Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Health-Conscious Holiday Gift Guide

This is a guest post for Zyn22, the hottest (both literally and metaphorically) cycle class I've ever taken. To be honest, it's hard to refer to it as a cycling class because it's more like a dance class. You just happen to be riding a bicycle at the same time. You can find the original blog post here.

Photos taken after my first Zyn22 experience.
Despite my attempts to plan enough in advance for the holidays, in order to prevent the feeling that the day has been stolen from my control-diseased death grip, Christmas always seems to fly by in a flurry. Instead of stressing over wrapping gifts and scheduling enough time to travel among all seven houses we're supposed to visit, I've learned it really is "the thought that counts."

While ideally, I'd like to present a Pinterest-inspired cocktail and wreath to every person I know, my own sanity depends on consciously preserving my creative energy and sticking to the basics. Sometimes, that looks like going to dinner with friends we haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, it's rearranging my schedule to attend a Christmas production at church. Regardless of the extra tasks the holidays inspire, one thing I try my best to do is make sure my gifts are meaningful. That being said, it's important to find ways to make each person feel special. And that, my friend, requires real thought and study for each person to whom you're giving a gift. Nevertheless, these tasks never fail to bring me and those I love true joy.
I have the Ninja Food Processor.

Below, you'll find my ideas for the gym-rat, cardio-bunny or meat head in your life. (The following are in no particular order.)

1. Time (or Effort) Saving Kitchen Utensils

If you know me well enough, you know that the posts/pictures you see of my kitchen creations and meal ideas are simply facades of what naturally occurs when you put a hungry girl in a kitchen full of healthy food. By no means do I intend to pretend that I'm naturally-gifted when it comes to cooking — in fact, I burned the rice on the stove while writing this blog post. Most of the time, my kitchen gadgets deserve credit for any likes or retweets of my recipes/treats.

Here is one of my favorite gadgets.
Aren't these Bia Brasil pants funky?
2. Sweat Swag (AKA Workout Wear)

No matter how confident you are in your own skin, everyone still has days they feel "off" in their workouts. It's those days that something as simple as a new outfit can keep you from skipping leg day. Maybe for you, it's not the outfit, but it's shoes. You can't deny that having a fresh new pair of kicks on when you walk into the gym makes you feel like a million bucks.

Side note: Make sure you really know a person before buying them clothes. The last thing you want to do is buy someone something they feel obligated to keep but don't really like, and that's where a gift card comes in handy.
  • Check out this pair of pants in the Zyn22 line that I can't live without!
Danceaton is like Zumba on steroids.
Below are some of my personal favorite brands.
3. Gym Gear

This takes exercise to the next level.
  • Jumprope
  • Lifting gloves
  • Gym bag (with space for dirty clothes)
  • Towels (embroidered)
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Gym boss/Timer
  • Water Bottle
  • Wireless Headphones
4. Reasons to Relax

I always enjoy a good OTF workout with the other coaches.
This may be my number-one personal choice for things I wish to receive. My feet will never be over-rubbed, that's for sure! Many of us workoutaholics don't know how to make time to rest, and this kind of gift can really make someone feel special. Unless your friend is someone who doesn't like people touching them, you can't go wrong with this gift. An added touch would be to find a place that's near your friend's gym or work, so that it's convenient for them to go, or better yet, pre-book their reservation.
  • Reflexology gift certificate
  • Massage gift certificate
  • Spa day pre-booked
  • Manicure/Pedicure

5. Tickets for New Adventures

Groupon and its friends in the online coupon world are great resources for finding deals on new gigs like yoga classes, Zumba classes, rock climbing, body surfing, barre, kickboxing, martial arts and other fun and unique workouts. They're awesome because you can purchase a set of classes for you or for someone else in advance, which helps to keep you and/or your friend inspired to try new things. Keeping your body guessing is one of the best ways to keep your muscles and mind fresh, which makes you feel and look better.

Below are some of my personal favorites.
Talk about core strength!





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Team A.M.Fit Christmas Cook-off Recipe Round-Up

The question of the hour last night at Team A.M.Fit's Christmas Cooking Party was, "Are you going to post these recipes?"

To that, I answer with a resounding, "Yup!"
My wonderful clients chowing down together.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower (or 1 large head fresh)
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Garlic/Onion powder (optional)

Directions:

Spray cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray, and spread cauliflower on tray. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees, until pieces are slightly brown. Toss roasted cauliflower in a separate dish, spray with Pam again, and season with garlic powder and/or onion powder. Mix with Frank's hot sauce and bake again in the oven until warm.

Veggie Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 2 cans beans (I used black and red)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 bag frozen vegetables
  • 1 packet Mrs. Dash gluten-free chili seasoning
  • Mrs. Dash Chipotle Lime seasoning to taste
  • Garlic/Onion powder/sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Place all ingredients (undrained) in a stock pot or crockpot and cook on low for 1 hour. You may want to add 1 cup of water if it gets clumpy, but this may result in more seasoning. Let simmer with occasional stirring.

Cheddar Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag pre-washed, cut kale
  • Orville Reddenbacher's popcorn seasoning (I used cheddar flavor)
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Sea salt/Garlic powder/nutritional yeast to taste

Directions:

Spray cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray, and spread kale across tray. Spray Pam on top of the kale until every piece is shiny and almost drenched. Sprinkle seasonings on kale, and roast in oven for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch for it to get crispy. You don't want it to be black.

Gluten-free, Egg-free Cookie Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp butter extract (and maple extract is optional too)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • stevia to taste
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips

Directions:

Spray iron skillet with Pam cooking spray. Use blender or beaters to mix up all ingredients except chocolate chips. Pour batter into the iron skillet. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Watch for it to get golden brown on top and you should be able to put a fork in it without it gooing around. Let it cool a little in the skillet before trying to get it out with a spatula.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Go-Pro Balls

Ingredients:

  • 4 scoops strawberry whey protein (I used Metabolic Nutrition)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I stretched 3/4 cup all-natural with water)
  • 2 cups oats
  • stevia to taste
  • shredded coconut (for rolling)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, drizzling water as needed to moisten the protein powder and oats. Be careful not to add too much. Depending on your peanut butter, you may not have to use any at all. If you get too much, just add more oats. Roll into balls, and refrigerate on a tray until serving/eating time.
Three of my clients who had just rushed from OTF class.

New friends discover they've met each other before.
Aside from spooning healthy foods into our faces, we chatted about Genesis Pure, superfoods, Orangetheory, supplements, protein and stevia. Thanks to everyone who came out to support Team A.M.Fit. I hope you felt a little extra special. You deserve it!
My longtime friend and online client Emalee, rockin' her beautiful blue dress!
Below is the video on YouTube of how to make my Superman Shake.



For more information about Team A.M.Fit and my services, please click on the tabs below, or fill out the inquiry form by clicking on my photo in the top right side bar. Thanks!
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