Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hi All, It's Merri here! It's October and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Last weekend I ran in the Save a Sister Breast Cancer Awareness 5k in St George, Utah. This event benefits the Utah Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. All donations go toward breast cancer programs and research! 


It's a fun tradition my sisters and I started doing back in 2008. Some years there are more of us than others, but we all have a good time no matter our numbers! And how can you not love the fact that you are running for an amazing cause? We've also started to get our daughters involved! I wanted to share a few statistics and an info graphic that might just save a life!  

Breast cancer facts

1 in 8 women worldwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Each year, nearly 227,000 women nationwide will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 40,000 will die from the disease.

Local needsThis year an estimated 1200 Utah women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 250 will die from the disease.

Utah ranks close to last for screening mammography rates in the nation.

According to our recent community needs assessment, the primary reason for this is lack of insurance and/or ability to pay for these services.

How are Komen funds used?75% of net revenue funds local programs for breast health education, screening, and treatment.

Including the $633K recently funded to this year's grantees, Komen Salt Lake City has funded $4.76 million to Utah nonprofits for breast health programming (see details below).

With funds from last year's Race for the Cure, our grantees coordinated and provided assistance to over 900 uninsured and low-income women to receive mammograms through the state's free screening program.

Nearly dollar for dollar, the funds we contribute to research are used right here in the state of Utah.

Komen recently awarded three major research grants totaling $2 million to Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Info graphic provided by Bankers Healthcare Group! This graphic is great and our hope is to bring awareness to early detection of breast cancer.
For more information please visit
and

~Merri

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Don't Hate Yourself into Being Fit/Thin/Skinny or Anything!


This post has been floating around in my head for sometime.

In sharing this I am afraid that a few may think that I have confidence issues or insecurities but I am pretty sure that these thoughts occur in almost every human female that I know and that I am in good company.

First of all lets be clear, I've had 5 kids. Also most people don't know this but I gain weight easily so it is a constant battle. No big deal, I just have to watch it and if I ever let my guard down then I pay for it for a while. So in simple terms I have gone through the weight-loss or get-back-in-shape process several times.

It took me a while to realize that part of my process to getting back in shape involved me hating myself into getting in shape or losing weight.

It was a process that went something like this:
  • Looking at myself in the mirror and saying "Yuck, this has got to change."
  • Then examining imperfections more closely and feeling angry at myself.
  • Then using this experience as a way to drive the change and keep me motivated.
I used this process as one of my inner tools and motivators to make the change that I desired. It seemed to work but did not help a bigger underlying issue of self love. For example, the truth is that if you are unhappy with yourself "heavy" you will also be unhappy with yourself "thin". If you are unhappy with yourself out-of-shape you will also be unhappy with yourself in-shape. 

I'm not sure when it happened but I realized this process was beneath me. That I was meant for greater things. Some where, some how I learned my worth and in learning that worth I also learned that hating myself into being something or a certain way was a "tool of change" that I needed to take out of my motivator tool box. 

I have seen other people use this tool. I have also even seen women who go further and unknowingly trick their husbands into telling them that they are "fat" or "need to lose weight" and then feeling betrayed. Then they use that experience as a motivator to lose weight. It is the "Does this dress make me look fat?" scenario. Not only does this hurt them but it may hurt their relationship and cause trust issues in the future on both ends. 

It took me a few years to first realize that I was doing this and second to change my thinking. It wasn't easy and I still slip now and then but for the most part I have focused on loving myself into reaching my goals. 

Now my process is much different.

It is more like this:

  • Looking at myself in the mirror
  • Seeing the things I love the most
  • Understanding the things that I cannot change
  • Laughing at how the world thinks it can brainwash me into trying to conform to its narrow and fleeting standard of beauty
  • Deciding what I can do to try a little harder to be a little better
  • Accepting that my body is one of my oldest, dearest friends and will be with me until the end.
  • Decide what can I do to make "her" life (my oldest friend) the best it can be- the most emotionally rich, active, healthy, and exciting.
  • Very simply, I do my best and forget about the rest.








Thursday, May 28, 2015

Help My Kid is Overweight! 9 Tools to Help a Child Achieve a HealthyWeight




How to Build a Kid's Healthy Weight Toolbox

When working with children to achieve a healthy weight it is important to use a "toolbox approach" instead of a narrow linear one. A toolbox approach is to gather tools and ideas that you can collect, sharpen and polish and use in different stages and times in life. Our children will grow into adults and will soon learn that life is full of twists and turns. The more tools they have to achieve and maintain a healthy weight the better equipped they will be to succeed through life's challenges.

A tool is an attitude, habit, environmental feature or action that can help us achieve our goals. If you find that one tool works better than others temporarily it is okay to focus on using that tool to the fullest while trying to continually build other tools in order to solidify behaviors. You may discover that one tool is more effective than others and makes all the difference. Most likely, however, you will need and use several tools to help your child obtain and maintain a healthy weight. No matter your child's age it is wise to focus on building an entire tool box which will help provide a scaffolding to hold your child's positive behaviors in place. 

9 healthy weight tools are listed below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marathon Monday

Today I wanted to write a quick blog post about marathons. I should call this post, "How to Run a Marathon in 4 Easy Steps." ;) But there's really no easy way to run a marathon actually because....

"Running a marathon is like having a baby."
- Merri K. Hackett

Step 1 - Pick a race and register

Just like when deciding to have a baby, you and your spouse have to talk about it. Is this marathon during a good time? Is your spouse willing and able to support you? When you can both agree, it's go time!
This is one of my pinterest boards. It's great to register early because you get in a lot cheaper. So I save my races here and refer back to it often.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chocolate Protein Waffles


This recipe is modified from Heidi Powell's protein waffles and from our very own protein pancakes! Super good combo and packed with a protein punch.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 cup water
4 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup oatmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tbsp Cocoa
1 tbsp chocolate protein powder

I just throw all of my ingredients into my blendtec and blend until smooth! You can also store these in the fridge or freezer and pop them in the toaster when you're ready to eat them.

Sometimes I take frozen berries and melt them in the microwave and then drizzle on top. Other times I put some healthy whipped cream and berries. Sometimes I will drizzle a little agave with some berries and bananas! Kid tested and mom approved!

Merri

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fiesta Lime Cauliflower Rice


On Mother's Day my sister in law invited our family over for Tacos. She said I could bring whatever I had on hand. I wanted to bring something that would go well with tacos. And here's what I came up with! Super good and good for you! Although it might be a bit hot/spicy for some. It just depends on what RoTel you use.

1 head cauliflower
Cilantro
RoTel tomatoes (or generic brand)
1 Can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 Cup frozen corn

Shred cauliflower with a food processor or salad shooter. Cook in microwave safe dish, covered for 4 minutes. (I had some cauliflower rice already pre-made in my fridge.) Put caulirice into a sauce pan, add the rest of the ingredients and cook until heated through. I think garlic would have been a nice addition as well.

Leave me a comment if you tried this recipe! I would love to hear what you think.

Merri

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Avocado Cheese Burger Salad

This salad was so good! It was seriously better than a cheese burger!!!  This recipe is really a burger without the bun and a lot more lettuce.

Grilled turkey burger
Chopped lettuce
Scoop of avocado
Ketchup
Mustard
Mozzarella cheese

I grilled a turkey burger on my foreman grill.  Once it was done I cut it into smaller pieces and put it into a bowl. I added my chopped lettuce, a scoop of mashed up avocado, a squirt of ketchup, a squirt of mustard, and some low fat mozzarella cheese. I stirred it all together and it was yummy! A diced tomato and/or some onions would be great as well! Think, "anything you would normally put on a burger can go in this salad!"

~Merri

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lean and Green Caulirice Chicken Salad

This recipe comes from Susan's sister Jackie. It's lean and green and looks super tasty!!!


Directions:

Cilantro lime caulirice
lettuce
grilled chicken
protein ranch (fat free cottage cheese blended with a packet of ranch and a little milk)

Cilantro lime caulirice on the bottom of the plate, top with lettuce and grilled chicken. Dressing is a homemade healthier protein ranch.

290 cal 18 carbs, 39 protein and 4.2 fat.

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cilantro Lime Cauli-rice

Cilantro Lime Cauli-rice (cauliflower rice)
Serves 4




Ingredients:
2 Cup Cauli-rice (cauliflower made to look like rice)
2 tsp lime zest
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 C chopped cilantro

Directions:
Take 1 head cauliflower and chop finely with a food processor, salad shooter, food chopper or a knife. Put in microwaveable glass bowl cover and cook WITHOUT water for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 

Stir the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro into the cooked cauliflower rice just before serving.

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Meal Plan Monday

The Benefit of Small Frequent Meals

We have heard it for years, “small frequent meals help with metabolism and are better for digestion”. New research shows that meals that have roughly the same amount of calories and are eaten at the same time each day are even more beneficial in training the body to burn calories.

Make sure you are using correct measurements! Get out the measuring cups for items that need to be measured!

Example Meal Plan

7 am Post workout - Chocolate Banana Smoothie, 250 cal

8 am Breakfast - Jalepeno Eggs, 280 cal

10 am Snack - Cheese wrapped in lunch meat & a fruit, 175 cal

1 pm Lunch - 2 Cucumber boats, 250 cal

3 pm Snack - Almond Churro mix and fruit, 219 cal

5 pm Dinner - Chili, 250 cal

8 pm night time - Greek yogurt, 130 cal

For a free 2 week pdf Meal Plan Fit for a Fam, just enter your name and email below. An awesome download will be emailed to you almost immediately.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Motivation and Balance


Recently a friend shared the following and asked a question that I am sure a lot of us have wondered.


"I am struggling with my motivation to keep those healthy habits lately. Juggling a busy home life with growing children, homeschooling, church work, etc., it feels so overwhelming! I feel like I don't have the energy to keep a food journal, exercise more than 30 min, etc. 
How do you stay balanced? How do you keep motivated when your enthusiasm wanes? What do you use to reward yourself that is budget-friendly & non-food related? Please share!"
Here was my answer:

How do I usually stay balanced? One thing I know for sure is if I don't make exercise a priority then something else will take its place. In order to have balance in my life I actually have to fight for my exercise time other wise everything is off balance because I won't get it in. I have to do it first thing in the morning because once the kids are up my "me time" is history.

Is it selfish? I wouldn't send my kids across the county in a broken down vehicle. I would make the maintenance of the vehicle a priority because their safety and health hinges on it. The same is with me. I'm the vehicle of my children's childhood. One of the best things I can do to improve their environment is to stay healthy strong and happy and it directly impacts them for the better.



Rewards don't work for me. I'm not sure why but social pressure does. If I have someone waiting on me I am more likely to go because I don't let people down. If I tell someone about my goals and report back then I'm more likely to keep them. 

I've heard of people doing personal photo shoots and cruises. One girl bought a cute workout out fit that was just a tiny bit small for her and she hung it where she could see it.

What are some great ideas you have for keeping motivation and balance?

Happy healthy habits!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Protein Shake

In honor of Mother's Day on Sunday, I wanted to share a healthy version of chocolate covered strawberries! Call this her breakfast in bed! I know the cup is pretty cool, but really it's what's inside that counts. :)


Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 banana
1/4 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp chocolate protein powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp cocoa
1 squirt of agave or other natural sweetener
1/2 cup ice

Blend well and enjoy!

Merri

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

Here's a picture of a bulk prep I did for my husband and me. It's chicken enchilada soup and salsa chicken with red potatoes and green beans. Both are delicious!


Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients:
5 chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
two small cans or one large can of mild green enchilada sauce
1-2 cans chicken broth
1 small can of diced green chilies
2 small zucchini diced thin
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp cumin
6-8 green onions chopped finely
salt to taste
1/2 to 1 bunch of cilantro, all dumped in a crock pot.

The chicken breast I used was frozen so mine took 8 hours- it made 10 servings an I'm guessing it is almost 20 grams of protein but I'm not sure on the carbs or fat yet. Both will be pretty minimal.

I like that it tastes even better the 2nd and 3rd day after they flavors are all set. You can also add beans if you would like.

Salsa Chicken
Get your favorite salsa, pour over frozen chicken breast in crock pot, then cook on low 8 hours.

Reader question: How long will cooked chicken, etc stay good in the fridge? Mine always gets tossed before I eat it all!

Answer: It seems like mine loses its taste after three days. These meals are split between me and my hubby so we each have 5 days worth of two of our meals a day. I have a friend who cooks all of her chicken then freezes half of it and on the third day thaws it out. I find that slow cooked meats seem to taste better longer in the fridge. But that is just my opinion.

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lean Beef Salsa Salad

This was by far one of the yummiest meals I've ever had! That includes healthy and non healthy meals!


Ingredients:
2.3 oz of Slow cooked extra lean beef simmered in salsa and flavored with homemade taco seasoning.

Cilantro protein low calorie ranch which was to die for!

All on a bed of greens garnished with red sweet peppers.

I may or may not have licked the plate!

Calories- 234, protein-24, carbs-10, fat-9
Nutrition Stats include 1/4 cup of the ranch

Happy Healthy Eating!
Susan

If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Frozen Protein Fudge Bar

This was a yummy closet treat I had tonight. I call it a closet treat since I made only one and all the kids wanted it so I had to eat it in secret. Even though I told them it was made of cottage cheese! I'll make more next time!
Frozen Protein Fudge Bar
Ingredients
1/2 C Cottage Cheese
1 Tbsp PB2 Powder
2 g sugar free chocolate jello powder
Sweetener to taste

Instructions:

Blend until smooth and freeze!
Calories 103, Carbs 9, Fat 1, Protein 15

Happy Healthy Eating!


Susan


If you liked this recipe and want more healthy recipes fit for a family please sign up for my free meal plan here! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Day With Healthy Habits

Are you curious about what an average day looks like when you're trying to be healthy? Here's a basic layout sample. Of course you can modify to it to fit your needs. You might need more or less calories, protein, water, etc. 



Basic Day layout Sample:

Early morning workout 

Meals and  Goal Calories 

7 am Post workout 250 cal Example: Chocolate Spinach Protein Shake

8 am Breakfast 250 cal ExampleProtein Pancakes

10 am Morning Snack 150 cal Example: String Cheese wrapped in a 45 calorie slice of turkey and a piece of fruit.

1 pm Lunch 250 cal Example: Grilled Chicken Avocado Wrap

3 pm Afternoon Snack 150 cal Example: Cheese and Veggies. Laughing cow cheese wedge light variety (30 cal) and veggies. 

5 pm Dinner 300 cal Example: Cilantro Lime Fajitas 

8 pm Night Snack 150 cal Example: Plain Greek yogurt with 1 gm or less of sugar free jello and a sugar substitute to sweeten. Eat soft or prepare beforehand by blending and freezing to make ice cream. OR use Dannon Greek vanilla flavored yogurt.

Total Calories: 1500-1600 cal 
Total Protein Goal: 120 grams 
Total Carb Goal: Below 150 grams 

Daily Habits 
 10 min meditation and mental plan 
 64 oz water minimum
 Sleep 7.5 - 9 hours 
 Exercise 6 Days 
 No Junk 
 No Cheat meals/licks, bites or tastes
 Veggies are free 

Once a week prep 
 Measurements: hips, waist, chest, body fat, weight 
 Before Picture 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chest workout for women

Back in the good old days Susan and I used to live by each other and we worked out together every day. We usually would meet at my house, run to the gym, lift and run home.  We were quite the site showing up to the gym with our big, bright reflector vests on. We were called crossing guards a lot and teased a little, but better safe than sorry.

I thought it would be fun to share a few of our weight lifting sessions with you.  Every day of the week we had assigned a different body part to.  Here's how we set it up. It doesn't really matter what order you go in. And honestly we were trying to work around a few other people in the gym and their workouts.  We wanted to make sure our "leg day" was not the same as others so we weren't fighting over equipment.

Monday - Shoulders
Tuesday - Arms (bicep/tricep)
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Back
Friday - Chest 
Saturday - Legs 

We would also throw a few ab workouts 2 times a week.

Today I'm sharing one of our chest workouts. We have lots of different workouts, we would vary them each Friday. Susan had a cool iPhone app she would use to help us think of new ways to work the same muscle.


*Remember to always start with a warm up. We were already warmed up because remember we ran 2.5 miles to get to the gym.

Bench Press - 4 sets starting with 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps. The weight I used on this day was 55 lbs. 

Push ups - 4 sets again starting with 12 reps, 10, 8, 8

Chest squeeze with low round up (we always laughed at our technical names) - This is a little hard to explain and I tried to find a YouTube video, but I am so unimpressed with the raunchy dressed men/women in weight lifting videos. I am planning on having someone film me doing this tomorrow and I'll upload the video.

I used 30 lbs and did the 12, 10, 8, 8 rep like above. You stand in between to adjustable cables. bring your hands (squeezing your chest) together to your waist then lift up to shoulder and go back to starting position.

Cable Scoop - 25 lbs with reps 12, 10, 8, 8
Similar to chest squeeze with low round up but this time lower the adjustable cables all the way to the floor. Grab the cables and scoop your arms up to chest height and repeat. Usually this piece of gym equipment is in front of a mirror and you will see your chest muscles pop! If I can't find a video for you I will have some one film me doing it.

Abs:
Knees up abs
We actually did this on a taller machine. And started with no weights, the next set we held an 8 lb dumbbell between our feet for 10 reps, then next we held a 10 lbs dumbbell for 8 reps and the last 8 reps we held a 12 lbs dumbbell between our feet. 

At the end or our weight session we would do a burn out. This day it was a fly 15 reps 7 times.



By the time you're finished you should literally be burned out!!!! Don't forget to cool down and stretch.

I hope you enjoyed this little snippet into our chest workout for women! More workouts will be coming so share this with a friend and we'll keeping bringing you great tips and tricks for women and weights.

Merri

We are currently in the middle of creating a 7 Day Weight Lifting Guide for Women. If you would like to be one of the first to receive this FREE pdf file, just enter your name and email below!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Easy Coleslaw Chicken Salad

This delicious chicken salad comes with only 245 calories! Recipe can easily be doubled or quadrupled! :)



Easy Coleslaw Chicken Salad
Serves 1

3 oz canned chicken
1 tbsp light mayo
1 tbsp plain yogurt
¼ apple diced
1 cup plain dole cole slaw mix
2 wasa crackers or reduced fat wheat thins.

Mix salad serve with crackers

If you like this recipe and want more like it, just enter your name and email for my FREE meal plan fit for a fam!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 tips to get healthy

There's a lot of conflicting information out there! From no carb, to low carb, to vegan, to paleo, to Zumba, and crossfit (on and on and on) it can all be very overwhelming! I think being healthy can be pretty simple though. My thoughts are pretty much what you've probably always heard, "eat right and exercise". I do not think you should do either of those to extremes.  



Here are my 5 quick tips to help you get healthy.
  1. Find your WHY. Why are YOU doing this? If you're not in it 100% or if it's not your goal it is going to be a lot harder to succeed.
  2. Educate yourself. Learn more about nutrition and healthy eating. Research new exercises that you might enjoy. Sign up for a nutrition class or try a new exercise class at your gym.
  3. Set goals. Find something you want to work toward. Better yet find someone to work with you. Having a partner join you will greatly increase you success rate!
  4. Start small and work up. Don't go overboard at the start because you might get discouraged and want to give up quickly. 
  5. Don't quit! You'll probably want to quit, you'll probably not see results right away, but if you stick to it you will see the results come!
Merri

Monday, April 27, 2015

What I learned from the Boston Marathon


Last Monday I ran in the 119th Boston Marathon! I'd have to say it was one of the most amazing things I have done so far in my life. I loved/hated the run, and I learned a few things that I wanted to share.

1. Prepare and plan for all types of weather! I was watching the weather carefully for 10 days before the race. I knew there was going to be rain, but the days of rain kept changing. I packed my bags Friday night for a race on Monday. I did not pack good enough. 

I ended up buying a long sleeve running shirt to wear over my tank top. I bought a sweater for $1.99 at Sears to wear before the race and then donated it. I also bought a beanie to keep warm with before the start. I also ended up using socks for gloves for the first few miles to keep my hands warm.



I did do a few things right though! I put duct tape on my shoes and it did help for a little while. I had a few runners step into puddles and splash into my shoes through my ankles, but I think the duct tape worked well for a bit. I also wore a visor. It was so helpful to have a hat while running in the rain. 
I ended up covering the laces as well. 
If I could do it again I would wear shorts, tank top, long sleeve layer top, gloves (that I could throw away and not care) and a hat. It's better to over pack than under pack. 

2. Wear your bib # somewhere visible at all times. I was so unsure on what to wear! It was a chilly 48 degrees, 20 mph winds and rain! So I wore a tank, the long sleeved shirt I bought, and my long sleeve shirt I got at packet pick up. I wore my bib # on my top layer, however because I was getting too warm I shed my top later and tied it around my waist. So I have no way of seeing my pictures b/c my number was on my back. I have been manually searching through the unmarked pictures and it is not easy to search though that many photos. :) 


3. If you are running with an iPod check to make sure it's working. I always have a few tough miles in marathons so I listen to music to help me through. I had just bought a new album on iTunes and was so excited to listen to new music while running. But guess what? The songs did not work. I called iTunes after the marathon and got it all fixed, I wish I would have done it before the race.

4. You are stronger than you think! I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit. I was cold and wet, my legs hurt, my music wasn't working and I wanted to just stop. I had to tell myself to just run one more mile, or I would tell myself if you make it to mile # whatever then I could stop. But I never did. At each new mile I would start it over with one more mile. I was so happy to be done and so proud I didn't quit! Yes my time was way slower than I wanted, but I finished and I can feel good about that!

And I am pretty sure I'll be back!

Happy trails,
Merri

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

When and what to eat after a workout

I hear this question often. 


"I know I do the whole eating after a workout wrong. I am horrible at working out and then waiting hours to eat. Who knows the rules on this?"


I love this topic! For an endurance athlete (marathoner/triathlete) your ratio is 3 carbs to every 1 protein. So that's why chocolate milk works well for endurance athletes, or a whole banana with a half scoop of protein whey is about 10 grams protein, to 30 grams of carbs (3/1) 

if your goal is to lean out or build muscle then you eat as much protein as your body will absorb (around 25 grams normally for us Chicas) and then you have it with a simple sugar. A fruit like banana or strawberry is great but try to avoid fat and fiber (if possible green smoothies) your workout is like an insulin shot making the gates of your muscles open so they take in nutrients more quickly. This window of opportunity closes about 45 minutes after your workout. So the sooner the better. 

Fat also inhibits absorption of the protein and carbs in your gut which may make it so the nutrients don't absorb in that window of time) protein repairs and carbohydrates energize your muscles) so - low fat, low fiber high carbs and depending on your goals if it is endurance or building the protein amount will change. 

I truly believe for endurance the post workout meals are extremely important and even more important than the typical carb loading that some do the week of a race. the post-workouts will keep the shelves of your muscles stocked with energy. Your muscles pull most the energy from your workouts directly from your muscles and a workout can deplete that. Just eating normally for a non active person will restock the shelves but for an active person a post workout is best!!


Follow up question: "You're saying no green smoothie after a workout? Stick with milk or protein shake instead?"

This is a subject I like and wanted to know more about so I spent a lot of time on it! Green smoothies are great but they don't optimize post workout nutrition so if your trying to max out nutrition and increase sport performance then a low fat, low fiber with carbohydrate and protein meal is better. So yes if your doing endurance a low fat chocolate milk is great!


2nd follow up question: "How do you balance the protein shakes and eating breakfast while trying to lose weight? I feel like if I do that then I will barely have calories left for lunch or dinner and will be hungry later."

It's a good concern that many of us ladies share. Why add calories? It's a principle of nutrient timing it's not just about the calories but about when our bodies best use the nutrition and how it influences hunger. Even though I add calories (around 160) with post workout it also ties over my hunger and keeps my blood sugar in line so I make more calculated decisions at my next meals. Otherwise I can become ravenous and I make poor decisions and I end up eating a lot more in calorie cost than the post workout meal was. 

But everyone is different and I think we get familiar with how our own bodies respond so after giving it a good try if it doesn't seem to help in any way then it may be good to go with what does work. 

Here are some links to my favorite post workout snacks.

Greek Yogurt Lean Treat

Strawberry Vanilla Protein Shake

Dessert for Breakfast

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Peanut Butter Fudge Shake

Happy Healthy Eating!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lazy Man's Spaghetti Squash Recipe


I added some ground turkey after the pic. It super easy to make and faster than whole wheat or other spaghetti. 

Lazy Man's Spaghetti Squash

1 Medium spaghetti squash
1 jar healthy spaghetti sauce
1 lb ground turkey

Take medium spaghetti squash, poke several deep holes with knife, cook in microwave whole about 8 min on high. Carefully remove from microwave watch for steam, it will be hot! Cut in half, scoop out seeds, add a healthy spaghetti sauce in the middle and serve. Use a fork to eat to separate out the fibers as you eat. Microwave times may vary.

Happy Eating Healthy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3 Reasons To Wear Reflective Clothing While Running or Biking in the Dark

***The following is a fitness/safety guest post from a non-profit sister site RunReflective.com.***

For some daylight savings means a little less sleep but for others who are active on the road in the early morning it might be the difference between life and death.



With the recent change in daylight savings more athletes are hitting the roads at darker hours in the morning. Gone are the days where reflective clothing was only worn by the overly cautious. With more distracted drivers on the roads it is now considered a wise, accepted and necessary practice for runners, walkers and bikers. Below are 3 reasons why these athletes should consider adding reflective clothing to their running attire if they have not already.


More drivers are distracted
Never has it been so dangerous to be active on the road at night or early in the morning. Although laws are in place so that drivers do not text while driving many unfortunately still do. The average time and distance that a person takes their eyes off the road to text while driving is equal to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Texting is more dangerous to drivers and pedestrians than a person driving with more than the double the legal blood alcohol limit. Many of these texters are also new teenage drivers which is a very dangerous combination. As a runner and cyclist it is more important than ever to do everything we can do be seen by distracted drivers.


White clothing is not enough
As I have talked to people about our Nonprofit RunReflective.com campaign some have asked “Isn’t it enough to just wear white clothing?” and the answer is no! It is a simple explanation of math. At 40 miles an hour it takes a car, in good driving conditions, 200 ft to stop. In the dark a driver can see a person wearing reflective clothing at over 1000 ft away with plenty of time to maneuver or stop if needed.  A person wearing all white cannot be seen until 200 ft away; the exact distance that it takes a car to stop. A 800 ft difference than reflective clothing!  If you throw in any distraction, bad road conditions or more speed a driver would not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian in all white clothing even if they see them. A person wearing all black, like many runners used to do, is not seen until they are 50 ft away. This means that a driver could potentially see a runner in black, not be able to stop in time, hit them and still not be able to stop for another 150 ft! 8 out of 10 drivers that hit runners, walkers or bikers at night did not see them before they hit them.


Reflective clothing won’t cramp your style it’s just the opposite
When asked online what drivers thought of runners wearing reflective clothing drivers overwhelmingly expressed appreciation to athletes on the streets who made it easier to be seen. Some drivers even mentioned that they at times stop to thank runners for wearing reflective.


Stylish stripes and flashing lights that are well seen in the dark now dominate styles in outdoor fitness fashion. Most runners and sports clothing manufacturers are realizing that reflective clothing has become a necessity and a well accepted practice for most who love the sport. Fluorescent colors which are always best seen right before and after the sun starts to come up are also popular and in demand. There are many varieties of reflective clothing and flashing lights that will suit almost any cyclist or running style. Minimalists can still wear the bear necessities such as bands, hats, shoes or vests that are breathable, lightweight and made for serious endurance athletes.  

Friday, March 6, 2015

Breakfast Egg Sandwich Recipe

This Breakfast Egg Sandwich recipe is brought you you from Susan's week 3 & 4 meal plan. This is a great breakfast with only 257 calories!!!


1 light English muffin
1 egg, 2 egg whites or use ¼ cup egg substitute
1 slice extra lean ham
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese

Fry the egg in a pan with non stick cooking spray. Toast the English muffin, remove eggs when they are done, put ham in the pan and cook until warm on both sides. Put the cheese on top of hot eggs, put hot ham on top of that and you're set!

(adapted from hungrygirl.com)

~Merri

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Healthy Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

A couple days ago I made some homemade fry sauce. And I dipped a piece of broccoli in it and I liked it, but it was missing something. I decided to try and make my own Thousand Island dressing and I did it!

Thousand Island Dressing with Cottage Cheese

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 c water
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

Directions:
Put all ingredients into blender except for the pickle relish. Blend until smooth, add pickle relish last and stir with a spoon.  You can add more or less water depending on the thickness you want. I was using this as a dip on this particular day, but I could have made it more thin and used it as a salad dressing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Applesauce Protein Pancakes and Crepes Recipe

Applesauce Protein Pancakes and Crepes


Ingredients:
2/3 C Oats
10 Egg Whites
4 TBSP no sugar added applesauce
1/2 scoop protein powder

Directions:
Blend oats into flour.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.  Cook like pancakes on a pre heated griddle.  This recipe also makes delicious crepes if you add water to make the batter a little more thin. Add 1 TBSP of water at a time until you reach desired thickness.

Serves 2
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