Finding Inspiration

We all need a bit of inspiration sometimes and, for me, today was one of those days.   So I put on some good music and I look to the free-thinkers, ground-breakers, earth-shakers who have acted on their visions to make things happen.  

These are some quotes that are resonating with me today…….

1. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

2. “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” - Steve Jobs

3. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart

4. “She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. 'Time' for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” -  Roman Payne

5. “Always tell yourself that you are as good as anyone that breathes; that you have two hands and a brain, and a little time in which to use them. But they are enough, and no one has any more. And if you train and force them to serve you well, you can reach any height to which you aspire. But to waste any of them is to betray yourself.” - Robert M. Stroud

6. “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, power and grace.” - W.H. Murray.....I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE this one - "Action has magic, power and grace"  there's so much power and positivism in those words.....

7. “When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” - Audre Lorde

8. “People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest.” - Zig Ziglar

9. “‎As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don't need and ignite what I do.” ― Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run

10. “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”  ― Henry Ford



Chocolate Dipped Coco-nutty Macaroons

I was craving something sweet and this totally hit the spot.   So easy to make - aka no oven required :) and they really truly are good for you.   They're made of good fats, all the great powers of pure unsweetened cocoa powder, and for those of you who are keto, LCHF, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free or bulletproof, this recipe has you covered, and besides all that, they're delish!

Here's the Recipe - 

For the Macaroon part: 

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup nuts (I used a combo of pecans and almonds, but you can use whatever you like or have on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Put it all together in a food processor just until combined.  Use your hands to shape in rough balls about 1 tablespoon in size then put them in the freezer to firm them up a bit while you make the chocolate. 

Chocolate Topping

(FYI - you could just melt some good quality dark chocolate and dip them in that, but I wanted a lower sugar option, which is why I used stevia instead)

  • 3 teaspoons stevia
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Put the ingredients above in the food processor (after you cleaned it from making the cookie part) and whirl.   This chocolate dipping is not very sweet, so you can always add more stevia if you feel it needs it. 

Then remove your chilled macaroons from the fridge, dip each cookie into the chocolate sauce and you can garish with a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt, or a bit of coconut then put them back in the fridge to firm them up again.   Makes about 10 bite sized cookies.  Keep them stored in the fridge and take them out a couple minutes before serving so that they soften up a little before eating. 

Enjoy!

xx

Katherine  

Chocolate Avocado Protein Shake

Chocolate Protein Shake.png

I'm pretty much all about this protein shake.    Don't let the avocado scare you off, it doesn't taste avocadoy at all, it just adds good healthy fat and fiber and gives it a nice and creamy texture.  It's really easy to whip up, super healthy, packed with protein and healthy fat and it also satisfies my sweet tooth :).  The key is that it's made with healthy real food, aka no chemically tasting artificial  protein powder here, the protein comes from hydrolyzed collagen which has a ton of health benefits (here is a great article about the benefits of collagen and how to incorporate more of it into your diet).  

Chocolate Avocado Protein Shake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 hass avocado
  • 2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen (psst....you can buy it on Amazon
  • 1 cup maple water 
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon stevia (use a bit more if you like it sweeter)

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and you're done!  You can also top your shake with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprig of mint just for a little extra flair. 

For those of you counting macros it breaks down to - 

  • 200 calories
  • 15g Protein
  • 13g carbs (but only 4 net carbs!)
  • 13g fat

Enjoy!

xx

Katherine

 

How to Become a Morning Workout Addict and Love It

I know, you totally just rolled your eyes at the mere title, but bear with me, because I used to roll my eyes at the idea of a predawn workout session too.  That was until 3 years ago when I
realized that my workout routine had fallen off to the pressures of a demanding job with long hours and daily scheduling challenges.   My routine (or lack thereof) vacillated between spotty and nonexistent.  It wasn't that I didn't WANT to workout, I did, I just truly could not for the life of me figure out how to fit it into my life.   I would get to the gym about twice on weekdays after work and maybe get a run in on the weekend if I was lucky.  I was inconsistent, doing sub-par workouts, wasn't getting the results I wanted and didn't feel good about my body.  Once I realized my own frustration about my own inconsistencies and took ownership of those inconsistencies, I found that the only time that I could find in my life that could be completely uninterrupted were early mornings.  After a bit of trial and error I now workout consistently 5 days a week with 5 am wake ups and I have been at it over 2 years.

Here are some tips that helped turn me into a Morning Workout Addict & Love it -

1.  Re-frame it - change your focus.  Working out is more than half mental and if your mind is focused on how much a morning workout is going to suck, how exhausting it's going to be and how little sleep you got - guess what? Your workout is going to suck.  So change your focus and spend your mental energy focused on how good you're going to feel when you're done, how empowering it is to make your physical health a priority.

2.  Make a workout plan. You should be doing this no matter what time of day you get your workout in, but it's especially important to be  doing this when you're doing a morning workout.  Having a plan in mind helps to set your mind-frame of what you want to accomplish that morning and keeps to motivated to power through and crush your workout.

3.  Go to bed earlier.  I know it's nice to relax and decompress in the evenings, catch up on Netflix or read a book but getting enough sleep is vital not only to feeling energized when you wake up in the morning but also to weight loss.   Truthfully, even if you don't start out going to bed earlier it will probably happen naturally if you're consistent with your wake up times, because you'll be tired earlier, but it will be a bit harder to keep waking for those workouts, so make your life easier and just go to bed earlier.  If you find it really hard to turn off your phone and turn out the light much earlier, start out slowly by going to to bed just 15 mins earlier each night until you're getting enough sleep (somewhere between 7-9 hours a night, or whatever amount allows you to wake up feeling energized).

4. Preparation, preparation, preparation! Get everything ready the night before and I mean EVERYTHING.   Workout clothes with socks, sneakers and even hair elastics laid out, (I've heard of some people taking it as far as sleeping in their workout clothes, personally I don't,  a sports bra is too constricting for me to sleep in).  Put out your music/headphones out if you use them.  If you're going to shower and dress for work at the gym all that stuff should be packed up and ready either by the door or already out in the car.  Fill your water bottle and keep it in the fridge.  If you're a coffee addict, program your coffee maker so that all you have to do it pour it into a mug before you fly out the door.   Bonus - if you live where it gets super cold in the winter - get a remote car starter - trust me it'll be worth it on those dark cold January mornings.

5. Think about breakfast. Breakfast is also about preparation but for me it falls into it's own category.   Breakfast is tricky for a lot of people, personally I find that morning fasted morning workouts powered by just some black coffee works great for me.  If you've never done a fasted a workout I would encourage you to think about trying one, you may find that you actually feel better and have a better workout without having food in your belly.  However if you must have food before you workout, plan ahead and make something that's easily digestible like a shake the night before, or all prepped so you just have to throw it in a blender.   Also, if you're like me and prefer to eat afterwards, prep your breakfast the night before things like, chia seed pudding made with coconut milk, nuts, green smoothies, fruit and protein shakes all work great for an easy post workout breakfast.

6. Make yourself accountable. Signup for an early am class, plan to meet a friend, or even just tell people your plan.   It's a lot harder to hit the snooze button when you know that you'll be letting down a friend you were supposed to meet, losing the money you paid for a class or knowing that when you get to work your colleagues will be asking you about your workout.  

7. Don't forget to make time for stretching/foam rolling.  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), ie next day muscle soreness, will make it super tough to get out of bed the following morning when you feel like you got hit by a truck.  One way to prevent DOMS is to  make sure that you plan your workout session to include time for a cool down, stretching and foam rolling- this is crucial because when your'e crunched for time this is often the first thing that gets left out but then you find yourself sore with tight muscles leaving you uninterested in working out again the next day.

8.  Be proud! Getting up for an early morning workout isn't always easy and it requires true commitment, so be proud of your hard work and dedication.   Feeling that sense of pride and accomplishment will be your greatest internal motivation to keep you going.   

Zucchini Basil Fritters

Fritters are one of my favorite things to make with all the lovely zucchinis we pick up at the farmers market.  They're so simple, very easily made gluten free/grain free/LCHF/Paleo, and the flavors can be switched up by adjusting the recipe with a couple tweaks.

Here's how to make them - 

  • 1 large zucchini (I used one that was about the length of my forearm)
  • large handful of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 TBS of coconut oil for cooking - approximate
  • 1 large Egg - lightly beaten 
  • 1/4 c of coconut flour
  • Pepper to taste

Start by shredding the zucchini either with a hand grater or with the attachment on your food processor.  Put the shredded zucchini in a bowl and sprinkle with about a tablespoon of salt. The salt draws the water out of the zucchini  so this part is crucial to helping the fritters brown up nicely.  After about 10 minutes put the zucchini into a cheese cloth or a clean dry dish towel and wring out the zucchini (if you're particularly sensitive to salt you can gently rinse the zucchini in water before wringing it out).   

Mix together the basil, garlic, coconut flour, pepper and egg in a large separate bowl then add the zucchini.  MIx.   Heat the coconut oil on medium heat then using a 1/4 cup measure out the zucchini mixture and add to the pan.  Gently flatten with the 1/4 cup heaps with a spatula.  Cook until they're nicely browned on both sides then transfer to a plate with a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.  

Serve alongside your favorite alioli or they're also delish topped with a fresh tomato salsa. 

Enjoy!

xx Katherine  

Juice it Up! Purple Energy Juice

Purple Energy for the win!  

Starting the day with some fresh juice is so refreshing and energizing.  This a one of my go-tos because I usually have everything on hand plus it's chock full of healthy refreshing goodness.  Beets are full of nitrates that your body changes into nitric oxide which helps with blood flow and blood pressure, plus it's also been found to help with maintaining endurance during exercise.  Carrot juice is super high in beta carotene as well as vitamin A.   Cucumbers are high in vitamin K which helps with blood clotting but it also is a great source of copper which helps make neurotransmitters which are the chemicals your brain cells use to talk to each other - basically cucumbers are great brain food.  Besides adding a bit of spiciness to the juice that I love, ginger is wonderful for digestion.  I like to add lemon to finish most juices that I make because it adds some brightness to the juice but it also is wonderful for cleansing the liver and has immune boosting powers.  

  • 1 beet- make sure you peel the rough outer skin off first if the greens are attached juice 'em up too - if not, no worries, you can also cut them off and sauté them with some garlic and butter for an easy dinner side
  • 1/2 a cucumber - my cuc this morning was HUGE so I only used half but if yours are on the smaller side use the whole thing
  • 3 carrots - as you can see from the pic mine were on the long skinny side so adjust as you need to
  • ginger - about 1-inch peeled - more or less depending on your love of the spice!
  • 1/2 lemon - my juicer doesn't do citrus very well but if yours does, throw that right in there with everything else, alternatively you can just hand squeeze it in there at the end like me :)

Juice it Up and Enjoy!

xx Katherine