Spotlight Series: Dominika S.

"I hope to put on a bikini one day and confidently say to myself; you look hot." Those are the words of PumpUp Member Dominika. How many of us can relate to the feeling of wanting to wear something and feel totally confident in it? We have all the info about Dominika’s journey and her positive outlook on life!

image

Dominika started using PumpUp a few months back when she was talking to a colleague at work about wanting to get healthier and exercise more. Her colleague recommended PumpUp to Dominika and it was love at first workout ;)  “So I joined PumpUp and just like my colleague, I fell in love with the app straight away.”

We wanted to know what Dominika’s life was like before being a part of the PumpUp Fam. She tells us, “before joining PumpUp I did not maintain healthy eating habits, nor did I exercise every day. I love food, thus I was enjoying it maybe a bit too much. My lifestyle was for the most part, active as I am always up for sports and activities no matter what.” So what changed for Dominika? Her healthy habits started to become part of her everyday life and daily routine. She says,  “I don’t need to force myself to do it.  I check the latest updates on PumpUp and see all those motivated people and I am ready and determined to work out.”

image

Now on PumpUp, Dominika has quite a different routine! She is doing a 5-meal-a-day routine, and making sure to eat healthier around the clock. Dominika shares with us, “I do exercise 6 times a week, which involves either running, a workout, or yoga, and I am absolutely loving it. The healthy eating habits and exercising makes me feel strong not only on the outside but on the inside as well.”

image

Dominika’s Favourites:

Best Advice: “Motivate the mind. Body will follow. “

Fave Snack: “I love all the fruits, so I prepare them in different forms such as smoothies, or yoghurt with muesli.”

Number 1 Meal: “Lebanese grilled chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, gherkin and freshly baked pita bread from the restaurant near by my house.” – Um YUM!

Go to Drink: “Fruity Green Tea”

Favourite Motivational Saying: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Top Workout: “My favourite workout on PumpUp is the Bottom Toner and Bottom Sharper. I also enjoy the daily 2-4 miles run and a good and relaxing yoga session. “

 image

If you use PumpUp, Dominika wants to say to you, to mix up your workouts! “Try to differentiate your workouts and diet. You won’t get bored quickly and it is always more fun to try out the new stuff. “

There is no question that Dominika loves PumpUp workouts, but there is something she loves even more than that, and that is the PumpUp Community! She tells us, “it is amazing how many determined, active and kind people that this app has brought together. The atmosphere and motivation from other users is just incredibly supportive, which I think is very important in the process of changing our bodies and lifestyle.”

image

Dominika’s goals are simple, she wants to make eating healthy and exercising second nature, and wants them to come naturally to her. That includes putting an end to those chocolate and sweets cravings! Dominika realizes this journey isn’t just a couple week process it is in fact a lifestyle change. She says, “nevertheless, I definitely would not stop using this app after reaching my goals! I am already addicted and it is amazing to see the incredible transformations of other PumpUp users.”

 image

Keep up the great work Dominika, we love x 12 your positive attitude and your devotion to healthy living. Follow Dominika on PumpUp @mikasadowska for some amazing pics, and to definitely be inspired. 

Blogilates: 6 Tips to a Flat Tummy

When talking about getting fit, basically everyone wants a flat tummy and some nice abs. For that reason I have a feeling a lot of you are going to want to keep reading! Todays blog post on 6 Tips to get that flat tummy, is written by none other than Cassey Ho, from @blogilates! She shares with us how to look awesome, and the tips are totally doable! 

image

There are no magic secrets towards getting flat abs. The truth is that you HAVE TO watch what you’re eating so that the abs can show through. They are not flat because you have fat sitting on top. So like I always say, pair a great workout with a clean diet and you’re on your way to getting the body of your dreams. Here are some of my fave tips:

image

1. Replace refined carbs with steamed veggies. Remove processed or “bad carbs” such as white bread, pastas, potatoes, and white rice from your diet. Eat brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and/or 100% whole wheat bread instead. If you don’t want grains, substitute that part of your plate with leafy greens for increased fibre intake and less calorie consumption! I love zero calorie Miracle Noodles for filling up if you still feel like you want to eat pasta.

image

2. CARDIO MANIA! Melt the fat to let the abs show through. I am obsessed with HIIT workouts. High intensity interval training. Short bursts of really hard exercises that mix strength training with cardio blasts. See my latest HIIT routine here!

3. PILATES! Obviously. This is the BEST core workout around. The whole method was created based on strengthening your powerhouse which includes everything around your waist line. Forget those 100 crunches.

image

4. Drink lots of water! You should be drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses per day. Not only will it help fill you up so you eat less, but it aids in digestion. This is one of the best natural weight loss remedies around.

5. Eliminate junk food.  No more soda, sugary drinks, fried food etc. But you know that already.

image

6. Eat smaller more frequent meals. Body builders and fitness competitors do this because they say it revs up their metabolism, but results vary per person. I tried this during my 8 week bikini slimdown but found that it just made me hungrier because I was thinking about food all the time! Make sure that if you’re eating numerous times throughout the day, your overall calorie intake does not increase! Key word: SMALLER, more frequent meals.

All About Cassey:

image

One of the most inspiring people on the internet, Cassey a.k.a. “Blogilates” has motivated millions of people to sculpt their bodies and live their dreams. Through her popular channel, award winning blog, top downloaded app, and POP Pilates DVDs, Cassey is the leader in empowering the next generation to live happier and healthier lives.

Check out more of Blogilates here: http://www.blogilates.com/

11 Healthy Dessert Recipes!

image

 

A picture of dee-licious looking donuts, good, now we have your attention. Did you know that vanilla creme-filled donut can have over 320 calories with 17 grams of fat?! I know right! Don’t start crying just yet! Throw out the donuts and come take a read through the PumpUp Blog with some absolutely scrumptious healthy dessert recipes! 

1. FROSTED BANANA BARS

image 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash salt

Frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas, applesauce and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture just until blended.
  • Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 3 dozen.

Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/makeover-frosted-banana-bars

2. FROZEN RASPBERRY SWIRL

image 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 teaspoons sugar

Filling:

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press into an 11-in. x 7-in. dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a small heavy saucepan, combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160° or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and remaining water and sugar. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed until mixture reaches 160°. Transfer to a small bowl; beat on high until soft peaks form.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in egg yolk mixture. Fold in whipped topping, then egg white mixture. Drain raspberries, reserving 3 tablespoons juice. In a small bowl, crush half of berries with 1 tablespoon of juice. Set remaining berries and juice aside.
  • Spread a third of cream cheese mixture over crust; spoon half of crushed berry mixture over the top. Repeat layers. Cut through with a knife to swirl raspberries.
  • Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved berries and drizzle with remaining juice. Cover and freeze for 5 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/raspberry-swirl-frozen-dessert#ixzz387xG1qrA

3. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES

image

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. calories free sweetener
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 6 sponge cake dessert shells

Directions: 

  • Combine sweetener and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in orange juice. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely.
  • Combine orange juice mixture and strawberries in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
  • To serve, spoon sauce over dessert shells.

Source: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0„10000001733564,00.html

4. FUDGY CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES

image

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. reduced calories stick margarine, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 
  • cooking spray 
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup calorie-free sweetener
  • 3 tbsp. 1% low fat milk 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Beat sugar and margarine with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour and cocoa, beating well. Pour into an 8-inch square pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Beat cream cheese and sweetener with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add milk; beat well. Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate mixture; swirl together using the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Source: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0„10000001733006,00.html

5. CINNAMON STREUSEL COOKIES

image

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16.5 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon  
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°; place rack in center of oven.
  • Freeze sugar cookie dough 1 hour. Remove from freezer, and place on cutting board. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices (about 28–32 slices); arrange 2 inches apart on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets.
  • Combine brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and, if desired, nutmeg in a small mixing bowl.
  • Top cookies with 3/4 teaspoon streusel.
  • Bake 12 minutes or until edges are crisp and browned. Let cool on baking sheet 3 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0„10000001940811,00.html

6. QUICK BAKED PEARS

image

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Bosc pears
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried mixed fruit (such as Sun-Maid Fruit Bits)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat granola
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt, divided into 4 small scoops

Directions:

  •  Peel pears; cut in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller or grapefruit spoon to remove core and seeds, creating a hollow.
  • Place pear halves, with cut sides up, in a glass pie plate. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over pears.
  • Combine cranberries and granola; mound into hollows of the pear halves. Pour the apple juice in and around pear halves. Cover dish loosely with wax paper.
  • Cook in microwave on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Let stand in the dish 5 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pears to serving plates.
  • Drizzle juices from pie plate over pears and serve with frozen yogurt.

Source: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0„10000001540258,00.html

7. FRESH RASPBERRY ALMOND CRUMBLE MOUSSE CAKE 

image

Ingredients:

  • 1cup  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3cup  sugar
  • 1/8teaspoon  sea salt
  • 5tablespoons  unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2cup  low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/4teaspoons  pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2teaspoon  almond extract
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon  baking soda
  • 4ounces  light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3cup  raspberry jam or preserves (preferably seedless)
  • 3/4cup  fresh raspberries (optional)
  • 3tablespoons  sliced almonds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or potato masher until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup for later use.
  • Add yogurt, vanilla and almond extracts, egg, baking powder, and baking soda to mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Pour into 8-inch-round nonstick baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and jam; beat at low speed until blended. Spread evenly over batter. Top with reserved flour mixture, sprinkling of raspberries (optional) and almonds.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until edges are browned and center is nearly set. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until well chilled. Cut into 8 wedges.

Source: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/layer-cakes/fresh-raspberry-mousse-almond-crumb-cake/

8. PALEO SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

image 

Ingredients for Cake:

Ingredients for Icing:

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375F. Grease a 9” square baking pan with coconut oil and line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough extra to extend over the sides.
  • In the bowl of your food processor, combine avocado, sweet potato puree, unsweetened applesauce, date paste and vanilla and process until smooth and creamy. Add cacao powder and again, process until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at at time, processing until smooth between each addition.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add coconut flour, arrowroot flour, salt, ancho chile, and baking soda and stir with a wisk until well combined then add to your food processor and, you guessed it, process until smooth.
  • Add pecans and pulse a few times just to mix them in.
  • Transfer to your prepared pan. Spread batter evenly and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean.
  • Set brownies on a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes then transfer to fridge to cool completely, about an hour.
  • Prepare the icing by adding all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour over brownies and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Place the brownies in the fridge and chill completely, at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Sprinkle with a handful of coarsely chopped pecans, if desired. Cut into squares.
  • These brownies seem to get even better and richer tasting after sitting in the fridge for a few days…

Source: http://thehealthyfoodie.com/paleo-sweet-potato-brownies/

9. BEST EVER CHOCOLATE QUINOA CAKES

image 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or preferred milk)
  • 4 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted (or butter)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice or white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting:

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and then line two round cake pans (or a 9x13” pan) with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the eggs, almond milk (or preferred milk) and vanilla extract then blend for ten seconds to combine.
  • Add the cooked and cooled quinoa along with the melted and cooled Earth Balance and coconut oil (could also use all regular butter) then blend until completely smooth, about thirty seconds to one minute.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt).
  • Add the wet ingredients in the blender to the bowl with the dry and mix together until well-combined.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool.
  • To make the frosting you will need to refrigerate the coconut milk overnight (in the coldest part of your refrigerator) so that the cream separates.
  • When you are ready to make it, melt the chocolate in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Grab the coconut milk from the refrigerator but don’t shake the can or turn it upside down before opening. Open the can and scoop out the solid parts with a spoon, placing them into the pot with the chocolate. It’s okay if it the solid parts on completely separated, just try to get as much of the thicker portions as possible.
  • Melt the coconut cream and chocolate together then transfer to a large bowl that you can later use to whip it in. (note: if the melted chocolate/coconut milk mixture still appears really dark you can add more coconut milk to lighten it up so that the end result isn’t bitter)
  • Allow to cool on the counter then cover and refrigerate for several hours, until thickened. Once it has thickened, remove from the refrigerator and beat on high for thirty seconds to one minute, until a fluffy icing has formed. (I made mine the night before baking the cake).
  • Transfer the cakes to a surface for icing with the bottom side up. I recommend that you only transfer the cakes once as they are fragile and difficult to hold together once removed from the parchment paper.
  • Frost the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. The icing will melt in really warm conditions but should be fine for a few hours in cooler settings.

Source: http://makingthymeforhealth.com/2013/12/04/best-ever-chocolate-quinoa-cake-gluten-free/

10. BLUEBERRY ALMOND TURTLES

image

Ingredients:

  • 7 Tbsp (2.5 oz) 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli
  • 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  • Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl for 60 to 75 seconds or until melted.
  • Stir in blueberries and nuts, then drop 5 rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper.
  • Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 4 minutes or until firm. Makes 5 turtles.

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/healthy-dessert?page=0

11. FROZEN CHOCOLATE RICOTTA SANDWICHES

 image

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all-fruit orange marmalade
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 16 Famous Chocolate Wafers (or substitute chocolate graham crackers or ginger thins)

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, stir together ricotta, marmalade, and sugar until combined. Fold in chips.
  • Place 8 cookies on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Spoon a generous tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto each cookie.
  • Top with the remaining cookies and freeze until set, at least 1 hour.
  • Once frozen, wrap separately. These will keep in the freezer for a week. Makes 8 Servings.

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/healthy-dessert?page=5

Spotlight Series: Ines G.

This week on the PumpUp Blog we got to know 15 year-old Ines, who has some awesome goals she is working on accomplishing. Her starting weight is 103.5kg (228 lbs.) and she is determined to get down to 55 kg (121 lbs.) Read  on to learn about her journey right here! 

Ines began using PumpUp around 6 weeks ago. She was seeking out motivation to help her with her goals and stumbled across PumpUp. Before PumpUp Ines was eating similar foods. They were healthy and her calorie intake was around 1400/day. She even engaged in exercise 3 times a week.

Now using PumpUp not only is she more motivated to work harder and be better but she is also eating a ton of healthy meals, and working out 6 times a week for 2 hours each time! Go Ines! 

Her daily workout routine incorporates a variety of different muscle groups and is all about getting that heart pumping!

Ines does:

30 Minutes Zumba 

30 Minutes Cardio Workout

30 Minutes Training muscles (variety) 

30 Minutes PumpUp Workout 

Why has Ines stuck with her goals and working on getting healthier? Simple, because of the PumpUp community. She tells us, “I love the Motivation! All the people on the app are trying to motivate you and it actually works.”

Ines’ favourite drink is without a doubt Strawberry Shakes! And we have to say, they sound pretty taste and super simple to make! She even shared her secret recipe with us!

1. 250g Strawberrys

2. 250ml light milk

3. Some sweetener to taste

4. Blend it all in a blender and voila!

Ines’ best advice to everyone looking to embark on a healthier lifestyle is to set goals in order to give you something to work towards and also to make a motivation sheet. Just like the one Ines made in this pic, with words, pictures, and quotes that motivate you to work harder.

What motivate Ines? We asked her and she told us, “I am my biggest Motivation. You should be your own motivation to workout; it shouldn’t be because people tell you to. You have to want this change for yourself.” Ines’ favourite motivational saying is “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Ines has had a hard time losing weight, but that doesn’t stop her at all. She tells us, “nothing can stop me from working out and eating healthy!” We at PumpUp are so proud of Ines for not giving up no matter what the circumstances. We hope to see you accomplish your goal weight and with the help of the supportive PumpUp Fam you are well on your way.