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TrainerTiff: February 2008 >

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eating Healthy While Dining Out

When most people begin a new diet program, dining out doesn't seem like an option. Well, I am here to tell you, it is possible.

The key is to choose meals that are not fried, avoid creamy sauces, pastas and load up on the veggies.

Recently, I went to dinner at P.F. Changs, Outback and Houlihans. Here is what I ate.

P.F. Changs: Changs Spicy Chicken, brown rice and a side of steamed broccoli.

The portions of chicken and rice are way more than a serving, so I ate 1/3 of the chicken and one spoonful of rice and took the rest home. Ordering a side of broccoli not only allowed me to get veggies in my meal, but also prevented me from overeating. I filled up on the broccoli first, that way I wouldn't be tempted to eat too much chicken and rice. As for a drink -- water, of course.

Outback: Chicken Grillers with broccoli.

This dish actually comes with whole grain wild rice, but you can substitue it for a different side and I chose broccoli. I really like this dish because the chicken is grilled and you don't have to worry about extra calories from unwanted sauce. And you can never go wrong with steamed broccoli. As for a drink -- you guessed it, water, with lemon.

Houlihans: Blackened tilapia with sweet potatoes and a side of broccoli.

Now, I must admit, I was a little worried about whether I would find a healthy option here, but I was pleasantly surprised with the tilapia. As with my strategy at P.F. Changs, I ate the broccoli first so I wouldn't eat too many potatos. While sweet potatos are the ideal potato when eating healthy, the portion size was a little large. So, I ate the fish, all of the broccoli and a couple bites of potato. And yes, water with lemon was my drink of choice.

As you can see, eating healthy while out isn't impossible. Just remember to look for grilled meats without heavy sauces, load up on the veggies and watch the portions. If it is too much, half it. Eat one half at the restaurant and take the other half home.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What I Ate

Food Journal for Thur Feb. 7

8:30 a.m.
3 egg whites
1 slice whole wheat toast w/ butter spray

11:45 a.m.
1/4 cup oatmeal with water and 1 Tbs sugar-free strawberry preserves
1.5 scoops protein powder with water

2:30 p.m.
Large salad w/
-1 serving baked skinless chicken
-3 Tbs olive oil vinaigrette dressing

5:30 p.m.
1 serving baked skinless chicken
1 cup broccoli & cauliflower

7:00 p.m.
1 slice whole wheat bread

9:30 p.m.
Protein shake
-1.5 scoop protein powder
-1 cup soy milk
-1 cup mixed frozen berries
-1 packet Splenda

1/2 cup orange juice

Approximately 1250 calories
143 grams protein
57 grams carbs (not counting veggies)
1 gallon water
1 cup coffee

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I've Found a New Bar!

With all the protein bar selections on the market, it can be a little confusing as to which ones are the good ones. "But, Tiffiany," you may say, "aren't they all good, they have protein, right?" Well my friend, don't believe all the hype, there are a lot out there that aren't much better than eating a candy bar.

The thing to really watch out for is sugar. Many of these bars are loaded with sugar which is not what you want to be consuming if you are trying to eat healthy.

So, recently I was at a different grocery store than the one I usually frequent. I was browsing the store's health food section when I came to the protein bars. I stood there surveying the options when I saw some bars in light green and peanut colored wrappers. I grabbed one and feel in love when I read they were sugar free!

The brand is called ThinkProducts. They have protein bars that have 20g of protein, around 220 calories and the best part, have no sugar. Now maybe I'm really late and these bars have been around for a while, but they are new to me and I am thrilled! I would totally recommend having a stash of these around so when you are pinched for time and need to eat, you can just grab a bar. They have variety of flavors: dark chocolate, brownie crunch, creamy peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter and chocolate fudge (and yes, I've tried them all). You may saying to yourself, "yeah that sounds good, but how do they taste?" And to that, all I have are two words, de-lish!!!

Leg Day

One of my favorite muscle groups to train is legs. These workouts usually tend to be long because you have a lot of muscles in your legs and they all need training. I always hit the major muscles of the leg which are the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. And I will use my leg day to train glutes as well.

I don't do exercises for my inner and outer thighs on the abductor and adductor machines (those machines where you are sitting and squeezing your legs together and pushing them apart). I find that you get an awesome workout doing exercises that hit all the muscles like squats. Plus, I don't really want to increase the size of the muscles that the abductor and adductor machines focus on. A common misconception with those machines is that people think they are burning the fat off of their legs. Wrong! You will need cardio for that.

I would recommend changing your leg routine every few weeks. (This would actually apply to any weight training routine.) The reason you want to change it up, is because your body adapts to the exercises and those exercises become less effective. It's sort of like your body knows what's coming and so it doesn't work as hard. If your change your routine to a new set of exercises, your body will work harder because it hasn't had a chance to adapt.

Check out one of my favorite leg training routines below.

4 sets of each exercise

Smith machine squats 90x20*/180x10/180x10/180x10

Decline leg press 270x15/270x15/270x15/270x12

Leg extensions 90x15/120x12/140x10/140x10

Leg curls 105x15/120x10/120x10/120x10

Deadlifts w/ bar 95x10/95x10/95x10/95x10

Standing calf raises 90x20/90x20/90x20/90x20

Cable kickbacks (glutes) 35x10 ea. leg for 4 sets

*90x20 means 90 pounds for 20 reps. Each set is notated by a /