How To Start Eating Clean

how-to-start-eating-clean

It’s all the rage; clean eating. Take a look at any bookstore diet shelf and you’ll see it filled with  clean eating guides. We’re sorta turned off by that word. It implies an extreme black and white mentality of clean vs dirty foods or good vs bad. It also sorta gives us visions of having to clean our foods by.. scrubbing harder? But that’s besides the point. If you’ve had a chance to read some of our other posts, you know we’re all about balance.

BUT the fundamentals of the “eating clean” trend are absolutely on point with our nutrition philosophy. By eating clean, you’re essentially replacing all of those meaningless, nutritionally inadequate foods with real, wholesome ingredients. So let’s talk basics. What are some of those fundamental principles and how can you practice a “clean diet”?

#1 This is a way of life, not a diet – Clean eating is all about balance and moderation in your intake. This is not something you just do for a few weeks. It’s something you embrace for a lifetime. Enjoy the journey of figuring out your perfect balance and tailoring your goals for the long haul.

#2 Limit over processed foods – Focus on eating whole foods as close to their natural state by avoiding foods that have been highly processed. Keep packaged foods limited to those with shorter ingredient lists. If we keep our food choices to nutrients that our bodies actually need, then our bodies are able to run smoother and more efficiently. We no longer let crappy food hijack our digestive systems and turn against us.

#3 Up your vegetable and fruit intake – With a focus on wholesome foods, you’ll automatically gravitate to the produce section. This will help give you a variety of nutrients that aren’t available anywhere else in the supermarket. Added bonus: most of these are low in calories and high in nutrients!

#5 If you’re gonna eat meats, make em good eats – Aim for organic, grass fed, free range animal protein when appropriate. These will have a better balance of good fats vs bad fats. They’ll definitely be a little pricier, but totally worth it.

#6 Limit unhealthy fats, excess salt and added sugar – This will happen naturally when you follow #1 – #5. Choose leaner meats, don’t drink your calories, and focus on cooking more foods yourself to avoid excess salt.

It might seem overwhelming at first glance, but there is always a way of turning your favorite dishes into healthy “clean eats”. It’s just a matter of accepting there will be a learning curve and taking baby steps towards fueling your body with what it actually needs.

Remember! Marketing companies want your money! Be suspicious of foods advertised as healthy options. And keep in mind that buying your groceries in a health food store doesn’t automatically make that food healthy. Read your labels and learn to identify wacko sounding ingredients.  If you can remain objective when reviewing diet trends, you’ll be able to sift through and find what makes sense and leave the rest behind. Otherwise, YOU HAVE US!!

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins

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Quinoa is not just for savory dishes.  It can be used in many sweet recipes and this summer, we’re all about it. The only reason we titled these muffins is because we used a muffin tin and cupcake liners, other wise, they’re not your traditional muffins. They have a softer, gooier consistency, still super delish. Best part, no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. All wholesome ingredients to sweetened like dates, applesauce, apples.  

We’re into naturally gluten free foods vs having to buy those gluten free rice blends that jam pack potato starch into them. These quinoa muffin bakes are gluten free and like everything we post, simple to make. They would also taste super yummy as a crumble topping to greek yogurt or some banana nice cream.

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Each muffin has only 154 calories and is loaded with 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein! Super fibrous to keep us feeling fuller longer :)

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Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins
Yields 9
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  2. 10-12 medjool dates (pits removed and soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  3. 1 small apple, grated
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  5. 2 egg whites
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  10. 1/4 tsp ginger
  11. pinch nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Drain the dates.
  3. In a food processor, combine the dates and quinoa and mix together. Then add in the remaining ingredients until everything is mixed well.
  4. Transfer batter into muffin pans or a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely before removing from the muffin liners.
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/

Gym-timidation – Are You Afraid of the Gym?

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From the overly perky front desk chick to the pushy trainers trying to make a sale on the floor. Gym related anxiety can start from the moment you walk into the gym. That can be pretty damn intimidating and not to mention discouraging! Why does it seem like everyone’s staring at me? What do all of those machines do? Where do I start? How does it all work? These are totally normal thoughts. And just an FYI- nobody FREAKIN cares. Most people are so focused on their own workout, that they probably have no clue you even exist.. unless, of course, you’re hogging the elliptical/squat rack/bench/whatever during prime hours.

Sarah : When I first started going to the gym (to actually work out and not bullshit around and hop on machines to sit and text or have a hang out sesh with the BFF), I would go to the gym at 4 am. Why in the world would someone want to wake up that early to workout? Mostly, it was fear of embarrassment. I was nervous to have other people watch me workout out. What would they think of a girl like me on the elliptical? Early morning workouts gave me a sense of security because I knew it’d be a semi judgement-free zone since there were less people present to judge me. Have I changed my way of thinking? Mostly. I still love an emptier gym but the intimidation factor has definitely decreased. My focus has switched from what are others thinking to why I’m there, what I’m doing, and what am I doing next.

If it’s your first time stepping in the gym, it makes sense that those machines are going to be foreign to you. Random balls and jump boxes everywhere? Everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing and by the time you’ve taken in your surroundings, you’ve wasted a good 10 minutes panicking. Staring at the girl sprinting on the treadmill next to you and comparing yourself to her isn’t a good idea. She’s not competing with you, she’s competing with herself.

Remember these 4 things

Nobody cares

The number one thing you have to remember is that all of those people you see killing it in the gym started somewhere. They may have grown up in the gym as a result of a high school sports team or maybe they picked fitness up later in life. Doesn’t matter. The point is, they started from the beginning. Just like you. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They experienced walking into a gym for the first time and probably had the same thoughts as you.

Types of gym people

There are 3 types of people at the gym. #1 Newbies like you. They’re worried about the same things you are. Trust us, they’re not looking at you. #2 Gym rats. Not the cute ones. Not the ones that are happy people. We’re talking about the self-absorbed gym rats that are really only worried about what outfit they’re wearing or what their biceps/ass look like in the mirror. You don’t even register in their minds. #3 People that truly love fitness and have made it part of their lifestyle. These are probably the only gym goers with any right to judge based on their experience. But the magical part is that they’re also the least likely to judge you. Why? Because they’ve most definitely had their own transformation and respect anyone that’s working on improving themselves through healthy lifestyle choices.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Don’t ask a million questions, but asking someone that looks like they know what they’re doing? Most people are flattered and happy to help. Curious about a machine? Watch someone else on it. Don’t be embarrassed about it. You’re learning. Embrace the fact that you’re new to this and be excited! Enthusiasm is contagious and most people are excited about what they know how to do with their bodies and are eager to share their knowledge. Dont be afraid to make eye contact. Smile at people. Compliment them on their workout attire. Make friends. It’s the best thing that can happen to you at the gym. Also, most gyms offer a free training session with a personal trainer when you first sign up. Take advantage of it! What’s awesome about it is that they can answer your questions and outline a basic routine suited for your goals.

Do some research

A little research goes a long way. And there are so many resources out there to make the first day at the gym less confusing! If you’re forgoing the assistance of a trainer, you can check out tons of workouts possibilities on Pinterest or YouTube. Look up some of your favorite celebrity bodies and find their workout to practice!

It’ll get better. We promise <3

Chocolate Blueberry Protein Cupcake

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Because if we’re going to have a cupcake, why not pack in loads of nutrients?! Protein in a cupcake form where we can have cute polka dot liners= pure joy. Probably wouldn’t win in a cupcake wars challenge but at a quarter of the calories compared to a Sprinkles cupcake, this is a seriously delicious winner in our books. 

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Make sure you use ripe bananas! Want all the sweetness you can get here.

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Mix the batter throughly, no loose bitter cocoa powder clumps. You can use chocolate protein powder for more richness but we only had vanilla in the cabinet and turned out great anyways.

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PB2 flavored whip cream at only 28 calories per serving! 

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Chocolate Blueberry Protein Cupcakes
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe bananas
  2. 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  3. 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  4. 1 scoop protein powder
  5. 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  6. 1 large egg white
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 2 tsp truvia or stevia
  10. 1 cup blueberries
Frosting
  1. 12 Tbsp of whip cream
  2. 1 Tbsp of Pb2
Instructions
  1. Add 2 bananas to a large mixing bowl and mash together. You can use a potato masher or a food processor, whatever you prefer.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed.
  3. Add 1 scoop protein powder
  4. Add Chia seed to banana mixture.
  5. Add 2 packets of truvia or stevia if you prefer it. Or 2 tsp if you don't have the packets.
  6. Separate the yolk and the egg. Add the egg white to the bowl.
  7. Mix in baking powder and baking soda.
  8. Add in unsweetened cocoa powder.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Add in one cup of blueberries. (You can add more if you’d like). Mix well and make sure blueberries are distributed evenly throughout the batter.
  11. Fill a cupcake pan with 6 liners.
  12. Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into six cups!
  13. Bake for 17-19 minutes at 350 degrees.
  14. Let them cool after removing from the oven.
  15. When the cupcakes have cooled, remove them from the pan. Make sure they are room temperature before adding the frosting
For the frosting
  1. Mix together 12 Tbsp of whip cream and 1 tbsp of Pb2.
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/

Tex Mex Mason Jar Salad

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Who loves mason jars? Sarah and Sofia love mason jars! They are so versatile and honestly, just make everything look awesome. So these jars make a perfect solution to soggy green salads, because we all know how yucky those kinds of salads taste. You can pretty much turn any salad into a mason jar salad by using the “wet on the bottom” + “dry on top” method. 

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Anyone else love the Bolthouse yogurt salad dressing line? 2 tablespoons will only cost ya 40 calories! Compare that to the typical 180 calories for 2 tablespoons, this is an awesome trade off. 

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Starting with the “wet on the bottom” method- the salad dressing goes first.

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Next comes 1/4 cup black beans. 

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1/8 cup corn.

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4 cherry tomatoes, you can halve them if you prefer (probably would make for more even bites).

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So! Depending on your diet style- if your a vegetarian- omit the grilled chicken and move onto the next step. If not and you want to add more fiber into your diet and alternative protein sources try 2oz grilled chicken + 1/4 cup quinoa. If not, add 4oz of grilled chicken.

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Quinoa! (see above instructions) If going with all quinoa, you’re adding in 1/2 cup quinoa.

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1/3 of a chopped avocado is added next to the layers.

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Here comes the fun part- packing in as much greens as possible.

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We were able to pack in 1 cup of shredded lettuce and 3 cups of spinach.

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Final product! Tex-Mex style mason jar salad! Screw on the cap and store in refrigerator. Shake and pour out salad when you’re ready to serve. 

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Enjoy! 

Tex- Mex Mason Jar Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons Cilantro Avocado Dressing
  2. 1/4 cup black beans
  3. 1/8 cup corn
  4. 4 grape tomatoes
  5. 4 oz grilled chicken breast or 1/4 cup quinoa
  6. 1/4 avocado, chopped
  7. 1 cup lettuce, chopped
  8. 3 cups spinach
Instructions
  1. Layer the mason jar with the ingredients above starting with the 2 tablespoons of dressing.
  2. Twist on the top to seal your salads and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/

Fibrous Toasted Whole Grain Berry Popcorn Granola

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If  Sarah could live off granola, she would. It’s pretty much equivlant to the relationship Sofia has with chocolate. Granola is one of those foods we often group into the category of healthy without diving into what the nutritional stats on those honey roasted toasted delish-ness actually are. Granola can set us back a lot when we’re talking weight loss and those extra calories can add up quick! This recipe, adapted from JollyLife is an awesome alternative to getting in that granola fix with a fraction of the calories and even more fiber. A 3/4 cup serving of this granola will give you 145 calories, 4g of fiber, and 3g of protein. Take a minute to compare that to the standard granola by using an app like LoseIt or MyFitnessPal, total eye opener to how much is packing in that granola. 

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nutritional-information-weight-loss-granola

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Fibrous Toasted Whole Grain Berry Popcorn Granola
Serves 16
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Ingredients
  1. 10 cups plain popcorn, popped
  2. 2 cups barley flakes
  3. 1/4 cup oat bran
  4. 1/4 cup wheat germ
  5. 1/2 cup honey
  6. 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  7. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 2 tsp ground ginger or cardamom
  9. 2 tsp vanilla
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
  11. 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  12. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250˚F.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mix popcorn, barley flakes, oat bran, and wheat germ in a large bowl.
  3. Mix honey, oil, spices, vanilla, and salt in a glass measuring cup until well blended. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat.
  4. Pour mixture onto baking sheet in an even layer. Bake about 40 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in blueberries and cranberries. Cool completely; store in airtight container.
Notes
  1. Yield: 16- 3/4 cup servings
  2. Nutrition (per serving)
  3. Calories: 145
  4. Fat: 3g
  5. Fiber: 4g
  6. Protein: 3g
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/

Working Out and Makeup

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First of all, we’re not ragging on makeup. We love makeup. Especially Sofia! She could probably spend an entire day walking through Sephora and picking up every single item. But she’s noticed a slight change in her obsession.

Sofia:
Ever since I started getting closer and closer to my weight loss goals, I started to decrease my makeup application. I started to wonder why! And I came to the the following conclusions.

#1 Putting on makeup is a chore. And when you plan on working out more than once a day, putting on makeup can seem like such a waste of time. A waste of time when you could be sleeping. A waste of time when you could be meal prepping. Or maybe just a waste of time. Period.

#2 All that self confidence from having your ass jiggle just a little less? Basically translates to an IDGAF attitude. So what if I look exhausted and my lips are drained of color and my cheeks are flushed red from working hard. IDGAF ‘cause my ass looks great in these yoga pants. Besides, you should just be happy that I don’t opt out of a second shower on those days I decide to workout in the AM and PM.

#3 My skintone is more even and blemish free since I stopped putting crap in my body. I don’t need foundation. Ya, maybe I’m a little more tan from all those outdoor activities and ya maybe there are a few more sunspots, but IDGAF. Because that’s what my face looks like.

#4 When I finally do put makeup on, I see a stranger. I’ve spent so much time looking at myself sweaty and gross post-workouts, that this face is my new normal. And that other girl in the mirror looks a little overdone.

Now don’t get us started on girls that wear makeup to the gym. *Eye Roll*

We’re not talking about the girls that add maybe a touch of this or a touch of that to boost their confidence a bit. We definitely understand everyone has got their own insecurities. And by no means are we trying to poke fun at these people. We’re talking about the ones that walk into the gym with a face-full of makeup. You must have to look at yourself in the mirror when you’re applying that to your face, right? Like, you must know what you look like. You must know you look like you just finished filming a YouTube product review video for every single product in your makeup bag.

Besides, working out with makeup means:

#1 You have to give yourself extra time before and after workouts to apply and reapply makeup (and aren’t we always complaining about not having enough time to fit in a workout?)

#2 Your pores are gonna get super huge and gross from having all that product on your face. And you’re probably gonna break out soooo soo much ‘cause you know that shit clogs your pores. #skincare101

#3 You’ll probably try not to sweat so hard so you don’t smear your makeup. OR you’ll sweat so hard your makeup ends up everywhere and neither of those are cute.

So stop it. You look out of place. And no one takes you seriously. And you’re giving the rest of us girls a bad rap.

How To Make Chia Seed Pudding

how-to-make-chia-seed-pudding

Anyone else notice the stockpile of awesome looking chia seed pudding recipes on Pinterest lately? We have so many combos we’re excited to try but realized, why not meal prep chia seed pudding just like we do when making our batches of steal cut oatmeal? By making these delish pudding cups, we get to eat this nutritionally dense snack, while being able to mix in our desired flavors instead of just sticking to one at a time! Win, win. 

At only 120 calories, this chia seed pudding recipe makes a great weight loss snack and another awesome snack for the kiddos. In each serving there’s also 4 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein! 

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Here’s a basic, but amazingly tasty chia seed pudding recipe. Eat it as is, or doctor it up with some other flavor combos. We have some on our bucket list so stay tuned for our fave combos coming soon! What chia seed pudding flavors are you all into right now? 

Basic Chia Seed Pudding
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cup almond milk
  2. 2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
  3. 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus 8 teaspoons for serving
  4. 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  6. ½ cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, gently whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 4 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt until just blended.
  2. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, in a medium bowl, stir in the remaining 8 teaspoons maple syrup.
Notes
  1. Nutrition (per serving)
  2. Calories: 120
  3. Fiber: 4g
  4. Protein: 8g
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/

Cauliflower Bites

cauliflower-tots

 Have we talked about our  cauliflower obsession yet? Seriously, we love cauliflower and it’s versatility. A lot. Here’s a simple twist on the traditional tator tot that’s usually fried with potatoes. These cauliflower tots are way lower in calories, 55 per 4 tot, not bad huh? By baking them instead of frying you simnifically reduce the calories and fat grams! The breadcrumbs are going to help give it that crispy texture and bind it all together.

We love these because they’re a great way to sneak more vegetables into our diets and are great for the kids to snack on or to compliment a meal. Dip the bites into ketchup for more of the original tator tot experience. 

weight-loss-side-dish-cauliflower-tots

Cauliflower Bites
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked cauliflower florets, finely chopped
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 1/2 cup onion, minced
  5. 3 tbsp reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  6. 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  7. salt & pepper to taste
  8. cooking spray
Instructions
  1. To cook the cauliflower florets, steam a little over 2 cups raw cauliflower florets in a little water covered for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but not too mushy, then drain well and dry on paper towel, then using a knife, finely chop and set 2 cups aside
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through cooking until golden
Adapted from Skinny Taste
Adapted from Skinny Taste
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/
 FYI- best to use a knife when prepping the cauliflower- a food processor might make it too mushy, real quickly. If your having trouble keeping the mixture together, make sure everything is finely chopped or try to add more breadcrumbs. 

Enjoy!

 

Almond Berry Yogurt Bark

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Here’s a healthy twist on making “bark” but with greek yogurt instead. You can play around with the toppings but for this one we chose almonds, blueberries, and shredded coconut. We used plain greek yogurt to up the protein game here instead of regular yogurt.  The honey in the recipe is optional so feel free to try the two different variations if you’re looking for a lighter version go with sans honey. 

We love this one for so many reasons: 1. It’s customizable as we mentioned above. 2. It’s a great weight loss snack or healthier dessert option 3. Tasty and healthy kid friendly snack idea. 

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FYI-  The yogurt melts pretty fast so we recommend eating them right away from the freezer. 

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Almond Berry Yogurt Bark
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Greek Yogurt (we used Fage)
  2. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  3. Toppings
  4. 2 tablespoons Almonds
  5. 1/2 cup Blueberries
  6. 2 tablespoons Shredded Coconut
  7. 2 tablespoons honey- optional
Instructions
  1. Mix 1 tsp vanilla extract into the greek yogurt
  2. Spread the greek yogurt mixture out onto parchment paper (or wax paper) evenly (about 2/4 inch thick).
  3. Sprinkle on your toppings, almonds, blueberries, coconut
  4. Freeze overnight or for about 5 hours.
  5. In the morning remove from the baking sheet and cut or break into small piece and eat cold.
  6. Store extra pieces in a freezer safe container.
Fit Lush http://www.fitlush.com/
 Share below any other ideas or combos you guys have tried or think would go great in a greek yogurt bark snack. Enjoy!

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