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Hey guys! I haven’t posted on here yet but I’m Alexis and I’m Iyana’s lil health foodie partner for this blog! My fitness story began in 2012 when I very very very first started researching everything about diet and fitness. I’d spend forever looking up food benefits and meal plans and outcomes and taking notes. I began taking hot yoga which completely changed my life, along with hardcore spinning classes and eventually found my zen in daily running. I was also at a point in life where I was discovering that I had some food intolerances. My body has trouble properly digesting gluten which can cause some painful situations when I do eat a great amount of gluten. I am also lactose intolerant and probably haven’t tasted cows milk in a couple years. Both gluten and lactose have some options for replacement. Milk alone comes in so many varieties nowadays such as Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk and Soy Milk. I’ve tried all milks and they are each really really different from each other! Rice and Coconut Milk are thin and light to drink. Hemp milk is extremely thick and Almond and Soy Milk are pretty similar to regular milk’s consistency. Gluten can also easily be replaced! Gluten is found in wheat which means I don’t eat bread or pizza or other things unless it’s a SUPER special occasion and I eat just a little. But there are gluten free breads to eat and my favorite brand is Ezekiel’s low sodium bread. You can also find tortillas made from rice flour and muffins made from tapioca flour. But if you want to really be wild with your gluten replacement, next time you cook a burger, use portobello mushroom caps as the buns! Or next time you decide to make pasta, use a peeler and shred up a zucchini into thin pasta slices instead. Replacing your gluten item with a vegetable is probably the healthiest thing you could do for yourself as gluten naturally slows your metabolism. Now something that I’m not intolerant of but do have trouble eating from time and have to cut back on is red meat. It’s very heavy and harsh to your body and carries toxins. I really enjoy a good burger now and then but I try to only eat red meat two or three times a week, if even that seeing as how I never cook red meat just order it. The other nights will either be veggie based or I’ll use a substitute for my protein such as tofu, tempeh, chickpeas or nuts. Again, it’s always a good idea to make your food replacement a veggie. So instead of cooking up beef tacos for dinner, chop up some red bell pepper and stir up some cumin in there for flavoring. I’ve also used butternut squash as taco meat substitute. You’d be super surprised how versatile vegetables are. I know I just spent a century and a half talking about healthy food substitutes but some people may be hesitant to try these things because they’re on a budget or grew up never really eating these vegetables. Well, first of all getting to enjoy eating your vegetables takes a little time and baby steps. Instead of diving into a bag of kale chips, start with adding baby spinach to your eggs. Slowly make your way to the sharper flavors as your palate becomes accustom to veggies in your diet in general. Also, I’m only 20 yrs working one job and living in my own apartment with my dog and I find it really easy to fit these items into my budget. There are a few tips and tricks I use for this; first of all- stop eating out so much. I’ll attach a recipe for some flax seed chia seed energy bars at the bottom as an example of bulk meal planning. I can make up to 10 bars in one batch, cut them up and wrap in cellophane for individual on the go breakfast. Think about how cheap that is. You could buy a donut on your way to work or school every morning and feel like you’re only spending a couple cents every morning or you could use common health items in your everyday pantry to create a longer lasting healthy meal that will ultimately be a fraction of what you paid in groceries and be more of a bang for your buck. Meal prepping is also a really good way to stay on track with your fitness goals, if you’re low on money like I am, you wouldn’t stand to waste food which means you’re gonna reach for your pre-made healthy meal everyday and be so full from the healthy fats and proteins in it that you won’t want to eat another bite, so suck on that, co worker who brings donuts every morning! I have a will which means I have a way! Another cheap trick is to buy frozen vegetables. Veggies expire very quickly which is a pain because I like to make at least 80% of my grocery cart vegetables. So I swing by the frozen section and bulk up on broccoli, corn, carrots, edamame and other things I could use as sides or mix ins. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with frozen vegetables, they’re still good for you and they’ll last SOOO much longer in your freezer than fresh vegetables in your fridge. My last and biggest tip is grocery lists. I will never ever ever ever walk into a grocery store without a well written list with quantities I’ve mapped out based on the meals I’ve planned to make. You won’t ever waste money again and you’ll only buy the healthy foods that you know for a fact you’ll eat and how you’ll eat it. There are so many more things I wish I could cover on healthy foods but I’m barely getting started! This was just a very basic introduction into the type of posts I’ll be making. I’ll feature recipes that I’ve personally tried, What I Eat In A Day posts, tips for healthy budgeting and substitutions for the guilty pleasures we all crave. I’d love any requests on ‘healthified’ meals and will gladly try out any recipe sent my way for pictures and detailed review on the price of it all and difficulty level of cooking, etc. So watch out for my posts! They may cause mouth drooling!

Raw Flax Seed Chia Seed Energy Bars

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Ingredients:

– 3 1/2 Cups Gluten-Free Oats

– 1/2 Cup Chia Seeds

– 1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seeds ( I got blueberry flavored from Trader Joes!)

–  3/4 Cups Ground Almonds or Almond Flour

– 1/2 Cup Organic Raw Agave Nectar

– 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

– 3/4 Cups Unsalted Almond Butter

– 1/2 Cup Melted Organic Coconut Oil

– 1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together all of the ‘dry’ ingredients (Oats, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Almond Flour). In a separate medium sized bowl mix together all of the ‘wet’ ingredients (Agave Nectar, Applesauce, Almond Butter, Coconut Oil and Vanilla). When each bowl is mixed well, add the wet bowl into the dry bowl and mix well with hands if needed. When thoroughly mixed, press the mixture into an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan and press firmly. Refrigerate until firm.

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This recipe is extremely high in fat and calories. It is not to be eaten as a snack unless you portion well. I cut into full bars to use for my breakfast. The good fats in this keep me awake and full until lunch. Enjoy!

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