3 Creative Core Moves that Work Balance and Strength

These 3 crunch-less and creative core moves will improve your core strength while also working on your balance. Plus they are just fun to try! See for yourself. 

These 3 crunch-less and creative core moves will improve your core strength while also working on your balance. Plus they are just fun to try! See for yourself.

When I’m in a Fitness “Crunch,” I tend to get creative. Which means I’m pretty much always getting creative with my workouts (for myself and my classes). Let’s face it, not many of us have the time to spend hours at the gym or doing a billion crunches (can you tell i like that word?), and who wants to waste their time doing that if they are not effective and counter productive?

But you know what? ALL of us need a good strong core. It’s the foundation of our body and allows us to FUNCTION, MOVE, and PLAY without injury.

So let’s make today FIT TIP FRIDAY. Sound good?

I’ll share a few of my favorite crunch-less core moves that will not only strengthen your core, but work on your balance as well. You know I’m all about balance… in fitness and life.

Here goes!

First… UTILIZE that foam roller.

Did you know you can sit on the foam roller in boat pose? You can also perform V-Ups. It will challenge your balance and work on the strength. I like like to hold boat pose until I wobble over. I focus on improving my time from there. It’s not as easy as it looks ya’ll!

boat pose on foam roller. Great for balance and core work. Hold the position as long as you can!

The second move I like to practice on the foam roller is an ab tuck. Yes, just like you would do a tuck or pike on the stability ball. This move feels quite similar but since you are lower to the ground, it can be harder to tuck your knees in, which makes it KILLER. Just sayin..

Try 3 sets of 15. Advanced can add in a push up. You’re crazy though if you do, it’s tough!

Creative core moves- Foam roller ab tucks. Add push up for advanced.
And last but not least..

USE A PLATE and PLANK WALK

Place a towel or a paper plate underneath a weight/plate. Place your feet on top then drag the weight while you plank walk.

Plank walk with weighted plate

This one is truly a burner. Start off going a walking in plank for a few feet, rest, then repeat. Small steps from there because it will TAKE TIME to build the endurance. The plate I am dragging is a 25lb weight.

Here’a video demo to make things clear.

All these exercises can be implemented into your weekly strength routine. I would pick one and add it to the end of your workout.  Then try a new one the following workout, make sense?

Now… hop to it!

What’s your favorite core exercise? Have you tried any of these moves?

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Power Food Pairings – Apple, Leek, and Cabbage Salad with Beef Tips

Spring is here and so is new seasonal produce! That being said, this apple, leek, and red cabbage salad makes a power food pairing with any lean protein. A nutrient packed side dish that’s nutritious and delicious! 

Spring is here and so is new seasonal produce! That being said, this apple, leek, and red cabbage salad makes a powerful food pairing with lean protein. A nutrient packed side dish great that's nutritious and delicious!

Hey there. Hey Spring! Hey warm weather! Oh man, it feels good outside, don’t it? Except for maybe Chicago, I think they didn’t get the memo.

But really, are you feeling refreshed yet? Renewed? Or are you still transitioning into Spring? Sorry for the questions, just know I can relate to ALL! We are yearning for a sense of renewal, still in transition from NZ, but know a time will come when we feel refreshed. That’s what this season is about, SPRINGING into new things, new patterns, new healthy intentions. Heck, we can even catch some VITAMIN D rays by dinning al fresco, right?

Spring is here and so is new seasonal produce! That being said, this apple, leek, and red cabbage salad makes a powerful food pairing with lean protein. A nutrient packed side dish great that's nutritious and delicious!

Eating seasonal produce can definitely help with accelerate those healthy intentions..Green apple, leeks, and cabbage are all part of march/april produce, um, hence this recipe. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Spring is here and so is new seasonal produce! That being said, this apple, leek, and red cabbage salad makes a powerful food pairing with lean protein. A nutrient packed side dish great that's nutritious and delicious!
When you eat fruit/vegetables in season, you’re likely get more nutrients due to the quality of the soil content. And if you’re like us, your needing to BOOST your Iron intake after a hard few weeks of training and “transitioning.” The best way to do that is with FOOD!  Plant based forms of vitamin C can help you digest and absorb more plant based form’s of iron (non heme).  How? Well, when both are digested together, vitamin C  kinda clings to the non heme (plant based) iron to create a compound that’s more easily absorbed.

So this dish.. it’s LOADED.

  • Leeks – Very good source of Vit. K and Iron (non heme, plant form)
  • Cabbage – Vitamin C
  • Apple – Vitamin C
  • Beef – Iron (Heme, animal form)

Apple, Leek, and Cabbage Salad with Beef Tips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Meal and Salad
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • ½ head red cabbage or 1 bag pre shredded
  • 1 cup chopped green apple
  • ¼ red onion
  • ½ cup chopped leeks
  • ¼ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • dash of paprika or chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • optional add ins – 1 tsp maple syrup for extra sweetness, feta/parmesan
Instructions
  1. Chop all vegetables and fruit and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the oil and toss again.
  3. I lightly sautéed them in a skillet for a few minutes until leeks were cooked and tender.
  4. Once cooked, transfer into bowl and add in vinegars, seasoning, and seeds.
  5. Place in fridge until chilled.
  6. Top with Parmesan or feta and serve with beef tips!
  7. If you’d like to know how to cook the beef, simply cut your beef into small strips, season with a dash of black pepper and sea salt, then grill or sear for about 10 minutes or until medium. Then sprinkle a little fresh or dried basil on top when almost cooked. That is optional.

Note –> if you are vegan, I’d replace the Beef with Tempeh. It contains a good source of non heme Iron. 

Spring is here and so is new seasonal produce! That being said, this apple, leek, and red cabbage salad makes a powerful food pairing with lean protein. A nutrient packed side dish great that's nutritious and delicious!

Now we’re talking! New ways to eat real food to SPRING into good health. Yes, I’m corny and I’m a nutrition nerd, just go with it.

What seasonal produce are you eatin this Spring?

 

Let’s eat!

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Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with Hemp Protein

Add a little protein boost to your breakfast with this Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with hemp! I love adding hemp protein to chia pudding and soaking it in coffee and coconut milk. It makes for a nutrient dense breakfast that’s naturally gluten free and delicious! 

Add a little protein boost to your breakfast with this Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with hemp! I love adding hemp protein to chia pudding and soaking it in coffee and coconut milk. It makes for a nutrient dense breakfast that's naturally gluten free and delicious!  www.cottercrunch.com

First of all, Happy Meatless Monday! Second of all..  As much as I love hemp protein, it just doesn’t photograph that well, color wise. But I did my best, now let’s talk about this ugly yet nourishing protein for a minute. Mmmm k?

When I first tried hemp protein, way back when, it was way to gritty and tasted like dirt. Come on, you know you’ve tasted those kind before, am I right?

vegan coffee cake chia pudding with Hemp Protein! Super easy to make, delicious, and gluten free! Breakfast made easy!

But the good thing is, hemp/vegan/primal/dairy protein have come a long way since then, as they should!

The quality of protein and how it is produced is key. The way it reacts to your body is also important. Once you find that, you’re set!

For sure, we like both grass fed whey protein (lactose free) and hemp/pea or sprouted brown rice protein. But we use them in totally different ways. I find that whey protein is best for post workout or as a bed time snack when combined with carbohydrates. Both work great to accelerate muscle recovery/regeneration.

Since I am sharing a hemp protein recipe, I might as well get all nerdy and chat about it. Hemp Protein is different that most plant protein.

  • Hemp protein comes from grinding the nutrient-rich seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds contain essential fatty acids, and complete proteins that your body needs.
  • Not many other plant proteins contain all the essential amino acids (complete protein), which is why hemp seed protein is so valuable to us (especially vegans).
  • It contains a good course of omega fatty acids, iron, and is a great source of fiber.

Add a little protein boost to your breakfast with this Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with hemp! I love adding hemp protein to chia pudding and soaking it in coffee and coconut milk. It makes for a nutrient dense breakfast that's naturally gluten free and delicious!  www.cottercrunch.com

This is why I (we) love using hemp protein for breakfast/snacking. It’s great in a nourishing smoothie or chia pudding. It’s filling. It’s nutrient dense. It’s great to start the day of right!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with Hemp Protein
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: snack or breakfast
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6- 8 oz vanilla coconut or almond milk
  • ⅔ cup chia seeds (I use ground chia)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla or Coffee flavored Hemp Protein (My Mix Nutrition)
  • 2 oz brewed coffee or espresso
  • ¼ tsp caramel extract or 1 tbsp Caramel syrup
  • Optional Add ins - Banana and honey
Instructions
  1. First, blend your protein, coffee, and milk together. Set aside. Pour ⅓ cup chia seed in to 2 bowls. Pour your protein shake mix on top and mix bowls so that chia seeds are evenly blended with protein shake. Pour caramel extract (or syrup if you are using it) into each bowl. Set in fridge for at least 4-6 hrs. I like to do this overnight.
  2. For extra sweetness and thickness, blend the protein shake with a banana or add in 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup.
  3. Feel free to top the chia pudding with granola, gluten free cookie, oats, nuts, or instant coffee!
Notes
I used the little bit of coffee I had leftover from morning for this. You can also use tea or just stick with milk.

When used as a snack, this combo helps to keep the blood sugar regulated and maintain adrenal health. You all know that’s important to us, for sure!

Sometimes….we use it for late night snack dip with an udis gluten free cookie. Hey, it all evens out, right?

Add a little protein boost to your breakfast with this Vegan Caramel Coffee Chia Pudding with hemp! I love adding hemp protein to chia pudding and soaking it in coffee and coconut milk. It makes for a nutrient dense breakfast that's naturally gluten free and delicious! Great for a fun dip too!  www.cottercrunch.com

I recently teamed up with My Mix Nutrition as one of their “expert mixers.” Sounds pretty cool, eh?

I created 2 Customized MIXES for them, a vegan a and a whey. You can read all about it here!

customized plant power hemp protein by @mymixnutrition. Love the omegas and added B12!

The Vegan Protein (which I can Plant Power) consists of Organic hemp protein as well as B12 and probiotics. See below!

my mix Plant Power protein facts from Expert Mixer @cottercrunch. More at http://mymixnutrition.com/affiliate/lindsay-cotter.html?cat=affiliate

How’s that for a PERFECT plant protein mix! Everything you need in one scoop! And delish (not lying)!

I hope to share more recipes with my PLANT POWER and ReENDURE whey protein powders, but for now, try this protein packed chia pudding for your next breakfast! And while you’re eating it, check out the new My Mix site. You can even create your own!

Have you tried Hemp Protein? What’s your favorite way to use it if so? 

*Just so you know, there are affiliate links in this post. I am part of the My Mix Nutrition Team, and I believe in their company and product. In fact, I’ve been using them for over a year! All thoughts and opinion are my own. The darn truth.  Always! 

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What I learned After Realizing I Wasn’t Going to Meet My Goals

Whoa, how’s that for a title?! But it’s real folks, and sometimes we need to a little slap of reality, in a good “AH HA” way. Am I right?

true quote. I'd rather learn from mistakes then fake being perfect. Always! And what do you do once you've given it all you got, but just didn't get there?  You look at the positive, you learn from it, and move forward!

So today’s post is not about pinterest worthy meals, nutrition, or how how to get fit in no time. It’s what I call an “honesty is the best policy post.” And thankfully, I have a husband is willing to share his story. The one where he didn’t reach his goal (physically). The one where after almost a decade of racing, it all might come to end… but on to new beginnings.

The Kiwi Cotter in New Zealand

Here’s a little recap of Ironman New Zealand (and more) from the Kiwi Cotter (aka my devilishly handsome husband).

Ironman NZ - Taupo

What I learned after realizing I wasn’t going to meet my goals. via James Cotter

I went into Ironman New Zealand feeling like a D list celebrity. I had done a few things in racing I  was happy with in the past, but nothing recent. I still think I’m awesome and capable, but nobody is concerned when my name is on the start list now. It is a rough life people! Ironman New Zealand was going to be my new start, to reveal to everybody that I’m the athlete I think I’m capable of. I wanted top 4 or I was done.

top 5 at IM New Zealand swim Exit (blue seventy suit)

This post is a tough one to write, because in Ironman every second really does count. I can’t stop going over situations and how I maybe should have reacted. But it is all gone now. The prep was the best I had ever done. However, on that day, I just was not good enough to deliver what I still think I’m capable of (that is what hurts the most). Not sure what is next. But I have had a hell of great ride the past 7 years. I lived to fullest, trained bloody hard, raced like crap, but met some the greatest people who I call friends today through this triathlon journey.

tim-and-james finishing lavaman triathlong. GReat friends after 7 years racing together! jpg

So instead of a report I’m just going say what I learned after realizing I wasn’t going to meet my goal. You might even take some of this with you heading into your next Ironman.

At  150km on the bike and around 30-35km on the run, you begin to suffer or question yourself about why they are doing this. This is when you enter into “the darkness”.  This is were your character is really tested. You have to be able to find away to get out of this or it can ruin your race. You can’t stop, you have to continue hurting until you finish the job. You get to choice what you think and believe on course

IM NZ run course

Bad races are tough to handle for everybody. Once you finish the race and arrive home with nobody around you, you are going to have to look at yourself and answer to yourself…

Did I honestly give it all and fight as hard as I could?

Even though the race went south, I pushed as hard as I could. When the watts were 140-150, I kept turning the pedals. When fell on the run, I kept one foot in front of another. The last 1.5km took me 45 minutes to complete.

If you can say you focused on yourself and your race,

If you can say you chased every second to the best of your ability,

If you can say you stuck it out despite everything going against you……You have won.

And what do you do once you’ve given it all you got, but just didn’t get there?

You look at the positive, you learn from it, and move forward!

Cheers,

 Moving on, moving forward! Cheers to the Journey!
Lindsay (aka the sherpa wife)

Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad with Lemon Lime Vinaigrette

Load up on antioxidants with a zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad ! This Shrimp, beet, black rice, and lemon/Lime vinaigrette combo make a powerhouse salad great for “Spring Cleaning” your diet! It’s colorful, flavorful, and protein packed!

Load up on antioxidants with a zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad ! This Shrimp, beet, black rice, and lemon/Lime vinaigrette combo make a powerhouse salad great for “Spring Cleaning” your diet! It’s colorful, flavorful, and protein packed! www.cottercrunch.com

With our weather finally feeling like Spring, our cravings for cold salads reemerge.  I love salads. The Kiwi loves salads. But we do no like BORING salads. In fact, the only way I will make a salad for us if it’s nutrient dense, has a balance of good carbs, fat, and protein, and is damn tasty! Which is why I have this recipe for you today.

Load up on antioxidants with a zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad ! This Shrimp, beet, black rice, and lemon/Lime vinaigrette combo make a powerhouse salad great for “Spring Cleaning” your diet! It’s colorful, flavorful, and protein packed! www.cottercrunch.com

This salad serves a purpose. It’s great for athletes in training because it is PACKED full of antioxidants and is naturally gluten free, which can help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad with Lemon Lime vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: salad, seafood, rice dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup black rice (or wild rice if you don’t have black)
  • sea salt
  • ½ cup cooked peas
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or a combo of lime/lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ -1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped green or red onion
  • 1 cup cooked then cooled beets (shaved or chopped)
  • ¼ cup shaved carrots
  • 6oz Cooked shrimp (cocktail shrimp). We used Sizzlefish Shrimp - boiled for a few minutes in salt/water then drained and cooled.
  • ground black pepper
  • Optional add ins – Roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, feta, etc!
Instructions
  1. Cook rice in a medium saucepan according to package. Wait till water boils, add rice and salt, reduce to heat and simmer until tender, 35-40 minutes. Drain well, rinse, pour into bowl, then let it cool.
  2. While that's cooling, whisk together your lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and honey and then add to oil, whisk again and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Once you have your beets chopped and the rice is cooled, add the rest of your ingredients into the rice bowl. Pour in dressing and mix well. Add shrimp on top or mix in with the salad and dressing. They will turn a little pink due to beets and berries.
  4. Place salad in fridge until cooled and ready to serve.
  5. Feel free to add in more seasoning or dressing. Goes great with crunchy roasted chickpeas mixed in too.
Notes
This salad is super easy to make. Great for light meal or side dish.

Okay, now let’s talk about these antioxidants!

  • Beets – A source of phytonutrients called betalains. Has been shown to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. Plus support more nitrate flow to body, which can help muscular endurance!
  • Black Rice – if properly prepared (soaked), can be low in phytic acid, which means minerals are more bioavailable. And Black rice is full of anythocyanin, an antioxidant and flavonoid that has tons of health perks and can fight disease!
  • Berries – Anthocyanin-rich and can help with cognitive memory. Can also help fight oxidative stress (great for athletes).
  • Shellfish/Seafood – Ahh yes, seafood! I adore thee. Why?  It’s lean Protein and full of vitamins and minerals such as selenium, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron.

Load up on antioxidants with a zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad ! This Shrimp, beet, black rice, and lemon/Lime vinaigrette combo make a powerhouse salad great for “Spring Cleaning” your diet! It’s colorful, flavorful, and protein packed! www.cottercrunch.com

 

Load up on antioxidants with a zesty Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad ! This Shrimp, beet, black rice, and lemon/Lime vinaigrette combo make a powerhouse salad great for “Spring Cleaning” your diet! It’s colorful, flavorful, and protein packed! www.cottercrunch.com

How’s that for  nutrition overload?

Either way, you’re gonna get more bang for your buck with this salad! So let’s eat up already, shall we?

Ever tried black rice?

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3 Protein Packed Breakfasts that are Great for Travel

Looking for some Protein Packed and Gluten free Breakfast ideas? These 3 Recipes and foods are great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road! Oh and simply delicious. 

Looking for some Protein Packed and Gluten free Breakfast ideas? These 3 Recipes and foods are great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road! Oh and simply delicious.  www.cottercrunch.comTraveling and fueling right can be tricky. To be honest, I think our minds tell us to either A –> just eat whatever you can find. Or B –> we’re sitting a whole lot so eat less and SUPER clean. But our bodies still need to function –>  pump blood, digest, rebuild, restore, etc. And all that takes energy (good calories).

So maybe we need an option C. The one where we focus on NOURISHMENT, despite the lack of activity or movement. Option C means we eat REAL foods that will FILL us and keep our inner bodies healthy while our outer bodies are flying at 10,000 ft or zooming through the roads. Travel can be physically hard on the body, but that doesn’t mean we need make it HARD to feed it right.  Am I right?

silver dollar pancakes with @flapjacked mix.  Protein Packed and Gluten free and great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road! Oh and simply delicious.  www.cottercrunch.com

Being that I just spent 30 hours traveling, and REFUELING a hungry Ironman athlete, I thought I’d share our 3 favorite protein packed and gluten free breakfast/snack foods that are great for travel. Well, they are great for ANYTIME but let’s just stick to one topic today, mmm k?

Looking for some Protein Packed and Gluten free Breakfast ideas? These 3 Recipes and foods are great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road! Oh and simply delicious.  www.cottercrunch.com

Silver Dollar Protein Pancakes! I love making these with Flapjacked mix and then freezing them until I’m ready to use them.

Here’s a little trick to making them silver dollar –> use a mason jar lid!

silver dollar  (4 of 1)-2

5.0 from 3 reviews
Silver Dollar Protein Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • Mix 1 cup Flapjack Mix (Or flour/GF mix of choice)
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • oil or butter for pan
Instructions
  1. Mix your pancake batter flour, cinnamon, and milk together until smooth. Let it sit for 5 minutes then fold in the egg or whipped egg whites. Using egg whites make them a little fluffier.
  2. Heat skillet on medium high and add in a about 1 tbsp oil or butter. Place a few mason jars on the skillet and pour mix into the center. Once it starts to bubble, remove the lid and flip pancakes over. Make sure your lids are greased with a little oil as well. Not much, but a little is needed.
  3. Makes around 7- 10 mini pancakes.
Notes
You can also make bigger pancakes and then just place a mason jar lid in the center (once cooked) to cut and make into smaller silver dollar pancakes. But you will have extra random pieces after.

I store these in a ziplock bag and then bring coconut or peanut butter with us. The perfect fat/protein snack or breakfast!

Another great option for travel are these Paleo Ginger Pear Muffins. I posted the recipe back in December and loved them! The pear naturally sweetens the batter, the ginger can help ease nausea if you get travels tummy, and the grain free granola and almond meal provide extra protein and good fats for breakfast.

Ginger spiced pear muffins (paleo) -- Protein Packed and Grain free! Great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road! Oh and simply delicious.  www.cottercrunch.com

Okay, so what if you don’t feel like cooking or baking before you travel? Well then, I’d highly recommend Mikey’s Paleo English Muffins. And I’m not being paid to say that, haha, promise! They muffins are grain free and made with eggs, coconut flour, and almond meal. They are actually soft too! They have 3 flavors; onion, original, and raisin. I toasted a few before I left then stored them in a ziplock bag. They are great to top with nut butter, hummus, yogurt, egg, or avocado! Again, another great gluten free and protein packed snack/muffin. I bought them on Amazon but you can order from their site as well.

mikeys paleo muffins and PB - Protein Packed foods that are great for travel! On the go, in the air, or on the road!  www.cottercrunch.com

Okay, now I getting the itch to travel again and it’s only been a week since we got home.

What’s your go to travel food? Anyone going some place fun for Spring Break?

Do share!

Cheers to Meatless Monday!

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p.s. One more day till St. Patty’s day –> go make these to celebrate!

Grain Free Shamrock Shake Healthy Bites and Giveaway!

Snack healthy this St. Patrick’s day with these grain free Lucky Shamrock Protein Bites (aka Healthy Bites). They are packed with antioxidants, good fats, and protein. Not to mention tasty!

Grain free Lucky Shamrock Protein Bites with Matcha! Snack healthy this St. Patrick's day with these gluten free Lucky Shamrock Protein Bites (aka Healthy Bites). They are packed with antioxidants, good fats, and protein. Not to mention tasty! www.cottercrunch.com

Well hello March! You sure did sneak up on me and so did St. Patrick’s day. Luckily (no pun intended), I was prepared. You see, before I left for New Zealand, I made these bites. I also devoured them all by myself, no shame here folks.

But what I didn’t realize is how much I needed the green ingredient in these bites to help with time change/jet lag. Yup –> Matcha! It’s everywhere. It’s the new trend, as it should be. This little gem of an antioxidant does wonders.

Let’s chat about it, shall we?

  • Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being grounding into a soft fine GREEN powder.
  • How does it stay green? –> The powder is stored away from light ( and oxygen) which helps preserve it’s antioxidant properties and colors.
  • But why the hype? Well, this super food has loads of antioxidants as well as an amino acid  called L- THEANINE . L-Theanine can help with the production of dopamine and serotonin and therefore help balance sleep/wake cycles, naturally. Oh and these two chemicals can also improve mood and concentration. YES, I NEED THAT!

Snack healthy this St. Patrick's day with these gluten free Lucky Shamrock Protein Bites (aka Healthy Bites). They are packed with antioxidants, good fats, and protein. Not to mention tasty! www.cottercrunch.com

L-Theanine, for the most part, is a relaxing but not sedating amino acid that is synergistic with stimulants such as caffeine as it can ‘take the edge off’. It is effective by itself in the standard supplemental dosages as well, and although it can be attained via a diet high in green tea ingestion that is the only dietary source of L-Theanine source

4.5 from 4 reviews
Grain Free Shamrock Shake Protein Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 33
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • ½ cup banana chips
  • ¼ Vanilla Protein of choice
  • ⅓ -1/2 cup nut butter of choice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp mint or spearmint extract
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2-3 tbsp matcha powder in mix and to coat
Instructions
  1. First, grind up your banana chips. Then just mix up dry ingredients and add in nut butter, extract, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then use extra green matcha Powder and a little bit of vanilla protein or coconut flour to coat. Store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 30 -25 bites, give or take.
  2. NOTE –> if your batter is dry, you might need to add more honey and/or nut butter to keep batter from being to dry.
Notes
Feel free to sub the ground banana chips for ground nuts, almonds, oats, flour, etc.

Now you see why I made these? But wait, it gets better. I want to share this LUCKY green goodness in order to celebrate St. Patty’s day. So let’s get our HEALTHY SHAMROCK SHAKE in Healthy Bite form, sound good?

 

Snack healthy this St. Patrick's day with these gluten free Lucky Shamrock Protein Bites (aka Healthy Bites). They are packed with antioxidants, good fats, and protein. Not to mention tasty! www.cottercrunch.com

A recipe, a dozen healthy bites, and a bag of matcha powder for one LUCKY reader.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you like shamrock shakes? Ever tried Matcha? 

Cheers and don’t forget to wear your green next week!

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BLT Egg Casserole {Gluten Free}

How do you make a BLT gluten free? Forget the buns and bake it with egg instead! Super easy and delicious Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Egg bake is great for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner.

BLT egg casserole bake - quick healthy gluten free dinner!

So… we’re home from New Zealand. Back to reality. Jet lagged and in need of some serious grocery shopping. Have you ever been too mentally tired to really get the “bulk” of your grocery shopping done? Ahh, guilty! I am.  Hence this recipe. All you need is a few basics ingredients to throw this dish together. And who doesn’t love a good bacon/egg combo?
egg casserole bake - quick healthy gluten free dinner!

 

Want to know another thing I am guilty of? Well, here goes. I’m going to reheat this meal for us daily until we polish it off. Then we will move to gluten free PB &J sandwiches and smoothies. But then I promise to get some REAL grocery shopping done and send the Kiwi to Costco! I think that’s the only thing he missed while in New Zealand… Costco. LOL!

 

BLT egg casserole bake - quick healthy gluten free dinner! www.cottercrunch.com @cottercrunch

But back to this dish. Bacon… Lettuce… Tomato. Wait, how can you bake lettuce? I’ll let you in on a little secret. I frozen some mixed herbs and greens before I left.  Now all you have to do it sauté them a bit with the bacon before adding it the to egg mix. See, told you I was frugal. But it totally works, and you don’t have to waste a thing!

BLT egg casserole bake - quick healthy gluten free dinner! www.cottercrunch.com @cottercrunch

The good news is that FRESH greens works too. I’m sure they are even better, but I like i mentioned before, I just used what I had on hand and/or frozen. Not to shabby eh?

5.0 from 3 reviews
BLT Egg Casserole {Gluten Free}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: casserole/bake
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked rice or chopped potato (paleo users can use cauliflower rice or omit)
  • 4 strips GF uncured bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup cream or non dairy milk
  • 1 /4 cup chopped onion or green onion
  • 1 large tomato, sliced.
  • 1 -2 handful of greens like arugula or spinach
  • ¼ c potato starch or arrowroot
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic seasoning
  • dash of black pepper
Instructions
  1. first chop you bacon and sauté with greens and onions until almost all cooked. Do not over cook. Set aside. In another bowl, add in your egg and beat or mix until fluffy. Add in your spices, cream,and starch to the egg mix and beat or mix again.
  2. Combine your potato or rice mix with the bacon and veggies, toss together, then spread on casserole dish. Pour egg mixture over top and layer the tomato slices on top of that along with your parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with any extra spices you desire, such as black pepper.
  3. Bake at 350F for about 22-25 minutes. check at 20 minutes to make sure it's not overcooking.
Notes
Vegetarians can easily use Tempeh or tofu bacon vs the real bacon.

Okay okay, let’s pretend it’s Friday and make this for Brinner! Deal?

What’s the first thing you make when you get home from being out of town?

I’m sure most will say salad, but dang… we just can’t get enough eggs and bacon.

Cheers!

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Sweat on Road! A Travel Workout You can Do ANYWHERE!

Confession.. I’ve been traveling for 2 1/2 weeks and fitness has been harder than i thought, but needless to say, i’ve “fit it in.” Walking, running, push ups, squats, etc. A little here, a little there, etc. It all adds up, and that’s what counts, right? But today I have a real PRO traveler and FITNESS guru to share her traveling fitness tips. Heather (another good BLEND) from Fitaspire! Take notes and then go try out the WOD!

Stay fit while traveling! Workout from @fitaspire

Hi friends! I’m Heather from†FITaspire.com and I’m so happy to share a few minutes with you today! I’m a Colorado girl who stays fit to enjoy all that life has to offer. Fitness gives me the energy for everyday life and the next adventure! As an athlete and coach, I have learned how important nutrition is as part of your overall fitness plan, so I aim†to balance delicious healthy foods with the flexibility to indulge from time to time.

Even the most dedicated fitness fanatic†has days that make it tough to get to the gym for your workout. No matter the reason, it’s always good to have a workout ready that you can do anywhere.††Because you certainly don’t need a gym to get a workout. You can get your sweat on in a hotel room with absolutely no equipment. And I want to help you do just that!

SWEATroad-workout! No gym required. All you need is a space to workout! #travelworkout #fitness

As always, be sure to focus concentrate on good form throughout the workout. It’s better to take it slow, take a break, or reduce the number of reps if needed. This workout is intended for individuals who have been exercising regularly for at least 2 months & can perform all exercises with good form.

Workout Details

This workout is made up of three supersets, each divided by a brightly colored line. A superset is one exercise performed right after the other, with no rest in between them. After each superset, rest for 30-60 seconds before starting the next set.†Depending on your level of fitness, I recommend repeating each superset 2-4 times.†

 

You can watch video explanations of each exercise below:

Now you’re all ready to sweat no matter where you are! I hope this helps you fit in a workout†wherever you travel.†If you give this†workouts a try, drop me a note and let me know what you think!! I love to see your post-run selfies†on twitter or instagram!††You can also find me on Facebook and I’d love a follow, if you’re so inclined.

Till next time,

Heather (FITaspire)

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Thanks so much Heather! this Workout saved me these past weeks while in New Zealand. Now we’re on a plane back to Texas and back to real life.. sigh.

See ya’ll at home! And thanks for following me these past few weeks in NZ! I hope you enjoyed all the wonderful talented guests as well. They are my INSPIRATION!

Cheers,

 

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Sesame Crusted Salmon with a Zesty Ginger-garlic Drizzle {Gluten Free}

A refreshing ginger dressing compliments this Asian Style Salmon! Perfect as we transition into spring! Easy to make, full of omegas, and of course, gluten free! 

Sesame crusted salmon with ginger garlic dressing. A refreshing ginger dressing compliments this Asian Style Salmon! Perfect as we transition into spring! Easy to make, full of omegas, and of course, gluten free!

Happy Foodie Friday! Today we have an amazing recipe from a top chef (and food blogger), who just happens to be a good blog friend of mine. I drool over her creations and adore her cooking style, but more importantly, I just LOVE her! Thank you Cara for sharing your skills with me! Now let’s get cookin!

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Hi there! I’m Cara from Cara’s Healthy Cravings and I am beyond excited and honoured to be guest posting here for Lindsay to share a delicious recipe with you today.

I’m a foodie at heart and by trade and love love love to make and eat all sorts of things. In my past professional life I was an English teacher in South Korea, and through that amazing experience, I learned that teaching was not the career for me. I followed my passion and stomach into the kitchen and went to culinary school for some formal training. Since graduating chef’s school I have worked as a food stylist assistant, recipe developer and now have a full time job as a private chef. I adore my job and most days I can’t believe I actually get paid for what I do (that’s when you know you are doing the right thing!) I feel so blessed to be able to share my love of healthy food with people everyday.

When I am not cooking at work, I love to cook for my husband, who graciously eats whatever I prepare. We are high school sweet hearts, so he has been enjoying my culinary escapades for quite some time now, as true testament of love ;)

5 more things to know me a little better:

  1. My favourite food is sweet potato
  2. I am a lover of wine, dark chocolate and ice cream
  3. I am super passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, nourishing myself with whole foods, exercise and prayer.
  4. I’m a huge fan of Body Pump
  5. The Philippines is one of my favourite places I have traveled

Now that we have been introduced, let’s get on to the good stuff, food!

A refreshing ginger dressing compliments this Asian Style Salmon! Perfect as we transition into spring! Easy to make, full of omegas, and of course, gluten free!

When it comes to cooking I am always drawn to any dish with an Asian flair, whether it’s influenced by Thai, Indian, Japanese, Korean ingredients, I love it all. My passion for Asian cuisine developed strongly when I was living in Korea and traveling across South East Asia, and I still can’t get enough of it. On a frigid winter day, much like what I am currently experiencing in here in Toronto, not much beats a fiery bowl of Korean tofu stew, Mmmmm!

Though I’m not sharing a stew recipe with you today, I believe this salmon is equally delicious. I have cooked this dish several times for work and family and it always gets a thumbs up approval.

Sesame crusted salmon with ginger garlic dressing. A refreshing ginger dressing compliments this Asian Style Salmon! Perfect as we transition into spring! Easy to make, full of omegas, and of course, gluten free!. Paleo friendly

And the bonus? It’s super easy to prepare, so go ahead and impress your family and friends with this one and take all the credit, cause everyone deserves to let their inner chef shine!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sesame Crusted Salmon with a Zesty Ginger-garlic Drizzle
 
Ingredients
  • Salmon:
  • 3 tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 4 small sustainably sourced fillets of salmon, each 3.5 ounces
  • 2 tsp. wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • Ginger-garlic Drizzle:
  • Zest and Juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional garnish:
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro
  • toasted nori
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together lime zest, juice, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and red pepper, and salt. Taste and adjust for seasoning, set aside.
  2. Combine white and black sesame seeds and spread evenly on a plate. Set aside.
  3. Mix wasabi paste and tamari together, brush each piece of salmon with thin layer of wasabi mixture. Roll in the sesame seeds to coat evenly.
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, and when hot, gently place the pieces of salmon into the pan. Cook salmon for 1 minute. Turn and repeat cooking each of the 3 remaining sides for 1 minute. Lower the heat if the sesame seeds are browning too quickly.
  5. Plate salmon and drizzle with Ginger Lime Vinaigrette. Serve with brown rice and sautéed vegetables.

Dig in and Enjoy!

For more delicious seafood inspiration, take a look at Lindsay’s always enticing recipes.

Do you have a favourite salmon recipe? Is there one cuisine that inspires the majority of your cooking?

Cheers,

Cara from Cara’s Healthy Cravings is a personal chef, recipe developer and lover of delicious food. She loves to share healthy, simple and satisfying recipes that nourish the body.  Believing that life’s too short not to enjoy fabulous food, Cara inspires people to have fun in the kitchen and to love food.
You can connect with her on social media here —> Instagram// Pinterest// Twitter