Walnut Pumpkin Shake

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  What a better way to serve your guests the morning of Turkey day than with a tasty holiday inspired breakfast??  This is what I like to call National Eating Day and you will be eating all day; so skip the morning pumpkin cinnamon rolls and give your guests a healthy start to the day!

And in this recipe you get to use your Homemade Walnut Milk from last week!

Makes 1 Shake

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients (except nutmeg) in blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.IMG_6956
  3. Serve and Enjoy!IMG_6966
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Plank Series Week 8!!

Wow…if you have made it to week 8 you have made it thru 2 months of planking!  Are you able to stay dedicated??  This is the most important time of year to make exercise a priority!  And this series allows you to workout anywhere!!

Thursday is Thanksgiving!  A very exciting holiday that you should enjoy.  Yes you should have dessert and some wine… “eat drink and be merry” … just don’t go crazy and more importantly be sure to get your fitness in!!!

Currently 4 minutes of your day should be consumed by plank variations…and yes today we add a new variation and another 30 seconds… but still yes under that 5 minute commercial break.

Today we add Plank Stairs… yep! Follow the pictures below switching arms at the completion of one full round…

Step 1- start in a standard plank

Step 1- start in a standard plank

Step 2- drop down to one elbow

Step 2- drop down to one elbow

Step 3- Drop the other elbow so you are in an elbow plank

Step 3- Drop the other elbow so you are in an elbow plank

Step 4- Start lifting to one hand

Step 4- Start lifting to one hand

Step 5- Lift to other hand into full plank...start with the opposite arm next

Step 5- Lift to other hand into full plank…start with the opposite arm next

Steps 1-5 take you thru one full round.  As you begin round two start by lowering to opposite arm first!

Postural Corrections to Focus on:

  • Keep abdominals and glutes engaged; DO NOT use lower back
  • Keep shoulders down and back using your lats
  • Keep those hips down; think side view of a board not an upside down V
  • Take your time your first few tries to be sure you are using the correct muscles

Plank Challenge Thus Far (4 minutes):

  • Standard Plank 30s
  • Side Planks 30s
  • Side Planks 30s
  • Reverse Planks 30s
  • Plank with knee drops 30s
  • Plank with alternating arm raises 30s
  • Plank with alternating leg raises 30s
  • Plank with opposite arm and leg raises 30s
  • Plank Stairs 30s

We are almost at the end!! Promise!!

Share this great series with your Thanksgiving guests!  Take a break between appetizers and dinner with a little plank series!

 

 

 

Pumpkin Paleo Doughnuts!

Thanksgiving is next week and we are all preparing for the eating event!  I am featuring this fabulous recipe by my friend Justin Piccari.  It had been years since I bit into a delicious fluffy doughnut.  In the gluten free and dairy free life these enticing treats were just not an option for my sensitive tummy :(.  A few weeks ago Justin approached me with his new found deliciousness, the pumpkin doughnut.  And yes it is both gluten and dairy free as well as Paleo!

This is a perfect savory dessert for Thanksgiving!  Show your guests that you can have a dessert that is both healthy and delicious!

Paleo Pumpkin Doughnuts

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In the struggle of adopting a nutritional lifestyle change, the cravings set in. Go ahead. Deny it. You’ve never felt the cravings for a nice, fresh delicious pumpkin spiced doughnut that’s still warm from the bakery. The aroma wafting into your nostrils, allowing the scents of the spices and that perfect cup of coffee to paint the picture of the holidays into your olfactory sense, bringing to life nostalgic moments of days past.

I know what you’re thinking. I bet now you want a doughnut. It’s ok to admit, it’s happened to all of us. But you have committed to getting healthier, to losing weight, to straying from the mistakes of the populous. But pine no more my Paleolithic companion! The answer is here:

The cinnamon-glazed paleo pumpkin doughnut is here to save your taste bud woes. Amazingly simple, quick, and quite tasty.

Contrary to popular belief a delicious doughnut doesn’t have to be fat, fried, or even…well…dough. This recipe gains it’s bulk from pumpkin, the Cucurbita pepo, that vegetable-with-a-dent that people like to carve out with spooky faces and far-too-elaborate designs to scare children and illuminate the Halloween spirits before allowing it to rot endlessly on their porch for the next few months. It’s time to put that gourd to work! (What you can eat this thing?? Crazy!)

So without further ado (and more complicated verbiage from myself), the Paleo Pumpkin Doughnut (hereafter referred to as “#OMGPaleoDoughnut”)

Ingredients: (Makes about 6)

Doughnuts

  •  1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (Use canned or fresh – fresh instructions here: http://allrecipes.com/howto/baking-with-fresh-pumpkin/)
  • 2 Eggs (Room Temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Cup Coconut Flour
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • Spices (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice – or Pumpkin Spice mix)
  • Applesauce (As needed if batter is too dry)

Optional Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Crystals
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup

Directions

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350°
  2. Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil (Thin coat. Not too much)
  3. Mix all doughnut ingredients together – Optional – Use food processor to blend ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Divide batter into even portions (Should divide well into 6 portions)
  5. Optional – Use Doughnut mold to make shape
  6. Place onto cookie sheet (If you aren’t using a Doughnut Mold: Place the portion on the cookie sheet and use your finger to give the iconic hole)
  7. Bake for 20 minute or until golden brown (should feel firmer to the touch and get a little crispy)

Adjustments

Now. This is a fun, simple easy recipe. No complicated ingredients, no searching high and low for odds and ends you won’t use again, not odd tools to make them. Out of all the recipes that I have seen for something like this, I’ve tried to make adjustments to be the easiest. I even opt to not glaze the doughnuts in an attempt to avoid the Coconut Crystals.  (Another alternative is Organic Raw Sugar – or just skip to reduce excessive glycemic spike)

Now sit back and relax you sophisticated cavemen. Enjoy sitting by your fire, sipping on some coffee in your smoking jacket and re-enacting the opening from Masterpiece Theatre. This is one snack you won’t have to seek nutritional counseling after.

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 -Justin Piccari

Plank Series Week 7!!

Next week is Thanksgiving!!  Now is the time to gear up for the big eating week.  Yes making healthy decisions during the holidays is essential but you will consume more calories as we enter this big holiday season then you do on a non-holiday basis.  So get ahead of weight gain by boosting your metabolism with some strength workouts!  Eh..hem… this quick time crunching plank series is my gift to you this holiday season.

If you have been a dedicated plank challenger you should currently be spending 3.5 minutes of your day in Plank Land.  If you have fallen off the Plank Bus then hurry up and get your @$$ back on!

Today we add the next level, the next variation, and another 30 seconds!  Yes so now 4 minutes of your day will be consumed by planking….but people this is still less than a commercial break!

Today we add a combination of our last two variations… Plank with Opposite Arm/Leg Raise!  Hold each raise for 1 count before switching to the other side.

Postural Corrections to Focus on:

  • Keep lower abdominals engaged; Do Not let that low back arch
  • Keep those shoulders down and back using your lats; avoid rounding in your chest
  • The leg raise should be drive by gluten activation and the arm raise should be driven by the lats and shoulder muscles
  • Keep your hips down as your shift your weight
  • Take your time your first few tries with this one to make sure you are using the correct muscle groups

Jessica Fitness (20)

Plank Challenge Thus Far (4 minutes):

  • Standard Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Reverse Plank 30s
  • Plank with knee drops 30s
  • Plank with alternating arm raises 30s
  • Plank with alternating leg raises 30s
  • Plank with opposite arm and leg raises 30s

Hang in there…remember our goal for fall is to keep the summer flat tummy, sculpted arms and toned glutes!

Homemade Walnut Milk

It’s only Wednesday and I have already run out of my store bought almond milk; with my schedule I can’t get to the store til the weekend.  I tend to go through a lot of the stuff as a private trainer, most of my meals are consumed on the go and protein shakes are perfect.  I have no time or desire to rush to the store but still need fuel for the rest of the week, what’s a girl to do?

Pull out raw nuts and make her own!

It’s simple I promise!  And actually so much better than anything store bought!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c raw walnuts
  • 3 c filtered water
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place walnuts in small bowl/container.  Cover with water.  Cover and place in fridge for at least 12 hours.IMG_6950
  2. Strain the soaked walnuts and place in blender along with water, honey, and vanilla.IMG_6952
  3. Blend until very smooth.  At least 3-5 minutes.IMG_6955
  4. Place in a storage container and keep in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy the deliciousness in shakes, coffee, oatmeal, or granola!

Plank Series Week 6!!

So honestly have you fallen off the plank-a-day wagon??  If so get your butt back on!  The holidays will be here in 2 weeks and you will need simple exercises you can do anywhere that do not take a lot of time.

So far 3 minutes of your day should be dedicated to planking!  This can be completed in one commercial break!

It is time for your next variation…another 30 seconds tacked on this week!  Plank with alternating leg raises.

Postural Corrections to Focus on:

  • Keep the lower abdominals engaged; DO NOT let that back arch
  • Keep those shoulder down and back using your lats; avoid rounding in your chest
  • The leg raise should be driven by gluten activation… not twisting or your lower back muscles
  • Take your time your first few go arounds with this exercise and make sure you are using the right musclesJessica Fitness (10)

Plank Challenge Thus Far (3.5minutes):

  • Standard Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Reverse Plank 30s
  • Plank with knee drops 30s
  • Plank with alternating arm raises 30s
  • Plank with alternating leg raises 30s

You can do it!!  Hang in there!  And we are still less than a commercial break ;).

Simple Turkey Roll Ups!

This weekend I helped one of my best friends prepare for her Stella & Dot Jewelry Party.  My job was the food…my favorite job ;)!  As the holidays quickly approach everyone is going to need some simple quick and somewhat healthy recipes ideas!  This turkey roll up recipe is not only cheap and easy but healthy and delicious!  This recipe also doubles as a quick high protein- low carb lunch on the go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package organic free range turkey
  • 1 c sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 bag Arugula
  • Black Pepper
  • Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  1. Lay out slices of turkey on a cutting board.
  2. Place sliced tomatoes in center of turkey slices.Halloween 037
  3. Sprinkle black pepper on top of tomatoes.
  4. Top tomatoes with a small handful of arugula.Halloween 038
  5. Put a small dab of Dijon mustard on one edge of the slice of turkey.Halloween 039
  6. Roll up turkey so that the mustard seals the roll closed.  You can use a toothpick to be sure it is sealed.Halloween 044
  7. Serve with your favorite appetizers!  Happy party in less than 30 minutes…Halloween 045Halloween 052

Simple, quick and easy!  Sit back and enjoy your party!

Plank Series Week 5!!

You have made it through a month of the plank series!!  Great job!  How are you feeling?  Stronger!  Leaner!  Centered!  And it really isn’t that hard is it??

So far you have been dedicated 2 mins & 30 sec of your day to Planking…. time to add on that extra 30 sec!

Now this plank series is a gift to you especially for the holiday season.  We all get incredibly busy during this time of the year and sometimes getting all the way to the gym is impossible!  This exercise series will get you that tone you have been hoping for while not stealing a lot of your time.  And for all you travelers out there… this requires 0 equipment so you will have not problem completing this at your in-laws house… hey! Get them involved!

Today we add another forward plank variation… Plank with alternating arm raises

Postural Corrections to Focus on:

  • Keep the glutes and lower abdominals engaged throughout the entire 30 seconds; it is easy to get wobbly in this exercise and end up using your lower back muscles
  • Keep those legs together and activated
  • As you reach your arm overhead keep your shoulder down and back away from your ear, lead with your thumb up; do not let your shoulders round forward

Jessica Fitness (15)Plank Challenge Thus Far (3 mins):

  • Standard Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Side Plank 30s
  • Reverse Plank 30s
  • Plank with knee drops 30s
  • Plank with alternating arm raises 30s

Keep up the hard work!!!