Real Food Fast

Working in the Fitness field, I am always bombarded with constant complaints about how hard it is to eat healthy on the go.

While I understand that it takes time to make a bunch of chicken breasts, cook up some Quinoa, roast sweet potatoes and chop veggies for the week, some things are just worth taking the time to do. And if you truly want to see results, this is one of those tasks that you must be willing to take on for the sake of your health, and all of your hard work in the gym.

However, for clients of mine who just can’t seem to find the motivation to do this (shame on you) I offer some helpful alternatives that make eating healthy seem a bit easier.

Wherever your day may lead, these are all great choices to take on the go. So grab a lunch box, shopping bag or purse, and pack it with these nutritious and filling foods that will keep your diet clean, lean, and on the right track.

Fruit: Bananas, Apples, Kiwi, and Citrus fruits..anything with Skin. You can also pack a small Tupperware container with Berries, Pineapple, Watermelon, etc.

Veggies: Celery sticks, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Bell Peppers, Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Snap Peas, Asparagus Spears, Ziploc bags of Baby Spinach as a base for a salad, or Collard Greens used as a wrap.

Complex Carbs: Individual cups of Brown Rice. Rolled Oats. Whole Grain Wraps for a sandwich, Brown Rice Cakes, Microwave ready Sweet Potatoes

Protein: Can or Packet of Tuna/Salmon. Low Sodium Sliced Turkey Breast, Beans, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Hard boiled eggs, Whey/Brown Rice Protein Powder.

Healthy Fats and Energy Boosting Snacks: Natural Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hemp/Flax/Chia/Sunflower seeds, Nut Butters, Hummus, Avocado, Coconut Oil/Flakes.

Combine a few to make a delicious Trail Mix that wards off afternoon hunger!

Bars: Lara Bar, Kind Bar, Think Thin Bar, Luna Bar

Hydration: Water, Green Tea, Seltzer Water.

Add Lemon, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, or frozen fruit for a natural sweetener throughout the day.

Instead of filling your fridge, pantry, and body with empty calories, choose nutrient packed foods that will keep you feeling fuller, longer!

“Grab and Go” does not have to mean fast food. It can mean healthy food…fast!

Protein Cupcakes!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Protein Cupcakes.

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or more Smile)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut almond milk

Pour ingredients into greased cupcake pan and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

IMG_2798

Frosting

  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons plain Fage 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet of Stevia in the Raw.

IMG_2800

Shower with cinnamon, an additional dark chocolate chip, and enjoy!

Be Stronger Than Your Excuses

The hardest part about starting a workout program is finding the motivation to do so. We all have excuses as to why exercise and eating well is not a part of our weekly routine, but the truth is, no excuse is good enough when it comes to taking care of our body.

If you have to wake up an hour early, do it. If you have to come home an hour late, do it. If you have to cook a bunch of chicken and chop up vegetables for the week on Sunday, DO IT!

See the pattern here?

104427285079333504_eBifZjtJ_b[1]

Stop allowing your mind to tell you that you can’t, because eventually, if you keep neglecting your health, you really will not be able to.

As soon as you begin to head down the path towards a balanced life, everything will suddenly feel lighter, both mentally and physically.

Start now. If not now, when?

Here are some tips that I recommend to clients who are struggling with finding a healthy balance.

Figure out what works for you and stick to it.

41517627784693565_VViq2KEC_b[1]

Put yourself first. Everything else can wait an hour until you are finished.

Make your breakfast the night before so that it is ready in the fridge for the following day. Oatmeal, eggs, green protein smoothies, or fruit with nuts and yogurt are all great “grab and go” meals.

Use your Sunday as prep. Make a batch of proteins such as chicken, lean ground turkey, beans, or hard boiled eggs. Chop all of your vegetables and set them in Tupperware containers, along with a carb such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, or quinoa. All you have to do is pick what you want, pack it up, and go.

  • Make sure to also add a healthy fat to each meal, such as almonds, flaxseeds, coconut oil, avocado, or hummus.

Craving sweets? Grab a piece of fruit with a small handful of mixed nuts, make a cup of sweet tea, or drink a glass of water.

  • Try and figure out why your sweet tooth is acting up, and fix the problem right then. Ask yourself: Did I eat enough at lunch? Drink enough water? Have a healthy fat with my meal? If so, and your body really just wants a taste of the good stuff, snack on a small piece of dark chocolate.

Acknowledge that you are eating it, savor it, and move on.

Spice up your life. You do not need to add cream sauces, butter, or high sodium marinades to your food. Herbs and spices, lemon juice, and fresh tomato sauce can add an abundance of flavor to any dish.

Check the Online menu. Before you head out to dinner, look over the online menu so that you have time to figure out what you want to eat. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a vegetable medley or salad in place of pasta, or to change the way your meal is prepared. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate you.

GREEN FLAG

Baked
Boiled
Broiled
Fresh
Grilled
Red sauce
Roasted
Seasoned
Steamed
Vinaigrette
Whole Wheat

RED FLAG

Au gratin
Basted
Battered
Hollandaise
“Bet you can’t finish it”
Bottomless
Breaded
Buttery / Buttered
Casserole
Cheesy
Country-style
Covered
Creamed / Creamy
Crispy
Crunchy
Escalloped
Fried / Deep fried
Giant
Loaded
Platter
Smothered
Stewed
Stroganoff
Stuffed
Value
Volcano
White Sauce”

source

Your water bottle is your best friend. Always have it by your side.

  • Try adding lemon, cucumber, or orange slices for a refreshing boost of flavor, along with a cup of decaf tea throughout the day.

Always have a challenge in mind, and make it your mission to achieve it.

  • “I will run 1 extra minute today”. “I will try Yoga this weekend”. “I will perform a push up” “I will walk into the weight section with confidence, and bang out some bicep curls like the best of ‘em!”.

Pack your gym clothes for the next day in a bag by the front door, or lay them out so you can quickly get dressed and start your morning off right. Or…sleep in them!

Don’t think of exercise as a chore. It should be something that you enjoy because it makes you look and feel good. Figure out what type of exercise interests you, and use that as your starting point.

  • Incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretching into your routine, and if you are unsure about how to perform a certain movement, or how to work a piece of equipment, be sure to ask a trainer at your gym, or the class instructor. It is their JOB to help you.

If it feels too easy, it probably is.

  • If you don’t feel like you’re working out, then bump up the intensity. Don’t be afraid to sweat, or feel the burn when lifting weights. Those moments of discomfort are what change and challenge our body.

Realize that everyone is here for the same reason. The gym can be an intimidating place at first, but it’s important to realize that nobody is any better than another when it comes to exercise. Our goals may vary, but the fact that we are taking care of ourselves is what we all have in common.

All you need is yourself, and a little room. If you do not have a gym membership, use your living room as your workout area and your body as resistance. Push ups, squats, jumping jacks and mountain climbers are all challenging movements that target a large group of muscles and speed up the metabolism.

Remember why you are doing this. Whether it is for weight loss, muscle tone, lowering cholesterol, or stress management, remember why you are taking the time to workout and eat well. As the weeks pass, you will no longer need the reminder. It will become a part of your life that will continue to benefit you in more ways than one.

A healthy body is a happy body. Take care of yourself because no one else will. You are your own worst enemy, and best friend all in one. Become one with yourself, listen to your body, and begin to feel amazing.

IMG_0680IMG_0976IMG_1072IMG_1071

IMG_0765IMG_1262IMG_0304IMG_0176IMG_0184IMG_0530cd0f7f5a7dde11e1a87612313804ec91_7IMG_1445

IMG_1446IMG_1361IMG_1122IMG_1339IMG_1217

What I’m Loving Wednesday

Look what I got Smile

IMG_1062

I finally purchased the Polar FT7 heart rate monitor, which is a slightly more advanced version of the FT4. They both read your heart rate, tracks your calorie burn, and time your workout until you manually stop it.The only real difference is the Data Transfer option, and that the FT7 holds 99 sessions, while the FT4 only holds 10.

Also, the FT7 has the new Energy Pointer, which tells if your workouts are leaning more towards fat burning, or improving fitness.

Verdict: I love it! It adds a little boost of motivation to my workouts, and helps remind me to keep my heart rate up while strength training.

Since I’m not a girly girl when it comes to workout attire, the pink and red women’s options were not my style. Instead, I chose the men’s black and silver design, which can also be used by females since it has a female setting, so don’t let the website fool you.

Compared to the heart rate monitor on a piece of cardio equipment, both readings were pretty spot on. However in terms of calorie burn, the machine estimated about 100 calories more than what my HRM read.

bummer.

I’ve always known this to be true, but it’s cool to compare and see how much work your body is really doing, and also how much it is improving.

Find and compare other Polar HRM’s that may work best for you!

Some other loves of this week include…

Peas and Crayons

Fuji Apples

IMG_1049

Cucumbers eaten like Fuji apples

IMG_1053

Easy on-the-go breakfasts

Fage,Kashi GOLEAN,blueberries and cinnamon

IMG_1057

Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Oats

Sunwarrior vanilla, raw oats, unsweetened almond-coconut milk, blueberries and cinnamon..left overnight in the fridge to combine.

IMG_1065

Greek Salads from Panera. Dressing on the side. Grilled chicken added.

IMG_1058

Chilled white wine

IMG_1051

And this little jar of love.

IMG_1059

Spread onto a frozen banana with raw almond butter….It should be illegal.

So…What are you loving this week?

Longing for Oolong

Dr. Oz has raved about the benefits of Oolong Tea many times on his show, so when I came across it this weekend while browsing the aisles in Marshall’s, I threw it in my cart without hesitation.

This is why I love Marshall’s… So many hidden gems.

Oolong Tea
“It’s not black tea or green tea, but the combo of the two that gives this tea its metabolic benefits. You get the power of the caffeine and antioxidants, which have been shown to increase post-drinking caloric burn by about 5% for an hour. Equally exciting is that oolong actually inhibits the absorption of some fat consumed at meals (it’s not a “fat blocker” though so you don’t have to worry about healthy nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins not making it into your system). Less fat absorbed and less triglycerides made means a healthier waistline and healthier cholesterol levels”- doctoroz.com

IMG_1028

“Oolong tea is a product made from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is partially fermented, where black tea is fully fermented, and green tea is unfermented.
Oolong tea is used to sharpen thinking skills, improve mental alertness, and is also used to prevent
cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Some people use oolong tea to treat
obesity, diabetes, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol and skin allergies such as eczema; and to boost the immune system.” – WebMD

For more information about the connection between Oolong Tea and weight loss, CLICK HERE

I swapped my usual black coffee this morning for cup of Oolong, and I couldn’t help but notice the feeling of natural alertness that it left me with. Minus the jitters.

IMG_1030

Mixed with a packet of Stevia in the Raw, it was slightly sweet, wonderfully soothing, and tamed my appetite to a cat’s meow versus an angry lion’s roar.

My stomach can be very demanding when it’s hungry. 

By the time lunch rolled around, I was ready to eat.  

IMG_1019

(green beans mixed with fresh salsa and balsamic vinaigrette, alongside a 4 egg white omelet with goat cheese and cucumbers.

This tea is a keeper, and I will definitely be adding a cup a day to my routine. Thank you Marshall’s :)

Today’s Workout

Arc Trainer: 20 Minutes

Weights: 15 reps each, slow and controlled with proper form

  • Bent over Dumbbell Row
  • Push-up
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Squat

rest for 1 minute and repeat for 20 minutes

Stair Mill: 10 minutes.

Stretch. 

Replenish!!

IMG_0731

Chocolate Sunwarrior Protein powder, mixed with 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, water and ice. Topped with 1/4 cup Kashi GOLEAN!

love that added crunch Smile

So..How are YOU tackling the start of your week?

Let me know!

300 Rep AB Routine

Oh my delicious coffee…

IMG_0391

The sweet taste of French toast, with a smooth aroma of buttery maple syrup.

IMG_0389

Add some cinnamon and you’ve got yourself a cup of your favorite breakfast..minus the calories.

Win!

Breakfast this morning was a container of Banana Cocoa Protein Oatmeal

IMG_0390

  • 1/3 cup raw oats
  • 1 scoop chocolate SunWarrior protein powder
  • 1tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1tbsp Chia seeds

Nothing better than starting the day off with chocolate Smile

I took myself on a relaxing walk around the lake this afternoon, then completed an AB routine that left my muscles screaming!

I love it.

300 Rep AB Routine

  • 20 bicycle crunch
  • 20 total body crunch (touching elbows to knees, lifting hips and shoulders off the ground)
  • 20 toe touches
  • 20 regular crunch
  • 20 bicycle crunch

go down the list, break 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times.

Make sure to breathe out as you contract, and don’t rush through the movements.

I ended with 3 sets of walking planks:

  • 5 reps starting with right arm
  • 5 arms starting with left arm.

break 30 seconds and repeat.

Stretch.

A bowl of cottage cheese was waiting for me in the fridge before I got started on dinner

yog30

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • cinnamon

I’d hate to turn the oven on since it’s so nice out, but I need to roast my veggies for the week.

This is when a grill would come in handy.

007

Roasted Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and drizzle your veggies with olive oil, coconut oil or cooking spray. (use a tsp of oil for every cup of vegetables)
  • Single layer your vegetables on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • Sprinkle with seasoning of choice(salt&pepper, rosemary, cumin, etc)

Adjust time accordingly, based on what you are roasting.

It takes about 30 minutes for most, unless you are making root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips. These can take about 45 minutes to an hour.

Use the 30 minute mark as your halfway point to check the progress.

 Day one of this week..Done!

Check out  my newly added “V.I.P List” page for recipes, workouts, and helpful posts!