FITNESS FOR THE BUSY MOM & IMPROVING THE BODY, MIND & SOUL


Mandy's Healthy Life isn't just about food it's about living a healthy lifestyle and being the best you can be - for yourself, family & friends. So let's improve together!

As most of you know I have three children, a dog, and a wonderful husband who works so I can stay home and raise our youngest, Kyri.

I have been on this health journey now for 4 years (almost). I have learned so much amazing information on eating healthy, fitness, and improving my life. There are so many inspiring people in this world like Jutida Wignall, Rich Roll, & Alicia Silverstone, who have all helped our family grow.


After having kids it's super hard to get your body back to pre-baby shape! It's been two years since I had Kyri and my body weight likes to fluctuate if I don't stay active! If I eat too many healthy cookies, cakes or desserts I gain a bit of weight from all those healthy fats. But the awesome part is if I work out those healthy fats give me so much energy for working out. Staying on a work out routine helps keep me positive, full of energy (yes working out gives me energy) and any gained cake weight just melts off.

I work out as often as I can but it's hard when you have a little one at home. I can't just go out to the gym whenever I want, and I can't go run 10km with my kid in a stroller (she'd cry the whole way home GET ME OUTA HERE!!" So what do us busy moms do? We set up play time for the kids and work out at home!

I like to do a video after I've taken my two oldests to school. It's a pilates yoga blend and I've been doing (on and off) for the past 8 months. You can take it pretty easy if your tired or not up to par, or you can push it as hard as you can - tighten every muscle in your body and get toned super fast. Seriously I saw improvements within the first couple weeks, mind you I did the video 5 days a week. Then I enjoy my after yoga shake!


AFTER YOGA SHAKE
Mmm this is my fave. It's my reward for working out!
  • 1 pear or apple, core removed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1 banana
  • 4 dates, pits removed & soaked in the water for 1 hour
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 4 ice cubes

1. Blend and serve! Enjoy.


Drinking mommy's 'After Yoga Shake'. Made with dates, chia seeds, hemp hearts, water, pear and more! Mmm mmm good! 

#organicingredients #workoutshake# lovemylife #nutritious #lifeboosting #delicious #yoga 

#wholefoodsrockmysocks #datesareamazing#healthykids #mandyshealthylife

Fllow me on Instagram & Twitter @MandyDugas19

Tod watches the kids so I can go to Zumba in the evening and Grandma D. comes into town to babysit during the day. I do Zumba twice a week with my mom.


I am also training to run a half marathon this year, in April! I started training in January. My goal is to run just over 1 km each run. I started at 3.5km and have improved my distance every week since then. I do not stop running until I reach my front doorstep. My last run was 18.3km on Sunday. What do I eat on the morning of a run you ask? I had lemon water, waited for it to digest, drank a shake, then ate fruit, came home from church ate a bowl of sprouted buckwheat with hemp seed (totally plain), grabbed a sip of water and headed out the door. I didn't stop running once and I ran around the whole bloody town. I felt great! My body is honestly telling me that my lifestyle is working. If you have read my post on my last 8Km race you'd know how amazing it is to me that I can even run at all!

I use my husband's Garmin running watch (It was my Christmas gift to him two years ago) and he said it was the best gift he's ever gotten. And I agree. It is awesome. You put it on your wrist, turn it on, connect to a satellite so it can read your distance and press start and away you go!! The watch will read your distance, your speed and your time. Perfect while training and running the race.


BUT....The only thing is that if someone gets sick or if there is a change of plans I can't work out. And lately that has been happening more often. So what have I decided to do?

Wake up earlier! Tod and I have been waking up before day light to meditate. It has improved my days by 50%. We wake up, drink our lemon water, brush our teeth and sit down in our living room and make it as dark as possible by closing the blinds, turning off the lights and we sit on a soft surface like a blanket or thin cushion and sit and relax. I close my eyes and think of my body. I feel my body from my feet to my head. Then I let it all go. If I catch myself thinking about errands or duties I say Okay I'll come back to you later and I try to let everything go again. It's hard, don't get me wrong, and sometimes I spend the whole session sending thoughts away. But sometimes I just sit there... and feel the calmness of my mind. I start to sense my own energy. I always receive an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to the point where I could cry tears of joy. It's so wonderful.



The benefits I have noticed since I started waking up early to meditate are

  • I get an hour to myself to think
  • While I meditate I release all tension, let go of the ego and clear the mind
  • I feel WAY less stressed through out my day
  • During sudden mishaps (like Kyri peeing on the couch) I feel calm, collected and in control
  • I am constantly surrounded in this ora of LOVE
  • I am always wanting to help others
  • I am aware of my surroundings
  • I have a new respect for nature, food, and my body
  • I can see a clear difference between my ego and my soul
  • I am seeing everyday how I am on the right path (signs pop up everywhere) &
  • I am falling asleep easier and am having deep undisturbed sleeps.

and I enjoy having a spiritual experience with my husband by my side. Then I get ready while the kids are still sleeping. After I eat 3-4 pieces of fruit like oranges, kiwis, apples and bananas. This whole early morning process helps me get in some ME time before my thoughts are devoted to others for the rest of the day! Which is super important. Then I can make time to work out at home.


Questions I've asked myself...

What are the things you want in your life?
Have you sat in a quite room and thought about your life and your future?
Are you where you want to be?
Are you on the right path?
What changes could you make to help improve your life?
What can you do everyday for others?
Are you surrounded by love?
Do you give as much love (or more) as you receive?
Do you go about your day giving all you have to give?
Do you envision your future?
Do you share your goals and dreams with others?
Do you have the ability to turn off the ego?
Can others see that you are full of energy, love and compassion?
Do you feel healthy, fit, and happy?

I find that all my questions are answered in some form or another after meditating. If I need to work on them I do.

Everyone can use a little self improvement. I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their spring. We are all so excited for the warm weather!

Thanks for reading!

CHOCOLATE CHIA SEED PUDDING WITH BANANAS & COCONUT MILK WHIP


So story the story goes like this...

Our oldest daughter Chloe just got braces on AGAIN and her mouth was killing her after she got them on. She could barely eat anything. So instead of a sandwich or left over dinner for her school lunch I thought I'd snazz up one of my old chia pudding recipes and turn it into a parfait.

The first one I made was this chocolate one and the kids loved it. Then I took out the cacao powder and steeped the almond milk in herbal chai tea and they really liked that too! Then I started blending it with other berries and I added dates a couple times. It's fun playing with pudding flavours.

The kids had parfaits coming out the wazoo. But at least they were healthy and they had no nuts so the kids could take them to school. Almold milk doesnt count as a nut does it? 

The kids said all their friends at school were super jealous so ya... I felt like a cool mom ahaha.

They said their fave was the chocolate one so I had to post it! Thanks for reading my blog yo.

CHOCOLATE CHIA SEED PUDDING WITH BANANAS & COCONUT MILK WHIP
What do you do when your sick of giving your kids the same old sandwich for school day in and day out? You make Parfaits! Turn around and hand them this for their lunch, and automatically you become not only the best mom ever but also the coolest mom ever! Make this parfait the night before school so it has time to set over night.
Makes 3 servings

Prepare ahead - Place one can of coconut milk - full fat - in the fridge the day before. This will help the coconut milk separate. The cream will harden at the top of the can and the water will be at the bottom of the can. Optional - save the water for a smoothie.

Ingredients

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
  • 1 1/4 cup homemade almond milk or coconut milk beverage
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2-3 Tbsp. cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 2 Tbsp unpasteurized or raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Coconut Milk Whip

  • 1 can coconut milk - full fat, use cream only
  • 1-2 Tbsp unpasteurized or raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 2 bananas, sliced

1.  Place one can of coconut milk - full fat - in the fridge the day before.

2. Add all the pudding ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into three containers/jars.

3. Cut up bananas into slices and add on top of pudding.

4. Open the can of coconut milk. Scoop out hard cream at the top and add to a mixer. Mix on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes until peaks form. Turn off mixer. Add honey and vanilla. Turn mixer on again and mix on medium high until peaks from again. Evenly add whip to each container until it's all used up. Cover and place in the fridge for the pudding to thicken over night.

5. Let your kids lick the bowl clean and then make them wash the dishes (lol)! That's what I do. Fair trade!


CACAO BLACK BEAN BROWNIES


There has always been apart of me that was a tad bit turned off by the sound of black bean brownies.

It wasn't until I had tried one that they totally revolutionised the way I look at brownies! Holy, They don't need to be made with flour? That's radical! So I came home and made some. It's so cool that I didn't have to use any flour and they had the same consistency.

BLOWS MY MIND!


I added a middle layer of walnuts, which is totally optional but I recommend it! I love me some walnuts in my brownies.

This is a blender recipe so it's pretty easy! I used an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper. I poured in half of the batter, then added walnuts. Then I poured on the last half of the batter and  poured it on top of the walnuts, smoothed it out and placed carob chips on top and baked it. Feel free to use chocolate chips.


I baked it in the oven for 45 minutes. The timing was perfect. Remember not to open your oven until the 45 minute mark (the heat will escape and the brownies won't bake evenly). Turn on the light it you need to check up on your brownies. After the timer goes off check with a tooth pick and make sure it comes out clean. If it's still wet add 5 - 10 more minutes. Let sit in the dish for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.


Once the brownie has cooled cut them into squares and eat! They would be awesome served with coconut milk whip cream too!! Enjoy!!


CACAO BLACK BEAN BROWNIES
So I finally decided to try a black bean brownie recipe. It's super chocolately and our three kids all gave it two thumbs up and asked for more. They had no idea it was any different then a regular brownie. Score! Thanks for inspiring me Erickia!
Makes 9-12 squares

Ingredients

  • 1 - 796ml large can of black beans, rinsed well
  • 6 free run organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder *see note)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unpasteurized honey
  • 6 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt, ground

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup carob or chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

2. Place all of these ingredients in your high speed blender (except walnuts) and blend until smooth.

3. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper. I cut the corners so it fits in nicely.

4. Pour in half of your batter. Smooth out. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Pour on remaining half of the batter. Smooth out. Sprinkle chips on top. Place in the oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes.

5. Once the timer goes off stick a tooth pick in the cake to make sure it's fully baked. The tooth pick should come out clean, with no wet batter on it. If it is wet add 5 - 10 more minutes.

6. Place dish on the counter (on a hot plate or on the stove) to let cool for 10 minutes before adding it to a cooling rack to let finish cooling.

7. Cut into 9 - 12 pieces and serve.

*Note on cocoa powder - Make sure your cocoa only has cocoa as the ingredient. Some brands add milk ingredients, salts, preservatives, and refined sugars. Some may also contain traces of wheat (lots of cross contamination going on).


BANANA CAROB CHIP MUFFINS




Hey everyone!! I hope your days have been warm because for some strange reason we have been seeing rain, wind and cold days.

I like rain once in a while. It's good for the plants and nature animals, the fish spawning need lots of water in the rivers (we had NO snow this winter) and I love the rain because I curl up on the couch with my kids, popcorn, and some how the dog gets his face right in there and munches on all the dropped popcorn. I love it all.

Rainy days are also perfect for making muffins! And once they come out of the oven its so hard to let them cool long enough before you want to bite into one of them. Especially a muffin topped AND filled with carob chips. Our local health foods store just got carob chips in the bulk section and my lovely friend Amber recommended I trade up the chocolate chips for the carob chips and it was the best advice I've gotten in a while!! Thanks Amber :)

These muffins were so easy to make. I always have brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, and oat flour on hand. I have buckwheat groats and quick oats on hand to blend into a flour if I run out. Chia seeds are super easy to blend up too. I blend up 1 cup and save the rest in an air tight container for my next batch of muffins, cake or cookies.



If any of you have made my Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups you'd know how awesome carob is!  Carob lowers cholesterol levels, is a natural antioxidant - to help fight off those free radicals and help us look younger, has high amounts of calcium and selenium - two very important minerals!


Now...trying to eat only one is hardest part!


BANANA CAROB CHIP MUFFINS
Carob chips are the new chocolate chips! They are the treat of the future! And they were delicious. I made this batch with eggs but below I also share the flax egg option. I'll have to try the flax egg recipe tomorrow!

Makes 12 muffins

Muffins
Dry
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt, ground
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup carob chips


Wet
  • 1 apple, peeled and core removed
  • 3 organic eggs or three flax eggs (4 Tbsp. ground flax + 9 Tbsp. filtered water)
  • 1 banana
  • 6 Tbsp. filtered water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener - unpasteurized honey, maple syrup, or unpasteurized clear agave
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Garnish
  • Hand full quick oats
  • Ground celtic sea salt
  • Carob chips


1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir well.

2. If using the flax egg - place 2 Tbsp. ground flax + 6 Tbsp. filtered water in a bowl. Place into the fridge to let set for 10 minutes. Place all of the wet ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Don't forget about your flax egg, if using.

3. Pour wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Be sure to break down flour clumps.

4. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners/cups. Fill with batter, evenly until batter is gone. 

5. Sprinkle oats, 3 carob chips and a dash of ground celtic sea salt onto each muffin.

6. Place muffin tray into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 27 minutes. Stick toothpick in and make sure it comes out clean. If not add more time. 2 - 4 minutes, as needed. Take muffins out of the oven and let sit in the tray for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.


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