Watermelon Salad

I’m not a big -eat-it-by-itself kinda watermelon gal but I do love it in salads.  This recipe sounds so yummy!!

<I think I’ll use mint instead of parsley :)>

Watermelon, Feta, and Kalamata Olive Salad

watermelon and feta salad with kalamata olives and fresh herbs

Here is a new take on the popular watermelon and feta salad. Our recipe adds salty kalamata olives and fresh herbs for a surprisingly delicious Mediterranean twist.

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 cup each

Ingredients:
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
4 cups cubed watermelon
¼ cup crumbled (or shaved) feta cheese (about 1 oz.)
2 Tbsp. kalamata olives, pitted
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or microgreens)

Preparation:
1. Combine oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. Combine watermelon, cheese, olives, and parsley in a large serving bowl.
3. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to blend.

Calories in Feta Watermelon Olive Salad

Skin So Soft

Did you know that the largest organ in your body is your skin?  Yep!!!!   When you drink plenty of water and consume nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also shows on your skin.  Eating fresh, whole foods loaded with the vitamins and minerals helps support your skin.

Here’s the Scoop——

water2

Aqua

Drinking water is one of the best things we can do to keep our skin in shape.  Water keeps our skin moist, and thus makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.  All RIGHT!!!

Water also helps our cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins.  So drink your aqua!!  I have a water bottle in hand EVERYWHERE I go.  You should too.

       shroom

Selenium for Your Skin

This mineral may help protect our skin from cells that gather free radicals. Free radicals cause signs of aging like wrinkles and dry skin, tissue damage, and may also help prevent skin cancer.

Get selenium from Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Also cooked beef, lean turkey, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta.

Antioxidants for Healthy Cells

Antioxidants are important to slowing and preventing free-radical damage. You can find them in all kinds of foods, especially colorful fruits and berries and vegetables such as squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and beans.

Fight Those Free Radicals with CoQ10  “POW!” 🙂

Our body makes a key antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10.  But as we age <boo hiss> we produce less of it.  CoQ10 is involved in helping our cells work. 

Find CoQ10 in salmon and tuna, poultry, and whole grains. 

If you use a skin product that has CoQ10, it may help soften wrinkles and other signs of aging.  I’ve been using a product that has CoQ10 from Oil of Olay for years now.  Gotta get all the help I can ha!

Vitamin A for Skin Repair

I don’t want dry, flaky skin.  Do you?  So I like to consume oranges, carrots, or cantaloupe to combat it!  They’re loaded with vitamin A.  You can also find it in leafy greens, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods. When you use a skin product with vitamin A, it potentially helps wrinkles and brown spots look better.  I am also using Vitamin A for skin care and it does significantly lighten brown spots!  So I’m sold.

Protection from Vitamin C

The sun is damaging to our skin.  Vitamin C offers protection by undoing sun damage to collagen and elastin, which helps keep our skin nice and firm!  Consume red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts to get that Vitamin C boost.

Vitamin E

Another antioxidant that may help save our skin from sun damage and inflammation is vitamin E.  Find it in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens.

Consume those Healthy Fats

Omega-3s and Omega-6s are good fats that help make our skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping away dryness and blemishes.  Essential fatty acids help leave our skin smoother and younger-looking.

Oils for Great Skin

Some oils have more than essential fatty acids.  Good-quality ones like extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed <one step pressed>  are more simply pressed than many other kinds.  These offer more nutrients that are great for your skin.  Olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, which fight damaging free radicals.

Ok, so just ONE more to share!!! ha

Antioxidants in Tea

Green tea is fantastic for your skin.  It helps stop inflammation, slow DNA damage, and can even help prevent the sun from burning your skin.   Sip it daily and reap its benefits!

For more tips, please read my other posts!!  Have a healthy day!

Mini Egg Muffins

These are so easy and so yummy and so I am sharing the love with you!!

3 Easy 21 Day Fix Egg Cup Recipes

The simple recipes for these grab-and-go mini-omelets make enough for a week’s worth of breakfasts.  Store them in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave.

Here are three different versions:

Power Protein Egg Cups

Start your morning off strong with this low-fat, high-protein egg cup recipe with turkey bacon, shredded chicken, and sweet onions and peppers.
Protein Power Egg Cups 21-Day Fix-Approved Recipe
Total Time: 35 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: Makes 6 servings, 2 egg cups each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
16 large egg whites (2 cups)
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
2 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
3 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast
2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine almond milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; whisk to blend. Set aside.
4. Evenly divide turkey bacon, chicken, bell peppers, and onion between prepared muffin cups.
5. Evenly pour egg white mixture over turkey bacon mixture.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of egg cups comes out clean, and eggs are set.

Power Protein Egg Cups
Southwestern Egg Cups
Eggs are the fuel and jalapeños are the fire in this egg cup recipe. Throw in some black beans and cheddar cheese and you have one flavorful breakfast.
Southwestern Egg Cups 21-Day Fix-Approved Recipe
Total Time: 35 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: Makes 6 servings, 2 egg cups each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
16 large egg whites (2 cups)
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional
12 medium jalapeños, seeds and veins removed, chopped
1½ cups black beans, drained, rinsed
6 oz. cheddar cheese (about ¾ cup)

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine almond milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; whisk to blend. Set aside.
4. Evenly divide jalapenos, beans, and cheese between prepared muffin cups.
5. Evenly pour egg mixture over broccoli mixture.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of egg cups comes out clean, and eggs are set.

Southwestern Egg Cups
Super Green Egg Cups
21 Day Fix and Popeye-approved, this egg cup recipe is loaded with three types of green vegetables. Wanna go really crazy? Sprinkle these with chopped chives.
Super Green Egg Cups 21-Day Fix-Approved Recipe
Total Time: 35 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: Makes 6 servings, 2 egg cups each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
12 large eggs, lightly beaten
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
1 cup steamed broccoli, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped raw spinach

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine almond milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; whisk to blend. Set aside.
4. Evenly divide broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers between prepared muffin cups.
5. Evenly pour egg mixture over broccoli mixture.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of egg cups comes out clean, and eggs are set.

Super Green Egg Cups

eccentric exercise benefits

An important rule of thumb when exercising is to change up your exercise routine every 4-6 weeks to avoid plateauing, and therefore, no longer seeing those results from your hard effort.

One way I like to train myself and my clients is by dedicating 4 weeks to Eccentric Exercise.  Below is an article from IDEA Mind-Body  Wellness explaining the benefits and effectiveness of this type of training style. <this article is geared towards a personal trainer but it offers some good insight to those of you unfamiliar with this training :)>

 Five Benefits of Eccentric Exercise

by Maggie Downie on Apr 20, 2015

Not everyone likes to focus on eccentric contractions, but this style of training deserves more attention because it may be a “secret weapon” for creating healthier joints and a long, lean body. Research reveals the perks for newcomers and well-trained athletes.

An eccentric muscle action occurs as an opposition force in response to a concentric (shortening) action, in order to protect joint structures from damage (Bubbico & Kravitz 2010). It’s our braking system—how we decelerate (think of lowering the dumbbell during a biceps curl). Here are five ways clients can benefit from including eccentric contractions in workouts.

1. Alternative to Stretching

If a client loves or swears by stretching, they don’t have to stop, but some research is showing that stretching may not be all it’s cracked up to be (Kolata 2008). That’s good news for people who hate stretching; for example, some men and avid runners. Anne Tierney, cocreator of Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching, helped to develop a practice that involves stretching against resistance. Stretching may create weaknesses in the targeted muscle and perhaps the joint, tendons and ligaments (Shrier 2005). However, if you activate the muscle when it’s long and work against resistance to lengthen the muscle, you can increase range of motion and maintain strength at the same time (Nelson & Bandy 2004). To practice resistance stretching on your hamstring, place your straightened leg on a chair in front of you at a comfortable height. Instead of bending forward or reaching for your toes, press down through the back of your leg to engage the hamstring.

2. Faster Strength Gains

Muscles are stronger eccentrically than concentrically, which means you can theoretically work through plateaus (Bubbico & Kravitz 2010). For example, if clients can’t yet do a pull-up or a push-up, progress them eccentrically. Have them start at the top of the pull-up and lower down with control. The same goes for the push-up. Cue them to slowly lower the body closer to the floor or wall. They will be making progress, because eccentric contractions will actually make them stronger concentrically (Doan et al. 2002). If a client can’t do a full roll-up, cue the exercise in reverse. Many people who can’t roll up can roll down with control. Knowing they can do the move eccentrically helps break down the mental block of a seemingly unconquerable exercise while also prepping the muscles to do it. This doesn’t mean you should completely forgo concentric contractions. You can see even more gains by combiningcontractions.

3. Joint Health and Safety

Have you ever had a client complain about knee pain after downhill skiing or squats? Tierney explains that this is a sign of being weak eccentrically. To hold a squat position, especially when downhill momentum is added, an individual needs strong, long quads. Get “long and strong” and joints will ache less when challenged in this way. Pilates is great for this because it incorporates very few held stretches. Pilates also puts the body under load when a muscle is lengthened. If your clients are scared to do squats because of knee pain, help them build up to doing squats safely so they can maintain lifelong mobility. If they can’t do a squat, they can’t get up and down out of a chair or in and out of a car. Squats are practical; focusing on the eccentric portion is a functional way to build strength and joint stability.

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

Some fitness professionals don’t teach nonathletes moves that focus on eccentric contraction because they increase delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but studies show that DOMS increases only at first (Hackney, Engles & Gretebeck 2008). With regular eccentric movements, individuals become less sore and even recover faster from a workout. Jules Mitchell, MS, ERYT 500, who has extensively researched the effects of stretching, recommends that fitness and wellness professionals progress slowly, and perhaps even start with isometric contractions at a client’s current end range of motion.

Functional movements of daily life require eccentric control (think walking downstairs or downhill). It may be beneficial to work the hamstrings eccentrically when the hip is flexed and the knee is extended, especially for runners and anyone who kicks a ball (soccer players or people who play in kickball leagues). Since we are stronger eccentrically, these workouts require less effort, produce less cardiovascular strain and create options for beginners.

5. Increased Metabolism

If a client is primarily interested in burning fat, she may want to focus on eccentric contractions. Research shows that this could increase her metabolism for up to 72 hours after a workout (Hackney, Engles & Gretebeck 2008). Simply slow the workout down by emphasizing eccentric control, using a 3-to-1 ratio for enhanced postworkout return. For example, when lifting weights, take 1 second to shorten the muscle and 3 seconds to lengthen it.

Eccentric exercise is a perfect way to enhance existing program design, work around plateaus and boost injury prevention for specific activities.

Here is a brief demonstration 🙂

Eccentric Bicep Curls

Brownies Baby!!!

Flourless Brownie Muffins

These dark chocolate muffins are delicious and surprisingly healthy.

Total Time: 22 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 12 min.
Yield:12 servings, 1 cupcake each

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
3 large eggs
½ cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare 12 muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or coating with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
3. Place chickpeas, eggs, maple syrup, cocoa powder, baking soda, coconut oil, and extract in blender or food processor; cover. Blend until smooth.
4. Divide batter among 12 prepared muffin cups.
5. Top each muffin with about four chocolate chips; push into batter.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Cool completely and enjoy!

Tips for staying injury-free when exercising

Just wanted to share this with you, my friends, family and fans!!  Sometimes just a simple reminder can make all the difference, so here ya go!

5 Exercise Mistakes That Could Get You Hurt

If you’re exercising regularly, you undoubtedly are noticing the benefits—better sleep and moods, maybe a few lost pounds. The last thing you want to do is derail your efforts or, worse, get yourself injured. Here are five of the most common exercise mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.

1. Skipping Your Warm-up and Cool-down

Scenario: You feel you only have time for a short workout so you skip both your warm-up and cool-down.

Consequence: Your body is not adequately prepared for your workout so you underperform and create a greater potential for injury. You also create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly when you’re finished. When it’s time for your next workout, you feel tired, sluggish, sore and ill prepared.

Solution: Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get a very effective workout for both muscular strength and cardiovascular health in only just 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals and/or decrease your rest time between sets. But find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.

2. Using Equipment Incorrectly

Scenario: You are unfamiliar with a new piece of equipment in your workout facility, or you want to try out a cool new exercise tool that you have seen others use, but have never tried yourself.

Consequence: It may sound like common sense, but make sure you know how to use the equipment before integrating it into your exercise program. This goes for everything from a treadmill to barbells, a TRX Suspension Trainer to kettlebells. If you have never used a piece of equipment, don’t assume that those that you’ve seen using it are doing it correctly. Injuries can happen quickly and easily when using new, unfamiliar equipment. You also do not want to be responsible for breaking anything because you don’t know how it works.

Solution: Find a fitness professional in your facility to show you how to properly use the equipment and how to incorporate it into your training program.

3. Overestimating Your Fitness Level

Scenario: You feel like you’re ready to conquer a new challenge, such as increasing the amount of weight you lift, decreasing your rest time, or increasing the overall volume of your training program. However, you are not quite able to complete your current workouts and you are still very sore after each one.

Consequence: Moving forward in your training program without being physically ready could be a recipe for disaster and injury.

Solution: When you are able to complete your intended repetitions and/or are no longer experiencing any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after your workouts, you may be ready to move on to a new challenge. This could be as small as adding 5 pounds to your deadlift or jogging for an extra five minutes. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Progressing Too Quickly

Scenario: You are ready for a new challenge so you add an additional 20 pounds to your deadlift, or you extend your long run by an extra 30 minutes.

Consequence: Injury is likely to happen. Even if you are able to complete the new challenge, if your heart rate spikes to a new high during endurance training or you experience debilitating DOMS after a resistance-training session, you likely increased your training too much, too quickly.

Solution: Use the 2 x 2 rule for resistance training. If you can do two more reps for two consecutive sessions at your planned weight, then it’s time to move up by either two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance and/or time should not be increased by more than 10 percent each week. For most people, increasing by increments of fewer than five minutes at a time for running, or 5 miles for biking is usually acceptable.

5. Not Taking the Time to Recover Properly

Scenario: You do an intense workout and try to repeat the same workout, or a similar type of workout, within 24 to 48 hours. This could also include not fueling properly after exercise, which delays recovery.

Consequence: You have opened the door to soreness, fatigue, decreased performance and injury. When this pattern lasts too long, it may lead to overtraining syndrome, which has other long-term effects such as hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances and mood disorders.

Solution: Take 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch for two days after running for 30 minutes, but if you do an intense workout that includes heavy weights and running intervals, your body will thank you for taking two days (or more) off before doing that workout again.

<info attained from AC Fit/Fit Life>

 

Fixate—The Cookbook

21df_logo_140x14021DFX_COO_Logos_140x140

Larry and I swear by this Eating Plan and the workouts because we’ve personally seen the results. <My sexy hubby is at his High School weight!>
And nothing brings me greater joy than sharing the love of this program with my family and friends, and seeing their transformations into happier, healthier people!! I love being a coach!!!
So I am truly excited for this upcoming cookbook from Autumn Calabrese herself!!

101 Clean Recipes including Fix Approved desserts and adult beverages!! Yep!! You read right! ha
Take a peek into how much and what we eat on this plan, and PM me for more info!!

Fixate Cookbook

<coming in August 2015>

Skin So Soft

Did you know that the largest organ in your body is your skin?  Yep!!!!   When you drink plenty of water and consume nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also shows on your skin.  Eating fresh, whole foods loaded with vitamins and minerals helps support your skin.

Here’s the Scoop——

water2

Aqua

Drinking water is one of the best things we can do to keep our skin in shape.  Water keeps our skin moist, and thus makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.  All RIGHT!!!

Water also helps our cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins.  So drink your aqua!!  I have a water bottle in hand EVERYWHERE I go.  You should too.

shroom

Selenium for Your Skin

This mineral may help protect our skin from cells that gather free radicals. Free radicals cause signs of aging like wrinkles and dry skin, tissue damage, and may also help prevent skin cancer.

Get selenium from Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Also cooked beef, lean turkey, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta.

berry

Antioxidants for Healthy Cells

Antioxidants are important in slowing and preventing free-radical damage. You can find them in all kinds of foods, especially colorful fruits and berries and vegetables such as squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and beans.

fish

Fight Those Free Radicals with CoQ10  “POW!” 🙂

Our body makes a key antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10.  But as we age <boo hiss> we produce less of it.  CoQ10 is involved in helping our cells work. 

Find CoQ10 in salmon and tuna, poultry, and whole grains. 

If you use a skin product that has CoQ10, it may help soften wrinkles and other signs of aging.  I’ve been using a product that has CoQ10 from Oil of Olay for years now.  Gotta get all the help I can ha!

egg

Vitamin A for Skin Repair

I don’t want dry, flaky skin.  Do you?  So I like to consume oranges, carrots, or cantaloupe to combat it!  They’re loaded with vitamin A.  You can also find it in leafy greens, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods. When you use a skin product with vitamin A, it potentially helps wrinkles and brown spots look better.  I am also using Vitamin A for skin care and it does significantly lighten brown spots!  So I’m sold.

fruit

Protection from Vitamin C

The sun is damaging to our skin.  Vitamin C offers protection by undoing sun damage to collagen and elastin, which helps keep our skin nice and firm!  Consume red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts to get that Vitamin C boost. <Remember to always use sunblock from the tip of your head to your toes to reduce significant damage from the sun!>

nuts

Vitamin E

Another antioxidant that may help save our skin from sun damage and inflammation is vitamin E.  Find it in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens.

fats

Consume those Healthy Fats

Omega-3s and Omega-6s are good fats that help make our skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping away dryness and blemishes.  Essential fatty acids help leave our skin smoother and younger-looking.

oils

Oils for Great Skin

Some oils have more than essential fatty acids.  Good-quality ones like extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed <one step pressed>  are more simply pressed than many other kinds.  These offer more nutrients that are great for your skin.  Olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, which fight damaging free radicals.

Ok, so just ONE more to share!!! ha

tea

Antioxidants in Tea

Green tea is fantastic for your skin.  It helps stop inflammation, slow DNA damage, and can even help prevent the sun from burning your skin.   Sip it daily and reap its benefits!

For more tips, please read my other posts!!  Have a healthy day!