Healthy delicious pizza that won’t get in the way of reaching your goals.

I’m always looking for healthy pizza alternatives because I love the variety it offers and it’s super satisfying when you need your pizza fix.  What I don’t love is the sick feeling of being stuffed and sleepy afterwards or the ton of unhealthy calories that go along with traditional pizza.

Just got done testing out a product I’ve been wanting to try for a while now as pizza crust.  If you are not familiar with Ezekiel Sprouted Grain products I suggest you go out and try it.  It’s available at most grocery stores in the organic section, usually in the freezer isle.  I have been using their bread for years but never tried the tortillas.  Frankly they don’t look very appetizing from the package.  My kids say it looks like prison food.  But seriously they are delicious and makes a great alternative for a thin crust pizza.  Here’s what is in it.

Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Sea Salt.
I used the taco size (80 calories) with tomato sauce, grilled onion, mushrooms, spinach, red pepper flakes and topped with good parmesan cheese.  It was really good and stood up to all the ingredients I piled on it.  I first warmed up the tortilla in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes and then topped it with everything and placed it under the broiler for a minute until the cheese melted.  It was very filling and satisfying without leaving a feeling of doom or drowsy.  Finished off the meal with a cold Bartlett pear which put out the fire in my mouth and satisfied my sweet tooth.
This works for a healthy alternative to what is typically unhealthy.  I am definitely making this again soon!
If you have tried this product or any other Ezekiel breads, please leave your comments below.
ezkielpizza

Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Belly Fat.

belly fatWho doesn’t want to get rid of belly fat!  We  all do and there are some fundamental strategies you should understand so your workouts will be more effective in the process. First off, understand belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat, called visceral fat, which is stored in the abdomen and surrounds the organs.  It sets us up for heart disease, diabetes, and wreaks havoc on our hormones.  Good news is exercise is one excellent strategy to combat belly fat.  But what are the best approaches to losing belly fat.  Here are some great tips that you can start using now.

1. Kick up the intensity of your workouts.  If you are a walker or jogger, start to incorporate high intensity by elevating your heart rate by picking up the speed or climbing hills for a 3-4 minutes.  Walk at a slower pace for a couple of minutes and repeat the process another 4-6 times.

2. Lift Weights in a circuit format, meaning go from exercise to exercise without any breaks and complete a circuit.  This will increase muscle and burn fat.  More muscle on your body takes up less space and helps to burn fat while resting.  For example, do a set of push ups, lunges, squats, rows.  Take a short break, no more than a minute and repeat 3-4 times.

3. HIIT workouts -This stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  This can be done many ways but basically it’s an intense workout elevating your heart rate way up and keep it there with active rests or short rest between exercises.  The “after burn” increases and therefore burns more calories for hours after the workout.  You can do this anywhere and don’t need any equipment.  Consult with your doctor before starting this type of workout.   Remember to work at your own pace and the best way to track progress is count how many reps you can do in the allotted time.  Try to beat your last number each time.  Example- work for 30  to 50 seconds and take a 10-15 second rest before moving on to the next exercise.

Her is an example of a HIIT workout-

Jumping lunges-  (low impact lunges is fine but perform them quickly with good form.  Remember you need to really elevate your HR)

Push ups

Burpees  (also can be done low impact)

Squats

These are smart effective ways to workout out so you can optimize your time and get the best results.   A clean whole foods diet, proper hydration, less stress and decent sleep are also part of the equation.  Best to take one at a time and work on making small changes to your lifestyle each week.

If you liked this post, please share it or any comments you have that relate to fighting belly fat.

 

Key Exercises For Knee Stabilization

Last week I was working with a friend about knee strengthening exercises for better stabilization.  This is a point of discussion that faces everyone and no matter what sport or activities you are doing, strong knees are critical to avoiding injury and functioning at your best.

Here are a few exercises to get you started if you are not already doing them.

Quadriceps- especially the Vastus Medialis, a small quad muscle on the lowest part of the quad just above the knee towards the inner thigh.  Failure to strengthen this muscle can cause problems with your patella (knee cap) tracking to the side, causing pain and instability.  Ball squats on the wall squeezing a ball between the knees will strengthen the quads and target the Vastus Medialis.  I also like balancing on one leg with a slight knee bend in the supporting leg.  Perform 10-15 knee bends on each leg.

Adductor strength – these are your inner thigh muscles.  The above exercise will also strength the adductor muscles by squeezing the ball.  If you are looking for another exercise try lying and doing leg lifts.  Bent the top leg behind the extended leg with your foot on the floor and lift the bottom leg up and down until the muscle is completely fatigued.  Repeat on the other side.

Hamstring strength - Most people’s hamstrings are weaker than their quads and are a major reason for injury.  Performing a hamstring curl on the ball you will not only be strengthening the hamstrings but also improving balance and proprioception which helps to have better awareness of body positioning.  Lie on a mat with your feet positioned on top of the ball.  Push your palms into the mat next to your hips and lift hips up into a bridge position.  From here, roll the ball back and forth by bending your knees and keeping hips off the floor.  Work up to 10-15 reps each set.

Leg Abductors and IT Band -(Outer thighs)- Use a resistance band wrapped around your legs just above your ankles.  Standing tall, take a step sideways and follow through with the opposite side.  Continue stepping side to side for 15-20 reps depending on the resistance of your band.  You should feel your muscles working on the outsides of your legs.

Try these exercises in your program if you aren’t already and begin feeling more confident in your abilities to do other activities.  Don’t forget to stretch afterwards and use a foam roller as a tool for better joint mobility too.  You can read more about that at http://fittogowithmolly.com/foam-rollers-myofascial-release/

 

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Thanks!

Weight Machines vs. Free Weights. Three tips for best results.

When it comes to strength training, you’ve got options.  You can use machines, free weights or your own body weight.  The machines in most gyms take up 75% if not more of the floor space leaving a smaller area to use free weights.  This set up might lead you to believe that the machines are the way to go for strength training, but no so fast.  The machines can be an easy way to strengthen the muscles, but there are many benefits you are missing out on by not subbing those exercises for free weights.

#1.  When gyms are crowded, you’re usually left waiting to fit in your set, which wastes time and interferes with your momentum and HR which could compromise your workout.   Working with free weights or your own body weight allows you to move at your own pace therefore keeping your HR up easier, and rockin’ out a great workout.

#2. Machines require sitting.  Sitting is a major cause of muscular problems and therefore should be avoided at all cost.  Most of us are over our hourly sitting quota and need to find more ways to stand up and move.  Sitting doesn’t help you to improve your fitness.  Standing and moving does.

#3 Balance and core strength don’t improve from sitting on machines.  Pretty safe to say everybody wants to improve balance and core strength.  Standing and moving especially with weights not only improves balance and core strength, it also improves all the small stabilizing muscles that support the movement.

Here are just a few examples of how I switch out machines for better total body movements.

Seated Chest Press-  Push Up

Seated Leg Press- Squat or Lunges

Supine or Seated Hamstring Curl- Deadlift

Seated Shoulder Press-  Standing shoulder press with DB’s

That is not to say you should never use the machines.  As a matter of fact I do use these with my clients and for myself to train left and right imbalances as well as breaking through plateaus and for rehabilitation.  They certainly have their place but if you are not using the free weights or your own body weight to gain strength and torch calories you may want to consider getting with a personal trainer or going to a boot camp class to lean how these exercises work.  I guarantee you will feel the difference, love the variety and notice a bump in your fitness.

Low Fat Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

This is a super easy and fast recipe for protein bars that work great for a pre or post workout snack.  I made these in less than 10 minutes.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup non-fat dry milk or protein powder for more protein

3/4 cup of organic coconut sugar – this is a pure, unrefined alternative to processed sugar and includes nutrients including magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins and amino acids.  This is considered a low glycemic food and is safe for diabetics to use.

2T of pure maple syrup

1/2 cup of skim milk

1/2 cup of PB2  (powdered peanut butter)                                                                      check this product out  http://www.bellplantation.com

1T vanilla

3-1/2 cups of quick-cooking oats

Bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil on the stove for 1 minute.  Stir in vanilla and oats and mix well.  Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and form into a rectangle.  Let it cool, then cut into desired size bars.  Wrap individually in parchment paper and transfer to refrigerator to set up.  You could also just drop a T spoon size onto the paper and store in the fridge.  ( You may need to add a few more oats if it’s too wet.)

These bars are really delicious and use just a few ingredients.

Enjoy and please share if you liked this recipe.

 

 

 

Shift and twist to improve your lift.

If your weight training program does not include some moves with shifting your weight and twisting your core, then you’re missing out on some important training techniques that are not only fun but super useful for everyday functional movement and balance.

In real life we lift kids, laundry, large bags of dog food or sports equipment for example.   Much of the time we are moving while caring heavy items.  Today I had to get help pushing my car out of deep snow.  Even simple tasks like pulling clothes out of the dryer or loading or unloading a dishwasher involve reaching and bending.  Playing sports we are in motion while pushing, pulling, bending and catching.  So it only makes sense to incorporate these types of movement that use momentum and gravity, like we do in real life.

What moves do you use to improve your function?

 

 

 

Try this one healthy habit next time you eat out. Your waistline will thank you.

Usually when you eat out, the portion size is twice as much as you actually need to fuel your body.  Most of us will go ahead and eat the whole plate even if we know it’s too much. Next time you go out, ask for a “to go” box when you order your meal and when it arrives, put half of it away and you now have lunch or dinner for next time.  If you want to bulk up on more food with fewer calories, order a side of steamed veggies and mix it into your dish or eat it as a side. This works great to add more fiber and vitamins to your meal and feel full without feeling like you over ate.

Zucchini Noodles-Comfort food without the fat!

Next time you’re craving a big bowl of pasta, switch out your noodles for zucchini noodles.  They are super easy and fast to make.  Just get a  julienne peeler and peel your zucchini into spaghetti type noodles.  You will get a huge portion just from one zucchini for about 20 calories.  Better yet, you will be adding fiber, potassium and vitamin C in addition to tons of other vitamins and nutrients to your dish.  From here, heat the noodles up in a little hot water just until heated.  Top with your favorite marinara or garlic olive oil sauce.  This dish delivers as healthy comfort food.  Use these noodles in any other recipes that call for noodles like soups, stir-fry’s or casseroles.

If you have a recipe you would like to share, post it below.

Don ‘t forget to share or like this post if you are inspired to try this!

 

 

 

 

 

The healthy sweet tooth!

Don’t deprive yourself from dessert.  Satisfy that sweet tooth with these wholesome bites!

When I get a craving for something sweet, I reach for a few of my homemade goodies I keep in my freezer.  They are simple to make and consist of few ingredients and so satisfying, not to mention each ingredient is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. No regrets here!

Here’s what I do….

Banana slices topped with a few melted dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Banana slices topped with some raw honey and chopped almonds.

Apples slices topped with natural peanut butter and a few melted dark chocolate chips on top of that.

Medjool dates, pitted and halved, 1/2 dipped in melted dark chocolate and then sliced roasted almonds or non sweetened coconut.  These are amazing!

Frozen grapes – wholesome Popsicle.

Frozen banana slices blended with a Tbs. of skim or non-dairy milk blended until creamy like soft ice cream.  Sometimes I add a teaspoon max of real maple syrup.

Other than the grapes, that just get washed and placed in the freezer, I freeze the fruit candies on a paper plate first and then store them in a freezer bag.  Try these ideas next time you need a little something sweet and see how easy it is to eat clean!

If you liked this tip, please share and like it!  Thanks!

Health Tip – Affordable solution for a standing desk!

Yesterday I attended a really motivating workshop where a group of dynamic women shared tips and strategies that help to improve their personal and professional lives.  I came away with some great tips and ideas, one of which is a very affordable solution to a standing desk.  A standing desk can cost anywhere from 500.00 and up, but this desk will only set you back $50 bucks.   The more affordable solution is to invest in an adjustable bed table.  You can place this next to your sitting desk and when you want to stand up and work on your laptop you can.

If you didn’t see my previous post about the dangers of sitting at a desk too long, then go to this link to read about it.  At the bottom of the page is a really great video from Dr. Ann on this subject.

http://fittogowithmolly.com/stand-up-to-si…from-that-desk

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