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Are you tired of going to chiropractic and massage appointments to get rid of your back pain, but the results are too short lived?

I was in the exact the same boat after I had my kids and dealt with upper back pain in my first years postpartum. Chiropractic and massage only helped for a day or so and the aches and pains and upper back stress feeling always came back.

Today, in my latest YouTube video, I’m sharing my not-so-secret solution to how you can get rid of upper back pain so you can feel strong and pain free.  

These exercises aren’t just for moms who are mother hunching and carrying kids around all day. It’s even for moms who sit at a computer screen or hunch over their cell phones all day. So really, this video and these exercises are for anyone and everyone!

In this episode, I’m sharing:

  • 5 at-home resistance training exercises you can do to get strong and alleviate aches & pains
  • How many days a week you should be strength training your back

All you have to do is watch my new video by clicking here.

Try these exercises yourself for a week and let me know how your back aches, pains and soreness have improved.

NO MORE Postpartum Back Pain (5 Back Strengthening Exercises to Feel Strong & Pain Free) - YouTube

Denise

The post NO MORE postpartum back pain | 5 exercises to feel strong & pain free appeared first on Strong Mom.

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It’s been so dreary this Spring, but I know you’re dying to start wearing your tank tops,  sundress and sandals out! I totally am too!

But you wanna’ know what looks even sexier than the clothes you wear? The sexy arms and shoulders you’ve got to go with your summer outfits!

So, let’s take advantage of these dreary spring days, and take time to workout our upper body to get #tanktop ready for summer.

In today’s video I’m giving you a 15 minute at-home upper body workout.

If you’ve wanted to know how to get strong arms, how to get strong shoulders, how to get rid of arm flab, how to get lean arms, and get boulder shoulders then this is the video for you!

This is your tank top arms workout for sexy summer arms. Grab your dumbbells and let’s do this!

PS, this is a full 15 minute workout, so you’ll be doing this whole workout with me, I’ve got the timer on so no excuses!!

Tank Top Arms Workout (FOR SEXY SUMMER ARMS) - YouTube

Try it and let me know how you like it. And be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel cause I drop a new video every week!

The post Tank Top Arms Workout (For Sexy Summer Arms) appeared first on Strong Mom.

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By far the most frequent question I get asked is: “Denise how do I get rid of my mummy tummy?”

So today’s video I’m going into that by breaking down the 5 culprits of mummy tummy.

We all know that mummy tummy is the extra “stuff” around our midsection. But in order to fully get rid of it, fix it and lose it, we first need to identify what kind of mummy tummy we have.

Could it be simply be your poor posture? Or is it constipation or other digestive issues? Or is it an actual condition called Diastasis Recti?

You really can’t get to the “getting rid of it part” without actually really knowing what it is.  So click here to get today’s video and find out once and for all what’s actually causing your mummy tummy so that you can be that much closer to fixing it for good.

Mummy Tummy | Identify the cause so you can fix it - YouTube

Ps, I’m creating a whole YouTube series around Mummy Tummy so let me know if you have any questions about it and I’ll be sure to address it in an upcoming video.

In fitness & nutrition,

The post Mummy Tummy | Identify The Cause (SO YOU CAN FIX IT) appeared first on Strong Mom.

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I love chocolate, but I’ve never been a huge fan of brownies. And I’ve never baked brownies before.

Until NOW that is!

Ever since I got my Instapot I’ve been trying to put it to good use. I don’t make full dinners in it, but rather cook one off ingredients. For example I’m all about saving money and making my own cooked beans instead of buying canned beans. And I also like to cook sweet potatoes in it as well, cause they cook up in 15 minutes.

One day while scrolling through my online recipe collection I saw a brownie recipe I saved years ago from the Cooking for Kiwi And Bean Blog. They were fudge brownies made with sweet potatoe and black beans!

What?? Fudge & brownies all in one, AND made with a vegetable and beans and no refined sugar? Sign me up! (I realize that some of you may be cringing at the thought of putting sweet potato and black beans in brownies, but hear me out!)

But only once I got putting the ingredients in the bowl did I realize that I only had half of the cacao powder that the recipe called for. (You know when you really want to eat what you’re baking NOW, but you can’t continue because you didn’t read the recipe fully and didn’t plan on running out of an ingredient you usually always have on hand? Yup, it was one of those nights!)

brownie in hand

Anyways, I had to think fast and so I replaced my missing half of the cacao powder with peanut butter powder and went merrily on my way finishing the recipe.

And low and behold, I created the most amazing tasting chocolate peanut butter fudge brownie recipe ever. With the help of the original recipe creator of course!

The kids loved them, and so did my friends.

And guess what? No one will guess that there’s sweet potato and black beans in them either!

I’ve had my family and friends devour these babies, so try em and let me know how you like them ok?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked black beans (if using canned make sure to drain and rinse)
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (see note below)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup + 2Tbsp Canadian maple syrup
  • 1/3 coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • ¼ cup peanut butter powder
  • ½ cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3-4 Tbsp natural peanut butter (this means no added sugar or oils – just peanuts and salt)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips and peanut butter into a high speed blender or food processor. And blend until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter onto the parchment paper lined baking dish and mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Using a knife, dip it into the peanut butter and drag it through the top part of the take chocolate brownie mixture. Keep doing this until all the peanut butter has been used up and the top of the brownie mixture looks nice and swirly, with some peaks. You do not need to flatten the brownie mixture. It looks nicer when it has some texture to it.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool in the pan for a few hours. Place in the fridge overnight until it has set. I can’t stress how important this part is. I know you really really want to eat it like NOW, and if you try to cut it you’ll think it’s undercooked or you did something wrong. Just let it cool overnight, and you’ll see that you didn’t do anything wrong!
  6. Take out of the fridge and gently remove the parchment paper and cut into small bars and enjoy!

NOTE: Try cooking your sweet potato whole in the instapot with the skin still on for about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked through you’ll be able to slip the skin off and mash easily.

The post Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Brownies appeared first on Strong Mom.

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FitTritious by Denise Chiriboga - 3M ago

It’s Valentines Day week, and it’s also the week of my birthday, oh and my sons birthday too!!! It’s a busy week this week!

Because my son and I both love chocolate, and because it’s Valentines Day week I whipped up these yummy chocolate bites for the occasion. Truth is, I’ve been making these for the last month, but we’ve gobbled them up before taking pictures of them!!

These chocolate caramel hearts are made with real food ingredients, the caramel is nutty and chewy, and only 2 ingredients. The chocolate is equally as easy, and made with only 4 ingredients you likely already have at home.

Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 10 soft deglet or medjool dates

Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch himalayan salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. If dates aren’t soft, soften by soaking in some boiled water for 10 minutes, and drain water.
  2. Place dates and tahini in a high powered blender and blend until smooth, this is the caramel part of the heart.
  3. Place tahini and date caramel in small heart shaped candy molds.
  4. Freeze until firmed up.
  5. Meanwhile prepare a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper and ensure there is space for it in your freezer.
  6. Prepare the chocolate by adding all the chocolate ingredients together, whisking to ensure there are no clumps or dry bits.
  7. Gently pop the heart shaped caramel out of the molds.
  8. Using two forks, dip each caramel heart into the chocolate and place on parchment paper. Alternatively you could stick a toothpick into each heart and then dip the hearts into the chocolate.
  9. Freeze until chocolate has become solid. Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day ladies!

In fitness & nutrition

The post Chocolate Caramel Hearts appeared first on Strong Mom.

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FitTritious by Denise Chiriboga - 3M ago

There’s no other flavour that reminds me more of Christmas than chocolate and peppermint combined together in a refreshing chocolatey treat!

Except for maybe clementines and pomegranates. They remind me of Christmas too. But I’m talking about chocolate and peppermint truffles here today ok!!

I admit, I’ve been on a chocolate kick for the last few weeks. But I can’t help myself because it’s Christmas time, and I’m just so inspired to turn some of the unhealthy Christmas treats into healthier ones for us all to enjoy with less guilt.

They’re still guilty pleasures don’t get me wrong, but at least you can be sure that the treat recipes you find on this blog aren’t made with refined white sugar or crappy fats and other filler ingredients.

In fact this recipe was made using a new brand of coconut oil I had never used before: Silkeny.  I used it in making the truffle inside as well as the chocolate coating, and it had the perfect taste and not too coconut-y. Which is always the question I get about making stuff with coconut oil. People who dislike the taste of coconut want to make sure whatever recipe they’re making isn’t going to taste like coconut.

Well I can assure you, if you don’t like coconut flavour, then this is a good brand of coconut oil to use.

These peppermint truffles are made with only earth grown nutrients, and they’re quick to make too, cause I’m all about making quick goodies when I’m feeling tempted to eat some packaged chocolate candy.

This recipe is:
-pepperminty with the right amount of chocolate
-refreshing
-made with only 6 ingredients
-made with healthy fats and fibre

If you’re looking for other healthy Christmas baked goods make in a hurry, make sure to try my Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, and Pecan Chocolate Turtles,

If you try this recipe, make sure to let me know and leave a comment below,  and don’t forget to tag me in picture #strongmomrecipes on Instagram.

Happy Christmas Baking mamas!

Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Ingredients

    For the Peppermint Truffle Middle
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut butter
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp coconut flour
  • 10 drops doTerra peppermint oil
  • For the Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • pinch himalayan salt
  • crushed candy cane (optional)

Instructions

    For the Truffles
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes until the mixture has firmed up a bit
  3. Place a tsp amount in your hand and roll into a ball
  4. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Freeze for 10 minutes until peppermint truffle balls harden
  6. For the Chocolate Outter Shell
  7. Mix all chocolate ingredients together well.
  8. Carefully coat each of the peppermint truffle balls in the chocolate, and place back onto the parchment paper.
  9. Place a pinch of crushed candy cane on top of the peppermint truffle before the chocolate hardens.
  10. Place back into freezer to firm up.
  11. You can store them in the freezer or the fridge.
  12. Enjoy
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FitTritious by Denise Chiriboga - 3M ago

The closer we get to Christmas, the more creative I get in my baking, and trying to recreate healthy versions of holiday favourites, like these yummy chocolate pecan turtles.

Before I became a holistic nutritionist, my friend Melissa and I would free up a Saturday in early December and have what we called our “baking extravaganza day”, where we baked a lot of yummy but unhealthy holiday squares, tarts and cookies. Then I would fill little tin containers with the goodies and give them to my friends, family and neighbours. (Yup, I’m THAT neighbour who has to know everyone! I’m friendly like that!)

Well those days are long gone, mostly cause I can’t think of giving anyone I really care about so much sugar, but also because I’m a mom of 2, and I don’t got time for that anymore!

But what I do have time for, is making these delicious homemade chocolate pecan turtles, using only real food ingredients. Plus they are so much quicker than you would think. And the kids love them, I do too of course, otherwise if I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t be making them!

I don’t share recipes of foods or sweets I don’t like. Just so we have that clear ok!

This is the healthy holiday recipe you’ve been waiting for.

I can’t take credit for the tahini date caramel, for that part of the recipe you can thank holistic nutritionist Jessie Lane Wellness. But they are the most perfect caramel recipe I’ve seen online, and work perfectly in this turtle recipe!

While these turtles may look time consuming, they really aren’t.

There are a couple of steps, but they are quick.
-5 minutes to blend the caramel
-3 minutes to roll caramel into balls
-1 minute to place the pecans
-5 minutes to make and drizzle the chocolate
-20 minutes to freeze

This recipe is:

  • soft & sweet
  • chewy
  • caramel-y
  • chocolate-y
  • pure bliss

What healthy baked goods will you be baking this Christmas?

If you’re into quick chocolate healthy treats for Christmas, make sure to try this 5 minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

If you make these turtles be sure to let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag me on your photo on Instagram @strongmom.ca  with the tag #strongmomrecipes

Happy Holiday Baking!

Healthy Chocolate Pecan Turtles

Ingredients

    Caramel Pecan Base Ingredients:
  • 32-48 pecan halves
  • ¼ cup tahini (aka sesame seed paste)
  • 10 soft deglet or medjool dates pitted (if dates aren't soft soak them in hot water for 10 min then drain the water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Chocolate Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp Canadian Maple syrup
  • pinch flaked Himalayan salt (optional)

Instructions

    Caramel Pecan Base
  1. Blend tahini and dates in a high powered blender like a Vitamix. You will need to scrape the caramel mixture down the sides of the blender a few times. Blend until all is combined into a sticky caramel mixture.
  2. Roll into 12-15 small balls
  3. Place balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten the balls into circles about 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Then place 3 pecans on the caramel circles. I like to place mine like a peace symbol, but it doesn’t really matter how you place them, or if the pecan ends go outside of the caramel circle.
  5. Place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Chocolate Coating
  7. While pecan base is freezing, make the chocolate topping.
  8. Mix all ingredients except for the salt in a small bowl, mixing well until all is incorporated.
  9. Take caramel base out of freezer and gently spoon a tablespoon or so of melted chocolate on top of the caramel base.
  10. Do this slowly and gently to make sure as much as the chocolate actually stays on the caramel.
  11. Place a pinch of the flake salt on top of the chocolate before it freezes. The chocolate will harden as it hits the frozen pecan caramel.
  12. Return to the freezer to completely set and to store. If you would like to put more chocolate on top, you can do so after the first layer of chocolate has hardened.
  13. Once frozen and chocolate has hardened, keep in a airtight container in the freezer and enjoy.
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In fitness & nutrition and healthy holiday baking!

The post Healthy Chocolate Pecan Turtles appeared first on Strong Mom.

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FitTritious by Denise Chiriboga - 3M ago

You wanna know why moms crave chocolate so much, and not only when their children are driving them crazy?

Yes we all know it tastes so dang yummy,  but chocolate contains magnesium which relaxes our blood vessels which helps to bring some calm to our muscles, brain, and body.

In the spirit of Christmas that’s just one month away (I can’t believe it already!) I’ve been thinking about what healthy baked goods I want to bake for our families, and I’ve had fudge on my mind.

But not the sugary stuff you get from the fudge factory place at the mall, cause that stuff is rot-your-teeth-sugary. But I’ve been thinking about some honest to goodness real healthy fudge made with good-for-you-fats.

Behold, I give you my crunchy chocolate peanut butter fudge.

I created this yumminess because most of the “healthy” fudge recipes I’ve seen online call for chocolate chips. If you’ve ever taken a look at the ingredients of most chocolate chip packages, even the “healthy “ones, they all contain sugar and other fillers. I really wanted to stay away from all that for this recipe and use only real earth grown foods while still making it a quick and easy less than 5 minute recipe. Cause we all want good-for-you snacks FAST right?!

Strong Mom benefits of this fudge:

  • peanut butter provides you with protein (I’m not saying this is the perfect post workout snack, but I won’t tell anyone if you decide it is!)
  • The magnesium in the raw cacao helps you relax (we all need more relaxation time don’t we?!)
  • The coconut oil and coconut butter help to increase your immune system, give you energy and may boost your metabolism.

Feel free to double this recipe. I like making small batches cause once I make a batch I just want to eat it all!!!

This recipe is:

  • crunchy
  • full of healthy fats
  • good for you
  • perfectly sweet
  • rich and peanut-buttery
  • has the right amount of chocolaty goodness

What healthy baked goods will you be baking this Christmas?

If you’re into quick chocolate healthy treats for Christmas, make sure to try these Mint Chocolate Coconut Truffles.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag me on your photo on Instagram @strongmom.ca

Happy 5 minute baking!!

PS, If you wanna know the difference between raw cacao powder and cocoa powder. Get the health benefits of cacao here.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • ½ cup crunchy natural peanut butter*
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter (aka coconut manna)
  • 2 -3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • *Mix your pb well. Don't use the dry bottom-of-the-jar peanut butter. Just don't.

Instructions

  1. In a small pot on the stove, heat up all ingredients except for the cacao powder on medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a small square container about 4x4 lined with parchment paper.
  3. Stir all the ingredients in the pot until everything is melted. Do not burn the peanut butter. Turn off the heat and then stir in the cacao powder until combined.
  4. Pour the fudge mixture into the parchment lined container, and freeze until firm. Let thaw for a few minutes until it’s soft enough to be cut into squares.
  5. Fudge can stored in the fridge to be eaten right away.
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