Please enable JavaScript
Email Marketing Services by Benchmark
TrainerTiff: October 2012 >

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mixed Berries Protein Milkshake

Lately, I've been on sort of a kick, experimenting with different ingredients to make tasty protein shakes. The most common complaint that I hear from clients is that protein shakes taste gross. Granted, some powders aren't that great and you have to endure a little trial and error to find a brand that you like.

However, with a little creativity, you can make a protein shake that tastes just like a dessert. Win win!

This shake comes out tasting just like a fruity, delicious milkshake. The recipe is pretty basic, but the addition of açai makes it unique. If you're unfamiliar, açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries come from açai palm trees that are native to Central and South America. These little berries are high in antioxidants (more than pomegranates and blueberries), omega fatty acids and fiber. They even have protein. You can find them at natural food stores or Whole Foods.

If you're looking for a spin to your usual shake, check this out.

1 cup almond milk*
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 açai frozen smoothie packet
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries

Directions: Place all ingredients into blender. Blend for 30-60 seconds until all the fruit is smooth, but not long enough to where the heat from the blender starts to melt the frozen berries.

*For post-workout almond milk based shakes, I typically opt for a sweetened variety of almond milk because we actually do need to replace our glycogen (sugar) stores after a workout. This is the only time I recommend having sweetened almond milk. If you're having a protein smoothie during the day for a snack or meal (and not after a workout), then I would advise the plain, unsweetened variety of almond milk.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cacao Protein Pudding

If you're looking for a new way to add a little more protein into your diet, this is just for you. Sometimes protein shakes can get boring. And there's only so much boneless, skinless chicken breast one can stand.

Here's your solution -- a little bit of almond milk, protein powder, chia seeds, some cacao powder, and you're all set.

A little bit about some of the ingredients:

Almond milk is my non-dairy milk choice -- you can use whichever you like. I try to avoid as much dairy as possible because it can be difficult to digest and, I can really do without the fat it contains.

Chia seeds are a great source of protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and fiber. The thing that is really cool about chia seeds is that they are gelatinous. They are the secret ingredient that makes this pudding, well ... pudding. When the seeds come in contact with liquid they expand and become gel-like.

Cacao is different from cocoa, in that, it is less processed and has a high concentration of antioxidants. It also contains protein, fiber, essential fats and minerals. If you're going for a chocolate flavor, might as well get the added nutritional benefits, right?

Here's the recipe:

1 cup almond milk*
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon cacao powder
3 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions: add all ingredients into a blender and pulse on a low speed for a few seconds. -- just long enough to break up the cacao powder. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight. The longer it sets, the more the mixture becomes like a pudding.

*For this recipe, I would suggest using original almond milk versus unsweetened almond milk. The cacao powder is a little bitter and the small amount of sugar in the original almond milk will help balance that out.


Monday, October 8, 2012

#TOFC Week 1 Challenge Recap

Kicked off the challenge by running hills at the park. 
It may be fall, but it still looks like summer here in Arizona. 
The first week of the challenge went well for me. It was tough at times. For instance, giving up cheese is always difficult for me because I love it. I think we all have that one thing that we could eat entirely too much of in one sitting and be perfectly fine with it -- for me, it's cheese.

But in all, the week was fine. The best part was that my weight and bodyfat decreased! My overall goal of the challenge is to reduce my bodyfat by 2 percent. I tend to maintain around 20%, but I like to push myself to get to 18% when I hover at 20% for too long.

After competing in figure shows and having to lean out to 12-14% bodyfat (which is hardly sustainable for anybody), I've found that 18% bodyfat represents the perfect mix of lean and curves that is right for me.

I experimented a lot with food this week. In my attempt to drastically cut out any processed foods, for the first time I tried making homemade bread and almond butter. They both came out pretty good, though I know what I'll tweak the next time around to make it just right. Even Hubby was happy with the meals -- he's my taste barometer. He can be really picky, so if he likes it, then it must be good. 

Below, I noted in blue how I did with all the rules.
  • Exercise EVERY DAY  
    • Do an accumulation of 210 minutes of cardio each week I made it! On Sunday, however I had to pull a two-a-day to complete this -- one morning workout and an evening workout. 
    • Weight train 4 times each week I ended up weight training heavy 3 times this week. I would've done the 4th on Sunday, but I had to make up my missed cardio sessions that day. Next week, 4 days for sure!
  • Do a new type of exercise or class every week that you don't usually do (i.e. pull-ups, hiking, yoga, planks, Zumba, kickboxing, spinning, etc.) I ran hills which I don't do regularly and I added pull-ups into the mix. 
  • Every Sunday, write out your meal plan and workout schedule for the upcoming week. I did write out my meals and workout plan for the week. It helps tons!
  • Eat 5-6 times each day, every 2-3 hours. I did.
  • Never skip breakfast. I love breakfast time, I never skip.
  • Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water each day. I did, and some days more than 64 oz.
  • Reduce starchy carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, etc.) I limited my starchy carb servings to 1-2 each day.
  • Allow yourself ONE cheat meal each week. Oh yes, nachos! I missed my cheese!
  • Reduce dairy intake in half or have none at all. No dairy.
  • Eat a minimum of 2 pieces of fruit each day. Most days more than 2 pieces.
  • Avoid as many processed foods as possible. None except for my protein powder/juice shakes. But I did make my own bread to avoid store-bought bread!  
  • No alcohol (you can have one serving at your cheat meal each week). None except with my cheat meal which was 6 ounces of beer. 
Check out my typical daily diet and my workout plan for the week below. 

For those of you doing the challenge, I hope your week went well too. And if you want to start this challenge, it's not too late to jump in. We have the rest of October.

Week 1 was productive. Now onto week 2. I've got my workout schedule and meals planned. I hope you do as well. Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Healthy Snack: Sticks and Dip

When you're trying to think of a healthy snack, I'm sure carrot and celery sticks are one of the first things that pops into mind. While those are good choices, you don't have to stop there. Make it a little more interesting than that.

Branch out a little. Any raw veggie is a good snack -- well, most are. I don't know if you want to eat raw potatoes.

I put together a variety of sticks: cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, and of course, the beloved carrot. I also whipped up a quick and easy vegan avocado dip to go along with it -- because let's be honest, eating veggies alone can be a somewhat ... "blah."

If you're looking for healthy options to have between meals, give this a try.

Check it out.

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 carrot
1 cucumber

1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon plain coconut milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 lemon, juiced

Cut the peppers, carrot and cucumber into sticks in the size of your liking. For the dip, scoop out the avocado and add to a food processor. Add the yogurt, dill, salt and lemon juice. Pulse until it forms a smooth consistency.