…Merchandise Evaluation: Candice Foods Energy Bars…

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I have had the amazing opportunity to try out a different kind of energy bar.  For those of you who know me, you know that I am somewhat of a energy bar/protein bar addict.  With my hectic lifestyle energy bars and protein bars are a perfect thing to pack and travel with you.  So when I am able to find some bars that taste amazing and provide the nutritional values that I am looking for they become a staple in my diet.

Candice Foods  is a company that provides a line of bars for those of us who enjoy 100% natural and healthy things to incorporate into your diet. Candice Foods Energy Bars are FREE OF GLUTEN, DAIRY, ALL NUTS, PEANUTS, CORN, SOY, EGG, CASEIN, are all natural and protein packed with energy boosting sunflower seed butter.

Overall Comments:

These bars are VERY yummy! They are pretty dense (due to the products used to make the bar).  It does not have the texture of a typical protein bar or “nut” bar.  It is a nice texture but just something that is different from what I am use too.

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Quality for Price:

The bars are about $3.20 per bar of you can save some money and buy a whole box of 12 bars for $27.00 (or get the variety pack box for $28.00).  Getting a box of bars will cost you about $2.25 per bar (a much better deal).

For the price of a box of bars, this is very comparable to other popular bars that you can find at the store or online.

So yes, for the quality of this product it is well worth the cost that they are offered.

Smell/Taste:

The aroma of these bars when you tear open the package is very enticing! They smell is very fruity and pleasant.  The Java bar (one of my favorites out of all of the bars that I tried) has a slight coffee smell.  I am not a huge coffee fan so I was slightly hesitant about trying that flavor.  But, as I bit into the bar it was clear that there was a plethora of other flavors swirling around in my mouth as I chewed.

Each bar that I tried was packed with that same amazing taste.  There was not one particular bar that tasted horrible.  They all were delicious and true to their flavors.

This is the type of bar that I would have after a workout, in between meals, or even as an addition to my breakfast (or another meal).  This bar can be eaten any time of the day and will satisfy that sweet tooth if you happen to have one. The bar is indeed filling and leave you feeling satisfied if using it as something to fill your stomach until you have your next meal.

Side Note: 

Their customer service was beyond amazing. Any questions that I had they were very prompt to reply to me.  I am HUGE on customer service and how a company treats their customers no matter what the circumstance may be.  So, it was very refreshing to have that happen.

So all in all, I would have to highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a good healthy alternative for energy bars. They have a handful of flavors to choose from, but all of the flavors taste AMAZING. So if you do buy one bar…or even a full box…you will NOT be disappointed.

Ranking Scale: (on a scale from 1-5)

Price: 4.0

Overall Taste: 4.0

Quality for Price: 4.5

Overall Ranking: 4.2






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…Guest Post: Supplements…

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For any competitive athlete, busting your ass in the gym, nailing your diet, and being consistent are the key components to achieving success on stage.

A lot of fitness ‘gurus’ like to throw around the number that “results are 30% gym, 70% diet’.

I kinda see where they’re coming from – to a degree. What we do in the gym, time wise, pales in comparison to the lifestyle we must lead. You can go balls to the wall for an hour in the gym, however if you’re under eating or over eating, not resting enough, or not consuming the right nutrients, then progress will come slowly, if at all.

I prefer to look at it in a different manner however.

You need to put in 100% into your workouts. 100% into your diet. When you’re doing this, you then need to look into what supplements can help you out.

There are a ton of sports nutrition & bodybuilding supplement brands in the market. Each making claims that their protein powder will help you gain muscle. Their pre workout will give you the best workout ever, and that their post workout shakes are essential if you want to make gains.

However if your diet and workout plan isn’t in check, then you’re wasting your time when it comes to supplements. Providing that you are nailing the basics, then supplements can help your performance in the gym, lead to greater gains, and make life more convenient.

My supplement usage does differ year round, from pre contest phase to ‘off season’. However today I’d like to share 3 supplements that any competitor can benefit from, any time of the year. Male, female, bodybuilder or physique competitor – these following supplements are must have’s in my opinion.

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Protein Supplements

Im about to make a bold statement. So bold, that I even had to emphasise the the bold in a bold font.

almost consider protein powder as a food source. Almost.

A quality whey Protein for example contains a full amino acid profile. When we consume any protein source, or any food for that matter, our body digests it. The protein is broken down into amino acids and shuttled around the body to be used as needed.

Using a whey protein powder is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Easy to digest
  • Fast absorbing
  • Enhances Immune function
  • Convenient To Drink

While new evidence has debunked the post workout anabolic window, consuming regular amounts of protein is important for protein synthesis and making optimal progress.

My protein supplements contain a whey protein powder for post workout, or upon waking if im doing cardio in the morning. However if im looking to use a protein powder as a meal replacement, i’ll opt for a protein blend containing micellar casein and whey protein.

I find that this blend supplies me with a more tapered release of protein, thanks to the slow digesting nature of casein protein.

A protein supplement is hugely useful for anyone looking to gain weight, and lacks the appetite to ‘eat big’. Consuming 200+ grams of protein over the course of the day can be quite an effort, on top of having to consume carbs and fats, so a protein shake is an easy solution to hit your necessary protein intake.

Protein shakes aren’t essential, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any fitness competitor or athlete without a bag of protein lying round their house.

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Carbohydrate Supplements

I am not a fan of low carb diets. In my NABBA bodybuilding journal, and in my condition update videos over on my youtube channel, i always get comments about my carb intake. People can’t believe how many carbs im able to eat and still lose weight.

When training twice a day, i always ensure that i take some kind of fast digesting carb such as maltodextrin, dextrose, or a blend post workout.

This allows my recovery to kick start, and my glycogen stores to replenish faster, ready for by second weight session later in the day.

It its a low carb day, i’ll limit my reliance on carb supplements, in favour of eating foods, as it makes me feel fuller.

However when ‘bulking’ or looking to gain lean muscle mass is when i find carbohydrate supplements particularly useful.

Consuming 400-500, or sometimes even more, grams of carbohydrates from whole foods isn’t easy.

In order to gain muscle mass however, a caloric surplus is crucial, and carbohydrates should make up the majority of your calorie intake. I usually have around 50-55% of my carbohydrate content from carbs.

As much as I enjoy a big bowl of porridge for breakfast, and eating often through out the day, hitting a big carb requirement from rice, potatoes etc isn’t easy.

One of the most simple ways to increase carb intake is through the use of a carbohydrate supplement. Dextrose, maltodextrin, vitargo, waxymaize starch, and countless others carb powders are all excellent choices to have during or post workout.

During a workout, they’ll keep glycogen stores topped up, meaning that the muscle has gas in the tank to keep exercising. Post workout, any of these fast acting carb powders will quickly replenish glycogen stores to aid in recovery.

Dextrose and maltrodextrin are the supplements i personally use, however there are a ton of different carb powders you can try for yourself.

Creatine

To non gym goers, this will be the most uncommon supplement on this list. Even those who have never stepped foot in a gym will have heard of protein shakes and carb powders, or meal replacement shakes. Creatine, probably not.

However within the fitness industry, everyone should know what creatine is. It is one of the most proven to work supplements on the market in study after study.

To summarise, creatine will enhance endurance during exercise, allowing to train longer, and perform more reps. It helps contribute to strength gains, along with aiding in lean muscle gain.

The most common type is creatine monohydrate powder. It doesn’t taste great. Likewise it isn’t disgusting. Just a little ‘powdery’. I take 10 grams a day, split into 2 x 5 gram doses, pre and post workout.

An old school of thought was that it was essential to supplement it pre and post workout, however, with more researching being carried out looking into the effects of creatine, I have came to the conclusion that timing isn’t hugely important.

I just like to take it pre and post workout, out of habit. I can mix it with my pre and post workout shakes, and mask the taste.

Over To You

Chances are, if you’re a competitive bodybuilder, physique athlete or participate in any kind of sport, you’ll already be using these supplements i’ve listed.

There is a reason that these supplements are so popular. They work. Simple as that. The beauty about these 3 supplements is that each one of them is also cheap.

There is nothing fancy about them. A whey protein concentrate, providing that it is 80%+ content, is the same across the board. Just double check the nutrition label if you’re unsure.

Carb powders and creatine monohydrate powder are homogeneous products. They are the same across the board. Don’t fall into the trap of believing false advertisement or marketing hype. If you’re looking for the cheapest prices you can always visit my protein discount codes website, http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk to find which supplier is offering the supplements for the cheapest prices.

Remember, if your training and nutrition isn’t on point, then don’t expect magic from using supplements. Even if your nutrition and workouts are nailed down, you still shouldn’t expect magic from supplements. Just think of them as one small piece of a larger puzzle. When everything is in place, you’ll start to see the most optimum results.

I hope this post has given you a little bit of insight, and will help you hit your fitness goals. If you disagree with any of the supplements i’ve listed here, please sound off in the comments section below.

You can follow me at my bodybuilding blog http://www.shreddybrek.com my supplement review & discount code site http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk or on social media http://www.facebook.com/shreddybreklol http://www.twitter.com/shreddybrekgym

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…Fitness: One Step At a Time…

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The first step to reaching your goals is acknowledging that there needs to be a change. You need to realize that your current habits and life style are not healthy for you (and possibly not healthy for your family). Why do you want to get more active? Why do you want to lose additional weight? Your answer to those questions should be to improve your overall lifestyle.  Investing in your health NOW can help you to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle when you are older.  People who remain active at an older age tend to have less health problems and remain mobile for longer than most elderly people.

Start one step at a time:

The best way is to slowly start to incorporate healthy habits into your life.  For example try to add things week by week…or bi-weekly.  For the next two weeks try to drink more water….cook your own lunch instead of ordering fast food…walking or biking to work instead of driving…taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Then you can add more things (and you can also possibly include a friend or get your family involved!) Try to walk for a certain amount of time when you get home in the evening. Do a workout routine while you watch your favorite shows (and take a water break when the commercials come on).  Getting into a routine can be easy if you incorporate healthy activities with your current routine!

No Gym? No Problem:

You do not have to be a member of a gym to start working towards your goals.  You can find numerous at home workouts that can be done.  You can use common house hold items as weights (such as gallon water jugs, filling backpacks with rocks or sand, stairs, etc.).  People are unaware of all of the resources that they already have at home that they do not have to go and purchase!

Eating is the main battle:

Get your eating habits on track and the inches and weight will start to melt away!! It is amazing how many people are eating improperly! And truthfully, a lot of people are not eating ENOUGH food! YES YOU NEED FOOD to fuel your body and to help you shed that extra weight. If you are not eating enough it can hinder or halt weight loss. Try to eat more protein and balance your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.

In reality it will take 6-8 weeks before you can start to see results.  So the other key to success is to stay persistent and BE PATIENT! It will take time!!! Find things that will keep you motivated.  Try to find mini goals to obtain throughout your whole journey. The more fun you have with your journey the less stressful it will be!






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Traveling: Tricks & Tips

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For those who do not know, I had a very busy 2014.  I traveled to more than 10 states for events and other athletic activities.  Traveling by car, train, plane, and bus you have to get creative and efficient in order to make sure that you can travel efficiently with all of the things that you need while minimizing the amount of bags that you have.   Although it may be hard to cram 3-5 days worth of things in one small duffel bag, sometimes you have to improvise to travel with everything you need without having to pay the extra baggage fees while traveling.

Over the past year, I was able to learn a few things that have saved me time AND also money while traveling.  I figured that the tricks that I learned could be valuable tips that can be adopted by other travelers like myself.

Liquid Beverages:

Traveling on any airline limits you on the amount of liquids you can carry and the types of liquids that you can carry with you through the security check and onto the plane.  Simple trick: bring an EMPTY water bottle (or small container) that you can refill once you make it through the security check. This will save you time (you will not have to stand in line to get a beverage), and you can also save money (who wants to spend $3-$8 on one bottle of water!??).  You can also get creative and carry powdered beverage packets so you can have flavored water once you refill your bottle with water.

F*ck Checked Bags:

Pardon my language but checked bags is one of the most annoying processes about traveling by plane (in my personal opinion).  Not only do some airlines charge you a large sum of money per bag, but you also have to wait an extra 20-45 minutes for you to collect your bags from the plane once you arrive.  Solution…don’t check your bags.  If possible fit everything needed into two carry on bags.  And purchase the traveling size body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, etc to carry on in your bag.  You an also purchase refillable containers so you can fill them with your current toiletries.  I know that it may be hard to do so, but think of the $100’s of dollars (and time) you will save from not having to check your bags! You can also consider not carrying on any liquids and try to find a Dollar Store or local super center and pick some up while you are at your visiting destination.

Snack Attack:

It is a proven fact that the food that is found in airports are more expensive than what you can get it at the grocery store.  The best way to save money is to pack your own food/snacks to have while traveling.  I have found that things like: nuts, protein bars, beef jerky, dried fruit, fruit leather, trail mix, etc can be small things that can be kept in your bag or purse.  Try to pack things that do not contain strong smells!! Nothing is more annoying than the person next to you pulling out a snack that has a strong pungent smell.  No one wants to smell a tuna sandwich for 1-8 hours. NOTE: I have made my own turkey sandwiches and brought other food items that need to remain cold. I packed them in a small lunchbox and used the blue freezer packs.  Make sure the freezer packs are still frozen when you get to the airport.  If they turn back into gel the security agents may make you dispose of them.  Regardless if they do, carry with you extra sandwich/freezer bags.  Fill them with ice and use them as a way to keep your food items cool just in case you have to discard your freezer packs. 

Curb Side Check:

Most major airlines have a curb side baggage checking kiosk.  I use them when they are open for several reasons.  (1) It allows you to skip the long lines inside of he airport at your airline counter.  The workers at the kiosk can check you into your flight as well as check your bags.  (2) Remember you can tip the workers at the kiosk.  I typically do if I know there is a long line inside the terminal or if my bag is heavier than the required 50 lbs.  (aaaand I have been know to get away with not having to pay the extra over weight baggage fee.  Some airlines are sticklers about the 50lb limit.  I know my bag has been a few pounds over and the curb side check has been more lenient on those guidelines).

Sigh Up For Flight Update Alerts:

As annoying as they may be, it has been proven to be very helpful for me.  For example, your flight pulls into the terminal a littler later than expected.  Instead of having to find the flight monitors as you rush off of the plane, some airline alert systems can call or text you with your connecting flight number and gate location.  So all you have to do is check those messages once you turn your phone back on and rush over to your connecting flight.

Hotel Room Freebies:

The bag that is typically found in the closet for dry cleaning makes a perfect “dirty laundry” bag.  I will grab it and toss all of my dirty laundry in it.  This will allow me to keep the separate from my other clothes as well as identify the dirty clothes while unpacking when I get home.  You can also use the shampoo and conditioner that can be found in hotels so that you will not have to pack them in your luggage.  Some hotels will even offer body wash, lotion, tooth paste, mouth wash, etc.  The best way to find out what your hotel offers is to call them and ask.

These are just a few tips that I have discovered and have used over the past 12 months.  I am still learning new things about things that can be done to make my traveling experience more efficient and less stressful. What I have shared is what I have learned thus far and I hope to share more tricks and tips as I discover them!






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… Time to get ready for the summer…

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Christmas has come and gone. You have had the chance to relax with your loved ones.  You also had the chance to enjoy some good home cooked meals (and desserts!).  So as 2016 quickly gets here, you should get ready to start working towards your health and fitness goals.

Like most people, I am sure that you may have started to create a list of things to accomplish in 2016.  Instead of making 30…60…90 day mini challenges try to strive for LIFESTYLE changes that will be beneficial for you and your family.

You can try things such as:

  • cooking more meals at home
  • limiting how many meals you eat out at food establishments
  • planning the meals you will eat when you do go out to eat
  • finding a facility that will accommodate your workout routine and fitness goals
  • trying to improve your overall eating and drinking habits (healthy snacks and drinking more water)
  • setting REALISTIC goals to achieve (like losing 1-3 lbs a week…preparing to participate in an athletic activity at a certain time later in the year)

Another important thing to also find is a good support system.  You have to have people around you that will help you stay on track and to help you stay accountable for your goals.  You can create this group with friends who have similar goals or you can ask your family.  These people can be a form or motivation and encouragement for you on the days it is hard for you to stay focused on your goals. There will be days that you will want to give in and give up.  But, you have to remember why you want to achieve these goals and find ways to stay motivated and on track with what you want to do.

I am BIG on rewarding the efforts of friends and clients who reach their goals.  If it is something small or simple, any prize can help you to stay enthusiastic and motivated about working towards your goal.  You can ask family or friends to contribute to your goals.  Every time you lose a pound or an inch towards your goals, they can put a dollar (or pledge something else) for you to have when you start to reach your other goals.  Lose 15 lbs, have your family or friends take you out to your favorite place to eat.  Lose 30 lbs have your family or friends take you to buy a new shirt or pair of pants.  Reach your overall goal and reward yourself with a new pair of shoes or new clothes (that will fit your newly sculpted body ;-) ).

There are so many things that you can do that can help you to stay on track with what you want to achieve.  The hardest part will be to plan everything out.  But once you get started, it may be hard to get you to stop!

Stay dedicated. Stay motivated. And keep striving for success! 






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…Gas Station Snacks: Healthy Hidden Treasures…

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of traveling quite a bit to participate in various endurance races.  YES, IT IS HARD to eat healthy and make healthy food choices while traveling (and in your everyday life).  BUT, there are healthy alternatives out there for you to choose over the non-healthy snack choices.

Yes, it is clear that in every gas station or small food shop there are an abundance of unhealthy food choices. These unhealthy choices also tend to be a lot cheaper.  BUT, when I look at the price of a healthy option compared to a non-healthy option I consider it an investment. An investment to my health and an investment to help me reach my health and fitness goals.

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What is the first thing you typically see when you walk into the gas station or convenience store? That heavenly rack of full of chips, marked down candy bars, or sometimes even “Fresh Baked Donuts”.  Although all of these things are very delicious snack options…they may not be the best option especially if you have a long car ride or if you are diligently working towards your fitness goals.

Typically the “healthy isle” is hidden in the back of the store.  But, I have found that more and more gas stations are starting to carry healthy snack options.

Here are a good food options that I have been able to consistently find at gas stations:

  • fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • beef jerky
  • mixed nuts & seeds
  • trail mix
  • cheese
  • peanut butter
  • popcorn
  • sandwiches and wraps
  • energy bars
  • protein bars
  • pretzels
  • protein drinks
  • yogurt
  • small veggie trays
  • water

Sunflower seeds:

One of my favorite “go-to” snack options.  It is low-calorie, low high in fiber, and rich in monounsaturated fats.  Although this snack packs a lot of sodium and more fats than I would like, I like to have these to snack on when I have a long trip and I feel as if I am getting tired. I have found that snacking on something like this helps me to take my mind of off zoning out while driving and helps to keep me alert and awake.

Beef jerky:

Another snack that may have a lot of sodium but it will help to deliver a nice dose of protein and does not pack a lot of calories.  You can get a variety of flavors such as turkey, spicy, BBQ.  BUT be careful because some flavor contain sugar to help make it sweet.

Energy or Protein Bars:

Another option that is great BUT you also have to be careful about which bar that you grab.  ALWAYS check out the nutritional label when searching for something like a protein bar.  Some bars contain just as much sugar and carbs as candy bars!! You want to grab a bar that is high in protein, low in carbs, and low in sugars.  There are so many great options.  You will just have to take a second, stop, and read the label before you walk away with it.

Dried Fruit:

This can include varieties such as raisins, cranberries, banana chips, apple chips, etc.  These are a great option for a longer car ride if you want fruit but do not want to grab fresh fruit.  Make sure to also look at the label to make sure that there was not flavoring or added sugar added to these.  Some companies just freeze dry the fruit and only adding agents to help preserve the fruit.

Baked Chips:

I do understand how hard it is to walk away from the gigantic chip isles that consume most convenient stores.  If you do choose to grab a bag of crunchy goodness at least try to get the least heart clogging option!  There are a lot of great varieties that are regularly being carried in stores.  POPchips, baked kettle chips, and Special K also have a cracker chip that is also a good option. BUT if you have the time grab some popcorn and pop it at the gas station! Most gas stations have microwaves for you to use. Popcorn is lower in calories, carbs, and is a healthier option.  You can also consider Rice cakes or even Quest Nutrition recently came out with a healthy chip option (I have NOT seen these in the stores but I purchase mine online and pack them in the car with me for my trips).

Beverages:

As always water is the BEST option. Keep in mind that you want to sip on your water and not guzzle it down.  You can guzzle it down as quickly as you would like…but that may require you to stop at more gas stations while trying to reach your destination.  A lot of stores are also carrying milk, fruit juice, and flavored carbonated water.  As always, try to stay away from the drinks with empty calories.  This applies to pretty much 90% of the drinks at a gas station.  Some are starting to carry unsweetened tea and other healthier options for you to enjoy

I hope that this list was somewhat helpful.  I know that when I first started traveling it was a continuous battle to stay away from the chip and candy isle.  Some stores do not carry a variety of healthy options.  That is why I typically carry my own “traveling snack pack” that has all of the healthy snacks that I typically crave while on a trip.  I do enjoy going into gas stations and checking to see what items they do offer.  I honestly tend to stop at the same locations if I know that they will have something that I may want or need for my trips.  It does take time to look and plan these things out BUT it is so worth it.  Like I stated above…Think of it as an investment! An investment to your health and an overall investment to your fitness goals.






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…infinite life fitness recipe: sweet potato chocolate fudge cake…

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Chocolate Cake… two words that will make most people’s ears perk up and their mouths will  start watering.

Getting healthy and fit does not mean that you have to completely abandon the things that taste the best to you.  As with anything, you can still enjoy your favorite things but, MODERATION is key.  If you have a sweet tooth enjoy a nice small slice of chocolate.  If you want a brownie or some ice cream stick to the actual serving size that is recommended on the size of the box (yes that means measuring out or weighing out the correct portions) instead of just guessing at the amount that you think is “a small portion of food”.

Another trick that I have learned is to find other recipes that provide the same great taste of regular treats but carry more nutritional macronutrients.  There are a lot of recipes out there…so try out a few to see what you will like the best! And never be afraid to change recipes around s that they contain things that YOU like. It may take several attempts to get the recipe down the way you like but that is the fun part…trying to figure out what will turn out delicious (and nutritious!)

Today I am sharing the recipe of an outstanding treat.  Sweet potato chocolate cake.  It is very flavorful moist, and honestly taste the exact same as other chocolate treats that you can get at the store.

What you will need:

(Put all of these ingredients into a food processor)

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato
  • 40-50 stevia drops (Or other sources of sweetener.  You can also use sugar or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used 1st Phorm Whey Protein)
  • 4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa powder (or dark chocolate cocoa powder)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

What you will do:

  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Blend all of the above ingredients together VERY WELL!
  • Place combined ingredients into a muffin pan (or you can make a pan of brownies and later cut them into desirable slices).
  • Cook these for 20 – 25 minutes checking them periodically
  • IMPORTANT: *make sure you use either silicone bake ware or line your bake ware with parchment paper.  It makes the cake cook evenly and helps to limit the outside cooking faster than the inside (making it easier to separate after it has cooled).

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I typically will make a few dozen of these and keep them in the freezer.  This allows them to last a lot longer.  When you would like to enjoy one just pop it in the microwave and top with a dollop of peanut butter, whip cream, Greek yogurt, or even low calorie ice cream (like Arctic Zone).  The great thing about this recipe is that you can get very creative! You an add nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or anything else you would like. BUT BE CAREFUL with the amount of things that you add.  The more you add the more you compromise the good nutritional value of this healthy treat.

Try this out on your own and dress it up however you like.  If you decide to try it post it on instagram and tag the picture with #infinitelifefitness so that I can see it! :-)

Hope that you are able to enjoy them as much as I do!.

 

 






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… Fit Chicks Guide to #lifestylesofthefitandflexin…

There are just some things that you DO or DO NOT do once you cross over to being a fit chick.  These things are adapted simply because…it is what most fit chicks do!  Yeah I am going to go ahead and say “all of the kool kids are/are not doing it” because lets be honest….most fit chicks I know have slowly transitioned to doing/not doing some of these things!

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{1}… Throw away the scale…

At this point…who cares!!! You have been eating healthy (most of the time), crushing the weights in the gym, and looking leaner and BETTER than ever.  The scale does NOT define the fitness success you have accomplished throughout your fitness journey.  You now measure your success via the slimming waist…bulging muscles…and wonder woman like strength that is slowly developing.  REJOICE for  you are now no longer a slave to the scale (and you may even get excited when you realize you have actually GAINED a pound or two!)

{2} …You look forward to rest days….but spend some portion of your rest day looking forward to when you can get back in the gym…

Yes…sometimes you do need to take a little break from the iron temple.  You do have to listen to your body and know when to just stay at home some days.  Although it may be hard it is still necessary.

{3}…Stay away from Whole Foods (or any other health food store)…

I am in NO way bashing these places…but believe me your pocket book will thank you later for it! I can not remember ONE trip that I have made to my favorite health food store that I did not drop at least $100.  Darn those sample trays and weekly “new hot item” signs.  *sigh* they get me EVERY time…and of course you can not just grab one!  They are usually on sale for 2/$5 or 3/$8….or some random price.  And of course they will have several different flavors for you to try. So why not just grab one (or two) of each to try! What can it hurt!?? It is healthy AND on sale!

{4}…find a good tea infusing mug AND tea pot…

Realistically who makes just one cup of tea?  And for those of use who can not find time to sit at home and actually enjoy the cup of tea you have to learn how to be mobile.  Stores like Teavana sweetly beckon to you every time you walk by.  And do not even think about taking a stroll down the tea isle at the grocer store!  There is always tea on sale and they store always has new/seasonal teas brightly and boldly on display.

{5} …invest in the stretch….

When I speak of “the stretch” I am referring to Stretchy clothing.  Stretch pants…shorts…tank tops…shirts…and even bras!  Fit chicks around the globe can probably relate to me when I say that some of your favorite brands of clothing may not fit the same once those muscles start to develop.  Jeans that are too tight on your thighs but too big in your waist…cute baby T’s that wont fit over your arms….cute boots that wont zip up over your calf…*sigh* growing muscles come at a small price but you do not have to sacrifice fashion for your new physique! You will just have to learn how to adjust via new brands and stretchy material.

Hopefully some of this information was helpful.  I would like to think that it is safe to say that some of my fellow fit chicks can relate to what was said in this post.  If not…that’s ok! Maybe you can teach me a few things that I have not figured out yet!

 






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…infinite life fitness recipe: Protein Fudge…

protein_fudge

Working towards your health and fitness goals do not require you to completely sacrifice sweet treats.  Lets be honest…who doesn’t get a sweet tooth every now and then? And yes it can be hard to ignore those sweet cravings! So what do you do?

Instead of driving yourself crazy and trying to ignore the sweet cravings you should come up with healthy AND tasty alternatives for you have when you are needing something a little sweet.  Here is a treat that I personally love to make and usually keep in my freezer just in case I need to grab something sweet.

What you will need:

  • ¾ cup peanut butter (I use Skippy natural chocolate peanut butter)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder ( I chose to use 1st Phorm Vanilla Whey. Depending on the brand of protein you may need to use less or more! You will have to adjust your recipe)

What you will do:

  • heat up coconut oil and measure out 1/4 cup
  • Place all of the above ingredients into a mixing bowl
  • mix ingredients until batter is thick and sticky (I added small amounts of almond milk to get the mixture to mix and blend. I literally just added a few tablespoons)
  • Once the batter is mixed place in a freezer safe container
  • spread batter evenly into container
  • place container in freezer and allow to freeze
  • once the batter is frozen cut into even squares and enjoy!

NOTE: I stored my protein fudge in the freezer.  If thawed out it will just become runny and not thick.  Keeping it in the freezer allows it to stay in the fudge chunks.  Even though it is frozen, the fudge is very easy to bite into and chew.  It is slightly chewy and VERY yummy!

You can get creative and toss in nuts, chocolate chips, or anything else that you would like.  But remember, adding those things increase the calorie, carbs, and fat macro nutrient content in this treat.  So you want to try to limit what you add to make sure to keep it as healthy as possible.

Like I stated before, this is a great treat to keep around the house to help subdue those sweet cravings you may get. This snack is packed with an amazing taste and is high in protein.

Mix. Freeze. and Enjoy! Let me know how YOUR version of this recipe turns out!

 






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…Goal Setting: Being realistic and staying motivated…

When I sit down and initially meet with a client, one of the first questions I ask them is:

Can you tell me three main objectives you would like to achieve while working with me?

Can you tell me three small goals that you would like to achieve while working towards your major goals?

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Realistically getting healthy and fit is an overall lifestyle overhaul.  You have to change the way you think, the way you live, you have to change your overall outlook on how you see yourself and how you approach each and every day.

Overall your goal should be to obtain a healthy lifestyle.  You should want to lose weight, lose inches, but most importantly you should want to learn how to live and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Getting healthy and fit is not intended to be a quick fix.  It should not just be a 30…60…90 day challenge for you to participate in and once that timeline has gone by you go back to your old habits.  The goal should be to utilize your time to properly learn how to eat healthy, how to create a fitness schedule that works for your lifestyle, and learn how to balance your life/family/work obligations while working towards your goals.

Yes it is a great goal to start off wanting to lose 5…10…20 pounds.  But once you lose that weight what is next? You just give up because you reached your goal? While those are great goals those should be classified as SHORT term goals.  Your long-term goal should be to learn to keep that weight off while continuing to live a health and active lifestyle.

Other goals to consider adding to your list:

  • Learning to prepare healthy meals for you and your family. [This includes techniques that allow you to prepare meals for you to have throughout the week to help keep you on track and less likely to get tempted to just go and grab something at your local fast food place]
  • Creating your own workouts (and possibly your family). [This can range from scheduling active outings for you and your family, signing up for group classes at a fitness facility, hiring a trainer to help you and then learning to develop your own routine.  There are various avenues that can be taken to help you with this goal.]
  • Learning to focus NOT on the scale but on your overall health.  Your health should NOT be measured by the number that is on the scale.  [While working towards your goals it is important to look at other variables such as your body measurements or how you look/feel to help you measure your progress. ]
  • Working towards building a stronger person INSIDE and OUT. [While on your fitness journey you should aim work on all aspects of your being not just the physical aspect.  Some people seek to also doing more volunteer work or even working on broken relationships with friends/family members.  You can also work on your own emotional relationship with yourself or your spiritual relationship.]

The trick is creating GOOD goals AND realistic goals.  Realistically you can lose about 2-4 lbs a week. Some weeks you will lose no weight….and then another week you may be a rock  star and lose 3 pounds.  Regardless of how much you do/don’t lose you have to stay motivated and determined to keep pushing towards your goals.

There are so many resources for anyone to utilize to help keep you motivated and accountable for your goals.  There are free websites and forums where you can chat and get encouragement from so many people who are willing to help. No one has to go through this journey alone! Utilize your resources and it will help to keep you pushing through the hard times.

Your goals are most definitely obtainable. As long as your goals are realistic, as long as you stay consistent and persistent, and as long as you stay focused and PATIENT you will get there! Your body will not change over night! How long did it take you to get to where you are today?  It will take you some time to lose what you have accumulated over time. BUT IT CAN BE DONE!!






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