Viewing entries tagged
healthy diet

Growing up without processed food helped me find my passion

This is a post by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

I grew up in a household and lifestyle where food and health were key. We were extremely poor, especially when I was very young, but my parents had given their lives to their farm and their dairy cows: this was our livelihood. 

My four siblings and I were expected to help, and the amount of help increased as we got older. As a teenager I was throwing around 100 pound square bales each summer and 120 pound bags of grain twice a day, carrying calves up to the barn on my shoulders from the far pastures, pounding fence posts, digging holes, hand hoeing 1/8 acre of garden. We were vegetarian primarily for my first twelve years of life, though I did get to eat Polish sausage from my great grandfather’s meat processing plant, as well as turkeys we raised for thanksgiving. We went trick or treating at maybe eight houses for Halloween, and were allowed the candy for a day or two before my parents upped and burned it in the wood stove. (This happened every year!) Processed foods were not available to me at all as a child unless I was at a friend’s house. 


As a child you go through the struggles of wishing you could have what you don’t have, and craving foods your parents don’t want you to eat. You hate your chores and wish you could play video games all day on the weekends like your friends (if you even owned any). But then one day you are an adult. 


I grew up and was living on my own, realizing how much I loved to work hard and be physically fit, and how much I loved the taste of wholesome food. As I pursued my four-year degree in the art of Eurythmy, I more and more experienced how much both these things-food and fitness-mattered even as I worked on changing myself on an inner level. The outer strength gave me courage and confidence, the ability to stand upright for long periods of time, to move on a stage to music for 20 minutes without pause. Nourishing food gave me health, the ability to think and take hold of everything in my life, to have enough energy to do so. And I realize now that all of my parent’s choices have come into fruition in me today, as I take the fitness journey and work towards optimum health. 


This is only the beginning and the first revelations of a person who sees fitness as an essential part of life. I am completely inspired by others who are on this journey and who show such dedication to health and motivating those who need help. The fitness community on the pumpupapp is a great one to be a part of: it’s positive, fun, confident, supportive and health-oriented. I realize that no matter how poor you are, if you can be a part of such a wonderful group of people, you are truly given wealth a thousandfold~”health is wealth.” Happy journeying.

4 Fast and Healthy Recipes for People On the Go


This is a recipe post from PumpUp member Patrice (@phatzsays). 

  • Breakfast: French toasts with blueberries and banana bits
  • Lunch: Garlic Corn Rice with Tuna (with Apple bites on the side)
  • Dinner: Tuna Salad Burrito
  • Dessert: Banana Peanut Butter sandwiches in honey and cinnamon

Eating healthy food when you have a tight schedule might challenging. Trust me, I find it sometimes difficult to prepare my lunch for school knowing that I could buy a slice of meat-lovers pizza or indulging myself over that ice cream cake from the convenience store. And since I’m that type of person who truly loves to eat, I would sometimes give in to temptations, meaning food trips all day! (#YOLO #CheatDayEveryday).

Kidding aside, after consuming bad food, I would personally feel  uncomfortable thinking that I’d have to lose the weight I’ve probably gained, and by extension, spending extra time on  workouts and detoxifying my body system.

What I’ve learned from other people who have successfully lost weight and are  maintaining their ideal bodies is that determination and perseverance are the keys in order to achieve your weight goal and becoming healthy. This means having a good balance between your exercise routine and your  diet. When you talk about diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to restrict yourself from eating what you want. Instead, show  your creativity by using healthy alternatives to satisfy your food cravings.

Here are some of my favorite recipes I like to make whenever I go to school or I’m on-the-go (or if I just want to save my lunch money but still want to eat healthy)


BREAKFAST: French Toasts with Blueberries and Banana Bits

Ingredients: (1 serving)

  • 2 slices of multigrain bread
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Low-fat skimmed milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Honey
  • Blueberries and Sliced bananas


  1. Beat the egg with a fork and drop a little amount of low-fat milk (or any preferred milk), then set aside.
  2. Slice the breads diagonally to have 4 equal sizes of bread.
  3. Put a bit amount of cooking oil into the pan and scattered a good amount of cinnamon powder on to the pan.
  4. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mix and fried them in the pan.
  5. Flip them over once the bottom is golden brown.
  6. Put additional amount of cinnamon until the toasts are covered both front and back (or for as long as you’re satisfied)
  7. Once done, place the toasts into the plate and sprinkle some sesame seeds all over (to give them a slight texture of crunchiness)
  8. Add fruits or nuts as toppings (or in my case, put them aside in a vertical position and take a picture. Promise it would look totally cute. :D)
  9. And then you’re done! 


LUNCH: Garlic Corn Rice with Tuna (with Apple bites on the side)


(For rice)

  • ½ cup of corn kernels
  • Garlic powder
  • ¾ to 1 cup of rice (basmati or any preferred rice)
  • Parsley leaves for toppings
  • Cherry tomatoes

(For tuna)

  • 95 grams of tuna (in can)
  • Onion (chopped)

(For Apple Bites)

  • An apple
  • Peanut Butter 


(For rice)

  1. Make sure to cook the rice and set it aside.
  2. Sauté the corn kernels into the pan
  3. Add the cooked rice and sprinkle garlic powder over. Make sure to mix them all together.
  4. Add some parsley leaves and mix it as well.
  5. Place the rice into the plate and add some tomatoes.
  6. Add more parsley for final touches.

(For tuna)

  1. Sauté the tuna and onions and place it on top of the rice.
  2. And then you’re done! 

[Additionally, you can make whatever dessert you want but I put some apple slices with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on the side.]


DINNER: Tuna Salad Burrito


  • 95 grams of tuna (in can)
  • Onions (chopped)
  • Salad leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Pita bread
  • Hummus dip (or any other condiment you want)


  1. Sauté tuna and chopped onions until they’re cooked.
  2. Spread hummus into the pita bread and place salad leaves all over.
  3. Put the tuna, tomatoes, and olives on top.
  4. Put shredded cheese all over.
  5. Roll your pita and you’re good to go! 


DESSERT: Banana Peanut Butter sandwiches in honey and cinnamon

(Actually, I’ve just seen this recipe on twitter one night and tried to make it. And yes, it became one of my favorite desserts to make, most especially when I crave for chocolates or anything sweet.)


  • Banana
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Slice the banana and make sure to have 2 slices together to create little “sandwiches”.
  2. Spread peanut butter on to the banana slices.
  3. Drizzle honey over the banana sandwiches.
  4. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and you’re done! 

So, I hope these recipes would help you somehow on what to prepare for school or work, or if you are busy and want make something quick and easy to eat.

And always remember this quote which goes, “Never give up! Great things take time.”

I hope you achieve all your fitness goals and always choose to be happy! 

Take care and Good luck!  

Much love,

Patrice C.

PumpUp/ Twitter/ Instagram: @phatzsays

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

There’s no monkeying around with Dray’s chunky monkey smoothie. 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 1 scoop sun warrior protein or 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 cup almond milk.  Sh-shake it and sip away! Hope this #SmoothieSunday gives you some inspiration for the #smoothieseries :)

Pina Colada Smoothie

If you like piña coladas, you’ll LOVE Dray’s picture-perfect piña colada smoothie for #SmoothieSunday!

Use 1 cup of pineapple, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango, 1 cup coconut water, 1/2 banana, and a bit of unsweetened coconut. Blend all together and sprinkle more coconut on top.

Check out the video on our Vine: Dray will be making smoothie videos for us all month long :)



It’s the raspberries time to shine for this weeks #TastyTuesday! One of the newest areas of research with raspberries is the potential for them to improve management of obesity! Yep, it’s true! And don’t stop reading just yet! Raspberries also contain a lot of phytonutrients like rheosmin (aka raspberry ketone), which may be able to decrease your risk of obesity and the risk of a fatty liver. Plus raspberries rock our taste buds in such a great way!

PumpUp your morning with 2 pumpkin-infused healthy breakfasts!

It’s officially fall, and that means that it’s time for apples, squash, and of course, pumpkin! If you love it as much as I do, you’re probably enjoying plenty of it these days, and today I’ve got 2 new ways for you to do just that. Not only is pumpkin tasty, but it’s also a superfood. It contains heaps of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps our immune systems to stay strong. This is super important at this time of year, especially if you want to maintain the quality of your workouts. Whether it’s a crunchy grab-and-go breakfast you want, or a nice comforting bowl of oats, I’ve got you covered with these 2 recipes.


Pecan and Pumpkin Pie Spiced Granola

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins

Ingredients (About 6 cups)

  • 1/2 cup each currants and dried cranberries, or any blend of the two
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed millet (any whole grain puffed cereal could work here)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 packets stevia
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, OR use the mixture that follows
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Measure out the dried fruit but don’t mix it into anything yet! Set it aside.
  • Oil a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • In a big bowl, mix together the oats, puffed millet, pepitas, chopped pecans, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • In a small pot, melt the coconut oil on the stove. Add in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes runny. This should take about 1 minute over medium heat once the burner is hot. (Heating the wet ingredients will help to ensure they coat the dry ingredients more easily.)
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl, and stir well, coating as evenly as possible.
  • Pour the entire contents of the bowl onto the baking sheet. Use a spatula to make an even layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Use a flipper to break up any large chunks and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 35-40 minutes, the granola may still be a bit soft. Stir in the currants and dried cranberries, and allow it to sit on the counter until completely cool. At this point, the granola should also be much more crunchy. Store in air-tight glass jars or containers for up to 4 weeks.


Vanilla Pumpkin Oatmeal

Prep Time: 3 mins

Cook Time: 4 mins

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 packet of stevia, to sweeten if desired
  • Optional topping: 1 tbsp dried fruit and nuts, such as pepitas, pecans, and dried cranberries


  • Pour oats, almond milk, and vanilla into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat to low and stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and stevia. Continue to cook until the entire mixture is hot, adding a little additional almond milk if desired.
  • Transfer the oat mixture to a bowl and sprinkle dried fruit, nuts, and seeds on top.

I’m curious – what’s your favourite way to enjoy pumpkin? Share in the comments below!

About the Author: Outside of her full-time job, Angela is a fitness instructor, personal health coach, and blogger. When she’s not creating recipes and writing blog posts, she can be found running half marathons, traveling, and eyeing up her next purchase at Lululemon. To learn more about Angela, check out her blog, You can also get your hands on her free e-book, Creating a Whole Foods Lifestyle (complete with 10 healthy, delicious recipes) by subscribing to email updates.


Top 3 Fat Loss Workout Tips

If losing fat is your main workout goal, you might be wondering what kind of workout you should do. Although there are lots of articles out there about which type of workout is best for fat loss, the truth is that there isn’t just one! In order to continue to lose fat without hitting a plateau, try using these 3 fat loss workout tips…

1. Full Body Workouts

There is no single part of your body that should be targeted - your entire body should be worked. Working your entire body means more muscle groups are working at the same time. Here’s one way to think about it:





(That’s why when you select a ‘Fat Loss’ workout from the PumpUp workout builder, we automatically give you a full body workout - smart, isn’t it?)

2. High/Low Intensity Cardio

For quite some time, prolonged low intensity cardio was considered to be optimal for fat loss. We even see the chart on treadmills indicates the “fat burning zone” is when your heart rate is in the lower range. In scientific terms this is true. Working at a low intensity for an extended period of time means that you require less immediate energy - aka carbohydrates - and around the 20 minute mark, our body signals for fat to be broken down and used as the energy source instead. This allows for a higher percentage of stored fat calories to be used.

What most people fail to understand is thatyou burn fewer calories overall when doing low intensity cardio compared to high intensity cardio. Of course, out of the calories high intensity cardio burns, less will be fat calories, but since you’re burning more overall calories, you’re burning more fat.

In the end it is a combination of both types of cardio that are ideal. (That’s why PumpUp’s ‘Fat Loss’ workouts always include cardio.)

3. High Intensity Interval Training

Although you may be skeptical about how high intensity interval training workouts can boost fat loss while keeping it short, it happens! HIIT workouts are incredibly beneficial for fat loss because of the afterburn effectThe afterburn effect refers to the calories that are burned after a workout. After a workout, your body goes through a restoration period where it uses more calories. To achieve this effect, your workout has to be intense enough to create an energy debt to begin with. That’s why low-intensity workouts won’t cut it.


Full body workouts, high/low intensity cardio, and HIIT can help you burn that fat so you can be lean and mean, but not alone; nutrition is also an essential part of fat loss. Working out without maintaining a healthy diet won’t give you the results you’re looking for. Be consistent with both and you’ll achieve your goals!