It’s one of the sweetest months of the year… which makes it the perfect time to rekindle your love for fitness and indulge in movement modalities and healthy meals that make you feel your very best. Whether it’s long walks on the beach as the sun peaks back out, a sweaty HIIT workout class, or heavy weight training, explore what your body responds best to and ENJOY the process! A body that can move is a blessing, and this month, I’m hoping to inspire you to cultivate gratitude for the skin you’re in, even if you have physique goals that you’re working toward in the process!
Time for a Valentine’s Day Workout
Buddy up with your significant other, Galentine, or child to enjoy this fun workout! Perform these exercises back to back or incorporate them into your workout the next time you head to the gym with your bestie (or someone special).
1. Squat jumps (3 sets x 8 reps)
This can be a fun exercise to do with your partner. However, ensure you use the correct form and perform the squats while engaging your core!
2. Push up and high-five (3 sets x 8 reps)
We don’t mean to do a “next level” push-up clap. In this exercise, try a knee push-up if both partners can’t do a standard push-up, and once you are up (hands are not bent), reach out to your partner for a high-five! It’s a cute way to exercise and works on your muscles!
3. Cross lunge claps (3 sets x 8 reps)
Another fun exercise to try with your partner involves the “high-five”. Jumping and lunging can add up the intensity, but you can go for a simple one-leg lunge and high-five!
4. Holding hands side-kick (3 sets x 8 reps)
Another way to work on your glutes along with some “partner support” is holding hands & side-kick! Take a check on who’s kicks are higher!
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With These Lovable Recipes!
Hosting a Galentines day party or a cute night in with your partner for Valentine’s Day? I’ve got you covered with some delicious, sweet, and nutritious recipes to indulge in during this special season.
Firstly, I wanted to share the recipe for this DELICIOUS No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake recipe with you. Whether you’re looking to go plant-based in 2024 or simply feeling like a huge pile of sugar and cream cheese just might not be in line with your fitness goals, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings while providing your body with a far better nutritional profile than your average cheesecake.
Ingredients for Base
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup dates (soft)
- ½ tablespoon cacao powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 and ½ tablespoons coconut oil melted
Ingredients for Filling
- 1 and ½ cups cashews soaked for at least two hours
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup cacao powder raw
- ½ date syrup or brown rice syrup or maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 and ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions for Base
- To the food processor bowl, add the nuts, dates, cacao powder, salt and melted coconut oil. Chop everything until you get a crumbly mixture.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of your springform pan, and place in the fridge to chill as you prepare the filling.
Directions for Filling
- In a blender, blend the soaked cashews and the rest of the ingredients until you get a very smooth mixture.
- Pour the mixture over the refrigerated base, smooth the top out using a rubber spatula then place in the freezer to freeze and set.
- Allow the cheesecake to defrost and soften a little before slicing and serving. Decorate with fresh fruit, seeds, and nuts if desired.
Next up, I’ve got a super yummy and easy Yogurt Covered Strawberry recipe that’ll knock the socks out of all your Galentines guests (and provide a healthier alternative to Chocolate Covered Strawberries!)
- 12 strawberries
- 10 ounces vanilla Greek Yogurt
- pink food coloring
- Wash the strawberries and pat them dry. No moisture should remain on the berries before dipping them in the yogurt.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a large plate or cutting board.
- Place the yogurt in a small bowl and holding onto the green leaves, dip each strawberry into the yogurt. Swirl it around to cover the berry, leaving a little red at the top.
- Place each yogurt dipped strawberry on the parchment paper. When you have dipped all the strawberries, place them in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Dip the strawberries a second time in the yogurt. To get a gradient of pinks, dip 4 berries in the yogurt with no food coloring, then add a single drop of pink food coloring to the yogurt and stir it till combined. Dip four more berries in the yogurt. Then add another drop of food coloring to the yogurt and stir to combine. Dip the remaining four berries in the yogurt.
- Place the strawberries back in the freezer for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
- The frozen yogurt will begin melting when you remove the berries from the freezer, so only pull them out when you are ready to serve them.
Sweet and Romantic Scents for Your Home During The Season of Love
As The Weather Gets Warmer, Here Are The Sunscreen Ingredients That Give Me The ICK!
I’m all about full-body wellness, and that includes skincare! Any aesthetician or dermatologist will tell you about the importance of sunscreen, but not all sun protection is created equal! My favorite sun protection resource, BloqUV, recently published an article all about the icky ingredients to look out for in sunscreen, and I was SHOCKED to see some commonly used materials on their list. Here’s what to look out for:
- Oxybenzone and Octinoxate: While these ingredients may fight harmful rays, they damage our oceans’ coral reefs! What’s more, these ingredients are likely retained in our bodies for long periods of time, in some cases leading to reproductive disorders.
- Retinyl Palmitate: While I love a good retinol (vitamin A is great for the skin!), this ingredient isn’t a great idea when you’re planning to be exposed to direct sunlight. Retinyl Palmitate can break when exposed to UV rays, leading to free radicals which can lead to the formation of skin cancer over time.
- Avobenzone: This ingredient, found in many chemical sunscreens, has only undergone limited testing and can trigger skin allergies in some people! Particularly if your skin is sensitive, this ingredient is one to steer clear of at all costs.
- Methylisothiazolinone: Whew, that’s a mouthful! This ingredient can cause allergic reactions for those with sensitive skin, so it’s best to avoid it whenever possible.
- Homosalate and Octocrylene: These ingredients are known to cause hormone disruption, which can lead to imbalances in your body’s endocrine system.
- Titanium Dioxide: Titanium Dioxide is extremely commonly used, but experts have identified it as a carcinogen. To avoid the stimulation of cancer cells, keep your sun products free of titanium dioxide!
- Parabens: This one is a common buzzword, and for good reason! Parabens help products maintain a longer shelf life, but studies have been published linking parabens to endocrine disruption.
- Fragrance: I love a sweet smelling product as much as the next girl, but it’s just not worth it if you have sensitive skin! Use your best judgment here: if YOU know your skin can handle a little fragrance, don’t sweat it and focus on eliminating some of the more harmful ingredients on this list. If your skin always seems to be breaking out and you can’t figure out why, however, fragrances might just be the culprit!
Treat Your Loved One To an at Home Spa Day!
Name a more perfect Valentines Day gift than a luxurious lotion candle… I’ll wait.
If you haven’t tried Element Tree Essentials yet, now is the perfect time! Their sumptuous candles brighten any atmosphere with their thoughtfully crafted scents, which melt into a warm and buttery lotion that can be applied to your hands or body. They’re perfect for an at home spa day… or for anyone who just loves to play with melting candle wax! (;
I personally think their sweet and classic wild rose scent is perfect for this holiday, but you know your loved ones best! Shop their incredible collection the next time you’re at the studio.
Your Feet Carry You Everywhere… It’s Time To Care for Them!
Did you know that our friends over at LightForce Medical are specialized in Podiatry? That’s right, their specialized laser therapy technique is the perfect antidote to persistent foot pain. If you’ve been hitting the gym more frequently than usual in the new year, it’s likely you’ve experienced a few aches and pains along the way (no shame, we’ve all been there!)
Nonetheless, it’s always smart to address your pain before it becomes too severe! Head over here to learn more about how LightForce Medical’s Laser Therapy can keep your feet healthy and happy.
Sweet Happenings in Sarasota
Wondering what to get up to in our community during the month of love? I’ve got you covered!
36th Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts: On February 10th & 11th, join local artists downtown at 1718 Main St,. Admission is free, so be sure to bring the whole family!
Thunder By The Bay: Enjoy this jam-packed music and motorcycle festival to benefit children and adults with special needs from February 16th-18th! Join vendors at the Sarasota Fairgrounds for just $10 here. Be sure to share the news with your biker friends and all the music fanatics you know!
Get Your Mutt Movin 2024: Support Satchel’s Last Resort Animal Shelter/Sanctuary and the Sarasota City YMCA by joining this beautiful 3-mile run through Payne Park or a pick-your-own distance walk! Be sure to register today to move your body while supporting a great cause.
That’s all for this month, friends. I hope you’re feeling inspired to move your body with love during this sweet season. Be sure to drop into BeFitSRQ and say hi if you’re in need of a little extra motivation!