Thursday, June 30, 2011

A little nickname: Peanut Butt!

Since I can remember, my parents have always told me I had a "Peanut Butt". Well I'm determined to shake that nickname by working my glutes out like crazy! (going from peanut to walnut would be enough for me!) I had a great leg workout yesterday and I'm definitely feeling it today.... everytime I got up from my desk today I was reminded of just how hard I worked out yesterday! Want to shape up your glutes too? Here's what I did:



Leg Extensions- 3 sets of  10
Superset with 

Lying leg curl 3 sets of 10 

Hack Squat 3 sets x10
Superset with

Plie Squats 3 sets of 15

Barbell Squat 4 x 15
Super set with

Barbell lunges 20x4
 (I do double bounce, so your knee hits the ground twice before you stand up)
After the lunges I was exhausted and my glutes and quads were SO tight-- such a great feeling!

*I didn't list the weights of each exercise because I think it is important to find what works for you. Just remember, you should be at your max weight at all times- this means the last couple reps of each set are a struggle!*

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tips: A little help with eating right at your 9-5

I know many of us have the typical 9-5 office job, and between the Friday donuts, ample amounts of coffee creamer and sugar, and company lunch trips it can be hard to stay clean. Here are a few things that have helped me stick to my clean eating, regardless of where I am.

1. Prepare!
You have to have a game plan the night before, so that you aren't scrambling 5 minutes before you head out the door. When I make dinner I always make at least double what we will eat at dinner, usually more. This way you have leftovers for 1-2 meals the next day. Oftentimes for dinner we try to cut out our lower glycemic carbs, but I still make something that can be eaten the next day. For example, last night I made Turkey Meatloaf Muffins and Cinnamon Protein Powder Yams. I stashed the yams in the fridge right away and crumbled the muffins into a spinach salad with tomato and salsa for dinner. Then today for lunch I packed the turkey muffins and the yams, because those carbs are important to have during the day! I also always have our standard "snack" food on hand, so that I can pair a couple up for a full meal. These are foods like hard boiled eggs, non-fat greek yogurt, non-fat cottage cheese, pre-cut veggies, fruit, home made protein bars, almonds, etc.

2. Pack
Now that you know what foods to bring, make sure you have all the right ways of bringing them! I have invested in tons of microwave safe tupperware (we somehow still seem to run out) and ziplock bags. These are easy to pack in, and they make the morning run really smoothly. I would absolutely die for one of these...
They are called 6 pack bags and are awesome! Check them out at http://www.sixpackbags.com/ and if you are ever looking for a present for me, I'll take the pink one :)

3. Protein
If for some reason you didn't pack enough food to eat every 3 hours at work, or you are hungry between meals, leave a shaker in your desk at work and throw a few scoops of protein in a ziplock bag. This is a great go-to snack that will hold you over and keep you away from the chips lingering in the break room.

4. Drinks
Something people often leave out are drinks, but they can completely sabotage your clean diet! You want to weed out as much as possible and stick with water and freshly brewed teas. Almost everything else has such high sugar content even if it is diet. Luckily, we have a water dispenser in my office, and I fill my cup up at least 5-6 times per day. I also bring a to-go cup of green tea from home to have in the morning, and I keep some tea bags in my desk at work in case I need a mid-day pick me up. I will admit, I sneak in a pink Rockstar every once in a while, but even though it has no carbs, sugars, etc. it's still not techinically clean- still better than coffee loaded with sugar and creme. (I cannot do black.. yuck!) Do whatever you can to drink as much water as possible, even if that means keeping a gallon under your desk! Hydration is SO important.

* Even on weekends, if I know I will be gone more than 3 hrs I pack food. I'll grab some almonds, and a protein bar and throw them in my purse. The last thing you want to do is be stuck somewhere starving and have to turn to fast food as a last resort!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A few little tips

I've had a few people in the past couple days come to me saying now that they have some recipes for clean eating, where do you start as far as fitness? I want to share some of the main/most important tips I have learned so far.

1. Without a clean diet, its going to be nearly impossible for you to see results. This means 6 clean meals a day (every 3 hours or so) with macros that are as close as possible to 40-40-20, and the appropriate number of calories for your weight/ activity. As I have shared before, I use myfitnesspal.com to help make sure I am getting this right, everyday. Here is what my end of the day totals looked like yesterday:

I have my goal set at 1600 calories, but I have yet to hit that mark. I fell a little short of where I would like to be with protein, but I'm not perfect and all I can do is try harder tomorrow! To figure out how many calories you should be eating, take your weight and x 10. This is the number of calories you would need to survive- the bare minimum. On workout days, you should add 400-600 calories if you are weight training. For me, this puts my calorie intake around 1400-1600. Remember, your muscles need food to grow, and the more muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will burn.

2. This brings me to my second point: Lay off the cardio and hit the weights! If you are lifting heavy, and super setting your exercises to keep your heart rate up, this is really all you need. Doing excessive cardio is only eating away at your muscle, and we don't want that. So, create a plan and find a weight that allows you to lift in the 10-12 rep range for a starting point. Remember, its not about losing weight, it's about gaining muscle to lose fat.

3. Abs are made in the kitchen! If you watch that clean diet very closely, your abs are much more likely to show versus doing hundreds of ab exercises everyday.

4. Protein is very important. I have found that many women are not utilizing protein shakes and not getting enough protein in general. Although the complete macros are important (protein, carbs, fat) your muscles cannot repair themselves or grow without sufficient protein. I aim for at least  150g per day. Between powder, eggs, meats, and cottage cheese it's really easy to do.

5. Limit your beverages to water and freshly brewed no sugar added teas. Water is very important so make sure you are drinking it all day long.

6. Make sure you are supplementing with at least a multi-vitamin and protein powder everyday. Bodybuilding.com has tons of great articles if you are interested in additional supplements.

7. Stay Motivated!! I try to post motivational quotes/photos everyday on my facebook page, so make sure you "like" it to stay on track!

* Again, I am not a professional, but this is what I believe to be true :)*

Monday, June 27, 2011

On a little roll: Another clean recipe

Chili is something that my mom always made for family dinners and a recipe that I have found myself making a lot as well. I decided to make a few changes to make it as clean as possible.

Final product
Ingredients:
-One package lean ground turkey
-One can low sodium black beans
-2 small cans low sodium tomato sauce
-One can Green chilies, diced
-1/3 onion, diced
-Lawrey's Chili Spices
-Chili powder
-Garlic powder
-Onion powder
-Pepper 


Directions:


1. Place onions in frying pan and place on low heat until they start to brown, then add in ground turkey.


2. As turkey is cooking add 1/2 packet of Lawrey's Chili Spices, and chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper to taste. 


 
3.While meat is cooking, place black beans (drained), tomato sauce, green chili, and diced tomato in a pot and turn on low heat.
`
4. Once meat is browned, add to pot and mix well.


5. At this point, the chili is complete but I recommend adding about 1/4 cup of water and turning the heat down to simmer. This will allow all the flavors to cook together. 





Since I try to taper off carbs as the day goes on, I served the chili over romaine lettuce and added tomato and red onion with a little bit of salsa. 


Chili Nutritional Info:
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 197
Fat: 4.5g
Carbs: 16.6g
Protein: 30.8g 


This is like a two in one post, because I also made spaghetti squash- I will use this tomorrow to add some carbs to the chili for lunch. 


To make spaghetti squash:


1. Take one Spaghetti squash and poke 7-8 holes in it with a knife. This will prevent it from exploding when in the microwave. 



2. Place in a microwave safe baking dish and cook for 6 minutes, then turn the squash and cook 6 more minutes. 


3. Be very careful when removing from microwave, because it will be very hot!


4. Allow at least 15 minutes to cool, then cut squash in half length wise. 


5. Remove any seeds.



6. With a fork, scrape out meat of squash- it should come out in thin strings, just like spaghetti!



It is a great way to add healthy carbs to any meal, and it is only 46 calories per 1 cup! 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little likes

Today was my day off from the gym, and I'm happy to report today wraps up week 3 of going to the gym 6 days a week and eating clean. I've also stuck to my 2 drinks per week rule! Only 6 weeks left until our vacation to San Diego... I can't wait! I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me get started and be successful so far.




Protein shakes! Oddly enough, I love my protein shakes and I look forward to it after the gym. The protein I buy is listed below, it works great for me and tastes awesome. 


Tupperware is a must when eating clean. I pack my lunch and B's lunch everyday, and it takes a ton of tupperware for 2 people x 3 meals. Definitely a great investment to make!



Dymatize Iso 100 Vanilla is the protein I use after the gym as well as to bake with. It has no fat, no carbs, is lactose free, and hydrolyzed whey protein.. what more could you ask for!? I also have a Casein shake right before bed. It is important to use this slow absorbing protein to preserve your muscles while you sleep.


My Planner- I would be lost without it. I write EVERYTHING down in it, from workouts to dinners, grocery lists, and goals. It all goes in here and it's a great way to track progress  and keep yourself organized. When I come across a recipe I want to try, I write it in the notes section, so it doubles as my cook book. Like I said, I would go crazy without it.




I definitely have a new obsession with greek yogurt. It is better for you than regular yogurt, because even the low- cal, low-fat varieties usually still have a ton of sugar. Greek yogurt has close to double the protein as regular yogurt and only about 5g of sugar per serving. It's great to top your protein pancakes with, and my favorite way to eat it is adding 1/3 c. uncooked oats, 1/2 scoop protein powder, and a few blueberries. YUM!

I also highly recommend Ezekiel brand for bread. This one is my favorite, it's whole grain low sodium and very tasty! My favorite is spreading a tiny bit of coconut oil and cinnamon then popping it under the broiler for a couple minutes. Tastes just like the Cinnamon toast my mom used to make me as a kid. Ezekiel has tons of bread products like bread, pita, and tortillas. I get mine at Whole Foods (of course) 


Lastly, and possibly the most important, is having someone to support and encourage you. B has been great with trying new foods and really contributing to our healthy lifestyle. It's so great when you have someone to get up with you for 5am gym sessions, and someone to run from grocery store to grocery store with. Find someone who has the same goals as you and buddy up... it really helps! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A little impressed! Okay, a lot!

Night 4 of new recipe and I am very proud of this one! I have seen a few different recipes for clean chicken strips/chicken nuggets, so I took those ideas and with my own twist came up with Clean Coconut Chicken Strips. I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but I must say they were awesome!! Want the recipe? It's on my facebook page under notes! Just click here!



You totally feel like you're cheating when you eat these, but they are clean!

On another note, my legs are so sore I feel it with every step! I have to say, the glutes routine I posted yesterday is killer and I can't wait to do it for the next few weeks- I'm determined to shake my "peanut butt" nickname :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another little recipe!

I'm on a roll this week with trying new dinners! This time I tried the turkey stuffed bell peppers. Here's what you need to know:

Ingredients:
- 4 bell peppers
-olive oil
-1 package ground turkey (the recipe originally called for ground bison, which is great but hard to find)
-1 whole egg
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-1/4 onion, chopped
-1/2 cup marinara sauce (find one low in sodium and sugar)
-Pepper, oregano
-Mozarella cheese- optional (I didn't use it with my lactose intolerance!)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350
2. Cut stems off bell peppers
3. Brush outside of each pepper with olive oil
4. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well
5. Stuff peppers with mixture evenly
6. Place peppers in baking dish wish a thin layer of water at the bottom
7. Cook for 40-45 minutes


The original recipe (I forgot where I saw this) said to cook for 20-25 minutes. After cooking for 20 minutes, I pulled one out and cut it in half, and it was no where near done. I ended up cutting them all in half because the peppers are thick, and I stuffed as much turkey in there as I could, so I wanted to make sure they cooked all the way through without burning on top. I stuck them back in for another 25 minutes until they were actually cooked through. They came out really good, B asked for the cheese on his next time which I'm sure will be great! (Jealous!) 

Today was leg day at the gym, and I am already sore so I know I worked hard! I always really push myself on leg day and love when I walk out of the gym and my legs are shaking. Do you need some new leg/glutes exercises? Check out the video I posted on my facebook page! Just click here! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Recipe: Little Turkey Muffins

I want to start off by letting you know I created a facebook page to go along with my blog, because I was getting tons of questions and feedback and I want everyone to be able to share! So if you're reading this, please take two seconds and like the page! Just click here!

Today at the gym, I did back and bi's- I will post some of the exercises I did under the exercise tab as soon as I can. Now on to the food! Last week B randomly asked me if there was a clean recipe for meatloaf, and there is! Jamie Eason has a great recipe that I followed pretty much to a tee. I have never had meatloaf before, so I was a little apprehensive, but when I looked at the ingredients there's nothing too strange in there so I decided to give it a shot!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

Ingredients:
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp tyme
-2 tsp mustard
-2 tsp pepper
-2 tsp McCormicks Chipotle Pepper Spice ( I looked 3 different places and couldn't find the McCormicks brand, so I got an off brand)
-1 cup quick cooking oats
-2 tbsp garlic powder
-1 small onion, chopped
-2 celery stalks chopped
-1/2 green bell pepper (This is not in Jamies recipe, but you can pretty much add any veggies you want!)
- 3 egg whites
-2.5 lbs extra lean ground turkey

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Mix all ingredients together except meat and eggs
3. Add in turkey and eggs, and mix with hands
4. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray and place mixture in tin.
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until meat is cooked all the way through.


I love that they are cooked in the muffin tins, perfect portions every time!


Nutrients:
1 muffin
Calories: 78
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 4
Protein: 11g

Click here to watch a how-to video by Jamie Eason!

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Recipe: A little fish

I love cooking chicken, and B has mastered the grill, but fish is sort of an un-touched territory for both of us. I found this great recipe on oxygenmag.com for a white fish, so I decided to give it a try! They are called "fish pockets" because of the way you cook them, and you can choose any white fish you like, I did Tilapia and I highly recommend it.

Ingredients:
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1 sliced onion
-12 oz white fish
-1 small zucchini, cubed (I used cucumber)
- 1/4 cup white cooking wine
-Lemon
-Lemon Pepper
-Pepper

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 375
-Turn up sides of foil creating a pocket
-Layer your ingredients in this order: tomato, onion, fish, then zucchini
- sprinkle lemon pepper and pepper on each layer, and pour wine and squeeze the lemon over the fish
-Close up foil so the pocket is closed and place in baking pan
-Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish is opaque

Here's what it looked like before closing it up

6oz of fish in each pocket

Final product with a spinach salad and home made balsamic vinegar dressing
Nutrition Info:
1 pouch (6oz of tilapia)
Calories: 351
Fat: 13g
Carbs: 13g
Protein 43g (awesome!)


This was honestly the easiest dinner ever, and it tasted great! Prep time was no more than 10 minutes and bake time was 15 minutes in my oven, and that was it. I got the fish from Sam's Club and there were 10 pieces. After doing the math, I figured out each slice was about 2.7oz so I did two slices per pocket. I made 4 pockets and we had two for dinner, so with a little brown rice on the side, we are both set for lunch tomorrow! 

On a side note, I made a facebook page for the blog, because I've been getting tons of interaction/ questions, and I would love for everyone to share! So like little b here

A little BBQ

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed Fathers Day with friends and family! We had a busy day yesterday, including a trip to my new favorite place, Whole Foods! I think it is safe to say that I am an official Whole Foods junkie... I even have the insulated shopping bag!

What a nerd! :)

My FAVORITE part.. I could go crazy on the bulk aisle!
After running tons of errands and getting our fridge stocked for the week, we headed out to my parents house for a nice Fathers Day BBQ. B and I were in charge of food, and we wanted to cook something that everyone would enjoy but I didn't want to cheat, so we decided on kabobs. My sister and I put them together using mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, tomato, and red onion. Then we had an option of filet or citrus marinaded chicken. I had the chicken marinating at home for a couple days prior, so it was full of flavor and cooked really well on the barbecue. Here's what they looked like!





It was Sunday, day off from the gym, so this is what the rest of our Fathers day looked like



My Dad and I!
I had such a great day! What did you cook for your dad on his special day?

"Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad."


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A little shadow: working out with B

This morning both Big B and I were going to work out shoulders, so I decided to tag along and do his workout! Although we usually go to the gym together, we don't often workout together so it was a nice change today... and let me tell you, he kicked my shoulders butt! Here is what we did: (Photos: bodybuilding.com)

Dumbell Press 
Superset with:

Side lateral raise 
I did 3 sets of 10- I only made it to 8 on the last set.


Arnold Press 
Tri-set with:

Seated lateral raise (we didn't use cables, just dumbbells)
and


Upright barbell row
4 sets 12,10,10 for each exercise. Again, only made it to 10,8,8 on the last set. 

After this my shoulders were dead. To finish up my workout I focused on glutes and hamstrings- 4 sets of squats on bosu ball with 20lbs superset with walking lunges with 30lb barbell, then 3 sets of 12 on the lying leg curl machine. My shoulders and glutes are officially going to be sore tomorrow!




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