Monthly Archives: August 2012

Fitness Blog Series: Learn the basics of developing a diet and exercise plan

Picture Source: stregnthandconditioncertification.com

I have been to a few different nutritionist/certified trainers.  In fact, I am finishing up my last couple of weeks with my current trainer.  Prior to working with nutritionist and trainers, I didn’t know much about how to eat right ant exercise.  Since then, I have learned so much about developing a diet and training plan and have become very interested/involved in health and fitness. I have been doing my own research on nutrition plans and training/exercise routines. I’ve started experimenting with my own diet and work out plan to reach my personal fitness goal of entering a fitness bikini competition.

 Since trainers and nutritionist can be quite expensive, ranging anywhere from $150-$1,000+ and knowing that not everyone can afford to work with one, I decided to put together a blog series.  This series will serve as a resource for anyone who would like to learn how to calculate their daily caloric and macro nutrient intake to lose or gain weight depending on their personal fitness goals. This series will also teach the basics of developing a training routine. I will be using all the topics discussed in this series to develop my own diet and training program for my future competition (I am trying to save money here, plus eventually I will need to learn this. I can’t pay for a trainer my entire life).
The first blog post in this series will discuss calculating daily caloric intake and will be posted this Sunday. Stay tuned.
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Recipes I’ve Tried: Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread

One of the toughest things for me in regards to eating clean is staying away from sugary,carby sweets.  I am always searching for new, healthy and sweet recipes to try. So when I came across Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread I had to try it, especially when she claimed it makes an excellent french toast substitute.  I have to admit she was absolutely right!  This recipe is soooo yummy.  I have been having this for breakfast for the past week with my eggs.  I grill it in a pan with non stick spray and pour some sugar free syrup (IHop brand) over the top.  Each time I eat this, I feel like I am eating something I should not be, but if you look at the nutritional facts, it fits right into any clean eating plan. I will outline the nutritional value of one serving size, as well as the recipe I used below:

Nutritional Facts:

Recipe makes 16 squares

1 square (if using 8×8 pan and not loaf pan) = 55 calories, 1 g fat, 8 g carbs, 5 g protein

If using loaf pan a 1 and 1/2 inch slice = 110, 2g fat, 16gcarbs, 10g protein

Ingredients I used:

  • 1/3 cup Stevia in the Raw
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour + 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder in Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup or 1 4oz jar of baby food mashed carrots

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf dish with non-stick spray.
2. In small bowl combine: (set aside)

  • 1/3 Stevia in the Raw
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

3. In a large bowl combine: (whisk together)

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour + 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •  ¼ cup Stevia in the Raw

4. In a medium bowl combine: (whisk together & add to large bowl)

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  •  1 4oz jar of baby food mashed carrots

5. Pour a shallow layer of batter into the loaf pan (about 1/4 of the batter).

6. Sprinkle heavily with half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter & cinnamon/sugar on top.

7. Draw a knife through the batter to marble.

8. Bake for 24 to 28 min. Let cool for 10 min. Bread will be dense.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

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Meal Planning: Cooking in Bulk

I want to share with you all a tip I learned that has made my life so much easier when it comes to trying to eat clean 90% of the time.  That tip is, meal planning, which involves cooking food in bulk.

Meal planning and bulk cooking, is something I do every Saturday/Sunday to help me eat clean throughout the week/weekend.  I learned about meal prepping through various sources like, Toneitup.com, Bodybuilding.com, and Payfitnessforward.blogspot.com.  Ever since I incorporated this into my weekly schedule, I have no excuse not to stick to my goal of eating clean 90% of the time, with an occasional treat on the weekends.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail” -Winston Churchill

Every Saturday before I go grocery shopping, I write out exactly what I will need for the week.  I am one of those people that can eat the same thing day in and day out without getting tired.  So, my grocery list consists mainly of chicken, 96% lean ground beef, eggs, brown rice, and broccoli.  When I grocery shop for these items, I get them in large quantities because I need enough for 5-6 meals each day.  If any of you are curious, I normally get the value size from either Walmart or Bj’s.

Once I have all the items I will need for the week’s meals,  I start cooking.

I will boil about 4lbs of chicken in water with seasonings (any flavor of Mrs. Dash).  I cook my lean ground beef in a skillet, and use my rice cooker to cook my oh, so tasty brown rice (I LOVE CARBS!!!). I recently started boiling my broccoli in the chicken stock left over from boiling my chicken, it gives it a nice flavor.

When all the food is done cooking, I measure and weigh the chicken/ground beef (4oz), broccoli (1-2 cups) and brown rice (1/2) cup  into tupperware containers.  The entire process takes about 2hrs from start to finish, not including the time it takes me to grocery shop. However, it saves me so much time throughout the week because the only meal I have to prepare each day is breakfast.

If you always want a clean meal available to help you reach your health goals, start meal prepping and cooking in bulk.  I promise you, you will notice how much easier it makes living a healthy lifestyle.

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The Best Kind of To Do List

After reading David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”, I don’t think I will go back to the traditional “Daily” To Do List.   It has made organizing my projects, single action items a lot easier to keep track of and complete.

To get started with David Allen’s Method all you will need is a pen and paper. There are a lot of GTD software out there but they are not necessary to be effective with this method.

Ok, once you have the tools you will need, the first step in creating this awesome to do list is to perform a “brain dump”.  All a “brain dump” involves is you sitting down and writing out everything on your mind., whether that be an upcoming doctor’s appointment, laundry, calling your parents, etc. Whatever it may be, write it down, get it out of your head. This process is similar to brainstorming before writing; the list should look very unorganized.

After you have completed the brain dumb your next step is to begin organizing it.  Place all your appointments in your calendar, if an item on your brain dump list involves physical material, get all those things together. If an item on your list is a big project, think about breaking it down into smaller “actionable items”.

If you realize there are things on your list that you would like to do but realistically cannot get to them until 3 months to a year from now, put them on another list entitled “someday”.

When you finish with your sorting, your list should now only contain “currently actionable” items. This list will serve as your “everything” list. Each time you come across a new task that needs to get done or any “actionable” thought, immediately write it down on this list. Writing it down as soon as you can will prevent your brain from forgetting it and reminding you when it is too late.

At this point, you have a to do list that contains everything that needs to get done. None of the items on your list are in any particular order, so how do you go about getting those items done?  At the start of each day you want to look at your “Everything” list and pick 3-5 items that you will work on. This is your “immediate action” list.  I suggest picking things from your list that have an upcoming deadline, are overdue, or need to be completely within the week.  Write those items down on a separate sheet of paper with todays date.  If you want to organize the order in which you want to complete those items, use numbers to do so.  The point is to pick something you want to start with and work on that task until its complete.

Once you finish a task, cross it off of your list. Anything that did not get completed  should be moved to the next day’s “immediate action” list.  At the end of each day, you should refer back to your “everything” list and decide if anything needs to be moved to your “immediate action” list.