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Nutrition

​When To Use Advanced Techniques In Your Nutrition

​When To Use Advanced Techniques In Your Nutrition

Many of us have come across people who have lost weight and kept it off for a long time (at least 2 years). Some have lost twenty pounds and some have lost two hundred pounds. Barring any sort of medical procedure, most of these individuals will tell you that they changed their eating habits and embarked on an exercise journey. In other words, they made it all part of a lifestyle change.

If we use exercise as an analogy to nutrition, you most likely wouldn’t go from sitting on the couch to all of a sudden training for a marathon. I’ve seen this process start and end very quickly with many, many people as they get frustrated or possibly hurt by trying to do too much too soon and now following a process and consistent habits. We can start by building a habit of walking 30 minutes every day. Eventually that 30-minute walk turns into a walk/jog, then a full on jog. Add in some bodyweight strength training and then that builds into a habit of training with free weights 3 days a week and viola! We have the foundation for a very good exercise program that can be built upon for marathon training.

Now let’s look at nutrition. Jane (or Joe) has just finished off the last of the pumpkin pie (now their second piece of the day) and washes it down with a glass of wine, or two. Normally not a big deal on Thanksgiving Day, but it’s now March! They vow that this is the end and tomorrow starts the new “diet” of fasting in the morning, measuring out all of their food, taking fish oil caps, taking cream out of their coffee and not eating anything after 8 pm. This looks very much like the person trying to go from zero exercise to running their first marathon. No foundation of good habits and processes to build upon.

Cleanses, intermittent fasting, fasting (for more than 16 hours), carb cycling and other “diet” strategies have their place in a healthy program and relationship with food. Most of the time these strategies are used to increase athletic performance or decrease body fat (below what is considered a healthy range). These approaches can last from a couple of days to 3 months depending on what you are looking to achieve. The problem lies where we try to do these approaches as a “lifestyle”. The long-term psychological and physical side effects can be extremely detrimental. These include but are not limited to:

  • Increased cortisol levels
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Inability to recover from exercise
  • Loss of hair (or gain in places you don’t want it)
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Lower thyroid function
  • The list goes on

Our recommendation is to use advanced techniques listed below and when you have mastered the basics and do it consistently, then, and only then should you practice with other advanced areas of nutrition and do it for a short time period to see how your body and mind respond.

Food Choices – eat mostly non-processed foods with at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Meet basic macro and micronutrient needs by getting lean protein, plants and healthy fats at every meal. Stay hydrated by drinking mostly non-caloric beverages throughout the day. 

Exercise – Do 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days per week. 3 days should be breaking a sweat. Do resistance training.

Recovery – Sleep 7-9 hours per night

Life Skills/Environment – Plan and prepare meals, establish clear priorities and boundaries (no, eating birthday cake for your bosses birthday is not a priority). Create and maintain a supportive environment. Make thoughtful, informed choices (if it’s coming out of a box or package – you better know what those ingredients are). Ensure that good options are available and convenient.

Mindset and Psychology - Have a growth mindset – know that where you are today didn’t happen overnight and where you want to go won’t either, work to continually improve. Repeat a quality process – find something that works well and see if you can continue to repeat that in other areas or improve upon it.

 

Once we have these foundational processes in place, we’ll have set ourselves up for success for the long term. We’ll have built a process of habits that lead to long-term health and wellness. 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefor, is not an act, but a habit”. – Aristotle

If you’d like more information or would like to learn about how we run our nutrition program, Precision Nutrition, please reach out to us.

 

 

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Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast!

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast!

A great Black Friday breakfast, potatoes are the classic ingredient for this dish, but leftover turnips also work well.

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"Pork on Pork" Chops

"Pork on Pork" Chops

Ingredients:

·      1 pound pancetta, diced 

·      2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

·      1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

·      3 garlic cloves

·      4 center-cut pork chops, each about 2 1/2 inches thick

·      Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

·      3 tablespoons olive oil
 

Directions:

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2.     In a food processor, combine the pancetta, thyme, rosemary and garlic. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Set aside.

3.     Make sure the pork chops are at room temperature, then liberally season them with salt and pepper on both sides.

4.     Heat the canola oil in a large oven-safe skillet or grill pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the pork chops for about 2 minutes on each side.

5.     Stick the pan in the oven to finish cooking the pork, 5 to 6 minutes. Depending on your oven, of course, and the thickness of your chops, this should result in a medium to medium-well chop, still slightly pink in the middle. If you prefer a more well-done chop, add a minute or 2 to the cooking time.

6.     While the pork chops are in the oven, heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the pancetta and herb mixture. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook the pancetta, stirring continuously to break up any large chunks, until all the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.

7.     Serve the pork chops topped with the crispy herbed pancetta and rendered fat.

8.     Serve while hot and bubbling!
 

(Credit: www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/amanda-freitag/pork-on-pork-chops)

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Think Thursday: Nutrition and YOU!

Think Thursday: Nutrition and YOU!

I like a good challenge. Whether it’s starting a new project at work, a new training program or a new nutrition program, a new challenge will motivate us to get the ball rolling and inspire us to reach new heights. We frequently run nutrition challenges in our studios because we know that it provides the necessary spark that some people need, we share the enjoyment (or suffering) with others as we work in a group to encourage each other. We also know that "the challenge" will only last for so long.  Read on to find out how to start your nutrition journey that will LAST!

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Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

This is our go-to fall stew. It’s easy to make—you can make it in a pot or a slow cooker. The result is always tender meat and flavorful sauce.

 

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Nutrition Success

Nutrition Success

Nutrition is a funny thing. Somebody finds something that works for them and then that ONE program is the only way to see success and they are going to shout that from the rooftops. On one end I think that’s great. Everyone should find something that works for them and as long as it is sustainable long term, they should stick with it. The problem in this situation is that what works for one person may not work for another. Read on to and out more about finding success in nutrition!

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5 Key Reasons to Meal Prep

5 Key Reasons to Meal Prep

1 – Manage your time – this can be two-fold. 1 – you will free up more time during your week by having food with you and ready to go. No more wondering what you will eat for lunch each day or having to go out. 2 -Meal prep can happen while you’re doing other things like catching up on emails, watching a game at home or reading your favorite book.

2 - Portion Control – prepping food ahead of time allows you to control your portions and sets you up for success when eating out. For example: we want to make sure that we’re eating healthy fats every day from sources like olive oil, coconut oil and walnuts. While these fats are great for our body, they are calorically dense and we can overdo it. Measuring out fats for the day will make sure that we stay in a healthy range to manage weight and body fat. Many times when we eat out, portions are larger than what we actually need even when it’s coming from healthy sources. Food prepping gives us a visual reference to come back to so we know if we should be bringing some of that meal home for later.

3 – You can start small – Just like any other journey, we begin with the first step. You don’t need to prep all meals of the day. Let’s say you struggle with breakfast. You can make a big batch of egg cups (egg muffins) for the week and have a few each morning. Once this has become a part of your routine, start to experiment with different recipes or move on to another meal.

4 - You can enjoy food shopping, or at least make an adventure out of it. – When you have recipes and a shopping list in hand, time spent food shopping can be cut in half and you won’t come with food items that won’t help you get to your goals. After a while, add in some new items outside of your normal list. Experiment with new fruits and vegetables and try preparing different meals ahead of time. Tired of eggs? Give chicken sausage a try. Try a high protein vegetarian meal with beans instead of animal protein.

5 – Win the mental game! – There is freedom in structure. You wouldn’t get started on a road trip without knowing where you’re going, right? Meal prepping is GPS for your nutrition plan. This doesn’t mean that you won’t come against roadblocks, but when they do happen, you’ll have a detour planned. Let’s say you meal prepped some steak, sweet potato and asparagus for dinner but then got called for dinner meeting. You can exchange like for like with a lean protein (chicken, fish, lean meat) healthy carbs (small baked potato or double veggies) at the restaurant and stay on track!

 

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SLOW COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

SLOW COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

Enjoy this one pot, easy prep meal for those busy week night meals!

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SLOW COOKER BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS

SLOW COOKER BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Super Easy Slow Cooker Balsamic Brussels Sprouts. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!

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SLOW COOKER PALEO CHICKEN PICCATA

SLOW COOKER PALEO CHICKEN PICCATA

If you love lemon you are going to love this Slow Cooker Paleo Chicken Piccata. It was a hit with my family. It was so moist there was no need for a knife.

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Whole Crockpot Chicken

Whole Crockpot Chicken

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken is a great low carb dinner recipe! I put this in my crockpot in the morning and I walked  through the door to such a savory aroma of this chicken cooking when I came home. It smelled amazing and was ready to eat!

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APPLE-CINNAMON PORK LOIN

APPLE-CINNAMON PORK LOIN

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced, divided
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional

DIRECTIONS

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil on all sides; cool slightly. With a paring knife, cut about sixteen 3-in.-deep slits in sides of roast; insert one apple slice into each slit.

Place half of the remaining apples in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Place roast over apples. Drizzle with honey; top with onion and remaining apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove pork and apple mixture; keep warm.

Transfer cooking juices to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Serve with pork and apple mixture. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

1 serving: 290 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 241mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.  Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat.

 

tasteofhome.com

 

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Did you know that some Taco and Fajita seasonings contain wheat?  Not only wheat but silica.  What is silica???   SAND!  Seriously!  SAND!  I don’t know about you, but I like my tacos sand-less.

I decided then and there to make my own taco seasoning from now on.  I mean it is easy enough, I can make it ahead in bulk, and I can tweak it to my families tastes.  It is affordable, and there really isn’t a reason not to.  Hope you enjoy making your own taco seasoning too!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Use as you typically would a packet of taco seasoning.
  3. About 3 Tbsp per 1lb ground beef +- depending on your taste.
  4. Multiply the amounts to make this in bulk for future meals.

afewshotcuts.com

 

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Paleo Chili

Paleo Chili

Serves: 4 with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning*
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

*skip the store bought stuff -- it's filled with chemicals. Here's the recipe for a homemade version I've been using for a while and love! 

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon, allowing it to brown. Meanwhile chop your onion, carrots and celery. Season the beef with taco seasoning, stirring so the spices start to sizzle. Once the beef is mostly cooked through, add the veggies, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring the chili to a boil for about a minute, then lower the heat and simmer for about 1-2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Taste it and add any additional salt and pepper or taco seasoning to suit your taste preferences.

Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream, chives, cilantro, cheese, you name it! (This would obviously not be Paleo, ha!)

Go a little further and jump completely off the Paleo bridge by adding a can of kidney beans to this recipe if you like! Let me know how you like this easy dinner!

 

from paleomag.com

 

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

Recipe type: Main

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  5 hours

Total time:  5 hours 10 mins

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 fresh (e.g. uncooked, raw) Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy or a combo is fine)
1 white onion, thinly sliced (not diced!)
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 – 14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water or chicken stock
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
+ 1 tsp Italian seasoning
+ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
+ 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Prep:
Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt).  Don’t mix, just leave it on top.  During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor. Lay the fresh (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links over the seasoned chicken.

Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.  Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.  Top with the second round of seasonings.  Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.

Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.  Not all slow cookers are created equal, so it’s important you have a personal relationship with yours…  Mine tends to be really hot and cooks faster than most recipes call for.  With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that you could make this recipe on low for 7 hours. Worst case is that the chicken will dry out, so if that happens I’m super sorry!

This recipe was destined to partner with spaghetti squash, so don’t fight fate.  Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the guts and roast for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees cut-side down.  When the timer dings, remove from oven and flip them over to cool slightly cut side up.  Use a fork to harvest the strands. Spoon Balsamic Chicken & Sausage over the spaghetti squash and top with a little fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley!

Instructions

  1. Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor.
  3. Lay the fresh (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links over the seasoned chicken.
  4. Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.
  5. Pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
  6. Top with the second round of seasonings. Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.
  7. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.

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Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast

Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast

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Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 8 hours

Total Time 8:05

Serves 4-6    ADJUST SERVINGS

 

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs beef rump roast
  • 3-4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1-2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 container of mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, canned

Instructions

  1. Pull out that handy crockpot of yours!
  2. Add in your broth, coconut milk, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spice to your crock pot and mix together.
  3. Make a little room in your crockpot around the mushroom mix and plop that cute little rump roast in the pot.
  4. Turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  5. Then you eat it!! Holy crap, THAT WAS EASY!!

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2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Serving size: 2 wraps

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Protein: 20g

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup of buffalo sauce (I used Tessemae's)

Optional section

  • ¼ cup chopped red onion (optional)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (optional)
  • 3 baby carrots, diced (optional)
  • Butter lettuce leaves - for your wraps
  • Green onion- garnish

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker
  2. Top and coat chicken breasts with buffalo sauce
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  4. Shred chicken with 2 forks
  5. Optional: mix chicken with carrots, onion, and celery
  6. Load up your wrap with chicken and some green onion and avocado
  7. Let's Eat!

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Breakfast Bake with Sausage, Eggs, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Breakfast Bake with Sausage, Eggs, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Prep 15min, cook 32min, servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage ( or ground turk/bison/beef/chicken) 
  • 3 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • olive oil , as needed
  • 6 green onions , sliced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes , seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach , thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 eggs

 Breakfast Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble sausage. Add olive oil if necessary.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add remaining vegetables, herbs, and salt and cook about 2 minutes or until slightly softened and well combined. Pour mixture into a 9x13" pan.
  4. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk well. Pour over sausage-vegetable mixture and bake 25-30 minutes or until a knife, inserted in the center, comes out clean.

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Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

 

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 small - medium avocados
  • 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/2 cup scallions (white parts removed)
  • Juice of 1 1/2 small lemons
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a food processor, blend together the garlic, avocado, olive oil, and water. Add basil, parsley, chives, and scallions and pulse to blend. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt and blend to combine.

NOTES

Depending on taste, you may want to add more or less of vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. I'd recommend adding a little at a time to your taste preference.

You also may need to add more water to achieve desired consistency.

I purposefully didn't add any sweetener because I like tangy but if it's too tangy for ya, add 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar.

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Delicious Green Shake

Delicious Green Shake

1 serving

1 cup of 30 cal almond milk

1-1.5 serving of vanilla whey protein powder

1-2 handfuls of spinach

Juice of two limes ( treat yourself to the real thing...this is what makes it exciting!!)

1/3 avocado or 1T of coconut or flax oil.( if in a hurry spend time on the limes and throw in oil!)

Optional:

1 cucumber ( with or without skin)

Wild blueberries if post work out

Try it with chocolate if really adventureous

Water to desired consistency ( We like 1 cup +. Remember this will drop the creaminess of the avocado)

Ice

Stevia to taste (We use NuStevia vanilla drops)

ENJOY!

 

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