Heavenly Paleo Pancakes

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Today I am sharing this super simple, easy, and healthy recipe!! Absolutely no gluten, and no added sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

2 bananas (mashed)

3 eggs

1 Tbsp almond milk (any plant based milk)

1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)

3 Tbsp oat flour (or any alternative flour)

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp coconut oil (for frying)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all ingredients until there are no lumps. Add some coconut oil to the pan on medium low heat, cook the pancake 1-2 minutes on each side till there are lots of bubbles. Yields 4-6 depending how big you make them. Enjoy!!

You can find me on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lookingglassfitness/ I post my workouts and more pictures of food!

Healthy Substitutes for Your Favorite Foods

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If you have ever switched your diet or have seen others do so, you know how hard it is to break ties with certain foods that are highly addictive and or just your favorite foods. A lot of the times the foods that are our favorites before switching our diets are not healthy, so today I am going to share healthy and delicious substitutes for YOUR favorite foods. You can still enjoy delicious healthy food and reap the benefits, healthy food doesn’t have to taste healthy. That is the trick!!

Now, it is actually very easy to substitute foods out for healthier ones. There are health stores everywhere, and even normal grocery stores have health food aisles. You can always find gluten free, reduced or no added sugar options and no saturated fat, organic etc. Options are never ending in the healthy food world, so don’t think eating healthy will limit you because it wont!!! Here are some examples of easy, delicious, healthy substitutes for everyday foods.

Let me start with sweeteners, whether you’re baking, cooking, or adding flourish to your coffee, there are healthy alternatives to pure sugar!

Number 1: Honey, this is a super good alternative to pure sugar, it is organic and nothing is added to it, no color etc. Here are some of the benefits of honey! it helps stabilize metabolism, it is a source of antioxidants, it is a natural source of energy, it aids in prevention of diabetes, and it helps counter pollen allergies!! how awesome is honey? it is really good stuff, and you can’t go wrong with it. You can use it for anything, baking, cooking, in your tea and coffee and I even like to use it as a natural cough soothing remedy when I am sick, it’s uses never end.

Number 2: Coconut sugar, this definitely beats cane sugar with the health side of things. It is 100% organic and again nothing is added, it doesn’t need any help being the star of the show. Yes, this is a bit more expensive but it is definitely worth it. And if you’re worried about adding liquid sweetener to your baked goods this is a great alternative to honey, it acts just like cane sugar but it is definitely better for you. Here are the health benefits!! My favorite part is that it is very low on the glycemic index, this means that unlike cane sugar it doesn’t affect the levels of sugar in your blood already there and it doesn’t have the tendency to raise your blood pressure! That is a huge deal, yes if you eat tons of coconut sugar the effects will be the same as eating cane sugar, but that is the point; less is more.

Number 3: Molasses, molasses is another great alternative to sweeteners. It tastes absolutely amazing on its own but when you add it to your baked goods, salad dressing and coffee it makes all those things taste even better! Plus if you are vegan, molasses is a good option for you because it is calorie dense(good calories) and made from plant matter! This of course is a benefit for everyone, vegan or not. Here are the health benefits of molasses!! It has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product, and it actually has nutritional value unlike other sugars! it contains important minerals and vitamins including; iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. All of those vitamins and minerals are so important to get into your system, so why not eat it in a delicious way and use molasses a substitute for sugar?!

Okay, now that I’ve talked about sugar for three paragraphs lets talk about main parts of dishes.

Pasta and healthier alternatives!!!

Number 1: Gluten free pasta, this is actually super easy to find in any grocery store! and it is pretty much the same price as normal pasta in  my experience. Cutting out gluten is such a huge and wonderful step to take in your diet! I promise you will feel more energized and less full and bloated all the time. I have cut out gluten, most sugar and dairy from my diet(i’m lactose intolerant) and I am so happy i did that for my body.

Number 2: Vegan pasta, yes they actually have pre-made vegan pasta that you cook just like any other pasta. There are so many good brands out there, and what makes this good is it is plant based and it doesn’t have any nasty added ingredients that are bad for you!! I highly recommend them as a substitute for your normal pasta.

Number 3: Veggie noodles, this is a more complicated process but it is super healthy. It is where you take any sturdy vegetable such as squash, cucumber, carrots etc and put them in a spiral slicer that makes them into noodles!! I really love this alternative a lot, its a way to get your veggies in, its gluten free, natural and you don’t have to worry about bad ingredients. You can find a spiral slicer for cheap in any home store such as bed bath and beyond and even amazon. I highly recommend veggie noodles.

Breads and breakfast foods made healthy!!

There are so many ways to keep making delicious breads and breakfast foods without using any added sugar, dairy or gluten!! I have several recipes already on this very blog that you can go look at, and I have many more to come!!!

Number 1: no flour, yes you can bake goodies with absolutely no flour!! how is this done? by adding in natural ingredients that do the same job as flour, such as; bananas, oats, dates, and chia seeds. I have a recipe coming soon that is gluten free banana bread (absolutely no flour needed) and you’ll see exactly how it is done!!

Number 2: oats, rolled oats or just normal oats are a great substitute for flour! all you do is put them in a blender and create a solid mass of powdered oats, I used this method in my gluten and dairy free pancakes a few blog posts back!! It is super healthy and easy as oats are very accessible. Link to my gluten and dairy free pancakes:Dairy and Gluten Free Pancakes

Number 3: Gluten free flour and plant based flour. Gluten free flour does not act the same way as normal flour, it lacks the rising property but it is a good alternative for most of your baked goods. my personal favorite substitute is plant based flours, I use these all the time when bake; Almond flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour are all great substitutes!! plus they add an extra flavor in your goods. I would say I use almond flour the most when I am baking, I love the results. The one draw back is plant based flour is pretty expensive and aren’t sold in large quantities. I would say the cheapest way to cut gluten out of your baked goods is to just not put any flour in it. You’d be surprised of how many things you can use in place of flour.

Alternatives to dairy products!!

You can still get the benefit from “milk” without eating cow milk or other dairy products. here is how.

Number 1: Plant based milk, this is a way healthier alternative for so many reasons. I am lactose intolerant so for me I don’t have a say in the matter but I can tell you plant based milks are delicious and full of nutrients. these include; almond milk(my favorite), coconut milk, soy milk and so many more!! Here are some health benefits to plant based milk; there are less calories in these milks than normal dairy milk, and they have really good nutrients that are really good for your body!!!

Number 2: Coconut oil, I use this as a substitute for butter all of the time. I use it to cook dinner in a pan, I put it in baked goods etc. It works the exact same as butter but it is way healthier for you and it takes less of it to do the same job as butter. Here are some health benefits of coconut oil;  it increases the amount of good cholesterol in your body known as HDL, and it helps convert the bad cholesterol LDL into good cholesterol, it also helps promote a healthy heart which will prevent risk of heart disease.

Rice and grain alternatives!!

I am sure a lot of people think white rice and grains are good for us, this is wrong. White rice, a lot like white bread does more harm to your internal system than good. The same with a lot of grains. So here are some healthy alternatives.

Number 1: Bulgar wheat, instead of white rice try Bulgar. It actually takes less time to cook, it is about the same cost BUT it is way healthier for our bodies. Another option is Quinoa, again cooks just like normal rice but is way better for you and lastly, brown rice. All three options are way better than jasmine rice(white rice), and there are many more options as well!! They are all full of amazing vitamins and nutrients that are super good for your body and won’t clog up your system like white rice.

For the grains:

Number 1: stick to whole grains that haven’t been processed and refined. This blocks out a lot of nasty things from getting into your body. These whole grains include; whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, whole rye, freekeh, buckwheat, Bulgar, quinoa and couscous. You can not go wrong if you incorporate any of those grains into your diet instead of non-whole grains that have been processed.

There is just a taste of how you can substitute healthy food into your diet!! I hope you enjoyed. Follow me on instagram where I post workouts and even more pictures of food!! Here is the link to my page: https://www.instagram.com/lookingglassfitness/

 

Does The Set “health zone” Apply to Everyone?

Body Mass Index For Child - Geocvc.co regarding Child's Bmi Chart There are body mass testing calculations, and charts that all tell you one thing; how much you should weigh based on age, height, and gender. Are these realistic?

No!! Every single BODY is different, you can’t just assign a number you should weigh based on age, height and gender, that is not realistic at all. You can tell me the healthy amount of fat I should have, but you can’t tell me a specific number I should weigh. When you got to the doctor they usually weigh you(during a physical exam), and they measure you and based on all of that they look at a chart and determine if you are the in the “health zone”, overweight or underweight. Now this is a HUGE drawback, why? because muscle weighs more than fat, so if you weigh someone who is 5’7″ is 19 years old and is female but she is in good shape and has more muscle than fat it is still going to show “overweight” on the chart. Especially if that said person is very fit and has a lot of built muscle.

I think that whatever weight you feel comfortable at, healthy at, energetic at, is the RIGHT weight for you. I don’t believe there is one set health zone for everybody, I think health zones change with each person. We all have a set weight our body is programmed to have, so to speak. It works very hard to maintain that weight within 5 pounds (both directions) so forcing someone to either gain weight or lose weight because the chart says so is ridiculous, because they’re already at the healthiest weight for them (unless they are obese or severely malnourished).

As long as you feel fit, healthy, energized, and are at a weight YOU feel happy with then don’t worry about theses charts. All that matters is for you to be healthy, you don’t need a chart telling you how to do that, listen to your body and learn how to understand it. That is the only tool you need for you to stay healthy, abide by your bodies personal needs and you’ll be just fine.

Check out my Instagram @lookingglassfitness I post workouts there all the time!! Have a great day everyone!

 

How to Stay Fit and Healthy While Being a Full Time Student

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There’s a cliché around that says “you don’t have time to eat healthy and workout when you’re in college”. I am here to say that is FALSE! If you want to know how to stay healthy and fit as a full-time student, keep reading. Link to related post:Planning Ahead

Time management, I’m sure if you’re a student you’ve heard that a lot. It is a very important component to this topic, if you manage your time correctly you should have no problem getting in a workout. Even if it is a ten minute workout, that’s better than NOT doing anything at all. Working out has a benefit to your brain and mental health as well, it releases chemicals that are natural pain killers which is why you always feel better after a workout! So, instead of being frustrated with an assignment, or getting stuck, take a break and get a workout in. You’ll feel more refreshed and I promise your mind will be more clear so you can tackle your homework.

Quality is better than quantity, yes its true everyone should be working out 3-7 days a week. However, that isn’t always realistic depending on your major, and work load. so, if you can’t get a workout in everyday make the ones you do have time for really count. Make sure you perform all exercises properly to be most effective, and maybe workout with someone to hold you accountable for both working out, and doing everything the right and safe way. I’ll be doing a post on the most effective exercises for weight loss/toning, but I can tell you right now. Do HIIT, and full body workouts, that way you not only get cardio, but you get really great health benefits. For people who don’t have much time, full body workouts are the way to go.

You don’t need a gym to stay fit, you can work out in your dorm or apartment. You don’t need fancy expensive equipment to be fit, all you need is a few minutes, commitment and your own body weight. You don’t need anything more than that to maintain and build a platform for fitness. It will also take less time because you won’t have to walk/drive to the gym, you can just do your workout there in your dorm.

You always have time to eat healthy, you’re in the cafeteria anyway for dinner, why not choose healthy dishes? I know healthy foods don’t always look appetizing, and they may be hard to find on a college campus but I promise there are always healthy options. Give your body and mind the right fuel for your long days of class and studying, choose greens and good proteins like chicken. Choose water over soda, choose fruit over dessert. Your body and mind will thank you for giving it good fuels instead of junk, you’ll notice changes in your body as well. A big part of fitness is nutrition, yes you build muscle in the gym but you fuel and sculpt those muscles in the kitchen.

Mindset, is everything. If you don’t want to change your ways then I can’t force you, you can completely disregard everything above. if you want to be fit and healthy YOU have to make changes within yourself, no one can make you flip a switch in your brain. Your health is in your hands, and you have the final say. If you decide you want to make healthy decision-making a habit, then it will happen but if you decide against it, then nothing will change.

KEYPOINTS:

-Time management-is key

-Quality is better than quantity-always

-You don’t need a gym to stay fit-just you

-You always have time to eat healthy-you’re there anyway, why not choose health?

-Mindset-is everything

You can find me on instagram where I post fitness videos!! @lookingglassfitness

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!!!!

The Key To Body Confidence

Body confidence is a huge subject in today’s world, and it is very controversial. I wanted to come on here and share my story and say that body confidence is very important no matter who you are.

It isn’t until recently I started to love my body and all of its flaws, it takes time. Some people aren’t blessed with the “perfect body”, I had to really work to get to where I am today and I still have a long ways to go on my journey. I’ve shared my story before on here but I still think it’s relevant to help people. It is a new year which means people are going to set “new years resolutions” that I promise most will only keep at it for a month or two. I have a blog I did this time last year touching on why it’s a bad idea to go down that path. But I wanted to share my story again for those who are serious about changing their lifestyles.

I used to be overweight, I am not exaggerating. I have always been physically active but my body just got used to it and it didn’t keep me thin at all. Partially it is the genes I got from my parents, and partially the unhealthy lifestyle I followed. Over the past few years i’ve been working out consistently and eating well, I’ve shed my unwanted fat but I can say that I am by no means “perfect”. I have the scars still from when I was overweight, I call them my tiger stripes instead of “stretch marks”, because it’s not as ugly sounding. I used to hate them so much, I couldn’t go to the gym in just a sports bra and leggings, I couldn’t wear a bikini in public, I always wore a one piece instead. I hated my body, I was ashamed even though I had no reason to be. I thought people would see my stretch marks and judge me, I thought that having a bit of chub was a bad and embarrassing thing. One day I realized no one really cares but me, no one is going to notice my stretch marks, and if they do who cares? I decided to wear a bikini to the pool and the beach instead of a one piece, I discovered if you believe you are confident for enough time you will eventually BE confident and you don’t have to pretend anymore. I am still not perfect, I still get bloated, have food babies after i eat, and yes I still have a little chub. But you know what? I am the only one that will notice my flaws, no one else cares. So, I workout in just a sports bra and leggings and I walk around like I don’t have any flaws.

So, what’s the key to being confident in your body? Love your body, and don’t care what others may or may not think of you. At the end of the day, you need to do whatever makes YOU feel happy and confident about yourself. Live for yourself and your health, not for anyone else.

Follow me on instagram for videos of my workouts!!!! @lookingglassfitness

Have a wonderful day loves!!!! keep smiling.

The Technique of Smoothies

Today I am going to talk about the proper way to build your smoothies, believe it or not it is actually very important to know this.

One of the first things is this; you only want to put in an amount of ingredients that you would normally eat. It is very easy to throw several fruits and veggies into the blender with other ingredients, this is dangerous. Just because all of the ingredients are all blended into one mass doesn’t mean it’s less calories.

Only put the amount of food in the blender you would normally eat, otherwise it is a caloric overload and you are essentially over-eating without your body really knowing. So don’t throw three oranges, two bananas, two hand fulls of spinach etc. Only blend what you normally eat, like an apple, some seeds, 6-7 leaves of spinach etc. That way you don’t overload in calories.

The second thing I want to talk about is your metabolism/hunger enzymes. So pretty much when you are drinking anything, smoothie, coffee, hot chocolate etc. Your body doesn’t know really. When you are drinking your food like in a smoothie it doesn’t fire up your hunger receptors(enzymes) so your body doesn’t know if it is full or not. How to fix this? chew your smoothie. Yes, you read that right. You need to fire up those enzymes and the way to do that is chewing, even if you’re chewing liquid. So chew your smoothie that way your stomach will know if you are full or not.

There is a superfood smoothie recipe down below, you may change the ingredients and measurements to suit you!

you can watch videos of my workouts on my Instagram: @lookingglassfitness a new video is up today!!!

Green Super Food Smoothie:

1/4 cup almond milk

3 sticks of celery

1 apple

1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin seeds

blend, enjoy!!!

How to eat healthy in college

Everyone says that eating healthy in college is hard. Well, I’m here to say that it isn’t if you are determined to find the healthy food. Every college cafeteria has a stir fry station or a salad bar, go for those types of foods with high protein and good carbs.

If you choose the stir fry station go for the brown rice instead of the white rice, take extra vegetables and less of the sodium filled sauce. Try eating as much meat as you can, if there’s chicken available that day take it instead of the slice of pizza next to it. I know it’s easier to take un-healthy food, and sometimes you want comfort food instead of salad or chicken and rice. However, you know you’ll feel better physically and mentally if you go for the salad. So why not just go for the salad? Eating healthy consistently is a habit you have to make and sometimes it takes a long time, it won’t happen over night.

In order to choose to make that habit, you have to really want it. If you don’t truly want to make a difference and eat healthy for your health then you will never be consistent and it will never be a habit. Give your body the right fuel it needs to function to its highest potential by choosing the healthiest options available in school.

Sometimes there aren’t many healthy options, so you choose the lesser of the two evils. You just have to be mindful of your decisions, that’s truly the first step in eating healthy in general. Avoid the “freshman 20” by eating high protein and good carbs, meaning a lot of white meat and vegetables.

The full arm workout i did is below!!! check out my instagram @lookingglassfitness for videos of my workouts!!!! I hope you all are having a good week so far!!

1.x15 tricep kickbacks

2.x15 front raises

3.x15 90 degree lateral raises

4.x15 reverse grip front raise

repeat 4-6 X!!!!!!!!!

I also did about 15 minutes of intense cardio alternating between sprinting and jump roping in 2 minute intervals.

 

Just 5 Minutes Can Change Your life.

I’m going to talk about how to make time for workouts throughout your day. Sometimes it seems hard to find the time to get a workout in, the key word there is “seems”. Workouts don’t need to be two hours long to be effective, in fact shorter more concentrated workouts are the best for gaining and building muscle.

What I do is I plan my workouts around my day every single day, I have a lot that happens in a day and my schedule is a bit different every day but I ALWAYS get my workout in. This is because I block out 30-45 minutes in the morning or afternoon, sometimes as a break from homework or before school. Normal breaks that you take throughout the day that you would usually sit on your phone or watch TV, are great opportunities to get your body moving.

Even a five minute ab workout is better than no workout. If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare in your day find 10-15 where you can do quick high intensity workouts, you’ll feel better, more relaxed and your head will be much clearer to continue with your day!!!\

The full leg workout I did is below!! check out my instagram @lookingglassfitness for videos of my workouts!!!!

  1. x15 weighted deadlifts with resistance band
  2. x20 jump switch lunges
  3. x15 in-out jump squats
  4. x15 tip-toe squats
  5. x15 sumo squats with calf raise
  6. x20 tip-toe side to side weighted

REPEAT 4-6X!!!!

 

Planning Ahead

You’re more likely to go through with things if you have a plan of how and what to do. I’m going to talk about planning your workouts and meals for the week, if you plan your workouts they’ll be easier to do. Every sunday I write out the weekdays with the muscle groups I’ll be working, for example: Monday, Core and cardio. Tuesday, legs and glutes. When I plan out my week like that I NEVER miss a workout except of course my scheduled rest day.

Planning out your workouts at the beginning of the week applies yourself mentally to your physical goals, you will be more motivated and focused on your workouts than if you don’t plan them. You can still of course spontaneously switch it up at the last minute but at least you have a guide to start with.

The same thing goes for meals, I meal prep and plan meals for the week. I make overnight oats, prep salad makings etc. You’ll be more likely to stick to your “healthy food” plan by making things for the week in advance, again it’s the act of mentally applying yourself to your physical goal that will hold you accountable.

I do my meal prepping and workout planning on sunday EVERY week as well as writing out one goal for that week(fitness or non-fitness related) You can see my previous blog post about that by clicking back a ways. It has honestly been the healthiest thing I’ve ever done for myself and I now LOVE eating salad(which i used to despise) and other healthy foods by prepping my food and forcing myself to stay on top of it. I urge you to try it out.

The full workout I did today is below!! Check out my instagram @lookingglassfitness for videos of my workouts!!!!

GLUTES:

  1. x10 weighted drop squats
  2. x12 weighted curtsy lunges(stay low the entire time, don’t stand up when switching legs).
  3. x10 Weighted single leg deadlifts(spirals).
  4. x12 donkey kicks with heavy resistance band

REPEAT 4-6X!!!!

ARMS:

  1. x8 hammer curls
  2. x8 shoulder presses
  3. x8 butterflies

REPEAT 4X!!

  1. x10 concentrated bicep curls
  2. x10 pushups

REPEAT 3X!!

  1. x8 tricep dips
  2. x8 chest fly
  3. x30 slow pulse tricep extensions

REPEAT 4X!!

Breaks Are Good

When you workout a lot you have a “rest day” or a couple rest days scheduled into your week. However, sometimes a bigger break is more effective for your body.

I took about 5 days off from working out and I’m physically stronger and motivated when I workout. So let me tell you that taking a bigger break every now and then is a GREAT thing for you physically and mentally if you are a fitness junkie like me. So instead of stressing out about taking a bigger break from working out, don’t because it could do you some good.

When you workout everyday for months on end you sometimes don’t feel like working out and you lose some motivation, taking a break to reset is a good thing. Your body soaks up everything you’ve been doing and BOOM you’re ready to kick some butt even harder than before. You’ll be physically stronger so you can lift heavier etc. and you’ll be more motivated than ever to be the best version of you. Trust me taking a longer break every now and then is a really good thing.

So make sure you take a rest day in your week and every month or two maybe take 2-4 days off, you won’t regret it.

Check out my Instagram @lookingglassfitness for videos of my workouts and pictures of food!!! The full body/cardio workout I did today is below.

This will burn a ton of calories, tone your whole body and it’s cardio!!

Beginners should only do this once, Intermediate 2-3, advanced 4-6.

Stairs: up and down= 1 rep.

Between each rep of stairs do the workout below. so, run the stairs then at the top do the situps, run the stairs then do the pushup/toe touches etc.

THE WORKOUT:

STAIRS

  1. x12 weighted sit up/ twist
  2. x12 push up/ toe touches
  3. x12 weighted bridges with resistance band on thighs
  4. x12 weighted low squats with band
  5. x12 tricep extensions
  6. x12 reverse lunge/shoulder press(each leg)

REPEAT 1-4X