Healthy Alternative to Potato Chips

The potato chip, the crisp salty snack that hits the spot on those days where a CHIP is needed. Trust me, I am the same way as you, I get cravings that I have to nix before I lose it and being a health nut and knowing what is inside of a potato chip (have you read the ingredients YUCK!) I had to come up with an alternative that hit the spot and that I could eat unlimited amounts of.

zucchini chips

I love these chips, like honestly I think about them while teaching my group class or when working with a client or yah just about all day..I add them to my salad for a crispy crunch + snack on them with some hummus (home made of course) when I am craving a snack, these little guys just do it for me and I hope they can help you on your journey to a healthier and hotter you!

Healthy Alternative to Potato Chips♥

4 zucchinis (washed well)

15 mL Coconut Oil

Sea Salt

Nutritional Yeast (optional, to buy use my IHERB code here)

How To:

Slice zucchini thin (1/8″)

Lay them out on a paper town and pat them to soak up excess moisture. Lay them near a hot spot (near the sun for about 20 minutes)

Pat again.

In a bowl place dried zucchini with 10 mL coconut oil and sea salt and toss.

Preheat oven for 110 C or 230 F and coat parchment paper or foil with coconut oil for cookie sheet.

Lay zucchini chips (may need two cookie sheets) on foil/parchment paper.

Place in oven for 2 hours, (yes this is SO worth it)

Now enjoy.. :)

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Why You Need to Breathe MORE

For the last two years I have been having difficulty breathing. As a fitness professional this is not OK, the lack of breathe when I run or the loud exhale when I lift tells others that I am out of shape when of course this is NOT the case whatsoever. Actually I am in the best shape of my life. and after leaving the cardiologist and having to jump up and down on a treadmill I was told my resting heart rate is that of an athletes (not to BRAG but pretty cool).

why you need to breatheThis lack of breathe is due to the fact I do not take the time to breathe correctly. Yes, there is a CORRECT way to breathe and you may be just like myself and be short cutting yourself from oxygen and a relaxed body + mind.

I never realized how bad my breathe was until I started lifting heavy in the gym again. I cycle 8-12 weeks so 8-12 weeks heavy lifting, 8-12 weeks maintenance lifting with HIIT style cardio and 8-12 weeks HIIT style cardio with bodyweight exercises, maybe some weights. I am back on my heavy cycle and let me tell you the power of an exhale can take you up into a higher weight load and give you super POWERS I swear.

So onto deep breathing, this free tool we all possess is a tool that you personally need to take the time to learn how to do correctly. I mean I could say to you breathe MORE but what does that do if you are breathing incorrectly..

I could also say dip into meditation or yoga practice which is something I personally need to get my butt in gear with but if you are not into it then it will be of no help to you. Deep Breathing is something we can all get into, it takes no time, it takes very little effort and if you practice on the regular I think it is safe to say you will experience some awesome benefits.

Why You Need to Breathe MORE:

  • You Calmer: Growing up I always heard the term “take a deep breathe” whenever you feel stressed. There is no hidden agenda here, deep breathing scientifically relaxes the body. When you take a deep breathe, (talking all the way into the tummy breathe) you relax your bodies relaxation response which in a stressful situation is amped up. Remember to take deep breaths before acting on your stress or tumbling down the anxiety rabbit hole. Just breathe.
  • You Relaxed: Practicing breathe throughout your day calms your nervous system down and gives your body the oxygen it needs. Take the time to step back from a stressful day or situation take three deep breaths (how to below) + enter back into the reality in a calm state.
  • You Detoxed: Deep breathing stimulates the lymphatic system and since our bodies are constantly moving out toxins we need our carrier of these toxins our lymphatic system to be in good motion. When a cell is dead it needs to be removed and through deep breathing our lymph nodes receive the oxygen it needs to flow properly making you a less toxic chicka.
  • You Weightless: Ever hear of the term “excess post oxygen consumption?” Basically this means your body is sucking in more oxygen in order to provide oxygen to the muscles  to repay its lactic acid debt (why your muscles BURN). Well when you take deep breathes this triggers your bodies calm state which gives our bodies the oxygen it needs to burn FAT and help build muscle which also burns FAT.

how to breathe

How to Deep Breathe:

According to Marks Daily Apple:

  • Simply get comfortable in any position and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
  • To maximize oxygen intake, it’s important to learn to breathe from your abdomen (“belly breathing”) rather than your chest. Focus on your breath until you feel your stomach rise and fall more dramatically than your chest with each inhalation and exhalation.
  • Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. The time it takes to exhale should be about twice what it is to inhale. (Many suggest a 4:7:8 pattern – 4 to inhale, 7 to hold, and 8 to exhale.) Let go of other thoughts while you breathe.
  • Do 4-8 breath cycles 1-3 times every day.

Like I mentioned there is a WAY to do this and if you practice it will become a practice + you my friend will enjoy the benefits!

I can personally tell you this has helped me out so much this week and I feel like a weight has lifted from my shoulders.

SO I wanna know..

Who is breathing with me right now?

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtney_bentley_fitness

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Lots of Love. Xx C

 

How to Make Liquid Stevia

A 4 year sugar binge in high school led me to believe that NO day was complete without sugar. I mean real deal sugar highs were a necessity to life, bags of Swedish Fish consumed me and if I did not have my fix it was a situation.a serious situation..

So that led me to a sugar free lifestyle, chewing sugar free gum, eating sugar free crystal light to completely cutting out anything + everything sweet (YES even fruit) to using some stevia whenever I need something sweet, to even now I dip into sugar (rare but it happens..)

That is when I moved to Thailand and realized that the stevia I had been using was not stevia after all..it was a hoax. The stevia I was buying was WHITE (eek!) + had all sorts of gunk in it to make it taste decent because actual stevia from the herb plant is BITTER..I mean seriously bite your tongue bitter.

how to make liquid stevia.jpg

So in order to make it right I did what I do best and that is become a Google Gweep (one who googles all day until they find many answers). That is when I discovered Liquid Stevia and went on IHerb.Com (THE BEST STORE EVER) + ordered some organic vanilla liquid stevia which was mind blowinging delicious.

Then I do what I do second best which is recreate expensive items that I refuse to pay for because I know I can make it myself..

So I google gweeped yet again and found this recipe..

How to Make Liquid Stevia (Found here)

What You Need:

  • Stevia Leaves (ground, I just cut my leaves and used my coffee bean grinder)
  • Unbleached Coffee Filter
  • Coffee Mug
  • Hot Water
  • Small Dropper Bottle (dark is best)
  • Flavor agent (I used cinnamon powder)

It literally took me 7 minutes to make and I can now enjoy cinnamon sweetened cold brew coffee (check out my recipe here) every AM to keep me buzzing through my day. Trust me a weekend of moving across town, this sweetness was NEEDED!

 

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtney_bentley_fitness

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Lots of Love. Xx C

 

Lime Lessons

My AM routine has been the same for a few years now.

I start every morning off with an affirmation for the day, set my intentions and take a deep breath.

Affirmation

Then I head into the kitchen and heat up some warm water, squeeze an organic lemon inside and continue organizing my day. Once this is enjoyed, I head back into the kitchen for my main squeeze ACV, then back into my room to dry brush to start up my circulation. Most recently I have been adding my slim shot, details on that another day, and start to prepare my breakfast. Depending on my planned activity I either have overnight quinoa (recipe found here), egg white pancakes, or straight egg whites with some veggies on the side. Writing this all out makes me feel a bit like a crazy lady, but it really does not take as long as it sounds…promise.

Within all of this AM madness, I am getting ready, washing my face while breakfast cooks, preparing playlists for my group class, and answering emails.

Set your morning up for a successful day!

This routine was my dealio everyday for years, yes even on vaca. When I moved to Bangkok, I knew I would be in my routine as for me it is just like brushing my teeth. The problem was lemons especially organic lemons rounded out to almost $1.50 USD a piece. Back in the states, I could get a weeks worth of lemons for that. Limes in Thailand are like pennies compared to lemons, which I find odd as they take the same amount of effort to grow. I had to do some research to find out if lemons contained the same properties as limes.

After a few google searches I came to find that limes and lemons are pretty much the same damn thing. Thank goodness because my bank account was starting to cry whenever I walked into the store to buy lemons.

lime detox

Properties of Limes + Lemons: Lime Lessons

+Anti-Cancer Properties

+Alkalizing

+Vitman C

+Detoxifying

+Outstanding phytochemicals that are high in anti-oxidants

+Improves digestion, the qualities of lime/lemons are similar to our digestive enzymes

+Relief for constipation

+Can add to enhance flavor of any food or beverage at 0 calories

Basically, the only difference is the taste, shape + color..so if you are at the store and they are having a sale on organic limes get crazy and stock up!

lime detox

Reasons I Love Lime/Lemons:

+ Whenever I feel bloated or acidic I boil water and add lime or lemon, drink and find relief almost instantly.

+Whenever I feel sick I take some raw honey, sea salt, hot tea and lime or lemon and sip, I almost always feel better

+If I have a wild night out and campaign for champagne, the next morning I have ACV + lime/lemon and green tea with a pinch of sea salt and always feel ready to rock n roll!

Basically, I enjoy lime/lemons all day everyday and always tell people to get crazy and add them to everything..

So now that this is the case, will you stick with lemons to detox or venture over to limeland?

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtney_bentley_fitness

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Lots of Love. Xx C

Low Impact Cardio Workout

Every week I take time to go through my fav YouTube channels and watch all of the crazy cool workouts YouTube fitness gurus create. The workouts are always fantastic and as a creator and fitness expert myself, I know what it takes to create this type of content. As I continue to watch, I imagine someone who has not graced the gym in a few years testing the waters again and feeling discouraged. That feeling eats at you and your goal of visiting the gym starts to disappear because no one likes to feel defeated because yah that sucks.

Low Impact Cardio

Instead of stepping foot into a gym without a plan or trying to do some insane workout on Youtube, it is best to start from the very beginning. I always say start taking walks everyday, stop using the elevator and take the steps and stretch everyday. These little changes will advance you and build your strength pyramid up before you step foot into that gym class or test out a YouTube workout that seems impossible. Once this becomes routine, try a workout like the one I have in the video below. It is a fun elliptical workout that gets your booty, calves, thighs and abs involved. Not only will it help to activate these muscles, this workout will get your heart rate up and work to improve your cardiovascular capacity.

Low Impact Cardio Workout

Tips:

  • Activate your booty by sitting back like you would in a chair when squatting down
  • Keep your back flat and do not arch it
  • Pull your belly button in towards your spine
  • Create a playlist that is exactly 15 minutes long and keep going until that playlist is up. As you advance add a few more songs until you get to 45-60 minutes of activity.
  • Warm up for one song and cool down for one song.

In need of a fun playlist? Check out this playlist that I am using in my BootyCamp Class:

Once you can keep up with this cardio routine move ON. That is one thing that many people do wrong, they STOP advancing and this is where you will hit plateaus and stop seeing results. Your body needs change, if it keeps doing what it always did you will stop seeing improvements.

Advance yourself with more workouts from my channel like this one and this one.

P.S My Gym Bunny giveaway is still going on..click HERE to enter <–

So I wanna know..

What is stopping you from making gym time?

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtney_bentley_fitness

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

Be Sure to Follow Me on BlogLovin: Follow on Bloglovin

Lots of Love. Xx C

Bangkok Beauty Essentials

Perfectly beached out ringlets that took hours but looked natural, long eyelashes that stood straight + thick and a three layer face contour that made my twice spray tanned skin look sun kissed. This was the norm for me in Los Angeles. Photo of me on the right is in LA, left is in Bangkok..hats are needed to hide hair frizz in BKK in LA they are needed to make a statement <3 Courtney Bentley Fitness Blogger A glamour girl through thick and thin (literally at JJ Market full face makeup) I had to take my beauty routine and Bangkok proof it. The weather here is unlike any type of weather I had ever experienced. My cowlick is now a curly q that looks like I never wash my hair + my sudden sun kissed sparkle is now a blotched out ghost + my makeup..yah, the sweat has moved it from perfection down to the tunnel of doom.. Becoming tired of watching my face melt, I took to Sephora, which recently opened here in BKK (Thank GOD) + picked up some of my favorite makeup from Tarte. Tarte became an obsession of mine when I was going on my journey to a more natural living lifestyle (read more here). I literally am a tarte-aholic and with each and every product that comes out. Not sure how they do it but they create beautiful pigments + products that actually WORK…

Bangkok Beauty Essentials

bangkok beauty essentials BB Treatment: I can say I swear by the BB Treatment after living in Bangkok and dealing with humidity! I wear that with a dust of finishing powder and I am out the door. This stuff creates a blank slate and makes my skin have a nice soft dewy look. I also like that it has SPF 30 in it so that Bangkok sun is not aging me any longer.

Mascara: When I went for a facial last week my esthetician/girlfriend said to me WOW your mascara really works. Living in Bangkok where your face is melting from the heat you really need a black mascara that holds onto your lashes for dear life so that at least your eyes are wide and bright.

LipTint: My lipbalm/tint is my favorite, it stays on and moisturizes my lips all day long. I love the fat stick and the color is always PERFECTION! balance.jpg Chakra Balance: Before I leave my house to meet a client, I always set an intention. My intention for my day, my mantra for my day and I try to start each day with a breathe of L–O–V–E. I do this with my Chakra 4 Spray from Aveda, which also is my go to perfume. The stress of fighting cab drivers and moto bikes mixed in with being smashed against the BTS door, makes you need a little loving every morning. I love the scent and inhaling a sense of love to start everyday has me singing HAPPY all day long. baking soda face wash.jpg Baking Soda: The heat, humidity and makeup caught up in my large pores has my skin a mess. All of my life people have told me that humidity is the best anti-ager but for myself, humidity and pollution make me break out. I have my acne game on but the problem is the Retin A makes my skin dry. After reading Emma Stone swears by washing her face with baking soda, I HAD to try it. Trust me this stuff is amazing! I mix this with a drip of coconut oil and water to make a paste. I scrub my face gently in a circular motion and get into my lips to get rid of the dry skin and BAM its GLOW TIME!

Caution: DO NOT use everyday, this is a 1 or 2x a week treatment as the pH in baking soda is acidic and can mess with your facial pH balance..

I am still working on my hair so if anyone has any tips I am 100% open! The animal on my head needs some serious taming..

SO I wanna know..

  • What beauty product can you not LIVE without?

P.S If you have yet to enter my GIVEAWAY click HERE to win a GYM BUNNY gift bag <—

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtney_bentley_fitness

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

Be Sure to Follow Me on BlogLovin: Follow on Bloglovin

Lots of Love. Xx C

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