Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Lately I've been feeling the fall vibes and have been really craving soup. Butternut squash soup, to be specific. I don't eat soup often but something about last weekends' "cold front" here in South Florida put me in a mood. After seeing so many recipes over the past few weeks while scrolling though my favorite food-inspired accounts, I had one saved that I was dying to try by Minimalist Baker. Not only was it butternut squash, it was coconut curry infused. Talk about soul-warming! Aside from the fact that it was everything my taste buds wanted, it's quick and easy to whip up. (I made it last night after getting home from a looooong day) I love so many of her recipes because they're simple yet wholesome with so many of my favorite ingredients. For this recipe, I used a Vitamix blender and I used honey instead of maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly diced (~40 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
  • 6 cups (840 g) butternut squash (~ 1 small butternut squash)
  • Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (12 g) curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 14-ounce (414 ml) can light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey 

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add butternut squash and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth and honey. 
  5. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until butternut squash is fork tender.
  6. Using a blender purée on high until creamy and smooth. Return soup back to pot.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder as needed. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over low heat if needed.
  8. Serve as is. Can be stored in refrigerator but best when fresh! 

Fall fitness in Colorado

Earlier this month I took my first trip to Colorado and boy was it beautiful! My client was getting married in Aspen so I decided to head up a few days early to do some exploring (and also escape hurricane Matthew) in the Rocky Mountains. One word: breathtaking. Not only was I literally out of breath due to the altitude, I was blown away by the beautiful scenery. Driving from Denver to Aspen was one of the most beautiful car rides I’ve ever experienced, along with the many hikes between Denver and Aspen. It was super exciting for me to finally see snow (crazy, I know) and enjoy some cool fall weather in the cozy towns of Colorado. During my stay in the mountains I was able to be just as active as I am at home - major plus! I loved how the Colorado community as a whole, especially Aspen, was very fitness friendly. But getting ready for a workout in the cold is no joke and takes a little extra motivation. I nearly froze one morning walking twenty minutes across town to take a yoga class. Aside from all the fun exploring and other perks of being in Colorado, I was beyond thrilled to be in Aspen for the first time for such a special occasion. The bride and I even got to sneak in a training session at the St. Regis gym the day before the wedding. It's amazing to see another one of my fit brides walk down the aisle looking confident, happy and absolutely stunning. Months of hard work and clean eating (even before the engagement) are continuously paying off. I’m so proud of her and how far she has come! As I said before, a fit and healthy lifestyle is a never ending journey, but a wedding can definitely act as a great motivator.     

 

 

What I'm Sweating In

When it comes to workout gear, I'm all about wearing pieces that make you feel your best before, during AND after your workout. Check out a few of my current favorites!

 

Adidas PureBoost X - Seriously obsessed with these! I'm really loving the adidas styles i've been seeing lately. This is my second pair of PureBoost sneakers and certainly not my last. Whether I'm training clients all day, teaching barre or working out, the level of comfort is beyond amazing. I love the pattern with the neutral colors...funky but fresh.

lululemon Fast As Light Muscle Tank - I just can't get enough of this material. I have several tops in this exact material and they're all amazing. It's anti-stink (no, really!) and really soft. But what I really LOVE about this style is the higher neckline, it's shorter in length but not a full on crop top, and the open crossed back. Such a sexy fit!

lululemon Hot Spell Bra - This is my absolute favorite bra right now. It's flattering, comfortable...A MUST have. I love to pair it with a top that's open on the sides or in the back to show the back straps. 

Beyond Yoga White Crops - Sorry, not sorry! Summer is NOT over yet. Still rocking my white crops in the gym and in the studio! Click HERE to shop on Carbon38.com using my code LIVFIGUE50 for a sweet discount on your first purchase!

 

Catch me at the studio tonight!

5:15 barre // 6:15 total body fit

Remembering CAF

September is a time of the year that forces me to pause and reflect more than usual. Today would be my brothers' 29th birthday. The ninth birthday I’ve spent without him. Truth is, no matter how much time passes I still miss him today just as much as I did in 2007. He was kindhearted, bright, compassionate and absolutely gorgeous. To know him was to love him. He had this special way about him that would light up a room and had an energy that was simply contagious. He made a positive impact on anyone lucky enough to have known him. Although our time together was cut way too short, we shared a special bond and I miss it every single day. Losing a loved one at a young age is hard, but I believe it has truly molded me into the person I am today. It’s something that you never imagine could or would happen to you. It’s hard think that in an instant your life could change forever. But because I had to learn this earlier on in life, I just feel things differently. It’s easier for me to clearly see what’s truly important and I’ve learned to never take things, my health or people for granted. After the accident, I became much more passionate about certain things in my life that mattered most. I’ll never forget stepping back into the dance studio just a few days after he died and the amount of joy that movement brought me even after my life had just fallen apart. It’s the moments like that that keep me going. Life is simply too short to not do what you love. The way I love fitness and wellness is how he loved sports, music and surfing. The relationships I have built in my personal and professional life have all been influenced by him in some way, even years after his death. Improving myself physically and mentally, letting go of grudges, going back to finish my education and crushing other personal goals have all been decisions in my life that were inspired by him. I can still hear his words of encouragement and I keep all of our memories close to my heart. His amazing spirit will live on forever.  

 

In loving memory of my sweet brother, Cesar A. Figueroa. 

Fig & Strawberry Protein Shake

Aside from eating clean and wholesome foods, I’m all about eating seasonally and summertime fruits and veggies are my favorite. Lately, I have been unable to resist buying fresh figs from Whole Foods since they can be hard to find. They're delicious in breakfast bowls and smoothies. I threw a couple in the Vitamix along with strawberries and a few of my other favorite ingredients. It’s the perfect summertime morning protein shake.

  • 2 figs
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1 scoop of Raw Protein
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 large ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ tablespoon local bee pollen

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Dumbbells before wedding bells

With wedding season in full swing, it’s no surprise that there’s been lots of wedding buzz going on during my work days. Whether it’s your own wedding, walking in a bridal party or even just attending as a guest – weddings can be a big deal. It’s one of the biggest and most memorable days of a bride’s life and everyone wants to feel their absolute BEST on their big day. One of my best friends recently tied the knot in June and three of my current clients are preparing for their weddings in the fall. As I always tell my clients, being fit is a lifestyle that requires consistency over time. However, I’m all for setting goals and CRUSHING them so a wedding can be the perfect motivator!

On New Years Eve 2015, my client/friend Kathleen married the man of her dreams. Not only was I there to witness their union, I had the honor of walking as a bridesmaid. She came to me with a goal four months prior to her big day and was ready to rock. Coming from an athletic background, she had great strength and working out was something she enjoyed. But it was time to kick things into high gear – challenging workouts, meal preparation and tons of motivation. She trained with me five days per week in the gym and would sometimes throw in a barre class on the weekend. Aside from the physical benefits of training, working out helps to minimize any wedding planning jitters (it’s a real thing!). We also spent lots of time in the kitchen together cooking delicious and healthy meals to ensure consistent clean eating. With all the hard work and dedication, Kathleen’s results were showing…and fast. So fast, that with each visit to the dress designer the dress had to be taken in. (Although she was looking fab, I don’t think he was too happy with me.) Her wedding turned out to be beyond perfect. She was glowing, healthy and stronger than ever. Looking stunning in her wedding dress was also a plus!

As for my current brides-to-be, they are on the same path and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’re staying focused with awesome workouts, daily motivation, lots of clean eating and having so much fun along the way. Truth is, even with a wedding planner the preparation seems endless. Not to mention juggling work schedules and other things that life throws at you. (Major props to Kandace for working crazy hours per week at the hospital but still managing to make time to stay wedding-ready!) Just remember that it’s all worth it and hard work always pays off.

Cheers to FIT brides!

Say YES to Weights

When most people hear the words “strength training” they immediately think of body building, power lifting or strenuous workouts. To the average person or someone newly into fitness, strength training and using weights can be intimidating. A lot of people think that strength training is only associated with athletes and experienced individuals. Although I believe any form of exercise or movement is beneficial, incorporating weight in some or all of workouts is crucial.

As we age, we face an inevitable decline in bone density and muscle strength. It has been scientifically proven that aerobic exercise alone is not enough to sustain bone health, muscle tone, posture and an all-around functional body. Stronger muscles lead to stronger bones which can prevent injuries and osteoporosis. Strength training can involve dumbbells, stationary machines, weighted bars, suspension training and resistance bands. The intensity of strength training routines can vary and can be suitable for any level of fitness. For individuals who are trying to lose weight, weight bearing exercise is needed for fat loss.

Being a female in the fitness industry, I am constantly being asked by other women about my views on lifting weights. Not only am I in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, but I also teach barre which is known for little to low weight and high repetition exercises. The idea that weight will make someone look “bulky” versus “long and lean” is a common misconception and could not be further from the truth. I have often heard well-known trainers discourage women from using challenging amounts of weight and I am constantly encouraging my female clients to eliminate this mentality. With proper form, a great workout routine and a balanced diet, weight training can take your body to the next level of awesome.

With clearance from a doctor and expert advice from a fitness professional, anyone can start a safe and effective workout program which incorporates strength training. If you are still not convinced, the fact that you don’t technically need a gym membership to maintain a routine should seal the deal. All you need is a set of dumbbells to get started in your home, garage or outdoors. Eventually, a beginner starting with minimal time and equipment can progress into more advanced movements and longer workouts. Aside from the physical benefits of strength training, it increases cognitive performance, mood and confidence for both men and women of all fitness levels.

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Summertime Salad

Happy Monday! But more importantly, happy Summer! Bikini season has already started but today is the official start of Summer and I couldn't be happier. I’m here to remind you that your bikini body depends on your workouts AND what you are putting on your plate. I am constantly reminding my clients of this and diet is a common topic in most of my sessions. In general, I would have to say that most people get stuck at lunchtime over any other part of the day. Whether you work in an office where everyone orders fast-food take out or you're like some of my clients who just don't have the time in the day to cook, I've got a tip for you. The key to a successful and easy lunch is being prepared the day before. Having foods prepared such as chicken breasts, quinoa, cauliflower and boiled eggs make a healthy lunch possible in just a few minutes. Check out one of my staple summer salads below.

  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Chicken breast
  • Egg White
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Green apple chunks
  • Quinoa
  • Cauliflower
  • Black pepper
  • Splash of EVOO & Vinegar for dressing

Have an awesome and active week,

♥Liv

#MotivationMonday Count Down to Memorial Day Weekend

We've reached the middle of May and the count down to Memorial Day Weekend has officially begun. Personally, it's my favorite time of the year -  it's the unofficial start of summer and, more importantly, it's my birthday weekend! For many, this weekend is all about weekend getaways, board shorts and bikinis, cookouts, outdoor activities, and an all around good time. For me, I love to kick my workouts and clean eating in high gear...well, because, birthday cake and bubbly. It's a physically motivating time of the year - the weather is perfect for a bike ride, beach run, paddle boarding or rollerblading. Aside from my normal workout routine in the gym and studio, I take every chance I get to feel an extra burn. With so many outdoor fitness opportunities, I want you to know that summer bodies can also be built in the summer! I'll be posting some of my favorite exercises and meals on instagram for some added Memorial motivation. We've got two weeks until the long weekend, let's make every day count!

To prepare for the week ahead I hit the grocery store hard to make sure I was stocked up. Here's a list of what I took home:

  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Almond Milk
  • Ground Beef
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Protein Bars
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Romaine
  • Asparagus

Cheers to a healthy new week!

♡♡♡♡

Feliz Cinco De Mayo

To some people, Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French forces. But for most people here in the US it's the day where people of all ethnicities put on their sombreros and hit the nearest bar for tacos, burritos and mucho tequila. For me, Mexican food is not something I take lightly - it is hands-down my favorite type of food. But it wasn't until my trip to Mexico in 2015 where I really learned about authentic Mexican dishes and how they were much different from what I was used to. In Mexico, a simple taco exploded with flavor and all the salsas were made daily with fresh ingredients. Here in South Florida, Mexican food often means an overdose of cheese, salt, sour cream and not enough flavor. I am constantly inspired to make my own delicious (and CLEANER) dishes and always trying to find ways to replicate what I ate during that beautiful time spent in Mexico. Check out this simple recipe for shredded chicken tacos and guacamole below. 

Shredded Chicken Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used organic Que Pasa)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chilis
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, salsa, chilies, chili powder, garlic, pinch of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Cover, cook on low for six hours. 
  2. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl and shred with two forks, moisten with cooking juices.

Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 or 2 limes
  • 1/2 red or white chopped onion 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped and seeded

Directions:

  1. Cut avocados in half around the pit, then scoop flesh out into a mixing bowl. Add lime juice and mash avocado leaving a few chunks.
  2. Add all other ingredients. Serve immediately.

 

This time, I used organic taco shells and skipped the chips for the guacamole. Carb conscious? Throw all ingredients over lettuce and turn it into a yummy taco salad.

Salud, amigos!

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! Most people dread Monday, but I like to look at it as the perfect day to start fresh. Whether you've neglected your fitness routine, fallen into bad eating habits, or both - today is the day to get back on track. I get it... juggling work, family time, chores, school and social life can be tough. With events, weddings, appointments and long work hours, it can be easy for some people to put off their time to sweat. But don't let a busy schedule get in the way of regular exercise and nutritious eating. Making your body a priority is possible. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated:

  • Schedule your workout times in advance as you would any other appointment. Write it down in a calendar, journal or on your phone.
  • Keep a bag packed with a change of clothes, shoes and all other necessities so you can head straight to your workout without having to stop at home.
  • Find some fitspiration on instagram or in magazines. Whether its pictures of healthy ideas for dinner or a fit body - visuals help!
  • Keep in touch with your fitfam! Text your trainer, friend, co-worker, or family member at some point during the day to cheer them on or to share what you've accomplished. Having support from those around you gives you a big push towards reaching your goals.

 

 

Join me this week for classes at Xtend Barre WPB:                                                                

Monday - Barre 5:15/6:15, Total Body Fit 7:15                                                          

Wednesday - Barre 8:30am, 9:45am, 5:15pm, Total Body Fit 6:15

Looking for private training? Contact me now!

As I always tell my clients, strive to be better than you were yesterday, because YOU are your biggest competitor. 

Make it a great week!

♥Liv

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.
LivFitness_CoconutCurry

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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Yacht_LivFitness_Workout_WPB
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.

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Make it a great week!

Liv