September, 2012 | The Cycle Project

Archive for September, 2012

Sep
28
2012
0

Low Carb Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

 

So you ditched that package of high-carb noodles from your pantry, now learn to love nature’s healthy noodles: spaghetti squash. If you haven’t yet tried spaghetti squash then you’re in for a real treat. A pile of tender spaghetti squash strands piled high with protein and veggie meatballs makes the perfect fitness meal.

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds lean, organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pound lean, sweet turkey sausage
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 omega-3, eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Optional: handful of olives

Sauce

  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • splash of white wine
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper

Noodles

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash spaghetti squash and poke all over with a knife. Place directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop the spaghetti squash strands out with a large spoon, set aside in a bowl.
  2. Throw all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into large, golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.
  4. Cook with Crockpot: Place the meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover with the sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours. OR Cook with stovetop: Place meatballs in a large pot. Cover with sauce and cook, covered, over low heat for 2-3 hours.
  5. Place a scoop of spaghetti squash noodles on each plate, top with meatballs and some sauce and then throw on a few olives.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 266 calories, 12g fat, 426mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 26g protein

 

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Sep
27
2012
3

When did sports become all about winning and not about having fun?

Pee Wee Football
Thinkstock.com    A pee wee football player evades a defender. Did we forget how to have fun in sports?
 ___________________________________________________________________

 

What you’re about to read is an email a very intense football coach recently sent to his players. Can you guess the level he coaches?

Wait!

A few hints first: This league sings the national anthem before every game. And it has cheerleaders. And training camps. And a draft, a combine, and two-hour practices. But it’s not the NFL.

OK, guess away

“My objectives are simple,” the coach wrote. “We need to become better, tougher and more aggressive blockers, tacklers and runners. … Tackle football isn’t for everybody. It takes a certain mindset, an aggressive or killer instinct if you will …”

SEC football? Nope.

More:

“Think of your team! The summer camp sessions will be short, but intense. Pre-season conditioning will be intense. In-season practices will be intense. … Mental and physical toughness are also requirements. We must get tougher and through hard work, we will. ”

Small college? No.

“Players practice full throttle unless they are injured. … It’s about team! If you don’t love being a Bulldog and can’t whole heartedly commit, you are in the wrong place. … You are either getting better or getting worse. We need to get better and it will take serious commitment. … This e-mail is meant to set expectations. No surprises, full steam ahead. Thanks and Go Bulldogs!”

Big-time high school football, at the very least? Wrong.

Give up?

This email was sent to 8-year-olds.

“In the whole email, he mentions the word ‘fun’ once,” wrote one parent in an email to me. (He asked me not to print his name, for fear of repercussions.) “These are 8-year-olds! For a lot of them, it’s their first time in pads! [Last season] games were on Saturdays; we practiced 100% live Friday nights from 6 p.m. to after 8. This includes sprints at the end of practice! Full pads! And he wondered why the kids were worn out at the end of games.”

Of the 19 families who got the email, seven quit the team, including that one. Apparently, they realized they were in the wrong place.

The coach who sent it, Camron Miller, is an admittedly “overweight” 36-year-old geologist in Frisco, Texas, 30 minutes north of Dallas, where people take their football the way bishops take their Bible.

“I don’t regret sending it,” says Miller, who insists only two of the seven families who quit did it because of his gung-holier-than-thou fervor. “Intensity is not a bad thing. Some of the best coaches — and teachers — I’ve ever had, were intense. … That email was needed.

Needed? These kids are third-graders! Eight-year-olds don’t need to go to a summer football training camp in the Texas heat. They don’t need three two-hour practices a week. They don’t need to be drilled like they’re the Dallas Cowboys. Whatever happened to learning to love the game first?

“Look, this is a competitive football league,” Miller says. “We were a flag football team at 5 and 6 [years old] and then last year, at 7, we didn’t make the transition very well. We won two games. We needed to ramp it up.”

Yes, by God, let’s ramp it up. They can dig for worms later.

“I’m not a bad seed. I know some people are going to say I’m an ass out there on the sideline, but I’m not. I see some of these guys and I go, ‘Golly, he shouldn’t be doing that.’”

Frisco seems to be the home of coaches who shouldn’t be doing that. Last year, one coach in the Frisco league was caught telling his 8-year-olds to “hit somebody in the face!

People, what’s become of us? Does anybody remember when THEY were 8 years old? Your basic 8-year-old doesn’t need ramping up. Your basic 8-year-old just needs his buddies, a cool helmet, and a Dairy Queen Blizzard afterward, win or lose.

Instead, we get coaches like Miller, wanna-be Bill Belichicks who watch too much NFL Network and try to recreate their lost high school glories through kids who just want to go home and recreate their favorite Lego spaceships.

When I coached kids in baseball, I started every season with the same speech, “Boys, we are not here to win baseball games. We are not here to learn sportsmanship. We are here to learn how to chew sunflower seeds without using our hands.” And we’d stand in a circle until every kid could show me a naked seed on his tongue. Full speed ahead.

We are amped up to ramp up in this country. We have ramped up the intensity in football from Pee Wees to pros. We have freshman high school quarterbacks who are considered “behind” if they don’t have their own offseason skills coach. We had no less than six high school players die of heat exhaustion last season during summer training drills. We have NFL assistant coaches such as Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints ranting at his players to injure people in a playoff game.

Is it any wonder where Camron Miller gets these ideas?

To its credit, the Frisco league sent Miller an email telling him to back off the intensity knob a little. That caused Miller to do some “serious soul-searching.” The search turned up empty.

“Do I think it was wrong?” he asks. “No, I don’t.”

And what of the son of our anonymous parent?

“He’s going to spend the fall just being a kid,” says the parent.

Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody doesn’t have the killer instinct.

Maybe at 9.

 

 

By Rick Reilly | ESPN.com

Source

Sep
26
2012
0

Frozen Fit Snacks

Freezers are where many a fitness goal has gone to crash and burn into a container of ice cream.

Dump those high-fat, high-sugar ice creams and instead stock your freezer with:

  • Frozen grapes
  • Fruit-only popsicles
  • Frozen bananas for smoothies and blended protein shakes

 

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Sep
24
2012
0

Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Raid

Want faster weight loss?

Then do a self-guided kitchen raid.

If your kitchen is stocked with the makings for healthy meals and snacks you’ll easily stay on track, even when those late-night cravings strike.

So what should you keep on hand and what should be banned?

Use this self-guided kitchen raid to help you sort out the good from the fattening.

Go ahead, grab a big box, print out the list below, and then head to the kitchen. When you’re done, take that box straight to the nearest food bank.

Your Refrigerator
Let’s start with the fridge, which is essentially the heart of your kitchen. If you find something in your fridge that is on the “Donate this” list, then you know what you have to do. Get that box ready.

  • Donate this: Beverages with high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Drinking calories is one of the quickest ways to gain weight, so quickly rid your fridge of any beverage that lists HFCS or sugar on the ingredient list.

    Replace with: Water. It is a well-known fact that most people are partially dehydrated, a condition that is harmful to your health and wreaks havoc on your weight loss efforts. Keep plenty of cold water on hand for proper hydration.

  • Donate this: Fatty meats. It is important that you be selective about the meats that you eat. I may tell you that chicken is a great source of protein, but if you take that as a license to eat fried chicken everyday then the benefit of the protein will be lost in all the extra fat calories.

    Replace with: Lean meats. Skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey, white fish – there are numerous choices when it comes to lean meats.

  • Donate this: Fruit-flavored yogurt. I hate to break this to you, but that cute individually packaged yogurt is going to do more harm to your waistline than you think. More than 50% of the calories in fruit-flavored yogurt come from sugar. Check out the ingredient list and you likely find both high fructose corn syrup AND sugar.

    Replace with: Plain low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or low-fat cottage cheese. If you love yogurt, then get the low-fat plain version. You can even chop up some fresh fruit and stir it in. Another option is to have a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped fruit on top.

Your Pantry
This may be the most painful part of your kitchen raid, since most junk food ends up here. So take a moment to give yourself a pep talk before grabbing that garbage bag and opening your pantry.

  • Donate this: Sugar-filled cereal. If sugar or high fructose corn syrup are listed as ingredients on your cereal box, it’s got to go. Sugar-filled cereal is basically another form of junk food, and will only add inches to your waist.

    Replace with: Whole Grain Oatmeal. There is a huge difference between instant, sugar-filled oatmeal and whole grain oatmeal.

  • Donate this: Chips/Crackers. While refined chips and crackers are fun to munch on, the extra calories will quickly add up. Do yourself a favor by not allowing these into your pantry.

    Replace with: Almonds. The key to making this snack a winner is to practice portion control. Place a handful of almonds into individual bags for pre-portioned snacks.

  • Donate this: Packaged Sweets. I don’t really have to explain this one, do I? Cookies and cakes and candies shouldn’t be a regular part of your diet, so keep them out of your house. It’s one thing to enjoy a dessert once in a while, it is quite another to routinely eat processed sweets at home.

    Replace with: Dried Fruit. When you want to munch on something sweet, turn to a bag of dried fruit. Make sure that you purchase dried fruit that does not contained added sugars.

Now march that box of off-limit foods to your nearest food bank and don’t look back.

It’s a great idea to raid your kitchen every couple of months as a way of keeping yourself on track.

Open up dialogue with your family members about the healthy changes that you’re making, and get everyone in on it.

The quickest and most permanent weight loss comes as a result of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will get you on the fast track to your best body ever.

 

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Sep
19
2012
0

Easy Pork Chops

 

Lean cuts of pork are high in protein and low in fat. Add a side of veggies and you’ve got a clean meal that delivers all the right nutrients without waist-expanding carbs.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • 4 lean pork chops
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. In a large skillet warm 1 Tablespoon of the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the apples and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until the apples are tender.
  2. Remove the apples and onions from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining Tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and leave the heat on medium. Sprinkle cinnamon and salt on both sides of the pork chops then rub in.
  4. Place the pork chops in the pan, sear on each side for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the apples and onions back to the pan, cover and cook for about 6 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve the chops with a generous helping of the apples and onions.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 296 calories, 12g fat, 94mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 21g protein

 

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Sep
17
2012
0

Your Flat Abs Plan

One of the most popular questions that I’m asked is, “How can I get great abs?”

You may have pondered this question at some time or another.

Many people are frustrated by their waistlines, to the point of giving up after doing dozens of crunches with zero improvement.

It’s time to forget everything you’ve heard about how to sculpt your abs.

Quite simply, crunches alone won’t give you a six pack.

Doing crunches with the hope that it will transform your abs from flabby to muscular is to believe in one of the most widely held fitness myths. I’m talking about the spot reduction myth.

Training one area of your body will not specifically burn fat from that spot.

Are you training as if spot reduction worked? Doing dozens of crunches in the hopes that layers of fat will disappear?

Sit-ups, crunches and planks will not cause your muffin top to disappear.

But a drop in overall body fat will do that for you.

So you want the secret to great abs?

The secret is a winning combination of fat burning cardio, resistance training and clean eating.

It is fully possible for you to dramatically shape up your waistline.

Yes, Y-O-U.

My clients routinely lose weight and transform their bodies. You can do it too.

Answer the following questions to see how your current routine measures up:

How often do you exercise? If your answer was anything less than 4 times a week, then that’s the first thing getting between you and flat abs.

How do you define a fat burning workout? A routine including intense cardiovascular training coupled with effective resistance training. Do you do this?

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t a fat blasting routine. Neither is a leisurely 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. The truth is that you can dramatically increase your results while investing less time when you exercise right.

Cardio exercise is all about maintaining an effective level of intensity. This doesn’t mean that you should be out of breath or gasping for air. It does mean that you need to push yourself.

Resistance training is the second key part of a fat burning workout. This means working your major muscle groups against resistance in a way that stimulates your metabolism. Again the key here is to find the right intensity and to keep each muscle group guessing.

Do you eat a clean diet? Diet is a big stumbling block for most people – especially as it relates to their midsection. Here’s a fact: If your diet is out of control then your abs will be too. You can’t trim your waist without trimming the junk out of your diet, regardless of how hard you exercise.

  • Keep calories in check. Do you know how many calories you eat? The best way to find out is to record everything you eat for a few days. Tally the number of calories that you eat each day and do an evaluation – feel free to recruit me to help out with this part. Together we’ll chart improvements for your diet and adjust your calories for maximum results.
  • Just say “No” to junk food. While this may seem obvious, your definition of “junk food” may need an alteration. Refined sugar is one of the biggest culprits in the junk food world – it is found in soft drinks, blended coffee drinks, cookies, cakes, packaged snacks, and other sinfully sweet treats. Processed fat is another monster. As a rule of thumb you can safely view all processed or refined items as junk food.
  • Eat more frequently. The key here is to never let your metabolism “crash” by going hours without eating. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to skip breakfast – as this is the meal that ‘breaks the fast’ that your body goes into each night. Stick with eating small meals every few hours and always avoid stuffing yourself.

You should now understand why you are better off not wasting time on crunches – while it is important to exercise your abs a couple of times a week, you won’t expect fat to fall of that area after 100′s of crunches.

Do you want to flatten and sculpt your waist once and for all? Simply decide that you really want it. Commit to yourself – you deserve it.

See me for fat-blasting workouts that deliver results. Together we will get you on a program that will melt the fat off your abs, exposing shape and definition.

Call or email me today to get started.

 

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Sep
14
2012
0

Easy Spinach Salad

 

Here’s a high protein salad that is bursting with flavor and nutrients. Try the simple homemade salad dressing – it’s much healthier than store bought dressings, and still lends lots of flavor. Servings: 4
Here’s what you need:

  • 6 cups organic baby spinach
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 6 pieces bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice from one lime
  • dash of pepper
  1. Combine the spinach, eggs, bacon and tomatoes in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lime juice and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 170 calories, 10g fat, 337mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 13g protein

 

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Sep
10
2012
0

Create a New You in 3 Steps

Are there things about yourself that you’d like to change?

Your weight, your habits, and maybe even your outlook on life?

We are trained to think that change is hard, that it takes time. But it really doesn’t have to be.

I’m here to argue that lasting change happens in an instant.

I understand that this goes against mainstream belief. Most people believe that change has to be a struggle. We expect to try and fail numerous times before ultimately giving up or succeeding.

Think about this – how many people do you know who struggle with their weight? They want to make a healthy change by getting in shape, but the change never seems to happen.

What is it in your life that you want to change? Do you have inches to lose? Do you have preventable diabetes? Do you have a pair of skinny jeans that you want to fit into?

What is keeping you from making this change in your life?

According to professional speaker and author, Tony Robbins, it’s the preparation for change that takes times. In the end there’s a single instant when the change occurs.

Here are the 3 steps to instantly create a lasting change and a new you.

Step #1: Believe that something must change.
Do you sort of want to get into shape, or do you absolutely have to lose the weight? Does dropping a few pounds sound good, or is living another day in your current body simply unbearable? In order to make a lasting change you must believe wholeheartedly that things must change.

Step #2: Believe that you must change it.
It is vital that you take full responsibility in making the change rather than assigning responsibility elsewhere. Sure, others may help you, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to want this change enough to make it your personal mission – no one else can do it for you.

Step #3: Believe that you can change it.
Don’t let past failures get you down. The truth is that you are capable of amazing things when you put your mind to it. Believe that you are able to lose weight or to make any other positive change in your life.

Why do most people fail to make change stick? They rely on willpower. This works for awhile, but you’ll soon revert back to what’s comfortable. The solution?

Change what you are comfortable with.

People are motivated by two things: 1) to avoid pain and 2) to gain pleasure. When you want to change a behavior pattern the key is to associate pain with the behavior that you don’t want and pleasure with the behavior that you do want.

You know that you want to lose weight and that to do so you need to quit eating comfort food late at night. You also know that you need to start exercising on a regular basis. Up until this point your brain is trained to associate pleasure with eating comfort food late at night and to associate pain with exercise.

It’s time to retrain your brain to feel good about exercise and to feel bad about eating late at night. Think about all of the negative things about being overweight and connect these unpleasant thoughts to your late night snack. Now think about all of the wonderful things about being in shape and connect these pleasant thoughts to exercise.

You are capable of making big changes in your life. Start by contacting me for your no obligation fitness consultation.

Remember, change happens in an instant.

 

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Sep
07
2012
0

On-The-Go Ham Cups

 

Here’s a recipe for the perfect on-the-go energy food. Ham, broccoli and an egg combine for a tasty snack that’s packed with protein and fiber. Make a dozen and enjoy throughout your week. Servings: 12

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 12 slices of nitrate free ham
  • 1 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 12 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside
  2. In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until tender.
  3. Add the steamed broccoli, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix until fully combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Using kitchen scissors, make a slice to the center of each piece of ham, then fold into a cone shape in each muffin cup. Fill halfway with the broccoli mixture.
  5. Crack an egg into each ham cup. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the edges of the ham are crispy.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 135 calories, 8g fat, 437mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 12g protein.

 

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Sep
05
2012
0

Energy Packed Snacks

These on-the-go snacks will fill you with energy without hindering your results.

  • On-The-Go Ham Cups (see recipe below)
  • Apple slices with a Tablespoon of almond butter
  • Turkey slices with a handful of grapes
  • Half of an avocado and one slice of sprouted grain bread
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with 12 raspberries
  • 1 hard boiled egg with celery sticks

 

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