“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.” ― Cherise Sinclair, Hour of the Lion
I always look forward to my early morning coffee experience but in the past disliked the time it took to brew and the waste of making too much coffee. I love to start my day with a fresh, hot cup of coffee to get me energized for a quick, morning yoga flow. However, sometimes I’m short on time and don’t have the luxury of time to sip and savor my morning brew.
I was so happy when I discovered the Black & Decker Brew N Go.
It brews delicious, hot coffee in less that two minutes. And to top that off, you can take it with you in an insulated cup that keeps it hot on your drive to work. Although I normally love my coffee black, I experimented with adding some flavor to my morning brew. Here’s what I came up with:
1 heaping tablespoon of Charleston Coffee Roasters Organic Sumatra coffee
A (Black & Decker) Brew & Go cup of filtered water
1 tablespoon of organic hot cocoa
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of organic coconut milk
This recipe is so quick and simple. Put 12 oz of filtered water in your Brew & Go cup and pour the water in your coffee maker. Add one tablespoon of coffee to the filter. Once you’ve added your water to your coffee maker and your brew cup is empty, add cinnamon, cocoa mix and coconut milk to your brew cup.
Now simply place your cup in the coffee maker and brew. Your delicious hot steaming cafe mocha will be ready in less than two minutes. ENJOY!!
Also, if you drink a lot of coffee like I do, check out my article:
Avocado Toast- This is one of my favorite breakfast/ snack foods- I love to use Ezekiel bread and then add mashed avocado with a splash of olive oil, red pepper flakes, and top with hemp or flax-seed
2. Protein Oatmeal Bowl- This is another one of my healthy go to meals- I like to use a single serving of organic oats, scoop of your favorite protein, 1 tbsp of almond butter, handful of organic blueberries and top with flax-seed.
3. Spinach and Egg Breakfast Quesadilla – These are quick, healthy, and can be made ahead of time to warm up if short on time. Simple recipe includes – scramble eggs in tbsp of avocado or olive oil , toss in any optional veggies and then place on tortilla. Top with cheese and heat until cheese melted. Delicious!!
Choose Organic– Authority Nutrition points out that “coffee beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and various toxins that were never intended for human consumption. For this reason, I recommend that you choose organic coffee whenever possible”.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners– Most everyone has heard of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. Dr. Mercola, a well known osteopathic and alternative medicine physician, points out that “research over the last 30 years—including several large scale prospective cohort studies—have shown that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote fat storage and weight gain.” Truthfully, once you get in the habit of drinking coffee black or with cream, you will actually be able to enjoy the actual flavor or the brew rather than the additives.
Use Milk or REAL Cream– Have you looked at the ingredients in most coffee creamers? Believe it or not, many of them contain partially hydrogenated oils, “ a trans fat”. The FDA reports that “eating trans fat raises the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood. An elevated LDL blood cholesterol level can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease”
Brew Your Coffee With A Paper Filter–healthyeating.sfgate.com reports that a 2007 Science Daily article suggests that “drinking five cups of unfiltered coffee every day for four weeks could increase cholesterol levels by 6 to 8 percent” Furthermore, coffee filters trap substances in coffee called diterpenes. These substances escape into your coffee grounds floating in the coffee or oily droplets floating on the surface. These compounds are known to block a cholesterol-regulating receptor in the intestines.Authority Nutrition reports that Brewing coffee with a paper filter removes diterpenes, but lets the caffeine and beneficial antioxidants pass through.
So start your morning by brewing a healthier cup of coffee. And you may want to consider these add-ins to try something new ( Dessert Coffee Flavor Add-Ins ). Enjoy your day!
Love to start my Sunday morning with a easy yoga flow and then enjoy a delicious cup of bulletproof coffee. Try this short yoga flow to get you moving and then treat yourself with my easy recipe for bulletproof coffee.
Child’s Pose- One Minute
Down Dog- One Minute
Sun Salutation B- One Minute
Tree Pose- One Minute (30 secs each side)
Forward Fold- One Minute
Plank- One Minute
Corpse Pose- One Minute
Brew your favorite cup of coffee and add a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and a splash of coconut milk. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy a relaxing day
Have you noticed there are many people who seem to work out all the time but their bodies never change. In order to get results from your workouts; you need a specific plan of action. How many calories should you eat? How many times should you do cardio? Should you lift heavy or light, high rep or low rep? It’s a lot to think about and can be confusing. However follow these tips to help increase your lean muscle and reduce body fat.
You can’t get lean with a bad diet– You know the quote, “what you eat in private, you wear in public” is true. Your body composition is majorly affected by your food choices. Processed foods/ junk foods lead to increased body fat. If you want to get lean you need to eat good quality protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
You don’t have enough protein in your diet. Protein is the building block of muscles. Good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, chicken, fish, beans/legumes, quinoa, greek yogurt, nuts and eggs. WebMD states adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.It’s not hard to get this amount if you eat two to three servings of protein-rich foods a day, according to the CDC.
A small 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein. A typical 8-ounce piece of meat could have over 50 grams of protein.
One 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.
One cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
One cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein.
You need to have a well balanced plan– In order to get lean, you need to lift weights to build muscle. Make sure you are working all the major muscle groups. You need to lift heavy enough weights to fatigue the muscle and advance to heavier weights when you no longer feel the challenge in your current routine. You should also do some sort of cardiovascular exercise to strengthen the heart and burn fat. High intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat in a short period of time.
Make sure you give yourself a recovery day. Your muscles actually break down when you work out and recovery allows them to rebuild, repair and get stronger. Always allow a rest day to help build muscle and to ensure you are well rested for your next workout.
Find ways to reduce stress– Stress can cause an increase in cortisol. chronic stress can lead to higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated withchronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
Impaired cognitive performance
Suppressed thyroid function
Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
Decreased bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue
Try yoga and meditation to reduce stress. Allow some time each day to relax and unwind. FInd what works for you such as a quiet walk outside to appreciate nature or just some alone time to listen to your favorite tunes.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? For many people the thought of going for days or hours with little to no food is inconceivable. However, there is increasing research surfacing touting the amazing benefits of fasting. Some recent studies suggest fasting can aid in weight loss, increased longevity of life, and even help fight diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimers. Per Dr. Joseph Mercola
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting provides a number of health benefits that most people need, and you and your body are worthy of all of them:
Gets rid of stubborn weight and sugar cravings by activating your fat-burning mode
Builds muscle and promotes overall health and wellness
Enhances brain health and helps prevent neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s
Reduces oxidative stress and fights aging, diseases like cancer and stress
Delivers an array of physiologic benefits, including lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation and lessening free-radical damage
The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days
I’ve found the 16/8 to be a very easy method of fasting for me. Since I sometimes teach several fitness classes in a row, some of the longer fasts would be difficult without fuel for the workouts.
I typically try to consume my last meal around 6 pm and then fast until around 10:00 or 11:00 am. I allow myself to indulge in only black coffee or lemon water during my fast.
I then eat either a late breakfast or an early lunch. Since you are asleep most of the fast; it’s pretty easy to do it on an ongoing basis.
Since I started the intermittent fasting, I’ve noticed I’m less hungry and have been able to maintain my weight although I’ve decreased my activity level. It will be interesting to see possible changes once I get back to my regular teaching schedule.
A Perfect Make Ahead Valentine’s Day Breakfast Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, and as much as I would love to wake up without an alarm clock, sip on my coffee and make a big breakfast for the two of us – it’s just not going to happen. I wasn’t going to let that…
Most People look forward to the weekends to relax and unwind. I love to make bread and if it’s healthy, that’s even better! Bread is a comfort food and with oatmeal, bananas, and walnuts you can’t go wrong. This is a quick and easy recipe that is great for breakfast or a healthy snack. I tossed all the ingredients in the blender, poured it in a bread pan and popped it in the oven. It’s absolutely delicious. I used honey instead of the Agave. After enjoying a slice of this delicious banana bread, consider trying this wonderful yoga and meditation video. It’s perfect to do in the morning or evening before bedtime. Ahhhh a slice of heaven!
I love Larabars! Guess what? You can make them yourselves and here is an easy recipe from Daily Burn with only 3 ingredients! How cool is that??
3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars
Store-bought bars are great for convenience, but homemade versions are always healthier, tastier and more budget conscious. This recipe is packed with nuts and dried fruit for a healthy balance of fiber and protein. Change up the flavor by adding cinnamon, vanilla extract or cacao powder. Add texture by mixing in some cacao nibs or chia seeds! Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn
3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
3/4 cup other dried fruit (such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, figs or more dates)
Pinch of sea salt
Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until they form large crumbs. Then, with the motor running, add the dates and other dried fruit to the food processor.
Process until you have a mixture that sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
Pour the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Form the mixture into an 8-inch square and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cutting into bars.
Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks or in the freezer for a few months.
January is a great month to work on goals. If you are interested in working on the yoga splits, I’ve got a great challenge for you. Try these two videos for the next thirty days and let’s see how close we can get! 🙂
Here are two great videos that can help you achieve your goal. The first one is more of a Yin Yoga workout
‘Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more’
This video is an amazing workout to help you gain flexibility in your hips and hamstrings. Try this video 3 to 4 times a week on non consecutive days. Don’t let the title “Beginner class” fool you. This is an amazing video for any level.
Now here is the “bread and butter” of our challenge.
HOW TO GET THE SPLITS- 30 DAY CHALLENGE- This dynamic flow is only 10 minutes – so work on getting this done everyday of the challenge!
Alright, I’m excited! What about you?? Let’s do this!