Summer Bod Workout: Glutes and Legs

Hey Trendsetters, if you read my last blog post of a few quick, easy and healthy recipes, I want to thank you and also inform you that I will be writing workout plans in my next couple of blogs to help you tone up! This blog post will be focused on working your glutes and legs! Just a disclaimer, I am not a personal trainer or certified or anything like that, but I have done an immense amount of research and tried many different workout plans.

A little background information about my fitness journey is that when I returned to the US after being in Italy for 4 months, I was not looking as lean as when I went there. I was decently lean when I left to study abroad. I bought a gym membership in Italy, but I didn’t watch what I ate…pizza, pasta, gelato…like, can you blame me? Inevitably, I gained weight and more than I was okay with having.  Before I went to Italy I was vegan and it didn’t last soon after arriving.  When I returned home I really began to research diets and workout plans that I haven’t tried before.  Going vegan felt great and I got pretty lean from it, but I wanted a change.  I began to incorporate meat back into my diet, however, I am still dairy-free.  Dairy never sat well with my stomach as is, therefore, I just continued to keep it out of my diet.  Currently, I am Olympic weightlifting although, I still do isolation (bodybuilding style) lifts with cardio but I’m not always able to make it to the gym so here are a few exercises you can do at home!

First and foremost, warm up your body, get that blood pumping! Jump up and down, jog in place or walk up the stairs a few times! After you’re warm and have your blood flowing, choose 4-6 exercises below to create a glute and leg work out. This should be challenging and if it’s not, then do more reps!

Body Squats 5×50 (add weights, if possible)

Glute Bridges 5×30

Curtsy Lunges 5×30 (each leg)

Side Squat 5×30 (each leg)

Lunges 5×30

Single Leg Deadlift (each leg) 5×50

Calf raises 5×50

Pause Squats 5×30

Straight Leg Deadlifts 5×20 – use weight (gallon of water if you don’t have free weights at home)

Bulgarian Split Squats 5×20 (each leg)

Donkey Kicks 5×30 (each leg)

Mountain Climbers 3×30

Single Leg Ballet Kicks 3×30 (each leg)

Wall Sits 3×30 secs

Jump Squats 3×20

A great way to find new exercises is to follow fitness accounts on Instagram! I use it to get inspiration! If you’re not sure what some of these exercises are you can always search them online.

Again, choose about 4-6 exercises from this list to create a workout! DO NOT forget to stretch after your workout!  Leave a comment below and share with me your favorite exercises!

Photo via Today

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Easy, Healthy Meal Recipes

Hello Trendsetters, we’ve entered into the second month of the year and before we know it, Summer will be here!! I wanted to share a few of my favorite healthy recipes for the Trendsetters that are working on their Summer bods now!  Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be bland and boring, check out these yummy recipes!

This recipe came about because in my house I had a surplus of both salmon and sweet potatoes.  They are my two absolute favorite foods and I created salmon and sweet potato cakes, it’s like a crab cake…but with salmon and sweet potatoes. I, of course, had to come up with a dipping sauce for these yummy cakes! This recipe calls for the following:

Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes:

  • 12 oz of wild caught salmon – cooked
  • 2-3 medium to large sweet potatoes – cooked and peeled
  • seafood seasoning – optional: I used Old Bay
  • 2 Tbsp of Dill
  • 1/3c Chopped Green Onions

Sauce:

  • 1/2c of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp of Dill
  • 2 Tbsp of Hot Sauce – I use Frank’s Buffalo Sauce

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, warm up olive oil or coconut (I use whatever I have handy)
  2. combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  3. Scoop batter with a 1/3 measuring cup. Form into a ball with your hands, then flatten into a patty
    1. TIP: dampen hands before working with batter
  4. Cook both sides of the patty for 3-5 minutes until its lightly browned
  5. Last, place finished patties onto a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil
  6. Serve with sauce and enjoy!

This next recipe was created by me when I am running low on cash and this meal costs less than $15 to make, so it’s perfect for my college readers out there! When money is tight, instead of the chicken I use the mexican style tuna fish packets because they cost $1 and some change per packet!  I know, it doesn’t sound too appetizing at all, but I promise it’s really good and protein packed! Just one step closer to getting our summer bods!

Chicken (or Tuna) Pita Wrap

  • 6 oz of Chicken
  • Fajita mix
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread
  • Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus (or original)
  • Avocado
  • Corn Salsa
  • Rice
  • Lettuce

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, warm up coconut or olive oil and cook chicken with fajita mix – cook chicken thoroughly
  2. Soften the pita bread by placing in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or in a skillet over low heat until warmed
  3. Place pita flat, smother an even layer of hummus, add chicken and finishing by adding the other toppings

 

The next recipe comes from me also being a cheapskate and wanting to spend my money on clothes instead of food, but I learned you can still do both.  This next recipe is healthy but doesn’t completely break the bank!  It’s chicken avocado salad and it’s ahhhhhhhmazing!!

Chicken Avocado Salad:

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts – cooked and chopped
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 c chopped red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tbsp of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine avocado, onions, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  2. Make sure avocados are completely mashed
  3. Add chopped chicken to the combination
  4. Enjoy with pita, wraps, toast or your favorite bread!
    1. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers, should be eaten within 3 days of the preparation date.

Thanks for checking out some of my quick and easy healthy meals! If you decide to give them a try, leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

Featured Image via  www.awakentheabswithin.com/a-healthy-lean-nutrition-plan-for-you/

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Your Favorite Fall Treats: Nutritious & Delicious

With Fall just around the corner, that means all those delicious seasonal treats are coming as well.  Pumpkin spice lattes, caramel apples, pumpkin pies, caramel corn, and the list goes on and on and on.  Well fear not Trendsetters, I have taken it upon myself to share with you recipes of  your favorite Fall treats but a tad bit more healthy so you can have that summer bod all year long!   I’ve been vegan for over a year now and I must say it has dramatically changed my life for the better (don’t worry I’m not going to try to convince you to become a veghead).  Instead of basing my diet solely off of what I thought tastes good, I now eat to fuel my body.  I think of my body as a Mercedes Benz, and Mercedes require premium fuel (more expensive than regular unleaded).  Now, you wouldn’t put cheap, bad fuel in your nice Mercedes Benz now would you?  So why would you put cheap, bad, unhealthy food in your body? Okay, so back to the recipes that are going to help keep our Mercedes Benz body. (Yes, they taste great too) Note: you can use dairy products in any of the following recipes, however, using non-dairy products is what makes these treats much healthier!

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This first recipe is one that I have just recently found, but I love it so much!  It’s called “Pumpkin Relaxation Drink.”  This drink is a great alternative to the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte), especially those (like myself) who are trying to cut back on their caffeine intake or need a warm beverage to sip on before bed.

The ingredients include:

  • 2.5 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Puree (Canned works fine)

    Pumpkin Relaxation Drink
    Pumpkin Relaxation Drink
  • 2 Tbsp. of Low Calorie Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. of Cinnamon

Optional: Dairy-free Whipped Cream & Nuts

 

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Beverage is done when there are no lumps and reached the temperature you desire.

…..yes, it’s that simple and it’s delicious!

This makes around 2-3 servings and I have cup of this in the morning before work and a cup when I am all snuggled up at night with a good book.  A great fact about this drink is that you really don’t have to be precise on the measurements of the ingredients.  The measurements listed above are a guesstimation of roughly about how much of each ingredient you should use.  If you want it to be closer to the sweet side I would suggest using more maple syrup or even a sweetener like Stevia or Splenda.  I really like the pumpkin and cinnamon flavor so I tend to go a little heavier on those ingredients! Also, I love this drink because I can make it in bulk portions to last me for a few days all I have to do in the morning is pour some into a coffee mug and pop it in the microwave for about a minute and voilà you have the perfect healthy Fall beverage! ( You can also use this as a coffee creamer!)

 

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The next recipe is actually even more simple than that last! Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips, doesn’t that sound delicious?!

Baked Apple Chips
Baked Apple Chips

The ingredients include:

  • Apples (I suggest Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious)
  • Cinnamon
  • Light Brown Sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200° F
  2. Wash all of your apples and dry them with a towel and begin to slice them pretty thin. The thinner the better because they crisp up much better when they are sliced thin.
  3. Combine cinnamon and light brown sugar in a small bowl
  4. Lay the sliced apples in a single layer across the baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the apples (do as little or as much as you’d like, also I only coat the apples on one side, but you can do both, if you desire)
  6. The apples will bake for 2-3 hours and flip them once in between.  After 2-3 hours, turn the oven off and allow for the apples to bake for 1 more hour while the oven cools down. (This is the perfect time to clean your house or watch your favorite TV shows but stay close to the kitchen because your house is going to smell like a cinnamon wonderland. Yummy!)
  7. Once they are finished, sit them out to cool down, then enjoy! They can be stored room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.

This is the perfect snack to bring with you for those chilly football games! (and don’t forget to bring the Pumpkin Relaxation drink too ?)

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I completely understand the busy student life, for all my collegiate followers, I feel your pain! I, too, am currently in college and it’s probably one of the most stressful times of my life.  And that, my friends, is why I basically live off of this next treat….Banana Pumpkin Ice Cream (Note: I don’t usually use pumpkin year round).  For this healthy ice cream you will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients Include:

  • 4-6 FROZEN Bananas (Use ripe bananas, they work the best, peel them, cut them into about 5-6 smaller sections, place them in a plastic freezer bag, and it takes about 5-6 hours to freeze)
  • 1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree (Canned works fine)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Low Calorie Maple Syrup (Add more if you have an extreme sweet tooth)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon

Optional: Dairy-Free Whipped Cream and Nuts

BananaPumpkinIceCream2
Banana Pumpkin Ice Cream

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor blend frozen Bananas and Pumpkin Puree together, add Maple Syrup and Spices in and continue to blend.
  2. If the ice cream does not look as creamy as you’d like, add unsweetened almond milk, but carefully add small amounts at a time, as you want the ice cream to be more solid than liquid.
  3. Serve immediately for soft serve texture or freeze for at least 4-5 hours for a firmer texture. If ice cream is in the freezer for awhile, let it soften for around 5-10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

This treat I sometimes eat for breakfast when I’m in a hurry (woke up late for class).  I usually just pop a few frozen bananas into a blender, add a 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats, a Tbsp of powder peanut butter, and a splash of almond or coconut milk and blend it until it a thick soft serve. (Note: you can use normal peanut butter for this shake however, I feel that the powder peanut butter blends up much nicer than traditional peanut butter, also powder peanut butter has about 85% less fat than traditional and has no hydrogenated oil!  Yay for healthy! This shake can also be easily formed in a protein shake, you just may have to add more nut milk!)

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This next treat is Pumpkin Oatmeal and I must admit it’s the PERFECT breakfast on a chilly Saturday morning when I had nothing to do except cuddle up next to my boyfriend with one million blankets, window slightly cracked allowing for that cool breeze to fill the air, and lots and lots of movies to be watched.

Pumpkin Oatmeal
Pumpkin Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (I sometimes use steel-cut)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Almond, Coconut, or Dairy Milk – If you like thicker oatmeal add less liquid
  • 1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon (I usually use Cinnamon)
  • 1/4 Cup of Chopped Pecans

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine oats and (nut) milk. Remember: less milk, the thicker the oatmeal.
  2. Bring combination to a boil, once it’s at a boil, stir in remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon), reduce heat and allow for the mixture to simmer.
  3. Let the oatmeal cook for around another minute.
  4. Serve oatmeal immediately and garnish with pecans

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For the last treat, I’m sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal cookies!  I love these cookies so much because there is so many different ways you can use these cookies!  Obviously, you can eat these cookies by themselves, or frost them with a pumpkin spice buttercream icing (YUM), but what I like to do is crumble them up and use them for toppings.  As a matter of fact last night I made banana ice cream for dessert (same recipe listed above) and chopped one of these delicious cookies and sprinkled it over top of my ice cream! These cookies are vegan, so they lack dairy, however, they lack no taste whatsoever! They are still the soft, delicious, moist pumpkin cookies  you’re craving on those Fall days! So here’s how I make them…

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour

    Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
    Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
  • 3/4 Cup of Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • Couple pinches of Pumpkin Spice
  • 3/4 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil – Liquid (microwave for 15 seconds)
  • 1 tsp. of Vanilla
  • (optional – Chocolate Chips)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Stir dry ingredients together (flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, pumpkin spice) in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients together (pumpkin puree, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla).
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients (add chocolate chips); mix well.
  5. Using a tablespoon, gather dough and form in to balls, place on a greased cookie sheet about 1 inch away from one another.
  6. Press cookies down and flatten with spoon or hand. The cookies will not spread very much while baking.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes (enjoy the aroma while they bake, its heavenly!)
  8. Once finished, place cookies on a wire rack to cool before eating or storing them in a container.

There you have it Trendsetters, a couple of ways to get you into the Fall spirit without losing your Summer bod!! I hope you find these recipes delicious! If you decide to make one of these, have questions, comments, or concerns don’t hesitate to email me! I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

 

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