clean eats

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Fighting "Decision fatigue"?

the-globe-and-mail-leaf1

I like when the media attempts to coin new terms. "Decision Fatigue", as this Globe and Mail article calls it, is the idea that in any given day you only have enough energy to make a finite number of "tough decisions", before you just do what you would normally just...do. The types of "tough decisions" they mean mostly relate to making smarter choices for your health; I'm going to the gym and I’m not going to have that treat that I want to eat right now. It's an interesting hypothesis, and I don't really know what to make of putting a definite limitation ones ability to overcome being tired. What did certainly catch my eye though is how I initially interpreted it: consciously deciding you're too tired to get out for a run or make it to the gym well before it's actually time to do it. I do this. All the time. Especially when I'm not training very hard or out really of my groove - as is currently the case.

For myself and those of you like me, there's really only one solution. Grab a bag a Ruffles' Sour Cream 'N Bacon chips (my fav), and settle into the couch for the night. Yes? Of course not. It takes real grit to just get out there and do it. Hell, do it half speed. Take longer breaks between sets. Just get out there and do it. I've actually been following my advice this week (before I even happened upon this article), up at 4:30am every morning for the gym and a couple 5km runs in the evenings. You know what? The worst part was really just the thought of going out and doing it. When I'm finally in the gym or mid-run, it feels really good! When it's over I feel great and I'm ready for the next one.

You can take the points from this article, and they may be very valid for you, but really the biggest challenge for most people is fully committing to something and getting over the various daily excuses that stand in your way. When you fully commit to something, be it healthier meals or a rigid fitness routine, the route to get there is yours for the taking.

Check out the article here, of course I fully support the planning and scheduling advice!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/want-to-work-out-more-defend-yourself-against-decision-fatigue/article19872789/

Meal Planning

Quinoa Salad

So I just wanted to post a quick photo of what I've basically been eating all week. It's so simple to make and an amazing side to a protein (I prefer fish) and some steamed veggies. This recipe makes quite a bit if you're eating it as a side like I do. I'm new to this quinoa business...but I really like it. I've also made some quinoa burgers which I'll feature separately. Recipes will all be posted under the "FOOD!" section...

Find this recipe HERE!

Meal Planning

Breakfast showdown: Cottage Cheese vs Plain Yogurt

  both

Most mornings when I’m short on time I reach for cottage cheese for breaky. Low in sugar and carbs, high in protein – it keeps me full throughout the day. Slice up some fresh fruit, or go the savory route with chopped onion, red pepper, celery and black pepper – it’s extremely versatile and takes me about a minute to prep. But this morning I was out. Being far too lazy and short on time for a grocery run, I found some plain yogurt and went for it. It was delicious! Better than my usual cottage cheese and fruit breakfast I’ve been eating for years. So I thought to myself, what really is the difference between the two?

Here’s a comparison of Nordica 2% Cottage Cheese and Astro Original 2% Plain Yogurt per half cup.

 cott_yogurrt

I didn’t choose these brands for any particular reason, but most plain versions tend have similar nutritional values anyways.

Calories Yogurt is slight lower in calories than the cottage cheese (40kcal less, 36% lower). So if you’re strictly counting calories, yogurt can be your friend.

Protein Cottage cheese wins this one, and by a long shot (9g more, almost 300%). A few years ago I opted for a low carbohydrate focused breakfast to a high protein one. That’s why I started eating cottage cheese in the first place. I always found I was starving at work within a few hour of eating cereal, toast etc. Most mornings I work out before eating breakfast so that blast of protein afterwards is great. Plus I still replenish carbs with the fresh fruit I add.

Fat They’re both the same. You chose them at 2%. :P

Carbohydrates Surprisingly they’re both the same. I’ve seen some versions of plain yogurt that have significantly more carbs via sugars, but the Astro brand seems to be a good choice.

Taste I really liked the yogurt better. This may be because I’ve been eating cottage cheese for years straight, and the change up is nice. Both have very different textures, and different flavor. I’m leaning towards the yogurt!

Conclusion: I was honestly expecting to heavily favour the cottage cheese. I assumed the two would vary quite a bit and always thought yogurt was higher in sugars and carbs, so this is a pleasant surprise. I’ll definitely keep both in my morning routine. Keep in mind this is PLAIN yogurt, once you get into the Vanilla and other flavors expect lots of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. If you add chopped fruits, you really shouldn’t need the flavored version anyway.

There are obviously other factors involved in making the right choice for you – some yogurts have higher calcium, lower sodium and Greek yogurt will have more protein. Yogurt also has bacterial cultures with proven benefits for your immune system and so on. For me, I’m more worried about excess sugars, and getting that higher protein content. I’m not afraid of fat either, and it can be your friend - although calorie dense. So unless you’re concerned about higher calories, go the yogurt route. If protein is what you’re looking for, go for cottage cheese. Otherwise – either are a great addition to your morning.

Which of the two do you favor? Or am I the only one who thinks this much about breaky?

Thanks for reading, Matt for TrainRite

 

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Worldwide FREE shipping on Etsy, this weekend only!

This weekend only! Free shipping on all Etsy TrainRite Fitness and Nutrition Journal orders!Promo code: FREESHIP https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrainRite00

FREESHIPPING

Exercise

New Chest Variation: Neck Press

neck_press1

I just added this bench press variation into my workout routine: the Neck Press If you're like me who constantly has a tight chest, you will FEEL this exercise - and feel it quickly. This is not an ego boosting, heavy-as-you-can-go movement: GO LIGHT to start. Trust me, you'll feel it. I use this exercise before I do my regular sets of bench presses.

neck_press1

Take your basic bench press, but slide you body down low on the flat bench to allow you to lower the bar over your neck, rather than your chest. Bring the bar down slow, just until it touches your neck, pause, and bring the bar back up to your starting position.

Try this chest routine:

3x12 Neck Press superset with Pushups to exhaustion (no rest between) 3x12 Bench Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Smith Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Flat Bench Cable Flyes (superset with another muscle group) **I always try to superset with another muscle group to maximize a workout

Now tell me you don't feel that? You won't be able to lift the same weight after the Neck Press x Pushups, but still try to safely lift heavy sets to finish the workout. Keep your rest times short as you can.

Happy lifting

Matt for TrainRite

 

Meal Planning

Deconstructed Taco! (....salad)

Tacos are great! So in an attempt to recreate a healthier version... I came up with this deconstructed salad.It's also great. Honest. You may miss the taco shell and cheeses - but you have to make sacrafices sometimes, right? This was satisfyiing enough for me anyway :)

It may look like a ton of ingredients, but a lot of that is spices that can be left out/exchanged. The majority of your time will be chopping fresh vegetables. Enjoy!

See the recipe here!

Photo_2014-04-25,_6_18_42_PM

 

Meal Planning

Soup's OK - but it's no main course...

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 08 13 PM

I like soup. Ok, I kinda like soup. I just never want it for dinner, you know? It just doesn't seem satisfying at all, almost a solid food's garnish. Admittedly I've never actually made my own soup, until today. It was actually really good! Heavy on the garlic, so I''ll tone that down next time. I love posting recipes on my site for you, but it's really for myself too. I've made so many dishes in the past that were simple, healthy and really good... all to be forgotten. Selfish? Not entirely! I get many of my recipes online and try to tweak them for my own liking, or to cut out ingredients I either don't have, or think is excessive. So if any look familiar that's because they're all out there :)

Take this Butternut Squash & Asian Pear Soup Recipe - heavy cream? Not necessary when you have the squash. I used almond milk instead, but I'm convinced water would have been fine. The curry addition is a good idea too.

Check out the recipe here - feel free to use as a based and adding your own flavour! Just don't eat is your main dish.

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 13 39 PM

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 08 49 PM

Meal Planning

Favourite Snack: Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas

photo 2

photo 1 This is a great snack that I usually make once a week, and bring in my lunch.

They don't take much effort to make at all, just a little bake time. You can literally exchange any of the spices for something you like better; like garlic/chive/dill, cilantro/lime, sea salt and pepper, and so on. Many people do sweeter versions with cinnamon and sugar...so there are endless combinations. The process is the same for each.

Find the recipe here, and enjoy!

photo 2

photo 3

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

What I DID Wednesday

So a friend of mine so politely suggested that maybe I should post more often. I like hearing suggestions from fellow readers and anyone really, so I figured I could start today. I’ve been asked this question fairly often, and this was actually her suggestion to me: What does your typical day look like as far as exercise and meals go? Well my dinner tonight isn’t really typical - I’m expecting to eat as many wings and drink as much beer as I can handle on a “school night”- but the rest really is. On a typical weeknight for dinner I’ll more than likely have some sort of meat (lean steak, chicken breast/thigh, salmon etc.) with salad, steam veg or similar.

Portion control isn’t really my strong suit, so I try to eat before 6:30pm so I don’t feel so full for the early morning workouts.

5:30am Workout: Glutes, Chest, Core (all superset)

Barbell Step-ups – 110lbs x   20, 17, 16 (these are the worst) Pec Fly Machine – 190lbs x 12, 12 ,12

Glute Kickback Machine – 170lbs x 12, 12, 12 each leg Incline Dumbbell Press – 2x70lbs x 10, 10, 9

Barbell Hip Thrust - 185lbs x 12, 12, 12 (looks so suggestive…) Cable Press - 110lbs x 12, 12, 12

Leg Raise with Dumbbell - 25lbs x 12, 12, 12 Torso Twist Machine - 190lbs x 15, 15, 15 each side

Horizontal Sit-up - 45lbs x 12, 12, 12 Sitting Oblique Twist (with Plate) - 25lbs x 25, 25, 25

Finished it off with a 5K run! Now I’m ready for Wing Night!

FOOD:

Before Workout (5:15am) – 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Post Workout (7:00am) ­– 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Breakfast (7:30am) – Overnight Oats

Snack (10am) – Broccoli & cauliflower

Lunch (12:30pm) – Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I made tons - I'm eating this all week)

Snack (2pm) – Hardboiled egg & Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas

Dinner (6pm) – Wing night…. So wings and beer! (lots)

Meal Planning

Sweet Potato Cookies: no SUGAR added

Hey peeps! It's been while since I've tried a new recipe - so yesterday I came across this post:

http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/pack-these-sweet-potatoes-into-kids-lunches/

...and decided to try a variation of my own! I tried it without any sugar or substitute.. just a little sweetener in the protein powder. So this way they're not super sweet but I like the spices for this time of year. I think they're really good, but you can always add dates, maple syrup agave etc if you really need the sweet.

Check mine out here!

Photo 10-9-2013, 8 56 26 PM

Meal Planning

Mens vs Womens Grocery Lists

food2

I thought this was funny - much like the guy I prefer to keep my diet really simple when trying to cut down. I don't really need the variety that many people (errr... women) tend to need. I could be perfectly happy eating just a small handful of differing meals as long as they taste good. Just like with many other aspects of my life I like consistency when I know things work - call me lazy. Anyway, I came across these grocery lists a few weeks back and think they're helpful for people who need a hand with the basics for meal ideas. I always forget about certain foods so these are good to print out and have handy when you find yourself out of ideas.

Men: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2013/shoppinglist_craig33.pdf Women: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2013/shoppinglist_karina3.pdf

Meal Planning

I really feel bad for anyone with shellfish allergies, because this dinner was so good.

photo (8)

I kept seeing seafood today... everywhere I went. First of all this article in the paper got me going. As a kid my family would go to Red Lobster about once a year, and that is seafood as I knew it. And I loved it! Likely because everything is slathered in butter and you don't really taste any seafood. One Christmas I ate so much shrimp that I got hives. Anyways, it's been a while and I made seafood tonight. Sidebar: I'm determined to go to this restaurant, it looks so good: Rock Lobster Food Co.

So tonight I went to the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens here in Toronto, and picked up some Tiger Shrimp and Sea Scallops. The bill... was hefty. I have no idea why that place is SO much more expensive than anywhere else - or so it seems. In the end it was worth it for the fresh produce.

Check out the recipe for my Shrimp & Scallop with Lemon-Lime Salsa

To tell you the truth I liked the scallops better, and they were half the price. So substitute as necessary!

photo (8)

Meal Planning

Healthy Movie-Night Snack Options?

roastchickpea

I'm looking for some feedback here people! I love going to the movies, but mostly for the popcorn and loads of Bulk Barn items I sneak in. I'm going to see This is the End tonight, and I'm trying to come up with something to pretty clean to snack on. What do you bring?

So far I've come up with: Fruit Salad, Almonds, Veg + yogurt dip

If this sounds risky to bring in, they're pretty easy-going at the theatre I go to. Note to self: must remind female friend to bring large purse...

While trying to come up with the dip recipe on one of my favourite food sites TheKitchn, I also came across these Roasted Chickpea recipes. I really wish I had more time tonight to make these before I go. Next time, next time....

roastchickpea

Oh, and why is TheKitchn one of my favourites? This is why...

photo (1)

That's right, a 7-Layer cake composed of brownie, chocolate chip cookie, marshmallow fluff, cheesecake, graham cracker and chocolate frosting. We made this for Christmas Dinner Last year. (Recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/over-the-top-dessert-7-layer-smores-cake-179471)

Meal Planning

Lunch this week: healthy, hearty Turkey Chili

IMG_20130520_101116  

Nothing like homemade turkey chili on a rainy day!

After a beautiful Sunday morning long run, I made my way to my favorite local grocers: Fiesta Farms (post to come!) and St. Lawrence Market to grab ingredients for my chili!

I try to do prep cooking on Sundays so I can save time during my busy week!

Want this recipe? Go to the "food!" section of this site, or here!