BaNaNa “Nice-Cream”

Do you find yourself craving sweetness? It seems a great majority of people have a hard time battling their sweet tooth. Are you one of them?

Fear not! I have a few solutions to tame the monster, while not throwing your healthy living progress down the drain!


Here’s one….Banana “Nice-Cream”. 

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What do you need?
1. Food processor, or a high powered blender (i.e vitamix or blendtec) that can work with little or no liquids.
2. Frozen BaNaNas, the more brown spots the better. (I buy mine in huge numbers at Fred Meyer when they put them out for quick sale at a reduced price. Then, I bring them home, peel them, cut them into chunks, and place them on a flexible cutting board–makes transfer a breeze! or a cookie sheet. Once frozen I transfer them to a freezer safe container.)

How do you do it? It could hardly be any easier, here we go!

Let’s start simple….Strawberry-banana style!

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1. Place 1 frozen banana and 1 cup of frozen strawberry slices into your machine of choice.

2. Turn on and process until smooth, I like to add a little almond milk to speed up the process.

It may start out very loud at first, but eventually the fruit breaks down and an absolutely fantastic treat has been unveiled! Seriously, SO GOOD!!!

3. You want to eat (or serve) the Nice Cream as soon as you can after processing. If you re-freeze it, it loses that ice creamy texture. (Which can quickly be re-established by blending the mix once again.)

The possibilities are endless–here’s a few more ideas to get your creative and salivary juices flowing. ALL the amounts can be changed according to your desires. I usually only use a half of a banana and add blackberries, peaches, and almond milk, then top with cinnamon.

JUST REMEMBER that though these are dairy/added sugar/ other bad stuff free it does NOT mean that they are calorie free. So, keep portions in control.

Pina Colada Nice Cream:
1 frozen banana in chunks
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
¼ c frozen almond milk-unsweetened (2 ice cubes)
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Serve with sprig of mint and fresh pineapple chunks.

Peanut Butter Nice Cream
1 frozen banana, in chunks
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter*
cinnamon and vanilla to taste
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Serve with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts.

*can be replaced with other nut or seed butter; make sure there is no added sugar or oil.

Cherry vanilla nice cream:
1 frozen, chopped banana
1/8-1/4 cup pitted cherries
1/4 tsp vanilla
Serve topped with 1/8 cup pitted cherries

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Ditch the Black and White thinking.

Forget the black and white, there is more to life than success and failure. 
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As a whole, we humans tend to compare things as two opposite poles. But really how can we say that success and failure are total opposites, or that they are mutually exclusive? Who says that those are the only options? Think about that. It will open up your horizons. Stop telling yourself that these are the only two results you can reach in life. Nobody is either a failure or success, but rather exist somewhere in the middle of both. We all possess elements of both. So, don’t be scared to fail, and don’t strive to succeed. Rather, find a different goal. A goal to be happy, to present yourself as a positive influence in someones life, or to compliment three people a day. Make a goal that is enjoyable, and focuses on a PROCESS (experiences) rather than an OUTCOME.
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Remember, this is a JoUrNeY, and it’s the experiences along the way that truly matter, that make you who you are. In all reality who cares about the outcome positive or not, if you didn’t enjoy yourself or learn something new along the way?

Live vibrantly. Live in color. Live life in vibrant color! 

Challenge your IrRaTiOnAL thoughts.

September, is that you? I can’t believe how fast you got here..were you speeding??

I don’t know about you, but for me this summer simply has been FLYING by. It isn’t that I’m not excited for Fall, after all it is my favorite season, it’s just that I want time to slow down!!! Well, anyway…….I digress!


DAY TWO: Challenge your irrational thoughts. Yes, this is much easier said than done. But what I want you to do is any time a negative thought creeps in to your head, consider WHY you think it. Take yourself step by step through about what caused the negativity to manifest itself. Look for the evidence that contradicts the thought. Upon challenging your irrational thoughts, and beliefs REPLACE them with positivity.

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One way to do this is to create a personal MANTRA that will consistently remind you of how fricking awesome you are! Seriously! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

You may be wondering, what exactly is a mantra and why do I need to do this? For simplicity’s sake and our purpose, it’s a word or phrase that is repeated to aid in concentration and help to change your thought patterns. Why are we doing this? For the purpose of encouraging positive self-talk and to channel your energy in to recognizing and cherishing your good qualities.

Creating YOUR mantra:
It MUST be positive and affirming.
So, example. Rather than saying I WANT to be fit, happy, healthy, strong, etc. Focus on your desired outcome. I AM fit, happy, healthy, strong, etc.
Mantras should NEVER be in the ‘negative’, such as I’m not weak, fat, slow, boring, alone etc. anymore.”

Start with thinking about your WHY from yesterday. It might just be a good inspiration. Then, sit down and practice creating a few different ideas on paper. If you have a particular goal in mind, paying off debt, losing weight, lowering blood pressure, feeling happier, gaining, confidence, then create some simple phrases connected to your goal. Then pick the one that speaks to you loudest, tugs at your heartstrings, and just gets you excited!
Here are some simple mantras to get you started:
I am fearless.
Success happens one day at a time.
I can do… (anything).
I deserve happiness.
I believe…..
I choose to be happy (healthy, driven, purposeful, caring)
I am healthy.

I am strong.
USE IT! I want you to write your finalized mantra on a piece of paper. (Get artsy with it if you want! Add color, images, create a collage, etc. ) Then, post it where you will see it daily.

Yes! You are going to have a lot of positivity sticking around your home/car/work, and that’s exactly what I want! We have enough negativity in our lives. It’s time to add some happiness, smiles, and confidence! AND REMEMBER…..

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Think positive. Live happy. Be Positively Happy!!

Eat MiNdFuLLy

Nutrition Tip: Unknown-1

Our bodies have great cues; we just need to tune in. In general, eat until you’re satisfied, not until you’re full or stuffed. Prepare your meal and sit down. Shut down your work, or the television, or whatever you may be doing, and focus on your meal. Being aware of when and why you’re eating or snacking will help control how much you consume throughout the day. When you eat fewer calories than you burn, you can burn excess stored fat SCORE!! 

Be careful also to not UNDER eat. To put things simply, if you eat too little, your body will go into a starvation mode and will reset your metabolism–in a bad way. This can
cause fat to be stored instead of burned. SO remember both eating too much OR too little can be detrimental to your goals and ultimately your health.
Eat REAL. Eat WELL. Eat REAL WELL!

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Day One: Stop Comparing, Start Progressing.

Good morning my friends! The day has arrived, the challenge begins! Are you ready? Let’s do this thing! 5 days of focusing on improving our nutrition, our fitness, our relationships with ourselves, and our zeal for life!

A few things to remember:

1. This is supposed to be FUN. Challenging, yes. But it should not be stressful, aim for progress not perfection!
2. Read the post for today (ALL of it) regarding step one on our self discovery/love/appreciation journey and don’t forget to make and share your list!
3. Focus your day on the other three aspects of our challenge. 1. Nutrition- aiming for a 8-9/10, give us a quick synopsis of what you had, the good, the bad, and the ugly! 2. Exercise- At least 30 minutes. 3. Water- Aim to drink a minimum of 64-oz of water per day. That’s just a minimum. A GREAT goal would be to down half your body weight in ounces of water (a 150 pound person would drink 75 ounces of water each day). START EARLY AND CARRY A WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU. 


Stop Comparing: Comparison is the thief of Joy

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This is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. I have unfortunately discovered that there is an infinite volume of things upon which we can compare ourselves, and an almost infinite number of individuals—including ourselves.

The problem is…once we set down the treacherous path of comparison we never find the end. There will always be someone faster, stronger, smarter, more successful, more beautiful, etc. etc. But that does not mean that we can’t be content with who we are and celebrate what we do and have done. Sure, there is nothing wrong with desiring to be more than we are now……. as long as it doesn’t rob us of our current joy.

I have long struggled to accept myself as I am. To applaud myself for the things I’ve accomplished, to cherish the beautiful qualities within me, and to love the body I have—the body that allows me to do so many amazing things.

I do NOT want you to miss out on this beautiful life any longer by spending your precious moments trying to be as good as or better than someone else. It’s time to focus on YOU. There are so many amazing things about you. You are unique, truly one of a kind and so much to be celebrated.

What I ask of you today is this…..make a list of at least three of…

Your admirable qualities (kindness, empathy, easy-going…).
Your physical attributes (eyes, hair, smile, legs, muscles, arms….)
Your abilities (take care of children, strength, ability to run, gardening skills, singing, dancing, artistic talents..)
Your accomplishments ( awards, career, education, raising a family, running a marathon, weight loss….)

AND POST THEM where you can look at them every day to remind you of all you have to offer.

Pantry Raid….

Happy Weekend all. 
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I’ve been thinking a lot about life, progression, and overcoming obstacles as I gear up for my very first health challenge. The goal of this challenge to encourage, inspire, and direct a group of amazing individuals to live their best life. As expected, many of them have expressed their fears and trepidation. They are worried about failure. But the truth is, there is no need for fear. Failure isn’t a reality. In fact, each time you think you’ve failed what you have really done is gained knowledge. All we can do is try, sometimes that leads to progress and other times we may regress. But we cannot let the fear of striking out keep us from playing the game!

One way you can increase your odds of reaching your goals is to PLAN, PREP, and PRIORITIZE. It’s going to be extremely important that you PREPARE your mind, your body, and your kitchen! So, in order to set yourself up for success get ready to tackle your pantry/fridge, and organize your cupboards! Even if you have just a few minutes to spend. You’ll be glad you did.

1. START ANEW: Throw out expired foods, stuff you don’t actually use, or foods that are going to tempt you. Wipe down your shelves, remove any cobwebs, vacuum the corners….get your space spic and span! 


2. ORGANIZE: Think grocery store style organization: Keep like things together. Grains, nuts, quick snacks, canned goods, etc. Fruits/veggies/proteins. Wash, cut, and store veggies and fruits in the fridge so they are ready to grab and go/eat.
And don’t forget to put less healthy things out of sight… 

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3. INVENTORY: Make a list of what you have, so you now what you will need to buy.
4. All done? Congratulations! Now that you’ve cleaned up, it’s time to stock up!
Looking for ideas of what to have on hand? Check out the image below for some ideas!

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Until next time. Keep living life- health minded. ❤

Your coach,
Tessa

Fall Back into Love with yourself…

New season, new YOU! Fall has long been a favorite time of year for me. A time of reflection, personal growth, and an overall slowing down of life. Over the next week or two I am going to be posting something new each day that will help you focus on your health by way of daily physical activity, healthy eating, and learning to love the person you are. New thoughts, new ideas, and new challenges to start your next chapter off right!

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Stay tuned for new posts and activities to help you live your best life!

Reflection. How I see me.

Good evening all,

Today, I recommend you take a deep look into your life. A look that will help you to see how far you’ve come. Yes, we have all made mistakes—and will continue to do so. Yes, we all have hopes, dreams, goals, and desires–and that’s wonderful!

But don’t get so focused on what’s ahead or upset about the past that you forget ALL you have accomplished. Keep in mind, every step is a gift, every breath- a miracle. Relish in the delights of the amazing person you are now, the life you’ve lived, and the memories you’ve acquired as these things will help encourage you to continue to be an even more amazing person tomorrow.

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My reflection today is on my career which also happens to be my passion {yes, I am that lucky!!! 😉 }

For me, being a personal trainer is far more than improving the physical fitness of my athletes. It’s about helping them see how amazing they are, to see what they are made of, and inspire them to be even better. I strive to empower them to try things they have always been afraid of, things they maybe once considered impossible.

For me being a personal trainer is about helping a person grow in all aspects of their life.

Each hour spent with my athletes is a chance for me to guide them, listen to them, and in turn learn from them. But it doesn’t stop there. I believe that my athletes deserve more. I work hard to be available to support each of them in times of weakness and to cheer them on during their triumphs.

I am eternally grateful to have such a rewarding career and couldn’t be more thankful for the athletes I get to work with. My tribe is small but mighty.

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You’re Trainer,
Tessa Spurk

ReFreSh YoUr LiFe, InFuSe YoUr WaTeR

Good Morning,

Today is going to be an amazing day. How do I know that you ask?

Well, first, it’s simply because I decided that it would be!! Nothing beats a positive outlook! 😉

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The other piece is that this weekend I decided to take a ride way out in the sticks to spend some much needed time away from the city. Back to my childhood home. The place where millions of memories were made and where life slows down. There is no other place on earth where I feel more at home, and truly peaceful. I hope that you too have a such a location that you can escape to every once in a while…….it’s truly refreshing…

You know what else is refreshing? Infused ice water! This morning, my infusion of choice is a blend of lemon juice, lime juice, and fresh strawberries from our garden.

*Perfection*


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Not only is it delicious! It offers some great health benefits!

1. FiGhTs iNflAmMaTiOn: Citrus flavonoids found in citrus fruits have been shown to help increase endothelial function within the blood vessels which help to increase circulation. Vitamin-C which citrus fruits are abundant in, helps to neutralize free radicals as it travels through the body.

“Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and also cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body. This is one of the reasons that vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.Since free radicals can damage blood vessels and can change cholesterol to make it more likely to build up in artery walls, vitamin C can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.” –whfoods.org

2. EnHaNcEs DiGeStiOn: Helps to aid in food assimilation by working along side with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach helping to break down food.

3. DeToX & cLeAnSe: Enhances the enzyme function and stimulates the liver which is the body’s primary detox organ.

Now, get to your happy place and enjoy a nice glass of iNfUsEd water.

IMG_3657Juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime, a handful of strawberries.

Waste no more….food.

Hey guys today, I’m sharing some tips on reducing household food waste. An issue that could really use some improvement!

As most of us know healthy eating starts with a successful trip to the grocery store.

But the truth is, even if your pantry and fridge are stocked–with healthy and delicious foods, you don’t receive any benefit if you don’t actually EAT what you have. I know plenty of people who stock their shelves with nutritious foods yet, the majority of what they purchase ends up in their trash and NOT their bellies.

Think back to childhood… do you remember having to eat every last pea on your plate because those starving children living in some place halfway across the globe? Yes?Well the truth is, that way of thought may be truly beneficial. It’s time to be a little more conservative.

Did you know that the global accumulation of food waste would be more than enough to cure hunger for the roughly 1 billion hungry people worldwide? That’s a whole lot of food!

Now, I’m not giving you permission to stuff yourself with every last morsel on your plate so as to not waste anything. That won’t help anybody… well except maybe the clothing companies who will be filling your needs as your waistline expands. 😉 What I am doing is informing you and hopefully encouraging you to make a few small changes.

{Families in the United States alone throw out nearly 40% of their total food supply!}

You know what that sounds like to me? A great place for improvement!!

If each of us decides to implement just one waste reduction strategy, we can help to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills. I’m in, are you???


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WhAt CaN yOu Do? Below is just a few simple ideas to get you started. Read through and decide which would be best for you to try. Start taking steps TODAY to help create a better TOMORROW.

At the market:

  • Plan ahead, make a list, and stick to it! Try to refrain from impulse buys and never shop on an empty stomach.
  • Be realistic about how much you will need. Don’t over buy.
    • How much can you actually consume?Are you single? Have a family? Guests coming? These circumstances may change  the amount you will purchase.
    • Think, plan, and then purchase.
    • Avoid getting pulled in to buying bulk for the “deal”. If half of it ends up in your trash bin, you really aren’t doing yourself a favor.

In the kitchen/pantry:

Practice the FIFO (first in first out) method: As you restock your fridge/pantry try to place older foods in the front and newer items towards back.

Prep ASAP: Prepare foods when you return from the market. Wash, chop, and contain fruits and veggies so they are ready to eat.

List it: Keep a running list of what you toss each week. This will likely help you to streamline your grocery list. If you realize you are consistently throwing the same things out, adjust the amount you purchase.

Eat leftovers! Sure they may not be glamorous. Suck it up and just do it. Your future great grandchildren will thank you! 😉

Be creative:

  • Slightly imperfect produce is still perfectly useable! Soft fruit is great for smoothies, wilted veggies go great in soups! And both of them are great candidates for whipping up a vat of delicious juice!
  • Stale bread makes great croutons!
  • Beet tops are great in soups or sautéed.
  • Broccoli stems can be chopped and used in soups/stews.

Share the knowledge: Share what you have learned with your friends and family. Knowledge is power!

COMPOST it: I am such a huge fan of composting. Not only does it GREATLY reduce what goes in the trash each week, composting generates fantastic soil for use in your garden. Check out this article from better homes and gardens to get started. http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/compost/gardeners-gumbo/