August, 2012 | The Cycle Project

Archive for August, 2012

Aug
31
2012
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Healthy “Fried” Chicken

 

This recipe meets all 5 of the steps to a healthy dinner. By baking the chicken and using low-carb flours, this recipe has half of the calories and 80% less fat than traditional fried chicken. Serve with a side of vegetables and a salad.
Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons fruit-only apricot preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless organic chicken tenders
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13″x9″ baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, apricot preserves, mustard, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
  3. In another medium bowl combine the almond flour, almond meal, coconut flour, pepper, thyme, paprika and salt.
  4. Dip each chicken tender in the egg mixture, then dredge through the flour mixture. Place in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Change oven to high broil for 2 minutes, flip each chicken tender and broil the other side for 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with a side of sugar-free BBQ sauce or organic honey mustard.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 256 calories, 6g fat, 376mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 39g protein.

 

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Aug
29
2012
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Eating Out Right

Temptations abound when you eat out. There are bread baskets, and chip baskets, and appetizers, and desserts. In order to maintain your healthy diet you’ll have to have a plan in place before arriving at the restaurant.

Here’s how you stay on track while eating out:

  • Don’t eat extras: Ask for the bread basket or chip basket to be removed from your table and stick to eating only what you ordered.
  • Don’t drink calories: Stick with water or unsweetened ice tea in order to avoid a few hundred extra calories.
  • Get it plain: Ask for sauces and dressings on the side to cut down calories.
  • Get healthier sides: Just because the grilled fish comes with a side of potatoes doesn’t mean you have to get it that way. Ask for a side of steamed veggies instead.

 

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Aug
27
2012
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Your Dinner Made Healthy in 5 Steps

Think you’re eating healthy meals, but aren’t sure?

If your weight loss has slowed, or even stopped, then there’s a good chance that you haven’t been eating as healthy as you should be.

I’m going to end the guesswork for you, once and for all, with my 5 steps to a healthy meal.

By following these 5 guidelines you’ll know that your meals are healthy and fitness friendly. And as a result you’ll experience healthy weight loss.

Here are the 5 Steps to a Healthy Meal:

Step #1: Quality Ingredients
These are the building blocks to a healthy meal. While you certainly don’t need to dine in gourmet restaurants in order to ensure quality ingredients, you should pay attention to the quality of the foods you eat.

Choose foods that are:

  • Fresh and organic
  • Pronounceable ingredients
  • Fewer Ingredients = Better
  • Whole foods

Step #2: Cooking Method
The way a meal is cooked determines how many calories, how much added fat, and the number of nutrients that survive. This simple factor will make or break your weight loss goal.

Avoid foods prepared like this:

  • Fried and battered
  • Processed and packaged
  • Doused with cream sauce
  • Sautéed

Choose foods that are prepared like this:

  • Grilled
  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Steamed

Step #3: Lean Protein
Protein helps you feel full longer, it regulates blood sugar and helps repair any damaged tissue in your body.  Make sure a 1/3 of your plate is loaded with a quality source of protein. With the first 2 guidelines in mind, these will be high quality, healthfully prepared.

Good choices of protein include:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Egg
  • Lean red meat
  • Beans

Step #4: Lots of Natural Fiber
Fiber is a huge part of eating healthy and being lean. Whole, fibrous foods will fill you up while delivering numerous vitamins and nutrients in low-calorie packages. Fill at least two thirds of your plate with fibrous fresh fruits and vegetables.

Try these forms of fiber:

  • Salad
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Legumes

Step #5: Lay Off the Starches and Refined Sugars
Here’s where many well-meaning dieters lose it. The facts are simple, in order to maintain the healthy carb and protein diet required for healthy weight loss, there is no room for starchy foods.

Starches to Avoid:

  • Potatoes
  • White Pasta (Try a quinoa or legume based pasta instead)
  • White Rice and Sugary Cereal
  • White Bread and cracker

For faster results, pair your clean eating with a challenging exercise routine.

Call or email today and I’ll get you started on an exercise program that will make your goals a reality.

 

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Aug
24
2012
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Pesto Spaghetti

 

Traditional spaghetti is loaded with carbohydrates, so try this squash spaghetti instead. With very few ingredients, this faux pasta has powerful flavor. You’ll love how the distinct flavor of fennel mingles with fresh pesto.Servings: 8

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2-3 cup basil leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 3 frozen minced cubes from Trader Joes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • dash of salt
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 2 lbs organic cherry tomatoes
  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Run water over the insides of the squash. Microwave each half, separately, for 5 minutes. Use a dishtowel to remove from microwave – it will be HOT! Set aside to cool, then place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, and garlic. Combine while you drizzle in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice and a dash of salt. Once a paste forms, remove from food processor.
  3. Scoop the cooled spaghetti squash from its skin, and place into a large bowl. Use a knife to cut up the large bunches of squash. Thinly slice the fennel bulb into 1 inch segments and add to the bowl. Mix in the pesto until everything is well coated.
  4. Cut larger cherry tomatoes in half, and leave smaller ones intact. Add all the tomatoes to the bowl and mix well. Taste the faux pasta, and use another dash of salt if needed.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 80 calories, 3.5g fat, 88mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 3g protein.

 

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Aug
22
2012
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Turn Off The Tube

Do you eat in front of the TV?

If so, then you’re likely taking in more calories than you need-resulting in weight gain.

New studies suggest that eating while distracted by TV, texting or driving results in consuming as much as 40 percent more calories.

Eliminate distractions while you eat for easy weight loss.

 

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Aug
20
2012
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5 Simple Exercises For Sculpted & Toned Legs

Are you self-conscious about your legs?

Do you dread the thought of wearing shorts-let alone a swimsuit?

Maybe you think your calves are too skinny or you hate that your thighs rub together and your buns jiggle when you walk.

Whatever you don’t like about your legs, it isn’t going to fix itself. So how can you fix it? Include strength training for your lower body in your regular routine.

To sculpt and tone your legs, try the following five exercises two to three times a week and see the difference they make. You’ll be showing off those legs in no time.

#1: The Lunge
Arguably the best leg exercise, the lunge works pretty much every leg muscle as well as your buttocks. There are many variations to the simple lunge, but to do the basic lunge, stand up straight and tighten your core.

Step forward several feet with your right foot, landing heel first. Bend your right and left leg down until both legs are bent at 90 degrees (never more) and your left knee is about an inch above the floor. Make sure your knee doesn’t extend further than your toes. Keep your body upright and work to keep your balance by not wobbling from side to side. Lift your body up and bring your hips forward until you’re standing straight again. Then repeat, lunging forward with your left foot.

#2: The Squat
Perhaps the second-best full-leg workout is the squat. This powerhouse of an exercise works your glutes, hips and thighs all in one shot.

Here’s how to do a beginner’s squat. Stand between two chairs (if needed for balance). Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Pushing your hips back to place the weight on your heels, squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair.  Keep your back straight, chest up, and core tight. Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position, and then stand back up. Repeat without resting.
#3: The Mountain Climber
This leg exercise mimics the movement of climbing a steep mountain. The faster you climb (move your legs) the more of a cardio workout you’ll get as well.

Get in a push-up position: hands and toes on the floor holding up your body. Holding in your abs, lift your right foot, bringing your right knee toward your chest. Tap the floor with your right foot then extend your leg back to starting position. Then lift your left leg, bring your left knee up toward your chest and tap the floor. Return to starting position. Repeat right, left, right, left for 20 repetitions.

#4: The Step-Up
Step-ups are great because they mimic movements you perform on a daily basis. This exercise works your legs and gets your heart pumping. When you do this exercise you can hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase resistance. In addition, you’ll need some sort of step. This could be a bottom stair, sturdy box, or low stable chair.

Step up with your right foot, and then bring your left foot up. Step back down so both feet are on the floor. Then repeat, stepping up first with your left foot. Continue doing this 20 times.

#5: The Carving Curtsy
A little more complicated but worth the effort, the carving curtsy works the abs, buttocks, and legs (including your inner thighs).

To do the carving curtsy, stand up straight with your arms bent and hands by your chest. Lunge back and to the right with your left leg so your left foot lands behind your right foot and to the right of your body. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle like you’re performing a curtsy.

Swing your left arm forward and up and your right arm back by your side. Then stand up straight, lifting your left knee out to the side, and tap your left knee with your left hand. Do 20 reps on each leg, and then switch sides.

A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in healthy weight loss.

If you’re ready to begin your body transformation then feel free to reach out to me. Email or call to get started today.

 

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Aug
17
2012
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Turkey, Apple and Goat Cheese Omelet

 

Meals that are filled with protein and fat, like this omelet, help to curb between-meal cravings. Enjoy the unique flavor blend of turkey, apple, goat cheese and cinnamon. Servings: 2

Here’s what you need…

  • 3 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 small apple
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons goat cheese
  1. Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon strips for 4 minutes each side, until golden.
  2. While bacon cooks, dice the apple. Remove bacon strips from skillet, place on a cutting board. Place the apple pieces in the heated skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, sprinkling with a dash of cinnamon. Dice the bacon and place in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a bowl whisk the egg whites, whole eggs and coconut milk. Beat the eggs until frothy and add dash of salt and pepper.
  4. Remove apples from skillet and add to the bowl of bacon. Pour half of the egg mixture in the skillet, cook until set and then flip and cook the other side. Repeat with the other half of egg mixture.
  5. While eggs cook, mix the bacon, apples and goat cheese together.
  6. Fill each omelet with half of the bacon, apple and goat cheese mixture.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 249 calories, 12 fat, 485mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, and 25g protein.

 

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Aug
15
2012
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Healthy Take-Along Snacks

When the urge to indulge hits you, be prepared by carrying your own healthy snacks. Enjoy your healthy snack very slowly, then wait 20 minutes before deciding if you are full or still hungry. Try these healthy snacks:

  • A small handful of raw almonds
  • 1 small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of hummus and a few carrot sticks
  • 5 olives
  • 1 cup unshelled edamame
  • 2 ounces of sliced turkey breast
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup berries

 

 

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Aug
13
2012
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5 Steps to Curb Closet Eating

Do the following statements describe you?

  • I prefer to eat in private, where no one else can see.
  • I eat healthy in front of others but then indulge recklessly in private.
  • I follow a healthy diet during the day, only to fall off the wagon at night.
  • I sneak food secretly and eat it away from others.

If you can relate to any of the above statements then you may be engaging in closet eating. This “secret eating life” of yours sabotages your fitness goals, making it impossible to achieve the body that you want.

Before we dive into this topic, it’s important to approach yourself from a place of love and respect. Resist the urge to look at yourself as a failure as you strive to discard unhealthy eating habits.

Use the following 5 steps to curb your closet eating once and for all:

Step #1: Learn Your Triggers
Journal about the feelings you experience before, during and after an episode of closet eating. Was there a particular trigger that caused you to feel stressed, or angry, or helpless before the urge to eat in secrecy hit you?

Refer back to your journal after a handful of episodes and try to determine a pattern. This will allow you to prepare yourself with an exit plan before the next potential episode.

For example, if you find that your closet eating occurs mainly when your spouse goes out of town on business, then make plans to visit with friends rather than be alone at home with food.

Step #2: Log Every Calorie
Let’s face the facts. Just because no one sees you eat it, doesn’t mean that the calories don’t exist. The simple act of tallying each food item that you eat will force you to be more mindful of your eating habits.

Find your ideal calorie range by consulting your doctor, and be aware of how close you come to that range each day. Resist the urge to not log foods that are eaten in secrecy.

The point is to bring accountability to the situation, so be vigilant.

Step #3: Carry Healthy Snacks
When the urge to eat in secrecy hits you, it may be useful to allow yourself the snack, but change the script slightly by making it healthy and portion controlled.

Eat one of these snacks every few hours to prevent from becoming overly hungry, thus more susceptible to reckless eating.

Look below for a list of healthy, portion controlled snacks to incorporate into your diet.

Step #4: Don’t Stock Bad Food
Most cases of closet eating are said to occur in the comfort of your own home. Be proactive by not stocking your favorite indulgences in the kitchen.

When you have the urge to sneak a few bites of ice cream before bed, you’ll be unable to do so if there isn’t any ice cream to be found. Be careful not to fall into the trap of “buying it for the kids,” as this is a slippery slope.

No one in the family benefits from having junk food stocked in the house. Get it out.

Step #5: Exercise Regularly
How can exercising regularly help you overcome closet eating? It’s simple. When you are actively working towards a goal, and are supported, you’ll be less likely to self-sabotage.

My fitness plans are designed to get you to your desired weight loss goal quickly and efficiently. There’s accountability, encouragement and measurable results to keep you on track.

If you’d like to see your fitness goals become a reality then pick up the phone or shoot me an email.

Closet eating may be your way of dealing with the stress you have in your life, but you can change that. And I would love to help.

Call or email today to get started on an exercise program that will truly deliver the results you deserve.

 

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Aug
10
2012
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Skinny Orange Creamsicles

 

Enjoy this summer treat guilt-free. Store bought Popsicles contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners that spike your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. This recipe, on the other hand, is made with organic, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit. Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 cups organic, vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 orange, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  1. Fill the bottom 1/3 of each Popsicle mold with yogurt. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine the orange, pineapple and agave nectar. Blend on high speed for a full minute.
  3. Fill the remaining space in each mold with the orange mixture. Freeze until solid.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 76 calories, 0 fat, 10mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 3g protein.

 

 

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