Kettlebell Workouts That Target Your Whole Body

We use kettlebells often in our cross training boot camp in Monmouth County.  Kettlebell exercises provide superior functional, whole body fitness that can be done by anyone, from a fitness novice to a lifetime fitness junkie. Kettlebell workouts combine strength and cardio training, closely mirroring many real life situations you may find yourself face with.  You may be shaking your head wondering, ‘what real life situations do I face that combine strength and cardio??”

Think about it…carrying your laptop bag and briefcase while you are running to catch the train or bus. How about dragging multiple bags of groceries up several flights of steps?  Cycling on the recumbent bike or walking on the treadmill won’t get you in the shape you need to accomplish these every day tasks.

At our monmouth county boot camp, we teach you and help you execute various kettlebell exercises within our cross training workouts.  Some of these include the kettlebell swing, squat, push press, clean and more.

What Can Kettlebell Workouts Do For You?

From strength and cardio to blasting fat and developing lean muscle tissue, here are some benefits of kettlebell workouts:

  • Fast and effective cardio workout
  • Never boring- this is not your standard run on the treadmill type of cardio
  • Functional strength (to do real life tasks)
  • Varied- there are many kettlebell exercises to learn and we incorporate them into our unique cross training workouts that change every day
  • Knock out your cardio and strength in one efficient workout

Ready to try a cross training workout and learn some new kettlebell exercises at our Monmouth County gym?  Fill out the form below and we will contact you asap.  Make sure you fill it out carefully with NO typos!

 

Get Your Cardio and Strength Training in One Boot Camp Workout

The days of going to the gym on separate days for cardio and strength are over.  Our cross training boot camp in Monmouth County efficiently blends your daily dose of intense cardio with a strength training routine to leave you more time to do what you love outside of the gym.

Boot camp workouts are intense, but worth it.  Our beginner program will ease you into this new fitness regimin. Lots of cardio, barbell lifts, kettle bell exercises, body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc) running, rowing, jumping rope…we cover it all.  Whatever you don’t know, we will teach you.

Every boot camp workout at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County is new and different.  We write all of our own programming, integrating exercises and training methods from numerous styles of fitness including many exercises you may see in CrossFit, TRX, high intensity styles such as P90X and more.

What’s even better is that we have our own nutritionist on staff to help you understand how to get the proper nutrition you need to lose weight, create lean muscle tissue, improve your performance in the gym, have better energy, improve your mood, cleanse your system and more.

 

Portobello Mushroom ‘Cheesesteak’ Sandwich (Vegan)

They are probably one of the worst, processed crappy foods you can eat, but when I ate meat, I did enjoy a cheesesteak every now and then.  It’s the combination of all of the flavors and the melty cheese that I loved so much..oh and the warm toasted bread.  This re-created vegan portobello cheesesteak version hit the spot on a cold snowy day.  My husband, who does eat vegan-mushroom-cheesesetakmeat, gave it the thumbs up!

I adapted this recipe from FoRealsLife.com

Ingredients (this made two large sandwiches for my husband and I)

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1  red bell pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 of a vidalia onion or 3 shallots (that’s the kind of onion I personally prefer but I had to use shallots)
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Daiya shreds in pepperjack or mozzarella (I used pepperjack for a little kick)

Directions:

Slice mushrooms very thin. Heat them in a nonstick pan and stir them around for a few minutes, dry.  After they brown a little and soften, add in the soy sauce and liquid smoke.  Stir around for another minute or so then set mushrooms aside in a bowl.  Preserve some of the liquid in the pan to add flavor to the rest of the ingredients.

Add the sliced onion and peppers to the pan. Stir in oregano and salt.  Cook until soft.  If they start to stick to the pan, add a tiny bit of water and stir.  Once soft, transfer to a bowl.  Reserve the liquid for the spinach.

Finally add the spinach to the pan and cook on low-med heat until spinach wilts down.

Slice bread open but not apart.  Add a little vegan mayo to the top if you want and assemble onions, peppers, spinach and mushrooms on the bottom portion of the bread.  Sprinkle with the Daiya shreds and place in the oven under the broiler (on low) for about 30 seconds just to melt the cheese.  Don’t leave it in there for two long or else your bread will burn.  Almost happened to me 🙂

We topped ours with ketchup.  Add any other fixings you like and enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram for more yummy vegan recipes as well as  occasional dog and cat pics! @naturalnutritionist

Biggest Weight Loss Challenge In Monmouth County

The biggest weight loss challenge in Monmouth County is about to happen again!  The 90 Day Transformation Challenge, which offers a $1,000 incentive to lose weight, only happens twice a year in NJ.  Our first challenge of 2017 begins April 1st!

Participants have 90 days to lose weight, burn fat, create lean muscle tissue, learn more exercises, master cross training workouts and change their diet and lifestyle.  With the help of Monmouth County’s best personal trainers and a holistic nutritionist on staff, the program is broken down into 3 mini 28 day challenges, with a reward given to the biggest loser at the end of each month.

After the first 30 days, $100 is given to the person that has lost the most pounds.  At the end of month 2, another $100 to the person that has lost the most inches, and at the end of the 3rd month, $1,000 to the person that has made the most inspiring transformation!

Since starting the popular weight loss challenge in 2015, Ultimate Fit Zone, their trainers and nutritionist have helped area participants to lose hundreds of pounds.  A photo gallery below includes some of the most recent success stories and the full program description, as well as more before/after photos can be seen on the official weight loss challenge page.

If you are interested in being a part of the April challenge, call or text Stacey ASAP as registration closes 1 week before the challenge begins.  Text 732-757-7944.

Before/After Photos of Real Monmouth County Residents who lost weight during the challenge:

 

Vegan Mexican Casserole Recipe

vegan-mexican-casserole-recipeThis is the easiest Mexican casserole and what I love about it is that it can be used as a main entree or as a dip for chips and veggies at a gathering.  I chose organic ingredients for this meal.  In many cases, organic canned beans are just about $.20 more than regular canned beans.  For corn, organic non-GMO is always a must. Even choosing organic, this was a very cheap dish to make.  Enjoy! We enjoyed ours with Sea Salt & Lime Tortilla chips and guacamole.

This will make about 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 x 15 oz can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup salsa of choice ( I used milld)
  • 2 cups of Daiya vegan shreds + another 8 oz for topping (I used a combination of Cheddar, Pepperjack and Mozzarella)
  • 1 x 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles (I like the cilantro/lime variety. If you like SPICY – the fire roasted variety will add a good kick)
  • 2 cups cooked rice (Wegman’s sells frozen organic rice that is already cooked. I didn’t even have to defrost it–just added it right to the bowl of ingredients)
  • Optional- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (I happen to love smoked paprika so I add it to many Mexican dishes.  It tastes amazing but is not necessary)
  • Optional- sliced olives as a toping for the casserole

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with Olive oil baking spray. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the 8 oz of cheese for topping). Transfer to baking dish.  Sprinkle the 8 oz of cheese on top and sliced olives if you are using.  Bake for about 50 minutes.  Let cool a little before you slice it. It will be ‘gooey’ so you may need to use a spatula along with a large knife for serving if you want to try to keep the ‘square’ shape. Otherwise, spoon it onto plates.  Serve with tortilla chips, avocado or guacamole.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Vegan Lasagne with Tofu Ricotta and Cashew Creamed Spinach

You’ll also need:

  • 1-2 boxes lasagna noodles of choice ( I used whole wheat. Buy two boxes just to be safe…I used a very large lasagna tray when I made mine so I would have plenty of leftovers)
  • Your favorite marinara sauce (I use Wegman’s tomato basil flavor bc it is vegan)
  • 1 package Daiya mozzarella shreds or Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella

vegan-cream-spinach-lasagnaTo Make the Sun dried tomato tofu ricotta:

  • 1 container firm or extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 tablespoons (depending on how much you like the flavor) sundried tomatoes

Put everything in your food processor, pulse until all combined. Set aside and make the cream spinach.

For the cream spinach:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, blended with 1/2 cup of water until very smooth and creamy and then set aside. (tip I let my cashews soak in very hot water for about 10 minutes before blending–makes them easier to blend)
  • 8 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed in the microwave
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Add the flour. Cook, stirring, about two minutes until the flour glistens. Add the cashew cream and stir well. Add the thawed spinach and continue cooking about two minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add some water. Add salt and ground pepper.

To assemble the lasagna:

Start by pouring sauce all over the bottom of your lasagna tray and make sure it is covered nicely.  Then, add your noodles until the bottom is covered.  Add marinara sauce on top of those noodles, then add 1/2 of the sundried tomato tofu ricotta.

Add more noodles on top of that.  Then add 1/2 of the cream spinach mixture. (no sauce on this layer)

Add more noodles on top of that.  Add marinara sauce then the other half of the tofu ricotta.

Add more noodles then the other half of the cream spinach.

Add more noodles then cover the top layer with sauce completely. Cover your tray tightly with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the tin foil and add your shredded cheese to the top and bake another 15-20 minutes until you feel the noodles have softened.

That’s it 🙂

Recipe: Polenta with Spanish Rice and Beans



spanish-polenta-recipe-1I found this recipe in The China Study Cookbook and thought it looked so tempting! I was right!  It’s amazing and my husband loved it too. I made a few changes from the original recipe.  Mainly just doubled the amount of polenta because I wanted a thick layer underneath the beans and rice and I love smokey flavors so I added in diced smoked tofu (organic, non GMO variety).  Also, I used organic frozen brown rice (it’s already cooked) instead of regular brown rice because that cut the cooking time down by 45 minutes. What you see below is my slightly revised recipe from the original.

Polenta with Spanish Rice and Beans

Ingredients:

For the Polenta:

  • 4 cups waterspanish-polenta-recipe-2spanish-polenta-recipe-3
  • 1.5 cups polenta corn grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

For the spanish rice and beans:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic (or use 1.5 teaspoons mince garlic or 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 x 14.5 ounce can diced tomato ( I always try to get a brand that says ‘BPA Free’ on the label
  • Some vegetable broth (just for sautéing so the onions and rice don’t stick to the pan)
  • 1 tablespoon (or less) chili powder
  • 1 cup frozen, organic brown rice
  • 1 x 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinse well!!
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Guacamole (to add when serving)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

To cook the polenta, bring the water, polenta and salt to a boil. Lower, stir often for a few minutes. It will thicken quickly. Transfer the polenta to a baking dish (I used a square dish about 13×13 or so…) and spread it evenly into the dish. (Spray baking dish with non fat cooking spray. I use olive oil spray). Leave that there and go work on the rice and beans.

Sautee your onion, garlic, and chili powder for about 3 minutes to soften onions.  Use your vegetable broth to prevent sticking. Then add in the frozen brown rice.  If anything is sticking, add another splash of broth.  Sauté another 2 minutes to mix all flavors together.  Stir in the tomatoes, then the black beans. Mix all together.

Pour the rice and bean mixture on top of the polenta mixture and smooth out with a large spoon.  Spread salsa on top of the mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  remove from oven.  When serving, add a dollop of guacamole on top.   I served mine with marinated kale greens.

 

 

Vegan Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

vegan-arugula-basil-walnut-pestoTurn any simple pasta dish into a colorful and flavorful entree in minutes with this amazing, vega Arugula Basil Walnut pesto recipe.  The greens provide life enhancing, cell-protecting antioxidants and the walnuts provide a beautiful dose of healthy fat, protein and vitamins.  This pesto will make you glow from the inside out.

Serve over any pasta dish, use as a dip for raw veggies or jazz up cooked veggies.  It’s so versatile with multiple uses. I also mix in sun dried tomatoes and whatever green veggies I have in the house.

Vegan Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

In a food processor pulse together:

3 cups fresh arugula
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves (or more if you want more basil flavor to shine through )
1.5 teaspoons minced garlic (or 3 fresh cloves)
3 tsp grated lemon zest (pain in the ass but worth it)
6 tablespoons water

After it’s all incorporated slowly pour in 6 tablespoons olive oil. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. (I do about 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt.

10 Awesome Reasons to Go Vegan

There is a huge misconception out there that following a vegan diet is very limiting, depriving and extreme.  It’s actually just the opposite!  There is TONS of amazing things to eat on a vegan diet, you won’t feel deprived in any way shape or form AND when you compare the overwhelming statistics about heart disease caused by a western diet…I don’t think it’s extreme at all!

There is absolutely no disputing the fact that our country’s rising death rates from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other illnesses is directly related to the diets we follow that are heavy in animal products.  The countries that eat the least amount of meat and dairy have the lowest rates of heart disease.  Period.

When people become sick, they will spend any amount of money on prescription drugs that cause awful side effects.  Even undergo invasive surgeries.  And following a vegan diet is extreme????  A diet centered around plant based foods is good for you, good for the environment and good for animals.  Here are ten awesome facts about a vegan diet: (these facts were compiled by theflamingvegan.com)

  1. Grain that is used to feed livestock for meat production could feed 1.3 billion people. Think of all the world hunger problems that could solve!
  2. Following a vegan diet could help put an end to drought problems and provide more clean drinking water in poverty stricken countries. It takes 2,500 gallons to make just one pound of meat. On the other hand, it only takes 25 gallons of our valuable water to grow one pound of wheat.
  3. Most cases of food poisoning (up to 80%), are due to infected meat.
  4. Reports that vegans are healthier are not myth-based. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet tend to display lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less chance of getting colon and prostate cancer, and a decreased rate of Ischemic Heart Disease.
  5. Shockingly, every hour in the United States 500,000 animals are killed for their meat.
  6. Although we are consuming far too many antibiotics for our own health, (about 3 million pounds annually in the U.S. alone), animals receive even more. Livestock are fed up to 17.8 million pounds a year, and this number could actually be less than what is really being given to them since farmers are not required to report this number. The antibiotic tainted flesh and fluids from these animals end up on our plates and in our cups.
  7. Acres upon acres of forests can be saved with a vegan diet. Forests are wiped out so that the land can be used for crops to feed animals…not humans! Every year, just one person who sticks to a vegan or vegetarian diet will save an entire acre of trees.
  8. By not eating meat, you’re also helping to ease the problem of pollution. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined!
  9. A vegan diet can prevent and reverse heart disease as bad cholesterol only comes from animal products.
  10. Vegan foods are frequently lower in calories which means you can generally eat larger portions for less calories.

Start The New Year with Our 7 Day Vegan Cleanse

There’s more at the end of your fork than just that bite of meat. Every time you sit down to a plate of chicken, eggs, beef, or dairy products, you are consuming mass produced antibiotics, arsenic, synthetic sex hormones, carcinogens, bacteria such as E.Coli, campylobacter, listeria, dioxins, and a host of other toxins that can cause serious health problems in humans.

This January, let’s start to wipe the slate clean and flush our cells of these harmful agents.  Instead of waiting to see what 2017 has in store for you, take control of your own health and be proactive to ensure you do whatever is necessary to preserve your health.

7 Day Vegan Detox Cleanse

vegan-detox-cleanseOur 7 day vegan cleanse is your starter kit to living a life with less dependency on tainted animal products.  Can you imagine feeding yourself, your spouse or your child arsenic?  How about a mouth full of synthetic sex hormones?  Drugs, antibiotics and artificial hormones are administered to factory farmed animals and their flesh and bodily fluids ultimately end up on your plate/in your cup with the same.  Many people shy away from a vegan or even vegetarian diet because they think it will be too restrictive, boring, expensive, complicated or just don’t know where to start.  That’s where our holistic nutritionist, Stacey Albert, steps in.

Stacey’s 7 Day Vegan Cleanse will provide you with a map for 7 days with a minimum of 3 options for each meal (breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner).  You will always have a ‘simple’ option for every meal. A simple option means there is VERY LITTLE prep work to make the meal.  No fancy recipes to follow.  On the other hand, you will also have the option to cook delicious recipes and explore a new way of preparing food without the use of animal flesh.  That means no worries of salmonella, listeria, or E.Coli on your countertops, hands or in your sink.  All fresh food made from plants that provide protein, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and most important of all….TASTE!

So what happens when you purchase the cleanse?  Stacey will email you the 7 day meal plan that also includes your shopping lists and recipes.  You will have around the clock support from Stacey to help you with the process.

To purchase the 7 Day Vegan Cleanseclick here.

Questions? Fill out the form below and Stacey will contact you.

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