Homemade Granola Goodness

Homemade granola is super tasty and super easy. It a great addition to yogurt or by itself as a snack when you are on the go. The best thing about this recipe is you can adjust to your personal preference.

INGREDIENTS

GRAINS

2 cups of old fashion oats

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup coconut flakes or chips

1/3 cup flax seed

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup raisins

1 cup dried fruit (cranberries/blueberries/cherries/banana chips)

Other optional additions: walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, mixed nuts. (whatever grains you like you can add!)

SAUCE

3/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter or both

2 tbsp organic coconut oil 

3/4 cup honey 

If you want it sweeter add a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup


DIRECTIONS

1) Mixed grains together spread on a cookie sheet and toast @ 350 for 10-12 minutes

2) In medium sauce pan combine ingredients bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat 

3) In a large bowl combine sauce with oat mixture. 

4) Press mixed ingredients flat on a greased cookie sheet. (Or you can use baking paper)

5) Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. 

6) Let cool, cut, serve, and enjoy. Put leftover granola in zip lock baggies to take with you on the go.


With Spring right around the corner I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite outdoor running workouts. I’ll be the first to admit I am not a fan of running. I would rather swim 5 miles then run a mile straight. However, I love doing my workouts outside when the weather is perfect. Here is 5 interval running workouts that keep your mind off the fact you are running long distance, get your heart rate pumping, and give you a chance to get some fresh springtime air. *You can do these workouts on a treadmill too, but I prefer to do them outside. 

 


 

Warm Up 3-5 Min

6X

Run 5:00

Walk :30

Run Fast 1:00

Walk 2:00

Estimated Total Time- 55 Min


Warm Up 3-5 Min

5X

Walk/Jog 1:00

Run 3:00

3X

Walk/Jog 2:00

Run 5:00

1X

Jog/Run 10:00

Estimated Total Time- 55 Min


Warm Up 3-5 Min

6X

2:00 80% effort

3:00 Jog

1:00 Walk

4X

:30 90% effort

1:00 Jog

1:00 Walk

Estimated Total Time- 45 Min


10 Min. Run at a comfortable level (Warm Up)

10X

:30 Fast

:30 Recovery Walk

5X

2:00 Run

1:00 Jog

:30 Walk

5 Min run at a comfortable level 

Estimated Total Time- 45 Min


Warm up Jog 5 Min

8X

30 seconds - FAST

1:00 - low to moderate intensity

5X

60 Seconds - FAST

1:00 - Walk/Jog

3X

2:00 Run

1:00 Walk/Jog

Estimated Total Time- 35 Min


Chicken Tortilla Soup

It's Fall and regardless of where you are and what the weather is this soup is so delicious and so simple!

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (shredded)
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped green chilis or 1 can of green chilis
  • 1/2 cup of a finely chopped onion or 4 finely chopped shallots
  •  3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3-4 cups of chicken broth
  • Cumin to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Avocado- diced (optional
  • 1/2 lime (optional)
  • Homemade Tortilla Chips (Optional)
  1. Bring about 3-4 cups of water to a boil. Add the raw chicken breasts to the water and turn heat to medium/low and let cook for about 15-20 minutes. When chicken is cooked all the way through remove from water and let cool. 
  2. Using the pot and water from the chicken add all ingredients except the lime, avocado, and cheese. Mix together and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and turn heat to low and cover. Leave soup on stove for 3-4 hrs stirring occasionally. * If using a crockpot leave soup on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. 
  3. Meanwhile shred chicken and add to pot.
  4. Once soup is ready to serve add cheese, avocado, and lime and juice and serve with a spoon. :)

Technically the soup is done once you have added all the ingredients, but the longer it sits the more flavors are brought out. 

 

 

The Joys of Exercising

Exercise and Life Changing Benefits

Why do people exercise?  The most common answer to this question seems to pertain to improving one’s physical appearance. What some fail to recognize is that exercising can contribute to many other positive factors in your life beyond just getting back into your skinny jeans.  Have you ever felt happy, accomplished or relaxed after a workout?  Those feelings make up your well-being.  Research shows exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your mental health.   

Benefits of Exercising Outside of Having a Rockin’ Bod:

  • Increased energy throughout the day
  • Reduces stress
  • Creates a sense of peace and relaxation
  • Encourages confidence and accomplishment
  • Clears negative thoughts and promotes positivity
  • Sharpens your memory
  • Improves your sleep

 In addition to the above physical and mental benefits, doctors also prescribe exercise as a way to decrease depression and anxiety.  Getting your sweat on releases certain chemicals in your body that can help ease depression. 

 Making Time for Exercise

Most people think of exercise as a chore. They group it with their to-do list. For example:

TO DO LIST:

  1. Laundry
  2. Dog Food
  3. Exercise 
  4. Clean 
  5. Grocery Store
  6. Cook

Exercise should not be grouped together with activities or chores that are not enjoyable or might not be a priority to get done.   Exercise should be something you look forward to everyday.  Make your workouts a time to improve yourself, your well-being and your overall health. This time is for YOU!

But what if you don’t have the time?!  “I just don’t have time to exercise” is the most overused excuse in the book.  When you catch yourself about to utter this poor justification, remember that as little as 15 minutes a day can increase your well-being.   The world is full of uncontrollable factors such as illness, disease and cancers.  Take control of your life and help reduce your risk by exercising regularly.  It’s not about “time” but rather improving your well-being and quality of life.

“TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. IT’S THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE.” -Jim Rohn

GYM TIPS

Sweat Republik focuses on quality, in-home workouts that promote the skills and technique for proper conditioning and strength training.  Whether exercising at your home or in a gym, it's important to maximize the time dedicated to your mind, body and health.  Taking time for yourself out of a busy day or finding the motivation to go to the gym can be half the battle.  So I have compiled a list of gym dos and don'ts that will help you make the most of your precious time.   It's time to work on just you.  Why not use it wisely?

  • Do plan your workouts ahead of time. The best and most logical way to get stuff done in the gym in a short amount of time is to know what you are doing before you get there. I like to take 5 minutes out of my day and plan what kind of workout I am going to accomplish. This takes all the roaming around and twiddling your thumbs out of the picture. You will walk in the gym, do your workout, and leave. Easy as pie. 
  • Don't go into the gym with one goal body part in mind.   We believe zeroing in on one body part is inefficient and is extremely time consuming.  Instead, focus on total body exercises that target the various areas you want to tone. Squats are an excellent example of a total body movement that target your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Even your abdominals are put to work during a squat movement. To increase intensity, add resistance by using weight during the exercise. You can also increase intensity by adding explosiveness to the squat movement.  In our glossary section, we have many different squat variations. Check it out!
  • Do combine your workout with two different kinds of training methods. If you are short on time for a workout session, try combining your cardio and resistance training into one workout. You can get the best of both by circuit training, alternating an upper body and a lower body circuit. For example you could do a set like this:

3 Rounds (Arms)
10 Bicep curls (resistance)
5 pull ups
8 mountain climber burpees (cardio)
Rest 1:00 between rounds
3 Rounds (Legs)
10 goblet squats (resistance)
5 squat jumps
8 box jumps (cardio)
Rest 1:00 between rounds

 

  • Don't go to the gym and rest more than you are working out. Although resting is an important aspect of an exercise routine, don't take it for granted and make your rest periods too long. Your body actually cools down during your rest period and resting too long can hurt the quality of your workout. Your rest periods should be no longer than a minute and a half. This is a good amount of time to keep your blood flowing and your heart rate up while resting your muscles in between sets.
  • Do include interval training in your workout routine. Interval training is one of our favorite methods of exercise. It improves speed, cardiovascular fitness, and burns more calories in a shorter amount of time. Interval training has been proven to reduce injury risk, reduce overtraining, and reduce burn-out. It is a great method to keep your workouts fun and interesting while challenging at the same time. 
  • Don't go to the gym and spend the whole time on the treadmill. I have seen so many people at the gym use a treadmill for a good hour. This may be a solid way for you to get your sweat on, but it is such a repetitive movement that your body learns to adapt.  This further reiterates my point on interval training as a great way to switch up your workout to keep your body guessing.  This will ultimately improve your strength training and tone your muscles faster. 

These are just a few tips that I follow regularly to reach my fitness goals.  Hopefully they will help you be more efficient and productive in your workout at the gym or in your home.  Leave comments below to let us know if this was helpful or recommendations on new topics.  We love suggestions!

Thanks for reading!

Stevi Loucks

The Best Meal of the Day!

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at     FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BREAKFAST

Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. Not only is it the most important, but it is also the best tasting in my opinion. If you asked me to list off my top five favorite foods, four of them would be breakfast.

Okay, enough about my personal opinion of breakfast, let's get down to the scientific reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is the best way to start a new day and give you the energy you need to continue on the whole day. Breakfast also contributes to many health benefits that include weight control and improved performance.

Many studies have been done to show that eating a healthy breakfast can:

  • Increase your ability to concentrate in a classroom or office meeting.
  • Breakfast can provide your body with the nutrition and energy it needs to participate in physical activity.
  • It also starts your body everyday with the proper nutrients it needs to maintain a regular healthy diet throughout the day.

               It may seem logical that skipping breakfast is a good way to stay on track with your caloric intake for the day. This is entirely not true. Not only does skipping breakfast stunt your metabolism, but it also cause you to be more hungry during the day leading you to eat more for other meals. I like to eat a filling breakfast that way when lunch does come around I don't feel like I can eat a cow and actually try to do it because I am so hungry.

SL