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Approachable health tips from the personal trainers of TorqueStrong

Filtering by Tag: Health

Craving Pizza? We Tested Two Healthy Alternatives and One Clearly Stole Our Taste Buds.

Alydia Bryant

For years people have been raving over cauliflower pizza. Its low carb, gluten free ingredients has allowed people an opportunity to try the food they love in a new manor while still staying within the guidelines of their nutrition. We recently stumbled along a pizza crust recipe called Fat Head Pizza. People were claiming it was the Holy Grail of pizza so we decided to test the two out and give them our own review. 

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Cauliflower Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon basil or rosemary, minced (or dry)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, minced (or dry)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Choice of Toppings

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove the stems from the cauliflower and cut into chunks, Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it resembles the texture of rice. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater or chop it very finely.
  3. Microwave the processed cauliflower uncovered in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 4-5 minutes on high. Remove it from the microwave and allow it to cool for at least 4-5 minutes (trust me don't rush this step!). After the cauliflower is slightly cooled, place it in a kitchen towel and squeeze all the liquid out of it. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid as humanly possible. 
  4. Combine the cooked cauliflower, egg, garlic, cheese, and seasonings. Stir until a dough texture forms. Spread the cauliflower mixture out onto lightly greased parchment paper or a pizza pan in the shape of a pizza crust. 
  5. Bake the crust for approximately 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven), or until the crust is golden and crispy. I cooked mine for approximately 15 minutes. After the crust is golden remove it from the oven and add your toppings, I used marinara sauce and cheese for a simple margarita pizza. 
  6. Place the pizza back in the oven but this time turn on the broiler, bake for about 2-5 minutes until the cheese melts. be sure to keep an eye on it because the broiler can burn the cheese quickly. 
  7. Slice and serve warm , enjoy!
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Fat Head Pizza:

Ingredients:

  •  1 3/4cups pre shredded/grated cheese 
  •  3/4cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt to taste
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary/ garlic or other flavorings (optional)
  • choice of toppings

Instruction

  1. Mix the shredded/grated cheese and almond flour/meal in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
  2. Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the egg, salt, rosemary and any other flavorings, mix gently.
  4. Place in between 2 pieces of baking parchment/paper and roll into a circular pizza shape (see photos above). Remove the top baking paper/parchment. If the mixture hardens and becomes difficult to work with, pop it back in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften again but not too long or you will cook the egg.
  5. Make fork holes all over the pizza base to ensure it cooks evenly.
  6. Slide the baking paper/parchment with the pizza base, on a baking tray (cookie tray) or pizza stone, and bake at 220C/425F for 12-15 minutes, or until brown.
  7. To make the base really crispy and sturdy, flip the pizza over (onto baking paper/parchment) once the top has browned.
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and add all the toppings you like. Make sure any meat is already cooked as this time it goes back into the oven just to heat up the toppings and melt the cheese. Bake again at 220C/425F for 5 minutes.

Reviews

"From the minute I took my first bite I knew which pizza was going to win in my book. This was my first time trying cauliflower and fat head pizza. The Fat Head pizza was a bit spongey compared to normal Pizza but you could still pick it up/fold it/ eat it to your own desire. The Cauliflower pizza taste like cauliflower and we were un able to pick it up. It had to be eaten with a fork." -Alydia

Fat Head:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/Texture: 9

Ease of Preparation:8

Taste:9

Cauliflower:

Appearance: 7

Consistency/Texture: 5

Ease of Preparation:5

Taste:4


"I loved both pizzas that we tried for different reasons. Overall, however, I liked the fathead crust better than the cauliflower crust pizza, mainly because of texture. I enjoyed the cauliflower crust's pizza's flavor, but the texture was just a tad too mushy for me to consider it a pizza dough. The fathead pizza crust on the other hand had similar texture to an actual crust made from flour. Even though it was slightly spongier than normal pizza crust, it was very minimal." -Avery

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/texture: 8

Ease of Preparation:9

Taste: 9

Cauliflower pizza:

Appearance: 8

Consistency/texture: 4

Ease of preparation: 3 (This was so tricky to prepare!)

Taste: 7 - as long as you're not expecting a classic pizza taste, otherwise 5


"Both pizzas were phenomenal considering they were low carb and gluten free. The cauliflower crusted pizza wasn’t too bad, considering it was primarily made out of a vegetable. The fathead pizza was super delicious and honestly, I would prefer that crust over normal pizza crust."-Gentry

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 10

Consistency/texture: 10

Ease of Preparation:9

Taste: 10

Cauliflower pizza:

Appearance: 9

Consistency/texture: 7

Ease of Preparation:6

Taste: 8


"I think the winner for me was the Fathead Pizza for a few different reasons. It was much easier to make than the Cauliflower pizza, fewer steps and better overall crust. As far as taste, the Fathead had more flavor while the Cauliflower pizza really didn't have a lot of flavor as far as crust goes. This is not to say that the cauliflower pizza wasn't good because I think that it is still a great alternative. "- Meredith

Fathead pizza:

Appearance: 10

Consistency/texture: 10

Ease of Preparation:10

Taste: 10

Cauliflower Pizza:

Appearance: 7

Consistency/texture: 5

Ease of Preparation:6

Taste: 8

Take The Step-Sean Archulet

Alydia Bryant

I think as a fitness professional it is easy to take for granted how natural training feels, how common intensity seems, and how comfortable I am within the exercise world. As I step back however, I quickly realize that most people are not only uncomfortable in the "Gym World," but they are down right terrified of it. There are too many factors to name that might contribute to this fear, so I am going to touch on three of them in this post and offer some advice and hopefully some encouragement as well.

1. "Everyone at the gym is already in great shape and I will stick out like a sore thumb."

The reality is that many people at fitness facilities all over the world are in great shape, but an even truer reality is that most of these people didn't start off that way. Everyone's journey to health and fitness is different, but they all start the same way, with taking that first step in. It might be trying a new class, hiring a trainer for one session to see if you like it, or just coming in to talk to someone. Whatever the reason is, chances are that most people will see you and remember their first step in. After all, if everyone was already in great shape would we even need training bars, bands, or lighter weights? Think about it.

2. "I can't do any of that stuff I see people doing in those classes."

Sadly most people will never take their first step because they see one guy deadlifting 500 lbs. or a female doing pull-up after pull-up and they think to themselves "I'll never get there so what's the point in trying?" I myself see people walking down the sidewalk all the time during a class I'm teaching, their eyes wide with amazement and they automatically write it off as impossible. What most people don't realize is that 90% of our job as trainers and coaches is modifying exercises for people. Most people don't have a perfect push-up or they are unable to squat properly due to poor mobility or injury. Don't let that stop you. Most people in the classes I teach had to work through a detailed series of progressions over several weeks to get from point A to point B, they didn't walk through the doors knowing everything. We can modify nearly anything, just give it a shot.

3. "I don't want to hurt myself."

Of the 3 reasons I have listed here, this is the most legitimate reason for not being comfortable in the gym. In all honesty if you don't know what you are doing you probably will get hurt and we definitely don't want that. While I can't speak for all fitness facilities and private training teams, at TorqueStrong every single trainer puts safety and proper form as their top priorities. Hiring a trainer is always a great idea especially if you are just starting out. A trainer can teach you proper form and intensity and make sure that you are reaching your goals instead of wasting precious time in the gym. Obviously private training isn't free, but if you are going to invest in something, shouldn't it be in your health?

Don't let fear stop you. Take that first step and stick with it. I promise you'll be glad that you did!

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Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

Alydia Bryant

After last weeks post about Nutrition and Fitness we received a number of requests for the recipe of the salad we used in the the post! SOOOOO here it is!

To Start and Helpful Tips:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • Gather a baking sheet, mixing bowl

  • Thoroughly rinse produce and pat dry

  • Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray

  • Red beet juice is a strong dye (it's even used as food coloring), so cut red beets last to avoid staining other ingredients. Separate red and golden beets on baking sheet to keep colors distinct.

  • Shallots bring a slightly assertive onion-garlic flavor when used raw. Use to taste when adding to vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Shallot
  • ¾ oz. Pistachios 
  • 2 Golden Beets
  • 2  Red Beets
  • 1½ fl. oz. Champagne Vinegar
  • ½ oz. Honey
  • 3½ oz. Baby Arugula
  • 1 oz. Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • olive oil
  • salt and peper

Directions:

Torquestrong, Lynchburg Va, Healthy, Clean Eats, Personal Training

1. Peel and slice shallot into very thin rounds. Coarsely chop pistachios. Trim tops off golden beet and red beet, peel, halve, and cut into ¼" dice. Keep beets separate. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season both sides with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.

2. Place golden beets and red beets on separate halves of prepared baking sheet. Toss both with ½ tsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool. While beets roast, make dressing.

3. Make the Dressing: Combine Champagne vinegar, honey, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add shallot rounds (to taste) and set aside.

4. Add arugula and beets to bowl with vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Garnish with goat cheese (breaking up with your hands if needed) and pistachios. 

torquestrong, Lynchburg Va, Personal training, health, wellness, fitness