Strength Training and Cardio: Two-In-One Workouts

Strength Training and Cardio: Two-In-One Workouts

Multi-tasking when working out is key, as most of us don’t have several hours to spend at the gym. So workouts incorporating strength training and cardio are a great way to accomplish two forms of exercise at once!

But what kind of workouts pull double duty on cardio and strength training?

Cardio Comes in Various Forms

Before we get to the circuit, I want to spend a few minutes talking about what makes up a great cardio workout.

Certain movements done in a circuit (back to back with no rest) can elevate your heart rate as you progress, giving your body a great cardio session. Many people think of cardio as running, the stair stepper, or high-intensity interval training, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can elevate your heart rate to an aerobic level by doing targeted circuit exercises.

Aerobic and Anaerobic

  • Aerobic: something that you can do for a long period of time without fatiguing quickly.
  • Anaerobic: something you are working very hard at (e.g., sprinting) and can only be done for a short amount of time.

Exercises that double as cardio can be done aerobically, but it could be beneficial to throw in a few exercises that will put your body into an anaerobic state.  For instance, you could do your strength training and throw in a couple of exercises that would spike up your heart rate like high knees, burpees, or jump squats.

A Strength Training and Cardio Circuit A Strength Training and Cardio Circuit

This circuit should be done with movements back to back, and no rest. Each movement can be done for 40 seconds.

Please ensure you are cleared for exercise by your physician before starting. If any exercises cause any pain, please skip that one or substitute with a different movement.

Exercise equipment needed:

  • Dumbbells (light enough that you can press over your head 8-12 times)
  • Water
  • Jump rope

Movement 1: Squat, bicep curl to overhead press

  1. Hold dumbbells at your side as you go into a low squat
  2. As you stand, you’ll start your bicep curl to overhead press. This should be done in one fluid motion
  3.  Once your hands are pressed over your head, bring your arms back to your side and start the movement over again

Movement 2: Up and down arm planks

  1. Start in plank position (with elbows on the ground)
  2. Push up with one hand, then the other
  3. Go back down into plank position with one hand, then the other

Movement 3: Plank to back rows

  1. Hold both dumbbells in your hands in an upward planking position.
  2. Changing arms each time, bring your hand (as a back row) towards your hip keeping your elbow right along your side.

Movement 4:Low Squat Circuit

  1. Start in a wide low squat.
  2. Squat up and down in this position for 20 seconds then hold a low squat for 20 seconds.

Movement 5: V-ups

  1. This is an abdominal exercise. You will start lying down flat on your back.
  2. Lift your arms and legs at the same time to come into a “v” shape with your body, then slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
  3. With this movement, it’s very important to protect your low back.  Do not let your back arch in anyway, keep your lower back pressed into the ground.
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Why Squats Are a Really Powerful Exercise

Why Squats Are a Really Powerful Exercise

When exercising, one of the most fundamental and functional movements is a basic squat. There are so many modifications for beginners and variations to make them harder – they really never get old.

So you may be wondering what makes squats such a powerful exercise. After all, they seem like a pretty basic move. Well, there are a few very good reasons why squats should definitely be part of your regular exercise routine.

Functional Movement

Functional movements are powerful. They not only tone and tighten your muscles but they also put your body through everyday movements, making you move more efficiently overall.

As we age, the importance of functional movements become apparent, especially as we become more sedentary. Movements that used to be easy, like sitting down in a chair or picking up a box, become increasingly harder. By maintaining functional movements in your workouts, you’re promoting total body mobility as you age.

Work Multiple Muscles at Once

Squats help tone and tighten your legs, glute muscles, and core muscles. So while at first glance you may think you’re only working your lower body with squats, you are in fact engaging your upper body too.

What areas in your legs and glutes your squats target mainly depend on your stance and where the weight is distributed (for example, you may be using weights, kettlebell or a barbell).

How to Perform a Squat Correctly

How to Perform a Squat

Maintaining correct form in every exercise you perform is vital. Bad form when performing squats with weight can be taxing to your knees and back. Here’s how to properly perform a squat:

  1. Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly.
  2. When squatting, the movement should be as though you are about to sit in a chair. Your knees should not go over your toes and your chest should stay up.
  3. Keep your weight in your heels as you perform the squat, and as you push up into a standing position.
  4. When you are back in the starting position, squat down and complete the exercise again.

Start with 10-12 reps and work your way up to doing 20 reps at a time with no weight (or 15 reps with weight).

How to Modify Squats

When you’re new to squats, balance can be challenging. To ease into this exercise, find something to hold onto during your squat. This will stabilize your body and help you complete the squat with good form. A railing is a good go-to!

The following two squat variations are also a great way to change things up:

The Sumo Squat

The Sumo Squat

The Curtsy Squat

The Curtsy Squat

If you’re looking for a challenge, adding weight to your squats is a great way to increase the intensity. Barbells, dumbells, and kettlebells are great for adding a level of difficulty into your basic squat.

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How to Target and Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles

How to Target and Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles

Our abdominal muscles are an integral part of our core, which helps provide stabilization for a lot of our movements. Strong abdominals contribute to a strong core. But abdominal workouts can be challenging and confusing, especially if you’re new to working out.  So what is the best way to strengthen your abdominal muscles?

Your Abdominal Muscles

Abdominal muscles are one section of your core and are made up of mainly four different groups:

  1. Transversus abdominis,
  2. Rectus abdominis
  3. External oblique muscles
  4. Internal oblique muscles

The abdominal group of muscles cover your internal organs and can be found in front of your body, below your chest and above your hips. The internal and external oblique muscles span the sides of your body.

When you think of abdominal exercises crunches probably spring to mind. When you perform a crunch movement, your body targets the rectus abdominus muscle (what you see as a “6 pack”) and the external and internal obliques. Planks on the other hand, work all four groups of abdominal muscles and are deemed one of the best movements for strengthening not only your abs but also your core in general.

Top 4 Moves to Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles

There are many types of exercises and specific moves that will help build and maintain core strength. But I’m going to share with you today, my top four moves to effectively target and strengthen your abdominal muscles:

Ball Crunches 1. Ball Crunches

Adding a stability ball into your abdominal workout allows your body to get a wider range of motion while protecting your back. So take your crunches up off the floor and onto a stability ball!

Work up to doing 2–3 sets of ball crunches, 15 repetitions at a time.

 

Directions:

  1. Sit comfortably on a stability ball and slowly walk your legs out so that your back is in the middle of the ball.
  2. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, your hands behind your neck to support it and your core tight.
  3. Contract your abs and exhale as you raise your torso about 45 degrees.
  4. Pause, then lower, inhaling as you go.

Plank 2. Plank

Adding planks to your workout is a great way to strengthen your entire core, as this movement works all four groups of abdominal muscles.

When you start adding planks to your exercise routine, work up to being able to hold the position for 1 minute at a time, with three repetitions.

 

Directions:

  1. Get in a push-up position and hold yourself up with your forearms, with your elbow directly under your shoulders.
  2. Hold your body in a straight line with your core tight. Do not let your back arch.
  3. Hold for as long as you can.

Ab Rollout Using Stability Ball 3. Ab Roll Out Using Stability Ball

This seemingly simple movement is much harder than it seems. And again, we’re adding a stability ball into the mix!

As you stretch out your abdominal muscles using the stability ball, you’re making them work. This is a great exercise to help strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Directions:

  1. Start on your knees with a stability ball about 1.5–2 feet in front of you.
  2. Rest your forearms on the ball and slowly roll the ball away from your body, keeping your back straight.
  3. When your arms can no longer go out anymore, or your form is going to break, slowly pull the ball back into the starting position.

Cable Wood Chop 4. Cable Wood Chop

This movement involves pulling a cable weight across your body in an upward to downward or downward to upward motion. You will need to use a free motion cable machine for this exercise, which is common to most gyms. This exercise works your stabilizer muscles including your rectus abdominis and oblique muscle groups.

Directions:

  1. Using a free motion cable machine, put on the extension that looks like a triangle, with a hand hold.
  2. Select a weight you can pull across your body 15–20 times
  3. Adjust the arm of the machine to your starting position, either up high or down low.
  4. Hold the triangle with both hands.
  5. Keeping your arms straight and legs hip-width apart, pull the cable across your body as your torso rotates, in one fluid movement.
  6. Return to the start and begin the movement again.
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4 Ways to Ease Sore Muscles After Working Out

4 Ways to Ease Sore Muscles After Working Out

With Summer right around the corner, you may be scrambling to get back into an exercise routine. And with a new exercise routine or extra hard training in your normal routine, comes sore muscles. Luckily, there are a few effective, easy home treatments to help soothe your aches and pains.

What Causes Sore Muscles

Delayed onset muscle soreness, which typically occurs 1–2 days after exercise and lasts an average of 2–3 days, is the most common form of post-workout aches and pains. When you’re working out hard, tiny tears happen within your muscles, which cause soreness.

Thankfully, there are some very effective ways to deal with muscles soreness. In fact, I’m going to share four of my favorite tips for soothing sore muscles – and with this insider knowledge, you can go forth in exercise without fear!

Epsom Salt Bath 1. Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt contains magnesium which can help relax skeletal muscles and flush out the lactic acid buildup that happens with exercise. You can buy this magical salt in most grocery stores, and it even comes in different scents like lavender or citrus.

To help sooth sore muscles, warm up a bath and sprinkle in 2–4 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for 20–30 minutes.

2. Massage

Not only do massages feel incredibly relaxing, but they can also help ease muscle pain after a hard workout. Studies have shown that massage reduces a compound that plays a critical role in muscle inflammation after working out. It also stimulates mitochondria which aids in muscle repair [1].

There are multiple types of massages such as sports massage, deep tissue, swedish, and lomi lomi. Sports and deep tissue massage are the go-to post-workout recovery aids that many elite athletes turn to.

Ice Bath 3. Ice Bath

Ice Baths are a sworn recovery secret by many top athletes like marathoners, Olympic lifters, and NFL players. They aren’t for the faint of heart, however.

Following a hard workout, submerging your body in ice cold water for 15 minutes is believed to help with recovery time and muscle inflammation. In recent studies, ice baths have reduced muscle soreness by about 20% [2].

You can create your own ice bath by filling up your tub and adding ice cubes to it. The goal is to get the water to around 46 degrees.

4. Arnica

Arnica is a homeopathic medicine that comes from a flower and can relieve swelling, bruising, and pain. It can be taken in pill form or used as a cream, gel or ointment, and is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to take Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pills. You can find Arnica in your local supplement store or natural foods store.

References:

[1] Bakalar, Nicholas. “How Massage Heals Sore Muscles.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

[2] Doheny, Kathleen. “Ice Baths for Sore Muscles Can Work.” WebMD. WebMD, 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2017

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Gym Bag Essentials: 8 Helpful Items for Gym Goers

Gym Bag Essentials

Whether you hit the gym before or after work, during your lunch break, or later in the evening, a successful gym outing can depend on what you did – or didn’t – bring with you.

While the specific contents of your gym bag are going to differ wildly depending on your personal preferences, when you work out, and what type of workout you’re doing, there are a few basic that should be in everyone’s bag.

Finding the Right Gym Bag

When you become a gym goer, you’re going to need a bag. There are two basic things to consider when it comes to finding the right one:

1. The Locker Situation

Depending on the gym, some have lockers that are huge and can fit any size bag. Others have much smaller lockers. The size of your gym bag is going to depend on the size of your storage!

Something else to consider is how you’re going to ensure your gym bag stays safe and secure. Some gyms provide pre-programmed locks while others require you to bring your own.

2. Your Gym Bag Items

What needs to go in your bag is going to also dictate the size and functionality of your gym bag. Do you need a few easy-access pockets? A mesh water bottle holder? More than one compartment? What about some zippered spaces to keep your keys, wallet, or jewellery?

8 Gym Bag Essentials

Now that you have the perfect gym bag, it’s time to decide what goes in it.

While the contents of your gym bag are going to differ, there are nine basic items I consider to be must-haves for any gym bag.

1. Flip Flops

Are you showering after a workout? Many gyms have showers available to use after your workout and it always wise to protect your feet in any public shower area with flip flops!

2. Towel

A towel is one of those must-have gym items. Even if you aren’t making use of the showers, you’ll need a towel to wipe your sweat away afterwards. You may also prefer to workout with a towel handy, in case you want to lay it down underneath you when using the mats.

3. Post Workout Snack

After a hard workout your body is going to need fuel. Having a healthy snack on hand can curb cravings until you are home and can make a proper meal.

4. Water Bottle

Having a water bottle with you during your workout will help keep you hydrated, which is so important when exercising.

5. Music Device / Earphones

You might like to crank up the tunes and power through your workout. Or, perhaps you just want to tune out to a great cooking show. Either way, make sure you have your music device and earphones with you to help you stay motivated!

6. Jacket

If you’re in a cool area, you’ll want a clean jacket or shirt to change into, especially if you’re a sweater!

7. Watch

Keep a watch on hand. Not only will it help you keep time but you can also use it as a stop watch or heart rate monitor.

8. Gloves, Wrist Wraps, and Weightlifting Belt

These particular items aren’t going to be for everyone, but if your main focus is lifting weights, they are must-haves. Gloves protect your hands from slipping and blisters, while wrist wraps support your wrists when gripping heavy weights. Weightlifting belts are used to protect your lower back when attempting movements like deadlifts.

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Why You Should Give Burpees a Chance

Why You Should Give Burpees a Chance

For most, burpees are a groan-inducing exercise. A favorite of gym teachers, personal trainers, and boot camp instructor alike, the burpee is an exercise most of us have done, and hated, at some point in our fitness pursuits. But it’s time to stop fearing and start embracing the burpee! Here’s why:

It’s a Great Total Body Workout

The burpee involves your upper body, lower body and core all in one simple, cardio busting movement!

Like jumping jacks burpees can be done in sequence and utilized in a circuit. Since it’s such a great cardio move, burpees are often pulled into an exercise simply to raise your heart rate between exercises (known as active rest).

Like with all strength movements, burpees get easier with time and practice. At first, doing 10 may seem like a tremendous feat, but after practicing a few times a week, you’ll be doing 30 in a row no problem.

How to Execute a Burpee

  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands on the ground in front of you, jumping your legs back into an upward plank.
  3. Jump your feet back in and stand up

You can also add a little jump at the end. Or, for added difficulty, you can do a push up as your legs jump back into an upward plank. The goal is to make this one fluid motion.

This video from Linora Low is a great visual on how to execute a burpee properly.

A Burpee Circuit

Here’s a fun burpee circuit you can do in 10 minutes, no equipment needed! As this circuit is a full cardio circuit, ensure you are cleared by your physician to do rigorous heart-pumping exercise before starting.

Do each move in the circuit for 30 seconds, then rest for one minute, and repeat!

  1. Burpees
  2. Jog in place
  3. Jump squats
  4. Jog in place
  5. Burpees
  6. Rest
  7. Jumping jacks
  8. Rest
  9. Burpees
  10. Jumping jacks

 

 

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The Top 9 Benefits of Outdoor Cycling

The Top 9 Benefits of Outdoor Cycling

If you’re feeling like getting fresh air, a great cardiovascular workout, and stress-free transportation, then outdoor cycling is for you!

Whether you’re using your bike for commuting, as a hobby, or as a form of exercise, there are a lot of really great benefits to hopping on a bike!

It's Cost Efficient 1. It’s Cost Efficient

Opting to cycle instead of driving not only saves money on gas, but it also saves on monthly maintenance repairs and insurance fees.

If you pay for parking at work or at your residence, you’ll bypass that cost as well!

2. It Keeps Your Heart Happy

We all know that cardiovascular health is the way to a happy heart! Recent studies have shown that cycling is one of the best workouts for promoting healthy cardiovascular function [1].*

3. It Helps Our Environment

It takes significantly fewer materials and energy to build a bike than it does a car. Cycling also emits zero pollution into the atmosphere.

4.It’s a Great Stress Reliever

Stress can have a negative effect on our minds and our bodies.* Outdoor cycling not only works for your body, but it can also have a meditative and calming effect on your mind. Find a beautiful route on a particularly trying day, and watch your stress melt away.

5. It’s Easy!

Most of us learned how to ride a bicycle when we were younger, so why not hop on one now? Cycling is a popular exercise because most of us already know how to do it.

It's a Great Way to Start Losing Weight 6. It’s a Great Way to Start Losing Excess Weight

If you haven’t moved around much lately and are hoping to lose a little weight, jogging may not be the best place to start. It can be jarring on your joints and hard on your tendons.  You’d want to start off in smaller increments, and it would take longer to burn the same amount of calories than if you hopped on a bike for an hour or so (on day 1). †

7. It Helps Boost Your Brain

It’s scientifically proven that 30 minutes of cycling can support memory, reasoning, and planning [2]*. Who doesn’t need a little brain boost in the morning after waking up?

8. It Helps with Functional Movements

According to Harvard Health Publications, cycling can improve your balance, standing, endurance, and stair climbing [3]. Functional exercises have greatly increased in popularity in the 20th century as we began to live longer. As we age, being able to perform everyday movements becomes crucial!

Above all, cycling is just plain fun! It gets you outside into the fresh air, and it’s enjoyable with a friend, partner, your children, or grandchildren.

†Always consult with a qualified health care professional if you are unsure before starting a new exercise program.

References:

[1] NHCPS. National Health Care, 17 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

[2] Yeager, Selene. “How Cycling Makes You Smarter and Happier.” Training. Bicycling, 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

[3] “The Top 5 Benefits of Cycling.” Harvard Health Letter. Harvard Health Publications, 1 Aug. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

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3 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results from Working Out

3 Reasons You're Not Seeing Results From Workout Out

You’ve dedicated yourself to getting to the gym on a weekly basis. You set your workout affirmations, planned the days you would go and have never let yourself slip. So why are you still not seeing results at the gym?

This is such a common question. Feeling like you’re not achieving the change you’re working hard for can be frustrating, but often a few shifts in your lifestyle can make a huge difference. Here are three reasons you may not be seeing results at the gym:

Kick Processed Foods 1. You Haven’t Kicked Processed Foods

Most personal trainers would tell you that nutrition is over half the battle when it comes to clients not reaching their fitness goals. If you’re working out multiple times a week but still eating processed foods, it’s likely that your body is overloaded with sugars, unhelpful fats, and too many calories in order to make any real changes.

To make the most of your workouts, stick to whole foods whenever possible. Whole foods are items that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives and other artificial substances. This means lots of veggies, fruits, lean meats, and hydrating drinks such as water, coconut water, and unsweetened almond milk. Practice mindful eating by chewing slowly and focusing on your meal so that you can stop when you feel full.

Workout Plateau 2. You’ve Plateaued in Your Workout

Your body gets used to a workout if you continually do it. Once a week, add in a class like cycling, yoga, or pilates that is different from your regular workout. This will help ensure that your body and all its muscles are continually being exposed to new movements.

If you practice a lot of aerobic activity, introduce different speeds and inclines to your workouts. This is a great, easy way to change your routine up. Used to jogging? Add in some sprints! Prefer walking? Throw in a steep hill or two and pick up the pace!

If you’re weight lifting, try adding more weight and dropping the number of reps you do. You can also increase your speed by completing the exercises at a faster rate, so long as they can still be controlled.

Introducing your body to new things, such as different weights or varying speeds, can be immensely beneficial for getting over a plateau. When creating a workout plan for yourself,  incorporate switching up your exercises at least every 48 weeks.

Not Getting Enough Sleep 3. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

Beauty rest is so important for a healthy lifestyle. If you’re staying up too late, you may be tired during your workout, which can be detrimental to your overall health goals.

Work on training your body to sleep at a certain time every night. The amount of sleep that is needed differs per person, but here is an easy litmus test; if you’re currently sleeping 6 hours per night but relying on a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s likely you require more sleep than you’re getting. Try weaning yourself off coffee and adding in one or two more hours of sleep a night and see how you feel the next day.

 

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3 Adventurous Fitness Trends to Get in On

3 Adventurous Fitness Trends to Get in on

Looking for the next big fitness trend to get in on? Sometimes you just have to get outside of your regular exercise routine and try something new – and totally fun!

Here are three adventurous fitness activities that are trending right now:

Parkour 1. Parkour

If you loved climbing trees, jumping off things, and jungle gyms as a kid, then Parkour is for you!

Parkour, also known as free running, is a form of physical discipline where you move freely about, using only the abilities of your body. Basically, you learn to use controlled and fluid movements to navigate over and around every obstacle, such as walls, steps, and railings.

You can practice parkour outside but it is usually taught in a gym setting with a certified instructor.

What to Expect

  • A full body, challenging workout, unlike anything you’ve tried before!
  • Learning alongside people of all ages, shapes, and sizes
  • Jumping on, off, and over obstacles
  • Climbing on, off, and over obstacles
  • Swift, controlled movements

Barre 2. Barre

Ever wonder what exercises ballet dancers do to maintain their long, lean muscles?

Barre is a hybrid of ballet, yoga, and pilates that also makes use of a ballet bar. Mix in light weights, a mini-ball, and all the squat variations you’ve ever done – that’s your average barre class.

What to Expect?

  • A total body, challenging workout – all without moving more than a couple of feet per class!
  • Great, upbeat music to motivate you
  • Repetitive movements that employ the use of light weights and squats

Aerial Yoga 3. Aerial Yoga

Have you ever seen Cirque du Soleil and gawked at the acrobatics of the performers? And how they move through the air using only fabric to hold their bodies up? It seems like an impossible feat!

Aerial yoga incorporates the use of a soft, fabric hammock alongside traditional yoga, pilates, and dance moves. The fabric is supportive and can withhold your weight in the air as it is connected to carabineers.

What to Expect?

  • A full-body, zero-impact workout that targets your core
  • A relaxing, gentle atmosphere
  • Traditional yoga class with added perks of deeper stretches utilizing the hammock as well as fun, new variations of poses suspended in the air (about 3 feet or so)

Whether you choose to be suspended in the air, working out with a barre, or climbing and jumping off obstacles, these trending fitness workouts are sure to bring a little spice to your weekly routines. Remember, new movements can help bring you to the next level in your training.

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How to Make the Most of Your Spring Smoothie

How to Make the Most of Your Spring Smoothie

As the chill of Winter starts to fade, we gravitate towards foods that are bright, refreshing, and seasonal. And what’s more fitting for the warmer weather than the perfect Spring smoothie!

Smoothie Tips

Smoothies can be tailored for any meal, at any time – that’s what makes them so deliciously convenient! Here are five tips for making the perfect Spring smoothie:

Use a Good Blender 1. Use a Good Blender

Whether you buy a Ninja or a Vitamix, having a dependable blender is vital to smoothie making. More powerful (and expensive) blenders tend to produce silky smooth drinks, and consistency becomes important once you start using greens like kale or spinach.

2. Add Something Frozen

It’s a great idea to keep a rash of frozen fruit and vegetables on hand, just for smoothie making! If you have produce that’s starting to go bad such as bananas, berries, or pineapple – throw them in ziploc bags and add them to your smoothie stash in the freezer.

If you don’t have any frozen produce on hand, add ice!

Go Green! 3. Go Green!

Adding spinach to your smoothie is an easy way to drink your salad for the day! Spinach tends to be a much milder green that you can’t taste when it’s blended. Kale is also a great choice, but it does have a bitter taste, so it works best when blended with something sweeter, like apples or oranges.

4. Sweeten Naturally

The fruit you use will make your smoothie nice and sweet, but sometimes it’s great to add in just a little extra. Dates are a great way to add a delicious sugary taste! Stevia is also a good and healthy alternative, as is pure honey or maple syrup.

5. Load up on Healthy Extras!

You can add in all sorts of goodies to make your smoothie even more healthy! Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and cacao nibs are all great options. Of course, adding in a high-quality protein powder can help add bulk and nutrition to your smoothie as well.

Spring Smoothie: Chocolate Banana Mint

Here’s a delicious green, minty smoothie recipe that is perfect for Spring! Mint is a great addition to this smoothie as it promotes digestion.

Banana Chocolate Mint Smoothie
Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe frozen bananas
  • 4 dates (pitted)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 4–5 mint leaves (chopped)
  • Almond milk, unsweetened (2–3 cups depending on the consistency you prefer)
  • Cacao nibs (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine bananas, dates, mint, spinach, and almond milk.
  2. Blend thoroughly until smooth.
  3. If consistency is too thick, add more almond milk.
  4. Pour into cups, garnish with cacao nibs, and serve cold.
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