Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Overweight Becomes a Lean and Mean Mom of 3

I may not have introduced myself.  Some of you know me, some of you don’t…  some of you I have been friends with for YEARS and some we’ve never met but have only connected online.  I don’t like to post pictures of the kiddos and I’m not all about the selfies as much as others, but you may be able to relate better knowing that I’m a single Mom of 3 and they are my world.  We are just as busy as you and we still make the time to work out.  I keep the kids in sports to make sure they stay busy and aren’t home creating unhealthy habits.  I post a lot about fitness and nutrition but have you ever wondered why I do what I do?

Examples

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Have you ever wondered what exactly I do as a fitness coach?  Have you wondered how I got here?  Have I always been  shape?  (uhhhh no – I haven’t.)  How did a stay at home Mom turn working Mom with a fitness business?

I haven’t always been into fitness.  But I have always been an athlete.  I lived and breathed gymnastics until I was about 14, then I wanted to do team sports for my school (soccer, tennis, volleyball).   I was in shape but working out was not the fun part of my day.   I used to hate running.  I would do it because a lot of sports needed the cardio conditioning but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t eat right, etc.

Before kids, I could eat whatever I wanted just like when I was a teenager and not gain a pound!  But now, that’s not so much the case.  Once I had my first child, Kaitlyn (with whom I gained 64 pounds!), I could not lose that weight.  I tried every diet under the sun, got a gym membership thinking that would help, etc.

Pregnant but still overweight

Pregnant but still overweight

But I didn’t stick with it.  My husband at the time could still eat whatever he wanted and the scale would not be affected so I would gradually go back to eating like he and I always did.  Then 7 months after giving birth we were pregnant again.  It was what we wanted because I always wanted to have my kids close in age and we knew we weren’t done, HOWEVER, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight first.

With baby #2, I was determined not to gain another 64 lbs!  (BTW, this before pic ——–>      was really hard to post!) I did a little working out while I was pregnant with her and I ate a lot better.  Not good, like I do now but better.  I only gained 24 lbs with Britney.

After she was born was right around the time that low carb diets were the thing.  And I was sold when I read that I didn’t need to work out, I could just eat low carb.  HA!  I dropped all the baby weight and then some!  Then it became that the only time I would work out was when I ate really bad the day before.  So now that I knew I could just eat low carb whenever I had some weight to lose I went back to eating atrociously!  Then I would work out twice a week if that.

Well as the girls were getting older, I decided to start cooking and making more home cooked meals at home.  I was a huge advocate for nursing since formulas were getting so much criticism for their ingredients and I was reading more and more about baby foods and how easy it was to make at home AND this way you knew what was going in to your child’s mouth.

That lead me to start watching and learning about the foods I was eating.  All the crap sold in the supermarket were 90% chemicals!  I started trading in the commercialized grocery stores for farmers markets and Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods wasn’t in Phoenix yet).  I also started buying organic whenever we could afford to.  I started with vegetables that grew in the ground and then meats was next.

After seeing and FEELING the results of just eating right it motivated me to want to get toned and in shape especially since I knew how to eat now!  Food was fuel now, not comfort.

Now comes the year 2007, I was in better shape then I was when I was a teenager, even had more energy then I did then.  We were running, biking, I had a gym membership where I would do spin class 2- 3 times a week, my girls and my ex and I all belonged to a dojo where we were all there at least 3 times a week.  I even taught yoga there for a while for some of the moms that had kids in the karate classes.  In June I found out that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Baby # 3, my son Frankie!  He was due in December!   So I had 4 short months to plan to have a baby!  But I didn’t want to stop working out.  I was mostly doing cardio anyways:  running, hiking, rollerblading, spin class, kickboxing and yoga at the dojo.

Frankie was born and I ended up only gaining 22 lbs.  My doctor towards the end was concerned that I hadn’t gained enough weight.

Then I started to want to help other Moms!  My girls started cheer and would have regular practices in a park, their Coach asked me if I would be the squad’s conditioning coach so now I started doing that every Tuesday and Thursday.  Soon after, some of the Moms of the girls recommended I do a fitness bootcamp where they could come work out.  We did and soon more and more moms showed up.  I would get the girls warmed up for cheer and then I would move over to the Moms!  It was fun.  We all created a close bond and I even helped some of them get ready to run their first marathons.

I started a blog, THIS ONE, hence why its name is Mom-related and not fitness related.  🙂  When I first created it, I started talking about tips to help breastfeeding Moms and nutrition was one of the most common posts because the questions were all closely related to the Mom being able to produce enough milk for a growing baby, etc. and then it started connecting me with women who were likeminded all across the country.

2008It was about this time that my neighbor introduced me to P90X.  Frankie was not even 2, Britney was 7 and Kaitlyn was 8 1/2.  My hands were full.  I was in shape but not getting toned.  I was still doing a ton of cardio.  P90X had weights and I knew I had to add that in.  I was always afraid of weights, always thought I would like a man, etc.  I was ready for a change.  I always wanted a personal trainer and now I had my own in MY HOUSE!!  It was amazing.

1st round of P90X

1st round of P90X

 

This was me in Cabo after the 1st round P90X.  I did the lean program and I refused to eat the P90X way.  I thought I knew more about what my body needed than this nutrition ‘guide’ telling me to eat 100 carbs a day!  At that point, I would barely eat 100 carbs in 4 days!!  I thought I had this whole fitness thing down and all I needed was to add weights.  HAHA.  I would be exhausted half way into the workout, or getting really bad headaches right after.  So I knew something was wrong.

 

 

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

The lack of carbs is why my first round didn’t get me the results I anticipated.   I added a little muscle but nowhere near everyone else’s 90 day results.  This got me so mad!  So then right away, I started the classic program and I ate exactly how it told me to, even bought Shakeology.  I was posting my results pics on Facebook and friends and family were the first to notice.  Then I started helping other people get through their first round of P90X.

After 3 rounds of P90X, I decided to switch it up with Insanity.  I loved Insanity because it was a more intense version of P90X’s cardio days and guess what I started thinking P90X was too EASY!!  On the P90X cardio days, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) I would do the Max Cardio Circuit from Insanity instead of PlyoX.

I started connecting with people on the Facebook P90X message boards and through my blog.  I was helping people get through the programs but not getting paid for it!  And then Tony Horton shared my blog post of How you know You’re Addicted to P90X.

I knew I could help other Moms too… and realize everyone can do this too.   Being a Coach has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  It got me in the best shape of my life, I have a healthy relationship with food, I have spent more time learning about myself, learning about others, and learning ways to better help YOU.

You do not have to be a fitness expert or nutritionist to be a successful Coach.  All you need is the desire in your heart to help others.  Beachbody is all about helping others.  They provide the tools you need to change your body, the nutrition your body is craving, a Coach who is always there for you… (ME!) and the network of likeminded people that you can connect with on Team Beachbody.

If you are interested on learning more please contact me.   We do a very brief 15-20 min webinar once a week and you will see how it easy it is to do the same thing I do!

Let’s get in touch and work on You together!  What do you have to lose??  You never know, it could be supplemental income for you too OR even become your main source of income!

 

Send me an email:  at CoachChristysElementsofFitness@gmail.com

OR an Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

November 16, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Divorce, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family, Insanity, Me, My Low Carb Recipes, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Phoenix AZ, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Thai Beef and Linguine

I wish Smell-O’vision existed… because if you walked into my house right now and smelled this Thai Beef cooking you’d probably pay me for this recipe!   I love my slow cooker.  I enjoy it so much I’ve considered buying 1 more!  I needed an extra one today because I also made Black Bean Soup at the same time as this recipe.   I will post that recipe next’ish.

Anyways, when someone talks about using their slow cooker or crock pot we usually think of pot roast, variations of chili or stews.  But this Thai Beef is to die for and its SO EASY!

Thai Beef and Linguine

thai beef slow cooker recipe1 large white onion
1-2lbs flank steak, fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Stevia, (Truvia brand cooking/baking sugar alternative)
1/4 cup + 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
the juice of 3 limes
2 TBL fresh ginger, finely chopped (reserving 1 tsp of juice)
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 pkg shitake mushroom linguine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tsp thai sweet chili sauce
Optional — 1/4 cup cilantro
Optional — 1 head of butter lettucce (Romaine lettuce will work as well)
Optional — chopped peanuts

If your slow cooker is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray.  Slice onion into rings and lay flat in the cooker.  Pat meat dry and cut shallow horizontal slits against grain on the top.  Place meat on top of onions.

In a med size bowl, combine garlic, stevia, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, 3 TBL of the lime juice, ginger and oil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  Pour sauce over steak to coat.

Cover.  Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 6 hours.  While meat is cooking, mix reserved ginger juice, vinegar, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce and lime juice in medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions. 

Toss pasta into bowl of ginger dressing.  Remove meat from cooker, cover in foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut steak into 1/2″ thick slices.  Serve pasta over optional lettuce and then place meat on top.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts, if so desired. 

 

Please try it and let me know what you and your family think.  I bet it will be asked for often once they taste it!

For more recipes, click here!

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

And of course I’m on Facebook.  Connect with me here!

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Want a delicious dinner that practically makes itself?   Wow your friends at your next party or bring this dish over to the next football party you’re invited to.  Just a warning though – it will disappear and they will ask you to make it each and every time you come back.

1415572554957LEMON CHICKEN

1 3-4lb whole chicken, fat trimmed, giblets removed, rinsed and dried
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lemon, halved
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 rosemary sprigs (optional)
3 TBL parsley, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2-3 garlic cloves
2 TBL reduced sodium soy sauce
8-10 small red potatoes

Place 1 bouillon cube inside chicken.  Squeeze lemon, reserving juice and put rinds and 1 garlic clove inside chicken.

Place chicken, breast-side up, in slow cooker.  Sprinkle paprika and parsley.  Add onions and remaining garlic, then pour soy sauce and lemon juice over chicken.  Crumble remaining bouillon cube over chicken and line the sides of the cooker with potatoes.

Cook on high 3-4 1/2 hours.  Discard lemon rinds, skin and bones.

Half potatoes and serve.

 

fitness screenshotFor more low carb recipes, click here.

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

Or on Facebook!

November 9, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Family, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Swedish Meatballs – Another Recipe Made to Fit a Healthy Lifestyle

20090128swedishmeatballswithnutmeggravyWhen you think of getting lean and trim you’re probably not thinking of Swedish Meatballs for dinner.  However, thanks to me you CAN!  🙂   Of course, not every night, but every so often YES!  And if you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life) for a while you know that I LOVE food!  I especially hold a special place in my heart for comfort foods.  Although that usually means fatty foods combined with carbs.  However, as I teach my clients, its ok to eat fatty healthy foods… just not at the SAME TIME as carbs.

Carbs, like oats and veggies, ARE our friends!!  The carbs that are NOT our friends are the cupcakes, ice cream and the junk food alike!   The key to eating carbs is the TIMING.  You don’t eat oatmeal before bed, you eat it in the morning when you WANT your blood sugar to ‘wake’ up.  Same thing with lunch and dinner.  Take for example:  Pot Roast or Beef Stew which is usually cooked with cornstarch or flour for a thickening agent and is usually served with potatoes or noodles .   But to make these great recipes high protein/low carb you just exclude those things.  ***Or you can eat dinner early and only serve it with a few red potatoes (skin-on so the fiber content is higher)***.   You don’t ever want to eat carbs with fat because it spikes your blood sugar causing your body to store the fat (in this case the red meat), and burn the carbs (potatoes).

So what I do, is take my favorite recipes like pot roast, beef stew, meatloaf, chili, etc and I exclude the carbs.   I am constantly trying new recipes, tweaking them to accommodate a healthy lifestyle  especially the likes of comfort foods, and making them healthy so that you can enjoy them and still lose weight!  You don’t always have to eat just grilled chicken and steamed vegetables!

You’re welcome.

 

Meatballs:

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the onion, garlic, egg, parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil and pat dry the meatballs so there’s no unnecessary grease.

Transfer the meatballs to your slow cooker.

Sauce:

  • 1 TBL butter
  • minced garlic
  • diced onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • dash of nutmeg
  • parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Loganberry or red currant jam (optional)
  • Dreamfields Low Carb Rotini pasta (optional)

In a small skillet, sauté onions in butter and garlic.  Once caramelized, pour over meatballs.   Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Let simmer in the slow cooker for at least 2 hours.  Serve alone or on top of low carb rotini.

For more of my low carb recipes click here.

 

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zucchini Lasagne with a Twist

 

This new version of my vegetarian lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa to make it even healthier and adds a good amount of protein to each serving.   I’m not a big fan of quinoa by itself just like I’m not crazy about kale either, so if you don’t know anything about what I do, I take ordinarily unhealthy recipes and make them into metabolism boosting, healthy, fat burning recipes such as my much-loved, delicious, lean turkey chili.

Try them out.  You won’t be disappointed!

ZUCCHINI QUINOA LASAGNE

It tastes like comfort food but its not heavy.  And to save time, you can use your favorite jarred tomato sauce (just make sure there’s no hidden sugars or unwanted ingredients).

lasagneINGREDIENTS

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa (Easy Quinoa brand basil and garlic flavored)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce

2 cups no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 cups sliced zucchini

2 cups packed fresh spinach, tough stems removed

1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

PREPARATION

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe out the saucepan, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.

Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano.

Spread one-third of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then half the remaining sauce, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and spread mozzarella on top.

Bake the lasagna until it is hot and the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION

Per serving:  267 calories; 11 g fat; 23 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber.

 

June 1, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Eating – Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You’re not going to believe how easy this is to make and how GOOOOOD it turns out until you make it – and it’s HEALTHY!   The chicken comes out so tender and juicy!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup grated and/or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first 5 ingredients and then spread mixture over chicken on both sides.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

parmesan crusted chicken

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

P90X3 is HERE! Join My Test Group!

Guess what….. it’s that time of year again:  Time to set New Year’s Resolutions. The #1 resolution made each year is to lose weight and if that’s you then you’re in luck!

P90X3 is HERE and this program is amazing!! The people who were in the original test group got amazing results (watch the video above to see)!!

And the reason you’re in luck is because I am forming my own TEST GROUP starting Monday January 13th! My group is going to start eating clean on January 1st and some, including myself, have already started eating cleaner today! We are all anxious to start and be a part of this group.

We will be doing P90X3 together, eating clean, keeping each accountable, provide motivation (especially on those days where the last thing you want to do is work out) and ALSO sharing ideas on what works and what doesn’t.

In order to be in my test group, you must place your order by clicking here.

From there, click on Fitness Programs and you will see the different options for P90X3.

**Note:  the best value is the Challenge Pack, which includes P90X3 and a monthly supply of Shakeology.  (Click on the link to learn more of what Shakeology can do for you.)  The price will go up to from $180 to $205 in December. Bought separately, you would pay $240!

You will receive the entire P90X3 program which includes a complete nutrition guide, grocery list, a calendar with the specific workouts to do each day and the meals to eat on those days PLUS your Shakeology.   With this deal you are getting a month’s supply of Shakeology for only $51 (and FREE shipping that will end 1/1/2014)!   That’s only $1.70/meal for superfood nutrition and all the vegetables you need each day and it tastes delicious!

me and TonyHere’s Tony and I at the Beachbody Coach Summit June of this year!

The opportunity to be in my January Test Group is open to folks who order through me and to my existing clients. It is not  available to folks who are already working with another Beachbody coach. You can message me and/or add me on facebook at www.facebook.com/christy.pourciau should you have any questions about the test group.

Have P90X3 related questions?  Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions.

Where is P90X3 available for purchase? Find it in the TBB Store and take advantage of free shipping until 12/31.  If you order from me,  at www.beachbodycoach.com/amothersmemoir, I will become your coach for FREE. :)

What special offer is associated with the release of P90X3? All orders of P90X3, purchased on TeamBeachbody.com, through a Coach or through a Challenge Pack by 12/31/13 will include a free P90X3 hat. There are no hats for P90X or P90X2 orders at this time.

Is there an App available? The P90X App will be available for Android and the Android version will include the ability to track P90X3 workouts. The functionality to track your P90X3 workouts will be available soon for the iPhone App.

Is there a vegan meal plan option available for P90X3? There will be vegan options included in the new P90X3 Nutrition Guide.

For tips and ideas on how to modify the P90X3 meal plan to be more vegan friendly, we encourage customers to post the topic on the Team Beachbody message boards (http://www.teambeachbody.com/connect/message-boards/-/message_boards/category/19535469). We have dietary experts that monitor the posts and provide some great ideas and direction.

How long does it take to complete P90X3? P90X3 is a 90 day program, split into 3 Blocks. Blocks 1 & 2 each consist of 4 weeks, while Block 3 lasts 5 weeks.

Additionally, the Elite Block calendar, which is an optional block to be completed AFTER the initial 90 days, lasts 4 weeks.

The Elite Block includes 3 workouts not included within the P90X3 Base Kit. These workouts and calendar can be found within the P90X3 Deluxe and Ultimate Kits. In addition, they can also be purchased separately.

How long are the workouts for P90X3? All P90X3 workouts are 30 minutes. The lone exception is the X3 Ab Ripper workout (15 minutes), included within the Deluxe Kit. Most workouts include a 2-3 minute cool down period.

What is included in P90X3?

P90X3 Base Kit Includes:

  • 16 unique and brand new workouts on 8 DVDs
  • Plus, 5 Free Gifts
  • Fitness Guide
  • Nutrition Guide
  • 90 Day Workout Calendar
  • How to Accelerate Intro DVD
  • 24/7 Online Support
  • Network Exclusive P90X One on One: On One Leg DVD
  • Network Exclusive Premium P90X3 Hat ($24.95 value) – December Only!

Base Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $119.85 + S&H
  • Club             $107.87
  • Coach          $89.89

P90X3 Deluxe Kit Includes everything in the Base Kit PLUS:

  • 3 Elite Extreme workouts on 1 DVD
  • Includes free Elite Block Calendar
  • 1-Month E&E Tub
  • 3 B-Lines Resistance Bands

Deluxe Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $239.70 + S&H
  • Club             $215.73
  • Coach          $179.78 (180 PV)

P90X3 Ultimate Kit Includes everything in the Base & Deluxe Kits PLUS:

  • 1-Month R&R Tub
  • Gym-Quality P90X® Chin-Up Bar
  • P90X® Chin-Up Max
  • Premium Beachbody Jump Mat

Ultimate Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $329.55 + S&H
  • Club             $296.60
  • Coach          $247.16 (247 PV)

P90X3 Challenge Pack Retail Price: $205 (December Promotional Price: $180)

  • P90X3 Base Kit
  • 30-Day Supply of Shakeology HD
  • 30-Day VIP Team Beachbody Club Membership

If you know someone that would be interested in doing this program with me, even if you are not, and you think they would strongly benefit from my Coaching, please share this link with them or send them my email address given above.  I would be happy to help.

2014

Happy NEW YEAR everyone!!  Let’s make 2014 our best yet! 

December 30, 2013 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X3, Products That Work, Shakeology, Things To Do, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some of My Favorite Clean Eating Recipes

Kids in the fallBeing a Mom in the fitness and nutrition industry, the 2 most common questions I get asked are to share my recipes and “what diet should I be on?”.   A very close third is “how many grams of protein should I eat?”. 

I’ve already given my theory on ‘diets’ and what people should choose based on their lifestyle.  So I’ve decided to compile a few recipes that my kids love (and request often) that are also high in protein. 

So, what better time to share recipes then this time of year!  We live in Arizona, so the summer I am usually not found slaving away over a stove!   It’s finally starting to cool off which means also means more baking and cooking.  Our summers here in Arizona are not good for baking and slaving over a stove.  So, when fall arrives, thats when I start cooking!

No matter what your fitness goals are, eating a high protein diet will help you burn fat and lose weight.   When most people think of high protein diets,  they also equate that with lacking carbs.   While I tend to scale back on the carbs after 2-3pm, I don’t make my kids do the same.  

We do good carbs.  Carbs from vegetables or brown rice.  P.S.  I have gotten my kiddos to eat brown rice just by throwing in black beans or kidney beans with some cilantro (find that recipe here under Spice Up Your Rice).

lean proteinThe best sources for protein are typically lean meats, but surprisingly they also include plant sources such as tofu, beans, nuts and quinoa.  For animal protein sources I always suggest chicken breast, lean fish such as Tuna, ‘fatty’ Omega-3 fish such as salmon, egg whites, turkey, skim dairy products, shrimp, veal or lean cuts of pork.  Depending on your dietary preferences you might decide to eat only a few of these options, but all will provide you with healthy servings of protein!  

However, not all sources of protein are equal. Here’s a list from the United States Department of Agriculture describing the differences in amounts for some of the foods listed above.

Protein Source

Grams of Protein

1 ounce meat, fish, poultry

7

1 large egg

6

4 ounces milk

4

4 ounces low-fat yogurt

6

4 ounces soy milk

5

3 ounces tofu, firm

13

1 ounce cheese

7

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

14

1/2 cup cooked kidney beans

7

1/2 cup lentils

9

1 ounce nuts

7

2 tablespoons peanut butter

8

1/2 cup vegetables

2

1 slice bread

2

1/2 cup of most grains/pastas

2

Here are a few healthy, high protein, lowfat chicken recipes:

Chicken Dijon

Chicken Dijon

 Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 six-ounce chicken breasts

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on top and spray with cooking spray.

-Combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Brush chicken pieces all over with the honey mustard mixture, then place chicken breasts on the rack.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through. Baste every 10 minutes or so with the remaining honey mustard glaze.

Per serving: Calories 268, Total Fat  approx 5.9g Carbohydrate 21g,  Protein 32.9g

 

Basil Chicken

Ingredients: 

  • 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ounce basil, slivered
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes

Preparation:

Basil Chicken-Preheat broiler and spray pan with cooking spray and place chicken breats on broiler pan

-Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic together

-Brush half of vinaigrette on to chicken breasts, and sprinkle half the slivered basil on top of chicken.

-Broil 5-6 minutes, then turn over. Brush second side with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle remaining basil.

-Add tomatoes to broiler pan, surrounding chicken.

-Broil for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serving: Calories 198, Total Fat 5.4g, Carbohydrate 4g, Protein 33.5g 

 

Chicken & Wild Rice

CHicken and RiceIngredients: 

  • (4) 5-6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (1/2 a six-ounce bag)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Place chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish that can accommodate the chicken in one layer.

-Combine uncooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped spinach. Spoon mixture over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40-minutes, until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 372, Total Fat 2.5g, Carbohydrate 48.3g, Protein 38.9g

 

Here are some High Protein Vegetarian Recipes

 

Mexican Vegetarian Casserole

mexican casseroleIngredients: 

  • 2 cups chopped onion, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red pepper, fresh or frozen
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15.8 ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend cheese shredded
  • 3 tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives and/or chives (optional)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Combine onion pepper, garlic, salsa, cumin and black beans in a large skillet and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

-Arrange 6 tortillas in bottom of 9″ x 13″ baking dish overlapping them as necessary. -Spread half of bean mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layering process with remaining tortillas, bean mixture and cheese.

-Cover dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and serve warm.

-Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream, olives and chives.

Nutritional Information per Serving excluding the optional ingredients: (*you can save the calories by using less cheese*)
Calories: 605*,  Fat: 11.5g, Protein: 35g

 

Easy Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna

wholewheatlasagnaIngredients: 

  • 1 8 ounce package whole wheat lasagne noodles, cooked slightly (al dente)
  • 1 9 ounce package frozen raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 cups pre-made or store-bought pasta sauce
  • 3 cups grated low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

-In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs; add cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

-Put one layer of slightly cooked lasagna noodles flat across the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 the leaf spinach, pressing down lightly and evenly over noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top this layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture; add the remaining spinach. Then add the last of the lasagna noodles laid evenly on top of spinach. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the top; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Press down lightly.

-Cover baking dish with foil, using foil sprayed with cooking spray and keeping foil off the center of the lasagna. Secure sides tightly over baking dish.

-Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes in oven. To lightly brown the top, remove foil for a few minutes at the end of baking time.

-Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Servings: Provides 10 servings

Nutrition Per Serving:  Calories: 373, Protein: 33g,  Carbohydrates:  33, 12 g fat

 

Try some of these recipes yourself and tell me what you and YOUR family thinks!  And please share with your friends anf family!

 

Macro Nutrients are approximate based on the brand you choose and how you choose to measure ingredients.

 

September 27, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Control Your Blood Sugar

appleYou probably already know that controlling your blood sugar levels with the foods that you eat is VERY important for controlling your ability to burn fat, balance your hormones, and also prevent diabetes.    Society has become dependent on fast foods, pre-packaged and/or quick meals that they can grab on the go.  Problem is, these foods are the last thing we should be putting in our bodies. 

I tell my clients, especially the ones who own luxury vehicles:  “you pay for premium fuel for your car because you know it performs better on better quality ingredients, yet the fuel you put in your body is garbage!”  Guess what?  Your body needs to outlive your car!!  So give it what it needs.  Every system in our bodies (from neurological to circulatory)  relies so heavily on the food we fuel it with.

 

Stay away from white rice, white bread, white sugar, soda, red meat, fast food, whole milk and any processed foods.  Think about it like this:  stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store.  That’s where all these foods are sitting.  They have a shelf life of about 3-6 months.  Red meat is ok just try to limit it to once or twice a month. 

Foods that help control blood sugar are going to be the opposite of the foods above.  They are the nutritious whole foods, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts.  Buy fresh foods whenever you can.   There are also some other nutritious ingredients that you can add to your meals that naturally control blood sugar and insulin response!  One is cocoa powder with no added sugars.  Pure cocoa – not hot chocolate!   Pure cocoa contains flavanols which are powerful antioxidants that can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.  You can add it to your favorite protein shake or smoothie for an added benefit.   I actually add a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder to my Vanilla Shakeology with some frozen berries.    You can even add a spoonful to the milk of your choice and add a little Stevia for a sweet treat.  You can even heat it to make a healthy, low in sugar, and high in fiber hot chocolate.  🙂

The second thing that helps control blood sugar is green tea.   Green tea and oolong tea can help to control the blood sugar response from a meal due to their unique antioxidants.  According to a study I reviewed, animals given the green-tea based antioxidant, EGCG, had a 50% lower blood sugar after eating starch than the animals that didn’t get the EGCG but ate the same amount of starch.  You can even add lemon and honey to it to create a powerful antioxidant trifecta!   Drink this at the same time you eat carbs and you can protect yourself from the blood sugar spike.

Another thing you can start adding to your diet is apple cider vinegar.  It may not be the most appealing choice, however, apple cider vinegar, when taken with a meal can slow the digestion of carbohydrates in that meal, therefore slowing the rate of absorption of sugar into the blood.  Since the idea of drinking this with water doesn’t sound very tantalizing to the taste buds, what I do is add it to my olive oil and red wine vinegar combo and then poor over my salad.  You don’t even taste the difference!  And don’t think you can substitute balsamic or white vinegar… it has to be the apple cider vinegar!    

Lastly, Shakeology is a delicious choice and has been certified low-glycemic.  Meaning it will not spike your blood sugar.  It truly is the Healthiest Meal of the Day.    Are you ready to try a sample?  SImply comment below if interested or contact me through my contact page

If you are ready to buy click here. 

 

As always, stay tuned for more Lean Body secrets from me!

 

 

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, Products That Work, Shakeology, Things To Do, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Morning Workouts More Effective?

I have to say this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get.

  • Should you workout in the morning in a fasted state?
  • Should you workout in the morning after eating something to have more energy?
  • Or should you workout later in the day for the best results?
  • What about for different goals… fat loss vs muscle, for example?

insta back picMy answer?  ‘IT DEPENDS’.  Why the vague answer?  Because there is no ONE way that works for everyone.   As with anything, it’s about weighing the PROS and CONS and using common sense.

You’ve probably heard many times that morning workouts on an empty stomach is the fastest and most effective way to lose weight.  And while it IS true, that training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to increase fat burning by 300%, the problem is, you also increase the potential for burning up muscle at the same time.

The reason fat loss is increased at that time of day is due to blood sugar.  Your blood sugar is at it’s very lowest (after fasting all night), the theory is training at this time will force your body to rely more on bodyfat than on blood sugar to fuel activity.

This is true, but the problem is protein (as is found in muscles) can be converted into glucose to fuel activity as well. So the question then becomes, is the extra fat burning you get worth the potential loss of muscle protein?

CONFUSED YET?  Because another thing to consider is Growth Hormone. When you train on low-blood sugar conditions, your body releases increased amounts of GH. It sees these conditions as an emergency and responds with GH and GH is not secreted in response to low-intensity activity – it’s only significantly released by high intensity activity.

So, in theory, training with high intensity on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can result in increased GH secretion, which means greater fat loss and reduced loss of muscle mass. This directly contradicts the theory of training burning up your muscle tissue if you don’t eat.

READY FOR ANOTHER VARIABLE?  Cortisol.  Your cortisol levels are generally higher in the morning, simply because you’ve
been fasting during the whole time you’ve been sleeping.  Cortisol burns up muscle tissue and promotes fat storage.

And lastly, it’s really hard to get an intense workout first thing in the morning!   Being a fitness trainer I always encourage people to do high intensity INTERVAL TRAINING and if you’re not a morning person (which I AM NOT!) it will be TOUGH to do cardio with enough intensity to take full advantage of the GH release!

SOLUTION:

If your primary goal is fat loss and you aren’t too worried about losing a
little muscle, go with empty stomach, moderate-to-high-intensity cardio training
first thing in the morning. You will probably see increased fat loss, though you
may lose a little muscle from it. Train with weights, and it probably won’t be
much muscle loss at all.

If your goal is fat loss while preserving muscle as much as possible, take a small protein shake right after you wake up (a low-carb protein shake so you don’t increase blood sugar too much) and THEN go do your cardio training. The protein will help spare your muscle tissue while not raising your blood sugar significantly enough to cause a
problem.

AND

If you can’t do your cardio with intensity first thing in the morning, do it later in the day.

side profileBecause truly, the absolute best time to do cardio is when you’re energetic enough and alert enough to give it your best effort.  THAT is when you’ll really see results. Doesn’t really matter what time of day that is.
When you get right down to it, getting the most from your training, whether it be cardio or weights, is not about worry about the details that won’t make a difference in the long run. It’s about digging in with intensity and consistency.

Now, if you’re interested in a fat-loss program that has a primary goal of preserving muscle mass while dropping fat, I’d definitely recommend trying out my CHALLENGE GROUP!  Right now we are getting ready to start Shaun T’s FocusT25 in combination with Shakeology.   We are all excited.  We keep each other motivated, and share recipes, or ideas on how we modify exercises if they can’t do the higher intensity ones right away.

group photo

FocusT25 is just like Insanity except its only 25 minutes for 5 days a week!  So more people are wanting to do it over Insanity to save time!   It also comes with a workout calendar, nutrition guide and then I have also been writing people a daily meal plan for people if they want it.  Here’s a short clip on T25!

If you want to join us – get YOURS today here!  And then send me a message on Facebook so I can add you to our group!

SEE YOU SOON!

July 13, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Body Beast, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Products That Work, Shakeology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: