Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie

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Hello! I’ve got a great healthy recipe for you today. It’s quick, delicious, and it has a lot of nutritional benefits. You can tell by the green color ;)

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Excuse the awful picture…I was feeding the baby and didn’t have time to set up a pretty photo op ;)

 

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 date, pitted

1 T. peanut butter

1 large handful of spinach

Almond milk (amount varies depending on your desired thickness)

Directions:

Blend until smooth! You won’t taste the spinach, I promise.

My protein powder isn’t sweet at all, so I added the date for just the right amount of sweetness. If your protein is sweet, you can leave the date out.

Enjoy!

–Gina

Friday Favorites

Friday’s here again! Yay! Have any fun weekend plans? Here’s a quick post with some of my favorite things right now. Share your Friday favorites in the comments!

Costco’s organic selections

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These are one of many organic, heat-and-eat sides available at Costco…they’re lifesavers for nights when Judith is cluster feeding and I barely have time during her breaks to use the restroom, let alone to make dinner!

The Kindle app for iPad

I am SO glad to have this app since I don’t have a Kindle. It’s hard to read a paperback while breastfeeding, especially if I’m using the Boppy pillow (which still requires one hand under baby’s head while feeding, even though it supports baby’s body so one arm is free) or if I’m laying in bed while feeding. This app has made it so easy to read while feeding Judith, and it keeps me from falling asleep during night feedings, but I dim the light so it doesn’t wake Garrett up. Perfect! I think I read Wuthering Heights in 4 days on the Kindle app, and I only read during feedings…that’s how much time I spend feeding Judith, lol!

The Fitnessista’s Baked Breakfast Cookies

I never thought I’d be so busy feeding Judith that I wouldn’t have time to make breakfast…but it happens! All the time, I might add. And I’m usually ravenous in the morning, so that’s a big problem! I’ve been keeping some of these upstairs in my room so I can eat them in the morning while she’s eating too. They’re healthy, delicious, and filling. I need to make another batch since I ran out!

Thrift stores

Save-Money

Getting back to pre-baby size is a gradual thing…so I’m glad there are thrift stores to help my wardrobe keep up with all the sizes in between! Plato’s Closet is one with good brands for low prices (I’ve gotten shorts and tops there for $1-$5 when they have sales!), and in the Tampa area there are several locations.

Watching my little girl wake up

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Judith takes a few minutes to wake up in morning. During that time, she stretches, sighs, groans, curls up her arms and legs close to her body, cries, and really fights opening her eyes. It’s so adorable!

7 Common Workout Mistakes

Funny workout tanks

20 Meals for $150 (needs some healthier substitutes for some ingredients, but it’s a good start for food budgeting and meal planning)

Have a great weekend!

–Gina

 

EO Spotlight on: Immortelle

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Hey all! Today I’m focusing on one of my favorite essential oil blends, Immortelle. I get a lot of questions on which essential oils to use for certain ailments, so I figured I’d start a semi-regular post series about my experiences and research with essential oils.

Also, Immortelle is FREE this month with purchases of 200 PV ($200), so what better time to talk about all its benefits?! My free one is in the mail right now, and I can’t wait for it to get here! I’m going to be using it to diminish the post-baby stretch marks.

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Ingredients: Frankincense Resin, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Flower, Myrrh Resin, Helichrysum Flower, Rose Flower essential oils.

My Story

I’ve gone through two bottles of Immortelle in the past 2 years. This is an oil blend to be used sparingly. I primarily used it for blemish control–just a finger swipe on the roller ball, dab on, and you’re good to go. If I catch a blemish right at the onset and apply Immortelle, it will start going away immediately, and be completely gone within 1-2 days. It even helps fade scars from prior blemishes! Also, I used Immortelle to prevent stretch marks when I was pregnant. I didn’t get any until a few minor ones appeared after baby was born, and I had just run out of Immortelle (doesn’t that always happen?!). I’ve been using a blend I made in the meantime, but I know Immortelle will work even better because of the Sandalwood, Helichrysum, and Rose oils it contains.

Friends’ Experience

I personally know two ladies whose vision has improved by applying Immortelle around their eyes daily. Their eyeglass prescriptions went down!

I also known many people who use it to lessen scars from cuts and scrapes, to speed wound repair, and for bad bruising.

From Marianne:

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Success with the oils! My son took a fall head first down a hill and his face found the small patch of dirt. I used bergamot, balance and immortelle along the base of his neck, then lavender on the scrapes. Continued with immortelle several times a day for the next week. Starting in the top left corner, day of fall, day 2, day 4 & day 6. Scabs were falling off after only a few days. No scarring!

Research

Dr. Susan Lawton, an essential oil expert, says Immortelle is helpful for thyroid issues. She recommends drawing a “smile” under the chin with it. There are also many emotional benefits to using essential oils–Dr. Sue says “you can’t have ‘Rose’ and ‘sad’ in the same place.”

Frankincense and Sandalwood have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, making them very effective for aiding neurological conditions.

Aromaticscience.com has so many great research articles on the individual components of Immortelle! The benefits are truly endless.

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Purchase Immortelle or get it free with 200 PV purchase before the end of September here, at my online doTERRA store.

Do you have an Immortelle success story? Share in the comments!

–Gina

100 Squats Dumbbell Workout

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Good morning! How was your Monday? I hope your week is off to a great start. Ready to workout?! :D

Here’s a full body workout (with a focus on lower body, with 5 sets of 20 squats!) to help you feel the burn first thing this week!

100 Squat Dumbbell Workout

Notes on good form

1. Squats

Keep your weight in your heels and keep your muscles contracted during the entire movement (up and down). Point toes straight forward, not out to the sides or in toward each other, and protect knees by not letting your knees go in front of your toes.
For the pulses, stay down in the squat and quickly raise and lower just a few inches.

2. Donkey kicks with resistance band

Keep your core engaged and press through the heel as you kick. Keep the kicking motion slow and controlled, with the back of your leg engaged the entire time.

3. Inner thigh leg lifts

Keep hips and shoulders in line (imagine a straight line from ceiling through hips to floor), not curled in toward the floor.

4. Push-up to side plank

Keep abs and obliques tight, and keep body in a straight line during push-ups. Rotate in a controlled, fluid motion to a side plank before going back down into a push-up.

5. Plank jacks

Keep upper body anchored and still, abs engaged.

6. Side lying shoulder raise

Don’t raise the dumbbell past your shoulder! Stop right at the shoulder to prevent injury.

7. Arnold press

Sit up straight and engage abs. Keep the motion fluid and controlled.

8. Overhead triceps extension

Keep elbows in line with ears, and imagine pressing the flat part of the dumbbell up to the ceiling and “stamping” the ceiling with it.

9. One-arm triceps push-up

Plant hand on the arm your working down under your shoulder and keep body in a straight line.

 

There you have it! Have fun sweating! ;)

 

–Gina

Failed protein balls = protein fudge!

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Hey everyone! Hope your Friday is off to a great start.

I have a new recipe for you today! Funny story, these were supposed to be protein balls, but I added too much coconut oil and they wouldn’t stay in “ball” form so I had to flatten the whole recipe out in a pan. Ta-da! Protein fudge is born. LOL. I had a bag of cashew meal from Trader Joe’s (I picked it up because they were out of almond meal, but I quickly found out they are not interchangeable like I had hoped!) and wanted to utilize it so I based my recipe off of the cashew flavor. These are a great pre- or post-workout snack, or can be eaten as dessert when you want something sweet but don’t want to indulge too much.

This “fudge” reminds me of blondies–you know, the brownies without chocolate. What exactly are those, anyway? Why don’t we just call them “bars”? #dessertidentitycrisis

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

IMG_6338 cashew protein fudge

Ingredients

1/2 c. cashew meal

1/3 c. + 2 T. oats

2 T. maple syrup

2-3 T. coconut oil

1/4 t. cinnamon

2 T. chocolate chips

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Vega)

Directions

Mix dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a small bowl. Add in coconut oil and maple syrup and stir. Stir in chocolate chips. Press mixture into a small dish and refrigerate for 30 mins before eating.

Makes 4-6 servings. For 4 servings, there are 9g protein in each serving.

DIY Baby Wipes + 9-minute Tabata Workout

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Hello and happy Wednesday! Today I’ve got a baby/fitness post for ya ;) I’m so excited to start exercising again! I’m keeping it low-key for now, but at my 6 weeks post-partum midwife appointment (2 weeks away) I’m looking forward to getting the OK to workout at a higher intensity again.

Today I did a quick tabata-style workout (written on the back of some coupons Garrett printed out, haha). I did this one 2 times (with 1 minute of rest between) because I was doing less intense exercises than normally are used in a tabata.

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So what does “tabata” even mean?

Tabata training (aka, the Tabata Protocol) is a type of high intensity interval training that follows a specific format:

  • 20 seconds of a very high intensity exercise (e.g., sprints)

  • 10 seconds of rest

  • Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes

(source)

As I mentioned above, I used lower intensity exercises than tabatas usually do…normally there are things like sprints, jump squats, burpees, etc. This one would be a good one for beginners, or someone getting back in shape after an injury, etc. These workouts are so quick it’s hard to believe they’re doing anything until you get breathless and sweaty about a minute in! Haha! Tabatas are a fun add-on to a cardio workout, and I love doing them as a finisher on weight training days.

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Rita loves yoga mats. And she interrupted my skaters because she thought I wanted to play with her, LOL!

Let me know if you try the workout!

Now, on to the DIY baby wipes. These are what I’ve used for Judi since her birth, and before she was born I used them as disinfectant wipes to clean countertops.

The recipe is so simple, cheap, and toxin-free–I love it! The essential oils used are anti-microbial and soothing to skin, so not only are we killing germs here, but we’re also getting a calming, anti-inflammatory effect on baby’s bottom. The coconut oil is a great moisturizer and anti-microbial agent as well.

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I use the recipe from doTERRA’s “Diaper Bag Makeover” article:

Use a chef’s knife (not a serrated knife–sooo messy with little paper towel bits everywhere) to cut in half a roll of paper towels. Recipe is for 1/2 the roll, so double it if you’re making the whole roll at once. (I used 4 paper towel roll halves, and made the recipe 4 times. It’s easier to do it this way because each roll gets the solution poured over it separately.)

Mix together 2 c. warm water, 2 T. fractionated coconut oil, 3 drops Melaleuca essential oil, and 3 drops Lavender essential oil. Place 1/2 of paper towel roll in large ziploc bag and pour solution over it. Once solution is absorbed, pull out cardboard center.

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I have this wipe dispenser, that’s made just for paper towel wipes like this. I made some solution for reusable wipes too (they’re in the wet bag above).

 

One more fun thing–I shared on my instagram last week my latest coffee combo: No Sugar Added Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee!

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Normally I take Whole Foods decaf and brew 4 oz. in my Keurig, pour over ice, and add almond milk. I was stirring in a dash of pumpkin pie spice, but today I added the spice to the pod right on top of the coffee grinds and brewed it in. It tasted really good!

What’s your favorite make-it-at-home coffee drink?

–Gina

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