eat clean

Lunch / Dinner

Rice + Kale + Roast Chickpea Salad

Boom! I love these crazy simple recipes; the sky's the limit as far as what you can put in them. I made this for lunch for at work and really just tossed in what I had laying around. SO GOOD! This one's worth trying and customizing for yourself!

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?

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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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.

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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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Meal Planning

Sunday morning Protein Waffles...mmmm

Just wanted to post a quick recipe we tried out early this morning. It turned out really well, I'll definitely be making these again! Protein Waffles with Berry and Peanut Drizzles

Find the recipe HERE or under my "Food!" section.

Enjoy!

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Photo 2013-07-28 7 51 48 AM

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

0617_back

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

Finally: FETA, BRUSSEL SPROUT, AND CARAWAY SEED CASSAROLE

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photo 9 Long overdue!

Admittedly, I did not read the entire recipe before grocery shopping… and decided to substitute brussel sprouts for the cabbage. So, I didn’t realize I was supposed to be wrapping the stuffing in cabbage leaves. I just steamed 4 brussel sprouts and halved them, and then layered the rest, placing the brussel sprouts on top as a kind of visual garnish. Lessons learned.

Delicious nonetheless. This was devoured! I made some other intentional substitutions to the original recipe too.

Find my version HERE

Thanks to Poppy’s Patisserie for the recipe!

Don't forget to check out my fitness logbooks!

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Meal Planning

Lunch this week: healthy, hearty Turkey Chili

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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!

 

Meal Planning

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

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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.

Meal Planning

My favourite breakfast on run days - Overnight Oats

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My favourite breakfast on run days - Overnight Oats Here's a quick breakfast I have about 3 times a week: Overnight oats! I'll post the recipe under the "food!" section of my blog, but it's comprised of: oats, protein powder (Cellucor's Peanut Butter Marshmallow is my personal favourite), chia seeds, ground flax, almond milk and banana.