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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

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Confetti Pasta Salad

This is a recipe by PumpUp member @racheell. Find her mostly on PumpUp, on Twitter, Instagram, and Wordpress

Happy New Year PumpUp Family! We meet again with a new healthy, easy and yummy recipe!

One of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions is to stay fit and healthy.  I’ve been there, I know what it means. However, saying isn’t as easy as doing, especially if a person lacks certain knowledge about how to combine different ingredients the right way. 

This month, I encourage you to “eat the rainbow”, but also to be mindful about what you eat. Eating healthy is not entirely about eating green veggies or fruits. Experiment with different colors of healthy food  (it’ll be great, trust me).

One of the things that keeps me more motivated is to eat colorful dishes, no matter if it’s morning, lunch, or dinner; I’m all about eating my colors! It makes me really happy, and I find it easier to continue with my healthy habits. Besides, it’s pretty easy to prepare colorful meals! 

Another thing that keeps me motivated throughout the day is to have a colorful breakfast (if you are following me, you must know that! I always post what I have for breakfast); it puts me in a very good mood!  I usually have a plate of different fruits with yoghurt and granola. Or sometimes, when I’m being lazy, I like to have a smoothie: it´s the same, different fruits, mixed with ice, water, milk, whatever you prefer!

If you want to incorporate a colorful diet into your routine, I have a very easy recipe for you: Confetti Pasta! Proportions can be adjusted to your liking:

Ingredients

  • Uncooked cavatappi pasta (can use gluten-free pasta) 
  • Baby tomatoes (cherry size), halved
  • Yellow bell peppers
  • A pinch of finely chopped dill
  • Feta cheese 
  • Pepperoni (or any protein of your choice, chick peas would work well)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Parsley and basil, to garnish

Directions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Once it’s cooked and cooled, add rest of ingredients (except for the lemon juice, salt and pepper) and mix them.
  • Once it’s everything nicely distributed, add the salt and pepper, and mix again.
  •  The final step is to add as much lemon juice as you want, garnish with basil, and voila!

This recipe is easy, colourful, and delicious. 

Hope this meal motivates you to continue to pursue your goals for 2015! I’d love to see pics of your creations!

See you again next month with a whole new recipe!

Be Happy,

Rachel

4 healthy recipes that will satisfy any sweet tooth

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

  • Healthy Sugar-Free Frappe
  • Homemade Almond Milk
  • Mango Dressing
  • Baked Apple Cinnamon Slices

Hola Amigos!

Some of you may have noticed that I share more posts about my food than pictures of myself when I’m working out on my pumpupapp profile. One (slightly dumb) reason why I don’t post sweaty selfies is because I turn red when I exercise. Really red.  

Though this doesn’t exclusively happen to me, I still find it quite embarrassing when other red-faced people confront me at the gym, asking whether I am okay. Do I really look that bad?  Anyway, a really good reason why my posts are mostly pictures of my food is because I LOVE food, I love eating and I love snacking. I typically eat a little bit every 2 to 3 hours during the day. I am the definition of a food lover.

The other day, after eating a delicious salad with mango dressing, I was working on an assignment for university and I felt like I needed coffee. I usually don’t drink coffee, but on that day, coffee was so necessary. 

Lucky for me, I found some of my homemade almond milk in the fridge (don’t worry, I will show you how to make it :D). From there, I created a healthy, sugar free frappe. It’s an incredible way to feel like you are eating something totally naughty, when, in reality, you are just eating a banana, nuts and coffee. While we’re on the subject, I’ll just mention four words: Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices. THESE will leave you satisfied, but without hungering for more. All of these recipes will satisfy your sweet cravings in a snap!

Healthy & Sugar free “Frappe”

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup macadamia  
  • 1 shot of espresso (cold)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ice 

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Homemade Almond Milk

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups water, plus more for soaking

Directions

Soak the almonds overnight (The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.) Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. Let them stand, uncovered, overnight. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. So you can drink this without straining if you like rustic whole milk. (This is the way I drink it). But if you would like a smoother milk, strain the milk with a nut bag, fine mesh strainer, or fine mesh knee-high hosiery.

Mango Dressing

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Ingredients

  • 1 large mango-peeled and  seeded
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

In a blender add all the ingredients (except the salt and pepper). Blend until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If dressing is too thick you can add a bit of water.)

Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices

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Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp water 

Directions

Cut the apple into slices. Place in a microwaveable dish, add the water and honey.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, and place a lid on top. Nuke 4-5 minutes, depending on your microwave.  Serve and enjoy!

Note*  You can add some dried cranberries or raisins if you want. (I added Goji berries  ’cause that was the only thing I had that day at home)

With Love,

Valentina

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with BBQ Coconut Bacon

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Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with BBQ Coconut Bacon

This is part of a series of recipes from PumpUp member @carolinewaters35. Follow her blog, the G-Free RD, here. 

I never ate brussels sprouts growing up. I used to hate them! But now, trying different recipes and flavors, I have come to ADORE brussels sprouts. This recipe is so simple, and tastes amazingly decadent, without the fat from bacon, yet without skimping on any flavor! You can totally use bacon or pancetta in this recipe, but I kept it simple and tried a vegan version with BBQ flavored coconut bacon (which is AMAZING). This recipe is low fat, gluten free, vegan, and full of flavor, nutrients, vitamins, and fiber! You’ll want to try this ASAP!

Ingredients: 
  • 2 TBSP EV Olive Oil
  • 1 large bag of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 TBSP Earth balance vegetable oil butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ cup BBQ Coconut Bacon (Phoney Baloney’s brand)
  • 1 TBSP balsamic glaze (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
Directions:
  1. Wash brussels carefully.
  2. Chop off ends of each brussels sprout and discard.
  3. Slice brussels in half, and place all brussels in a large frying pan with the olive oil.
  4. Keep the brussels pieces that flake off, as they will fry into perfect crispy bites.
  5. Sprinkle brussels with salt, pepper, and garlic.
  6. Start heat on medium heat and add butter.
  7. Stir brussels until butter is melted and all is mixed.
  8. Leave on medium heat and let cook for 5-8 minutes with lid on.
  9. Check brussels and stir throughout.
  10. Add coconut bacon, mix throughout, and cook under lid for 5 more minutes or until brussels are browned but not burnt.
  11. Let brussels cool once done cooking, and add to serving dish.
  12. Drizzle balsamic glaze as desired on top of dish.
  13. Enjoy!
  14. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Try a new veggie this year! Brussels sprouts taste incredible when made in a flavorful way. :)
-Caroline Waters

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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Twice-baked sweet potatoes with homemade cranberry relish. Ah! We love that PumpUp member @xo_mcg eats the rainbow all the time! She has the most amazing smile and shares the most delicious recipes. Keep her pumped along her journey!

Find more food inspiration on the pumpupapp: bit.ly/trypumpup

Give peas a chance on national bean day

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Give peas a chance on National Bean Day (and Tasty Tuesday)! Fun Fact: three quarters of a cup of peas contains more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter. PumpUp member @FitBodyGoal cooked her colourful peas along with 2 eggs, a bit of parmesan cheese, and peppers!

Raw coconut oatmeal chocolate cookies

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'Raw' Chocolate Coconut Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Oat flour (ground oats).
  • 6 medjool dates (I used dried).
  • 2 tablespoon Almond milk (add more if needed).
  • Desiccated coconut/Unsweetened cocoa powder/Cinammon powder.

1. If baking cookies, preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Place oat flour and dates in a food processor and press until dates break apart, then add in the almond milk and keep pressing until a dough starts to form. If you think it’s too dry, add more almond milk.
3. Take the dough out and place in a bowl. Divide the dough in three parts of equal or similar size. Place other two ‘dough balls’ in two separate bowls. There should be three bowls of dough in total. 
4. Put  as much (or as little) of the desiccated coconut, cocoa powder and cinnamon in the dough. Mix well.
5. Once everything is mixed, grab some of the dough and form a ball (whatever size you’d like!) with your hands, and shape them into a cookie (if using cookie sheet) or go ahead and press down the ball into the silicone mold to shape them.
6. If you’re up for a raw cookie, they’re ready to be eaten! BUT, if you feel like baking them place the cookies in your cookie sheet/silicone mold and get them in the oven for around seven minutes (if you want them chewy), or leave a little longer for a harder cookie.
7. Get them out and enjoy!

This is a recipe by PumpUp member @mariajumps. Follow PumpUp on Tumblr for more healthy food recipes!

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. 

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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.