Friday, February 25, 2011

Planning=Success! Abs are made in the kitchen!

Morning everyone!  
The key to any successful weight loss program is consistency with not only with your workout program, but more importantly....healthy eating habits. 
Eating healthy doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming if you plan ahead of time...I know for me personally, simply thinking ahead of time has been a HUGE difference.
I started to see the results that I wanted only after I made some serious changes to my diet.





Shakeology was big help to have something tasty I could grab every morning for breakfast or a meal on the run. But the rest of my meals required some forethought. A little planning goes a long way :)






These are just a few tips that might help you develop or adhere to an effective nutrition plan. Feel free to email me with your specific questions and I'll be happy to help.
Refined Sugar
A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything processed or that has refined sugar. These are typically not your most quality foods and could impede your efforts to improve your health and/or fat loss goals. This includes the obvious foods as well as regular soft drinks and fruit concentrate based drinks. 

Water
Drink LOTS of it. It will flush your system and hydrate your skin, muscles, etc. Your muscles are comprised of 70% water, so you NEED water if you are trying to build muscle. Get used to having at least 1 Gallon of water per day and more if you are leading up to a competition. Contrary to popular belief, drinking more water, does not make your body retain it. On the contrary, your body will learn to process it and help speed your body's ability to lose fat.

Vitamins
You definitely need a good multi-vitamin. Also, depending on how serious you want to get with weights, you may want to incorporate antioxidants to help in muscle recovery.

Fruit
Fruit is great, but if possible, try to have it sooner in the day rather than later due to the generally high carb content in most fruits. Carbs are a primary energy source, so if you eat them earlier in the day, they will be efficiently used during your daily activities and/or training. 

Alcohol
Alcohol is full of empty calories, so if you are adhering to a fat loss diet, you will want to avoid it. If you are maintaining your weight you will also want to limit it in order to avoid weight gain. 

Monitoring Your Progress
Don't get too wigged out about scale weight. I get on the scale about once a week just to see where I am. However, weight becomes somewhat irrelevant if you're trying to add muscle at the same time that you're trying to lean out. The best monitor for fat loss is your clothes. Also, depending on how aggressively you're cutting calories it may take a little while for your body to adjust to the decrease. Once your body starts burning efficiently you will begin to see more rapid loss. Have patience and above all be consistent!


Recipes

Egg White, Oatmeal Pancakes
3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
7-9 egg whites
3 Tablespoons Splenda (sweetener) Optional
Cinnamon to taste (usually about ½ teaspoon)
Vanilla Extract to taste (usually about a capful)
Blend all ingredients in blender or with hand blender on a low speed just until everything is blended. Pour in med/large pan (heated to medium with Pam spray). Let cook until bubble form on top and start to pop to form open holes (usually 5 minutes). Flip and let cook another 3 minutes. Makes one large pancake.

Chicken Cacciatore

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 28 oz can crushed tomato
1 package Mushrooms
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 pressed garlic cloves
1/4 t. thyme
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. oregano
1 T. parsley
Dash of pepper
Cooking spray
Spray pan with cooking spray and heat. Brown chicken and set aside. Add chopped onion, mushrooms, green pepper and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender; about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over low for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add browned chicken, cover and cook on low for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Serve. Top on whole wheat pasta or brown rice if desired.

Tortilla Wrap
1 Whole wheat tortilla
5 oz. chicken or turkey (Try to limit using deli meat)
2 T. salsa
Sliced green or red peppers.
Fat free cheese (if desired)
Roll up and eat hot or cold.

Chili
1 lb lean ground beef (browned)
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 diced yellow/gold onions
1 diced bell pepper
3 chopped carrots
2 stalks chopped celery
2 cans pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
2 T tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
Brown the ground beef in large pan. Remove from heat and drain. Set ground beef aside. Saute onions, pepper, carrots and celery in pan until tender. Add browned ground beef and remaining ingredients; simmer 30-45 minutes. If additional liquid is needed, add the chicken broth to achieve desired consistency. Serve. Approximately 6 servings.

Fast Chicken Fajitas
1 chicken breast
1 Whole-wheat tortilla
Low sodium fajita or other seasoning to taste
Salsa to taste
Fat free cheese (if desired)
Lightly spray skillet with cooking spray and saute chicken breast. Season with low-sodium fajita seasoning or Ms. Dash. Remove from heat and slice chicken breast. Heat tortilla in skillet. Remove from heat. Add chicken, fat free cheese and salsa. Serve.

Pan Broiled Fish **Super easy! Can use Chicken instead of fish

1 lb. Fish filets
1 14 oz. Can diced tomatoes w/ basil, garlic & oregano
Arrange fish filets in a single layer in skillet. Cover with tomatoes and liquid. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, or until the fish easily flakes with a fork. Serve plain or over brown rice.

Meatloaf

1 lb lean ground beef (or my FAV ground turkey)
Approximately 2/3 cup uncooked oatmeal
2 egg whites
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup diced green pepper
2/3 cup diced onion
2 t. Worchester sauce
Pre-heat oven 350-degrees. Mix raw beef and uncooked oatmeal in large bowl. Add egg whites, diced onions and diced green peppers. Add 2 t. Worchester sauce. Mix with hands until firm. Put mixture into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Pour excess liquid from pan. Top with tomatoes and serve. 4 servings.

Broiled Fish Dijon
6 fish filets
1 1/2 lbs small zucchini, cut lengthwise into halves
1/2 c. lemon juice
2 T. low-calorie Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 T. drained capers
Paprika to taste
Rinse fish and pat dry. In a separate bowl, stir together mustard and garlic. Arrange fish and zucchini in a single layer in a large pan. Drizzle with lemon juice. Broil on top rack for 5 minutes. Turn fish over, spread with mustard/garlic mixture. Continue to broil for 5 minutes or until zucchini is lightly browned and fish is cooked. Sprinkle with paprika and capers. Serve. 6 servings.

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