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Raw berry cream cake

I love berries - clearly, since so many of my posts involve them. And in the summer time I love nothing more than a berry dessert. This is my go to recipe to impress guests at summer BBQs or other parties. I served this berry cream cake at the Alive Shanghai farewell potluck and in the end there was only one piece left - which was breakfast the next day for me :) No one can resist the creamy texture of this cake, since it’s fluffy and light, and there is always room for cake! Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list or steps or preparation - it really comes together quite quickly. If you have made it once, you will be able to whip it up the next time within 10 minutes - I promise! You do

3 tips: picking the perfect group exercise class

After closing Alive Shanghai, I keep getting questions what people should look out for when looking for a new group exercise class. Here are my thoughts on this topic... Working out by yourself can often be monotone, dull, and uncreative. Attending a group exercise class can give you a motivation boost as well as some new input for your exercise repertoire. And with new fitness trends emerging every day, we are spoiled for choice from Bootcamps to Crossfit, ballet inspired Barre or any kind of yoga you can dream of. However, not every fitness trend that is fun is also a safe way to exercise. When you have knee problems, joining a marathon running group is probably not the best idea. Hot yoga

How to find the right Personal Trainer for you

With my leaving Shanghai, I have been asked this question endlessly. Here are my 3 top tips for finding a Personal Trainer you will enjoy working with. 1. Where to start? Personal Trainers are no longer just for the sports elite and Hollywood stars. Once you start looking, you will be surprised how many of your friends are using one. Start exactly there! Ask around to see if anyone can recommend a trainer. If you are a member of a gym or clubhouse, check there, as that will be the first stop to observe personal trainers in action and if you like the training they are doing. If all of this brings no results, Google is your next best friend! Most trainers today will have a profile website, Fa

Coconut chia pudding with rhubarb cherry compote

Rhubarb is in season and now is the time to make it if you have never experimented with it before! It’s sour and delicious, and pairs beautifully with vanilla and berries. You can snack on the compote, add it to yogurt, ice cream or in this case to chia pudding. I didn’t sweeten the rhubarb compote in this recipe, because the cherries bring some natural sweetness and the tartness also balances out the sweet chia pudding. If the rhubarb is too sour for you, add your favorite liquid sweetener to it. The recipe will give you a bigger batch so you can eat from it all week. No point in going through all the trouble of stripping and cooking rhubarb when you are only making it for one serving! This

The anatomy of lower back pain

In Germany where I come from, more than half the time people take a sick day from work, it is because of debilitating back pain. And most other Western countries are no different. That is a crazy statistic to me, especially since back pain is something that can be fixed rather easily in most cases. It’s not a broken bone that has to be put back in place, it’s not an illness you have no control over. With diligence and patience, anyone can handle their back pain. When I say this, I mean the kind of back pain that results from muscle imbalances due to too much sitting, one sided movements (think of the shoulder you always sling your handbag over) or isolated muscle training. Of course there ar

Raspberry and blueberry chia jam

On Saturday at the final Alive Shanghai Bootcamp class I served raw banana crepes with cashew cream and a raspberry and blueberry jam as a fueling snack after the grueling workout. This is my go-to breakfast in the summer months, when it’s too hot to eat a warm porridge. Today, I am sharing my chia jam recipe with you. While I do make a raw version of this chia jam, I like the cooked version better because of the 10 days you can keep it in the fridge. The raw version you have to eat within 2 days and often I don’t have enough time to make a new batch a few times per week. This cooked version saves prepping time. I use frozen berries since I always have some in the freezer for smoothies or ra

Join me for an afternoon of cooking

Shanghai, one final time I will be bringing you a combination of nutrition talk, coaching, new recipes, cooking, and tasting the yumminess we are creating together. Come and join me for my final cooking class. The theme is: staying light on your feet all summer long. When: Saturday, June 20th, 2-4pm Where: Dongping Lu cooking studio Price: only 100 RMB for this final cooking class; includes nutrition talk, all recipes, ingredients, and any leftovers you may have. Space is extremely limited so make sure to book yourself a spot asap! I look forward to seeing you then!

Falafel cucumber sandwiches with hummus

These tiny sandwiches made an appearance last night at the final Alive Shanghai evening Pilates class and they were a huge hit. So I have decided to share the recipe with you. Although there are a few components to this recipe, don’t be scared! It looks more complicated than it is, and with a good food processor it’s hardly any work for you! I often make these sandwiches as an appetizers for events or cocktail parties. They are also great as a snack to have ready in the fridge when you are super busy throughout the week. You can also make each of these recipes individually, using the hummus as a snack throughout the day to dip vegetable sticks, spread it on sandwiches or even mix it with zuc

A journey of letting go...

I took a 2 month break from writing, posting, experimenting in the kitchen, exercising, and pretty much the life I knew before. This was not a self imposed sabbatical, but rather a necessity when at 5 weeks pregnant I was not able to leave my bed or the bathroom. Yes, I am pregnant and currently finding my energy, appetite, and joy of life back in my second trimester. To get to this point was a long journey of making peace with myself for not being this incredible healthy, fit role model I expected to be. During these struggles, I have had many friends encourage me to write about this journey. The image of women breezing through pregnancy with full time jobs, caring for families, an active s

© 2020 Martina Zand

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