Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes

Happy Monday! I wanted to spice things up and start a new week with a new recipe. I knew I wanted to make something really different from my usual go-to meals and I've been really craving chickpeas (packed with protein and fiber!). So I googled some recipes in between clients this morning and came across this gem on Popsugar.com. It's filled with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach and SO much flavor. I rarely eat rice, but having this curry dish over brown basmati rice was delicious. I'm a crockpot fanatic so of course I am always up for new healthy dishes to try for dinner and next-day lunch. This was the perfect meal to come home to after a long Monday - and my house smelled amazing. 

LivFitness_Curry_CleanEating

Ingredients

Curry:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoons minced ginger
15-ounce can chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups canned or boxed chopped tomatoes
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, chopped

Coconut rice:
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion, garlic and fresh ginger for about seven minutes.
  • Transfer the onion mix into slow cooker and add remaining ingredients except for the spinach.
  • Cook on low for six hours.
  • Before serving, stir in spinach and cook for about five minutes.

Rice

  • Add rice, coconut milk, salt and water to a sauce pan.
  • On high heat, bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about forty minutes.
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AMAZING! Enjoy.

Remember: You can't out-exercise a bad diet to achieve your goals. Make it a great week!

♥ Liv


LivFitness On Deck

One of the most amazing things about being in South Florida is that you can pretty much always take your workout outdoors. Anything from running, bootcamp, suspension training, barre and yoga can be done outside during almost any time of the year. My personal training sessions and classes are typically done in a private gym, in-home or in a studio setting. But sometimes I have to “think outside the barre” and get creative for effective on-sight training. I’ve trained on the beach, in hotel courtyards, on polo fields and with stand up paddle boards just to name a few. In this case, I’m talking a luxury yacht called the Top Five. Anchored seasonally in downtown WPB at the waterfront, this mega yacht was the location for Thursday’s sunny, barre-inspired workout. We set up the space so it was fully equipped with mats, small weights, towels and music. There was plenty of deck space for floor work and big movements. We used the rails of the yacht as a barre and also for stretching. The weather was absolutely perfect for a group fitness session, bright and breezy with an incredible view. This was the second year I’ve taken this same deck and turned it into a space to sweat for a bachelorette celebration group. These girls came to visit at the perfect time and had big plans for their stay in West Palm Beach. What’s even better is that this awesome group chose to make fitness a part of their fun-filled party weekend (serious bachelorette party goals!). So excited to be back on board again this year and looking forward to more LivFitness on the water.

 

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 2015 Workout

2015 Workout

Monday Motivation - TRX legs

One of my favorite pieces of equipment to use in and out of the gym is the TRX Suspension Trainer. Using the TRX, you take body weight exercises to another level. During every exercise, the core must be engaged in order to stay balanced and stable. When it comes to my leg workouts, adding suspension training to my routine is crucial. Since I absolutely LOVE any exercise that challenges balance, I am able to perform tons of great single-leg exercises with the TRX that really burn. Below are a couple of my favorite leg exercises.

Front Squat

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Set up handles under the arms, close to the chest. Walk feet back until body is in a strong plank-like hanging position, heels up. Keeping weight forward into the arms and heels up, bend the knees to a squat then return to straight legs. Perform three sets of fifteen reps.

Abducted Lunge

Stand beside the suspension trainer with one foot in the cradles and the other leg on the ground. Bend the supporting knee while extending the straight leg side, keeping tight abs and an open chest. Return to standing by firmly pressing into the ground with standing leg. Perform three sets of fifteen reps.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @livfigueroa for more fitspiration!

Make it a great week

Love Your Legs

When it comes to women and fitness - toned, sexy legs are the most desired over any other body part. Living in South Florida where we’re in shorts, dresses and bikinis during any month of the year, most women are determined to get their stems in shape. After many years of dancing and training, I have learned the best ways to achieve major leg goals. My best advice for anyone focused on improving their legs would be to add variety. Performing multi-planar movements, weighted exercises, body weight exercises, single leg exercises, and plyometrics will switch things up and allow you to work your legs to their full potential.

Remember: proper form, hard work, healthy eating and CONSISTENCY will lead you to results. Check out a few of my favorite leg exercises below.

Dumbbell Split Squat:

Stand with the rear foot elevated on a bench and the active front foot extended out in front, not allowing the front knee to go over the toes during the movement. Shoulders and hips stay stacked and squared, maintaining a long torso and tight core. Option to add weight as shown below. Perform three sets of 10-15 reps per leg.

 

Step Ups: 

First start by standing tall with feet together facing an elevated platform. Step up with the right leg using mainly the heel to lift up the entire body, then place the left foot on the platform as well. Come down using the left foot first followed by the right foot, returning to the starting position. Can be done with or without weights. If using dumbbells, hold them strong by the sides of the body. Perform three sets of 10-15 reps per leg.


Bosu Ball Squat with Side Leg Raise:

With one foot on the floor and the other on the center of the Bosu Ball, squat with even weight between the legs. On the way up, shift all weight to the standing leg and lift the leg off of the Bosu Ball into a side raise (keeping knee and toes pointing forward). Perform three sets of 10-15 reps.


LivFitness Meets Hilton WPB

Over the last ten years, West Palm Beach has definitely seen some serious growth! Being an influencer in the community, it's been both exciting and rewarding to watch local businesses thrive around town - I'd even say they're booming! One new development I am currently pumped about is the new Hilton Hotel on Okeechobee boulevard. This twelve-story gem opened this past week and it sits in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Artwork, flowers, food and coffee are a few of my favorite staples you'll find there, and i'm totally thrilled it's all local talent giving the hotel a true WPB feel. The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, with a sophisticated lobby space and a sleek outdoor pool area. Even better, the staff goes above and beyond to meet the needs of each hotel guest. 

Why am I so excited? On Tuesday and Thursday of this week I had the opportunity to lead two 5:30am workouts on the event lawn for a corporate group of hotel guests. The hotel provided mats, towels and water for the multi-level bootcamp style class. The space was perfect for an early morning workout by the pool - lunges, planks, ladder drills to name a few. The guests were so great to work with and super enthusiastic, despite the early morning wakeup call. 

The BEST way to start a long day filled with meetings and work events is to get up and get your body moving. Looking forward to working with more groups and hotel guests in the future.

Welcome, February!

Hard to believe we’re beginning the second month of 2016! January brought new goals, new beginnings and new challenges. Classes were full, private clients were re-focused and new clients were ready for a change. Overall, it was a great month and I felt tons of positive energy! For some, it was more of a "trial month". Maybe you fell off the wagon or maybe your diet wasn’t exactly as great as you hoped it would be. Good news: It’s the first of the month and it’s Monday! New week, new month, new goals… another chance to be great. Here are a few tips to help you stay on (or get back on) track:

1. Write it out

For me, making a list helps me to stay focused. Whether it’s a list of goals, groceries, to-do’s or a food log, it helps to keep me from getting overwhelmed during a busy week. Seeing things on paper helps to prioritize and it also keeps me accountable.

2. Get plenty of Z's

 I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but sleep is so important for your body and mind and often gets over-looked. If you know you’ve got a lot going on, be conscious of how many hours you're giving yourself to sleep at night. When it comes to working out, sleep is crucial for the body and repairing muscles. After a good night’s rest, you’re more prepared to take on the day (and your workout) with mental clarity. 

3. Cook extra!

Whether you’re into actual food prepping or not, cooking extra helps to keep your diet on track. Being prepared and having food that’s easily accessible is the key to eating healthy. One of my favorite kitchen staples is the Crock Pot. I like to put four to six chicken breasts in the Crock Pot so I have plenty of food for several meals. This morning before I left the house for my first appointment, I set my Crock Pot on low for five hours. Can’t go home for lunch? Set it up right before you go to bed and cook while you sleep. What I love most about cooking chicken this way is that it has the best left-over taste. Check out my go-to recipe below!

Crock Pot Mojo Chicken

 

What you need:

  • 4-6 chicken breasts  
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup mojo marinade
  • Peppers (optional)

What to do:

Combine chicken, broth, mojo, onions, garlic and peppers (I had left over bell peppers from the weekend so I threw them in, too!) and cook on low for five to six hours. 

 

 

 

Purple Cauliflower

Yesterday during my quick trip to Whole Foods Market WPB, I made my way through the produce section and purple cauliflower captured my attention. Umm…Where has this been all my life? I love cauliflower and the fact that it’s purple makes me love it even more. The purple color is caused by the antioxidant anthocyanins, also found in wine. With so much excitement about this newfound cauliflower, I felt like I needed to get creative and go beyond the typical weeknight roasted cauliflower with garlic and EVOO.  So I decided to recreate a cauliflower recipe I had in Washington DC a couple months ago. (Thanks to my dear cousin Ian and Iván for the inspiration.) 

What you need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 small red onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • S & P
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash, trim and slice cauliflower florets then thinly coat them in olive oil.
  3. Peel and cut onion into thin slices, set aside.
  4. Spread cauliflower on a roasting pan and place in oven for about 15 minutes or until slightly brown.
  5. Add thinly sliced onion to cover the cauliflower.
  6. Continue cooking (approximately 15 minutes) until it turns to a rich brown color.
  7. Remove from oven and finish with parsley, sea salt and pepper, splash of lemon juice and (optional) parmesan cheese.

So yummy and it’s even great the next day.

Enjoy!



Transformation Tuesday - Cathy

Out of all the benefits of my position, I’d say the number one perk is getting to meet some incredible people. Not only meet them, but truly get to know them, help them, and gain their trust. For me, training is so much more than giving someone a series of exercises because they want to look good on their vacation in two weeks. While looking good is a big part of it, it’s more of a mind-body connection. My goal is to help people get to know and love their own bodies long-term by way of movement and exercise. 

A perfect example of this would be the story of my client Cathy. She has been working out with me for over two years. Previously, she walked a couple times per week and occasionally threw on a workout video at home. Rarely breaking a sweat and hardly any cardio or weights. She was not eating a balanced diet and had no real routine. After a year and a half of minimal exercise, she agreed to accompany a friend and try a few classes. While the workouts seemed much different than what she did years ago with her personal trainers, she was willing to give it a shot. One class turned into taking my barre class three times per week and later incorporating one-on-one training (gym and in-home). Not long after reaching a consistent point in her workout routine, she started to feel better from the inside out. Increased energy levels, strength, stamina, confidence and overall happiness; naturally she became more committed to herself and making this huge lifestyle change. It was like a domino effect. Her mentality shifted, and working out was no longer a burden, instead the most essential appointment of the day. Cooking at home became normal and clean eating became enjoyable. Coworkers, friends and family were noticing the physical changes, and boy, was that exciting! Weight training resulted in arm and leg definition, fat loss, weight loss, and overall firmness. Suspension training, functional training and barre work helped to tone, improve balance, core strength, body alignment and posture. Her pant size went from a ten to a six, making her no stranger to the seamstress. Consistency in her diet and exercise routine over a two year period lead to serious results.

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The biggest gain? (Pun intended!) Cathy does it for no one other than herself, and that makes me the proudest. She shows up ready to work and constantly maintains a positive attitude, and watching her bloom and transform the past two years is what makes my role so amazing. Grateful that I’ve earned the trust to push her to her limits (despite my tough love and our seated-rest rule) and guide her through her journey to wellness. 

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My aim is to help people be the best possible version of themselves. After all, the best investment you’ll ever make is in you.

Follow me on Instagram for more fitspiration @livfigueroa

Make it a great week!

Liv

Saturday morning barre & Jüce

This morning we had Chris from Raw Jüce Palm Beach Gardens come by the studio after meeting him at a Lululemon community event a few weeks ago. He brought some amazing juices to share with all our clients and was able to stick around to take my class. Being a former pro baseball player and now coach, a barre class wasn’t a familiar workout to him. Needless to say, it was a fun (and sweaty!) new challenge that I’m sure he’ll be feeling tomorrow. It’s always great to meet new people in the community and have the opportunity to mix fitness with nutrition! So excited to have a Raw Jüce closer to the WPB area. Be sure to check them out in the PGA Plaza.

 

Total Body Fit - Gym to Barre

Aside from personal training, I teach classes at a fabulous studio called Xtend Barre West Palm Beach. It’s where I began my career as an instructor and it’s where my love for training really blossomed. I was teaching a ton of weekly Xtend Barre classes, a couple spin and abs classes, and had so many dedicated girls who took classes regularly. After a while, I knew some of the girls had the potential to take their fitness goals to another level and really tone their bodies by adding weight and circuit training. A few of them expressed that while they felt strong, they were starting to feel a bit stagnant and were willing to be pushed farther. I obviously LOVE barre classes (as do most of the clients who take TBF) but I am definitely a gym lover and a firm believer that weight bearing exercise is crucial for women. In order to really burn fat, it’s important to combine weights with cardio and a healthy diet. To me, giving clients the opportunity to incorporate weight and circuit training into their fitness regimens seemed like the perfect idea. So, almost two years ago, a small group training class was added to the schedule and Total Body Fit was born.

It’s a fifty minute class that begins with a 2.5 mile run from the studio down Flagler drive. Using the intracoastal wall for pushups, step ups and other exercises to really amp up the cardio. After the run, I give them a circuit: three rounds of eight-ten exercises. Fat blasting exercises that use the whole body for a total body workout. Weighted balls and bars, gliders, resistance bands are used for lunging, squatting, pressing, pushing and pulling. I also give body weight exercises and plyometrics to challenge the body using body weight only. Classes are high-energy, fun and effective to ensure a challenging workout for both men and women. 

Join me Monday nights at 7:15 and Wednesday nights at 6:15. Remember to bring h2o, a towel and a positive attitude! 

 Make it a great week!

Liv

Back to the Grind

Holidays have officially come to an end. While I thoroughly enjoyed myself during these past couple weeks, I also enjoyed plenty of not-so-clean eating. But after all the hustle and bustle I am SO ready to get back to my normal which is daily home cooked fuel! Some people call it a “diet” but I call it a lifestyle. My philosophy is pretty simple: I love to eat healthy, fresh, whole foods. I don’t count calories but I do read ingredients. I buy mostly organic and I absolutely love buying local. I cook during the week and I save eating out for the weekends. When I cook, I make a lot of food so that I have enough for a few meals. This afternoon I did some leisurely shopping at my favorite store, Whole Foods WPB, to prepare for the week ahead.  

Today's shopping list:

  • Oats
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut Squash
  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Spinach
  • Almond Milk
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted Rice Cakes
  • Bananas
  • Peppers
  • Ground Beef
  • Chicken Breasts

Make it a great week!

xo,

Liv

​2016 - We're coming in HOT!​

Welcome!

FINALLY - the opportunity to share my workouts, success stories, diet and more with fitness enthusiasts. After years of building the LivFitness brand, coming into 2016 is the perfect time to launch this blog I've been waiting so long to share with you. My goal is your goal (and then some) - to inspire you to want better for your body and mind!

I grew up with a serious passion for dancing ballet, tap and jazz, and at an early age my body and health were always a priority. I haven't stopped moving since - workouts in between college classes, teaching dance and auditioning for various opportunities. I quickly fell in love with the industry and the many facets it has to offer; realizing this was an outlet I would thrive in. What topped it off was the idea that I could be an icon to those also wanting to live a lifestyle that was healthy, active and powerful.

This is it! LivFitness - a growing fitness brand ready to light up South Florida! Blessed with a career that I love so much and grateful for the opportunity I have to ignite your fitness fire. Excited for the new year and eager to begin sharing what goes on in my world of workouts, food, fitness gear and anything promoting health and wellness. 

Cheers!