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Zucchini Recipes for Fall

I love fall. Not just because of the cozy weather and gorgeous colors, but because of the awesome recipes!

Yes, we can make pumpkin-flavored everything year-round. But squash, squash can be hard to come by!

Every year, I have a few family members that can’t wait to give away zucchini from their awesome gardens, and I gladly accept. And when I say zucchini, I mean zucchini. These babies grow to be as long as my arm! I love it!

While I love my roasted zucchini with garlic, I am always looking for new recipes to use it in, and have thus compiled my list of favorites!

Seared Zucchini with Garlic

1 Cup Zucchini (chopped)

Garlic (either fresh, or garlic salt)

Coconut Oil

Chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. If you have a gigantic zucchini, make sure you remove the seeds as they are not super tasty.

Place the zucchini in a pan with melted coconut oil and the garlic on a medium setting. Let simmer with a lid for about 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

Don’t forget to try these other great zucchini recipes!

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie (doesn’t that sound delicious??)

Easy Zucchini Bites

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

Chocolate and Yogurt Zucchini Bread – Uhm, yum?

Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies Tasty and nutritious!

Chocolate chip Zucchini Banana Muffins

VeganAthletes

Nutrition for Vegan Athletes

Finding the right nutrition plan while maintaining an active lifestyle can be tricky. There are many different options and opinions out there that can be persuasive, and even make us feel a little guilty about the lifestyle we are currently leading.

A lifestyle that I have always been curious about is the vegan lifestyle; how do they get the nutrients they need without getting bored? What do they actually eat? The stereotype is plants, plants, plants, but is that accurate?

Those who live a vegan life avoid foods and materials that involve animal byproducts. This means no milk, eggs, wool, honey, gelatin, or leather (to name a few). The goal of many vegans is to avoid animal mistreatment, and reduce their environmental footprint. Many also believe that is offers various health benefits.

So how can we ensure that we ensure nutrition for vegan athletes and see that they receive all the necessary nutrients while living an active lifestyle? It doesn’t seem that difficult, as many vegan food products are now available that fit vegan requirements. To those just beginning to make the change to veganism, however, it could be a challenge to find foods that fit your already-established tastes.

One of the main concerns about switching to a vegan diet, is not getting enough protein to balance out your level of activity. What many do not realize, is that great sources of protein can be found in plant-based foods, as outlined in the list below:

  • Beans

  • Lentils

  • Nuts/Nut Butters

  • Soy Products

  • Seeds (did you know that pumpkin seeds contain almost 10 grams of protein in just ¼ of a cup??)

Calcium is the second main worry that many new vegans worry about. It is essential in maintaining healthy bones so that your body can hold up to activity. Plant-based foods that include decent amounts of calcium include:

  • Calcium-fortified almond and coconut milks

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Plain Almonds

  • Fortified Orange Juice

Other nutrients that need to be kept in mind for vegans include vitamin B-12, iron, and iodine. It is recommended that vegans take B-12 supplements to ensure that they receive nutrients to support the brain and nervous system. Sea salts and sea plants, as well as beans a legumes include iron and iodine, which help support the thyroid, and healthy blood cells.

If you are looking to go vegan, load up! Make sure you are taking advantage of these awesome nutrient-dense foods that provide so many good things for our bodies!

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Protein Powder Recipes

Did you know that protein powder isn’t just for drinks?

One of my favorite ways to make my recipes more nutritious is to throw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. It enhances the benefits my family receives from baked goods, and even adds flavor! I enjoy using Jay Robb Vanilla Egg White Protein- it’s delicious and I love what the company is about.

Below are some of our favorite protein powder recipes- some of them are from our very own CiM5k recipe cache!

No-Bake Mini Energy Bites

Granola Bars

High-Protein, Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins

Peanut Butter Cups

3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Mint Chocolate Chip Protein Fudge Brownies

Pre/Post Workout Protein Cookies

What is your favorite protein powder to use?

ArmWorkouts

Killer Arm Workouts

Just because the swimsuit season is winding down, doesn’t mean we should neglect our arms and hide them under long sleeves! Below are links to our favorite arm workouts and believe it or not, you don’t always need a ton of gym equipment to get your arms working.

 

6 Trainer’s Favorite Exercises for Stronger, Sculpted Arms

Music Monday: Arm Workout

No More Jiggle Arm Workout

9 Bicep Sculpting Moves For Sexy Summer Arms

9 Minute Arm Workout with Dumbbells

5 Moves for Chiseled Arms

 

Healthy Cooking and Baking Substitutions

We all have recipes that we love to eat, but perhaps we don’t love how unhealthy they might be for us.

Instead of feeling guilty for indulging in our favorites or avoiding them completely, why not find ways to make them a bit better for us? There are (almost) always ways to satisfy our cravings and still allow ourselves to eat the food we love.

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Uses of Coconut Oil

Have you been caught up in the coconut oil craze? If you haven’t, you should be!

I may be slightly biased, as I have a (not so slight) love for the uses of coconut oil. It’s a natural skin moisturizer, healer, protectant, and provides numerous benefits when ingested.

We’ve touched on the benefits of coconut oil in posts on Keto Living and the Paleo Diet, but what about the amazing ways that coconut oil can be used in daily life? Explore the list below and tell us about your favorite way to use coconut oil!

Cooking

  • Use coconut oil as a substitute for butter and other unhealthy oils.

  • Add coconut oil to smoothies, yogurt, or warm drinks. It adds both flavor and nutrients!

Beauty

  • Condition your hair

    • Use as a mask to heal split ends and moisturize hair. Not to mention boost the strength of your hair to avoid breakage, without using chemicals.

  • Moisturize your skin!

    • Use your favorite cleanser, then finish off your nightly beauty routine with coconut oil instead of a cream moisturizer. I’ve been doing it for months and my skin rarely breaks out, as coconut actually works to remove dirt from your face as well as hydrate it.

    • You can also combine a little bit of coconut oil with some brown sugar to create an exfoliating body scrub.

  • Toothpaste!

    • Combine some coconut oil with a little bit of baking soda and voila! You have homemade toothpaste that will strengthen the enamel on your teeth and leave them brighter.

So really, how can you not love coconut oil? It’s tasty, useful, and natural. What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil?

Banana Nut Bran Muffins

How often do you end up with brown bananas on your counter? For me it is almost every time I buy bananas. I only like eating them when they are still kind of green and just barely turning yellow. After that, I can’t stand the texture! But I love baking with brown bananas. Luckily, banana bread is a great solution for not letting those go to water. These Banana Nut Bran Muffins are delectable and super easy. Bran is high in dietary fiber and vitamins, so it helps increase the nutritional value of these muffins.

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Banana Nut Bran Muffins
adapted from Kelloggs
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 cups Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Original cereal
1 egg
1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, or vegetable)

1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork or potato masher. Pour in the milk and All-Bran and let stand for 2-3 minutes until the cereal softens. Mix in the egg and the oil.
3. Add the flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to scoop the batter evenly into sprayed or lined muffin tins.
4. Bake at 400° F about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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Clean Eating on the Go

The term “clean eating” can be understood to mean many things. For the purposes of this post, “clean eating” refers to being conscious of the food you are putting into your body.

When you are constantly on the go (as so many of us are), you need proper nutrients to fuel your energy and motivate you to get through the day. While making a quick pass through the drive through may seem like the most convenient solution, it is also convenient to already have good, healthy snacks on hand! Clean eating on the go may seem expensive or inconvenient, but I promise you it proves to be incredibly handy, and you will be so happy to know you are adequately fueling your body.

That being said, here are the top eight foods that I LOVE to have with me when I’m busy or travelling:

1. Luna Protein Bar- Cookie Dough

  • Cookie dough for breakfast? Yes please! With 12 grams of protein, these are an excellent boost first thing in the morning.

2. GoGo Squeez Applesauce Pouches

  • If having fresh fruit with you isn’t an option, pair one of these pouches with a Luna Bar and you get delicious fiber and protein! They seem like they’re just for kiddos, but I promise you, they are perfect for all ages and require no utensils!

3. Barney Almond Butter Snack Packs

  • These. Are. Awesome. Just awesome. I buy the coconut-coco flavor from Sprouts Market and they satisfy my sweet tooth perfectly. Best part, they can be paired with fruit, pancakes, or just eaten by themselves!

4. Sabra Hummus Singles

5. Carrots

  • Baby carrots can be easily packed into snack bags, and small bags of pre-packaged carrots are available at almost any grocery store. They are great to snack on and go great with hummus!

6. Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips

  • So I know that I keep saying that all of these products are fantastic, but these “tortilla chips” ARE FANTASTIC. They have a ton of flavor and once again, they go great with hummus! I also recommend the Tomato Basil Crackers from Food Should Taste Good. Delicious.

7. Silk Almond Milk Dark Chocolate Singles

  • Not joking, these are better than regular chocolate milk. They are rich in flavor and great any time, not just when we’re on the go.

8. Fruits and Veggies

  • Nothing can replace the nutrients of wholesome fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible, pack them with you! Throw a banana or an apple in your bag for a quick pick me up instead of grabbing some french fries in the drive thru.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, these are delicious products that make Clean Eating on the Go easy and inexpensive! What are your favorite clean eating foods?

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Fitness At Home

Gym memberships can be expensive, and weather is not always cooperative. These two factors can make it difficult to get our fitness on whenever we want! We’ve done these posts before, but we just love finding new ways to keep moving!

We’ve compiled a list of our top eight favorite videos and resources that help the CiM5k team work on our fitness at home:

  1. Jillian Micheals 30 Day Shred
  2. Police Fitness Abs and Core
  3. Cardio Booster by BeFit
  4. Do You Yoga
  5. Jillian Micheals Banish Fat Boost Metabolism
  6. Living Room Bootcamp from Fit From Scratch
  7. No Equipment Killer Cardio
  8. 10 Minute CrossFit Video from Pop Sugar

When life gets busy, our health and fitness don’t have to be put on the back burner. These great workouts help us get rid of excuses, and stay focused on our goals!

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We are all about getting people up and moving. I personally love to get out
and go for a run to enjoy these sunny summer days. However, there are periods of time where we
don’t get to workout as much as we want to. There are also times due to injury, travel, or other
constraints that we go a long time without working out. There have been multiple occasions
where injury has taken me out of the game and I don’t get to work out for an extended period of
time. So how should we get back into the swing of things?

There are some people who are itching to get back into their workout routine and there are others
who have just decided they need to workout again after a long time off. For either end of the
spectrum and for those in between, there are some things to keep in mind to get yourself into a
successful and healthy workout habit.

One mistake people make is to push themselves too hard in the beginning. I get it. You have
yourself amped up about getting out there and getting in shape. I have been there. When I have
come back off injury I want to go workout at the same level of intensity as I did when I last
stopped. However, if you have been out of the game for a while, you can’t expect to be at the
same physical level as you were when you were consistently executing your regular workout
routine.

It is best to reign yourself in and keep it simple. If you haven’t exercised in a while, your body is
not going to be too thrilled about exerting itself. Start small. If you want to get into running, start
with either walking, or a light jog depending on your level of physical fitness. If you are getting
back into lifting weights, try lifting a lower percentage of what you were used to lifting before.
The idea here is not to overwork yourself. At this point you are mostly striving to establish the
habit of working out. If you do too much at the start, your body will be more fatigued than you
are used to and you are more likely to call it quits after a few workouts. You will also be more
likely to injure yourself than if you decided to exponentially increase the level of your routine.

Start small and increase incrementally the difficulty of your workouts and you will be more
likely to succeed in your fitness efforts.

Scott Ford
Marketing Intern for Color in Motion 5K 

 

Consult your doctor before beginning any workout program.