diet

Meal Planning

Base Recipe for LowCarb Protein Pancakes

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Hey all! This is an oldie, but a goodie. Try this recipe - do it now.

I  posted this recipe for super clean protein pancakes right when I started this site. People LOVE them! Bonus that they're extremely clean and tasty. I have these on the weekend usually when I want to spend some time in the kitchen with a coffee. It really doesn't take that long, so they can actually be made during the week.

Now I know everybody has their own version of protein pancakes. I came across this one years ago and I've stuck with it. The reason being that it's really clean. Some recipes get carried away with oats, "clean" flours, even sweeteners... but I like it simple. I know exactly what's in these and they leave me satisfied. They sometimes turn out a crepe-like texture which is fine by me.

Consider this recipe a base - and add your own extras. Apples and cinnamon?  Pumpkin puree? Go for it!

What are your favourites?

Shameless Self-promotion

I'm on vacation!

simpson vacation

Happy New Year to All! Thanks for checking out the TrainRite website :) Just to give everybody a heads up; whether you're a regular here, or you've found the my site through a listing on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.... I'm OUT!

It's -24C here in Toronto, and that's just about my threshold.

I'm on vacation until January 16th, 2015,  so I've temporarily closed all listings for TrainRite Fitness Journals. If you're looking to place an order, no worries I will reactivate all listings on the 16th, and will return to normal shipping times. (Did I mention I typically ship SAME DAY?!). So you can wait until then, or you can email me directly at: admin@trainrite.ca. I will check these periodically, and alert you upon my return!

Thank you all for an exciting and successful 2014!

-Matt Cronin

Tropical-Vacation

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Fighting "Decision fatigue"?

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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

"Mmm Sauce" and more...

mmm sauce

I really like this recipe rubbed into kale leaves, but it can be used as a general sauce for anything really. It has a cheesy flavour, and a little heat if you opted for the sriracha. I make 4 batches at once, because I can’t get enough! This recipe can also be a great base – just add other spices/flavors as you want! Side note: I wish I had a better name for this recipe.

Check out my "food!" section! I'm going to try to post at least one recipe per week that I make. These recipes I'll keep as clean as I can, but delicious at the same time. Enjoy, comment if you try them!

mmm sauce
mmm sauce

Meal Planning

Breakfast showdown: Cottage Cheese vs Plain Yogurt

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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

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FREESHIPPING

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!

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Meal Planning

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

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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

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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!

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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

Recipe: Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Happy new year all! I'm making an effort to post as frequently as possible this year, and check back for some guest posts as well.

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This recipe was created by suggestion from a friend for creating caramelized onions in the slow cooker. I love caramelized onions, but somehow I didn't think the entire wrap filling in onion would be as appetizing. It’s a really simple recipe, and the majority of your time will be spent filling up the slow cooker. Aside from the butter, this recipe is really clean and any spices for the pulled chicken can be substituted, as any of the filling ingredients. Try not to do what I do every time I assemble a wrap: stuff as much filling as I can only to have the entire thing fall apart on first bite. Less is more people! Especially with the delicate lettuce leaves. Needless to say I ate these alone, face covered, what a mess. Enjoy!

See this recipe here.

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Exercise, Meal Planning

A note on being “Healthy”

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I found this great article written by Michelle Armstrong of The Oakville Nutritionist describing how it’s in our nature to make excuses for things we consider to be hard today in modern life. Take a look – it’s definitely a worthwhile read. Excuses are something I've always struggled with; the whole “I’ll just start tomorrow” excuse kept me smoking for much longer than I should have.

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When it comes to your own health and fitness, being “healthy” isn’t really that much work. Why do people think you have to be fanatic and eat only the most tiny, bland meals to be “healthy”? We all know we can’t just sit on our asses all day, that’s unhealthy. Our bodies are designed to be active, not sit in a chair all day (as I am currently doing). We’re not designed for a five-dolla-footlong for the majority of our meals either, much to the chagrin of my office cohorts.

I know everyone is sick of hearing about health and fitness fads and diets, I know I am. I’ve also been on the receiving end of many eye-rolls when I’ve spoken about my fitness regimen to friends and family too, haha. But really, if we all know it’s a necessary part of life, why the hell do we make it seem so complicated?

My basic rules:

-          Get moving. You don’t have to be a gym rat. Just get your heart rate up each and everyday

-          Make your own and eat a variety of foods. Leave the boxed processed foods for rare occasions and of course keep portions in check.

-          Manage your stress. Spend time doing things that make you feel good! I like building things J

Here are my reasons for leading an active life-style:

There’s just one – It just makes me feel good. You’ll never see me smile as wide as when I’m playing hockey, in a good groove running or at the gym, mountain biking, and so on. It’s a sort of therapy for me; it must be all of the endorphins. That’s why I do it. So why is that a bad thing? It also really makes me appreciate those nights when I do go out for wings with the boys, or have a day where I just lay around. See – the reasons aren’t complete vanity, haha.

 PS - don't smoke

Exercise

Great Nutrition and Workout talk on the Dr. Drew podcast

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Great Dr. Drew podcast this week regarding Health and Fitness. I’ve cropped out the best part.

listen HERE

Anybody who knows me well knows I love me some good podcast and  talk radio in general. I started listening to the Adam Carolla Show back when he was on radio, and followed him to his new podcast empire. My favourite Adam Carolla material is back when he was on Loveline with Dr Drew – their “chemistry” was phenominal. Adam holds nothing back, even reads his past social insurance statements in a series of episodes. Hilarious. Loveline also taught me quite a bit about myself, and others. Topics vary between everything from mental health to physical health (think dude who thinks it’s normal to dig up a human skull to place in his aquarium, to girl who calls in to find out if her rash is razorburn or herpes). Adam is so funny – this link (www.lovelinetapes.com) has the best archive of episodes.

So the audio I've posted here is from the two current hosts of the show – Dr Drew and Mike Catherwood. I don’t listen to the show anymore, but I do listen to Dr Drew’s podcast. I really enjoyed this section of the podcast when they talk about the simplicity of nutrition and workouts – take a listen!

Notable quotes:

On how often to workout: “The overwhelming majority of people (need to devote) 3 days a week… You can pare it down to like 4 exercises…deadlifts, chinups or pullups, dips, and maybe some overhead pressing work” -MC

“People waste so much time – they ask me how to train their biceps, and I’m like “how many chinups can you do?” He’s like “I can’t do any”. I’m like “listen, you shouldn't be doing any barbell curls until you can do chinups to like, at bodyweight, a grown man should be able to do 15 chinups.” -MC

"Find an intention, make a goal, and follow it. People get so crazy and mixed up they want to be able to run a marathon and (bodybuild) to benchpress 350lbs…. The two don’t mix." - MC

Drew: “How ‘bout diet, what are the basic diet tendants?” Mike “Uhhhh…people eat too goddam much. Too many calories, with too little nutrients. That’s the biggest problem with Americans today”

"Here’s the big thing: it IS inconvenient. To be truly healthy you have to focus you have to pay attention. Don’t confuse diet foods with health foods, and vice versa. There are things that are very healthy, that are not good for a diet. There are things that are very good for a diet, that are fuckin’ unhealthy. And don’t confuse the two. Low fat yogurt with a bunch of sugar that’s only 90 calories may be great for some chick that doesn’t eat a lot and wants to stay skinny, but it’s not very healthy. Half a bag of macadamia nuts is very dense and healthy, but it’s a terrible thing if you’re on a diet because it’s going to be around 3000 calories." -MC

Meal Planning

Mens vs Womens Grocery Lists

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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.

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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!

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Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

2 MONTH SHRED CHALLENGE: WEEK 1 COMPLETE

Just a quick update (full results here): Well, after one week I don't expect to see much of a change, so here's a quick summary.

I followed my workout plan down to a tee, and did 3x5Km runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday, you’ll notice, is also leg day for me… causing the run to be a little on the slow side (poor hammys!).

At mealtime I did fairly well too – adjusted to the side-plate portion size and tried to avoid just piling high instead. This needs work haha. Luckily much of my meals have been veg and chicken so I don't feel so bad. Here's another example: shallot, mushroom, and herb scrambled eggs with tomato and avocado. So good.

herbscrambleeggs

Saturday Cheats: glass of Red, and mom’s Rhubarb pie. Def worth it!

rhubarb

Adjustments: I don’t think I felt anything need fine tuning quite yet. I may not run on Friday’s and shift the days to Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday… it’s really awkward to run right after a leg workout!

Results: I’m not expecting any real results photos-wise, but my weight did drop. This is NOT a typical drop, likely due to me cramming as much dirty food in my face as I could right before I embarked on this journey!

Starting Weight: 176.2lbs

Week end: 171.8lbs

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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...

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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)

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

My 2 Month Shred Challenge

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So recently I decided to start a 2 month shred challenge for myself, to try and cut down some of the extra weight I’ve put on this spring. I tend to… how you say…. “eat like an asshole” when I decide to have dirty cheat meals, and then these easily turn into “cheat weekends”. Recently I've had a lot going on so these have been pretty abundant. Last November I did a 6-week challenge, and my reward was our family Christmas trip to Mexico. That challenge was really effective, I cut down to 158lbs with some great definition - I was really pumped with the results. I didn’t really take any photos for that challenge, as it’s somewhat out of my comfort zone. Also, our travel agency unfortunately cancelled the trip via email on Boxing Day (Canadians - never book with Nolitours!!), so I didn’t feel any satisfaction for of it. This time I’ll be posting weekly “selfies” to showcase the results I’m seeing. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve come out of my shell a bit with the photos.

The Rules:

-          Generally a low carb, low sugar diet. On run days I’ll have a higher carb intake (usually through oats and fruit) -          Nothing with added sugars (this includes dried crans and sweet rice cakes) -          No breads, pasta, rice -          Snacks: fruit on run days only, vegetables otherwise -          3 runs per week -          6 workouts per week -          Meals on side plates only -          No alcohol -          No snacking on almonds as I get out hand with these. I’ll use them as part of meals only. -          Any cheating will be fessed up to

Workout Plan:

I've just begun a new workout routine utilizing my TrainRite logbook. Love this thing; I never have to think about what I have to workout each day – I did all the pre-planning. I actually began this regimen a while back, but due to a neck injury and illness I never got into the full swing of it. Now that I’m 100%, I’ll use it for the entire 62 days. 6 days a week and one rest day. Here’s the breakdown:

Sunday: Rest Day Monday: Lats/Bis Tuesday: Legs/Core Wednesday: Chest/Tris Thursday: Various*/Core Friday: Legs/Shoulders Saturday: Back/Core * “Various” refers to exercises that use a multiple muscle groups, or muscles I couldn’t classify with the other days

Cardio: 3 runs per week – Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (generally quick 5km runs)

Supplements: -          Protein shake immediately before and after workouts -          5grams Creatine on workout days (taken with the aforementioned protein) -          10grams BCAAs, daily -          Daily men’s multi vitamin -          Daily fish oil

Exceptions: -          1 Cheat item per week (NOT a whole meal) -          1 alcoholic drink per week *I’ll adjust any of these that I deem effective or not as I go.

Keeping Track: Call me lazy, but I’ve found that the best way for me to track my results are weight and photos. A lot of people do measurements, but I don’t really think it’s necessary for me. Does anyone else have a method they’ve used before?

So here we go! Today is Day 1 of my challenge. This time I have a trip booked Aug 11th, which gives me 62 days. The last challenge I did was extremely strict, this time I’m going to give myself a few rewards along the way.

If you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear them! I’ll keep track of my progress here, but I’ll also post weekly updates.

Thanks for tuning in!

Day 1: Monday, June 10, 2013

Weight: 176.2lbs

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Meal Planning

Base Recipe for LowCarb Protein Pancakes

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Hey all! I just posted a new recipe for super clean protein pancakes

I have these on the weekend usually when I want to spend some time in the kitchen with a coffee. It really doesn't take that long, so they can actually be made during the week.

Now I know everybody has their own version of protein pancakes. I came across this one about a year ago and I've stuck with it. The reason being that it's really clean. Some recipes get carried away with oats, "clean" flours, even sweeteners... but I like it simple. I know exactly what's in these and they leave me satisfied. They sometimes turn out a crepe-like texture which I love too.

Consider this recipe a base - and add your own extras. Apples and cinnamon?  Pumpkin puree? Go for it!

What are your favourites?

Meal Planning

Baked Almond Feta, Almond Feta and Caraway Baked Cabbage Parcels and The Best Pasta Bake

fotor051912446

Had to share this one - it looks so good. Poppy's entries are also a little more elaborate than mine... Baked Almond Feta, Almond Feta and Caraway Baked Cabbage Parcels and The Best Pasta Bake.