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So far sharpjh has created 7 blog entries.

Avocado Fudge Pops

Ingredients 

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk (nut milks work too)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)

Directions

  • To melt the chocolate, place chips in a wide, shallow microwave bowl. Heat on medium high for about 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Repeat heating at shorter intervals, 15 to 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and has a smooth consistency.
  • Place all ingredients, including melted chocolate, in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Consistency should look just like chocolate pudding.
  • Place in a bowl to enjoy as chocolate pudding (you might need to put in fridge to set if serving as pudding) OR put in popsicle molds and freeze for 4-6 hours until completely frozen.
Dessert, Recipes, Snacks|

Banana Blueberry Muffins

These are my son’s favorite! We hope you enjoy them as much as he does!

Makes 12-14 Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar in the raw
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pans
  • Place bananas in standing or hand held mixer and mix until bananas are broken up and smooth.
  • In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and powder and salt. Whisk together until everything is mixed well.
  • In another bowl (or measuring cup) whisk egg and then add milk, oil and vanilla. Pour in and mix with the smashed bananas.
  • Once incorporated, add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated together.
  • Add the frozen blueberries and mix until incorporated into the batter.
  • Use a 1/4 measuring cup to add mixture to muffin pans
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes (this is completely depending on your oven. Set timer for 15 or 18 mins and check to see progress. Add time as needed until knife comes out clean. Don’t overcook or they will be dry!)

I’ve added a yogurt cream cheese icing with these and they taste like a cupcake! But healthier of course!

Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes, Snacks|

Flax Crackers

Use these crackers as a vessel for anything you’d put on top of bread or traditional crackers. They add fiber and healthy fats to your daily meals! Remember to get 35g of fiber everyday!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • Spices (optional)
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the first 3 ingredients together until a gooey dough forms. Lay out on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spread until the mixture is flatted to a thin layer. Cut into whatever shape you want.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. You might need more time depending on how thin you spread the mixture.
  • Once crackers are crispy, take out of oven to cool.
  • Best if served day of
Recipes, Snacks|

Is Cold Brew Coffee Better for You?

Hot Coffee – Iced Coffee – Cold brew . . . what is the difference?

So to begin, lets talk about the science. Recent studies have come out showing the health benefits of drinking coffee and its effects on cardiovascular health. A lot of the research shows coffee helping to decrease heart disease, decrease inflammation in the body and protect against chronic disease. Why all of the sudden a change in the research? Well researchers found many problems in existing studies within the control groups related to other behaviors, like smoking, drinking and not sleeping well, which all contribute to higher risks of chronic disease.

The new research, in a more controlled group, is pointing to coffee being healthy for us. This comes at no surprise if you know that a coffee bean is actually rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help fight against disease.

Now the question, is cold brew better for you than traditional coffee? Do you know the difference?

  • Hot coffee – traditionally brewed between 180-185 degrees; depending on the brewing method, the coffee is in contact with water anywhere from 20 seconds to 5 minutes
  • Iced coffee – same method as hot coffee except its brought down to cold temperature and served over ice
  • Cold brew – made by steeping coffee grounds in cool water for an extended period of time, usually, overnight. Cold brew is never heated

Since we know the difference now, which is better for you? Today, there are no studies to support the health claims of a cold brewed coffee. Research is funny because we can think something makes sense from one perspective but you go and test it out and it proves the opposite sometimes. With that being said, hot and iced coffees are typically a little more acidic due to the heating process. This may be a little harsher for somebody who suffers from GERD or acid reflux (which many of my family members do). Cold brew is less acidic since it was never heated and due to the steeping process, it’s naturally a smoother consistency making it easier to drink black.

You’ve got the facts!  Go enjoy any of these choices with a small amount of milk and sugar if you need any at all. I personally like cream and sugar in my hot coffee in the morning and I enjoy a nice cold brew with nothing in it. How do you like your coffee?

Nutrition|

Homemade Granola

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Old Fashion Oats
  • Approximately 2 cups of the following:
    • Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) raw, unsalted
    • Pecans – unsalted (chopped)
    • Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
    • Almonds (slivered, unsalted)
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ½ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 ½ cups Local Organic Honey (I used an Orange Blossom)
  • 3 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • (About) 1 ½ Cups dried apricots (diced)
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl (Oats, pepitas, pecans, coconut flakes, almonds, cinnamon, Ground Flax Seed). Mix together so everything is combined
  3. In a medium saucepan add honey, brown sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Heat until brown sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour honey mixture over oats mixture. Stir until all dry ingredients are covered in the honey mixture. Place parchment paper on 4-5 cooking sheets (I have to do this in batches). Pour single layer of oats mixture on cookie sheets.
  5. Place in 300 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes – stirring every 10 minutes. (VERY IMPORTANT to stir every 10 minutes)
  6. After granola is cooked, take off hot cookie sheet and spread mixture to cool.
  7. Add diced apricots once granola is completely cooled. Mix and enjoy!
Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks|

LS – HIIT Workout | HIIT, Workout, High Intensity

Try this workout at home, outside or at the gym. It will be sure to get your heart rate going and the blood flowing. Feel free to start with 10 reps and work your way up to the 20 reps then back down to the 10. You can customize this based on your personal ability and preference. Hight intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to get an efficient workout in with limited time. You will burn calories during the workout as well as in your recovery. Stay tuned for more workout that will guarantee results!

20x, 15x,10x

  • knee push-ups
  • lunges (each leg is 1)
  • push-up then row
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Med ball squat jumps
  • KB swings
  • Russian twists
  • Band back pulls
  • Leg lifts
  • 1 lap outside or 5 100m sprints
Fitness|

5 Ways to Find a Balance in Your Life

5 easy ways to find a health balance in your life

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We had a nice, healthy breakfast, packed a nutritionally balanced lunch, and we head off in our car to start the work day. We’re feeling proud of ourselves so far for sticking to our “diet” the last few days, till Cindy at work shows up with a plethora of donuts and coffee. And we’re not talking a simple glazed donut, we’re talking the sugary, cream-filled, sprinkle-covered, delicious mounds of dough. We know we “shouldn’t,” but the temptation is strong.

What do we do?

If anyone is like me, and donuts are a weakness, we devour the tempting fried pastry immediately. Then we are consumed with immediate guilt and self-frustration for “cheating on our diet.” We sink into a lull, then ever so often, we proceed to fill the rest of the day with processed sugars and unhealthy food because “the day is already ruined.” We go to bed frustrated and say “I’ll start again tomorrow.”

But why? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Below are 5 ways to develop a healthy and happy relationship with food.

  1. Don’t Hate Your Guts

Learn how to kick the guilt! It’s not healthy to self-loathe! We have inadvertently trained ourselves over the years to point out things about ourselves that we don’t do as well as we would like, or that those around us do better. When we put ourselves down, we kill our own productivity without even realizing it! Instead, boost yourself up when you feel like it the least. It may feel silly at first, but point out things that you like about yourself and things that you are good at, rather than focusing on things you want to change. When you feel better about yourself, you will feel more confident in achieving your goals.

  1. Separate Your Eating Habits from the Diet Stigma

Deprivation makes us crave! Have you ever wanted something simply because you weren’t supposed to? If you ever have, good news – you’re human!

So how do we combat this in regards to our dietary habits? The key is to remind ourselves that indulging in a “bad” food every once in a while isn’t necessarily a bad thing and that eating healthy is not a punishment. Health and fitness aren’t about crash dieting.  A healthy lifestyle is about balance and maintaining dietary habits that are beneficial long term.

  1. Set Attainable Goals

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

It’s easy to set large goals, but short goal setting is a foundational tactic that is often overlooked. Change takes time. When we set huge, broad goals for ourselves, whether that be to lose weight or gain weight or to look like Jennifer Anniston by the end of the month, we set ourselves up for failure. Instead, physically write down your long term goal, set a realistic date, and plan out several smaller milestones down the way. When you reach those small milestones, congratulate yourself, rather than focusing on how far you have to go.

 

  1. One Donut Isn’t One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Just because you ate one “bad” thing, doesn’t mean your day is ruined, or you can’t see progress. While the wording is relative and unrelated to health, the idea behind the old phrase “One salad won’t make you skinny and one dessert won’t make you fat” is true. That isn’t to say that small changes don’t matter, but rather it’s reminding us that if the majority of our dietary habits follow along our goal, we will still see progress. Don’t give up on yourself for the day because you’ve eaten something you aren’t “proud of.” Keep going, you’re getting there.

 

  1. Stop Calling It a Cheat Meal/Day

Cheating is associated with bad behavior. Nutrition is all about balance and living a flexible, healthy life-style. When we categorize a meal or day as “cheating,” we are inadvertently telling our minds that it isn’t okay, creating a divide between our everyday lives and our “cheat meal/day.”

When we can learn to develop a healthy relationship with food, we are much more likely to reach our goals and to happier with ourselves when we do. If you want one of those sugary snacks Cindy brought, enjoy it. But then continue with your goals. Don’t start tomorrow, you can do this today!

Wellness|
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