Posts tagged ‘calories’

August 6, 2013

I eat food….

“What do you eat?”–I must get that question a bajillion times a day. My answer is always, “FOOD!” I am not trying to be a smart a$% when I answer it that way, but its simply the truth. I don’t count calories. I know for a lot of people that works…but the problem is too many people look at the number versus the quality of the food. 100 calories of Oreos is still Oreos. For me, I like to just really think about the food that I am eating and putting into my body. The better the quality of the food and the more dense nutrition packed in there the more of it I can eat. I don’t necessarily have to worry about my portion control that way. Why? 

Did you ever wonder why you can sit down and eat an entire bag of chips or a an entire pizza pie and not be full?  Yet if you are eating a steak and sweet potatoes you fill up rather quickly with no room in your belly for more? Its because the steak and sweet potato are filled with dense nutrition which signals your body that its full. When you are eating those “empty calories” filled with zero nutritional value, your body requires way more to be satiated, at which point it never really is. So when I say I eat food, and I don’t have to portion or weigh it out, its because when you are choosing food that is whole and good for you, you will know when you are full. Its when you are choosing those items that are processed and have little to no nutritional value that you really have to weigh out your portions because otherwise you will overeat. 

Make better choices. Eat less food from boxes and more food from the Earth. So that next time someone asks you what you eat, you can say FOOD! Image

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April 2, 2013

Sugar or Salad?

I often get asked how come I don’t compete in fitness competitions. And for me, I have a few set reasons, but one resonates a little stronger than the rest. There is nothing wrong with fitness competitions, at all, but for me, and my life, its just not something that fits in. Let me tell you one of the main reasons which directly relates to my children and to the purpose of this article.

I am raising two daughters. I want them to have a healthy view point on fitness. I worry that because I am so into fitness that I will do one of two things…either push them towards donuts and pizza or give them a false sense that they need to be perfect. Let me start by talking about the first option….they resent health and fitness.

I try to maintain balance. Yes, we eat healthy. But every Friday we do donut Friday. This is a tradition where I take them to the donut shoppe before school. Why? I don’t eat donuts, and they are so unhealthy. But I want my girls to know moderation. That yes, nine times out of ten we are eating whole foods that fuel our body, but that it is okay to enjoy a treat. I want them to know moderation and to be able to make good choices as they grow up. In turn, my youngest daughter orders salad every time we eat out and my oldest daughter drinks nothing but water. I don’t want to deprive them of fun foods because there is the risk that when left to their own choices they will eat unhealthy on purpose.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. I work out because I love it. Truly. Its my hobby in addition to my career. I don’t scrapbook, or bake, or garden…I train. I don’t do it because I feel I need to look a certain way or weigh a certain weight. My body is merely a by product of my love for working out. But, I worry. I don’t want my girls to feel like they have to be perfect. I don’t want them checking calories or flipping out if they see a little baby fat on their bodies. I want them to love themselves, and love the way physical activity makes their body feel. In a day and age where the media does such a good job of showcasing the “perfect” female body there are so many body issues amongst young girls that I don’t need to paint that picture at home for them as well.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Your children are watching you. No matter what you say, they do what they see, and so its crucial that you provide balance and guidance in paving the path of a healthy lifestyle for them. Train because you enjoy it. Eat foods that fuel your body and enjoy treats within moderation. Image

February 19, 2013

Snack Time!

hummus and veggies

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. Let’s talk about something fun . . . snacks! Now, before we go too far, let’s demystify something. Food and nutrition can be loaded topics—some people have a great relationship with food, while others may think of eating as a confusing, guilt-ridden, boring, or necessary evil. Then we throw in snacks, and craziness breaks out! Snacks are often given a bad rap, mainly because many people choose munchies that are WAAAAY too full of calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Think of those tasty treats in vending machines and gas stations (not to mention your local grocery store, Aisle 17). We’ve all been there. I’m not proud of how much I love the taste of a kosher dill potato chip, but hey, I’m human. I avoid the siren song of this devilish dill delight because I know better—and my body deserves better, as does yours. Snacks will save your rear, in more ways than one.

apple hearts

Healthy gals and guys know one of the most important ways to reach their fitness goals is to eat 5-6 small meals a day, including snacks. Your body is an amazing machine, and it needs to burn quality fuel regularly throughout the day to keep you going strong. If you start thinking of food as fuel instead of something you have to deal with just to survive, your world will be rocked and you’ll become your body’s most powerful ally. Think of your nutrition schedule like this:

Meal 1: Breakfast

Meal 2: Mid-morning snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Mid-afternoon snack (or pre-workout snack)

Meal 5: Dinner (or post-workout snack)

Meal 6: Snack (or dinner)

Notice how you can incorporate pre- and post-workout snacks into your daily plan. You can also shift this structure to the morning if you like your workouts early. To keep your fire burning bright, eat every 2.5-3 hours. For your snacks, try to shoot for at least 10 grams of protein and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates by including 1 or 2 complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, most fruits, beans, brown rice, or oatmeal) and a little healthy fat (nuts, seeds, almond butter, low-fat dairy, or avocado). High-quality protein, carbs, and fats are going to keep you feeling satisfied and give you energy.

Nutritious Nibbles

  • 1 c. raspberries with ½ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 small apple with 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • ½ c. cottage cheese with ½ c. mixed berries
  • 1 or 2 eggs (hard-boiled) with 2 whole-grain flatbreads
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter spread on 2-4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot sticks with 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 4 natural whole-wheat honey graham crackers with 10 red or green grapes
  • 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with 1 scoop chocolate (or other flavor) protein powder (can be whey or plant-based protein powder), along with a banana
  • Quick Basic Smoothie: 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with ¼ c. frozen or fresh berries with ½ fresh or frozen banana (Hint: Frozen fruit makes the smoothie thick and icy!)
  • 3 c. air-popped (or unsalted and unbuttered!) popcorn drizzled with 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and dash of cayenne pepper, along with 1 apple
  • 6-10 veggie pieces: celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash dipped in 2 Tbsp hummus or low-fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Homemade Trail Mix: 2 Tbsp dried fruit, 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp unsalted nuts, and a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes

If you need a basic snack, an apple and some nuts or maybe even a protein shake and a banana are great options. However, if you are headed to the gym, be sure to grab something rich in slow-burning carbs and lean protein (like oatmeal and scrambled egg whites) to fuel your efforts. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to fix before working out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Yum!

Yum!

Banana Blueberry Power Snack

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • ½ banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • ½-1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Small drizzle of honey

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on each half of the muffin. Slice the banana into small slices, and then arrange the slices flat on each half. Place the blueberries around and in between banana slices (the berries tend to roll off—trust me!). Sprinkle ground flaxseed across each muffin half, and then drizzle each half with a little honey. Yum!!

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Keep fueling that beautiful body of yours, and have a super week!

~Brooke