We are on the road again, so I thought I’d share another one of my “take-anywhere, no equipment workouts” I use when traveling. Try it sometime this weekend for yourself! This one is about 25-30 minutes.
1) Lunge + Burpee
2) Power Knee
3) Plank Jack + Plank In/Out
1) 1-2-3 Hit the Floor
2) 4 High Knees/4 Switch Kicks
3) Mountain Climbers
Today I want to share a “20 Superfoods Checklist” to help supplement the 5 habits we’ve been working on over the last several weeks. This checklist was used during my Pn1 certification and is a handy way to build a grocery list and contains foods that are relatively lower in calories and higher in fiber, as well as rich nutrients.
When possible, I aim to get 1-5 servings of each of these foods during the week, depending on the food. Now of course, these are not the only foods that I eat during the course of the week and the only “healthy” foods out there! Rather, this is a list of foods that should be included with all your other food over the course of the week. When used with the 5-habits, this list can greatly improve eating habits without having to count calories, follow exact meal plans, etc.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you of course can substitute in vegetarian protein options. And if you’ve got an allergy to a certain food on the list—be sure to take that one out as well. If you see a food on the list you dislike, try googling different ways to prepare it. You may end up finding a way to use the food that you really enjoy!
20 Superfoods Checklist:
Lean red meat (grass-fed preferred)
Salmon (wild caught preferred)
Eggs (omega-3 and cage free preferred)
Plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or coconut milk yogurt
Protein supplements (why, milk or plant protein sources)
Liquid exercise drinks (or BCAA) – those with a goal to gain weight or who do intense exercise for more than 7 hours/week
Again, this is a supplement to the 5-habits and another tool to add to your nutrition toolbox. It’s an easy list to post on the fridge and use to kick start your brain when you can’t think of what to eat for lunch or your next snack. It is not a specific diet recommendation, or and end-all, be-all.
Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Thought I’d share this healthy recipe to help combat some of the Halloween sugar-highs. Enjoy all the candy but save it for right after your workouts and use these bars to snack on throughout the day!
1 ¼ c. nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter are my favorites)
¾ c. maple syrup (be picky with your brand here – probably NOT the kind you put on your pancakes. Look for 100% pure maple syrup, and make sure there’s absolutely no high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients list)
2 ½ c. rolled oats
½ c. flax meal
¼ c. sunflower seeds
¼ c. pumpkin seeds
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. raisins, cranberries, or goji berries (optional, sometimes I do them with, sometimes without)
Heaping ½ c. dark chocolate chips or chopped 85% dark chocolate (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all the ingredients until well combined, just under 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and briefly mix again
Line a 9×9 or 9×13-inch baking pan (depending on how thick you want them) with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the pan. Spread and press it smoothly with a spatula to fill the corners.
Chill to set, about 1 hour. With the aid of the parchment paper, lift out the contents of the pan. Cut into 12-16 bars. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-week.
You don’t have to wrap them, but I always choose to because then all I have to do is open the fridge, grab and bar, stick it in my bag, and head out the door! They’re great for an on-the-go snack or for a quick breakfast.
A few weeks ago I wrote about some of my favorite protein powders and supplements. Whether or not you decide that one of these protein powders is for you, please take the time to read some of the do’s and don’ts below so you can be sure to pick a protein powder that will be a benefit to you. So often we think we are enjoying this “healthy product” but in some instances it may be doing more harm than good, and none of us want that!
Check the ingredients. If the protein powder (or drink) has more than 10-12 ingredients, you may want to question whether or not it’s the powder for you. This goes for all foods. In general, the less ingredients, the better.
Check the ingredients again. Notice a pattern? This time see how many of the ingredients you can actually read and understand. Now, there may be some ingredients you read and you don’t really know what they are. But the key is, you can actually pronounce them. For example, monk fruit extract versus acesulfame potassium or carrageenan. See the difference?
Choose variety. I am a firm believer that you will never go wrong if you live by the principles of balance, variety, and moderation. Right now I’ve got at least three different brands of protein powders in my cupboards, some of them in multiple different flavors. Some days I choose a plant-based protein powder, and other days I use whey. I mix different fruits with different flavors. Variety prevents you from getting sick of something or bored, but it’s also great for your digestive system and health in general. By mixing things up, you’re always getting a slightly different formula.
Avoid sugar and sugar alcohols. I don’t believe you need to deprive yourself of all sugar 100% of the time to be “healthy.” However, my protein powder is not where I want my sugar intake to be coming from. Oftentimes brands will highlight the fact they have “zero grams” of sugar. Zero grams of table sugar, yes this may be true, but many still contain sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, sorbitol, xylitol (they all end in “-ol”). Now it definitely depends on the sugar alcohol, but some may cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, etc. and while the research tends to lean to the side of “better than table sugar,” in general, I still try to avoid them. Especially in my protein powders! If I’m going to be eating sugar, I want to enjoy it in the form of a cookie or brownie. 😉
Avoid “mystery” ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it and you’ve got no clue what it is, I would say avoid putting it in your body. If this is the case for more than half of the ingredients, it’s an even bigger “stay away” red flag.
Avoid long lists of ingredients. Again, I try to stick with 10-12 ingredients with very few exceptions. Usually the rule of thumb is, the longer the ingredient list, the more processed the food is.
Be careful of consuming “too much”. Different protein powders are marketed towards different people. It’s possible to pick a protein supplement that has too much (or too little) protein for your needs. Around 20 grams/serving is optimal for the average exerciser/athlete. Also watch out for added vitamins or minerals. If you are already taking other supplements and add a protein supplement that contains those same vitamins and minerals, know the safe upper limit. It’s possible to have “too much” of a good thing and end up with serious health problems. This isn’t usually an issue, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
When in doubt? Ask questions! Turn to credible sources and don’t be afraid to seek out advice from those with credible backgrounds. Be weary of the Internet–you can usually find whatever it is you’re looking for, whether it be affirmative or negative. There’s great stuff, and there’s not so great stuff out there, so always check your sources.