TONE IT UP Workout : {Birthday Workout With My Gals}

IMG_5066 I love celebrating my birthday every year with my girlfriends….yes I love my birthday and I’m not ashamed to admit it!  This year, we were lucky enough to go to a free group workout by my fave fitness trainers…..Karena and Katrina from Toneitup.com ! I am a Tone it up member and I love this program and these ladies (even if my waistline doesn’t always show it lol).  They are so positive and encouraging and you can’t help but want to be healthy when watching their videos or following them on social media.  So when I found out they were having a workout in Manhattan Beach, CA (35ish minutes from me)….I begged my girlfriends to come join me as a birthday celebration and luckily most of them could make it!  It was so much fun…but holy cow was it exhausting! These girls kicked my butt!
IMG_5069We worked out at an empty sound stage on a studio lot.IMG_5067They had a table set up in the back with free Perfect Fit protein shake samples and Perfect Fit Tone It Up brownies. 
IMG_5068The brownies where flourless and made with bananas and the protein powder…I want the recipe!IMG_5077They gave everyone a little bag with a sample of the Perfect Fit Vanilla protein powder, a recipe card, and a cute little Perfect Fit drink umbrella!IMG_5071IMG_5070We are ready to workout!…or so we thoughtIMG_5078It was a bit of a quiet room which surprised me…I kept giving out little hoots because I was so excited when they came out!
IMG_5156This pic is from their instagram of the event…best part…LIL JON was the DJ!!  It was so bomb!  I wanted to stop working out and just have a dance party! Our initial stretch was to his song and we said “To the window (stretch one direction), to the wall (stretch the other direction), ’til the sweat drops down your exercise ball!” (giggles ensued)IMG_5087Seriously we were dead after!  I have never sweated so much in my entire life…plyo jumps are no joke!IMG_5095We quickly freshened up and changed clothes in the parking structure, applied a lot of deodorant and body spray, and headed out to a celebratory dinner (we earned it right??).  We went to Hudson House in Redondo Beach.  (If you are a top chef fan…the owner is runner up contestant Brooke Williamson).IMG_5094They had delicious cocktails (like this tiki drink), and the truffle fries and pretzel burger where to die for! 
IMG_5171And there we are, front and center (well a little to the left).  Such a fun time! Thanks K & K for a great birthday!  If you have never checked out their workout videos…do it! So fun!  

XOXO,
Care

DietBet : {Heidi & Chris Powell}

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I follow Chris Powell on Instagram and he posted today about a weight loss game where you can win money (The pot is at $41,400 right now).  The game is hosted by a website called DietBet and I JUST JOINED! I am so excited to hopefully win some money!

How it works:

You’ve got 4 weeks to lose 4% of your starting weight. To begin, everyone puts $30 into the pot. After four weeks, whoever’s hit their 4% goal is a winner and splits the pot.

Check it out at: http://www.dietbetter.com/games/38335

Wish me luck!

Nékter Cleanse : {A Review}

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I was searching for a cleanse to kick start my eating healthy/weight loss for the new year, and my sister recommended the Classic Nékter Juice Cleanse.  You can do it for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.  They recommend 3 days to fully rid your body of toxins.  I however, I only did 2…3 sounded so scary!  But the cleanse was SO much easier than I thought!….I could have easily done the 3 days, and probably will next time I cleanse.

The Classic cleanse consists of 6 Juice’s you drink each day, one juice every two hours.  If you get hungry and just have to eat something, you can have raw almonds or some avocado slices wrapped in lettuce.  I only got hungry once because I skipped Juice #4 and ate almonds instead.  Besides that, the juice’s, tea, and drinking lots of water kept me totally full and satisfied!

How did they taste?  I am not one of those girls who enjoys green juices.  I go with my Mom to Mother’s Market sometimes and she loves getting huge juices full of spinach, beets, kale, etc.  And I just gag!  I tried the Master Cleanse once and I only lasted 2 days.  Not because I was hungry, but because I just couldn’t stomach the taste.  Which is why I couldn’t drink Juice #4 from this cleanse…..it has the EXACT same ingredients as the Master Cleanse.  (Can’t handle the Cayenne Pepper!)  But if you are someone who is cool with veggie juices, then this cleanse will be extra easy for you.  As for me, I plugged my nose and chugged most bottles.  Only bottle #6 could I really sip and enjoy….that thing is like eating chocolate cake after you have been eating dirt all day.  (Dramatic much?)

Even though I didn’t love the taste of most of the juices, I loved the cleanse.  It was doable, I rarely was hungry, I lost 5 pounds in water weight, and I felt great after!  It was exactly what I needed to kick start my healthy eating and living!  And you get to keep the cute green cooler bag which I have been using to carry all my healthy lunches to work!  I will definitely do it again!

Here is a description of the different juices:

Drink #1 
Your first drink of the day is a blend of delicious vegetables like kale and spinach with a refreshing kick of cucumber, apple and mint. Day One is packed with antioxidants and vitamins to detox your kidneys, liver, pancreas, and blood. It’s a fresh start for your system and already it’s singing “Thank You for this amazing drink!”

Drink #2 
You’ll continue your day’s cleanse with a light and delicious trio of pineapple, cucumber and coconut water. The pineapple acts as an anti-inflammatory. Electrolytes are bursting out of the bottle to help you stay hydrated. This will leave your insides feeling happy and clean.

Drink #3
Halfway through! This alkalizing green blend features the Mean Greens: spinach, kale, and parsley. We’ve added lemons as a natural antiseptic to help zap the toxins. This blend will help detoxify and stimulate the antibodies. Snack on some almonds if you need to!

Drink #4 
Meet Skinny Lemonade. We’ve blended lemons and cayenne pepper, a little sweet and a little spicy, to give you a refreshing, but very important drink. The cayenne helps bring blood to the surface and allows those toxins to easily leave your body. A NEW you is just around the corner.

Drink #5 
You’re almost there! The very last green drink of the day, we made sure was a tasty one. Apples are added for sweetness and packed with soluble fiber to help clear those nasty toxins from the colon.

Drink #6 
You made it! Your very last drink. We like to refer to it as dessert because it is sweetly flavored with vanilla beans that have anti-nausea and calming properties. Plenty of protein and minerals that aid the lymphatic system in waste elimination make this a perfect, last drink. Congratulations on a successful Cleanse! We hope you feel great!

Healthy Smash Cake : {Healthy Banana Bread}

IMG_3412When it came time for my daughters 1st birthday party I immediately got nervous about her cake.  I know it’s tradition to give your child their first bit of sweets on their birthday but I desperately didn’t want to.  Now TRUST ME when I say I am not judging other moms that have, this is personal.  I am someone who LOVES sweets and has struggled my whole life to eat them in moderation…and I guess I don’t want my daughter to have that struggle.  Also she has already had sugar haha.  I came home from work one day to find out that my mom had fed my daughter donut holes for breakfast (this was months ago btw)…so she has had enough for the year.  Plus I already struggle with getting her to eat the fruit and veggies on her tray over her toast and meats…so why add another food distraction for her?  (My little sister was like this….I think she would only eat Cheeto Puffs and macaroni and cheese for the first 5 years of her life haha).  Anyway, so in order to give E a smash cake, I decided to make a healthy banana bread cake.

The Bad News:  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out a healthy frosting so she got regular whipped vanilla frosting.  AND she didn’t eat any of the cake or frosting at her actual party!  In a nutshell she had a meltdown with frosting all over and wanted out of that chair ASAP.

The Good News:  The day before when I was leveling off the cake to make even layers I gave her the excess and she loved it!  (With no frosting) 

And who cares that the picturesque cake smash didn’t go as planned haha…I have enough “cute” moments with this girl to last a lifetime!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Ripe Bananas
  • 2 Individual Unsweetened All-Natural Applesauce Containers
  • 3tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs (Beaten)
  • 1/4 Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp Nutmeg
  • (Optional): Nuts & sugar or natural sweetener such as honey, agave, or stevia

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.
IMG_3369 Rachael Ray says instead of peeling bananas and mashing them, squish them inside the peel, then peel and place in the bowl.  Supposedly when using bananas to cook with, it helps make the bread fluffier. 
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My bananas were not fully mashed which left chunks in my bread…this wasn’t a problem for me, but if you don’t want chunks, then take a spoon and mash the bananas down a little more in the bowl.IMG_3383I didn’t measure the applesauce, I just used two of these individual containers.IMG_3374Combine applesauce, bananas, yogurt and vanilla.IMG_3378 Beat the eggs prior to mixing into the applesauce/banana mixture.IMG_3379 In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients, then combine with the wet ingredients.IMG_3382Pour into two 6″ greased cake pans.  (Just divide the batter in half), bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  (Toothpick center of cake to make sure it is done).
IMG_3385You can see the banana chunks in mine.IMG_3398Clearly I didn’t divide my batter in half haha! (Do as I say, not as I do).  Let cool on a wire rack.  It’s a pretty solid cake and won’t break easily, so let them cool flat side down.  IMG_3401 Once cakes are cool, level off the tops using a sharp knife.  (I used a serrated knife)IMG_3404After in was leveled and cooled I placed them on top of each other to ensure they were level and then placed on a cardboard cake base prior to frosting.  This is key because you need to be able to move it from your cake stand to the high chair!DSC_8955

Cocoa & Pumpkin Fruit & Nut Bars {Paleo}

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I am a snacker…especially at work.  This is because I get up so early (3am) that “normal meal times” sorta go out the window.   So I am always looking for a quick snack that is somewhat healthy.  But of course I often fail and go for whatever is easy and close.  The traditional granola bar frustrates me because it is usually loaded with tons of bad sugars and unwanted extras….or is super expensive!  So after seeing this fruit and nut bar recipe (compare to lara bars) on fitsugar.com I was inspired to make my own batch, make a few changes, and add some other flavors!  I like this recipe because it is super easy to modify with your preferred fruits, nuts, spices, etc.

Ingredients: {Yields approx. 12 Bars}

  • 2 Cups Nuts (I used 1 1/2 cup almonds/1/2 cup walnuts)
  • 18 Large pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins & 1/4 cup apricots)
  • 2 tbsp  Spice(s) of choice!  (I split the batch and did one with pumpkin pie spice and the other raw cocoa)

*You can also add unsweetened coconut flakes to add more flavor, texture and thicken the bar OR if you have a sweet tooth you can add some dark chocolate chips.

Directions:  {So easy to make}

  • Combine fruit and nuts and process in food processor approx. 2 minutes until everything is finely chopped.
  • You may need to process fruits and nuts separately (depending on food processor size) and then combine by kneading together with your hand (which is what I did).
  • Place mixture between wax paper and roll out until 1/2 inch thick.  Try and roll into a rectangle which will help with cutting even bar shapes.  To keep the same shape you may need to cut off uneven sides and re-roll them in the center of the mixture.
  • Freeze rectangles for 1 hour to solidify mixture a little more, then cut, and wrap individually in plastic wrap!

*Keep them in the fridge.  Also be careful not to freeze longer than an hour in the wax paper or it will stick to the bars.  You can also use plastic wrap instead of wax paper.

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