June, 2012 | The Cycle Project

Archive for June, 2012

Jun
29
2012
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Guilt-Free Strawberry Ice Cream

 

Here’s a recipe that allows you to indulge in something sweet, cold and creamy without the sugar rush. Non-fat Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which makes this delicious snack even more beneficial. Feel free to add Stevia In The Raw to increase the sweetness as described below.
Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 20 organic strawberries
  • 2 cups non fat Greek yogurt
  • optional *1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw*
  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Mix in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add yogurt (and Stevia In The Raw, if using) and blend well.
  3. Pour into an ice cream maker and run until yogurt is frozen and creamy.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 87 calories, 0g fat, 53mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 13g protein.

 

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Jun
27
2012
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Drinks Beyond Soda

You know that soda pop isn’t good for you…and yet you still drink it. I understand that plain water gets boring – especially when you’re having a party or gathering.

Use the recipes for “Spa Water” below and quickly turn plain water into an exciting and refreshing treat without added sugar or chemicals:

  • Citrus: Slice an orange, lemon, and lime into a large pitcher of water. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
  • Raspberry Lime: Slice a lime into a large pitcher of water, add a handful of raspberries. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
  • Strawberry Basil: Slice 10 strawberries into a large pitcher of water, add 5 leaves of basil. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
  • Watermelon Rosemary: Place 1/2 cup of small watermelon chunks into a large pitcher of water, add two sprigs of rosemary. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
  • Pineapple Mint: Place 1/2 cup of small pineapple chunks into a large pitcher of water, add 15 mint leaves. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.

 

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Jun
25
2012
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This One’s For Your Sweet Tooth

Your sweet tooth has gotten you into lots of trouble over the years.

All those diets you abandoned for a slice of cake, all the extra calories you took in ‘just to have a taste of something sweet’ before bed.

Where has it gotten you?

Into pants that are another size larger. Into your doctor’s office for another lecture. Into a body that you no longer enjoy.

Yes, sweet treats sure are tempting, but the life-long repercussions far outweigh the momentary pleasure.

To help you conquer your sweet tooth, I’ve identified the 5 sweet traps you should avoid, as well as a healthy substitute for each.

Sweet Trap #1: Candy

Nothing gets refined sugar circulating through your body quicker than a fistful of candy—and if you’re in the habit of eating candy daily then your body will crave it.

Candy has virtually no nutritional value, other than caloric energy, and will quickly end up stored on your body in the form of unwanted, annoying fat.

Try This: Swap your sickly-sweet candy out for a handful of unsalted nuts, a few pieces of unsweetened, dried fruit, or a small square of very dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa content).

Sweet Trap #2: Baked Goods

Cake, cookies, brownies, pastries, donuts, and pies are popular vehicles for sugar consumption. While these may not taste as sweet as candy, the combination of refined sugar and white flour will spike your blood sugar just the same.

Very much like candy, regularly eating baked goods may become a habit. Break yourself of this and you’ll find the number on your scale going down rather than up.

Try This: Put down the cookie and reach for a piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Fruit is nature’s candy, and is every bit as blissful as a slice of cake. Serving a beautiful fruit platter to guests can be as delightful as any baked treat.

Sweet Trap #3: Ice Cream

Nothing makes you feel as happy and carefree as a bowl of creamy ice cream…until that ice cream makes its permanent home on your waist. Very much like candy, ice cream has few nutritional benefits.

Try This: Let’s face it, cold, creamy and sweet makes a delicious combination. Create a healthy protein-packed ice cream with the recipe below.

Sweet Trap #4: Soda Pop

A regular can of soda pop contains the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar. That’s more sugar than you should consume in a week’s time!

Soda pop is something that you get into the habit of drinking, and do without thinking. The good news is that a habit can be broken and then replaced with something healthier.

Try This: Take soda pop out of your diet. Period. There are plenty of other, healthier, beverages available to you. Try the recipes for Spa Water below.

Sweet Trap #5: Blended Drinks

Smoothies, blended coffee drinks and milkshakes are all tempting treats, especially in hot summer months. Don’t give in to the temptation!

These items are even more deadly than most treats since they are consumed through a straw and don’t make you feel full. Let me assure you that even though you don’t feel full, like you would after a piece of cake, you’re still taking in a boatload of sugary calories.

Try This: Make your own healthy blended drinks at home by using natural sweeteners like stevia, or simply by using fruit. Take the ice cream recipe below, add non-fat milk and mix in the blender for a high protein milkshake.

Eliminating refined sugar from your diet will do so much for your health, as well as your weight.

A great thing to remember is that once you’ve fallen out of the habit of eating sugar, your body will no longer crave it.

This means that each day spent in discipline will bring you closer to the day that sugar no longer has a hold over you. Imagine how much slimmer and healthier you will be!

Eating healthy is half of the battle when it comes to fitness and wellness. The other, equally important, side is maintaining a regular, challenging exercise program.

For an exercise program to be challenging it must always be changing. That’s why my workouts are never the same.

It’s my goal to get you into the best shape of your life. Call or email today to begin your transformation.

 

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Jun
22
2012
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Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

Another sure-fire way to feel better than ever is to eat a diet that is high in fiber and protein and low in refined sugar and carbohydrates. These shredded chicken lettuce wraps are easy to make and will keep you on track with your healthy, fit lifestyle.
Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 Tablespoon chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup lime juice, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 whole chicken legs
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 large butter lettuce leaves
  1. In a small bowl combine the chile pepper, salt, pepper, oregano, 1/4 cup of the lime juice and the olive oil. Place the chicken in a large baking pan and coat with the seasoning mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the cabbage, onion, cilantro and remaining 1/4 cup lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the chicken legs for 40 minutes.
  4. When the chicken has cooled, discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken.
  5. Fill each lettuce leaf with a spoonful of cabbage mixture, topped with shredded chicken.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 248 calories, 12 fat, 740mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 26.7g protein.

 

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Jun
20
2012
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Smart Coffee Stop

There’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself in a coffee shop looking for refreshment at one time or another this summer. It may even be a daily occurrence!

Keep in mind that what you order will directly impact how you look and feel.

Use these guidelines to order smart:

  • Order something that will cool you off, not weigh you down. This means only drinking beverages that contain little to no sugar.
  • Blended drinks are packed with sugar – making this the worst choice. Imagine that blended coffee drinks are a dessert-in-a-cup – because it will end up stored on your body as quickly as a slice of cheesecake.
  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened iced tea is an excellent choice.
  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened iced coffee is also an excellent choice.

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Jun
18
2012
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The Cycle Project Has Begun

The Cycle Project Has Begun

This was the first of  many races The Cycle Project competed in as a team!539951_324886554253760_1431434338_n

Jun
18
2012
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3 Ways Exercise Makes You Feel Better

When we talk about the benefits of exercise, looking better gets the most attention.

Burning off unwanted pounds is a great thing, but let’s not overlook a more immediate benefit of exercise.

Exercise transforms how you feel—with a quickness.

It’s true. While weight loss takes time and extended effort, all it takes is one workout to begin reaping the reward of a more energetic and capable body.

Here are the top 3 ways that your body will feel better with exercise:

1) You’ll Have More Energy
How are your energy levels these days?

(And I’m talking about natural energy, not energy manufactured by caffeine.)

Do your eyes pop open at the sound of your alarm? Then do you bounce through your day with a spring in your step?

Or do you hit snooze half a dozen times before getting up and dragging through your day?

While you may not instantly feel like the Energizer Bunny, your energy levels will dramatically increase once you begin a consistent, challenging exercise routine.

How does spending energy create more energy?

“(Exercise) literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger,” explains Samantha Heller MS, RD.

Research consistently concludes that regular exercise increases energy levels and reduces fatigue.

2) You’ll Have Fewer Aches and Pains
When your life becomes sedentary (this means you are inactive for most of the day) then you’ll quickly find your body developing aches and pains.

You’ll feel it when you stand up – a throb in your back, creaking in your knees and stiffness in your legs.

This is pain due to underuse.

Your body was meant to move!

Movement improves flexibility and range of motion, and releases natural pain-reducing endorphins, which means that, with a regular exercise program, you’ll be moving smoother and with less pain than ever before.

3) You’ll Feel Happy and Confident
It’s hard to understand how 30 to 60 minutes a day spent on exercise is able to completely transform how you feel about yourself. But it does.

Think back to the last time that you accomplished something. Maybe you performed well at work and received kudos from your boss, or you finished a project at home that took weeks of your time and concentration.

Do you remember how that accomplishment made you feel?

You stood a little bit straighter, you smiled easily, and deep down you felt alive with excitement.

When challenging exercise becomes a regular part of your life, feelings of happiness and confidence also become a part of you.

From now on I want you to forget the idea that exercise is nothing more than a means to achieving a slimmer body.

Instead, look at exercise as a complete life enhancer.

I’d love to get a call or an email from you.

Reach out to me and I’ll show you how to integrate a consistent, challenging exercise routine into your lifestyle so that you’ll begin to reap the benefits of an energetic, more confident you.

Don’t wait to begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle – call or email now!

 

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Jun
15
2012
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Stuffed Southwest Chicken

 

You know that skinless chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, but grilled chicken night after night gets boring. Here’s a new way to dress up your healthy lean protein. The southwest flavors of chiles and lime make this a seriously tasty meal.
Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 oz light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (4oz) can Hatch green chiles, roasted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Tajin seasoning (blend of dehydrated lime, ground chile peppers and salt)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed, combine the cream cheese, drained tomatoes, corn and chiles.
  3. Slice through the thick part of each chicken breast so that it opens like a book. Double wrap the chicken with plastic wrap and out it with a meat until it’s 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Season one side of each chicken breast with salt and pepper, then flip it over and spread with 1/4 of the cream cheese filling. Roll each chicken breast up and place it seam side down in a baking dish. Rub a little olive oil over the top of the chicken then season with Tajin and salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes.
  6. Thinly slice and then serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 234 calories, 6g fat, 522mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 31g protein.

 

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Jun
13
2012
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Cut Your Carbs

Vacation days are notorious for carb-rich meals, and it’s a well-known fact that too many carbohydrates will quickly add up to unwanted pounds. Combat this fat-trap by choosing to eat one carb-less meal each day.

  • Breakfast: This may be the most effective meal to use the carb-less trick, since breakfast often involves breads, pastries and pancakes. Skip the toast and fill up on egg whites and lean breakfast meats.
  • Lunch: A great carb-less lunch is a salad with lean meat. It’s so filling and satisfying that you won’t even miss the bread.
  • Dinner: Since you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel deprived, so dinner is the hardest meal to go carb-less. But if you’ve indulged at breakfast and lunch then make it a point to cut the carbs at dinner. Stick with veggies and lean meats.

 

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Jun
11
2012
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5 Reasons People Gain Weight on Vacation

Vacations are a time to get away from the grind of everyday life – to indulge mind and body in relaxation and enjoyment.

Unfortunately all that indulgence typically leads to a pound gained for each day that you’re away.

To help you combat these unwanted pounds, I’ve identified the 5 main reasons that people gain weight on vacation, as well as your strategic plan of avoidance.

Reason #1: Not Having A Plan
Let’s face it, the vacation mindset is a set-up for gaining pounds. Your priority is to relax, and for most that means eating, resting and forgetting the gym.

Your best line of defense is to keep your fitness goals at the forefront of your mind.

Your Plan: Before you leave for your trip sit down and set a goal.

A realistic goal is to maintain your current weight or to lose a pound or two.

The simple act of bringing your fitness goal to mind before leaving on your trip will greatly reduce your chances of coming home heavier.

Reason #2: Indulgent Snacking
There’s nothing like a vacation to cause you to throw all caution to the wind with indulgent snacking.

Ice cream in the middle of the day, frozen coffee drinks topped with whipped cream, salty bags of chips and even a visit through a fast food drive thru.

While these snacks may be fun, the damage will quickly catch up to you.

Your Plan: Approach your trip with the strategy of indulging with control.

If you really must have a sweet treat, then make it small and follow it up with a balanced, protein-filled meal.

Another way to reduce indulgent snacking is to bring along your own healthy options.

Dried or fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, health bars, cut veggies and low fat jerky are a good start.

By filling up on these healthy snacks you will end up eating less when presented with a sweet or salty treat.

Reason #3: Forgetting Portion Control
You have no choice but to dine out while on vacation and whether you’re visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you’re going to face the same problem: large portions.

While the easiest thing to do with a big plate of food is to simply eat it all—you are on vacation after all…right?—that isn’t the best for your waist.

Your Plan: Decide here and now that you will not indulge in large portions.

When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat.

This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion.

If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.

Reason #4: Eating Too Late
Who really wants to go to bed early while on vacation? The days stretch long and undoubtedly end with a nice big dinner.

All these calories, eaten right before bed, will quickly land around your waist.

Your Plan: Simply stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed.

This easy trick is especially effective while on vacation.

So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great.

Reason #5: Not Exercising Enough (Or At All)
Oh, groan, do I really have to exercise while on vacation?

Yes, you do! That is if you want to look and feel younger and more alive.

Too often exercise is looked at as work, but vacations are the perfect time to really enjoy a good workout.

You won’t be rushing home, trying to squeeze in a few minutes at the gym, but rather the vacation workout can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Your Plan: Look at vacation workouts as a treat, and make it a priority.

Here are some ideas:

  • Virtually every hotel these days has some type of workout room equipped with cardio machines, dumbbells and a universal machine, so make good use out of it.
  • Vacations are also a great time to take your workout outdoors; take a run on the beach or do sprints, pushups and crunches on a grassy field. If you want more ideas of workouts you can do using just your body weight then give me a call or send me an email.
  • Make a conscious effort to be active everyday. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit.
  • Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening.

Enjoy your vacation! And when you get back into town call or email me for a fitness and fat loss consultation and I’ll show you a step-by-step plan for getting you the body that you deserve – it’s easier than you think.