Abs Friendly Meal Plan = )

Good Morning everyone! Here is another meal plan for you with some recipe ideas!! This next Sunday (my cooking day) I think I am going to try to switch it up and try some new recipes- so I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Wake Up: Morning Cardio X

Meal One:
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
1 tbsp of Sugar-Free Syrup or Agave Nectar (my favorite!)

Meal Two:
3/4 c. of Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1/2 c. of Cubed Fresh Pineapple

Meal Three:
5 oz. of Turkey Meatloaf
1 c. of Steamed Broccoli

Meal Four:
2 tbsp of Hummus
1 Sliced Green/Yellow/Red Pepper
12 Almonds

Meal Five:
Shrimp Stir Fry
1/2 c. Brown Rice

Meal Six:
2 Scoops Protein Powder or Shakeology
6 oz container of Low Carb/Fat Free Yogurt

Recipes



Pumpkin Pancakes


Recipe:
4 Egg Whites
1 Scoop of Protein Powder
1/3 c. of Canned Pumpkin
1/2 c. Oats
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Splenda to taste (2-3 packets) if desired
2 tbsp of Sugar-Free Maple Syrup and/or Spray Butter

Preheat Grill 300 degrees

Mix all ingredients using a blender. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Drop pancake mixture on electric grill and cook at 300 degrees. When pancake mixture starts to form bubbles, flip the cakes over to grill the other side. Serve with sugar-free syrup and spray butter.

Servings: 1

Turkey Meat Loaf 

 Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Recipe:
1 1/2 Pounds of Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 c. Chopped Onion
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
1/2 c. Chopped Green Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 Egg Whites Slightly Beaten
2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/2 c. Quick Cooking Oats

Topping:
1/3 c. of Low Carb Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Splenda Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. of Mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sauté the onions and peppers until just lightly brown and then add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Mix all of the meat loaf ingredients plus the onions, peppers and garlic together in large bowl making sure that it is mixed well. Shape mixture into a loaf and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Mix the topping ingredients together and spread on top of the loaf.

Bake at 350 for 45 – 50 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Servings: 4 – 6 servings depending

Shrimp Stir Fry (or Chicken)

Recipe:
5 oz of Shrimp peeled and de-veined or Chicken
1/4 tbsp of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Rice Vinegar
1/4 c. Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp of Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp of minced Ginger
1/4 c. of sliced Purple Onion
1/2 c. Broccoli Florets
1 c. of Snow Peas (Love these!!)
1/2 c. of halved Mushrooms
1/4 c. of Red Bell Pepper Cubed
1/4 c. Canned Water Chestnuts, drained
1/2 c. Cooked Brown Rice

Rinse and drain the shrimp. Heat the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of chicken broth in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until tender. Do not overcook as it will burn the garlic! Add the vegetables to the pan and continue to cook, adding more broth as necessary and turning the vegetables so that they are evenly cooked throughout.

When the vegetables are halfway cooked, add the shrimp and continue to cook until vegetables are tender and the shrimp are opaque in color. Serve over rice.

    Servings: 1 servings
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Map Out Your Plate

<strong>2. Map out your plate. </strong><br /> Taking a moment to mentally separate your dinner plate into sections can help you visualize how acceptable serving sizes look.   “Break” your plate in half; fill one of these sides with vegetables and whole grains. Split the other half into two once again; one of these sections will hold your lean protein serving while the other is the perfect size for a serving of healthy fats.<br /><br />   <strong>Quick tip:</strong> Use your side salad plate – not the gigantic large size that you may have grown up using – and be sure not to fill your plate to the brim.<br /><br />Photo by Peter Chou
Map out your plate. 
Taking a moment to mentally separate your dinner plate into sections can help you visualize how acceptable serving sizes look. “Break” your plate in half; fill one of these sides with vegetables and whole grains. Split the other half into two once again; one of these sections will hold your lean protein serving while the other is the perfect size for a serving of healthy fats.

Quick tip: Use your side salad plate – not the gigantic large size that you may have grown up using – and be sure not to fill your plate to the brim.

Hummus Spiral Wraps! Another Easy Recipe :)

Here is a GREAT recipe from Kathy!! Make sure you check out her site because she has tons of fantastic recipes! I could spend hours on there lol 

Make this recipe your own! The basic concept is that the hummus bean spread is your “glue” and your filling ingredients make the recipe! You can add anything and everything your hungry tummy desires: lettuce, carrots, avocado, peppers, onions, edamame, spinach, fennel, radishes, corn, tahini, olive oil, a splash of vinegar or lemon juice, thinly sliced tofu or whatever you want.

You can keep the roll long if you’d like, but really the fun part is slicing it up into little bites – they kinda remind me of veggie-Americana sushi rolls.

Healthy too! Each lavash wrap has 220 calories, 8g protein and is fat free. Fill them with healthy veggies and legumes and you are “on a roll” ..sorry, I had to 🙂

Super easy, just toss those ingredients on, roll and slice!..


The last time I made these wraps I did Bullseye Spiral Wraps (soy cream cheese and roasted red peppers) super yummy. And here’s the recipe I used today..

Today’s Easy Hummus Spiral Wrap Ingredients:

2-3 Tbsp Roasted Red Pepper Spread
handful of shredded carrots
handful of baby spinach
splash of lemon juice/olive oil
fresh ground pepper
edamame soy beans
avocado slices

How To:

* Spread the hummus.

* Add the ingredients in a thinly spread layer – distribute evenly.

* Roll up your lavash bread wrap – tightly. Slice into 1 inch thick rounds. Serve.

Presto! 

What’s Your Reason?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how making 1 single decision set off a chain reaction that not only changed my life…but the lives of those around me.  And the reason I decided to make a commitment to myself…
Looks aren’t everything…but if you are not confident or happy with your body, it can affect just about everything in your daily life. When I was not happy with my weight, I felt like it consumed my days.  It’s ALL I thought about, not a good feeling….
Countless girls are out there in gyms, running their little hearts out and NOT seeing results…trust me I used to be one of them. I was afraid of lifting weights because I didn’t know how…and I thought that was only for guys. Once I made the decision to order P90X and learn something new…I started seeing some serious results. It’s about working ALL parts of your body and pushing yourself beyond what you thought was possible. The result: a strong, sexy, healthy body. I learned how to eat right and have an efficient workout. 
Making a change IS hard, making a commitment IS hard, pushing play IS hard, but you are rewarded exponentially for the work you put in. 
We all have excuses and reasons why we can’t do something…it’s hard, I don’t have time, I’m not going to be good at it..etc….
But it all comes down to how important you are to yourself…how important your health is to you…do you want to be 70 and barely able to get out of bed? Or do you want people to be amazed at how well you are able to get around?  How you take care of your body NOW determines how well your body will take care of you later. 
I decided to do another round of P90X because I want to be bikini ready when the time comes.  I just finished up week 1 and I am AMAZED at how much easier it is to me this time around. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very challenging and I am SORE (although I think a lot of that is from shoveling the stupid snow lol). But I am getting stronger and leaner Yayy!! 


The cool thing is when you make the decision to change, and start to see results…the people around you will see the positive affects and want to make the change for themselves. Knowing that you are inspiring your friends and family to work toward their goals is what keeps me motivated! So THANK YOU everyone for keeping me on track and focused!! 


After watching this video, it really makes you questions your excuses. 





And of course, I have to share my results for anyone who hasn’t seen them yet 🙂

How do you know WHEN you should eat?

If you’re eating for any reason besides being hungry, you are providing your body with excess food that it doesn’t need.  That excess food is not needed to supply your body for energy so your body converts that excess food into fat cells. Once a fat cell is produced…..guess what, it gets bigger or produces another fat cell.  The fat cell never goes away. It shrinks, gets bigger, or reproduces. I don’t want to get to far off track but fat cells are your enemies and you want to avoid creating them at all cost.
So when do you know when it’s the right time to eat?  I’ve created a solution to your problem, here’s a guide to help you determine when you should eat and when you should pump on the brakes and stop eating. Rate your hunger….
0 – Ravenous, Primal Hunger. I’m so hungry I can eat anything that’s not nailed down!
1 – Extremely Hungry, dizzy, shaky, faint, may feel a headache coming on
2 – Very hungry, irritable, finding it hard to concentrate, snapping at your boss
3 – Stomach growling, sounds like grizzly bears are fighting in your stomach
4 – Starting to think about food, getting a little hungry
5 – Totally comfortable, feeling satisfied, This is the Best Level!
6 – Feeling like I ate too much, “CC” is going to make me do a “Bonus Round”
7 – Stomach is stretched and uncomfortable, starting to breathe heavy
8 – Very Full and Stuffed, starting to move in slow motion
9 – Very Full and Bloated, Overstuffed, looks like you have a baby kangaroo in your stomach
10 – So Full it Hurts, Feels like I’m going to explode, Feel sick to my stomach
LEVELS 0-2: Signifies ravenous hunger. This is when you are most likely to overeat. Avoid this stage!
LEVELS 3-5: These are the best times to eat. Your body is saying that it needs food.
LEVELS 6-10: Starting to eat at these levels indicates emotional, not physical hunger.
I hope this will help you assess your level of hunger and eat according to the levels and remember- your food choices matter!! You can’t out train a bad diet!

Strive to Improve Yourself- Live Your Best Life :)

OPTIMAL HEALTH & WELLNESS FOR 2011
Health: 
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray and/or meditate.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2010 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7-8 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality: 

11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your energy on negative talk.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…
Society: 
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Life: 
32. Do the right thing! (It’s the hard thing)
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. God heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
Last but not the least: 
40. You may contribute to this list. Let me know what you think and be sure to pass it on to your friends, family, and co-workers. Hopefully this will inspire you 🙂

Grocery Shopping




Grocery shopping can be daunting if you are trying to eat healthy but don’t know what you should be looking for.  When I made the decision to get in shape and eat healthy, I wanted someone to take me by the hand and show me EXACTLY what to buy, what to eat and how to make it. A lot of labels are misleading and if you aren’t careful, you could end up buying foods that are working against your goals. Hopefully, this will guide you to choose foods that help you to attain that strong and sexy body you want.

Pre-Grocery Shopping Preparation

You want to step yourself up for success. There are certain situations that dramatically increase your chances of ending up with a shopping cart full of the type of foods that end up stored in your butt and thighs.

1. Eat A Nutritious Meal Before You Go Grocery Shopping
When you go to the store on an empty stomach and hungry, you will be very likely to subconsciously grab the worst foods for you. Typically these are the foods full of sugar that spike your insulin levels fast, or the ones that are laden with fats (and/or transfats) that fill you up quickly but wreak havoc with your health.

Make sure you have eaten properly before going to the store. Have low glycemic index carbs like brown rice, yams or oatmeal combined with a lean protein like chicken, turkey or lean fish, and then some vegetables.

2. Do Not Go Grocery Shopping When You Are Feeling Down 

Don’t go grocery shopping when you are sad or emotional. If you do, you will be very likely to grab “comfort foods” Leave it to another day, when you are feeling better, or give someone else a grocery list and have them shop for you.

Beware Of Food Labels!

One of the biggest reasons people gain weight in fat when they are trying to lose weight is because they are being mislead by labels . How often do you hear that someone is trying to lose fat, but instead she gained fat and doesn’t have a clue why that happened as she was “eating healthy”?

The companies producing the foods are misleading you to think a food product is healthy, when it is really (absolutely) not. The food production companies realized people are trying harder and harder to lose that stubborn fat. Because people are trying to buy more health conscious foods, companies market their products as “healthy” to increase sales.
They use clever manipulation of words, and words only. They use words which are not lies, but that are absolutely misleading, to make their food products LOOK healthy, or healthier than before. Don’t believe me? Not a problem, I will give you a few examples:

Example #1: Fat Free, Preservative Free Cookies

Did you see the boxes of cookies (even chocolate ones) lately? They will read: “Fat free, gluten free, no preservatives or artificial flavours”. Is this true? Yes, it is. But, if we look on the back side of the package to read the ingredients ourselves, what does it say? Most probably the first word you’ll find will be SUGAR, or high glucose-fructose corn syrup. So it’s pretty much all sugar! Is this healthy? absolutely not.

Example #2: Low Carb Cookies Or Candy Bars

This is the reverse of the first example. Here what they do is that there are fats in the cookies, but glycerine and maltitol are used to sweeten them. Though these two ingredients do not have an impact in blood sugar levels, they do have calories! However, the FDA allows such products to claim they are “low carb”.
In addition, if you look at the fats contained in these foods, they are typically partially hydrogenated oils (transfats)! This is neither healthy nor will it help you attain your fitness goals.

Tips To Making Sure That What You Are Buying Is Good

1. Look At The Ingredients!
The first ingredient on an ingredient list is the one which is most present in the food product; the last on the list is the one with the lowest percentage of all ingredients of the food products. This is the only way you can see exactly what is inside everything!
Even if the package reads “Transfats free” if you read on the ingredients list that there is some “partially hydrogenated oil” then that means that each serving may have up to 0.4 grams of trans fats.
By law, companies can get away with that. The unfortunate situation is that if you have more than one serving then those transfats can start adding up quickly and these fats wreak havoc on your health and your physique!

A good rule is to stick to foods with only 1-5 ingredients in them- the less the better!

2. Focus On Choosing Natural Foods
Always try to use natural foods. Canned or pre-prepared foods usually contain too much fats, sodium and sugars. For example your typical deli meats are too high in fats (as we learned in the examples above), are way too high in sodium, and even are added with sugar to sweeten them!


How To Cook Your Food

You can have chicken breast, rice and vegetable as a meal, all in the right proportion, and still have a non-nutritious, unhealthy and even fattening meal. How is this possible? If you don’t prepare foods the right way you can inadvertently add too many fats, sodium and sugars to what should be a healthy meal and this will have a counter effect on your body, instead of achieving the physique you would like to achieve for yourself.

The right way to cook your food is by grilling or steaming it, or by baking it in fat free Pam spray.

1. Grilling Your Food
By grilling your food, you don’t need oil or butter to prevent the food from sticking to the pan, since in or on a grill, food doesn’t stick.

2. Steaming Your Food
By steaming your food (think of vegetables), you are keeping as much nutrients in the food as you can. For example, after boiling broccoli in a pan with water, have you seen how the water turns green? Those are the nutrients that got lost in the water.

3. Baking Your Food
By baking food in a pan with fat free Pam spray, you can bake your food without the added calories and bad fats from heated oil or butter. This is also a great way to prepare your food.

How & When To Eat Which Foods & Why

It is very important, to know what kind of food is great or not good in the morning, before or after a workout or before going to bed. The time of the day does matter when it comes to eating.

Pre-Workout Meal Foods

A pre-workout meal for example can be very different than a post-workout meal. For example, it’s ok to have good fats before a workout, but absolutely not immediately after a workout.
Good fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, fish oils or flax seed oil are good as they slow down the digestion and nutrient uptake in addition to providing you with Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that not only provide multiple health benefits but also help you lose fat and gain muscle tone.

Post-Workout Meal Foods 

However, immediately after a workout, you need to replenish your body with protein and some higher glycemic (fast released) carbs. So you don’t need good fats to slow down the uptake of the nutrients as your body needs carbohydrates and proteins as fast as possible!

Morning And Evening Time Meal Foods 

It’s good to have medium carbs and medium-high protein in the morning, while it’s better to have medium-high protein and none-very low simple carbs in the evening before going to bed.
Low good fats can be ok before going to bed, but absolutely not for breakfast. This is because, at night you don’t need energy, since you’ll be going to bed soon. The energy you don’t burn gets stored as fat! Carbohydrates and good fats give you energy but because at night you don’t need them, it is best to reserve them for the morning time and the other times I just described above.

You are What You Eat

You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” There is a good point being made there. Imagine eating a little something in the morning, grab a snack later, have a sandwich at lunch, whatever you can find nearby in your lunch break, to snack a little until dinner, after which a few bites here and there won’t be left out before going to bed. This way, there is no thought about the right food at the right time, the right preparation, quantities, etc.
There is no real plan about what to eat when. It is not under control. If you follow such a haphazard plan, then I guarantee you that your body will not be under your control.

Apply This Knowledge!

It always takes some knowledge, willpower and discipline to know what you want and actually do it too. Now that you know some of the important knowledge to achieve the body of your dreams, it’s up to you to add willpower and discipline in the mix, to have those results you desire.


But you’re still thinking…ok what the heck do I buy?!  Here’s a sample grocery list for you:


Proteins
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Tuna (water packed)
  • Fish (flounder, tilapia, halibut)
  • Shrimp
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
  • Protein Powder
  • Egg Whites or Eggs
  • Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
  • Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt)
  • Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
  • Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
  • Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
  • Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round , 96% Lean Ground Round)
  • Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not pre-packed cuts)
Complex Carbs
  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)781shopping cart Grocery Shopping 911...
  • Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Oat Bran Cereal
  • Brown Rice
  • Farina (Cream of Wheat)
  • Multigrain Hot Cereal
  • Whole Grain Pasta
Fibrous Carbs
  • Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • String Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
Other Produce & Fruits
  • Cucumber
  • Green or Red Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Fruit: bananas, apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Lemons or Limes
Healthy Fats
  • Natural Style Peanut Butter (Yes, Stir the oil into the peanut butter) or PB2
  • Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds)freshfruit Grocery Shopping 911...
  • Flaxseed Oil
Dairy & Eggs
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Low or Non-Fat Milk
Beverages
  • Water
  • Diet Soda –not too many ;)
Condiments & Misc.
  • Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salsa (I put this on EVERYTHING!)
  • Chili powder
  • Chili Paste
  • Mustard
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
  • Low Sodium beef or chicken broth
  • Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste
And of course Shakeology! It has become a staple in my house!

Good luck everyone! Let me know if you need help 🙂

What to Eat?!

Nutrition was one of the HARDEST things for me to tackle, so I am going to try to post some more meal plans on here and show you what I do. You can change them to your own tastes….I’m pretty picky, but I am trying to branch out more!

Breakfast
5 eggs whites
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 Tbsp Flaxseed or Chai Seed

(I like to get everything ready the night before because I am not what you would call a “morning person” lol)

Morning Snack

or 1 Scoop Whey Protein and an apple

Lunch
4 oz Chicken breast (size of your fist)
1 cup brocolli ( I like steamed)
3/4 cup Brown Rice

Afternoon Snack
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1/2 banana or 1 apple

Dinner
5 oz Ground Turkey (Turkey Burger! I like it with Chili powder or black pepper)
1 cup zucchini (again, I prefer steamed) 
Mixed Green Salad with approx 15 almonds and 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar dressing

Snack
Shakeology or Whey Protein

1 Tbsp Peanut butter or PB2
This meal plan is approx 1700 calories
To figure out how many calories you should consume if you are trying to lose weight….a good guideline is about 12 calories per lbs of body weight.

Remember to drink plently of WATER throughout the day- don’t drink your calories away!

Eat every 2-3 hours- Don’t skip meals because it will slow your metabolic rate!

Thank You!

Thank you for being a witness to my fitness!! You guys keep me motivated on those days I don’t feel like working out!!

Today I completed Day 5- Legs/Back and Ab Ripper X. Those Pull ups are KILLER….Don’t judge, but I can only do 5-8 pull ups at a time…with the chair!!! lol I can’t wait to see that number go up! I love the P90X tracking sheets because they really illustrate how far you advance.  If you are not using them now, you need to!
In my 1st round of P90X, I actually had a little calendar that I would track my workouts in. I recorded how many times I paused the video…if I stoppped early…how hard the workout was to me…And looking back on that was the most satisfying thing.  When you get a little bit better at something everyday- it’s hard to step back and see just how much progress you have made. There is truly nothing more satisfying than showing Tony Horton and MYSELF that I can keep up! (I know he can’t see me…but still! lol)