Weight Loss


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Crunchy, a little salty and excellent

I LOVE hummus. It’s a staple in my house. I also love chickpeas in general, so when I came across these roasted chick peas in various flavors, I had to give it a go. Such a great idea to roast a chickpea and then add flavoring! I wish I had though of it. The nutrition stats are awesome, 5 grams of protein and fiber!!!

Packing 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, you can't go wrong!I have used them on top of salads, as part of a crunchy trail mix and as a late night snack.

Definitely check out the Thai Coconut Lemongrass, Sweet Cinnamon and Smoky Chili and Lime flavors. You won’t be disappointed!

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I’m not surprised that a segment about how to lose fat quickly and effortlessly would be featured on Rachel Ray, given the fact she offers up recipes that will also quickly and effortlessly add significant fat to your body.

This article on the New York Times illuminates all the purported medical ways to lose inches quickly and they don’t seem to be liposuction. I did get a kick out of the pictures of the vibrating belt machines because I remember as a child in the 70s my neighbor had one and it looked like the most fun torture device ever. Needless to say it never helped her lose any weight, but, it was super-exciting to go visit.

I guess my point to all this is that if you want to lose fat, the real guaranteed way to do it would be to lift heavy weights. Probably a lot cheaper than any of these devices and results would be obvious quickly. Maybe not in 8 minutes, but surely within a few weeks.

Here are a couple of sites to check out to get you started:

Girls Gone Strong

Bret Contreras – What Women Want

Thrive with Jen Sinkler

Amy Rubin, Female Powerlifter and Trainer at Work

Amy Rubin Yunger, trainer & powerlifter says, “Squat deep to burn fat!”

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Feeling kinda uneasy after watching a lot of food porn at work today (don’t ask), so thought I would post my own version of food porn and also declare the hot new food trend of 2014 to be:

BRUSSELS SPROUTS!

Okay, so maybe I’m not he first person to declare this, but, I’ve seen this one coming for awhile now. Brussels Sprouts ARE THE NEW/OLD “IT” vegetable. (mark my flippin words)

Ingredients:

1 turn of peanut oil

Butter (optional)

1-2 crushed cloves of garlic

1 package of Brussels sprouts (ends cut off and cut in half)

Low sodium broth (< 300 mg per serving minimum!)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat pan to medium high heat
  2. Pour one turn of peanut oil in the pan and allow to heat up to medium high heat (throw some H2O molecules in the pan to test for “hotness”),  simultaneously throw garlic smashed into pan (remove within a minute of cooking to prevent  spread of “bitter” flavor)
  3. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down onto heated pan
  4. After halves are placed face down, pour a small amount of low sodium broth into pan, wait for “SIZZLE” and then lower heat and cover for 17 minutes over medium low heat.
  5. Sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt to taste over sprouts
  6. Enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional information for Brussels sprouts in case you are doubting the serious nutritional benefits from these MOFOs:

Brussels Sprouts Nutrient Extraaganza

The Joulebody Cleanse

I’ve ALWAYS dreaded the idea of fasting. It’s only every really come up for me in terms of religious holidays and the occasional surgery or blood work. Lately, I’ve started to warm to idea of fasting, after trying some different cleanses. I’ve noticed that after the dread wears off, and you start to get in the right mindset, they can actually be energizing. So, it only makes sense the next step is exploring the intermittent fasts/intermittent caloric restriction diet programs I keep hearing more and more positive things about.

This most recent write up in the Wall Street Journal, “Short Fasts for Weight Loss vs. Traditional Diets” posits that following a strict diet for just two days a week, instead of constantly calorie counting, is a far more effective way of losing weight. There also seem to be some other health benefits, such as better brain functioning and retention of muscle mass. There’s also growing research on how this type of diet can potentially prevent breast cancer.

A fast is considered 500-650 calories per day, a couple of times per week. The other days you eat as you normally would. Once you get past the “crankies”, you fall into a rhythm (?) and it becomes more or less effortless.

I’m thinking I will give this fasting a try, a la Dr. Gregory House, who was known for using himself as a guinea pig. Incidentally, the show “House” featured a nutritionist on Season 3, but, I digress…

I will post updates when I finally settle into trying this new diet plan. One caveat though, if this is indeed the way to lasting weight loss and improved health, then I will be forced to re-examine my “traditional” clinical nutrition education.

Have you every tried one of these intermittent fasts? Thumbs up or down? Let me know…

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Cartoon representation of ubiquitin protein

A recent article in the FASEB Journal, “Short-term energy deficits increase factors related to muscle degradation, confirms what those in the know have been saying for a long time…

…just cutting calories to lose weight isn’t ideal for your body aesthetically OR biologically. A certain percentage of both fat and muscle are lost during the weight loss process.

The good news is that it is possible to offset this effect by consuming a sufficient amount of dietary protein to replenish protein stores during weight loss. According to the article,

Protein consumption slows the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), which is primarily responsible for degrading skeletal muscle.

UPS may also be involved in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome. cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. UPS specifically degrades proteins tagged with an ubiquitin chain.

The study proposes that at least 2-3 times the IOM’s RDA for protein may be the sweet spot for offsetting this catabolic response. More research is needed though before any definitive recommendations can be determined.

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake

Trader Joe’s Protein Powder + Just Great Stuff’s Powdered Peanut Butter

Two great tastes that taste great together!

If you are like me and have the more than occasional craving  for a peanut butter cup, try this quick protein shake. Way more vitamins and minerals than a peanut butte cup, it fills you up, and also quenches your thirst. Powdered Peanut Butter is just 45 calories for 2 tablespoons, so all the taste with none of the guilt.

Tip: Use coffee instead of water if this is a pre-workout snack, and throw in any vitamins you would normally take that are dissolvable. The ultimate in multitasking!

IMG_9648Every so often I feel like channeling Jose Andres of “Made in Spain” for he has always had the ability (at least on television) to make me feel transported to another land, a land where they are more relaxed and even take “siestas.” From what I read though, the siesta has pretty much died out, but, a girl can dream, no?

That being said, I have been super-tired of the boring old tuna salad. I’ve branched out into other fish salad options, most recently using mackerel (which in this case is from Portugal, not Spain, but, they are close to each other, and that’s how my mind work)

One can of this mackeral is 266 calories, 19 grams of protein and 31% of your daily iron needs (that’s quite a lot if you ever check out food labels, tuna is usually around 2% of your daily iron for a much larger serving.) Lots of the good omega 3 fatty acids as well.

For this salad, I used Cole’s Wild Mackerel in Olive Oil. I have also used their trout and and even sardines on several occasions and they always taste great. If you have a food processor, this can be done very quickly with just a few pulses, but, chopping and mixing it up manually won’t take any time at all either.

Ingredients

1 can Cole’s Wild Mackerel in Olive Oil

1/2 vidalia onion

1 plum tomato

Handful of fresh basil, oregano (whatever herbs you have on hand are fine)

Splash of red wine vinegar

Himalayan sea salt to taste

1 slice Hummlinger Whole Spelt Bread (110 kcals slice, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein)

Method

1- Throw all ingredients (except for bread) in food processor, pulse on rough chop a few times (if you like a smoother consistency, go a few more)

2- Toast the spelt bread, cutting into four pieces

3- Enjoy!

Tip:

Lemon juice would be an excellent addition (I just didn’t have any so I had to use red wine vinegar) as would some red pepper flakes and even sriracha if you like it hot. And if you want to keep it super low carb, you can always swap out the bread for some endive, celery or romaine and wrap it up!

 

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