Vanilla Protein Cupcakes

I know you guys have been patiently waiting for this!  Here is the recipe for my Vanilla Protein Cupcakes 🙂

Because Everyone Loves Donuts!

You always see fit people chowing down on donuts on social media. Not entirely sure why this a favored cheat meal by the fitness population but maybe it’s just because everyone loves donuts! So in honor of National Donut Day last week I decided I was going to use my talents as a baker/cake decorator and my knowledge as a personal trainer and athlete, and try to create a “macro friendly fit donut”. So this is one of my latest projects. Haha. These aren’t quite ready to be recipe shared, since this was the first time I made them and I would like to try a few variations to make sure I get the best recipe before I share! The photo below shows three types of donuts I created from scratch, a cinnamon sugar donut, chocolate glazed, and a chocolate peanut butter (of course). These resemble the old fashion cake like donuts, and are baked rather than fried! While they are not exactly low calorie, they are low carb, low sugar, and are high in protein and fiber. Stay tuned for more variations to my homemade donuts, and for the recipe! 🙂 #Happynationaldonutday #nationaldonutday #donuts #ilovefood #cleaneating #fitchick

Brown Baked Rice… A Meal Prep Staple for Us.

Happy Meal Prep Sunday Everyone! Recently I have been getting a lot of messages regarding my diet. Questions like, what do I eat? How do I find time to meal prep? What kinds of foods do I meal prep? How often do I meal prep? How do I come up with meal ideas for the week? And of course, one of my favorites…Can I get the recipe for that? So I decided to try to start sharing recipes and meal prep ideas and info more frequently! So here is one of our weekly staples! It is a healthy spin on my mom’s famous Baked Rice Recipe from when we were growing up.

Often times people hate changing from white or jasmine rice to brown rice because of the texture. Brown rice is a whole grain so it doesn’t get as soft and fluffy as white rice or jasmine rice does. So, I would like to share with you the way we cook our brown rice for meal prep to get it closer to the fluffy and soft texture of white rice.

Oven Baked Brown Rice

Step One: Measure out your servings of dry brown rice based on how much you plan to eat for the meal or week, and dump into a medium sized mixing bowl.

Step Two: Add water to the rice, in the mixing bowl. Typically the amount of water you use, should be whatever you would use for the ratio to what you measured for dry. So if the box or bag says 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water add a cup of water to the mixing bowl. Make sense?

Step Three: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and “forgettaboutit”. Lol. No but seriously, just let the rice soak up the water! Give it 1 to 3 hours. You can stir the rice after an hour to see if there is any water left in the bottom of the bowl. Again I don’t have an exact time because it depends on how much rice you make. I have set this up on a Saturday night, and didn’t cook the rice until about 11am the next day.

Step Four: Once the rice has absorbed the water and you are ready to cook it. Wash and chop up a red or orange pepper into small pieces (Picture shown).

Step Five: In a small frying pan, put 1 tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of minced garlic. One the garlic is fragrant add in the chopped pepper and stir gently to coat. Cook the peppers about five minutes or so.

Step Six: Preheat the over to three hundred and fifty degrees, set to bake, and position the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

Step Seven: Dump the sautéed peppers into the mixing bowl with the rice and stir to combine, add some seasoning! I typically use garlic powder, onion powder, a little salt and black pepper,and sometimes parsley flakes… Stir to combine.

Step Eight: In a square baking pan (like the one you use for brownies, I use usually a 9×13) dump the brown rice from the mixing bowl and spread evenly.

Step Nine: Slowly add water or chicken broth/stock to the rice. Same amount that the recipe calls for but now we are adding it to the rice to actually cook it. Chicken broth or stock will be saltier and add more flavor, but some people think the seasoning is enough. So it’s really whatever you prefer.

Step Ten: Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Until water is absorbed and rice is soft and fluffy.

Step Eleven: Remove from the oven (turn the oven off). Remove the foil from the rice and let cool. If you want to add a little butter or butter substitute to the rice to prevent it from getting sticky when chilled, now would be the time so it melts. We use 1 tbsp usually for 2 cups of rice.

Step Twelve, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl, stir it and taste it. If it needs more seasoning now is the time to spruce it up! 🙂 Remember that spices and herbs are packed with flavor, and don’t hurt the diet. Go easy on the salt and butter though.

Step thirteen: Transfer the rice to plates or containers.

Step fourteen: Mainly because I didn’t want thirteen steps…. Enjoy! 🙂

Banana Blueberry Fit Muffins!

These Blueberry Banana Fit Muffins are fairly Low Carb, High Fiber, and High Protein providing you with a high energy breakfast to kick start your day!

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used whole milk fat)

2 Large Eggs

¾ Cup Almond Flour

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana (sliced into small pieces – I cut it into slices then each wheel slice into 4 pieces)

½ Cup Frozen Blueberries

½ Cup Oil of choice (Coconut Oil Melted, Avocado Oil, Vegetable/Canola Oil, Saflower Oil- I don’t recommend olive oil or peanut oil because they really aren’t the best for baking and alter the flavor of the muffins)

1 Heaping Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein of Choice (I used Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream)

1 Tbsp of Baking Soda

½ Tsp Salt

Old Fashioned Oats to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray or line muffin pan of choice (I used a 6 count large for the picture shown- but you can use a standard 12 count muffin pan as well or mini muffins)

Combine your dry ingredients – Almond & Coconut Flour, baking Soda, Salt, Protein Powder in a mixing bowl.

In a second mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients- Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, Vanilla Extract, and Oil.

Chop up the Banana into wheel shaped slices, they cut each slice into 4 pieces like a pizza! 🙂 Set the Banana aside with the blueberries

Combine your dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until no clumps of the dry mixture remains.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, slowly fold in the blueberries and sliced banana. Over mixing the blueberries will turn your muffins blue! That’s why I suggest mixing this way. Walnuts are another options mix in item at this point.

Now scoop the muffin mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with a few oats if you would like as shown in my picture! Bake on center rack. Depending on the muffin pan size you use, and the efficiency of your oven – this could take between 10-20 minutes to bake. I recommend checking after about 10 minutes and poke ’em with a tooth pick for firmness at the center. Muffins will turn slightly brown (also as shown in the picture).

Once fully cooked, remove from pan, and onto a cooling rack until cool enough to eat without burning your mouth, but still warm enough to enjoy the delicious taste of a fresh baked muffin… Without the guilt! I store these on the counter, in the fridge and also in the freezer in a ziplock bag! 🙂

Don’t forget to turn off the oven and wash all the dishes once you’re done! Thanks for checking out my page and stay tuned for more great recipes by RPTrainer! 🙂

You get out, what you put in!

Did you know that the most successful way to lose weight is through healthy diet and exercise? A common misunderstanding about dieting is that some people think not eating to lose weight is effective (for example skipping meals, or developing an eating disorder though a person with an eating disorder usually won’t admit it). And short-term it can seem effective, but it is actually doing you more harm than good. Although you are cutting calories, you are actually forcing your body into a starvation mode where it slows your metabolism down and forces your body to survive on itself.  This means your body is eating away at the storage it has (like fat and muscle) over time. Some of the long-term effects of this can be everything from weak or fragile bones and muscles, to cognitive issues, to even problems with major organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, etc. Not to mention a poor diet can cause depression, poor skin conditions, hair loss, a decrease in your sex drive, just to name a few.

The body requires what we call key nutrients for survival. This is why your diet is made up of macro nutrients (fats, carbs and proteins) and then essential and non-essential vitamins and minerals. Proper eating can be hard, but over time your body can adjust to healthy changes. Typically when I take on a new client, the first thing I ask for is a food journal. I ask all clients to make a food journal for one week and to be honest. Log everything they eat or drink and at what time of the day so that I can see how their diet looks. By being honest, not only does it hold my client accountable and make them realize what they are putting into their bodies, but it will allow me to recommend small changes to their diet so the body can adapt more easily rather than write-up a brand new diet plan from scratch, that can send the body into shock and cause cravings or binge eating after a short time. Small changes to the diet, sometimes even just changing the times at which a person eats certain foods, can create a change in the way their body uses or stores that foods key nutrients for nourishment or for energy or whether it stores it as fat.

This is another reason why I love all these apps like loseit, or myfitnesspal.  Because it works like a food journal and really makes you think about what you are eating on a daily basis.

A food scale you can buy for like $10 at a store like Target or Wal-Mart.  So if you feel like your not sure what 4 or 6 ounces of chicken or sweet potato looks like, invest in one!

I guess what I am getting at with my post today is- “you get out what you put in”- so nourish and love your body.  Treat it to good, healthy foods that are packed with delicious flavor and key nutrients for optimal health, and watch how it affects your focus, mood and energy levels. Because it truly is amazing!

Here are a few articles on some foods that can help boost that metabolism! Thanks for reading my blog, and Enjoy 🙂

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20553780,00.html

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/best-fat-burning-foods

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/advice/g781/belly-fat-foods/

Fasted Cardio

Good Morning!

We all have stubborn fat that stores in various spots of our body… Some of us struggle with belly fat, others it might store in your butt and thighs, some of us might get the worst of both!  Whatever your body’s fat storage spot of choice…. Our goal is the same… GET RID OF IT! 🙂

Now I know we are not all morning people, (as I write my newest addition to my blog at 6am on my day off, lol) but whether you are or are not, fasted cardio is something that might help kick start your metabolism… Even just 2 days a week.  Not a morning person?  Don’t go in the morning…Sleep til 9 or 10 on your day off if you want… But before you eat or drink anything (other than water)- go for a 20-30 minute brisk walk or jog, or hit the gym for a 30 minute cardio session of your choice.

So the theory behind this is you burn more fat in a fasted state of cardiovascular activity (like first thing in the morning when you haven’t eaten anything for several hours) because your body is depleted of it’s regular energy stores which it gets from food- so it taps into fat storage for energy, thus allowing your body to burn more fat.  Are their other methods to achieving your goal weight?  Sure… But you need to find what you believe in and what works for you.  I’m just providing you with information here to make a decision for yourself! 🙂

That being said, it might not be for everyone- You may need to try some different things with regard to your eating, exercise and sleeping habits, before you find what works best for you!  So if something doesn’t work… Remember, you don’t give up on yourself… Just try something different!  🙂  Below are a few more articles on the topic.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/assessing-fasted-cardio-training.html

Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

 

Counting Calories… via App

Good Morning!

For some people the diet is the struggle, for some the exercise is the struggle… But for a lot of people it can be a combination of both!  One thing that I have found helpful the last few weeks is being accountable for what I am eating and doing everyday!  It’s very easy to go over your caloric needs for the day if you are a “grazer” (and eat all day as I do) or even if you just decide around dinner time you are starving and have a huge plate of food at dinner time.  Today there are a variety of apps that you can use to assist in calorie counting and exercise/food tracking.  One of the most popular apps today is called myfitnesspal.  There is a website version and a smartphone app to coincide so you can keep track of calories when you are on the go!  Another popular app is Loseit!  I highly recommend browsing your options and finding an app that you like and that will work for you! 🙂  Being accountable can really assist with diet and exercise changes, especially in the beginning of a new routine!  I have been using myfitnesspal and I can pre-populate the day’s food- so I know what I can have when I am doing my meal prep.  It also allows me to make a little wiggle room in my diet so I can have that slice of pizza on a Saturday night with friends if I want to!  I really like the app because it allows me to change my macronutrient needs for the day to match my current program or diet.  It also provides charts that make it easy to track my progress, and see where I can make necessary changes to keep me going strong!

Are there any other diet/exercise tracker apps out there that anyone finds particularly useful for themselves?

Check out my dinner last night!  Homemade chicken quesadillas…And it’s low carb. YUM!

food

A Healthy Twist on a Congo Bar

Good Morning!

So With the holidays among us there is lots of baking to be done!  Cookies and brownies, and cupcakes.  Cakes, and Pies, and Pastries and Breads! But with all this temptation staring you in the face, and tickling you in the nose, how can you avoid it?  Or do you have to?

Well avoiding sweets is one way to be successful in a diet… And some people just naturally don’t like sweets.  But I find if I avoid it, it comes back to haunt me later and I end up binge eating on donuts, pizza and ice cream. lol.  So rather than avoid, I try to find healthy alternatives and just moderate how much and how often I eat them.  Most of the time, I can find a reasonable alternative and I can make a batch, and freeze it so it’s there when I need a treat, but don’t want to dive into a batch of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies.

So here is a healthy twist on a congo bar recipe a friend of mine shared with me.  I made the recipe to original order the first time, and thought it was okay.  A little soft and gooey for me, but if you like fudge-like brownies this might be perfect for you. The second time I made the recipe I cut the maple syrup to half a cup and added a scoop of PB Cookie Protizyme  Protein Powder.  I used Teddy’s Natural Peanut Butter.  This made the recipe more fluffy and cake-like, which I loved! If you want to reduce the calories and fat further you can substitute PB2 for the Peanut Butter (or even half the peanut butter) and a sugar-free syrup or similar substitute for the maple syrup.  The best part about the recipe is that it is simple, easy to revise to your liking, and it’s gluten-free and vegan so it can be shared by many!

http://thehonoursystem.com/2014/05/14/chocolate-peanut-butter-chickpea-cookie-bars-gluten-free-vegan/

Here is the photo of the recipe when I made it the second time.

chickpea cookie bar

Enjoy! 🙂

Need something to bring to a holiday party? For some additional sweet treats under 150 calories, check out some of these recipes below!

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/sweet-treats-under-150-calories?utm_source=un_display_na_ti_20150513_outbrainrightrail

Avoid getting sick this winter!

‘Tis the season for colds and flu bugs!  I noticed the last couple years since I have altered my diet and sleep habits, I actually have been sick less frequently, and for a shorter time periods when I did get sick.  Brush up on your knowledge of how to avoid getting sick this winter!  Here are a couple great articles:

http://www.today.com/health/26-ways-avoid-getting-sick-winter-1D80290214

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20250939,00.html

Fall is here! And you know what that means…. Pumpkin Everything!

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin spice lattes; pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin pies, and pumpkin… pancakes?  😉  Pumpkin Pancakes are one of my favorites because there are tons of healthy recipes you can use as opposed to traditional recipes that are higher in fat/calories/carbs.  They are packed with that pumpkin spice flavor, but are pretty much guiltless and they taste delicious!  Below are two recipes I have tried and recommend!  There are plenty of other gluten free or paleo recipes out on the web as well.  But I haven’t tried them yet!  Enjoy! And Happy Fall Everyone! 🙂

pumpkin pancakes

http://therecipecritic.com/2013/09/skinny-pumpkin-pancakes/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-jamie-eason-pumpkin-spice-pancakes.htm