High Protein Chocolate Brownie

This healthy brownie is great for when you are craving something sweet and need an afternoon pick-me-up snack, but you don’t want to ruin your dinner.  It’s also the perfect pre-workout meal because of the balance of macronutrients in a serving.  The ingredients in this recipe provide healthy fats and  just enough complex carbs to sustain and power you through a challenging workout.

There is nothing worse than going to the gym and not being able to give your personal best because you didn’t get in the proper nutrition. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my workouts to suffer because I drop the ball by not eating properly.  Whether you want to eat something for fuel or for fun, this satisfies both desires.

Here’s the ingredients you need:

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1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats

1 scoop of protein

1/2 TBS cocoa powder *omit if using chocolate flavored protein powder

pinch baking powder

pinch of sea salt

1/2 banana (mashed)

1/2 cup of chocolate milk (regular milk is fine)

1/2 tsp caramel extract *optional

1 TBS dark chocolate morsels

Put batter in a small pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min.

*optional idea to get in healthy fats; spread a tsp of peanut butter on top

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Enjoy this delicious afternoon treat with a cup of herbal tea.😊  

 

8 Ways To Stay Motivated To Workout This Winter

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I woke up to temps in the 20s this morning in the New Orleans area, and all I wanted to do was stay in my warm bed.  I know that might be laughable to those of you further North, but the struggle to be active during the winter months is a reality for us all, even the fittest of people.

I’m the queen of hibernation when it’s cold outside.  I could stay in my pj’s and slippers all day long, and if I have my Kindle, I’m having a perfect day-:) With this crew, it’s pretty easy to do just that!😀

 

That’s not going to sustain a healthy and lean body, but maybe a soft and cuddly one;)

If you want to avoid putting on winter padding and keep making progress, take a look at this list I’ve put together.  These are things I do that help me stay motivated to exercise during the winter months.

1.)  Get a workout plan

I look forward to following plans that I get on bodybuilding.com.  As a health coach/personal trainer I’m always providing instruction to others so it’s nice to kick back and not have to think.  Here are some of the plans I’ve done that you might want to check out:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shortcut-to-size.html http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/erin-stern-elite-body-4-week-fitness-trainer.html?searchterm=Elite%20Erin  beginners: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html

2.)  Meet with friends

Nothing can lift you out of the doldrums like being around your friends.  Spending time with friends is great for boosting oxytocin, aka the love & cuddle hormone, which has an anti-anxiety effect.

We meet up at least once a month and have our own bootcamp class; we sometimes catch a coffee after.  As you can tell, we’re not having a problem with the winter blues;)

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3.)  Try Out Something New

The winter months can be an opportunity to get creative and try some fun activities.  You could look into some intramural sports like volleyball, try out salsa or a winter sport.  Your gym might offer a variety of group exercise classes.  Why not sample them all?

4.)  Search for workout inspiration

I subscribe to several fitness channels on YouTube to get new ideas, and I also get good workouts from Fitness Rx.  Whatever form of social media you enjoy, follow fitness and nutrition professionals.

I just started incorporating kettlebells into my workouts, and I’m feeling muscles that I’m not used to working.  Here’s the link to that workout:

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/change-up-your-workouts-with-kettlebells/

4.) Lug Your Gym Bag to Work

There is nothing that can zap your mojo like leaving work when it’s dark & cold outside. The best remedy is to pack up all your gear, your preworkout snack, drink, & workout clothes, so that you can hit the gym on your route home.

5.)  Get outside

It can initially feel like you’re about to jump into a cold pool to open your door to go for a hike or a run, but it’s so invigorating!

  • Ease yourself into that transition by doing some jumping jacks, squats and lunges inside to warm up.
  • Get the proper gear and clothing to face the cold

6.)  Treat Yourself

After a long run or a hike, have some type of treat planned for yourself that you can look forward to like having a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with cinnamon sprinkles. Recently I’ve been rewarding myself to a facial once a month if I’ve done good with my workouts and meals.  It’s been the leverage I’ve needed to help me win the mental battle.

7.)  Find healthy alternatives

This isn’t so much of a workout tip as it is a tip for keeping it clean in the kitchen.  This time of the year we crave those warm, delicious, and carb heavy foods.  I’m with you, and this is why I always have healthy swaps available.

  • If you are having sweet cravings prepare roasted root vegetables, make your own healthy breads or protein snacks. recipes: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/homemade-chocolate-protein-bars/ https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/pumpkin-pancakes-and-protein-bread/
  • Try making spiralized noodles with zucchini instead of traditional pasta. Here’s a perfect comfort food recipe: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/creamy-avocado-paleo-zoodles/comment-page-1/
  • Eat nutrient dense and fiber rich foods like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, bananas, whole wheat pastas.

8.)  Music makes a difference

Sometimes I enjoy a long quiet run to air out my thoughts, but during the winter I need music to help me power through the cardio.

Jim Stoppani, PhD exercise physiology and bodybuilding.com contributor did a study with the Weider Research Group that showed significant strength gains across all lifts when athletes train to their favorite tunes.

🎧Before you even step foot in the gym, make sure you’ve got headphones in your ears.

I hope some of these ways I’ve found to stay motivated will also help you beat the winter blahs.

Change Up Your Workouts With Kettlebells

Struggling with stale and boring workouts?  Your body might just need a good ole shock treatment to get it producing results again.  Shocking the muscles might seem a little on the aggressive side, but trust me, this is where the fun happens with your workouts.

It’s a known fact that the more you do something, the easier it becomes, especially with exercise.  When you start a new workout plan, the body is going to be initially challenged by the stress but it recovers and comes back stronger and more adaptive.

What this means is that the workout that used to challenge you, doesn’t anymore.  You don’t burn as many calories and you stop seeing results.  That’s why you need to switch things up and keep your body guessing regularly.  The positive side to all of this is that you are steadily making progress, developing your potential and keeping things interesting.

I’m always changing things up just because I’m crazy like that;)  I get bored easily, and I love a challenge. My recent change has been to train with kettlebells as the focus of my workouts one day a week.  WOW!  It’s been the shock treatment I’ve needed!  It’s different than dumbbells in that it challenges even more of your stabilizing muscles and core engagement.

Here is the workout I did that has given my body the challenge it’s needed.

NOTE: If you have never picked up a KB or are a beginner exerciser, I strongly encourage you to get some coaching on proper technique and start off basic.

warm up for 10 min to get your joints lubricated and prepared.

  1.  Front squats with barbell (10 reps) superset with Figure 8 rear lunges with KB (16 reps total)

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2. Leg Press (15 reps) superset Squat with elbow strike (20 reps: see video on my instagram page https://www.instagram.com/ndenisejustice/)

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3. Sumo Squat & Deadlift with KB (16 reps) superset Jump squats with KB shoulder level (15 reps)

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4. KB swings (16-20reps) superset Goblet squats

(16-20 reps: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/goblet-squat)

5.  Walking deadlifts (10 total steps) superset Walking lunges (10 total steps:  see video description on my instagram page, https://www.instagram.com/ndenisejustice/)

This was a killer workout so adapt it to your fitness level or take one of the supersets and work them into what you are already doing at the gym.  I did 3-4 sets on each superset.

How do you keep your body guessing?  What do you think, are you going to give kettlebells a go?

Shift Out Of Boredom and Into Beast Mode

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote is always in the back of mind, and this year I want to embody it more.  You see I’m a peacemaker type, so I’ve struggled for most of my life with being clear on my wants and being assertive.   It’s my focus this year to show up in my life in a more active and self-initiating way.

If you are bored and living on autopilot then this is an idea that could bring you that creative spark.  I’ve been exploring new fitness activities.  My normal workouts at the gym have gotten a bit stale so I’ve been wanting to shake things up a bit.

A couple of weeks ago I tried jiu jitsu, a type of martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. I was curious so I thought I would try it out.  It was so strange being tossed and manipulated into an arm bar or neck hold, but I went along with it…for about 2+ hours!  LOL Have you ever went to another country and tried to speak the native language when you knew you were totally clueless?  Well, that’s exactly what grappling felt like to me.  But, I’m glad I put myself out there and tried something foreign to me!

This past weekend I got to take a concealed handgun course.  It was a scary and invigorating! The only gun I’d ever held or shot was a bebe gun that my fiance’ showed me how to use in our backyard.   Needless to say I was nervous just holding the various guns at the range, but by the end of the day I was firing away and enjoying myself! The course was 2 days and it was phenomenal.

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I’m getting one-on-one instruction from one of the instructors.  http://www.phobossolutions.com/about.html

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By the end of the day I was feeling good and empowered about the whole experience.

My next adventure is to scope out a krav maga.  I guess you can tell I have some pent up aggression. Seriously, you might be surprised that you do too especially if you are a pleaser and go with the flow.  It’s important to find an outlet to release this energy and learn to transform it into personal power.

What to do if you can’t find your passion?

  • Make a list of the things in your life that excite you.  Don’t edit yourself.  What kind of person would you be if you could?  What steps could you take today to become more like that person?  This week?  This year?  The Wisdom of the Enneagram 
  • Follow your curiosity, it is the real key to an interesting and creative life.  It doesn’t have to be major things like skydiving or traveling overseas.  It could be as simple as learning to garden or exploring new areas of your city.
  • Create a vision board.  This will give you clarity and inspiration as you free your mind and let your heart speak.  https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/create-a-vision-board/

Where will your curiosity lead you?  It already sounds exciting!

Create A Vision Board

I devoted some time before New Year’s Eve to work on goal setting for 2016, but it just felt so…well, boring and hard.  I decided to take on a different approach and make the process more fun and inspirational by creating a vision board.  The process of creating a vision board helped free up my mind and open up my heart to my real wants and desires.  If  you struggle with knowing what it is that you want, this is an exercise that will help bring you clarity.

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a collage of images of anything you desire in life.  It represents your dreams, goals and ideal life.

Do vision boards work?

Yes!  The powers involved in creating it of faith, visualization, focus of thought and expectation is what brings the magic.

Olympic athletes have been using it for decades to improve performance, and Psychology Today reported that the brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights are also similarly activated when the lifter just imagined (visualized) lifting weights. *http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-rider/the-scientific-reason-why_b_6392274.html

As a teenager I never knew of a vision board, but I always had a cork board in my bedroom where I would post pictures and words that spoke to my heart.  Many of those dreams became a reality and some of them manifested in a way that I didn’t expect.  For example, I had a photograph of children in Africa with the heading of ‘Ethiopia.’  I always thought I would do mission work there, and I did, but not in Ethiopia.  In 2007 I traveled to Cameroon, Africa and volunteered for 2 months.  I worked with orphans, took medicines to families suffering with HIV and helped Pastor Teh Francis start up his beautiful foundation, Goodness and Mercy Missions.  http://gmmafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=186

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This is one of several examples in my life, but there are many others that share stories of the positive outcomes of having a vision board.

What makes it work?

The act of getting into that space of possibility stirs up positive vibes.  This in turn activates the law of attraction.   Keep in mind that this visualization tool doesn’t mean all your dreams will come true, but it does keep you motivated to WORK for all those goals you want to accomplish.

Jack Canfield, the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and success coach says,

Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation-by representing your goals with pictures and images-you will actually strengthen and stimulate your emotions…  and your emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction.

How to create a vision board

MATERIALS:

  • Poster board, cork board, or a sketch pad
  • Magazines (my local library sets out old magazines free for the taking in the lobby)
  • Printed images  ie, if you want to travel do a google image search for “travel the world.”  Print the image that grabs you.
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks, stick pins, or tape
  • Paper and pen
  • Sharpie or a markers (optional)
  • embellish with whatever your heart desires…
  • Or opt for doing a vision board on Pinterest or on your desktop.  Here is a link for a phone app http://jackcanfield.com/free-vision-board-app/

GETTING STARTED:

The major rule to creating a vision board is that there aren’t any rules.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  The important thing is to just get started.

  1. I began by simply cutting out pictures and words that inspired and me.
  2. After I was satisfied with my collection of images and words I sorted them into categories.
  3. Next, I used stick pins and, sometimes tape, to post them on my board.
  4. I then edited and moved things around a bit.  I wrote positive affirmations above some of the images and words.
  5. Finally, I placed the vision board in the room where I have my morning devotions.  This ensures that I will look at it every day and practice visualizing my dreams.
  6. After creating my vision board I’ve been able to form more traditional goals with action steps.

That’s one of the big benefits of creating a vision board, it motivates you out of inertia to take action and work toward accomplishing your goals.

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I sorted my board into sections:  relationships, self development, spirituality, career, creative expression, and dream home desires -:)

On my vision board I have material things I want and the feelings I want to experience in myself and in my relationships.

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I’m sure that throughout the year that some of my goals and desires may shift and that’s why I prefer using tape and stick pins to allow flexibility to edit.

**Creating a vision board is something fun you can share with family and friends.  Here is a fun youtube video of a family making vision boards.  It’s adorable!  I can’t wait for my fiance’s grandkids to be old enough to do this with me:)  http://youtu.be/XVJqjMDgai8

So whether you set resolutions or not, creating a vision board is a fun way to stay focused on what you want in 2016!  Cheers to a bright and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Fitness Plan For 2016

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If you have a New Year’s resolution to get back into shape or to become even more fit it’s important to have a plan.  I see so many people in the gym not working out effectively and then they give up because they don’t see results.  A plan would make all the difference because it brings focus and maximizes your time.  

I want you to stick with your resolutions and see positive results so I’ve put together a basic guideline for your workouts.  It’s simple and that is why it can be effective.

I’ve experienced best results with myself and clients who exercise 3-5 days a week with weights and cardio.  It really isn’t necessary for these sessions to go beyond an hour.

Once you master the routine for a solid 6-8 weeks, then add in some small changes.  

Step 1:  Create a weekly schedule  

  1. Decide what 3-5 days you will train on during the week.  

For example, Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Wed-Th.

     2.  Decide from the list below, which body parts you will focus on for each day.

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Shoulder
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals

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Beginners:  Work all of the the body parts 2-3 days a week

Fill in the blank with the days you will schedule your total body workouts:

I will perform my total body workouts on _______________________.

Intermediate/Advanced: From the list, pick 2 body parts to focus on during each workout.

Fill in the blank:

Day 1: (Monday) of weight training I will work ___________and _____________.

Day 2: (Wednesday) of weight training I will work ____________ and __________.

Day 3: (Friday) of weight training I will work _____________ and ____________.

  3) Arrange your cardio to be shorter on the days that you are performing weights.  You can schedule your longer cardio sessions for the days that you are not weight training.

Fill in the blank:

I will perform 2-3 days of 20-30 min of cardio on these days: __________________.

Step 2: Pick your exercises for each body part

Here is a link that provides a library of exercises: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/

Beginners:  pick 1-2 exercises for each body part from the above link. 

Intermediate/Advanced:  Pick 2-3 exercises for each muscle group.

Step 3:  Putting It All Together

  1. Sample Beginner routine:

Weekly Schedule:  

Mon and Wed:  total body workout with 20 minutes of treadmill or walking outside and 10-15 min of abdominal exercises.

Friday:  30 min of cardio and 15 min of abs

Keep it all on machines.  This will ensure proper form and technique.

Total Body Workout Plan:

Perform one set of  12-15 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next.  

(A rep is the number of times you perform a specific exercise, and a set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete.)

Leg Press Machine, Hamstring Curl, Chest press machine, Back row machine, Shoulder press machine, Rear Flye machine, Tricep machine, Bicep machine.

Here is a video I did that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2kDklUA-js

  2.  Sample Intermediate/Advanced  routine:

Weekly Schedule:

Monday:  Legs and Shoulders

Tuesday: Rest day or light cardio

Wednesday:  Back and Biceps with 20 min of cardio

Thursday:  Rest day or light cardio with abs

Friday:  Chest and Triceps with 20 min of cardio

Workout Plan:

Perform 2-3 sets of  8-12 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next set.  

Legs:  Smith machine deep squats, Leg extension and Leg press

Shoulders:  Dumbbell overhead press, Lateral raise, rear flye (machine)

Back:  Lat pulldown wide grip, Seated cable row, One arm row

Bicep:  Cable bicep curl, Dumbbell hammer curls, Machine bicep curls

Chest:  Bench Press, Dumbell Flye and Incline Press

Tricep:  Overhead extension, Tricep pushdown, Dips

Abs:  see these articles for workouts: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/tag/lower-abs/

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/unleash-strong-sculpted-abs/

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. Earl Nightingale