Monday, June 20, 2016

Too Good Not To Share

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt
Serves: 16 | Makes: Approximately 5 1/3 cups

4 medium ripe avocados
1 cup strained plain almond yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lime juice
Pinch sea salt
OPTIONAL GARNISH: cups fresh tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango, melon or passion fruit), cut into chunks

1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh out from skins with a spoon. Cut flesh into large chunks, about 3 cups. Place all ingredients, except garnish, into a food processor and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes. While puréeing, stop mixer every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Scoop mixture out into a shallow nonreactive freezer-safe container – 9 x 9-inch is ideal. (NOTE: At this point, if using a commercial ice cream machine, freeze mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions.)

2. Place container with yogurt mixture into freezer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture begins to freeze slightly around the edges. Scrape down the edges with a spatula and mix yogurt thoroughly with a whisk, blending in ice crystals until mixture is creamy again, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place container with yogurt back into freezer for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process of scraping the sides and mixing 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. Each time the mixture will get a little harder to whisk. After the third mixing, place mixture back into the freezer until hardened and ready to eat, about 2 to 3 hours.

Don't Take Our Word For It...

Testimonial | Luisa Ruiz

“I struggled with weight for years…having the yo-yo effect…up/down/up/down.  I always considered myself a very competitive and active person but with the weight I carried, I knew I wasn’t anymore.  I reached my heaviest weight of 225 due to circumstances in my personal life and I found comfort in food.  Once I closed a much needed chapter in my life, I began to find myself again.  I did several diets and I was able to lose weight but never achieved what I truly wanted.  I would go to the gym 5 days a week and ate what I thought I needed to eat.  The missing part in all my work was nutrition.  My cousin Carlos suggested that we attend The 12 and he offered to pay for the gym.  Who can say no to that?  Well he took it up a notch and said to enroll in The 12 Week Fitness Challenge and work with Jen Toro, his wife who is a nutritionist at The 12.  He was willing to pay for all of this so I accepted.  However, I had to meet a specific goal they would set, if not, I would have to pay him back…the gym cost and nutritional coaching…yikes…this was over $3K!!  Of course I accepted and at this point this became my motivation…there was no way I could afford this and wasn’t about to pay it back.

I began my journey to health and worked with Jen throughout the 12 weeks.  I was being educated on my body type and what foods to eat.  What certain foods would do to my body and when to eat them.  Wow- was I doing everything wrong before.  But now with Jen’s guidance I was seeing results.  I went to the gym 5 days a week and once I began seeing results, I now found myself doing this Challenge for me.  Not paying Carlos back was no longer my motivation.  I was now in it for me because only I could stand in my way.  I wanted to prove to myself that I can do this.  This time I wanted to take it up a notch, feed my body like a machine, to enhance muscle composition and my ability to perform.

I did it!  Healthy eating and exercise.  That’s all I was focused on.  I saw improvement in my flexibility and strength over the course. I was holding poses I couldn’t get into just two months ago.  Whatever the highest level of modification is demonstrated for each exercise, I’m at least trying it, if not doing it the whole time.

I can see my body reshaping, especially around the obliques, hips, buttocks, and arms – all places that used to be my trouble spots. I enter my exercise routines with my game face on and push hard the entire time because I have the energy to do it. My body is working for me these days, not the other way around.  So, now I am at 153 pounds and 11% less body fat.  I can fit into smaller sizes. I can lift more. I can go longer and harder. I can see that I’ve gained more muscle and more focused when it comes to my fitness program, and that makes this a successful 12 Week Fitness Challenge.  I am in a different place in my life now and can always stand to improve. Besides the gains I achieved on a fitness level, the acceptance of this lifestyle from my family makes doing this program multiple times worth it a hundred times over.” –Luisa R. 

You Asked | "How do I meal prep when traveling for work?"

No, you don’t need to find a portable scale that is TSA approved. Here are some easy things you can do when work calls you away from home:

1.MOST IMPORTANT: don’t expect to make your fitness gains while travelling. That is unrealistic. There are just too many factors that you can’t control. Instead, just look to maintain your current position. This alone will alleviate stress!

2.Think more along the lines of healthy snacks, and make sure you have enough! We make mistakes when we are without food. Best options:
-Nuts, any kind!
-Rice Cakes
-Healthy Meal Replacement Bars
-Bring your Protein Powder with you (allocate in plastic bags for correct serving size)
-Easy to eat veggies (baby carrots, sweet mini peppers, baby cucumbers). Yes they need to be refrigerated. But you can allocate room in your carry on for them and you will be fine if they are out of the fridge for a small amount of time.***NOTE: You can always buy these veggies anywhere. Even Starbucks has a veggie tray.
-Hard Boiled-Eggs (You can find these are Starbucks too!)
-Travel Almond Butter/Peanut Butter (You can get these in little packs now!)
-Dark Chocolate…you read that right. Have a dark chocolate bar with you (or a few) that is 75% cacao or above. If you are going to indulge have a few squares of dark chocolate. Get crazy and put some almond butter on top! Now you can skip the desert knowing you have something sweet to eat that won’t ruin the day.

Want to really step it up? Invest in a Meal Management Bag. We like 6 Pack Bags. If you take the ice packs out you can bring them on a plane!

If your definition of travel simply means a lot of time behind the wheel, this Meal Management Bag (with your food/snacks inside) needs to be with you at all times. Put it on the passenger seat! It will remind you of what you should be eating. Or, go to Target and buy one of their plastic containers. 
Keep it in your backseat or in your trunk. It can be on the floor on the passenger side. Ideally you can see your “snack bin”. Remember that we are visual, so make sure your eyes see HEALTHY options!