How do you prep your meals?

Happy Monday!!! I hope your day is going well! I’m recovering from a stomach bug or food poisoning. It wasn’t horrible but enough to make me feel poorly. I did spend some time this weekend meal prepping. I made my leek and cauliflower soup but I need to get my proteins together. I had never thought of it as having a choice of proteins and a choice of veges to mix and match until I saw this article! Then I thought – DOH – I’ve got to share this! This is how I meal prep!Spring-Buffet-all-meals

The short story is to get cook 3-4 different proteins, 5-6 vegetables, 3-4 clean carbs, some healthy fats (avocado is my fav) and then mix and match these each day to keep it interesting!!! This helps to keep variety in your diet and keeps you from getting bored.

 

Proteins 
baked chicken breasts
baked salmon
sautéed shrimp
hard-boiled eggs
Shakeology

Vegetables
raw baby carrots
mini bell peppers
cauliflower rice
sautéed brussels sprouts
steamed baby zucchini
steamed artichokes
steamed broccolini

Fruits
mangoes
bananas (not shown)
mixed berries (not shown)

Carbs
lentils
baked sweet potatoes
edamame
oatmeal (not shown)

Healthy fats
avocados
hummus

Seeds/oils
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

 

Check out Amanda’s article to see how she put all these together each day to make tasty but varied meals!

Meet Ida Keeling, 100yr old runner!

When I saw this video on the NY Times blog, I knew I just had to share it with you. Meet Ida Keeling. She is 100yrs young. She has raced all around the world, holding the Worlds Record for 60-meter dash for women ages 95 to 99. Get this! She didn’t start running until she was 67yrs old in order to battle depression after the death of both of her sons. I love reading these stories because it just reinforces for me that it is never too late, until you’re dead. No matter your past failures in getting fit and healthy, you can always decide to try a different path until you find what works.

I just love her words of wisdom:

Get up and do things even if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing this, that or the other. Do the thing that you don’t like to do first, and get rid of it.”

 

Wise words indeed! I always tell my kids, “If it must get done, do it first if possible.” Following this rule has allowed me to stay so consistent in my workouts for the past 5years. And when I stopped working out first thing in the morning, I started missing more workouts! I get busy working and then it’s time to pick up the kids and  then my time is on their schedule! This morning I was in my gym at 6AM just like old times! It felt great knowing I had the day off to a great start!

 

RECIPE – Kale & Broccoli Matchstick Salad

Kale-and-Broccoli-Matchstick-Salad-with-Hazelnuts
Kale and broccoli are two powerhouse vegetables! EAT your greens, people! I needed a new Kale recipe to add to my menu. If you are following autoimmune protocol, omit the hazelnuts and cheese.

Kale is loaded with fiber which aids in digestion. It is also high in iron, VitK, calcium and Vit K. Most of us deal with some level of inflammation in our bodies due to stress, lack of sleep, food intolerances and autoimmune disease. Kale is also high in Omega-3 fatty acid which is anti-inflammatory. Quercetin, a key ingredient found in the Beachbody Performance line, is found in large amounts in kale! It is a flavonoid that is thought to reduce inflammation following exercise, and support energy production by increasing mitochondria.

So try adding this new kale recipe to your menu plan!!! Comment below what you think of this recipe!

(This recipe first appeared on the Team Beachbody Blog) with photos by Kirsten Morningstar.

Fresh and crunchy, this isn’t an ordinary salad. It features thinly sliced ribbons of kale with an often overlooked vegetable, broccoli stems. The next time you use broccoli florets in a recipe, instead of discarding the stems, you’ll want to save them for this deeply satisfying salad. It’s topped with toasted hazelnuts and sharp manchego cheese. Sautéed leeks with lemon juice and olive oil create a rich dressing (and also tastes lovely as a sauce on fish).

Tip: After you slice the kale and before you add it to any other ingredients, squeeze it roughly in your hands as though you were crumpling a paper bag. This “massage” makes it more tender and easier to digest.

Tip: This recipe uses a simple technique to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. After a few minutes of toasting on a baking sheet in the oven, the skins easily rub off with a towel. It’s worth the extra step; removing the slightly bitter skins make the nuts sweeter.

Kale-and-Broccoli-Matchsticks-Salad-with-Hazelnuts-InPost

Kale and Broccoli Matchstick Salad with Hazelnuts

Total Time: 34 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 19 min.
Yield: 4 servings, about ¾ cup each

Ingredients:
¼ cup raw hazelnuts
1 lb. fresh kale, stems and ribs removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
3 broccoli stems, peeled, cut into matchstick-sized pieces (about 1 cup)
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) (to taste; optional), divided use
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, whites and tender greens only, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
¼ cup shredded Manchego (or Pecorino Romano or Parmesan) cheese

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Place hazelnuts on baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to cool. Rub off skins and discard; coarsely chop nuts. Set aside.
3. Place kale and broccoli in a medium bowl. Season with salt if desired; mix well. Set aside.
4. To make dressing, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Add leeks; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
6. Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
7. Top kale mixture with dressing, hazelnuts, and cheese; mix well.

NutritionalData-KaleAndBroccoliSlaw-

Red Meat Causes Cancer – says WHO?

Several of my friends have been asking about the new World Health Organization report that eating red meat increases your risk of cancer.  Processed meat was rated a definite human carcinogen and red meat was rated a possible human carcinogen. If you want to read the original report, you can find it here.

What does this really mean for our day to day eating? If you’re vegetarian/vegan, you’re probably wagging your finger saying, “I told you so!” HA HA HA.  Food recommendaGrilling_Steaks_(with_border)tions from the WHO, the USDA, etc often have a political agenda. Statistics are often used and mis-used to confuse and befuddle the public. I try to find several trusted viewpoints and make my own conclusion. (If you want to skip to the punch line, scroll down to the bottom.)

I immediately went to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s website. I have followed her nutrition advice in dealing with my autoimmune diseases for some time. She is known for her scientific research of autoimmunity and the autoimmune protocol nutrition plan. As expected, she already had an article posted with links to scientific research. If you want to read it, you can find the article at The Paleo Mom.  She addresses the very legitimate concerns about eating processed meats and red meats. What the media will not tell you in the never-ending quest for attention-grabbing headlines is that studies also support that eating a diet rich in vegetables mitigates many of the negative effects of eating red meat. The rest can be decreased significantly by how you cook it. Also, the diet of the grassfedcowsanimal as well as it’s living conditions greatly influences the health benefits or detriments of red meat. The short of it is, know where you food comes from. If at all possible,  buy from local farms that have pastured, 100% grass feed cows. I think research soundly indicates that processed meats are just bad for you and should be avoided.

Mark Sisson addresses some of the statistical analyses and the differences in the categories in his post on his blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. Oh gee how I hated statistics in graduate school. The media often uses statistics to confuse us and I think they often don’t understand the numbers! For example, the risk of colorectal cancer in the general population is 1.8%. There was a 17% increase in this risk by eating 100gm or about 1/4 pound of red meat each day. So now your actual risk is 2.1%, which is a 17% increase from 1.8%. If your risk had increased by 100%, then your actual risk would now be 3.6% i.e. doubled. So your actual risk of colorectal cancer is still relatively small. It’s worth minimizing for sure.

chuck roastSo, you don’t have time to read the literature yourself and you just want me to summarize it for you? Ok!

  • Whenever possible, go for grass-fed, pastured beef. The meat will have anti-oxidant properties since these animals were eating grass rather than grains. They require much less antibiotics since they are healthier overall having eaten a diet their bodies were meant to eat. I buy a wonderful chuck roast pictured here and I cut it to make a beef stew. It has so much more flavor than grain-fed beef stew cubes that you can buy in the supermarket and it is healthier for you. I know those food labels are confusing so here’s a good article explaining the difference between grass-fed and pastured beef.
  • Use gentler cooking methods to reduce production of carcinogens. Grilling season is over forbeefstew us but next year, I will definitely be trying some marinades to reduce the carcinogens created in my grilled dinners.
  • Eat your vegetables people! Nature gave us protection from the dark side of beef! Eat it! I have Kale, baby spinach, swiss chard in my breakfast shake everyday! One of my fav dishes is braised kale and carrots! If you want to try it, I use my pressure cooker but you can easily do this on the stove.
  • If you deal with autoimmune disease as I do, you definitely want to be purchasing grass-fed, pastured beef. Since you want to eat foods which minimizes inflammation. Be sure to eat your leafy green  vegetables at every meal!

I just started reading the book Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health by Denise Minger. I’m just in the first chapter but so far it is an engaging read. If you’ve read it or will read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. What does this mean? In order to support my blogging activities, I will receive a few pennies from Amazon but you pay the same price for the item. I only link to items that I have read, used, and enjoyed!

Stop Sabotaging Your Workouts!

I love this article, written by Beachbody’s Blog writer, Julie Stewart. I especially love mistake #2. I have often wondered why I see so many in gyms with that hunched posture. Lifting weights, when done properly, should IMPROVE your posture!

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working out for a week or a decade—odds are you’re making a handful of common mistakes that are holding you back. We’re also willing to bet that most of them aren’t your fault—gyms, exercise communities, and even some popular fitness programs are rife with well-intended advice that’s rooted more in bro-science than real-world research. That ends today. Purge the following mistakes from your training program to accelerate your gains and squeeze out of every rep.

Mistake #1: You stick to a routine
The rapid gains you enjoy at the beginning of a training program will eventually taper if you keep doing the same workouts month after month (or year after year). “The body adapts to new stresses quickly,” says Yunus Barisik, C.S.C.S., author of the blog Next Level Athletics. Your job—and the goal of any good exercise plan—is to make sure that adaptation (also known as muscle growth) never stops. “And the way to do that is by regularly varying what you do,” says Barisik.

The fix: If you’re a beginner, mix things up every two to three months. If you’re a veteran, you’ll need to do so even sooner. “Those changes don’t have to be major,” says Barisik. Occasionally swapping new exercises into your workouts (or trying a completely new workout program) is a smart idea. “But even minor tweaks—changing your grip, lifting pace, foot position, or rest periods—can lead to big gains by not only working muscles you normally miss, but also working the muscles you normally target in new ways,” says Barisk.

Mistake #2: You forget about your back
In their pursuit of head turning muscle, many people focus only on those they can see in the mirror—pecs, shoulders, arms, and abs. “And that’s a problem,” says Barisik. “Overemphasizing the front side of your body can lead to muscular imbalances, a hunched posture, and an increased risk of injury.” Since most people are already “anterior dominant”—meaning they more frequently use the muscles on the front of their bodies—such one-sided training often worsens existing postural and performance issues.

The fix: Stop using a mirror to gauge your progress—it’s the muscles you can’t see that you should focus on. To balance your upper body, perform two pulling exercises (chinup, row) for every pushing exercise, such as the overhead press or bench press, says Barisik. To balance your lower body, perform two sets of hamstring-dominant exercises, like the deadlift or kettlebell swing, for every set of a quad-dominant exercise, like the squat or lunge. After a few months (read: once your posture and musculature balance out), you can switch to one-to-one ratios, says Barisik.

Mistake #3: You train too hard (or not hard enough)
More isn’t always better when it comes to building strength and losing fat. “Most people don’t know how to safely push their limits,” says Michael Wood, C.S.C.S., Chief Fitness Officer of Koko FitClub. “You might think you’re working out efficiently, but few people actually optimize their training stimulus.” While you need to challenge your muscles to make them grow, you never want to push them to the point where you inhibit their ability to repair themselves. Why? Because when it comes to muscle, repair equals growth. On the other hand, if you don’t push your muscles hard enough, you won’t trigger growth at all. Your goal: To hit the intensity sweet spot where you maximize results without compromising recovery.

The Fix: If you’re lifting weights, always stop two reps short of in your last set of an exercise. Those reps provide no additional growth stimulus, and might actually slow muscle growth by extending the time needed for recovery. That said, you shouldn’t have more than two reps left in you, as that’s a sign you aren’t pushing hard enough. If you’re doing intervals or circuits, use a heart rate monitor to fine-tune effort and rest. Determine your max HR by multiplying your age by .7 and subtracting that number from 208. During work periods, build up your intensity to 75 to 85 percent of your max, says Wood. During rest periods, let it fall to 65 percent of your max HR before beginning your next round.

Mistake #4: You don’t dial in your diet
You’ve likely heard the adage “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” It’s true, so heed it. If your eating habits aren’t aligned with your fitness goals, you’ll never hit them. “Many active people eat too many carbs—especially simple carbs like sugar—and don’t pay nearly enough attention to fat and protein,” says Bob Seebohar, M.S., R.D., CSSD, C.S.C.S., a sport dietitian and owner and founder of eNRG Performance.

The fix: Step one in upgrading your diet is to reduce your consumption of added sugar (according to the government’s new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, such foods should comprise no more than 10 percent of your diet). Eat at least two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables a day. “And make sure every meal contains a balance of protein, fat, and fiber,” says Seebohar. “Neglecting these suggestions will yield poor blood sugar control, higher insulin levels, increased fat storage, and decreased fat burning.” Increasing your protein intake is particularly important. In a study by the U.S. Military Nutrition Division, people who ate twice the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein—1.6 grams instead of .8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight—preserved more muscle as they lost weight than those who stuck to the RDA. If you weigh 150 pounds, your daily protein quota is 109 grams.”

Are you setting goals in 2016?

Many of my friends having been asking me about my goals for the year and what I use to help me track and attain my goals. I found from talking with friends that most people never accomplish their lofty goals that they set Jan 1 of a new year.  I started researching goal setting so that I would
pushbe able to help my friends reach the goals they are setting. So there are two systems i will be using myself this year. The first is by Chalene Johnson which I will detail here. The second is by John Lee Dumas which I will detail in a blog post tomorrow because this one got much too long!

Chalene Johnson wrote the NY Times Best-Seller PUSH – 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin’ Body, and the Life You Deserve!  As well as being a celebrity trainer for Beachbody, she is also an entrepreneur who now helps others be successful at marketing their businesses.

Chalene writes, “The only way to achieve success is to make and keep a plan. I will give you the strategies to design the dream-life that you can’t wait to live and I’ll share the methods of realizing the goals to get you there!

  • Master carefully crafted and diligently maintained to-do list
  • Develop and honor your Priorities
  • Set, refine and achieve meaningful goals
  • Experience unbelievable success in all areas of your life

But best of all, I am going to show you how to make this a habit that you can manage in ten minutes a day!”

What I like about Chalene’s system is that she helps you rank 10 aspects of your life such as spirituality, spouse/SO, family/friends, finances, mental health, fitness. You then pick the area that needs the most work to focus on for the next day 30 days. If you’re presented with a task, you ask yourself if that task will help you achieve your PUSH goal. It really helps prevent you from saying YES to things that are only sabotaging your own success in achieving your goals.

Chalene has a FREE video series which takes you through PUSH. You can find that here, http://www.30daypush.com

Each year in working through her PUSH goals, Chalene found herself hating all the planners on the market so this year, she made her own. She has provided the planner for FREE along with videos topushplanner guide us through it. “This workbook takes you step by step through the process of setting goals for the key areas of life as well as how to set a PUSH Goal – a goal that makes all of your other goals possible. You will map a course of action, so you know exactly what you need to do every day to achieve all of your goals in 90 days or less!”  The Free planner can be found —–>  HERE.

The recorded Periscope/Facebook Live video can be found at Katch.mehttps://ktch.tv/5KZF. In this one video, Chalene takes you through the workbook. However, previously, she did a 5-part series on Periscope were she went through and did her goals and actions and gives you time to do it along side her. If you would prefer those videos with more detail, the links are below.

STEP ONE: How to Get Your Life Right in 90 Days    https://ktch.tv/5DVN
STEP TWO: How to Get Your Life Right in 90 Days    https://ktch.tv/5DY6
STEP THREE: How to Get Your Life Right in 90 Days https://ktch.tv/5D-0
STEP FOUR: How to Get Your Life Right in 90 Days   https://ktch.tv/5D_P
STEP FIVE: How to Get Your Life Right in 90 Days    https://ktch.tv/5F2h

If you find this helpful, please leave a comment! I would to hear what your PUSH goal is for 2016. The best way to stay accountable to your goals is to share it with friends and family!

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This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link to Chalene’s book PUSH. What does this mean? It means you pay the same price for the book but I will get a few pennies from Amazon’s profits for recommending it to you to help offset the cost of this website.