Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free Meal Plan Fit for a Fam Week 1-2


These free meal plans are a great starting point for someone trying to transition to a cleaner eating lifestyle and the 6 meals approach.

I now avoid post workout meals with fiber (like spinach for example) and fat in them so that the precious carbs and protein can absorb more quickly into the muscle. Also I avoid carbs almost completely at night time and I monitor protein and fats much more closely.

This meal plan has a rotation system with some of the meals. That way you don't get as sick of the same meals over and over. It is an entire week at a glance. Recipes for the dinners, the shopping list and bulk prep instructions are found on a separate pieces of paper.

Here are the screen shots of the meal plan, but if you would like a printable pdf just enter your information in the form below.  These are pretty small and hard to read. The downloadable pdf is really the way to go! 




Protein Donuts


There is no taste substitute for a sweet, fat filled, greasy donut. So if hopes are high for that kind of treat this one will be a disappointment. But if you are hunting for an easy to make recipe that is yummy, low calorie, high protein and filling. Here it is!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks with Caulirice

I love meals in which I can eat my required protein, carbs and calories but still share with the family without putting too much of a burden on them and to find one that they love is even better!!! This is one of those meals.



When we started to try to make a transition to healthier eating I mourned the loss of our rice meals. White rice is extremely high in calories and so is brown rice.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Greek Yogurt Oat Crepes

I don't know about any body else but I have a hard time getting in 5-7 egg whites in the morning Yuck! But these Greek Yogurt Oat Crepes seem to do the trick. I wouldn't say they are absolutely delicious but they are good and are the bare bones to the start of a healthy muscle building day with both oats and egg whites. You could add berries, sugar free syrups or even a cool whip (which really isn't that bad for you believe it or not) to make them even yummier if you would like but I like to keep mine simple.

Ingredients:
30 grams or 1/3 cup of oats
5 egg whites
4 tsp sweetner (splenda or stevia)
2 Tbs plain, nonfat greek yogurt

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Achieving Goals



I love this upbeat song about achieving goals!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Changing our environment to change us. Building A. N.E.T. of success!

In grad school I learned something that stayed with me and is important for fitness success. It is that education does not change habits, environment does. Education can play an important role by leading to a change in environment but alone has a limited impact. As public health professionals we learned from years of failed campaigns. A good example of this is smoking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lifting Update


4 weeks no flex. I feel like my arms look better and I am gaining mass.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Frozen Grapes Snacks- simple and sweet!

Well hello all of my blog followers have you wondered where I have been.? Just living life. My little kiddos keep me so busy and the time passes by too quickly.

As I have searched through blogs and recipes for healthy snacks for the family I keep running upon frozen grapes as a healthy snack. To be honest the idea sounded not so great...like chomping down on frozen ice cubes but I decided to try it. I found a great sale on grapes and the grapes were sweet so I got a lot of them for this purpose.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Clean Eating Meal Plan


Some of you have emailed me for PDFs for my clean eating meal plan and I haven't sent the email out yet but you should get it by the end of this week. I can tell that this site is spreading by word of mouth. Thanks for all of your kind comments and stories. There are wonderful people all around that share common goals, concerns and desires to eat better as a family.

As far as the pregnancy goes this has been much different than my other pregnancies. I should be out of my first trimester now but I am still extremely sick (which isn't like me). I was sick at times with my other pregnancies but nothing like this. I find that if I exercise in the morning I do much better throughout the day.

It is a little bit difficult because as many of you know I am a former junk food junkie. When I am sick it is easy to slip back into bad habits in order to get some sort of sustanance like pop and chocolate.

UPDATE:
You can no get immediate access to my free meal plans by entering your info below.  An email with an attachment will be sent to you.  Enjoy!
Sign up to get my Free meal plans "Fit for a Fam!" 



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Monday, September 12, 2011

Caulirice again!



Here is an older post from over a year ago but out of all the things that people have come back and thanked me for caulirice and protein ranch are the most mentioned. Since I posted this we have had caulirice almost weekly. My kids by far now prefer it over regular white or brown rice and my kids are picky eaters!

Since we have converted to brown rice I still feel a little uneasy with the portion of calories that rice takes up in our meals. I ran onto a website about cauliflower rice (caulirice) recently. It looked super easy to make but it sounded a little "different" and I didn't know if my family would go for it.

I tried it today and WE LOVED IT!

We were all starving after church. I was making a low fat Italian chicken and rice crock pot meal. The sauce was done in the crock pot but the brown rice was taking a long time. Cauliflower rice is really easy and fast so I decided we could try it and start the meal with a sample of caulirice while the brown rice was finishing. We all liked it, even the kids! I ended up chopping up more of it. My husband loaded his plate which still would have been less than 60 calories!

It had a slightly different texture but it was good with less than 1/4th of the calories so you can eat a lot of it!


Caulirice Recipe 
A healthier and lower alternative to white rice!
Serves 4

Ingredients: 
1 head cauliflower.

Instructions: 
Wash cauliflower head and chop finely with a food processor, food chopper or a knife. Put in microwaveable glass bowl cover and cook WITHOUT water for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite rice sauce or stir fry!


Rice facts serving size 1/2 cup:
White rice: 160 calories, 26 carbs
Brown rice: 100 calories, 20 carbs
Caulirice: 15 calories, 5 carbs

Here is an about.com video link on how to make it: Click Here

Friday, August 19, 2011

Black bean and cilantro breakfast burrito


1 Tablespoon chopped fresh onion
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 black beans
3 tbs egg whites or 1 large egg white
5-6 springs of cilantro

Saute onions in non-stick skillet with olive oil until transparent. Add egg whites and cook. Add black beans and heat in with mixture. Warm both tortillas in microwave 30 sec.

Put mixture in two white corn tortillas add cilantro and serve.
Breakfast Totals for two burritos

Total Calories 244.24
Fat 5.97
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 71.86
Carbs 37.39
Fiber 5.16
Protein 11.81
Sugar 0.41
I ate this for breakfast it was so good that I wanted to repeat it for lunch. As you can see it has a good punch of protein, some healthy fats, great fiber and no cholesterol or sodium. It is pretty inexpensive, yummy and very filling.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oatmeal Patties


Oatmeal Patties



They say "necessity" is the mother of invention but so is "carelessness". I have had the goal of figuring out a way to eat my oatmeal and enjoy it without any additional sweetners or flavoring. This is a good way to do that.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's better to "waste" than to "waist" it!


What does this picture and our daily workout have in common?

Drum roll please...these 5 cookies are the same amount of calories as what the average American burns during a workout. (I couldn't find the real number any where but this is just a guess. Some of us burn much more and some much less but I estimated a 30-40 min workout of a person with an average build)



There are some who do not waste food. Which I believe is a great quality! But I wanted to think about this in a different way. We either "waste" it in the garbage or "waist" it on our bodies and actually waste more time in the gym trying to work off that "waist".

How many of us want to spend almost an hour of our time on 5 lousy cookies especially if we add in the prep time like driving to the gym or getting ready! Would we work in the office for an hour longer so we could buy 5 extra oreos? Probably not, but the first thing that people start to do when they begin an exercise program is think that they can eat more goodies. 

I see it time and time again. They work hard each day but are not prepared for the increase in appetite that usually comes with burning more calories and because of poor planning

Just a thought! Thanks to Merri for the idea of this post! And please remember that as preachy as some of my posts sound I am actually just talking to myself, trying to convince myself to stay on track. 

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Undoing the workout


Here is a short post and this is my own opinion.

- one junk food meal can undo a workout
- a couple of days of junk food meals can undo a week of workouts
- a week or two of junk food meals can undo a month of workouts

I wish it wasn't so but this seems to be true for me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fruit Loops vs green beans what will the baby choose?



This video is from this morning. Just watch and see what the baby does with the fruit loops even down to the last one in his hand vs the green bean (actually sugar snap pea).

I have said it before that often the biggest obstacle to our family eating well is us. Harsh but true. We often deny them healthy choices because it isn't a choice that we ourselves would make. So we hold them back. Often if we just let them have the opportunity to eat healthy, and we don't act like they should do otherwise, then they will.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Blueberry Walnut Oatmeal- My sisters Oatmeal


Here is a yummy treat. I call it "My sister's oatmeal" because, well, it's my sisters oatmeal. She fixes it differently then I do and it is very yummy. I always think that oatmeal has to be soggy for some reason, which is why my husband does not like it, so here is a great alternative. You will also notice it has zero cholesterol which is a bonus!

Blueberry Walnut Oatmeal

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake!



I love, love, love this treat, snack, meal whatever you want it to be. It is my favorite! The only thing more delightful than this shake is it's nutritional statistics! 30 grams of protein, 255 calories! Wahoo!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Butter Nut Squash Fries


All you healthy eaters are going to laugh at me but tonight was the first time I tried butter nut squash fries and I LOVED them!!! If you think of them as fries you may feel a little jipped but if you think of them as a delicious way to eat an excitingly healthy and savory veggie then you walk away with a smile!

Here is a link to a recipe from hungry girl. It shows a calorie comparison (370 calories for a meager serving of real fries compared to 65 calories of a hearty serving of butter nut). I love it when they do that so I can gloat about calories saved!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"I only eat one to two meals a day why am I not losing weight?"

So often I hear the same complaint:

"I only eat one to two meals a day why am I not losing weight?" Upon more inquiry I find that their one or two meals are usually eaten out of the home.

Although you should talk with a doctor first for long term weight loss most women will do well on 1600 calorie a day eating plan. Many are the exception to this of course but I would say that is a pretty good number. A person needs to factor in exercise, current weight and health issues.

I do 6 meals a day each around 250 calories for a number that reaches around 1600 calories. These are big meals. In fact those who eat like this will tell you it is A LOT of food. But you feel good, energized!

Lets see how many calories are in common meals while eating out. These don't even include the sides like soda and fries just tack on another 600-1000 calories if you enjoy those as well.

Next time when you eat out look around and start counting. You will see exactly why a person can eat one or two meals a day and not lose!

Cafe Rio Pork Salad with everything and creamy tomatillo dressing
Calories: 1210

Burger King TRIPLE WHOPPER Sandwich
Calories: 1130

Dairy Queen Large Chocolate Shake
Calories: 1130

Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger
Calories: 1520

Dairy Queen Large Chocolate Malt
Calories: 1300

Dairy Queen Chicken Strip Basket (6 piece)
Calories: 1270

Del Taco Macho Beef Burrito
Calories: 1170

Burger King TRIPLE WHOPPER Sandwich
Calories: 1130

Sonic FRITOS Chili Pie
Calories: 940

Del Taco Macho Chicken Burrito
Calories: 930

Subway 12 inch chicken bacon and ranch
Calories: 1000

For a free 2 week meal plan just enter your name and email here and a printable pdf will be emailed to you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Burritos-248 cal for two!


This one is simple and satisfying and it is a lot of food for only 248 calories!

2 corn tortillas (total 110 cal 55 each)
3 egg whites (48 cal)
2 TBS Hormel real bacon bits (50 cal)
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese just a sprinkle for taste (40 cal)

Warm corn tortillas 20 sec in microwave, cook egg whites over stove top on nonstick pan so that no oil is needed. Sprinkle bacon bits into eggs before cooked completely. Divide the cooked eggs and cheese. Place eggs onto tortillas and sprinkle the top with cheese. Make sure to measure out cheese. Eat and enjoy! You can also half the bacon bits to 1 Tbs and go a whole egg and 2 egg whites if desired for 270 calories.
Nutrition Data:
Total Calories 248
Fat 6.5
Cholesterol 27.5
Sodium 730
Carbs 24.5
Fiber 2
Protein 25
For young kids try making a ketchup smiley face on the tortilla before rolling it. That works well for mine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trainer Mamma

I saw a girl working out at the gym who was following a program on a piece of paper. I am a snoop and always ask what they are working on. She showed me the workout and said she got it for free off of trainermama.com. I looked up the site and it was everything that I wish I could put on this one recipes, advice workouts. The way life is right now I barely have time to do posts so I strongly encourage you when you get a chance to visit her site it has some great stuff. I even added a button, which I hardly ever do but enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fresh cilantro cucumber and lime chicken wrap-225 calories


I got half way through this wrap before I decided that I should take a picture it was sooooo good! But please remember I am one of the worst photographers you will find on any blog so just cross your eyes a little bit and imagine how delicious it actually looks.

And 225 calories!!!

Fresh Cilantro Cucumber and Lime Chicken Wrap
1 whole La Tortilla Factory Low Carb tortilla (Found at Sam's club 80 calories)
3 oz cooked chicken breast cut into cubes or sliced (97 calories)
1 wedge light Swiss laughing cow cheese (35 calories)
1/4 cucumber skinned and sliced
1/4 lime (To squeeze for juice, use more if needed)
5-9 springs of cilantro stems removed
sprinkle of salt (optional but better)
1 washed fresh mushroom chopped

Serve with a nice large glass of water!!

I have posted something similar to this before but this one tasted marvelous!

Warm tortilla and spread laughing cow cheese wedge on top. Add chicken and all veggies. Squeeze lime on top to flavor then LIGHTLY salt. Wrap and enjoy!!!



Total Calories: 225.5
Fat 5.95
Chol 61
Sodium 262 (this is without salt)
Carbs 21.63
Fiber 12.9
Protein 31.52
Sugar 3.15

Note: I usually cook a big pot of chicken breast and eat it through the week in delicious meals like this. It really cuts down on time and makes meals such as this easy.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The secret to looking like you workout, even if you don't.


I liked a comment I heard from a girl at the gym. I wanted to share it with you. She looked fabulous. Extremely lean and toned but not over the top. When I see someone like that I want to know what their secret is so I ask. She told me about her workouts and that she was a clean eater. She then told me, eyeing me to watch my shock, that eating was 90% of her hard work. When she saw that I wasn't surprised by that statistic she continued and said...

"A person can workout and not look like they workout because they eat badly, but a person can eat clean and look like they workout, even though they don't"

I thought that summed it up well.

Too often in the past I have "undone" my workouts. I would eat a chocolate bar because I was going to burn it off anyway right? I am finding out more and more how wrong that has been.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cheats and Triggers

Clean eating isn't perfect eating. It is trying to eating healthy and omit certain foods most of the time. At least that is my definition. Cheats are not such a bad thing if they are kept in moderation. Tosca Reno suggests once a week, some people do it once a day (which can ruin your calorie count). I personally think it depends on your goals. If you are actively trying to loose weight then once a week or less is a good target. If you are not, then you may be more cheatful.

Cheating is when you eat something out of your diet (plan) It can be beneficial and harmful. It is beneficial when it is planned and the person savors every single bite and returns to their plan without further cheats. There is a theory out there that says that a calorie bump is good for the body so that it maintains its ability to deal with excess calories. Whether this is true or not I feel like a cheat is more beneficial, however, mentally. It makes a person not see the diet as "the enemy" that keeps them from all that is good. A healthy cheat gives the person the feeling that their diet is part of them and is not a temporary thing.

A cheat can be harmful if it turns into a trigger. A trigger begins a binge. Creamy bar chocolate is a trigger for me so at this time I am avoiding it all together but I cheat on other things. My eating goes much better that way. Also a cheat can be harmful since in my experience sodium and sugar tend to kill the taste of healthier foods. Making my next healthy meal less appealing.

Some people have cheat days, cheat evenings, cheat meals or cheat weekends. Again I think it depends on a person's goals.



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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Links to other free clean eating meal plans

Although I really like the simplicity of rotating 3 of your favorite meals with 6 different meals like I do on here (sign up for my FREE meal plan in the right hand side bar). I found some links to other free clean eating meal plans and have listed them below.



All free links
Zone diet (it is actually just a way to count up the macronutrients like protein, carbs and fats. From what I can tell it seems like the zone diet is geared more for muscle building than for overall weightloss.
http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf

Clean eating magazine meal plans. This site has 7 fabulous two week clean eating meal plans that are free. With Shopping lists!!!
http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/Meal-Planning/Meal-Plans.aspx

Here is a sample of Bob Harpers from Biggest Loser "Eat More Diet" meal plan
http://www.gettinglean.com/the-biggest-loser.htm

A mix of other free meal plans. These from what I can see are not really clean and it isn't recommended that a person drop down below 1200 calories.
http://www.freedieting.com/free_diet_plans.htm

I haven't tried any of these meal plans and do not endorse any of these sites. Once you click on them you are on a different website.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Eat Fuel, Not Fool



I have had this post floating around in my mind for a while but I ignored it because it sounded a little cheesy but here it goes...there are times when I think to myself as I begin to eat something "Is this fuel or fool?"

Does it fool my body into thinking it is something important but has limited nutrition and abundant calories, making my blood sugar spike than crash? Does it make me want more later because my body wants more calories with less work (no fiber) or is it fuel in which I feel good for for hours after and yields glorious long term results? Less calories but more nutrition?

I discovered a long time ago that I can get a day long buzz from exercise. Seriously I LOVE That feeling. I have always been an exercise junkie and I continually go back for more. I recently discovered within the last year or so that I can get a similar buzz from eating healthy...sounds odd right?...but it is true. There is so much satisfaction in eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and drinking lots of water. Ya just have to do it to understand.

So next time you go to eat think "Is this fuel or fool?" :)


Just a thought! Happy Clean Eating!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Healthy Ice Cream- One ingredient

I know it sounds too good to be true but it is!!! The secret ingredient? Drum roll please....Bananas!

I have always noticed an ice cream texture when using frozen bananas in my protein shakes but never dreamed that you could make a yummy ice cream simply out of pureed frozen bananas! It's true! I thought they would turn out flakey or blobby or something but if you take this treat and put it side by side with vanilla ice cream you really can't tell the difference in it's consistency. A fair warning if you don't like bananas you won't like this but if you do like bananas, want a healthy dessert and it is a hot day you will love it!

Kidometer results

6 yr old- "Hey this is banana ice cream! I don't like bananas"

Other 6 yr old- Takes two bites no further comment (this is typical)

3 yr old- "I love this!" and then he promptly eats his and what is left of the twins and some!

Husband- "I really like that!"

Me- I am satisfied with one scoop. Not a perfect ice cream replacement for those who are seeking an exact match in delight but it is filling and flavorful. Wonderful on a hot day!

Recipe- Freeze bananas in 1 inch cuts. Puree if it blocks up use a tbs water. Serve with a ice cream scoop. Must be eaten immediately after serving or it loses a little bit of its charm.

2 bananas equals about 6 scoops
Serving size 1 scoop

I stole this from http://www.thekitchn.com/ thanks to a reference from my friend Lisa Wiley. Thanks Lisa you're the best!!!

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Choices


I wish I could say I was an expert at clean eating, but I am not. I wish that I could say that I am past temptation and mistakes but I am definitely not.

I hit my goal weight after the baby several months ago. I should have done a post on it. It was a very proud day and honestly it is very nice to achieve hard earned goals. I then switched my focus to trading out fat for muscle with a greater focus on protein intake and proper strength training. I felt awesome and started once again to have people approach me and ask what I was doing.

But then Easter came, along with the daunting task of moving out of state once again. I had to pack up our house and four small children and move across the state. That is why it has been so long since my last post. Consequently it seems like whenever I let my guard down old habits slip back.

After eating terribly for several weeks I feel awful and the health of my husband and children goes critical. Every body suffers for my bad eating.

I have two choices right now:

Choice One- I can succumb to my demons and survive on my old habits and watch my free-will continue to disintegrate. In this state I am driven by my craving for sugar or chocolate, always thinking about my next fix and not really free to choose what is best to eat. My mind is also consumed in contempating about how I am going to change but without the real change. It is funny how thinking about changing relieves the guilt a little but does little for the results.

Choice Two- I can stop making excuses and once again plan my meals and create an environment of success around me. By planning, getting the junk out of the house and not getting too hungry before meals I am more likely to stick to my guns. I will expect the initial resistance of my body as I take away its calorically dense, high glucose foods and let all my systems return to normal. As I eat healthy my energy begins to be restored, my sleep returns to normal and my headaches subside significantly. My mind is freed to think about I become a much happier person and a better mother and wife. Fruits and vegetables once again begin to have flavor. When I am eating high sodium, high sugar foods they rob me of the flavors of other foods. It seems to take two weeks of clean eating for my body to catch up, for me to feel and see the results.

Well anyway, wish me luck. The time is past. I must do something now. This isn't always easy but with two recent deaths in my immediate family (cancer and heart attack) and the future of my own husband and children looming in the mix I feel completely confident that change is imminent. I need to do this again, no matter what obstacles I face. Also I want to give myself a Happy 35th Birthday present this year by eating clean for 3 months in a row. That would make my world rock!

On that note, don't give up on me. More posts are coming things are still a little crazy we only got in last night from our move. I also still need to update my clean eating plans. I have been making them cleaner and less expensive.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

Please sign up for my free meal plan today!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Greek Yogurt Spinach Artichoke Dip


Artichoke Dip

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rinsed and drained artichoke hearts
  • handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • dash ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/4 cup White Onion
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 oz silk Lite Tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Directions:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium and add olive oil. Chop onions and add to the pan along with garlic. Saute until translucent.Add spinach to soften.
  2. Meanwhile place yogurt, artichoke hearts, tofu, chili powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper to the food processor Chop til nearly smooth (leaving some small chunks). Combine artichoke mix with onions and garlic. Stir in parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Pour into a small baking dish and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve with veggies, pita chips, tortillas, or dried whole grain breads.

Nutrition:

  • Calories 44
  • Calories from Fat 14.3
  • Total Fat 1.59g
  • Sodium 348.33mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 4.42g
  • Dietary Fiber 0.52g
  • Sugars 0.93g
  • Protein 2.02g

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sleep More Weigh Less




Lack of sleep inhibits weight loss and can be linked directly to weight gain.

Most American adults get only 7 hours or less of sleep at night which is considered sleep deprived. The current recommendation for optimal functioning is 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep.

There are several reasons why sleep deprivation can be linked to obesity and weight gain.

1. Metabolism is slowed-
When a person is sleep deprived their metabolism tends to slow down. Although they are awake extra hours and should be burning more calories the time awake later is usually spent doing sedentary activities like watching TV, social media or surfing the Internet. Some studies suggest that they burn an additional 50 calories an hour from what they would burn while asleep but this is easily overridden by what they consume at those times.

2. Increase in hunger hormone and decrease in full hormone- Several studies have shown that when a person is sleep deprived there is a significant increase in the hunger hormone ghelin. At the same time participants also showed a decrease of the full hormone leptin which is responsible for telling the body when to stop eating. The off balance of these two hormones makes an awake, tired person feel hungry and slow to feel full after or while eating.

3. Poor decision making- 
People who are sleep deprived tend to reach for sugary foods that lack in nutrition. I know for myself that I make poor decisions when I am sleep deprived. One study showed that participants made much worse decisions not only about food but also about finances when they were tired.

4. Less fat oxidation- In one study two groups were put on an identical calorie restricted diet and exercise regimen. The only difference was that one group was restricted on their sleep. Although both groups lost weight the group that was sleep deprived lost lean mass (mostly muscle) and very little fat while it was the opposite for the group that got more sleep. Consequently, those that sleep more burn more fat. In another study cutting back on sleep reduced weight loss by 55%!

My personal recommendation, and this is a tough one for some, is to go to bed before 10:00 pm. Before you click the exit button hear me out. Consider what you are doing after 10 and whether it is worth your health. For me it was facebook and wandering around looking for goodies. It might take a few nights to actually fall asleep at that time but give it a good try for at least two weeks and see what it does for your hunger levels through out the day and the way you feel.

Recommendations
Get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep at night
Go to bed before 10

More articles:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

Pumpkin Wheat Blender Pancakes


This is a yummy but healthy food storage recipe.

I wanted to make it more nutritious so I omitted some of the oil of regular wheat blender pancakes and added some pumpkin. It sweetened things up and added a power punch of vitamins, and a splash of color.

We had some company. I wanted other kids to try them besides my own. We taste tested these against thicker traditional white pancakes and these won HANDS DOWN!

Pumpkin Wheat Blender Pancakes Recipe
Makes 35 palm (as in hand) sized pancakes

Read instructions completely before adding ingredients!
1 1/8 cup skim milk (can be made from powder)
3/4 cup wheat berries (whole wheat kernels)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs cornstarch (thickens it)
3 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup canned pumpkin

In blender add skim milk and wheat kernels. Turn on and let it blend an entire 4 minutes before adding other ingredients.

Add other ingredients with blender still going. Do not double, most blenders will over flow. Cook on skillet. These bubble when they are ready to flip, they turn out very light.

Great for making ahead of time and freezing. Put in toaster to thaw and cook.

Nutrition
Serving size: 4 palm size pancakes

Per serving
Calories: 139
Fat 7
Chol .7
Sodium 36
Carbs 15
Fiber 2.28
Protein 5
Sugar 2.4

Don't forget to add syrup calories into calculations. Some alternatives are fresh strawberries, sugar free jam, lite or sugar free syrup or agave.

These pancakes have low enough calories to add a nice egg white omelet or protein shake. Making a complete breakfast of protein (wheat berries and eggs), complex carbs (pumkin and wheat berries) and healthy fat (canola oil).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Greek Yogurt Lean Treats, Great for Post Workout


I am trying to like Greek Yogurt I really am.

I must admit it isn't my thing. It has double the protein than regular yogurt so that is good especially for a girl that can't seem to get all the needed protein in for one day but I don't like it. It is thick, sticks in my mouth and is a bit more tart than I can handle. I have came across several recipes, however, that call for it so I have learned to try, try again.

Well I REALLY like this treat!

I experimented until I came up with something that I am sure someone else has already invented! Oh and it is great for pre and post workout!!! Little fat, simple carbs, fast absorbing protein! The perfect mix of macro nutrients (that is just a buzz word for protein, carbs and fat)

Greek Yogurt Lean Treat
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used athenos nonfat plain)
1/2 scoop chocolate protein whey (gnc 100 percent whey)
1 strawberry sliced
1/4 banana sliced
Quaker Carmel Rice Cake (50 calories)

Mix yogurt and whey powder till it has a nice chocolate pudding appearance. Spread on rice cake add fruit topping.

Nutrition
Calories: 182
Fat: 1
Chol: 22
Sodium: 82
Carbs: 25
Fiber: 2
Protein: 18
Sugar: 10

Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools Meals


Most people look forward to Christmas. I look forward to April Fools. Last year we had cupcakes for dinner, made out of mashed potatoes and turkey meatloaf. After the initial disappointment that they weren't really cup cakes wore off the kids loved them. They loved the idea so much that they asked for it again and again the following nights. I'm not sure what I am going to do tomorrow, I think fak'in eggs from family fun magazine but we will see. Any ideas. This day they don't have to be clean just mildly healthy but mostly fun!


My cousin did a MUCH better job at the cupcakes than I did. A picture of hers is at the top. Thanks Marcie!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why I LOVE Livestrong.com


Livestrong.com has one of the best calorie counters out there under it's "myplate" section. Since individuals can add foods to the database it is probably the largest database of foods that I know of. I have waited for YEARS for something like this and no they are not paying me for all the advertising I am giving them :) I am just grateful they exist and for free!

I remember when the best way to count calories was to pull out an encyclopedia size book, that didn't have your specific item in it anyway, or go to a local University and use a system that cost money.

Livestrong has a system where you can easily see your calorie consumption and macro-nutrient intake with pie charts and graphs. It also calculates your calories burned through exercise so if you did running, scuba diving or zumba it also has a large database of those exercises and their calorie counts and it calculates it all for you. Also you can create meals and instead of logging in each item for your meal over and over you log it in once under meals and then use that meal (for example Tacos) every time after.

Some studies suggest that food journals can double your weight loss and I have even heard higher numbers than that.

If you are not good at counting calories...try it again. It isn't a perfect process, Even if you fail at it miserably you will see that your eating is better for just trying to keep a food journal. Realize that even when you only log in half your calories you are still making better choices at the very thought of logging them in.

Unless you are on a strict diet or in your active weight loss process you don't need to count calories every day. Just until you have a shocking awareness of how much is in everything and adjust meals accordingly. I would have people keep their food journals for at least a week straight without enforcing any adjustments on them. Not one client ended the week without significant changes in place already.

To be honest I can easily, EASILY consume 3000 calories in a day without any extra effort and that is a conservative estimate. Most Americans according to different sources consume between 2600-3700 calories a day. That is over double what most of us need and it makes sense why 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight.

So if you can't keep a food journal, try, try, try again. You don't fail until you stop trying. It is not a perfect process. It isn't about how well you keep track on paper or in a database it is about making changes in your heart and in your mind. Unite with a friend to keep a food journal. In the beginning make no goals at all except to keep a journal and you will see the start of great changes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Running- A Rant


I am a runner. Not just in my body but in my heart. Sounds cheesy I know but true.

I love it. I run because of the way it makes me feel inside. It clears my head and brings my soul closer to heaven. It resets my mood. It is my old friend that I cry to. When I am sad I run, it cheers me up. It solves my problems. There is nothing like the sound of my own feet on a paved road. It helps me think and rethink.

It is my preschool. As I run with my two youngest kids in the stroller we count, we laugh and play games, I tell stories, they listen, they learn not only by what I am saying but what I am doing.

It is my personal trainer and tells me when I am out of shape.

It is my addiction.

It is my TV time. I love to watch biggest loser as I am running on the treadmill. It is the only show I watch. I run 9 to 10 miles in one episode and I am disappointed when it is over.

It is my girl time. I love to run with friends. I love chatting about nothing and everything for a entire hour or more.

It is my competition. I love to race. I just completed my first half marathon since my last baby. 500 plus runners. I came in 3rd overall in women (3rd seems to be my number :). It was a fight, but a wonderful challenge. I struggled the last 7 miles trying to stay a head of another women, who actually took 2nd, we started as strangers and ended as good friends. Neither of us felt threatened, just glad the other was there to push us along and give a good fight.

It is my doctor. Migraines, headaches, fatigue and soreness. It seems to make me feel better. I am sure that I have added several years to my life by running. Whenever I am at a doctors office the nurse will look up from the blood pressure cuff and 9 times out of 10 say "You are a runner aren't you.".

I can't explain it to someone who sees running as something very uncomfortable. It is something that needs to be experienced. The initial discomfort wears off at some point and the pleasure takes its place. It is hard to pinpoint when that happens.

I have tried to put my heart into other sports but this is where I am meant to be. It is like I become hypnotized, I forget sometimes that I am running.

I want to be an old runner, that is the end goal. I admire the older women and men at the back of the starting line crowd. The seasoned runners, not going for time. Just to finish. I admire them more than any of the others.

Running is a long journey of joy I hope to do it as long as I can and share it with as many other people as I can.


***(My sweet friend is going to kill me for posting this picture of us a couple of years ago after a marathon. We became dear friends in that training. Love ya tons girl!)

4 minute bread


It has been over two months now and I have been making bread everyday. Before you think I am super mom (which I am definitely not) I think I should make it clear that I use a bread maker and it only takes me a total of 4 minutes. From start to clean up. I time myself.

At first it was a very bad idea. We started eating too much bread it just smelled so yummy coming out. Now we have learned a little more self control.

Although I would not call this a "clean bread" it is inexpensive and the calorie count is not too bad but the original recipe does contain a minimum amount of sugar and butter. My main objective is to use food storage right now and too eat as healthy as we can and as inexpensive as we can. We have a lot of wheat stored so I have been grinding that, which is an extremely easy process. There is nothing that compares to eating freshly baked whole wheat bread made out of freshly ground wheat.

I think the main purpose of this post is to pat myself on the back. I never thought I would make bread everyday. That just seemed like such a mythical thing to do. The biggest change that I have seen is the fact that now it costs me 15 cents to make a loaf of bread instead of $2.00. Also instead of running to the store to pick up a loaf of bread and getting a bunch of other items that I don't need I now make it in 4 minutes and put it on my fast setting and it is done in an hour.

Here is the bread maker recipe. I got it out of a Betty Crocker cook book Follow the instructions of your bread maker but mine says to put this in by this order.

1 cup 2 Tbs warm water
2 Tbs butter
1 cup white flour
2 cups wheat flour (I use white wheat it has a lighter appearance)
3 Tbs powder milk
2 Tbs sugar (or honey replacement)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

12 slices 90 calories a slice

On the longer, 3 hour cook setting this used to turn out like cotton it was so soft, on the fast setting it looks much more like a heavier homemade bread but the quick cooking time is worth it for me. My kids are used to it and prefer it and so do I.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal


My kids usually don't like oatmeal I have to work hard to get them to eat it.

This morning we tried Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal. They LOVED it! Yay!

1/2 cup cooked oats (we all know steel cut is the best nutritionally but I used regular)
1 TBs Pb2 powder peanut butter
1/4 diced banana
1/4 cup skim milk (optional)

Nutrition: Calories 227, Fat 4.61, Chol 1.25, Sodium 76, Carbs 39, Fiber 4.8, Protein 9.38, Sugars 8.63

While it was still warm I let them sprinkle their own PB2 powder and put in the 1/4 chopped bananas. My boys loved it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blood Glucose Levels Effect Decision Making


There are times where my resolve is firm. I am going to eat healthy no matter what. No obstacle can stand in my way. The decision is set. Then within the next few days there comes a time when I start to go hungry. I skip a meal on accident or my intake is delayed. My blood sugar is low and my mind begins to play tricks on me. I start to think of all the reasons that I need something unhealthy and quick. I go into rationalization mode. Once with such a firm resolve and now with a weak will.

The difference for me is blood sugar. It plays with my mind, and actually affects my thoughts and my decisions. I am sure of this.

There was a recent study that took two groups of people and offered them either a small sum of money immediately or a larger sum of money at a later date. The study found that those who chose the immediate, less reward had lower blood sugar levels. The scientists theorized that it may be because people who experience lower blood sugar levels are in a state of need and chose immediately available choices. Although the study focused on money rewards there was much cross over in the information and how it related to poor immediate food choices.

"Intended Eating" is the act of eating in such a way that we stay in control.

We plan, we prepare and we continue on a path that we have set. I am a believer in 5-6 small meals a day. It is funny that I will read about certain diets that frown on the idea of the six meals. They advocate three meals...but with two snacks...well whether you call it a meal or a snack it is the same. Although I use both terms I like the term "meal" better because in my mind it means there has to be certain components (protein pairing) this will control blood sugar levels longer and help us to make better decisions to stay on the plan.

How do we prevent this?
Regular frequent meals, eating every 2-3 hours, plan and prepare ahead, keep bad foods out of reach and have some healthy quick grab goodies on hand that we can eat instead.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 
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