Best Protein on the Market!

Over the years, I have tried lots of proteins, but only two of them have been deemed the best protein shakes for me.

What do you look for in a protein? I like my protein to have the necessary nutrients, of course, but I also like my protein to taste good and mix well. There are many protein powder shakes on the market with the necessary nutrients but taste awful!

It has taken a lot of trial and error (several bad purchases) to find the best protein on the market that I truly enjoy. This protein not only has the proper nutrients, but it tastes awesome and mixes well.

 

This protein (Vanilla) is only 100 calories and 3 grams of net carbs. It has a protein blend which contains whey and caesin for a total of 22g per serving.

Another cool thing about this protein is that you can cook with it as well. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes! I’ll keep you updated on the recipes that I try.

It comes in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, vanilla, cookies and cream, and many more. I’ve tried both the vanilla and the strawberry. Both reminded me of having a milkshake. Tasty!

Have you tried Quest protein?

What’s your favorite protein?

What do you consider the best protein on the market?

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Easy Meal Prep

Everyone is looking for an Easy Meal Prep!

When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, the majority of your success is going to come from what you put in your body.  Often, managing your nutrition is the hardest part of weight loss or reaching specific goals.

People often tell me that they are working out, but are not seeing results.  Chances are, you’re eating the wrong things or not eating enough of the right things.

Another question often asked is, “What do you eat?”  Me personally, I tend to stick to a basic fitness meal prep.  I eat the same things almost daily.

  • Oatmeal and eggs for breakfast every day except Sunday.  On Sundays, I treat myself to pancakes 🙂
  • Lunch and dinner, I typically eat chicken, fish, or turkey along with a complex carb (sweet potatoes are my favorite) and a green leafy vegetable.

Voila!  That’s my magical meal prep menu!  I’m often met with disgusted faces because they don’t like my choices or they like a little more variety in their lives.

I’m often met with disgusted faces because they don’t like my choices or they like a little more variety in their lives.  They say variety is the spice of life!

For those of you who’d like more variety and/or are trying to please other members of the family that may need their healthy meals masked, you may want to give PlateJoy a try!

PlateJoy creates custom meal plans for you based on your lifestyle as well as your goal!  They provide simple and easy meal preps.  You can even have a weight loss meal prep if that’s your goal.

You take a personalization quiz where you input information about yourself as well as other members of your family.  A meal prep menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks is created for you based off of your input.

The questionnaire asked questions regarding weight loss, whether you are following a specific diet such as gluten free or paleo, allergies, as well as likes and dislikes of each member of the family.

It also asked how much time you had to cook and prepare meals.  If you’re like me, you don’t have much time in the evening to prepare meals, therefore, all the meal prep recipes created for me were 20 min or less.

You are provided with a menu and recipes to prepare all of the meals in your plan.  No more guessing what you’re going to eat nor going through the struggle of coming up with a grocery list.  They do all of that for you!

Pricing!  I almost forgot!  Everything, of course, has a price.  I think their pricing is fairly decent!  You can get a 6-month plan for as little as $10/mo.  They do everything is except cook the food for you!  You can’t beat that!  If you happen to give PlateJoy a try, please tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, don’t forget containers for all of the wonderful meals that you have created!

Healthy Tips for the BIG GAME

The BIG GAME is Sunday and everyone is excited about the matchup between the Broncos and the Panthers! However, the real matchup is YOU vs FOOD during your Super Bowl festivities.

At the start of the year, you made a goal to lose weight, change your eating habits, exercise more, etc. Now, it’s time for the BIG GAME and you’ll be faced with lots of temptation regarding your food choices. For many, while in the beginning stages of changing your diet, out of sight, out of mind works really well; but what do you do when you’re staring all the foods you love face to face?

I’ve composed a few tips to help you survive the day.

  1. Don’t go to the party hungry. Eat a nutritious meal prior to going to the party. You’ll be less likely to overindulge on the fatty, sugary options.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water will help keep you full and prevent you from overeating.
  3. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol is filled with lots of empty calories. If you must drink beer or other alcoholic beverages, consume a bottle of water between drinks. The water will make you feel full and in turn drink less.
  4. Eat in moderation. Don’t feel bad if you have a few of the high fat snacks you enjoy. If you do decide to indulge, just limit your proportions.
  5. Take a healthy dish to the party. Find a healthy version of your favorite food and let that be your contribution to the party. No one will know they’re eating the healthy version unless you tell them 😉

 

Below are a couple of recipes to try:

 

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

A quick and easy creamy ranch dip that is completely guilt-free and tastes just as indulgent as the original!

YIELD: about 1 cup  PREP TIME: 3 minutes  COOK TIME: 0 minutes  TOTAL TIME: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fresh, chopped chives garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients: Greek yogurt, garlic, onion, dill, salt, Worcestershire, and cayenne. Garnish with fresh chives and serve.

Recipe Source:  wellplated.com

 

Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili

Prep  10 m  Cook  1 h  Ready In  1 h 10 m

Recipe By:Deb

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Recipe Source:  allrecipes.com

**To make this chili healthier, use the leanest cut of beef, turkey (my preference), or chicken.  Use low/no sodium canned goods.  Use a fresh salsa vs jarred.  Aldi sells a delicious fresh salsa if there is one located in your area.

I hope you find these tips useful as you prepare for the BIG GAME.  If you try any of the tips or the recipes, please let me know what you think.

Mmm

  

Have you tried these donuts??? OMG! They are the most amazing donuts I’ve ever tried in my life! If you know of a place that has donuts that are better, please let me know. I’d love to try them! 

  
You may be asking yourself, “Why is she posting about donuts on her fitness blog?” I’m glad you asked! The truth of the matter is, food is not going away. You can’t place yourself in a bubble where junk food doesn’t exist. Everyday you’ll be faced with different food temptations. They usually come when when you’ve been doing your hardest work or when you’ve made up in your mind that you’re going to swear off of certain foods.

  
Is it ok to indulge? For some the answer is “yes” and for some the answer may be “no”. I totally believe in a cheat every so often, but if you’ve not reached a point where you can have your cheat and then return to eating clean, you probably shouldn’t indulge in tasty treats until you’ve developed the willpower and mindset to not overindulge. 

PS: I had to stop myself after eating two 😉

All Wrapped Up, My Wrap Experience

All Wrapped Up!

All Wrapped Up!

Many people question me about this Crazy wrap thing.  Of course the most commonly asked question is, “Does it work?”  That’s the question that’s on everyones brain.  Well, the answer is, “Yes, It Works!”  I’m not just saying that because I sell the products, I’m saying it because it truly works.  As many of you know, I’m dedicated to a life of health and wellness and I enjoy helping others reach their goals as well.  Prior to selling It Works! products, I was always skeptical of wraps and especially waist trainers because it all seems too good to be true.  Although it’s hard for me to admit, I was wrong about the wraps (still unsure of waist trainers).  The more I looked on social media, the more I saw fitness and wellness gurus incorporating wraps into their training.  The most ideal thing to do is to wrap on a non-training day once a week.  Truth be known, over the last few weeks, I’ve been so busy getting things taken care of for my recent graduation as well as keeping my daughter straight as the end of her school year approaches that I have slacked on my workout routine and even my eating habits and unfortunately it shows.  In the upcoming weeks, the wrap will be part of my weekly workout plan but today I tried it out as the average individual that struggles with healthy/sensible eating and finding little to no time to incorporate working out but wants to see a difference in their body (sound familiar).  Needless to say, I was surprised with the results!  I haven’t been eating well, I haven’t been working out and I still lost almost 2 inches!  I can’t wait to incorporate this into my weekly workout plan!

image

Let me tell you just a little about the application.  It’s a pretty simple process.  You open the package (you’ll notice a menthol smell), unfold the wrap, and place it on your area of choice (I chose my stomach).  I then used saran wrap to hold it in place.  It’s recommended that you keep it on for at least 45 min.  I kept mine on for 4 hours although I did measure at the 45 min mark just to see what kind of results I would get.  At 45 min I measured 1 inch smaller.  Initially, the wrap had a cool feeling.  It then had a warm, penetrating feeling.  I guess I can describe it by saying it literally feels like it’s working.  According to literature, you see the greatest results after 72 hours, 3 days.  I’ll update  you guys on any additional inches lost in a few days.  I didn’t have these results with the albolene challenge, so I’m excited for what’s to come.

image

If you’ve wrapped, please share your results and any tips that you may have.  Happy wrapping!

Whatsa Macro?

If you’ve checked out fitness posts on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the term “macro” mentioned within the post.  Everyone is talking about their macros and you may be wondering, whatsa macro?  Macro is short for macronutrients.  Let’s break it down.  Macro means large.  Nutrients are substances needed for growth and metabolism in the body.  Therefore, macronutrients are substances needed in large amounts for growth and metabolism in the body.  There are three macronutrients:  Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Importance of Protein

Protein can help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your overall general appearance.  It aids in growth, tissue repair, helps with your immune health, makes essential hormones and enzymes, provides energy when carbohydrates are not available, and preserves lean muscle mass.  The daily recommended protein intake is 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Currently I’m taking in 1 gram per pound of body weight, putting me at 140 grams of protein per day.

Importance of Carbohydrates

Generally speaking, the majority of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates (may vary depending on your specific goals).  Carbs are the body’s main source for fuel and energy.  They provide glucose to all of our tissues and cells in the body.  Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system and other main organs such as our brain, heart and kidneys to function properly.  Carbohydrates can be stored and later used for energy.  Carbohydrates also play a role in our intestinal health.  Your carbohydrate intake is your total daily calories less your protein and fat calories.  My total carb intake per day is 160 grams or 640 calories.  Again, the amount of carbohydrates you take in will depend on your current goals.

Importance of Fats

Contrary to popular belief, consuming fats do not make you fat.  Consuming an excess of calories, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, makes you fat, not the intake of fat alone.  Now that we have that settled, let’s continue.  Fats help with normal growth and development, gives you energy, helps with the absorption of some vitamins, gives cushion to your organs, maintains your cells, and gives taste, stability, and consistency to foods.  There are three main types of fats:  trans, saturated, unsaturated.  Trans fat is the unhealthiest of all the fats.  It has been shown to lead to an increase in your bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.  They should be avoided.  Trans fat is typically found in fried foods, fast foods, chips, cookies, etc.  For the most part it is found in all the foods we know we shouldn’t be eating anyway.  Saturated fat is not as unhealthy as trans fat, but it’s still not good for you either, especially in large amounts.  Saturated fat has been known to cause high cholesterol.  Saturated fats can be found in beef, veal, lamb, pork, butter, lard, and cream just to name a few.  Intake of saturated fats should be limited.  Unsaturated fat has been shown to decrease the risks of heart disease as well as lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.  Unsaturated fats are most commonly found in fish, nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, and seeds.  The majority of our fat intake should come from unsaturated fats.  Fat should be 20-30% of your diet.  Personally, I choose 25%.  My daily fat intake is 44g.  Calculate your macros here.

For myself, this is the diet that I am currently following.  If I were competing, I would follow a stricter plan or incorporate some form of carb cycling to get my desired results.  At times, people take the IIFYM approach to the extremes.  Some will consume a lot of unhealthy foods and then give the excuse that it fits their macros.  Yes, at times I will have Oreos, skittles, or peanut M & M’s and yes, it does fit into my macros but there’s a downfall.  Per example, 1/4 cup of skittles is 37g of carbohydrates with no nutritional  value.  They’re 160 calories, contain 1.5g of fat and 30g of sugar.  1/4 cup of fresh pineapple is only about 5-6g carbs and provides vitamin C.  The pineapple is only about 20 calories and only has about 4g of sugar.  It’s obvious which snack would be more beneficial to you but if you just have to have the skittles or your favorite snack, have them; just know that you are giving up a lot of calories for non-nutritional foods and will need to adjust your macros accordingly.  Many people feel less restricted when following the IIFYM method.  Which method of eating works best for you?

Easy Carb Cycling Meal Plan

jan 15

Carb cycling is an eating plan with alternating high-carb and low-carb days.  You can even choose to add in a reward day!  How awesome is that?

High carbohydrate days promotes muscle growth by stimulating an insulin response, which sends nutrients to your muscle cells.  High carb days also replenishes your glycogen stores (fuel for muscles) and makes you feel energized.

Low carb days promote fat loss.  You may notice feeling a little tired on your low carb days.  The body is tricked into burning fat for fuel instead of the sugar the body would typically get from carbohydrates.  It’s just that simple.

There are multiple ways that you can choose to do a carb cycle.  You can choose to alternate your high and low carbs daily, once every two days, even three days depending on the results you are trying to achieve.  Alternately, depending on your training habits and goals, you may decide to have two high carb days to one low carb day.  You may also decide to manipulate your carbs by only consuming them in the morning.  You may have to play around with different carb cycling patterns to see which one works best for your body and your lifestyle.

Below is the easy carb cycling meal plan I followed along with the experiences I had.

Day 1

day 1

This morning 1/12/15, I began my carb cycling.  I have chosen to alternate my high and low carb days daily with a possible cheat day on Saturday or Sunday.  This morning I weighed in at 136.5.  I planned out my carbohydrates for the day.  My goal is to stay below 70g.  I normally take in approximately 250g.  Here is what I planned for my low carb day:

Oatmeal-27g

Planters honey roasted peanuts-7g

1/2 grapefruit-13g

blueberries-2g

walnuts-2g

Protein bar-9g

Protein-8g

Total 68g carbs

My first low carb day went well!  I took in more carbs than planned but stayed below 100g.  I took in an additional 10g of carbs.  The extra carbs came from miscellaneous foods such as lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sausage.  I use the myfitnesspal application to keep track of my foods.  I didn’t eat my 1/2 grapefruit.  I instead had 1% milk with my protein shake.  I have recently realized that I do not enjoy my protein mixed with water only.  It may be time to search for a new protein.  My energy level was great throughout the day.  I had a short, but effective workout today.  I trained legs.  My workout last 39:01 and I burned 772 calories.  I drank just under a gallon of water throughout the day.  My total calorie count for the day was 1564.

Day 2 (1/13/15)

day 2

I weighed in this morning at 133 lbs.  I didn’t plan my carbs for the day.  In general, I tend to stick to eating healthy carbs and don’t typically go over my goal intake.  My total carb count for the day was 154g.  My total calories were 1786.  The carbs that I took in included oatmeal, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mozzarella cheese, walnuts, pineapples, 2 slices whole wheat bread, banana, peanut butter, and a protein bar.  I was able to get in a nice long workout today.  I worked out for about 1 1/2 hours and burned 1848 calories.  I trained back and shoulders.  I also did cardio and abs.

Day 3 (1/13/15)

2015-01-14 10.46.18

As you can see, I’m looking a little “fluffier” this morning around my midsection due to the increased carb intake yesterday.  My weight remained consistent at 133 lbs.  I have an unexpected day off from work due to the weather.  Hopefully, I can still stick to the plan.  My plan is pretty much the same as it was Monday, my last low carb day.  Today, I did very well sticking to the eating plan.  I took in 72g of carbs.  However, I couldn’t push myself to get in a workout.  It was a lazy day of eating and sleeping.

Today, I did very well sticking to the eating plan.  I took in 72g of carbs.  However, I couldn’t push myself to get in a workout.  It was a lazy day of eating and sleeping.

Day 4 (1/14/15)

jan 15

Looking fairly good after my low carb day.  My weight remains the same.  Today I took in 197g of carbs, all healthy carbs except one.  I decided to have a small bag of Cheetos.  Hey, what can I say?  It fit my macros, but that’s a topic of discussion for another day.  I did a calisthenic home workout along with some free weight sets for my arms.  I burned just over 1000 calories.

 

Day 5

Day 5

Day 6

Day 6

 

My thoughts:

Carb cycling is a great way to lose weight.  It helps you get rid of excess water weight as well as burn off more calories.

Looking at pictures, it seems as though my body peaked and looked its best at day 4.

If you are looking to make subtle changes over time, then the every other day cycle would be the route to take.

If you are looking for more drastic changes, then I would recommend 2-3 low carb days followed by 1 high carb day.

Bottom line, if you are looking to lose weight, carb cycling may be an option for you.

If my plan seems to loose or if you are looking for a more specific weight loss meal plan, you may want to check out this carb cycling book that includes recipe ideas.

If you happen to give it a try, let me know what you think.

day 1jan 15

Disclosure

This blog is written by me personally. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. I am compensated to provide my opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though I receive compensation for posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinion, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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