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Yasmin Essa

Strong Back Gym Workout

Before we get into the workout, let's talk about why a strong back is important. Doing this workout at least once a week will help reduce pain, improve your posture, and increase your overall confidence. As someone who thrives with scoliosis, I always feel better when my back is strong.

Note: The following weight suggestions are simply ideas. As always, listen to your body and do what feels best for you. The weight should be difficult, but you should not feel any sharp pains. Challenge yourself without going overboard.

Instructions: Do 3 sets of 9 for each move
  • Suicides (they really gotta think of a better name of these..)
  • Lat pulldown
    • Beginners: 20 lbs
    • Intermediate: 40 lbs
    • Advance: 60 lbs
  • Seated cable row
    • Beginners: 20lbs
    • Intermediate: 40 lbs
    • Advanced: 60 lbs
  • Renegade row
    • Beginner: 5 lbs
    • Intermediate: 15 lbs
    • Advanced: 25 lbs
  • Back extension machine
    • Beginner: 20 lbs
    • Intermediate: 40 lbs
    • Advanced: 60 lbs
Each of these moves (except the first) require gym equipment. If you don't have access to a gym, no problem. There are plenty of other workouts you can do using no equipment at all. This workout is for someone with a gym membership and/or access to this type of equipment.


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Yasmin Essa

[Recipe] Italian Chicken Balls - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo/Low-Carb/Grain-Free Option

Makes 13 Balls

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz Chicken Breast
    • Chicken should already be previously cooked
    • If it's available to you and you can afford it, always choose organic and humanely raised poultry
    • I used Halal Organic Chicken Breast from Honest Chops in NJ
  • 2 Eggs 
    • If it's available to you and you can afford it, always choose organic. One step above this is pasture-raised
  • 1 cup baby spinach
    • Use organic if possible
  • 1/2 cup Pasta Sauce
    • I used Walnut Acres Organic Garlic Salt-Free Pasta Sauce
    • You can make your own pasta sauce if you wish
    • If buying store-bought, choose a brand that comes in glass and preferably salt free, or with low amount of sea salt
  • 2 Slices Gluten Free Bread
    • I used Udi's Multigrain Gluten Free Bread
    • You can use any other bread if you want
    • If gluten doesn't bother you, no need to use gluten free.
    • Read my previous blog post here about choosing the best bread for yourself
    • Skip this ingredient if you're looking to make your chicken balls paleo, grain free, and low-carb
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • Make sure you are really using 100% olive oil. A lot of brands cut cheap oils like vegetable and soy into their product. These are no good for the thyroid gland, as well as other processes in your body.
  • Food processer
Instructions:
  1. Say bismillah (if that's your belief).
  2. Toast bread.
    • Personally, I don't have a toaster. I do have an electric toaster oven. So I put the two slices on a small piece of If You Care brand parchment paper on bake (400) until they browned. If your regular oven is gas like mine, aim to do smaller jobs like this in the toaster oven (if you have one), as electric appliances don't fume dangerous gases the way gas ovens do.
    • Skip this step if you want your chicken balls to be paleo, grain-free, and low-carb.
  3. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Process all ingredients except for tomato sauce in a food processor. Make sure bread is cooled down before adding to food processor.
    • If you don't have a food processor, you can mash everything by hand, but I can't guarantee the texture will come out exactly the same
  5. By now, you should have a processed mixture that easily shapes into balls. The mixture should make 13 nice round chicken balls. As you make each ball, place it on a baking dish. For me, I used a glass Pyrex cookware lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once you have all of the balls on your cooking dish, place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Mix 1/2 cup pasta sauce with 1/4 cup water. Once mixed, pour over chicken balls. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Say bismillah (if that's your belief) and enjoy, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Nutritional Facts:

Regular Version: 1 Ball = 64.2 calories; 6.8g Protein; 2.2g Fat; 3.5g Carbs

Paleo/GrainFree/Low-Carb Version: 1 Ball = 47.3 Calories; 6.3g Protein; 1.7g Fat; 0.9g Carbs
 
 

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Yasmin Essa

Love Note 1: You Are Enough

One of my August 2016 goals is to write a short & sweet handwritten love to share on social media, starting today. Here is the first one. I know a lot of people will like it because it's pretty and makes you feel good. But let's go deeper than that. Do you really believe you are enough? Well, if you're a homo sapien (human), you probably struggle in this area. We all fight inner thoughts of not feeling like we're enough. Some of us more than others. We often look to external sources for validation that we are enough. Some look to money. Some look to power. Some look to material items. Some look to fame. Some look to accomplishments. The list goes on and on. The real truth underneath it all is that no external source will ever make us feel enough. Our worthiness doesn't lie in what we do, or what we have, or what anyone perceives about us. Our worthiness exists in simply being. We are worthy because we are humans. Why do you think it's called human rights? Okay... So if this is the case, why do we struggle so badly with feeling enough? Umm... Ding ding.. It's not too hard to see all the people tearing each other down. The discourse that surrounds us is loud and it's ugly. Advertisements bombard us with ideals that we aren't good enough. Politicians and people in power mock us for things like skin color, ethnicity, religion. Even our own family and friends who may love us dearly put unintentional pressures on us to do more. Let's admit it. We are a society that has lost the power of the now. Right here. Right now. Everything is okay. You're breathing. You are enough. Exactly as you are. Take advantage of that. I can guarantee you there are others in this world who currently don't have the same blessings. You are enough. As you are. Breathe it in. Remind yourself. Over and over again.
 

 
 

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Yasmin Essa

Yasmin's August 2016 Goals


I spent some time today dialing in on my personal + professional + spiritual goals for the month of August. I've decided to share them with you all.

I'm sharing for three main reasons: 1) to keep myself accountable, 2) to share about myself since it's normal human nature for people to generally be curious about what others are doing, and 3) to inspire others to get their goals down in writing, so we can support each other, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Here are some of my goals for the month, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

1) Share a handwritten short love note each day on social media. My goal is to make them short, simple, and sweet. I'll begin tomorrow, August 3rd inshaAllah.

2) Fill my current open 1:1 coaching spots for my Initial Coaching Session. (I have 2 currently open this month. These sessions are for new clients. If you are interested, send me a private message, or leave your contact info below in a comment). I specialize in all things women's health from a mental, physical, and spiritual perspective. Some of the things I work with women on (and have a track record of getting clients results with) include nutrition goals, fitness goals, weight loss, vitamin deficiencies, blood work review, thyroid disease, gut issues, digestive disorders, mood disorders, autoimmune disease, joint pain, inflammation, emotional management, anxiety, food sensitivities, cooking, career goals, relationship issues, eating disorders, chronic pain, holistically managing depression, work/life balance, to name a few.

3) For my regular every other week coaching clients: Spend a few minutes after each client session to brainstorm new ways to add more value to the experience my long term coaching clients get both during and in-between our sessions

4) Continue my current morning routine including no technology for the first hour of waking up. I've been doing this for about a week now and it's been a game changer.

5) Read Surat al Kahf on Jumuah (Friday). I've been wanting to do this for so long now. No more procrastination with this inshaAllah. I've been doing okay with reading Quran in general. It's time to get serious with this inshaAllah.

6) Spend 3 days (mostly) disconnected from technology to spend time with Kyle and honor our 3 year wedding anniversary.

7) Publish and market Glow Academy 2016-2017 classes. I’ll be offering seven different 2 hour intensive online classes between September 2016 thru May 2017. Each class will be on a very specific topic based on the needs of my current audience. If you want to make sure you receive the info on this, sign up for my free mailing list at www.wellnesswithyasmin.com

8) Continue to track my macros. This is something I’ve been doing for about a week. I am doing this to get in touch with some numbers in order to achieve current personal fitness goals. I haven’t tracked this for years prior to this, as I eat and maintain myself intuitively.

9) Take new photos for my website.

10) Make the most of my IIN Immersion Training. I'm currently doing a 6 month Immersion program with IIN. This is the third time I'm doing it. It's a service the school I received my Board Certification offers all alumni. As I go through it, I'll be connecting with more Health Coaches as well as redefining and upgrading my current coaching practice.

11) Create a handmade physical wedding album with Kyle (this is one of the things we plan to do together during our anniversary inshaAllah). We don't hang up any pictures of faces in our home (due to the Hadith), so I am excited to have this keepsake that adheres to our spiritual practices. I have a feeling some family members will be excited about this.

12) Create an doctor referral network as well as an action plan to reach out to physicians who are passionate about wellness.

13) Publish 2 new recipes on my blog.

14) Spend time with family.

15) Meet up with two particular long-time friends I haven't seen in a while.

Those are my goals inshaAllah. I'll be reporting back to let you all know how they go down. What about you? No goal is too big or small. Don't be intimated to share. I want to hear about yours. Let's make this a community effort inshaAllah (Godwilling).
 
 

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