Viewing entries tagged
meal prep

The most mind-blowing smoothie hack ever : DIY Smoothie Packs

The most mind-blowing smoothie hack ever : DIY Smoothie Packs

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Prep in the name of love. We mean it. Frozen smoothie packs will change your life. When you need to rush out the door faster than you can sing the entire length of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On, these smoothie packs will be a lifesaver. The last thing you want to do in the morning is to chop and peel oddly-shaped citrus fruits while you're half asleep. That's a health hazard. Reserve one day for smoothie prep: you'll have delicious and nutritious drinks for the rest of the week.

How to make DIY Smoothie Packs

Make sure that you mostly freeze produce in these bags. You'll be adding liquid, powders, nuts, and nut butters on the day that you decide to make the smoothies.

  1. Label freezer-safe plastic bags or Tupperware containers with smoothie ingredients and days of the week. Use permanent marker and masking tape to create simple labels.
  2. Chop ingredients up and portion them into your labelled bags.
  3. Store bags in freezer and blend on designated days of the week. If you need to add powders, seeds, water, or milk, add those in after you take the ingredients out of the freezer.

DIY Smoothie Packs - The best smoothie hack for busy mornings // the PumpUp Blog

Smoothie packs can be assembled in bulk. Think about the smoothies that you usually make on a weekly basis, portion out the produce ingredients, and label your bags or containers with whatever needs to be added to the smoothie afterward. Here are some great ideas for your smoothie inspiration.

DIY Smoothie Packs - The best smoothie hack for busy mornings // the PumpUp Blog

Let us know what your ideal smoothie pack would be in the comments below! Check out our #AliveJuly nutrition challenges here.  Cover photo via PumpUp member @rawincollege.

What to eat before and after a workout

What to eat before and after a workout

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Running out of steam halfway into a training session ruins your whole workout. If you want to have better results from working up a sweat at the gym, you need to eat the right foods. It’s not just what you eat, though, but also when you eat it that will have you pushing on for longer. Follow this guide to fuel up the correct way before and after a workout session.

Dig into a Carb-Protein Blend

What to eat before and after your workout : dig into a carb-protein blend before your workout

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Although you always hear of the importance of protein when you want to build and repair muscles, pairing protein with carbs is a must.  It will give your body the energy it needs to complete your workout session. You want a mix of carbs: simple carbs that will burn quickly for a boost of energy and complex carbs that take longer to be released so that your energy can be sustained. Examples of adequate snacks are a whole-wheat bagel with jam or a protein shake with a banana.

Reach for coffee

What to eat before and after your workout: reach for coffee (yes, coffee!)

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Although you don’t want to have too much of it, one cup of coffee can improve your workout. It’s great to drink before you hit the gym because it will boost your energy. It also decreases muscle soreness after your session. However, coffee should never be a substitute for energy-filled meals before you hit the ground running as it won’t fill and fuel you up properly on its own.

Wind up your fitness clock

What to eat before and after your workout : Wind up your fitness clock

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Getting the right fuel for your workout is one thing, but you need to time your eating well so that your fuel works for you. It’s a bit like filling up your car with gas. You want to use the fuel instead of letting it go to waste because the car is running on idle. Try to eat within four hours of your workout, and then have a snack in the hour before you start. Base how much you should eat on how long your exercise session is going to last. If it’s longer than an hour, add in a bit more food to keep you going. Beans and lentils are great to help you achieve the slow-burn energy you need to fuel a longer workout, and they are high in complex carbs as well as protein.

Have a mid-session snack

What to eat before and after a workout: what could be more important than a little something to eat?

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Although it might seem strange to eat while you exercise, this is beneficial if you have a long and/or strenuous workout. A quick bite, in the form of carbs such as raisins or a banana, will help to fill your body with energy while helping you burn more calories. Protein consumption during exercise is a good thing as its amino acids are used during your session and need to be rebuilt, while carbs help to keep the body’s cortisol hormones low - when these are too high they break down muscle mass instead of helping to build it.

Replenish your body

What to eat before and after a workout: make sure to replenish your body immediately

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When your time at the gym has come to an end, don’t forget to top up on food again. Although you might think you don’t need the energy, the goal of eating after a workout is to replenish your body’s nutrients and reserves. You need to eat within an hour after exercise so that your body will use the food to recover and also store away energy. If you don’t eat within this window, your body will risk losing energy during your next workout - even if it’s the next day. It’s time to eat protein along with some carbs again, such as a salad with chickpeas and olive oil, a peanut butter sandwich, or a cup of quinoa with berries. Berries are also filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C that have many other health and skin benefits, too.

Eating after a workout also helps you continue with your day without experiencing energy slumps. And remember: if you feel good and energetic after your workout, instead of tired and drained, you’ll look forward to tomorrow’s workout much more.

Eating the right foods before, during and after a workout will help you maximize your gym sessions so you can get the toned and healthy body you’ve always wanted.

What to eat before and after your working: Healthy eating doesn't have to be too difficult. Refuel the right way by loading up on protein and a mix of carbs. Remember to time your eating well so that you can recover, without experiencing energy slumps. Learn more from the PumpUp blog!

About the author

Gwen Lewis is a writer and makeup artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great, whether through makeup or her writing. In her free time, she enjoy shopping and pick-up soccer games with her friends.

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!

Stay accountable with this Spring Sweat support group

Stay accountable with this Spring Sweat support group

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Adjusting to daylight savings time isn't for everybody...but it is for me. Why? Because it means SPRING is coming and SUMMER is only 12 weeks away!!!!!! I look forward to so many things: hearing birds chirping, shopping for skirts and shorts (...and swimsuits), eating and drinking with friends on an outdoor terrace, morning runs, etc.! BUT before I get all crazy excited, I still need to work on hitting my fitness goal before summer! I need a plan and I want you to join me. My doctor put me on rest for the past few weeks because of an old knee injury. It was the worst. If you know me, you know I love to exercise on a daily basis. It’s what I live by! Not being able to exercise was the worst punishment I could have possibly imagined. I don’t give place to negativity in my life so I figured that while I can't work on my body, I can sure work on developing myself.  I worked even harder on personal development and studied for hours on end. When the moment came for me to finally exercise again, I felt amazing.

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I have always been an optimist: a person who doesn’t give up on herself nor on other people. There may be a mere 12 weeks until summer but you still have time to achieve your health and fitness goals. It takes 21 days to create an habit, 8 weeks for you to see that change and 12 weeks for people to see your results. By making the commitment to start now, you can really make progress by the time you hit June! What are you waiting for? It’s go time!

I want to help you to hit your fitness goals before summer time so that you can be happy, proud, and feel confident this summer. You will not hide your skin on the beach this year!

I'm launching my Spring Sweat To Summer Sexiness support group on March 23rd to help others stay accountable through motivation, tips, recipes, and much more! The idea behind this group is not only to help you with your goals but also to take a bit of pressure off your shoulders and make your life a whole lot simpler and easier. It'll help you to maintain habits that will last a lifetime.  Trust me, after seeing the results you will get, you will want to hold onto them forever! I will teach you how to fit your workouts into your busy schedule, show you how to meal prep properly and efficiently and much more!

Let’s just start with 21 days! Can you commit to 21 days?  30 minute workouts, a daily accountability check in to our online closed FB Group. If you are not a Facebook person, you have the option to apply on my webpage and check into the PumpUp app every day!

What are the requirements?

  • Complete the application on this page to be considered into my support group. Spaces are limited because I want to give my full attention to those who are ready to commit at 100%.
  • In return:  I’m going to support, guide, mentor, and help you set realistic goals so that the  program you have does not just sit on your shelf collecting dust but it is one that truly will transform your life and you get to do it with other like minded people!!!

Sound like a plan?!?!?  Ok lets make it happen!  Hit me up for the details today ->Email Me<-!  There are a limited number of spots available and they won’t be here for long!  Looking forward to transforming our winter bodies into summer bodies in the next few months with you!!!!

4 healthy snacks that'll help you stop cheating between meals

4 healthy snacks that'll help you stop cheating between meals

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One of my favorite ways to stay energized throughout the day is to always have healthy snacks with me. It is SO important to plan ahead! If you know you are going to be running around all day, whether you are at work or going class to class, you should make sure you have healthy options with you so you don’t reach for that bag of chips or candy bar! The perfect snacks are whole fruits and veggies that will keep you CARBED UP! Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day!

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BANANAS are my #1 go-to snack. They are super easy to throw in your bag and eat throughout the day! Make sure your bananas are ripe like these so you get all of the nutritional benefits and so they digest properly!

DATES are like little packs of energy! If you don't have a lot of time on your hands, dates are a great option to get in lots of energy with this nutrient and calorie dense snack!

 

DATES are like little packs of energy! If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, dates are a great option for you to get in lots of energy with this nutrient and calorie dense snack!

NO excuses! APPLES have to be the easiest, most accessible fruit to pack for your busy day. I like to eat two or three apples every day!--Not only are they delicious, but they are also a great boost of natural caffeine!

 

NO excuses! APPLES have to be the easiest, most accessible fruit to pack for your busy day. I like to eat two or three apples every day!–Not only are they delicious, but they are also a great boost of natural caffeine!

 

Think AHEAD! Cut up some of your favorite veggies and put them in a bag or container to munch on throughout the day. Veggies will keep you going and give you the energy you need to hold you over until your next meal!

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Eating healthy snacks like these will help you kick cravings for unhealthy, processed food. Whole, plant-based snacks a re not only amazing for your mind and body, but they will also keep you energized for your busy days and fuel you for success! Making small changes like this to your every day life will undoubtedly make a huge impact on how you look and feel. Before you go to bed tonight, ask yourself: what am I going to pack for tomorrow?

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.

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4 tips to help you form healthy habits

4 tips to help you form healthy habits

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It is so challenging to give health and fitness advice when we are all so different. I come from a background where I learned to form healthy habits from the beginning by doing physical labor on the farm as a kid, and not having very many unhealthy foods available in our house. Each of us has a different story, different habits, different body types and levels of willpower. I came up with some tips to help those who struggle perhaps to create new habits. These are things I have done myself to get back into a healthier routine if I had lapsed in my discipline.

Keep a well-stocked pantry

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If you stock your fridge and pantry with food that suits a clean eating, nourishing lifestyle, and keep out the foods that negate that, you won't have to fight temptation as often. I keep protein options around not only to build muscle but also to cut my sugar cravings if I have them. I keep fruit, both fresh and dried, around to satisfy my moments of wanting dessert. Or I make 3-ingredient pancakes (eggs, banana, & nutmeg) if I'm dreaming of cake. These choices at home also mean I can go to meetings or to visit my family and not have to say no to everything. I can eat a little of what is offered without being rude or strange, and not feel horrible about myself because I know when I go home, I will be back into my clean food routine.

Wake up, workout (and quickly)

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Working out right after you get up in the morning, even for just 15 minutes, helps you wake up and build confidence for your day. Setting your mindset into 'active' mode right away helps you enter your life with a lighter, brighter outlook and you will be energized. If your day becomes super busy you won't arrive home at night and say, "Dang, I didn't have time to work out today." You won't have to deal with days on end that are too busy if you set that alarm 15 minutes earlier just to get your squats, crunches, push ups, or a mile on the treadmill in. It's one way to start, and build in that habit. I know for me, I'm super tired when I get home from work, so some days if I just give in to that feeling and don't work out in the afternoon, I don't feel bad about myself because I did my 30-minute workout in the morning.

Challenge yourself during breaks

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You get a break during work. These are great moments for those 30-day challenges, especially the squat challenge which you could do anywhere, as they take very little time yet definitely help progress. Do some push-ups, pull ups if you have a spot, squats, lunges. It all adds up, and vastly improves your ability to form healthy habits by helping you to integrate workouts into your routine, no mater how busy you are. These challenges can also kick sluggishness, as long as you are staying nourished throughout the day as well.

Pack it up

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Packing enough food is super helpful for anybody looking to form healthy habits. I pack more than I need, just so I don't get tempted to go out and buy something when I'm hungry (this is also because I'm working on keeping a healthier budget!). Ziplock bags of measured amounts of fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables; containers of healthy leftovers or if you're one of those organized people who preps their meals every week; some protein or energy bars that are made with more natural ingredients. Smoothies and your favorite protein drink are wonderful things to carry around with you!
These are just a few things for those of you looking to build stronger, healthier habits and needing some advice on how to do it and stick to it. Most of all, try and enjoy the journey: discovering simpler food and how good it actually is, how strong you are and can be, and progressing step by step on the path of changing lifetime habits. Human beings are so amazing, we get to choose what we do in every moment and how we do it. Keep up the good work, and may you be the healthy person you dream of being!
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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.

Is a bikini fitness competition for you? Here's what to expect

This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer (@liftingfairy on PumpUp), a bikini competitor. Check out her blog here and vote for “Jennifer Reis” so that she can achieve her dream of attending the Miss FIBO power beauty competition.  Everyone has to start somewhere… For some athletes, their first round of competition preparation launches their journey into “Fitness Land.”  Starting can be intimidating. Some people are unsure of what to expect. I faced the same hesitancies last year.

The pros and cons of preparing for a bikini fitness competition

  • In my first ‘post-competition’ post, I wrote how taxing contest-preparation is. It will challenge you not only physically, but also mentally. Don’t expect it to be easy. Your first time preparing for a competition will be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. If you consider it easy, go harder because that’s what makes the difference on stage.

  • Once you start your prep, you will see your body change from one day to another. The last two weeks for your prep will be mind-blowing. Prior to my first competition (and still today) I took pictures at least once a week to remind myself about how much I already achieved. Don’t only look back on your progress. You also have to look forward and focus on your goals and what you want to accomplish.

 

  • There will be A LOT of sacrifices. You don’t see me in a restaurant during my prep, rarely in the cinema and even less in a bar. When I decide to go to the movies, I always have my Renee Tote at hand with the meals I need, because planning meals is the key and it will keep you from getting anything at the candy shop. I never stay out too long in the evenings during that time, because I have to get up early the day after to hit the gym, or simply because my body has adapted to a regular rhythm (more about this soon). I left a lot of people behind, because negative words aren’t what you need during a contest-prep, especially from people who won’t even attempt to understand your lifestyle or those who eat pizza, pasta and burgers all day long and want you to do the same. They don’t have the slightest idea of what you are going through. (If you need some positivity, have a look HERE).
  • You will be amazed by your own results. Even if you have never been a very sporty person before, contest preparation will allow you to be in the best shape of your life because you pay much more attention to your eating habits and training routine. You have to put everything in your preparation and knowing that you will look the best you could possibly look is just an amazing achievement.

 

  • Sometimes you will be hungry and want to do a table-flip with your whole diet, which is totally understandable because you are slowly cutting carbs and at the same time training even harder. YES, you will be hungry and damn tired, but in the end it will be totally worth it.

 

  • The mirror is going to be your best friend and greatest enemy. It shows you how far you’ve come, but at the same time it plays very dirty mind-games with you… You will NEVER see yourself like others do. If someone else tells you ‘oh, you look great!’ you will be like ‘naahh… still not satisfied yet…’ The further you get in your prep and the closer the D-day comes, the more you will start to freak out and worry that you are not lean enough already and that you won’t be dropping fat fast enough etc. But let me tell you one thing, there will ALWAYS be one thing that is 100% honest with you. It’s the process.
  • People will tell you that ‘you are going too far’ or ’ you are too skinny and muscular, eeerrww…’. BUT there will also be positive people who support you with simple words or tiny actions like ‘wow, you are really inspiring’ or ‘because of you I started to hit the gym and watch over my eating habits more’. You are going to experience great support from people you never ever expected.

 

  • Most of your thoughts will be dedicated to FOOD. Because the only thing that matters during your prep is the right food. I am convinced that you will find yourself looking at other competitor’s food-posts to see what they are eating. And you will be spying ‘food-porn’-pictures because you have enough of chicken, broccoli, tomatoes and turkey-steaks.

 

  • Try not to follow your opponents on social media, it will drive you crazy. You can’t control what other athletes are doing or how they are training to get their physique. Focus on yourself and on your own preparation to achieve your personal goals. If it motivates you to get it on, go ahead. And while following those athletes you can also leave a positive comment to cheer them up, because it will cheer you up as well.

 

  • The week prior your competition-day will be the most exciting week of your entire preparation because you are doing something different every single day. You will have to decrease your water intake because you start the water-depletion, as you want to get REALLY lean and then load up on carbs during the last few days. Your final preparations are going on, like showering, shaving, scrubbing, and putting on a tan (HERE some tips for your first tanning). Depending on your own preparation plans, you should be allowed to go grocery-shopping and get yummy food like gums, sweets, chocolate or whatsoever to get a little pump before the show or simply to devour post-contest. Believe me or not, you will look like a little child on Christmas when you are buying delicious treats.
  • The big day will be so much fun and thrilling. The time has finally come to be paid for your hard work. You can put on as much make-up as you want. You can style your hair as fancy as you’d like it to be. The best is yet to come… the moment you line up backstage. You will be so hyped up but still, you won’t be thinking about anything else than stepping out on that stage and rocking your banging body. That moment on stage is the best and most thrilling feeling ever, and you will always remember it. Even if you didn’t get the ranking you wished for, you can be damn proud of yourself that you didn’t give up and that you stayed strong.

 I wish every new athlete best of luck over the course of their first preparation and competition(s), may the chicken be with you. Enjoy your season!

Naturally Kai's Tips for a Healthier 2015

THE meal prep, fitness, and motivation tips you’ll remember throughout the New Year

This is a post by PumpUp member naturallykai. With the motivation from the pumpupapp, she was able to reach her goal weight for her wedding! Check out her excellent YouTube channel.

I’m kicking off the year by discussing health and fitness.  Health and fitness are two areas of life that can be challenging for many, so I hope to inspire you to continue or start your very own fitness journey.

I meal prep at least two large bowls of fruit salad and mixed green salad each week to save time and make sure that I eat healthy. I demonstrate how to prepare them here:

I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my progress through meal prep alone. I elaborate upon these three tips for a healthier 2015 in the video below, and discuss how the PumpUp community helped me to achieve my goals:

  • Finding what works for you
  • Setting large and small fitness goals
  • Being more active

If you are starting or continuing a fitness journey, use the hashtag #gethealthy2015 to share your experiences!

Alright loves, I’ll chat with you soon :)

- @naturallykai