Recipes for a Fit Fall!

Join me in avoiding holiday weight gain!

These two recipes are my new favorites. My approach to fitness is a lifestyle change. There is no diet that is going to be a short term effort with lasting results. The best path to healthy living is just that–healthy living. Protein is important, but a balanced plate with appropriate portions will get results you can keep long term without giving up a whole food group.

First, is a one pan easy dish that will make food prep easy!

Turkey Sweet Potato Hash.

I actually love this one. It’s too easy to get it right! It’s a very tasty savory fall flavor with great reheat flavor for several meals throughout the week. The idea here when selecting your sweet potatoes is to target the same weight, peeled, as your turkey. This ensures a fit ratio of enough protein without too much carb.

Ingredients:

99% fat free ground turkey. One pound.

3 medium sweet potatoes. About 1 pound peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes.

Chopped White onion. 1 optional

1 eggwhite

Chicken broth. 1 can fat free, low or 0 sodium.

Chopped Frozen kale 2 cups.

Cooking spray.

Cumin 1/2 tsp

Coriander 1/2 tsp

Black pepper to taste.

Spray large skillet with a thin coat of cooking spray. I like coconut oil spray.

Add cubed sweet potatoes and onion at medium heat. Sauté until onion is translucent and potatoes slightly browned.

Prepare turkey by adding your eggwhite and 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and mix well.

Add turkey and seasoning to pan, stir in to crumble meat and cook meat until no longer pink.

Add remaining broth and chopped kale to pan and cover to simmer sweet potatoes until soft.

Divide into 4 portions for approximately 4 ounces of protein with 4 ounces of carbs for a nutritious filling fall fit meal!

Now that you have a warm lunch prepped, you may want to enjoy a fall treat without having to buy a bigger pant size for the new year! Here’s how:

Samantha’s Protein Pumpkin Bread!

I use a personal size loaf pan. I’ve found that it bakes better. What makes this wonderful is the fall flavors, in a sweet treat that is nutritious enough to make a healthy meal like breakfast or mid afternoon snack!

Ingredients:

1/2 can of pumpkin purée (refrigerate or freeze remaining pumpkin

1 egg

1 scoop vanilla UMP protein (Beverly International)

2 Tablespoons oat flour

1 tablespoon Quaker old fashion rolled oats

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp coconut oil (slightly melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp baking powder

Options:

Add mini box of raisins

1/2 ounce walnuts or pecans

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Preheat oven 350 degrees

Mix all ingredients well.

Baked in coconut oil greased small non-stick loaf pan for approximately 30 minutes.

Check for using a toothpick. Center should be firm yet moist, but no not soupy edges will look dry but not brown. Cook added 5 minutes if needed but do not over bake.

Enjoy to your health.

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Pumpkin Bread Guilt Free 

Pumpkin Bread is great for fall. Who doesn’t have a tough time with baked good temptations in the fall and winter holiday season?

My solution is to make those 250 + calories count for real nutrition rather than most of the calories coming as empty calories from sugars or butter.

This is my original recipe for a pumpkin bread that will double nicely as a healthy breakfast or daytime snack. I say daytime because I typically eat my carbs earlier in the day. Less likely for unused energy to turn to fat during daytime hours.

Ingredients

1 can Pumpkin Puree 15oz

3 cups plain Quaker Old Fashioned oats.

1 cup of egg whites

3 scoops of whey protein powder. (vanilla, toffee, caramel or unflavored variety works: I used Titan Toffee Macchiato)

Optional: 1 cup of zero calorie sugar substitutes for baking (recommend Truvia for baking or Splenda for baking.

1/2 cup of almond meal

2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

NUTRITION: full loaf cake is 7 servings. 278 calories: 20 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbs, 7.7 grams of fat. Only 4.9 grams of sugars from the pumpkin. No added sugars.

Optional add ins if desired based on your dietary needs:

Chopped pecan pieces: 1/4 cup adds 20 calories per serving and 2 grams of fat.

Two snack boxes of raisins (1/4 cup) adds 25 calories of carbs from natural sugars per serving. Avoid if watching sugars! This little bit doubles the sugar content.

Method:

Mix oats in food processor until ground into coarse flour.

Mix all ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir together.

Heat oven to 325 degrees,

Spray loaf pan with a light spray of spray coconut oil. Dust with oat flour for a perfect non-stick if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven to bake 40-50 minutes. Cake should not be shloshy in the middle, but you do want it very moist. Do not over bake!! It should rise and be firm.

Enjoy at breakfast, brunch or even post workout with coffee or hot tea!

This healthy recipe has your heart healthy oats, proteins from whey and eggwhites. Healthy fats from almond meal and maybe pecans. Not to mention lots of vitamin A, plus Vitamins C, calcium, iron and fiber from pumpkin while avoiding empty calories that have no nutritional value from processed enriched flour, butters, sugars etc! Enjoy guilt free if you avoid adding butter or jams! Would it taste good with butter or jam? Sure. If you do add these traditional enhancers is it going to make you fat? Well, in short…yes. Yes it will. Not so much as a second bowl of ice cream and cake, but it does make a difference if you want a healthier lifestyle. Refrigerate and warm in the microwave or oven by the slice.  Eat the healthy.

“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

When a women over 45 tells me she does not want to lift weights as she does not want to “bulk up” I just want to scream. 

At age 35 we begin to steadily lose muscle mass. You don’t see many 18 or 20 year old worrying about “toning up” do you? That loss of muscle tone and loss of muscle strength is just flat lost muscle. You can get it back with weight training.

helpivefallenRemember the commercial that we have all seen for Lifealert, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Coming from the perspective of middle age or younger, I had always assumed that she was injured in the fall. However, she did not say, “Help, I’m hurt, and I can’t get up.” I work with folks with age related muscle loss, and I understand the importance of weight training as we age. I had a revelation, and maybe it did not occur to you. The elderly lady on the floor couldn’t get up because she was too weak. She did not have the muscle strength to get herself off of a floor!

The University of Cambridge studied 90 women  over-75 in the Cohort Study of aging and health. During the one year study, 60 percent of participants reported falling, and of those who fell, 80 percent or four out of five, needed help getting up, and 30 percent remained on the floor for over an hour.

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One method of improving strength with aging is to get enough calories from protein each day, in each meal, to sustain muscle mass.  Growth hormones in our younger years provide new cell growth, and we often do not have to eat and exercise as diligently to maintain strength and muscle tone the same way that is needed later in life. As a result strength and muscle decrease year after year that we do not maintain it. 

The primary treatment for age related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia or skinnyfat,  is exercise, especially strength training. Muscle growth and muscle strength are often referred to as “muscle tone.” Muscle tone is essentially a euphamism for the onset of muscle firmness. Greater muscle size is only achieved after the muscle has first firmed, grown, and strengthened.

Turn back the clock on aging and strength train!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sns-health-older-people-fall-research-story.html

http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/forever-fit-goals-for-every-phase-of-a-womans-life.html

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/sarcopenia-with-aging

 

 

Cardio: What you need to know

Cardio is short for cardiovascular. In the exercise world, this is running, treadmill, elliptical, aerobics, Zumba, kickboxing, plyometrics, biking, walking, swimming, and more. Cardio is a fairly regular movement repeated for purpose of getting your heart rate up. It’s all good.runner

Raising your heart rate burns calories. Good stuff. If you are happy where you are, or you do cardio sports for enjoyment or goal setting then awesome. My blog is not for you. Continue reading

Back to workouts!

Welcome to my primer on working your back. Everyone needs a strong back to protect the spine, and to balance all that work you’ve been doing to build your chest!

I have provided a plan and some variations for chest exercises in an earlier blog post.Weak upper body? Train chest! As I mentioned in the post for triceps, you should also work biceps for balance and strength. If you only work one side of a muscle pair, then you will create some issues of their own, and at a minimum the first issue will be a lack of overall strength. Therefore since we have muscle exercises for our chest, we also need muscle exercises for the back! Continue reading

Workout structure and planning!

The best advice I received early on in my fitness revolution and kickoff of my midlife transformation is, “don’t go to the gym without a plan.” I have stuck to that every day for the last two years.  

Don’t fall into the trap of feel good fitness. That is where you do enough to get sweaty and think you will receive gains and big calorie burns. Continue reading

What kind of protein do I need?

The last post Weight Loss Nutrition 101 highlighted the need for additional protein in your diet. Even if you eat 3 or 4 meals a day with a lean protein source, you will likely still come up short of your daily protein needs. There is still room for added protein even with a lean, low fat and non-processed meat high protein diet. That is really the plan here, to get your best nutrition and reach your fitness goals!

There are seemingly no limits to the types of “healthy” protein products on the market. For this review, I am going to stick with protein drinks. Many fear using a protein supplement because they will become bulky or put on muscle or fat. Unlikely if you know what to look for. I have divided protein products into three categories: Gainers, Meal Replacement, and Protein Supplementation. Continue reading