Cranberry-Lime Drink with a splash of Strawberry Watermelon!

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Hey everybody,

I wanted to share a very healthy beverage recipe with you.  I drink a couple of glasses of this every day, usually with both lunch and dinner. It certainly is more enjoyable than just plain water and at the same time is providing quite a few health benefits as well.

To mix a half gallon that you can keep in the refrigerator you’ll need:

1. 1/2 quart of 100% pure cranberry juice, not from concentrate
2. 6-8 limes
3. Mio brand (or if you have a local supermarket brand) Strawberry Watermelon water flavoring

Put a generous amount of ice cubes into a half gallon beverage container.  Pour in the cranberry juice.  I’ve been using the Lakewood brand, but since we just got a Trader Joe’s here in San Antonio, I’ve switched over to their brand as it’s about half the price!  Pure cranberry juice can be expensive, but Trader Joe’s comes through for you if you have one close by.  Now pure cranberry juice is a little on the tart and bitter side, because it doesn’t have any added sugars but this is also what makes it so healthy.  Cranberry juice has a high mix of natural vitamins and minerals AND it’s also highly effective in the treatment of urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections.  It also has a healthy dose of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemical nutrients to help protect you against heart disease and cancer.

Since it’s high in vitamin C and other  components, it can help break down and prevent the formation of kidney stones. A lesser known fact is that it also contains components that help prevent the formation of oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease and plaque.

… OK, so next you’ll want to slice the limes in half and squeeze the lime juice into the container.  I use a lime press for this to make sure that I get as much of the juice out as possible.

Some of the benefit of lime juice is that it can aid in weight loss, it’s good for your skin, and it aids in digestion.  It’s famous as a cure for scurvy, the disease that’s caused by a deficiency of vitamin C and characterized by frequent infections, cracked lips and lip corners, ulcers on your tongue and mouth.  Due to a large amount of vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which are class-1 antioxidants, lime juice helps your skin and naturally helps depress body odor.

… Now you can add 6-8 squirts of the Mio Strawberry Watermelon water flavoring.  This stuff is pretty concentrated, so this is the amount that works for me.  You may need to adjust the amount to your preferences.  Now the Mio, or any other brand of drink flavoring has artificial sweeteners in them, so if you have a problem with that for any reason, feel free to sweeten with your preferred source.  I just happen to love the flavor so I use either the Mio, or my local HEB brand of the same flavor.

Once you have it all mixed up, put it in the refrigerator to chill.  Now you’ve got a healthy, tasty, go -to beverage that packs a pretty good amount of vitamins and minerals available to you rather than reaching for a diet soda or a beer.

If you try it, let me know how you like it and if you made any modifications.  Until then…

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony

10 Things To Do With A Bosu Ball…

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It’s interesting when I see a new person walk into the gym.  It can be painfully obvious if it’s their first time in a gym, EVER. They usually will walk around and timidly look at the machines, hoping to find one that they’ve seen somewhere before.  They’ll get on it or in it, and if they’re lucky, there’ll be a little graphic placard that tries to illustrate the movement and the muscles involved.

Unfortunately, most first timers have a difficult time trying to figure out from these hieroglyphics, just how to correctly perform the exercise.  It’s at this point that I’m hoping they will have the courage to ask for some assistance.  I learned a long time ago not to volunteer to show someone how to do an exercise without being asked. Let’s just say some people’s pride is more important than risking an injury…

Now, when it comes to the Bosu Ball, we’re at a whole new level!  It’s one of those mysterious pieces of equipment that most people tend to ignore.  That’s too bad, because it really is a versatile training tool that can be used in so many different ways.  Here are 10 exercises that you can do with the Bosu Ball that will target your chest, triceps, hips, legs, glutes and core. How’s THAT for versatile?

So now, go have yourselves a ball!  A Bosu Ball!

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony

Avocado Chocolate Pudding – Video Recipe

***Disclaimer #1: I was not going to post this yet because I wanted to put up an exercise demonstration instead.  Unfortunately, YouTube is taking a LONG time to process that video.

***Disclaimer #2: I usually put 1 Tbsp. of Vanilla Extract and 1 tsp. of Cinnamon in this recipe as well, but I had run out of the vanilla extract and totally forgot to put the cinnamon in until after I had already edited the video.  You can just as easily sprinkle the cinnamon on top when you serve it.  I’m REAL big on cinnamon, but that will be the subject of another article coming soon…

…now for the article…

After much interest  from my clients, I’m finally posting my recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding. I originally found the basis for this recipe online somewhere and after thinking about it for a while, I figured out how to reduce the amount of sugar (Maple Syrup) and to increase the protein content while still maintaining a smooth, chocolate-y texture and flavor.

For this recipe you’ll need the following:

2 – ripe, peeled pitted and diced avocados – medium sized
1/2 cup pure maple syrup – light amber
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Syntha-6 Chocolate Peanut Butter protein powder
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of Sea Salt

In a blender add the ingredients in the order listed.  This will make the blending process easier.  Once everything is in the blender, start pulsing until the mixture starts to fold into itself.  You’ll need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender to loosen any dry powder and get it to move down into the stream.

You’ll see when you have a nice, smooth, consistent texture.  Empty the contents of the blender either into a large bowl or individual serving cups, cover and chill.  If you’re in a hurry, you can eat it as soon as it comes out of the blender!

This is actually a very healthy dessert.  The avocados provide healthy fats as well as a good amount of fiber.  The cocoa powder is naturally high in antioxidants and is reasonably low in calories.  The protein powder helps make this a power snack as well by providing high quality protein, branch chain amino acids and other beneficial nutrients.  The almond milk is low calorie as well and provides gluten free protein to boot.

Maple syrup is still a sugar, but we’ve been able to reduce the amount used in the recipe by half since the protein powder has it’s own no calorie sweetener.

I normally put vanilla extract and cinnamon in as well, but some people don’t like the additional flavor.  You can add or delete according to your tastes.

This is a dessert that you don’t have to be ashamed of as well as being delicious! Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Stay Fit Forever!
Tony

FocusOn: Side Plank Variations

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Today’s FocusOn session is dedicated to variations of the side plank. The side plank is a very effective core strengthening exercise that heavily recruits the external and internal oblique muscles pictured below:
External and Internal ObliquesThese muscles contribute greatly to core stability and strength.  When coupled with a low body fat index, they also add to the appearance of a trim, well defined waistline.

Side planks can vary in intensity and complexity.  The video will demonstrate the more popular variations in increasing difficulty.

Side Plank Bridge
Stationary Side Plank
Star Side Plank
Side Plank Runner
Side Plank with Elbow Rotation

Remember to stack the elbow or the hand directly over the shoulder and to make a straight line from your head to your feet through your midline.

Start off with the basic side plank bridge and work your way up the ladder to create a strong, stable and visually pleasing waistline!

Stay Fit Forever!

Hummus Deconstruct – Video Recipe

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OK,

Today we take traditional hummus and do a little tweaking to make it a whole lot healthier for our purposes while keeping a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

The recipe calls for:

1 – can Garbanzo beans/Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
2 – Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 – Tbsp. Lemon or Lime Juice
2 – Tbsp. Chia Seeds (left to soak in 6 oz. water for 10 min.)

Season with:
Garlic Powder
Mrs. Dash
Cayenne Pepper

By using the chia seeds, we’ve effectively reduced the fat content of the recipe by 26 grams, or basically 240 calories… ALL FROM FAT!!

Plus we’ve added Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s as well as an additional 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber in just TWO TABLESPOONS of this stuff!

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Tony