Dark Chocolate Truffles for Valentines Day

I had to do a post on one of my all time favorite recipes. I’m a dark chocolate lover , so these are the perfect treat. Truffles can be a great gift to anyone, or a great dessert for the month of February. 

These truffles are easy, low on sugar, and adds so many health benefits with the Dark Chocolate. Isn’t that a great reason to make some truffles?

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 heavy cream ( light)
  • 5oz. 70 percent dark Chocolate ( finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fat free butter or ghee

1. Heat the cream to a boil, add the 70 percent dark Chocolate . Remove the saucepan from the heat. Make sure that you stir the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. 

2.Stir the fat free butter in until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth.

3. Put the mixture in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

4. Refrigerate one hour.

5. To make the truffles, use a spoon or a baller to scoop the chocolate mixture into balls. You then want to place on waxed paper.

6. If you decide to use cover chocolate, dip the balls into chocolate and let freeze for one hour. You can cover in cinnamon sugar, strawberry dressing, or whatever sounds delightful. Enjoy!

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Great Ways to celebrate Valentines Day

Valentines Day is almost here, and I have some great ideas on how to spend your special day. I love this month because its always a fun time to do crafty ideas with my daughter, and we always love baking. We always love skimming Pinterest ideas. It’s a great time to do fun activities with your kids, but don’t forget about your significant other. They can’t be forgotten right? Times are chaotic these days filled with kid priorities, so getting lost in the craziness is essentially easy for couples. This time of the year is nice to just give a friendly reminder , in way of gifts or dinner, to let them know how much they mean. One great item that always works if you are both wine lovers is buying a great bottle of wine. Wine clubs are the best , where you can be picky about the wine you want. When we travel, we always pick up a great bottle from a restaurant we have loved and put the date and place on it. A great bottle can be popped open, or just kept for a later time. Heading to a great restaurant is also great.

If you are thinking of something for your lady, then flowers and a great book she has been wanting is always a great gesture of appreciation. I feel Valentines Day can be over rated for some, but its a great time to let your significant other know you do appreciate him or her. Chocolates are always a favorite of mine. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate? My daughter loves it too, which helps. It doesn’t necessarily have to be those things that are given. I think a great money clip is great for a man. It’s something that they can use everyday. The smallest things can have the biggest meanings, and that is what’s important. Love is spread in many ways.

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Guest Blogger : Sarah Bockhart.. Shin Splints

What are Shin splints? ” Shin Splints is an umbrella term that simply means “Shin pain”. A bit like “Back ache”, it doesn’t specify one exact condition or injury. Shin Splints can be very painful and affect your training to the point where it has to cease while you recover and it can certainly get worse the longer you leave it. 

The main symptom or if shin Splints is shin pain , right down the front of the lower part of your leg that worsens when you dorsiflex the ankle, ( drawing your toes up away from the floor). The muscle that you see tensing when you do this is called your tibialis anterior and that is usually the area that you will feel the pain. 

The pain can be dull like DOMS that you can put up with or it could be a sharp severe pain that stops you in your tracks. It may worsen with exercise and usually decreases and subsides with rest. 

Causes

The usual causes of shin Splints include:

  • A sudden increase or change in your physical activity such as taking up running or a new class /sport
  • Increase in body weight which puts additional strain on your leg muscles
  • You may have tight calves or Achilles’ tendon. Think of these as the opposite force to your shin muscle the tibialis anterior. So as your toes lift up, your tibialis anterior has to contract and your calf muscles relax -as your toes point, your calves contract and your tibialis anterior relax. If your calves or Achilles’ tendons are tight , your poor tibialis anterior has to pull harder in order to complete the movement which puts a lot of strain on it and therefore causes pain either at the time of exercising or the day after. 
  • Incorrect footwear- you may need an insole stop over -pronation of the foot ( flat feet) or simply need a new pair with more support . Your tibialis anterior not only dorsiflexes the foot, it also inverts it. ( think flex your foot up and then try to lift the big toe higher than the rest of your toes). Likewise with the tight calves, you have a flat arch , your tibialis anterior has to work harder to lift that area of the foot up because it has further to travel than with someone who has ideal arches. 

Treatment 

Most cases of shin Splints are easily treated very much the same as DOMS. You simply test as best as you can. You can try ice or pain relief and on occasion a little bit of gentle activity such as a slow walk can help too. 

Prevention 

If you want to avoid developing shin Splints , you can try the following : 

  • Start a new exercise regimen slowly and build up gradually
  • Make sure you warm up thoroughly before exercising so the muscles and joints are supple enough to withstand the load 
  • Make sure you have good quality , supportive footwear along with arch insoles if needed from a podiatrist 
  • Weight loss can help with many exercise issues such as shin Splints or plantar fasciitis.
  • Strength and flexibility exercises such as Kinetic Revolutions Heel Walk or this less conspicuous exercise. 
  • Stretching your calves and Achilles’ tendons may help. There are many demonstrations on you tube, here is a photo of me stretching my calf muscles:sports massag can also help relieve shin splint pain as well as prevent it developing. For example, having a massage therapist work into your. All muscles , peroneals, and Achilles it can ease off the tension that your poor tibialis anterior has to work against to contract and lift the toes when performing a simple move such as allowing you to strike the floor with your heel first while walking. 

If you are unsure always visit your GP. Other conditions can on occasion feel similar to shin Splints such as :

  • Intermittent claudication ( where the blood vessels are partially blocked to the lack of oxygen causes leg pain- commonly effects the calf muscles during exercise. 
  • Compartment syndrome 
  • Stress fracture, injury, strain or sprain. 

Do you suffer from shin Splints? What causes yours? What do you find works best for you when you’re recovering? I’d love to read your comments. 

Sarah Blockhart has been in the personal training industry since 2008. She specializes in sports massage, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise with medical conditions and teaches a number of fitness classes. She is from Clacton-on-sea Essex. 

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Zucchini noodle & shrimp salad

It’s time to throw away that pasta , and replace it with delicious zucchini noodles. You will replace the carb filled , non nutritious pats with antioxidant filled zucchini. The most amazing thing is, you will not taste a difference. Zucchini noodles are perfect for those pasta dishes that the whole family will love. 

If you are making this recipe, it’s best to use a vegetable spiralizer. It’s easiest that way to get gorgeous zucchini noodles. 

This will serve 2 people. If you want more, you can double the recipe. 

– 2 small zucchini

-2 cups shrimp

-1/2 cup pesto 

-1 cup Parmesan 

– Pepper to taste 

-2tsp olive oil 

In a medium skillet, pour the olive oil in and put on low to medium heat. Once it warms up, throw the zucchini noodles in and cook for about 5-7 min . Set them aside. Throw in the shrimp , until it’s cooked on both sides. Pre cooked shrimp is ok to use also. Throw in the pesto and Parmesan. Place the zucchini noodles back in and stir. Add in pepper. It’s so delicious. Enjoy! 

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