Homemade Chai Tea

Chai tea is an aromatic spiced tea that originated in India.  It is a great alternative to coffee and boasts many health benefits.  Chock full of antioxidants, chai tea is known to have a calming effect, it aids in digestion and promotes circulation.  Rather than purchasing a pricey, sugar-laden cup of chai at your local coffee shop, follow the recipe below and fill your home with the beautiful essence of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg…it’s the perfect warm beverage for Fall.

Aromatic Chai Tea

4 cups water
2 large cinnamon sticks (broken up)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup honey (more if you prefer it sweeter)
6 black tea bags (regular or decaffeinated)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamom

  1. In a medium saucepan bring water, cinnamon and cloves to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the broken up cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.
  4. Add the milk and honey, stir slowly and allow the tea to simmer.
  5.  Add the tea bags, remove from heat and cover, allowing the tea to steep for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the nutmeg and cardamom and stir to mix.

This recipe yields 2 large cups of chai tea.  Enjoy it immediately or refrigerate to serve cold.  Enjoy!

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The Undeniable Benefits of Strength Training

I am not afraid to admit that I am a former “cardio queen.”  In college I spent endless hours peddling on the bike, shuffling on the treadmill and bouncing on the elliptical.  While this type of cardiovascular training certainly provides health benefits it produced limited visible results.  Engaging in cardiovascular activity is imperative for achieving optimal health but if you want to take your fitness to the next level and experience supreme wellness than strength training is the way to go….total game changer – guaranteed

Strength training can be defined as any type of physical activity that causes resistance against muscular contraction.  Many people have the misconception that strength training must involve weight lifting but the use of one’s body weight or resistance bands are also quite effective in improving strength and anaerobic endurance.  In addition to making you look damn sexy, here are some of the many benefits that strength training can provide:

Weight Loss: Strength training increases lean muscle mass and torches fat.  Having more muscle enables a person to burn more calories, even at rest.  For every pound of muscle that is developed you can burn an extra 50 calories per day…seems small but trust me this adds up!  Build 3 lbs. of muscle and you are burning an additional 150 calories each day.

Strong Bones: Forget the “Got Milk?” ads, strength training increases bone mineral density better than milk or any calcium supplement on the market.  As we age (even in our mid 30s – yikes) our bone density begins to diminish.  Strength training is the absolute best way to counteract this and halt the aging process as it relates to our bones.

Instant Mood Boost: Physical activity causes your brain to release endorphins which produces a happy state of mind. In addition, making the time to take care of yourself is proven to alleviate stress and increase self-confidence.

Better Sleep: Exercise can help to balance the body and is vital in the development of better sleeping patterns.

Decrease in Heart Rate & Blood Pressure:  Just a small amount of extra activity each day can lead to weight loss which can significantly lower HR and blood pressure thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

Through an effective strength training program you will also experience greater strength and endurance, increased range of motion and flexibility as well as better stability.  Stop whatever you are doing right now and start your strength training program – I do squats in my kitchen every morning while my coffee is brewing.  😉

For more information or to order a customized strength training program email me today: NJFitnessTrainer@gmail.com

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Achieve Your Goal Now – Define WHAT & Decide WHY

Since this is my very first blog post I figured I’d get really deep and start by posing each one of you with two simple but crucial questions for achieving everything and anything in life – What & Why?  We all have desires for ourselves and often dream about how we can make positive changes in our lives.  It’s important to understand that these changes and transformations in mind, body and spirit are 100% possible.  The intentions that have been lingering around in your mind are just waiting for you to take the necessary steps to bring them to fruition.  These goals are ready to be achieved just as soon as you are ready to achieve them.  The choice is yours. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “time flies when you’re having fun.”  Well guess what, time flies whether you are having fun or not so why delay living your best life ever?  Being happy starts with being healthy both physically and mentally.  Our physical and mental states are absolutely correlated.  They share a linear relationship which means that when one improves so does the other and vice versa.  You are the master of your destiny so start setting goals and fulfilling your dreams today!

No one can tell you how to live your life.  Only you can decide WHAT is important to you.  Maybe you have this idea that you’d like to lose some weight or start cooking healthy meals.  Your very first step is the WHAT – determine and state your goal clearly; challenging goals are terrific just be sure the goal is realistic.  For instance, I want to lose 10 lbs in 2 months…this is a realistic goal that is clearly defined.  Once you decide on your exact goal continue to remind yourself of it on a daily basis.  You can do this by hanging a picture of yourself at your goal weight and viewing it often.  This visualization technique coupled with positive affirmations (much more to come on this) are surefire ways to set the vibrational tone for your dreams to come true – before you’ve even taken action.  You can practice positive affirmations by writing down your goals on a piece of paper and reading them daily – first thing in the morning and right before bed are extremely optimal times to recite your affirmations.

Once your goal has been clearly defined you need to decide WHY?  Establishing an objective is great but without purpose it has no legs and therefore you just can’t run with it…no pun intended.  The reason for your chosen intention can be very precise or seem quite simple but you must give your dream purpose.  For example, you may want to tone up for your upcoming high school reunion or perhaps you would like to shed the excess weight you gained during pregnancy.  On the other hand, your reasoning could be as simple as wanting to have more energy or fit into your old skinny jeans (don’t throw them away – you will wear them again).  Whether your goal is related to health and fitness, career, relationships or any other personal achievement you must start by carefully defining WHAT that goal is and then stating WHY that goal is important to you.  There are many other factors that contribute to successfully achieving your objectives but it all starts with the WHAT & WHY.

So don’t talk about it – be about it.  If you truly want it, you can and will have it.  Define WHAT & decide WHY and you are well on your way to achieving any aspiration your mind can imagine.  As Henry Ford once said, “whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”  Next step…BELIEVE

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