YUMMILICIOUS CARROT CUPCAKES

I developed my love for cooking as a little girl. I was barely tall enough to see the inside of a pot. My father (my hero) saw that interest and encouraged it as much as he could. He bought me cook books and would never hesitate to give me money to buy the ingredients I needed. And off course I always baked the yummiest things!! I really want to help ignite that passion and help develop that skill in kids as well.

My nieces came visiting and we (they) made these delicious carrot cup cakes.
There are lots of reasons to let your kids join you in the kitchen. Measuring ingredients is a great opportunity for a fun math lesson, and mixing and cooking ingredients shows science in action. But, even more than that, it is a bonding opportunity and a great way to create lasting memories.

Here is how we made ours:

What you need:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon
4 eggs (organic if possible)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oil (olive oil if possible)
3 cups finely shredded carrot

What you do:
In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients (dry ingredients)
In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs, add carrot, oil and sugar (wet ingredients)
Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Scoop in mixture and Bake at 350 C for 20-25 minutes.

When you bake your own foods, you can control the QUALITY of the ingredients. These are HIGH in calories. Enjoy with portion control in mind.

REMEMBER: You are shaped by what you eat.

Make today a Healthy and Fit one!

When exercise hurts!

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS

When you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or significantly increase the duration or intensity of your exercise routine may find that you are sore the next day. This muscle soreness that occurs about 8 to 48 hours post exercise is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.

There are many theories as to the cause of this soreness. The most popular one seems to be that the soreness is as a result of micro tears in the muscle brought about by exercise. Although exercise induced soreness cannot be completely eliminated there are a few things that can be done to reduce the soreness or speed up recovery when you experience one.

  1. Nutrition: The muscles most efficiently absorb nutrients for energy replacement and repair in the two-hour window post exercise. Take advantage of this window to give your muscles the right raw materials it needs for repair and growth. That is protein, healthy fat and good carbohydrates.
  2. Hydration and electrolytes: Try to drink one liter of water for each hour of exercise. Electrolytes can be replaced by drinking coconut water.
  3. Compression: Techniques such as massage and a foam rolling helps to remove tight spots from muscles.
  4. Blood Flow: Improving blood flow to the muscles can help speed up recovery. Ways to do this include performing light stretches after workout, alternating every 30-60 seconds between hot and cold running water in your post-workout shower, taking an ice bath or placing ice packs on the sore muscles. I do the ice bath after my marathons and I can walk of 3 inch heels the day after.

Some people take NSAIDS (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatories like Advil) to temporarily reduce the muscle soreness. This is not a good strategy. Killing the pain with drugs inhibits the adaptation response of exercise and NSAIDS are hard on the kidney and liver.

DOMS may be best treated by prevention. Warm up completely before your exercise session. Start small and build up intensity gradually. Rest and Recover. The soreness will go usually go away in 3 to 7 days with no special treatment if you wait it out.

What has been your experience with DOMS? What strategies do you use? Please let me know your thoughts!

Coach Yaje

Statement of Desire

The steps call for no hard labor, they call for no sacrifice, they do not require one to become ridiculous, they do not require great education. Success is not by chance, good fortune or luck.

Task # 1: Exact amount of money (goal)

Fix in your mind the exact amount of money (specific goal) you desire.

The exact money I desire is $______________.

Task # 2: Intention to give

Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the thing you desire.

I intend to give__________________________________ in return for the money (thing) I desire.

Task #3: Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money (achieve the goal).

I intend to possess this money (thing) by___________________.

Task #4: a definite plan.

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once whether you are ready or not to put the plan into action.

My plan of action is:

1)_____________________________

2)_____________________________

3)_____________________________

Task #5: Statement of desire

Write a clear concise statement of the amount of money (or thing) you intend to acquire, name the time limit, state what you intend to give in return, and describe clearly the plan which you intend to achieve your goal.

The exact money (thing) I desire is ______________. I intend to give_______________ in return for the money (thing) I desire. I intend to possess this money (thing) by ________________________________. My plan of action is:

1)_____________________________

2)_____________________________

3)_____________________________

Signed__________________________

Date ___________________________

Task #6: READ your written statement aloud in the morning and at night. Visualize as you read.

Many people reading this book will skip this written statement of desire or if they write it, they will not read it daily. You would have missed the secret.

let me know your thoughts!

Yaje

A Sustainable Approach to Fat Loss and Weight Maintenance – MHFL MANIFESTO


When people make a decision to lose weight, they often want the weight to disappear in a hurry. Forgetting that the body fat did not just all appear overnight. They want a quick fix. They go on a “Diet”. 7-day green smoothie detox, apple cider vinegar magic diet, cabbage soup diet, ketogenic diet etc. Well, any diet that creates a calorie deficit will work if you can follow it consistently for the rest of forever. The question always is “Can you do this for the long haul?” “Is this something you can sustain?” If you desire to lose weight and keep it off, you must craft a way of eating and moving your body that you can reasonably sustain as a lifestyle.

Losing 30 pounds from my heaviest was hard work. The last thing I want is to have to lose the same 30 pounds again. The thought of that just exhausts me. Sadly, I still see people go on a crash diet. They shed weight but as soon as they eat food again, the weight comes rushing back bringing along all its cousins.

The approach I follow and recommend is a sustainable approach to weight loss and weight maintenance and health. It is a way of eating based on wholefoods – that is foods the way nature intended them to be. I can see myself eating that way for the rest of forever. My approach keeps your hormones in balance and makes it easier to eat with a calorie deficit required for fat loss without the unnecessary hunger and without you always having to battle with cravings. All while maintaining the energy you need to go through your day.

My Healthy Fit Lifestyle (MHFL) manifesto is as follows:

  1. Eat meat and njama –njama (animals and plants): Build your meals around non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins. Enjoy a wide array of green and colorful vegetables. Make an effort to eat 5 – 10 servings of veggies a day. Healthy fats like nuts, avocados, eggs in moderation keeps you fuller for longer. Protein keeps you satiated. Fish and chicken are leaner sources of protein. I enjoy them regularly. I enjoy beef about once or twice a week. When I can, I buy the highest quality produce my money can afford. That is organic veggies and grass fed meats.
  2. Be SMART with CARBS: Limit grains. Limit starchy vegetables. In other words: eat like a diabetic. Carbs drives insulin that drives fat storage. If lasting fat loss is your goal, make an effort to control your carbs intake. It may be tough to transition at first, but it does get easier. Everyone is different but generally, for fat loss it works best to have carbohydrates after your workout or at the end of the day. ½ a cup or the size of your cupped hand is a usually enough.
  3. Avoid refined foods: Keep your diet as clean as possible. If it has an ingredient list, it shouldn’t be a part of your regular daily diet. If it’s in a box or a bag, proceed with caution. The farther away it is from nature, the less often you should consume it.
  4. Don’t drink your calories. A habit of sweet drinks, sweetened beverages and too much alcohol is just not good for you and you know it. if you must indulge, do so on special occasions.
  5. Be a “busy-body”. Sit less. Walk as much as you can. Walk fast. Walk slow. Your body needs movement as much as it needs oxygen. Walking helps with fat loss, stress management and much more. You should be getting 10k steps a day at a minimum. MOVE YOUR BODY!
  6. Lift heavy things. Muscles burn fat. Your body needs muscles to be efficient at fat burning. Muscles look good- even on women. You don’t want to lose fat and have soft skin. Lift weights including your body weight. Pull-ups, push-ups, squats and planks are basic movements to incorporate into your workout routine.
  7. Go hard. Incorporate some high intensity interval training to your workout routine. These are movements where you go so hard you can barely talk. This is great for fat burning. My favorite is with jump rope or running sprints.
  8. Track. Monitor. Journal. It is true: you improve what you measure. I am a big fan of tracking and journaling. If you set a goal, you must have a way of measuring progress towards that goal. It helps me stay on target.

A MHFL way of eating is not restrictive. A MHFL way of moving is not punitive. In fact you will look and feel AMAZING! You don’t have to implement all the strategies at once. Start small. Pick one and make it your own. Make it a habit. When it has become what you do as part of your routine, move to the next. Over a couple of months, you would have developed a diet and movement routine that works for your goals and your lifestyle and most importantly that you can stay on. For the rest of forever.

Let me know your thoughts!

Coach Yaje

My Yummilicious Vinaigrette

 

So we got the memo to eat more veggies. We are incorporating more salads in to our diet. In our minds we are doing well, except it may not be as simple as that. A salad can quickly go from healthy to unhealthy if you are not careful with the ingredients especially the dressing – the type and quantity. I still have memories of this avocado dressing from Chick-fil-A that was over 300 calories in one innocent sachet.

There are generally two types of salad dressings: creamy and vinaigrettes. Vinaigrettes are usually healthier/lower in calories than the cream based types. The findings from my research of the labels of 3 popular salad dressings support this claim. Per 2 tablespoons serving size

Calories Total fat Total carb.
Kraft Thousand island 130 12 g 4 g
Hidden Valley Ranch 160 14 g 2 g
Ken’s Vinaigrette 100 10 g 3 g

Side Note: this could be a good science fair project for my son Nathan next year:)

As always, I share strategies you can implement so you are not ruining your salads with the dressing choice.

  • Read the label if buying. Ensure sugar content is below 5 g per serving (5 grams is about a teaspoon of sugar). Total fat of 10 g or less per serving is advisable. Look out for words such as “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the label. Such indicate trans-fats. No Bueno. The shorter the ingredient list, the better. Words you can’t pronounce on the label are usually not a good sign.
  • No “sese” salad. My hubby makes “sese” out of his salad. I silently cringe every time I see him drench his plate with his favorite Thousand Island. I don’t say anything because he has made a huge improvement from the fufu dinners, but whatever dressing you use, you should drizzle not drench. Measuring the quantity of the dressing can be a good idea. 2 tablespoons is okay.
  • Nothing is free in FAT-FREE. Fat-free dressing may be lower in calories, but when they take out the fat, they usually replace it with other (not-so-good) things to help with the flavor. Enter High Fructose Corn Syrup – no thanks!
  • Make your own! Homemade is always the healthiest, best tasting and most cost effective option in my opinion. You get to control the quality of the ingredients if you make your own.

Ever since I discovered this vinaigrette recipe, the frequency of my consumption of salads has increased significantly. It is super easy to make. With an empty jar and a few ingredients, you probably may already have in the pantry, you can whip up this “Yummilicious” dressing in a jiffy anytime. I share the recipe below, but if you remember nothing else, remember this: one-part vinegar, two-parts oil. I like mine tangy. For a less tangy vinaigrette, use 3 parts oil and one-part vinegar. Anything else is optional. Another quick way to dress your salad is to toss it lightly with a good olive oil, then squeeze a little lemon or drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it. Toss with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and you are good to go.

YUMMILICIOUS VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

Per 1 tablespoon:72 cal. 8g total fat. 1 g total carb

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (less tangy to tangy)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Fresh-ground black pepper

1 table spoon Dijon mustard

Optional:    2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoon minced fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar

Pour oil and vinegar in a glass jar with a screw top. Add salt, black pepper. and any optional ingredients. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note that the oil in the vinaigrette can cause it to solidify if stored in the fridge. Just let the dressing sit outside at room temperature and always shake well before using.

If you make it, be sure to let me know!

Coach Yaje