HIIT IT

No words today.

Just this fantastic new HIIT workout.

Perfect for the treadmill or the pavement. Obvs I’m happiest in the outdoors but I live in Canada and I’m a bit of a wuss, so it’s good to have something that works both ways.

Feel free to swap out some or all of the light jog sections with brisk walking. Just pick it up for the runs and it’ll still kick your booty into 2013.

Enjoy it!

Sweat about it!

Then tell me how it goes.

Advertisements

Coconut Chocolate Bark

This coconut chocolate bark is, to put it simply, a revelation.

And like most revelations, it started out with humble beginnings. With a very utilitarian purpose. I was simply looking for new ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet.

You see, in addition to all the benefits of coconut oil (which my nutritionist pal Joy has summarized beautifully in this post), it is also known to be a very healthful choice for people with gallbladder disease…which I have and have had since the age of about 8.

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog before because it seems like a total overshare, but I thought I’d say something now in case there are others out there who suffer from the same thing. And no, gallbladder disease is not something that only affects people who are overweight or over 50. Young’ins like me can be susceptible too for a wide variety of hereditary reasons (in my case a rare blood disorder). Represent.

So how does coconut oil help? Well, a doctor told me recently that coconut oil is unique because, unlike other fat sources (even healthy ones), it avoids your gallbladder entirely. That’s good news for everyone, not just gallstoney weirdos like me, because it is converted to usable energy very quickly leaving you feeling satisfied and energized, without the sluggish feelings that can sometimes accompany a high-fat meal. Universal win. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Coconut Chocolate Bark
Vegan, Grain-Free and pretty much everything-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp plain, vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder (I used sun warrior blend)
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid sweetener or a few drops of good tasting stevia
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coconut

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and coconut in a small microwaveable dish and heat in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until just bubbling.
  2. Add vanilla and coconut
  3. Transfer to a small freezer-friendly container, lined with saran wrap. I used a pie plate. Spread the mixture out thinly and pop into the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until set.
  4. Remove chocolate bark from freezer and slice into 12 pieces. Store in the fridge to avoid melting.

Nutrition facts: Around 50 calories/serving. 5 g healthy fats. 1.5 g protein. 

I enjoyed 2 big pieces (plus many spoon/bowl licks) as part of my breakfast this morning. Delicious. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Energizing Antioxidant Smoothie

If December is a month of celebration. Of fun, food, familytimes and fabulous holiday dresses…then what the heck is November? If you ask me, November is a month of dodging bullets. 

Bullet #1: STRESS – Whether you’re a student or a working stiff like me, the month of November tends to fall into that “crunch time” category. End of year budgets, final drafts of papers, it all seems to culminate smack dab in the middle of this strange penultimate month.

Bullet #2: SAD – And by SAD I mean SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. Ie. “Its grey and cold and dark and I’m depressed” syndrome.

Bullet #3: DEBT – Christmas is coming….is your bank account ready? No? Then charge it! January-me will find a way sort this out.

and finally…

Bullet #4: ILLNESS – Everyone, everywhere is sick. Always.

My tips to dodging bullets 1-3 are mainly to stay conscious of them. Recognize that stress is fleeting, weather is changing and no gifts are worth the hassle of paying off that credit card.

As for Bullet 4…well there’s not much you can do to stop a cold once it’s started you can do your darndest to PREVENT it before it starts. And this nutrient-rich, energizing smoothie is a heck of a good start.

Love antioxidants? This smoothie packs em in like it’s nobody’s businesses.

Energizing Antioxidant-Rich Green Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2-3 frozen chunks of spinach (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • pinch of xantham gum (optional, for thickness)
  • 1/4 cup of brewed coffee (optional)

Directions:

Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary.

Want another antioxidant rich recipe? Check out these delicious espresso berry muffins!

How do you dodge the November doldrums? Any tips on preventing winter colds?

This or That: Healthy Hipster Edition

Hey there.

So there’s a lot of trends that tend to go around the healthy blog world, and some I like more than others. Oatmeal obsession? Love it. Pumpkin fetish? I’m on board. Other trends…not so much. Srsly have you heard of shirataki noodles? It’s like you took a bowl of spaghetti and replaced the delicious satisfaction with rotten fish and indigestion.

Anyways I decided to suck up my ‘tude  and get on board with the current trend sweeping blogland. You bet it’s a quiz. Let’s get started.

This or That?
Find the original version here

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow? Neither. Autumn. The only thing that keeps me from spending literally the entire month of October outside walking, hiking, running or paddling is pumpkin pie.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs? Is there any way to say the word “abs” without sounding like a knob? Whenever I see it in print I hear the voices of Hans and Franz  in my head. “Do you like my abs” “Gotta work on my abs” “Oooh my abs are so sore from working them so…” Ya you get the picture, I’m not answering this.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors? I kinda love Dr. Oz. I don’t know if it’s his boundless enthusiasm for all things fibrous, or the fact that he slightly resembles my Jewish grandmother, but I trust that man with my gastro-intestinal health.

4. Cardio or strength? For me strength almost always wins out, followed by circuit style cardio workouts, then running outside. As for the worst? I’d rather do a beep test in grade 9 gym class than use the elliptical machine (which ive been told im too short for) or take a spin class…shudder.

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs? Dead heat. I get grouchy when I dont have a little of both at every meal and snack.

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper? Ummm….Jackie Warner.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream? I’ve never been huge on either but I’ve been known to brave the dairy indigestion for a little tart froyo. Coconut bliss is also pretty darn delicious but I should probably stop making up my own answers.

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body? Upper for sure. Especially pullups and pushups. If they could bottle that feeling I would market it as Liquid Empowerment.

9. Protein powder or food with protein? Nothing beats delicious whole foods. Le duh!

10. Lunges or squats? An old dance injury makes both a little tricky for me but I’d have to say sumo squats because they are easiest on my joints.

11. Sweet or salty? Sweet in the morning, salty at night.

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy? Comfy for sure. I pretty much wear the same lululemon bottoms and this tshirt every time I workout. That said, I always wear my bright red lipstick…even at the gym. Can’t help myself.

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting? I’ve never dont Body Pump but I’d really like to try it! I wouldn’t call my lifting heavy…but benchpressing and deadlifting are my jam.

14. Yoga or Pilates? Yoga. But its pretty pricey where I live so I like to treat myself to a class now and then as a luxury. Or I do my own yoga workouts like this one!

15. Nike or Adidas? Nike I guess.

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors? Outside. Blaring this Passion Pit record. Mmmm…YES.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? I’m CANADIAN guys. No TJs here. And WFs is way out of my price range. I shop at this health food store in the middle of Chinatown. It’s the best and cheapest in the city by far. 

18. Summer or Winter Olympics? Winter. I think my citizenship would get revoked if I said otherwise.

19. Exercises classes or Exercise videos? Videos. Fitness instructors freak me out (Unless its my friend Christine…a feminist human rights lawyer by day who teaches “flirty girl” fitness classes by night…she’s the best!)

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies? I roast everything. I’m roasting a squash right now.

YOUR TURN. Hit me with a few of your favourites. 🙂

Worknight Circuit Workout

Hey there pals.

Remember this face? Image

A heavily moustached hipster (because it’s Movember of course!) with a brand new workout to share!

Life lately, you ask? Well things have been busy as ever and I have barely had time to water my miniature cactus let alone blog.And fitness? Jeez. If I make it to the gym once or twice a week, maybe fit in a nice outdoor run now and then, I’ve been a happy girl.

Keeping my expectations realistic has been keeping me sane. 

But since the clocks have changed and the days have gotten shorter, I’ve been making an effort to up my activity level just a bit. Getting moving always improves my mood and regulates my sleep schedule, two things that I tend to struggle with during the many many winter months we have here in Toronto.

I’m sharing my workout with you today because it was a great mix of cardio and strength but didn’t totally knock me out. In other words, it was perfect for squeezing in at the end of a long work day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Image

And remember, even when I’m not blogging, you can always find me on pinterest and twitter!

Have a great night! TGIalmostF!