fresh.fit.fabulous

Parisa

Think Pink Smoothie

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1 sliced frozen banana ~ 5 strawberries ~ 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder ~ 1/2 cup of water ~ sliced almonds ~ hemp seeds ~ dark raw chocolate ~ shredded coconut

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (You can feel good about)

A friend of mine shared this recipe with me a few weeks ago, and I didn’t believe it until I tried it out for myself. A delicious, sweet, chewy cookie, made from chickpeas?  No sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no eggs? These even passed my brother’s taste test, which believe me, is something to be proud of!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (try to use BPA-free)
  • 1 + 1/4 cup of all natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of all natural honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (milk, white, dark, vegan)
  • 2 drops or 1 packet of stevia (optional)
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips
  • Scoop out the “dough” and add the chocolate chips

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  • Wet your hands, form little balls with the dough and press on them with two  fingers
  • Place cookies on parchment paper or greased baking dish
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Allow the cookies to cool for at least 30 minutes before eating

Enjoy! Thank you Christine 🙂

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Sweaty Saturday: It’s all about the S

Here are some great body weight exercises you can do anytime & anywhere:

1) Squat Reach & Jump: Perform a standard squat and quickly jump up, reaching both arms straight overhead (15 reps x 3 sets).

2) Step-Up: Use a chair, bench or couch- place one foot on the elevated surface and return to start (15 reps x 3 sets each side).

3) Single Leg Deadlift: Start with both feet together and slightly lift one leg as your torso lowers (15 reps x 3 sets each side).

4) Superman: Lying face down with legs and arms extended, raise both arms and both legs simultaneously to reach a slight curve (15 reps x 3 sets).

5) Side Plank: Roll onto one side and lift hips keeping one foot on the other (you can place one foot behind the other for less intensity) (3 sets for 45 seconds each side).

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Chocolate-Coconut Cupcakes

If you think you’ve tried the world’s most delicious cupcake, think again! This amazing recipe was given to me by my friend Ena’s, very health conscious mother, Zumreta. I am not vegan myself, but when you can eat a cupcake this delicious that contains no animal products, why not? Here is the recipe for the worlds yummiest and guilt-free cupcake:

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Ingredients for cupcakes (serves 12) :

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond or coconut)
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melt before use) – you can substitute with any other oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/5 cup of all purpose flour (can substitute with gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder or carob powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Vegan chocolate chips

Ingredients for icing:

  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut flakes

Directions for cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  • Mix together milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract
  • Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix well until you reach a smooth batter
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and put 1-2 chocolate chips in the middle
  • Bake for 22 minutes

Directions for icing:

  • Chill the coconut milk overnight
  • Scoop the thickened cream and mix with the maple syrup and vanilla
  • Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut flakes

These cupcakes are best kept in the refrigerator because the icing melts fairly quick.

I hope you love them as much as my family did 🙂 Thank you Zumreta & Ena!

Les Mills: Body Pump

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I usually prefer to do my own workouts, or partner up with a friend, but when I do want more variety, Les Mills Body Pump (BP) is my go-to class. Depending on your local gym, the classes range from 45 minutes (express), to 60 minutes (full). The class works all the major muscle groups, and you can adjust your weight for each body part. The full 60 minute class includes 10 tracks and is ordered like this:

  • Warm-up
  • Squats
  • Chest
  • Hamstrings/Back/Glutes
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Lunges
  • Shoulders
  • Abs
  • Stretch

The 45 minute express class usually leaves out the triceps, biceps and abdominal tracks, but it is still a great workout. What’s great about BP is that you can really use it to measure your strength. As you get more familiar with the routines, and increase your weight, your body will definitely begin changing and you will see results from the increase in intensity. The instructor(s) will guide you as to which tracks you should go heavier for, and the recommended intensity for each body part – you need to feel challenged! You burn a TON of calories, build lean muscle and get that heart rate up. BP is also great for those who are at new to strength training because it teaches you all of the correct techniques to get the most out of your workouts. You can take what you learn and incorporate them into your own workouts.

Tuesday Tips: Maximize Your Workout

Motivation

Here are 5 ways you can change up your workouts and add more intensity:

1) Tabata

Choose an exercise and perform it for 8 rounds of 20 second intervals with a 10 second between each round.

Example: For 4 minutes and 8 rounds, do dumbbell lunges with over-head shoulder press.  For the next 8 rounds, do jump squats

Repeat this 3 times for an amazing 24 minute burn.

2) Mix Cardio and Weights

Instead of extended periods on cardio machines or strength machines, try combining the two using dumbbells or stability balls.

Example: 30 second mountain climber, 20 dummbell lunges, 20 chest press, followed by 20 seconds of high knees.

3) Supersets

Perform two exercises in a row with no break in between (you can perform two moves working the same body part or two moves working different body parts)

Example: 3 sets of 10 pushups superset with 3 sets of 12 bent-over rows (pushups, rows, rest, pushups, rows, rest, etc).

4) Plyometrics

The purpose of plyos is to combine speed and strength to perform explosive moves and  get your heart rate up, giving your body a “shock.” Instead of doing normal lunges or normal squats, try adding a jump lunges or jump squats.

Here’s a great plyos circuit you can try at home:

5) Mix Moves

To increase stability and balance, try combining two moves into one.

Example: Lunge with a lateral raise or a squat with clean and press

Skinny Quiche Muffins

Ingredients (for 16 muffins):

  • 1 cup of quick oats (we used PC Blue Menu)
  • 2 cartons of egg whites (500 ml)
  • 2 full eggs
  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of 1% milk
  • 6 slices of turkey bacon (cooked previously)
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese (we used 1%)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • tomato slices
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Spray a muffin tray with non-stick spray (or dab coconut oil in each)
  • Chop the broccoli, tomato and turkey bacon
  • In a bowl, combine egg whites, eggs, milk, salt and pepper
  • In each muffin, add 1 tbsp oats, 1 tbsp cottage cheese, broccoli, turkey bacon, add pour egg mixture to cover, sprinkle with cheese and top with tomato slice
  • Bake for 30 minutes

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My friend Eden and I made 16 of these and they were fine in the fridge for 3 days. You can microwave them or throw them back in the oven for a few minutes to heat them up again. They are delicious with a side of avocado and salsa!

ENJOY 🙂

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Pineapple Bowl

One of summer’s most delicious and enjoyable fruits is PINEAPPLE.  In our house, we typically make fruit salad with it or throw it in our smoothies, but recently I’ve been introduced to barbecuing it and absolutely love it.

I made this bowl using random ingredients that were lying in the kitchen, but it turned out so good that I have to share 🙂

For one serving:

  • 1/2 cup of organic sprouted rice and quinoa mix (from Costco)  – prepare using directions on package
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon for the rice and quinoa mix
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar or natural sweetener for the rice and quinoa mix
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter for the rice and quinoa mix (optional-melts right in and gives the bowl a nutty taste)
  • 6 pieces of grilled pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
  • Top with natural honey and pumpkin seeds (you can get creative here too)

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Here are some of the Health Benefits of this yummy fruit:

pineapple

Source: Live Love Fruit

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large squash
  • 1 apple
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

  • Dice the squash and apple into cubes
  • In a medium stockpot, over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil until golden brown

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  • Add all spices
  • Add squash, apples and water

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  • Cover the pot and let the soup cook over medium heat for 20 minutes until the cubes are soft

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  • Pour the soup in a blender and pulse until smooth

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  • Return to the pot, add almond milk and warm again

Garnish ideas: Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, yogurt, cilantro, sliced almonds, sage leaves, sunflower seeds, crispy fried onion

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TABATA TUESDAY

If you have never tried a Tabata style workout before, I highly recommend it. Tabata is the ultimate workout for getting a bang for your buck 🙂 ! Tabata Training is another variation of high intensity interval training. You perform each exercise at the highest intensity for 20 seconds with rest periods of 10 seconds between each set.

Try this one:

  • Tabata #1: 20 seconds – Box Jumps – rest 10 seconds

  • 20 seconds – Push-Ups – rest 10 seconds

  • Repeat above 3 more times = 4 times total

  • Rest 1 minute

  • Move onto Tabata #2 and repeat until Tabata #8

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