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Archive for April, 2011

Oatmeal Protein Bars

Here is a quick one for you….

Oatmeal Protein Bars:
Ingredients:
• 3 cups oatmeal
• 140 grams protein powder
• 3/4 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup milk
• 2 egg whites
• 1 cup apple sauce
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:
1. Combine the above ingredients and put in a oiled (use cooking spray) 9×9 pan.
2. Bake @ 350 for 35 min.

Makes 8 bars. Refrigerate

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Diet Down Week

I am late getting this out. For those expecting to see it days ago SORRY!

In the world of body building and fitness training there are two basic phases of training – Grow and Shred. When building muscle you have to FEED it! Often, that results in adding a few extra pounds of fat or softening up. About 12 weeks out from a show you begin to diet down or shred. This is when you restrict caloric intake and really focus on showing all those muscles and cuts.

For myself and many others, keeping muscle growth and very low body fat balanced can be easily achieved. This leaves us not needing to go through such extreme “diet down” phases. But after the past year I have had, I have decided to spend the next week on a pretty serious “diet down” phase. I encourage you to try breaking your weight loss down into manageable bites like this. Try it for just one week, 4 days, what ever feels comfortable. Each sport offers training techniques that can… will benefit anyone. This is not meant to be a regular pattern, but a tool used short term.

For all you body builders out there ready to start adding details and criticise, save it. This is meant to be directed toward regular people who are looking for help losing those extra pounds.

Here is a sample of my daily meal plan:

Breakfast: 3 egg whites or 2 eggs, ¼ cup of oatmeal, and 1 tablespoon of all natural peanut butter/almond butter
1 multi-vitamin

AM Snack: ¼ cup of oatmeal with a scoop of  protein mixed with water (a banana if I have been working heavy or am still really hungry)
5gm of L-Glutamine

Lunch: 1 cup of veggies, 4 oz of lean protein, and ¾ cup of brown rice or quinoa
1 500mg of vitamin C and 1 serving of EFA’s (Omega Fatty Acids)

PM Snack: 4 oz of lean protein and a 5 oz baked sweet potato with the skin
5 gm of L-Glutamine

Dinner: 4 oz of lean protein, ½ cup of kidney beans, medium salad, 2-4 tablespoons of  vinegar and olive or flax oil
1 vitamin C and 1 serving of EFA’s

Evening Snack: 1 scoop of protein and 1 cup of strawberries or other berries.
 

Some of my thoughts-

  • You can adjust this to suit you. Substitute those things that you really can’t stand, just be sure you are substituting each for something that offers the same. If you hate oatmeal be sure to trade it for something that will add grain.
  • Mix it up a bit so you don’t get bored. Add the protein to the quinoa one day and diced veggies the next.
  • Flavor with herbs and vinegar.
  • Sometimes with a diet as strict as this you need the added vitamins, ect. Hence the vitamin C and EFA’s. By say, using fish as your protein you can eliminate this. And if you are not training quite as heavy as I will be you probably won’t need the L- Glutamine for protein synthesis and recovery.
  • Do not have your evening snack within an hour of your bedtime.
  • Schedule your meal times around your day. If you eat lunch at 12 everyday, eat at 6-9-12-3-6-9. Or eliminate the final snack altogether.
  • Drop portion sizes if you feel full.
  • Prepare!! You have to be ready for something like this. As you can see I have nearly the whole week ready on Sunday.
  • Don’t forget to exercise! Even with a very physical job you need consistent movement. If your job was active enough would you really be in need of losing those extra pounds? Unless perhaps you gorge yourself daily on junk food and drink gallons of soda (Man I hate the stuff!), you probably are NOT getting enough physical activity and diet alone will not offer everything needed to get the job done.

 This really is just to give you an idea of what a serious diet down phase might look like and what portion sizes consist of. I absolutely HATE the word “diet”. Typically it refers to the kind of restrictions that end up causing someone to fail and purge. I firmly believe in building a solid foundation. A way of life. Healthy habits that last a lifetime. But, if you are wanting to create that last-minute shred this just might work for you. Bathing suit season IS just about 5 weeks away! Take from it what works for you or call me for a private consultation.

Live Well!
~S

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You asked for it!

I am always being asked for “healthy” recipes and dinner ideas. I plan to share many of my favorites here with you. I’m going to start with one of my very favorites I made this weekend. Quinoa Chili!

Now, I know what you are thinking… something there in that photo doesn’t look quite right.  That my friends, is Quinoa! Not your typical ingredient found in chili, quinoa offers added protein and grain! We discussed the health benefits of this incredible grain here. Give it a chance. I bet you will like it.  Start with adding  just 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Vegans can use it to substitute the ground turkey.

Let’s get started…

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
1 green pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 large can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large can tomato puree
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
2-4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili in adobo
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the turkey in olive oil. Sprinkle with half the chili powder, salt and pepper. Add diced vegetables. When half cooked add the garlic. When the veggies are cooked but still have bite add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer over med-low 30 minutes to 1 hour.

I love to top it with some grated cheddar, a dollop of greek yogurt and chopped  cilantro!  This meal feels sinful, but it is really so very good for you. If you are really trying to cut calories you can eliminate the corn and the cheese. This recipe is on the hot side. Adjust the chili in adobo and Sriracha to your liking. Remember, you can always add more. You can’t take it out. Something I am a firm believer in is layering flavors! I have done that here to some degree, however when making it myself I do add things a few at a time, then allow to come together before adding the next ingredients. Enjoy!

Live Well!
~S

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Superfoods

The power of plants!

You’ve heard it before, you are what you eat. The substances you put into your body clearly dictates everything from how you fight infection and disease to your emotional state. With a shift in the foods you eat you can lower cholesterol, change your mood and even reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. Consuming these foods each and everyday can also make you look and feel younger!

So what are Superfoods?

The term “Superfoods” has often been over used, especially in the marketing efforts of companies trying to tout their products as healthy and beneficial. Superfoods, as used here, are those containing important health benefits such as the highest levels of antioxidants, Omega Fatty Acids, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

Topping the list are:

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Coconut (milk)
  • Flax Seed
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Oats
  • Olive Oil
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt

There are certainly many others that could be included here. These are those that offer the highest levels of nutrients and are most commonly found.

My challenge to you is:

For one week, every time you sit down to eat include one of these foods. At the end of that week consider how you feel. I bet you will find such a difference that you will continue as a regular part of your pattern. So much of what we do is based on habit. If you change your habit you can change your life. Breaking these changes down into small, manageable pieces often holds the most benefit. You do not become overwhelmed. You do not fight that “fear” of never again will I eat these foods I love. Instead you try it. You take one day at a time. This is the key to success.

Let’s face it, no one can really argue the health benefits of grease and sugars. These days it is quite easy to find these healthy options. You have no real excuse!

Try this challenge! Let me know how you do. =]

Live Well!
~S

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We All Fall Down

We have all had those moments… those days, those weeks, those months…

All of a sudden you find you have made a mess of something. Be it your diet, your training, your life. Sometimes it’s an accident or a busy schedule. Just last year I hurt my back on a fall on the stairs and just as I was recovering, broke my foot. Before I knew it I had gained 10 pounds, felt like hell and didn’t recognize myself. I know what you are saying- 10 pounds? For someone like me, 5’1″ with a small frame, 10 pounds is quite a bit. For someone who has always been very active, not being able to do much of anything is traumatizing. I am still finding I am pulling myself out of the slump one day at a time. That’s what it takes. One foot in front of the other. Even if you find yourself taking one step forward and two steps back.

Sometimes….. it’s our own damn fault! We can’t resist that Friday night pizza and beer. Like I did last night. 4 slices and 2 tall glasses of Guinness (can you get any less waist line friendly?) Or those nights you put away those extra glasses of wine, when you promised yourself you would go to the gym the next morning. Inevitably ending up with a hangover and never getting off the couch, never mind working out. Yup, been there too.

You can beat yourself up over it all day long, but is it really going to do you any good? Instead, get mad at yourself for a moment and then make amends! Make up for it. So you had that delicious desert. I hope you enjoyed every bit of it. Cause now, you are going to get your ass kicked on the  step mill! (Man, I wish they hadn’t taken those out of so many gyms! But- there is a great set of stairs in Somersworth that will kick your ass after a few sets.)

So instead of sulking, just make consequences for your weaker moments. Add an extra gym day, go for a run on the beach, work twice as hard, lift heavier weights. Last Saturday I challenged myself to 100 Burpees. I felt great after!

Life should be enjoyed! I’m not saying eat french fries everyday and go for a walk later. I’m saying think of it like you do vacations. Sure it would be wonderful to be on vacation for the rest of your life, but what would happen? You have to put in the work to enjoy the sweeter things. Being “healthy” is having a healthy body AND a healthy mind. If you restrict yourself to only work you will fail or you will be miserable. Either way you have not succeeded. So get out there and do the things you love, eat desert and for heaven sake have some beer! Then shake yourself off and make up for it!

Live Well
~S

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While cleaning up after making my Ginger Mint Lemonade I was inspired to start a new segment! Here I had all this still very potent, slighty used ginger left that could offer more than just adding to my compost.

Don’t Throw It Away will give you all the little, and not so little things I do to reduce waste, get the most out of the things I use, buy and grow and make my life simpler and healthier.

So, what to do with left over ginger? Put it in the blender! Add with it some garlic, hot peppers of any kind or dried cayenne and water and you have the start of a great organic pesticide! You can add to it many things like dish liquid and vegetable or mineral oil. These can be sprayed on and around plants  to prevent infestations. The chunky “pulp” you are left with can be added to the soil as well. At the very least, toss that used ginger into your garden and let it scare away those little pests.

Get the most out of life!
~Live Well~

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This is a great Spring/Summer drink. It’s refreshing, cooling and offers many health benefits.

We have discussed the many wonderful benefits of ginger. Here is the breakdown:

  • Digestion- Stomach ulcers, upset stomach, morning sickness, motion sickness
  • Heart Burn
  • Pain and Inflammation
  • Cold and Flu- Treatment and Prevention
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Arthritis
  • Aids in circulation
  • Stimulates the Respiratory System
  • Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Mint is another wonderful herb with many health benefits:

  • Aids Digestion
  • Stimulates the respiratory System
  • Relieves Nausea
  • Offers Relief from Headaches
  • Antiseptic and Antipruritic- soothes the skin, cures infection and itching
  • Germicidal and Breath Freshener-inhibits harmful bacteria growth inside the mouth
  • Cancer- Research shows enzymes may help cure Cancer

You know what’s coming next…. Lemon is also very good for you. Here’s why:

  • Aids in Digestion
  • Relieves Constipation
  • Strengthens Your Immune System
  • Helps Break Fevers
  • Oral Care- Relieves pain from toothache and inhibits bacteria growth
  • Antiseptic
  • Diuretic
  • Purifies the Blood
  • Acts as a cooling agent
  • Reduces Blood Pressure
  • Has been known to assist in weight loss
  • Has Cancer fighting properties

Here is the recipe for my Ginger Mint Lemonade!

1 inch piece of Ginger- cut into slices
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped Mint
2-3 Lemons- juiced
1-2 tablespoons Honey
10 cups Water

Steep the ginger in simmering water for 10-20 minutes depending on desired strength. Allow to cool slightly. Add mint and honey while still warm to dissolve and infuse. Add lemon juice and transfer to a pitcher. Add ice! Be careful when adding to glass pitchers. I have had more than one explode on me with only mildly warm liquid! You can adjust all of these to your specific taste. Ginger can be quite strong to some or you may like yours a bit sweeter or with more lemon.  Adjust away!

I also find this drink offers a natural pick me up! I get a boost of energy and feel it stimulate all of my senses and systems. And wouldn’t you know it, is great with a little white rum as a Summer cocktail!

Enjoy friends!
Live Well

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