Monday, October 29, 2012

Mind, Mouth, Muscle

The MMM formula is full of truth, and wisdom. It is taken from the book Body for Life for Women.


MIND: Attitude about balancing and managing the stresses of her life while caring for and honouring her mind and body
MOUTH: Way of nourishing herself to optimize her body composition and health
MUSCLE: Use of specific physical activity to attain and sustain her optimal body comp and performance

Power Pancakes

My sisters breakfast and with chocolate protein powder really yummy! 
Cook these in advance and you have 6 breakfasts ready to go!

1 cup of egg whites
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 scoop of protein powder
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Blend in blender and cook on griddle sprayed with Pam.
This recipe makes approx. 12 large pancakes.(I actually found it made 6 large pancakes, so I just have 1 for breakfast instead of 2.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

This is my new favourite meal! It is also super healthy and clean, what more could you ask for!?

1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 apple squash peeled and cubed
28 oz Chicken broth
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
3/4 tsp cuman
Salt + Pepper to taste
Hand full of cashews or almonds
Garlic + Onion Powder

1. Put butternut squash, apple, and broth into a pot and cook until tender. 
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
3. Test and adjust spices as needed.

So simple, and my new favourite comfort food. Yum, Yum, Yum!!

*You can caramelize real onions and garlic if you have that on hand*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Blogger

I would like to Welcome our Guest blogger Ashley Reina. She won two 1st place prices this year at the IDFA Fitness Model Competition. You will be amazed by her transformation pictures and her advice is spot on!

There has been an overwhelming response from people asking me, how did I accomplish this goal.  So I wanted to give a top ten list of things that helped me to achieve this goal, how I saved time and how I made it function with a busy life of family and work.

1. Hired a trainer - I accomplished the first half of my transformation using the "Body for Life" program by Bill Phillips, I really liked the program and was able to manage it myself. To accomplish the second half I needed a push (from several people). My trainer does on-line diet and workout plans, I checked in weekly and he kept me accountable and modified my diet and workouts as needed to fit my life and to fit the needs of my goal which was to compete in the Fitness Model Competition.

2. Home Gym - I live 2 blocks from my dad who has a home gym, I did the majority of my workouts in his basement, its a simple set up a bench, full set of weights and an elliptical, nothing fancy. Monday (chest/shoulders/triceps) and fridays(legs) I worked out at his house and wednesday(back/biceps) I would go to a local gym with babysitting. I would time my workout during my sons nap and put him down for a nap while I worked out, it didn't always work that smoothly, but that was the plan. On Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday I would walk or run outside depending on what my trainer had me doing, using my jogging stroller. Weight training is important for burning fat because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn in a day.

3. Aerobics - During this 4 months I did aerobic 6x a week, I learnt that HIIT training or interval training burns 2x the amount of calories in half the time. It is challenging but very effective. M/W/F after my weights routine, the after is important, most people make the mistake of doing aerobic before, but this depletes your reserve for your muscles and you have less power to lift. HIIT training is usually 20secs sprint, 40 sec rest. Over the 4 months I progressed from 12 to 20 intervals with a warm up and cooldown of 2 minutes each.

4. Diet - High protein, low carb diet, eating 5-6x a day smaller portions. Making sure to have a protein and a carb for all meals and adding veggies to the lunch and dinner meal. That is a very simplified version of what I ate for most of my competition prep/weight loss, most of what I ate was measured and weighed.
When you are starting to lose weight the first step is to remove processed foods, refined sugar, breads and pastas out of your diet. Depending on your discipline you can allow yourself 1 reward meal a week in which you eat whatever it is you are craving, some programs allow for a day, others a meal. Some people believe if you need a little something in the middle of the week go ahead as long as its small and then you get right back to your diet.

5. Meal Prep - I had a day usually sunday evening or monday morning depending on when I worked, in which I would prep food for the week, I would cook chicken and measure it out for my meals, I would cook enough oatmeal for my son for the week and divide it into portion sizes in Tupperware so it was quick and ready to go, I would do the same thing for his cottage cheese for lunches. Oatmeal Pancake, I would make my pancakes for the week on one day, then it was quick for the morning.
Quick Foods - canned chicken became something I used lots of lunches, I was allowed a chicken wrap with chicken, veggies, mustard and salsa for the majority of my prep. Using the canned chicken made it so quick. Thrive Foods, this has made my life easier with oliver because I can just open the can and feed him fresh veggies (freeze dried) and my self, if I didnt have food prepared or a salad ready to go, I would measure out myself a cup of freeze dried brocoli and eat that for my meal. It was so nice to have the change as well, to eat something crunchy like a chip, but healthy. 

6. Tupperware Smartsteamer - this is not an advertisement just truthfully what helped make life simple. In the smart steamer, if I wasn't planned with chicken already cooked and measure (because I started to find that it would go dry after you re-heat it or it sits to long), I could cook  a meal of chicken and veggies in 15 minutes. Just put it in the steamer, put it in the microwave and done. Sooooo easy, and perfect juicy chicken.

7. Support of my Husband - this has to be mentioned, because honestly without his constant support I would not have had the determination to finish... well maybe. It is difficult to stick to a food plan and not slip up (especially as a woman), if I faltered, I could come to him, ask him to hide the chocolate and he would do it. We also had a rule in our house where he did all the dishes and I cooked. He would watch Oliver saturday mornings so that I could enjoy my run by myself (some of the time). Mostly he believed in me and that this is something that I could accomplish. At the beginning, I didn't believe that I could get into shape like this, but my trainer and Mike did, so I went on that.

8. A Plan - if it isn't clear already from what I have said, you need to have a plan. You need to know each week how you are going to attack it, when workouts will happen and how meals are going to be prepared.

9. A Goal - I dont know about you, but I have never set out to accomplish without having a specific time frame and an end goal. That is how you continually motivate yourself. Hanging pictures around the house, signs of what you are working towards. Clearly define what it is you want to accomplish, eg. lose a certain amount of weight, or drop a dress size or two, have defined muscles, or to stick to a meal plan X number of days. Whatever it may be, make sure it is specific and time oriented.

10. Take pictures - we are our own worse critics, taking pictures along the way helps you to step outside of yourself and see what you are accomplishing. You dont have be crazy like me and share them with anyone. It really helped me to look back and remember how far I have come and to realize what I had now accomplished, it wasn't until the photo shoot with liz last week when she showed me a few pictures that I went, "oh wow...that's me!"

September 1, 2011
June 28, 2012
Mother and Daughter

Honestly speaking, my life has pretty much come to revolve around my food and workout schedule. So yes, it takes time and I have decided to make it a top priority. What I love is that now I have been doing it for 4 months like this, it isn't a question of if I am going to the gym, I know it will happen, sometimes it is just juggling the when.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For those of you who are trying to get into running, and need a little coaching this is a great app. You can have it tell you how far you have gone, your speed, your time, and also set up intervals for HIIT or interval running! I would highly suggest it

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is my favourite thing to eat for lunch.
I have green and yellow squash with broccoli - Put in a fry pan with a little water then when they get soft enough shake some soy sauce and they are done, seriously so simple and delicious. I also had onion and garlic powder.

I find the inspiration for this wrap on Pinterest and I modified a lot it to be "clean"

Whole Wheat Wrap
Turkey cooked with spices and worscheshire sauce 
{I always have this pre-cooked so I just pull it out of the fridge when I'm ready}
Spicy and yellow Mustard
Then stick in on the griddle for a minute on both sides