Develop a Routine

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If you have not developed a workout routine, it can be difficult knowing how to get started. The great thing about working out is that anyone can do it; you just have to start slow. Check out this article from Shape.com to see the 10 best exercises for women and try a variety of exercises to find what works best for you.

Banana Bread Doughnuts

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If grabbing a donut in the morning is a habit you are trying to break, you don’t have to! Greatist.com is where we found this delicious recipe for Banana Bread Doughnuts. Enjoy your favorite morning-time treat without the processed sugar, white flour, and less fat.

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. (Note: If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can either make these in muffins or pour batter into a bundt pan for one giant doughnut.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, bananas, agave syrup, yogurt, egg, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into a re-sealable plastic bag (or a pastry bag). Cut off one corner of the bag, and squeeze batter into prepared doughnut pan, making sure each indentation is about 3/4 full. Top with walnuts pieces, and lightly press them into batter.
  6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until doughnuts are golden and spring back when touched. Remove from oven and cool in pan for a few minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and cool fully. (Note: Baking time will vary if using a different type of pan.)

Machine Workouts for Beginners

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Working out on machines for the first time can be intimidating, but we’re here to help! This article from bodybuilding.com has some fabulous tips as well as a few workout routines if you’ve never lifted anything besides a free weight. Then, come in and give these routines a try in our gym today!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

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August means back-to-school for many families. If you’re concerned about packing healthy lunches for you and your kids, bonappetit.com has a tremendous selection of ideas to spice up your lunches but cut calories. Check out this recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos. Consider adding jalapeño to give it a little extra kick!

(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ avocado
  • ¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed, drained
  • ½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 10″ whole wheat tortillas

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss sweet potato, oil, coriander, and cumin on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes.
  1. Scoop flesh from avocado into a small bowl and mash with a fork until mostly smooth. Stir in yogurt and lime juice until well combined; season with salt.
  1. Spread ½ cup sweet potato, ¼ cup beans, and ¼ cup cheese down center of each tortilla. Top with avocado mixture. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, then roll up to enclose.

Do Ahead: Sweet potato can be roasted 2 days ahead. Let cool, cover, and chill.

Beat the Heat

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Many of us like to take advantage of the warmer weather and extra hours of sunlight this time of year. However, take extra care of yourself when working out in the heat. Read this article from Shape.com to ensure your safety.

Strawberries with Chocolate Protein Dipping Sauce

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If you’re headed to a 4th of July get together, take advantage of the opportunity to take a light and delicious dish you know you can eat without blowing all of your calories. Self.com had an outstanding article with 10 make-ahead side dishes. Consider this strawberry with chocolate protein dipping sauce featured in their article from amyshealthybaking.com. It’s only 110 calories per serving and you can change up the fruit if you would like!

(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

1 cup (240g) Organics plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp powdered stevia

1 ½ cups (210g) fresh strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Add the Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, and stevia to a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Serve with the fresh strawberries.

Healthy Eating at a Barbecue

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It’s barbecue season! Eating healthy at a cookout can be tough, but you can enjoy yourself even in a challenging setting. To find out ways to savor your favorite summer dishes, check out these tips from self.com here.

Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad is often a favorite quick and easy meal, but it can be high in calories and fat. This recipe from familyfreshmeals.com uses avocado and Greek yogurt to add some vegetables and reduce the calories of this go-to summertime favorite. Enjoy!

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4­-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20­30 minutes to let all those yummy flavors blend together.
  2. 2. Serve on your favorite bread, crackers, pita pocket or on a bed of lettuce.

 

Get Bikini-Body Ready

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Summertime is upon us, and if you’re worried that you’re not quite ready to step out in your bikini, you are not alone! We found an article with 8 last minute tricks to get bikini- body ready courtesy of Results Fitness. Check it out here!

A Salad a Day

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Salads are a go-to healthy lunch for many of us. They can be an easy way to add protein, fruits, and vegetables to your diet. We all know though that salads can get boring! Here’s some recipe combinations from the blog barefeetinthekitchen.com so you can eat a salad every day and like it!

Vegetable options:

Ingredients

(any combination of the below ingredients will keep nicely for several days in the refrigerator)

  • chopped greens: (a mix of romaine, spring mix, spinach, arugula, or butter lettuce )
  • tomatoes: sliced or chopped
  • cucumber: sliced or chopped
  • corn: canned, frozen, or fresh
  • bell peppers: sliced thin or chopped small
  • red onions: sliced thin
  • green onions: sliced thin

Protein options:

  • ground beef or ground turkey: cooked and seasoned generously with Mexican spices or taco seasoning
  • taco meat with black beans and corn
  • pulled pork or carnitas: shredded and chopped bite-size
  • cooked or roasted chicken: shredded or diced
  • ham: diced
  • hard boiled eggs: chopped
  • canned tuna fish: drained well
  • cooked shrimp or fish
  • beans: black, kidney, or pinto beans

Topping options:

  • cheese: shredded, diced, or crumbled
  • avocado: sliced or diced
  • fruits: diced apples or pears, orange slices, fresh berries
  • plenty of crunch: croutons, tortilla chips, or Fritos
  • fresh lime
  • salt and pepper
  • salad dressing of your choice: Italian, Poppyseed, White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Ranch

Instructions:

Prep the vegetables and place in serving size containers. Add a paper towel to each box to help the produce last longer. Place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

When ready to eat:

Warm the protein of your choice and chop bite-size, if needed. Add the protein to the pre-made salad greens and vegetables. Add the toppings of your choice. Squeeze lime generously over the salad, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Or toss with your favorite salad dressing. Enjoy!

Try topping your salads with these combinations:

Carnitas (or pulled pork), avocado, cotija cheese, lime, salt, and pepper

Grilled chicken, bacon, hard-boiled egg, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing

Chicken, berries, feta cheese, almonds or walnuts, poppyseed dressing

Tuna fish, strawberries, avocado, lime, salt, and pepper

Chicken or bacon, red grapes, shaved parmesan cheese, candied walnuts, white balsamic dressing

Taco meat, beans, corn, avocado, shredded Mexican cheese blend, lime, salt, pepper

* Don’t forget to add plenty of crunch to each salad!