Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

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I have been seeing “Chia Pudding” popping up all over the place recently.  I have not had much of a desire to try the concoction until a great friend of mine recently sent me a recipe for a tropical chia pudding.  In honor of her I wanted to come up with a new and different recipe to add to her arsenal.

First of all, lets go into what “Chia Pudding” consists of.  Chia seeds are a small round seed that have been touted all over the place as a new superfood.  The truth of the matter is that Chia has been a superfood for a very very long time. The Aztecs and the Mayans used the chia plant as an energy booster.  Chia is rich in antioxidants and omega 3s!  There have been studies regarding the seeds ability to act as an appetite suppressant, however, these studies are inconclusive and let’s be honest, there is no magical weight loss pill or fix just good nutrition and a lot of moving that body!  Regardless, chia is nutritious and a good addition to your arsenal and this recipe is the perfect way to begin incorporating it into your diet.

It is no secret that I love chocolate.  Raw cacao is one of the most antioxidant rich foods you can find! Check out my recipe for health chocolate for more information on the benefits of raw cacao.  So, when coming up with a recipe for chia pudding I decided my best bet was to combine these two antioxidant powerhouses into  a chocolate coconut chia pudding that will absolutely knock your socks off.

The trick to chia pudding is to make it the night before and leave it in the fridge in a sealed container (I use a mason jar) overnight.  Chia seeds posses the ability to absorb almost 10x the liquid of their original size! When left in liquid overnight the liquid takes on a gelatinous consistency similar to a pudding that is delightful.

What you will need:
2 Tbs Chia Seeds.
2 Tbs Raw Cacao.
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon.
1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Milk (or Almond Mik).
Stevia or Honey to taste.
Sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes.

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a mason jar and seal the lid on the jar tightly. Shake shake shake until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Place in the fridge and wait ten minutes, shake the jar again to avoid any clumping of the chia seeds. Leave in the fridge overnight and wake up to an amazing surprise!

I topped my chia pudding with a sprinkle of coconut flakes but you can top yours with just about anything (banana slices also sounds yummy to me)
This will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and the recipe technically makes 2 servings but… I typically eat the whole thing.

6 Workout Moves to Add to your Next Hike

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In each of our journey’s to optimal health and wellness a large part of the equation is our fitness routine.  This routine will differ with each person but there are consistent principles that we should try to adhere to in order to be successful.  One such principle is to make a conscious effort to mix up your routine once in a while. We all have our favorite workouts, but when we add in a workout not consistently in our routine we shock our bodies and allow ourselves to cross barriers and get past that dreaded plateau! Whether you add in a swim, hike, cross country skiing, 200 burpees, it doesn’t matter as long as it is an activity that you know will shake things up a bit.

One great opportunity we have to shake things up a bit is at the changing of the seasons. During the summer, you may hike every weekend but you aren’t trudging through the snow regularly during the winter! In honor of the impending first day of spring (less than a month away), I have put together a workout that will shock that booty right into spring. By combining an activity not regularly performed during the winter months (unless you live in CA/AZ/TX etc.) with a few high intensity plyometrics, this workout is a perfect way to reign in the warmer months.
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HIKING
Hiking is a fantastic workout.  While some view this activity as simply walking uphill, it is so much more.  Granted the intensity of the workout will vary greatly depending on which trail you choose, but hiking has the potential to torch fat and have you utilizing muscles rarely used in other activities.
Choose the right trail for you: assess your current fitness levels and abilities.  Choose a safe trail that matches your abilities and preferences.  The trail I hiked in this workout is called the Aiea Loop in Hawaii, it was 4.8 miles long over rough terrain, giving me the opportunity to shock those muscles climbing under/over trees.
Here is a site you can use to help you locate a trail to hike in your area: http://trails.gorp.com/
Prepare and be SAFE: It is important to be prepared. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and provisions in case of an emergency.  Make sure that you are not hiking alone and also be sure to let a third party know where and when you will be hiking as well as when to expect you to return. This is important so that in case there is an emergency  there is someone who will alert the appropriate people and will know exactly where to tell them you are located.
Drink in the Outdoors: There are many health benefits to spending time outdoors, drinking in the fresh air.  The natural surroundings can lower stress levels, provide quiet reflection, and reconnect you to nature.  Take advantage of these benefits, maybe even leave your music behind and let the birds sing your way through the hike.
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THE WORKOUT
Once you have your destination in mind, map out your workout.  This workout includes six basic moves that will boost your heart rate and help build muscle along your hike. When I say map out your workout, I mean choose at which intervals during your hike you will stop to complete each workout move.  This can be a time interval, like every ten minutes, or a distance interval like every quarter mile (this option usually works best if the distance is clearly marked on the trail).  I chose to stop every 15-20 minutes since the trail I was hiking was fairly long and strenuous.
Move 1: Lunges
Complete 50 lunges each leg.  Find a fairly flat and even piece of ground and make sure that you are not bending your front knee over your ankle.  Make sure to lunge deep with your back knee only about two inches off of the ground.  Increase the intensity by placing your hands on your head or, as pictured, finding a long stick to challenge your balance.
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Move 2: Bear Hug Pull-Ups
Complete as many reps as possible.  Find a strong and sturdy tree branch that is a hight in which you can reach up and “hug” the branch as pictured.  Perform as many pull ups as possible.  As a modification, find a lower hanging branch and utilize the ground to assist you in pulling yourself up.  This move is great for your back muscles and your biceps.IMG_2235
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Move 3: Tricep Dips
Complete 50 reps.  Find a sturdy rock or tree root that is about 1-2 feet above the ground.  Begin in a seated position with the palms of your hands on the rock or tree root, fingers facing you and elbows straight.  Bend your elbows straight back, lowering yourself until your are almost touching the ground and then straighten your elbows back to start.IMG_2229IMG_2925
Move 4: Step-ups
Complete 50 reps each leg.  Find a rock or portion of the trail in which there is a difficult step up that you can safely repeat the step up for each leg in turn.  When you reach the top of your step up intensify the move by squeezing your glutes and intensify the move even further by challenging your balance once again utilizing the stick as pictured.
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Move 5: Elevated diamond push-ups
Complete 50 Reps.  Find a tree branch or rock that is about 3 feet off of the ground.  Place your hands close together with your elbows straight and your body straight with your feet on the ground in an elevated plank position. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your nose is almost touching your hands.
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Move 6: Calf Raises
Complete 50 reps, or as many reps as possible.  Find a tree root or flat rock a few inches off of the ground.  Place your toes on the rock or root with your heels hanging off of the back.  Raise your heels until you are on your tipi-toes then lower and repeat.IMG_2251IMG_2250
That’s it! Remember to stay hydrated and most importantly to have fun.
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Perfect Brussel Sprouts

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I am in LOVE with this Brussel sprouts recipe. Both my husband and I have historically hated Brussel sprouts but now he regularly requests that I whip up these bad boys. They are amazing.

Perfect Brussel sprouts:

  • 1/4 cup diced red onion or shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups shredded Brussel sprouts (or buy 1 lb and shred them on your own
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • salt & pepper

1. Prepare the Brussel sprouts by chopping them as pictured

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2. On high heat place the onion and garlic in a sauté pan and sweat the onions until translucent (about 5 min)

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3. In a cup place the warm water, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper. Set aside.

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4. Put the shaved Brussel sprouts in the pan and caramelize for about 5 mins.
5. Add the sundried tomatoes and pour in your liquid mixture, cover and cook stirring occasionally until the Brussel sprouts are tender.

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ENJOY!
Xoxo- reverent lion

Travel Nutrition

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When you travel and you have specific nutritional needs, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. This is a question I get quite often and it doesn’t take much extra time or space. Here is just an example of what I have prepped for this trip but you can get creative with your own prep! I have packed Lara bars, raw almonds, dates, oranges, organic raisins, vegan protein powder, matcha green tea, yellow bell pepper, lentils, and brown rice.

As a general guideline, below is a list of items you may want to think about:

  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Fresh fruit (stick to hearty fruit that won’t easily bruise like oranges or apples
  • Vegetables (carrots, peppers, zucchini)
  • Protein powder
  • Raw energy bars (homemade, lara bars etc)
  • Foods you can easily cook for a quick meal in a pinch
  • Don’t forget any supplements you may need!!!
  • Xoxo- Reverent Lion

    Furniture Slider Workout

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    OK so these little babies are my absolute favorite. I bought a pack of four of them from Amazon for about 12 dollars and I have been using them like crazy ever since! There are a million different ways you can use them but this workout is specifically targeting your core and your glutes.

    • 50 Sliders in and outs – straight leg. (Begin in plank position with the sliders underneath your feet and while keeping your legs straight, use your core to bring your feet to your hands as pictured below.)

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    • 50 Sliders in and outs- bent legs.

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    • 50 Sliders in and outs- wide legs

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    • 50 sliders extended wide to narrow legs

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    • 50 Breast stroke kicks (it was hard to get a good photo of this one but it’s exactly as it sound just think back to your old swimming lessons with the sliders on your feet
    • 50 Spider-Man push ups with the sliders on your feet (imitate the pic below and then switch sides and continue to 50

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    • 50 Hamstring curls with the sliders on your feet

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    • 10 plank walks from one end of the room to the other with the sliders on your feet

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    • 50 lunges each leg with slider on your back foot. In this picture I have added a yoga block underneath my front foot for an added challenge but this is optional

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    VOILA!– xoxo — Reverent lion

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    Antioxidant POWERHOUSE Smoothie

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    Antioxidants help us fight those free radicals we are exposed to every day! Different foods have different levels of antioxidants. I created this smoothie to give you a major antioxidant boost so that you can look and feel great!

    Blueberries, pomegranates, and strawberries rank high on the list of antioxidant rich fruits, and believe it or not raw cacao powder and cinnamon both have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries! Your soul will thank you for drinking this baby!

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    Recipe:

    • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
    • 1 cup frech/frozen blueberries
    • 1 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
    • 2 heaping Tbs raw cacao powder
    • 1 heaping Tbs cinnamon
    • 2 handfuls of kale
    • 2 handfuls of spinach
    • 1 cup green tea or water (any liquid of choice)
    • Stevia to taste

    1. Place your liquid and greens in the blender and blend until completely smooth.

    2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes to achieve desired consistency. ENJOY!!

    XOXO- Reverent Lion

    Spicy Mango Madness Smoothie

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    I use a blentec blender for all of my smoothies (quite a few people have been asking that question lately) but any blender will work to make this delightfully tangy and slightly spicy smoothie. This would also make a great juice if you would like to break out the juicer!

    The below recipe makes about 2 servings. I usually eat one serving in the morning and place the other serving in an airtight container until later that day when I am ready to enjoy my second serving and I throw it back in the blender with about 6-8 ice cubes and voila! Just be sure to consume your smoothie mix within 8-12 hours after you make it that morning.

    Many of you have been asking about jalapenos and if this smoothie is extremely spicy. You will only notice a slight kick of spice, but if you are sensitive to spicy foods, maybe start with 1/2 jalapeno and add more to your liking. Jalapenos fight headaches, relieves congestion, soothes your digestive system, acts as a thermogenic for weight loss, along with many other health benefits! (Source)

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    RECIPE:

    • 2 lemons, peeled and sliced
    • 1 Lime, peeled and sliced
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Zest of 1/2 lime
    • 1 jalapeno pepper sliced (I use the seeds as well)
    • 2 Kiwi fruits quartered (leave the skins on! they are so good for you!!)
    • 1 cup frozen/fresh chopped mango
    • 1 cup frozen/fresh chopped pineapple
    • 2 handfuls kale
    • 2 handfuls spinach
    • 1 cup water or green tea (any liquid will do)
    • Stevia to taste

    1. Place your liquid in your blender followed by all of your greens, the lemons, limes, zest, and jalapeno.

    2. Blend until completely smooth (the last thing you want is a chunk of unblended jalapeno!)

    3. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, add ice cubes if necessary to achieve your desired consistency . ENJOY!!

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    XOXOX- Reverent Lion

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