Just a reminder how special YOU are.

Diamonds are held under tons and tons of pressure, extremely high temperatures of fire and shuffled under shifting of tectonic plates, for a long, long time! Yet when they come out from there and are put on display for their beauty; does anybody stop to evaluate the diamond based upon all the dirt it’s been through and say “Remember that disgusting hole it used to be in? I bet it was hell in there!” No, people don’t remember where a diamond has come from; they just see the beauty of it now. But it wouldn’t have become so beautiful, you know, if not for all of that! So why should we look at other people, or at ourselves and evaluate them/ourselves based upon their/our pasts? Shouldn’t we forget that? And only see the beauty that is in front of our eyes? Whatever it was, it made you beautiful! And that is what matters!  Start today positive and just focus on “Sky Above me, Earth below me, Fire within me.” Light the fire inside yourself.. remember what YOU deserve and what YOU are working for and do that for YOU. Sometimes people don’t understand and sometimes the nay sayers will bring you down.. you will never please everyone.. so remind yourself why YOU can do it and get ready to shine .. you are most definitely a diamond worth waiting for.

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Workouts

~To really shape your body it is important to incorporate weights AND cardio. I know many women feel cardio should be dominant in their workout routines and sometimes even fear that weights will make them bulky. This is NOT true. As you can see, we are both not bulky and we both lift 4-5 times a week. Sticking with only cardio can result in loss which is primarily from water and muscle. It is vital to implement weights if you truly want to tone up.
Here is a breakdown of our training. We try to stick to one body group per day. Always use proper form and if you are unsure of how to perform an exercise ask a professional or trainer in the gym for assistance.

EX
Day 1- Abs & Back
Day 2- Triceps & Biceps
Day3 – Shoulders
Day4- Glutes
Day 5- Legs

Weights (45min) 4-5 times a week
Cardio (20-30min) 5-6 times a week

~To build muscle try to use weights that are at least 70% of your max weight for that exercise. This typically necessitates keeping reps to 12 and under.
~If the sum of reps you perform for an exercise adds up to about 25, you’re more likely to maximize your muscle and strength gains. Just keep the reps relatively low and the sets moderate. Configurations like 5×5, 6×4, and 8×3 work very well. We typically do 3 or 4 sets of 8 with heavy weights. By the last rep you should really feel the burn and it should be nearly impossible to finish with proper form. This is particularly important because if your muscles ‘think’ they can handle the weight you’re giving them.. they WON’T CHANGE. Your muscles will not grow if they are not brought to failure by your last reps.. because they see no reason to if they can ‘handle’ the exercise.

~Set a goal! A realistic goal for weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week ( this also may fluctuate depending on your current weight.) Some goals may be to gain muscle mass and not fat loss. Goals will vary! It is important to not solely focus on weight loss but focus on losing fat and gaining muscle. In return, you will boost your metabolism and keep the weight off with your lifestyle change. Weights will give you the curves you see in the magazines, where cardio will only make you a smaller version of YOU. A healthy workout plan combines Both.

~Fitting in some cardio with 4-5 days of Heavy weights is one of the greatest ways to transform your body. Bodybuilding.com has hundreds of articles and videos demonstrating different exercises for each body part. This can be a useful tool for beginner swho are unsure of how to do certain exercises in the gym.
*Literally type in the name of the exercise, name of the machine, or name of the body part you are trying to work.. and this site will break it ALL down. Bodybuilding.com is a wonderful source. We have and still do refer to their insight and information.

~Most importantly remember that YOU are human and you will make mistakes. You will have days where you feel energized and can take on the world and then you will have days where you don’t want to leave the comfort of your WonderWoman pajamas and bed! Healthy living is about balance. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed aworkout, just give it your 100% the very next day. With consistency.. results WILL follow. Remember that working out is important..
BUT 80% of results is nutrition.

Cardio ~

Using your heart rate to determine if you are performing cardio in your “Fat burning zone” can speed up results

Take 220- your age = a number.

That number x .70 = ?

That number x .80= ?

= fat burning zone

My heart rate would be
220-23 = 197

70% of my max heart rate is: 197 x 70% = 138

80% of my max heart rate is: 197 x 80% = 157

My fat burning zone is 139-157 and I monitor it using a heart rate monitor watch.

My favorite is to incorporate HIIT (High
Intensity Interval Training) into the workout. I typically only do HITT 2-3 times a week to avoid muscle loss. I will sprint for 60 seconds andthen walk for two. After my sprints I make sure that my heart rate falls back to the Fat Burning Zone (70-80% of your max that you calculated) BEFORE sprinting again. I typically use a treadmill with high incline and 8-10mph for sprints and rest anywhere from 3mp-6mp. The stairmaster and elliptical are great for HITT too.

Garlic Kale Chips..F&F style!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Kale chips going into the oven!
2 cups of kale
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Then take your kale, wash thoroughly and dry. I personally used a mix of dinosaur kale, purple curly kale and regular curly kale.
Once washed, take your kale and tear the leaves away from the stem. Tear the leaves into smaller “chip” size pieces, keeping in mind the leaves will become much smaller when baked.

Garlic Kale Chips
Take two cups of this kale and put it in a large mixing bowl. Add in the teaspoon of olive oil and the 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt. Then mix well to make sure all the kale leaves are coated.
Take a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Then place the kale leaves on the parchment paper and try to make sure the kale leaves do NOT touch each other.
Once you’ve got all your kale leaves on your baking sheet, you’re all set to put them in the oven.
Bake for ten to fifteen minutes or until browned and crispy.
Let cool and then enjoy!
These garlic kale chips make a great snack or a nice accompaniment to a sandwich in place of potato chips!

Zucchini & Corn Casserole

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4 medium size zucchinis
1 cup of sweet white corn

Nutritional yeast flakes

This recipe will make a casserole to feed two people so you can adjust accordingly to your needs.
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees so it will be ready by the time you are done preparing this dish.
Then you will need to slice your zucchinis into thin slices. Sauté your zucchini slices until they are all golden brown.

Just before it went into the oven!
At this point, toss in your corn. I used a frozen bag of sweet white corn but you can use fresh if available. Let the corn and the zucchini cook for a couple minutes. You want the corn to be warmed but you don’t want the corn to turn brown.
After this, pour your golden brown zucchini slices and warmed corn into a baking dish.
Top with nutritional yeast flakes. Then bake this at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes.
Once done, you’ll have a warm cheesy delicious vegetable dish to enjoy!

Baked Veggies !

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2 yams
2 zucchini
1 onion
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of all purpose seasoning
2 tablespoons of EE olive oil or EE coconut oil
Vegetable broth (1 – 2 cups)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Start by washing all of your vegetables. Carefully wash your zucchini and carrots. Also wash and gently scrub your yams to ensure there is no dirt remaining on them.

Vegetables Going into the Oven
Then you can chop all of your vegetables and put them into a large mixing bowl. This includes chopping your washed zucchini, carrots and yams into smaller pieces, as well as chopping your onion. You will also need six whole cloves of garlic to add in to the mixing bowl.
Put enough olive oil on your vegetables to coat them. This should be a couple tablespoons, not much but enough. Then add in your seasoning of choice. I used one tablespoon of Simply Organic’s all-purpose seasoning with onion, black pepper, garlic, parsley, celery seed, tomato powder, basil, thyme, oregano, sage and coriander.
Gently mix your vegetables in the large mixing bowl and then pour into a baking sheet. Spread evenly across the pan. Then add in your vegetable broth. You should pour in enough to fill up about 1/4 of your baking sheet. This took me about two cups of vegetable broth, but it will depend on the size of your baking pan. This broth will help add some additional flavors to the vegetables while roasting and allows them to stay moist.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup

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Serves: 2
Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 butternut squash
-1 onion
-4 garlic cloves
-Vegetable stock or water
-Salt and pepper to taste
Start with your prep. Peel your butter squash and remove the seeds. Then chop your butternut squash into small pieces. Chop your onion into small pieces. Peel the garlic cloves and chop each clove very finely.

Butternut squash soup before being puréed.
Add the garlic and onion to a large pot with a splash of olive oil. You should have enough olive oil to coat each of these pieces so they don’t burn. Cook your garlic and onion over medium heat for almost 10 minutes or until your onion pieces become translucent. Then add your chopped butternut squash to the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. You will also need to add some liquid. You may use water or vegetable stock. I didn’t measure this. Instead, I added enough liquid to just cover the vegetables in my large pot. I find this is a very easy way to make sure you have enough liquid but not too much that you find your soup watered down.
Let your soup simmer for about 25 minutes, or until your butternut squash becomes fork tender. Now transfer the contents of your pot into a blender or a food processor and blend or process until smooth.
Once you have pureed your soup, return it back to your pot and enjoy warm

Almond Butter, Banana and Chocolate Smoothie (Post Workout of course!)

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1 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1 tablespoon of vegan chocolate chips
Simply take the one cup of almond milk, one tablespoon of almond butter, one frozen or fresh banana and your one tablespoon of vegan chocolate chips and put all these ingredients into your blender of Vitamix.
Blend on high for about a minute. If you want the chocolate chips to really be broken down, you may need to blend this all together for a little bit longer. So adjust accordingly.
When the smoothie has been blended to the consistency you want, it’s ready to pour into a glass and enjoy!

Almond milk, almond butter, vegan chocolate chips and banana all ready to be blended!
Remember that if you are having this as a post workout smoothie, you should try to make sure you have this as soon as possible after your workout. I usually have it about a half hour after I work out. If you are able to have this sometime in the hour following your workout, it will really help your body to get rebuilding those muscles and helping your body to recover from your workout.

Healthy Popsicles

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Ingredients:
3 cups watermelon puree (seedless if possible)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine, diced small
handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Set out about 1 dozen popsicle molds (amount needed will vary depending on size of molds). Fill each one with the chopped fresh fruit. Then pour in the watermelon puree until each mold is full to the top. Place a popsicle stick into each one. Place into your freezer and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, run the popsicle molds under warm water for a few seconds and then pull each one out.

PERSONAL vitamin water!

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This vitamin water gives your adrenal glands a boost. If you suffer from adrenal exhaustion or fatigue due to stress, overwork, improper nutrition, lack of sleep or any other hormonal issues, this vitamin water will help to revitalize and nourish your glands with dosha balancing ashwagandha, maca, high doses of natural vitamin C camu camu, cranberry, orange and kiwi.

Ingredients:
1 Cup Oranges (sliced)

1 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Cranberries

1/2 Cup Kiwi (sliced)

1 Tsp Ashwagandha Powder

5-10 Holy Basil Leaves (fresh or 1 Tbsp dried leaves or powder)

1/2 Tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder (or two capsules opened)