This salad will make anyone love Kale!

If you are not on the Kale craze train yet, here are some reasons to get on the ride.

Kale scores as having the highest antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients.  It’s so good for the heart and lowers cholesterol plus supports the body’s detoxification process.  This stuff should be in your diet regularly.  Here is one of my new found favorite ways to eat this super food thanks to “The Food Babe” for this recipe.  If you’re not familiar with Vani, check out her web site at www.foodbabe.com .

Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad-

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of lacinato or dinosaur kale, stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • ⅓ cup currants (or chopped raisins)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • ½ cup pine nuts toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp grated raw parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, process kale into small chopped pieces
  2. To make dressing, stir lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together in a large bowl
  3. Add chopped kale, currants, pine nuts and parmesan to bowl with dressing
  4. Stir all ingredients together and serve
  5. (Optional – Save some pine nuts and/or parmesan cheese for top of salad before serving for presentation purposes)

Try this salad today and share how you liked it!

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8 Fat Burning Tips You Can Easily Start Today!

Who doesn’t want to burn fat all day long?  Take a look at these quick tips you can start implementing today and get your fat burning on!

Drink Green Tea -it can boost metabolism by 4 percent!  Drink it hot in cold months and keep a pitcher of this in your fridge in the warmer months.  Drink it throughout the day.  I use the Decaf Green Tea with Lemon Myrtle from Whole Foods.

Stay Hydrated – Keep track of how much water you are drinking. Strive for 64 oz. daily.  Use a 32 oz. water bottle you can see through so it’s easy to keep track how much you are drinking.  Drink up twice a day and your done!

HIIT workouts – get your HR up for 30-60 seconds, take a 15 -30 second break and repeat for 6-8 rounds.  Get this done in just 15 min. a day.

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Build Muscle– start strength training.  You can do this at home with dumbbells or with your own body weight.  Again, 10-15 minutes a day gets this done.  Make sure you work legs, glutes, chest and back.

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Get you ZZZZZ– 7-9 hours of sleep helps you to burn fat and less than 6 hours will help you to store fat.

Spicy Foods – add this to your meals and kick up your metabolism.

Add protein to every meal– Protein is nature’s diet pill and it takes longer to digest so it helps to boots your metabolism.

Don’t skip meals – especially breakfast!  Keeps your metabolism burning fat.

These are easy tips anyone can do, so share this info with your friends and commit to turning your metabolism into a fat burning machine!!

 

 

 

 

6 Exercises For Hip Flexors, Better Mobility And All Around Fitness!

If you have ever experienced lower back pain, and I am sure you have at one time or another, one reason could be because of tight hip flexors.  (Sitting too much for starters) Here are 6 exercises that will keep your hip mobility in great shape. These exercise go far beyond helping your hips out too.  They will make you sweat, give you a great workout, increase strength in your core, glutes and legs!  In addition to that, these exercises will improve your posture, and strengthen your back.

My main focus today is about hip mobility.  The more mobility we have, the better our bodies function for us on a daily basis, therefore improving athletic performance and protecting us from injury.  Too much sitting, something most people have to fight against really messes with our hip mobility which can lead to all kinds of postural and gait problems.  If you sit a lot throughout the day, then you need to do these and even if you don’t you’ll still function better with these exercises in your routine. They can be modified, done anywhere and don’t need a lick of equipment.  Gives these a try and let me know how you’re doing!

 

 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these healthy choices!

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Want to satisfy your sweet tooth but not blow your efforts to stay fit and healthy?  Try eating frozen fruit next time you are craving something sweet.  I  have a sweet tooth and love a sweet treat but want to feel energized and light and stick to eating whole foods.

Frozen fruit works really well.  I always keep frozen fruit in my freezer for smoothies and snacking.  Pineapple, berries, melon, grapes and bananas make for a delicious sweet treat that leave you feeling satisfied without the inflammation or bloat that processed sugar and additives can leave.  Because the fruit is frozen, you are forced to slow down and enjoy the flavors and textures and not rush through your dessert.  Bonus- slow down and live in the moment!

If you are craving a little chocolate, try this combo-

Slice up a banana and dip one side of slices in melted dark chocolate and let set on a paper plate in the freezer.  Medjool dates also work well sliced in half and dipped in dark chocolate, rolled in slivered almonds and frozen.  Just a couple of these deliver a rich and decadent dessert.

These treats are easy to make, can satisfy a sweet tooth and keep you in line with your health and fitness goals.

I hope you give them a try and see just how good a sweet treat can feel!

Keep it simple and healthy!

 

Know the dirty dozen and how to avoid pesticides in your food.

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When it comes to fruits and vegetables, do you really know what’s in your food?  We all want to aim high when it comes to eating whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  This is how we cultivate and maintain good health.  Knowing the amount of pesticides that  are used on our food is something not to be ignored.  If you are not aware of the “dirty dozen”, you’ll want to pay attention.  According to the Environmental Working Group, which actually tracks what’s in our food, they says this.-

  • A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

For the full report go here-  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

You can take steps to clean your produce of pesticides, dirt and germs.  All you have to do is wash them in a bath of 3 parts water to one part vinegar.   Soak your produce in the sink for 15 minutes and rinse.

This list is comprised the of the most sprayed fruits and vegetables, otherwise known as The Dirty Dozen!

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach, Kale and Greens
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen have the least pesticides.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

Knowing what’s in your food is important to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.   I recommend eating 5-9 cups of veggies and fruits a day.   It may sound like a lot but if you are eating smoothies, salads and soups for meals and snacks, it easy.  Buy organic as much as you can and wash your produce of harmful pesticides!

Stay healthy my friends!

De-stress with breathing exercises!

Chronic stress can lead to all kinds of health problems, both physically and mentally if we don’t learn how to recognize it.  It can definitely get in the way of reaching fitness goals too.  It affects sleep, messes with digestion, tightens muscles causing pain and compromises the immune system, just to name a few.  Net time you find yourself stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, try using these breathing exercises to regain balance and composure.  Not only will you lower your blood pressure, you’ll lower your cortisol levels and feel the tension leave your body.  It only takes a few minutes and it’s easy to do.  You can do these anywhere and anytime!

 

Sweet and savory Kale chips!

Next time you have a need to munch on a crunchy snack, give these recipes a try.  They’re healthy, super delicious and can be made to satisfy anyone’s taste.  Don’t be afraid to get creative with all the different flavors out there.  Kale chips surprisingly work with all kinds of flavors, including chocolate.  I even got the hubby to eat these and he was asking for more.  That is saying something people!

Start by cleaning and tearing apart kale into small pieces.

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Next drizzle olive oil on kale and rub it into the pieces so it’s well coated.

SAVORY KALE CHIPS

Now you can decide what kind of rub you want to flavor your kale.  I went to the bulk spice section at Whole Foods and bought a variety of spices and mixed them up myself into what I thought would be good.  The results were delicious!   I mixed cheddar cheese powder with yellow mustard powder as well as garlic powder and some vegetarian yeast.

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Sprinkle the powder mixture over the kale while gently turning the kale over so all of it gets coated.

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Next you want to place it over one or two sheet pans and put it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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Let chips cool and they’re ready to eat!

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SWEET KALE CHIPS

For this recipe I mixed a 1T of cinnamon, 1 T of coco powder and 1 T of coconut sugar.  After the olive oil, sprinkle the chocolate mixture over the kale and mix and bake.

IMG_0440These were surprisingly good.  I really hope you try these chips and get creative with whatever flavors you enjoy!

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Have you tried these, and do you have your own special mix you would love to share with me?  I would love to hear from you!  Please share and like this!

 

 

 

Do these exercises at your desk!

If you work at a computer all day long, you are at major risk for back pain, joint pain and all around body stiffness.  Avoid these problems by setting a timer hourly and getting up from your desk and going for a walk and or doing these exercises.  It’s a small thing to do that pays big dividends on your health and your posture will thank you!

 

 

10 Tips for getting 10,000 step in a day!

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We all know we need to be moving more.  Even if we manage to get an hour of exercise in a day, the rest of the day we are most likely sitting, which still poses a health risk.   Using a pedometer is a fun and easy way to track how many steps you’re actually getting in a given day.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that people using pedometers first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps. Riding a bike can count as steps if you wear the pedometer on your shoe.  Keep your feet moving and you’ll be moving towards the goal of 10,000 steps before you know it.  Here are some tips to help you get your steps in every day.

Set a timer and walk for 5 minutes every hour.

Try and beat your record for how many steps you take in an hour.

If you have a dog, walk your dog twice a day, 2.5 miles in the morning and 2.5 miles after work.

Wear a fitness tracker that keeps reminding you throughout the day to move more. It will prompt you to take longer routes and take the stairs.

Organize a walking group at work during lunch or with friends before or after work.

Be more inefficient with chores at home or work.  Take the laundry up and down the stairs in 3 trip rather than one.

Walk in place while watching TV

Take business meetings outside and walk.

Move with your kids at the playground or in the back yard.

Listen to podcast or books on tape while walking.

Try some of these and see how fast you get to 10,000 step a day and maybe even surpass that!  Your health will thank you for it and see if you don’t gain some energy and lose some weight!

What creative ways do you get more steps in during the day?

Three Metabolic Boosters You Can Easily Include In Your Day!

healthy choices

We are always looking for more strategies to keep our metabolism running on high rpm, so we can stay fit and trim.  As we age this becomes more challenging for many reasons.  Our busy lifestyles take a toll on our bodies. Take stress for example, we all experience it and it can cause hormone imbalances. We start to lose muscle as we age, and we don’t get as much activity as we did when we were younger. Our jobs require us to sit at computers or commute distances which adds to more sitting.  Then there is the issue of adequate sleep which often times leaves us short changed leading to more hormone imbalances.  There is a lot working against us so it’s no wonder staying fit and trim is a challenge as we age.

Luckily there are things we can incorporate into our daily lives to fight back.

Exercise, more specifically, strength and interval training are the very best way to increase metabolism by increasing muscle mass, but they are not the entire picture.

A healthy lifestyle is made up of many healthy habits.  Today I want to leave you with three super easy tips to include in your daily habits.

1. Start cooking with peppers. If you’re not cooking with peppers, try experimenting with cayenne pepper, wasabi, Indian and curry foods which are known to help increase your metabolism by heating up your body and increasing your heart rate so you burn a bit more calories.  Plus they add depth and flavor to your dishes!  Try adding these to soups, stews and marinades.

2. Drink tea daily. Teas in general but mostly green tea are loaded with potent chemicals called catechins which have been shown to boost metabolism. Over time these can make a difference, so drink up.  This is also good cold on ice, so fill up your water bottle!

3. Water is another great way to boost your metabolism. A German study found that when measuring metabolic rate after drinking 17oz. of water, there was an increase by 30% in MR for about 30-40 min max. By increasing your intake by 1.5 liters of water a day, at the end of a year you could potentially lose 5 lbs.  Lots of people tell me its hard for them to drink water all day.  My best tip for this is to add a splash of cranberry juice to your water or whatever juice you prefer.  It adds flavor and makes it less boring!  This makes such a difference, it’s worth the effort to make this a habit.  Don’t give up!

I hope you try these easy tips and help boost your metabolism.  If you have a tip that is working for you, I would love to hear from you! Please comment here or on my FB page. Keep on moving!