7 Minute Ab Blast Workout

What is the best way to start your day? I think it is to do a quick workout while your kids are still in bed and the house is quiet and peaceful 🙂 Not just any workout – a 7 Minute Ab Blast Workout. Why Ab Blast? Because your abs are going to blast during, and, hopefully, after it!

7 Minute Ab Blast Workout

PLANK TAPS

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens your core
  • Strengthens your abs
  • Works your wrists, glutes and shoulders

FORM:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders, fingers pointing straight;
  2. Touch your left shoulder with your right hand;
  3. Return to starting position;
  4. Touch your right shoulder with your left hand;
  5. Return to starting position;
  6. Continue alternating for a minute.

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Keep your body aligned

If you want to calculate the calories you burn during Plank Taps, click here. It won’t be a lot, so don’t stress. The main benefit of this exercise is to tone your arms and abs!

BIRD DOG CRUNCH

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Start on all fours, knees under hips, hands under shoulders;
  2. Inhale as you reach your right arm out and extend your left leg straight behind you;
  3. Exhale as you bring your right elbow and left knee to touch, rounding your back and pulling your abs.

NOTES:

  • Make sure your are on a mat for your knee support
  • Keep your back straight and stable

DOLPHIN PLANK

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Start in a plank position on your elbows;
  2. Feet are hip width apart;
  3. Body parallel to the floor;
  4. Head aligned with your spine;
  5. Contract abs and draw your belly to your spine;
  6. Draw your shoulders down;
  7. Exhale as you pike your butt up towards the ceiling;
  8. Return to the starting position.

NOTES:

  • Do Not practice Dolphin Plank if you have a recent or current shoulder, back, arm or neck injury, high blood pressure, eye or ear infections

REVERSE LUNGE & TWIST

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Start straight up with feet hip width apart;
  2. Squeeze your abs;
  3. Take a large step back with your right foot;
  4. Plant your toes;
  5. Lower to a lunge bending the front leg into a 90 degree angle;
  6. Your back knee is almost touching the floor;
  7. Twist your body to the left.

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Make sure the front knee bends at a 90 degree angle
  • Back knee almost touches the floor

PLANK PUSH UPS

BENEFITS

  • Targets abs, shoulders, triceps, chest
  • Increases shoulder mobility

FORM:

  1. Start in a push up position with hands under shoulders;
  2. Body forms a straight line;
  3. Slowly lower one arm until your elbow rests under your shoulder;
  4. Lean on that forearm and bring the other one down;
  5. Slowly return to the push up position;
  6. Keep going for a minute

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Keep your body straight

PLANK WITH KNEE TO CHEST

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Begin at a push up position, hands under shoulders;
  2. Bring one knee to your chest;
  3. Take it straight back;
  4. Bring the other knee to your chest;
  5. Take it straight back

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Minimize dropping of your hips
  • Don’t sway your body

Yay, we finished our quick but intense 7 minute ab blast workout! I hope it was as hard for you as it was for me. “You’ll hate it, but you’ll love it” 😀

Have an awesome day, mommies <3

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7 Minute Butt Lift Workout

All mommies know how short we are on time. Sometimes we have to choose between sleeping for an extra hour or hitting the gym. Well, I love to sleep so here is a short butt lift workout for those days when you just want to stay in your bed a little bit longer

7 Minute Butt Lift Workout

GLUTE BRIDGE

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees hip width apart and bent at 90 degrees;
  2. Arms by your sides;
  3. Inhale;
  4. Draw through with your heels as you lift your butt up on an exhale and squeeze your glutes;
  5. Pause for a second;
  6. Slowly and controlling your spine return to the starting position.

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Push your hips up using your heels!
  • Don’t hyperextend your back
  • Your body forms a straight line in the upper position

SUMO SQUAT

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Stand straight with your feet wider than hip width apart;
  2. Turn your toes out a bit;
  3. Inhale and slightly lean forward as you go into a squat position;
  4. Initiate your move from your hips, not your ankles so it looks like you push your butt out;
  5. Go as deep as you can without pushing your knees too much forward;
  6. Pause for a second;
  7. Slowly go back to the starting position.

NOTES:

SIDE LYING CLAM

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Lie on your side;
  2. Rest your head on your arm;
  3. Bend your knees and put one foot on top of the other;
  4. Your hip to torso angle should be around 90 degrees;
  5. Inhale;
  6. Keeping your feet together lift your upper knee up on the exhale;
  7. Inhale as you bring the knee back to the starting position.

SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE

BENEFITS

  • Strengthening glutes and erector spinae which helps to keep your posture upright
  • Strengthening core stabilizing muscles
  • Toning and shaping your butt
  • Gives Stronger back

FORM:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees hip width apart and bent at 90 degrees;
  2. Arms by your sides;
  3. Inhale and raise one leg, balancing on the foot of the other leg;
  4. Lift your butt up on an exhale and squeeze your glutes as you draw through with your heels;
  5. Pause for a second;
  6. Slowly and controlling your spine return to the starting position.

NOTES:

  • Engage your core
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Don’t hyperextend your back
  • Push your hips up using your heels!
  • Your body forms a straight line in the upper position

DOUBLE LEG EXTENSIONS

BENEFITS

FORM:

  1. Lie face down;
  2. Rest your forehead on your hands;
  3. Slowly lift both legs (if it’s too challenging, start with one leg at a time);
  4. Make sure your back and pelvis don’t rotate;
  5. Return to the starting position;
  6. Go slow.

NOTES:

  • Keep your legs straight
  • Do Not lift your legs too high up
  • Engage your core and glutes
  • If you feel any sharp pain in low back, hip, or legs, stop immediately and consult with your physician.
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7 Minute Arm Workout Without Equipment

If you are short on time but want to tone your arms, don’t stress! 7 Minutes is all you need to work your arms!

Use these easy and effective bodyweight arm exercises to prevent aging and saggy arms.

They will take you about 6 minutes and you can go on with your day!

QUICK ARM WORKOUT

that will only take you 7 minutes (or so)

ARM TWISTS

FORM:

  • Stand straight;
  • Lift your arms into the T-position so they are parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body;
  • Start quickly twisting your wrists clockwise and counter-clockwise.
  • Go for 1 minute

BENEFITS:

  • Tones Arms;
  • Reduces Arm Fat;
  • Targets shoulders, triceps, biceps, back.

NOTES:

  1. Don’t drop your arms, they must stay parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body;
  2. Keep your back straight, don’t round or hyperextend your back.

ARM CIRCLES

FORM:

  • Stand up;
  • Extend your arms straight into the T-position so they are parallel to the floor;
  • Start to make small arm circles for 30 seconds, and then reverse for another 30 seconds.

BENEFITS:

  • Tones Arms;
  • Reduces Arm Fat;
  • Targets shoulders, triceps, biceps, back.

NOTES:

  1. Don’t drop your arms, they must stay parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body;
  2. Keep your back straight, don’t round or hyperextend your back.

DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP

FORM:

  • Start in the pushup position with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart;
  • Keep your neck in line with your spine, your body must form a straight line from your head to your feet;
  • Inhale as you go down keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible;
  • Try to remain the straight back position. Don’t pike your bum up and don’t let it drop (You will see that my position isn’t ideal still, I’m still getting to that straight back form which is much difficult to achieve with this type of a pushup);
  • Exhale as you lift your body trying to keep the straight back position;
  • Pike your bum up into the downward dog position;
  • Heels try to touch the floor, draw your shoulders back;
  • Return to push up and repeat.

BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens your chest, arms, shoulders, core;
  • Stretches your back, hamstrings;
  • Opens up the backside of your body

NOTES:

IN THE PUSH UP POSITION

  1. Keep your elbows close, trying to squeeze your armpit;
  2. Keep your body as straight as possible!
  3. Draw your shoulders back;
  4. Squeeze your glutes;

IN THE DOWNWARD DOG POSITION

  1. Keep your neck, head and spine alined;
  2. Draw your navel towards your spine;
  3. Draw your shoulders back;
  4. Keep your back straight. If needed, bend your knees a bit
  5. Squeeze your glutes;

TRICEP DIPS

FORM:

  • Sit down on the ground;
  • Bend your legs so your knees point up to the sky;
  • Feet are flat on the floor hip-width distance apart;
  • Hands in line with your shoulders, fingers pointing towards your feet;
  • Inhale as you bend your elbows lowering the body until your bum almost touches the floor;
  • Exhale as you straighten your elbows

BENEFITS:

  • Targets your triceps;
  • Helps reduce arm fat;
  • Engages forearms, shoulders, chest and lower back.

NOTES:

  1. Keep your fingers pointed towards your feet;
  2. Don’t lift your shoulders up as you go into the dip!

SIDE PLANK

FORM:

  • Start on your side;
  • Elbow is directly under your shoulder, forearm perpendicular to your torso, the top arm pointing up;
  • One foot on top of the other;
  • Lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from head to feet;
  • Engage your core;
  • Hold for 30 seconds;
  • Repeat on the other side.

BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens arms;
  • Targets obliques and glutes;
  • Strengthens lower back.

NOTES:

  1. Don’t drop your hips;
  2. Balance on the side of your foot, not the sole;
  3. Don’t drop your head.

PLANK

FORM:

  • Start on your side;
  • Elbow is directly under your shoulder, forearm perpendicular to your torso, the top arm pointing up;
  • One foot on top of the other;
  • Lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from head to feet;
  • Engage your core;
  • Hold for 30 seconds;
  • Repeat on the other side.

BENEFITS:

NOTES:

  1. Make sure your body is straight, don’t let it drop nor your hips pike up;
  2. Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise;
  3. Don’t hold your breath. Keep breathing as you normally do.

 

Music Credit:

 

Adventures by A Himitsu https://soundcloud.com/a-himitsu

Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

Music released by Argofox https://youtu.be/8BXNwnxaVQE

Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/MkNeIUgNPQ8

 

–––

 

  • Contact the artist:

 

x.jonaz@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/ahimitsu

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgFw…

Starting my ds106 Free Social Media Marketing Open Course

My ds106 Open Course

Free Online Social Media Marketing Course

I love learning and I try to do it on a daily basis.

My parents always tell me, that “If you don’t learn you degrade” and I believe this is true.

This is why I decided to start my new Social Media Marketing course called ds106. I’ve read quite a bit of positive reviews about it, as well as seen it rank as one of the best Free Online Courses for Social Media Marketing.

Why do I need it? I want to take my site to a new level as I’ve been slacking quite a lot this year due to some complications with my visa.

Cut story short, today is the first day of the course and I can’t wait to see the results!

Wish me Good Luck, My friends 🙂

 

30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge

30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge

Welcome to my first Challenge – 30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge!

Hi, ladies. We as moms seem to never have enough time to workout and tend to let ourselves go. But no more. We’re going to own our body and get it back in shape with this intense but easy 30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge!

One of my favorite quotes is this:

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” —Jim Rohn.

So no more excuses. Remember before we had our babies we told ourselves that we won’t lose our shape and remain sexy and toned. Most of us didn’t keep that promise.

Everything changes now. It’s time to get that sexy back, and even better – get sexier than before.

Why are we staring with the butt and not abs, or arms?

Don’t worry, we will work all the areas of our body!

We starting with the butt challenge exercises first because even though your core muscles are your powerhouse and having a strong core helps you protect your spine and keep it strong and healthy (constantly carrying our little ones around can put a lot of strain on your spine thus leading to lower back pains), to actually pick our kids up your body needs some power. That power comes from your glutes.

To get that perky butt without getting our legs too big takes a little different approach that just squatting non-stop. That is why this butt challenge is going to be different.

30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge

 

It’s been said over and over again that squats and lunges make the perfect butt. No one can disagree with that, but regular squats and lunges also build our quads and hamstrings, so if you already have prominent quads like I do, you want to focus on some other exercises too.

Let’s get to the Anatomy of the Butt first.

Our butts aren’t just one muscle. They consist of 3 different muscles called Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.

3-Gluteus-Muscles

 

Gluteus Maximus

  • Builds the most superficial layer
  • The Largest Muscle out of 3
  • One of the strongest muscles in the human body
  • Assists in standing up from a sitting position, climbing stairs…

Gluteus Medius

  • Forms the middle layer
  • Joint Stabilizer
  • Hip Abductor (when you lift your leg sideways)

Gluteus Minimus

As you see, there are 3 glute muscles that need different exercises to train them to achieve the desired bubble butt shape.

Always consult with your doctor before performing any new exercises.

Every time you are about to start a workout, you must warm-up your body.

WARM UP

– Run in place for 1 minute.

SET 1

REMEMBER TO ENGAGE YOUR GLUTES IN EACH EXERCISE!

Wide Squat

Squats work the glutes in a stretched position which is when you stand up from the squat position.

  1. Stand with your feet wider that shoulder-width.wide squat proper form
  2. Point your toes a bit out.
  3. Inhale as you sit with your butt back by pushing your hips and butt backwards.wide squat proper form wide squat proper form
  4. Go down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor or lower if you can.
  5. Hold in the bottom position for a second.
  6. Exhale as you drive up through your heels and push your knees out. SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES
  7. Return to the starting position.
  8. Repeat.

A little squat tip:

– The lower you squat the more your glutes are involved so go for deep squats.

NOTES:

–  Initiate the squat by moving your hips, not ankles.

If you start the squat by moving your ankles first, you risk going into a wrong squat thus putting a lot of pressure on your knees. It is said that your knees shouldn’t go past your toes but it’s deeper than that. Check this article to learn about the whole “Don’t move your knees past your toes myth”.

Strength Coach Michael Boyle said:

“The question is not where does the knee go, as much as where is the weight distributed and what joint moves first”

– Focus on your weight distribution, not your knee position. 
– Keep your weight on your heels when squatting.

 

Glute Bridge

Glute bridges are among the top exercises for your butt as they more glutes way better than a squat!

  1. Go into a supine position (when you lie on your back).glute bridge correct form
  2. Bend your knees so that you are almost touching your heels.
  3. Your feet are about hip-width apart.
  4. Inhale.
  5. Exhale pulling the navel to your spine as you drive up with your heels lifting your hips as high as you can and squeezing your butt.glute bridge correct form
  6. Hold there for a few seconds.
  7. Slowly go back to the starting position as you inhale.
  8. Repeat.

A little glute bridge tip:

– Try holding at the top position (No5.) squeezing your glutes for up to a minute.

NOTES:

–  Do not hyperextend your back at the top. 

– Keep your belly button pulled in toward your spine.

 

Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Stand facing away from the bench or your baby chair.
  2. Extend leg back and rest the top of your foot on it. (place a little towel or a cushion if it hurts your foot).Bulgarian split squat correct form
  3. Squat down on an inhale initiating from your hip till your back knee is almost touching the floor.Bulgarian split squat correct form
  4. Keep your torso straight.
  5. Drive up on an exhale with the heel of your front foot to the starting position.

NOTES:

–  Do not stand too close to the bench as it can cause knee pain. 

– Do not stand too far away from the bench as it can cause pain in the groin and the hip flexor of the rear leg. It can also lead to excessive arching of the lower back.

 

Single Leg Glute Bridge

  1. Lay on your mat (or a blankie) with your knees flexed and feet hip-width apart.single leg glute bridge correct form
  2. Lift one leg up. single leg glute bridge correct form
  3. Exhale and drive through your heel lifting your butt up.single leg glute bridge correct form
  4. Go up as high as you can.
  5. Pause for a moment at the top position.
  6. Go back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the number of reps.
  8. Alternate and to the other leg.

NOTES:

–  Do not drop your hips.

Marching Glute Bridge

  1. Start in the same position as a regular glute bridge – lying on your back with your feet hip-width apart next to your bum.single leg glute bridge correct form
  2. Lift your hips up till it forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.marching glute bridge correct form
  3. Lift your left leg up in a 90 degree angle keeping that straight line with your spine.marching glute bridge correct form
  4. Put the left leg down and lift the right leg up.marching glute bridge correct form
  5. Keep marching for the desired number of reps.

NOTES:

–  Do not drop your hips.

COOL DOWN

Please, finish this first day of your Bubble Butt Challenge with a nice stretch!

Whoohoo! Congratulations, ladies!

You just finished your First Day of the 30 Day Bubble Butt Challenge! You can take tomorrow off and we will be back the day after tomorrow for a new set of exercises.

SET 2

REMEMBER TO ENGAGE YOUR GLUTES IN EACH EXERCISE!

 

I hope your buns are on fire, because mine are! If not, you should consider adding some weight;)

We took a day off and let our glutes rest, repair the damage and grow.

Let’s do lunges

Lunges are used by a variety of fitness enthusiasts – from yogis to weightlifters. They work great for sculpting, toning and developing our glute muscles together with quads and hamstrings.

Longer lunges emphasize the use of glutes, while shorter lunges work your quads more. Since our main goal is bigger butt, we are going to perform longer ones.

Forward Lunges

  1. Stand with your feet together, hands in the prayer position or on your hips.
  2. Inhale.
  3. Hinge at your hips and lean slightly forward to activate your glutes more.
  4. Keep the back straight.
  5. Exhale as you step forward in a deep lunge so your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle.Forward Lunges correct form
  6. Pause for a second.
  7. Push through your heels as you step back up.
  8. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  9. Do the other leg.Forward Lunges correct form
A little forward lunge tip:
– The lower you go the more your glutes activate.
– Slightly leaning your torso forward activates your glutes and hamstrings more than your quads.

NOTES:

– Slow down;

– Keep your neck in neutral position.

 

Side Lunges

  1. Stand tall hands in the prayer position or on your hips.Side Lunge correct form
  2. Inhale.
  3. Hinge at your hips and lean slightly forward.
  4. Keep the back straight.
  5. Exhale as you take a big step to the left bending you knee.Side Lunge correct form
  6. Inhale.Side Lunge correct form
  7. Drive through the heels of your foot as you stand back up to the starting position.
  8. Repeat.
  9. Do the other leg.

NOTES:

– Slow down;

– Keep your neck in neutral position.

 

Reverse Lunges

The reverse lunge creates a great activation of the gluteal group as it changes the torso angle. Glutes and hamstrings fire when you go into the lunge helping you lower yourself down.

  1. Stand tall hands in the prayer position or on your hips.
  2. Inhale.
  3. Hinge at your hips and lean slightly forward.
  4. Keep the back straight.
  5. Exhale as you take a big step backwards into a deep lunge so your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle.Reverse Lunge correct form
  6. Lower yourself until your knee touches the groundReverse Lunge correct form
  7. Drive off your front leg by pushing into the foot of the front leg.
  8. Return into the starting position.
  9. Repeat.
  10. Alternate the legs.

NOTES:

–  Slow down;

– Keep your neck in neutral position.

 

Standing Lateral Hip Abduction

  1. Start in a standing position with both feet together.
  2. Suck the belly in.
  3. Hands in the prayer position or on your hips.
  4. Put all your weight on the left leg.Standing Lateral Hip Abduction correct form
  5. Inhale.
  6. Exhale and swing your right leg sideways hinging at the hip.Standing Lateral Hip Abduction correct form
  7. Lift as high as you can.
  8. Slowly lower the leg back to the starting position.
  9. Complete the desired number of reps.
  10. Do the other leg.Standing Lateral Hip Abduction correct formStanding Lateral Hip Abduction correct form

NOTES:

– Keep your glutes squeezed;

– Keep your core engaged.

 

Standing Rear Leg Raises

  1. Start in a standing position with both feet together.
  2. Hands in the prayer position or on your hips (you can grab onto the back of the chair or rest your hands on the wall).Standing Rear Leg Raises correct form
  3. Suck the belly in.
  4. Raise one leg straight back behind you.Standing Rear Leg Raises correct form
  5. Pause for a second.
  6. Lower the leg back to the starting position.

NOTES:

– Keep your glutes squeezed;

– Keep your core engaged to minimize risk of injury;

– Don’t go too far up hyperextending your back;

– Don’t bend your torso, keep it straight up.

 

Great you, ladies. Another day off and I’ll introduce you to the following set;)

 

Thank you all for stopping by,

Till next time,

Olia xoxo

quick and easy meal for two people

Quick Romantic Vegetarian Meal for Dinner For Two

I enjoy cooking and experimenting with new meals, but I do have a list of dishes that I can eat day and night and never get tired of them. I’m also a vegetarian that makes me want to look for new tasty ways to serve my favorite veggies, cheese and bread. For more vegetarian dinner ideas check this post.

My love and I, being new parents, don’t get much time to go out and get into romantic surroundings, so we try to bring Romance home as much as we can. I try new HEALTHY recipes (we don’t want to let ourselves go), but occasionally let us have some cheat days as well.

When my love got me a fondue set earlier this year I thought I must try and make us a simple romantic dinner but I haven’t gotten to it until last week. We had a special date and I figured it was a good occasion to try and make a nice cheesy bready dinner for us, with some veggies on the side.

I started going through recipes and they all included Gruyère cheese which I couldn’t find, so I substituted it for white Cheddar cheese. Some say because it’s a type of a Swiss cheese, you should rather go for that one.

The Quick and Easy Fondue Recipe for two:

 Ingredients:

french bread

Time:

Prep: 5 min;

Cook: 10 min;

Serve in: 15 min;

Directions:

In a pot over medium heat, melt butter, sauté garlic for a few minutes and then add flour; stir it well so it’s nice and smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Gradually add wine an keep stirring until our concoction starts boiling. Reduce heat to low and add cheese. Let it melt. Add a dash of lemon juice.

Transfer to your fondue pot over low heat.

We ate it with cubed French bread, cauliflower, broccoli and celery (well, I ate it with celery and it was yummy…for me)

Quick Romantic Meal For Dinner For Two

Hope you enjoyed this idea of a Quick Romantic Meal for Dinner For Two. Let me know if you try to make it and share your dinner pictures and thoughts with me 🙂

 

breakfast shake, morning shake, weight loss shake

Healthy Breakfast Shake

I think people are divided into two groups – those that love having breakfast, and those who hate them (breakfasts, not the first group of people).

I belong to the first group. I can’t imagine starting the day on an empty stomach. It makes me grumpy and miserable, that’s why even in my acting days when there wasn’t much time in the morning, I’d make sure that I’d have a healthy breakfast on set or take something with me.

This recipe has been my go-to breakfast when I didn’t have much time or if I wanted to me extra healthy and lose some weight.

Have you noticed why all those weight loss programs would work at first but as soon as you get off them you pick up everything that you lost, if not more? I think one of the reasons is portion control and the smoothies that they make you drink.

Food that’s blended is much easier digested and you feel full for longer.

This recipe that I’m going to share with you has almond milk, but you can replace with regular milk, kefir, rice milk or soy milk.

I don’t like regular milk because to me it tastes too sweet and I don’t believe in drinking someone else’s milk unless you are that someone’s baby, but to each their own.

Let’s get to the recipe.

Healthy Breakfast Shake

Time:

2 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk

1/3 cup oats

1 banana

Directions:

  • Throw oats into your blender;
  • Add a banana;
  • Cover with milk;
  • Blend on high for a minute until smooth;
  • Enjoy.

I usually make myself this healthy shake a few times a week.

If you have some stomach problems and think that raw oats won’t be too good for you, try boiling them first. I tried this recipe with cooked oats and it’s as good.

Hope you liked the recipe!

Tell me what you think of it in the comment bellow.

Do you want more of healthy and tasty recipes?

Nika wearing necklaces

Week’s Favorites, 15th of January

Is it just me or you also feel that time goes faster and faster the older you get?

According to the article in Psychology Today the reason is that when we are young we have plenty of first-time experiences. Our brain breaks down these events into many details that we tend to memorize for many years. As soon as we start experiencing similar events, we do not remember them because they don’t make the same impression on us.

There is another theory that makes full sense to me. It’s called a “ratio theory” and basically mean that for a 10-year-old, one year is 10% of their life. For a 50-year-old, however, one year is 2% of their life, which explains why as we get older the time seem to go faster and faster.

What is your opinion on that?

Ok, so let’s start with the favorites. I haven’t been out much and been doing a lot of studying this week, so most of my favorites will be new recipes. But let me start with my baby girl first.

Favorite Aw Moment

One evening while Nika was playing with her granny she became bored of her toys and my mom decided to give her her box with necklaces. Nika, being a real girl (even though her dad wants her to become a tomboy to go fishing, rock climbing, etc with him) figured out what to do with necklaces quite quickly.

She started trying them on but also keeping each one on as she tried a new one.

This is what it she didNika wearing necklaces

Her favorite though was a pearl necklace that she was caring around the whole evening.

Favorite Soup

My mom and dad love trying new recipes but don’t have enough time to search and prepare them. Since I’m here, I decided to let them try my favorite (obviously vegetarian) recipes and my mom made a joke to my brother saying I was trying to make them switch to vegetarianism (or was it a joke?)

This Broccoli Soup is so quick and simply divine.

broccoli soup, healthy soup, weight loss soup

Favorite Breakfast

My dad normally makes us all a breakfast, but one day he made a healthy porridge that I dislike with all of my heart (yes, there are healthy things that I do not eat). I ate a few spoons but couldn’t make myself finish it.

That morning I decided to make my go-to Breakfast Drink that I normally have when I don’t want to cook or don’t have much time.

I usually make it with almond milk, but I haven’t seen it anywhere here in the stores. I don’t really like regular milk so I decided to replace milk with kefir and the result turned out to be great!

I drank Kefir (which made my mom happy because it’s super healthy) and I enjoyed the result as well because it wasn’t as sweet as it tastes to me when I make it with regular milk.

breakfast shake, morning shake, weight loss shake

Favorite Coffee

I haven’t been much of a coffee drinker in my early days but after I became a mom, lack of sleep and long nights made me switch to coffee. I don’t like the bitter taste of it so I usually add some lemon or lemon juice to it (like my mom) and it tastes so much better. This combination actually made me like coffee.

Some people say that lemon adds some weight loss benefits to coffee as well as it detoxifies the body.

Have you tried it? What do you think if you have?

lemon coffee, weight loss coffee

Favorite Relaxation

My family LOVES Banya. Many will probably ask what it is?

Well, Russian banya is a unique cleansing, rejuvenating and relaxing event that happens in a Bath House.

The bath house normally is a separate house from the one you live in.

It has:

  • a lounge where people keep their clothes, drink their herbal tea with berries and just sit and chat,
  • the bath room with a shower, a bucket with ice cold water to pour over yourself after you get out of the heat room, and a bucket with a soaked Venik (a bunch of twigs with leaves and some stems of herbs used for fanning and beating your hot body), and a
  • heat room with hot rocks and a bowl with water that you pour over the hot stones and benches where you lie on and beat yourself or your loved one with a Venik.

Even though I’ve been growing up going to banya almost every weekend, after I moved to the States I stopped doing it.

Now, living in South Africa I don’t have an opportunity to do it either, so every time I come to Russia, I get back to this healthy practice.

I’m a bit disappointed at myself for not going there last week as I didn’t feel too well, but this Saturday I finally made it to the Banya.

Yay to my first Banya Experience in 2017!

 

 

broccoli soup, healthy soup, weight loss soup

Healthy Creamy Broccoli Soup

Do you like vegetarian soups? They are so good for you and pretty easy to make.

When I was growing up I never liked eating soups because of the pieces of meat parking on the side of my bowl.

Not until I started experimenting with recipes and switching to all vegetarian diet, did I start to appreciate the taste and the benefits of soups.

At first I started making my mom’s soups recipes vegetarian replacing the meat and the meat stock with vegetable stock. Then I tried pureed soups like this one and now I have a huge list of meat-free recipes.

I love this Broccoli Soup recipe because it’s very quick and filled with nutrients. It’s also full of flavor, so I’m sure you will add this soup into your top favorite recipes as well.

You can make a super healthy weight loss type or a bit more fatty but more flavorsome one. It’s up to you to decide.

So here is the less healthy but more tasty recipe.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Head of Broccoli

2 Cups of Vegetable Stock

1/2 of Medium Onion

3 Cloves of garlic

1/2 a Cup of Cream

Directions

  1. Saute chopped onion in butter in a deep pan until caramelized on medium heat.
  2. Add chopped garlic to the onion. Stir it for a minute.
  3. Through in broccoli cut in florets and saute it for a minute.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Take it off the heat and blend it until smooth.
  6. Pour it back into the pan, add cream and stir it for a minute.
  7. Take it off the heat.
  8. Enjoy

This recipe requires minimum ingredients and time.

You can add some croutons for some extra flavor.

Hope you like it! Let me know what you think of this recipe.

Orthodox Russian Christmas Winter Night

Week’s Favorites, 8th of January

Our first week of winter in Russia. It feels so weird to experience it again after 9 years. Sometimes I find myself looking at the snow and feeling so disconnected with the season. I wonder how long it’ll take before I can get into the winter mode.

Favorite Trip

winter road

I had to call a few times to the Emirates office before I could finally go to our Kurumoch airport and pick up my bags.

They called me the morning of January the 3rd and my dad drove us there while mom stayed with Nika.

The road was black and white, the whole scenery was like that actually. The sky was gray and such weather would normally make me a bit depressed, but this time I thought that no matter how miserably gray the sky is, just above it is the bright and beautiful sun.

After the arrival back to the airport it took us no more than 15 minutes to get my suitcase back.

Favorite Outing

winter sky

On January 4th we woke up to a beautiful sky with the sun shining and a “heat wave”. The temperature went up to +2C!

My parents said the weather was perfect for Nika to experience the snow for the first time.

We obviously still needed to layer up regardless of the “heat wave”.

layering up

Grandpa wanted to put her on the sleigh but she wasn’t ready so they just walked around and touched the snow.

first winter snow experience

I don’t know if she was unhappy with the layers, paparazzi, or the snow.

first winter snow experience with grandpafirst winter snow experience with grandpa and grandma

While grandma showed her how the snow covers the pine tree.

first winter snow experience with grandma

Favorite Night

The Orthodox Christmas is coming up. Nika didn’t want to go to bed like she normally would go around 8-9pm and stayed up till midnight.

We welcomed Christmas together.

The night was beautiful and very calm. There is something magical about a winter night. The sky turns dusty pink, it’s very quiet because it’s too cold for the birds to sing, and everything is very still.

Orthodox Russian Christmas Winter Night

Favorite Holiday

Here comes Christmas. We normally celebrate it with our family and go to church in the morning, but because it was pretty cold, my parents went but Nika and I stayed home.

Mom and I were cooking different dishes and setting up “the table”. We made Olivie, which is a number one Russian Potato Salad, I made a South African Potato Bake, mom made meat dishes and sandwiches.

My parents, Nika, brother with his wife and son, my uncle with his wife and son, and I gathered by the family table and celebrated the Holiday together. It’s been a while since I was here for Christmas so it was pretty special.

Russian Orthodox Family Christmas

Favorite Dish

I brought a South African Potato Bake recipe with me and made it for my family. Pardon the picture, everyone loved it and polished it quickly.

South African Potato Bake

Favorite Deed

My family loves salads. We have them with almost every lunch and dinner. We also love adding herbs to our salads. Back in the day I sent my parents a pretty cool 3 tier container for growing herbs but they haven’t used it so we decided to try and home grow our own dill, parsley and spring onion.

growing herbs at home

We shall see how it goes.

Thank you, Lord, for a great holiday week with my family.