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Don’t Be A Light Weight!

Why You Should Be Lifting Heavy

Why you should be lifting heavy

Insanity is often described as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. This definition could apply to many traditional fitness enthusiasts, who have followed the same workout program for years and wonder why they have stopped experiencing results.

The general adaptation syndrome describes how the human body responds to an exercise stimulus. There is the shock phase, when the exercise stimulus is first applied. This is followed by an adaptation phase of approximately eight to 12 weeks, where the body experiences its greatest response to the exercise stimulus. This leads to the exhaustion phase, when the exercise program stops having the desired effect. This is the basic science behind periodization, which is the practice of adjusting workout intensity on a regular, systematic basis to avoid plateaus.

One sure way to break through a plateau is to change some or all of the variables in the workout program. These variables include: exercise selection, intensity, repetitions, sets, rest interval, tempo (speed of movement) and frequency (the number of exercise sessions in a specific period of time). To stimulate almost immediate changes in your body, increase the amount of weight (thereby increasing the intensity) you use in your workouts. If you find yourself not making any gains or simply want a different exercise program, here are six ways using heavy weights can help you make the changes you want to see in your body.

Why you should be lifting heavy

1. Lifting heavy can cause muscles to grow.

Heavy resistance can recruit and engage more of the type II muscle fibers responsible for generating muscle force. When you lift a heavy weight, you may feel your muscles shaking. This is because your nervous system is working to engage more motor units and muscle fibers to produce the force required to move a weight. Type II muscle fibers are generally responsible for the size and definition of a muscle, so activating more of these fibers can lead help provide immediate results.

2. Lifting heavy improves intramuscular coordination, which is important for improving overall strength.

Intermuscular coordination is the ability of a number of different sections of muscle to work together to produce a movement. Intramuscular coordination is the ability of the fibers that comprise a particular muscle to work together to generate a force. Because it requires more force to contract a muscle, using a heavy resistance can improve the intramuscular coordination in a specific section of muscle, which will also help you become more efficient at generating strength.

3. Lifting heavy can help muscles get stronger without getting bigger.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy describes how the sarcoplasm of a muscle increases in size as a result of lifting weights at a moderate to high intensity for a higher number of repetitions (e.g., 10 to 15). Myofibrillar hypertrophy describes how muscle fibers become thicker and denser in response to strength training. Using heavy weights focuses on myofibrillar hypertrophy, resulting in muscle that is thicker and stronger, but not necessarily larger. When lifting an optimal amount of heavy resistance, you should only be able to perform five or fewer repetitions while maintaining good form.

4. Lifting heavy weights can help reduce your biological age.

If you’re over the age of 35, you should definitely be using extremely heavy resistance two to four times a week for periods of four to eight weeks at a time. When adult males hit their mid-30s, they will naturally produce less testosterone unless there is a stimulus that causes the body to produce it. Testosterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for repairing damaged muscle fibers, which can increase the size and strength output of a muscle. Heavy resistance training is one type of stimulus that can cause males to produce testosterone and help increase bone density, both of which are important markers of biological age. Heavy resistance training can also help women over the age of 35 increase their levels of growth hormone, which is important for developing lean muscle and burning fat.

5. Lifting heavy can help increase your resting metabolism.

One pound of skeletal muscle expends approximately 5 to 7 calories a day at rest. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of muscle can increase your resting metabolism (how efficiently your body produces and uses energy) up to 50 calories a day. This might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year that is a difference of approximately two-thirds of a pound of fat that you can burn while doing absolutely nothing.

6. Lifting heavy stuff makes you look really cool.

Which gives you bragging rights amongst your friends. The downside is that you will have more requests to help friends or family move furniture, but that’s just the price you have to pay for being ridiculously strong.

Why you should be lifting heavy

Using heavier resistance can be intimidating, because it is a lot harder and the applied force will cause muscle damage.  One side effect of lifting heavy is delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. If you have ever felt DOMS, you know how uncomfortable it can be. While it seems counterintuitive to perform light activity when you’re sore, it can help you recover quicker, which will enable you to do the higher volume of exercise necessary for building muscle and making changes in the body.

Machine training can be the safest approach for using extremely heavy weights. For best results, plan on using weights that make five repetitions incredibly challenging (you should not be able to do a sixth rep) and change your program after 10 or 12 weeks so that you’re changing the stimulus to your body.

(Article acquired from ACE FIT)

Please check out my FB Fitness Page for Daily Exercises, Recipes and Fit Tips.  I also do Customized Workouts and Nutrition Plans.  Please contact me!

Bodies By Krissy

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Post Workout Refueling

 

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DO YOU KNOW….?

The importance of having a post-workout snack?
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Don’t be tempted to skip refueling after a grueling workout. Your body needs to replenish its depleted stores of glycogen, electrolytes, and fluids. It also needs to repair damaged muscle tissue and build new tissue for a toned, strong body.
So EAT!
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Replenishing your body’s energy stores will allow a faster recovery and build more metabolism-boosting muscle. More muscle equals more calories burned! Feel the BURN!
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You’ll need to be mindful about your post-workout snack especially if you’re exercising to lose weight. Choosing a high-calorie food or a sports drink (I am not an advocate) only adds unwanted calories.
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Consuming a healthy snack within 15 minutes after exercise is most optimal.
Pick one that’s under 150 calories, provides 10 to 20 grams of protein and 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates (if the workout was an hour or more).
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(Keep in mind if your workout was under 20 minutes, it is still wise to refuel but with a snack that is under 150 calories).

MY GO TO SNACK is typically my dense nutrition shake which has everything in it that I need for proper post workout recovery. Mixed with unsweetened almond milk and water, I may also add a 1/2 banana and PB2; depending on the intensity of my workout.
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OTHER IDEAS—
Half a medium apple with two ounces of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 t. of peanut butter, topped with sliced grapes
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Four ounces low-fat cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 C cup fresh blueberries or strawberries
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20 baby carrots with two tablespoons hummus
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One small banana or 1/2 a large one with eight raw almonds
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DO YOU HAVE A FAV POST-WORKOUT SNACK?
Please share below!

Please visit me at Bodies By Krissy

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Warm Up and Cool Down

WARM UP

DON’T SKIP the Warm Up or Cool Down for Exercising!
WHY you ask?

*A good warm-up

*Dilates your blood vessels so your muscles are well supplied with oxygen.

*Raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency.

*Slowly raises your heart rate, which helps minimize stress on your heart.

When I workout first thing after waking, a warm up is crucial so that I don’t injure myself! These days, I can wake up pretty stiff and have hurt my neck when I’ve skipped a warm up. So now I am adamant about incorporating this into my routine.

TIPS
—-Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the intensity of the activity.

—Warm up your entire body—
Perform shoulder rolls, neck stretches, quads and hamstrings stretches, even a few calf raises and jumping jacks.

*A good cool down/Stretch

*Keeps the blood flowing throughout the body which can reduce the chances of heart rate and blood pressure dropping rapidly, possibly causing light-headedness.

*Slows down the heart rate and lowers your body temperature to normal.

*Is beneficial because your limbs, muscles and joints are still warm; therefore allowing you greater range of motion and less stress on the joints and tendons.

*Can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscles cramping and stiffness.

This is one of the best parts for me. 🙂
When my muscles and body are warm, I truly feel an increase in my flexibility and mobility when I stretch.

TIPS
—Walk 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.

—Hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. (Do not bounce). Perform side to side neck holds, quads and hamstrings holds, across the body arm stretches for back, shoulders and triceps.

—Remember to breathe while you’re stretching. Exhale as you begin the stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.

A Warm Up and Cool Down is important for all forms of exercising—cardio, strength training, HIIT workouts, hiking etc.
So DON’T SKIP them!

Please visit me at Bodies By Krissy

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No More Excuses!

A Workout You Can Do Anywhere

The most common reason people give for not exercising is lack of time, but physical activity doesn’t have to be performed in one long session. You can get many of the same benefits by squeezing in short periods of activity throughout the day. As long as you prepare your body by warming up and cooling down before you crank your heart rate, you can do a workout just about anywhere, anytime.

One of the best ways to integrate a workout into your schedule is to make it a consistent part of your routine so you don’t have to think twice about not having time or the “right place” to do it. Whether you’re at work, home or watching your child’s soccer practice at the park, this fun and challenging workout will get your body moving and your heart pumping.

Start by performing each exercise for 15 seconds for the first round and then increase the time by 15 seconds for each subsequent round (i.e., 30, 45 and 60 seconds); rest for one minute between each round. You can complete this challenge in just 24 minutes, but you can extend your workout by completing three additional rounds in reverse order (of 45, 30 and 15 seconds, respectively) for a total of 39 minutes. Finish up with a cool-down and some stretches and you’re done!

Superman Twists

Staggered Spiderman Push-ups

Plank Sways

Bird Dog

Plank Jacks

Half Burpees

Mountain Climber Twists

Frog Hop Squats

(Acquired from ACE Fit Life>

Colorful Foods Pack Nutritional Benefits

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Choose Colorful Foods for More Nutritional Benefits

  • When it comes to the typical American diet, most of us seem to be choosing the color tan.  Processed foods tend to come in various shades of brown.  Meats, cereals, fried foods, breads and baked goods, granola bars and many candy bars, pastas, French fries – all tan.  The problem is we’ve all gotten used to these choices being the standard color in our diet, and they mostly represent a dearth of nutritional value and a whole lot of ingredients that may harm our health.  The reason you should eat a rainbow of colors is that the different colors represent different phytonutrients and antioxidants, which are compounds that offer health benefits.
  • Green fruits and vegetables contain the antioxidants lutein and indoles, which promote healthy vision.  Leafy greens like kale, collards and arugula offer calcium.  Kiwis, broccoli and peas are good sources of vitamin C.

    Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A).  These support eye health, low blood pressure, they help reduce levels of the bad cholesterol (LDL), promote healthy joints, collagen formation, and help to boost the body’s immune system.

  • veggies
  • Deep red and bright pink fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruits contain lycopene, which can also help to fight the risk of certain cancers, like prostate cancer.  Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, red cherries, red cabbage, red onions and beets contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that have been associated with helping to control high blood pressure and helping to protect against diabetes-related circulatory issues.

    White vegetables have some unique qualities as well.  Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, contains sulfur compounds associated with fighting cancer, strengthening bone tissue, and helping to maintain healthy blood vessels.  Garlic with its active chemical, allicin, can help to build your immune system.  The white potato is filled with fiber and potassium as well as vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.  Just don’t fry it!

     There’s a vast choice of purple fruits and vegetables  Consider blueberries, plums, purple figs, raisins, purple grapes, black currants as well as black olives, purple carrots, eggplant, purple Belgian endive and purple cabbage.  These fruits and vegetables have compounds associated with lowering the risk of high blood pressure and people who eat this color on a regular basis are more likely to have better levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

    In some cases, a tan color is a good thing  Brown pears, dates, mushrooms, brown onions and parsnips all contain beneficial nutrients that can promote heart health and reduce cancer risk.

  • Your goal should be to consume fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack, and to make sure you are eating a broad range of colors daily.  If you do eat the skin, then it may be beneficial to buy organic when it comes to those specific choices.  You can learn about the dirty dozen, a list of fruits and vegetables which have a heavier load of pesticides.  Choose to embrace the daily habit of consuming fruits and vegetable to boost your health, and bump mostly tan foods out of your life.
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(Article acquired from Health Central.  Check out their site too!)

YOGA FOR STRENGTH TRAINERS

7 POSES FOR INCREASED RANGE OF MOTION

Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion | Jessica Matthews | Expert Articles | 9/15/2015

I have very little flexibility and as I continue to grow up 🙂 I have really focused on incorporating stretching into my weekly workout routine.  Muscle recovery improves at a quicker rate than if I skip this important step.  And—it just FEELS GOOD!
The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

Begin in hands-and-knees position with knees below hips and hands positioned slightly forward of shoulders. As you inhale, spread fingers wide, rooting both palms firmly into the mat while simultaneously tucking toes under. As you exhale, begin to extend legs, drawing hips and tailbone toward t ceiling, creating an inverted V-shape with the body as the heels move toward floor. The head and neck should be positioned between the upper arms with feet situated hip-width distance apart. Focus on maintaining length in the spine in this pose, releasing shoulders away from the ears and keeping knees as softly or deeply bent as needed, while continuing to root firmly and equally through both hands and feet. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles. 

UPWARD FACING DOG

Lie on stomach with legs fully extended along the mat, with the tops of feet on floor. Place palms on the mat directly alongside the ribs, keeping elbows bent. As you inhale, press palms into the floor, extending arms while simultaneously lifting the torso and thighs off the mat. Allow hips to soften slightly toward the ground while at the same time lifting through the sternum. Soften shoulders away from the ears and maintain neutral alignment in the neck. If accessible, look upward only with the eyes. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles. 

MODIFIED REVOLVED CRESCENT

From downward facing dog, step right foot between hands, coming into a low lunge position. Immediately release left knee, shin and top of left foot to rest on mat. As you inhale, sweep both arms toward the ceiling coming into crescent lunge, shifting weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor. As you exhale, draw left arm across the body resting left hand to outside of right thigh while drawing right hand to right hip. Inhale to lean torso forward slightly while maintaining length in spine, then exhale to rotate torso toward the right side of the mat while drawing right shoulder back. Gaze toward the right side wall, maintaining this twisting position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

EXTENDED TRIANGLE POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block at the tallest setting outside of the right foot. Step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes toward left side of mat at almost a 90-degree angle with chest facing left side of the room. Align the heel of the front right foot with either the arch or the heel of the back left foot, depending on what is most comfortable for you. With legs extended, outstretch arms wide in opposition, reaching toward the front and back edges of the mat. As you inhale, reach right fingertips forward toward front of room. As you exhale, release the right hand to rest atop the block, drawing left fingertips toward the ceiling with arm in line with shoulder. Hold this position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED LIZARD POSE

From downward facing dog, step right foot between the hands coming into a low lunge position, shifting weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor while remaining on the ball of the back left foot. Draw both hands atop a block positioned inside of the right foot, drawing foot slightly out toward the right side of the mat. Keeping hips and shoulders squared to the floor, release both elbows and forearms to rest on top of the block, continuing to press back slightly through the left heel. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED PYRAMID POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block on each side of the feet at the tallest setting. With hands on hips, step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes out slightly, to approximately a 45- to 60-degree angle. Align the heel of the front right foot with the heel of the back left foot. Keeping legs extended, inhale to lift the chest slight. Maintaining an elongated spine exhale fold forward, hinging at the hips to release hands to the blocks. Square chest in line with right thigh then fold forward, deepening the stretch in the hamstrings. Maintain this position for three to five complete breath cycles before slowly rising and repeating on the opposite side.

DANCER’S POSE

Stand at top mat with feet together, arms extended alongside the body. As you inhale, sweep both arms up toward ceiling, palms facing one another. With left arm extended bend right arm, drawing elbow in to touch right hip with palm facing up. Shift weight to left foot and bend right knee, drawing right heel toward right glute with knees close together. Keeping right thumb pointed toward back of mat, reach right hand back to capture inside of right foot. Inhale and extend the spine, reaching toward ceiling with left finger tips. On the exhalation, begin to press right foot into hand and right hand into foot, drawing right heel toward ceiling and right thigh parallel to floor. Continue lifting right leg as much as accessible while keeping hips and shoulders squared with chest lifted. Hold for three to five complete cycles of breath before repeating on the opposite side.

COW FACE POSE

Begin in a seated position on mat with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slide right heel toward left glute with toes pointing toward left side of the mat while aligning right knee to point forward toward front of mat in line with navel. Cross left leg over the right, stacking knees atop one another, allowing left toes to point toward right side of mat while rooting both sitting bones into the mat. Holding a yoga strap or towel in the right hand extend right arm up with palm facing forward then bend elbow, drawing right hand behind the neck with strap in line with spine. Extend left arm out toward left side wall with palm facing backward, thumb pointed down. Bend left elbow and draw hand behind the back to grasp the strap wherever is accessible. Work the hands as close together as possible while continuing to lift the chest, avoiding rounding shoulders forward. Maintain this position, breathing comfortable for five cycles of breath before releasing arms and uncrossing legs and repeating on the opposite side with arms and legs in reversed position.

<Acquired from ACE Fit Tips>

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Salads in a Jar

This was a big hit at my granddaughter’s FIRST birthday party!!  Easy to assemble and tote!

You can make any salad of your choice but here is mine!

Assemble from bottom of jar to top:

2 T  Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing

Mixed greens

Low fat feta

Fresh, sliced strawberries

When ready to eat, shake the jar vigorously while dancing around the room and……

Voila!!!

Hand out forks and your guests can continue mingling!!

Salad in a Jar

What do you put in YOUR jars? 😉

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Colorful Sweet Potato Salad

sweet potato salad with chili-lime dressing

 

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

4 tablespoons (tbs) olive oil

3 tbs lime juice

11/2 teaspoons (tsp) chili powder

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (or substitute parsley or another herb if you don’t like cilantro)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch chunks

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until just tender (7–10 minutes). Drain and transfer to large bowl.

While potatoes are cooking, make dressing: in small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and cilantro.

Add red bell pepper and scallions to drained potatoes, and toss with dressing.

Add salt and pepper.

Serve warm, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes six servings.

Not only are sweet potatoes tasty, they are a healthier version to potatoes.  They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol, are a rich source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals!

Enjoy!!!

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(IDEA Health & Fitness Inc)

Quick Workout to get those Sexy Shoulders!

Guys too!!!

When you only have a few minutes to spare, hit these shoulder-burning exercises!

10-minute Shoulder Workout

Strong shoulders make everyday activities much easier. Moving the arms to the front, side and behind the body, as well as overhead, is accomplished with the main shoulder muscle—the deltoid. This important muscle wraps around the shoulder joint, making a “cap” that acts to move the arm in various directions. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully engage all of the muscles of the shoulders. 

Equipment

  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance band

Shoulder Press

10–15 repetitions

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Position the dumbbells in front of the shoulders with the elbows bent and pointing downward. Press both weights overhead, coming into full elbow extension at the top with the arms by the ears. Be careful to keep the spine neutral (do not arch the back). Pause and then slowly reverse the movement. The weights should stay in front of the body during the movement, not out to the side.

Plank Side Walk

4 steps to the right and 4 steps to the left, repeat twice

Assume a plank position with the hands under the shoulders and the toes on the ground. Keeping the torso rigid, step the right hand and foot out to the right, just outside shoulder-width, and then step the left hand and foot toward the midline of the body. Perform 4 steps to the right and then 4 steps to the left (leading with the left hand and foot to return to the starting location).

Side Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms slightly in front of the hips, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out to the sides until the arms are parallel to the floor. Keep the arms slightly in front of the body as you lift out to the side to provide more room in the shoulder joint for this movement. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Banded Pull-apart

10–15 repetitions

Hold a resistance band with the hands out in front of the shoulders with the palms facing upward. Stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Slowly pull the hands apart by squeezing the backs of the shoulders and the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Front Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms at the sides, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out in front until the arms are parallel to the floor. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

(Article acquired from ACE Fit/Fit Life)

I Scream! You Scream!

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Today is a hot one in San Diego.  Might even break temp records so I’m craving something yummy and something COLD.  My choice is Chunky Monkey Ice Cream from the Fix Ate Cookbook!

3 ripe medium bananas cut into chunks

3 T all natural pb

Unsweetened almond milk <optional>

4 t chopped dark chocolate <not optional hee>

4 t sliced raw almonds

1–Place banana chunks in plastic bag and freeze for 4 hours

2–Place frozen bananas and pb in blender, cover and blend until smooth.  Add 1 – 2 T almond milk

3–Divide ice cream evenly between 4 serving bowls, top with chocolate and almonds

4–Serve immediately!!

1 Purple Container 3.5 teaspoons

 

OMG doesn’t this look and sound amazing!!

ENJOY and stay cool!

Fixate Cookbook–check it out!