Meal Planning

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?

Meal Planning

New Journal! Introducing the TrainRite Compact Fitness Journal

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was working on a new journal format completely based upon the feedback from my users over the past year. Again, thank you all who took the time out to give me feedback and allow me to create the best product for you. I'm thankful for all of the positive feedback I continue to receive for my traditional TrainRite Exercise and Fitness Journal. :) So here it is: the TrainRite Compact Fitness Journal  - a truly collaborative effort from people like you. 

New Features:

  • Compact. Somehow more compact than the original, this version is also more a ‘traditional’ book shape making it strong and sturdy
  • More sets. Many of you animals wanted more than 4 sets per exercise as in the first journal, so you’re in luck – this book’s got 5!
  • More logging for cardio or classes. This version has 3 spaces per workout for cardio or other non-weight training activities.
  • We like notes. A space for notes! ‘Nuff said.

And as always…

  • No frills, no wasted pages.
  • Waterproof cover and backing
  • 10 exercises per workout
  • 90 workouts worth of logging
  • A planning chart for creating 12 unique workouts that is always with you

Want one? Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | eBay | Etsy

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

"Mmm Sauce" and more...

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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.

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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

 

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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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

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!

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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, Meal Planning

Half-Marathon Training - September Complete!

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Well, I haven't posted in quite a while so I wanted to post a quick update. August was a great vacation month of travel, food and wine. I even did my first portage trip at Algonquin National Park here in Ontario. Great times!

I came back from a pretty lax August, to a very intense September. We've had big changes at work that always seems to stress everybody out (even though we're fairly protected, and heavily unionized). I still have a job - booya! I started my training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the first week of September. I didn't realize how intense it was until I was a week or so into it. I have had very little time to post, so I'm trying to make an effort today to do so.

FOOD:

For the training I started eating 6 small meals a day. Running almost every day really prevents me from having the giant meals I enjoyed in August. It's a weird transition; it almost feels like too much food but it's in such small quantities that it isn't. Constantly eating fools my stomach into thinking it's full. I like this alot, and so does my stomach when I head out for the 5am runs in the morning. It does require quite a bit of meal prep because 4 of the meals are while I'm at work.

TRAINING:

I'll just put my September calendar below. The workouts I'm doing are a stark contrast from my last routine. I'm focusing on the running, and thus I'm just trying to maintain muscle, and keep strong the ones I need to run properly. I'm still very sore  - especially after the long run Sundays. I'm used to running 5-10kms, so it's quite an adjustment. You might laugh at the calendar - but this is something I need to make sure I actually do it. Now do you see to correlation to making the log books? Comments always appreciated!

SEPT

Hilarious sprints-day GPS map (below)

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Enjoy some August photos below - and guess what I made 56 bottles of? So good!

Orlando:

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Algonquin & Cottage Weekend:

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Wine Making:

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Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

Final Week Complete

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This is my final week of the challenge I began on June 10th. While there definitely were some challenges (took 2 weeks off in the middle due to illness), I definitely made some progress. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be by the end of this, but all in all I’ll take the progress. I’ll outline below some thoughts I have on the experience, and I plan on beginning some new training when I get back from some much needed vacation! Results: definite muscle development in shoulders/back, and <12lbs.

Positives: -          The planning was key, I used a solid plan with defined rules. This is the only way this type of thing would work for me. I need something to reference. My TrainRite log book is my bible! -          I was actually developing muscle while keeping a strict diet, and was increasing my weight almost regularly.This is extremely hard to do while trying to lose fat, and tells me I was probably taking in more calories than I should have while cutting. -          New 5KM run PR @ 18:08!!! Setbacks: -          illness really hurt me for 2 weeks, I wasn’t able to keep my routine or meal plan in check. -          Cheats: I don’t do well with them, I tend to stretch them out for more/longer than I should. Next time, I’ll avoid this altogether. This is likely why there was little visual fat loss in the toughest area: the gut! -          Fat loss seems insignificant, again – need to go with no cheats and firm portion sizes. I started straying towards the end with all the delicious summer BBQs :)

Now, time for a vacation!

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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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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