Digestive Smoothie

It's said that the mix of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander are a powerful digestion stimulator. Although I kept the corainder out of the smoothie (that I think would be too weird...) this smoothie has antioxidants, digestive aids and healthy fats great for hormone function. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup kale (I used frozen chopped kale)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • teaspoon cardamom
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • Water to desired consistency. (I like this one a little more on the watery side)

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife.

Fit Chick Friday - Ginel Stephenson

We are an amazing community of Fit Chicks right here in Edmonton and I want to highlight that community. Each week I'll be featuring a new new Fit Chick on Friday's. Learn about trainers, teacher, instructors or you ladies who are just into a good ol workout!

This week I had to have my friend Ginel Stephenson on. We met in a moms group when our now almost 6 year olds were tiny 4/5 week old babies! She is one fit and fun mama!

 

Certifications:

Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, CSEP CPT and CEP CrossFit Level 2

Where to find Ginel:

She has a garage converted into a amazing home gym where she takes clients through True Shape Fitness.

What are your specialties?

CrossFit style training, general nutrition, nutrition for endurance athletes, weightloss and chronic medical conditions. 

What got you into fitness?

Being a kid that couldn't sit still, I realizes that there was no way I could work in a career sitting behind a desk or behind a counter. I love moment and how it makes you feel.

What/Who is your biggest motivation?

Challenging myself is my biggest motivation. I am able to go out to my gym and work out on my own no problem, but there needs to be a reason for me to work out so it doesnt become mundane. Whether its getting a few kf's on a lift, decreasing my time in distance training or getting one more pullup. I enjoy fitness as a sport and tracking improvements and gains. I LOVE CrossFit competitions and ultramarathons. I have yet to complete one solo but am working on 120 km this year.

What got you into to training people?

It was a gradual process and many other instructors and coaches along the way. Wach different niche was foudn through different passions of others that I have been honoured to work with and for. 

What are some of your favourite exercises or equipment?

Olympic lifting, the squat rack and my incline trainer treadmill that goes 40% incline.

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Trail running.

What is your favourite indoor activity?

Baking and reading the newspaper. (She said she's lame, but that sounds glorious to me)

Any advice you'd like to give to other women?

It's most imperative that you do NOt compare yourself to others. If we were all alike, earth would be a pretty boring place to be! You need to set your own goals and have accountability for those. 
Also, listening to our body. Mother Nature is pretty damn smart and had got us this far. Some days it's okay to sleep in past your 5am alarm set for a workout and just rest and recover. We actually don't make any gains in the gym, it's the rest, recovery and rebuilding time where that happens. 

Find Ginel at www.trueshapefitness.net on Facebook or her new Instagram account!

A shot of Ginel and her husband running together. 

A shot of Ginel and her husband running together. 

The Chopped Leaf Beet Bowl

Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.

This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort. 

One bite has all this

One bite has all this

I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans. 

Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

22 Pushups for 22 Days Challenge

I've seen a few friends post about this challenge and finally a good friend said she wanted to do it and well... here we are. I donated my $22 at www.woundedwarriors.ca (you should too) and today I start the challenge. 

Suicide is a real threat to our Armed Forces personnel, veterans and first responders. Let's show them some love by having some fun and spreading the world. The more people that share what they are doing, the more exposure the people have to it, eventually prompting them to engage! Just like I did. You, as the one single human being you are can always make a difference.

To keep it fun, check out my Facebook page everyday for a new style of push up to try! 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Tea Time

 Throughout the centuries tea has been a custom of calm, gathering, relaxation and tradition. 

Chinese tea ceremonies at weddings as an offering to parents and thanking them for raising them.

In Indian, chai tea can be found on every street corner.

In Morocca, mint tea is practically their national drink. 

Classic British afternoon tea time. (I always picture cucumber sandwiches and the Queen)

And in Russia "Zavarka" is tea time with a piece of cake. They called it "naked" if not eaten with cake. 

No matter where in the world, or what tradition, tea time is a time for oneself. A time to sit and enjoy this small pleasure or warmth when it's cool or cooling when it's hot. This is this weeks Self Care Sunday.

Take the time to go a tea store and browse, smell, ask questions about what teas are for different things. Possibly see if a friend sells tea through a direct sales business. (I love supporting local business and friends). Or even take some time in the tea aisle at the grocery store. I like to stand there and read all the interesting flavour mixtures companies have come up with. 

Set aside some time this week and plan it in your calendar. Yes, we are planning 30 minutes of relaxing tea time people. Maybe plan everyday at a certain time you take this 10-20, or 30 minutes to sit down with your tea. 

A few tips for your tea time:

  • Turn off t.v''s or media if you can. Or be in another room if you are using it to distract your kids!
  • Find your favorite mug. Everything is better in your favorite mug.
  • Slow down and pay attention to all the sensations of drinking the tea. Notice the temperature as your mug touches your lips.  
  • Is the tea bitter, sweet, sour? I love mint tea and I like the tingle left on my tounge long after the sip is gone. 
  • Feel the warmth of the tea in the throat and belly. 
  • Pay attention to the aroma.
  • Sit quietly for a little while. Set a time if you are concerned about getting back to your busy day. 

How do you like your tea? sweet with sugar or honey? Smooth with cream or milk? 

My favorite is mint tea, black without sugar or milk. 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

My verdict on astrology is still out, but as a Cancer (and a Pitta in the Ayurvedic world) I have a small problem with perfectionism. Sometimes I find myself not even starting a task because I know it will not work out perfectly or know that I don't have the time to do it perfectly.

This evening as I am hand washing some dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I started thinking about the mess that currently is my home and everything that needs to be done to clean it. To perfection no less.

Today, for several reason I do not have the energy for this task. I normally may have even left the dishes in the sink to "catch up" on them tomorrow, because I certainly don't have the time to clean the whole kitchen and then house. I did them though, to make at least a small impact on the mess.

I think this is many people's problem with fitness and/or nutrition. Inner dialogue may sound a little like this: 

"If I am not going to perform the most efficiently in the gym, why should I even go? How can I perform the most efficiently if I don't know what I am  doing? I need to research or read about how to do things perfectly so I can make the most of my time while there. Okay, research first, get a plan and then go."

Days, weeks or even months pass. Waiting for the perfect plan, perfect moment, perfect outfit, perfect timing or whatever. Then it becomes a kitchen full of dishes that never get done. Am I right?

What if we stopped trying to make everything perfect and we just try? What if I learn to accept the mess around me for what it is, but know I can make a small impact right here, right now. A small step in the direction I wish to travel. Soon these small steps turn into these big milestones. These milestones turn into big moments and these big moments turn into the way I live my life?

Maybe at lunch when I have some cheesecake instead of sticking to my salad and egg whites I accept the "mess" and continue on with my plan instead of "well today is shot, may as well go down hill from here."

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take a small step in the direction you wish to travel. The rest will follow eventually. 

Love, 

Jen

 

Go Bananas Smoothie

A simple and delicious smoothie. I usually like the banana frozen and it gives it a thicker texture but today I used a fresh banana so I added ice to liquify it more. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ice if not using frozen banana

Mix all together in a blender and enjoy right away. Sop yummy.!

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Ooooo I love roasted chickpeas. I make them in a few flavors, but the honey and cinnamon are hitting the spot today for a bit of sweetness! These are fairly simple to make, high in fiber and easy to put in containers for on the go snacks. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • optional 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Rinse chickpeas under water in a strainer. 
  3. Place chickpeas on a cookie sheet or pan and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and set temperature at 350 degrees. 
  5. Mix cinnamon, honey and optional salt in a bowl. 
  6. Stir in the chickpeas and coat evenly. 
  7. Spread chickpeas back out onto the sheet and in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

As my daughter says "they start sweet and then nice and crunchy!" A nice healthy snack and they make the house smell soooooo good while cooking.

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Walking

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. Last week we talked about A Simple Bath. Did you make time to care for yourself this week? It's okay if you didn't. Guess what? You get another shot this week! 

This week I want to chat about walking. Again a simple self care most of us can do. Almost every day I wake before my family. I'm an early riser. A few days a week I meet my friends and we do workouts at 6am, but one day this week I woke up and went for a walk in my neighborhood. I felt the rising sunshine on my face, the still crisp cool morning air on my skin and since I was walking without a "purpose" or "place to go", I was able to slow down and take in the smell of the trees, lawns being watered and notice details of my neighbors houses I've never noticed before. 

I finally walked far enough to this space that open up and overlooks the river valley. I've been here before, but never really paid attention to the view or noticed the trail that leads down the side! I've always been so busy as I pass by. I took a moment to sit on the ground and have a few big beautiful breaths and stretches. I got home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as much as a sweat dripping, muscle burning workout. 

Walking is a simple task, it feels good and gives you the time to reflect. Daydream a little, sort out problems in your head, listen to your favorite music, plan your week ahead, reconfirm mantras and positive affirmations. You can also check out this wonderful post 17 Health Benefits of Walking.

A few tips for getting in your walk:

  • Schedule a day (or more) and the time that you will take this walk. Put it in your calendar and note it's as important and someone asking you to do something else. Note if you are a morning or evening person and possible go with the sunrise or sunset.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. This isn't a fashion show.
  • Download some calming music or an inspiring podcast if your neighborhood or time of day is a noisy one.
  • Talk a water if you will be gone a while or it's hot out.
  • Get help with children. Ask your partner for this time alone, ask another friend to watch your kids and then when you are done you watch hers and she can go for a walk. If you have to bring the kids, there is no shame in giving them toys or distractions in the stroller to occupy them a little. Remember this is about you, not them.  
  • Put your phone on airplane or don't bring it. No Facebook or tweets or emails or phone calls. This is your time to be with yourself. 

 

Share with me where your walking journey takes you.

Love,

Jen 

Quinoa Kale Cakes

Quinoa Kale Cakes, say that three times fast! Growing up my best friend was Polish. Her mom was thick accent, moved from the motherland only a few yeas ago Polish. She was a stern but wonderful woman that was always trying to feed me. Always. She made these delicious morsels called potato pancakes I adore. She made them for me sometimes when I wasn't getting her daughter into trouble. Hehe. I have never been able to perfect the potato pancake quite like her, but I like to think these quinoa cakes are a healthier version that do hers a tiny bit of justice. 

These cakes are not very stable or hold together until they are cooking ( a lot like potato pancakes), but once the cheese crisps up and the eggs cook they firm up a bit. So do not fret!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I like to precook more then this and additional quinoa can be used in salads for lunch throughout the week.)
  • 1 cup egg whites OR 3 large eggs. 
  • 1 cup fine chopped kale. Removing the hard stem first.
  • 1.5 cups cheese. I used Mozzarella, but I've also used Parmesan or Cheddar.  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

How to:

  1. Preheat eh pan to a medium high heat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl really well. 
  3. Scoop up about 2 tbsp of mixture and place in the pan, spreading it out a bit. 
  4. Flip when the edges start to brown a bit.
  5. Press down to cook the other side flattening and remove from heat when done. 
  6. Enjoy alone or I like Thai chili sauce or any condiment to you hearts desire!

 

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Fitness Goal Setting

Goal setting. Seems simple enough right? "I want to loose weight"," I want to build muscles" or "I want to run a half marathon." Seem simple that think about something we want and boom it's a goal. 

But is it? Not to pull out all the cheesey fitness quotes but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said "A goal without a plan is just a wish." 

So how do we set fitness goals? How do we make it a goal and not a wish, a real live attainable thing? Let's take it back to elementary school with how to solve a problem. Figure out the 5 W's and the H.

  • What? What is your goal? Do you have an event you want to race in, a weight/size you are looking to achieve? This I think is the easy part of goal setting of course. What do you want?
  • When? When do you want to achieve this goal by? Thinking something reasonable, maybe planning to run a marathon in 3 weeks and you've never run a day in your life is a bit too much too fast. But set some timelines of the things you wish to obtain.
  • Who? Who do you need to support you in your goal? Tell these people your plans. They can hold you accountable and/or help you with your goals. You might be surprised to find the people rooting you on and/or you inspire to do the same! Do you need a personal trainer or coach? Do you need workout buddies?
  • Where? Seems like an odd question, but in reality, where do you need to be in order to obtain this goal? Do you need a gym membership since home workouts and self motivation you know are a hurdle for you? Do you need to be able to run outside, do you have a place to do this?
  • Why? Ah, this is the tricky one. Think good and hard about why you want to obtain this goal. If you heart isn't really there, the love and joy of obtaining your goal likely won't. I wrote a bit about loving your personal fitness journey and it helping in this post Love Your Fitness . Take some time to sit and actually think about why you want to do something, because if it comes from this place of self hate or self loathing, you'll likely hate every minute. Taking an honest look at your feelings will help you use them constructively, instead of burying them inside a workout. 
  • How? Sit down and write out how. I'm a pen and paper gal, where if I write something down its official. Maybe you like spreadsheets of how often you plan to workout or what your nutrition will look like. Write it out, type it, print and put it somewhere you see often. A reference to look back on to see if you are on track, or a place to write what did or didn't work. Remembering sometimes our journeys take us different routes then we thought.

Now go and take action!!!! You have planned and prepared, go crush those goals!

Love, 

Jen

PMS Smoothie

Aunt Flow likes to visit every month, and while she is a natural process in life, most of us aren't fans. Check out this smoothie recipe for some relief before she packs her bags and leaves

The base is Raspberry Leaf Tea that’s been brewed and chilled. Some moms might know this from being pregnant to try and induce labor. It has antispasmodic properties (supresses muscle spasm) that helps with cramping.

The flaxseed has essential fatty acid that also helps relieves symptoms and aid in proper grandular function (hormome balance).

The kiwi and spinach are high in calcium for backache, cramping and nervousness. The higher magnesium contents in these foods, also helps you absorb the calcium.  Banana’s potassium and B6 help with water retention, not to mention have the right sweetness to kill the sugar craving.

Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of cooled Raspberry Leaf Tea (less or more depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 kiwis peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • handful of ice cubes

Blend smooth and enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

Healthy Chocolate Protein Muffins

So the gym is doing a Halloween bake sale to raise money for toys and stuff in the daycare. Since I go a lot, I offered to bake something. At first I said sugar cookies. But then rethinking, it's a gym. If we want their money we need macro/calorie friendly protein rich items! So here I made this muffin. Not to bad if you ask me!

IMG_6838.JPG

Ingredients (Makes 18 medium muffins):

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 pcs of 70% baking chocolate
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder. I used Allmax All natural so the chocolate taste isn't as strong as some. 
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins or add wrappers. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and put aside. 
  3. Put the egg whites in a mixer and start beating to get some air into the eggs. 
  4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil on the stove. Use a medium low heat to avoid burning. Watch and mix often, it will melt quickly. 
  5. Whisk cold Almond milk into the coconut oil and chocolate mixture to cool it down before adding to the eggs. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. 
  7. Pour mixture into muffin tin and bake for 8-12 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. 

Eat like this or my favourite is to put peanut butter on top!!!!! Let me know what you think!


Love, 

Jen