Dairy Free · Gluten Free · Healthy · Random · Vegan · Vegaterian

The Importance of BCAA’s

 

Short for Branch Chain Amino Acids, these amino’s join forces to give us the best workout recovery tool money can buy. They come in different forms, but powder might just be the most popular because they can come in various flavors. These amino’s are found naturally in foods but especially if you are vegetarian and vegan, you will want to supplement these.

So why take BCAA’S:

  1. MUSCLE RECOVERY
  2. MAINTAIN WORKOUT INTENSITY
  3. AID IN THE BUILDING OF MUSCLE

That soreness that you feel after a workout is totally normal but COMPLETELY uncomfortable. BCAA’s have been linked to easing the the soreness, helping the body push out the build up of lactic acid in the muscles and maintaining the immune system in the process.

I like to refer to myself as a “pure-ist,” meaning I don’t like to use flavored BCAA’s. They are typically sugar free and use artificial sweeteners which have been linked to many health issues (I can speak from experience). I recently started ordering from BulkSupplements and I couldn’t be happier with the product AND the price.

Here is what I recommend – the impact on my training and workouts have been AMAZING. They work with any lifestyle – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free.

BCAA 2:1:1 (Branch Chain Amino Acids) Powder (my favorite, can be mixed in water or smoothies!)

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) Capsules

Like I said, the prices and customer service are amazing. Go out and try it. x

Information source: Livestrong.com

 

Dairy Free · Fitness · food · Gluten Free · Healthy · Recipes

Healthy Food of the Day – Cinnamon

Cinnamon Sticks and Powder on Wooden Table

The snicker doodle, cinnamon buns, pumpkin pie, apple pie….what do all of these delicious and sinful desserts have in common? Cinnamon.

I bet that wasn’t your first guess, was it? That’s okay. It’s hard to not be distracted by how delicious those dishes taste. (by the way they may be delicious but…..)

Cinnamon is an extremely popular spice that can be added to most anything. You should really be eating cinnamon, not only because of how great it compliments other flavors, but also because of the amazing health benefits. Cinnamon contains something called “cinnamaldehyde” which is great for the metabolism, providing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to its affect on the metabolism, it also provides an excellent inhibitor to bacterial and fungal infections.

It increases the sensitivity to insulin so that the body reacts properly to insulin being released into the blood stream. It also aids in the lowering of blood sugar and slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates. (Authority Nutrition)

While cinnamon tastes good and has great benefits, I wouldn’t’ recommend eating it by the spoonful!!!

Ways to use cinnamon throughout the day:

If I ever do a soy or oat milk latte, I spring cinnamon on top.

Plain oats, 1 tsp of cinnamon, agave (if you need sweetener), 1 tbs of chia seeds

Add some in a smoothie or hot tea!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Source:

Authority Nutrition

 

Dairy Free · Fitness · food · Gluten Free · Healthy · Random

Pre-workout Meal – SO GOOD.

If you love to be active and workout, then you know how important healthy carbs can be. YOU NEED them for energy!

Sunday was leg day. My  breakfast consisted of 2 egg whites, 1 full egg and the oatmeal mixture pictured below. Quite colorful, isn’t it?

1 cup of gluten free plain oats

4 medium sized strawberries

1 tbs of black chia seeds

1 tbs of cacoa nibs

The natural sugar from the strawberries added a nice sweetness. I used the microwave to soften the oats. The frozen strawberries and chia seeds were mixed in. I added the cacao nibs post microwave. You can also use the stove top.

No added sugar, gluten and a dairy free.

Let’s just say that I killed leg day.

 

Enjoy! x

Dairy Free · food · Gluten Free · Healthy · Random · Vegan

Healthy Food of the Day – Coconut Oil

Image result for coconut oil picture

At 240 calories per ounce, organic coconut oil is still considered one of the most healthy types of oil to be used in cooking as well as other holistic remedies. Coconut oil is great for the hair and skin and is a great replacement for dairy products in cooking and baking. While coconut oil is high in fat, it’s not necessarily a “bad fat.” It is also high in Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Iron. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial and anti fungal properties to help fight and prevent infection.

According to Organic Facts.net, It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.  Fortunately, coconut oil can also help with weight loss by increasing the body’s metabolic rate.

coconutoilinfographic

Interested in cooking with coconut oil? Check out this blog about the uses of coconut oil at the Whole Foods Market website.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Sources for this article: Self.com Organic Facts.net

Dairy Free · Gluten Free · Healthy · Vegan

#IheartMatcha

I recently discovered matcha tea and I am in love. Lately, I have been consuming way too much coffee. Life has gotten crazy. I was doing a shoot in downtown Raleigh last month and stopped in at my favorite spot, Raleigh Raw. I decided to get a Matcha Tea Latte just to give myself a little boost. It was just what I needed. I ordered a matcha tea latte with almond mylk, organic maple syrup, cacao nibs, and mint. It tasted like a marvelous mint chocolate chip latte. matcha-green-tea-latte12-660x440

Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for the best latte. Sadly, it’s not offered at many spots here in Raleigh. I decided to pay Whole Foods a visit and found a great brand.


What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha powdered green tea is:
a mood-enhancing, antioxidant powerhouse a natural weight loss aid, pH balancer and detox agent a sugar-free coffee alternative without the jitters

It is a great source of balanced caffeine.

It contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind.

It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll.

What positive experiences have you had with Matcha Tea? x

Source: Matchasource.com  

#lifestyle · Dairy Free · Fitness · Gluten Free · Healthy · Holiday · Paleo · Recipes

Memorial Day Weekend, goodness

A little late on this post but better late than never….

Who doesn’t LOVE to grill out in the summer?

Prepared by yours truly – an amazing Hawaiian Kabob with chicken and a grape/avocado arugula salad. Recipe found on Pinterest – Cooking Classy

I made a few adjustments on the recipe. For the marinade, I used gluten free soy sauce, minced garlic, honey and olive oil. In the salad, we used balsamic vinegar and olive oil, Himalayan salt, and ground black pepper. The salad has arugula, grapes, avocado, purple onion and walnuts. I also got some goat cheese for the guys. It was absolutely delicious.

 

Enjoy x if you prepare it, let me know how it turns out!

#work · Fitness · Healthy

Do you have a desk job?

Let’s be honest, we all have a tendency to be a little lazy. What makes matters worse is that the majority of working professionals sit at a desk – all day. It’s a problem.

I love my job, but unfortunately it involves long hours at my desk. I’ve recently started having issues with my piriformis muscle. There are many reasons behind it, but ultimately it’s the combination of working out hard in the evenings and returning to my desk for about 9 hours the next day. According to the Yoga Journal The piriformis is primarily an external rotator, one of a number of small, deep muscles that rotate the leg outward at the hip. It’s notorious for causing sciatic pain. If I don’t properly stretch and/or warm up before a workout, the pain is excruciating. I did some research on stretches to do at work and I thought I would share my findings!

Image Found on Pinterest

Web MD Article – Stretching Exercises at Your Desk

Shrug your shoulders — to release the neck and shoulders

  • Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
  • Shake your head slowly, yes and no. You might as well amuse yourself while you do it to relax even further. Ask yourself silly questions: “Is your boss an idiot?” Move your head up and down, “Yes, yes, yes.” Side to side: “No. No. No.” (Shedding tension is as much mental as physical.)
  1. Loosen the hands with air circles
    • Clench both fists, stretching both hands out in front of you.
    • Make circles in the air, first in one direction, to the count of ten.
    • Then reverse the circles.
    • Shake out the hands.
  2. Point your fingers — good for hands, wrist, and forearms
    • Stretch your left hand out in front of you, pointing fingers toward the floor. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pushing your fingers down and toward the body. Be gentle.
    • Do the same with the other hand.
    • Now stretch your left hand out straight in front, wrist bent, with fingers pointing skyward. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pulling the fingers back toward your body.
    • Do the same on the other side.
  3. Release the upper body with a torso twist
    • Inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left.
    • With eyes level, use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist and let your eyes continue the stretch — see how far around the room you can peer.
    • Slowly come back to facing forward.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  4. Do leg extensions — work the abs and legs
    • Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend your legs straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor.
    • Flex and point your toes five times. Release.
    • Repeat.

Stretching at work will help keep the blood flowing and can also help with fatigue. Another thing to remember is to KEEP IT MOVING. Find any excuse to get out of your chair. Whether it is standing or walking – it is very important to change up your daily routine and keep the sedentary behavior to a minimum.

Have a great day everyone

x