Sunday Spotlight: Julia Connolly

 

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Name: Julia Connolly

Occupation: Flight Attendant and Health Coach

Hometown: Vancouver BC

Lives in: Austin, TX

Height:  5’4

Tell us a bit about yourself:

  • Aside from being a fitness fanatic, I am also a wife, animal lover and avid traveler. I have 1 sister and 3 brothers, 2 crazy kittens and an obsession with the color gray! I love insanely hot weather, good people, everything to do with real estate and renos!

What keeps you motivated!?

  • Overall health and the ability to do the things I love. When I was overweight, I would find myself feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and turning down opportunities for fear of being “too fat” or unable to keep up. I never want to feel that way again so my motivation comes from wanting to live my best life…and admittedly, it comes from wanting to look my best too! I am a bit of sucker for “fitsporation” in the form of fitness model and competitors.

How much cardio do you preform a week and what do you usually do?

  • More than I should! I currently do some cardio every day of the week and am actually trying to wean myself off it! It’s addictive! I don’t really watch TV unless I am doing cardio too so I spend about an hour a day on the treadmill, bike, elliptical or stair master, usually watching some junk TV! I also love to hike when I am home in BC but I don’t tend to think of that as cardio so much as enjoying the outdoors. All that being said, I am definitely more of a weights person. I lift heavy and hard 6 days a week and feel like most women would really benefit, both health and confidence wise, from picking up some heavy weights.

 

Comeptition

What do you take for daily supplements?

  • The only things I am super consistent with are a chew-able multivitamin, powdered BCAAs and apple cider vinegar. I also take at least 1000mg of Vitamin C when I am flying because of all the germs. These days I try to get most of the my protein from whole foods but when I can’t, I will add in protein powder. I will also supplement with Cellucor Super HD or Cellucor C4 Ripped, which are both fat burners, when I am trying to lose weight or am feeling super low on energy.

What do you pack typically in your lunch kit for 4 days of travel/pairing?

  • I am total creature of habit! I always pack the exact same thing: two big Whole Foods salads that split into a total of 4 meal sized salads, a shredded rotisserie chicken, steamer bags of brussel sprouts and broccoli, 1-2 sweet potatoes that I microwave on the road, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, some fruit and protein bars. This feeds me easily for 4 days and I very rarely buy more than the odd latte on the road.

How do you stay fit when traveling?

  • Sticking to the foods from the lunch kit is a big part of it but I also plan my workouts ahead of time around the hotels and the length of layovers. I pretty much know all the hotel gyms by now and I set my workout schedule around the equipment and plan for rest days on the days I know will be too long to get a good workout in. I also travel with resistance bands for hotels with gyms that lack equipment.  If I am traveling for fun, I walk pretty much everywhere – good exercise and the best way to see the world.

What do you always pack in your carry on luggage?

  • Workout clothes and shoes, resistance bands, protein bars and a hoodie are the only things that are consistently in my bag! I often have no decent clothes for going out to dinner but I have gym stuff! If I am travelling for fun, I definitely pack real clothes but I always have the stuff I need for a quick workout or easy, healthy snack.

What is the best way for a visitor to stay fit in Austin, Texas?

  • Austin is a great city for staying fit honestly. There are great parks you can hike in and there’s 10 miles of lake front trails designed for everything from walking, to bikes and strollers. There are tons of places to rent kayaks, paddle boards and pedal boats from and with the heat, you can get in the water almost year round. Although there isn’t much for public transit, once you get downtown, you can walk anywhere. You can also find a ton of healthy food hidden among all the tex-mex and BBQ!

What is your favourite health inspired restaurant in Austin?

  • Honestly, the Whole Foods here is probably my favorite place for a healthy meal. The main location has almost any type of food you can think of in an almost food court type set up and there’s a bar in the store. I love making my own salad, or getting a stir-fry made up and grabbing a glass of wine with friends.  Hard to beat that! And it makes it easy for everyone to stick to whatever type of diet or eating style they prefer.

What is your favourite city to travel to and why?

  • Vancouver is definitely right up there because it’s home and because I love the lifestyle of being outdoors, eating healthy and drinking coffee. That being said, I also love New York and London because you can walk everywhere! And really anywhere in Hawaii because you can be outside all day!

What is your favourite brand for workout gear?

  • I can’t say I am very brand loyal with regards to workout gear. I’ll wear pretty much anything that fits well but I do like to support smaller companies and I definitely love Flex Till You’re Famous for their one of kind gear.

If you could give any advice to woman that are struggling to follow their dreams what would it be?

  • Pursue your dreams relentlessly but be flexible. What I mean is when you want something, go for it, do not be deterred by others who think you can’t reach your goals. But remember also that sometimes we get so fixated on a goal or dream that we forget that it doesn’t fit into our lives anymore. Really think about what you want, what you want your life to look like and what you need to do to get there…and then go for it! If a dream doesn’t fit anymore, let it go! You don’t have time to get stuck chasing something that no longer matters!

Hiking

 

You can contact Juli on her following Social Media:

Twitter @mrsmajseanbond

Insta @juliaconnollyfit

Facebook Julia Connolly – Fat City Fit Training  https://www.facebook.com/JuliaConnollyFit/

 

 

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Culinary Wednesday: Green Pizza with a Cauliflower Base

We love PIZZA! Who doesn’t! Especially when its Oh So Healthy!!!!  This recipe originally comes from the book The Green Kitchen. 

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Cauliflower nutritional facts

Cauliflower also known as “Cabbage Flower” are packed with essential nutrients. Its compact flower heads hold numerous health benefiting phtyo-nutrients such as vitamins, indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane etc., that help prevent overweight, diabetes and offer protection from prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancers. The nutrients that it gives the crust of a Pizza is by far much healthier than the conventional wheat flour crust.

It’s actually much simpler than making a traditional pizza base, since it doesn’t require any kneading or time for the dough to rise. We won’t claim that it tastes and feels exactly the same, because it doesn’t. Traditional pizza has a flaky crust – the cauliflower crust is definitely softer. But it holds together very well and has a really nice and almost sweet flavor. You should all give this a try – it’s a keeper!

Green Pizza with a Cauliflower Base
makes 1 pizza

Pizza base
florets from 1 cauliflower
80 g / 3 oz / 3/4 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
1 tbsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 organic eggs, beaten (or see tip for a vegan alternative)

Topping
1 zucchini, shaved with a potato peeler
2 handfuls fresh spinach or leafy greens of your choice
pecorino cheese, shaved with a potato peeler

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture. Measure 600 ml (3 cups / 20 fl oz) of the cauliflower ‘rice’ and place in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, oregano and seasoning and mix with your hands. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Use your hands to pull the dry ingredients towards the middle until everything is combined and you can shape it into a ball. It should be more loose and sticky than a traditional pizza dough. Transfer to the baking paper and form into a pizza base by flattening the dough with your hands. Make the edges slightly higher. Pre-bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza topping. Remove the crust from the oven. Cover it with tomato sauce, shaved zucchini and spinach and put it back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes. Take it out the oven and top with Basil & Lemon sauce, shaved pecorino, fresh herbs and green leaves. Serve.

Tip: For a vegan alternative, replace the eggs with this chia mixture: Measure 30 g / 1/4 cup /1 oz of chia seeds into a bowl and add 175 ml / 3/4 cup / 6 fl oz of water. Stir well and place in the fridge for 15 minutes before use.

Basic Tomato Sauce
makes around 1 litre / 4 cups / 34 fl oz

2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chili
3 x 400 g (14 oz) cans whole plum tomatoes
5 sprigs of basil, leaves picked
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chili and sauté for a couple of minutes until golden. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to crush the tomatoes. Lower the heat, cover and gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Use immediately or cool and store in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge. Keeps for about a week.

Basil & lemon sauce
makes about 1 cup / 250 ml

2 cups tightly packed basil + extra for topping
1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
2 tbsp shredded pecorino cheese
1 pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth. Use immediately or store in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge. Keeps for about a week.

Recipe and Photos By: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com

 

 

Culinary Wednesday: Ultimate Smoothie Bowl Inspiration

Warmer weather and an abundance of fresh fruit in tropical climates has boosted the popularity of smoothie bowls. It’s actually a fool proof way of consuming your daily 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables. This is a great breakfast option, especially if you are trying out a vegetarian or vegan diet. Next time you find a deal on seasonal fruit in bulk make sure to pick some up and freeze them for fresh smoothie bowls!

Smoothie Bowl Inspirations

Sprouted Buckwheat and Coconut Breakfast Bowl by Ashley Neese

Ashley uses freshly sprouted buckwheat and pumpkin seeds as a base for her bowl.  She’s a big believer in using frozen berries during the out of season months because they are flash frozen at the peak of freshness and are a better choice than expensive imported fruit.  She garnishes with a sprinkle of anti-inflammatory turmeric for a bit of flavor and color.

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Enlighten Smoothie Bowl from The Simple Veganista

Julie from The Simple Veganista gets that gorgeous color, above, from a mix of berries, and she uses banana and a bit of ice for a thick, spoon-able consistency.  Because fruit is lacking in protein, she likes to add a scoop of almond or peanut butter to the blender, and she suggests adding a scoop of protein powder for an even bigger boost.

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Vanilla Smoothie Bowl with Dark Chocolate and Blueberries from Eat Better Not Less

Nadia from Eat Better Not Less uses vanilla whey in her smoothie bowl, which she says makes it especially great as an after workout snack, as well as for breakfast.  It’s sugar, gluten, and dairy-free, and I think that chunk of dark chocolate on top is pure genius.

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Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl from What’s Gaby Cooking

Gaby’s bowl is another straightforward fruit centered recipe, with blended berries,  a mix of fruit on top, and a lot of crunch from a ready-made granola.  It just goes to show that whether you go with exotic ingredients or just whatever is in season in your area, you can create a pretty, healthy, and super delicious breakfast in a bowl — so dust off your blender and see what you come up with!

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Arugula Romaine and Pear Smoothie Bowl from Vanille Vert

Nathalie from Vanille Vert makes an unusual bowl that’s  full of fiber from leafy greens — it will give you that ‘full’ feeling longer.  She suggests using fruit in moderation in smoothies, and balancing out the sweetness with a protein source like nuts and seeds.  Her power smoothie bowl has got  all the nutrient groups represented!

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Green Matcha Breakfast Smoothie Bowl from Food to Glow

Kellie from Food to Glow is a cancer nutritionist who makes a nourishing (and eye-popping)  bowl  made with brilliant green matcha powder in a yogurt base.  She tops it with a beautiful contrast of blood oranges.

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Many companies promote added flavoring or vitamin boosts for the smoothie base, this is totally optional, we find that the right combination of produce will have plenty of flavor, texture, and nourishment as is.

Photos from http://theviewfromgreatisland.com 🙂

Culinary Wednesday: Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice

Coconut + Kale + Turmeric = The healthiest meal you’ll eat all week. Three major powerhouse foods paired with rice (or quinoa substitute) will have your inflammation reduced, skin glowing, and hormones regulated. The lists to the benefits of these super foods is extremely lengthy. Here’s a few reason why we encourage adding kale, coconut, and turmeric into your diet.

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Coconut:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improve digestion
  • Wards of wrinkles
  • Stabilize glucose levels
  • Fight off viruses
  • Build cells
  • Regulate hormones
  • Increase thyroid production
  • Fight of infection
  • Stave off memory loss
  • Kill bacteria

Kale:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Detoxification
  • Antioxident
  • Heart support
  • Brain development in infants
  • Cancer prevention
  • Healthy vision

Turmeric:

  • Antibacterial
  • Weight-loss
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-Alzheimer
  • MS treatment
  • Wound healing
  • Digestive health

This wonderful recipe was created by naturallyella.com, head over to her page for other recipes & more.

Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice
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Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  45 mins
Total time:  55 mins
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
Turmeric Rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, if needed
Kale
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Toasted Cashews, for topping
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the ginger, cooking for one minute. Next, add in the rice and turmeric, toasting for one more minute. Measure in the vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the majority of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cutting the leaves into 1/4″ strips. Towards the end of the rice being ready, heat the tablespoon of olive in a large, wide pot. Add in the garlic, cooking for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic. Add in the vegetable broth, cover, and let kale cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the coconut milk and continue to cook greens until tender, roughly another 3 to 5 minutes more. Taste and add salt as needed.
  4. Serve greens over a heft scoop of turmeric rice and top with toasted cashews and coconut.

Turmeric Rice with Coconut Kale

Culinary Wednesday: Roasted Parsnip and Pomelo Salad

More sweet than sour, with juicy meat and pulp, pomelos are considered grandfathers of grapefruits.The upper layer of this fruit is thick and soft and can be peeled easily. The pulp inside comes in a variety of colours ranging from yellow to pink and red. You can find the fruit growing on citrus trees in the heat of summer and or in tropical climates. Pomelo fruits weigh up to 20 pounds and have a mixed taste. It is sweet like orange, tart like grapefruit, tangy like tangerine and very juicy.

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Similar to other citrus fruit, pomelos have an extensive list of benefits.

  1. Anti-Aging: Contains “Spermadine” which protects cells from the process related to aging and cell damage.
  2. Heart Health: Pomelos contain 410mg of potassium per serving. This regulates blood pressure levels. Abundant with pectin, pomelo juice is capable of clearing arterial deposits accumulated in the body.
  3. Vitamin C: Increasing your immune system, decreasing cardiovasolar deterioration, prevent urinary tract infections, and inflammation.
  4.   Fiber: Makes you feel full, eat less, and bowels function correctly.

This featured recipe by golubkakitchen.com is a refreshing, simple, and light winter salad. “The earthy and grounded flavors of parsnips combine well with the bright and juicy pomelo in this salad, but feel free to use grapefruit or orange to get a similar effect if you don’t have access to a pomelo. Walnuts and raisins toasted and plumped in spicy coconut oil add a nice finish, full of warming flavors, perfect for winter. This salad is very simple to prepare, and the parsnips make it filling enough for a light lunch or dinner. Enjoy!”

IMG_0717-crvRoasted Parsnip and Pomelo Salad

  • 3 large parsnips – scrubbed clean, cored, cut lengthwise into long wedges
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon paprika, depending on how hot your paprika is
  • 2 handfuls walnuts – roughly chopped
  • 2 handful raisins
  • 1 pomelo – segmented
  • 4 cups baby spinach

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Add 1tablespoon of melted coconut oil to parsnips, toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until soft, flip at half time.
2. In a large bowl or in individual serving plates, combine spinach, roasted parsnips and pomelo segments.
3. In a medium pan, warm 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium low heat, add paprika, large pinch of salt and walnuts. Toast for 5-7 minutes, until golden. Add raisins at the last couple minutes to plump them up. Spoon nuts, raisins and spicy oil over the salad. Serve immediately.

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Culinary Wednesday: Coconut Chia Pudding with Kaffir Zest

Native to Thailand, kaffir leaves are a memeber of the citrus family – responsible for their distinctive lemon lime aroma. At some point in your gastronomic adventures, you’ll be sure to try a Thai curry, sip on spicy Tom Yum, or taste the Tom Kha soups and wonder what is it that makes these dishes so zesty and flavorful? It’s the lime leaves in the food that lends them that distinct flavor typical of the Southeast Asian cuisine.

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Kaffir Lime is a bumpy fruit with a rough skin. Opened up, it resembles a sweet lime, except that it’s not so sweet, rather much bitter. For this reason, the fruit isn’t used as much as its leaves. The leaves are the richest part of the plant.

In popular Thai culture, this plant is known to cleanse the mind and the body and ward off evil spirit. The juice of the fruit also has bleaching properties, is used for healthy gums, as a digestive tonic, and blood purifier.

We found this recipe on http://www.wholesome-cook.com to be an easy morning revive incorporating the kaffir leaf benefits, coconut & chia fats, and antioxidant rich berries.

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Kaffir Lime & Coconut Chia Pudding with Berries
Author: Martyna | Wholesome Cook
Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients
– 2 cups coconut milk
– 6-8 kaffir lime leaves
– ¼ cup chia seeds
– 4-5 strawberries, hulled and diced
– ¼ cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
1. Place half the coconut milk in a small saucepan and add crushed kaffir lime leaves. Place over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 5 minutes then turn off the heat, add remaining milk and leave for 20 minutes to cool completely and infuse.
2. Once the milk has cooled down, add chia seeds and whisk well, leave for 5 minutes and whisk again to remove any clumps that might have formed. Divide the mixture between two serving glasses or jars, leave for 5 minutes and stir again. Place in the fridge.

3. In the morning, top with diced strawberries and blueberries, which you can prepare in the evening as well, and enjoy on the go.

Culinary Wednesday: Thai Mango Salad

Nicknamed the “king of fruit”, over decades mangoes have been used to soothe stomachs. Similar to papayas, mangoes contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties. Mango is rich in fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day in your diet, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles and symptoms of a spastic colon. Research and studies published at Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety have demonstrated that dietary fiber has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, including certain cancers and heart conditions. Now you have even more reasons to include this delicious fruit in your daily diet. The more you participate in strenuous activities,the more bodily potassium you lose, which is yet another helpful side effects of mangoes – high potassium content.

Message from the chef: Lazy Cat Kitchen

Today’s recipe is a Thai-inspired mango salad designed to be a delicious light meal on a hot summer’s day. This dish balances the sweetness and warmth of the mango with the acidity of the lime juice and the kick of chilli. It has a pleasing range of textures: the softness of the mango contrasting the crunch from the peppers, cos lettuce and nuts. For best results try and use an unripe mango, as they aren’t quite as sweet and closer in taste to the green mango that’s used for this kind of salad in Thailand.

This recipe is a perfect portable meal for work!

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Ingredients

serves: 4 (as starter) preparation time: 20 mins

  • 1 large Thai green mango or unripe mango*
  • 1 large red pepper (I used Romano pepper)
  • a handful of romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 spring onions, white parts sliced finely
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red chilli, diced finely
  • handful of roasted cashews (or peanuts), chopped
  • fresh coriander and/or mint, chopped + a few whole leaves for decoration

Dressing

  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tamari (for gluten-free version) or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • ground pepper, to taste

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Method

  1. Using a sharp knife or a special peeler, julienne mango, pepper and zucchini. Tear lettuce leaves roughly.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for the flavours to marry.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all salad ingredients apart from nuts.
    Mix the dressing in, adjust seasoning. Serve sprinkled with nuts and a few leaves of mint and/or coriander.

Recipe by http://www.lazycatkitchen.com/thai-mango-salad/