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Hello MPSers!

You can now see your schedule, class offerings and availability, request bookings, sync your workouts with FitBit and more by connecting to Mindbody through our business page! Please take these steps to get started!

  1. From your desktop computer go to: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=8458Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.23.12 AM
  2. Go to “New to Our Site?” Type in your first and last name as provided to the studio: Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.24.54 AM
  3. Click this is me and answer a security question
  4. YOU ARE IN! From your iPhone or Android, download the app for easy access! Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.28.43 AM
  5. Start checking your schedule, sync with FitBit, and more!

See you soon at MPS!

Party Appetizers – Baked Ricotta Veggie Dip

baked-ricotta

image taken from http://leitesculinaria.com/84915/recipes-baked-ricotta.html

This recipe is surprisingly quick and easy to whip up before guests come over. Luckily for you it is also mind-glowingly delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
15-18oz good quality ricotta cheese (full fat)
3 1/2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese (grated)
2 large eggs
1 jalapeño seeded and chopped fine
a few fresh oregano leaves chopped (can substitute basil)
salt and pepper to taste

Supplies: Oven safe bowl or soufflé dish (18-24 oz)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a buttered baking dish that can accommodate at least 2 cups (or one lined with parchment paper).
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed (baking time will vary depending on how deep your dish is).
Serve with chopped dipping veggies of your choice.
Try: Sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, jicama, celery, radishes.

Quick and easy Orange Balsamic Dressing

1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp fresh orange zest
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp italian seasoning

Place ingredients in a narrow and tall cup and place a whisk in the glass. Spin the whisk between your hands until the dressing is emulsified. Enjoy over your favorite salad. Right now I am particularly enjoying shredded salads made of cabbage strips and julienne sliced zucchini and squash.

Easy Healthy Holiday Dessert Recipe – Baked Berry Crumble

This is one of my all time favorite recipes from greenkitchenstories.com

It can be done with any mix of berries and is a beautiful addition to any holiday party. I personally don’t use quite as much honey as they do and I like a dash of cinnamon over the crumble but experiment for yourself. As a really special treat 1 tsp almond extract will brighten up the berry flavor like no other.

Baked Blackberry & Blueberry Crumble
Black_and_blueberry_crumble_3
image taken from http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/blueberry-blackberry-crumble/

Berry Filling:
2 cups / 225 g blueberries
2 cups / 225 g blackberries
½ tsp ground vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey

Crumble Topping:
2 1/2 cups / 240 g rolled oats (cert. gluten free if you are allergic)
5 tbsp almond flour/meal (or ground almonds)
a pinch sea salt
½ tsp ground vanilla
5 tbsp maple syrup or honey
5 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F. Rinse all berries. Place in a baking dish and toss with vanilla, lemon juice and maple syrup. Prepare the crumble in a separate bowl. Start by mixing oats, almond flour, salt and vanilla. Then add maple syrup and coconut oil. Use your hands to mix until combined. Pour the crumble filling evenly over the berries. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges and the crumble is firm and lightly browned. Serve as it is or with a dollop of yogurt or ricotta.
Keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge. Freezes and reheats well.

Need to whip up some last minute holiday good eats?

image

Give this salad a try.

I used
goat cheese
strawberries
lemon cucumbers
anaheim peppers
peppered turkey
greens mix (with kale, spinach and chard)
(Optional) thinly sliced fresh basil

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
salt and pepper

Place dressing ingredients in a cup and then spin a whisk between your hands to emulsify.

Give everything a chop and toss with dressing.

That’s it!…Now go have fun at your BBQ

Sauerkraut Beef – Any easy way to get probiotic foods into your diet.

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193124

Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion

2 tsp crushed garlic

2 cups carrots chopped

2 lbs ground beef ( can sub 2 cans kidney beans)

1 lbs ground pork (can sub 1 can garbanzo beans)

1 medium zucchini diced

6 large tomatoes cubed

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

white pepper to taste

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp italian seasoning

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice

1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (separate the liquid and save)

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Fresh grated or shaved parmesan, micro greens and paprika for garnish

Hold off on salting until the end because some sauerkraut can be quite salty

Cooking Instructions:

Cook onions and garlic in oil of choice (I used butter) until translucent, add in carrots and cook until they begin to soften. Add in meats (or legumes for vegetarians), spices, fresh tomatoes and zucchini and cook till browned. Add in canned tomatoes with juice and begin adding in sauerkraut juice until it reaches a taste you like. Simmer to combine ingredients. If your recipe is too sour add in a tsp of honey. Once the spices taste balanced to you add in the rice and mix together.

Serving Instructions:

Serve toped with sauerkraut (the leafy part that you reserved), fresh grated parmesan, micro greens and a dash of paprika.

 

 

*Keep in mind that with all recipes spices can vary in potency. My spices are very fresh and so quite strong yours may not be so feel free to add extra oregano, italian seasoning or caraway to meet your spice requirements.

Foods That Fight Inflammation – Ginger

6053-ginger

 

Ginger is a wonderful inflammation fighter. Revered for centuries for its ability to calm an upset stomach and stop nausea it is also a wonder herb for arthritis and pain. It is even used topically to treat burns.

Some research suggests that it may be as effective as NSAIDs for joint pain…The question is how… Ginger blocks the formation of inflammatory compounds (prostaglandins and leukotrienes) in addition to being a powerful antioxidant that helps fight pre-existing inflammation.

There is some evidence that it may even help with high cholesterol levels and blood clotting, though more studies will need to be conducted to determine its safety for those suffering from heart disease.

Ready to give it a try? Yes you can always take a supplement but it is ALWAYS best to get your food in whole and fresh form so below is a great recipe to give you an intro to cooking with ginger. As a bonus the chili peppers and garlic in this recipe also have an anti-inflammatory antioxidant effects.

 

* image taken from vegitariantimes.com

 

Chicken/Veggie Lettuce Wraps

1 Box pre cooked chicken breast chopped fine*only to be used in meat version 

1 can garbanzo beans * to be used instead of meat for vegetarians 

1 large zucchini chopped into tiny cubes

1 box mushrooms crimini or white chopped fine

1 bag baby carrots chopped fine or grated

1/4 cup scallions

1 Tbs ginger

4 cloves crushed garlic

2 limes

2 handfuls chopped cashews

2 Tbs soy sauce or coconut aminos

1/4 fresh basil leaves chopped

1 Tbs sesame oil

1Tbs vinegar (rice wine or white is best)

1 tsp lemon grass paste (can be purchased in produce section of Safeway) 

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 tsp honey

coconut oil for sautéing 

1 head butter lettuce for wrapping

Toss the chicken or garbanzos with the liquid ingredients and spices. Sauté the vegetables with oil until soft and add in the chicken or beans. Cook until warm.

Sauce:

3 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil (or oil of choice)

1 tsp lime juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

Optional: red pepper flake

To serve drizzle lettuce cups with sauce and top with fresh scallions

Enjoy this recipe? Join us for our culinary classes to learn more recipes like the one above!

Super Nutritious Homemade Pho

In my family it is tradition to eat something spicy on a warm night, especially if that something spicy is a soup.

I can’t say why my family started doing it, but I can say why you should.

Soups are very hydrating and are full of electrolytes. Warm liquids are absorbed into the body faster. And spicy things make you sweat and cool off faster. Making a spicy soup an ideal year round meal.

The recipe this week is a particularly delicious homemade pho recipe from a very popular blog. It it is low carb and high in healthy fats and minerals (there is tons of calcium in marrow bones), and freezes and saves beautifully. If you bother to do it I recommend making two pots at the same time so you have plenty of leftovers.

Image

Get creative with the recipe and make it your own. I personally like to add mushrooms, fingerling or sweet potato and kefir lime leaves.

http://www.humansarenotbroken.com/recipe-amys-paleo-pho/

Quick and Easy Breakfast!

Flax Hot Breakfast Cereal

½ cup coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk 
½ cup ground flaxseeds
¼ cup mix-ins which could be unsweetened coconut flakes, cup slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, sliced berries. (or you can do 1/4 cup of each)
1 rounded Tbs coconut cream (optional)
Ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until warmed through or microwave for one minute. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired or for some added crunch poppy or chia seeds.

How To Calm the Junk Food Addict In All Of Us

The hardest part about changing your diet is fighting cravings. Depending on just how drastically you’re trying to change your diet these cravings could seem almost insurmountable, but I’m going to give you a few tips that should help keep your inner cookie monster in check.

Just like with any addiction we all have food triggers – things that set us off down the path of poor eating. For some it will be stress or tiredness, for others it could be location or social pressures. Whatever it is the first step to fighting it is being aware!

Know Yourself

When most people cheat on a diet they want to forget about it as soon as possible, but rather than just pretending it didn’t happen acknowledge it, and see how your new-found awareness can help steer better eating habits. Spend a week to get to know your cravings by writing down not only what it is you are craving but the circumstances of the craving.

Try asking yourself these questions… Were you hungry or thirsty? Were you tired or stressed? Did you “have” to eat it because you didn’t have a solid plan for snacking or eating healthy throughout the day? Where is it that the craving hit and where did you go to satisfy it?

For some of us it will only take a day to see patterns emerge and indeed most of the time we satisfy our cravings in the same way or same place day after day. After you know what these places or things are, suddenly the task of eating right is more manageable – all you have to do is swap in something else and stay away from your triggers.

Be Proactive

Avoid places or situations that act as triggers. If you know that passing by the break-room is going to end with you grabbing a donut or two, then take another path! If you tend to get the 4:00 slump and turn to sugar, then spend the 15-20 you would normally spend going to get a snack to find a quite place to shut your eyes and relax. If you tend to visit with friends only over food try something new that could probably benefit both of you greatly. Try taking a class together or grabbing a cup of tea and going for a walk around a local park. Or just spend an hour cooking something you can both feel good about together!

If you are going to be stuck in a tempting situation like a business lunch or party then prepare ahead if you can. Eat something before hand, make sure you drink lots of water to keep yourself feeling full, and if you have to order out food have an idea of what you are going to order before you go in so that you don’t have to look at the menu…and by extension you don’t have to be tempted by the cheesecake on the last page. You can also ask your server to put half of your meal in a to-go box so that you don’t go crazy on the large portion sizes that are so common here in the Bay.

Willpower is a Muscle…Get Some Exercise!

Don’t make it too easy on yourself to get those craving foods. If you tend to give into cravings in the home then the solution is simple…don’t keep junk food in the house!Especially if you cannot eliminate junk foods from your house because you live with others, there are steps you can take to eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet. Separate other people’s junk foods from your own by actually putting their food in another cupboard or section so that you have no reason to even go near it (or look at it). If you make it difficult enough to get those junk foods you may find yourself perfectly satisfied with your healthy choices that are readily available. If you do getting a craving you just can’t kick…eat something healthy before hand (preferably with protein, fiber and healthy fats), park in the furthest parking space and don’t take leftovers home. Even more importantly make it an event with a friend! If you are going to treat yourself, make it something special!

Get Some Help

Let the people you are close with be your allies in the journey. Tell them what you are trying to do and how they can support you in positive ways. Perhaps instead of inviting you out for things you shouldn’t be eating they too could change their habits to be more inclusive and supportive. Also tell them when you are doing well so that your closest friends can share the joy of your accomplishments and congratulate you accordingly. Who knows your example may inspire them to make some changes of their own!

Be Compassionate

Know that we are all at different levels when it comes to self-control and eating and that changing your diet is a long process. On the way to your goals you will make mistakes and that is OK! But use those mistakes to learn more about yourself. As far as this article is concerned take the information you can use right now and come back to this article as a reference as your willpower grows stronger.

You’ve Earned It!

Schedule in a reward for yourself with very clear ground rules. For example if you are good this week you’ll go out for an ice cream with a friend. But rather than walking in unprepared, have a mental game plan and exercise your willpower by sticking to it! For example before you go in plan what you’re going to order…”I will have one small scoop of my favorite ice cream” so that when you get in there you don’t become overwhelmed with the option of having more – because there are no options you have already decided what you want. Some of us will have to schedule in more cheats than just an ice cream a week from now, but overtime you will begin to appreciate food in a different way and those “special treats” you love really will be special.

It is also nice to do other preparation for your special treat like taking the time to make it memorable by sharing the experience with a friend. Or eating a very healthy breakfast before hand so you aren’t starving when you get there. Or scheduling in a workout for afterwards so you can put those carbs and sugar to good use.
I personally will not eat a treat by myself any longer. I found when I made my treats an experience to share with a friend, not only was it more meaningful, but I also ate less treats because it is very difficult to match schedules with other people. I realized that many times rather than actually wanting a treat I wanted to take some time for myself and give myself something special, that same thing doesn’t always have to be accomplished with food. I am not saying this will work for everyone, but spend some mental energy finding a solution that works for you and then stick to it. By making your new standard the law you make your eating choices easier to maintain.

Pay the “Six-Pack-Tax”

The six-pack-tax is the extra premium you pay to have good and healthy food over cheap government-subsidized corn and grain based fast foods. It is buying a treat at full price because it is special and you don’t eat it everyday (if you don’t eat it all the time you wont have to have a sale to justify eating it anyway!). It is the extra $0.50 you pay for veggies instead of bread and butter as your side dish. It is the extra gas or bus money you spend (or even better the extra energy of the bike ride you take) getting to where ever you go for your special treat instead of buying brownie bites in bulk and keeping them around the house.

The funny thing about the six-pack-tax is that, over time, it actually saves you a ridiculous amount of money – and not just in medical bills because you are healthier. As you begin to switch over to a real food diet and you stop purchasing all of those overpriced packaged foods, you’ll see that meat or legumes and fresh veggies make for delicious and much cheaper snacks. Your venti caramel sugar bomb with a muffin from your favorite coffee shop could set you back $10, but a well prepared soup and an iced tea might cost 1/2 that. Most importantly it is an investment in yourself and in your future health and happiness. In my opinion you are worth it!