How are you? Are you having a productive week so far?! Or you haven't had time? Low energy? Or you've been on the go? Not a problem!! It's only Thursday, so lets end this week by working up a sweat!!! There's still time to make your weekly goal baby :D I don't believe that I have posted the following, so it's about time that I do...lol! :D Hopefully you'll want to get in a bada** workout after reading today's post about KETTLEBELLS!!
These days, kettlebells are a staple in nearly every gym in the world. Kettlebells burn loads of calories, builds core strength, and delivers the same aerobic benefits as running, with little stress on the joints. No wonder the kettlebell swing makes other gym moves envious...lol! BUT done wrong (and it's done wrong a lot), your risk for injury shoots way up!! The following tips will help to master the motion and get more out of every session ;)
- Stand tall, holding the handle with both hands, feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back flat, lean forward from your hips to bring the weight between your legs (until your forearms touch your inner thighs).
- Powerfully snap your hips forward and squeeze your glutes to stand.
- Swing the weight in front of you, keeping your arms straight but not locked.
- Let the momentum carry the bell to about chest height, until your body is in a straight line, core braced.
- Reverse the movement to bring the weight back between your legs and continue as 1 fluid movement.
Note: How high you raise the kettlebell depends on the version of the move you're doing. For example: With the Traditional swing, the kettlebell rises to chest height and with the Overhead swing, you raise it all the way overhead.
Now that you know how to "swing" into shape, give the following beginner-safe moves a FITastic workout :D If you don't have a gym membership, kettlebells are inexpensive and can be bought just about everywhere. I recommend using a 10 to 15 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms) kettlebell if you're a beginner and a 15 to 20 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) kettlebell if you have experience with them.
Works upper back, shoulders, biceps, and abs.
Hold kettlebell in right hand with arms hanging straight at sides, legs staggered a few feet apart with left foot forward. Bend at waist so torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, back straight. Lift kettlebell to rib cage, pause and lower for 1 rep.
Complete 15 to 20 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders, abs, and legs.
Hold kettlebell in left hand with arm extended above shoulder, weight resting on back of wrist. Step left foot back into a reverse lunge. Step forward to stand for 1 rep.
Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders and legs.
Grip kettlebell handle with weight on top and hold at chest height. Stagger legs and bend knees. Lift weight to eye level. Slowly circle it around head to the left (weight and handles swap positions as you go). Circle it to the right for 1 rep.
Complete 5 to 10 reps.
Works shoulders, triceps, abs, and legs.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold kettlebell in right hand at shoulder height, weight on back of wrist. Squat then stand as you press kettlebell overhead. Return to start for 1 rep.
Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
SQUAT AND CURL
Works biceps, upper back, abs, and legs.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, gripping kettlebell with both hands at chest height. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor then do a biceps curl. Return to start. Do 2 squats then do 2 curls at the bottom of the second squat.
Continue adding reps to finish with 5 to 10 squats and 5 to 10 curls.
Of course, I should add:
Works abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
This kettlebell move is described above. If you know what you're doing, try using 2 kettlebells.
Complete 20 to 25 reps.
Keep in mind that feeling the ground with your toes helps you recruit your glutes and hamstrings. Overly cushy running shoes make it easy to rock forward, which can put your back at greater risk for injury. That said, training in minimal sneakers on a firm surface is best for both safety and performance when using kettlebells ;)
If you have ANY questions, let me know and I'll get back to you!
See you right back here on Monday!!
HAPPY ThursYAY :D
Hello! HAPPY Monday!!
It's a cloudy and wet day in my part of California but that's okay...i love Mondays, so bring it on...lol :D Every week offers a fresh start towards your goal. Even small changes will impact your daily routine and eating habits. The key is to set smaller goals that build up to your end goal. So...keep progressing and don't give up! You got this!! :D
Recently I've had a number of people asking me about diet plans. Which diet plan works, which diet plan is popular, and which diet plan has tasty food ;) I believe and have mentioned in previous posts that exercise AND eating go hand in hand. Instead of dieting, I like to focus on energy balance. The key to weight loss is achieving a negative energy balance. If you burn more calories than you take in, you're in a negative energy balance and you'll lose weight. However, for those of you who want to give a diet plan a shot, the only way to know if it'll be successful is to try it. I was reading in The Good Life magazine and The Dr. Oz Show launched an experiment called The Great Diet Showdown. Ten popular plans, all put to the test.
Today's post is an overview (from the magazine) of which diets were satisfying and sustainable enough to reach the 1 year finish line. For more details on the Showdown, visit doctoroz.com/showdown.
These plans finished in a three-way tie. Groups of Showdown volunteers on these diets dropped the most weight, percentage-wise.
- Paleo Diet
Proteins and veggies take center stage, while food groups our huntergatherer ancestors wouldn't have dined on (like processed foods, dairy, grains, and legumes) are out.
- Vegan Diet
Plant foods get loads of attention and any ingredients that come from animals, including not just meat but also dairy products and eggs, are cut from the meal rotation.
- Whole, Real Foods Diet
The goal here: Next to no processed food. Beyond that, the plan follows rules similar to the Paleo Diet. Dairy products, grains, and sugary stuff are nixed.
There were individual successes with these plans but total weight loss was behind that of the finalist diets.
- Mediterranean Diet
Inspired by our friends in the Mediterranean countries, who've been found to live longer and suffer from fewer diseases, the plan plays up produce and olive oil and dials down red meat.
- Probiotic Diet
A.k.a. the "healthy gut diet." Dieters go big on foods like fermented fare, which can help maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the body and may lead to improved digestion, immunity, and overall health.
- Protein Shake Diet
To control calories and remove EBS (extra bite syndrome), 2 of 3 daily meals are balanced shakes. A third meal and 2 snacks (all whole-foods-based) round out the day.
These plans have their health merits but dieters found them harder to lose weight with and to stay with over time.
- DASH Diet
That stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; a key feature is cutting back on salt. ("As a heart surgeon, I know this diet can be great for the heart," notes Dr. Oz.)
- Elimination Diet
You scrap foods that may cause inflammation, like anything processed. ("Not a top weight loss diet for us but I believe it could be a winner if you want to fight inflammation," says Dr. Oz.)
- French Diet
Portion control is emphasized and habits like snacking and eating on the go are banned.
- High Protein/Low Carb Diet
Carbs are capped at 45 grams a day, so low-fat dairy, fruit, and starchy veggies get scaled back.
I hope this post answers some of your questions about diet plans ;)
The key to losing weight doesn't mean that you need to stick to a harsh weight loss regimen to drop pounds successfully. My advice: Exercise AND eat in a way that delivers a balance of nutrients and keeps your blood sugar from dropping and spiking.
Are there any eating tips that you would like to share? If so, I'd love to hear from you!!
Have a FITastic week! See you right back here on Thursday!!
Hello! Hello!! HAPPY ThursYAY!!!
How are you?! :D How's your week going?!! This is my first post in 2018! It's a new year and a fresh start!! BRING IT ON!!! What's your resolution? Have you vowed that 2018 will be the year you'll go to the gym everyday? OR...lose those extra 10 pounds? OR...sign up for that marathon? OR...eat clean and meal prep? OR...all of the above...lol?! Every new year offers you a fresh start to get it right, so no matter what your goals are, you can achieve them by adopting healthy practices! You got this!!
Lace up the shoes, roll out the mat, or line up those weights...whatever you prefer...regular exercise will help you look and feel your best! However, exercise AND eating go hand in hand, right?! Absolutely :D What and when you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise. Whether it's a casual workout or training for a competition, consider the following tips to get the most out of your sweat session ;)
EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish at least 1 hour before your workout. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercising can improve workout performance and may allow you to work out for a longer duration or higher intensity. If you don't eat, you might feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. I personally can't work out without eating first...lol!
If you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup before your workout is fine. Also...know that you risk having an upset stomach anytime you try a food or drink for the first time before a workout. Just saying ;)
Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercising.
- Large meals: Eat these at least 3 to 4 hours before you exercise.
- Small meals: Eat these about 1 to 3 hours before you exercise.
Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish. Eating too little may not give you the energy to keep you feeling strong and powerful throughout your workout.
Most people can eat small snacks right before (and during) exercising. The key is how you feel! Do what works best for you!! A healthy snack is especially important if you plan a workout several hours after a meal.
Below are 50 clean eating snack suggestions. This is my go to list when I'm craving a snack throughout the day ;)
1. Fresh veggies
2. Herb roasted nuts
3. Banana topped with almond butter
4. Clean jerky
5. Baked apple chips
6. Sliced cucumbers
7. Watermelon chunks
9. Clean homemade popsicles
10. Celery sticks with almond butter
11. Mixed nuts
12. Grilled fruits
13. Turkey rollup
14. Dried mango slices
15. Pumpkin seeds
16. Veggies with a tuna dip
17. Dill pickles
18. Fresh cherry tomatoes
19. Clean applesauce
20. Clean energy bites
21. Fresh cherries
22. Fresh strawberries
23. Bone broth
24. Clean meatballs
25. Plantain chips and salsa
26. Sliced tomato with a balsamic drizzle
27. Fruit salad
28. Clean muffins
29. Veggies with a pesto dip
31. Baked zucchini chips
32. Hard boiled egg
33. Nut bar
34. Healthy smoothie
35. Leftover grilled veggies
36. Plantain fries
37. Frozen banana
38. Clean berry parfait
39. Fresh blueberries
40. Apple slices with almond butter
41. Baked kale chips
42. Small green salad with a clean dressing
43. Clean lunch meat with veggies
44. Fresh pineapple chunks
46. Tuna lettuce wrap
47. Egg muffins
48. Sweet potato fries (baked)
50. Leftover burger patty
EAT AFTER YOU EXERCISE
To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within 2 hours of your exercise session.
Don't forget to drink fluids. You need adequate fluids before, during, and after exercising to help prevent dehydration. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, have a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body's electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.
Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of your activity will dictate how often and what you should eat and drink. Avoid incorporating new products before a long-duration sports event. It's best to have previous experience to see how your system handles the food ;) I recommend keeping a journal to monitor how your body reacts to meals and snacks, so that you can tweak your diet for optimal performance.
Lets make 2018 the best year yet :D
If you have ANY questions OR comments, let me know! See you right back here on Monday!!
Hello! HAPPY HAPPY Thursday!!
How are you? How was your Christmas?! I had a wonderful day with my family!!! There was lots of fun, laughter, yummy food, and of course, wrapping paper all over the family room...lol :D
I can't believe we're at the end of another year and 2018 is just a few days away! Is it just me or does each year go faster and faster...lol?! Every January, many people set new goals and start fresh, right?!! I hope that you're 1 of those people :D 2018 is a new beginning and a great opportunity to crush new goals for the next 12 months. I'm posting 40 goal suggestions for a healthier you! Choose and write down ANY 12 goals (from below) and accomplish 1 each month!! By doing this, 12 months from now, you'll be more fit, healthy, and confident!!! Are you ready? :D Grab some paper, a pen or pencil, and lets make 2018 a FITastic year!!
1. Formulate a workout program.
2. Find an accountability partner.
3. Start a food journal.
4. Clean out your pantry.
5. Get a checkup.
6. Keep healthy snacks on hand.
7. Portion your meals.
8. Drink more water.
9. Don't skip breakfast.
10. Wake up and go to sleep earlier.
11. Eat to fuel recovery.
12. Exercise at least 3 days a week.
13. Take the stairs.
14. Eat out less often.
15. Laugh often :D
16. Go hiking.
17. Walk during phone calls.
18. Avoid negative people.
19. Try yoga.
20. Don't rely on exercise alone.
21. Skip the soda.
22. Meditate 10 minutes each day.
23. Add more color to your plate.
24. Update your playlist.
25. Track your exercise progress.
26. Downsize your plate.
27. Replace refined carbs with whole grain versions.
28. Try HIIT workouts.
29. Use olive or coconut oil instead of butter.
30. Sign up for an athletic event.
31. Aim to walk 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles).
32. Do quick exercises while watching TV.
33. Go meatless at least 1 day per week.
34. Don't skip meals.
35. Do bodyweight exercises.
36. Learn to say NO!
37. Develop breathing techniques.
38. Get off the couch.
39. Try a new piece of fitness equipment.
40. Hire a Personal Trainer :D
I recommend that you write down which goal you're going to accomplish in each month. This plan is a good way to keep your New Year's resolution! It's about small changes...1 month at a time!! You got this!!!
Have a Happy New Year! I'll see you right back here in 2018!!
Baby, it's cold outside :D I can't get that song out of my head...lol! Plus, it's been cold where I live!! NO snow BUT cold :D How are you doing? Are you having a productive week?! As I was going through my mail this morning, I came across an article and instantly knew that I wanted to share it with you today! Keep reading...below are tips for exercising in the cold!! Bring it on!!!
SURVIVING EXERCISE IN COLD CLIMATES
Written by: Sam Hutchison CES, CPT, NASM-CPT
The seasons have changed, and for some of us it means below freezing temperatures and snow on the ground—not the most ideal conditions for exercising and physical activity. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit yourself to treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes, exercising outdoors is still a plausible option with some foresight and a plan of action. If you dress properly and follow some easy strategies, you can survive the frigid forefront and exercise at your own discretion.
As humans, our bodies aren’t accustomed to cold climates and take longer to adapt to the cold compared to warmer environments. Biologically humans weren’t designed to live in cold climates; humans lack heavy fur coats and a thick lining like many animals living in colder climates thus making heat production and insulation more difficult. Wearing protective layers is essential to preventing not only a decline in exercise performance but more serious issues such as hypothermia and frostbite.
Effect on Performance
Exercising in cold climates can have inhibitory effects on both cardiorespiratory and strength performance. When exposed to cold environments, the body reduces blood flow to the skin and extremities via vasoconstriction to prevent heat loss and maintain the temperature of the body’s core and vital organs. Due to vasoconstriction and blood cooling, aerobic energy components such as fat and oxygen aren’t as efficiently transported to the muscles for energy production. Fuel sources that are typically used for higher intensity training, like muscle glycogen, begin to be used as a replacement, leaving less fuel for later and an earlier onset of fatigue results.
When muscle temperatures fall below a certain point, the time for muscles to contract and the amount of muscles recruited (motor unit recruitment) for an activity is compromised. This limits the amount of force and power typically seen at more favorable temperatures. If not taken seriously, a decline in performance can lead to frustration and possible injury.
Before You Step Outside
Here are some tips you’ll want to consider implementing before stepping outside to exercise or train. It may not seem like much, but following these tips can make your workouts more enjoyable and ultimately safer.
1. Wear layers: It’s difficult to judge just what to wear when planning on exercising outdoors in the cold. Wearing layers allows you to easily adjust and remove layers of extra insulation as your temperature increases.
2. Remove wet clothing: Water conducts heat much faster than air, so your body loses heat more quickly when clothes are wet. Remove wet clothing to stay properly insulated.
3. Be selective about fabrics: Keeping the skin dry is one of the first layers of defense against the cold. Use a moisture wicking fabric next to the skin; synthetic fabrics and wool dry more quickly than their cotton counterpart. Additional heat can also be lost through wind chill, so make use of wind breaking material on outer layers.
4. Hats, footwear and gloves: As stated earlier, it is important to prevent heat loss and make sure there is optimal blood flow to vital organs and working muscles. The hands, feet, and especially the head are vulnerable areas for heat loss and should be kept insulated. A pair of running gloves, insulating socks, training shoes and a wool/fleece hat can help prevent heat loss.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Just like in the heat, it is important to hydrate when cold. You might not realize that you can become dehydrated in the cold since you are sweating less. As you breathe in cold air your body must humidify and warm the inhaled air as it travels to the lungs. This process can dehydrate the body. Drinking a warm beverage before, during and after activity can help fight dehydration and warm the body.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t control the weather; a 75-degree day would be a nice break to have in the middle of December. Regardless of your sport or exercise routine, it is important to be able to adapt to changes in weather and develop a plan of action to prevent injury and a decline in performance, even if that might mean taking your training indoors. The winter months and holiday season are not the time to get out of shape. Try following these five simple suggestions and you might just feel like you are working out in that 75-degree weather that you crave.
Do you have ANY suggestions?!
Be smart and don't lose sight of your goal(s) this holiday season! You got this!!
Monday is Christmas and I'll be spending the day with my family, so I won't be posting! I'll be right back here on Thursday, the 28th!!
Have a MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS :D
Hellooooo! Merry Monday!! :D
How are you? How's your week going so far?! I can't believe that Christmas is a week from today!!! This month is flying by at lightning speed...lol :D I have a list of things to accomplish this week, including some B A K I N G !! Do you have any baking to do? Does it seem difficult to bake when many recipes you like call for unhealthy ingredients?! If the answer is yes...guess what?!! I've got you covered :D
Some ingredients can be substituted for more healthy choices. This post covers some alternatives to those unhealthy ingredients. Note that some ingredients can't be substituted in equal parts, but you can still substitute part, to make your recipe more healthy ;) The following 12 alternatives are Santa approved, so you can feel less guilty when baking those goodies! HO! HO!! HO!!!
Ingredient: White Flour
Substitute: Black Bean Puree
Substitute: Marshmallow Fluff
Substitute: Chia Seeds
Ingredient: Cooking Spray
Substitute: Olive Oil (and a little water)
Substitute: Coconut Milk
Ingredient: Mayo or Miracle Whip
Substitute: Mashed Avocado
Ingredient: Quick Oats or Oatmeal
Ingredient: Butter, Shortening, or Oil
Substitute: Cinnamon or Honey
Ingredient: Heavy Whipping Cream
Substitute: Evaporated Milk
Ingredient: Chocolate Chips
Substitute: Carob Chips
Ingredient: Canola Oil
Substitute: Greek Yogurt
Are there any alternatives that have worked for you? If so, please share them in the comments section!!
Have a JOLLY week!
Try some HEALTHY baking :D
See you right back here on ThursYAY!!
Ho! Ho!! HAPPY Thursday :D
How are you? How's your week going?! I hope you're making this a productive week!!! If you've been doing the workout routine (that I posted) with me...HIGH FIVE :D Tomorrow is the last day that I'll be doing that routine BUT feel free to continue if you're feeling powerful and bada**...lol! Just remember to take a day or two off!!
This month I've been craving chocolate and peppermint! I wonder why...LOL...chocolate is everywhere, especially this time of year!! Chocolate and peppermint taste SOOO good together!!! Right now my weakness is William Sonoma Peppermint Bark!!! AND...i LOVE Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate!!!! Not really healthy :D With that said, I've been on the hunt to find a recipe that I would feel good about eating! I found the following recipe and want to share these babies with you!! These healthy festive bites are definitely holiday approved!!!
PEPPERMINT FUDGE NO BAKE ENERGY BITES
By: Julie Wunder / Running in a Skirt
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Serves: 9 bites
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup pitted medjool dates (about 6)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon mini dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint
1. Put almonds in a food processor and chop.
2. Add the dates and blend well.
3. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and coconut oil. Blend for several minutes until starting to combine. Add a couple drops of water if necessary to help it move.
4. Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few final times to combine well. You don't want to pulverize the chocolate though.
5. Take a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in your hand and roll into a ball. The coconut oil will soften and it will be very messy. The warmth of your hand will allow the coconut oil to help bind the bite. You will end up pushing it more together than actually rolling it. While it is still warm press into the peppermint.
6. Allow the finished bites to set in the fridge for 30 minutes to re-solidify the coconut oil.
If you make this recipe, I'd love to hear your comments :D
I'll be right back here on MonYAY!
I've made my list and checked it twice :D These are the gifts that I think your fitness friends and family will like!!
The following gifts are geared towards the fitness lovers on your Christmas list this year! Go ahead and splurge on a few things for yourself too!! Santa won't tell...lol :D
* All photos belong to the respective websites.
* I don't make ANY money sharing these gifts with you! I just simply think they're FITastic!! HO HO HO!!!
1. Meditation Kit
This kit contains everything you need to create a simple but powerful meditation ritual that engages your mind, body, and senses. The Mindfulosophy Journal guides you thru 108 days of mindful practices.
2. Digital Scale
Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale with 30% Wider Stainless Steel Platform 11lb 5kg, 3 GP Batteries included.
3. Assert Backpack 30L
This backpack was designed with your commute in mind. Plenty of storage keeps your essentials organized and an exterior shovel pocket lets you quickly stash your helmet or jacket on the go.
4. Cold Roller Ball (Hand-Held Ice Therapy)
A friction-free, smooth-rolling stainless steel ball combined with a healing power of ice. The Cold Roller Ball reduces inflammation and speeds recovery.
5. Women's TechLoom Pro Shoe
Ventilation and support...these revolutionary runners deliver where you need it most. They're made with APL's seamless TechLoom construction and unique Propelium technology to give your feet the comfort they crave during training sessions and metropolis treks.
6. Men's TechLoom Ascend Shoe
These kicks aren't your typical trainers. They're designed with APL's unique Propelium technology to give you unrestricted movement, even weight distribution, and long-lasting wear.
7. Yummi Yogi Cookie Cutter Collection
Cutters are approximately 5" x 5" and are stainless steel. Made in the USA. Collection includes: 5 cookie cutters / 1 of each pose.
8. Tile Mate - Key Finder, Phone Finder, Anything Finder
Fitness lovers are constantly on the go and Tile Mate is the easiest, quickest, and most reliable way to find your phone, keys, or anything. Tile Mate is perfect for hooking onto your keys, bags, or anything else you want to easily attach it to. Or use the Tile Mate adhesives (sold separately) to stick your Tile Mate device to any flat surface, allowing you to find what matters most with ease.
9. Enlite Bra
Running never felt so good. They designed this revolutionary bra to give you comfort, movement management, and a natural shape.
10. Flavor Infusing Carafe
Whether you're craving a fruity aqua fresca, a tangy punch, or a hand-mixed beverage of your own design, with this flavor-infusing carafe you can create delicious drinks flavored with whatever fruit and herb combinations you can imagine.
11. Medicine Ball
$23.99 (price for yellow 4lb ball)
DYNAPRO Medicine Ball / Exercise Ball, Durable Rubber, Consistent Weight Distribution, Comfort Textured Grip for Strength Training.
12. Give A Subscription
From: $20.00 (every 2 months)
When you order a subscription RunnerBox, a box stuffed with products and accessories geared towards runners will ship straight to the doorstep every other month.
Do you have any FITastic Christmas gift ideas? If so...please share!!
See you right back here on Thursday!!!
Hey! Hey!! HAPPY ThursYAY :D
How's your week going? This is a wonderful time of year, isn't it?! :D Are you crushing the workout routine that I posted? There's 1 more day to fit it in this week!! In fact...i'm going to challenge you to do 1 more week with me! Who's in?! Alright...lets do this :D Finish strong tomorrow then start the routine again on Monday and continue until next Friday! NO equipment needed, so NO excuses!! Who doesn't want to look FITastic in their holiday clothes?!! :D
If you're looking for a festive, easy, and healthy holiday dessert then look no more! This Christmas Tree Dessert Pizza is perfect!!
CHRISTMAS TREE DESSERT PIZZA!
By: Maryea from "Happy Healthy Mama"
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 297
2 cups whole almonds
3 cups pitted dates
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1 star fruit, sliced
1. Put the first 6 ingredients (thru pinch of salt) into a food processor and process until everything is completely broken down. It won't look like it's going to hold together but if you pinch it in between your fingers, it should stick together. (If it's not holding together, your dates may be too dry. You can add a little milk to nut butter to help.)
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Dump the mixture onto the baking sheet. Use your hands to press the mixture together into a ball. Then, press it down and shape it into a tree shape (or whatever shape you prefer.)
4. Keep pressing the side in with 1 hand and the top down with the other hand, so it's as compact as possible. It should be about 3/4-inch thick.
5. Put the sheet into the freezer to allow it to firm for about 30 minutes.
6. Next, spread the crust with the vanilla yogurt, leaving the trunk brown.
7. Decorate the tree with the diced kiwi and pomegranate arils. Use a sliced starfruit for the star and use the rest to decorate the serving tray.
This easy and healthy Christmas Tree Dessert Pizza is festive and fun for your whole family to enjoy! OR impress your friends at the next holiday party!!
I'll be posting a "Gift Guide" on Monday, so be sure to check back in! There's still time before Christmas to purchase gifts and add to YOUR wish list :D
I hope you have a fun-filled (and of course, healthy...lol) weekend! I'm going to San Francisco with some girlfriends!! Three days in the city...bring it on!!!
HELLO All! It's MERRY Fitmas month!! :D
How are you doing on this beautiful December day? Are you crushing your holiday hustle...lol?! :D What about doing the exercise routine that I posted for this week? It's only Monday, so it's not too late to jump in!! Don't let your goal(s) fall by the wayside, use this month to strengthen your healthy habits and stay in the game!!! YOU GOT THIS :D
Today's post is on how you can stay FIT this H O L I D A Y S E A S O N ! The following tips are probably things that you've heard before BUT sometimes we can use a JOLLY reminder!!
I know it's cold outside baby but this is sooo important!! It's a known fact that drinking water is essential to both weight loss and health in general. It's even more important during the holiday season. When you're out running tons of errands or juggling more than 1 task at a time, take a water bottle with you. I always have a water bottle in my car and a backup in my trunk. I also have a water bottle close at hand when I'm at home. I have a bottle near my computer, on my nightstand, by my bathroom sink, and even in the kitchen...lol! I find it easy to drink plenty of water when it's right in front of me!! And...no...the photo below isn't water...lol :D
Set your goal(s) ahead of time!
Exercise goals, food goals, and other goals you set for yourself are more likely to get accomplished if they're set ahead of time.
The same goes for staying active when you're having a relaxing day at home. Make a point to get up and move around if you're watching holiday movies or playing games with the family. Simply getting off the couch and doing a few exercises will boost your metabolism.
Rise early and get your workout in before the day begins. Plan your workout the night before. Some people skip exercising this time of year simply because they don't want to miss out on any fun. But rising early eliminates this issue...lol! If you get your workout in before anything else then you won't miss out on the fun!!
Time can be limited when it comes to working out during the holidays but I believe that you can ALWAYS find time to workout...lol! High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are a great solution during the holiday season because they don't require much time! Many routines can be done for as little as 15 to 30 minutes!!
Body-weight workouts are my favorite...you probably already know that...lol! No need to go to the gym if you're running short on time! You can get a very efficient workout just about anywhere using no equipment!! Sooo what's your excuse?!! :D
Try new and healthy recipes!
The holidays are LOADED with yummy treats everywhere! Many of them are unhealthy too...lol!! Our taste buds scream...why?!! :D One way to stay on track is to try new recipes! Try making those yummy treats healthier!! By doing this, you can still satisfy those screaming taste buds AND stick to your fitness goals! Look online for holiday recipes that are on the healthy side!! :)
Treat yourself but don't over indulge!
I just covered the importance of trying healthy recipes, so that you stick to your fitness goals. And...YES...that hasn't changed but it would be worthless to tell you to never treat yourself during the holidays (and after)! Balance is the key to living a healthy life!! If you constantly tell yourself that you can't have any of the cookies your neighbor brought over then you're more likely to binge eat. Allow yourself a "cheat day!" Allow yourself 1 day a week when you can eat those cookies, ice cream, pie, or whatever it is that you've been craving!! You'll have a better mindset, which will then motivate you to work harder ;)
Get good sleep!
The holiday season can leave you short on time and sleep. But it's important to keep your sleep routine consistent, so that you can truly enjoy the season! Shoot for going to bed and waking up at the same time each day!! The key is to be consistent!!! If you have a holiday party to attend and you'll be staying up late, still try and wake up at the same time the next day. I know this can be hard (lol) but you'll have a more productive day. And...remember that exercise can promote a deeper sleep :)
I hope these tips help you to stay on top of your fitness journey during this busy season! I L O V E this time of year! I L O V E everything about it!! If you have ANY tips that have worked for you, I'd love to hear your comments! Bring it on :D
Have a FITastic week! I'll be right back here on Thursday!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist