A Healthy 4th of July Menu: 3 recipes to makeover your BBQ

Nothing says 4th of July like a summer BBQ, right?

Whether you’re hosting your own or bringing a dish to a friends’, we want to send you off with some healthy recipes to impress. So we gathered our favorite mouthwateringsummer recipes for you below:

Basil Guacamole….
Spicy Pineapple Chicken Kabobs…
Coconut Cream and Strawberries

Drooling yet?

These recipes are filled with the flavors of summer, but are much healthier than traditional BBQ fare. (Your friends won’t even notice the whole menu is sugar and gluten free!)

Basil Guacamole
(recipe via Food52)
The addition of basil gives rich guacamole a refreshing summery twist.
Ingredients
1 small shallot or 1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
2 large avocados
2 cups basil leaves, stems removed and finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Cumin and salt to taste

Directions
Use a fork to mash avocados and mix in remaining ingredients (or use a food processor)
Serve with low salt tortilla chips and fresh vegetables

Spicy Pineapple Kabobs
(recipe adapted from The Gunny Sack)
If you haven’t already tried grilling summer fruit, trust us when we say it’s a crowd pleaser. These sweet chicken kabobs are a much healthier option than burgers and just as delicious.

Kabob Ingredients
1 pound organic chicken breast dices into 1′ thick pieces
6 red bell peppers dices into squares
1 can diced pineapple (save the juice)
1 red onion, diced into large pieces

Marinade Ingredients
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or olive oil)

Directions
Mix together marinade ingredients
Cover chicken with marinade in glass pan and let sit in fridge for 4-6 hours

Assemble chicken and other kabob ingredients on pre soaked skewers
Grill turning regularly for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through

Coconut Cream and Strawberries
(step by step tutorial here)

While most BBQ’s opt for ice cream or cake for dessert, impress with this healthy take on berries and cream. Canned coconut cream separates when refrigerated, and when whipped creates a sweet and rich whipped cream with a slight coconut taste perfect for dipping strawberries.

Ingredients
1 can full fat (NOT light!) coconut cream (make sure there are no other additives as this can affect how well it whips. Trader Joe’s makes a great one)

Directions
Refrigerate can overnight
Remove from fridge and flip upside down so that the liquid will be on top and the cream on the bottom
Open can and pour the liquid off (save for smoothies or other uses)
Scoop hardened cream into bowl and whip with a hand blender until fluffy
(Optional to add a sweetener like powdered or regular sugar, but we think it’s sweet enough as is)

Serve with fresh strawberries

 

Which recipe will you try? Make sure you tell us by leaving a comment!

Foods to Fight Muscle Soreness and Fatigue

Have you ever noticed that some days you feel full of energy during your workout, like you could do your regular BCSF class and stay for the next class too? But other days a push up feels like the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

While there are lot’s of factors that can contribute to this swing of energy (sleep, hormones, amount of carbohydrates, food timing, stress levels, ect.) there is a chance that it could be that you’re low on one of these specific nutrients.

We believe that with a well rounded diet, you can get most of the nutrients you need. Make sure you’re incorporating these nutrient rich foods to fight muscle soreness and fatigue.

IRON

Iron is an important nutrient for energy levels. (This is because iron is a key component of blood which helps carry oxygen to our muscles) Without enough iron we can feel tired, sore and fatigued. Including some iron rich foods in your diet can help prevent fatigue.

Heme sources:  Heme sources of iron are the most absorbable and include animal products such as red meat, fish, poultry and eggs. The best source of iron is actually liver and muscle meats! (Try purchasing a high quality organic liver and mixing it in with your next meatloaf or stir fry. It’s hardly noticeable and will make for an iron rich treat)

Non heme sources: Iron can also be found in many plants, nuts and seeds. Leafy greens like spinach and chard are high in iron as well as many seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The herbs parsley and thyme also contain a surprising amount of iron.  However, non heme sources of iron are not as absorbable for our bodies.

TIP: A great post workout snack would be a leafy green smoothie or a hard boiled egg and handful of pumpkin seeds. 

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is what is known as the “relaxing” mineral. It’s a natural muscle relaxant and pain killer. This makes it a great nutrient for those sore muscles (Ever heard of Epsom salt baths to relax? Epsom salts are rich in magnesium and we absorb this through our skin in the hot bath!) Many people are deficient in magnesium because we lose magnesium in our sweat.

If you are struggling with muscle cramps or any mild ache or pain, try including more magnesium rich foods in your diet.

Sea vegetables are the single food richest in magnesium. Try snacking on nori sheets or adding dulse flakes to your salad dressings or soups. Many nuts and seeds also contain magnesium.

TIP: Try a homemade magnesium rich trail mix of cashews, brazil nuts, almonds and coconut flakes (all rich in magnesium). 

EPA & DHA OMEGA 3’s

Omega 3’s are a type of fat that are especially important for active people as this type of fat actually reduces inflammation. When we are very active, our body has to do a lot of work to repair and recover. If we are not able to repair and recover quick enough, we can show signs of inflammation. Anything from muscle soreness to slow recovery can be a sign of inflammation.

The best  kind Omega 3’s to reduce inflammation are EPA & DHA found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax also contain Omega 3’s but a different variety (called ALA).

TIP: Add salmon into your dinner rotation on a weekly basis. Try canned salmon or sardines for a quick and budget-friendly lunch.

 

Try some of these tips during your weeks 3-6 of bootcamp when you might be a little (extra) sore. And see if you can notice a difference (we think you will!).

A Sweet Treat: Healthy Blondies

Healthy and blondies in the same sentence?!

We know, it’s a little crazy.

But before you hit that back button, give us a second. Here at BootCampSF we believe a little indulgence is part of a healthy lifestyle. We also believe that not all sweets and treats can (or should!) be healthified. But this recipe for blondies is so good, you’ll never miss the sugar and flour laden version.

No one will ever guess that chickpeas are the secret ingredient that give these a chewy, fudge-like texture that is higher in fiber and protein than any traditional recipe.

Sweets are eaten after dinner, closer to bedtime. But eating high sugar (a.k.a high glycemic) foods right before we hit the hay can spike our blood sugar, leaving us tossing and turning throughout the night. Swapping high glycemic foods for higher protein and fiber snacks and treats is a great way to maintain blood sugars during the night for a better nights sleep and improved energy the next day.

This recipe is the perfect treat to whip up during your bootcamp sessions when you want something sweet but are trying to keep your diet on track.

Flourless Chickpea Blondies
(recipe via The Ambitious Kitchen)
Makes 16 blondies

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (no sugar added) almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips
sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  and spray 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray (we suggest Trader Joes coconut oil in the spray bottle)
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter in pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
  4. Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt then cut and serve.

 

Revealed: What Your Trainer Eats

You might think your BootCampSF trainer eats, sleeps and breathes burpees. And as much as we do #eathillsforbreakfast…we do actually eat. And no it’s not burpees.

So we asked around to see what our trainers are eating for breakfast and post workout.

Turns out, these trainers are one healthy bunch. Check out what they choose to fuel their day and workouts:

Katy
Favorite go-to breakfast:  Egg white veggie scramble with a slice of whole wheat toast.  I love that the scramble is easy to make and I get my day started right with veggies.

Favorite pre or post workout snack:  Protein shake because it helps my body repair after an intense workout. Or a handful of almonds since they help keep me full without being too heavy before a workout.

Lee
Favorite go-to breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter, banana and jelly plus an all-greens smoothie. Fills me up for a long morning of personal training and still gives me the energy to workout.

Favorite pre or post workout meal: Vegan tuna mayonnaise with baked potato and a huge salad with teriyaki dressing.

Tracy
Favorite go-to breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and banana. Simple and quick.

Favorite pre or post workout snack: Toast with peanut butter makes the perfect snack after a workout.

Rebecca
Favorite go-to breakfast: Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries, sprinkled with chia seeds. Good source of protein from the yogurt and amazing benefits from chia seeds to start my day.

Favorite pre or post workout snack: Small handful of almonds. The protein and good fats give me an energy boost.

Paul
Favorite go-to breakfast: Oatmeal! It’s heavy enough but light enough at the same time and gives me an easy breakfast option to incorporate fruits and grains together, leaving me with a satisfied stomach.

Favorite pre or post workout snack: I prefer to workout on an empty stomach and save my hunger for after the workout. My favorite post workout meal has to be any vegetable, rice, and meat combo. Its a very replenishing meal after a strenuous workout that digests easily and tastes great.

Molly
Favorite go-to breakfast: A protein smoothie with berries, leafy greens, kefir and a whey or pea protein and a hard boiled egg. I make my smoothies the night before and always keep hard boiled eggs on hand so I can have breakfast on-the-go!

Favorite pre or post workout snack: Green vegetable juice, fresh fruit + pumpkin seeds or a rice cake with almond butter. It’s always something small and light, there is nothing worse than feeling full during workout.

Insights from Jaw Surgery: Or How Recovery Is a Little Like a Fitness Journey

Hi BCSF Family!

Catherine (Cat), BootCampSF co-owner, here. We’ve likely emailed in the past, chatted on the phone or maybe I’ve even taught you a thing or two about kettlebells? I hope so! Well, I am currently on the couch with some chipmunk-esque cheeks because on Thursday May 8th I underwent a double jaw surgery and I wanted to share some insights with you.

I wanted to tell you all about this transformative life experience of mine because as I’ve waxed philosophical in the days leading up to surgery and as I’ve been recovering, I’ve had lot of time think about how this process has had striking similarities to the struggles we all go through with fitness and overcoming all the hurdles that get in our way. Seem like a stretch? Well, admittedly, since fitness is my life’s work, the parallels do come easier for me. But stick with me and maybe you’ll be surprised too!

You see, I’ve known that I needed this surgery for years. Since I was in my late teens, actually, but I put it off for so many reasons. Because it sounded painful. Because it’s expensive. Because who wants braces as an adult? And I’d thought that the only reasons to have the surgery were aesthetic: to be prettier, to fix my crooked jaw and look more “normal”. To be honest I thought that was shallow and I was better than that! I was a progressive San Francisco lady. But as the years wore on it became apparent to me that there were other reasons to do it: I had increasing pain in my left joint; my teeth were wearing unevenly; clicking and slipping of my jaw was just getting worse and worse. I had trouble eating sushi — I had reached a tipping point, because a life without sushi is no life at all, am I right?!

And call me crazy, but I know that most of us have gone through this with fitness and with weight loss. We know we need to start. And maybe sometimes we are angered by the shallow aesthetic-driven fitness culture that exists. And you? You are better than that. We live in open-minded San Francisco, right? But just as my jaw surgery was for far more serious reasons than the aesthetic, we hope that you know that there are more reasons to exercise than looking better for bikini season. For the health of your body and mind. For the health of your soul.

It’s always hard to start a new routine and we know it won’t be easy. The road to jaw surgery and the recovery is similar. It has been an emotional journey and the past week the physical aspects have been tough. Feeling weak enough waking up from the anesthesia to need help walking to the bathroom is not a feeling I am used to. But I know that I, too, have been down this road before. Workouts are not always comfortable. When I first started attending BCSF after college, I thought I’d need a wheelchair after experiencing the soreness of a lifetime! We’ve all been through it. We know that running is hard, that burpees are awful and that sometimes squats feel impossible.

But, getting over that hump is what it’s all about, right?

It’s that feeling you get a few months are starting your workout routine that everything seems…easier. Or maybe, just, not easier, but not impossible. I was looking for that moment in my recovery process and it’s been happening every day. I am just six days post-op and my swelling has receded amazingly well. I’m not taking any more painkillers. I am walking my dog, I am getting back to my BCSF admin work.

(Day after surgery on left, today on right! I can even smile a little bit!)

You see, here is the part where I feel fitness is not a metaphor and simply a direct player. My recovery is going swiftly. Despite having a particularly complicated jaw surgery (5 hours under the knife!) I seem to be hitting recovery benchmarks days and weeks ahead of many of the hundreds of people I have connected with online that also have had similar procedures. I can’t help but see a connection between my commitment to fitness and healthy nutrition in my everyday life as playing a major role in an easier recovery process. I am certainly no doctor, but it’s clear that I am ahead of the game for which I am very grateful!

This proces isn’t something I could have done alone. I have an amazing community of people helping me. My orthodontic team, Dr. Good and Sears, have been amazing (Dr. Sears has done many sessions of BCSF!). And while I was in the hospital my pup, Stella, was at Didgeridog – her favorite place in the world besides the dog park. My sister helped me throughout my hospital journey and the first few days at home (there is nothing better than your big sister rubbing eye cream on your face the morning after jaw surgery!). And my brother, Keith (BCSF founder!) left his adorable kids for a few days to stay with me and make sure I was fortified with enough smoothies.

Friends and BootCampers have and will be swinging by with smoothies and soups. Neighbors have come by to take Stella to the park. And knowing that our amazing team of trainers would take care of you guys and put you through your workouts was such a relief. Of course, I owe a special shout-out to Trainer Katy who continues to support my admin work and will be taking our phone calls for weeks to come as I am wearing a splint and am unable to speak clearly.

The thing is, is you don’t need to go your fitness-journey alone, either. Whether it’s BCSF you lean on (and you should!), your friends, spouses/partners, or co-workers, you absolutely need SOMEONE in your corner. Because change is scary. Being uncomfortable sucks. And being able to lean on someone when the going gets tough can often be the tipping point to success. Because to be honest, without my best friend, Lindsey, giving me the push last year to finally get that surgical consult I would have kept putting it off. Her simple words of advice ring true for so many things: “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I’m glad I didn’t have to go through surgery alone. And please don’t force yourself to go through your fitness journey alone, either, just because you think you “should” or because you’re “independent”. We are definitely greater together.

Thanks for reading and I cannot say enough thanks for having you be a part of our BCSF community. I am truly lucky to have the best members a company could ever ask for. My life is so much richer for having you all in it. Thanks for being a part of the ride!

See you outside,

-Catherine

No-Dish-Fish Recipe

Ready for a recipe that requires 10-15 minutes of prep and literally 1 dish to clean up?

We understand that weeknight dinners can be a stress. Whether you’re getting home an hour later from your evening workout, or busy packing up your clothes and prepping for your morning or afternoon workout, we guess that you could use some help getting a healthy dinner on the table.

We got you covered.

This No-Dish-Fish recipe uses a parchment paper packet to bake fish and vegetables together, leaving you with little to no clean up. All you have to do is tear open the packet and serve flavorful, flakey fish. You can toss the parchment paper, throw the plates in the dishwasher and you’re done.

Plus, you can adapt this recipe to use whatever vegetables are in season, type of fish you like or flavors you enjoy. You could go Asian flavors with mushrooms and ginger or Mediterranean with tomatoes and spices. Feel free to remix this recipe, depending on what you have on hand.

Here’s how it’s done. Recipe inspired from Epicurious:

Ingredients:

  • parchment paper
  • 4-6oz wild fish of choice per person ( we love wild salmon or halibut for this)
  • 1/2 diced zucchini per person
  • 1/2 diced carrot per person
  • 2-3 diced new potatoes per person
  • 3-4 asparagus spears per person
  • lemon slices
  • olive oil
  • splash of water or white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Cut a large piece of parchment paper about 17 inches and fold it in half. Using scissors, cut out a large heart shape.
  • Open parchment paper and place fish, vegetables, oil, spices and liquid on one side
  • Crimp edges together to make a packet
  • Place on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until fish is cooked through
Serve immediately. We love this with a side salad or side grain dish. Or simply enjoy alone. You can thank us later for the elegant, flavorful dinner and 3 minute clean up.
Enjoy!

How to Make a Macronutrient Balanced Smoothie

Smoothies, specifically green smoothies have become one of the most popular healthy breakfast options. Every coffee shop, cafe and restaurant now offers them. There are entire websites, companies and books all about how to concoct the best smoothies. Just type green smoothie into google, and you’ll be flooded with recipes, ideas and tips. Maybe you’ve even hopped on the bandwagon and started making your own at home. And if you have, maybe they left you feeling a little underwhelmed. And perhaps…hungry.

Guess what, you’re not alone.

While we believe that smoothies are a great way to get in a good amount of the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, they can be difficult to make satiating. We want to make sure that if you are having a smoothie as a meal, you’re making a smoothie that is balanced in the proteins, fats and carbohydrates and will last you at least 3 hours of satiation.

Here are some tips to make your smoothie a balanced meal:

1. Add a healthy fat: A common complaint with smoothies as a meal is ending up hungry again in only an hour or two. Including at least one serving of a healthy fat will ensure that you aren’t reaching for a bagel 20 minutes later. Here are some favorites:
- avocado
- flax seeds
- hemp seeds
- almond or peanut butter
- pumpkin seeds

2. Add a protein source: If you’re having a smoothie instead of a meal, you want to make sure you have a source of protein. The average amount of protein needed per meal is 20grams. With that in mind, here are some suggestions. And you can always mix and match!
- Organic Whey protein
- Hemp seeds
- Kefir
- Greek yogurt
- Nuts and seeds

3. Increase complex carbohydrates: Did you know that fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates? While for some, the fruit and vegetables you add to your smoothie might be enough, others might need an extra boost. If you find yourself tired, hungry or lethargic after your smoothie, you might want to consider adding in one of these ideas below:
- raw or soaked rolled oats
- baked sweet potato
- extra banana

And to get you started out, here is a recipe for your next green smoothie.

- 2 cups leafy greens
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup soaked rolled oats
- 1 almond butter
- 1 tbs flax seeds
- 1 cup liquid of choice

Your Perfect Early Morning Bootcamp Snack

We understand that getting that getting your early morning workout in before heading off to work can make for a rushed morning.

And an even more rushed breakfast.

But after taking a look at today’s simple (3-ingredient!) recipe, you’ll have no more excuses for skimping on breakfast (hey, who doesn’t love a good peanut butter toast combo…but let’s switch it up)

Eggs are an ideal breakfast, nutritionally. They are an excellent source of protein (about 6 grams per egg) and are rich vitamin and minerals. But on days that we don’t have the extra couple minutes to spare, having these pre-made bite size fritattas in the fridge can allow us to cook our eggs…and eat ‘em too!

These mini fritattas are a perfect bite to grab as you head out to BootcampSF as a pre workout snack. Or pair a couple of them with your favorite green smoothie or avocado toast and you have yourself a 5 minute, nutritious meal. They also are great to add to lunch boxes (kids and adults, alike).

In this recipe, we use chard. Although, you could use any leafy greens (kale, spinach, ect.) you have on hand. We consider it an achievement any time you can add in some leafy greens before 9am so don’t skip the greens. However, do feel free to try other add-ins such other vegetables, potatoes or sausage.

Ingredients
8 organic eggs
1 bunch rainbow chard or kale (or about 3 cups of your favorite greens)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs high heat oil (like coconut oil or butter)
Sea salt and pepper
Muffin tin
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350
Grease inside of muffin tin well
Wash and de stem chard or kale
Chop stems and greens
Mince garlic
Heat pan with oil or butter and sauté stems and garlic, then add greens
Saute on medium heat until as wilted and reduced as possible
Meanwhile whisk eggs, salt and pepper until about 1/3 increase in volume
When greens are done, add a scoop to each muffin tin well
Pour eggs mixture into each well until about 1/3 filled
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through
Let cool and store in airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days

 

Actionable Step
Make this recipe on Sunday evening for your week ahead…you’ll be glad you did. We promise.

 

 

 

 

What To Eat Before And After Your Workout

If you’re spending time and money working out, we’d guess that you’d like to be getting the most out of your nutrition as well. If you’re wondering what to eat before or after a workout, you’re not alone. It’s a common question here at BootCampSF.

And you’re right…your nutrition is an important aspect of your fitness. What we eat has a huge impact on our health goals and how we perform in our workouts.

Let’s give you some info on how and what to eat right before and after your workout so you can get the most out of every last push up and burpee.

First of all, you should be familiar with the macronutrients. The three macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. The most common to approach pre and post workout meals is by playing around with these macronutrients.

Before a workout

What:
Simple carbohydrates + protein + little/no fat

When:
Meal 1-2 hours before
OR
snack less than 60 minutes before

Why:
To fuel your workout you want to eat a meal or snack prior to working out with enough time to digest. Carbohydrates are the easiest food for our bodies to convert to energy so it makes sense that that carbohydrates that are easy to digest is what we want to eat right before a workout. These are called simple carbohydrates.

What is a simple carb? Fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are healthy, whole-food simple carb options. (By “whole food” we mean non processed. For example, cereal is a carb but highly processed one. Try to choose carbs in their whole food states).

We also want to include protein in your pre workout meal. Protein will help balance your blood sugar and help prevent muscle breakdown for after the workout.

If you’re eating a snack less than 1 hour before a workout, too much fat might make you feel nauseous or slow you down. Avoid proceed foods, sugars, coffee and other stimulants right before working out.

In general, think light and easy to digest foods.

What to reach for if you’re snacking:

  •  banana or green apple + nut butter
  •  berries +  organic cottage cheese or organic full fat yogurt
  •  hard boiled egg

What to reach for if you’re eating a meal:

  • egg scramble with onion, tomatoes and black beans
  • steel cut oatmeal topped with nuts, seeds and berries
  • leafy green salad + serving of chicken, salmon or steak + garbanzo beans + quinoa + vegetables like bell peppers and cucumber + olive oil and vinegar.

After a workout

What:
Protein + Healthy Fat + Carbohydrates

When:
Meal 1-2 hours after
OR
Snack less than 60 minutes after

Why:
Post workout nutrition is all about balance of our three macronutrients. We need protein for recovery and repair. Protein is also the nutrient that enables us to grow new muscles. However, no need to feel guilty if you didn’t slam down a protein shake. A balanced regular ‘ol meal or snack is all you need.

Regardless of in the intensity of our workout, we use up our stored carbohydrates. Replacing these carbohydrates “re-stocks” our energy stores to be used in our next workout.

Including a healthy fat (avocado, nuts and seeds, virgin oils) will make the meal a “balanced” meal and keep us feeling satiated. The key here is balance and nutrient density.

Bottom Line
If you regularly workout 3-5X per week for 1 hour or less just remember a balanced and unprocessed diet with sufficient protein and vegetable intake is all you need. Choosing quality foods will trump when you eat every time. And choosing foods that make you feel best trump any “rule” or “should”.

Actionable Step
Next time you eat, think about the three macronutrients. Ask yourself: does this meal/snack have…

Protein?
Fat?
Carbohydrates?

Pretty soon, you’ll be eating balanced meals like a pro and feeling so energized you just might do an extra burpee…just because you feel like it.

 

 

 

Recent Photos from BCSF Classes!

Your average BootCampSF class feels a little like this…

We plank. We jump. We hive five. We see sunrises. We watch sunsets. We see double rainbows. We smile. We work together. We work, we work, work.