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Landy Razafindrabe

Summertime Fruit Tart

This fruit tart is cool, creamy, and coconutty.

It’s all about summertime and sweet treats. Who’s ready for some sunshine, warm weather, and cool sweet treats? It’s the perfect time to whip up this fruit tart. 

My favorite toppings are blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, mangos, and mandarins, but be creative and change it up to your liking! This fruit tart is simple and customizable – you can’t go wrong.

Time: 30-45 minutes (depends how long it takes your custard to thicken)

When to Eat It: snack or dessert

Perks: vegan and full of fruit

Sh*t You Need:

For the custard

1.5 coconut milk

1/2 cornstarch

1/3 sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

For the vegan crust

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

For the pie

Fruits of your choice

The Recipe:

1. Create your coconut custard by mixing sugar and about half of the coconut milk in a small saucepan.

2. Place over medium heat and stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Add in the rest of the coconut milk and cornstarch together. Keep stirring. The lumps will eventually go away.

4. Keep stirring the mixture until the custard thickens. Once it thickens, remove it from the heat immediately.

5. Let your custard mixture cool while you make the crust.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7. Combine all the crust ingredients in a blender or food processor.

8. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet or pie pan and bake for about 10 minutes.

9. Let your crust cool.

10. Pour or spread your custard mixture onto the crust. Top it with your favorite fruits and enjoy! 

If you try this recipe, tag @fituniversity, #fituniversity, and @msinspireout on Instagram!

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Ab Attack Workout

abs

Time: ~25 minutes 
Type of workout: Strength and cardio
Sh*t you need: None (optional: medicine ball or dumbbell, ankle weights)
Intensity: Intermediate
Perks: A super strong core and a quick way to get your heart rate up!
The Workout:

The exercise focuses on lower body and core. Make sure you keep your core engaged. For exercises done on your back, make sure your back is flat on the ground. 

Complete 3 rounds of the following exercises: 
1. 50 Russian Twists (Add a medicine ball or dumbbell for added fire).
2. 1 minute plank
3. 40 mountain climbers (Use those ankle weights )
4. 1 minute plank
5. 30 leg raises (Feel free to lift your hips off the ground for an added lower ab challenge)
6. 1 minute plank
7. 20 side plank hip dips (each side)
8. 1 minute plank
9. 10 burpees (Wanting another challenge? Add a tuck jump in between!)
Rest for 1 minute between rounds

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Breakfast Banana Muffins

Upgrade your breakfast pastry with these banana muffins.

Can muffins be a healthy breakfast? Sometimes. And in this case, yes, because these banana muffins are made with wholesome ingredients. These babies are satisfying enough to eat for breakfast – and they won’t leave you with a sugar crash in an hour. Oh, and did I mention they taste like banana bread? Well, they do.

Banana Muffin

How many of you have waited in line at a coffee shop and stared at the display case full of bakery goods? Muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, you name it and it’s there, tempting you. Eventually, you give in to that blueberry muffin because it seemed “healthy”… even if you know it has so much sugar it might as well be cake.

Well, these kick out the not-so-nutritious ingredients like refined flour and sugar that are found in most store-bought muffins for a healthy on-the-go breakfast.

Time: 18-23 minutes

When to eat it: breakfast, dessert, snack (whenever you’re craving something sweet)

Perks: Not much sugar, can be gluten-free, can be reheated, healthy and satisfying

Sh*t you need:

  • Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (can substitute for gluten free flours like brown rice, banana, buckwheat, etc.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed

The Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Line 12 muffin muffin and  lightly coat it with cooking spray.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Set aside.

4. Combine egg, honey, almond milk, oil, and extract in a medium bowl. Mix well.

5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix until just blended.

6. Mix in the mashed bananas.

7. Evenly divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

8. Bake 18 to 23 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Transfer muffins to rack to cool. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Tag us at @fituniversity and use #fituniversity!

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5 Ways to Become a Morning Person

The goal: Be a person who gets up before 7am, goes for a run, and proceeds to conquer the day.

The reality: When your 7am alarm goes off, you hit snooze. Ten minutes later, another snooze. An hour later, you may be up, but barely awake. 

Breaking up with the snooze button is a constant struggle. Every morning, I imagine myself waking up all smiley and ready to take on the day, and every morning, I turn back to the snooze button.

For those of you who are currently riding the struggle bus on becoming a morning person, I have your back. Here are some things I have done to take back my mornings.

Don’t eat late. 

Staying up longer than necessary leads us to late night cravings that you have to stay up even longer to satisfy. If you can, try not to eat too much before you hit the hay. My rule of thumb is not to eat a lot if I’m planning to sleep in two hours. That said, be sure that you eat enough and don’t go to bed hungry.  

Don’t press snooze.

No matter how tempting it is to hit the snooze button, don’t do it. Give yourself a pep talk and resist the temptation. I’ve learned that when I snooze I feel groggier for a longer period of time than when I just get up at my first alarm. Plus, you don’t sleep quite as well when you’re hitting snooze every few minutes; hitting the snooze re-starts your sleep cycle.

Get enough sleep.

Sleep is so important. Classes and work and socializing make your schedule hectic, though, which results in sleep deprivation. If you manage your time wisely and don’t overextend yourself, you can definitely avoid this. Make it your goal to get 7-9 hours of sleep at least 3-4 times a week. Getting up in the morning is a lot easier when you’ve slept enough the night before. 

Hydrate and get moving.

Once you’re out of bed, drink a glass of cold water and do a quick stretch or workout to get your blood pumping. Why drink cold water? Because it will instantly wake you up so you can feel energetic. In addition, getting active in the morning will help you feel more alert and motivated to conquer the day. 

Eat breakfast.

The moment I lay down to sleep, I start dreaming of breakfast. I just can’t help but think that sleep is like a time machine to breakfast – sorry I’m a foodie at heart. Seriously though, don’t skip breakfast. After a long night, your body needs some fuel to pump that blood sugar and metabolism up. I feel like breakfast provides me with energy I need to get through my day and wake up my brain.

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4 Foods to Fuel Your Brain

Now that the lazy days of winter break are over and it’s back to the grind of being a busy student, it’s also time to fuel your brain for your demanding school schedule.

However, once you resume the day-to-day routine of sleep, school, homework, work, you realize there is hardly time to maintain an active social life, let alone to fix up a healthy meal or hit the gym. It’s no surprise that with a tight schedule we fall into some pretty unhealthy habits, reaching for processed snacks and buckets of coffee just to stay awake and focus… only to find that this starts a vicious cycle of relying on sugar for survival. But there are healthier ways to fuel your brain that are just as easy.

Here are just a few of the delicious and quick snacks you can grab before your next class or study session.

Yogurt & Fruit

Yogurt

Do you remember the time in grade school when we were so excited for lunch to come so we could eat our Go-Gurt? Even if it doesn’t come in a tube, I’ve always loved yogurt as a portable snack or treat, since it’s something simple and sweet. Aside from being full of calcium and protein, yogurt is full of tyrosine, which decreases anxiety. I love to top my yogurt with berries, which are rich in antioxidants that help improve your memory and boost your immune system.

Avocados

Avocado goodness

Happiness is a fresh, seasonal avocado, am I right? Lately there has been a huge hype for avocados. You’ve probably seen tons of avocado toast all over Instagram, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy it. If you haven’t gotten on the avocado train, ya gotta try it out. Bonus: they’re great for eye health and packed with Vitamin E, which helps protect against many diseases and helps maintain overall health. I either eat an avocado alone or I mash it up and spread it on toast, but the options are endless. Check out Pinterest for some amazing recipes that include avocados.

Peanut Butter

pb_breakfast_04

Peanut butter jelly time! Who doesn’t love the classic childhood combo? It’s filled with fiber, healthy fat, and protein, so peanut butter helps fight those hunger pangs you have during long days of class. It’s also versatile and can be paired with apples, pears, celery, or toast for a quick breakfast or snack. Looking for a little variety? Try almond butter

Dark Chocolate

chocolate-968457_960_720

Any chocolate lovers out there? I have some good news for you. Chocolate can be healthy. How? Well, the flavonoids in dark chocolate help increase blood flow to key parts of the brain for several hours. That’s definitely a good thing during a long test. So if you need to increase your focus and concentration grab a dark chocolate bar and you’ll be good to go.

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How to Eat Healthier at the Dining Hall

The dining hall is a place that makes living/creating a healthy lifestyle a challenge for many college students. Eating nutritious meals seems ridiculously hard in college, especially on a meal plan. Not only are you busy and not cooking for yourself, but there’s also an omnipresent spread of pizza, French fries, and dessert available in the dining hall 24/7. 

I mean, campus meal plans have their pros and cons. You can’t complain when your university prepares variety of healthy food items. Yet even then, it’s difficult to eat normal portion sizes – many cafeterias present you with an unlimited buffet.

But even if you do live on campus with a meal plan, there is hope to eating healthily on the regular. Here are some strategies I follow:

Seek Out the Healthy Items

salad bar

Yes, being on a meal plan is limiting, but you have the choice to choose the healthy options at the dining hall. Most dining halls have vegetables, a salad bar, omelettes, and grilled chicken. Next time you are at the dining hall, search for these types of items. You can even combine them in creative ways to prevent boredom.

Accountability

Want to reduce your temptation to snag unhealthy food items? Tell a few of your friends about your health goals so they can help you stay on track. Make a game of it and try to see who can make the best healthy meal out of what’s available.

Be Smart About Navigating the Dining Hall

My number one tip is to load up on breakfast. Why? Because it helps give you some energy to start your day and makes you more likely to make healthy choices all day. Some of the dining hall options I usually stick to:

  •  Oatmeal mixed with fruit and yogurt with nuts, fresh fruit, and granola. This is usually the fastest meal to get because you don’t really have to wait in line. Plus, it’s sweet, satisfying, and full of healthy carbs and protein.
  • Omelets. Because you can pack them with veggies and eggs are protein powerhouses, omelets are delicious and nutritious. If you don’t have time for an omelet, grab a hard boiled egg and some fruit.

For lunch and dinner, try to be creative and have a good balance of produce, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrate-rich foods. Something like a sandwich with veggies and your favorite protein would be a great meal combo. Instead of a normal salad, you can throw some chicken, veggies, or tofu together and add corn, potatoes, or rice for some extra carbs. Don’t just stick to the same thing every single time or else you will get board of eating healthy very quickly.

And of course, if you want some fries or dessert, have them – just maybe not every day. Still, they’re delicious and balance is important. You can also make some healthier and dorm-friendly desserts when the sweet tooth hits. 

Want more ideas on how to build healthy meals in the dining hall? Follow me on Instagram to see how I stay healthy on a meal plan.

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You Can Have Your Sweets and Fitness Journey, Too

I was fit my whole life, but my fitness journey didn’t really start until I went to college. After high school, I couldn’t imagine not being active. Growing up, my parents had always signed me and my brother up for various classes for tennis, soccer, and swimming. Some days I would dread these activities and ask why I couldn’t eat like a normal child (read: have Lucky Charms for breakfast or soda with dinner). Little did I know that the healthy lifestyle my parents enforced would become my choice – and my passion.

You can have your cake and fitness journey, tooFast forward to my high school years, when I left home to attend a private Christian boarding academy in Colorado. There, I played volleyball, soccer, and basketball. You may be thinking that I must have been some crazy amazing athlete. Wrong! I had to work harder than the rest of the other girls to be any good.

I’d get frustrated at myself because I wanted to be a naturally gifted athlete. However, I later realized that I really wanted to play because it was my passion. I did not like to think that all that mattered were wins and losses. Sure competition was great, but enjoying the work was more important to me. Playing sports was my biggest stress reliever and no matter what happened at my games and practices, I still had fun.

When my high school years came to a close, I didn’t want to leave my life of having sports practice every day. I had no idea what I should do to stay active. 

Freshman year of college happened and I had a firm belief that I would not gain the dreaded freshman 15. My metabolism back in high school had been fast. I could eat a bowl of spice noodles, Oreos, and Hot Cheetos in one sitting after practice and be hungry an hour later. 

When I mention this part, people immediately tell me that I’m so lucky, but I hated being skinny. Gaining just one pound was such a struggle in itself. I wanted to be normal. My first year of college was pretty awesome, but my eating habits took their toll.

For me, almost every lunch consisted of two huge plates of food along with either cake or cookies and ice cream. My parents kindly suggested that I should eat healthier, but I mostly ignored them. I “tried” to eat healthy, but having a buffet with so many options and a dessert section made it hard. I mean who can resist getting a cookie or two and maybe pizza while walking through the cafeteria?

I figured that I still had my high school metabolism. I was wrong, and I gained weight.

My eating habits weren’t the only things that changed during my college years. I also started struggling with fitness and self-love. I found myself being a cardio bunny and spending a few hours a day in the gym trying to lose the unhealthy weight I gained. I let the number on the scale determine how I saw myself.

My second year of college was tough. It wasn’t just challenging academically, but I was battling with myself. I had created a hole where I constantly kept digging deeper and deeper. I hated myself because I had set such high expectations for myself both academically and physically. My struggles were masked with a smile on my face, stress eating, and exerting all my energy at the gym. It wasn’t till the summer before my junior year that I realized I needed to change my mindset and create a healthy balance between nourishing my body and fitness.

I have been working on creating healthy relationships with food and fitness that I can carry into the future, but I am a work in progress. On days when I’m feeling down, I try to remember my journey and why I started it, and that keeps me motivated. In addition, I like to mix up my workouts, doing everything from BBG to weight lifting to cardio to yoga, in order to keep me feeling healthy and motivated. Remember, healthy looks different on everybody, and you don’t have to do the same workouts as others.

You can have your cake and fitness journey, too

Happier, healthier, and loving a balanced lifestyle.

And you know those dining hall desserts? It’s okay to have that cake or cookie every once in awhile, because life is supposed to bring us happiness. I still enjoy my desserts, but I limit myself to Saturday’s as my day. When I know my diet is 70-80% clean eating, I don’t feel guilty about having something sweet here and there. 

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