Viewing entries tagged
clean eats

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

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We love a good cookie. If they're made healthier, that's even better. But sometimes we need to learn to put the cookie down (it isn't easy, trust).  If anybody ever told you that cookie cutters should only be used for cookies, they haven't tried it on their fruits. Not only are creatively-cut melons and apples a much more nutritious option to sweeten up your spring meals, they even look presentable enough to bring to a potluck. This idea from PumpUp member latinmarge is absolutely brilliant. Vibrant fruits and colourful shapes come into play as a festive and edible way to celebrate the advent of spring.

6 Pinterest-worthy cookie cutter fruit ideas

Fruit pops

cookie cutter fruit pops

These fruit pops from Bakers Royale will help keep you cool, whatever the weather.

Shamrock smoothie toppers

cookie cutter fruit kiwi

Recipe.com had the brilliant idea of using cookie-cutter fruit to top it's refreshing green smoothie recipe, and it literally made our lives. We would consider ourselves lucky to have a sip.

Fruit kabobs

Meat and vegetables aren't the only types of food that shine in the kabob spotlight. Let Mint in the Middle's cookie cutter fruit gleam brightly in the skewer spotlight by serving them as delightful kabobs.

Fruit infused water

cookie cutter fruit infused water

Make your water sparkle with a little flavour and a lot of wonderful shapes. Fruit infused water is perfect for a healthy and refreshing fourth of July celebration.

Fruit bouquets

Nothing says spring like a great bouquet! If you or your significant other is prone to allergies, try making a cookie cutter fruit bouquet instead. Bonus? It's edible. 

Fruit cookies

cookie cutter fruit cookies

 

If you're gonna go through the trouble of purchasing great cookie cutters, might as well serve the fruits themselves as cookies.

Best fruit for cookie cutters

Look for denser varieties and avoid citrus, as pulp makes it very difficult for cookie cutter blades incise most citrus fruits in a precise shape.

  • Watermelons, and other melons - Cut the watermelon into large, flat, round slices. Remove peel, lay slice flat on a cutting board, and gently trim into desired shape
  • Kiwi - Peel kiwi and slice into discs of equal circumference. Use smaller cookie cutters with kiwis (because when in your life will you ever encounter a kiwi as big as a watermelon? Didn't think so).
  • Apples - Peel and slice apple into flat pieces. Rub each slice with lemon to avoid browning. Cut with smaller, star shaped cookie cutters

What are your favourite ideas for getting creative with your cookie cutters? Let us know by sharing about it with the PumpUp community!

 

Meal prep idea: Quinoa with veggies and black beans

Meal prep idea: Quinoa with veggies and black beans

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I've heard a lot about black beans! One day, as I was doing my grocery shopping, I decided to buy a can and give them a try. Paired with vegetables and the nutty flavour of quinoa, what I came up with was tasty and super simple to make. Think of this recipe as a 'pantry' meal: something that you can easily whip up in a flash with simple, uncomplicated ingredients from your pantry. Feel free to substitute some of the veggies in the recipe with whatever you have on hand if that suits you better! Quinoa with veggies and black beans can be made in bulk by doubling the recipe; it's an easy way to meal prep.

What you need:

  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red or green pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 onion
  • ½  garlic bulb
  • Olive oil
  • Some salt and pepper

How you do it:

  1.  In a saucepan put 3 cups of water (for a cup full of quinoa) and a little bit of salt and let is boil then add the quinoa (make sure the quinoa is rinsed well), cover it and let it cook until the quinoa absorb all the water
  2. Mince the garlic and the onion, cut the zucchini into squares and, the pepper and the carrot into strips
  3. In a pan put some olive oil and add the minced onion and garlic and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the pepper, the carrot and the zucchini along with a glass or two of water and let it cook for about 15-20 min then add the black beans and let them cook until nice and soft – you can add more water if you like but you should have some water left in the pan at the end
  5. When it is almost done add the baby spinach, the quinoa and the tomato sauce and stir then let it cook for another 3-4 minutes

Post by Anna M (eatforyourpeace) . Follow her on PumpUp @annaaa_, on Instagram @annaaamsl, and check out her blog. Let us know what you think of Anna's Quinoa with Veggies and Black Beans in the comments below!

4 healthy treats that will teach you a lot about self-love

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Learn to love yourself with these 4 healthy, sweet and savory treats - Get Healthy with Valentina

This post is part of a series of monthly posts by Valentina M. Follow her on Instagram @thehealthymexican9 and on PumpUp @thehealthymexican.

  • Quinoa Egg muffins
  • Quinoa-cacao truffles
  • Raw strawberry pie
  • Double layer protein pudding

Ah, romance. Just what everyone needs…right? February is undeniably a month of love: a month when we’re encouraged to express it to others by giving gifts such as candy and flowers. If you’re loath to the idea of February in general (it’s cold, it’s slushy, it’s wet, it’s not quite spring yet, and maybe you feel a bit lonely), I feel you.  But this month has plenty other good qualities that are worth highlighting. Love should also flow inwards, not just outwards. 

The purpose of life is to live, so start living, and start falling in love with you. You are the only person you know you can receive love from, whenever you need it. You are the only person who can give yourself permission to see the beauty of the world. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions. All what really matters is how you feel. Give yourself a chance to learn more about yourself and love yourself no matter what. You are the only person who decides how to nourish your body. The best part about choosing wholesome food is that you know that you’re eating something good for your health, and that by default means that you’re doing something great for yourself.  

So having all that said… Here are some recipe ideas so you can try to find Self-Love through Food! Don’t forget to give you the opportunity to fall in love with your soul and your body!

Quinoa Egg Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 + 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax seeds or chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. onion (garlic) powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 handfuls spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place cupcake liners into a 12 muffin tin and spray generously with cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites for 30 seconds. Add flax/chia seeds, feta cheese, onion (garlic) powder, salt, pepper and whisk to combine. Add quinoa, spinach, bell pepper and mix. Fill each muffin with egg mixture 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the egg muffins from the muffin tin and slide onto a platter. Serve hot and enjoy!

Quinoa Cacao Truffles

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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 ½ cup puffed quinoa

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients (except the puffed quinoa) in a big bowl until well-combined. Mix in the puffed quinoa. Spoon into small muffin lines. Refrigerate until set.

Raw strawberry pie

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup (packed) pitted dates
  • ¼ tsp (scant) sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Filling

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries (measured whole if small, or cut in half if large; these are for filling, you will need extra for garnishing if desired)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3-4 tbsp raw agave
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Couple pinches sea salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (stir in after pureeing)

Directions

Lightly oil a pie plate with coconut oil. Prepare the crust: Place all the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse briefly until crumbly and the mixture will hold together when pressed with your fingers. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie plate, pressing it evenly into the pan.  Prepare the filling: Place all the filling ingredients, except the lemon zest (and starting with 3 tablespoons of the agave nectar), in a high-powered blender .Puree for a minute or so at medium-high speed until completely smooth and no texture of the cashews remains. Taste, and add the remaining tablespoon of agave, if needed, to sweeten, and puree again.

2-layer protein pudding

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Layer 1: Chia pudding with raspberries

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of quark
  • ½. cup of raspberries.

Directions

Mix together chia seeds and milk the night before, or one-two hours before you eat it. Mix the quark and berries with the chia pudding when the mixture has gotten a jelly like consistency. Done!

Layer 2: Casein Pudding

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Casein protein powder with chocolate flavour

Directions

Mix together casein powder with an optional amount of milk into a loose paste. Place batter in a glass and let it stand in the refrigerator until it has gotten a pudding consistency. It is best if it can be refrigerated over the night.  The next morning put the chia mix on top of the casein pudding.  Enjoy!

With Love,

Valentina

Overcome your 'fear' of being healthy and never deprive yourself

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Over the past six months, I have come to learn that there is a kind of “fear” of living a healthy lifestyle in the sense that people may feel deprived or that they will only be eating small green salads all day. I believe that this misconception scares people away from living a healthy lifestyle because they think that being healthy—whether it’s a ‘clean’ diet, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, gluten free…etc— is extremely restrictive. The image of a healthy lifestyle is portrayed as an unsatisfying one in which people are always in the gym and barely eating to maintain a slim, toned, or muscular figure. This misconception deters people from ‘committing’ to a relationship with nourishing food. The key to succeeding on a plant-based diet is to eat enough food! Calorie restricting is proven to slow down your metabolism as a protective mechanism. Investing in your health now prevents you from dealing with illnesses and aches that supposedly “come with age,” when in fact, they come from a poor diet in the early stages of your life.

Here is some perspective on what a plant-based diet can do for you and your health:

PREVENTS/CURES/REVERSES: Heart disease, cancer, emphysema, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney failure, influenza, blood infection, liver disease, hypertension, parkinson’s, pneumonitis, injuries

COUNTLESS studies have proven that through a plant-based diet, these diseases can be cured, prevented, and even reversed through a healthier lifestyle. So, with all of this knowledge, how could you neglect what your body truly wants and needs to thrive for a long, healthy life? My number one tip is to eat enough calories from high carb, whole food, plant based sources so you:

  • have high energy and feel satisfied
  • avoid cravings for unhealthy junk/processed foods
  • avoid binge eating
  • are able to focus clearly
  • improve hormonal and bodily functions
  • and be the best version of you!!!

Deprivation is not adopting a healthy lifestyle filled with vibrant, nutritious foods—deprivation is being on a standard ‘diet’ that makes you feel guilty for indulging in what you are craving!

Wouldn’t you rather have an abundance of food that makes you feel great over a spoonful of ice cream that just leaves you wanting more? Through this lifestyle, you can feel truly confident in what is going into your body! This is the first lifestyle that I have come across that is simply about long-term health and not short-term solutions. You can heal your mind and your body by nourishing yourself properly by adopting a plant-based lifestyle!

This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

Heart Shaped Falafel Patties

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This is a post by PumpUp member Sara A. (@bunnies), PumpUp blog contributor. Follow her Tumblr @gurdiel

This month I prepared an easy recipe that is perfect to share with someone you love. I ended up eating it with a close friend of mine who taught me how to make this dish! It consists of two heart-shaped spicy falafel patties on top of some fresh salad.

Heart shaped falafel patties

  • 4 cups of raw chickpeas
  • 1/2 scallion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Parsley
  • Black pepper
  • Curry
  • Hot paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. concentrated tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce

First, stir fry the previously diced scallion and garlic on a frying pan with little olive oil. Once the scallion is translucent and the garlic is a little bit toasted, put the raw chickpeas, the parsley, the garlic and the scallion into a blender and blend it until it has a thick consistency. Now add black pepper, curry and hot paprika as desired and pour the soy sauce and concentrated tomato sauce (do not add more than 3 tablespoons because we don’t want the mixture to be too liquid or else it won’t hold its shape). Blend the mixture again for a few seconds and place the paste on a tray. Make as many heart-shaped patties as you can and place them in the fridge for a few hours. (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry, but they will not hold their shape so well). 

After that, preheat in a frying pan 1 glass of olive oil and once it is hot, fry both sides of the patties until they’re brown. Take them out of the frying pan and lay them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. (Against frying? Bake them in the oven at 375F, turning them over halfway through).

What I did after that was preparing a salad with lettuce, tomato, carrot and sweet corn.

This dish is very fun to make, it is really tasty, vegan friendly and very filling. It is also packed with nutrients such as slow-burning carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, E and K, and has a great amount of fiber, so it will make you feel full much more easily. I genuinely loved it and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it too.

I hope you like this idea! Let me know!

Cheers,

Sara

10 steps to better eating : the mental approach

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Clear your mind of can’t. I believe that you can eat your way to a beach-ready body for the summer. Trimming off those extra holiday pounds might be a hurdle and a half, but don’t give up now! 

Be patient and follow these 10 steps 

1. SET PRESENT-TENSE GOALS! It all starts by having clear and realistic goals. Write a list of things you want to change about your diet. Incorporate goals that you have for your body and plan your new lifestyle around those objectives. How to do it? Set present, short them and long term goals. Write in the present tense. Pin it up somewhere in your house: a place you know you won’t be able to avoid (like the fridge). Take it one goal at a time. Take your time to achieve your goals, it’s not a contest :-).

2. Make Your Goals Public! You might feel uncomfortable doing this but I highly suggest it. Why? Because making your goals public (on the pumpupapp, for example) will put a pressure on you and will have no other choice but to follow through with them ;-)! Plus, you can inspire people around you and they might join you!

3. Realistic Expectations. You need to be realistic when setting up the parameters of your new diet. Your plan needs to work for you and your situation. Follow your budget, cook your food to help you stay on track with your new lifestyle. Be realistic with time, and give yourself extra time to prepare food. Keep in mind that obstacles can and will derail you from your progress, so don’t think that everything will be easy and will just magically happen. This takes work.

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4. Keep healthy food on hand. Make a list of foods you enjoy, and what food you can take with you to work, school, in the car etc. You can create entire menus depending on where you will be. Never give yourself an excuse to not have something available for you to eat, no matter where you are when you are supposed to have a meal. Always keep healthy food on hand. If you don’t you will end up eating whatever is available for you at the moment. This can throw off a diet plan and get you in the habit of making bad food choices and eat whatever is fast and convenient.

5. Consistency Is Key! People respond well to consistency. Make a plan and stick to it. Try to eat at around the same times daily and keep the same portion size and caloric intake. Your body will recognize this pattern and in turn keep your metabolism burning and your energy level will stay high. You will feel better by getting yourself in a healthy routine!

6. Be Flexible. Of course, even the best plans fall short at times. Sometimes your eating routines need to change. Where you can, try to plan ahead for these events and have items on hand you can take with you when you’re in a rush or are eating out. Example: bag of nuts or almonds, protein bars, shakes, fresh fruits. Also, educate yourself on nutrition through the internet, blogs, magazines, books…Use your knowledge to help you improvise and find foods that are more compatible with your diet.

7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes or miss a few meals. Even I do it. Just pick yourself up and get back on track! You’re doing this for you, so the added stress of not living up to your own expectations can lead to a total diet derailment. Being healthy and eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy food that isn’t on your meal plan. So, please don’t beat yourself up. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

8. Make It Fun! Eating right takes dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Don’t stress yourself out over small bumps in the road. You have the power to change any negative situations or thoughts into positive ones. Find fun ways to keep yourself motivated! Get your family or a friend involved. Set challenges at home, with friends or at work to start eating healthier. You are making change for the better, so why not make it enjoyable!

9. Give Yourself Praise! Don’t reward yourself with treats. This will derail all of your week efforts into the trash. Realize that changing your eating habits can be a daunting task for anyone. Just think how long you have had your correct habits and know that changing those habits will not happen overnight, but with time. Congratulate yourself on any healthy changes you make, you deserve the praise!!! Instead of rewarding yourself with a treat, go and get a nice tank top to motivate you even more! Praise builds confidence and makes you feel good about the healthy choices you are making and in turn helps you stay on your path to betterment.

10. Focus On The Journey And Not The Destination. It is never easy to love a healthy lifestyle. But in order to enjoy it with all the ups and downs, we must enjoy the process and the journey on the way to our destination. Once we hit our destination we immediately look to the next mountain top and we either want more or worst case scenario we think that we have accomplished all we need to and we relax on all of the things that got us there in the first place. Take pride in the small victories along the way, they add up.

Making successful changes means measuring your progress towards your goals and recognizing your accomplishments. As you meet short-term goals, you can plan the next steps with more confidence. Constantly re-strategizing your goals takes long-term visualization. That long-term vision needs to be broken down into doable steps.

Now, go out and make a difference in your life today!!! Would you like to receive more support from me on a daily basis?? Ask me about my next Challenge & Support Group!

Together we can set goals and achieve them!

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Eat the rainbow with this quinoa salad

This post is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp ( @zoedesborough) and on her blog

Hi guys! I hope you all had wonderful holidays, filled with good food and fun times! I had a wonderful time back home with my family, and even with all the amazing food I got to eat during the holidays, the scale barely budged!

I was brainstorming the other day, trying to come up with a good back to school/back to work recipe that would help out for lunch or dinner ideas. I got my inspiration from a dish I had made over the summer, and that I re-created for a dinner party I was invited to.

This summery salad was inspired by a little restaurant in Vancouver, called Rebar. My dad got me their cookbook last year when he was there, and I am so glad to have it. It has the best ideas for fresh salads and meals!

The salad I made is a twist on their Corn and Quinoa salad; I had to omit a few ingredients, since I forgot I didn’t have the required ones in my fridge. Either way, this salad is amazing, since it makes a big batch and keeps very well for a few days in the fridge. Also feel free to add other ingredients, such as feta or goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, mangoes, cooked chicken breasts, tofu cubes, etc. It’s really up to you!

For the salad, you will need

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked (red, white, black, mixed, doesn’t really matter)
  • 1 bell pepper (any colour), chopped finely
  • 2 green onions or a small handful of chives, chopped finely
  • Half a small red onion, chopped finely
  • Small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped finely
  • Juice of a lemon, or a lime, or half and half
  • Tiny splash (1 tsp and a bit) of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sriracha or 1 jalapeno, chopped finely

Cook your quinoa according to the packaging, it’s fairly foolproof. Once it’s had a chance to cool off, squeeze in half of your lemon juice and a tiny splash of olive oil.

While your quinoa is cooking and cooling, prep your main veggies, and your extras. Once all is ready, dump it all in a big mixing bowl and stir everything together. You’re going to want to do a taste test at this point, and add more lemon/lime juice or spice to the mix, according to your tastes. You don’t want to start off with too much!

If you really want to make it according to the original recipe, you’re going to want to add 2 cups of thawed out frozen corn kernels. It makes the dish a lot more substantial and filling!

Let me know what you think!

Raw in College: Advanced Meal Plan

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This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp: @rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog

**This plan is best for people who want to fully embrace the Raw in College lifestyle!!!—this means you are ready to cut out animal products and processed foods—it applies to anyone who is looking to completely change their life in all aspects—enhance your overall health, lose weight, and feel your best through a whole food, plant based diet. This plan is meant to provide guidelines not rules for your eating habits. The options for this lifestyle are truly endless, so this is just a general idea of what your day could look like! YOU ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!**

WATER: Every day, you should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces! For example, if you are a 140 pound woman, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water throughout the day. Water flushes your body of toxins and other harmful substances that have been accumulating in your body up until this point. When you wake up, you should start your day with one liter (32 ounces) of water—for some people, this may be a big change! Water does nothave to be boring! You can infuse your water with fresh fruits and herbs to really enhance your hydration and make it tastier for you— most importantly!

BREAKFAST OPTIONS:

**my secret ratio to a perfect smoothie every time: 1/3 of the blender should be frozen fruit, 1/3 fresh, ripe fruit, and 1/3 greens (such as kale, spinach, romaine)—if you like a thick smoothie, add water as you go to achieve your desired consistency—if you like more of a liquid consistency, fill your blender 1/3 of the way and it should be perfect!**

  • FRUIT PLATTER- This option can consist of a variety of fresh fruit of your choice! I also love eating mono meals– this is when you just have a large quantity of one fruit, such as an entire personal watermelon or honeydew. Eating mono meals helps your digestive system immensely and you will definitely notice a difference!
  • 32 oz FRESH PRESSED JUICE- It’s all about what YOU enjoy on this lifestyle! What are you in the mood for? The variations of juice recipes are endless! Juice is an incredible way to get nutrients into your body quickly and give you the energy you need to jump start your day!
  • ‘NICE’CREAM: MY FAVORITE! It’s so yummy you won’t believe how healthy it is for you! Simply blend frozen fruit in a high speed blender or food processor until the desired ice cream consistency! As a base, I like to blend about 2-4 frozen bananas in my food processor and top it off with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and dried mulberries for an extra crunch! 

LUNCH OPTIONS:

  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas)
  • I like to ‘dress’ my salad with the juice of about 1/2 of a lemon, but if you are transitioning from a diet heavy in creamy dressings, you may want to try out some of my raw salad dressing recipes coming soon on my RECIPES page!

WITH

  • 2 to 4 pieces/cups of fruit (grapes, berries, apple, peach) and unlimited veggies from your always list down below!

OR

  • fruit/veggie smoothie

OR

  • fresh pressed juice

OR

  • ‘nice’cream

DINNER OPTIONS: (very similar to lunch and can be interchangeable)

  • Start your meal with a smoothie, fruit platter, or ‘nice’ cream! (this will help eliminate cravings for processed sugars after your meal, especially if you are used to having dessert after your dinner!)
  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas, avocado)

OR

SNACK OPTIONS:

  • always veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas
  • fresh fruit
  • small handful of naturally dried fruit (no added sugar, no preservatives)
  • handful of whole natural raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, etc)

Chicken Mango Avocado Wraps

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Chicken, Mango, Avocado wraps

This is a recipe by PumpUp member @dashdoze, an aspiring dietitian with a passion for healthy living. Find her blog here.

As a new years resolution, I’ve been trying to limit the amount of processed foods I include in my healthy lifestyle. They’re often full of excess sodium and sugar, which often only makes me crave more!
For example: wraps are perceived as healthy, but are often filled with plenty of additional and sometimes unidentifiable ingredients. Instead, I decided to use lettuce leaves as an alternative, because they provide a great ‘crunch’ and freshness.
Chicken and mango are two of my favorite ingredients to wrap together, so I decided to change up my go-to wrap recipe by adding avocado. I had previously never tried it and was delighted at how great the combination was. With a homemade dipping sauce to compliment, it was a filling and healthy lunch.
Chicken, mango, avocado ‘wraps’:
  • Cooked, skinless chicken breast (100 grams)
  • Avocado, sliced (50 grams)
  • Mango, diced (100 grams)
  • 2 - 3 large Iceberg Lettuce leaves, rinsed (or other wrap-able lettuce leaf)
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced, seeds removed (100 grams)
Note: You can add more or less of each ingredient, these are just approximate estimates for 2 - 3 wraps. Also feel free to substitute your meat of choice for the chicken (e.g. tuna, turkey, lean beef) and add any additional vegetables or fruits.
Tangy mango dipping sauce:
  • Mango puree (25 grams)
  • Plain Greek yogurt (30 grams)
  • Lime juice (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Vanilla extract (1/4 teaspoon)
Note: If you like a sweet dip, I recommend adding a natural sweetener like honey aswell.
Directions:
  1. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small container and set aside.
  2. Place a handful of each of your ingredients on a lettuce leaf and wrap like a wrap! Make sure you also fold in the sides of the leaf to prevent any spillage.
  3. Repeat with remaining leaves and enjoy!
It really is quite simple and tasty :)

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If you don’t want to wrap all your ingredients together, simply make a salad (shown below) and drizzle your dipping sauce on top.
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I wish you all the best with your New Years Resolutions! If you try out this recipe I’d love to see it (tag me @dashdoze on PumpUp)! :)

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Is your resolution to eat more healthfully? Reblog if it is! See if you can commit to eating fewer processed food items & refined sugars every Foodie Friday. Share your favourite recipes on these days, and we’ll give tips and pointers.

Thanks PumpUp member @jb_fit for the delicious food photo!

PumpUp's Best Smoothie Recipes of 2014

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The Best PumpUp Smoothie Recipes of 2014

A smoothie a day keeps the sadness away! Detox from the turkey (and the cookies, and the stuffing) by sipping on these delicious and nutritious recipes of liquid perfection. PumpUp members are the smoothest smoothie gurus you’ll ever meet. 

Click through for pop culture puns and for #TeamPumpUp’s picks of our community’s best smoothie recipes of 2014. 

The Breakfast Club Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @kieraeleanor

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Organic coconut flakes and protein granola, to garnish

I Keep on Fallin’ for this smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @randiashley

  • 3 dates
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup raw coconut flakes
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • handful of ice

Blue is the warmest colour and the best smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @jaade_

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • splash of vanilla

It’s Easy Being Green smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @lilmisssmiley

  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 0.5-1 cup frozen mango
  • 0.5-1 cup almond milk

The Pineapple of our Eye Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @camilavb12

  • 3 pineapple slices
  • 1/2 cup of lactose free milk or almond milk
  • Ice
  • 10 or more blueberries to garnish

Pretty in Pink Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @smoothiegurl

  • 1 banana
  • 5 big strawberries
  • Some orange juice
  • A handful of raspberries
  • Ice

It Takes Two to Mango Tango Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @_harleyjade_

  • 1 mango
  • Handful of strawberries
  • Handfuls of spinach
  • Splash of milk

Banana Berry-Good Oat Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @_sierra_

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup Frozen blueberries
  • Cashew milk, to taste

Broccoli Christmas Tree

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We’d gladly rock around PumpUp member momma_j’s broccoli and tomato tree on Tasty Tuesday! Fun Fact: Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, making 1 cup of chopped broccoli the Vitamin C equivalent of an orange. Spread Positivity with others on #PumpUp!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This is part of a series of recipes from PumpUp member @carolinewaters35. Follow her blog, the Dank Dietitian, here. 
This savory and sweet stuffed acorn squash is the perfect fall/winter weeknight meal. It’s a meal all on its own, filled with quinoa, dried cranberries, broccoli, and parmesan cheese. There are many variations you can make to this dish, including trying different veggies, different cheese, different cuisines (southwestern with peppers and onions? it’s possible). For meat lovers, try adding ground turkey simply sautéed in a pan with garlic and onion! This gluten free and vegetarian meal is a healthy way to end a long day. The quinoa contains tons of protein to supply your muscles with needed protein for recovery after a tough workout session. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium acorn squash, cut into quarters
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water or broth of choice)
  • 1 small head of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBSP dried cranberries
  • Dash of sea salt
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice acorn squash into quarters, and lay down on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with non spray cooking oil.
  3. Drizzle agave onto all 4 pieces then top with butter.
  4. Add desired amount of cinnamon (and any other spices) to squash.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender all the way through with a fork.
  6. As squash is baking, cook quinoa according to package directions.
  7. Once quinoa is cooked, let cool.
  8. Add in dried cranberries and chopped broccoli florets to quinoa.
  9. Mix and scoop out ½ cup and add to squash centers.
  10. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.
  11. Enjoy!

Follow Caroline on PumpUp @carolinewaters35, on Instagram @the_dank_dietitian, and check out the original recipe on her blog. 

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Truffles

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These vegan gluten-free chocolate cake truffles will knock your socks off

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @ayaalamode. Check out The Healthy Appetite blog for more of her tasty creations!

The holidays are just around the corner and let’s face it: temptation is everywhere. Despite the routine gym visits, it’s really hard to say no to that slice of cake your roommate saved for you from yesterday’s office party. Or that limited edition coffee flavor that you’ll have to wait another year for (and therefore should drink as much of it now as possible). And wait, are there still leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving?

No doubt, the end of the year is a time for the 3 Fs: Family, Friends, and Food (4 if you count the word you shout out when trying to fit into your favorite skinnies the morning after your friend’s holiday party). But why not? ‘Tis the season, after all. And now you can also be Free of guilt with these vegan and gluten free Chocolate Cake Truffles! Perfect to make with loved ones (don’t tell me rolling cake into melting chocolate and studding them with toppings is not fun) and you won’t feel bad about eating more than one either (or two, or three … )

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Truffles
Makes ~28 cake balls

Cake Ingredients:
Dry:

1 cup gluten-free flour of choice

1/2 cup tapioca or glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup unrefined raw cane sugar or 45 drops of Stevia extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Wet:
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)
Coating:
175 grams of semi-sweet or dark chocolate (I used a mixture of semi-sweet with 85% dark chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Measure out the dry ingredients in a bowl, making sure to mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the vinegar, oil, and milk, mixing after each. When everything is combined, pour the batter into a 11” x 7” (28 x 18 cm) baking pan/dish and bake for approximately 35 minutes (the top should spring back but the center should be moist).

Take out of the oven and let cool in the pan until the pan is warm enough to handle with bare hands. Release the cake into a bowl and crumble apart with your hands. Form about 28 uniform balls (if the cake is too dry, mix 1 tbsp of non-dairy milk at a time).
Place them on a plate and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before taking the plate out, melt the chocolate. You can use the bain-marie/double boiler method or microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals, making sure to stir after each round.
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper, then prepare your toppings. Nuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, dried/candied fruit are all good options.

Take the balls out and immerse each one in chocolate, only doing a few at a time. Once the ball is evenly coated, fish it out with a fork and let the excess drip off. Place onto the parchment paper. You can either decorate as you go along or do it after you’ve dipped everything in chocolate. The key is to do it before the chocolate cools and hardens.

After everything is decorated and to your liking, place the tray in the fridge and let cool until the outer shell hardens. Enjoy!

Follow @ayaalamode on PumpUp and visit The Healthy Appetite Blog for more healthy recipes. 

Healthy Apple Burger

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PumpUp member sabinadolezal’s healthy ‘burger’ is pretty creative! She cored and sliced an apple, sandwiched peanut butter, flax seeds, and bananas between each slice, and added walnuts on top to garnish. This is one Tasty Tuesday we can get behind.

This Banana Blueberry Smoothie 'Blue' our minds

blueberry smoothie pumpup This banana blueberry smoothie from PumpUp member @jaade_ ‘blue’ our minds!

Ingredients 3/4 cup water 3/4 cup greek yogurt 1 banana 3/4 cup frozen blueberries Pure vanilla extract, to taste.

It’s blue-tiful! Got a smoothie to share? Tag your fave recipes on PumpUp with #SmoothieSunday!

Healthy halloween vegetable skeleton

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Happy Halloween AND FoodieFriday. Today isn’t just for candy, you know. PumpUp member tizii_ tickled our funny bone by getting creative with her vegetables. If you ARE going to snack on candy, do so in moderation!
Can you name all the vegetables in this pic?

5 Fall Treats You'll Fall In Love With - Get Healthy with Valentina

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These recipes were shared by PumpUp member @thehealthymexican. 

Autumn leaves are coming down in showers, yellow, red, orange and brown. The air is fragrant, crisp and cool. I´m wearing a snuggly sweater and cosy socks, thinking of what flavours remind me of this season. What definitely reminds me of autumn are the tastes of the fresh apples and pumpkins.

Maybe you are one of the many people who are, like me, overjoyed to welcome back the tastes of fall. 

Also Halloween is coming nearly and I know how much candy we are going to have on our hands, so it´s always good to have a healthy alternative to that. I am sharing with you treats made with fruits. I fell in love with these ideas so I hope you like them too.

  • Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Apple Pie Dip
  • Frozen Ghosts
  • Orange Halloween Lantern Fruit Bowls

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons) vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of ground ginger

Directions

  • Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (you can make your own puree by roasting a small pie pumpkin and processing the flesh in a blender or food processor.)
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 green onion top, chopped

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don’t let onion dry out.

Add remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.

Ladle soup into warmed bowls and garnish with black pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.

Apple Pie Dip

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Ingredients

  • 7-10 Dates
  • 2 heaping scoops of chia seeds
  • cinnamon
  • 2 cups of water
  • Apples

Directions

Let about seven to ten-ish pitted dates soak in 2 cups filtered water for one hour. After that pour dates into a blender, add two heaping scoops of chia seeds, & a bunch of sprinkles of cinnamon. Slice apples and enjoy!

Healthy Halloween Treats

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Frozen Ghosts

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup Dried Shredded Coconut
  • 12 Dark chocolate chips

Directions

Cut and peel a banana in half widthwise. Dip the bananas with the Greek yogurt and repeat until coated. Roll the banana in coconut. Place two chocolate chips for the eyes and one chocolate chip for the mouth. Freeze for at least 20 min and serve.

Orange Halloween Lantern fruit bowls

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Navel Oranges
  • 1 cup Mixed Fruit

Directions

Slice off the tops of the oranges. Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp of the oranges. Cut out faces on each orange to resemble a Halloween Pumpkin Lantern. Fill each orange with mixed fruit and serve.

With Love,

Valentina

Follow Valentina on PumpUp @thehealthymexican and on Instagram at thehealthymexican9

 

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YUM! Try this whole 30 breakfast bowl! Roasted brussels sprouts & butternut squash, sautéed onions & mushrooms, a handful of greens, 2 poached eggs, chili powder, cinnamon, and a little salt.

5 Light and Lovely Lunch Ideas That Will Make Your Life Easier - Cooking with Cassandra

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This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp’s losingitwithcassandra. Follow her Tumblr and PumpUp @losingitwithcassandra
Since i stated college again last week, i realized food prepping was essential especially since i commute to campus everyday. I like bringing my own lunch because the food at my school is full of fast food joints. Bringing my lunch enables me to make better eating choices and i get to save so much money. Here are a couple things i like to make on a school day in the mornings and what i like to pack in my lunch.
  • Whole Wheat Egg White English Muffin
  • Acai Smoothie
  • Turkey Wraps
  • Salad in a Jar
  • One-Ingredient Quest Bar Cookies

Whole Wheat Egg White English Muffin

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I like to make this when i have a little extra time in the morning. This is a better option then heading to the drive through at a fast food location in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • 2 Egg whites
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A handful of spinach
  • Cheese Slice (This is optional)

Directions:

 Add non-stick spray to a pan and turn on your stove to medium heat.While the stove is heating up place your english muffin in a toaster. In a separate bowl separate your egg whites from the yolks, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk with a fork until frothy. Once the pan is heated up add your egg whites and once they brown flip them over. Then you get your English muffins and place the eggs on top. I usually flip the eggs over a few times so that they fit inside the English muffin. Finally add your spinach and cheese on top and you’re set to go. 

Acai Smoothie

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On the days where i am rushing i usually opt for a smoothie. Not only is this recipe super easy and fast to make, you also get some vitamin C to start off your day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Sambazon Acai Superfruit packs (Can be found at Costco)
  • 1 banana
  • A handful of strawberries
  • A splash of orange juice

Directions: In a blender add in the acai, strawberries, banana, and orange juice. Mix and enjoy.

Turkey Wraps

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Slices of Turkey
  • 1 whole wheat Tortilla
  • A few Grape Tomatoes
  • A handful of spinach
  • Low fat ranch dressing (or a mashed up avocado)

Directions:

Heat up your tortilla. Once it is heated up, place it on a cutting board. Spread your ranch dressing all over the tortilla so that everything sticks together when you cut the wrap in half. If you want a healthier option you can use a mashed avocado which is just as delicious as well. Next place your turkey slices, tomatoes and spinach and wrap up your tortilla. Then you cut it in half or you can cut it into smaller pieces. I like adding carrots and cucumbers on the side to enjoy them with the wraps. Quick and easy lunch to pack and take on the go. Enjoy! 

Salad in a Jar

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Ingredients:

  • Iceberg Lettuce Mix
  • A handful of grape tomatoes
  • Dressing of choice (I used sesame dressing)
  • Protein of choice (I used Tuna) You can also use quinoa or chicken. There are so many options!
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A mason Jar

Directions:

Place your dressing on the bottom of the mason jar. I like doing this first because it gets less messy. Then add your lettuce and tomatoes filling the mason jar half way. The possibilities are endless so add in all your favorite salad toppings. Then fill the other half with your tuna (or protein of choice) and top with a dash of salt and pepper. Then you seal your mason jar and when it’s time for lunch you just shake it up and enjoy! 

One-Ingredient Quest Bar Cookies and Cream Cookies

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Literally just one ingredient! When i come home from school and the gym these are the best! and literally no effort at all to make. High in fiber, 21 grams of protein, gluten free, and only 1 gram of sugar.

Ingedients:

  • 1 Quest Bar ( i LOVE the cookies and cream flavor)

Directions:

Open a quest bar and place in the microwave for 10 seconds. This is just going to make the bar easier to mess with. Pre-heat your oven at 350 degrees. Split the bar into 4 equal pieces and roll them into a cookie shape. Once that is done all you need to do is pop them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Yes it was that easy! Your kitchen ends up smelling amazing once you’re done too.  Enjoy! 

 This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp’s losingitwithcassandra. Follow her Tumblr and PumpUp losingitwithcassandra.