Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

This is probably the cutest dessert i have ever done and this is what i love about preparing/making raw desserts…I can’t imagine anything easier than preparing a raw dessert – as always, the simplest things are the most spectacular. You’ll only need good-quality, organic, raw ingredients, and a powerful food processor, and the rest is just about playing with shapes, tastes, and textures. Not only do raw desserts keep you away from refined sugar, but they enrich your diet with healthy oils, minerals, and vitamins.

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
Serves 12
7 ingredient vegan, gluten free cheesecakes that are creamy, slightly tart, perfectly sweet and 100% irresistible. Better than real cheesecake and the perfect healthy, simple dessert to feed a crowd.
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 cup pitted dates
  3. 1 cup raw walnuts
  4. FILLING
  5. 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, quick soaked
  6. 1 large lemon, juiced (+-1/4 cup)
  7. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp organic full fat coconut milk
  9. 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  10. FLAVOR ADD-INS - optional
  11. 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Instructions
  1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
  3. Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
  4. Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. I found the bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the "cream" off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
  6. You don't need a Vitamix for this recipe, just a quality blender. I mixed mine for 1 minute, then "liquified" or "pureed" it until silky smooth. If it won't come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
  8. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard - about 4-6 hours.
  9. Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favorite way to devour these was with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they're perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
  10. Optional: you can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but I liked them frozen as well.
Notes
  1. *If your dates are not sticky and moist, you can soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain. But be sure to drain thoroughly and pat dry to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
  2. *To quick soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Circuit Training 101

My Fitness Obsession uncovered!!!

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Circuit training is basically a combination of resistance training alongside high intensity aerobic work. The aim is to move between one exercise to the next – often referred to as “stations” – with little or no rest in between. At the end of all the exercises within the circuit you would take a short rest and then start again from the beginning. Circuits are often made up of around 8-12 exercises spending around 40 seconds-1 minute on each one and the entire circuit would normally be completed 3 times through although this can be changed to suit the individuals needs and fitness levels. Below are my top 6 reasons for including circuit training into your routine.

I was first introduced to this kind of training a few years ago…maybe 3 or 4 years ago. But couldn’t really put a name in it until Circuit training became a hit. I just knew i felt great after it and wanted to keep going with it. Last year..around this time.. hubby pushed a few videos in youtube and we would challenge each other in our living room…(yesss every other day we turn our living room into a yoga room or into a gym class room with the appropriate props and music..for 90min we work our asses out…If Girls are not sleeping, they are cheering for us super excited ). From there, i have watched a few circuit training sequences for women and i got immediately hooked with it. Gossip it works so well for me.

It was not before our trip to Mauritius (May 2015), where i got my first ever, PT – Boot Camp sessions that i got this freaky bug going on…Since then…every trip i make, is not about cardio apparels at the gym anymore but my own fitness routines, alternating with yoga…

I love it and works very well for me and my Body. There is definitely NO EXCUSE!!!You can do anywhere at Any given Time…just paired with the right Diet for you and you are ready to rock that health forever!!!

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I start the training with a Dynamic Warm-Up for maybe 10-15 minutes.

Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals.

A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch.

Dynamic stretching is ideal as the core of a warm-up routine for several reasons:

1.It activates muscles you will use during your workout. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles. Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
2. Dynamic stretching improves range of motion . So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at work, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
3. Dynamic stretches improve body awareness. If you don’t warm-up, it may take a while for your body to perform optimally. Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
4. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching . If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.

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1: It does not take long.

Many people still feel that they need to be in the gym for at least an hour especially if they are doing cardio and resistance training alongside each other, 20-30 minutes of aerobic training and then at least the same amount of time doing weights. Because circuit training combines the 2 together and is performed with little or no rest, you can complete an effective session in as little as 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.

2: You do not need much equipment.

You can have a very effective training session using minimal kit and even with just your own body weight. This means you can do it at home or at the gym during peak time when a lot of the equipment will be taken.

3: It can help to keep you interested.

When it comes to cardio training many people will spend 30 minutes or so plodding away on a piece of equipment such as the cycle or cross-trainer for example. After a few weeks of doing this boredom can easily set in which is one of the main reasons people give up the gym/exercise (also this form of exercise is not always the best way to reduce body fat but that’s for another post!). With circuit training you are continuously changing exercises and only spending a minute or so on each one. You can also mix up your circuit from session to session by simply changing the order of exercises or using different exercises altogether.

4: It works everything.

Within a circuit session not only are you going to get your heart and lungs really working but with the right exercise selection you can work all your major muscle groups.

5: It is effective.

From teaching endless number of circuit classes and using circuit training within my personal training sessions and my own workouts I have seen first hand how effective this form of training is especially for stripping away body fat and improving muscle definition. By mixing cardio and resistance training together it means you will keep your heart rate elevated throughout the session. So while you are doing a resistance exercise your body is still burning away the fat.

6: It is suitable for all fitness levels.

You can tailor circuit training to any fitness level by simply changing some of the variables such as exercise selection, time or reps per exercise and changing the length of the rest periods.

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