Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffin




I make these gluten free muffins at home for breakfast all the time! They are so easy to make and I know exactly what goes into it! My husband is gluten free and he likes muffins for breakfast.  He doesn't want extra sugary ones, so I started trying to make my own since that way I can control the ingredients that go in it. They are easy to make, I basically just throw all ingredients in mix, add extras mix a bit more and bake. I literally takes me 5 mins to prepare it. They are not the prettiest to look at, but they are very tasty!

Ingredients:
6 tbsp of melted butter
1 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of gluten free flour (I use the Bob Mills 1-to-1 gluten free flour)*
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup of water (sometimes I use half water, half orange juice)
Plus additions**
**make it chocolate chip muffin; add 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
**make it chocolate muffin; add 3-4 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
**make it blubbery muffin; add 1 cup blueberries (not frozen)

How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 355F. In a large bowl, add the melted butter, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix it well. Then add flour, baking powder and mix a bit more.  Then lastly add the water. Mix until smooth consistency and add to greased muffin cups.
Bake on 355F for 19-24 mins until an inserted toothpick comes out clear.

I keep mine frozen until it is time to serve each morning.  Hubby gets his from the freezer and pops in the microwave for 30 secs to thaw out.  Easy peasy! Now my kids are also eating them.  The fact that I use coconut palm sugar makes me feel better about them.  ENJOY!!

If you don't have the need to be gluten free feel free to make it with regular wheat flour.  I've made it before too!


Monday, June 4, 2018

Shrimp Fried Quinoa



I made this recipe the other day and was impressed how easy (it has a few steps, but it is still easy) to make this is. I just threw this all together with what I had at home, but it turned out SO GOOD!! I like that it is high protein and hopefully healthier than takeout!









Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Ingredients:
1/4 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup Carrots (cut in cubes)
1/3 cup Peas
1/3 cup Broccoli Florets
1 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 lb frozen cooked* shrimp clean and deveined (mine had the tails on, but next time it will be tails off!)
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups of cooked quinoa**
Chili paste to taste (I like mine spicy!)
Salt and pepper to taste (soy sauce already has a bunch of sodium, so be careful)
Olive oil (to sauté)
Water (if you need a measurement, I would guess 2 TBSP… I just add a bit in the pan to let veggies cook!)

How to make it:
Sauté onions in a bit of olive oil until starting to get transparent. Add garlic, cook for another 1-2 mins. Add carrots and broccoli (save peas for later so they don’t overcook), and a little bit of water and cook covered for another 3-4 minutes just so veggies start softening up a bit. When it starts drying out again, add sesame oil, shrimp and soy sauce. Cook for 3-4 mins until shrimp is no longer frozen*. Set aside. In the same pan (if you need a bit more oil you can add a bit more) fry 2 beaten eggs to soft consistency (don’t overcook). Add the quinoa, veggie and shrimp mix and peas to the pan. Fry until heated thru. Add chili paste and salt and pepper to taste.



* I used frozen cooked shrimp. If you prefer raw shrimp, cook lightly with veggies until pink before you set it aside.

** 1 cup uncooked quinoa makes 2 cups cooked. I cook my quinoa like I cook rice.


Let me know how it turns out for you!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cauliflower Couscous With Black Lentils Salad



Using a food processor to grind cauliflower into tiny “grains” makes a couscous alternative that’s perfect for gluten- or grain-free diets. Use French lentils or canned chickpeas instead of black lentils, if you prefer.
⅔ C black lentils
1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (1 C) 
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 T)
3 carrots, finely diced (1 C)
1 medium golden beet, peeled and shredded (1 C)
2 C chopped arugula or kale
¼ C shredded fresh basil

¼ C feta cheese, optional
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add lentils, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 20–25 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, pulse cauliflower in food processor in batches until florets are chopped into small, couscous-like pieces. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3–5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, carrots and beet, and cook 6–8 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Stir in greens. Drain lentils, rinse, and drain again. Stir into cauliflower mixture. Fold in basil and feta, if using. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serves 6. 
Nutrition per each ¾ C serving: 184 calories; 10 g protein; 5 g total fat; <1 g saturated fat; 28 g carbohydrates; 79 mg sodium; 9 g fiber; 7 g sugar.
Key: C = Cup; T = tablespoon; g = gram; mg = milligram


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Want It Wednesday - Back To School

I am always looking for new workout clothes. I always want one thing or another.  So here I share with you what I've been browsing these days in case you want some inspiration.  It is back to school, and when I was looking for my son's backpack I might have gone a little bit off course and saw this Sweaty Betty one.  Isn't it so adorable! I need that! 


1. Ivy Park Bodysuit - For some reason I love this piece.  I saw it the other day at Nordstrom and I showed it to my friend.  I don't know how to wear it (I sure would not wear it like they style on the website) but the idea of this bodysuit makes me happy! // 2. Alo Moto High Waist Leggings - These will be perfect for when the weather starts to cool down.  Lots of details and you can certainly go from the gym to errands and still look interesting. And the high waist means it covers the belly well. // 3. Sweaty Betty Backpack - LOVE this one! Don't need to say anything else! // 4. Ivy Park Mesh Racer Back - Another piece by Beyonce's new athletic line.  She has very interesting pieces, and they are not so outrageously expensive. // 5. Mira Water Bottle - I don't like plastic bottles for many reasons.  I also cannot think about spending twice as much on a designer water bottle.  I was so surprised when I found this one.  They have many colors and no plastic! // 6. Sweaty Betty Weight Lifting Gloves - because mine have seen better days...




Friday, July 15, 2016

Trainer Talk Tuesday - Twin It Up Fitness



I know these ladies from the White Rock YMCA where they teach Body Shred, Body Pump, Cycling and maybe another awesome class or two and I admire and look up to them. I mean! Look at those abs!  Just like many of us, they have small children and busy lives, but they found a way to make their fitness a priority. They've always been active, from playing tennis in college to being fitness instructors, being active is in their blood, so it is natural for them to make fitness a career.  Dora has 2 daughters and Marta has 2 sons and they live in with their respective husbands in Dallas.
The bond these two have is undeniable, and they teach in very similar styles and I'll admit, I often don't know who is teaching the class unless I check the schedule. The support system they provide each other is an example of what all of us should seek in a friend: accountability and motivation (sometimes in form of a little competition) that you get from having a "swolemate."
They recently started a Facebook page and will post videos and workout tips to teach all of us how to maximize the workout time we have.  If the style they teach is any indication of the style of their videos, prepare to be out of breath!!
This interview was so much fun for me.  We sat down for a few minutes after their morning class was over, and before they had to run off to go get their kids from tennis camp. This is what they had to say.  My apologies if I confused your voice on the recording and mislabeled the answers.  In the end you're technically the same person, right? Just joking... I couldn't resist using a cute response from my twin nieces' friend when he got corrected from getting them confused.



How did your health and fitness career begin? Who had the idea first of becoming a health/fitness professional?
Dora: I would say it was me.  We were both in the banking industry to start and we both played tennis in college.  I didn't like doing the desk job.  I first got into because I was working out after college and a girlfriend pulled me into a group x class and she had the idea of getting certified. I wasn't very sure at first, I was really skeptical at first but I did it, loved it started it and then I was teaching before and after my corporate job.  Then a health and wellness director position opened at the downtown Dallas Y and I took that.  Then Marta moved here, and she was doing corporate, and I told her to get certified.
Marta: I kept coming to her classes in the morning, and she told me "If I can do it you can do it!" Dora taught me everything I know.  She's been teaching for 10 years.
Dora: she's a natural!
Marta: I have some of her genes, so... you know (laughs).
Dora: That is pretty much it.  We love to work out.  It is part of our nature.  We played tennis our whole lives, and we are always active and it is the natural progression from being a college athlete, to taking classes, then teaching them. We also love to motivate people.
Marta: It is also very social.  We get to meet with our friends’ everyday and it keeps you accountable because you have to be there.

What is your workout philosophy?
Dora: Go hard...
Marta: Or go home!
Dora: We both I think are the same.  But I am a believer of shortening your workout but making them a little bit more intense.  As moms we don't have that much time.
Marta: Interval training
Dora: yeah, interval training and not staying in the elliptical for 2 hours.  Just a do a 20 to 30 minutes hard workout.  You can do it at home; you don't need fancy weights or anything.
Marta: We know people that run marathons and they ask us why they cannot lose weight.
Dora: We do believe in HIIT
Marta: Especially for women because of cortisol and all that.  You can't stress your body like that. You have to go shorter.  HIIT intervals.
Dora: And strength training too, not just doing cardio.  That's another mistake women make.  They think weight training is going to make them big.
Marta: We believe in both, strength training and cardio, combining that. I guess cross training, changing it up, not always doing the same thing.

You are both pretty fit.  Is there a major twin competition going on?
Dora: We wouldn't lie.  It's not a competition per se. But...
Marta: We make each other better if anything.
Dora: If she says "I worked out" I am going to feel that I need to go workout too.
Marta: It kind of keeps you accountable. Just like a friend.  If you have a buddy system and she tells you she went to the gym 3 times that week you will feel that you have to get off the couch and go workout.
Dora: There's a friendly accountability.
Marta: We played tennis and we were always competitive and people had a tendency to compare us.  But is also made us better because if she beat somebody, that would bring up my confidence and I would beat them. Just the mentality of "if she can do it, I can do it." There's another set of identical twins that do yoga here at the Y, and if her sister can do a pose, she can too. It gives you that confidence as well.
Dora: I find that having a buddy (doesn't need to be your sister), helps with that as well.  It is a lot less scary going into an exercise class if you are laughing with your friend.
Marta: If you can do it with someone, it helps you.

As an advice for all the moms out there, how many times a week one should workout in order to see results?
Dora: 5 times.  Short but 5 times a week.
Marta: Being a mom alone is a workout.  If you are at the park playing with your kid, you are being active.
Dora: I'm not saying go to the gym.  Take that 15 to 20 minutes at home and do your exercise.
Marta: Do your push-ups, your poses; you don't have to go to the gym as moms are busy.  Find those 20 to 30 minutes for yourself.
Dora: And another thing I want to make sure I say, there's that nutrition component.  It is not just working out.
Marta: You can't work off a bad diet.
Dora: Yeah, that is a great point.  I do believe that. So focusing on nutrition as much as your workouts.
Me: Many people rely on the thought "I'm working out, so I can eat whatever"
Dora: Oh yes, and that is a big problem. Sometimes people are thinner when they don't go to the gym because they don't give themselves that excuse to eat.  They think "I was on the elliptical for 30 minutes I can eat that burger.  That is not true.
Marta: That is biggest problem
Me: I do feel that I am thinner when I don't come to the gym, not because I eat badly, I just eat more.
Dora: I do tell people, working out does stimulate your hunger.  So it is important when you're working out to fuel up on fiber and foods that make you feel full.
Marta: And it is not elimination, it is substitution. People think they have to eat less; it is just eating better things. You don't have to eat less.  Just better.
Dora: Because you will get hungry.  If you workout and don't eat right away, your body will become ravish
Marta: Eat protein!
Me: I feel like I'm always trying to catch up on calories after that killer Monday morning spin class! I'm always hungry.
Marta: And then 4 o'clock hits and you try to eat everything in sight.
Dora: That's why it is important to eat your protein no later than 30 minutes after that hard spin class to satisfy your body. Plus, I also believe in meal prep, and having the good foods ready in your fridge.  Always having those healthy options available.
Marta: Make a big tabouli salad that will last 3 or 4 days
Dora: Because when you workout like we said you should be doing, you are going to get ravenous. You have to have those healthy options, like hard boiled eggs, or drinking a smoothie, having all those choices really readily available.
Marta: and you are not going to have the time to make tabouli after you workout and you will make bad food choices. People often don't believe we only workout 1 hour day.

What other advice would you give moms out there about diet and exercising?
Dora: We teach usually a 45 min class, and some days we teach a second 30 minute class, that's a little over an hour. You should work up to that, don't start doing too much in the beginning and get too exhausted and give up.
Marta: Just start slow.
Dora: Don't become obsessed! There are some people that are at the gym for 2-3 hours. That's too much!
Marta: You can't keep that up, so what's the point of doing that? Don't be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break.
Dora: And I know you talk about post pregnancy body.  It takes 9 months to gain the weight.
Marta: Give yourself at least 9 months postpartum to lose it.
Dora: I gained 50 lbs with both my daughters. It was actually the first time I had to lose weight in my entire life.  Hormones are a big thing for women, so in order to lose the weight your body has to balance out again.
Marta: And crash dieting is not going to do it for you.
Dora: Your body needs to feel safe and balanced before it allows you to lose the weight. If it doesn't feel safe it is going to hold on to weight just like when you were pregnant.
Marta: People read those magazines where Giselle (Bundchen) was back in 3 months.
Both: That's not realistic!
Dora: That's why sleep and nutrition is so important for women because of the hormones.  It is not just working out.
Marta: And we try to keep it as organic as we can.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in your fitness journey that you can share with us?
Dora: As a mother, I have a big one.  After I had my babies, I found myself being depressed about my weight gain and I felt I pressured myself to lose too fast.  When looking back on it I should've just relaxed and realized exactly what we said earlier; it takes 9-12 months to get there.  Be easy on yourself. As a female the hormones got me even 12 months out I would get migraines that I never gotten.  Your body is just shifting.
Marta: I feel that I sabotaged myself too.  The more negative I am, the more bad stuff I want to eat. If you start your day with a workout it makes you positive for the rest of the day and you even make better choices and you eat better.
Dora: I won't lie; I was looking at those images on Pinterest and was wishing I had their body, just feeling really bad wishing I was back in shape.  I look back at that I think I shouldn't have been so hard on myself.  I should've just enjoyed motherhood and appreciate my body and what it just did, which is a miracle.
Marta: I look at people with a 4 month old and they are desperate about losing the weight.  I always say: "it's ok, you have time! Your body will bounce back." It is not a permanent thing.
Dora: Well, I mean... if it's been 3 years and you haven't lost any weight you probably need to change something.
Marta: Give yourself a year.  Even two!

What are your top Tips on health, fitness or life you can leave readers with?
Marta: It's a lifestyle.
Dora: Don't do diets. Keep it realistic.  Make realistic goals.  If your schedule doesn't allow for 3-5 days at the gym it's ok.  So you don't set yourself up for failure and you just quit!
Marta: Do something you can maintain.
Dora: Workout even when you are at the park with your kids.  You don't need to make it to the gym.  Look for videos online.  There's a ton of those out there.
Marta: Workout for health, not just for weight loss.  You'll be more successful if you have that mindset.
Dora: And it is really shocking that your kids LOVE to workout with you.
Marta: They LOVE IT!! It's like you're being a great mom AND working out.  We do burpees with our 5 year olds and they giggle the entire time.  It is so much fun to them.

What is your favorite motivational quote you'd like to motivate the reader with?
They both agreed on the same quote below. I love this one very much. Isn't it so true!?



As you can see, if they didn't have to go to pick up their kids at tennis camp, we could have gone an entire afternoon talking about health and fitness.
Checkout their Facebook page Twin It Up Fitness or follow them on Instagram @twinitup_fitness.  I know you will like it!