Tapas: The Fire Within

I am drained. I am fading. I am tired.

Genius at work?

Genius at work?

Between my business, work, yoga school, yoga class, and moving prep I am beat. I am working about 18 hours a day and am sleeping 5 hours. I am still inspired but am so tired that I sometimes can’t harness that postivity. On top of it all this weather is not helping. I am yearning sunshine and warmth. Spring is so close yet oh so far.

This past Saturday our yoga instructor themed our class around the niyama Tapas. Tapas is an inward practice that focuses on breath. It also represents the enthusiasm from within to preserve  As she guided us through our practice she consistently brought the idea of tapas and physical practice into the flow. While in a pose (I can’t recall which pose)  she made a point that I have been thinking about quite a bit.

She said (this is paraphrasing): ” We must keep our eyes on the end result. When things are tough it is hard to remember how great it feels when we feel success in “the pose.” It is the discipline we exercise when we feel challenged that will allow us to reach that end result.”

When we exercise discipline to preserve rather than give in, the end result is so much more rewarding. I need to consistently remind myself of this.

I have been eating healthy recently but I feel like my portion size has been a bit out of hand and I have indulged in a bit of sugary candy. I am not proud of this and am uncomfortable admitting it.  Its easy to make excuses and give in because of all of the exterior factors. I must remember how wonderful my body feels when it is not polluted with junk. It is hard to remember that feeling when presented with the opportunity to indulge.  I must exercise tapas and remember the end result. This will not only help my body but it will also help my yoga practice.

I am committing to giving up processed food until the end of April. I am taking on this challenge so that I hold myself accountable when confronted with candy. I will exercise tapas and find my positive outcome that I want so badly.

In honor of tapas here is a recipe that brings happiness and positivity!

Coconut Mango Green Smoothie

Bringing some summer sun to this cold deary weather

Bringing some summer sun to this cold deary weather

Ingredients:
2c of spinach
4 mango spears
1 cup of low calorie vanilla coconut milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 banana
6 ice cubes
1/4 c cold water

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Directions:

Place all ingredients except spinach into blender.

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place on liquify

place on liquify

YUM!

YUM!

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Gluten Free Chewy Bars

I love a yummy, low calorie, on-the-go snack. I created this recipe on the fly and it is great! These bars are sweet, savory, and crunchy… perfect combo. Side note: your house will smell AMAZING after you bake these!

Gluten Free Coconut Cinnamon Chewy Bars

only 95 calories!

only 95 calories!

Ingredients:

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2 tbsp coconut shreds
1 c cinnamon apple chex
1 c cinnamon chex
1 c gluten free puffins
5 unsulfered apricots (chopped)
1 c of sugar free maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
1 packet of cinnamon almonds (chopped)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place cereal in a ziploc bag, release the air, and then crush the cereal with your hand. You can use a rolling pin, but I chose not to because I wanted to have larger chunks in the bar.

remove air from bag

  1. Empty bag of  cereal into baking dish (dish needs to have enough room to allow cereal to spread evenly). Place in oven for 7 minutes.
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  3. Place toasted cereal in a mixing bowl (electric distributes more evenly). Mix in syrup and remaining ingredients
  4. chex4
  5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and pour mixture into baking dish. Press mixture throughout dish, distribute evenly.
  6. Bake bars for 17 minutes (monitor). Remove from baking dish.
  7. Place cool bar sheet on cutting board.
  8. chex5
  9. Cut into 10 squares.

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Coo Coo for Coconut

I have a new love in my life…. his name is Coconut.

I have had some digestive issues recently so I talked to my acupuncturist about it (she is the best). Things are going great with the gluten free business but I have had a hard time with my belly as of late. She has always told me I need to consume more fat but my problem has been finding a food that is low in calories but high in good fat. Well ladies and gentleman, my problems have been solved.

I told her what I was putting in my shakes and she suggested I add coconut oil. God bless her heart. Coconut tastes amazing and is the perfect solution.

Coconut Heaven: Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with Kind Gluten Free Granola, Coconut Oil from Trader Joes

Coconut Heaven: Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with Kind Gluten Free Granola, Coconut Oil from Trader Joes

I am also really into Coconut Yogurt. I love the flavor (could be served as a dessert), the low calories, and fat content. Great as an afternoon snack or paired with high protein granola.

Blueberry Coconut Yogurt, Vanilla Kind Gluten Free Granola, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Banana

Blueberry Coconut Yogurt, Vanilla Kind Gluten Free Granola, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Banana

And the grandest treat of them all, my shake!

Chocolate Coconut Protein Green Smoothie

(vegan and gluten free)

This shake is incredibly balanced. Here is the breakdown:

Calories: 351
Carbs: 29
Fat: 18
Protein: 26
This shake will leave you full and provide your intestines and kidneys the support they need to break down all of that fiber.

Ingredients:

1 c of kale
2 c of spinach
1 packet of chocolate Tera’s Whey protein powder (this is a local product, if you can’t find a gluten free chocolate powder use vanilla and add cocoa powder)
1/2 banana
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 ice cubes
1/2 c cold water

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Store the remaining banana in the fridge

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes, liquids, and powder into blender.

make sure to put the oil in the middle otherwise it will stick to the walls of the blender

make sure to put the oil in the middle otherwise it will stick to the walls of the blender

2. Layer greens on top of liquids.

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so balanced!

3. Place on liquefy and blend until forthy and even.

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Delicious lunch or breakfast, almost like dessert!

The perfect green smoothie

I have quite a few cook books sitting on my shelf that I rarely touch. One of the cook books I own I purchased years ago when I began to shift how I consume food. Hungry Girl takes ordinary brands and manipulates their purpose to create a “healthy” alternative. I admire their effort and creativity, however its not really my thing. Most of the recipes require too much fake sugar or processed items. With that being said, I was looking through the pages and noticed how they utilized diet hot cocoa mix in multiple recipes. This idea got me thinking and the result of those thoughts is what I would like to think of as perfection.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop of 365 vanilla whey
  • 2 tbsp pb2
  • 1 diet hot cocoa mix (25 calorie mix)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 c of spinach
heaven.

heaven.

Directions:

Place liquids, banana, and powders in blender. Top off mixture with spinach and place in liquefy setting. Blend until completely smooth and mixture becomes frothy. Serve and enjoy!

great treat on the way to work

great treat on the way to work

Nutrition facts (calculated on MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 277
Carbs: 38
Fats: 5
Proteins: 27