Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Protein Bars



SUPER EASY!!

Ingredients:
1- 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
1/2c. unsweetened applesauce

4 large egg whites
1⁄2 cup almond milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C oat flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (try to not use something filled with sucralose!)
1⁄2 C Xylitol or coconut sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1⁄2 tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray. Combine all ingredients & mix thoroughly. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.

10 Days to 100 Burpees Challenge


Got ten days to blast your full body with burpees? We are challenging you to do 100 burpees per day, by the end of 10 days-and see a difference! On top of that, you would have done a total of 550 burpees within those 10 days!

**Please note: These do NOT have to be done at one sitting. You can break them up and do them throughout the day-from the time you wakeup till the time you go to bed**

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How to do a Burpee:
  • Begin in a standing position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now, lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back so that you are in push-up position. Keep your hands firmly on the ground to support your body.
  • Lower your chest to do a push-up. Bring your chest back up.
  • Kick your feet back to their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead.
  • Repeat.
10 Days to 100 Burpees Challenge
Day 1: 10 Burpees
Day 2: 20 Burpees
Day 3: 30 Burpees
Day 4: 40 Burpees
Day 5: 50 Burpees
Day 6: 60 Burpees
Day 7: 70 Burpees
Day 8: 80 Burpees
Day 9: 90 Burpees
Day 10: 100 Burpees

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who Loves Ice Cream?



What if you could make delicious ice cream at home without an ice cream maker with only a few minutes of preparation? 

Well, you can! And best of all?

This specific recipe contains:

  • No preservatives
  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • No high-fructose corn syrup
  • No hydrogenated fats
  • No gluten
  • No cholesterol
  • No trans-fats
Click the video below to learn more:



But before the product can be launched, they need YOUR help! Be sure to check out their Kickstarter page to help fund the cool idea!

Lose Your Love Handles With One Easy Move

Love handles suck.

The best way to fight the area is a great combo of a clean diet + cardio, since spot reduction is a myth. However, there is one very neglected move to help: the Dumbbell Sidebend.

This move works by strengthening & building your oblique muscles. The obliques, which run down on either side of your torso, are responsible for a variety of movements around the spine. When you twist your torso, your obliques are responsible for the movement. During side bends, the obliques flex the spine laterally.

(I was 16 weeks pregnant here! Hehe!)

For this move, you will need one dumbbell-preferrably at a weight that you feel most comfortable with. You may even use a kettlebell!

How to do a Dumbbell Sidebend:
  1. Grasp dumbbell with arm straight to side.
  2. Bend waist to opposite side of dumbbell until slight stretch is felt, no more than 6 inches usually.
  3. Lower to opposite side, same distance and repeat.
  4. Continue with opposite side.

5 Ways to Cut Toxic People From Your Life

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One weak strength about me (I call it a weak strength because it is both a weakness and a strength of mine) is that I am too naive at times. I like to believe the best in people, that people can eventually change their ways. And when they show me that they haven't, it hurts.

It's kinda like, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I am a moron."

I give one too many chances and often get burned. But then I realized, I needed to respect and to value myself enough to not let people treat me that way and to just walk away-especially now that I have a son. How he sees me react to a negative person or situation will alter how he learns to deal with the negative himself. I want him to be smart, bold, strong, and respectful of himself. Also, I do not want toxic people around or near my son whatsoever.



You wouldn’t hesitate to cut toxins out of your diet, nor would you think twice before removing toxic substances from areas where your children play, so why is it that we are so hesitant to remove toxic people from our lives? The most obvious reason is that most of us like to avoid conflict and don’t want to hurt another human being’s feelings. This is where it is okay to put YOU first.

Toxic relationships can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia, and hurt feelings. I have been there-I even grew up in it. But now that I am an adult and within my own home with my own family, I can finally control who I do and don't allow in my life.



Here are ways to cut toxic people from your life:

  1. Get out of denial. Being naive is okay to an extent, but when you are in a relationship that brings harm to your life, it is time to take off those rose tinted glasses and realize what YOU are allowing to happen to YOU. That boyfriend who has been cheating on or hitting you? That parent who has been emotionally abusing you and telling you that you are worthless? That friend who only calls you when he or she needs a favor, but does not have your back when you need them? Yeah, THOSE PEOPLE. Get out of denial and realize that these relationships are not healthy. Once you realize this, you can move on easier.
  2. Cut them off socially. Block them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram-whatever social platform that they may contact you on. You do not need to hear from them because this will only take you back into your denial. 
  3. Block the numbers. Call the phone company and have their number blocked asap! Also, iPhone has this nice little feature that allows you to block calls and texts-straight from your phone. 
  4. Surround yourself with the positive. Go be with the people who only lift you up higher and higher. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror, telling yourself that: 1) You love YOU, 2) You respect you, and 3) You are WORTHY. 
  5. Rest & rebuild you. The energy it takes to endure withdrawal to a toxic relationship is equivalent to working a full-time job. Truthfully, this may be the hardest work you’ve ever done. In addition to support from people who understand your undertaking, you must keep the rest of your life simple. You need rest and solitude.
It is certainly okay to have high hopes and to trust that people can change. Some actually can. From my experience, one quote sums it all up, though:

"When people show you who they are, believe them the first time" - Maya Angelou

10 Ways to Lose the Last 10lbs


Have you ever heard that the last ten pounds to lose are usually the hardest? Well, it is true-and they can be a total bitch. There are lots of reasons for this; one being that when a person begins to lose weight, their metabolic rate drops. In other words, they need fewer calories to meet basic functioning and requirements.

When you diet, your body is forced to work on a reduced number of calories per day. Eventually your body adapts to living on whatever calories it gets, without losing weight. This built-in survival mechanism is your body’s way to protect you against starvation and once you have hit this point, you may manage to lose a few bonus pounds, but they will come off much more slowly and, before you know it, the weight you lost may start to come back on! This is the wonderful dreaded plateau effect.

So what do you do? Work harder and push yourself through it!

Here are 10 Ways to Lose Those Last 10 Pounds:
  1. Eat protein at every meal. Protein  not only keeps you feeling fuller longer, it also has a "thermic" effect as well, meaning your body has to work harder digesting it compared to carbs or fat. It also supports muscle growth, keeping you lean.
  2. Kick up your cardio with HIIT. Interval training can trigger a boost in metabolism so you burn more fat during low- and moderate-intensity activity, and even at rest.
  3. Don't forget the weights. Cardio blasts calories immediately, while strength-training increases metabolism over time, so combining the two gives you the ultimate bang for your buck
  4. Manage your stress levels. According to an article on Prevention regarding stress eating, here's what happens: Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven't used very many calories. This can make you hungry...very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues."
  5. Eat more healthy fats. Healthy fats are not only known to regulate your metabolism, but they are also known for improving satiety so that you do not get as hungry as quickly.  Also, we need fat to boost the liver's function of releasing fat. Yes, we need fat to burn fat. It's the proper type of fat that matters.
  6. Watch those carbs. You need carbs because they fuel your muscles. , but choosing carbohydrates that don't drive up your insulin levels is key here. Complex carbs, which take longer to digest, are much better choices than simple sugars.
  7. Drink one glass of water before meals. Drinking one glass of water before each meal prevents you from overeating during your actual meal. It also helps keep you hydrated!
  8. Cut out added sodium. Sodium loves hanging on to every ounce of water weight. Try to lessen your sodium intake daily or cut out any added salt to help stop the bloat-and drop the last few pounds.
  9. Sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to significant halt in your weightloss journey. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. A second study found that sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain.
  10. Stay motivated. Don't lose sight or give up if those last few pounds don't fall off as quickly as you want them too. Remember that Rome was not built in a day and sometimes good things take a little more time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Your Simple Guide to Meditation

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If you haven't started meditating, then you really should. However, it is becoming increasingly hard to meditate in such a digital world. Our minds are programmed to be constantly thinking, going, doing-we never just take the time to sit, relax, and stare.

It is best to aim for at least 15 minutes of meditation daily. You might think: " I don't have that time to just sit there and do nothing at all."

There are 1440 minutes in a day. We waste countless minutes watching tv, surfing the web, pinning things we will never make, and checking our Facebook or Twitter newsfeeds.

Some health benefits of regular meditation are:
  • reduced stress
  • lower blood pressure
  • improved immunity
  • improves focus
  • better memory
  • lowered blood sugar
  • increases life satisfaction
  • improves mood
  • reduces loneliness
  • decreases pain
  • generates helpfulness
  • decreases depression
  • decreases anxiety
Proper meditaton pose should look something like this (but it can vary):

  • legs crossed in vajra pose
  • shoulders level & relaxed
  • eyes neither open or completely closed
  • elbows pointed out to let air circulate
  • sit back to avoid slouching
  • back is straight but not tense
  • mouth is in neutral position
  • head is tilted forward with chin slightly tucked inward
  • hands placed in lap or on the knees
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How to meditate:

Everyone has their very own way or technique of meditating so to say "this is how you should be doing it" would be impractical. Also, there are a ton of different ways to do it! But here is my favorite method that always gets me relaxed and ready to start the day. It is called Light/Dark Visualization or  Black & White Meditation.
  1. While breathing in, imagine that all the positive energy of the universe enters your body with the breath. Visualise this positive energy as pure white light which enters all the parts of your body, it pervades every cell and atom. Enjoy this clear white light as you take a deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs completely.
  2. While breathing out, imagine that all your negative energies, mistakes, misunderstanding and emotions leave your body with the breath. Visualise this energy as black smoke, which goes out through your nose and into space, completely disappearing.
  3. If you feel comfortable, use every breath to inhale light and to exhale black smoke and problems.
  4. When distracted by other thoughts, simply observe them without getting involved; transform them into black smoke and breathe them out.
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Some meditation tips to remember:

No matter how you choose to meditate, here are a few tips to always remember!
  1. Find a quiet place with zero distraction. Ask your partner to watch the kids, put your cell phone away, and turn the tv off.
  2. Find the perfect time. I love meditating at morning or sunrise; however, it really does not matter when you do it as long as you can relax.
  3. Sit in meditation pose or lay down. This is your preference! Neither way is right or wrong, as long as you are relaxed and able to focus.
  4. Let go. All of your tasks for the day, all of your problems, people who piss you off, money and bills, and everything in your life that is constantly going, going, going-just forget it!
  5. Visualize. Lastly, think happy.
If you still don't think that you can sit still long enough to truly enjoy the art of meditation, try some alternatives such as going for a walk (alone). breathing exercises with your eyes closed, or doing some yoga (in a quiet room). 

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are taking time for you to reflect.

One Move to a Fuller Booty


Everyone always talks about squats: "Squats this, squats that."

Well, they WORK! Duh.

However, not everyone can do squats, possibly due to bad knees or another medical related issue. But, there is a super awesome booty building alternative to squats that does not get as much attention as it deserves. It not only defys gravity, but builds things upward to perk those glutes up in no time.

So, what is this move? DONKEY KICKS! This exercise is also known as the quadruped bent-knee hip extension. This move works by eliciting a higher degree of muscle activation in both the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimums than many other commonly performed butt exercises, according to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse researchers.

So, let's do one!

How to do a Donkey Kick:


  1. Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg behind you until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum.
  3. Return to start position to complete one rep.
  4. Do 20 on each side, three times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Belly Blasting Boot Camp Circuit



Belly Blasting Boot Camp Circuit

Directions: Warm up with five minutes of light cardio, then repeat each three-exercise circuit three times. Cool down with five minutes of stretching or walking.

Circuit 1
30 Burpees
burpee
  • Begin in a standing position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now, lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back so that you are in push-up position. Keep your hands firmly on the ground to support your body.
  • Lower your chest to do a push-up. Bring your chest back up.
  • Kick your feet back to their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead.
60 Second Plank
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  • Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position. Starting with the pushup position is the easiest way to get into the plank.
  • Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  • Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.
  • Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.
  • Hold this position, also known as the plank, for 60 seconds. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.
25 Bicycle Crunches
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  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground and contract your core muscles.
  • With your hands gently holding your head, lift your knees to about a 45-degree angle.
  • Slowly, at first, go through a bicycle pedal motion.
  • Alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knees as you twist back and forth.
Circuit 2
20 Leg Lifts
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  • Lie on a flat surface with your lower back curvature pressed against the surface. Hold on to a fixed and sturdy object behind you (such as one of the beams from a squat rack) or you can just have your arms by your side with the palms facing the floor. Your feet should be straight in front of you and the upper torso should be aligned with the arms behind you holding on to the fixed object.
  • Raise your legs to where they are off the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold the contraction for a second or so.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in.
60 Second Side Plank
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  • Lie on your left side with your knees straight.
  • Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Position your elbow under your shoulder.
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  • Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Your head should stay in line with your body.
  • Hold this position for the prescribed amount of time while breathing deeply. That's one set.
  • Turn around so that you're lying on your right side and repeat.
20 Russian Twists
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  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.
  • Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight, but don’t let it curve.
  • Place your arms straight out in front of you with your hands one on top of the other. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your ribcage.
  • Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through center and rotate to the right. This completes one rep.
Circuit 3
25 Mountain Climbers
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  • Start the exercise by lying face down on the floor.
  • Straighten out your arms and then touch your knees down to the ground or floor.
  • Now you are ready to lift yourself up into position. When doing this, be sure that your hands are directly under your chest at a width that is slightly more than your shoulder length distance.
  • Once you have settled into position and checked the position of your hands you should be sure to keep your legs stretched out, ensuring that they are properly lined up with the rest of your body. Pay special attention to your knees as many people tend to create a gap here but that should be avoided. If the recommended position is uncomfortable for you, it is alright to modify it slightly as long as you maintain the correct posture.
  • Now you should stretch out your left leg for stability. Bend your right knee and bring it up in the direction of your right hand. At this point, you should be in a similar position to the one you would be in if you were climbing a mountain or tree (hence the name) except horizontal instead of vertical.
  • After bringing your right knee up, return it to the original position and do the previous step with your left leg. (Once again, bend the left knee and bring it up towards the left hand mimicking the actions of a mountain climber)
35 Oblique V-ups
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  • Lie on your left side, legs angled 30 degrees from your hips.
  • Rest your left arm on the floor and put your right hand behind your head
  • Lift your straight legs off the floor, bringing your torso toward your legs
  • Slowly return to start. That's one rep.
20 Side Jackknives
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  • Lie on your left side on an exercise mat with your legs extended straight downward and the right leg on top of the left. Place your left hand on your abdominals. Place your right hand behind your head. This is your starting position.
  • Raise your right let straight in the air while simultaneously raising your torso, bringing your right elbow toward your right leg.
  •  Hold for a moment and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for a complete set and then switch sides.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie

Kim Snyders GGS

A favorite among celebs as a postpartum smoothie to help drop the baby weight, this green smoothie was created by nutritionist Kimberly Snyder to not only boost weightloss and to brighten up your skin, but to leave you feeling more energetic!

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