Tag Archives: cooking

Hydration In Summer: Making It Fun & Tasty With These 4 Flavored Water Recipes

Hydration is important. *Duh!* You don’t need to have a high IQ to know that, even little kids know it!

i'm thirsty

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Now that summer is almost here and the days are getting hotter, it is very important to stay properly hydrated. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that we lose a lot of water, especially during a high intensity workout. Not only dehydration can have a considerable impact on the level of performance, it could pose danger to your health such as heat strokes, cramps and exhaustion.

According to Stop Sports Injuries, the following are some of the symptoms of heat illness:

  • chills,
  • dark colored urine,
  • dizziness,
  • dry mouth,
  • headaches,
  • thirst,
  • weakness

Ladies, I know what you are all thinking! Of course, I am aware, we never sweat. *Wink, wink* 

a lady doesn't sweat

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If you find difficulty drinking more water throughout the day, make sure to read one of my previous posts, Hydration 101, for more tips.

Today, I’d like to talk about hydration in a more pleasant and tasteful light! *It is indeed possible!* All it takes is a little bit of creativity, and maybe just a few minutes of your precious time. *Pinky swear!* 

Recently, I came across four fun infused water recipes on Greatist. They seem super fun, and I can’t wait to share them with you. You’ll need a 1L water bottle, water, wooden spoon and an optional sweetener of your choice *be careful not to needlessly overdo on sugar*.

Minty Cucumber Lime

Minty cucumber lime water

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1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves 

Strawberry-Lemon with Basil

Strawberry-Lemon Basil Water

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1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 a lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Watermelon Mint Water

Watermelon mint water

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1 cup cubed watermelon
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Pineapple-Orange with Ginger

Pineapple-Orange Ginger water

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1/2 cup cubed pineapple
1/2 an orange, sliced
1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger

Directions from Greatist:

  1. Choose which recipe you’re making — or come up with your own combination — and gather all of the ingredients.
  2. Place the fruit, herbs, and/or spices in the bottom of one of the glass jars, and muddle with a wooden spoon. *That basically means mash up the fruit in the bottom of the jar to release some of the flavor-filled juices.*
  3. Fill the jar with water and give it a taste. *You can also fill the jar with seltzer water for a fizzy treat.* If you’d like something a bit sweeter, try adding some agave (and mix until dissolved).
  4. Enjoy as-is or refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.

do it for you

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What is your favorite way to drink water to change it up?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Kitchen Adventures, Motivation

How To Make A Healthier Salad & A 37-Minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout

Hello lovelies!

I apologize but this post will be short and sweet again. Frankly, being born in Ukraine and having lived there a huge chunk of my life, I am super upset and concerned about what has been happening there over the past few months. I am supposed to go there in April and now I am not sure as to what is going to happen given the circumstances. I am really sorry to get it out in here, but I just can’t grasp how this can be happening… My brain can’t stop spinning… I am overwhelmed…

make love, not war

So to take my mind off this entire situation, I will share this amazing infographic on how to make a healthier salad. Yes, salad! Why not?! Haha!

How to make a healthier salad

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I love this infographic particularly because I find that I normally stick to making the same salad over and over again and using this image I can already see multiple possibilities!

To burn some of my anger off *yes, anger and frustration over inability to do anything to help my friends and family back in Ukraine*, I chose the following cardio workout at home.

What are your favorite healthy salad dressings? How do you change it up once in a while?

xoxo
Olena

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Fun Saint Valentine’s Day Facts, Mini Cheesecakes & 90 Partner Body Weight Exercises In 9 Minutes

Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies!

Valentine's Day

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Here are some interesting facts about this holiday for you to start off this day of the right foot. Haha!

Valentine's facts

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I am not sure if these facts are true, but they are certainly fun! What do you think?!

You probably won’t be surprised, but I was really inspired to make a cheesy *literally* dessert to sweeten up the day of love. My choice fell on the mini cheesecakes! Mostly because they are very easy and quick to prepare, and they do not require to be cooled overnight. Which means that you can still make them for your loved one *or yourself! Why not?!?!* 

Mini Valentine's Cheesecakes ingredients

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2/3 Oreo baking crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 natural vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Mini Valentine's Cheesecakes 1

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together Oreo baking crumbs, sugar, and butter with a fork until combined. Measure a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing firmly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, then remove to cool. Keep the oven on.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese,sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the eggs.
  4. Poor the cream cheese mixture into the muffin cups, filling each until 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan before removing. Refrigerate until ready to serve and decorate.

Mini Valentine's Cheesecakes 2

Voila! Enjoy!

Workout Ideas for today

Why not take advantage of the holiday and workout with your partner? How about these 90 Partner Body Weight Exercises in 9 minutes?

Let’s spread some love!

What is your favorite Valentine’s Day desert? Do you ever incorporate partner body weight workouts in your routine? How?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Holidays, Kitchen Adventures

What Is Not a Burpee and Makes You Cry?

If you have been doing the Spartan ‘30 burpees for 30 days’ challenge over the past 24 days, it’s impossible to think of anything that would make you WANT to cry more than a burpee. Right?

#30burpeesfor30 days

Little that I knew, it’s an onion that actually MAKES you cry like a BABY! I know! I was floored myself when I realized this, but let me start from the very beginning.

Let’s have a little geography lesson. Canada is that huge country right over the United States of America. We don’t live in igloos nor do we have snow everywhere all year long. *I can’t believe some people still think that!* The only thing that is probably true is that everything (labels, official letters etc.) must be written in both English and French. La seule chose qui est probablement vrai est que touts (étiquettes, lettres officielles, etc.) doivent être écrite en anglais et en français. Okay, stop, it’s annoying! Ok, arrêtes, ça m’énerve! Sh*t. Merde. Anyhow, you get the gist of it, EH?!! Haha!

Montreal

Montreal, the beautiful city I live in, is located in the province of Quebec. It is a very multicultural city, and I love it. Why? Because it means that you have lots of friends with different cultural backgrounds. And, let me tell you, it’s a heaven when it comes to trying out different kinds of food! YUMM!

Anyhow, last weekend, I felt like paying a little tribute to my province and figured I’d make a French Onion Soup (recipe found on http://www.allrecipes.com), which I’d heard a lot about, but never actually tried.

I mean, I knew that the preparation involved slicing SOME onion (duh!), but I had NO freaking *Sorry! It was really painfull* idea how much of it! So yes, I was crying like a baby while slicing 4 LARGE onions, and let me specify, in THIN slices! It didn’t help that my husband kept on making fun of me either! What an experience!

The soup was a huge success: It was so delicious *my husbands is still raving about it*! And I finally got a chance to use some cute bowls that we got as a gift last Christmas! *BONUS*

French Onion Soup ingredients

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt *don’t skip, it’s important for proper caramelization of onions*
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 large yellow sweet onions, thinly sliced
1.8 liters water
3 chicken broth cubes
1 beef broth cube
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 thick slices of French or Italian bread
8 slices of Swiss cheese, room temperature
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, room temperature
4 pinches paprika

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red and yellow sweet onions. Cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
  2. Mix water, chicken and beef broth cubes, Worcestershire sauce and red wine into the pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves with s twine and place in pot.
  3. Simmer over medium hit for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with pepper (and salt if needed).
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 2-3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove heat, but don’t turn off the broiler.
  5. Arrange 4 large oven proof bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl with 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice of toasted bread, 2 slices of Swiss cheese and ¼ of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of paprika over the top of each bowl.
  6. Broil for about 5 minutes *maybe less if you place it at the top* until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately!

French Onion Soup Gratinée

Bon appétit!

If you’re not in the mood to cut some onions, check out:

And if you need a drink, Gluhwein is a perfect remedy! Trust me on this one!

Let me know about your favorite dishes in winter in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

xoxo
Olena

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