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Do Less For More Results by Elyse Miller @FitElyse Posted on 27 Jun 16:20

We’re all looking to simplify, right? I mean, no one wants to make things harder for themselves - less is more. 
Would you rather spend 2 hours at the gym or 20 minutes working out at home? For me, I choose the latter. Fast, intense and done. For some, the gym easier, you can sit down at on a machine, read the directions and mindlessly pump away. You can also waste a lot of time chatting, walking around and commuting. Working out at home takes a little more planning, thinking and motivation. There are countless resources for you online. For one, I post several home workouts every week on my Instagram feed (@FitElyse). Shorter, more intense workouts can produce better results than those long, drawn out gym sessions. 
Whether you choose home-style or gym-rat... I’ve got an amazing full body exercise for you that you can do anywhere! It’s called the “A-B-C’S”. You’ll tone your abs, booty and chest while getting in some serious cardio. Bonus: you can literally do just this one move alone and get in a major sweat. Simplify and try this! 
** Start by doing two air squats, then lower your booty to the ground and lay on your back for elbow-to-knee crunches. Roll back up to standing for two more air squats and then hop into a plank for two push-ups. Hop feet back in and stand up for two air squats... repeat the cycle.
Try going non-stop for 1-2 minutes, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat for 15 minutes. You’ll see how simply tough, yet effective the ABC’s are!

Ingredient Showcase: Guava Posted on 23 May 13:56

 

It is a new week and we have yet another ingredient showcase! Today we’ll be stopping in Central and South America to take a look at the guava. This fruit has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years in the health and wellness industry, and for good reason; it’s both tasty and an excellent source of Vitamin C.

The guava tree was first cultivated in an area that extended from Mexico throughout the tropical regions in South America. Thanks to the Columbian Exchange, however, it has spread throughout the world, reaching as far east as Europe and Asia, and as far north as Florida and even Tennessee! Today, guava has made its way into the culinary traditions of too many countries to name. 

The guava fruit comes from the guava tree, which can reach heights of 20 feet or more. The fruit sprouts from serrated, flat leaves and a single tree can produce as much as 70 lbs. of fruit per season. The variety of guava fruit is enormous. They have a wide range of size, shape and color, and come in both sweet and sour varieties.

Guava is famous for its use as an ingredient in agua frescas in Mexico, and the juice is used in number of traditional Mexican dishes. It can be enjoyed as a juice or eaten raw throughout the world. In East Asia, guava is usually paired with plum sauce, and because of its pectin content (a powder derived from many species of fruit) it can also be turned into candies, jellies and preserves. Some of the less sweet guava fruit are actually used as a substitute for tomatoes in certain sauces.

There is one main reason to get excited about using guava in your workout routine. For one, as earlier stated, it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for the rebuilding of tissue after weight training. The average guava fruit contains as much as four times the amount of Vitamin C of an orange! If you would like some further reading on why guava should be added to your diet, read the following article.


Ingredient Showcase: Passion Fruit Posted on 12 May 17:27

 

With this week’s ingredient showcase we’re going to delve into a fruit that is important to many different cultures around the world. For our purposes, though, the Passion fruit is an excellent source of energy for your daily workout routine, dense with important vitamins and micronutrients.

The Passion Fruit is a berry that grows on a vine that usually produces only one flower. The fruit that is grown from the flower is fleshy and spherical, and is filled with hundreds of black seeds. The Golden Passion fruit can grow to the size of a melon, while the dark purple edulis is as small as a lemon. There are several variants of passion fruit, ranging from yellow in color to deep purple. The flavor profile of the fruit can also be varied, falling between somewhat acidic and sour to musky and sweet.

The Passion Fruit, or Passiflora edulis, was first described by Spanish missionaries in Brazil at the beginning of the 18th century. By the end of the 1800s it had spread throughout the rest of the world. Although widespread, passion fruit has served a rather singular purpose as a dessert or juice.

Passion Fruit is cultivated in the tropics and semitropical zones from Australia to Brazil, India to Hawaii. In the Dominican Republic as well as Indonesia and many other countries, the Passion Fruit is used in syrup, preserves and juice. In other countries, such Portugal and South Africa it is made into liqueur, and in places such as East Africa it is eaten as a whole fruit.

Nutritionally, Passion Fruit is an exceptional source for vitamins and micronutrients. Passion Fruit can contain as much as 11% of the daily value of niacin, 12% of iron, 36% of Vitamin C, and even 42% of dietary fiber! This makes it an all-around power house for workouts. And it also tastes great! For more on Passion Fruit and its health benefits, read this article.


Organic Muscle certified meals by Elyse Miller Posted on 28 Apr 16:06

Steel-cut Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast. I eat it every single morning! One of my favs is pumpkin pie oats made in the crockpot.
Pumpkin Pie Oats
Makes 4 servings 
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
6 cups water
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1 can unsweetened pumpkin pie can
Cinnamon to taste
How to:
Place everything in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. In the morning I mix in 1/2 scoop vanilla Organic Muscle protein and top with 1/4C Greek yogurt and chia seeds.
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Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers
Makes 4 servings
1lb ground chicken
1 sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
1-2 tsp chili powder
Pinch or two of salt
How to:
Sauté onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Mix cilantro and seasonings into the chicken. Add cooled onion and pepper. Mix well. Form into patties. Toss chicken patties onto skillet and cook 7-8 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink inside. I like to serve on romaine lettuce leaves as a bun.
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Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice
Makes 3 servings
1 head cauliflower (or one bag of "riced cauliflower)
3 eggs
1/2 cup peas (frozen or canned)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 sweet onion chopped
*You can in any veggies you like
1/2 TBSP curry powder
1/2-1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP olive oil 
1/2 tsp chili powder
Pepper to taste
How to:
Uses grater or blender to turn cauliflower into "rice". 
Heat 1TBSP olive oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add in riced cauliflower, 1 more TBSP oil, soy sauce, and seasonings. Crack eggs on top and stir well. Add all veggies. Cover and cook 7-10 minutes (stir occasionally). Cook until eggs are done and cauliflower rice is soft but tender.

Ingredient Showcase: Aloe Vera Posted on 21 Mar 15:58

Last time we talked about coconut water, one of our new ingredients for the Wild Berry pre-workout formula, and why it is key to getting a good workout. Staying hydrated is paramount before and after your workout. This week we’re talking about the Aloe Vera plant.

Many will remember the summers of our childhood and the nasty sunburns we would get after a busy day playing in the sun. When we came crying to our parents, we were told to rip off an arm of the fat, spiked plant that grandma had sitting on the porch and rub the sticky gel into the burn to relieve the pain. Nothing compared to the all-natural cooling effect of Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has been used as topical relief for burns for eons and is even listed in Egyptian medical edicts of herbal knowledge dating to 1550 BC! Since then, we’ve discovered several beneficial applications of the Aloe Vera plant.

Because of its many nutritional qualities, Aloe Vera has made its way into many health-conscious products. Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components, but for our purposes, we’ll focus on the vitamin, mineral and amino acid contents. Important vitamins related to your pre-workout found in Aloe include Vitamins A, C and E which are important for immune health, and Vitamin B1, B2 (Riboflavin), B3 and B6 which are all essential in your body’s energy production. Along with around 20 amino-acids found in the plant, Aloe Vera also contains all 8 essential amino acids, which are essential for maintaining your energy during your workout.


Ingredient Showcase: Coconut Water Posted on 28 Jan 17:47

We wanted to follow up the announcement of our new Wild Berry pre-workout with a series showcasing the ingredients that compose the world’s first organic pre-workout formula. We decided the best place to start is with some of the new key ingredients. So, let’s kick this off with exhibit A: coconut water.

Contrary to popular belief, the fruit of the infamous coconut tree, the coconut, is not a nut. It is what is known as a drupe, or a stone fruit. The name “coco” was given by 16th century Spanish and Portuguese explorers and meant “grinning face”, which probably had a lot to do with the three holes at the base of the shell that give the coconut its face-like appearance. This nutritionally rich fruit has been used for thousands of years by sea-faring cultures and is known for its immense versatility. Today coconuts are cultivated around the world, from Thailand and India to the Middle East and even the US.  Fully mature coconuts are known for their nutrient-rich flesh, where coconut oil and milk are derived. Both are used in cooking and cosmetics. But the properties that reside inside young green coconuts, known as coconut water, are what make this fruit truly special. 

Coconut water is harvested when the coconuts are fresh and still green. It is high in naturally occurring sugar and has a strong nutty flavor. And due to its hydration properties, it has found a niche in the athletic world.  The primary nutrient in coconut water, potassium, is an important electrolyte, which is why it is considered the best all natural way to stay hydrated. Other electrolytes include a small amount of sodium, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients make coconut water extremely important for keeping the heart healthy and preventing dehydration before and during your workout.

And it doesn’t stop there! To get a rundown of all the different health benefits of coconut water and the effect on your workout make sure to read (https://draxe.com/is-coconut-water-good-for-you/).


Brand Ambassador Spotlight: Elyse Miller Posted on 19 Jan 11:52

Q). What is the inspiration behind creating and hosting a series of workout videos for iFit Daily?
A). "It was always a dream of mine to host workout videos so I could reach the masses. With Fit in 15, I wanted to make it easy to get fit despite having little time or money for a gym membership. My workouts are fast (15 minutes or less) so there's no excuse to skip a sweat session! You can visit the "Daily Double" available on FitElyse.com. I was inspired to make these short workout videos to give people a fun, fresh way to workout. Each video is only 6-8 minutes long and super intense. People select two videos to do each day for a full workout. I love HIIT because they're effective, fast and can be done at home. As a trainer I often hear that people just don't have time... but who can't squeeze in a six-minute workout in the morning and another one before bed? Come on!"
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Q). Tell us about your biggest challenges with Personal Training and keeping fit as a busy mother, and any advice you have for other busy parents trying to reach fitness goals.
A). "My biggest challenge is waking up before the kids. I find that if I don't wake up early, my workout gets pushed aside as I'm bogged down with diapers, making meals and playing with my littles. Too much can get in the way of a workout if "I'll do it later". I make my workout a priority. It's often the only 15-20 minutes of "me time" that I have in a day. My advice is, set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual and enjoy the peace in the morning. Move your body, sweat and feel accomplished before the business of life catches you."
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Q). We know you live a healthy lifestyle, and you eat a variety of foods including meat. Can you tell us how our Organic Vegan Protein blend of Jerusalem Artichoke, Pea Protein, Sacha Inchi, and Hemp Protein benefits even a non-vegan diet like yours?
A). "I like variety. I'm not a fan of whey protein because (as a meat eater) I get enough animal products. I strive to eat a higher protein diet but I don't like to load up on meat. I don't think it's healthy to eat too much of that. I love that Organic Muscle is high in protein and uses a variety of plant-based proteins that we rarely eat in a normal diet. It provides more variety and fuels the body with a wider range of nutrients. Organic Muscle just tastes clean and I don't have to worry about chemicals or "fake" junk."
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Q).What is your favorite product made by Organic Muscle, and how has it impacted your life for the better?
A). "Organic Muscle Vanilla protein powder. I've used protein powder for as long as I can remember and I always worried that I was getting too many chemicals and/or hormones from whey and artificially flavored powders. I'd switch it up a lot, always looking for a cleaner powder that I felt safe using long-term. There are other natural plant based powders out there, but they all taste bland or chalky. Organic Muscle mixes well and tastes amazing. It doesn't cause bloating either which is unlike most proteins!! My tummy used to get upset with all of the other "processed" powders. Organic Muscle has also made breakfast a breeze since I can feed it to the whole family. My kids don't like meat, so this is HUGE for us so they can get their protein.
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Q). Why did you choose to be a brand ambassador for Organic Muscle?
A). "I've always said that I would never work for or represent a company unless it was something I truly believed in and truly loved. Once I tried Organic Muscle, I remember telling my husband that I didn't want to ever buy another protein and that I had to spread the word about Organic Muscle. I searched online to find how I could team up with Organic Muscle and I was so excited to see the brand ambassador opportunity. I'm loving spreading the word about organic Muscle so people can turn away from the "fake" Health shakes that are loaded with fillers, sugar and artificial chemicals."

Ingredient Showcase: Matcha Green Tea Posted on 18 Jan 16:00

As we continue our ingredient showcase, we want to focus this week on the relationship between your workout and maintaining a healthy metabolism. After all, many people begin working out because they want to lose weight. And not just for that beach body; for some losing weight is a matter of life and death! 

The first major ingredient in our pre-workout was specifically chosen to increase your metabolism. The infamous Matcha. Popularized in the US thanks to companies like Jamba Juice and Starbucks, Matcha is an ancient technique for turning green tea leaves into a powdered form. The practice of making Matcha green tea can be traced back as far as the Tang Dynasty (618–907) in China. With the spread of Zen Buddhism, Matcha eventually found its way to Japan and became a traditional drink served at Zen Japanese tea ceremonies.

Unlike other teas, Matcha green tea is grown in the shade and then ground into powder. Because the leaves are grown in the shade, there is an increase in chlorophyll, giving Matcha its intense flavor, scent, and deep, green color. This also forces the tea plant to increase its output of caffeine, along with a certain amino acid analogue called theanine, to compensate for the lack of sun. Caffeine by itself is the most used psychoactive substance in the world. When paired with theanine, the two compounds may be the key to unlocking your natural metabolism.

Today, Matcha is specifically cultivated for the increased amount of caffeine and theanine, which is why we put it in our pre-workout. Caffeine is universally known to increase metabolism and energy. Theanine on the other hand, although ingested for centuries, was unknown to the world of science until 1949. The many benefits of theanine are still being discovered. Theanine has even been described as a nootropic, or a cognitive enhancer. Some of the benefits reported include anxiety reduction, blood-pressure control, immune boost, and even faster reaction time!

So, not only is Matcha the most effective and natural way to gain the metabolic benefits of caffeine. It may improve your mental health and your cognitive abilities!

For more in depth on theanine and Matcha, you can read through this study.

Ingredient Showcase: The Goji Berry Posted on 12 Jan 15:37

We live in an information-rich environment. The information-sharing power of the internet has led to an explosion of nutritional knowledge; today most people look to get the very best nutrition out of their food. In this climate of diet-discovery, certain terms are thrown around perhaps too generously. And no term is guiltier of this than “superfood.”  But fortunately for us, this little goji fruit wears the badge of “superfruit” with honor.

The Goji, also known as the wolfberry, is a flowering plant in the nightshade family that is famous for its tiny, bright orange-red berries. These slightly tart, sweet berries are possibly one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet! Not only is the Goji berry an excellent source for most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to survive, each berry also contains all 8 essential amino acids. A handful of the berries can provide a large portion of your protein needs per day (good news for vegans!)

Goji berries have been used in Tibet for religious purposes for over 1,700 years, and have traditionally been cultivated in China for around 700 years. It wasn’t until the 21st century, however, that the Goji became an international phenomenon, thanks to the discovery of the berry’s nutritional value. Today, most Goji berry production happens in China; over of 21.3 million lbs. (9.7 million kg) of berries a year in 2014, worth a whopping $107.5 million USD!

And just what are we getting for all that money? Pretty much every vitamin and mineral under the sun! Some of these include vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A, zinc, and a slew of antioxidants. Goji is reported to increase libido, boost the immune system, help with weight loss, and maintain healthy skin, among other benefits. The density of nutrition and the ability of the Goji to help burn calories is precisely why we include Goji in our pre-work out.

There is just so much information out there about the Goji and the potential health benefits. If you want to get a little more in-depth information about Goji berries, check out this article.


5 Foods to Eat When You're Sick Posted on 16 Mar 10:45

No one likes being sick. Frankly, it sucks. We all want to feel better as quick as possible. Of course, there’s medicine and trips to the doctor, but we decided to do a little research on what foods have natural healing properties. A few on this list will surprise you, and a few you’ve definitely already thought of before. Let’s dive right into it!

1. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. A recent study at Washington State University found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, one of the most common causes of intestinal illness. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects. While none of garlic’s components have been isolated by science as the sole explanation for garlic’s flu-busting effects, vitamin C, a slew of enzymes, and minerals such as sulphur and selenium, definitely play a role.

Crushing fresh garlic – whether through chopping and letting minced garlic rest, or by chomping down on a clove with your own teeth – causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated! Eating fresh garlic in this state is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu. Some experts even recommend eating a clove or two every 3 to 4 hours until the bug is entirely knocked out!

2. Honey

Honey is sometimes thought to be as effective (or more) in suppressing coughs as over-the-counter meds. A 2010 study found that children with upper respiratory infections experienced greater relief from a 2.5 ml serving of honey before bed than from over-the-counter cough suppressants. If you have some spare change, try New Zealand’s own manuka honey, which is touted as being one of the most medicinal honeys in the world.


3. Banana’s

Bananas are rich in potassium, which is often depleted during bouts of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. They’re easy to digest (A+ for bland foods!) and can help replenish lost electrolytes.

4. Broth Based Soup

Now this one isn't just an old wives' tale—chicken noodle soup actually can help soothe a cold. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat. Plus, chicken soup (or vegetable broth) may also help the body kick a cold by stopping congestion and inflammation in their tracks.

5. Green Tea

Drinking tea (especially Chinese, Japanese, or American varieties) while you're under the weather can help the body fight off infections, thanks to natural bacteria-fighting compounds in tea. Plus, warm liquids can soothe a sore throat and alleviate congestion, so drinks like freshly-brewed green tea or hot water with lemon are ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose.