Ranch Dressing

RanchI took “The Blender Girls” raw vegan ranch dressing recipe and made it mine.  It makes about two cups so you can store it in a glass container or jar.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup filtered water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 date soaked
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (I used organic dried)
1/2 teaspoon dill (I used organic dried)

Throw the water, cashews, lemon juice, acv, drained date, garlic, and salt into your Vitamix and blast on high for 30 – 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.  Taste and add more seasonings as desired.

Enjoy!

Ranch2

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Food Prep!!!

Food PrepThese are staples you will find in my house at all times.  I have discovered that whipping them up quickly when they are out is easier than taking 2-3 hours on a weekend day.  HOWEVER…with that being said, if you don’t have time during the week, make it happen over the weekend!!!

FOOD PREP makes eating clean whole foods easy!!!  It’s so important to be prepared as life is BUSY.  Above you will see a batch of my homemade granola bars, a huge salad, black bean hummus, avocado dip, homemade sourdough bread & chopped / bagged celery.  At dinner I always make extra.  For example, on turkey burger night my mix makes enough for 8 burgers so I can feed my family and then have enough leftovers for quite a few lunches.

Avocado Dip
3-4 avocados
Dried or fresh cilantro (I often use organic dried because it’s always in my spice drawer)
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt

Blend in your Vita-mix & store in a glass container.

Black Bean Dip
2 cans organic (non-BPA cans is best) black beans
Dried or fresh cilantro (I often use organic dried because it’s always in my spice drawer)
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt

Blend in your Vita-mix & store in a glass container.

Big Salad (chop & store in glass bowl)
1 head Napa cabbage
Kale
Romaine lettuce
Apple
Onion
Carrots
Celery
*do not add tomatoes, avocados or anything that will brown / wilt fast

Salad dressing
Daily I use black bean hummus, avocado dip and salsa (Costco has large ones that do not contain any preservatives).  These 3 things are a staple in my diet.

Amy’s Granola Bars
6-8 bananas
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup raw almond butter
Cinnamon
3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup organic chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped unsulphured dried fruit (optional)

In your Kitchen Aid mixer put the bananas, oil, almond butter & cinnamon and mix until creamy.  Add in the oats, seeds & optional dried fruit.  Spread into a Pyrex pan & bake at 350 for 20 min.  Once cooled cut into small squares and put into 2 glass containers.  Store one in the fridge and one in the freezer.  It’s the BEST when you open the freezer and have fresh granola bars ready to eat!!!

Kale chips
Kale
Avocado oil
Salt

De-stem the kale, massage with oil & salt.  Bake for 12-15 min at 250.  Store on your counter top.  They re-cook well if they wilt a bit.

Sourdough bread – I make this for my family but it does not work for my gut as it’s gluten degraded not gluten free.  If you would like a starter please let me know!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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March & April Circuit Dates

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My group circuit class is a once a week guaranteed workout that will rev your metabolism, create muscle confusion (which helps achieve results), challenge your body and mind and increase your muscle endurance & strength.  I also offer nutritional counseling via email & text when you are enrolled in my class.

I am running both circuits at Kennedy Club Fitness in AG on Thursday mornings at 6am or 7:05am.  Let me know if you would like a spot!

Here is the schedule: (6am or 7:05am – 2 circuits)
March 1st
March 8th
March 15th
March 22nd
March 29th
April 5th
April 12th – NO CLASS
April 19th
April 26th

8 weeks for only $180.00(Kennedy member) or $220.00 (non-member)  If you can’t make every workout you can buy a 5 or 10 session punch card (punch cards do NOT expire).

Punch card prices:
5 classes: $112.50 (member) 5 classes: $137.50(non-member)
10 classes: $225.00 (member) 10 classes: $275.00 (non-member)

The circuit begins with a dynamic warm-up followed by 1 minute heart pumping circuit intervals and rounded out with a few minutes of yoga.  It is designed to lean you down, increase your strength, make you a better athlete & shock your body each and every week.  All fitness levels are welcome!!

Confirm your spot: 
Kennedy front desk 805-481-2888
Amy Harper – 805-234-2780
OR 
amy@amyapproved.com

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Happy New Year!!!

20182HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  If you have trained with me in the past you know that I do NOT believe in New Years resolutions simply because they do not work…  I encourage FITNESS FOR LIFE and at the turning of the new year I encourage all of my clients to re-evaluate their goals, set a few new ones and feel refreshed again.

**What are 3 things you are working towards in 2018?
**What are 3 DAILY habits that will get you there?

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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New Years Circuit Dates!!!

 2018                                                             Let’s ROCK 2018!!!
My group circuit class is a once a week guaranteed workout that will rev your metabolism, create muscle confusion (which helps achieve results), challenge your body and mind and increase your muscle endurance & strength.  I also offer nutritional counseling via email & text when you are enrolled in my class.

I am running both circuits at Kennedy Club Fitness in AG on Thursday mornings at 6am or 7:05am.  Let me know if you would like a spot!

Here is the schedule: (6am or 7:05am – 2 circuits)
Jan 4th
Jan 11th
Jan 18th – NO
Jan 25th
Feb 1st
Feb 8th
Feb 15th
Feb 22nd

7 weeks for only $157.50(Kennedy member) or $192.50 (non-member)  If you can’t make every workout you can buy a 5 or 10 session punch card (punch cards do NOT expire).

Punch card prices:
5 classes: $112.50 (member) 5 classes: $137.50(non-member)
10 classes: $225.00 (member) 10 classes: $275.00 (non-member)

The circuit begins with a dynamic warm-up followed by 1 minute heart pumping circuit intervals and rounded out with a few minutes of yoga.  It is designed to lean you down, increase your strength, make you a better athlete & shock your body each and every week.  All fitness levels are welcome!!

Confirm your spot: 
Kennedy front desk 805-481-2888
Amy Harper – 805-234-2780
OR 
amy@amyapproved.com

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

bellpepper1                                                                                Before
bellpepper2                                                                                 After

Many of you probably already make these on a regular basis but I thought I would share the recipe I made up because they were a HIT!!!

Ingredients:
1lb organic turkey burger (best price is Costco)
1 onion
Garlic
1/2 bag frozen spinach (I buy organic at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 bag frozen corn (I buy organic at Trader Joe’s or Costco)
Salt / pepper
Coconut aminos – a dash or 3
Garlic sauce (same brand as coconut aminos) – a dash or 3
Organic smoked paprika
Organic dried cilantro
Red bell peppers x 3 – you can probably use up to 5 as I had a lot of meat leftover

Preheat your oven to 350.  Saute the garlic & onion.  Add the turkey burger & brown.  Add the frozen spinach, corn, coconut aminos & garlic sauce.  Continue to brown.  Add the spices (generously) and season to taste.  Cut your bell peppers in half, rinse out the seeds & fill them with the meat / veggie mixture.  Bake for 20 min at 350.  I ate 3 halves (I KNOW!!!) for dinner and then 2 more halves cold, the next day for lunch.  SUPER YUMMY!!!

ENJOY!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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A quick circuit for this crazy holiday season!

Photo25The holiday season is underway and I know it’s VERY easy to “skip” a workout or three as there is more on your plate than usual.  Please know that ANY movement is better than NO movement.  After your run or cardio I challenge you to pick 3 exercises and run through them 3 times.  It will activate your fast twitch muscles which will “stoke” your metabolism.  It will also help keep you STRONG  & lean during this crazy holiday season.  Here are a few examples:

Jump Lunges x 20
Tricep Burpee’s w/ Jump Tuck x 10
Plank Hip Drops x 20
(repeat 3 times)

Plie Jump Squats x 20
Push-up x 10
Side Plank x 15 each side
(repeat 3 times)

Walking Lunges w/ Butt Kick x 20
Pike Push-ups x 10
Seated Russian Twists w/ Weight x 20
(repeat 3 times)

Glut Raises on Stability Ball (legs straight – tummy on ball) x 20
Wall Sit x 1 min
Stability Ball Crunches x 20
(repeat 3 times)

DB Stiff Legged Dead Lift w/ Upright Row x 15
DB Lateral Raise x 15
“V” ups (seated) x 20
(repeat 3 times)

These are just a few examples but will make a world of difference in your overall strength, body fat, mental state & feeling of accomplishment!!!  So after your cardio session always save a few extra minutes for a quick circuit!!!

PROUD OF YOU!!!
Xo

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EASY Homemade Granola

granola1

Dry Ingredients:
3 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup unsulphured shredded unsweetened coconut
1/8 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (DF) (optional)
1/2 cup chopped unsulphured dried fruit (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw honey
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (organic raw unfiltered)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients (oats, coconut, nuts & seeds only) in a glass baking dish and toast them in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the oats are toasting, combine the wet ingredients.

After the oats are toasted (they should be aromatic), drizzle the honey mixture over the oats.  Stir until well combined.

On a baking sheet lined with wax paper form a single layer of the oat mixture.

Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn the oven OFF.  This will allow the granola to finish toasting without burning.  Let it sit in the oven for 5-8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Once cooled add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Store in an airtight glass bowl, jars or glass container of your choice.
granola

ENJOY!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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Thanksgiving!!!

turkeyHere are a few recipes that we make at Thanksgiving:

Cranberry Sauce:
1 x 12oz bag frozen or fresh cranberries
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 granny smith apple
1 cup water

Bring water to a boil then add cranberries and a peeled / chopped apple.  Add the sugar and begin “flopping” the cranberries over instead of “stirring”.  Boil for 8 minutes.  Let them cool on the stove and then put them in a glass container.  They will last in the fridge for weeks.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Bacon Wrapped Dates
1lb bacon
Dates

Cut the dates in half and take out seed (if there is one).  I make 3 per piece of bacon.  Wrap date with the bacon and use a toothpick to hold it together.  Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes
1 lb bacon
Onion
Garlic
Nut milk
Salt / pepper

Chop the potatoes into small chunks & boil.  Fry up the bacon & sauté the onion and garlic.  Once the potatoes are soft, strain the water and add chopped bacon, onion & garlic.  Add nut milk, salt & pepper and MASH into your desired consistency.  ENJOY!

Turkey

Green Beans, Asparagus or Brussels

 

Thanksgiving3
The holiday season is HERE!  Let the craziness begin.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year.  It’s crazy, fun, festive, busy, full of love & family time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of it all so remember to SLOW DOWN and be GRATEFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  It’s easy to always want “more”, to be 5lbs thinner, to want those expensive jeans etc…  Sit down and be THANKFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  I believe that the universe is a powerful tool so it’s important to tell the universe what it is you want but also to thank the universe for your blessings.

Tips for holiday eating:
*SKIP THE BREAD!!!

*Have one plate of food (YES anything you want) but don’t go back for seconds
*Only have a few bites of dessert
*MOVE – get up before the craziness begins and MOVE
*Don’t overindulge in the appetizers.  Save your appetite for the meal
Thanksgiving

Be grateful for everything that surrounds you TODAY!!!!  Happy Thanksgiving & CHEERS to a wonderful holiday season.  LIFE IS GOOOOOOOOD!!!!
Xo

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

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New spice obsession & EASY crockpot pork!!!

My sisters both cook with a TON of paprika and I have never used this spice unless a recipe calls for it.  I found organic paprika and organic smoked paprika (Iherb.com) and am in LOVE with the smoked flavor!!!  So on the below recipes you will find that I am using it like crazy.

greenbeans2Green Beans with smoked paprika
Ingredients:
Green Beans trimmed
1/2 large onion
Minced garlic
Salt / pepper
Organic smoked paprika

Sauté the onion & garlic until soft.  Toss in the trimmed beans, salt, pepper & paprika.  Add a dash of water, stir and then put a lid on top to let the beans soften.  Serve warm but they also make great cold leftovers.

Crockpot Shredded Pork
1 pork butt or 1 pork loin (we bought a large loin at Costco & cut it into 3 chunks & froze in separate Ziplocs)
1 onion
Minced garlic
Salt / pepper
Organic smoked paprika
Organic garlic salt
Organic red pepper flakes

Rinse the frozen pork & set into the bottom of your crockpot.  Add chopped onion, minced garlic & all above spices.  Add about 1 inch of water and set the pot in high all day.  Before serving take the pork with a large fork and put it into your Kitchen aid.  Quickly “mix” the meat until it shreds (takes about 10 seconds).  Put the meat back into the liquid, stir & serve!!!
greenbeans3ENJOY!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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