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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What is the big deal with protein?

Protein is one of the three major macronutrients. Protein, Fats, Carbs(Carbohydrates). They are divided into those three categories because nutritionally the body needs each everyday, and they are fundamentally different enough that one cannot replace the other in a healthy diet. Nutrition professionals believe that a balance of these nutritients to be crucial to health and weight management.

To understand protein use in the body, first of all, understand what is protein. Protein is meat including beef and poultry. It is also fish and eggwhites. Whey/Milk/Soy/Vegan protein powders too. These are considered whole proteins or primary sources of protein. They have a complete amino acid profile and are leanest without significant amounts of fat and carbs.

Primary lean proteins chicken, Fish, turkey, Eggwhites!

Amino acids are biologically and nutritionally important compounds that are the protein molecules used internally by the body when the food is broken down during digestion.

Secondary sources have “some” protein including whole or reduced fat milk, beans, legumes, seeds, yogurt, peanuts, tree nuts, whole eggs, whole or sprouted grains and even broccoli. While a few of these have all of the amino acid profile of whole proteins,  most importantly they all also have other primary macronutrients to take into consideration. The trick to partial protein or secondary proteins is to balance all of your nutrients. If you rely on beans to get enough protein you may be consuming too much carb. Beans have both protein and carb. Nuts and nutbutters have more fat than protein. Whole eggs are high in fat and cholesterol. While some dietary fats are good for you, eating enough whole eggs to get a sufficient amount of protein will cause your fat to be too high. One egg has 30 calories from protein and over 40 calories from fat!

Secondary protein with carbs or fat too!

And broccoli? Well let’s just say it is near stomach stretching physically impossible to get a full serving of protein from broccoli and you still would not have a balanced source of protein compounds. One cup of Milk alone has 8 grams of protein, but also 13 grams of carbs with 12 of the 13 grams being from milk sugars like lactose.

Eggs are wonderful. Egg whites have protein without the fat, so I recommend that people in a high protein diet, eat more egg whites than whole eggs. One or two yolks is plenty of fat, yet you can benefit from another egg or two of the white part!

Why is protein important? While carbs and fat provide ready sources of energy, the protein molecule provides raw materials to feed cell regeneration. Carbs, or carbohydrates, are energy sources that always turn to fat if not burned off by the body’s activity level. Protein is first used for the raw materials for hair, skin, nails, brain cells, and of course muscle. Then the excess in one meal is converted to energy. This is why protein should be eaten in small meals throughout the day, while carbs and fats are timed for when the body needs the energy for exercise. Beware of using carbs and sugar for the energy to combat tiredness. Yes, that spike in sugar will spike alertness, but will also convert to fat if actual energy is not expended to burn it off!!

Nutrition Value of Snickers Bar
Mostly Sugar/Carb
Lots of FAT
Very little protein

Energy from mostly sugar that turns to fat.

 

 

Many people believe that protein is what bodybuilders use to get big. While muscle protein does come from dietary protein, it does not directly cause muscle growth without the weightlifting and specific exercise strategy to require additional strength!

During a dieting phase, protein maintains muscle while reduction in carbs and fats (reduction: not elimination) help to place your body in a calorie deficit. Too little protein with a calorie deficit below what the body needs to run for basic activity, also can cause your body to cannibalize the muscle protein to provide the raw materials for other functions!

Therefore bodybuilders do not so much eat tons of protein to get big, but eat regular consistent amounts of protein to maintain what they’ve built in the gym!

How can protein benefit you? Seeking weight loss, or a fitter look, it is important to get your required nutrients from protein and then low calorie, high nutrient vegetables like broccoli, spinach, green beans, and kale etc. These foods are highly utilized in the body without adding to fat stores.

Pro Bikini Competitors

While more calorie dense than lettuce and salad greens, protein not only performs the vital task of building the structure of your lean body it also has the effect of creating a more satiated feeling from food. From the act of chewing through the greater calorie expenditure during digestion the effect of processing proteins is that your body uses  more of the calories from this food.

Protein is a key macronutrient. It performs a different role in the body from fat and carbs.

To round out a balanced diet, next comes the energy required to do exercise. Depending on your energy expenditure from work, life, and exercise intensity add a carb for breakfast, before and after workouts, plus a healthy dietary fat at night for hormone balance with your proteins. These are some added strategies that a nutrition coach can help you with! Contact me for more information to help you get the nutrition you need, at the time of day it can benefit you the most, with the quantities you will need meet your specific goals!

www.fitatfiftysamantha.com

#Nova_maxmuscle

References for further reading:

http://www.macronutrients.net/micronutrients-vs-macronutrients/

http://mynutrition.wsu.edu/nutrition-basics/

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/6-exercises-you-can-do-right-now-for-better-abs.html

 

 

 

“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

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

Weight loss nutrition 101.

How to get your nutrition and lose weight 101. I started this blog post as a review, so bear with the next paragraph. I quickly realized that talking about how great a product is would be empty if my readers did not understand why it is important to use a protein!

MyProtein, the number one sports nutrition brand in the UK, is branching into international markets in the US. The folks there were kind enough to send me some of their products to review. I loved them, and want to share that information with you, and most importantly how these nutrition supplements figure into your fitness and weightloss plan. I will do specific product reviews and comparisons against some of my other favorites and how to chose the right protein supplement for you in my next blog. img_5625 Continue reading