BACKYARD EATS & KALE TREATS

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Most Americans have absolutely no idea where their food comes from, where their meat was sourced from, and where their produce was grown. We have such a disconnect with the food we feed ourselves; the trusty fuel we put into our bodies and trust that it's safe, it's good for our kids, it's clean. We shop organic to give ourselves a Peace of Mind, and we trust that the standards of 'Organic' set by the USDA are free of harmful chemicals and naturally grown and raised. But buying Organic still doesn't cut down on the cost of travel and shipment of your food. Today, in the US, the average meal travels 1500 miles from farm to plate (insert shocked face emoji). The cause for concern with this, as you may be wondering, is the fossil fuel consumption (NON-renewable resource) and the carbon dioxide emissions (major pollutant to our atmosphere) are all increased at staggering amounts just from importing oranges to Los Angeles from New Zealand. It's unneeded and the connection is lost in an intimate relationship as old as humans: YOU and YOUR FOOD. 

Today I had the pleasure of hanging with my friend Chris Mattingly, owner of a small and local business called Backyard Eats . We talked about his business, which designs and installs custom gardens into your very own yard, and maintains them for you too! Having the ability to watch your food grow, to harvest your food (pick it) and to cook with your food is the ultimate way to know where it comes from and appreciate it's bounty. Chris is incredibly knowledgeable, focused, creative and perhaps most importantly: he has a hell of a green thumb (a civil engineer with a focus on soil and environmental engineering). Backyard Eats is located right here in Chestnut Hill, and Chris works with customers within the area to design their garden for their personal needs or just maintain a garden you've already got growin'.

AND THEN...we harvested kale.

We plucked fresh Lacinato (dinosaur) kale from the cold ground in Chris' front yard (pictured above). After we picked the kale, we rinsed it in a colander and gave it a few spins in a salad spinner (patting it dry with a paper towel works, too!). Then I thanked Chris for his kindness in sharing, and ran home with my fresh kale. My recipe is below for you to enjoy, and so are it's health benefits!   

I cooked up some Kale Chips

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I love sharing recipes with you guys, especially using the platform of Cycle Fitness because this is WHAT we believe in. Eating delicious recipes, that are healthful and sustainable. Fueling our active bodies with love and the good stuff. This recipe is SUPER simple and quick. Check it out:

What you'll need:

(PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 degrees)

KALE. 12 Leafs, de-stemmed and torn to bite size pieces. Get it organic ($2.99 a bunch at most stores) and try to get it LOCAL.

SEA SALT (I use Himalayan and I love the crunch and flavor). About 1 tsp

Olive Oil. Preferably Extra Virgin! One tablespoon. You don't need much since Kale is so thin and doesn't absorb much. Just a light coating will crisp these babies up.

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure that the Kale is evenly coated. Then spread it out on a baking sheet! I personally used a large glass baking dish and had no problems with sticking.

BAKE for 10-12 minutes. REMOVE from oven and let sit for 3 minutes before removing.

ENJOY! <3

KALE BENEFIT BREAKDOWN: HIGH IN FIBER, MAGNESIUM, SULFER (DETOXING), CALCIUM, IRON, VITAMINS A, C AND K, ANTIOXIDANT-RICH AND AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOOD (OMEGA 3'S)

IT'S OBVIOUS WHY THIS SUPERFOOD GAINED GREAT POPULARITY YEARS AGO.

EAT YOUR GREENS, GUYS!

LOVE, ALLI

 

MORNING DREAM OATMEAL BOWL

Let's be real: you don't always have time to eat a pretty breakfast. We get it. But we love oatmeal bowls for that reason exactly. Using your favorite steel-cut oats (or instant organic oatmeal of your choice), combining it with nutrient-packed handfuls of your favorite nuts, fruit, seeds and honey and the result = FIBER RICH, NUTRIENT DENSE, and FILLING DELICIOUSNESS. The only time this meal requires is enough for you to heat up some water. It's filling, so you'll be full until noon after consuming this yumminess (which may even save you some cash money which would have been spent on other foods, and the craving for less healthy options). And now we will break down the health benefits of the bowl:

it's fiber-rich

for every 1,000 calories you consume, you should aim to consume 14g of fiber with it. This makes the digestion process of what you're eating work smoothly. The average bowl of Oatmeal has 10-14g of fiber.

it HAS protein

It packs on average 6-7g of protein with it! That's a bonus you may not have expected. 

it's the perfect base

It's easy to combine with other foods. Adding to your hot oatmeal these beautifying + energy-increasing foods create a breakfast with so much more to offer than a granola bar.

A list of our favorite add-ins below:

flax seed, chia, bee pollen, honey, maple syrup, walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, dried berries, fresh berries, sliced banana, cinnamon, almond milk, almond butter

Get creative with it! This is the perfect food for our active clients. We recommend not eating this within 2 hours of a spin class, but eat UP after your morning class! Refuel and stay full.

Pictured above is my bowl this lovely Sunday morning after my 9am spin class. It's rolled oats, flax seed, crushed raw walnuts, almond milk, organic fresh blackberries (on sale at the co-op for 2.99! Get it girl.), organic honey drizzled, dried organic unsweetened cranberries. To say that I enjoyed this would be a drastic understatement. I LOVED every bite. This should fuel my sledding-filled Sunday. See you on the bike xo Alli

happy Sunday, you guys

CHCF 

WE HAD TO DO IT

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 We're sliding (or spinning) into 2017 HOT with a strong, fun & fierce team and a whole game plan full of changes coming to Cycle Fitness in this New Year. We just had to take to a blog so that we can keep you in the loop and on the bike. We're so excited (REALLY excited) to post about the going-ons within our studio and community, along with inspirations, recipes and our FAVORITE things. It's been a long time coming, right? STAY TUNED for upcoming posts and enjoy our list of ch-ch-changes we're inspired to implement from WITHIN in this beautiful & promising New Year ahead. 2016, you were great, NO hard feelings. 2017: we're so ready for you.

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ALL about that BALANCE. Don't kill yourself with unattainable, crazy goals. The likelihood that you will sustain a healthy lifestyle this way doesn't hold up. Instead, implement a real balance to your life that works. Eat clean, but treat yourself. Workout hard, but rest. At Cycle Fitness we are firm believers in having that smoothie AND having that pizza.

This one is BIG. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. You treat your body right, you watch what you put into it and you make sure to work your body and stretch your body. WHY wouldn't you do the same for your mind? What you habitually tell yourself will be your reality. Make a habit NOW of beginning to quit the negative talk in your head. 

You can't grow a garden with no sun & water. You can't cultivate a happy, love-filled and inspired life without beginning with YOURSELF. The love you give to yourself lays foundations, or the RICHEST fertile, if you will, for your life to unfold. You cannot build on ruins. Once you implement positive self-talk and become forgiving, accepting, and loving of yourself, you will see major changes. We're starting a LOVE train <3

Until next time,  

Cycle Fitness Team