State Of Mind

I am my own worst enemy. Sometimes I catch myself thinking things that I would NEVER let anyone ever say to me. Yet somehow, I allow that awful internal voice to criticize and just eat away at the whole. I have to really practise at catching this cycle when it starts and coax myself into changing the thought process. Obviously not an easy feat, but one I will work on for as long as it takes.

Believe In Who You Are

 

It is a journey, progression in life. I love who I am now, and believe in the person I want to become. That is the mantra I hold onto when the ‘ego’ picks a fight.

 

Easy And Healthy? Yes Please!

I admit freely that I can’t quite cook quinoa perfectly. I always, and I mean always either under cook or over cook. For some reason or another it is never meant to be. So when I stubbled onto this recipe from Pinterest, I thought to myself that this might just be the ticket. An easy breakfast, with a breakfast cake like quality. Sold! Sold! Sold! A nice option other than regular oatmeal (which I also love!).

Quinoa Apple Cinnamon Bake with Greek Yogurt

http://www.fitsugar.com/Apple-Cinnamon-Quinoa-Breakfast-Bake-32210316

I love the dollop of Greek yogurt that adds more protein and nutrition. A definite must try.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

(slightly modified from original version on http://www.fitsugar.com)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 apples, peeled, diced
1/4 cup raisins
2 eggs
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (can substitute regular milk or soy…)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup almonds, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 7-by-11-inch baking dish (an 8-by-8 works too).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices. Pour into greased dish.
  3. Sprinkle the apple and raisins on top of the quinoa.
  4. In that same small bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk (of choice) and maple syrup.
  5. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
  6. Bake for one hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.
  7. Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate. In the morning, cut a square, microwave it on a plate, and enjoy alone or with a few dollops of Greek yogurt

Makes 6 Servings

 

Healthy and Yummy Mixed Nut Bars

Healthy Nut Bars

Yummy Mixed Nut Bars (HEALTHY)

I love a nut bar. I love a delicious HEALTHY nut bar. So from some trial and error I made these yummy bars that need no time to prepare. Well as long as you have a food processor!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/8 cup maple syrup

1/8 cup coconut butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 pitted dates

1 “row” of dark chocolate 85%

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 F

Coarsely process all ingredients until it mixes together. Poor into an 8*8 parchment paper lined baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until top browns.

It will be usually be very soft to the touch. Cut into 8 equal pieces and place in the refrigerator. Give them some time to harden. Sometimes I can’t wait, and get at them an hour later. But its better when they harden for that crunch factor!

Enjoy!

I usually cut enough parchment paper so that i can wrap up the bars all together after I cut them. And then just place in the fridge.         And of course, feel free to add anything you like. Goji berries, cocoa nibs, and adjust as you see necessary.

Let me know what you think.

 

So You Want Better Cardio?

So You Want Better Cardio?Firstly, lets get scientific. We must understand the principle of adaptation. This is our body’s ability to adjust itself to increased or decreased physical demands. When you do something repeatedly, your body becomes comfortable performing under these conditions. It becomes easier because you use less energy to do the same movements.

I always say “I want better cardio”… What I really mean is that I want to improve my conditioning. I want to be able to increase my max work capacity, you know, run (or insert your activity here) faster for longer periods of time, and have an easier time doing it.

So if you sprint often, it will become easier for you to breath while you do it, or regain yourself faster each time. That’s why interval training, or HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the way to get the job done. It’s become super popular and it will help you run faster, longer and make you a lean machine. It absolutely burns more calories than a steady intensity workout, and is proven to get your metabolism roaring even long after the workout is over. 

Let’s look at some options for HIIT and in this case running. You can also use a stationary bike, swim, sled pulls, etc…

HIIT is alternate periods of work and rest. How much work and how much rest is to be decided and the intensity based on your fitness level. So far I only use the time based option. (You can use a heart rate method but that requires a heart rate monitor and some calculations.)

Option 1: 

Tabata – 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.  8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes. (Gruesome)

Get on the treadmill , stepping on the side rails off of the tread. Crank up the treadmill. You will perform 20 seconds of all out work and hop off for 10 seconds. Repeat for 8 rounds. There are so many Tabata aps that you can download for simplicity. If you are in good shape aim for 6-7mph at 15% incline. It’s gonna hurt!

Or you can also try 

30-45 seconds of work at a run speed (maybe 7 or 8mph test it out) and 10% incline, 1 minute off. This you can repeat 5 times. Yuk!

If you are feeling like you really want to punish yourself… try this awesome ‘finisher’!

Circuit

20 air squats, 20 lunges each leg, 20 jump squats, 20 split jumps each leg, 6 burpees. Finish all these exercises with no breaks. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat. (you won’t feel rested)

Then!!!

Perform a Tabata circuit on the tread mill if your fitness level allows. You’ll be done! But feeling great! That ‘great’ part might take a minute to appear!

Obviously be careful and use your own judgment when it comes to these things. You are ultimately responsable for your safety so test it out, speeds, movements, on/off treadmill, before diving right in.  And don’t forget to stretch, stretch, stretch. You could aim to do intervals twice a week, and you will see in no time what a big difference it makes on your conditioning.

Let me know how it goes!

 

Resources: Mike Boyle, Precision Nutrition