Tag Archives: personaltrainer

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

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I absolutely LOVE pad Thai- but when you order a takeout you’re not only getting all the carbs from the noodles but also all the bad fats from the cooking oils that they use. Here is a healthier version, replacing noodles with spaghetti squash (which I also love!) and cutting back on the unhealthy fat and calories- Enjoy!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PAD THAI

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Carb Grams Per Serving: 25

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash (1.5 to 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 14-ounce container extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . Prick squash all over with a knife and roast on a rimmed baking sheet about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced.
2. Whisk together lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, jalapeno and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer; keep warm over low heat, whisking occasionally.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add cabbage and saute 1 minute. Stir in tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and pour in eggs. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir constantly until eggs are just cooked, about 2 minutes more. Turn off heat.
4. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Using a fork, scrape squash from shell. Place strands in a large bowl and gently untangle with fork; transfer to skillet and fold into egg mixture. Drizzle with sauce, stirring to incorporate. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 343 cal., 20 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 707 mg sodium, 25 g carb. (5 g fiber), 20 g pro.

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5 Food Choices to Make You a Happier, Healthier Person

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In an age where more and more people are looking to take the easy way out when it comes to health and nutrition, poor eating decisions have led to serious health problems, because bad eating can kill you just as starvation can.

People are trading “shelf life” for freshness, “cheap” for nutritious, and “quantity” for quality without ever really knowing what they are putting in their body.

Here’s a list of 5 food choices that can change your life from Women’s Health Mag:

There is a solution to this very complex and far-reaching problem: you. By making small changes to your own diet, you can not only improve your health but also become part of the collective force needed to re-create a healthy food system that feeds the world well. Start here.

1. OCCUPY YOUR KITCHEN
By deciding how much and exactly which types of salt, sugar, and fat we will use to make our fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, and grains taste delicious, we reclaim control over our health and our weight. Cook as often as you can.

2. WHEN YOU BUY GLOBAL, THINK FAIR TRADE AND LOW IMPACT
Global certification programs like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and Marine Stewardship Council ensure that foods are grown sustainably. They also reduce the impact of chemically intensive growing practices.

3. USE WORD OF MOUTH
School gardens are cropping up, which is encouraging kids to ask for veggies at home. Millennials are teaching their parents the joys of kale and the tastiness of a veggie burger. The next time you host family or friends, serve them a grass-fed burger on a whole-grain bun along with a plateful of local vegetables. Let them see firsthand that eating in a way that changes the food system for the better can be delicious—and fun.

4. GROW SOMETHING EDIBLE
City dwellers can plant herbs in pots on a windowsill. Suburbanites can cultivate garlic and asparagus, a perennial vegetable that keeps producing for decades. Encourage your kids, neighbors, and friends to do the same. Odds are, you’ll feel more connected to your food and to your community (many food banks accept fresh produce donations from individuals and farmers’ markets).

5. REMOVE HIDDEN CORN FROM YOUR DIET
It goes well beyond high-fructose corn syrup—processed corn ingredients include dextrose, corn syrup solids, and corn-based sweeteners, as well as meat, milk, and dairy from corn-fed cattle. Nixing those products from your kitchen may encourage manufacturers to find healthier alternatives, and it’s also a great way to remove junk foods from your cabinets and make room in your wallet and home for natural, whole foods.

15 Minute Total Body Workout

So, as promised in my last article, here is a 15 minute body weight, do anywhere workout! If you want to start off slower, shoot for ten minutes. Do 10 reps of each exercise and see how many sets you can get in during the allotted time. As you get better at it, push for a longer time, or more reps of each exercise!!

1. Body Weight Squat

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How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, and slowly stand back up.

2. Judo Push-up

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How to do it: Begin in a pushup position but move your feet hip-width apart and forward, and raise your hips so your body almost forms an upside-down V. Lower the front of your body until your chin nears the floor. Then lower your hips as you raise your head and shoulders toward the ceiling. Now reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

3. Sprinter Sit-up

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How to do it: Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides, keeping your elbows bent at 90 degrees. As you sit up, twist your upper body to the left and bring your left knee toward your right elbow while you swing your left arm back. Lower your body to the starting position, and repeat to your right. That’s 1 rep.

Good luck and remember this is just a general outline of how you can fit a full body workout into your hectic schedule. Feel free to switch up exercises, increase reps and time, or add extra exercises in!! Do what feels good for you, the important thing is that you get up, get out and DO IT!!!!

Much love,
Shannon

Recipe of the Week! Quinoa Breakfast Bake!

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Bake up a pan of this healthy quinoa casserole for an easy hot breakfast on-the-go throughout the week. Add your favorite berries, nuts, seeds, and spices to make this recipe your own!

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 2 eggs
2 cups skim milk 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 1/2 cups frozen berries
1 apple or pear, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan, and set aside. (Note: a 9×11 works fine, too!)
3. In a medium bowl, stir together uncooked quinoa, cinnamon, and allspice to coat quinoa with spices. Pour quinoa over bottom of prepared pan.
4. In the same bowl used for the quinoa, beat the eggs until fully mixed. Whisk in the milk and maple syrup, and beat to combine.
5. Scatter the berries, apple or pear pieces, and nuts (if using) evenly on top of the quinoa.
6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. (The milk mixture will cook the quinoa to create a very soft texture on the inside, while creating a lightly crunchy crust on the outside!)
7. Bake for 1 hour, or until casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left. Serve warm, and refrigerate leftovers.

Enjoy!

Exercise of the Day! The Superman!

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This exercise is a good supplement to all those crunches, the Superman is a great way to strengthen your lower back and tone your glutes. All you need to do this exercise is your body weight, no equipment necessary.

1. Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
2. Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked), or placing hands behind head while keeping torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated “u” shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.
3. Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one.

Try to perform 10 reps for 3 sets. Have Fun!

Recipe of the Week!! Banana Tea Bread!

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I made this recipe the other week and it turned out so good I just couldn’t not share it with you all! All credit goes to the simple veganista.  This banana bread has a great texture, is not too sweet, and is super healthy!! I added some flaxseed to mine and it didn’t seem to affect the recipe whatsoever, I also chose to use whole wheat flour and opted for the coconut oil instead of grapeseed which gave it a subtle yet delicious flavor.  I definitely recommend trying this out when you have an extra hour to spare.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups spelt flour, or flour of choice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grapeseed or warmed coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar or finely chopped dates
4 small or 3 large bananas (preferably overripe), mashed

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium/large size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix briefly, set aside. Mash bananas, you should have approx. 1 3/4 cups, add to batter and mix until combined. Pour or spoon into a well greased loaf pan…I used coconut oil to grease mine. I don’t use vegan butters, margarine’s or sprays as I don’t care for them. Bake for about 50 min to an hour. With my oven it only goes for 50 min. You can also do the toothpick test in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean it’s about ready. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min.

Exercise of the Day! Knee to Outside Elbow Planks!

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Start with a standard high plank. Slowly bring your right knee toward the outside of your right elbow. You’ll be tempted to look back to see how close your knee is—don’t do it! It will make you round your shoulders and drop your hips. Just get it as close as you can without losing your form. Be sure to have your hands stacked underneath of your shoulders and keep that core engaged the entire time! Repeat on the other side. Perform 20 total reps alternating legs (10 on each side) on each side and complete 2-3 sets. Enjoy!

Exercise of the Day! Medicine Ball Rock and Roll Ups!

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This one is a toughie at first to coordinate, but hits all the major muscle groups in one powerful move. Lie down, back to the mat, with knees bent. Hold a medicine ball on the ground with arms fully extended overhead. Pull the knees into the chest, preparing to use the weight of the ball (and the strength of your core!) to help catapult you to a controlled squat position, then standing. Next, slowly lower back into a squat, and ease back to the floor, butt first before lying back down. Don’t get too comfy though: The goal is to rock and roll for 10-12 reps.

When is the Best Time to Train?

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So, when is the best time to train?  It’s a loaded question that if you asked a number of professionals you would probably receive a plethora of different answers.  There are a lot of different variables to take into consideration, one being that sometimes psychology wins out of physiology when it comes to dragging your butt to the gym. Bottom line is, don’t let the time it says on the clock hold you back from getting your sweat on.  Here are the top five times of day to train.

1. When it Fits Best into Your Schedule

Thank you captain obvious, surely this is the first one that comes into everyones mind.  The majority of us lead hectic, busy lives, which leaves us little time for much else.  The great thing about our bodies is, they adjust.  Sure, you may only be able to fit in a half an hour at the gym right after work, and it will be hard the first few weeks, but after that you will fall into a routine and staying with that consistent time will help you stick to your workout regimen.  

2. When You Feel the Most Energy

Thanks to our circadian rhythms which control our body temperature, blood pressure, alertness and metabolism, among other things, some of us are morning people and some of us dread the thought of opening our eyes before 11am.  I don’t think this is something that should be ignored.  The good news is that research done by the University of North Texas, Denton found that even though circadian rhythms are inborn, we do have the ability to reset them.  If the only time you can work out is early mornings, keep setting that alarm, once your system resets itself you’ll have no problem rising to the sound of chirping birds. 

3. When Your Nutrition Meets Your Goals

If you’re looking to be stronger, faster and improve performance, your body needs to be properly fueled.  Muscles have big reserves of a complex carb called glycogen.  Muscles convert glycogen into energy that your body utilizes throughout the day.  Glycogen stores are usually at their lowest in the morning, which is not ideal for performance. 

4. First Thing in the Morning on an Empty Stomach

If you’re trying to drop pounds and lose fat, working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is probably the best time for you.  If your glycogen stores are depleted, your body is forced to utilize its fat stores for energy.  If you find you lack energy before your morning workout, have something light like a protein shake. 

5. At Night Before Bed

Can exercise improve sleep quality? Yes, and no.  Exercise increases core body temperature, heart rate and prompts your system to release epinephrine (adrenaline) none of which are ideal for sleep.  On the other hand, exercise reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, which can leave your body in a more relaxed state for sleep.  Try to wait and hour or two after a late workout to allow your body time to return to a rested state.  

Don’t forget some other key points, such as the fact that morning exercisers are more likely to be consistent with workouts according to research.  As far as afternoon workouts are concerned it has been shown that injuries are less likely to happen during mid-day because we are most alert and our body temperature is at its highest, so our muscles are warm and flexible.  Also, according to research, body temperature is at its highest between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and at its lowest just before waking.  You will find that your strength is the greatest in the afternoon.  Studies show strength output and anaerobic performance, such as sprinting is 5% higher in the late afternoon, as well as endurance being approximately 4% higher around the same time of day.  

I hope this helps some people to decide and stick to a plan of when they are going to get their workouts in.  Remember, getting a small session in is better than nothing at all, and making a habit of breaking a sweat everyday could be the best thing you do for your longevity.  

 

 

Exercise of the Day! Reverse Lunge Knee Up!

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This is a great exercise to help work on your speed and strength.  Begin by standing on one foot, then step the opposite foot backwards into a reverse lunge. Powerfully push through the front foot and bring the opposite knee towards the chest. Quickly step back into a reverse lunge and repeat! Complete 10-12 reps on each side and try for 2-3 sets.