Fall for Pumpkin Protein Balls this Season (See What I Did There?)

I look forward to October every year for one simple reason: it’s Pumpkin Everything Season! And despite living in Southwest Florida where the temperature rarely drops below 60 degrees, once autumn shows up on the calendar, I morph into that girl.

pumpkin-everything-season

Yep, I’m basic apparently. So sue me. Fall is a glorious time. And pumpkins are a direct result of that gloriousness.

These seasonal superfoods are rich in Vitamin A to promote vision health, Fiber to increase digestive regularity, Antioxidants to support immune function, Potassium to stimulate post-workout energy and Carotenoids to reduce skin aging effects.

Plus, they get all the Instagram likes, so…

But I digress. If you wanna experience those nutritional benefits for yourself, not just during autumn but year-round too (Why isn’t the PSL Summer Edition a thing? Looking at you, Starbucks!), might I suggest these no-bake Pumpkin Quinoa Protein Balls.

They’re perfect for a healthy plant-based breakfast or afternoon snack. And, all basicness aside, they taste like fall is supposed to taste. *insert brown leaf emoji*

I rest my case.

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls

yields 2 dozen protein balls

Ingredients:

1 can Pumpkin Purée (organic)

1 tbsp. Sunflower Butter (organic)

1/3 c. Rolled Oats (whole grain)

1/4 c. Quinoa (organic)

1 Apple (peeled & diced)

1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Spice

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Ginger

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-ingredients

 Preparation:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to its package instructions, then set aside.
  2. Combine the pumpkin pur√©e, rolled oatssunflower buttercinnamon, ginger and pumpkin spice in a mixing bowl.
  3. Slice the apple into small chunks, then stir into the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the pumpkin mixture, then stir these ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide the batter into bite-sized balls and place in the freezer for 1 hour before serving.

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-batter

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-before-photo

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-after-photo

So. Much. Yes.

Vigor + Vitality = Nutri Testo for the Win!

The following post is a collaboration with Nutri Lifescience‚ĄĘ¬†to promote active lifestyles, fueled by natural nutrition. All views and opinions are my own.¬†

Nutri Testo Capsule

For anyone who’s ever casually perused¬†my social media accounts, it’s no shocker that I have a¬†slight¬†obsession with Nutri Testo‚ĄĘ¬†supplements.

Fine. Maybe not-so-slight. I admit…the love affair is real. But for good reason, capiche? That’s because just 1 Nutri Testo capsule, taken about 5‚Äď10 minutes before exercising, keeps me nourished, energized and focused throughout my workout‚ÄĒeven when it’s been one of¬†those¬†days where motivation’s in short supply.

So, what’s the formula¬†behind this fitness fuel? Turns out, Nutri Testo supplements contain a natural extract from the Tongkat Ali root‚ÄĒotherwise¬†known as Malaysian Ginseng‚ÄĒrecognized¬†in Southeast Asia¬†for both its anti-aging potential and balanced hormone support.

When the body’s hormonal health is out-of-whack, you could experience symptoms like fatigue, decreased libido, muscle atrophy, depression or even weight gain. Yeesh.¬†That’s why keeping your¬†hormones regulated is uber important. And Nutri Testo is up for the job!

Now, time for some stats. Here’s a¬†nutritional breakdown*¬†of the wellness benefits promoted¬†by this supplement extraordinaire:

  • Anabolic Increase & Catabolic Decrease
  • Athletic Performance Enhancement
  • Lean Muscle Development
  • Anxiety & Stress Alleviation
  • Testosterone & Cortisol Health
  • Energy Support & Fatigue Reduction
  • Sleep Quality Improvement

Plus, with its plant-based nutritional goodness, Nutri Testo gives me the vigor and vitality to crank my workout motivation into high-gear. Which means I can almost do a headstand.

Power to the Workout

Ehh…practice makes progress. At least my body’s fueled though! And now yours can be too because I’ve teamed up with Nutri Lifescience (a.k.a. the Nutri Testo masterminds) to give fitness aficionados everywhere a¬†chance to experience this supplement¬†for themselves.

Just repost the corresponding giveaway photo on my Instagram feed, tag @nutrimaqui2015 and @its_the_healthy_hippie, include the hashtag #NutriTestoGiveaway¬†and make sure to follow both accounts. Yup. That’s the drill. Not exactly rocket science, huh?

Nutri Testo Giveaway.jpg

A winner will be selected at midnight on Friday, September 9. One entry per person. Must follow all contest rules for consideration. And check out this limited time discount for a 3-month supply of Nutri Testo (buy 2, get 1 free + additional 20% off).

So…everyone’s a winner now. Holla!

 

 

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

 

Sweat It Out With a Protein-Packed Snack Attack

There’s a 50/50 chance I might’ve *casually* mentioned once‚ÄĒmaaaaybe twice‚ÄĒthat I’m getting married in the near future. 160 days if you wanna get technical, but who’s counting?

Although I don’t buy into¬†that¬†stereotypical “wedding workout” mentality (fitness is a¬†lifestyle, not some¬†Must. Drop. Two. Dress. Sizes.¬†For. The. Big. Day. thing), exercise does¬†have a prominent¬†place in my routine. That would still be true regardless of this whole bride-to-be caveat…but¬†extra motivation a la¬†Alfred Angelo never hurts either!

post pure barre

That time I dragged¬†the (almost) hubs to Pure Barre…Couples who sweat together stay together, dontcha know!

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not just about¬†turning heads on your walk down the aisle or rocking that honeymoon bikini you’ve ogled for months. Exercise¬†relieves stress¬†(pre-wedding jitters, anyone?), boosts productivity (those guest lists¬†aren’t gonna write¬†themselves!), and influences even more healthy habits too.

Like eating. A.K.A. the other¬†part of this wellness equation.¬†In order to sustain¬†physical activity, our bodies need fuel. Mainly¬†protein-dense fuel which promotes muscular development, strength and endurance, so we can keep moving for longer periods of time. Fact: no¬†snacking repertoire‚ÄĒfor¬†pre-workout energy¬†or¬†post-workout recovery‚ÄĒis complete without this nutritional powerhouse.

Think¬†raw almonds, steamed edamame, roasted chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, plain Greek yogurt and nut butters, for example. Or,¬†need¬†some further¬†“nom”spiration?¬†(Just invented a new word. No biggie.) Check out my Sweat Sesh Snack Attack¬†go-tos¬†for your protein loading pleasure!

protein post-workout snacks

Whether you’re¬†#SweatingForTheWedding or craving a healthier alternative to Cool Ranch Doritos, these mindful munchies just reinvented snacktime. Yup…don’t underestimate the¬†power of protein. This bride-to-be has spoken.


*For even more ideas, recipes and tidbits to pack your diet with protein,  Nuts.com  has you covered!

How to “Dress” Up Your Daily Fruit & Veggie Quota {Guest Post}

According to research backed by the American Heart Association, people who habitually consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables experience a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. In fact, this study revealed that, of the 2500 test subjects monitored, women who ate about 9 daily servings and men who ate about 7 were 26% less prone to develop clogged arteries in older age.

In addition to supporting cardiovascular wellness, fresh produce contains essential nutrients like protein, antioxidants, fiber, and a plethora of other vitamins and minerals. So, incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet can yield balanced wellness and physical longevity.

The simplest, most straightforward way to boost your fruit and veggie intake is to replace that typical lunchtime sandwich with a crisp, colorful salad. Then, top it with this healthy homemade dressing which features the antioxidant-loaded nutritional supplement, Nutri Maqui. Your heart, immune system and other vital organs will thank you for giving them the nourishment they crave!


Nutri Maqui Superfruit Salad Dressing

Nutri Maqui salad dressing ingredients

Ingredients

 ¬Ĺ cup Grapeseed Oil

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice

1 tsp. Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard

¬Ĺ tsp. Lemon Juice

Nutri Maqui salad dressing preparation

Preparation

  1. Pour all ingredients into a small decanter, then whisk until they are thoroughly combined.
  1. Chop a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, raspberries, avocadoes, almonds, cashews), then arrange them over a bed of leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale, arugula).
  1. Drizzle the dressing on top, then toss the salad to evenly distribute all ingredients before serving.

So. Many. Colors. Amiright?!

Nutri Maqui salad dressing before   Nutri Maqui salad dressing after


Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.

 

Balancing the Crucial Connection Between Fitness & Nutrition

Due to the gradual development of poor lifestyle choices, such as unhealthy diet and irregular exercise, numerous Americans have begun exhibiting risk factors for high blood glucose, metabolic syndrome, cellular oxidative stress and other conditions associated with inadequate nutrition intake and fitness levels.

While the average person knows that consistent physical exertion must be sustained by wholesome eating habits, and vise versa, this balancing act is often difficult to maintain.

In a culture that values pre-packaged convenience over freshly prepared quality, many people consume an overabundance of artificial preservatives, toxic chemicals, saturated fats and refined sugars. These heavily processed ingredients cause unwelcome weight gain and can result in various medical concerns.

In addition, many people also lack the motivation to incorporate vigorous activity into their daily routines, so when combined with nutrient deficiency, a sedentary lifestyle could trigger the premature onset of serious cardiovascular issues.

To protect your body from these health hazards, practice eating whole foods and exercising every day until doing so becomes a ritual that no longer requires conscious effort.

Healthy eating woman holding a salad and smiling - isolated over white

A well-rounded diet includes plant-based proteins (e.g. beans, lentils, raw nuts, non-dairy milk); lean meats ‚Äď unless you‚Äôre a vegetarian, of course! ‚Äď (e.g. chicken, turkey, fish); whole grains (e.g. oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt); low-sugar fruits (e.g. berries, avocados, papayas, oranges, melons); and leafy green vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, lettuce).

These powerhouses contain essential nutrients, naturally-occurring chemicals, antioxidants and beneficial fats, rather than those harmful ingredients found in a typical fast food meal.

The other ‚Äúpuzzle piece‚ÄĚ ‚Äď habitual movement ‚Äď combines aerobic (e.g. running, cycling, swimming, dancing, kickboxing) and anaerobic (e.g. weight lifting, push-ups, squats, crunches, resistance yoga) training.

Together, both disciplines promote muscle tone, cardiovascular strength, skeletal resilience, flexibility, endurance and physical energy. Your body needs these wellness properties to function optimally, experience longevity, and build defenses against illness or injury.

Becoming committed to proper fitness and nutrition can mean the difference between healthy aging and chronic disease development. However, the ultimate decision is yours: would you rather feel vibrant, active and nourished at the cellular level?

Or, are you content to keep avoiding exercise, frequenting the drive-through window and, potentially, suffering from metabolic syndrome or other weight-related complications?


Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.

#LoveBulu ‘Cause Bulu Loves You Back!

Confession: health and wellness goodies are my weakness.

Yeah, alright…I recognize the irony. In the broader scope of every possible obsession a person might succumb to, I could do much worse!

But, while my body appreciates the benefits of a wholesome diet, sometimes my wallet¬†wishes I wasn’t so selective. There’s no denying that health often comes with dollar signs attached, resulting in everyone’s favorite “Cost vs. Quality” debate.

Why can’t they just get along? Why can’t we nourish ourselves properly¬†without breaking our budgets? Well…turns out, we can!

Say “hello” to Bulu Box¬†— where¬†nutritious¬†eating meets bargain hunting. Each month, Bulu Box subscribers receive 4-5 snack, vitamin and supplement samples from top-rated wellness brands.

BuluBox

A little orange box of happiness…Who can resist those motivational mantras?!

This customized package is conveniently shipped straight to your doorstep, and Bulu Box offers several subscription plans for every price range. Choose from Month-to-Month ($10 per box), 3 Months ($30 fee),     6 Months ($60 fee) and 12 Months ($110 fee). Free shipping comes standard, and Rewards Points make saving money even easier.

Now, for the fun part — what’s inside a Bulu Box? Pure yumminess, that’s what! Guilt-free food finds galore. Take a peek:

BuluBox contents 1

Protein powder, energy bars, performance supplements…OH MY!!!

Quest Protein Powder

Quest Protein Powder

  • The Breakdown:¬†23 grams of protein per serving; less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, 110 calories per serving (high protein-to-calories ratio); soy- and gluten-free; essential nutrients¬†including¬†Potassium, Fiber, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Iron
  • The Taste Test:¬†I’ve never uttered a negative¬†word about peanut butter flavored anything, and this protein powder is no exception.
  • The Verdict:¬†When blended into liquid form,¬†Quest adds a creamy quality¬†that smoothie fans¬†will love. Moreover, the protein content is ideal for¬†both pre-workout energy and recovery fuel.

Mediterra Nutritional Bar

Mediterra Savory Bar

  • The Breakdown:¬†6 grams of protein per serving; 6 grams of fiber per serving; 4 grams of sugar per serving; 160 calories per serving; non-GMO verified; gluten-free, all-natural ingredients; essential nutrients including Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron
  • The Taste Test:¬†With a crisp, crunchy texture and just the right amount of saltiness, this rich and tangy snack condenses an entire Margherita pizza into one¬†bite-sized bar.
  • The Verdict: The¬†tomato and basil combo¬†takes “satisfying¬†pick-me-up” to another¬†level. Mediterranean Diet devotees will appreciate this savory grain and veggie pairing, packaged for on-the-go ease.

Movit Energy Gummies

MoveIt Energy Gummies

  • The Breakdown: 60 calories per serving;¬†scientifically formulated Coenzyme Q10 supplement; Guarana caffeine; essential nutrients including Folic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin C and Vitamin B12
  • The Taste Test:¬†Although I have trouble¬†stomaching gummies, these little guys defied my initial skepticism. The citrus aftertaste is sweet but not¬†cloying, and the consistency is chewy but not gelatinous.
  • The Verdict: These smiling gummies are¬†hard to resist, and their compact size makes¬†smart¬†snacking effortless. Plus, Movit’s natural energy supports a variety of¬†athletic activities.

Yerba Prima Fiber Plus Powder

Yerba Prima

  • The Breakdown: 9 grams of fiber per serving; 0 grams of sugar per serving; 15 calories per serving; bentonite detoxification; herbal cleansing; milk thistle extract (liver health); Ginko leaf extract (mental function); essential nutrients including Potassium and Calcium
  • The Taste Test: Mix¬†this apple spice infused formula with water, and you’re basically drinking cider. Fall in a glass. Enough said.
  • The Verdict:¬†Yerba Prima offers digestive regularity without¬†skimping on flavor. The¬†purifying herb complex will gently detox your¬†system for fast-acting gastrointestinal relief — a win-win in my book.

So, there you go, folks. That’s why I #LoveBulu. Wanna feel the love as well?¬†Order¬†your own box and use the promo code SWEATPINK¬†at check-out to score 50% off a 3-month subscription!

Special thanks to Fit Approach and Bulu Box for giving me the opportunity to sample these products. 

Creative Breakfast Ideas to Make Nutri Maqui Part of Your Morning Routine {Guest Post}

Nutri Maqui antioxidant support

Fueling your body with the health benefits of Nutri Maqui superfruit juice is an enjoyable experience for several reasons.

The essential nutrients this supplement provides¬†‚Äď such as immune-supporting antioxidants and longevity-promoting flavonoids ‚Äď will help you feel vibrant and energized throughout the entire day. So, start each morning with Nutri Maqui then simply reap the wellness rewards, no matter how demanding your schedule might be.

The rich, silky and slightly tart flavor of this naturally-formulated juice blend pairs perfectly with other nourishing noshes as well. The following recipes ‚Äď packed with protein, vitamins and minerals from various fruits, leafy greens and whole grains ‚Äď will turn that been-done-before¬†breakfast into a powerhouse meal.

Just take a look at these tantalizing examples…

Nutri Maqui Energy Bowl (total prep time: 3 minutes)

Ingredients:

¬Ĺ Apple (cored & sliced)

¬Ĺ c. Berries (any variety, sliced)

¬ľ c. Cashews (raw & unsalted)

2 tbsp. Oats (whole grain)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

Preparation:

1. In a serving bowl, mix together the fruit, cashews and oats.

2. Drizzle the Nutri Maqui juice over the other ingredients and mix again.

3. Top the energy bowl with a dollop of almond butter.

Nutri Maqui energy bowl


Nutri Maqui Green Smoothie (total prep time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 c. Almond or Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

¬Ĺ cup Kale (chopped)

¬Ĺ Avocado (diced)

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

¬Ĺ tbsp. Matcha Powder (organic)

2 tsp. Oats (whole grain)

¬Ĺ tsp. Stevia (organic)

Preparation:

1. Place all the ingredients together in a blender.

2. Puree until the smoothie texture is smooth and creamy.

Nutri Maqui green smoothie


Nutri Maqui Greek Yogurt (total prep time: 1 minute)

Ingredients:

1 c. Greek Yogurt (plain)*

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui juice

2 tsp. Blue Agave Nectar (organic)

1 tsp. Cinnamon (or, to taste)

* Note: Make this recipe vegan by substituting Greek Yogurt with a non-dairy alternative like Coconut Yogurt.

Preparation:

1. In a serving bowl, mix together the yogurt, agave and Nutri Maqui juice.

2. Top the yogurt with a desired sprinkling of cinnamon.

Nutri Maqui yogurt


Nutri Maqui Pancakes (total prep time: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour (organic)*

¬Ĺ c. Water (add more if necessary)

¬Ĺ Banana or Avocado (as a binding agent)

¬Ĺ c. Strawberries (for topping, sliced)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

2 tsp. Cacao Powder (raw & organic)

¬Ĺ tsp. Stevia (organic)

* Note: Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting Whole Wheat Flour with a GF alternative like Flaxseed Meal.

Preparation:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, ‚Äúbinder‚ÄĚ fruit, cacao, stevia and Nutri Maqui juice.

2. Add water until the texture becomes smooth, like batter, and mix again.

3. Heat a skillet on a medium stove setting and coat the bottom with cooking spray.

4. Ladle ¬ľ of the batter into the skillet and cook until it starts bubbling.

5. Flip the pancake on its other side and cook for about the same     amount of time.

6. Repeat steps 4‚Äď5 with the remaining batter until you have 4 pancakes.

7. Top the pancakes with almond butter and sliced strawberries.

Nutri Maqui pancakes

Every morning can set the tone for embracing a wholesome, balanced lifestyle if your body gets its daily dose of Nutri Maqui antioxidant benefits.

Have these ideas inspired you to create your own breakfast concoctions? Comment with more Nutri Maqui recipes below!

Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.