All of us here at Skyhook Ninja Fitness would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday. And in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d do something a little sweet!
Having dietary restrictions doesn’t necessarily have to mean cutting out the fun foods. This pumpkin pie recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and has no refined sugars! And because there are no eggs, you don’t even have to bake it! It’s super delicious and best of all, it tastes great. Your non-vegan guests just might want to steal the recipe.
*Do keep in mind that this recipe requires 6-8 hours of refrigeration!*
You will need:
about 3 cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 ripe bananas
a pinch of salt
1 can of your favorite pumpkin pie purée (or purée your own!)
1 cup coconut milk
about 12 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp clove powder
Optional: 1/4 cup maple sugar for extra sweetness.
- To make the crust, blend the almond meal and about 1/2 of a banana in a medium bowl. Mix together well. add more banana until the dough holds together and has a slightly sticky texture. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Press the dough into a pie pan, covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Feel free to add a little flourish to the edges of the crust!
- In a blender combine all filling ingredients and blend until there are no lumps of date left. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
- Refrigerate 6-8 hrs. Serve with your favorite vegan whipped cream and enjoy!
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
A 2015 article in the Depression Research and Treatment Journal defines Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as “a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months.”(1). The disorder is characterized by a recurrent pattern of mood changes that has remained consistent over the course of several years. SAD is more prevalent in regions further from the equator, which experience less sunlight in the winter months. Here in Portland, where our short winter days are often punctuated with grey skies and persistent rain, it can be easier to succumb to gloominess. Even those who do not suffer from an diagnosable disorder often experience “winter blues” – a drop in mood and energy prompted by the cold weather.
How can exercise help?
Put very simply, people with seasonal affective disorder have trouble regulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps manage your mood. Exercise and physical activity can help with this deficit, as exercise has been shown to increase serotonin production in the brain. Because of this, people who adopt an exercise routine tend to exhibit positive behavioral changes with regular practice (2).
What’s more, exercising in a social space with supportive individuals can help give your mood an extra lift. Research has shown that positive, uplifting social interactions are critical in maintaining your mental health, and can provide a much-needed pick-me-up on those dark, rainy days (3). So what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of comfy pants, and maybe a few good friends, and get those feel-good neurons working!
**Sometimes mental obstacles can be much harder to overcome than physical ones. If you are severely depressed seeking the help of a mental health professional can change, or even save, your life.**
1. Melrose, Sherri. “Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches.” Depression Research and Treatment, vol. 2015, 2015, pp. 1–6., doi:10.1155/2015/178564.
2. Anderson, Nicole. “The Health Benefits of Socializing.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 30 June 2016
3. Kondo, Makoto; Shoichi Shimada. “Serotonin and exercise-Induced brain plasticity.” Neurotransmitter, Feb. 2015, doi:10.14800/nt.793.
Birthdays are a big deal for kids. It’s a day all their own when they get to have fun, eat cake, and celebrate a milestone in their lives. Coming up with the right birthday plan, however, isn’t always easy. There’s food and invites and games to come up with, and choosing a location and a theme and making sure there’s proper supervision. It can get a little hectic.
1. It’s a great way to get out that extra energy – in a safe environment.
Let’s face it, when you get a group of kids together it’s only a matter of time before they come up with a game that seems to be testing whose bones are the most resistant. Kids are little daredevils. They love thrill seeking and have an endless supply of energy. Skyhook let’s them climb and jump and tumble….in a place meant for climbing, jumping and tumbling. It gives them the excitement and physical challenge they crave, and you the piece of mind that there are springy floors and big foam matts under them at all times.
2. It builds supportive attitudes
In the spirit of American Ninja Warrior, Skyhook has cultivated an atmosphere that is both challenging and encouraging. We inspire kids to root for each other, take turns, and get excited about their own achievements as well as the achievements of their peers. You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen a group of nine-year-olds shouting “Beat that wall!” together.
3. No clean-up hassle
After all of the planning and prepping and games, making food and fixing scraped knees, the last thing you want to do is clean up a mess left behind by a group of school-age party guests. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You focus on the fun, and we’ll take care of the chores.
4. Our instructors are well-trained
You can relax knowing that our instructors are as knowledgeable and professional as they are fun. We care about what we do, and work to make sure everyone has a good time, and is safe while doing it.
5. It’s fun!
At the end of the day, the very best reason to have your kid’s party with Skyhook is that it’s a blast! It’s a giant playground with activities and games they don’t have access to anywhere else. They’re going to love it, we just hope you can handle them talking about nothing else for a little while!
This list could go on and on, but we’ll leave the rest up to you. Come check us out, we’re sure you’ll find plenty more reasons to love having birthday parties with us!
Bringing the Ninja scene to Portland
The debut of American Ninja Warrior in 2009 not only took the world of network television by storm, it sparked a lifestyle fitness phenomenon, and now Portland, Oregon is joining in on the fun.
Skyhook Ninja Fitness is a brand new training facility with the goal of providing inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest with all of the tools they need in order to train like the athletes on the show. Our facility features a wide array of obstacle challenges, from American Ninja Warrior classics such as the salmon ladder and warped wall, to numerous grip and balance challenges, and even a few unique creations of our own!
We are the largest Ninja Warrior training facility in the Pacific Northwest, with 12,000 sq feet dedicated to swinging, climbing, flips and tricks, and general fitness. In addition to our custom-made obstacles our space features full-size trampolines, springboard floors, and a bouldering wall. Come in for one of our classes or find your own challenges in open gym!
Why obstacle fitness?
Obstacle course training is a fun, functional way to get both your body and your mind in on your workout. It’s not just about staying fit, it’s about fortitude, creativity, and the rush of overcoming challenges. New to ninja fitness? Not a problem! Skyhook is proud to serve Ninja Warriors of all skill levels, whether it’s providing you with the basic stepping stones to start tackling your first obstacles, or helping seasoned athletes discover new techniques and trials. So come check us out, we can’t wait to see what you’ve got!