Friday, February 25, 2011

A party hit- Cacao Truffles!

In case you didn't hear yet, Cacao-lates was a great success on Wednesday.  In addition to dishing out a great core blasting workout, I sent everyone home with some easy, delicious Cacao recipes to try.  The biggest party hit?  Cacao Truffles.  I whipped them up in 10 min, popped them in the freezer and they were ready to serve in an hour.

Cacao Truffle

  • 2 cups Almonds, ground in a coffee grinder
  • 1/2 cup Organic Cacao Powder (If using nibs or whole beans, these can be ground in the coffee grinder as well)
  • 1 tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 4 tbsp Raw Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup or natural sweetener of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Directions: In large bowl: mix 2 cups ground almonds, 1/2 cup cacao powder, 1/4 cup natural sweetener, 1 tbsp coconut oil, and dash of sea salt, Form into tsp sized balls, Freeze

Optional: Roll in shredded, unsweetened coconut, or add 1/4 cup of coconut into the mixing ingredients. 

What are some other options that may sounds good as ingredient add-ins?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to join our next Fitness Feast!

Top 10 Reason to join our next Fitness Feast!
  1. You will automatically make new, jazzy friends
  2. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy.
  3. You'll learn impressive, new moves that you can teach to your cat at home.  
  4. Your butt and abs will look and feel better.
  5. Looking forward to a delicious treat at the end of class will keep you motivated to work harder.
  6. Your taste buds will be happy to try a new food.
  7. You'll get schooled on the health benefits of the "Feast" of the month.
  8. Take home recipes are the gifts that keep on giving!
  9. Yoga mats are cool.
  10. Being social, active and healthy is even cooler!
Wed, March 16 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Morning Brain Food

I whipped up some super brain food last night in preparation for tomorrow's Cacao-lates class.  I wanted to share the recipe because it turned out to be a power breakfast this morning!

Raw Cacao Pudding

1 banana
1 avocado
1/4 cup of raw cacao nibs (ground in the coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon of raw (green) stevia
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla
1 cup of milk (dairy, soy, almond)

Pile it all into a small food processor or blender, Chill and then power up!

What makes this such a super brain food combination?
The potassium in the banana and avocado helps fight fatigue and depression, both of which reduce your ability to concentrate.  Potassium also aids in blood circulation to the brain.
Because of the abundance of vitamins and minerals, bananas are a great source of natural energy.  That makes them the perfect morning pick me up to replace your morning coffee.  The flavonoids in the raw cacao improve brain cell production and help with blood circulation to the brain as well.  The Theomobrine found in cacao beans is a mood picker upper and gives a little blissful boost for the day.

Pretty amazing right?  Want to give it a taste test?  I'll be serving it at tomorrow night's Fitness Feast!  Register HERE!

What did you eat for an energy boost this morning?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tips for meditation from a one time skeptic

In our crazed day to day lives, we rarely, if ever take the time to stop and listen.  A New Years goal of mine was to establish a regular mediation practice.  I've always been terrible at mediating and in the past have felt like I can't stop the chatter in my head, so why try?  I started my new challenge by making myself sit still for a measly 4 min.  That may not sound like a lot, but try it and see what happens. 

Over the course of the last 2 months, I've worked myself up to 12 min during the week and 20 min on the weekends.  I've also gotten to the point where my day seems completely off balance and frantic if I don't do my morning meditation.  A daily practice is something that everyone can benefit from.  If you are sitting there telling me that you don't have time for it, you need it more than most. 

Here are a few tips that have worked for me (a previous skeptic).  Try it for a week.  Your life won't be the same, I promise. 

  • Set up a "mediation" station.  I climb the ladder to my sleeping loft and sit on the floor on a pillow.  The sun streams in on my face and I can hear the water bubbling from the fish tank below.  I'm hoping to add some greenery to the space soon!  
  •  Mom always said don't slouch.  If your body is slouching, so is your mind so sit up with a straight back.  I like to imagine that my head is a balloon floating up towards the sky.  (I'm a creative movement teacher.  I'm good at imagery.)
  • "The eyes are the window to the soul."  This window likes to stay closed.  I found that closing my eyes and gazing slightly down toward my nose seems to work best for concentration
  • Don't forget to breath!  I focus on my inhale and exhale to center myself.  When my mind starts to think about my busy day and endless to-do list, I bring it back to the breath.  Try thinking of the inhale as a wind clearing out all the dust (aka mind chatter) from the body.  The exhale then carries it all away and leaves you with a shiny new interior!  
  • Stick with it.  You're going to get frustrated.  That's normal.  Set a timer (I downloaded the zen timer lite" for my phone) and force yourself to sit there for the allotted amount of time.  Trust me on this one.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making Medicine

Are you looking for a healthy, inexpensive way to care for yourself or your family?  My good friend and fellow IIN graduate, Lorin is having a workshop this Sunday in Bay Ridge Brooklyn from 3-6pm.  The info is below. It's going to be a great event.  I'll be there so let me know if you are coming! 

The Art of Herbal Medicine
Learn to make your own herbal medicine concoctions—the only side effect is deliciousness!!!
In this fun, hand-on workshop you will make your own herbal medicines under the guidance of an experienced instructor!
Learn to take care of your families’ health and well being inexpensively and naturally, using local and easily obtainable herbs!

Feb. 20th 3PM to 6PM
The Storefront
6921 4th Ave, Bay Ridge Brooklyn (R train to Bay Ridge Ave)
$35 per person (including all materials)
or 1-718-419-6588 to register

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HAngry- Nutella getting health claims from a R.D.

Unbelievable health claims on junk food HAS TO STOP!!!!  

I stumbled across an article on NPR about a mom who is suing Nutella for it's health claims so I went to their site to do some investigating for myself.
Lo and behold there is a page dedicated to the F.A.Q's of breakfast nutrition dedicated to moms.  I was appalled at what I was reading!  Apparently, the healthiest breakfast to feed your child is "one that they will eat."  My little sister went through a stage where she would only eat Oreo cookies for breakfast, so you're telling me that's OK?  

The writer is a woman by the name of Connie Evers who is a registered dietitian, a children's nutrition expert and mother of three.  As an "expert" and R.D., don't you think she should realize that Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar per serving and half the 200 calories in a two tablespoon serving come from fat?  I went to her website and she does indeed position herself as a children's nutritional expert.  Funny I didn't find the Nutella endorsement on her personal site.   I wander how much she got paid for this endorsement? 

Too bad that moral testing isn't required to receive your R.D. and back up the corrupted food industry. 

PLEASE tell me this makes you angry.