Spare Energy!

This blog will be a real treat, no pun intended ūüôā

As a huge advocate for healthy eating, I have chosen to share with you my favorite protein treat! This is an easy, no-bake dessert. In fact, this can not only be a dessert, but a snack when you’re craving something sweet! As someone with the largest sweet tooth in my family, I would normally have ice cream in my freezer, or cookie dough ready to make cookies. These desserts, depending on the brand, aren’t too high in protein, and aren’t that healthy for you. So, with that being said, I will now give you the recipe for one of the most amazing treats you can make right at home. Bad news, this is not a recipe I created on my own. Good news, you may already have some of these ingredients in your cabinets! Other news: A lot of people know of these treats, but not all know how to make them!

Introducing to you, perhaps for the first time: Energy Bites!

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They are made up of only 6 ingredients, one of which are optional:
Grab your measuring cups and spoons, and write this recipe down!
1. 1 cup of steel cut oats. I use Quaker Oats!
2. 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. You can find these in the baking isle at any grocery store. I use mini because they are smaller and more chocolate can be distributed in each energy bite than using the bigger chips, plus they are so cute! ūüôā
3. 1/2 cup peanut butter. This can be sticky! I advise using creamy peanut butter, or even almond butter. Almond butter is a tad bit more flexible to work with than regular peanut butter, but the choice is totally up to you!
4. Measure out 1/2 cup of flaxseed. Now this is the ingredient that is optional. Flaxseed is very good for you, however this particular ingredient will not change the taste of your energy bite.
5. Measure out 1/3 cup of honey! Any honey is fine. Side note: There was a time I was out of honey and I used sugarfree syrup. The taste is different, but delicious nonetheless!
6. 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

**Upon measuring out these ingredients, mix all into a medium size mixing bowl. Now comes the ball making! I use my extra virgin olive oil spray that I use in my everyday cooking. I spray my hands, grab a small amount of the mixed ingredients, and roll until it is the size of a golf ball.  Use any type of tupper ware or even a bowl to put them in. I repeat until the mixing bowl is empty.**

YOU’RE DONE! ENJOY! You can put the rest in the fridge until later! Do not leave out or they will not taste as great!

 

 

Stress Less, Live More.

We all have those days, right? We wake up, look at our agenda, and automatically have anxiety. If you are one of those human beings that do not experience much anxiety, then I envy you. ¬†Unfortunately, panic attacks and anxiety attacks are common in my family. ¬†I first experienced my first “panic attack” when I was 8 years old. I was trying to fall asleep, and started to think my way into a full blown panic. ¬†I remember running into my parents bedroom, hysterically crying, and not being able to explain why I was so panicked.

Now, as I’m nearing my late twenties, I can honestly say that the attacks have not stopped, but I have learned to manage them, even without seeking professional help from a healthcare provider. ¬†While having health insurance over the course of my entire life, the thought of needing prescription drugs to cope with my anxiety gives me, you guessed it, MORE ANXIETY! As much as I love physical fitness, my mental health is just as important as my body. I have, over the last few years, learned how to lessen my anxiety in various ways. The first thing I learned I needed to do was to learn how to manage my daily life, weekly schedule, and try to pinpoint exactly where my anxiety comes from.

Mrs. Kasson was my 5th grade teacher. Why is she a significant resource in my life today? She gave me the most precious gift, that literally keeps on giving: A planner.
Since my first planner as a 5th grader, I have since then kept an agenda book. This book goes with me everywhere. It is filled with everything: Bill deadlines. Homework deadlines. ¬†Days I babysit my nephews. Days I work. Important dates, etc. I learned that internally, in every sense, this planner is always circulating in my mind. ¬†I have so much anticipation built up mentally, that it’s almost as if I am trying to be ahead of my own schedule, thus making me feel already behind when there’s no reason to feel that way whatsoever. ¬†If you have experienced these same feelings and anticipations, I want to share with you ways to reduce your stress levels.

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  1. Get off your phone. We all have social media. Almost everyone we see these days have their heads down, staring at a screen of some sort. Put your phone on silent and leave it in another room for a while. ¬†This takes you away from the distractions of you seeing what others are up to, and makes you focus on yourself for the moment. ¬†I do this every single day. ¬†I put my phone in my room, with all of the sound notifications turned all the way down. ¬†It gives me a sense of a mental vacation, away from Facebook, texts, Snapchats, and other media making my phone beep every few minutes. Find another activity that doesn’t include your phone. What else is there to distract us? Well, let me give you options.
  2. ¬†Read a book. I have three books I take turns reading chapters in. I have all three of them on my book shelf in my living room. ¬†Light a candle, put on some soft music or sit there in silence, and disappear from the outside world for a while. It’s calming, rewarding, and gives you some “you” time.
  3. Yoga. Yoga is a huge relaxing resource. ¬†Even if you don’t have any Yoga DVDs handy you can research poses on your phone and mimic them in the comfort of your home. ¬†Put on some music, light some candles (can you tell I have a huge love for the two) and focus on your breathing. ¬†It will calm your nerves, ease your mind, and give your body extra oxygen and make you feel more centered.
  4. Become invested in an activity you’ve always wanted to learn. My Gami (grandmother) loves knitting. ¬†Her exact words to me, “Knitting is where I do my best thinking.” I sat down with her one Wednesday afternoon and she taught me how to knit. ¬†I have a small basket in my living room filled with different sizes of threads, a couple pair of needles, and with some great background music, it’s easy to get lost in it. ¬†It’s very relaxing, and it helps me reflect on the day and think about the next.

 

 

If you are interested in any of these tactics, I encourage you to try any of them! One step at a time of course, but if you do experience stress, these are great ideas that you can begin now.

 

 

Spare Exercise Tips (With NO Gym Membership)

 

What motivates a person to want to exercise? Is it because we have this fantasy of ourselves in a two-piece bathing suit not feeling overweight? Is because that old pair of jeans from high school no longer fit? Is it because we see our friends on social media posting “gym selfies” and making us feel guilty for not having similar posts?

In my opinion, exercising isn’t just for physical activity, but also for our mental health. Exercising can improve our attitudes and moods, but there’s no reason to look at it as you do a “chore” or a “punishment” because you feel you should deprive yourself of fun.
Some people aren’t too confident to walk into a gym without feeling judged, but you do NOT need a membership at a gym to work out! I have many friends who don’t have the extra money for a membership, let alone a personal trainer. So what do you do?
I am going to share with you some spare tips on how to exercise at home, these include jump roping, planking, and other quick tips that don’t involve much thought or planning, and you can do it within in a 30 minute time frame!

  1. JUMP ROPING! A personal story my good friend Anne shared with me one day, is that she really wanted to lose 10 pounds before her honeymoon, which was over a month away. She jump roped three times a day, for 10 minutes straight! She would put on music or a TV show and jump away! That’s 30 minutes of cardio, 7 times a week…which is over three hours of cardio a week!
    She did that for almost a month and already lost more than her goal! By the time her honeymoon came around, she lost 17 pounds, and felt amazing!
    IF you do not own a jump rope and you are interested in this strategy, I hope this inspires you or someone you know to make this purchase!

2. NO jump rope? No problem! Ever heard of planking? ¬†Starting on a Monday, or really any day of the week, start by doing a plank for one minute. If you cannot do a minute, try 30 seconds, or more if you can take it! Every day afterwards, plank for another 5 or 10 seconds. ¬†Are you going to plank every single day? NO WAY! Allow yourself a rest day when you get to the end of your week, meaning Day 7 following your beginning day on Day 1. When you get to Day 30/Day 31, you should be close to between 3 and 5 minutes, but on your last day, try to go as long as you can! Planking is a great way to strengthen your core, and makes you sweat more than you’d think! Believe it or not, try it just one time and see how sore you feel the next day. The results are worth it! Posted below I have a photo of myself in a planking position incase there are some who aren’t sure of the proper planking stance!

 

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*****Quick tips: These are some quick tips I am going to share!

-If you have a dog and he/she loves going on walks, take them out with you! Briskly walk for about 20 minutes, and do this at least three times a week!

-Jumping jacks! How old are you? DOUBLE IT! Throughout your week, try adding another 5 jumping jacks to your original “doubling age”. This helps boast your metabolism and it is a cardio-worthy activity!

I hope all of tips are helpful to my readers!

Spare Food Tips

As a long time member of a local gym in my hometown, I worked out almost 5 times a week. ¬†Now, after switching gyms, due to moving into my new house, I only go maybe twice a week, and that’s being generous to myself! Although I’ve made huge strides in becoming a healthier person over the years by quitting smoking and signing up for a gym membership, there’s still one thing that is still hard to do: COOK HEALTHY!

How many of you skip breakfast? I used to, ALL the time. ¬†Partially because I wasn’t hungry, or there wasn’t anything quick I could eat on my way out the door. ¬†But did you know that by eating breakfast, you already have jump-started your metabolism for the day!? By skipping breakfast, your metabolism moves at a slower pace. ¬†But what is a quick, cheap, and healthy breakfast?

Today, I am going to share a tip I learned from my boyfriend, Josh, who is a huge health nut. This recipe is for breakfast, or lunch or dinner if you fancy breakfast at those times of the day! This recipe is high in protein, and low in sugar!

Kodiak Cakes is the easiest pancake mix I’ve ever bought! All you do is take 1 cup of this mixture, add it with 1 cup of water, and POOF! You have batter! These pancakes are low in calories and virtually have almost no sugar in them! The pancake syrup, a classic favorite among many fellow gym friends, is Walden Farms Pancake Syrup! It’s calorie free, sugar free, and carb free! How amazing is that?! This is a breakfast food we make in the morning almost three times a week, due to how quick and easy the recipe is.

PicsArt_07-12-09.30.35If you want, you can even add a few mini-chocolate chips in the batter as well to add flavor! That’s my personal favorite!

I hope you all enjoyed my post today. I welcome anyone to try this quick, healthy, delicious breakfast recipe!

My next post will discuss exercising tips for both at the gym and at home! Enjoy your week!