My Yoga Checklist

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Yoga studios are popping up everywhere, so why is it so hard to find a class that checks all your boxes? In my mind There is a list of requirements that must be met when committing your time and money to a studio. I’m a picky yogi, probably too picky. But here is my excessively long list:
1. A good flow. By this I mean there is a fluid sequence that makes sense. I like to heat up first before stretching deeper. I can’t stand a choppy flow.
2. Sweat. I like to be challenged physically, but I realize that is not everyone’s priority when they step on the mat, and that’s fine!
3. Practice. I love instructors who help your take your practice to the next level. Just a few minutes of free time to ask questions and fix form can go a long way.
4. Length. After heating up its time to stretch. Yoga helps me balance my fitness regimen, and getting a good stretch is crucial for injury prevention.
5. Instruction. There is nothing worse than your favorite class switching instructors on you. Everyone prefers a different style, but when you find someone you love they become the reason you commit to a studio.
6. Space. There is nothing worse than getting whacked in the face during savasana. When studios over schedule I find myself comprising poses to avoid kicking my neighbor, it’s not ideal!
7. Variety. It’s the spice of life! You want to switch up your flow and grow as a yogi. I hate to see a Bikram only studio. Hot is not for everyone or everyday, it deters me from committing to a studio.
8. Ambiance. I once took a yoga class in a UFC gym. Mid Pigeon Pose you couldn’t help but be distracted by the sound of punching bags and sweaty grunting men. The teacher was great, but I couldn’t get into it.

This list combined with my unusual work schedule has me practicing at home most days. I did get a 10 day pass to a new studio this Christmas. I look forward to spending my Sundays afternoons in class.

What are your yoga studio must haves? Pet Peeves?

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The Scoop on Healthy Skoop Powders

Product Review: Healthy Skoop Powders

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I feel like the hunt for the perfect protein powder is ongoing.  I certainly have my go to whey and plant based powders, but I love to experiment with new brands.  If you follow my posts you probably have seen my favorite whey powder, Warrior Whey by Defense Nutrition.  When it comes to plant based protein powder my current favorite is Phood by Plant Fusion.

That being said, I have never tried a greens mix, which is something that Skoop offers.  Skoop sells powders for different nutrition goals, but advertises the product lines as an all encompassing package. While for the most part I consume plenty of greens and antioxidants, there are days where many of my meals are on the go.  I was grateful when Skoop offered to send me a generous sample package.  I hope you enjoy my review!

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Skoop a variety of powders: A GAME, B STRONG & B LOVELY.  All three powders are gluten-free and GMO-free.

Skoop A Game Is a powder you can wake up with. Phytonutrients, micronutrients, and adaptogens are said to help increase your energy level.  Since I don’t drink coffee I saw this as a great early  morning option.  The contents of A Game allow you to start your day with fiber and probiotics.  In my mind A Game stands up against my usual powders with its ORAC equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and veggies. Some days I am on the go all day. The ability to get my greens and antioxidants with just a shaker and some cold water is a huge plus. There are two A Game flavors, Chocofresh and Supergreens.  I have been shaking both with just cold water, but also adding them to my smoothies. I add Chocofresh to my chocolate protein powder along with a frozen banana, almond milk and chia seeds.  I add the Supergreens powder to my green smoothie.

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Overall, I liked having A game as part of my regimen.  I did feel a bit more energized when I included the powder in my first meal of the day.  The flavor took a little getting used to, its a bit bold.  I was adjusted to the taste by day five.  A Game is 50 calories per scoop and only 2 grams of sugar.

B Strong is the Protein powder.  It is plant based, soy-free and dairy-free as well as gluten-free and GMO-free.  The great thing about B Strong is it’s prebiotic fibers that assist your gut in breaking down and absorbing the protein.  This will allow you to use the 16 grams of protein and additional fatty acids to build muscle and recover quickly.

I tried the vanilla powder, which makes it harder for me to compare because I usually go with chocolate protein powder.  I do feel that my Warrior Whey is a bit smoother, but it is also whey protein.  There could be a compromise due to the extra prebiotics and antioxidants in Skoop.   If you are looking for a clean plant based protein powder I would certainly recommend Skoop.

Last, we have B Lovely.  This is actually a skincare product you consume.   B Lovely contains natural herbs, antioxidants and fiber.  You can help combat oxidative stress, repair damaged collagen and promote circulation with just 20 calories of this powder.  I cannot tell you if it works, I only tried the powder twice, but I can tell you how it tastes.  I was not a fan.  I am a tea drinker, so when I added the powder to my warm water I was expecting it to taste like a floral tea, I am sure it I could hide the taste in a smoothie or protein shake, but I only need one shake a day.

Overall, I found Skoop powders to be clean and easy to digest.  I suffer from a lot of stomach and GI issues, and I am easily irritated by many powders.  I had absolutely no issues with Skoop.

 

Gluten, Dairy & Guilt Free Coffee Cake

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I have always loved coffee cake.  It was actually one of the first baked goods I learned to make from scratch! When I was an avid coffee drinker I loved sitting down with a cup of hot coffeee and a slice of anything sweet as I tackled homework in my collegiate apartment.  Now I no longer drink coffee, but I still love to enjoy a pick me up as I read my afternoon emails.  This coffee cake is the perfect guilt free solution.  It is not too sweet so it wont light up the chocoholic or sugar addict in you…I found this recipe on Dr. Axe’s website and made a few modifications:

Combine wet ingredients

  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 coconut milk

Combine dry ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking Powder

Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture and pour into an 8×8 pan

Comibine ingredients for crumble topping:

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle topping over cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and serve with a spoon of almond butter!