Simple Steps to Feel Amazing Every Day this Summer

Summertime is the official spokes-season (see what I did there?) of relaxation, vitality and pure amazingness. In fact, my personal mantra during these gloriously sun-drenched months is to Feel Amazing Every Day through self-care rituals, alfresco explorations, fitness commitments and superfood sustenance.

 And in that spirit of epic expectations, lemme divulge my Top 4 no-fail wellness pointers, along with statistical snapshots on why you should care. Then, we can ALL proceed to make this summer one for the history books!

feel amazing every day

1.  Start Each Day with a Yoga Flow.

  • Stimulates physical energy
  • Alleviates emotional stress
  • Cultivates breath awareness
  • Forges a mind–body connection
  • Promotes full-body movement
upward dog

upward dog, anyone? ignore the…err…unflattering angle!

2.  Say “Hell Yeah” to Whole Foods.

  • Gives the body nutrient–dense fuel
  • Satiates hunger for extended periods
  • Curbs refined sugar cravings over time
  • Encourages a mindful eating practice
  • Replaces “artificial” with all–natural
amazing grass pancakes

protein pancakes topped with almond butter drizzle

3.  Spend Quality Time Outdoors.

  • Improves respiration & circulation
  • Reduces stress for mental clarity
  • Offers the benefits of Vitamin D
  • Motivates cardiovascular activity
  • Fosters appreciation for nature
amazing grass smoothie 2

RayBan shades and 95–degree Florida humidity…optional

4.  Slurp on Amazing Grass Smoothies.

  • Contains 20g of plant-based protein
  • Yields 2 servings of fruit & veggies
  • Includes 7 alkalizing leafy greens
  • Supports lean muscle development
  • Regulates optimal digestive health
  • Provides these wellness benefits:
    • USDA-certified organic ingredients
    • non-GMO & gluten-free verified
    • no added sugars or preservatives
    • vegan, kosher & pareve compliant
amazing grass smoothie 3

organic pea, hemp, chia and quinoa…OH MY!

Psssst…wanna experience all that AMAZINGNESS for yourself this summer? Then, don’t forget to enter my Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Giveaway! Check out the details below and indicate which flavor you’d prefer: Original, Vanilla or Chocolate–Peanut Butter.

instagram giveaway

***Open U.S.–based entries only.  Winner selected at midnight July 9.***

 

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 – such as immune-supporting antioxidants and longevity-promoting flavonoids – 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 – packed with protein, vitamins and minerals from various fruits, leafy greens and whole grains – 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:

½ Apple (cored & sliced)

½ c. Berries (any variety, sliced)

ÂĽ 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)

½ cup Kale (chopped)

½ Avocado (diced)

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

½ tbsp. Matcha Powder (organic)

2 tsp. Oats (whole grain)

½ 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)*

½ c. Water (add more if necessary)

½ Banana or Avocado (as a binding agent)

½ c. Strawberries (for topping, sliced)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

2 tsp. Cacao Powder (raw & organic)

½ 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, “binder” 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 ÂĽ 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 4–5 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.

Spring Has Sprung. Here’s a Smoothie to Celebrate.

With the weather FINALLY warming up and this life-giving season in full, glorious swing, let’s do a smoothie recipe!

Wanna cool off from a day spent soaking up the sun, while treating your body to essential nourishment at the same time? Sure ya do! So, whether you need to refuel after a workout, snack smart between meals, or stay energized and refreshed in the great outdoors, I’ve got a SUPER SMOOTHIE that will satisfy on all cylinders.

This blendiful thirst-quencher is also a  nutritional powerhouse — featuring protein packed edamame, Omega-3 enriched avocado, antioxidant fortified papaya, and vitamin loaded spinach.

But, if those health benefits don’t quite tickle your taste buds, maybe the lusciously creamy texture will. Trust me, getting more greens in your diet has never been so indulgent!


Avocado & Edamame Green Smoothie

total time: 5 minutes; yields: 1 serving

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Spinach (shredded)

1/4 c. Papaya (fresh or frozen, diced)

1/4 c. Edamame (shelled)

1/2 Avocado (peeled & diced)

1/2 tsp. Rolled Oats (whole grain)

1 tsp. Almond Butter (organic)

1 c. Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology Powder (optional, if you’re an avid Shakeology fan, like me!)*

*If you’re looking for a natural protein powder but can’t afford Shakeology, I’d highly recommend checking out Fuel-6 from DailyBurn. This supplement is an excellent source of plant-based protein; plus it’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. Can’t beat those stats, right?

green smoothie ingredients

Preparation:

Combine these ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth.

green smoothieSpringtime just got sweeter. Bottoms up, my fellow smoothie enthusiasts!


P.S. Sharing is caring, so spread the love by re-posting this recipe on social media — or even feature your own blended concoction — with the hashtag #ShowUsYourSmoothie.

10 Ingenious Ingredient Hacks that Equal Smoothie Perfection

Yeaaaah. I’m that girl, who’s best friends with her blender and thinks smoothie-making should be considered the ultimate in culinary expertise.

And, therefore, I don’t just limit myself to the standard, predictable “fruity fare.” Not that I don’t love a classic strawberry-banana combo, but experimenting with unusual flavor profiles is what keeps luring me back to the kitchen.

That’s why no liquid concoction in my repertoire would be complete without the following add-ins. Once blended all together, you might not even notice their subtle, sublime presence; nevertheless, these “superfood” ingredients boost your diet with natural, (mostly) plant-based nutrition without compromising the velvety texture and refreshing taste that you expect from a perfectly-pureed smoothie.

1. Hemp Hearts

hemp hearts

image courtesy of babble.com

 These crisp and nutty seeds are loaded with protein, iron, Vitamin E, whole grains, and Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol, metabolic, reproductive, and anti-inflammatory health.

2. Rolled Oats

image courtesy of keeperofthehome.org

image courtesy of keeperofthehome.org

This hearty and filling cereal is loaded with fiber, protein, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E, whole grains, and antioxidants (polyphenols, carotenoids & flavonoids) for cardiovascular, cholesterol, immune, and digestive health.

3. Almond Butter

almond butter

image courtesy of amyshealthybaking.com

 This thick and creamy spread is loaded with protein, calcium, copper, fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol musculoskeletal, neurological, nervous, and digestive health.   

4. Leafy Greens

leafy greens

image courtesy of busterbucks.hubpages.com

These fresh and nutrient-dense veggies are loaded with potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C & K, folate, magnesium, and antioxidants for cardiovascular, circulatory, immune, and respiratory health (serving suggestions: spinach, kale, chard, collards & watercress).

5. Chia Seeds

chia seeds

image courtesy of mindbodygreen.com

These crunchy and micro-sized seedlings are loaded with protein, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, Vitamin B, potassium, and Omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular, immune, anti-aging, energy endurance, and metabolic health.

6. Green Tea

green tea

image courtesy of webhealthjournal.com

This light and invigorating beverage is loaded with antioxidants (catechins & flavonoids) and natural caffeine for  cardiovascular, immune, dental metabolic, energy endurance, neurological, and circulatory health (serving suggestion: matcha, or finely powdered green tea).

7. Coconut Water

image courtesy of coconutwaterlife.com

image courtesy of coconutwaterlife.com

This tangy and hydrating beverage is loaded with fiber, electrolytes, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, bio-active enzymes, Vitamin B, and natural sugar (glucose) for digestive, circulatory, anti-aging, and gastrointestinal health.

8. Raw Cacao

image courtesy of iquitsugar.com

image courtesy of iquitsugar.com

This tart and chocolatey powder is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols & flavonoids), fiber, digestive enzymes, Vitamins A, B, C & E, chromium, magnesium, zinc, iron, sulphur, manganese, and Omega-fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol, immune, circulatory, and neurological health.

9. Greek Yogurt

image courtesy of leanitup.com

This rich and satisfying dairy product is loaded with protein, calcium, iodine, potassium, Vitamin B, and probiotics for musculoskeletal, energy endurance, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and neurological health (serving suggestion: unsweetened variety).

10. Avocados

image courtesy of iwashyoudry.com

image courtesy of iwashyoudry.com

 These indulgent and buttery fruits are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, potassium, zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, folate, and Vitamins A, B, C, E & K for cardiovascular, cholesterol, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and circulatory health.

So, yeah. That’s my arsenal of secret smoothie superbness. Got any of your own faves worth adding to the list? Share in the comments below!

Nutri Maqui: Because “Natural” Doesn’t Have to Mean “Nasty”

image courtesy of nutrilifescience.com

image courtesy of nutrilifescience.com

Why is the claim “all-natural” typically met with groans, eye rolling, and outright skepticism from the average consumer?

Well, because it’s often just that — a claim. Pretentious-sounding marketing ploys that guilt people into buying overpriced (not to mention, unappetizing!) products, which may or may not legitimately support a nutritious lifestyle.

The result? Money wasted, and no perceptible health benefits to justify the cost (or assault on your taste buds!).

If only there was a dietary supplement out there, which could live up to the “all-natural” hype, without compromising flavor and affordability…

Enter: Nutri Maqui.

This gluten-free superfruit juice is the solution to our dilemma, dear readers! Made with the purest and highest quality ingredients found in nature, Nutri Maqui delivers optimum nutritional benefits and tastes startlingly delicious, too. Think: sweet with just a hint of satisfying tartness. Fabuloso!

Developed by Nutri Lifescience, a Florida-based company dedicated to preserving the overall wellbeing of its customers with premium-grade health products, Nutri Maqui packs an energizing punch, guaranteed to power you through even the most hectic schedule.

Its primary active ingredient — maqui berry — is nature’s richest known source of antioxidants (essential nutrients that fight disease-causing free radicals in the body) and can only be harvested from the Patagonian region of South America. This extraordinary superfruit has been proven to fortify immune function, alleviate oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and promote both physical and mental longevity.

These are the very same benefits you can expect from just a single serving of Nutri Maqui!

Plus, integrating this dietary supplement into your regular routine couldn’t be simpler. Jump-start your morning by blending it into a smoothie. Drink it straight from the bottle for pre-workout fuel or post-workout recovery. Even enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up instead of reaching for those Doritos. Regardless of how you choose to get your daily dosage, Nutri Maqui fits in with any lifestyle demand.

Now, let’s discuss cost. One 32-ounce bottle retails on Amazon for $39.95, and — I can assure you — the value is worth the price tag. Check it out: Each serving equals 1 cap-ful, and every bottle contains 32 servings. That’s 32 days full of energy-boosting, antioxidant-enriching nourishment. Talk about a bang for your buck!

My personal experience with this superfruit juice can only be described as “love at first sip.” Nutri Maqui is the real deal, — not just another poser of false advertising — and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

So, whether you’re already an all-natural enthusiast or you’re striving to live healthier in the New Year, Nutri Maqui has you covered!

nutri maqui juice

image used with permission from Nutri Lifescience, LLC

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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts: Lots of Love to Go Around {Product Review}

I’ve recently had the privilege of participating in my very first product review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community. So, here’s a quick shout-out to the fabulous SPA founder Alyse for this opportunity. Much appreciated!

Now, onto the real business. Today, I’ll be reviewing hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest, a sustainable manufacturer of hemp-only foods, based in Winnipeg, Canada.

Confession Time: Until about 20 minutes ago, I’d never tried hemp hearts before. Scratch that, I’d never tried hemp anything before. I thought hemp was just rope material that middle-schoolers use to make friendship bracelets. So, let’s just say…prior to receiving my free sample in the mail this morning, I was a hemp virgin.

But, nevertheless, they arrived to put the breaks on my virginity, and I eagerly tore into the packaging.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

First Impressions: Okay, they’re all natural: check. Each serving has 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegs-3s: check, check.

Moving right along, then…

*opens bag*

Well, they’re not exactly what I’d expected. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I was expecting, — maybe granola pieces in the shape of a heart? I don’t know! — but these disc-like things resemble lentils more than seeds. Hmm…intriguing!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Seeds

The Taste Test: Nutty. Buttery. Tender. Just a slight crunch. Yep, I can get on-board with these little guys!

So far, hemp hearts get an A+ rating.

And that concludes our preliminary round. Time for the finals.

This company website features several tantalizing recipes, so component number 2 of this product review is to experiment with hemp hearts in one of these recipes.

I’m a sucker for superfood smoothies, so I chose to blend up my own twist on Manitoba Harvest’s Cinna-Butter Bliss Smoothie. The original recipe has been copied below for your convenience:

  • Ingredients:
  1. 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
  2. 1 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  3. 1 Banana*
  4. 1 Date*
  5. 1/2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  6. 1 cup Hemp Bliss Organic Beverage*
  • Preparation: 
  1. Combine all these ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly smooth (yields 1 serving).

* Notes: I don’t particularly care for bananas, so I substituted roughly 1/3 cup frozen mangoes. I didn’t have any dates on-hand, so I omitted that ingredient altogether (although I’m sure dates would add tons of flavor). Instead of Hemp Bliss, – because, if I barely knew what hemp hearts were, why would I just happen to have drinkable hemp lying around?! – I substituted coconut milk.*

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Smoothie Ingredients

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts SmoothieDespite these variations, the smoothie still tasted absolutely incredible. In fact, I can see it becoming my standard post-workout recovery fuel.

And now, for the overarching question: Do I recommend purchasing Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts?

110% YES!

This product has earned my seal of approval and exceeded whatever preconceived notions I had about hemp (which, by the way, is so much more than just a pre-teen fashion statement!).

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Seal of Approval

So, sprinkle the deliciousness on top of salads, oatmeal or yogurt. Toss them into a protein shake or smoothie, like I did. Cook or bake with them in your favorite dishes (or try a brand new recipe, like those displayed on the website). You can even enjoy a handful straight from the bag, as a nutritious and satisfying snack.

Sold, yet? Well, maybe this will persuade you:

During the months of October and November, you can score 20% off all products at ManitobaHarvest.com.

Use the promo code HHSweatPink14 before check-out (and send a cyber thank-you to the awesome folks over at Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest for making this special offer possible!).

* Reminder: This promotional discount will expire November 30, 2014. *

My Make-Ahead-Enjoy-Anytime Menu for a Full Day of Healthy Eating

So, what does an entire day of balanced nutrition look like? Let’s break it down meal-by-meal. For example, the following delicious dishes were my breakfast, lunch, and dinner yesterday. Not only did they pass the taste test, but they required minimal effort and used whole food ingredients. Yeah…that’s a win in my book!

Recreate these recipes for 12 hours of only the freshest fuel (that won’t even feel like you’re on a diet).


Breakfast: Apple & Carrot Smoothie

  • Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup rice milk
  2. 1 tbsp. almonds
  3. 1 apple
  4. 1 carrot
  5. 1 tbsp. nut butter
  • Preparation
  1. Peel and chop the apple.
  2. Peel and chop the carrot.
  3. Finely chop the almonds.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
  5. Puree until the mixture is smooth

carrot apple smoothie ingredients       carrot apple smoothie   

Lunch: Lighter Cobb Salad

  • Ingredients
  1. 1 egg (hard boiled)
  2. 1 avocado (sliced)
  3. 2 Roma tomatoes (diced)
  4. 1/2 cup corn (off-the-cob)
  5. 1 cup lettuce (shredded)
  6. 1/2 cup chicken (chopped)*
  7. 2 tbsp. bleu cheese (crumbled)**

* If your dietary needs/preferences exclude animal protein, you can easily omit the chicken or use a vegetarian substitute (i.e. tofu or tempeh).

** If your dietary needs/preferences exclude dairy, you can substitute a vegan “cheese” product.

  • Preparation
  1. Boil the chicken (or protein substitute) in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  2. Saute the corn, uncovered, on medium-heat for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  3. Hard boil the egg in 1/2 cup of water for approximately 12 minutes (for step-by-step hard boiling instructions, click this link).
  4. While the chicken, corn, and egg are cooking, prep the other ingredients, then set aside.
  5. When the egg has finished cooking, chop it into bit-size slices, then set aside until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Once all the ingredients are ready, arrange the lettuce at the bottom of a salad bowl, then layer the other ingredients on top of the lettuce.
  7. Toss the salad thoroughly so as to evenly distribute everything.

cobb salad   

Dinner: Shrimp, Mango & Avocado Flatbread

  • Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. organic orange juice
  2. 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
  3. 2 tsp. organic honey
  4. 1 tsp. orange zest
  5. 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp. plain hummus
  7. 1 piece Stonefire whole-grain naan*
  8. 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled)
  9. 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
  10. 1 mango (peeled and chopped)
  11. 1 avocado (peeled and chopped)
  12. 2 tsp. cilantro (finely chopped)
  13. 1 tbsp. peanuts (finely chopped)

* If your dietary needs/preferences exclude gluten, you can substitute this GF naan recipe from Queen of Quinoa.

  • Preparation
  1. In 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil, saute the shrimp on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  2. Combine the orange juice, honey, lime juice, and orange juice together in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk the other 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil into this mixture, then toss in the shrimp once they are finished cooking.
  4. Allow the shrimp to marinate in this mixture between 5-10 minutes, then add in the mango, avocado, and onions.
  5. Warm the naan in the oven on 350 degrees F for approximately 5 minutes, or until crispy.
  6. Allow the naan to cool slightly, then spread a thin layer of hummus on the bread.
  7. Drain excess liquid from the marinade, then spoon the shrimp, mango, avocado, and onion mixture on top of the hummus.
  8. Garnish with a few pinches of chopped peanuts and cilantro.

shrimp mango avocado flatbread