leaves should also easily pull out.

Tomatoes: Slightly firm but yield to gentle pressure. Ripen at home at room temperature.

Watermelons and Melons: Firm, heavy, and even shaped with a smooth skin. The underneath should have a yellow spot from where it resting in the patch. The flesh should also be vibrant and firm instead of mushy and watery. 

Tip: never freeze unripe fruit. Once ripe, any fruit can be frozen and then used in smoothies or other healthy recipes.

There is no reason to bite into hard, tasteless fruit. What fun is that?

Looking for ways to use perfectly ripe peaches

Fruit is immediate energy. Fruit is FUEL.

Enjoy every last bite, and truly get a taste of natures candy.

beautiful Fruit | Beautiful Fruit Wallpapers

Total Body Burner.

Warm up for 5 minutes to heat muscles and raise heart rate. It is mandatory to get your body ready to work.

45 seconds 8 exercises

This workout should take you about 30 minutes to complete.

Break for 15 seconds between exercises to give yourself enough time to set up.

Make sure to properly cool down, stretch, and refuel with protein,carbs and plenty of water!

Enjoy xoxo

FIVE, not so healthy snacks, SWAPS!

1. Smoothies

Fruit is extremely good for you and should be eaten everyday. However, smoothies are the #1 (in my opinion) misunderstood snack when someone is trying to lose/maintain their weight.

Just because there is fruit IN your drink, does not mean that it is a healthy option.

A typical strawberry banana smoothie almost always includes whole milk or cream, processed fruit juice, yogurt with added sugar,or, frozen yogurt.

Rhubarb Cheesecake Smoothies.  For a warm evening this is the most delicious dessert you could have, and the most important is that you can prepare it with every kind of ingredient you like, and spent realy good time!

What you thought was the perfect afternoon energizer, is really just a fattening, sugar loaded, energy crashing dessert in disguise. We’re talking 600 plus calories in a 16oz cup.

Replace it with: Smoothies

Yes, you can still have your smoothie and lose weight too! It’s all about KNOWING what goes into your cup before drinking it.

Instead of all those unnecessary additives from your local coffee shop or smoothie kiosk, try making your own smoothie at home using:

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries,
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of leafy greens.
  • Optional: 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 tbsp. chia or flaxseeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, 6oz plain Greek yogurt.

Simply Strawberry Green Smoothie - my new favorite meal replacement! Ingredients:  2 cups frozen strawberries   1/2 frozen banana   2 tablespoons flaxseeds   3 cups fresh organic baby spinach    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2. Yogurt Parfaits

Same thing applies for these sneaky, sugary cups. Most pre-made parfaits consist of flavored yogurts, granola, and honey. This can have 30 plus grams of processed sugar, which is about the same as a Snickers Bar.

Replace it with: Chia Pudding

Very Berry Chia Pudding: pretty tasty little sucker (raw, vegan).   www.onedoterracommunity.com   https://www.facebook.com/#!/OneDoterraCommunity

Chia seeds are high in omega-3’s, protein, fiber, and keep us feeling full for longer due to their ability to absorb liquid within the body.

Recipe

  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, skim milk, or water
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla or almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
  1. place all ingredients inside of a mason jar, or glass lidded bowl, and shake well to combine.
  2. Allow at least 30 minutes for chia seeds to gel and pudding to form. Best results would be to sit overnight.
  3. Add berries and enjoy

3. “But they’re baked”- Wheat Thins, Pita Chips, Pretzels.

Homemade Wheat Thins.  You'll never go back to the store bought version!

Salt, processed carbs, high in calories and do not satisfy cravings! These snacks are also usually accompanied by a fattening dip such as spinach and artichoke , French onion, or sliced meat and cheese.

Replace it with: Raw Vegetables and Pistachios

Slice up some bell peppers, carrots, celery and cucumbers to satisfy your craving for a crunch, along with 24 pistachios for a dose of healthy fats, fiber, potassium and protein.

You can also dip your veggies into 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter or hummus, in place of pistachio’s.

How to make Homemade Hummus | foodnfocus.com

4. Diet Soda, Bottled Lemonade/ Iced Tea

Please, step away from the toxic cans of chemicals and artificially flavored sugar water

This is almost like a long-term low-dose poison-  Correct. Aspertame in this stuff is linked to alzheimer's!!Minute Maid Lemonade $1 at Walmart

I know that the taste of these beverages on a hot summer day is unlike any other, but that mere 5 minutes of pleasure wreaks havoc on our systems.

Read Here.

Replace it with: Fresh Lemon or Lime Water, Sparkling Water, or Fruit Infused Water.

I often like to create a mixture of all three

I use frozen fruit as my ice cubes, which makes for a perfect treat at the end of my drink.

Slice up a bunch of lemons and infuse your water overnight to create lemonade. Or, use fresh herbs such as mint with cucumber or basil with watermelon to make drinking water much more tasty.

 Strawberry Lime Water

5. “Bars”

I cringe when a client of mine tells me that they brought a Nutragrain, Fiber One, Speicial K or Nature Valley granola bar to work as a snack. Their ingredients list alone are frightening, packed with artificial additives, processed oils, and way too many words that I wont even try to pronounce.

Replace it: Homemade Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic, liquid egg whites
  • 1 scoop (2Tbsp) protein powder (I use Sunwarrior)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 ripe, mashed banana
  1. Mix all ingredients together, leaving out the banana
  2. Once well combined, add in your mashed banana and mix again
  3. Pour batter onto a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  4. Cook as you would a regular pancake, flipping when little bubbles start to form in the middle.

Let cool and store in a Tupperware container to eat as a snack later in the day.

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yuuuuum!

Don’t get caught in the advertising traps of “100% whole grain, Fat Free, All Natural or 1/2 the fat”

Know what is in your food, because that is your body’s fuel.

healthy body + healthy mind = happy life

5 Green Smoothie Recipes. 5 Simple Ingredients

It’s no secret that I love green smoothies, and I often get asked about what to put in them without gagging or breaking a budget.

I cant help but laugh at my client’s faces when I suggest adding green smoothies to their day,and I love their surprised faces even more once they realize that they do not taste anything like the once thought.

Many skeptics feel that you have to spend a ton of money in order to get a ton of nutrients, or sacrifice taste, which is not truly not the case.

Here are my five favorite green smoothie recipes made with five simple ingredients.

All you need is a blender and a little enthusiasm! Time to energize!

The Banana Split

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

The Cleanser

  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 inch of sliced ginger root, peeled
  • 2 cups water or unsweetened coconut water

Almond Butter and Jelly

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. raw almond butter (or a small handful of almonds)
  • 2 cups water

The Antioxidant Powerhouse

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups unsweetened ICED green tea

The Refueler

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder ( I use vegan protein, but use what you have and KNOW the ingredients) You can also use 6 ounces of plain Greek Yogurt. (I suggest Fage or Oikos)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • a dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup water

Simple and affordable!

Try adding one of these smoothies into your diet everyday over the next five days, and feel your energy skyrocket while providing your body with a ton of nutrients.

TIPS

  • Make sure that your bananas are RIPE and peeled before freezing.
  • Feel free to add ice to any smoothie, and add more water as needed.
  • Mix and match your favorite fruits of the season, or even prepackaged frozen fruits work great! Just make sure they are unsweetened, and not a “smoothie blend”, which often have other additives besides fruit.
  • Adding Spirulina, Hemp seeds, or Chia seeds is also a beneficial option, but not as budget friendly.

Cheers to a healthier YOU!