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Archive for category lose weight

A healthy, filling breakfast {Chocolate Chip Protein Pancake Recipe!}

Holy yum, ya’ll!

We all know it’s SUPER important to eat a healthy, filling breakfast right? Well, that’s great, but for me, it’s gotta be FAST & also super tasty. Well here ya go! I’m excited to share a new recipe with you that I’ve adjusted from a base recipe and perfected (at least to MY taste! I’ll tell you how to adjust if you have different preferences).

I make THESE beautiful protein pancakes in big batches, let them cool, wrap in plastic wrap individually, store in the fridge and hubby and I have SUPER easy, fast, and healthy breakfasts on the go for DAYS.

Looks tasty, right!?

Healthy chocolate chip protein pancake recipe

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Scoops quality whey or whey & soy protein
  • 1 cup oat flour (use a magic blender, use old fashioned oats and BLEND to make oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg whites (or equivalent if you use egg whites in a carton)
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs almond or coconut milk (regular will be fine if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract *OPTIONAL
  • dark chocolate chips *OPTIONAL (but highly recommended!)

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and stir until mixed. Lightly oil a nonstick pan with coconut oil or olive oil. Warm pan to med-high. Drop 2 tablespoons or so into the pan for each pancake and spread slightly with the back of your spoon so they spread a bit. Place a few chocolate chips in into the batter of each pancake while the first side cooks. It takes about a minute to cook the first side. Flip gently and cook the other side for a minute or so until done. Let cool or enjoy immediately.

Here’s what they look like when you first put them in the pan & spread the batter a touch.

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TOP WITH: Pure maple syrup, fresh fruit, whole fruit preserves, or, my favorite, either a tablespoon of peanut butter or a mixture of 1 tablespoon peanut butter whipped with 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt. You could also play around with all sorts of toppings…maybe a flax/almond butter mixture? Or coconut oil mixed with almond butter? Have fun. And let me know your concoctions.

**I said I’d help you adjust if you don’t like the kind of pancakes that I do. If these turn out too thick/dense for you, just cut back the oat flour a touch. If you want more flavor without having to use toppings, add a half a smashed banana into the batter – or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Or play with other extracts. If you like pancakes thinner…you’ll want  to spread the batter as you put it in the pan. Since it’s a little thick, it won’t spread on its own like regular pancake batter.

Hope you try these healthy chocolate chip protein pancakes and love them. Let me know in the comments! 🙂

 

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Eating. How to do it. {And other stuff}

Wondering what to eat to lose weight? Or maybe you want to know what to eat just to be as healthy as you can?

It’s no secret, diet is extremely important to weight loss and health and wellness. You can work out every single day, but until your diet is clean, you won’t see the best results possible. Some people will tell you that a calorie is a calorie. If you want to be literal, yes, I suppose it is. If you have a lot of weight to lose, counting and cutting back calories and thinking about little else will definitely help. But there will come a time when you’ll plateau. Not only that, if you’re eating low-calorie junk, you’ll still feel like crap. Not to mention, eating low-calorie junk food will not help your actual HEALTH any. A healthier choice at the SAME calorie count will mean more nutrients, more fiber, more filling, etc.

So, put down the 100 calorie snack packs, the pretzels, and the diet ice cream. It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your results will be SO noticeable, and you’ll feel SO much better once you clean up your diet.

But I know you’re still asking… “How do I eat clean?” True, 100% clean would be nothing store-bought, really. Maybe bulk grains and of course produce from the store, but anything in a box would be a no-go. I try to work toward this, but I’m not there yet.

Instead, I want to share with you what I believe is some of the most important things to eat (and not eat) that will make a big impact but also be reasonable for those of us who still need a little convenience in our lives…

Here’s my “Rules to eat by”:

  • Get rid of enriched wheat products. Replace with items that specifically say “100% whole grain”. Doesn’t have to be wheat as the grain, you can think about rice, barley, oats, etc
  • Drink water all day long, every day
  • Get rid of sodas, inculding diet sodas.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of veggies every day. (1 serving of leafy veggies like raw spinach is equal to 1 cup. Small veggies like chopped carrots & broccoli is 1/2 cup as a serving.)
  • Eat 1 serving of fruit every day
  • Buy organic as much as possible, especially the types of produce and fruit that were directly exposed to pesticides and all that garbage. Berries, greens, apples, etc are especially important. Things that you peel, like oranges and bananas are less important.
  • Eat 1 serving of beans every day
  • Combine the ‘must eats’ as much as possible. Try having a big salad for your lunches…include beans, seeds, etc & plenty of veggies, then you get it all in at once!
  • Eat every 3 hours or so. Snacks can include small stuff if you’re not super hungry. Think nuts, greek yogurt, fruit, etc
  • Try to keep meat to only 2 meals a day to start. Try to work your way to 1 meat a day, then if you’re feeling amazing like I think you will be, you can go from there.
  • Get rid of as much packaged food as you can.
  • Check product labels, look for stuff with only real ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
  • Remember to keep your meats lean. Stick to chicken, fish, and turkey as much as possible.
  • Treat yourself some, but be reasonable. Have a drink once in a while if it’s important to you. But be real with yourself about how much you’re eating/drinking, measure it out. Stick to dark chocolate (72% cacao or darker), or red wine..or just a couple cookies a week,etc). This shouldn’t be a daily thing, work to kick your sugar habit. YES you can.

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A few random *other* tips for well-being & weightless/healthy living success:

  • Sleep 7-8 hrs every night. No excuses
  • Take time every day to relax. No, sleeping doesn’t count.
  • Drink more water (Yes, I know I said that already. Must be important, huh?) 🙂
  • Work on speaking to yourself in a positive voice.
  • Write out your goals. Not just your fitness goals. Write them all out and revisit often.
  • Laugh alot.
  • Make new friends.
  • Find old friends.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Be nice to yourself and to others, even if they may not deserve it.

Soooo….what your FIRST step going to be?? Tell us in the comments below!

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Our 2 week reset/clean eating challenge – {some recipes!}

Hubby and I usually eat pretty well. It seems that in the last few months though, we were slipping a little. We’d gone from eating really well about 90% of the time to more like 75% of the time. We decided to create our own 2 week challenge to reset. Our goal is to eat healthy like we had done for so long. Our challenge would go like this:

We’d be eating clean…as clean as possible at least. And we’d cut back carbs to 2 meals a day. We’d eat nothing with added sugar. No beer or wine. And we’d add in extra veggies and fruits. No fast food, very little packaged food – and the packaged food we did eat would be something healthier than most, like Quest Protein Bars(Have you tried these? SO delicious & a TON healthier than other protein bars – which are really more like candy bars. Check the labels!) and Lara Bars. We also decided to log our food for those 2 weeks. That really helps with paying attention to what you’re eating and becoming re-acclimated to what a serving size looks like, and how much our meals SHOULD include.

Today is our last day of our challenge. I lost 4 pounds! We’ll be celebrating with some wine and brunch at our favorite spot. (Can Can Brasserie in Carytown…yuuummm!!) But of course we’re very dedicated to continuing this eating plan at about 90% again now that we’re reset. That’s the beauty of doing something like this. Once you give some things up for a while, you crave it less. It’s a lot easier to continue!

I wanted to share some of the meals and recipes we had…in case any of you wanted to try your own reset/clean eating challenge. Our meals were quick since we both work full time. And I am a big fan of things that don’t take a bunch of ingredients. So, you’ll find some pretty simple stuff here…. I’d love to know what you guys think. Do these looks like meals you’d eat??

Go-To Sandwich

We ate these for many lunches. And usually with mostly the same ingredients, but depending on what we had in the fridge. Here’s my favorite & what we put on it… (and a side note, isn’t it a beautiful sandwich?!)

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Ingredients:

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon super hummus

3 slices hormel natural choice turkey (Applegate Farms is a great choice too)

1/2 slice sargento ultra thin provolone cheese

2 slices tomato

1/4 cup baby spinach

1/2 avocado, sliced

Salt & Pepper to taste

(Some optional things that I added some days: Thinly sliced apple, thinly sliced cucumber, or you could use dijon mustard, a little balsamic vinegar, etc)

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Easy breakfast scramble:

Again, we ate this or a variation of this many mornings. It’s super quick, easy, filling and tasty. Oh and healthy.

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Ingredients:

1 cage free, grain fed egg + 1 egg white

handful of baby spinach

a little Sriracha sauce

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread

1 tablespoon super hummus

Just scramble the egg and cook with the spinach. Add salt and pepper if you’d like. Spread the hummus on the toast and top with the egg scramble. Add sriracha to taste.

Some variations I like to use: add chopped tomato to the scramble and/or 1/2 of a avocado. You could also skip the toast.

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Quick and Healthy Stirfry
Also a very forgiving recipe to replace or add other veggies you may like!
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Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (use Extra Firm Tofu if you’d like)
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Sriracha to taste
Just warm the sesame oil over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the veggies and cooked chicken. Add the rest of the sauces, spices, and peanut butter. Stir constantly for a few minutes until sauces and peanut butter are fully mixed in and warm all the way through. Seriously. You’re done. And you could add more or less veggies as you’d like, but we added a lot since there’s no noodles or rice in this stirfry. This was SO delish!

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Sausages and Sauerkraut
(And quinoa.) Oh Em Gee….!!! So good!
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Ingredients:
4 links Aidelis chicken sausages
1 cup sauerkraut
1 serving Red Inca quinoa (or any quality quinoa)
Prepare quinoa according to package. Warm sausages on the stovetop over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add sauerkraut and prepared quinoa to the pan with sausages and warm for a couple more minutes. 1 serving is 1 link plus a scoop of sauerkraut and quinoa. This made wonderful leftovers for work the next day, too!

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Okay, that’s some of what we used….and all were very satisfying and filling, and super tasty. I’ll save the rest for another post so this one doesn’t get too cumbersome.  Comment below if you’d like me to send you the rest sooner, though!
Tell me what your favorite clean recipe is below 🙂


Try Quest Protein Bars!

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Hmm…a super effective cardio workout that’s SUPER fast? I’ll take it! {Tabata Training}

So I’ve heard rumblings about Tabata training for several months. Have you? Honestly, I didn’t read up on it before now because I figured it was some sort of fad. Well when it popped up on yahoo recently, I decided to just take a few minutes and figure out what it was all about.

Well, needless to say, I was impressed and intrigued.

Basically, if you’re not familiar, it goes like this…a scientist from Japan Mr. Tabata discovered a form of cardio that proved to be super effective and super short. That’s a combo right up my alley.

How does Tabata training work? I’m glad you asked! In Tabata, you warm up for a minutes or two (just like you would any other workout), then you do some intervals. Nothing new here, we all know that interval training is super effective, right? Wellllll, in Tabata training, your intervals are much shorter but you go MUCH harder. Usually in HIIT, you would want to go at about 80% of your max during your ‘sprints’. But in Tabata, you go like 100% of your max for 20 seconds and then you rest for 10 seconds & repeat 8 times. You’re doing aLOT less intervals than in HIIT, so that’s why you’re going ALL out. So, a key to Tabata training is to know what your max feels like. It should feel like you can’t really keep going. You definitely can’t talk to someone. You are completely freaking POOPED when you’re done. That’s 100%. But here’s the payoff. The workout is 4 minutes. Whaaaaat…

Oh yes, in Tabata training, your workout is only 4 minutes. And what you get in return is over 24 hours of increased calorie/fat burn (increased metabolism). So, you warm up for a minute or two, do 4 minutes of crazy ridiculous intervals, and then cool down and stretch for a few minutes of course. So total with warm up, workout & cool down & stretch, you’re looking at 8-10 minutes. Can’t beat that!

Since this is your MAX, you shouldn’t do this every day.

So here’s how it works…I put a Tabata workout together for you. I did this one twice last week and oooohhhh yes it’s KILLER.

I hope you enjoy this 4 minute Tabata workout from me to you!  Comment below if you do it…or let me know if you’ve done any Tabata training before 🙂

(if you need to know how to do any of these moves, here’s some tips for you:)

* High knees – you are jogging in place bringing your knees up to about hip level. It’ll be hard! Use your core to help lift your knees. Since you’re going to your max, really jog with this!

* Squat jumps – squat down into a normal squat position. Explode upward into a jump, brining your knees up toward your chest, and then land as softly as you can. Crazy!

* Vertical jumps – stand with your feet hip distance apart. Squat down a few inches, and then jump straight upward, reaching your arms toward the ceiling & fully extending your legs. Land softly again. You’ll really feel this in your booty & your calves & quads. Remember, you’re going to your max here, so as soon as you land, pop back up into another jump, go fast.

* Lunge jumps – from a normal lunge position with your right leg forward, jump landing with your left leg forward in a lunge. Land softly & keep switching as soon as you land so that you’re hitting your max.

If you’re unable to do any of these moves for some reason, you can substitute with something that will still challenge you. Some ideas would be suicide runs, mountain climbers, pushups, etc)

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Flat Belly Challenge with yours truly!

So here’s my story, in a nutshell…and why I’m doing a challenge… {{Please note, I run a challenge like this EVERY month, so even if this post looks old, it’s still relevant!}}

I haven’t had kids (by choice!) But…as I got a little older, I was slowly gaining pounds. (why can’t we all stay 25?!) To say the least, I wasn’t crazy about gaining 2 pants sizes. Hey I know that’s not a lot, but it was enough to notice. I admitted early that I needed to do something. When I committed to making a change I went all in & haven’t looked back. FItness is part of my daily life now and I am so passionate about it that I always look for ways to pay it forward.

So now I’m looking for some ladies to make THEIR change WITH me. If you have been thinking about it, wanting and wishing you could really change, now’s the time to step up! I’ll be working closely with this group, daily. We’ll be serious about accountability & fitness and I’ll share TONS of tips & ideas, meal planning & motivation.

I am only taking 5 ladies so let me know NOW! I lost 2 sizes & am FITTER than I was when I was 25 and I know I can guide you to do the same. Your only role right now — COMMIT. Once you commit, I’ll help you do the rest!

So. Are you in? Comment below — or email me (amyromerova@outlook.com) if you want to know more about the details…!!! I can’t wait,  y’all!

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A quick HIIT workout from me to you

I’m sure you’ve heard of HIIT by now (High Intensity Interval Training)…and if you haven’t, here’s a little info for you. It’s a quicker, more effective way of doing some cardio. You can get a better workout in about half the time by basically getting your intensity VERY high for a short burst and then recovering for a short burst and repeating. It’s been shown to burn more fat than a steady state cardio such as a jog or walk.

HIIT can be pretty tiring for newbies – and you’ll probably have sore muscles after your first few tries, but that means it’s working!

If you’re interested in trying a little HIIT, I made a quick 10 minute beginner workout for you. Try doing it 3 times a week. You can still do your normal cardio if you’d like, too. And don’t forget your strength training. This HIIT workout will help speed up your metabolism, so why not give it a go?

So give it a try, let me know what you think..and let me know if you’d like more workouts like this! (& if you like it, please tweet a link to this post…or pin it, or send to your friends!)

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Slow progress is still PROGRESS!

It’s a sentiment worth reminding ourselves…

Just because you haven’t reached your goal fast enough…or even if you’re not seeing progress like you think you should….ANY progress is still progress. We didn’t get out of shape overnight. We won’t get in shape overnight. And some changes are hard to stick with. The key is finding those changes you CAN make and that are sustainable and go from there.

Keep pushing! You haven’t failed until you give up.

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What timeframe do you give yourself for your weight loss or fitness goals? Have you ever considered setting a 5lb a month goal? Or 1/2 inch a month? Something else?

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Have you messed up your diet?

I admit, there’s more days than I’d like to admit where I feel like I failed at my ‘healthy eating’. (I try not to call it a diet.) I’m still susceptible to eating JUNK when I’m stressed or if I get too hungry and haven’t planned well.

I know I”m not alone. I get emails and messages about it all the time. It’s tempting to give up after having a rough go at mealtime for a few days…or weeks. But I have to remind myself – and I’m reminding you, that a few bad meals or a few bad days or weeks…does not mean you should give up. It does NOT negate all the hard work you’ve been through. Actually the same goes for missing workouts. Maybe you worked out religiously for 2 weeks but then you just sort of lost interest and haven’t done anymore for 2 weeks. You haven’t failed! Those 2 weeks you did complete are still with you. Just get back to it and be kind to yourself. The most important thing is to get your mind back in the game and just START again.

I created the poster below based on what I tell myself and what I try to pass along to you guys. Feel free to share on Pinterest, Facebook, or wherever you’d like. I think we all need to be reminded of it now and again.

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Have you ever given up on a fitness program or a diet because you felt like you’d failed after having some bad days/weeks?

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Workout Results

Ever start a workout and give up because you don’t see the results you expect in a few weeks? I know the feeling.I It’s tempting.

But remember, you didn’t put on the extra weight in a few weeks, so it’ll take longer than that to lose it. Even if you don’t have a lot to lose, maybe you’re just trying to tone up a bit, it’s going to take a little time. They key is consistency.

In a few weeks, you’re likely to see *some* results yourself. It’ll probably take double that time for other people to notice the difference. And to get to your goal, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Often there are body parts that take much longer to respond. But I’m here to tell you that it WILL happen.

ImageDo the right things, eat well (that’s responsible for about 80% of  your results!) And get your workouts in. Even on days you’re not really up to it, do something. Shoot for cardio a few days a week and weight/strength training a few days a week and keep going.

To keep your motivation up, try taking measurements before you begin and each week after. Write it down each time. Even try taking pictures every 30 days. When you see numbers going down on the tape measure or changes in your pictures, it can be VERY motivational! 

Don’t give up!

Tell us below, how long did it take you to see the results you wanted — or if you’re not there yet, tell us how long it took to see ANY changes & let us know what you did to get them!

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How to start losing weight

It’s easy to get bogged down by all the details. Many times, we don’t even know what the very first step should be.

If you’re just getting started on your weight loss journey, here’s some thoughts on some of the basics you can start with. Try not to get bogged down with the other stuff right off the bat. The importance here is to start making some new healthy habits and make some changes so you start seeing results. After that, you can start tweaking your tactics to get even better results.

Here’s how to start losing weight:

* First, move every day. If you don’t want to think about a workout program yet, just get out and move. Try a walk every day for 30 minutes. I just ask that you push yourself a little. Try to break a sweat. Yes, do it every day, it’s only 30 minutes. You deserve it! If walking is too easy for you, jog instead. If those are too boring, consider staring on an actual workout program. This is my preference actually, because the good ones are developed for the best results, they are more interesting and fun, and it can be very motivational to have an actual program with a schedule. My preferences for some starting workouts are Turbo Jam, Slim in 6, and Chalean Extreme. Have you seen my results from Chalean Extreme??  http://wp.me/p2aVN6-6h

* Second, get rid of sweets. Anything that is sugary, including desserts, sodas, teas. Included though are also white breads. So breads like crossaints, biscuits, white bread, regular pasta, and white rice. Replace them all with whole wheat versions. The white stuff turns to sugar. And sugar is the real enemy here.

* Finally, drink water all day long, add in one serving of fruit per day, one serving of vegetables per day, and make sure you’re snacking on something every few hours.

These are the bare basics. If you stick to this type of plan for a few weeks, you’ll start feeling better and you’ll be developing new, healthy habits. If you give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised with how you feel. When you’re ready to move on, come back  here and check in, click on the fitness tab and lets take it to the next step.

So what’s holding you back? You can totally do this, it’s only a few steps, just start today. Make your will stronger than your excuses.

Tell me, what’s your fitness/weightloss goals?

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