Healthy Snack or Dessert…Chocolate Chia Pudding

Looking for a healthy snack or dessert, or if you are me you will eat it for lunch, instead of lunch, cause it is easy and you can just grab it and go. Looking for that chocolate fix. That time when you just want something a little chocolaty, but full of vitamins, fiber and protein. Try this out. Also this is vegetarian, gluten free, and can be vegan if you leave the honey out and replace it with another sweetener.

Chia seeds are amazing…

If you have never had chia seeds before they are an ancient seed, used by the Aztecs and the Mayans. They a jam packed with nutrients, and are simply amazing despite their diminutive size.

“A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains :

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
  • They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.”

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#section1

If you want to read up more about them see the link above. There is a lot to love about these tiny power packed seeds. They are high in fiber, contain omega 3 fatty acids (so if you don’t or won’t eat fish, they are a great alternative source), and plant based protein. I will leave you to read about them if you want. On to the recipe.

Chocolate Chia Pudding
yield: two servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup or 6 oz of Almond milk (you can use, soy, coconut, or even dairy if you want)
  • 2 tbs or 1.4 oz of Honey (or to taste, also if vegan, you can use stevia to taste)
  • 2 tsp or 2 cap full of vanilla ( you can use any extract you like, I often change it up, sometimes adding Kirsh just for a cherry flavor, or Calvados)
  • 4 tbs or 2 oz of chia seeds
  • 2 tbs or 0.66 oz of unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (note: I use a heaping tbs, cause I like chocolate)
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Fruit that you like. (e.g. Berries, apples, oranges, etc.)
  • Mini dark chocolate chips for garnish

Recipe:

  1. Mix all the wet ingredients first
  2. Add the dry and stir till all of cocoa powder is incorporated.
  3. Let set for 15 minutes, then stir again.
  4. Cover with lid and let refrigerate for at least 4 hours. This is great to do overnight.
  5. After set, serve with garnish and fruit.

Calories/Stats

Calories 274, Fat 13.1 g, Fiber 14.5 g, Carbs 40.3 g, Sodium 141.9 mg,
Protein 6.8 g

I also make a version that is a Chai Chia pudding. Try saying that five times.

You have to add the Chai spices to the mix.

1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
1/8 tsp of ground cloves

Let me know if you are interested in any of my other versions. Thanks for reading.

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Grrrl crop tights and shirt… Thicc Girl approved

*Note* I am not paid by GRRRL. I bought these products with my own money. I just want to review them and let you know of a great company that I support. I have a link at the bottom of this blog post that they gave me and if you do buy something I will get a help with my next purchase. Please don’t feel obligated to use my link and you don’t have to buy anything. *end note*

I loved the dragon scale pants I got from Grrrl clothing so I decided to get some more. There was a great sale going on, and I was able to get this pair of crop tights, and a shirt on sale.

Crop Tights

I went down one size in pants. These pants straddle two girls sizes, and while they fit fantastically I wanted to see what the lower size felt like. I am happy I did. I wanted to see how a light colored pair of pants would fair in the squat test. I have to say I am over all pleased with the pants again. Its the same awesome soft satiny feeling fabric. It has great stretch and compression for my hard Thai workouts, and great for running.

These tights retail for $44.00 dollars. I have bought tights from ~$14.00 when I was starting out my journey, to ~ $60.00 for some of the more name brand tights like Nike, and Under Armour, just to give you a range. One of my favorite brands is still Under Armour. These are fantastic pants, really great quality, so super comfortable, and a great price point. I don’t have to tell you the $14.00 tights did not last long, and were not manufactured well.

You get what you pay for, and when you start out your journey it may be the correct answer. You don’t want to start a journey, try to get your habit established, and drop a lot of money on clothing. However, after you get your routine going, and you start building out your wardrobe and equipment. Shopping for and getting the best quality will make your workout all the better. Bonus points for making you laugh or making you feel special when you wear the clothing.

These pants also pass the squat test. There was a little bit of panty showing. However, keep in mind I wore dark panties, navy blue with a very light colored pants. I am still happy with how much it covers up.

These pants made me laugh. I graphics they have all over this fabric.

Muay Thai T-Shirt

I was also able to get a shirt that I have wanted for a while. It says Kick Like A Grrrl. With an image of a female Thai fighter on the front. It makes me smile when I see it, and bonus it is slightly glittery.

I was pleasantly surprised about this shirt. I thought it was just going to be cotton when I bought it. However, it is really a super soft and a little stretchy cotton shirt. Here is their description.

“We’ve finally found the perfect fit tee shirt. Made from glorious soft af cotton, this shirt has the softest, finest touch of fabric you’ve ever felt. It nearly feels like bamboo. WIth a style that is not fitted, and yet not a sack, the Lift OH Ali shirt is a perfect semi-lightweight tee that will delight all the senses.

If you look closely, the screen print is encrusted with sparkles, so when you kick like a grrrl, and bust some ass…. you can do it with some extra glitter and sparkles.”

It is $19.99 and so worth the money. Now when I kick the crap out of the pads I can do it and sparkle at the same time. =)

Again the packaging was fantastic, everything came as I ordered it. The manufacturing of their clothing is fantastic. I could not ask for more.

If you have not seen my other post about Thicc Girl Approved pants, let me give you a little info about this company. It is called Grrrl, and it supports all women of all sizes. It celebrates us all, and makes clothing for all girls.

GRRRL – OUR WHY….

We exist to empower women to share their experiences and to come together as one to make the world a better place.

We will do that by fighting to remove the barriers that get in the way of women realizing their potential.”

They want to empower women, and have us raise each other up, instead of competing.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

If you are interested in ordering from this company use this link that they gave me.

https://www.grrrl.com/ref/652/?campaign=Thinks.Spinks

Gymshark… Review doo doo doo doo, Gymshark!

I am sorry I could not help myself. Really… baby shark doo doo doo doo doo doo… now its stuck in my head, and if you want to hear it, it is here. Baby Shark  I have kids, and work with other peoples kids and so I am subject to these things. Now you are too… sorry not sorry. Bwahahah

I ordered some clothing from Gymshark, cause I wanted to know what all the hub bub was about. So many of the “influencers” are talking about it, reviewing it and giving them great reviews for the most part. I am always on the look out for good gym equipment and clothing.

This review is not sponsored at all. It is completely my opinion and I purchased these items with my own money.

Let me say first and foremost, I am very happy with the quality of the items. They are made well, and perform perfectly fine. I paired the pants and the shrug with a UnderArmour blue tank top.

I bought two items one a shrug, and a black pair of leggings.

Gymshark Geo Mesh leggings in black. Retail for $55.00. This is the Geo Mesh Leggings. I paid full price. I bought a Medium.

Gymshark Pro Perform Shrug in black. Retail for $25.00. This is the Pro Perform Shrug. I paid full price. I bought a Large.

Ok now that is out of the way, lets start with how it performed. I used both of these for Muay Thai, and Kali classes. This was two hours long. I then used another day for my HIIT run and weight lifting workout.

Pros for Geo Mesh Leggings:

  1. Very well made. No defects in the items I bought.
  2. The fabric is very nice.
  3. It feels like you are wearing nothing. The pants are so comfortable.
  4. Pretty Design
  5. Wicks away sweat
  6. Has a small pocket
  7. Great length for a short girl

Cons for Geo Mesh Leggings:

  1. Does not pass the squat test, will show underwear, slightly
  2. Not a lot of compression, I would say the compression was very light. I don’t know if that means I need to get a smaller size or its just these leggings.
  3. Fabric feels very thin. Compared to other brands, and that may lead to less compression.

Would I buy them again? No, I prefer more compression, I have HIIT workouts I do, and Muay Thai is a lot of burst activity and I like having more support.

Will I have them rotate in my gym wardrobe? Yes, they are comfortable and still function just not my favorite. I like them, but not the best in my opinion.

Pros for Pro Performance Shrug:

  1. Fit me and my larger shoulders
  2. Wicks sweat
  3. Very cute design. (Which is why I bought it)
  4. Great cover up but not to much to over heat you.

Cons for Pro Performance Shrug:

  1. Fabric was not what I was expecting. It was coarser than expected. It felt more like a wind breaker material.
  2. The arms were weirdly long.

Would I buy it again? Yes, I like the piece enough that if they had another color I would buy it again.

Will I have it rotate in my gym wardrobe? Yes, I think it is cute and it allows me to cover up, while working out.

So I wanted to see what the hype was about. I like the company, I like the clothes, are they my favorite. No but they are cute and will serve me well.

The shipping took about a week to get to me. They have to ship from over seas. It was shipped with UPS. Each item came in its own bag, and had a very nice high quality tag attached.

I may be ordering a different pair of leggings, from them. However, not this particular type.

Thanks for reading again, and have a great day.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Teeps/Knees, Silat Take Downs

The D.O.M.S. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) hit me at about 3 pm today. That is normal for my body I tend to get D.O.M.S. at about the 24 hour mark after an intense workout. Yesterday I kicked my butt with my run (I ran faster than I have been) and weight lifting workout ( worked on more weight and harder compound moves). So by 3 pm today my quads hurt, my glutes hurt, my shoulders, my traps, and my core hurt. =) I take that as I had a great workout, and pushed my muscles to their limit. All great things. D.O.M.S. are micro muscle tares, that cause inflammation, resulting in soreness and can be unpleasant but are not anything to be worried about.

With that said, it can make a person not want to move. That is a normal response. However, I believe that moving is just what you should do. I feel I heal faster if I do a workout, different than the day before that caused the D.O.M.S.. Here is a great article that talks about D.O.M.S.

Here are some ways to mitigate those pesky D.O.M.S.:

  1. Active recovery is my number one way, some say a light workout, but I say a workout that is different than the one that you taxed your muscles with is perfectly fine.
  2. Compression Clothing, helps keep the muscles in place and help blood flow to the muscles.
  3. Keeping the areas warm, like taking a warm bath, and if you add Epsom salts too that is great give you extra magnesium.
  4. Fluid/Hydrating to keep your body pumping in nutrients and aid in repairing your muscles. Your body needs electrolytes so give it a hand up. Coconut water is great for this.
  5. Sleep… it is the time where your body repairs your muscles the most. So get your Zzzz’s in.
  6. Massage/roll out muscles – Massage is great, but being a parent and busy all the time I don’t have time or face it even the money to get a massage when I need it. What I do instead is roll out my muscles with various rollers I have. Massage will break up the muscle knots and helps reduce inflammation.

However, I digress. This is about my Muay Thai and Kali. Today I started out sore, but we worked on teeping and knees and some kicks in thai. Our emphasis was on controlling oncoming teep, countering it, and then following up with elbows, knees or kicks. Catching teeps with gloves is a little tricky, then pulling opponent over so that you can counter with elbow and a knee into the face or chest. It was a great techniques class today. This was not a heavy workout day for us. Don’t get me wrong I was sweating, but I was not out of breath. We are working on technique and we always learn new things, or ways to make our bodies do what we need them to do. Perfect for after a hard day like yesterday.

Kali/Silat (we study Dan Inosanto Kali)

Kali we worked on Silat today. Kali is a martial art from the Philippines, and Silat is from Indonesia. Where Kali we work with weapons, sticks, knives, and open hand. Silat does as well, but seems to this novice to work more on dumping people. Getting them on the ground to control their weapons Using your body to counter strikes, and making your opponent pay for their digressions, by dumping them on the floor, and then you can submit them, or just run away. We had to catch a jab, parry a cross, slip the parry at the same time punch/stab into stomach, control the bicep, and put your foot behind the opponents leg and dump them by leaning in. The other was if they get out of that, we practiced sticky leg, where we followed up with controlling the arm for a ballistic break of arm stepping up and over, breaking their base, hooking their foot with ours and dumping them.

So we started out with practicing break falling. Break falling is learning to land on the pads and conversely on the ground breaking your fall and hopefully not breaking anything else. This proved to be the scariest thing for me. I had a huge back injury some 6 months back. A herniated disk, so falling on the ground is super scary for me. What if I hurt my back. Luckily my Kru Krysta Scharlach is a fantastic teacher and helped me. Kept and eye on me and understanding that I go really slowly. I worked with husband all night and he helped me go down slowly.

I kept in mind all the things we needed to do to protect ourselves. Tuck our chins, land on the muscles of our glues and shoulder, do not extend our arm to save yourself, because that could cause, shoulder/elbow/wrist injury. Slap our arm down to disperse the weight, then kick out our legs to stop momentum. I am pleased to say I did more break falls than I have in 6 months. I thought I might never be able to do them ever again. I am still going to take it slow, still learn all I can about the technique and the move. Here is hoping this is a good trend and I can keep working on this. Learning how to fall will allow me to avoid more injury. However, getting over the fear hurdle is a big part. I am working on it, and it is easier with trusted partners, and fantastic teachers.

Well that is all for tonight thanks for reading this far. Have a great night, and if you are in my area of the world be careful. We are estimated to get 6 to 8 inches of snow. Be safe and stay warm out there. Please let me now if you have questions or comments.

Saturday Muay Thai and Striking… entry, rhythm, and JKD (Jeet Kune Do)

I sit here writing this after a 2.5 hour training session, we also just refueled with some delicious Thai food. Because it is H’s birthday and we are celebrating. In most Asian families, long noodles are the thing to eat to ensure a long life. =)

I trained Muay Thai for one hour before our striking class. We worked on entries to get in and land our punches. We were working our range management. I am very short, 5 foot nothing, and my range is very short. In a fight I am going to get up close and personal. Where a taller 6 foot person is going to be hit me from further away. I have to get in close. There are advantages for the taller person. They can kick and hit from further out, and I have to eat a hit or kick to get into their pocket. However, the advantages for a shorter fighter are to my knowledge I have a shorter range, which is good cause I can then switch up what I am doing faster than they can. I can change my range with moving a little bit. I can cover up my actions by putting interference in their faces and then kick them without them seeing my legs move if I am executing the move correctly.

In Striking class we worked on JKD (Jeet Kune Do). ” Jeet Kune Do, “The way of the intercepting fist” in Cantonese, abbreviated JKD, is a hybrid philosophy of martial arts heavily influenced by the personal philosophy and experiences of martial artist Bruce Lee.” Wikipedia

We worked on both orthodox fighting and south paw fighting. What this means is we had to change our stances. We had to change our lead leg. Orthodox fighters have left leg forward, and south paw fighters have right leg forward. We had to faint, high, and low jabs, then work on entries into and range management to get the crosses, hooks, upper cuts, and then lead pendulum kicks a.k.a. Nao Tek.

From a technique point of view, this is hard to switch up. When I an orthodox fighter has to switch up to south paw, or right lead leg. It takes all your mental acuity to just make sure your throwing a hook with the right hand and not a cross like you would with orthodox stance. We then worked on a pop the leather practice where we try to use the tools we learned in JKD to asymmetrically spar our opponent. It was a fantastic training session, and I had a great time.

I have rambled on enough. I hope you have had a great day. Talk to me if you have questions or thoughts.

Here is a video of me doing some training on the bag. I was working on some left and right kicks. As you can see I am a orthodox fighter and I have left lead leg.

Working on Muay Thai Kicks



Short workouts have value too…I only had 22 minutes

Today was… heck is a packed day. I am writing this up as I sit here waiting for my Husband to get off the metro. Mondays and Fridays are my cardio/weight lifting days.

Today I have/had to:

  • Wake at 5:30 am to get husband to metro
  • get to grocery store for supplies
  • feed kids breakfast
  • teach kids lessons for the day
  • lunch- meal prep for the week for husband and I
  • workout
  • get husband from metro
  • feed family
  • then go to work till about 10:30 pm

I am waiting for husband and still have to make dinner and get to work.

So today I did not have a lot of time for a workout. I got one in. I got a 22 minute HIIT run in. That’s it. That’s all. No time for weight lifting or anything else. But getting something in is better than skipping it. Making it a HIIT workout increases the value to your body and time.

A HIIT workout is High Intensity Interval Training workout. Basically a HIIT workout is the opposite of a long workout. You do a short workout with bursts of high intensity and active resting.

Some benefits of a HIIT workout are:

  1. The calories you burn during your workout and after it.
  2. VO2 max – which is the amount of oxygen your body can use
  3. The amount of time it takes to do it, so you can squeeze them in anywhere. No excuse not to get one in.

Here is a good article about HIIT workouts and how to get the most out of your workout. This article also has some HIIT workouts you can try. https://www.coachmag.co.uk/cardio-workouts/6419/how-to-get-hiit-workouts-right-because-they-re-easy-to-get-wrong

Here is another good beginner HIIT workouts post: https://dailyburn.com/life/db/hiit-workouts-for-beginners/

There are some things you could be doing wrong in your HIIT workout. This is a great article that talks about them. https://www.thisisinsider.com/what-is-hiit-2018-2#youre-making-the-workout-too-long-1

Things that you may be doing wrong:

  1. Working out to long. If you can go for 40 to 50 minutes doing your HIIT workout, you are probably not doing a real HIIT and not pushing your body hard enough.
  2. Not taking rests between bursts. You won’t see the results you want in your workout. Basic rule of thumb is you want to rest about as much time as it took you to do your burst activity. So if you did 1 minute sprint, then take 1 minute rest. As you get better you can take less time, but not by much.
  3. Trying to do isolation workouts. This is not the time to work on your delts only, or working only on your glutes. There is a time and place for that a HIIT is not it.
  4. Implementing rest times in your normal routine but not upping the intensity of your workout, is not going to get you any more gains.
  5. Skipping your warm up can really harm your muscles and your body. Because you are going to ask your body to do something stressful quickly it has to be warmed up so you don’t damage your body.
  6. Doing to many HIIT workouts back to back. You need to let your body rest.

This is what I did: 22 minute

1 minute warm up, 4 minute jog, 14 minute HIIT run, where I ran at max speed for 1 minute then I jogged for 1 minute, then I had a 3 minute cool down.

That is it. I am finishing up this post at home, kids and husband have eaten, and I am about to go to work. If you want to look it up, just type up HIIT in Google and a crap ton of pages come up. If you have not tried one, I recommend trying one.

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day! Talk to me, let me know what works for you in your workout.

Working Out Through My Herniated Disk Injury

Warning: I am not a doctor and I cannot speak to your injuries. Please seek medical advice before doing your workout. I was given the ok to do certain things/moves and my doctor knows that I am very tuned into my body, so he was ok with me going slow.

I had been going merrily along my fitness journey, and made one simple mistake stepping off a ladder. I thought I was on the bottom rung, and I was not. I ended up landing improperly and herniating a disk in my lumbar region. The pain was bad but I as able to mitigate it a little with ibuprofen.

I continued to to do my Muay Thai workouts and even forced myself through sit ups for three days after that. You see I have scoliosis and deal with back pain daily. I don’t let it stop me generally, so this time I tried to tough it out. That night and into and into the next morning. I was in excruciating pain. I had exacerbated my injury and could not move much. As a matter of fact any movement sent shooting pains down my leg. Any movement in my back, hip, and leg would cause pain. I ended up going to the doctor to find I had a herniated disk that was pushing on my sciatic nerve. That the pains I was feeling and the instability was normal with this kind of injury.

I had to lay down on the floor of my living room with my legs propped up barely moving, only to get up to attend to my human functions. I was in pain walking, in pain sitting, in pain laying there. I had to convalesces in home for 2 weeks. I saw my chiropractor 3 days a week to keep things in alignment and it was a game of waiting. I kept asking when I would be able to get up and do anything again. I even had a bit of depression, thinking that I would never be the same and never be able to move again. Because you see, when you have incredible pain, it is hard to see to the future. Depression is also I am told is normal in an extreme injury.

My doctor said it would take 3 months for it to heal completely. After the second week, I was given the ok to do what I could. No kicking, no bending, no twisting, and absolutely NO jumping.

I started slowly. I informed my trainers that I was severely injured, and what my doctors said I could do. They worked with me helping me, and giving me alternatives to my training. I made sure to ice my back before and after work outs. They let me lay down on the mat when needed, and they were there when I had questions. They helped me work around my injury. When I first started it was painful, and I paid for it afterward. However, I kept going. I kept going to my doctors appointments. I pushed through. My doctor was surprised at how fast I was healing. How my pain and numbness was ebbing. It would get better and I would aggravate it. But I was making steady progress towards better. Every two weeks or so my pain in my back and hip, and numbness in my toes would ease if just a bit.

My doctor truly believes that my activity though painful, and sometimes tear inducing, was what lead to my rapid amazing recovery. Because I did not lay and only let my muscles atrophy, I was able to ease back into the workouts I do now. It kept my spirits up, and I as able to keep working at it. If I had to lay there and not move for 3 months I might have given up on a whole lot of things. I enjoyed realizing that after a week, the pain of just twisting and moving would be slightly less, even if just a bit. Through out my training I had to lay on my back, no sitting, and only standing when I needed to. The only time I was up on my feet was to work and to workout.

See this article from Beachbody.com about tips for working out during injury. This is a great article to get you started.


“It is very important to know the difference between a real injury and pain. During a workout, you may tweak something and experience pain.
Your initial reaction might be, “Ouch … but OK, I’m not bleeding, let’s tough this out.” If you have pain, stop working out right there and evaluate your symptoms to check the severity. Don’t just try to walk it out and hope for the best.
Of course we all want to be tough and gut it out, but the consequences for continuing to train and not taking enough time off to heal can be severe. Most of the time, it is a good idea to just stop and heal up before training again.”


https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/10-tips-when-training-with-an-injury.html


Tips:

  • First and foremost… listen to your body ( I admittedly have a hard time doing that. The drive to excel can make me blind to my pain. )
  • Inform your coach/trainer. (Let them know what you are going through. Let them know what your doctor said. A great trainer will understand, and tell you to let them know when you need to stop, or the movement is painful.)
  • If you feel a pain stop. (Learning what muscular pain is vs. skeletal, or joint pain is important. There is a difference between tired muscle and pain of injury.)
  • Be kind to yourself…(You are going to take time to heal, so do the things that you can. If you are not able to do everything, know that after you heal you will be able to.)
  • Don’t loose hope
  • Work around your injury
  • Keep your nutrition up (Don’t just let your nutrition slide cause you have been hurt)
  • RICE method is good to use ( If your injury is such that Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation will help your injury)
  • Use lighter weights if you are weight lifting
  • Warm up
  • Ice before and After injury (If it is applicable to your injury. If you have just had a say hysterectomy, icing won’t help. =) )
  • Stretch after workout
  • Use proper form when working out (Go slow and make sure you use proper form. Using proper form will prevent more injury.)

My back is much better now. I am back to running, and can sit for a few hours without pain. I train hard now, and kick at 100% now. When my back starts to hurt or feel not 100% I lay down, stretch and try to rest it. I also go to my chiropractor often to keep back and hips in alignment.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions let me know.