5.21.2017

Chocolate-peanut butter protein banana bread



I have hinted a few times on social media that I've had the intention of sharing more meal prep tips and recipes. I recently cut down on some of my personal commitments, so I had a little more time this weekend to put together a list of some recipes I'd like to share. Rather than doing a long exhaustive post, I'm thinking that it will be more of an ongoing weekly process where I share a favorite recipe or tip of mine. 

This week's recipe is a tasty protein banana bread (with peanut butter and chocolate!) that is a great snack and requires minimal ingredients! 

Recipe: 
1 1/2 cups Jay Robb Chocolate protein
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup whole wheat or all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 mini pack hershey's chocolate drops (could swap ~1/2 cup chocolate chips). 

Mash the bananas with a fork and mix all ingredients together. Grease bread pans with butter or cooking spray. Bake at 350 F for approximately 15-16 until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I cut each pan into six slices (12 total), so macros per slice are approximately 177 calories, 13.4 g carbs, 9.8 g fat, and 11.1 g protein. Enjoy!

3.20.2017

5 Things I learned doing my first bikini competition


Hello there, it's been a while! I have been apologizing for my lack of consistency on here since 2015ish (omg), but I think I'm finally in a place in my life where I can commit to more consistent content on here. Last July, I made a big change and left my job of three years; I was working as a geologist/project manager in the environmental industry, and I was constantly on the road doing field work. That job, as great as it was for my career, made it hard to balance work and a personal life. Now that I have more regular hours, still working full time as a project manager, I was able to compete, and feel like I am a more balanced, well-rounded individual. 

My prep was a 12 week cut, and prior to doing this show I was lifting 3-5 times per week and doing NO cardio. I had in my mind I wanted to compete, and I am naturally thin with a fast metabolism so in my head I was prepping/"bulking", which maybe gave me a bad excuse to eat a little crummy in the early fall last year. I started early November 2016, and my show date was February 4, 2017, and I only cut during the 12 week process. I was a little skinnier than I would have liked (<130 lbs, 5'11" tall), but it's a marathon, not a sprint, and I will get there with time, consistency, and proper nutrition. Bikini competitions have become so popular, I think largely due to social media, so I thought I would share some lessons I learned along the way. Here are 5 things I learned that may not be as obvious as just hiring a coach. 

1) Show up. 
That doesn't just mean be present, it means never missing a workout, following your plan (or the plan your coach gives you) to a T, and not letting excuses get in your way. You started the process for a reason, and not giving anything but 100% is really only short-changing you.

2) Your prep will vary from person to person. 
Depending on your starting point, and your bodies natural metabolism, your workouts and meals may be drastically different to what you see your friends or those on social media doing. Some people are carb sensitive with slower metabolisms, and have to do a lot of cardio to get results, understand that the journey will be difficult regardless and don't drive yourself making comparisons to others. 

3) Plan! 
As a full time project manager, planning is ingrained in the way I life my life. Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the saying goes. Set aside time every week to go grocery shopping, and pack meals and workout clothes the day before so there are no excuses to skip, or no rushed mornings or potential missed meals. For me, there were days where I would go to the gym before work, go to work, and then train a client or two in the evening, all without going home, so I needed all my meals with me as soon as I stepped out the door. Spend time thinking about your schedule, and anticipate issues before they come up. Even at a micro level, I would look at my calendar at work in the morning, anticipate my meetings for the day and try to time when I would be able to get meals in roughly every 2.5-3 hours.

4) Stay mentally positive by focusing on why you started. 
Everyone has different reasons for wanting to compete, and on the days where your carbs are low and your energy is sapped, focus on what originally motivated you to take on this challenge. For me, this was something I aspired to do for several years, and other than the temptations of dieting through the holidays, I did not struggle with motivating myself. All I had to do was think back to all the times over the last three years I had thought about competing, and remind myself I am lucky to be in a position in my life where I was able to pursue this goal. Tap into whatever drove you to compete and let that feed your spirit, even if your tummy is grumbling. 

5) Give yourself a break (when possible). 
I had a couple cheat meals (sanctioned by my awesome coach @doritodale), and they definitely helped remind me that food is just that, energy for your body. Some tastes better than others, but pasta and sweets, or whatever your food of choice may be, will still be there when you're done. Be kind to yourself, and keep in mind that the cut and the discomfort is temporary, and you can push through it if you want to. 

I would love to hear from any of you lovelies that may have competed, and what your experiences were like. Comment below or follow me on social media (insta: @chicinseakers, snapchat username: chicinsneaks).


1.04.2017

Peach-Mangaloe Smoothie



Happy New Year fitfam! I got some free samples* of ActivAloe Detox Water right before the holidays and have been trying out some new smoothie recipes.  I am in competition prep right now, and am currently eating six small meals per day that are high in protein and low in carbs, so recipe fits right into my meal plan.

There are three tasty flavors of Detox Water (I used the Mangaloe) and this recipe makes a perfect post-workout shake, breakfast, or meal-replacement, depending on your goals and diet! Here is the recipe, let me know what you think on social media @chicinsneakers

Blend: 8 oz Mangaloe Detox Water, 1 handful ice, 1 scoop Nectar Fuzzy Navel whey isolate protein, and 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach. Enjoy immediately. The Nectar protein is one of my favorites, it is a whey isolate, but mixes more like a fruit juice than the typical milky consistency and flavor of a whey protein, you can buy it either online or at most Vitamin Shoppe stores.

Macros:

115 calories/5 grams carbs/0 g fat/24 g protein

*This is not a sponsored post, I do not currently produce any type of sponsored content. :)


12.19.2016

Spicy Tuna Bowls



This is a new recipe I came up with a couple weeks ago, it's great for anyone who loves spicy tuna rolls, poke, or sushi; or for anyone who is a little apprehensive about sushi or uncooked fish since the tuna in this recipe comes from a can. Despite not being fresh sashimi, the tuna gets a makeover with a little bit of greek yogurt and Sriracha. Most spicy tuna rolls are made by mixing tuna with spicy mayo, so this is a great way to lighten up the recipe without losing flavor! Feel free to mix up the toppings based on your tastes and fitness goals. For me, this is an incredibly tasty, yet filling meal, so I usually end up having some leftovers. Keep up to date with recipes and workouts I'm doing during my first competition prep on IG @chicinsneakers or on Snapchat, username: chicinsneaks

Bon appetit! 

Ingredients (Makes about 4 bowls):

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 - 12 oz cans solid white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3/4 cup green onion
  • 3/4 cup fresh jalapenos, sliced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • Fresh limes, lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

Macros (per bowl): 680 cals/65 g carbs/22 g fat/57 g protein

  1. Mix 3 large cans of tuna (27 oz once drained) with approx. 2/3 cup 0% fat greek yogurt and 3 tbsp sriracha hot sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook brown rice in a rice cooker, once cooked add approximately 1 cup into bottom of each bowl. Squeeze a little bit of fresh lime juice over top of the rice
  3. Top with approximately 1/4 of tuna mixture, avocado, green onions, jalapenos, bell pepper, celery
  4. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime and a little bit of salt and pepper



6.02.2016

Meal Prep 101


Meal prep can seem overwhelming if you've never done it before, or boring and time intensive if it's part of your normal routine. I thought I would share my approach to weekly meal prep, and include some tips along the way! Normally, I liked to do my meal prep on Sundays, but you could pick any day of the week that works with your schedule, consistency and planning is key.

Step 1-Decide what you want to eat

There are a lot of great websites out there like bodybuilding.com, fitmencook.com, and even foodnetwork.com has a healthy eating section that can be great resources. Pick out a few recipes that have protein + complex carbohydrates + fat + non-starchy vegetables. You can also build meals based on the food lists I have included below, it is by no means all-inclusive or perfect, but it is a good place to start for most.

Step 2- Figure out what you need, and make a grocery list. 

Once you know what you want to cook, check your fridge and pantry so you don't overbuy items. If you have a Costco membership, or another bulk memberships store you can save a lot of money buying bulk ingredients like rice, cooking oil, or spices. 

Step 3- Once you have your list, go shopping. 

Insider tip*-never go grocery shopping hungry, you will overbuy and pick out more indulgent items! 

Step 4- Set aside an hour or two to cook and prep your meals. 

I know it's not very fun to devote a few hours on a hard-earned weekend to planning out meals, but ultimately meal prepping is what it takes for most people to reach their fitness and weight loss goals. With that in mind, it's important to have enough containers for the number of meals you want to make. I like the Pyrex kind, because the base is made from glass, meaning it can be used as a baking dish in the oven, put in the freezer, microwaved, and are BPA free. I also like the plastic ones that come with the Isobag (my boyfriend and I just each bought our own 6 meal bags, and they are pretty cool). Those containers are also BPA free, and microwave/dishwasher safe.

Below, I have a list of foods you can use to prep your meals, for general health and fitness I recommend using the formula 1 part protein + 1 part complex carbohydrate + 1-2 part non-starch vegetables + 1 small serving healthy fat = 1 meal. Based on your fitness goals and height/weight gender the portions can look really different. I will include an example for myself, 6'0" female, about 140 lbs, 28 years, and active with ectomorph body type. I say "1 part" because portions will vary person to person. A guy in his 20s prepping for a body building competition is likely eating double the amount of food I would be. Really, the most important thing is picking a variety of healthy foods that include protein, complex carb, and vegetables that will help you feel full and energized after eating.

*Insider Tip-Streamline the cooking process

I bought a rice cooker back in college for about $18 at Target, and it was maybe the best kitchen appliance I have ever had. You simply combine a specified amount of rice (or quinoa, orzo, steel cut oats, cous cous etc. mine will cook anything, pictured below) with a marked out amount of water and turn on the cooker. It automatically turns off when it's done cooking, and never burns. A rice cooker is a great way to reduce cooking time. I also like to bake chicken and vegetables in the oven in large quantities, it's an easy way to cook a lot of food with minimal prep time and dishes to do. 

Carbs-
Acorn Squash 
Barley 
Black Rice 
Black Beans 
Brown Rice 
Brown Rice Pasta 
Bulgur 
Chickpeas 
Ezekiel (sprouted) bread 
Ezekiel bread cereal 
Lentils 
Oatmeal 
Oats-Steel Cut
Pumpkin (canned, unsweetened)
Quinoa 
Quinoa Pasta 
Squash (Butternut) 
Sweet Potato 
Whole Wheat Pasta 
Whole wheat tortillas 
Wild Rice. 

Non-starchy vegetables-
Alfalfa sprouts 
Asparagus 
Bamboo Shoots 
Bell Peppers 
Bok Choy 
Broccoli 
Cabbage 
Carrots (fresh) 
Cauliflower 
Celery 
Collard Greens 
Cucumbers
Edamame  
Eggplant 
Green Beans 
Kale 
Lettuce 
Mushrooms 
Onions 
Snap Peas 
Spaghetti Squash
Spinach 
Tomato 
Yellow 
Squash 
Zucchini. 

Fats-
Almonds 
Almond Butter 
Almond Meal 
Avacado 
Avocado oil 
Canola Oil 
Cashews 
Cashew Butter 
Chia Seeds 
Coconut milk (unsweetened) 
Coconut oil 
Flax Seed 
Flax Seed Oil 
Hazelnuts 
Macadamia nuts
Olive Oil (extra virgin)
Peanuts 
Peanut butter 
Pistachios
Sunflower Seeds
Walnuts 
Walnut oil. 

Proteins-
Bison (ground, lean)
Catfish 
Chicken, Skinless
Cod 
Crab, Blue 
Duck, Skinless 
Eggs 
Egg Whites 
Filet Mignon 
Flank Steak
Flounder 
Greek Yogurt (plain) 
Haddock 
Halibut 
NY Strip 
Perch 
Protein Powder (whey/casein/soy/hemp/rice etc) 
Red Snapper 
Salmon 
Scallops 
Sea Bass 
Shrimp 
Soy Protein-based products (e.g. veggie burgers) 
Swordfish (no more than 2-3x/week) 
Trout 
Tilapia 
Tuna (limit to 2-3x per week) 
Turkey 
Venison. 

Step 5-Assemble your meals and pack a bag. 

For me, a typically meal is about 4-6 oz of protein like chicken or turkey, ~2/3-3/4 cups of a complex carb, 1 tbsp of a healthy oil for fat, and as many non-starchy veggies as I can fit in my tupperwares, usually 1-2 cups. Since I work at my full time job during the week and as a trainer on the weekends, I pack my meal pack for the day at night, and grab what I need from the fridge on my way out the door in the morning. 

My breakfasts are usually a blended protein smoothie with some pumpkin or oats thrown in along with a fat like flax seed or nut butter. However, you could also prep breakfasts ahead of time too.

Do you have any tips or tricks for meal prepping? comment below!







5.12.2016

Jock Jamz 2k16


Hey FitFam,

Here are my top 20 tracks I am feeling this month. The playlist is designed as a full workout, American Oxygen + Hello Friday are your warm up (since it's almost Fri-yay here in Cali). The next 17 songs ebb and flow to help you through your workout, or even a tough day at work, and Needed Me will cool you down. I have mentioned a few times on here, that I taught cycling classes for a couple years at Indiana University while I completed my dual M.S & M.P.A. degrees so I am a pro at music mapping ;) 

Enjoy it!

How to Optimize Your Workouts With Music:
-Studies have shown individuals push themselves the hardest and have an inherent preference for listening to music at 120 BPM (beats per minute). This playlist is right around there, I got you fitfam!

Have an amazing weekend!

5.09.2016

Ultimate Kale Chips



Ok, so I am already anticipating what you're thinking:

1) Kale chips, "whatever, you can buy them at Whole Foods and/or I already know how to make them"

OR

2) "I've already tried to make kale chips. I burned them, and they were gross and/or inedible. Pass..."

So for that reason, I thought I would post my go-to recipe to make a crunchy batch of kale chips. Grad school is really when I learned to work out, cook, become a fitness instructor, so I did a lot of trial and error to get this recipe right. And, I want to acknowledge that there are lots of good recipes for these out, this is just my personal preference. 

RECIPE:
Need:
1 bunch Crunchy or Russian style Kale
Canola Oil
Baking Pan
Spices of your choice: e.g. Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Cayenne, Black Pepper Etc

1) Trim all the large stems off every piece of kale in the bunch (I didn't show this step, but they should have stems no larger than in the picture below). Curly kale and Russian kale (flat-looking) are usually both sold at stores, you can use either (I used curly), but remove all the large stems with a knife.
2) Tear or chop pieces until they are about palm-sized, pieces should be roughly even sized so that they cook evenly
3) Preheat oven to 395 F (~202 Celsius)
4) Toss pieces in a bowl with 1 tbsp Canola Oil, this is because of its high smoke point (and because it more heart healthy than vegetable, corn, soybean oils etc). Olive oil and some other healthier oil are unfortunately not a great choice for kale chips because they have a lower smoke point and the chips don't get crispy enough. Make sure Canola is evenly distributed
5) Place on a parchment-lined or a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. For this batch, I used a light sprinkle of garlic salt, and then was more generous with onion powder, chili powder, and Flavor Gods Lemon Garlic.
6) Once oven is preheated, bake approximately 11 minutes, check as needed, (but not too often) to keep the oven hot.
7) Let cool, and indulge!!! Macros listed below



Macros (for entire batch, assumes about 8 cups of fresh kale to start) 
392 calories 
17 grams fat (1 gram saturated) 
57 grams carbs (46 net carbs)
11 grams fiber 
18 grams protein





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