Health&Fitness Motivation

A Self-Motivator for a Healthy Lifestyle


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Yoga Stretching

Also, here’s a little post-workout motivation. Whenever I finish a workout at the gym, especially a really intense one, all I want to do is get back, shower and move onto my next task. It never feels like there’s time for stretching, but it’s SO important. In DC, I try to go to hot yoga at least once a week, and I always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. Here are a couple of yoga stretches from Danica Langdon’s Pinterest page. I did these today after exercising and they really helped me feel amazing. Even if you only do a couple, relaxing your body can make a world of a difference when sleeping and when waking up the next day. Try them out next time!

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Sorry!

This is more of an apology to myself, but I’m so sorry for not posting lately! It’s been a ridiculous week and, with school, news articles and everything else, I’ve been a bad blogger. However, this weekend I’m headed to DC so I’ll be making lots of yummy recipes to try on my own and will post them asap! I’m also meeting with one of the gyms I emailed about interning while I get my personal training certification. Can’t wait to see how everything turns out ๐Ÿ™‚

 


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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

In honor of chia seed blogging day, here’s an awesome recipe for chia seed vanilla pudding. Eat this for breakfast with some fruit or snack on it during the day. Either way you’ll get some awesome health benefits and won’t feel bad about the pudding part.

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“Ingredients

 

3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened (vanilla)
2 – 3 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 – 4 tbsp chia seeds*
Nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes for topping (optional)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a Mason jar or any container with a tight lid (I prefer glass), give a good shake or stir and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. When ready to eat, stir and top with favourite toppings: nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes etc. Adjust the thickness of a pudding with extra milk if desired. Also the amount of sweetener is up to a personal taste.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.”

From:ย http://ifoodreal.com


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Chia Seeds

Today I picked up a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and asked the smoothie guy to put chia seeds in it. Best decision of the day. So I thought, in honor of my happy moment, I’d post a piece about all the health benefits of chia seeds! The story is that chia seeds are this ancient natural “super food” that originated in Mexico 2,600 BCish. They were known as “running food” because of all their great health benefits. My home stay mom told me this while I was traveling in Argentina, but supposedly these magical seeds were known for giving the Aztec warriors their incredible strength (probably an over exaggeration…) Not convinced yet? Check it out:

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1. They’re super rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help with high cholesterol and enhance your brain performance

2. They have lots of fiber

3. They make you feel satisfied for longer, so you don’t give into hunger cravings. A little seed won’t do a thing to your figure, a pizza might.

4. They have antioxidants that can help fight cancer and other diseases. They can also help with aging ๐Ÿ™‚

5. They’re gluten free!

6. They can replace eggs because their outer shell swells and becomes gelly-like when in liquid

7. Couldn’t say it better myself: “A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity” (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com)

8. They can help regulate your blood sugar levels

9.Again: “Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.”

10. Last but not least:ย They don’t need to be ground up in order to provide all of these awesome benefits! So drink em down.

I imagine with all those awesome health pluses they’re a pretty decent pre-workout snack. And I love them because you can put them on/in absolutely anything without ruining the flavor. Try mixing some dry seeds in with your granola or oatmeal, that’ll mask them even more than having them floating around in juice ๐Ÿ™‚


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White pizza is by far my favorite. I don’t know what it is, but I really don’t like marinara sauce on my pizza. If anything, I’ll use pesto instead. That being said, pizza isn’t exactly the healthiest…unless you make it healthy! Check out this fabulous recipe from Cooking Light: (although I would opt for whole grain crust instead of cheese flavored)

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Ingredients

1 (10-ounce) Italian cheese-flavored thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1 teaspoon cornmeal
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons refrigerated pesto with basil (such as Buitoni)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sliced small tomatoes (such as Campari tomatoes) $
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup small basil leaves
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Place a baking sheet in oven; heat for 10 minutes.

3. While baking sheet heats, place crust on another baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat crust with cooking spray. Spread pesto evenly over crust, leaving a 1-inch border; sprinkle mozzarella evenly over pesto. Dollop ricotta, by teaspoonfuls, evenly over mozzarella. Slide crust onto preheated baking sheet, using a spatula as a guide. Broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven; top evenly with tomatoes, black pepper, and basil. Sprinkle with red pepper, if desired. Cut into 8 slices.”


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Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Oh my god, this can’t be real life. I’m so happy this recipe exists thanks to Kristin Porter on bloglovin.com. Thai food is my absolute favorite. Definitely making this the second I’m back home in DC next weekend.

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“Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
1 large chicken breast (6oz), thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup coleslaw mix
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 green onions, chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped and divided

For the Thai Peanut Sauce:

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

Directions:

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa. Place a lid on top then lower heat and cook until quinoa has absorbed chicken broth, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside. (Can be done ahead of time.)

Combine all sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 20 seconds.Stir until smooth then set aside. Whisk together egg and sesame oil in a small bowl then set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to wok and stir fry until no longer pink. Remove to a plate then set aside.
Heat remaining teaspoon peanut oil in wok then add coleslaw mix, frozen edamame, and green onions. Stir fry until tender, 2-3 minutes, then push to outsides of wok, creating a clear space in the center. Add egg whisked with sesame oil to center of wok then stir fry until soft scrambled.
Add cooked chicken, quinoa, sauce, and half the chopped peanuts to wok then toss to combine. Serve with remaining chopped peanuts.”


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Pooch and Proud

Today after my run and work on the Curve machine at the gym, I did this ab routine called “lose the pooch.” But before I put it up, I just wanted to clarify something. I don’t think having a pooch or any type of curve is a bad thing. There’s this crazy idea advanced by the media and photoshop that fit women have perfectly flat stomachs. It just isn’t true. Fit women come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and curves. And just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re fit (and vice versa). I work out every day and like to consider myself in shape, but I am damn proud of my pooch. I know that if I’m eating well and putting in the effort during my workouts that I’m healthy – too many women don’t feel the same way. I’m not saying it’s bad to have a flat stomach and I’m not saying it’s good to have curves because it’s neither. It truly depends on your body type and the shape you’re trying to achieve. Set goals to achieve the body you want but also be proud and comfortable with the one you have! Phew, okay, ab routine time:

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Happy training ๐Ÿ™‚