How about some ice tea with benefits?

Before I went on my vacation to Costa Rica this year, my friend, who was already there,  had e-mailed me, raving about this cinnamon iced tea she was drinking every day after her workout. Of course on my first day there on vacation we went to the gym and afterwards straight to the “wonder tea” place.

It was just as good as she said it would be. Spicy, sweet, and very refreshing, but the most amazing thing was that there was NO sweetener in it.

There have been plenty of studies that suggest all kind of benefits from taking cinnamon:

  • reduce “bad” cholesterol
  • reduces inflammations
  • contains antioxidants
  • and the aroma of cinnamon can actually boost brain function

Maybe the most important benefit:

  • cinnamon contains a water soluble polyphenol compound (MHCP) which may help the body to improve the use  of insulin.

I love this cinnamon tea recipe because it doesn’t need any sweetener.  Since it has no caffeine, it also keeps me well hydrated.

Here is how I make it:

  1. Fill a medium size pot with 2 quarts water and bring to a boil
  2. Once water is boiling, add 1 ounces of Cinnamon sticks
  3. Continue cooking for 10 minutes
  4. Then turn off the burner and put the lid on on the pot
  5. Let the tea sit for 1 hour ( or longer )

Once the tea is done you can pour it in glass bottles and store in your refrigerator. You can drink it right out of the bottle or with ice.

Sunny regards, Anke

 

 

 

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Supercharged Dairy!

 

Whenever I recommend cottage cheese as a great protein source to my clients, I get one of two answers: a) I love it, or b) I hate it. I think it is more of a texture issue than actual taste because cottage cheese is very close to yogurt, which almost everyone likes. What makes cottages cheese so superior to yogurt (even the Greek ones) is that it is 100% protein. Regular yogurt has about 50% protein and 50% carbohydrates. I am always looking for a balance of protein and carbs in my meals. By having cottage cheese, I can add a lot of fruit to it, and don’t even need a sweetener and I still get a perfectly balanced meal. Just give cottage cheese one more try and you might just be convinced for life. In my recipe below we will change the texture and make it super fruity. Even your kids will love this one!

What you need:

A food processor or blender

1 cup of 1% cottage cheese (I love the whipped cottage cheese!)

1 cup of berries or 1 banana or whatever fruit you like (in the summer I use a lot of frozen fruit)

A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)

1 tbsp nuts (optional)

If you want it a little sweeter you can use a tiny bit of Stevia or Agave Nectar.

Just put the cottage cheese and the fruit in the food processor and blend until it has a smooth consistency.  You can add the nuts and blend it some more or just sprinkle them on as a garnish.

My favorites flavors: Junky Monkey (banana & peanuts), Pina colada (canned pineapple in pineapple juice NOT syrup & unsweetened coconut flakes), Frozen Blueberry (frozen blueberry & vanilla), Plain Strawberry (fresh in season strawberries), Pumpkin Pie ( ½ cup canned pumpkin, 1 tsp  maple syrup and a pinch of Pumpkin Pie spice).

This approximately  250-calorie ( 30 gr protein !!! ) meal makes a great breakfast or anytime meal and travels well in your cooler.

Live strong,

Anke

 

 

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Ladies First

Ever since I decided to start my blog I was wondering what the first installment should be about. A few days ago I saw this picture on Facebook and I had my answer.

I love everything about it…it is beautiful and powerful. I do know that she has been working for that body for a long time and for sure eats plenty of healthy foods. And yes, she hits the weight room at the gym.

There are still plenty of women out there who are scared of strength training.  If this picture is not enough inspiration, here are some points that might convince you to pick up the weights.

  1. Sarcopenia! The natural process of losing muscle which starts once you hit 35. Muscle is an active tissue and it boosts the metabolism because it burns calories. So, the more muscle you lose the weaker you get and the more body fat you will put on.
  2. Osteoporosis! Over the last few years this has become a bigger and bigger problem. The American Medical Association says the MOST effective way to counteract bone loss is through strength training. (Lifting your coffee mug in the morning doesn’t count). The earlier you start a weight-lifting regime the stronger your bones will be. A friend of mine (60 years old) had her bone density tested and her doctor told her that she had the bone density of a 35-year-old women. Needless to say, she has been strength training for years!
  3. Everyday tasks will be easier. For some women normal chores like carrying heavy grocery bags, gardening or picking up kids makes them feel tired. The solution? Get stronger.
  4. Say good bye to crazy diets. As I said before, muscle burns calories even in your sleep. ( Per 10 pounds of muscle 350-700 calories. ) Whether you are trying to lose extra body fat or just maintain your current percentage, there is no need to try any of these extreme low-calorie diets, which often leave you with not enough energy to even think. A healthy and conscious meal plan will do the trick.
  5. Prevent Injuries. Strength training not only makes your bones and muscles stronger it also strengthens your tendons. So if you should happen to fall one day, you might just get up and keep walking.

I have been a trainer for long enough to know all the excuses you might have to NOT do it. Let’s look at them.

  1. “I don’t want to look like a man or bodybuilder.” As women we don’t have enough testosterone in our bodies to build big muscle. In fact, 70% of men can’t build bulky muscle. Trust me, if you had really extreme testosterone levels – you would know it.
  2. “I am too old.” It is never too late to get stronger. The older we get the longer it takes but you will still get stronger. My oldest client was 73 years old when she started weight training and she kept on telling me how much better she felt ever since she began pumping iron.
  3. “I don’t have time.” As a beginner, you will get away with twice a week 30 to 45 minutes.  I am sure everyone can find that much time to become a healthier person.

So even if you don’t want to follow the “strong is the new skinny” trend, there are plenty of reasons to start lifting.

Have a strong day,

Anke

 

Posted in Exercise | 2 Comments