You're really excited that you just bought this new plan, so excited that you've already told everyone you know, used the cute hashtag on IG and you're planning your first shopping trip once you start to lose weight.
Ugh, I am obsessed with eating things that taste amazing, leave me feeling good, are actually filling and still help me reach my goals...that is a #WIN.
I mean really, pad thai and feeling confident in my clothes. YES.
Enough with the excitement, I just get really jazzed when people can see that you don't have to eat tree bark with a side of lemon slices to be healthy and reach your goals.
It's actually insanely easy. I'm about to blow your mind.
What You Need:
- 1.5lbs of chicken
- 1 red pepper (any color is fine)
- 1 whole onion
- 2-3 cups green beans (broccoli would be awesome too)
- 2 eggs
- Annies Pad Thai sauce
- Pad Thai Rice Noodles
- Olive oil for cooking
- Heat a pan to medium and add 1tbsp of olive oil
- Chop all veggies and add to pan.
- Sautee veggies for 4-7 min
- Meanwhile heat another pan to medium and add 1tbsp of olive oil
- Add cleaned chicken to the pan and cook 3-4 min each side (season with salt and pepper)
- While the chicken is cooking, follow the directions on the rice noddle package and cook them. When they are done, set them aside.
- Take chicken and chop it.
- Crack two eggs and scramble them into your veggies
- Now put your cooked chicken and drained noodles into your veggie pan
- Add 4tbsp of the Pad Thai sauce to the mixture and stir
- Now eat and enjoy :)
I talk about this subject so frequently because it's what drove me to want to create SCR. It's what helps me connect to my clients, it helps me understand them better. Because I get it. Each time I talk about my history with binge eating I open up just a little bit more. This time though, I think I'm ready to share it all.
I hope if you're reading this, that these words help you in every way that you need right now. If you find yourself needing help, or someone to talk to--I AM HERE. I don't say that in a fake or insincere way. I truly, to my core, mean it.
The hold that food had over my life was scary. I think it started at a young age when I would go over to a friend's house and shovel white bread and butter down my throat. When I'd get home and my dad would ask what I ate, I'd say something like "salad with chicken."
My dad wasn't stupid, I think he knew that I wasn't always eating salad. Nor did he want me to eat salad all the time. He wanted me to value my health at a young age. I didn't though. I wanted to be "normal" like everyone else. I wanted to buy super sack lunch at school on Wednesday. I couldn't though. Or at least I wasn't allowed, so I'd dig up or even steal money from my dad so I could indulge with my friends.
This lead through high school, but I didn't realize it was a problem until I got married.
After I had my son I was in shock over what my body looked like. I wanted my lean body back. Why was I left with this skin, these deep, deep stretch marks and all this unwanted weight? I wanted it gone. Yesterday.
I thought I finally found my way and started getting in shape.
I had a slight problem though. I never left my house, I only went to the store once a week and sometimes to see family. So my vision for what I "should" look like became 100% locked on what the girls on Instagram looked like.
I NEVER aspired to look like them. But with these women being the only women I looked at, I just thought that finally reaching my "goal" meant attaining abs.
So I got there. I had abs, and I still hated myself. I thought I was fat at 125 lbs. I don't say that lightly, and I realize now that in no way shape or form was I fat. But that's not what I saw in the mirror.
I would get so upset that I wasn't at my goal that I would tell my husband "Let's just go out to eat. It's my cheat meal". He would agree and I'd stuff my face. Then I'd be so upset that I did that, I'd continue to eat poorly. Make sense right?
I'd begin to eat my sons cereal to the point of feeling like I was going to throw up, crying because it hurt so bad but I felt like I couldn't stop.
I'd binge on protein bars, fruit, chips. Anything, even seemingly "healthy" foods.
I'd do this for 1-4 weeks and then commit to some insane goal. Like competing. Meaning I'd restrict or count my food like a crazy person. Replacing one addiction with another.
Then a few weeks or months after *thinking* I had my shit together I'd binge again. Every time the binges would get worse.
It finally got to a point that I told my husband. I told him not to give me the keys to the car so I couldn't go and buy food. I told him not to give me money to buy it.
The moment I had it in my head I "needed" food, I'd ask for the keys and money. He would say no, just like I asked him to.
Then? I would cry. I would literally sob. I yelled at him for not letting me do what I want with my body. I did this until he caved and gave me the keys, so I could go feed my addiction.
It makes me sick just writing this.
My mother is an addict and alcoholic. Comparing the way I treated food, with looking at the way she treats drugs and alcohol. I don't see any difference.
I was literally ruining my body and my mind and I truly felt like there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't feel like I was in control.
OF COURSE there was something I could do. I WAS IN CONTROL. I didn't realize it though.
I could have sought help but I felt like as a personal trainer whose mission is to help women break free from food, and LOVE their bodies--how could I ask for help?
I didn't tell my dad because I didn't want him to think less of me. I didn't tell my sister because I thought she looked up to me. I didn't tell my best friend because I wanted it to look like I was better. Like I didn't struggle too. I did.
I did tell my husband. It was never his fault. I was bat shit crazy. He didn't know that me eating 5 protein bars was bad. I lied to him, I used him. All for food.
One day I sat on the couch after I had convinced my husband to take me to the store to buy food fo "us". I suggested that we "needed" a platter of cheese and crackers because to him he thought it was healthy so it was okay. Him and my son fell asleep and I ate the whole thing. Then I ate a whole box of cereal. My husband woke up to me crying with a bowl of cereal in my hands, I sat there saying " I can't stop, I need help." Over and over again,
I sat there deciding whether or not I wanted to give up my business and stop Strong Chicks Rock. How dare I help women when I can't even help myself? Who the fuck am I to help anyone?
So I cried, and I sat. I cried more. As I sat there and held my stomach I thought "I will get better for my clients." If I could get myself better, I could help women everywhere. I could help women dig out from what feels like the depths of hell. But I have to do it first.
So I did. Through the hate I felt, through the challenges I faced and the anger I felt. I did it.
I started by making small goals. Like "three days binge free". I would make a mark on my dry erase board every night ONLY if I made it through the day honoring my body through food. I had to switch my mindset from eating for a body, to eating to fuel my body and love it.
I'd have one good day. Yay! One mark up on the board and I was so proud! Day two, I binged and would have to physically erase my day one check and then begin again the next day with mark 1.
Eventually I got 3 marks, 7, 14, 30 and so on.
I did it.
This is where my passion stems from. This is what made me want to help women, hell, save women.
Some people may say I'm sharing too much. Why would I open myself up and expose my deepest and darkest secrets?
Because I want you to know that I get it. I know how to help women become free from the chains food has you wrapped in.
Now, I make it my mission to help women love themselves and create healthy relationships with food.
I don't pretend to know it all. And there are still days that I feel struggle. There are still things I'm learning as I create a healthier relationship with food daily. But I'm doing it. And I want to help you do it too.
Cheers to honesty, to healthier relationships with your body and food & most importantly, cheers to self-love. May your heart be open to loving YOU more and more every day.
If you need help getting a hold of your fitness and nutrition, please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No pressure, we can simply talk.
This post is something I've wanted to write for YEARS. Today, I'm talking about an approach to dieting that I did on and off for three years. Before I get too into it, I want it to be clear that I am NOT dissing this approach to nutrition. This simply didn't work for my life. There isn't a whole lot of information on this way of eating out there and I hope my honest feedback can help people see a little deeper than the surface before they decide to dive straight into this. Here we go....
Three years ago I saw people on instgram eating Eddys ice cream EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and waking up with abs. WTF? How in the world could they do that? Not only ice cream, poptarts, bagels, bread, cookies..all the things I wasn't eating. I came to learn that what they were doing was called IIFYM (if it fits your macros) or counting your macros. AKA: Eating the specific amount of protein, carbs and fat for your specific body based loosely off a variety of calculations.
Here's how it works:
- A calculation based off your age, height, weight and goals will determine the amount of macronutrients you need for the day to just survive. From there you can adjust those numbers to either stay at the weight you currently are (maintain), lose weight, or gain weight.
- You weigh out all of your food on a scale making sure to hit your numbers daily.
- Grains, sugar, dairy ect..nothing is off limits. If it fits within YOUR specific numbers for the day, you can eat it.
- You track your food in an app to make sure you don't go over your numbers and to make sure you're eating enough of each macronutrient.
I mean how cool does that sound? You can have anything you want if it fits in your numbers?
Important things to note:
- If you want to stay full throughout the day, you NEED to eat more nutrient dense foods. While it may look fun to eat poptarts for breakfast, those fun foods will pretty much take up all of your intake for the day!
- People who count their macros still need and eat veggies just like everyone else (or at least they should)!
Okay, so now that you know how it works. Here we go! I first started to count my macros three years ago. I got my calculations off of an online source because I didn't want to hire a coach at the time, I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started to track my food daily. I ate ice cream with graham crackers every night for 7 days and after 14 days I was LEAN. I was hooked. About 2 months in though, I hated life because I felt like shit. Well I wonder why Rachel? You're eating grilled cheese for lunch, ice cream for dessert and making a bunch of shit fit into your macros--leaving very little room for nutrient dense food. Without diving in deeper, or making some simple adjustments, I decided to quit and go back to simply eating food that made me feel good. Because being lean didn't mask the fact that I looked sick, and it didn't mask the fact that eating grapes at a BBQ caused me so much anxiety I wanted to leave because I couldn't just eat freely without weighing.
Quickly I became terrified of food. Because now I didn't see a banana as a banana, I saw 27g of carbs. I didn't see green beans as a veggie, I saw the amount of carbs they would take away from my daily total. Would I rather have green beans or a Ezekiel bread? Well of course I knew I should have the green beans but instead I would choose the more fun option.
Even after I deleted the app off of my phone, I had gotten use to what portions looked like. In reality that was a good thing, I could know how much protein I needed with each meal which so many people don't know! That's not how it worked for me though. Now the weekly "relaxed" or cheat meal wasn't just some pizza and ice cream. I'd secretly be tallying the amount of fat and carbs in my head. 300+g of carbs + 200g of fat for my relaxed meal. No thank you! I would then go on to think about how long I'd have to work to get that off because I had then become aware of the amount of calories I was eating. Side note: counting macros is NOT the same as counting calories.
Because I had become a counting monster and basically feared all foods, I went back to what I knew worked. Counting, again. This would continue for 2 years. Counting became the only place I felt safe. Not because I could eat foods I wanted, I could do that eating clean--but because this was structure and I was scared out of my mind if I didn't have it. I needed to know the numbers. I felt as if this was the only way I could stay lean.
I counted my macros for three years to maintain a certain physique.
One final time I said fuck this and really committed to stop counting. But if you've read prior posts, you know that I mixed binge eating into the mix and it was bad. I had stopped counting and lost it for a few months because I was too scared to ask for help and let someone know that what I was doing to my body was unhealthy. So there I was, post three binge spree feeling disgusting and so upset with my body. I decided to count again, and this time I went full force and bought a nice scale, a coach, the whole nine yards. I even decided to compete in a bikini competition.
This time was different, I felt that by having a coach who understood me that I was on top of the world. Love her BTW! She helped me in so many ways but something was still off. I lived for my food because I was always hungry. I knew that by deciding to compete that I was choosing to diet, that I was choosing to eat less. But hungry became me. I was hungry all the time. I began to get so intense about it that I would cut grapes into small pieces in order to hit the number to the T, that way I wouldn't go over my carb intake.
Listen, I don't blame my coach or ANYONE for the matter for how I acted and the behaviors I created. That was on me. But what happened when I decided to count is that from that point on, food was no longer nutrients for me. It was only numbers.
I finally stopped. One day I was working out with a friend and afterwards he ate a smoothie. It was huge! PACKED with spinach, avocado, a banana, chia seeds, and protein powder. He drank it all and my first thought was OH MY GOSH--ALL THOSE CARBS! A 1/2 of an avocado, does he know how much fat that is for one meal? (no, I don't fear fat or carbs--for me, it would have exceeded my numbers though). I then excused myself to the bathroom and I cried.
I was raised in the fitness industry, with a dad who taught me that I was strong and beautiful. We didn't own a scale of any sorts. We ate healthy food that made us feel good and that was it. No stress, no dieting. Nothing. I knew better. I use to wake up daily and make a big green smoothie--and I loved my body then. That day I went into the bathroom and cried because I knew, I had known all along that this relationship and though pattern that I had created with food and seeing it as numbers was horrible. On the inside all I wanted was to eat healthy again and not over think it. So that's what I did.
I deleted the app for the last time. I began to have my smoothies again, not freaking out over the fruit content. I cooked with fat again, because I wasn't restricting myself to 25g a day anymore.
I would be lying if I said there where times were I didn't want to count. It has become a place I know I can go and get lean. But my goal in life is not simply to become lean. It's to be healthy. From the inside out--that starts with a healthy mindset.
So, did counting my macros work for me? No. When I'm 85, I want to be doing the same exact thing I'm doing now to be healthy and fit. Honestly, who wants to count and track things at 85? Not me. Does this work for some people? Yes, of course! It worked for me, I lost weight and looked insanely lean. But I also lost myself. And NEVER will I risk loosing that again.
If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to email me and ask: email@example.com
Isn't that what we all want? To truly love life, enjoying every moment + feeling our best? See how I didn't say, "we all want abs"? Because that's not what healthy is.
Healthy isn't a six-pack. A six-pack may be YOUR goal, or maybe you just want to move without getting winded. Maybe you want to feel confident in a new pair of jeans, maybe you simply want to love your body, or maybe you just want to feel healthier.
All of which are okay.
When people approach their fitness journey they handle it in an all or nothing" type of way. So that means if you eat pizza, well shit, now you have to start over.
That's not creating a healthy relationship with your body or food.
So how can you live life, while creating a healthy relationship with food and your body?
Create your journey on the foundation of health--not aesthetics.
Hear me out, I'm not saying it's a bad thing if you'd like to change your body composition. When you focus 100% on "getting abs" though or losing those last 5lbs...you are narrowing your mindset on short-term goals. Which perpetuates the diet cycle.
Can you imagine a life where you eat food you like, feel good in clothes, feel confident AND being able to enjoy beer and pizza on a Tuesday night just because? YOU CAN.
-Have preemptive "cheats" throughout the week. UGH, I loathe the word cheat but bear with me for this one. Have a cookie after dinner one day, put chocolate chips in your oatmeal, don't weigh out every bite of food that enters your mouth. Having little things throughout the week that aren't necessarily "bad" but may not be considered the "perfect" foods to reach your goals will take away your desire to binge on the weekends or holidays. Holidays shouldn't be hard, you shouldn't need tips or tricks to get through them. You should be able to have one cookie and that's it. The thing is most people can't do that. By simply eating food normally though the week and not living in "only good or only bad" food mindset, you'll learn how to eat manfully through life.
-Eat to fuel your body. I use to weigh EVERY drop of food that went in my mouth. If I was a gram over on GREEN BEANS I would take some off the scale and eat less...100% so my body would look a certain way. You guys, that obviously wasn't healthy. When I switched my mindset from eating to get abs to eating to FEEL GOOD and perform well through my workouts my whole world changed. I lost my attachment to food because instead of literally crying being upset I couldn't enjoy holidays or fearing outings, I learned the most important thing is my health. When the focus is there, the weight loss (if desired) happens organically and as a bonus to fueling my body well.
Do you want to know how I balance life?
I eat whole foods through the week, I aim to have veggies with each meal, I make sure to have healthy fat with each meal as well so I stay satiated through the day, I also try to have a protein source with each meal. I drink water. I'm mindful of my portions. When I go out to eat I typically get a salad or a protein source + veggies because I'd rather indulge a little bit more on other things like Jennis ice cream. I don't do cheat meals. I prefer to go through my week and if my friend and I decide to get eclairs on a Saturday afternoon, I'm going to say yes if it's some thing I really want. So when I say yes, I'll eat the eclair and LOVE IT. Then the rest of the day I'll eat like I normally would, getting my veggies in, being mindful. That night, I wouldn't have ice cream because I had treat mid day. I may have a protein bar that isn't deemed "100% clean" but that's okay, because sometimes you're in a pinch and need a quick option. I won't stress about Christmas because I know it's one day. I won't skip my meals that day, but rather focus on creating memories. If I TRULY want a cookie, I'll eat it. I aim to workout 3-5x a week..and you know what, if that doesn't happen. I let it go, because EVERY day I focus on honoring my body in some way.
At the end of the day, or more so at the end of my life--I don't want to look back and be sad because every action I made was for how my stomach looked. Which, by the way is covered with clothes 99.4% of the year. I'll have looked back and been proud because everyday I made the conscious choice to honor my body. That is how you balance life, while also reaching your goals.
Do you have balance in your fitness journey and life?
If you don't, do you need help creating it? If so, I would love to help you create your version of healthy. And help you build a lifestyle that you can maintain--now, next month, 5 years from now and 50 years after that. Email me: strongchicksrock.rachel@gmail so I can learn more about YOU & your goals. OR fill out the application on the "WORK WITH ME" page!
I'm in L.O.V.E..... With these gorgeous pumpkin pie bites :) I'm also in love with a handsome bearded man who likes kettlebells. Unfortunately I haven't figured out a recipe for you ladies who are looking for one of those though.
Anyway, I digress. I'm a huge lover of all things simple, tasty and food that fuels me well. While I typically opt for some veggies/hard boiled eggs or a bar of sorts for my snack mid day if I'm hungry, I decided to change things up and get down with some no bake bites.
When I first started sharing my fitness journey I made things like this all the time, but I put baby in the corner (aka: forgot about them/replaced them with other shiny thigns....if you haven't seen Dirty Dancing).
This is the perfect snack OR treat..here ya go :)
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats (normal oats are okay)
- 15 pitted dates
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup pure pumpkin pure
- 2 TBSP raw honey
- 2 TBSP chia seeds (ground or whole seeds)
- 2 TBSP almond butter
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp vanilla
- In a blender or food processor mix the dates, coconut, almond butter, honey, chia seeds, pumpkin, vanilla and PP spice
- Once mixture is nice and creamy, pour into bowl and mix with 1 cup rolled oats.
- Shape small balls with the mixture
- Place in fridge so they can harden
- Enjoy mindfully :)
If you "literally can't even" in the morning, but want to honor your body through food that fuels you well, not crashing mid day AND still want to reach your goals, girl I got you. I'm sorry, I had to do the title. While you'll never hear the words " I literally can't even" come out of my mouth..I do literally get the struggle with having a healthy breakfast when you're time crunched or simply don't know what to do. Have no fear, SCR is here to break down five quick and simple options for you!
1.) Fifty shades of oatmeal. Serious right now, this is your most basic and simple option. Especially during the winter when warm food is extra nice on those crazy cold mornings. Here are my favorites: -Overnight oats: 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal mixed with 1 cup almond milk, 2 packets stevia + cinnamon to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Add mix ins in the morning: fruit, nuts, protein powder, nut butter, cacao nibs. Eat cold! -Hot oatmeal: make as directed then top with fruit, nuts, chia seeds, nut butters ect -Premade at the store so you don't have to do anything? Why not! Find one with minimal ingredients! -Starbucks! On the go and forgot yours? Grab their PLAN oatmeal, add in your own protein powder and ask for nuts and dried fruit on the side!
2.) Smoothies! Oh smoothies how I love you! These can keep you full for HOURS, if you make them right. Here's my solid base that you can add and change to for different flavors: 1 cup almond milk 1 cup ice 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 2 cups spinach 1 cup fruit 2 TBSP healthy fat (nut butter OR coconut oil) OR 1/2 avocado (yes seriously)
3.) Granola bowl. Yo, if I can wake up at 4:30am to get to work and I do it with a TODDLER you can throw some yogurt, granola, stevia and a fruit in a container so it's ready to go in the morning!
4.) Leftovers. No I'm not kidding. I don't know who the asshole is that said eating meat for breakfast is weird, but he should be punched in the nuts. I LOVE throwing veggies + chicken sausage + sweet potatoes in the oven, making them nice and crispy and have meals for the WHOLE week. This is such a delish breakfast option!!! You could do this with breakfast sausage if you're too weirded out by chicken in the morning. My boyfriend says my early AM meat eating habits are "not normal" to people outside of the fitness world, I beg to differ. Try it out!
5.) When all else fails, have some hard boiled eggs on hand. When I'm in a pinch, 3 eggs + fruit and maybe some nuts hold will me over for a few hours until I can become one with the world and prepare a bigger meal!
I really dig simple. I also really enjoy eating food that tastes amazing, AND reaching my goals. So when all three of those babies line up beautifully, you bet your ass I'm happy. Don't get me wrong, I still love spending time in the kitchen whipping up some more time tasking meal, but today we are going to break down my top 5 favorite meal ideas that'll leave your belly happy, reach you closer to your goals and leave you with more time to do life. Basically, they're your no recipe recipes.
Garbage Stir-fry: Pick your protein (chicken, steak, ground beef, ground turkey, fish ect), pick 3 veggies (broccoli, green beans, carrots, onions, mushrooms ect) add some fat (olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter), add your favorite seasonings. Start with sautéing your meat, then add your veggies + fat and seasonings. Deli Meat Bowl: 4 oz of organic, nitrate free deli meat (chicken, turkey, ham), 2 raw veggies (my faves are 1 whole red pepper + 1 cup green beans), fat of choice (hummus, avocado, nuts ect). Top with lemon juice + salt and pepper. In my bowl I did turkey breast, red pepper, cucumber, avocado and mustard. Stuffed Sweet Potato: Bake your sweet potato until cooked through. Slice open and fill with: protein of choice (I like shredded chicken OR sucks steak best), add your veggies (mushrooms, onions and sautéed peppers are my favorite) and finally top with some fat (nuts, goat cheese, a little full fat cheese ect). BAS (big ass salad): Start with your base of 3 cups greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens ect), add your protein, add 2-3 veggies cooked or raw, fat of choice (nuts, oils, cheese, avocado ect), top with a simple dressing. Extras: bacon, dried figs/dates/cranberries, seeds, nuts, olives, banana peppers. Veggie Bake: choose 1-2 veggies of choice (I like doing broccoli and carrots together or beets and Brussels sprouts), coat them in olive oil, grass fed butter or coconut oil and bake until golden brown. Serve with rotisserie chicken that you picked up from the store OR slice up some chicken sausage and add that to your roasted veggie bake. Tip: if you're looking to make this a heartier meal OR post workout meal, cut a sweet potato into small chunks and throw in wit your veggies.
Breakfast For Dinner: It's always a fabulous time for breakfast. Always. My go to option here is: two eggs (any style), 2 pieces of bacon/sausage or meat, then cook 1-2 veggies in your bacon grease (because bacon duh) and boom, there you have dinner.
Hi beautiful friends, happy hump day! If you've been following me on snapchat..more recently IG and FB, you may have seen some mystery hands pop into my pictures. While it started off as more of an accident, it's now just a wee bit fun ;) While I do keep my personal life, well..personal. I do realize I put my life out on social media and I do it happily. So mystery hands will continue to make an appearance in my pictures. We adventure, explore, try new places...oh, and he cooks. Happy. I am so happy.
Anywho, of the many things MH (mystery hands) makes, his smoothies are on another level. I don't know what it is, but they rock. I'll be sharing one of his recipes each week!
Today: Beet Smoothie
In a blender: PRE-workout: + 8oz goats milk Kiefer (Greek yogurt would work) + 1 cup almond milk OR water + 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (we use sun warrior) +1-2 whole beets OR 1 cup frozen beets + 1/2 cup blueberries +1 cup ice +1/2 an avocado + 1-2 cups spinach or greens of choice
+ 8oz goats milk Kiefer (Greek yogurt would work) + 1 cup almond milk OR water + 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (we use sun warrior) +1-2 whole beets OR 1 cup frozen beets + 1/2 cup blueberries +1 cup ice + 1-2 cups spinach or greens of choice
With post workout we took out the fat, and if needed you could add 1/2 cup rolled oats or a banana to the post workout to get a little more carb action if needed.
When I first started really getting back into my health and fitness routine after my son was born 3 years ago I was BIG into healthy baking/cooking. I was always trying to whip up a new creation. I find so much joy in taking an unhealthy recipe and recreating it into something healthy. I like knowing that I can still reach my goals and not feel crappy after eating a treat. With that said, not all "unhealthy" treats make me feel gross, I think it's more so the fact I don't want ONE cookie. I want 57. We all know though that there is no way for me to feel good, and reach my goals eating 57 cookies. Bring in healthier baking, this allows you to enjoy a treat (more than one) while still staying on track! I always have these staples in my kitchen no matter what! These items last for SO long. So you don't have to worry about buying these all the time.
1. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is one of my favorite baking flours. This is the brand I typically use because it can be found at most stores! Coconut flour is extremely absorbent. I love this about it. You'll be using more liquid than flour so the flour lasts for a long time. You CAN'T use this in place of wheat/white or any other flour. Because of the absorbency of this you'll need to scale the ratios down.
My favorite things to make with it: Cookie dough, pancakes, mug cakes, cookies.
2. Oat Flour
Oat flour ROCKS. I freaking love this stuff. This is a more universal healthy baking flour and you can use it to replace most basic flours. DON'T buy oat flour at the store as it is a huge waste of money. You can buy normal oatmeal from any store, bring it home, and blend it until it resembles flour. It literally takes under 5 seconds and it will save you SO much money!
Things I make with it: Pancakes/waffles, muffins, cookies, breading for meat, added to meatloaf, mug cakes, brownies.
Stevia is a plant based sweetener and it's amazing. This is the only thing I use to sweeten my food. It's actually the only sweetener out there that doesn't raise your insulin levels, which when you're trying to lose weight is a good thing. It's all natural because it's plant based and it can go in anything. I actually just made a protein cheesecake using this in place of normal sugar and you would never know..yes, that's how good it is.
Things I make with it: Add to coffee, cookies, brownies, oatmeal, salad dressings, mug cakes,add to greek yogurt....ANYTHING that needs to be sweet.
Extracts are the bomb dot com. Eating healthy can be mistaken as eating bland...we never want that to happen. You just have to know how to spice up your food. When I'm making I LOVE using extracts to give my food a more exciting flavor. My favorites to use are maple, vanilla and butter. Adding vanilla and butter to greek yogurt with some stevia makes it taste more like cookie dough (add some chocolate chips in there and you're in for a real treat!). Or I add maple to my healthy donuts for a maple bacon donut. The possibilities are endless!
Things I make with it: Add to anything you're baking (cookies, cakes, brownies, ect), add to protein shakes to change up the flavor, greek yogurt (this is awesome because it saves you a TON of sugar by doing this instead of buying flavored yogurts!).
It's not that regular oil isn't okay (depending on the oil), it's that I can literally shave my legs or add this oil to my brownies. It's a multi purpose oil and I love it haha. it has so many benefits and so many uses that it would be crazy NOT to have this on hand. If a recipe calls for oil I definitely don't use applesauce because I don't like the consistency it makes. I 100% of the time use this! No ones the difference at all.
Things I make with it: Chocolate sauce, granola, anything that calls for oil.
I'm an open protein-oholic. I just love protein bars and powder. As a trainer and fitness nutrition specialist though, I know my love of protein crack isn't the best. It's always best to get your protein from whole food sources things like:
- Meat (chicken, fish, steak ect)
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs (specifically the whites, as the yolk is a fab source of healthy fat)
However, sometimes a protein shake is just necessary (well, sorta). Whether you're time crunched, can't keep food cold, have a hard time reaching your protein intake for the day ect, a shake or bar is a great thing to have on hand to get the protein you need if you're lacking it.
With SO many protein powders on the market it's hard to know which is best for YOU and your goals/body. Not all protein powders are made the same way. Just like with the meat or veggies you buy, you want a protein that is good quality and not a cheap one that is created with more fillers than it is protein.
My Top 5:
Below are my top 5 favorite protein powders, I've chosen five in all different price ranges and I explain why I like them!
1. Jay Robb
Jay Robb is by far my favorite protein powder on the market as far as ingredients goes, and overall high quality. 100% natural, no funky ingredients coming in with 25g of protein per serving.
Pros: Great "clean" source of protein.
Cons: Most expensive on the list. Amazon sells it for $37.00 for 23 servings BUT you can find it at your local grocery store for $25-27. Also, this is NOT good for baking.
Overall: If you're looking for a clean and natural protein powder solely for drinking, you won't find one better than this.
2. Quest Protein
Quest is an awesome protein! The first time I tried this and I had vanilla, my initial reaction was that it was too sweet for me. I used it to make fruit smoothies and it was perfect though. Fast forward a few months and I got my hands on chocolate and it's PERFECT. Quest is a high quality protein blend and is phenomenal for cooking with. It's good mixed with water, baking or a blended shake. It's thick JUST like ice cream (though you can water it down to a consistency you like). This is the only protein powder I will bake with now because it's that good.
Pros: Taste is 10/10, great for baking/pudding, moderately priced for such a high quality, good no matter what it's mixed with (water/milk). 22g of protein per serving!
Cons: Honestly, can't think of any.
Price: $$ Can be bought on www.questnutrition.com OR at your local supplement store.
3. Metabolic Nutrition: Protizyme
I'm a huge fan of all of Metabolic Nutrition's products. My body responds really well to their whole line and their flavors are on point! I've tried the peanut butter cookie and it's hands down my absolute favorite flavored protein powder out there. This tasted great mixed with water and milk and baked really well too.
Pros: Taste is 10/10, comes in multiple flavors, is well priced per serving, 26g protein per serving! They also have a great digestive enzyme complex that makes this protein powder easier on your body to digest.
Cons: The ingredient list is a little bigger than the ones I've listed, however this doesn't rule it out for me as I trust the company and the ingredients aren't foreign to me.
Price: $$ Rounds out to be $1.90 per serving. $49.00 for 2lbs, with 26 servings. Supplement stores carry this for a cheaper price though!
4. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
This was one of the first protein powders I ever used and it's always my go to if I can't decide. It's a high quality protein that tastes great. Simple and to the point with buttloads of flavors to choose from.
Pros: Can be found at all supplement stores, high quality, flavor is 9/10 and is one of the more inexpensive protein powders I like.
Cons: Not as great to bake with.
Price: $ This is pretty much always on sale at supplement stores or on www.bodybuilidng.com
Cellucor is probably one of the most popular protein powders out there. I love it because the flavors are 10/10, it tastes great and again this is another great protein to bake with.
Pros: Easy to find, inexpensive, great flavor, 25g protein per serving!
Cons: None that I have.
Price: $ Can be found on their site, or www.bodybuilding.com
In the summer I LOVE light and fresh meals. Again this is your basic list so change/add things as you see fit!
- Fruit salad with poached eggs
- Salmon omelet
- Ezekiel bread French toast
- Avocado egg bake
- Fruit & nut parfait
- Sweet quinoa with fruit (just like oatmeal but quinoa instead)
- Chicken salad sandwich (Ezekiel bread, greek yogurt as dressing w/ grapes)
- Watermelon salad with goat cheese + chicken +basil
- Burgers (forgot to add ground beef to the list) w/ sweet potato fries
- Shrimp over ZOODLES (zucchini noodles)
- Grilled salmon with grilled asparagus + fruit salad
- Stuff sweet potato (chicken/onions/goat cheese) with fruit salad
- Grilled peppers + grilled chicken with avocado cream sauce
- Quinoa shrimp salad with raspberry dressing and goat cheese
- Sweet potato chicken salad (eaten cold)
Hello my wonderful Strong Chicks. To make things easier, I'm going to upload the workouts & grocery guide in one post from now on.
This week you are getting TWO awesome HIIT routines. I'm obsessed with HIIT. If you're someone who is trying to lose body fat, these types of workouts are made just for you. Strength training alone is awesome, you'll burn fat and gain lean muscle BUT pairing it with HIIT is the perfect recipe for success as it burns 4x the amount of fat as steady state cardio (things like the treadmill/the elliptical), AND high intensity interval training when done right also allows you to continue to burn fat for up to 72 hours AFTER the workout...uh, that's what I'm talking about.
Food wise, here are some more ideas to help you keep things fun and exciting :)
Sharing this part of my journey is something I've actually always wanted to do. I just wasn't sure when I'd be ready, I'm ready now. I'll begin this by saying I don't like labels.I don't like thinking I have "a problem". Today though, I want to share my story because I know from working with over 100 women that I am not alone in my struggle and for a long time my WHY--the reason I didn't give up on myself, was to be able to share this story. I wanted so badly to break the horrible habits I had with food to be able to help women do the same. I knew I could never be of help, If I didn't get my own shit together.
I'll start with this picture. I had my bestfriend take it one night after we went out for a cheat meal *cringe*. We got Jenni's ice cream--a massive amount. I had already stuffed myself from dinner, then we ventured to get this HUGE cone of 3 different flavors. Then? We went up again and I got a huge sundae.
"I feel sick but I want this"
"Why am I ruining my own progress"
"You know you don't need this"
"I'll get back tomorrow"
Those were a few of the things I told myself as I went back up that second time. The thing is, I wasn't hungry. I'm sure you could have guessed that though. I went up there though because
I couldn't stop, I didn't know how to stop.
The personal trainer who is suppose to have her shit together didn't know how to stop. I told myself it was just a cheat or relaxed night though, that I would be fine if I went out. I knew though, I knew I wouldn't know how to stop.
That's the thing. Extremes for me are easy, I can eat super clean and boring and it's simple. I can eat paleo, simple. It's because I have set guidelines, I know this is what I can and can't do. Finding that balance though--how the fuck was I suppose to do that?
I Created This
I never had this problem in the past, the feeling of not being able to control my body and binge on food even if I wasn't hungry. I was raised by a strength coach in an extremely healthy environment. Scales? We didn't have one? Body image issues? No way--all I knew was self love. It wasn't until I became a trainer. After a year of coaching, I saw people experiment with new ways of eating. I let everything I knew go away, and I gave into to eating and training for a body..not for health.
That started this cycle of eating for a body I thought I needed, then a cheat meal would turn into a binge because I had restricted myself so bad and I couldn't control the aftermath. I'd feel extreme guilt for the first time in my life then, I'd learn what it was like to actually hate myself. It was horrible.
I had created this mess, because I craved a body that wasn't mine. I got lost in a world I didn't know. Which led to binge, restrict, hate, binge, restrict, hate more.
I know healthy. As I write this I'm sad for the fact that I lost myself for so long--yet proud and humbled that I fought like hell to get out. I know what healthy is, and through the issues I had struggling with food, I was coaching women on how to love themselves and reach their fitness goals while simultaneously sabotaging myself like it was my job.
That's how I labeled myself. How I treated myself.
I can't tell you how many times I said to myself "NOW, right now you will get back on track. You have to." I would, but I would "fall off" again. Here's how I changed it.
I knew from working with so many women that I wasn't alone in this horrible cycle, and if I ever wanted to help other women break free from this pattern that I HAD create a healthy relationship with my body, and with food again. I created a mess, and if I could create something so big (on a bad scale of course), I could create something even greater--that served me and others and was good.
You see, there's no magical diet. I can't write you the perfect workout program and all will heal. I wish there was, I wish I could pull all the women who struggle with this from the ashes and make them feel worthy again and like food doesn't control them.
It's a choice though. I know, oh my gosh how I know, that it in no way at all feels like it is. We do have the choice though to commit to ourselves and not let food control us.
I have sat down and eaten a whole pie. I don't say this because I'm proud or I think it's funny. I ate this fucking pie and after 6 bites I didn't like it anymore, I ate it anyway because I felt like something In me was making me.
So when I say I get it, I do. I have a game plan for breaking free though, this is how it works:
Step One: Evaluate your relationship with food, are you in this kind of cycle that I've explained? Do you binge and restrict? Do you have a hard time finding balance and simultaneously reaching your goals? Acknowledge it. A lot of your issues here stem from thinking that you're the only one going through this. That you're the only one who could possibly be addicted to food, or binge eat like a crazy person. We think something is specifically wrong with us because we don't understand what is going on. So think about your relationship with food. Is it healthy?
Step Two: Now is the time where the focus of eating has to turn away from getting abs, or looking a certain way. When we are so focused on reaching physical goals, all we see is the body we want. Resulting in turning to crash diets and pills ect to reach those goals. The focus needs to turn on health. I think it should be a requirement to starting any weight loss plan that you have a healthy relationship with food first. That you understand why you should fuel your body right, why we need certain things and why having a healthy relationship with food is critical to you reaching weight loss goals, and most importantly those goals staying life long. Not a continuous cycle of losing and gaining.
Step Three: Start eating foods that honor your body. Meaning foods that make you feel good, foods that don't make you sick or hate yourself. We should treat our bodies like we love them. When we decide to say fuck it, and eat whatever we want--we are basically saying screw you. That's the last way we want to treat the vessel that carries us through life.
I can proudly say, I've won. I beat the shit out of whatever it was in my mind that I let control so many horrible actions I took against my body. I want you to be able to say the same thing. Break free from the chains that you feel are holding you from being happy with your body, with food and with your life.
Tips For Success:
-Focus on the task, not the outcome: Focus on eating a healthy breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, workout ect. If you have 50lbs to lose and are constantly thinking about those 50lbs and how long it will take, it is more than likely that you're going to spend so much time dwelling on that, that you won't put the effort that needs to go in NOW.
-Win the day: Starting a new workout program is great, but again when we focus on 90 days from now it's harder to be intentional with the present moment. So I don't like to think 1 week, 2 weeks or 90 days from now. I focus on "winning" one day at a time. Eat well, sweat and love your body for one day at a time. That is much more helpful than trying to focus on a huge chunk of time all at once. Remember, healthy is for life--not 90 days.
-Practice self acceptance then, self love: Everyone tells you to love yourself, as they should, you should love yourself. The problem is, you have to accept yourself as you are currently before you can love yourself. Allow yourself to accept where you are. It doesn't matter where you are or how much weight you have to lose. If you don't love yourself at 50lbs overweight, what makes you think you'll love yourself when that's gone? True self love is going to come from being at peace with who you are on the inside. Accepting doesn't mean it's okay to be unhealthy, accepting means that you are acknowledging where you currently are so you are able to move forward and allow loving thoughts to flow freely.
-Find what works for you: Where does a healthy relationship with food start? It starts with doing you. Everyone in the world isn't following one "diet", because there isn't one specific plan that works for everyone. This is where you have to experiment. Listen to your body and how it responds to certain foods. Find the foods that you like, that taste good, that honor your body and your goals...that's when a healthy relationship with food is made. When you finally are doing what works for you, and trying to follow 490458 different plans.
I wish I could have given you a three step simple plan that told you exactly how to break these habits. It has to come from within though, and I can't do that for you. I hope though, that my story made you feel less alone and gives you hope that there IS freedom. You can have a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Strong Chicks Rock
My mission with SCR is to help women get unstuck. Unstuck with their health and fitness and unstuck with life. To teach self love and acceptance. To help you punch every excuse in the face and to find fitness freedom.
If you need help, advice, a listening ear, or guidance please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am happy to help you in any way I can. I want you to be free.
Below are your bonus workouts AND meal guide. This week we are focusing on your core--woohoo :)
Tips for your core: -Abs don't define you or progress--always remember that! -Your core is most engaged doing things like kettlebell swings, planks, squatting and deadlifting. That doesn't mean that other moves won't work it and strengthen those muscles, its just a reminder that crunches aren't really where a defined core comes from. -FOOD: When woman gain weight, most gain it in their mid section or legs first. This always means it's where you'll lose it last too more than likely. That is why nutrition is key, if having a defined core is something you desire, nutrition really plays an important role here.
- Breakfast sandwhich: 2 pieces Ezekiel bread + 1 breakfast sausage + 2 microwaved eggs or egg whites + wee bit of cheese or cream cheese or greek yogurt.
- Grilled PB&J: 2 pieces Ezekiel bread (I prefer cinnamon raisin) with 2 tbsp. of nut butter and 2 tbsp. of jelly or fruit spread. Grilled in 1 tbsp. coconut oil. SO GOOD.
- 3 egg omlete with 1/4 cup mushrooms +1 cup spinach + 1/2 pepper + breakfast sausage on the side.
- Ezekiel bread French toast pudding: 2 pieces Ezekiel bread dipped in a mix of: 2 egg whites + 1/4 cup almond milk + 1 packet stevia (optional) + cinnamon. Dip bread in mixture and cook in a pan with coconut oil or grassfed butter until both sides are brown. Top with shakeology pudding: 1 scoop shakeology + almond milk until pudding consistency.
- Shakeology pudding bowl: recipe in welcome book
- Apple pie baked oatmeal: http: Recipe HERE.
- Power Burgers (recipe on my ig) + spinach salad
- Sautéed kale with mushrooms + hamburger topped with avocado
- Ground beef tacos filled with greek yogurt + peppers + avocado
- Mash cauliflower + turkey meatballs + kale & spinach salad
- Spaghetti squash pasta with meatballs +mushrooms
You'll notice the list looks similar..it is the same with the addition of a few swaps I made. This will always be your "basic" list. So these should essentially be your staples.
Here are some meal ideas with this list:
- Sautéed apple in 1 tsp coconut oil toped on 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal.
- Shrimp & pepper omelet
- Baked egg muffins with ground beef and peppers
- Super Smoothie: 1 scoop shakeology + 1 banana + 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water + 1 cup ice + 1tbsp nut butter
- Poached eggs over sweet potato hash
- Deli meat egg baskets (take a piece of deli meat, put it in a muffin tin and crack one egg into it, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 425 for 15 min or until egg is cooked)
- Egg plant burger (cut egg plant into circle slices + drizzle with EVOO + salt and pep+ bake at 350 for 15-20 min flip half way through. Make burgers and use the egg plant as buns)
- Shrimp spaghetti squash pasta
- Grilled chicken spinach salad with strwberries and broccoli
- Shrimp tacos +peppers +greek yogurt as sour cream
Do you ever eat something healthy and feel immediately bloated? Here's the deal, our bodies are all SO different. Which is why if you and your best friend are on the same diet you both may have different results. Each of our bodies respond to certain foods differently. So if pinterest is telling you that greek yogurt will make you lose weight and you're eating it and feeling bloated--it may be because you are just someone who can't tolerate eating it!
There are certain foods that we call inflammatory foods. These are foods that bother 99.9% of people. Our bodies simply can't digest them properly. Each person is different with how well their specific body digests these foods though..make sense?
So for example, when I eat greek yogurt I IMMEADTLEY get bloated but my best friend doesn't. However, after a few days she starts to break out if she continues to eat it.
List Of Inflammatory Foods
Here are a list of the most common inflammatory food groups:
- Refined Grains (gluten//flour based products)
- Dairy (greek yogurt, ice cream cheese, milk ect)
- Legumes (beans)
Those are just the most common.
What Does This Mean For Me?
It means that just because pinterest, or the latest magazine tells you something is healthy--it doesn't mean that it is..for YOU. So, listen to your body. When you eat one of the food groups above do you notice yourself feeling bloated, gassy, acne ect? If so, though it may be deemed "healthy" it may not be the best option for you. So cutting it out or limiting your intake would then reduce your reactions to it. ie: bloating.
Hello lady loves!
Here is your fundamental list for week 1. That means this is a basic list, or something to use as guideline. If there is something you don't like than obviously choose an option that you do--never buy something you don't like :)
Here are meals that correlate with the list below:
-Fruit and nut parfait
-Ezekiel bread French toast
-Poached eggs +Ezekiel bread with nut butter and fruit
-Apple & sweet potato hash topped with eggs
-Mahi mahi//ground beef/chicken tacos
-Chicken avocado salad
-Deli meat & avocado roll ups
-Sweet potato burgers (slice sweet potato in circles and bake)
-Chicken stir fry
I LOVE pizza. Pretty much any kind of pizza, unless anchovies are involved--I'm DTE (down to eat). I also love fruit, and breakfast. I guess you could say I pretty much love all foods, but for the purpose of this recipe I'll get to my point. I wanted to create a breakfast (or dessert) pizza that could be eaten guilt free. I had breakfast in mind when I started so I opted to create the crust out of oatmeal. This turned out so awesome and would make the perfect breakfast/dessert.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats + 1/4 cup oat flour (blend oats
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
- 3 packets stevia
- 1/2 tsp maple or vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 2 packets stevia
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup fruit of choice
- 1/4 cup nuts of choice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a bowl mix all of the liquids. Eggs, milk, extract.
- Add in rolled oats, then the oat flour and baking soda.
- Cover a pan in wax paper and pour the mixture onto the paper into a circle shape.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until golden brown
- Let cool then remove "crust" from pan and onto plate
- Mix the ingredients for the icing (listed above) and spread on the crust. Add the fruit and enjoy:)