So you ate a bowl of granola with soy milk and strawberries for breakfast…now what? I always have these days and they primarily fall on Tuesdays. It’s that day of the week when you finally feel like you got it together and ate some veggies to make up for that less than paleo Saturday night. You start strong, but being consistent with your diet can be a real challenge.
I eat healthy on a daily basis count calories (in a healthy way), fill my cart with veggies as opposed to the candy that I would rather devour, and have managed to convince myself that a kale salad tastes better than chicken wings (most days). I have not yet wrapped my brain around gluten-free vegan brownies or how that is materially possible, adding green veggies in place of where chocolate should be in baked goods, and putting celery in the blender still makes me uneasy despite Pinterest’s best attempts at making drinking your vegetables appealing. I have read gazillions of articles lately on the right things to eat before a workout, how to manage your caloric intake for every hour of your day, etc. Obviously a brownie while walking to the treadmill isn’t going to make you feel light on your toes, and a belly full of milk will make you throw up mid run. Your stomach sounds like a velociraptor and you still have three more days left to the green smoothie cleanse diet. It is obvious, yet we obsess and agonize over doing the right thing nutritionally. The internet tells us we already have no clue how to eat. Doctors explain that you are doing it all wrong. Your diet has been made into an insolvable calculus problem that you continually won’t be able to understand. Just when you feel like you are happy with your diet the trainer will explain that you have “plateaued” and everything needs to change…once again.
As a 20 something female I have been privileged enough to listen to friends ponder their next move towards veganism, swear off broccoli eternally (because it makes you bloated), and carry milk gallons filled with water inside their purses. The over stimulation of our dieting flaws, as well as the American tendency to eat multiple meals in one sitting, has left us in a state of flustered uncertainty about what we should eat. The question is not “what am I doing right?” it is “how badly am I sucking at this whole eating right thing?”
The process needs to be simplified. Three grapes, 5 gallons of water, and 1 square of cheese every other day does not need to be your magical snack formula for ultimate wellness. In my mind the answer should be as simple as “avoid cupcakes, French fries, and heart attack burgers” but if it was that simple we would have figured things out by now.
Once there is a basic understanding of what the body needs and which foods fall into that category we can begin to feel more accepting of our diets and spend less time giving up…(insert guilty pleasure here) like it’s the 1920s.
Below are a few of the basics.
Cutting Calories: It’s like all of a sudden deciding to give up sleeping on a mattress or not talking before 12pm every day. Dramatically altering eating habits in a short amount of time until you see results is setting yourself up for failure. In terms of maintaining general health (as opposed to planned weight loss) less is more. Cutting 400 or more calories daily sends your body into panic mode, and as a result it tells you that you are starving which fuels the mental challenge of abstaining from the nearly meal’s worth of intake you are denying yourself. Instead try cutting 100 calories or smaller increments from each meal. Giving up the equivalent of an apple as opposed to an entire bison will make the transition into healthy eating feel more natural (pun intended).
Incremental Fitness: studies have shown that every little step counts. On top of diet intimidation, we have been groomed to think that a workout requires grunting, sweat, and heart attack like symptoms. Most of the millions of calories you consume every year are burned without you even realizing it…most exciting fact I’ve ever read. To maintain your basic health needs adding the minutes you walk per day, how heavy the groceries were you carried up the stairs etc. all count towards maintaining healthy activity. Due to hormonal composition this has proven to benefit men more than women, but across the board reaching the recommended 10,000 steps a day truly creates an impact.
Avoid the obvious: We all know what we probably shouldn’t eat and if you are unsure think about what you are craving right now and that may give you an answer. I am not a fan of saying no, but there are a few things you should avoid if you are looking to get results in your diet or exercise. Sugars, enriched flour, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils. The average American eats 63 pounds of high fructose corn syrup a year which can translate to around 33 or more extra body pounds per year. These items will always provide little to no nutritional gain no matter how much we can will ice cream to take on weight loss characteristics. When it comes to whites in the pantry stick egg whites, cauliflower, and fish.
Produce: when in doubt you can’t go wrong in the produce aisle. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the nitty-gritty when it comes to diet content. These are the things you should consume for optimal health and are nutritious enough that portions become less of a factor therefore you are free to enjoy guilt free. That doesn’t mean go ahead and live off a bunch of bananas for an entire day. Keep in mind to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly. The worst you will hear about the produce aisle are horror stories about the chemicals that they are grown in.
Cravings: These urges can lead us to do shameful things in the name of a good cupcake. Everyone deals with them to some degree, it is how we choose the manage them that reflects on the success of our diet. To forever resist a craving is like holding a Band-Aid mid rip off your skin, eventually you will just go for it. Instead of teasing yourself like a ravenous lion know how to indulge responsibly. Enjoy things in moderation and with the proper balance. When it comes to quelling cravings in a non-food way try water, sex, or sleep. All three can relieve the hankering and leave you in a better state of mind.
When it comes to dieting there is no easy answer. Finding what works for you doesn’t have to be as challenging as we think. Cut the fad infatuation, listen to your body, and this whole dieting thing won’t seem so bad.
So the other day, we gave you guys the first ever Share It Fitness Official Nutrition Guidebook. We wanted to really set the foundation for everything you’d need to understand your diet, nutritional needs, and how to achieve our dietary goals. Having done that, I now want to turn my attention to another piece of the puzzle, which is the meal plan. For whatever the reason, many people do better when they have a physical program listing out which meals on which days. If that’s not your thing, no big deal, it’s totally okay to switch meals up, substituting here or eliminating there. The overall point of this meal plan is to show you how easy it is to create healthy, tasty, and simple meals which will allow you to reach your goals faster and change your body more dramatically.
You’ll find many of these meals are in our recipe e-book, which can be obtained by dropping your email in the contact form found in the nutritional guidebook blog post. Other recipes are found directly on the blog, which we’ve linked to. Now, on to a few pressing questions I’m sure many of you will have as you’re reading through this sample meal plan…
Who is this meal plan for?
This meal plan is for healthy, active individuals. Ideally, this plan would be perfect for one of our Fitplanners, or anyone following any of our other workout programs found on the blog.
Who is this meal plan not for?
Anyone with diabetes or other health conditions needs to ignore the advice found here and talk to a doctor and/or dietitians for specific recommendations. Additionally, for those of you who are naturally under/over weight, your caloric needs are going to differ from the baselines I’ve built this meal plan around.
How do post-workout protein shakes factor in?
I’ve left these out of the meal plan, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be consuming them. I’m assuming, since you’re all such loyal readers, you understand the importance of the post-workout whey protein shake, and are including that in your daily diet regardless.
What’s up with portion sizes listed?
Sometimes after some of the meal ideas, you’ll see something like 8 ounces chicken breast, or one cup of brown rice. These are just guidelines to follow to ensure you’re getting the necessary macronutrients IF you’re an active, healthy person, as I mentioned above. Again, if you need more or less calories, you’ll obviously consume more or less per serving. If you don’t see any portions listed, that’s because you’ll find portion sizes listed in the recipe itself.
Where do I find recipes for some of the items not on the blog or in your recipe e-book?
I’ve hyperlinked to any recipe that can’t be found on the blog or in the recipe e-book. These are variations of the recipe that I particularly like. Of course, if you want to browse around for other iterations out there, feel free!
Should I account for training days?
YES! When you have a more intense cardiovascular training day coming up, I want you to bump your total carbohydrate intake by 5-10% the previous day. So if for instance, you’ve got treadmill interval workout coming up on thursday, you’ll want to eat 5-10% more carbs on Wednesday. Now on the other hand, if you’re doing a serious muscle-building workout on Friday, make sure you’re getting +5% protein for that day. Standard training days should follow the basic ratio listed (45/30/25), only bump things up for especially tough workouts.
What about off days?
So, let me first say I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting. In brief, it involves little to no calories for a period of 18-24 hours, every few days to once a week. If you want to read a little more about intermittent fasting, you can certainly do so right here on the blog. I’d challenge you to give intermittent fasting a try, maybe on a Saturday or Sunday. If that’s too hard, throw in your intermittent fast during the week and just push your regularly scheduled meals out to the weekend. Seriously, click the link and read up on intermittent fasting, it has a lot of health benefits and can be a great tool for managing excess body fat.
How much should I be drinking?
The age-old advice has always been 8, 8-ounce glasses of whatever a day. Honestly, drinking this much water is tough. Also, this advice doesn’t factor in the water you’re getting from food sources. Personally, I’ll fill a 48 ounce water bottle and drink that most days a week. Just fill up a large water bottle once, and do your best to get through it. Let’s not make things more complicated than they need to be, okay?
Will I have leftovers?
If you listened to my advice and cooked things in bulk – YES! Now, I didn’t include leftover meals in the following meal plan because I wanted to give you more options to pick from. Of course, if you have leftovers that need to be eaten, just substitute them in as you see fit. Personally, I make 3-4 big meals a week (baked fish, grilled meats, etc) then supplement with lunches (wraps, salads, etc). Use this meal plan as a guideline to get you eating healthier and more nutrient-dense foods, but don’t feel like you have to strictly follow each and every meal listed.
Meal #1: Steel-cut oats with low-fat milk. Consider stirring in a tablespoon of peanut butter or couple of tablespoons of chia seeds.
Meal #2: Chicken fajitas on whole-wheat tortillas using half an avocado and 12oz chicken breast sliced. Feel free to add other toppings, onions, peppers, lettuce, as you see fit.
Meal#3: One and a half cups greek yogurt and handful of grapes
Meal#4: Tofu stir fry. 8 ounces tofu, mixed veggies, one cup brown rice.
Meal #5: Protein power balls. Several balls to meet your protein requirements for the day.
Meal #1: Egg tacos. Eggs on corn tortillas with peppers, half an avocado, small handful of cheese. 3 tacos.
Meal #2: Handful of walnuts, piece of fruit.
Meal #3: Turkey meatballs with oven roasted tomato sauce and whole wheat pasta. 8 ounces turkey breast, 1 cup of pasta.
Meal #4: Kale salad with quinoa. 3 cups of salad.
Meal #5: Panko crusted chicken breast with a (big) side of veggies. 8 ounces chicken breast.
Meal #6: Peanut butter banana protein shake. 1 T peanut butter, 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder, half a banana, milk. Blend, drink, be happy.
Meal #1 Steel-cut oats, half of grapefruit.
Meal #2: Salmon asparagus wraps. 1-2 wraps.
Meal #3: Mediterranean chickpea patties on pita.
Meal #4: Orange chipotle shrimp over bed of greens, side of 1 cup brown rice.
Meal #5: Greek yogurt with chia seeds. 2 cups greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons chia seeds.
Meal #2: Skirt steak and poblano pepper fajita wraps.
Meal #3: 5-bean vegetarian chile*
Meal #5: Greek yogurt with chia seeds. 2 cups greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons chia seeds.
Meal #1: Cinnamon Banana Waffles, feel free to top with strawberries
Meal #2: Shrimp salad with a side of quinoa and greens
Meal #3: Edamame and avocado salad
Meal #4: Chicken Parmesan with whole wheat pasta and spinach
Meal #5: The Share It Fitness Power Shake
Meal #1: Vanilla chia seed pudding
Meal #2: Brown rice, black bean, and shaved cucumber wrap.
Meal #3: Chicken mushroom quesadillas
Meal #4: Red Snapper Veracruz
Meal #5 Greek yogurt with chia seeds. 2 cups greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons chia seeds
This is your day. Feel free to eat what you want, but let’s not go overboard, okay? Following a meal plan, for every single meal, every day of the week is tough. So rather than force you to adhere to exactly what I’m suggesting you eat week in, week out, Sundays are yours. You’ll likely have leftovers from some of the above meals, but if not, feel free to have whatever else you like. I’m not saying to down an entire pizza, but if you want a slice or twice, go for it. Have a craving for ice cream? Be my guest. The goal here is to get you eating in a healthy way at least 80% of the time. You change your diet to 80% healthy, you’re going to notice changes, no doubt about it. Over time, you may find you don’t even have cravings for the less healthy stuff; this is exactly what happened to me.
This should be a great start for anyone wanting to complement their training plan with a nutrient-dense, healthy, and well-rounded dietary plan. This plan will help you net your appropriate macro’s (protein, carbs, fats) while giving you enough fuel to get through all of your FitPlan workouts. Again, we all have different nutrient needs, so if you find you’re having a hard time putting on weight/muscle feel free to add an extra serving or two, here and there. If on the other hand, you’re trying to cut weight, scale back the serving sizes and make sure you’re using the right ratio for your body type and goals (as listed in The Share It Fitness Nutrition Guidebook).
As always, if you have any questions with any of this, give us a holler by leaving a comment below!
Have you been killing yourself in the gym lately? Mixing up your workouts, trying different things, pushing your muscles to the brink? If you’ve been doing everything you know you should be doing, but STILL cannot add the kind of muscle your efforts should be bringing about, today’s post is for you. Most of you guys know by now that adding muscle to your frame, regardless of your fitness goals, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only is it going to help you create a lean, athletic physique, it’s also going to turbo charge your metabolism, help you burn more calories, and generally speed up your entire body transformation. Simply put, building muscle is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Now, if you’re like the many people out there who are having trouble getting past their beginner gains – the gains that come so easily, then suddenly grind to a halt after a couple of months – then it’s time to re-evaluate some aspects of your muscle-building approach. As you’ve probably realized, building muscle is about so much more than varying your workouts and bumping your weights at regular intervals. There’s another piece to the puzzle that must be put into place before you’re going to go from kind-of-fit-but-still-soft-around-the-edges, to tight, toned, and lean with curves in all the right places. Today, I’m going to show you what that piece is, and how you can easily, quickly, and most effectively incorporate into your life, and get started on building the muscle your body craves.
In reality, there are a multitude of reasons why you can’t build muscle, but for our purpose’s today, I’m going to assume a couple of things….
Consider the above two prerequisites to any successful muscle-building program. If you’re having issues with either of those two, stop,, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, and return to our handy dandy muscle building guide for beginners.
If on the other hand, you’re feeling pretty good about your muscle-building strategy, but are still having issues developing the body you want, then it’s time to listen up. The reason you aren’t building muscle is very likely because you aren’t giving your muscles the fuel they need to build new muscle tissue. You see, when you do a hard workout that really pounds your muscles, you’re actually breaking that tissue down. Muscles grow and become defined in the days after a tough workout – they repair themselves and grow back stronger and more massive. Allowing this break down/build up process to occur is how you’re going to finally build that bubble butt, or build a six-pack, or accentuate the definition in your legs. It’s the basis for making any and all of the muscular gains you’re working for.
The problem is, if your body doesn’t have the means necessary to build this new tissue, it’s simply not going to build new tissue. Of course, recognizing this problem isn’t exactly ground-breaking; the standard advice is: “eat more calories”. But it’s just not that simple – eating more calories is simple in theory, but often incredibly difficult in practice.
The advice, “Just eat more calories” is a little misleading. Sure, you could go out, eat Burger King every night, pack in the calories, and end up with a caloric surplus. And yes, your muscles will probably grow….but unfortunately, so will your gut. Eating enough calories to pack on muscle but NOT fat, is like walking a tight rope. Anyone can stuff themselves with excess calories, but finding the right balance that brings on muscle growth and not unwanted fat is what separates the super fit from the average Joe.
We could talk about macronutrients, proper caloric ratios, and a bunch of other stuff you’d probably end up forgetting by the end of the day – so in an effort to make things as easy and painless for you to digest, I’m going to show you the easiest and most effective way to get those extra calories required for muscle growth WITHOUT adding squishy bulk to your waist line.
I’ve created a little recipe that is the ideal muscle-building meal, can easily be taken anywhere with you, takes no time at all to make, and supplies a hefty dose of protein, other vital nutrients, and even cancer-fighting antioxidants. So stick with me and I’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about and how it’s going to change the way you’ve looked at eating forever.
Typically, anyone trying to gain lean muscle mass has found themselves endlessly eating throughout the day. And as anyone trying to gain lean muscle has probably realized, this is extremely tough to maintain over the long-term due to expense and the ridiculous amount of time associated with meal prep – it’s also dangerously easy to overdo it and end up with +15 pounds of body fat in the blink of an eye.
I wanted to make getting an excess of proper nutrients as easy and painless as possible. By limiting the path of resistance, it’s more likely you guys are going to follow this advice . And believe me, I understand how much of a pain this can be. Even for myself, I have an issue with the endless eating that is so often recommended for those of us with muscle-building goals. There HAS to be an easier way, and that’s what I set out to investigate.
That easier way, as it turns out, has come in a golf ball-sized treat that is as tasty as it is healthy and effective at helping you add real muscle mass to your body.
I did a little research and found a series of ingredients, that when combined, would deliver an unbelievably tasty and healthy snack, perfect for anyone with muscle-building goals. Not only is prep time ridiculously quick, this recipe is also ideal for those on a budget. Forget expensive weight gainers or the endless eating – what I’m about to show you trumps all of that.
So without further adieu, let’s check out the recipe that’s going to jump-start your lean muscle growth and transform your body into exactly what you’ve been working towards…
Makes roughly 20 balls.
That’s it. It really can’t be more simple than that. The entire process from opening the oats to putting your newly created power balls into the fridge shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Now that you see how easy it is, let me give you the cold hard numbers and show you why these balls really are the easiest, and most effective way to add calories into your diet and speed up your muscle growth.
Given the recipe ratios above, each serving size, i.e. one power ball, should net you right about 130 calories. Depending on your personal body type, metabolic needs, and muscle goals, it’s easy to estimate how many balls you should add to your diet. As far as how many of these power balls you should be eating every day, that depends. Based on your own personal goals, body type, and metabolic response, the number of extra calories you need to build muscle will vary. Your best course of action is to experiment, slowly increase the number of power balls you’re eating each day, and see how your body responds.
You’re going to be getting a healthy dose of heart-friendly fats, antioxidants found in chia and flax seeds, as well as a kick of protein. So not only are these power balls great for your muscle-building aspirations, they’re also really great for your overall health and well-being.
Rather than continue to stuff yourself with all sorts of food as you try to build a toned, athletic body, consider opting for something, quick, easy, and deliciously tasty and give these power balls a shot.
Have any questions, comments, or concerns? Leave a comment and let’s hear about it below!
Protein bars are usually one of those well-intentioned health foods gone awry, turned into chemical crap cocktails in an effort to make them edible. Before you swear them all off as junk, however, know that not all bars are created equal.
Quest bars are very low carb protein bars that are high in protein, high in fiber and contain no trans fats. And when I say high in fiber I mean it- the Cinnamon Roll Bar contains 68% of the fiber you need in a day. Compare that to a Fiber One bar, which is little more than processed sugar, which only contains 20% of your daily recommended intake of fiber and you can see how these puppies stack up.
Quest bars are a staple for bodybuilders and fitness competitors eating clean, as they allow them to drop body fat and build muscle, while still providing them the closest thing to dessert a contest prep meal plan will allow.
Not only are they great right out of the wrapper, but Quest bars have the unique ability to be baked into wonderful treats. My original intention with this piece was to try out all the awesome dessert recipes I’ve been seeing on the interwebs using Quest Bars, like these Chocolate Cashew and Coconut Cookies or these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Pancakes but after a major flop of a Quest Bar Poptart turned yummy strawberry pastry, I got a pretty good feel for how they bake up. And with so many awesome flavors to choose from, my own wheels wouldn’t stop turning. (Plus, most of the recipes I found called for at least 2 bars, and I didn’t want to waste any, so I went the single bar route.)
Here’s the Cliff’s notes version: Microwave to melt, broil to crisp and puff. Try that with any other protein bar, I dare ya. They brown up pretty quickly, but fear not, they aren’t burnt. Watch them though, they cook fast.
Ingredients:1 Vanilla Almond Quest Bar, 3 strawberries, agave
Nutrition: 200 calories; 22g carbs; 20g protein
This was my failed Poptart experiment. I rolled out 1 Quest Almond Vanilla bar as big as I could make it, then plopped 3 or 4 microwaved strawberries in the center with a drizzle of agave and sealed up the sides. Place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.
Ingredients: 1 Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar
Nutrition: 170 calories; 24g carbs; 20g protein
Microwave 10 seconds so the bar is nice and pliable. Cut into 3 piece, roll ‘em out, roll ‘em up, and broil 3-4 minutes. Best served with coffee. These would be awesome with some sort of frosting, but I was too hungry/lazypants.
Apple Pie Rollup
Ingredients: 1 Apple Pie Quest Bar, 2 tbsp no sugar added applesauce, 1 tbsp rolled oats
Nutrition: 190 calories; 26g carbs; 20g protein
I rolled out an Apple Pie Quest bar, then rolled it up with the applesauce inside. I topped with rolled oats and broiled.
Chocolate Brownie with Peanut Butter Protein Cup
Ingredients: 1 Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar, 1 Quest Cravings Peanut Butter Protein Cup
Nutrition: 290 calories; 29g carbs; 30g protein
This one’s even easier- smash a the peanut butter cup into the top of the brownie and broil. The texture is dead on a brownie and the chocolate in the PB cup melts like real chocolate should. This one is pretty rich- I recommend serving with a dollop of old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
With flavors like Strawberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter and Jelly and White Chocolate Raspberry, you are bound to find a fave of your own.
Is your mouth watering yet? Well, wipe up your drool puddle, cause we are giving away 3 boxes!
Enter to Win a 12 flavor sample pack of Quest Bars!
We are giving 3 lucky winners a 12 Flavor Sample Pack of Quest bars!
Here are all the ways you can enter:
The giveaway will end September 15, 2013. You may enter as many times as you’d like until the giveaway ends. The winner will be chosen at random, so the more you enter the better your chances. The winner will be announced the morning of September 16th, and contacted via email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter depending on the entry chosen. Good luck!
Summer is well underway and if you’re like most of us, you want to looking and feeling your best. Of course, it’s hard to look and feel your best after having two bottles of wine and a margarita for dinner the night previous. So how do you still enjoy summer, those late nights on the patio, and the company of friends without having to swear off adult beverages? Easy. We’ve taken a look at a ton of different cocktail recipes and have broken down the absolute best and healthiest cocktails you might want to consider if drinking down 2,000+ calories in a single sitting isn’t your idea of summer fun.
Of course, when it comes to alcohol, healthy is a bit subjective. Anything regarding alcohol needs to be done in moderation, no matter how “healthy” it may be. So keep that in mind, and look at these cocktails as simply as more nutritious, less calorie substitutes to some of the high-cal, sugary sweet concoctions you’ve been drowning yourself with all summer long.
Health Benefits: Under 100 calories, since it’s mostly water it’ll help keep you hydrated as well.
We’re starting simple here. Vodka soda is the go-to drink for many a fitness nut when they’re out on the town or letting their hair down a bit. Only hang up here is it’s absolutely, completely, boring, even with a squeeze of lime. If you don’t mind the lack of flavor, by all means, make this your go-to as well…otherwise, keep reading because we’ve got some better (and tastier) options below.
Health Benefits: Under 150 calories, mint is great for digestive health, along with detoxifying the body, cleansing the blood, and whitening the teeth.
One of the most refreshing drinks imaginable on a late sprint/summer afternoon, the mint julep is made by muddling a dozen mint leaves, a shot of bourbon, two shots soda water, and a tablespoon of simple syrup. Add a lemon slice to top. This one clocks in at just around 150 calories, but comes with the added digestive and detoxification properties of fresh mint.
Health Benefits: Under 125 calories, loads of cancer-fighting antioxidants found in cranberry and grapefruit juices.
The seabreeze is another summer classic that is as refreshing as it is nutritionally healthy. Packed with antioxidants found in grapefruit and cranberry, the seabreeze is a great way to get a healthy dose of cancer fighting compounds while having a little fun. To make the seabreeze, mix one shot of vodka with one shot of grapefruit juice, combine with one shot of cranberry juice, serve over ice and top with a splash of soda water.
Health Benefits: Full of antioxidants, great for heart health and reducing blood clots.
Didn’t expect this one to be on the list, huh? Forget about the watered down super low-calorie beers and “splurge” just a bit here. Clocking in at 128 calories, a Guiness packs in tons of flavor as well as health benefits that that Bud Light just can’t match. Since Guinness is made from more whole grains than your average beer, it really is about as nutritious as a beer is going to get.
Health Benefits: Under 125 calories, antioxidant properties found in black tea and lemon.
We’re taking the traditional non-alcoholic Arnold Palmer and adding a little something to kick this one up a notch. After brewing some fresh black tea, mix 3/4 cup of tea with the juice of one lemon, add a shot of vodka, and finish with a teaspoon of honey. Stir well and serve.
Health Benefits: Under 150 calories, tomatoes pack a wide range of cancer-fighting compounds, and celery is known to lower blood pressure, fight free-radicals, and provide digestive benefits.
This oldie but goodie is the classic “morning after” drink, and a great way to indulge a little while still packing in tons of nutrients. Mix a shot of vodka with 4 shots tomato juice, a couple drops of Worcestershire sauce, a splash of Tobasco, salt, pepper, and a stalk of celery.
Health Benefits: Under 150 calories, mostly water will keep you hydrated.
The fizzy lemonade is a great summer cocktail that mixes things up a bit by using a little tequila. Mix one shot of your favorite clear tequila with the juice of one lemon, add half a shot of simple syrup, and finish with seltzer water.
Health Benefits: Under 165 calories, tons of antioxidants from the fruit and wine.
The vodka sunset is one of my personal favorites, and something that definitely screams SUMMER. Muddle a small handful of blackberries in a glass, add one shot of vodka, one shot of lemon juice, one shot of lime juice, 1/2 shot of simple syrup, and a splash of sparkling wine or champagne.
Health Benefits: Under 180 calories, antioxidants found in coffee are great cancer fighters, as well as protect against a host of degenerative diseases, nice protein boost from the milk.
Looking for something a little different than the fruity drinks found above? The skinny white Russian combines 2 shots of chilled coffee or espresso with 1/2 cup of skim milk, finished off with one shot of vodka, served over a handful of ice.
So the next time your out and about, or entertaining over at your place, consider one of these drinks instead of another vodka Spite or rum and Coke. You’ll give your immune system a little boost, pack in some additional cancer-fighting compounds, and do better at limiting your sugar intake with any of the above options. As always, drink in moderation and remember, just because a drink is on this list, doesn’t mean downing a dozen or so is going to be a good idea.
Hope you guys are having a great summer, enjoying the sun, and staying on top of all of your diet and fitness goals. Keep up the great work and if you have any questions or favorite healthy cocktail recipes you’d like to share, leave a comment below!
Anyone else getting sick of the same old snacks and meals, day in, day out. I recently started mixing things up myself, and may have stumbled upon a new favorite snack.
There’s nothing fancy going on here, just a three ingredient snack that’s sure to fill you up, deliver a healthy dose of nutrient-dense calories, and keep you nice and full during your busy day.
All you’re going to need is a brown rice cake, half a banana, and 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Slather that rice cake with your peanut butter, thinly slice some bananas, and throw them on top. There’s not much more to it than that, but let me tell you….this snack is GOOOOOD. Just enough sweetness to keep those sugar cravings at bay, while providing you ample protein and fiber – what’s not to love?
Remember, if you’re hitting the workouts regularly in an attempt to get fit you’re going to want to focus at least some of your efforts on building muscle. Whether you’re significantly overweight, or just plain average, the benefits of adding muscle are enormous. A spiked metabolism, lower body fat percentage, and a better overall physique are just a few of the benefits.
The issue many people have however, is the inability to add significant muscle to their bodies despite the fact their absolutely killing their strength training workouts. Nearly 99 times out of 100, the problem is the individual is simply not getting enough fuel – or in other words, they aren’t eating enough healthy calories. Muscle doesn’t build itself out of thin air; if your body doesn’t have an excess supply of amino acids (protein), new tissue (muscle) isn’t getting built.
By making quick, easy, and nutrient-dense snacks like this peanut butter/banana rice cake, you’ll ensure yourself a nice, steady flow of nutrient-dense calories which will do wonders for both the muscle-building department, as well as your metabolism.
If you’ve caught some of my recent posts here at Share It Fitness, you know that I’m running the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15. It’s four days left ’til the big day, and I’m just $913 away from my “$10K by Race Day” fundraising goal to fight cancer. (More here.) Perhaps not surprisingly, my last few articles have focused on foods with the athlete in mind, specifically on carbohydrate-rich favorites like oatmeal, pasta and granola.
As my training comes to a close, today I’m thinking less about pre-workout carbs and more about post-workout protein. Happily, this also provides an opportunity to revisit something I know people over here love: peanut butter. I get it, believe me. It’s a good thing peanut butter is so healthy, because I’m an addict. Alongside oatmeal, pb on whole grain toast is one of my go-to breakfasts and to this day my article discussing my obsession with peanut butter remains my most popular.
Peanut butter is also a favorite among fitness enthusiasts, hence today’s recipe. While I certainly have a few protein bars that I enjoy in a pinch, I had so much fun creating my own version of a protein-packed snack that provides muscles the energy they need to recover and grow. My version also includes other nutrient-rich favorites like hemp and flax seeds, oats, raisins, peanuts, and even a little dark chocolate. And, per the title, they are indeed scrumptious.
To learn more and get the recipe, click here.
And thanks for reading!
The last several posts I’ve written here at Share It Fitness are related to carbohydrate nutrition. Though carbs can get a bad rap, barring clinical diagnoses there is no reason to oust one of the three macronutrients from your diet. As with fat and protein, there are more- and less-healthful sources of carbohydrates, and foods loaded in fiber and other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs—like fruit, veggies, beans, legumes, and whole grains—are all great choices in a nutritionally balanced diet.To brush up on your carb knowledge as it relates to grain foods, check out:
Today I bring you an article and recipe that continues talking about carbohydrates but falls under the heading of “moderation” because, unlike meals like whole wheat pasta and oatmeal (both whole grains), granola is an energy-dense food (i.e., filled with calories). Sure, it starts with healthy whole grain oats and some other good stuff, but you need a sweetener and fat of some kind to make things all toasty and sweet.
Store-bought brands vary in ingredients hence nutrient composition, of course, but have you ever made your own? My recipe still has sugar and oil—it is granola, after all—but it comes with less sugar, a heart-healthier monounsaturated fat, and some other protein- and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods included to make this a better-for-you version.
For more info on the what, when, and why of granola and how to make it, click here for the full article.
Think oatmeal is just for kids? Think again. It’s a delicious, healthy meal that will keep you energized all morning long while avoiding the ups and downs high-sugar breakfasts often provide—and that includes things like white toast, muffins, non-whole grain cereals and bagels, etc. And, if you’re not making your own oatmeal, putting it together on the stovetop takes just five minutes and two ingredients. While lower in protein than my other regular go-to breakfast, which is peanut butter on whole grain toast, it’s the right choice when I’m gearing up for a long workout. In other words, for carb-loading. In case you missed last week’s post on the classic carb-loading dinner pasta and tomato sauce, I’m currently training for the Boston Marathon, you see, so I’m even more conscious about my diet than usual to ensure I keep my carb intake up as fuel for my long runs.
For all of you already eating oatmeal, fabulous! Most people don’t get enough whole grains, which, despite the gluten-free and paleo fads, are highly nutritious. And, if you do have real gluten issues, oats are generally safe from that perspective, too. Whether you like rolled or steel cut (which are extra tasty but don’t provide significantly more nutrition and take a lot longer to cook) you’ll get all the nutritional benefits whole grains like oats provide. So get your oats and perhaps a few other ingredients you like to make it fun and tasty—my favorites are chopped apples, blueberries, or raisins—and start your day with the energy you need.
To watch a short cooking video and learn more about the many health benefits of oats, click here.
And guess what? This is one of my favorite breakfasts even when I’m not marathon training.