Category Archives: Diet

4 fitness tips

4 Fitness Tips You Can Learn From an Orange Cat

Here are 4 things my cat is doing right, but what you can do better so you lose the last 5 lbs he can’t

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1. Eat mini meals throughout the day, but don’t exceed your calorie range.

2. Get a workout in, but also make sure to accumulate movement throughout your day.

3.  Strength train and make sure you work your leg muscles.  They are the biggest muscles so you burn more calories lifting lower body than working your upper body.

4.  Do activities outside to get fresh air and avoid situations or work to limit stressful interactions to keep cortisol levels low.

healthy spaghetti sauce

Healthy Spaghetti Sauce

healthy spaghetti sauce

Straight from the food processor! Love the greens!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Peppers
  • 2 Zuchinnis
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef 93%
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

Preparation:

healthy spaghetti sauce

But it always turns red!

      • Open Cans and put in large sauce pan.
      • Mince Veggies using a food processor.  Add to Pan.
      • Brown Beef with cumin.  Add to Pan.
      • Add garlic and Italian Seasoning.
      • Sautee for a couple hours over low heat.
      • Serve with whole wheat pasta or over a veggie like Broccoli for a spaghetti fix without the carbs!

This is one of the healthiest spaghetti sauce recipes I know!  Especially if you serve it over broccoli rather than noodles!  It is the perfect way to sneak in veggies for kiddos!

healthy eating ratios

Healthy Eating Ratios

In this video blog I talk about the one diet tip I follow: Focus on Healthy Eating Ratios

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I choose to focus more on my diet ratios, rather than calories.  That allows me to make decisions about where my food sources come from.  Ideally I would want my carbohydrate intake to come from veggies and whole grains.  If I know I will be drinking on the weekend, I can choose to eat mostly protein.  This keeps me to my ratios so that I don’t throw off my diet.

get back on track

Top 5 Ways to Get Back on Track After the Holidays

Here are my top 5 ways to get back on track after the holidays!:

 

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1.  Make a diet and Exercise Plan

2. Drink Lots of Water

3. Use your Crock Pot

4. Take it easy the first couple days.

5. Eat mini meals and never let your calorie expenditure be more than 500 calories of your intake.  A Fitbit helps with this!

Once you get back on track you will be one step closer to reaching your goals for 2013!

black bean and quinoa burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

black bean and quinoa burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers are a great meal for Vegetarians, those looking to cut calories and keep up the variety, and for runners looking to get a burger fix on a shorter run day!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked Quinoa
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sriracha if you like spice
  • avocado
  • Low Fat Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Coconut Oil

Prep:

  • Combine all Quinoa, black beans, egg, mustard, garlic, cumin, and sriracha in a mixing bowl.
  • Pat into patties.  Should make 4-6.
  • Cook patties 90 seconds per side in a skillet pan on high coated in coconut oil.
  • Transfer into over and cook at 400 degrees for 10 min
  • Flip over and add pepperjack cheese return to over for 5 min or until cheese melts.
  • Mash avocado with 1/2 tsp salt and lime juice or cut into slices to put on top of burgers

1 Serving has 444 calories, 24.6g fat, 55g carbs, 14g fiber, and 14g Protein.  For those not counting calories feel free to add a bun.  1/2 an avocado adds 161 calories, but remember it also packs some awesome vitamins and is a great source of polyunsaturated fats, one of the good fats that helps fight high cholesterol!

eat before or after workout

To Eat Breakfast Before or After my Workout?–That is the Question

 

eat before or after workout“Should I eat Breakfast before or after my workout?”  The answer ultimately comes down to a combination of your personal goals and body.

If you’re looking to lose weight, the majority of studies say workout prior to eating.  This forces your body to breakdown fat as a form of fuel rather than the last meal you ate.  However, it is very important to eat immediately following your workout.  This will allow your body to use the food you eat to help rebuild your body back up rather than storing it for energy later.

If you are working out to improve performance then it is better to have a small meal mainly made up of carbohydrates.  When we wake up our blood sugar levels are at their lowest.  This doesn’t mean you can’t workout on an empty stomach, however, if you are looking to maximize your performance, you will ultimately do better if there is a quick form of energy.  Glucose is the fastest form of energy.   We get glucose by breaking down glycogen (or forms of carbohydrates) with a simple one step process called  glycogenolysis.   In order to get energy from body fat, the body must first break a fat cell down into glycerol and fatty acids through lipolysis.  Then, the fatty acids can then be broken down to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis.  

There is a lot of lysises and glyes going on there, but this concept is actually a lot more simple than you think.  Imagine your workout being a wood stove.  In order to get the heat we need to put fuel or logs into the stove to burn.  Now imagine you have two kinds of logs.  One type you can throw right in.  These logs are carbohydrates.  The other type of log will be just fine, but before you put it in the stove you need to chop it in half.  These logs represent your body using stored energy or fat for fuel.  This method takes more time and energy.  Both methods will lead to a fire, one just gets the fire going a lot quicker.

There are always exceptions to this rule:

  • If eating prior to your workout makes you feel nausea then you have to ask yourself, Do I actually need to eat before.  If you have plenty of energy, why force a meal. Listen to your body.
  • If you are looking to lose weight and you notice your workout are much better if you have a small snack pre-workout, eat your snack pre-workout.

Long story short:  Studies have shown not eating prior to a  morning workout helps with weight loss.  Studies also show if you want to enhance workout performance in the morning, you should have a snack.  Neither of these rules, however, are black and white.  Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what works better for you.  It doesn’t hurt, however, to try doing what could help you meet your goals.

Side Note:  The time we should all eat is immediately following a workout.  Then you want your meal to consist primarily of Protein.  This will help your muscles rebuild themselves faster so you are ready for your next exercise bout!

Good Pre Workout Snacks:

  • Wheat English Muffin w/ Peanut Butter
  • Apple and String Cheese
  • Think Thin Bar
  • Gu Around the Holidays you can get Gingerbread!!

*I personally just like a cup of coffee, but I love to make eggs and turkey sausage when I get done with my workout!!!

holiday 5k

Get Out There and Run 2 Holiday 5ks!

I am sure we all felt the first holiday bulge hit after Thanksgiving.  holiday 5ks

Hopefully, you got right back on track!

Hopefully you are eating clean, avoiding Suzy’s Peanut Butter Balls at the office, only having 1 cocktail at the holiday party that seems to be happening every night, and sticking to your workout routine!

I’m guessing for 25% of you, I am right–you are back on track.  For the rest of you…well let’s talk about what we can do!

Holiday season can be tough.  Not only do we have genetics working against us, but we also have our brainstem telling us we EARNED our holiday binge!  It is easy to fall into the route of justifying sweets, drinks, and goodies around the holidays.  It is the end of the year; we are tired, stressed, and that one cookie will release so much dopamine!!  It will make us feel better–for about 5 min.  Then you will hit the dopamine crash and need another cookie and then another and then a cocktail to wash it down and with just 3 cookies and a cocktail you have eaten 1300 calories almost an entire day’s worth of food.

As half of you are putting that cookie down as you read, I want you to know the holidays don’t have to be fitness doom and gloom!  You may not lose weight during the holidays, but if you exercise you can prevent weight gain and allow yourself some budge room to have 1-2 peanut butter balls.  The major problem is exercise around the holidays can also be a problem.  With so many holiday parties and end of year work deadlines our workout routines seem to go out the window.

So set a goal for yourself now!

 It is proven that people are more likely to workout if they are working towards a goal.

Sign up for a holiday 5k within the next week or two and then a New Years 5k!  Make it your goal to beat your time in your New Years Dash!  Most towns have both a jingle bell dash and a New Years run.  Get online and look for the nearest ones near you.  If you can find one, create unofficial holiday 5ks with 3-5 (the more the merrier!) friends.  It will help keep you all accountable and perhaps become a holiday tradition!

Remember, if you train hard you actually did earn a cookie!  But only one.  A 3.5 mile run burns approximately 350 calories (depending on your body weight).  Think about that the next time you see the cookie tray laying out at work!  We don’t have to deprive ourselves, but it is important to separate whether we actually earned a treat verses we wish we earned a treat!

Lazy Ass Man’s Chicken

**Disclaimer–This recipe can be greatly improved.  However it is made for even the most Lazy Ass Man to do weekly!

 

lazy ass man

Ingredients:

  • 5 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 beer
  • Choose your favorite spice mixture I chose cumin, Italian Seasoning, and Everyday Seasoning about 1/2 tsp of each
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce

Prep

  • Pour 1/2 Beer in slow cooker.

    Lazy Ass Man

    Crappy beer that you are given for free works great in Lazy-Ass Man’s Chicken

  • Add chicken breasts.
  • Cover with thin coat BBQ sauce
  • Add spices on top.
  • Top off with the rest of the beer.
  • Cook on the slow cooker 10 hours on low.  Try to flip chicken whenever you think about it.
  • Mash the chicken.  It should shred well!

Eat by itself, with mustard or BBQ Sauce, with Cottage Cheese, Over Lettuce or Spinach

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVE LAZY ASS MAN’S Chicken! Even I can make it! 🙂

Bored with meals? 5 Ways to Increase Variety Without Increasing Calories

 

Are you bored with your meals?

The number one thing people often tell me when they are on a diet, is that they “get bored with their healthy meals.”  They aren’t actually bored with their healthy meals, but they miss the flavor from the unhealthy foods they used to make.  When you start a diet, you need to retrain yourself to cook.  You need to learn your “go tos” to add favor not calories!

If you’re bored with your meals, your meals are probably boring!

 

Here are the top 5 ways to spice it up:

  1. Combine imageyour food!  Think about all the foods you love: pizza, lasagna, burgers, nachos.  They all combine foods!  They make you crave them because there you are so many flavors your brain has got to crave SOMETHING in that recipe.  So learn healthy recipes for your favorite foods.  Try this one for Cauliflower Pizza!
  2. Add spices. Remember a little goes a long way.  Start experimenting!  Some of my favorite are garlic powder (or fresh garlic!), basil, cumin, Italian, and Everyday Seasoning.

    Cholula comes in many different flavors! Pick your favorite and you can put it in almost anything!

  3. Experiment with Hot Sauces!  You don’t need to add a lot, but hot sauces can add a lot of flavor with adding too much heat.  Some of my favorite (and yes I like my food hot!) are sriracha, local jerk rubs (check your local farmers markets or the steak isles), and Cholula.
  4. Use Fat Free or Low Fat Cheese!  When cooking foods that have cheese use the fat free or low fat versions.  Many of the foods we love have cheese in them.  Don’t always refrain from cooking your favorite foods.  However, when you do; look to substitute a lower fat cheese for what the recipe normally calls for!
  5. Try out a new recipe a week!  Recipes incorporate different spices you wouldn’t normally work with.  When you try a new spice, think about what flavor it adds.  Then you can add it to your basic recipes like Lazy-Ass Man’s Chicken to make them taste different and more flavorful every time!

 

Zucchini Chips

image

Zucchini Chips

 

      (A Great Healthy Appetizer or Party Favorite!)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Zucchinis
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Everything Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Egg Whites

 

Prep:

zucchini chips

I love my Kutsko Kitchen Chopping Rhombus. Get one at http://kutskokitchen.com/

 

Separate egg whites and mix in a bowl.

Mix Cheese, seasonings, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl

Cut zucchini in 1/4 inch pieces.  Coat each piece with egg white then cheese mixture.  Lay flat on greased cookie tray.  (I like to use olive oil spray!)

Cook 7 min at 450 degrees.  Flip then cook 7 more min.

Serve warm or cooled!

1/2 Recipe = 95 Calories, 3.4g Fat, 4.1g Carbs, 1.2g Fiber, and 11.5g Protein