Guilt Free Cookie Dough

And you can eat it raw!

Worry no more about getting sick from raw cookie dough or over indulging your sweet tooth. This cookie dough recipe is raw, vegan and gluten-free (no eggs, no flour, grain-free, refined-sugar-free, GUILT FREE!)

You can satisfy that late night sweet tooth with a couple spoonfuls of this cookie dough that will not break your calorie bank.

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Raw Cookie Dough Recipe

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) white beans or chickpeas
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or allergy friendly sub)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup quick oats of flaxmeal
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda (this gives a cookie dough flavor)
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

Drain beans, rinse extremely well and pat dry. Process all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor until completely smooth (I use my Nutribullet and it works extremely well). Stir in chocolate chips. This cookie dough tastes best served chilled. Cover leftovers and store in the fridge.

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30 Minute Lean Legs

If your goal is to build strong, lean legs I have some good news for you. You do not need expensive equipment and can even do it from your living room! For days when you’re short on time but you need to hit that movement goal, try this 30 minute home or outdoor workout to feel a good burn and tone those legs.

Reminder: Do not hesitate to modify the workout to suit your fitness level. You can start by completing fewer sets or reps and work your way up. 

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The Workout

Begin by warming up for 5 minutes with a jog, high knees, butt kickers, walking lunges (forward and/or reverse).

Circuit One: Complete 5 rounds for a total of 10 minutes

  • Split Squat Right Leg: 30 seconds
  • Split Squat Left Leg: 30 seconds
  • Walking Lunges: 30 seconds
  • Jumping Lunges: 30 seconds

Circuit Two: Complete 5 rounds for a total of 10 minutes

  • Wide Stance Squat: 30 seconds
  • Regular Stance Squat: 30 seconds
  • Pulsing Squat: 30 seconds
  • Jump Squat: 30 seconds
End workout with a 5 minute cool down with static stretching; standing quad stretch, standing hamstring stretch and standing calf stretch.

Health Benefits of Herbs

Herbs have been playing a major role in improving the overall health of the body for decades. Herbs strengthen the immune system, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent Alzheimer’s diseases and various types of cancer.

Herbs eliminate the nutritional deficiencies in your body and thus restore the correct function of the body. It is also said that herbs nourish every part of the body with their vitamin and mineral content. In short, our body needs certain essential dietary nutrients to meet the everyday demands of life because herbs provide us with most of the necessary components for a healthy life.

Here are some health benefits of 5 herbs I use very often (and also grow at home!).

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Sage (top left)

  • memory retention
  • increased concentration and focus
  • decrease inflammation, particularly in joints, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and cardiovascular system
  • antioxidants
  • vitamin K (not found in many foods), helps to develop bone density
  • topical for the skin can be effective against eczema, psoriasis and acne

Parsley (top right)

  • anti-diabetic properties, decreases blood sugar
  • controls rhematoid arthritis
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-inflammatory
  • effective against osteoporosis, helps maintain bone health
  • diuretic effects, controls kidney stones, UTIs, gallblader stones
  • strengthens immune system

Basil (middle)

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • pain and fever reducer
  • protects the liver
  • protects the blood vessels
  • strengthens immune system
  • helps to decrease stress

Cilantro (bottom left)

  • natural food preservative
  • antioxidant
  • may help prevent cardiovascular damage
  • promotes calm feelings, mood boost
  • promotes normal blood sugar levels
  • improves sleep quality
  • normal fluid balance and urine flow
  • supports bone health
  • contains Vitamin A which supports eye health

Rosemary (bottom right)

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • improves digestion
  • enhances memory and concentration
  • protective against brain damage and might improve recovery
  • prevents brain aging
  • protection against macular degeneration

Bands, Bands, Bands

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No gym? No weights? No time? No problem!

You can find exercises bands of all shapes and sizes online (amazon, groupon, etc.) and the truth is, I have never met a band I didn’t like. Resistance bands, booty bands, therabands, whatever you want to call them; go online and get some!

Resistance bands can and should be bought in a variety pack. You can build strength and use greater resistance as you progress in your workouts, you can use minimal resistance for stability or core work and you can use different resistances for different movements/body parts.

Once your new bands arrive at your door, try these two exercises to improve your posture and core strength:

1. Squat + Band Row

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Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Descend into a squat (as if to sit back in a chair) keeping your body weight in your heels, knees behind the toes. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears as you enter the bottom of your squat, hands extended in front of you. Your core should be engaged to avoid pressure in the low back.

To stand, push through your heels, driving the hips forward, squeezing your glutes (butt muscles). Note: Your knees should stay aligned over your ankles, never allow your knees to buckle in toward each other as you stand up from a squat or seated position. Core should remain engaged.

After reaching the standing position, bend the elbow and row with the resistance band. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears and squeeze your scapulas (shoulder blades) together.

Repeat 20 reps for 2-3 sets.

2. Core Anti-Rotation

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Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Start by facing where the band is anchored. You should face the band by rotating your ribcage (or upper body), keeping your hips facing the front or square.

Before you rotate, make sure you are standing tall, squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) to keep hips stable, draw your belly button in towards your spine, keep your shoulders down away from your ears, arms extended straight in front of your body. Take a deep breath.

To rotate, keep your belly button drawn in, exhale and pull the band until your ribacge (upper body) is in line with your hips.

Repeat 20 times on each side for 2-3 sets.

 

If You’re Not Prepped, You’re Not Prepared!

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How often do you hear about and see pictures of “meal prep”? Have you tried it? What’s the big deal about meal prep anyway?

Not only can prepping your meals help you save time and money, it can help you achieve fitness and weight loss goals you have not been able to achieve before. Having your meals pre-planned will help you stay on track, eat smaller portions, eat more often and you might even learn a new recipe or two!

Staying on track is key with fitness and nutrition programs. You can expect to have a slip-up or a “cheat day” every now and then, but you should quickly get back to the nutrition program you have set in place. I like to tell my clients, “Everything in moderation.” We are not often successful on an all or nothing type diet (For example; extremely low-no carb). Instead you should focus on eating whole foods (whole grains, protein, healthy fats, no added sugar, limit alcohol) and exercise regularly. By adopting these habits you can boost your metabolism, help your body run cleaner and more efficiently and loose those pesky pounds. Consistency in your diet and workout routine will inspire your body to run like a well oiled machine, burning calories as you consume them. I recommend starting your day with 12-16 oz. of water followed by breakfast, eating small meals every 2-3 hours and standing for a few minutes at the very least each hour of the day. Do this day after day and you have achieved CONSISTENCY. You’re on your way!

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Basic Prep Layout:

  • Breakfast (oats & berries or egg whites & ground chicken)
  • Snack (protein bar)
  • Lunch (ground turkey & sweet potato)
  • Snack (apple, berries, carrots & hummus)
  • Dinner (salmon salad or chicken & vegetables)
  • Snack (if necessary)
(All menus and meal plans should be specific to each individual. This is a baseline plan. For more information on meal planning or for a custom meal plan please email Kate@fitbodiesbykate.com)