ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN

Fitness is only one part of good health! From recipes to quick snacks, we have plenty of nutrition tips to keep you energized for not just your workout, but your entire day.

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Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

05/15/2017

MAKES 12 BARS

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
3 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, and almond milk. In a separate medium bowl whisk together coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined and batter is smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate, reserved a few tablespoons for sprinkling on top if desired.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and knife comes out with a few crumbs attached. The batter may look like it’s not all the way cooked but it will be. Do not over bake or your bars will be super dried out! Cool bars on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut into 12 squares.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

Homemade Guacamole

05/04/2017

INGREDIENTS 

6 avocados
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 head of cilantro, minced
2 limes, juiced


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

Success Spotlight: Sarah

04/25/2017

Sarah joined Snap Fitness Auburn, IL in January of 2016 weighing 270lbs and wearing a size 18/20. She had gotten engaged a month before joining and was inspired to get in shape to look great for her wedding. She had a year and a half to prepare.
 
Sarah says there wasn’t an easy answer, a quick fix, magic pill, or a simple solution. But that the truth was changing her lifestyle by cutting out junk food and becoming more physically active. She ate healthy foods, not low carb or sugar free, but real foods like chicken, fish, ground turkey, fruits and vegetables. She also adopted an intensive fitness program of simple weight lifting and cardio. Sarah made her physical and mental health her top priority and stopped making excuses.
 
Sarah is now 188lbs and a size 8/10, down 82lbs! Sarah has found that this journey is now more about living a healthy lifestyle and less about only looking great on her wedding day. She's 8lbs away from her goal weight and says when she hits it she plans to continue her new lifestyle. Sarah says the best thing she’s ever done for herself was joining Snap Fitness and we are so happy she did. Way to go, Sarah!

8 Tips For Prepping Healthy Meals in Advance

04/19/2017

You know the scenario. You arrive home after a long day at work, your energy is sapped, you’re hungry, and you have a restaurant delivery app on your phone. Recipe for diet disaster. The good news is in the same time it takes for a delivery person to reach your door, you can be enjoying your own meal, prepped in advance. Here are some tips on how to make that happen.

1. Plan Them Out
Make a list of your favorite healthy foods and decide what you’ll eat for every snack and meal. Once you have a few meal prep menus in your arsenal, you can rotate them to keep things interesting.

2. Avoid Temptation
Not having junk food in the house means not having to use your willpower to avoid it. Stick to your shopping list. 

3. Keep It Simple
Save time by choosing meals and snacks that don’t require a lot of time to put together. Fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus. These are all excellent choices.

4. Cook for a Week
Set aside some time on the weekend and cook for the whole week. This will make good use of your time and cut down on your utility bill. And imagine, your dishes for the week will be ready to go! A big stress relief for you.

5. Mix Things Up
It can be tempting to eat the same meals every day but that gets boring. Give yourself options. This can be as simple as choosing different proteins for your salads each day, or eating chicken with vegetables three nights of the week, and fish or tofu with vegetables the other two.

6. Food Storage Containers Are Helpful
Food containers of various sizes can make a world of difference. It’s a good idea to choose one container type and buy several that stack and store neatly.

7. A Little Goes a Long Way 

Any food prep is better than no food prep. Do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are hardboiled eggs, start there. Don’t get bogged down in thinking it must be done a certain way.

8. Give It Some Time

Food prep is about making your life easier. It takes a little effort and time upfront but it is worth it. It is so rewarding to open the refrigerator door and see healthy delicious meals and snacks ready to eat. Start slowly and build good habits. 

Secrets to Adding Lean Muscle

04/11/2017

It’s one of the age-old challenges of the gym. How to add muscle without bulking up so much you look like Hans or Franz? Worry not. We can pump you up, but in a lean way. Just follow these suggestions.

 

  1. Lift Three Days a Week for 30 Minutes. But don’t just start lifting randomly. Check in with a Snap Fitness trainer first. Lifting requires correct posture and positioning, and the best way to tighten and tone without bulking up is through high repetitions and low weights. Ask a trainer for guidance before you get started.
  2. Rest. This is almost as important as lifting. Make sure you give yourself a day in between sessions to give your muscles time to rebuild and strengthen. Do some cardio in your off days to stay toned.
  3. The Goal Is To Fail. Muscle fatigue is the name of the game. When you do your reps, you want to push your muscles until they can no longer do the lift. This should happen after your third set. The result is you will tear and rebuild a leaner physique with this method. It works!
  4. Drink Plenty of Water. A good rule of thumb is 16 ounces of water per every half hour of a lifting session. Muscles that are hydrated perform better. Simple as that.
  5. Try Compound Exercises. These are exercises that work more than one muscle at a time, which is good for building lean muscle. Try working in some push-ups, burpees, walking lunges, plank poses and kettle ball workouts.
  6. Eat Smart. Be strategic about your food choices. Keep in mind the following. Eat a breakfast that is between 300 and 600 calories within 90 minutes of waking up. Your muscles will not be told to store fat, and you will get a leaner body. Eat a meal two hours before you work-out. Try to schedule lunch or a large snack so that you will have enough time to digest and use the calories as you train. Eat a protein rich snack after your workout. A high-protein snack that includes low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, almond butter, whey powder, eggs, fish or poultry will help to heal muscles quickly.
  7. Sleep. After a work-out, your muscles use the nutrients and water you’ve ingested during the day to help you build and grow lean muscles while you sleep. Get those zzzzzz’s.

Spinach Artichoke Strata

04/09/2017

INGREDIENTS 

5 cups spinach

1 can artichoke hearts

5 slices sandwich bread, cubed

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese

¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

6 eggs

¾ cup milk

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and cook spinach and artichokes over medium heat until spinach is wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Place half of the bread cubes into a greased baking dish (2- or 3-quart dish is fine). Top with half of the spinach artichoke mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining bread cubes, spinach artichoke mixture and cheese.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture in baking dish. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove casserole from fridge and preheat oven to 325° F. Bake for 50 minutes, or until puffed, golden and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

GUEST BLOGGER | Meet Lauren

Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com

WEBSITE

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