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Rich Chocolate Protein Mug Brownie

  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Casein
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 TB Coconut Flour
  • 1 TB Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Water or Milk of Choice
  • TOPPINGS TB Natural PB or PB2 A few dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Mix all brownie ingredients in a bowl until it’s thick and well-stirred. Spray a mug with nonstick spray. Add brownie mixture to mug, then cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 30sec to a minute. Plop onto a plate and add toppings. Enjoy!

Weight Loss and Motivational Weight

You have let the food flag fly and have been eating so many calories you have put on a few extra pounds that have you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. How do you go about dropping the weight?

  1. You stop eating out and start preparing your own meals.  Many restaurants and fast food establishments add extra calories to your meal in the form of butter, oils, high fatty cuts of meat, saturated fats, sugars and processed ingredients.  One meal out may be your entire calories needs for one day. Just by reducing your meals out you can cut more than half of your calories and sodium intake for the week. This can result in changes in your weight.  A well balance diet can help develop good eating habits and improve overall health.
  2. You do a detox, cleanse or eliminate foods.  This method is where you are eliminating a food or food group from your diet. Essentially you are cutting your daily calorie intake which results in a weight loss. This method will allow you to lose weight however it is not sustainable long term.  Once you have drop x number of pounds or get sick not eating foods you enjoy you will reintroduce the eliminated foods and put some if not all or more weight back on.  Another option and long term solution might be flexible dieting.
  3. You begin to incorporate exercise into your life. Incorporating exercise allows for you to burn calories which results in weight loss. For example if you need 1600 calories each day and you burn 300 calories through exercise you are in a calorie deficiency which will result in weight loss. However, in some cases people take it to the extreme or incorporate more exercises than they can sustain over time and essential burn out and revert to no exercise. Focus on 1 hr of strength training because hours of cardio is not the answer.

So what happens when you start these new changes and you drop 10 lbs in a week and then the weeks after it doesn’t come off as easily? You start getting discouraged and you fall back into those old eating patterns and start missing workouts.  So what happened in the first week(s) that stop working?  Well that initially weight that just fell off is what I like to call Motivational Weight. Motivational weight is the water weight that your body was storing from your previous food choices. Motivational weight gets you started on your weight loss journey and keeps you engaged for awhile hoping the new habits stick.

How do you stick with it when the weight doesn’t appear to be coming off?

  • If you are going to start making changes in diet and start exercising take it slow. Make small changes like eat more green leafy vegetables each day or exercise 2-3 times a week. Making small changes are easier to stick with over time then trying to change everything at once.
  • Take progress pictures. We are the last ones to see our progress because it is happening slowly but progress is progress
  • Realize just because the scale hasn’t moved doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing. You could be putting on lean muscle while losing body fat.
  • Focus on non-scale victories.  Do you clothes fit differently, are you getting more compliments, are you stronger, can you breathe easier, or have more energy
  • Understand that losing weight slowly is the best way for your body to adjust to the changes so you don’t end up with alot of loose skin.
  • Drink more water, eat more fiber and cut back on sodium intake. All these things will help your body release excess water your body is holding on to.

Hopefully I have provided some insight into weight loss.  My methods for losing weight is a flexible diet, heavy lifting minimal amounts of cardio. If you want to learn more contact me for training.

 

Single Arm Lat Pulldown

The single arm lat pulldown targets your lats unilaterally. If you have muscle imbalances this exercise can be helpful in reducing the imbalance.  One of benefits of doing the single arm lat pull down verses the traditional lat pull down is the ability to increase range of motion. With traditional lat pull downs you are restricted to stopping at your chest whereas this exercises allows you to engage your lats through the entire range of motion.

Some tips when doing this exercise:

  • Place your thumb on the same side as your fingers to reduce forearm and bicep fatigue
  • Stretch at the top position
  • Squeeze at the bottom position

 

The Kneeling Squat

Finding great exercises to target the glutes are essential to any good workout program. Today’s video demonstrates the kneeling squat. The main muscle this exercise targets is the glutes. However, you will also engage secondary muscles including abdominals, lower back, and hamstrings.  You can perform this exercise in a traditional squat rack but for beginners starting with the smith machine helps with focusing on the technique and form of the exercise.

  1. Put a rolled up mat or foam pad on the floor to protect your knees.
  2. Set the bar to a height right around your shoulders.
  3. Slide under the bar position the bar across your shoulders/upper part of your back.
  4. Unracking the weight, push your butt backwards and descend until your butt touches your calves.
  5. With and explosive motion return to the top position and squeeze the glutes at the top. Note: you can also do these slow and controlled but focus on squeezing the glutes at the top.
  6. I recommend 3 sets of 20 reps per set.  It you can do 20 reps easily increase the weight until it is difficult to reach 18 reps.

Protein Apple Fritter

Do you miss apple fritters as part of your diet?  This recipe takes the classic apple fritter and puts a healthy spin on it.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small green apple
  • 1 tsp sweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c Kodiak Cakes mix
  • 1/2 c Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 oz chopped Pecan
  • 1 Tbsp Caramel Sauce

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Directions:

  1. Peel and dice apple into 1/4 in pieces
  2. In a small pan add coconut oil, apple, coconut and cinnamon. Cook until apples are soft.
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  3. Mix Kodiak Cake mix with almond milk. Add chopped pecans.
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  4. Mix cook apple into Kodiak Cake mixture.
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  5. Spray 12″ skillet with coconut spray and pour in Kodiak Cake mixture in pan.
  6. Cook until done on both sides. Drizzle with Caramel sauce.
    Healthy Protein Apple Fritter

Calories 512 – Macros P 17, C 70 , F 19 , Fiber 12

 

Screw the Scale

There are many ways to measure success in your fitness journey but one of the most misleading ones of them all is the number on the scale.  There are a number of people who weight themselves on a regular basis. This seemly simple act can leave an individual emotional distrait, especially if the change is perceived as negative. A weight increase may not actually be from a fat gain, there are many factors that can go into daily weight fluctuations. 

Take into consideration when looking at the number on the scale that some of these factors can attribute to the changes:

  • Stress – when your body is experiencing stress there is weight gain from fluid retention
  • Hormonal changes like PMS and menopause
  • Increase in carbs. Interesting fact: For every gram of carb ingested the body will hold up to 2 grams of water.
  • Increase sodium intake. Excess sodium makes the body hold extra fluids in the cells. When you cut down salt and high sodium condiments like soy sauce, you can quickly lose water weight.
  • Hard training sessions and soreness will cause water retention, as the body shuttles nutrients in and out of the to repair damaged muscle and eliminate waste. Much like an car collision can cause a knee, elbow or other damaged part to sweep. Training sessions cause tissue damage that the body needs to repair, so you may retain additional water when there needs to be extra healing.
  • Building muscles may increase the number it may appear you are not losing weight as the body fat drops and the lean muscle is increasing. Building muscle is an advantage as it helps increase your metabolism to help with fat loss.
  • When you weigh yourself. If you weigh yourself later in the day you have to take into account the meals you have consumed. The best time to weigh yourself for a true reading is first thing in the morning after you have used the bathroom and have not consumed any liquids or food.

Fact:  It takes 3,500 excess calories to gain a pound of fat. Unless you are eating an excessive of 3,500 calories of what your body needs to function you are logically not gaining body fat.  The flip side is true as well if you are not burning an excess of 3,500 calories then you are not losing body fat and are most likely losing water weight.

Instead of using the scale as a measurement tool you may want to use measuring tape or the mirror. If you look different, your clothes fit different and the tape measure shows progress but the scale doesn’t move you still have made progress and inches loss is fat loss.

Don’t let the scale dictate what kind of day you are going to have or mess up your fitness journey.  If you are consistent you will reach your goal.

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Resource: Some of this content from this post came from Lean Bodies Consulting Facebook page post.

Carbs – how important are they?

I was in the Costco the other day and asked the cashier who I have become antiquated with how his diet was going as he recently made a lifestyle change and started eating healthier. While he has had some set backs he said he was doing well. One of the topics that came up was reintroducing carbs into his diet because he was a diabetic and had taken carbs out and found that his body sugars dropped really low and he had no energy all the time.  So today I thought I would post some information on carbs.

  • Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred source of energy.
  • All of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
  • Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are important in intestinal health and waste elimination.

Carbohydrates are broken into 3 classifications – sugars (simple), starches(complex) and fiber.  It is important to understand how different carb sources are broken down by the body and how food can be used for quick or longer rates of energy.  Simple carbs such as those found in fruit or honey, are digested easily and provide a quick boost of energy. Complex carbs that are found in whole grains take longer to digest making them a good source for pre-workout fuel for your body. And finally one of the most important aspects of carbohydrates is fiber.  Carbs with fiber helps with weight loss, moderating blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol.

What foods are carbs?
Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.

 

No/Low Carb Diets

When you first start reducing carbs in your diet you start to lose weight. This is an exciting time for people because they think they have lost body fat weight.  However, the truth of the matter is the first amount of weight lost when cutting carbs is water weight.   When carbs are reintroduced into the diet the water weight will come back.   If the person continues on this type of diet they will start to see a body fat weight loss, however the weight loss in general is not because they are on a no/low carb diet it is because they have drastically cut their calorie intake.  The basic principal of weight loss is if you are in a calorie deficiency you will lose body weight. The exception to this principal are people in too much of a deficiency and their metabolism is no longer functioning properly to allow them to lose weight and people with thyroid issues.

So how do you feel on a no/low carb diet?

  • Run down & lacking energy
  • Easily irritated. Hangry (Hungry and Angry)
  • Foggy – unable to think clearly
  • Headaches

Overall no/low carb diets are not a good long term solution it losing weight and often result in gaining all if not more of the weight lost.

Creating a balance 

Its important to create a healthy balance in your diet that includes lean proteins, carbs and healthy fats.  One of the easiest was to do that is to build your meals to include all 3 macronutrients.  My recommendation is for your three big meals of the day choose a lean protein between 4-8 oz,  1 cup of green vegetables and 1 cup of a complex carb.

Sample Meals for the Day:

Breakfast:

  • 3 to 5 Egg Whites, 1 -2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Serving of Oatmeal with Cinnamon

Snack

  • 2 Brown Rice Cakes
  • 2 Tbs All Natural Peanut Butter

Lunch

  • 4-8 oz of Grilled Chicken
  • 1 Cup Steam Green Beans
  • 1 Cup Sweet Potatoes

Snack

  • Protein Shake
  • Apple

Dinner

  • 4-8 oz of Grilled Tilapia
  • 1 Cup Steam Broccoli
  • 1 Cup Rice

While there is much more detailed information regarding carbohydrates this is just a basic overview to provide a bit of information when deciding how important carbs are in your daily diet.

For a more indepth discussion about macronutrients or for nutritional guidance please contact us today to become a client.

Balsamic Steak and Pan Seared Vegetables

I love lean cuts of beef for my protein of choice.  This amazing dish came together when I was trying to decide what vegetables I wanted for to pair my steak with for dinner.

 

Ingredients:

  • Lean Steak (sirloin or round cuts are your best choice for lean cuts)
  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Sliced White Button Mushrooms
  • Red Peppers
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Season steak with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the steak and sliced mushrooms to a skillet. Cook meat to temperature you enjoy.
  3. Remove steak and add red peppers and frozen green beans.
  4. When green beans appear to be cooked add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp of garlic.
  5. Slice steak into strips and add back to vegetable mixture. Toss steak with vegetables.
  6. Cook a few more minutes so the steak has a chance to absorb some of the balsamic and garlic flavors.
  7. Enjoy!

The macros vary depending on what type of meat you use and how much. Also how much vegetables you use.  This would be great on a tortilla or with some rice on the side. I encourage you to play around with the ingredients.

balsamic-steak-veggies

 

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

One of my favorite meals is breakfast. I could eat breakfast for every meal of the day. These protein pancakes are high in protein and carbs and are great for a pre or post workout meal.  You can put different toppings and to change the macro nutrients. My personal favorite is caramel syrup, bananas and pecans.

  • 1/4 Cup Gluten Free Bisquick
  • 1 scope Quest Protein Powder (I have used both Multiple Purpose Mix and Peanut Butter in this recipe)
  • 1/4 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Coconut Oil Spray
  1. Heat pan and spray with coconut oil.
  2. If using a 12 in pan pour entire batter in pan. If using a smaller pan then pour 1/2 of the batter in the pan.
  3. Wait until the edges look dry so when you flipped the pancake it doesn’t fall apart.
  4. Cook second side for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Once done top with fresh fruit or other toppings.

Note: You can use this batter for pancakes or waffles.

Approximate macronutrient breakdown:  Protein 40g, Carbs 50g, Fats 3 , Calories 387

protein_pancakes

3 Bean Turkey Chili

This 3 Bean Turkey Chili provides you will a good source of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.

Ingredients

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Directions
  1. In a large pot add onions and meat, sprinkled with garlic powder and cook until no longer pink (drain using a plate, if desired).
  2. Next add the beans, tomatoes, and spices and stir until combined.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot.

Approximately makes 8- 1 Cup Servings

Approximate Macros. Protein 32, Carbs 27 and Fats 10.  340 Calories.

Want a little extra kick try adding a dab of greek yogurt and some low fat cheese.

 

Recipe adapted from Jamie Eason’s 3 Bean Turkey Chili

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