Tag Archives: YogaLean

From the founder of YogaFit…

It’s time for a ZENtervention. We at YogaFit and YogaLean are here to revitalize society. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. To empower all people, no matter who you are, to achieve wellness, and in doing so, to transform lives for the better.

 

It’s as much a personal journey as a far greater one. Because the better we feel – as individuals, communities, and society as a whole – the more we can accomplish. Put simply, we want to bring wellness to the world.

 

What we offer is a new way of living, based on the philosophy of yoga, to transform yourself inside and out. It’s about creating and sustaining a balanced lifestyle that touches every aspect of how you live – from fitness and food to meditation and giving back – for realizing total mind body vitality. It’s what we call whole life wellness.

 

We understand that sometimes people need a catalyst to realize a more holistic approach to their overall wellness. We’ve developed YogaLean to do just that – YogaLean is principles for achieving optimum health and well being. YogaLean sets us on a journey to whole life wellness and positive transformation. It’s about taking the first step: thinking differently to live differently. Being more mindful – of your body, your home, and your time – to reach your optimum.

 

Over 17 years ago, Founder Beth Shaw pioneered the practice of teaching yoga. Embracing the physical exercise, then its wider philosophy – this was where the vision of For Better Self began.

 

Starting out of the trunk of her car with a passion to help people feel better and live life more fulfilled, Beth founded YogaFit, today the largest yoga fitness education school in North America. Beth’s work has helped thousands. Now, she aims to bring that knowledge, education, and best practice to all, making it simple and accessible. So everyone can be their better self.

The YogaLean Benefits of Garlic

Mmm, garlic! I can’t get enough of this tasty, aromatic ingredient and love to incorporate it abundantly in my home recipes. Garlic adds an irresistible depth of flavor to my dishes and it’s an essential part of that comforting aroma we often associate with fresh, home cooking. But, in addition to its sensational culinary properties, garlic is packed with a variety of powerful health benefits that are enormously helpful in keeping us lean by guarding our immune systems against infections, detoxifying the liver, and even lowering blood pressure.

 

Here are the primary reasons I love garlic, plus a couple of my favorite recipes that include it generously.

 

*Garlic Boosts Immunity    

Garlic is a fierce defender of the immune system with great capacity to prevent and banish colds. Garlic has been called a natural antibiotic because of its high concentration of manganese, calcium, vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, vitamin C, phosphorous, copper, potassium, and selenium. This combination of nutrients unite in garlic like a veritable bacteria-and-virus-fighting army. If you feel yourself starting to sniffle, this is the ingredient to grab for in the grocery store. I also like to supplement my immune defense by taking garlic capsules, a potent alternative to eating it in food, (and startling your partner with the smell of your breath!)

Here’s one of my favorite garlic-y recipes, perfect for staying cold-free, lean, and satisfied, especially in the wintertime!

 

Beth’s Immunity Soup

 

What You’ll Need:

4 to 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

5 cloves crushed garlic

finely minced hot peppers (as many as you like depending on your spiciness preference)

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ cup cilantro

2 ½ cups chopped tomatoes, juices included

juice of one lemon

brown rice (optional)

avocado (optional)

 

Make it Lean:

  1. In a stockpot, bring broth to a slow boil

  2. in a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garilc and hot peppers and a dash of cumin.

  3. add the cilantro, tomatoes, adn lemon juice to the broth. lower to a simmer and mixi n the garlic, peppers, and remaining cumin.

Optional:

  1. Add brown rice if you would like carbs

  2. Garnish with avocado

 

*Garlic is a great Detoxifier  

Garlic triggers the liver to release toxins from the body, allowing you to better digest and metabolize food, and helping to maintain a healthy, lean stomach.

 

*Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure

Garlic has a natural ability to lower blood pressure, which is very favorable for those of us who navigate fast-paced lives and high stress levels, which can spike blood pressure or increase it over time. According to the Mayo Clinic, garlic releases nitric oxide, naturally dilating  blood vessels to decrease blood pressure.

 

This flavorful salad has superb detoxifying and blood-pressure lowering power of raw garlic, plus the diuretic properties of artichoke and the citrus freshness of lemon.

 

Lemon Garlic Artichoke Salad

 

What You’ll Need:

5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup parsley

3 cloves garlic. diced

12 baby artichokes– frozen or canned, chopped

6 cups mixed greens

 

Make it Lean:

  1. In a blender, blens the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic until smooth and thick (approx. 2 to 3 minutes.)

  2. Toss dressing with artichokes and serve over mixed greens

 

Garlic is an all-around wonderful ingredient with a very versatile set of uses in cooking and so many lean benefits. Keeping your breath mints handy, I recommend consuming garlic in abundance to keep your body’s natural defenses up, to detox your liver, and to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. YogaLean loves garlic!

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Yellow Eye Bean Salad with Sorghum

Beans are a great source of protein. I enjoy experimenting with different beans to bring variety into my diet. Yellow Eye Beans are high in dietary fiber and iron, low in sodium, and contain no sugar, saturated fat, or cholesterol. One cup of Yellow Eye Beans (boiled) is approximately 250 calories. This recipe can be made with another bean if you cannot find Yellow Eye Beans.

 

I hope you enjoy this light yet satisfying bean salad. The flavors and textures make each bite enjoyable. Serve with Gluten Free crackers or rolls if you wish to add carbohydrates to the meal. Traditionally Yellow Eye Beans are cooked with honey or molasses and are made into a baked bean side dish. I love this recipe as it allows the flavor of the bean to shine, rather than overpower it with sugar. If your local store does not have dry yellow eye beans, you can find them for sale on Amazon.

 

Enjoy this YogaLean recipe and find others at HealthyRecipeVariations.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.52.21 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base Ingredients:

2 cups of DRY Yellow Eye Beans

3 cups of water

3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

4 cups of vegetables – cut in even sizes – I used a variety of bell peppers, onion, garlic, and sweet potato.

Olive oil for sautéing vegetables

1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth for preparing the vegetables

2 cups of spinach

1 cup Sorghum ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.52.52 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variations:

Substitute your favorite bean for the Yellow Eye Bean

Substitute red cabbage (diced) for the spinach

Substitute quinoa or millet for the sorghum

Vegetables: Staples include onion or shallot and garlic

 

Combinations can include:

mushroom, bell pepper, and basil

carrot, sweet potato, and tarragon

leek, sweet potato (or potato), and parsley

 

Instructions: After the beans are hydrated, it takes 30 minutes or less.

Rehydrate the beans (and bay leaf) in the liquid. I like to do this overnight.

After the beans have hydrated, slow cook them until they get soft…but still have an amount of firmness. The cooking stopping point is a moment to reflect on personal preference. If you want a little bite to your bean salad, stop cooking before the beans crack open and get soft. If you wish the soft texture to the bean salad, allow them to cook longer. Coking time is 1-2 hours.

 

Prepare the sorghum according to package directions (3 to 1 ratio). For the liquid, I use a combination of water and low sodium vegetable broth. This takes 30 minutes or so.

 

After the beans and sorghum are ready, dice the vegetables you wish to use.

 

Add the vegetables to a pan with 2 TBSP olive oil. Sautee and stir for 3 minutes then add 1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth. Allow the vegetables to soften some with the liquid.

 

When the liquid is almost absorbed by the vegetables, add the sorghum, and 3 cups of cooked beans. Stir.

 

 

Serve on a bed of spinach, stir spinach in the mixture and serve, or put the mixture in a “to go” container and take with you as a work-day lunch!

 

The dish is wonderful warm or cold. Garnish with sesame seeds or sunflower sees for added texture!

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Spinach Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a complete protein that is very versatile. When paired with spinach, kale, or mixed greens it can become a satisfying main dish salad that provides protein, fiber, Omega 3’s, and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

 

Quinoa, like risotto, is a great way to use up small amounts of vegetables that you have left in the kitchen.  If you cook the quinoa ahead of time, you can sauté vegetables to create your desired flavor profile and add some cooked quinoa at the end of the cooking process.

 

In this dish I used okra, onion, garlic, zucchini, and sweet potato. Experiment with the flavor profiles that you prefer, perhaps trying a new vegetable in a small portion in a dish like this to see if you like it and wish to add it to your repertoire.


Enjoy this YogaLean recipe after a workout. Pair it with a Gluten Free roll or crackers. For a beverage, water with lemon or herbal tea (hot or cold) would be a nice pairing with this salad. Read other YogaLean Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.

 

Base Recipe Serves 2:

I Cup COOKED QUINOA

3 Cups Evenly Diced Vegetables…the smaller the cuts the better  

4 TBSP Olive or Walnut Oil

1 Cup Vegetable Broth (low sodium)

4 Cups Baby Spinach

 

Garnish:

Basil, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Dried Fruit, Seeds or Nuts

 

Instructions:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I like to substitute low sodium vegetable broth for half of the water.

Evenly dice the vegetables and sauté them in chosen oil.

Add the broth and let the vegetables steam until the broth is almost absorbed. This leaves the vegetables el-dente if you cut them thin enough.

Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine.

Rinse the spinach and pat dry. Divide evenly between two plates.

Top with the quinoa mixture in the center of the bed of spinach.

 

Serving Suggestions:

Garnish with seeds and nuts for added crunch if you wish.

Add dried fruit for a sweeter garnish.

Add tomatoes if you wish a touch of acidity.

Top with basil or rosemary, if you desire, for additional flavor.

You can top with oil and vinegar or allow the moist quinoa mixture to flavor the salad.

 

Red Cabbage Salad with Vegetables and Basil

It is much easier to eat a Gluten Free and maintain a YogaLean lifestyle if you plan ahead. Salads can be a great meal or side dish but can be a detriment as well if you do not make good choices. They need not be laden with heavy dressings to be appreciated. Opt for seasonal vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins or nuts to be the star of the dish rather than a dressing.

 

Salads do not have to be constructed with a base of lettuce. Many other “greens” can be used as a base. According to studies, cabbage is a great vehicle to use as it provides the body with Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. It is a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.

 

I like to include a variety of colors, textures, flavors, and food groups to my salad to provide a satisfying meal or, if a smaller portion is served, accompaniment to a meal.

 

My inspiration for cabbage salads began with the idea of modifying coleslaw. I appreciated the intricate dice and the firm texture of the cabbage but did not particularly enjoy the dressing. At home I began experimenting with the diced cabbage with an oil and vinegar dressing and was hooked.

 

Cabbage comes in both green and red varieties. I look for a firm head of cabbage when I go shopping. Experiment with either red, green, or a multicolor cabbage salad next time you wish a salad as a meal or a side dish. Enjoy this Gluten Free YogaLean recipe as you look to make healthy food choices while keeping up an active lifestyle.  More Gluten Free recipes can be found on my blog at http://healthyrecipevariations.blogspot.com/.

Red Cabbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base Recipe for a Side Salad (double and add protein if being used as a meal):

1-1.5 Cups of Diced Cabbage

1 Cup of Diced Seasonal Vegetables

2-4 TBSP Oil and Vinegar Dressing

 

Optional Ingredients:

2 TBSP Fresh Basil (used here) or Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1 TBSP or to taste)

2 TBSP each of any of the following: Sesame, Pumpkin, or Sunflower Seeds

Red Cabbage 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If converting to a meal …. PROTEIN additions:

1 Cup of Nuts

1 Cup of Lean Meat (thinly sliced)

1 Cup of Tofu (I prefer pan fried)

1 Cup of Cheese

1 Hard Boiled Egg


Dressing Options (use 2-4 TBSP):

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Pesto

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Sriracha

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Honey Mustard

Red Cabbage 2

Spinach Salad with Figs, Walnuts, and Brie

A salad can be an accompaniment to a meal or can be a meal itself. The portion size determines everything – salads are a great way to incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables into your meal. If you are making your salad and entrée, make good choices to ensure you have a balanced meal and include protein and carbohydrates.

 

I find the keys to success with a salad include bold flavors, multiple textures, and a variety of food groups.

 

This salad can be a meal or a side dish. If using as a meal, you may wish to serve gluten-free crackers on the side or gluten free cornbread. If the figs are very ripe and juicy, you may not need salad dressing. If you do need dressing, I suggest a simple oil and vinegar so that the flavor of the fruit and brie stands out, not the dressing.

 

Figs are a great find when they are in season. They are low in calories while high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Research shows the chlorogenic acid helps lower blood sugar levels and control glucose; an important factor for those with adult onset diabetes.

 

Base Ingredients:

Spinach

Fresh Figs

Brie

Walnuts (another soft nut like pecans can be used instead)

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 11.33.57 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optional:

Oil and Vinegar Dressing

Add diced dates for flavor and texture


Enjoy this YogaLean recipe and other gluten-free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations

Protein Packed Belgian Waffles and Seasonal Fruit

Some days we have more time for breakfast than others. On those rare occasions when I can sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast before starting my day, I enjoy making Belgian Waffles. This is a treat as each waffle takes a few minutes to cook, each flavor is a delight and wants to be savored, slowly, and it is a filling meal.

 

Belgian waffles are weekend and holiday treats. I usually follow them by a workout. I cannot think of a better way to spend the day…unless it was to share the meal and workout with all my family and friends!

 

Enjoy this Gluten Free YogaLean Meal and find other Gluten Free recipes at http://healthyrecipevariations.blogspot.com/.

 

Base Ingredients:

NOTE: This recipe reflects a modification of “Easy Waffles” from the Pamela’s Products Website.

 

1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1 cup Flaxseed Meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Eggs

3 /4 Cup water or milk of your choice…I tend to use Almond Milk here

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (Gluten Free) or 1 TBSP Vanilla flavoring, Almond Flavoring, or Maple Flavoring.

Waffles 1

Optional Batter Stir-Ins:

Berries, Dried Fruit, Chopped Nuts, or Chocolate Chips

 

Optional Toppings:

Fresh Fruits

Fresh Fruits and Nuts

Honey (instead of syrup)

Peanut Butter + Jelly or Fruit or Dark Chocolate Chips

Coconut Butter + Fruit (Fresh or Dried)

 

Waffles 2

Instructions:

-Combine ingredients in a mixer and stir until all lumps are removed.

-Pre-Heat waffle maker

-Add batter to waffle maker…start in the center so it does not ooze out the edges!

-Cook until the indicator on your waffle maker says it is done

-Add toppings and serve

 

NOTE: Leftover waffles can be stored in an airtight container. They reheat best in a toaster oven or oven. Leftover batter can be stored in an airtight container for about 5 days.

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Amaranth Fruit and Nut Cereal

Amaranth is a complete protein. It is a YogaLean way to start your day. You can customize the flavor profile so that you can make this dish day after day and it does not have to be the same. The nutritious grain comes from a fast growing plant related to beets, chard, spinach, and quinoa.

Texture is important to many people. This cereal can be made dry or have a liquid/runny content depending on the amount of liquid used. The consistency this recipe produces can be related to tapioca or cream of wheat.

Enjoy this Gluten Free Breakfast and find other Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.  

 

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Base Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 Cup Amaranth (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Cups Water (or milk of your choice)

1/ 2 Cup Almond Milk
1 TBSP Flavoring (I suggest Vanilla, Almond, Maple, or Cinnamon)

 

 

NOTE: I started with some pre-cooked Amaranth. The recipe calls for 3 cups of water to 1 cup of Amaranth. I used 3 cups of water to partially cook 2 cups of Amaranth. This technique allows me to use the amaranth in a variety of recipes throughout the week, and cuts down on preparation time when I wish to make the additional meals.  I used 2 cups of partially hydrated amaranth and added 1 cup of almond milk to a pot. I added 1 TBSP ALMOND flavoring and cooked until the almond milk was almost absorbed.  Then I added 1 cup of fresh dates stirring until all liquid is absorbed.

 

It was suggested I try Almond Flavoring when cooking with figs…I fell in love when I took that suggestion!

 

Fruit and Nut Options: (Seasonal Fruits are More Flavorful)

Figs, Bananas, Almond Flavoring, and Walnuts

Berries and Vanilla

Dates and Cinnamon

Dried fruits and nuts w/ flavoring of your choice

Stone fruit, vanilla, and pecans

Mango, coconut, and coconut flavoring

Pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and walnuts or pecans

 

Instructions:

Combine the ingredients (minus the fruit and nuts) in a pot.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir from time to time.

When liquid is almost absorbed, add the fruit and nut combination of your choice and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

 

Cooking time: 30 minutes if amaranth is dry, 15 minutes if partially cooked.

 

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Crepes

Once I find something I like, I have a tendency to eat the same thing day after day. Therefore, I make a concerted effort to discover new recipes and modify them to diversify my meals! The Gluten Free Breakfast Crepe is a modification of a recipe I found on the website for Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. This YogaLean meal is a great way to start your day! The beauty of the crepe is that you can fill it with a variety of ingredients. Each crepe you make for yourself can be different and each crepe made for a family can be filled with ingredients that fit personal tastes. If you are using this before a workout, add additional protein. Enjoy this Gluten Free Breakfast and find other gluten free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.

 

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Ingredients:

1 Cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake mix

3/4 Cup of milk of your choice (I used almond milk)

1/4 Cup of water

1 Large egg

1 TBSP oil (I used coconut oil)

1 TBSP vanilla flavoring (I used vanilla flavored gluten free protein powder. You can use vanilla extract or substitute almond extract)

1/2 cup of ground flaxseed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Additional oil for the pan (I used walnut)

 

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Instructions: (Makes 4-6 crepes)

Combine ingredients and remove as many “lumps” as possible

Heat the pan with a small amount of oil

Scoop 1/4 Cup of the batter and add to the hot pan. Turn the pan in a circle trying to get batter to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.

Use a spatula to start to lift the edges and make your way, carefully to the center. (Add additional oil of batter sticks…start conservative…add more as needed)

Carefully flip crepe. Cook 1-2 minutes on the second side.

Serve or cover with a cloth or parchment and make additional crepes.


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Filling Suggestions:

Peanut Butter (ANY Nut or Seed Butter) and Chia Jam

Scrambled Eggs…garnish with fruit

Brie and Figs…garnish with walnuts and honey

Butter the crepe and sprinkle with powdered sugar (child’s favorite)

Fresh Fruit…garnish with Chia Jam

Cream Cheese…garnish with fresh fruit

Applesauce…sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish

Banana and Nutella…garnish with banana

Banana and Nut or Seed Butter…garnish with banana

Teff Morning Hot Cereal

A high protein and high fiber breakfast is a great way to start the day as the meal fuels you for early morning exercise or diminished cravings to snack before lunch.

 

Oatmeal has been a staple in my diet for a long time. Once I needed to eat a Gluten Free diet I started to explore other grains to add variety to my diet (MANY Gluten Free recipes call for oats or oat flour). Teff is a great grain to use in place of morning oatmeal! Like oatmeal for breakfast, Teff Morning Hot Cereal lends itself to many options; it can be customized to fit your preferences and your cravings! Enjoy this YogaLean Gluten Free Breakfast and read more recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.

 

This recipe needs monitoring for the first few minutes as the teff is being toasted. After that, it just needs an occasional stir. You can multitask or relax while it is cooking! The picture you see is the addition of seasonal fruit (blueberries), bananas, walnuts, and a teaspoon of Nutella.

 

If you do not use all of your teff hot cereal, store in an airtight container. Reheat by placing in a bowl with a wet paper towel on top and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and check heat. Heat an additional minute if needed. Serve with toppings of your choice so each meal is different! Have fun playing with your food … your healthy food!

 

Base Recipe (Serves 2)

1/ 2 Cup Teff (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Cups Water (or milk of your choice)

A Pinch of Salt

1 TBSP Flavoring (I suggest Vanilla, Almond, Maple, or Cinnamon)

OPTIONS: Add seasonal fruit or dried fruit or nuts when serving)

 

Instructions:

1. Add the Teff to a pot and bring to medium heat. Toast teff, stirring from time to time, for 2 or 3 minutes. This will bring out the nutty flavor of the teff.

2. Add the pinch of salt and liquid to the pot and cook until liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.

3. Serve as is or add stir-ins.

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Stir-in Options:

Milk of your choice

A spoonful of Greek Yogurt on top

Seasonal berries

Dried fruit (Dates, Figs, Apples work well)

1 TBSP Honey, Agave, Nutella, or Nut Butter

A handful of nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, or Cashews, or Slivered Almonds work well)