Recipe: Gluten Free Banana Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 2-3 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 cp Melted Butter
  • 3/4 cp Sugar (If using over ripened bananas, reduce sugar)
  • 1 Egg Beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cp gluten free flour (Brown Rice Flour is my favorite.)

Prep time: 20 mins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas until smooth.
  3. Beat egg, then add in other wet ingredients (butter, vanilla extract, mashed banana).
  4. Mix in flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into muffin tray.
  6. Bake for 15 mins or until muffins are golden brown.

This delicious recipe is easier on the waistline but still satisfies your sweet tooth.

Recipe: Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Recipe: Salsa Salad

By Awalfitness

Salsa Salad, blue plate

Ingredients

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of whole corn kernels
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • lime juice
  • 1 bag of restaurant-style corn tortilla chips (optional)

Prep time: 15-20 minutes, depending on how fast you chop

  1. Rinse tomatoes, pepper, and cilantro
  2. Chop tomatoes into quarters, add to mixing bowl
  3. Finely chop garlic; add to mixing bowl
  4. Chop peppers into small chunks; add to mixing bowl. Smaller chunks make for a better, more blended final taste.
  5. Tear apart a small handful of cilantro; add to mixing bowl
  6. Top ingredients in mixing bowl with four quick squeezes of lime juice; let marinate for at least five minutes
  7. Rinse black beans, kidney beans, and corn kernels under cold water for three minutes; drain. Add beans and corn to storage container.
  8. Add contents from mixing bowl to storage bowl. Add four more squeezes of lime juice, then combine ingredients. Serve with a cup of tortilla chips and enjoy!

*The salad tastes best after being stored in the fridge overnight. But it is filled with great flavor and can be enjoyed right after prep.

Craving more health friendly recipes? Check out our Super Green and Garbanzo Salad. Let us know if you give them a try. We love hearing from you and thanks for reading!

Recipe: Salsa Salad

Recipe: Super Green and Garbanzo Salad

By Awal

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of raw, pre-washed broccoli and cauliflower
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • lemon juice
  • italian seasoning
  • garlic salt
  • 1 quart storage container with lid
  • Optional: can add black beans, kidney beans, corn kernels, as pictured. Just be sure to rinse before adding to the mix

*Prep time: about 15 minutes, but salad tastes the best after it is refrigerated overnight.

  1. Rinse all veggies, fresh herbs, and peppers. Add broccoli and cauliflower to storage bowl
  2. Chop seedless cucumber into bite-size bits; add to storage container
  3. Chop jalapeno peppers into small chunks. Smaller chunks distribute better and make for a more blended final taste.
  4. Chop off the white bulbs of the green onions; discard. (They can be chopped and added to the salad, but they will overwhelm and dominate the final taste.)
  5. Rinse garbanzo beans under cold water for three minutes. Strain, then add to strorage bowl.
  6. Top ingredients with small handful of cilantro, eight light squeezes of lemon juice, italian seasoning and garlic salt to taste. Combine, taste, add more seasoning as needed. Cover container with lid and store
  7. Serve salad or tote to eat on the go. Enjoy!

This hearty salad would make a great standalone or companion to any meal. Give it a try and tell us what you think. We love hearing from you. Thanks for reading !

 

Recipe: Super Green and Garbanzo Salad

Crunchy Strawberries and Creme

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of agave nectar (can be substituted with honey)
  • 5 strawberries
  • ½ a cup of granola

 

 

Prep time: 5 minutes

  • In a bowl, combine yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and agave nectar. Stir with a regular silverware spoon; the texture is better.
  • Slice and add strawberries
  • Top with granola

 

Enjoy!

Crunchy Strawberries and Creme

The Workout Zone: Making Fitness a Habit

By Awalfitness

Yesterday was my three-year anniversary as a personal trainer. Yay! Thirteen-year-old Ashley would be so proud! That poor girl hated gym class, with all the wheezing, failed attempts at climbing that stupid rope, and the whole getting picked last for dodgeball. She grew up to be a skinny-fat chick with spaghetti arms and a squishy midsection. She dreamed of having rock hard abs and being able to do a push-up. Take a look at her now:

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So how do you go from being a gym class zero to someone who actually enjoys working out? Let’s see:

 

  1. Find your motivation. Maybe you want to look good on the beach.  Maybe you want to run a mile. Maybe you want to bring down your high blood pressure. Maybe you want to catch the eye of the hot guy at work. There’s something you want that exercise can give you. Write it down and look at it daily.
  2. Find a gym close to you. Especially in the beginning, you will find any and every excuse to skip gym day. You’re tired. Work was awful, so you have to go home and decompress. Work was great, so you have to go out and celebrate. Don’t let “it’s just too far away” be one of your excuses. There are so many gyms out there these days. I’m sure you can find one that’s either a five minute drive or ten-minute walk from your house. You might even find two.
  3. Try everything. And by everything I mean lots of things. I don’t have to strap myself upside down and do inverted sit-ups to know they are not for me. But I have surely tried my hand at yoga, kickboxing, aerobic dance, running, crossfit, pilates, lean barre and even aquatic aerobics. Why? I get bored easily, just like you. And I don’t want to be one of those people who says exercise is boring. Next you’re going to tell me sex is boring. You just have to try new things! Then you find something that really excites you. Going to the gym is no longer about waiting for the numbers on the scale to move. It’s about perfecting your squat, dance routine, dive, or roundhouse kick. Find what you love, and it will keep you coming back for more.
  4. Do something social. Humans are wired to interact with others. We feed off of each other’s energy. Find a buddy to go to spin class with you. If you are like me and can’t always get your friends motivated to move, make friends in spin class. Have conversations after class with the instructor. He or she will show you proper form to make the most of the movement. Ask the girl in the locker room where she shops for her leggings. You might make a friend and update your fitness wardrobe. Connect. Those connections, those tpeople that you know are waiting for you to come to class will get you out of bed, even on the crappiest of mornings.
  5. Just keep trying. Exercise is always going to be essential to your life. Keep finding reasons to stick with it. Remember what motivated you to work out in the first place. Even if your reasons have evolved, you have to keep that initial drive in the forefront. There are days that I just really don’t feel like working out. But I remember the thirteen-year-old in P.E., and I have to push for her.

 

So I just told you how to get motivated to work out. Share with us why you don’t work out. We’re interested to know. Thanks!

 

The Workout Zone: Making Fitness a Habit

Good Health: Major Benefits of Doing What You Love

By AwalFitness

There’s an old saying: do what you love, and the money will follow. I say: do you what you love, and your health will follow. Am I saying that the right job will keep you illness-free? No. As I type, I’m in the process of dealing with a nasty chest cold. But it’s the first bad bug I’ve had in about five months – a new record for me! And I have yet to call out of work for it. Yay!

 

If you knew me during my med tech days, you would be itching to high five me right now. You would recall all the times I called out in a year for a chest cold, the flu, allergies, sinus infections – all the foes of the upper respiratory system. I have had asthma since birth, so I’ve never been a stranger to a tight chest and clogged sinuses. But ten years of working in Blood Services were filled with the crappiest health of my life. A major part of it was being in such an enclosed space with bodily material all day. Fun stuff. But I really believe a big part of it was stress and overall unfulfillment. I am a people person who thrives on communicating with others. Even in my years working in the lab, I would find myself spending minutes – maybe too many – chatting with coworkers about all life’s little intricacies.  But my people skills were not advancing me in my career in any way. At the end of almost every work day, I would leave feeling as if I had not done enough. And the busier the work day, the more unaccomplished I felt.

 

Now the opposite is true. As a full time trainer, my job is to talk to people all day, figure out what their fitness goals are, and work with them to achieve them. In addition, when I’m not working at the gym, I’m working out at the gym with some of the top trainers in the city. So I get to do what I love and what I do well all day. Winning! There have been days in which I had back-to-back clients lined up for hours, then went home feeling super accomplished. Every time I train someone, I’m instrumental in changing a person’s life for the better. A decade of testing and processing blood for sick people was great, but I never saw the people I was saving. I rarely heard thank you. Plus, I am surrounded by happy people who not only love their job, but also work out constantly. We are all on an endorphin high together! The gratitude, camaraderie, and overall enjoyment I get from doing my job is really improving my mental and physical health. Good work = good life.

 

Do you love what you do? Comment and share your success story. We would love to hear it!

Good Health: Major Benefits of Doing What You Love

The Benefits of Meal Planning

By Awal

OK, so I haven’t met too many people who would choose to be on a diet. The word “diet” in and of itself has a terrible stigma. It drudges up images of a few sprigs of asparagus on a plain white plate, saying no-no-no-no-no to cheesy yummy slices of pizza, being the kill-joy at the party who passes up the big piece of moist chocolate cake.

Truth: Yes, you do need to load up on veggies, cut back on the greasy food, and make some social sacrifices for your health. But it doesn’t have to be torture. And you do not have to – should not – starve yourself. Promise.

 

  1. Think about meals differently. With meal planning, you get to eat all day and still see your middle widdle. Plan out five to six meals a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner do not fit into everyone’s schedule. Maybe you work 10-14 hour days with few breaks. But what is a meal, really? A smoothie is a meal. A snack consisting of fruits and nuts is a meal. A cup of yogurt is a meal. There are so many options. Trust me.spicygarlicbroc
  2. Meal planning is great for ending the cycle of skipping meals and indulging in late-night snacking. When should you have these five to six meals? As a general rule, the first meal should be eaten within the first hour of waking up. Get your metabolism revved up to burn fat. A couple of hours later, time for another meal. Keep this going until about two-three hours before bed. Why? When you’re resting, so is your metabolism. If you eat, then go to sleep, your body stores the fat. No bueno. 
  3. You get your water intake. Drink lots of water. Is it a meal? Not really. Do you need it all day? Oh yeah. Dehydration is tricky. It can mask itself as hunger, causing you to reach for all kinds of naughty things to fill the void. Before you grab a second helping of food, drink a few sips of water. Then drink just a few more. Don’t think of a big gallon you have to down in one sitting. Just sip all day. No pressure.
  4. You know what you’re going to eat every day, making it easier to be good. Use the day before the start of your work week as meal prep day. For many people, that day is Sunday. But some people have very nontraditional work schedules. Some people work every day. In that case, pick your least busy work day. Meal prep your heart out. What is meal prepping? Prepare something pretty big that will stay fresh for three to six days, then separate it into easy-to-store containers. I’m a big fan of mason jars. They are easy to clean, look really cute, and are great for posting those “look at my healthy lunch” selfies. What should you make? Soups and stews are excellent warm foods, plus they add to your water intake for the day. Salads are great cold foods. Nuts and dried fruits are wonderful snacks to pack in your book bag or purse. Check out the pics! Nutsandberries
  5. When you start doing all this fancy meal prepping, you can tote your meals around all day. Yay! Confession: I keep a cooler in the trunk of my car. Mmm-hmm. And I keep a reusable ice pack in my freezer. If I’m going to be out of the house and on the road all day, I know I can tote around my homemade salads. Then I’m less likely to stop at a fast food restaurant and pick up something greasy. My cooler was a gift, but a good one would be worth the investment. Think of all the money you could save by not eating out every day. Cha-ching!veggies
  6. You can give yourself a cheat day, but don’t go nuts. Set ground rules for yourself so you don’t end up with a food hangover the next day. If you are not big into counting calories, keep it simple. Tell yourself that you can have an insane lunch, but be good for dinner. If you want to be bad all day, portion control is your friend. Have a couple of hot cakes at breakfast instead of a full stack. Have one piece of pizza for lunch instead of three. Have half of a serving of pasta at your fave Italian restaurant instead of the full load. Eat a cup of ice cream instead of a tub. Trust me. You’ll thank me when you feel pride in place of regret.
  7. It can be as fun and exciting as you make it. Get creative and think long-term. I could totally see you eating mixed greens and baked chicken every day for a whole week, losing a pound or two and feeling awesome about it. But will you do it for four weeks? Four months? Probably not. Research quick meals. Epicurious.com is a great resource for recipes galore. Think about what your fave meals are. Even if those meals are “bad”, there can be elements of those meals that will translate into a healthier dish. For example, I love spicy Mexican food. But I know refried beans and flour tortillas are not good for keeping my weight down. So I make a salsa salad with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and peppers. I still use canned corn and beans, but the meal is a healthier alternative. And I eat it with corn tortilla chips. Be careful with those tortilla chips. Try to get low sodium ones. I learned the hard way how much they can cause bloating. And who wants bloating?

beansaladFor more info about how much water you should drink, check out: How to Calculate How Much Water You Should Drink A Day … Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to “like” and comment! It makes our whole day!!!

*This post is not meant to replace any medical treatment or advice prescribed by your doctor. Please consult your physician before drastically changing your diet.

The Benefits of Meal Planning