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Good day, Everyone! Almost the weekend.. holler

Tuesday night’s Double Zumba® was off the hook. We all had a great time and worked out hard! Such a great way to burn off those extra weekend calories I know I indulged in…can’t speak for everyone else, though 😉 I posted two videos to my FB page. I felt cool and edited them with iVideo… so amateur at this, but it looks better than the original recording from my iPhone. Also, my mom loves to come to my Tuesday night class at LA Fitness. I even called her to the front for one of my routines! She is a good dancer and totally has the “hips”- love it!! She has some health issues that make working out a bit hard and tiresome, but she hung in there for my “La Gota Fria” song, which is a slower “catch-your-breath” kind of song. Here we are at the end of class, both sweating through our shirts!:

Me and my mamma at LA Fitness Norwalk. Yes, I sweat through my shirt.

Moving right along to two of my favorite foods I have been meaning to post about: BASIL and CHIA SEEDS.

1. BASIL

Who knew this tasty herb had health benefits? I do now thanks to google! But no, seriously, I love this herb. I recently bought it from Trader Joe’s on Monday and re-fell-in-love. It adds such a good flavor to anything I’m eating, especially my boring office salads.

Trader Joe’s Organic Basil.. yum yum yum

Health Benefits of Basil: Source

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: “This effect stems from eugenol, a volatile oil in basil that blocks enzymes in the body that cause swelling”.
  • Contains powerful antioxidants & flavonoids that protect the body from aging, skin issues, and even some types of cancer, along with protecting the body’s cells from free radical damage.
  • Has been shown to stop the growth of bacteria. “Basil can be applied to wounds to help prevent bacterial infections. Also, by adding basil oil to your salad dressings, you can help ensure your vegetables are safe to eat.”
  • Can assist with the good ole’ stomach woes: constipation, digestion, stomach cramps, and indigestion.
  • Great source of magnesium (LOVE THIS! note to self: do a post on magnesium)
  • TASTES GREAT…obviously 🙂

Yesterday’s lunch was topped with Basil and Arugula I brought from home. I’ve mentioned before how my company picks a daily menu from the area and we choose what we want (yes, they pay for it.. so awesome). I always order a plain salad with chicken (or some kind of protein) and because I love the taste of red pepper, arugula, and now basil again, I bring a small tupperware of it and add it in. I am sure my co-workers think I’m nuts but they are used to my health antics by now (I think), ha. I add way too much red pepper and freakishly like when things are too spicy and my eyes water. Anyone else like this?

Romaine Salad bought from Gardone’s deli with muhsrooms, cucumbers, tomato’s, onions, and I topped it with a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger, arugula & basic, sprinkled with nutritional yeast and lots of red pepper. Dressing was just balsamic vinegar. Don’t worry, I was hungry not even 2 hours later and ate snacks. #imalwayshungry

2. Chia Seeds

There is always a ton of buzz going around in the blog world about these amazing little seeds. They are very common in “overnight oats” – see Julie’s post at PBFingers and I add them to my morning oat bran concoction every single day. Why do I love these so much? Well first off, they expand something like 10x their size in water, so when you add a tablespoon to oatmeal or whatever, it thickens it a ton and you then feel like you are eating more than you really are. DUHHHH – that is a no brainer to want to do that! When soaked in liquid, they form a gel, and because of this it takes longer for your body to digest, and at the same time slowing down the process in which your body converts carbohydrates into sugar. Source

My breakfast picture that I’ve used 3 times now… but you get the idea:

My Favorite Breakfast! Oatbran that is cooked in hot water. Then I added 1 TBSP chia seeds, greek yogurt (plain, 6oz container), frozen blueberries (almost a cup), crunchy peanut butter (spoonful, didn’t measure), and a little Truvia all mixed up. #inlove.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds: Source

  • Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.
  • Feel fuller faster: They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
  • Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the “chia gel” can hydrate the body.
  • Reduce your blood pressure: There’s evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.
  • Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon! Omega 3 fatty acids are loaded with protein which is great for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Chia Seeds are high in calcium and naturally have Boron in them which tranfers the calcium into your bones.
  • Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
  • They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don’t need to be ground up.

So go to the store NOW and get them, ha ha. I buy them either at Whole Foods or Shop Rite. I have yet to see Trader Joe’s carry them… boo.

By the time this post publishes (I have it set to at a certain time), I will be teaching Zumba at the Norwalk LA Fitness. PUMPED. Bringing back a routine I haven’t done in months as a warm-up.. Pitbull is in it… he is the best for Zumba songs, I must say. I’ll share the song later so I don’t ruin the surprise for fellow Zumba® students out there. Toodles!