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Pesto Recipe

Hey Everyone,

Summer is here which means that my family garden is well on its way to growing a delicious harvest of fresh vegetables. Recently we have had our basil plants take off and grow a significant amount of leaves so we decided our best bet was to create a delicious pesto sauce.

Ingredients

8 cups Fresh Basil Leaves

2/3 cup Toastes Pine Nuts

2 tsp Garlic Salt

Salt & Pepper to taste

4 tbsp Lemon Juice (about the juice of one whole lemon)

4 tsp Lemon Zest

1 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 cup Freshly Grates Parmiggiano Reggiano

Directions

1. Begin by toasted the pine nuts until they are a light golden brown. Be careful as they burn fast!

2. In a food processor add the basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic salt and salt and pepper. Begin grinding all the ingredients while slowly adding a steady stream of olive oil.

3. Once all is combined, stir in the parmiggiano reggiano.

Tips!

*Toast your pine nuts on a skillet over the stove top on low heat. In this way it gives you more control over the heat not burning them because speaking from experience I burned mine far too easily when I placed them in the oven.

*Store your pesto sauce in a mason jar for easy and quick storage. Before serving give the sauce a stir as the oil may separate a little.

I really hope you enjoy this recipe. i never have made a pesto sauce with lemon before and I have to say that it makes all the difference. It adds that extra bit of zesty flavour that livens up the sauce making all that more summery and great for a BBQ side dish!

The Best HEALTHY Dessert EVER!!!-Stuffed Apples

Okay so I am super excited about this recipe that I literally just created after I looked at a picture on pinterest for a recipe for stuffed apples that had about 7 times the fat and calories than my recipe! 

Getting right to it because you will want to make it now!

Ingredients

3 golden delicious apples

2 packets of maple brown sugar oatmeal

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

2/3 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of margarine or coconut oil or butter if you want

Directions

The directions are super easy, slice the apples in half and core the apples with a small melon baller. mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl and stuff each apple with the filling.  Bake the apples in any oven safe dish you have on hand at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

PS. To check if they are done stick a fork through the apple and if you can do so without much effort they are fully cooked through.

BONUS!!! YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL UNREAL DURING THIS COOKING PROCESS.

WORKOUT WITH ME- July Workout Plan!

Hey everyone, 

So I haven’t posted in a while and I suppose you can say this is where the excuses start… and I would say they are the same excuses for slacking on my workout routine.  Hoping that July is a lot less eventful I have created for myself and for whoever wishes to join, a simple and basic workout routine that can be altered to fit any fitness level.

I plan on posting a few time to provide updates and encouraging words.I hope you enjoy it and keep me updates with your success.

Love, 

Julia xoxo

PS… Who says you have to start in July…. START TODAY :) 

JULY – 31 days…. READY SET GO

Each week is made up of a minimum of 5 workout days…sometimes 6 but that is up to you to decide.

Out of the 5 days- 3 days will be cardio/strength and 2 days will be cardio/abs

Cardio Strength days…

Start: Initial Warmup / Stretch  (I like to walk for 5 minutes) 

Running for 40 minutes

Uphill walking for 15 minutes

Minimum of 30 burpees (WITH THE PUSH UPS) or how many you can do in 10 minutes

     FUN FACT *In this workout you are targeting 6 main muscle groups Deltoids, Gastrocnemius & Soleus, Gluteus, Hamstrings, Quadriceps,  Triceps !!!

 

Cardio/ Abdominals

Your favourite warm up

Running / Jogging 40-60 minutes

Your favourite ab workout 

Here are some of my youtube favourites… 

**Level 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c140_bqmfF0

**Level 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44mgUselcDU

**Level 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fN4IP30bnk&feature=kp

I absolutely LOVE Passion 4 Profession ab workouts.  Over the years I have gone through all 3 levels and have to say in comparison to the P90x, Insanity, Jillian Michaels and Blogilates these are my favourite because I find they are most effective and most challenging for my fitness level.

On the weeks where you wish to add your 6th day I recommend doing either the scheduled cardio/ ab workout or a variation of it as sometimes overdoing strength training can result in negative results…and unfortunately I do speak from experience. 

 

 

 

Still Alice- Lisa Genova Book Review

Book Review on Still Alice

After it being highly recommended to me, I finally got to reading a book called Still Alice.  Still Alice tells the fictional experience of a girl who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  The book follows her on her journey through her emotional acceptance of the disease as well as the struggles she and her family go through on a day to day basis. I really did enjoy this book.  I found that the author was able to effectively communicate multiple perspectives and stuck to a fairly realistic plot. I found that she provided readers with an eye opening point of view.  As mentioned in the book, when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease much emphasis and support programs are offered to family members and friends but not much is there for the actual victim.  Being able to read this point of view from an Alzheimer’s victim allows readers to get an insight into their emotional battles with themselves along with insight into their process of denial which hopefully leads to acceptance. 

Despite how much I thoroughly enjoyed this read, I found myself wanting so much more.  The ending leaves you with a door open to numerous plot possibilities.  It would have been nice to have been presented with some sort of closure.  As a reader you grow with Alice and become very attached to her and empathize with her situation, for me the ending did not allow me to understand the final chapters of Alice’s life which is what I would have preferred.  From a critical standpoint I also felt as though when going from one chapter to another they represented distinct “chapters of life” and did not show the transition from one to another.  I found myself having to reread in order to comprehend the sudden and quick transition from one chapter to the next. 

Overall, I would recommend this book. It is very well written and certainly deserves more awareness.

Let me know if you read the book and what you think!

xoxo 

Julia 

Super Easy Taco Recipe!

Taco Tuesdays are always a hit at my house!

But this week I just couldn’t wait one extra day to make them.  Taco Monday still works right? I have always loved a good taco mixing up the types of ingredients and fillings to put inside.  This week I didn’t go too wild with the recipe and stuck to a classic taco, but played up the fillings.

Here it is….

TACOS

1 pound of extra lean ground beef

1 package of taco tex mix (I used Old el paso)

1 package of taco shells

2 diced tomatoes

1 diced yellow onion

1 cup of grated marble cheese

salsa

plain greek yogurt (you can use low fat sour cream, but this     is a healthier option)

4 mini red bell peppers

mixed herbs

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Instructions!

  1. For the meat: In large heated pan place about 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Over high heat place your minced meat in the pan and break it up with a fork or any handy dandy meat tool you have on hand.
  3. Once the meat is fully cooked and there is no pink in sight add the package of taco mix to the meat and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  4. Veggie salad: On a separate heated grill pan place 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Core and slice your peppers in half and place them directly on the grill, grilling each side until there are nice visible grilled marks.
  6. Once they are done, remove them from the grill and place them on a cutting board to slice into strips and place in a bowl.
  7. In the same grill pan add half of a yellow onion and allow the onion to cook until they obtain nice grill marks.
  8. Once they are done, add the grilled onions to the same bowl with the peppers and add herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Now its time to build your tacos!!

Some of my favourite toppings are tomatoes, onions salsa, plain greek yogurt, shredded cheese and the grilled veggies!

I hope you enjoy this fairly classic recipe and wish you all a Happy Taco Tuesday!

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Strawberry Banana Kale Smoothie- A Must Try!

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Hello Everyone!

For a while now I have been experimenting with multiple smoothie recipes and playing around with the ingredients.  One ingredient that seems to come up in almost every “Healthy Smoothie” recipe is kale.  I have read numerous articles on the health benefits that kale provides and knew that I had to try it out and force myself to like it.

So first off, why eat kale? Why not just stick to a plain jane fruit smoothie?

Kale is known for its high concentration of vitamins C, A and K basically making it a power house of nutrients. Personally, I find that when placed in a smoothie the Kale becomes practically tasteless although when simply eating it as a leafy green in a salad, it does have a slightly bitter taste.

Here is my recipe for the perfect Strawberry Banana Kale Smoothie…

Strawberry, Banana Kale Smoothie

1 1/2 cups of kale (Lightly chopped)

1 banana

4-6 strawberries

1/4 orange juice

water if necessary

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

6-10 ice cubes (I love my smoothies icy)

Makes 2 servings.

Simply mix all the ingredients up in a blender for about a minute or so until everything is nicely combined.  If you find that the consistency is too thick add more orange juice or a splash of water

P.S don’t be frightened by the colour of the smoothie… realistically the greener the better but kale does have a tendency to make interesting coloured smoothies!

Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

xoxo

Julia

Metabolism Booster! -Cinnamon Honey Tea

Hello!

Recently I have been reading numerous articles about all these fad detox recipes but lets be honest… I am not willing to confine myself to eating and drinking only one type of cucumber flavour water the whole day.  I did however, come across a few articles that showed the benefits of drinking a “cinnamon detox tea” early in the morning and right before bed.  It certainly has been an appetite killer at night which I appreciate as night time cravings always kick in around 11pm. Whether or not this tea is working it certainly does taste delicious and I will continue to drink it daily. I have one cup of tea on an empty stomach early in the morning and is usually the last thing I consume before going to sleep.

Here is my recipe…

1 teaspoon of organic honey

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup of boiling water

Simple Instructions: I simply just boil the water in my kettle, add the ground cinnamon and honey and give it a couple stirs! Absolutely delicious!

Hope this helps!

xoxo

Julia