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Tricep Dip for Toned Upper Body

Tricep dips are a great exercise for your upper body. They not only work out your triceps, but also your shoulders, forearms, and chest.

Triceps dips can be performed pretty much anywhere – in the gym on a bench, at home on a chair, in the office on your office chair, in a hotel room on a bed in a park, the possibilities are endless.

How to perform a tricep dip:

  1. Position yourself on a bench/chair with elbows locked. Knees can be slightly bent or straight. The further the heels are from your body, the harder the exercise. Do not lean forward with your upper body and try to keep your bum and your back as close to the bench as possible.

  2. Slowly lower yourself while inhaling, until your arms form a 90-degree angle.

  3. Propel yourself upward and back to the starting position while exhaling.

  4. Repeat.

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I personally like triceps dips as they are very easy, yet effective, and they can be performed pretty much anywhere.

Do not have any bench or a chair around? Challenge yourself to floor tricep dips. Place your palms on the floor and make sure that while lowering your body, the only body part that is intentionally moving are your elbows – bending to 90 degrees and back up.

Check my Instagram for a short video of me performing tricep dips.

Sugar free peach jam

Last week I made raw peach jam – a non-cooked version. Since the weather is nice and cool today, pleasant weather to cook, I decided to make the cooked version and see the difference.

When you cook the jam, some water vaporizes, which already makes the jam thicker. And also the taste of the jam is a bit sweeter as the natural sugars are more dense.

I like both jams, they both taste great, and I very much appreciate the simplicity of these jams. 

Ingredients:

  • 8 peaches
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp date syrup (or any other natural sweetener of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Remove pits from the peaches.
  2. Blend peaches in a blender.
  3. Pour the mixture in a pan and add date syrup.
  4. Stir and let shimmer on medium heat.
  5. Let it cook for 5-10mins.
  6. Switch off the stove and let it cool off a little for 10 mins.
  7. Stir in the chia seeds and let it cool a bit longer.
  8. Once cold, put the jam in a container and place it in a fridge.
  9. Let it rest in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before eating.

Enjoy!

Sugar is Addictive

Here we go again, another topic that I am very passionate about – sugar.

We all know that smoking is addictive and it has bad effect on our health. Well, sugar is addictive and it has negative impact on our health. So, why do we see those ugly pictures on cigarettes packs, but we do not see picture of obese people, or people with cancer on sweets packets?

Excess intake of sugar in your diet leads to extra pounds, obesity, cardiovascular or pancreatic diseases. Sugar makes your body environment acidic, meaning your body is more likely to develop cancer, it’s like a welcoming ground for cancer cells.

When we feel down, we eat ice cream, when we are celebrating, we eat cake. Even when we are bored our brain demands sugar. When sugar enters our body, it triggers chemicals that affect the pleasure part of our brain and it makes us feel good, and on top of it we get blood sugar spike and we feel great, till we experience that blood sugar level drop.

The recommended dose of sugar should be no more than 6 teaspoons per day. And imagine how much sugar you eat only in things like pastry, juices, yogurt, and then you add some cereals, cakes etc. So, how many tea spoons of sugar do you actually eat? Or do you measure it more in table spoons?

If you are craving something sweet, you are better of with fruits, or perhaps try to have a glass of water or actual food. Your sugar craving can be caused by blood sugar level drops which can be a result of bad diet. So, rather then giving in, think about the origin of those symptoms you are experiencing.

In general, think twice before having processed sugar or sweeteners, rather go for natural sugars 😉

You know I had a nice 4 months sugar free detox (only had sugar in salty pastry like bread), and past two weeks I have been having actual processed sugar and I can feel and see its effect – cravings, my skin etc. I am going to start sugar free again soon. Should you wish to join my sugar free challenge, let me know. 

 

Are Hemp Products just for people with “alternative” lifestyle?

As I said, you will hear a lot about hemp from me in the days to come. I will still occasionally add some yummy recipes and maybe even a blog post about exercise. But let’s talk about hemp today, again 🙂

I heard about hemp products many times over the past few years, but never really wanted to learn more about as for some reason I thought hemp products were either for junkies or for people with alternative lifestyle, you know, those kind of people who wear clothes that they probably made themselves, they are vegan and their children are not vaccinated.

Well, lot has changed since I was that judgmental over others – I respect vegans and I love vegan food, I am not planning to vaccinate my child, but those are big topics on their own, lets get back to hemp. The point is that hemp literally fascinates me now and I think hemp should be mainstream. Why is it normal to do your regular shopping in a pharmacy, for pharmacies to show adverts for discounts on telly, yet it is still not normal for people to use natural supplements to take care of their help. I really do believe that “Prevention is better than cure”.

If you come to my house you will not find any pills or pharmaceutical products, only natural food supplements – Cordyceps capsules for immunity, Chitosan capsules for digestion, CDB hemp oil for immunity. Anyway, let’s get back to hemp.

Hemp products are a part of a healthy natural life. Hemp has been used all over the world for centuries. Cannadorra hemp products, that I personally use, are 100% natural, they are processed in a cold form and they are ideal for human organism.

Cannabis vs Hemp vs Marijuana, what’s the difference? Cannabis is a plant family that includes many species, such as hemp and marijuana. Hemp contains very low levels of THC or none, and hemp products do not contain any THC at all. However hemp is high in beneficial cannabinoids, such as CBD which promote overall health state. While marijuana, as we all know, is high in THC which is a psychoactive substance, simply makes you high.

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I have set up a Facebook group called Hemp For Health where I would love people to educate each other about hemp, I am still earning, share ideas, recipes and experience. Please join the group by clicking here. 

 

 

 

Hemp goodies

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You might have noticed that I recently started using some hemp products, such as hemp creams and hemp protein powders. This time I ordered some new items together with my regular Hemp Mass Gainer – CBD Hemp Oil and CBD Gel. I am very interested in CBD, so over the next few days I will post more info on CBD and my experience with CBD hemp products.

Btw I get these from Zelená Země for Czech market and Cannadorra for international markets, both are one, Czech based company with high quality hemp products. To get 5% off, use my discount code “annaogunnusi” 😉

However, let me tell you first about health benefits of hemp itself. First of all, let me clarify – hemp does not equal marijuana. I am not talking about products with THC content here, just so we are clear 🙂

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According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one tablespoon of hemp seeds weighing 30 grams (g) contains: 

  • 166 calories
  • 9.47 g of protein
  • 14.62 g of fat
  • 2.6 g of carbohydrates (including 1.2 g of fiber and 0.45 g of sugar)
  • 21 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 2.38 mg of iron
  • 210 mg of magnesium
  • 495 mg of phosphorus
  • 360 mg of potassium
  • 2.97 mg of zinc
  • 33 micrograms (mcg) of folate

Hemp seeds also provide vitamin C, some B vitamins, and vitamins A and E.

So, hemp is a great source of protein, magnesium and healthy fats. And each hemp product has it’s own health benefits that I will describe in the blogs to come.

What is your experience with hemp products?

(source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Energy protein balls

 

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This is a yummy snack that is easy to make and it is healthy. And it is also highly customisable. I will share my recipe but you can give space to your imagination and use your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp oats
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour

Directions: 

  1. Mash bananas in a bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix all together. Should the batter not be sticking together add a bit of melted coconut oil.
  3. Make small balls and place it on a plate.
  4. Place in a freezer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Hemp protein pancakes

You know the days when you come home famished and you realize that both your fridge and your pantry are practically empty? I had a day like that when I came home from work and I found only eggs, spinach and tomatoes in my fridge. And since I always keep protein powder at home, my hemp protein pancakes were born.

To get a 5% discount on your help protein powders or other hemp products use the discount code “annaogunnusi” at the checkout at https://www.cannadorra.com/ 

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs (2 for the batter and 2 fried)
  • 3 scoops / tbsp of Cannadorra hemp protein powder
  • 2 hand-fulls of spinach (one for the batter and one for dishing)
  • A few cherry tomatoes
  • Goji berries
  • Sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Put 2 eggs, 3 scoops of hemp protein powder and a hand-full of spinach in a blender and blend together.
  2. Put a bit of coconut oil in a frying pan and then add the batter. I fit three smaller pancakes in a pan.
  3. Let it fry on one side till the edges turn dark green and then turn.
  4. Once pancakes are ready, fry the eggs.
  5. Then put the cherry tomatoes, goji berries and sesame seeds on a pen.
  6. Lay few pancakes and then an egg. Put the tomatoes, goji berries and sesame seeds on top.

Enjoy!

To get a 5% discount on your help protein powders or other hemp products use the discount code “annaogunnusi” at the checkout at https://www.cannadorra.com/ 

Exercise on holiday – Bulgarian split squat

Summer is the holiday season and when travelling, not always do we get a chance to do a full workout, apart of swimming in the sea or in the pool, of course. Some hotels do have fitness centres and gym, but who would even want to spend time indoor when the weather is so lovely outside? My husband is an exception 😀

So, I am bringing you a series of few exercises that you can do literally anytime and anywhere. And the first exercise is a Bulgarian Split Squat.

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While doing a regular split squat while both feet are on the floor, we rest the back foot on a bench, or anything elevated, during the Bulgarian split squat. You can use just your body weight, or you can add extra weight with dumbbells or bottles of water.

Directions:

  1. Start off by standing in front of a flat bench, or any other elevated thing like a piece of a wall that allows you to rest your foot on, with both feet together.
  2. Place one foot back on the bench in a staggered stance with your toes pointing down and the top of your foot pressing flat against the bench.
  3. Keep your chest up, core tight, back straight, and begin slowly lowering yourself under control by flexing the knee and the hip of your front leg.
  4. Once you reach the bottom position, push yourself back up and stopping just short of locking our your knee.

 

Things to remember:

  • make sure the front knee does not go over your toes while lowering your body
  • keep your back straight and your chest up
  • use your arms to help you to balance
  • breath in while coming down and breath out while coming up
  • go as low as it is comfortable for you

Benefits of Bulgarian Split Squat:

  • improves balance
  • works your lover body muscles, especially hamstrings and quads
  • workout for your core

 

Raw Jam

Are you having too much fruits at home not knowing what to do with it? Or simply looking for a healthier option?

I get plenty of fruits from my family as in Czech it’s very common for people to grow fruits and vegetables at their cabins or garden plots.

I have plenty of plums and peaches in my fridge and there is only that much I can eat. My hubby is not a big fruits fan, unless it’s served on top of his pancakes.

I was considering making the cooked version of the refined sugar free jam, but I couldn’t be bothered to put on the stove in this heat so I decided to go for the raw version.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium size peaches
  • 3 tsp date syrup
  • 4 tsp chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Pit the peaches
  2. Blend the peaches with the date syrup
  3. Stir in the chia seeds
  4. Put it in a container in the fridge, ideally overnight

Note: If it stays too thin, add extra tea spoon of chia seeds

4 months sugar-free

The first time I went sugar free was early in 2016 when I bought a lovely wedding dress that I could barely sit in, let alone dance in or eat in. That was in April 2016 and the wedding date was 17th July 2016. I knew I had to take some serious measures. So for 2,5 months I was totally sugar free, and I mean really sugar free. My grocery shopping use to take double the time as I was checking every single food label. And those days I was not even having shakes yet, so every day choices of food were a bit of struggle, but I made it. I went through 3 weeks of sugar withdrawal symptoms which showed me how addicted I was to sugar. But at the end I lost a dress size, my wedding dress fitted perfectly and I felt great. But life happened and I slowly went back to eating sugar on regular basis.

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Over the past two years I tried to do “sugar free” again simple before I knew I felt good doing it and I knew the health benefits. Check my previous blog post called “It’s all about the sugar” to learn more about sugar and sweeteners.

On 3rd April this year I went for it. This time I did not go as OTT (over the top) as the previous time, I was still eating out, so occasional sugar intake was still happening in a form of sauces when eating out (Chinese, Italian etc). Why did I decide to go sugar free this time? In January this year we moved from the UK to Prague. As great as it has been it was also stressful and it took a bit of time settling down again in Czech after 3 years in the UK. And the last few months in the UK were not as joyful as we wished. Therefore the sugar intake at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was quite high –  emotional binge eating.

Starting sugar free this time was much easier as my body and mind already knew what to expect. What made it easier this time was the food choices you get in Prague – so many healthy places to eat that offer even sugar free cakes. My favorite restaurant is now VegGo that offers variety of vegan food as well as variety of sugar-free cakes – my favorite is a raspberry cheesecake.

From 3rd April till 25th July I had no cakes with refined sugar, no ice cream, no cookies etc, I did not use sugar in the household either. As I said the only occasion I might have had some sugar “unknowingly” was when we were eating out. Because sometimes when you make certain sauces, such as when you cook with tomatoes, you might need to use a bit of sugar to balance out the flavors, so I guess those were few occasions I could have consumed sugar. Actually, there was one more case that I am aware of –  pastry. Czech pastry is so good, so I was still eating pastry such as bread ans baguettes. And pastry does contain a bit of sugar as sugar is needed for the yeast to work in the dough to make it rise.

Almost 4 months sugar free and I felt great. I must say I was as consistent in the gym as I wish I were over those four months, but it did not matter because the effect of sugar free was great. My skin became so smooth, especially on my bum, my bum cellulite reduced big time. My muscle definition got more visible even with reduced amount of exercise.

Sugar free was definitely a great detox for me. I only stopped on 25th July as we went on All inclusive holiday. Do not get me wrong, I am not the kind of person who goes on holiday to over eat, but I simple wanted to try some local sweets etc.

The first two days of holiday I tried some cakes, especially the chocolate ones, but to be honest they were not quite worth it. My favorite “sweet” stuff were their pancakes which became my breakfast choice together with some cinnamon and melon, and occasional evening desert choice with some coffee. As much as I do not usually drink sodas, I had few glasses of lemonade and I enjoyed it. But despite, or perhaps in-spite of all that I always made sure I was drinking plenty of water. We even carried one of our gym bottles with us and constantly kept filling it during the day.

Despite change of diet and increased sugar intake I actually did not put on any weight on holiday, I did not notice any changes in my body. And the secret being that as I detoxed my body before the holiday, my body was able to work with the acidity, also thanks to high water intake.

Having come back from holiday where was no ice cream I actually craved ice cream, so I had ice cream yesterday and I truly enjoyed it.

I definitely see benefit of being totally sugar and sweeteners free all the time – your body functions better, your skin improves, you lose weight etc. However, I think there is no reason to beat yourself up about your food choices. Remember “Eat according to your goals and be ready to deal with the consequences”.

Should you wish to go on “sugar free” journey yourself and get some tips, get in touch!