5 Tips for a Healthy New Year

Take it from me, LIVING healthy is a LIFESTYLE! Nothing about keeping trim + looking FAB all year round is EASY, unless you make it so. A healthy diet is essential when looking to live a longer life, have a hot bod and have ENORMOUS AMOUNTS of energy!

5 Tips for a Healthy New Year

  • Nourishment ::  EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! I do not know how many times I have to emphasize such a simple rule, but VEGGIES are your GO TO when it comes to improving your diet. The amounts of veggies you can eat are UNLIMITED. I said it, unlimited. Fill half your plate with green leafys, peas, peppers, onions, cauliflower  asparagus..  Ever hear “Eat more WEIGHT less”? Well my star, eating a rainbow of vegetables and unlimited amounts of them makes for a longer life, a vibrant healthy and youthful YOU. Plus vegetables are so low in calories, chalk full of fiber, vitamins and minerals you are not doing your body any justice by not eating natures wonder food. Have a hard time eating vegetables? Play them up with spices like ginger, cumin, chili pepper and if that doesn’t phase you get yourself a juicer, juice a bunch and take that shot like a CHAMP!
  • Soul :: Find your happiness. What makes you smile, what keeps you going throughout the day, what is it that just makes you laugh your buns off? Happiness is a cure-all when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. You could eat perfectly, workout everyday but be unhappy and that will weigh you down, add stress which means pounds of fat and who wants to live life down in the dumps? Know what makes you happy, find that hobby, that special person, or that HILARIOUS Youtube VIDEO that turns that FROWN UPSIDE DOWN!

5 tips for a happy new year

  • SAY YES :: Add more of the good stuff, so many diets emphasize on foods you CANNOT have which in turn makes you want the “NO” foods even more so! Switch it around and make it positive. Fill your plate with green leafys, lean proteins (tofu, chicken, eggs, turkey) and some complex carbs like brown rice, lentils, quinoa and sweet potatoes. Fueling your body on good foods time and time again will make those taste buds rev up whenever a tasty veggie dish is nearby. Like I said say YES to good foods, fill your plate with the good stuff and within time the “NO” foods will no longer be desired. The sweets, processed foods and simple carbohydrates will become foods you no longer crave and not foods you binge/gorge because it is the “last” time you will ever get to eat these foods.

5 Tips for a Healthy new Year

  • Snooze :: Sleep. Yes I said it sleep. Put in those 6-8 hours and start looking at a more youthful, happier and gorgeous self. Not only does snoozin give you better health it also helps you think clearer, recover faster from workouts, make better choices throughout the day, lowers inflammation and is beneficial to your heart. To get a good nights rest and put your mind at ease, I always suggest keeping a journal near the bedside, placing electronics in a room outside of your bedroom and washing your hands of the day. Many of us can not sleep because we have too much on our minds so writing it ALL out can help put your mind at ease. Having electronics nearby can easily distract you from getting a good night’s rest, plus your mind will be on alert waiting for that text or email that never came in from your boss. Charging all of your devices in let’s say the kitchen will put those thoughts far away from what is MOST important and that is your HEALTH! Washing your hands of the day is a ritual I teach to my clients who have a hard time sleeping. Literally washing your hands of the day and watching the dirt go down the drain will put your negative thoughts away and put you in a more peaceful state. Rid of the unwanted UNDER EYE bags and get your ZZzz’s…

5 tips for a happy new year

  • MOVE :: Find your exercise. Not one type of exercise is for everyone. I love lifting weights and taking spin classes but does that mean it is the only way to be healthy and lose weight ? NOPE. You can lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle with any type of exercise, it is all about finding that class or personal trainer you love. Instead of waking up and hitting snooze you should find an exercise you are so excited to go do, a workout class or group class that you CAN NOT wait to go to, even after a long day or even a personal trainer you can’t wait to have kick your butt! With so many exercise programs to choose from pick the one that is RIGHT for you.

All 5 of these steps are going to create a healthier and happier you. After reading this list, I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down 3 vegetables you can start adding to each one of your meals. Everything and anyone that makes you happy, foods you can add to your grocery list (yes, in order to eat healthy you have to have the food to do so), how you are going to sleep more and do some research and find a personal trainer or group class you can do that will make those wheels turn.

P.S If you are in Bangkok check out my group classes and bootcamp HERE <—

Cheers to a HEALTHIER YOU!

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Natural Energy Boosters

You need energy to keep up with the holiday madness. While coffee sounds like the best idea ever to keep you through the shopping madness, it really can be the most detrimental cycle for your well being. One shot of espresso quickly turns to four, which then becomes an every morning cup to an additional 4 p.m. rut cup. With these four food combinations, you are sure to transition from a caffeine roller coaster to an energizer bunny. These four combinations are easily found in health food shops or you can always order off of IHERB.COM (be sure to use my code LDZ954or click the link to save $).

Spice Up Your Life: Curry and Ginger

The combination of curry and ginger rev up your blood circulation and get oxygen coursing through your veins. Oxygen to your cells is needed and adding power packed duo ginger and curry, you are such to spice up the day. Street stalls in Bangkok serve Thai dishes like Green Curry which has the perfect amount of both of these spices and makes a great lunch, just ask for light coconut milk to keep this dish light In calories. You could also enjoy vegetables with curry powder and a side of ginger tea.

metabolism boosters

The Master Combo: Cayenne, Lemon and Ginger

If you have ever tried the master cleanse this combo may sound familiar. Instead of maple syrup, use ginger, which binds with the cayenne and lemon to create a cleansing agent and flush out bacteria and unwanted toxins in the body. High in antioxidants, vitamin C, and stimulates the metabolism, this master combination will keep you on high alert all day long. In Bangkok, ginger tea is served at most cafes, just remember to bring your own cayenne pepper! Start your day off with ginger tea, half a lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper and get that metabolism rolling and your energy at an all time high for the rest of the day.

Aloe Aid: Raw Aloe, Young Coconut and Lime

Nature’s Gatorade will keep you hydrated, give you a beauty boost and reduce bloat all at the same time. Your digestive system may be in acidic state causing you to feel tired, giving your body a reason to want a break. Give your body what it needs by cooling it down with aloe and coconut water. Mixing in juice from a fresh lime will give you an anti-inflammatory and boost your immune system. With aloe aid you are giving your body enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and a cleanse to the blood. Add in raw aloe and lime to your coconut water to boost these benefits! I am currently fighting my cities hot blanket so I try to enjoy this beverage on the regular.

natural energy boosters

Buzz Through Your Day: Bee Pollen and Coconut Oil

Energy in a spoon, bee pollen and coconut oil will make you feel as if you are Queen Bee. Bee Pollen,  is easily found all over in herbal or health food stores. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein this combination of super foods is ideal for those who want to skip the caffeine. The essential fatty acids in coconut oil assists in weight loss and thyroid functions. One note, many people are allergic to bee pollen, so be sure to get tested before trying to see if your body can handle its many benefits. Ideally you want to take 15 mL of organic coconut oil and 15 mL of organic bee pollen, place in mouth and chew. I can promise you this tastes like dessert and you will almost feel guilty for enjoying it!

So the next time you hit that energy slump, remember to skip that second espresso and pick one mother natures four food combinations to pick that day right back up.

Connect With Me:

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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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Post Thanksgiving Workout

We all get down + dirty on Thanksgiving, think wine, sweet potato mash, TURKEY + more wine..maybe some pumpkin pie (sans dairy) + MORE wine..

Well maybe just me..but if you are anything like me you may need a boost come Friday in the workout department. I will be lying on the couch being a lazy bum after Thanksgiving but come Friday I will need to lift myself off of the couch and sweat out the feast prior.

To encourage you to do the same I thought it would be fun to do a Post Thanksgiving Workout using the same couch I will be lying on post feast. Do this full body workout to get your metabolism flowing and enjoy the rest of your weekend guilt free. You could also do this workout before the feast and step into the feast on a healthier note as I will be doing with my bootcamp girls that morning!

Post Thanksgiving Workout

Post Thanksgiving Workout::

Squat Pulse: If you have ever rocked your way through a Barre type class you know about this burn. In this exercise I want you to dig deeper into the flute by bending forward and holding onto a sturdy surface, the key here is to stretch the hamstrings out and engage your core while activating your glutes. You should not feel this in your lower back, if you do, just do regular squats.

Sumo Squat: Stand with your feet hip distance apart, with your knees turned out as well as your feet. Bend as deep as you can and if you find this easy double pulse it before standing up straight.

Tricep Dips: You can do these anywhere and these should be done ALL OF THE TIME! Many women complain of “bingo arms,” “bat wings,” “second hello arms,” etc but ladies there is no excuse! No matter how strong or weak you may feel doing these will create strength in your tricep muscles and if you have a pair of weights add in some kickbacks for an extra burn!

Tap It Out: This if my favorite way to engage my lower core and thighs as well as get my heart pumping. Tap your foot onto a a surface that is at least above the knee, make sure to keep your tapping leg turned out into a front attitude position and lift with your abs to lift the other leg up and switch as quickly as you can.

Courtney Bentley

Ok now stop reading and go do this workout! Give me a comment below once you have completed it and enjoy your Turkey Feast :)

Connect With Me:

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+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+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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Gluten Free Mug Muffin Recipe

Gluten Free Mug Cake Recipe

I love to bake.

I discovered this love when I became vegan at 19 + could not imagine life without cookies. I bought a cookbook and learned how to make muffins, cookies, cakes you name it, I made it vegan. After this phase of my life changed, I let go of my baking habits and traveled a bit and found myself baking again in LA for my blog. This phase again passed and I now live in Bangkok where my healthy baking goodies are not as easily found and the idea of pre planning to order in advance is not in my DNA….(help with that?)

I did however come across a bag of Brown Rice Flour at my favorite health food store in BKK Sunshine Market so I bought it with no plans in my head other than it would be in my pantry when the thought of baking appealed to me. Brown Rice Flour is naturally GLUTEN FREE + from my experience blends in nice with most flavors as its pretty much flavorless. It can get kind of chunky so adding a bit of coconut flour and a bit more liquid usually helps but in this case I was able to omit the use of another flour.

This week I had some horrible news hit me like a train head on and I needed an outlet. Baking is and always will be an outlet for me because all you can do is focus on whatever it is you are making and who is with me when I say a sweet treat always makes a sucky situation just a tad bit easier to handle.

Gluten Free Mug Muffin Recipe

Gluten Free Mug Cake Recipe

Quick fix muffins have been popular in the IG world so I thought I would take a shoot at a creation and whipped up these..

Gluten Free Mug Cake

While I usually avoid the microwave like the plague, I do understand that in BKK having an oven is a luxury so I have loosened up a bit and of course everything is A OK in moderation..

One tip is make sure you use a microwave safe dish, cup or whatever you use. I topped this with Chocolate Syrup made from Stevia (here) + some dried cranberries. You can top these with whatever you like just make sure to savor each bite + ENJOY!

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+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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Raw Vegan Holiday Treats Class with Jennifer M.S. Robertson

Being abroad in a new country can do many things to you as a person. For myself,  it has helped me grow and explore new hobbies and has tested my abilities as a human to adjust to new cultures, climates and foods. My first expat experience in Cabo San Lucas, I learned about natural foods and attracted new friends in my life who were already experts in this field. I spent the last few months in Cabo learning about superfoods, raw vegan nutrition and why natural foods should fuel our bodies. I moved back to Los Angeles with a new appreciation for these foods and got to explore my new found love deeper due to stores like Whole Foods and raw cafes like Cafe Gratitude and the sudden appearance of Raw Juice/Smoothie bars on every corner.

By the time I got my raw juices perfected to suit my taste buds, found my favorite vegan restaurants (Hugos, Cafe Gratitude) and smoothie bars, we moved across the world to Thailand. Moving from Los Angeles the mecca of being “healthy chic” to South East Asia where plastic and sugar is used in everything, brought about new struggles. The supermarkets had limited organic supplies and I had to order any type of superfood that was not from a coconut, and to this very day my all natural lifestyle is not as “organic” as I would like to roll with. Making connections and finding the in’s and outs of living this lifestyle is made possible through Twitter.

raw vegan treats

Twitter in Bangkok is a way to connect with other expats and discover new friends who have similar interests in natural living and because of Twitter I have found speciality supermarkets like Sunshine Market, IHerb (my life supply) and experts like Dr. Jennifer MS Robertson (website).

The raw food lifestyle is one I admire. It is a true dedication and passion to live the lifestyle, especially being abroad. You only have limited resources unless you want to pay a high import fee at a health food import store or are willing to cross your fingers and await your package (IHERB is the best I have found).

I attended a workshop this Sunday that I truly enjoyed not because the treats, as shown in these photos, but because I learned to have a more relaxed approach to this type of lifestyle. Jennifer, raw food chef extrordinare and inspiration for the day really made sure to show substitutions for ingredients easily found here in Bangkok and even where to buy hard to find ingredients. She is a true expert in her field and I left inspired to do more research and start “raw” creating my own treats!

My heart thumped when she brought out her arsenal of super foods for us to roll our truffles in:

superfood

I would LOVE to say I had photos of everything but things just kind of went straight into my mouth for taste testing and never made it back for photos so this is all I have. When I say things were DELICIOUS I mean they were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S:

raw pumpkin pie

The beauty of each and every one of these treats were they were created using all natural ingredients and once you taste a raw vegan dessert there is no need to go back to its sugary + processed evil twin.

RAW VEGAN MOCKTAIL

Check out Jennifer on FACEBOOK + on her WEBSITE

and if you live in Bangkok be sure to attend one of her courses it will change the way you think about food + teach you some amazing ways to whip up healthy sweets for the family!

Connect With Me:

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+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+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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Dragon Fruit Bowl Recipe

Dragon Fruit Bowl Recipe

With the superpowers of Acai Berry booming us through 2013, 2014 introduced a new superfruit that we are so very lucky to have all throughout Thailand. Coming back from a two week stint throughout California made me miss fresh, juicy dragonfruit. The only type I found was dry powdered or “juiced” which I am confused on how it could be fresh considering one dragonfruit at Bristol Farms costs $8-10.00?

Anyways, while in Los Angeles I had an Acai bowl from Kreation which is like the best juice bar known on the planet because they have anything and everything plus a walk up vending machine that delivers cold pressed juices. Acai is brought over frozen from Brazil and the guys from Sambazon discovered this method of freezing it and keeping all of the superfood powered nutrients. So instead of trying a dragonfruit bowl, I went for the Acai bowl which was packed with Maca, Greens, Bananas, Apple, Bee Pollen and Organic Gluten Free Granola!

acai Bowl

Dragon fruit Bowl:

Dragon fruit – also known as Pitaya (แก้วมังกร) – is a beautiful-looking fruit that contains antioxidants that fight cell aging, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3 as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. The best part is pitaya is 80 percent water, meaning it is low in calories as well as refreshing after walking around in a heatwave.

Whenever I have a moment to sit down with myself in the morning I prefer a breakfast/dessert, With the perfect combination of healthy carbohydrates, fiber and fats this vegan-friendly meal feels more like a guilty pleasure than a healthy meal.

dragonfruit bowl

Dragon Fruit Babe Bowl::

  • 1/2 fresh dragon fruit (peeled)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Blend ice frozen banana and dragon fruit.
  2. Add cocoa powder and coconut milk until smooth.
  3. Top with Grainny Bar, Granola or Coconut Shreds for a complete breakfast

If you live in Thailand, the next time you see a street vendor selling either white or deep purple dragon fruit, pick up a couple of bags and have your girlfriends over for brunch!

Connect With Me:

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

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+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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