Green Smoothies

Ah, green foods, smoothies, drinks.. 

The essence of health. 

The purest form of ‘this will either be really good or freakin disgusting’.

In a recent effort to lower my anxiety & up my healthy game, I’ve been making a veggie drink for my breakfast a few times a week. 

I also cut out (caffeinated) coffee. 

It is working- the caffeine withdrawals reallllly weren’t that bad with the green drinks as a ‘replacement’. My anxiety isn’t as wild without the daily coffee. & I lived on coffee, it’s the reason (supposedly) I survived most days. The few days of initial suckiness have been well worth it. 

BUT some of the smoothies/juices I made have come out DISgusting …. like I could not bear to even smell them πŸ˜‚ I tried to experiment & yiikes. 

So I figured I’d share some of the combos that worked out & tasted swell! 

I’ll use these recipes as a way to ease myself back into writing blog posts for yall πŸ™ˆ since I kind of let this little baby of mine fall to the wayside. WOOPS!

FIRST RECIPE!!!!!!

  

A very green one, this combo was as aesthetically pleasing as it was good tasting.

What You’ll Need:

  • handful of spinach & kale
  • handful of collard greens
  • 1 cup(ish) of Dole’s Orange Medley; oranges, sweet potato, mango, & banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk – or liquid of your choice
  • some honey
  • *optional* a scoop of greens or superfood powder

1. Add the ingredients

2. Blend them

3. Drink up!

4. Have a bright & green day ✨🌟

Look out for some more recipes!! 

I’ll only be sharing the good ones….smoothie making can be treacherous, take it from someone with firsthand experience of all that can go wrong HAHA

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Tea Time

Ayy it’s time to learn about different types of tea & what they can do for you!! WOOHOO 

I’ve got a list of about ten (common) teas that you can fall back on when you need some help in life.  & this shit can get confusing so now you’ll know what to reach for when you’re staring at 64 different teas…

Ginger

  • digestion!!!!!! YAY POOPING & NOT FEELING CRAMPY
  • helps with anti-inflammatory needs
  • bonus points if you use it with tumeric

Mint

  • more digestion!!!!!! mint helps in the earlier stages, when your food is still in your belly & may be upsetting it
  • refreshing as heck
  • according to Starbucks- not a real tea (if anyone understand this pls help idgi)

Green

  • better article: what DOESNT green tea do?
  • caffeine, aka energy, but not so much it’ll effect any anxiety or sleeping difficulties
  • free radical exterminator to the extreme 
  • aids in fat burning (if you’re into that)

Raspberry Leaf

  • *men keep reading lolzzzzz im about to mention p*riods!!! haha!* omg why do people do this in articles
  • helps with typical menstruation woes & pain (as if existing isn’t enough pain)
  • antioXidants!! free radical exterminator!!!

Elderberry

  • health. literally. that’s it. 
  • drink this tea in nearly excessive amounts if you’re starting to get sick 

Dandelion Root

  • cleansing!! not the kind that comes with poop tho
  • helps your liver (which works extremely hard btw) detox from all the junk you give it

Ginseng

  • energy boost without caffeine
  • more antioxidants/free radical fighting
  • helps with inflammation from menstruation, bloating, stress (blood pressure increase & water retention)

Passion Flower* (READ THE ASTERICK) 

  • anxietTy- extreme calming effects 
  • promotes relaxing & maybe sleep depending on how anxious you are (can make you groggy the next day)**

Lemon Balm 

  • gives you a calming effect (not as potent as Passion Flower)
  • tastes delicious

This really only a surface read into the world of teas. There are a TON of other teas that can give you lots of great benefits. Being that there are so many, this may be a good place to start if you’re a bit lost. 

Enjoy πŸ™‚

* – be VERY careful with this tea!! It’s a powerful little herb, so it won’t do good things for everyone. Try a small amount at first to see how your mind accustoms itself to the calming effects. Do this by ‘diluting’ the tea- use more water than the brewing instructions call for & don’t let it steep as long. 

** – thank you to my sister KG for sharing this feedback with me & letting me pass along the knowledge

4 Ingredient Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Good morning!! Happy Friday!!! πŸ™‚

This morning I had some extra time before work & decided to make myself a real breakfast.. Vanilla protein pancakes seemed like the perfect way to start my Friday. With just four ingredients & about 30 grams of protein, the real MVP of breakfast is protein pancakes. 

{I’ve posted about these pancakes before, but figured this rendition deserved its own post}

What you’ll need: 

  • one egg
  • one banana
  • one heaping scoop Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • *optional* 2 tablespoons ground flax seed

Start by mashing the banana in a bowl- I’ve found a fork works best.

Add the egg & mix until there’s a nice lumpy consistency.. Make sure the yolk is broken & spread throughout the mixture!

Pour your milk. Pour your protein powder. Mix away! (Waiting until you add the protein to mix in the milk makes it much easier to blend) I also added a few spoonfuls of ground flax to keep it movin πŸ˜‰

Warm up your pan with whatever oil/butter of your choice. I used olive oil- would probably go with something lighter next time. Whatever you use, make sure you use enough to cover the pan so your pancakes don’t stick! 

Pour your batter in & watch the magic happen. ….Ok actually I JUST learned how to flip my pancakes without completely messing them up…so maybe what happens won’t be magical. Either way- your little creations should be ready to eat in about six minutes

  

Add some peanut butter, fruit, chocolate chips, syrup, sprinkles, or whatever else you desire! Enjoy!!

Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The new year is a crazy time. The world of fitness & health gets more frustrating than usual- filled with people jumping into new fitness routines, people who vowed to make this year their year

We’re all guilty of this ‘new year, new me’ mindset. We start making promises to ourselves to change all of the things we didn’t like about the previous year. We tell ourselves this year will be different- we’ll get in shape, we’ll run that marathon, we’ll finally try those healthy recipes that have been bookmarked for months..

Why do we need the number at the end of today’s date to change to allow ourselves to be better? What is the purpose of waiting? Maybe it helps us put off our own health without feeling guilty, because ‘once January comes around things will be different’…’the new year is when I’ll get serious about working out’. 

Here’s my advice to you (& myself): START NOW!!!

Start researching. There’s a wealth of information for anyone new to the world of fitness & health & wellness. Here are some of my favorite user-friendly places to search:

  • BodyBuilding.com Sooooo many free workout plans, informative articles, exercise how-tos, & even supplements! This is literally how I built my lifting knowledge-base. 
  • Fitness Blender I just discovered these guys. Their YouTube channel has a plethora of at-home workouts that range from interval cardio to weight training.
  • Bad Yogi Official Erin Motz is a seasoned yogi who totally gets that most people who do yoga are not experts… She has lots of free classes that make you feel good about your imperfect practice πŸ™‚

It’s going to take some time before you find a fitness regime you really enjoy. It’s going to take even more time before your hard work is gratified with visible results.

Experiment with different types of exercise. Figure out the different things you’d like to try now.

Make small changes each day so you don’t shock your system & give up when it gets too difficult too fast. 

Get a jump start on your 2016 goals!! Have fun, try new things, & never give up on yourself! 

I hope you all have a wonderfully funky final week of 2015. 

~peace & all good~

Tips for the Perfect Gym OutfitΒ 

Gym attire is a very loaded topic. But don’t worry, I wrote this blog post to answer all of your fit fashion questions πŸ™‚

What should one wear when doing cardio? Should you wear sweats or leggings to lift? 

How color-coordinated is too color-coordinated?

Are your top & bottom flattering?? Will people see that you aren’t the perfect image of fitness? Is it obvious you’re actually wearing underwear??? *gasp* 

Yoga….can a single post even cover the wardrobe woes of a new yogi?

S I G H

Here is a simple answer to the question of ‘what to wear to the gym/while working out’: whatever you feel comfortable in. If you enjoy the skin (& clothes) you’re in, your confidence will complete any outfit!!

It really doesn’t matter what clothes you put on for your sweat session. If you feel great in a Lulu Lemon outfit (& can afford a LuLu Lemon outfit)- good! If you feel great in a baggy t-shirt- even better! Less money spent on gym clothes means more money for food πŸ™‚ ….or, you know, student loans and rent… 

I usually browse Instagram/the Internet in general with fitness or food in mind… This causes me a lot of frustration for multiple reasons.. 

  1. I do not have excess money floating around me waiting for me to spend it. Okay, am I just broke, or are gym clothes expensive af?! Like why in the world would I spend $50 on a shirt I’m going to wear with the intentions of getting sweaty & smelly? I don’t even spend that much on shirts I wear to work… I’m a bargain shopper. Marshalls/TJ Maxx, Target, Fabletics (when there are sales), or the clearance rack is where you’ll find me looking for clothes I can actually afford.
  2. *not related to clothes but…* Eating nutritionally perfect meals every 2 hours does not fit my life. As much as I would love to be able to eat the best food possible at all hours of the day, there comes a time when it’s just not realistic. I would go crazy if I deprived myself of the food I want to eat just because it doesn’t fit my precisely planned nutrition goals. Can I live?!???
  3. I don’t work out in shorts and a sports bra. More power to ya if you feel comfortable in minimal gym clothes….& your gym allows you to workout in minimal gym clothes. I don’t. I would rather be in leggings and a sweatshirt, but that’s not what’s depicted by any mainstream fitness superstars. No one is ever wearing a shirt. Ever. 
  4. When I work out I do not look my best. My hair is generally just doing whatever TF it wants to do. I sweat a lot. I don’t hide it if I’m exhausted. Sometimes I smell… It’s not a picturesque scene when I exercise.. Which makes it hard to relate to the images of ‘fitness’ plastered all over the Internet & advertisements. 

   #gainsandtoast lolz
Sorry fitness media, but unlike the people you promote, I’m a normal person trying to be healthy.. To my own dismay, I’m not sponsored by an athletic clothing company or supplement brand. So I have to pay for the products I use :/ 

I know it’s awesome to step into the gym with a brand new outfit that you love. You feel good when you like the clothes you’re in- even at the gym! The new-ness of your threads gives you extra motivation.. Trust me, I know those feels. But that doesn’t mean you need to take out a loan to buy yourself some gym clothes.. It also doesn’t mean you have to wear something that makes you uncomfortable.

Time that you spend working out is your time. Make it what you want it to be, not what you think other people would want it to be. Take control of your workout. Wear & do things you enjoy. 

You’re all fabulous, no matter what the mainstream fitness bullshit says. 

The End. xo

~peace & all good~

Power Circuit

You don’t have much time. 

Your motivation to workout isn’t exactly where you hoped it’d be. 

Your period cramps are starting to kick in. 

You have things to do, people to see- the gym isn’t your only obligation.

Whatever the reason is, you need a quick & effective workout. You came to the right place!

I needed a lift that wasn’t too labor-intensive…but I wanted to sweat & feel the burn in all of my muscles. I made up a circuit workout that let me take care of those needs, but still get of the gym to do the things I had planned for the day.

All you need for this workout is a barbell & some plates (or various dumbbells) & about 20 minutes. In just 3 moves you’ll use almost every muscle in your  body, build muscle strength, & get your sweat on πŸ™‚

*I did about 15 mins on the treadmill (walking) to warm myself up before lifting. For a video of this workout, check out my Insta: @leedle_g*

Hang Clean ~ Hang cleans are sort of a deadlift variation… Accessory work HANN. 

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance & your hands shoulder-distance on the bar. 
  • Bend at the waist with the bar just below your knees. Keep your back straight, stick your butt out, keep your knees loosey-goosey. 
  • Spin around 3 times. [HA! Don’t spin around, just making sure you’re paying attention.] 
  • Now, pull the bar up along your legs into a forearm curl. Move the bar back down in a controlled way.

You just worked your whole front & back body. Yay muscles!!

Bent-Over Row ~ Bent-over rows use your upper back to pull the weight ~against gravity~

  • Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-distance. Bend at the waist with your knees loosey-goosey again. 
  • Keep your chest loud & proud! 
  • Pull the bar up by bending your elbows & squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the bar back to start.

Military Press ~ Military press primarily works your shoulders & back. Everyone loves to work on their shoulder aesthetic. Back aesthetics are pretty lit too. Not to mention-you get stronger, you can hold weight over your head…it’s a terrific accessory lift.

  • Start with the bar parallel to your shoulders, either in front or in back of your head. 
  • Put your hands shoulder-distance or wider on the bar. 
  • Push the bar up using the power of your legs. Trust yourself! You got this, you can hold yourself & the weight of that bar. 
  • Slowly bring the bar back down to your shoulders. 

You’re using your shoulders, chest, upper back, & even your legs to successfully move weight through this lift!!

~ Repeat each lift 8-12 times (heavier weight, lower reps..lighter weight, higher reps) & complete the circuit for 4-6 rounds. Circuit workouts like this are great for strong, fat-burning, time restricted gym sessions. Your muscles get confused, they work during each lift, & your ticker (heart) gets a run for its money. This particular circuit also involves 3 compound moves; this means you’re utilizing multiple muscles to perform each lift. Efficiency at its best!

I went with a barbell circuit for this workout for multiple reasons. I’ve been working on my deadlifts…which means I’ve been working on my entire body’s strength & endurance. I’ve adopted some CrossFit-esque lifts (as you can see from this workout) in my efforts to add plates to my deadlift. That means more barbell-based lifts. More hang cleans, more overhead presses, more compound lifts. More sweat, more gains, more pain, more food, more sleep… Yeaaa…

Give this workout a try! You’ll feel strong, productive, & all-in-all like a badass.

Happy lifting, my friends!

Black Friday Exercise to Free You from Your Guilt

Ah, the day after Thanksgiving.. 

Recovering from lots of food, lots of family time, & possibly lots of adult beverages. Maybe you’re still with your family & friends. Maybe you’ve already been up for hours because you enjoy battling for deals that you can also get from the comfort of your bed… Online shopping is the way to go yall. 

I woke up feeling great this morning- my body is praising the lord for all of the food I gave it. However, my legs aren’t very happy since I made them finish a dreaded 5k yesterday morning. I know 3.2 miles isn’t very much for most people, but ya girl usually runs a single (1) mile if any at all.. So I’m pretty proud of myself for my under 30 min finishing time! rofl

  

It was actually a lot of fun (can’t believe I just said that). Turns out running outside with the fam isn’t as torturous as running on a treadmill..

Since most of us stuffed our faces all day yesterday, I came up with a quick & easy workout to get back on track. Anyone can do this fun little routine!! 

Exercise 1: Sit & Reach

Start on the couch. While holding in your abdomen, sit up and reach for the remote. Repeat as many times as necessary. Try changing the channel & volume in intervals to get more work in!

Exercise 2: Leftover Dash

Start on the couch again. Now you’ll get up & walk to the kitchen. Fix yourself a plate of leftovers. Put the food in the oven/microwave. Walk back to the couch..& then back to the kitchen when your food is ready. Remember to take breaks!! This one can be tough.

Exercise 3: Glass Curl

This one requires a glass of water, tea, coffee, wine, whatever you prefer. Same starting position- on the couch.. Grip your glass & lift the glass to drink from it. Squeeze your bicep muscles while lifting & lowering the glass. Chiseled tank top arms here we come πŸ˜‰

Stay persistent, & always practice safe sets!! 

Enjoy this time of indulgence, your body deserves it. Too much deprivation never did anyone any good anyways! Besides, most of the food we’ve all eaten for Thanksgiving is relatively unprocessed & full of much-needed refueling nutrients. Guilt-free holidays 4 lyfe!

~peace & all good~